Facebook and wikimedia
Facebook and wikimedia
I just read that Facebook has more visitors than google. We get most of our readers from Google, are we getting some readers from Facebook too? Is there an application for Facebook (en:Facebook Platform)? And what would Facebook-users want from Wikimedia? I must say, I have no idea because I don´t use facebook and friends.
I don't know the answer to your question about referrals, although I'll ping Erik Z. to see if he knows.
As for Facebook apps, there are a few Facebook apps that use Wikipedia -- mostly quiz-like games that draw from Wikipedia content. It's definitely an interesting question; can we potentially leverage Facebook to reach more readers?
According to  from Google we receive 120 million page requests and 6 million image requests daily. (ignore google requests from the crawler page quoted above for facebook, those google requests are for spidering our content)
I think one thing that can be attractive to Facebook users is an app for browsing commons and sharing this material with friends, much like YouTube clips are shared on Facebook today. Another thing is a Wikinews app where facebook users can share and discuss news.
Wikipedia definitely has a reputation for being anti-social. Or at least for not being social. That limits its audience. Finding better ways to tie into facebook would be a good idea. ... assuming that people who join on Facebook aren't viciously attacked by the anti-social anonymous types.
LOL I'll try not to sound so cynical. I think we put together some good recommendations on the community health side, so it's really about turning it into something actionable.
The Facebook idea is good. But it can do a lot of harm if we don't cure the root problems in the community.
A big difference between Facebook and Wikipedia is that each edit is welcome at Facebook whereas a lot of articles and edits are deleted at Wikipedia. Each deletion is like a slap in the face, which is limiting the feel good factor of Wikipedia. At the de:Wikipedia today a lot of articles are moved outside Wikimedia into Wikis at Wikia, while the request for deletion is taking place. So far this is not an official policy and I don´t know if this is changing the bad mood, but it is a remarkable change.
I think there is a strategic question in it too. Today Wikipedia is the only encyclopedic Wiki the public know but maybe Wikipedia will move into the Encyclopedia of higher knowledge. For example Wikia is today the relevant Wiki for fanwikis and there are a lot of Citywikis. Maybe there will be more focused Wikis in the future?
Back to the problems in the community. I don´t know if deleting edits and articles is a software problem (which might be solved one day) or it is a structural problem, because there is only one page for each topic (unlike knol). Another point is that these questions are questions belonging to the editors view on Wikipedia. The readers view is different. Therefore maybe we should not push editing Wikipedia, but reading or for example using commons at Facebook and friends.
For example I have got on my Windows 7 desktop a slide show for some of my own pictures. I don´t know if this is possible, but a slide show of commons-pictures as a Facebook-application might be appealing and if those pictures are saved at Facebook we could save some traffic too.
I think this is a great idea, as wikiteen I think this would appeal to many people. You can put featured articles on this and other stuff, and maybe try to get people to edit Wikimedia projects.
Facebook Introduces New ‘Community Pages’: "Currently, Community Pages have three different tabs: the first is called “Info” and contains a brief summary from Wikipedia; the second tab is named “Related Posts” and it features posts created by Facebook members; and the last tab called “Wikipedia” has the full article about the subject."
Link to foundation-I where this topic is discussed.
It seems that the Info-page is the lead section of an article.
Arte Johnson reaction here.
If the article changes are made on Facebook, it appears at first glance that WP can not utilize the changes -- this may well be a net negative for WP as such (unless, of course, we break the convention that an article history must be full and complete on WP). The concept that the changes will be by "experts" further distances the new articles from WP, and may place WP in the position of the old Britannica. The term "learning experience" is possibly all too apt.
In any case, alea iacta est.
The article changes will not be made on Facebook - the "Wikipedia" tab actually launches Wikipedia. There is no ability to edit from Facebook.
Reassuring a bit -- but it looked in the release like Facebook was getting folks who are "experts" to propose changes - how will WP cope with an influx of such? Is there a rough estimate of how many new folks will arrive? I recall when AOL provided an influx of users onto Usenet (yes, I am that old) and the chemical reactions between the old-guard and the AOLers.
You know, I'm not from Facebook, and I wasn't directly involved in the negotiations on our end - I'm just supporting it. But I really don't agree with your "experts" characterization. For instance, let's take my favorite example: if you have "home improvement" on your Facebook profile, you'll be linked to that community page. That doesn't mean you're an expert in it, any more than if you went to that page on our wikis. It just means it's an interest for you.
So I guess I just disagree with your basic premise, which prevents me from speaking to the next points. :)
This is probably the best way to bring social features into Wikipedia: by working with a high-integrity social network like Facebook. The problem is going to be a collision of social cultures.
- Facebook: social; Wikipedia: technical
- Facebook: self-expression; Wikipedia: consensus-building
- Facebook: friendly association; Wikipedia: debate and friction
- Facebook: privacy permissions; Wikipedia: public trail
- Facebook: real names; Wikipedia: anonymity
- Facebook: diverse (relatively); Wikipedia: monolithic (male, white)
I'll be the first to say that Wikipedia is not particularly friendly to newcomers. Not that it's necessarily hostile, but the learning curve can be steep. Definitely not the expert problem. Probably closer to the usenet problem, but at least Facebook users are somewhat savvy and accountable.
This is a big opportunity. But we haven't done enough to fundamentally improve community health so that we can benefit from this kind of influx of new volunteers. I expect this experiment to quickly demonstrate a lot of the problems we identified in the community health task force. Although I certainly hope that I'm wrong.
This is a good experiment on many levels. Facebook has more readers than Wikimedia, and it's possible that the overlap is not significant. So if there's a way to reach more readers through Facebook and encouraging new participants to come to Wikimedia, then that's a good thing.
That said, you're right, a lot of things have to continue to change if we're going to take advantage of this. Hopefully, a partnership like this will help catalyze change.
see  among others.
Oddly, though, you won't be able to write on the wall of these Community Pages--they can only be edited by experts. You can apply to be an expert, but it's still unclear how they'll be chosen and when that will happen. So they're a bit static now, but no more than the normal Official Pages.
Most of the outside world sees this as potentially splitting from Wikipedia (checking a bunch of articles yesterday and today).