OpenWetWare:Steering committee/Meeting - June 2007

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Audio from meeting.

SC Reports

Brief reports on the month's activity should be written by each chair 2 days before the SC meeting. At the meeting each chair will bring up any open issues that require discussion, but won't need to recount everything described below.


Traffic (pageviews and sessions) is about the same in May as previous two month (slight increase).

A short summary of the traffic in April can be found here.

OWW stats from the mediawiki db can be found here:

Notes from from last meeting

  • can we produce a distilled version of the stats with some of the more important stuff and then publish it to the wiki each month?
    • Absolutely, I'll try to put something together for next month stats.--Mattias 10:10, 5 June 2007 (EDT)


Would like to get some momentum on awards and possibly blogs. Also, the SC needs to make a few decisions this month. Last I am hoping to establish a sub-committee on the accounts policy, as we have a few borderline account requests that have been queued up for a week or two. I think it requires more time to discuss than we have at the SC meeting so want to break it out, please let me know if you'd like to participate.


News and highlights

Updates this month include:

(1) current iGEM stuff (2) Silver lab swapped in for lab highlight (Hoatlin lab will go up next ~6/15 unless someone does it sooner)

Items to discuss:

(1) Do we allow non-OWW links off maine page? My take on this is, generally, no, unless there is a pressing reason to post an external link (e.g. when nytimes posts an headlining article on OWW) (2) Should labs/groups/individuals be asked/notified before being featured? If so, should we have a protocol for this, such as an 'official' email or notice on the discussion page?

  • post hoatlin lab highlight
  • email highlighted labs to 'warn' them


Outreach hasn't done much of anything this month due to craziness associated with PhD theses. Vincent got a lot of feedback from Natalie about the survey content. Anyone else who wants to add or edit the survey content, please do so soon, since the Outreach chairs will be back in full force towards the end of June and we will try to send the survey out then.

  • add question about blog
  • use list of emails to prevent duplicates


  • Ilya has installed wordpress at
    • WordPress MU could be used to manage thousands of user accounts & separate blogs
  • Alternatively Austin suggested using the wikia extension, which would give every OWW user a blog powered by mediawiki


I've been away the last two weeks, so no progress here, despite my promise for a demo of pligg last month, I apologize.--Johncumbers 20:15, 6 June 2007 (EDT)

  • Jason R. Kelly: Did anyone get in touch with that publisher who emailed a few weeks ago?
  • Pligg for synthetic biology
    • SB too small to support pligg? (barry)
    • Should it be a subpage of oww? separate entity?
    • Good to explore other technologies than the wiki, while preserving linking between. (julius)
    • Keep default color scheme across blogs, wikis, pligg.


  • Extending offers to candidates will hopefully have one or both in place by the next meeting.


Front page links

  • Only OWW links and external links are about OWW?
  • Decided to limit to only OWW links or external links about OWW/Open Science
    • Add a comment that says that you shouldn't post on external links to this page.

Language standard

  • Wikipedia has separate wikis for each language.
    • We decided that we don't want to go with that approach yet, and will let multiple languages co-exist. We should be careful about aggregating content in different languages though, as that could be annoying for users. So you shouldn't put the 'protocol' category on a chinese protocol. You could put a different category - for instance, the word 'protocol(written in chinese)'.
  • Beef up the disclaimer about the content on the site, since it will be harder to monitor content that the bulk of the current site leadership can't read.

Username policy

  • How many existing users want to change to their publication name? (post a link on front page)
  • Moving to having 3 fields for the name: first, middle, last. Move to new users using their email address as their primary login and having their name be their default username.
    • Will require some technical changes before we can roll it out.
    • Jason R. Kelly 23:13, 7 June 2007 (EDT): What changes? We have email login working, it is just changes in the form that new users fill out?


  • We're going to try out the wordpress-MU and let people try out personal blogs
    • Will also set up the SC blog this month and get everyone accounts (and hopefully post pictures of everyone!)


  • issue of alphabetizing the lab specific protocols, since Endy:PCR and Knight:PCR don't show up next to each other.
    • Taking conversation offline to figure out best solution to this.