[Wikimedia-l] Fwd: Re: Wikipedia FYI

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[Wikimedia-l] Fwd: Re: Wikipedia FYI

David Richfield
Interesting views from Project Gutenberg users.

David Richfield
+27718539985
Sent from a mobile device.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Bess Richfield" <[hidden email]>
Date: 25 Apr 2013 09:56
Subject: Re: Wikipedia FYI
To: "David Richfield" <[hidden email]>
Cc:

David,

I am sure that, given the sheer size of wikipedia, it is possible to find
many examples of real excellence that perhaps counter the general
statements I gave below.  This, unfortunately, misses the point.

I feel very strongly that, no matter how many really, really fantastic
things there are in wikipedia, it is not as good as it can be.  And it is
not about the final product, but how to attain that ideal.

I use wikipedia every day - multiple times.  It is a wonderful edifice.
 But could it not be so much better if it used the resources (possible
contributors) more productively and inclusively?

Could it be that you are too close to the forest, seeing only trees, and
losing the sense of what I am trying to say?

I am formulating some very interesting ideas about the subject - but I have
to get them properly sorted out - then I will post you about it.  Or maybe
we can discuss it on the phone or skype.

-------------------
What kind of window will there be between your flying in home, and
departing on holiday?

Bess
-------------------
-----Original Message----- From: David Richfield
Sent: Thursday, April 25, 2013 8:46 AM
To: Bess Richfield
Subject: Re: Wikipedia FYI

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/**Wikipedia:Featured_article_**candidates<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Featured_article_candidates>
for examples of people taking great care and attention to articles to
get them to be the best they possibly can. One of them is
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/**Pennsylvania-class_battleship<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pennsylvania-class_battleship>,
which is
certainly not a topic of purely recent interest.

On Thu, Apr 25, 2013 at 5:59 AM, Bess Richfield <[hidden email]> wrote:

> David,
>
>
>
> A couple of weeks ago I noticed that there was a thread called WIKIPEDIA in
> one of the forums of Distributed Proofreaders.  So I investigated . . .
>
>
>
> When today the last contribution below arrived, I thought you’d like to
> take
> a look.
>
>
>
> I am leaving out only two small irrelevant comments in between.  I
> contributed on the 6th of April 2013.:
>
>
>
> 31 August 2012 (Start of thread)
>
>
>
> Well I finally gave up on Wikipedia after close to a decade of
> contributions, particularly in the topic of astronomy. (Over 70,000 edits,
> many many new articles, reviews, citations, and 20 featured articles.) My
> main beef was with certain stubbornly foolish individuals who managed to
> sap
> all of the enjoyment out of the process. I think I'll spend a lot more time
> on DP now because it's a more structured process and there's very little
> negativity here. Plus it's a nice feeling to know that the contributions
> you
> make here won't get wiped out by some nincompoop.
>
> Just needed to vent a little.
>
>
>
> 31 August 2012
>
>
>
> Funny you should say that. I recently looked over a project in P1 and found
> that on one page the only change made by the proofer was replacing a
> clearly
> correct (both visually and grammatically) comma with a semicolon.
>
>
> Nincompoops Of The World, Unite!
>
>
>
> 6 September, 2012
>
>
>
> This is why many do not bother with it at all.  I have added things in the
> earlier days only to have whole pages replaced by someone that has no idea
> what they are talking about.  Then bicker over the changes I make to
> correct
> thier misinformation.
>
>
>
> 6 April 2013 (This is my contribution)
>
>
>
> Just came across this thread.  I would love to work on Wikipedia, and I
> have
> made some contributions; but the negativity and sheer difficulty of
> navigating their processes turned me off completely.  Not to mention the
> bumptious rudeness of what I assume to be young males with absolutely no
> perspective.  My SO and my "young male" son, who both do a huge amount for
> Wikipedia, have managed to tolerate and survive Wikipedia. Interestingly,
> neither of them work in DP, although my son did sign up before even I did,
> but has probably lapsed since he never contributed.
>
> I would like to know how much of an overlap there is between contributors
> to
> Wikipedia and DP.  Since both are concerned with volunteers making
> knowledge
> available for free to the whole world, one would expect a good match.  But
> the very different cultures seem to attract different populations.  Any
> comments?
>
>
>
> 24 April 2013
>
>
>
> Wikipedia and DP aren't the only crowdsource information-aggregating
> projects. I'm a very low-level Wikipedia contributor, but a medium-level
> contributor at CCEL and the Open Directory Project.
>
>
>
> 25 April 2013
>
>
>
> A topic I could probably write a lot on... after sitting in an armchair...
> and I'm not going to do that for everyone's sake.
>
> Some quick thoughts: DP, presumably, appreciates that older, public domain
> works have value--intrinsically, historiographically, etc.--while Wikipedia
> tends to minimize anything but the au currant.   Wikipedia calls this
> "recentism", which is a by-product of the interests of the average
> 20-something editor: movies, video games, current news events, biographies
> of often marginally notable living people, etc. If "scholasticism", if you
> will, was ever a value for Wikipedia users during the site's formative
> years, that has largely been lost.
>
> Wikipedia shares certain transactional similarities with DP that would also
> appear to make them similar; you edit a page, and there is no commitment
> beyond that edit. The difference, I think--getting to my unsupported thesis
> that the cultures are quite different--is that DP contributors have some
> abiding interest in seeing the specific projects they work on succeed,
> while
> many Wikipedia edits/editors expend great effort on non-abiding matters.
> This is often called "drive-by" editing, or "gnoming"; generally a
> disinterested affair that does nothing to further explicate the subject of
> the article. I'm referring to correcting a typo, reverting vandalism,
> reverting good-faith additions because someone didn't provide a source; and
> worst of all, adding those pointless templates that say "the lede is too
> short" or "this article has an essay-like tone".
>
> The handful of editors that actually research and write good content on
> Wikipedia, which is of course the hardest and most "loving" job by far, is
> drying up quite quickly, it seems to me, because the culture and norms no
> longer reflect the ostensible "encyclopedic" goal of the project.
> "Encyclopedia", after all, is an "old" idea; and Wikipedia's users are
> young; and they have gradually morphed that idea into more of a quick-fix,
> add-a-factoid, add-a-template style of editing and construing knowledge,
> that is frankly at the polar opposite of truly engaging with an
> encyclopedia
> subject: like a book on DP does. So there's a certain pleasure, I presume,
> that we all take in bringing out fully-fledged texts, even if they're old,
> something that can be chewed on--and that counters the short-attention-span
> world we live in.
>
> I therefore think that at the median, there is a surprising disjunct
> between
> who would edit Wikipedia a lot, and who would edit DP a lot.
>
>
>
>  ---------------------
> Bess Richfield
> Somerset West
>



