Talk:Wikivoyage/Archive/2012-11-16

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Archive of

2012 WMF travel guide/Wikivoyage project proposal TALK PAGE

The content page archives the proposal

Please do not edit this page—for discussion about Wikivoyage, welcome to use the Meta Wikivoyage/Lounge

Thank you


Opening comments[edit]

Could be cool. What do the communities of those various 'demo' sites look like? They're all more serious than demos generally are. Would this concept be similar -- text and images on wiki pages, with good map integration? SJ talk   03:12, 22 March 2012 (UTC)

Yes, exactly, text and images with good map integration. More commercial information and how-to content than present on Wikipedia.--Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 01:42, 5 April 2012 (UTC)

Is there any evidence that can be easily pointed to regarding the size and interest of this "large group of editors at Wikitravel"? --Cybercobra (talk) 06:07, 9 April 2012 (UTC)

See below. --Waldir (talk) 12:23, 13 April 2012 (UTC)

Frankly speaking, I don't think we need another wiki on travelling as there already is Wikivoyage. Wikivoyage is a fork of Wikitravel that was created when Wikitravel went commercial. It is run under a free CC-by-sa licence, and it is ready to add new language projects. German editors of Wikivoyage most probably will not change to a WMF project. So the question is why the editors of English Wikitravel won't rather come over and join Wikivoyage? It would be a rather bad idea to split communities instead of joining them together. To my mind Wikivoyage is the place where to gather travel information.--Aschmidt (talk) 17:45, 9 April 2012 (UTC)

I am Stefan, chairman of the board of the Wikivoyage association. Concerning me, personally i would like to get closer to WMF. When we founded Wikivoyage we did not see any chance to become a part of WMF and an official WMF project. Now, after five years, things have changed and Wikivoyage is established as a known and living wiki project. Maybe there is way to come together - all projects. My favourite is Wikivoyage including the English community as a part of WMF and a WM project. It's just my own opinion. We have a member gathering in Cologne on June 9th and this topic is a point of our agenda. Everybody is welcome to join. Would love to talk to some members of WT and WMF and to you, Aschmidt. If somebody wants to join, just contact me for further information. -- DerFussi (talk) 20:07, 9 April 2012 (UTC)
Hello Stefan, thanks for your comment. I like WikiVoyage a lot, and used it when I was travelling in Germany last month. I agree that all non-commercial freely licensed travel sites would benefit from joining forces; I would be happy to see the WMF offer some sort of support for this if it is needed, but wouldn't want us to fragment the conceptual space. It seems that WikiVoyage has always been open to including new languages, but hasn't had enough people interested in English (for example) to do so. Perhaps the people supporting this Wiki Travel Guide proposal could consider joining forces with WikiVoyage. And this page could become a discussion of whether WMF could host the project (and whether WV would be interested in this, or in becoming a movement partner). Regards, SJ talk  22:08, 9 April 2012 (UTC)
I actually think that bringing WikiTravel into the WMF fold could lead to a larger and more vibrant community and end up being more of a merger than any type of 'fork' or fragmentation. Whenever you try to combine one active community with another (Move WT into WV or vice versa for example) you can run into some difficulty. I think that if a core group of people from both sites are interested in a 'new' project, then they can come together as complete equals which makes it much easier. We also have a huge benefit, an active community already. I have little doubt that a good portion of the WMF editing community would be interested in the new project and poke around, and probably edit (and some would stay). While obviously you would hope that they would get there on their own regardless of where the site is hosted, that is, sadly, not usually how it goes in practice since people are used to their environment. Jamesofur (talk) 04:45, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
I quite agree with Jamesofur on this point. I am a user on WT and WP, and bringing them together where both can share files on Commons will also help me quite a bit. I would strongly support a move to unite WT and WV as a WM project. Pbsouthwood (talk) 13:34, 5 July 2012 (UTC)
Stefan, thanks for your comment and thanks for the invite to your meetup in Cologne. As already mentioned on Wikivoyage I would be very happy to join you there. Of course, this should not keep us from discussing this further here. -- Arne (akl) (talk) 23:25, 10 April 2012 (UTC)

Is travel content educational?[edit]

Hello, I have huge sympathies for Wikitravel/Wikivoyager and use them before travelling. To create a Wikimedia sister project "Wiki Travel Guide" I wonder whether the content would be really "educational". One would also have to think some other implications through, e.g. it would mean that in the "External links" section of a Wikipedia article there would be possibly a link to the page on Wiki Travel Guide. Ziko (talk) 22:54, 9 April 2012 (UTC)

I think travel content, freely provided, is pretty clearly educational (actually, travel itself is educational!). Also, Wikipedia articles already link to Wikitravel guides via Wikipedia:Template:Wikitravel. A large part of this proposal would be to consolidate existing travel guide wikis, to increase the scope of collaboration, and to allow the projects greater creative room and technical support. --Peter Talk 23:22, 9 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Travel is some of the best education and many share this view per a Google search
  • A travel guide is just as if not more educational as Wikinews

Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 23:48, 9 April 2012 (UTC)

Probably, no one will dispute that travelling itself is educational. The question is, whether the content a travelling guide wiki contains is educational. This clearly is not always so. Wikinews, in contrast, is a supplement to Wikipedia for pieces of news that are too current to be included in an encyclopaedia.--Aschmidt (talk) 00:04, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
Yes and resources that help one acquire an education are educational.Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 00:39, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
Frankly, every single time I've read a travel guide.... I've learned something. --Philippe (talk) 04:34, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
+1 to Philippe. I don't know if any of you has ever prepared a trip with Wikipedia pages. I have tried, and I have failed. Wikipedia is a wonderful resource when it comes to knowing everything on a subject. But to roam a city or a country with Wikipedia pages is a fail, too many pages, too many links, too many things. I don't want to travel with 400 pages printed on A4 to go around. I want a quick reference guide, the gist of what there is to see, to learn in a country or a place. If I need more, then I go to Wikipedia and learn more. I believe that questioning the "educational nature" of a traveling guide is giving little credit to those who have made Wikipedia and have shared their experience and knowledge and to be frank, it is a bit of a strawman. To me, education is about bringing things into context. When I explain something to my children, I bring it into context, I don't splurt out a Wikipedia article as is, I try and explain things with references they can relate to. A Wiki travel guide is exactly that, it's bringing knowledge forward from a different context. With a travel guide, someone who may not have looked for information on a subject in the first place will do so, because they have come into contact with the reality of it by traveling, and they might want to learn more. At worst, it's a great way to bring people to get interested in pieces of knowledge they might have overlooked, at best, it's a repository of knowledge dressed in different garments. I like the idea of a Wiki Travel Guide being a part of the Wikimedia Projects, because I think that there is not just one path to education, but many, and I find the travel angle to be at least as worthy as the news or book or quote angle, if not more. If we decide to take on this project, there will be many challenges such as the place of NPOV (should there be NPOV?), or companies pushing for their hotel to be listed, or, well, nothing that we don't already have... The biggest challenge, however, will be to make a comprehensive guide, something that completes Wikipedia without being redundant, but that helps people apprehend knowledge in a different way. What I like about this project, is that it comes with a core community, who, as I understand it, has weighed in pros and cons and is dedicated to make it happen. Frankly, I can imagine a world where the sum of human knowledge integrates making the world a more accessible place by giving you tips on how to get to the most remote places on earth, because they're worth having seen once, and teach you something. notafish }<';> 08:30, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
Thanks, Notafish, you've made a good point. What's more, I think a travel guide might be a great chance to improve editor retention. --Aschmidt (talk) 09:53, 11 April 2012 (UTC)

Everything are educational. One can even find educational in pornography (teach how to make love). The real issue, I think, is how educational it is. I don't think Travel Guide is so educational. --王小朋友 (talk) 12:17, 19 July 2012 (UTC)

Much of Wikipedia is pop culture. Travel content is both more notable and more educations.Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 02:07, 20 July 2012 (UTC)
Many school arrange travel trips due to the educational nature of this activity. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 15:31, 25 July 2012 (UTC)
I think you make a point. --王小朋友 (talk) 10:49, 13 August 2012 (UTC)

Bringing travel sites together[edit]

This proposal I hope will bring together travel sites rather than split them up. The WT group has already begun to head off and create their own wiki. If those at WV are willing to join under the WMF banner this would give both groups equal footing and a certain degree of autonomy such as that seen between the German and English Wikipedias. WT by the way does not have the NC clause while WV does. Hopefully if a new site is created it will all be under CC BY SA but that is yet to be discussed. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 23:48, 9 April 2012 (UTC)

Where do you see an NC (no commercial use) clause?--Eloquence (talk) 02:39, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
Sorry I am indeed mistaken. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 03:04, 10 April 2012 (UTC)

Percentage of editors of WT interested in moving?[edit]

Do we know what percentage/number of editors of WT are interested in moving?--Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 02:23, 10 April 2012 (UTC)

That would not be possible to determine, in no small part because of the difficulty in reaching all of the 68,933+ registered users, and countless more anonymous contributors. It is my understanding, though, we have unanimous support among all WT administrators who have responded to this question. (That says something remarkable.) --Peter Talk 04:49, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
In addition, some editors (at least me ;-) are already active on both WT and WMF projects. --Túrelio (talk) 08:03, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
Just in terms of admins, there are 48 on Wikitravel and as of now 15 have expressed an interest here. That seems like fairly good going considering a number of admins are probably not active at the moment. the wub "?!" 11:17, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
Yes, it can be hard to track down Wikitravellers, since they are often traveling (I'm writing this from an airport right now)! But in private discussions, I can vouch that at least 31 of our admins, not including Wikivoyageurs, have expressed their support for a move to the WMF. None have opposed. --Peter Talk 00:35, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
I have only now become aware of this proposal, and I have been doing (a modest amount of) edits to WT for the last month. So I suspect many WT editors will be unaware. Nurg (talk) 00:19, 20 July 2012 (UTC)

NPOV[edit]

So, presumably the travel guides will recommend some attractions over others, presumably in part based on personal travel experiences. How do we reconcile this with NPOV (and/or reliable sourcing)? Or is NPOV a negotiable aspect of Wikimedia projects? --Cybercobra (talk) 01:35, 12 April 2012 (UTC)

What NPOV means depends on the project. The definition at Wikisource is here [1] and Wikimedia Commons has neither NPOV nor NOR per [2]. This guideline at Wikiversity has not yet been defined [3]. Wikitravel has a slightly different take called "be fair" [4] I was not able to find any guidance from WV.--Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 01:54, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
To be fair, I think we all agree that travel guides are all about POV? Choose this hotel, while better keep away from that one is a case in point. This would hardly go with any guideline for neutrality of sorts. Such information should indeed be excluded. If a travel guide is part of Wikimedia it should include verifiable information only.--Aschmidt (talk) 18:42, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
We could create a way that our readers could provide feedback on hotels and restaurants and this number could be given thus providing a more objective measure than one persons opinion. We are already using the 1 to 5 rank for our pages on Wikipedia.
Movies and books are all about POV but there are people who rank them and we discuss this here. Same as there are people who rank hotels and restaurants. --Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 20:02, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
Again: Opinions are not verifiable. At Wikipedia we deal with facts.--Aschmidt (talk) 09:40, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
Right... but this isn't Wikipedia.. The WMF already has projects that don't deal with straight, sourced facts (take Wikibooks for example which also doesn't necessarily have NPOV for everything). Remember WMF != Wikipedia and new project do not need to (and probably should not) automatically follow English Wikipedia or other project norms. 80.82.65.247 10:49, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
I feel that a draft NPOV policy should be defined before opening the project: Wikitravel offers some very detailed guidelines (the be fair policy could reult questionable in soe aspects), but the more this new project will benefit and attract users from other WMF project, the more it will attract spam, trolling, POV wars, and so on. I wrote "draft" because only the day to day experience will lead to a definitve policy.
As a wikisource user I experience every day the importance of defining exactly what should be the appropriate content of the project and what can be quietly left out by addressing to the other WMF sister projects. - εΔω 13:38, 23 July 2012 (UTC)
Feel free to consider the Be Fair policy such a draft. It has served the community well for several years, and we have not found a need to impose any kind of strict NPOV policy... nor has anyone given a reason why NPOV ought to be imposed on it. No one has talked of imposing NPOV on Commons or Wikiversity; why is Wikitravel different? LtPowers (talk) 15:26, 23 July 2012 (UTC)

