[Submitted by Sonja Sapach]
This entry is going to work a bit differently than my previous blogs. Instead of a lengthy discussion about the topic at hand, I will present a series of diagrams with accompanying explanations in order to provide a basic visual model. This is a work in progress and any feedback is more than welcome. The goal of these diagrams is not to represent a specific UI, or aesthetically pleasing environment – they are intended only to act as guides for understanding the basic model. So please, forgive the crudity of the model!
Figure 1 – Home Base: Navigating the Environment.
For this model, we need a starting point, a base of operations. However this may end up actually looking, Figure 1 outlines the key areas needed to make this model successful:
The registration and profile management page is self-explanatory – it is where new and existing editors go to register, manage their profiles (passwords, personal information, view details about individual achievements, contributions, active projects, “rank”, titles, etc.)
The “new users portal”allows new editors to complete “level 1” tasks in order to learn the basic UI, navigation within the various editing frameworks, and the fundamental skills required to begin actively collaborating and contributing. Completion of these tasks, which are identical for every newly registered player-editor, results in the acquisition of a ‘badge’ that allows the player-editor access to the actual editing projects. It is important to note here that this type of access involves the ability to contribute and actually work on projects. One of the goals of the Gaming the Edition project is to make the scholarly editions broadly accessible. In this model, I propose that there is no restriction or limitation on who is allowed to view the “Completed Projects”. The first level ‘badge’ is what allows player-editors to actually work on active projects. At this point I must acknowledge that this section requires a great deal more investigation in order to explore the potential forms that it may take. I will explore this section in greater detail in upcoming blogs.
The “achievements” page is a place for all editors to view the variety of achievements and badges available, the requirements of each, how close they are to both individual achievements and group achievements (based on projects they are actively participating in) etc. This page is also accessible by non-registered individuals who wish to see what a specific ‘badge’ or ‘title’ means. If an editor wishes to mention a certain achievement or ‘badge’ on a resume for example, they can provide a link to this page so that potential employers can understand the associated skills and contributions.
The “reference materials” page is a publicly accessible page that provides open access to all completed scholarly editions, links to various reference materials (databases, wikis, that sort of thing), and links to Canadian University and public library pages. I envision a central location where all contributing editors can quickly link to valuable online resources. This page can be updated by co-ordinating and managing editors as new resources are discovered.
The “social tools” page is also fairly self-explanatory. Registered editors can view the profiles of other registered editors, see who is online and offline, enter into a specific ‘chat session’ (if a group of editors is discussing a certain topic or project, they can create a unique chat environment – I envision something Twitter-like or MMORPG-style), create and view blogs, and potentially access a forum or wiki-type page about Gaming the Edition. The social tools will be worked into the overall UI, but this is a central access point. Like the “new users portal” this section also requires deeper analysis in order to address a variety of issues. Stay tuned for upcoming blogs for more details.
The remaining 3 pages/portals for co-ordinating, managing, and playing editors will be detailed in the next set of diagrams.
Figure 2 – Co-ordinating Editor Portal
The Co-ordinating editors are the highest ‘ranked’ or tiered editors. They have reached something akin to “end game status” (see December 2 blog entry for more information). They are responsible for establishing larger frameworks within which a variety of distinct ‘smaller’ projects are created. The co-ordinating editors are responsible for defining the general rule-sets, creating specific project templates (if desired) and working with the managing editors within their frame(s) to ensure that the contributions made are valid and in the ‘spirit’ of the specific frame.
Co-ordinating editors also have the ability to design new achievements and badges – perhaps they will need to propose their new design to other co-ordinating editors who must approve them as a group? If, for example, co-ordinating editor A proposes a new achievement, co-ordinating editors B, C, and D must agree to its creation?
Figure 3 – Managing-Editor Spaces
Managing-editors are primarily responsible for the specific/distinct editing environments created within the larger frames. By opting to create a new project within an existing framework, the managing-editors (limited only by the co-ordinating editors rule-set and guidelines) creates an editing environment. They define the rule-set specific to their project and can opt to use a pre-exising template or customize their own (to be approved by the co-ordinating editor of the frame). We are making an assumption here that managing editors will work together to share duties and effectively work as co-leaders in these various projects.
Managing-editors are responsible for monitoring the contributions made to their project, ensuring the validity and quality of the scholarly edition. They are also responsible for working with the player-editors in their project to ensure a supportive, collaborative environment and for acting as ‘mentors’ to novice player-editors.
Figure 4 – Player-Editor Environment
Player-editors will have access, as mentioned, to various features based on how far they have advanced or “levelled” their profile. In the example in figure 4, the boxes with the dotted lines represent the various tasks that they do not yet have access to in that particular editing environment. While they will always have access to the social and reference tools, other aspects of the project are opened up as they gain authority, become more adept at editing, and increase their contributing potential. The managing-editors must ensure that the player-editors are getting appropriate recognition for their contributions, while working their way through an apprenticeship-style learning process.
There is a lot more work to be done on this, but for the time being it is intended to act as a basic guideline for a potential Gaming the Edition model. As noted above, stay tuned for some deeper discussions about various aspects of this model.