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The Volatile Chemist
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[*] posted on 22-11-2015 at 15:34
Forum Projects


I know I haven't started a new thread in ages. But a big problem of mine a little while ago was to come up with a new project idea and just post about it. An annoyance to Blogfast5.
There are two other major chemistry forums (Chemicalforums and scienceforums/chemistry) online, but the SM is the largest. That's about the only major dividing factor. Most of the younger members take a liking to the forum itself, the older ones seem to just like its topic (not a bad thing).
Thus, I thought it might be good to have a thread for the discussion of projects individuals think might be good for our forum. That way they can be discussed without having a separate thread which just goes dead after a few posts because the idea was bad.
We've got a nice forum. We've got a fine logo, patches, a dedicated marketplace, Skype and IRC channels, a wiki, a library, and more. Any ideas on how to make the forum more unique?
Perhaps even the idea of a thread about discussing projects will be shot down, as most of my 'projects' turn out to be 'stooopidd' as my calculus teacher calls them. But, this is sciencemadness.org; you'd think we'd be a bit more organized.
I don't have any good ideas at the moment, though if no-one else does, I do have one suggestion: a page of compounds or achievements made or performed by our users.




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Praxichys
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[*] posted on 24-11-2015 at 06:12


Quote: Originally posted by The Volatile Chemist  

I don't have any good ideas at the moment, though if no-one else does, I do have one suggestion: a page of compounds or achievements made or performed by our users.

We had what was known as the topical compendium which was put together by bfesser as a sort of index of useful threads on the forum. It was going well but his ambition and attention to detail was also his downfall. He resigned in response to backlash from members about being meticulous about their spelling/grammar and things like not using subscript for numbers in chemical formulae.

Inspired by that, I put together the topical compendium of energetic materials (discussion) which is less ambitious as it only covered EM but the idea is the same. It remains as a sticky on the EM board. Speaking of which, I need to bring that up to date with the last year or two of posts.

We also have the prepublications section which is a great place to post semi-formal lab reports, sort of like an achievements section.




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violet sin
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[*] posted on 24-11-2015 at 06:47


TVC: I do have one suggestion: a page of compounds or achievements made or performed by our users. -

In regards to that, what about slightly different way than having a dedicated page for that. An expanded member profile area to accommodate a short list of accomplishments or area of expertise. If ya wanted to really go for it, maybe a badge like icon for common synthesis. Or levels of formal teaching, chemistry related jobs or other feathers for one's cap. There are a few reactions many people here have done. Like making nitric acid from sulfuric acid and a nitrate salt, haloform, Cl2 with HCl TCCA, bromine, thermite ,.. etc. It would be easier to trust some ones response if you could see they had experience with that reaction. For instance, you post in a thread about making nitric acid problems, and a member answers you. From his/her profile you see they have the "made nitric acid" badge.

Maybe a line or two of tex allotted to when and what you last did in the lab. Just a though. Then again, it is 6:42am and about time for bed, it could be a lame idea.

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[*] posted on 24-11-2015 at 10:23


I gave these proposals of which some never stirred up much interest:

Volunteer project: Org. chem. index of amateur syntheses (still no volunteers)

Review threads (at least two compendiums were written, which could fit the criteria of a review thread)

Guidelines - a call for participation (this actually yielded something, though at the cost of me doing 95% of the work)

There were numerous other suggestions as well by other members. Just check the topics in Forum matters. For example, those that have a lot free time could write guidelines for practices important for home chemists. I can think of two that could be useful:
- how to write a lab notebook and how to write reports
- good safety practice for chemistry experiments




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aga
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[*] posted on 24-11-2015 at 13:05


The difficulty encounterd with all such 'group' projects is that people tend not to get excited by vague notions of 'this would be good'.

A clear (and ultimately selfish) goal usually works, in that people work together to achieve their own personal selfish goal.

Appeal to their Self and perversely people form into groups to help achieve what the Self wants.

It's just how normal people work.

For example, i offered some cash for a Competition.
Much interest, much discussion/working together.

Add in the fact that anyone interested in science/chemistry on an amateur basis is basically Not within the 'normal' spectrum.

Personally i will not be 'organised' in any way as regards my interest in chemistry : that's just the way i am.

Blogfast & Darkstar are kindly enlightening me (and anyone else interested) re: Quantum and OC.

At the same time i'm pursuing deltaH's suggestion for dehydrating ethanol.

Surely posting the results of experiments with photos is sufficient ?

The notion of a scout badge for each synthesis (or even group of syntheses) would make the badge collection of the likes of woelen, Nicodem, blogfast25 et al so Huge as to be unreadable.

My own would be quite long, with New badges created for Exemplary Messiness, Extreme Idiocy etc.




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violet sin
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[*] posted on 24-11-2015 at 15:04


I am interested in user profile that could be a bit more telling about a member. The badge idea was if you wanted to go all in. More important to me, would be a couple extra headings in the profile page like mentioned. Small box similar to mood, where you could put a date and description of recent lab work or projects. It would not show at the bottom or side of all your posts, just in profile.

and likewise a section for a couple bragging lines. Be it reactions, jobs, titles or what have you. If there was a space for it, people might throw in acronyms for accomplishments without resorting to wholly new merrit badges. If they wanted to claim mastery or simply completion of something new to them. If no bragging was needed, one might list current area of interest of next planned reactions.

Again, it's just a thought to give more perspective on a members abilities , interests and background.
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aga
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[*] posted on 24-11-2015 at 15:10


For frequent members we'd see what you did by the reporting of what you just did from the Post explaining exactly how you made X after actually doing it (hopefully with photos).

This also works, and shows how it was done, not just that one did it.

Communities only really exist amongst the living.

I doubt anyone can create an everlasting online community as the members come and go.

A bit like a cheap brothel ;)

[Edited on 24-11-2015 by aga]




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The Volatile Chemist
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[*] posted on 28-11-2015 at 09:07


In regards to the achievement idea, honestly I don't like it a bit. Post count is somewhat of a denoting of knowledge (though my count's a bit high :P). The idea of up's and down's used by Stack Exchange and Reddit works well, but would be tough to implement a second counter containing the up-votes of each member. Besides, it would be given for wittiness more often than intelligence.

A bragging rights space might work, though I'd prefer if it just stayed in the user profile and wasn't visible on the posts.

Aga, I realize the 'motivation' problem with projects. Of course this is just a place to discuss them. I have a sort of 'organizational' project I've been working on in secret (Well, more half secret, it's public, but no-one looks at my website any more :)), but by myself because I knew from past assessment that no-one actually wants to work, they just want to lead (like me :/).

In regards to my personal project, the website's just a sampling, not my most recent work. (Newest has 10,00 words)




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[*] posted on 28-11-2015 at 11:28


Don't forget about our wiki. It is a great place to post final drafts of syntheses that you have completed or any information regarding chemical compounds, apparatus, technique, or theory that you feel would be helpful to share.
It would be nice to see it used more often. I need to work on it more myself, but I haven't had much time lately.




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[*] posted on 30-11-2015 at 10:03


I think that one of the best two examples of "projects" I've seen on this forum are the "Fire Without Matches" video series on youtube, and (while not really an organized project) the wonderful Potassium synth thread. I particularly like the latter, because it very much shows the process of science at work as many members here troubleshooted one problem or another, running calculations an many failed synths to finally produce a working synthesis of potassium metal from KOH. A synthesis which I am actually trying to find the time to do right now actually.

I would really like to see more projects like these, and even take part/help in them. If anything new is learned or discovered to help the amateur chemistry community or to better inform others about chemistry, I'm up for it.
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The Volatile Chemist
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[*] posted on 2-12-2015 at 12:25


Definitely. The stickied threads are definitely worth looking through.



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