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Jonas Larsson December 8, 2005 12:27

500 registered CFD-Wiki users
We have now reached 500 registered CFD-Wiki users! When we launched the Wiki 18 days ago we had 130 users so we have grown our user-base quite a lot since then. And the growth has not showed any tendency to slow down yet. Cool! Now the question is just how do we get this flood of new users to start contributing ?!

My guess is that we need close to 5,000 users to really get the Wiki to take off and develop quickly. At least for a discussion forum my experience is that to reach "critical mass" you need about 5,000 users.

Ted Conrad December 8, 2005 21:13

Re: 500 registered CFD-Wiki users
When I first posted here, I was met with appropriate scepticism, combined with a willingess to to consider new ideas. That is the best of the scientific attitude, and the following is meant in the same spirit.

If I put myself in the place of someone first arriving at the CDF-wiki some questions occur to me:

1. Is there anything here that is not more comprehensively and reliably found at Wikipedia? If not, why shouldn't I just use and contribute there instead? If so, why shouldn't I just add it to Wikipedia?

2. If I think a resource specifically for mechanical engineers working in CFD is a good idea, why shouldn't I just create a wikipedia page that links to the relevant information already in wikipedia, and assume it will grow from there?

In short, what is the point of this site?


zxaar December 9, 2005 01:47

Re: 500 registered CFD-Wiki users
Well since you have said that you do not have much idea about CFD so i assume that much of the questions you have posted are result of this. The reason why i mention so is, CFD is pretty esoteric field, the information on it not so easily available. Now one may argue that there are hundred of books available for CFD. This is also true, but the problem is CFD itself is so vast field that no book can afford to write everything in so much details. A general wiki might provide some of the things but can not provide the in depth information on this subject. one year ago i wished to write a program to do some CFD analysis. I thought if i read a book i can write the code and that it. But that wasn't the thing, i spent lot of time reading lots of book and lots of paper just trying to connect the dots since all the books just say 'it will happen like this...' no one explains how these things have come, i need to search a lot for these answers. Finally, now i understand a lot about CFD and i also know that a general wiki can not provide everything a CFDian might want , a dedicated wiki is better. This wiki is a kid now, and it will grow.

Jonas Larsson December 9, 2005 11:24

Re: 500 registered CFD-Wiki users
First of all, the vast majority of CFD engineers and visitors of CFD Online do not know what a Wiki is and have never heard about Wikipedia. That alone makes it diffucult to attract enough CFD engineers to Wikipedia create what we want there.

Secondly, Wikipedia covers everything, and that makes it difficult to keep the focus so to say. For example, a Wikipedia page on finite element methods will mainly be focused on structural analysis and mathematics whereas a CFD-Wiki page on finite element methods will bring up FEM as it is used in fluid dynamics and cover special things like how to stabilise FEM methods for CFD etc. The focus on CFD is necessary to create a good reference on CFD I think.

Finally, the main reason for using the Gnu Free Documentation License in the CFD-Wiki is that Wikipedia uses that license - most early contributers to the CFD-Wiki intitally wanted a creative commons non-commercial share-alike attribution license. However, by using the GFDL any material that we create here can also be added to Wikipedia and we may also use material from Wikipedia as long as proper credit is given. That is a big benefit and ensures that CFD-Wiki does not compete with Wikipedia but instead complements and supports it also.

Ted Conrad December 9, 2005 12:02

Re: 500 registered CFD-Wiki users
Thanks for clarifying those issues. I guess my point is that while the advantages of a dedicated CFD-wiki are obvious to you, who have been working hard at developing it, they may not be as obvious to others. Stressing the advantages might help influence people to contribute. T

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