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Real-time collaborative editing (like Google Docs) can help expand our community of contributors. We can on-board local domain experts worldwide by organizing:
- Mentoring for inexperienced editors
- Real-time copy editing for language learners
- Collaborative authoring sprints
- Collaborative translation sprints
etc. The technology is not too difficult, but the social process and user experience of editing require careful thought.
This roundtable will present the current state of the VisualEditor-based implementation, including significant progress made in the past year, and review the ideas from the Wikimania 2017 panel; then share lessons and experience about what makes these use cases work well. This way we can work together on solutions to some of the trickier issues, including:
How can we organize collaborative editing sessions in a way that promotes contributor diversity?
What role should collaborative translation vs collaborative authoring play in bridging knowledge gaps in lesser-resourced languages?
How can we prevent harassment within the collaboration session? If we want a separate chat feature alongside the editing window, how do we prevent harassment there?
What happens to the article history? Who decides when a collaborative session is "done"? Can we untangle individual contributions after the revision is saved?
What do real-time edits look like to readers? Can they see the page change in front of their eyes? If you begin to edit, are you warned there is an ongoing collaborative editing session already in progress?
Can our vandalism and spam tools keep up with "collaborative" attackers?
Editing closely together is in the spirit of ubuntu. We hope collaborative editing will also provide those who are fortunate new ways to aid those less fortunate as they contribute to the sum of all knowledge. Let's discuss!
As presenters, we hope to learn more about the social aspects of real-time collaborative working, and discover unexpected challenges or benefits. We are very concerned with issues of harassment and abuse, so want to listen closely to those who may be affected so as to ensure before deploying these features that we've done all we can to build in appropriate protections.
For the audience we hope to inform them about the current state of the implementation and the ways they will first be able to use the feature, as well as to let them know some of the reasons why deployment is not simple.
We also hope to continue to build enthusiasm for an oft-requested feature.