[Wikimedia-l] Wikipedia is basically just another giant bureaucracy

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[Wikimedia-l] Wikipedia is basically just another giant bureaucracy

Stephen Philbrick
I just scanned an article: "Wikipedia is basically just another giant
bureaucracy",
http://www.sciencealert.com/wikipedia-is-basically-just-another-old-fashioned-bureaucracy-study-finds

and it is astonishing how bad it is.

I don't really quibble with the headline - it is a bureaucracy, but some of
the content of the article is head-scratching.

For example, how many editors do you know who have achieved the rank of
super-contributor?

Can one take an article seriously that blunders this badly?

Phil
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Wikipedia is basically just another giant bureaucracy

Benjamin Lees
On Fri, Apr 29, 2016 at 8:32 PM, Stephen Philbrick
<[hidden email]> wrote:
> and it is astonishing how bad it is.

If you're astonished, then I'm afraid you haven't read enough news
articles about Wikipedia yet. :-(

P.S. MAYBE IT'S TIME WE REEVALUATED OUR STANCE ON ALLCAPS.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Wikipedia is basically just another giant bureaucracy

Oliver Keyes-5
I'm honestly not sure what this thread is meant to achieve.

Might I suggest that if you object to the reporting you contact the author,
rather than drag their work in a largely-unknown internal mailing list?
It's likely to be more productive.

On Friday, 29 April 2016, Benjamin Lees <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Fri, Apr 29, 2016 at 8:32 PM, Stephen Philbrick
> <[hidden email] <javascript:;>> wrote:
> > and it is astonishing how bad it is.
>
> If you're astonished, then I'm afraid you haven't read enough news
> articles about Wikipedia yet. :-(
>
> P.S. MAYBE IT'S TIME WE REEVALUATED OUR STANCE ON ALLCAPS.
>
> _______________________________________________
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> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: [hidden email] <javascript:;>
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email] <javascript:;>
> ?subject=unsubscribe>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Wikipedia is basically just another giant bureaucracy

Toby Dollmann
The article cited is a tertiary source (like Wikipedia), and so is "as
astonishingly bad"

The underlying research studies [ref#1], [ref#2] claim

"Researchers found that a relatively small number of editors have a
major influence on the site."

"As editors interact with one another and their opinions shift, higher
'p' makes opinions move more quickly toward those expressed by
Wikipedia."

"a persisting inequality of influence—with a small number of
super-editors controlling the form of many articles. The model results
imply that editing inequality is increasing with time, with fewer
editors gaining an ever more dominant role."

So surely these claims are worthy of discussion on this list ? if anybody cares

Toby

[ref#1] http://physics.aps.org/articles/v9/8
[ref#2] http://gizmodo.com/wikipedia-is-basically-a-corporate-bureaucracy-accordi-1746955234

On 4/30/16, Oliver Keyes <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I'm honestly not sure what this thread is meant to achieve.
>
> Might I suggest that if you object to the reporting you contact the author,
> rather than drag their work in a largely-unknown internal mailing list?
> It's likely to be more productive.
>
> On Friday, 29 April 2016, Benjamin Lees <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> On Fri, Apr 29, 2016 at 8:32 PM, Stephen Philbrick
>> <[hidden email] <javascript:;>> wrote:
>> > and it is astonishing how bad it is.
>>
>> If you're astonished, then I'm afraid you haven't read enough news
>> articles about Wikipedia yet. :-(
>>
>> P.S. MAYBE IT'S TIME WE REEVALUATED OUR STANCE ON ALLCAPS.
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
>> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
>> New messages to: [hidden email] <javascript:;>
>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
>> <mailto:[hidden email] <javascript:;>
>> ?subject=unsubscribe>
> _______________________________________________
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> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: [hidden email]
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> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Wikipedia is basically just another giant bureaucracy

John Mark Vandenberg
We have mailing lists wikipedia-l and WikiEN-l for discussions about
specifically Wikipedia or English Wikipedia respectively.
On 30 Apr 2016 10:44, "Toby Dollmann" <[hidden email]> wrote:

