Talk:Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2017/Direction

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Latest comment: 1 year ago by Camouflaged Mirage in topic Protected edit request on 21 July 2022

Summary of feedback from Draft Committee Session #1[edit]

  • This refers to: drafts A, G, K
  • Structural inequalities: Should remember high unemployment, lots of free time, but people often unwilling/unable to spend money (e.g. internet access) and time in order to contribute.
  • More clarity needed: Drafts talk a lot about inclusion, but we seem to have different usage/definitions? How many regions in the world not part of the movement? What do we mean by being global? Are there indicators that are adaptable to different local contexts (ex: # or editors in Africa, Latin America and Asia)?
  • Innovation needed: In terms of change, there’s a lot of disruption, we need to move or we will become obsolete.
  • Keep what we do well: What is the unique value of Wikipedia? a good strategy is aspirational but based on unique value. Starting there is really powerful and lays groundwork for what it is what we should keep and do well.
  • Logic/story/citation: We need to show where the statements are coming from, how these themes are connected to the participants input. Links, citations, etc.
  • Strive for simple, inclusive language: Make sure that our content is accessible to as broad a community as possible. Simple language that’s not too self-congratulatory and doesn’t diminish Wikipedia or sister projects.
  • Stress reliability: Free knowledge is not so uncommon, but free and reliable knowledge is rather uncommon. Envision that people should trust Wikimedia pages to judge whether the news they hear is fake or not.
  • Global education gap: trends show the gap in access to education will continue to be present by 2030.To be a truly global movement we must focus part of our strategy to be able to incorporate all this mass of the population that will continue without the same opportunities.

Link to the full notes:

SKeith (WW) (talk) 19:24, 21 July 2017 (UTC)Reply

WikiComment links[edit]

If you use WikiComment, please add a link to this list, since the page is currently undergoing a lot of changes: [1] [2] 09/09/2017

Summary of feedback from Draft Committee Session #2[edit]

Main takeaway: It should be more ambitious, and narrowed in focus, potentially around the idea of “infrastructure for advancing free knowledge.” Needs more sharpness and clarity to emphasize innovation going forward.

  • Lead with bolder, narrower direction
    • Current text does not rule much out of the things we do now.
    • Our strategy as created in this process lacks ambition. Also there aren't really trade-offs. We stay really in the comfort-zone and are afraid of making a substantial change. 
    • "More than Wikipedia" is almost the only time a statement is made that appears to restrict, limit, reduce in importance something we do now, it refers to Wikipedia. I would suggest acknowledging Wikipedia explicitly, e.g. ‘ the huge service of access to knowledge provided via Wikipedia will be the benchmark and inspiration for all our endeavours’,
    • Open Infrastructure as core of direction:
    • That the document starts off with describing the Wikimedia community of our dreams, rather than the Wikimedia product of our dreams, is concerning to me.
  • Simplify language
    • chopping out the flowery language.
    • Wikimedia projects is jargon and may be confusing for outsiders
    • [Many other comments asking for clarification]
  • Things that are missing
    • The concept of quality should have more prominence than it has now, I think.
    • Say how we address tension between credibility and inclusiveness by changing the paradigm for knowledge sharing and exchange from close committee decides on truth to everyone deciding what is relevant together.
    • Explicitly acknowledge accommodating or creating an enabling or conducive environment for first time editors
    • cross collaboration across the open movement will increase reach 
    • finding a solution to facts that have no citations.
  • Other
    • In my understanding healthy communities should be our short term goal for 2020. It's a precondition for being truly global (i.e., present locally). And this is a clear, attainable goal for the existing movement.
    • Opportunities that go beyond existing community is more ambitious and inspirational part of movement strategy, with more potential for strategic partnerships.
    • We need a more substantial relationship with our partners

Link to Notes:

SKeith (WW) (talk) 01:40, 1 August 2017 (UTC)Reply


Congratulation on a great work done! I like most what is in in the draft but react on one phrase: Automation (especially machine learning and translation) is changing how people produce content. Either this statement is a "emtpy statement" as automation will effect our way of working, or else it is too dramaic written as many of our unique strengths will still be critical where ther are more automation tools. I beleivee automation will take a big role in presenting info to users from our data, also in crosschecking etc when we creãte content. But that the need for a human to actually verify that our info is relevant and properly verified will be even more ciritical. So I see auotomation rightly used will enhance our efforts but not threaten the need of our work. And I would like this to be reflected in this passage.Yger (talk) 11:49, 5 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

I think that this assertion should receive more explanation and clarification. I agree with @Yger: that whatever the level of automation we might reach by 2030, people will stay the main richness of our community and its projects. On the other hand, bots are already making the biggest part of edits, if I'm not misinformed, but this are mostly very basic changes. I think that what is suggested here is that with machine learning, we might see raising more possibilities of more complex editorial tasks filled by bots (or whatever form of software). To my mind, it come in parallel with the highest barrier for new contributors. The more complex tasks bots will be able to perform, the less easy tasks will remain for newcomers. Regarding translation, I mainly translate to Esperanto and French were our current tool are both good at accelerating tools and awkward at producing anything good beyond very basic sentence translation (but it's already very appreciable). So, if improvements are possible on this front, I will be very happy. On the other hand, we should also be aware that translating articles is translating regional bias. It would be great that our edit tools would foster cross-pollination between regional versions rather than importing the whole thing from one version to an other. --Psychoslave (talk) 13:12, 17 August 2017 (UTC)Reply


Hi! Thanks for making this draft! I'd like to point out to some words and expression that I some doubts about:

  • "We, the Wikimedia movement" and "we, the constituents of the Wikimedia movement": This language sound very much like the US Constitution, but afaik is not so commons in other countries. It also sounds a bit flamboyant to me, and -probably more important- it might be seen as saying that the whole movement already agrees with this Direction, while we will only know who will sign it in September.
This should be easy to rephrase, shouldn't it? Actually, it seems it's already done in the draft. At least for the former one. For the second one, something like "contributors of the Wikimedia movement who responded to the call to provide feedback". --Psychoslave (talk) 06:14, 18 August 2017 (UTC)Reply
I chose to use the translation for "members" rather than "constituents", because constituyentes is not a peaceful concept nowadays in the Spanish-speaking world and could be easily distorted. --Marco (WMF) (talk) 04:09, 8 August 2017 (UTC)Reply
Yes - or "participants" maybe, so it might also cover readers and donators. I understand the idea is to create something like "preamble to our constitution" - but in case of constitutions it is clear who are "constituents" - in our case it is not that clear. Polimerek (talk) 10:19, 9 August 2017 (UTC)Reply
  • "Every human being deserves access to knowledge, and has innate capacity to participate in its creation, curation, and sharing. That is non-negotiable.": This kind of language seems to come from a declaration of human rights. And while we all probably agree with the right to access to knowledge, someone might not agree that those things are "innate" and "non-negotiable". Or they might think in general that there are no "innate" and "non-negotiable" things. Consider e.g. that "non-negotiable" is often use in relation with Catholic values here in Italy, and it could -more generally- be seen as linked to some kind of moral absolutism which I would very much avoid.
For the innate part, it's more related to a metaphysic standpoint which in fact doesn't have much relation or impact on our movement goal as far as I can judge. So it's superfluous here and would introduce unnecessary way to debate endlessly (though progress in cognitive sciences seems to consolidate this assumption). Instead this part could states something like and should be provided with an environment propitious for the fulfillment of their capacity to participate in its creation, curation, and sharing. For the non-negotiable, it's seems more acceptable to my mind as it's more a assumed statement of ethical value. Those said, you might express the same "categorical imperative" using "must" instead of "should" in the previous proposal. So and must be provided with an environment propitious for the fulfillment of their capacity to participate in its creation, curation, and sharing.. If we do have common values, then I think it's good to bring them out and state them firmly, then defend and promote them. That is not so much because our movement have some special ability to expose values which are right in an absolute certainty, but we will have to continue to deal with a world were not everybody share this values (yet), and even include some hostile forces. --Psychoslave (talk) 06:14, 18 August 2017 (UTC)Reply
  • "The strategic direction of the Wikimedia movement for 2030 is to become the roads, bridges, and villages" and "trusted knowledge in many shapes and colors": Imho those kind of metaphors make the meaning less clear. I would suggest using more straight language. --Jaqen (talk) 06:17, 7 August 2017 (UTC)Reply
Hi, I have similar thoughts about the language. From my point of view the text includes some rather long sentences and it includes many beautiful, but hard to grasp metaphors (one example for this that has already been mentioned is "to become the roads, bridges, and villages".). Since we are a multilingual and multicultural movement, can we rewrite the text to make it easier to understand? This would make it more accessible for people who don't speak English very well, and easier to understand and implement(!) for everybody. Thanks, --Gnom (talk) 10:15, 7 August 2017 (UTC)Reply
Both might be given, whether in separated sections (like the fictional contributors in a previous step of this consultation) or mixed side by side. For those who don't understand English well enough, the best would to provide them a good translation. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Psychoslave (talk) 06:14, 18 August 2017 (UTC)Reply
Jaqen & Gnom: Language is difficult :) I'm certainly open to changing it if we find something that works better. However, we have to find a balance between exactitude and understandability. "The essential support system for the global free knowledge ecosystem" [3] is more exact and concrete than "the roads, bridges, and villages", but it is also very difficult to understand if you're not familiar with those concepts, if you're not a native speaker of English, or if you're trying to translate this into another language. The current metaphor is less precise but it refers to simpler and more common concepts. Precise language means that a handful of people understand a very specific idea; a metaphor means that many people understand the rough idea in broader but less specific terms. I believe that this kind of metaphor makes the concepts more understandable across languages, not less. With that in mind, I do welcome any suggestions on how you would rephrase this part. Guillaume (WMF) (talk) 22:07, 7 August 2017 (UTC)Reply
"Ecosystem" is a metaphor, not precise at all. Also, "support system" is not clear. -- 18:20, 11 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

(back) I definitely quote Jaqen and I am a bit disappointed. It's not just about the language, but about the content as well.

In my opinion, it's a good example of how a draft, a mission, a strategic statement, or anythig this text aim to be, should not be written. Broadly speaking, I see "a lot of smoke and nothing roasted" (this is a common Italian idiom which means something like "many beautiful words but nothing concrete"). ;-) I just stick to the main statement, which is what should catch us all, with its roaring title "the future we imagine":

  • The strategic direction of the Wikimedia movement for 2030 is to become the roads, bridges, and villages that support the world's journey towards free knowledge.

Wants Wikimedia "to become a village that supports the world"? What a bizarre metaphor. I can understand "streets and bridges", but what about "villages"? This looks more like a poetical vision or maybe a mission, but it has nothing "strategic" in it. We could instead talk about "building sites", "campus"...

  • We, the Wikimedia movement, will forge the tools and build the foundations for creating and accessing trusted knowledge in many shapes and colors.

"Reliable knowledge in many shapes and colors?" What's this? Is it edible? Seriously: is it really necessary to put so much poetry and novel style in there? But much more concretely: the "foundations" are already here. They are those built in the last 15 years and the ones on which the whole movement and this very same strategic direction should rely on (the text dosen't talk about "building new foundations", but about "building the foundations", so it's assumed that now we don't have any).

  • As a movement, we will assemble through strong, sustainable communities that motivate us to contribute. We will welcome people from everywhere to grow fields of knowledge that represent human diversity. In doing so, we will contribute to human progress, and to a better understanding of the world and of ourselves.

I see this as a perfect example of how to lower the interest and attention of a reader. "We will contribute to human progress, and to a better understanding of the world and of ourselves". This looks more as a consequence of a mission, or a hope, not a strategic direction. And, honestly, it's too close to the mission contained in the Bible and the Quran, or in the whole science in itself. I would keep it all a bit more humble and straight to the point.

  • It encourages us to expand our horizons, and builds on existing projects and contributors to add new knowledge and new ways to participate. It asks us to be bold and experiment in the future, as we did in the past.

There's no need to talk about "what we did in the past" in a text about the future (it looks like sort of a "self—glorification" that we as a movement don't need). And then again: "new knowledge", "new ways", "new things"... It looks like the whole statement could be summarized in: "We will do new beautiful things, better, without betraying the tradition". Which is much more concrete but unfortunately means everything and nothing at the same time.

To sum up, in my opinion this text strongly discourage the urge to participate, even to those who would, and it's not clear. Furthermore, this strategic direction looks exactly the same as the one that we carried on up until now: to spread free knowledge with new tools. --Lucas (talk) 16:04, 11 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

Here is a reply to whole current section as a whole. Globally, the feedback of fuzziness in statements seems relevant to me. Now, to be more accurate, I'm not against the use of metaphor with all lyrical stuff that the contributor which is writing them would like to include. But they should be backed with more concrete statements. If some metaphor can't hold the translation, then the translator should adapts them or find someone able to help to do it, because yes that's part of the difficult art of translation.
Now on the more broad topic of language, I mean the object that is studied in linguistic, not the way one might phrase its sentences. As we are asked to be bold, then here is a bold question: why sticking with English as our main language when it comes to our international communication? If I well remember, that's an official guideline. It's great that here one is supposed to be able to answer in whatever its native language is, but more broadly, we do use English as our lingua franca. Last year when I talked to a developer of a project of internationalization of programming languages, I was asked what was wrong with English. My answer was, to sum it up, this was a bad question. Of course there is nothing wrong with English nor any other human language per se (or if you prefer you might find an infinity of inconvenience in any language). However, there is a problem with the hegemony of English (as there would be with any "customary" language). To quote The Hegemony of English and Strategies for Linguistic Pluralism: Proposing the Ecology of Language Paradigm by Yukio Tsuda "the dominance of English causes serious consequences which include: (1) linguistic and communicative inequality to a great disadvantage of the speakers of languages other than English; (2) discrimination against the non-English-speaking people and those who are not proficient in English; and (3) colonization of the consciousness of the non-English-speakers, causing them to develop linguistic, cultural, and psychological dependency upon, and identification with, the English, its culture and people." Focusing on the two first points is enough to raise a concern about the use of English as main language for international communication I guess. So I wonder how our community is feeling about that, and whether it is feeling like we might do something about that by 2030 to respond to this concern. Because, yes, there are other solutions, such as Esperanto, which do not include this linguistic and communicative inequality and discrimination against the non-speaker of the hegemonic-langage-of-the-day. Furthermore, at least in case of Esperanto, there are solutions which are far easier to learn and have propaedeutic values for learning other languages. So what about launching a consultation about (1) moving away from English in our international communication and (2) elect an other solution which fit more our value of equity? --Psychoslave (talk) 06:14, 18 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

"Knowlege" and "free knowledge"[edit]

I would like to thank Guillaume for writing this draft. Honestly, I found the "knowledge" and "free knowledge" concepts bothersome and troubling. Are we still thinking Wikipedia? If so, "free knowledge"... how "free" is knowledge? Also, at Wikipedia, we can provide knowledge but cannot provide thought and creativity as Wikiversity, Wikibooks, and WikiJournal have been doing lately. Rules of English Wikipedia discourage and disallow original research, bias, and inaccuracy, yet en.wp still provides knowledge but not fully.

If we are not thinking Wikipedia, how would "knowledge" concept apply to other sister projects? Wikinews doesn't provide knowledge but provides information instead. It doesn't help readers gain much knowledge but helps readers be informed about what's going on right now. Its creativity is promising but requires a deadline, hindering potential creativity. ...Maybe I was thinking English Wikinews. However, older articles are barely read every day.

Wikiquote provides readers a lot of intriguing quotes, but one can wonder why the whole collection of quotes is considered "knowledge", like Taxi Driver, Rocky, and Friends. Wikivoyage has a lot of information about places, like cities. However, does it improve readers' knowledge about certain places? Other projects can provide knowledge: Wiktionary, Wikiversity, and Wikibooks. Wiktionary, Wikisource and Wikispecies prove the existences of things, but can they provide knowledge?

If "knowledge" is not the best word to stick with, how about changing from "knowledge" to "open-source" or something? If not, toward what direction should we head? --George Ho (talk) 11:30, 7 August 2017 (UTC); amended, 06:22, 8 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

Now I realize that one of the themes of this movement is.... "knowledge", isn't it? Is "knowledge" also the main theme of this movement? --George Ho (talk) 05:55, 8 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

"Wikinews doesn't provide knowledge but provides information instead" - The distinction between those terms is not easy to understand. Let's keep at knowledge. -- 18:22, 11 August 2017 (UTC)Reply
I'll rephrase what I said about Wikinews: how does Wikinews fit the description of the direction? How does Wikinews provide knowledge if its mission is just providing news? --George Ho (talk) 19:33, 11 August 2017 (UTC)Reply
Well, the fact that in English the concept of knowledge is already less precise than in some other languages (see Knowledge by acquaintance) might help or handicap here, depending how you take it. What our community produce within wikis is intellectual works (work as Werk in German or œuvre in French). As for knowledge, work seems also more polysemic in English, but is probably still preferable to content for example, as pseudo-random data generation can just as well product meaningless content. And it works (mind you, "it also operates") just as well for wikinews, wikipedia, and whatever wiki you might come with. Now, as a community we produce not only intellectual works, but also interpersonal relations, values and all that folklores that emerge when you let people interact. So please, provide your feedback on a proposal to use "intellectual works" rather than "knowledge" or any other proposal it might inspire. --Psychoslave (talk) 08:51, 18 August 2017 (UTC)Reply
Honestly, Psychoslave... I don't know what to say about the "intellectual works" direction. However, it looks as if we are heading towards the "creativity" direction, which is meant for mainly Wikibooks, Wikiversity, and WikiJournal. Wikipedia collects whatever is important/notable to readers, but past encyclopedias do insert questions and some opinions made by experts (that's "creative", right?), something that English Wikipedia disallows under rules. en:Category:Intellectual works is worth browsing and surfing; "intellectual work" redirects to w:en:creative work. Maybe heading toward "intellectual works" would mean creating more sister projects, which is IMHO a better direction than "knowledge" direction (of any kind), but I'm unsure whether the WMF would go for that direction. If neither "knowledge" nor "intellectual (or creative) work" is a suitable theme of the movement, there must a better theme than those two. --George Ho (talk) 21:05, 18 August 2017 (UTC)Reply
Well, at least "knowledge" should be given some definition here, if there is any intent to build more than fuzzy meaningless logorrhoea within this consultation. Depending on definition you might say every single knowledge is the resultant of the creative interaction between a mind and its environment, or that there isn't any knowledge which is creative, or even that knowledge is a void sign which don't reflect any actual event but result from some mental confusion in denoting operations (but there is no pretension of exhaustiveness in this list). I don't see what would be the danger in having more projects, as we already have a rather clear path for them to raise up or die/stagnate silently within the incubator. Really, the only limit we should be careful about regarding wiki experiments is legality and conformity to our fundamental values (free/libre license, inclusivity, transparacy…). It's not to say there are easy topics to deal with, but I would be interested to know if there would be any other concern about such a multiplication within the community and the WMF. --Psychoslave (talk) 15:06, 20 August 2017 (UTC)Reply
I don't see what's wrong with creating another sister project either. I'll clarify that I'm uncertain/unconfident that WMF would head for the "intellectual works" direction or theme. I guess "knowledge" would also allow another sister project creation, right? --George Ho (talk) 22:59, 20 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

This is so rich and i appreciate being part of the Wikimedia foundation, i say it again, I'm proud of this free encyclopedia Mrniger (talk) 00:17, 19 August 2017 (UTC)Reply
–  The devil is in the details. We often leave facts, but express opinions. We like things, people, or don’t. Emotions trigger writing, knowledge per se is silent. I personally have found Wikipedia, especially some German authors, to be driven by opinions, less by plausibility or (un)importance of details. In Wikipedia the opinions then hide behind quotes from published media, leaving aside factual probability, but purposely influencing the opinion of the reader. Is this knowledge? Especially when it comes to separate say art from the artist or intention from effect the thin ice of knowledge breaks – expressed in your flowerly language. Are insinuations knowledge? “Renowned historian Soandso wrote this’nthat” is taken for knowledge. Especially when describing persons or trends we should be way more stringent. Sometimes less “knowledge” would be wiser and improve this encyclopedia. And how about “practical” knowledge? Who’s our audience? The student or the professor? Start with the student: Knowledge without structure is a mess, so how do we cope with the alphabetization of knowledge? Sorry for all these questions, but please concentrate on clear directions rather than pompous statements, sorry to say. – Fritz Jörn (talk) 09:24, 1 September 2017 (UTC)Reply

Meh... I'm done[edit]

I started reading this and saw little of the community discussions I have been following since January. As this process gets further along it appears more and more like marketing copy from WMF to the community, and feels like it is going the same route as the previous strategy project: to be completely hijacked and rewritten to find and say what the Foundation wanted. I do not have time or interest to be the target audience of a propaganda campaign. - Amgine/meta wikt wnews blog wmf-blog goog news 16:30, 7 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

I... don't know how to respond to your "propaganda" assertions, Amgine. I had wished that you were wrong, but now I'm not so sure anymore. I can't conclude that you're right yet. I believe that the "movement" and its direction would impact all existing and proposed Wikimedia projects. Do you believe so as well? --George Ho (talk) 06:14, 8 August 2017 (UTC)Reply
I can't find the community discussions that were held from January to June 2017, in which I participated. I spent time and energy discussing with other Wikipedia editors what the 2030 vision/strategy might be. We were specific, discussed pros and cons of machine-enable editing, anti-spam tools like ORES and lots of other stuff. There was lively debate and most important, plenty of specific details with external sources cited as evidence. I can't find any of this now! I looked through my edit history, to no avail. All I see now is this propaganda-sounding shtick that reads like ad copy, just as Amgine wrote. I am discouraged and not feeling inclined toward any further engagement.--FeralOink (talk) 22:18, 14 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

Thank you @Amgine: for noticing us about your feeling. I hope you won't give up though, and encourage you to further feeding feed back, especially your most concrete applicable goals. None of our community contributor voice should be smothered by a feeling of failure to listen and to take full account by any part of the community. --Psychoslave (talk) 09:02, 18 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

Whether to endorse the direction in September[edit]

Karen, are we allowed to endorse or not endorse the direction? Also, the above comment by Amgine indicates that the user cannot endorse this direction. --George Ho (talk) 19:59, 7 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

Could you please clarify what you mean by "user cannot endorse this direction"? Which user? Do you mean "contributors might be discouraged to contribute any longer" or "contributors should be able to vote against direction proposals"? --Psychoslave (talk) 09:16, 18 August 2017 (UTC)Reply
When I said user, I should have said "Amgine", but that was before another user FeralOink responded with agreement. I'll rephrase, Psychoslave: "Are we allowed to vote against the direction of the movement? Some users like FeralOink and Amgine seem to be against the direction for various reasons, like not sourcing or acknowledging the opinions of the community. If voting in opposition toward the finalized direction is not allowed, then they are less compelled to contribute further to this movement." I'll clarify further if I didn't make any sense to you. --George Ho (talk) 09:37, 18 August 2017 (UTC)Reply
Anyone will be able to endorse the direction, although the logistics haven't been completely worked out yet. This isn't a vote, so it's not "support/oppose". If you generally agree with the direction, you will be encouraged to endorse it with your signature. If you strongly disagree with it, then you simply don't sign it, and you carry on your contributions as usual. It's similar in spirit to the w:Paris Agreement. Also, keep in mind that this text is still changing in response to comments here and elsewhere; the decision to endorse should be made on the final text in a few weeks. Guillaume (WMF) (talk) 12:03, 18 August 2017 (UTC)Reply
Thank you @George Ho:, that seems far more clear to me now. @Guillaume (WMF):, I'll skip the Paris Agreement analogy, not because it seems inappropriate per se, but it appears a far too controversial topic in itself which might lead the conversation to an undesirable development. I find strange that contributors wouldn't be able to express their disagreement. That the foundation wouldn't take them into account is already an other topic. I guess the endorsement will be wiki signature, so if some contributors would like to add an oppose signature, nothing prevent it (and removing such an edit would be even worse, in my opinion). Can we assume that we can change the draft text directly and discuss it afterward if the edit is reverted, or should we only submit change proposal here and let let whoever is in charge to apply them? --Psychoslave (talk) 13:01, 18 August 2017 (UTC)Reply
@Guillaume: may the opponents at least comment on the finalized direction in the talk page instead in September? --George Ho (talk) 19:23, 18 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

Most spoken languages assertion not in citation given[edit]

"in the next 15 years, the languages that will be the most spoken are primarily those that currently lack good content and strong Wikimedia communities"

This is sourced to a table indicating Chinese and Spanish will be more widely spoken than English, labeled, "Most Widely Spoken Languages, Projected by 2050," (which is in 38 years, not 15) which is in turn sourced to this Google doc which doesn't include information in the table or the 2050 date, and not the quote in its citation. The table is clearly incorrect. Where is it from? English is already widely dominant world-wide and its rate of growth suggests it could be the second language of a full majority of the global population by 2030.

