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Talk:Emerging strategic priorities/ESP 5 key questions

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Since the beginning of the strategic planning process, users of this wiki have been asked to identify questions related to Wikimedia's future direction and to treat it as a brainstorming question (no discussion, just questions). Over the past few months, users have built a Fact base to describe where Wikimedia is today, identified a set of Emerging strategic priorities related to achieving Wikimedia's vision "Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge," and defined Task forces that will dive more deeply into making recommendations for how Wikimedia should grow in the future.

Now it's time for users here to move from brainstorming questions to providing input. Please read the questions below and discuss them on the talk pages. Discussions there will inform the work of the task forces and provide guidance as we, together, go about writing the strategic plan for the Wikimedia movement.

The following questions relate to "Optimizing Wikimedia's Operations"

Questions: Roles of different members of community

What roles are volunteers best positioned to play within the movement and what support do they need from the Foundation, Chapters, or other structures within the movement in order to do so?

  • All roles make sense as a volunteer role. However some paid staff could serve to support any and all (volunteer) roles. Dedalus 16:14, 21 October 2009 (UTC)Reply
  • Tasks which require someone working on them full time or for which we can't afford the person doing them deciding to take an unplanned wikibreak should be paid roles, everything else should be done by volunteers as much as possible (it is possible we won't be able to find a qualified volunteer, in which case we may have to pay someone). --Tango 14:00, 22 October 2009 (UTC)Reply
  • I like questions which need a separate study to give the answer :) (And all of these questions need separate studies.) --Millosh 23:48, 30 October 2009 (UTC)Reply
    • So, instead of the answer to the question, here is the draft for the methodology for finding the answer: --Millosh 23:48, 30 October 2009 (UTC)Reply
      1. Make a TF which would deal exclusively with this question. --Millosh 23:48, 30 October 2009 (UTC)Reply
      2. Mark and describe formal and informal roles inside of the Wikimedia communities. This is a very complex task, especially in relation to informal structures inside of the communities, as well as in relation to the projects written in not so widely known languages. --Millosh 23:48, 30 October 2009 (UTC)Reply
      3. Gather answers related to local and global issues inside of relevant communities and groups. Probably, participants in all Wikimedia mailing lists should be asked for those answers. Note, also, that huge projects, like en.wp is, have a lot of distinctive communities which should be marked. --Millosh 23:48, 30 October 2009 (UTC)Reply
      4. Analyze answers and make conclusions. --Millosh 23:48, 30 October 2009 (UTC)Reply
    • And here are answers from my perspective (although I am sure that I'll miss something). --Millosh 23:48, 30 October 2009 (UTC)Reply
      1. Volunteers are the core of the movement. Some of them will spend their Wikimedian life as volunteers and some of them will be payed for their involvement at some point of time. Generally, I don't see a strong difference between volunteers and payed staff in relation to their contribution. There should be always a soft area between payed and not payed contributors. --Millosh 23:48, 30 October 2009 (UTC)Reply
      2. WMF and the chapters should take care about various needs of contributors. Some of them need just a good WYSIWYG editor, some of them need payed trips and some of them need to be payed to contribute efficiently. There should be a Wikimedia wide body which should take care about balancing between what is needed and what is possible in relation to funds. --Millosh 23:48, 30 October 2009 (UTC)Reply
      3. WMF and the chapters (or previously mentioned body) should make a platform for making possibilities to contributors to contribute at the most efficient way. As mentioned, some of them need just funds for their trips or so, some of them may be connected to Wikimedia strongly if Wikimedia finds a way how to find them a job, and some of them should become WMF or chapters' staff. Making a bazaar for editors (cf. a project from a German company for making books based on Wikipedia articles; I forgot the name) and programmers may be one of the steps in a good direction. --Millosh 23:48, 30 October 2009 (UTC)Reply
      4. There is, also, a wide range of needed logistical support to Wikimedians: from knowing a place where to find Wikimedia stickers to having a possibility to make some event. --Millosh 23:48, 30 October 2009 (UTC)Reply
      5. Wikimedia movement is a global one. There is a wide range of possibilities for networking and those possibilities are almost not used at all. --Millosh 23:48, 30 October 2009 (UTC)Reply
      6. (and so on; almost for sure I'll add more suggestions here) --Millosh 23:48, 30 October 2009 (UTC)Reply
What are current and future roles and expectations of Chapters? How these roles might vary in different country contexts? What policies would support/enhance Chapter roles?

