Wikimedia strategy: what has been done, and where are we going?

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The Wikimedia movement is currently engaged in a strategy process aiming to identify a shared direction across the movement. What do we want to build or achieve together over the next 15 years? That’s the big question that we’re collectively trying to answer using research and through community discussions. It’s easy to get lost in the jargon and the complexity of this ambitious process. This post aims to provide a high-level overview of what has been done so far and what to expect next.

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First, I would like to take a moment to think back about what we’ve done over the past 16 years. We started from basically nothing in 2001. Now, Wikimedia sites are among the most visited in the world. We’ve written, compiled, and curated an amazing body of free knowledge including millions of articles, millions of media files, and wikis in hundreds of languages.

We’ve become a community of hundreds of thousands of people working together on “building monuments to other people’s knowledge“, as someone put it during a discussion about the values. It’s easy to focus on the day-to-day routine and lose sight of the impact that we have had on the world, but what we’ve achieved so far is truly remarkable.

Imagining the future

As we reflect back on what we’ve accomplished, we can also ask ourselves: What more can we do? What else should we do in the next 16 years? And so we’ve started thinking about what we want to have done by 2030, because 2030 is a round number and we as humans tend to like round numbers. Thinking about our future is an exercise in imagination, but we’re Wikimedians, so it’s an exercise in imagination based on facts, trends, and sources.

What do we know about the world we’ll be living in in 2030? We know that there will be a lot more people in it, particularly in Asia and Africa. We know that technology will evolve dramatically, notably through mobile devicesrich media, messaging, and new interfaces. We know that it’s currently going to take about a hundred years for children in low-income countries to catch up to the education levels achieved in developed countries. And we know that there is a trend towards a centralization of the internet and a consolidation of power in the hands of a few giant companies, notably in the tech industry.

Photo by Nabin K. Sapkota, CC BY-SA 4.0.

Bringing in new voices

As we’re looking at the trends to consider, we also need to go beyond what we know and who we know. Our vision, what we’re set to accomplish, requires that we realize that we’re not alone. We’re part of an ecosystem, and we need others. We need partners. Those voices will help define our future, because they’re part of it.

This work involves hundreds of interviews, small-group discussions (“salons”), research, and building relationships for future collaboration. The Foundation is notably partnering with Reboot in Indonesia and Brazil to conduct research that is complementary to what was done with the New Readers program in countries where Wikimedia isn’t as well known as what we’re used to. They will interview partners, subject matter experts, and conduct contextual inquiries with readers in their own environment using methods of design research. In parallel, online surveys are being conducted in the places where we are the most popular, to understand how people perceive and use Wikimedia.

This work will inform and complement community discussions with new voices that haven’t traditionally been included in strategy discussions, or that are not yet part of the movement. They can help us identify the global trends that I mentioned earlier as what we should be considering as we discuss our future. For example, scenario planning is going to help us better understand what the world will look like in 2030, notably in terms of demographics, technology, media consumption habits, access to knowledge, and policy.

Some of that has already happened, and it will continue over the next few months. The information will be posted on Meta as it comes in. If you have recommendations of experts and partners in your circles or geographies that would enrich this discussion, you’re welcome to suggest their names on Meta. But more importantly, you can reach out to them yourself. The Foundation can’t do this alone; we are a global and distributed movement, and local relationships are much more likely to bear fruit than a centralized approach. The Foundation has also reserved budget for affiliates who want to run small-group discussions with subject matter experts. If this is something that motivates you, you can contact me and I will direct you to the people who can provide some advice on how to proceed.

Community discussions

This research and outreach will continue to inform the community discussions, which have been going on the past few months. From the first sessions at the Foundation’s all-hands meeting, to on-wiki discussions, to workshops organized by affiliates, to the recent Wikimedia Conference in Berlin, our movement has been buzzing with activity.

When I talk about bringing in new voices, it’s not just about people outside the movement. It’s also about people within the movement who don’t traditionally participate in this kind of discussion. This is why 18 coordinators were contracted to organize and facilitate discussions in many languages, with support from the Foundation’s Community Engagement team. Volunteers and groups have also organized discussions with their communities and affiliates across wikis and off-wiki. This has encouraged many contributors to participate in the discussion by avoiding the “Not my wiki” syndrome.

Some of the processes in the past few years have been more guided, for example by asking for people’s thoughts on the role of mobile devices, and some participants felt too constrained. This time, the discussion started at an earlier stage from a mostly blank page, with a bigger question. It was about imagining the role of the movement and what we would have achieved by 2030.

Many participants enjoyed the freedom that this big question allowed, and contributed insightful responses, resulting in over 1800 statements collected from the various communities. For others, the question was too vague, and they felt that they needed more specific questions to be able to contribute constructively. That’s completely fine, and if that was your case, you will have opportunities to discuss specific topics in more details starting next week.

Photo by Jason Krüger/Wikimedia Germany, CC BY-SA 4.0.

Emerging themes

Until more research comes in, we can take a look at some of the preliminary themes that have started to emerge from the community discussions. The coordinators and many volunteers have started to summarize the discussions to make them more accessible, and a more quantitative analysis will be posted on Meta for translation later this week.

These initial themes won’t be too much of a surprise if you’ve participated in the discussions or been around the movement for a little while. They relate to:

  • collaboration, working together, and partnering with others;
  • fostering a healthy and sustaining community;
  • ensuring content quality, neutrality, and reliability;
  • partnering with the education sector;
  • serving emerging communities and building a global movement;
  • ensuring that we stay relevant through innovation in technology and product;
  • acknowledging and filling knowledge gaps and biases;
  • organizations, governance and structures;
  • languages, diversity, and inclusion;
  • supporting new and experienced contributors;
  • defending our values.

These are just preliminary and are likely to change as more research comes in and discussions happen. Some of them are less about imagining a future and more about how to get there. They may become more actionable later in the year when we start talking about roles, structures, and practical implications.

A closer look at the themes

Now, I’ve mentioned that not everyone feels comfortable with big questions about imagining the future, and that’s completely fine. People think in different ways. Some need the freedom to explore their thoughts based on a short prompt; others need to focus on more specific topics and issues to really be able to think about what they mean.

And that’s what we’re all going to start doing in about a week. Right now, the team is starting to organize all the information that has emerged so far and preparing deep discussions about the main topics. Maybe you’re really interested in content gaps and biases; or moving beyond the model of the western encyclopedia; or possible business models across the movement; or fostering a sustainable and healthy community. You will have the opportunity to research and discuss these topics in detail.

