Developing the text - How to post a challenge

Please post comments, suggestions or feedback for the tutorial text on How to Post A Challenge in this thread.

The current version of the text is:


  1. Post it in a city category (green). If there is no category for you city use the “Other” category.
  2. Assign the challenge tag to it.
  3. Provide a (1) SUMMARY and some (2) BACKGROUND information about the challenge, describe the (3) CHALLENGE = the problem you work on - and the (4) PROCESS or structure you use to do this, and provide links to (5) RESSOURCES to help people to understand and collaborate. Try to be instructive but short.



##How to Post a Challenge

Posting and collaborating on challenges is what the OSCEdays and this platform is all about. You are encouraged to post your challenge here in the community forum. Share what you’re doing and what you’re trying to achieve, and allow people to help, to support you and also learn from you.

This guide is in two parts: the Technical Side (how to use this forum to post your challenge) and also ‘Describe Your Challenge’ – which will explain how to frame your challenge, to make it easy for people to get involved and to help generate tangible results.

#1. Using the Forum
How do you post a challenge in this forum? First, you should sign up or log-in. You will have to create a topic for your challenge. Do it like this (please make sure to read the first two sections):

##Choose the right Category
We encourage you to post your challenge in a city category (green ones). This allows people to see where you are, and makes it easier for local collaborators to find you.

If there is no category for your city or a city close to you, please use the “Other” category for now. Do you think your city should have its own category? Please let us know!.

##Assign Tags!

The “Challenge” tag !important
It’s really important to assign the “challenges” tag to your challenge. The tag-option is at the bottom of the text-editor.

Challenges don’t have to be focused on one particular location, but the key aspect of a good challenge is a person who is really interested and motivated to take on the task. Make sure you tell others where you are and how they can join you!

“Date” tags
If your challenge is part of the OSCEdays Event from June 11-15 2015 please add a tag for the day(s) when you will work on your challenge: June11-2015, June12-2015 … June15-2015. If you don’t know yet, you can always add this later.

“Field” tags
We have a variety of other tags to show the field your challenge belongs to, like “3d printing” or “LCA” (Life Cycle Assessment). Tags make it easier for people from relevant fields to find your challenge.

You can find an overview of the available tags here. Are we missing something important? let us know!

You can also describe the type of challenge with tags like “prototyping” or “documentation jam”. Find an overview here.

##Organize Your Challenge
There are several ways that you can collaborate with others here. Take a look around for inspiration!

One good idea is to start a main ‘overview’ topic for your challenge. Give all the necessary information (see ‘Describe Your Challenge’ below). Suggest that anyone interested in contributing should comment and introduce themselves there, and also bookmark your challenge to stay updated about the development. You can set up new subtopics for your challenge to focus on sub-challenges or specific questions (for example by using using the „+ Reply as a linked Topic“ option at top left on your challenge page). The procedure to set up a sub-challenge is the same as a challenge, but please make sure to link back to the main challenge to give people context. You can then post a comment in your main thread with a link to the sub challenge so that people who have bookmarked it will hear about it.

As your challenge develops, you can edit your main topic/ update. You can also invite your collaborators to edit it with you by making the topic a Wiki (this option might not be available to you to begin with).

You can of course link to tools or sites (like GitLab or GitHub for code) which are more suited to specific types of collaboration. We have our community ownCloud space at where you can collaborate on and share documents and all sorts of files - just message Sam to ask for a login. But wherever you choose to work, make sure that you post a link on the forum so others can find you and help out!

If you need help with something regarding your challenge, consider to post a request in the “Call for Skills” category of the forum.

#2. Describe Your Challenge

Describe your challenge and provide relevant resources.

When you describe your challenge, be as concise as you can. With a challenge you invite people collaborate. Think about what people really need to know in order to get started - there’s room for detail later. These are some basics you might include:

Start with a short summary of the challenge as an introduction: What are you trying to achieve? Just 200 characters to give a quick overview.

Give some background or contextual information about you and also the challenge. Who are you? What problem do you want to solve, and why is it important? Who would be affected by the solution, who has an interest in it? Is the challenge part of an existing project? Are you already collaborating with partners? You can provide links online resources with more detailed information about all of this, or provide some of this information in your forum profile.

###The Challenge
The Challenge itself! What do you want to achieve? What problems are you facing, and what do you plan to do/to work on? What specifically do you need help with (if so)? What is your current status?

###Process (& Call for Help)
How do you plan to work on the challenge? Mention concrete tasks and steps, and tell people how they can get involved/help you. Be as precise, clear and instructive as possible. Help people to help you.

If you already have a core team that you work with, mention all the members and say who is responsible for what, so it’s easier for people to connect with the right person.

If you use more than one topic to structure your challenge make sure that there is one main topic - a clear entry point - that links to all the other sub-topics, and also ensure that all sup topics link back to the main topic.

###Resources & Media
Provide useful or necessary resources: post links to websites, documents, tools, data collections or repositories.

Add media files like images, videos, sound files etc. to your post if you have some. They help people to get in to your challenge.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to post them here in the “Challenges” category. This Challenge category is the meta category for challenges. _

Please be aware that by posting to this forum you agree to post under a Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike License.

@Lars2i just putting together the Cairo description. Please change in ‘how to post a challenge short version’: RIGHT click +newtopic. Thank you very much!

And would it be possible to have an extra link for ‘How to describe your challenge’? My idea was to lead people (like me) via the city page short cut and give them a direct way into how to describe their challenges…

What do you think?

Hi @CarolinePaulickThiel,
thank you for pointing out the mistake :stuck_out_tongue:

Yes, i think we could separate the “technical” side of posting a challenge from the “content”-side. What benefits do you see coming from that? Would the the participants not need to know how to post their stuff technically? Or would they figure this out by looking at others?

Dear @Lars2i! @hazem and me have been updating the Cairo site here and came up with a short description for posting a challenge. While doing that I figured that it would be easiest to give short way in on how describe the challenge and a short way in how to post the challenge. Both can be on one page - but it would be best if we can link them individually (don’t know if that’s possible?). For me, the descriptions would be easiest to understand if they have a short summary and underneath a longer explanation. The content is all the there - it only needs a little bit of editing. Do you think that this can be done easily?

Hi Caroline, i looked, but the forum-tech does not allow to link to headlines in a topic :frowning: You are right, this would have been the best way.

I will do some editing now. Everything will stay in one thread, but i’ll try to make the short-guides clearer. When you see more possible improvements, let me know.