[hackerspaces] content review project

Nate Bezanson myself at telcodata.us
Mon Dec 31 18:06:44 CET 2018

On 2018-12-31 10:20 a.m., Aljaž Srebrnič wrote:
> On 31 Dec 2018, at 15:35, "aimee at ecohackerfarm.org 
> <mailto:aimee at ecohackerfarm.org>" <aimee at ecohackerfarm.org 
> <mailto:aimee at ecohackerfarm.org>> wrote:
>> d. working with me on the harder cases ie where this is no contact 
>> info and only deadlinks to update profiles to identify whether the 
>> space is truly still active somehow before amending them to inactive
> I can assist, we should probably have a Category for these special 
> cases, or a list on the wiki.

We already have a category for that. I think these spaces should be 
categorized as "inactive" just like the ones which deliberately set 
themselves to that status, but perhaps with an additional "reason for 
inactive status = all links broken and the last edit was eons ago" sort 
of tag, so someone sifting through the dregs can understand what happened.

The task becomes clearer if we first remind ourselves of one fundamental 
fact: *Inclusion on the list is voluntary* -- I don't think hs.o has any 
obligation to list a space against their will. And if they haven't 
provided working links that point to an active space, in a data-quality 
sense that's equivalent to linking to an inactive space.

There are a *lot* of "aspirational" entries created years ago with a 
single edit, no working contact info, and Googling for their name 
results in nothing more recent than that year. Chasing these ghosts and 
saying it's hs.o's job to chase them will just wear out volunteers and 
lead to a feeling of a sisyphean task. Simply remembering that ghosts 
aren't alive, makes the problem space much more practical.

That being said, sleuthing out the people behind those years-old 
inactive entries might be an interesting way to connect with locals who 
lost the vision in one way or another. I would still encourage people to 
track down their local ghosts and learn their stories just for fun. 
Maybe write down those stories into their pages, even as those pages sit 
in Category:Inactive. But I think that's a separate problem from 
encouraging the spaces that actually exist and want to be on the list 
and have shown it by creating a useful page which then went stale, to 
come brush the cobwebs off their page.

(Side note -- in many cases, the member who last edited a space's entry 
will be long gone, so someone new will be creating a user account and 
performing the update. Checking the user signup process and captcha and 
stuff, *before* blasting out an email that'll make several hundred new 
people come bang on the signup page and beat their heads against the 
captcha, would be prudent.)

Incidentally, I think this is precisely equivalent to the problem that 
many new spaces struggle with, of unknown stuff cluttering up their 
physical space. Finite physical space makes that a more obvious problem, 
but a map or list cluttered with stale entries is just as hard to work 
with. Most established spaces I'm familiar with have arrived at a pretty 
strong "abandoned stuff" policy -- the onus is on the owner to label 
their stuff. The job of the community should be limited to providing the 
tools to make labeling easy, but it's still up to the individual to do 
something useful with those tools.

Also, bear in mind that mass edits will upset the "merit of freshness" 
that makes the 500 most-recently-updated spaces appear on the map. If 
every page gets an update, the map will show a view that's very 
different from what it's been showing. This may eventually settle back 
down as the updates fade into history, but if there's ongoing automatic 
or semi-automatic editing, it'll continue to make the map weird. This 
shouldn't be seen as an argument against doing mass edits, but for a 
renewed push to improve the map generation. We used to say that 
exceeding the map limit of 500 active spaces would be a "a good problem 
to have", and it certainly is, but it's high time to find volunteers 
with skills to solve it!

-Nate B-

More information about the Discuss mailing list