Dear Thoughtful and Caring Wikipedia Workers, Designers, Helpers, Gatherers, Visualizers, Programmers, Database people, Donors, Online Communities connected to and using Wikis, or workers on any page on the Internet:
I am visiting https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calca,_Peru because my daughter sent me a photo from there.
But it is a stub.
I found a few things on the internet and a Facebook group of 315 friends. I could provide links and ideas and suggestions for volunteers, but I don’t have time for everything. I can donate a little money, and if it gets set up, I can try to ask donors for more.
But the pages on Wikipedia have no community. There is no “donate to support this community and this page and this idea” button. Or “give a financial thank you to this author” Or “give a donation to encourage a volunteer to do a better job on this page”.
Or “I think this is a good page, and this small community needs help with presenting themselves on the Internet, rather than a canned thing that a bot probably made, is there anyone who can do a better job. and if there were I would support it with a small financial donation, but I cannot afford more than a little because this is a small place I will likely never visit, but my daughter sent this and it seems like a nice place that deserves a better Internet portrait”
Do you have any idea what I am talking about? I do NOT want to make generic donations to Wikimedia. When those banners come up begging for money I always give $100 or so. But there are things I don’t want to support where I see people making more of a mess but the editors are fighting each other and made a mess. And there are poor places and good topics that go begging and never get any help from anyone. And this is Peru, so they speak and read and write another language, and all the languages need to be connected better.
You (Wikipedia, Wikimedia) went out of your way to not let people with connections to something add things. There is no way for people to consciously and openly work together. Your editing process comes off as sterile and confrontational, not collaborative, joyful, caring and representative of the actual community or virtual community living or working or meeting there.
The Wikipedia page at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calca,_Peru is sterile. “Edit” is a technical area, not a community of collaborators working together in caring and love for a topic. It is not lovingly and carefully drawn, and it is not rich in media and visualizations. I use 3D methods a lot, mathematics and programming and science and art a lot. There are beautiful and interesting ways to share things. And there are ways to encourage growth and help – geographic and topic communities. Ask the people in that small city. Ask the people in that province. Do they need help with their Wikipedia entry on the Internet – in all the different language.
Being very practical – this is a way to get the donations and volunteers to support good works. I might find random things to donate to support, or give money to help small communities to get their story and community online. Google can help find things and organize them, Facebook can locate groups, YouTube can help. All the people on the web can help. Yes, I know it takes care and effort. Which is why I am trying to reach out to volunteers and caring people. If you set it up, there will be many millions of donors who care about things and places and ideas. You can get enough general support to try to keep it covered. But it would not be limited to individual effort to enforce and create. Rather “sponsored by” is allowed. Just as every nonprofit has or has the potential to allow “hands off” donors and supporters.
I have been on the Board of a members credit union, on the Finance Committee of a large church, a Director of a large membership organization (85,000 members) and have worked with many non-profits and organizations, I have worked for state health and state education agencies, for federal agencies, for large corporations, and 23 years for the Internet Foundation. So I have a pretty good sense of what is fair and possible. I am not asking to be involved, just to be allowed to contribute to things I think deserve a better presentation. This poor place (they are rich in many ways) but have poor Internet presence and representation – could use at least a decent history and basic community profile. I do not remember every seeing “best practices for profiling small communities”. NOR “join a group of people who care about fair and complete Internet portraits of places and things on Wikis.
I chastised Google when they started snipping pieces of Wikipedia articles and posting them as content on their Google searches. It MIGHT be helpful, but there is no open voting or rating or feedback process to help users encourage them to converge to things that are useful to users, not enrich Google ad department and a few people who control the content.
As a uniform policy, I recommended they NOT post content without giving credit to the specific authors of the content — which they CAN mine from the history of the page. And, if they point to content within one or many pages on Wikipedias, they should show where they found it, how it was rated and chosen, and what else was possible to show but they only showed one. They are using “one size fits all” and “only show the top one” and “give ONE answer and don’t show the process”.
I have though about this a long time, but there is no place to ask or suggest these things because “not my job”. It is OK to work with the people represented on wikis and on the Internet. Not flattery and ads, not rants or glowing prose. But the facts and links to resources for more information, or clear and fair documentation of what has been found, even if the topic or place has not been carefully understood yet. I can draw Internet portraits of most anything, so I know that there are good ways to do most anything. But, practically, WikiMedia Foundation and these public Wikis can literally not afford good people for all the things that deserve them. There need to be surveys and checks on the whole. And the whole thing needs to be more flexible in creation, verification and use. (Sorry that is new subject, but important).
Can someone add a “Donate to support this page” button to https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calca ?
And let me store my credit card information as a Wikipedia donor and supporter. NOT a faceless entity, but specific authors and workers and communities? Then I can click or hover, select and amount and say “support” or “encourage” or “please ask for someone to fill in this one”. I will think more about all the science, math, product, and other categories. But I think that small geographic communities is clear enough to get started.
It should not go to a few controlling and arbitrary people. But to the people represented in that place. They and others would essentially thank the authors and workers and volunteers by paying groups or individuals for their time. I know that a big donor can try to pay for their own message. So keep it anonymous throughout – donate, but no trace or link except to the audit committee (I helped set up the accounting system for a state education agency, for that large member group, and for that church so I know how audit and traceable systems are built and monitored and kept honest.)
I am tired, but trying to give a sketch of some practical policies and procedures that will let WikiPedia (WikiMedia is still technical) stay solvent and fairly representative of needs and activities and communities in the real world.
Richard Collins, Director, The Internet Foundation