I've created the draft for our future approach in building new
Wikipedia (and other Wikimedia projects) editions:
Feel free to contribute to it :)
* * *
The aim of this page is to help creation of new Wikipedia editions.
== Rationale ==
As of 2015, any new request for Wikipedia will almost for sure assume
specific anthropological environment.
[[List of articles every Wikipedia should have]] is not just heavily
biased in favor of the broad Western civilization (thousands of years
of Chinese and Indian civilizations have been mostly neglected), but
it's not appropriate approach to the ethnolinguistic communities which
usually don't even have the contemporary concepts. And while the list
has been created as eventualist recommendation, it's de facto used as
requirement for new projects.
That turned to be counter-productive, as people willing to share their
knowledge have been stuck in searching for the right terminology
source, usually not easily accessible; or they've been forced to start
creating neologisms, which are generally forbidden by Wikipedia rules,
as original research.
To move this process from the dead end, we have to adapt our
recommendations from the point of the willingness to create Wikipedia
in particular language to the point of having fully developed
community, capable to deal with contemporary knowledge.
== Steps ==
The steps are broad and presently built on assumption that: (1)
particular language has writing system which could be used in
contemporary computers (i.e. mapped in Unicode, standard fonts exist
and could be easily reached); (2) it has enough bilinguals, capable to
communicate with broader Wikimedia community; (3) internet access
exists in the area (that includes migrants living in capital cities or
Those are the minimums necessary for sustainability of
Wikipedia/Wikimedia community. It's likely that we'd build in the
future recommendations for the languages which don't fulfill
=== Step 1: Local knowledge ===
Both -- contemporary educated bilinguals and native monolinguals --
are the most interested in preserving local knowledge. That knowledge
is usually not according to the standards of one contemporary
encyclopedia, but gathering that kind of knowledge is fundamental
because of two reasons: (1) we want them to share their knowledge with
us, no matter if it's mythological or consisted of protoscientific
descriptions of the nature around them; (2) it's necessary to attract
population to build knowledge repository in their native language.
It's likely that this type of knowledge will have common topics all
over the world: what's sky, what's river, local flora and fauna etc.
However, while potential persons engaged in field work could ask them
to describe something particularly, this should be fully open to the
will of local population.
As mentioned above, the first step assumes field work. Persons doing
the job should be equipped with tools and knowledge to record spoken
language and then transcribe it (in Wikisource) and build articles
about particular topics in Wikipedia.
This type of work is against common rules, which forbid original
research. However, this is the only way to start the project. This
type of the knowledge should be the only category which would assume
violating OR rule. (It should be mentioned that this was and is a
common practice on the most not well developed Wikimedia projects,
although they exist in much more developed and literate environment
than the languages with which we are starting to deal.)
As mentioned above, this is also the time when we should start using
Wikisource for collecting data. Depending on the capacity of
particular ethnolinguistic group, it should be hosted either on
Multilingual Wikisource or on their own edition of Wikisource.
Besides Wikisource, Wiktionary is also important. If it's about very
small ethnolinguistic community -- with less than 1,000 speakers and
declining number of them -- it's much more rationale to use one of the
larger Wiktionaries (likely in dominant L2) to describe the meanings
of the words. However, if it's about a sustainable ethnolinguistic
community, it would be better to create Wiktionary in their own
Organizationally, this step -- which could last for a long time, even
after the completion of the next two steps -- assumes significant
field work. This could be done by Wikimedians and Wikimedia
organizations, but it could also be done by unaffiliated
organizations. In the second case, we should coordinate with them.
Besides our own aims, there are many other organizations with similar,
educational goals. It's also useful to work in coordination with them.
For example, if one organization is interested in donating laptops to
particular ethnolinguistic group, we should be ready to prepare
Wikimedia-related program once those people get laptops.
=== Step 2: Primary school knowledge ===
Although this type of knowledge shouldn't be OR, it will largely
diverge from the [[List of articles every Wikipedia should have]]. It
doesn't assume the systematized "most important" concepts of the
contemporary [Western] civilization, but contemporary knowledge useful
for 6-15 years old persons. For example, it's more useful to them to
learn about local writers (not necessarily the writers in particular
language), than about famous artists not situationally important.
I suppose that we should build the lists of the scientific concepts
appropriate for that level of knowledge, while we should leave local
population to build their own lists of social concepts and important
people, important to primary school students to know.
While preparing this work, if relevant academic institutions of
particular ethnolinguistic group exist, the contact should be made
with them, as well as we should coordinate our efforts with them.
At this moment of time, Wikibooks creation makes perfect sense. It's
possible that we could actually build books for particular pouplation,
which would be used in their primary schools.
=== Step 3: Secondary school knowledge ===
This should correspond to a kind of modified [[List of articles every
Wikipedia should have]]. If somebody lives in Latin America, it's more
important to them to have knowledge about important Latin American
writers, than about East European ones. But that list should be
definitely compiled by Wikimedia community.
At the end of this phase, we should have self-sustainable community of
Wikimedia editors, working on their own.