August 14, 2020

Wikimedia Foundation Introduces First New Project in Seven Years: Abstract Wikipedia

From an Announcement by Katherine Maher, Executive Director,
Wikimedia Foundation:

It is my honor to introduce Abstract Wikipedia, a new project that has been unanimously approved by the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees. Abstract Wikipedia proposes a new way to generate baseline encyclopedic content in a multilingual fashion, allowing more contributors and more readers to share more knowledge in more languages. It is an approach that aims to make cross-lingual cooperation easier on our projects, increase the sustainability of our movement through expanding access to participation, improve the user experience for readers of all languages, and innovate in free knowledge by connecting some of the strengths of our movement to create something new.

This is our first new project in over seven years. Abstract Wikipedia was submitted as a project proposal by Denny Vrandečić in May of 2020  after years of preparation and research, leading to a detailed plan and lively discussions in the Wikimedia communities. We know that the energy and the creativity of the community often runs up against language barriers, and information that is available in one language may not make it to other language Wikipedias. Abstract Wikipedia intends to look and feel like a Wikipedia, but build on the powerful, language-independent conceptual models of Wikidata, with the goal of letting volunteers create and maintain Wikipedia articles across our polyglot Wikimedia world.

The project will allow volunteers to assemble the fundamentals of an article using words and entities from Wikidata. Because Wikidata uses conceptual models that are meant to be universal across languages, it should be possible to use and extend these building blocks of knowledge to create models for articles that also have universal value. Using code, volunteers will be able to translate these abstract “articles” into their own languages. If successful, this could eventually allow everyone to read about any topic in Wikidata in their own language.

Learn More, Read the Complete Announcement

See Also: Subscribe to Abstract Wikipedia Mailing List

Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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