I have initiated a project proposal. Please check it out
and remember to follow the details link when you've read that
synopsis! Following the new project policy I have also mentioned
this proposal on goings-on and pump.
Keep well all,
My mail address: cyclotron(a)bigfoot.com
>(09:44:11) Dan100: is anyone live?
>(09:44:16) Dan100: I need help ASAP>(09:44:28) Dan100: explosions across London
>(09:44:32) Dan100: it's chaos
Oh yes, I got help alright.
We were the first on the web with the news, anywhere:
Within a few hours, a team of people were working to
create the most up-to-date and most authorative news
article anywhere on the Internet. Co-ordinating
ourselves largely through the IRC channel (which
anyone can access with just their browser using a
simple link), we had people from both around the world
and right in London searching for photographs, getting
permission to use them, taking notes from spokesmen
and press conferences, and constantly updating and
fact-checking our articles.
Twenty-four hours later, our main article -
has had some 60,000 hits from Europe (excluding
France) alone. (Thanks to Kate for the stats.) As most
of our traffic comes from North America, it's
reasonable to assume that we had well in excess of
100,000 reads that day. Small in comparison to any
major news service, but it proves we're on the map.
Our articles were listed on the Main Page as they were
written. The lead articles were updated in moments.
Everyone arriving at the site instantly could see what
was happening and where to go to read more. Due to our
much more rigorous fact-checking, our articles were
consistently more accurate and more update-to-date
throughout the day than the single Wikipedia article.
To sum - with Wikinews, you could find more
information, which was more accurate, in less time,
than with Wikipedia.
And tomorrow, and the day after, and the day after
that, we'll go on reporting the news of the world with
equally high standards of journalism. The difference
between a dedicated news service and an
Yesterday, we proved that the model of massively
distributed citizen journalism not only works, but
works extraordinarily well.
So I want to ask the board to do this: begin promoting
Wikinews as widely and as loudly as Wikipedia. We
proved ourselves yesterday; now we should recieve the
support and promotion we deserve.
Just a couple of comments, quickly :-)
1) This is great news :-)
2) Here are a few relevant references, which indicate they were very impressed by wikipedia and wikinews report yesterday : http://www.pointblog.com/past/2005/07/07/explosions_a_londres.htmhttp://pisani.blog.lemonde.fr/pisani/2005/07/sinformer_vite_.html (not an editor, but use us a source frequently)
Note that all three are in french... and refer to en.wikinews and yesterday coverage :-)
2) I would be VERY curious to know why stats are from all Europe but exclude France.
I do not understand what you mean here.
Why would stats exclude my country ?
If this is related to the 3 Paris squids, as far as I know, they serve other european countries.
And not all France hits go through squids. Please clarify your comments about excluding France.
3) About your last comment (the board should BEGIN promoting wikinews)
My but-last published interview : http://www.neteconomie.com/perl/navig.pl/neteconomie/infos/article/20050502…
mentions wikinews (last question at the bottom of the interview) and actually refers to the whole concept in its very title. Actually, I even use NOWHERE the word wikipedia. I realised that just a few days later :-)
My last published interview : http://www.01net.com/editorial/282414/presse-en-ligne/le-wiki-a-l-ecole-de-…
which was done in a hurry in something like one hour on the spot ... also mentions Wikinews... and actually mentions it MUCH more than Wikipedia.
Admittedly, it was done so much in a hurry that the journalist does mention me by my pseudonyme only ;-) so it is not board support. Well, I answered this interview from my job place in a hurry, so...
I have more difficulty to promote other projects, but generally Wikipedia, Wikinews and Wikicommons are quite easy to promote.
My BIGGEST problem in promoting wikinews is the ... very stubbish french one... which makes it difficult to show the journalist the idea is VERY successful. Fortunately, most of them read english so admit the english version sounds real nice and exciting ;-)
My second biggest problem in promoting wikinews is that I lack sometimes information which journalists are hungry for. The last two questions I had and was unable to answer is
"when will you set a proper RSS feed" and
"what is your audience in terms of numbers" (hit)
I had *no* idea ...
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In a message dated 7/8/2005 5:30:56 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
And yes, of course, I'll come to Wikimania :-) I just
won't be able to share a beer.
