Project Anatomy

Direct link to this page:
Share Button

This analysis is somewhat dated and needs to be updated.


This project can be considered a "Meta-Project", that is, it is a project regarding how we handle projects, and is the place to collect information about how we process projects on this CopsWiki web site.

Although based on the same wiki concept as Wikipedia, CopsWiki is to enable citizen activism and oversight of our governmental bodies. As a citizen in a democracy, it is your duty to oversee the entire government, top to bottom. It's a task that is obviously impossible to perform as an individual, but as a team, and using CopsWiki as a place to collect projects and to organize the team, it is possible, and is perhaps the most important task before us. Please see COPs Program to learn more about the general nature of the COPs Program.

The key aspect of a wiki is the fact that each one of the pages before you can be edited as a collaborative effort. The TWiki platform also allows structure to be added to these pages, and for other pages to provide dynamic reports and searches. If you are new to TWiki, I encourage you to visit Twiki Basic Instructions to get you started using the site. There are a couple of tutorials mentioned there as well.

The structure of Projects on this site

We have been experimenting with the structural aspects of projects for several years, and things have started to settle in to this common format. But nothing is set in cement. The TWiki platform will allow us to improve and enhance our project concept as time goes on.


Each project has a common format and a "ProjectForm" attached to it. In TWiki, such forms allow a topic page to contain structured information. For information about each of the fields, see Project Form.

Projects are classified into three types, as specified by the Project Type field in the Project Form.
  • Govt Oversight - Oversight of the operation of specific governmental bodies, preferably by a consistent set of citizens who will grow to understand the issues to come before the body. A governmental body that can be tracked would be Grossmont Healthcare Board, the board that has oversight over the operation of Grossmont Hospital.
  • Issue Oversight - Oversight of political issues or specific development projects that may require interaction with several governmental bodies. A good example is Blackwater Potrero, the huge 824-acre training camp proposed by Blackwater Worldwide.
  • Infrastructure Project - These projects relate to the COPs organization and the logistics behind handling all the various projects. An example of such a project is the project you are currently reading, the Project Anatomy project, which deals with the specific sections of project pages on the website, and the COPs Program, which is the ultimate parent of all projects.
The Project Type field may be superfluous as the type of project could be determined strictly by the Project Parent field, and additional Project topics would be created called Govt Oversight and Issue Oversight that would be parents to any projects in those categories. To determine the classification of any given project, however, it is necessary to follow all parent links until the ultimate parent is found. Although this design is possible, it makes such determination and qualified searches much more difficult given the flat-search method used by TWiki. An enhancement to TWiki would be linked topic facility, which is currently not available.

Therefore, we will strive to keep the tree of projects as flat as possible, and rely on the Parent-Child relationship only as a means to assist the user to find related projects.

Each project page has a number of sections, described as follows:
  • Table of Contents - An automatically generated list of links to the headings of the topic.
  • Latest News - The recent changes to the page, upcoming events, etc.
  • Background - A summary of background information to allow a newcomer to the project to get up to speed and get involved. This section should provide sufficient detail to allow a newcomer to understand the project.
    • Links to official web sites that describe the project or governmental body, and contact information, etc.
  • Images - If you attach images to the project topic, they will be added to the images section to allow a visitor to peruse them. It is not necessary to "create a link to the image" when you add them, and they can be added using FTP if you have many images. (See How To Add Images Using Ftp).
  • Project Filings - This is appropriate only when the project relates to a development project, and should describe filings that were found in the permits database of the jurisdiction.
  • Timeline - This is important for any project as it is very easy to forget the blow-by-blow actions taken during citizen oversight action.
  • Articles and Media - This section automatically includes all News Media that has been submitted to the site and marked with the appropriate keyword for this project. The keyword is typically the topic name.
  • Child Projects - Some projects can be considered components of a larger "parent" project. These sub-projects will be marked with the project name in the Project Parents field, and are listed as Child Projects of the Parent.
  • Who's Who - One of the most important parts of any project is pulling together the list of contacts of activists and organizations who are actively interested in the project. A "Core" groups of active supporters can be distinguished from those with secondary interest, media contacts, governmental decision makers, and of course, opponents to the project, if that applies.
  • Discussion List - Most active projects will have a separate discussion email list specifically to discuss the project, track changes, and provide News Media to subscribers.
  • Project Comments - Comments to a project are each a separate topic in the Comments Web, so that it is not necessary to be a subscriber to add comments. (This arrangement is still under development).

