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Wikimedia Movement Strategic Plan Summary/Encourage Innovation

From Strategic Planning

Strategic Priorities: Encourage innovation

The wiki was invented in 1995. Using it collaboratively to create an encyclopedia was a social innovation. We need to continue to make technical and social innovations in order to keep pace with changes in how readers are accessing information, and so that we can do an even better job of enabling powerful collaborative work.

Innovation in the context of a global movement is dependent on the voice and participation of thousands of individual volunteers. Beyond organizing our own efforts, we must ally with like-minded open source and free knowledge organizations and initiatives.

Some areas ripe for innovation are obvious. While it is easy to read the Wikimedia projects, participating is hard. Few tools exist to support on-site networking, dialogue and task management. Projects such as Wiktionary and Wikimedia Commons have only limited technical support for the specific problems users face. Even the reader experience is fairly austere, with limited means to explore topics, visualize information and conduct searches.

The proliferation of mobile phones, smartphones, e-readers and netbooks necessitates dramatic improvements to accessibility, usability and participation on these and other platforms. For millions of people, these platforms, not the personal computer, are the first exposure they have to the Internet.

The most surprising and important innovations are likely nowhere on our roadmap. Exploring the unknown will be at least as important as developing solutions to known problems. We must continually support our global community in experimentation, learning and discovery, and must regularly translate successful experiments into a normal part of the Wikimedia experience. This will be essential to reaching our five-year targets.

In the future, Wikipedia should move more toward collaborative editing in which several users can edit a page at the same time. Wikipedia should also implement some kind of instant communication system rather than relying on talk pages. There also need to be a series of simple video tutorials that show to the new-coming user how to edit Wikipedia and how to respond/communicate with fellow Wikipedians. User:Smallman12q

Through 2015, the Wikimedia Foundation will:

Increase access to information that drives community, decision-making and action.

  • Implement a web analytics tool to provide mission-critical information to the Foundation and the movement as a whole. 

  • Provide better information about the movement to enable everyone to better support it, by developing and publishing diverse measures of the health and growth of Wikimedia communities and projects. 

  • Foster a healthy community of researchers interested in analyzing Wikimedia, provide access to relevant data, and highlight important questions to be addressed.
  • Conduct regular reader and editor surveys in order to take the pulse of the community and identify pressing issues or concerns.
  • Develop standards for the development of staged experiments and A/B tests.

Support the infrastructure of networked innovation and research.

  • Develop clear documentation and APIs so that developers can create applications that work easily with our platforms.
  • Ensure access to computing resources and data for interested researchers and developers, including downloadable copies of all public data.
  • Continually improve social and technical systems for volunteer development of core software, extensions, gadgets and other technical improvements.

Promote the adoption of great ideas.

  • Develop clear processes for code review, acceptance and deployment so that volunteer development does not linger in limbo.
  • Organize meetings and events bringing together developers and researchers who are focused on Wikimedia-related projects with experienced Wikimedia volunteers and staff.
  • Showcase and recognize the greatest innovations of the Wikimedia movement, and create community spaces dedicated to the exploration of new ideas.

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