Congratulations, Anthere. This is really great news. I am so happy for you
and your whole families. If it will help, I will be happy to drink the beer for
These are some thoughts prompted by the incident on Wikinews recently
discussed on this list. They are general in nature, and decidedly *not*
directed at any particular individual. I venture to say that anyone who
thinks they know what individuals I have in mind is *highly* likely to
be mistaken. However, I think the general principles are important to
consider, especially for those who are trying to shepherd the
development of Wikimedia's younger projects (i.e., everything but
Wikipedia is clearly our most successful project. It attracts the bulk
of our contributors and is easily the best at producing quality content.
In the process, it has become a solid, well-functioning community. This
is because it consists of people who can collaborate well, and for those
who cannot, the system allows people of good will to exert various
pressures until the problem cases either change their ways or leave.
These factors are self-reinforcing and thus allow for continued
improvement (this is not predestined, and we should avoid complacency,
but that is a topic for another day).
None of the other projects, in my opinion, is yet particularly
successful at any of these things - attracting contributors, creating
quality content, or developing a sustainable community. They are still
in earlier stages, so I'm not saying they can't, or even that they
should be further along than they are. And they do have fine content
occasionally, but need the contributor base and the community atmosphere
in order to bring the content to a higher level overall.
The contributor base is a huge problem, because none of the other
projects brings in enough new people on its own; they all grow by virtue
of Wikipedia's coattails. But people strongly attracted to Wikipedia are
more likely to stay there, so the other projects end up with those who,
for whatever reason, did not fit in.
Why do some people not fit in? In some cases it's due to legitimate
disagreements over how broadly Wikipedia should extend, so we often talk
about other projects as ways to accommodate content not included in an
encyclopedia. This is fine, and people who are less comfortable in the
Wikipedia community for this reason are not a problem. Let them work on
the project they like best, and they can team up with those people who
never would have even tried Wikipedia, but contribute now because they
really love the idea of Wiktionary or Wikinews or whichever project.
The problem is with people who don't quite fit in with our community
ideals. By this I don't just mean NPOV, but the need for collaboration
and consensus-building. This kind of person starts out on Wikipedia, and
would likely have stayed there if they had been successful in that
community. They don't leave on account of a block, nor are they even
obviously violating any policy. But when they grow frustrated with the
give and take of the process (not having their way, essentially), they
migrate to one of the other projects to try again.
These people, if there are too many in a project, will drag the
community down instead of up, and the content will ultimately suffer as
well. I am concerned at having observed several cases (again, no names)
follow this pattern. I'm not talking about people trying to push a
political agenda in one place and then the next - those are easier to
recognize and deal with. Rather, I mean people whose Wikipedia careers
show that they have difficulty recognizing community sentiment and
understanding when a consensus is developing. The problem may manifest
itself in a different way on the next project, but its cause remains the
One also hopes that people can learn and do better with a fresh start in
a new project. Some of these users will improve and avoid their
Wikipedia errors, but some will not. I think it is important for those
trying to guide the newer projects to watch for problems of this sort,
and be especially diligent in fostering a community ethic on the project.
I've come across a potential legal issue that has an impact across
several Wikimedia projects that I'd like to bring up for general discussion.
I've been trying to find a home for the 1911 Wikipedia (for more
details, see the new project page), and I've been attempting to move it
to Wikisource, with the following discussion at the Scriptorium:
The larger issue I am seeking input from the regulars of this mailing
list is in regards to proper use of registered trademarks for larger
projects. In this case it is how a registered trademark can be properly
used or avoided when a project is tied to something that inevitably has
strong references to registered trademarks.
In this case it is in reference to the 1911 edition of the Encyclopedia
Britannica, where a whole sub project is going to be based on content
from that set of volumes. This issue could also deal with How-to books
in Wikibooks or even Star Trek or Star Wars trivia entries in Wikipedia,
which is again why I'm posting this issue here rather than other
In particular for the Encyclopedia Britannica, this issue already came
up with Project Gutenberg where Encyclopedia Britannica's legal team
forced Project Gutenberg into a policy statement. Keep in mind that
prior to this official statement, Project Gutenberg routinely referenced
the associated text with the Encyclopedia Britannica by name. What
resulted was the following:
"The Project Gutenberg Encyclopedia is a reproduction of a 1911
edition of a famous encyclopedia. The text has not been updated.