Is there any support for the assertion quoted above? 18:36, 8 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

Out of the top 5 languages according to that source, only the Hindi Wikipedia has relatively few articles and editors. So the phrase is clearly wrong. --NaBUru38 (talk) 16:44, 12 August 2017 (UTC)Reply
A chart listing the 50 languages with the largest number of speakers and the highlighting those with over 100,000 Wikipedia articles (as of August 2017) in green and those with over 1,000,000 Wikipedia articles in orange.

::Predicting future language growth is complex, but this chart gives a deeper look at where we stand now. The small Wikipedias (<100,000 articles) are concentrated in South Asia, Africa, and Southeast Asia, all places with higher than average population growth rates. Note that many of the largest Wikipedias (Swedish, Dutch, Cebuano, Waray) aren't in the top 50 list here.--Carwil (talk) 01:48, 13 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

Cebuano and Waray-Waray have single-digit amount of administrators and very few or several active non-bot users doing more than 40 edits within last 30 days. Nevertheless, they have millions of articles. --George Ho (talk) 04:33, 13 August 2017 (UTC)Reply
I agree with the claim that predictions are difficult, especially about future event. ;) But sure you might find many futurologists out there to sell you all the projection you want (here is one for French as most spoken language by 2050). Personally I would be more concerned on providing more resources to languages with the less speakers out there, as those with more people will already benefit from that actual numerical superiority. Languages are dying at an alarming rate. Anything we can we do in favor of language diversity is worth trying. --Psychoslave (talk) 13:24, 18 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

Throw it out and start over[edit]

From the very first sentence this draft makes its intention clear, and not in a good way.

The strategic direction of the Wikimedia movement for 2030 is to become the roads, bridges, and villages that support the world's journey towards free knowledge.

Even as a native English speaker, this comes across as somehow worse than the crap I delete every day as advertising.

Wikipedia soon became much more than its origin story, and today it is considered by many as a source for information whose role is to collect knowledge.

False. Wikipedia, by design, excludes certain knowledge (and "knowledge"). Even in an ideal world, the sum of all Wikimedia projects excludes knowledge by design (e.g. what $CELEBRITY had for dinner last night). Our audience failing to realize this is a problem.

Limits of Wikimedia: What we should improve (second paragraph)
We will break down the social and technical barriers preventing people from accessing and contributing to our shared knowledge.

Some of the non-problems in this section arise from the desire to improve quality. To build high-quality free knowledge, we must EXCLUDE certain people. Earth to WMF: while anyone can edit, not everybody is capable of contributing constructively or is motivated to do so. Competence and clue are required, hence the need for barriers to entry. As quality improves, the barriers become higher. Do you seriously want Wikipedia to be overrun by hoards from the third world who have no idea what an encyclopedia is, and can't be bothered to find out? The specific competencies may be different for other WMF projects, but the logic is the same (at some point, crappy smartphone pictures become inadequate, for instance).

We will create a participatory culture that is enjoyable, rewarding, and supportive of anyone who wants to contribute in good faith.

See above. Good faith is necessary, but not sufficient. I'm here to build an encyclopedia, not to hand out remedial English lessons.

I've spent enough time critiquing this document. To put it bluntly, this draft is yet another example of idealistic, ignorant, vapid bullshit from the WMF leadership. Throw it out and start over, this time actually paying attention to what the community actually had to say -- there was a heavy emphasis on quality, yet this accounts for less than 5% of the draft document -- instead of selectively quoting the consultation and your own research to support your own predetermined vision. MER-C (talk) 07:09, 9 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

Hi MER-C, while I do see some interesting points in your post, you should really rewrite it from scratch in order to be part of a constructive discussion. --Gnom (talk) Let's make Wikipedia green! 11:00, 9 August 2017 (UTC)Reply
You mean, Gnom, that we can overhaul the whole draft and change the direction? If so, sweet! :) --George Ho (talk) 16:49, 9 August 2017 (UTC)Reply
"To build high-quality free knowledge, we must EXCLUDE certain people. Earth to WMF: while anyone can edit, not everybody is capable of contributing constructively or is motivated to do so. Competence and clue are required, hence the need for barriers to entry. As quality improves, the barriers become higher. Do you seriously want Wikipedia to be overrun by hoards from the third world who have no idea what an encyclopedia is, and can't be bothered to find out?"
Dear Gnom, the motto of Wikimedia is that people can learn. Therefore we have different people, resources and activities to teach people to contribute.
You assume otherwise. You sound like you want to exclude people beforehand. If a contribution is poor, we can easily remove it. But you seem to propose to have an introductory exam to become a licensed editor. And I disagree with that. --NaBUru38 (talk) 17:03, 12 August 2017 (UTC)Reply
Hi, @MER-C:, thank you for giving feedback, especially for not staying silent on things you disagree. Thus said, please don't let you frustration blur your answers with an aggressive form. Below I come with more details.
To build high-quality free knowledge, we must EXCLUDE certain people. Earth to WMF: while anyone can edit, not everybody is capable of contributing constructively or is motivated to do so. Competence and clue are required, hence the need for barriers to entry. As quality improves, the barriers become higher. Do you seriously want Wikipedia to be overrun by hoards from the third world who have no idea what an encyclopedia is, and can't be bothered to find out? The specific competencies may be different for other WMF projects, but the logic is the same (at some point, crappy smartphone pictures become inadequate, for instance).
Here I strongly disagree with your statement that we should exclude certain people. Some contributions are unwelcome when they are added in inappropriate spaces, and the community should have tools to temporarily prevent a specific person to contribute to a more or less large set of our contribution spaces. But we don't exclude a priori multiple people, especially not because they are suspected to belong to some ethnic/regional/religious/whatever group. What is discussed here is how to best accompany still underrepresented language versions, where you will most probably will never contribute yourself (except if you are an exceptional being proficient in hundred languages?), so you really should have any fear of a sudden flock of new contributors willing to drive the project in direction you personally dislike. If by chance we might have such a large arrival of new contributors which aren't interested in writing encyclopedic articles, we might lead them to more appropriate contribution spaces – should we create them for that occasion – then later maybe they might be interested to also write encyclopedic articles while already having acquired useful skills regarding policies and tools we provide to do so. Regarding crappy smartphone pictures, as far as I know our current infrastructure is able to store more than we receive and as long as it is the case an a posteriori sort/deletion is the best policy, isn't it?
For the rest of you critics of lake of inclusion from previous feedback, they seem to find a general resonance and so your feedback seems worth listening to (although I doubt that the way you formulate it favour anything but blurring the content in its form). --Psychoslave (talk) 14:08, 18 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

Some language conerns[edit]

Hi, This is maybe the problem that I am not native English speaker, but some problems I encounter during translation to Polish (which might be an issue for other languages as well):

"What we have accomplished in our first 16 years of existence is a testament to the success of this approach." - actually "testement" is normally used as equivalent to "last will" you write before you die: w:Testament, which I guess is not the intention here, but rather using this in "biblical" sense (an agreement between God and people about some basic things) - but the biblical meaning is too much christian related, so it might be hard to translate to Arabic or Mandarin, and the coincidence with "last will" is not particularly good idea, as hopefully, the direction is not going to be our last will :-)
You should take testatement as a synonym of proof/evidence/testimonial. Maybe one of this word might actually be used in the draft itself. --Psychoslave (talk) 15:25, 20 August 2017 (UTC)Reply
"People everywhere will feel as though they have a role to play in advancing free and open knowledge. Community will be more broadly defined to include many forms of contributors, from editors to donors to organizers." - I guess it is "to donors and organizers" or "from editors, through donors to organizers" ?
"We will recognize the strength of distributed and diverse local communities as powerful tools for adaptation and innovation, and as counters to influence on our neutrality." - Using people as a tools doesn't sounds good - also, the word "counter" mean either "an apparatus used for counting." or "to speak or act in opposition to." - I guess what we want to say here is - that we believe that local communities can help achieve better neutrality; to "counter to influence on our neutrality" - might be understood that the communities are either trying to force their POV or block efforts to make our neutrality better by countering other influencers? Anyway it is very messy statement. If we let to "influence our neutrality" or "counter to influence..." too much - we won't be neutral any longer..
"We will balance self sufficiency and autonomy with intention and values we all share." - This is also very messy - first of all - we want to be self sufficient in order to not to trade off our values, so why does this must be "balanced" with our values? The more we are self sufficent the less there is danger for any trade offs regarding our values. And - above all - are we really about to balance our values with anything? Our values are who we are - so there is no room to "balance" it with anything? Anyway the idea of "balancing our values" - doesn't sound good.

Polimerek (talk) 11:05, 9 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

I agree with Polimerek. People shouldn't be treated as tools, and our values should never be balanced with anything. -- 18:25, 11 August 2017 (UTC)Reply
I also agree with the feeling I guess behind indignation concern raised here. Even when thinking in a systemic overview, people feelings should be kept in mind. --Psychoslave (talk) 15:25, 20 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

What about future of sister projects?[edit]

I have a feeling that the direction completely ignores existing sister projects - at least I see no any word about them, as Wikipedia is mentioned quite often. There is a one sentence which address somehow the issue but in very messy way:

"As we include other forms of free knowledge, we will aim for these projects to be as successful as Wikipedia." - what kind of projects? A new ones? or existing? and by "projects" we understand here what exactly - sister wikis or something beyond wiki? Anyway the goal is very ambitious and if we really believe it is achievable - if we believe that we can make anything new or existing as successful as Wikipedia - we should call it more openly and more precisely, what we believe it might be.

Polimerek (talk) 11:18, 9 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

Indeed. "An encyclopedia, and so much more" feels so 2002, as if we didn't have anything else. All the recommendations seem to be about Wikipedia, including the mention of Wikidata. Instead we need to focus on what has a bigger growth potential, if the desire for growth and "Different forms of participation" is real. --Nemo 13:42, 9 August 2017 (UTC)Reply
Pegasovagante on Italian is suggesting to change the paragraph this way (his addition in bold):
We will adapt to our changing world to offer knowledge in the most effective ways, strengthening Wikimedia projects across digital formats, devices, and experiences. We will adapt our communities and technology to the needs of the people we serve. As we include and further develop other forms of free knowledge, we will aim for these sister projects to be as successful as Wikipedia.
Source. --Niccolò "Jaqen" Caranti (WMF) (talk) 13:52, 11 August 2017 (UTC)Reply
I like this suggestion to change the paragraph. This way, it would make much more sense to me, and it goes along with themes B and E from cycle 2. --Pakeha (talk) 16:17, 19 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

A few comments[edit]

I'm not quite sure how to provide feedback on this, so I'm just going to leave this message here.

  • The language is far too flowery. Ideally it should be in en:Plain English so that it's easy for everyone to understand and easy to translate.
  • As a result of the floweriness, it's difficult to immediately spot a solid direction here. It's not there in the emboldened statement, which I assume is the one we're supposed to look at (unless we're going to start building roads, bridges, and villages?). It is more there in the second through to the sixth sentence, but you still have to parse the floweriness before you can see the points (which might almost be better as separate bullet points at the moment). You could almost remove the first sentence and not lose anything as it stands.
  • "creating ... trusted knowledge" is quite different from what we do at the moment. Does this imply that we would start funding scientific research, for example?
  • The third paragraph looks like it belongs in the reasoning, not in the direction. It's similar with the last paragraph, but that does fit in a bit more than the third one.

Hope that helps - and feel free to disregard this if it doesn't. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 23:04, 9 August 2017 (UTC)Reply


As a starting point, these are copied from the previous strategy recommendations at Recommendations:

Build and implement an ongoing, community communications plan
  • Increase transparency about the Foundation’s programs and budgets
  • Leverage the network effect of the whole community (Foundation, chapters, partners, contributors)
Develop a contributor relationship-management program based on member life cycle
  • Encourage more participation, offset known hurdles that prevent deeper engagement
  • Offer recognition and feedback loops
  • Connect to mentors or mentor community (more experienced Wikimedians and content experts), based on content interest or location
  • Introduce inexpensive, geographically-specific opportunities for more in-person interaction
  • Automatically offer personalized recommendations for content to contribute, based on selected areas of interest and past contributions
  • Offer opt-in email communications to create cohorts for outreach and more support based on life stage
Create different UIs, features, and levels of support for different levels of engagement (EWP) to better overcome the steep learning curve
  • Reading stage: easy ways to encourage switch to editor mode
  • Stage 1: First-time editor - limited capabilities (minor edits, contributions directly on requested items) with simple, easy-to-understand how-to tutorials
  • Stage 2: Casual editor - more capabilities, more advanced tutorials
  • Stage 3: Prominent editor - all capabilities and advanced features, advanced tutorials
Review product enhancements requested in the consultation, mainly
  • Simplify editor/contributor interface and tools
  • Improve language translation tools
  • Improve Wikidata and connections between wikis
  • Develop more relationships with GLAMs (Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums)
  • Build easier ways to verify and cite sources, More connections to services
Better define the development life stages of a wiki
  • so that “lessons learned” could be shared more easily and typical obstacles could be overcome
Review suggestions for improving community engagement noted in the consultation, mainly
  • Incentives, feedback loops, ongoing recognition
  • Gamification of edits/contributions
  • Simplified tools and tutorials to onboard new editors

They flew away[edit]

Translation from: Talk:Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2017/Direction/pl#Odlecieli…

Previously I did not participate in public discussions, I was confined to reading (and participation in the real world discussion at the conference), but this time I will write something. "The strategic direction of the Wikimedia movement for 2030 is to become the roads, bridges, and villages that support the world's journey towards free knowledge." Really? "We, the Wikimedia movement, will forge the tools and build the foundations for creating and accessing trusted knowledge in many shapes and colors." "Experts" from WMF have really flew away. I do not even want to read it any further. From the introduction and the first section that I read, there is nothing concrete, so "we will be the most honest, the most open, the strongest and the best". If there is anything more meaningful, I would be glad if I was briefed. Regards, PiotrekD (talk) 13:58, 9 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

Yeah, I lost it too at "knowledge in many shapes and colors". Yaron Koren (talk) 15:25, 11 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

Trust structures, both social and technical, are what we must develop to increase the reliability of our content.[edit]

This is... intriguing. Two questions:

a) What is a "trust structure" b) what does whatever that is, have to do with improving reliability?

I am very invested in maintaining and improving reliability of content - most of what i do in en-WP is maintenance (something WMF doesn't talk about nearly enough).

Overall this sounds like w:Nupedia/w:Citizendium but surely that is not what is mind. So do tell. Jytdog (talk) 11:33, 11 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

To me, trust is a social thing. People trust or don't. There's no such thing as a structure. -- 18:28, 11 August 2017 (UTC)Reply
The best technology avalaible today for implementing trust structures is the w:blockchain, the transaction storage infrastructure backing Bitcoin. It provides a criptographically secure infrastructure for trust by consensus algorithms, but it is also a decentralized storage where every computer that is part of the blockchain stores all or part of the information stored in the blockchain. IMHO, this technology, running on top of a distributed file system, like w:HDFS or, more likely, w:IPFS is just what Wikipedia needs. It will solve storage, trust, and change tracking issues. However, it is a very disruptive change to undergo. (Pieraco) 17:18, 10 September 2017 (UTC)Reply

The Wikimedia Foundation should stop presumptively speaking for the Wikimedia movement[edit]

The Wikimedia Foundation should stop presumptively speaking for the Wikimedia movement.

The Foundation is free to set whatever strategy it wants to. The movement is not obligated to follow that strategy. It's difficult to organize an anarchy to follow any strategy, see wikt:herd cats.

The strategic direction of Goodfellow's Restaurant for 2030 is to become the forks, knives, and spoons that support the world's journey towards nutritional nourishment. That's what Goodfellow's marketing department tells the world, but we know better. The strategic direction of Goodfellow's Restaurant is to maximize revenues and profits. Wbm1058 (talk) 20:13, 11 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

Hello, this strategy document is supposed to show what the community has said in the past strategy discussions. Do you think it doesn't? --NaBUru38 (talk) 17:07, 12 August 2017 (UTC)Reply
Summarizing the recent discussions isn't an easy task, but this sounds like a strategy that could have been written 15 years ago. It's so vague as to be rendered virtually meaningless in terms of any actionable items or change in direction from what the movement has been doing for the past 15 years. I think #Summary of comments below is a good assessment. Wbm1058 (talk) 17:24, 13 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

Let's deepen our description of how we will grow free knowledge[edit]

The Direction section looks strong and inspiring to me, but I'm concerned that major strategic pieces of carrying it out aren't in the later sections. I draw particular attention to these parts of the direction:

  • "Our networks of people and systems will connect with individuals and institutions to share knowledge through open standards and structures, and support them on the journey to openness and collaboration. We will be a leading advocate and partner for increasing the sharing, curation, and participation in free and open knowledge."
  • "We will welcome people from everywhere to grow fields of knowledge that represent human diversity."

This are great goals, but we need to lay out some of the aspirations and broad kinds of individuals and institutions we will bring in. Let me suggest the following:

  • Academics and researchers: 1. The Wikimedia movement will engage with the academic and research community to make the new findings and evolving understandings they produce accessible to everyone, free. 2. The Wikimedia movement will support and host efforts to make the data underlying scientific research freely shareable, to facilitate verification of scientific findings and communication across the research community. 3. The Wikimedia movement will assist the open access movement to make academically produced knowledge freely available.
  • Cultural heritage institutions: The Wikimedia movement will engage with cultural institutions of all types to make the history and culture of all peoples freely available wherever possible.
  • Oral cultures and traditional knowledge: The Wikipedia movement will think and act strategically about how to make the broad variety of forms of cultural knowledge accessible.
  • Translation and spreading of knowledge: The Wikipedia movement's sites will become an important site for the spreading of knowledge across barriers of language, form of communication, and level of education. We will become a site where the body of human knowledge is translated and presented into multiple forms so that all humans can have access to it.

--Carwil (talk) 16:31, 12 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

Nicely phrased :) --NaBUru38 (talk) 17:07, 12 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

Summary of comments[edit]

Below is an early and incomplete summary of the comments I have seen and heard at Wikimania. More structured documentation will be posted shortly but I want to start integrating this into the draft now, so that Wikimania attendees can discuss the changes. Guillaume (WMF) (talk) 12:29, 13 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

Comment How to address
Both the text in the green box and the whole document are still too long / too complex / difficult to translate. Further trimming down and simplication is underway in the drafting space.
The metaphors are too vague. There is too much poetry / romanticism / PR speak. Removing the metaphors in the drafting space.
Lack of clear direction / We are still trying to do everything and will therefore fail at everything / No indication of what we won't do. Guillaume is attempting a clearer direction in the drafting space.
It is unclear how individual contributors can participate in this; it feels too focused on affiliates and Foundation.
It doesn't clearly differentiate between knowledge and information / It doesn't clearly define what knowledge is.


The page has 33 Cite errors: Invalid now. Please fix. --Gereon Kalkuhl (WMF) (talk) 13:45, 13 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

Post-Wikimania 2017 thoughts[edit]

I attended some strategy sessions in the Wikimania. Thanks for organising them. I wrote a short blog text about the topic. You will find in from here:

Wikimedia 2030: Enlightenment and Education in the digital world --Teemu (talk) 12:19, 14 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

Wikimedia isn't about local communities that anybody can join[edit]

"By 2030, we won't yet reach “the sum of all knowledge”, but we will make it possible for anyone to join us in this effort."

No. We don't want to give 10 year olds the possibility to take part in editing Wikidata. Editing Wikipedia comes with certain responsibilities and there's are a variety of reasons why certain people don't qualify for holding those responsibilities. That's okay. Focusing on building on our strengths would be a better strategic direction than focusing on trying to win anybody.

"This direction builds on our movement's greatest strength, our local communities."

That feels like an insult to the online community. At the beginning, Wikipedia grew a lot because the Wiki technology allowed for an online community that isn't bound to any locale. In the time in which the Wikimedia Foundation had the money to fund local community events the amount of Wikipedia editors went down. Calling local communities instead of our online projects the prime strength shown priority that are completely wrong.

As far as insulting content goes, it's worth noting that the only time Wikipedia is mentioned in the document it's mentioned in the context that other Wikimedia projects should become as successful as Wikipedia.

