User:Erkan Yilmaz/observations/2011 October

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observations from Erkan Yilmaz for 2011 October

You are invited to add your comments (e.g. but my perception of this issue is different) - please sign anything you add (howto Wikiversity:Signature).

2011 October 25 - announcement: I released my book[edit]

I announced it like this:

Nuvola apps kopete.png

time to release "My book"

as the title says it's a personal book by Erkan YILMAZ
(though it's collaborative work by currently >40 authors)

He has been contributing to this since 2007
it contains >1200 pages +
has >500k views (in October 2011)

I think you'll be surprised ;-) by it...

read it here

Why btw?[edit]

I find it funny how people nowadays "release" books + want even money for this...
see wikipedia: Standing on the shoulders of giants
This is now a satirical approach to this, but as well shows a little summary what I've been doing with my wiki. I guess I'll need to polish some more things with this...
I think with my WV contributions I could bring it to >5k pages ;-)

I've to look into the book extension if it would actually be possible somehow to get a "book" from "my" WV contributions?

2011 October 24 - share your learning goals[edit]

Wikiversity:Learning goals - last edit 1 year ago :-(

2011 October 24 - emotions while reading an old chat log[edit]

cheapest time machine on this planet, copyright: only Wikiversity

it's about this: Wikiversity:Meetings/Learning on Wikiversity (June 2008, summary for meeting)

here's some short things that came to mind, I did not review this in points of why and how, just the emotions it brought to me, ordered chronologically:

  • Nazi POV (5:41pm-5:42pm)
  • I smiled at some of wknight8111's comments
  • hah, nice to read after so many years: chat log from: 5:58pm - 5:59pm
  • <ErkanYilmaz1> so far .. I like the chat log
<ErkanYilmaz1> it sums pretty nicely up what we thought
<ErkanYilmaz1> and I must say nothing changed from back then
<ErkanYilmaz1> this time preserving aspect of pages is fantastic
  • <ErkanYilmaz1> man, I was genial back then:
<ErkanYilmaz1> [6:46pm] cormaggio: Erkan - the notion of how to include people into the process of learning, when they might first appear to be radical POV's or vandals etc
<ErkanYilmaz1> [6:46pm] Erkan_Yilmaz: well isn't there - assume good faith and don't bite newcomers?

see this edit which shows what I think about reviewing (old things)

2011 October 24 - would now more focus on brick and mortar institutions help WV ?[edit]

Let's start first with:

And now take a look at the RecentChanges

  • when I did: there seems brick + mortar (b+m) activity, but also has been in the past

I remember we created the beta-wikiversity page because it was not so easily visible to see by whom WV is also used (if I remember correct it helped us get the message to people in one of those discussions about shutting down WV, see here).

From what I see there has not been so much effort to identify current b+m institutions (that's also why I asked: any news to present people on Main page - since April 2011?)

My thoughts (hypothesis?)[edit]

  • discussions if a learning resource should stay (as it is) here at WV is caused by a small percentage of WV editors
    • Something like the w:Pareto principle though even smaller, let's say: <1% of editors tend to make 80% of the "hot" discussions?
  • probably it's also often about cases/situations which are not yet experienced here or will not be
  • can the focus on b+m institutions help
    • that those hot discussions become relative?
      (e.g. not only visible by RecentChanges but that "public" places like the Colloquium are filled with other topics e.g. b+m learners have? there are also places like the Help Desk )
    • reputation: WV is not anymore considered a place of "crazy people"/trolls... ?

Why is this?[edit]

internal factors[edit]

  • pride/ego
    • of the editors of those "unfit" considered learning resources?
    • to create something new + to distinguish oneself?
  • personal dislike
  • nothing to do?
  • (no will to) help learners (from brick and mortar institutions)?
    • because they have already an instructor + own internal syllabus?
  • creating a fork costs (time)?
  • one is not really interested to help others to learn (or understand views: theirs/mine)?
  • my definition of learning is different than yours, so I see things in view of this specific learning only?
  • without "hot discussions" it's too boring (e.g. WV not having - for me - good enough learning resources? ;-))
  • ...

external factors[edit]

  • not formulated policy?
  • ...

