2012 WMF travel guide/Wikivoyage project proposal
The talk page archives the associated discussion
The Travel Guide is a proposal to create a world travel guide, which anyone can edit, distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike license, and free of charge to the public. It will differ from other travel guide wikis in that it will not host advertising and will be run by the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF), a non-profit organization, for the Wikimedia movement. Wikitravel (WT) is the current front-runner of travel wikis, but suffers from monetization in the form of advertising and other proposed commercial content that may alienate potential contributors, the failure to provide database dumps, and a lack of technical support/feature development. (WV) split off from Wikitravel in 2006, starting their own non-commercial association, due to the commercial concerns and have continued to develop the German and Italian language content since.
All Wikitravel administrators who have responded one way or another have expressed their support for joining a Wikimedia travel wiki. Discussion took place on Google Groups, Wikitravel itself, Wikivoyage, and Wikimedia Meta.
Internet Brands (IB), the company that hosts wikitravel.org, however, strongly opposes the proposal. Although a poll done by IB claims that 86% of readers "like Wikitravel the way it is", the methodology of that poll has been questioned.
Wikivoyage wants to merge with a Wikimedia Foundation run site, bringing their name, URL, and all admins, including the board of the association that runs the site. As well there are roughly 1500 users at WV, almost 12,000 articles in German, 2400 in Italian and 29,000 files. This proposal has the potential to reunite these two communities of editors.
WT and WV both have their policies and guidelines. It is proposed that both of these will form the basis of the project and that they will continue to be developed based on community consensus as usual.
, a wiki about the neighborhoods of New York City, is on hiatus for transition to such a site, bringing their detailed content. This content is directed towards locals traveling within NYC, which is also useful for people traveling from other places. We would be open to all city wikis.
- A large group of editors at Wikitravel and some from Wikipedia. The Wikitravel community is very interested in joining the Wikimedia movement and are spearheading this proposal.
- The board of directors of Wikivoyage have agreed to a merger.
Educational in nature
Most would accept that travel is educational in nature. Resources that help with travel would thus be educational resources and within the scope of the Wikimedia Foundation's mission to "empower and engage people around the world to collect and develop educational content under a free license or in the public domain, and to disseminate it effectively and globally".
A vote is being conducted to determine the name for the project.
A few domain names have been discussed, but the discussion should remain behind closed doors until the domain names in question have been purchased.
Purchased:voyagewiki.com, voyagewiki.org, wikicompass.org, wikidestination.org, wikguide.org, wikiguidebook.org, wikiholiday.org, wikilocale.org, wikipath.org, wikivisit.org, wikivista.org, and several others
It would be great to have a new logo for the launch of this project. Have thus created a place for proposals here If anyone has an idea for a logo please submit it.
Previous proposals for a Wikimedia project
Similar sites (non-Wikimedia)
- Wikitravel (WT) is in 20 languages and the English version contains more than 25,000 destinations. The content is licensed under CC-BY-SA 3.0 Unported. Site readership statistics are not released by Internet Brands, but it is consistently ranked highly among travel sites. It is the largest and most popular freely-licensed, user-contributed travel guide collection. Alexa.com ranks it as the 2637th most popular site on the web with a global reach of 0.0602%. The interwiki links between Wikipedia and Wikitravel highlight the close historic cooperation between the editors of both sites, where users adding travelogue style content to Wikipedia have often been directed to add the content to Wikitravel.
- www.wikivoyage.org. A group of primarily German editors and administrators of WT forked in 2006 after the WT site was sold into commercial hands. They founded a non-commercial association and an active community, the content is non-commercial and fully licensed under CC-BY-SA 3.0 Unported. Currently Wikivoyage has about 12,000 guides in German and is the largest travel guide wiki in the German language area. Offspring are an Italian language version with 2,500 guides, a Commons-like file-repository with about 28,000 files and a location database (comparable to the principles of WikiData).
