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Making a resources sticky thread: What do you think?

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Making a resources sticky thread: What do you think?

Postby IreneY » Thu May 05, 2011 12:46 am

Hey guys, I was thinking about creating a resources sticky for the Greek forums. One for each or an all-inclusive one in Learning Greek. I'm ripping off the idea from another forum mind you :D
What I'm thinking is something like this:
a) One closed sticky we'll call Resources for now and one open sticky called Resources suggestion
b) We can all post suggestions in the RS one and then it'll be the Admin's and Mod's job to sort through them and post them in the closed R thread. The reason that one is closed is to keep it nice and tidy with no conversations or anything like it that future viewers will have to shift through.
c) The main division of the resources will be free vs non-free ones. When it comes to books and whatnot no link to a specific online store will be allowed.
These two (free and payed) will be divided in dictionaries, grammars, pronunciation guides and whatever else we come up with.
An example of a clumsy entry could be (note that I'm watching hockey right now and writing during the breaks so bear with me)
Perseus project http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/
Extensive collection of texts in the original and English with notes and links to dictionaries

What do you think? Of the whole idea to begin with and the details if you agree :D
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Re: Making a resources sticky thread: What do you think?

Postby pster » Thu May 05, 2011 10:39 pm

Well, proof would be in the pudding.

Let me ask you this: How many links are you imagining?

If you don't have many, then you will have overpromised.

If you have many, then you will still run a risk of overpromising if the list is less than complete. And then even if you get a great list, you would still have to categorize them.

Not sure what you are planning to do about books. There are thousands of great secondary sources.

I think you need to come up with a number for how many links you are thinking of and really ask yourself if it is worthwhile yet not unweildy.

Probably a better way to go is just to have a resources section in the forum then people can start threads about whatever floats their boat constrained only by a requirement to give an informative title. That would be a great forum to surf.
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Re: Making a resources sticky thread: What do you think?

Postby Carolus Raeticus » Fri May 06, 2011 12:40 pm

Salvete!

I agree with IreneY. I believe that Textkit-users (especially new ones) would benefit from a place where important resources are listed.

User pster suggests instead to have a resource section in the forum where people can start threads about specific resources. I do not believe that that is the way to go because experience tells me that once a thread is no longer displayed on the first page of a forum, it is submerged, below the radar, off to Nirwana, or whatever you like. The purpose of a collection of especially useful resources, however, is to provide an easily accessible and visible overview.

The idea of a sticky thread is the way to go, in my opinion. Nice idea, IreneY! As for pster's comment that the list may not be comprehensive enough, I believe that no one really expects such a thing. Anyway, such a list is not supposed to list all resources (at least not the way I imagine it), but rather list a few of the best ones, some sort of Best of or Greatest Hits. Amassing links is what other web-sites are better in. This sticky thread should be about turning data into information. Categorizing shouldn't be that much of a problem either, as I am not talking about a list which is gargantuan, about 10 entries per category as a maximum. And categorizing wouldn't strictly be necessary unless the inclusion of the resource in question is finally decided on.

A "Resources" thread would be useful for a different purpose as well. To collect pointers to especially useful postings.

If we think that this is the right thing to do, we need to do the following:

  1. Discuss and make a decision concerning the voting mechanism. Otherwise the discussion in the "Suggestions"-thread might go on till kingdom come.
  2. Create a categorization scheme.
  3. Agree on the number of entries per category.

IreneY wrote:We can all post suggestions in the RS one and then it'll be the Admin's and Mod's job to sort through them and post them in the closed R thread.


I definitely do not subscribe to that suggestion. Both the Administrator(s) and the Moderators probably already have enough to do. For, in order to do "sort through them" they would have to visit the web-site and look at it closely enough to form an educated opinion. That is too much to expect.

As for Task 2: A possible Categorization scheme might look like this (for XYZ insert respective Language, e.g. "Latin"):

  • Recommended Books
    • Dictionaries: excluding online query-versions like the online version of Whitaker's Words
    • Grammars: books containing merely the grammar of XYZ but not intended by themselves for learning XYZ
    • Text books: books for learning XYZ
    • Commentaries: readers with commentaries concerning grammar (and ideally also content)
    • Antiquities: books providing information about the cultural background (both material and immaterial) of the respective cultural, often necessary for proper immersion in the language.
  • Web-Resources
    • Meta sites: web sites merely containing links to other sites
    • Text repositories: e.g Archive.org or Perseus
    • Online-Dictionaries: the online version of dictionaries like Whitaker's Words which can be queried via some sort of form.
    • Learning XYZ: e.g. didactical web-sites, tools for practising morphology, word lists
  • Texkit-postings

I included the category Recommended Books/Commentaries because there exist many versions of some books, but only one or two of which are really good and containing commentaries. Such a category would make it easier to find, for example, a good version of Cornelius Nepos' Vitae.
This is only a rough draft, of course (and to a certain degree based on user cb's wonderful posting about "how to learn to read fluently Attic Greek").