    • What are Wikimedia chapters for? Great unanswered question, here to date. Chapters are spontaneous self organizations of local groups of Wikipedists, Wikipedians and Wikimedians alike. They take collaboration to a new level, to real life. Bottom line: they could be helpful and or instrumental in raising funds to keep the servers running by providing local tax deductability. From another angle, Chapters are instrumental in establishing real world relationships, partnerships and alliances in the real world. Dedalus 16:14, 21 October 2009 (UTC)Reply
    • Chapters are for furthering the goals of the Wikimedia movement within a particular country (or other geographic region, although I am opposed to sub-national chapters). They can also exploit the resources of that country to benefit the movement more generally. --Tango 14:00, 22 October 2009 (UTC)Reply
  • Chapters are useful in helping get charitable status in extra countries, and with it extra fundraising opportunities and credibility.
  • Chapters may be a useful framework for building partnerships with organisations like some museums who are used to dealing with organisations not individuals. WereSpielChequers 08:21, 2 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
What roles should the Foundation continue to play in supporting the movement? What roles should it start playing? What roles should it stop playing?

The foundation cannot abdicate its leadership role in setting goals and vision, but it cannot be deaf to the community either. The foundation would be wise to review the major debates about the vision for the WMF, and take a position. It can be a broad position, but it has to be a position. Otherwise debates get trapped in an endless tug-of-war between extremes, instead of reaching towards the middle with consensus-building.

What additional structures could be developed to connect volunteers to the movement and what would it take to develop these strutures?

What are the inter-relationships and inter-dependencies between these groups and how should they be recognized and honored?

  1. [...] Answer here, please...
Who is needed to support this strategy (e.g., Wikimedia Foundation, chapters, individual volunteers, external partners), and what do they need to do?

  1. [...] Answer here, please...

Questions: Financial sustainability

What are the cost drivers for Wikimedia today and which group, Wikimedia foundation or Chapters should be responsible for covering these costs?

    • I dispute that claim that our costs are exponentially increasing. As we raise more we have chosen to spend more, but I don't expect essential costs to increase that quickly. The main reason for increase will be more people accessing the site, thus requiring more server power and bandwidth. However, as the costs of hardware and bandwidth decrease over time, I don't expect we'll have too big a problem there. We can cut back on other costs if we have to. There is another question about financial sustainability above - see my answer there for further comments. --Tango 14:00, 22 October 2009 (UTC)Reply
    • the bandwith cost is the most important to consider, they would follow a bell curve, they have or will top out before going down. the only avenue where the cost will continue to rise is from the constant addition of newer projects, image and video intensive project put a lot of bandwith cost on the foundation, some streamlining needs to be done to trim out underused projects. administrative cost and other salaries are the second most important position to monitor, Financial consideration need to be made before adding new staff.Theo10011 03:02, 23 October 2009 (UTC)Reply
With growth in reach and content, what new cost drivers might exist and which group, Wikimedia foundation or Chapters should be responsible for covering these costs?

  1. The Foundation should generally cover these costs, although I could see chapters related to smaller Wiki{pedia,media}s providing financial assistance to them, but that's expecting a bit much, so just have the Foundation do it. --Cybercobra 20:13, 2 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
With enhancing the health and wellbeing of the Community, what new cost drivers might exist and which group, Wikimedia foundation or Chapters should be responsible for covering these costs?

  1. I think hiring a professional editorial staff with graduate degrees in whatever degrees book and magazine and newspaper editors have would increase the need to invest funds raised from donors. Each salary would need to come from the interest paid on the investments since people have careers in editing magazines, books and newspapers. To raise the additional funds, ads for donations for such investments put on the bigger Wikipedias might be successful, since the goal of making Wikipedia an accurate encyclopedia would be the appeal. Such a staff could work on getting professionally written articles by specific known authorities. Similar investments would allow a cash flow for the purpose of buying works from those unwilling to donate them. Those who do donate articles should be given some sort of work in kind receipt so they could get tax deductions for writing. Naturally, the idea of being able to look at editing histories is good if those histories are short enough and done by writers who know what they are talking about. In short, the larger Wikipedias are able to advertize to mass audiences for donations and therefore the funding should come from the foundation. --Chuck Marean 04:01, 5 February 2010 (UTC)Reply
What revenue streams might support these costs in an ongoing, sustainable manner (i.e. grants, licensing, reciprocal agreements)? This includes in-kind streams (e.g. free bandwidth, free servers).

