I echo all of Heather's comments.
Although I understand that copy text will have to take into account
non-English speakers it still doesn't need to be robotic. I would
never say 'Type your search here' and to follow Jay's advice I can't
imagine Wikipedia saying 'Type your search here' . I think of
Wikipedia as my favourite, most inspiring teacher who taught me
Chemistry in high school, not the strict unfriendly one I had for
As Heather says language does make a huge difference to some people.
The goal is to 'imagine a world which every single human being can
freely share in the sum of all knowledge'. I don't want to disrupt
non-English speakers but I'd like to think Wikipedia just by using a
different tone could encourage more people to learn and explore.
What would be the best way to move forward with this. Are there any
copy text experts we could bring in/discuss this with? Are there any
existing wiki pages that discuss copy text that we could possibly
direct this conversation too? It would be great at the very least to
have a set of clear guidelines we can refer to when writing copy text
On Wed, Apr 11, 2012 at 7:24 PM, Jay Walsh <jwalsh(a)wikimedia.org> wrote:
Generally agree, but strongly emphasize that our EN
users statistically are
unlikely to be native speakers. Colloquial is not useful. Contractions may
confuse. Simplicity is king.
I also try to channel the voice of our projects: outside of a talk page,
would Wikipedia 'say' that? As Tomasz says - community input is critical.
They can't just edit this text away as if it were on a wiki :)
Jay Walsh, Head of Communications
+1 415 839 6885 ext 6609
On Apr 11, 2012 11:18 AM, "Tomasz Finc" <tfinc(a)wikimedia.org> wrote:
> On Wed, Apr 11, 2012 at 7:53 AM, Jon Robson <jrobson(a)wikimedia.org> wrote:
> > Have we got a copy text writer in the team/community or any copy text
> > guidelines?
> 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
> > button in the main menu saying 'Inspire me' or 'Surprise me'.
> > 'What's on your mind?' in the update status box is much more
> > interesting than 'type your status here'.