On a more meta-level I don't see how this document is a reflection of the community discussion. It feels like an external document or a WMF document but not a community document in which attention was paid to listen to the existing community. ChristianKl (talk) 20:15, 14 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

We must concur with most of the above, the sum of all human knowledge if a fine ideal, assuming good faith also a fine ideal (even if an unknown high percentage of edits are infact vandalism and nonsense). but you only need to view the contribution log of any schools ip address to realise that the sum of any local community's contribution is to rag at wikipedians about 'notability' and 'verifiable content' and this leads to a fundamental problem.
wikipedia is only the sum of all previously published knowledge.
Simply put, there is nothing the average 'local community' can do to expand the sum of human knowledge, unless they happen to have significant news coverage and/or notable books published about anything they might want to add, in which case anybody could add the information, making local communities distanced. This also is biased towards cultures which have not got the wealth of written information or notable news coverage, such news coverage may not represent a fair view for some cultures due to political issues or other constraints.
To achieve the ideals stated we have already identified some issues in Limits of Wikimedia: What we should improve. We are still far from having collected the sum of all knowledge. Most of the content we have created is in the form of long-text, unstructured encyclopedia articles and still images,[citation needed] which leaves out many other types of knowledge. Our current communities don't represent the diversity of the human population,[citation needed] which has created gaps of knowledge[12][13] and systemic biases.[14] Readers often question the reliability of the content we create,[15] notably because it is not accurate, not comprehensive, not neutral, or because they don't understand how it is produced, and by whom.
The way Wikipedia collects information is in itself systemically biased against poorer and more illiterate society and cultures who do not publish all their knowledge in written form. Aboriginal culture in Australia for example, has no written references of its own, it is other cultures observations of them that are used as reference here. This needs to be balanced against reliability, but it has to be dealt with in a fair way for everyone first. Language is also a problem, we recently saw an almost successful attempt to delete the article on Confucius's lineage from the en Wikipedia, a very important topic in china, but seemingly in conflict with a rule called WP:NOT which narrowly defines the scope of all subjects according to a rigid western ideal. to be more inclusive, the guidelines need to be flexible to allow all people from all cultures to participate in their own way.
Most of what we are saying is mostly relevant to Wikipedia, but we believe that inclusiveness though flexibility is important throughout the project, especially when setting what is in effect the primary rules. Aguyintobooks (talk) 20:54, 14 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

Misleading banner is spamming me[edit]

When I visited my home Wiki (English Wikipedia) today, I got a banner message inviting me to participate in the 2030 strategy discussion for the Wikimedia movement, see here. I clicked, and arrived on a page that said The following discussion is closed. There was still a banner on the page inviting me to participate, so I clicked on THAT, and was directed to another page, that also said the discussion was closed! I think that was the content page for this talk page, here on meta.

It isn't inclusive to distract editors with banners that take me from en:wiki to meta, then tell me I can't participate, then do it again. Please remove the banner or direct it to the appropriate place.--FeralOink (talk) 22:23, 14 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

Hi @FeralOink: thanks for your info. I updated the page. The banners should be fixed soon. SGrabarczuk (WMF) (talk) 09:02, 16 August 2017 (UTC)Reply
Thank you, @SGrabarczuk (WMF): that is much better! I appreciate that you fixed the page, so that it isn't a rejection. I'm sorry to have sounded so annoyed before.--FeralOink (talk) 02:50, 17 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

My response to "Knowledge equity" direction[edit]

Overall review

The "Knowledge equity" direction seems... I don't know what words to explain it. I'm not thrilled with the "equity" part. What is "knowledge equity"? Must all knowledge be equal, the same, or what, regardless of differences?

"[C]reating knowledge that fully represents human diversity": "human diversity"... Is the movement more concerned about humanity and civilization? Why can't the movement extend to flora and fauna? Why not also extend to topics related to the universe and galaxy? Hmm... Maybe knowledge about the universe and galaxy might not reach further than knowledge representing "human diversity". Still, putting "human diversity" above all else seems... too human-centric, isn't it?

About "human diversity" itself... Would that result in mass production of biographical pages and other pages about civilization and humanity? I have edited biographical articles for years, and I've seen drama produced from the editing atmosphere when biographies are involved. Drama extends to events primarily related to civilization especially current events, which can ignite or provoke reactions, especially when such articles about them are created.

Back to fauna, a Wikinews article about cheetahs will dishearten everyone, even when cheetahs are one of carnivorous species and big felines.

About "good faith" throughout the whole page... Assuming good faith was attempted to be promoted from guideline to policy in English Wikipedia, but that failed because the whole overwhelming majority, if not unanimous, opposed it as against common sense to be suspicious about some people. There are essays about assuming good faith and concerning the assumption; they are good reads, even when they are just essays. I would like to come up with something better than "good faith" (or bona fides), but it's harder than I thought. Meanwhile, I'll still assume good faith on people, even when I could be somewhat suspicious, but I won't lose good faith... I hope I don't. --George Ho (talk) 00:03, 15 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

Changing direction

Maybe change from "Knowledge equity" to "Knowledge diversity" or "Knowledge creativity" or "Knowledge infinity". "Knowledge diversity" may allow all different branches/types of "knowledge", like traditional knowledge, inert knowledge, common knowledge, and descriptive knowledge. "Knowledge creativity" is based on creativity of "knowledge" because... we have created "knowledge" for centuries. "Knowledge infinity" would refer to infinite amounts of knowledge and eternity/longevity of knowledge. That's all I can think of, but I think any or all of the three are better choices than "Knowledge equity", aren't they? --George Ho (talk) 05:15, 15 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

Follow-up review

I felt that the "knowledge equity" direction alongside "knowledge that represents human diversity" is an encouragement to create more biographies and human-related articles, some of which would be problematic and dubious. Isn't it? Must we create more articles about women from the past or the present? Is feminism not fully achieved yet? Is our quota of articles too low right now?

I am not confident that the direction as is would create positive results. Rather either people wanting to create such articles and/or people wanting to preserve the integrity of Wikipedia would be affected. I can imaging newbies being scrutinized, scolded, and humiliated. I can imagine veterans leaving the projects or getting scrutinized. Maybe I'm wrong about everyone being affected. However, would "welcom[ing] people from every background to build strong and diverse communities" and/or "break[ing] down the social, political, and technical barriers preventing people from accessing and contributing to our shared knowledge" make new generation of newbies more motivated into becoming veteran editors? --George Ho (talk) 06:50, 19 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

Still, putting "human diversity" above all else seems... too human-centric, isn't it?
That's a very interesting point, thank you for highlighting it @George Ho:. I think it more broadly relates to how much neutrality is attempted in our quest to libre knowledge. Clearly, any editorial guideline will come with a set of basic assumptions which give a general shape and bias regarding "what matter". For example we use the antonomastic formulation Pythagorean theorem. This is (at least in the western tradition) how it's named generally. Thus said, like any antonomasia, this term create more obfuscation (as it doesn't give any clue about its topic), while introducing a huge distortion of it's discovery in history (attestations of other far earlier proofs exist). Also, this might be interpreted as a way to firmly subsume an anthropocentric ontological status of mathematical knowledge. The anthropocentric Promethean cult is omnipresent in scientific knowledge fields, and while you might use commutative group rather than abelian group, it's harder to bypass something like the fact that the International System of Units use the term newton to name its unit of force (though it's not a base unit). One might come easily with general rule to avoid such a practice to bias so hugely knowledge we spread, like stating that a the main term used in an article to name its topic should never an antonomasia (except for biographies obviously), and that this kind of relation should be restrained in a dedicated and maybe enumerated in the chapeau of the article along other known used terms. But surely such a rule would accouter huge disagreement and would be rejected as POV (ironically) and original research (far more defensible).
Now on a maybe less controversial topic, I think we should also improve the way people can be served with relevant information with non-text-based requests. That is, one go for a walk, see a tree, and wonder what knownledg is accessible about this tree within Wikimedia projects. Its envisionable that such a person would take a picture of the tree, and send it to some Wikimedia search service which would reply with information about this tree. Now, should Wikimedia projects keep information about individual trees, or only limit its knowledge to "abstract tree" and reply with things like taxonomic name, life expectancy, average size, and so on. Because the sum of all (gatherable) knowledge would direct us to the first option. Gathering as exhaustive data set as it's possible would surely be more relevant when pursuing the sum of all knowledge, after all you can always classify and filter later but once you lost the opportunity to collect data, there is no way back. Actually having regular input data about as many tree as we can would enable to provide more accurate data about life expectancy, average size and so on. And collecting as many data as possible about any individual life that Wikimedians might encounter could even have impact nomenclature schemes (or not), who knows? --12:10, 22 August 2017 (UTC) —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Psychoslave (talk)

You have something important to say. You want to say it well. What to do?[edit]

NOTE: I am commenting on the page as of 09:19, 14 August 2017.


QUESTION: You have something important to say. You want to say it well. What do you do?

a) Write it yourself. It will be better than the Gettysburg Address because you're that good.

b) Put it off until tomorrow. When tomorrow comes, repeat.

c) Ask for help from people who write exceptionally well.


I suspect that the message about the introduction (Direction: The future we imagine) has been received. If not, here it is: Delete it and start over.

So, hopefully the lesson here is clear. If you are not widely regarded as a superb writer, ask for help. For example, you might ask for assistance from the good folks at The Guild of Copy Editors. The Guild is a WikiProject on the English Wikipedia. Here's what they say about themselves:

"This WikiProject is dedicated to improving the quality of writing in articles on the English Wikipedia. The Guild welcomes new and experienced editors alike to join our project, participate in its activities, and copy edit Wikipedia articles to make them clear, correct, concise, comprehensible, and consistent; to make them say what they mean and mean what they say.

On a related note: If the we write the English Strategic Direction well, I suspect it will facilitate easier translations.

I am not a member of The Guild, but I decided I should be constructive and offer a rewrite. My edit is for the five paragraphs that precede the Table of Contents - the prologue one might call it - which I think is actually pretty good as it is--much better than the flowery 'The future we imagine'. Here is the prologue as written, followed by my rewrite:

In January 2017, we, the constituents of the Wikimedia movement, started an ambitious discussion about our collective future. We decided to reflect on our past sixteen years together, and imagine the impact we could have in the world in the next decades. Our aim was to identify a common strategic direction that would unite and inspire people across our movement on our way to 2030, and help us make decisions.

From on-wiki discussions, to large conferences, to small meetups, to expert interviews, to deep research,[1] the process has been exhaustive, messy, and fascinating. It didn’t take long to confirm that the greatest strength of the Wikimedia movement is the talent, dedication, and integrity of its members. Any successful strategy must accommodate the diversity of the people in our communities, including our particular interests, motivations, and contributions. Some of us write encyclopedia articles. Some of us develop software. Some of us donate money, time, or expertise. Some curate data, sources, or media. Some organize events, advocate for copyright reform, or remix artwork. Some are community organizers, educators, or wikignomes. Some are just very curious people. Some of us do all of the above, and more.

What brings us together is not what we do; it’s why we do it.

We are all part of this movement because we share a belief that free knowledge makes the world a better place. Every human being deserves access to knowledge, and has innate capacity to participate in its creation, curation, and sharing. That is non-negotiable.

Therefore, it is natural that this shared vision is the basis of the direction that has emerged. The direction goes beyond, though, and invites us to focus on the infrastructures we need to move closer to that vision.

My rewrite:

In January 2017, volunteer editors for Wikipedia and sister projects, initiated an ambitious discussion about our collective future. We reflected on our past sixteen years together and considered the worldwide impact we could have over the next 12 years. We discussed a strategic direction designed to help people around the world readily access high-quality, reliable, trustworthy knowledge.

From on-wiki discussions, to large conferences, to small meetups, to expert interviews, to research,[1] the process has been exhaustive, messy, and fascinating. It did not take long to reaffirm the Wikimedia Movement's greatest strength: Our members' diverse talents, determination, and integrity. We agreed that our strategic direction must accommodate the diversity of the people in our communities, including our particular interests, motivations, and contributions. Some of us write encyclopedia articles. Some of us develop software. Some of us donate money. Some curate data, sources, or media. Some organize events, advocate for copyright reform, or remix artwork. Some are community organizers, educators, or wikignomes. Some of us do all of the above, and more.

What brings us together is not what we do, it is why we do it.

We are all part of this movement because we share a belief that free knowledge makes the world a better place. Every human being deserves easy access to knowledge. And every human being should have an opportunity to participate in knowledge curation and its efficient dissemination.

--Mark D Worthen PsyD (talk) 03:02, 15 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

Make it clear in the beginning of the page that there is a Drafting Space[edit]

I just noticed the Drafting space, which contains a complete rewrite of the much-criticized Direction: The future we imagine.

I bet I am not the only one who missed the Drafting Space. Please add a sentence notifying readers of this fact, preferably at the very beginning, i.e., along with:

This page is currently a draft. More information pertaining to this may be available on the talk page. Translation admins: Normally, drafts should not be marked for translation.

Thanks! --Mark D Worthen PsyD (talk) 03:01, 15 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

Competency to edit[edit]

My main concern is good editing. Just because "anyone can edit wikipedia" does not mean that "anyone SHOULD edit ANYTHING in wikipedia" - I think editors should only edit, what they have the competency for to edit. I think that this should be made a guiding principle or norm in wiki protocols. --User:Jurriaan2 (talk)15:00 15 August 2017 (UTC)

Well said. Don't we have consensus on this point? Mark D Worthen PsyD (talk) 17:03, 15 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

Who will decide who is competent? Doesn't that fly in the face of the fundamental strategic goal of "we will make it possible for anyone to join us in this effort." ?? Once you start limiting who can contribute, people will just migrate to another platform. I agree that there needs to be some method to vet the information presented and that this has not always been done well in the past. If you want to turn Wiki into just another on line encyclopedia then that is what it will become. Wiki now is a wonderful resource but I do not permit my college students to use it as a source because it is, by fundamental design, a crowd sourced resource and therefore not reliable as a scholarly resource. If you start limiting who can make edits, who will watch the watchmen? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 06:01, 16 ago 2017

That's a good point Unsigned| Colleges and Universities are not allowing Wikipedia as a source because Wikipedia is not a reliable scholarly source. I don't really contribute to Wikipedia much anymore because I was told that my POV on things that I am an expert on are not neutral; I have a bias. I felt like I wasn't being valued for my expertise and I just stopped editing Wikipedia pages altogether because I found it to be a waste of time to try and edit something that would never be accepted. Your point that "Once you start limiting who can contribute, people will just migrate to another platform." is valid and correct. I know of some articles that are not factual and aren't telling the real truth, but I can't do anything about those articles. I like Wikipedia and it's a good source of information, but it's not factual. Wikipedia simply gives a general idea and/or starting point on a topic so that people can find factual information. Qewr4231 (talk) 08:58, 16 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

How does Wikipedia determine who an expert is and who is qualified to edit a Wikipedia article? Qewr4231 (talk) 09:03, 16 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

  • I don't have a problem with the idea that "making it possible for anyone to join us" implies between the time they have become competent to do so and until they lose competency through dementia etc. Writing an encylopaedia, or a wiktionary, or most perhaps all of our projects is an inherently geeky hobby. Yes we have roles for everyone regardless of ability, aside from giving money, there are things like categorising pictures - if I can do that the competency bar is a low one. But it would be good if our strategy reflected that geeky nature of our core community. We seek geeks everywhere regardless of gender, age, location, shape and background. WereSpielChequers (talk) 19:45, 5 September 2017 (UTC)Reply

Nice Initiative[edit]

This is a nice step forward in order to reach every nook and corner of the world but i never understand the projects that are initiated by Wikipedia. Frankly speaking, i never saw any change happening but did see the strategy invites. The change that we are talking about is massive but there are many problems that we will be facing. Are we ready about them? are we aware about them? maybe not but we need to know them and understand them rather than just calling our half achievement a achievement later on. We need to realize that a big portion of globe still doesn't have access to either internet or Computer or awareness about Wikipedia. I hope that we succeed. Rest I am In for the movement.--Jeromeenriquez (talk) 16:25, 16 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

Definitely a step in a more accurate direction. I do think the word "diversity" scares/off-puts some people. Though it shouldn't. I think Wikipedia should just simply strive for accuracy. And accuracy will allow for diversity of knowledge and perspective. A commitment to accuracy will naturally address human blindspots/biases, so long as those who edit those blindspots aren't attacked/dismissed for including accurate information. Right now, accurate information can be easily dismissed by editors for personal/political reasons. There's got to be a way to mitigate against this, and doing so will only strengthen the information on well as the value of the overall project. History books/encyclopedias have been rife with inaccuracies because they only reflect one perspective/worldview. So a lot gets left out, glossed over, or reimagined. If members of the community really value Wikipedia as a public resource for accurate knowledge...then we should welcome taking steps that guide the project in this direction. Justbean (talk) 22:17, 16 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

Obsolete because of brackets[edit]

In German it is normal to seperate enumerations with letters. "has three components: creating a body" gets translated as "drei Komponenten: a) ein Gebilde von Wissen". However, when doing so, the translation will remain as marked in a different colo(u)r with a warning, because the number of brackets is uneven. How can I circumvent this? --Gereon Kalkuhl (WMF) (talk) 22:13, 16 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

Solved by stjn with a). --Gereon Kalkuhl (WMF) (talk) 10:42, 26 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

Please stop your association with Minassian Media, Inc. until you've cleaned up the cabals on en.wp[edit]

Most folks are unaware of the fact that the Clinton Foundation's Chief Communications Officer's side company (he works 50 hours a week for the Clinton Foundation according to recent CF 990 forms) has been doing contract work for the WMF for the past several years. Their Communications Audit was completed several months prior to the 2016 US General Election and was not published by the WMF until after the election. This timing may be the reason that nobody noted the conflict of interest inherent in allowing a close ally of a presidential candidate to be in charge of the WMF's public relations / communications strategy. Of course those who are familiar with the gatekeeping on articles like en:Clinton_Foundation, en:Share_Blue, en:Hillary_Clinton_presidential_campaign,_2016 will be less surprised with this close association. (There are many examples; these are just among the most obvious examples of gatekeeping associated with the Clinton Foundation / campaign while Minassian Media was being paid by the WMF (2014-present)).

There are many more details concerning the WMF's plan to continue using the Clinton Foundation CCO's company for its communications work on the talk page of the 2017-2018 annual plan (though this information is actually quite well hidden in the report). It should be noted that Craig Minassian is a regular donor to the WMF.

A very important goal for the Wikimedia Movement is breaking up the tolerance of the cabals on en.wp as these cabals have been draining the project of credibility. Another goal will be to undo the influence of the current Communications team which seeks to conflate legitimate criticism (of these cabals) with "harassment". Multiple documents on meta and on en.wp have language that repeats the word "harassment" obsessively in virtually every sentence and studiously avoids the word "criticism". (On en.wp an excellent example is en:WP:LINKLOVE, on meta an example is the grant proposal for an investigative toolbox described here with 78 occurrences of the root "harass" and only 3 uses of the root "critic"). SashiRolls (talk) 22:38, 17 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

Start with the Advisory Board[edit]

Several members of the Wikimedia Foundation Advisory Board are members of the Open Society Institute, a PR agency that works for multiple governments. The Open Society Institute's head George Soros is one of the leading financiers of the Democratic Party and is in business with the Muslim Brotherhood's Wadah Khanfar. Not coincidentally, the Open Society Institute has a project to reduce Western support for the War on Terror by suppressing information about the Muslim Brotherhood's ideology and operations and smearing the analysts who study them. Two PR operatives hired for this Soros/Khanfar project are Faiz Shakir and Wajahat Ali of the Center for American Progress, the Democratic Party's main think tank. Funds for this project also went to the Proteus Fund which hosts Anita Sarkeesian's Feminist Frequency.

Another member of the WMF Advisory Board has a business relationship with Purpose co-founder Jon Huggett. Purpose is also known as Avaaz,, Res Publica, GetUp,, and several other corporations that share executive staff. It is an international PR agency that works for the Democratic Party and has also worked to promote military intervention on behalf of the Muslim Brotherhood in Libya and Syria.

Another member of the WMF Advisory Board has a business relationship with former CIA Clandestine Services director Michael Sulik and a relationship with Muna AbuSulayman of Saudi Kingdom Holdings whose director Alwaleed bin Talal has funded Muslim Brotherhood operations in the United States.

Several members of the WMF Advisory Board are part of the PR ring Data and Society Research Institute hosted by the MacArthur Foundation that is designed to insert disinformation into Wikipedia from faked news reports in participating media (The Guardian, Financial Times, New York Times, Washington Post, National Geographic, Gawker, Huffington Post, Vice, Buzzfeed, Wired, many more) and faked academic research produced by Columbia University's Institute for Women and Gender (which ran the mattress hoax), the USC Annenberg Center for Communications, the MIT Media Lab, the Berkman Center for Internet and Society which is staffed by former Clinton, Obama, Kerry, and Dean campaign operatives, and other university affiliates. This PR ring includes executive staff of the Democratic Party's campaign organizations Blue State Digital, Color of Change, and New Organizing Institute. The PR ring's financiers include a Chinese billionaire, the United Arab Emirates Enterprises Group / HSBC Middle East, the aforementioned Wadah Khanfar, and the United Nations projects UN Women and UN Alliance of Civilizations.

Why do we allow PR agencies to have this much influence on Wikipedia? 16:20, 21 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

Note, this comment seems informed by the mud machine operating against certain human rights organisations, like the Hungarian government against Soros. Cf. European Parliament resolution and European Commission view. It's a reminder of the hostile environment Wikimedia faces in certain countries and contexts which have (currently) little tolerance for our values. --Nemo 06:40, 22 August 2017 (UTC)Reply
In principle, "our" values do not include propaganda and suppression of dissenting opinion; yet in fact this is what often happens on en.wp. If you listen to Wadah Khanfar speaking on Democracy Now! after the release of the Downing street memo (which suggested Bush wanted to blow up Al Jazeera), you'll see that the idea he espouses is giving voice to multiple perspectives, not in enforcing a house POV to the exclusion of all others. SashiRolls (talk) 00:53, 1 September 2017 (UTC)Reply


Wikignomes is a great term for an important group of contributors. Still, the term isn't used in many projects besides en:wp. In the draft the term can be found in the first section in an enumeration of different kinds of users. Since it is very en specific, it is hard to translate, especially for translators who are not familiar with the usage in en:wp. Maybe a more general term or just a different example would be better. Alice Wiegand (talk) 08:08, 17 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

Wikignomes should not be listed at the end of the list, almost as an afterthought. They are far, far more important to actual encyclopedia-building than community organizers and educators who are peripheral to content creation and management. Wbm1058 (talk) 16:09, 18 August 2017 (UTC)Reply
"In January 2017, we, the constituents of the Wikimedia movement, started an ambitious discussion about our collective future. We decided to reflect on our past sixteen years together, and imagine the impact we could have in the world in the next decades. Our aim was to identify a common strategic direction that would unite and inspire people across our movement on our way to 2030, and help us make decisions.
"From on-wiki discussions, to large conferences, to small meetups, to expert interviews, to deep research, the process has been exhaustive, messy, and fascinating. It didn’t take long to confirm that the greatest strength of the Wikimedia movement is the talent, dedication, and integrity of its members. Any successful strategy must accommodate the diversity of the people in our communities, including our particular interests, motivations, and contributions. Some of us write encyclopedia articles. Some of us edit encyclopedia articles so that they conform to community policies and guidelines, and manage the infrastructure, such as disambiguation pages, that help readers find what they're looking for. Some of us manage workflow processes. Some of us regulate community behavior. Some of us develop software. Some of us donate money, time, or expertise. Some curate data, sources, or media. Some organize events, advocate for copyright reform, or remix artwork. Some are community organizers or educators., or wikignomes. Some are just very curious people. Some of us do all of the above, and more."

