Appropedia, Open Source, Barriers, Wikis & Gender

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Notes taken at: wikigender

What are the barriers to access?

Asia still has the highest user rates

Successes & barriers to open source:

What were the successes? why did it grow the way it did, how did it grow?

Appropedia Appropedia is a wiki for sustainable development. "Appropriate" is always in flux depending on circumstances & changes. Sometimes also called "nonviolent" or "intermediate" technology. Mark Grimes (Portland) promotes "technology" (not always technical). Appropedia is one of the cases of how wikis have grown, e.g. Chris Waters led effort to join 8 wikis into one after seeing several on wiki index.

Cellphones are / can be used for information sharing / money transfer in more rural parts of the world. Cellphones are becoming appropriate technology. A great need for this sort of technology in that part of the world.

Appropedia as a tool to collect and share information about what is/is not working in different cultures.

Gender and Wikis:

WikiHow bucks the trend of having a severely lopsided gender ratio men / women. wikiHow values soft skills.

meatballwiki: Experienced people helping non-experienced people.

Issues with gender and people of color are tied.

see MarkDilley post :

Strategies have often been defensive rather than offensive; if you want to reach out to people of color on Wiki, who are your friends?

Wikimedia communities - Arab, Indian, Asians are well-represented; African descent not

Sexual identity is not under-represented.

Outreach strategy. It's important to have an outreach strategy, before you actually do outreach.

Is Wiki freaking people out? Too complex and time intensive? Need to convey the message of the ethos and a way of life: the interconnectedness and community creation.

"Fractal Wiki" Instead of assuming there's one page that other people are fighting over. What if there were several different versions of these pages? Does it hurt or help collaboration?

Provide a few scholarships to next RCC for minority groups? Not just people of color but also women, people from rural areas. Facebook can be a great place for outreach. Perhaps reach out to organizations to sponsor a scholarship?

Race and wikis. wikiHow has had complaints about not using enough photos showing diversity. A wikiHow photo searcher pointed out that this is due to being unable to locate creative commons photos on Flickr which show diversity. Such photos definitely exist, but it seems that people are unwilling to tag the photos in such a way as to "label" people by race and therefore, a search for Asian receptionist or black doctor may not show any results. Spending a lot of time going through pages and pages and more pages of photos about a particular topic to look for people of different races is a barrier to showing diversity on wikis. Solutions are needed.

Some Particular Strategies Discussed:

Focus on "Reachable Goals" - Light Commitments, put papers online, write white papers, publish articles on behalf of people/groups

Brochures, print-out swag/advertisements/ pdfs, video, links, photos, feature articles, media wiki widgets

Usability is first and foremost, but other features very important too: categorization, placement, appearance, widgets, tools

Suggestions: Don't tell people to edit the wiki, tell them to put their stuff somewhere.



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