Talk:NEH Reference materials grant application/Narrative

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In just the three years since it was founded, the Wikimedia Foundation has succeeded in creating an international community of learners devoted to the creation of high quality online encyclopedias and other reference materials that people anywhere can access for free via the Internet.

Be careful Danny. The WMF is not 3 years old. The oldest project (among those the foundation is helping) is 3.5 years. The foundation is very recent. You may indicate that the foundation was created to support those projects, to accompany them in their growth. But the projects came first. Anthere

perhaps the comment "virtually covering every topic" is a bit strong. I can cite many areas which are currently very poorly covered, if not not covered at all. It is often mentionned among the "defaults" of wikipedia (compared to traditional encyclopedia) that the reader is just not sure to find the information he is looking for. I believe it is still the case in several areas, even on en: We should be careful not to claim we cover virtually any areas imho.

When reading your text (which is very good incidently :-)), I feel like two things are missing.

First, you mention that contributors can participate in many ways... and then essentially cite encyclopedia content building. I think it goes further than this and should be mentionned. Some of the very important roles are not directly related to content, there are those taking care of organising the content, those babysitting our servers, those developping mediawiki software, those writing and sending press releases, those going to meeting or interviews. I think it is important it is understood that we manage absolutely each and any steps in the whole process ourselves, with volunteers. We do not depend on external help, such as for example paying a company to host the website. Not only can each of us be a teacher, but each of us can be a little part of a complex system; we may all find place according to our abilities.

The second point is I think you perhaps do not explain enough why we do need money. Of course, this has to fit with this grant in particular. But reading this text, I understand we rely on volunteers, and I do not understand why we need money. I think it would be beneficial to explain this slightly better. And perhaps to insist on which part they would best help. Is it to pay servers ? Is it to help financing a specific project ? Is it to help distribution to be free ? It is one thing to say we need money, but why do we need it for ?

Just thoughts. Of course, my points are raised essentially because I think it is already a good text. Anthere 20:17, 30 Jun 2004 (UTC)

In response, you must also realize tht this is teh first page of a 25-page narrative. Danny who is still at work aaaargh!

25 pages, hmmmm. Well. Okay :-) ant

I've just added some more stuff -- it's perhaps not very good -- some of it cobbled from articles -- should I stop now?

In the 'Scope' section I suggest we have something about the present strengths of the content of Wikipedia. For example it is particularly rich in sections about IT, computers and the internet, which presumably reflects the ages and interests of contibutors. Indeed there are articles on very esoteric stuff such as obscure computer makers, which a search on Google fails to turn up on any other web site. Likewise it is my impression there is an enormous amount of stuff about the modern media world - film, music, TV, also current affairs. I am not so clear about more specialised areas of scholarship, though it has scope for being equally authoritative in these kinds of fields if editors will write the stuff

I am not sufficiently conversant with the breadth of it, but is there any quick and simple way of getting from the statistics a comparison of say numbers of articles in different subject fields. Clearly this will not measure quality, but a table ranking them will indicate the areas of greatest effort to date. Apwoolrich 06:09, 9 Jul 2004 (UTC)

I removed the sentence which said that 'the philosophy of the wikimedia foundation is that information should be free', because this could be interpreted as meaning that we had some sort of political or moral goal (in the same way that the Free Software Foundation believes that all software should be free, and that selling non-free software is immoral). By contrast, many people involved with the Wikimedia foundation are quite happy with writing non-free, copyrighted work, and may even do it for a living! I think it's better to focus on our goals and aims - to create a free, reliable encyclopedia (and other resources). Enchanter 10:13, 11 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Is there any means of getting important articles cross-translated from different languages across Wikepedia as a whole? This might have been mentioned but I cannot find it. Its the sort of question grant evaluators might raise. Apwoolrich 11:16, 11 Jul 2004 (UTC)


I am a bit bugged by the paragraph 5 "the staff", as it presents a whole set of things has being already decided and approved, while it is not the case, and might even well not be. Anthere 00:27, 12 Jul 2004 (UTC)

boasting of beta projects[edit]

Yes, there are a lot of aggressive new directions in this proposal, for instance the proposal of publishing many printed texts in English. While I like the idea of readers entirely, I think we should leave them out of big proposals like this until we have some great success story to point to; it undercuts our main strength, and suggests (rightly? ahem.) that we are overextending ourselves rather than focusing on our proven killer advantages. Similarly, ideas like the wikiversity, which don't yet have their own project, shoudl either be the sole subject of a New Initiative grant proposal, or left as the merest of footnotes in a central proposal like this. +sj+ 17:05, 13 Jul 2004 (UTC)

A query[edit]

I have just cited in Scope the UK Butler Review on the Iraq war as an example of how fast stuff gets posted. The review became unambargoed today at 12.30, and according to the article's history page, the links to the full text were posted at 13.40., or 1 hr 10 mins after the event I am assuming that the times on the history page are on UK time, and are not affected by daylight saving.

If they are affected, and in fact 12.30 = 13.30, then the time the link was posted is only 10 mins after the embargo was lifted, which is even better. Can somebody please look at this, and make an appropriate alteration to my wording. Thanks Apwoolrich 19:19, 14 Jul 2004 (UTC)