[OSM-talk] Wikipedia article

Jóhannes Birgir Jensson joi at betra.is
Sat Oct 26 09:34:22 UTC 2013

iD is a leap forward for getting more people to contribute. Technical 
people I try to get involved do ask "so anyone can delete anything" with 
some incredulity but as Scroobius Pip says "some people are just nice" 
and so far the ratio I've seen in OSM is that 99,999% are. A troll 
passes by now and then but that is usually easily corrected and quickly 
due to obvious deletions or changes.

What also hurt the English Wikipedia (which is by far the biggest and 
what people usually refer to when saying Wikipedia) was the notability 
"clamp-down". Deletionists had a field day in deeming locally important 
or well known things as non-notable and promptly deleted. This included 
football clubs in lower divisions who had played for decades or a 
century and even some villages or other localities "fell foul" of the 
global notibility that the deletionist movement, who must be thinking 
digital space is limited, demanded.

I myself was an active contributor on the Icelandic and English 
Wikipedias. I am an admin on the Icelandic one (tiny but focuses more on 
local matters, has a niche and thrives in it, no sense in trying to 
emulate the scientific coverage the English one has) but have long since 
stopped trying to do anything beyond mere obvious corrections on the 
English one, the red tape there driving not only new editors but also 
experienced editors away.

A couple of weeks ago I deleted boilerplates (another red-tape excess 
the English wikipedia has indulged in, slapping on the front-page 
comments that should belong on talk pages) from several Botswanan 
villages where they were under the threat of deletion due to being 
non-notable. Something that the notability guidelines themselves frown 
upon (a village being notable in it self is the rule) but nothing that 
has stopped the deletionism movement.

Personally I try and keep an eye on mappers working in "my areas" which 
are Iceland and Botswana, and add them as friend on OSM and send them 
messages if they have done something superb or try to inform them of 
appropriate OSM-wiki pages if I notice something odd being done. Here I 
am fortunate, so to speak, as in the number of active editors in these 
regions is so far not very high. I dream of the day when the number 
grows though!


Þann 26.10.2013 04:11, skrifaði Jason Remillard:
> Hi Tom
> Your blog post is very interesting.
> Just in case anybody thinks that the rapid growth of OSM is inevitable
> at this point,  this study shows how Wikipedia turned off its growth
> like a switch when they starting clamping down on first time editors.
> Since 2007 the number of active editors has actually decreased.
> http://www-users.cs.umn.edu/~halfak/publications/The_Rise_and_Decline/
> Unless the map in your area is 100% perfect and complete, be extra
> nice to those new editors!
> Jason
> On Fri, Oct 25, 2013 at 5:21 PM, Tom MacWright <tom at macwright.org> wrote:
>> I wrote an article somewhat in the same vein:
>>> http://macwright.org/2013/10/15/point-and-shoot.html
>> Perhaps something to note is that, beyond technical and policy issues, one
>> of the more common complaints about Wikipedia is that there's an unfriendly,
>> elitist attitude amongst the established editors. My article asks for some
>> relatively deep changes to infrastructure and user experience, but the more
>> actionable and immediately useful thing that everyone can do is to be
>> friendly.
>> On Fri, Oct 25, 2013 at 5:06 PM, Jason Remillard <remillard.jason at gmail.com>
>> wrote:
>>> Hi,
>>> The MIT technology review just published this article on Wikipedia.
>>> http://www.technologyreview.com/featuredstory/520446/the-decline-of-wikipedia/
>>> It is sport criticizing Wikipedia, but two things stuck out.
>>> Wikipedia is trying to get more editors. However, they seem to have
>>> some additional problems that OSM does not have.
>>> Wikipedia failed to roll out the new GUI article editor.
>>> If you read the discussion on hacker news, and Slashdot.
>>> http://news.slashdot.org/story/13/10/23/1643228/wikipedias-participation-problem
>>> https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6612638
>>> It seems like Wikipedia has revert first policy on questionable edits.
>>> It makes it unpleasant to start with the project, since probably every
>>> bodies first edits are questionable.
>>> OSM policy/culture of discussing a change *before* reverting is really
>>> good thing.
>>> Jason
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> talk mailing list
>>> talk at openstreetmap.org
>>> https://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/talk
> _______________________________________________
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