I'm not saying b+m related topics should have only focus, because individual learning (see Wikiversity:Personal learning environment) plays a role also (if not more, because each editor is (first?) an individual)

feedback by brick + mortar institutions[edit]

I've now contacted some b+m people + asked for their feedback (e.g. [1]), while doing that another thought came to mind:

  • do b+m institutions review (or even more: reuse) other b+m's work here? What do they think of that? They could share each other (better?) feedback because?
    • I mean it's still all here new-land, but I find it good that people step out of their institutions + share OER
  • I also would like to know how people see things in 7 years: e.g. did their work here at WV help that their OWN understanding/efforts develop better?
  • One should not forget the multiplying effect: when b+m use WV this means that the students/participants learn about WV, OER initiatives + they again use it or share with others

2011 October 23 - reconstructing my thoughts (on RFC actions)[edit]

this will probably not be 100% complete (but let's see what can I think of),
it's triggered by a comment here + my thoughts what would help WV greatly (thoughts on learning, PLE)

  • it started with this (15 October)
    • at that time tbh I did not care much if the files would be deleted or not
      • why? because the Sandbox Server (idea) was dead
      • though I've a thought right now: in terms of preserving WV history it should not be deleted + tried to fix so it can stay
    • I was merely concerned people did not use the tools to find out more before requesting a deletion
  • 5h later User:S Larctia deleted the files
    • I was still more concerned about tool usage
    • which resulted in an improvement (summary: ying yang)
    • but did not yet see need to write something
      • I was actually asked if I write something which I declined (I think the emotion back then being: too much effort)
  • concerns about this block (20 October)
    • I didn't want to intervene myself [2] yet, but I saw others contacted SLarctica
    • because my view: blocks do not help in such cases, they can stop spammers for a short time, but that's it
    • thought of as personal gain
  • When I saw SBJ's edit (21 October) I thought I should also write my opinion
    • I think without SBJ's edit I would not have edited on that page besides this (summary comment: re: deletion comment + lazyness? or else?)
    • one reason being: Slarctica redacted before, and with a huge removal like this I was wondering what the mentee would learn from this for the future
  • I remember after posting this: that I adressed only SBJ and not Ottava also, thought about writing both names or removing, but left it anyways
    • perhaps due to adressing me specifically? and therefore fixating only on this?
  • [3]: here I was not sure when I not adress also SLarctica if it was clear what e.g. I meant
  • another thought I had was: if actions from SBJ specifically triggered things by me. Must think if there's (still?) some feelings from back then
  • another thought I had was: that my oppose (which was actually: needs more time to learn) would be used by other parties for their cause :-(
  • private communication between mentor + mentee ("circumstances as ... described"):
    • at begin: I did not find much bad thing here, since some users/situation require this
    • but since it was later on mentioned a few more times I did not find this fair/neutral
      • such things tend to exclude people + they feel left out (either we play open or I don't know what kind of conspiracy theories we can read more later)
      • another thing is: that with limited/less info players tend to make decisions "only" on this info (or worse: imagine the missing info in their terms)
    • so, what would be best in my opinion is: to not mention such private communication
  • one thought here was: epic fail - not a big deal, it's all part of learning. learning in terms of fail or success is not helpful I think

So, if I'd dare to do a summary at this point already:

  • my conscience is not loaded with guilt or so yet
  • not sure how it would be though if Slarctica would not have done a childish thing like blocking that user again (22 October) before leaving <- such things trigger more thoughts like: omg we saved some more trouble for the future

see also[edit]

2011 October 22 - What's (the status on) personal learning environment (PLE)?[edit]

In my view anything (here) can be classified as learning, since it can trigger thoughts. If we stay close just to the words of PLE:


  • personal
  • well we could say if you write it, it's personal, but it's probably not. One can also "just" attend a course or just do patrolling of RecentChanges, ... I think it gets personal when emotions get in. When one reviews actions + thinks about the why? how?
  • learning
  • see my sentence above
  • environment
  • the environment is the software (Mediawiki MW) with its users? NO, I call any place where I can interact with Wikiversity (WV) editors the environment, so also the WV:Chat. Correct? No, we can also count emails since MW allows that. I know also that some WV editors have external pages/(micro) blogs where I interacted with them. And surely I have not mentioned some others

PLE at other locations[edit]

Let's find out about PLE at other places:


year edits editors
2006 1 1
2007 7 2
2010 17 5 + 3 bots
2011 7 4


(e.g. at Wikiversity:Personal learning environment):

  • only 5 users have listed themselves here
    • I don't think it's just 5, there are more, but people do not call it PLE
    • Perhaps also they did never hear of the term PLE?
    • Perhaps it would be good to make a PLE template?


search results for:

search term results (in mio.)
2011 October 22
results (in mio.)
2012 February 13
personal learning environment 67.7 130 (192%)
"personal learning environment" 3.41 1.54 (45%) decrease
PLE "personal learning environment" 1.86 5.42 (343%)
PLE personal learning environment 0.374 0.639 (171%)
PLE "personal learning environment" wikiversity 0.00341 0.0101 (296%)
PLE personal learning environment wikiversity 0.000716 0.00112 (156%)
  • please update this table in the future
  • todo: look more into these
  • edit 2012-02-13: Google trends tells me: "do not have enough search volume to show graphs"

some aspects[edit]


My so called PLE diary is here now available publically for more than 3.5 years. I'd say it's a positive experience to have one. Though at begin I used it just to make some kind of status notices on learning activities/resources. Later I added a section called "What can I do better while walking in the wiki-verse ?" which also involves reviewing how "bad" I interacted. A recent chat reminded me that I'd like to see by more people review activities on how fruitful things on their learning were (what did I learn? where did I not succeed yet? why?). That's what's in my view missing to make WV more distinct as a learning place. I think also starting a blog is a nice way to approach things...

I think for a wiki(versity) newcomer the PLE concept is too blurry? Perhaps they still need to figure out what learning means for them? Perhaps there's also needed some familiarity (with WV)? I mean if they mature here as editors, interactors with others they see the real goal of WV? (yeah, I know, goals are different, but if you do not talk about them, they just stay in your head, ...) Or when they mature they dare more, since in my view WV is just an environment to help one in its learning activities.

data control[edit]

In regards to control of data (e.g. why leave here, since it's sensible data?) time (>3.5 years) has shown that it's quiet and leaves room for your concentration. If someone has another opinion + edits it should be seen as a positive thing + discussed or if I don't have time, revert + make a reminder to that person or let him write his ideas in his own PLE.


Another notion of fear may be: others watch me, I should not make a mistake? I should not put something out there that's unfinished? Such thoughts are probably general for some new wiki editors. I can say in a wiki there's hardly a page (aka learning resource) which is 100% final. You'll see with time that such things will not keep your thoughts for long. Just be bold + edit...

sharing: what do I view, where do I click, ...[edit]

Personal data collection: I put this here, but do not run away, it's a thought model. In theory someone having access to the Mediawiki database (e.g. also checkusers) can see what you do here. This is in general bad (but good to find out socks + such things). There was an idea (Research:User editing patterns and collaboration) where people wanted to share their sensible data (e.g. what do I view? paths, editing patterns, ...) because it could provide info on their learning. Also others (researchers, other editors here, ...) could benefit from this data... I was one of those wanting to share this for myself, but somehow it never got off the ground...

interaction with other learners[edit]