Semi-profit benefit corporation outside the WMF[edit]

I suggest combining the various wiki travel sites in a semi-profit benefit corporation outside the WMF. I think you will be a lot happier. See:

WMF projects (other than the Commons) do not get a lot of participation. The WMF is a big bureaucratic mess right now in my opinion. See

Getting anything done in a WMF travel wiki would take forever because wikiprojects are low on the priority list of the WMF. Also, you would not benefit much from editors jumping from Wikipedia to help with the travel wiki because there is no good, easy-to-use integrated, global watchlist. See:

If some of you create a travel wiki under a semi-profit benefit corporation, I would like to be hosted as a sub-wiki on your server. I am the bureaucrat admin at the Cannabis Wiki which is basically a travel wiki for cannabis activism with over 700 city pages. See:

Also, there is no need for your own servers. There are various web hosts that have MediaWiki. For example:

This has been discussed and is not the preferred solution for a number of reasons. As there are a number of synergies between Wikipedia and Wiki Travel Guide content they would both do better if closely aligned.Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 12:16, 12 April 2012 (UTC)

WikiGuide for both travellers and locals[edit]

It strikes me that it might be worthwhile to also incorporate guidebook-type information for locals, as well as for travellers. This would follow on the idea of the Not For Tourists book series, and also the trend of city wikis and perhaps aspects of the LocalWiki software that has been developed recently for them. Actual residents of an area can be thought of as another "user case" that would benefit from specialized coverage, along with families, LGBT, and older travellers.--Pharos (talk) 18:55, 12 April 2012 (UTC)

This (or WikiVoyage) is a better name, at any rate. Lemuel Akins (talk) 02:21, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
Existing travel guide wikis are very much useful for "traveling in your own city." As far as names go, though, it's best that we not discuss any potentials until we have already purchased the associated domains. --Peter Talk 09:29, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
Well, we do own Wikimedia.org--Ymblanter (talk) 09:39, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
Yes, but note that all current content projects (except Wikimedia Commons and WikiSpecies) use the format wiki*.org rather than *.wikimedia.org --Waldir (talk) 12:31, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
It might be indeed a good idea to register the domain immediately.--Ymblanter (talk) 12:46, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
Sure, but we must decide what name to use first (and be careful not to do it too much in the open lest someone register it first). This has already been noted in the Domain names section of the proposal. --Waldir (talk) 15:48, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
As anyone can use the name "wiki", I urge to use "Wikimedia" for a Wikimedia project, if that is finally the intention. "Wikimedia Travelling" for example. Ziko (talk) 18:20, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
Please refrain from mentioning name ideas, unless you have already purchased the domain. --Peter Talk 20:46, 13 April 2012 (UTC)

Considering that the English Wikitravel editors have gone it all alone so far, it would be a noble gesture indeed to call the project Wikivoyage if the German editors agree to join in. --Aschmidt (talk) 22:07, 13 April 2012 (UTC)

Yes I would strongly support calling this project WikiVoyage if the German contingent was willing to join.Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 12:23, 14 April 2012 (UTC)

Roadmap[edit]

Now, I am afraid, it is a bit unclear what should be done for accepting Wikitravel/Wikivoyage whatever as a sister project. One thing is certain that there should be a board resolution about it. To me it looks as follows.

  1. We wait until (June?) when WikiVoyage decides on whether they are (i) interested in merging with WT, (ii) interested in becoming a WMF project.
  2. I take for granted (from the discussion) that WT wants to both merge with WikiVoyage and to become a WMF project.
  3. By June, it must be also clear whether we as a community are interested to get Wikitravel/Wikivoyage as a WMF project. The discussion here, as well as in the wikimedia-l mailing list, should by that time provide all necessary arguments.
  4. Then someone should take the initiative, summarize the discussions, and, provided they show the desire of the community to welcome Wikitravel/Wikivoyage/Wikiguide as a sister project, draft a resolution for the Board. This can be done by the Sister Project Committee, but we are currently in formation discussing the scope, and I personally would be fine if this could be done by an individual or a self-nominated committee of individuals.
  5. Hopefully the Board votes the resolution.
  6. Then technical issues (domain, dump etc) and organizational issues (policies, which need to be consistent with WMF general policies, etc) get done.

Does it sound like a reasonable plan?--Ymblanter (talk) 09:50, 13 April 2012 (UTC)

Yes, if it is acceptable to the Wikivoyage team. The question is what would you do if Wikivoyage should not join the process?--Aschmidt (talk) 22:11, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
I guess then merge in Wikitravel only (provided there is a consensus of Wikimedia Community).--Ymblanter (talk) 23:01, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
Sounds ok. By 9th of June me and Roland will think about technical issues (eg. we use a PostGreSQL database and some own extensions). Besides I am going to inform all our members about the importance of the decisions we are facing and that they all should participate in the gathering on Cologne.... -- DerFussi (talk) 08:28, 14 April 2012 (UTC)

Pillars/principles[edit]

  1. You mentioned Wikia Travel Wiki and World66 but proviaded little information about them. Can you expand on this?
  2. Can you formulate five general principles—five pillars that this proposed project will be based on if approved.

Ruslik (talk) 11:15, 14 April 2012 (UTC)

I do not see a problem with adopted something similar:
  1. Wiki Travel Guide is a travel guide
  2. It is written from the point of view of a traveler
  3. Wiki Travel Guide is free content that anyone can edit, use, modify, and distribute
  4. Editors should interact with each other in a respectful and civil manner
  5. Wiki Travel Guide does not have firm rules
Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 12:30, 14 April 2012 (UTC)
Are verifiability or BLP part of these principles. Ruslik (talk) 15:02, 14 April 2012 (UTC)
No --Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 22:18, 14 April 2012 (UTC)
At least BLP is a foundation mandated policy, so, it must be obeyed across all Wikimedia projects. Ruslik (talk) 06:36, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
Assuming BLP is Biographies of Living Persons, biographies aren't relevant subjects for the current travel guides. Thus, while it may not be a relevant issue, if it is a requirement to becoming a WMF project that this policy be explicitly adopted it should not be an issue. Note that there is a similar issue with respect to images of people in photographs, and for similar reasons as the BLP policy the current travel guide policies prohibit such images except in rare cases [5]. -- Wrh2 (talk) 17:36, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
Yes the travel wiki would of course follow the BLP policy but such a policy as mentioned by Wrh2 is very tangential to a travel wiki. This policy however is not within Wikipedia's "five pillars" either. --Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 00:05, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
It is, of course, part of the five pillars. Ruslik (talk) 04:41, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
Which one? --Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 05:25, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
With almost 9 years of history, Wikitravel has developed its own culture -- distinct from Wikipedia's, but probably complementary. Here are a few that might be good to start with.
As with any community guidelines, these change over time. But I think most Wikitravellers will want to make the existing ones our baseline. --Evan (talk) 14:19, 14 April 2012 (UTC)
I did not ask you for a bunch of links. I could find them myself. I asked you to formulate in your own words what will be the main principles of the proposed project. Ruslik (talk) 15:02, 14 April 2012 (UTC)
This is not really something that needs to be nailed down now. But the 5 above are reasonable and correspond to Wikipedia's. Do other Wikimedia Projects have similar main principles?Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 07:28, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
Other projects are irrelevant. What is important is that if you are unable to formulate a few basic principles you are unlikely to archive success here. Ruslik (talk) 04:41, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
Yes and we have above.Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 05:25, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
"...if you are unable to formulate a few basic principles..." -- Why ask a question if you're going to ignore the answer? Scroll up a bit, it's right there. Jafeluv (talk) 14:11, 16 April 2012 (UTC)

Hi all! I developed a bit on Doc James' five pillars, so that we can refine them together and move forward, any feedback is welcome:

  1. Wiki Travel Guide is a travel guide: It incorporates elements of general and specialized travel guides, business listings, tourism brochures, and other itinerary publications. Wikipedia is not a soapbox, an advertising platform, a vanity press, an experiment in anarchy or democracy, an indiscriminate collection of information, or a web directory. It is not an atlas, a travel essay anthology, a personal travel journal, an advertising brochure, a Yellow Pages, an encyclopedia, a dictionary, a newspaper, or a collection of source documents; that kind of content should be contributed instead to the Wikimedia sister projects.
  2. Wiki Travel Guide is fair: We strive for articles that are fair and useful for all travellers, whatever their budget or culture. Information with references is prefered, especially controversial topics. Information about any particular living person is not acceptable content.
  3. Wiki Travel Guide is free content that anyone can edit, use, modify, and distribute: Respect copyright laws, and do not plagiarize sources. Non-free content is allowed under fair use, but strive to find free alternatives to any media or content that you wish to add to Wiki Travel Guide. Since all your contributions are freely licensed to the public, no editor owns any article; all of your contributions can and will be mercilessly edited and redistributed.
  4. Editors should interact with each other in a respectful and civil manner: Respect and be polite to your fellow editors, even when you disagree. Apply Wiki Travel Guide etiquette, and avoid personal attacks. Find consensus, avoid edit wars, and remember that there are many articles on Wiki Travel Guide to work on and discuss. Act in good faith, and never disrupt Wiki Travel Guide to illustrate a point. Be open and welcoming, and assume good faith on the part of others. When conflict arises, discuss details on the talk page, and follow dispute resolution.
  5. Wiki Travel Guide does not have firm rules: Rules in Wiki Travel Guide are not carved in stone, as their wording and interpretation are likely to change over time. The principles and spirit of Wiki Travel Guide's rules matter more than their literal wording, and sometimes improving Wiki Travel Guide requires making an exception to a rule. Be bold (but not reckless) in updating articles and do not worry about making mistakes. Prior versions of pages are saved, so any mistakes can be corrected.

