Submissions/The (Broken?) Promise of Wikimagic

After careful consideration, the Programme Committee has decided not to accept the below submission at this time. Thank you to the author(s) for participating in the Wikimania 2015 programme submission, we hope to still see you at Wikimania this July.

Submission no.
Title of the submission
The (Broken?) Promise of Wikimagic: The Life, Death and Rebirth of Boldness and Constructive Collaboration on Wikipedia
Type of submission (discussion, hot seat, panel, presentation, tutorial, workshop)
Author of the submission
Josh Lim
E-mail address
Sky Harbor
Country of origin
Affiliation, if any (organisation, company etc.)
Wikimedia Philippines (the organization however has no involvement with this presentation)
Personal homepage or blog
Abstract (at least 300 words to describe your proposal)
NOTE: This presentation is a resubmission from Wikimania 2014. The presentation was scored favorably at the time, but ultimately did not make the final cut.
The promise of the Wikimedia projects for many people is that we are part of a larger community that strives to build itself together, putting into practice one of Wikipedia's five pillars: that it is free content that anyone can edit (emphasis deliberate). Where we fall short, others will naturally come in and help fill the shortage. Community members are reasonably expected to help others who may be in need, and if they see something wrong or missing, they are supposed to be motivated to fill in the gaps, fulfilling Wikimedia's mission of spreading knowledge and learning a little more about something every step of the way. This is the wonder of open-source collaboration: we start something, then others jump in to help. Or, as some would call it, this is the wonder of "Wikimagic".
This is the promise that is sold to many Wikimedia editors, both new and old: the fact that "Wikimagic" will somehow help build a better project because we can't reasonably expect everyone to know everything from the get-go. But what if this promise is very different from the reality that is presented to editors: that, in fact, this "promise" doesn't really exist at all? That, perhaps, in the fourteen years of the Wikimedia movement, we've lost (or we've started to lose) the collaborative ethos of the community to favor getting things done "right" the first time?
Coming from a number of AfDs on the English Wikipedia in January 2014 against banks in the Philippines both big and small (yes, what a way to start the new year), this presentation intends to look at the collaborative ethos of the Wikimedia movement in theory, how it has been applied (or not applied) in practice, what's wrong, and what we can do about it. This presentation also hopes to bring together different communities on how they deal with the idea of "Wikimagic", how we can continue to foster an environment of constructive collaboration and to prevent sending signals to users that their work is of lesser value, and whether the solution to reinforcing this ethos of collaboration is dependent on the creation of structures or on the redefinition of our values as a community.
(N.B.: This presentation was the inspiration for a broader presentation, "The Promise of Collaborative Magic", which was presented at Open Source Bridge 2014 on June 24, 2014. This presentation will take into account feedback that was given at that conference, as well as other input gathered since then.)
WikiCulture and Community
Length of session (if other than 30 minutes, specify how long)
30 minutes
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?
It depends. I am applying for a scholarship, although I might go even if my submission is not accepted depending on funding.
Slides or further information (optional)
No slides yet, but I've talked about this presentation on Quora.
Special requests

Interested attendees

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  1. CT Cooper · talk 22:20, 10 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  2. Man77 (talk) 09:55, 7 May 2015 (UTC)[reply]
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