If you do not know the inner workings of a project, you would not get mad
because you would be happy with what you love about the project. This would
be all the great information that is available to you. Once you learn about
a project and you learn that this social networking software has as a
benefit that the cohesion of our community improved and as a result the
quality of the data improved with it, you would applaud the social
networking that is facilitated by the software.
Really, your point is as valid as mine. It just has a different orientation.
As it is, there is a lot of networking going on. This networking is
fragmented over many platforms and consequently we are not reaping the
benefits as we might do. A strong case can be made for implementing existing
social networking software. However, when it comes to straight
functionality, there are other things that i would give priority over
developing our own social software.
On Sun, Nov 2, 2008 at 7:23 PM, Alex <mrzmanwiki(a)gmail.com> wrote:
Milos Rancic wrote:
On Sun, Nov 2, 2008 at 5:19 PM, Robert Rohde
There are many who seem to feel that using
Wikipedia for socializing
and fun is contrary to our mission, especially if it attracts people
who aren't contributors to the encyclopedia. Personally, I think
that's nonsense, and the community benefits from increased cohesion
when there is fun and socializing to be had, but I realize that many
people don't see it that way.
There are three issues here:
* If the point is that a part of the community doesn't want to have
social networking because of the principles -- besides your (positive)
point -- I have one more (negative): We are not able to choose anymore
what do we like, we are in the critical position and we desperately
need some fresh blood. Even it may be not so obvious at the field,
leaving this discussion for the next year this time -- may be too
* For those who really don't want to have social networking options,
there should be an option "turn it off".
* I think that I am not the only one who is using social networking
sites just to be in touch with friends. And a lot of my friends are
Wikimedians; and I am more interested in their Wikimedian activities
than what did they do at Elven Blood :) However, I think that games at
some future social networking for Wikimedia projects would be much
better: there are a lot of possible educational games which may be
I've always looked at it from this perspective:
Imagine you are a donor, who doesn't edit, who knows nothing of the
inner workings of the projects, and who only sees the content pages. You
see a great resource full of lots of information, so you think "Of
course I'll support this" and donate. Later you find out that the sites
are also being used for social networking and that your money is going
to fund a free-content, open-source version of Myspace/Facebook. If you
could care less about free content/open source stuff, and donated simply
to help spread information, you're probably going to be a little mad
that your money isn't going to fund what you though it did.
Whether making the "social networking" aspect of the projects
parts would make this issue better or worse I'm not sure. If its
official, there's going to be a lot more resources put into it (though
software-wise, Wikia has already done a lot of the work), but it would
potentially seem less deceptive or hidden from the general public.
On Sun, Nov 2, 2008 at 5:47 PM, Pharos
> We should keep in mind that there is a much
broader community out
> there beyond Wikimedians, who are interested in cooperative efforts in
> promoting priojects.
> Personally, we've had great success working with the 2 Students For
> Free Culture chapters in New York City, who have supported Wikimedia
> projects as ardently as any Wikimedians.
> On a level of real-life organization, there should be no sharp line
> between people with Wikimedia user accounts and those without. The
> basic skills in organizing real-life events and projects are
> orthogonal to particular technical skills or specializations.
> What we really need is a social networking site for the whole Free
> Culture/Open Source community, so that we can build a thousand
> coalitions in a thousand different cities.
> In researching this idea, I happened upon this proposal last year from
> the Free Software Foundation for a "Planet Libre":
That particular initiative appears to have foundered over recent
months. I suggest we should revive it, and in cooperation with Free
Software Foundation, develop a "Planet Libre" social networking site
based on Elgg.
I would like to see such social networking site. But, I am skeptical
about making one another social networking site. I've got calls for
some academic and free society social networking sites, but I don't
see them as active. Maybe it may function in some areas, like Orkut
functions well in Brazil (I saw one more in Russia and one more in
India). But, none of them is near to even MySpace, not to talk about
At the other side, Wikipedia has the potential to gather significant
community. We don't even need a notice at the site. We just need to
make it and to tell that to the world. And we will be in this position
for some time; at least until Wikipedia is at the top ten sites. Also,
I am sure that free software community would treat Wikimedia social
networking platform as their own.
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.
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