Cheers! Nicolas1981 (talk) 02:32, 17 April 2012 (UTC)

Ok, this is significantly better! I think you should incorporate this into the proposal—people should known what will be the main principles of the project. Ruslik (talk) 06:01, 17 April 2012 (UTC)
I think that's a good start (thanks Nicolas1981), but maybe there should be more discussion before posting them on the proposal page. The biggest issues I see (from my perspective as an existing WT admin) are (1) there's no mention of "the traveller comes first" and (2) "information with references is preferred". I'd probably rewrite #2 along the lines of:
  • Wiki Travel Guide is written from the traveller's point of view: We strive for articles that are useful for all travellers, whatever their budget or culture. Writing should be fair, honest and reliable. Don't tout and don't include information that isn't relevant to the traveller. Decisions about Wiki Travel Guide should be based on the convenience and expectations of travellers.
Just to explain some of the items I left out... BLP - as far as I know, living people aren't travel topics so an explicit statement on BLP seems unnecessary (I mean it to be captured under "don't include information that isn't relevant to the traveller"). I don't think it's a big deal to include it either.
Information with references is preferred - I guess I'm not sure what is meant by this statement. My first reaction is Wikipedia-style footnotes, which seems unusual for a travel guide. More specifically though, it seems redundant and not always practical. Redundant in the sense that, if approved, Wiki Travel Guide would be a sister project to an already well documented source in Wikipedia. It seems inefficient for WT and WV editors to find their own sources when WP has already done so in many situations. WT already links to WP (and I'm assuming WV does as well) and maybe we should be making better use of those links to address verification concerns. Travel information can also more subjective, and that's why I think references may not always be practical. A link can be provided to an attraction/hotel/restaurant home page to verify basic facts (and WT currently strives to do this), but other statements that would likely be useful -- like Dish A is the signature dish of a restaurant, or this attraction is good for kids -- are less easy to reference. And once you move on to more remote parts of the world where businesses frequently don't have websites and there's little written about them, the chances of finding a reference to verify what's written are slim.
Anyway, those are my thoughts. I know the BLP/NPOV/references are somewhat contentious so I thought I'd explain more of where WT has come from on these issues. Cheers. - Shaundd (talk) 06:51, 17 April 2012 (UTC)
Would support the change of #2. Before posting we should however get more community input IMO. --Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 10:20, 17 April 2012 (UTC)
Maybe we can refer people to this section with a link on the main proposal page. At most, a short summary (with a clear disclaimer that it is merely a preliminary proposal) could be added. I really don't think a strong position on specific pillars should be made/posted before we decide on whether to implement the proposal or not. In any case, it seems to me, from this talk page and the mailing list threads, that 1) most of the people involved/interested in the proposal discussion are favorable to moving forward with it, and 2) the proposed pillars above are a fairly good start, which would need to be discussed and agreed upon once we move to an implementation stage. --Waldir (talk) 15:51, 17 April 2012 (UTC)
Two changes I'd suggest (one also noted by others):
  1. "Information with references is preferred". As noted on the current site, most travel guides don't have footnotes, and as others have stated it will often be impossible to cite sources in things like restaurant listings. The important goal is to have information that is accurate.
  2. "Information about any particular living person is not acceptable content". I would change this to "information about any particular living person should be limited to a bare minimum and include only verifiable facts". It would be tough to write a travel guide to Myanmar that did not mention Aung San Suu Kyi, or about an ashram without mentioning the head yogi, etc.
-- Wrh2 (talk) 16:13, 17 April 2012 (UTC)
We however can reference the food section of the NYTs and there are entire magazines and books dedicated to restaurants around the world. Recently went to Lima and my brother who is a foodie had planned out all the restaurants he want to go to. There is also a great deal of literature on National Parks with official documents mentioning regulations / pricing / etc. Adding links to official documents would be very useful as it can help travelers determine when the pricing information is from. Content on people of course should have references.--Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 16:20, 17 April 2012 (UTC)
The current policy on external links is at [6]. The official link to a park or restaurant should be included with a listing, but links to general guides like NYT articles are typically discouraged for reasons outlined in that policy (short summary: encourage inclusion IN the wiki, rather than linked to, and discourage spamming/advertising). -- Wrh2 (talk) 17:05, 17 April 2012 (UTC)
Yes good points. --Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 17:10, 17 April 2012 (UTC)
Regarding verifiability, references and footnotes, I would like to point out that this would kill the project before it started. The whole point of the project is to encourage people to share original research. Case in point, I eat at a great curbside restaurant in Niamey but it doesn't exist in any newssources or guidebooks, because not a lot of journalists tend to eat at curbside restaurants in Niamey, and last time a Lonely Planet editor decided to actually do some original on the ground research was 6 years ago when the place didn't exist, and since the nice elderly owner doesn't know what the internet is, she probably hasn't thought of creating a neat little website for her restaurant either. Thats the content we want, and thats what made wikitravel what it used to be.
Or I walk 5 miles in the rain up a dark mudded dirt road somewhere in rural Thailand to find the cheapest bed in town according to my trusty lonely planet guide, only to find out the place is closed. I shouldn't have to wait to someone writes about this in a trusted reference in a few months, or even years, I want to warn other travellers of this right away - so they don't have to take the same 10 mile walk. And later delete the listing.
Or, I want to inform travellers coming to my neighbourhood in Copenhagen, that the Indian place around the cornor do an awesome tandoori chicken, but their dal always tastes like detergent is one of the main ingredients. Highly subjective, but I know I'd like someone to inform me about this when Im in their neighbourhood, as long as they are fair Sertmann (talk) 20:16, 17 April 2012 (UTC)

I think it would be reasonable to have some of both without exclusion of either. Which is better I guess depends on the article in question and may be the answer is neither. --Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 20:22, 17 April 2012 (UTC)

Something to keep in mind is that this project would have the enormous advantage of not needing to reinvent the wheel. A lot of very intelligent Wikitravellers and Wikivoyageurs have been debating and thinking hard about how best to present travel guide content for nearly 9 years, and the product of those discussions is enshrined in the appropriate policy articles. The policy articles Evan linked to represent the consensus views of the Wikitravel community, and I think it would be evident that it would be better to read the words agreed upon by the community in question, rather than ask individuals here to put things into their own words.
Our community policies do and must change over time, and a move to the WMF would likely be a catalyst for much change. But our communities have existing, long-established processes for such change—it wouldn't make sense (and would likely be unacceptable to the bulk of the WT and WV communities) to circumvent them by creating a new list of goals here. --Peter Talk 23:46, 17 April 2012 (UTC)
I have added to the proposal that the current policies form a basis for the "Wiki Travel Guide" and that these be open for further development based on community consensus once things get up and running as per the norm within both projects.--Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 01:39, 18 April 2012 (UTC)

I agree that the criticism regarding referencing is inappropriate for this project, Wikipedia editors tend to think only in terms of their own project, forgetting that Wikiversity not only allows, but encourages original research. I was going to add that nevertheless, some kind of POV and content quality guideline is still needed. However, I read the "Be fair" policy as I typed this post, and actually, it covers just about everything I was going to say. SpinningSpark 16:48, 19 April 2012 (UTC)

Hello, please have in mind that the "five pillars" of Wikipedia are not carved in stone either. This belongs to English Wikipedia. In some Wikipedias the number is different, of they don't have such a list. "Ignore all rules" seems to me a kind of wiki folklore which plays no big role in reality, by the way. It would be a very poor advice to someone coming as a newbie to Wikipedia. Ziko (talk) 15:23, 5 May 2012 (UTC)

Just to add here too: Wikivoyage has almost similar principles which can be found at:

These are just the basic rules. --Der Reisende (talk) 15:08, 4 July 2012 (UTC)

RfC regarding "Travel Wiki Guide"[edit]

Since moved to Requests_for_comment/Travel_Guide
Please direct further discussion and comments about the RFC to that page.

Comment from the Wikimedia Foundation[edit]

Hey folks,

I've been very interested reading the discussions here and on the mailing lists about whether the Wikimedia movement should start a new travel project. In response to questions I've been getting privately, I want to lay out the Wikimedia Foundation's position.

First, a quick recap: The initiator of this idea is enWP editor James Heilman. James first proposed the idea in an e-mail to me about a month ago, and a few weeks after that he made a formal proposal on meta here: http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wiki_Travel_Guide, and started raising it on the lists. So far, there has been a fair bit of a discussion – here, and also on wikimedia-l (formerly foundation-l). Some editors have expressed support; some have been questioning whether travel fits inside our educational mission, and some have been discussing how a travel site might handle or interpret NPOV. I've been pleased, watching the talking, because in my time with the Wikimedia projects, I have mostly seen new project proposals either ignored or quickly quashed. IMO this one is getting more serious consideration than is typical, and I am choosing to interpret that as a signal of renewed energy in the Wikimedia movement :-)

So. Some thoughts from the Wikimedia Foundation:

  • The Wikimedia Foundation is open to the idea of new projects, and is happy to have the community discussing ideas for new projects.
  • Whether it makes sense to create a Wikimedia travel project is a discussion for the community to have with itself. I encourage you to continue talking (and I, and the rest of the staff, and the Board, will continue listening).
  • The specifics of how new projects get created are not particularly clear at this time. I think it would be great for the community to use this as an opportunity to (re)define a good process for new project creation, regardless of what happens regarding a travel project. I imagine that a good process might look something like this (combining the process that approved Wikiversity and the chapter approval process): i) Someone from the community makes a basic, public proposal; ii) there is some form of community discussion, which might include an RfC; iii) when/if a decision is made to move forward, then the Board is asked to provide approval; iv) the Board reviews and, if it chooses to, provides provisional approval pending staff review. v) The staff then works out the details and implements the decision. That could work, or something like that.
  • Regardless of what the community decides regarding creating a Wikimedia travel project, the Wikimedia Foundation believes there's enough room for multiple travel sites to co-exist, and for community members to contribute to multiple sites in this area. Of course, if the community decides to support a travel project, we would need to choose a name that is not confusing with that of other sites. That is the kind of detail the staff would need to be involved in.

The main purpose of this comment is to encourage people to keep discussing the idea, and to work towards further defining the process for new project creation. It looks like James started an RfC yesterday, just above this comment, which is great. Regardless of whether or not a travel project moves forward, personally I am glad to see the proposal being seriously discussed. To me it's a sign of energy and openness and fertility in the movement, which makes me very happy :-)

Thanks, Sue Gardner (talk) 22:33, 18 April 2012 (UTC)

I do not think I can take credit for this idea. The main push is coming from the admin community of WT who have been discussing it among themselves for a number of years. I have just been trying to facilitate communication between WT, WV, and the WM movement.Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 23:15, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
Ah you're right James -- sorry, I should probably have been clearer. What I actually meant is that you were the first person to bring the idea to the attention of the Wikimedia Foundation. I don't actually know anything about the origins of the idea itself, I just know how I first heard about it :-) Thanks Sue Gardner (talk) 01:36, 19 April 2012 (UTC)
I created another project in regard to the third point: Project staging Anyone interested please edit it :-) Nicolas1981 (talk) 12:04, 23 April 2012 (UTC)
It would be best merged into Sister Projects Committee, where in the etherpad and in the discussion page we have alternative suggestions.--Ymblanter (talk) 13:16, 23 April 2012 (UTC)
Ymblanter, thanks for the link! That page links to New project policy, which says "This page is kept for historical interest"... is there a more up-to-date guideline? Thanks! Nicolas1981 (talk) 01:50, 24 April 2012 (UTC)
No, this is indeed too old. I had in mind this and especially this etherpad.--Ymblanter (talk) 19:51, 24 April 2012 (UTC)

Benefits for the Wikimedia movement[edit]

I'd like to see the Wiki Travel Guide#For the Wikimedia movement section spelled out more explicitly, and in reference to the Wikimedia strategic plan's priorities. Offhand, only item #2 (increase the number of Wikimedians) seems compelling to me -- and even there, I'm not sure how having an (already MediaWiki-based) site like WikiTravel under the WM umbrella brings a strong positive impact.

