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

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1. Your handle on Wikipedia?


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

Rostov-on-Don ("a city with a million inhabitants")

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

I heard about it in the summer of 2005, and since the beginning of at least 2006 I've been actively using it as a source of information. Why - I no longer remember.

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).

I've been participating since April of 2006. There were periods where my activity significantly decreased, mostly in 2009, tied to the fact that I just got sick of Wikipedia.

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 the openness of the project, its dynamic development and the unique position it occupies on the Internet. One of the main motivations to participate, especially early on, was the desire to figure out how it was set up, how the community organizes and directs itself (which also represents a rather unique phenomenon).

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

I'll copy a question (from myself) and the answer from the elections for the 11th ArbCom:

If you're well acquainted with the history of Wikipedia (the whole project or our language project), then can you point out some "critical" events or periods? altes 21:33, 8 ноября 2010 (UTC)

I suppose I would call Drbug's entry into the project in the summer of 2003 a "critical" moment (in whose place, of course, there could have been others), since he became the first active user who systematically worked on the encyclopedia (there were others before him, but their contribution, as far as I know, was of a semi-spontaneous nature). Already in 2004 it's possible to distinguish a period or even to name a symbolic date, after which we can talk about the appearance of a Wikipedia community, but I didn't catch that time myself and am not so familiar with the archives. In the more recent history the influence of certain figures or certain events is less and less apparent and it is harder to find key figures and key dates. In the "social" history of the community I would say that in the capacity of -- if not key, then very significant -- events is the appearance of APE in the summer of 2006 (the first major schism in the community, which created a group of systematic oppositionaries, growing more and more marginal over time; this conflict was mostly resolved in 2007) and the events of the spring of 2009 (this time, the schism was not between the majority of the users and a group composed primarily of trolls and marginal figures, but between two groups of users whose good intentions and usefulness to the project almost no one would dare to question; this conflict continues to this day). It's clear that, in the capacity of important, and in some ways key events (more often than not exerting more influence on the development of the project than even those conflicts I just listed) we can point to the acceptance and reworking of important rules, the creation of the ArbCom, compulsory mediation, checkusers, patrolling, violations filter. altes 04:18, 11 ноября 2010 (UTC)

I forgot to add: it's very possible that in the future I will be able to call the introduction of the status of closer a significant event (at first the addition of this category of users didn't seem necessary to me). This is possibly the most important step on the path to mending the rift between the "rank and file" users and the administrators, desocializing and depoliticizing the status of administrator (by the way, this equalization, desocialization and depoliticization would have happened anyway, even without the introduction of the status of closer). This is all happening thanks to the fact that the status of closer, on the one hand, is social and political in a very narrow sense, and on the other hand, because it very often "opens the door" to adminship for the person who attains it. altes 02:40, 19 ноября 2010 (UTC)

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

In general, they don't overlap. I write about whatever I find interesting.

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?

In general I do participate in metapedian work (though, by the way, I'm not sure that patrolling and the other activities directly related to work with articles can properly be called metapedianism).

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

I'm a part of it.

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 first "pillar." Too strict - it depends in what way. It is unquestionably very strict compared to the average online community (this is not surprising - our goal is not socializing, and besides, Wikipedia is for obvious and objective reasons much more centralized), and on the special pages there is much less room for humor, socializing, and other things that might be there. But considering the existence of off-wiki communication this strictness is completely justified.

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

Often (by the average standards of a Wikipedian), at wiki-meetups, on Skype or LJ-communities (including ru_wikipedia).

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

If we're not talking about cliches ("it took up a lot of time"), then it widened my worldview in some ways and improved my English language skills.

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

It has, and mostly in the positive sense.

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

Actively, no. Sometimes, if I'm passing through, I'll edit some mistake that catches my eye on

17. What other web projects do you participate in?

LJ altes (I use it almost exclusively for discussion pertaining to Wikipedia).

18. What other hobbies do you have?

I periodically get interested in all kinds of different spheres of knowledge (a bit more often than anything else, things pertains to the social sciences).