Talk:Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2017/Cycle 2/A Truly Global Movement

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Latest comment: 6 years ago by Esh77 in topic Other

What impact would we have on the world if we follow this theme?[edit]

I think many able people in West would enjoy wiki editing but have never had the idea of doing it. A massive potential resource. Maybe a few media adverts... JCJC777 (talk) 03:36, 11 May 2017 (UTC)User:JCJC777Reply

Wikipedia's role and newer projects needed[edit]

-- Wikipedia can still attract more audience, but its global impact has already been done. Nonetheless, rural areas and developing countries, especially ones from Africa, still need Wikipedia. This theme won't prevent further governmental censorships on Wikipedia and further petitions to appeal the bans, like Turkey's current censorship on Wikipedia.

However, a few more projects are needed as the Foundation's current projects are challenged by global factors, like slowly stagnating technology, government repression, and anarchic chaos. If Wikijournal, currently part of Wikiversity, becomes a stand-alone website, many academic journals may be affected. Academic journals have been published on paper and online. One can decide whether it's a good or bad thing, but the publications of those paper journals would diminish or remain the same... though not as much as they are currently. Even subscriptions of such journals would be affected. On the plus side, Wikijournal can attract those interested in original research, especially academics, and make people more creative. Whether it would be as successful as Wikipedia is uncertain, but Wikipedia needs more balance and more sister projects.

Also, if NonFreeWiki is established, one can wonder how it would challenge the copyright laws. Nevertheless, I predict that NonFreeWiki can impact the Foundation a lot and can collaborate well with Commons and local wikis, even when the opposition is concerned. Also, it may attract more new contributors a lot. A few other proposed projects still have potential but require more support enough in Meta-wiki to become established projects. --George Ho (talk) 01:18, 13 May 2017 (UTC)Reply

-- I realize the actual nature of NonFreeWiki after re-reading the whole proposal. If it exists by 2030, all local wikis would not be allowed to upload non-free content locally. Also, attracting more contributors would be more difficult than I previously imagined. --George Ho (talk) 04:10, 16 May 2017 (UTC)Reply

The biggest revolution in education, ever[edit]

Everybody wants 2 sell what's already been sold,
Everybody wants 2 tell what's already been told,
What's the use of money if you ain't gonna break the mold?
Even at the center of fire there is cold.
All that glitters ain't gold.
- The Artist Eternally Known as Prince

That's the impact we will have on the world if we follow this theme: The biggest revolution in education, ever.

In the dark ages in Europe knowledge sharing was flourishing, but only in very particular places, mostly monasteries and universities, to which very few people were actually exposed. Knowledge started getting to the masses only during the Renaissance. Its dissemination became wider thanks to Gutenberg and then the Age of Enlightenment in the 18th century. So it started going out of monasteries into the masses—but only in Europe.

By 2001, when Wikipedia started, some countries already had a long tradition of having accessible public information: public libraries and schools, universities, printed textbooks, reference books, encyclopedias, newspapers. By "accessible" I mean that you didn't necessarily have all of it in your home, but if you went to a library, or a paid a reasonable fee, you would get it. Importantly, you would get it in your language. This didn't pop up by itself: It was done by people who were supported by governments and foundations, and in some cases by private enterprises. This covered all of Europe (including Russia and Turkey), most of North and South America, Australia, New Zealand, and some parts of the Middle East and East Asia. The rest of the world, however, was either not covered at all or covered in a very patchy way.

Wikipedia made what was already accessible more accessible. Now you can get most of this information without going anywhere or paying any fees, but simply by tapping on your home computer or pocket phone. And when somebody wanted to write something, they could do it on any computer available in their countries, because they all came with localized software and localized keyboards. This improved accessibility only covers the same areas, however. Wikipedia simply reflects the culture of education and information accessibility of every society.

Where knowledge had been accessible in 2001, it became more accessible. Where knowledge had not been accessible in 2001, it didn't become more accessible, at least not by far. In large parts of Africa, South Asia, Middle East, and some other areas, you still don't have any schools, libraries, or textbooks in the languages that people in these places know, and you still cannot buy a computer or a phone on which you can read and write in these languages. Computers are perceived as something to be used only in English, French, Russian, or another "big" language.

