[Wikimedia-l] How to disseminate free knowledge? Was: Profile of Magnus Manske

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[Wikimedia-l] How to disseminate free knowledge? Was: Profile of Magnus Manske

Jens Best-2
Hi Magnus,

thanks for bringing yourself into the discussion.

I agree on several aspects you point out in the first half of your mail
about improvements, expectations and "prominent subgroups".

When it comes to re-emphasize this "castle"-narrative, I had the feeling
you wanna connect reasonable ideas of other ways into the future with all
the nay-sayers you described so detailed before. Same goes for the
"Wikidata is killing Wikipedia"-statement. Nobody in this
mailinglist-thread used this word "killing" or similiarly hard analogies.


So, what's again is the mission? You say: Dissemination of free knowledge.
Well, who would disagree on that. Nobody. But wait, isn't the whole
strategic debate about *HOW *to disseminate free knowledge? And assuming
that a simple "the more third parties use the Wikiprojects knowledge the
more we fulfill our mission"-answer is…wrong.

Even if 400 million of the 500 million (or so) readers would visit the
Wikipedia just to look up the birthday of Elvis Presley, it is *the
*characteristic
feature of an encylopedia in general and Wikipedia in special that you can
discover more knowledge about Elvis even without asking or even knowing
that you wanna know more about Elvis.

Knowledge unequals information. Knowledge is information plus culture, plus
personal interests, plus serendipity. That's why the same article has
different arrangements in different languages. That's why it is not only
about the facts, but also about the overview of the possible
classifications around the facts a good article is presenting.

Knowledge is about discovering and not about checking some facts with a
Q&A-mobile app. So the question is surely not about should we disseminate
free knowledge, but how can this be done with a spirit that comes from the
idea of an encyclopedia. Information is in the machine. Knowledge is in the
people. Without the (editing, programming, linking) people as an integral
part of the "dissemination procedure" the mission isn't the mission of
Wikipedia.

This idea might be not that fashionably going together with the recent
trends in web tech business developments, but it is surely not
"conservative" or castle-wall-building as some people try to frame it.
It is also not easy. It is even more complicate than good writing good
code, because it is about involving more people in this not so trendy, not
so quick'n'dirty, not so infotainmental, mobile app-stylish way of
"knowledge dissemination".

So the debate is not about castle-building, but about how we together
re-shaping the ship called Wiki(pedia) to sail a daily demanding longterm
mission and not following every techbubble-trends just because "more is
better".

I hope that the upcoming strategic debate is as open as it needs to be. A
strategic debate which framework is already decided upon would only
increase the distance created also by recent events.

I hope this clarifies my POV, and doesn't offend too many people ;-)

Best regards,
Jens Best



2016-01-18 21:33 GMT+01:00 Magnus Manske <[hidden email]>:

> OK, long thread, I'll try to answer in one here...
>
> * I've been writing code for over thirty years now, so I'm the first to say
> that technology in not "the" answer to social or structural issues. It can,
> however, mitigate some of those issues, or at least show new ways of
> dealing with them
>
> * New things are not necessarily good just because they are new. What seems
> to be an improvement, especially for a technical mind, can be a huge step
> backwards for the "general population". On the other hand, projects like
> the Visual Editor can make work easier for many people, but few of them
> will realize what a daunting undertaking such a project is. The complexity
> of getting this right is staggering. Expectations of getting it all
> perfect, all feature-complete, on the initial release, are unrealistic to
> say the least. And many of the details can not be tested between a few
> developers; things need to be tested under real-world conditions, and
> testing means they can break. Feedback about problems with a software
> release are actually quite welcome, but condemning an entire product
> forever because the first version didn't do everything 100% right is just
> plain stupid. If Wikipedia had been judged by such standards in 2001, there
> would be no Wikipedia today, period. Technology improves all the time, be
> it Visual Editor, Media Viewer, or Wikidata; but in the community, there is
> a sense of "it was bad, it must be still bad", and I have a feeling that
> this is extended to new projects by default these days.
>
> * In summary, what I criticize is that few people ask "how can we make this
> better"; all they ask is "how can we get rid of it". This attitude prevents
> the development of just about any new approach. If the result of a long,
> thorough analysis is "it's bad, and it can't possibly be made better",
> /then/ is the time to scrap it, but no sooner.
>
> * Of course, "the community" is an ill-defined construct to begin with.
> When I use that phrase above, I do mean a small but prominent subgroup in
> that demographic, mostly "old hands" of good editors, often with a "fan
> club" of people repeating the opinions of the former on talk pages, without
> really investigating on their own. After all, they are good editors, so
> they must know what they are talking about, right?
>
> * As I tried to say in the interview, I do understand such a conservative
> approach all to well. We worked hard for Wikipedia to get where it is now,
> and with trolls, on the left, vandals on the right, and half-done tech
> experiments in front, retreating into the safety of the castle seems like a
> good choice. And sometimes it is. But while we can defend the castle
> comfortably for some years to come, we will never grow beyond its walls. I
> think we are already seeing the first fallout from this stagnation, in
> terms of dropping page views (not to mention editors). If people stop
> coming to a Wikipedia with 5 million articles, 10 million articles would
> not make much difference by themselves; more content is good, but it will
> not turn this supertanker around on its own. We do have some time left to
> change things, without undue haste, but we won't have forever.
>
> * Just to make sure, I am NOT saying to throw away all the things that have
> proven to work for us; I'm just saying we shouldn't restrict us to them.
>
> * As for this "Wikidata is killing Wikipedia" sentiment - bullshit. (I
> would like to be more eloquent here, but for once, this is the perfect
> word.) Wikipedia and Wikidata are two very different beasts, though they do
> have an overlap. And that overlap should be used on Wikipedia, where it can
> help, even in the gigantic English Wikipedia, which covers but a third of
> Wikidata items. Transcluded data in infoboxes; automatically generated
> lists; a data source for timelines. Those are functions that will improve
> Wikipedia, and will help especially the hundreds of smaller language
> editions that are just getting towards critical mass. And there,
> automatically generated descriptions can help get to that mass, until
> someone writes an actual article in that language.
>
> * So Google is using Wikidata in their search results? Good! In case you
> have forgotten, our mission is not to have a nice article about your pet
> topic, or have humans write articles that are little better than
> bot-generated stubs, or have your name in ten thousand article histories;
> the mission is the dissemination of free knowledge. And the more third
> parties use the knowledge we assemble, even (or especially!) if it is that
> other 800 pound gorilla on the web, the better we fulfil that mission.
>
> I hope this clarifies my POV, and doesn't offend too many people ;-)
>
> On Mon, Jan 18, 2016 at 7:10 PM Andrew Lih <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > I cannot speak for Magnus, but there’s a distinction that needs to be
> made:
> >
> > Writing, “… all have been resisted by vocal groups of editors, not
> because
> > they are a problem, but because they represent change” is not maligning
> all
> > editors who complain.
> >
> > It simply says that those who resist innovation because it is a change
> from
> > the status quo, and without solid reasoning, should reconsider. The
> > detailed analysis of Jonathan Cardy and Risker criticizing VE’s
> suboptimal
> > 2013 launch are well-informed and legit. But many, unfortunately, don’t
> > apply such high standards for analysis.
> >
> > -Andrew
> >
> >
> > On Mon, Jan 18, 2016 at 12:13 PM, Pine W <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >
> > > After the assertion "From the Media Viewer, the Visual Editor, to
> > Wikidata
> > > transclusion, all have been resisted by vocal groups of editors, not
> > > because they are a problem, but because they represent change," I would
> > > suggest a very large "citation needed" tag.
> > >
> > > Pine
> > > _______________________________________________
> > > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> > >
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>
_______________________________________________
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New messages to: [hidden email]
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] How to disseminate free knowledge? Was: Profile of Magnus Manske

Gerard Meijssen-3
Hoi,
You do not offend but worse you do not convince because your arguments
fail. What we have always done is "share in the sum of all knowledge" and
to you that is wrong. You use gobbledygook like "techbubble" and your
vision is one of community. Fine. You do not define community in any other
way and leave me with a sense of "so?".

Wikipedia is our flagship. But Wikimedia is a fleet. With only a flagship
we are a one-trick-pony and we are about more than encyclopaedic trivia
about whatever there is to know about Elvis Presley. To me it is telling
that there is no article about William Anthony. You will find him now in
Wikidata and if you care to know why Mr Anthony is notable you may google
him.

