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mark.jaroski at gmail

Apr 11, 2012, 11:53 PM

Post #1 of 24 (983 views)
Permalink
[Wikimedia-l] Travel Guide Wiki

Hi all,

I'm a long-standing editor/admin/etc. at Wikitravel, though I've been less
active in recent years, mainly due to work and family.

I have, however, been participating in discussions among Wikitravel admins
about our dissatisfaction with our current hosting provider, and what we're
going to do about it. As you know, one of the ideas which has been floated
is to attempt to join WMF. One of the parties to that discussion started a
new Wiki proposal on Meta, and a discussion here.

I'm glad to have the chance to jump in before the discussion gets very far
along. There are some important points to be made:

First, NPOV would probably be a deal-breaker. The travel wiki community
(usually working at Wikitravel) have long used Traveller's Point of View.
This point of view is not neutral at all, but favours the traveller.
Hoteliers, restaurateurs, etc. have different points of view, but for us
it's the traveller's that counts. We're under the impression that there are
other Wikimedia foundation projects which don't use NPOV, and so those of
us favouring approaching WMF have been able to argue that we wouldn't be
forced to use it. If that's wrong then we should probably just give up this
line of exploration and go find another solution.

I personally don't think that a creative interpretation of the concept of
NPOV to make it look like TPOV would do, but of course I'm just one voice.
Still there are others who feel even more strongly on this point.

Second, this is a fairly old and established community, with its own
habits, mores, etc. As with other communities it makes some sense perhaps
to learn about ours a bit before visiting. I think some of our fellow
travellers are a bit concerned about being swamped by the shear size of the
communities involved in other WMF projects (Wikipedia) and rightly so. They
worry that the travel guide community runs a chance of quickly losing
editorial control, and that this will lead not to the desired
consolidation, but rather more unhealthy splintering in the collaborative
travel guide space.

All in all I think there's a pretty good chance that a WMF travel guide
Wiki would stand a good chance at attracting a large part of the community
under the right circumstances. But - it's important to recognize that that
community already exists if one wants to attract it.

thanks!

-mark
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rupert.thurner at gmail

Apr 12, 2012, 12:04 AM

Post #2 of 24 (973 views)
Permalink
Re: [Wikimedia-l] Travel Guide Wiki [In reply to]

I am not to deep into this, so please bear with me if it already was
mentioned before: what are the main issues you face with the current
setting?
Am 12.04.2012 08:53 schrieb "Mark Jaroski" <mark.jaroski [at] gmail>:

> Hi all,
>
> I'm a long-standing editor/admin/etc. at Wikitravel, though I've been less
> active in recent years, mainly due to work and family.
>
> I have, however, been participating in discussions among Wikitravel admins
> about our dissatisfaction with our current hosting provider, and what we're
> going to do about it. As you know, one of the ideas which has been floated
> is to attempt to join WMF. One of the parties to that discussion started a
> new Wiki proposal on Meta, and a discussion here.
>
> I'm glad to have the chance to jump in before the discussion gets very far
> along. There are some important points to be made:
>
> First, NPOV would probably be a deal-breaker. The travel wiki community
> (usually working at Wikitravel) have long used Traveller's Point of View.
> This point of view is not neutral at all, but favours the traveller.
> Hoteliers, restaurateurs, etc. have different points of view, but for us
> it's the traveller's that counts. We're under the impression that there are
> other Wikimedia foundation projects which don't use NPOV, and so those of
> us favouring approaching WMF have been able to argue that we wouldn't be
> forced to use it. If that's wrong then we should probably just give up this
> line of exploration and go find another solution.
>
> I personally don't think that a creative interpretation of the concept of
> NPOV to make it look like TPOV would do, but of course I'm just one voice.
> Still there are others who feel even more strongly on this point.
>
> Second, this is a fairly old and established community, with its own
> habits, mores, etc. As with other communities it makes some sense perhaps
> to learn about ours a bit before visiting. I think some of our fellow
> travellers are a bit concerned about being swamped by the shear size of the
> communities involved in other WMF projects (Wikipedia) and rightly so. They
> worry that the travel guide community runs a chance of quickly losing
> editorial control, and that this will lead not to the desired
> consolidation, but rather more unhealthy splintering in the collaborative
> travel guide space.
>
> All in all I think there's a pretty good chance that a WMF travel guide
> Wiki would stand a good chance at attracting a large part of the community
> under the right circumstances. But - it's important to recognize that that
> community already exists if one wants to attract it.
>
> thanks!
>
> -mark
> _______________________________________________
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> Wikimedia-l [at] lists
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
>
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mark.jaroski at gmail

Apr 12, 2012, 2:12 AM

Post #3 of 24 (973 views)
Permalink
Re: [Wikimedia-l] Travel Guide Wiki [In reply to]

Hi Rupert,

The current hosting provider (who also own a trademark on the site name,
and the right to place advertisements on the site) have become unresponsive
to requests for server maintenance and especially software upgrades,
feature requests, etc.