It is easy to be blind to this problem for people who have the privilege of being accustomed to having these things. Even people who live in these places and know English, French, or Russian, become mostly blind to it; once you can read a book and use a computer in a language that you learned, you ignore the fact that it is not accessible to people who didn't, but learning a whole foreign language shouldn't be a part of learning to use a computer. Expecting people to learn big languages is patronizing and mostly unrealistic. It did happen in the past that some cultures transitioned from their languages to other, bigger languages; while this made education more accessible to them (though it didn't necessarily improve their economic situation), it destroyed the indigenous knowledge which was embedded in their language itself. We want to make knowledge accessible, not to destroy it.

So what is to be done?

  • We need to carefully reconsider the stance of supporting only "self-starting volunteers and communities". European Universities, libraries and textbook writing projects were started and completed largely with support from governments, churches, or foundations. Wikipedias in languages that are currently successful wouldn't exist without them. This includes the biggest languages: English, Russian, French, Spanish.
  • We need to understand what knowledge do people need. Animé is great, and so are public policy and geology, but we need to understand whether these are the topics that are useful for the daily life and development of people in the areas where we don't have active communities yet. We don't need to decide for them what is important — we need to learn it from them.
  • We need to realize that in the whole world there are significant differences in infrastructure, culture, language,, lifestyle, and information consumption needs between rural societies and urban societies. The Wikimedia movement is currently good only at serving urban societies, even in "The West". This is a deep topic that needs to be understood and addressed.
  • Some of the things that these people need can be translated from other languages. Having translation tools, like Content Translation (which is still being developed), is just one piece of this puzzle. Some other pieces of the puzzle are:
    • Humans who know a big language, and a small language, and have the skill and the time to translate. They need to be found, trained, and supported. The Bible, for example, was translated to a lot of languages, and this was supported by religious groups. For many languages, a Bible is the only thing written in them. If there are donors who would support translating the Bible to a lot of languages, would there be also donors who would support translating something like "The 5000 Most Important Encyclopedic Articles" to a lot of languages?
    • Keyboards and fonts that support the relevant languages. And they need to be available not only to a small group of people who are involved in writing, but to all people who speak these languages and need to read and write in them. This requires partnership with computer and phone vendors and with national and local gov
    • Discoverability of this information through major search engines, which would have to support more countries, and give results in more relevant languages.
    • Technical and scientific terminology. Many cultures have some kind of a Language Academy or Terminology Service that create it: France, Netherlands, Hungary, Slovenia, Israel, Russia, Catalonia, Wales, and others.
  • Some things cannot be translated, and must be written from scratch, because they come from inside the culture itself, but were never properly written down. I'm talking about things like ceremonies, histories, agricultural techniques, crafts, local stories and songs, etc. Support is needed in collecting these, from ethnographers, anthropologists, etc. As an example, Russia has plenty of programs in its universities, in which students travel to villages and collect local knowledge and dialects. Even though knowledge accessibility in Russian is generally good, these programs recognize that the work is never done, and there's more knowledge to collect all time. Much like us in Wikipedia, with out "unfinished puzzle" logo, and our hopefully shared understanding that for some things there is a deadline. Such programs need to be done worldwide, and they will also go a long way to resolving the old "oral citations" dispute.

Some of these things can be done by ourselves with direct WMF support. Some of them have to be done in a partnership with organizations or experts, but these partnerships must be actively sought out.

All of these problems are often presented as a chicken and egg problem, for example: "Keyboards in local languages are not common because people don't demand them". Let's be the egg. Let's create the demand.

"The West" is what it is thanks in no small part to The Enlightenment. Let's do another Enlightenment, for the whole world. The biggest revolution in education, ever. Let's be proactive.

One precursor to the Renaissance was the Plague. Let us not wait for another catastrophe to start the new Renaissance; let us do it now.

We need to spearhead it. Why we? Because it's our mission, with my emphasis added: Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge.

