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Announcement: Guidelines & FAQs for Transliteracies Developers

Posting FAQ

Roundtable 3 Onliine Audience Experiment
General Discussion Forum
Conference 2005 Seed Questions
Conference 2005: Project  Planning Session discussion

Writing Posts and Comments:

The Transliteracies Web site runs on WordPress, an open-source content management system and blog engine. The site is designed not only to publicize information about the project but to facilitate collaborative discussion among project participants and with the public. In the WordPress system as implemented on this site, there are basically three kinds of contributions that users can make depending on their permission level:

  • Categories: “Categories” for postings such as Discussion Forum or Research Project can be established by users with higher-level permissions (project leaders and administrators). Categories are like bulletin boards for postings; and may be created for particular topics, working groups, and so on.
  • Posts: “Posts,” or postings, in particular categories can be contributed only by project members, conference participants, or other member of the Transliteracies community. After logging in, go to “Write” on the site administration console, write a post, and then “publish” it (or save it as a “draft” until you are ready to publish). By default, posts are published in the Discussion Forum category, organized chronologically with the the most recent at the top. (Please do not post to such categories on the site intended to remain static as “Research Project” unless there is a specific reason to do so.) You can later edit their own postings, but not other users’ postings (unless you have a higher-level permission), by navigating to it on the site and choosing the “edit” option (or by searching for it under “manage” within the site administration console). You can enable or disable “comments” to your posting.
  • Comments: “Comments,” when enabled for a particular posting, allow other project participants as well as members of the public who register with the site to add comments/replies to a posting, though the first such comment by a member of the general public needs to be approved by a site administrator. (Site administrators also have the option of removing or editing inappropriate comments.) Only site administrators can edit or delete comments.

If you are a member of the Transliteracies community, you can thus log in and contribute to the site in a number of ways: write a post or write a comment/reply to a post. If you are a member of the general public, you can register on the site for a login that allows you to write comments/replies to posts.

Managing Posts:

Transliteracies project members and participants can edit their own posts (as well as posts of anyone with a lower level of permission). After logging in, there are two ways to navigate to a post and edit it:

  • View the site and navigate to the post you wish to edit. Then click the “edit” link to the right of the post.
  • Choose “Site Admin” to open the site management console. Then choose the “Manage” option and locate (or search for) the post you wish to edit. Posts that you have permission to edit are labeled as such; other posts are view-only.

Format for Research Reports

Transliteracies research reports focus on one or more of the “Objects for Study” in the project’s Research Clearinghouse. Reports are relatively brief documents designed to give a broad, multi-disciplinary audience a quick, efficient grasp of the object of study, its context, and its possible relevance for the issues important to the Transliteracies Project.

The standard report format is as follows:

  1. Summary: 200 words or less.
  2. Description: Description of the object for study (accompanied by appropriate images, screenshots, etc.). The description is designed to be as objective and efficient as possible, in the manner of who / what / where / when / how / why. It may include brief excerpts quoted from home pages, mission statements, introductions to articles, and so on.
  3. Research Context: Identification and quick description of the relevant, contemporary field of research, together with a suggestion of why this object for study might be of current interest to the field.
  4. Technical Analysis: Synopsis of main technical specifications, methods, or approaches. “Technical” has varying meanings depending on the nature of the object for study. A report on a hardware invention, software innovation, or new technical protocol (e.g., the early codex book, woodcuts, lithography, e-ink, interface technology or design, search technology, XML, text-encoding, etc.) might include a hardware, software, or usage description as appropriate. A report on a social-science, humanities, or art work might include a description of theoretical approach, evidentiary method, etc. (evidentiary method, for example, is one of the innovations of William St. Clair’s 2004 book on The Reading Nation in the Romantic Period). A report on an artistic form (e.g., ode, ballad, emblem, electronic poem, new media art installation) might include a description of such features as structure, versification, typography, layout, graphic design, software platform, database design, etc.
  5. Evaluation of Opportunities/Limitations for the Transliteracies Topic: Speculative commentary on what the object for study might offer to the Tranliteracies goal of understanding and “improving” present-day online reading practices. What are the Transliteracies research opportunities or directions suggested by this object of study? What are the limitations or problems of such an approach?
  6. Resources for Further Study: Short bibliography of works or links.
  7. Optional: Point(s) for Expansion: Links or cross-references to related items in Objects for Study or other related issues that a fuller article might research.

Research reports should be sent to the Transliteracies administrative research assistant (Lisa Swanstrom) for copy-editing, formatting, and posting to the site (with a cc: to Project Director Alan Liu). [Contact info]