[Wikimedia-l] Impressions from LODLAM 2013

David Cuenca dacuetu at gmail.com
Fri Jun 21 22:58:05 UTC 2013

Maybe also relevant for this list.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: David Cuenca <dacuetu at gmail.com>
Date: Fri, Jun 21, 2013 at 12:47 AM
Subject: Impressions from LODLAM 2013
To: MediaWiki announcements and site admin list <
mediawiki-l at lists.wikimedia.org>, "Discussion list for the Wikidata
project." <wikidata-l at lists.wikimedia.org>, "discussion list for
Wikisource, the free library" <wikisource-l at lists.wikimedia.org>

I'm just back from the LODLAM summit in Montreal, Canada and here there is
a short report.

==About LODLAM and why I was there==
LODLAM (http://lodlam.net) is a gathering of people interested in LOD
(linked open data) and LAM (Libraries, Archives, and Museums), so I thought
it would be interesting to find partners and raise awareness about the
Wikisource revitalization effort, all this thanks to the Grants:IEG
support. The audience was very diverse, not only from cultural
institutions, but also from some research centers and private companies.
OKFN, Europeana, DPLA, and other big players had representatives there.
AFIK, I was the only person from the Wikimedia movement, so I ended up
representing "all things wiki", specially Wikidata. These spontaneous
activities are briefly described here [1].
The format of the event was that of an [[open-space technology]] gathering,
similar to unconferences.

Some information and reflexions to share:

== Rewards & contributor retention ==
During a talk about licenses (which dealt about the difficulties of having
content with different licenses), there were some mention about Datahub
[2], a recently launched project to share datasets, formerly known as ckan.
The discussion revolved around the reward that contributors get for
releasing their datasets. There was some consensus that "the use of the
released data is the reward", which lead to another debate about how to
convey data use to contributors. It can be complicated or simplified to
just leave a gratitude comment by the person using the dataset.

All this led me to think about the emotional vs rational rewards that users
(or institutions) obtain from contributing content to Wikipedia, Commons,
Wikisource, etc. Are really "active thanks", as currently implemented,
suistainable and scalable? Will all the contributors who deserve it get a
thanks some day? Could personalized view counts/ratings reports about
uploaded pictures, major contributions to WP articles, etc. have some
impact on contributor satisfaction/retention? Would "automated personal
impact reports" free collaborators from the duty of thanking one another,
or would that mean less personal interactions?
These are some questions that I leave open here.

==Semantic annotations ==
As you might know there is a GSoC [3] which aims to convert the OKFN
Annotator [4] into a Mediawiki extension. That is a great project that will
enable inline comments in mediawiki projects, but it shouldn't be seen as
the end, but only an step in the direction of semantic annotations.
What could semantic annotations mean for Wikipedia? More precise answers to
questions. Instead of just having "millions of articles" there would be the
possibility of answering "trillions of questions" (or at least pointing to
the text fragment(s) that has/have the answer). This kind of paradigm shift
might need some pondering and broad community discussion.
What could semantic annotations mean for Wikisource? Text
interconectedness. Be able to relate concepts, authors, fragments... and
then be able to query those relationships.

==Input interfaces for linked data==
The best linked data it is the one that is invisible to the user, but then,
how to enable end users to "write" linked data? From the several
approaches, the most convincing seemed to use a text symbol (#, +, !, or
others) to indicate that the text following it represents a linked entity.
In the case of the VisualEditor in Wikipedia, one could write
"#article_name", and right after entering the "#" and the first letters, a
list of options (from Wikidata) would show up to autocomplete/disambiguate.
After selecting the right item, one could continue writing or type a dot to
select a property (like in some object-oriented programming languages do).
This approach simplifies the interlinking and also the data inclusion.

==Other news==
- The Getty vocabularies will be published as linked open data (late 2013,
ODC_BY 1.0 license) [6]
- Pund.it [5] - open source semantic annotation project that won the lodlam
challenge award
- Karma, tools for mapping data to ontologies [7]


[1] http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikidata-l/2013-June/002388.html
[2] http://datahub.io/
[4] http://okfnlabs.org/annotator/
[5] http://www.thepund.it/
[6] http://www.getty.edu/research/tools/vocabularies/index.html

Etiamsi omnes, ego non

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