You reminded me of the good old days of Wikipedia - the movement that
wasn't centered around money, but driven by interest and volunteering.
I hope that what you've written about Wikiculture shall be read by many
here and if that is understood by more people in coming days, the Indian
'community' can get a wee bit healthier.
Of late, whenever I switch over to read the conversations on this list, it
is not just intrigue but profound disgust that emerges.
On 25 September 2013 10:03, Shyamal L. <lshya...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Apologies for the rant that follows and can be conveniently skipped by the
> busy folks here.
> I am quite intrigued by the kinds of discussion on this list and indeed
> intrigued by most of the characters that seem to be involved in the
> Wikimedia movement in India and how it stands out in contrast to the spirit
> of Wikipedia and its sister projects. Whereas the project is more a culture
> of giving, most of what we see here seems to be more about merely getting
> things for oneself and getting ahead of each other which I suppose is
> inspiration drawn from street traffic. Having observed the movement from
> the outside, it is my hope that the best values of Wikipedia culture are
> imbibed rather than the worst of Indian culture.
> * Wikiculture - Deal with issues not the persons raising them - what
> matters more than who. Those who actually interact with the *community* (an
> earlier thread gave the suggestion that people would get an opportunity to
> interact with the *community* only by attending Wikimania) on Wikipedia
> will know this aspect. This is a symptom of the fact that hardly anyone out
> here is really editing substantially.
> * Wikiculture - Think independently and question everything - Wikipedia
> achieved a lot and is interesting because it questions(or questioned)
> paradigms that are (or were) taken for granted. It uses direct interaction,
> direct democracy, rather than representatives. So voting people into
> committees / positions that work in private is not the way things are done
> here, it is by discussing ideas. Independence requires that you question
> any sense of group identity.
> * Wikiculture - Forsake cliques, identity traps and recognize in-out-group
> dynamics. In particular I think much of the poverty of editing from India
> comes from poor research driven by the idea that an "Indian" needs to
> represent India-related Wikipedia entries in a (POV) way that apparently
> instills pride among fellow-Indians!
> * Wikiculture - Wiki is not paper, editors do not need an office, the best
> community support is provided on-wiki. So again, why would having funds for
> an office, 3 employees visiting that office each day (and adding to
> Bangalore's traffic) help the Wikimedia movement? If something needs to be
> organized, let leadership be elected on Wiki and let there be an grant such
> as IEG on Wiki to support it. I have been quite intrigued by the idea of
> Special Interest Groups being defined by many here by the language in which
> they edit - one would expect SIGs to be subject dependent - so you could
> have astronomers, law experts, literature experts, and so on with members
> who work in multiple language mediums. There could be language specific
> technical SIGs that work on IME, Unicode etc but what we see here instead
> appears more like language chauvinism. Those professing to be subject
> matter experts (and really ought to members of specific SIGs) out here seem
> to contribute almost nothing to Wikipedia in their claimed area of
> expertise - for instance there are quite a number of law experts in the
> group and despite that, one finds that the law related articles, even on
> the English Wikipedia quite atrocious. With the amount of money being
> thrown here one would expect that at least something like the article on
> the Indian Copyright Act to be a GA if not an FA (on the English WP).
The amount being thrown in is certainly huge. And this money was raised!
I'm stumped by the silence of many long time Wikipedians in voicing their
opinion against whatever has been going on in India in the name of
'Wikimedia movement'. Thanks to you for speaking out.
Hari Prasad Nadig
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