User Participation

From Emergency 2.0 Wiki

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Guidlines adapted from the Collabforge FutureMelbourne Wiki site, with thanks from the Emergency 2.0 Wiki team.

To write or edit content for the Wiki, you will need to register on the Emergency 2.0 Wiki LinkedIn Group.


Conditions, Policies and Guidelines for User Participation

The Emergency 2.0 Wiki web sites are subject to the Conditions of Use. You should read those Conditions of Use before participating in the Emergency 2.0 Wiki project.

The policies listed on this page are standards for participation that all participants should follow. The guidelines are more advisory and represent suggestions that we think will enhance your experience as well as the project's collaborative process. While both policies and guidelines need to be approached with common sense, those who contribute in good faith, are civil and work towards the goal of creating a great wiki will find a welcoming environment.

  • Note: The policies and guidelines developed at over its years of collaborative development and governance have heavily influenced those below. In some cases they have been directly adapted and modified. In accordance with Wikipedia's licensing conditions, the the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License applies to any such modified Wikipedia material contained on this page, and as a result, all text on this page is available under these same terms. The Emergency 2.0 Wiki acknowledges the important role Wikipedia has played in advancing collaborative practice and the evolution of wiki governance.



Participate in a respectful and civil way. Do not ignore the positions and conclusions of others. Try to discourage others from being uncivil, and avoid upsetting people wherever possible. We define incivility roughly as, personally-targeted, belligerent behavior and rudeness that results in an atmosphere of conflict and stress.

Our code of civility states plainly that people must act with civility toward one another. It is accepted that participants are human, and a few, minor, isolated incidents are not in themselves a problem. A pattern of gross incivility, however, is highly disruptive, and may result in warnings or blocks. Of course, one single act of incivility can also cross the line if bad enough; for instance, an extreme personal attack, a threat against another person, or severe profanity directed against another contributor are all excessive enough that they may result in a block without any need to consider the pattern.

Criticise ideas, not people

While critical engagement with the plan is strongly encouraged, please do not make personal attacks anywhere on this site. Comment on content, not on the contributor. Personal attacks or criticism of the personal characteristics of participants will not help you make a point; they hurt the Emergency 2.0 Wiki community and deter participants from creating and publishing useful information on the Wiki.


We respect your creative impulses and even encourage them, however the content on this site must be geared in one way or another towards the development of the Emergency 2.0 Wiki. There are a great deal of other sites which can accommodate your creative interests should they not be oriented towards this purpose, such as:,, etc.

If you encounter content which is obviously vandalism, please delete it. If you are unsure, or would rather someone else deal with it, please email the URL and a brief description to Emergency 2.0 Wiki admin team, or tag the material as offensive and it will be reviewed by the Reference Group for that page.


Spam will not be tolerated in any form. If you encounter content which is obviously spam, please delete it. If you are unsure, or would rather someone else deal with it, please email the URL and a brief description to Emergency 2.0 Wiki admin team, or tag the material as offensive and it will be reviewed by the Emergency 2.0 Wiki team/Reference Group for that page.


Consensus is an inherent part of the wiki process. Consensus is typically reached as a natural product of the editing process; generally someone makes a change or addition to a page, and then everyone who reads the page has an opportunity to either leave the page as it is or change it. In essence, silence implies consent, if there is adequate exposure to the community. So please speak up if you disagree with something you read on this site.

Use the discussion pages to discuss improvements to the Wiki, and to form consensus concerning the editing of a page. In cases where consensus is particularly hard to find, please flag it with the Reference Group for the page(checkout the Contributors Info Box on the top right corner). They will help mediate.

No copyright material

Material which infringes other copyrights must not be added. Do not add content to this site if you think that doing so may be a copyright violation. Contributors should take steps to remove any copyright violations that they find. However linking to copyrighted works is encouraged (e.g. sources) and permission is not required.

Please refer to the Copyright section of the Conditions of Use for more information.