What business model options are available for Wikimedia to pursue to cover its costs? What can we learn from other organizations that have pursued these models?

Over $283 billion was given to charities in the US in 2007. [1] While the US is the single largest economy in the world, we are global and can tap into that and many other countries charitable donors. The largest UK charity gets over $500 million in donations every year. We only need a miniscule proportion of those donations to keep Wikimedia solvent. But there are three big changes we could make to up our donation revenue significantly:

  1. When people donate, ask them to set up a regular donation. (See Proposal:Voluntary subscription. Globbet 09:17, 15 November 2009 (UTC))Reply
  2. Get charitable status in the UK and other countries where it has tax advantages.
  3. Set up an endowment fund for legacies and ask donors to mention wikimedia in their wills.

WereSpielChequers 18:25, 2 November 2009 (UTC)Reply

  1. retrieved 2nd November 2009
Should Wikimedia create an endowment, if so what will those funds be used for?

  • I'm surprised this one has not come up before. For educational institutions, endowment is a sine qua non. You may not always be able to cover costs with donations. An endowment represents capital funds returning money that can be used cover costs, any costs. I suppose an ideal would be a percentage split between capital returns and donations. This would diversify the income and potentially be more stable in changing markets and the business cycle. Why has this not been started already?Botteville 00:11, 23 October 2009 (UTC)Reply
  • Yes we should create an endowment fund and we should use the income from the fund as income for Wikimedia. As the endowment grows this would give financial security to Wikimedia as it would be predictable income. However I suspect that the fund itself would take a while to build up, as apart from legacies how else would it grow? WereSpielChequers 18:49, 2 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
What would it take in terms of capacity and capabilities for Wikimedia to pursue each business model?

Which group, Foundation or Chapters, should own each part of the business model and how should they interact?

  1. [...] Answer here, please...
Which models are most appropriate given the Wikimedia Foundation's mission and the strengths of the community?

  1. As computing costs continue to fall and readership of our projects continues to rise so a strategy of proposal:No Advertising but instead requesting donations from our readers and applying for grants is likely to become more rather than less viable. If we can get charitable statues in more countries that will also boost this model. WereSpielChequers 00:17, 2 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
Who is needed to support this strategy (e.g., Wikimedia Foundation, chapters, individual volunteers, external partners), and what do they need to do?

  1. We need chapters in the rich nations to get charitable status in those countries like the UK where we have lots of donors and there is a big tax break for charities. WereSpielChequers 00:20, 2 November 2009 (UTC)Reply

Questions: Alliances and partnerships

What assets can Wikimedia leverage to form alliances and partnerships to further its mission?

What types of partnerships has the Wikimedia movement formed to date re: content sources, technology infrastructure, revenue streams (included in-kind), innovations (e.g. mobility), and contributors?

Specific Partnerships:

  • Content: Bundesarchiv, Deutsche Fotothek, TroppenMuseum
  • Technology: PediaPress, Kaltura, Wikia, OpenStreetMap, Kennisnet...
  • Philanthropic: Omidyar, Sloane, Stanton...
  • Business: Orange, Answers.com... Google
  • Educational: Library classes (NYPL) to general public, Wikipedia Academies to universities and academics

Alliances ("friends of the family"): EFF, StatusNet, Mozilla, CreativeCommons, OLPC...

What can be learned from our past experience in forming these partnerships? What are best case examples of effective partnerships that could serve as models in the community?

  1. [...] Answer here, please...
What types of partnerships are critical to advancing Wikimedia's mission?

  • Academic

Academia is a natural partner for the WMF, because they have no strong commercial interest, and because they have expertise and access to research that would serve the community. Imagine what one university could do if every department committed to improving one article per term.

  • Business

Business organizations are potencial partners because they have commercial interests besides improving knowledge level of their employees. I am wondering the future which Wikimedia foundation could reach provided a big financial group establishes a training system based on the mediawiki software and encourages their employees to colaborate in the internal knowledge management efforts. I conclude that WMF as a final result will be also benefited. Sorry for english mistakes or/and poorly writing skills. Nevinho 18:14, 18 November 2009 (UTC)Reply

  • Philanthropic/non-profit
  • Technology
  • Media/Arts/Culture
  • Political
What types of partnerships should volunteers, the Chapters, and the Foundation be responsible for launching and sustaining?