Further sub-categories might make sense. "Recommended Books/Dictionaries" might, for example, be further subdivided into "XYZ->English", "English->XYZ", "Thesauri" (dictionaries of synonyms), "Other" (including monolingual dictionaries in XYZ, phrase books). However, how much sub-categorization is good? Other major categories may be necessary, too (e.g. Contemporary Latin).

As for Task 3: one might set the items/category to 10. Although in some categories less (or more) might be sensible. This number should be fluid. A good resource should not be left out just because the list is already full. On the other hand, however, it has to prevented that the list size gets out of hand.

Valete,

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Re: Making a resources sticky thread: What do you think?

Postby Hampie » Sat May 07, 2011 1:23 pm

Please, let this not be only about Greek! I think that Latin too, deserves to be included as it has a lot of resourses available too. I also think that the motto quality over quantity deserves to be mentioned. Listing everything Greek and Latin serves no purpose if one has to wade trough mud to find useful things. I.e. a book that no one can say ‹I used this, this was good› then it deserves not to be on the list.
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Re: Making a resources sticky thread: What do you think?

Postby pster » Sat May 07, 2011 4:53 pm

@ Carolus. I wasn't saying one couldn't come up with something good. But I was saying that such projects are not easy. Indeed, by the end of your comment you seem to worry yourself about things getting out of hand.

Another problem that hasn't been touched upon is how such a thing will get modified. If somebody stumbles across a great web site, then what are they to do? Send PM's to somebody to add some link? I dunno.

Lastly, you are completely right about the first page being the only page that people look at most of the time. BUT, a resource section is a totally different kind of section. I'm reasonably confident that--especially in a small community--people would go to the next page given all the nuggets they see on the first page. And this would be a lot easier than what you guys are contemplating.

Anyway, I'm not trying to deter anybody from doing this. Irene asked what people thought and I gave my opinion. Once upon a time I worked at a software company that categorized items in trees and so I have a keen sense of how hard it is to organize information. Indeed, organizing information is very close to thinking itself and if it were straightforward we would all be a lot smarter than we are. :) But good luck and I promise to be first in line to click on all your great links!
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Re: Making a resources sticky thread: What do you think?

Postby IreneY » Mon May 09, 2011 7:13 am

Argh, argh, argh! I wrote a huge post, talked with my husband for a bit, and forgot to copy the damned thing before hitting "Submit". I was logged out and everything's gone :(

Let's try again:

a) A forum dedicated to discussions about resources that would include stickies and would have stricter rules would indeed give us room for extended reviews and discussions, comparison of different methods books and so on and so forth. Not that this is not doable in the existing forums but it will be much trickier. However I am just a moderator. In other words, just a facilitator. Creating a sticky is right up my alley. Creating a new forum is something I cannot do and is most certainly not my place to do anyway :D That is why I'm not talking about a sub-forum dedicated to resources.

b) I wasn't talking about an end all be all kind of sticky. To begin with, we will have to include a prominent disclaimer that this is just what member suggested so as not to have problems with any laws or anything about advertising (ergo the "no links to online shops" thingy I included in my first post). Secondly, that's a near impossible task. If you know any reliable sites with such information, just tell me about them and I'll just sticky a post linking to them :)

c) It will have to be locked or heavily moderated. I believe no discussion should take place there. It's data only. I'm for discussions but they should happen in a separate thread. Questions about the suggestions in other threads too (not in the suggestions one either by the way). So we either lock it, or the mods will have to check every day and delete posts (and trust me. there will be posts that shouldn't be there). Mods and admins can edit posts whenever they want so any modification will have to be through them anyway. I know it sounds bad and I hope it doesn't look like I'm power hungry or anything!
Criticism is welcome as always.
Anyway, let's say you find a great site for grammar. You post it at the suggestions thread. If it's accepted (more below) a mod or admin can add it.

d) When it comes for organizing I was in fact thinking something like what Carolus suggested. For instance:
Free
Dictionaries

Greek <-> English
1. Irene.com Good if you have nothing else and you don't wince at horrible mistakes in English (description can be longer but no more than a short paragraph by the way)
2.pster.com Excellent for Attic Greek. Includes table of irregular verbs. Unparalleled section on Platonic vocabulary.