If you read so far, enormous thanks for your patience. This is far longer than most talk page comments in the Wikimedia world. --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 09:56, 15 May 2017 (UTC)Reply

Due to our emotional side, every human values Wikimedia projects only as much as it does for or about the language, the country or other topic that's dear to us. Some sort of permanent culture-specific outreach group (think-tank) to develop and promote best practices throughout the movement seems necessary, if we are to engage more people in various cultures.--Frhdkazan (talk) 06:45, 12 June 2017 (UTC)Reply

Local wikis[edit]

Reading "List of Wikipedias", the stats of admins seem pretty decent for those having over one million articles. However, has the Foundation accomplished diversity globally? The smaller wikis appear low-managed and have small number of active users. One would wonder how necessary local wikis using lesser-known languages are. Same for sister projects. Of course, the projects are voluntary services, not mandatory. However, because of that, we would end up with poorly- or low-managed small wikis. Must more low-managed local wikis be created to achieve diversity? --George Ho (talk) 05:47, 5 June 2017 (UTC)Reply

Yes, wikis in many languages must exist, because most people don't know English.
The fact that many wikis are not growing and not well managed is a problem that must be resolved.
The WMF as an organization practically never approached this problem in any focused way. There were some tiny attempts at resolving some language technology issues (I was involved in some of them), and there were some grants for small outreach activities, but nothing big. Also, some WMF staff people engage in helping small wikis every now and then, but not in an official capacity.
Should the WMF do it? Yes, it should. It won't be easy, but we are trying to get all human beings to share in the sum of all knowledge, and most human beings don't know English. --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 07:26, 12 June 2017 (UTC)Reply

How important is this theme relative to the other 4 themes? Why?[edit]

I'm surprised that no one else has answered this question yet in Meta-wiki. This is utterly the most important of all themes. After weeks thinking and studying the themes, I realize that this is the most important. Who cares about automation? Even global movement is more important than having a highly advanced gizmos or semi-automated tools or glitzy-looking software ever made.

If the Foundation wants to achieve all themes, the Foundation should consider its global influence as one of top priorities. Why must be too highly dependent on developed nations and highly developed areas, like Silicon Valley (California) or Western Europe? South Asia, which has so many rural areas, has some decent folks speaking English language. However, there are many others typing or writing non-Latin languages, like Hindi language. Many South Asians might not have basic technological needs, including mobile products and computer, as we expect them to have, especially in India, where there are 50+ million PCs out of over 1 billion people! The Foundation can focus on its regional citizens and chapters more than it has been. Also, if the Foundation wants to achieve theme "A", i.e. a healthy, inclusive community, the Foundation should travel all over the world learning about different cultures, backgrounds, languages, and values.

Well, tolerance does not mean endorsing and supporting what people don't believe in. Even embracing diversity and multiculturalism does not imply that rural areas should not be urbanized or highly developed or something. However, limitations, like climate, environment, and other challenges, would make the global movement harder to achieve. Even pride over retaining languages... that's something to deal with. The limitations of most keyboards would make non-Latin languages harder to type.

While "Augmented Age" ("B") Theme has promise, how else would a Chinese editor efficiently write Chinese language on desktop besides a keyboard? Why not provide a Chinese user some pen-tablet or stylus-tablet tech gizmo as substitute for desktop keyboard? Chinese language is not easy to pronounce and to type (see also en:Transliteration of Chinese). Even writing Chinese is not easy as well.

As I hate to admit, basic technological needs, like Internet, computer set, and a mobile electronic, are essential to help Wikimedia projects survive. Companies make them, and the Wikimedia projects are highly dependent on those basic technological needs. Still, many developing nations need more such basic technological needs.

