Sunday, August 23, 2020

Having a conversation about the usefulness of shared data

Once there is a stalemate, where positions are entrenched, there is only sniping and little progress. At the English Wikipedia they are adamant; they do not want automatic changes from Wikidata. As a result there is little or no progress making effective use of the information that is at all the Wikipedias and Wikidata. There is room for improvement, improvement that will benefit both English Wikipedia and Wikidata.

Let me explain with an example. In the Gambia they have foreign ministers. Great information can be found at this English article. There is also an incomplete category, incomplete because not all the foreign ministers with an article are included. 

When somebody enters the data for Gambian foreign ministers in Wikidata, the result is best shown using Reasonator. Reasonator show it best because you can have it show in any and all languages. That is quite relevant because there may be lists in other languages.. like in German for instance. The German list has only one red link, the English list has five and the Reasonator list, once completed, will have none. 

When you summarise the state of play for lists of position like this, the presentation of these lists differs greatly while the content is by definition the same. When you want to spare both the cabbage and the goat, it takes extra moves. The Reasonator information for the category shows 24 entries and categories in four languages. It is easy to test if all the articles linked have a category entry for each language and also if Wikidata knows these people for the position they hold. 

We do not have to put Wikidata in "your face" like we would do with automatically changing infoboxes. Having a system that indicates that attention is needed is a first step for getting used to shared information. Information that comes from all Wikimedia projects and has Wikidata as its intermediary.

No comments: