User talk:FrankZ

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Again, welcome and have fun! Bring out that hidden "Cruising Guide writer" in you. JanetH 22:41, 3 October 2011 (BST)


Webpage links

Hi Frank

Couple of weeks ago Gordon (User:Atheneoflymington) had a good idea. He proposed that in order to encourage active participation to the wiki we let a contributor's to add a link to his or hers webpage or blog (if there is one). This should work to mutual advantage: the contributor get more hits and the wiki gets more regular contributors.

I had been keeping my eye on recent contributors looking for one with a webpage. I saw that Noel Swanson (User:LifePart2) not only added a lot of new material in our Panteleria<> page but has a nice cruising blog where he has extra material, including photos, on Panteleria and other places where he cruises. I communicated with him and he was very receptive to the idea.

After several exchanges with Gordon and Noel we decided that, at least for the time being, not to add a new header but to add the web ling in the existing External Links. To differentiate this links from the regular one I added a favicon (small graphic) and made a test link to my own pertinent webpage in Monastir.

I would like, before we publicize, you to take a look at this test links in Monastir<> and let me and Gordon know what you think and suggest any changes.

I will be leaving my home in Washington, DC this weekend for Leros where I will be launching my sailboat Thetis for extensive cruising. So I will be less active on the wiki and forum for the next few weeks.

Happy sails Vasilis

PS: I am sending this to all administrators


Hi Frank

After several discussions among several wiki administrators we decided as an encouragement to more wiki contributions to let active contributors add their personal Web site

In your case, if you do have a Web site, you will add under "Last Visited & Details Checked (and updated here)" date of visit --FrankZ Sailboat favicon.png Your site's name

Fair winds --Istioploos 15:12, 17 July 2013 (BST)

CruisersWiki Nav Bar

Vadim and I have been discussing whether it is preferable to replace the existing Nav Bar, which is displayed at the bottom of a wiki page by a new one that he has created, displayed at the top of the page. The new Nav Bar can be created automatically and is much less error prone than the old one. Nevertheless I have voice some reservations.

Vadim put some of our arguments on the "public" Talk:World_Cruising_and_Sailing_Wiki#Template:PartOf_as_a_new_.22Navbar.22 so that everyone can add his/her opinion and help us decide whether to adopt the new Nav Bar.

Please do take a look and add your comments. The decision to adopt the new Nav Bar will create a fair amount of work but it may be worth doing it.

Also for your information I have been systematically replacing the old non-functioning Charlet with a new one from Navionics after obtaining Navies' agreement to use it on our wiki. Here, again, Vadim has done a lot of ground work to make this tradition as painless as possible.

Regard Vasilis

Future of the Wiki - a viewpoint


It is with no small regret that I have decided to relinquish my admin status on the World Cruising Wiki. I have given this decision quite a lot of thought over the past few days and I have concluded that it is the best decision for the future of the Wiki. While I am happy to continue as a contributor (at least, for Croatia, where I now cruise), I feel I can no longer take an active part in the Wiki's future development.

I signed up for the Wiki in 2010, following which I undertook the reworking of the country and port pages for France, Spain and Portugal over 2010-11, with much early guidance from Lighthouse and Istioploos as I found the editing (and particularly page creation) process initially very complex. I addressed Corsica, Sardinia and all the Italian islands in 2012-13, creating or fleshing out most of the port pages, for which little or no content existed. From 2013 I worked with Istioploos on Turkey and Greece, updating content and photography for many of the islands and ports for which data was lacking and revamping the Sea of Marmara section to add detailed entries on the harbours there.

In 2014 while based in Ionian Greece I revamped all the islands and ports, with revised content and new photography, following which in 2015 I completed the major task of building the Italy, Croatia, Montenegro and Albania sections, for much of which there was again very little existing content, creating entirely new pages for the majority of the harbours. Lector, si monumentum requires, circumspice.

I write this not out of self-satisfaction but to demonstrate that I have committed a great deal of time to the Wiki and, I believe, developed an acute sense of its strengths and weaknesses as a result.

So, it may seem illogical that I have decided to reduce my involvement at this point. However, by resigning I feel able to offer my candid views on where the Wiki has failed and the challenges it must address if it is to survive and flourish.

My thoughts were crystallised by a message I received from [1], a subscriber I signed up in 2014 and whom I had re-approached following the recent change of the Italy, Croatia, Montenegro and Albania pages to test a new approach to encouraging more contributions. His experience is by no means exceptional and is, I believe, why we have around 1,500 subscribers to the Wiki but almost no regular, active contributors if you exclude the admins. His message is below (I've omitted his personal details as I haven't asked permission to reproduce it here):

HI Gordon,

Thanks for your email.  How are you finding cruising north of Greece?

I confess I stopped uploading to the Wiki some time ago.  A number of updates I made were reverted back to their original (out-of-date) content within a week or so of me making the amendments.  I sort of got the impression someone wasn’t happy about having their original postings modified - I could have got it wrong but that’s how it came over.

Anyway,  it is without doubt that the Wiki is a very, very good idea.  Pilot books by their very nature are often out of date before they even hit the shops and the CA’s Captains Mate is held back because, for some reason, they don’t want to be seen competing with printed books.

Personally, I am very grateful for the ‘accurate’ information you always leave in the wake of your visits and I am only too willing to pass on my findings too for others to benefit so will look forward to the new style submissions. Not sure I can remember my passwords etc., so a bit of digging is in order to get up and running again.

Fair winds

Best regards


Time and time again over the past five years I have witnessed subscribers sign up then wade in to edit the pages (after all, the Wiki does encourage them to 'Grab the page and build it!). They find, inevitably, that the formatting is quite complex and the templates not easy to manage without messing up. So, either they get immediately discouraged or they do their best and the result is exactly what one would expect from a pilot book if several people scribbled notes all over it. The admins then spend time patiently trying to restore order without de-motivating the new subscriber (not always an easy task and sometimes I wonder that I myself survived as a newbie!).

It seems there is a general consensus that the Wiki should develop into an authoritative and credible alternative to the numerous pilot books that, because they are in print form, are invariably months or years out of date. To achieve that, however, the content needs to be well-written, accurate, up to date, consistent in presentation and credible. In my view this will prove impossible to achieve if every subscriber, regardless of experience, skills and even knowledge of English, is encouraged to edit at will. The result will be, and indeed already is in places, a 'dog's dinner' and the admins will continue to spend their valuable time restoring pages instead of filling the numerous gaps on the Wiki or mentoring new editors.

You'll notice that I have made a distinction here between subscribers and editors and that is at the heart of the change that needs to take place in my view. I no longer believe that new subscribers should be encouraged to 'Grab a page and build it' because experience shows that all too often they lack the necessary skills. It's like turning a novice driver loose on the freeway without a single driving lesson. I believe that new subscribers should be encouraged to input their comments or updates on the new 'Comments' page but only be allowed to change the 'Last visited' section on the main page until they have earned their spurs. Once a subscriber demonstrates the necessary commitment and skills – and after a suitable period of mentoring by the admins - then and only then should they be given editor privileges and let loose on editing and creating new pages. To me, this is a win-win situation, since less committed or capable subscribers would still feel motivated by just submitting comments and updates while more competent and experienced ones would feel privileged to be invited to become editors. It wouldn't be difficult to implement at this point since there are virtually no regular contributors and it could be done in conjunction with announcing the new easy-to-use 'Comments' facility to existing subscribers.

I know this 'three-tier' approach, with admins, editors and contributors, is controversial and it is unlikely to achieve much traction at present, but if the Wiki is to achieve the status and quality of content that I believe it can it will require a move in this direction.

Meanwhile I wish the Wiki and its remaining admins every success for the future. I hope this note may help focus discussion on the measures needed to ensure that success.

GORDON KNIGHT Athene of Lymington

Discussion about the Wiki


You may want to take a look at the on going The Discussion about the future CruisersWiki. --Istioploos 22:09, 29 February 2016 (GMT)

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