Talk:Where is Wikimedia now?/en

From Strategic Planning

Last project report

Last project report was compiled back in 2006, as reported on meta, see m:Reports#Project_reports. Maybe an idead to consider to restart the project report process? Dedalus 14:50, 12 August 2009 (UTC)[reply]

English language domination?

The English language version of Wikipedia still dominates all other languages versions of Wikipedia combined. I have looked into en:Wiktionary what "dominate" exactly means - "To exert an overwhelming guiding influence over something or someone" At least for the German WP I don´t think this is true. For example, when I write an article I always look what the en:WP says, but that is only one source between others. --Goldzahn 21:14, 12 August 2009 (UTC)[reply]

I suspect the intent was something like "the English Wikipedia is as large as the next X Wikipedias combined" (en ≈ de + fr + pl + ja). I don't think any version has an influence over the others I would describe as 'strong', let alone 'overwhelming'. CRGreathouse 17:02, 14 August 2009 (UTC)[reply]
The influence on the many (millions?) of extremely poor English articles cannot overwhelm the influence that over better written articles in other languages has had (and will continue to have) on the English Wikipedia, which constantly imports translated texts from all other wikis (just like other wikis are also importing translations). This interaction is beneficial for all wikis, and tends to decrease now on large wikis, except within the structuration of articles and categories (this is mostly caused by the structure in Commons which directly reflects the English Wikipedia categories).
But for most aspects the influences just use English as an intermediate language, and is mostly technical, but it does not drive the effective content, notably because the different cultures really have quite different interests.
The only influence that non-English Wikipedias don't have on the English Wikipedia is the one coming from non-Latin written wikis, because most english wikipedians simply don't know how to decipher the alphabets, just to guess what it speaks about.
Even if there's a fast growing Chinese-sepaking population in US, this population is still too small to influence what all other English writers are creating and correcting in the English Wikipedia.
On the other side you will see strong bidirectional interactions between English, French, Spanish (and more moderately German which has its own development with its own exclusive qualities). But most English, French and Spanish readers simply can't decipher German, when German writers can easily read English (but because there are much enough productive German contributors, which are not influenced too much by English, which they may read with difficulties, they tend to prefer creating directly in their own language where they have their best level of expertize.
The problem with the englihs wikipedia is that it has become extremely difficult to contribute for most users, because the level of entry is now far too high (and a minority of users now control it soo tightly that others can't even try to create something that will not be almost immediately rolled back by those many self-named experts.
For this reason, non-English wikipedians now prefer working on their own native wiki, they will borrow sime ideas from English XP, but this will be limited to the time of article creation, and then all others will modify it, and all will be restructured according to local cultures and interests of local people (and also according to their own local concensus that reflect their own societies, and not necessarily what would be the concensus in US).
British users are now advocating thier own wiki, because they have no control at all on what is constrolled by legions of Americans that do not feel things the way they are perceived in Europe (notably within articles related to culture, political subjects, history, societies). They get some chance when speaking about football (soccer for Americans), or their own stars, or only in very specific sciences (but then they always risk to have their creations canceled, by others that don't like their references when they are not common in US)...
The English wikipedia is now at the risk of being split in several projects (possibly not all hosted by Wikimedia but by external projects targetting their own perception of quality) with different goals (even if they maintain the licences). But may be it will be the evolution of Wikipedia: creating collections of multilingual encyclopedies targetting different levels of population: the level of excellence in English Wikipedia means that for many people, they can't even read the articles which require too much prior knowledge, and lack some synthetic, simplified view, and it's too difficult to navigate across zillions of articles.
This may explain why the wikimedia partiticipation in US is now very small compared to other countries with high level of education, but there may be also other factors, notably social and factors caused by emergences of other interesting activities on the Internet (notably interactive social networks... and dating sites or zillions of cheap cinema/music/TV/gaming offers, or simply the feeling that, given their access to knowledge is so easy, they don't need to contribute when they can just ask someone, or the development some lazier behavior, or on the opposite the development of the interest into many alternate sources of information: Wikipedia visibility dillutes in this field, or people are just now fed up of seeing Wikipedia top-ranked in all web searches with Google when they are searching for something else more specific, and then wikipedia comes within a large set of bad or abusive sites).
For young peoples, it seems that interest in knowledge is fading out (and game shows on TV are just demonstrating that=: the level of general culture knowledge is become lower, as people are just lazy and don't want to read or write, they want to see or hear and Wikipedia looks so much old-fashioned for them; they don't need to read or even think (most of the time), they want to feel things or experiment things (something now impossible in English Wikipedia: no feeling, just a set of rules about mere facts, and no place for their creativity). Verdy p 08:15, 13 January 2010 (UTC)[reply]

