Community Wishlist Survey 2019/Bots and gadgets/Wikipedia in the News

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Random proposal◄ Bots and gadgets  The survey has concluded. Here are the results!

Wikipedia in the News

  • Problem: Wikipedia Press coverage is currently tracked manually and haphazardly across individual language wikis, or not at all in many cases. For example on Enwiki, the news stories are first listed in one place (manually) then listed on the article talk pages (manually) and often not in sync or consistent formatting and limited to Enwiki.
  • Who would benefit: Anyone interested in knowing when Wikipedia is mentioned in the press. Such as for gathering statistics, making reports, academic studies.
  • Proposed solution: A central database and interface for listing notable mentions of Wikipedia in the Press, in any language. It would have an API so that bots and tools can access the data. An example bot application would be to update article talk pages that they were mentioned in the press (the bots would be language-specific and not part of this proposal). The database would have standard fields such as for a regular cite-web eg. "url", "title", "work", "language", "date", "author" etc.. a field for related Wikipedia articles, and a quote. The database interface would support multiple languages.
  • More comments:
  • Phabricator tickets:


  • @GreenC: I think this would be suitable for Wikidata, since items may qualify as notable if they are structurally useful (e.g. if they are used as sources). An item could be created for each source, and then the query service could be used to find articles about e.g. the Croatian Wikipedia, or WMF projects other than the Wikipedias. I'm not sure if that would be a good task for Community Tech, though, since the item creation could be done by a single user. Jc86035 (talk) 15:16, 30 October 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yeah it might make sense to use Wikidata as a backend database, but what about a front-end page where users can enter the data and be landing point with instructions. -- GreenC (talk) 15:25, 30 October 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@GreenC: I don't really understand what this proposal is asking for. Would this be a database of Wikipedia articles about news stories or news stories about Wikipedia? On English Wikipedia, "In the News" is the former and "In the Media" is the later. Kaldari (talk) 04:40, 31 October 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Ahh yes that is confusing. I've updated it to be about Wikipedia press coverage. -- GreenC (talk) 05:03, 31 October 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@GreenC: I'm not sure if it would be useful to have a front-end page specifically for adding sources. Usually Wikidata items are imported in the QuickStatements format (Q12345|P31|Q5707594|P50|Q5568842), and I'm guessing it could be difficult for users not experienced with Wikidata to fill out something like this. Given that it's fairly likely that this proposal (or any given proposal) won't end up in the top 10, I think the easiest solution would be to have a wikitext table with columns for each Wikidata property, where users can add new articles, and then once in a while a Wikidata user comes along and imports the whole table into Wikidata. Jc86035 (talk) 05:46, 31 October 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That solution might work but it has problems with languages because a user who only speaks Bulgarian might have trouble editing a wikitable that is in English. If the suggestion is each wiki-language have its own table that is kind of what we already do and it's not very good and it would be very hard to co-ordinate across 300+ wikis to make them all consistent for import into Wikidata. The idea is a single universal front end for adding these sources into a database that can generate reports, export via API etc..
@GreenC: But then you would have to translate the front-end into all those languages? I think if you were to host the table on Wikidata itself it would largely take care of the translation problem, since the property template is already automatically translated based on the user's interface language (and the existing translations for each property's name). Most of the table itself probably wouldn't need translation (e.g. dates, URLs, authors' names, published in, relevant Wikimedia projects). You could also use d:User:ListeriaBot or something like that to auto-generate tables of relevant articles. Jc86035 (talk) 17:18, 31 October 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Ok your saying use Wikidata because of this, but don't use Wikidata because it's too complex for most users. I tend to agree Wikidata probably wouldn't be widely used if that was the main interface for adding links. Wikidata is basically a database level it has limits, it's fine to use Wikidata as a backend database. -- GreenC (talk) 21:03, 31 October 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
IMHO there isn't really anything inherently wrong with setting up a whole database to store new data, although if Community Tech doesn't do it then someone else would have to write the code (you would probably have to set up a project on Tool Labs with an OAuth web interface), and then someone else would have to deal with monitoring it for junk and uploading the data to Wikidata every few weeks. An alternative would be extending one of the existing Wikidata user scripts (for filling in item data) to work for news articles, but generally Wikidata script UIs are designed with the expectation that the user knows exactly what they're doing so it would again have the learning curve issues and would probably result in input errors. Jc86035 (talk) 10:24, 1 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I'd suggest to also track sister projects mentions in the news in similar ways. Gryllida 05:21, 31 October 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Agreed that would be part of it. -- GreenC (talk) 13:47, 31 October 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]