This is my 100th post. Happy centenary, blog. I try to avoid talking about “the blogosphere” because people who write blogs in general talk way too much blog, other bloggers and blogging. But I figure for number 100 I can indulge.
Some posts I’m proud of (I remember the middle three in particular took a long time to write):
- What’s hard about Wikipedia? (2007-10-28)
- Of bots and conlangs: the Volapük Wikipedia (2007-12-31)
- The Kaltura brouhaha (2008-02-13)
- Templatology, an essay (2008-03-10)
- The responsibility of Wikipedia in the wider world (2008-03-14)
I started my blog in August 2007, after attending Wikimania in Taipei and being inspired by talks such as Joi Ito’s and Heather Ford’s. My feeling was that communication within Wikimedia was pretty ordinary, and communication between Wikimedia and like-minded external groups was very ordinary. We barely knew was going on in our own backyard, let alone being able to tell other people about it.
11 months later, not a lot has changed. It seems really hard, almost impossible, for the community to establish and keep good communication practices (remember the foundation-l List Summary Service?). A precious few resources have maintained themselves during that time:
- Wikipedia Signpost
- Wikizine (now struggling)
- Wikipedia Weekly (which seems to wax and wane in frequency)
- Ben Yates’ Wikipedia Blog (soon moving)
- Andrew Whitworth’s Wikibooks blog
Geoffrey Burling’s Original Research was also a consistently good read but he hasn’t posted as regularly as he used to for a while now.
Quite a few people have taken up blogging since then, but mostly in smaller scopes. I would still like to see dedicated blogs for each of the projects. The Wikinews blog contains Wikinews content rather than discussion and information about Wikinews.
It’s kind of sad that foundation-l is dying, because as useful as the WMF blog is, it’s not a total replacement. Blogs are too much like shouting down a decree from a tower. Mailing lists are like hanging out in the street.
If I had the time and energy to try and rehabilitate foundation-l, I would make a page on meta outlining what a healthy list would look like to me. (Hint: It includes a wide variety of people from different projects and languages being thread-starters and repliers, with positive news and “open question”-style posts outweighing bitching.) I would try and find a small group of people who I thought also regretted the loss of foundation-l, and ask them to commit to starting maybe 2 productive new threads on foundation-l in the next month. See who else that encourages.
Here’s to another 100? — No, here’s to a wider variety of communication voices, trying to share their good news and challenges with a broader audience than ever before.
If you like this idea and want to help but you aren’t sure how, I have two suggestions: either write a guest post and send it to me, or volunteer for Wikizine. Seriously, it’s mega-useful, help it live!
Thanks for your blog, Brianna! I always enjoy reading it; I find it intelligent and informative.
— Martin Walker · 26. July 2008, 05:25
Congratulations on 100, and here's to another.
— Matthew Brown · 26. July 2008, 17:07
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