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General principlesEdit

Sorry to top post, but I think that we need to decide what goes on the front page. Do we include the WHO Pandemic phase (which has just gone to 4)? how do we keep to Jimbo's principle of balance while maintaining honesty? RichardRothwell 23:07, 27 April 2009 (UTC)

I'm not sure that your average citizen needs to know the global alert level - nor would it make much sense. Different parts of the world have completely different levels of danger, so giving local information is the only way to be accurate and honest. Gboyers talk 11:03, 28 April 2009 (UTC)
I just noticed this - one reason to include it on the front page is that the global media is talking about it constantly - and so Gboyers point is precisely one that we can help to remind people of... "different parts of the world have completely different levels of danger". Also, I find the global scale to be a bit weird, since even the highest level, level 6, does not imply anything particularly horrible about the rates of death (which, it should be acknowledged, could be quite serious in the current case, or not, we just don't know yet). What I mean is we could get to level 6 with a widespread highly contagious flu with very mild symptoms that doesn't really pose a major threat. So the level system itself, in my opinion, is poorly designed in such a way that it will tend to misinform lots of people.----Jimbo Wales 18:24, 30 April 2009 (UTC)
I think I agree - which is why I posed the question. So is this style of front page right? If the virus is seen in many more countries it would have to move to a continental level over-view.RichardRothwell 12:52, 28 April 2009 (UTC)

Is the main page getting just a bit US centric? I know we need to put the situation into context with examples, and the US one is understandable... Just a thought.RichardRothwell 14:16, 29 April 2009 (UTC)

I have been trying to avoid that. However, the majority of our visitors will be from the US. I have avoided putting United States Health Departments on the front page (as was requested), but I think a single context example is fine (so long as it doesn't become any more US-centric). Gboyers talk 14:21, 29 April 2009 (UTC)
Should we move to continent level reporting? If so, do we need a 'North America' to cover the US, Canada, Mexico, etc? RichardRothwell 07:08, 30 April 2009 (UTC)

Tab viewEdit

Hi, Ose! I was just looking at this wiki -- you guys are doing a really interesting job with it. There's one thing you may not know -- putting the Contents into a tab view actually hides it from Google search bots. Google won't be able to index the site properly if all the useful content links are hidden in the tab view, which will hurt our Google rank.

I would suggest putting the Header and the Contents into the actual main page code, and making the main page editable again. The stuff that you've done is cute, but it won't actually help the site if it makes our Google rank go down. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 19:34, 27 April 2009 (UTC)

Thanks Danny - thats a good point. Normally this sort of JS just replaces content (so at least some shows by default), but this doesn't. I don't think getting rid of it causes us any great loss. So long as the contents are there, then the "helping out" section and the map can be compressed, or simply linked to (albeit quite visibly). I also think a latest news section would be more valuable than having multiple cluttered feeds. Gboyers talk 20:10, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, I totally agree! I think simpler can be better, especially on a main page. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 20:25, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
I've expanded the tabview into straightforward transcludes (of Contents, News & Helping out). I've missed out Visualizing H1N1, but added the map into News. Does that still seem too cluttered? Gboyers talk 22:44, 27 April 2009 (UTC) EDIT: This section imported from User talk:Ose - Gboyers talk 22:46, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
It does, but it's better than it was. How about we go the whole way and put the actual content into the page, rather than transcluding? That way, people have a fighting chance of being able to edit and update the page. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 22:49, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
The problem with that is scaring users off with large chunks of code with masses of content hidden inside. Even I find that off-putting. How about we just add a handful of edit buttons to edit the individual sections? Or if thats still too complicated, have a nice user-friendly "edit the main page" page which links to those sections used within? Gboyers talk 23:10, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
I took out the HTML comment, so now it's editable by wysiwyg. That should make it easier for people... -- Danny@fandom (talk) 23:15, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
At the moment, I don't see any way to edit the homepage at all. :-( ----Jimbo Wales 00:23, 28 April 2009 (UTC)
Me neither. I tried to add a link to United States Health Departments to the Sources of Information list, but was unable to do so. 69.19.14.38 13:12, 28 April 2009 (UTC)KathleenSeidel
Someone hid the toolbar at the top of the main page, but this has since been restored. Might need to clear your cache or hard refresh to make it reappear. Or just cheat. And thanks for that Danny, that simplifies things even more. Gboyers talk 00:30, 28 April 2009 (UTC)
Excellent! I'm glad you like it. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 05:03, 28 April 2009 (UTC)

Interactive Map + TimelineEdit

Is there any way we can build an interactive map + timeline on Wikia? I like the one the Guardian has got goin'--Pooya72 07:08, 28 April 2009 (UTC)

Outbreak TableEdit

There should definitely be an outbreak table on the front page. I copied this Outbreak Table from Wikipedia. I don't know if we're allowed to do that. We could build on it. --Pooya72 07:34, 28 April 2009 (UTC)

I'm glad a link was put to this table on the front page, but it is outdated. If we could updated the table and also get it on the front page I think it would give people the most amount of info in the least amount of time. --Pooya72 14:28, 29 April 2009 (UTC)

Australia Edit

Please - an article on the cases in Australia? They were only confirmed last night, but have been all over the media since.  Dawnfeather  06:43, 29 April 2009 (UTC)

The page existed i just put in Oceania category and added it to the front page --Pooya72 07:32, 29 April 2009 (UTC)

Mission focus Edit

Please focus this important initiative on a clear mission.

