YWAMKnowledgeBase:Sprint 2010 Report

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The second YWAMKB Sprint has been a great success. Many thanks to our hosts: YWAM Berlin, who opened their building to us and their hearts. We enjoyed being there and the enviroment helpful. Thanks also for the warm friendship and willingness to act as Guinea Pigs for us as we conducted some usability tests.

The feel of this Sprint was very much directed to helping users engage with the site. We gave special thought to non-English users. We also looked at restructuring and ordering the articles. We have some new style ideas and lots of work set for the coming weeks. We also have a number of smaller improvements and a clearer plan to outreach to potential new contributors, especially those in YWAM schools of communication and design etc.


To meet together as a virtual team has been nice but our face-to-face time in Berlin was much more enjoyable. We took time to pray and share together as well and encourage one another each morning. This was a great start to the day and we often found God challenging our hearts and attitudes.

We set the agenda each day from the thoughts of the previous months, from presentations we made for each other and just out of the flow of conversation.

We caught up with Steve via Skype and had a good chat as he could not be with us this time due to family reasons.

Our Awards Ceremony was low key. We met in a Pizza bar in East Berlin. Steve was represented by a Gummy Bear. Not an unreasonable approximation. It was clear that we all bring different qualities to the KB and we all felt that our differences were complimentary. We recognised the feelings of loneliness we can feel when we edit the KB on our own: we have all had different issues that have occupied us very fully and made giving time to the project hard. The encouragement of meeting face to face and appreciation of our contributions brought a much needed boost of encouragement.

We were also inspired by the TED Video of "How to start a Movement". We often feel much like the "lone nuts" and the "crazy early adopters" in the video. Although we are certain a "tipping point" will come. We noted that the spread of ages in the core editors is 50 > 40 > 30 > 20 and we arrived in that order. Hence we anticipate that a teenager or two may well enter the core editors group next!


10/6/10: 566 Pages (+1), 333 Users (+5), 580,033 Page Views (+10,179), 11,607 Edits (+569)

According the KB's activity logs we have gained one new page of content in the last three very intense days! This seems to be a rather small gain. However, is represents the thrust of this Sprint which has been about Usability and Content structure rather than fresh content. Actually there were dozens more pages produced in other areas of the wiki that don't get counted! However, when you see that we have made 569 edits (about 3 months worth on 3 days) you can see the title of SPRINT is deserved. Also 10,179 pages were viewed, which is about half a months worth of extra viewing.

Non-English Readers

One of the most often questions we recognised we are asked is What about translation of articles into other languages?. Whilst we are often asked this there is a corresponding lack of offers to translate! However, we are not a mono-lingual mission but multi-lingual and we do concern our-selves with the "Mind The Gap" principle.

How our language trees will drop off and become an orchard
To that end we have christened a new term: "An Orchard of Wiki's" to describe the vision for many KB's each in a the heart language of the owners. This vision is explained in YWAMKnowledgeBase:Multiple Languages.

We also replaced the offer of Google Translation, recognising the potential for offence for native non-English language speakers with a box that explains with languages are currently offered and how many articles in those languages.

We also have imported the Wikibooks rating scheme which allows us to tag an article with a percentage of completion. This is a clear signal to a potential translator that commencing work on that article would be worthwhile.

Tasks to do:

  • Clarify the way of titling and grouping translations of articles.
  • Outline the Core articles (help, policies and such) so that a translation team have obvious first steps.
  • Create a template system to help with finding translations of pages, once complete


We had a lot of fun conducting usability tests on the YWAMKB. It was a fascinating experience and incredibly helpful in understanding the frustrations and joys of interacting with the site. We used the following test (YWAMKnowledgeBase:Usability Test)

Guinea pig.png
Guinea-pig feedback

We got such a wealth of feedback that we immediately got to work improving the site. We tested another user who was twice as fast in completing the test after that but confounded us by ignoring our helpful video too. Conclusion: don't assume we understand our users!!!

  • One user clearly would have valued a short Jazzy video on main page telling how to search and how to get editing. We produced a cheap and cheerful mock up, that thrilled the user and seems to have delighted others too! - TO DELEGATE
  • Difficulties finding how to edit a page- edit needs to take unlogged in user to register / log in - DONE
  • Log in needs to be top right by convention - that is where users look. - DONE
  • Searching could be smarter - suggest mis-spellings and close hits. - Examined and several extensions may help ([1], [Extension:Lucene-search] and [2]. BUT they are complicated solutions. The Ez extensions seems very problematic. But the Lucene search is already implemented on WP. BUT this is somewhat enterprise level! What about a Google search or is that a cop out?
  • Searching with one key word gets better results than many words - this should change - not all but as many of words... (Not sure how this is to be done)
  • Help namespace needs to be in default search too! - DONE and category

Style and Re-structuring

We have long known that the articles in the KB are badly organised. There are several problems:

  • Poor categorisation
  • Introduction pages sometimes in Category NS and sometimes in Main NS.
  • Poor Titles don't inform the reader of the content!
  • Over-categorisation - e.g. we had about 80 pages in DTS, a dozen had no real interest for those interested in DTS knowledge.
  • Key articles start with abreviations: e.g. SOE. The key article should be School of Evangelism with a re-dirction page SOE pointing to it.

We also have three general groups of articles:

  1. YWAM Papers, policies, values and core documents that do not need "improving".
    • Official YWAM documents (two types? Values and Best Practices/Policies?)
    • Official National YWAM Documents
    • These pages require no collaborative effort to develop but probably could be locked and marked with a Padlock icon like this:
      AJ Padlock.svg This page can only be edited by Administrators AJ Padlock.svg
    • We think we need to ask how we can reassure leaders we are responsible in what we post. (Padlock might help alongside protecting documents - admin. rights are available!!!)
  1. Community contributions (the bulk of articles) that need lots of improvements and collaboration. e.g. New Teams.
  2. "Meta" articles: Community pages, help pages, about pages, pages presenting our selves to General Public etc. These help develop the KB project and present it.
Notes about the sections at Sprint 2010
We imagine this in a tree form in our orchard.

On-going Question: How to help YWAMers to understand and value written knowledge alongside revelation.

Site navigation

Style guide

We saw the need for a style guide to help users know how to structure and present articles. For example to answer the question : A category page - is it a main page for an article or what? How do we organise?

Help:Style Guide is probably place for this.

  • Retrieved articles from posted on other sites should have a template {{RetrievedFrom|url|date}} placed at bottom of page to show origin. DONE =
  This page was originally retrieved from http://www.ywamkb.net on 9 June 2010.  

Re-structuring Categories is probably the most vital part of this.

We have a new structure to which each category has a Key Article associated. The Category displays only a Template pointing the this Key Article.

The Key Article has a template pointing to the Category but then provides an readable introduction to the subject with human edited links to any sub-categories or key articles (e.g. DTS Outreach sub-category, DTS Syllabus etc.)

We decided to try our ideas on the DTS and invented several sub-categories. Me moved all files except some core ones into them. Final task is to re-write the DTS page and document the process on the Style Guide. (see Help:Style Guide/Key Article)
Kevin and Pitpat jabbering

General Public

YWAMKB really ought to be on an Intranet and not public. HOWEVER, we don't have one of those. But, we do need to consider how the General Public perceives us and what questions they have. Plus, we are Christians and Missionaries so perhaps should outreach to our non-Christian audience?

We brainstormed some questions that should be answered:

  1. What is this site about?
  2. Who is writing it? (not employees but members of a movement of missionaries)
  3. what is YWAM?
  4. How did it begin?
  5. How is it structured
  6. How does YWAM fund itself?
  7. What is a missionary organisation?
  8. Are you a cult?
  9. How can I join a DTS?
  10. What is a DTS and why is it important?
  11. Why don't you answer the telephone?
  12. What is Christianity about?
  13. How could I become a Christian?
  14. I would like to talk to someone about Christianity, can I talk to someone in YWAM?

