Talk:Wikimorial

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General[edit]

All deads ? welllll, why not. The idea is not bad :-) ant

Which language ?
All dead people, all languages, probably just one wiki. But I'm open to have Wikipedia-style language segregation if that is deemed necessary. NOTE: We will eventually get the ability to have user/per page-selectable language interfaces so that current technical limitation of MediaWiki should not be a reason to establish strict language segregation). --Maveric149 03:34, 6 Dec 2003 (UTC)
That would be nice. Nod : we need to work on language interface. It would be preferable that everything is at one place, if only for genealogy matters.
Sounds great. That's an interesting project. Traroth 20:12, 7 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Greetings - please have a look at the WikiTree project. We have started to work on it with Wikipedia in mind - free, collaborative, high quality, culturally sensitive, etc. Why not joining efforts and together achieve the best of the aims and ideas of WikiTree and the proposed Wikimorial. Have also a look at my small memorandum I have published at the Wikipeople talk and on the WikiTree discussion page. Hoping to have the pleasure to meet and work with you! --Tjfulopp 21:35, 28 May 2005 (UTC)

Replacing Sep11?[edit]

My $0.02: sep11.wikipedia.org was not meant to be an active place. It was meant to be a place where we could move the September 11 memorial pages from Wikipedia -- where many people rightly noted they were out of place and some wanted to delete them -- without taking them entirely offline. Not being actively edited is in no way a failure. --Brion VIBBER 08:53, 6 Dec 2003 (UTC)

If the problem arises with another similar tragedy, then wikimemorial would be a good choice.
It doesn't need to be a lonely dumping ground - it can be an active and useful project if we expand its scope. --mav

It's a reasonable idea, although there already is http://www.legacy.org/. There's no need to attack sep11 in order to support this concept. --The Cunctator

I'm not attacking sep11, I'm trying to expand that project to a point where it would be viable. Your link seems to be dead. --mav
Change made to intro to reflect tc's concern. --mav

The stagnation of sep11 really is a problem. See sep11:Paul Innella for the reason. In this page, there was a dispute between two different families of Innella's, which are estranged from each other. Both sides of the dispute continually violated Wikiquette and NPOV (although one side was worse on both counts). Then Jimbo intervened and protected the page -- in the (slightly POV) way that one side wanted, ignoring the other side. Since then, Jimbo has not returned to the matter, and nobody can edit it (including disinterested 3rd parties), since it's protected. I don't even know who the admins are on that place!

This would not be a problem on a wiki with active participation by many people. -- Toby Bartels 22:54, 7 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Name discussion[edit]

I think the name is horrible (have no opinion otherwise). I realize that I might have well stayed out of the discussion, but it seems like the naming is going overboard. It's barely discernable what wikimorial even means (is it about quick morals?). Dori | Talk 03:55, 6 Dec 2003 (UTC)

The morial part of wikimorial is no more ambiguous than book part of wikibooks (in fact it is, IMO, much more clear given the fact that the book in wikibooks is a shortening of textbook). But if somebody else has a better name idea then we could vote between that (or those) and Wikimorial. Also the spelling of moral and morial is different, and the subtitle of every Wikimorial page would be something like "The Wikimedia memorial to the dead." I think that that would make it clear. --mav
I was joking about the morals bit. I think even WikiMemorial is much better. As for wikibooks, books is an actual work so it is a lot better than morial which as far as I know is not a work. Dori | Talk 04:11, 6 Dec 2003 (UTC)
How is morial different then pedia and tionary then? Compound terms are a common. way to create new names (or even words). --mav
It's not, but wikipedia has stuck now. I don't much care for wiktionary either, but it is still more easily discernible in my opinion. I just think we're going a bit overboard with the naming (sort of like the KDE people, but worse since we're actually adding Wik in front, and chopping off part of the word). Maybe I am the only one that is bothered by these names, and as they become more popular they will be like wikipedia. Dori | Talk 04:25, 6 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Wiki prefixing seems to be part of Wikimedia branding. --mav
Just wish at least the other word wouldn't get chopped off. Also I don't think Wikimedia has a trademark on wiki, so many other sites will (if they haven't already) pop up with similar names (i.e. have wiki in front). Dori | Talk 04:52, 6 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Of course we don't have a trademark on wiki any more than we have a trademark on pedia. But our use of wiki as a prefix seems to be relatively rare compared to other wikis (who tend to have wiki as a suffix or not in their names at all). Wikitravel is the most notable exception that pops to mind, but that was created by two Wikipedians (one of whom is a rather productive MediaWiki developer)! --mav
I'm kinda blushing. --Evan 06:05, 6 Dec 2003 (UTC)
I speak only the truth. I still would like to see the Wikitravelers get adopted by the Wikimedia family. :) --mav
So, here's my feeling: I think it would be terribly sad and depressing to take down any memorial for September 11th. Expand, repurpose, whatever: there's something disturbing about it. --Evan 06:05, 6 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Yes - I should have made that more clear. I intend simply to change the name and expand the scope of the current Sep11 Wiki. --mav
Change made to intro to reflect Evan's concern. --mav

