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Project 3: The wiki for your work

14 Nov 2008

The wiki we will be using is at Zoho.com. Here is the HomePage of our wiki. You must be registered with Zoho to use it. You will need to sign in before you can write or edit in the wiki. I sent each of you an invitation to join about two weeks ago. If you can’t find the invitation and you have not registered yet, please e-mail me.

Everyone on your team will work together to write, edit and finalize the pages of your project at the wiki site. Your project editor will assign tasks to make sure the work is divided evenly.

The controls for the wiki should be easy for you to figure out — making a link, adding an image and so on are very similar to what you have been doing in WordPress.com all semester.

So, you already know how to write in this kind of environment. Now you’ll share the work and author all the pages as a team, rather than alone.

Project editors: Make sure EACH page is edited at least twice AND carefully fact-checked AND spell-checked. You can assign any of the team members (including you) to do this on any page.

Double-check ALL LINKS by clicking them to ensure that they go to the intended page.

Your Team’s Pages

Each team has five pages to complete. The pages have already been created for you in the wiki — but you must write and edit the content for each one.

Note that the TOP PAGE has a name that is simply the description of your topic. You will write the top page to introduce your topic to a general audience, equivalent to a regular daily newspaper audience. Imagine the audience as people who may or may not be interested in your topic when they arrive on your TOP PAGE.

DO NOT rename or alter the title of any page in your set of five. YOUR TEAM’S PAGES HAVE BEEN MADE FOR YOU. Do not create a new page.

Your team’s five pages are:

  1. Top page (introduction to your topic)
  2. Graphics
  3. Interviews
  4. Resources
  5. Reporting Team

1. Top Page

To introduce your topic to a general audience, you need to think of what would spark the interest of any reasonable person who MIGHT feel like finding out more about this topic.

Think about that. Anyone, young or old, rich or poor, parent or not a parent.

Someobody who would never care about this, no matter what, is not your audience. But the real audience — all people who MIGHT care — can be enticed to read more by your FIRST SENTENCE.

If your first sentence is boring, passive, obvious, or hard to understand, you will lose most of your audience immediately.

Therefore, I want an awesome, active, CLEAR first sentence.

I want a second sentence that adds more information and makes that potential audience even more interested in learning more.

And I want a third sentence that seals the deal: Persuade your readers to find out more. Convince them that you have something here that they will find original, new and interesting. Drive them to continue on to your other pages.

And then, one by one, tease each of the other four pages, with an explicit link to each one.

2. Graphics

An example of a correctly formatted Graphics page is HERE. Please follow the format shown.

To make a screen capture of your data visualization at Many Eyes, follow the instructions HERE.

Your graphics page should follow this exact pattern (just like the example):

  1. Introduce and LINK TO the Many Eyes visualization (text).
  2. Screen capture of the graphic from Many Eyes.
  3. Subheading: What the chart represents
  4. Explain what the chart represents (text).
  5. Subheading: About the data visualization
  6. Explain the data visualization and also LINK TO the appropriate page in Many Eyes that explains that type of visualization.

These six elements are shown in the example. Follow the example.

3. Interviews

An example of a correctly formatted Interviews page is HERE. Please follow the format shown.

  • Be sure to find an appropriate professional page for EACH one of your interview sources — to LINK at the bottom of this page, as shown in the example.
  • You will edit two different MP3 files. Each one must be between 30 and 60 seconds long. Name each MP3 file with the LAST NAME of the person interviewed. You will copy these into the Homework folder in the lab. I will upload them to a Web server for you. Please make sure each of your team’s MP3 files is correctly named, with NO SPACES and NO CAPITAL LETTERS in the filename.
  • NEW: Here are the instructions for inserting the two audio players.

4. Resources

An example of a correctly formatted Resources page is HERE. Please follow the format shown.

  • Your team should provide exactly six (6) different resources.
  • Each one must be a publicly accessible LINK.
  • No two resources can be from the same domain (e.g., microsoft.com, ufl.edu, census.gov). That is, I need to see resources from six different domains.
  • As shown in the example, use the exact title of the page as the linked text, and BOLDFACE the exact and correct name of the source organization in the text below that linked title.

Good and bad resources:

  • News media domains and articles by journalists are NOT ACCEPTABLE as resources. YOU are the reporter here. Do not copy other reporters.
  • Government, NGO (nonprofits) and foundation sites are often (but NOT ALWAYS) credible and acceptable resources.
  • Blogs and other privately authored pages are seldom (RARELY) credible and acceptable resources.
  • Wikipedia is NEVER an acceptable resource — any idiot already knows how to find Wikipedia. Your job is to select valuable resources that are not so obvious.

5. Reporting Team

This page provides a brief professional bio of EACH team member and clearly identifies which one is the project editor. Your bio must be less than 100 words, include your first and last name, your year (e.g., junior, senior) or expected month and year of graduation, AND your major, AND something about your professional goals or ambitions (e.g., “She hopes to become an editor at a magazine such as National Geographic Traveler“).

  • Put each student’s bio in a separate paragraph.
  • Boldface the student’s first and last name on first use.
  • You may include any student’s e-mail address, or all, or none. It’s up to you.
  • In your bio, you may link to your class blog, LinkedIn profile, or other professional page(s).

Any questions, please LEAVE A COMMENT here — so I am not asked the same question 17 times.

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