Although the text is in the public domain in the United States, the
original publisher still has a valid trademark in the original title
of the encyclopedia. The original publisher offered Project
Gutenberg a license to use the trademark, but the terms of the
license were not consistent with the volunteer noncommercial nature
of Project Gutenberg or its primary goal of distributing electronic
text with the fewest possible restrictions. In order to avoid the
possibility of trademark infringement, all references to the
original title and the original publisher have been changed or
deleted. Because of numerous references embodying possible
trademarks, the entire preface has been omitted. The original
publisher of the 1911 print encyclopedia was not and is not involved
in any way with the creation, editing or distribution of the Project
Gutenberg Encyclopedia. Any errors which may have occurred in the
conversion to electronic form can not be attributed in any way to
the original publisher. In order to avoid possible future trademark
infringements or confusion in the minds of the public, this
electronic version should be referred to as the Project Gutenberg
Encyclopedia. The name of the original print encyclopedia should not
be used in any way in connection with this electronic text."
I am suggesting that the Wikimedia Foundation follow the lead of Project
Gutenberg in this case and try to avoid implied endorsement by also
avoiding the use of registered trademarks when possible. The real
question then is how and in what cases should registered trademarks be
omitted? Obviously there shouldn't be much of a problem for a Wikipedia
article about a company, but it gets into grey areas when you get into a
collection of articles that could be refered to by using a registered
trademark, such as Ford mussle cars or kinds of SPAM.
Obviously each Wikimedia project will end up having to deal with this
issue independently on the fine points, but it wouldn't hurt to
establish some general policy guidelines either. Any general assistance
would be appreciated.
Robert Scott Horning
One of the effects of the recent page capitalization issue has been that
the notice about this has overwritten direct access from en:wiktionary
to the foundation vote pages.
I was only able to find it by rooting around special pages. It would be
helpful if the appropriate links were re-established
Erik Moeller wrote:
> So, in that respect, Wikinews is quickly growing beyond the point
> where the effect you mention is highly significant. I also think that
> in terms of "quality content", the community has produced some
> excellent material so far - on par with the best Wikipedia has to offer.
> As unfortunate as the recent conflict on en.wikinews.org is, it also
> demonstrates that Wikinews is growing large enough to *have* such
> conflicts. Wikipedia did have similar conflicts in the early days --
> big fights between LMS and Cunctator, H.J. and 24, the Spanish fork,
> and so on. You don't know what a huge deal it was when Wikipedia got
> its first trolls! Learning to deal with conflict is part of growing
> up. Call it the puberty phase of the wiki. :-)
> The next level is that the community becomes large enough for conflict
> to generally be accepted as a part of life, and for conflict
> resolution mechanisms to be developed, refined, and applied regularly.
> From the perspective of the rest of the Wikimedia community, seeing
> Wikinews grow up may be disturbing. What has the kid done this time!
> But please do recognize that this is a natural process, and it needs
> to happen. While babies are cute and innocent, they can't do much
> besides screaming, consuming food, and excreting waste products.
Disputes themselves are not surprising and part of normal development, I
agree. In this metaphor, what I'm worried about is not the child's
growing pains, it's the issue of who is raising the child.
Out of interest, I took a glance at the lists of administrators for some
of these projects, because admins are often seen as role models and help
set the tone for a project. The most administrators on any project
outside of Wikipedia is barely over 20 (not counting meta and commons).
Naturally, at any given time several of such a group will have dropped
out of activity. That leaves more like 10-15 people to provide guidance.
In this dynamic, a group of even two or three problematic admins can
lead things seriously astray.
I hope that as more major events improve Wikinews' profile as an
independent project, it will grow out of this stage. My comments are
directed just as much to the other projects, and potentially apply to
small language Wikipedias as well. Wikinews is moving more quickly
toward maturity than some of the other projects, but its community is
still too small to be sure it will keep going in the right direction.
And I think that the ability to be confident in Wikinews as a community,
more than anything else, is what would allow us to feel secure in moving
it out of "beta".