If you are looking for freely usable media files, there are a number of sites where you can find some, such as:

Off topic / irrelevant content

Exactly what constitutes off topic or irrelevant material is difficult to describe. Nevertheless, if you encounter content which is obviously off topic or irrelevant, please delete it or address it on a discussion page. If you are unsure, or would rather someone else deal with it, please email the URL and a brief description to the Emergency 2.0 Wiki admin team, or tag the material as offensive and it will be reviewed by the Emergency 2.0 Wiki team and relevant Reference Group.

Use your real name

Please use your real name when registering. The Emergency 2.0 Wiki reputation and the integrity of the information provided is reliant on the ability to link back to the professional credentials of contributors (via LinkedIn).

No sock-puppetry

Sock-puppetry is "an online identity used for purposes of deception within an Internet community." Sock-puppetry is not an acceptable form of behaviour on this site and in general, multiple registrations is not allowed. If you believe that one or more participants are sock puppets, please email their username(s) to the Emergency 2.0 Wiki admin team and the matter will be investigated by the relevant Reference Group and Emergency 2.0 Wiki team.


Discussion guidelines

The purpose of this site's discussion pages (notice the tab in the upper right corner of every page) are to provide space for general comments regarding the content of the associated plan page. Discussion is an important part of collaborative editing because it helps all participants to understand the progress and evolution of a work.

If you are unsure whether or not your thoughts are relevant or warrant contribution, go ahead and post them anyway in the spirit of participation - if there happens to be a more appropriate location for your ideas, it is likely someone will notice and let you know (this collaboration environment works best when the community works together to organise its content). Remember when writing that this is a public site and that everything communicated in this space should be suitable for a general audience.

Contribution on discussion pages may take the form of (but are not limited to):

  • Opinions and discussion regarding the content of the associated plan page.
  • Suggestions of possible changes, modifications or developments of its associated plan page.
  • Notification and or discussion of changes to its associated plan page.
  • Links to other online material relevant to the associated plan page's content.

Layout for Discussion pages

  1. Start new points at the bottom of the topic: if you put a post at the top it is confusing and can also get easily overlooked. The latest discussion point should be the one at the bottom of the topic. Then the next post will go underneath yours and so on. This makes it easy to see the chronological order of posts.
  2. Use a headings (level 2) to indicate new discussion points. Be sure to read over the existing discussion to make sure that the point hasn't already been introduced. If it has, simply join in that discussion by adding your thoughts under the last contribution, or, by inserting your contribution using a bullet point so that it will stand out from the existing content. (This is also called 'threading' the discussion, enabling it to branch in different directions in a way that is easy to read.)
  3. Sign your posts. Signing your post is important for many reasons - it helps indicate where one voice begins and ends and helps provides context for that point of view. It is also easy to do, simply copy and paste the signature line that appears at the bottom of the edit window frame every time you are in edit mode to the bottom of your entry, separated by an empty line. Edits on plan pages should not be signed - the article is a shared work based on the contributions of many people and one participant should not be singled out above others.

Be bold

Emergency 2.0 Wiki encourages participants to be bold when editing pages. If you see something that can be improved, or have an idea, do not hesitate to add it. You do not need to read any rules before contributing to the Wiki. If you do what seems sensible, it will likely be right, and if it's not right, don't worry - every mistake can be easily corrected: older versions of a page remain in the revision history and can be restored. There is a Reference Group for each page (checkout the Contributors Info Box on the top right corner) which will be keeping an eye on the development of the pages. If there is a problem with your changes, we will talk about it on the discussion pages and figure out what to do.

Mass collaborative projects such as this one develop faster when everybody helps to fix problems, correct grammar, add facts and make sure the wording is accurate - every edit is important no matter how small because they all add up! And, of course, others here will edit what you write too. Please do not take it personally. They, like all of us, just want to make the Wiki as good as it can possibly be. So don't worry. Be bold, and enjoy helping to build the Emergency 2.0 Wiki vision!

