Submissions/Every Thought Matters : A fresh paradigm to think about contributions on Wikipedia and sister projects

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After careful consideration, the Programme Committee has decided not to accept the below submission at this time. Thank you to the author(s) for participating in the Wikimania 2014 programme submission, we hope to still see you at Wikimania this August.

Submission no. 5018
Title of the submission
Every Thought Matters: Moving towards an interface and infrastructure that encourages micro-contributions to complex-reviews
Type of submission (discussion, hot seat, panel, presentation, tutorial, workshop)
Presentation
Author of the submission
Dharav Solanki, Thewinster
E-mail address

therealwinster@gmail.com

Username

Thewinster

Country of origin

India

Affiliation, if any (organisation, company etc.)

None

Personal homepage or blog

http://www.pullheavendown.quora.com

Abstract (at least 300 words to describe your proposal)

Every thought matters is a proposal to have an alternate BitTorrent-like network, decentralized and always on, to support the growth of Wikimedia projects. This network can help alleviate several fundamental problems plaguing Wikimedia projects right now.

Wikipedia and it's sister projects run on the MediaWiki software. Although the MediaWiki engine is known for it's robustness, from the viewpoint of an average user - it's User Interface has changed little over the last decade.

This cripples the ability of MediaWiki based projects to get new users. Complex projects like Books on Wikibooks do not grow, because the projects do not get enough traction and there are not enough users to generate growth. Indic Language Wikipedias face a peculiar problem detrimental to growth - an article in Gujarati/Telugu/Hindi/Bengali/Marathi or any of the Indian Languages needs several skills including domain expertise, language skills and researching on the Internet - which are hard to find in one person in India.

In such a scenario, a MediaWiki software that only facilitates polished submissions and their management does little to help the encyclopedia grow. Articles, individually, remain stagnated.

There are three aspects to this proposal:

  • A peer to peer network (as implemented on Twister - twister.net.co)
  • Browser extensions and other GUIs that allow interaction with articles and submissions, which push the edits on the network - which are collated by the network
  • A culture of contributing to Wikipedia and other projects, by finishing micro and macro tasks as contrasted with submitting polished works to the encyclopedia.

Such a network, can help stimulate the growth and maintenance of contributions by bringing in users who are willing to perform small cognitive tasks. The number of contributors making complex edits can potentially increase, given that the number of users who have engaged with the platform has increased as well.

Vision:

  • A community that is ever engaged in increasing the quality of knowledge on Wikipedia, translating, conducting research on requested topics and in general, contributing to the process of encyclopedia building round the clock - ala Microtasks on Amazon mTurk. This is in contrast to the 80-20 distribution in edits, right now.
  • Implementing new ways to contribute, edit, provide peer reviews and engage in conversations without meddling with the MediaWiki software.
  • Encouraging netizens to share their online learning experiences to help build Wikipedia, WikiBooks and WikiVersity - just as they do on Facebook/Redditt/Twitter, but without the noise and server load and with complete control of the downstream processing of these micro contributions.
  • Subjugating editorial decisions to processes, neutral peer reviews as contrasted to subjective decision making.
Track

Technology, Interface and Infrastructure

Length of session (if other than 30 minutes, specify how long)
30 minutes
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?
Maybe
Slides or further information (optional)
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/37517156/Each%20thought%20matters.pptx
Special requests


Interested attendees

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  1. Micru (talk) 14:22, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
  2. Harsh Kothari 19:38, 1 May 2014 (UTC)
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