> The article cited is a tertiary source (like Wikipedia), and so is "as
> astonishingly bad"
>
> The underlying research studies [ref#1], [ref#2] claim
>
> "Researchers found that a relatively small number of editors have a
> major influence on the site."
>
> "As editors interact with one another and their opinions shift, higher
> 'p' makes opinions move more quickly toward those expressed by
> Wikipedia."
>
> "a persisting inequality of influence—with a small number of
> super-editors controlling the form of many articles. The model results
> imply that editing inequality is increasing with time, with fewer
> editors gaining an ever more dominant role."
>
> So surely these claims are worthy of discussion on this list ? if anybody
> cares
>
> Toby
>
> [ref#1] http://physics.aps.org/articles/v9/8
> [ref#2]
> http://gizmodo.com/wikipedia-is-basically-a-corporate-bureaucracy-accordi-1746955234
>
> On 4/30/16, Oliver Keyes <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > I'm honestly not sure what this thread is meant to achieve.
> >
> > Might I suggest that if you object to the reporting you contact the
> author,
> > rather than drag their work in a largely-unknown internal mailing list?
> > It's likely to be more productive.
> >
> > On Friday, 29 April 2016, Benjamin Lees <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >
> >> On Fri, Apr 29, 2016 at 8:32 PM, Stephen Philbrick
> >> <[hidden email] <javascript:;>> wrote:
> >> > and it is astonishing how bad it is.
> >>
> >> If you're astonished, then I'm afraid you haven't read enough news
> >> articles about Wikipedia yet. :-(
> >>
> >> P.S. MAYBE IT'S TIME WE REEVALUATED OUR STANCE ON ALLCAPS.
> >>
> >> _______________________________________________
> >> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> >> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> >> New messages to: [hidden email] <javascript:;>
> >> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> >> <mailto:[hidden email] <javascript:;>
> >> ?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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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Wikipedia is basically just another giant bureaucracy

Keegan Peterzell
Why is it that when we want to be critical of our internal movement
collaborators this list is the primary vehicle for personal insult from
micro-aggressions to outright hostility, but this discussion is off-topic?

--
~Keegan

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Keegan

This is my personal email address. Everything sent from this email address
is in a personal capacity.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Wikipedia is basically just another giant bureaucracy

Pete Forsyth-2
On Apr 29, 2016 11:20 PM, "Keegan Peterzell" <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Why is it that when we want to be critical of our internal movement
> collaborators this list is the primary vehicle for personal insult from
> micro-aggressions to outright hostility,

{{cn}}

> but this discussion is off-topic?

Agreed, the public triple smackdown, complete with condescending advice and
unnecessary adjectives, was a bit over the top.

-Pete
[[User:Pete Forsyth]]
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Wikipedia is basically just another giant bureaucracy

Fæ
In reply to this post by Keegan Peterzell
I thought Stephen's original post to this list was fine, and his voice
is not one that we hear very often.

Extended specific discussions about project policies or articles might
be better on wikipedia-l or commons-l, but if we had a "rule" that you
can never mention a specific topic on this list that could
arguably be posted on another more relevant email list, there would
not be much to discuss. The Science Alert post [1] may not be
original, but perhaps some people had not thought about theories of
self organizing systems applying to our projects, so worth taking a
look at for that reason.

Links
1. http://www.sciencealert.com/wikipedia-is-basically-just-another-old-fashioned-bureaucracy-study-finds

Thanks,
Fae

On 30 April 2016 at 07:19, Keegan Peterzell <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Why is it that when we want to be critical of our internal movement
> collaborators this list is the primary vehicle for personal insult from
> micro-aggressions to outright hostility, but this discussion is off-topic?
>
> --
> ~Keegan
>
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Keegan
>
> This is my personal email address. Everything sent from this email address
> is in a personal capacity.
> _______________________________________________
> 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>



--
[hidden email] https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Fae
Personal and confidential, please do not circulate or re-quote.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Wikipedia is basically just another giant bureaucracy

Gerard Meijssen-3
Hoi,
When you restrict or (mis)direct this conversation to a specialist mailing
list, you fail to understand what this is all about. It is exactly much of
the discussion that happens on this mailing list by the people who are most
heard where it becomes plain that the publication has a point.