I kept thinking about what people suggested: policies respecting oral traditions and oral citations project. However, those are suggestions from English Wikipedia, which disallows original research currently, so creating content using oral references would be harder, especially if oral references are considered unverifiable. Wikiversity should collect content based on oral references. However, if Wikiversity can't adequately collect oral citations or oral traditions, which other projects can collect such references and traditions? Wikinews collects oral references, but they are just interviews... just interviews. --George Ho (talk) 12:36, 10 June 2017 (UTC)Reply

Focus requires tradeoffs. If we increase our effort in this area in the next 15 years, is there anything we’re doing today that we would need to stop doing?[edit]


  • We can reduce various projects that only target content addition in languages that already have an active community. They are self-starting, aren't they? This includes projects like the past Public Policy Initiative, and various current GLAM and Wikipedian-in-Residence projects. It's not that these projects are bad; contrariwise, they are great, and the people doing them are great. But they don't serve this area of strategy at all. If they become slower, the Wikipedias in the big language will barely notice the difference. It's super-important for me to emphasize yet again how it very literally hurts me to write this, because a lot of people who are involved in these projects are my friends and they are excellent Wikimedians, but this is a question about tradeoffs, and the answers may be unpleasant.
  • We can reduce the relative weight of projects that address problems that are typical for languages that already have an active community, but are irrelevant for small or not-yet-existing communities. One example is the various "anti-harassment" initiatives. Not because harassment is not a problem; it very much is. But harassment is a problem for somebody that tries to make a good-faith contribution in a community that has 200 or a 20,000 other people writing and has their contribution rejected for bad reasons, because some of those other people are nasty. It is not, however, a problem for somebody who is trying to contribute to a community that has 0 people: such a person has completely different problems: the very outdated software in the Incubator; the many lacking features in Content Translation; lack of technical terminology; lack of a keyboard that can write this language; lack of time to volunteer; lack of confidence that their contributions will be read by anybody; etc. These problems are under-resourced, or not resourced at all. --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 10:29, 15 May 2017 (UTC)Reply
    • I would second Amir E. Aharoni, that harassment and availability of art images are not a priority for the greatest majority of Wikipedias' communities. If we want true impact (in making the sum of all knowledge available to every human), we should concentrate our energy and other available means on areas of human knowledge that are not receiving proper attention as of yet.--Frhdkazan (talk) 07:09, 12 June 2017 (UTC)Reply

-- Furthermore, The English Wikipedia community has been using the NFCC to use English-language anglicize multimedia content to illustrate on non-English topics in order to attract English-language users who barely or rarely understand non-English languages. For example, the video game and film buffs at Wikipedia have used English-language (i.e. European or American) front covers of video games and film posters, e.g. North American releases of Final Fantasy PlayStation games and en:Son of Saul, to attract readers, assuming that no one cared for non-English languages. Non-English languages have been the beauty of things. Using such languages should help readers be more tolerant and wiser about how things are released. If NonFreeWiki becomes a project, maybe the project can be used for further tolerance. If not, something must be done about this practice. To put another way, editors should stop using "fair use" rules and rules limiting non-free content to westernize or anglicize multimedia content, especially images. Instead, they should starting finding some way to allow usage of copyrighted material using non-English languages. However, I am unsure whether the whole community is interesting in imagery debates. Nowadays, it emphasizes more on article quality than illustration.

Not only the practice of using English-language anglicizing multimedia content for non-English topics dumbs down viewership but also damages the project's role as diverse and tolerant and multicultural. Also, I wonder whether most readers even bother to read the whole encyclopedic article. According to one of MOS rules, most readers skim through lead content, including images, and then move to another article.

If telling editors to stop is not the way, maybe companies, including video game ones, should be told to stop limiting our efforts to use front covers of products and to start allowing us to upload them to Commons with free and compatible license. I.e. tell companies to let us share certain images for Wikimedia projects. Therefore, we don't have to battle over which cover or poster to use. However, obtaining permission to freely use content is not easy, especially when you don't understand a company's native language, like Japanese. --George Ho (talk) 00:21, 11 June 2017 (UTC); amended, 00:48, 11 June 2017 (UTC); struck opening word, 20:42, 12 June 2017 (UTC)Reply

My apologies: NFCC=en:WP:Non-free content criteria, just in case. --George Ho (talk) 21:24, 12 June 2017 (UTC)Reply

What else is important to add to this theme to make it stronger?[edit]

A global syllabus[edit]

A global 'syllabus' (from Late Latin syllabus "list") or ‘curriculum’. Echoing points above - this would not be didactic or linear - but would be a place that an enquiring mind can ask 'what should I know that I don't' - making sure they are aware of thinking that is considered of global importance or cultural treasures.