If you haven’t participated until now, or if you’ve felt that you didn’t have anything to contribute, I encourage you to look out for the topic discussions that will start in a week. Together, we will begin to make sense of all this information and organize it into something that describes the direction we are imagining for our movement.

Photo by Carlos Matos, CC BY 2.0.

Reach out if you have questions

I know it’s easy to get lost in the process and the jargon, so I want to extend an invitation to anyone who is confused or has questions about this project. No matter how busy anyone seems to be, there is time to answer your questions and hear your concerns. If you don’t reach out about what isn’t working for you, the team can’t adjust.

If you don’t know who to contact, you can email me and I’ll redirect you to the appropriate person. You can also book a slot directly in my calendar.

This is exciting

I want to finish by saying that this is about your future. It’s exciting. And if you’re not excited, be practical. What we decide collectively will impact your work, your priorities, your headcount. Maybe not in the next fiscal year, but it will have an impact down the line. Now is when you need to participate.

So take a look at the information currently on Meta; look out for an announcement next week to join the topic discussions; share relevant research; comment on other people’s analyses; participation can take many forms. Our future will be shaped by those who show up; I hope that you do.

Guillaume Paumier, Senior Analyst, Editing Product
Wikimedia Foundation

Video (Commons, YouTube) by the Wikimedia Foundation, CC BY 3.0.

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Bridging Wikimedia and “education for all” at UNESCO Mobile Learning Week

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Photo by the UK Department for International Development, CC BY 2.0.

Today, one out of every 113 people on the Earth today is an asylum seeker, refugee, or has been forced to move within their own country due to conflict, crisis, or political persecution. Having left their homes and support networks behind, educational opportunities for these people are often sparse to nonexistent.

Before I started working at the Wikimedia Foundation, I supported education projects for Syrian refugees in Jordan. I’ve also worked with refugee teachers and schools in Lebanon and Malaysia. My experiences have made one thing clear: for refugees, education represents stability and gives them hope for the future. In 2016, I wrote about Mahmoud, a young teacher living in the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan. He said:

When I first arrived [to Zaatari], I thought our stay would be temporary, and that soon enough we’d all be back home. When that appeared to be far-fetched… I gathered up the neighbourhood’s children and conducted classes for them. I felt like I needed to help the children, since they weren’t getting their education anywhere else.

 
Late last month, educators, tech professionals, and policy makers came together in Paris for Mobile Learning Week, an annual four-day conference that this year was devoted to people like Mahmoud and the problem of “education in emergencies.” Mobile Learning Week, held at UNESCO‘s headquarters and co-hosted by the United Nations’ High Commissioner for Refugees, examined how information and communication technologies can help provide learning opportunities for these displaced people.

With Wikipedia being synonymous with learning, the Wikimedia Foundation’s Wikipedia Education Program (WEP) engages educators around the world to empower their students to edit on Wikimedia projects—contributing not only to knowledge production, but also to student learning around vital standards in digital and information literacy, and 21st century skills.

We have a lot to offer in terms of helping people globally, from policy makers to classroom teachers, achieve the goal of “education for all.” For the education team, Mobile Learning Week was a golden opportunity to learn more about needs and trends in education technology, advocate for the Wikipedia Education Program, and to foster relationships with potential partners.

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“[Information and communications technologies have] the potential to change the world by promoting access to education and digital skills.” –Brahima Sanou, Director of the Telecommunication Development Bureau

The conference was rife with themes that overlap with our work with the Wikipedia Education Program. Chief among these was the importance of knowledge production—recognizing the value of local knowledge and creating resources that are relevant to the people of a community. The Education Minister of Norway committed to developing a framework for digital literacy that includes components on young people developing their own content, something that several people agreed with. Rosalind Hudnell, President of the Intel Foundation added that “The key is not to just have young people use technology, but to create technology. We need to rethink how education is being delivered. We need to train young people for the jobs of tomorrow. Young people will be job creators.”

A cornerstone of the Education Program is that programs are designed and implemented on a local level, helping to increase contributions to Wikipedias in their local languages and ensure that the participants are invested in them. For example, program leaders in the Philippines hosted Waray language edit-a-thons in local high schools and universities, and in Israel students at a Jerusalem college wrote articles about Shtetls that were destroyed in the Holocaust. In a sense, we are already leading in this field.

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Another major theme of the conference was that of the importance of teacher education, on which there is somewhat of a disagreement on this topic among educators and tech developers. A tech company’s representative said at the conference that “if technology can replace a teacher, then it should”—but for educators, this exemplifies a lack of understanding on what actually happens in schools and classrooms: students are actively taught what is in curriculum, but they also learn what is not in the curriculum, and they each have their own background, needs, preferences, and abilities.

There is no computer program that can replace a good teacher; the problem is that, around the world, putting a good teacher in the classroom is a significant challenge. This is where technology can help, and Mobile Learning Week demonstrated this by highlighting teacher training programs that used simple technology to help teachers meet the needs of their students, even in refugee camps, some of the most under-resourced places in the world.

We can help in this area. One point made by Ita Sheehy, a Senior Education Officer at the UN’s High Commissioner for Refugees, was the importance of improving teachers’ digital competencies. Many students, regardless of background or current status, are digital natives; their older teachers are not. The Wikipedia Education Program improves the digital competencies of educators; this conference has made us think about how this happens and if or how we can measure it.

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One final topic consistently discussed at the conference was the importance of recognizing learning and certification. Steven Duggan, the Director of Worldwide Education Strategy at Microsoft, said that “Formal education cannot bear the strain of the refugee crisis. With informal education everything begins with the teacher. This is why Microsoft provides a global community for teachers to collaborate, with training and free software.”

With Microsoft’s training programs, teachers can become certified on their technologies. I see this as an opportunity for us as well. I hope the education community will think more about what are the competencies needed to successfully use Wikipedia in the classroom, and I hope  my team can strategize a way to certify teachers in these competencies.

The need to recognize learning was reiterated by Roland Kalamo Lyadunga, a refugee learner from South Sudan: “You learn for yourself, but you need to prove to others what you know. A refugee’s life is unpredictable, they need to be able to continue with their education wherever they go.”

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Mobile Learning Week presented the challenges of achieving “education for all” within the context of education in emergencies, and the unique opportunity to use technology to help solve them. The problems and solutions are not only relevant to situations of conflict and crisis, and we have taken away many useful ideas for the Wikipedia Education Program.

