RuWiki History (Doronina and Pinchuk)/English/Interview with Lvova
1. Your handle on Wikipedia?
2. What is your educational background and where do you work?
I'm the manager of public relations in a large systems integrator.
3. Where do you live (Moscow, St. Petersburg, a city with a million inhabitants, a small town, etc)?
4. How old are you?
5. When and how did you first hear about the Russian Wikipedia, and why did you start editing?
I found out about it during a search while writing some kind of stupid report in tenth grade. A few years later I was told that Volokhonsky and Gerasimov are admins there, which to me was enough of an indication that everything there wasn't too closed and strict. At that time, I didn't see a task there for myself, but after awhile, I did (public relations), and I got into it.
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).
Since 2007. I took a break from ru.wiki but not from wiki activity in general, and the dates are well-known from the logs.
7. What do you like most about participating in the project? Why do you think you and other users participate in this work?
The project is a great start for the development of civic activity in general. The users have a wide variety of motivations, and my motivation changed over the course of the work - from a feeling of general involvement in that period when I was doing wikification, to realizing the reality and importance of my professional skills in the period when I worked with the press, to the interest in generally searching for information and working under the scrutiny of others now.
8. Which events do you consider to be the most important in the history of ru.wiki?
The encyclopedia or the community? It would be very good to separate the two. For the encyclopedia, what's important are those minor details that are characteristic of the Russian language project - the work done on "Report a Mistake," for example. Also, another thing I find to be not insignificant is the discussion about the institution of patrolling and the argument that resulted from it. The creation of the Wikimedia RU chapter is important, and its current work with the [Russian] legislature. I get the feeling that truly important things very quickly become accustomed to, and it's hard to remember if they were around forever or if they were introduced after 2007.
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?
There is one area of overlap - the article RFID, which I was working on at the time when there were only two books on technology in the Russian language, and practically all the other publications were inadequate, since they were based on shallow journalistic understanding. In many ways, thanks to that article, the situation looks drastically different now. As for the rest - I like the idea of the "Improve random articles" project and I'm also very interested in Ireland (from the time when I actively did Irish dancing), my native St. Petersburg, and, from time to time, I can start working on anything at all that's not a main interest of mine but is important and interesting to me - something like the article on Escher.
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 in patrolling, work with templates, participate in a few discussions on nominations for Good or Featured status; everything else I try to avoid. I'm getting two degrees, I have two jobs, and I'm usually not interested in sorting through a mountain of words in these discussions. Earlier the situation was different, but since that time my respect for deciding things on the Internet has significantly diminished.
11. How do you feel about the administration of ru.wiki? (About the system in general, about certain admins, about the ArbCom?)
The existence of an administration on ru.wiki depends on the acceptance of it as an administration.
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 most important are WP:Ignore All Rules and WP:5 Pillars, of course. The atmosphere of the project is natural given the extent of the existence of bureaucracy in the project; this is discouraging.
13. Do you communicate with other users outside of Wikipedia? If yes, how: at wiki-meetups, by chat, or through other Internet communities (LiveJournal)?
I do. Every day, often, by all kinds of different channels.
14. How has working on Wikipedia helped/hindered you in real life?+ 15. Has participating in the project affected you personally? How so?
My work in Wikipedia helped at my job, and it helped Wikimedia RU get a variety of contacts, with the help of which there is now some work being done at the legislative level. Wikipedia gave me a whole host of pleasant acquaintances, helped me to verbalize many ideological postulates. However, it's precisely because of this project of gathering all of human knowledge that I can now boast about having gray hair since the age of 20.
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?
See the answer [to the additional question] about be.wiki and uk.wiki.
Commons and Meta are great in different ways, since you can just do what needs to be done there. Wiktionary in Russian is a project that elicits an enormous amount of respect in its well-thoughtoutness, although the threshold for entry there is a great deal higher than for ru.wiki.
17. What other web projects do you participate in?
I'm fairly active online. I have a page on all the projects you mention [LJ, vkontakte.ru, odnoklassniki.ru, habrabr.ru, etc.].
18. What other hobbies do you have?
From the past - falconry, Irish dancing, historical reconstructions, little things like embroidery and jewelry-making; currently - volunteer work, writing letters to children and the elderly
19. While you were blocked on ru.wiki, you began to participate in the Ukrainian and Belarusian Wikipedias (despite the fact that your "Babel" userboxes indicate that your level of Ukrainian and Belarusian is 1). How do these communities differ from ru.wiki, and how do the Ukrainian and Belarusian users feel about ru.wiki users?
There are many Ukrainian and Belarusian users, so an unequivocal response about their attitude is impossible. Those people with whom I communicated were very friendly to Russian-speaking users; they were aware of the possible problems related to my lack of knowledge of the language - it was entirely possible that some would categorically refuse to speak in Russian, even if they knew it - and there was an agreement that others would help me, translate my words. In the end, it was mostly their initiative.
The Belarusian Wikipedia (be.wiki) has really taken off, in large part thanks to Russian users. Due to the organization of a chapter and the creation of a Connection project, there appeared an opportunity to share experience, and it was used and continues to be used pretty well.
During the last Wikimania, the users from ru.wiki and uk.wiki worked very closely together, practically as one group; in large part this is thanks to the social coordinator from Western Europe in Wikimedia Poland, Janush (Ency). Anyway, friendly relations appeared earlier and, I hope, will continue to exist in the future.
The be.wiki community is much smaller than the Russian-speaking one - this is an obvious difference, the result of which is the difference in quality, in the scope of the bureaucracy (for instance, the question of creating the Connection project was decided in, imagine, two or three days, by, imagine, the users themselves - I don't have time to look into it more exactly, but I can only imagine what kind of a discussion that would be on ru.wiki). The Ukrainians have dealt with several conflicts that occurred during the early stages of the Connection project in a very interesting way - incidentally, distinguishing themselves by the speed and ease with which they decided the problems on their own accord, practically without the participation of the longtime members of the project. This does not mean, by the way, that everything is easier for them - I just didn't get too involved in their affairs.