I also think a section on risks should be there alongside the section on benefits. I don't know that the risks are huge, but diluting WM resources (dollars, staff time, developer time, volunteer time) to serve an additional project is something that should be considered, for instance. -Pete F (talk) 21:40, 27 April 2012 (UTC)

The strategy plan is great, but it's really a strategy plan for the Foundation, and not necessarily the projects. There is considerable overlap: the project benefit from all the things the WMF are planning to do, but the projects may often do things that don't necessarily fit with the strategy plan.
One immediate benefit I see is having another 'lens' on the content of the sister projects can spur improvement. If I know that, say, a Wikipedia article I've written is being referenced from the travel guide, that's a reason to improve it above and beyond simply it's role qua Wikipedia. Having people who are creating another educational resource on the back of the shared image content on Commons (or, maybe, eventually, Wikidata) gives them a reason to help curate and improve the content on Commons. Commons doesn't care much why you improving the description on an image of a bar in Soho: but having people coming in from the Wikitravel/Wikivoyage community will bring a fresh and hopefully sane community of people to Commons.
I think that there's something to be said for having a variety of wiki "genres". I know a few editors who have been scared off by the enormity of English Wikipedia but who have cut their teeth on other projects like Wikinews or WikiHow or Citizendium. Some people like the idea of Wikipedia, but find that they are more comfortable contributing to something slightly different, smaller, friendlier (or at least less, well, pathologically insane than English Wikipedia can be). —Tom Morris (talk) 22:42, 27 April 2012 (UTC)
"in reference to" does not equate to "extolling the absolute supremacy of."
The strategic plan is something that had the input of 1,000 volunteers etc, and a year of broad thinking of some very smart people. If there were an alternative broadly-produced list of principles to refer to, I'd be fine with that. If the WikiTravel proponents want to include some principles that aren't on the Strategic Plan's list, and/or dismiss some of them as irrelevant or even misguided, fine.
But why would it be a problem to even make reference to a document that provides some basis for common understanding?
Even without making reference to the SP, there's plenty of room for improvement in the list of benefits to WM, and no discussion of risks or costs is a major omission. Those are really my main point. If these can be accomplished without the SP, I guess that's fine, but it seems like doing so would involve needless extra work, determining from scratch what principles are to be served. -Pete F (talk) 05:47, 29 April 2012 (UTC)
With respect to costs I do not thinking adding another MediaWiki site to a fairly large family of MediaWiki sites will significantly increase costs for the WMF. They will also get increased content on which to run the fundraiser banner and thus I do not think this will be a drain on the WMF coffers at all.
With respect to legal concerns. These where addressed below. WT has never had legal problems. Thus appears that there is less risk with this content than WP. If you are able to think of specific risks beyond these two I would be happy to hear and consider them. With respect to the SP we sort of cover what is here [7] already. This proposal would also "Increase participation", "Increase reach" and "Encourage innovation". It will "Improve quality" of available travel content. A few of our new potential members have programming abilities and thus may be able to help with "Stabilize infrastructure" per [8] One of the reasons this group of editors want to move to the WMF is that they wish to create offline version which we wish to do for WP as per [9] Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 07:09, 29 April 2012 (UTC)

Fair[edit]

I'd like to see not only praise and benefits of the idea, but also criticisms and potential weaknesses or difficulties we are likely to meet if setting up that project. There is little doubt in my mind that this project might bring in new contribs. It is also educational

The main difficulty I can foresee is the one related to "fairness" as replacement of NPOV. In particular since "fairness" would also give way to "customers" (as in "travellers come first").

There is no doubt in my mind that this project is likely to attract a great many people. A lot being business owners of course. And as all reasonable business owners, wikitravel will be honey for them. So, the first thing we can expect is a wave of business "advertisement". If you felt companies were too present on Wikipedia, and praised COI rules (or bright line thingy), think of how advertisement spam will be handled. How to restrain business people ? I am not even talking of preventing them from removing other biz data nor of using a flowery language (it is allowed). My question would rather be "how do we avoid having 100 restaurants claiming to be the best one in a city article ?"

From what I read, the answer is "the customers is always right". But how do you distinguish the "customer" from the "non customer" ? Is there a sort of registration and show of identity cards ? Apparently not. By self declaration ? By guess ? Is the one making compliment considered the "business owner" whilst the one criticizing is the "customer" ?

How would we manage the difference of opinions between one customer and another customer ? Keep the two ? Keep the most positive ? Keep the most negative ? Keep the first ? What if 100 customers have a different interpretation of a restaurant ?

And last.... one thing really striking me when I read for example http://wikitravel.org/en/Washington%2C_D.C.#Eat is the very high level of cultural bias of this article. How would we deal with that ?

When I read this page, it looks to me that "being fair" is interpretated as the equivalent of "let's accept everything" because which would be the "clearly outlined" arguments to reject spam or minority opinions ?

I am not saying the idea is not interesting. But if feel like this project would ultimately welcome large volume of data and information, but data very poorly curated due to lack of reasonable guidelines. It feels to me that the result of it would be a fascinating but easy to criticize low quality project. The question would then be... would it negatively impact the perception of quality and seriousness of our other projects ? If the perception is damaged but new editors join, how would we measure the impact of each to identify which of the trends is the biggest ? Anthere (talk) 00:36, 28 April 2012 (UTC)

Wikitravel is what it is; if we import the articles and policies as they exist now, then they should continue to operate as they do now, which has produced some very high quality results. I'm not sure what your objection to the Washington article is, but it's considered one of our best. Are some articles rife with advertisement-like content? Yes, but that's a struggle on virtually every wiki in existence, isn't it? Wikitravel's Wikitravel:Don't tout policy gives us guidance on what is acceptable and what is not. We are very experienced at separating good travel content from blatant advertising. LtPowers (talk) 01:16, 28 April 2012 (UTC)
I have no problem with what WikiTravel currently is. I have a problem with what WikiTravel would be if it were one of our project. There is a lot of good stuff on the Washington article, but all my arguments above still stand. I read "Don't tout" and I agree that it was carefully thought ahead. I still do not think that this is sufficient to result in an article of a quality I think would be worth being one of our projects. Yesterday evening, I looked at a collection of pages. And yes, I looked at Washington because I'll go there in a couple of months and I thought that it was likely to be a good article in an English version. I read it with interest. There is not too much "touting", but I was shocked by the cultural biais in there. The policy in place do not seem to deal with such an issue. Whilst I was looking around, I thought it would interesting to have a look at the Paris article in French (sort of the pending case of the Washington on the English version). French is not as active than English, but it is a reasonably highly spoken language and the third linguistic version of Wikipedia. So I would consider it is a future large version of Wiki Travel. So.... the wiki has been up for 10 years.... the article on Paris in French as I saw it yesterday shocked me terribly. Forgive me for talking plain... but for what would likely be a "quality" article in French.... at least HALF of the policies of "Don't tout" were NOT respected in the least. I saw the first noun person; I saw the flowery terms; I saw the url repeated several times; we see references to proximity with no proof and so on. In the end, this article which we would think would be one of the "best" of the French version was.... just no good; [10]. So, I felt that it was legitimate to ask more information and assertion on whether the policies currently in place do actually lead to good quality. I am not convinced the policies in place are sufficient. Anthere (talk) 11:10, 28 April 2012 (UTC)
As for the Paris page, I'm currently the only active admin on WT:fr and my main focus so far was on cleaning pages of less-travelled destinations for which, I think, a Travel Wiki is of great value compared to paper guides. I agree that there is still a lot of patrolling to do and hope that a merge within WMF will bring us more motivated admins to help. Fogg (talk) 05:25, 28 April 2012 (UTC)
A huge amount of patrolling is needed. I am glad to see that my comment yesterday evening led to the HUGE clean up on the Paris page on the French speaking version. [11]. Knowing that you are alone admin there (congrats and thank you for the work) does not fully reassure me though. I have seen enough small languages wikis in the 2005s with only one admin to know that one of the problem of limited number of admins is that the system was not "proofed" against buggers. That procedures to handle disagreements has not been set into place and tested. Can you show me places where discussions took place to mediate disagreement between a "company" and "customers" ? Having handled dozen of legal complaints from companies being upset because the simple hint of a company product having a problem, I also wonder how will be handled legal complaints of companies unhappy to see their products or serviced bashed by a "customer". It is quite obvious that this project is a potential legal pain in the neck. If it is accepted as a wikimedia project, I'd like to get an idea of how many legal complaints it will generate. What is the procedure currrently used for this ? Anthere (talk) 11:10, 28 April 2012 (UTC)
All the current policies are a result of 10 years of thinking about this issue. I'd venture that its not the policies that are the issue, rather the lack, and loss, of resources to patrol all edits. We had a golden period two years back where nearly every single edit, was patrolled and currated if neccesary according to our 'be fair', and especially 'don't tout' (please take the time to read that page) policies, the results were incredible. Unfortunately the current hosts and brand owners have alianated so many of the important editors, that too much rubbish finds its way in, not because it's allowed there according to policy, but because there is not enough patrolling going on. Sertmann (talk) 09:09, 28 April 2012 (UTC)
I understand this. All wikis suffer from such issues. But keep in mind that adding more light on the project will bring curators but will also bring more buggers. Can you tell us more on how current hosts and brand owners alienated editors ? Why did they left exactly ? What became difficult to live with ? Anthere (talk) 11:10, 28 April 2012 (UTC)
These are very similar to the criticisms I hear regarding Wikipedia and it coverage of medicine when I attend conferences or speak to colleagues. We have policies such as WP:MEDRS [12] but most of our articles do not follow it and most of our editors have never heard of it. We have GA and FA criteria yet more than 99 percentage of our articles do not come close. Wikipedia gets criticized for being US centric and Western centric. But how do we discuss the practice of medicine from the POV of the developing world when nearly all the literature is written in English by the developed. No ones knows a good answer for this but this does not mean that we should give up. We at Wikipedia are breaking ground in many new and innovative ways. Remember that "Wikipedia is impossible in theory but not practice" Kevin Kelly [13] and that "with enough eyeballs all bugs are shallow" Linus Torvalds [14]
We at Wikipedia need to consider what is going to happen when "more light... brings more buggers" here. Anyone else read the chilling promoting of COI editing by PR professionals two signposts ago [15] and how the PR industry is becoming interested in "fixing us" [16]. Will Wikipedia survive if they pharmaceutical industry decides with their hundreds of billion to "fix us". I am not planning on giving up yet and do not see this as sufficient justification to not even give a "wiki travel guide" a chance. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 11:31, 28 April 2012 (UTC)
Yes, and what happens when lying creeps concerned public relations people put together a study, pay for it to go in a pseudoacademic journal as "peer reviewed" and promote it as hard as they can with the intention of changing new-WT's policies on COI. Not that anything like this has happened in the last couple of weeks or anything - David Gerard (talk) 11:52, 28 April 2012 (UTC)
Yes, the problem is what constitutes some sort of neutrality for what's really subjective journalism by individuals. Wikipedia has NPOV, Commons has neutrality of presentation, Wikisource has "don't mess with the texts" ... how does the "be fair" rule presently work with subjectivity in practice? And what do you plan to do about shills I'm sorry, I mean of course "corporate representatives just looking to get a fair shake for their company"? What constitutes COI? Not just written, but how it works in practice - David Gerard (talk) 11:37, 28 April 2012 (UTC)
These policies (similar to NPOV) only work when applied by honest people. We have many examples of people who have managed to successfully game the system on Wikipedia for years. They do so by simply wearing down those who are here to write an encyclopedia of proper weight, based on the best available evidence. Check out this article for an example [17] We have recently had a long discussion about getting rid of COI policy on Wikipedia as enforcement is nearly impossible and potentially breaches people right to anonymity ( another thing the academics community has huge concerns with).[18] Wikis are far from perfect. The only thing that makes them work and keeps them working is if the efforts of "good" people surpass the efforts of "bad" people. Not necessarily a give either. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 12:05, 28 April 2012 (UTC)
Anthere has several legitimate concerns; I have answers ;)
  1. WT avoids legal friction with business owners by avoiding negative reviews. Business establishments with shoddy reviews online, or those that have opposition from established WT contributors, are simply omitted. They don't always like that, but it's a fair policy, and our Wikitravel:Don't tout policy makes it clear that our site is not for advertising, not for business owners (and yes, identifying them is easy for the practiced WT eye). We have not had a single legal complaint.
  2. Keeping reviews/business inclusion fair is a real challenge, and while we have extensive experience and sensible policies dealing with this challenge (Don't tout, a much stricter consensus policy than WP, etc.), we do not have the necessary community and technical support to implement new initiatives and to review contributions. Over the course of the last five years or so, our active admin base on any given day has dwindled from some 15 admins reviewing edits daily, with a good 3-5 watching recentchanges at any given time of day, and successfully patrolling every single edit to the site. Now, we usually have about 3 admins, with 0-1 eyes on recentchanges--not enough to patrol our 600-800 edited articles each day. Fortunately, a good 30 admins are excited about a move to WMF, so we would likely have renewed coverage, better than ever. We also have a bunch of ideas for new features to aid in our pursuit of fairness (and accuracy) in covering businesses, which we devise but cannot implement, as we do not have any meaningful tech support whatsoever, and are not allowed to work on feature development ourselves! One such idea is to have a class of trusted contributors who would be able to check the details of listings as reviewed, and to thumbs up businesses they tried and enjoyed.
  3. For avoiding cultural bias, we do what pretty much any wiki does (I think?). If there is an issue, feel free to raise it on the talk page, and contributors will work out a solution based on consensus. I'm sorry you feel the D.C. guide is so compromised, although I don't know to what exactly you are objecting. I (and two WP administrators!) put an enormous amount of effort into making it the best it can be, and I'd like to think I'm a fairly enlightened person. But please feel free to raise your concerns at Wikitravel:Talk:Washington, D.C.. (When doing so, though, please remember not to mention this proposed move, as this remains a sensitive matter vis-a-vis our current host.)
  4. As for helping new users, in particular Wikipedians, figure out the ins and outs of our site, and how it differs from other wikis, we do this all the time! For the better administrated versions, I don't foresee any insurmountable problems, but the more abandoned language versions will be in a more precarious position. Not more precarious, though, than not having a regular contributor base!
To summarize, though, I don't think keeping WT fair is much more difficult than keeping WP neutral--although we have been hampered in this goal by our current situation. WP has zealots galore, we have business owners, and I tend to think the latter are a lot easier to deal with, honestly. WT is a much lauded and successful website (picked by Time Magazine and others in multiple years as the best travel site on the web), despite its current woes, and I sincerely doubt having it over here would damage WM's reputation ;) --Peter Talk 16:28, 28 April 2012 (UTC)
Thank you for the feedback Peter. I'll tiptoe on the Washington article to give you my feelings about it. It is not so bad as you think. Most of the article is good and helpful :)
Avoiding legal friction is an interesting recommendation (though as a traveller, I'd love to be informed if a certain place is featuring serious issues to the point it should really be avoided). It is interesting to read that a big part of the benefit you would expect from joining WMF projects is related to technical support (new features, proxy, bots etc.) to help you fight vandals. Anthere (talk) 15:15, 30 April 2012 (UTC)
Regarding legal issues, as Peter noted most problems are avoided by just not including establishments that are poorly reviewed. That said, in seven years there are only two disputes that I recall that even remotely came close to a legal concern:
  1. [19] User was mad about a relatively benign comment on a talk page [20] and repeatedly deleted that talk page comment, despite requests to please just respond to any comment. User claimed to have a court order of some sort, but this seemed to just be an instance of someone just trying to scrub any negative mention of their business from the internet.
  2. [21] was a business owner who also caused a stir on Wikipedia. At one point he was alternately (apparently) trying to claim that linking to a bad review of his property in a talk page discussion was a violation of the law and some sort of slander.
If either of the above two cases would have been handled differently in a WMF hosted environment then I don't think it would be any issue changing the travel site policies, but the fact that in seven years these two seem to be the worst offenders that I can recall should help to calm any fears.
To address your concern about being warned of bad businesses, occasionally info boxes are used to alert travelers of things to avoid (example: [22]), and in particularly egregious cases an explicit warning is used, although those are exceptionally rare. -- Wrh2 (talk) 19:02, 30 April 2012 (UTC)

