Maybe I'm the only one here, but I say "Who cares?"
If they don't have a computer they don't have the time to write an
encyclopedia. They are trying to hold up two jobs and feed their kids.
There's a reason they don't edit: they don't care enough and I don't
On 6/25/06, Anthere <Anthere9(a)yahoo.com> wrote:
Andrew Gray wrote:
According to the WikiProject Countering Systemic
Bias, "The average
Wikipedian on English Wikipedia (1) is male, (2) is
technically-inclined, (3) is formally educated, (4) speaks English to
an extent, (5) is White , (6) is aged 15-49, (7) is from a
predominantly Christian country, (8) is from an industrialized nation,
and (9) is more likely to be employed in intellectual pursuits than in
practical skills or physical labor."
The problem with this is the unfortunate gap in coverage that results
from a lack of interest from the typical demographic of Wikipedians
described above. While this demographic is definitely interested in
contributing to a free, online encyclopedia, that doesn't mean the
others aren't. One particular problem is that in order to contribute
to Wikipedia, you'll need to use a computer. There are others who
would probably be interested in contributing to our global effort,
too, but don't understand technology. We need to allow them to
For that purpose, I would like to start a project where people without
access to computers (or people who voluntarily choose not to use them)
can -write- their own Wikipedia entries and mail them in. The first
phase of this plan, of course, would be spreading the word. The least
expensive way would probably be distributing fliers in frequented
areas. People could then write their own articles, and mail them in to
the Wikimedia Office. Someone at the office (maybe Monica?) could open
the letters, scan them in, and email them to an offline submissions
Just for the record, Monica is no more working for us. That let's Danny
to open the letters and scan the content. Then an automatic machine
could change it at least partially to electronic format. And others will
have the fix what should be fixed.
I am a bit perplex you call this the least expensive way...
Of course, Danny frankly has no time to do this at all. I suppose we
would have to hire students to be the interface... in all honesty, I
think it is very unpractical, in particular in a language where there is
already so much content. Most of the time, the article would have
changed and the new content would need to be integrated to the online
version. This would be very unpractical.
It has much more chance to work locally, in a rather little developped
language. Yes, your memory is good, it has been done, by Guaka, in
Bambara, a bit over a year ago. Guaka directly visited some elders and
picked up notes.
One of the reasons the editing system works is that it is very simple
and very quick.
From there, people interested in the project would
transcribe the article into Wikipedia (if
applicable, see below) and
mail back a corresponding letter featuring a print-out of the new
article. Very simple process, plus it would allow people from
non-typical-of-Wikipedia-editor backgrounds to put in their word.
What if their entry is redundant? Not to worry. If the written
submission has content the Wikipedia article doesn't, we add it in. If
it doesn't, that's okay. We don't necessarily have to tell them what
made it in and what didn't, but either way, a reply will be sent to
the writer with a print-out of the article.
Additional costs. Who would support that ?
I'm passing the above on for en:User:Messedrocker, since he's not
subscribed to the list. My thoughts:
a) This has certainly been done before on a local level with minor
languages - was it in West Africa somewhere? My mind is failing me,
but I've certainly seen it mentioned on wikipedia-l before - the
writing was done by a local elder, transcribed and put online by a
Yes. Btw, Guaka will be at Wikimania in Boston. If you go, you may
discuss this experience with him.
b) It might well work, but would probably require
careful thought and
planning - who are we targeting? what sort of articles are we
targeting them for? how do we deal with unwanted and inappropriate
submissions without causing more badwill than we started with?
c) Copyrights. This might get fun.
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