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There is Currently No Point to Wikipiniana (aka WikiPilipinas)

2:07 pm PHT

The title above is my answer to the question, “Is there any point to Wikipiniana?” over at the main blog of the Bayanihan Blog Network. Well, what the heck is Wikipiniana? Wikipiniana (recently rebranded as WikiPilipinas) aims to be the largest online Philippine encyclopedia, written by Filipinos. Currently having more than 25,000 articles, most of them stubs (short placeholder information about the topic), Wikipiniana uses the same collaborative wiki model employed by Wikipedia, currently the largest online encyclopedia.

When I first heard about Wikipiniana, I asked, “Why?!” Granted, there are a lot of problems with Wikipedia, mainly centered around issues on quality, but I really see no point in creating Wikipiniana, especially since they do not address the quality issues by completely adopting the Wikipedia model. Most of their encyclopedic topics were lifted wholesale from Wikipedia itself, making Wikipiniana a fork of Wikipedia.

Wikiboy, a Wikipiniana contributor, mentioned in a comment that a Pinoy knowledgebase should essentially be by-Filipinos-for-Filipinos. He argues that “Only Filipinos [have] the power to improve [their content] from Wikipedia because they know better.” We know better? Really? Such thinking actually runs counter to creating an encyclopedia that’s neutral and free of bias, which is one of the pillars of Wikipedia and is central to its success.

To complete my post, I’m republishing here my arguments why Wikipiniana, as it currently exists right now, is a waste of effort as opposed to volunteering for Wikipedia:

  • The argument that Filipinos should be in complete control of its own content is not good. This creates bias and Wikipedia excels in avoiding bias because of its neutral point of view (NPOV) policy. The NPOV policy has been adopted by Wikipiniana, but I don’t think Wikipiniana can satisfactorily avoid the inherent bias towards the Filipino point of view if only Filipinos were the ones primarily contributing. The “for Filipinos, by Filipinos” thinking does not work well for academic matters.

  • Wikipiniana articles are highly unlikely to rank higher than corresponding Wikipedia articles in web searches. People all over the world, not just Filipinos, are researching over the web about Philippine topics. Do you think that they’ll find Wikipiniana articles ahead of Wikipedia articles when searching for José Rizal, Manila, Sinarapan, and the Battle of Leyte Gulf? I don’t think so. It makes perfect sense, therefore, to exert effort in improving Wikipedia articles instead of Wikipiniana because that’s the better option if we really want to disseminate encyclopedic Filipiniana knowledge over the Web.

  • Wikipiniana, as an encyclopedia, does not offer anything new. Most of its current content has been copied over from Wikipedia and by simply adopting the Wikipedia model and not innovating on it, it seems like duplicated effort. If you check out the policies, processes, and community sections of Wikipiniana, there’s nothing there that hasn’t been tackled in Wikipedia. So why bother?

Call me a die-hard Wikipedian, but I’d really like to know if there’s really any positive point in setting up Wikipiniana. Excellent and hard-working Filipino encyclopedists are hard to come by and dividing our efforts this way is very counterproductive.

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Comments

Comment times are in Philippine time (+0800).

1

On 4:30 p.m., 19 Jul 2007, Rico wrote:

Great points Eugene, particularly about the potential for bias. I still wonder though, isn’t Wikipiniana a site Filipinos can identify with, providing more incentive to contribute to, at least compared to the obviously Western character of Wikipedia?

2

On 4:46 p.m., 19 Jul 2007, seav wrote:

In terms of identity, yes, Wikipiniana trumps Wikipedia in that aspect. But I don’t think that a distinctly Filipino identity should be a hindrance to Wikipedia’s adoption among Filipinos. The Tagalog, Pampanga, and other local language Wikipedias were set-up by Filipinos and are obviously marked as Filipinos so why not contribute there? Friendster and Yahoo Messenger, are two examples of western products with no Filipino panderings, yet they became hits among Pinoys. Ever notice that no home-grown Pinoy Friendster wannabe has managed to dethrone Friendster? Well, network effects on Friendster have had an impact on its success, but it doesn’t detract from the fact that a website doesn’t have to be for-Pinoys-by-Pinoys to attract Pinoy interest.

3

On 9:36 p.m., 19 Jul 2007, Mike wrote:

Amen. I never heard about this site before, but I find the concept and the fact that it exists embarrassing.

