Yale Wiki

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Yale Wiki had a snafu with the web host a while back, and it was down for quiiiite a while.

Curious about What Happened? Or who runs the wiki?

You'll probably notice some things that are out of date. Help fix it?

Have a NetID? Then you already have a YaleWiki editor account :)

This wiki has been used over >150,000 times by >7 Yale classes (since 2012).

Who runs this wiki?

Hosting

Casey Watts (BK '12) pays to host this site on Heroku. The domain is through namecheap.com. Costs are ~$200/year.

Content

Content was seeded pretty aggressively 2010-2014 by a group of friends. See Yale Wiki Staff.

Now, its content is maintained by current Yale students. You? :)

Mission

We believe that the way people share information is outdated. We aim to compile everything there is to know about Yale into one centralized, organized, and navigable place. Our group started this site in February 2012 based on four years worth of useful information compiled by Casey Watts BK '12, which culminated in EverythingUseful, another wiki that started circulating Yale in Fall 2011. Since then, it has become our aim to change the way Yale-knowledge is shared on campus.

Why a Wiki?

Wikis provide a collaborative way to create content. Because of the sheer size of this project and the variety of its scope, Wikis are the most efficient way to compile everything there is to know about Yale. This is all too time-consuming for one person to possibly do it alone. And even if he had the time, he wouldn't have the knowledge, which is why we draw on everyone's respective expertise. Wikis can also be updated at any time, so we hope for this to remain current throughout its time at Yale.

Evolution of Information Exchange at Yale

  1. Forever ago within the YPMB: every time a band member found a useful idea, they shared it with the list in a single useful email.
  2. At the beginning of Fall semester 2011, Casey compiled the previous year's useful emails into one big, useful email.
  3. Within a month, this email was put onto a published googledoc (so that it could be kept up-to-date and edited)
    • This one was also distributed to freshmen through FroCo's
  4. Over Winter Break 2011, the googledoc migrated a few times
    1. to every type of wiki - then it was decided that we needed Mediawiki (the nice, standard type of wiki.) so options were more limited
    2. to wikia (which is the ad-ridden, non-customizable commercial arm of wikipedia)
    3. finally to wikinet.org (which is a mediawiki-based "farm" or wiki-hosting site. Just one simple ad at the top~)
      • Wikinet.org is a standard MediaWiki "farm" - I'd totally recommend it to a developing wiki.
  5. Leandro meets with Casey about scaling up EverythingUseful into a full-fledged Yale Wiki in February 2012. Planning begins.
  6. Yale Wiki is born. February 2012 spent putting together the team, and developing the first articles. February 22, email sent out to entire Yale College.
  7. Over Spring Break, we migrated to yalewiki.org and more than doubled content.
    • Asking for advice and contributions from individuals works much better than from groups (of course).
    • We collected information whenever we got it, putting it all into a googledoc
    • We organized the googledoc into semantic sections, which formed the basis of pages
    • We moved eeeverything onto the wiki somewhere
    • We listed the articles on the main page (in a table, trying to group them semantically), bolding the ones that needed to be worked on most.
    • We also created the page ToDo using transclusion
  8. Eventually it went down for quite a while, see What Happened? for that story. Now, it's back!

How to collect information

  • Asking someone verbally and then writing the answer down is definitely the most effective way (of course!)
  • Teaching people how to format things using wikipedia helps. At least showing them an example, and where the wikipedia formatting guide page is.
  • Someone (or some team) has to lead the movement. While wikis are totally community driven, they usually do need a driving/organizing force or two.
    • If a volunteer doesn't appear, a university could really consider appointing/hiring a student or two to lead one of these.

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