Owl of Wisdom
(or is it the owl of humor?)
Wikinfo is, of course, a wiki. It was started by Fred Bauder in response to certain problems about article content at Wikipedia. Wikipedia was the first large and popular wiki, but when every person on the planet can edit any article to their personal satisfaction, certain problems arise. Wikinfo began as an attempt to confront and resolve these problems. Wikipedia's problems include:
1. A Neutral point of view (as an acronym - NPOV) is Wikipedia's most foundational policy. It is arrived at by a consensus of editing input but has proven to be problematic in implementation. Some would say that specific Wikipedia articles are "owned" by a handful of interested editors who work together to keep an article biased to their particular point of view. In all honesty, those editors may maintain that theirs is the most widely held and the most popular point of view. This is Wikipedia's foundational policy. On the surface of it, the idea seems attractive. As an example, editors must agree within a single article, to present the Palestinian situation. There, a NPOV does not work out smoothly. There is strong sympathy by educated, honest people, on both sides of the issue. That article on Wikipedia is a constant bicker. There are other subjects where a single article can not adequately treat all sides of a single issue.
- Wikinfo's solution: Editors of Wikinfo may create additional articles. These articles are then linked to each other on the first line of the article. Each article is independent and presents information from a point of view. We call this the Sympathetic point of view (as an acronym - SPOV).
2. Vandalism is a part of Wikipedia and takes the form of Wiki vandalism. A quantity of volunteer editors spend a fair amount of time handling vandalism there. Edits that reduce an article by clearing the page and substituting a derogatory phrase don't help an encyclopedia. Most of these sorts of edits are done by people who have not registered to edit. Other common vandalism has included death threats and obviously false information, stated as if it were valid, inserted into an article.
- Wikinfo's solution: It is hoped that a different editing philosophy will reduce vandalistic motivations.
3. Original Research - Wikipedia does not allow any.
- Wikinfo's solution: Allow original research with editor registration. In this way, the author of original research can be talked with, his references talked about and so on, toward arriving at good, created original research.
4. Wikipedia only allows certain types of information, as it is purely an encyclopedia.
- Wikinfo's solution: All types of information are allowed including directories of links, dictionary entries, and primary sources.
5. Signed articles - Wikipedia does not allow any.
- Wikinfo's solution: Allow signed articles that cannot be edited by other editors. An author's work can be displayed with his signature. This feature is still developing and not used very much yet, but hopefully will prove quite productive.wf:Wikinfo:Introduction