You can help with Ballotpedia's March Collaboration on "State of the State" speeches

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March 2, 2012

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Readers and Volunteers: You're invited to join in Ballotpedia's March Collaborative Project.

Here are the details:

Everyone is familiar with the President's State of the Union address. At Ballotpedia, we've begun archiving similar speeches made by each of the 50 governors: the "State of the State." (In Iowa, it's called the "Condition of the State" and in Kentucky, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Virginia it's known as "State of the Commonwealth.") Whichever name it goes by, these speeches are delivered to the state legislature and fulfill the requirement in most state constitutions that the governor must deliver an annual report to the legislature.

These speeches outline what a governor's priorities are for a particular year, notes some of the struggles their state may have faced in the past year or address some specific national trend. At Ballotpedia, we thought it would be interesting to compile a page of each for as far back as we go. That's where you come in! This project combines internet research with wiki-editing and can be a good place to start if you're testing out your wiki skills. We've already started a page to collect the archived speeches: State of the state addresses, so all you have to do is add links under the appropriate years!

The steps are easy:

  1. Find the text of an address you can add to our page and copy the link. Stateline (dead link) is a great place to find state of the state addresses from 2002 - 2011. For older addresses, you'll get to do some deeper research in each state's historical archives.
  2. On another browser tab (or a new window if you'd prefer) open the State of the state addresses page and click the "Edit" tab on the top of the page.
  3. In the code, find the year you want to add to. Below these instructions is an example of how the year 2011 looks in the code.
  4. Add a line for your state and input the link. Using an asterisk in the code creates a bullet on the wiki. A single set of brackets [ ] creates a link to an external website. Inside the brackets, paste the link, press the space bar, and insert the name of the state you're adding.
  5. Click "Preview" at the bottom of the page to make sure your changes look good, and then click "Save" and you're done!
=2011=              <--- Using just one "=" around a heading will make it a tab.
{{colbegin|5}}      <--- This code will put a list in 5 columns.
*[http://stateline.org/live/details/speech?contentId=540472 Alabama]  
*[http://stateline.org/live/details/speech?contentId=540474 Arkansas] 
...
*[http://stateline.org/live/details/speech?contentId=540512 Wyoming]
{{colend}}          <--- This code tells the wiki to end the columns

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