Imagine you have a CoolIdea
A typical CoolIdea is an idea for a new project which can be described in something like 5-20 words. For example, it may be
- Rodovid is an attempt to create a free familly tree site, that anyone can use. Example of ancectors tree. 32 generations. http://engine.rodovid.org/wk/Special:Tree/5392
- Would not it be cool to print a version of Wikipedia in Javanese and sell it to make big bucks and support the whole project ?
Sometimes, the CoolIdea comes with a little bit more of information, such as a list of interested people, a potential sponsor, a domain name etc... but usually, what qualifies a CoolIdea is that the information provided is limited.
So, the CommunityMember generally comes to Foundation-lATwikimedia.org or writes to boardATwikimedia.org and provides his CoolIdea.
What happens ?
Typically, someone on the mailing list says "ya, it is a CoolIdea". Possibly, the CoolCommunityMember is sent to meta. For new projects, they will typically be told to go the proposals for new projects page and for new languages to requests for new languages.
Then, someone will tell the CoolCommunityMember to contact the Board. And there, the problems start... because the Board is overloaded and does not really know what to do with a two line proposal. And here is what you get... a dismayed CoolCommunityMember, wondering what to do to have his CoolIdea comes to reality (example).
What should he do?
Transform your CoolIdea in a CoolProject
First, you need to provide a full description of your project. Sometimes, it will be rather short, other times, it will need many details. Past examples were Wikinews proposal or current InstantCommons proposal. Generally, to provide full details, you will have to really look for other interested users. It would be a good idea to include in your proposal data which would justify the interest of your proposal. If it involves technical development, you might check if feasible. If it requires financial investment, suggestions or first contact for sponsors might be cool. As well as a budget. If the project may have legal implications, mention them as well. In short, try to provide something meaty so that a CoolProject is described.
The Special project public mailing list
spcommittee-lATwikimedia.org. Membership is moderated. Posting is also moderated.
What is that channel for ?
It is a channel of *communication* between the committee and the community.
First because it allows people to direct their ideas and project right in the hands of those who should care about them : the committee. This is the way up of the communication act. We can benefit from and centralize the information about projects and people.
Second, people may learn about the way the committee would like them to present an idea or project (budget, people involved, deciding contacts, technical conditions, etc, and point out what's missing for the committee to work), and about our short/medium/long term objectives and priorities ; hence, the channel gives the opportunity to publicly build a sort of policy to avoid from answering unprepared, irrealistic or lunatic spam. This is the way down of the communication act.
Third, it is an extraordinary way to let people meet themselves around a specific project. People whom the committee had no idea they could be interested in that project. People who find themselves ready to give a hand on that project, because it happens they have the right skills, at the right moment, for the right thing. People who are a source for a potential subcommittee. And this is the circular way of the act of communication.