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Editorial Support

At present (July 2010), there is no permanent editor reviewing or ‘cleaning up’ the content of Talks.cam. Some members of the original development team carry out a small amount of editorial work on a voluntary basis. For several years, David Mackay did the bulk of this work. Alan Blackwell has recently assumed responsibility. We would very much appreciate offers of assistance from those who take a broader interest in the value of the Talks.cam content.

Here is David’s advice on the process he developed:

I used to do systematic cleanup every 2 weeks or so by looking at the https://talks.cam.ac.uk/index/talks/new “new” lists of all talks and lists, and checking for the typos and errors there.

I also look for inactive lists that have not been used for 12 months; and for duplicate lists where people have created a new one and should not have done so.

By looking at https://talks.cam.ac.uk/index/lists/new you can catch errors, eg “Type the title of a new list here” is the most common list title in Cambridge. I either “hide” or “delete” such lists.

Cleanup is obviously needed, otherwise talks.cam becomes littered with errors and with outdated and thus useless “serendipity” connections in the right hand column.

Other good acts:

  1. look for lists that have been included in “super-lists” and have no sub-lists. For example, there is a “Judge Institute” list which contains almost no other lists at all.
  2. get on the phone or email to all the organizers and teach them how to use their lists better.
  3. I also send messages to people encouraging them to use logos, with the incentive being that that way their list is eligible to get on the front page of talks.cam.

Examples of the sort of email I used to send to several people every 14 days is here:

Dear Patricia and Anna

thank you for using talks.cam.

you seem to be both maintaining talks.cam lists with identical events.

BRC Seminar Series

and

BRC Seminar programme

https://talks.cam.ac.uk/show/index/8474

https://talks.cam.ac.uk/show/index/10932

We’d prefer to have just one series on talks.cam for any one real life series! A series (called a “list”) should be managed by all the managers of that series :-)

Please could you sort this out, by perhaps deleting one of these lists?

let me know if you’d like advice on how best to use talks.cam’s features.

yours

David

talks.cam founder and fixer.

Dear Simon

thank you for using talks.cam.

I’ve noticed you have a List called Jorge Cham, PHD Comics and a talk called The Power of Procrastination

I’d like to suggest that you rename the List with a name more descriptive of the overall series of talks in which this talk is situated - for example “Graduate Union popular talks” or some such.

A List created solely for a single talk will not achieve very good publicity. In contrast, a List with some longevity lends itself to publicity – for example, I put Bjorn Lomborg’s book signing on the front page of talks.cam.

Hope this helps

All the best

David

talks.cam founder and fixer

Dear Hamish

I see you are the owner of a “Gates” list on talks.cam.

https://talks.cam.ac.uk/show/index/12610

There is another list with the identical name

https://talks.cam.ac.uk/show/index/7464

already.

It would be highly desirable for talks.cam to only have ONE list with a given name. Please could you talk to the owners of the other list, sort out shared ownership of a single list, and delete or hide your new list?

If they have all left cambridge and not handed over ownership then let me know and I can make you an owner.

Thanks for using talks.cam

yours

David

Dear Geoffrey,

thank you for using talks.cam to advertise The South Arabian Origin of Ethiosemitic.

To make the front page of talks.cam look even more beautiful, can I encourage you to add a logo to your list?

https://talks.cam.ac.uk/show/index/8230

If your list doesn’t have any logo, no worries, but if there is one (perhaps a department logo?) then that would make this week’s front page look nice.

yours David

talks.cam founder

 

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