Friday, August 14, 2009

Key Performance Indicators

This is my 750th blog entry. It is usual and appropriate to reflect at such a moment. My intention was to blog about the things that matter to me; this blog expresses many of the things I care about. Some of the more specialised subjects are blogged about elsewhere.

As this entry is called "key performance indicators", I will try and analyse what is important for me and where we are heading and why.

Wikipedia and language
With the recent additions, there are over 260 Wikipedias. The new ones still need to be integrated :) ... There are more languages that people want to add and there are people who do not want new language versions. The language policy is a pain; it reduced the start of new projects but the ones that start are doing relatively well.

A lot of work is done on the LocalisationUpdate, for me it is the most important new feature to MediaWiki since Single User Logon. I expect it to go life really soon.

The only reason why LocalisationUpdate makes sense is because is so exceedingly successful in bringing Internationalisation and Localisation to MediaWiki. People like Siebrand, Raymond and Nikerabbit and the translatewiki community contribute the most to the success of the "other" projects. They are in my opinion the most important volunteers within all of our communities.

GLAM and Commons
I got interested in galleries, libraries, archives and museums because we need more high quality illustrations. Restoring archive material is highly effective; it removes the dirt and damage and makes it into the illustrations that we need for our articles. Histroric material trumps snapshots taken today any day.

Reasons for me approaching GLAMs like the Tropenmuseum are they are local to me and they help offset the bias in Commons with its overwhelming amount of Anglo-American material. The Tropenmuseum is Dutch and it has internationally relevant content.

Commons has another bias in that it prefers photography, digital photography.
It has some nasty consequences. Because of the opposition to a "restorationists" portal and attention to this in the same way to photographers and illustrators, there is no single place where I can point to that shows that the restoration efforts is done by a group of people.

The bias against historic material shows in the constant arguments against historic material while bugs, birds, landscapes do not get as much harasment.

Key Performance Indicators
My aim is to continue to campaign for the issues that I feel strongly about. The KPI is in getting people's attention, getting things done.

Language support for MediaWiki will improve a lot. I expect 25% more localisations over and above the autonomous growth in six months. I expect that this in turn will grow our reader and editor populations where localisation improves.

There is a need to improve our language technology. If MediaWiki is not up to it, improved language technology may come as part of the MediaWiki Wave project. Language support is quite crucial to Google. Several things are needed to tackle this:
  • priority from the WMF to ensure that our language technology is the best
  • an inventarisation of all the languages that we currently support
  • action on the language issues raised in Bugzilla
The reason why we do this should be obvious; we will be better able to bring information to all the people of this world. It is much cheaper then have everyone learn English and this is something we can achieve.

Our outreach project to GLAMs is fragmented. As we do not collaborate on an international scale, as it is considered a "chapter" thing, we are not as successful as we could be.

I was not elected as a board member, as a consequence I do not have the power to push the objectives I wish for. This does not stop me from putting them on the agenda. I was told that I am more effective as an organiser, that we can discuss new ways of doing things .. I am all for it ..

There are several other things I feel strongly about, medical information in the Wikipedias, the testing of MediaWiki environments. I hope to inform you soon about the first. I am a bit quiet about the second because of nasty legal reasons.
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