Re: The viable competitors to Wikipedia.

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Re: The viable competitors to Wikipedia.

WereSpielChequers-2
We already have several rivals, including the Chinese,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baidu_Baike and the largest online
encyclopaedia Hudong. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hudong At some
point in the near future translation software will improve to the
point that they can compete against us in languages other than
Chinese. Also I suspect we are already losing ground to more
inclusionist projects such as IMDB.

We will still have a niche in languages they aren't interested in, and
among people who care about copyright. But my suspicion is that we are
unusual, and that most potential editors are more annoyed by having
their contributions rejected by deletionists than by something in the
small print that says their words now belong to the website they've
written them on.

Willingness to adapt to the desires of National Governments and even
cultural prejudices also creates niches in much if not most of the
world. I've no idea how good Chinese to Arabic translation software
is, but the combination of an adequate translation and a filter agreed
with relevant governments or religions would probably beat us in the
Arab world. I don't like the idea of political censorship, but I do
like the idea of enabling people to make their own choices as to what
they see. If our user preferences included two stick figures and a
sliding bar that enabled every option from burka to thongless then my
personal choice need not concern others any more than theirs mattered
to me.

Other interesting niches would be for a "child safe", unscientific or
mono-dialect encyclopaedias. I'm not convinced that the young earth
creationists with their American English at
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conservapedia or the Australian English
equivalent at http://www.astorehouseofknowledge.info/Main_Page are
sufficiently mainstream to do this, let alone the absolutist flat
earthers at http://conservapedia.wikkii.com/wiki/Main_Page But I
suspect that a mainstream trusted brand could find a niche here,
perhaps even with a bowdlerised mirror of Wikipedia.

I've seen many newbies get an early warning by starting their wiki
career "correcting" articles to the version of English that they are
comfortable with, and I'd like to see us resolve this by making
display dialect a user preference
http://strategy.wikimedia.org/wiki/Proposal:More_multi_dialect_wikis I
think this would have a secondary benefit that identifying and
appropriately marking ambiguous words such as bonnet, hood and fender
would make it easier to translate those articles into other languages.

Other options would be for a site that ended the
inclusionism/deletionism conflict by abandoning notability and
concentrating on verifiability or aiming for comprehensiveness. That
seems to work for IMDB but possibly you need to restrict this to
specialist pedias - aiming for coverage of all films and their cast is
one thing, but on a general pedia you need to set a threshold
somewhere unless you are prepared to have articles for pet guinea
pigs.

WereSpielChequers

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Re: The viable competitors to Wikipedia.

Tom Morris-5
On Fri, Apr 8, 2011 at 11:09, WereSpielChequers
<[hidden email]> wrote:
> Other options would be for a site that ended the
> inclusionism/deletionism conflict by abandoning notability and
> concentrating on verifiability or aiming for comprehensiveness. That
> seems to work for IMDB but possibly you need to restrict this to
> specialist pedias - aiming for coverage of all films and their cast is
> one thing, but on a general pedia you need to set a threshold
> somewhere unless you are prepared to have articles for pet guinea
> pigs.
>

One of the things Citizendium gets right in policy terms is to recast
notability in the terms of 'maintainability'. An article on
Citizendium is only deleted if (a) it's obvious junk (though not
explicitly listed, that's basically CSD-type criteria - vandalism,
propaganda pieces etc.) or (b) it's not maintainable by the current
community of editors.

It seems a pretty good candidate to be a bounding threshold for
inclusionism. And it's something that is sort of required for BLPs. A
rough test might be something like this: if you've got a BLP article
and that person were to die or their status changes radically, would
the article be updated? If Tony Blair or George H.W. Bush were to keep
over dead tomorrow, the WP article would be updated, and the CZ one
would be too, even with only a very small community of editors. But
what happens if the man who runs the grocery in a small village in
England dies? Who updates his article? That is what a maintainability
policy gets you.

The benefit of such a maintainability policy is that a lot of articles
don't need much maintenance like BLPs do. It's not like Isaac Newton
is going to rise up from the grave and become an Oscar-winning actor
and make his encyclopedia articles invalid. And it seems a reasonable
presupposition to think that once an encyclopedia like Wikipedia has
an article on the Cabbage Patch Dolls or Plato's Republic or the
evolution of horses or whatever, the amount of updating isn't going to
be too drastic.

--
Tom Morris
<http://tommorris.org/>

Please don't print this e-mail out unless you want a hard copy of it.
If you do, go ahead. I won't stop you.

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Re: The viable competitors to Wikipedia.

