I have removed the list of crowdfunding campaigns from the page for the moment. I'm not sure that we should include a list of crowdfunding endeavors at all, but if we do I would strongly recommend that we limit such a list to the campaigns that are actually officially endorsed by a Wikipedia/Wikimedia group. We otherwise invite Wikipedia to be used as an open-season advertising space for any crowdfunding project that can however-tangentially be related to Wikipedia, without any real oversight by this project or the Wikimedia Foundation. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 17:12, 25 November 2014 (UTC)
TenOfAllTrades I do not want to imply any endorsement here, but I would like a place where I can go to see what people are doing. I would like to frame this page as a place to manage oversight, restriction, and control, and not a place to provide advertising and dispense authority.
I expect that already many people have seen any of these projects because Kickstarter and KissKiss are popular and Wikipedia talk pages are unlikely to be seen by more people than the very few (~1000 per year?) who go to the back side of Wikipedia to read pages like this.
If Wikipedians have no place to note projects like this then it seems unlikely to me that there could be centralized discussion of the issue. I admit that happening four times does not make it likely that this will happen more in the future, but this many instances of this happening was enough to persuade me that this kind of activity was worth noting on Wikipedia.
What kind of threshold would persuade you to log these projects in a dedicated place? Blue Rasberry (talk) 18:07, 25 November 2014 (UTC)
The thing is...in the cases where we're not offering endorsement, we're also not able to restrict or control what people do on their own time, independent of Wikipedia. (Beyond the project and Foundation's right to prevent misleading claims or implications about endorsement or association, and the control the Foundation has as a matter of law over their various trademarks and associated intellectual property.) Heck, I don't even know if we should be plugging WMF-chapter-endorsed projects here on enwiki or just on meta, since this sort of thing is kind of out of our project's scope. I would be very, very leery to do anything that even hints that private individuals' personal fundraising projects might have any sort of association with Wikipedia or the WMF. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 18:36, 25 November 2014 (UTC)
TenOfAllTrades I am not sure what I think. I suppose right now I have no opinion about whether there should be notes about Wikimedia endorsements on fundraising projects. Wikimedia France seems to have endorsed the cheese project. The others seem to have no endorsement. I am not sure how I should respond to this information; at least I did not think to make note of it initially, but I am not sure how I would feel if anyone did.
I disagree that "this sort of thing", whatever it is - crowdfunding, public outreach, operating a communications and public relations division - is out of our project's scope because these fundraising projects are influencing our public image. The Wikipedia community and the WMF hardly do any outreach or advertising, so it seems likely to me that the audience which sees these projects might be seeing their first Wikipedia advertising. Whereas if people have a Facebook or Twitter campaign, the public tends to know that there is no Facebook or Twitter affiliation, I think you are right to be worried that the public is likely to perceive a "Wikipedia endorsement" because I have seen that kind of confusion so many times before. Because these projects seem likely to me to influence how people perceive Wikipedia, I would like for Wikipedians to have a place to discuss them. If any number of disclaimers on this page would make you more comfortable then any kind of warning or disclaimer is fine for me.
Perhaps I will think about this for a while, or perhaps I will drop the issue until and unless more people post more fundraising campaigns. I am happy with this page being blanked until something changes but I am not ready to say that it should be deleted, if that is okay with you. Blue Rasberry (talk) 19:25, 25 November 2014 (UTC)
To be honest, I've sort of stumbled into this area incidentally, and I'm probably not qualified or committed enough to this topic to take a major role in developing this page. I'm not an expert in trademark law, nor fundraising strategy, and I don't have any sort of official role with the project—if Wikipedia is to develop crowdfunding policies and guidelines, then it would probably be best to announce the effort more broadly, and to get the involvement of someone with some sort of formal connection to the WMF. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 22:15, 25 November 2014 (UTC)
TenOfAllTrades If you are comfortable supporting this page's existence with almost no content then I am comfortable leaving it blanked indefinitely, or until someone else wants to play here. Of course you are an expert in copyright law and fundraising strategy, or at least, you have more knowledge of these fields than 99% of the world just because you found your way into Wikipedia culture and gained all the expertise associated with being a Wikipedian. I think you raise great points that hardly anyone else would imagine. There is no need for you to be self critical; Wikipedia is at the cutting edge of these things and we make the policy as we like. Contact the WMF if it makes you happy; say anything else if it pleases you. I am content here and have no plans to do more. This is resolved enough right now to suit me and maybe you feel the same way. Blue Rasberry (talk) 01:06, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
I am sharing this information because here also on English Wikipedia there is uncertainty about whether it is okay to talk about crowdfunding of Wikimedia projects. I think that it can be useful to document such projects if someone chooses to do so, but I can understand that others might want the use of Wikimedia community resources controlled to prevent them being misused somehow. Thoughts from anyone? Blue Rasberry (talk) 14:50, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
I do not see crowd sourcing as a big deal. Who made the decision to "moderate" nemo? Now companies and individuals paying to have articles written about themselves and their produces often in a undisclosed manner is a problem. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 17:41, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
I don't know that we (that is, the English Wikipedia) actually have any control or authority – de facto or de jure – over the Wikimedia mailing lists.
