Author Topic: We Need a Pizza Wiki  (Read 2622 times)

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Offline tinroofrusted

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We Need a Pizza Wiki
« on: May 15, 2011, 11:47:59 PM »
First let me say that pizzamaking.com is an amazing resource and continues to provide a great place for people to learn about pizza. However, with that said, it has become clear to me that there is so much information buried in threads on these forums, that we really need to have a wiki to organize the wealth of knowledge that resides here.  It is much too difficult to extract all of the information that is available here.  A wiki would organize that information in a logical way so that people could access the information they need based on the subject they are interested in. 

Having said the foregoing, I realize that there is a huge amount of work to be done to translate the posts here into a wiki format.  But I do think it is possible to do it, and a worthy project given the wealth of information that resides here. 

Regards, 

Tin Roof


Offline BrickStoneOven

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Re: We Need a Pizza Wiki
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2011, 08:27:46 AM »
A wiki would organize that information in a logical way so that people could access the information they need based on the subject they are interested in. 

The site is already like that. If you go into a topic you think the info you are looking for is in, you can use the search bar and it will only look for info in that subject. So say you went into Pizza Making Equipment/Pizza Ovens/Hearth Ovens, then search the key words in the search bar it will only look in that topic(Hearth Ovens). It wont look throughout the site. The only time there is a broad search of a keyword is when you are on the first page. Then it will look into every single post.

You could also use advanced search which makes the search even more dynamic.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2011, 08:29:25 AM by BrickStoneOven »

Offline tinroofrusted

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Re: We Need a Pizza Wiki
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2011, 09:07:23 AM »
The site is already like that.

Hi BrickStone,

I've spent quite a bit of time doing searches, and although I agree that it is possible to find everything you need with sufficient diligence, what I am arguing for is a better way to organize the wealth of information here so that it isn't so difficult to locate the essential learnings.  We are a very polite and compliment-prone group (all good) and the nuggets of information are often obscured by the compliments and thank yous that go back and forth.

Don't get me wrong. I think the forums are perfect now for their function. But reformatting the most important information (recipes, techniques, etc.) into a user-friendly format.  

Part of the problem with starting a wiki is that it is a pretty big undertaking.  But even if no one feels like going to all the work required to curate the existing information, if we just start a wiki now, it would provide a place for the essential information to reside prospectively.  That wouldn't be so hard, just a bit of cut and paste when something important comes along.  
« Last Edit: May 16, 2011, 07:41:54 PM by tinroofrusted »

Offline Ronzo

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Re: We Need a Pizza Wiki
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2011, 10:18:59 AM »
I know Bill, Steve, Pete, and all the other "staff" at the site work pretty hard at making the site the best it can be, while living their own lives and being everything to everyone in their own personal lives. With as many members as this site has, this can be a lot of work for them.

Not trying to be a stick in the mud, or a jerk when I say this... maybe you could research how to do that or what plugins might work for SMF (the forum software used here) to accomplish what you're suggesting and help get it started.
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Offline tinroofrusted

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Re: We Need a Pizza Wiki
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2011, 10:34:47 AM »
... maybe you could research how to do that or what plugins might work for SMF (the forum software used here) to accomplish what you're suggesting and help get it started.

I will take a look at that. Thanks Ronzo.

Offline jonesyb

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Re: We Need a Pizza Wiki
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2011, 11:21:49 AM »
Anyone can make a wiki. Doesn't have to be someone who runs this site/an established member.

Once its done anyone can add and edit it.

OP, it's you're idea, why don't you just do it?

Offline tinroofrusted

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Re: We Need a Pizza Wiki
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2011, 11:47:34 AM »
Anyone can make a wiki. Doesn't have to be someone who runs this site/an established member.

Once its done anyone can add and edit it.

OP, it's you're idea, why don't you just do it?

Jones, I don't think it is feasible to just start this project independent of the pizzamaking.com owners.  First of all, you can't just start scraping content from pizzamaking.com without the consent of the owners. Even if it were legal to do so, I personally would not be comfortable making a wiki using content from this site without the consent and participation of those who have created this great resource.  That's not the right way to go, at least in my mind.  What I am interested in doing is socializing the idea of a wiki, and hoping that people will come to see the value of the idea.  And, once the idea has been adopted, helping with creating the wiki. 

Ronzo, I went and had a look at the Simple Machines website, and it turns out there is a wiki mod that can be integrated into the forum software.  I can't post links but if you go  here you will see it: wiki.smfwiki.net / Main_Page (remove the spaces).  So it does appear that the software is there which can be integrated right into the pizzamaking.com website.  From what I was able to observe it looks like it works OK.  Obviously some testing would be required, etc. 