--
David Richfield
[[:en:User:Slashme]]
+27718539985


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fwd: Re: Wikipedia FYI

Andrea Zanni-2
Hi David,
thanks for sharing.

I tend to agree to some of the statements made in the thread:
as a Wikisource user, I perfectly understand the lack of negativity
proofreading carries,
instead of, for example, writing on Gaza strip related topics...
(and I would dare to say (without data, unfortunately) that this is also a
reason why in WS and DP we could find a high percentage of women as
collaborators, too.)

Moreover, I think it's right to think is people who love *books* who goes
towards DP and Wikisource,
and also people who loves old books (because we don't have new ones).

Aubrey
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fwd: Re: Wikipedia FYI

David Richfield
That's a good point: the activity of proofreading is inherently less likely
to cause controversy than the activity of building a neutral, comprehensive
encyclopedia, so it's probably naturally likely to attract people who are
less inclined to argue, and the topics are also likely to be easier to
resolve. I never thought about it that way.

David Richfield
+27718539985
Sent from a mobile device.
On 25 Apr 2013 21:50, "Andrea Zanni" <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hi David,
> thanks for sharing.
>
> I tend to agree to some of the statements made in the thread:
> as a Wikisource user, I perfectly understand the lack of negativity
> proofreading carries,
> instead of, for example, writing on Gaza strip related topics...
> (and I would dare to say (without data, unfortunately) that this is also a
> reason why in WS and DP we could find a high percentage of women as
> collaborators, too.)
>
> Moreover, I think it's right to think is people who love *books* who goes
> towards DP and Wikisource,
> and also people who loves old books (because we don't have new ones).
>
> Aubrey
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fwd: Re: Wikipedia FYI

Federico Leva (Nemo)
David Richfield, 25/04/2013 21:57:
> That's a good point: the activity of proofreading is inherently less likely
> to cause controversy than the activity of building a neutral, comprehensive
> encyclopedia, so it's probably naturally likely to attract people who are
> less inclined to argue, and the topics are also likely to be easier to
> resolve. I never thought about it that way.

If you look carefully enough, every Wikimedia project has its own
"fauna" and peculiarities just like Wikisource. (The case for Wikisource
has been dissected multiple times in WMIT members mailing list and
that's why we have a nice summary. ;-) )

Nemo

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