4

On 12:21 a.m., 20 Jul 2007, Jeff wrote:

Indeed. Too much time wasted “reinventing” the wheel when there’s no reinventing taking place at all. One can even go as far as saying it’s a manifestation of the tasteless me-too culture spanning several local industries, best observed in Philippine television

5

On 1:23 a.m., 20 Jul 2007, joyce wrote:

OO sa wikipiana kung nakasulat sa Filipino.

That’s the same reason why people translate a lot of educational shows, (si B1 at si B2?) so we Filipinos don’t miss out on the info that is part of the shows. ganon na rin sa wikipedia.

even if a lot people use the internet, mas komportable sila sa Filipino. would rather read things in Filipino so they could understand it better.

6

On 11:01 a.m., 20 Jul 2007, Memphis wrote:

wikipiniana is an filipino encyclopedia which contains Philippine related contents which MEANS It’s All About THE PHILIPPINES and it dont tackles about other INFO’s not captured in the core of the Philippines. This WEB!!!!! is free for all which means anybody can edit and SHARE anything about the background of the PINOY WORLD!!! that is why anybody can be a volunteer in order to help expanding the site of WIKIPINIANA.Wikipedia is not Wikipiniana jus to clarify; the site has its own FACTS!!! ABOUT the PHILIPPINES.This site keeps its specification which is more and more and MORE HELP to search upon if u want to look for infos that is only PINOY related stuff!!!!THOSE WHO haven’t TRY to USE it!!! please just try it its FREE!!!!!!!!!!!

7

On 11:05 a.m., 20 Jul 2007, seav wrote:

@Mike, I wouldn’t say embarrassing, but just really pointless right now.

@Jeff, it’s actually admirable that they want to help create a knowledgebase, but I just don’t see why they can’t contribute directly to Wikipedia.

@joyce, there’s actually a Wikipedia in Tagalog already with 6,000+ articles, so even your suggestion is not needed anymore. There are even editions of Wikipedia in Cebuano, Kapampangan, Ilocano, Waray-Waray, Pangasinan, and Chavacano

8

On 11:14 a.m., 20 Jul 2007, Joseph wrote:

A father with two kids,I had a hard time helping them do thier school work surffing the web I came upon wikipedia and it was a great help,unfortunately I was having a hard time finding topics,specific facts about the Philippines, the articles at wikipedia was in general and I needed somthing more indepth,for my kids school activities most specially history,geography,religion and culture though these might be found in wikipedia but manuvering was time consumming for a working father,a friend told me about this Wikipiniana site surprisingly I found all that I needed and school work for my kids about the philippines was easy to look up,so for me both wikipedia and wikipiniana works hand in hand one for international information and one for the philippines,Pls.take note that schools now are more concerned in developing a sense of nationalisim for the youth,for me It makes my life much more easier in helping my kids do assignments in both international and local aspects,So horray! for both.

9

On 11:22 a.m., 20 Jul 2007, seav wrote:

@Memphis, okay. Using multiple exclamation points and capital letters do not make your arguments more convincing. Wikipiniana is only about the Philippines? Really? Then why does it have an article on California? Wikipedia also contains Philippine-related stuff but it has the advantage that the knowledge is integrated with other non-Philippine-related info making the knowledge richer. For example, the article on Bataan Death March links to the larger article on World_War_II providing richer context that a purely Filipino encyclopedia lacks.

10

On 11:23 a.m., 20 Jul 2007, trina wrote:

Maybe for others, it’s a bit pointless right now, but just RIGHT NOW…let’s just wait and see after a few months.After all, Wikipiniana is still new.Why not give it a chance? But it sure looks promising.

11

On 11:33 a.m., 20 Jul 2007, seav wrote:

@Joseph, then they should make Wikipiniana a nice collection of pointers to Wikipedia content. Right now, the same content is seen on both sites. Why duplicate it? If navigation is a problem, then restructuring Wikipiniana to be a collection of links elsewhere would serve a good purpose. If you want a Philippine guide to Wikipedia, there’s always the Wikipedia Philippines Portal.

12

On 11:37 a.m., 20 Jul 2007, seav wrote:

@trina, they have already started months ago and there is still a huge overlap between the scope of the two projects. If they started out as an online Filipino almanac or Filipino yearbook, then there would be no problem and both could co-exist.

