Collaborative Local Knowledge

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Collaborating Locally ---

Localwiki (http://localwiki.org) -built off open street maps -has WYSIWYG editor -easy to use -distributed local software that communities need to install on servers on their own -now we're moving more toward a platform that doesn't need to be installed onto a server -ideal: federated like Reddit and SubReddits -we want to be the local knowledge layer that developers can build on -we'll be releasing a developer version in the next few months -community engagement -we work with many volunteer groups in the cities we work in -really hard -how do we streamline and make this more effective? -we're looking at different models like how Wikipedia works with community -we also work with larger organizations that already do community engagement in this area -e.g. open source matters foundation, etc.

Central to our motivation is making it a resource for social justice movements and community organizing -it started in Davis and now everyone uses it for information about the community -people have begun to get interested in politics after digging a little into what's going on in their community -e.g. people changing a provision in a local charter based on what they learned in the wiki -it's difficult to know what the possible outcomes for social justice movements could be but that's exactly what we want to explore further

There is no talk page -a design decision we made because when you give people an opportunity to talk, they fight

We want to keep our community guidelines very simple so that the people who work on that project have to figure out what they want

What does developing a user base look like?

We haven't figured out a formula yet. We see as keys -add as much content as possible -find people who want to download their brain into this platform -it might be really hard to find those people and they may not be the people you expect -we got connected with a local history group which was a great starting point to get people to use it for another use and have the secondary value blow up as a result. -it was valuable to them because they now had a platform to publish their scholarship, gave them a peer community, and they simply like sharing -they didn't have any type of formation or group and this gave them a

A big thing is to have live events to bring people into a space -e.g. hackathons and meet-ups -and then people can start building from there -but it totally varies as to how much uptake happens after that

The digital divide thing is really big. -only a certain group can take advantage -those with different literacy, languages, etc. are shut out to a sense -localwiki is also looking into having language options for different pages (e.g. view this page in Spanish)

We held a number of write-a-thons at the Oakland History Room -there's tons of information housed there but no digital version

Also, tapping into other networks that already work in some community theoretical space that don't aren't a thing.

It's hard to figure out what the appropriate scale for each "community"

Ernie: it might be interesting to not necessarily sort information based on artificial "communities" or geographic space, but instead, have everything put in their information but then users would be able to choose their own geographical area (e.g. put in an address) and then it would suck in all the relevant information within some radius or distance.

What about augmenting this "local knowledge" with other traditional sources of information? -these exist within an ecosystem

What's the funding model now that you're moving into a platform model (vs. a distributed self-install model)? -right now we're operating on funding from the Knight foundation, but in the future, we hope to use a funding model similar to Wikipedia

What licensing are you using? -CC buy -we're thinking about switching to CC-0 -when attributing we're thinking "local wiki by jimmy duncan"

How does the localwiki pull in other relevant information from other sources? -still undetermined, and largely it depends on the individual communities and the how the other organizations release their data

There are also tools to build collaborative databases -users interact with the administrators then the administrators make the changes -this might make more sense for many of the more detailed use cases (e.g. mapping all of the trees in the area) than local wiki

How to get schools involved -Hilary: at the school I work at, all the students have internships and it would useful if successive information about internships were kept or logged in some way so that new classes would have access to that data. Ideally, there would also be a way for local businesses and organizations to link into it to find out about this program and see other opportunities.

Stickers!!!

Contact:

Marina Kukso marina@localwiki.org