This site is supported by Nobility Studios.

Staff Blog

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
  • entries
    6
  • comments
    9
  • views
    32,114

Contributors to this blog

About this blog

News and information about the site

Entries in this blog

The Resources area has now been overhauled and brought within the new functionality made available after the site's software upgrade. Clicking on the "Resources" tab will take you to all our essays, interviews, articles and reviews:

blogentry-4-098386300 1276382952_thumb.p

The content has false times of entry due to being added en masse over the past few days but each resource is dated and links to the author's TGL profile, if applicable. The resources can be navigated by using the menu on the right, which shows the categories:

blogentry-4-084208700 1276382948_thumb.p

Resources are ordered according to the time I added them rather than their actual date of authoring but I can go back and amend the dates if anyone finds this confusing. On the right you will also see a block containing the latest comments:

blogentry-4-017098200 1276382950_thumb.p

This only contains a test comment at the time of writing but comments can be added at the bottom of every resource, where you will also find options to share records. The most recent resources are displayed on the Resources entry page and also in the block on the right, which is repeated on the forum index:

blogentry-4-056605900 1276382951_thumb.p

Anyone can add a resource, although submissions must be approved before they appear. There is also a button on every forum post that allows you to turn the post into a potential resource:

blogentry-4-018662700 1276383825_thumb.p

If you are new to the site or not aware of just how much content we have in the Resources area, please take the time to investigate it and consider adding something. :)

There are a number of new features now available and this entry explains some of them. The main improvement is increased social networking functionality, which you can use to tell your friends about content here. To facilitate these features, first navigate to your settings by using the drop-down menu in the top right:

blogentry-4-008368000 1275838022_thumb.p

Choose the "Settings" option:

blogentry-4-098635800 1275838024_thumb.p

Now select the "Profile" tab:

blogentry-4-042639400 1275838023_thumb.p

You will then find an option to manage your Facebook Connect settings:

blogentry-4-005797200 1275838018_thumb.p

Click on this option should prompt you to sign into Facebook (obviously you need a Facebook account first), after which you will be asked which features you wish to allow. When you have finished you will be brought back to this site and given the chance to select what information (if any) you wish to share with Facebook:

blogentry-4-027793900 1275838015_thumb.p

You do not need to choose any of these but, for example, you can link your profile at TGL with your Facebook account so that any status update you make here is also copied on your Facebook profile and/or vice versa. The important thing is that once your account here is linked to your Facebook profile, you can share TGL content by clicking on the "Facebook like" button at the bottom of each thread:

blogentry-4-065456600 1275838016_thumb.p

Doing this will post an update to your Facebook account, letting your friends know about the content here that you liked. This will mean the site gaining a lot of new traffic as your friends follow the link to see what you were interested in. If they wish, they can also join you here and can even sign in with their Facebook account, making registration simple:

blogentry-0-006404800 1275840933_thumb.p

If you have a Twitter account, you can also link it to your profile here:

blogentry-4-056646700 1275838019_thumb.p

You will see that each topic now has a number of icons that allow you to share it:

blogentry-4-034911900 1275838026_thumb.p

Clicking on these will prompt you to log in to Facebook or Twitter, or take you to link-sharing services like Delicious or Digg in order to bookmark the topic or page. You can also email links to friends. If you are already logged into some of the sharing services then clicking on them will make a bubble appear for you to add a comment before sharing:

blogentry-4-028609300 1275838013_thumb.p

Another improvement is the inline management of notifications:

blogentry-4-085411600 1275838020_thumb.p

When you have a notification, it will appear both as a notice in the top right and, when on the forum index, in a block on the right-hand side:

blogentry-0-078068300 1275840929_thumb.p

Clicking on the drop-down arrow in the top-right will provide detail of the notification:

blogentry-0-006588900 1275840931_thumb.p

You can adjust your settings for your notifications on the "Settings" page. Of particular note, you can now choose to be notified when someone quotes one of your posts:

blogentry-0-024825500 1275841326_thumb.p

Status updates have also been improved. If you link your profile to Facebook or Twitter you can select tick boxes to indicate whether you want to copy your status update to your other profiles:

blogentry-0-097396700 1275840927_thumb.p

Members can also add comments to status updates:

blogentry-4-021575800 1275838050_thumb.p

A further improvement is that the search feature has been expanded to include a drop-down option to search particular areas of the site:

blogentry-0-027913600 1275840932_thumb.p

Finally, you can now check which members have given you reputation by clicking on the reputation number on your post:

blogentry-4-081930300 1275838048_thumb.p

The static content of the site (essays, interviews, etc) is still being overhauled and a further update on this will be posted soon. Please help promote the site by using the social networking features when you can.

