Study concludes donors repulsed by "hard sell" - "slick" doesn't go over
Bradford A. Patrick, Esq.
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I can just provide my personal history here. I appear in the credits of
several popular reference works as everything from contributor to assistant
editor-in-chief (a horrible title, I might add, but then again, so was the book).
I have worked on these books for Simon and Shuster, Facts on File, Macmillan
(before it was gobbled up by Simon and Shuster), Reader's Digest, Henry Holt,
and Continuum. In each book, the facts were checked as Brian describes. In
fact, I remember one senior editor at Simon and Shuster boasting about how
they would pay grad students a certain amount of money for every mistake they
found. They were eager to find errors. I now have a manuscript of a book that I
wrote for Marshall Cavendish sitting on my desk. Every sentence was numbered
and checked. I have been asked to help source the material. I will be happy
to provide the email exchange.
Mind you, I am not suggesting that we go to these extremes. I do think it is
important, however, that people understand the lengths that publishers of
reference works go to in order to ensure the quality of their products. Of
course, some publishers are more meticulous than others. And despite all the
efforts, mistakes always managed to slip in anyway.
I am not about to say that because they do it, so should we. On the other
hand, I will state my personal belief that with 850,000 articles already in the
English Wikipedia, we should pay even more attention to quality than usual.
In a message dated 12/4/2005 12:40:47 PM Eastern Standard Time,
You are right now arguing that it is necessary to source every
fact, and then you are doing sweeping generalizations like this?!
I'm not trusting your insight into the editorial principles of
Encyclopaedia Britannica or indeed any other (printed)
encyclopedia and thus I'm asking you to provide some sources.
Gerard Meijssen wrote:
> There is a difference between stronger citation
> standards and better
> citation technology. I am all for better citation
> technology. I am
> completely against raising the entry level of people
> to contribute to
> the Wikipedia project.
I agree we should avoid alienating new users as much
as possible. So what do you think of introducing new
citation/evidence mark-up which the renderer will then
use to automatically flag "evidence holes" within an
article (see mock-up:
)? This would probably be an immediate milestone for
the project as it is something we could implement
> I am well aware of what Wikidata is. Wikidata is the
> implementation of
> relational technology within the Mediawiki software.
> Off itself it
> provides you with no functionality. A database
> design is necessary to
> consider if it possible to create the functionality
> that you describe.
I'll put together a datamodel diagram once the
functional requirements of the system are more
well-defined. I've deferred doing so because I wanted
to get feedback from the rest of the community first,
including their reaction to the basic concept. I'll
have a high-level entity-relationship diagram up soon,
Anthony DiPierro wrote:
> Introducing detailed citation features would require
> that simplicity or abandoning the concept of writing
> directly. Both of these would be significantly
detrimental to the
> Wikipedia project in the short term.
The mark-up would look something like:
To me that doesn't seem more complicated than most
other basic wiki mark-up.
Ray Saintonge wrote:
> This is all theoretically very interesting, and I
cannot oppose it.
> Nevertheless until someone is ready to code this it
won't happen .
> Meanwhile, many of us who concern ourselves with
content still have to
> go on with life without waiting for you to do the
coding, which could
> take a long time.
> What would you suggest that we non-technical people
do in the meantime?
Erik Möller is working on Wikidata right now, which
may be functional before the end of the year. Once
this is done hopefully I can put together the
beginnings of a prototype.
In the meantime people can help by updating the Meta
project pages: [[m:Wikicite]] [[m:WikiTextrose]] .
Fleshing out the functionality of the system is
particularly important at this stage. Think of how
you would use citation data. What would be the best
way to visualize/present it? What kind of searches
would you like to be able to do with it? Once you
have some ideas create mock-ups or rough sketches of
them and add those to the project page. People with
expertise in library science could also help by
creating lists for the sorts of data we should be
capturing in the "card catalog" portion of the
database. I've been using the "Functional
Requirements for Bibliographic Records" as a starting
(SJ- can you confirm whether this is an appropriate
reference?). If someone could use it to begin to put
together the list of attributes we need for the "card
catalog" that would be very helpful.
