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Wikimania 2007 Taipei :: a Globe in Accord

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The first day of Hacking Days starts with some mini technical conferences and various presentations and workshops,by which attendees learn about MediaWiki and future releases,as well as important initiatives in the Open Source movement.In addition,developers have an opportunity to do some relaxed hacking,while catching up with their Open Source colleagues.

About 40 wikians from out of Taiwan checked in this day.Some of them have been studying web developement and some of them working on search engines.The potential niche or promoting the idea of a certain project had been a major concern.


On the second day,Hacking Days Extra,not only open-to-public conferences are held,but also the Citizen Journalism Unconference.

Held in a bottom-up rather than a top-down way,the Unconference gives everyone an equal status of speech to discuss various kind of issues derived from the concept of Citizen Journalism-by anyone,of anyone,one anything.

Here the question of resource is discussed(Why or why not get funds from enterprises,what are some new possible ways of earning funds without having to give way to talking money,etc.)as well as the possible policy-to-be-made on a certain platform.With some of its members,Taiwan's newly-born website for citizen journalism--Peopo--receives intense examination,questioning,by comparing it to Ohmynews(a website established in the idea of citizen journalism,but later considered by some people to turn sour)and people are eagerly trying to draw any blueprints for it.

In all,the very spirit of citizen journalism is its openess to everyone,to any kinds of legally-correct issues.However,it does come up with problems when it comes to money,since this somehow melts the equality of everyone's speech,and just because of that,the citizen journalism now seems fairly non-profit and charity oriented.


The third day is the first day of main conferences.It begins with a brief speech and showing-up of Jimmy Wales,Florence Devouard,Sue Gardner and Angela Beesley,paying tributes to Wikians,and most importantly highlighting the conviction that despite its rapid developement and the subsequent opportunity,Wikimedia should remains its consistency with the non-profit charity status,within the open and free content movement principles,and consistency with Wikimedia community wishes.

In Seth Anthony's presentation,people get a outline of circumstances of editing in Wikipedia.Most of editors have no identity on wiki,only doing minor changings,and few would ever edit any articles again.He also notes that 50% of contents come from outside the community so it'd be an issue worth considering as the policies are being made;the biggest dillemma in a nutshell would be fun vs. quality.His opinion is that diversity makes an encyclepedia perfect.

Harel Cain,a bureaucrat on Hebrew language Wikipedia,shows us a spetacular developing example of a Wikipedian community.He points out that He. Wikipedia is the 25th largest with more than 60000 articles,with the second highest depth ranking;furthermore,its community hold article writing contests three times every six months or so as well as some volunteer education tours guiding.Over 70% of He. Wikipedia users can often or even always find what they want.Satisfation and participation rate?High.As far as these are concerned,the He. Wikipedia is way more active than those of other languages(En. excluded,of course).What lies behind its activity?Since Israel's terretories are indeed not very big,the community can easily gather together and communicate ideas.On the other hand,with its unique history background,almost every Jweish people's native tonque is Hebrew,despite their emigrating past,the Israelis can easily translate Russian,German,Arabic etc. articles into Hebrew,and since they tend to translate articles of universal subjects,the 60000+ number of He. articles doesn't stop people from seeing Hebrew on the list of languages on various kinds of subjects.

The Wikihow,founded on Jan. 2005,created for the difficulty of searching for how-to on the internet.It has been fast-growing,the number of varoius kinds of how-to manual is now about 20000.In January,2006,quality standards rose,and there came even more codification after a year.One thing the Wikihow users are striving to do is to make Wiki editing easier.Wikihow is now,depite its growing,still very much a baby.Jack Herrick,the founder of Wikihow,says that the philosophy of Wikihow is that firstly,community should always be put first and a business second;secondly,to allow community to shape it;thirdly,to open to folk,and lastly,it will be slowly evolving.However,financial resource is also critical.Therefore,there are some limited ads seen by non-registered members.In all,Wikihow is "forkable",which means that right to folk protects the community from profit motive that doesn't benefit mission,and the balancing between financial resource while uniting the community becomes the biggest issue to be considered.In the end,Jack mentions that they are holding a Wikihow contest,in which everyone can participate in the making of a better Wikihow by writing a new article or improving an existing one,and the winner will be pronounced on August 5 at Wikimania 2007.

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