Jennyn lab page activate

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Dear [Lab],

Thanks for your interest and participation on OpenWetWare. We see that your lab hasn't used OpenWetWare much to post information on the lab and wanted to pass on two bits of information.

First, we are currently reorganizing the Front Page in order to solve the problem of having too many labs on the front page by highlighting only those labs that have very active laboratory sites. There will be a secondary link to other lab pages that are still in development. We are thinking of putting your lab in this second category and wanted to run that by you before we did. Nothing else would change, your labpage would just no longer be linked from the front page.

Second, if you have been wanting to construct a new lab site on OWW, but are having trouble, try our step-by-step Getting Started tutorial:

There, you can find templates that you can simply copy-and-paste to your page, or you can create your own unique look.

Need some examples? Use your page...

  1. to share information about your lab (Lauffenburger Lab,, maybe even find collaborators
  2. as a repository for protocols (Silver Lab,
  3. as your online lab notebook (MIT iGEM team,
  4. to share reagents (Hoatlin Lab,
  5. to make awesome videos, and share! (Crisanti,
  6. the list goes on...

Anyhow, we hope this won't be too much of an inconvenience. We will be reorganizing the front page in approximately 3 weeks. Please continue to use OWW as you find it useful. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact me on my talk page:



We are not removing accounts or deleting any pages as far as I understand (Is this correct?). We should make it very clear that we are only removing the link to the lab's page from the front page and that all accounts will remain active etc. And should the lab set up real pages at any later time they are free to add themselves to the front page again. Jgritton 16:54, 13 July 2006 (EDT)

How are we defining inactivity--by number of pages with a prefix, edits by members, how recent edits are? Is this is mainly for labs that started a spot and haven't expanded on it? How about groups like the Church Lab that are closely tied with other members of OWW but have only a page with a link to their extensive home-hosted page? It doesn't seem to me like you buy that much savings in space unless this also means eliminating entire universities from the list. I think it's a bad move and that the problem, if it is one, isn't worth the solution of taking people off the list. This seems counter to the public, expanding, and open nature of OWW, and seems like community pruning instead of development. As a member of a new lab, it makes me reluctant to start out on the front page and put up pages as I make them. How about an e-mailed letter very similar to the above to encourage development without the threat of relegation? Down off the soapbox, Sean 17:38, 13 July 2006 (EDT)

Jgritton 19:26, 13 July 2006 (EDT):Unless things have changed since I was last involved in this discussion, the criteria for activity is quite low--basically anything more than a link. The problem is that a significant portion (>50%?) of the lab links on the main page point to dead pages with just a pointer to a homepage. It kind of gives OWW the look of a ghost town and probably doesn't help get others excited about getting their own lab going--a significant concern I think. But perhaps the "threat of relegation" may push some away and an encouraging letter, an offer to help, and some inspiring lab highliight videos is the better way to go. What do you think?

  • Jasonk 20:31, 13 July 2006 (EDT): Should definately include a link to the video, if you can work it in. Might actually point out a number of different ways labs are using the site. E.g. rather than simply showing the lauffenburger main page, we could point out that some sights use it for protocols (link, silver lab protocols), and some use it for reagent sharing (link, hoatlin reagents), and some make cool videos (link, video). Thinking on this more, maybe we should just send a letter out to each of these labs with the above stuff, without saying we're removing a link. If they dont make any changes in 3 weeks, then we can email the link removal thing. I think it does sort of sour the message as it's written now. However, in the long run I would like to see pages that only have a link to a homepage not linked to from the main page since i agree with Jeff that it makes it harder to find out how labs use the site.

Jgritton 19:30, 13 July 2006 (EDT): OK, I'm happy with the changes to the letter and like the idea of highlighting the more active labs on the main page and keeping a secondary listing of all labs.

  • That rationale makes a lot more sense to me--putting labs on the front page because they are using OWW well, not just for their own exposure, and maintaining an all-labs page accessible from the front page lab section. Sean 10:41, 14 July 2006 (EDT)

Smeister 11:39, 14 July 2006 (EDT) Are there plans to group institutions/labs according to countries, continents or areas of research? At some point there will be too many for the front page, even if pushing inactive ones to another page will buy some time for now. I think I remember a discussion about that sometime way back, but this might be the time to bring it up again...

  • Jasonk 11:53, 14 July 2006 (EDT): Yeah I agree t some point we'll have to move to something like grouping by research areas (I like that better than location at this point, though having a map with all the labs on it would be cool to do anyway.)
  • Jennyn 16:01, 14 July 2006 (EDT): We should look into doing that after we clean up the labs, first. Sounds good, people. When should I send out the e-mail? And how do I find out what e-mails to send them?
    • Jasonk 14:06, 15 July 2006 (EDT):We can email the user who started the lab page in each case. Just go to their userpage (has to be the 'User:' one) and click the "e-mail this user" link on the sidebar.