You reminded me of the good old days of Wikipedia - the movement that
wasn't centered around money, but driven by interest and volunteering.
I hope that what you've written about Wikiculture shall be read by many
here and if that is understood by more people in coming days, the Indian
'community' can get a wee bit healthier.
Of late, whenever I switch over to read the conversations on this list, it
is not just intrigue but profound disgust that emerges.
On 25 September 2013 10:03, Shyamal L. <lshyamal(a)gmail.com> wrote:
Apologies for the rant that follows and can be
conveniently skipped by the
busy folks here.
I am quite intrigued by the kinds of discussion on this list and indeed
intrigued by most of the characters that seem to be involved in the
Wikimedia movement in India and how it stands out in contrast to the spirit
of Wikipedia and its sister projects. Whereas the project is more a culture
of giving, most of what we see here seems to be more about merely getting
things for oneself and getting ahead of each other which I suppose is
inspiration drawn from street traffic. Having observed the movement from
the outside, it is my hope that the best values of Wikipedia culture are
imbibed rather than the worst of Indian culture.
* Wikiculture - Deal with issues not the persons raising them - what
matters more than who. Those who actually interact with the *community* (an
earlier thread gave the suggestion that people would get an opportunity to
interact with the *community* only by attending Wikimania) on Wikipedia
will know this aspect. This is a symptom of the fact that hardly anyone out
here is really editing substantially.
* Wikiculture - Think independently and question everything - Wikipedia
achieved a lot and is interesting because it questions(or questioned)
paradigms that are (or were) taken for granted. It uses direct interaction,
direct democracy, rather than representatives. So voting people into
committees / positions that work in private is not the way things are done
here, it is by discussing ideas. Independence requires that you question
any sense of group identity.
* Wikiculture - Forsake cliques, identity traps and recognize in-out-group
dynamics. In particular I think much of the poverty of editing from India
comes from poor research driven by the idea that an "Indian" needs to
represent India-related Wikipedia entries in a (POV) way that apparently
instills pride among fellow-Indians!
* Wikiculture - Wiki is not paper, editors do not need an office, the best
community support is provided on-wiki. So again, why would having funds for
an office, 3 employees visiting that office each day (and adding to
Bangalore's traffic) help the Wikimedia movement? If something needs to be
organized, let leadership be elected on Wiki and let there be an grant such
as IEG on Wiki to support it. I have been quite intrigued by the idea of
Special Interest Groups being defined by many here by the language in which
they edit - one would expect SIGs to be subject dependent - so you could
have astronomers, law experts, literature experts, and so on with members
who work in multiple language mediums. There could be language specific
technical SIGs that work on IME, Unicode etc but what we see here instead
appears more like language chauvinism. Those professing to be subject
matter experts (and really ought to members of specific SIGs) out here seem
to contribute almost nothing to Wikipedia in their claimed area of
expertise - for instance there are quite a number of law experts in the
group and despite that, one finds that the law related articles, even on
the English Wikipedia quite atrocious. With the amount of money being
thrown here one would expect that at least something like the article on
the Indian Copyright Act to be a GA if not an FA (on the English WP).
The amount being thrown in is certainly huge. And this money was raised!
I'm stumped by the silence of many long time Wikipedians in voicing their
opinion against whatever has been going on in India in the name of
'Wikimedia movement'. Thanks to you for speaking out.
Hari Prasad Nadig