Wikimania 2007 talk: “Virtual and national cultures”

Talk: “Virtual and national cultures: Wikimedia, projects and organisation” by Delphine Ménard.

[If you're watching the video of this, then skip forward a few minutes until the slides start working, because there was an A/V glitch at the start with getting the slides to display]

One of the funniest edit wars on the French Wikipedia was over “endive” (a plant) – because of “chicon” versus “endive” (two different names for the same thing – Endive in France and Chicon in Belgium). However the page now says “chicon” and “endive” all the way through.

Yoghurt versus yogurt – which spelling do we use?? On the English Wikipedia, seems to be a first come first serve approach – whoever writes the page first gets to determine what the page’s spelling is.

How much do real life cultures impact the Wikipedia?

The Spanish wikipedia is one of the few wikipedias that calls admins something else – namely “bibliotecarios” – which means “librarians”. Which kind of makes sense – like librarians, they keep the place clean, stop bad behaviour in the library, and make it welcoming to people, and help people when they need help.

The German Wikipedia banned “Fair Use” outright pretty early on (not recognised in the German legal system). English allows it. French is somewhere in-between these two perspectives.

[[Henry the Navigator]] – same article, on 3 different wikipedias. German: just the facts; Portugal: has facts, plus says he was good; The English one has a dispute about whether he was a homosexual or not!!

Village pump: In French this is called “Le Bistro” – the café – more informal.

Request for Admins – on the French, you CAN self-nominate. On the English one, it’s far less common to self-nominate.

How culture affects local Wikimedia organisations: Today we have 10 official chapters, in 3 continents. In the US: Do we have a US chapter, or a state-based chapters? Versus Argentina, that wants to have a country-wide organisation.

Q&A: Heard from Indonesian wikipedia: European conflicts that spill onto the Indonesian articles. E.g. conflicts over Geographical name of something (which comes first). Have to try to work together to find a solution that is acceptable to both sides.

Link to talk’s page.

2 Comments

  1. John Schmidt said,

    August 11, 2007 at 5:57 am

    This blog engine is silly about using some combinations of characters as end of file marks. My question about “If you’re watching the video of this” is, where is the video?

  2. Nickj said,

    August 13, 2007 at 11:43 am

    Hi John, the video will (I assume) be posted on http://wikimania2007.wikimedia.org/wiki/Proceedings:DM1 under the “video” link. There was lots of filming of the talks, and I presume that the resulting videos will end up on the web site at some point.
    – All the best,
    Nick.

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