- www.world66.com has 20,000 destinations, almost 80,000 travel guides, licensed under CC-BY-SA 1.0 Generic, also owned by IB
- Wikia Travel has 2,386 pages, relatively few edits (32,280), 3 administrators. Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License 3.0 (Unported).
- (Chinese) 背包攻略 has 900 content pages, 52,883 edits, 1,478 files, 6 sysops, CC-by-sa 2.5 Taiwan, as of 2012-07-20T20:45:06+00:00.
- Brought up here at the English Wikipedia Village pump
- Mentioned on the Wikimedia Foundation list here
- On Wikiversity All about Wikitravel
- Tagged as a RfC on April 17, 2012 to garner wider discussion
- Moving to Wikimedia at Wikitravel Travellers' Pub
- Overview of Wikitravel history and why this proposal is likely to succeed (blog by a Wikitravel admin)
For the Wikimedia movement
- Increase the scope of content offered by the Wikimedia movement
- Increase the number of Wikimedians
- Increase the volume of content for fundraising
- Provide a separate repository for important travel and tourism information, some of which currently is contained within Wikipedia articles.
For travel content
- Reputation of the Wikimedia movement might increase the editor base.
- Remove the conflicts between the commercial decisions of the current WT hosting provider and the community.
- Would increase the reliability of the site, as WT is currently running old MediaWiki versions, on poorly performing infrastructure.
- Allow for database dumps to be released to re-users of Wikitravel content, to encourage creative spin-offs in the form of phone apps, mash ups, etc.
- Would make it easier for Wikipedia and the travel site to direct editors to the better site for the content in question, leading to better focus within articles.
- Combining the image repositories at Wikimedia Commons would result in greater and easier image availability for both Wikipedia and the travel site, and an increase in both contributors and images.
The costs of starting up and running this new site have been deemed to be low by w:en:Erik Möller of the WMF. Some grants to cover part of the start up costs have also been obtained.
Current content policies
The editors of Wikitravel have developed a number of policies over the last 9 years. They cover the same basic principles as Wikipedia's Five Pillars. It is proposed that Wikitravel's policies form the initial guidance for a new site, but they will be open to further development based on community consensus, as on all Wikimedia sites.
- http://wikitravel.org/en/Wikitravel:Community_policies ← Main community policies, closest match to "5 pillars", states that all content be free, and that the content be "fair" to the subject matter involved. States the main goal as being a "complete, up-to-date, and reliable travel guide".
- http://wikitravel.org/en/Wikitravel:Goals_and_non-goals ← States what the project is about and gives a brief overview of the audience it should be writing for. Runs through a list of things the site is not trying to do.
- http://wikitravel.org/en/Wikitravel:Plunge_forward ← An encouragement. Similar to WP:BE BOLD.
- http://wikitravel.org/en/Wikitravel:Be_fair ← Similar to NPOV in that "Be Fair" is based on the consensus of the people contributing to the content in question. Differs in that the descriptions are expected to be more lively and may be more subjective.
- http://wikitravel.org/en/Wikitravel:The_traveller_comes_first ← "The traveller always comes first" reinforces the audience it is writing for and the purpose of the project.
- http://wikitravel.org/en/Wikitravel:Manual_of_style ← The manual of style similar to WP:MOS to provide consistency across the site.
Wikivoyage is based on similar policies, but streamlined a little.
- http://www.wikivoyage.org/general/Wikivoyage:Goals_and_non-goals ← Is the basic introduction to the project and provides an overview.
- http://www.wikivoyage.org/general/Wikivoyage:Manual_of_style ← Provides a guideline to authors, as it is stricter in organisation than an encyclopaedia.
- http://www.wikivoyage.org/general/Wikivoyage:Writing_style ← Incorporates most of the important guidelines about NPOV, article structure and content.
More policies exist concerning decision making (community decides), deletion, administration and more. The consensus of the community and the freedom of content are the main principles.
See also: Requests for comment/Travel Guide