13

On 12:26 p.m., 20 Jul 2007, bigmyk wrote:

you know guys, there’s really no point in arguing about whether the website should continue or not, but the thing here is there are still people out there concerned, well at least they are trying to make an effort to educate or enlighten Filipinos. maybe we’re just being a bit too “territorial” or even “patriotic” in a sense that we also want one of our own, so what,,there’s nothing wrong with that, or maybe it’s about time we have one of our own, maybe the reason why some of the Filipino contributors went to wikipedia or to other similar sites is because wikipiniana is still “non-existent” at that time, so now that we have one of our own, why don’t we just temporarily set aside these differences and try to help build it, maybe in time it will develop into something big,,who knows,,,:) peace.

14

On 12:37 a.m., 21 Jul 2007, Jeff wrote:

Patriotism, wanting to have something that’s for the Filipinos, by the Filipinos is not the issue at hand—you know the cliché: their hearts are in the right place, but all the effort and resources to set up what is essentially a mirror site could’ve been used at to expand Wikipedia instead, or work on an all-Filipino translation of everything that’s already in there. There’s way too much web space and bandwidth wasted on duplicate content

15

On 2:37 p.m., 21 Jul 2007, paolomendoza wrote:

what if they just use it for news archives. i’m sure that’s not something wikipedia would do for pinoys

16

On 10:26 p.m., 21 Jul 2007, seav wrote:

@Jeff, well said.

@paolo, exactly! They should look at the types of information where there’s currently no strong Wikimedia project and fill that gap. No use duplicating what’s already there.

17

On 9:35 a.m., 22 Jul 2007, Trina wrote:

as i browsed Wikipiniana, i saw that SOME articles are really from wikipedia. but NOT ALL articles are from there. In fact, they have something new that wikipedia doesn’t have.

Therefore, the argument that “Wikipiniana, as an encyclopedia, does not offer anything new.” is not at all correct.some were copied, yes. but not all their contents were ripped of from wikipedia. Want to know what contents Wikipiniana have that wikipedia doesn’t? Browse their site and you’ll see.

in my POV, there’s really nothing wrong having the two. If you want to still contribute to Wikipedia, then fine. If some people want to contribute to Wikipiniana, then fine too.

just my 40 cents…PEACE!

18

On 5:46 p.m., 22 Jul 2007, benj wrote:

Wow! A genuine debate!  :)

I think the goal of both sides is similar and not mutually exclusive to the existence of Wikipiniana.

I think there is nothing wrong with the idea of redundancy of content in articles. As cliche as it sounds, it’s still better to have more sources of information compared to less as long as the quality of the information is also policed and maintained well.

I also think that the fact that Wikipiniana will not rank higher than the Wikipedia is a non-issue. Wikipiniana can potentially be a one-stop page for everything Filipino. I think the premise of SEO is being overrated if we use it as a basis for what is good and not good.

Should Wikipiniana be 100% objective and totally unbiased. I don’t believe in objective reporting (it’s not possible), but the idea of having a bias towards a Filipino perspective is something that could be beneficial in the long run. Having texts written in a Filipino perspective will make the material more palpable and more easy to relate to as opposed to a cold and bland version of events.

There is nothing wrong with reinventing the wheel if it’s going to travel of a different kind of terrain.

19

On 6:31 p.m., 22 Jul 2007, seav wrote:

@benj, let me argue with your points.

Yes redundancy is good. But you said “as long as the quality [is good].” Well, trying to maintain quality in both Wikipedia and Wikipiniana is doubled effort, which could have been served better by placing it all on Wikipedia. In this case, redundancy is a liability.

SEO can never be a non-issue. Majority of people search for information on the Web through search engines, and the fact that Wikipedia will rank higher than Wikipiniana means that the information in Wikipiniana will not get enough exposure. Shouldn’t we make sure, therefore, that Wikipedia articles have the highest quality so that web searchers can get good information?

Yes, I agree that Wikipiniana could be a one-stop information for Filipinos, but their tactic of copying Wikipedia articles and improving it separate from the main Wikipedia project is counterproductive. I wouldn’t mind if they just presented a cached uneditable copy of Wikipedia articles in Wikipiniana just like what Answers.com does. That way, there’s no duplicated effort of maintaining the quality of corresponding article pairs.

