Dear colleagues,

Since November 2012, Wikivoyage is a part of the Wikimedia movement. I
have come to some thoughts about this old/new project, both from the
perspective of a collaborator and from the perspective of the
movement.

Chance:
Wikivoyage has a huge potential; it may open the movement for new
collaborators who were not attracted enough by Wikipedia. There is
still low hanging fruit, and there are working chapters - and the WMF
- to support the new family member. Integrating Wikivoyage is also a
challenge for the movement, it has to prove that it is capable to do
so. (And recommend itself for other wikis to join.)

Bore:
But, if Wikivoyage fails to make use of its potential, it will be one
more Wikimedia wiki rather small and limited in range, such as
Wikiquote or Wikinews. A community grown over the years may be good in
binding (linking the existing members to each other), but less in
bridging (being open for new members and contacting others). We see
the same phenomenon (that new people find it difficult their way, or
are even expelled more or less explicitly) also with Wikipedia, but on
a much higher level. Also Wikipedia loses community members slowly,
with difficulties acquiring new ones.

Hazard:
Wikipedia developed a lot of rules over the years, often after heavy
debates and scandals. For example, the Seigenthaler incident and other
cases of calumny led to the policy about Biographies of Living People.
Wikivoyage has still a rather limited set of rules, and wishes to
remain so. Wikipedia is neutral, Wikipedia uses references, while
Wikivoyage allows to criticize e.g. a restaurant and does not require
a source. But where is the limit between exercising one's freedom of
speech and libel? Scandals can backfire to the whole movement.

In my humble opinion, this is a good moment for Wikivoyagers (old and
new ones alike) to engage in discussions about style, limitations,
good practices, and improve the site to make it newbies easier to
join. With the good will from all sides, Wikivoyage should become a
chance for the movement rather than anything else.

Kind regards
Ziko





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Vereniging Wikimedia Nederland
dr. Ziko van Dijk, voorzitter
http://wmnederland.nl/

Wikimedia Nederland
Postbus 167
3500 AD Utrecht
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