Proposal:Emergency Slimdown

From Strategic Planning
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The status of this proposal is:
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


There should be a process in place for the Foundation to deal with a significant cash shortfall by reducing staff overheads. This plan may need to be approved by the Board in advance, and only the Board may decide when, if ever, to activate and use the emergency provisions.


At minimum, the Foundation needs to be able to function as a shoestring ISP. Those needed to do this (likely a server admin an accountant and someone to answer the phones) should be identified in advance and a plan to get rid of everyone else should the need arise should be in place. Emergency termination provisions may need to be written in to contracts.

If the server load becomes too heavy, it may be necessary to ask established users to limit their use of the site. This would leave articles more vulnerable to vandalism, so another more extreme option is to offer selected namespaces in read-only mode. This will almost certainly require new code in the MediaWiki software.


Worse case scenario planning and making sure that in such a situation keeping Wikimedia projects going comes out ahead of keeping foundation staff jobs going.

Key Questions

How quickly can costs be cut and how far without reducing server numbers?

Who can the foundation not survive without?

Potential Costs

Depends on the amount of detail.


Community Discussion

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

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