I agree with this!
I think this is an entry point of an important (but relatively easy to
implement) aspect of the experience of Wikipedia.
This is a fabulous opportunity to give thought and heart to the message you
send to everyone who uses Wikipedia. There is a habit when we've seen
something a bunch of times, to think that it's the “way it's done”. This is
sometimes true, especially in contexts with a long history. I don't think
this is the case here. I believe there is room to put some more human
personality in Wikipedia.
Of course WP is not a *corporation* that is trying to coerce or gather
people. And the difference here is that you don't *have *to convince
people, you have a huge built-in audience that might not even notice
robotic language. But I bet they would notice something out-of-the-ordinary.
I have no idea if it pertains to the gender gap, but tone of language makes
a tremendous difference to me, personally; regarding how I feel about a
site, how long I want to stay and whether I want to contribute.
I would love to spend some time and consider/discuss this issue.
(I've found a lot of content about the structure of Wikipedia articles and
contributor behavior but not interface-tone.)
the bug that prompted my thoughts:
On Wed, Apr 11, 2012 at 11:17 AM, Tomasz Finc <tfinc(a)wikimedia.org> wrote:
On Wed, Apr 11, 2012 at 7:53 AM, Jon Robson
Have we got a copy text writer in the
team/community or any copy text
CC'ing Jay (our head of communications) as he has the best brains for
this ... mmm ... brains
Currently on the mobile site in beta mode  we
have the text 'Type
your search here...' on the search box before you click on it. This
created (IMO) an interesting discussion .
Glad to see that my suggestion of "Tap to search" made it onto there :D
Personally I think we have a chance to be more
inspiring with the
words we use. It would be good to think more about this sort of thing
across mobile to strengthen the MediaWiki/Wikipedia brand.
Do it. Get community members involved BUT keep in mind this *has* to
get translated and a long text string in english will be exceptionally
long in other languages. Thus keep it short. Also, were on mobile
devices here ... anything moderately long even if a word or two longer
is bad. Thus .. keep it short x2. Make those expectations clear if
your going to involve more people.
Little things like copy text can make all the
difference. 'I'm feeling
lucky' on Google for instance rather than 'Go to the top search
result' is fun and meaningful. Likewise we could imagine our 'Random'
button in the main menu saying 'Inspire me' or 'Surprise me'. Facebook
'What's on your mind?' in the update status box is much more
interesting than 'type your status here'.
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