Each time Wikidot gets more powerful tools for building web sites, it also gets harder for new users to understand. We've made great progress with reusable building blocks like themes, packages, and site templates. But that still makes things more complex. Time for something different. Time for something simpler. Time for a competition!
We want to make a place where new Wikidot users get a simple, gentle introduction into this world. The idea is inspired by tsangk (Kenneth), black belt Wikidot user, who started a site called get.wikidot.com, and by Squark (Łukasz), the author of stunning Wikidot themes, who suggested it was time to redesign a new Wikidot.com page, and it would be cool if we (the community) did this.
I don't know of many businesses who let their users design and change their main front page. But, it makes sense here. No-one understand better what the main page needs to say, than someone who's tried to explain Wikidot to a friend and gotten a blank stare.
So, here's the competition: design the perfect, winning get.wikidot.com page. I'm not going to explain what I think that page should look like, except that it should work for someone totally new to Wikidot.com, whether they are a student, lawyer, doctor, grandmother, or Silicon Valley executive. It should follow the principle of "less is more". It should provide the tools a new user needs, from getting a new site, to learning to edit and extend it.
The site now has open access, so joining is easy. Trusted members will be promoted to admin. Create any pages you need, one category per entry, with category:_start as the main page. A good category name would be your username. The site front page will show all entries. All content is shareable and Creative-Commons licensed. That means you can mix and borrow and reuse ideas from other entries, just like they can use your ideas. Every _start page must, in a comment, list all the authors of pages that it got ideas or code from. Put them in order of importance to you.
The winner or winners (because you can do this as teams) get RD3,000. "RD" is the Roadmap Dollar, a virtual currency that buys influence over what features get developed next. No, RDs are not convertible. :-) We will distribute a further 3 x RD1,000 bonuses to authors who are cited most and highest by others. I'll pick the winners based on your feedback.
We'll close the competition if and when we have a clear winning _start page, or by the end of November. We'll archive the competition site and make a new get.wikidot.com site with the winning content. That site will be iframed on the main www.wikidot.com page. The authors will get full credit.