Tool speculations and Wikimedia Conference

Speculative requirements

The third sprint was spent imagining what qualities the tool should have.

  • Gather content across different Wikimedia projects
    This was the starting point of the project.
  • Select individual elements of an article
    The capacity to break an article down into parts will allow for more emphasis on particular elements.
  • Accessible to non registered users
    To use the tool, the user doesn’t need to have a Wikimedia account.
  • Archive of shared ebooks
    After the user creates an epub, they would have the option to upload it into the platform’s collection.

 

Inspired by Mondotheque’s translation of wiki features into print, we selected four “pillars” that we thought most representative of the wiki software to embed into wiki2epub:

  • Multiple Languages
    Many articles on Wikipedia appear in multiple languages, which are not always direct translations from one to another, but sometimes reveal a different cultural understanding of the same subject. For this reason and also to encourage users to look into the multiple language option on Wikipedia, we decided this would be one of the main features.
  • Revisions
    The revisions are a building block of the Wikimedia community, however they are not easily visible to someone who hasn’t used the wiki before. One of the goals for the tool is to make them more accessible and place higher significance on the history of an article.
  • Contributors
    Similarly, knowing who and how many agents contributed to the making of an article can help contextualise the content itself: how many people contributed? How many bots participated in the making?
  • Random Page
    The random feature is present on all mediawiki installations and it’s quite a beautiful thing. It gives the user the possibility to wander without intention within the hyperlinked Wikimedia. It spurs a playful interaction with the projects, as seen with games such as Wikirace, where the players all start from the same random page and must reach their destination page with the least number of links.

 

Wikimedia Conference Netherlands

Juan describing a use case scenario

Cristina talking about the relationship between the tool and personal archives

 

 

Towards the end of the sprint, we presented our project at the Wikimedia Netherlands Conference, where we had a chance to see how the Dutch community is organised and listen to what they are working towards. We wanted to find out what their impression of the tool was and whether there was interest for it. The presentation went over the research that we had done and the wireframe of the prototype, saving the last few minutes for a discussion with the audience. Interestingly, except for a few people who are organising Wikimedia events in the Netherlands, not many had known about the Book Creator tool before.

The feedback on the presentation was good and we received some suggestions regarding future developments to look at in the next sprint. You can find the slides of the presentation on the metawiki page.

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