Text size[edit]

I started reading this document attentively, with the intention to read it from beginning to end.

I immediately realized that it's very hard, even though its formatting is almost the same as that of a Wikipedia article. People sometimes say that I'm crazy and I'm ruining my eyesight, but I am usually comfortably with very small text size. But it was not actually comfortable for me here. And then I realized that I very rarely read a Wikipedia article attentively from beginning to end. I open Wikipedia articles very frequently —as an actual reader, not as an editor or a MediaWiki developer—, but usually it's just for finding a particular quick fact, and not for reading the whole thing from beginning to end.

To actually be able to read this important document completely and comfortably, I used Firefox's "Reading mode" feature. It's a little book icon in the address bar. It works on both desktop and mobile versions of Firefox. It removes formatting that is unnecessary for reading the main article content, and increases the text size. The page immediately became much more readable.

I'm writing all this not as a complaint about the page, but as a kind of a self-demonstrating proof that the visual formatting of Wikipedia needs big-time rethinking. I absolutely don't think that the format of a long prose article with lots of stories, facts, footnotes, quotations, images, tables, and all those other elements is outdated, as some people inf the strategy discussions claim. It is relevant and alive, and will remain relevant and alive for the foreseeable future. But its presentation's design must be updated ASAP. --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 16:45, 17 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

Define "community"[edit]

This document uses the word "community" many times.

For example, "As a movement, we will assemble through strong, sustainable communities that motivate us to contribute".

What does the word "community" mean?

Sorry for being very picky about words, but this document is important, and English is not the native language for myself and for a lot of other people who express their thoughts here, so let's make sure that we agree about the meaning of each word and sentence.

For example, about the sentence I quoted above: Aren't we already assembled in communities? Or are we assembled in communities that are not sustainable? Or is it something else that motivates, and we think that it is desirable that communities motivate us rather than something else? If the latter is correct, then why is it desirable? I, for one, am motivated by the idea expressed near the top of the document: the belief that free knowledge makes the world a better place. Not necessarily by any community. I am happy that there are people who share this belief and that we help each other, but it's not the same as motivation.

But I digress.

So what is "community"?

  1. unified body of individuals?
  2. people with common interests?
  3. an interacting population of various kinds of individuals?
  4. a group of people with a common characteristic or interest?
  5. a group linked by a common policy
  6. a body of persons [...] having a common history?
  7. a body of persons of common and especially professional interests scattered through a larger society?

The above is an abridged list of definitions of "community" from Merriam-Webster.

Or is it a "community" in the American sense of community organizing? That would be a whole other thing altogether.

(I'll tell you what we really shouldn't be: "a body of persons having a common history". We definitely have a common history—a history of wiki syntax bugs, inside jokes, Wikimanias, etc. And it's OK to have this common history, but it must really not be the only thing we have.)

So, to sum up this long braindump—We keep using the word "community", and I don't think it means what we think it means. And if each of us understands it differently, then maybe we shouldn't use it at all. --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 17:49, 17 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

In the context of this document, 'community' actually holds all these meanings. the fact everybody can take a different meaning from it, depending on their social affiliation or normal type of social interaction, is evidence that this is well written. Aguyintobooks (talk) 21:52, 17 August 2017 (UTC)Reply
If it indeed means all of these things, then it's not well-written.
I suspect that it's closer to the truth that either:
  • It means one thing, or a small set of things, to the people who wrote and who will interpret it, making decisions about budgets, products, etc. I'm just not sure which thing it is, and I'd love to see it made more focused.
  • It means a different thing for each of the persons who were involved in writing this, and yet something else to the people who will interpret it. This, sadly, is more likely. --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 13:29, 20 August 2017 (UTC)Reply
I don't think that defining "community" is necessarily a good thing. A strict definition would be a strong exercise of power, because it would necessarily let somebody out; and nobody has (or maybe should have) this power, except maybe by some ultra-large referendum among Wikimedia contributors won by some very high qualified majority.
It's good to have imprecision in founding documents, because that gives a way for evolution. One can get some hints on the topic from w:Living Constitution (very USA-centric article; there are piles and piles of literature on the topic from German and other European scholars).
I always recommend reading Hannah Arendt, she explains many things we see even in Wikimedia (for instance in The Origins of Totalitarianism). A short summary might be available in UNHCR's Nationality and Statelessness: A Handbook for Parliamentarians, which has a quotation «To be stripped of citizenship is to be stripped of worldliness; it is like returning to a wilderness as cavemen or savages... A man who is nothing but a man has lost the very qualities which make it possible for other people to treat him as a fellow man... they could live and die without leaving any trace, without having contributed anything to the common world.» --Nemo 07:15, 22 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

Searching wikis is the main problem[edit]

In my opinion the main problem is searching WMF content. Users searching for some knowledge almost never come to wikimedia projects to find knowledge. They rely on external search engines that optimize their results based on their activity (in shops, in social networks etc.) and (...) based on prepaid ads. These engines provide them with specific results, not based on what reader "really" wants, but on what might want (or, sometimes, "should" want). This is a very bad way to find knowledge we struggle to collect here. Creating an open source search-wikimedia engine will be much much useful. --Xoristzatziki (talk) 05:38, 18 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

In case some people may think that this will make us a competitor to these search engines (and thus they will do something "bad"), we can create our search engine and provide to those legitimate private search engines our results to add them to their results as an extra.--Xoristzatziki (talk) 05:45, 18 August 2017 (UTC)Reply
Um... have you read an article about Knowledge Engine, Xoristzatziki? The WMF tried it once, but it was done in a non-transparent way. The documents about the search engine project were leaked; the project was then abandoned or shelved. Meanwhile, you can comment on Wikidirectory, a proposed project that collects links related to various topics, similar to Yahoo's now-defunct directory system and now-defunct, if you like. --George Ho (talk) 07:18, 18 August 2017 (UTC)Reply
Knowledge Engine is something totally different. Knowledge Engine is about replacing search engines in order to keep readers inside wikipedias. My personal problem is that although we are gathering Knowledge I still rely on external search engines to find information already gathered here. We are supposed to gather non garbage, verified information. Why I have to recourse to an external search engine which gathers almost every garbage in the Planet? (I am not against those search engines gathering all garbage, which is very useful many times. I am against using them when I try to find "reliable" information already gathered here.)--Xoristzatziki (talk) 04:47, 19 August 2017 (UTC)Reply
Oh... I guess I had difficulties in summarizing the purpose of Knowledge Engine. Another attempt was Wikia Search, which was the short-lived open-source search engine. But if you still believe in an open-source search engine, Xoristzatziki, how would another open-source search engine be better than Knowledge Engine and Wikia Search? Also, why investing the future in search engines instead of attempting to revive the glory of web directories? --George Ho (talk) 05:02, 19 August 2017 (UTC)Reply
Because I cannot imagine the usefulness of any, nowadays, "library", at WMF's scale, without something close to w:Reference interview. Wikia Search also was about searching the Net. WikiAnswers is also something else. It is close to Reference interview but since we are volunteers is not an option. --Xoristzatziki (talk) 05:40, 19 August 2017 (UTC)Reply
@Xoristzatziki: There is Apache Lucene, mentioned in Next Generation Search Engines (ISBN 978-1-4666-0330-1, ISBN 978-1-4666-0332-5), which does some open-source projects involving search engines. Furthermore, here are sources discussing web search engines and web directories: Personally, I find search engines a lot more complex for an average user and web developers than web directories. I'm unsure why Jimbo or the WMF should invest in creating another search engine project, which I believe would create more problems than it solves, like millions of dollars invested on one search engine project, a software too complicated even for new developers, etc. But I'll leave their decisions up to them. --George Ho (talk) 13:23, 19 August 2017 (UTC)Reply
Your sources are a bit outdated: we are already using Elasticsearch, the evolution of Lucene. We used Lucene many years ago. Work on mw:Wikimedia Discovery/Search continues and is expected to continue, as I was told at mw:Talk:Wikimedia Engineering/June 2017 changes. --Nemo 06:46, 22 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

Independent scientists[edit]

Independent scientists that after their study start their career in industry or in a non-science related organization may encounter problems when they want to publish scientific documents. This also holds for retired scientists. Often these authors write unconventional and controversial papers. Such papers do not easily pass a peer review boundary. Open access publishing is free for readers but far from free for authors. Usually, a strict registration is required. A disadvantage of most publishing services is that they do not support a revision service. Arxiv and vixra are exceptions. For an independent researcher, the initiation and maintenance of a Wikiversity project is a very favorable way of free publication that enables open access to both readers and participants. Wikiversity projects are not ideally suited for discussion and debating, but very suitable alternatives exist, for example in the form of a ResearchGate project. I have initiated the and the corresponding This combination represents a very powerful new way of science spreading via the internet.--HansVanLeunen (talk) 13:02, 18 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

That's interesting @HansVanLeunen:, but could you make it more clear how you relate that to the 2030 strategy plan? Could you give some specific actionable points you would think interesting to see in the document related to the topic you exposed? --Psychoslave (talk) 20:05, 18 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

@Psychslave, All of the recognized publishing media require support or endorsement of a recognized institution or person. In most cases, individual scientists lack such support because they do not have actual relations to such institutions or persons. Further, the peer reviewers are usually biased and they are certainly not omniscient. Therefore, the documents of the independent or retired authors do not pass the barriers that publishing media have constructed. In addition, the regular publishing media do not support the revision of published documents. From my own experience, I know that my insights regularly change (I hope they improve). That is why I prefer publication facilities that allow revision. Arxiv and Vixra provide and efficient revision service. Wikiversity also allows adaptation of published pages. Wikiversity does not require endorsement or support from a recognized institution. Instead, it allows the cooperation of a group of individual researchers on a scientific project in an openly accessible way. This opportunity is new and promising. It allows a group of individual researchers to jointly perform a research project. The Hilbert Book Model is an example. It dives deep into the unexplored lower levels of the structure of reality and invites everybody in joining and completing that exploration.--HansVanLeunen (talk) 08:56, 22 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

Like you, @HansVanLeunen:, I appreciate Wikiversity, and I do understand how it can be interesting and attractive for independent scientists. So my clarification demand wasn't really on how what is already provided today is great, but more focused on, but how do you see that it should impact the future of our movement through which means. For example, you use Researchgate in combination with Wikiversity, do you think that services provided by the former should be integrated in the later, or that some better interoperability should be investigated? Or would you have other recommandation? --Psychoslave (talk) 12:23, 22 August 2017 (UTC)Reply
I'd be very sceptical about publishing scientific research in a wiki simply because it cannot be accepted in a peer reviewed journal. I think that poses a high risk of publishing fringe or pseudoscience. Any wiki-based science publication should adhere strictly to rigorous peer review (e.g. the WikiJournal of Medicine). There are reasons why a wiki might make a good publishing outlet (free, open access model and easy integration with Wikipedia) but using it to bypass traditional scientific publishing would be counterproductive. (I also posted this on the cycle 3 discussion, so apologies for the repetition). T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 05:57, 1 September 2017 (UTC)Reply

"We will carry on creating content as we have done in the past."[edit]

We will carry on creating content as we have done in the past. I was hoping for something better than this. Wbm1058 (talk) 16:45, 18 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

We will continue our endeavor to create even better content than we already have.

  • We will work to improve content quality and breadth
  • We will work to improve editor behavior

Corporate language[edit]

Translated from: m:Talk:Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2017/Direction/pl#Korpobełkot

It sounds like a distorted advertising leaflet. Communion, banal, pious wishes given in the propaganda sauce of success. However, it must be said that some passages are fun. "The strategic direction of the Wikimedia movement for 2030 is to become the roads, bridges, and villages that support the world's journey towards free knowledge." Ah, that direction, which becomes a road, a bridge and even a village! "In this way we become roads, bridges and villages that support the world's journey to free knowledge." - I see that someone really liked these roads and bridges. "People everywhere will feel as though they have a role to play in advancing free and open knowledge." - it sounds pretty sarcastic (implicitly "... while in reality they will have no role"). Well, in truth, I was expecting something like that. So much good that we dealt with some things, maybe something locally implemented. --Teukros (talk) 20:28, 17 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

Hi, Teukros. You may want to read the revised direction "Knowledge equity" saying: "The goal of the Wikimedia movement for 2030 is to make it possible for anyone in good faith to join us in our quest for free knowledge." (Polish version "Sprawiedliwość wiedzy": Celem ruchu Wikimedia do 2030 r. jest umożliwienie każdemu w dobrej wierze przyłączenia się do nas w poszukiwaniu wolnej wiedzy.) One of the WMF staff is still re-working the draft. --George Ho (talk) 20:35, 18 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

Distributed and diverse local communities[edit]

Continuing the topic I started above, at the section Define "community", I'd like to ask about this part:

We will recognize the strength of distributed and diverse local communities as powerful tools for adaptation and innovation

Mmm... how can communities be both local and distributed at once?

Does it mean that there will be a distributed Wikimedia meta-community, with many tighter local communities around the globe? Is it something that will be recognized? That's, more or less, is the case already, isn't it? Stronger communities in some places, weaker in others.

Or is each of the plural communities distributed?

Sorry if I'm too nitpicky, but an important strategic document must use precise language. --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 13:34, 20 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

I'm pretty sure that many of our editors don't consider themselves part of any wiki community. If we are going to make a big who ha about being community based we really need to spell it out that we regard anyone who makes goodfaith edits as being part of our community. I fear the current strategy would look like excluding some of the people we really don't want to feel more excluded than they are. WereSpielChequers (talk) 19:59, 5 September 2017 (UTC)Reply

Low barrier of entry[edit]

The current version says:

"The low barrier of entry from our early years has now become insurmountable for many newcomers"

Was it ever really low?

In terms of the technical knowledge needed to edit, the barrier in the early 2000s was actually higher. It's just that Wikipedia started out as a geeky project—in many ways, a continuation of the old Unix and Usenet hackers culture (that's why we still move pages instead of renaming them, for example!). And of course, Wikipedia was less known, and less people even tried to join it.

In terms of the knowledge needed to format the content and to cite sources in a way that won't get the contribution speedily deleted, yes, the barrier is probably higher today in the largest languages, but that's the price of quality. I know that many people don't like hearing it, but that's how it is.

We can lower some technical barriers to make editing easier, and to make high-quality editing easier, but we cannot just give up on quality itself. The document itself already mentions quality as a goal several times. I mean, OK, we can go the way of Everything2, which is an awesome website, and we can allow, um, everything to be written on Wikipedia, but I really don't think that that's the intention. --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 13:57, 20 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

For the Wikipedia part, there are still many topics which have no or stub contents even in largest Wikipedia. So maybe newcomers might be guided to that kind of articles to start with where there they will less probably enter in conflict with exigence of already well covered topics. A huge effort in gamification in general would be great in general within our environment, and some specific points might be thought regarding such a guiding progressive path from editing orphan articles to those already labeled. To keep this path attractive, users should be given proposals which would must likely be of interest for them (efforts in this direction have been done in the translation tool, for example). Proposals might include contributing on localities to which the user is most probably linkable, or user known interests, both requiring consideration on how to deal with that kind of "tracking" information. Also we might redirect user to other projects where less expertise is required to contribute. For example Wikisource only require the user to be able to correct OCR. On the other hand, experts which see barriers regarding possible POV or conflict of interest (as stated in Competency to edit) might be guided to appropriate research department of Wikiversity. Or more incentive to translate to other known languages by the user, for example a statement "If you liked availabily of this article, please consider broaden it's availability by translating it" for example. Also when using the "near here" feature, users might be invited to contribute to Wikivoyage or Commons. --Psychoslave (talk) 15:52, 20 August 2017 (UTC)Reply
The interface was harsh at the beginning but editing was way too easier. No infoboxes, templates, refs, categories etc. Just plain text with some basic formatting. Even making internal links was encouraged but not required. So, you could just open edit window and write. Some more skilled people were adding links and making more sophisticated things such as tables. Polimerek (talk) 19:50, 20 August 2017 (UTC)Reply
The barriers to entry are not just about the editor itself. They are about the arcane rules, feisty community dynamics, quick reversion of content without a corresponding will to educate new users about how to get their material to stay, to name a few challenges. Training to write new content on Wikipedia is somewhat lengthy, as any educator or edit-a-thon host will tell you.--Carwil (talk) 12:28, 24 August 2017 (UTC)Reply
Though I know you're speaking more of wiki-mores than training sequences, your comment made me think of the Wiki-MOOC on France Université Numérique (FUN) which is well-conceived, and pretty thorough. It does unfortunately neglect discussion of the social aspect of the site. (I don't believe the notion of reverting edits is mentioned at all.) There is also a bit too much on the libriste agenda and far too much reliance on the visual editor (from memory). Still, it's well done and despite the rough time WMF France has experienced of late, they should get some credit for making and placing that MOOC at FUN. SashiRolls (talk) 15:05, 8 September 2017 (UTC)Reply

Underserved regions[edit]

The current version of the Direction document says:

We will extend the Wikimedia presence globally by supporting both existing communities and communities in underserved regions of the world

This reminds me of this little-known page: Community Engagement/Defining Emerging Communities. Though not very famous, it describes a current de-facto WMF resourcing policy. It says in its FAQ:

But what about the Lao language? What about the ~50 million speakers of the Hausa language?
We cannot (though we'd dearly like to) seed communities from zero. We (and others) have tried, more than once. (For example, the Setswana Wikipedia Challenge, which was a complete failure in recruiting editors (zero editors retained), and indirectly led WMF to invest thousands of dollars in volunteers who were not self-motivated editors. Another example is Wikimedia Sverige's attempt to seed an editing community in the Luganda language (spoken by the Ganda people in Uganda).) We have not found a way to do it within community norms. Given our limited resources (significantly limited, in relation to the magnitude of the vision), we must focus our efforts on more achievable and more efficient goals.  : We can support some experimentation toward creating editors in those languages, via grants to interested individuals or groups with bright ideas. That mechanism is explicitly still available to "least developed communities".

So, when we say that (my emphasis) We will extend the Wikimedia presence globally by supporting both existing communities and communities in underserved regions of the world, does it mean that the policy described in this answer will change, and Wikimedia will do more to kickstart new communities? --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 14:05, 20 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

Be bold (with editing)[edit]

Translated from: Talk:Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2017/Direction/pl#Edytuj śmiało!

In my opinion the slogan "be bold" should remain a motto and strategic direction of the Wikimedia Movement. This should include making stubs more easy, by creating easy to use templates and software more intuitive for newbies. Each valuable edition should be at best corrected and not removed. Deleting is contrary to the idea of "be bold" - anyone who sees the error or awkwardness of editions should improve it for the better.

Complicated software of Wikipedia make it difficult to edit for new members of the community. Their edits are deleted because they are doing something irrelevant. Often people who are eager to create or edit articles quit because they do not cope with the editing language. Therefore, the development of Wikipedia should be designed to facilitate the editing of beginners so that the project does not become an elitist hermetic group of experts who will cut off from others. --Synthesium (talk) 00:25, 21 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

Use of "human progress"[edit]

I put this commentary in the sticky wall of one strategy session at Wikimania 2017 but I can repeat here to discuss and ask for the remotion of "human progress" in the redaction of the paragraph. My reasons:

  • Human progress is a strong eurocentric and western concept that can't be shared or pursued of the majority of the people of the world. As far I know we are aiming to a truly global movement. As Walter Benjamin pointed, the idea of non-stopping advance in the way of "progress" frequently can fail into an "unlimited trust", that can blur the notion of ups and downs and different rythms of work into the vastness of people who integrate this movement. "Many undesirable movements were treated as historical norms, when in fact they were aberrations. In this sense, the notion of secular progress, as well in the secular and religious ways, is closely related to the tyranny of immutable principles", Brazilian philosopher Boaventura de Sousa Santos wroted.
  • In the name of "human progress" was realized many of the worst crimes against humanity. We can find "human progress" as the justification of the colonialism in Africa and Latin America, in the Racism at the ends of the XIX century, in one of the worst genocides of our history. If we remark and stay this concept as a part of the guidance of the movement we are doing an unforeseen echo of this justifications. --ProtoplasmaKid (WM-MX) (talk) 23:26, 21 August 2017 (UTC)Reply
The white man's burden
The concept of "progress" and "development" is highly abused but there are ways to express oneself carefully; any argument for change (be it progressist or reactionary) can be abused by extremists, but we cannot just give up going anywhere. For instance the UNO 2030 goals for sustainable development contain language such as «ensure that all human beings can fulfil their potential in dignity and equality and in a healthy environment», «ensure that all human beings can enjoy prosperous and fulfilling lives and that economic, social and technological progress occurs in harmony with nature». [4] [5] [6] [7]
Oh and by the way, given our work focuses a lot on copyright: even the WIPO had to adjust its rhetoric, we don't have to invent everything ourselves. WIPO Member States adopted 45 recommendations (of the 111 original proposals) made by the Provisional Committee on Proposals Related to a WIPO Development Agenda (PCDA).
Meanwhile, certain projects like New Readers sometimes still use a rhetoric which reminds me of the white man's burden... Nemo 07:03, 22 August 2017 (UTC)Reply
Thank you @ProtoplasmaKid: for puting our attention to this point. First, let replace the use of this expression in its context:
In [assembling through strong, sustainable communities that motivate us to contribute and welcoming people from everywhere to grow fields of knowledge that represent human diversity], we will contribute to human progress, and to a better understanding of the world and of ourselves.
In this context, to my mind, the expression is less problematic than you seems to fear. Sure it has been used in conjonction with awful actions. But you shouldn't drop a concept just because it have been used in discourse of totalitarians and genocidaires, that would be providing them yet an other terrible harmful power. For example, you shouldn't drop world peace as an ideal because some random dictator proposed to achieve it through its world domination gained through merciless war.
Now, we might anyway go without the "human progress", and use something like "improvement of human conditions" instead. I would also add that a formulation like "we will do that and we will obtain this" seems a rather strongly putative statement. I think that a formulation like "We are doing that in the hope to obtain this" would seems less arrogant, and announce more mind openness toward possible error recognition which is indispensable for any improvement possibility. --Psychoslave (talk) 07:35, 22 August 2017 (UTC)Reply
Thanks, @Psychoslave:. I'm agree with you about the using of "improvement of human conditions". Best,--ProtoplasmaKid (WM-MX) (talk) 18:03, 22 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

Knowledge equity[edit]

Translated from Italian Wikipedia. We were discussing this section. --Niccolò "Jaqen" Caranti (WMF) (talk) 07:04, 22 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

"In good faith" seems a bit redundant. It's like saying "everyone is allowed to row with us ( Sarebbe come dire "consentire a chiunque di unirsi alla nostra pagaiata (provided he wants to row and not just to lie down in the boat. --Nemo 20:23, 21 ago 2017 (CEST)

The revised draft[edit]

I like the text in the revised draft very much and will be happy to endorse it. There are some minor editing issues I hope you will find way to ensure will be corrected. For example i find the passage A more just future a bit fluffy. And i wonder if you not every time you mention equity should write the completet "knowledge equity" (last word in We will build fair systems for creating different forms of trusted knowledge). Yger (talk) 18:32, 22 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

Noting that I am commenting on this iteration of the draft. Since when do we create knowledge? We *document* knowledge that has been created by someone else. If we "created" knowledge, we'd be research scientists, or historians or some other thing than...well, knowledge curators and documentarians. This is actually a pretty critical point: we take existing knowledge and package it into many different formats (images, sound, text, data, and probably any number of other formats in the future), so saying that we create knowledge is contrarian to everything that we're doing today and plan to do in the future. We just had a bunch of discussions in Montreal about collecting and curating the oral histories of many cultures - which may well require new formats or methods of presenting that knowledge - but even in these cases, we're working with existing knowledge. So...instead of "create", how about "collect and share" or "gather and disseminate"?

