I agree that creating an article should be much easier. Creating a wysiwyg
editor would greatly facilitate that.
It would also help if we promoted a culture where people are invited to
create new articles. Many hard code wikipedians seem to have adopted the
attitude that red links are ugly - so red links are converted to normal
text. But a red link is and should be an invitation to create an article.
2008/12/3 Milos Rancic <millosh(a)gmail.com>
On Mon, Dec 1, 2008 at 5:50 PM, Nathan
Milos - you wrote: "To be honest, I was
thinking that the most useful
Wikimedian project in Serbia is English Wikipedia, but I was wrong.
Wikipedia is the most useful project, even it has
~30 times less articles
than en.wp." Can I ask how you arrived at this change of mind? It makes
sense to me that a reference in the common language of Serbia is more
than one that is not, but since you originally
believed the opposite I'm
curious to know what data changed your mind.
I have to make one correction: Usually, when I say "Serbia", I think
"Belgrade". My "intuition" is connected to Belgrade and I am not so
able to analyze the whole Serbia. Belgrade develops similarly to other
European cities, while parts of Serbia may vary significantly
regionally. But, including Belgrade's "gravitation area", it includes
between 1/4 and 1/3 of population of Serbia (without Kosovo).
I had social bias for a long time. For people around me, which means
fairly educated persons between their 20s and 50s, English Wikipedia
is indeed the most useful project. When some of them is trying to find
informations about [[Earth]], [[Alexander the Great]], [[Amazon]],
[[Arthur C. Clarke]], [[Mikhail Bulgakov]], [[Apache HTTP Server]]
etc., they are going to en.wp. A number of them are not able to
participate actively in English, but they are fully able to understand
what is written in one encyclopedic article.
A couple of years passed from the time when I realized that it was my
social bias. I think that in 2005 I've started to have this kind of
conversations: "Wikipedia is very useful for me!" -- "You mean,
Wikipedia in English?" -- "No, Wikipedia in Serbian."
One more personal bias which I had was a reason why I am using one
encyclopedia. I am using it to find informations which don't below to
something which may be called "a basic set of informations". I am
using Wikipedia to find informations which don't below to my general
knowledge. So, when I am searching for, let's say, some information
from astronomy, I am not going to the articles like [[Moon]] or
[[Jupiter]] are, but about newly discovered planets, [[Timeline of the
Big Bang]] or [[Ultimate fate of the universe]].
BUT, it seems that the most important role of Wikipedia is not to
cover those fields. The most important role is to cover the basic
educational fields, where pupils may find informations for their
classes. So, even I think that [[Ultimate fate of the universe]] is a
very important article, much more important than the article about
lesser known Serbian feudal ruler, like [[sr:Grgur Branković]] is, for
one pupil who learns history from the 5th grade of primary school
(while astronomy is a course just in some of the high schools at, I
think, 4th grade), this Serbian feudal ruler is much more important.
There is no article about the ultimate fate of the universe on sr.wp,
while there is no article about Grgur Branković on en.wp. Conclusion
about usefulness is obvious: for the most of pupils and their parents
the article about Grgur Branković may be used (and it is in Serbian),
while speculations about the ultimate fate of the universe are
comparable with watching Battlestar Galactica or Star Track (and it is
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