RuWiki History (Doronina and Pinchuk)/English/Interview with Azgar

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1. Your handle on Wikipedia?

Azgar

2. What is your educational background and where do you work?

History student, I don't have a permanent job.

3. Where do you live (Moscow, St. Petersburg, a city with a million inhabitants, a small town, etc)?

I study in Minsk, and my family home is in Kobrin.

4. How old are you?

20.

5. When and how did you first hear about the Russian Wikipedia, and why did you start editing?

I found out about it around 5 years ago, I don't remember how (probably, through a search query), and have actively participated since 2009.

6. How many years have you participated? If you ever took an extended wiki-vacation, please provide the reason (i.e., too much work offwiki, unpleasant atmosphere/events in the project itself, or something else).

Two years. My maximum wiki-vacation was three months. The reason - lack of regular access to the Internet.

7. What do you like most about participating in the project? Why do you think you and other users participate in this work?

I like both writing articles and talking to other users. Personally, I participate for the sake of personal pleasure, and also because I don't have any other serious interests (with the result that I have a lot of free time). Reasons for participating in Wikipedia are different for everyone, but probably my example is typical.

8. Which events do you consider to be the most important in the history of ru.wiki?

The main event was the transition from jokes to seriousness (this happened before I arrived in ru.wiki) and the worsening of the general atmosphere of the project as a result. Another important thing was the creation of strong thematic projects (Did You Know?, Good Articles, Features Articles, Project:Biology, Project:Numismatics, etc.).

9. Do your professional interests overlap with the areas in which you edit on ru.wiki? If not, how do you decide which articles to edit?

They overlap. I try not to work on things that I'm not adequately well-versed in, which I also wish for all the other members of the project.

10. Do you participate in "metapedian" work, i.e., patrolling, discussions of nomination for deletion or renaming, templates? Do you follow the discussions that take place on the Forum, discussion pages of the ArbCom, etc.? Why/why not?

I participate fairly rarely, usually when I have nothing else to do (after finishing work on a difficult article, for example). I follow the discussions, because they often center around questions that are important to me (both "professional" ones and questions on the functioning of the community). I take part in discussions that are interesting to me.

11. How do you feel about the administration of ru.wiki? (About the system in general, about certain admins, about the ArbCom?)

In general I feel negatively about the system, which is tied to my philosophical views. I am neutral toward individual representatives of the administration: many of them bring out sympathy from me and a few, antipathy (a very small group of people). I think one of the tasks of the community is reaching a degree of cooperation at which the ArbCom is no longer necessary. I also find criticism of administrators and the ArbCom useful and feel the need for the rotation of their ranks, in order not to allow their becoming "policemen" of the rules.

12. How do you feel about the rules? Which rule (which "pillar") do you consider to be most important? Do you think that the atmosphere of the project is too strict?

The rules are necessary for the fulfillment of the main goals of the project - writing a full universal encyclopedia. Following the rules shouldn't interfere with the achievement of this goal. So, an unquestionable advantage for the encyclopedia is acceptable articles written by indefinitely blocked users, even if, when doing this, they evade their block. Besides that, the rules cannot be the same for everyone. There should be exceptions to the rules in cases when this facilitates carrying out the tasks of the project. For instance, the use of one registered username for a married couple who produce a tangible contribution should not be a reason for blocking them. The atmosphere of Wikipedia really is too strict.

The main reason for this, as I see it, is too harshly following the rules WP:Etiquette and WP:TROLL, though I don't deny the necessity of these rules.

13. Do you communicate with other users outside of Wikipedia? If yes, how: at wiki-meetups, by chat, or through other Internet communities (LiveJournal)?

No, I don't.

14. How has working on Wikipedia helped/hindered you in real life?

Almost not at all. My knowledge is in large part theoretical, and I rarely use it in real life.

15. Has participating in the project affected you personally? How so?

Personally, no.

16. Do you participate actively in other projects of the Wikimedia Foundation? If so, what are the main differences (positive or negative) from ru.wiki?

No. I only make some random edits.

17. What other web projects do you participate in?

I have a LiveJournal under a different handle. I use it for communicating with a certain circle of people.

18. What other hobbies do you have?

I'm interested in biathlons, heavy metal music, contemporary and not very contemporary literature, philosophy and many other minor things. It's hard to call any of these hobbies.