Sticky Notes: Adding expandable comments to the margins - for beginners (no wiki code or markup knowledge required)
Last edit: 14:53, 21 August 2011
From the lead of the page for w:Wikipedia:Sticky notes (as of August 19)
You're busy, so I'll summarize in this lead. Sticky Notes is a feature that displays short comments and highlights relevant text (see Figure 1 on the right). Every sticky note on the main page also generates a new section over at the discussion page. Only the sticky note indicators are visible by default; the comment and highlighting remain hidden (see Figure 2 on the real page) for a professional look.
Most importantly, these sticky notes are easy to use; in every article section header, there would be a button that says "sticky note". It could be right next to "edit". Readers just click that button, highlight some text, and leave a comment in a popup window. Done.
A page of sticky notes will remind readers that Wikipedia is THE online encyclopedia project that anyone can edit, and that it is always a work in progress (just like this Sticky Notes idea is a work in progress for those of us discussing it over there). Sticky notes are so easy to use that we we will capture more of those productive comments that would have otherwise gone deterred. Possibly the biggest benefit is that an easy way to get involved like this will also, ultimately, lead to more long-time editors for the project.
Interested? Please read more, check out some of the discussion, and show your support to help this idea take form.
Please reply here first!
That's an interesting idea. I think this would be especially useful for the editors at en.wikinews, who have for a long time expressed an interest in something to this effect. Perhaps you could share it with them?
I'm a little wary of it being used on Wikipedia, however. It, like many open-access features of wikis, can be abused, especially on a project plagued by vandalism. Would the sticky comments appear in recent changes to be vetted by patrollers? Will it be possible to find a history of comments? Can inappropriate information be expunged or oversighted? Would high-traffic articles be clogged with unhelpful commentary? The current page at w:WP:Sticky notes doesn't seem to address any of that.
That was a great suggestion about the wikinews group. I updated them.
Those are also really good questions. Thank you. I will update the page, somewhat based on the discussion.
You're welcome. I think the idea has a lot of merit, but, like any complex and bold new proposal, needs to be thoroughly thought out before we can dream of implementing it. The strategy wiki is in a bit of a lull right now, so I wouldn't expect a lot of replies here in the immediate future, but I'll try to advertise this page on other wikis and in IRC.
Thanks for your work!