Proposal talk:Divide Wikipedia

From Strategic Planning

Hi. Please add your input by adding a new topic. I shall use this space to add some clarification notes. Thank you for coming. Thamus 09:09, 30 August 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Hi can't understand if this is Wikiversity or Citizendium.
Why do you think that currently there's no «One user page per editor»?
«New (really) universal log in»: how is this different from the current one? You have a universal login. Nemo 14:03, 30 August 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Hi Nemo! I don't know Citizendium or Wikiversity yet, so you may tell me which one this resembles most :) However, I promised some clarification. Divide Wikipedia is very unfortunate as a title, because what I am actually proposing is a device to allow it to remain one, while at the same time letting it fulfill two requirements of its mission apparently at odds with each other: being open to participation by everyone, and be a repository of valuable knowledge. So: 'wikidemia' isn't meant to be a new wiki, or a new project separate from wikipedia; it's meant as integral part of it, as a new layer, if you will. Soon you will find (in References) a number of links to other proposals related to this one. Perhaps some of them help to clarify my meaning.

My diverse user pages:

These are only 3 examples. When I move to pt:wp or es:wp or fr:wp it's the same all over again. I wouldn't press the case for a single page too much though, as it's easy to see that some might prefer the possibility to have a different page per project, while it's definetely necessary when you mve between languages. But I DO have to log in to each one separately! I am new, so is it me? or is this as it is supposed to be?

I see. Well, you're lucky, you didn't know Wikimedia without unified login. :-) But if the problem is user page, see Proposal:Universal User Page. For other aims, I second the request below: your proposal is not clear at all, I'm afraid. Nemo 23:52, 30 August 2009 (UTC)[reply]

I'm not sure why we should do ths.

When you expand this could you address the following issues:

  1. What is the problem that this solution is designed to solve? (I don't see that much nonsense myself)
  2. How will your proposal solve this problem?
  3. How would your solution be implemented in practice? Who gets to select which academics have access to which article? How do we resolve disputes between academics? I can see this being harder in practice than the current system.

Filceolaire 22:07, 30 August 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Hopefully your first question was met already by the new input in the section Motives. I also rewrote the part about nonsense, because I never meant to say guidelines are nonsense - they are not. What I do think is that many guidelines, policies, and parts of user interface are not very clear and sometimes downright obscure, either through unclear redaction or lack of information, considering some examples I stumbled upon so far. People do their best, sometimes its good and sometimes not quite. Other people mean to improve and sometimes do and sometimes mangle it.
I was hoping the answer to the second question was in the summary and in the first paragraph of the proposal, but I'll try to make it clearer: inclusionism has its way because wikipedia becomes even more open to participation (most barriers migrate to the new layer wikidemia) and the interface is simplified to the utmost; and deletionists (such a wrong term, can't we use legitimists, as the ones advocating for wikipedia legitimacy?) get their way also, to everyone's benefit. We can have our cake and eat it.
As to your third question, you just have to look at wikipedia as it is now; so would be wikidemia. Same principles, same practices, same openness to participation. Anyone, academics and non academics have access to all the articles, and disputes are solved in much the same way as they are now. The difference is that changes to an article are seen only after they are aproved by a consensus of senior editors.1
Naturally that's the part you, and many other people including myself have misgivings about. Trying to enact this proposal (or its many cousins) without addressing those misgivings very adroitly might prove too costly, as stated from the begining under the Costs heading. I'll try to outline the few clear ideas I have on this matter, but I can't hope to have all the right answers myself.
1. Seniority - is defined either by a) one's wikipedian curriculum (meaning body of work) or b) one is an an academic that can produce verifiable credentials. In either case, seniority "privileges" are always subject to behaviour.2
2. Seniority applies only to wikidemia, not the rest of wikipedia.
3. You cannot rely on your seniority alone to revert an edit, you need to justify your point.

(more later)


1.Articles in wikidemian context, that is, properly enciclopaedic articles that have already matured in wikipedia or are being started in wikidemia. Articles on breakfast cereal or the latest pop fad wouldn't be affected at all.

