[Foundation-l] Wikikids

Robert Horning robert_horning at netzero.net
Sun May 27 19:55:04 UTC 2007

Mathias wrote:
> Hi,
> May I give you some news about 2 encyclopedic wikis intended for children (as readers so as editors), whose proposal was made first on meta : http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikikids and on this list two years ago: http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/foundation-l/2005-January/015108.html
> Such a wiki has been launched in french (in which I am involved) see an english explanation about it: http://fr.vikidia.org/index.php/Vikidia:About and in Dutch (see http://kennisnet.wikia.com/wikikids/wiki/Wikikids:English_explanation None of them are Wikimedia project.)
> Both have a quite active community and have reached 1000 articles.
> I would be glad to know what you think about them and about the original idea that was for it to be an international Wikimedia project.
> Mathias Damour

Something I find interesting is that "Wikikids" was one of the proposed 
names for Wikijunior.... and dismissed out of hand nearly right after it 
was proposed.  See 

I am curious about why this concept hasn't been incorporated into the 
Wikijunior pages, at least as a test.  I know, I have railed against 
using Wikibooks in the past as a sort of incubator for new sister 
project ideas, but Wikijunior is fairly well established, and nearly 
every Wikijunior module I've read reads like a Wikipedia article 
anyway.  And Wikijunior is also quite multilingual, with some sort of 
Wikijunior project on nearly every language edition of Wikibooks, 
including French, German, Italian, Spanish, Chinese, and English.  In 
many cases these "articles" or "modules" have been translated or 
rewritten in multiple languages as well, especially the original 
Wikijunior books of the Solar System and the Big Cats.

And Wikijunior is clearly a Wikimedia project in its own right, other 
than it is hosted concurrently with Wikibooks.  Try 
http://en.wikijunior.org/ to see where the wikijunior domain goes.

This isn't to say that some effort shouldn't happen to perhaps expand 
the range of this proposal, but it seems like the largest problem it has 
faced is an ever fragmenting community and leaders who havn't had the 
desire to keep the project moving.  Writing literary content for 
children is not an easy task, and it takes a focused community to keep 
the project growing.

As for the health of Wikijunior books, many of them have reached 
"featured book" status as some of the "best of..." Wikibooks, and on 
en.wikbooks I would say that you could easily get much more than 1000 
modules that could easily seed an en.wikikids project.  Many of these 
modules could on their own reach featured article status on 
en.wikipedia, but for the fact they are not on Wikipedia.  Rather than 
try to dissect what went wrong with the previous attempt at an English 
language version of this project, I would suggest that you try and see 
what has been done "right" by Wikijunior and its development community.  
And certainly try to pool the efforts of this "Wikikids" group and those 
who are writing "Wikijunior" content.  I have not seen any effort to 
recruit those involved with Wikijunior to help with this proposal in any 
meaningful way.

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