Journal:A Wikimedia Australia proposal

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This page has been created as a workspace for my learning about, and a journal about the progress of, a proposal process for Wikimedia Australia. Succeed or fail, I hope it may be informative both in general terms in regard to putting a proposal together, and specifically how navigations of the WMAU (Wikimedia Australia) processes work out for me :-)

I include a 'project participants' section below, because collaboration / feedback on this process is most welcome from anyone at all, and it would be appreciated if you could note whether or not you have a connection to Australia, or are a WMAU Member. Thanks!

Participation[edit | edit source]

sign up below as willing to be involved, as a question asker, answerer, with specialised expertise, or on any basis

The 'Proposals Process'[edit | edit source]

Details of the current proposals process for WMAU are here, and you can see which proposals have been accepted here - hopefully mine can make it there eventually :-)

The Big Idea[edit | edit source]

I want to create an 'IndividualWiki' or 'PersonalWiki' tool - which I suppose could also be called a 'GroupWiki' tool :-) Here's the why and how in a nutshell;

This tool will allow, intuitively, quickly and easily, the creation of a fenced wiki environment, seeded with articles, and / or categories of articles, and / or preselected groups of articles. The 'owner' of this fenced wiki environment would have full control over the range of user rights associated with MediaWiki, so could easily setup the registered editing of a subset of articles by, for example, students in a class, year group, or school.

Essentially, the process should be as simple as applying for an account, receiving credentials for the account, possibly resulting in the creation of a MediaWiki instance, and then following a series of straight forward paths to 'seeding' the wiki (ie. choosing what content, from what project, to import) - early technical discussions indicate that this may involve some development work on MediaWiki's import and export functions.

I would envisage WMAU providing hosting for these accounts as part of a small, trial programme, though obviously there is potential for partnership with other hosting providers should there be demand.

Some present needs for / benefits of such a tool include;

  • A PersonalWiki for tertiary sectors such as University departments might encourage expert review of open source material
  • Parents may prefer to create PersonalWikis for their children, as a way of getting to know the wiki environment safely
  • Existing wiki editors who specialise in content creation have often complained that open wiki dynamics are not conducive to content development, such users could use a GroupWiki to co-ordinate their efforts and manage their work in any way they choose
  • It is, in my view, inappropriate for organisations with duties of care, such as schools, to sanction the use of open wiki environments, such as the WMF projects by minors. Adult culture and content, and the lack of necessary child protection policies and practices, contribute to this issue.
  • Great potential for learning within the study both of wiki content and dynamics, not necessarily enhanced in an open wiki environment.

Timescale[edit | edit source]

I'd like to get these ideas sufficiently clear by mid Jan to be able to have a home on the WMAU wiki, with a view to getting some kind of working system up and running by March / April. I think it will remain important to me to get something actually working and 'out there' - though obviously good intentions aren't necessarily the only requirement ;-)