I'm getting a tiny bit concerned that the supporting text remains awfully idealistic (it has a noticeably liberal bias) and this is the point where I will suggest dialing it back a bit and, well, keeping our eye on the mission. Making knowledge available to everyone in the world, peasant or prince, overcoming barriers as we encounter them: On mission. Justice for all: not on mission, because it involves structures and activities that are not related to sharing of knowledge.

In other news, I think this strategy statement will be a lot easier to translate into the diaspora of languages than the earlier, more metaphoric and jargon-filled drafts. Since that needs to be a primary objective in the final wording of the strategic direction, I am very happy to see this simplification of language. We need to communicate our goals to people, in their language, in order to persuade them to join us. Risker (talk) 03:08, 23 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

@Risker: If we wanted to stick to the verb "create" would "creating content" (which is used sometimes in the draft) be ok? It seems to be ok in Italian, and imho it sounds good also in English, but I am not a native speaker. --Jaqen (talk) 07:37, 23 August 2017 (UTC)Reply
I strongly disagree with the term "content". To my mind, it's almost as insulting for the community work as stating that people as considered as tools. You can generate content with any dummy piece of random byte generator, but you need humans somewhere in the process if you aim to elaborate a collection of media which are meaningful for humans. I think that "constitute", "establish", "form", "make" or "produce" would make a better fit than "create" as they evacuate the demiurgic connotations of the later. And rather than "content", I would propose "corpus", "oeuvre" (that is opera in Italian), "opus", "production" or "work". Any feedback and particularly other suggestions is specially welcome here. --Psychoslave (talk) 12:00, 23 August 2017 (UTC)Reply
To answer accurately to your question "Since when do we create knowledge?" Template:Risker, you should first provide clear definitions of "create" and "knowledge". Depending on definitions, it might be said that
  • there is no way to make any utterance without performing an act of creation unique with the context of it is uttered, even when trying to be as verbatim or paraphrastic as possible;
  • or at the extrem opposite, that there is no possible way to create anything anyway, knowledge included and "knowledge creation" is just a modulation of some mind illusion.
But putting this considerations apart, your statements are clearly far too Wikipedia-centric, and we do accept and even promote original works, see Wikiversity, and you might consult the general statements on meta about this topic. You can also read several related intervention on this present talk page, like "Knowlege" and "free knowledge". --Psychoslave (talk) 12:00, 23 August 2017 (UTC)Reply
Hello, Psychoslave. I put it to you that everywhere that knowledge is provided by Wikimedia projects, it is never a creation of knowledge; the knowledge already exists in some other form, even if it is not directly linked to the content. The "original research" of Wikiversity doesn't refer to creating knowledge, it refers to the original publication of knowledge that has been surfaced via research. I'm well aware of the difference between "original research" and creation of knowledge. It makes me sad to have to accept that this isn't knowledge that is ingrained in people of all cultures, but it is a sadness I encounter on a daily basis both in my wiki-life and my life beyond the Wikimedia world. I'm afraid that I'm finding your comments too metaphysical to really respond to adequately. Risker (talk) 02:23, 24 August 2017 (UTC)Reply
If you do have in mind clear definable differences between "original research" and "creating knowledge", then please provide respective definitions which let anyone judge by themselves how they differs, where they might possibly overlap and where they exclude each other. Otherwise it will be impossible to ascertain whether you think you are well aware but really just have unexamined intuitions, or if you really had some reflections to give clear definitions off which do hold a conscious critical scrutiny. Sure I try to provide thoughtful comments (which doesn't make them exempt of possible errors, for sure). But so far as this discussion page goes, this comments are done with a will to avoid any metaphysical concern. Actually, I even already explicitly stated in the #Language section that "a metaphysic standpoint which […] doesn't have much relation or impact on our movement [is] superfluous […] and would introduce unnecessary way to debate endlessly". But it's one thing to avoid metaphysical debates, it's an other to completely evacuate any reflection on more or less precise definitions of central concepts we use, stating that they are "too metaphysical" or "too complicated". I hope this comment will convey my sincere will to be able to understand what you mean through "knowledge creation", through which processes it does happen, and through which processes it doesn't happen --Psychoslave (talk) 07:54, 24 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

Note about the revised draft[edit]


I'm about to go on a week-long semi-forced vacation, so I want to write a summary of what I've changed in case I don't have time to respond to all the individual comments on this page before then.

I started from the comments offered on this talk page and at Wikimania. I didn't yet have an official report, so I worked from my personal notes from the sessions, summarized in #Summary of comments above. I started editing the draft directly during Wikimania because I wanted to be able to show it to people during the conference and get some initial reactions before I took it any further. I used the bottom of the Meta page so that we could see the edits and compare with the previous version easily using the edit history.

I managed to rewrite the summary (green box) by Sunday of Wikimania and showed it to a few people. Their reactions encouraged me to update the rest of the document (implications and logical argumentation), which took me a couple of weeks.

I'm going to try and reuse the same format as above, but with more comments. One thing I want to mention is that Everyone Has Opinions, and sometimes those opinions are contradictory. Someone wants more advocacy and someone else wants less of it. Someone loves the metaphors and someone else hates them. Someone wants more technology and someone else wants more social programs. The outcome can't please everyone.

Comment about the original draft Response & integration in the revised draft
Both the text in the green box and the whole document are still too long / too complex / difficult to translate. I've simplified the text, using more straightforward language, and shortened the text by moving some of the details to the "Implications" section.
The metaphors are too vague. There is too much poetry / romanticism / PR speak. The metaphors were a tool to aid translation. My goal was to replace language that was precise but difficult to understand ("the essential support system for the global free knowledge ecosystem") by language that was understandable by a lot more people to give them an idea (albeit less precise) of what we were talking about. I think the revised draft is easy enough to understand without using metaphors.
Lack of clear direction / We are still trying to do everything and will therefore fail at everything / No indication of what we won't do. To me, this is the biggest problem, and one that was raised many times in the Wikimania sessions. The original draft lists everything we're doing and more, and doesn't provide any guidance about what we won't focus on, and how to make product and program decisions. That is partly my fault for writing a logical argumentation that is compelling but supports a direction that is too broad and diffuse. If the strategic direction doesn't help us decide what not to do, then it fails at being strategic.

I'm hoping that the revised draft better separates what we continue to do ("business as usual") and what we focus on more actively (the strategic direction). I think it more clearly identifies the master goal, and makes it clearer how we prioritize resources and make decisions.

It is unclear how individual contributors can participate in this; it feels too focused on affiliates and Foundation. By focusing on "structures", the original draft does indeed leave individual contributors wondering what their role is in implementing the direction. I'm hoping that the revised draft more explicitly shows what individual contributors can do to contribute to the direction (e.g. around creating a welcoming and rewarding environment) and gives them explicit mandate to keep doing their thing if they prefer.
It lacks ambition / It only describe what we're already doing / It needs more social justice / We are not including missing voices / We are not positioning ourselves to prepare for where our next generations of readers are coming from. To me this is the one thing that's really new. It's where the biggest opportunity is in the next 13 years, and it's where we haven't done nearly enough in the past. It's where we can (and really, have to) course-correct before we realize in 2030 that we've become irrelevant because most of the world's population not only isn't using our products, but doesn't even know we exist.

I also think this is how we resolve the problem of the original text not being directional enough and being so encompassing that it fails at providing guidance. Whatever we decide, we're still going to do many different things across the movement. But if we have a direction of equity / fairness, it helps us make decisions about everything we do. If we're deciding where to build data centers, we know which region is the priority. If we're deciding what mobile apps to build, we know to focus first on one that works offline or requires very little bandwidth. If we're deciding on which features to add in the software, we know to focus on those that lead to a welcoming experience, or enable contributors to collect new kinds of knowledge, or enable offline contributions. If we're deciding on partnerships (GLAM, WIR, access), we know to prioritize those that address gaps and systemic biases. If we're deciding how to distribute movement resources, we know to allocate them to affiliates and programs that support underrepresented groups of contributors. Those are just examples and they're written from a place of privilege, so they're probably not ideal, but hopefully they give a sense of how this direction can be used to make decisions where the the original text couldn't.

To me, this direction is the one that is truly paradigm-shifting, because it forces us to ask ourselves: "Is this decision moving us in the direction of more fairness in our movement?" every time we decide something. It allows us to make choices, even if they're hard. And from my perception of the past few months, it is something that many people, both within and outside of our movement, are counting on us to do.

It doesn't clearly differentiate between knowledge and information / It doesn't clearly define what knowledge is. I'm not sure how to address that one. It seems to me that this kind of epistemological question, while very worthwhile and fascinating, cannot be resolved as part of the movement strategy process.
We need to say we're a political movement / We need more advocacy This is a contentious point and I've seen strong comments arguing for the opposite as well. I'm hoping that the language of the revised draft (including the "Implications" section) strikes a good balance.
It's not detailed enough / We need more specific goals. This initial phase of the process was intended to yield a long-term direction. It can't, by design, be specific, because it uses a long time horizon, and it wouldn't make sense to define specific goals for 13 years from now. Its purpose is to guide strategic plans on a shorter time frame, and those strategic plans (for 2 to 3 years) are the ones that will contain specific goals.

I may add more to this section, but hopefully this provides some idea of the rationale behind the changes that have led to the revised draft. Guillaume (WMF) (talk) 11:25, 23 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

PS: I've moved the proposed revised version to a separate page since I heard it was confusing to have two versions on the same page. Guillaume (WMF) (talk) 18:16, 23 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

PPS: I've talked with a few more people who feel that the revised draft goes too much in one direction and should be revised again to contain more of the "Infrastructure for open" or "Knowledge as a Service" theme, which is currently the main focus of the original draft. I will work on integrating those two better once I come back from vacation in early September, but I wanted to leave an update here so that people know what is happening with the different drafts. In other words: the original drafts has its strengths and flaws, and the revised draft has its strengths and flaws, and I will work on hopefully bringing out the best of each in a third version in early September. In the meantime, please continue to share your comments on both drafts. If people are willing to help summarize the comments (for example in a table similar to the one above, or in another format), that would be incredibly helpful for me and would enable me to turn out a better version faster when I return. Guillaume (WMF) (talk) 20:31, 23 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

Might we know if this people asked to stay anonymous and otherwise, if they agree, publish who this people are? --Psychoslave (talk) 07:59, 24 August 2017 (UTC)Reply
Lack of clear direction / We are still trying to do everything and will therefore fail at everything - I agree that it's possibly the biggest problem with this doc, and with the strategy in general. Is it intentionally so vague? Is there a plan to make it more focused? Most importantly, is there a commitment to actually give resources to these directions, rather than declare a direction and then say "that would be nice to do, but we won't actually do it because we don't have the money"? --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 14:26, 23 August 2017 (UTC)Reply
It only describe what we're already doing / It needs more social justice / We are not including missing voices - Yes! It's new, and let's doing it. Let's shift paradigms.
Let's include people who don't know English in this discussion—possibly the biggest missing voice. We made a small step forward with this in translating a lot of materials back and forth, but we need to do more. We need to hire strategy consultants who are not American, and who know first-hand that the point of languages is that people can know them and not know them.
Let's acknowledge that the challenges of people whom we expect to write in languages other than English and a bunch of other "big" languages, are inherently larger, and let's work to fix the language technology on the whole world wide web, not just on our own sites. Let's put the "world wide" in "world wide web"! We need it for the success of our mission, and if nobody else is doing it, then we need to do it. And let's be less vague about it.
Let's acknowledge that today there are many countries in which most people don't know English, but in which all the computer shops only sell English keyboards. Yes, it is political. But hey, don't we have a history of supporting political causes when they directly affect us? If we want to bring in more people who will write in their language, they should be able to write in their language, and if the politics and economics of their countries are stopping them from doing that, it's a political problem that directly affects us. So we should not just fix our software to support languages better, but we should raise people to demand from their governments the right to write in their language. If you're do not understand why is this problem relevant, it's because unlike SOPA and NSA, it's not an American problem, and American strategy consultants won't notice it and won't suggest including it in strategy direction document. But if we want to be an international movement and include more voices, then we need to tackle non-American political problems. Not all of them, just those that directly affect us. Of course, this keyboard example is just one example I care about; there are other non-American political problems we need to tackle.
Let's be bolder. --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 14:26, 23 August 2017 (UTC)Reply
Thank you @Amire80: for being so bold about this topic. I don't know what is the mindset of past consultants hired by WMF, and in which measure they influence its actions in an US-centric goals. I agree that having diversity in hired consultants, especially when they have skills related to most unrepresented groups, would both match with our values and diminish risks of bias toward already most favored groups. Thus said, I wouldn't favor a priori discrimination on consultant because of their nationality, would it be US citizenship or any other. I'm rather confident that there are people which care about non-US centric problems even in US, and actually the fact that we have this present discussion here is a proof of it I guess. Also I would be more cautious regarding the qualification of US-centric for the given examples. After-all it's not like NSA was spying "only" US citizens, to pick one. Regarding the topic of helping people to contribute in their language(s), I do agree that we should provide as much help as it is possible. So, maybe that might be added as an explicit goal, as it is both compatible with our values (to my mind at least) and enough "loose" to fit with such a long time strategy plan. --Psychoslave (talk) 18:27, 23 August 2017 (UTC)Reply
Thanks, Psychoslave :)
I didn't read everything about the current Strategy process; I'm not sure it's even possible, with so much volume :)
I'm going to talk here about what I know and about what my impressions are. My information is probably partial; please don't consider any of it as the whole truth. Please correct me if I'm saying anything factually incorrect, or if you believe my impressions are incorrect.
I am aware of two consulting companies that have been in the Strategy process: williamsworks and Reboot. williamsworks impressed me as very American, even though they appear to have done work for global organizations and projects. Reboot is considerably more world-oriented, which is good, but precisely because of that I'd love to see them involved much more, and to hear directly from them in the discussions here. There may be other consulting companies involved, of which I am not aware.
In case there's any doubt about it, I'd like to emphasize that I have nothing against Americans in general, or any Americans in particular :) Quite the contrary; the American consultants that I met in person impressed me as professional and focused. What I do see as a problem, however, is that all the consultants are Americans, and that all the information that is coming from the diverse community is filtered through them. The only non-American person in the core team is Guillaume.
I want Wikimedia to be an international organization. It's OK if it happens to have an office in the U.S.; arguably, there are even advantages to that, such as being in the First Amendment land. But what concerns me is that Wikimedia is drafting itself a strategy as an American organization that happens to conduct some international activity. See the reversal? I'd be happy to be proven wrong. To be an international organization, the consultants must be more diverse. It's good to have Americans there in the core team, but it would be far better to have also Nigerians, Chinese, Russians, Indonesians, Indians, Poles. To have them there directly, not as remote participants in heavily summarized talk page discussions. I'm sure that the consultants are reading these summaries, and probably much more than the summaries, but can they really understand them completely without having direct non-English, non-American experience?
Finally, of course the SOPA and NSA affairs have international implications, and of course it's good the WMF is involved in them. The problem I'm trying to point out is that it has been easy for the WMF to grasp the importance of the SOPA and NSA affairs because they started as American problems that influence the world. But there are other problems in the world that influence Wikimedia's mission, and I'm afraid that Wikimedia tries not to be involved in them. One could argue that such issues should be handled by the chapters in the relevant countries, and this is sensible, but why then is the NSA affair handled by the Wikimedia Foundation and not by the Wikimedia U.S. chapter? :)
These are just examples of how the WMF is too much of an American organization that happens to have some international activity, while it should be an international organization that happens to have an office in the U.S. --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 16:35, 27 August 2017 (UTC)Reply
Well, thank you @Amire80: for this feedback, I wasn't informed as well as you seems to be, so I would hardly be able to give evidence of contradictory indications. I really don't have anything to add to what explain and I feel widely supportive of your demands. I'm just afraid that I don't have practical idea to improve the situation toward goals you are proposing, but if you do have suggestions, I would be happy to help. --Psychoslave (talk) 21:22, 27 August 2017 (UTC)Reply
Thank you @Guillaume (WMF): for this summary table. A filtered "word cloud" might also help maybe, if you have time for that. Regarding differentiate between knowledge and information and clear definitions, do you see that as a resolvable problem in an other Wikimedia process? If we can't resolve it while writing the strategy process, maybe we can include this solving as a goal. Something like "Improving clarity of what is mean through 'free knowledge' within the scope of our movement, possibly identifying distinct understandings. And in such a case, make sure that for each identified type of knowledge whom our community is willing to hold, there is a a well known corresponding space to foster it." --Psychoslave (talk) 15:06, 23 August 2017 (UTC)Reply
I also would appreciate if you might consider adding a point about language (as in "Korandje is a language" not in the way sentences are formulated), see this comment, on which any feedback is welcome. I also would find interesting to have a general feedback from the Wikimedia Language engineering team regarding the place of languages and language diversity in this direction strategy.--Psychoslave (talk) 15:06, 23 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

Comments from anonymous contributor[edit]

Note: I am posting the following (until my next signature) on behalf of a contributor who asked to have their comment remain anonymous. Kbrown (WMF) (talk) 14:54, 23 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

Thank you for the sessions at Wikimania to comment on the existing statement of strategic direction:

The strategic direction of the Wikimedia movement for 2030 is to become the roads, bridges, and villages that support the world's journey towards free knowledge. We, the Wikimedia movement, will forge the tools and build the foundations for creating and accessing trusted knowledge in many shapes and colors. Our networks of people and systems will connect with individuals and institutions to share knowledge through open standards and structures, and support them on the journey to openness and collaboration. We will be a leading advocate and partner for increasing the sharing, curation, and participation in free and open knowledge.

As a movement, we will assemble through strong, sustainable communities that motivate us to contribute. We will welcome people from everywhere to grow fields of knowledge that represent human diversity. In doing so, we will contribute to human progress, and to a better understanding of the world and of ourselves.

This direction builds on our movement's greatest strength, our local communities. It encourages us to expand our horizons, and builds on existing projects and contributors to add new knowledge and new ways to participate. It asks us to be bold and experiment in the future, as we did in the past. It remains rooted in the Wikimedia vision of “a world in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge.”

By 2030, we won't yet reach “the sum of all knowledge”, but we will make it possible for anyone to join us in this effort.

Issues with statement above, first sentence:

  1. The metaphors of infrastructure are nice but not very helpful to enhance meaning
  2. The objective of having free knowledge is already achieved – what we have now is free!
  3. The objective “towards free knowledge” is not a final goal, it is a continuing goal

Revised first sentence: "The strategic direction of the Wikimedia movement for 2030 is to preserve and enhance its role as one of the most trusted sources for accessing the world’s collective knowledge that is free, open, universal, and accessible."

Trust: In its first 15 years, Wikimedia and its projects have attained a high degree of trust and respect. It is therefore of primary importance that this trust and respect is preserved, and that existing measures are enhanced to ensure that Wikimedia information is protected from partisan, malicious or unintentional degradation.

Free: Wikimedia information is and shall remain freely available.

Open: Wikimedia information is open for all well-meaning contributors to submit, revise and annotate, subject to established methods for curation, and the all information elements within Wikimedia projects shall remain open for access, subject to established methods for control (such as age-specific content,… etc?) << Important to set bounds on how open; eg not how to build an IED.

Universal: Knowledge from all parts of the world and covering the full range of categories of knowledge.

Accessible: Both provide the means for access to the knowledge base, and also, within the database, have adequate and reliable means to access the information that is desired.

Posted on behalf of anonymous user, Kbrown (WMF) (talk) 14:54, 23 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

Refection after Wikimania[edit]

Hey strategy people. I attended the Sunday-morning strategy discussion at Wikimania, where many volunteers expressed the issue that the flowery language of the current draft is difficult to translate. At the time I also said "strong and sustainable" meant different things to different industries so translation was difficult not just across languages but also across different walks of life.

I thought about it again and it occurred to me that the idea behind "strong and sustainable" would be best expressed using words that mean "inheritance" in East Asian languages, but the English word "inheritance" in turn might not have the correct connotations. So my suggestion is this: instead of tweaking the strategy text to make it easily translatable, can the strategy team work with a select group of volunteers in each major target language to produce official translations?

