Kizu Naoko, aka Aphaia in the Wikimania 2006 To be honest I am late with my reading. I am late about reading your blogs from the last week. When checking the blogs now shortly I noticed that at least some people have already done the assignment of the week 5.

This is great, though for keeping the discussions going on it is good if we will all keep about the same rhythm in the course. Still, I like the idea of people planning their own schedule in the course. We all are, however, the best experts of our own time.

So, please do not speed-up too much and those who are late week or two, please, catch us up as soon as possible. I think a week ahead or late is accessible and manageable for all.

With Hans we will again clean up the participants list after the week 6. So write down this date in your calendars as the checkpoint day. That day your blog should have all the posts from the first 6 weeks in the place. If not, Hans will ruthlessly remove your name from the list of participants.

The topic of the week 5 week 3 is the Wikipedia and Wikimedia – the crown prince of open educational resources and his family. Actually, I am not sure if the metaphor makes sense at all (some native speaker of English from a country of kings and queens could comment on this :-), but I’ll try to explain.

Wikipedia is the largest collaboratively edited reference projects in the world: more than 10 million articles in more than 250 languages. Without Wikipedia we probably would not talk about Open Educational Resources at all. The success of Wikipedia has demonstrate the power of “open source” way of working with content. The two articles of this weeks reading are trying to enlighten how Wikipedia works: it isn’t anarchy, it isn’t a miracle, it’s not perfect but it works somehow.

So, what is the Wikimedia then? It is the family of the Wikipedia – a general term used when referred to other projects originated by the Wikipedia community. When the family of projects has grown, and at some point a Foundation called Wikimedia was found to support the community, the overall community working with the projects is nowadays often called as Wikimedia community. To make everything even more complicate – at least to remember there is also Mediawiki, which is the open source software running the project. The Wikimedia projects do not only share the same platform but also the commitment to create free content. All the content are licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License (except Wikinews, which is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.5). This way all the Wikimedia content can be freely used, freely edited, freely copied and freely redistributed subject to the restrictions of that license. If you did your readings for the last week you know what all this means.

Finally, one more piece of information that may make the whole picture more confusing. Also many other projects online are using the Mediawiki software, and because of this they may look similar to the Wikimedia project. Some of them also have the a name with “wiki” in them but are not necessary Wikimedia projects. The Wikimedia projects are listed in the Wikimedia.org and in the website of the Wikimedia Foundation.

I hope the articles will explain how Wikimedia projects work. To understand that it is not only Wikipedia, please, have a look of the other Wikimedia projects, too. These are Wikitionary – a dictionary in all the languages of the world; Wkinews – alternative news service; Wikiboooks – a collection of free study and text books; Wikimedia Commons – a site with free media flies; Wikispecies – directory of the world species; Wikiquote – a site with quotations taken from famous people, books, speeches, etc; and Wkiversity – this you all already know. At least take a look of the full list of Wikimedia projects with short descriptions. In addition to these the Wikimedia community is also developing the Mediawiki software – the platform used in the projects and organizes an annual conference called Wikimania, this year in the Library of Alexandria in Egypt. Hope to see you there.

What do you think about the Wikimedia projects? What do you think will be the future of the Wikimedia projects? How do you see the future of OERs when you think about the Wikimedia projects?

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