User:Mirwin/Draft of reply to Telsa
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Telsa, Some of these will emerge from participatory intellectual sports as community leaders, others as contributers of ..... What? I do not know until they decide to show us.
I do not know. How should we find out? I propose we experiment efficiently. This does not require massive time or resources or skill (allegedly, I have been doing other stuff besides downloading and installing. The blasted wiki book has a screwed up CD. A poor comment on Leuf to a purchaser that paid a premium price for a defective product. How the hell does a defective master image get shipped with a forty dollar paperback book? Good market reseach data though. Our knowledgebase will eventually obliterate them if that is their typcial standard at Addison Wesley.)
How long for a team of fifty volunteer wiki admins to write a real book with all the gory details via Wikipedia style interface if they had committted to expending the revenue raised on higher bandwidth? I speak as an experienced engineering project manager, this tool can be sold to engineering teams. Engineers do NOT get paid the big bucks to twiddle with linux/wiki(s) when I have a million dollar deadline looming. Who should we hire? How convenient, if we can get the box back on the air the admin can probably be remotely. If not, we have someone on a list of consultants that can travel for an appropriate fee. Might generate some motivation among hungry college students with 24/7 initial access available. Move the operational site as revenue is available (sooner not later) or necessary.
What do you counterpropose or is there truly any opportunity for improvement?
The only solution I know for access limitations is revenue. Database synching and thus incremental download and upload is certainly feasible but not a current priority for Wikipedia. We have the technology we need there to get on with the job. Apparently a few php or mySQL programmers would be helpful but they cannot be too desperate. I have not noticed any serious recruiting underway.
The way I see it: Mailing lists provide an excellent serial history useful for archival and later review. They are also very good for extended bilateral dialogues and specific code fragment discussion sent along with source code files.
Wikipedia provides an online current project snapshot that can be hacked by beginners within minutes who are then engaged in mutual self training and the production of valuable knowledgebases and products such as:
In case of userCommunities: user manuals, FAQs, developer training, civilization training, improved writing and research
In case of Wikipedia: a bunch of stuff. So far we have collaborated on the usual trinkets and textbooks/databases in our feeble market research efforts.
We have a sponser who is very supportive and we are getting the Encyclopedia done. His Nupedia effort will benefit from that effort as it is a commercial FDL endeaver. IIRC Our sponser recently shared that ramping usage and contribution may require some upgrades soon but I think he meant it as good news. OTOH, one of our paid professionals (a coufounder) was laid off or left to pursue other oppportunities. I am not clear on all the details and it does not really matter. He is still working with us, he just does not have as much time to spend on the effort.
Personally, I wish to find out if it is a new fundamental tool and building block of potental vast utility. We can synergistically help out a bunch of new people at Wikipedia doing serious R&D on FDL issues and collaboration methods while we find out. What the hell? Shall we hack a bit and see what the universe thinks?
It looks to me like we can set up functional user communities that could do a lot of the work currently being done by experienced people that would serve to orient and help newcomers self educate. Maybe it will work, we should try a small prototype to gather some data and then evaluate it creatively together collaborating joyfully along the way. Maybe for practice and in exchange for using some of their site resources we should play some trivia games and then score by checking encyclopedia data and validating it with appropriate notes.
Did I say that it scales well if one can afford the computer nets and bandwidth? One thousand engineers can work on a specification one component each or they can all get intensely interested in a specific problem and deal with the merge conflicts. I realize there is some loss here but they are experienced or student volunteers and presumably not bashful about asserting themselves. They can figure out the workarounds. All I have to do is show them a small prototype that works. With a thousand interested engineers something will move. And yes I know how to find and recruit them and how to make money of them, I think. If not, they will show me. If I give them the chance to work together to figure it out and help create the interest in doing so.
We certainly trade some content at Advogato. If we trade some of that collegially at Wikipedia it starts seeping into Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia
By the way, when we get our virtual grade school level up (yes, ala Ender but with watchful parents instead of desperate generals) and secure with a network of trusted encryption and physical anthentication of *pedians I intend to be playing some trivia, math, and science as well as all the usual Encyclopedia games with my nieces and nephew on the other side of the U.S. asynchronously.
It will sort of put the "community" back into online collaborative community. Secondary ulterior motive: This will also attract my Dad into making the effort to learn the interface. While we watch the kids, he in retirement and I traveling on assignment, he and I are going to be discussing the design and maintenance of Liquid Oxygen plants. He has a hazmat commercial license too so if I figure out how to get corn farmers in Illinois interested in producing alcohol for sell we can get it moved around legally.
Why wiki? Why not? Somebody said they had a problem and I got itchy. That is what effective project managers, sole proprietors, and engineers do ... they attack problems. Sorry. They lick the lollipop three times to find out what is inside.
You stated that the interface is intimidating. I admit I found it bit so when I first encountered advogato. If it does not exist somewhere, I invite you to (anyone) collaborate on a step-by-step user guide for total beginners who have been told over the phone how to power up their computer (I assume it has a functional operating system). A friend of mine (carpenter) is getting a Dell soon and I need it for him. I need a section on Navigator for my Dad and I anticipate a P'hd in child development as soon as I get his new phone number. He is a die hard Mac fan so that should be interesting. I think we should do it online at meta.wikipedia.com because it is for their project after all. The cut and paste works well between Nav 4.7/Win 98 and their submittal form so editing offline is feasible. We can use multiple pages if necessary or sufficient to avoid conflicts in merging. Neophyte advogato could use something like if there are any plans to setup to assist our next wave in self education efforts, if they make it at least as fun as Wikipedia. There is an opportunity cost now to hanging around here. A relief for many, I know.
For now, if we play team tag, I get think and ,b>rirwin, and tk, if he is willing and available. I should probably warn you that think was undefeated in trivial pursuit in college, AFAIK later user:mirwin [[Category:2002]] [[Category:Wikipedia history]] [[Category:Usability]]