Charles Matthews
In reply to this post by WereSpielChequers-2
On 08/04/2011 11:09, WereSpielChequers wrote:

<snip>
> Other options would be for a site that ended the
> inclusionism/deletionism conflict by abandoning notability and
> concentrating on verifiability or aiming for comprehensiveness. That
> seems to work for IMDB but possibly you need to restrict this to
> specialist pedias - aiming for coverage of all films and their cast is
> one thing, but on a general pedia you need to set a threshold
> somewhere unless you are prepared to have articles for pet guinea
> pigs.
Hmmm yes. It is interesting to me that Google Knol is nowhere on your
list of viable competitors (you did make some good points in favour of
those you mentioned).

"Notability" has always been a broken and widely-misunderstood aspect of
enWP. My impression is that deWP, for example, sets the bar higher, and
has fewer "problems": in a word, deletionism can work well enough.
Comprehensiveness is of course about total content, while notability is
about topics you recognise. "Salience" is the neglected concept, which
is relative to topic.

To get back to knols: this sort of "factual blogging" isn't really
likely to produce much interesting content, absent incentives. And no
serious "publishing process" is likely to produce anything that is way
better, unless it is quite complicated. I feel that's the correct
conclusion from (en)WP. There may be an improved model, but please don't
tell me that a few tweaks will eliminate the complexities entirely.
There are choices that can be made about where to place the tricky parts.

Charles




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Re: The viable competitors to Wikipedia.

David Gerard-2
On 8 April 2011 15:17, Charles Matthews <[hidden email]> wrote:

> "Notability" has always been a broken and widely-misunderstood aspect of
> enWP. My impression is that deWP, for example, sets the bar higher, and
> has fewer "problems": in a word, deletionism can work well enough.
> Comprehensiveness is of course about total content, while notability is
> about topics you recognise. "Salience" is the neglected concept, which
> is relative to topic.


I am told anecdotally that many native speakers of German who also
speak good English prefer en:wp for its comprehensiveness.

This may be an example of what we think we should be about conflicting
with what readers actually want and expect.


- d.

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Re: The viable competitors to Wikipedia.

Charles Matthews
On 08/04/2011 15:57, David Gerard wrote:

> On 8 April 2011 15:17, Charles Matthews<[hidden email]>  wrote:
>
>> "Notability" has always been a broken and widely-misunderstood aspect of
>> enWP. My impression is that deWP, for example, sets the bar higher, and
>> has fewer "problems": in a word, deletionism can work well enough.
>> Comprehensiveness is of course about total content, while notability is
>> about topics you recognise. "Salience" is the neglected concept, which
>> is relative to topic.
>
> I am told anecdotally that many native speakers of German who also
> speak good English prefer en:wp for its comprehensiveness.
>
> This may be an example of what we think we should be about conflicting
> with what readers actually want and expect.
It's not actually terribly surprising, given that there are probably at
least four times as many native speakers of English as of German. In the
areas I work in I often come across cases where deWP has a better
article on a topic than enWP. These are things you'd expect, anyway. The
real point is that deWP's model seems clearly viable, if a bit
different. We'll see, in the longer term. The gap between "content" and
"featured content" (optimised) still seems huge (FAs cover half a week's
additions at the current rate, by number of topics). We've got a long
way with "good enough" content.

Charles=


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Re: The viable competitors to Wikipedia.

Dana Lutenegger
In reply to this post by WereSpielChequers-2
With regard to the Chinese examples specifically, they may have a lot of
articles, but content-wise, they are a mess. And that isn't just me, the
biased Wikipedia editor saying that. A lot of Chinese people I've talked to
don't trust their content either, particularly Hudong, which is worse than
Baidu Baike. In addition, their communities are weak in terms of project
building, I think. Editors may create articles to gain in their point
systems, but they have no buy-in in terms of making a good encyclopedia,
because they don't make those decisions. Finally, I doubt that we will have
to compete with them in any other languages, because Chinese websites just
don't seem to be interested in that. There are enough mainland Chinese users
for any website to live off of. The largest video portal site in China,
Youku, doesn't even have a version in traditional Chinese characters, much
less any foreign language. There are plenty of similar examples.

All of this is just to say, I think there is still space for Wikipedia, even
when other competitors exist. When Chinese people are exposed to Wikipedia,
they seem to like it and find it reliable. The hard part is getting that
exposure.
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Re: The viable competitors to Wikipedia.

