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Mon, 31 Dec 2018 08:41:34 -0800

Yaroslav Blanter <ymb...@gmail.com> escreveu no dia domingo, 30/12/2018
ид(s) 13:55:


> Re milennials: this is clearly not a red herring. Just ask Facebook what
> their demographics is and why the 18- generation is not using it.
>

Stats show that Galinha Pintadinha was one of the most viewed articles in
2018 at the Portuguese Wikipedia:
https://tools.wmflabs.org/pageviews/?project=pt.wikipedia.org&platform=all-access&agent=user&start=2017-12&end=2018-11&pages=Galinha_Pintadinha

I seem to recall it got the 3rd place, but was undoubtedly among the 10
first. Galinha Pintadinha is a very sucessful Brazilian project that
produces songs for children. Apparently those hits are being caused by
children looking for the songs, who click on the Wikipedia article because
it was among the first hits on Google (apparently it's not anymore, and the
hits went down dramatically, accordingly). What this tells is that
apparently an incredible number of very young children already have an easy
access to Wikipedia, and from direct experience at wiki.pt, many of them
stay there editing on the things they like, primarily animation series like
Naruto. We get a lot of new editors who have about 9-12 years old,
confirmed. While this brings a lot of new issues, because our old,
"plastered" Wikipedia project is not really prepared to deal with children
as editors, it's also very refreshing to observe that the community is
continuously renewing itself.

At least in the Portuguese Wikipedia, a large, large fraction of our
readers are children and teens, and a large fraction of our editors are
teens - and this is not limited to Brazil, it's a phenomena I've been
observing at the Portuguese speaking African countries, where our editors
are in general very young, and even in Portugal. The only common trend here
with what is generally publicly stated about Wikipedia is that it's mostly
boys and young men, which should bring about some meditation about what
could be the true causes of the Wikipedia gender gap. Girls and young women
are indeed very rare as editors (though apparently they read and externally
use us a lot).

This is not inline with that idea that we are losing the young generations,
at least in the Portuguese speaking world. Surely they complain a lot about
the usability of the project, and the outdated looks of it (that kind of
1990s flashback), but that is a common complaint that seem to cross all
generations.

While we are at it, some anecdotic evidence of another curious phenomena
I've observed at a recent Wikidata workshop we've organized at our National
Library. We were expecting a participation mostly by young people, since it
was mostly technical stuff. Instead, most of the participants were
archivists and librarians with more than 40 years old, many above 50, 60,
and up. And it was a success, they appeared to be kind of native to
Wikidata, even if it was the first time they were touching it. A large
number of them were women, too, I seem to recall the majority. I've been
observing 10 years old featuring articles and getting to the rank of sysop
at Wiki.pt (nobody knew how old they were at the time :P ), and now I'm
seeing senior people at retirement age engaging with Wikidata - reality
often is very different from what we imagine a priori.

I believe the potential is all there, we just need to understand who our
targets are, and the proper way to get to them. And be creative on the ways
to approach, not getting stuck to the old edithatons (of which efficiency I
have many doubts, apart from some specific situations such as art+feminism
which are also about activism, and so have a potential to result).

Re main point: People, let us be serious. We missed mobile editing (well,
> at least this has been identified as a problem, and something is being done
> about it).


Mobile editing really is a problem. I've been trying for months to engage
new editors in Guinea-Bissau and Angola, and mobile editing really has
shown to be a very powerful barrier for the participation on those places
where everybody has a cell phone (sometimes even 3 of them, as I've been
told is the case in Guinea-Bissau), but desktop computers are extremely
rare.

We missed voice interfaces. We are now missing neural networks.
> We should have been discussing by now what neural networks are allowed to
> do in the projects and what they are not allowed to do. And instead we are
> discussing (and edit-warring) whether the Crimean bridge is the longest in
> Europe or not because different sources place the border between Europe and
> Asia differently, and, according to some sources, the bridge is not in
> Europe. Why do you think that if we keep missing all technological
> development relevant in the field we are still going to survive?


i don't believe it is correct to mix those things. The people that edit-war
about trifles are often not the same that can propose, discuss and develop
those higher scale improvements and evolutions; or at least they are in a
very different mindset when they are doing that. And that kind of "trifle
war" is useful, too, and sometimes lead to significative improvements in
the quality of the articles. It's not always a Byzantine thing. I recall a
conflict at wiki.pt between "Bombaim" and "Mumbai" as the proper name for
the Indian city, when it was officially changed, which led to significative
improvements on the etymology section, and the history of the region in the
article.

Cheers,

Paulo (DarwIn)
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