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LauraV

Violin Wiki

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I have been wondering about the possibility of a Violin Making Wiki. I have looked to see if one already exists, and have found two. The first (Violin Wiki) disappointingly seems to be about immunology (!?) and the second (Violin Wiki) doesn't seem to have come to anything, in the sense that there are no articles.

For those who are not familiar with Wikis in general, they are, as far as I understand, databases of information, often grouped in relation to a certain subject, that anyone can edit. So the end result is a resource that represents the general consensus of knowledge. The most famous one, of course, is Wikipedia. There are some violin making related articles on Wikipedia, but the good folks at Wikipedia don't usually like pages that go too far into specialist interests- their remit is to provide information useful to the general public. A ViolinWiki could include; biographies of makers, great and obscure; techniques, historical techniques; Instrument/School identification tips; varnish/glue/ground recipes; instrument specs like outline and arching images, thicknesses etc.; current research....

In some ways, the information might be similar to what you see here on Maestronet, except that it will be in an encyclopedic format instead of a discussion with everyone throwing in their two cents.

For a few examples of subject related Wikis that have been well done and sucessful, look at these:

Muppet Wiki

WikiTravel

WikiCars

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Laura

If any user can edit the information then it seems likely that problems would arise due to the prevalence of disagreement on issues in our field. It would seem that an active moderator would be required to deal with that. Are you volunteering?

Doug

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This was attempted out of this forum several years ago. I don't know what happened to it but the problem is as stated above.

For instance, it is often stated that there are 1000 ways to skin a cat. I have only found 345 thus far. :)

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Major problems with wikis include authoritative-sounding edits by ignorant people, and editing wars, among others. These are controlled on wikipedia and other wikis by actual experts correcting or deleting erroneous posts and moderators intervening in editing wars. MN Pegbox sometimes has ignorant people making posts about things they know nothing about and we do have experts who usually set things straight. We also have a moderator who has been known to lock threads if things get too contentious. The biggest difference between the Pegbox and wikis is that wikis tend to be oriented towards providing a long-term source of information rather than a place for discussion. Many wikis devoted to a particular topic have someplace where questions can be posted and answered. Never-the-less wikis suffer from people inserting questions in the middle of well-written arfticles. One of the problems with the Pegbox is that it is hard to find things that were posted a long time ago. Wikis can be structured so that there are sections or departments with narrower foci, like we do on MN with the Pegbox and Fingerboard.

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Not to mention, the topic "The Violin" is impossibly broad. On a hunch, I went to Wikipedia and searched on "Stradivari", and found topics on the man himself (biography), his violins, links to articles on Amati, Guarneri and others, and much information besides. I think that's the preferred approach to something so vast - articles on the sub-topics.

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Not to mention, the topic "The Violin" is impossibly broad. On a hunch, I went to Wikipedia and searched on "Stradivari", and found topics on the man himself (biography), his violins, links to articles on Amati, Guarneri and others, and much information besides. I think that's the preferred approach to something so vast - articles on the sub-topics.

Yes, that is exactly what I was imagining, articles about specific topics, just like wikipedia. And the others are right as well, it would really only work if there were certain people taking on administrator type rolls, at least removing inappropriate material and marking controversial theories as theories. I don't think it is necessarily a problem that there are so many things in violin making that have many different solutions or theories, as long as we make sure that they are marked as theories or styles of making.

Someone said earlier that something similar had been started and fizzled out- is it still out there somewhere? I'd like to have a look...

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