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[Wikimedia-l] "Can Wikipedia Survive?" op-ed
Hi.

This op-ed by Andrew Lih appeared in today's New York Times. I'm sending
it here in case anyone is interested in reading or discussing it. I
enjoyed the piece; congrats to Mr. Lih on getting this published!

MZMcBride

----

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/21/opinion/can-wikipedia-survive.html

Can Wikipedia Survive?
By Andrew Lih
June 20, 2015

WASHINGTON — WIKIPEDIA has come a long way since it started in 2001. With
around 70,000 volunteers editing in over 100 languages, it is by far the
world’s most popular reference site. Its future is also uncertain.

One of the biggest threats it faces is the rise of smartphones as the
dominant personal computing device. A recent Pew Research Center report
found that 39 of the top 50 news sites received more traffic from mobile
devices than from desktop and laptop computers, sales of which have
declined for years.

This is a challenge for Wikipedia, which has always depended on
contributors hunched over keyboards searching references, discussing
changes and writing articles using a special markup code. Even before
smartphones were widespread, studies consistently showed that these are
daunting tasks for newcomers. “Not even our youngest and most
computer-savvy participants accomplished these tasks with ease,” a 2009
user test concluded. The difficulty of bringing on new volunteers has
resulted in seven straight years of declining editor participation.

In 2005, during Wikipedia’s peak years, there were months when more than
60 editors were made administrator — a position with special privileges in
editing the English-language edition. For the past year, it has sometimes
struggled to promote even one per month.

The pool of potential Wikipedia editors could dry up as the number of
mobile users keeps growing; it’s simply too hard to manipulate complex
code on a tiny screen.

The nonprofit Wikimedia Foundation, which oversees Wikipedia’s operations
but is not directly involved in content, is investigating solutions. Some
ideas include touch-screen tools that would let Wikipedia editors sift
through information and share content from their phones.

What has not suffered is fund-raising. The foundation, based in San
Francisco, has a budget of roughly $60 million. How to fairly distribute
resources has long been a topic of debate. How much should go to regional
chapters and affiliates, or to groups devoted to non-English languages?
How much should stay in the foundation to develop software, create mobile
apps and maintain infrastructure?

These tensions run through the community. Last year the foundation took
the unprecedented step of forcing the installation of new software on the
German-language Wikipedia. The German editors had shown their independent
streak by resisting an earlier update to the site’s user interface.
Against the wishes of veteran editors, the foundation installed a new way
to view multimedia content and then set up an Orwellian-sounding
“superprotect” feature to block obstinate administrators from changing it
back.

The latest clash had repercussions in the election this year for seats to
the Wikimedia Foundation’s board of trustees — the most influential
positions that volunteers can hold. The election — a record 5,000 voters
turned out, nearly three times the number from the previous election — was
a rebuke to the status quo; all three incumbents up for re-election were
defeated, replaced by critics of the superprotect measures. Two other
members will leave the 10-member board at the end of this year. Meanwhile,
the foundation’s new executive director, Lila Tretikov, has been hiring
developers from the world of open-source technology, and their lack of
experience with Wikipedia content has concerned some veterans.

Could the pressure from mobile, and the internal tensions, tear Wikipedia
apart? A world without it seems unimaginable, but consider the fate of
other online communities. Founded in 1985, at the dawn of the Internet,
the Well, the self-proclaimed “birthplace of the online community
movement,” hosted an influential cast of dot-com luminaries on its
electronic bulletin board discussion forums. By 1995, it was in steep
decline, and today it is a shell of its former self. Blogging, celebrated
a decade ago as pioneering an exciting new form of personal writing, has
decreased significantly in the social-media age.

These are existential challenges, but they can still be addressed. There
is no other significant alternative to Wikipedia, and good will toward the
project — a remarkable feat of altruism — could hardly be higher. If the
foundation needed more donations, it could surely raise them.

The real challenges for Wikipedia are to resolve the governance disputes —
the tensions among foundation employees, longtime editors trying to
protect their prerogatives, and new volunteers trying to break in — and to
design a mobile-oriented editing environment. One board member, María
Sefidari, warned that “some communities have become so change-resistant
and innovation-averse” that they risk staying “stuck in 2006 while the
rest of the Internet is thinking about 2020 and the next three billion
users.”

For the last few years, the Smithsonian Institution, the National Archives
and other world-class institutions, libraries and museums have
collaborated with Wikipedia’s volunteers to improve accuracy, quality of
references and depth of multimedia on article pages. This movement dates
from 2010, when the British Museum saw that Wikipedia’s visitor traffic to
articles about its artifacts was five times greater than that of the
museum’s own website. Grasping the power of Wikipedia to amplify its
reach, the museum invited a Wikipedia editor to work with its curatorial
staff. Since then, similar parternships have been set up with groups like
the Cochrane Collaboration, a nonprofit organization that focuses on
evidence-based health care, and the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention.

These are vital opportunities for Wikipedia to tap external expertise and
enlarge its base of editors. It is also the most promising way to solve
the considerable and often-noted gender gap among Wikipedia editors; in
2011, less than 15 percent were women.

The worst scenario is an end to Wikipedia, not with a bang but with a
whimper: a long, slow decline in participation, accuracy and usefulness
that is not quite dramatic enough to jolt the community into making
meaningful reforms.

No effort in history has gotten so much information at so little cost into
the hands of so many — a feat made all the more remarkable by the absence
of profit and owners. In an age of Internet giants, this most selfless of
websites is worth saving.

---

Andrew Lih is an associate professor of journalism at American University
and the author of “The Wikipedia Revolution: How a Bunch of Nobodies
Created the World’s Greatest Encyclopedia.”



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Re: [Wikimedia-l] "Can Wikipedia Survive?" op-ed [ In reply to ]
a good and thoughtful piece. Obviously, we could discuss minor
generalizations, or not 100% grounded intuitions, but the general picture
is interesting and useful for the movement. Congrats!

best,

dj

On Sun, Jun 21, 2015 at 8:47 PM, MZMcBride <z@mzmcbride.com> wrote:

> Hi.
>
> This op-ed by Andrew Lih appeared in today's New York Times. I'm sending
> it here in case anyone is interested in reading or discussing it. I
> enjoyed the piece; congrats to Mr. Lih on getting this published!
>
> MZMcBride
>
> ----
>
> http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/21/opinion/can-wikipedia-survive.html
>
> Can Wikipedia Survive?
> By Andrew Lih
> June 20, 2015
>
> WASHINGTON — WIKIPEDIA has come a long way since it started in 2001. With
> around 70,000 volunteers editing in over 100 languages, it is by far the
> world’s most popular reference site. Its future is also uncertain.
>
> One of the biggest threats it faces is the rise of smartphones as the
> dominant personal computing device. A recent Pew Research Center report
> found that 39 of the top 50 news sites received more traffic from mobile
> devices than from desktop and laptop computers, sales of which have
> declined for years.
>
> This is a challenge for Wikipedia, which has always depended on
> contributors hunched over keyboards searching references, discussing
> changes and writing articles using a special markup code. Even before
> smartphones were widespread, studies consistently showed that these are
> daunting tasks for newcomers. “Not even our youngest and most
> computer-savvy participants accomplished these tasks with ease,” a 2009
> user test concluded. The difficulty of bringing on new volunteers has
> resulted in seven straight years of declining editor participation.
>
> In 2005, during Wikipedia’s peak years, there were months when more than
> 60 editors were made administrator — a position with special privileges in
> editing the English-language edition. For the past year, it has sometimes
> struggled to promote even one per month.
>
> The pool of potential Wikipedia editors could dry up as the number of
> mobile users keeps growing; it’s simply too hard to manipulate complex
> code on a tiny screen.
>
> The nonprofit Wikimedia Foundation, which oversees Wikipedia’s operations
> but is not directly involved in content, is investigating solutions. Some
> ideas include touch-screen tools that would let Wikipedia editors sift
> through information and share content from their phones.
>
> What has not suffered is fund-raising. The foundation, based in San
> Francisco, has a budget of roughly $60 million. How to fairly distribute
> resources has long been a topic of debate. How much should go to regional
> chapters and affiliates, or to groups devoted to non-English languages?
> How much should stay in the foundation to develop software, create mobile
> apps and maintain infrastructure?
>
> These tensions run through the community. Last year the foundation took
> the unprecedented step of forcing the installation of new software on the
> German-language Wikipedia. The German editors had shown their independent
> streak by resisting an earlier update to the site’s user interface.
> Against the wishes of veteran editors, the foundation installed a new way
> to view multimedia content and then set up an Orwellian-sounding
> “superprotect” feature to block obstinate administrators from changing it
> back.
>
> The latest clash had repercussions in the election this year for seats to
> the Wikimedia Foundation’s board of trustees — the most influential
> positions that volunteers can hold. The election — a record 5,000 voters
> turned out, nearly three times the number from the previous election — was
> a rebuke to the status quo; all three incumbents up for re-election were
> defeated, replaced by critics of the superprotect measures. Two other
> members will leave the 10-member board at the end of this year. Meanwhile,
> the foundation’s new executive director, Lila Tretikov, has been hiring
> developers from the world of open-source technology, and their lack of
> experience with Wikipedia content has concerned some veterans.
>
> Could the pressure from mobile, and the internal tensions, tear Wikipedia
> apart? A world without it seems unimaginable, but consider the fate of
> other online communities. Founded in 1985, at the dawn of the Internet,
> the Well, the self-proclaimed “birthplace of the online community
> movement,” hosted an influential cast of dot-com luminaries on its
> electronic bulletin board discussion forums. By 1995, it was in steep
> decline, and today it is a shell of its former self. Blogging, celebrated
> a decade ago as pioneering an exciting new form of personal writing, has
> decreased significantly in the social-media age.
>
> These are existential challenges, but they can still be addressed. There
> is no other significant alternative to Wikipedia, and good will toward the
> project — a remarkable feat of altruism — could hardly be higher. If the
> foundation needed more donations, it could surely raise them.
>
> The real challenges for Wikipedia are to resolve the governance disputes —
> the tensions among foundation employees, longtime editors trying to
> protect their prerogatives, and new volunteers trying to break in — and to
> design a mobile-oriented editing environment. One board member, María
> Sefidari, warned that “some communities have become so change-resistant
> and innovation-averse” that they risk staying “stuck in 2006 while the
> rest of the Internet is thinking about 2020 and the next three billion
> users.”
>
> For the last few years, the Smithsonian Institution, the National Archives
> and other world-class institutions, libraries and museums have
> collaborated with Wikipedia’s volunteers to improve accuracy, quality of
> references and depth of multimedia on article pages. This movement dates
> from 2010, when the British Museum saw that Wikipedia’s visitor traffic to
> articles about its artifacts was five times greater than that of the
> museum’s own website. Grasping the power of Wikipedia to amplify its
> reach, the museum invited a Wikipedia editor to work with its curatorial
> staff. Since then, similar parternships have been set up with groups like
> the Cochrane Collaboration, a nonprofit organization that focuses on
> evidence-based health care, and the Centers for Disease Control and
> Prevention.
>
> These are vital opportunities for Wikipedia to tap external expertise and
> enlarge its base of editors. It is also the most promising way to solve
> the considerable and often-noted gender gap among Wikipedia editors; in
> 2011, less than 15 percent were women.
>
> The worst scenario is an end to Wikipedia, not with a bang but with a
> whimper: a long, slow decline in participation, accuracy and usefulness
> that is not quite dramatic enough to jolt the community into making
> meaningful reforms.
>
> No effort in history has gotten so much information at so little cost into
> the hands of so many — a feat made all the more remarkable by the absence
> of profit and owners. In an age of Internet giants, this most selfless of
> websites is worth saving.
>
> ---
>
> Andrew Lih is an associate professor of journalism at American University
> and the author of “The Wikipedia Revolution: How a Bunch of Nobodies
> Created the World’s Greatest Encyclopedia.”
>
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:wikimedia-l-request@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe>




--

__________________________
prof. dr hab. Dariusz Jemielniak
kierownik katedry Zarządzania Międzynarodowego
i centrum badawczego CROW
Akademia Leona Koźmińskiego
http://www.crow.alk.edu.pl

członek Akademii Młodych Uczonych Polskiej Akademii Nauk
członek Komitetu Polityki Naukowej MNiSW

Wyszła pierwsza na świecie etnografia Wikipedii "Common Knowledge? An
Ethnography of Wikipedia" (2014, Stanford University Press) mojego
autorstwa http://www.sup.org/book.cgi?id=24010

Recenzje
Forbes: http://www.forbes.com/fdc/welcome_mjx.shtml
Pacific Standard:
http://www.psmag.com/navigation/books-and-culture/killed-wikipedia-93777/
Motherboard: http://motherboard.vice.com/read/an-ethnography-of-wikipedia
The Wikipedian:
http://thewikipedian.net/2014/10/10/dariusz-jemielniak-common-knowledge
_______________________________________________
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] "Can Wikipedia Survive?" op-ed [ In reply to ]
Hoi,
What I absolutely hate in this piece is something that has been obvious for
so long: "... , or to groups devoted to non-English languages?". It is the
lack of attention and funding that has discriminated against other
languages. The attitude of "when it works for the big Wikipedias, it will
work for the small Wikipedias" is manifestly wrong and there are plenty
examples to prove the point.

In the app where information is to be had from Wikidata they use for
instance descriptions. There are several problems with them.

- They do not translate
- They do not get updated
- They distract people from adding statements that would improve
automated descriptions.

There is no single argument why we should not use automated descriptions
and there are plenty why we should. To start we support over 280 languages
and most of them are best served with automated descriptions.

This is only one example where positive discrimination for English is
actually holding us back.
Thanks,
GerardM

On 21 June 2015 at 20:47, MZMcBride <z@mzmcbride.com> wrote:

> Hi.
>
> This op-ed by Andrew Lih appeared in today's New York Times. I'm sending
> it here in case anyone is interested in reading or discussing it. I
> enjoyed the piece; congrats to Mr. Lih on getting this published!
>
> MZMcBride
>
> ----
>
> http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/21/opinion/can-wikipedia-survive.html
>
> Can Wikipedia Survive?
> By Andrew Lih
> June 20, 2015
>
> WASHINGTON — WIKIPEDIA has come a long way since it started in 2001. With
> around 70,000 volunteers editing in over 100 languages, it is by far the
> world’s most popular reference site. Its future is also uncertain.
>
> One of the biggest threats it faces is the rise of smartphones as the
> dominant personal computing device. A recent Pew Research Center report
> found that 39 of the top 50 news sites received more traffic from mobile
> devices than from desktop and laptop computers, sales of which have
> declined for years.
>
> This is a challenge for Wikipedia, which has always depended on
> contributors hunched over keyboards searching references, discussing
> changes and writing articles using a special markup code. Even before
> smartphones were widespread, studies consistently showed that these are
> daunting tasks for newcomers. “Not even our youngest and most
> computer-savvy participants accomplished these tasks with ease,” a 2009
> user test concluded. The difficulty of bringing on new volunteers has
> resulted in seven straight years of declining editor participation.
>
> In 2005, during Wikipedia’s peak years, there were months when more than
> 60 editors were made administrator — a position with special privileges in
> editing the English-language edition. For the past year, it has sometimes
> struggled to promote even one per month.
>
> The pool of potential Wikipedia editors could dry up as the number of
> mobile users keeps growing; it’s simply too hard to manipulate complex
> code on a tiny screen.
>
> The nonprofit Wikimedia Foundation, which oversees Wikipedia’s operations
> but is not directly involved in content, is investigating solutions. Some
> ideas include touch-screen tools that would let Wikipedia editors sift
> through information and share content from their phones.
>
> What has not suffered is fund-raising. The foundation, based in San
> Francisco, has a budget of roughly $60 million. How to fairly distribute
> resources has long been a topic of debate. How much should go to regional
> chapters and affiliates, or to groups devoted to non-English languages?
> How much should stay in the foundation to develop software, create mobile
> apps and maintain infrastructure?
>
> These tensions run through the community. Last year the foundation took
> the unprecedented step of forcing the installation of new software on the
> German-language Wikipedia. The German editors had shown their independent
> streak by resisting an earlier update to the site’s user interface.
> Against the wishes of veteran editors, the foundation installed a new way
> to view multimedia content and then set up an Orwellian-sounding
> “superprotect” feature to block obstinate administrators from changing it
> back.
>
> The latest clash had repercussions in the election this year for seats to
> the Wikimedia Foundation’s board of trustees — the most influential
> positions that volunteers can hold. The election — a record 5,000 voters
> turned out, nearly three times the number from the previous election — was
> a rebuke to the status quo; all three incumbents up for re-election were
> defeated, replaced by critics of the superprotect measures. Two other
> members will leave the 10-member board at the end of this year. Meanwhile,
> the foundation’s new executive director, Lila Tretikov, has been hiring
> developers from the world of open-source technology, and their lack of
> experience with Wikipedia content has concerned some veterans.
>
> Could the pressure from mobile, and the internal tensions, tear Wikipedia
> apart? A world without it seems unimaginable, but consider the fate of
> other online communities. Founded in 1985, at the dawn of the Internet,
> the Well, the self-proclaimed “birthplace of the online community
> movement,” hosted an influential cast of dot-com luminaries on its
> electronic bulletin board discussion forums. By 1995, it was in steep
> decline, and today it is a shell of its former self. Blogging, celebrated
> a decade ago as pioneering an exciting new form of personal writing, has
> decreased significantly in the social-media age.
>
> These are existential challenges, but they can still be addressed. There
> is no other significant alternative to Wikipedia, and good will toward the
> project — a remarkable feat of altruism — could hardly be higher. If the
> foundation needed more donations, it could surely raise them.
>
> The real challenges for Wikipedia are to resolve the governance disputes —
> the tensions among foundation employees, longtime editors trying to
> protect their prerogatives, and new volunteers trying to break in — and to
> design a mobile-oriented editing environment. One board member, María
> Sefidari, warned that “some communities have become so change-resistant
> and innovation-averse” that they risk staying “stuck in 2006 while the
> rest of the Internet is thinking about 2020 and the next three billion
> users.”
>
> For the last few years, the Smithsonian Institution, the National Archives
> and other world-class institutions, libraries and museums have
> collaborated with Wikipedia’s volunteers to improve accuracy, quality of
> references and depth of multimedia on article pages. This movement dates
> from 2010, when the British Museum saw that Wikipedia’s visitor traffic to
> articles about its artifacts was five times greater than that of the
> museum’s own website. Grasping the power of Wikipedia to amplify its
> reach, the museum invited a Wikipedia editor to work with its curatorial
> staff. Since then, similar parternships have been set up with groups like
> the Cochrane Collaboration, a nonprofit organization that focuses on
> evidence-based health care, and the Centers for Disease Control and
> Prevention.
>
> These are vital opportunities for Wikipedia to tap external expertise and
> enlarge its base of editors. It is also the most promising way to solve
> the considerable and often-noted gender gap among Wikipedia editors; in
> 2011, less than 15 percent were women.
>
> The worst scenario is an end to Wikipedia, not with a bang but with a
> whimper: a long, slow decline in participation, accuracy and usefulness
> that is not quite dramatic enough to jolt the community into making
> meaningful reforms.
>
> No effort in history has gotten so much information at so little cost into
> the hands of so many — a feat made all the more remarkable by the absence
> of profit and owners. In an age of Internet giants, this most selfless of
> websites is worth saving.
>
> ---
>
> Andrew Lih is an associate professor of journalism at American University
> and the author of “The Wikipedia Revolution: How a Bunch of Nobodies
> Created the World’s Greatest Encyclopedia.”
>
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:wikimedia-l-request@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe>
_______________________________________________
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Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:wikimedia-l-request@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe>
Re: [Wikimedia-l] "Can Wikipedia Survive?" op-ed [ In reply to ]
What I absolutely *love* in this piece is that it's by our own GLAM-Wiki
podcast host Andrew Lih and it's in the New York f***ing Times! Yay!

Plus I totally agree with his lead point, which holds for all languages: "One
of the biggest threats it faces is the rise of smartphones as the dominant
personal computing device." If I had to pick the one thing that would stop
me editing Wikipedia projects, then yes, this *is* that thing. Though I
truly love Wikidata and I do feel strongly about the Gendergap, I agree
with him and feel that the biggest threat to the Wikiverse is the demise of
the desktop.

On Mon, Jun 22, 2015 at 11:50 AM, Gerard Meijssen <gerard.meijssen@gmail.com
> wrote:

