Tag Archives: Wiki

Wikimedia Commons for Fun and Profit – Brianna Laugher [Wikimedia 2008 notes]

Wikimedia Commons logoImage via Wikipedia

What is Wikimedia Commons:


  • Central resource for Wikimedia
  • Wiki – anyone can edit, be bold, etc.
  • Media – it’s not text, it’s especially images
  • Multilingual – all the languages inside the single wiki
  • Free Content – all the files are availalbe under Free Licenses
  • Community – lots of people who consider this their “wiki home”


It’s a rapidly growing project – 3 million+ files!


Wikipedia has now single user login, so they’re expecting to increase their database even more.


Technical problems




  • Single user login
  • Inline video player
  • Thumbnails in search results
  • Email notifications of talk page changes


Wish list for the future:


  • Global Whatlinkshere (check-usage) – it’s important to help administrators and keep copyright infringement out
  • Automatic transfer
  • Move/rename images – a move tab. Now you need to use bots to do that.
  • Integrated workflow – like having a way if someone already checked the file
  • Write (upload) via MediaWiki API - 
  • Category display/sorting options
  • Category i18n
  • Batch uploading
  • Upload form customisability
  • Searching template fields as a database
  • Improved Right-To-Left interface display
  • Multilingual interface for non users
  • A/V format conversion on upload
  • Integrated image editing (esp. SVGs)
  • Integrated geo-stuff – as part of MediaWiki, not templates
  • Automatic user upload gallery
  • Category/user feeds
  • File rating systems
  • [.. and a few more .. ☺]


Commons API

MediaWiki has an API, but the community builds structure in the wiki (templates, categories).

How can register user reliably determine a file’s license and author.


Mangnus – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Magnus_Manske – has create a tool for that: http://toolserver.org/~magnus/commonsapi.php


Quality processes


  • Featured pictures
  • Quality images
  • Valued images


A way to encourage people to contribute and recognize their contribution.


Cheerleading, partnerships


  • Picture of the day
  • Picture of the year
  • Meet our photographers
  • Meet our illustrators
  • Pearson Scott Foresman – educational publisher donated illustrations (in paper); now they community is tagging and categorizing them and adding other meta-data
  • Wikipedia Takes Manhattan – people took photos of Manthattan, lots of high quality pictures of important buildings and places
  • (PGIP)


Policies and guidelines

GFDL (for text)

It’s a central repository

They want high quality images and meta-data

It’s a volunteer project

[and lots of other information that was too fast to present]


Major challenges

Usability – too much warnings, quite scary to upload file


Project relationships – all the communities need to work together; some local wikipedias are already requiring people to upload to commons directly

Partnerships – it’s hard to make good connections with institutions on volunteer base


Wikimedia Commons, readers’ view / Censorship

Top views show pictures related to sexuality. There is currently a proposal in working that require files to be realistically useful. The problem is that the project doesn’t want to be historically short-sighted.

Hot topics: Violence, Nationalism, Religion, Sex!

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Angela Beesley – Beyond encylopedias – The rest of the library [Wikimania 2008 notes]

Nature’s SunshineImage by Capture Queen ™ via Flickr

Wikipedia, 10million articles and lots of articles. Isn’t that enough, so why would we need other wiki’s?


Wikipedia is not a lot of heap of things – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:NOT


So what do you do with these things?


Wikimedia has educational goal. There is another company Wikia, that runs these specialized wiki’s.


Variation of popularity within Wikia


 -> 5000 very active users per month in gaming but only 183 in books

< 10,000 monthly pageviews in health, compared to 11.3 million for WoWWiki alone.


Health wikis

Zh-tw.med.wikia.com is the most visited health wiki at Wikia bus has < 600 pages

Locked down editing is common

 – E.g. – Elsevier’s “Wiser wiki” asks for verification of physician qualitifactions


Wikipedia is far more detailed and complete than the largest specialist health wikis. So health is not really working on separe wiki’s. One of the reasons for this could be that it’s a encyclpedia topic and encourage in Wikipedia.


Gaming content

The content is reguraly delted from Wikipedia. Doesn’t fit the “textbook” model. It’s often seen as trivial or non-important.


Wikibooks also has policy it’s not for for video game strategy guides.


Topics deemed “unenycyclopedic” can thrive on their own. The 3 top gaming wikis have more articles then all the health wiki’s combined.


Comics and Wikipedia

  • Controversy led to creation of Comixpedia
  • Still many comic-related deletions
  • Growing number of independent comics wikis
  • Marvel Database has 26,000 articles.



In 2004 lots of recipes got deleted from Wikipedia. Wikipedia asks people to add recipes to Wikibooks Cookbooks, but it’s often not well received. You can’t add variations of recipes and such.


Wikipedia and social networking

People tried playing chess on Wikipedia, or do social networks. All of these things were deleted.


Wikia builds into software itself tools that allow such operations.


What is needed regarding deletion:

  • Better workflow for information initially in the wrong place
  • Easier ways to find the correct place



A bot takes articles thar are listed for non-speedy deletion

Archives them where they can be reused by other wikis, with full attribution.


What is needed

  • Links between projects:
  • Part of interface
  • Automated
  • Appealing


This also works for languages. It’s also possible to do Geo-location so Wikipedia could suggest right place.



  • Less loss of content; more availability of free content
  • Less loss of contributors
  • Less ill-feeling toward Wikipedia



Jimmy Wales – Wikia search


Search principles

  • Transparency
  • Collaboration
  • Quality
  • Privacy


Designing a search editing process that it’s Wiki like. It’s a very different thing in a search context. It’s about links, much more granular piece of information. People really like debating and discussing things, and not add links without lots of social context.


Wikia Search it’s whitelisting pages that are community related.


When you search, you get different options next to search results. You can edit, annotate, spotlight, delete. There’s a full transparency of who changed what etc.


They’re trying “Facebook style” profile pages. 


Search roadmap

Wikia expecst it to be at least 1.5 years before we will be fully competitive

Their mission right now is to build the tools and community


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5 Web events in London worth visiting


One of the perks of living in such a big city as London are all the interesting events a Web developer/entrepreneur can easily visit. Even if you do not live there, it is still worth timing your visit so you can visit them.

MiniBar occurs monthly where a number of startups pitch their ideas to the visiting public, with general theme towards Web entrepreneurs. Every presenting company gets asked the hardest question: how do you make money?

Event is free, but registration is required at their homepage. 

Wiki Wednesdays are also monthly event, this time, as you might have guessed, oriented towards people who use and are passionate about Wiki’s. Even though a lot of participants are involved with Wikipedia, there is also a lot of buzz around usage of wikis in corporations and in other projects.
Event is free, but registration is required in their wiki, that can be found through their portal.

London OpenCoffee Meetup, is a weekly event for anyone more interested in entrepreneurial side of Online and Web business. There are all kinds of visitors there, from VC’s to developers or just people who are interested in breaking into this field or looking for someone to help them. Drinking coffee on top of Waterstones, Londons biggest book store and chatting with like minded people is also a great way to start a Thursday morning.
Event is free, with no registration required. They also have a homepage and a general page of OpenCoffee Club movement.

Dorkbot London is a monthly meeting of people who do interesting things with electricity, but more precisely electronic. It involves artists, engineers, designers and just about everyone who is passionate about all things electric.
Event is free, but sometimes registration is required, so check their dorkbot wiki.

Mashup* event is a monthly, a bit more commercially oriented event where startups once again present their creations to interested public. Since it is not free, there is a bit smaller crowd there so it might be easier to actually discuss your big idea.
Entry is 35£, with required registration at the event homepage.