Another aspect is: how was the interaction with other learners? By facilitating the courses or projects or my blog I got into contact of course. My blog somehow never invited people to comment much (I think <7 editors, considering that anyone can edit: strange, or the content is not interesting enough) - it got attraction in 2008 because I used it in the course: Composing free and open online educational resources. The PLE itself - besides User:Cormaggio and this - I think did not gather much response (to inspire others? that is another goal, since PLE is personal?) By being a custodian I got into contact way more with people (also in terms of learning what they learn currently)...
I think the federation aspect below (for wikis) would have a huge effect...

used technology[edit]

It's this wiki + more (see above: chat, email, external pages). Besides this people set up an additional server with various services (jabber, Moodle, mailing list, ssh access, Quicktime streaming) but due to operating costs it was shut down... though also it felt like because it was not operated by WMF people did not like it?
There was some time ago another try to set up one (this time funded by WMF Germany). but I think it has also come to a halt (see here).
So, why additional server? some say the existing MediaWiki environment is not sufficient (see also: Wikiversity:Technical needs, Wikiversity:Vision/2009 + Wikiversity:Vision/2010), though I guess everyone has to decide for themselves. I've come to like Mediawiki + IRC (summary over 5 years) - because of its simplicity. And tbh renting a server does not cost much these days...

not finished yet, I think when I revamp Wikiversity:Personal learning environment a little I talk about more aspects...

2011 October 21 - federation (in form of e.g. micro blogging, federated wiki, ...)[edit]

earthquake ? no, that won't tear us apart...

federation is a nice thing:

  • one advantage it makes sure you control your own data and not a company
    • I created an account at in Feb. 2010
    • though I didn't put much thought into the concept of federation, I just used as a service (e.g. because twitter did not allow me to choose a free licence + because of its good display of conversations)
    • I got into concept with federation in 2011
    • more on this here + here: aspects of federation

I didn't try the concept of federated wiki by Ward Cunningham since I find that system has higher requirements than Mediawiki (Ruby instead of php)

  • but I think it would be a sensational thing when using this in conjunction with Mediawiki
  • perhaps discussions about deletions, revert waring become less? and people focus more on the learning part? (or as some see: creating learning resources)

see also: w: Federation (information technology)

the express version is less restrictive, looks fine: What is a federated wiki?
section "Serving Static Files with PHP" in: Hosting and Installation Guide

for Mediwiki a distributed wiki is possible too :-)
got the extension DSWM working, see walkthrough in pictures here
see also the Mw extension Send2StatusNet which sends your wiki pages/edits to micro-blogs

2011 October 20 - what can be added to "teach" probationary custodians[edit]

no idea if this teaching has any value... but hell, it is fun

the energy you put to teach custodians after their probationary period is probably higher than before when not having/using:


  • a blog (to show what was learned? not only that, should be more)
    • a blog is in my view the easiest way to make your mindset available to others (see also this)
  • it can help the mentor to find an easy entry point for discussion which seems important for the mentee
perhaps a story to illustrate:
  • two strangers (a female + male) meet in the woods
  • as it is with strangers trust is not yet established
  • the female must go to toilet, but also wants to make sure the guy does not peek
  • so, she asks him to sing something
  • with this she can hear if he approaches or not + can relaxed do her thing
  • hearing the voice brings security for her, same is e.g. when you are here
  • if others can hear what you think (e.g. read your opinions) they get to feel safer (there's no true guarantee though, but WV's trust contingent is large)
  • (btw: do not analyze me for this example)
  • it can help future probationary custodians as well as mentors to see how others approached this
  • helps oneself recapture learning thoughts from previous times + see how one has matured (or not ;-))

other approaches: language, reviewing, summarizing[edit]

