[Foundation-l] Wikikids

Gerard Dummer G.Dummer at Domstad.nl
Wed May 30 07:10:28 UTC 2007

Hi Robert, 

This becomes a bit confusing for me. I only posted on this list because Matthias pointed out the discussion that was going on this list. I do not at this moment see any reason to become an Wikimedia sister project. I don't even know what that means. What are the advantages? This also isn't really a project proposal. 
WikiKids isn't an project in the "development hell". It is up and running. Maybe this was the wrong place to post a message. Again, I only posted here to explain what WikiKids is. There already is a small community around WikiKids in the Netherlands. And it's growing. Also with people from Belgium (Flanders). 
Some closing remarks:
WikiKids is currently running on Wikia-server as a part of the Kennisnet-wiki's. 
People involved with WikiKids are also very busy with life (mostly teachers and students) and also devote a great deal of time to WikiKids
We are not involved with WikiJunior in the Netherlands. 
Thank you for explaining what you mean with "motivated leaders". Although I don't really understand what you mean with "owning an idea". 


-----Oorspronkelijk bericht-----
Van: foundation-l-bounces at lists.wikimedia.org
[mailto:foundation-l-bounces at lists.wikimedia.org]Namens Robert Horning
Verzonden: woensdag 30 mei 2007 4:35
Aan: Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List
Onderwerp: Re: [Foundation-l] Wikikids

Gerard Dummer wrote:
> Hi, 
> My name is Gerard Dummer and one of the people who started WikiKids.nl. WikiKids started as a project to write an encyclopedia for and by children. 
> When we started with this project (janauary 2006) we had no idea what you could do with a wiki. And we didn't know if it would work. But we knew that we started a project that could have a great impact on education. That we could realize an authentic learning environment for children. Unlike any other project before to integrate ICT in education. To be precise: for children in the age of 8 - 13.
> Along the way we learned quite a lot of things. That is to say about the technical aspect as well as the educational aspects. This is a process that continues untill now and I believe will for the next few years. 
> There are two main goals: 1)provide information for children to use in assigments 2) create a writing environment. 
> This is a projected that is most of all an educational project. On the OnderwijsPortaal (EductionPortal) teacher can find different lessonplans, webquests, why they should use WikiKids in their classes and so on: http://kennisnet.wikia.com/wikikids/wiki/Portaal:Onderwijs
> This project differs from WikiJunior as mentioned by Mathias. 
> @Robert. I have no experiences with other WikiMedia projects so I can't say anything about that. I very much believe that children can write articles for eachother. That doesn't mean that the articles are all perfect. But even an article that isn't finished is an opportunity for other children to rewrite that article to improve it. That is of course trying to use a weakness as a strength. 
> I am very sorry to hear that there where any hostilities. I can't image that we would be hostile to any other Wikimediagroup. I hope this is a misunderstanding or that there is an other explanation. 
> Also if you could tell something more about what you mean with a "motivated leader". What "next step" should be taken?
> @Matthias
> Anyone can contribute on WikiKids. Children, teens and adults. Just as long as the subjects are suitable. Just as on Vikidia teenagers also play an important role. Some are sysop. 
> I agree also with that fact that children can write about a subject. But we also try to stimulate to write an article with a group of children or a class. Everyone can contribute that way. 
> Gerard Dummer
> www.wikikids.nl
This mailing list, in addition to general business about the Wikimedia 
Foundation, also tends to be a discussion forum for new project ideas.  
This can take the form of both non-wiki as well as wiki-based projects, 
and a major reason for this is due to the new projects page on the Meta 
wiki requesting that individuals wishing to start new projects like this 
contact this very list.  I've been lurking (and occasionally adding my 
$0.02 cents along the way) on this mailing list for more than two years, 
and I've seen these proposals come and go.  Some have been successful 
and have produced their own independent communities, and a couple have 
even become full Wikimedia sister projects.  I've even been involved 
with some of that effort on a few different levels.

What I'm talking about here with a "motivated leader" in regards to 
actually starting a new Wikimedia sister project, as opposed to 
advertising some wiki-based website that you are seeking some 
cooperation, is that you can't "own" the idea yourself, no matter how 
hard you try.  There is a certain bureaucratic process that goes into 
establishing a sister project, and I'm beginning to see a bit of wisdom 
to that process as well.  I should note that 95% (I think it is actually 
worse than this) of all new project ideas are shot down or left in a 
sort of "development hell" (to borrow a term from the motion picture 
industry) where a couple of ideas keep recurring, but don't seem to take 
off for some reason or another.  A children's oriented encyclopedia 
happens to be one of those recurring ideas, I should point out, and you 
nor those you are working with are the first to come up with this idea.  
I don't think you will be the last to bring it up in this forum either.

A small number of these projects actually get to the point that instead 
of "waiting" for approval from the WMF, they simply go and start their 
own independent wiki server.  The disadvantage of this is that the 
relationship with the other Wikimedia projects tends to be quite a bit 
weaker, and many contributors don't see a relationship at all.  The 
advantages and disadvantages of becoming a Wikimedia sister project are 
too numerous to mention in a short post, but I could write a multi page 
paper on that from my experience at this point.  Perhaps I should for an 
upcoming Wikimania :)

To cut to the point, you have been trying to defend your project here on 
this mailing list, and I'm still not entirely sure what it is that you 
would like to see happen ultimately with this project proposal of yours 
if everything went exactly as you would like it to happen.  If your goal 
here was merely to let people know that your project exists and that you 
are recruiting individuals to help out, by itself that isn't a terrible 
thing, but I would note that there are much more effective places and 
means to "advertise" a non-foundation wiki than on this Foundation 
mailing list.  I've given some mild criticism, but at the same time this 
is something that I too would like to developed further.  I should also 
note that nearly all of the "regular" people who post to this list are 
usually *very* busy with life, and what free time they have it already 
devoted to some Wikimedia project, whether as an administrator or key 
user/community leader on one of the Wikimedia sister projects or with 
some aspect of the Wikimedia Foundation.  I would much more strongly 
recommend that you post something on one of the Village Pump pages on 
Wikipedia if this is your goal, and you will have much more success for 
your effort.

The reason I bring up Wikijunior is because there are people who read 
the discussion pages for Wikijunior that may have a bit more time on 
their hands, looking for something more to do that is very similar in 
nature to what they are already doing with Wikijunior.  And posting a 
message on those talk pages is not likely to be lost in the pages of 
debate that sometimes rage on the Village Pump or other high volume 
discussion forii.  There are topics on the English Wikijunior talk page 
that are over a year old.... and they do get read by new users all of 
the time.  The French Wikijunior talk page has only a couple of comments 
on it, and the Dutch Wikijunior talk page is still blank.  The Dutch 
Wikibooks "Staff Lounge" 
(http://nl.wikibooks.org/wiki/Wikibooks:Lerarenkamer) does have some 
modest discussion about Wikijunior, including some recent comments from 
what I can see that the Wikimedia trademark "Wikijunior" in the form of 
(http://www.wikijunior.nl) is currently redirecting to your project.  
I'll leave that point alone for now, but that may be a minor problem 
that perhaps should be corrected.

I hope that your site remains successful, and there certainly is a 
learning curve to try and maintain a healthy wiki site.

Robert Horning

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