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Re: [gNewSense-users] Website skin updated

From: Sam Geeraerts
Subject: Re: [gNewSense-users] Website skin updated
Date: Tue, 03 Mar 2009 23:20:30 +0100
User-agent: Thunderbird (X11/20090105)

auto generate schreef:
help.  I haven't actually offered to help, but I am now.  I want to
help.  I can write clearly and logically.  I'm a non-technical person.
I would like to help add some explanations where a non-technical person
might need them.  I thought that I might need to work with a technical
person closely in doing this, because he/she would have to explain
things to me.  I am willing to learn how to do technical things that
will allow me to do this kind of work without using the technical
person's time 100% of the time.  For example, learning how to edit the
Wiki, although I don't know anything I would do there.  I generally want
to help, but don't have any specific ideas.  I know it's been difficult
for me because programming is not my thing.  Maybe there's nothing I can
do. Maybe I need guidance (duh).

Being able to write clearly and logically is a valuable skill. It's not one of my strong points, which is why I don't do much work on documenation in the wiki.

Learning how to edit the wiki is not hard. In fact, the whole purpose of wikis is to make editing easy. Read the formatting rules [1] and experiment as much as you want in the sandbox [2]. You'll be amazed at how quickly you can pick it up, even without technical skills.

Once you get the hang of it you can start with small maintenance tasks (I'm sure there are still lots of spelling/grammar mistakes all over the place). If you feel more confident you make the documentation more accessible by getting the structure into some sane shape.

You don't always have to understand all the words on a page to know how it should find into the whole. And if there are things that you feel do require more technical knowledge, just ask about it on the mailing list. That would bring it to the attention of people who would otherwise not have seen it or would not have cared as much about it to do something about it. It could also make people think "hey, I know the answer to that, I can help" and so would go from regular user to active contributor.

So don't dissmiss your own capabilities that easily. Anyone can help. If you don't know how to get started, ask for help. If you haven't gotten an answer after a while (or one that satisfied you), ask again, but be more specific (about skills, interests, things you think could use more help, ...) or ask on a different communication channel. Don't take on too much at once, but don't be afraid to make mistakes either. If people point out your mistakes, don't take it personally, but think about their criticism.

I'm starting to sound like that Baz Luhrmann record, so I'll just stop here.


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