> Hoi,
> What I absolutely hate in this piece is something that has been obvious for
> so long: "... , or to groups devoted to non-English languages?". It is the
> lack of attention and funding that has discriminated against other
> languages. The attitude of "when it works for the big Wikipedias, it will
> work for the small Wikipedias" is manifestly wrong and there are plenty
> examples to prove the point.
>
> In the app where information is to be had from Wikidata they use for
> instance descriptions. There are several problems with them.
>
> - They do not translate
> - They do not get updated
> - They distract people from adding statements that would improve
> automated descriptions.
>
> There is no single argument why we should not use automated descriptions
> and there are plenty why we should. To start we support over 280 languages
> and most of them are best served with automated descriptions.
>
> This is only one example where positive discrimination for English is
> actually holding us back.
> Thanks,
> GerardM
>
> On 21 June 2015 at 20:47, MZMcBride <z@mzmcbride.com> wrote:
>
> > Hi.
> >
> > This op-ed by Andrew Lih appeared in today's New York Times. I'm sending
> > it here in case anyone is interested in reading or discussing it. I
> > enjoyed the piece; congrats to Mr. Lih on getting this published!
> >
> > MZMcBride
> >
> > ----
> >
> > http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/21/opinion/can-wikipedia-survive.html
> >
> > Can Wikipedia Survive?
> > By Andrew Lih
> > June 20, 2015
> >
> > WASHINGTON — WIKIPEDIA has come a long way since it started in 2001. With
> > around 70,000 volunteers editing in over 100 languages, it is by far the
> > world’s most popular reference site. Its future is also uncertain.
> >
> > One of the biggest threats it faces is the rise of smartphones as the
> > dominant personal computing device. A recent Pew Research Center report
> > found that 39 of the top 50 news sites received more traffic from mobile
> > devices than from desktop and laptop computers, sales of which have
> > declined for years.
> >
> > This is a challenge for Wikipedia, which has always depended on
> > contributors hunched over keyboards searching references, discussing
> > changes and writing articles using a special markup code. Even before
> > smartphones were widespread, studies consistently showed that these are
> > daunting tasks for newcomers. “Not even our youngest and most
> > computer-savvy participants accomplished these tasks with ease,” a 2009
> > user test concluded. The difficulty of bringing on new volunteers has
> > resulted in seven straight years of declining editor participation.
> >
> > In 2005, during Wikipedia’s peak years, there were months when more than
> > 60 editors were made administrator — a position with special privileges
> in
> > editing the English-language edition. For the past year, it has sometimes
> > struggled to promote even one per month.
> >
> > The pool of potential Wikipedia editors could dry up as the number of
> > mobile users keeps growing; it’s simply too hard to manipulate complex
> > code on a tiny screen.
> >
> > The nonprofit Wikimedia Foundation, which oversees Wikipedia’s operations
> > but is not directly involved in content, is investigating solutions. Some
> > ideas include touch-screen tools that would let Wikipedia editors sift
> > through information and share content from their phones.
> >
> > What has not suffered is fund-raising. The foundation, based in San
> > Francisco, has a budget of roughly $60 million. How to fairly distribute
> > resources has long been a topic of debate. How much should go to regional
> > chapters and affiliates, or to groups devoted to non-English languages?
> > How much should stay in the foundation to develop software, create mobile
> > apps and maintain infrastructure?
> >
> > These tensions run through the community. Last year the foundation took
> > the unprecedented step of forcing the installation of new software on the
> > German-language Wikipedia. The German editors had shown their independent
> > streak by resisting an earlier update to the site’s user interface.
> > Against the wishes of veteran editors, the foundation installed a new way
> > to view multimedia content and then set up an Orwellian-sounding
> > “superprotect” feature to block obstinate administrators from changing it
> > back.
> >
> > The latest clash had repercussions in the election this year for seats to
> > the Wikimedia Foundation’s board of trustees — the most influential
> > positions that volunteers can hold. The election — a record 5,000 voters
> > turned out, nearly three times the number from the previous election —
> was
> > a rebuke to the status quo; all three incumbents up for re-election were
> > defeated, replaced by critics of the superprotect measures. Two other
> > members will leave the 10-member board at the end of this year.
> Meanwhile,
> > the foundation’s new executive director, Lila Tretikov, has been hiring
> > developers from the world of open-source technology, and their lack of
> > experience with Wikipedia content has concerned some veterans.
> >
> > Could the pressure from mobile, and the internal tensions, tear Wikipedia
> > apart? A world without it seems unimaginable, but consider the fate of
> > other online communities. Founded in 1985, at the dawn of the Internet,
> > the Well, the self-proclaimed “birthplace of the online community
> > movement,” hosted an influential cast of dot-com luminaries on its
> > electronic bulletin board discussion forums. By 1995, it was in steep
> > decline, and today it is a shell of its former self. Blogging, celebrated
> > a decade ago as pioneering an exciting new form of personal writing, has
> > decreased significantly in the social-media age.
> >
> > These are existential challenges, but they can still be addressed. There
> > is no other significant alternative to Wikipedia, and good will toward
> the
> > project — a remarkable feat of altruism — could hardly be higher. If the
> > foundation needed more donations, it could surely raise them.
> >
> > The real challenges for Wikipedia are to resolve the governance disputes
> —
> > the tensions among foundation employees, longtime editors trying to
> > protect their prerogatives, and new volunteers trying to break in — and
> to
> > design a mobile-oriented editing environment. One board member, María
> > Sefidari, warned that “some communities have become so change-resistant
> > and innovation-averse” that they risk staying “stuck in 2006 while the
> > rest of the Internet is thinking about 2020 and the next three billion
> > users.”
> >
> > For the last few years, the Smithsonian Institution, the National
> Archives
> > and other world-class institutions, libraries and museums have
> > collaborated with Wikipedia’s volunteers to improve accuracy, quality of
> > references and depth of multimedia on article pages. This movement dates
> > from 2010, when the British Museum saw that Wikipedia’s visitor traffic
> to
> > articles about its artifacts was five times greater than that of the
> > museum’s own website. Grasping the power of Wikipedia to amplify its
> > reach, the museum invited a Wikipedia editor to work with its curatorial
> > staff. Since then, similar parternships have been set up with groups like
> > the Cochrane Collaboration, a nonprofit organization that focuses on
> > evidence-based health care, and the Centers for Disease Control and
> > Prevention.
> >
> > These are vital opportunities for Wikipedia to tap external expertise and
> > enlarge its base of editors. It is also the most promising way to solve
> > the considerable and often-noted gender gap among Wikipedia editors; in
> > 2011, less than 15 percent were women.
> >
> > The worst scenario is an end to Wikipedia, not with a bang but with a
> > whimper: a long, slow decline in participation, accuracy and usefulness
> > that is not quite dramatic enough to jolt the community into making
> > meaningful reforms.
> >
> > No effort in history has gotten so much information at so little cost
> into
> > the hands of so many — a feat made all the more remarkable by the absence
> > of profit and owners. In an age of Internet giants, this most selfless of
> > websites is worth saving.
> >
> > ---
> >
> > Andrew Lih is an associate professor of journalism at American University
> > and the author of “The Wikipedia Revolution: How a Bunch of Nobodies
> > Created the World’s Greatest Encyclopedia.”
> >
> >
> >
> > _______________________________________________
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] "Can Wikipedia Survive?" op-ed [ In reply to ]
I agree with Jane that it is great that one of us gets to write in the NY Times. But I would slightly disagree with Andrew. Yes smartphones are becoming ubiquitous, and for smartphone users Wikipedia is a broadcast medium not an interactive one. That's not great, especially for those languages where Wikipedia is far less written than in English. But I'm not seeing this as an existential threat. I'm sure the WMF has some clue full people trying to make the site as mobile friendly as possible, I'd put money on the smartphone industry trying to cram yet more PCfunctionality into their hardware, I know that the smartphone generation are capable of doing things with their phones that I can barely comprehend - and that the kids growing up with smartphones will be more proficient still; and whilst we are seeing PC and Laptop sales fall, an element of that is market stabilisation and commodification - why worry that PC sales are falling if that just means people are replacing their PCs less frequently?

If ownership of PCs was falling, people were moving all their internet activity to the smartphone, and Wikipedia was pretty much the only bit of the Internet left behind when you migrate to smartphone, then I would be worried.

As it is I just see this as a change to the environment we are in, a change that makes things more difficult for us, but not one that threatens our survival.

Regards

Jonathan


>
> Date: Mon, 22 Jun 2015 11:59:25 +0200
> From: Jane Darnell <jane023@gmail.com>
> To: Wikimedia Mailing List <wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org>
> Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] "Can Wikipedia Survive?" op-ed
> Message-ID:
> <CAFVcA-GGPdA6m8V=imteQNEnn6zCdF0hiG73hej5dERT8z=v_Q@mail.gmail.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
>
> What I absolutely *love* in this piece is that it's by our own GLAM-Wiki
> podcast host Andrew Lih and it's in the New York f***ing Times! Yay!
>
> Plus I totally agree with his lead point, which holds for all languages: "One
> of the biggest threats it faces is the rise of smartphones as the dominant
> personal computing device." If I had to pick the one thing that would stop
> me editing Wikipedia projects, then yes, this *is* that thing. Though I
> truly love Wikidata and I do feel strongly about the Gendergap, I agree
> with him and feel that the biggest threat to the Wikiverse is the demise of
> the desktop.
>
>

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] "Can Wikipedia Survive?" op-ed [ In reply to ]
On Jun 22, 2015 2:59 AM, "Jane Darnell" <jane023@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> What I absolutely *love* in this piece is that it's by our own GLAM-Wiki
> podcast host Andrew Lih and it's in the New York f***ing Times! Yay!

Truer words were rarely writ.
Andrew, mad props to you.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] "Can Wikipedia Survive?" op-ed [ In reply to ]
What we need to figure out is how to allow translation of articles
through micro contributions via cellphones.

Maybe send out sentences one by one for translation from one language
to another. Just start with the leads of articles that are deemed to
be of good quality. Than when the lead is all translated join it back
together and add it to that language. This would of course only apply
to articles which are non existent in the target language.

Maybe Amir's "content translation" tool could do this eventually
https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Content_translation

--
James Heilman
MD, CCFP-EM, Wikipedian

Starting July 2015 I am a board member of the Wikimedia Foundation
My emails; however, do not represent the official position of the WMF

The Wikipedia Open Textbook of Medicine
www.opentextbookofmedicine.com

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] "Can Wikipedia Survive?" op-ed [ In reply to ]
Hoi,
Magnus pointed the way forward when he started MediaWiki. When you look
into the whole stack of his data related tools, you will find how they make
aggregating data a whole lot easier and worthwhile. He demonstrated how
people on a mobile can be asked to help with "simple" tasks it works well
and it continues to work in production (labs willing).

When you are talking micro contributions, every statement in Wikidata is
one. It can easily be done from a mobile when the UI is given attention. It
is known how to create articles from data. The Swedes, Dutch etc have done
it often enough and it brought them more readers and more editors...