Beyond that, it was clear from these discussions that what our program leaders are already doing is addressing some of these problems, and that we need to better measure and communicate our impact.

Nichole Saad, Program Manager, Wikipedia Education Program
Wikimedia Foundation

You can find more themes and outcomes from the conference in our full report in the upcoming edition of “This Month in Education”. More information on Mobile Learning Week—including video streams of the policy forum, presentation documents, and the conference program—can be found on the UNESCO Mobile Learning Week website.

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I realized I was writing for her: mourning my mother through a hundred days of Wikipedia editing

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On the last night I spoke to my mother, Nair Fonseca, I was furiously editing Wikipedia. She had been struggling with a terminal cancer for the last nine months; that night the disease left her irreversibly unconscious. Sitting in a wooden chair at her side, in the midst of a hospital’s intensive-care unit, I was typing as fast as I could on my phone to report abusive editing, provide evidence of misconduct, and call for blocks.

She died two days later. It turned out that my recent editing had not absolved my pain and sorrow.

My mother was an amazing woman. She was a neurologist who got into medical school at a time when Brazilian women were not expected to be doctors. A progressive intellectual, who had to leave to France when the Brazilian military dictatorship hardened. An exile who organized a solidarity committee against human-right violations in Latin America. A vibrant and generous human being.

When she had to quit her practice, as the disease had left her too weak to leave the house unassisted, she decided it was time for a career change —and she dragged me along: she and I co-translated three contemporary sociology books and one from Émile Zola. My mother’s name was .

Wikipedia was not her thing, but she did admire my work. In 2014, each of my students wrote an entry on activists and intellectuals who had been killed by repressive state forces during the military regime. My mother told me about the times she had met some of them and even asked her old friends to proofread some of the articles. We frequently discussed education programs and GLAM initiatives I ran.

Last December, I took up the challenge of writing at least one entry per day on notable women for one hundred days, choosing to focus my attention on feminists, social scientists, and journalists. The challenge is called 100wikidays, and since 2015 when it was launched it has attracted over 200 editors. I did not make a connection to my mother at the beginning, but partway through I realized I was writing for her.

Everyone has their own reasons for joining 100wikidays. My journey was for mourning.

My first entry was the American feminist economist Nancy Folbre, then on the same day social scientist Dorothy Smith. These were stubs. On day three, I wrote about Brazilian activist and author Bianca Santana. I wrote on authors I had read on college and admired: Patricia Hill Collins (day 4), Ellen Meiksins Wood (day 10), Frances Fox Piven (day 15), and Beverly J. Silver (day 16). On day 14, I wrote on Brazilian transgender activist Luiza Coppieters, to whom my mother would have voted for in the 2016 municipal elections if she had been able to go to the election poll. On day 17, I wrote on Phillis Wheatley, the first American slave poet to be published. I had first learned about her in a book my mother and I had translated, The scum of the world [A escória do mundo], by Eleni Varikas.

After that, I wrote a sequence of articles on notable human-right activists and feminists: Argentine journalist Leila Guerriero (day 22), socialist politician Alicia Moreau de Justo (day 31), French sociologist Christine Delphy (day 32), Brazilian gender scholar Berenice Bento (day 44), and journalist Tatiana Merlino (day 52). On day 53, I wrote about Debora Silva Maria, the founder of an organization called Mothers of May [Mães de Maio], that gathers women whose sons—typically black and poor—were killed by the police.

Madeleine Pelletier, on day 54, was life-changing. I couldn’t stop writing on this woman, who was born in extreme poverty, and rose to become the first female psychiatrist in all of France before being sentenced to a mental asylum because she allegedly helped a 13-year-old abort after being raped. I then did a series on Brazilian journalists: Luisa Massarani (day 55), Ana Lucia Azevedo (day 56), Andrea Dip (day 58), Alicia Maria Ivanissevich (day 59), Adriana Carranca (day 61), Elvira Lobato (day 66) and Fabíola Imaculada de Oliveira (day 69).

Day 71 was Ekaterina Mikhailova-Demina, a suggestion from a fellow 100wikidays participant. This heroic Soviet soldier, a medic with their marine corps, went to war against the Nazis and patriarchy at the same time. Estela de Carlotto (day 74) is an Argentine activist who has created an organization called the Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo to find children stolen from activists and illegally adopted during the military regime in Argentina. Then, I translated the biographies of a dozen North-American suffragists, such as Lucy Burns (day 80) and Lizzie Crozier French (day 88). Alice Hamilton (day 96) was the first female professor at Harvard University. On day 99, I wrote on Brazilian journalist Cynara Menezes, who has been a key voice against human-right violations.

The last entry of the 100wikidays challenge is traditionally written on a topic related to Bulgaria, Spiritia‘s—the founder of 100wikidays—country of origin, so I wrote the last entry of this journey on Anastasia Dimitrova, a notable Bulgarian educator.

This intense and disciplined writing experience was an opportunity to empathize, connect, reflect, and situate my individual pain in a broader experience. I did not write an entry on my mother, I wrote for her 103 articles in 100 days. I was able to miss her without anger at least once a day for 100 days.

I do not feel I could start a second round of 100wikidays right now, as this was an especially deep experience for me. But as I told Spiritia: I will be back.

João Alexandre Peschanski, Wikimedian

All photographs courtesy of João Alexandre Peschanski.

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Community digest: Serbian Wikipedians look back at WikiLive 2017; news in brief

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Photo by Ivana Madzarevic, CC BY-SA 4.0.

On April 8–9, 2017, members from the Wikimedia community in Serbia, Wikipedia editors, and project volunteers gathered for the third WikiLive conference. WikiLive is an annual Wikipedian conference in Serbia, where we look back at our projects in the previous year to celebrate the success and learn from the challenges we have overcome.

Day one sessions were dedicated to studying the success factors in community projects like the Wikipedia Education Program, the Wikipedia ambassadors role and writing contests, along with brainstorming to find solutions for problems like vandalism on Wikipedia.

The conference was an opportunity to learn from other communities, and the success stories shared during the sessions included projects from Macedonia and Bulgaria.

Experienced Wikipedia editors led a workshop on how to maintain diversified content on Wikipedia and engage more people in the community. The workshop was followed by an opening workshop on the basics of editing.

Photo by IvanaMadzarevic, CC BY-SA 4.0.