Internet emergence vs. publishers

Would the person who wrote this, or anyone who is sure to understand its meaning please clarify it? "The emergence of the internet, search engines and Wikipedia can be seen on one hand while at the same time publishers of paper encyclopedias have disappeared..." Thanks, user Thamus from WP.


The Frankfurt retreat in Spring of the year 2005 had set a series of goals to be achieved within three years. All those goals have been accomplished.

This really needs to be described -- ideally with a link, but a summary would do as well.

Africa, Arabia and mainland China might contain the greatest pools of potential readers.

Arabia? Really? This is like saying that "examples of expensive cars: Pontiac Solstice, Chrysler Neon, and Ferrari Italia" except that that doesn't do justice to China's size. What about Brazil and India? CRGreathouse 17:02, 14 August 2009 (UTC)[reply]

How to pull in the fact base into this summary?

I like the idea of a quick summary of where we are now, and it looks like a lot of this summary is touching on points from the fact base pages. How best can we integrate the two? --JohnF 23:30, 14 August 2009 (UTC)[reply]

The facts presented in the fact base pages are not easy to understand. I think, they should be a help to write this page, at least if there are some facts. The fact base is divided into three groups. Maybe we should divide the projects?, the Foundation?, etc the same way? --Goldzahn 23:48, 14 August 2009 (UTC)[reply]

How about some Stats?

I read the description of where we are now, and it struck me as being somewhat ambiguous. If we're going to treat this as a business plan, we need to have a "map" showing exactly where we are, before we can decide where we would like to go next. I'd like to see some figures (graphs) please; demographics of editors (by age, gender, country, language), current usage of wiki sites (by hit rates? time logged on? by language, country, time zone) and potential markets (country, language, % of population with internet access). Our impressions of some of these may be wildly inaccurate. BoundaryRider 07:38, 15 August 2009 (UTC)[reply]

I think you'll find some of what you're interested in within the Fact Base, at Participation and its subpages. It's not all there, of course, because it's a work in progress and this is a very early stage, but it may answer some of your questions. -- Philippe 07:42, 15 August 2009 (UTC)[reply]

I highlighted the sentence that calls out the fact base and added some description in an effort to steer people who are looking for facts and figures to that page Sarah476 15:30, 17 August 2009 (UTC)[reply]


I have changed the chapter "Your help is needed" a little bit to encourage the participation. Hope you like it. Feel free to correct my changings. --Goldzahn 01:49, 16 August 2009 (UTC)[reply]

"13 million articles in 271 different languages"

Only Wikipedia of course :) Przykuta 16:22, 21 August 2009 (UTC)[reply]

from meta:List of Wikimedia Projects by Size:
Articles Total Edits Admins Users Images
21 137 471 68 394 532 833 691 951 6 959 22 365 663 6 835 425

...and how many views? Przykuta 15:00, 22 August 2009 (UTC)[reply]


What stands ICT for? Not all readers are nativ english speakers. Please add it in the article. --ILA-boy 10:05, 22 August 2009 (UTC)[reply]