Community friction[edit]

What happens when a project suddenly joins a bigger organisation and everyone there decides the nuts and bolts of how it works is their business? It won't just be the tiny community any more. Imagine you had to explain everything important about the project, from scratch, in a paragraph, to people who know nothing about it but in fact have the power to express their opinion in ways that affect it. Surprise! You do :-)

WMF may be better than the present commercial host, but if you do move to this new and larger sausage factory, what community disasters can you reasonably be expected to have foreseen? - David Gerard (talk) 11:42, 28 April 2012 (UTC)

See Pillars/principles section above. Ruslik (talk) 12:01, 28 April 2012 (UTC)
Having seen how Wikipedia's thicket of rules has developed in practice, that list is really the advertising brochure not the harsh reality, and dodges answering my last question in any way at all - David Gerard (talk) 12:03, 28 April 2012 (UTC)
Per w:en:chaos theory it is really hard to predict complex systems which large communities of people are. But agree that it would be good to have people at WT/WV give us a one paragraph overview.--Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 12:09, 28 April 2012 (UTC)
The precise wording is, but the question should be answerable. "reasonably expect to have foreseen" is the sort of question experience should be expected to be able to answer with more than a general appeal to chaos theory - David Gerard (talk) 12:16, 28 April 2012 (UTC)
Different people will "reasonably expect to see" different things. I expect to see a community of editors form with a spike followed by a fall in numbers than a relatively slow growth in editorship. The spike in editors will occur after a small amount of press on the subject. Most within the Wikimedia movement will more of less completely ignore the existence of this new project similar to how they ignore the existence of wikinews, wikiversity, wikitionary and wikisource. VW will bring its good name and thus an initial boost in readership. Editorial disputes will be resolved the same way they have always been. Those who write content will continue on as usually typically ignoring much of the discussion taking place by those who enjoy that sort of thing. The old WT site will fall into disrepair with PR professionals/vandals surpassing people wishing to build a free, fair, travel guide. Spam will proliferate there and readers will begin looking elsewhere. Over years the WMF travel site will surpass that of WT in readership becoming the foremost source for this info on the Internet. The two sites once brought together will be joined by wikis on cities. Innovation will take place. New ideas will blossom, like new technologies, impossible to predict before hand. Offline versions will be created to run on all sorts of devices. Cell phone companies will offer free access as a justification to buy their phone brand. Internet Brands will sell out to Lonely Planet / Roughguides which will turn it into a redirect to their own site. And so on and so forth :-) --Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 12:29, 28 April 2012 (UTC)

Okay on more serious note :-)

  1. The majority of the movement will ignore the new project similar to other non Wikipedia projects (by far the most likely)
  2. A few will join discussions at the new guide in an attempt to turn it into another Wikipedia. It will be pointed out that we already have a Wikipedia and this is not it.
  3. People will grumble about how inaccurate and full of spam wikis are. Some will attempt to do something about it.
  4. People will provide advice and create better policies through discussion. Progress will be slow. Consensus will be difficult to achieve.
  5. Promotional stuff will become an issue and there will be efforts to develop more / better guidelines to do something about it. A method for feedback on a 1 to 5 scale will be introduced for individual hotels/restaurants to allow broader input from the readership.

Feel free to add any potential issues you see. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 13:01, 28 April 2012 (UTC)

Agreed with Doc James comments 1-4 above, with two additions:
  1. Initially a large amount of time will be spent scrubbing the site, which will inevitably cause complaints from many Wikipedians. Travel info becomes outdated much more quickly than encyclopedia info, and so newcomers will find much that needs improvement. Similarly, as images that were uploaded many years ago are moved to commons there will inevitably be some that are of suspect origin, generating complaints about copyvio management and much sniping back and forth. This initial round of squabbling will disappear in a matter of months.
  2. Within a relatively short time technical solutions to common problems (such as vandals and spammers) will become much more prevalent on a WMF travel site, freeing up editors to focus on other issues. For example, there are any number of bots used on Wikipedia to handle things like vandalism and mass-updates that could be immediately used on the new travel site. Development of the Mediawiki-plugin travel listing tags (used for adding things like hotel and restaurant listings) will likely be restarted, which will cut down on time spent formatting contributions. Other standard WMF processes (such as blocking open proxies) will similarly reduce some of the tedium that the site currently deals with. All of these solutions will reduce editor burnout and allow time for focusing on improving site policies and actually growing the site.
Regarding comment #5 (promotional content), this concern is already an issue and has been an ongoing problem for many years for the current travel site - hotel marketers (and others) spam the site on a daily basis, and require a fair amount of vigilance, although with a bit of training a small number of them have also been helpful in keeping listing information up-to-date and adding objective info about their properties (amenities, price, etc).
Also regarding use of the site for promotional purposes, as others have pointed out, the existing guidelines against using the site for marketing have been strengthened over the years, and there have been discussions about making better use of the travel community to overcome the marketers [23]. These proposals will continue to evolve as marketers find loopholes and new ways of circumventing them. -- Wrh2 (talk) 16:55, 28 April 2012 (UTC)
Thank you both, I find that somewhat reassuring :-) - David Gerard (talk) 22:40, 28 April 2012 (UTC)
Nod. This is enlightning feedback. Anthere (talk) 15:10, 30 April 2012 (UTC)

The most interesting issue I see coming up is at the end of the year: When suddenly there will be a Jimmy Wales, Founder of Wikipedia, banner on top of all Wiki Travel sites. How would the community respond to that? What will happen, when money is collected from Wiki Travel users which ends up at the Wikimedia Foundation but also to a large extent at Wikimedia Chapters worldwide, organisation that might not neccessarily be aware of Wiki Travel and often focus on Wikipedia projects. What will happen when story tellers ask Wiki Travel editors to give interviews so their story can be put into the fundraising banners to make more money...? --Manuel Schneider(bla) (+/-) 20:19, 3 June 2012 (UTC)

I'm not sure I understand the question - would you expect WT users to respond any differently from any other user of a Wikimedia site? The WT community is aware of how Wikimedia operates, and that there are regular fundraising drives. -- Wrh2 (talk) 03:22, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
I don't expect a problem with users, more with the volunteers which come from a totally different area and are now being "integrated" into the Wikimedia movement. This is not intended to draw a horror picture - I totally support and whish this integration because I think it's a perfect fit. I just want to at least think about potential issues and causes for tensions beforehand, to be more prepared.
Integrating two communities is not easy, somebody wrote it above: Most people in the movement might ignore Wiki Travel as much as they ignore the other projects around Wikipedia already today. This might also reflect to chapters which are mostly run by Wikimedia volunteers but financed by the fundraising money the Wikimedia Foundation makes, by raising funds on all Wikimedia projects. So I sense a potential problem here, in the worst case Wiki Travelers might think of like "we gave them our project, our work and content and now they make money from it to finance their other projects", they might just not feel supported enough by their local Wikimedia chapter or they might not even accept the existence of Wikimedia chapters and the Wikimedia Foundation, something which even exists within the Wikipedia community.
I think we need to communicate this clearly to the community so they understand all consequences. Of course, and this is my personal motivation, I will engage in supporting Wiki Travel as well as all other Wikimedia projects withing Wikimedia Österreich and Wikimedia CH (Switzerland). --Manuel Schneider(bla) (+/-) 06:49, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
I don't think the community will have huge issues with WMF allocating most funding elsewhere. Already, IB, the current Wikitravel provider, hardly allocates any revenue back into the community. The server quality is abysmal, with frequent blackouts and crashes; plus the tech support received is nearly as bad. At least with the WMF, the community would get stable servers and a tech-support team who want to help and have the knowledge to do so.
I do agree the actual community of the sites concerned need to be alerted. As far as I know, the WikiVoyage community is already aware as they are just about to have their get-together. WT is a little more touchy, as IB may become very protective and irritated if they became aware of these plans. JamesA 09:56, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
The WMF has association that organize around geography (ie. the Chapters that are nationality based). There however is no restriction on associations by interest (ie. a group interested in Travel content). Just like the chapters are able to apply for funding from the WMF so can these associations organized by interest. Chapters other than the 4 big ones no longer do fundraising, with fundraising going forwards being dealt with by the WMF.Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 06:23, 12 June 2012 (UTC)

