In a message dated 9/27/2010 7:17:42 AM Pacific Daylight Time,
> 1. No one is accountable, nor does anyone feel responsible, for the
> accuracy of Wikipedia articles, since they are unsigned and have no
> official authors. >>
The authors can be viewed in the history. They are accountable to the
extent of introducing spam, nonsense, and graffitti. They are not accountable
for example, by using a source which is quite silly or ignorant. Those sort
of additions merely get eventually removed. And by eventually, I've found
silliness of this quality that has persisted for over a year.
> 2. There is virtually no incentive to work on them.
> a. Doing so is extremely time-consuming. People who write traditional
> encyclopedia articles also expend a lot of time. However, they are
> typically repaid in one or more of three ways: with money, with
> recognition or prestige, and with the chance to gently support what
> they see as the right view of the subject. However:
> b. One is paid nothing to write or edit Wikipedia articles.
> c. One gets no recognition or prestige, since the articles are unsigned.
> d. One gets no chance to forward what one sees as the correct views,
> because of the NPOV policy.
> e. Finally, one can't even link to one's own relevant papers on the
> subject, since there seems to be an unofficial policy to automatically
> delete such links. So the deal is: spend hour upon hour doing web
> editing, and you can be sure of getting nothing in return. >>
Oh the "right" view. How Victorian. Can we not say that view which is
"supported by the evidence" ? The "right" view sounds so Ivory Towerish to me.
Authors do get recognition, just not in the same way.
The "Neutral Point of View" is not to support the "correct view" (shudder)
but rather to support that view which *you* as the self-proclaimed or
university-proclaimed expert can.... get ready, get set.... SUPPORT. That's the
very point. If you cannot support your view with evidence, than you are not
an expert. Rip up your degree. Or else maybe, you are just not a teacher.
That Wikipedia, is forcing some so-called experts to re-evaluate their base
knowledge is a good thing, not a bad one. If we can shake the very
foundations of the university system, than good. I'm very willing to see the
entire ediface crumble to the ground under our ceaseless onslaught. Viva la
And why would a person want to link to their "own relevant papers" anyway?
Are we here to act as your promoter and publicist? No we are not. If your
colleages cite YOUR papers, than good. You will get your recognition. If
they do not, then guess what? Now, go away.
> 3. Genuine experts in a subject are usually people who have other
> demands on their time--often professors, for example, who could spend
> their time working with their own students or doing research in their
> field that they'll get credit for. So just thinking of these factors a
> priori, it seems unlikely that many experts would contribute to
> Wikipedia. >>
And yet they do, go figure. Some experts contribute, once they learn the
rules here. Some do not, once they learn the rules here.
And the problem is? The same problem which has exited since 10,000 BC.
Some people are gentle collaborators, others are wild bulls.
> 4. It's true that if someone sees an error in an article they can fix
> it. But it's also true that others can introduce new errors. And the
> people most likely to see errors and not introduce new ones, are the
> experts who seem to have no incentive to contribute. --owl23211:58, 3
> January 2006 (UTC) >>
I am a self-proclaimed expert in genealogy. I contribute mainly when I see
smallish errors of commission or omission or undue weight that I can fix
within a minute or so. Sometimes these gives me incentive to write more-full
articles on the same or similar topics elsewhere.
The main benefit of the project to my current work, is to find connections
and sources that I can review directly.
Personally I think that the vast majority of articles which a
person-on-the-street might assume would be in a printed encyclopedia are already in ours.
What we have left is a lot of margin where scribbled notes might be better
as more-full articles. If anyone has the time and inclination.
I certainly would not want to see any relaxation of our standards in order
to entice experts. Quite the opposite. I'd like to see tightening of the
standards so as to prevent silly comments from filtering into articles like
"Her great-great-great-great-grandfather was the Earl of March".... pointless
Probably the method of flagged revisions should prevent that.
If I understood well, Americans don't have such bad feelings toward
the word "bureaucracy" and its derivatives. In Europe it is different.
When I tell to Gerard that he is better bureaucrat than me, he feels
offended; although I thought about specific virtues, not defects; and
although I've defined myself a number of times as a Wikimedia
That difference lays probably in 300 years of different developments
of societies. Franz Kafka wasn't living in 18th century, but in 20th.
Horrors of bureaucracies wasn't so obvious in 18th century because it
is hard to say that any kind of sensible bureaucracy existed then.