That's it from me! Deryck C. 15:03, 23 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

Instead of "target language", I would rather suggest something like "language with contributors willing to help in the translation effort". An other point is would any version stand for official, with other versions being unofficial provided for convenience? I guess this document doesn't have a strong enforcement value, as may have a UN directive for example, but still the question seems relevant. --Psychoslave (talk) 19:20, 23 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

Why do you bother your users with this nonsense?[edit]

I don't appreciate being bothered with this in my feed. This question will obviously be decided by the most hardcore wiki u[lo]sers and those of us who edit WP for fun and for corrections will be given, maybe, the customary "thank you for the suggestion." May I edit in peace without you trying to pretend like I matter? I already donate a WHOPPING $30 a year (the whopping capitals were done ironically, so you nerds that were going to point it out can not reply). Thanks, friends. - Phone Charger (talk) 04:01, 24 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

Those who do not speak cannot be heard. There may be many flaws in this process, but you are given the invitation to speak. If you speak persuasively enough you may even be listened to and your advice taken. · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 05:49, 6 September 2017 (UTC)Reply

"unstructured encyclopedia articles"[edit]

In section "Limits of Wikimedia: What we should improve" it says: "unstructured encyclopedia articles". Would it not be better to write something like "weak structured encyclopedia articles" (I´m not a native english speaker). I mean, Wikipedia articles have structures, like the infoboxes, categories or guidelines which sections a good article of topic x should have. --Goldzahn (talk) 08:46, 24 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

Not even "weak structured" would be a correct description. Of course, encyclopedia articles are structured. They are structured by paragraphs and headlines, and every sentence is structured by grammar. Serving as compilating summaries of knowledge encyclopedia articles should always be well-thought and well-structured texts, more structured than most other form of texts. I think the POV in this sentence is that of a computer scientist, thinking of "structured data" like Wikidata and having some reservations against all form of pure text. I don't know, if this is the POV, that a Wikimedia-"We" should have, but maybe I have wrong ideas about the "We" of a movement, that was clearly driven by text-based encyclopedic articles until now. --Magiers (talk) 10:45, 25 August 2017 (UTC)Reply
Words are used which have varying meanings depending on context, without defining the context intended for appropriate interpretation. this makes the statements inherently vague and difficult to translate. We assume that the context is of American techno-PR as it seems most likely. Cutting out the jargon and figurative speech would help. Keep it simple and unambiguous by using simple and unambiguous words and sentence structure. Run it through a translation process a couple of times and see how the meaning changes. If it can be translated independently around a loop an get back to English with the same meaning then it probably has a robust meaning.· · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 06:04, 6 September 2017 (UTC)Reply

What to discuss: first or revised draft?[edit]

Guillome updated the draft a few days ago and then moved the new version to Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2017/Direction/Drafts/G3. Since this revised draft already include several of comments I've heard at Wikimania and read here, I'm confused about the next steps. Shouldn't we take the chance and discuss about the new draft instead of sticking to version 1? The questions has been raised in de.wp and I have to admit that even my motivation to discuss an outdated version is not very high. Alice Wiegand (talk) 12:46, 25 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

Thank you Alice, I thought clarification on that point as well and learnt that we are for now continuing with the exiting draft here on the "/Direction" page while Guillaume is on leave. The drafting group is extending the review time until 15 September and continues to work through the Wikimania report as well as Guillaume's workshop page, named "G3" because of his two prior versions. I expect them to partially merge G3 into the existing draft page to build an actual version 2 at some point before 9/15th if there is stuff in the G3 draft that expresses comments and proposed ideas better than the current text (which I think it does). Best regards, --Jan (WMF) (talk) 13:25, 25 August 2017 (UTC)Reply
Ah, makes sense. Alice Wiegand (talk) 10:05, 26 August 2017 (UTC)Reply
Moin, Alice; Guillaume has provided an update below. Best regards,--Jan (WMF) (talk) 15:21, 5 September 2017 (UTC)Reply

Reality is our common ground[edit]

Reality is our common ground. We all live on the same planet in the same universe. The more we learn about that universe the greater becomes the common ground we can share. This presents an apparent yet resolvable paradox when considered in the context of increasing inclusiveness and diversity. The sharp divisions that are so apparent now in the United States and that fuel conflicts throughout history often result from differing beliefs. However, if we all seek true beliefs, based on an accurate understanding of reality, we have a common basis for belief, dialogue, understanding, opinions, and problem solving. We must all seek real good. Wikimedia can become our vehicle for understanding reality and attaining common ground. --Lbeaumont (talk) 12:33, 26 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

All beliefs are true to their true believers. So not a very useful term here. Verifiable facts are what we try to use on English Wikipedia. I do not speak for other languages and projects. To expand beyond verifiable facts opens us up to more conflict between true beliefs and reality, as it is seen by the beholder. It is a problem.· · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 06:15, 6 September 2017 (UTC)Reply

"Wikipedia happens within society"[edit]

There's a very important point that the current version of the document doesn't seem to take into account. It is summarized nicely at the page Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2017/Cycle 2/Reach/Brussels Strategy Salon March 29, 2017:

Participants were concerned about recent developments in society and politics. One expert noted that Wikipedia happens within society and that the “populist craziness” they observed was a threat to the projects. Another expert suggested that resilience will be key and that many positive developments can come out of phases of oppression, e.g. the era of the military rule in Brazil which saw the proliferation of important cultural movements.

Wikipedia happens within society. The recent "populist craziness" is an important example, but it's only one such example. Political pendulums swing both ways, and there are much bigger phenomena and processes in societies and cultures. Wikipedia, indeed, happens within them.

One example: The only official language of South Sudan, a country that recently became independent, is English. Most people in South Sudan don't know English, and the country's government, which functions in English, doesn't take responsibility for education in services in other languages—that is, those that the people actually speak. The situation is similar in many other African countries.

Here's an important strategic decision to make based on the above:

  1. Does the Wikimedia movement adapt itself to the society, and does its best to develop good repositories of knowledge?
  2. Or does the Wikimedia movement try to go the extra mile, and influence the societies in different ways, which will, in turn, help it develop good repositories of knowledge? Or at least does it through partnerships with relevant organizations that are better equipped to influence the societies?

The implementation of this for the above example would be:

  1. Set up our websites in a way that allows people who speak these languages and happen to be interested in writing in Wikipedia in them do this.
  2. Influence the government of South Sudan (and other countries) to recognize more languages as official, so that people would feel more confident contributing to Wikipedia in these languages, and know that their contributions would be directly useful to school children, and not dismissed by most people as "unnecessary". (Again, this can be done by Wikimedia directly, or through partners.)

Both are legitimate, but should be explicit. (Guess which one I would pick.) --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 16:53, 27 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

Wikipedia is only the sum of all previously published knowledge[edit]

The fact that Wikipedia is only the sum of all previously published knowledge need to be recognised and discussed. How can we go beyond being simply the sum of all previously published knowledge? Is that something that is even desirable? What are the issues caused by that?

In any case this limitation should acknowledge in the strategy or ways to avoid this issue should be part of the strategy. I strongly agree with @Aguyintobooks: on this. --Gagarine (talk) 19:37, 27 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

The main issue would appear to be verifiability, but this is still causing a systemic bias towards 'modern' cultural norms in ignorance of other forms of knowledge not considered verifiable, or even not considered notable as the two are interlinked more than they ought to be. Aguyintobooks (talk) 19:52, 27 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

I think it is important for us not to review WP 5 pillors. WP is not a new media, but the sum of recognized and notable knowledge. Why is that important? See, I can start a new page about something I know and as I thing it is. How can you verify it or give your perspective? It will be so difficult to progress and to put our ideas together. So, I think, it important to built from things that already exist. Unless we change our pilors...--BamLifa (talk) 16:20, 28 August 2017 (UTC)Reply
The "no original research" policy, explicitly written in the English Wikipedia, and in several others, is a good policy. It's one of Wikipedia's central and most defining policies.
That said, having another place, a non-Wikipedia place, where people could write anything, including original, is a valid idea. But that, too, will have to have some limits defined. Otherwise, there already is a place where you can write anything: the world wide web. It's fairly easy to get a website without paying anything and running on free and pretty well-internationalized software, for example at As long as this is possible, Wikimedia probably doesn't need to give a high priority "write anything" project. But if you replace "anything" with something better defined, it can be discussed. --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 17:05, 28 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

This is reasonable, but it also means any claim for wikipedia to be the 'sum of all human knowledge' or to try to attain such status, is incorrect and should be removed from this direction. Clearly wikipedia is deviating from its initial: Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge. That's what we're doing quoting @Jimbo Wales: here. Aguyintobooks (talk) 21:13, 28 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

I respectfully disagree.
It's reasonable to set certain limits. "All human knowledge" could also mean "everything that every human has ever known", and this is not quite possible. Wikipedia's "no original research", "notability", and "verifiability" policies, generally make sense and set sensible limits, which make Wikipedia more useful than it would be without them. The application of these limits is sometimes too strict and sometimes too weak, but their general idea is fine. --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 11:50, 29 August 2017 (UTC)Reply
Published in reliable sources for that matter. Yogesh Khandke (talk) 08:24, 31 August 2017 (UTC)Reply
Knowledge should be defined in this context. there is the distinction between potentially useful knowledge, and utterly useless knowledge, and the whole intermediate range. Somehow we have to distinguish between them. we don't really want to flood the world with literally all human knowledge, as a lot of it isn't useful at all. There should be a distinction between a catchy slogan and a serious goal.· · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 06:29, 6 September 2017 (UTC)Reply

Hello, this sentence about "the sum of all human knowledge" comes from an interview with Jimmy Wales for a fundraiser in 2004, I believe. The expression actually is a good description: it is about the "sum", not simply about all human knowledge. A sum is a kind of summary. Like the tertiary level is based on secondary "sources".

A problem with this sentence, which is now the motto or "vision" of the movement: it is difficult to translate. A traditional German term would be "Abriss", but I doubt that every modern Germans would understand it probably. It is at least not in their active vocabulary. Ziko (talk) 12:14, 19 September 2017 (UTC)Reply

Actual version of the text[edit]

I am completely lost on which text version (or even page?) should I comment, or ask my community to give feedback and comments on. Could somebody help me out? Samat (talk) 20:53, 28 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

@Samat: We are still commenting this draft. For more details please see what JEissfeldt (WMF) has written above. --Niccolò "Jaqen" Caranti (WMF) (talk) 06:42, 29 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

"Sum of all knowledge" is utopian and shows a leftist bias[edit]

A Harvard study showed that Wikipedia is more biased that Britannica and Wikipedia leans to the left.[8]

The left is known for it utopian thinking. Communism is utopian for example.

There will never be a "sum of all knowledge" encyclopedia. Private firms, governments and individuals often have secrets. And knowledge is growing so fast in the world that it would be impossible for Wikipedia to keep up in order to be the sum of all knowledge.

Instead of pursuing the quixotic quest of being the sum of all knowledge, why doesn't Wikipedia focus on being less biased?

Right-wing parties are growing in Europe and the USA just veered to the right in terms of its presidential election result. Many people are not going to use Wikipedia if the leftist bias is not cleaned up at Wikipedia.Knox490 (talk) 22:53, 29 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

Knox490, you should read the article again. Once you get past the silly title, it actually says: Wikipedia articles are longer, on average, than Britannica articles, and on a per word basis Wikipedia is actually slightly less biased. Furthermore it says that to the extent there are indications of bias (in either direction), that bias is concentrated in articles that have had the least work done on them. That's hardly surprising. New or lightly edited articles can skew in any direction, based on the random original author. Alsee (talk) 23:16, 2 September 2017 (UTC)Reply
Alsee, you are incorrect. And it is most definitely you who need to read the article again and not me.
The Harvard Business Review article says:
"Greenstein and Zhu borrowed this taxonomy of partisan terms and counted their use in pairs of Wikipedia and Britannica articles on the same subject. They calculated bias as the absolute difference between the number of Democratic terms and the number of Republican ones. For example, if an article contained 10 terms associated with Democrats and only three associated with Republicans, its bias score would be seven.
They found that Wikipedia is significantly more biased than Britannica by this measure, and a bit more left-leaning."[9]Knox490 (talk) 08:13, 3 September 2017 (UTC)Reply
This is an old study which uses rather dated methodology: simply searching for keywords really misses the point. Modern day spinners tend to use methods like cherry-picking quotes to make politicians they don't like sound stupid (or cite folks calling them Hitler, highlighting the name Hitler in blue, as on the page for Insane Clown President (see paragraph two)). At times they recycle articles (sometimes even simply copying them without modification -- example) that fellow campaign workers have managed to place into friendly "RS". Cross-referencing to negative categories is another widely used strategy (all of these categories were created by one user):
Keyword searches are an easy way to do research, but they don't tell the whole story! SashiRolls (talk) 22:41, 3 September 2017 (UTC)Reply

Language Diversity and Language Gap[edit]

I can't find here any information about language diversity strategy. It is very important for people who want to protect their language. I advice to put this question into Serve people everywhere. We should give maximum of support for all languages, especially for minority and regional languages projects. --Visem (talk) 12:29, 30 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

Yes, and even before we speak about protecting languages (a good thing in itself), it's enough to speak about accessibility to knowledge. It's too frequently forgotten by the usual crowd of Meta, Wikimania, and Wikimedia-L, that most people don't know English, and don't even necessarily the other "big" languages like Russian, Spanish, French, and German.
To be fair, language is mentioned in the current version of the document, for example "We will welcome and include people into our movement from a wide variety of backgrounds, across language". But that's about it. The commitment to language diversity must be more explicit, and include things like:
  • Getting people who speak different languages to be more directly involved in the governance of the movement and the Foundation. And by "people who speak different languages" I also mean "people who don't know English"—an audience that includes most of human race, but is extremely easy to forget in a conversation that is held in English. "Involved in governance" means membership in the Board and in the FDC, presence in the WMF C-level team, and explicit consultation (rather than Village Pump messages without replies).
  • Explicit commitment to developing and using software with full internationalization built in from the very start. MediaWiki is quite good at it already, but this must get even better.
  • Explicit commitment to testing software with people who don't know English. Currently user testing is done almost exclusively with people who do know English, and even if they know it non-natively, their testing responses are still very different from those of people who don't know English at all.
  • Explicit commitment to taking the needs of projects in different languages into account.
And so on. These are just the basics. Proposals to make this list longer are welcome. --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 09:07, 6 September 2017 (UTC)Reply

+1 Yes. The language diversity should be mentioned already in the strategic direction. Edit suggestion:

We will welcome people from every background to build strong and diverse communities. We will break down the social, political, technical and *language* barriers preventing people from accessing and contributing to free knowledge.

Related to languages and different cultures, it is important to emphasise that the process of creating free knowledge is even more important than the product (having free knowledge in your own language). Translating is not bad as a such, but if that is all we ask and support the idea of creating and contributing to the pool of free knowledge can be lost. Therefore we should actively encourage language communities to start new projects and help them to takeoff. --Teemu (talk) 18:19, 10 September 2017 (UTC)Reply

Unhelpful unnecessary, metaphors; "Direction: The future we imagine" and last sentence[edit]

Alternate draft:

The strategic direction of the Wikimedia movement for 2030 is to create infrastructure that facilitates the world's journey towards free knowledge. We, the Wikimedia movement, will forge the tools and build the foundations for creating and accessing trusted knowledge in diverse domains. Our networks of people and systems will connect with individuals and institutions to share knowledge through open standards and structures, and support them on the journey to openness and collaboration. We will be a leading advocate and partner for increasing the sharing, curation, and participation in free and open knowledge. As a movement, we will assemble through strong, sustainable communities that motivate us to contribute. We will welcome participation that ensures the movement represents diversity of life on earth. In doing so, we will contribute to a better understanding of the world.

This direction builds on our movement's greatest strength, our local communities. It encourages us to expand our horizons, and builds on existing projects and contributors to add new knowledge and new ways to participate. It asks us to be bold and experiment in the future, as we did in the past. It remains rooted in the Wikimedia vision of “a world in which every one can freely share in the sum of all knowledge.” Yogesh Khandke (talk) 08:19, 31 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

My two cents[edit]

Hi all. Thank you for making the effort in keeping a constructive tone. Following the "How do I make this better?" rather than "How do I list everything that is wrong with it?" premise, I'll recommend:

  • To increase the focus on multilingualism. In the draft, languages are mentioned only by the importance of numbers of speakers. We must remember, as said by N'gugi Thiongo: All languages are equal. We should foster to the center of the direction than Wikimedia is the biggest ever multilingual project done by humanity. And this is one of our bigger successes. Reach the sum of the knowledge available to everybody... "in their own languages".
  • To de-centralise the whole draft. In my humil opinion, it seems Wikimedia Foundations direction plan, not Wikimedia Movement direction plan. WMF is an agent of the community, is not the movement itself.
  • To include more references to the statements done by the community during the process. Most of the sources [1] of the draft come from these "Payed new voices". We have received complaints from community members about that.
  • Improving the Simple English version: Beyond that, I also agree with some sentences said before on this talk page: Language used is too "commercial or marketing, lacked of clear statements". Some sentences would perfectly fit in every single NGO.

As many of you, I'm very commited with the movement, and this text doesn't "call me to action" or doesnt' "inspire" me enough. I'm sure we can all improve it together, the wiki way.--ÀlexHinojo (talk) 10:00, 31 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

I agree with all ÀlexHinojo's points.
In particular, with the "Simple English" part. This is a world-wide strategy, and English should be used here as a world-wide language, and not as a Californian language. This means more clarity, simplicity and unambiguity, and less symbolism and American style. "Village", for example, may mean very different thing to different people around the world. It may evoke a certain book or a certain set of places to Americans (and other things to other Americans), but to Eastern Europeans it may evoke something completely different. I consider myself Eastern European (among other things that I am), and that's the first thing I think about; other Eastern Europeans may think of something else. And that's the point: despite the understandable temptation to write something flowery, the language must be down to Earth. --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 12:22, 4 September 2017 (UTC)Reply
Yes, all those metaphors are a problem with a text you want to translate and spread. Say clearly what you mean in the "direction", be specific. Ziko (talk) 14:03, 4 September 2017 (UTC)Reply

Report from the Movement Strategy Space at Wikimania[edit]

The report from four days of strategy conversations at our Movement Strategy Space plus sessions from the main program has been published. In the strategy space, we welcomed Wikimania participants to learn more about the strategy process and especially to gather a lot of constructive feedback on the first draft of the strategic direction. Aside from gathering this input, our sessions focused on sharing insights from New Voices (experts, attitudes and usage research in high awareness regions, research in low awareness regions, and key global trends), insights from discussions for organized groups and individual contributors, and exploring considerations for Phase II (roles, responsibilities, and resources). A huge thank you to everyone who joined us over the course of these four intense days in Montréal! Together with the feedback collected on this talk page and via the source pages, this report will inform the next iteration of the strategic direction draft, that the drafting group is planning to publish late next week. --Nicole Ebber (WMDE) (talk) 10:30, 31 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

Define the movement and the community, and be less inclusive[edit]

Hello, I have some fundamental problems with the "direction" as it is now and as I read the paper on Wikimania. I have voiced some of my concerns in my Wikimania report. In my humble opinion, the "direction" will not serve as a useful document if it is not much clearer on central terms and tasks of the movement.

If everyone is part of the community, if "good will" and "curiosity" is enough, if nothing in the direction says who is not a part of the movement - does the Foundation expect me to accept and respect literally everybody, including trolls, vandals, paid editors, fringe theoreticists etc.?

A strategy has, in my view, the task to explain the path for the coming years and decide what has priority and what not. These decisions lack in the document. Instead, the "focus" (focus = concentration on a few, concrete topics, not X general topics) is broadened with "new voices" and "oral traditions".

The core of the Wikimedia movement is still Wikipedia. It needs integration with Wikidata and Wikimedia Commons. The usability and editability of these three websites needs a very serious update. We need a strategy for creating attractive Wikipedias in languages of the 'emerging' countries, encyclopedias trusted for their verifiability. 'Continuity and concentration', as I said when I presented the WMNL strategy of 2012. Ziko (talk) 22:36, 3 September 2017 (UTC)Reply

Hello, Ziko. You can read another draft, which was based on later comments made after the initial draft was posted. The "direction" there was changed from "The future we imagine" to "Knowledge equity". --George Ho (talk) 23:18, 3 September 2017 (UTC)Reply
Thanks, George! Ziko (talk) 14:02, 4 September 2017 (UTC)Reply

Responding, reviewing, and merging[edit]

Hello folks,

This is just a quick note that I'm back from my short time off and I'm going to start responding to comments, reviewing edits, and merging drafts. My goal is to have a better draft by the end of this week, for final comments before we stabilize in mid-September. Guillaume (WMF) (talk) 07:59, 5 September 2017 (UTC)Reply

Protect Our Wikipedia Contributors[edit]

Those in the Wikimedia Foundation actively engaged in drafting the 2030 strategic plan should strongly consider how to begin the discussion of protecting LGBTIQ+ editors and those from other persecuted communities. This goes beyond harassment and bullying. I am talking about legal protections provided by the Wikimedia Foundation for LGBTIQ+ individuals from countries where LGBTIQ+ expression is illegal, or who are fluent in the languages of those countries and contribute to those language Wikipedias.

If indeed Wikipedia is a global online encyclopedia, and anyone should have the right and freedom to edit, then they should he given the opportunity to contribute in a safe space free from their governments' interference. That is true community support.

I believe that this is possible, and that we owe it not only to LGBTIQ+ editors, but also those from other persecuted groups who wish to contribute to the encyclopedia and become members of the Wikipedia community.

Steps to protection: 1. A statement from the Wikimedia Foundation stating that hate will not be tolerated, and that the Wikimedia Foundation will protect its contributors provided that they have done no wrong in the Wikimedia Foundation spaces; 2. A task force or committee formed to communicate with global entities such as the UN, IFLA, WIPO, EFF, Human Rights without Frontiers, IGLA, and others to investigate international agreements that protect content creation for creative or scholarly purposes; 3. Development of policies based on the task force recommendations; 4. Enforcement of the polices.

I believe that this is possible, and at least worth investigation, to honor the courageous work that is done by LGBTIQ+ editors, editors of color, Jewish editors, Palestinian editors, Roma editors, indigenous editors, and any other editors who may provide reliable, authoritative information that their governments wish to suppress.

RachelWex (talk) 20:09, 5 September 2017 (UTC)Reply

Oh yes, RachelWex, thank you for writing this, and for mentioning the often-forgotten multilingual aspect.
Having good content about physical and mental health, and this includes sexuality, in a lot of languages may literally save millions of lives. Simply reading in your language that there are other people like you and that this is normal can make a person feel much better. If there is no article about homosexuality in a given language, a well-meaning person who knows that language could write it, but being unsafe would be a deterrent. At the moment, for example, there is no such article in the Chechen language, and given the recent news about the LGBT persecution in Chechnya, writing on this topic in that language may be literally dangerous. I heard about actual cases of persecution of Wikipedians on this background in some places. (I really prefer not to mention specific cases, for the sake of people's privacy.)
I don't know what exactly can the WMF do to help people be safer, especially for those far away from the U.S. However, at least acknowledging this issue explicitly somewhere would be very, very nice. --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 12:53, 10 September 2017 (UTC)Reply

Amir E. Aharoni (talk) Thank you for your words of support! I am reviewing the second version of the strategy document and noticing that the strategic direction is called EQUITY AND INFRASTRUCTURE. If the Wikimedia Foundation wishes to direct the activities of Wikipedia and all other Wikimedia projects, to make them global efforts and include representation from all populations, then they must include something in this second draft about protection. Here is what the 2nd draft currently states:

  • As a service to users, we will focus our efforts on developing a platform that allies and partners can use to organize and exchange knowledge beyond Wikimedia. We will build open systems that work across interfaces and communities in our network. Our infrastructure will enable us and others to compile different forms of knowledge that are free, trusted, and structured.
  • As a social movement, we will focus our efforts on the knowledge and communities that have been left out by structures of power and privilege. We will welcome people from every background to build strong and diverse communities. We will break down the social, political, and technical barriers preventing people from accessing and contributing to free knowledge.

To the Wikimedia Foundation: If you plan on breaking down political barriers that prevent people from accessing and contributing to free knowledge, then I would like to see a stronger commitment to, at the very least, investigating what it would take to provide a safe online space for all users, and to provide legal protection--or at least connections to resources--if people are harassed, arrested, tortured, or flat out murdered due to their work. This should be mentioned in the strategic plan.

For a full list of the countries that do not provide protection under the law to LGBTIQQAA people, visit this excellent Wikipedia page on the subject:

RachelWex (talk) 21:56, 11 September 2017 (UTC)Reply

Unstructured encyclopedia articles vs. Automation vs. Different forms of knowledge: A positive proposal[edit]


This page, and some other discussions about strategy suggest that "Unstructured encyclopedia articles" are West-oriented, that they are getting outdated as a form, and that they are insufficient for encompassing different kinds of knowledge. While there's truth in at least some of these notions, an enormous amount of current Wikimedia contributors —probably the vast majority of them— are still involved in writing them. Dismissing this form of contribution is not quite imaginable. This was expressed several times by myself and by other conversation participants.