The editing workshop was mainly attended by teachers who were interested in integrating Wikipedia in their courses. The workshop attendees were keen to attend the second day of the conference in order to learn more about the Wikimedia projects.

Introductory workshops and follow-up discussions formed the second day of the program, where the participants had many questions answered: What motivates a volunteer to keep contributing, what is GLAM, what is the role of libraries, how does Wikidata work and what are the creative commons licences are all some examples of the workshop takeaways.

During the event, Darko Gajić received the “Branislav Jovanovic” award for his contributions in free knowledge sharing. The award is given out by Wikimedia Serbia every year in memory of Jovanovic, the former Wikipedian and vice president of Wikimedia Serbia.

Participants who came from all parts of Serbia gave positive feedback at the end of the conference.

“Gathering community members isn’t always easy,” says Filip Maljkovic, president of Wikimedia Serbia, “but to gather active participants, who contributed to many topics, is absolutely amazing. We heard so many interesting ideas and saw enthusiasm about contributing even more to all Wikimedia projects. These kinds of events are perfect to feel the spirit of the community.”

Wikimedia Serbia hopes that the annual local WikiLive conference will soon become regional in character, connecting and reaching even more editors in this part of the world.

Ivana Guslarevic, Communications Manager
Wikimedia Serbia

In brief

Photo by Bachounda, CC BY-SA 4.0.

Wikipedia student editors in Algeria celebrate their success: Participants in the Wikipedia Education Program in Hassiba Ben Bouali chlef University in Algeria celebrated their second successful edition of the program. During the term, which lasted from September 2016 to April 2017, over 200 students joined the program. Student editors worked with their professors on expanding Wikipedia articles in the field of their study. Photos from the event are on Facebook and contribution statistics are on the outreach dashboard.

French Wikipedia blocks hundreds of bot-created accounts: Yesterday, hundreds of user accounts were created by an internet bot (software application that runs automated tasks) on the French Wikipedia. All of the new accounts were blocked by the community before making any changes on Wikipedia. More details on the French Wikipedia administrators noticeboard (in French).

Wikimedians in Ghana kick off a large archives project: The Wikimedia community in Ghana is starting a project to digitize a large collection of documents that will be released to the public. Ghanaian Wikipedians will collaborate with Open Foundation West Africa and the Public Records and Archives Administration Department (PRAAD) in Ghana.

Wikipedia Morocco day: WikiProject Morocco is organizing a day for editing Morocco-related articles. Participants will be editing only about Morocco for 24 hours on 1 May 2017. The project page on the Arabic Wikipedia includes several lists with articles for the participants to work on. The list includes many missing articles and low-quality ones about geography, history, religions, and many other topics. The day is open for participation on Wikipedia in different languages, however, the project page is only available in Arabic (as of publishing time). Wikipedians from around the world are highly encouraged to start the project in their language and coordinate with the organizers on the relevant talk page.

Metrics and activities meeting: The Wikimedia Foundation monthly metrics and activities meeting will be held on Thursday, 27 April, 2017 at 6:00 PM UTC. The theme of the April meeting is: “Wikimedia for the world” (part 2) – aiming at understanding how the foundation can better serve and include people around the world in the Wikimedia movement. The organizers chose to use this theme for the April meeting as they more relevant stories from around the globe. Information on how to participate can be found on Meta.

Compiled and edited by Samir Elsharbaty, Digital Content Intern
Wikimedia Foundation

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Sharing a live experience of the world: Luis Álvarez

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Video by Kameraprojekt Graz, CC BY-SA 4.0. Music and sound effects by Luis Álvarez.

I would like more people to upload sound files with the sounds of the streets, the sounds of animals, the music they hear in the places where they live, soundscapes such as Murray Schafer … but with sounds of markets and squares. Sounds are alive and part of humanity; if we share them, we give them more life.

 
Since joining the Wikimedia movement three years ago, Luis Álvarez has contributed thousands of edits on the Spanish Wikipedia, in addition to photos that he took and uploaded to Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository.

Furthermore, he has invested much time in recording and uploading different types of audio files. His sound contributions include self-composed music that accompanies educational videos (like the one above), ambient sounds that can add life to relevant Wikipedia articles or be remixed for different purposes, sound effects that he made, sonic experiments, recording public domain music performances, and more.

Separate from his composing, Álvarez is a university teacher at the Autonomous University of Aguascalientes. He is presently working on his PhD in Sociocultural Studies.

Álvarez learned about Wikipedia and its sister projects while studying for his first university degree in communications. Later on, he became more interested in the culture of sharing and decided to devote more time to it.

“Upon starting my postgraduate studies, I immersed myself in studying the Remix phenomenon,” Álvarez recalls. “I started with music and sounds, but then I realized that there are other communities doing the same thing in other fields, like free software and remixing videos. I was searching for a project with a more stable community that was creating a valuable product. When I met the Wikimedia community in Mexico, I felt that it could be what I was looking for.” He continues:

I became part of that community, which has changed my life completely. I used to like the idea of sharing what I did, and learning from what others did, but now I can practice it every day by uploading files, editing and creating articles.

 

Álvarez at Wikimedia Conference 2016. Photo by Jason Krüger, CC BY-SA 4.0.

Álvarez’ use of audio files has developed from “recording sounds and mixing them with music, poems, or any other sound,” to using sound as a documenting tool. A quote from the American composer John Cage has really resonated with him: “When I hear traffic, the sound of traffic—here on Sixth Avenue, for instance—I don’t have the feeling that anyone is talking. I have the feeling that sound is acting. And I love the activity of sound.”

An illustration of sound as a documenting tool can be found in Wikipedia’s article on the Church of San Marcos, where Álvarez added a recording of the church bell. The sound gave a dynamic tone to the article.

“I would like more people to upload sound files,” Álvarez explains, “with the sounds of the streets, the sounds of animals, the music they hear in the places where they live, soundscapes such as Murray Schafer … but with sounds of markets and squares. Sounds are alive and part of humanity; if we share them, we give them more life.”

Some of the pieces of music Álvarez made for projects outside the Wikimedia movement were uploaded by him to Wikimedia Commons. “I try to upload samples or several tracks that compose one musical piece to make them easier to reuse,” he explains.

So far, Álvarez has uploaded over 5,000 files to Wikimedia Commons, of which nearly 150 are audio. Different media outlets have used some of his photos, but he is frustrated that they often don’t attribute this work to him. “I write to them to rectify this, not only because I want the recognition, but to help them understand that identifying the author is part of … the culture of sharing,” says Álvarez.