A memorial wouldn't be NPOV - a trademark of the Wiki* sites so far. Unless this detail is ironed out, I don't see how we could proceed. -- User:Gaurav

Yeah it can. Just stick to the bare facts and avoid adjectives. The only problem is confirmability since many people born before the 20th century have very little info about them, and, in most cases, have nothing about them on the Internet. So we can and should be more lax on the 'confirmability' unwritten clause of NPOV. I foresee Wikimorial as being the largest database of genealogy information in the world (or at least on the Internet). --mav
Change made to intro to reflect Gaurav's concern. --mav
Chalk me up for another opinion against the name Wikimorial, but for the concept. The reasons are twofold - one, the root is from Latin "memori" and as such, doesn't quite make sense to be split at "morial," but second it just looks odd as mentioned before. Maybe I'm also thinking of the old computer game "Moria". Fuzheado 00:04, 7 Dec 2003 (UTC)

At first glance, "Wikimorial" seems like a reasonable name for the Wikimedia family. But in fact, it is a more extreme abbreviation than any other so far! Consider:

  • "Wikipedia" -- as bad as "Wikimorial", but excusably so, since the name was based on "Nupedia" (the originators of the abbreviation). And the very nature of (what was to become) Wikimedia was entirely different back then, when it was easier to create a bad name.
  • "Wiktionary" -- by spelling, as abbreviated as "Wikimorial", but by pronunciation, only the initial consonant of "dictionary" is missing.
  • "Wikibooks" -- in origin, this may be an abbreviation of "textbooks", but the scope of the project quickly expanded to all NPOV nonfiction. If we had originally made it "Wikitextbooks", then we'd have to change it to "Wikibooks" now! And in the end, "books" is a word, and an appropriate word, while "morial" is not.
  • "Wikiquote" -- no abbreviation at all!
  • "Wikisource" -- no abbreviation at all!

Also notice the trend -- less and less abbreviation -- a good thing IMO. Anyway, I like the idea, but would suggest Wikimemorial. -- Toby Bartels 22:41, 7 Dec 2003 (UTC)

The use of Portmanteau's is a perfectly valid and accepted way to create new words (smoke + fog = smog). Microsoft is a great example where the original word pair combination "microcomputer" and "software" now makes a very distinct (and therefore trademarkable and rememberable) brand. If they had used the far more generic "Microcomputer Software, Inc" then their branding whould have suffered from a lack of uniqueness. Wikimemorial is similarly generic (and I cringe to think of this logic being applied to Wikipedia - Wikiencyclopedia is absurdly generic and not a unique brand). --mav

Wikimemorial is only two letters longer than wikimorial, and is vastly better.

