User talk:Gavin.collins

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Welcome to Meta![edit]

Hello Gavin.collins!, and welcome to the Wikimedia Meta-Wiki! This website is for coordinating and discussing all Wikimedia projects. You may find it useful to read our policy page. If you are interested in doing translations, visit Meta:Babylon. You can also leave a note on Meta:Babel or Wikimedia Forum (please read the instructions at the top of the page before posting there). Happy editing! — Mikhailov Kusserow (talk) 23:44, 30 October 2009 (UTC)

Travel guide RFC[edit]

Hi Gavin, I read your comment with some interest, and hope you don't mind if I reproduce the parts I wanted to respond to here so I can reply without losing track of the details:

A travel Wiki would be an open forum for promotion of commercial interests (spam) personal opinions (POV), and as such, would be impossible to police as the commercial interests of travel and hospitality sector would likely to conflict with the non-commercial mission of the Wikimedia Foundation. There is already an going conflict between these interests in Wikipedia, where there is an ongoing debate on whether topics or content should be allowed to be added on the basis of "notability" (where significant coverage from reliable secondary sources is required) or some other inclusion criteria, such as the desire to provide a comprehensive coverage of every single aspect of human existence (such as the travel). Limiting the inclusion of topics and content on the basis of notability has the effect of excluding content that is purpose is purely to promote a political, commercial or personal interest, whereas it is not possible to exclude promotional content such as spam or private fueds about hotel service if the criteria for inclusion are not objective enough to be applied in consistent way that results in balanced coverage.

Combating advertising by business owners is the number two problem we have, following the big one—the complete lack of bug fixes, upgrades, and feature development we have languished under in the past 6 years. The upside, though, is that we have an admin community of nearly 35 strong who want to come back to work on the project if we do go forward with this proposal, all of whom are intimately familiar with this problem, are experts with regards to spotting advertising, and competent in removing it. We also have a number of ideas for improving reliability of business listings, which we have been unable to implement as our current commercial site host will not allow us developer access to work on anything. You might be interested to read about those types of ideas at Wikitravel:Business listings reliability Expedition—especially the talk page of that article, with my favorite current suggestions in the talk page's most recent thread at bottom.

I tend to think our (significant) challenges with business owner contributions (which are very much discouraged and acknowledged at Wikitravel:Don't tout) are actually dwarfed by Wikipedia's, if not those of other Wikimedia projects. Wikipedia is about establishing truth, which is something people go to war over, literally. We're more concerned with what's interesting or cool to do—the stakes are much lower. We don't have to contend with POV zealots or lawsuit-happy biographical subjects, because those aren't things we really deal with. Just the pushy business owners ;) Another upside there is that the business owners readily recognize that they aren't really in the right, as the site is clearly not for advertising, and is meant to be written for travelers (and locals) for travelers (and locals).

Our lack of an NPOV policy is something that Wikipedians often find pretty jarring. But, we think it makes sense, and this policy has held up to the review of a ton of smart people over the past 9 years. We have a POV, and it is that of the traveler. The traveler does not want business owner/marketer-written reviews, they want entertaining and informative prose, interesting if not exceptionally deep background information, and good advice on how to get around, apply for visas, find nightlife, cope with hardships, find wireless access, etc. You might also be interested to take a look at the Wikitravel:Be fair policy, which is basically our version of NPOV for dispute resolution, to which we honestly don't have to refer that often—the standard POV wars of Wikipedia are still pretty alien to us 9 years in.

I don't expect you to change your vote, although I wouldn't mind it ;), but at least I hope you find my response useful and/or interesting. Lastly, you might want to check out our Wikitravel:Star articles, which are exemplars of what we are trying to do. --Peter Talk 21:34, 12 July 2012 (UTC)

I think what you are saying that a travel Wiki would have content policies and guidelines, but they would be lighter versions of WP:NPOV and WP:SPAM, and to make them work, they would be enforced by a group of enlightened admins who "are experts". This has been proposed many times before over at Wikipedia, but it has never been taken up because runs contrary that to the idea that
"no one, no matter how skilled, or of how high standing in the community, has the right to act as though they are the owner of a particular article[1]".
I understand your good intentions contained within your proposal, but there is inherent conflict with the Foundation's open values in how you expect a travel Wiki would be governed. --Gavin.collins (talk) 09:52, 13 July 2012 (UTC)

Wikimedia Travel Guide: Naming poll open[edit]

Hi there,

You are receiving this message because you voiced your opinion at the Request for Comment on the Wikimedia Travel Guide.

The proposed naming poll opened a few days ago and you can vote for as many of the proposed names as you wish, if you are eligible. Please see Travel Guide/Naming Process for full details on voting eligibility and how the final name will be selected. Voting will last for 14 days, and will terminate on 16 October at 06:59:59 UTC.

Thanks, Thehelpfulone 21:54, 6 October 2012 (UTC)