Tuesday, September 24, 2013

As it is all about #DATA, let's use #Wiki principles to make it truly #Wikidata

#Wikidata is very much like a toddler; it is learning to stand on its feet. The #W3C did not put it in the centre of the data universe like it did DBpedia. It has however a few enormous advantages over DBpedia; Wikidata exists to be used.

The first use of Wikidata was to solve a data problem for Wikipedia. The interwikis are used and it is a success. Because of the LUA integration, Wikipedias are using Wikidata to provide information in their info-boxes .. an example ..

What people seem to forget is that Wikidata is also a Wiki. This means that the data may be wrong and, it is still the best information we have. As a Wiki, it is important that we aim to collaboratively work towards perfection. We identify Pablo Neruda in Wikidata with seven external data sources, 100 Wikipedias and Commons. With all these external sources, it should not be hard to corroborate all the "other" information like his date of birth, the year of his noble price etc.

Really all this academic "ontology" stuff is absolutely relevant and important in its own domain. The use of Wikidata however is not academic. Its use is to help us bring the sum of all knowledge to whoever is interested. It will be wonderful when we can use the data and the expertise from other resources as initial information or as corroboration of what has already been stated.

We know how over time quality improves. We know that a community makes light work of what is academically speaking not feasible. So let us ditch academic preconceptions and let us concentrate at the work that is at hand; getting the sum of all knowledge in good order for us to serve it to whoever is in need of knowledge.

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