Sunday, June 13, 2021

Board member of the @Wikimedia Foundation .. for me it is about customer value

Recently many changes happened at the Wikimedia Foundation; its director and its chair of the board ended an illustrious term of office. New elections have been called for board members of the Wikimedia Foundation. This makes it the best of times to ask attention for the customer value our projects provide. 

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.

Thanks, GerardM

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