The upgraded version of this site includes a number of new features as well as improvements on existing one. This short guide explains some of them.

Site:

The About page links to all the site information:

blogentry-4-126971279518_thumb.png

blogentry-4-126971280595_thumb.png

Resources:

The Resources tab will take you to all the interviews and essays:

blogentry-4-126971310139_thumb.png

All the resource and information pages include sideblocks, linking to appropriate other content across the site:

blogentry-4-126971317432_thumb.png

Navigation:

Several options can be accessed from the navigation links in the top right. Clicking on "view new content" shows a tabbed collection of new additions to the entire site:

blogentry-4-126971324196_thumb.png

The search box also covers the whole site:

blogentry-4-126971312436_thumb.png

Advanced searching brings up a separate page to refine a search.

Social networking options are listed: you can follow The Galilean Library on Twitter

blogentry-4-126971323054_thumb.png

... or join the site's fan page on Facebook:

blogentry-4-126971287112_thumb.png

Finally, the RSS feeds available can be accessed via a drop-down menu by clicking on the RSS button:

blogentry-4-126971311342_thumb.png

Forums:

At the top of the forums index, the news block links to the latest site news:

blogentry-4-126971294998_thumb.png

Sideblocks include information about other areas of the site, including recent block entries. If you add a link to the Links directory, it will appear in the links block:

blogentry-4-126971292661_thumb.png

Random images from the Gallery are also displayed on the index:

blogentry-4-126971291301_thumb.png

Another option is to add a status update:

blogentry-4-126971318686_thumb.png

While viewing a topic, a reply can be made by clicking on "reply" or in the fast reply box:

blogentry-4-126971288107_thumb.png

Any objectionable content can be brought to the attention of the staff via the report button:

blogentry-4-126971306681_thumb.png

Moving between forums uses the forum jump area:

blogentry-4-126971290141_thumb.png

At the bottom of the forum index, above the shoutbox, the members online are displayed:

blogentry-4-12697129387_thumb.png

By clicking on the options, current activity is shown in a list. Above this area, clicking on "today's active content" brings up a tabbed collection of all content added in the past 24 hours:

blogentry-4-126971320861_thumb.png

Reputation:

The reputation systems replaces the "thanks" feature. All posts can be rated up or down, with a comment added that is seen by the author:

blogentry-4-126971307899_thumb.png

Reputation also works on blogs [coming soon: and on resources, too]. The reputation filter then allows the selective hiding or displaying of content based on the reputation of the author:

blogentry-4-126971309025_thumb.png

Using this option offers the chance to set a threshold for reputation, beneath which posts are hidden.

Blogs:

All members can create several blogs, including group blogs to which authors can be added. Comments can be added, including comments by guests if the blog author enables this option:

blogentry-4-126971281601_thumb.png

Each blog can be configured using the "add blocks" button, including a block to display recent comments:

blogentry-4-126971282624_thumb.png

Blogs are linked with the forums via the "blog this" button in forum threads, which copies the post content into the blog entry editor to comment on it on a blog. Members with several blogs will need to select which blog to post the content to:

blogentry-4-126971283682_thumb.png

Bugs

The Bug Tracker is the place to report any technical issues with the site:

blogentry-4-126971284664_thumb.png

The tracker is split into separate areas:

blogentry-4-126971289139_thumb.png

Adding a new issue will notify the staff, who can respond or investigate the bug and assign it an importance level depending on what kind of problems are being caused:

blogentry-4-126971285486_thumb.png

Profile:

Navigating to profile options is achieved via the drop-down menu in the top right:

blogentry-4-126971296117_thumb.png

Clicking on the small icon at the right of a member's name provides a smaller pop-up profile:

blogentry-4-126971302342_thumb.png

blogentry-4-126971303523_thumb.png

A member's profile gives information on the member and their reputation:

blogentry-4-126971298602_thumb.png

The member can also see their recent reputation received:

blogentry-4-126971301045_thumb.png

blogentry-4-126971304498_thumb.png

The tabbed area provides access to a member's profile information, including their posts and topics:

blogentry-4-126971297311_thumb.png

blogentry-4-126971322025_thumb.png

Profile comments can be added by friends or by all members, depending on the member's setting:

blogentry-4-126971299838_thumb.png

Status updates can also be added:

blogentry-4-126971305576_thumb.png

Settings:

The settings area allows the configuration of a member's experience of the site:

blogentry-4-126971313781_thumb.png

The settings are changed by using the tabs on the top to select the area of the site to be considered and then using the tabs on the left to navigate between sections:

blogentry-4-12697131618_thumb.png

Settings for member blogs are accessed from here:

blogentry-4-126971315032_thumb.png

Exploring these and other areas of the site will hopefully demonstrate that the new version is a vast improvement; now it is up to the community to decide how best to use it.