  1. Partnerships with individual museums are best done at chapter level or below. But it would help if there were some clear guidelines as to what works and what sort of things can be agreed.
  2. Partnerships or at least some sort of registration is needed at national level between the chapter (or sub chapter national level organisation) and the tax or charity authorities needed to get Wikimedia charitable tax status in that country.
  3. Partnerships with language societies are best handled at project level and where contiguous at chapter level.
  4. Partnerships with Global organisations such as UNESCO or en:Earthwatch are probably best done at foundation level but might sometimes run at chapter level. WereSpielChequers 00:07, 2 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
  5. Suggestion: partner with the Library of Congress, they have been very active in making available on Flickr a large number of non-copyright photographs from their collections, of many historical figures and news events; these could enhance articles on these subjects and Wikipedia articles could enhance the meaning and interest of the photographs. --Mdukas 07:17, 20 January 2010 (UTC)Reply
What tools, governance, and supports are needed from the Foundation to make it simple for volunteers and Chapters to create and sustain partnerships?

  1. [...] Answer here, please...

Volunteers and Chapters of the Foundation may want to have support for creating and supporting the chapters of the Foundations in the various cities and countries for making. Tools would have to be based on ICT and it could also be real inclusive groups of people in the regions. Virtual tools could be e-discussion such as the one used here. Carbon-neutral neighborhoods settings could be used for discussion the mission and contribution of the generation of knowledge for the global community. It would be important to ensure that socially cohesive and carbon-neutral neighbourhood groups are made for creating the local chapters intially in the urban areas especially those that are multi-cultural.


It would be important to create socially inclusive groups for ensuring better governance of the chapters. At some locations, if this is not possible, one could think of multi-speciality inclusion in the governance of the chapters. For example, if Dr.Muhammad Mukhtar Alam based in the Ashok Vihar area of the city volunteers for creating the chapter for India or the for New Delhi should be expected that he forms a group of people representing all the social groups Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Sikhs , Jains and others for ensuring diversity. He may be expected to ensure that people belong to various walks of life. It is natural that people interested in the issues related to knowledge generation would like to join this group and they would do the needful for sustaining. Further oversight will be required for ensuring that the groups works for generating value for Wiki.

Who is needed to support this strategy (e.g., Wikimedia Foundation, chapters, individual volunteers, external partners), and what do they need to do?

  1. [...] Answer here, please...

Questions: Technology infrastructure

What are the potential impacts on infrastructure as Wikimedia grows to 1 billion monthly users and contributors?

What are the potential impacts on infrastructure (i.e. bandwidth, cacheing, redundancy, servers) as Wikimedia grows to 1 billion monthly users and contributors from all walks of life and all areas of the planet?

  1. There will be a much greater demand/strain on infrastructure and more of it will be needed (kinda a "no-duh" Q&A). --Cybercobra 19:47, 2 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
What are the impacts of increased multi-media usage on the network and Wikimedia's infrastructure?

  1. Increased bandwidth needs, need for more multimedia file servers —Preceding unsigned comment added by Cybercobra (talkcontribs) --Fasten 20:23, 2 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
What is a "multimedia file server" ? An Apple QuickTime Streaming Server ? --Fasten 20:23, 2 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
I assume that Cybercobra is referring to a server that is dedicated to image, video and audio files.
Cheers, Get_It 01:23, 15 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
What are the impacts of increased access to Wikimedia projects via a multitude of devices on different networks?

  1. First of all, I would expect to see a dramatic increase in the number of editors in each Wikimedia project (or a good portion of them) if people could edit Wikimedia projects via cell phone or other such devices because not everyone has a computer from which they can edit. This would be beneficial to the Wikimedia projects because it would increase the number of editors per project, however, it could also cause many problems such as increasing the amount of vandalism per project, which would require an increase in the number of administrators, and since more users would be using the Wikimedia projects, it would take more bandwitdh and memory to support all of these new users. I like where this is going, though. Razorflame 04:27, 30 October 2009 (UTC)Reply
What should Wikimedia's technology infrastructure and supporting management/maintenance operations be to ensure the infrastructure can grow to meet demands?

  1. Right now we survive on 350-ish servers because of the dirty little secret that most people read and only a few people (relatively speaking) edit. If we really shift that dynamic, we are going to need a buttload more servers. (And distributed data centers to put them in.) -- ArielGlenn 02:51, 22 October 2009 (UTC)Reply
    How distributed can datacentres be if they're all in the US? Can we even consider putting non-caching servers outside the US? Mike.lifeguard | @meta 01:33, 15 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
What 2-4 strategic priorities should be set to ensure Wikimedia's infrastructure can grow to serve 1 billion people?