Our fleet consists of types of vessels that each have their own purpose in
our plight to bring the sum of all knowledge to the world. When Wikipedia
is all we do, we do a miserable job. A miserable job because we do not even
share in the sum of knowledge available to us.

If reach is what our concern is, we should consider how to increase our
reach and place the ships in the most advantageous position in order to
provide more information so that people can gain the knowledge by
integrating what they know with what we offer.

So far we do a piss poor job at marketing our knowledge and it is because
we are not concerned with sharing in the sum of all knowledge, most of us
are only concerned with Wikipedia and that is a castle and the trade routes
are moving elsewhere.
Thanks,
       GerardM

On 18 January 2016 at 22:37, Jens Best <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hi Magnus,
>
> thanks for bringing yourself into the discussion.
>
> I agree on several aspects you point out in the first half of your mail
> about improvements, expectations and "prominent subgroups".
>
> When it comes to re-emphasize this "castle"-narrative, I had the feeling
> you wanna connect reasonable ideas of other ways into the future with all
> the nay-sayers you described so detailed before. Same goes for the
> "Wikidata is killing Wikipedia"-statement. Nobody in this
> mailinglist-thread used this word "killing" or similiarly hard analogies.
>
>
> So, what's again is the mission? You say: Dissemination of free knowledge.
> Well, who would disagree on that. Nobody. But wait, isn't the whole
> strategic debate about *HOW *to disseminate free knowledge? And assuming
> that a simple "the more third parties use the Wikiprojects knowledge the
> more we fulfill our mission"-answer is…wrong.
>
> Even if 400 million of the 500 million (or so) readers would visit the
> Wikipedia just to look up the birthday of Elvis Presley, it is *the
> *characteristic
> feature of an encylopedia in general and Wikipedia in special that you can
> discover more knowledge about Elvis even without asking or even knowing
> that you wanna know more about Elvis.
>
> Knowledge unequals information. Knowledge is information plus culture, plus
> personal interests, plus serendipity. That's why the same article has
> different arrangements in different languages. That's why it is not only
> about the facts, but also about the overview of the possible
> classifications around the facts a good article is presenting.
>
> Knowledge is about discovering and not about checking some facts with a
> Q&A-mobile app. So the question is surely not about should we disseminate
> free knowledge, but how can this be done with a spirit that comes from the
> idea of an encyclopedia. Information is in the machine. Knowledge is in the
> people. Without the (editing, programming, linking) people as an integral
> part of the "dissemination procedure" the mission isn't the mission of
> Wikipedia.
>
> This idea might be not that fashionably going together with the recent
> trends in web tech business developments, but it is surely not
> "conservative" or castle-wall-building as some people try to frame it.
> It is also not easy. It is even more complicate than good writing good
> code, because it is about involving more people in this not so trendy, not
> so quick'n'dirty, not so infotainmental, mobile app-stylish way of
> "knowledge dissemination".
>
> So the debate is not about castle-building, but about how we together
> re-shaping the ship called Wiki(pedia) to sail a daily demanding longterm
> mission and not following every techbubble-trends just because "more is
> better".
>
> I hope that the upcoming strategic debate is as open as it needs to be. A
> strategic debate which framework is already decided upon would only
> increase the distance created also by recent events.
>
> I hope this clarifies my POV, and doesn't offend too many people ;-)
>
> Best regards,
> Jens Best
>
>
>
> 2016-01-18 21:33 GMT+01:00 Magnus Manske <[hidden email]>:
>
> > OK, long thread, I'll try to answer in one here...
> >
> > * I've been writing code for over thirty years now, so I'm the first to
> say
> > that technology in not "the" answer to social or structural issues. It
> can,
> > however, mitigate some of those issues, or at least show new ways of
> > dealing with them
> >
> > * New things are not necessarily good just because they are new. What
> seems
> > to be an improvement, especially for a technical mind, can be a huge step
> > backwards for the "general population". On the other hand, projects like
> > the Visual Editor can make work easier for many people, but few of them
> > will realize what a daunting undertaking such a project is. The
> complexity
> > of getting this right is staggering. Expectations of getting it all
> > perfect, all feature-complete, on the initial release, are unrealistic to
> > say the least. And many of the details can not be tested between a few
> > developers; things need to be tested under real-world conditions, and
> > testing means they can break. Feedback about problems with a software
> > release are actually quite welcome, but condemning an entire product
> > forever because the first version didn't do everything 100% right is just
> > plain stupid. If Wikipedia had been judged by such standards in 2001,
> there
> > would be no Wikipedia today, period. Technology improves all the time, be
> > it Visual Editor, Media Viewer, or Wikidata; but in the community, there
> is
> > a sense of "it was bad, it must be still bad", and I have a feeling that
> > this is extended to new projects by default these days.
> >
> > * In summary, what I criticize is that few people ask "how can we make
> this
> > better"; all they ask is "how can we get rid of it". This attitude
> prevents
> > the development of just about any new approach. If the result of a long,
> > thorough analysis is "it's bad, and it can't possibly be made better",
> > /then/ is the time to scrap it, but no sooner.
> >
> > * Of course, "the community" is an ill-defined construct to begin with.
> > When I use that phrase above, I do mean a small but prominent subgroup in
> > that demographic, mostly "old hands" of good editors, often with a "fan
> > club" of people repeating the opinions of the former on talk pages,
> without
> > really investigating on their own. After all, they are good editors, so
> > they must know what they are talking about, right?
> >
> > * As I tried to say in the interview, I do understand such a conservative
> > approach all to well. We worked hard for Wikipedia to get where it is
> now,
> > and with trolls, on the left, vandals on the right, and half-done tech
> > experiments in front, retreating into the safety of the castle seems
> like a
> > good choice. And sometimes it is. But while we can defend the castle
> > comfortably for some years to come, we will never grow beyond its walls.
> I
> > think we are already seeing the first fallout from this stagnation, in
> > terms of dropping page views (not to mention editors). If people stop
> > coming to a Wikipedia with 5 million articles, 10 million articles would
> > not make much difference by themselves; more content is good, but it will
> > not turn this supertanker around on its own. We do have some time left to
> > change things, without undue haste, but we won't have forever.
> >
> > * Just to make sure, I am NOT saying to throw away all the things that
> have
> > proven to work for us; I'm just saying we shouldn't restrict us to them.
> >
> > * As for this "Wikidata is killing Wikipedia" sentiment - bullshit. (I
> > would like to be more eloquent here, but for once, this is the perfect
> > word.) Wikipedia and Wikidata are two very different beasts, though they
> do
> > have an overlap. And that overlap should be used on Wikipedia, where it
> can
> > help, even in the gigantic English Wikipedia, which covers but a third of
> > Wikidata items. Transcluded data in infoboxes; automatically generated
> > lists; a data source for timelines. Those are functions that will improve
> > Wikipedia, and will help especially the hundreds of smaller language
> > editions that are just getting towards critical mass. And there,
> > automatically generated descriptions can help get to that mass, until
> > someone writes an actual article in that language.
> >
> > * So Google is using Wikidata in their search results? Good! In case you
> > have forgotten, our mission is not to have a nice article about your pet
> > topic, or have humans write articles that are little better than
> > bot-generated stubs, or have your name in ten thousand article histories;
> > the mission is the dissemination of free knowledge. And the more third
> > parties use the knowledge we assemble, even (or especially!) if it is
> that
> > other 800 pound gorilla on the web, the better we fulfil that mission.
> >
> > I hope this clarifies my POV, and doesn't offend too many people ;-)
> >
> > On Mon, Jan 18, 2016 at 7:10 PM Andrew Lih <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >
> > > I cannot speak for Magnus, but there’s a distinction that needs to be
> > made:
> > >
> > > Writing, “… all have been resisted by vocal groups of editors, not
> > because
> > > they are a problem, but because they represent change” is not maligning
> > all
> > > editors who complain.
> > >
> > > It simply says that those who resist innovation because it is a change
> > from
> > > the status quo, and without solid reasoning, should reconsider. The
> > > detailed analysis of Jonathan Cardy and Risker criticizing VE’s
> > suboptimal
> > > 2013 launch are well-informed and legit. But many, unfortunately, don’t
> > > apply such high standards for analysis.
> > >
> > > -Andrew
> > >
> > >
> > > On Mon, Jan 18, 2016 at 12:13 PM, Pine W <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > >
> > > > After the assertion "From the Media Viewer, the Visual Editor, to
> > > Wikidata
> > > > transclusion, all have been resisted by vocal groups of editors, not
> > > > because they are a problem, but because they represent change," I
> would
> > > > suggest a very large "citation needed" tag.
> > > >
> > > > Pine
> > > > _______________________________________________
> > > > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > > > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > > > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > > > Unsubscribe:
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > > > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> > > >
> > > _______________________________________________
> > > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> >
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
_______________________________________________
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New messages to: [hidden email]
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] How to disseminate free knowledge? Was: Profile of Magnus Manske

