WikiQueer:About

From WikiQueer, the free encyclopedia and resource for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, queer, and ally communities
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WikiQueer's logo
WikiQueer's logo at soft launch

WikiQueer is a web-based, not for profit, free-content encyclopedia and resource hub project, based on an openly editable model, specifically for and by the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, and ally communities. It is a program of The Aequalitas Project, a nonprofit organization serving as an incubator for new progressive programs.

In a manner similar to Wikipedia, WikiQueer is written collaboratively by Internet volunteers who write without pay. Anyone with Internet access can write and make changes to WikiQueer articles (except in certain cases where editing is restricted to prevent disruption or vandalism). Users can contribute anonymously, under a pseudonym, or with their real identity, if they choose.

Current Status

WikiQueer's Inauguration logo
Logo commemorating WikiQueer's Inauguration

WikiQueer had a year-long Inauguration. During this time the project actively introduced new initiatives and portals, built up initial content and developed relationships with content partners. The Global Advisory Board is also seeking new members from a variety of backgrounds and talents. You are welcome, and encouraged, to become involved in whatever, and as many, ways as you are interested in.

Administration, oversight, and management

WikiQueer's Global Advisory Board, Content Partners and WikiQueer's parent organization, The Aequalitas Project, oversee the administrative and strategic aspects of WikiQueer. However, all members of the WikiQueer community are encouraged to provide input on the future direction of WikiQueer and take the initiative to create new content or projects!

The WikiQueer community is largely self-organising, so that anyone may build a reputation as a competent editor and become involved in any role he/she may choose, subject to peer approval. Individuals often will choose to become involved in specialised tasks, such as reviewing articles at others' request, watching current edits for vandalism, watching newly created articles for quality control purposes, or similar roles. Editors who believe they can serve the community better by taking on additional administrative responsibility may ask their peers for agreement to undertake such responsibilities. This structure enforces meritocracy and communal standards of editorship and conduct.

A variety of software-assisted systems and automated programs help editors and administrators to watch for problematic edits and editors. Theoretically all editors and users are treated equally with no "power structure". There is, however a hierarchy of permissions and positions, some of which are listed below:

  1. Anyone can edit most of the articles here. Some articles are protected due to vandalism or edit-warring, and can only be edited by certain editors.
  2. Anyone with an account that has been registered for four days or longer and made ten edits becomes Autoconfirmed, and gains the technical ability to do three things that non-autoconfirmed editors cannot:
    • Move articles.
    • Edit semi-protected articles.
    • Vote in certain elections (minimum edit count to receive suffrage varies depending on the election).
  3. Many editors with accounts obtain access to certain tools that make editing easier and faster. Few editors learn about most of those tools, but one common privilege granted to editors in good standing is "rollback", which is the ability to undo edits more easily.
  4. Administrators ("admins" or "sysops") have been approved by the community, and have access to some significant administrative tools. They can delete articles, block accounts or IP addresses, and edit fully protected articles.
  5. Bureaucrats are chosen in a process similar to that for selecting administrators. There are not very many bureaucrats. They have the technical ability to add or remove admin rights, approve or revoke "bot" privileges, and rename user accounts.
  6. The Global Advisory Board is like WikiQueer's supreme court. They deal with disputes that remain unresolved after other attempts at dispute resolution have failed.
  7. The lead administrator of WikiQueer, has several special roles and privileges. In most instances however, he does not expect to be treated differently than any other editor or administrator.
  8. Additional volunteers have been appointed to assist with specific aspects of managing WikiQueer - such as operations (servers), Spam control, media outreach, fundraising, etc. Some of these individuals also serve in other capacities, such as administrators, to fill the responsibilities of these roles - providing them additional permissions to delete articles, block accounts or other necessary access. See the full WikiQueer leadership page for more information.

Content

While there is almost no limit to the amount and types of information that could be made available, there is currently a focus on these major areas:

If there is a new content area you are interested in developing, you are welcome and encouraged to take the initiative to do so.

Content criteria

WikiQueer content is intended to be factual, notable, verifiable with cited external sources, and neutrally presented.

The appropriate policies and guidelines for these are found at:

  1. WikiQueer:What WikiQueer is not, which summarizes what belongs in WikiQueer and what does not;
  2. WikiQueer:Neutral point of view, which describes WikiQueer's mandatory core approach to neutral, unbiased article-writing;
  3. WikiQueer:Verifiability, which explains that it must be possible for readers to verify all content against credible external sources (following the guidance in the WikiQueer:Risk disclaimer that is linked-to at the bottom of every article);
  4. WikiQueer:Reliable sources, which explains what factors determine whether a source is acceptable;
  5. WikiQueer:Citing sources, which describes the manner of citing sources so that readers can verify content for themselves; and
  6. WikiQueer:Manual of Style, which offers a style guide—in general editors tend to acquire knowledge of appropriate writing styles and detailed formatting over time.

These are often abbreviated to WQ:NOT, WQ:NPOV, WQ:V, WQ:RS, WQ:CITE, and WQ:MOS respectively.

Inclusion rather than duplication

WikiQueerians are encouraged to integrate (with citations) text from content partners and other existing projects - rather than duplicating existing efforts. Whenever possible, text should be transcluded from other content partners and sources. Before creating new content, effort should be put into finding existing content that can be enhancing, combined or referenced.

A place for homeless content

Content that may not meet the criteria of Wikipedia or other online resources may have a welcomed home here on WikiQueer. For example, talking points on LGBT issues, information on local or new organizations, and articles outlining original research on LGBT issues are welcome and encouraged.

Developing content for Wikipedia or elsewhere

If you've submitted a LGBT related article to Wikipedia and had it deleted, WikiQueer provides a great home to house and build upon that article. If it becomes eligible for inclusion in Wikipedia, it can be copied and then transcluded back to WikiQueer. The structure of templates and other article layout tools on WikiQueer are intentionally similar to Wikipedia's to help with this process.

Advancing the LGBT movement

While WikiQueer maintains a policy of neutrality, you are encouraged to post content to help advance the LGBT movement. This includes, but is not limited to, information on action alerts, political awareness efforts and organizing strategies.

Contributing to WikiQueer

Main pages: Contributing to WikiQueer, Starting an article, New contributors' help page
Guide to fixing vandalism: Help:Reverting

Anyone can contribute to WikiQueer by clicking on the Edit this page tab in an article. Before beginning to contribute, however, read some handy helping tools such as the tutorial and the policies and guidelines, as well as our welcome page. It is important to realize that in contributing to WikiQueer, users are expected to be civil and neutral, respecting all points of view, and only add verifiable and factual information rather than personal views and opinions. "The principles of WikiQueer" cover this approach and are recommended reading before editing. (Vandals are reported via the Administrator Notice Board and may be temporarily blocked from editing WikiQueer.)

Most articles start as stubs, but after many contributions, they can become featured articles. Once the contributor has decided a topic of interest, they may want to request that the article be written (or they could research the issue and write it themselves). WikiQueer has on-going projects, focused on specific topic areas or tasks, which help coordinate editing.

The ease of editing WikiQueer results in many people editing. That makes the updating of the encyclopedia and resource hub very quick, almost as fast as news websites.

Editing WikiQueer pages

WikiQueer uses a simple yet powerful page layout to allow editors to concentrate on adding material rather than page design. These include automatic sections and subsections, automatic references and cross-references, image and table inclusion, indented and listed text, links, ISBNs, and math, as well as usual formatting elements and most world alphabets and common symbols. Most of these have simple formats that are deliberately very easy and intuitive.

The page layout consists of tabs along the top of the window. These are:

  • Article. Shows the main WikiQueer article.
  • Discussion. Shows a user discussion about the article's topic and possible revisions, controversies, etc.
  • Edit. This tab allows users to edit the article. Depending on the page’s susceptibility to vandalism, according to its visibility or the degree of controversy surrounding the topic, this tab may not be shown for all users. (For example, any user who is not an administrator will not be able to edit the Main Page).
  • View history. This tab allows readers to view the editors of the article and the changes that have been made.
  • Star. ("Watch") If you are logged in to your account, clicking on the star icon will cause any changes made to the article to be displayed on the watchlist. (Note: when this icon is clicked, it changes to a filled-in star.)