What 2-4 strategic priorities should be set to ensure Wikimedia's infrastructure can grow to serve 1 billion people from across the world, accessing increasingly multi-media rich content from a variety of devices?

  1. More servers, more developers to rewrite the software to be more efficient, more technicians to maintain caching —Preceding unsigned comment added by Cybercobra (talkcontribs) --Fasten 20:27, 2 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
Who is needed to support this strategy (e.g., Wikimedia Foundation, chapters, individual volunteers, external partners), and what do they need to do?

  1. Donors to support capital and labor investments, technical partners to provide bandwidth/servers/expertise, software developers and system administrators to maintain the increased infrastructure —Preceding unsigned comment added by Cybercobra (talkcontribs) --Fasten 20:28, 2 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
What are the areas for improvement in usability with respect to reading and contribution (editing) of Wikimedia projects?

What are the areas for improvement in usability across platforms (e.g. mobile) with respect to reading and contribution (editing) of Wikimedia projects?

  1. [...] Answer here, please...
What future innovations should Wikimedia look to incorporate into MediaWiki?

Are the processes and structures Wikimedia currently has to identify, develop, test, and roll-out new tools and innovations sufficient? If not, what can be done to improve them?

We don't currently have one for anything except testing (Wikimedia labs), so no. Mr.Z-man 05:50, 25 October 2009 (UTC)Reply
What sort of processes/tools do you think we need? --Eekim 23:54, 2 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
Are the number and type of developers Wikimedia currently has sufficient?

If not, what can be done to improve the number of developers?

Sufficient for what? The number is sufficient for the current level of progress. More developers means more progress. Its not a question of sufficiency, it depends on how fast of growth you want. Mr.Z-man 05:50, 25 October 2009 (UTC)Reply
More devs are needed. Better software = better Wiki{media,pedia} experience. I seem to recall Wikinews in particular is waiting on some feature requests that have yet to be addressed. --Cybercobra 20:09, 2 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
  • Yes. Wikinews could make a great deal of use of developer time. A number of the local contributors have created tools to help spread the project's content; including RSS and Twitter feeds, auto-updating scripts for Facebook, and our own URL-shortening service enwn.net. The key requirement seems to be getting code review and appropriate tweaks to turn "nice toys" into MW extensions — there will be other uses for them outwith Wikinews.
There are also a few other issues identified from Wikinews' use of Flagged Revisions. --Brian McNeil 11:12, 15 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
Should developers be compensated and/or should development be encourages a la Apple store or Facebook apps?

I have a bit of a COI on the first part, but apps store style development would be a bad idea. There's too little collaboration, so you end up with dozens of little projects where only 1 or 2 developers are familiar with each one and little integration between them. Mr.Z-man 05:50, 25 October 2009 (UTC)Reply
What strategic opportunities for investment would significantly improve Wikimedia's usability in the near term?

  1. More Usability Project employees or perhaps a whole other Usability team in addition to the current one to work on other usability issues in parallel? --Cybercobra 20:16, 2 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
  2. Sponsor outside academic research into wiki usability? --Cybercobra 20:16, 2 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
What strategic opportunities for investment would significantly improve Wikimedia's ability to identify and develop new innovations with faster time to roll-out?

More paid employees doing code review. We barely manage to get MediaWiki core reviewed. If an extension isn't written by someone who already has a ton of experience with MW core (meaning its probably well-written for Wikimedia usage), the chances of it getting reviewed are small. Mr.Z-man 05:50, 25 October 2009 (UTC)Reply
What strategic priorities should be set to ensure Wikimedia has the necessary information about how people are using Wikimedia projects to inform future strategic planning?

Talk:Emerging strategic priorities/ESP 5 key questions/What strategic priorities should be set to ensure Wikimedia has the necessary information about how people are using Wikimedia projects to inform future strategic planning?

Who is needed to support this strategy (e.g., Wikimedia Foundation, chapters, individual volunteers, external partners), and what do they need to do?

  1. [...] Answer here, please...

Questions: Advocacy

What issues concern Wikimedia the most with respect to ensuring unimpeded global access to free information online (i.e. net neutrality, censorship, copyright, privacy, digital divide)?