Connect with others

The strength of a wiki is that it provides a means for many people to come together around a common objective. You have joined a global community of practice of professionals from the emergency sector, government, NGO, academia and business, collaborating on this critical and groundbreaking project! You are encouraged to connect and collaborate with the community by:

  • Reviewing and commenting on Wiki content on the "Discussion" tabs - also, don't hesitate to post questions
  • Contributing to LinkedIn Group discussions and sharing news
  • Sharing your ideas for innovation via the LinkedIn Group discussions and the Wiki Ideas Workbench
  • Commenting on the Blog posts
  • Joining the @emergency20wikiTwitter conversation (using #em20wiki, #smem)

Build the web

'Build the Web' is the concept of connecting relevant ideas on one page to other pages within the plan, as well as to external sites, by means of hyper links.

For more on creating links, see the 'Help' page.

Dispute Resolution

Listed in order of escalation:

1. Focus on content & discuss with the other party

If you disagree with what you read, use the relevant discussion page to explain your perspective and explore the ideas behind your objection (or support) for a contribution. Engage in friendly debate and strive to find a solution which represents as many perspectives as possible.

2. Request a comment

If you are discussing an issue with another contributor and are having difficulty resolving your differences, you can ask for expert opinion. You can do this by emailing the Emergency 2.0 Wiki admin team and the Emergency 2.0 Wiki team will do its best to refer an expert to your discussion. However you should only expect a brief comment and it may take several days for a response, so please be patient.

3. Mediation

If tempers are running hot, and or an expert's comment fails to resolve the issue, you can ask the Emergency 2.0 Wiki team to mediate the discussion by emailing the Emergency 2.0 Wiki admin team. In this case, the Emergency 2.0 Wiki team will do its best to facilitate an equitable outcome.

4. Arbitration

In extreme cases where discussion fails to resolve a dispute, and where the dispute is disrupting the process or project's objectives, the relevant Reference Group will arbitrate. In such circumstances they will consider the issues at stake and issue a decision in consultation with expert opinion. If the issue is decided by arbitration, you will be expected to abide by the result.

Guide to Basic Netiquette

  • [?cover=print#Terms_Internet_Slang Terms / Internet Slang]
  • [?cover=print#Rules_of_Thumb Rules of Thumb]
  • [?cover=print#Emoticons Emoticons]
  • [?cover=print#Acronyms_Abbreviations Acronyms & Abbreviations]

Netiquette, a contraction of 'network etiquette', has been evolving since the earliest days of networked computers (i.e. before the internet) and its reach spans a wide range of media such as email and email groups, online forums, mobile texting (SMS), instant messaging (IRC), virtual works (e.g. Second Life) and of course, wikis. Indeed, to some degree, every community whose communications are electronically mediated are likely to have their own netiquette conventions and norms.

While this page does not aim to be an exhaustive reference on the subject, it does aim to provide you with a few basic guidelines that can help you to avoid social blunders, confusion, irritation and even conflict if your message is misunderstood. If you feel that something is missing here that should be included, please add it to the [/wiki/view/FMPlan/BasicNetiquetteDiscussion discussion page] for consideration.

See also the Emergency 2.0 Wiki 'Policies and Guidelines'.

Terms / Internet Slang

Here's a handful of general internet slang terms:

  • Newbie / noob / n00b / nooblet / noobcake - a slang term for a newcomer to an Internet activity and/or environment. This term is often derogatory, so be careful with usage.
  • Troll/Trolling - a person who contributes controversial and usually irrelevant or off-topic content with the purpose of baiting others into an emotional response or to generally disrupt normal on-topic discussion.
  • Baiter/Baiting - a baiter (similar to a troll) tries to lure an unsuspecting participant into some form of response with the aim of embarrassing the respondent for the purposes of entertaining others. This is a form of cyberbullying.
  • Lurker/Lurking - someone who reads but rarely contributes. While this term, usually applied to online forums and email groups, sounds derogatory, it isn't. In fact, we recognise lurking as a valid and important form of online participation (of course we'd really like to know your thoughts as well!).
  • Flaming - angry or insulting messages from people who have strong feelings about a subject, usually not constructive as they do not clarify a discussion or persuade others. Flaming unchecked can deteriorate web based relations to the point of forming deep rifts between collaborators.
  • Sock puppetry - the use of fake online identities, often multiple identities registered by a single individual, "to praise, defend or create the illusion of support for one's self, allies" or ideas.

