After you have submitted an idea, what comes next? Here are some possible next steps to consider if you want to implement the idea you've created through IdeaLab (or an associated Inspire Campaign).
Start a grant application
If you need funding for your idea, the Wikimedia Foundation offers grants for several different kinds of projects. Typically, two grant programs are a good fit for submissions to IdeaLab: Rapid Grants and Project Grants. All grant proposals must aim to improve Wikimedia projects in some manner. To start your application, you can expand your idea using the buttons at the bottom of your idea page. Which program should you apply for? Here is some general guidance:
- Rapid Grants: Most idea creators that request funding expand their ideas into Rapid Grant proposals. More specifically, applications for Rapid Grants are requests for funding between $500 - $2000 USD for projects up to a year in length. There are some eligibility guidelines that are important to consider before applying, such as restrictions on prizes for contests. Before applying for a Rapid Grant, please review the eligibility criteria.
- Once you have expanded your idea into a proposal, e-mail rapidgrantswikimedia.org to let Wikimedia Foundation staff know that your application is ready to be reviewed. Staff from the Community Resources team will review your grant, ask questions, offer suggestions, and make a funding decision on your proposal. Applications will only be accepted between 1st and 15th of each month, and will be reviewed before the end of the month.
- Project Grants: Projects that require more than $2000 USD in funding must apply for funding through Project Grants. Often (but not always), Project Grants are led by teams, user groups, or chapters rather than individuals. Sometimes, people use Project Grants to pay people for their time for tasks that cannot reasonably be done on a volunteer basis, such as work related to graphic design, ongoing outreach, or professional photography. Sometimes, ideas that receive funding through a Rapid Grant can later grow and apply for more funding through a Project Grant. Before applying for a Project Grant, please review the eligibility criteria.
- Project Grant applications are typically reviewed once or twice a year by the Project Grants Committee, and funding decisions are more selective as the program receives many applications. Please check the main page for Project Grants to learn about the schedule for when applications be accepted and reviewed. If you have questions about Project Grants or are thinking about starting a proposal, please send an e-mail to projectgrantswikimedia.org.
Wikimedia affiliates, such as Wikimedia Deutschland or Wikimedia France, also maintain their own, independent grant programs. Please review this list of affiliate grant programs and check with your affiliate to see if they offer a local grant that could fund your idea.
Start a discussion
Regardless of whether you need funding for your idea, you may be looking for feedback, support, or a team. One way to do this is to start a discussion on your local Wikimedia project. Where should this discussion start? Each Wikimedia project is structured a little differently, but there are a few general places you could consider to start discussing about your idea:
- Policy or process discussion pages: If your idea is related to a specific process, editorial policy, or guideline in your Wikimedia project (such as ones related to deletion), it's best to start a discussion on an associated discussion page to gather attention from relevant contributors and page watchers.
- General community discussion pages: Most Wikimedia communities have a central discussion page for conversations related to any aspect of the project. On Wikidata, it's Project chat. On Wikimedia Commons, it's the Village pump. On Spanish Wikipedia, it's the Café. Each project has its own name for this space, but they generally operate in the same way.
- WikiProjects: There are many groups devoted to particular topic areas related to article content and other themes. For instance, Wiki Project Med is an initiative on many Wikipedia projects related to medicine- and healthcare-related topics. If your idea is closely related to a specific topic area, you can bring attention to your idea by leaving a notice or invitation on the discussion page of a relevant WikiProject.
- Mailing lists: There are many mailings lists active in our movement, and span specific projects, regions, and types of contributions. An overview of Wikimedia mailing lists can be found here. Some mailing lists require you to sign up and be approved by a moderator before sending an e-mail out to the group.
- Social media: Some social media groups, such as those representing user groups or Wikipedia Weekly, are active places to discuss events and programs in the Wikimedia movement. You could consider sending a message to these groups informing them about your idea and what help you might need.
- Individual contributors: You may some be familiar with other contributors who may have experience or skills related to your idea. Starting a one-on-one discussion with these individuals is highly recommended, either on their user talk page or via e-mail. People often prefer to be contacted personally about how they can contribute to a project rather than receiving a general recruiting message, so this approach can be very effective in building a team for your idea. You can also find other individuals generally involved with IdeaLab who can offer help using the Connect space for IdeaLab.
In some projects, a more formal discussion may be required to gather consensus on a change based on your idea before it can be implemented. For instance, Request for Comments is a process on English Wikipedia where a contributor summarizes a proposed change or series of changes, and requests community feedback on whether they support these changes or not. Often, this process is used to make formal changes to project policies concerning article content and conduct. There are some good questions to ask yourself when starting a discussion about your idea:
- Have I explained the rationale behind my idea? Contributors who review your idea may not be very familiar with the problem or issues related to it, so it is important to explain the rationale behind your idea clearly when starting a discussion. In IdeaLab, we ask you to answer What is the problem you're trying to solve? Your response to this question will help you think about how to explain the reasons behind your idea to others.
- What do I want people to do after I tell them about my idea? It's important the readers of your discussion understand what you are asking them to do. If you're looking for people to provide feedback on your idea, link them to your idea and request they provide feedback and specify where they should respond. If you're looking for people to collaborate, it's helpful to explain what kind of help you need, such as someone who can build new templates or has community organizing experience. Whatever your expectations or needs are, be sure that they are clear when you start the discussion.
Start a Phabricator task
If your project is related to building or improving a tool, a gadget, or if it requires any kind of support related to software development, it is important to create an account on Phabricator and to create a task related to your idea. Phabricator is a space where discussions related to software bugs, feature requests, and new software development projects are tracked and maintained. You will be able to discuss the viability of your project and how it could be technically implemented with developers on Phabricator once you create an account and start a task related to your idea.
If you have never used Phabricator before, here is some guidance on how to get started. Video tutorials detailing these steps are also below:
- How to start an account and create a profile
- How to create a task
- Guidance on how to write a good feature request or bug report based on your idea
How to create your Phabricator account
How to fill your Phabricator profile
Creating tasks in Phabricator