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HelmutLeitner -- Tue Sep 29 08:50:11 2009

Regarding your:

"Meeting with Executive Director of Wikimedia Foundation this weekend; what should we talk about?"
I think you could target a consulting project, either for you or for the mb community.

The main position is, the ED probably knows all the successes and failures, all praise and criticism. So nobody can tell her something new in that regard. But what you/mb can do, is to provide a meta-view on the project, that is not about judgment, but about offering consistent perspectives, and maybe from that, dimensions of development. ... but this is not done in a minute, or alongside some drink, and it is not for free.

Offer her a thorough analysis, either from you (cheaper, $15.000 or more) or from mb as a think tank (more expensive, $30.0000 or more). Deliverable in three months.

Just my $0.02

Maybe this could be an example for MeatballTheThinkLab?


SunirShah -- Tue Sep 29 14:57:35 2009

I also agree that that advice from Meatball is worth about $30. Enough for pizza and a six pack of beer.

Ah, localization humour.

What is with the obsession around here lately about making money off of Meatball?


RadomirDopieralski -- Tue Sep 29 15:24:30 2009

I suppose there is no point reminding them about WikiCreole... Weather is always a good topic ;)


SunirShah -- Tue Sep 29 15:32:52 2009

I could remind them that I don't believe in WikiCreole, but I bet that's not what you're after.

Yes, I'm trolling, but I'm HaHaOnlySerious?. Wikipedia's markup needs are well beyond WikiCreole, and they have way more stakeholders than can be accommodated by the WikiCreole group.


NathanielThurston -- Tue Sep 29 16:42:22 2009

Sunir, I [wrote some thoughts] on the subject of the problems and future of WikiPedia just before I was able to access Meatball. I still like most of them.


RadomirDopieralski -- Tue Sep 29 16:45:02 2009

To be honest I lost any hope for that project myself, it just came to me as the one thing I ever had to do with WikiMedia. What are you after asking this question actually?


SunirShah -- Tue Sep 29 17:53:28 2009

I don't pay much attention to Wikipedia these days and I wanted to know if there were any real tensions remaining.


SunirShah -- Wed Sep 30 03:48:27 2009

The actual project is to basically do a stakeholder analysis of all 125,000 volunteers. They want to understand what people want from WikiMedia and how to best enable them to achieve it. They do have excellent consultants working for them on this project.

I'm rolling around a few ideas. WikiMedia is a complex non-profit foundation. Such a phenomenal global success. There is nothing like it in terms of energy and hopefulness. Yet it's awkwardly inwardly focused compared to big charities like the Heart and Stroke Foundation or UNICEF or Greenpeace, or even The Mozilla Foundation or the Apache Foundation. I think the 20th century organizations have very clear public mandates that I think anyone on the street could describe if pressed. The Internet foundations are younger, but I think Mozilla has a clearer public mandate than WikiMedia. (Apache I'm not sure about.)

I would bet most people in North America think of Wikipedia in the same class as YouTube, even though they are quite distinct. WikiMedia has an real opportunity to be more. I'm interested in hearing where they want to take things.


MarkDilley -- Wed Sep 30 04:43:09 2009

Hey Sunir, I would be interested in ideas they might have for trying to capture the spirit of the project when it was younger and not so delete/revert happy. Maybe they would have a feeder wiki that people worked on to get things moved over to the main wiki - instead of the deletionist group growing. Good luck with it! Best, Mark


HelmutLeitner -- Wed Sep 30 06:15:04 2009

Sunir, regarding your

"What is with the obsession around here lately about making money off of Meatball?"
I can only say, that

The consultants that you mention show that WikiMedia acts/thinks in the way I expect them to. If they already have engaged some consultants, it will be natural for them, to engage another one. (the big Asian building projects don't engage just one Feng Shui master, but three or four). But I don't urge you, this is just an option, if you do not have that entrepreneurial spark ...

