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FAQ

  1. What is iCommons.org?

  2. What is iCommons.org’s mission?

  3. What is a node?

  4. What are the features of the iCommons nodes?

  5. What is the 'Articles' section?

  6. What is the ‘Calendar’?

  7. What is in the ‘Resources’ section?

  8. What is the 'iCommons blog'?

  9. Who decides what’s going to be published in the iCommons.org sections and on the homepage?

  10. Great, I’m sold! Now, how do I publish my content on iCommons.org?

  11. How important is to have my content spellchecked?

  12. How long should my articles be?

  13. How do I upload images as part of my node, article or calendar entry?

  14. What happens after my contribution has been submitted to the editing queue?

  15. What happens to my contribution once it is in the voting queue?

  16. How many votes does a contribution need in order to be published?

  17. What happens to my content if it doesn’t garner enough votes to make it onto the website?

  18. What are ‘karmas’?

  19. What are the karma levels?

  20. How are karma points calculated?

  21. How are tags associated to the contributions?

  22. What are Creative Commons licences?

  23. I have suggestions for improvements to iCommons.org, how do I communicate these?



  1. What is iCommons.org?

    iCommons.org is a website for the stories and projects of social entrepreneurs that are building the digital commons around the world.

    It is a space where you can establish a project (or ‘node’ as we call it), where you can tell the story of your project, get connected with volunteers and funders, and learn from the experiences of other social entrepreneurs.

    It is a space for you to tell your stories of free culture, free software, open access publishing and open education from your local city or country. It is a space to announce or find worldwide free culture events, or to upload or find freely licensed movies, podcasts, pictures and artwork.

    The key to iCommons.org is community. It is collaborative on every level – anyone can publish on the site, anyone can vote for content on the site, anyone can establish a node and anyone can suggest improvements. iCommons.org is about people. Through the profile pages you get to see the faces behind the names and discover the exciting projects that are building a free culture on the Internet around the world.

    Interested? First thing you need to do is register.

  2. What is iCommons.org’s mission?

    iCommons.org’s mission is to provide a valuable service to the global commons community by providing valuable information and networking tools to the social entrepreneurs that make up this movement.

  3. What is a node?

    A node is a self-organising project on any topic related to building the cultural, educational and scientific commons. For a more detailed description of what a node is, read the Node Policy.

  4. What are the features of the iCommons nodes?

    The iCommons.org nodes section provides:
    - a space to showcase best practises, and share experiences in a transparent manner, through the node blog.
    - an online project hosting space with tracking and management capabilities.
    - a matchmaking facility to find volunteers through the node scrapbook section.
    - a way to track the response to the project through the forum and voting system, which allows others to vote for your node as their favourite.
    - a central point for worldwide partners to keep track of a collaborative project stretched over borders or continents.

  5. What is the 'Articles' section?

    This is the place to publish your blog entries, reports, feedback, articles or reviews related to free culture events, news and activities. Some examples of the themes that you could cover on iCommons.org include free culture, open source, access to knowledge, open content, open business, peer production, the digital commons, copyright and intellectual property rights issues, open content licensing like Creative Commons and projects like Wikipedia.

    Your readers are people who want to know what is happening on the ground from all corners of the globe around building the public commons of information, creativity, culture and science. If there is an event in your country, whether it is a get-together, conference, meeting, party, working group meeting – report to us about how it went and what the outcomes were. If there is a new and controversial issue debated in your circles – write an article telling us about the different aspects of the arguments and how it will impact on the community. If you are working on a new theory, or doing research in a field that would be of interest to iCommoners – write an article telling us about your findings. The options are endless. And remember that icommons.org thrives on diversity – so we are interested in hearing your opinions about current events and issues, and those of your community.

    Your article entry will be moved to the editing queue and then the voting queue so that the community can propose improvements to the posted text and rate your article. Keep in mind that the whole process takes up to 48 hours, so plan ahead to make sure that your calendar entry is submitted in time!

  6. What is the ‘Calendar’?

    Feeling like some commons company or entertainment? Log on to iCommons.org to fill out your daily planner with things to do, wherever you are - the ‘Calendar’ section is an announcement space for upcoming free culture-related events around the world.

    If you’re organising a concert, art exhibition, meeting or gathering regarding commons issues, a ccSalon, party or film screening, or any similar type of event, anywhere in the world - click on the ‘publish in calendar’ button of the Publish/Create section, to announce this to iCommons.org readers.

