User:JWSchmidt/Blog/27 February 2007
What should be on the Wikiversity main page? Do most visitors to Wikiversity come and go without even thinking about editing a page? Should the number one "lesson" at Wikiversity be "How to edit a wiki"?
I previously suggested that one way to attract the interest of new visitors would be to provide them with a neat little video introduction to Wikiversity (see Supporting Wikiversity participants). However, what is really needed is an efficient way to make clear to new visitors the idea that they are invited to hit the "edit" button and become a member of the Wikiversity community. If we really believe in "learn by doing" then the way to get people to understand that they can edit is to have them start editing.
I proposed that we change the Main Page into a page that attempts to force new visitors to make a page edit. The new main page could have a prominent link to the current main page: this link would be for those visitors who already know how to participate at a wiki website. One immediately available option is to use Wikiversity:Introduction as the basis for a new main page.
I think the world is still in the middle of the Web 2.0 revolution. Some people, "early adopters" have already discovered that they can participate on the internet as creators of web content and as members of "virtual communities". Most people who go to Wikipedia just want information and they never participate. Many people may judge that they have nothing useful to add to an encyclopedia. What do such people think when they happen to notice the link from Wikipedia's main page to Wikiversity? "Free learning materials and activities".....hmmmm. Why not greet such visitors with an explicit statement about the idea of wiki website editing as a way to learn? Why not explicitly invite visitors to become editors? Shouldn't Wikiversity specialize in making it easy and exciting for people to become wiki editors?
The current Wikiversity Main Page totally fails to serve the vast majority of Wikiversity visitors. The current page might be appropriate for Wikipedia where it is expected that most people will just look around and find the information they are looking for, but that is not going to happen at Wikiversity. Wikiversity is just starting and has very little content. We should be doing whatever it takes to entice new visitors to think about how to make wiki technology work for them as a tool that they can use to explore their personal learning goals. Wikiversity should be teaching people how to join the Web 2.0 revolution.