  • there are more things one can do additionally (which help you understand WV + its environment better)
    • formulate templates positive and/or
      • some examples [4] or [5]
      • wikis are unfortunately only written text + we can not cover all if-then-scenarios (also in real life) so at least we should make things positive
      • e.g. there was an example in The Tipping Point where they discussed how small actions in a neighbourhood done by many can have a lasting effect in perceiving the neighbourhood as safe or welcome-friendly
      • my experience so far is: that your thinking shows in actions + I've used for some time translations to help me rethink things (see e.g. Translate to think more (TTM)). I think (though your situation may be different), thinking about how to formulate things different will change your thoughts
    • review other/previous custodians' edits and/or
      • can be something like: one prob. custodians takes edits 1-x, reviews + makes notes somewhere (see blog above), next prob. custodian continues from x+1 to y, ...
      • this also ensures that people grasp a little history of WV
    • summarize (past) CRs
      • summary creation of discussions, ...
      • this is a valuable task since it ensures that others save time (though one has an initial cost, but I think such activities will ensure you get more credit in others eyes - if that's what you want)

One can not review all prob. custodian actions (also after probation period is over), also many things could be done in various forms + can be seen as controversial, but I think if the mentor + the community agree that the mindset (to handle things) + to learn from past "errors" is there: it will help you to help the community (some say: to come into possession of the custodian tools) so, some steps like 1-3 could help that the custodian understands earlier (from chat ca. 1 week ago, short points)

see also: How to be a Wikimedia sysop
based on below comments this was reedited (see e.g. 2011-10-22, 14:36, 14:59)


On the grounds that we are invited to comment - it seems like you are discussing a knowledge management system. I'm curious, though, if the problem is less a lack of understanding of institutional processes than institutional culture, or perhaps the possibility that there isn't a consistent institutional culture in which the new Custodian can embrace. Otherwise, the suggestions work for me. :) - Bilby 12:53, 22 October 2011 (UTC)
Sorry, but a tad more - the difficulty with KM systems is how hard it can be to capture knowledge. Using TAM, one supposes that the system either has to be very simple, or very useful, and I think only the latter is really possible. - Bilby 12:56, 22 October 2011 (UTC)
I think it depends on the Custodian. Some may be familiar with the culture and not the processes. Some may be familiar with the processes and not the culture. Some may be unfamiliar with both. Some may be familiar with both -- darklama  13:02, 22 October 2011 (UTC)
My focus is normally a tad more on process than culture, but it seems to me that the loss of one requires the knowledge of the other to counter it. If there is no defined culture, then you need defined processes. If there are no defined processes, knowledge of institutional culture may assist. But I'm not sure that either is well defined in this case (although you may see things with better eyes than mine). :) - Bilby 13:17, 22 October 2011 (UTC)
I think both are likely important. The context, meaning, and purpose of processes may be lost on people without an understanding of culture. Arguments and disputes may erupt between people with a shared culture, and no understanding of processes that allow solutions to be found. -- darklama  14:55, 22 October 2011 (UTC)

I think it's the "institutional culture" which splits people here most. I can't tell about current, documented processess since I was MIA.

If it's consistent or not could be perhaps said like this: I think we are all here because of the term learning but our definition of learning naturally is different due to our experiences (I must look up some old edits where I summarize this better). There were always some parties at WV which favoured freedom approaches and the ones which favoured more conservative approaches. The problem with liberty is that one needs to be careful to not hurt others (some people intentionally wanted to hurt (because as I understand him/them that's also a form to teach someone :-( )). This is unfortunately which turned differences into major clashes here at WV a few times.

I am for protecting institutions using WV for their learning activities. And as far as I know institutions + their learners were always in a safe haven here (that's good because it brings WV a good reputation). I am also for supporting individual learning (see e.g. Wikiversity:Personal learning environment)...

Ok, enough of that for now since I did not answer your question so much...

When I look back how I got the custodian tools: I had a mentor who was one of the WV founders + there were at least >5 active custodians (one of them also a founder) + >20 active editors I interacted with. In the WV:Chat one could always find a partner to talk about some things or recent situations at WV (which also could help to cool things down first). I did learn many things (I originally came from de.WV administration and (we) Germans tend to be more rigid in things)... It was a fun time where I also was willingly giving much time for WV (or let's say supporting people I shared ideals with) ...