Speaking for myself, one of the main interests I had in working on the
guide had become collaborating on Mediawiki code to implement these
features. Because this has been a non-starter for some time I haven't been
participating much at all. I still do some maintenance of the Paris guides,
but that's about it.

So, the community seems to be about ready to find a new hosting provider,
and because of IP issues that probably means a new name. I think most of us
don't particularly want to look back at the decisions which were taken to
get us into this position in the first place (the Wikivoyage folks might
have a very different take there).

In our semi-private discussions which lead to the topic appearing on this
list and on Meta the major issues that people have had are making sure we
keep TPOV and with trying to come up with a decent name.

thanks!

-mark
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ryan.holliday at gmail

Apr 12, 2012, 2:14 AM

Post #4 of 24 (974 views)
Permalink
Re: [Wikimedia-l] Travel Guide Wiki [In reply to]

On 4/12/2012 12:04 AM, rupert THURNER wrote:
> I am not to deep into this, so please bear with me if it already was
> mentioned before: what are the main issues you face with the current
> setting?

As with any diverse community different individuals will have different
opinions, but some of the issues that led to the current discussion on
forking are:

- The WT community does not have any control over the technical
administration of the site. Simple Mediawiki configuration changes can
take months to get implemented (see for example
http://wikitravel.org/shared/Tech:Enable_range_blocks), the current site
is running Mediawiki 1.1.2 and in the midst of a promised upgrade to
1.1.7 (note: NOT 1.1.8) that began in July 2011 and still has no clear
completion date, and any enhancements to the site that would involve use
of plugins or other technical enhancements must generally be dismissed
as impractical given the current support situation.

- The existing community is no longer growing. After many years of
neglect from the site's owners several of the language versions lack
active communities, while the active language versions are mostly
treading water. Most of this stagnation can be traced to frustration
with current site management (performance problems, lack of
responsiveness to technical requests, etc).

- The current site owners are intent on monetizing the site in ways that
are expected to be detrimental to the site. See
http://wikitravel.org/shared/Talk:Advertising_policy for some of their
advertising proposals, and
http://wikitravel.org/shared/Tech:Add_booking_tool_to_WT for an upcoming
change that has not received the support of any existing contributors,
but that will be arriving soon nonetheless.

There are other issues, but this provides some insight. The WT
community has attempted to work with the existing owners for many years
to address concerns, but at this point it seems pretty clear that they
are either unable or unwilling to do more than the bare minimum required
to keep the site viable, and that's not a scenario under which the site
can come close to realizing its full potential.

It is believed that a move to WMF would immediately resolve all of these
issues. Given the WMF's established ability to competently managed
large Mediawiki sites technical concerns should be greatly reduced.
Similarly, the visibility of being a WMF project would enlarge the
community, and the additional tools available (newer Mediawiki tools,
access to plugins, ability to integrate with commons, etc) would free up
the existing community to focus on the site rather than on simply
fighting spam and dealing with technical issues. Finally, concerns over
misguided monetization efforts are unlikely to be a problem given the
existing advertising policies of WMF.

Ryan (WT bureaucrat)

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morton.thomas at googlemail

Apr 12, 2012, 2:41 AM

Post #5 of 24 (972 views)
Permalink
Re: [Wikimedia-l] Travel Guide Wiki [In reply to]

>
> First, NPOV would probably be a deal-breaker. The travel wiki community
> (usually working at Wikitravel) have long used Traveller's Point of View.
> This point of view is not neutral at all, but favours the traveller.
> Hoteliers, restaurateurs, etc. have different points of view, but for us
> it's the traveller's that counts. We're under the impression that there are
> other Wikimedia foundation projects which don't use NPOV, and so those of
> us favouring approaching WMF have been able to argue that we wouldn't be
> forced to use it. If that's wrong then we should probably just give up this
> line of exploration and go find another solution.
>

I'm not sure NPOV would be such a problem - because NPOV is really
misnamed. It's about representing the mainstream viewpoint in a fair and
objective way.

For a Wiki dedicated to travel information the mainstream viewpoint is
certainly the travellers.

What I think would be important to avoid is too much subjective information
from one individual; for example, where I to write about York, UK I would
recommend not going to the Jorvik centre (a main attraction) because I
thought it overpriced and boring.

Whilst my viewpoint on this is subjectively valid, it may not reflect the
overall viewpoint of travellers to York (I know plenty of people who loved
it)! NPOV aims to make sure that the most mainstream of these viewpoints if
reflected - and any other viewpoints (i.e. "hate it") are given space if
deemed appropriate.

So in summary I don't see that there is any real difference in our stance
on this - it might just need a bit of rethinking.