2.Rather than a privilege, seniority is earned through years of hard work in both cases, and in practical terms it means even more hard work, so much so that we might have to think up some form of more material compensation (even if not a salary) to induce the recipients to accept it. -- Thamus joyfulnoise 08:05, 31 August 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Divide the Proposal

I'm not sure about what precisely you mean by dividing Wikipedia, since it is not clear enough. I would suggest you to visit my Add or redesign tab for original research which might answer most or all of your concerns, and maybe this could be what you meant to say. In any case, your proposal has another important point, that it should be only one user page for all the projects. I too, was too lazy to sign in separately to Wikimedia and to Commons etc. But this should be a separate proposal. 01:54, 1 September 2009 (UTC)[reply]

As I told Nemo (see above) and everyone (see Summary) I do NOT mean to divide Wikipedia, that title was just very unfortunate - I was actually referring to a division that already exists in Wikipedia and this proposal presents some thoughts on how we may, well, not so much bring the parties to a consensus as actually letting the division exist in a mode that benefits both internal parties (see Motives and conversation above) and most of all, the third party - public (aka Users). -- Thamus joyfulnoise 16:32, 2 September 2009 (UTC)[reply]
I finally found your Proposal:Add or redesign tab for original research and well, I think it addresses in practical terms one part of what I expressed here in a conceptual manner(or tried to), and I think it is one valid possibility :)
I'm sorry, I missed the word "research". I corrected it now. 18:09, 29 September 2009 (UTC)[reply]


Some proposals will have massive impact on end-users, including non-editors. Some will have minimal impact. What will be the impact of this proposal on our end-users? -- Philippe 00:08, 3 September 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Glad to see you were here, Philippe. Your question is very good, and I'd be interested to see how you answer it. Not being cheeky, just think you probably have more data than I do :) -- Thamus joyfulnoise 02:56, 3 September 2009 (UTC)[reply]
I am absolutely unqualified to make a determination on this. There are, among us, those who are qualified though, and I think the projects exist in a web of trust. I'm ready to be convinced one way or the other by people I trust. :-)
One of the roles of the task forces that are about to be formed will be to dive deeply in and look at whether things like this make sense. I leave it to the subject matter experts. -- Philippe 03:13, 3 September 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Thank you Philippe for your speedy if somewhat disappointing answer. But fret not, I understand your position entirely. I am soon going to shift my focus from proposal reading and evaluation to translating (to pt. mostly) and learning some editing fundamentals. If meanwile you find a spot where my dubious qulifications (loquacity mainly) could be of any use, don't hesitate to knock. -- Thamus joyfulnoise 06:31, 3 September 2009 (UTC) P.S. new section impact added[reply]


Properly carried out, this proposal would shift public perception of Wikipedia in two opposite, but equally positive directions. On one hand, a major cleanup of barriers, including but not necessarily limited to restrictive policies' migration to wikidemia's semi-protected environment and intuitive interface, would go some distance toward recreating Wikipedia's original participative environment, encouraging end users to become involved.

On the other hand, the existance of a (somewhat) protected environment for mature and more properly encyclopaedian articles would make wikipedia that much more of an atractive space for scholars to work at. It would also provide improved leverage for an active policy of fomenting alliances with knowledge related institutions. Public perception of Wikipedia shifts towards an image of legitimacy.

Imponderables: Imagine that in the context of "alliances with knowledge related institutions" the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (S.T.R.I.) in Panama pairs up with Wikipedia on a documenting expedition to Coiba Island, for example. Can you see how and how much both institutions are benefited, in terms of outreach, for example? -- Thamus joyfulnoise 06:29, 3 September 2009 (UTC)[reply]

The single user page proposal

The second proposal made here - having a single user page I can see has advantages, especially if it meant a single watchlist as well. On the other hand if you work in several languages you may find things offputting for other editors. Think of the poor newby who wants to talk to someone who did something they don't understand and when they go to their page everything is in a language that they may not even have the character set to display on their screen. So a single watchlist and perhaps one user page per language rather than per project would be my preference. WereSpielChequers 23:31, 8 September 2009 (UTC)[reply]

I agree, but please note that I am only offering a concrete example of the general concept "simplify interface". Simplifying interface is only one of the vectors in this proposal.