My above suggestions came up in a chat where also one topic was: how could Wikiversity be rebooted? We talked about how the other efforts to start a learning environment faired. It came up, some things which did not work out yet at WV which have a great potential in my view (e.g. showing thoughts on learning, Wikiversity:Review board) It was not about a specific custodian, more of a general nature, I'm not sure how it was perceived though, considering the last RFC + that that probationary custodian left in such dramatic way. But it's hard to grasp someone's mindset... I think currently getting the tools is not so hard, since the current bureaucrats understand the WV way. The only problem may be, as SBJ truly said, to find the time to let the prob. custodian inhale the WV way. In my time probationary custodians got feedback/views from many sides which now is missing :-( ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat + 13:53, 22 October 2011 (UTC)

I don't want to waste all of your time with my thoughts, but one brief one before I sleep. :) I found the "reboot" page interesting, as it never seemed to state what the problem was that warranted a reboot. I'm not sure if that was known, but not said, or not well enough defined to be stated.
Watching what happened to Simone, it felt like the en.WP RfA process, only with an undercurrent of a second (completely different) model (mostly expressed between you and SB_Johnny). Interestingly, on en.WP almost everyone interested can tell you what is wrong with the RfA process (with considerable consistency), but it seems clear that there is no chance of working out a solution. Here, perhaps, there is a good chance of working out a solution, but I'm not sure that everyone can define what needs solving. Alternatively, maybe you know, and I'm just missing that bit. :) - Bilby 15:06, 22 October 2011 (UTC)
Rebooting WV: let me see how I can add those historical moments/problems there (see here)
undercurrent things in RFC:
yes, the Four-sides model, let me see what we can find out with SBJ, ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat + 17:25, 22 October 2011 (UTC)
That's a fascinating link - thanks! My field is more to do with systems theory, and in particular Soft Systems, (although more Churchman than Checkland) so the model was new to me. However, it draws nice parallels with what I was thinking of. I used to do work with Linstone's TOP (Technical, Organisational, Personal) model in Multiple Perspectives theory, and I think I have a couple of papers out on the subject. (Wikipedia doesn't have anything on it, but Allison's w:Essence of Decision is a major source of much of the methodology). I don't normally worry about TOP these days, as I've moved in different academic directions for various reasons, but that RfC discussion, and the four-sides model, made me think of it. My impression was that you and SB_Johnny were arguing primarily from an O perspective, Darklama and Thenub314 from a T perspective (although there's little to go on, and Darklama in particular could be using O), and Abd, John Bessa and Marshallsumter were definitely from P. I contrast this with en.WP's RfA process, where almost all of the RfA comments are T or P - O almost never appears there, being mostly confined to the talk page, and even there I find more focus on T and P.
I don't mean this as a critique, just as an observation, but I wonder if the idea of multiple perspectives theory might be more broadly relevant to your interests. - Bilby 06:41, 23 October 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for the links, sounds good
I've tried to reconstruct here some more thoughts, ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat + 13:53, 23 October 2011 (UTC)
Fascinating, folks. I've experience with and have developed certain organizational theories and proposals, coming from outside academia, though I'm connected with academics. Bilby, can you point me to a good coverage of Linstone's model. Definitely there are different organizational perspectives involved here, that's part of our problem. I'm aware of the limitations of various models, and do think that there is value in studying wiki history in terms of structural models. I do not believe that wiki phenomena are due to "bad actors," but rather are a result of structural conditions that encourage certain behaviors and discourage others. --Abd 00:43, 24 October 2011 (UTC)
Linstone had a couple of books out on the topic - I think Multiple Perspectives for Decision Making was ok, but I preferred The Unbounded Mind. There are quite a few papers by different people, myself included, but the quality jumps around a lot. Linstone has a paper at [6] which does an ok job of explaining it through application. Hall and Davis have an ok extension, that is surprisingly like where Linstone was planning to take things [7].
As mentioned, I've moved on from it, but these models tend to have explanatory power (per Checkland), and there is a lot to be said for understanding different perspectives. - Bilby 03:15, 24 October 2011 (UTC)