This really ties back into something more important; which is sourcing. I
think one thing that WT sorely lacks is secondary sourcing the support the
material, and that this would improve its content significantly. I'd be
cautious of supporting a new WMF project that avoided sourcing in favour of
mostly whatever the editors contribute from their experience. I think a
good argument could be made for using personal experience to write a WT
guide - but it should also incorporate good sourcing and editorial
standards as developed here (Wikinews is a good example of where
they successfully manage such a tradeoff).

Second, this is a fairly old and established community, with its own
> habits, mores, etc. As with other communities it makes some sense perhaps
> to learn about ours a bit before visiting. I think some of our fellow
> travellers are a bit concerned about being swamped by the shear size of the
> communities involved in other WMF projects (Wikipedia) and rightly so. They
> worry that the travel guide community runs a chance of quickly losing
> editorial control, and that this will lead not to the desired
> consolidation, but rather more unhealthy splintering in the collaborative
> travel guide space.
>

I think that's a relevant concern; there would have to be tradeoffs on both
sides I imagine. If WT are looking purely for a new host then.. I'm not
sure that is a good fit. If you are looking for a movement to become a
wider part of, to hold a specific corner (the travel side) and contribute
your own viewpoints as well as recieve some of ours... then that is
definitely a good idea.

You'd like to attract a community, but under your own rules... however this
community has a number of viewpoints that might not match up with how WT
currently operates (from my investigation anyway).

I don't see this, personally, as an unassailable problem.

One further thing worth pointing out; from the discussions so far I gather
the current host is unlikely to provide any technical support, such as a
full dump for importing? This represents a problem to overcome because of
attribution - any import would need a way to record the attribution history
of each page (i.e. the authors) to comply with the licensing. I don't think
pointing to the original WT page would work because, obviously, that could
disappear etc. Just a point to remember.

Tom
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mark.jaroski at gmail

Apr 12, 2012, 5:04 AM

Post #6 of 24 (973 views)
Permalink
Re: [Wikimedia-l] Travel Guide Wiki [In reply to]

On Thu, Apr 12, 2012 at 11:41, Thomas Morton
<morton.thomas [at] googlemail>wrote:

> What I think would be important to avoid is too much subjective information
> from one individual; for example, where I to write about York, UK I would
> recommend not going to the Jorvik centre (a main attraction) because I
> thought it overpriced and boring.
>


> Whilst my viewpoint on this is subjectively valid, it may not reflect the
> overall viewpoint of travellers to York (I know plenty of people who loved
> it)! NPOV aims to make sure that the most mainstream of these viewpoints if
> reflected - and any other viewpoints (i.e. "hate it") are given space if
> deemed appropriate.
>


The whole point of a travel guide is subjective information from
individuals! However, there are travellers with different interests. Jorvik
actually works out pretty well for travellers with children, for instance,
but for (young) adults travelling on their own it's pretty overpriced, and
not so interesting so that's what the guide should say. I don't think
that's NPOV though, because the Jorvik probably think they're pretty
awesome for everybody.




> So in summary I don't see that there is any real difference in our stance
> on this - it might just need a bit of rethinking.
>

We'd like to express it as "Traveller's Point of View".


> This really ties back into something more important; which is sourcing. I
> think one thing that WT sorely lacks is secondary sourcing the support the
> material, and that this would improve its content significantly. I'd be
> cautious of supporting a new WMF project that avoided sourcing in favour of
> mostly whatever the editors contribute from their experience. I think a
> good argument could be made for using personal experience to write a WT
> guide - but it should also incorporate good sourcing and editorial
> standards as developed here (Wikinews is a good example of where
> they successfully manage such a tradeoff).


Uh, sourcing? While things like telephone numbers and addresses are clearly
sourced from somewhere I tend to think that most travel guide writing is *
original* creative work. We've also tried to maintain a slightly cheeky
tone, which is hard to do in collaborative work.


>
> One further thing worth pointing out; from the discussions so far I gather
> the current host is unlikely to provide any technical support, such as a
> full dump for importing? This represents a problem to overcome because of
> attribution - any import would need a way to record the attribution history
> of each page (i.e. the authors) to comply with the licensing. I don't think
> pointing to the original WT page would work because, obviously, that could
> disappear etc. Just a point to remember.
>

I'm more concerned that now that we're discussing this in a more-or-less
public forum that they could get wind of it and start actively resisting.
They could make things a bit more difficult, though there are XML back-ups
out there which we could fall back on.