  1. [...] Answer here, please...
What should Wikimedia's advocacy agenda be? Should Wikimedia have a single, global agenda, or does it need to develop agendas for specific regions of the world?

  1. Local lobbyists have a number of advantages over international ones, not least because politicians will treat them as potential voters; So I would suggest that Wikimedia lobby at the level of the decision making. But the Foundation needs to coordinate, and to lobby in international fora. So for copyright law we need lobbying at Global, European and national levels, which means the foundation, groups of chapters and individual chapters. WereSpielChequers 00:02, 2 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
Who is in the best position to be the voice of Wikimedia on advocacy issues?

  1. [...] Answer here, please...
What 2-4 strategic opportunities for investment exist which would provide the greatest impact to Wikimedia's need for unimpeded global access to free information online to further its mission?

  1. [...] Answer here, please...
Who is needed to support this strategy (e.g., Wikimedia Foundation, chapters, individual volunteers, external partners), and what do they need to do?

  1. [...] Answer here, please...

Other questions

Will Wikimedia move away from a centralised server? How about distributing server loads across different volunteers?

You could cut costs and speed things up, but you'd need a new architecture to get things going and make it work reliably.

The text of Wikimedia is safe, based on the large number of people who download the dumps

There is no database dump of the image database. How do we ensure long-term survivability in the event of a disaster? #reach5

How can we move knowledge from flat text to a structured ontology? This would allow for improved machine responses to questions and assisted automatic translation. RDF?

One thing which would radically transform the landscape would be a wiki tools factory.

A number of the proposals are already looking at using wikis in a less than traditional client-server fashion, and if this is to be achieved, tooling across a disparity of both programming and natural languages is almost an inevitability. One way forward would be to have a development site not dissimilar in concept to something like Sourceforge, for construction, versioning and distribution of the tooling. Sjc 08:21, 24 September 2009 (UTC)Reply

    • Your "question" sounds like a "proposal", please propose! Do I read you correct in assuming tools to be what is served on the current toolserver? That you want to have a factory for creating tools on, say the toolserver? Dedalus 16:14, 21 October 2009 (UTC)Reply
You might also want to have a look at Proposal:JavaServer Pages (JSP) and templates. The proposal might make a factory for creating tools unnecessary. --Fasten 18:22, 28 October 2009 (UTC)Reply
Wikimedia Foundation needs real money to pay real bills.

Currently this is provided for through donations. Is this the best strategy, the only strategy ? Is it even an acceptable strategy ? Is it adequate.

    • A specific task force is going to be set up to study financial sustainability. Another answer is: central servers aren't sustainable in the long run, and total decentralization would be the answer. Dedalus 16:14, 21 October 2009 (UTC)Reply
    • It certainly seems to be working well so far. Donations are more than covering essential costs (ie. keeping the servers running) even during a recession and there is no sign that they won't be able to in the foreseeable future. We should, however, prepare for the unforeseeable future as much as possible. I think a large endowment would help in that regard, it would allow us to guarantee minimal functionality regardless of future drops in donations. I think now is the time to start building that endowment - it is tempting to say we can make better use of the money by spending it now, but it will always be tempting to say that so we need to resist the temptation. --Tango 14:00, 22 October 2009 (UTC)Reply
      • Donations support many much richer organisations than Wikimedia, so unlike advertising it is a viable model for us. But we need to move away from one off donations and start encouraging our donors to sign up for an annual donation, or other regular donations, and we need charitable status in more countries - in the UK it would add 28% to most of our donations. WereSpielChequers 00:28, 2 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
Would it be possible to raise the profile of Wikimedia editing as bona fide voluntary work?

Would it be possible to raise the profile of Wikimedia editing as bona fide voluntary work such that it became plausible to enter it onto a CV when looking for work and for it to be recognised by unemployment organisations as a useful activity that keeps one in touch with the world of work?
I feel that this kind of thing may help with #participation since participation in the project would be deemed to have value for potential employers, not to mention amongst friends, family or whoever is yet to appreciate the effort made by editors. This increased status would lead to more participants, more participants would raise the profile and so a virtuous spiral may be created.

    • One: yes, quite a lot of cv's contain 'wikipedia editor' as a line, just check linkedin. Two, if you like recommendation or endorsements, ask for them. List your contributions to the movement and ask for a reference letter from Sue Gardner (she offered to do so publicly!). Dedalus 16:14, 21 October 2009 (UTC)Reply
Does Wikipedia have delusions of grandeur?