On the other hand, this document mentions "automation" as an important trend. This trend is undeniable.

So here's a positive proposal for discussing these things. Perhaps it's too detailed for a high-level direction document, but I'd love to put it forward now nevertheless. Here it is:

Let's make it explicit that in the tools that we give to our contributors we clearly separate between prose and other kinds of information. Generic data, categories, images, videos, page metadata, DEFAULTSORT, templates, and so on. Currently most of these are mixed together in the same soup of wiki syntax. Wikidata, already in its current state, is a big and important step in the direction of separation, but it's progressing relatively slowly, and it's not enough by itself.

"Prose" is a word that was used a lot in the early days of Wikipedia. Super-veterans, such as User:Jdforrester and User:Jimbo Wales may correct me, but in the first few years of the English Wikipedia, "Brilliant prose" was the name for what is now known as "Featured articles". Prose is, pretty much by definition, unstructured, but it's essential to bringing stuff together. The current situation in which prose is mixed with all those other things, makes it hard to process for computer programs and editors. One important —and frequently forgotten— audience is translators: Translating prose is a fairly straightforward tasks that requires only time and ability to read and write in more than one language, but as the experience with developing Content Translation shows, the largest challenges for developers and for translators are not with translating the prose, but with the adaptation of formatting, templates, categories, citations, and so on. The software manages to do some of it well, but not all of it.

Good separation of all the different page components will make contribution easier for everyone. And the "Automation" part will fit in well with integrating the different contributions —prose, images, videos, structured data— in different ways to be consumed.

Though this proposal may sound technical, it isn't. The strategy certainly doesn't need to mention any technologies, software packages, or programming languages at all (not even MediaWiki!). But the general notion of separating the different forms of contribution, so that they don't get in each other's way, is worth of being mentioned. Maybe not in the highest-level Direction document, but definitely in the more detailed goals documents that will follow.

Thanks for your attention :) --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 08:54, 6 September 2017 (UTC)Reply

Hello Amir, agreeing with everything, I must protest: "prose" is not "unstructured", at least not if you mean "text", and not in a linguist's point of view. The inner structure, the coherence and cohesion, makes a text more than just a sequence of sentences. Ziko (talk) 21:27, 6 September 2017 (UTC)Reply
Yes, obviously! I considered the possibility that somebody might object, but didn't mention it to stay shorter (many people rightly complain that my writing is too long!).
Of course, all readable prose is structured, because every language has a grammatical structured. It's not structured from the point of view of a computer—for a computer it's easy to parse something like Wikidata, which is built to be a structured data repository that is easy for computers to process. Processing the grammar of a natural langauge is much harder for a computer.
So, I'm just repeating what the document was saying: In this sense, encyclopedic prose is not structured. But it totally is structured and useful for people. --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 09:08, 7 September 2017 (UTC)Reply

"We will build fair systems for creating different forms of trusted knowledge."[edit]

Hello, I see a dynamic and improvemnt in the draft, thank you very much. But I still see a footnote to the "new voices" report, and I stumble over the sentence: "We will build fair systems for creating different forms of trusted knowledge.". What does this mean? What "different" forms are these, and how do they relate to basic principles such as No Original Search and NPOV? Ziko (talk) 10:57, 7 September 2017 (UTC)Reply

Ziko: I've edited that sentence during the merge because it appeared that I couldn't explain clearly the idea of "fair systems". Regarding the "different forms", it's difficult to give specifics because they may not exist yet, or because I'm not personally familiar with them. An example could be a sister project for oral knowledge, based entirely on audio clips. Such projects may not follow the same pillars as Wikipedia, but then again we already have sister projects with different norms: Wikiversity allows original research, and Wikivoyage seeks fairness instead of neutrality. Guillaume (WMF) (talk) 16:20, 12 September 2017 (UTC)Reply
Guillaume (WMF), thank you for the explanation. My concerns include
  • a possible abuse by political extremists. Is it really desirable to give a platform to their testimony how great life was under the recent dictatorship in a country? Certainly, Wikiversity or Wikinews have no "NOR" or "NPOV" policy, but they are very inactive.
  • a poor use of our resources. "Oral history" is a complex concept and I wonder what will be really its use for Wikimedia recipients. For example, the people who tell their story there will have to disclose and prove their real identity, otherwise the testimonies would be absolutely useless for historians.
  • a lack of focus. We still have to invest a lot of work into Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons and Wikidata. Ziko (talk) 22:04, 13 September 2017 (UTC)Reply

'Knowledge equity' - both extremely vague and probably harmful for a knowledge organisation[edit]

Although I don't strictly consider myself a part of the 'Wikimedia movement' I have a great appreciation for Wikipedia, Commons, etc. and have vested interest in Wikimedia projects turning out good content, just like almost everyone else. From that position I'd like to argue that 'knowledge equity' - whatever it exactly is is probably a bad idea for any organisation trying to cultivate a body of valuable, accessible, trustworthy, etc. knowledge.

I'd first like to point out that knowledge equity as a distinct concept doesn't seem to yet exist in any accessible publicised form that sets it out to lay readers in its particulars, and instead seems to be some kind of novel coinage on the part of those who drafted the document. I might be wrong about that (I hope so: you really can't just make up new ideological positions and "teach" them through a small document at the same time as actually implementing them!) but the fact remains that whatever we're conceptually grappling with here isn't well-defined, especially, I would imagine, for a non-English speaking audience. The document, small as it is, does not contain any basic context for interpretation. For a strategy document that would ostensibly guide actions and behaviours by responsible individuals, this seems completely unacceptable. Indeed, here I am, a reasonably intelligent person with a decent grasp of English, having read both the original document and a revised version (G3), and in a way I still don't even know exactly what I'm trying to comment on, putting me on a weak foot from the beginning. That might speak to the vagueness of the document's contents.

First I'll try to tackle equity in itself as I understand it. Equity, as it already exists as a concept, generally refers to the desire to see resources (however defined) distributed in a population such that they fit some kind of pre-established and theoretically measurable target which is called equal ("equal" obviously not being something that exists as a context-free universal referent) - like everyone in a given population having the same salary in a currency or the same amount of free time in hours or the same amount of minutes to talk on a a given podium. Methods put forward to achieve equity vary, but usually in practice focus on the idea that "structures of power and privilege" (as mentioned in the document, without defining what those structures are) are a priori responsible for inequitable distributions and have to be dissolved through disruption or reform (peaceful or not). Some people with a focus on equity look to statistics or even anecdote to detect when some distribution is inequitable, and then infer retroactively that structural deficiencies were the sole cause. I might be wrong but this is what the document seems to be suggesting (certainly no other causes are put forward to be tackled by the foundation going forward).

What happens when equity positions are applied to knowledge (however defined)? Now here's my big question: is this equity platform based on only equalising access to WM projects (internet connection, literacy, awareness, community initiation etc.) or by shaping the distribution of content itself, in topic, language, viewpoint and any other inequity as defined by whoever has the ultimate privilege of defining inequities?

If the latter case, then when applied to an organisation based essentially entirely on individual actors or those in self-organised communities contributing voluntarily to their necessarily narrow lanes of interests (because human limitations dictate that everybody knows almost nothing and is interested in barely anything), according to stringent norms that have been carefully cultivated by the community consensus (no living person attacks on WP, no non-fair-use copyright on commons, medical articles get medical citations, etc), naive equity becomes a completely untenable and harmful position. Individuals contributing voluntarily cannot be convinced or compelled from the top down (through just looking at statistics of how the projects are turning out in practice) to contibute to or promote things they don't know about or don't care about - if they were, the editor environment would get toxic and the editor shortage would get much worse, very fast.

Nor can certain biases be easily remedied from within the organisation: for instance the 'Africa is underrepresented on English WP' claim. The truth is that Africa's infrastructural state is such that it cannot reasonably be En-WP's or WM's responsibility to fix that at the present time, unless the movement's/organisation's goals include enormous infrastructure ventures. Information cannot easily be got out of Africa by Africans or people who are interested in Africa because information travels slowly when infrastructure and education is bad. And say that was all fixed overnight - the question becomes, what fraction of Africa articles vs. other-continent articles is enough from the equity standpoint? The population of Africa divided by the human population? Something else arbitrary like that? It's a claim of inequity, but not a clearly actionable one and hence doesn't belong in a strategy statement.

Here's another problem when it comes to "equalising" the contribution of knowledge as implied by the words 'different forms of knowledge': what constitutes a different form of knowledge? Are all 'forms of knowledge' to be equally encouraged? Presently the actual forms of knowledge prized by WM contributors in practice actually tend to be very restricted, but for good, well-tested normative and rational reasons. For example, Wikipedia, an encyclopedia, is structured to privilege one form of knowledge above all others: community-defined verifiable, encyclopedic, acceptably sourced knowledge. An essay about how you felt about something, or a rumour, or homeopathic research claims could be construed as knowledge from certain perspectives, but if you were to put it in the WP mainspace, you would get a deletion and if you were combative about it, a censure. Is that bad in the eyes of this strategy document? Should it be remedied structurally? Taken to its extreme, should all possible semantic strings and patterns be included as valid knowledge (since you can create a context by which anything can be interpreted as containing information)? "Knowledge equity" as far as I can construe it seems to imply what in WP language might be called an ultimate content inclusionism argument, and would make actually navigating and reading WM projects in a practical manner essentially impossible as every single knowledge/ideological interest competes for a few limited privileged spaces (of which there must be in any working system). "Good faith" alone can't help here because good faith is in itself a community norm and structural in nature. If you make knowledge collection and presentation utterly equitable you have to throw away good faith.

Now I don't know if that's what the document is actually implying should happen, but the document itself is so vague that it didn't take me too much reading to come to the conclusion that it could happen. And maybe some people will also read it that way and actually implement those possibilities! Who could interpret such a thing parsimoniously if this actually goes out with such unreliable and difficult concepts embedded in it as equity, much less "knowledge equity"?

--A shell (talk) 19:37, 9 September 2017 (UTC)Reply

I admit to liking the notion because it's the sort of thing that needs defining. equity = equality (of access, of terminology (data), to take just two examples). The fact is that the different projects have very different barriers to entry: most are inaccessible to me because they're in a foreign language, including the mediawiki project at times since I've always thought in more XML terms, and one is inaccessible due to community mores: my politics of transparency for readers concerning a bit of political astro-turfing that was conducted weren't appreciated. Along the way, I learned of a defrocked admin who had blocked over 9700 people in three years editing on en.wp. How many of those 9700+ in 1080 days or so were "false positives"? In terms of equality of access, I wonder too why some of the Alabama folks always talk about Africa and never about access in Haiti (or in Alabama for that matter).
equity = economic value. I was pleased to see in the latest draft the addition of "knowledge as a service". Wikipedia relies on a will to contribute that is scrupulously expected to be unpaid (alienated surplus value chez Marx) or declared (oooo editerX has got COIs). On the other hand Wikipedia is steered by donations that help shape priorities, and undeniably edited by PR firms and other promoters (not least of which the WMF itself, I mean this page of course, and the movement itself... since every movement takes care of its own.). It is also steered by a hierarchy of users who over time come to control de facto editorial policy using their knowledge of wiki-canon Law to their advantage in their particular project (perhaps not always, I don't know... this looks to be the way en.wp has gone). It's true for punctuation, for POV, for RS even to some degree, for "best practices", etc. Most editors -- as the WaPo said during the 2016 election -- are unpaid. If this is true, a good proportion of Wikipedia is a heap of voluntarily given surplus-value. This commons™ altruism -- of varying quality since one person's altruism is another's trolling -- has already scaled well enough to put some old school Encyclopédies out of business. Because of the scale of its coverage (size and breadth), it still gets special Google love probably also because it's so easy for a bot to crawl and because it get loads of hits between edits, syntax bots, edit wars, watchlists, and of course loads of hits from the Google Rankings themselves when a subject gets hot.
If the goal is to make a 13-year plan, I really don't think it's a great idea to stick to culty notions of "good faith". Given Wikipedia's Google dominance this Quaker/Scout attitude strikes me as disingenuous: the anonymous administrator Neutrality did not make an innocent choice when (s)he settled on the metaphor of the Five Pillars way back when. The Wikipedia Movement if it can be spoken of collectively at all probably does believe it has a mission, I think. Surely, given the current (admittedly somewhat justified) hysteria about the cyberwars to come, it would be well to recognize too that these notions of equity will become even more complex as bots become growth agents as they have on Cebuano Wikipedia.
In the end, some paragraphs later, I realize I do agree that it would be best to find a better definition of "knowledge equity" if it is used. I think that the last draft is an improvement. On the one hand perhaps as "equality of access / normalized terminology for data-classes" (the virtues of both of which can be debated), and on the other hand perhaps as the economic value of "knowledge as a service". Defining terms clearly is a good idea. Having ideas is also a good idea. And I think it's kind of cool Guillaume dreamed up "knowledge equity" (if it was him). It really does get at some basic issues. SashiRolls (talk) 23:23, 10 September 2017 (UTC)Reply

Supporting the volunteer communities[edit]

Hi! I read the actual version of the proposed text. Three related comments:

  • I am not a native English speaker, but my feeling is, that the proposal doesn't emphasize enough the importance of the support of the volunteer communities. My opinion is, that this is the most important factor for the future of the movement. Beside the technical infrastructure/platform which should be easier and more fun to use, the main backbone of our movement is the volunteer community. I would like to have a strong, but at least clear statement on this goal in the Movement direction.
  • "Wikimedia will become the essential infrastructure of the network of free knowledge, and anyone who shares our commitment will be able to join us." -- We should not only open the door for anybody who would like to join, but we should make the door visible, we should help the people to find it. Our goal has to be, that people want to join us!
  • "As a social movement, we will focus our efforts on the knowledge and communities that have been left out" -- I am not completely sure about the meaning of "leave out something/someone", but if I understand well this sentence is unnecessary narrowing the scope. We should focus on every community which needs help, not only the one that have been (mainly/completely) left out. Of course, we have to prioritize who needs more help, since we don't have unlimited resources. Communities not only in the third world but also in many developing or even developed countries have problems with the decreasing number of volunteers and the loss of interest from (actual or potential) contributors. And beside Wikipedia, there are other promising Wikimedia projects where we faced with problems because lacking of volunteers. Sometimes, communities need help or an external impulse to change the direction from down to up.

Samat (talk) 20:12, 9 September 2017 (UTC)Reply

It would be nice to see any reaction on this comment. It is fine for me, if the answer is, that according to the survey of the movement strategy majority of the community disagree with me. But I don't think that this is the case... Samat (talk) 16:55, 16 September 2017 (UTC)Reply

"by structures of power and privilege"[edit]

Hi, I would like to propose to leave out this half-sentence. Here's why: I think that there is a consensus that there is knowledge and that there are communities that "have been left out". But the "by structures of power and privilege" that follows after it does not really help, I think. Does it put blame on the existing communities for building structures of power that have been leaving out other communities? Isn't there also knowledge that has been left out simply because we haven't gotten to it yet? Aren't there also communities that have not added their knowledge simply we haven't caught their attention yet? Do we really need to use such strong political language in this sentence? I think that all this ambiguity could be avoided, and nothing would really be lost, if we left out "by structures of power and privilege". --Gnom (talk) Let's make Wikipedia green! 18:19, 10 September 2017 (UTC)Reply

I would agree. It sounds very much like an ideological statement. And there's also the argument that "structures of power and privilege" are justified by the merit of the processes which created supposed structures. Equality is a utopian ideal. Hierarchy has guided us for god only knows, probably a billion or more years. SgThomas (talk) 19:40, 10 September 2017 (UTC)Reply
Gnom: I'm going to push back on this one. It's not about blame; communities reproduce the structures, norms, and biases that are around them. You're right that there is "knowledge that has been left out simply because we haven't gotten to it yet"; and we haven't gotten to it yet maybe because it's objectively low priority, or maybe because our biases tell us that it's low priority. Similarly, if we haven't caught the attention of some communities, it may not be as neutral as we may think. We may not have caught the attention of elderly people because they don't have the privilege of computer and internet literacy. We may not have caught the attention of people in North Korea or China because they don't have the privilege of unhindered access to the Internet, and so on.
You may think that "nothing would be lost" by removing those few words, but for others, including people who "have been left out by structures of power and privilege", it's very important that this be said explicitly, so I'm going to restore it for now. Guillaume (WMF) (talk) 11:23, 16 September 2017 (UTC)Reply
Hi Guillaume (WMF), Thank you for your reply. I think that my main point is that I have a fear that these six words sound very political, to an extent that we may alienate the, say, more 'traditional' or 'conservative' user base. Some may really think that this puts blame on them, some may think that this overly politicizes our movement. The expression "structures of power" and the word "privilege" are just laden with tension from the current political discourse, and I don't think that we should bring this tension into our strategic direction in this way. --Gnom (talk) Let's make Wikipedia green! 22:15, 17 September 2017 (UTC)Reply
Gnom: In the current political climate worldwide, even something as obvious to us as our vision is going to be perceived as highly political. We see regimes and groups moving towards authoritarianism, nationalism, and isolationism, but that shouldn't be a reason for us to fear standing up to the ideals of our movement. The tension is there, and I believe acknowledging it explicitly is better than leaving it unsaid. The conservative user base will still be welcome to contribute to the projects: "We will carry on our mission of creating content as we have done in the past." But I will argue that the fact that the current political discourse is leaning in one direction doesn't mean we should bend towards that direction to avoid angering people. If people are moving North and the movement is staying on the Equator, the distance increases, and we may alienate some of them, but it doesn't mean we should move North too. (I realize this is a terrible analogy, but I can't think of a better one at the moment.) Guillaume (WMF) (talk) 19:48, 20 September 2017 (UTC)Reply
Structures of power and privilege support experts. You need to apply and be accepted into an institution of higher learning. You need to pass exams to graduate. You need to do quality original research to become a professor, and continued good performance leads to tenure: i.e. more power and privilege. Wikipedia should be more welcoming to experts in academic positions of power and privilege. I agree that this is an ideologically-charged statement. Mind you, we need to be wary of other structures of power and privilege: those that would spend millions of dollars to hire teams of editors that targeted selected articles to force their point of view into the neutral encyclopedia. Wbm1058 (talk) 01:26, 20 September 2017 (UTC)Reply

Define "we" in the main text[edit]

Hi, I think we should really define the "we" in the main text. The paragraph currently speaks about "Wikimedia" and talks about "users", so it's not really clear. I would propose to add the definition to the third sentence, which is currently a little empty anyway: "We, the Wikimedia Foundation, movement organizations, and contributing communities, will carry on our mission of creating content as we have done in the past, and we will go further." --Gnom (talk) Let's make Wikipedia green! 18:41, 10 September 2017 (UTC)Reply

The whole point of the project it that it includes everyone. We the human race will carry on our mission.... Aguyintobooks (talk) 20:31, 10 September 2017 (UTC)Reply

Hello, I totally agree with Gnom. The text must say who is actually talking, and who is bound by the statements. I especially advice against the word "users" which can mean contributors and recipients alike. Ziko (talk) 21:26, 10 September 2017 (UTC)Reply
There was some criticism in the Italian community (and also here) on the word "constituents" so I would suggest to remove it, and this seems a great alternative. --Niccolò "Jaqen" Caranti (WMF) (talk) 06:20, 11 September 2017 (UTC)Reply
Gnom, Ziko, and Niccolò "Jaqen" Caranti (WMF): This issue has been a challenging one. I completely agree that the text needs to define the "we". Originally, I had "we, the Wikimedia movement", and "we, the constituents of the Wikimedia movement", but people felt that they were not part of any such movement. Ultimately, this discussion goes back to the question of how we define the community, or the movement, and there are almost as many opinions on this as there are Wikimedians.
I've added an adaptation of Gnom's suggestion ("the Wikimedia communities and organizations", since the Foundation is an organization too and shouldn't get special treatment) in the second sentence instead of the third (because "creating content" doesn't really work with "organizations"). Guillaume (WMF) (talk) 15:27, 12 September 2017 (UTC)Reply
I wonder how to translate "constituents" to German, Dutch or Esperanto. The word actually says nothing: the Wikimedia movement consists of its constituents, which are those elements of which the movement consists of (?). It should be said that it is about organizations, groups and individuals. And again: who does not belong to the movement? Ziko (talk) 10:22, 22 September 2017 (UTC)Reply

"We" - let's make it concrete please[edit]

(merged -- (talk) 09:45, 14 September 2017 (UTC))Reply

The document is written by "we" and at the end includes a pledge by "we". This is defined as the "constituents of Wikimedia", but that itself seems fairly meaningless. "Constituents" might be limited to organisations and staff, or (referring to the dictionary) may mean members of Wikimedia. We don't have membership, but that could be read as anyone who contributes to content or infrastructure.

If this is going to apply to anything other than the WMF and its employees, then it would be worth clarifying exactly who the Direction applies to and who is expected to make the pledge. This can be done very simply for the different stakeholders if we are serious about it. For example:

  1. Chapters, Thorgs and User Groups could be required to commit to "the pledge" as part of their agreement for official affiliation. This is already implicit in current agreements, but the wording could become explicit, which itself would help engagement with strategy in the future.
  2. Contributors to all Wikimedia projects could be informed about the pledge and that it applies to them if they choose to create an account, in the same way as we inform them about policies and behavioural requirements, when they create an account.
  3. Employees, contractors, consultancies and relevant service suppliers could be required to commit to the pledge as part of their contractual obligations for contributing to our projects, community support or infrastructure development.

At the current time the absence of definition or agreement of how it will be deployed, risks undermining future credibility of the new strategy as a key foundation of any strategy is understand who the stakeholders are, and knowing how to gain (and measure) their support. -- (talk) 10:48, 13 September 2017 (UTC)Reply

Hello, the Wikimedia movement means organisations and people who share certain goals and values. Communities of Wikimedia wikis consist of those people. I find it very important to make the distinction - a paid collaborator of the WMF is part of the movement, but not of the/a community. I would certainly not use a word like "constituents". Ziko (talk) 18:40, 16 September 2017 (UTC)Reply

"a platform that allies and partners can use"[edit]

Hi, this sounds a lot like we will focus less on individual contributors but on institutions contributing to the Wikimedia projects. Is this really what we want? Or can we rephrase this to avoid the ambiguity? Thanks, --Gnom (talk) Let's make Wikipedia green! 19:54, 10 September 2017 (UTC)Reply

Gnom: You're right; the emphasis was unintentional, and my mistake. There is a focus on institutions, but not to the detriment of individual contributors. I've updated the paragraph as improved by Katherine. I hope it addresses your concern. Guillaume (WMF) (talk) 16:04, 12 September 2017 (UTC)Reply

Stop pushing your liberal political agenda through the Wikimedia project![edit]

I take great umbrage at this particular piece of "our strategic direction":

  • As a sociopolitical movement, we will focus our efforts on the knowledge and communities that have been left out by [the] structures of power and privilege. We will welcome people from every background to build strong and diverse communities. We will break down the social, political, and technical barriers preventing people from accessing and contributing to free knowledge.

