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Connectipedia

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Connectipedia

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Connec+ipedia, spoken as Connectipedia, is a free culture wiki website providing a community-editable resource about non-profit organizations and foundations in the U.S. state of Oregon. It is funded and maintained by the Meyer Memorial Trust, a private philanthropic organization founded by Fred G. Meyer's personal trust.

Connectipedia defines itself as, "...a shared learning community for anyone interested in advancing the knowledge and efforts of those working for the common good."[1]

The site runs on software called Wagn, a free and open source software project combining the editing and linking capabilities of a wiki with the ability to create more complex relationships, like a database, as part of a structured wiki.

History

In 2005, staff member Marie Deatherage began investigating knowledge management options for Meyer Memorial Trust (MMT), studying its use by corporations and other foundations (especially through Grantmakers for Effective Organizations). Rather than merely develop a system for internal use only, MMT decided at an early stage to create something for use by foundations, nonprofits, state agencies, and citizens.

The first phase of development was done by Marie Deatherage and Aaron Nelson, using . After Brandon C.S. Sanders introduced programmers from Grass Commons, a software development nonprofit organization, to MMT, the foundation decided to use Wagn rather than in order to create a wiki that has attributes of a database.

The first phase of development was completed in late 2006, when it was introduced to MMT staff members. The name connectipedia was adopted in early 2007, reflecting the tool's ability to connect users with one another and different types of information (a compendium of connections). During the second phase, which also began in early 2007, Amy Sample Ward was hired to populate connectipedia with content to demonstrate its use and to work with the WagN developers to refine additional features.

In early 2008, connec+ipedia was introduced to the first users outside MMT. Early adopters included Northwest Health Foundation and members of Grantmakers of Oregon and Southwest Washington.

June 10, 2008 was the public launch of connec+ipedia, with a live event in Portland that included presentations by Marie Deatherage and Amy Sample Ward, Ward Cunningham, Mark Dilley, Grass Commons (Ethan McCutchen, Lewis Hoffman and John Abbe), and DataPlace (Troy Anderson).

Functionality

Connec+ipedia is run on Wagn, a free and open source software project combining the editing and linking capabilities of a wiki with the ability to create more complex relationships, like a database

The geography or 'places' sections of Connec+ipedia include data (maps, charts, and graphs) from DataPlace (a project of KnowledgePlex). Connec+ipedia is the first use of DataPlace's API. The datasets chosen were based on recommendations from the Oregon State Data Center.

Anyone can search and read Connec+ipedia; to edit existing cards and create new ones, users must have an account and be signed in. Anyone may request an account, and registration is free and open, requiring only agreement to proper use statements.

Wagn

Wagn is a wiki application written in Ruby on Rails, which incorporates a wiki, a database, and a content management system.[2] Wagn was developed under Grass Commons by Lewis Hoffman and Ethan McCutchen with the intention of it being a collaborative and community building tool.[3]

Wagn was created with the help of a grant from Meyer Memorial Trust and its first larger scale implementation was for Connectipedia.

Wagn was praised by Ward Cunningham, inventor of the wiki, who said, "Wagn lets you express fairly complex relationships in a way that's simple, but powerful, making it one of the freshest contributions to wiki since I coined the term."[4]

Notes

References

External links

  • Official web site
  • Wagn official web site
  • DataPlace.org
  • KnowledgePlex.org

Videos from launch event

  • View the event in its entirety: Part 2
  • View presentation
  • View Mark Dilley's presentation
  • View Amy Sample Ward's connec+ipedia demo
  • View Grass Commons' presentation
  • View Troy Anderson's presentation
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