Interviews/Teemu Leinonen

    From Strategic Planning

    Advisory Board interviews conducted at Wikimania: Teemu Leinonen. August 24-28, 2009

    Key Themes

    • Sees cultural barriers as significant to extending reach and participation for small languages
    • Does not necessarily think that mission/vision prescribes tie to the “wiki” – could be projects that are not well suited to the wiki but that are important to mission (i.e. citizen journalism)
    • Concerned about community renewal (i.e. where is the next generation of administrators coming from?)


    • Never active in community, only some edits; a professor and dean of school at the Media Lab, University of Art and Design in Helsinki
    • Focus is on internet tools for digital learning
    • Thinks that the mission and vision of Wikimedia are brilliant; fully agrees with the idea; believes there is strong consensus around this

    Extending reach and participation

    • Challenge in extending reach and participation for small languages – where the idea of an encyclopedia is not familiar, where there is no history of that. Encyclopedias are not a universal concept
    • Thinks Wikimedia should focus on small languages; as a way of collecting cultural heritage
    • All the Scandinavian and North European Wikipedias have largest number of articles per speaker, but there is a strong fit with the culture
    • Language and cultural preservation and the concept of encyclopedia is embedded in culture
    • Scandinavia and Nordic people are very interested in this project]
    • Agrees with need to create different roles within the community for people to participate (beyond editing)
    • As mobile devices take over as primary mode of accessing content, Wikimedia needs to be accessible in that format
    • Research showing that people participate in open source “to learn” – after that are reasons related to getting formal training and professional advancement
    • Thinks that learning is likely motivation for editors
    • Thinks that formal education and curriculum should not be the focus for Wikipedia; there may be a role for Wikipedia in news – everyone is talking about this notion of “who will do quality journalism in the future?”
    • Wikimedia’s mission/vision does not specify that it has to happen on a wiki. Wikis are good for certain things, but not for others (i.e. news sources). But this doesn't mean that Wikimedia should not pursue
    • Thinks that the challenges with MediaWiki technology could potentially make the community stronger – people have to ask for help to learn how to do things
    • Concern that there are not systems for renewing the community – where is the next generation of administrators coming from?
    • Not concerned that others may repackage content – if there is an interface designed by others that works better, the mission is still being achieved of getting knowledge to more people. Should be more clear attribution to the community


    • PDF File