Peter Southwood
Which William Anthony?
There is an article on Wikipedia about one of them.
P

-----Original Message-----
From: Wikimedia-l [mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf Of Gerard Meijssen
Sent: Tuesday, 19 January 2016 10:39 AM
To: Wikimedia Mailing List
Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] How to disseminate free knowledge? Was: Profile of Magnus Manske

Hoi,
You do not offend but worse you do not convince because your arguments fail. What we have always done is "share in the sum of all knowledge" and to you that is wrong. You use gobbledygook like "techbubble" and your vision is one of community. Fine. You do not define community in any other way and leave me with a sense of "so?".

Wikipedia is our flagship. But Wikimedia is a fleet. With only a flagship we are a one-trick-pony and we are about more than encyclopaedic trivia about whatever there is to know about Elvis Presley. To me it is telling that there is no article about William Anthony. You will find him now in Wikidata and if you care to know why Mr Anthony is notable you may google him.

Our fleet consists of types of vessels that each have their own purpose in our plight to bring the sum of all knowledge to the world. When Wikipedia is all we do, we do a miserable job. A miserable job because we do not even share in the sum of knowledge available to us.

If reach is what our concern is, we should consider how to increase our reach and place the ships in the most advantageous position in order to provide more information so that people can gain the knowledge by integrating what they know with what we offer.

So far we do a piss poor job at marketing our knowledge and it is because we are not concerned with sharing in the sum of all knowledge, most of us are only concerned with Wikipedia and that is a castle and the trade routes are moving elsewhere.
Thanks,
       GerardM

On 18 January 2016 at 22:37, Jens Best <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hi Magnus,
>
> thanks for bringing yourself into the discussion.
>
> I agree on several aspects you point out in the first half of your
> mail about improvements, expectations and "prominent subgroups".
>
> When it comes to re-emphasize this "castle"-narrative, I had the
> feeling you wanna connect reasonable ideas of other ways into the
> future with all the nay-sayers you described so detailed before. Same
> goes for the "Wikidata is killing Wikipedia"-statement. Nobody in this
> mailinglist-thread used this word "killing" or similiarly hard analogies.
>
>
> So, what's again is the mission? You say: Dissemination of free knowledge.
> Well, who would disagree on that. Nobody. But wait, isn't the whole
> strategic debate about *HOW *to disseminate free knowledge? And
> assuming that a simple "the more third parties use the Wikiprojects
> knowledge the more we fulfill our mission"-answer is…wrong.
>
> Even if 400 million of the 500 million (or so) readers would visit the
> Wikipedia just to look up the birthday of Elvis Presley, it is *the
> *characteristic feature of an encylopedia in general and Wikipedia in
> special that you can discover more knowledge about Elvis even without
> asking or even knowing that you wanna know more about Elvis.
>
> Knowledge unequals information. Knowledge is information plus culture,
> plus personal interests, plus serendipity. That's why the same article
> has different arrangements in different languages. That's why it is
> not only about the facts, but also about the overview of the possible
> classifications around the facts a good article is presenting.
>
> Knowledge is about discovering and not about checking some facts with
> a Q&A-mobile app. So the question is surely not about should we
> disseminate free knowledge, but how can this be done with a spirit
> that comes from the idea of an encyclopedia. Information is in the
> machine. Knowledge is in the people. Without the (editing,
> programming, linking) people as an integral part of the "dissemination
> procedure" the mission isn't the mission of Wikipedia.
>
> This idea might be not that fashionably going together with the recent
> trends in web tech business developments, but it is surely not
> "conservative" or castle-wall-building as some people try to frame it.
> It is also not easy. It is even more complicate than good writing good
> code, because it is about involving more people in this not so trendy,
> not so quick'n'dirty, not so infotainmental, mobile app-stylish way of
> "knowledge dissemination".
>
> So the debate is not about castle-building, but about how we together
> re-shaping the ship called Wiki(pedia) to sail a daily demanding
> longterm mission and not following every techbubble-trends just
> because "more is better".
>
> I hope that the upcoming strategic debate is as open as it needs to
> be. A strategic debate which framework is already decided upon would
> only increase the distance created also by recent events.
>
> I hope this clarifies my POV, and doesn't offend too many people ;-)
>
> Best regards,
> Jens Best
>
>
>
> 2016-01-18 21:33 GMT+01:00 Magnus Manske <[hidden email]>:
>
> > OK, long thread, I'll try to answer in one here...
> >
> > * I've been writing code for over thirty years now, so I'm the first
> > to
> say
> > that technology in not "the" answer to social or structural issues.
> > It
> can,
> > however, mitigate some of those issues, or at least show new ways of
> > dealing with them
> >
> > * New things are not necessarily good just because they are new.
> > What
> seems
> > to be an improvement, especially for a technical mind, can be a huge
> > step backwards for the "general population". On the other hand,
> > projects like the Visual Editor can make work easier for many
> > people, but few of them will realize what a daunting undertaking
> > such a project is. The
> complexity
> > of getting this right is staggering. Expectations of getting it all
> > perfect, all feature-complete, on the initial release, are
> > unrealistic to say the least. And many of the details can not be
> > tested between a few developers; things need to be tested under
> > real-world conditions, and testing means they can break. Feedback
> > about problems with a software release are actually quite welcome,
> > but condemning an entire product forever because the first version
> > didn't do everything 100% right is just plain stupid. If Wikipedia
> > had been judged by such standards in 2001,
> there
> > would be no Wikipedia today, period. Technology improves all the
> > time, be it Visual Editor, Media Viewer, or Wikidata; but in the
> > community, there
> is
> > a sense of "it was bad, it must be still bad", and I have a feeling
> > that this is extended to new projects by default these days.
> >
> > * In summary, what I criticize is that few people ask "how can we
> > make
> this
> > better"; all they ask is "how can we get rid of it". This attitude
> prevents
> > the development of just about any new approach. If the result of a
> > long, thorough analysis is "it's bad, and it can't possibly be made
> > better", /then/ is the time to scrap it, but no sooner.
> >
> > * Of course, "the community" is an ill-defined construct to begin with.
> > When I use that phrase above, I do mean a small but prominent
> > subgroup in that demographic, mostly "old hands" of good editors,
> > often with a "fan club" of people repeating the opinions of the
> > former on talk pages,
> without
> > really investigating on their own. After all, they are good editors,
> > so they must know what they are talking about, right?
> >
> > * As I tried to say in the interview, I do understand such a
> > conservative approach all to well. We worked hard for Wikipedia to
> > get where it is
> now,
> > and with trolls, on the left, vandals on the right, and half-done
> > tech experiments in front, retreating into the safety of the castle
> > seems
> like a
> > good choice. And sometimes it is. But while we can defend the castle
> > comfortably for some years to come, we will never grow beyond its walls.
> I
> > think we are already seeing the first fallout from this stagnation,
> > in terms of dropping page views (not to mention editors). If people
> > stop coming to a Wikipedia with 5 million articles, 10 million
> > articles would not make much difference by themselves; more content
> > is good, but it will not turn this supertanker around on its own. We
> > do have some time left to change things, without undue haste, but we won't have forever.
> >
> > * Just to make sure, I am NOT saying to throw away all the things
> > that
> have
> > proven to work for us; I'm just saying we shouldn't restrict us to them.
> >
> > * As for this "Wikidata is killing Wikipedia" sentiment - bullshit.
> > (I would like to be more eloquent here, but for once, this is the
> > perfect
> > word.) Wikipedia and Wikidata are two very different beasts, though
> > they
> do
> > have an overlap. And that overlap should be used on Wikipedia, where
> > it
> can
> > help, even in the gigantic English Wikipedia, which covers but a
> > third of Wikidata items. Transcluded data in infoboxes;
> > automatically generated lists; a data source for timelines. Those
> > are functions that will improve Wikipedia, and will help especially
> > the hundreds of smaller language editions that are just getting
> > towards critical mass. And there, automatically generated
> > descriptions can help get to that mass, until someone writes an actual article in that language.
> >
> > * So Google is using Wikidata in their search results? Good! In case
> > you have forgotten, our mission is not to have a nice article about
> > your pet topic, or have humans write articles that are little better
> > than bot-generated stubs, or have your name in ten thousand article
> > histories; the mission is the dissemination of free knowledge. And
> > the more third parties use the knowledge we assemble, even (or
> > especially!) if it is
> that
> > other 800 pound gorilla on the web, the better we fulfil that mission.
> >
> > I hope this clarifies my POV, and doesn't offend too many people ;-)
> >
> > On Mon, Jan 18, 2016 at 7:10 PM Andrew Lih <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >
> > > I cannot speak for Magnus, but there’s a distinction that needs to
> > > be
> > made:
> > >
> > > Writing, “… all have been resisted by vocal groups of editors, not
> > because
> > > they are a problem, but because they represent change” is not
> > > maligning
> > all
> > > editors who complain.
> > >
> > > It simply says that those who resist innovation because it is a
> > > change
> > from
> > > the status quo, and without solid reasoning, should reconsider.
> > > The detailed analysis of Jonathan Cardy and Risker criticizing
> > > VE’s
> > suboptimal
> > > 2013 launch are well-informed and legit. But many, unfortunately,
> > > don’t apply such high standards for analysis.
> > >
> > > -Andrew
> > >
> > >
> > > On Mon, Jan 18, 2016 at 12:13 PM, Pine W <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > >
> > > > After the assertion "From the Media Viewer, the Visual Editor,
> > > > to
> > > Wikidata
> > > > transclusion, all have been resisted by vocal groups of editors,
> > > > not because they are a problem, but because they represent
> > > > change," I
> would
> > > > suggest a very large "citation needed" tag.
> > > >
> > > > Pine
> > > > _______________________________________________
> > > > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > > > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > > > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > > > Unsubscribe:
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > > > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscr
> > > > ibe>
> > > >
> > > _______________________________________________
> > > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > > Unsubscribe:
> > > https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscrib
> > > e>
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe:
> > https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> >
> _______________________________________________
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> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] How to disseminate free knowledge? Was: Profile of Magnus Manske

