In December 2005, I co-founded Muppet Wiki, a collaborative encyclopedia about Jim Henson and the Muppets. I instantly fell in love with collaborative writing, and the awesome power of the wiki platform.
Muppet Wiki turned into a huge, beautiful, and deeply peculiar site -- more than 25,000 pages, so far -- and building the wiki quickly became my favorite thing to do. Since 2005, I've made more than 125,000 content edits on Muppet Wiki.
I was the kind of user at Wikia who has tons of ideas about how to make the site better, and I talked a lot to the community and product teams there. By 2007, I'd left my job as an educator at a non-profit agency, moved to San Francisco, and started working for Wikia.
As a Product Manager at Wikia, I worked on lots of different projects, most of them aimed at increasing the number of contributors and contributions on the site. My team built a new Activity Feed, a Create a Wiki workflow, a new Photo Gallery tool, a Theme Designer, a Chat feature, and a Related Pages navigation tool. The most ambitious feature that we built was the Message Wall, a top-to-bottom redesign of MediaWiki's user talk system.
Outside of work, I also write a daily blog called "Dark Shadows Every Day", about the 1960s vampire soap opera.
I've been working for the Wikimedia Foundation since 2014. I'm the Product Manger for the Community Tech team, supporting the most active Wikimedia contributors with the features and fixes that they need.
Once a year, we hold a Community Wishlist Survey, inviting active contributors from all Wikimedia projects to submit proposals for projects that they want Community Tech to work on for the year. All of the proposals are discussed and improved, and then the whole community votes for the proposals that they think are worthwhile. When the support-votes are tallied, that list becomes our prioritized backlog for the year.
Community Tech is responsible for analysing and addressing the top 10 wishes, as well as some projects further down the list that help user groups who have typically not received much technical help from the Foundation. Some of the other wishes on the list also get addressed by other teams, including Wikimedia Deutschland's Technical Wishes team, as well as volunteer developers.
So far, the Community Tech team has created the Pageviews Analysis tool and the CopyPatrol plagiarism detector tool. We've deployed Numerical sorting in categories, and contributed deadlink-detection code to Cyberbot II, which scans article pages and replaces dead external links with links to the Internet Archive. We've also built a Google OCR tool for Wikisource to help Indic language Wikisources to process source texts.
There's a lot more Community Tech work coming up, always another project. Let me know if you've got questions or suggestions for our team!
- E-mail: dhornwikimedia.org
- IRC: dannyh