OpenWetWare:Steering committee/Meeting - December 2006

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Short topics

Bunch of short discussions leading to this month's action list. Longer discussions noted below.


Brian Gilman from told us about their site which is working on providing a suggestion engine for scientists to provide suggested papers, conferences, grants, etc - as well as to be something of a social network. Hopefully they'll be providing 'widgets' that could be dropped into OWW so users (or groups) could have papers suggested to them on their wiki pages. They also seem pretty open to suggestions from OWW users as to what we'd like to see developed over there - so if you have ideas you can mail them to discuss at - use it! :)


We have draft job descriptions that could use some work. These will be posted to various outlets before the new year. If you have a suggestion for where to post them, or better yet know someone who would be good for the job - contact sri (skosuri at mit dot edu) or discuss at Brian suggested we might be able to get someone to volunteer by posting a call on the OWW frontpage, but I think the consensus is that we could use someone putting their fill time efforts into it.

Private pages

Austin has developed the subwiki extension, which would allow us to pretty easily implement "private pages" on OWW. This takes away the "not technically feasible" excuse that we've used previously to avoid the issue ;) So we spent awhile debating the pros/cons of allowing private pages. The eventual consensus was that it was worth giving them a try provided it was for a small subgroup to begin with as a trial, under the assumption that in the end it would lead to a higher level of contribution to OWW due to:

  1. its another service OWW provides which will draw more new signups / more frequent use by existing users
  2. digitizing information in a compatible format earlier (e.g. lab notebooks or research results they might not want to put on OWW immediately) will lead to more of that information getting released eventually.

We'll try and keep an eye on the trial to see if this plays out.