The Trouble with Links

Hello, most wonderful testers! I'm very happy to see you taking up the challenge and adding content to Dollation. It's exciting to see new things being added and distracting because I want to follow every link and learn about each new doll that is shared. smiley

As Merrilee pointed out, it would be good to have a Getting Started tutorial to help orient new folks who want to contribute but aren't quite sure what's what on Dollation and how everything is organized. (An excellent idea that I will get to.) It's hardest on you intrepid charter members who are here before there is a lot of content.

One question that has come up in the Forum is, "What is the purpose of Links and how do they relate to the other content on Dollation?" I came to the conclusion, after talking it through over there, that the list of Links (under Directory) is unnecessary and confusing people about what Dollation is all about. A Link is always related to a doll company, or a brand, or a particular type of doll (like BJDs), or an event... These are exactly the things that Dollation lets you share! If you know of a website about a type of doll (say Carpatina), then you know of a company and/or a brand that should be added to the Dollipedia. The company should have a list of links to websites that are related to it (such as the main carpatina.com on-line store and the Carpatina blog).

Dollation is a collection of things we know about dolls. The types of things we keep track of include Companies, Brands, Products, Items in our collection, Listings of things for sale, Books, Blog posts, Events, Places, and so on. Each type of thing has different information we want to know about, like for a Company, we want to know when it was founded, by whom, what country it's in, what types of dolls it produces, etc. For an Event, we want to know when and where it is, whether it's about something we're interested in, how much it costs, etc. Having all this information in fields is the beauty of Dollation. Unlike using a blog or a message forum (or even a conventional wiki) to enter this information as just text, having the information in fields means we can put events on a calendar, or filter brands by material, and so on.

So, getting back to links, you may have noticed that you can't add them anymore. (I've removed the 'Add link' option that was at the top of the list.) The whole Directory > Links page is going to go away. I'm going to start moving the existing links into the Links field of the appropriate other thing on Dollation, which means I may have to create that thing (brand, company...) first. And that's the beauty of Dollation -- it will grow organically, even if I don't know much about a thing, at least I'll have a name and a link for more information, then later other people (or me when I have time) can come along and fill in the details.

So, join me if you can. Pick a link (one you added or one someone else added) and move it to the Dollation page where it belongs, creating the page if it doesn't exist already.

Thanks for helping as we work out what is the most intuitive way to play dolls on-line!

~ Ruby

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crazyquilter
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Joined: 11/07/2011 - 8:17am

Ruby, I wonder if it would be possible to still have a links page somehow, but have it associated with the brands and companies, so that when you enter a link under a brand or company, it would also show up automatically on the links page?

JustMagicMaria
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That's a great idea, Dawn!

Maria
~ Your friendly code geek.

Anne
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Joined: 10/31/2011 - 12:35pm

Ruby/ Maria,

What about companies that no longer exsist and whose connections may lead to Wikipedia or a specialty site that is not commerce (Criisyandbeth.com again)?

I'm thinking about 2 sites in particular. One is, I think, maintained by an auction house but has loads of information on Maker's marks tha is useful in "IDing" a doll. The other is maintained by a doll shop owner and focuses on two dolls with which she deals.

I am not thinking of E-bay because it is not a good link, stuff comes and goes too quickly there but it gets sited sometimes in Blog pages.

I have a bunch of other stuff to ask but I'll e-mail it because it does not have to do with Links.

Ruby
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No problem with companies that no longer exist, Anne. All companies should be in the Dollipedia. In their Links field, put the link to the Wikipedia article, or the doll shop's informational page, and/or whatever other pages you come across that are relevant to the company. The same for Brands, Persons, Events, etc.

Dawn's idea was to "collect" all those links and put them in a list linking back to the content (Company, Brand, Magazine, etc.) that they're associated with.

I've also since concluded that we still need a On-Line Resources list under Directory to direct people to:

  • On-line only doll stores
  • Other sites that are sets of links themselves (like Doll Links at Blogspot).
  • Other sites that are aboubt broad types of dolls, like the Antique doll ID one you mentioned, or that are otherwise not specific to a particular company or brand.
Ruby ~ Your hostess.

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