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User:JWSchmidt/Blog/27 May 2007

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JWSchmidt's Wikiversity blog
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13 June 2010 - Bull
5 April 2010 - Breaches
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27 January - Your Banned
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14 November - Custodianship
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27 August - Wikipedia studies
1 March 2008 - The real world
12 January - Fair Use and the GFDL
2 January 2008 - Wiki Council
---- start 2008 ----
31 December - Participatory Learning
19 December - Foundation Changes
1 December - Changing the GFDL?
13 November - What is Wikiversity?
10 November - Expert editors (part II)
14 October 2007 - Vandal Wiki
20 September - Collaborative video interface
4 September - Open Source Crusade
31 August - CheckUser
4 August - Collaborative videos
20 July - Options for video-in-wiki
1 July - Networking Web 2.0 Websites
7 June 2007 - GFDL violations
27 May - Wikiversity namespace
22 May 2007 - Wikiversity tagline
20 May - The newbie game
16 May - Tangled Hierarchies
12 May - Navigation boxes
11 May 2007 - Forced editing
9 May - Wikipedia Learning
6 May - Music collaborations
25 Mar - Reliable Sources
17 Mar - Version flagging
11 Mar - Research policy discussion
10 Mar 2007 - Credentials
3 Mar - Free media files
28 Feb - Delete or develop?
27 Feb 2007 - Main Page
25 Feb - Science and Protoscience
23 Feb - Complementing Wikipedia
21 Feb - Copyleft media files
19 Feb - Gratis versus Libre
18 Feb 2007 - Referees
16 Feb - MediaWiki interface
15 Feb - Content development projects
14 Feb - Scope of Research
13 Feb 2007 - Review Board
12 Feb - Rounded corners
11 Feb - Open vs free content
10 Feb - Research guidelines
9 Feb - Learning resource diversity
8 February - Wikiversity referees.
7 February 2007 - Wikio.
5 February - Research policy.
2 February - Portal cleanup done.
31 January - Reliable sources.
29 January - Learning projects and materials.
27 January - Recording voice chat.
25 January - Animated GIF files with GIMP.
23 January - User page cleanup.
21 January 2007 - List of portals.
20 January - 2 more portals. "Courses"
19 Jan, - Portals and templates.
18 January site statistics - 20,000 pages.
18 January - Creating and organizing portals.
17 January - Categories of Wikiversity schools.
16 Jan. - Featured content development projects.
15 January - Wikiversity status at 5 months.
14 January - The "Topic:" namespace
13 January - Featured content
13 January - Wikiversity Bugs
12 January 2007 - Start of the blog
---- start 2007 ----
24 October, 2006 - Wikiversity history
26 April, 2005 - Wiki reality games
17 March, 2004 - Semantic prosthetic
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Back when I was working on a set of major portals for the content that was imported from Wikibooks, I went through the entire "School:" namespace, the entire "Topic:" topic namespace and most of the main namespace (see). I recently made a list of content development projects and I estimate that there are about 750 of them now. I am now working my way through the "Wikiversity:" namespace.

Wikiversity namespaceEdit

I'm interested in the idea of making the Main Page a useful resource for new visitors (see), so I need to become familiar with all of the Wikiversity pages that might be useful for new visitors. This task merges into the larger task of organizing all the pages that can be used for learning about Wikiversity at all levels (beginners, intermediate, advanced...see: Topic:Wikiversity). If we really believe in the power of learning projects, then maybe there should also be Wikiversity policy, a learning project about Wikiversity policies. I am very doubtful about pages such as Wikiversity:Introduction Overhaul Taskforce existing in the "Wikiversity:" namespace. If we put the Main Page back in the main namespace then there would only need be The Division of Wikiversity Learning Resources and sub-projects in the "Topic:" namespace such as Introduction Overhaul Taskforce.

Strange loopsEdit

Wikipedia has always had a bias against discussing itself in the main Wikipedia namespace. "The topic of Wikipedia articles should always look outward, not inward at the Wikipedia itself." There is w:Wikipedia, but there is not really much that a conventional encyclopedia need say about Wikipedia. Of course, Wikipedia is not conventional, so editors are always finding ways to include things in Wikipedia that would never be found in a printed encyclopedia. In addition to the main article about Wikipedia, there are a few others such as w:History of Wikipedia, w:Wikipedia in culture, w:Criticism of Wikipedia and w:Wikipedia community.

Wikiversity as an object of studyEdit

One of the first things I did at Wikiversity was start learning projects about wiki itself. If Wikiversity is specialized for exploring how to use wiki technology to promote learning, then we cannot ignore the need to have learning resources that are about Wikiversity itself. If we allow main namspace learning projects about Wikiversity (example) then what should be the relationship between those main namespace pages and other pages about Wikiversity in the "Help:" and "Wikiversity:" namespaces?

Radical proposalEdit

What if we had a general rule that says, "Make the "Wikiversity:" namespace as small as possible"? We started this process by putting WikiProjects in the "School:" and "Topic:" namespaces and not in the "Wikiversity:" namespace. Which other introspective pages about Wikiversity can take the form of learning projects in the main namespace? Should we have a strict definition of "Wikiversity:" namespace content restricting its pages to just policy pages?


At Wikipedia, w:Portal:Wikipedia redirects to w:Wikipedia:Community Portal. At Wikiversity, Wikiversity:Community Portal was quickly created and within a few week it was bloated with a bunch of links copied from Wikipedia. Many of these links remain red (I just fixed the link for "Administrators") and the "Community Portal" page is seldom updated. Right now it has a huge chunk of white space right in the middle of the page.

The idea of a "community portal" seems to go back to 2004, some 3 years after the Wikipedia project started. Early versions of the page actually had a section called "New to Wikipedia?", but the page has degenerated into an amazingly over-complex mass that only an addicted Wikipedian could love. Reproducing that structure at the new Wikiversity website was another abomination, similar to what was done to the Wikiversity Main Page. Wikipedians who know nothing about Wikiversity trying to turn Wikiversity into some sort of Wikipedia clone.

I've long felt that the "Wikipedia:" namespace was a mysterious mess where I can always expect to find more pages that I never knew existed. Since I have started going through the "Wikiversity:" namespace I have the same feeling about it. If you want to create a page and do not know where to put, the default dumping ground seems to be the "Wikiversity:" namespace. To make sense of it all we can use Portal:Wikiversity, categories, and navigation boxes (example).