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Q&A versus reference sites


Stack Exchange is a hub of vertical (domain-specific) question and answer sites (including programming, system administration,

Dreaming — what will the subject wikis look like in 2015?


By 2015, the world will probably look pretty different from what it looks now (although the more things change …). Particularly in the computing and Internet connectivity side, things will be different: touch interfaces, ubiquitous social networking, and all kinds of other forms of interactivity and intelligence will be embedded into web browsing. I hope […]

Platform versus content, and the knowledge domain


There’s an interesting distinction between things that serve the role of a platform/utility and things that serve the role of content. A platform is something relatively neutral on top of which content is put (by one or many people). For instance, an operating system (such as Linux, Windows, Mac OS) serves as a platform, and […]

Briefly noted


Brief news updates: The MediaWiki engine for all the subject wikis was upgraded to MediaWiki 1.16.4, a security release, on April 17. See the security release notes. As I noted in a buzz, a reply to a Math Overflow question (admittedly not a very difficult one) refers to Groupprops in a cool manner. The Wikimedia […]

MediaWiki upgrades, single question surveys


I’ve upgraded all the wikis to MediaWiki 1.16.2, the latest stable release of MediaWiki. On Groupprops, I am introducing, currently in experimental form, “single question surveys” which will be of many types. These are expandable single question surveys advertised at the top of the page. Clicking on the “SHOW MORE” button expands to show the […]

Magazine format versus computable data format


These are somewhat unstructured ruminations about the role and nature of the subject wikis. I’ll draw here a contrast between two alternative formats: the magazine/blog format and the computable data format. In the magazine/blog format, time plays a key role, and the units of production are individual articles/blog posts/ideas posted at specific times. The interaction […]

Thinking through value propositions


Business types use the jargon “value proposition” for the (typically specific and unique) values offered by a product or service. When I started Groupprops four years ago, and incorporated it into Subject Wikis 2.5 years ago, I had some ideas about the value proposition, but these ideas have been continually modified based on the way […]

Short-run milestone


In a previous blog post more than a year ago, I’d put out a list of possible success measures to indicate that the subject wikis have arrived. One of these success measures was first achieved for Groupprops about two months ago: “a single day with more than 1000 pageviews for a subject wiki.” In fact, […]

Recent improvements


The subject wikis are being upgraded to MediaWiki 1.16.0beta (see here for the security release). The high traffic wikis have already been upgraded; others should be upgraded in a few days. We’re also upgrading to Semantic MediaWiki 1.5.0. The default skin on the upgraded wikis is the “Vector” skin, which is the same as Wikipedia’s […]

Groupprops usage patterns update


I had started working on a report on usage pattern analytics for Groupprops, but for various reasons, will not have the time to complete the report in the near future. Also, I would like to subject some of the findings in my preliminary number-crunching to the test of more data — particularly data spanning across […]