Issuepedia's mission is to aid in the process of making important decisions which affect large numbers of people, either directly or indirectly.
Issuepedia's immediate function is to document:
- significant issues
- opinions held on those issues along with any reasoning or background necessary to understand those opinions
- analytical tools available for attempting to reach a reasonable decision on such issues
See also: Article Types
It is also intended as a forum for further discussion, and to provide a central point for information about other forums where issues may be discussed in a productive way.
By providing a location where points of argument on an issue can be referenced whenever needed, Issuepedia hopes to eliminate much of the endless circular arguing and side-tracking which has always plagued such discussions. The fairly new technique of embedding hyperlinks within a discussion makes it easier to check the cross-reference if desired while reducing the amount of distraction to those who wish to continue reading uninterrupted.
Users of Issuepedia (including both readers and contributors) have various different roles to play. Users are not restricted to choosing a single role, but it may be helpful to keep in mind which role you are playing at any given time:
- A reader reads articles in Issuepedia in order to find what information may be available on a given issue or other topic, but does not contribute content or editing
- An editor examines existing contributions and makes improvements to accuracy or clarity, where needed
- A researcher compiles facts and opinions from other sources and reports them with (more or less) neutral point of view
- A pundit* is someone who states an opinion. Although the opinion should be clearly labeled as such – Issuepedia recommends the use of a section header entitled "Opinon" or prefixed with the word "Opinionated" ("Opinionated Statement", "Opinionated Summary"), the body of the opinion may be phrased in factual terms ("This action is just plain wrong!"). The point is not so much to convince anyone of the expressed point of view as it is just to "weigh in" that this is what you think.
- A debater* is someone who examines the known facts relating to a given issue, and uses that information to argue towards a conclusion. Such writings may also refer to opinions, but mainly as a way of gauging the relevance of an issue or as a launching point for the discussion ("Person X thinks such-and-so; I've looked at the evidence, and here's what I see.") Issuepedia does not yet have a recommended format for writings of this nature, though prefixing the article or section's title with "Thoughts on" should make it clear that the writing contains both opinions and analysis.
- I'm using these words until I think of something better
There may be other relevant roles I haven't thought of yet.