To Álvarez, free knowledge sharing is not only providing an easier option for knowledge seekers; it is a way to give everyone the opportunity to stand up for their unique views.

“We have been told that we must be spectators,” says Álvarez, “when we can also be ‘spect-actors’ as Augusto Boal, founder of the Oppressed Theater, said. Being part of history is what allows us to share; and though it seems trivial, uploading a photograph that we like or a sound that evokes a feeling helps this community grow.”

Samir Elsharbaty, Digital Content Intern
Wikimedia Foundation

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Could posting about women’s history grow our female audience for the future?

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When I was a journalism student, Soledad O’Brien was one of my heroes, so getting a comment from her for this blog post was both exciting and sobering. Even this defiant newscaster, who refused advice to change her ethnically mixed name for the sake of television, butts heads with the gender gap on Wikipedia.

Personally, I see it every day.

As a member of the Wikimedia Foundation’s Communications team, I post biographies from Wikipedia on Facebook, Twitter, and the Wikimedia Blog. I post about inventors of cinema, a philosopher who laughed to death, and a musician who turned the world a little more purple with his music and very blue with his death.

You might notice that all of those examples were men. There’s no harm in posting about a man, in and of itself—but when you add it up, you find that as of 2016, only about one in six Wikipedia biographies were of women. High-quality biographies about women, especially those in fields outside of the entertainment industry, are relatively scarce.

Our Facebook page, followed by 5.5 million people, reflects this in its audience. Of those 5.5 million, 71 percent are men to 29 percent women (as of March). We gained more men than women even during Women’s History Month in 2015—an additional 54,615 of them, to be precise.  If we lose ground then, when can we possibly make a dent in the gender gap of our Facebook fan base?

Why does that matter? Facebook is where we reach people who like Wikipedia, but may not yet be aware of the Wikimedia movement, how it works, and ways to get involved. It’s a window into our movement disguised as a showcase of our content. Last year’s Women’s History Month, seemingly a perfect opportunity to post about and reach women, was a disappointment. Posting profiles about notable women to a heavily male audience drew catcalls and even death threats.

We have our work cut out for us when it comes to building an inclusive environment that welcomes everyone, regardless of gender. We can do better—and we did, with some help from Rosie Stephenson-Goodknight, the 2016 co-Wikipedian of the Year. When we featured Rosie in an experimental Facebook post promoted to women during December’s English-language fundraiser, we weren’t quite sure what would happen. At worse, we expected to get at least some likes for the post. But then something unusual happened: more than 1,400 women followed our page. Any page that would promote Rosie was apparently good enough for them, and it showed that we weren’t reaching women who wanted to like us, who wanted to join the Wikimedia movement in their own way.

This led us to a simple question: if a promoted post of Rosie alone could make a difference in our demographics, what would happen if we spent all of Women’s History Month promoting posts of biographies of women? Could a modest budget of less than $50 a day break through to women we weren’t reaching?

We asked the Facebook community for suggestions and featured notable women from more than 20 nations. One of those women was Mónica Mayer, an artist and activist who co-founded Mexico’s first feminist art collective, whom we featured on March 24. In 2015, Mayer took her first foray into Wikipedian culture by organizing an editathon to improve biographies of Mexican women feminists and artists last year. A gender-gap activist adding articles about women to the Spanish Wikipedia.

We posted about remarkable women all month—and not all were saintly. We posted about teenage Nobel Peace Prize winner and Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai, but also deadly accurate Soviet sniper Lyudmila Pavlichenko. We posted about controversial writers Chimamanda Ngozi Adichi and Ayn Rand.

Of course, we received some of the same old derailing questions we used to, like  “when is Men’s History Month?” (Note: International Men’s Day is in November, as you can learn on Wikipedia. The article is more than 7,000 words longer than Women’s History Month, and nearly 6,000 words more than International Women’s Day.)

Read that a dozen times. It may make you question your faith in what you’re doing. Luckily we spoke to journalist Leslie Stahl, who urged young women especially to find work that resonates with them.

Further encouragement came from Susan Wojcicki, the CEO of YouTube who was once described by Time as the most powerful woman on the internet.

Here at the Wikimedia Foundation, we don’t have the power to legally modify dollar bills. (Although as a non-profit, we gladly accept them.) But we can support Wikimedians like Rosie when they organize edit-a-thons, and we can help increase visibility for inspirational projects like WikiProject Women in Red.

Still, while the motives may be there, did it work? Did all of this effort help close the gender gap by even a little bit in our Facebook audience? We weren’t sure what to expect. When you have 5.5 million followers, making a good-sized dent would require a lot of people. Our worst fear was that we would lose ground again, like in 2015.

That didn’t happen. In this year’s Women’s History Month, the gender gap on Wikipedia’s Facebook page shrank by 100,224 – we picked up that many more women fans than men during March. And the conversations about women’s history changed dramatically as women liked, shared, and commented on the page 30 percent more than men, a 70 percent change from the month before.

A social media campaign does not magically “fix” the gender gap on Wikipedia. As of publishing time, we’re still 68% percent men to 32% percent women.   Still, we feel it makes clear improvements. Changing the conversation within our community—making Wikipedia feel less like a “boy’s club” and more like a free market of knowledge—invites more critique, more collaboration, and more participation.

Aubrie Johnson is a social media associate on the Wikimedia Foundation’s communications team. If you follow us on Twitter and Facebook, you have read her writing many times.

The images of O’Brien, Stahl, and Wojcicki are all courtesy of the respective subjects. The image of Mónica Mayer is by Iván Martinez/Wikimedia Mexico, CC BY-SA 4.0. The images in the gif are all in the public domain.

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Editing will temporarily pause for a failover test

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Photo by Hong Zhang, public domain/CC0.

During the next month, all Wikimedia wikis will be placed into read-only mode for a short period on two days. This action will allow the Wikimedia Foundation’s engineers to test services in the secondary data center in Texas (referred to as “codfw”) and to do planned maintenance.

The secondary data center is a replica of our primary cluster in Virginia.  The main purpose of this data center is to improve the reliability and failover capabilities of Wikipedia and all of our sites for users around the world.  Both data centers maintain full, up-to-date copies of the databases for Wikipedia and other projects, plus many other services.  In case of any type of disaster at the primary data center in Virginia, the Technical Operations team expects to be able to transfer all traffic to the secondary data center in Texas within minutes.

