Knowledge assembly Platform

This is a proposal for a new WMF sister project.
Knowledge assembly Platform
Status of the proposal

Proposed byEdit

Simon Günter

Alternative namesEdit

  • How-to Wikipedia

People interestedEdit

Could be benefitial for the general public


The knowledge assembly is a web tool which provides a infrastructure to assemble and provide knowledge, mainly focusing on knowledge which may be directly used in tasks. It combines concepts from Wikipedia (data created by users and provided to users for free, donation mechanism) with incentive mechanism of the open sources software community and other innovations of Internet based applications (simple voting functions - the like button - and ranking mechanisms).


The purpose of the knowledge assembly is to assemble knowledge provided by users and to make it freely available to the whole Internet community. The rationale behind this is that in many real life situations knowledge creation is very inefficient, e.g. every person has to create knowledge for him/herself. Consider for example the case of the death of a close relative and all actions which have to be done (e.g. organize funeral). Such situations are rare and so you have no experience what to do and you have to create the knowledge yourself. By centralizing the provision and access to the knowledge lot of effort can be saved.


General conceptEdit

All contents are stored in a wiki , i.e. the modification of the content is logged. The main element is the article which has a similar semantic as the same term in Wikipedia. Everybody can create articles. From the start the creator is the owner of the article. Every article can have sub-articles. Sub-articles can also have sub-articles. Owners can allow other users to become owners of the article or sub-articles. All Internet users (in the following called users) have free access to content of all articles. Each article also has an optional corresponding forum which is moderated by the owner.

Modification privilegesEdit

Owners can freely modify their owned (sub)-articles. Owners can grant users contributor rights which allow them to modify the article with some limitations (defined by the owners).Users may provide modification requests to owner which the owner can apply or not apply. The knowledge assembly provides tools to facilitate this process. The process is similar to the patch mechanism used in open source software development.


Owners, contributors and content providers are all named at the end of the article to appreciate their effort (they can also opt out of this recognition).


Users can label an article as useful (similar to the concept of the like button in facebook). Owners can label their articles with keywords. The platform provides a search functionality for all users. The search considers keywords, title and content of the articles. The search results are ranked where the ranking of the found articles also takes the number of users who labeled an article as useful into account.

Business modelEdit

Users can contribute money to articles or to the knowledge assembly directly. In the first case a part of the money is also given to the knowledge assembly. Selective advertisement can be displayed with the articles. Billing for the advertisement could be done in a similar manner as it is done by Google. Additional revenue for article owner (and knowledge assembly) could be generated by companies endorsing the content of articles. This would apply for articles with topics related to products of those companies.

Incentives to participateEdit

The knowledge assembly uses some of the successful incentive aspects of then open source software development community and the Wikipedia contributors. Those are (based on

  • Recognition
  • Community Sharing and Improvement. E.g. an article owner creates an article corresponding to a task he or she wants to perform. Other contributors can improve the article which makes the task easier for the owner to perform and/or improves the results of the task.
  • Creative Expression
  • Altruism

Differentiation from other Internet applicationsEdit


The purpose of the knowledge assembly is very similar to Wikipedia. The main differences are the following: Wikipedia offers facts provided by few experts (per page). The content is normally quite static. Knowledge assembly focus on knowledge which may be used in tasks. The knowledge can be frequently updated and a reasonable large community can provide content to the same article. The article are living and evolving documents. The functionality of labeling an article as useful together with the ranking mechanism will foster competition and diversification. This will lead to better and more diverse articles. Also by using the incentive aspects of then open source software development community improved articles can be expected.

Forums and help pagesEdit

There are a plethora of specials forums and help pages about many topics in the Internet which could in theory provide the same information as the knowledge assembly, yet the knowledge assembly has several advantages:

  • Centralization leads to much lower operational cost due to economy of scale.
  • The search functionality which considers the usefulness of the article allows easy access to relevant articles.
  • Standardized infrastructure and the incentives (e.g. reputation) leads to much larger contributor base.

Problems of momentumEdit

One of the main problem of the described platform is that to be successful it needs a larger user base and a high number of articles.