Volunteering behind the scenes on TaxAlmanac

From TaxAlmanac, A Free Online Resource for Tax Professionals
Note: You are using this website at your own risk, subject to our Disclaimer and Website Use and Contribution Terms.

From TaxAlmanac

Jump to: navigation, search

Introduction

Many people have expressed interest in volunteering their time to work "behind the scenes" on TaxAlmanac. This page summarizes many of the various activities that take place behind the scenes. Unless otherwise noted, users can contribute to these activities without needing to coordinate their involvement with Tim Doyle or with other users who are assisting Tim with administrative duties.

In most cases, more information on each activity will be available on a separate page. When there is additional information available, a link to the relevant page will be included within the section. [May 2011 note: these pages are currently a work in progress, so links will be added as the detail pages are available, and any suggestions for additional activities, clarifications on descriptions, or editing notes are very welcome - please leave comments on Trillium's talk page by clicking here. Thanks.]

No commitment is required - volunteer by doing one or two of the activities listed below when you can, if you can, any time you have a free minute or two. It's all appreciated.


Please note:

These activities are listed in no particular order of importance – pick any ONE area to focus on, and once you feel like you're comfortable with that one, pick another if you would like to expand your involvement.


Thank you for being interested in working to keep TaxAlmanac a vibrant community with current and relevant information for tax professionals.


Contents



Answer questions about how to use the site

Become very familiar with the FAQ, the Hints and Tips on How to Search on TaxAlmanac, and the primary site policies (linked below). Then, when people ask questions about how to do something or why something works the way it does, you can readily respond or provide a link to the FAQ that addresses that question.


Add research resource content

Maintain – and improve – the site’s Research Resources.


Fix discussion post formatting

Format lists, remove double-posts, fix all-caps posts, etc.


Remove spam

Get spam links, and sometimes entire spam posts or discussions, off the site.


Fix or add links

If someone references a research resource available on the site or easily linked, add the link, and if someone posts a link that shows up in red, fix the link to go to the correct page.


Watch for copyright violations

Enforce the site’s policies against posting material that is copyrighted elsewhere. The Website Use and Contribution Terms page sets out the rules, and the Policies and guidelines and help page on adding content provide more explanation on the policy.


Remove violations of the advertising or self-linking policies

Enforce the site’s policies that (a) prohibit posts/discussions/articles intended only for advertising and (b) limit linking to one’s own website/articles (other than on a user page). The relevant policies are explained here:


Revert edits that improperly remove all content in a discussion

Replace content that shouldn’t have been removed, which has generally been done inadvertently by users who are new to editing on a wiki.

Info on reverting an improper edit on TaxAlmanac


Redirect practice management, business growth, or chat discussions that were posted to the tax forum

The site has a number of Discussion Forums, and questions posted in the tax forum that should have been started in one of the other forums should be moved, (a) to improve the likelihood that they’re seen by people interested in that topic and willing to respond to it and (b) so that the tax forum is mainly questions on technical tax issues.

Info on moving discussions to chat or PM/BG


Mark old OP dates to show there's a new question at the bottom of the discussion

When a person adds a post to the end of an older discussion, there’s a risk that people will still respond to the OP and not to the follow-up question. We’ve been experimenting with ways to highlight the dates of the old and new posts to make it more obvious that the OP is not the current question.


Warn about problems with long user names

User names longer than about 10-12 lower-case characters stretch out the discussion forum columns (the "creator" column, and the "last poster column") and force the “discussion title” column to shrink to compensate. There are a few things we do to try to stop this from creating usability issues for people with small screens or tiled browsers.


Resolve duplicates

Duplicate discussions or posts create a lot of confusion (see FAQ #21 for details), and it’s best to try to eliminate all but one, as soon as possible after they’ve been posted. Consolidate all questions into one place, remove the other posts, and (if applicable) replace the duplicate posts with a link back to the central place where they’ve been gathered. This is harder to do once responses are received, but still should be attempted. At the least, link back and forth between the duplicate discussions.


Remove non-pro discussions or posts from the tax forum

Posts from people who have not provided adequate info about their level of experience/background as a tax pro should be moved out of the tax forum and over to the consumer questions forum. Participation in this activity should be coordinated with Tim Doyle and/or the other users who are assisting him with keeping the forum running smoothly (currently User:Kevinh5 and User:Trillium).


End note

Many people have expressed interest in volunteering their time to work "behind the scenes" on TaxAlmanac. This page summarizes many of the various activities that take place behind the scenes. Unless otherwise noted, users can contribute to these activities without needing to coordinate their involvement with Tim Doyle or with other users who are assisting Tim with administrative duties.


Please note: The activities listed above are in no particular order of importance. Pick any ONE area to focus on, and once you feel like you're comfortable with that one, pick another if you would like to expand your involvement.


Thank you for being interested in working to keep TaxAlmanac a vibrant community with current and relevant information for tax professionals.


If you have suggestions on other administrative activities that should be added to the list, comments on how to handle these activities more efficiently, or need clarification on an activity's description, etc., please leave a note on Trillium's talk page by clicking here. Thanks.

Personal tools