How to change Wikipedia (not just one article)

This is the only place I heard about this paper —

It is often claimed that anyone can edit Wikipedia, and this is somewhat true for individual articles, but the overall structure is increasingly hard to change.

This is a paper by Lars Aronssen, a Wikimedia Sverige board member, who goes by the name LA2. It was presented at the Free Society Conference and Nordic Summit (FSCONS), which I was deeply envious of those who were able to attend. (WMSV was one of the three principal organisers, along with Creative Commons and the Free Software Foundation Europe.)

In the paper Lars talks about his experiences implementing big changes on the Swedish Wikipedia. And they are really big — like implementing [[Category:Man]] or [[Category:Woman]] on all biography articles. If you wanted to do that on your local project how would you start? How would you rate your chances of success? What would you change about your normal approach to try and increase the odds of community acceptance?

This paper is an interesting read for those interested in the culture of the Swedish Wikipedia, but more importantly it is a must-read for anyone interested in implementing project-wide changes, such as those relating to categories or templates for large numbers of articles. It’s a very valuable case study that I will no doubt look up should I want to return to wiki-reforming. :) Much thanks to Lars for writing it up and sharing it.

Edited to add: I am a bit scared of the paper disappearing, so I have uploaded it locally.
greatchanges.pdf [132.85units_k]

03 November, 2008 • ,



Just a short message, it is WMSE for Sweden not WMSV (that would/will be El Salvador).

Jan Ainali · 4. November 2008, 02:53


Oops, my mistake! But the language code is SV, right??

pfctdayelise · 4. November 2008, 09:05


That is correct. Very confusing sometimes, even for Swedes.

Jan Ainali · 7. November 2008, 02:38

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