I agree with Ting's remarks about the importance of the social aspect.
Maybe we need a taskforce against rudeness. But looking into the social
aspect does not exclude improvements on the tech side.

I think that maybe instead of VE we should have an 'invisible editor',
meaning that if someone hits edit, no edit window with syntax shows up, but
the page gets open for marking/inserting some text and change it (like it
is done in wordprocessing programs). To place the change correctly in the
body text or in some highly complicated template should be done by the
wikimedia software without user intervention.

As it is now, even simple changes like correcting a typo or a date often
requires a lot of effort in locating it in the edit window. If it is hidden
inside a template, even a page search does not show it.
Regards,
Thyge


2014-06-01 11:53 GMT+02:00 Ting Chen <wing.phil...@gmx.de>:

> Hello Risker,
>
> you have my sympathy, and let me tell you this: I am man and programmer,
> and when I edit articles nowaday I tend to ignore the info boxes and the
> templates at the end of each article. If I create a new article and I
> happen don't have a similar article with the templates and infobox already
> at hand, I simply create an article without both.
>
> And I think it is essential to tell the beginner to do the same: Don't
> bother with things that are too complicated, it is the content that counts.
>
> What I also do is help newcomers to wikify articles. I think it is an
> utterly bad habitate just to put a wikify template in a not nicely
> structured article instead of to do something by one self. It is usually
> just a few edits, two '''s, a few [[ and ]]s, and maybe a [[cateogry:...]]
> that can make the difference.
>
> Personally, there are two reasons that I don't really care about info
> boxes and templates: First it is my own habitate as a user. For me the
> summary at the begin of an article tells me more than the info boxes. Info
> boxes are great for machines, for semantic web or things like that, but as
> a human I am more content with the summary. Second, I am sure that there
> will be at some time some nice and capable people who will put the
> necessary info boxes and templates in the articles I created. I never try
> to start a perfect article (I even never start an article in my own
> sandbox, people can always see my progress in the articles), I just do
> something and then leave it as I am able to.
>
> In all the discussions about editor retention and new comer barriers there
> is one thing that astonishes me again and again, and that is the whole
> discussion seems to be highly biased on the technical aspect, while the
> social aspect mostly tend to be neglected. People put a HUGE TON of hope in
> the visual editor as if it can resolve everything. But actually I think
> what VE can do is very limited, as far as our rules and our scope don't
> change.
>
> Nowaday Wikipedia articles (across all major languages) are highly biased
> in style and in content to academic thesis. How references are used and
> put, the criteria for references as valid, are almost one-by-one copied by
> the standards from academic thesis. Content without references are by
> itself considered as delete candidates. Both of these strongly put up
> constraints on who can put new content in Wikipedia and what content is
> considered as viable. I always feel sorrow, that both the Foundation and
> the community neglected the Oral Citation Project lead by Achal (
> http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Oral_citations ). I believe it has the
> potential to revolutionary how anthropology (and maybe a lot of other
> sciences where field study is necessary) is done just like Wikipedia
> revolutionized how Encyclopedia can be done. And it can really give a lot
> of people, who did not enjoyed the academic training, the possibility to
> contribute their knowledge.
>
> The other major topic that I see neglected in this whole complex of
> discussion is how our rules are set up. They don't really put on a price or
> punishment against rude behavior. There are a lot of initiative to be
> welcoming and helpful, they are all great, but in the end, one rude comment
> can destroy efforts of two or three welcoming volunteers. Our rules only
> set in if the rude behavior is obvious, but not if they are acid and
> suttle. And people tend to ignore rude behavior if they come from a high
> performer editor.
>
> Change our attitude to non-academic-content and change our play rule on
> rude behavior is harder than change in technology, this is why people do so
> as if the VE is the holy grale. But it is not. By the start of the last
> strategic period, in the years 2009 and 2010, the Foundation conducted a
> lot of studies about why people leave our community, and Wiki-syntax is
> only one of at least three other reasons. VE is just a tool, tools can be
> used for good or for bad, it is the mind, that decides for which the tools
> are used.
>
> Greetings
> Ting
>
>
> Am 01.06.2014 08:55, schrieb Risker:
>
>  On 1 June 2014 01:39, Fæ <fae...@gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>>  On 1 June 2014 04:26, James Salsman <jsals...@gmail.com> wrote:
>>> ...
>>>
>>>> ... selects strongly against women.
>>>>>
>>>> Where is the evidence that women have more difficulty understanding
>>>> wikitext than men?
>>>>
>>> (Probably drifting to "Increase participation by women")
>>>
>>> As someone who has run editathons on women focused topics, I found
>>> this an odd comment that does not match anecdotal experience. New
>>> women users seem little different to men in the issues that arise, and
>>> though I have found myself apologising for the slightly odd syntax,
>>> given the standard crib-sheet most users get on with basic article
>>> creation quite happily.
>>>
>>> There are far more commonly raised issues such as the complex issues
>>> associated with image upload (copyright!), or the conceptual
>>> difficulty of "namespaces" which mean that some webpages behave
>>> differently to others. None is something that appears to "select
>>> strongly against women", though the encyclopedia's way of defining
>>> notability can make it harder to create articles about pre-1970s
>>> professional women, purely because sources from earlier periods tend
>>> to be biased towards men.
>>>
>>> If there are surveys that wiki-syntax is more of a barrier for women
>>> than men (after discounting out other factors), perhaps someone could
>>> provide a link?
>>>
>>>
>>>  Fae, I don't know if wiki-syntax in and of itself is more of a barrier
>> for
>> women than men.  What I do know is that wiki-syntax is a lot harder today
>> than it was when I started editing 8 years ago, and that today I would
>> consider it more akin to computer programming than content creation.  That
>> is where the barrier comes in.
>>
>> The statistics for percentage of women employed in computer-related
>> technology is abysmal; we all know that. Even organizations that actively
>> seek out qualified women (including Wikimedia, I'll point out) can't come
>> close to filling all the slots they'd willingly open, because there simply
>> aren't that many qualified women.  They're not filling the seats in
>> college
>> and university programs, either.
>>
>> Eight years ago, only about a quarter of English Wikipedia articles had an
>> infobox - that huge pile of wiki-syntax that is at the top of the
>> overwhelming majority of articles today.  There were not a lot of
>> templates; certainly the monstrous templates at the bottom of most
>> articles
>> today didn't exist then.  The syntax for creating references was
>> essentially <ref> insert url </ref>; today there is a plethora of complex
>> referencing templates, some of which are so complex and non-intuitive that
>> only a small minority of *wikipedians* can use them effectively.  I know
>> wiki-syntax, and I have found it increasingly more difficult to edit as
>> time has gone on.  I don't think it's because I'm a woman, I think it's
>> because I'm not a programmer - and women who *are* programmers are only a
>> small minority of all programmers, so it follows that women are less
>> likely
>> to have the skills that will help them sort through what they see when
>> they
>> click "Edit".
>>
>> It's exactly why I've been following and keeping up with the development
>> of
>> VisualEditor - because I believe it will make it easier for those who
>> aren't particularly technically inclined to contribute to the project.  I
>> believe it's the route to attracting a more diverse editing population,
>> including but not limited to women.  And I think that it's pretty close to
>> being ready for hands-on use by those who are new to our projects, now
>> that
>> it can handle pretty well most of the essential editing tasks.  It's not
>> perfect, but it's getting there.
>>
>> Risker/Anne
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