Wikivoyage meeting[edit]

I have prepared the invitation letters for the gathering. It would be nice to have more details by June 9th. Its better to have more detailed resolutions to be passed till then. Are there some next steps, that could be done by our meeting? Are there any new developments? Or are there any questions i can answer till then? Besides I am about to assemble all our technical specifications and information and specifics of our wiki. -- DerFussi (talk) 19:42, 7 May 2012 (UTC)

I think at this point people are primarily waiting for your meeting to take place to get a final OK from Wikivoyage on moving the German and Italian language versions of that project to a WMF-managed project. If an OK is given then my understanding was that the proposal to WMF would be to merge those two language versions of WV and most of the remaining language versions from WT under a new WMF-managed site. There is some support for naming that site "wikivoyage.org", although it doesn't seem like that has been 100% agreed upon. In addition, some discussion would need to take place on managing cross-language communication, although with the ability to use commons the need for a shared image repository (and thus much of the current cross-language discussions) would disappear, so hopefully most such communication would revolve around technical issues rather than content and policy issues.
What other specific information are you looking for? Is there anything else needed for WV to feel comfortable in agreeing to this proposed WMF-managed site? -- Wrh2 (talk) 01:31, 8 May 2012 (UTC)
I will be submitting the proposal to the WMF around the end of May ( to give the RfC a full month ).Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 00:25, 9 May 2012 (UTC)
So, any news on how the WikiVoyage meeting went? JamesA 15:04, 10 June 2012 (UTC)
Resolved unanimously: We want to collaborate with the Wikimedia community and become a partner/sister project. The board is authorized to negotiate with the WMF. As you can imagine there is some more bureaucracy because we are an existing association. I am going to provide an English translation of our main resolution by tomorrow (I hope). You can see the first version of our minutes in our association wiki, but in German. The main resolution is in a yellow box. I speak a more basic English only, so I will ask professional interpreter, to translate our main resolution. -- DerFussi (talk) 06:38, 11 June 2012 (UTC)
That's a great result. I get the feeling that Wikitravel owner, Internet Brands, has become aware of this discussion and the situation. A recent post from their community liaison stressed the successes of WT and how feature requests are going to be much more frequent and stable. JamesA 12:33, 11 June 2012 (UTC)

Wikivogage e.V. welcomes the possibilty of cooperation with Wikimedia Foundation (WMF) in creating an international travel wiki. The Board has been authorized to enter into negotiations with WMF about establishing a free travel wiki as an international project within the Wikimedia movement, aimed at

  1. Continuing Wikivoyage.org as an international WMF project with the possibility of integrating additional language versions and interested communities.
  2. Clarifying transfer modalities for the necessary domain and name rights.
  3. Checking technical migration with the objective of maintaining all existing technical features, if possible.
  4. Continuing Wikivoyage e.V., and having that organization officially recognized by WMF.

Now we know that our members welcome the idea of a Travel Wiki and becoming an official WMF project. Now I can talk with the WMF officially, backed by the members of the association. We all look forward to the new project. -- DerFussi (talk) 19:31, 11 June 2012 (UTC)

Fantastic and outstanding. What's the next step, folks? LtPowers (talk) 21:01, 11 June 2012 (UTC)
Agree this is excellent. I will forwards this to a few of the board members at the WMF and will discuss things with them in person at Wikimania. By the way are any WT / WV people coming to Wikimania in July in Washington? Would be good to have a meeting there. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 06:26, 12 June 2012 (UTC)
James, the board is already aware of this. Alice (who will join the board in July) and myself were present at the Wikivoyage meeting. In the light of the recent development we just yesterday invited Stefan to come to Wikimania. I would be really interested in meeting with you guys there. -- Arne (akl) (talk) 06:44, 12 June 2012 (UTC)
Great. I think Wikimania would also be great time to announce that the WMF is taking on this project (if we are able to make such an announcement yet). Should we set up a time to get together?--Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 06:51, 12 June 2012 (UTC)
I agree that it would be really cool if we could use Wikimania for an announcement. Hope to know more about this within a few days. Same goes for possible times to get together (don't have a clear picture yet on my schedule as a "leaving" board member). Maybe we can follow-up via email next week? -- Arne (akl) (talk) 16:34, 13 June 2012 (UTC)

No secrets any more?[edit]

I have just noticed that the fork of WT has been announced on the Stammtisch (Traveller's Pub) of German Wikitravel. The IB team will apparently see this message, probably quite soon, because their liaison has recently discussed the future of German WT (vs. Wikivoyage). Does it mean that the new project should be now discussed openly? I think, it is not the time yet. At least, we want IB to fix the upgrade-related bugs first-) Should one of German-speaking colleagues remove the posting from German Wikitravel and make sure that it does not reappear? Atsirlin (talk) 21:30, 11 June 2012 (UTC)

I am still an admin on WT and considered to block the German Stammtisch due to an edit war for one second. I would have used the "right" moment, but I am the wrong person to do that - I am a bit... whats the right word... prejudiced? This would look a bit strange. And IB would see the edit war at Stammtisch anyway. And this wiki is not closed anyway - even if not everybody read it. Weanwhile Ibobi has invited some remaining users to promote them to admins without elections. I think he has read that discussion already. But if anyone else wants to remove that, ok. -- DerFussi 03:54, 12 June 2012 (UTC)
Na ja... You are right. Let's see what happens. Atsirlin (talk) 08:52, 12 June 2012 (UTC)
Openness is generally a good policy. SJ talk  07:42, 14 June 2012 (UTC)

Plan?[edit]

So, what is the plan now? Here is my understanding+imagination:

  1. Approval as a Wikimedia project
  2. Wikimedia prepares a server that is configured with any special extension needed
  3. Wikivoyage DE+IT content+users data is moved to the new server, and wikivoyage.org redirected to point there
  4. Test period
  5. Import Wikitravel's latest data.
  6. Test period

What did I misunderstand, what do you think, what steps would you add/remove? Also, we should start a wiki page to gather information about the technical specificities, and the Mediawiki customization details/code, of both WT and WV. For instance, how is the transformation of <sleep> tags implemented, is it open source, is it compatible with recent versions of Mediawiki? Cheers! Nicolas1981 (talk) 07:02, 13 June 2012 (UTC)

I added a second test period, and an approval step as Ymblanter notes. You could also choose to do the "Import & test" before the "Approval, migration & test" if you want to start by addressing the issues raised on the wiki page you mention. SJ talk  08:18, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
  • First, the Board should approve the new Wikimedia project. For this, an application should be drafted. We would be happy to help with the application at the Sister Projects Committee. I guess doing it before the Wikimania would be a good target. We also should be very careful with the name of the project to avoid squatting. I guess the best course of action would be to identify people, from WT, WV, and WMF, who would be interested in drafting such application, draft it and possibly allow some time for community discussion. I would be interested to sit in such group, but if there are other suitable candidates with more experience, I also have other things to do.--Ymblanter (talk) 08:19, 13 June 2012 (UTC)
I a kind of representative of WV. If there is some work to be done, I would attend. Not really sure who it should look like at the moment. I am going to attend the Wikimania next month. Our User Unger would be interested as well, i think. -- DerFussi (talk) 06:20, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
From what I understand of the notes from the Wikivoyage meeting earlier this month, there is agreement that the two groups (the originators of this proposal, and the current Wikivoyagers) can unify on the name Wikivoyage. If that is the case, this request page should be renamed.
There seems to be early consensus, above, that this is a good idea. It would be good to give it wider exposure and reach some closure on the discussion before Wikimania. If the consensus breaks down, then we can focus discussion at Wikimania on whether and how to resolve problems raised; if it holds, we can focus on how to make a newly approved project work. If you have an application as Yaroslav suggests ready in advance of Wikimania (ideally 2 weeks beforehand), with a broader community discussion underway, then the question of approving the project can be on the agenda for the WMF Board meeting (held the day before Wikimania). SJ talk  07:35, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
That plan and time frame sounds good. But regarding the name, we haven't really discussed anything else due to the possibility of cybersquatting. Wikivoyage does sound good, but I have heard a few other interesting ideas getting thrown around. (Do I dare say them?) JamesA (talk) 13:34, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
I believe Peter F. said he owns the one he's been talking about most, so squatters wouldn't be an issue. In general, for the benefit of others, we've been leaning toward using a generic name for the travel guide until a community process and vote can be held. Tangentially, I note that the ".wiki" top-level domain has been bid on by a design firm, so that may be becoming available for domain registrations in the future. LtPowers (talk) 01:24, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
Any idea what Peter's name idea is? It'd be good to get some ideas flowing, especially if we have the rights to the name. JamesA (talk) 12:06, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
Rugendo, with an address of rugendo.org. I'll let him espouse the benefits, so as not to speak for him. LtPowers (talk) 14:01, 17 June 2012 (UTC)

Hmmm. I know, I am prejudiced, but I think the name Wikivoyage has some advantages:

  • It's known as a living and active travel wiki already. So people who unintentionally drop by do not consider it as a completely new project.
  • Its starts with the prefix „wiki“ - like all projects WM projects (ok, exceptionally commons)
  • You can derive (right word? - sorry for my basic English - feel free to change it) the name of the contributors from it - Wikivoyager (like Wikipedians, Wikitraveller). I am not a native speaker. So I dont know, whether it really works. Maybe it sounds a bit strange.
  • „Voyage“ - works in French as well.

Sooo... Back to the statement of Ymblanter. Now we are still only two of us to draft some more details.... -- DerFussi (talk) 06:12, 19 June 2012 (UTC)

They are some good reasons, and Wikivoyage is a good choice. And Wikivoyager sounds perfectly fine (voyager is a real word). But it's good to hear all the options and explanations. Also, considering the timeframe, maybe it would be best to focus on getting a proposal together for Wikimania. JamesA (talk) 10:18, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
I Always loved thet name ;-). --Der Reisende (talk) 15:21, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
Some of our native English speakers are of the opinion that "Wikivoyage" and "Wikivoyager" don't roll of the tongue in English as well as they do in other languages (e.g., the French "Wikivoyage" and "Wikivoyageur" versus the English "Wikivoyage" and "Wikivoyager"). And now that I've just typed it six times it looks really weird to me. =) LtPowers (talk) 17:41, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
Advantage is, voyager is well known , means something, fits a lot of languages. Maybe the ones you are talking about might join this discussion?--Der Reisende (talk) 11:16, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Now I am unfortunately busy IRL for the two coming weeks. I see two versions of how things can develop. If there is a wish to have the new project (let me call it WT for brevity, which does not imply I have any preference) approved by Wikimania, which is on the Board Meeting July 12, somebody has to draft the application NOW. This application should basically include all the components we have already at the webpage - the goal of the project, explanation how it fits the WMF mission, language division, interaction with other WMF projects, governance, and ideas on import etc (as well as smth I forgot). I would be happy to help with proofreading this between July 8 and 11, but realistically I may have insufficient time to lead the process or may be even actively participate before July 8. If we somehow miss the deadline of July 12, I can try to start the document in July and lead the process, with the target of completing by the end of August or even in September.--Ymblanter (talk) 15:53, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
This is in no way a shot at the WV community, which has only my admiration for what they have achieved. But I can say with confidence that Wikivoyage is a very unpopular name with the English WT community for more than one reason (the awkwardness of it in English being #1 in my view), with plenty of "anything except Wikivoyage" votes in our private forum. I'll espouse Rugendo's virtues (and drawbacks) when we actually start talking about naming in preparation for a vote. So in the meantime, I would encourage all interested parties to keep an open mind about the various possibilities ;) There are a good 3-5 other decent suggestions so far for names, but we do not own them. I believe travel.wikimedia.org is what most :en WT admins want to see for the test site, while we come up with a name.
I also don't foresee a big problem in having different names for different language versions, if the :de and :it crowd wants to keep Wikivoyage. Already, for example, :ru uses "Википутешествие" except for the namespace. --Peter Talk 16:42, 22 June 2012 (UTC)