It is very generic and thus not trademarkable. It is also not a name, it is a description. --mav

The name Wikimorial sucks, period. Wikimemorial should be trademarkable if we give it a distinct identity (logo, look of the site etc.) and even if it isn't, that's not a big deal in the case of a small spin-off site. Please think a bit longer about the name before settling on a very ugly one that's going to make it into lots of press releases and Wikimedia publications. Wiktionary is embarrassing enough every time I read/write it.--Eloquence

I guess I shouldn't suggest "Wikquiem" then? :) Seriously though, I agree that these wiki portmanteau names are really awful. Wikimemorial is more descriptive and less painful than the other proposals. -- Merphant 10:24, 11 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Well, that's better sounding -- cute, like "Wiktionary" was. -- Toby Bartels 04:03, 20 Feb 2004 (UTC)
What is wrong with the name? Seems perfectly fine to me. Note that nobody once added "Wikimemorial" to the suggested names during the period for that so it mustn't be that important then. Should the name suggestion period be extended to the end of the calendar week then? I am most certainly am not going to buy Wikimemorial.org and .com since I think that title is too long and not unique. I also really like the name "Wiktionary" - very distinct, very rememberable and one hell of a lot better than "Wikidictionary". Need we go into the “Wikiencyclopedia” and "Microcomputer Software" (aka Microsoft) discussion again? The name "Wiki memorial" would also make for a redundant byline From Wiki Memorial, a wiki memorial to the dead. --mav
No, "Wikimemorial" would be one word, just like our other unabbreviated, eminently trademarkable names: "Wikibooks", "Wikiquote", and "Wikisource". -- Toby Bartels 04:03, 20 Feb 2004 (UTC)
Well I just saw it now (what I get for contributing to the 'pedia and not reading meta), and I like Wikimemorial.org for all of the reasons noted above. The dead deserve an extra syllable. I think we should reimburse Mav his money for the domains and move on. "morial" has no meaning except for a politician from Louisiana. The key "meme" to remember in the word memorial is the first part, in contrast the key part of encyclopedia is 'pedia.
Wiktionary only changes one sound and doesn't change the # of syllables.
128.101.119.3
Wikimorial has one more syllable than memorial. So your comparison to Wiktionary does not make sense. Note that nobody has added another proposal to the list. Your reference to a politician in Louisiana does not make sense. --mav
If Chewbacca lives in Louisiana you must acquit! Honestly, I think the problem with wikimorial is that the name does not really make sense :) Although "Wikipedia" doesn't really make sense either. WP got away with it because it was original, and Wiktionary got with it because it was cute, at least in English. The newer wikis -- Wikibooks, Wikiquote, Wikisource -- all have clearer names. I agree with Dori above about KDE and chopping up names. But I also agree that it probably isn't the most important issue, especially with a descriptive byline. -- Merphant 22:05, 12 Dec 2003 (UTC)

OK people. The name issue is distracting us from what is most important; getting to work on making this idea happen. I therefore propose the working name "Wikimedia Memorial" and for the sep11wiki's database to be moved to http://memorial.wikimedia.org/ (the logo can be the standard Wikimedia logo but with "Memorial" below "Wikimedia"). Then we can get to work on actually expanding the focus of that project. We can revisit the naming issue once a community of users develops on that wiki. Agreed? --mav

Agreed. (Despite coming in here and adding random useless comments.) -- Toby Bartels 04:03, 20 Feb 2004 (UTC)


Scope of the project[edit]

Sounds good to me. There's really no reason we should have a wiki for sep11 but not for the many other major tragedies in history, and I think one memorial site is better than having dozens of them.

However, I think it might be a better idea if it were somewhat more factual than eulogizing. Perhaps not factual in the encyclopedic sense of Wikipedia, but hopefully something a bit better than "so and so was a wonderful friend". Basically, encyclopedia-style articles, but on non-famous people. --Delirium 02:29, 6 Dec 2003 (UTC)

I agree. Anything on an article page will be subject to a modified version of NPOV and any signatures on article pages will be removed. But I would allow some eulogizing on talk pages. --Maveric149
Are you sure? I guess for most people eulogizing about their relatives and friends would be more useful than dry factual information. However, if we allow eulogizing, another potential problem to ponder would be the controversial people... I think not enough attention is paid to these issues now in all discussions of Wikipeople/morial/family/etc.

