Tuesday, May 24, 2011

#WMFboard; bureaucracy

Particularly in the bigger #Wikipedias, the amount of procedures, rules and good intentions have led to a shitload of expected behaviours enforced on others.

When this behaviour amounts to work, it is no longer merely problematic. People come to Wikipedia to do their thing and when we are lucky, as it becomes a hobby for them they become a valued and valuable Wikimedian.

Take for instance the "BLP", when you read this policy for the first time it is complicated and, while it may work on the English Wikipedia, it does not scale to all Wikipedias let alone the projects waiting in the wings at the Incubator.

The aim of the BLP is to provide accurate information and the most important reason why things break down is technical. The technology used does not scale. Templates with the same functionality do not scale when you have to implement them on 270+ projects and counting..

As the reason for a BLP is compelling, the argument for an innovative approach is equally compelling. Interwiki links identify the same persons and when the information boxes are available in software with localisable labels, an environment becomes available that allows for consistent maintenance on all our projects.


Pete Forsyth said...

Hi Gerard, it's been a while!

I'm not sure what to make of this post, though. The policy you link is clearly a policy of the English language Wikipedia, nothing more.

While I can imagine there are problems with people bringing certain expectations around it to other projects, you don't say what those problems are. And I especially don't understand how it relates to the WMF board?

GerardM said...

There are those of the BLP that aim to bring info about recent deaths to other projects. They do this to a subset of projects.

Given that the BLP has been the subject of many board deliberations, its relevance is that it is an issue not limited to en,wp and needs something scalable as I mention.