Offline jonesyb

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Re: We Need a Pizza Wiki
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2011, 01:47:22 PM »
Jones, I don't think it is feasible to just start this project independent of the pizzamaking.com owners.  First of all, you can't just start scraping content from pizzamaking.com without the consent of the owners. Even if it were legal to do so, I personally would not be comfortable making a wiki using content from this site without the consent and participation of those who have created this great resource.  That's not the right way to go, at least in my mind.  What I am interested in doing is socializing the idea of a wiki, and hoping that people will come to see the value of the idea.  And, once the idea has been adopted, helping with creating the wiki. 

You can just give due credit for any information used. If said person does not like their information being on a wiki (Doubtful) you could always take it down.

Also, you don't have to just use information from here, you could use the entire internet. It's not like this is the only place with pizza based knowledge in it.

I think it's a great idea but a big task. A task that would be made easier with lots of people constantly helping to add / edit / remove content. As a web designer, and fan of pizza I would love to help but I'd have to say no based on how little spare time I have.

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: We Need a Pizza Wiki
« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2011, 03:13:51 PM »
This subject had been discussed publicly and privately since I joined this forum. I think people may be underestimating the challenges involved in creating and maintaining a wiki or FAQ on this subject.  As one who spends more than a little time helping to keep the forum friendly, spam-free, and a little better organized, I'd rather spend my "spare time" baking more pies and trying to get a little better each time. And talking about the whole process with the fine folks here on the forum. 

The information is here - tons of it. If you can't find what you are looking for, just a quick shout-out for help is all that is needed and someone or many someones will rush to help you out. Perhaps it is this very structure, or lack thereof, that is a big factor in how much valuable info lives here.

On a related note, one big thing each of you can do to help keep the board organized and make it more accessible to others is to create meaningful subject lines for your new posts so that people browsing the forum know exactly what a thread is about without having to open it. Thank you!     

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: We Need a Pizza Wiki
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2011, 04:16:16 PM »
One other suggestion that may help keep the clutter down is that for the folks that like to post up their pies like I do, consider starting just one thread and adding to that thread rather than "Tonight's bake" or "My pies from (insert date)".

I also find that helpful for myself so that if I need to review my process or info that I've posted, I can go to just a few places rather try to remember the date that I posted the info in.   

Chau


Offline tinroofrusted

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Re: We Need a Pizza Wiki
« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2011, 05:16:07 PM »
This subject had been discussed publicly and privately since I joined this forum. I think people may be underestimating the challenges involved in creating and maintaining a wiki or FAQ on this subject.  As one who spends more than a little time helping to keep the forum friendly, spam-free, and a little better organized, I'd rather spend my "spare time" baking more pies and trying to get a little better each time. And talking about the whole process with the fine folks here on the forum. 

The information is here - tons of it. If you can't find what you are looking for, just a quick shout-out for help is all that is needed and someone or many someones will rush to help you out. Perhaps it is this very structure, or lack thereof, that is a big factor in how much valuable info lives here.

On a related note, one big thing each of you can do to help keep the board organized and make it more accessible to others is to create meaningful subject lines for your new posts so that people browsing the forum know exactly what a thread is about without having to open it. Thank you!     

Thank you Bill. I know you spend a great deal of time on keeping the forums going. Your opinion on the subject is important. And it probably is true that I am underestimating (or haven't sufficiently considered) the time required to create and maintain a wiki. But looking toward the long term, I think that a wiki just makes a lot of sense.  And I suspect there are quite a few talented people who post here regularly that would be energized by such a project.  I know I would be.  I would also be interested to here what thoughts Peter (Pete-zza) and Steve have on this subject. 

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: We Need a Pizza Wiki
« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2011, 06:11:03 PM »
Tin Roof,

We have always gotten good ideas from members for improving the forum. The big problem has always been that the people who want the improvements aren't equipped to do the work. So it always has devolved on the members who are most familiar with the subject and the forum to implement the best ideas. As a practical matter, that has meant that the Moderators had to do it, since they were often the most familiar with the subject matter, the layout of the forum and some of the administrative aspects and they could coordinate efforts as needed with Steve. Just about everything you see in the way of tools and aids on the forum were as a result of the work of the Moderators and Steve. It perhaps was easier to do these sorts of things when the forum was smaller and the time spent moderating the forum was a lot less. But as the forum has grown, it has become increasingly difficult--for me at least--to even think about participating in a major revamp or reconstruction of the forum.

To give you an example, a while back I created lists of recipes at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,8297.msg71576.html#msg71576 and at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,11860.msg110288.html#msg110288. I created the lists so that members could find at least some of the forum's recipes easier without always having to ask the members for them. I really didn't want to do the job because I knew it would be a tedious, time consuming job. But I did it anyway. I think you can see how much work went into finding the recipes, reviewing them, and then creating the lists (which I also now update from time to time). From my perspective, what is needed is more people to do the work. Until they volunteer, I think it is going to be hard to see major improvements in the forum's operations. That is one of the reasons why the Moderators have been trying to encourage the members to make more use of the search tools to find things and to do small things like posting in the right place, selecting descriptive topics headings, using the forum's Pizza Glossary and the like.

