User:JWSchmidt/Blog/27 August 2008
Back before the Wikiversity project was approve, I was interested in the idea that growth of the Wikiversity community would depend to a large extent on constructive relations with older Wikimedia sister projects, particularly Wikipedia.
"Wikiversity should start its growth by making use of Wikipedia editors as its first "students". What are the critical learning needs of Wikipedia editors? Wikipedia is in the process of trying to produce more authoritative articles. To do this, Wikipedia editors need to participate in community efforts to research topics and distill their research into well-referenced Wikipedia articles. Wikiversity's first priority should be to establish links between Wikipedia articles and Wikiversity pages that will be the sites of community-driven research projects. Every Wikipedia article can be supported by Wikiversity pages that list sources of information and critically evaluate[s] that information. Wikiversity can produce interactive "learning modules" that teach Wikipedia editors how to find information sources for particular types of topics, critically evaluate sources, and produce Wikipedia articles that cite the sources of all information." (source, 8 November 2005)
On 21 June 2006 I started a page called Wikiversity and Wikipedia services, a page for development of the idea that Wikiversity can provide "services" for the Wikipedia community such as study projects that would find references for Wikipedia articles and evaluate their quality. With this version on 18 April 2007, I started a content development project called Topic:Wikipedia studies. I did this because of a disgruntled Wikipedian who had come to Wikiversity with lingering complaints and questions about Wikipedia. At first the "Wikipedia studies" project was just a home for Wikipedia Wikiprojects, a page I started because many Wikiversity participants did not seem to be familiar with this important "invention" of the Wikipedia community. User:ArturZ could not be motivated to actually edit within the "Wikipedia studies" project.
I became aware of User:Moulton on or about 4 August 2008, even though he came to Wikiversity on 9 July 2008. When I first saw Ethical Management of the English Language Wikipedia I linked it to the existing Wikipedia studies content development project.
I have a long standing interest in "Wikipedia studies", an interest that I may have first expressed on my Wikipedia user page. I have generally found Wikipedia's policy discussions to be heavily contaminated by editors who clearly do not have the best interests of Wikipedia in their hearts. Frankly, I'm amazed to the extent that the Wikipedia community has been able to resist the bad-faith efforts of editors who seek to ruin Wikipedia's policies. However, I think it would be easy to improve Wikipedia, but as others have noted, it is too easy for trolls to prevent such positive change. Thus, improvement of Wikipedia is rather slow.
Can the Wikipedia studies project at Wikiversity contribute to improvement of Wikipedia? If so, I think we need to find ways of taking action. For example, Wikiversity participants in "Wikipedia studies" could write a weekly column for the Wikipedia Signpost. Such a column could discuss Wikipedia problems such as its problems with biographies of living persons. We now have a page at Wikiversity for exploring this topic.
Wikiversity has had several Wikipedians start editing here after being banned from Wikipedia. The pattern seems to be that Wikipedia administrators then take offense at the idea of banned Wikipedians editing a Wikipedia sister project. These Wikipedia administrators have arrived here with the expectation that they can continue to bully and harass banned Wikipedians who edit at Wikiversity. I vote for changing the slogan to "Wikiversity is not Wikipedia" (and while we are at it, change the motto to "Learning the wiki way"). Too many Wikipedian's can only think in terms of Wikipedia when they think about "wiki" websites, and Wikiversity must come as quite a shock to those narrow thinkers. In my experience, the banned Wikipedians who start editing Wikiversity are not vandals. They are people who somehow do not fit in well with Wikipedia's narrow mission. Wikiversity is a much more interesting project with a much broader mission. I hope we can continue to make use of the talents of good editors who have been thrown out of Wikipedia. I think Wikiversity should start a project designed to actively recruit wiki editors who become frustrated by the limitations of Wikipedia.
I previously proposed some changes that would help prevent the introduction of bogus claims into Wikipedia articles about living people. In April 2009 there was a resolution from the Wikimedia Foundation about the need for accurate information in Biographies of Living Persons (BLPs). There is now finally a baby step in the direction of change in the English language Wikipedia: Jimmy Wales On Wikipedia's New Editing Policy. My hope is that additional changes will be made in the future. --JWSchmidt 22:09, 26 August 2009 (UTC)
- See Pending changes