Wikipedia

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presentation at foss.in, Banglore 2005

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Wikipedia

  1. 1. wikipedia.org <ul><li>launched in January 2001 </li></ul><ul><li>accepting voluntary contributions from anyone </li></ul><ul><li>People have written more than 20 Lakh articles as on 9 September </li></ul><ul><li>Received the webby award for the year 04 </li></ul><ul><li>Among top 10 websites according to alexa </li></ul>
  2. 2. Logged in user Watchlist and contributions Related Image Current Article Edit current page Discuss changes Type a word, click Go
  3. 3. editable anonymously? <ul><li>People are generally good. </li></ul><ul><li>seems at first glance to be so open to abuse, turns out to be so resilient. </li></ul><ul><li>Although theoretically possible, vandalism is not a big problem. </li></ul><ul><li>Edit pages without the usual overhead of learning HTML </li></ul>
  4. 4. Create a new page <ul><li>URL Update: you can create a new page by typing the page name at the end of the URL for e.g. after index.php/MyNewPage Once the page is generated on the fly, click on &quot;Edit&quot; link to type new text. You can also copy and paste from Microsoft word. </li></ul><ul><li>Or on any wiki-page use the syntax [[MyNewPage]] and a new page with that name is generated. </li></ul><ul><li>To delete a page, delete all the contents. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Wiki Culture <ul><li>Open - Should a page be found to be incomplete or poorly organized, any reader can edit it as they see fit. </li></ul><ul><li>Incremental - Pages can cite other pages, including pages that have not been written yet. </li></ul><ul><li>Unified - Page names will be created on the fly. </li></ul><ul><li>Observable - Activity within the site can be watched and reviewed by any other visitor to the site. </li></ul><ul><li>Convergent - Duplication can be discouraged or removed by finding and citing similar or related content. </li></ul><ul><li>Trust - This is at the core of wiki. Trust the people, trust the process, enable trust-building. </li></ul><ul><li>Fun - You should always have. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Significance of wikipedia <ul><li>Currently active in more than 50 languages. </li></ul><ul><li>one of the most fascinating developments of the Digital Age. </li></ul><ul><li>proof that content and knowledge can also organize themselves. </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;the masses&quot; could produce something of value by simply being able to correct each other. </li></ul><ul><li>an example of how the grass roots in today's interconnected world can do extraordinary things. </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;Signed by authority&quot; concept is not working in the dynamic and fast developing world. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Wiki Philosophy <ul><li>Wikipedia is a fresh and striking exemplification of Friedrich Hayek’s thesis that knowledge is widely distributed among people and that the challenge to society is to create mechanisms for pooling that knowledge. The powerful mechanism that was the focus of Hayek’s work, as of economists generally, is the price system (the market). The newest mechanism is the “wikipedia.” There are more than a million articles written in various languages so far. The internet enables the instantaneous pooling (and hence correction, refinement, and amplification) of the ideas and opinions, facts and images, reportage and scholarship, generated by wikipedians. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Reluctance to use Wiki <ul><li>E-mail Habit - &quot;I prefer e-mail“ E-mail doesn't scale - new people, new technology, new customers, new partners... </li></ul><ul><li>Shared knowledge vs. 'Owners' - &quot;don't want to break the net“ Wiki culture: nobody 'owns' pages. any change can be modified. First person to create page is not the owner! </li></ul><ul><li>'No control' syndrome - &quot;This leads to chaos“ Can be perceived as disruptive by upper management. Soft security, audit trail, peer review. </li></ul><ul><li>Wiki syntax - &quot;yet another language“ Wiki is e-mail, e.g., just *do it*. Use the help pages, doesn't take long to learn. </li></ul>
  9. 9. This is the history tab of the article “India”. Select the two versions And click on “Compare”.
