Using Diffen as a researcher

Using Diffen is easy. If you are searching for the difference between a jail and a prison, simply type jail in the first search box and prison in the second box. Hit the Enter key or click on the Get Difference button on the Diffen home page.

A comparison article typically has 3 sections:

  1. Comparison table
  2. Descriptive comparison
  3. Comments

Comparison Table

The comparison table consists of short, factual information that appears on every comparison for a particular entity. For example, if the article France vs Germany has data about France such as Population, Head of state, Area, GDP, Capital etc. in the objective comparison table, then all articles comparing France (France vs Poland,Argentina vs France etc.) will automatically have this same data about France.

Descriptive Comparison

The descriptive comparison consists of text specific to the comparison you are reading. For example, the article France vs. Germany may have a descriptive sub-section on wars between the French and the Germans. This sub-section may contain a lot of relevant information about France. However, this text will not appear automatically on France vs. Poland. In general, the descriptive comparison will tend to present information from the specific point of view of comparing France and Germancy.

Comments

While the first two sections should be factual, the Comments section is where people can express their opinions. The opinions can be about France only, about Germany only, or about how France and Germany compare with each other.

The Chat Feature

Another feature that comes in handy for a researcher is talking to fellow researchers on the same topic. So if you're trying to choose between an LCD TV and a Plasma TV, you can chat with other users researching the same topic.

Requests for Articles

If the difference/comparison you are looking for is not present on the site, you can post a request for the Diffen community. You are also encouraged to write articles requested by other users in the community.

Disabling Advertising

In-text advertisments (green colored, double underlined phrases) are displayed only to users who are not logged in. If you would like to disable these ads, simply create a Diffen account and log in. Your email address or name is not required to create an account. Google AdSense advertisements are fairly unobtrusive and cannot be disabled.

Using Diffen as a content contributor/editor

Writing and editing articles on Diffen is also very easy. All articles are editable. We would love it if you create a log in and make all your edits under your user name, although logging in is not a prerequisite for editing. Your browser needs to have Javascript enabled for you to edit articles.

Editing the comparison table

The objective comparison section contains brief, factual data that is applicable in general to all comparisons of a particular entity. All comparisons of France (France vs. Argentina, France vs. Poland, France vs. Spain, France vs. Uganda and so on) share the same information table about France; such as GDP, population, capital etc. Any change to any of these attributes on one article (say France vs. Spain) will automatically affect all other comparisons. So please be careful when editing tabular comparisons (and doubly so when deleting any attributes!).

To edit the comparison table, just click on the Edit Objective Comparison link near the top right corner of the comparison table. You can add or delete attributes for comparison. You can also change the values for any attribute for either entity. If you do not have all the information, you can leave some values blank. When you are done making changes, click on the Save Changes button. To cancel and not make any changes, click the Cancel button.

Editing descriptive text

The descriptive section of a comparison should focus on aspects unique to the comparison. Any information or concepts that cannot be explained in brief should also be included in the descriptive section rather than the objective section. The text written in this section is not automatically visible on any other comparison on Diffen.

Editing the descriptive comparison section is very similar to editing an article on Wikipedia. The Wikipedia cheat sheet will help in formatting articles. There is also a WYSIWYG editing option for easier edits for newbies (this function is currently only available for Firefox and IE users). You can toggle between simple editing and WikiText using the WikiText button.

Feedback

Your comments on any aspect of Diffen will be much appreciated. Please send suggestions, bouquets and brickbats to us via the feedback page.