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Understanding Wikipedia: 6.1-6.2 Culture, collaboration, civility

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Piotr Konieczny

on 4 April 2013

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Transcript of Understanding Wikipedia: 6.1-6.2 Culture, collaboration, civility

Understanding Wikipedia: Culture, civility, communication

Piotr Konieczny

CC-BY-SA Questions? Wikipedia, with its millions of editors, has a population larger then many countries Throughout the project's 12 or so years of existence, it has evolved its own intricate culture Understanding Wikipedia cultures has two benefits It improves one skills at editing Wikipedia, reducing tensions and improving one's familiarity with the project It shows how a complex, new, virtual culture can arise within barely a decade Most readers just see the encyclopedic articles But in fact Wikipedia has millions of non-encyclopedic pages each article has its own discussion page each editor (user) has its own user page, talk page, and other pages (sandboxes, etc.) there are pages explaining policies of Wikipedia and discussions of thereof there are noticeboards there are portals and other types of pages! there is a Wikipedia newspaper Perhaps the most important element of Wikipedia culture is realizing this is a COLLABORATIVE project you are not alone you are expected to work with others talk with them see what they do reach agreement (consensus) be civil How to talk to others on Wikipedia? talk pages user article topic theme noticeboards WikiProjects email listerv IRC meetups each Wikipedian has a talk page where others can leave messages http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Piotrus each article has a discussion page where editors can discuss that article There are noticeboards focusing on policy issues, such as administrator noticeboard, reliable sources noticeboard, conflict of interest noticeboard, help noticeboards, reference desks, and so on WikiProjects gather Wikipedians interested in a broader range of topics, and have their own discussion spaces: Poland WikiProject, Korea WikiProject, Sociology WikiProject, Military history WikiProject, Video games WikiProject, Anime and Manga WikiProject.... Each Wikipedian can be reached by email from their user or discussion page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Emailing_users http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Mailing_lists There is a number of listervs/mailing lists focusing on various topics, such as wikipedia-reasearch-l for people interested in researching Wikipedia Wikipedians can also chat real-time through IRC; there is a general chat and many smaller chats (for administrators, educators, students...) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:IRC Wikipedians also meet in real life during meetups. Small regional meetups can involve just a few editors. Largest meetups are international, have a conference format and attract thousands. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Meetup http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Help:Using_talk_pages http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Noticeboards Let's take a look at some places. Can we answer any queries from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Help_desk ? WikiProjects WikiProjects can offer many useful tools, provided they are active Many WikiProjects are run by just a few individuals Take a look at the listing of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_Council/Directory

Which would you like to join and help with, and why? Let's take a look at tools offered by WikiProject Sociology http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_Sociology Civility In interacting with others on Wikipedia, just like in real life, it is important to be CIVIL http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Civility
Participate in a respectful and considerate way, and avoid directing offensive language at other users.

Do not ignore the positions and conclusions of others.

Try to make coherent and concise arguments rather than simply attacking others, and encourage others to do the same. Don't engage in personal attacks or flamewars! Wikipedia culture can be seen in multitude of norms and rituals Barnstars and other awards Wikipedians love to give one another various awards Has somebody helped you? Give them an award! You can chose them from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Barnstars or a number of other pages Wikipedia has its own newspaper, the Wikipedia Signpost Wikimedia Foundation also maintains its own blog Many editors choose to personalize their userpages through userboxes Userboxes are declarations You can declare that you speak a language You can declare that you are from a certain country or city You can declare your hobbies and almost anything else! Look at the list of userboxes, and add at least two to your userpage, describing the languages you speak and anything else you wish http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Userboxes Wikipedia has many contests http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Contests Assume good faith! Wikipedia has many humorous sides Unusual articles BJAODN List of hoaxes Nobody owns an article Many Wikipedia editors like to compare themselves to others Edit counters http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiLove Wikipedia even has its own mascot http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikipe-tan Wikipedians have their own language (slang, jargon) wikipedian, wikify, wikiholiday You can buy Wikipedia merchandise from official Wikipedia store (all profits go to Wikipedia) and games http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikipedia_games It's important to realize that

you can edit and change the work of others

they can edit and change your work Importance of civility has been shown as key for maintaining an online community Why do you think people care about having a civil working environment? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Signpost http://blog.wikimedia.org/ What is the function of contests and games? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_edit_counters There are lists of most active Wikipedians http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:List_of_Wikipedians_by_article_count http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:List_of_Wikipedians_by_number_of_edits http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Unusual_articles http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Silly_Things http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:List_of_hoaxes_on_Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Kindness_Campaign Wikipedia culture is significant enough to have impact on the real world http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia_in_culture Wikipedia has been portrayed in comics, books, movies... Wikipedia values, related to the free culture movement, have influenced legislation in the USA and elsewhere (Italy) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:SOPA_initiative/Action How is collaboration changing our lives? http://www.ted.com/talks/clay_shirky_on_institutions_versus_collaboration.html In this prescient 2005 talk, Clay Shirky shows how closed groups and companies will give way to looser networks where small contributors have big roles and fluid cooperation replaces rigid planning.

Clay Shirky argues that the history of the modern world could be rendered as the history of ways of arguing, where changes in media change what sort of arguments are possible -- with deep social and political implications. Howard Rheingold talks about the coming world of collaboration, participatory media and collective action -- and how Wikipedia is really an outgrowth of our natural human instinct to work as a group. http://www.ted.com/talks/howard_rheingold_on_collaboration.html Wikipedians meet in real life, too After re-purposing CAPTCHA so each human-typed response helps digitize books, Luis von Ahn wondered how else to use small contributions by many on the Internet for greater good. In this talk, he shares how his ambitious new project, Duolingo, will help millions learn a new language while translating the Web quickly and accurately -- all for free. http://www.ted.com/talks/luis_von_ahn_massive_scale_online_collaboration.html http://shop.wikimedia.org/
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