The Wikimedia Foundation
, a “charity” organization behind all the well-known online encyclopedia, literally just announced its new project aimed at simplifying work with a popular portal. First of all, this applies to new authors who first came to the resource in order to share their knowledge with others. An amount equal to $ 890,000 from the Stanton Foundation, which provides grants for community service initiatives, will help implement the Wikimedia Foundation. A fresh Wikimedia project will focus on making the interface for writing and editing articles at least somewhat simpler.
The reason for the undertaking is quite obvious - even though a sufficiently large number of various browser plugins for working with Wikipedia are created, the default interface and, in particular, the markup language, may well scare away not the most persistent encyclopedist.Sue Gardner
, executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation, says: “Most of the current authors who are working to improve Wikipedia have a technical understanding from medium to high.” However, this number does not include people who are potentially ready to share their knowledge with the others, but who do not have sufficient skills to work with the encyclopedia.
The money will be used to create a team of developers, usability specialists and UI designers who will work to reduce the barrier for beginning authors. In particular, Sue says that some complex interface elements that are not necessary for a sophisticated writer will be hidden.
As notes ReadWriteWeb
, the project may well be a worthwhile undertaking (note ed: debatable, and I will explain why). Anyone who is not hearsay familiar with the Wikipedia markup language knows that it is far from intuitive and any author who wants to write effectively in the online encyclopedia will first have to fill a lot of bumps and something to learn before he can do something more rather than elementary corrections in the text. By lowering the entry threshold for authors, Wikipedia can be replenished with new and valuable knowledge.
And now about the other side of the coin - many people know that Wikipedia, or, as some of it is affectionately called “hands”, is far from perfect. This autumn, this fact was confirmed once again by a series of remarkable events
on one of the most popular resources on the network. As you know, the basic principle of the encyclopedia is not the search for truth, but the relative verifiability of an authoritative source. It is for this reason, according to many learned minds, that Wikipedia cannot be regarded as a full-fledged and reliable source of knowledge about the world (but here too - how to see if a lot of things can be mixed in the text of the article, then usually following the original links It is possible to accurately separate the wheat from the chaff). In any case - I have some concerns about the fact that with the simplification of writing / editing tools, Wikis can turn into another “bazaar on the Internet”.