A topic is a voting and a discussion, or just a discussion. Every topic is built of elements such as title, topic description, tags, etc.
A voting is OpiWiki's tool to let people express their thoughts by voting. Every voting has its own page.
A discussion is OpiWiki's tool to let people express their thoughts by written words. Naturally, not every question can be answered by voting, and anyway a substantive discussion is always much welcome. Every discussion has its own page as well.
Topics are listed on the votings page and discussions page. If a topic contains both the voting and discussion, it can be found on both pages, but on a different position. For example, a topic with many votes and few written opinions will be listed higher on the votings page, and vice versa. Topics can be sorted and filtered by many factors, for example by categories.
Anyone can create a new topic. To do so, you need to create your account first. Then just click the "add new topic" button (top area, any page).
The subject matter on OpiWiki is any topic related to opinion, at least to some extent. We understand opinion as a statement, viewpoint, or judgment about matters that are less than absolutely certain, or about matters that are related to personal uniqueness. Therefore, our subject matter is not only opinions understood as a personal taste, but it is also significantly related to experience then intelligence and knowledge. We're also open to statistics.
This is the world version of OpiWiki and only English language is allowed. OpiWiki is not dedicated to any specific country (a tag can be), it's open to any person who understands English. The general language rule is that the content of our topics must be understandable to an English-speaking person. For example, it's not possible to ask for opinion on a non-English-language book or an actor who has never acted in an English-language movie (with some exceptions).
OpiWiki is The Encyclopedia of Opinions. That implies that we have certain rules to keep our content coherent and substantive. OpiWiki is not a site to create random or funny topics and polls, although it's all right to create such topic if there's some substance behind it.
Element: Topic title
The title should be written in a non-suggestive format.
- Wrong: Isn't movie X a great movie? (Yes/No)
- OK: Is movie X a good movie? (Yes/No)
In such case it's not necessary to add the opposite adjective to "good" to the title (Is movie X a good or bad movie?), as it sounds neutral without it, and usually a shorter title is the better title. Note this is only an example question (same below). If you really want to ask to rate a movie, you should add it to the items database (the topic and title will be created automatically).
Don't use the first-person form. Use the encylopedic format.
Every topic must be defined. Every topic must be unique.
- Wrong: Which among the following is the most innovative smartphone? (the following?)
- OK: What is the most innovative smartphone of 2015?
Topics with the same title but different voting options are treated as unique, therefore they're OK. Only a small note should be added to distinguish the title.
We prefer the title to be a question ending with the question mark. However, if you think the topic can be presented better differently, or the question format would have made the title too long, it's not necessary. For example, if you ask for opinion on a quote, you can just set it as the title (add quotes) and describe it in the description (What do you think about this quote?).
The title must be written with a capital letter at the beginning, but don't use the Every-Word-Capitalized style. It must not be closed with a single dot (period).
- "How do you estimate the chances for Poland to defend their volleyball world championship title in 2018?" is OK.
- "How do you estimate the chances for Poland to defend their title in 2018?" is also OK when the tags volleyball and 2018 volleyball world championship are set.
Element: Topic description
Optional. Sometimes it's not easy to make the topic clear in the title only, and that's when you should set the topic description.
The topic description must be written in a non-suggestive format as well. Don't put your personal thoughts into the description, unless it's a question with a thesis. It is advisable not to write in the first-person form, however, it is allowed. Let's say you're a cyclist and you want to ask How to get over anger at discourteous drivers? You can now describe the topic using your own experiences. The general rule is that your experiences must be common to other people (you cannot ask for a personalized advice). The encyclopedic format is required, and the first-person form in the description is the only exception, only if it's much helpful to use it. The description should not be imperative, e.g. "vote for your favorite character", or "vote and post your opinion".
If the topic relates to some general issue, try to keep the description short. Otherwise you shouldn't be concerned about the length of the description.
If a sentence from the description includes some non-obvious facts, you should provide a source link right after that sentence(s). Use the "src" button. You can name the source link simply "source", or "video" if it's a link to a video, etc.
In the main link field you can put a link to a website that will help users to understand the topic. For example, if you want to describe some term, you can put a link to Wikipedia. If you ask for opinion on an article, you can put its link. The link will appear at the end of the description as More info: site_name. You can also add other links (which you can name and position) and style to the description, just have a look at the menu above the description field on a create new topic page. In other words, the external link field is just a shortcut, useful if you want to put a link to the end of the description.
A topic must be attached to one and only one category. More info: Help: Categories.
Element: Voting options
A voting option must have the non-suggestive format. It should be as short as possible, without emphasizing words like Yes, of course. Simple Yes is enough. It should be formal, encyclopedic, not funky.
There should be an option for every group of people the topic concerns. It doesn't mean that you must add options that are similar to each other (e.g. Yes, very much and Yes, a bit or it's good and it's great). Options should be diverse. The general rule is that you can add up to 5 different options for a Yes/No question (two main choices), but usually 2 options are enough.
"Every group of people the topic concerns" doesn't mean that you must add options like N/A (not applicable, no answer). For example, don't add an option for male persons if the topic is dedicated to female persons only, or don't add an option for people who have never played The Sims if the topic concerns only those who have.
Avoid adding options like "I don't know", "I have no opinion", "Probably yes", or "Maybe" - we prefer concrete options and strong results, without distracting data. A user is not required to vote if he has no opinion. In some cases adding an option like "I don't know" can be good, usually it's not.
"Funny" options are not allowed, with some exceptions – OpiWiki is a website to provide meaningful answers.
To sum it up, options should be diverse, short, and formal.
An option's name must begin with a capital letter and must not end with a period. If the options are names or random texts, they must be put in alphabetical order (for names, order by last name), unless there's a point to order them differently (e.g. if the options refer to people, in some cases they can be sorted by date of birth). If the options are "Yes", "No", the "Yes" should be first.
A topic must have at least 1 and maximally 7 tags set. More info: Help: Categories.
Optional. The image can be added when it can help to present the topic better. As any other element, it must have the encyclopedic format, means it must not be manipulative.
Element: End date
The end date must be set when there's no point of voting after some date. Example: Who are you going to vote for in 2020? Otherwise it must not be set.
Element: Count options average
When the voting options are numbers, usually it's useful to know what is the average result, and then you should select this option.
Element: Option link
Optional. A link can be added to a voting option to describe it better. For example, if the option represents a person, you can add a link to his/her profile on OpiWiki (the profile can found in the items database).
Element: Option description
Optional. Sometimes it's useful to describe a voting option, e.g. when its name is too long.
Element: Max. options to choose
Default 1. Sets how many options can be selected in a single vote.
Optional. Keywords make the topic easier to find. You can set up to 10 keywords. Separate keywords with a comma, for example: keyword1, second keyword, keyword number 3.
We treat every topic as a common good. Any topic can be edited by any user. To edit a topic, click the edit button on the topic's page. Your edit will need to be approved by a moderator, unless you have enough Creator Points. If you're the topic's creator, up to a point you can edit it with special privileges.
There might be multiple reasons to edit a topic. For example, to improve the title, keywords, remove/add some voting options, tags, correct the options order, broken link, misspelled word, etc. If you believe any of the elements can be improved, go ahead. If your edit is approved, your level of Creator Points increases.
You should flag a topic when it should be deleted - when there's no point of editing it.
To flag a topic, click the "flag" button on the topic's page. Here are the most common cases in which a topic can be flagged:
- obvious reasons - spam, vandalism, etc.
- off-topic - please refer to the on-topic info
- topic is suggestive - the title or/and the topic description don't have the encyclopedic format
- topic is too vague - when it's unclear how to answer the question
- options are suggestive - refer to Element: voting options
- too many not concrete options - options like "Probably yes", "Probably no", "I don't know", etc.
- there should be more options - when some rather obvious option(s) should be added
- duplicate - when an identical topic (with the same voting options or no options) already exists