Filipino bias is beneficial? Huh? Since when is having only one point of view a generally good thing? It’s as bad as the Republicans only watching Fox News or the Communist Chinese government censoring the Web (like the Tiananmen Square massacre). Can you imagine an encyclopedia article about the Balangiga massacre written only from the point of view of the Filipinos? Having multiple points of view is crucial to forming an informed decision about debatable topics. A Republican only watching right-wing news will unlikely to see some benefits to some of the ideas coming from the Democratic side of the political fence. Do you know why Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion book is selling well? It’s because Christian fundamentalists are buying it in order to study it and find ways to attack it. Now, irregardless of the debating prowess of fundamentalists, doesn’t that kind of seeing both sides of the equation contribute to better discourse about issues?

Another thing, you seem to have a misinformed notion of Wikipedia’s Neutral Point of View. It doesn’t mean that the prose has to be “cold and bland.” It means that the various points of view are presented proportionately so that anyone reading, say Abortion can see the point of views from the pro-life and pro-choice sides and be richer for it.

20

On 12:17 p.m., 23 Jul 2007, bigmyk wrote:

@ jeff, thanks for the comment, what you’ve said is true, that is why they are asking for our help, to contribute, the website is just starting up.actually, it’s only on it’s “harvesting” phase, so to speak, and constructive critizism is essential to make the site better, maybe for now they are just lifting up articles, but in time, these articles will expand to new levels.they are not trying to outdo wikipedia, they are merely trying to augment and expand the information, thanks guys,

21

On 4:34 p.m., 23 Jul 2007, michael wrote:

Hayy. You know, this “debate” is nothing more to me as a crab-mentality. I’ve visited Wikipiniana and although it looks and feels like Wikipedia, it is unique and distinct from the latter. 1st of all, I think the aim of Wikipiniana is plain and simple; a free and online encyclopedia of the Philippines. So what is the point of arguing that Wikipiniana is a “clone” or “fork” of Wikipedia?

Secondly, instead of bashing, downplaying and out rightly rip Wikipiniana to pieces, why not help it grow? We musn’t forget that “as a warrior get wounded, he becomes stronger”. And also, isn’t it about time to have our own free and online encyclopedia? Like I said earlier, this debate is nothing more than a crab-mentality.

I am not defending Wikipiniana, per se. I honestly admit that I’m a Wikipedian but when I saw this Wikipiniana, I am thrilled that finally, a uniquely and distinctively Filipino website. And so what’s wrong in following Wikipedia? Japan copied everything from the west and made their copy as their own unique products. China too, copied and now made it their own. We mut learn from these examples.

22

On 5:11 p.m., 23 Jul 2007, seav wrote:

Sigh. I was actually expecting someone to bring out the crab-mentality issue.

@Michael, this is not a crab-mentality issue. Please review the definition of crab mentality before giving that strong accusation to anyone.

The very core point of all my arguments against Wikipiniana is that by having the two projects with vastly overlapping scopes with respect to Philippine-related topics, there is a duplication of effort in maintaining the quality of the same articles in both projects.

What I’m suggesting for Wikipiniana is to make it a cached and organized pointer to Wikipedia articles. Wikipedia, after all, aims to be the biggest encyclopedia ever, unhindered by space constraints like in print encyclopedia. So, let’s put our effort to adding every conceivable encyclopedic Filipino topic on Wikipedia then let Wikipiniana have cached uneditable copies of the Filipino-related Wikipedia content. Then the unique pages in Wikipiniana that aren’t copies from Wikipedia, would serve as tips, guidelines, pointers, and helpful links in doing Filipiniana research. Isn’t that a better idea?

There. I’m not simply “bashing, downplaying and out rightly [ripping] Wikipiniana to pieces” but giving a constructive idea that benefits both projects.

Regarding Japan and China copying and improving, isn’t it telling that Japanese and Chinese users are quite enthusiastic about supporting and contributing to Wikipedia itself instead of creating their own wiki encyclopedia? In fact, the Japanese language encyclopedia already has close to 400,000 articles, making it the fifth largest Wikipedia edition.

Besides, Japan copied and innovated on western products. I don’t see any innovation in Wikipiniana. They’re just creating a focused encyclopedia with practically the same policies and procedures as Wikipedia.

23

On 5:56 p.m., 23 Jul 2007, trina wrote:

I think Wikipiniana has some innovations. Have you tried visiting the site yet? if not, i suggest you browse the site more to discover.

24

On 6:10 p.m., 23 Jul 2007, seav wrote:

@trina, I’m already looking over things at Wikipiniana. I’m already tagging the maps and images I’ve contributed to Wikipedia that they’ve imported to Wikipiniana without attribution, which is a clear violation of the GFDL. Of the articles they have that aren’t in Wikipedia, almost all of them are just articles that could’ve been added to Wikipedia in the first place. I see no innovation taking place, yet.