Arbitrariness of feudatories and rulers was much bigger problem. And
at least in the case of bureaucracy, Americans had much more luck.
As you could see I am usually use the "American" meaning of the word
"bureaucracy" and its derivatives. Complex societies can't exist
without more or less good bureaucracies. Unlike many of my friends, I
appreciate good formal bureaucracy. This is the minimum and it is much
better to deal with formal bureaucracy than with informal relations.
As a user of [social] institutions you can count on formal
bureaucracy, while it is not possible with informal relations.
However, to be effective, bureaucracy has to be managed. This is
particularly true for very complex bureaucracies, and Wikimedia is
already a very complex bureaucracy. And it (bureaucracy) is not
The main problem with not well managed bureaucracies are not well
defined responsibilities. In other words, it is not possible to say
that one person or one group is responsible for some malfunctioning.
It is the product of the right decisions at the lower level of
complexity, which creates malfunctioning at the higher level of
That means that I am not blaming anyone particularly, but that we have
increasing number of the problems of that type; which means that all
of us have to think how not to make such mistakes.
Last couple of months I am not uploading images to Commons as I would
like to do. Not counting that I block all of my upload link for ten or
more minutes per one high resolution photo, it is very painful process
even for 20k logo.
Today I am working from my netbook. It is not so easy to find the
right button and the screen is small. I wanted to upload 20k logo for
new Wikipedia edition (in Banjar) . I wanted to find the right
copyright tag (logo is trademark of WMF). So, I clicked on
"Permissions" link, instead on question mark. When I went back all of
the form was blanked.
Note that I did that because I didn't want to be arrogant bureaucrat.
People who want that project have already created SVG logo and I
didn't want to insist that they have to create PNG derivative; I can
do that, it should be easier.
So, I wanted to do that as I treat that as my responsibility. I filled
the form once again and I had to spend next ~15 minutes while trying
to upload the 20k logo: license is not correct, author is not correct,
this is not correct, that is not correct. And I am using Commons from
the time when it started to exist.
There is no way that I would be willing to upload any file on Commons
because I would like to do it; just if I have to do it.
The logical question is, of course, have I complained about it? This
problem exists for a year or so. And I am sure that I am not the only
person who complained about it in various ways.
The first step in solving the problem is to ask one of the responsible
persons to fix it. So, maybe a year ago, I've asked that person. He
told me to fill the bug. No, I am not willing to fill the bug. (Note
that I am doing that regularly as a LangCom member.)
There are three types of [technical] bugs in process: (1) mostly,
nothing has been done; (2) my bug is redundant, someone is working [or
not] on this issue already (in this case for a year or so); (3) if I
am lucky and someone responds to the initial bug request, I would have
to spend hours in defining, explaining etc.
And I just wanted to upload a photo or logo. It should last for 5-15
minutes, depending on my upload speed. Not hours in explaining what
the problem is.
And if I have to spend hours every time when I see a problem, I think
that it is much more reasonable to spend hours in talking about the
problem in general.
This particular problem has and doesn't have responsible persons or
groups. The problem lays somewhere between Commons community and WMF
tech staff. And the point is that any of those groups could make our
life easier, while I suppose that all of them think that it is not
their problem, but the problem for which another group is responsible.
Both of the groups made right decisions at the lower level of
complexity. The first one wanted to be sure that there are a lot of
explanations, the second has put upload form with more useful
features. However, the final product is a nightmare from the point of
the basic usability: you can't upload file effectively, which is the
main purpose of the upload form (and Commons).
I am sure that there are a lot of similar problems all over Wikimedia
projects. Something has to be done generally. And once again, I don't
know who should do that. Who should lead the synchronization process
between various Wikimedia groups? Or, who should delegate that problem
to a particular person or group?
 - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lambang_Wikipidia_Bahasa_Banjar.png
In a message dated 9/25/2010 12:10:38 PM Pacific Daylight Time,
> Yes, it's hard to collaborate; that's why Wikipedia is considered
> impossible by experts. >>
Hmm broad brush. I would say collaboration is considered hopeless to those
who think they are the sole expert in their field, and their word should be
taken as fact :) But that's just me, snarky sarcastic ready to attack,
agent of Satan... at least that's what my Mom always said.
I would however suggest that a good psychological profile question might
be, "Have you ever worked on a government contract before?"