It would be a collaborative global -multilingual effort to identify not just knowledge, but how to ask questions and ways of asking questions (such as the scientific method). It will also help guide, to avoid the rabbit-holes and other areas of knowledge that they can get to eventually, but are not considered ‘priority’.

Similarly, it will help guard the world from education, knowledge and thus real-life action being bent towards one particular way of thinking. Rather, it will present all as equal, for the individual to appraise. For example, teaching ‘fallacies’ and logic used to be a common subject in education – whereas it is largely absent today. Telling people about a framework which helps them pull apart everything they are told from that point on is critical and might make up an early part of the syllabus – essentially starting with ‘don’t believe everything you read’. The preceding unsigned comment was added by Jacknunn (talk • contribs) 00:58, 17 May 2017‎ (UTC) (UTC)Reply

It would not be age specific but would build known reality up from simple concept-blocks. The blocks could move away from us, to the small and the big - starting with the unit of self, then others, then society, enviroment etc. The preceding unsigned comment was added by Jacknunn (talk • contribs) 01:03, 17 May 2017‎ (UTC) (UTC)Reply

There is much more to be said on this and discussion would be most valuable. The preceding unsigned comment was added by Jacknunn (talk • contribs) 00:58, 17 May 2017‎ (UTC) (UTC)Reply

Accessibility and availability[edit]

I think that during the next twelve years we will face the establishment of countries' borders on the Internet which can affect accessibility of the people to Wikipedia. One month ago Turkey has bocked Wikipedia, and I was told Russia and Peoples Republic of China plans to establish their own encyclopedias and are known for blocking of many websites. Also we wouldn't forget about areas with poor Internet connection where the availability of the Wikipedia offline would be beneficial. This will be probably the problem of Africa, Asia and maybe of South America and in Europe and North America to some extent only.

I think it would be worthy to think about using Tor Hidden Service, I2P Eepsite or InterPlanetary File System to provide private read-only access to Wikimedia projects for example. Or provide Wikipedia on hard drives or USB keys to the schools and libraries in countries with poor Internet conectivity (a vision I remember from the PSA videos from 2007). --Venca24 (talk) 12:51, 18 May 2017 (UTC)Reply

Glocalization of wikipedia?[edit]

While currently WMF's position is to create same wikipedia for same language user, for instance the creation of a unified chinese wikipedia and the creation of serbocroatian wikipedia, but in the time of various different ideography clashing around in global scale with people of different background often find it difficult to understand or comprehend the view and value held by other parties in discussion even if they are speaking same languages, is it time to change the course of it? Such action would be against wikipedia principle and make it much easier to introduce bias during the creation of wikipedia articles, but the way I view it is that even if the article is biased against a global worldview, however it would be deemed neutral by local editors, and a comprehensive, neutral description can more easily be obtained if readers choose to navigate through different version of article on the same subject, instead of trying to working on a single version of page that everyone are told to agree upon.C933103 (talk) 17:43, 5 June 2017 (UTC)Reply

Who else will be working in this area and how might we partner with them?[edit]

National contests[edit]

One of my long term ambitions on Wikipedia is to set up a National Contest for every country and have somebody working within that country to overlook Wikimedia projects in that country and run the contests. What I'd like to see is more countries in Africa and Latin America in particular being approached and their governments and institutions seeing the positive impact it would have on national development with the improvement of information about those countries. Last year there was a contest supported by AGRIPO, the agricultural agency of Cameroon to create/improve articles on Cameroonian villages. In the end, over 1000 articles, mainly on French wiki were created or improved. If a country like Cameroon can do it then potentially any country could. I would also like to see WikiLoves Monuments type photograph contests operating for more countries individually too, a way to really build up commons resources and get local people involved. I think a grid square type scheme for each country with the aim to photograph every square kilometre, much like Geograph for the UK would work well and generate interest in different countries. I would love to see a truly global Geograph launched as a new sister project, working hand in hand with the Commons and Wikidata and map out all of our images geographically and run contests and schemes which get us missing images for certian parts of the world.