Magnus Manske-2
In reply to this post by Jens Best-2
On Mon, Jan 18, 2016 at 11:45 PM Jens Best <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hi Magnus,
>
> thanks for bringing yourself into the discussion.
>
> I agree on several aspects you point out in the first half of your mail
> about improvements, expectations and "prominent subgroups".
>
> When it comes to re-emphasize this "castle"-narrative, I had the feeling
> you wanna connect reasonable ideas of other ways into the future with all
> the nay-sayers you described so detailed before. Same goes for the
> "Wikidata is killing Wikipedia"-statement. Nobody in this
> mailinglist-thread used this word "killing" or similiarly hard analogies.
>
>
> So, what's again is the mission? You say: Dissemination of free knowledge.
> Well, who would disagree on that. Nobody. But wait, isn't the whole
> strategic debate about *HOW *to disseminate free knowledge? And assuming
> that a simple "the more third parties use the Wikiprojects knowledge the
> more we fulfill our mission"-answer is…wrong.
>

Really? So we started with a free license (GFDL) to allow reuse by third
parties, switched to a /different/ free license to make it /even easier/ to
reuse our content, provide APIs without even requiering a login, data
dumps, etc. and that's all wrong, because you say so?

May I point you to https://www.wikimedia.org/ where it says:
"Wikimedia is a global movement whose mission is to bring free educational
content to the world."

Nupedia was a means to an end (an ineefective one, in hindsight). So is
Wikipedia. So are Commons, Wikidata, and all the other projects. They allow
us to create and collect free content. And they are also a way to
disseminate this content, but they are not the only one.

We prefer people to read Wikipedia articles on Wikipedia, because a few of
them will turn into editors, which they cannot do on any other site
(without forking). But as long as a reader gets knowledge from our content,
it does not matter if it is on Wikipedia or on https://www.wikiwand.com/ or
some other site.


>
> Even if 400 million of the 500 million (or so) readers would visit the
> Wikipedia just to look up the birthday of Elvis Presley, it is *the
> *characteristic
> feature of an encylopedia in general and Wikipedia in special that you can
> discover more knowledge about Elvis even without asking or even knowing
> that you wanna know more about Elvis.
>
> Knowledge unequals information. Knowledge is information plus culture, plus
> personal interests, plus serendipity. That's why the same article has
> different arrangements in different languages. That's why it is not only
> about the facts, but also about the overview of the possible
> classifications around the facts a good article is presenting.
>
> Knowledge is about discovering and not about checking some facts with a
> Q&A-mobile app. So the question is surely not about should we disseminate
> free knowledge, but how can this be done with a spirit that comes from the
> idea of an encyclopedia. Information is in the machine. Knowledge is in the
> people. Without the (editing, programming, linking) people as an integral
> part of the "dissemination procedure" the mission isn't the mission of
> Wikipedia.
>

Again, you obviously have missed the mission statement. I can't see
"editing" anywhere in there. Yes, I would prefer people to read and edit on
Wikipedia. Having at least the /option/ to edit is good; but it is by no
means a requirement to get content to the reader.

I don't know how you come up with "no linking", but I certainly have not
suggested such a thing. Not sure what you mean by "programming" in this
context.

You might also gave glimpsed all the icons on the Wikimedia site that are
/not/ Wikipedia, but still "educational content". We have focused on
Wikipedia since the beginning, and it has become a great thing indeed.
There are others that have vast, as of yet unfulfilled, potential.


>
> This idea might be not that fashionably going together with the recent
> trends in web tech business developments, but it is surely not
> "conservative" or castle-wall-building as some people try to frame it.
> It is also not easy. It is even more complicate than good writing good
> code, because it is about involving more people in this not so trendy, not
> so quick'n'dirty, not so infotainmental, mobile app-stylish way of
> "knowledge dissemination".
>

Everyone who has met me in person can confirm that I do not care about
fashion, and that remains true in tech as well. But dissing every new
approach as "trendy" is exactly the attitude that prevents change to the
system. What is that trendy "tech business development" of the printing
press, after all, when compared to beautiful, hand-illuminated manuscripts?
Out with that new "infotainmental" stuff!


>
> So the debate is not about castle-building, but about how we together
> re-shaping the ship called Wiki(pedia) to sail a daily demanding longterm
> mission and not following every techbubble-trends just because "more is
> better".
>

And this paragraph here proves that you haven't actually read anything I
wrote in the last few days. It also serves as a prefect example for the
self-righteous, get-off-my-lawn, stagnant spirit I criticize. "Following
every techbubble-trends just because 'more is
better'."? What have you been smoking?


> I hope that the upcoming strategic debate is as open as it needs to be.


I also wish for that. Sadly, judging from your previous statements, by
"open as it needs to be" will mean "closed to anything new".

A strategic debate which framework is already decided upon would only
> increase the distance created also by recent events.
>

I, for one, have not decided on any such framework.


>
> I hope this clarifies my POV, and doesn't offend too many people ;-)
>

What a witty and original remark!

