We need a Biking in Pittsburgh Wiki

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jonawebb
Participant
#

The message board is great, but there’s lots of information that comes up over and over and deserves a repository — things like favorite routes, best gear for rain and winter, and dangerous drivers.
I’m hoping this actually happens, but there’s a lot to work out before doing it, such as where would the Wiki live, who would maintain it, what should be in the FAQs, etc.
My own preference is that the Wiki would be editable by anyone logged in with the BikePgh id, which means it would have to be part of the BikePgh site somehow.


cburch
Participant
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i said it in the other thread and ill repeat here:

i think the wiki needs to be independent. otherwise bike pgh could be seen as responsible and liable for its content. it would also allow the wiki more freedom on political issues (if someone posted something seen as endorsing a politician or party in the wiki it could be a massive headache for bikepgh and its 503c status)


jonawebb
Participant
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Hmm, well, either way would work for me. The only reason I like it being here is that it could share logins. But, sure, the other way would work too, and might be easier to maintain.
Oh, but definitely, it should be linked to from the BikePgh main page, so new people can find it.


cburch
Participant
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sharing log-ins might be more of a nightmare than you’d think. dan has managed to fix it up quite a bit, but the back end is still basically held together with bubblegum and willpower.


erok
Keymaster
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while i support the idea of the wiki, i hesitate to have it connected via logins to this site, without more info.

We can link it, but we don’t have the resources to dedicate to getting them to connect.

the easiest would be to just get the people who are interested in this, set it up, and we can figure out how to promote or link, etc.

i’m also happy to supply any info and resources that i can, but don’t have the bandwidth to be involved in organizing it.


Vannevar
Participant
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I like the Indy-Wiki, without any derogation or criticism of BikePgh.

I think the wiki model provides an editorial capability. We’d want to include aspects of Pgh Biking not really seen here: for instance (Colin maybe you can speak to this) the Mtb community – things like NorthPark, etc.

There’s a racing community, there’s the indoor community now, there’s the track community about to flourish even more (two tracks in the area), there’s the alleycat community – and they all have bodies of knowledge that should be made more accessible to newcomers, with the intent of growing the overall bicycling population. (i think)

Commuters, Overnighters, etc.


cburch
Participant
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this sounds vaguely communist to me.

i’m totally in!


Ahlir
Participant
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Ok, sounds good so far.

Now, are we talking about something like on sites.google or an actual website? (in which case funding would be needed)

sounds vaguely communist
Please, communitarian. Or maybe anarcho-syndicalist, at most.


reddan
Keymaster
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I’d prefer a real site from day one, so permalinks/URLs don’t need to be remapped someday.

I’d be willing to provide space on my Bluehost account (PHP/MySQL) at least to get it up and running initially, if someone else wants to grab a domain name.


jonawebb
Participant
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I’ll kick in for the domain name, if folks want to come up with a name.


reddan
Keymaster
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yinzwannabike.com?

Or maybe yinzwannaride.com?


Marko82
Participant
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Spokes-n-at.com?

Gitdahellaht.com?


Ahlir
Participant
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oooh, this is always the fun part.

pghbike.org seemed like an obvious choice, but some local dude already has the .com version (but no website); .net and .org are still available.

Looks like bikingpgh.* is available.
But pghbiking.com is an HVAC outfit (owner a biker?)

fun!

On a mildly more serious note: Pair Networks sponsors biking events around here. Maybe they could donate or subsidize a hosting account. Anybody here from there?


jonawebb
Participant
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Some of those names are cute, I’m not saying which ones, but ideally it would be a name folks could stumble on when they first arrive here, looking for biking advice. So let’s make it really obvious.
Edit: So that means more like Ahlir’s suggestions than the others. Say bikingpgh.com.
But if we get the domain name, what about all the rest? Who is going to set up the database, install the editing tools, deal with all the crap complaints, etc.?


reddan
Keymaster
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But if we get the domain name, what about all the rest? Who is going to set up the database, install the editing tools, deal with all the crap complaints, etc.?

I’ll volunteer for now, so we can get something set up and tested (try different wiki packages, etc.)

Ideally, I’d love to offload it onto its’ own host someday (nothing wrong with Bluehost, but my account there is more for me to screw around with stuff than anything else); but I’ve got the space, and can make a bit of time for administrative crapola as needed.


jonawebb
Participant
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Yay!
So should I register bikingpgh.com?


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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This seems to be available, too:

pittsburghbikewiki.com


Ted
Member
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I can contribute my technical skills. May I suggest that we use MediaWiki, the same software that runs Wikipedia?


reddan
Keymaster
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I can contribute my technical skills. May I suggest that we use MediaWiki, the same software that runs Wikipedia?

I was just looking at MediaWiki…makes all kinds of sense to me.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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The simplest and most obvious thing would be http://wiki.bike-pgh.org, and make it a menu item off the main site.