So I think we need to reinforce the plan on how to approach institutions in the developing world and vastly broaden the scope of the agreements and coordination which has been done to date. With Africa in particular, it is difficult to get people to edit for free, I think that's where contests with very decent prizes could rope in new editors from these countries as they come online in the next decade and spark off new interest. If enough funding is put into that sort of thing I can see a way that editors could be trained in English and wikipedia writing and then contribute to the encyclopedia and build up resources on their part of the world in the long term. We will need to approach more universities, museums and instititions like National Library and Archives etc for different countries. This is an exciting time for Wikimedia I think, great to see that we are thinking ahead and taking strategy seriously.Dr. Blofeld (talk) 12:12, 12 May 2017 (UTC)Reply

Governments and computer vendors: Accessibility to localization technology[edit]

In many countries where a Wikipedia community is well-developed, you can also find that the usage of computers in the local language is well developed. For example:

  • Can a computer be used by a person who doesn't know English? The default user interface language for all desktop and mobile operating systems is English. They are translated to many languages, but not all.
  • Most computers sold in the shops have a keyboard on which it is possible to type in the local language. The general shape of the keyboard is the same worldwide, but the necessary letters are marked on the keys out of the box. This is true for Israel, France, Russia, Spain, Korea, and many other countries. But it's not true for the whole world. In India, for example, computers are usually sold with a keyboard that includes only English and not Devanagari, Bengali, Kannada, or other local alphabets. This causes people to perceive a computer as a device that can only be used in English.
  • Similar to the above, but for phones and tablets with touch screens. In Russia, Israel, Poland, and many other countries, when you buy a new phone and turn it on for the first time, you are usually presented with a screen that is either already localized, or offers a very easy way to select between English and the local language (Russian, Hebrew / Arabic, Polish, etc.). In these cultures many people would consider a phone that doesn't immediately work in the local broken and unusable, and would only purchase a localized phone. The same is not true for the whole world, however: in India you often see only English.
  • Are children taught in schools how to write in their language on a computer? They do in Russia, Israel, and France, but not everywhere. In India children mostly learn to type only in English. I heard that in the state of Kerala in India, the keyboard of the Malayalam language, which is spoken there, is taught in public schools, but this is an exception and not the rule. However, you can see a possible consequence of this for Wikipedia: Even though Malayalam is not the largest language in India, the Wikipedia in this language it is one of the most active Wikipedia editions among the languages of India. Malayalam has almost the same number of active editors as the Wikipedia in Hindi, which has far more speakers, and it has more active editors than the editions of Wikipedia in Kannada, Telugu, and Tamil—languages that are linguistically related to Malayalam, and have more speakers.
  • Is there a standard keyboard for this language? Is it standard across different platforms? Can it be used with all software or only on particular websites? Is it actually implemented and used? For example, the Hebrew, Russian, and French languages all have standard keyboard layouts, and they are the same in all operating systems, including those with touch keyboards. In India, there are national standards for keyboard layouts in different languages, and they are implemented in desktop operating systems, however, speakers are often unaware that they can type in their language on the computer that they already own because it is not enabled by default and because the letters are not engraved on the physical keyboard when they purchase the computer (see above). And the touch keyboards don't follow the same standard, which makes transitioning between devices hard for most people. You'll find an even worse situation in Africa: During the 2017 Wikimedia Conference I talked to several people from Nigeria and Ghana, and they all asked me about keyboards for their languages. I started researching the topic, and found that Apple devices don't have keyboards for them at all, and that even though Windows and Linux platforms do have such keyboards, some letters are missing, and the implementation for every platform and each language is different, so reusing skills between languages is impossible. In Nigeria, for example, speakers of Yoruba and Hausa languages live in the same cities, and often share computers, but they cannot help each other type in their languages, and this is detrimental to community building.
  • Are fonts for this languages available? This problem is less acute than it was six years ago, because the latest versions of iOS, Android, macOS, Windows, and desktop Linux all have fonts for many more alphabets than they used to when I first started looking into this problem deeply. However, some areas of the world are still not covered, or covered badly. For example, different variants of the Arabic alphabet are not represented well, and this raises frequent complaints form people who speak Persian, Urdu, and Pashto, and even from people who speak Arabic itself. The Burmese script as used by the government of Burma is commonly used with a non-Unicode font, which makes information sharing highly unreliable.

