Burning Wiki

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This page is not 'The Burning Wiki', but is instead a page about 'The Burning Wiki'.

Vision and Organization

Th Burning Wiki was created by Jack Rose in 2016 and 2017 with the intention of providing a platform for the collection and dissemination of information about Regional Burn events and other events inspired by or associated with Burning Man in the U.S.A. The Wiki software allowed for the organization and presentation of information using an entirely democratic process. Neither structure nor content are dictated, but achieved through a consensus of taste, intelligence and knowledge.

Our Aim is to:

  • Aggregate. To bring together all Burn and burn related information world wide.
  • Preserve. To preserve information that might be lost from year to year, or within each year, about burn and burn related ideas and activities.
  • Acknowledge. To clearly acknowledge the creators of ideas and the people who expressed them.
  • Present. A simple summary of the history, the issues and the expression of Burns and burn related events world wide.

Our hope is to;

  • Engage participants in this Wiki with the connectedness, the variety, the expansiveness, the continuity and the expressiveness of the Burn movement world wide.
  • Provide an information resource and an inspiration to those that would build or expand Burn and burn related events and activities world wide
  • Give equal voice to all members and groups within the burn and burn related communities world wide.


The Burning Wiki is privately funded, utilizing space and computing power on a leased server site. This lease allows for upgrading space and access as the Wiki grows. The Burning Wiki has no intention of seeking commercial sponsorship.

Scope of the Burning Wiki

The Burning Wiki acknowledges the pre-eminent role of the Burning Man event and organization in creating and sustaining the Regional Burn community world wide. It is also clear that the effort the Burning Man organization puts into preserving their rights in respect of all of these events and activities is based on their sincere desire to preserve and build upon all the good that flows in and around the Burning Man and the Regional Burns. The Burning Wiki acknowledges that this includes the right of the Burning Man organization to certify which events are Regional Burns, and to give or even remove that appellation using their own assessment procedures. The Burning Wiki also acknowledges that the Burning Man organization has a moral and legal mandate to preserve the identity and character of the Burning Man and Regional Burn events and to defend those things against misuse, reputational damage or exploitation.

The Burning Wiki makes every endeavor to acknowledge and preserve the rights of the Burning Man and Regional Burn organizations. The Burning Wiki is not part of the Burning Man or Regional Burn organization, and is not sponsored or supported by them in any way. As such, the Burning Wiki takes upon itself a license to step outside - very carefully step outside - the restrictive definition of what is a Regional Burn and include mention of events and activities that are NOT so certified by the Burning Man and the Regional Burn organizations. The view of the Burning Wiki is that these non-certified events and activities will, with time, apply for and be accepted into the formally defined Burning Man community. It is the view of the Burning Wiki that to exclude them on the basis that they had not yet evolved into formally certified events would be to deny them both visibility and encouragement to follow that path. When making a decision as to whether to include an event or activity in the Burning Wiki the editors will look for evidence of an intention on the part of that activity or event to build upon the good reputation of the Burning Man community, and an intention to formally join that community over time.

Relationship between the Burning Wiki and other sites and Wikis

At present only two sites have been conceived on this scale, Burningman.org and Wikipedia.com. The former is a magnificent resource and lively forum, but is less complete and accurate in respect of regional Burn activities than it is in relation to the Burning Man event itself. The Burn related events and activities in Wikipedia are limited and in some cases significantly out of date. The Wikipedia articles are also limited in that the rules of Wikipedia - such as avoiding links to facebook - restrict their utility. Wikipedia also has a 'ban' on 'trivial' lists, and on original content. Both these restrictions would likely lead to Wikipedia suppressing any attempt to list - for example - all the Theme Camps at every event in the world every year, and to prevent much of the material in the 'Practical Playa' pages being presented. Where information on the Burning Man site or Wikipedia is complete and up to date, the general approach on the Burning Wiki site will be to link to it, rather than repeat it.

There are thousands of facebook pages and tens of thousands of posts each year on those pages about Burn and Burn related events and activities. While facebook has the virtue of being highly inclusive, and being able to host lively and engaging discussion, it has two major draw backs. The first is that there is no way to easily associate or link the thousands of disparate pages relating to our field of interest. The second is that the serial nature of posts on each page mean that material is 'pushed down' and out of sight as new posts are filed - in fact the more popular the facebook page is, the more rapidly this 'loss of visibility' occurs. The Burning Wiki, by listing and classifying all those facebook pages resolves the problem of connectivity, and by linking to significant individual posts on those pages prevents them being submerged.