  10. 10. Minor nuisance Corrected within minutes No registered user. IP address will be blocked If he doesn’t stop
  11. 11. Control System: <ul><li>Login Name or IP address is tracked </li></ul><ul><li>You can compare two versions of the page found under the history tab. </li></ul><ul><li>Every edit on the site shows up on “Recentchanges” page that is watched by editors. Experts can even subscribe to RSS feed. </li></ul><ul><li>Individuals have 'watchlists' that they can (and do) use to keep an eye on particular articles. </li></ul><ul><li>If there is a page on X, then there is also a page to discuss the page on X. I think this keeps the arguments on track. </li></ul><ul><li>The administrators have the right to “Lock” a page. The “Edit This Page” link does not appear on such pages. For e.g. the page on George W. Bush </li></ul>
  12. 12. No “edit this page” option available. The page is “locked” by the administrators
  13. 13. Wikipedia strength <ul><li>Wikipedia's main page are eight master categories: </li></ul><ul><li>Culture | Geography | History | Mathematics | People | Science | Society | Technology </li></ul><ul><li>Wikipedia does a fantastic job on the Mathematics and Science categories. Mathematics and Science categories are ones where people agree. </li></ul><ul><li>Wikipedia does a less reliable job on the History and Society categories. Wikipedia is not the right resource if you are studying something like say France's Front National or Vietnam's National Liberation Front. Wikipedia has not gotten better over the years in this regard. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Risks involved: <ul><li>The best thing about the Web is also the worst thing! </li></ul><ul><li>Information is all over the place and you need to be careful about trusting what you read. </li></ul><ul><li>trust it to be ‘a’ good source of information, but not the only one. </li></ul><ul><li>Caveat Emptor: Latin for &quot;Let the buyer beware.&quot; </li></ul>
  15. 15. wikis for businesses: Part I <ul><li>Wikis are going private, too. </li></ul><ul><li>They're increasingly being used behind corporate firewalls as planning and collaboration tools. </li></ul><ul><li>Any web server supporting PHP and Mysql is enough. </li></ul><ul><li>Download the free source code http://wikipedia.sourceforge.net/ </li></ul>
  16. 16. wikis for businesses: Part II <ul><li>To make your wiki available only to the registered users, add the following lines to your LocalSettings.php file. </li></ul><ul><li># Specify who can edit: true means only logged in users may edit pages $wgWhitelistEdit = true; </li></ul><ul><li># Pages anonymous (not-logged-in) users may see $wgWhitelistRead = array (&quot;Main Page&quot;, &quot;Special:Userlogin&quot;, &quot;Wikipedia:Help&quot;); </li></ul><ul><li># Specify who may create new accounts: 0 means no, 1 means yes $wgWhitelistAccount = array ( 'user' => 0, 'sysop' => 1, 'developer' => 1 ); </li></ul>
  17. 17. wikis for businesses: Part III <ul><li>If new account creation is limited to sysops only, it must be performed by first logging in as a sysop user, and then visiting the Special:Userlogin page. The Special:Userlogin page is available by clicking Special pages link in the toolbox menu, then click Create an account or log in (the first item available). index.php/Special:Userlogin or index.php?title=Special:Userlogin </li></ul><ul><li>In 1.5 (MediaWiki Install/includes/DefaultSettings.php): $wgGroupPermissions = array(); $wgGroupPermissions['*' ]['createaccount'] = true; $wgGroupPermissions['*' ]['read'] = true; $wgGroupPermissions['*' ]['edit'] = true; Comment (#) out permissions you wish to disable for anonymous users. </li></ul>
  18. 18. Thinking loud: The power of wiki <ul><li>The right tool - The Net and MediaWiki software, Mailing lists and IRC Chat </li></ul><ul><li>The community - More than 500,000 registered users! </li></ul><ul><li>The leaders - Capable editors </li></ul><ul><li>The right money - Run entirely on donations. No venture fund or investor's money. You don’t have to show profits quarter after quarter. </li></ul>