Disagree with the divide proposal

I disagree with a formal divide partly because we would be creating a barrier against the many good highbrow IP edits that we get. Also a formal divide would require some sort of formal classification of editors into experts and amateurs. Not only is that divisive and against our core ethos but it is I suspect impractical. There would be an inevitable temptation to classify as expert editors some good contributors who don't have credentials that academia would recognise but perhaps have Feature Articles etc, and some editors who we don't classify as experts would not be happy to be demoted to some sort of junior status. Another big risk of the divide is that we would probably have a drop in quality of the articles that are not restricted to the experts, as it becomes less appreciated to work on them. Since many of them will be biographies of Living People that could increase the number of times we are picked up by the press for having quality problems - remember our critics tend to judge us by our worst stuff not our best work. But also we currently do have informal divides that get all the benefits this could achieve with none of the costs. The en:wp:FAC crowd is a very different one than the en:wp:AIV crowd because writing or even reviewing at en:wp:FA level requires a different sort of input than splatting vandalism. Kids TV programmes and certain other popculture articles get a very different crowd than the science ones. WereSpielChequers 23:48, 8 September 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Dear WereSpielChequers, I'd like you to clarify your argument a bit more, as I released a similar proposal here.
The divide would have to be an informal one, because of the very reasons you're stating here.
Expert users might choose to work at the "state-of-the-art scientific" level, but also at the more popular level. On the other hand, good non-academic editors will have the same choice. At the expert level, they will face academic debate and respond at that level.
At a more popular level, both experts and experienced amateurs might work on the same subjects and work together to explain complex subjects for a broader public. Thus, you might want to describe DNA research at a state-of-the-art level or at a general-knowledge level.
At some point, we cannot maintain the whole of Wikipedia at one and the same level any more. It will become too difficult to reach those quality assignments for all subjects and for all users. I believe, we have reached that point.
So, both to save quality and to save user involvement, we might better redefine our ways. The ultimate goal will remain the same, but the ways to reach that goal might see a change. Thank you, - Art Unbound 00:12, 14 September 2009 (UTC)[reply]
PS: I would be pleased if you could clear up some of your shortcuts, thank you - Art Unbound 00:12, 14 September 2009 (UTC)[reply]
I think that on the English Wikipedia at least we have several ways of making Wikipedia usable for different audiences. One is simple Wikipedia another is the idea that the lead should be more widely understandable than the main text of an article. A third (and the one I know least about) may be the outline of articles, lastly we have footnotes and references in a way that doesn't inconvenience the casual reader but is useful to the scholar, there is the potential of a fifth emerging as we I heard somewhere that its the photo captions that are most widely read. Of these only Simple is a full blown fork, and I haven't done enough there to truly judge its quality. But my concern about such forks is the falling wisdom of ever smaller crowds. So in summary, I agree that academics, sports fans and pop culture enthusiasts might not always get on smoothly, but we already have diverse enough pedias that they don't have to cross paths on most articles and IMHO their interaction rarely causes problems; and we already have ways of writing the pedia for audiences of dramatically different education levels. WereSpielChequers 15:01, 15 September 2009 (UTC)[reply]

This is pro-consumers, but anti-producers

There is no question that this proposal would have immediate benefit to consumers, but they may not benefit in the long run if we scare off the producers. As a producer, if I'm going to contribute content, I want it to be read and used. Why should I be motivated to contribute quality content if I believe that my contribution will not be posted to the "real" site for several years, and only after it has undergone numerous reviews and edits? If I contribute anything at all to such a site, it will be much less refined, as the burden of cleaning it up has clearly been placed on someone else's shoulders. The motivation to produce highly-polished content disappears if I don't believe my contribution will be posted immediately for the world to see.

I think this proposal will encorage producers only if Wikimedia will pay the work of these producers. But in this case Wikimedia will need other ways to produce money. Do you have any suggestion? --Aushulz 01:11, 16 December 2009 (UTC)[reply]

I am obsessed with Proposal:Add or redesign tab for original research that answers all of your concerns in a practical way, I invite you to help developing that proposal. - Malach