Rules of Thumb

Below is a short list of netiquette 'rules of thumb' especially relevant for the Emergency 2.0 Wiki project.

  • Text in capitals means you are shouting
    • It can be tempting to write something in capitals in order to make it stand out, such as, 'FIX THIS TYPO', however a very well established netiquitte norm is to interpret capitals as shouting. Therefore something such as the previous example can go from a formatting cue, to an insult very easily. If you want your text to stand out, you might try using colours.
  • Reread before you save; think before you post; know it before you speak it
    • These are all closely related suggestions which essentially urge you to consider your contributions before publishing them. While we aren't too fussed about you getting your thoughts perfect the first time around, giving your edits a few more seconds of consideration before you click save can save someone's time and energy in querying your meaning or correcting your typos.
  • How would you feel if you saw your words in a newspaper?
    • It is critical to remember that while internet based media often feels private it is not. In fact, posting to this site has more potential reach than any newspaper, and not only that, but often other forms of media such as newspapers quote from the internet. So please ensure that you are comfortable sharing your ideas with the rest of the world.
  • What if the person you were speaking to was in the same room?
    • Similar to the above point, it can be easy to forget that even though it may seem unlikely that someone specific would ever read what you're writing, they may. If you use someone's name for instance, that reference could be found using Google - not that anyone ever Google's their own name of course (otherwise known as 'egosurfing').
  • Lurk before you leap
    • This is a norm common to email groups and forums. While it has relevance in those contexts, we're not so worried about it here. Just jump right in and learn as you go. We are very committed to maintaining welcoming environment for all no matter what your experience with netiquette.

How you can participate

There are four main ways to get involved in the Emergency 2.0 Wiki:

  1. Reading - read and review the contents of the Wiki to see if there are content areas you are able to assist with.
  2. Editing - help us improve the Wiki by directly editing the content.
  3. Authoring - creating and publishing your own original content.
  4. Discussion - add your thoughts, comments and ideas to the Discussion pages located throughout the site.


To quickly gather a general overview of the the Emergency 2.0 Wiki structure you can visit the Table of Contents page.

You may also be interested in reading the various discussions associated with every page in this wiki (see the 'Discussion' tab in the upper right hand corner of each page). Answers to questions asked by others, as well as ongoing discussions may shed more light on the associated topic.


Generally speaking, editing is as simple as clicking the 'Edit' tab at the top of every page (assuming you've registered), making your changes and then clicking 'Save' at the bottom of the edit window. Nearly every page within the Emergency 2.0 Wiki can be edited, except the home page.

What and how you choose to edit may vary widely. For example, you might:

  • contribute new ideas to existing content,
  • contribute to the discussion pages - comment on the Wiki's content and discuss it with others,
  • proof Wiki content - fixing typos, correcting spelling errors, improving readability etc,
  • Build the web] of links from one page to other pages, as well as to external websites.
  • Please add your own suggestions here, or to the discussion page.

I've modified the Wiki, what happens now?

Any edits you make will appear immediately after you save your changes. Other Wiki users may undertake further edits that affect your changes. It is up to you to follow the development of your Wiki content to ensure it reflects your original intentions. If you make a substantial change it's a good idea to discuss your edits in the Discussion page attached to each page of the Wiki. If you justify your changes with supporting evidence then there's a greater chance they will remain throughout the life of the Wiki.

