New site for jointly determining goals & vision, or finding/offering help

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Posted by Brett Zamir ( on May 23, 2003 at 23:39:07:

In Reply to: Request for comments: NEW Baha'i Library interface, backend posted by Jonah on May 21, 2003 at 22:21:59:

Hi there...

Since some of the suggestions I just offered at the site may be of relevance here, I thought I'd take the time to let you know about the page's existence and ask your input on or about it.

Anybody can edit the above page if they wish to (or the pages it links to) and add their own ideas for this site or any other public Bahá'í site we might put on the web (including pertaining directly to your ask for help/ideas). I was hoping the page could help people to collaborate, avoid duplication of effort, and share limited resources toward common goals pertaining to the development of materials for the Faith.

Two suggestions at the above site which I think are most directly relevant to your question, Jonah...One, the idea of allowing users to themselves interactively categorize items by subject (or add additional subjects for a given item or items) (or even add their own databases somehow if that is possible and collaboratively edit them). This is similar to the wiki page idea (see below), but interactive items would correlate to other items in a database rather than just being a separate webpage linked to a page or pages.

Two, is the idea to allow wiki code within the site to allow links to be made from and to the Writings. The Wiki option is perhaps more user friendly than an interactive database (though hopefully the technology will progress to make interactive databases more user friendly as well).

Although this may require some invested time to learn this new technology, I think that it would not only offer more power to the user, but I think the subject categorizations could also be designated by users on an evolving progressive basis. The power of self-policing (and administrator privileges) in conjunction with periodic contributions by everyday users is evident at such interactive sites as (and I am hoping for ). Maybe as people see how the database is set up, with a few sample categorizations, they'd have a better idea of how to contribute. My apologies if these ideas are above the current manpower, but I thought it'd be nice for us to dare to dream here. As Bahá'u'lláh stated "At the outset of every endeavour, it is incument to look to the end of it." (though I realize this may not apply to the current means available).

My personal interest would be to see each verse of the Writings categorizable. This would facilitate the development of compilations (say when the site visitor came across an uncategorized quotation which was embedded within a seemingly unrelated work rather than in an already existing compilation on the subject). Having each verse in a database would also allow a person to view a user-defined range of pages, sections, or paragraphs (ideally even highlighting the designated verses within a wider context). And again user commentary could go along with any verse.

best wishes,

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