I still think it's a good idea to not mention them or the collaborative
travel guide we're talking about by name for the time being. I do very much
prefer to think of them as a hosting provider than an "owner", because
that's what they do: hosting in return for the right to advertise on the
site. They just happen to own the URL and, I believe, the name.
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putevod at mccme

Apr 12, 2012, 5:15 AM

Post #7 of 24 (966 views)
Permalink
Re: [Wikimedia-l] Travel Guide Wiki [In reply to]

On Thu, 12 Apr 2012 14:04:27 +0200, Mark Jaroski wrote:
> On Thu, Apr 12, 2012 at 11:41, Thomas Morton
> <morton.thomas [at] googlemail>wrote:

>> So in summary I don't see that there is any real difference in our
>> stance
>> on this - it might just need a bit of rethinking.
>>
>
> We'd like to express it as "Traveller's Point of View".
>
>

My point, which is different from Thomas's point (my kids actually
liked Jorwik anyway) is that you do not have a single "Traveller's Point
of View". One has a 'budget traveler point of view', a 'wealthy
traveller point of view', a "traveller with children point of view", an
'off-the-beaten-track traveller point of view', a 'tour traveller point
of view' and so on. IRL, we know that a budget traveller will read LP or
a Rough Guide, and a tour traveller will buy smth like "Polyglott" or a
similar English Language series. In terms of the online travel guide,
this could mean having several pages on the same city - like 'Barcelona
on a budget' and 'Barcelona on a package tour'. And there we start
having troubles with content forking, undefined boundaries etc. On the
other hand, bumping everything in the single Barcelona page would make
it very much unreadable - if I go to Barcelona, I want a list rated by
someone I trust, not an unrated list whioch includes everything.

I assume these problems should be well-known in the WT community since
these are basic things every travel writer encounters, but I am still in
doubt what and how are these issues compatible with WMF.

Cheers
Yaroslav

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mark.jaroski at gmail

Apr 12, 2012, 5:24 AM

Post #8 of 24 (971 views)
Permalink
Re: [Wikimedia-l] Travel Guide Wiki [In reply to]

We've mainly approached this issue encouraging the different groups of
travellers to add relevant content for their areas. We specifically try to
mix it all in, because we don't want to section anyone off. There was
considerable controversy back in 2005 or so about adding an LBGT section to
the guide template: most of the community came down on the side of mixing
everything in. Likewise with family-friendly stuff like Jorvik.

We have in fact strived for a level of neutrality among different kinds of
travel. I think the particular policy document would be worth reading here:
"Be Fair"

http://wikitravel.org/en/Wikitravel:Be_fair

I know, I know, I wrote that I'd rather not name the site, and there I go
adding a link. I didn't want to cut and paste.
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morton.thomas at googlemail

Apr 12, 2012, 5:33 AM

Post #9 of 24 (970 views)
Permalink
Re: [Wikimedia-l] Travel Guide Wiki [In reply to]

>
> > What I think would be important to avoid is too much subjective
> information
> > from one individual; for example, where I to write about York, UK I would
> > recommend not going to the Jorvik centre (a main attraction) because I
> > thought it overpriced and boring.
> >
>
>
> > Whilst my viewpoint on this is subjectively valid, it may not reflect the
> > overall viewpoint of travellers to York (I know plenty of people who
> loved
> > it)! NPOV aims to make sure that the most mainstream of these viewpoints
> if
> > reflected - and any other viewpoints (i.e. "hate it") are given space if
> > deemed appropriate.
> >
>
>
> The whole point of a travel guide is subjective information from
> individuals!


Is it? I'd define it as "useful advice for travellers".

Subjective information from only a few people can be useless, because most
people will have different viewpoints (for example; I would write about the
beautiful historical parts of Amsterdam, but, say, a younger person could
just have easily been looking for information on drug tourism).

The point of "NPOV" is balancing these personal priorities to make sure the
readers gets lots of useful information. Rather than say "Don't bother
walking up to the Sacré-Coeur, it's a long climb and not worth the bother"
you'd say "The climb up to Sacré-Coeur can be a long one".



> However, there are travellers with different interests. Jorvik
> actually works out pretty well for travellers with children, for instance,
> but for (young) adults travelling on their own it's pretty overpriced, and
> not so interesting so that's what the guide should say.


Well I went as a child; and would recommend families not to bother
(overpriced, not all that interesting). Which possibly hihglights the point?



> I don't think
> that's NPOV though, because the Jorvik probably think they're pretty
> awesome for everybody.
>

Well, yes, but that's not "NPOV" because the Jorvik centre's view is
demonstrably biased :) (i.e. not a travellers perspective).



> > So in summary I don't see that there is any real difference in our stance
> > on this - it might just need a bit of rethinking.
> >
>
> We'd like to express it as "Traveller's Point of View".
>

I think this is a good name for it.

p.s. I read your "fair" link with interest - I think that is a good way to
resolve the issue with clashing of personal experience. However one thing a
bigger community brings is a difficulty in resolving these problems (or,
they crop up more often). On Wikipedia we can use sources so that
uninvolved people can voice an opinion and help resolve the situation - but
where this relies on personal experience that is simply not possible. Do
you have an approach to help scale this form of dispute resolution?

