Sunday, June 20, 2021
Tuesday, June 15, 2021
Sunday, June 13, 2021
We want more people to make use of our services and we want to provide more and improved services to them.
The Wikimedia services are optimised for the English language. More than 50% of our traffic is for the other languages and this makes it easier to improve our service for the 299+ other languages. This has never been a priority there and this makes for many easy pickings.
Commons for instance provides 100% false positives when you look for "bever" with the environment set to Dutch. Old functionality worked really well and it should be easy enough to revert to the full functional version. Research will show if as a result people change their language more pictures are linked to Wikidata and Wikidata gains more labels as a result. When people do search with a string that provides no result, we can search Wiktionary and ask show suggestions for what we find. Oh and when people are from Singapore, why not be biased and show pictures from Singapore first?
One of the challenges for any Wikipedia is the maintenance of lists. Particularly for the smaller projects it is too much of a drain. I have dabbled with for instance lists of African politicians. Arguably information on the current national functionaries for any country should be available and up to date as much as American or European politicians. When a Wikipedia wants to have an up to date list, it should be possible to subscribe to a list. The functionality is to be supported by the Wikimedia Foundation. When for whatever a community does not want such functionality, they can still be pinged when there is some work for them to do.
Wikisourcerers transcribed original works in many languages. As a project Wikisource is great for the sourcerers but for readers ... For some languages websites were created where the finished works have a friendly interface for READERS.. Bringing all the work to a public, is what brings value to all the work the sourcerers put in..
We may not be a commercial organisation but the service we provide is relevant and valuable to our "customers". When you read my blog that has been running for sixteen years, you find that I have been consistent in bringing attention to what we could do to improve our service. Given that we could do so much more, I put myself forward as a candidate for board member of the Wikimedia Foundation. The least I hope to achieve is attention for the results of what we do.
Monday, May 24, 2021
When people analyse its content, it becomes problematic. Even though its content is referenced, many of the references are old and could do with new insights that science brings on a regular basis. The content is male oriented and thanks to projects like "Women in Red" it has improved substantially but not enough.
We know all mayors of Denver and we do not know National government ministers of African countries. Lists are to be maintained on EVERY Wikipedia, English consensus insists, and they are not properly maintained as a result. Not even on the English Wikipedia.
Money buys you things. When you donate to the WMF, you gain a sense of ownership. That is important; we may not need more money but we do need a sense of ownership in India, Columbia, Nigeria and Guinea. When the other 50% of Wikimedia traffic takes ownership away from those who had enough, we find topics with more real world relevance. Commons becomes usable in the other 299 languages and we seek out these 299 communities to make it work for them.
Given that we don't do enough for 300 languages, given that we can do much better, I will argue that Wikimedia needs more support, even money.
Saturday, May 22, 2021
Thursday, May 13, 2021
The first thing I did was changed the reviews into reviews, add the book and linked the reviews to the book. Open Library knows about two versions of the book. I linked both versions to the same author and linked the 2001 version to Wikidata. Finally I added the chapter in a haphazard way to the paper I am working on.
It is unlikely that I will ever read the book and it is very likely that others will frown on the way I added the book to Wikidata. However, for me "level 0 of data quality" applies; with data available particularly linked data, it is much easier to find fault and improve on what is there. I know that a bot will format the ISBN-10 entry I included.
The one reason why I add books is because books linked to OpenLibrary may be read by a wider public. Obviously not all books are available at this time, but the cumulative effect of adding all the books, all these links enrich the ability to read, to share in the sum of available knowledge.
Sunday, May 09, 2021
The current government of the USA operates in a way that poses no or little thread to the continued operation of the WMF. However, the USA is a two party system and the same can not be said when the Republican Party is to return to power.
All the servers that run the Wikimedia projects are currently in the United States. With servers able to run the full stack of Wikimedia projects elsewhere, two objectives are served.
- up to date data becomes closer to the readers close to the new servers
- the risk of an USA that turns on the Wikimedia Foundation is mitigated