Proposal:Partner with the Smithsonian

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


Summary

Partner with the Smithsonian Institution to enhance visibility and funding opportunities.

Proposal

Work with the Smithsonian Institution to identify ways to share resources, promote mutual objectives, and to collaborate on, and possibly merge, related projects. Consider whether there is an opportunity for the Wiki Foundation to become part of the Smithsonian.

Motivation

The Smithsonian is a well established organization that is expected to continue in perpetuity. The primary mission of the Institution, "an establishment for the increase and diffusion of knowledge", is highly complimentary to the mission of the Wiki organization. The Smithsonian already has projects that are similar in concept, such as those that document oral histories.

Millions of people have dedicated untold hours to the Wiki projects. This represents, both individually and collectively, a lot of work. Many contributors, like myself, are probably concerned about the longevity of the Wiki organization. Backing and support from the Smithsonian would enhance the reputation and perceived longevity of the Wikimedia Foundation.

The Smithsonian should likewise be interested in the collaboration given that the Wiki project is probably the largest collaborative project undertaken by humankind. While they may, and should, be concerned about the accuracy of the information in the various Wiki projects, they should be just as concerned about the accuracy of any reference material. While researching some of the articles I have updated on Wikipedia, I have found many contradictory statements in the source materials that were written by the experts of a given topic, so it's not reasonable to think Wikipedia will ever be error free.

Key Questions

  • How can each organization promote the other?
  • What opportunities are there to share funding?
  • How closely will the two organizations collaborate?
  • What projects should the two organizations consider merging?
  • Should the organizations themselves consider merging in some manner?

Potential Costs

Unknown

References

None.

Community Discussion

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