For the most part when I offhandedly suggested the name Wikimorial in the context of the Wikisource vs. Project Sourceberg debate I had no idea that it would stick. I'm not involved in the 9/11 project, and have no intention to be involved in the forseeable future, though I respect the feelings of those who attach more importance to it.

As large as the number of 9/11 victims was it was still finite, and that was bound to limit the scope of the project. The 9/11 project was motivated by a compromise between those who felt a need to express their sympathy, and those who saw such expressions of sympathy as unencyclopedic. There are continuing complaints about articles on "unimportant" people, often leading to questions like "Do we need to include the names of all 6,000,000 victims of the holocaust?" To be true to my inclusionist principles, I would have to answer, "Yes." The practical me also responds, "It's not likely to happen, so why worry about it?" I still welcome the effort to divert entire classes of material from Wikipedia as preferable to deletion.

Perhaps we can look at Wikimorial as a well-tended and manicured cemetary with a series of individual gardens dedicated to groups of people whose death made them associates. The 9/11 victims would be in one garden; the Air India bombing victims in another; the Dar-es-Salaam embassy bombing victims in a third (where the Tanzanian victims should be just as prominent as the American ones) It's a big cemetary with room for lots of gardens. Including all dead people strikes me as a dubious prospect, but then I have no intention of getting involved in this so it's the call of those who are involved. On the other issues raised:

  1. Language: Each project has handled it in its own way; this should be no exception.
  2. NPOV: The principle applies, but what it means varies a lot depending on the project. It's meant a lot of nightmares on Wikipedia. Wiktionary where User talk:194.126.101.137 to-day became entry number 30,000 has so far managed for almost a full year with no major NPOV disputes. On Wikimorial NPOV may be closely linked with not speaking ill if the dead; it's not intended to be a critical evaluation of each life. If an individual is important enough to have such controversies about him he probably deserves an additional article on Wikipedia.
  3. Genealogy: Forget it! This doesn't mean that we can't mention immediate family members to the extent that they might be mentioned in an obituary. It's just that genealogy is way beyond the scope of what can be done here. There are already armies of altruistic senior ladies enterring massive amounts of data from vital statistics, census data, immigration records, church records and many other sources. A mountain of material is already available free or at reasonable cost. Eclecticology 09:32, 6 Dec 2003 (UTC)
  1. Not sure what you mean by that statement, but as Anthere wrote on the talk page it might be best to have all languages co-exist on the same wiki (just like Wikisource).
  2. I'm fuzzy on how NPOV has created nightmares on Wikipedia. It is the lack of NPOV in particular articles that does that along with a broken system of escalating disputes (which hopefully will be largely fixed by the new mediation and arbitration process).
  3. I don't think we should be in the business of choosing people who died en-masse over single person dying in an equally tragic situation. We furthermore, IMO, should not be making judgment calls on just how tragic the death has to be to merit inclusion of an article on the person. Death is tragic in and of itself and we are all terminally ill with the disease called 'aging' that will kill every one of us if we are not first killed by something else. And just because there are already legions of blue-haired old ladies pouring geneology data on the Internet, it does not follow that that process would not benefit from the collaborative nature and ease of editing that wiki technology and philosophy give. Heck when Wikipedia started the Britannica, Encarta and the Columbian Encyclopedia were all on line. That fact did not stop us, nor should it have. --mav
One problem that occurs to me with having too inclusive a wiki system is the reliance on each page having a unique name - the more people you have, the harder it will be to meaningfully create a page title for each of them. The system in use on Wikipedia, where we put "(actor)" or "(France)" or anything like that will soon become unmanageable in a system that has to deal with, say, all the "John Smith"s in the world, or even the 100 or so Dave Gormans. This makes me like the idea of "memorial gardens", rather than using it as a genealogy/biography project - the latter is probably better served by more specialised software that can infer relationships between people, represent things semantically, have one page for people who had more than one name in their lifetime but different pages for people with the same name, and so on... Just my 2 cents of course, but I think a genealogy wiki would automatically have to limit its own usefulness to fit with the ad hoc nature of wiki systems. - IMSoP 20:43, 4 May 2004 (UTC)
Just add the birth and death year in parenthesis behind the person's full name. How many John Jacob Smith (1907-1989) could there be? --mav 17:25, 27 May 2004 (UTC)