David Goodman-2
I've also suggested this, calling it  '''Wikipedia Two'' - an
encyclopedia supplement where the standard of notability  is much
relaxed, but which will be different from Wikia by still requiring
WP:Verifiability, and NPOV. It would include the lower levels of
barely  notable articles in Wikipedia, and the upper levels of a good
deal of what we do not let in.  It would for example include both high
schools and elementary schools. It would include college athletes. It
would include political candidates. It would include neighborhood
businesses, and fire departments.  It would include individual
asteroids. It would include anyone who had a credited role in a film,
or any named character in one--both the ones we currently leave out,
and the ones we put in.  This should satisfy both the inclusionists
and the deletionists. The deletionists will have this material out of
Wikipedia, the inclusionists will have it not rejected.

But it would be interesting to see a search option:
Do you want to see everything (WP+WP2), or only the notable(W)?
Anyone care to guess which people would choose?




--
David Goodman

DGG at the enWP
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:DGG
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:DGG

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Re: The viable competitors to Wikipedia.

Fred Bauder-2
> I've also suggested this, calling it  '''Wikipedia Two'' - an
> encyclopedia supplement where the standard of notability  is much
> relaxed, but which will be different from Wikia by still requiring
> WP:Verifiability, and NPOV. It would include the lower levels of
> barely  notable articles in Wikipedia, and the upper levels of a good
> deal of what we do not let in.  It would for example include both high
> schools and elementary schools. It would include college athletes. It
> would include political candidates. It would include neighborhood
> businesses, and fire departments.  It would include individual
> asteroids. It would include anyone who had a credited role in a film,
> or any named character in one--both the ones we currently leave out,
> and the ones we put in.  This should satisfy both the inclusionists
> and the deletionists. The deletionists will have this material out of
> Wikipedia, the inclusionists will have it not rejected.
>
> But it would be interesting to see a search option:
> Do you want to see everything (WP+WP2), or only the notable(W)?
> Anyone care to guess which people would choose?
>
>
>
>
> --
> David Goodman

Yes, let's do that.

Fred Bauder


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Re: The viable competitors to Wikipedia.

MuZemike
In reply to this post by David Goodman-2
That wouldn't solve anything, except further draw a hard line and create
an even larger rift between editors. If we strive to be an "open
community" where we bring people together, then we would collectively be
making it more closed by doing this.

-MuZemike

On 4/8/2011 1:26 PM, David Goodman wrote:

> I've also suggested this, calling it  '''Wikipedia Two'' - an
> encyclopedia supplement where the standard of notability  is much
> relaxed, but which will be different from Wikia by still requiring
> WP:Verifiability, and NPOV. It would include the lower levels of
> barely  notable articles in Wikipedia, and the upper levels of a good
> deal of what we do not let in.  It would for example include both high
> schools and elementary schools. It would include college athletes. It
> would include political candidates. It would include neighborhood
> businesses, and fire departments.  It would include individual
> asteroids. It would include anyone who had a credited role in a film,
> or any named character in one--both the ones we currently leave out,
> and the ones we put in.  This should satisfy both the inclusionists
> and the deletionists. The deletionists will have this material out of
> Wikipedia, the inclusionists will have it not rejected.
>
> But it would be interesting to see a search option:
> Do you want to see everything (WP+WP2), or only the notable(W)?
> Anyone care to guess which people would choose?
>
>
>
>


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Re: The viable competitors to Wikipedia.

Bob the Wikipedian
A relatively successful wiki competitor is the Encyclopedia of Life.
Here's how that site works:
*Experts write articles (similar to the original Nupedia, only they
dint' give up after nine articles)
*Articles that are lacking are temporarily imported from Wikipedia
*Wikipedia articles which are reviewed and approved by experts become
permanent content
*Taxonomic data is imported from various databases, including WORMS,
ITIS, and various other trusted names.
*The public (supposedly) may contribute information (though I've not
figured out how yet)
*The public may contribute tagged freely licensed photos to the wiki by
uploading them to the EOL's Flickr photostream where a bot adds them
regularly.

On the surface, EOL looks like it's doing quite well and has a lot of
useful information and photos, and I even use it sometimes for research
when Wikipedia doesn't satisfy my hunger :-[ . But if you ask me,
they've made it too difficult to learn to contribute, barring out
potential editors like myself.

