(copied raw from MicroContribution)

Rapid Idea Entry

You don't have to be giving your two cents to a political decision to do MicroContribution. You could also participate in site-building or brainstorming.

I'm working on an experimental WikiKM:WikiProcess, that I call "the MappersProcess:MappersProcess?." One of the goals of the experiment is to see if MappersProcess:RapidIdeaEntry works. That means that people can quickly come by a wiki and add their ideas.

To try it out, I have a page called IdeasToPlace, which is explained on the MappersProcess:IdeasToPlaceTutorial?.

Basically, you go to the IdeasToPlace page. You take the next number. And you write your idea at the top of the page. You're done! Later, people can toss it, or keep it. If the idea already exists? Toss it. Superceeded by another idea? Toss it. Belongs somewhere else? Forward it. Is it new and good and worth elaboration? Write it up on a new page. Questions about the idea first? Post the questions, and talk about it a little before writing it up.

Now- I don't know if rapid idea entry is a good idea or not. It might overload the site, somehow. I know it's useful on a personal level- I use it all the time. It's great. But it might not be good if a lot of people pour ideas into the IdeasTo'Place page. It's possible that it could overflow, or just end up useless. But I think it can work, one way or another.

Let's see how it stacks up with MicroContribution:

Yes, this is an explicit goal. If you write illegibly, that's fine too. Others will just ask for clarity. You just need to put enough notes, so that you can explain the ideas to others later. (Of course, it's preferable to write legibly.)

Actually, if the text is too legible, you should probably start work on a page.

This is very easy; Everything goes in one place, at the top of the list, by an established process. You don't even have to know anybody on the wiki to contribute.

The IdeasToPlace page is built into the default site navigation. There's a button "IdeasToPlace" on the very top nav bar. We're trying to make it very easy to add ideas.

Of course, if a site is frequently aquiring a specific type of idea, then it can direct the reader to put it in another place.

The distribution of the idea has a formal phase, called (oddly enough:) "Distribution." See MappersProcess:TheIdeaLifeCycle?. You can distribute ideas later.

Which you can do. You can comment right onto someone's IdeasToPlace entry. Of course, if it gets to be too long, you want to transfer it to it's own page.

And disadvantages?

Yep! The good thing is, you only have to waste one or two people's time. If an idea's just a repeat, you just put an X icon on the item, and then add a note saying, "Redundant to Item #435" or "Redundant to Page BlahBlah."

There is the danger that redundancies may be overwealming. In which case: Who cares. The top of the list represents the most important ideas anyways- those that are current.

I suspect that, as a wiki develops, it may need to remove the IdeasToPlace page. But initially, I think it's a great way to get people's thoughts without having to commit to an entire ordeal.

Sometimes, a whole idea can just be expressed neatly in a single line. There's no need to make a whole page for it, unless it turns out to be really nice.

So. That's my idea. And it's a form of MicroContribution.


Yes, I like IdeasToPlace. I think it is indeed a form of MicroContribution. The difference from a "Create New Page" button is avoiding ShallowPages. Only sufficiently developed ideas get to have a page of their own. Shall we set one up here? – BayleShanks

Perhaps the community blog can serve a similar purpose? After all, entries stay in archive, the community expects them to be ephemeral or to depend on temporal context, they can be edited or forwarded as appropriate. No enumeration necessary, I guess. – AlexSchroeder

I'd Love to see IdeasToPlace tried out on this wiki.

I'd just recommend against calling it "IdeasToPlace." I think I'd prefer "InBox?" or "IdeasPage?" or "QuickNotes."

I also think- it's important to keep discussion on the page under a paragraph or two. Anything longer, and the page has become a discussion board, and doesn't look like a place for micro contribution anymore.

