|This is an essay. It expresses the opinions and ideas of some Wikimedians but may not have wide support. This is not policy on Meta, but it may be a policy or guideline on other Wikimedia projects. Feel free to update this page as needed, or use the discussion page to propose major changes.|
This page is about community, about interactions between users through wiki projects. Formerly this page opened with the question “Is Wikipedia really a community?” Now, the situation is much broader.
An early claim was that Wikipedia is not a community because it does not share body risk. The pseudonyms and IP addresses do not correspond to real people; it is unlikely a community could be built on virtual people maybe. Because the not-Wikipedia projects also allow pseudonyms and IP addresses, they have the same situation.
One idea for Wikipedia is to build a free encyclopedia together through the common goal of building a free encyclopedia. However, a community goes beyond the simple sharing of a simplified vision, and includes common community values. In 2012, English Wikipedia appears to have common values as well: assume good faith, no personal attacks, NPOV disputes, and user talk templates. Wikinews also has those four attributes, but not in the same manner. In not-Wikipedia, not-Wikinews projects, NPOV disputes and user talk templates appear to be much less important.
Perhaps Wikipedia and Wikinews are more like families than communities. One does not choose a family, but belongs to it. However, a family is a cultural idea that varies worldwide, so this paragraph may be incomprehensible to some peoples.
Some users remain bothered by the notion that Wikimedians cannot constitute a community because they do not share body risks. If we only consider those Wikimedians who are humans, we are all part of at least one community: the human community. Right now, we are all sharing the risks of being hurt or killed, by war, AIDS, or by poor atmospheric quality. In biological terms, a community is a group from one species living together and strongly interrelated. Communities cause a mixture of benefits and disadvantages; communities are stable when, over time, both the whole community and the individuals that make it up benefit. Diversity and communality both play roles in community.
Wikibooks and partition
Wikibooks is a special case. The project divides itself into multiple, autonomous book projects. English Wikibooks, in particular, is lacking a mechanism to repel new book projects that are outside the scope of Wikibooks, given by a official enforced policy.
Wikisource likes uniformity: a single standard Header template on English Wikisource introduces most texts.
Can the Wikipedia community become a Wikimedia community?
It is already so. For example, we have IRC channel cloaks for different Wikimedia projects, and we also have "wikimedia/" cloaks. At least on Freenode, we can have a Wikimedia community.