News Media

A very important aspect of this system is the accumulation of links and information as News Media. Although articles in traditional news sites is the most common addition to this list, governmental documents, letters, press releases, and other documents that are specific to any project are also accumulated in that database. If the document is in traditional news media, we will attempt to copy the text of that document into our system as well as provide a link in case the news source discontinues to make the document available.



  • 01 Nov 2006 - COPs founded. See COPs Program for details.
  • 04 Nov 2008 - Creation of this Project Anatomy topic.
  • 14 Nov 2008 - Improved List Serve topic to create a dynamic report of listserves; provide list of appropriate listserve on each topic.
  • 11 Dec 2008 - Improved concepts of people and organizations

Recent Articles and Media: (Add | All Media)

This is the most recently published 20 articles, most recent first. Submit new media here.

Who's Who

There are several categories of interaction with people and organizations. (See How To Organize People for a discussion of the considerations with regard to people.) These are most easily understood in a grid:

Type Allies Opponents
Primary Contacts Project Leaders - A small set of leaders of each project is important to focus the message.
ProjectFounder and ProjectCurator are fields in the Project Form for each project.
In addition, we may have both public and private primary contacts
Public Contacts:
Database: Common Web with Contact Form
Marking: Keywords has project name + "Core".
Private Contacts:
Database: People Web with People Form
Marking: Tags has project name + "Core".
Listing: Use %TOPIC_CORE_MEMBERS% (Secured)
Primary Opponent Contacts
contacts of opponent organizations most likely involved in direct interactions with COPs activists.
Public Contacts:
Database: Common Web with Contact Form
Marking: Keywords has project name + "ConCore".
Private Contacts:
Database: People Web with People Form
Marking: Tags has project name + "ConCore".
Listing: Use %TOPIC_CON_CORE_MEMBERS% (Secured)
Support Allied Organizations and Activists
These are organizations who are publicly involved in the same project. Constant communication with these groups is important to establish a larger and cohesive coalition. The most important members of this group are listed on the project page. Defined in Common web with Contact Form.
Database: Common Web with Contact Form
Marking: Keywords has project name.
Opponent Organizations and Activists
Organizations who publicly support the opponents position. Defined in Common web with Contact Form.
Database: Common Web with Contact Form
Marking: Keywords has project name + "Con".
2nd Tier Citizen Stakeholders
Citizens who are affected by the project, but who take a lower profile and who may only wish to be monitoring the discussion, notified of special events, involved in internet-based advocacy, or perhaps involved in protest events. This group may be quite numerous and are not named on the project page.
Database: People Web with People Form
Marking: Tags has project name.
Listing: Use %TOPIC_MEMBERS% (Secured)
Opponent Followers - Citizens and activists who support and follow the opponents. May be in the contacts database.
Database: People Web with People Form
Marking: Tags has project name + "Con".
Listing: Use %TOPIC_CON_MEMBERS% (Secured)
Governmental Decision Makers Elected officials who have influence on decision makers and governmental departments, and who are particularly appropriate for contact by citizen activists, but are not primarily responsible contacts. Members of this group are not listed on the project page but are referenced by group name, such as San Diego City Council.
Database: Common Web with Contact Form
Marking: Keywords has project name + "Decider"
Primary News Media Contacts Reporters and writers who are intimately involved in this subject area, but who attempt to be impartial. This list may be extensive and it may be inappropriate to list exhaustively on the site.
Database: Common Web with Contact Form
Marking: Contact Form Keywords should include the project name + "Neutral"
Alternatively, reporters and writers could be listed by searching for articles marked with the project keyword and listing the author names.

Discussion List

Discussion lists are appropriate for Citizen Stakeholders, Allied Organizations and Activists, COPs Activists, and any News Media that wishes to monitor the activity. See List Serve for a list of all email discussion lists and for list management. Each list must have a topic with a List Serve Form attached and the project name included in the ListTags field.

The discussion lists associated with the project are listed with the predefined search:


Project Form edit

Project Name Project Anatomy
Project Description A "project of projects" -- how we manage and organize COPs projects on this site.
Project Founder Raymond Lutz
Project Curator Raymond Lutz
Project Type Infrastructure Project
Project Parents COPs Program
Related Keywords
Project Status Active
Thumbnail Link
Forum Link
List Serve Topic
Topic revision: r17 - 06 Jan 2018, RaymondLutz
This site is powered by FoswikiCopyright © by the contributing authors. All material on this collaboration platform is the property of the contributing authors.
Ideas, requests, problems regarding Cops? Send feedback