Wikiask is a proposal for a Wikimedia-based Q&A website which would serve as a community constructed knowledge source. It would be free, open to anyone and possibly multi-lingual. The project was built upon the personal motto- “When society comes together, Knowledge has no bounds.” Q&A has become a common genre for modern day websites, and it is reasonable because a Q&A is a very convenient method of data sharing. In this way, users can openly share their expertise. A fine example for a modern Q&A website is Quora. Quora is a profit oriented organization which welcomes users to query certain thoughts or complications publicly on their website. After its first appearance in the World Wide Web, over 300 million users has registered the website for the purpose of collaborative knowledge sharing. It is not an infrequent field, editors actually prefer this method.
- Wikiask is a project built for the purpose of recreating freedom in learning. A website which would not promote or sell. When you surf around the internet and go through a Q&A website, you will notice certain things that might be extremely exasperating such as niche advertisements, Automatic redirects and certain lagging. These are factors included in most profit oriented websites. They promote unsolicited content. In low end devices (As I have experienced) These advertisements cause extreme breaks and delays, they even sometimes freeze the computer. Not many low end pc’s can use these websites with ease. Most of these websites are unsystematic because of the promotions that seem to appear everywhere. Some websites offer upgraded privileges. These types of prejudiced royalties had lead these sites into discrimination. Which is why, we have to overlook these problems and form a free knowledge source built, developed and maintained by the society, rather than having one intermediate owner.
Note- i am an active user on Quora, so these comments were just not marked for this project
Wikiask and its prioritiesEdit
Wikiask as a nonprofit website, would prioritize the maintenance. A Q&A is not something in which reliability ‘’’must’’’ be confirmed. Because it is the public opinion more than the standing truth. Hence, we should prioritize it’s preservation. As a community fabricated project, it will face a lot of vandalism. As a Wikimedia, I know how vandalism affects the projects. It has even lead Wikipedia to become an “unreliable” source (one of the many disadvantages of being an open website). If you look into the internet, Wikipedia-memes are solely created from the conceptions of vandalists. They often represent humorous materials sprayed into an article. A Q&A (If it becomes popular) is bound to get vandalized. It might occur to anyone that we cannot utilize the same concept of battling vandalism. It would be a much complicated concept. Which is why, we should create certain tools to battle such disputes.
- In most websites, vandalism is taken care of by the Report option. Its easily rational to do the same. (More information can be retrieved from the Technical page. The report icon would be fully automated, since we cannot employ any users to revert vandalism. If an answer was to get over 10 reports or so, the remark will be automatically removed from the records.
- In a Q&A website, we should also prioritize the conservation of question articles. A chaotic mess would not be tolerated. Which is why, the website would create an easy way of communicating. A user will not be able to edit another person’s answer (due to the existence of certain rights)The user will be able to only edit his own. That would be one of the only simple restrictions in the website. The person will be able to add an answer separately (just like “add a topic” in Wikimedia talk page)and continue his work. A free wiki does not mean that it is capable of providing complete freedom. The website should be safe for work. And by safe for work, I mean that it should be a place which should have a certain order.
Being a bigger partEdit
A Q&A website would not hold up for long if there aren’t any users that would keep it stable. That’s why Wikiask would allow users to become more involved with the project. After about 10 faithful edits (auto-confirmation as seen in Wikipedia), the user will receive an invitation to become a Wikignome. This will make the user capable of doing a few things such as minor vandalism reverts or welcoming new users. After reaching a 100 edits, the user’s capabilities will evolve, just like the concept of Wikipedia and other wiki-websites. This is not a confinement created unfairly. It’s just so that we could build trust with the users. Afterwards, the user can evolve through his days and become an admin or a bureaucrat who will take on major roles including internal discussions and major vandalism reversions. This would allow the website to be effectively maintained without being biased or favorative.
After a user had accepted the invitation to become a gnome, he will have to go through a few roles with certain capabilities. The first one would be auto-confirmed, or confirmed as usual. Afterwards, the user will move on to auto patrollers, extended-confirmed, administrators, bureaucrats and sysops. The division of user groups will be done according to experience and suitability to inherit the obligation. The concept is basically parralell to that of Wikipedia and it would not be that difficult in reconstructing and utilizing it in another wiki. The responsibilities and duties will be discussed further on.
Creating a new experienceEdit
As mentioned many times before, Wikiask is a new concept for Wikimedia. It has not being created yet, however, it is important to create a user-friendly simulation. To do that, Wikiask would use the standard Q&A format. This would help new users familiarize themselves with the perception. Tools will be developed for a tranquil and a stable environment. The basic format of the website would be the customary wiki-layout, which you can edit at a click of a button. This would create a friendly atmosphere for wiki-users joining in from other projects
Enabling use in mobile devicesEdit
- it is important to set up in those areas, due to technological evolution nowadays, computers aren’t the main concern of the public. They focus on mobile phones. No one is interested in the next release of a laptop, they are more interested in the next portable smart-device. Hence it is important for the website to be mobile friendly. Otherwise, it's just plain complaints or abandonment. Mobile websites prove useful in many situations and as I understand, all the websites by the WMF are responsive and mobile-usable.
- Here are some links showing the importance of mobile responsive websites
- http://d12n8reampk75i.cloudfront.net/static/videos/responsive-websites.mp4 (this video is an advertisement for a website builder. I thought that the facts are important for readers)
- There are a massive number of search results in this category. Click on this link for more
Advertisements and the frustrating experiencesEdit
Many users fuss over how advertisements are dominant and destructive, and I strongly believe these statements. When we read pages from a few example websites like https://www.playbuzz.com/ and https://www.onegreenplanet.org/ , you will experience certain lags and network issues. The internet will seem slower than usual. It is not a problem with your internet. It is rather a problem with the advertisements hogging up the web space. Like this, advertisements are known to ruin web experiences. Popups, niches are like unpleasant graffiti in publicly available websites. Not only that, from my experience, a few years ago, my HP-pavilion crashed because of internal advertisements which caused extreme lags and heating. This shows that websites with advertisements are not easy to use on low end pc’s. I Recently experienced the same thing on https://www.Quora.com/ . My chrome book heated up excessively as I started typing in an answer. Quora does not contain a hefty amount of commercials, however, it doesn’t take a lot to harm a low-end pc. Wikipedia on the other hand, worked perfectly on both my pavilion and chrome-book. I currently use an ASUS vivo-book and it has also being experiencing certain lags. It is not even low-end. It has not being a very pleasant experience dealing with websites with publicizing material. It’s not only a personal experience. Many users have been complaining about how promotional content on websites bother them. Given down below are some example links.
Some other content that has been infuriating users further on are the advertisements promoting their own website. Or the restriction of information. As seen here on https://fortune.com/ , a subscription must be made in order to read the full article. There are many reasons for why you should never give credit card information to an online website, but sometimes users have no option but to do so. It is important to give a smooth user experience, and Wikiask will be smoother than ever.