Friday, August 01, 2014

#Wikidata - #priorities

Wikidata is relevant because it is used. The primary use case that makes Wikidata relevant are the interwiki links. Wikidata gained relevance as more Wikimedia projects used Wikidata for its interwiki links.

There are ambitions to add more relevance to Wikidata. This is done by giving an application to the data that is included in Wikidata.

  • external sources are shown based on Wikidata information
  • automatically generated text for "humans" in English
  • automated descriptions
  • presentation of information in Reasonator
  • query in WDQ, Autolist and Autolist2.
  • automated descriptions are used in "Wikidata search" on many Wikipedias
Particularly for humans, this works rather well. This house of cards relies very much on one premise; that we know what a Wikidata item is about; is it a human, a house, a settlement or a record label?

For most of our items Given that we do not know what an item is about. For me it is a priority that as many items get identified for what they are as soon as possible. This makes it possible to make a statement that a person is a journalist, an engineer or whatever. 

There are issues with this approach. There is this potential for false positives and at the same time it provides us with possibilities as well. Once false positives have been recognised as such, they can be used to identify other items for what they are. Once the right identifiers have been set as well, it becomes easier to remove the wrong identifiers.

The biggest issue however is with our community. Not everyone shares the same priorities and insights and this is made worse because many people Wikidata only know the standard functionality. For them "Widar" is playing a game. They are not aware that the bulk of the edits are done with Widar or by bot and that the interface they use is inferior. These people have good intentions but they have no clue.

Add to this that communication channels do not really function and what we have is quite messy. 

It will not really improve until we share more of our priorities and listen to each others arguments and work together towards solutions. As it is there are too many perspectives and, conflicting priorities aplenty. Consequently there is plenty frustration shared by all.
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