History Commons Groups

January 1, 2014

Fundraiser for History Commons 2.0

Filed under: community,History Commons 2.0 — Max @ 2:56 pm
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It’s officially on. 🙂 http://www.razoo.com/story/Historycommons

The new application and paradigm for the History Commons is in development right now (currently in alpha, soon to go into private beta). But to make this happen, the History Commons needs your help.

We don’t like to solicit donations, and we have largely refrained from doing so in the past. But the History Commons 2.0 is too important not to happen because of financial shortfalls.

From the fundraising page:

A new version of the History Commons crowdsource journalism app is under development now. The app will make the History Commons an increasingly important tool in empowering the public to keep tabs on the very powerful interests that are destroying our planet and impoverishing most of its inhabitants.

The new app will make it very easy for people to collaborate with each other on investigative efforts to shine a bright light on the people and organizations most responsible for destroying the planet and impoverishing its people. The app will leverage all the advances in social media that we have seen during the last 10 years so its content can be easily embedded in other published pieces, shared across multiple platforms, and then published in a format that can easily go viral.

The new app will offer the public an API so others can leverage the History Commons data and intelligence analysis capabilities to create other activist-oriented apps.

We will develop a mobile version of the app so that people can access History Commons data and source information easily and quickly wherever they are. This is an immensely important feature for people who often find themselves in situations where they have an opportunity to educate people, but lack a means to access the facts they need at that particular moment.

Help us make this happen. We need your donations and we need your participation. Remember, anyone can contribute — some of the best material on the Commons comes from anonymous contributors who write material based on their own interests, knowledge and passions.

The direct fundraising page for the History Commons is here: http://historycommons.org/fundraiser.jsp

The personal fundraiser from executive director Derek Mitchell is here: http://www.razoo.com/story/Turn-Every-One-Into-A-Muckraker/

Thank you!

April 22, 2013

Making the Submission Process Easier

Filed under: community,Miscellanenous — Max @ 1:07 am
Tags: , ,

If you’ve ever tried to write entries for the History Commons, you’ve come up against the submission app. It’s not pretty. Even with the guideline we wrote about how to make a submission, it’s no picnic.

In fact, a lot of people have tried to wrestle with it and decided it’s just too much. The screenshot below makes MY head hurt, and I’ve used this app for years.

Yeesh! It IS very difficult, and a lot of people feel that way. There’s no shame. A lot of people have looked at it, or even tried to submit entries, and finally decided to just walk away before they broke something in frustration. It’s not the user that’s the problem. It’s the app!

So, until we finally get the money and the chops to redesign the app to meet reasonable usability standards, we’ve come up with a workaround.

If you want to submit entries to the History Commons but don’t want to fight the app to do it, here’s how. Just write an entry and e-mail it to this address:

mtuck@historycommons.org

It will come to me, Michael Tuck (“blackmax”). I’ll then submit it for you in the app, or one of the other admins will submit it. We can even submit it using your account if you prefer, so it will show up under your name and not one of ours.

More information, including guidelines and a sample entry, are available on this page:

Contributors Can Submit Entries to History Commons by E-Mail

Thanks! I look forward to being inundated with submissions!

February 10, 2013

Donating via credit card

Filed under: community — Max @ 4:42 pm

The link to donate via credit card on the site is bad. It was superseded over a year ago. Why it popped up again is beyond me. I’ll blame it on the server switch, why not…?

Anyway, here’s the correct link. We’re working to make the correction now.

https://npo1.networkforgood.org/Donate/Donate.aspx?npoSubscriptionId=3552

Thanks for being patient.

Update: Fixed!

February 5, 2013

Survey Results from the February 2013 Survey

Filed under: community — Max @ 1:05 pm
Tags: , ,

These are the results from the February 2013 survey conducted by Michael Tuck (blackmax) of the History Commons.

These responses are also available at Survey Results from the February 2013 Survey on our supplementary Web pages.

Last week, we asked the History Commons community to respond to a brief survey designed to help us shape the future of our coverage.

We had a total of 82 respondents — thank you for such a strong response!

Here’s the results. All questions allowed for multiple answers, so all of the results add up to far more than 100%. (Percentages are rounded to the nearest whole number.)

The first question asked: What projects (timelines) created by the History Commons do you find most useful?

  • First: 75% found the Complete 9/11 Timeline most useful.
  • Second: the Global Economic Crisis project, with 45% choosing it.
  • Third: the US Domestic Propaganda project, with 44% choosing it.
  • Fourth: Civil Liberties, with 39%.
  • Fifth: US Domestic Terrorism at 36%.
  • Sixth: Climate Change, at 34%.
  • Seventh and last of the projects listed: Prisoner Abuse, at 28%.
  • 14% said “other.”

Second question: Which topic(s) would you most like to see the History Commons address in the future?

This question gave the respondents a chance to focus on where they’d like to see new coverage.

  • First: by far the most popular topic for new coverage is “Corporate Influence on Society and Politics,” with 76% of respondents indicating this as their choice.
  • Second: WikiLeaks, with 49%.
  • Third: Social movements (civil rights, LGBT, women’s rights, etc) at 29%.
  • Fourth: Violence against women in the US military, at 20%.
  • Last of the listed topics: Netroots Neutrality, at 19%.
  • 17% of the respondents also listed “Other.”

Third question: Which projects (timelines) on the History Commons do you think are NOT being addressed enough?

This one surprised me a bit. We’ve long wanted expanded coverage of the Global Economic Crisis and Climate Change projects, but neither of those came in first.

  • Most popular: Genetic engineering (GMO), at 44%.
  • Second: Global Economic Crisis, at 39%.
    Third: Climate Change, 38%.
  • Fourth: US Conflict with Iran, 33%.
  • Fifth: War in Afghanistan, 23%.
  • Last of the listed topics: US Electoral Politics, at 14%.
  • 19% of respondents said “other.”

Fourth question: What should the History Commons focus most on in the future? (You can add your responses from earlier questions here, or make your own observations.)

Among the topics listed that individuals want covered are:

  • “privacy and confidentiality” (expansion of the Civil Liberties coverage, presumably)
  • “the Kashmir dispute” (as part of the US International Relations project, I’m assuming)
  • a “new 9/11 investigation” and related topics
  • “corporate influence in politics,” campaign finance issues, and gerrymandering (some of which are currently being expanded as a part of the Civil Liberties project)
  • guns and weapons profiteering
  • “Employment / Work Force / Automation”
  • goverment secrecy, whistleblower prosecution, and government-sponsored assassinations
  • US relations with Israel
  • women’s rights as a human-rights issue (we’ve suggested this before as part of a larger Social Movements project)
  • the US as an imperialist national security state
  • US and global poverty, child and human exploitation
  • more coverage of the 2001 anthrax attacks
  • more Middle East coverage, using Islam and the West and A Line in the Sand by James Barr as key sources
  • cyberwarfare, drones, robotic war
  • NATO’s increasing influence on Eastern Europe; the globalization of NATO
  • overpopulation as it connects to climate change and resource depletion
  • a bigger focus on “systemic/root causes”
  • food systems, resource depletion, and GMO production
  • a request to provide “contrary views” of “CAGW,” presumably a reference to the Citizens Against Government Waste think tank
  • more coverage of climate change (this is one of the highest priorities on our “need more coverage!” list)
  • “New World Order” corruption and “global governance”
  • expanded coverage of the 7/7 London bombing attacks
  • Operation Gladio
  • the JFK assassination
  • “created weather”
  • the US “war on drugs” using The Strength of the Wolf: The Secret History of America’s War on Drugs by Douglas Valentine as a key source
  • sustainability issues
  • the “destruction of justice” under the Bush and Obama administrations

A comprehensive list, to say the least. We have some of these reflected on the History Commons New Topic Listing, where we’ve listed topics that we’d love to see covered by new contributors or existing contributors looking to shift their focus.

The fifth question indicated that 25% of respondents were interested in volunteering to write for the History Commons.

The sixth question indicated that 25% of respondents were interested in donating to keep the History Commons going.

Again, thanks to everyone for participating in this survey. I’m sharing this information with the other administrators today. You can always discuss topics for new or expanded coverage on this thread, or on any other thread on the History Commons Groups Blog. We want MORE contributors and MORE coverage. You can help write history on the History Commons. Please consider doing so.

August 10, 2012

Welcome back, Kevin!