Upcoming test

We are planning a test to find out how quickly and reliably we can transfer all application server traffic and tightly coupled service dependencies to the secondary data center. Teams in Technology, and several outside of it, first performed this type of test in April 2016. Since then, the Technology department has improved its procedures and automated several steps, and we are now planning to run this test for a minimum of two weeks.  This two-week window should also permit us to do some planned maintenance at the primary server site. At the end of the test period, we will transfer all of the traffic and services back to the primary service center again.

The process of switching data centers is scheduled for Wednesday, 19 April at 14:00 UTC and Wednesday, 3 May at 14:00 UTC.  Any changes to this schedule will be noted on our Wikitech calendar.

Effect of this test on editors and other contributors to our sites

Ideally we’d make this switchover without affecting our users, but limitations in MediaWiki, the software that powers our wikis, prevent that at this time.  When we switch from one datacenter to the other, we will have to place all wikis in read-only mode for a short time. We expect this step to take approximately 20 to 30 minutes each time.

During those weeks, we will also be halting all non-essential code deployments. This means that the regular MediaWiki deployment process will be stopped, and no other non-critical deployments will be done during the two test weeks.

The process for this test is complex, but we learned a lot from doing this last year, and we are hoping to make this process even simpler, faster, and more secure in the future.  We hope to not only greatly reduce the disruption for our users and the time needed to make the switch, but also to reduce the amount of manual effort necessary.  We appreciate your patience while we improve this essential infrastructure that helps us to keep useful information from the projects available on the Internet, free of charge, in perpetuity.

Faidon Liambotis, Principal Operations Engineer

You can read about a previous similar and successful failover test in a blog post from April 2016.

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Why I spend my Sundays photographing Kolkata

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Photo by Rajashree Talukdar, CC BY-SA 4.0.

One thing I remember very clearly from my childhood was how my parents would search for books that I would find interesting and engaging. Avid readers themselves, the books they bought for me would only added to all of the ones we already had. Still, they used to spend hours in College Street, the one stop place for book lovers of Calcutta (now Kolkata) to find the right one for me.

I now understand that my parents wanted me to start with books that had beautiful illustrations and lots of images. They knew that I would find them fascinating, and the books would help me learn how to read.

I have to confess that they were absolutely right.

When I look back and go through the books my parents gave me, they were mostly folktales with dramatic illustrations or children’s general knowledge books, full of bright and colourful images. (At this time, the internet had yet to arrive and encyclopedias were simply too expensive.) So these books were our gateway to the world of fascinating facts and virtual voyages: I came to know about Machu Picchu, the great pyramid of Giza, the leaning tower of Pisa, and many more such places. And without the stunning images accompanying the articles, it would have been difficult for me to visualize those beauties, if not impossible.

Affordable internet for domestic use arrived in our city when I was in college in the early 2000s. Along with small wonders like email and instant messaging, we learned about internet searching. Although the results were rarely as informative as we can all get today, they were enough to keep us hooked. We were learning new things every day, and that is how we came across a new site on one particularly fine afternoon: Wikipedia, the online free encyclopedia.

Before Wikipedia, encyclopedias were fat volumes of leather-bound books. Wikipedia would go on to change many conceptions, but at the time was unable to fully impress me. On the one hand, I was excited to find an article about our hometown; on the other, I was disappointed to see a sheer lack of images.

Over time, Wikipedia became more and more of an everyday online activity, and I watched as the number of articles about places near me were created and expanded. Still, there were never enough images to satisfy me.

Photo by Sumit Surai, CC BY-SA 3.0.

Then came a day out of the blue that changed a lot of things in my life. I joined a photowalk called Wikipedia Takes Kolkata, the second to be held in the city, and uploaded several photos from it. Several months later, I found that one of them was added to an article on the English Wikipedia. That feeling, that someone values your work enough to add it to a page read by thousands of people each year, is hard to explain. That I contributed to beautify an article about a place in our city was a huge for me.

I was already going out on weekends to capture snapshots of my city, particularly the lesser-known places like heritage buildings, for my blog. Transitioning this to Wikimedia Commons was not an incredible change of pace, and my subject areas slowly grew larger to include street scenes, foods, holiday destinations, festivals, and events. I donated any image that I thought could hold educational value to Commons.

But the question of what has motivated me to continue contributing photos is still interesting to me. I am not a professional photographer. It is not my primary source of income, although I do get paid occasionally. So why do I give them free to Commons?

There are many reasons:

  • I don’t think keeping unused images squirreled away on my hard disk would do anyone good.
  • If I can share them on social media, then why not on Commons, where they can be put to good use? My images help make the articles about things close to me beautiful.
  • I feel that the images I’ve uploaded to Commons are safe from hardware crashes. They are there at the highest uploaded resolution, where I can re-download them again whenever I want to.
  • They have a copyright license I agree with, and when they are used elsewhere, I get credit. I have allowed them to be used freely, but I will always remain the creator.

But I have to admit that I’ve felt the most rewarded when my images started getting “quality” and “featured” status. These markers adorn the best images Commons has to offer, and they are awarded only after undergoing a voting process where Wikimedians from all over the world offer their opinions. That they would select my photos has given me a lot of confidence—whatever we do in our lives, appreciation and recognition are things that make the road ahead much smoother, and these quality badges have motivated me both on and off Wikimedia.

Sumit Surai, Wikimedian

You can see Sumit’s best photos on Wikimedia Commons.

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Community digest: The UNESCO Challenge aims to help preserve World Heritage Sites; news in brief

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Photo by Diliff, CC BY-SA 2.5.

There are over 1,000 heritage sites in the world: the Egyptian pyramids, the Great Wall of China and the Colosseum of Rome are just a few examples. Many of the most visited monuments in the world are listed under UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites. We need your help to make sure that there is adequate information about them on Wikipedia.

The UNESCO Challenge is a writing competition on Wikipedia where the participants will create and improve articles about heritage sites in different languages. The competition starts on the International Day for Monuments and Sites on 18 April and lasts for one month.

The event is organized by Wikimedia Sweden (Sverige), the independent chapter that supports Wikimedia projects in Sweden and is working with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

In addition to the participant efforts in writing, UNESCO will release images of the World Heritage Sites on Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository. Moreover, freely-licensed information about the heritage sites will be provided by UNESCO. The material contributed by UNESCO can be used by the UNESCO Challenge participants to help expand and illustrate their articles.