So, one of the problems that prevents people from contributing to Wikipedia in many countries is that the technology for reading and writing may be available, but it is not ubiquitous, which is not the same thing. If it becomes ubiquitous and standard, creating a Wikipedia will be possible. The WMF's past attempts to resolve this problem within the Wikimedia sites, such as jquery.ime and jquery.webfonts, had some impact, but this is not enough. We need to go beyond our own software and change the whole social and technological environment in which Wikimedia projects exist to allow them flourish.

So what is the solution?

Work with governments and change public policy. Influence parliaments to pass laws that require:

  • Sale of all computers, phones, and other devices that allow reading and writing only if their user interface is translated to the local language. The translation itself can be done by volunteers. This is true even for commercial products; for example, the Windows operating system was translated into the Fula language by volunteer Fula language enthusiasts, and Microsoft agreed to integrate it, so the same can be done for other languages and operating systems. But translation alone is not enough: It must also be distributed, and people must be made aware of it, and this is possible with legislation.
  • Teaching of writing in the local language on computers in schools, as part of the standard public school curriculum.
  • Having a national standard keyboard for all languages spoken in the countries and having it bundled with all computers and other devices with all operating systems that are sold in the country. The development of the layouts can be done by volunteers or through grants, but distribution would be more effective with legislation.
  • Integrating Unicode-compliant fonts for local languages in all devices sold.

Who will actually carry out the influencing part? I might be naïve, but the first thing to try is to get local Wikimedians to do lobbying work, either directly or with professional lobbyists. Yes, this is political, but it's not different from what Wikimedia chapters in some developed countries did when they influenced local politics to convince them to enhance the freedom of panorama, for example. It's a political cause that directly benefits the Wikimedia mission, so it's legitimate. --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 12:33, 15 May 2017 (UTC)Reply

Universities outside of North America[edit]

It would be great if Wiki Ed supported Universities outside of North America. Support for educators working in Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America would help make Wikimedia a Global Movement. AugusteBlanqui (talk) 15:25, 23 May 2017 (UTC)Reply

Translators without borders[edit]

The WikiMed initiative to work with TWB to bring medical articles to new languages has shown pretty good results. I would like to see this extended to more fields. We can also benefit TWB by providing technical help, as we have a significant corpus of words in hundreds of languages.--Strainu (talk) 11:43, 5 June 2017 (UTC)Reply


So... we're talking about this in English[edit]

And that's the way we solve it. Let's discuss it in a language that is spoken by 1/7th of the World population and can be used to discussi only by 1/10th. -Theklan (talk) 18:49, 26 May 2017 (UTC)Reply

