The official goal
HoraWiki is intended as a place where anyone can record interesting information about recreational Israeli dance (aka "Israeli folkdance"), information that might otherwise be lost and that isn't easily available elsewhere.
What exactly this means will be defined to a large extent by the contributors, but on this page we'll take a stab at it.
Encyclopedia, scope, tone, references
HoraWiki will probably take itself less seriously than does Wikipedia. However, one of the basic ideas is the same: we are trying to be more an encyclopedia than anything else. This means that a primary criterion for material is factual truth. We're not so much interested in opinions, except where those opinions are themselves facts worth recording (e.g., Moshiko's opinion of his finest dances).
We adopt many of the other techniques that have worked reasonably well at Wikipedia: articles should be written in encyclopedic tone, with a neutral point of view, and assertions should be verifiable and referenced to the extent possible.
Of course, we're also subject to all the problems of a publically-edited data repository. You probably shouldn't rely on HoraWiki when betting the farm on the truth of any particular statement.
Even with the discussion above, it's not so easy to define precisely what information is appropriate for HoraWiki. Here are some examples of the sort of thing we're certainly looking for:
- Fine points of dance choreographies, corrections to common mistakes in the way dances are done, explanation of variants of dances as actually danced in the wild.
- Little-known information or interesting anecdotes about dances, dancers, choreographers, sessions, camps.
- Specifics of the history of individual dances.
- Interesting connections between dances or groups of dances.
- Analyses of dance themes, lyrics, or music.
On the other hand, here are examples of material that's currently *not* considered appropriate:
- Articles on the history of Israeli dance (because this information is widely available elsewhere).
- Individual dance facts: choreographer, lyrics, composer, translation, video, date, and generally anything already available at IsraeliDances.com. No point in duplicating their outstanding efforts. However, as a way of communicating with the Amazing Aussies, we do have [[Corrections_for_www.israelidances.com |a page] where we can submit corrections or additions.
- Opinions, argumentation, discussion. This is not a newsgroup or forum. (There is a "discussion page" associate with each page, which we use for discussion about the characteristics or appropriateness of the page, not of the content.)
- Listings of session dates and times, or announcements of camps or special events. Again, this is all available elsewhere.
- Copyrighted material posted without permission. See below.
Finally, here are some examples that might be in a grey area:
- Choreographer biographies (or, sadly, obituaries). Although many such biographies are available, e.g. at Phantom Ranch, there seems to be no systematic collection of this information.
- Collections of resources for dancers not easily available elsewhere. For example, despite what we said above, a page collecting links to online history resources or "where to dance" sessions might be useful.
- Dance humor. A page with Israeli dance jokes doesn't seem to be within the scope of an encyclopedia. On the other hand, where else can they be collected?
Editing and policing
Given that anyone can edit almost any page in the wiki, how are we going to avoid a descent into chaos? For the moment, we might not!
HoraWiki relies on the community as a whole to enforce its standards by self-policing. Specifically, we do not have a committee of specially-empowered "editors" or "vettors" or "supervisors" who control submissions, check facts, and bring articles up to our standards. Everyone is on an equal footing. The hope is that we will collectively factcheck and edit the wiki's content, producing something that is at once useful, reliable, and entertaining.
Even with the best intentions, there will probably be disputes of content and style, possibly even full-fledged edit wars. With mutual good will we should be able to resolve any such questions. It's not like we're writing about global warming, abortion, or the definition of "natural born citizen".
Copyrights and licensing
When you contribute your own material to HoraWiki you grant a license to others to use or modify the material, subject to certain restrictions that are explained in detail here. Let's just emphasize one thing here, because it can't be said too often: Please do not put material copyrighted by others onto the wiki without getting their permission first. Specifically, you must not copy information from any Yahoo group without permission from the original author.