How do we more effectively communicate that the WMF is a charity?

    • Rand Montaya is doing a great job in his efforts to redesign the fund raiser process and fund raiser pages, with help of many other. Sue is hiring a new boss for Rand. So this question is beefed up. Dedalus 16:14, 21 October 2009 (UTC)Reply
It seems increasingly clear that the future of news will include a significant "citizen journalism" component, especially in the form of professional-amateur collaboration.

However, English Wikinews and most other Wikinews projects have failed to reach a critical mass of participation, and many Wikimedians see the current Wikinews model as inadequate and unlikely to succeed-in part because the Publication system of Wikinews prevents the kind of feedback cycle of Wikipedia, where readers are shown incomplete content and given a chance to improve it and write more. How could Wikinews or another Wikimedia project be reworked to provide a compelling way for people to participate in the production and consumption of journalism on a large scale?

    • Have someone tell everybody how fun it is to contribute to news/journalism/wikinews, just like Jimmy did by telling everybody how fun it is to contribute to Wikipedia! Dedalus 16:14, 21 October 2009 (UTC)Reply
    • Wiki ESP could motivate investigative journalism and a curriculum for investigative journalism could be published on Wikiversity. High school and college students could be a primary audience. --Fasten 17:42, 22 October 2009 (UTC)Reply
    • Something like a small text reporting service like tweeter could be considered, something wikipedians can enter easily from their first hand amateur experience along with the ability to u/l pictures instantly.Theo10011 03:02, 23 October 2009 (UTC)Reply
    • Wikinews needs to stop treating itself like a newspaper and more like a website. In the days of 24 hour cable news and news websites, waiting until articles are fully developed and thoroughly reviewed is just not a successful model, unless you're going to be putting it on paper. It may not be ideal from a journalistic POV, but its what the public demands. If Wikinews becomes more useful, it will attract more participants. Mr.Z-man 05:50, 25 October 2009 (UTC)Reply
      • One could purchase content from Thomson Reuters for Wikinews and split news processing into a very fast process (with Reuters content) and a slower process (with content created by Wikinews contributors). Working with Reuters content could still be interesting for some people (e.g. pupils contributing to Wikinews as part of a journalism curriculum). --Fasten 13:37, 26 October 2009 (UTC)Reply
        • Public domain material is already used, though copyedited and extra sources added to avoid blatant POV. Buying Reuters material for Wikinews strikes me as akin as buying Encyclopedia Britannica website material for en-Wikipedia. The whole point of Wikinews is to have value-added information, using multiple sources. I seem to recall that en-Wikipedia frowns upon using just primary sources for their material; why should Wikinews aim to do the opposite? Yes, the review process could be optimised, but that should be achieved by having more editors, more collaborators, not by bloating Wikinews with what is already syndicated on a multitude of sites and making Wikinews "yet another pointless news site". --AlexandrDmitri 14:39, 15 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
  • As far as I can tell, not one of the people making suggestions above has made any significant effort to participate on Wikinews.—Preceding unsigned comment added by Brian McNeil (talkcontribs) --Fasten 12:31, 15 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
    The above are either suggestions to turn it into "The Twitter feed anyone can post p3n1s on", "Pimp My Wiki", "Stop pretending it's trying to be credible", and "Buy from Reuters and becomre just like every crappy service that does no real work to make news".
    Quit sitting in the cheap seats whispering among yourselves about how a project you don't edit on should be run. Take the time to actually get involved and understand how it currently does work. Most of the above, er.... "bright ideas" would drive away all current contributors and it'd turn into another stupid Digg equivalent running on a bastardised MediaWiki install. --Brian McNeil 11:29, 15 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
    Yes, exactly, or impracticable ideas like "write a curriculum for investigative journalism for Wikiversity". There isn't even a Curriculum: namespace. -- 12:35, 15 November 2009 (UTC)
I'm curious. Why sign this as, Fasten? I have spent time speaking with people from Wikiversity, I know there is not a Curriculum: namespace, and — to a greater or lesser extent — this is a ridiculously trivial element of the idea to dismiss it for. Wikiversity is the most appropriate WMF project for educational material on citizen journalism; the current situation is Wikinews contributors privately sharing experiences from trying investigative journalism. Experience is easily lost when people have to change their priorities and devote less time to the project, and they are more interested in contributing material to it. --Brian McNeil 14:06, 15 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
I was just pretending to pretend to be somebody else because it quite clearly was not my opinion as expressed a few lines above. If you in fact favor a curriculum for investigative journalism why do you rant about "bright ideas" and ignore the contribution you have identified as potentially useful? Reverse psychology? --Fasten 09:31, 16 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
The attitude to be dismissive of proposals is in the wrong place here. strategy.wikimedia.org tries to accept every kind of input. --Fasten 12:24, 17 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
  • en.Wikinews is made redundant, and en.Wikipedia is polluted, so long as Wikipedia allows news coverage. Remember the Wendy's Chili Finger incident? There were about 120 en.WP articles at the time; it's nice to see some pruning has happened over the years. But should it have been on en.WP at all? Since en.Wikipedia is unlikely to change its approach to current events, it seems to me the en.Wikinews project will slowly die receiving no support and being overshadowed by crappy coverage on en.WP that wastes time and creates conflicts as it slowly gets weeded out. Better to just kill the project quickly. - Amgine 16:01, 15 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
  • Wikinews just doesn't seem to fill any gap. Before Wikipedia, there was no large free source of information (moreover: Wikipedia still is unique in this). Part of the succes of Wikipedia is that it was something new, something that didn't exist before, and there (still) isn't any real alternative to Wikipedia when it comes to finding information on a scala of subjects. There are many free sources of news however. For the Netherlands, there is Nu.nl that has instant news. For national news, nl.Wikinews has nothing to add: why bother posting to Wikinews if the news is already on Nu.nl as well? Nl.Wikinews could be interesting for gathering local news, but Twitter seems fine for that, with contacts posting links to interesting local news around the clock. Fruggo 17:01, 15 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
    Is nu.nl NPOV? Oh, nevermind. I never learned to read Dutch; you're judging against one near-failed language variant. And, again, like those above have never tried to contribute or see what is different about the project. Wikipedians should be shamed for their Recentism obsessions, and repeat snubs of Wikinews when it comes to vaguely acknowledging the project does original reporting and is operated by the same parent organisation. --Brian McNeil 19:50, 15 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
Ditto for the future of textbooks and the Wikibooks model.