25

On 8:10 p.m., 23 Jul 2007, trina wrote:

when did wikipedia started? and when did wikipiniana started? i guess they’re years apart from each other when we’ll talk about the year both started this project. So i think it’s kinda reasonable why in terms of contents, wikipedia is richer than wikipiniana for now.I guess we just have to wait and see for some innovations that could take place in the near future on this site. And also, we can’t force the people behind wikipiniana to contribute or put their articles in wikipedia because they have wikipiniana to enrich.as i browse the site, i think they want to be more of a magazine cum encyclopedia. now that’s different from wikipedia don’t you think so? that’s the innovation, i think, that they want to create.

26

On 8:53 p.m., 23 Jul 2007, seav wrote:

@trina, a magazine is a serialized publication and a wiki model does not fit that.

Well, what I’m seeing right now that they might be good at adapting is an almanac-style of knowledge database. Right now, an enterprising contributor is adding short articles for a lot Philippine companies. This is a good almanac-style or directory-style that Wikipiniana should adopt since not all Philippine companies are notable enough to be included in Wikipedia in the short-term. Maybe in the long-term yes, but not in the short term. As for their encyclopedic entries, they should just make a cached uneditable copy of Wikipedia articles and let visitors who want to make corrections or contributions go to Wikipedia itself. Now, isn’t that a nice idea?

Hmmm, so far you haven’t given a comment on the constructive suggestions I’ve been discussing a lot. What can you say to that instead of insisting that Wikipiniana is different from Wikipedia?

27

On 7:53 a.m., 24 Jul 2007, trina wrote:

well, your suggestion is good. who knows Wikipiniana will adopt that. we just have to wait i guess.

28

On 1:07 p.m., 24 Jul 2007, michael wrote:

@ trina: Well said there trina. I guess saev failed to neither noticed nor see that Wikipiniana is at its early stage. In fact, I’m excited to see what’s Wikipiniana can offer new and innovative.

@saev: Shame on you! Are you a Filipino or what? If you are a Filipino, why are you putting salt on Wikipiniana? I am sick of my fellow Filipinos pulling down each other’s effort to enrich Filipino awareness and knowledge such as this Wikipiniana project. Its true Wikipiniana has a lot of issues to tackle and improve, but claiming it as a total waste of time and effort? I don’t think you have the right to say that! Yeah we know you contribute a lot to Wikipedia, but with what I am seeing and reading from you, you seemed to be threatened by Wikipiniana, admit it or not.

29

On 1:47 p.m., 24 Jul 2007, seav wrote:

@michael, don’t you dare attack me and claim that I’m a bad person for “putting down” Wikipiniana. Please talk about the issues; do not resort to personal accusations and ad hominem arguments. I have valid concerns regarding Wikipiniana and I’m addressing them here without attacking people, like what you are doing.

Please look at the title of my post: “There is Currently no Point to Wikipiniana.” It means that I can see the potential for a project like Wikipiniana but right now, their direction is something that should not be taken. Wikipiniana has already started several months ago and it’s still largely an encyclopedia project that overlaps with Wikipedia with respect to Filipino-related topics. I’ve already outlined and given some suggestions on how Wikipiniana can best proceed with their project while co-existing with Wikipedia. Why can’t you see that instead of accusing me of “putting down” people?

Finally, I’m no longer threatened by Wikipiniana. I was initially alarmed by it, I admit, but I realized that there’s no reason for my alarm. I’m now arguing for ways so that the duplicated effort in maintaining both Wikipedia and Wikipiniana articles is minimized.

30

On 8:11 p.m., 24 Jul 2007, michael wrote:

I am not using Ad Hominem attack against you seav, but your reply is a proof of your insolence and arrogance. Now if you have any recommendation for the “improvement” of Wikipiniana, then why here? Why not tell it DIRECTLY to the Wikipiniana administrators? If you still find Wikipiniana as a clone of Wikipedia, may I remind you that Wikipedia is copyleft and not copyright.

31

On 8:48 p.m., 24 Jul 2007, seav wrote:

@michael, you are using ad hominem arguments. It’s when you’re insulting the person you’re arguing with instead of addressing the arguments of the person. First of all, you implied that I and some other commenters have crab-mentality in comment #21. Then you’re saying that I’m a shameful Filipino in comment #28. Finally, you say I’m insolent and arrogant in the previous comment.