First Wikimedia community letter from India
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Achal Prabhala <aprabhala(a)gmail.com>
Date: Fri, Sep 24, 2010 at 6:15 PM
Subject: [Wikimediaindia-l] Announcing the Wikimedia India Community
Newsletter - Edition 1
On behalf of Shiju Alex, here is... the first ever edition of the
Wikimedia India Community Newsletter. It's an incredible effort, and
we're really glad to have something like this - congrats to all who
helped with it.
Going forward, Shiju (and all of us) would appreciate help and
participation. If you are a member of a Wikimedia language, or
geography, or project that you feel isn't adequately represented, or if
you'd like to help with design, proofreading and turning it into
something that works like the Signpost - we'd appreciate hearing from
wminewsletter(a)gmail.com or Shiju Alex <shijualexonline(a)gmail.com>
At the moment, we're circulating the file in two pdf versions (one for
viewing, one for printing) and this is the link to the file on Commons:
Shiju will shortly find a way to design it in html, making it easier for
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Releasing first edition of Wikimedia India Community
Newsletter - 2010 September
Date: Fri, 24 Sep 2010 17:56:06 +0530
From: Shiju Alex <shijualexonline(a)gmail.com>
Our hard work for the past 2 months to release the first version of
Wikimedia India newsletter is coming to an end today.
Please find attached the Print Quality PDF of the finalized version of
Wikimedia India Newsletter for your reference. We are officially
releasing the newsletter at 7:00 PM in the Bangalore Wikimeetup.
This newsletter is the result of the ideas, suggestions, and feedback
that you had been provided by you during the last 2 months. Finally
Indian wikipedia community has come together for a common purpose. This
is just a starting. We have a long way to go.
Each language community (8 communities as of now) has helped by
providing content about the respective language community. Some
communities could not join as their communities are not strong enough to
provide news to the newsletter. Hope they will join soon.
Let me introduce again the Indian Language Wikipedians involved in this
effort (All are included in this mail thread). Here are they:
* Belayet Hossain
* Ragib Hasan
* Naveen PF
* Srikanth Lakshmanan
* Tinu Cherian
* Mayur Kumar
* Hari Prasad Nadig
* * Praveen P .
* * Raziman T.V .
* * Simy Nazareth
* * Shiju Alex
* * Junaid P.V .
* * Thachan makan
* * Jacob Jose
* * Rajesh V arma
* * Mahitgar
* * Abhay Natu
* * Sankalp Dravid
* * Mayoora Nathan
* * C.R. Selva Kumar
* * Ravi Dreams
* * Sundar
* * Arjuna Rao C .
* * Ravi Vyzasatya
* * Veeven
* * Sujatha Thummapud i
* * Bhaskara Rao Chimakurthy
* * Ravi Chandra Enagant
* * Typesetting, template design, other tecnical support: Junaid
* * Front and back cover page design: Rajesh Odayanchal
I know that not everybody knows each other. But you will be excited to
be introduced to wikimedians working for other language wiki communities
of India. Let this be a new begining. Sharing experience from different
language wiki communities will surely help us (it is already helping us)
to replicate the success stories and best practices in other wikis.
So we are done with the first release. So what next?
Eventhough we cannot think of a monthly newsletter now, we need to aim
atleast for a quaterly newsletter. Taking this point in into account, we
are proposing a list for regular content collation and newsletter
coordination. This list will contain the core editorial team and two
volunteers from each wikipedia. The volunteer nominations can be
suggested by the respective wikipedia community.
The role of the volunteers from the language wikipedias would be to
conduit for collating content on events, happenings and plans of those
respective wikipedias. The community could choose to rotate these
nomiees as they deem appropriate. Please send your queries regarding the
mailing list to Arun Ram (arunram25(a)gmail.com
Once again I would like to thank each one of you from various language
communities for providing the community news.( from various language
Junaid P.V has done the type setting and the template design of this
newsletter. Without his support and hardwork this newsletter would not
have seen as it is today. Many days he was woking over night to fix
various issues. Once again I thank him for being kind with me while I
was sending repeated changes that I got from various language communities.
Rajesh Odayanchal has designed front and back cover pages.He specially
created an Indian language map for this newsletter. Thanks to him.
Arun Ram has done the peer review of most of the language community
news. Special Thanks to him.
