Tuesday 2nd January 2007

Some time ago I raised the possibility of readers of the diary adopting pages in the Encyclopedia and becoming editors of them. I made a few changes to the site that made this possible, and a couple of press-ganged “volunteers”, Jeannine and Todd, have so far given this a try.

Being an editor mainly involves writing a summary of a particular topic, with particular emphasis on Pepys’ relationship to it. Another possible task is to tidy up and summarise annotations. So far none of us are sure how much this is possible or desirable — is it feasible to reduce long lists of annotations and use their information and links within a single more coherent summary written by the editor? Although this was my original idea it’s been more difficult than I imagined and it’s something we’ll think about as we progress.

So far we have three pages done as examples:

There is also a page of guidelines and instructions for editors, which should help give you a flavour of what’s involved.

If you’re interested in adopting an Encyclopedia page (and for the moment it’s probably best to choose only one), then have a browse and find a page that says (on the right-hand side) “This page is edited by Phil Gyford”, which is their default state. Email me the name of the page and I’ll create an account for you.

You might want to start by choosing a relatively minor person, place or thing for which there’s only a paragraph or so to say about it. There are lots of these and it would be a good way to get the hang of the process before deciding whether you want to take on more complicated topics.

We’ll probably discuss aspects of policy — such as the issue mentioned above of whether and how to summarise annotations — on the discussion list. If there ends up being a lot of this, and a lot of editors, we may start a new list, but the discussion list should do for the moment.

1 Comment

Philip   Link to this

This is a very interesting idea, and I am definitely interested in taking a whirl at assisting with the encyclopedia. I was an editor for Reed Elsevier as a side job for four years recently. My present position does not allow a LOT of time for a venture such as this, and my wife just returned from a year's tour of duty with the US Army. She is a reserve officer and probably will not be called to duty again for nine months or so. I will think about this for a week or so and decide whether I can spend a block of time on the weekends to contribute. I do not want to undertake the commitment unless I can do it well, i.e., up to the standards of this wonderful site.

This a great site! I have followed it assiduously from the beginning and have contributed a little from time to time. I begin every day with Pepys. It would be a privilege to participate.

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