The debate here is whether there is any point to Wikipiniana, as asked by Rico. We’re not talking about whether I am foolish for even suggesting that there’s no point to Wikipiniana. We’re talking about whether there is no point to Wikipiniana.

Also, we’re not talking about whether this blog is an appropriate place to talk about this issue or not. I’ll mention again, we’re talking about whether there is no point to Wikipiniana.

Finally, the fact that something is a clone of something else has no bearing on the copyrightness or copyleftness of that something else. Copyrights and copylefts pertain to the rights to “copy” (synonym: “clone”) creative works.

Please get back to talking about the central issue.

32

On 11:07 p.m., 24 Jul 2007, mark wrote:

Woah woah, simmer down guys. Things are getting heated up. Let cooler heads prevail ok.

@michael, dude I think seav got some points. But I know it is not your intention to insult nor attack seav. Don’t further provoke seav for we are all professionals here. I don’t think none of us here weren’t educated to fight like children.

@seav, don’t think you are under attack by Michael. Maybe he does have some points you could have missed. Frankly I agree with others who thinks that Wikipiniana should grow first. I agree with you that Wikipiniana looks like Wikipedia, but it has its own edge and spunk to offer. In fact, I think Wikipedia can be proud of this website for Wikipiniana was inspired by Wikipedia. It’s like a “divine inspiration” (no puns intended).

Guys, let’s keep our own biases or opinions get heat up ok. peace!

33

On 11:14 p.m., 24 Jul 2007, michael wrote:

Thanks for that Mark. I really appreciated it.

But like I said, seav speak against Wikipiniana. “Finally, I’m no longer threatened by Wikipiniana. I was initially alarmed by it, I admit, but I realized that there’s no reason for my alarm.” Like I said, seav admitted that he/she was alarmed. But enough of this, this argument is like chicken-egg argument.

@seav, what made you alarmed with the concept of Wikipiniana? It is not a Weapon of Mass Destruction. And haven’t you read trina’s comment? She said there’s some article in Wikipiniana that wasn’t in Wikipedia. In fact, IMHO, Wikipiniana goes deeper than Wikipedia offered. This is something we should thank for somehow.

This is just my 2 cents.

34

On 11:40 p.m., 24 Jul 2007, seav wrote:

For the record: The previous two comments were very likely made by the same person. They both have the same IP address: 121.97.248.51, and were written within minutes of each other.

Come to think of it, Memphis (comment #6), Joseph (comment #8), bigmyk (comment #13) are also apparently the same person. As are michael (comment #21) and trina (comment #23).

I now strongly believe that most of these comments are made by the same person. I won’t argue anymore because arguing with a person who uses sock puppetry isn’t worth it. Besides, I’ve already stated all my points and constructive criticism. There’s essentially nothing new being argued anymore.

35

On 10:00 a.m., 25 Jul 2007, benj wrote:

I’ll make a vlog about this topic. I think it’s a good issue to discuss—lots of valid points for both sides.

36

On 10:04 a.m., 25 Jul 2007, benj wrote:

“michael” and “trina” also commit the same grammatical errors in their posts. So that’s additional brownie points for the “sock puppet theory”. As if the IPs weren’t compelling enough. hehe

37

On 12:36 p.m., 25 Jul 2007, michael wrote:

seav, for the record too, we have friends. We can share the computer when we comment.

and also, i don’t know trina.

38

On 3:50 p.m., 26 Jul 2007, wikiboy wrote:

Chk Chk!… I never thought that a single comment I made could spark a thread this hot! I prefer to keep mum about the issue being raised by Seav ’coz i have a lot of other important tasks to do at Wikipiniana. However, I believe its about time we air our side and clear certain misconceptions…so i am making an exception.

First, let me start by saying that Wikipiniana.org is still in its initial stages of development. In fact, it has not even been officially launched yet! (You’re all invited by the way.) That is why I, being part of Wikipiniana, am flattered by comments, positive or negative, pertaining to our project. I am grateful for the arguments raised here and our team welcomes all suggestions. I assure you that everything is being carefully weighed and considered.

