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This is the Matronics Email List Wiki. This is where you will want to put articles about any aviation topic that suits you. The purpose is to provide what the mailing lists do not: structure and persistence. The mailing lists are a fantastic resource to ask a question and get good (and bad and funny and annoying) answers. But once the question is asked and answered it is not in front of the list anymore. If a new person subscribes the next day, he/she does not see that information unless he/she goes to the trouble to search the archives, a hit or miss proposition. The result is that the same thread of conversation gets created and/or revisited. There are several things that happen as a result:1. the person gets his or her question answered;
2. the information gets better as more people think about and answer the question;
3. the people who have seen the same question asked and answered get annoyed at seeing the same things over and over and over and ...
So this is where the Wiki comes in. You know what questions you wanted answered. You may have asked or answered the question. You know the information is useful. So you put the information here.
It doesn't matter that this information is 100% complete or correct. Just writing something creates a placeholder and makes useful information available immediately. It has the same immediacy as the mailing list but it has persistence and structure.
But what if the information is incomplete or incorrect? No problem! Anyone else coming along can edit the article! If I write something and you discover something I have left out or stated incorrectly, you can fix it right then!
So let's begin and make this the place for information about building, flying, maintaining, and understanding our airplanes.
Matt and I discussed whether there should be one wiki or separate wikis for each mailing list. I argued for the creation of only one wiki because there is a lot of cross-over between lists. Electrical systems affect all airplanes, not just the people on the Aeroelectric list. The Yak list talks about the Vendenyev M14P engine used in the Yak series and Nanchang CJ6A aircraft but it is also becoming popular in aircaft like the Murphy Moose. The people on the Yak-list fly aerobatics and do formation but so do the guys on the RV-list.
But what about whether something is "appropriate" or not? Don't worry. Write it down. Let the reader determine whether or not it is appropriate. If it is, she will read it. If it isn't, she won't. It is as simple as that.
And when you do write that article you won't have to worry about whether some editor is going to decide whether or not to print it in a newsletter or whether the webmaster will have time to put it up on the web page.
The last question I hear brewing out there is: if anyone can post anything, won't this just become a mass of garbage? Surprisingly, the answer is a resounding no. If you want proof, go visit the Wikipedia, a free-to-everyone encyclopedia written by whoever wants to write articles. The articles there are as good as anything I have read anywhere and anyone can add anything anytime they want to. (It was even suggested by someone that we not start another Wiki for aviation but rather just write the articles in the Wikipedia.)
So don't hesitate. Write it down. Put it here. It will never hurt anyone. The more information we get here, the more useful it will become to other people and the more information they will put here for YOU to use.