On Tue, Nov 4, 2008 at 3:27 AM, Milos Rancic <millosh(a)gmail.com> wrote:
On Mon, Nov 3, 2008 at 4:20 PM, Brianna Laugher
> 2008/11/4 Yaroslav M. Blanter <putevod(a)mccme.ru>ru>:
>> Do we actually WANT people use it? The argument goes that the more they
>> (we) use it, the less they (we) have time for writing articles.
Do we want them to be using it, on WMF servers?
We have well ordered websites because we judge content and associated
pages by their utility to the mission. Pages that dont further the
mission are discarded.
"Social networking" invokes a much lower bar, as freedom of expression
is expected, and so any "content" that doesnt break the law is usually
permissible. We have avoided these issues by having very high code of
user conduct, and a large part of that is due to contributors being
expected to not indulge in personal expression if that doesnt fit
within the project scope.
> I think that is a false argument. If people
don't want to write
> articles, they won't write articles, regardless of whether or not you
> take away their toys. Cracking the whip doesn't mean much to
> volunteers. I also think such people are far less likely to make it to
> meta, compared to a large Wikipedia project. If you know about meta, I
> would say odds are extremely good that you are a Wikimedian.
Volunteers react to stimulus. Some people find the project work to be
stimulating enough, and dont want their project environment becoming
cluttered with people who no longer find the project stimulating.
And it does
depend if you consider them "toys" or "communication
tools". If you don't want to use them in a "frivolous" way (or at
then fine, don't. None of your time will be wasted.
I agree with Brianna. Besides that, it may open a lot of space for
making really good applications for reading and contributing to
Wikipedia. For example, MW/WM may open its API for external (free
software) applications (at which point we are near to the question of
using AGPL instead of GPL; but, please open other thread if you
[plural] want to discuss about that :) ), or an easier way how to
program and upload something which would be useful.
The APIs are already open; arnt they?
If someone built a beta of a cool app that Wikipedians would use often
as part of their reading/contributing activities, I doubt WMF would
actively prevent it from pulling down the content it needs.
Facebook apps are already possible.
For example, Wikipedia would be the most useful place
bibliographies and personal scientific work. Such feature would gather
around Wikipedia a lot of scientists.
It is very strange that you would think of "Wikipedia" as the host of
those things. The "Wikisource" and "Author" namespaces of Wikisource
are devoted to bibliographies, and Wikiversity is intended to host
personal and collaborative scientific work (OR).
There is an abundance of unfinished initiatives littered around the
wikis, which would encourage new participants if only someone puts
some energy into them, especially on the smaller projects. Wikipedia
has been the major source of new contributors for a long time, but
that will wane because not every man and his dog can, or wants to,
write about the remaining redlinks. That said, there are enormous
gaps in the major Wikipedia projects, and the smaller Wikipedias are a
long way from being usable.
We do need a continual stream of new contributors, but it is incorrect
to assume that we need more or less in order to be successful. WMF is
already successful, and if the projects continue at the current rate,
they will be continue to be successful. I dont think we should panic
if/when the bigger projects slow down and contributions start to
decline. A good percentage of those people are probably moving to
other projects or languages.