Proposal:Community sustainability

From Strategic Planning
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Request for Discussion / Sign-Ups

Every proposal should be tied to one of the strategic priorities below.

Edit this page to help identify the priorities related to this proposal!

  1. Achieve continued growth in readership
  2. Focus on quality content
  3. Increase Participation
  4. Stabilize and improve the infrastructure
  5. Encourage Innovation


Develop a program to improve the sustainability of the community. A process should be developed to make sure the community which supports the projects, and without which the projects would loose their value rapidly, are sustainable, responsible and growing.


This proposal is a wide angle proposal, aimed at the general strategy process. Key factor is that a process should be developed, the sub proposals are merely examples. Several other proposals might be considered as potential sub-proposals of this wide angle proposal.


The process should contain of a few (non-consecutive) phases:

  • Ask some experts to do research on how the community works, and propose improvements
  • Strengthen the chapters/semi-chapters network, and help them to hold meetups, conferences and other community strengthening activities (helping through expertise sharing, goodies, sending speakers, letters of support or even money in some cases)
  • Develop a community reward system. This doesn't have to be about money, but supporting writing contests, Wikimedia Commons POTY with cool prizes, Sending goodies through meetup events or even direct mail etc. (See Category:Proposals for editor awards or rewards).
  • Outreach program for involving new community members in cooperation with (or even a focus on) the chapters (I believe this is ongoing)
  • Facilitation of exchange of best practices amongst communities regarding community processes


The community is in the end the major weak link in the Wikimedia projects. When the community decreases, vandalism seems to win, and the projects will rapidly loose edit functionality. That way also the improvements of the projects will be stopped, and the up-to-date'ness of Wikimedia will decrease very quickly.

In several languages a decrease in community or an increase in hostility is noted. This is a dangerous development, and should be identified and acted upon.

Key Questions

  • How does the community (communities) work?
  • How should they ideally work?
  • SWOT of the communities
  • How can the communities be helped to remain/become sustainable?
  • How much of that should happen through WMF, how much through chapters and how much grass roots?

Potential Costs

  • Research costs
  • Costs by chapters for organizing meetings (relatively low in most countries)
  • Travel costs for speaker arrangements etc
  • Staff costs for expertise sharing
  • Professional outreach program: Staff, printing, spreading etc
  • Software development costs


Community Discussion

Do you have a thought about this proposal? A suggestion? Discuss this proposal by going to Proposal Talk:Community sustainability.

Want to work on this proposal?

  1. .. Sign your name here!