Last but not the least, I specillay thank Achal Prabhala for the review,
timely advice, and support. His advice has helped us to move forward
when there were many roadblocks in between.
Thanks once again.
For localisation purposes can we somehow enable the YouTube captions system
which would allow human-checked and translated subtitles to be uploaded next
to the videos? (For that to work, the account owner has to do some magic I
think under YouTube's settings panels and then an actually intelligent
English version has to be provided that can than be translated using some
hidden Google tool.)
Last I checked the set-up process was a bit difficult to set up, but then
the actual translation could be done fairly easily. If we choose Youtube as
a distribution channel, I think we should go the extra mile and utilize its
internationalization capabilities to truly reflect our values.
On Tue, Sep 21, 2010 at 5:45 PM, Jay Walsh <Jwalsh(a)wikimedia.org> wrote:
> This week the Foundation is excited to be releasing four separate videos
> shot at the recent Wikimania Conference in Gdansk, Poland. The first video
> 'Username' is now posted on the WM Commons:
> Later today the Foundation will be releasing the videos on a few other
> platforms as well, specifically to increase public visibility:
> I'll be posting more about the links on the Wikimedia blog later this
> morning (San Francisco time) blog.wikimedia.org
> And maybe some others.
> What are these videos?
> They were originally produced to complement the public outreach work going
> on now (and in the future) and to provide a short, energetic clip for folks
> to use in all sorts of presentations. A very good example of that would be
> in Sue's keynote presentation from Wikimania, which some of you may have
> seen. We hope everyone in the movement may find them useful, and we're
> particularly hopeful that they can be easily localized and shared even more
> widely. They shed a new light on the passionate people behind our projects.
> Who made them?
> The clips were created for the Wikimedia Foundation (led mostly by
> Communications and Public Outreach) by a team that's been working with the
> Foundation over the past year. They were directed by Jelly Helm, produced by
> Noah Stanik, shot by DP Reed Harkness, and edited by Sarah Marcus. The music
> is by Portland, Oregon based musician Matt Carey. The Germany-based film
> production crew Living Colour was an essential partner in bringing
> everything together at the shoot in Gdansk, Poland, and Fenton
> Communications, who have been supporting the Foundation over the past year,
> were our agency partners in pulling this project together. We also owe the
> organizers of 2010's Wikimania conference a great deal of thanks for helping
> us sort out the production on the ground and for letting us borrow
> participants for short interviews.
> What's next?
> The remaining clips will be posted on Commons and other video sharing sites
> through Friday. Once they're all announced we'll share another note with all
> of the links. You can follow the progress and hear what the public thinks on
> identi.ca and twitter. We hope to see the videos make an appearance in
> media and other blogs too.
> Hope you enjoy!
> Jay Walsh
> Head of Communications
> +1 (415) 839 6885 x 609, @jansonw
> Please note: all replies sent to this mailing list will be immediately
> directed to Foundation-L, the public mailing list about the Wikimedia
> Foundation and its projects. For more information about Foundation-L:
> WikimediaAnnounce-l mailing list
Link to the original article:
As recently announced on the tech blog and in the Signpost, we're
launching an experimental new tool today to capture article feedback
from readers as part of the Public Policy Initiative. We're also
inviting the user community to help determine its future by joining a
workgroup tasked with evaluating it.
The "Article Feedback Tool" allows any reader to quickly and easily
assess the sourcing, completeness, neutrality, and readability of a
Wikipedia article on a five-point scale. It will be one of several tools
used by the Public Policy Initiative to assess the quality of articles.
We also hope it will be a way to increase reader engagement by seeking
feedback from them on how they view the article, and where it needs
The tool is currently enabled on about 400 articles related to US public
policy. You can see it in action at the bottom of articles such
as /United States Constitution/, /Don't ask, don't tell/ or /Brown v.
Board of Education/.
Another goal of this pilot is to try and find a way to collaborate with
the community to build tools and features. As main users of the
software, Wikimedians are in a unique position to evaluate how a feature
performs, and what its strengths and limitations are. The Article
Feedback Tool is still very much in a prototype state; we're hoping the
user community can help us determine whether resources should be
allocated to improve it (and if so, how), or if it doesn't meet the
users' needs and should be shelved or completely rethought.