> > Using the text relationship database, editors can
> > see at a glance what is authoritative within a
> > particular literature. The article renderer now
> It is less cut-and-dried than this; one useful
comparative view would
> the authority-ranking of major essays/articles in a
> School-of-thought A is correct in its assumptions,
> assuming some rival School B is correct in its
Certainly, though this depends on the field. In
mathematics I'd bet there is relatively little
contention; in the physical sciences probably more so,
and much more so in the social sciences. Hopefully we
can come up with formulas sophisticated enough to
identify such patterns (maybe including schools of
thought). I would like to see a visualization of
citation data for someone like Edward Said, for
> > virtuous circle begins- a citation based upon a
> > of popular history is exchanged for one relying
> > more specialized work, which is later exchanged
> > scholarly monograph or journal article, which in
> > encourages reference to primary sources, etc. By
> > process Wikipedia becomes not just accurate, but
> > scholarly and state-of-the-knowledge.
> By this process, the claims of the popular works are
> or disproven by Wikipedia authors over time;
hopefully that information
> can be passed on to the book editors/publishers --
as they too enter
> digital age.
Right, and not necessarily just popular works if the
Wikipedian is armed with strong enough data. I think
we would all be proud the day such a feedback loop is introduced.
Yahoo! DSL Something to write home about.
Just $16.99/mo. or less.
In regard to the recent wave of press we had, mostly in the english
media but spreading also to France, Italy and Germany, I consider it
very urgent that every project has a press page which describes the ways
how to contact Wikimedia and ask for verification of information.
It should be linked from the main page and contain at least the
* Link to a description of what the project is about (f.e. Wikipedia
articles about Wikipedia and Wikimedia or a special press dossier like
* Link to http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Press - logos and
images for press use
* Statistics, Replies to our critics or whatever you have as additional
* Link to the official Wikimedia foundation press room at
* Links to previous press releases and press coverage (if you have pages
* If you have trusted people on the wiki willing to act as local press
contact, add their name, email address and phone number there
These people should get in touch with me so I can direct local press
inquiries to them.
* general address for press inquiries is press(a)wikimedia.org
If you haven't done already, please prepare such a page and link to it
from your main page. You can use the english page as example:
The press release for the upcoming funddrive will be available soon on
meta wiki for translation. You can either distribute it locally over
your own distribution list if you have one or contact me to get an
account for the common distribution list to add your contacts and have
it distributed with a wikimedia address as sender.
elian, writing here as the press officer of the Wikimedia Foundation
> Anthony DiPierro wrote:
>Maybe complicated isn't what I'm looking for. But
> consider the
> following and whether or not you'd enjoy editing it
> by hand:
>'''Roy [[cite:ISBN:123456789:p. 7|"Roy Orbison's
> middle name is
> ([[cite:ISBN:123456789:p.9|"He was born
>in Foo, Bar on April 23 of 1936"|"[[April 23]],
> []"]] –
>[[cite:ISBN:123456789:p.11|"He died that same year,
> on the 6th of
>December"|"[[December 6]], []"]]),
>[[cite:ISBN:123456789:p.13|"They called him "The
> Big O""|"nicknamed
>"The Big O""]], was ...
Yes, that is extremely hairy. I'll try and come up
with something more manageable and post it on the Meta
project site for review.
Ray Saintonge wrote:
> Perhaps. When I asked my own question about what
> the rest of us can do
> I was not interested in a lot of theoretical
> material about what library
> scientists put into card catalogues. I was
> considering the point of
> view of a normal Wikipedian (assuming such an animal
> exists) who is
> about to write an article and who already has
> adequate references that
> he is ready, willing and able to use.
Useability feedback is certainly helpful. And as I
said before, people can help by thinking about the
kind of features they would want out of such a system-
what information should it be able to provide? What
is the best way to present it? My proposal is really
only based on my own experiences as an editor, so this
sort of feedback will be extremely helpful.
Yahoo! DSL Something to write home about.
Just $16.99/mo. or less.
And is being expert necessarily a bad thing?
In a message dated 12/3/2005 3:14:14 AM Eastern Standard Time,
And indeed, we would drive many people . I understand a wish for sources
but by putting red boxes and what have you around what has not been
sourced you make us into something what we are not. We would be as
expert as what Larry Sanger wants in his new project.