Other questions I had:

- What sort of size is the WT community at the moment?

- What are the policies/approach to copyright violations and other issues
such as slander, etc?

- What is the policy r.e. advertising and promotional (quite often, when I
use WT, I see a lot of content that seems quite promotional in quality -
e.g. for a particular restaurant).

Cheers,
Tom
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morton.thomas at googlemail

Apr 12, 2012, 5:39 AM

Post #10 of 24 (967 views)
Permalink
Re: [Wikimedia-l] Travel Guide Wiki [In reply to]

Just to highlight my earlier point about sourcing, the article on Florence
currently says:

Opera was invented in Florence.


This happens to be true - but I have no proof of it, and it may well simply
be the opinion of the original writer. Much of the rest of the historical
section is the same; it is encyclopaedic detail about the city, spiced up
for travel guide purposes. I have no issue with the spicing up (it is
appropriate in the context), but I think this is the sort of content that
can/should be sourced to help the reader be assured the material is true in
at least some way (even if there is subjective opinion mixed in).

Tom
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mark.jaroski at gmail

Apr 12, 2012, 5:46 AM

Post #11 of 24 (968 views)
Permalink
Re: [Wikimedia-l] Travel Guide Wiki [In reply to]

On Thu, Apr 12, 2012 at 14:33, Thomas Morton
<morton.thomas [at] googlemail>wrote:

> p.s. I read your "fair" link with interest - I think that is a good way to
> resolve the issue with clashing of personal experience. However one thing a
> bigger community brings is a difficulty in resolving these problems (or,
> they crop up more often). On Wikipedia we can use sources so that
> uninvolved people can voice an opinion and help resolve the situation - but
> where this relies on personal experience that is simply not possible. Do
> you have an approach to help scale this form of dispute resolution?
>
> Other questions I had:
>
> - What sort of size is the WT community at the moment?
>
>
I'll leave it to one of the others to answer that? Ryan?


> - What are the policies/approach to copyright violations and other issues
> such as slander, etc?
>

http://wikitravel.org/shared/Copyleft


> - What is the policy r.e. advertising and promotional (quite often, when I
> use WT, I see a lot of content that seems quite promotional in quality -
> e.g. for a particular restaurant).
>

When we've got a full complement of contributors watching recent changes
that stuff is supposed to be stamped out ruthlessly and quickly under the
"Don't Tout" rule:

http://wikitravel.org/en/Wikitravel:Don%27t_tout
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mark.jaroski at gmail

Apr 12, 2012, 5:48 AM

Post #12 of 24 (970 views)
Permalink
Re: [Wikimedia-l] Travel Guide Wiki [In reply to]

On Thu, Apr 12, 2012 at 14:39, Thomas Morton
<morton.thomas [at] googlemail>wrote:

> Just to highlight my earlier point about sourcing, the article on Florence
> currently says:
>
> Opera was invented in Florence.
>
>
> This happens to be true - but I have no proof of it, and it may well simply
> be the opinion of the original writer. Much of the rest of the historical
> section is the same; it is encyclopaedic detail about the city, spiced up
> for travel guide purposes. I have no issue with the spicing up (it is
> appropriate in the context), but I think this is the sort of content that
> can/should be sourced to help the reader be assured the material is true in
> at least some way (even if there is subjective opinion mixed in).


Maybe, but I worry that it's a slippery slope. A travel guide is not
an encyclopaedia. Maybe we should just offload the history section to
Wikipedia?
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morton.thomas at googlemail

Apr 12, 2012, 5:54 AM

Post #13 of 24 (965 views)
Permalink
Re: [Wikimedia-l] Travel Guide Wiki [In reply to]

>
> > - What are the policies/approach to copyright violations and other issues
> > such as slander, etc?
> >
>
> http://wikitravel.org/shared/Copyleft
>
>
>
I was more looking for the communities approach to hunting down, removing
or otherwise investigating copyright issues. (this is quite an important
issue within the WM movement).



> > - What is the policy r.e. advertising and promotional (quite often, when
> I
> > use WT, I see a lot of content that seems quite promotional in quality -
> > e.g. for a particular restaurant).
> >
>
> When we've got a full complement of contributors watching recent changes
> that stuff is supposed to be stamped out ruthlessly and quickly under the
> "Don't Tout" rule:
>
> http://wikitravel.org/en/Wikitravel:Don%27t_tout


Cheers.

Tom
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lists at caseybrown

Apr 12, 2012, 9:08 AM

Post #14 of 24 (959 views)
Permalink
Re: [Wikimedia-l] Travel Guide Wiki [In reply to]

On Thu, Apr 12, 2012 at 2:53 AM, Mark Jaroski <mark.jaroski [at] gmail> wrote:
> We're under the impression that there are
> other Wikimedia foundation projects which don't use NPOV, and so those of
> us favouring approaching WMF have been able to argue that we wouldn't be
> forced to use it. If that's wrong then we should probably just give up this
> line of exploration and go find another solution.