More information about the tool is available on our Questions & Answers
If you want to try the tool to assess an article, pick a subject you're
familiar with from the full list  and rate it! If you'd like to
participate in the evaluation of the tool itself and what becomes of it,
please join the workgroup . If you're interested in article
assessment in general, please also join the Public Policy Initiative's
Assessment Team .
on behalf of the Features Engineering team
Product Manager, Multimedia Usability
Support Free Knowledge: http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Donate
on behalf of Wikimedia France I am please to announce the GLAMWIKI:FR
conference! This event will take place on the 3rd-4th of december at
the 101 rue de l'Université, Paris (in the new "victor Hugo" space.)
We published the "save your date" announcement on our blog:
The Facebook page of the event, a two-hours baby, is already buzzing:
Entrance is *free* and registration required -- the website for the
registrations will open on *October 15th*.
The program is still stabilizing, but we have more than 20 speakers for
about 8 roundtables -- and many proactive GLAM people from the Wikimedia
movement will be there... The website for the event will open next week.
Special thanks to Liam and the WMUK people for their responsivness in
coordinating the communication!
Looking forward to meeting you in Paris :)
I'd like to skin my footer. In particular I want to add an icon right
beside the powered by mediawiki icon as it is done on all wikimedia
projects with their special icon.
How is this exactly done? I read into the manual but didn't find this
Dear WikimediaUK, Cultural Partnerships & Foundation-l mailing lists,
On behalf of Wikimedia UK I am pleased to formally announce the second
edition of the GLAM-WIKI conference - this time to be held in London at the
British Museum on the 26th and 27th of November. The purpose of this
conference is to bring the UK and European GLAM sector [gallery, library,
archive & museum] into direct conversation with the Wikimedia community so
we can build a better understanding of our common purpose - sharing culture
- and how to assist each to best do that. After all, we are here for the
same reason, for the same people, in the same medium so we might as well do
it together :-)
As the British Museum will be generously hosting this event, and today marks
the anniversary of the deciphering of the Rosetta Stone (hence today's
Feature Article on the English Wikipedia), we thought it would be an
auspicious time to declare that registration is now open. The registration
price for Wikimedians is £20.
You can read all the details at:
and the WM-UK blogpost just published:
Wikimedia France will be hosting edition three of GLAM-WIKI one week later
in December at the *Assemblée nationale* in Paris, and Wikimedia Australia
hosted edition one last year at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, so
we're in good company.
Keynote speakers at this conference will be:
- Author, activist, blogger and London local *Cory
- Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation *Sue
- Director of the Columbia University copyright advisory office *Dr.
And many other presenters besides! Some are already listed on the conference
page and many more will be announced by
Wikimedians from the UK and further afield are invited to register for this
conference. If you are in contact with professionals in the GLAM sector,
please mention this event to them too. Moreover, if you would like to come
and moderate a session please write to me directly with your proposed
If you have any questions you can write to me privately, leave them on the
event's talkpage or reply on the mailing list.
Liam [[witty lama]]
Convener, GLAM-WIKI:UK & Wikipedian in Residence, British Museum
Peace, love & metadata
The Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees has commissioned a
year-long effort to clarify the roles of various stakeholders in the
movement, with the final goal of developing a "Wikimedia Charter"—a
document where the roles and responsibilities within the Wikimedia
organization are clearly defined and agreed upon by all
stakeholders—and a plan for going forward with organizational
This process will be transparent, and open to input from anyone
interested. It's planned to take approximately one year, with regular
milestones along the way.
A core group of people will be tasked with ensuring that steady
progress is being made toward those milestones. Although the exact
makeup of the group may change as specific needs are reevaluated, this
working group currently comprises:
* Alice Wiegand
* Arne Klempert
* Austin Hair (facilitator and adviser)
* Barry Newstead
* Bence Damokos
* Bishakha Datta
* Galileo Vidoni
* Jon Huggett (facilitator and adviser)
* Morgan Chan
* Samuel Klein
The work is just getting started, with the inaugural meeting of the
working group having taken place on 10 September; please see the page
on Meta to comment and participate. Although I expect that there
will be plenty of replies to this e-mail, it would be nice if the
project-related discussion could take place on-wiki.
This announcement is about two weeks overdue—many of you may already
know about it, since it's no secret. I apologize for that; my
computer died and I didn't manage to retype the e-mail with my thumbs
on my phone before I got the replacement.
I personally hope to see lots of participation, and am willing to
answer any questions about the process.