@SGrabarczuk (WMF): Yes, of course. But we had only one week for making translations in our own language, so, as we are volunteers, we can't reach to all the discussions and our community won't be represented in this cycle. -Theklan (talk) 19:40, 28 May 2017 (UTC)Reply
@Theklan: ah, you mean Basque? I'm really sorry. I'm only responsible for discussions on some wikis. You have 2 weeks left though, something can be arranged, and I can help you. SGrabarczuk (WMF) (talk) 20:39, 28 May 2017 (UTC)Reply
@SGrabarczuk (WMF): Well, if you are able to help with translations to Basque ;) -Theklan (talk) 20:42, 28 May 2017 (UTC)Reply
@Theklan: yes, actually I am, because I know what's a sine qua non, and what's additional. Write on my talk page please, if you want to continue this thread. SGrabarczuk (WMF) (talk) 20:46, 28 May 2017 (UTC)Reply
Well, yes, I acknowledge it's a problem. A major one.
Bringing people who speak other languages into the discussion is a must. And not just people who speak other languages, but specifically people who don't know English. At all. They are the majority of humanity, and they need to be served differently.
Once a person knows English, that person becomes mostly deaf and blind to the needs of people who don't know English. Even I, even though I am aware of the problem, cannot really feel the same as people who don't know English. I can participate in this conversation, and they cannot. This is a problem, and I am a part of it.
One particular thing I can think is to make the governance of the Wikimedia Foundation more open to people who don't know English. At the moment, knowing English is a requirement for being on the Board, effectively disqualifying most of humanity. Changing that would be great, although again: it's only one thing to fix out of many. --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 08:01, 29 May 2017 (UTC)Reply
If Wikimedia wants to be truly global, English only is clearly not enough. WMF page, all principle Guidelines & News on Meta would have to be made also available at least in such regional lingua francas as Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian & Spanish. It would also be reasonable to have simultaneous interpretation into these languages @ Wikimania & Wikimedia Conferences, for many people worldwide to be able to watch & learn (live or later) in the languages they understand.--Frhdkazan (talk) 07:38, 12 June 2017 (UTC), based on discussions in Wikipedias in the languages of Russia Facebook groupReply

Translation and localisation[edit]

Maybe it was considered too obvious, but proper internationalisation/localisation of our software and full translation of our content (such as at and Special:Translate here) is the first priority to do any of these things. We're better than anyone else in the world, but we still have a lot more to do: MediaWiki needs continuous efforts and some parts are still not working perfectly (see mw:Internationalisation wishlist 2017); worse, we have a growing jungle of non-MediaWiki and non-wiki places where non-English users are completely neglected (like Wikimedia Foundation microsites, Wikimedia Shop and so on).

Internationalisation across the board should be perceived as a shared responsibility everyone has to work towards, with some permanently dedicated resources which should be empowered to do all that is needed, and translation/localisation by the speakers of the various hundreds of languages needs to be promoted (perhaps with specific cultural partners) because it's more important and impactful than translating some specific Wikipedia article here and there. --Nemo 08:48, 20 May 2017 (UTC)Reply

Absolutely true. We are already pretty good at localization, but need to continuing getting even better in this ourselves. But another thing that we have to do is not just to improve ourselves, but to actually bring it to the world proactively. See my comments above (sorry, they are super-long). --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 08:03, 29 May 2017 (UTC)Reply

Get rid of discrimination based on location[edit]

In the past strategy, the world was more or less arbitrarely divided into North and South and the WMF pledged to positively discriminate the Global South. While this approach has been toned down during the years, it is still visible in scholarships to Wikimania, for instance. This is incredibly frustrating for small communities in the Global North, that have less chances to be supported than an equivalent community from the Global South.

Instead of this approach, the help should be provided to less experienced Wikimedians based on personal merits and regardless of their geographical location. That is, if 2 people apply for some kind of support, the one that has not been supported before (e.g. has not received a grant or scholarship for a similar activity) should be favored.--Strainu (talk) 11:40, 5 June 2017 (UTC)Reply

Feedback from the Central Eastern European Wikimedia Community[edit]

In a Facebook poll, 6 people from the CEE group rated this theme as the third *most* important to our movement's future, after community health and engaging the knowledge ecosystem. This statement got the same votes as theme #2, the Augmented age. Shani Evenstein 20:12, 13 June 2017 (UTC)Reply

Feedback from the Wikipedia & Medicine Community[edit]

In a Facebook poll, only 1 person chose this theme as the most important, making it the least important theme for the group. Shani Evenstein 20:13, 13 June 2017 (UTC)Reply

Feedback from the GLAM-Wiki community[edit]

In a Facebook poll, 2 people from the GLAM-Wiki global group rated this theme as most important to our movement's future, making it the 3rd most important themes to this group, after a healthy inclusive community, and engaging with the knowledge ecosystem. Shani Evenstein 20:31, 13 June 2017 (UTC)Reply