┌─────────────────────────────────┘
I have already forwarded this proposal to SJ and Sue Gardner May 27th following the RfC being open for a month. With respect to the name I agree it is probably best at this point to us:

  • travel.wikimedia.org for English
  • wikivoyage for German / Italian
  • other languages can than decide as they wish

We in English can have further discussion once the site is set up.Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 16:48, 23 June 2012 (UTC)

Nevertheless it would seem preferable to me to stick with one name as the main domain name, as with every other project. Spanish Wikibooks uses the name Wikilibros, Indonesian Wikibooks call themselves Wikibuku, Turkish Wiktionary is Vikisözlük etc. etc., but there is still one main name for the project. Using structures like travel.wikimedia.org and de.wikivoyage at the same time seems bad in what concerns showing that all the language versions will belong to one project. Plus, temporary solutions like travel.wikimedia.org tend to stay forever... (cf. bugzilla:19986 about renaming wikis). --MF-W 17:14, 23 June 2012 (UTC)
Yes we have Wikibooks and Wikilibros. Wikivoyage is Wikitravel in French unfortunately we cannot use Wikitravel for obvious reasons. Not as many names are available as 5-10 years ago. There is no rule saying all sites need to go with the exact same name even though it would be nice.
We use commons.wikimedia.org and I have no problems with travel.wikimedia.org until/unless we find something better. We need to start up and figure things out though open discussion on the new site IMO. The exact name is not something we should get hung up on at this point.Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 17:21, 23 June 2012 (UTC)
At the moment it seems we are talking about the name of the new project but in truth we are discussing about the past, and everybody knows it! For our common project we need one name for a world wide travel guide, mainly for the reader. It could be wikivoyage, but for sure we could choose another name. But there will be no free domain for such a popular theme. A subdomain like travel.wikimedia.org is no alternative, also a made-up word like Rugendo. But now we should waiting for the decision of the board. -- Jensre (talk) 08:56, 24 June 2012 (UTC)
One name per language but different languages can use different names as has been done at Wikibooks. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 00:58, 25 June 2012 (UTC)

Jensre is right. This is a discussion about the past not the future. Obviously some people still feel hurt or what so ever about WV. Remember, we have always been open for everybody but proud hindered some to come along. Furthermore, there is only one really free travel wiki in the world and that is WV. There should be, whatever decision is made, only one name as wikipedia for all languages. We discussed this thouroughly in our meeting (which was open to the public rather than a secret group). Again I have to repeat, those who want a free travel wiki in the wikimedia should discuss all issues open and here where it belongs. We had our experiences about non-transparency when we founded WV. So far I miss this again. --Der Reisende (talk) 10:11, 25 June 2012 (UTC)

Spanish Wikibooks is called Wikilibros because that is the actual translation. If the French travel site was to use Wikivoyage, then the English site would have to use Wikitravel to keep consistency, and the German site, Wikireisen, etc. I don't think multiple names will work well at all, especially in the long run. I'd support a beta wiki at travel.wikimedia.org until we are able to discuss this more thoroughly. Right now, priority should be getting the site itself approved and up and running. JamesA (talk) 14:01, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
Why do not we reserve the domain wikivoyage.org and then let every language community decide how they want to be called? I would be perfectly fine if for instance English version is en.wikiviyage.org but calls itself Wikitravel (oe English Wikitravel).--Ymblanter (talk) 16:30, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
That is where we are at right now basically. --Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 22:01, 25 June 2012 (UTC)--Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 22:01, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
Right, my point is that now for the application we only need the domain name, everything else can be decided later.--Ymblanter (talk) 05:31, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

Just to help my understanding: wikivoyage.org as domain name and a name on the page in the language of the country (the name displayed along the logo). Is this right? -- Der Reisende (talk) 09:14, 28 June 2012 (UTC)

Yes there are two name. The domain name and what we call the site. For English Wikipedia the domain name is www.en.wikipedia.org and the site called Wikipedia. For German and Italian the domain name would be www.de.wikivoyage.org and www.it.wikivoyage.org with the site called WikiVoyage. What we are doing for English is not 100% clear yet. If we will use www.en.wikivoyage.org or www.travel.wikimedia.org and call it "The Wikimedia Travel Guide" Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 18:18, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
As I stated above, if the name for the German site, whatever it is called, is www.de.wikivoyage.org, than for the English one it should be www.en.wikivoyage.org, otherwise it is too confusing. (I am not sure why one needs www, but this is a different issue).--Ymblanter (talk) 19:17, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
The 'www' isn't necessary when we are using language prefixes. I also think having the English site's official name different to the domain name will cause confusion and mean a lot of issues in the long run. This is only acceptable if the name is simply a translation of the domain name; but as it stands, Wikitravel is not an option, as I believe Evan (WT founder) no longer owns the rights to the name. JamesA (talk) 11:03, 30 June 2012 (UTC)

Agree. No more confusion. As I know it, the domain and name has been sold to IB, as they are never tired to point out. --Der Reisende (talk) 14:10, 1 July 2012 (UTC)

Updating this page, submitting to the Board[edit]

This page is in the right format for a proposal. It is simply missing a few details/updates.

Please update it to indicate that WV and WT are interested in merging their de and it communities, and that the project could begin by adopting the wikivoyage domains, creating travel.wikimedia.org, and discussing implementation details including future naming on that new wiki. If DerFussi, Der Reisende, Doc James and others support the final language of this page, note that here.

I would recommend posting a sitenotice here on Meta and an update to wikimedia-l as soon as the text of the proposal is final. SJ talk  14:27, 24 June 2012 (UTC)

Updated the proposal and sent messages to wikimedia-l and the wt-adm list. Not sure how to do a site notice though.--Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 00:57, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
The site notice is a short message written in a file called Mediawiki:Sitenotice and appears at the top of all pages at a wiki using Mediawiki, if I remember correctly. Writing a site notice means editing that file. --Rein N. (talk) 07:06, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
Only a admin seams to have the rights to edit it. --Rein N. (talk) 20:51, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
Yes and I am only an admin on en.wiki Is there an admin on meta that can do this? Have made a request here [24] --Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 22:03, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
SJ has wrote a request on the wikimedia_forum , I found out, looking under Community in the left menu for a pub alike page. Rein N. (talk) 06:54, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
Its ok, so far. -- DerFussi (talk) 03:41, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
I am happy with it as well.Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 03:44, 28 June 2012 (UTC)

Sitenotice about creating a travel guide and content merging is ok. Domain name can be discussed further. --Der Reisende (talk) 08:38, 28 June 2012 (UTC)

For anyone who might have missed it (like myself), IBobi, the paid community manager at Internet Brands' Wikitravel has made a comment/oppose in the RfC above. So it's clear now that IB is aware of this discussion and have made a position on it. JamesA (talk) 14:04, 4 July 2012 (UTC)

What should the exact text (w/ links) on the sitenotice be? Contact me via my talk page or email, and I can set one up. Or, you could ask at Meta:Requests for help from a sysop or bureaucrat --Tobias talk · contrib 08:09, 6 July 2012 (UTC)

Sitenotice and RFC update[edit]

I've moved the above RFC discussion to its own page: Requests_for_comment/Travel_Guide. Please use that link in the sitenotice or individual project announcements.

And please post any personal statements you wish on the RFC page above the votes/comments section. SJ talk  19:01, 28 June 2012 (UTC)

Meet up at Wikimania[edit]

We are planning on having an informal get together of all those interested in a travel site at Wikimania on July 12th between 13:00 and 14:00. Please indicate if you plan to attend. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 00:55, 25 June 2012 (UTC)

  • I'm in!--Pharos (talk) 12:33, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Thomas-Lowenhaupt (talk) 13:28, 28 June 2012 (UTC) will attend (assuming this is the official lunch break time.)
  • I have put the appointment in my calendar and will see that I can be there! --Manuel Schneider(bla) (+/-) 15:53, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
Yes official lunch break. --Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 16:00, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Can't come to Wikimania this year. ~~EBE123~~ talkContribs 14:53, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
  • I will attend -- DerFussi (talk) 18:11, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Will be there -- Arne (akl) (talk) 19:58, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
  • --lyzzy (talk) 18:24, 8 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Looking forward to meeting you in person ;) --Peter Talk 22:44, 8 July 2012 (UTC)
  • notafish }<';> 22:41, 9 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Hi, I'm from Internet Brands. I'm planning to be at Wikimania and I'd like to participate in this conversation. If agreeable, please let me know where. --Chuck

Buy out IB[edit]

We can safely presume IB is not going to be happy with a Wikimedia travel guide. And they might want to get rid of their asset that will (quickly) become less profitable and thus less valuable. On the other hand, it would be great if wikitravel.org and even the name Wikitravel could be preserved. So it might be interesting to find out if there's any interest in selling it to WMF. Of course any of this money shouldn't come from current WMF funds but it would be very feasible to set up a Kickstarter project to raise funds like this (or a similar system where money is only paid when a specific amount is reached). IB could mention an amount and if the amount is raised through Kickstarter there is a deal. (Any surplus money can flow to WMF, where it should probably be reserved for WT.) Guaka (talk) 07:50, 17 July 2012 (UTC)

It's another option. But I think if IB does put the domain name up for sale, there is the possibility it will be snatched by some domain-hogging company for more money than we could dream of. Remember, Wikitravel has become quite a recognised name in travel. If we so desperately want that domain name, our best choice is to convince IB that once most of their admins and writers leave for a new WMF travel site, WT falls into disrepair and their shareholders start going nuts about this schism, it won't be a good situation for their future business. Donating the naming rights and domain name is the best option for both sides. JamesA (talk) 08:16, 17 July 2012 (UTC)
Maybe it is not important to insist upon Wikitravel. There are several names from both the Wikivoyage association and some urls purchased from the WT admins. I think and hope that the new name would become well-known after a short period. A new name would show a new and really free project without any advertisement. --RolandUnger (talk) 14:51, 18 July 2012 (UTC)
IB has previously indicated on several occasions that Wikitravel is not for sale. Now of course everything has its price, but this indicates that the price is not likely to be rational, and the money would probably better spent on other things. Jpatokal (talk) 03:32, 19 July 2012 (UTC)

MediaWiki extensions[edit]

I've noticed both WikiTravel and WikiVoyage have quite a few MW extensions enabled? Do the communities in question want those extensions to be enabled on the proposed WMF project (I would assume they would). Getting extensions reviewed by devs has a tendency to take a lot of time (not to mention pain and blood). Furthermore some of the extensions on WikiTravel were specificly rejected for deployment to Wikimedia Wikis (String functions). Perhaps special exemptions would be made for the Travel Guide project or something, but what's the general plan in regard to technical differences in the platform? Bawolff (talk) 15:04, 19 July 2012 (UTC)

