RuWiki History/2/English

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Objective analysis[edit]

  1. Formulate the principles of a possible analysis or private study of Wikipedia, performed by a group of participants up to 100 people
  2. Identify the main points in the social development of the Russian Wikipedia
  3. Understand how the external real world impacts the development of humanistic projects like Wikipedia
  4. Write a private overview of the problem areas of development and consider the trends occurring in them
  5. Understand how to minimize the problematic trends in an effort to improve Wikipedia and its sister projects, in an effort to meet the following set of ideals:

Imagine a world in which every person has free access to all human knowledge. That's what we are doing. [1]

Principles of Analysis[edit]

Before we proceed to consider the actual analysis, we must determine what type of analysis it will be. Any type of analysis strives to achieve a goal, and cannot simply narrate the events as if they simply occurred that way, given that the author carefully selects and uses rhetorical strategies for some purpose or other. Therefore, the goal should be stated concretely, which was done above. Below, we will discuss the axiomatic concepts that must be adhered to in an analysis of the social history of any given subject.

The style of analysis[edit]

It is important to decide here: should the analysis be entertaining? Of course, the analysis should be interesting and different from dry statistical data. But it seems that it must still be composed in an emotionally impartial tone. Of course, the author of the analysis may employ polemical statements, add color, and use exaggeration to captivate the reader, but this should not extend to the judgments that are issued.

The scope and selectivity consideration[edit]

Not every author's slice of reality is valid. So often, journalists have resorted to so-called yellow journalism, bringing attention only to the dark side of life. This view of things can not be regarded as satisfactory, since it tells us nothing about the drives, motives, and actions committed in an attempt to strive toward ideals. We do not need to tell such stories, in which we do not see anything positive. Even if it really is that bad, this does not provide us with a foundation for the optimism that we seek.

Ethical component[edit]

Can we personalize the analysis or study? It truly is very difficult to write a history without mentioning the key figures. But is it ethical to judge the actions or interpret the words of others? It seems that it is not permissible. At the very least, we need to make sure to get permission for such judgments from the relevant people. If for some reason this is not possible, we should confine ourselves to factual information.

On the other hand, opinion journalists like to proscribe stereotypes, and sociologists to divide people into groups. To what extent is this justified? When these stereotypes are mounted on specific people and groups are not made anonymous, then both in journalism and sociology, this is a clear violation of journalistic and scientific ethics. And therefore it is not admissible. Images of people or groups can be recognized, so, for example, the following is a completely ethical journalistic device: one anchor in a television news program presented his criticism in the form of the presentation, "Tales of the Black Linda." And quite by chance, the interior minister had the same name, and some of her actions were similar to the character of this tale. And here is the line between rudeness and insults and ethics. So, for example, this statement can not be fully ethical, and hence is unacceptable.

And so, let's begin![edit]

The report I made at a previous Wikiconference may serve as a preface to this analysis [2]. Therefore, I specifically wish to repeat:

From the beginning, I must say that everyone gives their interpretation of what has occurred, especially if the person was part of the action. This report, as indeed any other, may not be ideal in this regard. But it is better start with something small than to not pay any attention at all to this. ... this kind of retrospective view is necessary for improving the rules, the comfort of participants and, consequently, the quality of articles. I do not make any claim to width or depth in covering this topic - this is a matter for the future.

Now let us continue on to the moment at which we left off in that the report, namely, with the words:

And already in March 2006 MaxiMaxiMax openly admits and declares the deterioration of climate / atmosphere, friendliness, and offers the following guiding principles: I quite agree that the situation in the community in recent years can hardly be called friendly . I also agree that it is only a few people who are fighting with each other, and I think everyone can see that for themselves. It would seem that getting rid of them would mean improving the climate in the project - but that's an illusion, because we can not isolate the project from such people. It is by definition open to all, and we welcome any help. Such people will always come, and we need to learn to work with them to limit their harmful effects and attempt to use them for the benefit of the community. To do this, we must work on the rules, administrators must also pay more attention to tracking and prevent violations. Repressive measures alone will not solve the problem, but a foundation for excesses and abuses, however, is very easily created. Summing up - let's not fight the offenders, let's fight the offenses.

What precisely was the reason for such a radical deterioration in the atmosphere of friendliness that it began to be specifically discussed? After all, it was only recently, since November 9, 2005 and ending its approval on January 23, 2006, that the Arbitration Committee was formed. What, is it really the case that the Committee for Conflict Resolution has already began working, and the atmosphere nonetheless continued to significantly deteriorate?! Though this is not surprising - not a single committee has yet solved the contradictions caused by real conflict.

Therefore, in our first attempt, we will not need to consider the present and we will limit ourselves to the years 2005-2008, to understand the trends that are now evident in the Russian Wikipedia. What controversies led to the creation of the Arbitration Committee?

Statistics of input and selection of participants for analysis[edit]

To consider more objectively assist parties influenced the history of Wikipedia, they need to properly select. In the field of our attention will get only those participants who have their own personalized page [3], and moreover, with a significant number of edits during 2003-2008. In this case, the order of their inclusion in the study will depend on the earlier years of participation and a certain ratio (which depends on the number of revisions) for a given year. Well, of course, be taken into account their impact on relevant sociological processes, but it is forced to subjectively.


  1. Vision/ru
  2. w: ru: User: Вики-конференция_2009/Программа/Доклады/Правовое_поле_ВП
  3. At the time of data, about 30000, but of course we all can not be considered. But even the most socially important participants, affecting the history of Wikipedia, not so much.