Filed under: Books We Read,community — Max @ 12:07 am
Tags:

Admin Kevin Fenton, the author of Disconnecting the Dots, is back from a well-deserved vacation. Just a quick shoutout to say we’re glad to have him back. 🙂

August 5, 2012

Survey Results

Filed under: community — Max @ 5:27 pm

The results of the first History Commons survey (well, the first in two years) are in. Thanks to everyone who participated!

It was a very short, targeted survey about user participation. Here is the link to the results. (More equally short and targeted surveys are in the works, though we promise not to overwhelm you with survey after survey.)

As with all surveys, the responses prompt an entirely new array of questions

Poll Results:

Future surveys may ask questions based on the results of this poll. Some of the ones that come to mind are:

  • How can the History Commons attract more contributors?
  • How can it expand its perception from “just” a historical site to one that covers more current information? One suggestion that came up in discussion among the admins was the creation of a “quick response team” of contributors to handle current or “breaking” events or issues.
  • Are there timelines/projects that would attract more interest? What are some suggestions for new projects? We want to expand our coverage, and have a page of ideas for new and/or expanded projects.

We have a lot of good ideas about improving the user interface and the application, so we probably won’t be asking about that in the next couple of surveys. We’re more interested in finding ways to make these improvements happen (i.e. funding!).

Comments

Several comments focused on updating HC for social media and mobile platforms. We definitely, definitely need to focus on making HC more mobile-friendly; that’s part of improving the user interface. We’re not sure what this means: “History Commons might consider the ‘link’ metaphor/technology widely used in social media as a beginner’s level for those who want to take active part in it the first time.” If someone could expand on that idea, we’d love to hear it.

Any suggestions on showing off our credentials in a more effective way?

Making it Happen

As is the case with so many things, all of these improvements and expansions require financial and volunteer support. If you think History Commons is worth the effort, please consider making a financial donation, or (even better in some respects), please consider doing some writing, researching, and/or editing for the Commons.

Thanks!

August 1, 2012

Please take this new survey…it’s only 2 questions

Filed under: community,Uncategorized — Max @ 10:21 pm

It takes less time to take this survey than it does to slug down a Red Bull, and the information you give us will be tremendously helpful for helping us improve our content and our functionality. Thanks, and please pass this along!

Click the “Take Our Survey!” phrase below to open the survey in a popup. If your browser blocks this kind of popup, the survey can also be accessed here: History Commons Survey

All results will be noted and discussed in a followup post. Thanks again.

July 30, 2012

Pushing the information envelope

Filed under: community — Max @ 12:37 am

We are not only trying to raise enough money to upgrade our UX/app, we’re also trying to bring aboard volunteer writers and researchers who want to collaborate with HC to expand coverage of a number of issues.

This is a new topic listing with ideas for new projects, sub-projects, and categories.

Some of the subjects I can think of that we’d really love to cover include:

  • climate change and global warming
  • the US, EU, and other economies, and their interrelationships
  • the struggle for LGBTQ rights
  • the ongoing war in Afghanistan
  • the US elections (2012 and before)
  • any number of environmental issues

And some of our best projects came from suggestions and work done by first-time contributors. Got an idea that’s not on the list or on the linked page? Let us know, either by email — hc AT historycommons DOT org — or in a comment on this post.

Collaborate with us to expand and enhance our information flow.

July 24, 2012

Communication breakdown…

Filed under: community — Max @ 12:36 pm

Communication breakdown, it’s always the same,
I’m having a nervous breakdown, drive me insane!

Right now our normal email is not functional. It’s a server problem and is being addressed.

Until it’s fixed, you can contact us through our Facebook page, our Twitter feed, or by commenting on this blog. Thanks!

UPDATE: It’s back up and running. Woo hoo! Unfortunately, the JS on the contact page is STILL down, so you can contact us via email at hc AT historycommons DOT org .

June 24, 2012

Contributing

Filed under: community — Max @ 6:06 pm

Contributing to the History Commons can take other forms than financial donations (which we continue to ask for!). We also need your passion, your expertise, and your writing and research skills. We need you to consider writing for the Commons.

You might take a look at the New Topics Listing for some ideas of where you might consider contributing. The possibilities are nearly endless, and you aren’t constrained to just the many topics on that page. If there’s something you want to see covered, propose it and let’s get it going!

Thank you for supporting the History Commons in all the ways that you contribute. We couldn’t survive without our community.

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