Wikipedia Getting Makeover For First-Time Editors - InformationWeek
Government // Enterprise Architecture
11:23 AM

Wikipedia Getting Makeover For First-Time Editors

The site's foundation has scored an $890,000 grant to study and improve Wikipedia's writing and editing interface and hide elements that writers don't need.

The Wikimedia Foundation hopes to simplify its interface for volunteers who contribute to its free online encyclopedia.

The nonprofit group behind Wikipedia has received $890,000 in the form of a grant from the Stanton Foundation. It announced Wednesday that it would use the funds to study and improve Wikipedia's writing and editing interface so first-time authors find it easier to use.

"Wikipedia attracts writers who have a moderate-to-high level of technical understanding, but it excludes lots of smart, knowledgeable people who are less tech-centric," Sue Gardner, executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation, said in a statement released Wednesday. "One of our key priorities is to attract those people and persuade them to help write and edit the encyclopedia."

Three full-time software developers, a user interface designer, and a project manager will work on the project. They will commission research to identify obstacles that first-time writers encounter and attempt to eliminate those barriers. The group will aim to hide elements of the user interface that writers don't need. They will use open source software and share it. The project is scheduled to run through 2009.

The grant comes as Wikimedia Foundation works on its sixth annual fundraiser. Wikipedia and the other Wikimedia project have placed a site-wide banner on all pages and articles, encouraging visitors to donate. The Stanton Foundation grant is restricted so it will not contribute to the Wikimedia Foundation's operating budget of $6 million for 2008-2009, Wikimedia said.

ComScore reports that Wikipedia and the Wikimedia Foundation's other projects draw more than 270 million unique visitors a month and ranks them the fourth-most-popular Web property in the world. Wikipedia is available in more than 265 languages and provides more than 11 million articles from volunteers.

The Stanton Foundation grant honors the memory of Frank Stanton, who founded CBS and served as its president for 25 years. Stanton advocated First Amendment rights and civic education. He also orchestrated the first televised presidential debates when Richard Nixon and John Kennedy faced off in 1960.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
AI & Machine Learning: An Enterprise Guide
James M. Connolly, Executive Managing Editor, InformationWeekEditor in Chief,  9/27/2018
How to Retain Your Best IT Workers
John Edwards, Technology Journalist & Author,  9/26/2018
10 Highest-Paying IT Job Skills
Cynthia Harvey, Contributor, NetworkComputing,  9/12/2018
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Current Issue
The Next Generation of IT Support
The workforce is changing as businesses become global and technology erodes geographical and physical barriers.IT organizations are critical to enabling this transition and can utilize next-generation tools and strategies to provide world-class support regardless of location, platform or device
White Papers
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Sponsored Video
Flash Poll