This needs to be undertaken as an emergency effort of volunteers from across the world, focused on action:

  1. To rapidly coordinate various global initiatives to deal with the flu
  2. To provide a central place for efforts to contain the outbreak
  3. To provide reassurance to the afflicted

This wiki needs to work fast. We need volunteers to quickly fill relevant action pages. Too many country pages at this stage will be a distraction, they can evolve as more relevant material comes in.

It is better to be brief and accurate here than verbose and precise. It is not detailed documentation that can be found elsewhere but clear actionable points and global coordination that can underline the importance of this effort. Mostly the viewers to this site will be looking for quick information, not detailed exposition. Details if provided should be on pages that those looking for actionable items can skip. --Anupam 18:20, 29 April 2009 (UTC)

Are you sure? I rather felt that the balanced, reflective approach was a good alternative to the media frenzy. There is a lack of this viewpoint available. To suggest that an ad hoc wiki can provide the support that physical communities can't is a stretch at best.
The wiki can inform and offer resources - there are other people connecting and co-ordinating. RichardRothwell 19:32, 29 April 2009 (UTC)
I also disagree. As I said here, a lot of people are turning to this wiki for information and advice. Using terms such as "crisis" and "emergency" is only going to cause panic and dilute the serious and useful information we're giving out. Also terms such as "mission" and "action force" are scary and confusing to the average user. I don't think many world governments are going to be using flu wiki as a serious diplomatic, medical or security tool, so let's aim this at the people that need our help and advice. Gboyers talk 20:51, 29 April 2009 (UTC)
After some thought I reverted the front page to remove this 'mission' approach. I don't normally do such things without consultation, but I felt that such a major change to the style and approach that had been built over the past few days was too rapid.RichardRothwell 21:16, 29 April 2009 (UTC)


The first step to making a difference in any risk situation is recognizing and accepting the risk, being educated about the responses to the risk. Denying the risk or underplaying it will not help make any difference to reduce the risk situation. To remain relevant the site has to accept that this situation does not call for collating information from various sources but for helping coordinate global action. It is important to answer:
  • What would we like to accomplish with this wiki when we are done? What are we trying do that other sites cannot?
  • Who is the audience? who is the potential audience? Why are they here, not elsewhere?
  • Are we focusing on
  • Are there any 1,2,3 checklists that can emerge for each of these audiences from the learnings of different regions of the world?
  • Is there any means on the the home page for any of these audiences to get to what their completely different needs are and that tells them what this site is meant to do?
Do also look at emergency management and risk mitigation responses (like the US Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparednes Act) that happen globally in response to disasters or medical emergencies.
Phase 5 (Still not a pandemic, but spread of disease between humans is occurring in more than one country of one WHO region) clearly calls for focused, coordinated and quick action on parts of initiatives. Sars was a emergency till the spread could be contained. Emergencies communicate need for rapid and concerted effort, not panic. It is misinformation that can create panic.
Obviously the importance of this initiative like most others during the pandemic is while there is an emergency. Its impact will only be limited to what mission it chooses to undertake.
Two thirds of the home page is actually uncontrolled news and tweets on exactly the words you are concerned about. These are just exits from the home page, not ways to encourage focused action to contain the flu. I am sure we do not want to be mere aggregators of news?
--Anupam 04:05, 30 April 2009 (UTC)
You make a good point - maybe we should remove those news feeds from the front page. At the top of this page there is a general principles section, that may be a more logical place from which to start a discussion.RichardRothwell 05:25, 30 April 2009 (UTC)
Since I'm the one who added most of that stuff there, I wanted to chime in. I have no problem with us removing those at some appropriate time. I threw them on that on day 1 so that I'd have *something* useful to greet all of you when you first showed up. :) ----Jimbo Wales 18:27, 30 April 2009 (UTC)
Jimbo would be great if you can seed a purpose statement for this wiki, for display on the home page, like the original page? Maybe a statement of what the wiki will do in 1-3 lines and links to let different audiences Individuals, Governments and different groups as an essential ingredient of the home page?
Would be nice to have the contents as a query (but this is not a semantic wiki :( ) or a dynamic list of pages (the extension does not seem to be enabled). I have put the very useful official links to information here. More links need to be added there! There could also be a reassuring quote for the day on the home page?
--Anupam 04:15, 1 May 2009 (UTC)

Ummmm... Edit

Shouldn't we change this to a Disease Wikia? --66.205.143.105 04:14, 30 April 2009 (UTC)

It's a good point, but this isn't really meant to be a database of medical or biological information (for doctors/medical students etc), which is what I would expect a Disease Wiki to be. It's meant to be impartial/calm information and useful advice for the general public, in relation to Flu, and perhaps other pandemics. Perhaps it could legitimately be called "Outbreaks Wiki" or "Pandemic Wiki", but both of those are quite scary. Most pandemics are flu, so perhaps its okay just being that? Gboyers talk 14:15, 30 April 2009 (UTC)
What I would propose is that we ask this question again in about 2 weeks. If there are enough community members who get interested in this as an ongoing hobby - helping to have a central place to track infectious disease outbreaks and to serve as a public information resource in a panic, we can think about naming it to something more general.
But for now 'flu wiki' is a great name because everyone instantly knows what it means and what we're doing today. :-) ----Jimbo Wales 18:26, 30 April 2009 (UTC)

Health Advice on Front Page Edit

Should we put simple health advice on the front page (eg hand washing and hydration). or just link to it?RichardRothwell 13:13, 30 April 2009 (UTC)

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