What do you think are Wikipedia’s needs to improve its public image and perception?
This is one of the Affiliate questions selected for the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees election 2022. Only candidates can post their replies here. You can read these answers on Meta.
I think the Wikipedia’s needs to improve its public image and perception is to be a true sources of knowledge. Wikipedia needs to combat against biases or unreferenced articles found on Wikipedia. Some Wikimedia community pages are uncontrolled and contain uncontrolled articles and information due to lack of knowledge of community members mostly in small or underrepresented languages’ communities.
Reply by Mike Peel (Mike Peel)
On one hand, I think Wikipedia has a pretty good public image, particularly in more recent years. A key weakness is that we aren’t gaining (and keeping) new contributors, and there needs to be significant improvements with how people interact with Wikimedia projects beyond being passive readers. On the other hand, a lot of our sister projects are not well known by the general public, and need a lot more public awareness to grow in contributors. There is also still a lot more to do to build institutional partnerships and open up more free knowledge that way.
Does Wikipedia still need to improve its public image and perception? A great deal of work has already been done in this area over the past decade or so. Perhaps we would benefit from a tool to evaluate “public image and perception,” with a professionally-designed & delivered survey. By establishing a baseline (how favourably are we perceived now?) and setting the degree of improvement are we aiming for (how favourably would we like to be perceived in 5 years?) we could get a better measure of progress. Such a survey would have to be specially adapted for different language groups/cultures.
One of the needs is to start awareness creation on Wikipedia’s quality and actively promote its use and development in academia. Despite the hard work put in to writing educational articles on Wikipedia with its many views, Wikipedia article writing is not yet a mainstream coursework assignment for colleges and universities. It is high time to make that happen.
Although Wikipedia is initially attractive to young people, it generally fails to become deeply integrated into the everyday lives of its users, instead, it remains an instrumental tool for the fulfilment of a narrow range of tasks. Also what i have noticed is that over time users do become aware of the problems of accuracy that Wikipedia poses.
Given that Wikipedia has not assumed the role of a key technology in the lives of the young people who study in schools, concern over its use by educators may be overstated.
Also, the fact that the users are aware of the drawbacks to its use should make the message of the need for checking alternative sources an easier one to impart to students.
In this unstable and increasingly rapidly changing world, it has become crucial to monitor, measure and manage the image and its dynamic changes in real time. However, the images of yesterday and today reflect the image of tomorrow.
Personally, I don’t think there is a strong need to do so. Wikipedia’s strong public image and trustworthiness comes from the high-quality and well-sourced content we produce. That said, there is no harm in reminding people that yes, they really can edit Wikipedia, as well as highlighting various dedicated contributors (representation matters). I would love to learn more from others in other areas/groups/regions that have different experiences.
Please ! One more time, don’t focus on Wikipedia. An encyclopedia is not the only way to share knowledge between human been. And this project don’t have the ability to create new knowledge, but just to collect the one who is already published manly in western part of the work. To include information and participant from all over the world, we have to promote sister projects that are able to publish new knowledge about unrepresented cultures.
After 20 years many people are still not aware they can contribute.
- And if they know, they are not sure how and that they are fit to do so.
- And if they tried, they often burned after their first attempt and contact with editors. And they are sure that not everyone can edit.
In major languages content is generally much better sourced and verified than 10 years ago.
- However, it may be obsolete, unfinished and lacking.
Also the UX is pretty old, and many issues interesting to audiences are missing.
Sister projects are quite unknown