Does wikipedians feel like commoners ?

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Does wikipedians feel like commoners ?

Sebastien Shulz
Hi everyone,

I'm currently doing a Ph.d on digital commons. I'm tracing the history of
the "digital common" movement (if there is one). And I wanted to know if
there are some studies about Wikipedians and their relation with the
conceptual framework of the commons (do they feel like commoners ? Do they
know E. Ostrom, etc.)
Thanks a lot for your help !
Best regards,

*Sébastien Shulz*
*Doctorant en sociologie *
*Laboratoire Interdisciplinaire Sciences Innovations Sociétés*
*06.68.86.68.46 // Linkedin <https://www.linkedin.com/in/sebastien-shulz>*
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Re: Does wikipedians feel like commoners ?

Alexandre Hocquet
On 07/12/2019 17:04, Sebastien Shulz wrote:
> Hi everyone,
>
> I'm currently doing a Ph.d on digital commons. I'm tracing the history of
> the "digital common" movement (if there is one). And I wanted to know if
> there are some studies about Wikipedians and their relation with the
> conceptual framework of the commons (do they feel like commoners ? Do they
> know E. Ostrom, etc.)
> Thanks a lot for your help !
> Best regards,

Sébastien,

I'm guessing your aware of this paper by Cardon and Levrel :

Cardon, D., & Levrel, J. (2009). La vigilance participative. Une
interprétation de la gouvernance de Wikipédia. Réseaux, 154(2), 51.
https://doi.org/10.3917/res.154.0051

Though it specifically mentions Ostrom, the paper was more about
attempting to translate Wikipedia pilars and rules into Ostrom's wording
than an in-depth analysis of a (supposedly) community of commoners.

For more recent literature on a similar topic, I'd check Tkacz's book :

Tkacz, N. (2015). Wikipedia and the Politics of Openness. Retrieved from
http://www.press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/chicago/W/bo19085555.html

Maybe you'll find something about the community
  and their sense of values.


--
***********************************************
Alexandre Hocquet
Archives Henri Poincaré & Science History Institute
[hidden email]
https://www.sciencehistory.org/profile/alexandre-hocquet
https://poincare.univ-lorraine.fr/fr/membre-titulaire/alexandre-hocquet
***********************************************

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Re: Does wikipedians feel like commoners ?

Todd Allen
In reply to this post by Sebastien Shulz
If you're looking for general history on the digital commons movement,
check out Richard Stallman and the Free Software Foundation, and Eric S.
Raymond's *The Cathedral and the Bazaar*. A lot of the initial Wikipedians
were very much in favor of open source and open content, and were quite
familiar with those. I don't, to be quite honest, know about "E. Ostrom",
and have never heard them discussed on-wiki, but of course other editors
might be.

But if you really want to see the influence of the "commons" idea on
Wikipedia, the open source software movement is going to be very relevant
to what you want to look at. Mediawiki, the software that Wikipedia and
other Wikimedia sites run on, is open source, and the technology stack
underlying it is as well.

On Sat, Dec 7, 2019 at 9:05 AM Sebastien Shulz <[hidden email]>
wrote:

> Hi everyone,
>
> I'm currently doing a Ph.d on digital commons. I'm tracing the history of
> the "digital common" movement (if there is one). And I wanted to know if
> there are some studies about Wikipedians and their relation with the
> conceptual framework of the commons (do they feel like commoners ? Do they
> know E. Ostrom, etc.)
> Thanks a lot for your help !
> Best regards,
>
> *Sébastien Shulz*
> *Doctorant en sociologie *
> *Laboratoire Interdisciplinaire Sciences Innovations Sociétés*
> *06.68.86.68.46 // Linkedin <https://www.linkedin.com/in/sebastien-shulz>*
> _______________________________________________
> Wiki-research-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wiki-research-l
>
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Re: Does wikipedians feel like commoners ?

Juergen Fenn-4
Commoners used to draw on Wikipedia as an outstanding example of commons
goods, but Wikipedians usually do not refer to Ostrom's works or even
'The tragedy of the Commons', etc. We mostly draw on hacker's pamphlets
such as Eric S. Raymond and  John Perry Barlow. At least in the
German-speaking community we aim at setting knowledge free by literally
writing it down into Wikipedia. The licences allowing for commercial use
of Wikipedia are a case in point. They are mostly seen as a strange
phenomenon that was imposed upon us from the anglo-saxon world, but they
do not fit the continental point of view as there should not be a
commercial context for 'free' goods created for everyone. So, after all,
Sébastien, I think you have found one of the community's touchy spots
that are worth thinking about. Unfortunately, I do not remember a study
about the topic. So there is room for one still.