God bless,
Bob

On 4/8/2011 4:58 PM, MuZemike wrote:

> That wouldn't solve anything, except further draw a hard line and create
> an even larger rift between editors. If we strive to be an "open
> community" where we bring people together, then we would collectively be
> making it more closed by doing this.
>
> -MuZemike
>
> On 4/8/2011 1:26 PM, David Goodman wrote:
>> I've also suggested this, calling it  '''Wikipedia Two'' - an
>> encyclopedia supplement where the standard of notability  is much
>> relaxed, but which will be different from Wikia by still requiring
>> WP:Verifiability, and NPOV. It would include the lower levels of
>> barely  notable articles in Wikipedia, and the upper levels of a good
>> deal of what we do not let in.  It would for example include both high
>> schools and elementary schools. It would include college athletes. It
>> would include political candidates. It would include neighborhood
>> businesses, and fire departments.  It would include individual
>> asteroids. It would include anyone who had a credited role in a film,
>> or any named character in one--both the ones we currently leave out,
>> and the ones we put in.  This should satisfy both the inclusionists
>> and the deletionists. The deletionists will have this material out of
>> Wikipedia, the inclusionists will have it not rejected.
>>
>> But it would be interesting to see a search option:
>> Do you want to see everything (WP+WP2), or only the notable(W)?
>> Anyone care to guess which people would choose?
>>
>>
>>
>>
>
> _______________________________________________
> WikiEN-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> To unsubscribe from this mailing list, visit:
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikien-l

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Re: The viable competitors to Wikipedia.

Martijn Hoekstra
In reply to this post by David Goodman-2
On Fri, Apr 8, 2011 at 8:26 PM, David Goodman <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I've also suggested this, calling it  '''Wikipedia Two'' - an
> encyclopedia supplement where the standard of notability  is much
> relaxed, but which will be different from Wikia by still requiring
> WP:Verifiability, and NPOV. It would include the lower levels of
> barely  notable articles in Wikipedia, and the upper levels of a good
> deal of what we do not let in.  It would for example include both high
> schools and elementary schools. It would include college athletes. It
> would include political candidates. It would include neighborhood
> businesses, and fire departments.  It would include individual
> asteroids. It would include anyone who had a credited role in a film,
> or any named character in one--both the ones we currently leave out,
> and the ones we put in.  This should satisfy both the inclusionists
> and the deletionists. The deletionists will have this material out of
> Wikipedia, the inclusionists will have it not rejected.
>
> But it would be interesting to see a search option:
> Do you want to see everything (WP+WP2), or only the notable(W)?
> Anyone care to guess which people would choose?
>

While I agree with the general idea (I would love for example an
[[Obscure:]] namespace) we need to make sure that WP:V, and especially
WP:Synth is guarded vehemently. We need to keep thinking about what
Wikipedia is, and it is WP:NOT, and keep actively thinking about if
that is still what we want it to be, and act upon it.

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Re: The viable competitors to Wikipedia.

geni
In reply to this post by Bob the Wikipedian
On 8 April 2011 23:07, Bob the Wikipedian <[hidden email]> wrote:

> A relatively successful wiki competitor is the Encyclopedia of Life.
> Here's how that site works:
> *Experts write articles (similar to the original Nupedia, only they
> dint' give up after nine articles)
> *Articles that are lacking are temporarily imported from Wikipedia
> *Wikipedia articles which are reviewed and approved by experts become
> permanent content
> *Taxonomic data is imported from various databases, including WORMS,
> ITIS, and various other trusted names.
> *The public (supposedly) may contribute information (though I've not
> figured out how yet)
> *The public may contribute tagged freely licensed photos to the wiki by
> uploading them to the EOL's Flickr photostream where a bot adds them
> regularly.
>
> On the surface, EOL looks like it's doing quite well and has a lot of
> useful information and photos, and I even use it sometimes for research
> when Wikipedia doesn't satisfy my hunger :-[ . But if you ask me,
> they've made it too difficult to learn to contribute, barring out
> potential editors like myself.
>
> God bless,
> Bob


Thing is their business model appears to be to start with $50 million
of funding and proceed to hire whoever you need to write your
encyclopedia.

Admittedly given the foundation's spending plans of late it appears
the WMF is interested the same model.


--
geni

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Re: The viable competitors to Wikipedia.

Bob the Wikipedian
Haha, yes. And we certainly seem to be cutting out those who don't wish
to identify.

