Ok, I did read your message too fast... I nevertheless know Simple English Wikipedia.
I think that SEWP was created like it is, partly by fear of creating a project openly directed to children, and I'm afraid it precisely make it not so compelling for them.
> The thing is, as the main English Wikipedia more specialist, and therefore more complicated, we have a Simple English Wikipedia that we shouldn’t let languish in the hopes of creating a children's encyclopedia out of whole cloth.
Actually, Vikidia in english does exist, with 4,035 articles !
Unfortunately, the developpment of the wikis for children is very uneven, and it seems hard to overcome the delay when they were launched later one than another or missed their launch. For exemple I know about two or three unlucky attempts in german before Klexikon* (and I beleive German had or has a very good potential for such a project - demography and cultural ground favourable to children participation and their freedom of information). Yet it was in Dutch that Wikikids was launched early and is now quite big and active.
They may be a way to promote a existing (or to be launched) wiki encyclopedia for children, to "use the momentum of Wikipedia to make it easier to discover" as just said Galder Gonzalez Larrañaga, but somewhat different from the way they chooses on the Basque Wikipedia : That would be to let appear the kid equivalent article in the "In other projects" section.
Or maybe a very active work both in promotion and gathering a substantial set of core articles (picking the best/most usefull, most viewed articles from several kids wikis and Simple English Wikipedia, translating...)
*- the original "Wikikids" proposal as a Wikimedia project was made by german speaking wikipedians in early 2005 : https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/foundation-l/2005-January/015108.html https://meta.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikikids&oldid=89757 but was chilled down by the reactions on this list...
- Grundschulwiki was launched in december 2005, it still exists but is restricted to works done in primary classroom and therefore is not much developped : https://grundschulwiki.zum.de/index.php?title=Hauptseite&dir=prev&action="">
- a 2010 project ended as they were told to request a Simple German Wikipedia and then denied to open it: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Redaktion_Medizin/Projekt_Kinderleicht https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Requests_for_new_languages/Wikipedia_Simple_German_3
Meanwhile Wikikids.nl was launched in March 2006 and Vikidia in French in November 2006.
Envoyé: jeudi 23 juin 2022 à 21:15
De: "Neurodivergent Netizen" <idoh.idreamofhor...@gmail.com>
À: "Wikimedia Mailing List" <wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org>
Objet: [Wikimedia-l] Re: Small joy of the day: Txikipedia
The English Wikipedia has a “plain language” wikipedia, the Simple English Wikipedia. It’s targeted not only towards children, but also towards people who aren’t fluent in English and/or have learning disabilities. A few “internet hack” memes say “If you can’t understand the Wikipedia article, change en to simple!” Basically, the English Wikipedia community has two very general-to-slightly-specialist encyclopedias.
Unfortunately, I’ve witnessed in years past that the Simple English Wikipedias’ activity level was, shall we say, wanting. I hope that’s changed; I suspect kids would enjoy learning to research for the purpose of writing on Simple before moving on to the so-called “real” English Wikipedia, but that might require some assistance that might not always exist offline. I think Simple would certainly be a good place to start making Wikipedia more accessible to 8-10 year olds.
I dream of horses

On Jun 23, 2022, at 11:40 AM, Mathias Damour <mathias.dam...@gmx.fr> wrote:
 De: "WereSpielChequers" <werespielchequ...@gmail.com>
A childrens' encyclopaedia written for nine year olds would surely be very different than one written for thirteen year olds. And content that parents of fourteen year olds thought was age inappropriate in Alabama might be thought appropriate or even bowdlerised by parents of ten year olds in London.

In other words, are you sure that one single childrens' encyclopaedia is the answer to either the problem of reading age or age appropriate content?

There is one thing that is sure, that "one single childrens' encyclopaedia" is a great step for children (and often teenagers and older people) than having just Wikipedia available, and they love it.
Where I think that Wikipedia could and should change re this is in our use of jargon. To my mind a "general interest" english language encyclopaedia should be written in plain English. I suspect other language versions have similar issues.  Perhaps if we focussed more on this we would make it easier for those who wish to create childrens' versions.

Yet there is not realistic hopes that the language of Wikipedia will change to be easier. That wouldn't address the fact the articles on general subjects are among the longest ones.
It sounds a bit weird that a content for 12 yo would not fit well for a 8 yo, and then that Wikipedia could fit to children. The "reading level" of articles on Vikidia is not perfectly homogenous, nor their developpment is. They can be usefull for adult beginners on a subject just as a child can prefer Wikipedia on a subject he's fond of and allready informed.
That was developped in this post (in english):

De: "Ziko van Dijk" <zvand...@gmail.com>
Ideally, one would have
* an encyclopedia for the very young, that parents read to them,
* an encyclopedia for the 8 to 13 year olds, the target group for many
of the existing kids' wikis,
* an encyclopedia for juvelines, 14 to 18 years
* an encyclopedia for everyone; this is what "regular Wikipedia" should be,
* an encyclopedia for specialists; this is what "regular Wikipedia"
actually develops into.
And maybe encylopedias for people with specific challenges such as

Most language don't have a single wiki encyclopedia for children or an under-developped one. So I guess that's not realistic nor wise to wish such a division in this work. So let's work on the allready allready launched ones ! (Especially the one of the Vikidia family of course ;) see https://www.vikidia.org/ )
You actually do not need millions of articles for a good encyclopedia, some thousand well written articles are enough.

Vikidia in French and Wikikids in Dutch are by far the biggest wiki encyclopedias for children, with about 35000 articles each. Yet young reader on the Vikidia's guestbook still ask for "more content", which certainly mean both enought developped articles (not just a few lines) and more subjects. So yes, we need, if not millions of articles, at least several dozens of thousands articles.
Of course, we see that (as everywhere) 20 % of the articles make more than 80 % of the pageviews. But you can't really guess in advance which subject will be in the top 20 %.
 De: "Galder Gonzalez Larrañaga" <galder...@hotmail.com>
About Txikipedia: the age range is 8-12, but is more 10-12 than 8-9. The problem is that some of the writers are 8-9 years old, so their content is quite simple.


When I read French Vikidia I think that most of the contents are still too difficult for 8-9 years old students, but French education system maybe more advanced in some issues. Or it might be that Vikidia is centered in 8-13 years old, and 13 years old readers are way better reading and understanding texts. Klexikon seems very suitable, but it's logical, since it is written by educators, and not children or whoever wants to write. When we make courses with university students who will be the next primary school teachers, they write longer articles, but not necessarily better. The main goal there is to explain things as easily as possible, and not granting anything for known. We advise them to write shorter sentences, without dependencies and to explain all technical concepts inline, if possible. Also, they normally add boxes of "did you know?" so they can add a layer for curious children.

Just as on Wikipedia, article don't have only one author. That makes them better, more accessible and accurate.

You can't just test an average child to write on such a wiki to tell if children and teenagers are able to participate to a wiki encyclopedia for several reasons :
  • the 1% rule (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1%25_rule) fully apply there (or less than 1%)
  • regular editors are few but very motivated,
  • they typically learn and are engaged for months and years, which is VERY different than having been trained to edit for one or two hours.

A 12 yo with 2 years of participation, or a 15 yo with 3 years of experience are often very valuables editors, either as writer of for maintenance and community tasks.

Adults as well have to learn to write on Vikidia, be they educators or not. Just as it is well know that a journalist or a scientist, which are supposed to be skilled is writing articles, often don't fit immediatly with the style that is expected on Wikipedia.

Mathias Damour
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