On Sun, Nov 2, 2008 at 7:23 PM, Alex <mrzmanwiki(a)gmail.com> wrote:
The other option is to create a separate social
networking site and
encourage Wikimedians to use it. The Freenode IRC network is heavily
used by Wikimedians and fairly integrated into some projects, despite it
being an entirely separate service.
You have to be a Wikimedian (or from free software community, or from
freenode staff) to know that some channels at irc.freenode.net
useful. We don't need one more cabal place, but one more place
attractive for users who are possible contributors.
However, Wikipedia *is* very attractive, but not for participation!
All of my non-Wikimedian friends with Internet access are using
Wikipedia without any will to make an account. But, they are
participating in Facebook very extensively.
BTW, usual impression related to Wikipedia is something like:
- Wow, this is the new Babel Tower! It is so impressive, I am looking
at The Tower every day.
- But, inside... Oh, this is The Taboo! This is just for The Priests
of The Cabal!
Or a typical conversation with a person well introduced in Internet
(including the fact that Wikipedia may be edited by anyone):
- Oh, you are working for Wikipedia!
- It's not like that...
- Oh, this is great! Wikipedia is so great!
- Yes, it is, but...
- I am using it every day! It is so useful!
- And you are so lucky 'cause you work for Wikipedia!
Usually, it is useless to try to explain that it is not so hard to
"work for Wikipedia". Actually, because it *is* hard -- to explain it.
Even we are an open community, there are tons of implicit and explicit
rules which should be learned to start to participate at any level. As
I mentioned before, I am finding Wikipedians with 2-3 years of
experience who don't know for this list.
Whatever the reasons are (global culture which is not able to believe
that there is a really open community somewhere in the world; or
idiosyncratic culture of Wikipedia), we are in the position that we
have to try to work to transform users to contributors. And social
networking platform is one very valid option.