I´ve looked at en:ICT. Maybe "Information and communication technologies"? --Goldzahn 09:03, 23 August 2009 (UTC)[reply]
I'm a native English speaker and I have no idea what ICT stands for in this context. Someone who knows, please add an explanation. -- 13:21, 22 September 2009 (UTC)[reply]
On second thought, the whole "Leaking Circle" section looks like it doesn't belong here - maybe someone should move it to its own page, and perhaps put a summary and a link to it on this page. -- 13:25, 22 September 2009 (UTC)[reply]
May be this "ICT" abbreviation is related to the French acronym « TIC » (« Technologies de l’Information et de la Communication », always used with the plural in French), which is wellknown in the administrative and formal language (and quite often heard or read in French news), and from which it may have been borrowed directly by litteral translation?
That's exactly how I understood immediately the English acronym, which seems to be used effectively within various international standard bodies (ISO, ITU, even Unicode) and in various UN agencies, or in the European Union (within its various reports)...
It's surprizing that you don't know it in UK... And I can't say if the French acronym originates French itself, or if it was not a borrowing from English formal or technical or commercial or administrative language). Verdy p 07:21, 13 January 2010 (UTC)[reply]

Bug: language switching dead links

All the language links are dead because of Spanish instead of English (even the English link doesn't refresh the page but bring to a creation page). I prefer not trying to edit the template myself as I'm not used to. Many thanks to the one who will fix it. Lacrymocéphale 11:59, 24 August 2009 (UTC)[reply]

done. --Goldzahn 12:55, 24 August 2009 (UTC)[reply]

The leaking circle

I found most of the chapter on "The leaking circle" very strange, and of rather little interest, as it addresses issues about which Wikimedia can have no influence at all - hence, making "propositions" doesn't make any sense. For instance: "increase the influence of education on income"... This is nothing but wishful thinking, I fear. Julien Demade 11:30, 28 September 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Well, I don't read this chapter as a proposition nor as a set of proposals, but as a model, and I don't think we have got any other models like this yet. It's thinking out-of-the-box really, and worth trying to get a grasp on. Start at any of the six points given, and try to get at the next one. The model says there's an incoming factor and an outgoing one, influencing the next point. For each incoming factor inside the "leaking circle" there is also at least one outside the circle, that cannot be influenced by Wikimedia directly.
If it were the case that Wikimedia could direct all of the factors that determine its success, it would be relatively easy: a round circle could be created that feeds itself. Education > Income > ICT > Reach > Participation > Quality and back to Education. Start anywhere and it still works, so if you start with Participation, you would get Quality, Quality yields Education which yields >> Reach and >> yet more Quality.
That is the model that Wikipedia is built on. We want to believe that with worldwide participation, we can create so much quality content that anywhere on this earth, education is supported and at some point, the Babel Tower will be finished to the prosperity of all.
If the circle is leaking however, we may find that the fundamentals are showing weak points and ultimately, the building might collapse. So we need to find the factors that corrupt the fundamentals. That's what I find interesting in this attempt, which I think is the first one to find any flaws in the Wikim/pedia project as a whole. It's not complete, it's not documented enough yet, but it's worth scrutiny.
So, I think it's definitely worthwhile looking into it as an asset for the Strategy project. Art Unbound 21:41, 8 October 2009 (UTC)[reply]
I don't see this description as unuseful : it shows the interactions, just to exhibit where action is possible, and how much it will be difficult to act against a much more powerful driving force. There are critical points in this circle, where action is possible and will be cost-effective in terms of efforts (either by empowering harnessing the inputs of the circle, or by limiting the leaking outputs from the circle.
But there's little we can do within the circle itself, which is effectively a theoretical model, which has no clear metrics.
But some elements in this circle are clearly quantifiable, and can be measured, and should, in order to see if the adopted strategy is effective to reach our goals or can be used as good indicators for long term development (because short term development is extremely difficult to predict or even verify, notably all the interactions within the circle itself, as most of these interactions are subjective: the output from one node in the circle to another node in that circle do not use the same metrics, so we can only make local measurements, and we absolutely don't know how an output interaction from one node converts or correlates with the associated input interaction, and we won't have a way to convert them as long as we won't have a statistical model and a way to verify it).
That's why a model is useful and expected here, otherwise we will just have collections of statistics and no probabilities at all. Verdy p 07:33, 13 January 2010 (UTC)[reply]