Cheers,
Magnus



>
> Best regards,
> Jens Best
>
>
>
> 2016-01-18 21:33 GMT+01:00 Magnus Manske <[hidden email]>:
>
> > OK, long thread, I'll try to answer in one here...
> >
> > * I've been writing code for over thirty years now, so I'm the first to
> say
> > that technology in not "the" answer to social or structural issues. It
> can,
> > however, mitigate some of those issues, or at least show new ways of
> > dealing with them
> >
> > * New things are not necessarily good just because they are new. What
> seems
> > to be an improvement, especially for a technical mind, can be a huge step
> > backwards for the "general population". On the other hand, projects like
> > the Visual Editor can make work easier for many people, but few of them
> > will realize what a daunting undertaking such a project is. The
> complexity
> > of getting this right is staggering. Expectations of getting it all
> > perfect, all feature-complete, on the initial release, are unrealistic to
> > say the least. And many of the details can not be tested between a few
> > developers; things need to be tested under real-world conditions, and
> > testing means they can break. Feedback about problems with a software
> > release are actually quite welcome, but condemning an entire product
> > forever because the first version didn't do everything 100% right is just
> > plain stupid. If Wikipedia had been judged by such standards in 2001,
> there
> > would be no Wikipedia today, period. Technology improves all the time, be
> > it Visual Editor, Media Viewer, or Wikidata; but in the community, there
> is
> > a sense of "it was bad, it must be still bad", and I have a feeling that
> > this is extended to new projects by default these days.
> >
> > * In summary, what I criticize is that few people ask "how can we make
> this
> > better"; all they ask is "how can we get rid of it". This attitude
> prevents
> > the development of just about any new approach. If the result of a long,
> > thorough analysis is "it's bad, and it can't possibly be made better",
> > /then/ is the time to scrap it, but no sooner.
> >
> > * Of course, "the community" is an ill-defined construct to begin with.
> > When I use that phrase above, I do mean a small but prominent subgroup in
> > that demographic, mostly "old hands" of good editors, often with a "fan
> > club" of people repeating the opinions of the former on talk pages,
> without
> > really investigating on their own. After all, they are good editors, so
> > they must know what they are talking about, right?
> >
> > * As I tried to say in the interview, I do understand such a conservative
> > approach all to well. We worked hard for Wikipedia to get where it is
> now,
> > and with trolls, on the left, vandals on the right, and half-done tech
> > experiments in front, retreating into the safety of the castle seems
> like a
> > good choice. And sometimes it is. But while we can defend the castle
> > comfortably for some years to come, we will never grow beyond its walls.
> I
> > think we are already seeing the first fallout from this stagnation, in
> > terms of dropping page views (not to mention editors). If people stop
> > coming to a Wikipedia with 5 million articles, 10 million articles would
> > not make much difference by themselves; more content is good, but it will
> > not turn this supertanker around on its own. We do have some time left to
> > change things, without undue haste, but we won't have forever.
> >
> > * Just to make sure, I am NOT saying to throw away all the things that
> have
> > proven to work for us; I'm just saying we shouldn't restrict us to them.
> >
> > * As for this "Wikidata is killing Wikipedia" sentiment - bullshit. (I
> > would like to be more eloquent here, but for once, this is the perfect
> > word.) Wikipedia and Wikidata are two very different beasts, though they
> do
> > have an overlap. And that overlap should be used on Wikipedia, where it
> can
> > help, even in the gigantic English Wikipedia, which covers but a third of
> > Wikidata items. Transcluded data in infoboxes; automatically generated
> > lists; a data source for timelines. Those are functions that will improve
> > Wikipedia, and will help especially the hundreds of smaller language
> > editions that are just getting towards critical mass. And there,
> > automatically generated descriptions can help get to that mass, until
> > someone writes an actual article in that language.
> >
> > * So Google is using Wikidata in their search results? Good! In case you
> > have forgotten, our mission is not to have a nice article about your pet
> > topic, or have humans write articles that are little better than
> > bot-generated stubs, or have your name in ten thousand article histories;
> > the mission is the dissemination of free knowledge. And the more third
> > parties use the knowledge we assemble, even (or especially!) if it is
> that
> > other 800 pound gorilla on the web, the better we fulfil that mission.
> >
> > I hope this clarifies my POV, and doesn't offend too many people ;-)
> >
> > On Mon, Jan 18, 2016 at 7:10 PM Andrew Lih <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >
> > > I cannot speak for Magnus, but there’s a distinction that needs to be
> > made:
> > >
> > > Writing, “… all have been resisted by vocal groups of editors, not
> > because
> > > they are a problem, but because they represent change” is not maligning
> > all
> > > editors who complain.
> > >
> > > It simply says that those who resist innovation because it is a change
> > from
> > > the status quo, and without solid reasoning, should reconsider. The
> > > detailed analysis of Jonathan Cardy and Risker criticizing VE’s
> > suboptimal
> > > 2013 launch are well-informed and legit. But many, unfortunately, don’t
> > > apply such high standards for analysis.
> > >
> > > -Andrew
> > >
> > >
> > > On Mon, Jan 18, 2016 at 12:13 PM, Pine W <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > >
> > > > After the assertion "From the Media Viewer, the Visual Editor, to
> > > Wikidata
> > > > transclusion, all have been resisted by vocal groups of editors, not
> > > > because they are a problem, but because they represent change," I
> would
> > > > suggest a very large "citation needed" tag.
> > > >
> > > > Pine
> > > > _______________________________________________
> > > > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > > > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > > > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > > > Unsubscribe:
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > > > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> > > >
> > > _______________________________________________
> > > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> >
> _______________________________________________
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> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] How to disseminate free knowledge? Was: Profile of Magnus Manske

Gerard Meijssen-3
In reply to this post by Peter Southwood
Hoi,
http://ultimategerardm.blogspot.nl/2016/01/wikidata-william-anthony-phd.html
Thanks,
     GerardM

On 19 January 2016 at 10:35, Peter Southwood <[hidden email]>
wrote:

> Which William Anthony?
> There is an article on Wikipedia about one of them.
> P
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Wikimedia-l [mailto:[hidden email]] On
> Behalf Of Gerard Meijssen
> Sent: Tuesday, 19 January 2016 10:39 AM
> To: Wikimedia Mailing List
> Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] How to disseminate free knowledge? Was: Profile
> of Magnus Manske
>
> Hoi,
> You do not offend but worse you do not convince because your arguments
> fail. What we have always done is "share in the sum of all knowledge" and
> to you that is wrong. You use gobbledygook like "techbubble" and your
> vision is one of community. Fine. You do not define community in any other
> way and leave me with a sense of "so?".
>
> Wikipedia is our flagship. But Wikimedia is a fleet. With only a flagship
> we are a one-trick-pony and we are about more than encyclopaedic trivia
> about whatever there is to know about Elvis Presley. To me it is telling
> that there is no article about William Anthony. You will find him now in
> Wikidata and if you care to know why Mr Anthony is notable you may google
> him.
>
> Our fleet consists of types of vessels that each have their own purpose in
> our plight to bring the sum of all knowledge to the world. When Wikipedia
> is all we do, we do a miserable job. A miserable job because we do not even
> share in the sum of knowledge available to us.
>
> If reach is what our concern is, we should consider how to increase our
> reach and place the ships in the most advantageous position in order to
> provide more information so that people can gain the knowledge by
> integrating what they know with what we offer.
>
> So far we do a piss poor job at marketing our knowledge and it is because
> we are not concerned with sharing in the sum of all knowledge, most of us
> are only concerned with Wikipedia and that is a castle and the trade routes
> are moving elsewhere.
> Thanks,
>        GerardM
>
> On 18 January 2016 at 22:37, Jens Best <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > Hi Magnus,
> >
> > thanks for bringing yourself into the discussion.
> >
> > I agree on several aspects you point out in the first half of your
> > mail about improvements, expectations and "prominent subgroups".
> >
> > When it comes to re-emphasize this "castle"-narrative, I had the
> > feeling you wanna connect reasonable ideas of other ways into the
> > future with all the nay-sayers you described so detailed before. Same
> > goes for the "Wikidata is killing Wikipedia"-statement. Nobody in this
> > mailinglist-thread used this word "killing" or similiarly hard analogies.
> >
> >
> > So, what's again is the mission? You say: Dissemination of free
> knowledge.
> > Well, who would disagree on that. Nobody. But wait, isn't the whole
> > strategic debate about *HOW *to disseminate free knowledge? And
> > assuming that a simple "the more third parties use the Wikiprojects
> > knowledge the more we fulfill our mission"-answer is…wrong.
> >
> > Even if 400 million of the 500 million (or so) readers would visit the
> > Wikipedia just to look up the birthday of Elvis Presley, it is *the
> > *characteristic feature of an encylopedia in general and Wikipedia in
> > special that you can discover more knowledge about Elvis even without
> > asking or even knowing that you wanna know more about Elvis.
> >
> > Knowledge unequals information. Knowledge is information plus culture,
> > plus personal interests, plus serendipity. That's why the same article
> > has different arrangements in different languages. That's why it is
> > not only about the facts, but also about the overview of the possible
> > classifications around the facts a good article is presenting.
> >
> > Knowledge is about discovering and not about checking some facts with
> > a Q&A-mobile app. So the question is surely not about should we
> > disseminate free knowledge, but how can this be done with a spirit
> > that comes from the idea of an encyclopedia. Information is in the
> > machine. Knowledge is in the people. Without the (editing,
> > programming, linking) people as an integral part of the "dissemination
> > procedure" the mission isn't the mission of Wikipedia.
> >
> > This idea might be not that fashionably going together with the recent
> > trends in web tech business developments, but it is surely not
> > "conservative" or castle-wall-building as some people try to frame it.
> > It is also not easy. It is even more complicate than good writing good
> > code, because it is about involving more people in this not so trendy,
> > not so quick'n'dirty, not so infotainmental, mobile app-stylish way of
> > "knowledge dissemination".
> >
> > So the debate is not about castle-building, but about how we together
> > re-shaping the ship called Wiki(pedia) to sail a daily demanding
> > longterm mission and not following every techbubble-trends just
> > because "more is better".
> >
> > I hope that the upcoming strategic debate is as open as it needs to
> > be. A strategic debate which framework is already decided upon would
> > only increase the distance created also by recent events.
> >
> > I hope this clarifies my POV, and doesn't offend too many people ;-)
> >
> > Best regards,
> > Jens Best
> >
> >
> >
> > 2016-01-18 21:33 GMT+01:00 Magnus Manske <[hidden email]>:
> >
> > > OK, long thread, I'll try to answer in one here...
> > >
> > > * I've been writing code for over thirty years now, so I'm the first
> > > to
> > say
> > > that technology in not "the" answer to social or structural issues.
> > > It
> > can,
> > > however, mitigate some of those issues, or at least show new ways of
> > > dealing with them
> > >
> > > * New things are not necessarily good just because they are new.
> > > What
> > seems
> > > to be an improvement, especially for a technical mind, can be a huge
> > > step backwards for the "general population". On the other hand,
> > > projects like the Visual Editor can make work easier for many
> > > people, but few of them will realize what a daunting undertaking
> > > such a project is. The
> > complexity
> > > of getting this right is staggering. Expectations of getting it all
> > > perfect, all feature-complete, on the initial release, are
> > > unrealistic to say the least. And many of the details can not be
> > > tested between a few developers; things need to be tested under
> > > real-world conditions, and testing means they can break. Feedback
> > > about problems with a software release are actually quite welcome,
> > > but condemning an entire product forever because the first version
> > > didn't do everything 100% right is just plain stupid. If Wikipedia
> > > had been judged by such standards in 2001,
> > there
> > > would be no Wikipedia today, period. Technology improves all the
> > > time, be it Visual Editor, Media Viewer, or Wikidata; but in the
> > > community, there
> > is
> > > a sense of "it was bad, it must be still bad", and I have a feeling
> > > that this is extended to new projects by default these days.
> > >
> > > * In summary, what I criticize is that few people ask "how can we
> > > make
> > this
> > > better"; all they ask is "how can we get rid of it". This attitude
> > prevents
> > > the development of just about any new approach. If the result of a
> > > long, thorough analysis is "it's bad, and it can't possibly be made
> > > better", /then/ is the time to scrap it, but no sooner.
> > >
> > > * Of course, "the community" is an ill-defined construct to begin with.
> > > When I use that phrase above, I do mean a small but prominent
> > > subgroup in that demographic, mostly "old hands" of good editors,
> > > often with a "fan club" of people repeating the opinions of the
> > > former on talk pages,
> > without
> > > really investigating on their own. After all, they are good editors,
> > > so they must know what they are talking about, right?
> > >
> > > * As I tried to say in the interview, I do understand such a
> > > conservative approach all to well. We worked hard for Wikipedia to
> > > get where it is
> > now,
> > > and with trolls, on the left, vandals on the right, and half-done
> > > tech experiments in front, retreating into the safety of the castle
> > > seems
> > like a
> > > good choice. And sometimes it is. But while we can defend the castle
> > > comfortably for some years to come, we will never grow beyond its
> walls.
> > I
> > > think we are already seeing the first fallout from this stagnation,
> > > in terms of dropping page views (not to mention editors). If people
> > > stop coming to a Wikipedia with 5 million articles, 10 million
> > > articles would not make much difference by themselves; more content
> > > is good, but it will not turn this supertanker around on its own. We
> > > do have some time left to change things, without undue haste, but we
> won't have forever.
> > >
> > > * Just to make sure, I am NOT saying to throw away all the things
> > > that
> > have
> > > proven to work for us; I'm just saying we shouldn't restrict us to
> them.
> > >
> > > * As for this "Wikidata is killing Wikipedia" sentiment - bullshit.
> > > (I would like to be more eloquent here, but for once, this is the
> > > perfect
> > > word.) Wikipedia and Wikidata are two very different beasts, though
> > > they
> > do
> > > have an overlap. And that overlap should be used on Wikipedia, where
> > > it
> > can
> > > help, even in the gigantic English Wikipedia, which covers but a
> > > third of Wikidata items. Transcluded data in infoboxes;
> > > automatically generated lists; a data source for timelines. Those
> > > are functions that will improve Wikipedia, and will help especially
> > > the hundreds of smaller language editions that are just getting
> > > towards critical mass. And there, automatically generated
> > > descriptions can help get to that mass, until someone writes an actual
> article in that language.
> > >
> > > * So Google is using Wikidata in their search results? Good! In case
> > > you have forgotten, our mission is not to have a nice article about
> > > your pet topic, or have humans write articles that are little better
> > > than bot-generated stubs, or have your name in ten thousand article
> > > histories; the mission is the dissemination of free knowledge. And
> > > the more third parties use the knowledge we assemble, even (or
> > > especially!) if it is
> > that
> > > other 800 pound gorilla on the web, the better we fulfil that mission.
> > >
> > > I hope this clarifies my POV, and doesn't offend too many people ;-)
> > >
> > > On Mon, Jan 18, 2016 at 7:10 PM Andrew Lih <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
> > >
> > > > I cannot speak for Magnus, but there’s a distinction that needs to
> > > > be
> > > made:
> > > >
> > > > Writing, “… all have been resisted by vocal groups of editors, not
> > > because
> > > > they are a problem, but because they represent change” is not
> > > > maligning
> > > all
> > > > editors who complain.
> > > >
> > > > It simply says that those who resist innovation because it is a
> > > > change
> > > from
> > > > the status quo, and without solid reasoning, should reconsider.
> > > > The detailed analysis of Jonathan Cardy and Risker criticizing
> > > > VE’s
> > > suboptimal
> > > > 2013 launch are well-informed and legit. But many, unfortunately,
> > > > don’t apply such high standards for analysis.
> > > >
> > > > -Andrew
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > On Mon, Jan 18, 2016 at 12:13 PM, Pine W <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
> > > >
> > > > > After the assertion "From the Media Viewer, the Visual Editor,
> > > > > to
> > > > Wikidata
> > > > > transclusion, all have been resisted by vocal groups of editors,
> > > > > not because they are a problem, but because they represent
> > > > > change," I
> > would
> > > > > suggest a very large "citation needed" tag.
> > > > >
> > > > > Pine
> > > > > _______________________________________________
> > > > > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > > > > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > > > > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > > > > Unsubscribe:
> > https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > > > > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscr
> > > > > ibe>
> > > > >
> > > > _______________________________________________
> > > > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] How to disseminate free knowledge? Was: Profile of Magnus Manske

Peter Southwood
Thanks,
I have no opinion on this one.
Cheers,
P

-----Original Message-----
From: Wikimedia-l [mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf Of Gerard Meijssen
Sent: Tuesday, 19 January 2016 12:49 PM
To: Wikimedia Mailing List
Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] How to disseminate free knowledge? Was: Profile of Magnus Manske

Hoi,
http://ultimategerardm.blogspot.nl/2016/01/wikidata-william-anthony-phd.html
Thanks,
     GerardM

On 19 January 2016 at 10:35, Peter Southwood <[hidden email]>
wrote:

> Which William Anthony?
> There is an article on Wikipedia about one of them.
> P
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Wikimedia-l [mailto:[hidden email]] On
> Behalf Of Gerard Meijssen
> Sent: Tuesday, 19 January 2016 10:39 AM
> To: Wikimedia Mailing List
> Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] How to disseminate free knowledge? Was:
> Profile of Magnus Manske
>
> Hoi,
> You do not offend but worse you do not convince because your arguments
> fail. What we have always done is "share in the sum of all knowledge"
> and to you that is wrong. You use gobbledygook like "techbubble" and
> your vision is one of community. Fine. You do not define community in
> any other way and leave me with a sense of "so?".
>
> Wikipedia is our flagship. But Wikimedia is a fleet. With only a
> flagship we are a one-trick-pony and we are about more than
> encyclopaedic trivia about whatever there is to know about Elvis
> Presley. To me it is telling that there is no article about William
> Anthony. You will find him now in Wikidata and if you care to know why
> Mr Anthony is notable you may google him.
>
> Our fleet consists of types of vessels that each have their own
> purpose in our plight to bring the sum of all knowledge to the world.
> When Wikipedia is all we do, we do a miserable job. A miserable job
> because we do not even share in the sum of knowledge available to us.
>
> If reach is what our concern is, we should consider how to increase
> our reach and place the ships in the most advantageous position in
> order to provide more information so that people can gain the
> knowledge by integrating what they know with what we offer.
>
> So far we do a piss poor job at marketing our knowledge and it is
> because we are not concerned with sharing in the sum of all knowledge,
> most of us are only concerned with Wikipedia and that is a castle and
> the trade routes are moving elsewhere.
> Thanks,
>        GerardM
>
> On 18 January 2016 at 22:37, Jens Best <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > Hi Magnus,
> >
> > thanks for bringing yourself into the discussion.
> >
> > I agree on several aspects you point out in the first half of your
> > mail about improvements, expectations and "prominent subgroups".
> >
> > When it comes to re-emphasize this "castle"-narrative, I had the
> > feeling you wanna connect reasonable ideas of other ways into the
> > future with all the nay-sayers you described so detailed before.
> > Same goes for the "Wikidata is killing Wikipedia"-statement. Nobody
> > in this mailinglist-thread used this word "killing" or similiarly hard analogies.
> >
> >
> > So, what's again is the mission? You say: Dissemination of free
> knowledge.
> > Well, who would disagree on that. Nobody. But wait, isn't the whole
> > strategic debate about *HOW *to disseminate free knowledge? And
> > assuming that a simple "the more third parties use the Wikiprojects
> > knowledge the more we fulfill our mission"-answer is…wrong.
> >
> > Even if 400 million of the 500 million (or so) readers would visit
> > the Wikipedia just to look up the birthday of Elvis Presley, it is
> > *the *characteristic feature of an encylopedia in general and
> > Wikipedia in special that you can discover more knowledge about
> > Elvis even without asking or even knowing that you wanna know more about Elvis.
> >
> > Knowledge unequals information. Knowledge is information plus
> > culture, plus personal interests, plus serendipity. That's why the
> > same article has different arrangements in different languages.
> > That's why it is not only about the facts, but also about the
> > overview of the possible classifications around the facts a good article is presenting.
> >
> > Knowledge is about discovering and not about checking some facts
> > with a Q&A-mobile app. So the question is surely not about should we
> > disseminate free knowledge, but how can this be done with a spirit
> > that comes from the idea of an encyclopedia. Information is in the
> > machine. Knowledge is in the people. Without the (editing,
> > programming, linking) people as an integral part of the
> > "dissemination procedure" the mission isn't the mission of Wikipedia.
> >
> > This idea might be not that fashionably going together with the
> > recent trends in web tech business developments, but it is surely
> > not "conservative" or castle-wall-building as some people try to frame it.
> > It is also not easy. It is even more complicate than good writing
> > good code, because it is about involving more people in this not so
> > trendy, not so quick'n'dirty, not so infotainmental, mobile
> > app-stylish way of "knowledge dissemination".
> >
> > So the debate is not about castle-building, but about how we
> > together re-shaping the ship called Wiki(pedia) to sail a daily
> > demanding longterm mission and not following every techbubble-trends
> > just because "more is better".
> >
> > I hope that the upcoming strategic debate is as open as it needs to
> > be. A strategic debate which framework is already decided upon would
> > only increase the distance created also by recent events.
> >
> > I hope this clarifies my POV, and doesn't offend too many people ;-)
> >
> > Best regards,
> > Jens Best
> >
> >
> >
> > 2016-01-18 21:33 GMT+01:00 Magnus Manske <[hidden email]>:
> >
> > > OK, long thread, I'll try to answer in one here...
> > >
> > > * I've been writing code for over thirty years now, so I'm the
> > > first to
> > say
> > > that technology in not "the" answer to social or structural issues.
> > > It
> > can,
> > > however, mitigate some of those issues, or at least show new ways
> > > of dealing with them
> > >
> > > * New things are not necessarily good just because they are new.
> > > What
> > seems
> > > to be an improvement, especially for a technical mind, can be a
> > > huge step backwards for the "general population". On the other
> > > hand, projects like the Visual Editor can make work easier for
> > > many people, but few of them will realize what a daunting
> > > undertaking such a project is. The
> > complexity
> > > of getting this right is staggering. Expectations of getting it
> > > all perfect, all feature-complete, on the initial release, are
> > > unrealistic to say the least. And many of the details can not be
> > > tested between a few developers; things need to be tested under
> > > real-world conditions, and testing means they can break. Feedback
> > > about problems with a software release are actually quite welcome,
> > > but condemning an entire product forever because the first version
> > > didn't do everything 100% right is just plain stupid. If Wikipedia
> > > had been judged by such standards in 2001,
> > there
> > > would be no Wikipedia today, period. Technology improves all the
> > > time, be it Visual Editor, Media Viewer, or Wikidata; but in the
> > > community, there
> > is
> > > a sense of "it was bad, it must be still bad", and I have a
> > > feeling that this is extended to new projects by default these days.
> > >
> > > * In summary, what I criticize is that few people ask "how can we
> > > make
> > this
> > > better"; all they ask is "how can we get rid of it". This attitude
> > prevents
> > > the development of just about any new approach. If the result of a
> > > long, thorough analysis is "it's bad, and it can't possibly be
> > > made better", /then/ is the time to scrap it, but no sooner.
> > >
> > > * Of course, "the community" is an ill-defined construct to begin with.
> > > When I use that phrase above, I do mean a small but prominent
> > > subgroup in that demographic, mostly "old hands" of good editors,
> > > often with a "fan club" of people repeating the opinions of the
> > > former on talk pages,
> > without
> > > really investigating on their own. After all, they are good
> > > editors, so they must know what they are talking about, right?
> > >
> > > * As I tried to say in the interview, I do understand such a
> > > conservative approach all to well. We worked hard for Wikipedia to
> > > get where it is
> > now,
> > > and with trolls, on the left, vandals on the right, and half-done
> > > tech experiments in front, retreating into the safety of the
> > > castle seems
> > like a
> > > good choice. And sometimes it is. But while we can defend the
> > > castle comfortably for some years to come, we will never grow
> > > beyond its
> walls.
> > I
> > > think we are already seeing the first fallout from this
> > > stagnation, in terms of dropping page views (not to mention
> > > editors). If people stop coming to a Wikipedia with 5 million
> > > articles, 10 million articles would not make much difference by
> > > themselves; more content is good, but it will not turn this
> > > supertanker around on its own. We do have some time left to change
> > > things, without undue haste, but we
> won't have forever.
> > >
> > > * Just to make sure, I am NOT saying to throw away all the things
> > > that
> > have
> > > proven to work for us; I'm just saying we shouldn't restrict us to
> them.
> > >
> > > * As for this "Wikidata is killing Wikipedia" sentiment - bullshit.
> > > (I would like to be more eloquent here, but for once, this is the
> > > perfect
> > > word.) Wikipedia and Wikidata are two very different beasts,
> > > though they
> > do
> > > have an overlap. And that overlap should be used on Wikipedia,
> > > where it
> > can
> > > help, even in the gigantic English Wikipedia, which covers but a
> > > third of Wikidata items. Transcluded data in infoboxes;
> > > automatically generated lists; a data source for timelines. Those
> > > are functions that will improve Wikipedia, and will help
> > > especially the hundreds of smaller language editions that are just
> > > getting towards critical mass. And there, automatically generated
> > > descriptions can help get to that mass, until someone writes an
> > > actual
> article in that language.
> > >
> > > * So Google is using Wikidata in their search results? Good! In
> > > case you have forgotten, our mission is not to have a nice article
> > > about your pet topic, or have humans write articles that are
> > > little better than bot-generated stubs, or have your name in ten
> > > thousand article histories; the mission is the dissemination of
> > > free knowledge. And the more third parties use the knowledge we
> > > assemble, even (or
> > > especially!) if it is
> > that
> > > other 800 pound gorilla on the web, the better we fulfil that mission.
> > >
> > > I hope this clarifies my POV, and doesn't offend too many people
> > > ;-)
> > >
> > > On Mon, Jan 18, 2016 at 7:10 PM Andrew Lih <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
> > >
> > > > I cannot speak for Magnus, but there’s a distinction that needs
> > > > to be
> > > made:
> > > >
> > > > Writing, “… all have been resisted by vocal groups of editors,
> > > > not
> > > because
> > > > they are a problem, but because they represent change” is not
> > > > maligning
> > > all
> > > > editors who complain.
> > > >
> > > > It simply says that those who resist innovation because it is a
> > > > change
> > > from
> > > > the status quo, and without solid reasoning, should reconsider.
> > > > The detailed analysis of Jonathan Cardy and Risker criticizing
> > > > VE’s
> > > suboptimal
> > > > 2013 launch are well-informed and legit. But many,
> > > > unfortunately, don’t apply such high standards for analysis.
> > > >
> > > > -Andrew
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > On Mon, Jan 18, 2016 at 12:13 PM, Pine W <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
> > > >
> > > > > After the assertion "From the Media Viewer, the Visual Editor,
> > > > > to
> > > > Wikidata
> > > > > transclusion, all have been resisted by vocal groups of
> > > > > editors, not because they are a problem, but because they
> > > > > represent change," I
> > would
> > > > > suggest a very large "citation needed" tag.
> > > > >
> > > > > Pine
> > > > > _______________________________________________
> > > > > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > > > > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > > > > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > > > > Unsubscribe:
> > https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > > > > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubs
> > > > > cr
> > > > > ibe>
> > > > >
> > > > _______________________________________________
> > > > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
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> > > > Unsubscribe:
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> > > > ib
> > > > e>
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> > >
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] How to disseminate free knowledge? Was: Profile of Magnus Manske