God bless,
Bob

On 4/10/2011 2:44 PM, geni wrote:

> On 8 April 2011 23:07, Bob the Wikipedian<[hidden email]>  wrote:
>> A relatively successful wiki competitor is the Encyclopedia of Life.
>> Here's how that site works:
>> *Experts write articles (similar to the original Nupedia, only they
>> dint' give up after nine articles)
>> *Articles that are lacking are temporarily imported from Wikipedia
>> *Wikipedia articles which are reviewed and approved by experts become
>> permanent content
>> *Taxonomic data is imported from various databases, including WORMS,
>> ITIS, and various other trusted names.
>> *The public (supposedly) may contribute information (though I've not
>> figured out how yet)
>> *The public may contribute tagged freely licensed photos to the wiki by
>> uploading them to the EOL's Flickr photostream where a bot adds them
>> regularly.
>>
>> On the surface, EOL looks like it's doing quite well and has a lot of
>> useful information and photos, and I even use it sometimes for research
>> when Wikipedia doesn't satisfy my hunger :-[ . But if you ask me,
>> they've made it too difficult to learn to contribute, barring out
>> potential editors like myself.
>>
>> God bless,
>> Bob
>
> Thing is their business model appears to be to start with $50 million
> of funding and proceed to hire whoever you need to write your
> encyclopedia.
>
> Admittedly given the foundation's spending plans of late it appears
> the WMF is interested the same model.
>
>

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Re: The viable competitors to Wikipedia.

Charles Matthews
In reply to this post by geni
On 10/04/2011 20:44, geni wrote:
> Thing is their business model appears to be to start with $50 million
> of funding and proceed to hire whoever you need to write your
> encyclopedia.

And there is no particular reason why paid staff couldn't be a viable
route to a competitor. But that sounds like the annual budget. And I
suppose the assumption is that doing content in English is enough. You'd
have to sell a lot of advertising and/or subscriptions. There probably
is a niche, at least, for a general encyclopedia that libraries would
willingly pay for, written professionally. Would that worry us?

Charles


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Re: The viable competitors to Wikipedia.

David Gerard-2
On 11 April 2011 10:49, Charles Matthews
<[hidden email]> wrote:

> And there is no particular reason why paid staff couldn't be a viable
> route to a competitor. But that sounds like the annual budget. And I
> suppose the assumption is that doing content in English is enough. You'd
> have to sell a lot of advertising and/or subscriptions. There probably
> is a niche, at least, for a general encyclopedia that libraries would
> willingly pay for, written professionally. Would that worry us?


You assume libraries have any money whatsoever. I have anecdotal
comments by someone from 2005 on
http://reddragdiva.dreamwidth.org/277688.html -

"Libraries are glorified combination of internet cafes, OAP reading
rooms, care-in-the-community day centres and a half-way-house between
Blockbuster and CashConverter in terms of CD and DVD rental. In 10
years they'll look like Starbucks (probably due to being owned by
them), or be shut - the lot of them. My basis for this opinion - my
mother is Reference Librarian for Lancashire (and has been for about
10 years now), and if she had the funding for a Britannica in every
branch she'd spend the money on replacing several hundred other books
per branch instead."

That is, it would have to be quite a remarkable encyclopedia indeed to
actually spend money on.

I can't imagine library funding has actually gotten better since 2005
- there's Vodafone's tax break to pay for, after all.


- d.

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Re: The viable competitors to Wikipedia.

Ray Saintonge
In reply to this post by WereSpielChequers-2
On 04/08/11 3:09 AM, WereSpielChequers wrote:

> We will still have a niche in languages they aren't interested in, and
> among people who care about copyright. But my suspicion is that we are
> unusual, and that most potential editors are more annoyed by having
> their contributions rejected by deletionists than by something in the
> small print that says their words now belong to the website they've
> written them on.
>
> ...
>
> Other options would be for a site that ended the
> inclusionism/deletionism conflict by abandoning notability and
> concentrating on verifiability or aiming for comprehensiveness. That
> seems to work for IMDB but possibly you need to restrict this to
> specialist pedias - aiming for coverage of all films and their cast is
> one thing, but on a general pedia you need to set a threshold
> somewhere unless you are prepared to have articles for pet guinea
> pigs.
>

I'd like to see a Wikisource type project that accepts orphan works
(subject to definition) that are supposedly still protected. They could
easily be taken down if a legitimate owner materializes, but otherwise
could accelerate the freeing of these works.

Ec

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Re: The viable competitors to Wikipedia.

Carcharoth
On Tue, Apr 12, 2011 at 8:05 AM, Ray Saintonge <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I'd like to see a Wikisource type project that accepts orphan works
> (subject to definition) that are supposedly still protected. They could
> easily be taken down if a legitimate owner materializes, but otherwise
> could accelerate the freeing of these works.

I think some already exist. Mention of Canada and orphan works rings a
bell, but I can't remember the name of the organisation.

Carcharoth

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