  19. 19. Wikipedia sister sites <ul><li>Wiktionary - Dictionary and thesaurus http://en.wiktionary.org/ </li></ul><ul><li>Wikibooks - Free textbooks and manuals http://en.wikibooks.org/ </li></ul><ul><li>Wikiquote - Collection of quotations http://en.wikiquote.org/ </li></ul><ul><li>Wikisource - Free source documents http://sources.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page:English </li></ul>
  20. 20. Wikipedia and blogs <ul><li>Wikipedia accepts only encyclopedic articles. It is NOT for casual writing. </li></ul><ul><li>Use Blogs like blogger.com, MSN Spaces, Rediff to write about your personal thoughts and experiences. </li></ul><ul><li>All of the blog softwares support UNICODE so the method of publishing on the blog is same as wikipedia </li></ul><ul><li>A few websites like www.manogat.com allow community features like comments in Marathi. </li></ul>
  21. 21. Wikipedia: a Complete Knowledge portal <ul><li>Single domain: </li></ul><ul><li>Unique user interface: Every website is an application and the user needs to learn how to use it. With wikipedia, you learn to navigate one site and then you are comfortable with other projects since all the sites use the same “User Interface”. </li></ul><ul><li>Web based software: Upgrades and patches are instantaneous. </li></ul>
  22. 22. Wikipedia for Indian Languages <ul><li>Google Search: all the text on all the pages is indexed by google. </li></ul><ul><li>UNICODE: The standard keyboard layout. </li></ul><ul><li>Simple to use: No need to download any fonts. The user can copy – paste text to and from Microsoft word. </li></ul><ul><li>Easy: Once you learn one domain like en.wikipedia.org you can easily use other domains like mr.wikibooks.org </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge Portal: All the knowledge under the sun under one roof! </li></ul>
  23. 23. Horizontal and vertical expansion Three dimensional presentation users 2001 2002 2003 2004 sites Internet Visitors Languages
  24. 24. Wikipedia in Indian Languages http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Statistics http://en.wikipedia.org/wikistats/ 1200 3 186 Kannada kn 1300 3 187 Marathi mr 1100 4 295 Hindi hi 1500 9 234 Tamil ta 1700 4 158 Telugu te 778000 642 530,000 English en Articles Admins Users Language Code
  25. 25. Pathetic progress in other projects <ul><li>Wiktionaries </li></ul><ul><li>Wikiquotes </li></ul><ul><li>Wikibooks </li></ul><ul><li>Wikinews </li></ul><ul><li>and </li></ul><ul><li>Wikisource </li></ul>? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
  26. 26. Wikisource – Sanskrit <ul><li>Wikisource is the place to save the copy right free text and images. </li></ul><ul><li>Websites like “Project gutenberg” are having such material for years. So wikisource is not very significant for english literature, but is important for sanskrit literature where we don’t have any such site. </li></ul><ul><li>Sanskrit is one of the most ancient languages of the world and has loads of literature </li></ul><ul><li>Sanskrit is not widely spoken language, but is studied and loved by thousands, all over the world. Sanskrit literature is rich in both, quality and quantity. </li></ul><ul><li>A unique opportunity to preserve the ancient literary works. </li></ul><ul><li>http://tinyurl.com/3pybf </li></ul>
  27. 27. The real challenge <ul><li>“ How to reach to the right customer?” is a big challenge for any organization. The bigger challenge here (in case of wikipedia) is “How not to reach to the wrong customer?” </li></ul><ul><li>bias or prejudice </li></ul><ul><li>Not ready to listen or consider other point of view. </li></ul>
  28. 28. Effort becomes firmly established when it is put forth with passion for a long time continuously. (Yogasutra 1-14) Contributing to Wikipedia is like perfection of a skill, requiring daily passionate effort for a long period.
  29. 29. How can I help? <ul><li>Tell your friends and family about wikipedia </li></ul><ul><li>Correct the pages if you find mistakes </li></ul><ul><li>Contact universities – Language cells </li></ul>
  30. 30. Power of Wikipedia: Swiss Army Knife Knowledge Resource Source Code SQL Dump Fork Multi lingual Community Helping net users

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