This is a combination of that e-mail and some new thoughts.
Zach's Brainchild needs feedings or it will die.
Those who wish to use part of their time on h2g2 to become a Field Critic, and want to become a part of an unofficial force to help shape the efforts of other Field Researchers and perhaps the way h2g2 will progress into the future, should sign up and be counted as Pastey did in the forum GREAT IDEA.
Perhaps we could have 6 volunteer pages and link them. Then invite all to follow the links and do it, do your best and see what the results are. h2g2 team could be informed of the experiment and criticise the critics. Then we would have a better understanding of what is required.
< href="http://www.h2g2.com/addnewthread.cgi?forum=15685&article=118397">SIX VOLUNTEERS PLEASE</A>
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This way an informal(formal) guide for future would be Field Critics can be thrashed out - the more heads the better.
Zach has led the way and has made it quite clear he is a brainstormer (Ideas Man) He has made it clear to me he doesn't want to be head man. He doesn't like politics and runs fromt he idea, but someone needs to lead this great idea into reality (could be Zach himself if he wants the job) who will get, I hope, more than a little assistance from the h2g2 team. Otherwise it will still be discussed in years to come.
As Zach points out - his ideas are not fact - they are an initial attempt at putting the idea into effect. I know from Zach's definitions, I would not qualify to be a Field Critic. DON'T LET THIS PUT YOU OFF FROM JOINING! There will be many other talents required. You May not have it in you to be a critic, but may have other IDEAS or KNOWLEDGE which will be equally sort after.
Whilst training in Psychology my tutor said, Quote, "You must have the Morals of a saint, The patience of of a God, The strength of a lion - Yet be as meek as a lamb, The authority of a policeman and the listening powers of a priest. IN OTHERWORDS HE WANTED 'UNACHIEVABLE PERFECTION'.
What Zach has ask for is not unachievable, 'BUT' if we were looking for a single person who has all these qualities, I don't think we would have many takers at this time. I may be wrong, but I think the qualities which Zach outlined could be found initially by dividing the required qualifications into groups and a field critic could call on another for help ie TROUBLE SHOOTING.
A list of Field Critics knowledge and attributes could be made so their words could be given credence. Perhap h2g2 can guide by criticising the critic and eventually we might get the message and so might the EDITORS.
Why do we want Field Critics?
Why not just go out there and do it?
Good questions: I have noticed one or two having a good attempt at just that. This is good and I applaud your attempts. The fact is and the whole point of the excersise is to bring to the attention of EDITORS - Good, Solid or factual writings. This can be achieved if the h2g2 team can trust the judgement of the Critic concerned, Unlike the hotch potch manner our attempts have been to date.
I have heard, as I am sure have the h2g2 team, that many of you call for some form of categorising, Indexing, Etc. At this stage, I would imagine, be almost impossible unless each page is read. Field Critics could go a long way to help h2g2 achieve it. How we go about this I don't know. That is why a team is needed to thrash out all the suggestions and put them jointly to h2g2. I hate commitees they are all talk and do very little 'BUT' sometimes they are needed. I hope this one will not be too long winded. This is the main reason I posted the idea of a trial run. Whilst the talking continues a trial run will bring a few facts to light.
The fun way that writings take form is great. May it long continue.
CLIQUES and INTRODUCING NEWBIES
Like Generations of young repeating their forgoers mistakes, most newbies have their own conception of what h2g2 is and is supposed to be. Some how, newbies should be directed to established (Hark at me, I am only weeks old myself) Researchers pages who by example can let the newbie know what is going on.
I have made contact with a number of newbies and they have used my page as a guide to search for other researchers. They can see our mistakes as well as our good points and hopefully, make them better researchers themselves.
As most congruent societies they congregate into clicks. I hear worblings of elitism. I do cannot see why anyone who wants to help fellow researchers in some way being bared. There may be many brilliant critics out there, THEY DON'T KNOW THIS VENTURE EXISTS. WE must find a way to communicate to as many as possible reseachers if it is to succeed.
One technical problem to Zach's suggestion that a new forum should be created for the critique. At this time as Zach himself found out - These forums are not posted to a researchers home page and can be missed if the writer does not check each of his/her pages regularly. I understand from Jim Lynn - He is working on the problem now. At this time though it could be weeks before a writer knows of the created forum.
For the time being I suggest that once the new forum has been created, the critic should also inform the researcher/writer of the posting on his home page where it can be seen.
There is a negative forum posted on Zach's page right now which has not been answered:
<A href="http://www.h2g2.com/forumframe.cgi?thread=12630&forum=14215"/>Over to you Zach</A>
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I wish to end by saying I not only applaud Zach's Idea, I am behind him and it 100% and I seem to be catching his LACKofBREVITY'itis
Sorry I have not had the time to add many links or allocate blame for others ideas in this article.
Thanks for reading this