I think that the only two extensions that are really important are for the listing tags and the breadcrumb navigation. On others (like string functions) then switching to whatever WMF has standardized on for that type of functionality should be fine, and the community could then modify any content that needs to be updated. The best way to go about this would be to have tech review the extensions in use on Wikivoyage [25] and raise any specific concerns. -- Wrh2 (talk) 22:24, 19 July 2012 (UTC)
I know from reading some of the articles on wikimania, that editing without wiki markup was one of the items under discussion. The listings editor on WT is only really slotting values into a predefined template without having to understand the wiki syntax for doing it. Like the citation generators on WP. Maybe there is a better, more generic solution? --Inas66 (talk) 23:59, 19 July 2012 (UTC)
From a first glance, breadcrumbs doesn't look like its compatible with external storage, but its a small extension and would probably be easy to rewrite it to be acceptable. I'd also be a little worried that customData extension might have issues when there are multiple Parser objects floating around (I'm not sure about that though, would have to test). The listing extension looks like a glorified template as far as I can tell. Its going to be broken from the way it uses $wgMessageCache, but that's also an easy fix. There's also an issue with how it handles parameters that needs to be fixed. Bawolff (talk) 13:12, 20 July 2012 (UTC)
Wow, the location db thingy is really cool (Sounds a lot like the goals of WikiData), but also sounds like somthing fairly dependant on postgress. Bawolff (talk) 13:29, 20 July 2012 (UTC)

Costs[edit]

w:en:Erik Moeller has stated that the costs of taking on this project would not be that great. Also we have secured some funding to cover some of the start up costs, no strings attached. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 00:07, 20 July 2012 (UTC)

Where is the funding coming from? --EvanProdromou (talk) 00:41, 20 July 2012 (UTC)
What is the funding covering? Buying a domain name? After all we already have the servers... Bawolff (talk) 12:48, 20 July 2012 (UTC)
We already have a number of potential domain names. The initial start up will however require some time and effort from the IT staff at the WMF. Once it is up and running however litter further IT efforts are required and projects succeed or fail depending on how active their community of editors are. As I believe all people deserve access to commercial free travel content my company is willing to provide some funding to cover some of the initial start up costs via a donation to the WMF. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 15:27, 20 July 2012 (UTC)
Can donations to the WMF be tagged for specific projects, or are they allocated by the board? Also do you have any specifics? "Not that great" and "some funding" are pretty vague statements. If you're taking about costs, numbers are probably better.--IBobi talk email 19:05, 20 July 2012 (UTC)
foundation:FAQ#Can_I_give_you_a_targeted_or_restricted_donation_to_be_used_for_something_very_specific.3F. However in pratice I believe the vast majority of donations are made without restriction and allocated by the board as it sees fit (Of course I'm just a random, not someone important, so I could be wrong). Bawolff (talk) 19:13, 20 July 2012 (UTC)
Restricted donations are not pursued by the WMF any longer, possibly even rejected (source: an executive on a public mailing list). No Wikimedia project has an assigned budget (not needed by the way: Wikipedia takes 100%, basically). Nemo 15:52, 21 July 2012 (UTC)
Yes there are a number of targeted grants every year to the WM movement. The funds starting Wikidata where specifically donated for that purpose.Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 02:46, 24 July 2012 (UTC)

Wikitravel content[edit]

Please make it clear on the attached project page whether or not Wikitravel article content would be copied to the new site. The statement about Wikitravel's "failure to provide database dumps" hints that this might not be possible. Nurg (talk) 02:42, 21 July 2012 (UTC)

It's entirely possible; there are other (slightly more time-consuming) ways of getting the content. LtPowers (talk) 15:29, 21 July 2012 (UTC)
Long term editors at WT have full copies of the entire site backed up. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 02:44, 24 July 2012 (UTC)
To be clear, we have all topic and files backed up externally, with all page and contribution history. --Peter Talk 21:38, 26 July 2012 (UTC)

Suggestion[edit]

Hi everybody. Forgive me for my poor English, but I’ll try to be understandable anyway. Well, observing the discussion about the creation of a Travel Guide, I wonder why the Wikimedia does not take over, rather, an excellent project like OpenStreetMap? It does not use Mediawiki, actually, but it still has everything related to the Foundation’s principles, to the community, and it could easily become not only a Travel Guide, but a real free/open version of GoogleMaps. What do you think? It would be a good investment for Wikimedia and could bring excellent return for all of us. Sincerely, Sturm (talk) 22:21, 22 July 2012 (UTC)

OSM seems to be doing quite well on its own. I'm sure if the OSM community was interested in migrating, Wikimedia would hear them out. But the request has to come from them; I'm sure the WMF has no interest in actively seeking out communities to absorb. LtPowers (talk) 00:17, 23 July 2012 (UTC)
I agree and think it is a great project. We would love to have them join the Wikimedia Movement but they would of course need to be interested. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 02:44, 24 July 2012 (UTC)

Stop being like Walmart?[edit]

I disagree with what Wikipedia is trying to do here. There are already good enough site that offers Traveling informations, and with the normal wikipedia we can already recieve informations about the place that we want to travel. I would think a website such as wikipedia should give other websites some space to live.

It is not Wikipedia that is attempting something here but a community of editors interested in writing travel content collaboratively via a wiki hosted by a non profit. Commercial websites will continue on as per usual I am sure. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 22:41, 24 July 2012 (UTC)

What are the costs to Wikipedia/Wikimedia in terms of diversion of resources?[edit]

I read the section on "costs" above, but the above question isn't addressed. This would be my only concern. DavidFarmbrough (talk) 00:05, 25 July 2012 (UTC)

Erik was not willing to put a number on it. He however states costs would be minimal. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 00:12, 25 July 2012 (UTC)
Unless the new projects need any mediawiki programming, at which point we'll be taking them away from the 137 other things that they've got to get to. Sven Manguard (talk) 02:52, 26 July 2012 (UTC)
Talk:Requests for comment/Travel Guide#Concern about channeling funds to the wrong project has some thoughts on technical resources that will be required by the new travel project. -- Wrh2 (talk) 05:25, 27 July 2012 (UTC)
Short answer: nobody knows yet, it's only wild speculation. --Nemo 19:41, 20 August 2012 (UTC)

Translation[edit]

Hello, I see that someone requested this page to be translated, but in the wrong place. Please follow the tutorial linked here to prepare the page for translation; I'll enable the translation if someone familiar with the Translate extension volunteers to move the old translations to the new system as soon as I do it. Please write me on my talk if I don't reply immediately. --Nemo 15:54, 18 August 2012 (UTC)

It is already in four languages. Will be closing soon. Should be okay. Thanks for the link Nemo. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 19:56, 19 August 2012 (UTC)

Task force for preparing for transfer of files from Wikitravel Shared to Commons[edit]

A task force has been established to deal with the logistic questions about the likely-to-happen copying of files from Wikitravel Shared to Commons. If you're interested in helping, please visit Commons:Wikitravel Shared transfer task force. Sven Manguard (talk) 16:34, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

As surely a number of users have contributed the same images (or different versions of the same shot) both to Commons and to WT-Shared, it should be taken due care that logs and evidence of publication/release priority is not lost in the transfer (just in unfortunate case that WT collapses and goes offline). Most of my uploads on both projects were first published on Commons, but a few were first on WT-Shared. --Túrelio (talk) 11:00, 6 September 2012 (UTC)

Discussion at Travellers' Pub[edit]

The Discussion at Travellers' Pub has been deleted. It is still available in the version history. Since this is CC-by-SA under what conditions it is possible to mirror that content in this Wiki? Secular mind (talk) 10:46, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

Yes I think. All you need to do is provide a link. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 10:55, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
After reading the Migration FAQ I believe, that a mirror is not necessary and I just changed the link on the project page. Secular mind (talk) 11:42, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
It is my understanding that all content before a certain date has already been copied and could be reposted anywhere; the content to which you linked was copied, so far as I know, but there is not yet a mirror of the entire site anywhere. Blue Rasberry (talk) 12:19, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
Any and all mirrors (e.g., Jamguides) have failed beyond the datestamps given here, as IB disabled the Wikitravel API. I have screen-capped some of the more important talk page historical revisions, as I am worried that IB might make these important discussions harder to retrieve, if they feel that they cast them in a negative light. --Peter Talk 17:05, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
Thanks Peter much appreciated. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 17:52, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

What Features: existing/improving[edit]

I'm a bit late on this edit but as currently long-time traveller, didn't manage to do it before. Before doing any operational shift, I think it's important to reference current features of travel wiki that appeals to users and the ones which they could wait for.

  • Existing:
    • page per city/region/country
    • (IMHO) review WT link policies which seems very restricted to me (but of course, don't link everything or every blog)
    • if recovering content from WT, decide to use or not tags like <do>, <sleep>, ... In my opinion, it's a good thing, make parsing easier and give sense (in a xml way) to many informations (directions, hours, prices, ...) but I'm not sure it's common on general wiki.
    • like wikipedia, have at the end of the page, a way to "rate" the page (useful or not) or ask for a review.
  • New for travel:
    • calendar ics/online with vacation/festival of a country or a region, if possible could be queried depending on gps position/date
    • easy updates of prices + stats on year
    • sleep: include hospitality exchange network: with of number sleep/maybe+drink/meet(total) for a place (CS/BW/HC/...)
    • decide which map to include: create or openstreetmap or other
    • traveler's prices inflation per country/region/continent either based on usual food/sleep or on traveler/tourist activity (unesco site ?).
    • Need offline version (ZIM or other; WT seems to always have been against)
  • New for wiki:
    • multiple view: must-read, synthetic, name only, basic description, full description
    • easier management of multiple language: for example, listing for hotels are the same in all languages just description need to be changed


BlackCatN (talk) 22:42, 12 September 2012 (UTC) as long-time/round-the-world traveler and IT/security engineer

Yes definitely some stuff we should look into when the new site is up and running.Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 06:09, 13 September 2012 (UTC)

Naming discussion[edit]

http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Travel_Guide/Naming_straw_poll 82.104.222.82 15:19, 20 September 2012 (UTC)

Domain names[edit]

I trust that these domain names are being purchased by the WMF, rather than individual volunteers, or at least that the WMF is being made aware of who is registering these domains? Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 23:38, 20 September 2012 (UTC)
(Note: I moved this comment from the main page to this talk page).--Jasper Deng (talk) 00:11, 21 September 2012 (UTC)
I did deliberately ask that question in the place that it would be noticed by people adding domain names to the list. If this comment belongs on the talk page, then please also move the list of domain names registered here too. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 00:17, 21 September 2012 (UTC)
Should a template be made for the domain names? It would make transclusion here easier.--Jasper Deng (talk) 00:21, 21 September 2012 (UTC)

when WM travel project will launch[edit]

Any idea until when the WM travel project will be launched? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 175.110.197.251 (talk) 2012-09-22T07:57:36

The English version of WV is live here http://en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/Main_Page and this will be the copy that will be moving to the WMF. Thus feel free to begin contributing their :-) Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 12:39, 23 September 2012 (UTC)

Vote for names of new project[edit]

Starting now, from October 2-16 there is a vote of for names of the new travel project. The vote is at Travel Guide/Naming Process. Blue Rasberry (talk) 18:45, 2 October 2012 (UTC)

A new logo for the travel guide[edit]

I would be great to have a new logo for the launch of this project. Have thus created a place for proposals here [[26]] If anyone has an idea for a logo please submit it. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 10:40, 5 October 2012 (UTC)

I retract opposition[edit]

I retract my opposition to this project as I found out about the huge issues with Wikitravel. Hillcrest98 (talk) 22:19, 7 October 2012 (UTC)

Thanks Hillcrest and we would love to see you involved. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 22:41, 7 October 2012 (UTC)