I do happen to agree a lot with you, Asaf.
I do think wikisource mainly as a library, and then a place where we
It happens that books are paper-based, and that we want the text to be
available, searchable and readable. We want to create books and texts for
people to read and use.
"Books are for use" is the first law of Library Science, developed by
What Wikisource do and can do is to make texts more accessible, linking
them with authors, other texts, maybe in the future even other Wikipedia
articles, or places on OpenStreetMap.
We can make the entire literature a place like Wikipedia: an interwoven,
intertwingled structure of texts and data and links.
It really strucks me that, historically, we have mainly two metaphors for
"the sum of human knowledge": the encylopedia, and the library.
The encyclopedia is a single work, with a neutral point of view on "facts",
and we are trying to achieve that with Wikipedia.
The library is a much more complex "object", full of contradictory books
and views and interpretations.
What I'd love to do is a Wikimedia "universe" that goes beyond the
encyclopedic metaphor, and embrace the idea of a more rich galaxy of
connected projects, which provide everything: NPOV articles, free books,
OERs, media, data, and maybe, in the future, other ways of representing
knowledge and comments and opinions of knowledge.
We have yet to tap the idea of letting people comment, customize and
personalize our content for studying and learning, annotating, sharing and
creating educational material directly on our websites.
There will be probably time, but we must recognize we are just at the
Post by Asaf Bartov
To my mind, the ~15-year focus invites us to think big (i.e. not a feature
here or there, but to imagine Wikimedia's role in the world in 2030, and in
our context here, what Wikisource might be within that role).
Wikisource's identity question, vis-a-vis other digital libraries. In
particular, assuming not just business-as-usual in coming years (i.e.
Project Gutenberg adding more books), but also obvious and long-awaited
developments like national libraries becoming more serious and more
effective in digitizing *and making accessible* their out-of-copyright
collections. In such a world, what might Wikisource's unique value be?
My own answer, in line with our Vienna answer to the identity question, is
that it is our human curation and meticulous attention to detail that sets
our project apart from other (better funded and larger-scale) digitization
efforts. We are able to create high quality, hyperlinked (and
semantically-linked, i.e. Wikidata) metadata to describe the texts we
If we accept this line of reasoning, what might be the significant role
our unique advantage might play in 15 years? What might we work towards to
get there? I don't have a clear vision, myself, but I have a strong
intuition/belief that it is to do with our curation and metadata
production, more than with our raw transcription production. This would
imply a fairly radical shift, in both labor and technological attention,
and I am not at all sure the Wikisource communities are interested or ready
to make such a change. I have sketched one example of the immense value
our volunteer communities might produce with our parallel and multilingual
volunteer labor in The Aboutness Project and the Table of Contents of
(which I have alas not made progress on in the last year.)
I'd be very interested to hear other opinions about the future I painted
above, or other futures you see vis-a-vis Wikisource with a ~15-year
Post by Andrea Zanni
as you probably have heard, a process for writing the strategy of
Wikimedia has started in these days.
everyone is ;-)
Conversations are starting to pop everywhere on Meta, on Wikipedias, on
Wikisources, probably even on Facebook.
Here you can find a briefing, an initial overview of potential topics
that may come up across various strategy conversations. I suggest you give
***What do we want to build or achieve together over the next 15 years?***
I'd like you to go back in your community and join (or start) this
but also share *here* some of your insights and opinions.
We'll polish these thoughts afterwards: this is the time of speaking your
mind and dream big.
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