To the original topic: we probably both remember the WikiSym 2005 lecture of Jimmy Wales, with his 10-point-plan for free-everything (e. g. free product IDs, free museum content, free school/university textbooks ...). As far as I see, most of this has remained vaporware, at least it did not get public attention. It was probably to much, too wide or too unfocused (GimmeFive, maybe focus on the TopThree, not ten). There must now be some void, some longing, to get something important on the ground, after this single "number one hit" WikiPedia. It needs the humility of going about the next/second step with the same seriousness and concentration as the first. There are a number of options. The important thing seems to be, how to relate such a project to the main community. It must be acceptable/inspiring to them, without actually detracting work power. It must be a space, where new people can flow in, and have the feeling of being pioneers again, not being under the control of the existing hierarchy.


SunirShah -- Wed Sep 30 16:03:04 2009

Speaking of leadership and direction, I wonder what the status of the relationships are between JimmyWales, the board, Wikia, and the bureaucrats, the casual volunteers, and the public. The public itself is also diverse. There are consumers, like ourselves, as well as researchers, schools, NGOs, hackers, and democratic movements, and more that I cannot even think of.

I do exclude the wider wiki community, since we have proven in the latter years more distracting than useful to the project.


DanFreeman -- Wed Sep 30 19:24:41 2009

my impression from participating in a Wikipedia usability study a few months ago: they want to identify issues that might discourage new contributors - and would like to understand how to better encourage a wider pool of participants to get comfortable with the theory & practice of editing an article (basic stuff, general attitudes & new user experience - nothing about the more "advanced" inside politics some regulars might focus on).


SunirShah -- Sat Oct 3 23:51:41 2009

So, I had lunch with Sue today. We covered a lot of ground that has been well tread before. Everyone already knows all the problems. I was listening for how this project will lead the community. We can spend a lot of energy on how to properly design the Wikipedia interface or whether to delete or keep, but I was more interested in understanding the emotional state of Wikipedia and how the Foundation wanted to lead it forward.

I was a little surprised to hear that the humanists had apparently disappeared from the project. I'll have to ask SJ about that.


JuanmaMP -- Sun Oct 4 00:14:02 2009

Sorry, what are Humanists on wikipedia context?


SunirShah -- Sun Oct 4 21:14:30 2009

The Humanists are the people who build Wikipedia for the sake of disseminating knowledge the the whole of humankind. When I was at the first Wikimania, about 30% of the discussion was about how to use Wikipedia and the Wikipedia community to create free textbooks, travel guides, etc. The project to get Wikipedia on the OneLaptopPerChild would be a famous example.

Sue was not familiar with people working on such projects today, and suggested surveys indicated almost everybody contributed to Wikipedia for their own entertainment and self-fulfillment (i.e. primarily SocialBelonging?).


HansWobbe -- Tue Nov 3 18:44:44 2009

You're traveling more than I am :-) Let me know when you are back in YyZ? and have an hour to grab a beer or a coffee. I'd like to chat about one idea idea relating to Accounting that results from the HST change and one idea related to an extension of WikiMemorial. --Hans


NathanielThurston -- Fri May 7 08:36:10 2010

Sunir, I think that the new discussion technology may be creating more trouble that it's worth, at least at its present level of polish. For me, clicking on links from within a talk page yields a malformed URL; in particular, I can't find a way to navigate back to the main page.


FedericoLeva -- Tue Jul 27 18:01:12 2010

Hi, Sunir, would you like to give a look at ReciprocalImprovement?


Anon -- Wed Jun 27 08:51 2012

<s>Dear co-founder of MeatballWiki, could you please explain why the RecentChanges shows that you spammed a link on pages GoodFaith and ColorBlind?</s>
I just found that they spam with usernames of known users. I was angry but now I just feel silly and I'm sorry. Does this site have a spam blacklist?

PS. I can't edit through the discussion form: it asks me to enter word "passion" and won't save. This bug does not happen when I directly edit the talk page, like I am doing now.

Hello Anonymous, where do you have problem to edit? I don't understand your problem right now. -- MarkusLude


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