Something should be added here concerning the licensing of the content (not that I think that it will be a problem, but it is good to be clear about it) I would propose the Creative Commons Share Alike with Attribution (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) Which allows others to reuse/modify the content as long as they also allow people to re-use/modify their content and provide a citation of the source. The benefit of using this license is that it would provide full compatibility with Wikipedea and allow other groups to take advantage of the content here and use it easily while still requiring citing this as a source.
The other license that comes to mind is the Creative Commons Non-Comercial Share Alike with Attribution http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/ Which is the same as above, but does not allow commercial uses. I do not know what the implications of this would be for interaction with Wikipedea
I just googled for Mennonite Wiki today and came across this site. At first, I thought -- GREAT! But then as I'm reading along, I'm realizing that this isn't really a wiki. You have to email a specific person to get an account. There are policies on where to put things, policies on what language to use, policies on citation style, etc. This on a wiki that so far has only 7 contributors
That's not what a wiki is about. A wiki is about community. Things should not be dictated from on high to a wiki. A wiki is about openness, community direction, community change. It's about making it easy, acceptable, and encouraged to just dive in an contribute.
That's not the vibe I get here. Here I'd have to get permissions from somebody just to have an account. Then I'd have to follow some policy to figure out what I'm allowed to write about and where, what languages I can use, how to link to it, and even how to cite sources. What if I want to write an article about the spread of the Low German language across the world? It doesn't pertain to any one congregation or conference.
Please consider doing away with all the top-heavy policy. That can come later, if needed, as the community grows. Right now, you need to foster participation. Do that by making the wiki what it should be: editable by anyone. If you really want community participation, you have to provide community ownership.
I would suggest readings articles and debates here:
-- John Goerzen, firstname.lastname@example.org, 10/14/2009
Two added thoughts:
First, you really need to clean up the wiki spam. See the recent changes to find it. I suspect nobody running this wiki posted the links to nude celebrities on Talk:Mexico :-)
Secondly, this is being set up by a library, which might explain the cultural dissonance I'm experiencing here. There is a great place to organize everything by category and add as much metadata as possible. A library is such a place. A public editable wiki isn't it. A wiki should make it easy to get a fleeting thought down fast, worry about linking it up later. Wikipedia has some policies because you can't have a community their size without them. This isn't Wikipedia and needs to scale appropriately.