As far as I know, there's no rule against at least mentioning Wikipedia- and Wikimedia-related crowdfunding projects on the English Wikipedia, though there are some gray areas. Campaigns which aren't officially endorsed by the WMF or WMF projects need to be very careful to avoid suggesting or implying that they are; campaigns that wish to employ Wikipedia or Wikimedia logos and trademarks (on- or off-wiki) need to make sure they have all the appropriate permissions, etc.
Unofficial, personal, and private campaigns need to avoid excessive self-promotion on-wiki. I don't think there's a problem with established editors mentioning Wikipedia-related campaigns in their own userspace. (I would raise an eyebrow toward new or seldom-used accounts looking for money, though.) WikiProject members would probably be okay to notify other members of their WikiProject-related campaigns, within reason and with restraint. (Again, I would look askance at editors who joined a bunch of WikiProjects and made a flurry of edits immediately before or after their campaign began.)
There is an unresolved question about whether or not notices of crowdfunding campaigns should be permitted on and added to the page Wikipedia:Crowdfunding. If the practice were adopted, I would be concerned about the pontetial (mis)use of the page for advertising and the risk of implied endorsement. Keep in mind that we (Wikipedia and Wikimedia) have little or no control over the behavior of private crowdfunders, or what happens with donations made to unofficial crowdfunding campaigns. I would be somewhat more sanguine about notices related to 'official' campaigns—but I'm not sure what type of approval would be required to grant that type of endorsement. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 20:36, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
TenOfAllTrades I agree with everything you say about crowdfunding. The issue is not clear. I wish to continue collecting information and keeping the page blank and in limbo until someone presses the issue further.
I think that all Wikimedia projects are a bit related, and as the Wikimedia mailing lists exist to benefit stakeholders like users of English Wikipedia, I think that anyone here should be able to comment on policies there and vice versa to the extent that policies tend to synchronize across projects and affect us all.
I do not know how I feel about private crowdfunding campaigns. They are a channel through which the good will and good name of the Wikimedia community could be exploited and I worry about that also. In general, I advocate for stronger ties between Wikipedia activity on- and off-wiki, and if there were some on-wiki endorsement and oversight system for any kind of Wikimedia community project then I would support that, but I am not sure that I would want to suggest that this kind of review was required.
To your second point, I certainly don't disagree that stakeholders in (and users of) the Wikimedia mailing lists certainly should have a say in the way those lists are administered, and in the policies governing the lists' use. My concern was more a procedural one; it's not clear that the core Wikimedia project's denizens would welcome or follow the results of a discussion that took place on enwiki, solely (or even primarily) among enwiki editors. It's political as much as anything—perhaps because enwiki is by far the largest Wikimedia project, there's a desire on the part of some other projects to show that they can't be 'pushed around' by enwiki; there's a tendency towards being contrary for no reason other than to be contrary. (This jealous guarding of local prerogatives at the expense of global harmony, public perception, and common sense is perhaps most conspicuous in interactions with Commons.)
As to developing a local policy on crowdfunding, I'll probably keep this page on my watchlist, but I'm not really interested in taking any sort of lead on it. Most of my involvement in policy creation these days boils down to recognizing when a new policy proposal is going to have unintended consequences and then raining on some poor soul's parade. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 14:55, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
Thanks, I see things as you do. I also am not interested in developing any local or global policy on crowdfunding. Perhaps someone else would someday. Blue Rasberry (talk) 15:12, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.