Proposal:Divide Wikipedia

From Strategic Planning
Status (see valid statuses)

The status of this proposal is:
Request for Discussion / Sign-Ups

Every proposal should be tied to one of the strategic priorities below.

Edit this page to help identify the priorities related to this proposal!

  1. Achieve continued growth in readership
  2. Focus on quality content
  3. Increase Participation
  4. Stabilize and improve the infrastructure
  5. Encourage Innovation


every feedback to this proposal so far shows only a very partial understanding of it, I am forced to conclude the fault is with me, and my way of expressing the concepts herein. I am then proceeding to completely rewrite this proposal. I can't delete the one here present, since it doesn't belong to me anylonger, but I will post a link here to the new version as soon as it is ready. Meanwhile, I thank everyone who contributed here, every commentary was useful.


Stratification of wikipedia, by creating a new layer that, for the purposes of this proposal, we will call wikidemia. This will allow Wikipedia to follow both seemingly contradictory tendencies now creating a certain amount of friction, namely the desire to reach and be open to participation by everyone, and that of having good quality contents and an improved public image (as in a project that will be highly regarded by scholars, the scientific community, etc.) It is important to note, however, that wikidemia is meant as an integral part of the existing wikipedia, not a new site. So, really, this proposal is about how to NOT divide wikipedia.


WIKIDEMIA You could envision it as an upper, quieter layer of Wikipedia, where editors with a certain wikipedian curriculum hold the last word on edits before they are made public. It is as open to participation as the rest of wikipedia, only things happen at a much slower pace.

1.Here are deposited mature, finished, good quality articles now existing in wikipedia, enjoying a protection that can’t be afforded them in at present.
2.It is sketched as a much more enticing space for scientists and scholars to participate in the creation of new high profile articles.
3.Wikimedia installs an explicit policy of pursuing strategic alliances with universities, museums, foundations, embassies, laboratories, governments… under specific protocols covering a wide range of mutual benefits and forms of cooperation.
4.Many of the most restrictive wikipedia policies migrate to wikidemia, leaving the rest of wikipedia largely unencumbered, the remaining set of policies being represented optimally by the Be Bold policy.
5.An expert team (per language) is entrusted with the task of rewriting guidelines and policies, not to change their meaning (which is just fine), but to clarify it as much as possible.
6.Another expert team focuses on rethinking the editor interface, aiming at a much more intuitive, user friendly one. Random examples:
Link buttons for every Wikimedia project always visible, for instance at the top of the screen.
One user page per editor as in Proposal:Universal User Page.
User talk pages to include possibility of instant chat. (See Proposal:Real-time chat.)
New (really) universal log in: once a editor logs in to a Wikimedia project, logs in to every project and language he or she has a valid account for.
A search box inside each article (visible only when you are logged in) that a translator may use to verify if the article exists (translation or equivalent) in any other language he/she uses. If not, a >translate< button can be clicked on, whereupon the screen splits in two vertical halves, one with the original text and one blank, plus a vertical narrower strip at the far right for the dictionaries to be used. The button >finished< automatically creates the article in the target language wiki, where references and links are now going to be worked on.


• Guardian UK suggests that growth of Wikipedia may stall as “inclusionists” and “deletionists” fight for control, with “deletionists” increasingly arguing for tightly-controlled and well-written encyclopedia articles that provide valuable information on topics of widespread interest (e.g., Wikipedia is not a “junkyard”) • “Wikilawyering” may be drowning out contributors with less Wikipedia experience'

This, I just copied from Jimmy Wales' State of the Wiki address, you may find it on main page, or go here:

Each link that will gradually be added to the reference section is an added motivation for this proposal, meaning that it stems from a perceived widespread tension in wikipedia's ranks.

It is also largely the result of a newbie's guiddy wanderings throughout the fascinating wikipedia world. This newbie means well and sees Wikipedia going unbelievable places in the next five years.

Key Questions

Are the wikipedia stated mission objectives "reach and be open to everyone" and "contain all human knowledge" reconcilable?

(Aclaration: A great part of that knowledge is the "property" of institutions that presently aren't ready to acknowledge Wikipedia as a legitimate partner to share that knowledge, which in turn would give it that legitimacy, in part. The reason is, alledgely, wikipedia's openness, which it won't - and mustn't - abdicate)

What courses are open to Wikipedia if that reconciliation is sucsseful? and if it isn't?

Potential Costs

If it is badly done, and the elitist connotations are not effectively dismissed, it could cost wikipedia a lot of good editors, and public support.

As to costs in techie and other volunteers time and monetary costs, I'd appreciate the help of anyone more experienced that can see the implications and thinks the concept may be worth it. Mainly, I am thinking of the possible costs of not doing it.


Proposal:Academic Peer Review -layer

Proposal:Legitimizing a Scholarly Collaborative

Proposal:Add or redesign tab for original research Someone has his own vision of "wikidemia" implemented in practice. (technical/functional issue)

Proposal:Wikimedia Internship A vision of how to recruit manpower (brainpower). Implementable in wikidemia context.

Proposal:Wiki now in elitist internecine warefare mode - Knol logical successor - Interesting pro inclusionist argumentation.

Proposal:Wikischolarships - On strategic alliances, an example.~

Proposal:Apply levels of importance - Here's a tool that might become necessary...

Proposal:Create Scientific, Popular and Hobby encyclopedia levels - A similar thinking-out-of-the-box proposal with the same intent.

Community Discussion

Do you have a thought about this proposal? A suggestion? Discuss this proposal by going to Proposal talk:Divide Wikipedia.

Want to work on this proposal?

  1. .. Sign your name here!