On a more positive note, it is perhaps fortunate that Steve decided on an indexing format for the forum. At the PMQ Think Tank forum, which uses a chronological posting system, users have no choice but to use the search engine to find things after about three days worth of posts. Steve's recent efforts to rid the forum of spammers and troublemakers has also been a major positive. I remember waking up every morning and rushing to my computer because I knew that there were spammers who hit the forum while I was asleep.

Peter

Offline BrickStoneOven

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Re: We Need a Pizza Wiki
« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2011, 06:25:11 PM »
It's great that Steve chose the indexing format for the forum it makes everything a lot easier. The way PMQ is set up is horrible. There are a million pages and you have to rifle through them to find what you are looking for. Personally I don't think the forum needs to be changed in anyway. What is a wiki format anyways?

Offline dellavecchia

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Re: We Need a Pizza Wiki
« Reply #13 on: May 16, 2011, 06:56:34 PM »
The more I think about it, a wiki would be a very interesting addition to the forum. You can think of wiki pages as web pages that are editable on the fly by anyone who has permission based access. So for example:

A page dedicated to newbie questions and answers could be created. Sub wiki pages could be linked. Instead of a moderator making a sticky post and adding to it, sub-groups of users could edit and add as needed.

Another example would be the emergency doughs sticky post that Peter maintains. Instead of links to forum posts that need to be waded through, each recipe section could be posted on a wiki page, and the recipe originator could update the page as needed with changes that naturally occur through experimentation.

The power of wikis is the collaborative nature of the software, and the ability to create web content without coding limits and such. It is a nice compliment to the conversational nature of a forum as pertinent information is easily accessible and can be updated easily. It might be interesting to get a sub-group of users assigned to build the wiki content, taking the burden off of the group moderators. It could be up to the wiki team to come up with strategies about content needs and who has access to create and edit it.

I build collaborative software and web-applications in my other life and have extensive experience with wiki implementations, so I would be willing to participate in any way that is helpful.

John

Offline tinroofrusted

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Re: We Need a Pizza Wiki
« Reply #14 on: May 16, 2011, 07:04:25 PM »
John, thanks for it saying so clearly and well. And if you have some skills in implementing a wiki and would be willing to work on it, I think that would make the moderators feel a bit better about adding one.  

I did not explicitly volunteer to help with the project in my earlier posts (although I guess I kind of did) so I hereby volunteer to help with a wiki project if the powers that be approve it.  

Regards,  

Tin Roof
« Last Edit: May 16, 2011, 07:45:28 PM by tinroofrusted »

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: We Need a Pizza Wiki
« Reply #15 on: May 16, 2011, 07:41:43 PM »
John and Tin Roof,

I think I understand conceptually what you are saying. I have always preferred to have a given subject, such as a dough formulation and related instructions, in one place as much as possible and not force people to wade through pages and pages of posts to put everything together. In a way, I think I have been a one-man wiki-operator from time to time. The way I have done it is to modify posts that I have written from time to time and to note through edit notes and update comments the changes I made. A good example of this is my post on reverse engineering the Jet's pizza at Reply 26 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,8247.msg118161.html#msg118161. That is my master post. I note the changes for the benefit of members who may have relied on what I posted before I made the changes. I assume that a wiki version would be neater and cleaner but not leave an audit trail.

In the final analysis, it will be Steve's call as to whether a wiki approach should be adopted. As an IT professional, he no doubt will understand what you are saying.

Peter

Offline Tscarborough

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Re: We Need a Pizza Wiki
« Reply #16 on: May 16, 2011, 10:02:04 PM »
Wiki's only work when dealing with facts and data.  80-90% of pizza making is opinion, so it is a non-starter as a true Wiki.  If you are looking for an index of Pizzamaking.com, then it already exists in a powerful format:  Advanced Search.

Offline Jet_deck

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Re: We Need a Pizza Wiki
« Reply #17 on: May 17, 2011, 12:52:41 AM »
Wiki= looser abbreviated opinion of the truth.
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Offline Ronzo

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Re: We Need a Pizza Wiki
« Reply #18 on: May 17, 2011, 01:04:26 AM »
Wiki= looser abbreviated opinion of the truth.
ouch
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Offline petef

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Re: We Need a Pizza Wiki
« Reply #19 on: May 17, 2011, 03:30:10 AM »
A Pizza Wiki is a great idea but it's a huge undertaking and who's going to do the work? It might be a good idea for a long term goal. In the short term, it might be wise to work towards that goal by making more use of "sticky posts".

Of course the mods would have to approve this idea...
Pizzamaking.com is already well organized allowing anyone to research a particular topic within a particular sub-forum to gather all the relevant information and ultimately create a well organized post that could serve as a sticky post for that sub forum, submitted to the mods for approval. After a long period of time, each sub forum might have 3 to 5 sticky posts and that would be the time to consider converting the sticky posts to a Pizza Wiki.

---pete---





 

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