DEVTOME.COM HOSTING COSTS HAVE BEGUN TO EXCEED 115$ MONTHLY. THE ADMINISTRATION IS NO LONGER ABLE TO HANDLE THE COST WITHOUT ASSISTANCE DUE TO THE RISING COST. THIS HAS BEEN OCCURRING FOR ALMOST A YEAR, BUT WE HAVE BEEN HANDLING IT FROM OUR OWN POCKETS. HOWEVER, WITH LITERALLY NO DONATIONS FOR THE PAST 2+ YEARS IT HAS DEPLETED THE BUDGET IN SHORT ORDER WITH THE INCREASE IN ACTIVITY ON THE SITE IN THE PAST 6 MONTHS. OUR CPU USAGE HAS BECOME TOO HIGH TO REMAIN ON A REASONABLE COSTING PLAN THAT WE COULD MAINTAIN. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO SUPPORT THE DEVTOME PROJECT AND KEEP THE SITE UP/ALIVE PLEASE DONATE (EVEN IF ITS A SATOSHI) TO OUR DEVCOIN 1M4PCuMXvpWX6LHPkBEf3LJ2z1boZv4EQa OR OUR BTC WALLET 16eqEcqfw4zHUh2znvMcmRzGVwCn7CJLxR TO ALLOW US TO AFFORD THE HOSTING.

THE DEVCOIN AND DEVTOME PROJECTS ARE BOTH VERY IMPORTANT TO THE COMMUNITY. PLEASE CONTRIBUTE TO ITS FURTHER SUCCESS FOR ANOTHER 5 OR MORE YEARS!

Devtome Improvement Plan

This article is an attempt to identify the issues and concerns about Devtome in terms of value to the community and sustainability as a stand alone endeavour, and to bring suggestions from the Devcoin community together into a workable plan for improving Devtome as an asset to the community.

Why it Matters

Devtome must become self sustaining if it is to continue for any length of time. In a perfect environment, Devtome should contribute more back to the Devcoin community than it costs but even that statement requires a definition of value that is hard to pin down in such a creative environment.

The most pro-active response is to find ways to make Devtome more valuable in as many ways as possible. This article is written with this intention.

Identifying the Issues

There have been many discussions about the validity/value of Devtome to the Devcoin community and a lot of suggestions for changes.

To begin to address these issues, Hunterbunter raised a bounty for articles on Devtome that offer suggestions on improvement. 1)

At the writing of this article, 3 writers had claimed this bounty. The articles submitted by PapaCrusher , Cdelatorref and Melodiemuse - along with the discussions from Bitcointalk and Coinzen forums - form the basis of this article.

There are still 3 bounties available on this topic, as they build on what has already been delivered, their insights will be added to this article.

The issues identified cover a number of Devtome functions and include Complex Processes for joining and submitting work to Devtome, Navigation and Ease of Use issues on the Devtome website, Writing Quality and Language Restrictions.

Complex Processes

Signup

This particular issue has raised a bit of debate as to its identification as a disadvantage, or an advantage.

One of the advantages of the complex Devtome sign-up process is that the complexity will deter some of those hoping to make a quick buck on Devtome.

The disadvantages include quality writers turned away because it is just too hard. Both views have merit and because of this, I suggest the issue is not really an issue at all, because it is bringing its own balance.

Solution

Do we need one? Because writers are required to join the forums and contact an Administrator, they are automatically connected to the community they write for, have support available to them and are identified by the entire community as one of their own.

This system is underutilised as a method for ensuring each new writer has access to the information they need, in order to write quality articles and navigate Devtome. This could be addressed by using a sticky discussion on the Coinzen forum titled “Devtome Writers Start Here”.

When trying to build community spirit, this is probably a really useful tool and should not be changed in the immediate future; the complexity and frustration at the beginning is well rewarded with inclusion and support once a writer has joined and starts submitting their works.

Syntax

Another complexity concern raised is the syntax used in Devtome articles.

Solution

Devtome runs on Dokuwiki and Dokuwiki requires the use of additional syntax but this is not a new issue. It has already been addressed by the dokuwiki community who have developed Open Source solutions for it. The most popular being the WYSIWYG plugin 2) which gives the user a basic word processor GUI to edit their articles. This Plugin needs to be installed by Administration.

Ease of Use

Navigation to articles of relevance has been very clearly identified as an issue for some people.

Solutions

  • Development of menus using the plugins already developed by the Dokuwiki community 3) These menus show in the left hand side of every page and would be named under the following titles (These can be also added to as needed):
    • Authors
    • Topics (existing categories)
      • Subtopics
  • Retain the current search tool as an alternative method of searching for specific articles, topics and subtopics.
  • Reduction in round shares to be adjusted to more harshly reflect the need for writers to categorise their own articles, reducing each round to 0 if necessary.
  • Implementation of Dokuwiki plugin for reader voting on article categories, notification to writers and Administrator of incorrect categories after 3 votes with no change by the writer, the article is moved to the “Article needs work” category discussed below under “Quality”.