The question is very much are we willing to reflect on what we do and how
we operate.
Thanks,
     GerardM

On 30 April 2016 at 10:52, Fæ <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I thought Stephen's original post to this list was fine, and his voice
> is not one that we hear very often.
>
> Extended specific discussions about project policies or articles might
> be better on wikipedia-l or commons-l, but if we had a "rule" that you
> can never mention a specific topic on this list that could
> arguably be posted on another more relevant email list, there would
> not be much to discuss. The Science Alert post [1] may not be
> original, but perhaps some people had not thought about theories of
> self organizing systems applying to our projects, so worth taking a
> look at for that reason.
>
> Links
> 1.
> http://www.sciencealert.com/wikipedia-is-basically-just-another-old-fashioned-bureaucracy-study-finds
>
> Thanks,
> Fae
>
> On 30 April 2016 at 07:19, Keegan Peterzell <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > Why is it that when we want to be critical of our internal movement
> > collaborators this list is the primary vehicle for personal insult from
> > micro-aggressions to outright hostility, but this discussion is
> off-topic?
> >
> > --
> > ~Keegan
> >
> > https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Keegan
> >
> > This is my personal email address. Everything sent from this email
> address
> > is in a personal capacity.
> > _______________________________________________
> > 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>
>
>
>
> --
> [hidden email] https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Fae
> Personal and confidential, please do not circulate or re-quote.
>
> _______________________________________________
> 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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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Wikipedia is basically just another giant bureaucracy

Chris Keating-2
Is it just me that notices an irony when someone posts a message about
Wikipedia being a bureaucracy, and there follows a discussion about whether
the message was sent to the correct mailing list or not? ;)
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Wikipedia is basically just another giant bureaucracy

Oliver Keyes-5
Chris,

Yeah, all I meant with my email was 'discussing whether Wikipedia is a
bureaucracy on *any* mailing list is likely to be further supporting
evidence to the average journalist' and have, since waking up and scanning
the new posts to the thread, reached pretty much the same state of...piqued
humour? Let's go with that :p

On Saturday, 30 April 2016, Chris Keating <[hidden email]>
wrote:

> Is it just me that notices an irony when someone posts a message about
> Wikipedia being a bureaucracy, and there follows a discussion about whether
> the message was sent to the correct mailing list or not? ;)
> _______________________________________________
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Wikipedia is basically just another giant bureaucracy

jytdog
In reply to this post by Stephen Philbrick
That piece is abysmally bad "science journalism" (I can't even write it
without scare quotes, it is so bad).  To hell with it. Ignore it.

The paper they are writing about (http://www.mdpi.com/1999-5903/8/2/14/html)
 is published in an MDPI open access journal; MDPI is borderline "predatory
publisher".  So not the most 'reliable source" as we say.   I don't have
much to say about it, other than a) that the authors would find it
"surprising" that Wikipedia would have norms after 15 years and having
achieved what we have achieved on so many FAs, is more of a commentary on
them, than on the project; b) other than that and some other boners, their
analysis was pretty good and matches my experience.

Here is the thing I want to elevate from this:  I think that the WMF
doesn't take into account enough when it does outreach and planning.  The
en-wiki project is mature; it has strong norms that govern content and
behavior.  While there is a boatload of weak article and even bad ones,
there are a lot of very good articles that are actually difficult to
improve; in other words, edits  made by passers-by often make the very good
articles worse, not better.