My impression of sister projects is the same. Not all of the same
rules that apply to Wikipedia also apply to sister projects. With the
exception of very few mandatory things (like respect for information
about living persons), individual projects can determine their own
rules and policies as much as they want.

--
Casey Brown
Cbrown1023

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ryan.holliday at gmail

Apr 12, 2012, 11:12 AM

Post #15 of 24 (956 views)
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Travel Guide Wiki [In reply to]

>> - What sort of size is the WT community at the moment?
>>
> I'll leave it to one of the others to answer that? Ryan?

The English language WT version is the largest and gets around 500-1000
edits each day. There are 69,046 registered users and 48 admins, but on
any given day it's probably fair to say that 10-15 admins will be active
and contributions will come from perhaps 100-200 unique users and IPs.
It is generally believed that this number would grow as part of a WMF
project due to reasons including lack of perceived commercial ownership,
improved site performance, and an ability to automate many tedious tasks
that are currently manual such as using bots to revert simple vandalism.

Across all language versions there are approximately 259,371 unique
pages (including redirects, image pages, etc), with 89,516 of those in
the "main" namespace. There are 52,548 image/file items. There are
approximately 3.1 million topic versions.

As noted previously in this thread, a database dump is not made
available by the current site owners, but full history XML exports have
been created by the WT user community that are updated weekly, and all
image assets (including versions) are also spidered weekly (see
http://jamguides.com/ for the data mirror). These XML dumps are not
made publicly available as they are huge (many GB) but would be
available when setting up a new server.

There are some users from Wikivoyage (German and Italian language
versions) on this mailing list who can hopefully provide stats about
their user base and topics.

Ryan

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meta.sj at gmail

Apr 12, 2012, 11:26 AM

Post #16 of 24 (960 views)
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Travel Guide Wiki [In reply to]

On Thu, Apr 12, 2012 at 12:08 PM, Casey Brown <lists [at] caseybrown> wrote:
> On Thu, Apr 12, 2012 at 2:53 AM, Mark Jaroski <mark.jaroski [at] gmail> wrote:
>> We're under the impression that there are
>> other Wikimedia foundation projects which don't use NPOV, and so those of
>> us favouring approaching WMF have been able to argue that we wouldn't be
>> forced to use it. If that's wrong then we should probably just give up this
>> line of exploration and go find another solution.
>
> My impression of sister projects is the same. Not all of the same
> rules that apply to Wikipedia also apply to sister projects. With the
> exception of very few mandatory things (like respect for information
> about living persons), individual projects can determine their own
> rules and policies as much as they want.

That's my view as well. SJ

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jmh649 at gmail

Apr 12, 2012, 1:24 PM

Post #17 of 24 (958 views)
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Travel Guide Wiki [In reply to]

With respect to audience, on Wikipedia we write for a general audience yet
our medical content is still used by 50-70% of practicing physicians.
Lonely planet lists hotels in different section based on price. On
Wikipedia we use editorial judgement about what to include and what not to
include. We have subjective policies like [[WP:DUE]]. Just because
something is subjective does not mean it cannot be done. There are books
like the 1000 must see places before you die.
http://www.1000beforeyoudie.com/ Referencing of this content is possible.

--
James Heilman
MD, CCFP-EM, Wikipedian
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tom at tommorris

Apr 12, 2012, 2:32 PM

Post #18 of 24 (958 views)
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Travel Guide Wiki [In reply to]

On 12 April 2012 21:24, James Heilman <jmh649 [at] gmail> wrote:
> With respect to audience, on Wikipedia we write for a general audience yet
> our medical content is still used by 50-70% of practicing physicians.
> Lonely planet lists hotels in different section based on price. On
> Wikipedia we use editorial judgement about what to include and what not to
> include. We have subjective policies like [[WP:DUE]]. Just because
> something is subjective does not mean it cannot be done. There are books
> like the 1000 must see places before you die.
> http://www.1000beforeyoudie.com/  Referencing of this content is possible.
>

It is one of the most pernicious myths in Wikimedia-land that we
aren't riddled with subjective standards.

1. As an English Wikinews reviewer, I make decisions as to the
importance and newsworthiness of what goes on the homepage every time
I publish a story. Is the latest development in the Trayvon Martin
case more or less important than Facebook buying Instagram? On what
basis do I make such a decision? Oh yeah, "newsworthiness". That well
known, objective measure! ;-)

2. On Commons, there is a category called "Suggestive use of
feathers". Is there some sort of Platonic measure of how one uses
feathers suggestively? Same for "Erotic pole dancing". Am I to believe
that Commons editors are deciding on some purely objective basis
whether pole dancing images are erotic or not? (I pick on the
erotic/suggestive categories solely because of the BLP-esque issues
Commons often raises and fails to adequately deal with.)