Anyone can join the UNESCO Challenge. To participate, a Wikipedia editor will need to register their name on the project page, pick a heritage site from the list to write about (preferably those most at risk), and start editing. Participants can edit in any language on Wikipedia.

Competitors will get points for the content they add, more points for newly created articles, and much more for high-quality content. The more points a participant earns, the more of an opportunity they have to win.

Wikimedia Sverige and UNESCO are collaborating on the Connected Open Heritage project. Many of the world heritage sites are facing critical dangers of war, climate change, lacking maintenance and more. To make sure that the most thorough and accurate information about world heritage sites is preserved for future generations, we are helping collect as much data, images and information as possible.

You can make a change by expanding an article, updating its information, or adding an image. You will increase the coverage of the world heritage sites, win fabulous prizes from the Wikimedia store, and gain recognition for your work.

Eric Luth, Project Manager
Wikimedia Sweden (Sverige)

As the images are being uploaded, you will be able to find them in Category:Images from UNESCO 2017-04 on Commons.

 In brief

Photo by Mardetanha, CC BY-SA 4.0.

Wikipedia Education Program pilot starts in Iran: The Wikipedia community in Iran held introductory workshops to the students and educators of Shahid Chamran University in Ahvaz. The workshops helped answer the audience questions about Wikipedia in addition to giving practical training on simple editing techniques.

Cannabis project celebrates 420: Every year on April 20 (“420”), users of cannabis—perhaps better known by its derivative marijuana—celebrate the plant. This year, the English Wikipedia’s WikiProject Cannabis is organizing an inaugural “420 collaboration” to inspire the creation and improvement of cannabis-related content on Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects.

The campaign will be held from April 15 to April 30, with an emphasis on 420 itself. Organizers Jason Moore and User:The Hammer of Thor emphasize that they are looking for “neutral, appropriately sourced facts”: “We want Wikipedia to have accurate and reliable information about cannabis,” they said. You can learn more about this initiative on their campaign page.

Board elections open: Self-nominations are now being accepted for the 2017 Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees Elections. In these elections, the Wikimedia community will select three board members for the term of 2017-2020.

The The Board of Trustees is the ultimate governing authority of the Wikimedia Foundation and the decision-making body responsible for the long-term sustainability of the Foundation.

Self-nominations are being accepted until 20 April 2017. Information about the elections and the timeline are available on meta.

Library of Congress releases photos of 19th-Century African American women: The Library of Congress held a project to digitize photos of many African American women activists with little fame from the nineteenth century. The portraits collection from William Henry Richards, includes advocates for African American rights, some of the earliest African American educators and more.

Wikipedians have already started uploading the photos to Wikimedia Commons and using them to illustrate the relevant Wikipedia articles.

Picture of the year competition final round is open: From now through 20 April, Wikipedians will vote for the 2016 photo of the year. The final round started on April 7 where only Wikipedians with some editing history are entitled to choose up to three photos. More information and voting are available on Wikimedia Commons.

First periodical newspaper in India is now on Wikimedia Commons: Azdarar was the first periodical newspaper to be published in India, however, it was issued in Armenian language between September 1794 and February 1796. Wikipedian Bodhisattwa Mandal uploaded a copy of all the Azdarar 18 volumes to Wikimedia Commons.

Looking back: In 2014, the Wikimedia community lost the dedicated Wikipedian, educator, and community leader Adrianne Wadewitz. Three years after her death, Wikipedians are still recalling their memories with her and leaving tribute messages on her talk page on Wikipedia.

Beginner editors workshop in Cairo: Last week, Egypt Wikimedians user group held an introductory workshop for those interested in editing Wikipedia to help them understand basic editing skills.

New Wikimedia project: The Eastern Punjabi Wikisource has been approved as the newest Wikimedia project. The catalyst for the project came during the Wikipedia 15 celebrations held last year, and as of publishing time the site has 777 total pages. Satdeep Gill, co-founder of the Punjabi Wikimedians user group, told us that “this project starts a new journey for the digitization and free online distribution of published works in Punjabi language.” It will fill a needed niche, he says, as the Punjabi language has no centralized online library for freely licensed works, assuming that they are even online.

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Compiled and edited by Samir Elsharbaty, Digital Content Intern
Wikimedia Foundation

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You can go anywhere on the Wikimedia projects, but where is Wikimedia going?

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The Wikimedia movement is building a bridge to our future. We hope you will join us. Photo by Thomas Wolf, CC BY-SA 3.0.

Wikipedia started as a simple idea: an online encyclopedia that was open for anyone to contribute, freely. And without any particular plan, we grew into a constellation of individuals, activities, and organizations. That simple idea—that everyone should be able to freely share in knowledge—proved to have a gravity of its own, pulling brilliant minds and institutions into its orbit. A remarkable movement built up around us.

Today, the Wikimedia projects are among the most beloved and popular websites in the world—and the largest collaborative knowledge resource in human history. Hundreds of millions of people visit the Wikimedia projects every month. Our global movement includes millions of volunteers who have edited over time, more than 100 affiliates, millions of donors, and thousands of partner institutions around the world.

We believe our mission is as important as it is ever been, because we believe free knowledge is more important than ever.

Today, the Wikimedia projects can take you almost anywhere—but where is the Wikimedia movement itself going? How will projects like Wikipedia change over the next 15 years? What do we want to achieve together? To answer those questions, the Wikimedia movement has launched Wikimedia 2030: a global discussion to define Wikimedia’s future role in the world. Our goal is to come together as a movement—contributors, affiliates, readers, donors, partners—around a direction that will guide our work over the next 15 years.

Everyone who values Wikipedia and the other Wikimedia projects is invited to participate. You can find more opportunities to join us at the end of this post.

Video by Victor Grigas, CC BY-SA 4.0. You can also view it on Vimeo or Youtube.

Wikimedia belongs to all of us. We all have a stake in the future of Wikimedia.

Wikimedia has experienced tremendous growth over the last 16 years. This growth has been possible because of an open model that allows anyone to participate. Because of this, Wikipedia belongs to everyone.

Much of the world has come to rely on free access to neutral, reliable information on Wikimedia projects. We as a movement have a responsibility to sustain and protect that access. We also have a responsibility to respond to the world as it changes, so people in every part of the world can benefit from free knowledge for generations to come.

Wikimedia projects are accessed by more than a billion devices every month, but we know we are serving a small portion of the world’s population. Our projects are available in hundreds of languages, but a majority of our content is concentrated in a small few. Millions of people have access to the Internet, but billions more have yet to come online. The web is better populated, but it is also more commercial. We have more sources of information, but fewer common truths.