Connecting to the Burning Wiki

The Burning Wiki is accessed via the domain www.burningwiki.com We are pleased to advise that this is a secure domain, which means that your logon and password are encrypted before being transmitted across the internet.

We strongly recommend that you do NOT edit the Wiki unless you are logged in with your User Account. Double check on your status (in the top right corner of your screen) before editing. Editing while not logged in will leave your computers IP address in the edit log which anyone can see. User Accounts can be obtained by contacting John Mack at burnersworld@gmail.com Tell him a little bit about yourself at the same time.

The operators of the Burning Wiki, and the organization that we pay to run the site on their computers take all reasonable steps to secure you logon and password against theft or inappropriate access. If we become aware of any such theft or inappropriate access we will inform you as soon as possible thereafter. All activity on the Wiki, including activity by the Administrators is logged.

Notwithstanding all the care we take, we recommend that you do not use the same password on this site as you might use on those you use to access sensitive sites, such as your Bank and so forth.

Design of the Burning Wiki

The design, like the content, of the Burning Wiki is in the hands of the contributors to the Burning Wiki. Nevertheless, everything starts somewhere and the initial editors of the Burning Wiki will follow, and open to discussion, this initial design philosophy:

  • The Burning Wiki is NOT intended to replace or compete with existing platforms that convey information about Burns and Burn community activity. Many of those existing platforms (Wordpress and facebook amongst them) are ideally suited to the aims and creative intentions of Burn organizers and communities worldwide. We hope those platforms continue and prosper and reach as wide an audience as possible. We hope that the Burning Wiki might become a useful resource to the operators of those platforms in providing linkages between Burn organizers worldwide, and between Burn communities worldwide. We hope that the Burning Wiki might become a useful repository for historical and technical information which is not ideally suited to the existing platforms of Burn organizations, or to the current needs of their audiences
  • Our intention is that participants in the Burning Wiki should be able to find information and inspiration using logical, associative and intuitive paths between and within each Wiki page. The Burning Wiki makes extensive use of lists and tables to organise related data. It also attempts to present common events using standard formats - so that pages relating to Burns, or Theme Camps, or Art Works are all presented using standard formats appropriate to the material. Links should be maximised on every page.
  • The Burning Wiki aims to provide a quick and accurate overview of all Burn and Burn related activities world wide. This reflects in part that members of the Burning Community have an interest in events worldwide, and that only this wide an audience will provide sufficient participation to keep the site 'alive'.
  • Reflecting that the Burning Wiki's intention to 'Present a simple summary', both the structure of the Burning Wiki, and of each Burning Wiki page, and the language used therein, will be kept as simple as possible. The hierarchy of pages is currently as follows:
  • Main Page (Navigation, Help, News, and Event Calendar)
  • Specialized Navigation Pages
    • Burn and Burn related events and activities (summary and links)
    • Burn and Burn related communities (summary and links)
    • Theme Camps (summary and links)
    • Artistry (summary and links)
    • Vehicles (summary and links)
    • Policies (summary and links)
  • Content Pages
    • Individual Burns and Burn related events (year-on-year information)
      • Individual Year-specific Burns and Burn related events
    • Individual Theme Camps
    • Individual Artistry
    • Individual Vehicles
    • Principles
    • Participant Profiles
  • Template Pages (for each type of Content Page)
  • Wiki-related Pages
    • Wiki Help
    • Wiki Philosophy

NOTE: Every page has an attached 'Talk' page. This space is available for discussion about anything that is on - or is proposed to be placed on - the main page. Within the Wiki this is the space that is 'most like' facebook, in the sense that it is open to all, (largely)non-judgemental, unscripted and discursive.

Protocols

Spelling and number formats

The Burning Wiki uses United States spelling throughout, in recognition that this will be the major audience. Editors are encouraged to use date formats that proceed from the smallest to the largest unit (eg day,month,year), but in any case in any sortable list to provide a hidden value key which has the date in YYYYMMDD format.

