"On the plus side, he never married, and reportedly was kind to animals."(See also: Style Guide)

(See also: Recent Changes Addiction)

Public wikis such as Oakland's have an innate conflict: Folks round these parts don't always agree on how articles should be written. When writing history, should we use citations? Where and when is colloquial knowledge appropriate? Is it ever inappropriate? What are best practices for resolving conflict? What is the non/place of advertising? Do we want to create standards or avoid them?

This page is inspired by Conflicting Wikipedia Philosophies. Please dump all your philosophical baggage below. Oakland Wiki is for everyone, and we need your point of view to be heard!


Oakland Wiki Philosophies


Some people like encyclopedic content. Others believe the encyclopedic stuff should be left for Wikipedia. Alloftheabovists are infinitely curious types who have a good, hardy appetite for well-researched historic content and weird funky stuff that reminds them of their humanity. Alloftheaboveists believe that Oakland Wiki should have something for everybody!


Some people like being Very Serious at OaklandWiki. They believe that even if content is slightly repetitive of The Wikipedia, this is good, especially since new content is likely to emerge in the hyperlocal OaklandWiki. These people believe in thorough citations and minimal usage of personal anecdotes. Said people are known as VerySeriousists. Greenkozi is a prominent VerySeriousist online but is known to be a bit of a humourist out of school. Some VerySeriousists share part of the Alloftheaboveism philosophy but feel that the weird funky stuff should be at the end of articles and well annotated with things like "-authornamehere" or "-speculative, author name here" or "it is commonly believed."


Some people just love to see good, interesting content on the Oakland Wiki, whether humorous or very serious. However, they feel it's better to quote and link to sources like Wikipedia and other websites, and just copying and pasting from those sources is a deadly sin. This disagreement between Anti-CopyPastafarians and CopyPastafarians was the basis of the little-known War of the Reverts in the 15th century. There was an extreme splinter group of the Anti-CopyPastafarians that believed you shouldn't even copy your self. As this led to them not reproducing, they died out rather quickly.

Anti-CopyPastafarians are also concerned about long range copyright issues.


Some people may view pages which purport to clarify matters and just go “What the …? This is worse than Myers-Briggs!” Such people may see “good bits” in even conflicting philosophies, and feel unable to state unequivocally which approaches should prevail. So much depends upon / a red wheel barrow / glazed with rain water / beside the white chickens.



The WikiWarped

While some may have begun explicitly wanting to not copy wikipedia, aiming for a more organic, homegrown and oakland-focused approach (even if it required inventing), it seems that wikis in general may have some organizing principles that subtly assert themselves after awhile. So, some may find themselves coerced by the wiki format into doing things not as they might want, but rather as the wiki format itself seems to call for. It feels kinda creepy to be bossed around by an abstraction, but if it results in a more usable and useful wiki …

More thoughts: when a dominant concept already exists, it can be difficult to conceptualize of different ways of doing things without placing your own work in opposition to the dominant concept. We must continue to explore unique, creative, and most importantly locally-relevant ways of building the wiki that are aware of and value the contributions already made on Wikipedia but that challenge and stretch our ideas of what kinds of content wikis can hold. - mk30

Tag Lovers

Tags are The Best Thing Ever! say Tag Lovers. Tag "All The Things!" say Tag Lovers. Use easily searchable words, say Tag Lovers! More is better!, say tag lovers! Paws off my tags, say Tag Lovers. Tag Lovers are so exuberant as to be annoying (says a Tag Lover).

Tag Spartans

Tags are for groups of related entries. Tags are for showing groups of connected entries. Don't have more than one entry?  Don't clutter the bottom of the entry with tags that GO NOWHERE but where you already are. It becomes $^#%@$! NOISE and provides no additional information.  Think everything should be tagged with names? Convince me that the Mountain View Cemetery entry should have tags for every person with an entry who is buried there.

So how do we deal with it? 

Oakland Wiki embraces pluralism - of opinions, of philosophies and of tone.

We hope to be a collaborative space with different voices can create and build upon contributions...not revert. Let's escape the pitfalls of creating a Single Story on Oakland. - diana