    Your calendar entry will be moved to the editing queue and then the voting queue so that the community can propose improvements to the posted text and rate your event. Keep in mind that the whole process takes up to 48 hours, so plan ahead to make sure that your calendar entry is submitted in time!

  7. What is in the ‘Resources’ section?

    iCommons.org’s Resources section, is an archive of Creative Commons licensed resource materials. This is a space for you to upload your music, video, podcasts, poems, books, photographs, art, or any other type of content. Don’t forget to choose a CC licence for your work. Also note that this space is not for analysis or reviews about this material - you should rather submit these as articles to the site.

    All content in Resources goes through the editing and voting queues too. This is not done to judge the quality of the uploaded material, but rather to regulate its publication, for example, to check whether it has been uploaded to the correct section.

    You can also see how well your creative productions have been received: the more votes the content earns, the higher it’s ranking on the site. Here’s a hint to get more people voting and downloading your materials – try to fill out the content’s accompanying text thoroughly and descriptively – the better presented, the higher the chance that your song, poem, film or photo will gain in popularity.

  8. What is the 'iCommons blog'?

    The iCommons blog is a space for the iCommons staff to communicate with the iCommons.org community. You will find information about changes to the website, updates in policies, or any website issues that need to be addressed.

    This will also be a space for the staff to make announcements about happenings in the Johannesburg-based office – from fundraising campaigns to updates on the iCommons Summit planning.

  9. Who decides what’s going to be published in the iCommons.org sections and on the homepage?

    This is one of the most important features of iCommons.org – the decision on what is going to be published is a fully collaborative process. By voting for favourite articles, events or cultural uploads, the community decides on the content that will make it to the main sections and the front page of the site. The community is also central in assuring the quality of the content on the site – by fact checking and making suggestions to others’ articles, calendar items and node entries, we can help each other tell our stories in the best way possible!

    Remember, the more popular your contribution (as rated by the website users), the more visible it will be!

    Even if you don’t feel like publishing any content, you’ll be able to participate by voting for the contributions you like once you have registered. Click on the “vote” button that appears near to the title and your vote will be counted in the ranking for that item.

  10. Great, I’m sold! Now, how do I publish my content on iCommons.org?

    All you do is click on the ‘Publish/Create’ link in the ‘My Panel’ section at the top of the right hand sidebar. Decide on the type of content you will be publishing – an article, a cultural artifact, an calendar entry or a new node. Fill out all the information required, and click on the ‘send article/event/node to the editing queue’ button.

    Now you’ll find your content in the editing queue. Don’t forget to add any extra photographs, or related audio or video content to your entry at this point!

    Here other people can comment and provide suggestions on your published material for up to 48 hours. They cannot change your content so it is up to you to accept their suggestions and edit your content at your will, though we recommend you remain open to the advice imparted by others, especially if you are a new user.

  11. How important is to have my content spellchecked?

    It is very important to spell check the text that you upload. Readers will appreciate well-edited work, and will assign votes accordingly. It may be a good idea to use a word processor and do a spell check before you upload text to the site. Alternatively you might want to download the Firefox 2 browser for free – this has an inbuilt spellchecking function.

    A few more tips:
    - Try to make your first paragraph as interesting as possible, providing a good introduction to your entry, so as to grab the readers’ attention. This will ensure more votes for your works!
    - If you want to comment on an article on another site, rather provide a link to the original than copy the entire text (unless, of course, the copyright-holder has allowed you to copy under a Creative Commons or other open content licences).

  12. How long should my articles be?

    As long as you want them to be! It’s completely up to how much you want to say, though we have to stop you at 21 700 characters – that’s an academic essay!

    Generally look out for the character limit as a number after the title of the field, or on the far right hand side of every field.

  13. How do I upload images as part of my node, article or calendar entry?

    Most sections allow you to upload images as part of your contribution to the site at the ‘Image upload’, ‘Image label’ and ‘Image credits’ fields.

    The main image of every contribution must always be landscape orientated i.e. wide, not tall. Only JPEG images can be uploaded and they must be no larger than 1 MB in size, and must be between 600 and 1 000 pixels wide. This is necessary to ensure that the layout of the site remains neat, as well as to allow for the automated ordering of the content published to the site, through the voting system, with minimal human intervention.

    You may upload other images as part of the photo slideshow, and these may be vertically orientated. Note that there are no limits to the format or file size of the images you would like to upload to the culture database.

