[Foundation-l] Reconsidering the policy "one language - one Wikipedia"

Mark Williamson node.ue at gmail.com
Fri Jun 25 21:40:02 UTC 2010

Phoebe, in my humble opinion, this project is a bit different. I think
when we are talking about child development and creating a project for
children, there's no room to screw around or create some amateurish
product. This is something that, if done wrong, could potentially have
a bigger negative impact than if, say, we'd screwed up on Wikinews.


On Fri, Jun 25, 2010 at 10:11 AM, phoebe ayers <phoebe.wiki at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Fri, Jun 25, 2010 at 3:37 AM, Milos Rancic <millosh at gmail.com> wrote:
>> On Fri, Jun 25, 2010 at 1:51 AM, Samuel Klein <meta.sj at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> Yes.  We should definitely lay the groundwork well, as Ziko says.  But
>>> there are good projects underway today and doing this, in spanish,
>>> french, and dutch.  Some of the organizers of those projects have
>>> contributed to the Wikikids proposal on meta.  We can start by
>>> directing energies there, finding out what Vikidia has learned running
>>> projects in French and Spanish, what their standards for
>>> project-creation are, and how we can help them.
>> If we want to go this way, our task will be complex. I don't think
>> that we should be afraid of it, but I think that the most of
>> participants are underestimating its complexity.
>> There are a number of important questions to be answered before start
>> of such project:
>> * Do we have a consistent pedagogical platform for creating such project?
>> * How can we be sure that we will have enough relevant pedagogues per
>> project? Would we pay them? Or would we create projects with other
>> organizations to have them payed?
>> * Who will be the main editors of the project? Children of any age? Or
>> parents? If parents, I am deeply concerned which social and
>> ideological groups we would attract.
>> * Is it possible to have such Wikipedia-like project, where
>> communities are doing self-regulation? My assumption, based on 6.5
>> years of Wikimedian work, is that it is not possible. (To be more
>> precise: Project per se could be successful in gathering editors, but
>> it will end as Simple English Wikipedia or as Conservapedia.)
>> * Would it be better to find volunteers or hire someone to create a
>> project similar to the printed edition of German Wikipedia? First to
>> create "illustrated Wikipedia for children", then to create Wikipedias
>> for every age of cognitive development.
>> * Do we have any clue how crowd sourcing will work with ages between 8
>> and 15? Even though it would be regulated by pedagogues.
>> * How group dynamics would look like inside of the project with 8
>> years old and 15 years old?
>> * How many pedagogues are able to drive this kind of project? In our
>> civilization, pedagogues are product of Industrial Age education and
>> they are doing Industrial Age teaching, which is in collision with
>> open culture. I think that the right time for relatively open, mass
>> collaboration project will be when those born in 1995, generation
>> grown up on Wikipedia and open culture, become pedagogues. Around
>> 2020. (I am not saying that there are no pedagogues able to do this.
>> However, we don't need a couple of pedagogues, we need strong
>> pedagogical basis to have possibility to create such kind of project.)
>> * etc.
>> We are all amateurs in cognitive development. My two exams in this
>> field makes me an expert on this list. And we don't need just
>> professionals, but extraordinary professionals. And those
>> professionals have to be introduced well in Wikimedia culture.
>>> But the teachers there also asked for a simpler-language project in
>>> Spanish, and a simple project in English to help students with
>>> language learning.
>> In Serbian we say "you are mixing grandmothers and frogs" :)
>> I would add one more important implementation of simple-like project:
>> Controlled language [1] project. It would allow much easier
>> translation between languages.
>> But, those are three different implementations. We would need
>> "Wikimedia for children", "Wikimedia for learning languages" and
>> "Wikimedia for machine translation".
> Milos, I think these are all good and valuable questions to ask; any
> new project should be put through such rigorous analysis, especially
> if it is to succeed. As Birgette says, it's hard to build a wiki and
> harder still to build a successful one.
> But, to be fair, do we ask such questions of our other projects? I do
> not recall being asked if I was a trained encyclopedia writer or a
> trained journalist when I joined Wikimedia :) Perhaps we should ask
> these kinds of hard questions of a new project, but also realize that
> we may not be able to predict all of the answers ahead of time.
> All of our projects have taken as their primary model some standard
> type of work: the encyclopedia, the book of quotations, the dictionary
> -- and then we have gone above and beyond any previous example of the
> genre with each of our projects, through our technological and social
> abilities. There is, similarly, lots of precedent in the world for
> children's encyclopedias and reference works for children -- the need
> and the model are both clearly present in the world -- and I think we
> can fairly consider taking that type of work as a model for a new type
> of wikimedia project, while expecting that we would similarly be able
> to go above and beyond previous examples.
> -- phoebe
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