Monday, September 07, 2015

#Wikimedia - more #contributors or more #editors?

The foundation of the Wikimedia projects are its people. Whatever effort these people do, the more it generates data. The data may be in the form of text, images, sources, software or statements but it is all about mangling it into information. The question is not so much what has value for us all, as it all has its own value, its own merit. It gets its value from the people who take an interest.

The question is how to generate more merit. How do we get people involved to do their "own" thing. One way of doing this is by not seeking for the perfect solution. Yes, we can do a lot in an automated way. However, this will only get us mostly more of the same and not necessarily more of what is of interest to some.

Consider, there are people who demand better quality. When all they can do is look helplessly from the sidelines, they get frustrated. When you give them something to do, they have a choice; to put up or to shut up. Personally I care about human rights so I enrich content related to human rights. The data is not perfect but I notice improvements. I notice when other people contribute as well. It feels positive.

The problem with many tools is that they are great for what they aim to do but once they get into the grey area of doubt and uncertainty they flounder. Technically the negative results from Kian are perfect. It is just that it does not make it easy for people to work on these results. It is not obvious what result will be enough for Kian.

What we really want is tools that people can use, tools that are as obvious as we can make them, tools that have descriptions and workflows. Tools that do not need nerds or developers to use. Tools that can be used by you and me. Tools that get us more contributors. Contributors that like me work on a subject they care about.

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