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Submissions/Wikipedia is dead. Long live Wikipedia!

From Wikimania 2012 • Washington, D.C., USA

This is an open submission for Wikimania 2012.

Submission no.

DQ 10

Title of the submission
Wikipedia is dead. Long live Wikipedia!
Type of submission (workshop, tutorial, panel, presentation)
Presentation or Panel
Author of the submission
Sj (talk)
E-mail address


Country of origin
Affiliation, if any (organization, company etc.)
Wikimedia Foundation
Personal homepage or blog
Abstract (at least 300 words to describe your proposal)

This is a late submission after reading through the other 400 submissions and seeing nothing at this level of abstraction.

Wikimedia editing and participation is steadily declining. At the same time, project readership and visibility, and the movement's infrastructure, from the foundation to the global network of chapters, are growing rapidly.

We are in a position of reimagining Wikipedia and its sister projects for the future. We have resources to dedicate to something new, and our existing project frameworks need fundamental changes if their communities are to start growing again.

This presentation will briefly summarize the state of wikimedia editing and participation, and the decline of [human] edits, new users and admins, and other participation measures since 2007 - an overview to complement the proposed Engage or Perish panel. This will draw from the latest participation data, updated to 2012; and experiences related in other specific proposals, including

Obstacles to Wikipedia's Evolution
Welcome to Wikipedia, now please go away
Why our broken system prevents companies from editing
How Awful Arguments are Killing the Wiki*
Why people avoid Wikipedia in Korea*
Sustaining Veteran Editors - Why one left Wikipedia*

* Possibilities for combining with this talk, or concatenating as a single moderated session

The presentation will also briefly summarize the growth in our global capacity. And will conclude with proposals for a different sort of wiki environment in the future, drawing on models used successfully by projects such as Wikihow and Quora, and drawing on current work around motivation and mobile editing.

WikiCulture and Community; Research, Analysis, and Education
Length of presentation/talk
10 minute presentation + discussion. 25+ Minutes depending on the final scope of the presentation [see options for merging below]; this could alternately be a workshop. But I think a short part of it would be of interest to quite a wide audience; if there were a main-room session where all of the workshops got 5 minutes to describe their work, that would be perfect.
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?
Slides or further information (optional)
Special request as to time of presentations

Ideally sometime before, and not overlapping with, the Engage or Perish panel.

I think this presentation is much more important than my proposal for a DPLA talk, which could be given as a lightning talk.

Thoughts on merging with other proposals: I have asked Adam Wight whether he would be interested in combining his proposed session on Obstacles to Wikipedia's Evolution.

In addition to Adam's general statement of purpose (it is important to think about obstacles and overcome them) I think it is important to provide an unapologetic summary of the current state of participation [the picture painted is usually too rosy], and to note that the original idea of Wikipedia being a site that anyone can edit, where all contributions are welcome, is dead. We must decide whether to revive that, or modify it, or build something different on top of what we have today. And we need a thoughtful analysis of ideas successfully implemented elsewhere, rather than brainstorming from scratch.

Interested attendees

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  1. CT Cooper · talk 20:10, 22 March 2012 (UTC)[reply]
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