Study what we already know. There is nothing new here and the solutions are
there to be had. We only have to accept them. I do agree that the old old
way of Wikipedia is ultimately a dead end.
Thanks,
GerardM

On 22 June 2015 at 19:28, James Heilman <jmh649@gmail.com> wrote:

> What we need to figure out is how to allow translation of articles
> through micro contributions via cellphones.
>
> Maybe send out sentences one by one for translation from one language
> to another. Just start with the leads of articles that are deemed to
> be of good quality. Than when the lead is all translated join it back
> together and add it to that language. This would of course only apply
> to articles which are non existent in the target language.
>
> Maybe Amir's "content translation" tool could do this eventually
> https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Content_translation
>
> --
> James Heilman
> MD, CCFP-EM, Wikipedian
>
> Starting July 2015 I am a board member of the Wikimedia Foundation
> My emails; however, do not represent the official position of the WMF
>
> The Wikipedia Open Textbook of Medicine
> www.opentextbookofmedicine.com
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:wikimedia-l-request@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe>
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] "Can Wikipedia Survive?" op-ed [ In reply to ]
Gerard, I think you may be missing the point of the NYT op-ed. The issue
isn't data, it's people who will use that data (whether it comes from
structured data sets like Wikidata, or from dead-tree or electronic media)
to create articles, curate them, maintain them, keep the various wikipedias
mostly spam-free, and develop communities around them. We're not lacking
in data. We're lacking in human beings and healthy, growing communities.

On the other hand, I'm not entirely certain that Andrew's concerns about
the use of smartphones as the primary mode of access is entirely
justified. We've known for a long time that many of our editors in Asian
countries edit using smartphones, often with a keyboard attached; we've
even featured them in videos. But realistically, the overwhelming majority
of Wikipedia *readers* have never considered, even for a moment, actively
participating in editing - and it has been that way pretty much since at
least 2005, and maybe earlier. We can do better, of course, and making it
easier to edit on tablets in particular is a worthwhile enterprise
(smartphones...well, I'm not even persuaded they're going to exist five
years from now in the way that we know them today...)

Risker/Anne

On 22 June 2015 at 13:41, Gerard Meijssen <gerard.meijssen@gmail.com> wrote:

> Hoi,
> Magnus pointed the way forward when he started MediaWiki. When you look
> into the whole stack of his data related tools, you will find how they make
> aggregating data a whole lot easier and worthwhile. He demonstrated how
> people on a mobile can be asked to help with "simple" tasks it works well
> and it continues to work in production (labs willing).
>
> When you are talking micro contributions, every statement in Wikidata is
> one. It can easily be done from a mobile when the UI is given attention. It
> is known how to create articles from data. The Swedes, Dutch etc have done
> it often enough and it brought them more readers and more editors...
>
> Study what we already know. There is nothing new here and the solutions are
> there to be had. We only have to accept them. I do agree that the old old
> way of Wikipedia is ultimately a dead end.
> Thanks,
> GerardM
>
> On 22 June 2015 at 19:28, James Heilman <jmh649@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > What we need to figure out is how to allow translation of articles
> > through micro contributions via cellphones.
> >
> > Maybe send out sentences one by one for translation from one language
> > to another. Just start with the leads of articles that are deemed to
> > be of good quality. Than when the lead is all translated join it back
> > together and add it to that language. This would of course only apply
> > to articles which are non existent in the target language.
> >
> > Maybe Amir's "content translation" tool could do this eventually
> > https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Content_translation
> >
> > --
> > James Heilman
> > MD, CCFP-EM, Wikipedian
> >
> > Starting July 2015 I am a board member of the Wikimedia Foundation
> > My emails; however, do not represent the official position of the WMF
> >
> > The Wikipedia Open Textbook of Medicine
> > www.opentextbookofmedicine.com
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > <mailto:wikimedia-l-request@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe>
> >
> _______________________________________________
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> Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:wikimedia-l-request@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] "Can Wikipedia Survive?" op-ed [ In reply to ]
I like this idea a lot. If mediawiki and toolchain would additionally
support paragraphs as primary unit it would allow to activate translated
paragraphs. This might as well facilitate book creation, links to Wikidata
etc. The granularity of articles is differing between languages I.e. What
would be described in 2 articles in English often is packed into one in
German.

Rupert
On Jun 22, 2015 7:28 PM, "James Heilman" <jmh649@gmail.com> wrote:

> What we need to figure out is how to allow translation of articles
> through micro contributions via cellphones.
>
> Maybe send out sentences one by one for translation from one language
> to another. Just start with the leads of articles that are deemed to
> be of good quality. Than when the lead is all translated join it back
> together and add it to that language. This would of course only apply
> to articles which are non existent in the target language.
>
> Maybe Amir's "content translation" tool could do this eventually
> https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Content_translation
>
> --
> James Heilman
> MD, CCFP-EM, Wikipedian
>
> Starting July 2015 I am a board member of the Wikimedia Foundation
> My emails; however, do not represent the official position of the WMF
>
> The Wikipedia Open Textbook of Medicine
> www.opentextbookofmedicine.com
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:wikimedia-l-request@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] "Can Wikipedia Survive?" op-ed [ In reply to ]
Hoi,
I think I understand how much time is wasted replicating the same thing
over and over again. When we know specific facts for instance an old
president of the Sierra Leone dies, all articles about him have to change.
When new demographics of Almere become known, all articles are to change.
Adding information to Wikidata should be trivially easy on a smartphone.
This has been proven by "The Game". When it is that easy to add
information, the information can be updated in lists, in info boxes and
alerts may be generated to modify the text where needed. You will often
find that there is little to write when all the list, categories, info
boxes are already updated.

The consequence is that people who want to write articles may continue
doing this. They do what they like best but at the same time we can do with
fewer text junkies. The fun thing is that experience has learned us that
when information becomes more complete we will attract more people anyway.
It is just that all information does not need to be typed in manually all
the time, everywhere ad nauseam.

With more people adding data that is used everywhere, the problem of
sourcing becomes easier as well. Because a source is a source <grin> and
every language has its bias </grin> but that is a different issue. One
solace, we should always compare Wikidata data with other external sources.
In this way we will also get some/more grip on what sources to trust. :)
Thanks,
GerardM

On 22 June 2015 at 23:46, Risker <risker.wp@gmail.com> wrote:

> Gerard, I think you may be missing the point of the NYT op-ed. The issue
> isn't data, it's people who will use that data (whether it comes from
> structured data sets like Wikidata, or from dead-tree or electronic media)
> to create articles, curate them, maintain them, keep the various wikipedias
> mostly spam-free, and develop communities around them. We're not lacking
> in data. We're lacking in human beings and healthy, growing communities.
>
> On the other hand, I'm not entirely certain that Andrew's concerns about
> the use of smartphones as the primary mode of access is entirely
> justified. We've known for a long time that many of our editors in Asian
> countries edit using smartphones, often with a keyboard attached; we've
> even featured them in videos. But realistically, the overwhelming majority
> of Wikipedia *readers* have never considered, even for a moment, actively
> participating in editing - and it has been that way pretty much since at
> least 2005, and maybe earlier. We can do better, of course, and making it
> easier to edit on tablets in particular is a worthwhile enterprise
> (smartphones...well, I'm not even persuaded they're going to exist five
> years from now in the way that we know them today...)
>
> Risker/Anne
>
> On 22 June 2015 at 13:41, Gerard Meijssen <gerard.meijssen@gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
> > Hoi,
> > Magnus pointed the way forward when he started MediaWiki. When you look
> > into the whole stack of his data related tools, you will find how they
> make
> > aggregating data a whole lot easier and worthwhile. He demonstrated how
> > people on a mobile can be asked to help with "simple" tasks it works well
> > and it continues to work in production (labs willing).
> >
> > When you are talking micro contributions, every statement in Wikidata is
> > one. It can easily be done from a mobile when the UI is given attention.
> It
> > is known how to create articles from data. The Swedes, Dutch etc have
> done
> > it often enough and it brought them more readers and more editors...
> >
> > Study what we already know. There is nothing new here and the solutions
> are
> > there to be had. We only have to accept them. I do agree that the old
> old
> > way of Wikipedia is ultimately a dead end.
> > Thanks,
> > GerardM
> >
> > On 22 June 2015 at 19:28, James Heilman <jmh649@gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > > What we need to figure out is how to allow translation of articles
> > > through micro contributions via cellphones.
> > >
> > > Maybe send out sentences one by one for translation from one language
> > > to another. Just start with the leads of articles that are deemed to
> > > be of good quality. Than when the lead is all translated join it back
> > > together and add it to that language. This would of course only apply
> > > to articles which are non existent in the target language.
> > >
> > > Maybe Amir's "content translation" tool could do this eventually
> > > https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Content_translation
> > >
> > > --
> > > James Heilman
> > > MD, CCFP-EM, Wikipedian
> > >
> > > Starting July 2015 I am a board member of the Wikimedia Foundation
> > > My emails; however, do not represent the official position of the WMF
> > >
> > > The Wikipedia Open Textbook of Medicine
> > > www.opentextbookofmedicine.com
> > >
> > > _______________________________________________
> > > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > > Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> > > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > > <mailto:wikimedia-l-request@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe>
> > >
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > <mailto:wikimedia-l-request@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe>
> >
> _______________________________________________
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] "Can Wikipedia Survive?" op-ed [ In reply to ]
Gerard,

We need many more "text junkies," also known as article writers. Don't
denigrate them.