Maybe there should be a seperate page, for longer, generic, nameless conversation, but not quite deserving of a full-on page yet? (Or perhaps a PageCluster for that kind of talk, and make the pages all "deleted" from the get go?) Hey! We could call the cluster "HalfBaked?!" ;)


I've seen pages like the Emacs Wiki WishList or OpenQuestions grow and grow – basically I learned there that such a system is just not maintained. On the other hand, I've seen people post ideas on their homepages, and somebody taking them and moving them to their own page as soon as somebody else had something to say about them. Therefore I concluded back then that putting half-baked ideas on your own homepage is the best solution. – AlexSchroeder

Seconded. It keep responsibility on you to remove the idea if there's no support, or keep mooting it - not just leaving it lying around. – ChrisPurcell

I guess I just don't see the problem of a growing wishlist. And, I'm not sure what you mean by "maintained." The purpose of the list is just to be a list. If people are adding to the list, it is being "maintained," in my mind.

The Emacs Wiki WishList has never leapt out to harm me, and I've enjoyed going through it.

If we put those things on people's individual home pages, then you could never see people's ideas all together. You'd have to hop person to person to person.

So my question would then be, why shouldn't it exist?


Hm. Perhaps it is a personal thing. I stopped looking through the list. Most of the things are boring. I guess I am mostly interested in ideas that are only one or two steps removed from the current situation, because then I can discuss or implement them. When we're talking about "visions" and long-term-goals I just loose interest. I don't know why I get the impression that the long-term and wishful-thinking ideas mostly get dumped on long lists. Thus my conclusion that long lists where new ideas are places are usually both one-way structures (new ideas are not extracted because the lists are not read, not even by the original authors), and full of uninteresting ideas (because these lists encourage wishful-thinking too far removed from reality to be useful)(to me). – AlexSchroeder

Well, I have a couple of things to say to that.

First, we aren't necessarily talking about making a "wishlist" for CommunityWiki. It's more of a place for people to place one or two line thoughts, to see if there's any interest in talking about them in the general CommunityWiki public. If there is, if people want to talk about it, they reply with another line or two, or just escalate it into a page of it's own. This is different than a wishlist, and may see more "use."

Second, it is true that wishlists grow grow grow. It takes far less time to think of an idea, than to implement it. However, I still think it's worthwhile. I understand that you don't read such lists, but I like to scan through them to see what kinds of ideas people have. I've always thought it was sort of fun. So, maybe wishlists is a personality thing.

I would like to add that the IdeasToPlace page I've been using have actually worked, on my personal level. I get to some wiki sooner than others. For example, WikiFeatures:IdeasToPlace has a lot of ideas marked off, but WikiKM:IdeasToPlace has only a few. That's because I devote more energy to WikiFeatures.

People do leave notes in IdeasToPlace. One was particularly helpful- on #63, someone added a note.

First, it said:

 63. Feature - WysiwygEditor - ...or close to it. You select
 text, hit B, and it's bold. Hit i, and it's italic. For people
 who are pretty computer illiterate. Link to

Then someone added:

 Also see http://dynarch.com/htmlarea/, which looks quite mature,
 and is open source.

There was no need for an entire page for that discussion. Just that little blob in WikiFeatures:IdeasToPlace was enough.

I was pretty excited. =^_^=

One thing is for sure; These are good expressions for the MicroContribution page. I should start reworking it soon to express what we've written.


I'm willing to give it a try. Either IdeasToPlace or QuickNotes looks good. I'd still be more interested in putting these ideas on the "day page", however. We can then list all of the day-pages to see all the fleeting thoughts that we had, all the ideas nobody ever picked up, read it, chuckle, move on, go back, and extract an idea or two. (The Blog page just lists the latest 10, for example, but we can also have a page that lists the latest 10'000, for exapmle.) – AlexSchroeder

For reasons I can't put my finger on, I am reluctant to mix this with the day pages… I know that doesn't mean it's a bad idea though.

I appreciate the permission to try out QuickNotes..! – LionKimbro

DatePage such as 2004-09-30



Define external redirect: MappersProcess HalfBaked InBox IdeasToPlaceTutorial IdeasPage TheIdeaLifeCycle

EditNearLinks: IdeasToPlace