Best regards,
Jürgen.

Am 07.12.19 um 23:39 Uhr schrieb Todd Allen:

> If you're looking for general history on the digital commons movement,
> check out Richard Stallman and the Free Software Foundation, and Eric S.
> Raymond's *The Cathedral and the Bazaar*. A lot of the initial Wikipedians
> were very much in favor of open source and open content, and were quite
> familiar with those. I don't, to be quite honest, know about "E. Ostrom",
> and have never heard them discussed on-wiki, but of course other editors
> might be.
>
> But if you really want to see the influence of the "commons" idea on
> Wikipedia, the open source software movement is going to be very relevant
> to what you want to look at. Mediawiki, the software that Wikipedia and
> other Wikimedia sites run on, is open source, and the technology stack
> underlying it is as well.
>
> On Sat, Dec 7, 2019 at 9:05 AM Sebastien Shulz <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>
>> Hi everyone,
>>
>> I'm currently doing a Ph.d on digital commons. I'm tracing the history of
>> the "digital common" movement (if there is one). And I wanted to know if
>> there are some studies about Wikipedians and their relation with the
>> conceptual framework of the commons (do they feel like commoners ? Do they
>> know E. Ostrom, etc.)
>> Thanks a lot for your help !
>> Best regards,
>>
>> *Sébastien Shulz*
>> *Doctorant en sociologie *
>> *Laboratoire Interdisciplinaire Sciences Innovations Sociétés*
>> *06.68.86.68.46 // Linkedin <https://www.linkedin.com/in/sebastien-shulz>*
>> _______________________________________________
>> Wiki-research-l mailing list
>> [hidden email]
>> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wiki-research-l
>>
> _______________________________________________
> Wiki-research-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wiki-research-l
>

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Re: Does wikipedians feel like commoners ?

Stuart A. Yeates
In reply to this post by Todd Allen
It's worth noting that while Richard Stallman and Eric S. Raymond
played important roles historically and published
widely-read-at-the-time analyses, both have had significant falls from
grace since then and basing current analyses of the commons and other
systems on their work should be done _very_ carefully.

cheers
stuart

--
...let us be heard from red core to black sky

On Sun, 8 Dec 2019 at 11:39, Todd Allen <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> If you're looking for general history on the digital commons movement,
> check out Richard Stallman and the Free Software Foundation, and Eric S.
> Raymond's *The Cathedral and the Bazaar*. A lot of the initial Wikipedians
> were very much in favor of open source and open content, and were quite
> familiar with those. I don't, to be quite honest, know about "E. Ostrom",
> and have never heard them discussed on-wiki, but of course other editors
> might be.
>
> But if you really want to see the influence of the "commons" idea on
> Wikipedia, the open source software movement is going to be very relevant
> to what you want to look at. Mediawiki, the software that Wikipedia and
> other Wikimedia sites run on, is open source, and the technology stack
> underlying it is as well.
>
> On Sat, Dec 7, 2019 at 9:05 AM Sebastien Shulz <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>
> > Hi everyone,
> >
> > I'm currently doing a Ph.d on digital commons. I'm tracing the history of
> > the "digital common" movement (if there is one). And I wanted to know if
> > there are some studies about Wikipedians and their relation with the
> > conceptual framework of the commons (do they feel like commoners ? Do they
> > know E. Ostrom, etc.)
> > Thanks a lot for your help !
> > Best regards,
> >
> > *Sébastien Shulz*
> > *Doctorant en sociologie *
> > *Laboratoire Interdisciplinaire Sciences Innovations Sociétés*
> > *06.68.86.68.46 // Linkedin <https://www.linkedin.com/in/sebastien-shulz>*
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wiki-research-l mailing list
> > [hidden email]
> > https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wiki-research-l
> >
> _______________________________________________
> Wiki-research-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wiki-research-l

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Re: Does wikipedians feel like commoners ?

Federico Leva (Nemo)
In reply to this post by Juergen Fenn-4
Juergen Fenn, 08/12/19 01:22:
> Commoners used to draw on Wikipedia as an outstanding example of commons
> goods, but Wikipedians usually do not refer to Ostrom's works

Indeed, although this has changed a bit after she won a Nobel. It was
2007 when "Understanding knowledge as a commons" made the link clear
between that theory and Wikipedia.

It's nothing unusual though: even "Free as in freedom" 1.0[1] will tell
you that such books were published during a peak of interest, arguably
*after* the ideas they were describing had succeeded (like GNU/Linux in
the 1990s), yet the same ideas were present as underground current if
not direct inspiration[2] for those same successes before.

The same with Wikipedia: most "classics" were probably published in the
late 2000s after its success,[3] and even Lessig's "Free culture", in
2004, was already able to mention Wikipedia as a success (although most
of the book is on music!). The early Wikimedia projects users did not
come thanks to them and may have absorbed the ideas in other ways. As
for the late users and the mass of infrequent contributors, it's hard to
tell how influenced they were. Same for other classics on copyleft, the
internet etc. like David L. Lange, James Boyle and others not mentioned yet.

It might be that such classics are actually written when they are in a
way superfluous and we come back to them when we lost our way. (I
personally read most of them during some crisis even though I knew their
contents and may have referenced them in public presentations before
that, ouch.) A survey to find out what "cultural references" the
wikimedians have would be interesting: I agree we'd have some surprises
(in Italy, R. David Lankes is mentioned a lot in some circles due to the
influence of librarians).

It would be interesting to know which classics or other works are most
effective at convincing the public about the underlying principles of
the Wikimedia projects, or even at recruiting new active users. In Italy
we've just started experimenting a bit on this, with a free distribution
to schools of a few thousand copies of Carlo Piana (2018)
<https://it.wikisource.org/wiki/Open_source,_software_libero_e_altre_libert%C3%A0>.

Federico

[1] <https://www.oreilly.com/openbook/freedom/>, updated version
<https://www.fsf.org/faif/>.
[2] Nupedia was directly inspired by GNU
<https://www.gnu.org/encyclopedia/free-encyclopedia.html>, a fact which
is standard to mention at least in classic Wikimedia Italia public
outreach since the 2005.
[3] Consider also Aigrain, Boldrin/Levine, De Martin/De Rosnay
<http://www.copyleft-italia.it/libri/libri-autori-stranieri.html> and
many others in languages other than English and Italian that I probably
know nothing about.

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Re: Does wikipedians feel like commoners ?

Jan Dittrich
In reply to this post by Alexandre Hocquet
Hello,

I would also second Tkacz book as an analysis. Less well known but very
interesting, since it has a lot of data detailed and structured, is E.A.
Rijshouwer "Organizing Democracy : Power concentration and
self-organization in the evolution of Wikipedia".

Jan






Am Sa., 7. Dez. 2019 um 17:19 Uhr schrieb Alexandre Hocquet <
[hidden email]>:

> On 07/12/2019 17:04, Sebastien Shulz wrote:
> > Hi everyone,
> >
> > I'm currently doing a Ph.d on digital commons. I'm tracing the history of
> > the "digital common" movement (if there is one). And I wanted to know if
> > there are some studies about Wikipedians and their relation with the
> > conceptual framework of the commons (do they feel like commoners ? Do
> they
> > know E. Ostrom, etc.)
> > Thanks a lot for your help !
> > Best regards,
>
> Sébastien,
>
> I'm guessing your aware of this paper by Cardon and Levrel :
>
> Cardon, D., & Levrel, J. (2009). La vigilance participative. Une
> interprétation de la gouvernance de Wikipédia. Réseaux, 154(2), 51.
> https://doi.org/10.3917/res.154.0051
>
> Though it specifically mentions Ostrom, the paper was more about
> attempting to translate Wikipedia pilars and rules into Ostrom's wording
> than an in-depth analysis of a (supposedly) community of commoners.
>
> For more recent literature on a similar topic, I'd check Tkacz's book :
>
> Tkacz, N. (2015). Wikipedia and the Politics of Openness. Retrieved from
> http://www.press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/chicago/W/bo19085555.html
>
> Maybe you'll find something about the community
>   and their sense of values.
>
>
> --
> ***********************************************
> Alexandre Hocquet
> Archives Henri Poincaré & Science History Institute
> [hidden email]
> https://www.sciencehistory.org/profile/alexandre-hocquet
> https://poincare.univ-lorraine.fr/fr/membre-titulaire/alexandre-hocquet
> ***********************************************
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wiki-research-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wiki-research-l
>


--
Jan Dittrich
UX Design/ Research

Wikimedia Deutschland e. V. | Tempelhofer Ufer 23-24 | 10963 Berlin
Tel. (030) 219 158 26-0
https://wikimedia.de

Unsere Vision ist eine Welt, in der alle Menschen am Wissen der Menschheit
teilhaben, es nutzen und mehren können. Helfen Sie uns dabei!
https://spenden.wikimedia.de

Wikimedia Deutschland — Gesellschaft zur Förderung Freien Wissens e. V.
Eingetragen im Vereinsregister des Amtsgerichts Berlin-Charlottenburg unter
der Nummer 23855 B. Als gemeinnützig anerkannt durch das Finanzamt für
Körperschaften I Berlin, Steuernummer 27/029/42207.
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Re: Does wikipedians feel like commoners ?

