Wikickoff

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Wikickoff is a Web-based, free-content encyclopedia inspired to Wickipedia, which is written collaboratively by volunteers. It consists of 14 language editions. Entries on traditional encyclopedic topics exist alongside those on current events topics. Its purpose is to create and distribute, worldwide, a free Kick Off encyclopedia in as many languages as possible. Wikickoff is one of the most popular reference sites of the Kick Off Association.

Wikickoff contains approximately 60 articles, more than 90% of which are in its English language edition. It began as a complement to the Kick Off World Cup Guide on April 2005. Having steadily gained in popularity, it has spawned several conceptually related sister projects such as KOPIA and KORPS. Its articles are edited by volunteers in wiki fashion, meaning articles are subject to change by nearly anyone. Wikickoff's volunteers enforce a policy of "neutral point of view". Under this, the views presented by notable persons or KOA members are summarized without attempting to determine an objective truth.


Characteristics

Wikickoff is described as "an effort to create and distribute a free encyclopedia of the highest possible quality to every single person on the planet in their own language." It is created on the kickoffworld.net website using a type of software and philosophy known as Wiki, from the Hawaiian language "wiki wiki" which means "quick."

Free content

The GNU Free Documentation License, the license under which Wikickoff's articles are made available, is one of many "copyleft" copyright licenses that permit the redistribution, creation of derivative works, and commercial use of content provided its authors are attributed and this content remains available under the GFDL. When an author contributes original material to the project, the copyright over it is retained with them, but they agree to make the work available under the GFDL. Material on Wikickoff may thus be distributed to, or incorporated from, resources which also use this license. Items such as corporate logos, song samples or copyrighted artwork and floppy images are used with a claim of fair use.

Language editions

Wikickoff encompassed 14 language editions in April 2005.

Language editions operate independently of one another. Editions are not bound to the content of other language editions, and are only held to global policies such as "neutral point of view". Articles and images are nonetheless shared between Wikipedia editions, the former through pages to request translations organized on many of the larger language editions, and the latter through the Wikimedia Commons repository.

Editing

Nearly any visitor may edit Wikickoff's articles and have their changes be instantly displayed. It is built on the belief that collaboration between users will improve articles over time, in much the same way that open-source software develops. Its authors need not have any expertise or formal qualifications in the subjects which they edit, and users are warned that their contributions may be "edited mercilessly" by anyone who so wishes. Its articles are not controlled by any particular user or editorial group, and decision-making on the content and editorial policies of Wikickoff is instead done by consensus and occasionally vote, though KOA veteran members retains final judgement.

Policies

Wikickoff requires that its contributors observe a "neutral point of view" when writing and not include original research. Neutral point of view, itself a "non-negotiable" policy, articulates the encyclopedia's goal as "representing disputes, characterizing them, rather than engaging in them." If achieved, Wikickoff would not be written from a single "objective" point of view, but rather fairly present all views on an issue, attributed to their adherents in a neutral way. It states that views should be given weight equal to their standing. This policy has been criticized as having an unattainable goal, being unnecessary with widely discredited material, and allowing the representation of "morally offensive" views. Opinions or theories that have not been previously published are considered "original research", which is not allowed. The "No original research" policy states that such material cannot be properly attributed under neutral point of view, and that editors' own novel ideas or perspectives are not to be introduced.

Wikickoff's contributors additionally maintain a variety of lesser policies and guidelines. In contrast to other wikis of its time, Wikickoffers use "talk" pages to discuss changes to articles, rather than discussing changes within the article itself.

Authors

Every user is intended to be of equal status when editing articles, and edit articles to reach consensus among editors.

Maintenance tasks are performed by a group of volunteer developers, stewards, bureaucrats, and administrators. Admistrators are privileged with the ability to prevent articles from being edited, delete articles, or block users from editing in accordance with community policy.

Wikipedia site has been viewed as a social experiment in anarchy or democracy. Its founder has replied that it is not intended as one, though it is a consequence.

Quality

Wikickoff's editing process assumes that exposing an article to many users will result in accuracy. Referencing Linus's law of open-source development, Sanger stated earlier: "Given enough eyeballs, all errors are shallow." Technology figure Joi Ito wrote on Wikipedia's authority, "[a]lthough it depends a bit on the field, the question is whether something is more likely to be true coming from a source whose resume sounds authoritative or a source that has been viewed by hundreds of thousands of people (with the ability to comment) and has survived." Conversely, in an informal test of Wikipedia's ability to detect misinformation its author remarked that its process "isn't really a fact-checking mechanism so much as a voting mechanism", and that material which did not appear "blatantly false" may be accepted as true.