Wikispore/February 2020

Meeting minutes from the first monthly check-inEdit

The following meeting minutes have been lightly edited to remove personally identifying information and some off-topic discussion.

Notes from User:PharosEdit

Welcome to the Wikispore rolling 1st Global Meeting: Feb 29, 2020




  • We have established processes for founding new language versions of existing projects
    • Incubator for language copies of projects intended to graduate to self-sufficiency
    • Multilingual wikis (e.g. Wikisource) where small language communities are viable
  • However spinning up new project is has no established process, nor infrastructure
  • Adam Shoreland (addshore): Wikibase Stack - independent MediaWiki in the cloud with a local Wikibase, has plans for Wikidata integration
  • Currently there is no WMF location that can host & combine both structured and unstructured content

industrial equipment spore - existing project on wikispore

    • Add a dev onboarding page to wikispore or link to it from the homepage
    • citations spore (similar to - also relevant to wikicite

Notes from User:KoavfEdit

  • Pharos: I would like to have a diversity of mini-projects. It could be used as a springboard for other projects.
  • Koavf: I see this as a springboard and also a place for indefinitely hosting small knowledge projects (e.g. indigenous knowledge)
  • Pharos: Archive of group in NY that has activist primary knowledge source data but could never be at (e.g.) en.wp.


  • Pharos: social idea of WikiSpore
  • DrDub: natural language generation, working on templates--current focus is on stories, background with DBPedia and WikiCities
  • Tgr: technical lead, used to be a Wikipedian, interested in data structure and how to interact with Wikidata, Wikimedia fact-checking
  • Evolution and evolvability: interested in content creation in Wikipedia, works on Wikidata and Wikiversity (WikiJournal)
  • koavf: interested in minority knowledge and information architecture, how to connect with existing projects
  • Reify-tech: edits wp, interested in the MIT Student Guide and turning that into a wiki

  • Pharos: We can host text and media from Commons.
  • Evolution and evolvability: Many wikis are transient and hard to find.
  • Koavf: I'd like to rehost the 9/11 wiki and NC/ND projects. Why couldn't Wikiversity host things?
  • Pharos: It's transient and maybe wouldn't fit into the textbook model of Wikiversity.
  • Evolution and evolvability: Wv is an odd one and 99% of my knowledge is WikiJournal. There are a couple of things I think of as strengths and weakness--e.g. something straying too far from an academic theme may be too far afield. A problem would be a lack of specialized extensions. Something like WikiObjectswiki would be out of wv scope or a non-free wiki.

  • Pharos: Be familiar with the 2030 WMF Strategy. One point is innovating free knowledge. We have ongoing discussions on m for making an official project and including it as a shortcut on the interwiki map.
  • Pharos: Hackathon in Albania in May.
  • Pharos: Servers need to be integrated for Wikidata. Maybe have a viewer that combines wd data and spore text.
  • Tgr: Adam Sherland is working on Wikidata integration.
  • Pharos: Possible grants for Wikispore. Could be used for current events--Wikinews is not a great success.
  • Pharos: Credibility Coalition is willing to offer $250/10K for credibility information in the wiki universe.

  • Tgr: What could be done with $1/10K? I wouldn't expect anything interesting-sounding like Wikidata integration (that would cost more). Small problems only.
  • Pharos: If we got money, who would we pay?
  • Tgr: There are plenty of MediaWiki consultants.
  • Pharos: I proposed adding a complementary aspect to Wikinews called Wikinews Timeline. News on Wikispore would be more Wikipedia-like than Wikinews. Could support small local events.
  • Pharos: I've had some success linking out to Wikispore.

  • Pharos: One of our editors (Don Osborne) wrote: he contributes to several spores. Bios on selected people e.g. culture, women in history, geneaology. Need help on the geneaology template.
  • Pharos: Don: on org spore, he is asking about categories and structure.
  • Pharos: S. J. Kline (user SJ): has been working on geneaology wiki. Wants to import biographies from WikiTree and Rodovid, possibly prioritizing those who are notable bios.
  • Pharos: We have a proposal for a user group for new wikis in general. Wikimedians Innovating New Genres (WING). Also WikiJournal and WikiDocumentaries based in Finland.

  • Evolution and evolvability: I was reminded of something out of scope for wv: A proposal for industrial equipment. A problem is that it's hard to have unique object identifiers, so using Wikidata. However, wd doesn't have text, only structured data.

  • Tgr: We will probably stay close to baseline MediaWiki for the future. No niche extensions soon like mw:Extension:Wikibase or mw:Extension:ProofreadPage, etc. Its main technical need is integration with other projects and having access to Wikidata.
  • Pharos: Currently using MediaWiki Vagrant.
  • Pharos: There's a Phabricator board for tech stuff.
  • Evolution and evolvability: Check MediaWiki Stakeholders User Group. Bryan Hildebrand helps companies with internal wikis.
  • Tgr: Semantic MediaWiki was a sort of pre-Wikidata. It has scaling issues. There may be a grant for integrating SMW into Wikidata.
  • Tgr: Some Wikispore wikis may be able to use SMW. For generating regular human knowledge, Wikidata is interesting.

  • Pharos: More ambitious idea: a Google News-like thing that analyzes top news stories and make a way to make data items and post news stories in a useful way. Could be useful and integrated into Wikipedia.
  • Tgr: Crawling websites for news are controlled to avoid that kind of thing. It would be hard.
  • Evolution and evolvability: [compare to Wikinews and WikiTribune]
  • Pharos: Wikipedida is good for news events but some events are too small. Linking from Wikipedia would provide a useful service.
  • Tgr: The problem is timing-based: articles on Wikipedia can slowly be written but news isn't news after a time. Plus, they made choices on content.
  • Pharos: We would choose perennial content.
  • Tgr: There are some experiments with original reporting.

Action itemsEdit

  • Copy these notes to metawiki (location?)