Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20/Working Groups/Product & Technology

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Overview[edit]

Keywords[edit]

Platform, engineering, software development

Focus[edit]

  • together with a wider spectrum of stakeholders, map future scenarios for product and technology development;
  • develop structures for continuous communication and ongoing connections between product/technology teams, groups, communities and other stakeholders in the movement and beyond;
  • map the needs and expectations for local technological capacity building.

Rationale[edit]

Wikimedia is striving to become the essential infrastructure in the ecosystem of free knowledge, which has large implications for the future of our product and technology. A lot of strategic work in this context is already happening, and different teams, groups and individuals are working towards making Wikimedia technologically ready for change.

We need to explore future scenarios for how Wikipedia and Wikimedia might continue to evolve, not just as the encyclopedia, but as a dynamic source of free knowledge for the world. Conversations regarding technology, product and platform evolution need to include critical stakeholders in the movement (affiliates, project communities, individual developers, product designers,) to ensure a local and contextual relevance of the change. The structures for strategic conversations beyond feature requests are currently non-existent. The Product and Technology Working Group will serve as a platform to initiate and facilitate these conversations around expectations and needs of the critical stakeholder groups.

Our product relevance to individual languages, communities, and cultures is dependant on our ability to nurture local capacity to adapt and build technologies that suit specific localized user needs. The Working Group will function as an outreach channel for these needs and give advice to the teams who are building the products and technologies for our movement.

Guiding Questions[edit]

These questions are not meant to be answered one-to-one but should help the group frame their own conversations and their consultations with movement stakeholders.

  • What is the future of Wikimedia product and technology and who are the stakeholders that need to be included in this conversation?
  • What are the structures we need to engage with a wider spectrum of stakeholders from the Wikimedia movement and beyond to contribute to these conversations?
  • How can we build local volunteer developer networks and connect them with the local communities they serve to advance our aspiration to become the essential infrastructure in the ecosystem of free knowledge?
  • How must the experience of access, consumption and contribution evolve to engage communities that are currently unserved or underserved?

Mailing list[edit]

wg2030-productandtechnology@wikimedia.org

Members[edit]

Name Organization / project Role Geography
Asen Stefanov Wikimedians of Bulgaria Volunteer Central and Eastern Europe
Christophe Henner Wikimedia Foundation Board member Western Europe
Corey Floyd Wikimedia Foundation Staff member Northern America, Europe
Derick Ndimnain Alangi Wikimedians of Cameroon User Group Founding member Central Africa
Franziska Heine Wikimedia Deutschland Staff member Central Europe
Gergő Tisza MediaWiki developer community Volunteer Central and Eastern Europe
Josh Minor Wikimedia Foundation Staff member Northern America
Kristina Millona Albanian WP Volunteer Eastern Europe
Kate Chapman Wikimedia Foundation Staff Member Northern America
matanya Meta-Wiki, Hebrew Wikipedia Volunteer Western Asia
Perside Rosalie Wikimedians of Cameroon User Group Volunteer Central Africa
RYU Cheol Wikimedians of Korea Board member East Asia
Srishti Sethi Wikimedia Foundation Staff member Northern America
Stephane Coillet-Matillon Kiwix Staff member Western Europe

Resources[edit]

Scope[edit]

Wikimedia Conference 2018 Working Group Report[edit]

Focus of the conversation

The discussions of the technology group at the Wikimedia Conference 2018 varied from specific features and software requirements to more general conversations regarding platform evolution strategy and even the role of Wikimedia technology in society.

What? Who? How?
  • Feature/Software requirements that have strategic implications
    • e.g. how to improve accessibility and inclusiveness
  • Developer ecosystem and governance structures for the technology community and stakeholders
    • e.g. how should users be involved and who should make the decisions?
  • Strategic platform evolution
    • E.g. how do we integrate partners, how can we improve sharing between Wiki projects?
  • The role of Wikimedia technology in society
    • e.g. how can our technology support access to free knowledge and freedom speech?

There was a shared understanding that Working Group discussions need to include diverse stakeholders:

  • Technology experts from and outside of the existing Wikimedia technology community
  • Various types of users (readers, all kinds of wiki editors)
  • Potential users and people who don’t know they are Wikimedians yet
  • People with diverse cultural and legal backgrounds to enrich the conversations

A suggested outline for the Working Group process:

  • Form the group itself and set up a structure for continuous communication
  • Create overview of ongoing discussions
  • Ensure information flow from current leaders of the Wikimedia technology field (WMF and WMDE)
  • Include expert voices (both technology and social sciences experts)
  • Build a structure for community feedback
  • Have decisions be made with common consensus, but with the right for experts to vet unrealistic ones

If you would like to know more details about the Working Group discussions on this theme, please consult the documentation.

Existing materials[edit]

This is a non-exhaustive list. Please add more sources that provide context, background information and insights related to the thematic area.