I'll agree in part; at the same time as being very grateful for the whole article - they say a bird in the hand is better than two in the bush ;)
Lots of cuts and edits happen in mainstream printed media. I was told privately that the final cut wasn't shown to the authors or any involved parties prior to publishing. I guess this is why quality takes a quantum leap when we go from televised media to print, and from print to web. On my part, I'd wanted the url "tinyurl.com/WFSOE" to make an appearance, but it didn't come obviously because of space constraints and priorities not getting through.
The wikipedia for schools project had blog posts, pics published immediately after the 10th anniversary meet in Mumbai, and impacts going outside the internet/IT/geek universe into places that might have incited more interest among the newspaper editors/journos. I never contacted any newspaper over it - a newspaper contacted me. I believe we should get similarly pro-active and outgoing for other projects as well.
One thing I've noticed is seeing wikipedians forgetting about who their target audience is when they talk / write about their projects.
For instance, no matter how much we say why we should post pictures to Wikimedia Commons, as long as we stay trapped in CC-FY-BA (or whatever, I seriously have no clue) jargon and don't bring out the end impact in layman's terms with a dollop of emotion, don't expect it to get published. (Plus, have you tried measuring the number of clicks and mental torture required for posting multiple images there ?)
Same for the quest for making more Indian language articles - if you tell people it's for improving that language's wikipedia and then jump into standards, policies and more jargon, added to that a priestly devotion to hi-fi words nobody on the street understands, I wouldn't expect so much of a response. But if we connected it somehow with the honor and pride of the people whose mother-tongue that language is, then?
So, I would recommend that rather than pondering about what should have been published, we work on making all Wikipedia projects more newspaper-friendly first.
Valid point, Ashwin. But, I don't know how we can avoid such attribution
In the early days (of Tamil Wikipedia), despite repeated emphasis on not
mentioning individual names, the writers like to mention stories around
individuals. Though the community was understanding, those in the spotlight felt
bad about it.
That's why, whenever a press enquiry comes to me, I put a disclaimer similar to
the one below (this one was in my email to Radhika of HT):
First of all, as with anything related to Wikipedia, both these projects are
owned by the entire community and the names mentioned here are the only ones I
can attach to specific tasks. Both projects had significant participation from
at least a dozen Tamil Wikipedians.
I also insist on or directly copy all the concerned wikians on such requests.
Despite that they like to use names. But, with such practices, we can at least
include more contributors. Particularly in long format articles (like the one on
Indian Express eye magazine), the writers have room to mention many people.
We also faced the downside of not putting any name forward in one instance.
During the collaboration with Tamil Nadu government, while a few of us directly
interacted with the government, many others worked online for the contest. So,
we repeatedly emphasised not putting the select few names anywhere. But, during
the announcement ceremony, the IT minister personally wanted us to be thanked
and sent a written note to the person on the podium. In the confusion, he
thanked some non-wikipedians for the whole effort!
"That language is an instrument of human reason, and not merely a medium for
the expression of thought, is a truth generally admitted."
- George Boole, quoted in Iverson's Turing Award Lecture
----- Original Message ----
> From: Ashwin Baindur <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> To: email@example.com
> Sent: Thu, February 17, 2011 8:56:03 AM
> Subject: Re: [Wikimediaindia-l] Wikimedia.IN the news - Mumbai Hindustan Times,
>13th Feb 2011 (CherianTinu Abraham)
> The Pune chapter gave details of all its multi-facetted incentives for
> W10 including Wikimedia Commons,Marathi Wikipedia. article improvement
> program etc to Radhika Raj, the reporter of Hindusthan Times but she
> chose to highlight Wikipedia for Schools aspect only and it appears
> that the Pune guys are doing nothing else. Wikipedia for Schools is
> being done by Nikhil Sheth alone not the whole Pune community so to
> say, so its unfair to both - Nikhil who has to share credit and the
> community which was selectively ignored. Imho there is a trend of
> giving too much emphasis on "Wikipedia Warriors" and less on the work
> being done which is not healthy.
> I didn't want to actually mention this lest people consider it as a
> case of sour grapes, but I felt we needed to view this piece of
> publicity from all aspects, not just by being glad at being portrayed
> in the press.
> Warm regards,
> Ashwin Baindur
> Wikimediaindia-l mailing list
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