The Emergency 2.0 Wiki is a world first on this scale for collaborative participation within this subject area and as such, there are no strict guidelines on how such a task should be undertaken.


Discussion is an important part of participating in the Emergency 2.0 Wiki project. To participate in a discussion just click the "Discussion" tab on the page you're interested in and then click "Edit" to contribute your thoughts. The discussion pages enable you to engage in discussion not only with other public participants, but also the Wiki Steering Committee, Working Group members and other stakeholders.

This opens up the possibility to reach more deep and complex conclusions than the traditional approach of simply leaving a comment on a website, or sending an email. (Although you can still communicate with us in this way if you like. We hope you will take up this valuable opportunity to share your ideas and explore how to better represent your interests through discussion with others. For more on how to edit discussion topics, see [Participation Policies and Guidelines].

Style Guide

This page is under development and needs expansion. Please feel free to add relevant and timely content, following the Emergency 2.0 Wiki Style Guide.
  • Every top level page should have an info box with the contributors names. Use ~~~ to get your user name to be saved.
  • Every page should have a breadcrumb back to higher level pages all the way back to the main page

Emergency 2.0 Wiki Style Guide

The purpose of this wiki is to provide practical guidelines on how to use social media in emergencies. We have produced this style guide to help you with writing the wiki:

  • Content must be in simple plain English.
  • Content must be easy to read, and to read quickly and when under pressure eg during an emergency.
  • Bullets are to be used wherever possible, to enable quick scanning of content
  • Screenshots of examples should also be incorporated where needed
  • This page has a global audience so avoid terms or ‘slang’ that would be difficult for people in other countries to understand.
  • Use links to other pages in the Wiki where you can
  • You are encouraged to refer to or link to relevant case studies or published articles (including blogs) that provide examples. This will also add to the credibility of the guidelines. Also add these to the ‘Further reading’ section and ‘External links’ section at the bottom of the page
  • Do not use capitals unless necessary (it is seen as shouting) and expand all acronyms in the first instance, followed by the acronym in brackets: eg Emergency Management Australia (EMA)
  • Spell check the page before publishing
  • For an example page, please visit Wiki Tips for the Public – How to prepare for an emergency.
  • Add relevant references to the page such as case studies, reports, guidelines, further reading, reports, external links to key sites

You may also follow the principles in Wikipedia's Manual of Style unless inconsistent with the Emergency 2.0 Wiki's style guide.

Contributor information

Contributor Info
Reference Group name of the reference group
Contributors Comma, Separated, Contributors, Rae Allen

To add the contributor info box to your page place {{Infobox |title = Contributor Info |label1 = Reference Group |data1 = name of the reference group |label2 = Contributors |data2 = Comma, Separated, Contributors, [[User:RaeAllen | Rae Allen]] }} into the page. See the box to the right as an example. Put a line break before each pipe (|)

Descriptors for the top of the page

Please put a descriptor at the top of the page which enables people to quickly see what stage the page is at and how they can help.

They are as follows:


This page is a stub and needs expansion. Please feel free to add content following the Emergency 2.0 Wiki Style Guide.
  • Every top level page should have an info box with the contributors names. Use ~~~ to get your user name to be saved.
  • Every page should have a breadcrumb back to higher level pages all the way back to the main page

To add this to your page place {{Stub}} into the top of the page

Under development

This page is under development and needs expansion. Please feel free to add relevant and timely content, following the Emergency 2.0 Wiki Style Guide.
  • Every top level page should have an info box with the contributors names. Use ~~~ to get your user name to be saved.
  • Every page should have a breadcrumb back to higher level pages all the way back to the main page

To add this to your page place {{under development}} into the top of the page

Ready for Review

This page is completed and ready for peer review, discussion and editing. You are free to edit and improve this page. If your edit substantially changes the content direction of the page, please include your rationale for this edit in the discussion page.

To add this to your page place {{Ready for review}} into the top of the page

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