[Wikimedia-l] Travel Guide Wiki

Mark Jaroski mark.jaroski at gmail.com
Thu Apr 12 12:04:27 UTC 2012

On Thu, Apr 12, 2012 at 11:41, Thomas Morton
<morton.thomas at googlemail.com>wrote:

> What I think would be important to avoid is too much subjective information
> from one individual; for example, where I to write about York, UK I would
> recommend not going to the Jorvik centre (a main attraction) because I
> thought it overpriced and boring.

> Whilst my viewpoint on this is subjectively valid, it may not reflect the
> overall viewpoint of travellers to York (I know plenty of people who loved
> it)! NPOV aims to make sure that the most mainstream of these viewpoints if
> reflected - and any other viewpoints (i.e. "hate it") are given space if
> deemed appropriate.

The whole point of a travel guide is subjective information from
individuals! However, there are travellers with different interests. Jorvik
actually works out pretty well for travellers with children, for instance,
but for (young) adults travelling on their own it's pretty overpriced, and
not so interesting so that's what the guide should say. I don't think
that's NPOV though, because the Jorvik probably think they're pretty
awesome for everybody.

> So in summary I don't see that there is any real difference in our stance
> on this - it might just need a bit of rethinking.

We'd like to express it as "Traveller's Point of View".

> This really ties back into something more important; which is sourcing. I
> think one thing that WT sorely lacks is secondary sourcing the support the
> material, and that this would improve its content significantly. I'd be
> cautious of supporting a new WMF project that avoided sourcing in favour of
> mostly whatever the editors contribute from their experience. I think a
> good argument could be made for using personal experience to write a WT
> guide - but it should also incorporate good sourcing and editorial
> standards as developed here (Wikinews is a good example of where
> they successfully manage such a tradeoff).

Uh, sourcing? While things like telephone numbers and addresses are clearly
sourced from somewhere I tend to think that most travel guide writing is *
original* creative work. We've also tried to maintain a slightly cheeky
tone, which is hard to do in collaborative work.

> One further thing worth pointing out; from the discussions so far I gather
> the current host is unlikely to provide any technical support, such as a
> full dump for importing? This represents a problem to overcome because of
> attribution - any import would need a way to record the attribution history
> of each page (i.e. the authors) to comply with the licensing. I don't think
> pointing to the original WT page would work because, obviously, that could
> disappear etc. Just a point to remember.

I'm more concerned that now that we're discussing this in a more-or-less
public forum that they could get wind of it and start actively resisting.
They could make things a bit more difficult, though there are XML back-ups
out there which we could fall back on.

 I still think it's a good idea to not mention them or the collaborative
travel guide we're talking about by name for the time being. I do very much
prefer to think of them as a hosting provider than an "owner", because
that's what they do: hosting in return for the right to advertise on the
site. They just happen to own the URL and, I believe, the name.

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