Tuesday, August 04, 2015

#Wikidata and its #references

When a Wikidata statement is referenced, it means to me that the statement as stated can be verified in the reference. Rather black and white; you add a reference to prove that THAT statement is correct.

Apparently not so at Wikidata. When you change a statement and make it more precise, the reference is "still good". So much so that an admin threatens to block because this is so "obvious".

In my opinion, references should always back up the fact as stated. When they did not, they are wrong in the first place. When a referenced fact is found wanting, the old known good is no longer good and consequently there is no point to keep the reference with the improved facts.

When Wikidata is in the business of keeping values that show that at sometime a booboo was made, then I am pretty sure that Wikidata will crumble under the weight of known errors. It is it hard enough to distinguish between facts and fiction it does not need the addition of right and wrong.
Thanks,
      GerardM

Monday, August 03, 2015

#Wikidata - #featured item; László Krasznahorkai

Mr Krasznahorkai will be this weeks Wikidata "featured item". It shows off how much information may be available for the subject at hand. Indeed, a lot of great work went into including and linking all the work Mr Krasznahorkai produced over the years. Adding information like that is a labour of love.

Mr Krasznahorkai is a celebrated writer. It shows in the many awards that were bestowed on him. All in all there are 21 listed among them the Man Booker International Prize.

For many of the awards like the Vilenica Prize, it is just a matter of harvesting the data and add it to the right items; easy enough. For others like the "Hungarian Heritage-Award", it is a bit more involved because it does not exist as a Wikipedia article in English. The article on Mr Krasznahorkai in Hungarian however looks promising. Many more awards are available there.

By harvesting awards for Mr Krasznahorkai, the information on the featured item becomes even better. The best thing is that in the process all the other items for people who are known to be awarded will have better information as well. Obviously, data from English Wikipedia is overexposed as more people do know that language and it is rather rich.
Thanks,
     GerardM

Sunday, August 02, 2015

#Wikipedia - Maintaining the #Akademy award


Lydia challenged Wikipedians to update the information about Akademy. The conference in 2014 and 2015 have come and gone by now. The most interesting part of the English article is the information about the awards. There are three of them; one for best application, one for best non application and a jury's award.

Awards are important and Lydia has two main points:
  • the most important one is collective celebrating successes in a community
  • the other one is being able to communicate to the outside about the achievements
At Wikidata there is enough to celebrate. I would welcome a Wikidata award for 2015 for the reasons stated above. Sjoerd and Amir would be on my short list. <grin> If nobody reacts in time, I may even announce the award </grin>. Then again, why not steal a page out of the KDE book and have multiple awards?
Thanks,
       GerardM

#Wikipedia - list of awards of Jimmy Carter

President Carter is not special in having a separate Wikipedia article with his awards. As a list in an article is rather boring it makes sense to have that separate article.

With distinguished people like Mr Carter, the list is long and it tells a story of recognition. Most but not all of the awards are already known in Wikidata but surprisingly the quality of the information is not always that great. It says: "International Mediation medal, American Arbitration Association, 1979" and it is hard to find anything on that medal except in this list. There is no doubt that Mr Carter received the medal, it is just that there is no other source available.

Both Mr Carter and the American Arbitration Association will be able to acknowledge the existence of the medal and, the AAA will be able to inform us about any and all organisations and people who were honoured in this way. For them it is one way to get extra mileage out of the PR that is so often the reason for an award.
Thanks,
     GerardM

Saturday, August 01, 2015

#Wikidata - the Forough Faroukhzad Award

When I wrote about the Radcliffe fellow Mrs Mehrangiz Kar, I mentioned that recognition came to her in the form of many awards. One of them was the Forough Faroukhzad Award. This award was only known as a string of text. I asked an Iranian friend if he could identify a few more people who received this award. He identified a few more for me and consequently, this award became incrementally more relevant

When you concentrate on the people of the Radcliffe college or alternatively the winners of the Forough Faroukhzad award, you make them better connected. It gets you to other universities or other awards. It may show you where those who teach were educated or it may show you nothing at all because the data is just not there.

A Dutch scientist published in a journal that dementia has a one in three link to heart and circulatory issues. It is highly likely that such knowledge may spur people to take better care of their health. The scientist does not have an article or an item. The organisation that reports on it funded the research. It has a high impact on research on this issue in the world and it is hardly known outside the Netherlands by people who are not working in this field..

The Hartstichting also issues awards and it makes it obvious why the persons involved are important. I can read Dutch, not Iranian. We need friends from all over the world making the connections. Giving us a view that brings a new perspective.
Thanks,
     GerardM

Thursday, July 30, 2015

#Wikidata - What is a Radcliffe fellow?

Mrs Mehrangiz Kar is a Radcliffe fellow. It is just one of the things that is to know about her. I think this fellow thing is a fancy way of saying that she was employed at Radcliffe college..  When you read the article about her, there are several quite relevant awards mentioned.

Registering awards, any and all awards, is a way of establishing relevance. Several of them so far did not merit their own article and therefore they are just registered as text. When you look close at all the Radcliffe fellows, you get an idea what they have in common. The same is true for people who received an award.

Every so often for their own political reasons, people will deny what is in their face when they look at it. The merit of the organisations that are of foreign origin is easy to dismiss.. "Gross interference", "not patriotic" is easy to utter and when the nation is said to be equal to the current incumbent.

The point of Wikipedia and Wikidata however, is not to take a point of view. Articles are there to be read, to inform. They may be the basis for an informed opinion. That is fine, that is what they are there for.

PS The point of Mrs Kar is that there are so many awards, relevant awards in the Wikipedia article that lack weight because they are not backed up with more information.
Thanks,
     GerardM


Sunday, July 26, 2015

#Wikidata - Sydney Hollander award

Some awards merit extra attention. One of them is the Sydney Hollander award. It was awarded to people and organisations that were instrumental in bringing an end to segregation in the United States. The award was brought attention to "best practices" and reinforced them. The first recipient in 1946 was the Baltimore Sun. It received the award because it finally ended the practice of indicating what race was desired in the "help wanted" section. At the time there was an argument if they deserved the award in the first place. Later the award proved to be a catalyst in bringing further changes to the Sun. After the award was received, the Sun began to cover the black community and interview notable people of colour.

The Sydney Hollander award had its end in 1964 because it was recognised that desegregation was now covered on a higher level. The need for the award was no longer so urgent.

Arguably, when Wikipedia is to document the history of the United States, an award like this and the achievements it celebrates deserve attention. One issue may be the lack of sources. There is not much to find on the Internet, there is not much to read in the Wikipedia article.
Thanks,
      GerardM

Saturday, July 25, 2015

#SignWriting #Symposium - including #Wikipedia

For a second year now the Signwriting Foundation organises their online symposium. For those who do not know, SignWriting is all about writing sign languages. This has been under development for over 40 years and it was founded by Valerie Sutton.

When a language can be written, it may have a Wikipedia and, it has been wished for for a long time. The problems are many. The characters have to show, the text is written online for it to be truly a Wiki.

In a presentation on this years symposium, Yair Rand informs us about a keyboard that has been developed to bring the reality of Wikipedia for a sign language even closer.

If there is one thing the people at SignWriting org teach us, it is that perseverance matters. With an input method, a Wikipedia in the American Sign Language is that much closer.
Thanks,
      GerardM