References

Where sources of information can be readily inferred (such as information from Event websites) the sources are not referenced. However where information is sourced from hard-to-find locations (such as an individual post in a facebook stream) then references should be provided. Even in this case, however, it is more useful to provide an inline link in the Wiki text to the source, rather than create a separate, referenced entry using academic protocals. This makes the Burning Wiki significantly different to Wikipedia which insists on strict academic style referencing.

Behavior

The Burning Wiki's expectation of behavior is the Burning communities expectation. Talk pages are provided for every presentation page and is the appropriate place to carry on discussion. If repeated deletes and recreations of the same content are detected the site controller will step in. A method for moderating talk pages and providing for democratic resolution of disputes may be developed over time. Any material that is defamatory or in violation of commonly held and Burning community standards will be taken down. Before deleting large blocks of existing content it is generally considered polite to discuss the removal on the 'talk' page associated with the content page.

Commercialisation

Solicitations that involve commercial advantage to a content poster will not be allowed. Genuine recommendations of commercial products and services which are demonstrably of interest to the Burning community are allowed, but the details should be made accessible to the page viewer via a link rather than on the page itself. So for example, in discussing solar power arrays suitable for use on the playa a content contributor might make mention of a number of commercial suppliers of battery products and provide links to their websites. Content providers should generally restrict their comments to commercial products and services that they have direct experience of. Generally speaking, and given the volatile nature of pricing it would be more useful to provide links to product and service comparison tables that exist elsewhere on the internet rather than to create or reproduce them within the Burning Wiki.

Copyright

The Burning Wiki operates on 'best endeavors' basis. We advise content providers to respect copyright and to acknowledge sources. Where violations or copyright or other rights are brought to our attention we will undertake to review and if appropriate take down the offending material promptly. The Burning Wiki is aware that much of the material that is referenced from within the Wiki may be owned collectively or by persons using adopted identies (eg Playa Names). The Burning Wiki encourages content contributors to use attribution that reflects those commonly known names, but to retain privately any correspondence they may have entered into with those entities or individuals in respect of the use of their material, and to retain that correspondence and make it available to the Burning Wiki on request if questions arise over the use of that material.

Tools

The accuracy of information on the Burning Wiki is best guaranteed by creating a wide and interested audience who will provide content and alert the Wiki to errors or ommisions. Page monitoring software is being used on several burn related websites to detect any changes there and being fed back to John Mack. This service may be expanded over time.

Status of the Burning Wiki

Th Burning Wiki was developed using WikiMedia software on a virtual server during 2016 and 2017. The Wiki was first visible on the internet on 15th of March 2017, and announced to the Blazing Swan Community on 30th July 2017, at the Swan's Nest. At that stage there were approximately 15 pages of information, and the launch was accompanied by an invitation for editors to come on board and ad content. The initial focus of the Wiki was the New Zealand and Australian region.

As content relating to Regional Burns and associated activities was being sought and presented it became apparent that not only was information scattered across many different platforms, but also that the size of a site was no guarantee that it's information was 'more accurate' than a smaller, local one. In fact, the converse tended to apply. So, for instance, the information about regional Burns in the BurningMan.Org site, and on Wikipedia.Com was useful, but neither complete nor up to date.

As at October 2017 the Burning Wiki consists of approximately 65 significant pages and there have been over 4.500 edits. Approximately four people have been involved in providing content and editing the Wiki during this period, and the Wiki site is averaging five to ten unique visitors per day on the internet. At this time the 'Burning Wiki' has the most complete and up to date list on the internet of Burns and Burn related events. By November 2018 we expect to be hosting the only single listing of Theme Camps across all Burning events and communities.

Wiki editor John Mack's view is that the Burning Wiki will have achieved 'ignition' - that is to say create a self-sustaining community of knowledgeable contributors - when the page count reaches approximately 400 and the unique views per day reach 5,000. Until that time, content creation will likely remain in the hands of relatively few individuals.

The current focus of activity (June 2018) is:

  • Complete the Policies Page
  • Create Content Pages for every Burn
  • Create a set of Template Pages, one for each type of Content Page
  • Place the Wiki with a web host with good support and reliability (Achieved).