John Mark Vandenberg
In reply to this post by Gerard Meijssen-3
On Tue, Jan 19, 2016 at 9:49 PM, Gerard Meijssen
<[hidden email]> wrote:
> Hoi,
> http://ultimategerardm.blogspot.nl/2016/01/wikidata-william-anthony-phd.html

That blog post doesnt appear link to the Wikidata item.

It is https://www.wikidata.org/wiki/Q21745493

which only has 14 facts, but only one reference.

It really should have a fact that he is a Professor Emeritus, as that
is a very significant fact.

Of the 11 awards list on
http://cpr.bu.edu/about/directory/william-anthony, only 4 have been
added to Wikidata.

Distinguished Service Award of the President of the United States
looks quite important, but has been omitted.

My point I guess is this wikidata item is data; not knowledge, yet.
;-)  Until William Anthony is linked into his esteemed place in his
field of excellence, we do him a disservice.  Lots of room for
improvement.

Or, we need all of our ships working together, and most of our
community is moving from quantity to quality, seeing that as our next
big challenge.

--
John Vandenberg

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] How to disseminate free knowledge? Was: Profile of Magnus Manske

Gerard Meijssen-3
Hoi,
In my blogpost, Mr Anthony is linked to Reasonator [1]. With all due
respect, it provides better information than Wikidata does [2]. So when you
want to talk about quality, fine. This is where Wikidata will make the most
difference. It will also help you see that Mr Anthony is linked to a
publication [3] something you will miss when you rely on Wikidata alone.

You talk about quality and you are apparently of the opinion that
everything has to be "perfect". That is fine. Mr Anthony had several awards
and most of them I have added, I have added information about the
organisation that conferred them. For me quality is not in sources, they
are overrated. In Wikidata relevance is in the network, the linking of
people widely. A source at most gives an opinion on a single statement. By
including VIAF and ISNI, I do better, I link Mr Anthony to outside
Wikimedia because every Wikimedia project fails in this.

When you talk about quality, you can think on coverage. It noticed in a
blog somewhere that Wikipedia is so good in its information about ebola.
That is good. When you look at mental health, psychiatry Wikipedia is an
underachiever. Given the prevalence of psychiatry it is significant that we
are doing so poorly.

Yes we need to get our ships working together but as it is, the item of Mr
Anthony is 100% better because of me. What we need is a task force to get
proper information so that people are supported with proper information in
their recovery. Recovery is what Mr Anthony is about and that is where we
could do better.
Thanks,
       GerardM

[1] https://tools.wmflabs.org/reasonator/?&q=21745493
[2] https://www.wikidata.org/wiki/Q21745493
[3] https://tools.wmflabs.org/reasonator/?&q=22019124

On 19 January 2016 at 23:33, John Mark Vandenberg <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Tue, Jan 19, 2016 at 9:49 PM, Gerard Meijssen
> <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > Hoi,
> >
> http://ultimategerardm.blogspot.nl/2016/01/wikidata-william-anthony-phd.html
>
> That blog post doesnt appear link to the Wikidata item.
>
> It is https://www.wikidata.org/wiki/Q21745493
>
> which only has 14 facts, but only one reference.
>
> It really should have a fact that he is a Professor Emeritus, as that
> is a very significant fact.
>
> Of the 11 awards list on
> http://cpr.bu.edu/about/directory/william-anthony, only 4 have been
> added to Wikidata.
>
> Distinguished Service Award of the President of the United States
> looks quite important, but has been omitted.
>
> My point I guess is this wikidata item is data; not knowledge, yet.
> ;-)  Until William Anthony is linked into his esteemed place in his
> field of excellence, we do him a disservice.  Lots of room for
> improvement.
>
> Or, we need all of our ships working together, and most of our
> community is moving from quantity to quality, seeing that as our next
> big challenge.
>
> --
> John Vandenberg
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] How to disseminate free knowledge? Was: Profile of Magnus Manske

Quim Gil-2
In reply to this post by Magnus Manske-2
First of all, I also think that we cannot expect us to fulfill our mission
by having all the world visiting our sites. A good percentage of that
mission probably needs to be fulfilled elsewhere thanks to our free
licenses and APIs.

On Tue, Jan 19, 2016 at 11:06 AM, Magnus Manske <[hidden email]
> wrote:

> We prefer people to read Wikipedia articles on Wikipedia, because a few of
> them will turn into editors, which they cannot do on any other site
> (without forking).


Even the idea of the remote contributors needs to be better explored. Our
APIs are not only GET, they are also POST. Editing the en.wiki article
about Cologne probably must happen in en.wiki itself, but there are many
types of contributions that allow for more flexibility and, in fact, might
be a lot more successful out of our Click-the-Edit-link paradigm.

https://tools.wmflabs.org/wikidata-game/ (oh, Magnus Manske was here as
well)  ;) might be the prehistory of this trend. Binary decisions become
useful Wikimedia contributions without the need of instructions or (in some
cases) specialized knowledge. Binary decisions and other very simple
interactions are at the core of massively successful mobile and/or social
games that many of our friends and their kids play.

Meanwhile, people are uploading all kinds of media, crowdsourced
translations sentence by sentence are not exotic anymore and, in general,
crowd efforts are becoming part of mainstream Internet. Wikipedia actually
inspired this trend, showing that even a goal as complex as an encyclopedia
could be achieved by us, the people, in our free time, with a pool of small
personal investments.

Who will make the connection between Wikimedia's pool of free knowledge and
hundreds of possible non-Wikimedia projects that could contribute more free
knowledge to Wikimedia? Certainly not us average Wikimedians busy with our
watchlists and routines, and certainly not us here discussing with
ourselves in wikimedia-l while the World keeps spinning. Hopefully the
connections will be made by hundreds of creative minds scratching their own
itches and satisfying their own curiosities. But if we don't pitch them the
idea of plugging Wikimedia to their experiments and products, who will?



PS: all these discussions are very relevant for
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/2016_Strategy and I encourage you to
influence the WMF strategy by leaving there your answers and choices about
Reach, Community, and Knowledge. Going through the questionnaire took me
about 15 minutes and I found the exercise interesting.

--
Quim Gil
Engineering Community Manager @ Wikimedia Foundation
http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/User:Qgil
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