Wikipiniana is a project still under development, envisioned to evolve in a direction determined by the variety and depth of the contributions inputed by Wikipiniana volunteers. Regarding being tagged as ’fork’ of Wikipedia (because some of Wikipiniana’s contents are from Wikipedia), that, we accept, but only for now. These articles are being expanded by a pool of writers, editors, and volunteers with a lot to share about the Philippines. Some of it can’t be accommodated by Wikipedia because of some restrictive policies. And as Wikipiniana moves forward—with the help of a new generation of readers—a new community different from that of Wikipedia’s will be formed inside our pages. Edgier and more exciting content will be developed as our editorial board is tirelessly working to give the site a unique and definitive identity. Editorial policies and other guidelines will eventually be modified.

Wikipedia is a very useful source of information, but let’s face it, it cannot absorb all the information we, Filipinos, have to offer. And while everyone has been talking about neutrality, we at Wikipiniana believe that Filipinos deserve something more. Since the start of contemporary history, the Philippines has been bombarded by writings on us but not by us. Unknowingly, we are actually reading our own history as it is written by foreigners. Fortunately, we were rescued by the likes of Constantino, Agoncillo, and Ambeth Ocampo. It is in this light that we from Wikipiniana hope to give the world OUR take on things. We believe it is about time the world hears what we want to say. We want to give the Philippines and our fellow Filipinos a site to call our own – Pinoy in origin, Pinoy by design, Pinoy by heart.

Wikipiniana is only building a facility for Filipinos to share their knowledge about their own country and it is for free. At present, Wikipiniana allows any substantial articles. Try to visit the site and take a peek of what these volunteers are doing.

Wikipiniana is just starting up guys and we need all the help we can get. Peace to all detractors and thanks to those who aired their support for the Wikipiniana project. I don’t want to argue or make personal attacks on anyone since that’s not how a Wikipedian or Wikipinian works. Wikipinians have welcomed (User:Seav) and (USer:Nino Gonzales) to the site without question. In fact, we would like to thank Seav for his contributions and for his help in sanitizing our contents.

PEACE to everyone… let’s move forward!

(also posted in our forum at http://www.filipiniana.net:8080/forum/viewtop…

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On 4:55 a.m., 31 Jul 2007, dennis wrote:

Hello everyone, I have also been contributing to Wikipedia and recently, I signed up in WikiPilipinas(former Wikipiniana). Some of you mentioned that WikiPilipinas is just a duplication of Wikipedia. Some of it yes, but Wikipilipinas doesn’t stop on that. It develop these articles. In fact, more and more unique Filipiniana articles (not found in any resource site in the web) are being added everyday. So please be patient. Wikipilipinas is just in the beginning stage. I think in due time, Wikipilipinas will create an identity of its own, and people who criticize it now can later see the full measure of its benefit to all Filipinos. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a free Philippine encyclopedia online? In the 1960s, a Filipino scholar named Zoilo Galang created the 20-volume “ Encyclopedia of the Philippines”. It was criticized also because everyone thought that Encyclopedia Brittanica has everything we want to know, including filipiniana did not. If you read the Zoilo set, it was fascinating how hs editors compiled all data about the Philippines during that time. Only that few Filipinos can afford the set because the Philippines is only a Third World Country. And so, the Zoilo encyclopedia was not reprinted, even though scholars like Constantino and Agoncillo hailed its publication. Wikipilipinas, however, is free, you don’t need to pay anything. Just browse, search and read. I think Filipino students will benefit from this so much. Also, if you want more scholarly written articles, just go to the mother site Filipiniana.net and you will find there rare documents, books and photos ready for your research, complete with indexing and annotations! Isn’t this wonderful? Just think of the money and effort we can save from going to the National Library. Indeed the National Library doesn’t even allow you to look at the rare documents unless you are a noted scholar or a foreigner. If you feel you want to contribute to Wikipedia and not to Wikipilipinas, then it’s your right, and we wont have any arguments about that. We all support what we want to support, right? And it’s also the right of the admin of Wikipilinas to do what they feel is also right, which is to provide a Philippine-based knowledge website for all Filipinos and scholars. Peace!

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On 7:30 a.m., 28 Aug 2007, ajay wrote:

I think the arguments are moot and academic now since WikiPinas has been launched. Although the arguments are very valid and should challenge the proponents to aim for Philippine-/Filipino- specific content rather than just be a Wikipedia copycat. Otherwise, where’s our unique national identity there? True that Wikipedia blazed the trail but in this globalized world, localized wikis are just inevitable. I’d be very interested to see how WikiPinas will evolve

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