Better integration with Wikipedia could help. Mr.Z-man 05:50, 25 October 2009 (UTC)Reply
Ditto for the future of educational courses, learning objects, and the Wikiversity model.


  1. [...] Answer here, please...
As increased work goes into branding Wikimedia, how will that brand be conveyed consistently across all languages?

    • A proposal for brand consolidation is rejected by 5 to 20 people. Top brass does not have the guts yet to define mission and to define identity. What makes you a Wikipedian, Wikipedist or Wikimedian or whatever. The "Wikipedia guy" keeps telling everybody "he founded Wikipedia". Even en:The starfish and the spider confuses Wikipedia with the Wikimedia Foundation.
    • Wikipedia needs to seriously consider some rebranding effort, the look and the branding has gotten stale over the years, I earlier pointed out that even the byline to wikipedia "the free encyclopedia" is outdated, a majority of internet services along with many encyclopedias have gone free, it doesn't tell anything unique about wikipedia, i believe "A living encyclopedia" would be a much apt descriptor for Wikipedia, I also have a proposal suggesting that change.Theo10011 03:02, 23 October 2009 (UTC)Reply
Do we have an effective process for the creation of new large-scale projects, such as wikifamily or wikikids?

What is MediaWiki used for? (besides the projects of the Foundation) What can we learn from them? (e.g. Wikimania 2007: Making WikiMedia resources more useful for translators)


    • MediaWiki is a content management system (wiki engine) used for many website outside Wikimedia, for example by Wikia. Some websites use MediaWiki which you would not recognize as a MediaWiki implementation on first sight, due to clever design of skin and hiding login button Dedalus 16:14, 21 October 2009 (UTC)Reply
How do we make this a productive use of time, and not just a long-winded exercise in vacuous corporate-speak?

Ideas like "strategic planning" and "mission statements" and "vision papers" are the death of productivity, as they take time away from actually solving real problems. I have no problem working through problems as long as that's what we do, and not just develop empty meaningless documents filled with the latest corporate-babble culled from some management textbook. This should be productive, and not just a Franklin/Covey conference.

This page needs an introduction

To quote a popular template at Wikiquote: "This page lacks sufficient introduction or links.... Without such information, it is hard to distinguish this topic from similarly-named topics." ~ Ningauble 14:10, 21 October 2009 (UTC)Reply