Greek<-> Swedish
1. Hampie.com. Words cannot describe how good this one is. Honestly, learn Swedish so you can use it.

Books
Grammar
1.
2.
3.
XYZ
1.
2.
3.
Other
Carolus Raeticus . A book about those crazy Greeks who spent their time trying to figure out if truth is beauty and beauty is truth by a practical, you-think-I'm-overdoing-it-with-this-road-but-people-a-thousand-years-from-now-will-thank-me Roman.

d) I obviously think it's something both Greek and Latin forums will benefit from. Since however I never re-visited my Latin studies I try to stay away from the Latin forums as much as I can. Think of the Greek forums as guinea pigs if you wish :D

e) How do we choose which ones go in? My idea goes like this: I suggest Irene.com. A certain amount (how many?) post that it's actually rubbish. Not included.
Someone suggests XYZ.com. Others post that it is great though it's dictionary is not good for Koine Greek. Posted with that note included in the description (XYZ: great grammar and dictionary section though dictionary is not so good for Koine Greek).
Something like that. It's the thorniest issue of them all if you ask me.

Hope I didn't forget anything this time around.
There are two reasons I'm not starting it yet. I believe that this is going to succeed only if the community is behind it. Else, it's doomed before it begins. Secondly, I want people to post their ideas and their criticism. Imagine overlooking something crucial and having to fix it afterward. That won't be fun at all!
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Re: Making a resources sticky thread: What do you think?

Postby pster » Tue May 10, 2011 3:15 pm

So how many items are you thinking of? As I mentioned in another thread, I found a great 10 page pdf giving the development of verb endings. http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~cwconrad/d ... ekVerb.pdf
Would there be a place for such an item on your resources sticky? :|
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Re: Making a resources sticky thread: What do you think?

Postby IreneY » Wed May 11, 2011 8:42 am

Why wouldn't it make it? It's extremely interesting, we'd be fools to leave it out (I think). In other words, I would second your proposal (mod votes don't count for extra mind you. Jeff's does though :D )

Look, any number of resources we agree on, will only be a guideline. Let's say we agree on 20 Greek<->English dictionaries and there are 25. We'd have to be crazy to not include the rest. Even if there are 50 excellent dictionaries we'd include them. On the other hand, there are way too many dictionaries in general. Shouldn't we draw the line somewhere? Start weeding out those that aren't all that great?
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Re: Making a resources sticky thread: What do you think?

Postby cb » Wed May 11, 2011 9:49 am

hi irene, i don't want to interrupt your thoughts on this because i think that any work that you and others put into this will be v useful – but this project reminds me of something which used to exist on the net a few yrs ago, and which can be recovered through the wayback machine by going back to about 2006, and so not many people might know about it:

http://classic-web.archive.org/web/2006 ... her.co.uk/

along the side of that site there are the types of categories you mention, and in each category the classics teacher has listed the key books and his own opinions on each. it's through this site that i discovered donovan on advanced grk prose comp years ago. unless this info is revived on the net somewhere it'll probably be forgotten.

so one way you might think about starting a project like this would be to copy out all the info from that site, include links to the books that are online (lots of them are), and then perhaps for the books he doesn't mention you could add your own descriptions like you mention above or pull them from elsewhere (eg in the textkit site itself there are descriptions of about a para or two on the books available for download from textkit)…

cheers, chad :)
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Re: Making a resources sticky thread: What do you think?

Postby pster » Sun May 15, 2011 6:44 pm

What do you want us to do Irene? Should I PM you links that I like? What is the process?
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Re: Making a resources sticky thread: What do you think?

Postby Hampie » Mon May 16, 2011 1:59 pm

Let’s begin, no reason to wait? The links can always be structured afterwards :).
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Re: Making a resources sticky thread: What do you think?

Postby IreneY » Mon May 16, 2011 11:56 pm

Sorry for the delay everyone, real life was rather hectic these past few days.
I was hoping for more interest but maybe it'll be generated after we start the whole thing?
How about I just make a "Resources suggestions" thread tomorrow or later today (I'm still pretty beat up) to begin with? Anyone who'd rather PM me can do so of course but I think it's better to have all the links in public display.
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Re: Making a resources sticky thread: What do you think?

Postby Hampie » Tue May 17, 2011 3:28 pm

IreneY wrote:Sorry for the delay everyone, real life was rather hectic these past few days.
I was hoping for more interest but maybe it'll be generated after we start the whole thing?
How about I just make a "Resources suggestions" thread tomorrow or later today (I'm still pretty beat up) to begin with? Anyone who'd rather PM me can do so of course but I think it's better to have all the links in public display.

Do it :D
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