Jan Dittrich
In reply to this post by Stuart A. Yeates
Even aside from their fall from grace,
> …widely-read-at-the-time analyses…

I guess, one would read "Cathedral and the Bazaar" as historically
influential text today, I am not sure how "strong" it is as analysis of
commons based systems in the first place.

Jan

Am So., 8. Dez. 2019 um 02:27 Uhr schrieb Stuart A. Yeates <
[hidden email]>:

> It's worth noting that while Richard Stallman and Eric S. Raymond
> played important roles historically and published
> widely-read-at-the-time analyses, both have had significant falls from
> grace since then and basing current analyses of the commons and other
> systems on their work should be done _very_ carefully.
>
> cheers
> stuart
>
> --
> ...let us be heard from red core to black sky
>
> On Sun, 8 Dec 2019 at 11:39, Todd Allen <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >
> > If you're looking for general history on the digital commons movement,
> > check out Richard Stallman and the Free Software Foundation, and Eric S.
> > Raymond's *The Cathedral and the Bazaar*. A lot of the initial
> Wikipedians
> > were very much in favor of open source and open content, and were quite
> > familiar with those. I don't, to be quite honest, know about "E. Ostrom",
> > and have never heard them discussed on-wiki, but of course other editors
> > might be.
> >
> > But if you really want to see the influence of the "commons" idea on
> > Wikipedia, the open source software movement is going to be very relevant
> > to what you want to look at. Mediawiki, the software that Wikipedia and
> > other Wikimedia sites run on, is open source, and the technology stack
> > underlying it is as well.
> >
> > On Sat, Dec 7, 2019 at 9:05 AM Sebastien Shulz <
> [hidden email]>
> > wrote:
> >
> > > Hi everyone,
> > >
> > > I'm currently doing a Ph.d on digital commons. I'm tracing the history
> of
> > > the "digital common" movement (if there is one). And I wanted to know
> if
> > > there are some studies about Wikipedians and their relation with the
> > > conceptual framework of the commons (do they feel like commoners ? Do
> they
> > > know E. Ostrom, etc.)
> > > Thanks a lot for your help !
> > > Best regards,
> > >
> > > *Sébastien Shulz*
> > > *Doctorant en sociologie *
> > > *Laboratoire Interdisciplinaire Sciences Innovations Sociétés*
> > > *06.68.86.68.46 // Linkedin <
> https://www.linkedin.com/in/sebastien-shulz>*
> > > _______________________________________________
> > > Wiki-research-l mailing list
> > > [hidden email]
> > > https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wiki-research-l
> > >
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wiki-research-l mailing list
> > [hidden email]
> > https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wiki-research-l
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wiki-research-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wiki-research-l
>


--
Jan Dittrich
UX Design/ Research

Wikimedia Deutschland e. V. | Tempelhofer Ufer 23-24 | 10963 Berlin
Tel. (030) 219 158 26-0
https://wikimedia.de

Unsere Vision ist eine Welt, in der alle Menschen am Wissen der Menschheit
teilhaben, es nutzen und mehren können. Helfen Sie uns dabei!
https://spenden.wikimedia.de

Wikimedia Deutschland — Gesellschaft zur Förderung Freien Wissens e. V.
Eingetragen im Vereinsregister des Amtsgerichts Berlin-Charlottenburg unter
der Nummer 23855 B. Als gemeinnützig anerkannt durch das Finanzamt für
Körperschaften I Berlin, Steuernummer 27/029/42207.
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Re: Does wikipedians feel like commoners ?

Kerry Raymond
I think Wikipedians are Wikipedians for a variety of reasons. Some of them are more altruistic (free knowledge), others are more personal (but not necessarily negative), others reasons are negative (pushing a point of view, advertising, vandalism, stroking their own ego, etc).

But if we look at the group that are more-or-less altruistic, I sincerely doubt that we can attribute their motivation to a particular author, open source software or whatever. I've been well-aware of Richard Stallman, open source software, open research data, etc,  from before being a Wikipedian but those things didn't cause me to become a Wikipedian. I think most Wikipedians are simply people who can see that knowledge empowers people and enables them to live better lives, build a better society etc, and think that Wikipedia is therefore beneficial to the world and something they feel able to contribute to.  I don't think most of them would think themselves as "commoners", indeed I think most of them would be thinking you were talking about contributors to Wikimedia Commons rather than the meaning you intend.

It simply makes good sense to contribute to Wikipedia.

Kerry
 


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