Best,
--Ed

On Tue, Jun 23, 2015 at 1:50 PM, Gerard Meijssen <gerard.meijssen@gmail.com>
wrote:

> Hoi,
> I think I understand how much time is wasted replicating the same thing
> over and over again. When we know specific facts for instance an old
> president of the Sierra Leone dies, all articles about him have to change.
> When new demographics of Almere become known, all articles are to change.
> Adding information to Wikidata should be trivially easy on a smartphone.
> This has been proven by "The Game". When it is that easy to add
> information, the information can be updated in lists, in info boxes and
> alerts may be generated to modify the text where needed. You will often
> find that there is little to write when all the list, categories, info
> boxes are already updated.
>
> The consequence is that people who want to write articles may continue
> doing this. They do what they like best but at the same time we can do with
> fewer text junkies. The fun thing is that experience has learned us that
> when information becomes more complete we will attract more people anyway.
> It is just that all information does not need to be typed in manually all
> the time, everywhere ad nauseam.
>
> With more people adding data that is used everywhere, the problem of
> sourcing becomes easier as well. Because a source is a source <grin> and
> every language has its bias </grin> but that is a different issue. One
> solace, we should always compare Wikidata data with other external sources.
> In this way we will also get some/more grip on what sources to trust. :)
> Thanks,
> GerardM
>
> On 22 June 2015 at 23:46, Risker <risker.wp@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > Gerard, I think you may be missing the point of the NYT op-ed. The issue
> > isn't data, it's people who will use that data (whether it comes from
> > structured data sets like Wikidata, or from dead-tree or electronic
> media)
> > to create articles, curate them, maintain them, keep the various
> wikipedias
> > mostly spam-free, and develop communities around them. We're not lacking
> > in data. We're lacking in human beings and healthy, growing communities.
> >
> > On the other hand, I'm not entirely certain that Andrew's concerns about
> > the use of smartphones as the primary mode of access is entirely
> > justified. We've known for a long time that many of our editors in Asian
> > countries edit using smartphones, often with a keyboard attached; we've
> > even featured them in videos. But realistically, the overwhelming
> majority
> > of Wikipedia *readers* have never considered, even for a moment, actively
> > participating in editing - and it has been that way pretty much since at
> > least 2005, and maybe earlier. We can do better, of course, and making
> it
> > easier to edit on tablets in particular is a worthwhile enterprise
> > (smartphones...well, I'm not even persuaded they're going to exist five
> > years from now in the way that we know them today...)
> >
> > Risker/Anne
> >
> > On 22 June 2015 at 13:41, Gerard Meijssen <gerard.meijssen@gmail.com>
> > wrote:
> >
> > > Hoi,
> > > Magnus pointed the way forward when he started MediaWiki. When you look
> > > into the whole stack of his data related tools, you will find how they
> > make
> > > aggregating data a whole lot easier and worthwhile. He demonstrated how
> > > people on a mobile can be asked to help with "simple" tasks it works
> well
> > > and it continues to work in production (labs willing).
> > >
> > > When you are talking micro contributions, every statement in Wikidata
> is
> > > one. It can easily be done from a mobile when the UI is given
> attention.
> > It
> > > is known how to create articles from data. The Swedes, Dutch etc have
> > done
> > > it often enough and it brought them more readers and more editors...
> > >
> > > Study what we already know. There is nothing new here and the solutions
> > are
> > > there to be had. We only have to accept them. I do agree that the old
> > old
> > > way of Wikipedia is ultimately a dead end.
> > > Thanks,
> > > GerardM
> > >
> > > On 22 June 2015 at 19:28, James Heilman <jmh649@gmail.com> wrote:
> > >
> > > > What we need to figure out is how to allow translation of articles
> > > > through micro contributions via cellphones.
> > > >
> > > > Maybe send out sentences one by one for translation from one language
> > > > to another. Just start with the leads of articles that are deemed to
> > > > be of good quality. Than when the lead is all translated join it back
> > > > together and add it to that language. This would of course only apply
> > > > to articles which are non existent in the target language.
> > > >
> > > > Maybe Amir's "content translation" tool could do this eventually
> > > > https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Content_translation
> > > >
> > > > --
> > > > James Heilman
> > > > MD, CCFP-EM, Wikipedian
> > > >
> > > > Starting July 2015 I am a board member of the Wikimedia Foundation
> > > > My emails; however, do not represent the official position of the WMF
> > > >
> > > > The Wikipedia Open Textbook of Medicine
> > > > www.opentextbookofmedicine.com
> > > >
> > > > _______________________________________________
> > > > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > > > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > > > Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> > > > Unsubscribe:
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] "Can Wikipedia Survive?" op-ed [ In reply to ]
Hoi,
I don't but there is a place for them and it is not in endless drudgery
that is best done in other ways. We need text junkies who love their
language, who can explain things and make them understood as expected of an
encyclopaedia. We do not need endless wikitext we need text. We do not need
templates galore every time done in an incompatible and unintelligible way.
Article writers should be able to distance themselves from such drudgery.

When you call article writers people who are very good at such nonsense
than yes, we need fewer of those because in the end they lose us more
writers than they gain us quality content.
Thanks,
GerardM

On 23 June 2015 at 23:16, Ed Erhart <the.ed17@gmail.com> wrote:

> Gerard,
>
> We need many more "text junkies," also known as article writers. Don't
> denigrate them.
>
> Best,
> --Ed
>
> On Tue, Jun 23, 2015 at 1:50 PM, Gerard Meijssen <
> gerard.meijssen@gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
> > Hoi,
> > I think I understand how much time is wasted replicating the same thing
> > over and over again. When we know specific facts for instance an old
> > president of the Sierra Leone dies, all articles about him have to
> change.
> > When new demographics of Almere become known, all articles are to change.
> > Adding information to Wikidata should be trivially easy on a smartphone.
> > This has been proven by "The Game". When it is that easy to add
> > information, the information can be updated in lists, in info boxes and
> > alerts may be generated to modify the text where needed. You will often
> > find that there is little to write when all the list, categories, info
> > boxes are already updated.
> >
> > The consequence is that people who want to write articles may continue
> > doing this. They do what they like best but at the same time we can do
> with
> > fewer text junkies. The fun thing is that experience has learned us that
> > when information becomes more complete we will attract more people
> anyway.
> > It is just that all information does not need to be typed in manually all
> > the time, everywhere ad nauseam.
> >
> > With more people adding data that is used everywhere, the problem of
> > sourcing becomes easier as well. Because a source is a source <grin> and
> > every language has its bias </grin> but that is a different issue. One
> > solace, we should always compare Wikidata data with other external
> sources.
> > In this way we will also get some/more grip on what sources to trust. :)
> > Thanks,
> > GerardM
> >
> > On 22 June 2015 at 23:46, Risker <risker.wp@gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > > Gerard, I think you may be missing the point of the NYT op-ed. The
> issue
> > > isn't data, it's people who will use that data (whether it comes from
> > > structured data sets like Wikidata, or from dead-tree or electronic
> > media)
> > > to create articles, curate them, maintain them, keep the various
> > wikipedias
> > > mostly spam-free, and develop communities around them. We're not
> lacking
> > > in data. We're lacking in human beings and healthy, growing
> communities.
> > >
> > > On the other hand, I'm not entirely certain that Andrew's concerns
> about
> > > the use of smartphones as the primary mode of access is entirely
> > > justified. We've known for a long time that many of our editors in
> Asian
> > > countries edit using smartphones, often with a keyboard attached; we've
> > > even featured them in videos. But realistically, the overwhelming
> > majority
> > > of Wikipedia *readers* have never considered, even for a moment,
> actively
> > > participating in editing - and it has been that way pretty much since
> at
> > > least 2005, and maybe earlier. We can do better, of course, and making
> > it
> > > easier to edit on tablets in particular is a worthwhile enterprise
> > > (smartphones...well, I'm not even persuaded they're going to exist five
> > > years from now in the way that we know them today...)
> > >
> > > Risker/Anne
> > >
> > > On 22 June 2015 at 13:41, Gerard Meijssen <gerard.meijssen@gmail.com>
> > > wrote:
> > >
> > > > Hoi,
> > > > Magnus pointed the way forward when he started MediaWiki. When you
> look
> > > > into the whole stack of his data related tools, you will find how
> they
> > > make
> > > > aggregating data a whole lot easier and worthwhile. He demonstrated
> how
> > > > people on a mobile can be asked to help with "simple" tasks it works
> > well
> > > > and it continues to work in production (labs willing).
> > > >
> > > > When you are talking micro contributions, every statement in Wikidata
> > is
> > > > one. It can easily be done from a mobile when the UI is given
> > attention.
> > > It
> > > > is known how to create articles from data. The Swedes, Dutch etc have
> > > done
> > > > it often enough and it brought them more readers and more editors...
> > > >
> > > > Study what we already know. There is nothing new here and the
> solutions
> > > are
> > > > there to be had. We only have to accept them. I do agree that the
> old
> > > old
> > > > way of Wikipedia is ultimately a dead end.
> > > > Thanks,
> > > > GerardM
> > > >
> > > > On 22 June 2015 at 19:28, James Heilman <jmh649@gmail.com> wrote:
> > > >
> > > > > What we need to figure out is how to allow translation of articles
> > > > > through micro contributions via cellphones.
> > > > >
> > > > > Maybe send out sentences one by one for translation from one
> language
> > > > > to another. Just start with the leads of articles that are deemed
> to
> > > > > be of good quality. Than when the lead is all translated join it
> back
> > > > > together and add it to that language. This would of course only
> apply
> > > > > to articles which are non existent in the target language.
> > > > >
> > > > > Maybe Amir's "content translation" tool could do this eventually
> > > > > https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Content_translation
> > > > >
> > > > > --
> > > > > James Heilman
> > > > > MD, CCFP-EM, Wikipedian
> > > > >
> > > > > Starting July 2015 I am a board member of the Wikimedia Foundation
> > > > > My emails; however, do not represent the official position of the
> WMF
> > > > >
> > > > > The Wikipedia Open Textbook of Medicine
> > > > > www.opentextbookofmedicine.com
> > > > >
> > > > > _______________________________________________
> > > > > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > > > > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > > > > Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> > > > > Unsubscribe:
> > https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > > > > <mailto:wikimedia-l-request@lists.wikimedia.org
> ?subject=unsubscribe>
> > > > >
> > > > _______________________________________________
> > > > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > > > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > > > Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> > > > Unsubscribe:
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > > > <mailto:wikimedia-l-request@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe>
> > > >
> > > _______________________________________________
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] "Can Wikipedia Survive?" op-ed [ In reply to ]
Well Ed, as one "text junkie" to another, I liked Gerard's use of that
term, because it shows how text oriented we have become, while the world
around us tries to live by information bytes wrapped into audio and visual
effects. Yes we need more text junkies, but the text junkies we already
have need to step outside the confines of Wikipedia and take a look at
their own work from the viewpoint of other projects. A healthy Wikiverse is
one where savvy Wikipedians are savvy Commonists and savvy Wikidatans as
well (and both of those projects are also heavily text-based btw). I think
what Gerard is getting at is not so much whether our information needs to
be text-based or image-based or machine-readable, but that our basic
reliance on "reliable sources" (now also mostly text-based) is currently
needlessly limited by the monolingual searches of text junkies like
ourselves. Once we become familiar with how to use Wikidata in the way it
was intended (interlinking the Wikiverse) we will be able to easily tap
into many more reliable sources that are beyond our current individual
search abilities as "text junkies" in our own language. Our challenge
moving forward is to learn how to trust the work of other Wikipedia
projects, something we don't do enough of, in my opinion.

On Tue, Jun 23, 2015 at 11:16 PM, Ed Erhart <the.ed17@gmail.com> wrote:

> Gerard,
>
> We need many more "text junkies," also known as article writers. Don't
> denigrate them.
>
> Best,
> --Ed
>
> On Tue, Jun 23, 2015 at 1:50 PM, Gerard Meijssen <
> gerard.meijssen@gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
> > Hoi,
> > I think I understand how much time is wasted replicating the same thing
> > over and over again. When we know specific facts for instance an old
> > president of the Sierra Leone dies, all articles about him have to
> change.
> > When new demographics of Almere become known, all articles are to change.
> > Adding information to Wikidata should be trivially easy on a smartphone.
> > This has been proven by "The Game". When it is that easy to add
> > information, the information can be updated in lists, in info boxes and
> > alerts may be generated to modify the text where needed. You will often
> > find that there is little to write when all the list, categories, info
> > boxes are already updated.
> >
> > The consequence is that people who want to write articles may continue
> > doing this. They do what they like best but at the same time we can do
> with
> > fewer text junkies. The fun thing is that experience has learned us that
> > when information becomes more complete we will attract more people
> anyway.
> > It is just that all information does not need to be typed in manually all
> > the time, everywhere ad nauseam.
> >
> > With more people adding data that is used everywhere, the problem of
> > sourcing becomes easier as well. Because a source is a source <grin> and
> > every language has its bias </grin> but that is a different issue. One
> > solace, we should always compare Wikidata data with other external
> sources.
> > In this way we will also get some/more grip on what sources to trust. :)
> > Thanks,
> > GerardM
> >
> > On 22 June 2015 at 23:46, Risker <risker.wp@gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > > Gerard, I think you may be missing the point of the NYT op-ed. The
> issue
> > > isn't data, it's people who will use that data (whether it comes from
> > > structured data sets like Wikidata, or from dead-tree or electronic
> > media)
> > > to create articles, curate them, maintain them, keep the various
> > wikipedias
> > > mostly spam-free, and develop communities around them. We're not
> lacking
> > > in data. We're lacking in human beings and healthy, growing
> communities.
> > >
> > > On the other hand, I'm not entirely certain that Andrew's concerns
> about
> > > the use of smartphones as the primary mode of access is entirely
> > > justified. We've known for a long time that many of our editors in
> Asian
> > > countries edit using smartphones, often with a keyboard attached; we've
> > > even featured them in videos. But realistically, the overwhelming
> > majority
> > > of Wikipedia *readers* have never considered, even for a moment,
> actively
> > > participating in editing - and it has been that way pretty much since
> at
> > > least 2005, and maybe earlier. We can do better, of course, and making
> > it
> > > easier to edit on tablets in particular is a worthwhile enterprise
> > > (smartphones...well, I'm not even persuaded they're going to exist five
> > > years from now in the way that we know them today...)
> > >
> > > Risker/Anne
> > >
> > > On 22 June 2015 at 13:41, Gerard Meijssen <gerard.meijssen@gmail.com>
> > > wrote:
> > >
> > > > Hoi,
> > > > Magnus pointed the way forward when he started MediaWiki. When you
> look
> > > > into the whole stack of his data related tools, you will find how
> they
> > > make
> > > > aggregating data a whole lot easier and worthwhile. He demonstrated
> how
> > > > people on a mobile can be asked to help with "simple" tasks it works
> > well
> > > > and it continues to work in production (labs willing).
> > > >
> > > > When you are talking micro contributions, every statement in Wikidata
> > is
> > > > one. It can easily be done from a mobile when the UI is given
> > attention.
> > > It
> > > > is known how to create articles from data. The Swedes, Dutch etc have
> > > done
> > > > it often enough and it brought them more readers and more editors...
> > > >
> > > > Study what we already know. There is nothing new here and the
> solutions
> > > are
> > > > there to be had. We only have to accept them. I do agree that the
> old
> > > old
> > > > way of Wikipedia is ultimately a dead end.
> > > > Thanks,
> > > > GerardM
> > > >
> > > > On 22 June 2015 at 19:28, James Heilman <jmh649@gmail.com> wrote:
> > > >
> > > > > What we need to figure out is how to allow translation of articles
> > > > > through micro contributions via cellphones.
> > > > >
> > > > > Maybe send out sentences one by one for translation from one
> language
> > > > > to another. Just start with the leads of articles that are deemed
> to
> > > > > be of good quality. Than when the lead is all translated join it
> back
> > > > > together and add it to that language. This would of course only
> apply
> > > > > to articles which are non existent in the target language.
> > > > >
> > > > > Maybe Amir's "content translation" tool could do this eventually
> > > > > https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Content_translation
> > > > >
> > > > > --
> > > > > James Heilman
> > > > > MD, CCFP-EM, Wikipedian
> > > > >
> > > > > Starting July 2015 I am a board member of the Wikimedia Foundation
> > > > > My emails; however, do not represent the official position of the
> WMF
> > > > >
> > > > > The Wikipedia Open Textbook of Medicine
> > > > > www.opentextbookofmedicine.com
> > > > >
> > > > > _______________________________________________
> > > > > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > > > > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > > > > Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> > > > > Unsubscribe:
> > https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > > > > <mailto:wikimedia-l-request@lists.wikimedia.org
> ?subject=unsubscribe>
> > > > >
> > > > _______________________________________________
> > > > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > > > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > > > Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> > > > Unsubscribe:
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > > > <mailto:wikimedia-l-request@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe>
> > > >
> > > _______________________________________________
> > > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
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> > >
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] "Can Wikipedia Survive?" op-ed [ In reply to ]
Gerard, I disagree. I love reading all the nonsense as well as all the
thoughtful articles. And sometimes it's the nonsense that triggers me to
clean it up and learn something. If there is one thing I have learned in my
time in the Wikiverse, it's that there are lots unexpected gems of
information locked into unreadable snippets of text.

