Grants:IdeaLab/Inspire Grants – Games for global microcontributions

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki
Inspire Grants – Games for global microcontributions
A competition with prizes for new games that encourage useful micro-contributions to Wikimedia projects
idea creator
Sbouterse (WMF)
this project needs...
project manager
community organizer
created on11:39, 7 August 2014 (UTC)

Project idea[edit]

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

1. Wikimedia projects have lots of small tasks that could be accomplished by new contributors. These tasks can be tedious and difficult to find, however.

2. New experiments aimed at encouraging more contributions from the Global South, women, and other underrepresented folks could help incorporate more new contributors into the movement. So far these haven't emerged organically at any scale.

3. WMF and a few other orgs & individuals in the movement develop most of the software used by contributors. However, Mediawiki is an open-source project, and our API could potentially allow a lot more developers to create stand-alone tools (mobile apps, gadgets, etc) for contributors.

What is your solution?[edit]

What if we ran a global competition with prizes for the best new games aimed at increasing micro-contributions to one or more Wikimedia projects?

Following the lead of projects like Magnus's Wikidata game, The Wikipedia Adventure, and Wikiquiz, this competition would encourage new tools that make it fun and easy to make small contributions to Wikimedia projects.

  • Simple criteria could be created for judging based on agreed-upon metrics for successful contributions.
  • Tools would be registered and monitored during the competition, so that any game with potential to harm a project (ie created bad contributions and more work for volunteers) would be disqualified and turned off.
  • A pool of advisors should probably be made available to the competing teams
  • All tools would need to be stand-along apps or gadgets (using same rules as for other tools grants, nothing that required WMF staff to integrate would be eligible)
  • Multiplier points would be assigned to games that made contributions to more than 1 language, in order to encourage multilingualism
  • Other ways to encourage Global South participation??

This competition could serve as the second pilot for Inspire Grants (which could potentially be focused on any strategic topic).


This Inspire Grant campaign aimed at developing new tools for increasing microcontributions from diverse contributors would:

  • widely source new tools for contribution from developers around the world
  • increase global interest and activity in MediaWiki development
  • encourage more new contributors from the Global South to make more meaningful contributions to a Wikimedia project of their choice
  • aim for at least 2 new tools demonstrating measurable success by July 2015

Activities & timeline[edit]

Definitely not before 1st half of 2015. Soonest timeline might be...

  • Feb/March 2015 - planning
  • April - launch
  • June/July – prizes awarded
  • August – measure outcomes


  • $20,000 from the Individual Grants budget could be set aside to fund prizes for this campaign.
  • WMF's grantmaking department can run much of the operations, and we can house the contest w/in IdeaLab. A judging panel would likely need to include some WMF tech advisors, and there would be some analytics needs as well.

Measures of success[edit]

Contest details[edit]

If we find this idea has legs, this section can be used for brainstorming rules and other contest details.

Get Involved[edit]



  • Gee, that sounds interesting. I am just not taking how such games can contect with Global South, where I would expect less internet contectivity and less time spent on the computer. But definitely wikigames or other low barrier activites (which not necessary are about wp, but on the end it links people to wp) sounds as a good idea:-) Juandev (talk) 18:25, 19 March 2015 (UTC)