Supermarket XXIII - Uni-Raker

1 Conversation

The Classic Goo monster in an h2g2 T shirtHello, and welcome to the latest edition of Super Market, the update of everything exciting taking place in h2g2's own Flea Market. This issue will be slightly different, concentrating on the University.

The University of Life

You may have noticed some old University submissions popping up again and conversations moving slightly. So, what is going on?

The The h2g2 University was intended to allow projects, a series of three or more related entries, to all be Edited at the same time. Over time the University has changed, been shut down, abandoned and re-launched. This has left the University sprawling over 29 different pages, with conversations in a higgledy-piggledy mess and difficult to find.

One of the most important pages in the University is Completed University Projects. This is the one that was intended to list all the successful University projects, commemorate the achievements and celebrate the successes. Unfortunately it is completely blank.

As someone who has written University Projects, I can't help but feel that this should be corrected. I also believe that other Researchers would prefer it if their projects were listed too. After all, it is quite difficult to write a whole project's worth of entries, and this accomplishment should be celebrated. University projects are perhaps the h2g2 Edited Guide at its best, especially collaborative projects in which people from all around the world, of different ages and backgrounds, have come together to write about a shared topic from differing perspectives.

University Pages

Among the University Pages are:

Peer Review has one central page, and it works extremely well. The Flea Market, too, has one central page, and it works well. The University, having 29 pages, is in a bit of a mess...

Why Is This?

Originally there were seven faculties:

  1. Faculty of Arts
  2. Faculty of Engineering
  3. Faculty of Law
  4. Faculty of Mathematics
  5. Faculty of Medical, Clinical and Veterinary Sciences
  6. Faculty of Science
  7. Faculty of Social Sciences

It was then proposed to replace this with three Colleges, those of Life, The Universe and Everything. Now we have five faculties:

  1. Faculty of Arts and Entertainment
  2. Faculty of History, Philosophy and Spirituality
  3. Faculty of Science, Mathematics and Engineering
  4. Faculty of Social Sciences
  5. Faculty of Sport and Lifestyle

These changes are reflected in all the Faculty Badges that in existence:

All FacultiesFaculty of ArtsFaculty of EngineeringFaculty of LawFaculty of MathematicsFaculty of Medical, Clinical and Veterinary SciencesFaculty of ScienceFaculty of Social SciencesFaculty of Arts and EntertainmentFaculty of History, Philosophy and SpiritualityFaculty of Science, Mathematics and EngineeringFaculty of Social SciencesFaculty of Sports and Lifestyle

Conversation Spring Clean

Trying to make sense of all the conversations and uncover what University Projects exist can be quite difficult, especially when there are hundreds of conversations attached to the various University pages to plough through. Each conversation that hints at a University idea is being investigated to discover what happened to the idea, whether it became one or more entries and whether these entries actually made it into the Edited Guide.

Many of these conversations are duplicates, with more than one conversation about the same project. To make it easier to keep track of everything, in these cases the duplicate threads are being moved to the projects' Project Page wherever possible. Sometimes the conversations aren't actually about the University at all, in which case to keep things tidy, they are being moved back to the User Pages of the person who raised them, or wherever else may be appropriate1.

I have always believed that no part of h2g2 should be a neglected dumping ground, especially an area like the University that represents so much hard work. It is my aim that soon we will be able to look at the Completed University Projects and see on it a list of h2g2's greatest triumphs.

So where does the Flea Market come in?

Sadly, not every University project has successfully made it into the Edited Guide. Many Projects begin as an idea to write, say, ten articles about, for instance, Aardvarks, yet only the first one or two were finished before the Researcher smiley - elvis left, never to return to h2g2. We know that when they were started, the Researcher intended the articles to be for the Edited Guide, as that is why they created a University submission and/or Project Page.

To me, that suggests that there are many, many entries that should have been given a chance to enter the Edited Guide that sadly did not. The Flea Market is an opportunity for the best of these entries to have a second chance, be polished off and finally make it to where they were intended to be.

Some of these entries that have recently entered the Flea Market are listed below:

I am sure that more will follow before I have finished looking through.

My Aim

Sorting through the old University pages is a lot of hard work, so is it worth it? I've always loved h2g2, especially reading the exciting new entries that have just been written and see how they develop through Peer Review. And you know what? I also love old entries too - just because an entry was written in 2001 rather than today, it doesn't mean it is any less exciting or joyful to read. Looking back to see what happened to University projects is a treasure hunt in which I get a chance to see how ideas develop from the first spark of inspiration to the finished form. Variety is the spice of life and I never know what subject I'll be reading about next.

That said, deep down what I really am secretly hoping for is that my kicking up old, forgotten, dusty conversations reminds at least one of our Researchers who is still here about something they had once intended to do but were side-tracked before finishing. Or someone is inspired to finish off a half-completed project. If either someone who had previously started to write something, left it for a bit and is reminded about it now finishes what they had begun, or even an unfinished entry makes it out of the Flea Market and into the Edited Guide, my task will have been worthwhile.

And Remember...

, the Flea Market needs You!

A reader of the h2g2 Post

The Flea Market Archive


09.03.15 Front Page

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1If anyone is disappointed that a University conversation has been moved, please feel free to let me know.

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