The new challenges of wikipedia

The success project of the "Collaborative internet" Could benefit from a start of the other projects

One year ago we looked at five challenges at this point (cf. Funf challenges for the Wikipedia) for the free Internet cyclopadia Wikipedia. For the Wikipedia this was a time of upheaval. The Reasoner Jimmy Wales wants the Wikimedia Foundation to one "Red cross of knowledge" rebuild. In short: Wikipedia is faced with new challenges.

In 2003, Jimmy Wales founded the Wikimedia Foundation to form the organizational ruckgrade for Wikipedia and other projects. But as the Wikipedia itself also started the Foundation as an idealistic experiment: the board, the "Board of Trustees" did not come together too regularly in the first two years, decisions were rather random. The few employees were only able to use the most important organizational questions.

Organization: The system does not drive properly

Last year, the course for an expansion of the Wikimedia Foundation were placed. So Wales in Marz set the lawyer Brad Patrick to lead the attitude of a full-time business manner. But it did not happen so far: Brad Patrick work still as an interim business drivers, a permanent solution is only in summer on the agenda.

To suppress the staff shortage, the Wikimedia Foundation also relies on the cooperation of volunteers. The Wikimedia Committees work on the Foundation, here unpaid community members work together and the few foundation-employed hand in hand. But the system still does not run right around. Not all tasks can be relocated to such committees. In order to really effectively work on the goals of the foundation, the foundation has to increase its capacities.

Finance: Organize funds without dismissing the community

To expand the organization, of course, the corresponding financial resources. Although the Wikimedia Foundation has taken the youngest donation call the considerable sum of one million dollars, but Rosig is the financial position of the foundation but not. The sum is only enough for the most necessary expenses, on new modifications or investments in the future is currently not thinking.

In order to set the organization to a healthy financial basis, the Wikimedia Foundation must remember new financial sources. That’s anything but easy. When the foundation on each Wikipedia side a thank-on note including logo of a dispenser, the for loud protests provided. Even at the dispenser, protest writing went to make the advertising effect of the action to increase potentially.

So the foundation must find funds and paths to organize funds without dismissing the community. Classical online advertising is therefore falling out, but little exploited but the possibilities of cooperation with companies and institutions have been exploited. The problem: The foundation can only offer little as compensation: the texts in the Wikipedia are just as sold as the user data of the Wikipedians, the foundation only has the trademark rights on the name.

Legitimity: Difficult consensus with a non-accurately outlined community

In the first years Jimmy Wales was the last instance in all important questions of Wikipedia as chairman of the Wikimedia Foundation. If his decisions were not always undisputed, however, he could claim the last word for himself. But in the fall, Wales submitted the office of the chairman and wants more about other projects cumbers like his new company Wikia. Although the new chairman Florence enjoys high respect in the community, but occurs in coarse folding stops.

Without the last instance, the contradicts will take more than the self-mortality of Wikipedia Prage. Thus, the Wikipedia is still cocesses today with a mixed machine of power structures; Decisions are usually achieved in an unregulated consensus. Who wants to work with a problem, determines it too. Only when ugregular interests play a role, the Wikimedia Foundation intervenes.

The foundation is in front of a dilemma: it has to be active in order to avoid an exploded drifting of the Wikimedia projects in Uber 200 languages. On the other hand, she can not intervene too much without being legally responsible for all contents.

The anchoring in the community is not clearly regulated. Last year, Wikimedia struggled a choice to elect a community representative in the Foundation Board. The election results for the last choice show a mixed picture. The electoral winner Erik Moller was able to combine 987 votes.

In view of the size of the project and the election mode, this is, of course, a remedy quota, Wikipedia-Grunder Jimmy Wales but repeatedly refers to the fact that the hard core of the Wikipedians only includes a few thousands of users. Only a few of the unamplified Wikipedia users actually has time and desire to actively engage in the work. In the course of the latest intake of the board, the foundation then also renounced a coordination of the community.

The youngest dispute over the donation campaign has shown that it is hard to negotiate a consensus with a non-accurately outlined community: everyone can occur as a community representative. Only one thing is certain: for every idea and initiative you will find doubters and opponents. The Foundation is faced with the challenge of the community at the same time reviewing and driving. Prerequisite for this are better communication options between community and foundation.

Improvement of the workflow

The core of the success of Wikipedia is easy to work: Everyone can work in a wiki almost every page. But with growing roughness, the Wikipedia has always become more complex. Although the software mediawiki is constantly being developed, but the work in the wiki has become more and more complex. If you want to correct more than just typos, you have to familiarize yourself with the complex syntax of the software, authors have to learn to work with cryptic links and templates.

Working in the wiki environment sets a lot of manual work. So every user must have their discussion contributions correctly sort and joke. Even if all those involved in the conventions, Wikipedia discussions will be unreadable in a short time.

First approaches to a significant improvement has been on the way for months: Thus, the Group Google has developed the development of an alternative discussion system called LiquidThreads sponsored. When the project and further planned improvements should be implemented, is still completely unclear.

Compensation of the projects

The Wikipedia is the success project of the "collaborative internet" and also the Wikimedia Foundation. She claims the most attention and most resources of the Wikimedia Foundation. Sister projects such as Wikinews, Wikiquote or Wiktionary deadlines rather a shadow. You have little attention in the publicity and also the number of fellow combatants is low.

Sometimes that leads to blurred effects: because without a critical mass of employees, the quality control of the Wikipedia does not work; Vandalisms and copyright surveys are not sorted out reliably. So the Wikimedia Foundation in Marz had to draw the emergency brake and give loose the French edition of the citation collection Wikiquote and restart – too many copyright violations had accumulated.

Not only do the sister projects suffer, even the Wikipedia could benefit from a start of the other projects. Although the Wikipedia is always impressed by its news: Death news or world political events are included in the corresponding articles in minutes. However, this update is also a defect: because often articles are edited under the impression of current events and then allowed to lie.

Conflicting reports are only reduced to the actual facts in Langen Editwars. The collaborative news platform Wikinews is thus able to be able to: Thus, the Wikipedia entry to the current storm low over Germany includes three pages, but the Wikinews message only three lines. However, one was first integrated the current events in WiKinews to process the secured information in Wikipedia, both projects could benefit. ()

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