WikiQueer has robust version and reversion controls. This means that poor-quality edits or vandalism can quickly and easily be reversed or brought up to an appropriate standard by any other editor, so inexperienced editors cannot accidentally do permanent harm if they make a mistake in their editing. As there are many more editors intent on improving articles than not, error-ridden articles are usually corrected promptly.

Copying and using content and images from WikiQueer

All of WikiQueer's text, except clearly marked quotations used under the non-free content policy and materials marked as copyright by content partners, is available under a special license called the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License 3.0. Much of the text is also available under the GNU Free Documentation License; images may be available under different conditions. See our copyright information page for more details.

Important note: since The Aequalitas Project does not own the copyright to the articles on WikiQueer, it is useless to email any of our contact addresses for permission to reproduce articles or photographs. Emails to those addresses about this issue will be returned with a generic message to see relevant licensing conditions. Due to the complexity of copyright licenses, and the variety of copyright legislations across the world, we cannot answer inquiries about how to apply a certain license in specific circumstances; if you need legal advice, we advise you to seek it from a lawyer.

We are aware that some school students have been told to email and request permission before using content from a site in their projects, but we simply cannot give you this permission.

Trademarks and copyrights

Most of WikiQueer's text and many of its images are dual-licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-SA) and the GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL) (unversioned, with no invariant sections, front-cover texts, or back-cover texts). Some text has been imported only under CC-BY-SA and CC-BY-SA-compatible license and cannot be reused under GFDL; such text will be identified either on the page footer, in the page history or on the discussion page of the article that utilizes the text. Every image has a description page which indicates the license under which it is released or, if it is non-free, the rationale under which it is used.

Contributions remain the property of their creators, while the CC-BY-SA and GFDL licenses ensure the content is freely distributable and reproducible. (See the copyright notice and the content disclaimer for more information.)

Credits

Text on WikiQueer is a collaborative work, and the efforts of individual contributors to a page are recorded in that page's history, which is publicly viewable. See Help:Page history. Information on the authorship of images and other media, such as sound files, can be found by clicking on the image itself or the nearby information icon. The file page for the image or media will be displayed and it includes the author and source, where appropriate, along with other information. See Help:File page.

Programs

While English WikiQueer (the site you are on right now) is by far the largest of WikiQueer's programs, there are some additional program efforts which WikiQueer supports or participates in. Generally each program is designed to support the primary WikiQueer wiki, and every program falls within the founding principles of WikiQueer.

WikiQueer supported programs

Here are the other programs which WikiQueer manages and supports both technically and financially:

Programs which WikiQueer participates in

Here are the programs which WikiQueer participates in, but does not directly manage or provide primary support for:

History

I'd been developing the idea for a queer specific wiki for a few years. I've helped with dozens of pages and projects on Wikipedia and helped start a number of wikis designed for queer related projects. However, I consistently came back to the need for a wiki by and for the queer community free of any organization politics or turf wars. Partly because there was some content that no other wikis, including Wikipedia, would house and also because I was increasingly frustrated at having to defend why an important transgender individual or grassroots organization was worthy of inclusion on other wikis.

In early 2011 as I was developing a new venture, The Aequalitas Project, I was actually already underway with the basis of what became WikiQueer. The timing seemed ideal to launch the project as a part of this larger project to help catapult it forward.

The decision was soon made to make WikiQueer a founding pilot program of The Aequalitas Project. Both are still in their infancy, and I hope if you're inspired by either, you will learn more about how you can contribute.

--Gregory Varnum, founder of the WikiQueer and it's parent organization, The Aequalitas Project

The database and technical structure for WikiQueer was launched on National Coming Out Day, October 11, 2010. After the formal creation of The Aequalitas Project in March 2011, work began on developing WikiQueer. The project is still in early development and seeking inaugural editors, content partners and advisors. WikiQueer officially began it's soft launch on July 25th, 2011 and then its Inauguration leaped off on February 29th, 2012.

Shortly after soft launch, content partnerships with the Movement Advancement Project and OutHistory were developed. As well as permission to utilize content from the It Gets Better Project. These relationships allow content from these projects to be transcluded into articles. Here are some early examples and more information:

Outreach to Wikipedia, local, state, regional, national and international organizations is underway to expand on these collaborations. All of this is being done in an effort to collect, combine and enhance - rather than duplicate - existing content. Here are some examples of how these partnerships may be utilized:

See also