Collecting or spreading information (was: Wikipedia is not the karma sutra)

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Collecting or spreading information (was: Wikipedia is not the karma sutra)

Effe iets anders
Here we have an interesting discussion topic. So what /is/ the main focus of
Wikimedia? Is it about collecting together free knowledge, or is it about
spreading it? If it would only be about spreading, I think we have at least
chosen the wrong shape, because a page full of links would then be more
appropriate. But we're not just about collecting either, it seems, since we
try to work on spreading the content through dumps (although not optimally),
DVD's and printed versions. We do a lot of activities which are focussed on
spreading the stuff we collected first.

But which of the two is more important to us, and which takes preference? To
think about that, we should take a few things into consideration:

* Are we the only one able to perform a certain task? Are we the single (and
therefore important) link in a chain from knowledge to receiver?
* Is there an activity someone else could do more effectively?
* Is there an activity we could do most effectively?
* Is there a part that is connected directly to our identity, which we do
not /want/ to let go?
* What are the side effects to limiting/extending ourselves on one of the
two?
* How does the main public (also our main moneymaker) see us/expect us to
act?

This type of questions we should try to answer in a more general shape to
find an answer on the specific question of the " necklace"  article and
specific photo's.

I don't claim to know all the answers to these questions, nor do I think
anyone does, actually. However, I hope we will alltogether try to address
this type of questions, perhaps as part of the strategy process.

I personally don't think we can see this specific group of articles as
different as the other 12 million. There are many many categories, and
there's a lot to say for deleting each single one of them. (insulting to
some people, confusing, dangerous if people follow it, dangerous information
for terrorists, distracting from the real information, you probably know all
the possible reasons even better then I do). If we would ever exclude one
set of topics, we should be very carefully considering where to draw the
line exactly, to avoid that we will drift off to who-knows-where with the
argument "yeah, but if that gets deleted, this should be going too". That
goes both for articles and images (even editors who are getting blocked).

I think that Wikipedia is best in collecting information. That is the place
what we are best in, that is what no other website is able to imitate on
this scale. That is also what the general public expects from us. I feel
that this is what Wikipedia's primary focus should be. However, that should
not exclude any thoughts about restraining ourselves if that furthers the
other goal, spreading. But also consider that the spreading to people who
want to avoid sexual content, could also be done by others. It should not be
too hard to build a filter to censor Wikipedia from that type of information
and even images for example based on the categorization.

Best regards,

lodewijk

 Fred Bauder <[hidden email]>

> The image is an excellent illustration of its subject. However I would
> prefer a policy which excluded both it and the article in which it is
> used as an illustration. I'm not sure how the policy should be elaborated
> in our policy pages, but essentially this sort of material is
> incompatible with our core mission, to provide an accessible compendium
> of knowledge to the world.
>
> I was discussing Wikipedia with a Mohs surgeon the other day, he happened
> to be a Mormon. Other than the articles on dermatology and Mohs surgery,
> we talked about his 13 year old daughter who had been discouraged by her
> school from using Wikipedia. An article such as Pearl necklace
> (sexuality) adds little to a girl's knowledge base in comparison to the
> barrier it raises to her use of the encyclopedia.
>
> I suggest that Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not include Wikipedia is not a
> manual of sexual practices. It could be phrased Wikipedia is not the
> Karma Sutra.
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Re: Collecting or spreading information (was: Wikipedia is not the karma sutra)

Ivan Lanin-2
These questions are very good. While perhaps not really related to the
original discussion, I just want to share my thought and experience in
Indonesian context.

On Thu, May 14, 2009 at 7:34 PM, effe iets anders
<[hidden email]> wrote:

> But which of the two is more important to us, and which takes preference?

Collecting was and still is the main focus. But all of us know that
the ultimate goal is actually to spread it. What's the use of free
knowledge repository if it's not used by as many people as possible?
So, collecting first, spreading later.

> * Are we the only one able to perform a certain task? Are we the single (and
> therefore important) link in a chain from knowledge to receiver?

No, we are not the one. The government should actually do that. But,
we are an important alternative *collector* of information and
therefore should also be able to spread it.

> * Is there an activity someone else could do more effectively?

I think currently wiki platform is the most effective way of
collecting meaningful information. But we are not the most effective
party that can do the spreading. Government and academic should be
more effective since most people usually believe them. The wiki way,
on the other hand, raise doubts on the accuracy of information.

> * Is there an activity we could do most effectively?

Collection of information ofcourse :)

> * Is there a part that is connected directly to our identity, which we do
> not /want/ to let go?

Imperfectness, but continous improvement of the process of collecting
information.

> * What are the side effects to limiting/extending ourselves on one of the
> two?

Since I believe that our strong point is on the collection of
information, this one should be extended.

> * How does the main public (also our main moneymaker) see us/expect us to
> act?

They expect us to be more reliable as a source of information, but
they don't expect us to be more active in spreading it.

--
Ivan Lanin (personal opinion)

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Re: Collecting or spreading information (was: Wikipedia is not the karma sutra)

Effe iets anders
2009/5/14 Ivan Lanin <[hidden email]>

> <snip>
>
> > * Are we the only one able to perform a certain task? Are we the single
> (and
> > therefore important) link in a chain from knowledge to receiver?
>
> No, we are not the one. The government should actually do that. But,
> we are an important alternative *collector* of information and
> therefore should also be able to spread it.
> <snip>


What I actually meant here was: " Are we irreplacable?" ie, if our part of
the chain breaks, does that mean the chain collapses? Because if that is so,
then we should make sure that we don't break definitely :)

Lodewijk
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Re: Collecting or spreading information (was: Wikipedia is not the karma sutra)

Thomas Dalton
In reply to this post by Effe iets anders
2009/5/14 effe iets anders <[hidden email]>:
> Here we have an interesting discussion topic. So what /is/ the main focus of
> Wikimedia? Is it about collecting together free knowledge, or is it about
> spreading it?

I think it is clear that we need to do both. You can't spread
information you don't have and there is no point collecting
information if nobody uses it. I'm not convinced these two goals are
in any real conflict.

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Re: Collecting or spreading information (was: Wikipedia is not the karma sutra)

Effe iets anders
You could spread someone else's knowledge, no problem.

And conflicts there always are. If the collection of some content hinders
the general spreading, such as with the sexual images might be the case (but
that is just an example, you could just as well use images of the prophet
Muhamed as example)  then one should consider which is more important. It is
all about priorities in the end. Not only when in conflict but also when
facing limited resources.

eia

2009/5/14 Thomas Dalton <[hidden email]>

> 2009/5/14 effe iets anders <[hidden email]>:
> > Here we have an interesting discussion topic. So what /is/ the main focus
> of
> > Wikimedia? Is it about collecting together free knowledge, or is it about
> > spreading it?
>
> I think it is clear that we need to do both. You can't spread
> information you don't have and there is no point collecting
> information if nobody uses it. I'm not convinced these two goals are
> in any real conflict.
>
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