Case Study: Fan History’s Proposal For Being Acquired by the WMF
Fan History Wiki, Dundee, Illinois
In November 2009, Fan History Wiki approached the Wikimedia Foundation about possibly being acquired by them. The motivations for this on the part of Fan History Wiki were to help the project continue with and grow its mission. The choice to approach the Wikimedia Foundation was based on relationships developed by Fan History’s founder at events like RecentChangesCamp and through interaction in #wiki on irc.freenode.net.
Fan History approached people connected to the Foundation, put forth a proposal, posted the proposal to the Foundation mailing list and to Strategy wiki. The process broke down because of some problems. This included lack of an established procedure for the acquisition process, communication problems and expectation issues.
There are several recommendations that Fan History Wiki would make to the Foundation on how to fix this process. The first is to decide if the Foundation is actually interested in new projects or acquiring existing projects. The second is defining the roles of Meta-Wiki and Strategy wiki. The third is to create a list of staff members who would handle acquisition related requests. The fourth is to create a clearly established procedure for how to handle this process.
A copy of the full case study can be found at http://www.fanhistory.com/FHproposal.pdf .