On Wed 02 Jul 2008, Dominic Hargreaves <dom(a)earth.li> wrote:
Given your above comments, would it be better to
remove the link
from the project home page?
No, that's fine; I'm happy for it to stay. We've never had any
particular problems with inappropriate contributions. I think my
basic worry is that I don't want RGL to become mediocre - and if I
appear hardline on some fronts, then this is why.
I am also concerned about the possible confusion
offering people two London guides, without explaining how they differ.
I think before we can explain how they differ, we need to know what
Ivor plans to do with OGL. Will it be a free-for-all? Will there be
any moderation? Will it continue to aim at tourists as well as
natives? Will it aim to cover absolutely everything about London,
including historical subjects?
RGL entries are edited for style as well as clarity and factual
correctness. We assume a certain level of knowledge of London, its
customs, its transport systems, etc.
We're OK with entries including a small amount of historical
information if it helps to understand the current-day situation, but
we prefer long essays about the history of e.g. a particular area to
be placed elsewhere (such as Wikipedia) and linked to from RGL.
We don't want entries about famous residents, or about transient
things like art exhibitions. We're also wary of introducing entirely
new categories unless we're fairly sure we can maintain a decent level
We prefer that opinions are clearly linked to the people who opined
them, the date on which the establishment was last visited, and the
level of experience on which the opinion was based. We want our
contributors to aim to become experts - whether this expertise is in
the sociogeography of a particular borough, a deep understanding of
Japanese food, the most reliable places to get your bike fixed, the
ability to discern between badly-kept and well-kept beer, or the best
way to navigate Green Park Station.
We have a fairly tight-knit community which does most of its public
communication via the RGL Blog, which is hosted on LiveJournal. There
are lots of backchannels as well; we're friends, and we chat on IRC, on
email, and in person. Many of us meet up and go out for dinner and/or
beers together, which helps us understand each other's tastes and
strengths and weaknesses, which in turn (I think) helps us write
Having said that, it's not a closed community, and I'm fairly sure I
have RGL to blame for at least one new friendship.
I think my gut feeling about how the two guides would interact is: if
you feel you would fit in contributing to RGL, then great. If you
don't, then you may be happier contributing to OGL. If you're happy
contributing to both, that's cool too. Contributing to one doesn't
stop you consuming the other.
I also think the web 2.0 "market" in London is very different from
that in other parts of the UK - it's hugely, hugely saturated. There
are several tens of sites, if not more, competing for user opinions.
I spend a fair bit of my time searching the web for reviews of
particular restaurants, pubs, etc, and I keep coming across more and
more of these sites. In this context, the existence of two London
guides running on the same software is almost irrelevant.
(As a contrasting example, there is pretty much nobody that I've found
who's writing convincingly and articulately about eating out in
Cambridge [the UK one], and believe me, I've looked.)
I think it would be useful, to avoid confusion, to
explain a bit more
about this. Maybe a page on RGL itself (apologies if this is already
there and I missed it).
There's some information on the About RGL page, which is linked from
the light green bar at the top. I might add a cut-down version of the
above at some point.
Er. I seem to have gone on a bit - sorry about that. I just really,
really love RGL, and it's hard to get me to stop talking about it...