- Fix our damn documentation! Our whole Help: namespace is a disorganized and out-of-date mess. Our help books, Using Wikibooks and Editing Wikitext are developing nicely and are primed to become our primary help resources. I'm hoping that with few exceptions most of our Help: pages can be deleted or redirected to pages that are more current and are better maintained.
- While we're at it, we need to clean up our sloppy category system and rethink the way we use categories to keep pages organized. Currently, they're just used as the unseen backend for our DPL-driven Subject pages.
- Higher quality. We have a lot of books with a lot of content. We even have a featured books program now that helps us to pick and promote the best of the bunch. However, we judge "featured" books by relative standards. What we need are absolute quality criteria for judging books, and we need honest and unbiased external reviews to see if books meet those criteria. We need feedback from subject matter experts and potential readers to help make our books better. We need to identify the holes in our bookshelves, especially in the "core" subjects and start writing the books to fill them.
- Curricula. And this is something we could work on together with the Wikiversity folks. We have lots of books targeted to specific reading audience, we need to start arranging them by grade level into meaningful curricula for students. You should be able to search by grade level and see a list of books which are written for your level.
- Outreach. We need more active participants, and especially more people at the admin-level or higher. We need to attract more contributors who can help make the other things in this list happen.
- Institutional support. We need to get schools and universities involved, not just as readers but as content contributors and guidance providers. We don't just write books according to our own whims and ship them out, we need to write books to particular standards. We need something like a "Wikibooks advisory board" (even an informal one) that could help guide us in making important decisions for the site and improving our books in specific ways.
- Partnerships. We've worked with groups like the UNDP in the past when they donated a series of their e-books to Wikibooks. We need to expand that, and develop partnerships with other organizations as well. Wikibooks would be a great place for hosting things like software tutorials and documentation, or other free ebooks. Why maintain your own server for ebooks and documentation when you can host it at Wikibooks for free? I bet we could find several groups who fit this bill. I call this idea "Wikibooks as a service".
- Design. We're working on finding a new logo, and we might even succeed this time. I would like other improvements to our site design that includes improvements to our site CSS and JS, improvement of many of our interface messages and design improvements to our main page, our main discussion pages, our policy pages, our subject pages, etc. This is not to mention the aesthetic improvements that each individual books need.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
All I want for Christmas
It's that time of year again, where we wrap up one year, and start setting our goals for the upcoming year. The fact that it's almost a major gift-giving holiday means that, like everybody else, I'm putting together a wishlist. Some things on the list are very practical, and some are more fantastic. Without further ado, here is my wishlist of 12 things I want for Wikibooks in the upcoming year: