A wiki of all the ways you can die!
September 17, 2008 7:58 AM   Subscribe

A wiki of all the ways you can die!
I've decided to act on an idea that's been boiling for a while, so I bought up two domains, got some php and mysql going, and have just installed MediaWiki. The goal: to provide a central repository for all of the different ways that a person's body can cease functioning. From drowning to cancer to brain tumors, I aim to have it all, along with the science behind what goes on from the start of the process through till the bitter end. Sound morbid? It's really not supposed to be....

This idea was born on a whim, some quick Google searches and an unsatiable desire to continue trying out new things. So, I went with it. I now own EncyclopediaOfDeath.com and EncyclopediaDeathica.com. The first is where the main hosting is at, and I'll set up the second one to point to the first later on. Right now, though, I'm still in the infancy stages, and I'd love feedback, suggestions or tips on using MediaWiki. I'm fairly good at learning on the fly, so I'm not really worried, but I'd love to get this idea to take off fairly quickly. So any suggestions on how to get entries written would be great, along with suggestions on how I can make the thing look and feel better! (Note: for now, I've turned off page editing/creation except for sysops, since I don't want the site vandalized quite yet.)

The site is meant to be educational and informative, not morbid or promoting death (hence the registration of the more lighthearted "EncyclopediaDeathica" domain along with the more serious "EncyclopediaOfDeath" one. I know that some people will get the wrong impression at first (heck, my wife balked when I first tried to explain it), but I couldn't find any type of resource like this out there currently, and I figure that there has to be at least one other person who'd waste an afternoon browsing through the different ways a person can die, much like people do with Wikipedia entries all of the time. I'm hoping that, as my time permits, I'll be able to get up some example entries with appropriate diagrams and verbage that will communicate the legitimate and scientific stature of this project, overriding the "omg he's promoting death, lets killz him" type of mentality.

Finally, I can't run this thing forever out of my own pocket, so what should I do about adverts? I don't expect donations, though I'm hoping to create a buzz once I get a logo and some articles up by submitting it to various blogs and sites around the web (i.e., Fark, Digg, etc....folks there seem like the exact kind of people who would dig this kind of site, no pun intended). I'm thinking that I'll run with no adverts now, see if it's even successful, and if so, introduce them gradually. I hate banner ads and any kind of flashing stuff, so unless it's low-key or tasteful, I'm not about to start making it ad city. It'd just be nice to (one day) get some monetary gain out of the thing.

This is my first project announcement on MeFi, so I'm thrilled to hear what this lovely group of people has to say about it!
posted by omnipotentq (5 comments total)

Huh. You probably should've waited to post this until it was more complete. Buying a domain and installing MediaWiki doesn't seem to be the sort of substantial project that Mefi Projects is intended for.
posted by thinman at 1:41 PM on September 17, 2008

Yeah this isn't half-baked so much as it is "you bought some flour."

Until you have at least a dozen or so entries you're not going to get any useful feedback. At this point any "contributions" we could be making would feel like writing your site for you (rather than collaborating on something you yourself have put some time and creative energy into).

My serious suggestion is to petition the mods to delete this post, spend a week or month actually making the site, and then repost.
posted by aubilenon at 11:01 PM on September 17, 2008

Yeah, you gotta find someone to write the encyclopedia now.

A good way to start might be by copying articles from places with permissive licenses (Wikipedia?). Oh, I see that you've done that. For only one article. Well, scrape every Wikipedia page about ways of dying.
posted by grobstein at 11:48 AM on September 23, 2008

Oh man, I really like death. I hope you repost this in a few months when you've compiled some entries. It's a good idea, I'd love to see it actually take form.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 6:56 PM on September 26, 2008

Hmmm...still no content save the example?

How about reading the Gashleycrumb Tinies for some inspiration?

Your example (drowning) page seems pretty deep (heh). Why not go more horizontal and don't worry about so much development until you get, say, 50-100 ways?

I am rooting for this project to go forward!
posted by telstar at 11:00 AM on January 11, 2009

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