We recalled that we need to outline what we should not disclose (just as in person I would not disclose a colleagues address to a complete stranger so online!)

Outreach and Bounties

Arnoud was very keen that we should try to draw more people in to creating material for the KB. It was clear that inviting U of N schools in particular to contribute with Student Assignments could be mutually beneficial. It would give the school a healthy field focus.

We were concerned that we did not focus too much time on this in case it was not fruitful but we talked about how to do it and what was desired.

We looked at writing clear Creative Briefs (see How to write a Creative Brief -from Wikipedia) as that will be vital.

Bounty's: prepare a number of briefs for people to do. Video, promotion material, writing for General public etc. These can be given to schools to do for assignments.

  • Briefs for bounties . Bounties placed on:
    • "Start Here" flash movie for from page to replace Kevin's cheesy one.
    • Evangelistic materials for general public (Yan's team or SOE)
    • Interviews (with New Team people?) (case studies) Journalism schools and writing schools
    • Book reviews and reports - DTS Students?
    • Icon sets for major categories
    • Promo T-shirts, cards, stickers, posters
    • Promo vertical banner
    • Re-write the SOE page
    • Articles: Youth work, Evangelism, Mercy Work

We also considered throwing a YWAMKB promo video competition. A two minute video to communicate the value of working together with the YWAMKB collaboration to build God's Kingdom


Just writing this report has taken me much longer than I anticipated. It was indeed a very intense time. We look forward to further face-to-face meetings and also a somewhat slower pace over the next weeks.

My grateful thanks to Arnoud for hosting us, Pitpat and the whole YWAM Berlin team for making us so welcome.

Next Sprint and other Meetings?

  • On going meetings. Second Monday of month at 4pm still good!
    • Style: perhaps move from Skype to Google Wave Now it is an open BETA.
    • Next one: July,11 or Aug 8, or September 12
  • Next Sprint: April / October? (some time when the weather is a bit cooler so we can stay indoors!)

A list of general accomplishments

Tasks and Assignments Complete

  • KEVIN to investigate new pages button - extension - DONE - victory over and ampersand!!!! php 5.3.2 breaks a number of extensions with function reference passing!
  • KEVIN - Email confirmations for watched pages (see http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Extension:Email_notification) - DONE (it was already there but needed enabling but doesn;'t seem to work well.)
  • Main Page Improvements - lots and lots - PITPAT
  • Remove title "Main Page" from Main Page - DONE (and can do other pages if we want now)
  • Rating Bar - improved ranking of 100% pages (including number of votes) PITPAT and making the text of the box better and more engaging - KEVIN (would like to hide for non-logged in users but this is not easy.)
  • Main page rating bar - TopTenPages template needs cache invalidations daily - like pages and user count... DONE - KPC.
  • DTS categry - now complete!!!! Very much improved. Need Key Article re-written.
  • Complaints page now made to direct any (potentially) unhappy users of the site to us and not to other YWAM centres.
  • About page and disclaimers now made easy to find by searching

Task and Assignments still to do

  • ARNOUD get test readers and critics - 5 pages review - ARNOUD
  • Clicking to a non-existing page confuses users. The "Edit this page" they reach needs a red text describing the convention of red links leading to non-existing but desired pages. This is a good thing. Blue links are connected! - TODO
  • Registering and Login problems need error messages highlighted in red - TODO
  • Help pages re-structuring - "Content" page is where you arrive when clicking on help (It needs simplifying and straight to what people want to know. Video picture needs to be clickable). "Editing" page is linked from edit window?
  • GLT documents into a better grouping and padlocks on top
  • Outreach to senior leadership - how can we reassure of our competence - STEVE And Kevin to ponder

Useful sources of images

(Was copied to Help:How To Find Images --Pitpat 05:50, 17 July 2010 (UTC))