Difference between revisions of "Game B Wiki:About"

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Latest revision as of 14:45, 14 August 2021

Mission

The mission of the Game B Wiki is to connect people attempting to play Game B with the information that they find most useful.

The structure, content, and policies of the Wiki are all intended to achieve this mission.

Different people, and even the same person in different contexts, will find different information useful. The same Wiki has to serve a child discovering a topic for the first time and a PhD candidate who has been in the community for years and is now writing their dissertation. Furthermore, individuals may not know what information would be most useful to them.

Design Features

In an effort to best accomplish its mission, the Wiki has three core, complementary design features:

Hierarchical Category Structure

Right on the home page of the Wiki there is a live-updating category tree that highlights this feature. For individuals who have at least some idea of what they are looking for, this can help them slice through the total pool of content to pages that have a higher likelihood to be useful for them. For example, if someone is interested in figuring out how they can contribute personally to Game B, they may be looking for ongoing projects that are a good fit for their skills. They could navigate down the category tree from "Projects" to "Projects by Associated Skills" and find that both "Projects - Engineering" and "Projects - Manufacturing" could be relevant. They open both of these categories to find a list of pages for me to investigate, hopefully connecting them to information they find useful.

Information Gradient

A child who wants to know what "omni-win" means and a PhD candidate writing their dissertation on the topic have different needs, but they can both be fulfilled by the same page. This is because the information that the child finds useful is a subset of what the PhD candidate finds useful. by structuring pages where the most commonly useful information comes first (A brief synopsis), followed by the next most commonly useful information (A full description), and finally the niche information (sources this page drew from), a given individual can simply stop scrolling/reading and move on once they've seen all of the information that is useful to them.

Intra-Wiki Linking

By creating links between relevant pages within the Wiki, individuals can discover and explore whatever they find useful in real time, without needing to know what it is in advance. In the earlier example of finding relevant projects, that individual may discover that one of the projects has released a handbook on how to design products for open manufacturing. In reading that page, they discover that one of the authors of the handbook also has a page on the Wiki. They have written other useful books and appeared on multiple podcast episodes, which also have pages. Each of these pages is also discoverable through the hierarchical category structure by someone who knows what they're looking for, and can be read in varying levels of depth thanks to the information gradient.

Relevancy of Content

Built into the mission of the Wiki is the vagueness and fluidity of the definition of Game B. The Wiki makes no effort to codify or enforce any definition. This means that whatever individuals believe to be relevant for Game B may be included. If multiple, contradictory viewpoints are believed to be relevant by different individuals, all of them should be included on the Wiki with appropriate context so that other individuals can understand that those conflicting viewpoints exist and draw their own conclusions.

The nature of Intra-Wiki linking means that content with more connections to other Game B topics, and that has been most deeply explained on its Wiki page, is more likely to be discovered by users. As categories require a certain number of relevant pages before they can be created, new pages that do not share commonality with the existing structure are also much less discoverable through the category tree.

Limitations

The Wiki has a particular, albeit vague, mission and a particular design in order to achieve that mission. This means that there are an infinite number of other missions that it is not very well designed for. Many of those are more specific. For example, "to connect children attempting to play Game B with the information that they find most useful." While the Game B Wiki can do that, it is certainly not the optimal design for doing so. Making it better at doing that, at the cost of serving all other categories of people, would make it worse at its mission overall.

That being said, the Wiki can act as a foundation that makes other creations with more specific missions easier to create. For example, a review or recommendation system built on top of all the resources described here. This could not be well implemented here but of course has value.