[Foundation-l] Is popularity a good thing for us?

Brian McNeil brian.mcneil at wikinewsie.org
Sun Dec 16 16:35:38 UTC 2007

There are a number of issues that would need addressed in stable versions to
make it an appropriate mechanism to meet Google News' indexing requirements,
and a static view may be equally problematic.

First, Google requires an indexing number within the news item URL, IIRC 5
digits or more. This - to my way of thinking - would be best met by serving
up a URL containing the flagged revision's id. If a non-logged in user
requests this page and a later version is currently flagged a supercedes
header should be returned to the browser.

Second, from looking at the test wiki for F.R. it seems the usual
configuration is you can't flag until you have a certain edit count, and
been on-wiki for a certain time. This isn't appropriate for an editorial
review team. We have a number of people who I'd trust fully with the buttons
on their home language, but not on en. where it is their 3rd or 4th
language. Everyone on the editorial team would meet these criteria, but not
everyone meeting these criteria should be on the editorial team.

I've emailed Jimmy asking if he has contacts at Google since an effort to
get them to discuss getting us listed with appropriate measures in place has
not been responded to. If there is anyone else on-list who has contacts I'd
appreciate an introduction. Ask.com and Yahoo now aggregate Wikinews
content. I'm sure we can combine meeting Google's standards with a drive to
better quality.

As a last point I'm vaguely aware that live feeds are sold on to a number of
search sites. I have no idea if a flagging update would be passed on in that
feed and this may be an important issue for both Wikinews and Wikipedia.

Brian McNeil

-----Original Message-----
From: foundation-l-bounces at lists.wikimedia.org
[mailto:foundation-l-bounces at lists.wikimedia.org] On Behalf Of Andrew
Sent: 16 December 2007 17:15
To: Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List
Subject: Re: [Foundation-l] Is popularity a good thing for us?

On Dec 16, 2007 11:04 AM, Anthony <wikimail at inbox.org> wrote:
> On Dec 16, 2007 10:03 AM, Andrew Whitworth <wknight8111 at gmail.com> wrote:
> > +our goal is to spread this knowledge freely to all humanity. People
> > knowing of our existence is a prerequisite to them using our
> > knowledge.
> I think that's by far the strongest argument against intentionally
> being less popular.
> But it seems so easily solved.  Have two sites, one for building the
> content and a separate one for distributing the finished pieces of it
> to all humanity.

This is why I've taken such an interest in projects such as veropedia,
and why I've been pushing to do the same kind of thing (sans
advertising) for Wikibooks/Wikijunior. At the very least, it would be
a substantial boon to these two projects to offer a stable "release
version". Wikinews, also would benefit from something like this, first
because not being editable would help with their google news issues,
and they already lock old stories anyway. Maybe it's becoming
high-time the WMF considered adding such an option to some of it's
projects. Adding a sub-domain, such as "en.stable.wikibooks.org" or
even a sub-folder "en.wikibooks.org/stable" would go a long way to
helping several of the projects (and having pages which are basically
static would probably have a helpful effect in reducing server load).

--Andrew Whitworth

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