These are challenges and opportunities, and our vision calls for us to engage them. We believe in a world in which every single human can share in the sum of all knowledge. Over the next 15 years, we want to get closer to that vision by coming together as a movement around a shared direction.

Charting the path of our movement

Movements work together, plan together, and align together around core values. So do we. Movements also affect significant social change. And for many people, that is what we do as well. We drive change towards greater openness, greater sharing, a richer commons, more knowledge available to more people. At their best, movements take advantage of their power and engage directly with their weaknesses.

#Wikimedia2030 is designed to be inclusive of many voices from every part of the globe, whether you are an editor, reader, affiliate, partner, or donor. The process will engage people across a variety of channels, including on-wiki discussions, in-person events, individual interviews, qualitative and quantitative research, and more. We hope that anyone who is interested can engage in their own way, and gain something from the process.

In this process we have five goals:

  1. Identify as a movement a cohesive direction that aligns and inspires us all on our path to 2030.
  1. Build trust, goodwill, and alignment within our movement. Participate in a legitimate, transparent, open process based on shared power, not hierarchy.
  1. Better understand the people and institutions that form our movement, those we are not yet reaching, and how their needs may change over the next 15 years.
  1. Build a shared understanding of what it means to be a movement, how others outside of us can take part, and what it will take to increase our movement’s impact. Unite around how to grow to achieve our vision.
  1. Build relationships to expand and enrich our movement and prospective partners.

Over this calendar year, we will be hosting conversations about our vision for the future. We will be conducting research on the current and potential future for free knowledge around the world. We will engage volunteer contributors, movement affiliates, readers, donors, institutions, and experts who have a stake in free knowledge. We will challenge our assumptions and learn from each other. Just like on Wikipedia, we will chart our path through open dialogue, fact-based information, and iteration.

By this year’s Wikimania, being held in Montreal in August 2017, our aim is to have consensus around a number of themes that will culminate in a strategic direction for our future. This will help frame a discussion on how we work together moving forward.

Engaging people in hundreds of languages and locations is a monumental undertaking.

Coming to consensus on a long-term strategic direction for a global movement that supports some of the world’s most beloved websites is no small feat. With that in mind, our movement has put time, resources, and energy into building a process that will work for our unique needs. We started to design the process behind Wikimedia 2030 in July, after the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees tasked the organization’s leadership with developing a plan for facilitating a discussion on the future of Wikimedia.

We assembled a core strategy team to shepherd the overall process and keep all groups involved and engaged. This core team includes williamsworks, a strategy consulting firm with more than a decade of experience working with nonprofits, companies, and philanthropists around the world. It also includes Wikimedians, affiliate members, and Foundation staff, each with responsibility for different stakeholders. We conducted research on strategy processes from other movements, reviewed Wikimedia’s past strategy processes, and worked in consultation with members of the Wikimedia movement to design this process.

The process for shaping conversations was designed in collaboration with a Community Process Steering Committee composed of volunteers from 10 countries who have deep experience with Wikimedia. With the Steering Committee, we have designed a framework that includes voices from across the movement, over three phases of discussion: (1) discuss the future of the movement and generate themes, (2) identify the top 5 thematic clusters and understand their meaning, and (3) refine the top 3-5 thematic clusters into a cohesive direction and explore their implications.

To organize this movement-wide discussion, we are organizing our conversations across four “tracks” of information sharing and dialogue that meet the unique needs of those different audiences. The tracks include:

  1. Organized groups within our movement, including Wikimedia movement affiliates (chapters and user groups) and committees
  1. Individual contributors to the Wikimedia projects: writers, editors, photographers, developers, and more
  1. Current and future readers and institutional partners in higher awareness regions, like Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Russia, and the United States (for examples)
  1. Current and future readers and institutional partners in lower awareness regions, including countries like Nigeria, India, Egypt, Indonesia, Mexico, and Brazil

Chart by Blanca Flores, CC BY-SA 4.0.

Where we go from here

Our work on Wikimedia 2030 has begun. We started with conversations with volunteer editors and affiliate organizations. The first discussions are underway on Meta-Wiki and taking place at in-person meetups around the world. On dozens of project wikis, and in many offline conversations happening in the coming month, we are asking “What do we want to build or achieve together over the next 15 years?”

Community members from across the movement are engaging in the process already. To date, nearly 20 community coordinators are liaising with local volunteers in multilingual discussions around the world, and 85 affiliate organizations are actively engaged in community discussions. Many of these individuals and groups came together in late March at the Wikimedia Conference in Berlin for facilitated strategy conversations.

In the coming weeks and months, we will hold similar conversations with readers, donors, and partner organizations through events, research, and interviews. Our goal is to understand the key trends that matter to the many stakeholders of our movement, from emerging technology platforms to changing media consumption habits, and welcome people into the process. We will engage experts who have an eye on the future of global knowledge, education, technology, and community building. We will learn from readers around the world about their relationship with Wikimedia projects and what they’d like to see in the future. The information we learn will be incorporated back into community discussions and the overall synthesis process. As always, and in true Wikimedia spirit, we will share everything we learn in public.

We will publish regular updates and share ways to get involved.

How you can get involved

In the coming months we will be sharing many ways to get involved, from social media to online discussions. You have a say in Wikimedia’s future, and we want to hear it! Here are some ways to get involved right now:

Are you an individual contributor, for example an editor, developer, or researcher?

Are you part of an organized group actively engaged in Wikimedia, like a chapter, user group, or committee?

Do you read Wikipedia or use any of the other Wikimedia projects, like Wikimedia Commons, Wiktionary, Wikisource, or Wikivoyage?

  • In the coming months, we will engage Wikimedia readers on our social media channels on Facebook and Twitter. We will ask questions about the future of Wikimedia and launch an essay contest to imagine what Wikimedia will be like in 2030.

Are you with an institution that is a Wikimedia partner or has a stake in the future of the Wikimedia movement?

  • We are speaking with partner institutions through interviews and events over the coming months.
  • If you are a partner institution and want to make sure we speak with you, email wikimediastrategy@wikimedia.org.

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Thank you for helping us move towards a future in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge.

I believe this is the start of many important conversations. I look forward to them and want to thank you in advance for taking part in them.

Katherine Maher, Executive Director
Wikimedia Foundation

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