Alliance Guidelines

The Alliance is intended to be open

The Alliance is open to everyone. Anybody who wishes to participate in building a subweb or contribute to it in some way should feel free to do so.

However, there are some restrictions that we need to keep the Alliance functional:

Commercial sites may participate in the Alliance, but their webs should not cost money to access, or be just advertisements. The goal of the Alliance is to provide information, not to be cheap advertising space.

The Alliance is directed towards transhumanist information, but not everything is suitable for inclusion. There will doubtless appear people who will want to include other subjects or information they regard as transhumanism but the moderator(s) do not accept as suitable (see the next section). In this case the moderator(s) will have final say. The rule should be: "Keep an open mind, but not so open your brains fall out".

The Alliance as a whole have no political or ideological goals (other than transhumanism itself), but each subweb may have its own slant (which should be mentioned in the official description).

The Alliance is intended to have a high quality

The goal is to have information of the highest quality possible on several levels of expertise.

One way to ensure quality is to be open to critique and comments. Links should not just exist in a vacuum, they should be described and evaluated. The ideal would be to add a rating system for the links, possibly supplemented by backlinks, but before that we will have to rely on the support of the moderator of the page.

The Alliance is intended to be easy to use

The Alliance is intended to last

While all participants are transhumanists or interested in transhumanism, there is no guarantee that they will always agree on everything. Each web-moderator has final say about that part of the web (but not the rest), but should be open to rational discussion if someone disagrees with a decision.

If someone completely disagrees with a sub-web, then he or she is free to start an independent sub-web or leave the alliance (if a moderator). Hopefully we can avoid this, since in the first case we will get redundancies again and in the second case the Alliance will loose some of its brainpower.

These guidelines are not set in diamond, they are intended to evolve over time to suit new developments, problems and possibilities.

The Alliance is not intended as a monopoly on transhumanism on the web.

There are many independent resources on the web, and most of these will not be members of the alliance. The Alliance only seeks to simplify finding information, not to control it.

User Interface

General User Interface Guidelines

The following guidelines are mostly typical web- and interface- wisdom and in any case, and recommended for all web pages.

Each page should note its author(s) and email address(es), making it easy to get in touch. User feedback is very important to keep pages popular and useful (adding a guestbook is a good idea too).

Use a "Recent Changes Page" where additions, major rewrites or other changes can be announced (together with the responsible person and date). This way its easy to find new material or use automated web-watchers like URL-watcher.

Organise the pages according to some plan. One of the most useful and common is a treelike structure, with sub-trees dealing with different subjects and leaf nodes containing texts, images, footnotes, comments etc. This way irrelevant information is hidden from the user. Sometimes its a good idea to create a series of links on the leaf level too, so that users can read the pages in sequence. (See the Mind Uploading Homepage for this). Other structures are possible, like random networks (useful for associations but hard to find a specific piece of information in; they can be hybridised with other systems like my terminology pages), or perhaps a matrix for intersecting areas. The goal is to make it easy to find whatever information the user wishes to find.

If possible, add search capabilities or try to support the search systems on the web by adding keywords.

Only use icons and images where appropriate. Using too many images on a page makes it confusing and slow to load. On the other hand, a well-chosen image can spice up a page and make it an interesting read. Remember to give them ALT texts for non- graphical browsers or users who don't autoload images; don't make the images essential for understanding the page. One good practice is to keep thumbnail versions of the images on the page, and a link to the full size image.

Use backgrounds and text in different colours sparingly, if at all, since they often make the text harder to read. Such effects are sometimes useful in setting a mood or for artistic purposes, but seldom very informative.

The same goes for browser-dependent effects (such as the infamous Netscape flashing text ); the goal is to make the pages readable for as many users as possible, and not bound by any proprietary standard (use HTML as much as possible). There is nothing wrong with using proprietary tags if they are backwards compatible and are not cruicial for the content of the pages, but always remember that the page should look good for everyone.

Alliance Specific Interface Guidelines:

If possible add a bibliography and references to your pages to keep a high academic standard (and to simplify further reading).

There is already too much jargon in transhumanism; either use understandable terminology or add hyperlinks to explanations.

Comment each link, describing what it is (if it isn't obvious).

Menu bar

Information Page

The information page contains a presentation of the purpose of the web, its maintainer and contributors, and maybe an overview of it.


Here are some suggestions for standard images/icons to represent different areas:
The Web Alliance
A smaller logo designed by Alexander Chislenko:
File types:
(Red = local files, blue = remote files)
A very good idea developed by Matterform. They are small icons that are placed beside links in order to tell what to expect from the link, like a postscript file or an image. See QBullets for more information.
Mathematical Signs
One of the major drawbacks of the current version of HTML is the lack of mathematical symbols, exponents, greek letters etc. Hopefully this will be amended in the future, but for now we have to do with using ugly ascii-versions (like 10^-1) or inlined pictures (like 10 ^-1). The transparent icons made by Karen M. Strom look promising. See Characters and symbols available as transparent GIFs for a list of the icons.
Life extension/Immortality
An infinity sign
An glittering icicle, a snowflake
Self Transformation
A logarithmic spiral
A transistor schematic
Genetic Engineering/Biotech
A DNA Helix
A nanobearing
Megascale Engineering
A planet surrounded by a ring with beanstalks
A fractal
The Omega Point/Escatology
An Omega Sign
The letter 'A'
Rodin's "The Thinker"
A pair of scales
General transhumanist philosophy
An arrow pointing upwards
Intelligence Amplification
A Brain with arrows expanding in all directions
Information management
An atom of ones and zeroes.
An arrow consisting of words
A bionic implant, the classic "half human, half machine"
A pixellized brain, a brain on a computer screen.
Transhumanist art
The "Vitruvian Man" of Leonardo da Vinci (also suitable for other categories)
Just some example of transhumanist groups and their logos.
Extropy Institute
Swirling five-arrow star
My Web
A silver helix
A man-phoenix
The Church of Virus
A biohazard symbol
Transhumanism NOW

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