Is the 501(c)(3) status and political liability issue really relevant? Cannot we hang the Wiki software structure off the main website, and put a big honking disclaimer that it’s a publicly editable wiki, and thus Bike-Pgh can disclaim liability and make that disclaimer stick, should it come to that?


jonawebb
Participant
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If we hang it off the bike-pgh.org site there’s no need to register a new domain name. Just redirect.
And I really don’t see the difference, from the IRS’s point of view, between someone on the message board saying they like Romney or whoever, and someone saying it on a Wiki that’s linked to from the BikePgh site. Is there a difference legally?


Ahlir
Participant
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MediaWiki is fine, as long as someone maintains it (older versions have been hacked in nasty ways). Also, a maintained MySQL (or such) server. Though it even runs on SQLite.

This can’t hang off the bikepgh.org domain. That would be as compromising as hosting it completely. You’d also want to grab the {com,org,net} set, to avoid futures annoyances.


jonawebb
Participant
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bikingpgh.com, .net, and .org have been registered. Get hacking!
Edit: that was easy. I don’t see what Obama’s problem was.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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Can we define a redirect from the bike-pgh website to whatever y’uns set up? Maybe even with one of those “You are now leaving the Bike-Pgh website.” messages?


ericf
Participant
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StuInMcCandless wrote:The simplest and most obvious thing would be http://wiki.bike-pgh.org, and make it a menu item off the main site.

Is the 501(c)(3) status and political liability issue really relevant? Cannot we hang the Wiki software structure off the main website, and put a big honking disclaimer that it’s a publicly editable wiki, and thus Bike-Pgh can disclaim liability and make that disclaimer stick, should it come to that?

+1, how is a wiki any more or less liability than a message board?


erok
Keymaster
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it’s not liability at all. it’s the tech headache of logins, integrating with the current site, who’s allowed to edit, etc.

if there’s already a wiki platform, get it going. redirects and links are easy.


ericf
Participant
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Do we really need a wiki? I think that an update to the message board home page, with links to categories, would go a long way. My idea would be something like this:
http://forums.mtbr.com/forum.php
I posted this a few days ago in the constructive ideas thread, but I don’t know if Bike PGH has the resources to do this. I can provide the resources, if people think it is a good idea.


edmonds59
Participant
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I don’t know if “wiki” has an actual definition, but that just looks to me like a different message board format, and one that I like less than this one. Clunkier. Not seeing a benefit.


jonawebb
Participant
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@ed, well, for example I started http://bikingpgh.com/index.php?title=Dangerous_Drivers. So it’s easier to look up dangerous drivers.


edmonds59
Participant
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Now jonawebb, that looks like something that I was imagining – one page, no “threads”, no clicking through, for the categories we foresee above, set up in paragraph outline format. That would be useful.
I request a “Slow Biking” section.


Drewbacca
Participant
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When I have a chance, I’m going to compile info from the love-your-bike-lock-it-right thread and also make a “what to do when your bike is stolen” page.


jonawebb
Participant
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edmonds59 wrote:I request a “Slow Biking” section.

I created a Slow Biking page here — I think it’s OK for you to go ahead and add content yourself. Probably Dan has things set up so you could’ve created the page, too, but I’m not sure. Just create an account and edit away.


Ahlir
Participant
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that just looks to me like a different message board format

A wiki provides a way to organize material, like a manual. It’s collaborative in a coordinated way — a repository of information.

A wiki can be edited, so a particular entry will be up to date whenever you look at it.

A message board is a chronological list of comments; unless you read the whole sequence you miss stuff — a conversation.


Drewbacca
Participant
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I threw an image together that (I think?) won’t violate any copyrights, but I can’t figure out how to load it into the wiki. Anywho, just something temporary… and I can easily make changes or start over once given some feedback.


edmonds59
Participant
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OH dang I opened my mouth and now I need to get to work! Thanks, jonawebb.
I’m going to have questions about doing this. Someone hold my hand?


edmonds59
Participant
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So, is the thing jonawebb linked a go? Should I start editing? I don’t know that I’ve heard a concensus.


reddan
Keymaster
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Edit away…what’s the worst that can happen?

I’m sure we’ll be tweaking it for a while, but the changes will almost certainly be independent of the content…feel free to put stuff in.


jonawebb
Participant
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Well, it’s there, and I don’t know if we really need a consensus for this. It’s not like we’re taking anything away from anybody. Go for it.
There are links on the main page for Wiki syntax, or you can use Google. It’s pretty straightforward, and there are buttons in the editor for things like web links etc. There’s a talk page where you can discuss stuff — we’ve been talking about some issues on the main page.


jonawebb
Participant
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Drewbacca wrote:I threw an image together that (I think?) won’t violate any copyrights, but I can’t figure out how to load it into the wiki.

According to this, I think it’s something Dan has to do.


reddan
Keymaster
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According to this, I think it’s something Dan has to do.

On my to-dos for tonight.

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