Not a change in Wikimedia, but a change in society

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Most of time my iPhone is the last place I'd want to edit Wikipedia (give me a big screen and a keyboard anyday). But there is one exception.

I love to travel around Australia, visiting small towns. When I arrive at a place, I pull up the Wikipedia entry for it (I love the mobile version of Wikipedia for reading, incidentally). Often there isn't much of an entry. So when I am standing beside historical noticeboards or plaques etc in the town, I think "I should be adding this info to the Wikipedia entry" but it's too hard to edit on my iPhone.

What I love about Facebook when I'm out and about is its "take a photo and upload to Facebook" in its iPhone app. It's not so easy to enter your status as text on a smartphone but it's easy to do status-by-photo. So I just load a photo of a sign that tells people where I am. If the mobile Wikipedia (or a Wikipedia app) could do something similar, that would be great. I envision something that works like this on my iPhone:

I search for the Wikipedia page I want in the usual mobile reading mode. There is a option then under the "W" button to "take photo". This takes and uploads the photo of the information on the plaque etc and attaches it in some temporary way to the Wikipedia page. Then when I revisit that page on the non-mobile device (i.e. back from holidays or using a PC in an Internet cafe), I get a message "You have uploaded photos for this page" and I can click and see them and then do whatever edits I want to do using them as the source. Note I am NOT saying upload the photos onto the article itself to be visible to others (although I might do that as part of the post-processing). I just want them in a kind of "to do" area and I need some reminder that I have these "To Dos" when I visit a page (or I visit my user page).

Of course, a To Do list would be useful quite apart from out-and-about-with-phone scenario. If there could be a TO LIST for an article-and-user-pair, then when you look at your user page, you could see all your TO DOs for any article. And when you look at the article, you just see your TO DOs for that article (or perhaps see the TO DOs for other editors as well -- useful if many people are active on a article so you could collaborate rather than tread on one another's toes).

23:06, 12 March 2011

Those are great ideas.

Some editors do add to-do lists to the talk pages of articles (example here), but a real to-do list as part of the software would be great. - PKM 23:45, 12 March 2011 (UTC)

23:45, 12 March 2011

Facebook makes uploading photos easy by ignoring copyright law. I wonder how long they can get away with that? Wikipedia (and Wikimedia Commons) have complex and difficult procedures for uploading photos because we account for the dreadful complexity of copyright law. See the links under commons:COM:EIC#Copyright for an introduction to the copyright nightmare and how it impacts a free content project like Wikipedia. Facebook simply pretends none of that stuff exists, therefore uploading becomes easy.

07:44, 22 March 2011