One way members and guests alike can help spread the word about the site is by promoting it on social networks. If you share links or let your friends know about your interest in TGL, it helps raise our profile and introduce new people.

We currently have two social networking homes. You can:

On Facebook, telling your friends about TGL is easy. We often post links to site content on the fan page; if you add a comment or click on "like", your friends will be notified and may check us out or follow the link. You can also invite your friends to become fans or post your own links and comments on the fan page.

If you have a Twitter account, you can follow @galileanlibrary and retweet our content, adding your own #tags. This is an easy way to promote TGL and only takes seconds, especially since the content is automatically fed to Twitter. You can also point people to the site if you notice conversations on Twitter that relate to discussions here. As with Facebook, the more people are following or interested in TGL, the quicker and further we grow.

Social bookmarking sites are another option. You can share blog entries via the likes of Delicious, Digg and Google; soon this will be possible for forum topics as well. If you use these services then you will know that you can share your bookmarks with friends; the more people bookmark a TGL page, the higher its profile within the service. Sharing blog posts on Technorati is especially helpful.

If any of this makes sense to you then please help us promote TGL and let others know about it.

The Galilean Library is a site devoted to community and cooperation. Arguments or ideas are explored – not declared – and we are hoping to learn from each other, so we need to be careful to behave decently. The following are suggested guidelines for participation in the blog comments, groups and forums.

Equity:

Interaction here should be equitable. If we possess expertise in an area then we should use it to help others rather than restrict their access to a discussion or to declare the limits of debate; likewise, if we lack the expertise then we should take steps to learn from others and to develop our understanding. We should not refuse to question uninformed opinions. We should also be willing to question established and expert positions, and we should also offer argument and counter-argument. Ideally, we should not interact with each other from a privileged position and we should try to ensure that everyone can benefit.

Qualifications:

This site is based on the conviction that people should have access to learning and education, together with the opportunity to study and discuss things with others, even if they do not have the formal qualifications needed for schools, colleges and universities. This means that we should never question someone’s right to question or take part in discussion by asking or demanding that they meet certain standards, whether professional, academic or of our own invention. Everyone is welcome here and everyone has something to offer, given the chance, so if you have expertise in an area then please help others – and in turn be helped – rather than use your knowledge to belittle others or hinder their learning.

Insults:

Given the aims of the site, we should try to avoid insulting people, whether they are members of our community or not. If an idea is ridiculous then, given that we are trying to learn from one another, we can reasonably be expected to provide an argument to that fact. Insults also tend to lead to deterioration of the discussion and then no one learns anything. Banter and good-natured humour are an essential part of any community but we need to be careful not to overstep any boundaries.

Errors in arguments:

We encourage people not to simply dismiss arguments as fallacious; instead, if we notice a mistake in someone’s reasoning then we try to explain it. If we can help each other understand why arguments fail rather than dismissing them then everyone will benefit. If an argument is weak then it should be fair game on its own terms, irrespective of its origin.

Another thing to be aware of is poisoning further discussion by ascribing motives to others, even when we might be right in our assessment. After all, arguments do not necessarily stand or fall on the ends to which they may subsequently be employed and discussions often become aggressive when people are questioning each other’s motives.

Trolling or disingenuous remarks that make no attempt to further the discussion are obviously in direct opposition to the aims of this site and our community.

The Principle of Charity:

This principle invites us to try to take the best understanding of what others mean and even to strengthen their arguments if we can, making subsequent counter-arguments altogether more interesting and powerful. It helps improve the quality and the atmosphere of discussions as well because even a bad argument can be turned into a good conversation if we try to learn something from it. The opposite is often called a "straw man"; that is, criticising a weaker or inaccurate version of what someone has claimed, which has a tendency to lead to conflict and is unhelpful at best.

In a similar vein, it is best not to question other people’s understanding. Sometimes people are deliberately obtuse, do not want to understand or wilfully distort things, but it might also be the case that we did not explain ourselves well enough and the fault is ours, not theirs. Rather than blame them or call them names, we could try again. Even if some people are disruptive or uninterested, we have to remember that others may be reading – generally many more than are replying – and restating an idea might draw other responses. If we have said all we can or want to then we can just leave the matter alone, rather than try to have the last word or grandstand.

In summary, we are all here to try to learn from one another and develop a sense of community in the process. We may all occasionally fail to live up to these guidelines but at least we can aspire to bear them in mind when we interact with one another.

Hello all, and welcome. The new TGL is up and running, presenting us all with new opportunities for learning, engaging, and creating - as well as enjoyment in exploring the new site and discovering its new features and improvements.

Michael

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0