When I work with new users, one of the first things I explain to them is
exactly this -- Wikipedia is a mature project, that is not at all a "Mad
Max" world but rather we have something very close to a "rule of law" and
very strong norms and traditions, all grounded in CONSENSUS, including
community-wide consensus reached in the past -- the policies and
guidelines. If they are willing to learn, lots of people are willing to
help.  But the #1 determiner of whether people stick around or leave, if
how open they are to learning the culture and norms.  WP is "the
encyclopedia that anyone can edit", but editing is privilege, not a right,
and people who make no effort to learn how things work and cause a big
ruckus, end up leaving angry or getting blocked.    This makes sense to
most everybody I interact with (except the ones who are on their way to
leaving angry to getting kicked out)



On Fri, Apr 29, 2016 at 8:32 PM, Stephen Philbrick <
[hidden email]> wrote:

> I just scanned an article: "Wikipedia is basically just another giant
> bureaucracy",
>
> http://www.sciencealert.com/wikipedia-is-basically-just-another-old-fashioned-bureaucracy-study-finds
>
> and it is astonishing how bad it is.
>
> I don't really quibble with the headline - it is a bureaucracy, but some of
> the content of the article is head-scratching.
>
> For example, how many editors do you know who have achieved the rank of
> super-contributor?
>
> Can one take an article seriously that blunders this badly?
>
> Phil
> _______________________________________________
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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,
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Wikipedia is basically just another giant bureaucracy

jytdog
So many typos, sorry.  ack.

On Sat, Apr 30, 2016 at 2:09 PM, jytdog <[hidden email]> wrote:

> That piece is abysmally bad "science journalism" (I can't even write it
> without scare quotes, it is so bad).  To hell with it. Ignore it.
>
> The paper they are writing about (
> http://www.mdpi.com/1999-5903/8/2/14/html)  is published in an MDPI open
> access journal; MDPI is borderline "predatory publisher".  So not the most
> 'reliable source" as we say.   I don't have much to say about it, other
> than a) that the authors would find it "surprising" that Wikipedia would
> have norms after 15 years and having achieved what we have achieved on so
> many FAs, is more of a commentary on them, than on the project; b) other
> than that and some other boners, their analysis was pretty good and matches
> my experience.
>
> Here is the thing I want to elevate from this:  I think that the WMF
> doesn't take into account enough when it does outreach and planning.  The
> en-wiki project is mature; it has strong norms that govern content and
> behavior.  While there is a boatload of weak article and even bad ones,
> there are a lot of very good articles that are actually difficult to
> improve; in other words, edits  made by passers-by often make the very good
> articles worse, not better.
>
> When I work with new users, one of the first things I explain to them is
> exactly this -- Wikipedia is a mature project, that is not at all a "Mad
> Max" world but rather we have something very close to a "rule of law" and
> very strong norms and traditions, all grounded in CONSENSUS, including
> community-wide consensus reached in the past -- the policies and
> guidelines. If they are willing to learn, lots of people are willing to
> help.  But the #1 determiner of whether people stick around or leave, if
> how open they are to learning the culture and norms.  WP is "the
> encyclopedia that anyone can edit", but editing is privilege, not a right,
> and people who make no effort to learn how things work and cause a big
> ruckus, end up leaving angry or getting blocked.    This makes sense to
> most everybody I interact with (except the ones who are on their way to
> leaving angry to getting kicked out)
>
>
>
> On Fri, Apr 29, 2016 at 8:32 PM, Stephen Philbrick <
> [hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> I just scanned an article: "Wikipedia is basically just another giant
>> bureaucracy",
>>
>> http://www.sciencealert.com/wikipedia-is-basically-just-another-old-fashioned-bureaucracy-study-finds
>>
>> and it is astonishing how bad it is.
>>
>> I don't really quibble with the headline - it is a bureaucracy, but some
>> of
>> the content of the article is head-scratching.
>>
>> For example, how many editors do you know who have achieved the rank of
>> super-contributor?
>>
>> Can one take an article seriously that blunders this badly?
>>
>> Phil
>> _______________________________________________
>> 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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