  14. What happens after my contribution has been submitted to the editing queue?

    Your content will remain in this queue for 48 hours where you may edit or remove it, add audio or video clips or a photo slideshow of multiple images to enhance the story, and accept or reject the comments and suggestions made by your fellow iCommons.org users. Don’t forget about your content during this waiting period: keep checking and politely answering the comments made during this time, remembering that others only wish to help you improve your content for the site. In your profile section you can choose to have an email sent to you when a comment is made on your contribution.

    The number of hours that the story has been in the editing queue is shown just below the heading. When the time is up it is automatically transferred to the voting queue.

  15. What happens to my contribution once it is in the voting queue?

    Contributions remain in this queue for up to 48 hours during which time the community has the chance to cast votes for it to be published on the website.

    A minimum amount of votes are needed for the contribution to be published. Once published your contribution is moved from the voting queue to the appropriate section (an article is moved to the article section etc.) and if your contribution is very popular, it will be featured on the front page of iCommons.org.

  16. How many votes does a contribution need in order to be published?

    At the moment, to have your content published to the site you need 10 votes.

    Once it is published, the number of votes will fluctuate in relation to the length of time it has been published. The more votes it gets, the more visible it will be. But as time passes, the regulating algorithm will take off points accordingly, and this reduction is doubled if content is featured on the home page. In this way, fresh content will appear on the front page regularly and the calendar listing will be up-to-date.

  17. What happens to my content if it doesn’t garner enough votes to make it onto the website?

    If your content doesn’t earn enough votes, it won’t be shown in the website sections listings. But if your content doesn't gather the approval of the community - don’t give up! You can always revisit your piece to improve it and resubmit it.

    Also be comforted that all your contributions to the site, even your comments, votes and edits, will also appear on your public profile page, and so will provide a space for people to read what you have written. Plus, by contributing to the site you earn karmas!

  18. What are ‘karmas’?

    You must have realised by now that your participation on iCommons.org is what makes it tick! That means that we would like to reward you for your efforts. So, the more you participate on iCommons.org by writing, adding nodes, voting, suggesting edits, uploading cultural content, and announcing calendar entries - the more ‘karmas’ you collect. And the more karmas you earn – the stronger, and more important your vote becomes, and you get to graduate to higher and higher karma levels.

  19. What are the karma levels?

    Your karma level indicates the strength or value of your vote, and is determined by the amount of karma points you have collected, as outlined above.

    There are 10 levels as follows:
    1. < 25 karma points - 1 vote
    2. 25-100 – 2 votes
    3. 101-250 – 3 votes
    4. 251-500 – 4 votes
    5. 501-750 – 5 votes
    6. 751-1000 – 6 votes
    7. 1001-1500 – 7 votes
    8. 1501-2500 – 8 votes
    9. 2501-5000 – 9 votes
    10. > 5000 – 10 votes
    Interested in what your karma level is? Check out your profile page under ‘vote weight’.

  20. How are karma points calculated?

    Every vote you get is worth one karma point. And when you vote or comment on others’ contributions, you earn a symbolic 0.1 of a point. But karma points also fluctuate: your karma points will slowly degrade over time, in order to stimulate constant participation in the website.

  21. How are tags associated to the contributions?

    The classification system on iCommons.org is also collaborative. When you submit content for publishing, you must choose a category that suits the nature of the contribution. You can also add any relevant tags, to make it more easily searchable by people looking for content on a specific topic.

    You can add any tag you want, though we recommend you use a singular noun, with alphanumeric characters only, separated by spaces. If there is an expression with more than one word, you should separate them with a dash, for example, “developing-country” and not “developingcountry” or “developing country”, which would be considered as two separate tags. Take a look at the tag cloud to see how this works.

  22. What are Creative Commons licences?

    Creative Commons licences allow you to mark your content creations with a flexible copyright licence, which means that you can indicate how others may reuse, remix or redistribute your works, only according to the terms of the licence you choose. Find out more about Creative Commons and the licences.

  23. I have suggestions for improvements to iCommons.org, how do I communicate these?

    iCommons.org is a newly released site with fantastic capabilities, but think of it as ‘version one’ – it can only get better, with your help! We have plans for an upgrade to the site, which will include translation facilities, a wider range of file formats for you to upload, and improved networking features for your profile page. Check out our growing list of planned improvements, on the iCommons wiki and we welcome you to add your suggested improvements to this page too.

meu painel
publish/create
editing queue
voting queue