Subjective decisions happen all the time on the projects. There's a
reason why we generally prefer our admins to be made of flesh and
blood rather than just building hyper-intelligent AIs to run the
projects.

--
Tom Morris
<http://tommorris.org/>

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schneeschmelze at googlemail

Apr 13, 2012, 2:40 AM

Post #19 of 24 (947 views)
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Travel Guide Wiki [In reply to]

Am 12. April 2012 20:26 schrieb Samuel Klein <meta.sj [at] gmail>:
> On Thu, Apr 12, 2012 at 12:08 PM, Casey Brown <lists [at] caseybrown> wrote:
>> On Thu, Apr 12, 2012 at 2:53 AM, Mark Jaroski <mark.jaroski [at] gmail> wrote:
>>> We're under the impression that there are
>>> other Wikimedia foundation projects which don't use NPOV, and so those of
>>> us favouring approaching WMF have been able to argue that we wouldn't be
>>> forced to use it. If that's wrong then we should probably just give up this
>>> line of exploration and go find another solution.
>>
>> My impression of sister projects is the same. Not all of the same
>> rules that apply to Wikipedia also apply to sister projects. With the
>> exception of very few mandatory things (like respect for information
>> about living persons), individual projects can determine their own
>> rules and policies as much as they want.
>
> That's my view as well.  SJ

I beg to differ, and I would like to repeat a point that I had raised
on Meta yesterday. I think we all agree that travel guides are all
about POV? Choose this hotel, while better keep away from that one is
a case in point. This would hardly go with any guideline for
neutrality of sorts. Such information should indeed be excluded. If a
travel guide is part of Wikimedia it should include verifiable
information only. This excludes any recommendations that are not
well-based on facts. In Wikimedia projects we deal with facts. That's
what makes our credibility.

Regards,
Jürgen.

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mark.jaroski at gmail

Apr 13, 2012, 2:46 AM

Post #20 of 24 (949 views)
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Travel Guide Wiki [In reply to]

On Fri, Apr 13, 2012 at 11:40, Juergen Fenn
<schneeschmelze [at] googlemail>wrote:

> I beg to differ, and I would like to repeat a point that I had raised
> on Meta yesterday. I think we all agree that travel guides are all
> about POV? Choose this hotel, while better keep away from that one is
> a case in point. This would hardly go with any guideline for
> neutrality of sorts. Such information should indeed be excluded. If a
> travel guide is part of Wikimedia it should include verifiable
> information only. This excludes any recommendations that are not
> well-based on facts. In Wikimedia projects we deal with facts. That's
> what makes our credibility.


Well, I guess if that turns out to be the consensus view then we'll have to
look for a different solution.
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gerard.meijssen at gmail

Apr 13, 2012, 3:10 AM

Post #21 of 24 (950 views)
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Travel Guide Wiki [In reply to]

Hoi,
It is not.
Thanks,
Gerard

On 13 April 2012 11:46, Mark Jaroski <mark.jaroski [at] gmail> wrote:

> On Fri, Apr 13, 2012 at 11:40, Juergen Fenn
> <schneeschmelze [at] googlemail>wrote:
>
> > I beg to differ, and I would like to repeat a point that I had raised
> > on Meta yesterday. I think we all agree that travel guides are all
> > about POV? Choose this hotel, while better keep away from that one is
> > a case in point. This would hardly go with any guideline for
> > neutrality of sorts. Such information should indeed be excluded. If a
> > travel guide is part of Wikimedia it should include verifiable
> > information only. This excludes any recommendations that are not
> > well-based on facts. In Wikimedia projects we deal with facts. That's
> > what makes our credibility.
>
>
> Well, I guess if that turns out to be the consensus view then we'll have to
> look for a different solution.
> _______________________________________________
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> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
>
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kgorman at gmail

Apr 13, 2012, 8:16 AM

Post #22 of 24 (948 views)
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Travel Guide Wiki [In reply to]

Commons has a policy dealing with neutrality, but it's very different
than that of, say, the Wikipedias - and is I would think even less
strict than what could reasonably be formulated for a travel guide.
They also have no policy on verifiability, except for requiring
verifiability of sources. Wikiversity doesn't require NPOV on all of
their content pages. I'm sure there are other WMF websites that do
not require NPOVness or verifiability.

I do not think NPOV/verifiability issues are at all a problem in
accepting a travel site in to the WMF fold - although it would be good
perhaps if they start citing the history sections. I think a travel
guide fits in with the aims of the WMF, and I think that there would
be beneficial synergy between the existing travel guide community and
the existing Wikimedia community.