Categorisation

All of the suggestions for improving categorisation on Devtome include more involvement from writers and more automated processes to take the burden off Administrators. There have been a number of suggestions made in the articles already submitted and these all have merit. Each needs to be assessed in terms of usability and compatibility with Devtome. This needs to e a collaborative process.

Solution

In order to get things started a discussion on Coinzen listing proposed changes and using the new voting system developed by Shattienator to determine which solution best suits need and user preference.

Once solutions are chosen, these can be explored and implemented by the same admin dedicated to dokuwiki support.

The list of suggestions includes:

  • More responsibility given to writers with an associated loss in earnings for uncategorised articles
  • Public voting on article categories
  • Manual Categorisation by Administrators
  • Restructured Category Tree
  • Category definitions

Layout and Design

All of the articles submitted refer to the Devtome website as outdated or needing an update and the homepage as needing redesign.

Solution

As with the above categorisation issue, community involvement is needed to solve it. The same method outlined above for community discussion via the Coinzen forum would work for this issue.

The list of suggestions includes:

  • A new template design for the entire site
  • A new home page
  • Popular articles on home page
  • Mobile device compatibility

Quality

Plagiarism

The volume of writing submitted to Devtome makes manual handling or plagiarism an almost impossible task. There are currently no Dokuwiki solutions to address this issue.

Solution

The one thing that no writer can claim to do “accidentally” is to publish words that are not their own and because the absolute “rule” about work on Devtome is; that it is all Open Source and Original (or credited appropriately), there is a need for a strong stand on plagiarism.

  • Apply a zero tolerance attitude to plagiarism, meaning that anyone proven to be plagiarising another persons work is automatically and instantly removed from Devtome and loses any shares owing in the current round.
  • provide a (small!)bounty for reporting plagiarism in articles on Devtome.

Syntax and Layout

The quality of articles on Devtome relates to the presentation of the work as much as the actual writing. Due to the complexities of syntax and the limitations of layout, this can result in articles that are well researched and written but difficult to read.

Solution

  • Please see the solution for Syntax under “Complex Processes” above. The same solutions apply to this Syntax issue.
  • Please see the solution for Layout and Design under “Ease of Use” above. the same solution applies to this layout issue.

Language

While articles in languages other than English may be well written and researched, non-native English speakers are disadvantaged by the dependence on one language and English speaking admins are unable to translate foreign articles.

Solutions

The solutions to this issue are more long term because different languages will take longer to grow. The solutions need to be flexible if this changes.Writers needing English support should be identifiable from their first few articles and these need to be flagged by the administrator that signs them up. These writers can then be partnered with writers who have stronger skills to either assist or collaborate on articles submitted to Devtome.

  • A database of writers with good English skills willing to provide support to writers needing English support and/or editing services
  • A database of writers in languages other than English, willing to provide translation, editing and reviews

As each language group grows:

  • Allow writers who have the advantage of an additional language to write articles in their own language and publish them to the language category it belongs to as well as the articles relevant category.
  • Utilise visitors to assist with rating articles written in languages other than English, by including a voting system similar to the categorisation voting system suggested here.
  • As Devtome grows, these foreign language categories can be broken out of the core site and placed onto language specific sites or sub domains, already formatted to match Devtome

Poor Quality Writing

No-one likes to be told their work is not good quality but in order to build Devtome it is important that a benchmark for quality be established and maintained.

Solutions

  • Addition of a new category “Article Needs Work” and addition into the categorisation voting system so that visitors can vote on articles that are badly written to be placed into this category
  • Articles placed into the “Article needs work” category after 3 votes and confirmation by and Administrator that they need work, will count as negative words to be deducted from that rounds total - Once the article has been released from the “article needs work” category, the words become positive again so if this is done quickly (in the same round) there will be no loss in earnings
  • Development of writing support tools to support Devtome writers
  • Collation of existing articles on Devtome about improving writing skills
  • Awards for great articles, as voted on by the community

Profitability

While this has not been addressed broadly in the articles submitted on this topic, it has become a topic for discussion on the forums and is an important issue in terms of Devtome sustainability.

Suggestions for improving profitability are outlined in a separate article: Devtome Profitability Plan

requirements

The following are the basic requirements to begin to implement the suggestions in this article:

As all writers sign up via the Coinzen forums, this is the best place to make sure writers have all the tools to contribute consistent, quality articles.

In the Devtome forum on Coinzen:

  1. A dedicated sticky discussion titled “Devtome Writers Start Here”4) with a list of Writer Resources, Administrators and Editors
  2. A dedicated discussion thread on Coinzen to explore the solutions suggested and to provide an opportunity for writers to vote on changes
  3. A dedicated discussion thread to allow writers to share their articles and get feedback from other writers

An Administrator for Devtome support to:

  1. Research solutions to user issues for compatibility and workability
  2. Manage discussions listed above
  3. Work with the Devtome software Administrators to implement the ideas the community decides to use
  4. Make sure the community knows about new changes or solutions

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