Grants:IdeaLab/Embrace Fediverse!

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Project idea[edit]

What is the problem you're trying to solve?[edit]

What problem are you trying to solve by doing this project? This problem should be small enough that you expect it to be completely or mostly resolved by the end of this project. Remember to review the tutorial for tips on how to answer this question.
Our community don't only share knowledge and coordinate their efforts through platforms hosted by the Wikimedia foundation. Beyond the problem of scattered communication, there are also issues regarding terms of services of external platforms which might not align with values and goals of our movement.

What is your solution?[edit]

For the problem you identified in the previous section, briefly describe your how you would like to address this problem. We recognize that there are many ways to solve a problem. We’d like to understand why you chose this particular solution, and why you think it is worth pursuing. Remember to review the tutorial for tips on how to answer this question.
Identify needs for which our community is turning to non-WMF hosted platforms, evaluate existing FLOSS alternative solutions, launch official services that fill the identified needs and promote them efficiently to gain adhesion of our current community and beyond through network effects.

Although, this idea don't imply to rely solely on that direction, exploring possibilities offered by federated services such as Mastodon and Matrix are the sensed effective solutions.

Project goals[edit]

What are your goals for this project? Your goals should describe the top two or three benefits that will come out of your project. These should be benefits to the Wikimedia projects or Wikimedia communities. They should not be benefits to you individually. Remember to review the tutorial for tips on how to answer this question.
Provide all communication services needed to coordinate, promote and accomplish our goals, integrated within our infrastructure in a way compliant with our general goals and values, including in their terms of service.

Related resources[edit]

Wikimedia Social: non-profit social networking service ?[edit]

This idea was bringed to IdeaLab following a suggestion to do so. A thread titled "Wikimedia Social: non-profit social networking service ?" was launched in April 2018 on wikimedia-l by Leinonen Teemu. Among others considerations, the following was posted by Quim Gil:

Consider ways to integrate with federated social networks is a good umbrella task. If someone wants to develop the idea of creating a Wikimedia instance in the Fediverse (official or not), then that would deserve its own discussion. Where to start this discussion? IdeaLab? Maybe it doesn't matter as long as we have one place well advertised.

There are at least three aspects to consider:

  1. Technical: Creating i.e. a Mastodon instance somewhere is technically simple, running that instance in Wikimedia production servers is another story. While there is no need to start with a service in production, it is useful to consider the scenario early on.
  2. Legal: Aiming for an official Wikimedia instance has implications of trademarks, legal requirements, and so on. While there is no need to start with an official instance, it is useful to consider the scenario early on.
  3. Social: While creating an instance would be simple, having a critical mass of Wikimedians aware of it and using it regularly is not. There is no lack of brilliant ideas that failed because the people didn't follow. And here you would be fighting against resistance to change e.g. from those believing that Wikimedians should focus on wikis only, from Wikimedians well invested in corporate social networks (Facebook, Twitter, etc) and of course with everyone being "too busy to join another channel". Whoever drives this initiative must be ready to work hard explaining, promoting, supporting...

Bottom line: this would be an initiative relatively simple to start, that has a clear risk of complications coming if it succeeds. Considering that the likely scenario for any new experiment is that it will close in less than a year, I think those complications caused by success is a problem the promoters of this initiative would want to have.

Get Involved[edit]

About the idea creator[edit]

Free/libre culture enthusiast, I contribute to several wikimedia projects, promote them in local and online conversations, and would be delighted to discuss with you, so please come talk to me. Psychoslave (talk) 12:08, 1 September 2018 (UTC)



Expand your idea[edit]

Would a grant from the Wikimedia Foundation help make your idea happen? You can expand this idea into a grant proposal.

Expand into a Rapid Grant
Expand into a Project Grant

No funding needed?[edit]

Does your idea not require funding, but you're not sure about what to do next? Not sure how to start a proposal on your local project that needs consensus? Contact Chris Schilling on-wiki at I JethroBT (WMF) (talk · contribs) or via e-mail at cschilling(_AT_) for help!