----
Kevin Gorman
user:kgorman-ucb

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kgorman at gmail

Apr 13, 2012, 8:18 AM

Post #23 of 24 (951 views)
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Travel Guide Wiki [In reply to]

For clarity, by verifiability of sources, what I meant was "we know
where this image came from and know it's freely licensed" - nothing
beyond that

On Fri, Apr 13, 2012 at 8:16 AM, Kevin Gorman <kgorman [at] gmail> wrote:
> Commons has a policy dealing with neutrality, but it's very different
> than that of, say, the Wikipedias - and is I would think even less
> strict than what could reasonably be formulated for a travel guide.
> They also have no policy on verifiability, except for requiring
> verifiability of sources.  Wikiversity doesn't require NPOV on all of
> their content pages.  I'm sure there are other WMF websites that do
> not require NPOVness or verifiability.
>
> I do not think NPOV/verifiability issues are at all a problem in
> accepting a travel site in to the WMF fold - although it would be good
> perhaps if they start citing the history sections.  I think a travel
> guide fits in with the aims of the WMF, and I think that there would
> be beneficial synergy between the existing travel guide community and
> the existing Wikimedia community.
>
> ----
> Kevin Gorman
> user:kgorman-ucb

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sgardner at wikimedia

Apr 18, 2012, 6:43 PM

Post #24 of 24 (929 views)
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Travel Guide Wiki [In reply to]

Hey folks,

For those who've been following this thread -- I wanted to let you
know I've posted a comment from the Wikimedia Foundation, on the talk
page for the meta page James made, here:
http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:Wiki_Travel_Guide#Comment_from_the_Wikimedia_Foundation

I pasted the full text below, for anyone who doesn't want to go to the
wiki. But if you want to discuss it, I think that's arguably better
done on the wiki than a mailing list, in order to keep the
conversation unfragmented.

Thanks,
Sue

Hey folks,

I've been very interested reading the discussions here and on the
mailing lists about whether the Wikimedia movement should start a new
travel project. In response to questions I've been getting privately,
I want to lay out the Wikimedia Foundation's position.

First, a quick recap: The initiator of this idea is enWP editor James
Heilman. James first proposed the idea in an e-mail to me about a
month ago, and a few weeks after that he made a formal proposal on
meta here: http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wiki_Travel_Guide, and
started raising it on the lists. So far, there has been a fair bit of
a discussion – here, and also on wikimedia-l (formerly foundation-l).
Some editors have expressed support; some have been questioning
whether travel fits inside our educational mission, and some have been
discussing how a travel site might handle or interpret NPOV. I've been
pleased, watching the talking, because in my time with the Wikimedia
projects, I have mostly seen new project proposals either ignored or
quickly quashed. IMO this one is getting more serious consideration
than is typical, and I am choosing to interpret that as a signal of
renewed energy in the Wikimedia movement :-)

So. Some thoughts from the Wikimedia Foundation:

* The Wikimedia Foundation is open to the idea of new projects, and is
happy to have the community discussing ideas for new projects.

* Whether it makes sense to create a Wikimedia travel project is a
discussion for the community to have with itself. I encourage you to
continue talking (and I, and the rest of the staff, and the Board,
will continue listening).

* The specifics of how new projects get created are not particularly
clear at this time. I think it would be great for the community to use
this as an opportunity to (re)define a good process for new project
creation, regardless of what happens regarding a travel project. I
imagine that a good process might look something like this (combining
the process that approved Wikiversity and the chapter approval
process): i) Someone from the community makes a basic, public
proposal; ii) there is some form of community discussion, which might
include an RfC; iii) when/if a decision is made to move forward, then
the Board is asked to provide approval; iv) the Board reviews and, if
it chooses to, provides provisional approval pending staff review. v)
The staff then works out the details and implements the decision. That
could work, or something like that.

Regardless of what the community decides regarding creating a
Wikimedia travel project, the Wikimedia Foundation believes there's
enough room for multiple travel sites to co-exist, and for community
members to contribute to multiple sites in this area. Of course, if
the community decides to support a travel project, we would need to
choose a name that is not confusing with that of other sites. That is
the kind of detail the staff would need to be involved in.

The main purpose of this comment is to encourage people to keep
discussing the idea, and to work towards further defining the process
for new project creation. It looks like James started an RfC
yesterday, just above this comment, which is great. Regardless of
whether or not a travel project moves forward, personally I am glad to
see the proposal being seriously discussed. To me it's a sign of
energy and openness and fertility in the movement, which makes me very
happy :-)

Thanks, Sue Gardner (talk) 22:33, 18 April 2012 (UTC)

--
Sue Gardner
Executive Director
Wikimedia Foundation

415 839 6885 office
415 816 9967 cell

Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in
the sum of all knowledge.  Help us make it a reality!

http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Donate

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