On Wed, Jun 24, 2015 at 1:06 AM, Gerard Meijssen <gerard.meijssen@gmail.com>
wrote:

> Hoi,
> I don't but there is a place for them and it is not in endless drudgery
> that is best done in other ways. We need text junkies who love their
> language, who can explain things and make them understood as expected of an
> encyclopaedia. We do not need endless wikitext we need text. We do not need
> templates galore every time done in an incompatible and unintelligible way.
> Article writers should be able to distance themselves from such drudgery.
>
> When you call article writers people who are very good at such nonsense
> than yes, we need fewer of those because in the end they lose us more
> writers than they gain us quality content.
> Thanks,
> GerardM
>
> On 23 June 2015 at 23:16, Ed Erhart <the.ed17@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > Gerard,
> >
> > We need many more "text junkies," also known as article writers. Don't
> > denigrate them.
> >
> > Best,
> > --Ed
> >
> > On Tue, Jun 23, 2015 at 1:50 PM, Gerard Meijssen <
> > gerard.meijssen@gmail.com>
> > wrote:
> >
> > > Hoi,
> > > I think I understand how much time is wasted replicating the same thing
> > > over and over again. When we know specific facts for instance an old
> > > president of the Sierra Leone dies, all articles about him have to
> > change.
> > > When new demographics of Almere become known, all articles are to
> change.
> > > Adding information to Wikidata should be trivially easy on a
> smartphone.
> > > This has been proven by "The Game". When it is that easy to add
> > > information, the information can be updated in lists, in info boxes and
> > > alerts may be generated to modify the text where needed. You will often
> > > find that there is little to write when all the list, categories, info
> > > boxes are already updated.
> > >
> > > The consequence is that people who want to write articles may continue
> > > doing this. They do what they like best but at the same time we can do
> > with
> > > fewer text junkies. The fun thing is that experience has learned us
> that
> > > when information becomes more complete we will attract more people
> > anyway.
> > > It is just that all information does not need to be typed in manually
> all
> > > the time, everywhere ad nauseam.
> > >
> > > With more people adding data that is used everywhere, the problem of
> > > sourcing becomes easier as well. Because a source is a source <grin>
> and
> > > every language has its bias </grin> but that is a different issue. One
> > > solace, we should always compare Wikidata data with other external
> > sources.
> > > In this way we will also get some/more grip on what sources to trust.
> :)
> > > Thanks,
> > > GerardM
> > >
> > > On 22 June 2015 at 23:46, Risker <risker.wp@gmail.com> wrote:
> > >
> > > > Gerard, I think you may be missing the point of the NYT op-ed. The
> > issue
> > > > isn't data, it's people who will use that data (whether it comes from
> > > > structured data sets like Wikidata, or from dead-tree or electronic
> > > media)
> > > > to create articles, curate them, maintain them, keep the various
> > > wikipedias
> > > > mostly spam-free, and develop communities around them. We're not
> > lacking
> > > > in data. We're lacking in human beings and healthy, growing
> > communities.
> > > >
> > > > On the other hand, I'm not entirely certain that Andrew's concerns
> > about
> > > > the use of smartphones as the primary mode of access is entirely
> > > > justified. We've known for a long time that many of our editors in
> > Asian
> > > > countries edit using smartphones, often with a keyboard attached;
> we've
> > > > even featured them in videos. But realistically, the overwhelming
> > > majority
> > > > of Wikipedia *readers* have never considered, even for a moment,
> > actively
> > > > participating in editing - and it has been that way pretty much since
> > at
> > > > least 2005, and maybe earlier. We can do better, of course, and
> making
> > > it
> > > > easier to edit on tablets in particular is a worthwhile enterprise
> > > > (smartphones...well, I'm not even persuaded they're going to exist
> five
> > > > years from now in the way that we know them today...)
> > > >
> > > > Risker/Anne
> > > >
> > > > On 22 June 2015 at 13:41, Gerard Meijssen <gerard.meijssen@gmail.com
> >
> > > > wrote:
> > > >
> > > > > Hoi,
> > > > > Magnus pointed the way forward when he started MediaWiki. When you
> > look
> > > > > into the whole stack of his data related tools, you will find how
> > they
> > > > make
> > > > > aggregating data a whole lot easier and worthwhile. He demonstrated
> > how
> > > > > people on a mobile can be asked to help with "simple" tasks it
> works
> > > well
> > > > > and it continues to work in production (labs willing).
> > > > >
> > > > > When you are talking micro contributions, every statement in
> Wikidata
> > > is
> > > > > one. It can easily be done from a mobile when the UI is given
> > > attention.
> > > > It
> > > > > is known how to create articles from data. The Swedes, Dutch etc
> have
> > > > done
> > > > > it often enough and it brought them more readers and more
> editors...
> > > > >
> > > > > Study what we already know. There is nothing new here and the
> > solutions
> > > > are
> > > > > there to be had. We only have to accept them. I do agree that the
> > old
> > > > old
> > > > > way of Wikipedia is ultimately a dead end.
> > > > > Thanks,
> > > > > GerardM
> > > > >
> > > > > On 22 June 2015 at 19:28, James Heilman <jmh649@gmail.com> wrote:
> > > > >
> > > > > > What we need to figure out is how to allow translation of
> articles
> > > > > > through micro contributions via cellphones.
> > > > > >
> > > > > > Maybe send out sentences one by one for translation from one
> > language
> > > > > > to another. Just start with the leads of articles that are deemed
> > to
> > > > > > be of good quality. Than when the lead is all translated join it
> > back
> > > > > > together and add it to that language. This would of course only
> > apply
> > > > > > to articles which are non existent in the target language.
> > > > > >
> > > > > > Maybe Amir's "content translation" tool could do this eventually
> > > > > > https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Content_translation
> > > > > >
> > > > > > --
> > > > > > James Heilman
> > > > > > MD, CCFP-EM, Wikipedian
> > > > > >
> > > > > > Starting July 2015 I am a board member of the Wikimedia
> Foundation
> > > > > > My emails; however, do not represent the official position of the
> > WMF
> > > > > >
> > > > > > The Wikipedia Open Textbook of Medicine
> > > > > > www.opentextbookofmedicine.com
> > > > > >
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