Related Projects[edit]

I started up GlobalFamilyTree before I knew about this project, but seeing this discussion, it seems worthwhile to keep it up. I started it to directly tackle the genealogy side of things, which it seems like this project is trying to avoid. Anyway, talk it up over there, if you wish. --Joeljkp 16:40, 24 May 2004 (UTC)

There are also murmurings about names like Wikipeople and Wikifamily. Let's keep discussion of all of these here... Sj 05:18, 28 May 2004 (UTC)


Funding?[edit]

While I appreciate that this project fills a demonstrated need and would be a great resource (particularly a few generations hence), it's a very different type of project to the other Wikimedia projects.

Wikipedia, to take the example I use most frequently, is something in which most articles are eventually going to be of use to a large number of people. That's why, despite the protests of some, we exclude articles on unremarkble 13-year-old high school students (even precocious ones who argue long and loud on VfD), individual McDonald's outlets, and groups of friends who hold a weekly poker game. We are trying to build a resource for the wider world. That is something I'll happily donate money to.

Whilst I don't doubt historical researchers would find this a goldmine in due course, in general articles on the Wikimorial are only going to be of interest to a few people. Judging by the attendance at the funerals I've been to, perhaps a couple of hundred at most - and the chain from contributor, to subject, to reader, is likely to be very direct. And why should I contribute money so other people can have free memorials on the web? And, more to the point, why should Jimbo? And is there the same moral objection to advertising on a Wikimorial as there is on the Wikipedia?

So, whilst I'm not dismissing this idea out of hand, let's think it through very carefully before asking Wikimedia (and Jimbo) to pay for it. --User:Robert Merkel

Hard drive space is cheap and so is bandwidth (and we already have Sep11!). Wikimorial will not use much of either but will be very useful to anybody working on their family genealogy. The event memorials will also be useful. Why do you think people donate millions of dollars for them? Besides the mere existance of Wikimorial will greatly reduce the insane need some people feel to write Wikipedia acticles on non-notable people (such as the maids of long-dead kings - HJ wrote one of those). --Maveric149 07:29, 8 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Bandwidth is not cheap. Processor time isn't cheap either.
? That's not what Jimbo says. --mav


'Expense' is a red herring; if nobody's using the site, it won't cost anything. It only costs money if it's useful -- the glories of modern self-publishing. Also, while 50-100 people show up at a standard funeral, ten times that will hear about it but not come, and another ten times that will, at some point, wonder about, hear of, or read an article referencing the deceased. We will eventully be providing a central repository for obit information which otherwise could be found only through extensive small-town-paper searching Sj 21:22, 19 Apr 2004 (UTC)



From Wikipedia[edit]

I have a eulogy of w:en:Richard Davisson posted into Wikipedia, which I replaced with an article. Thought it suitable for here, but not sure where to put it. See [1]Duncharris 13:16, 26 Aug 2004 (UTC)

What can I do to help?[edit]

I love the idea of a place to put biographies of non-notable people. I have been asking for the project Wikipeople, but I prefer to join you here. I already have a pilot version of it running in another wiki. see my beta version here. You can navigate within a family. This is not genealogy, its more biography of ordinary people. What do you think? What can I do to help? --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) 05:31, 27 February 2006 (UTC)

Hi there. Thought I'd let you know about Rodovid. It is a genealogy wiki with GEDCOM import and automatic tree generation. You can also have a normal wiki page for a person, containing biographical information. It is currently trying to become a Wikimedia project. Your comments would be greatly appreciated.--Bjwebb 07:58, 27 March 2006 (UTC)

WikiTree.org[edit]

WikiTree.org I think this is another place for the same idea, or maybe even more powerful. A link from there to here or back would be great.