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The purpose of this page[edit]

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I am a huge fan of Wikidata! And I am determined to share Wikidata with education program leaders as a way to increase their students' contributions to their language project.

I have been enthralled with its power and potential ever since Gerard Meijssen introduced me to it at the Wikimedia Diversity Conference in Berlin in the fall of 2013. In the spring of 2014, I couldn't stop playing the Wikidata Game. And at Wikimania in London in the summer of 2014, Gerard showed me yet another fascinating way to play with Wikidata. And Lydia Pintscher's keynote presentation (watch it on YouTube!) made me even more motivated and inspired!

What I want to do here is develop a page on Outreach wiki outlining all the ways that educators and students at all levels can contribute to Wikidata. Like a: "You can do this or this or this..." kind of page with steps for each way. Because Wikipedia is awesome, but it's not for everyone. Not every education program can design, assign, and manage Wikipedia writing assignments, but they *can* still contribute to Wikimedia projects and the free knowledge movement! And Wikidata is another excellent entry point (or gateway drug??). :)

Today I talked with Lydia, the Wikidata Project Manager at Wikimedia Deutschland, about ways that students can contribute to WD.

But first they need to know what it is and why it matters. There are tours. There is also a welcome/what's the point/why this matters page: in the end user documentation on the help page: the first link is an introduction. It reviews what structured data is and why it's useful, why we want it.

The advantages of contributing to WD are so much more than just contributing to WP. Small even micro contributions have a far greater impact on WD than on WP. And there's so much work still to do on WD; on WP, it's hard to find a place to help since so much has already been done.

The easiest way to help is finding items that don't have a label in your language and adding that.

How do you know if there is a label for an item in your language? Search for it. If WD doesn't know you, it will guess what languages you know. You can install a template on your user page like Lydia has on hers. It's just a babel box like this: {{#babel:de|en-4|la-1|es-1}}, but it tells WD what languages to show you. If you want to see WD items in all languages, there is also a gadget that does this: called label lister: in your preferences, under gadgets.

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There are many languages missing so students can add labels. There are tools from Mangus that determine the most important items in a language: called the terminator.

Top 1000 missing descriptions in English: do not have a description in English but are used a lot in other languages.

Top 1000 linked items with missing labels in English: do not have an item in English but are used a lot in other languages.

Top 1000 items with missing articles in English: do not have an article in English but do in other languages.

WD is all about making connections. It's important to have labels in lots of languages because then the item can be used in more places. Terminator increases that impact. x For example, the item dog and the item Lassie, which is an instance of or a concrete example of a dog.

Students can add what's missing. Then, when they add that, then what? It makes it easier for people to find what they're looking for. The Berlin example is a good one to illustrate this. When you search Berlin on WD, in the dropdown you see several suggestions: Berlin: capital city and state in Germany, Berlin: city in New Hampshire, Berlin: city in North Dakota, Berlin: city in Georgia. If there weren't descriptions for each, you wouldn't know which page was the one you were looking for.

Students can write descriptions. Descriptions should be short and concise, since that's what shows in the search results drop down.

And then there's the games... the Wikidata Game... These games ask users simple yes/no/maybe questions that result in statements being added to WD. Is this a human? Is this person a male/female? Are these two articles about the same thing? It's a third party tool but it's awesome and addiciting!

So, how does WD impact WP, WM, and the world? The mobile is starting to use WD descriptions in the WP mobile app. The VisualEditor will be using WD data in their suggestions for page links. WP articles use the statements for infoboxes, if the template for the infobox is written in a certain way. Statements are, in Lydia's opinion, the most interesting part of WD because that's the stuff developers can build tools and visualizations on.

There are some schools working on the software side of things but not on the editing side...yet! I'm hoping to start a test case, though. Lydia's offered her support if needed. :) If you'd like to help out, too, let me know! :)

Anna Koval (WMF) (talk) 14:36, 12 November 2014 (UTC)