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  • From: "Milos Rancic" <millosh AT>
  • To: wikiworld AT
  • Subject: [Wiki World] communication sandbox
  • Date: Fri, 31 Aug 2007 20:07:59 +0200

I am splitting this discussion into separate thread.

On 8/31/07, Marc Riddell <michaeldavid86 AT> wrote:
> My only experience with the wiki medium is with Wikipedia; namely its Talk
> Pages and Mailing List (Wikien-l). In them I find a great deal of hostility,
> miscommunication, defensiveness, bullying, and a tone I can only describe as
> mean. As a result, many persons with something important to say, but without
> the skills to combat the noise, are being intimidated - and are not being
> heard.

This is a complex problem and almost exclusively related to Wikipedia
(because there are no other wikis with such diverse community; it is
even not the characteristics of other Wikimedian projects). So, the
major point here is that your project is recognized by Wikipedian
communities. But, here are my thoughts about that:

- The next stage of development of Wikipedian community is to actively
develop social responsibility for the people inside of the community.
It is not only important to build knowledge base, but it is also
important to build hard-conflicts-free community. In other words,
responsibility of one mature Wikipedian is not only to make good
articles, but to take care about new Wikipedians around her/him. This
is the process in which your project may help in general.

- The other point is related to the rehabilitation of the people who
were/are not able to contribute civilly on Wikipedia. Instead of
simple blocking, they should be sent to your project (if they want to
continue to contribute to Wikipedia).

- So, my suggestion is to try to incorporate your project inside of
Wikimedia. If there is no project which is related to the page (and it seems that
there is no such project), make it on English Wikipedia. (And announce
it on the Village Pump, of course, as well as on the,
wikipedia-l and foundation-l lists.) Then ask for the mailing list,
too. And after some time try to implement into policies that
people blocked for more then, for example, 7 days, should go to your
project on rehabilitation. And, of course, do some other
organizational things like how people may become wiki-therapists and
how their mandate may be over and so on...

Of course, when non-Wikimedia projects starts to get similar problems,
then you may choose one of two options: (1) to move on some neutral
place or (2) to simply say that your project is willing to take the
responsibility for non-Wikimedia projects, too (I think that this is a
better idea).

BTW, don't make a usual Wikimedian mistake: Make your project
international from the beginning. Even your headquarters may be on
English Wikipedia, community needs projects which are not
language-based because it is not possible to find a critical mass of
the project leaders inside of one smaller community. In other words,
"demand" that the project should have centralized place for
communication (i.e., maybe to move headquarters to Meta when some
other WM project is willing to make the same project).

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