I will do no such thing, e.g., I will break no social, political, or technical barriers preventing people from accessing and contributing to free knowledge, because this is not my job as a wiki contributor. I am not here to liberate or "equalize" the world, I am here to share my knowledge, not to fight for social justice. I do not want to join some misguided global political movement... Mountebank1 (talk) 05:48, 11 September 2017 (UTC)Reply

Mountebank1: I could argue that freely sharing one's knowledge is inherently an act of social justice, but even if you're not convinced of that, you don't have to agree with everything in the document, or even commit to any of it. The document reflects my understanding of what many Wikimedians and Wikimedia organizations want to focus on in the future. If it doesn't resonate with you, you can "carry on [...] creating content as [you] have done in the past". Guillaume (WMF) (talk) 16:01, 12 September 2017 (UTC)Reply


Let's break this down:

  • social barriers - you already work to make knowledge freely available, overcoming the social barer of poverty
  • political barriers - Wikipedia is blocked in China and Turkey, and occasionally elsewhere. You're OK with that?
  • technical barriers - Making our sites work for as many people as possible; not least on mobile devices, and keeping up with browser development, and open data is key to our success. Depending on the specific project to which you contribute (and certainly on en.Wikipedia and en.Wikitionary, to which many of your edits have been made), you may be required - by policy and consensus - to use a particular style or not use another style, because of this.

However, if you object to "We will welcome people from every background to build strong and diverse communities", then perhaps this is not the project for you. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 18:34, 5 October 2017 (UTC)Reply

What brings us together...[edit]

With respect to the lede paragraph that begins, "What brings us together...", there is some academic literature on the motivations of Wikipedians that has some relevance, e.g. this paper by myself and another Wikipedian on editors of medical content. Bondegezou (talk) 17:39, 11 September 2017 (UTC)Reply

Quality, Access, Transparency[edit]

1. Quality: humanistic articles on Wikipedia (history, literature, music, art) are generally of high quality. Current events/people articles are of lower quality, but generally useful. Scientific (math/physics) articles are mostly of student quality and not useful. Expert verification and massive educational input for the latter are very important in the next decade. We are currently losing to Wolfram.

2. Access: I don't agree with Montebank's politics at all, but I do agree with him that politics should absolutely be kept out of Wikipedia. If people feel excluded, all they have to do is contribute. The problem is transparency, not political correctness.

3. Transparency: most contributors to Wikipedia are knowledge carriers, not politicians or technologists. Transparent policies and procedures are absolutely essential, and the most important improvement that Wikipedia can make over the next decade.

G41rn8 (talk) 19:43, 11 September 2017 (UTC)Reply

More to read at another talk page[edit]

There are more to read at Talk:Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2017/Direction/Drafts/G3, but we should continue discussing here instead. --George Ho (talk) 20:27, 11 September 2017 (UTC)Reply

Political neutrality in spite of values[edit]

Hello, there is a dilemma that could be met more concretely. On the one hand, the WM movement must be politically neutral, in order to include many different people. On the other hand, the WM movement can not be totally neutral, if its values are challenged. For example, the movement cannot have an opinion on whether the president of Turkey is a good politician or should loose his office. But the blockage of Turkish Wikipedia is something the movement must have an opinion; the movement cannot be neutral about direct threats to its very existence. Ziko (talk) 22:25, 11 September 2017 (UTC)Reply

A flip side of equity: making knowledge free…[edit]

The current draft emphasizes equity as a matter of including more communities in free knowledge production and sharing:

"We will break down the social, political, and technical barriers preventing people from accessing and contributing to free knowledge."

This is great and is what I would normally be pushing any community towards. But let's also remember another kind of inequity: the paywalling and limited circulation of knowledge that is currently not free. Wikimedia institutions are a critical part of the global effort to turn research, cultural heritage, art, and know-how from high-priced commodities made available to a few into freely available, and widely accessible goods. This is one of the strengths that we have begun developing seriously in our second decade, with GLAM and Wikidata and Open Access scholarly publishing as several major examples. How about…

"We will provide infrastructure, tools, and assistance in making the sum of all human knowledge freely available to all."

--Carwil (talk) 01:27, 12 September 2017 (UTC)Reply

+1 I agree, but the "We will break down the social, political, technical and *cultural/language* barriers" -statement is very important, too. Especially if it states the "cultural/language barriers". --Teemu (talk) 04:47, 12 September 2017 (UTC)Reply

Wikimedia Israel discussion comments[edit]

Hello everyone, Here are some comments raised in a discussion held by the Wikimedia Israel:

about the Equity + Infrastructure:[edit]

  • Need to change "Wikimedia" to "Wikimedia projects"
  • The question arose as to how much the discussion of the WMIL represented Wikipedia editors. Most of the Wikimedia community does not necessarily support these changes. Wikipedians will probably think that there is no connection between the document and their contribution - the word "encyclopedia" does not appear here. There is a distancing from those in the core of action.
  • The good part is the reference to recruiting partners. We are not looking for people who would like to be Wikipedians, we are looking for people who would be interested in being our partners.
  • We need to invest time and think about how to make existing communities feel part of the strategic direction.
  • In order to expand and adopt new audiences, we will have to compromise on the quality of the sources. In this case too, it is not certain that the community will approve.

about Reasoning:[edit]

  • As for good-will cooperation, the question is how good it is. For example, collaborations with students and students.
  • There was an opinion in the discussion in this context that it should be made clear that we specifically object to paid editing, and promote voluntary edits only.
  • In the matter of people not knowing who wrote the article - there is agreement there are simple solutions to this - for example a tool that allows to simply display the list of editors and other information.
  • We should think about how to make Wikipedia more convenient and simple for users.
  • The Limits of Wikimedia paragraph mixes 3 topics: the public's lack of knowledge about who create knowledge and how, barriers to entry, and accessibility of advanced platforms. It is addressed to 3 audiences, Wikipedians, organizations and the WMF.
  • About the paragraph beyond Wikimedia - there is no need to act cautiously - we have to pursue these changes - as fast as possible. we have to follow the trends of the Internet. To be bold.
  • About the paragraph beyond Wikimedia - We should include content on other platforms.
  • About the paragraph beyond Wikimedia - Knowledge is going to be more subjective, and a lot of knowledge is going to be gone. We need to preserve this knowledge (like languages).
  • About the paragraph a more just and connected future -
  • Note: If an organized group has the ability - it needs and can work well beyond its boundaries.
  • The current community does not see itself as a service provider to readers. If it's about the community - we have to educate it. If it's about the WMF or WMIL, we have to budget it.
  • We not only provide knowledge as a service but also provide service.

New points to include in the document[edit]

  • Our role in conservation-restoration of cultural heritage.
  • Wikimedia initiatives can be the basis for schools curricula or be part of it.
  • The strategic direction should be more clear about the role of the foundation, chapter and volunteers in advocacy and especially about legislation

Lionster (WMF) (talk) 09:16, 12 September 2017 (UTC)Reply

"Equity"...[edit] an extremely difficult word for translators. See wikt:equity. --Gnom (talk) Let's make Wikipedia green! 10:51, 19 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

Please allow me to move this paragraph to the current ones. I share this concern and while trying to translate I realize that I'm not sure if the term equity is used here in the meaning of "justice, fairness" or more like "value, property". Could someone share the thoughts behind picking this term to help us provide a proper translation? Alice Wiegand (talk) 14:06, 12 September 2017 (UTC)Reply

Hello Gnom and Alice. The meaning is the one of "justice, fairness".[1] Lisa Gruwell came up with the idea of "Knowledge equality", inspired by "Marriage equality". I changed it to "Knowledge equity" because in this context "equality is not enough".[2] "Liberation"[3] doesn't work well in our context because it would probably be understood as "Liberating knowledge". "Justice" works well; I've added it to the translation notes that I wrote when I merged the documents. Guillaume (WMF) (talk) 15:14, 12 September 2017 (UTC)Reply
  1. "Equity - What is Equity?". Retrieved 2017-09-12. 
  2. "Equality Is Not Enough: What the Classroom Has Taught Me About Justice - Everyday Feminism". Everyday Feminism (in en-US). 2014-09-16. Retrieved 2017-09-12. 
  3. "#The4Box". Center for Story-based Strategy. Retrieved 2017-09-12. 

I agree that "equity" is difficult to translate. It does not say anything to me. "Justice" or "fairness" has more meanint to me. Ziko (talk) 18:52, 16 September 2017 (UTC)Reply


Translation from Talk:Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2017/Direction/pl#Górnolotne

That's so turgid and grandiloquent. Kbigeo (talk) 18:38, 12 September 2017 (UTC)Reply

Become more concrete[edit]


I know its a long-term strategy, and I agree with its goals.

However, the analysis is much more concrete than the points describing what could be changed. So I'd like to suggest some concrete things:

  • Each article should start with an intro of one or two sentences summarizing the article.
  • Articles should be in easy-to-understand langauage, but still correct from a scientific point of view.
  • Maybe a picture or an animation could be placed at the beginning showing the "architecture" or the main idea of the article.
  • I work with young people and they often asked for direct links to videos or to music, as they want to search and be entertained at one place.

These are just ideas. Thanks for your good work. Let's support Wikipedia in the future too. The preceding unsigned comment was added by BeEs1 (talk • contribs) 23:00, 12 September 2017‎ (UTC) (UTC)Reply

Ignoring falling editing by Generation Z[edit]

I'm a recent Wikipedia editor who only joined the community a few months back and believes that the Wikimedia Strategy 2017 ignores the fundamental problem that Wikipedia is facing. It's become a societal foundation rather than a cool hip thing meaning that nobody is joining the community anymore despite record high usage. My generation are treating it as just another institution meaning that none of them participates in any constructive fashion beyond vandalism on the webste.

It also ignored the fact that the rules that govern the wiki-media community are incredibly unintuitive and arcane to the point of silliness. I still don't grasp what half the roles in Wikipedia involve and most of the markup language used is properties meaning it's hard to translate skills from real life towards it. These things need to be radically simplified to make the community easier for a newcomer to join. The rules governing editing needed to be radically simplified as the current bloat is unsustainable and nigh unusable for new users

Gamification should be more heavily implemented to make the sense of reward from being a Wikipedia editor more direct and add a sense of achievement towards being part of the community rather than its rather half-hearted current usage. There also need to be more active deleting efforts and efforts made to correct clear biased articles as many articles are clearly tilted towards one side of an issue. less well-known Political pages are often solely made up of editing by the politican themselves while other pages have almost certianly only been created for self-promotion or more often than expected visa application

These are direct problems that need to be fixed before any overarching vision of a glorious future can be constructed.

Zubin12 (talk) 10:59, 13 September 2017 (UTC)Reply

The community is only growing slowly, and probably contracted between 2007 and 2014 (probably in that while we know that raw edit counts and number of active editors fell in this era, we don't know how much of this was due to the edit filters rejecting vandalism edits that would previously have gone live and then been reverted). Since the start of 2015 we have been in a new era of stability or gentle growth depending on project, the English Wikipedia community is clearly growing again. But anecdotally there seems to be a generational change I suspect if we did another editor survey it would confirm the theory of the greying of the pedia - or average editor age is rising fast, possibly by more than a year a year. The silver surfers are joining us but few generation Zs are. I'm assuming that this is because editing wikipedia is best done on a PC and rarely done by smartphone. If we want more editors from the smartphone generation we need a better editor interface for the smartphone. WereSpielChequers (talk) 13:22, 13 September 2017 (UTC)Reply

Copyright law in its current form creates an information gap[edit]

As a contributor of articles on art, I feel current copyright law as a barrier to knowledge. This will affect several generation of students and artlowers who will loose contact with contemporary art. Writting on arts without possibility to illustrate text with photographs of artworks is often frustrating. Wikipedia should make every effort to promote such provisions as "Fair use" globaly, to pressure towards softening of current practise by organizations like Adagp, or make exceptions in specific cases and use CC BY SA NC licence instead of CC BY SA.--NoJin (talk) 12:32, 13 September 2017 (UTC)Reply

I would like to specifically endorse some provision for collecting and allowing the use of CC--NC images, particularly in situations where fully free images are not available. The NC status can be clearly marked in the file name, say, so commercial users of Wikipedia content can then exclude the NC images. While I understand the desire to encourage contribution of fully free images, our reader should not be held hostage by excluding useful imagery when only NC content is available. Along these lines, I'd also like to see a new license category for images of living people that limits derivative works to enhancements such as cropping, contrast, color balance and the like. Notable individuals would be more likely to contribute images of themselves if they could limit there use to a straightforward depiction of how they look. There are legal limits to the use of such images anyway so why demand a full CC license?--ArnoldReinhold (talk) 18:25, 14 September 2017 (UTC)Reply

Option to become a paid facilitator and possibly educator for disaster relief, well-vetted charities and possibly environmental activism?[edit]

Why not charge a negligible fee, such as 0.5% of most donations, for requesting donations for other worthy nonprofit organizations? This could simultaneously raise millions for Wikipedia and billions for charities. There are numerous possible variations of such a policy:

• As the donor clicks on the donation ad, there might be a checkbox stating, "send 0.5% of donation to Wikipedia." Each donor then can either uncheck the box or modify the percentage as desired.
• Wikipedia can limit itself to helping definitively "neutral" charities, such as the Red Cross and major Humane Society organizations.
• Or, Wikipedia can slightly tarnish its "neutrality" halo, by taking a stand on issues which are scientifically as irrefutable as grammar and punctuation, in spite of the fact that powerful lobbies claim them to be "debatable": such as reducing greenhouse gasses and reducing cigarette smoking.
• I.e., Wikipedia can not only ask for donations for environmental action and education organizations--but also can "take a stand" and educate people in the same small ad on every page. This need not necessarily be less "neutral" than supermarkets having posters, "remember to bring your reusable bags."
• Conversely, Facebook's software automatically reinforces whatever prejudices or "denials" the user desires. And National Geographic's magazine and television channels--primary educator of climate change--has been taken over by Fox News, primary "climate change denier."
• I.e., with the future of the planet at stake, the world might need a force that is slightly less than "neutral" in order to balance the non-neutrality of the world.
• I.e., when Jews were being cremated at Auschwitz, it might not have been a bad thing for something like Wikipedia to advertise this fact on every page, as well as ask for donations for related relief organizations. In spite of any "neutrality" or "non-advertising" doctrine.
• I.e., the "neutrality" doctrine of Wikipedia, if taken to extremes, can be analogous to the following alleged account of a famous pacifist, who discovered that he had valuable investments in weapons manufacturing, made during his earlier life. He could have donated the proceeds to an antiwar group. Instead, he threw them in the fire. This of course made him feel more righteous. In fact, however, this was a gift to the weapons manufacturers.
• The originator of this subsection considers the above to be an example of what he calls the "Pontius Pilate syndrome." Pontius Pilate knew that Jesus was innocent according to all the facts. He plainly said so. However, his primary concern was not justice or truth, but to be able to claim "my hands are clean." This might be perceived as a ubiquitous human tendency regardless of whether one considers the biblical account to be factual.
• In any case, even if the Wikipedia administration continues to cherish total perceived "neutrality," it is certainly possible to do so--and amply to raise donations for Wikipedia, for disaster relief and for numerous worthy causes.
Please especially consider that this suggestion--soliciting money for other nonprofits plus Wikipedia--need not be any different from what Wikipedia is already doing--soliciting money for Wikipedia! Why only ask for Wikipedia and not for others, equally worthy, or more worthy? It is arguably hypocritical to say, "We don't do that." A byword for this new direction might be, "Helping other helpers deemed by Wikipedia administrators to be more worthy than Wikipedia."
• (The originator of this subsection is not a frequent editor and had great difficulty attempting to determine whether this suggestion had been made and if not where to make it. He remains somewhat uncertain. Consequently, he will attempt to post this statement into three pages, asking pardon and deletion if this is inappropriate: "Advertising on Wikipedia" and "Funding Wikipedia through advertisements" and "Wikimedia Direction Notice." Krystof (talk))

My Suggestion[edit]

I really like the message in this proposal. I like the idea that we should expand our reach into new and marginalized communities in order to attract new voices and to make it easier for new editors to get started. That said, I think what this proposal could use would be more concrete ideas and strategies on how we can reach that goal. It's not enough that we have noble goals, we need to find ways to make those goals a reality.I Feel Tired (talk) 18:31, 13 September 2017 (UTC)Reply

Sister projects[edit]

I felt that far too much attention and resources has been given to Wikipedia, and to a lesser extent Commons. These 2 projects are slowly reaching towards saturation point and dedicating more resources to grow these projects are approaching (if not already past) the point of diminishing returns. When has we heard anything announced that benefit, say, Wikibooks, Wikiversity, Wikispecies or Wikivoyage? I kind of see that vaguely touched upon in "Limits of Wikimedia: What we should improve" section, but it lumps all the sister projects into a single Wikimedia entity while they all have different goals and challenges. It should be spelled out more clearly that new and additional support should be given to grow these sister projects. OhanaUnitedTalk page 14:13, 14 September 2017 (UTC)Reply

+1. Helder 22:36, 22 October 2017 (UTC)Reply

Wikimedia Dashboard[edit]

Aside Wikipedia , It is good to mention that we have over many projects . Though, Wikipedia is the most popular. However, there are a lot of readers that are willing to use this platforms but they do not know how to access or find them.

I am suggesting a dashboard, that will give a snap shot of all Wikimedia projects on a page. This will allow all our users to access our projects from a page. Olaniyan Olushola (talk) 05:40, 15 September 2017 (UTC)Reply --Gereon Kalkuhl (WMF) (talk) 19:31, 17 September 2017 (UTC)Reply

En "Participation" means de "TeilNAHME", not "Teilhabe"![edit]

The same discussion and aspects as in Germany to the (official) translation of the "UN-Behindertenrechtskonvention" ( from English to German in connection with "inclusion"/Inklusion. Source Latein/Old Latin "participere" means something active, not passive! It's a (great?) difference, to have a piece of cake ("haben", woher, von wem, warum/from where, whom, why?) than to take a piece of cake (if you have the possibility, to take...)! That's all of me to this, Greetings, --Hungchaka (talk) 16:12, 15 September 2017 (UTC)Reply

I cannot find the word "Teilhabe" in the German translation. So you are referring to the interpretation and not to the translation, right? --Gereon Kalkuhl (WMF) (talk) 06:44, 16 September 2017 (UTC)Reply
Ok, I'd read it (it was perhaps the preliminary draft?) & so I was actually talking about the translation. On the draft at the front now there's "beitragen", and that's ok, in my mind. Have a nice Sunday, thank you very much for your commitment! --Hungchaka (talk) 08:52, 17 September 2017 (UTC)Reply
Thank YOU for your concern. You too have a pleasant Sunday. --Gereon Kalkuhl (WMF) (talk) 19:30, 17 September 2017 (UTC)Reply


Partizipieren im Sinne von gegenseitigem Nutzen haben (aus dem Deutschen allgemeinwissen)

Wird der monetäre Nutzen beschrieben, so nennt sich das profitieren. Wenn mit Produkten und/oder Dienstleistung/en Gewinne erzielt werden so spricht nichts dagegen, daß alle Seiten (zumeist mehr als drei ...) davon partizipieren. In diesem Zusammenhang wäre "to part" aus dem britischem Englisch anwendbar was in diesem Zusammenhang dem teilen, rsp. aufteilen entspricht

--Umweltheizung (talk) 10:58, 21 September 2017 (UTC)Reply


The draft starting with a big information box that contains nothing else but "{{{1}}}"? What does that mean? --Gereon Kalkuhl (WMF) (talk) 06:45, 16 September 2017 (UTC)Reply

I don't have this problem. Do you still see it? --Niccolò "Jaqen" Caranti (WMF) (talk) 10:24, 16 September 2017 (UTC)Reply
It's gone now. --Gereon Kalkuhl (WMF) (talk) 18:27, 16 September 2017 (UTC)Reply

Feedback from Wikimedia UK[edit]

The board and senior management team of the UK Chapter discussed the draft strategic direction at our annual away day in September. We were encouraged by the direction as it is currently articulated, and feel that it is a clear improvement on the draft presented at Wikimania. Our key suggestion would be that education is added to the list of possible barriers to knowledge - so the final sentence would read: We will break down the social, political, technical and educational barriers preventing people from accessing and contributing to free knowledge. In the early conversations about the strategy, education felt like a clear priority for many individuals and groups, however it feels like this has been lost along the way and should be reinstated.

LucyCrompton-Reid (WMUK) (talk) 09:18, 19 September 2017 (UTC)Reply

Thank you for your comment, Lucy. I had trouble understanding what an "educational barrier preventing people from accessing and contributing to free knowledge" would be. In my view, education is a goal and an outcome, something that we achieve through free knowledge. Unless you mean the lack of literacy as what is preventing people from accessing and contributing, but I'm not sure that was what was meant in the early discussions. Another angle to education is the use of our platform and infrastructure for free knowledge to support education institutions, and I think that would be covered by the "Knowledge as a service" component of the direction, even if not called out explicitly. Guillaume (WMF) (talk) 20:35, 4 October 2017 (UTC)Reply

On the freedom of knowledge[edit]

Thank you for this draft. There is so much to like about it, and I enjoyed seeing the wide scope of Wikimedia acknowledged.

There is one thing that troubles me, and it is probably just purely terminological: it is the term 'free knowledge'. The problem I have with this term is that it accepts the idea that there non-free knowledge, an idea that, as a community, I think, we should outright reject. There might be knowledge which is, for one reason or another, out of bound for Wikimedia projects - maybe due to privacy considerations, triviality concerns, due to cultural taboos - and that is OK, but nevertheless, all knowledge should always and by definition be considered free.

There are laws, and intellectual property laws in particular, which constrain certain expressions or usages of knowledge, through copyright, patents, database rights. But the knowledge itself is still free.

There are people, organizations, and interests who would like to see the possibility to constrain knowledge, to make it not free, to tie it down. Not just expression, but knowledge itself. Every time we say 'free knowledge', we accept their premise that there is non-free knowledge.

I think, we can, without loosing meaning, without making our message any less powerful, just drop the 'free' from knowledge. What do we want to say more by saying 'free knowledge'? What are we missing if we don't use this term?

I think it is important. Because we, and in particular a document like this one, has the power to shape and influence the conversation for years to come. I don't want to hand them this fight, and I don't want them, and everyone, to believe, that knowledge can be made non-free.

Sorry for this lengthy and ranty note. I really like the draft. --denny (talk) 17:03, 21 September 2017 (UTC)Reply

Stress test: the new "Service and Equity" version of the summary[edit]

Hi all,

In my opinion, the current version of the summary ("Our strategic direction: Service and Equity") is too much written from an institutional / Wikimedia Foundation perspective. Please consider taking into account what this might look like from the perspective of an average Wikipedian.

This document should function like a signpost, providing everybody in the movement with a decision-making tool. So, e.g. if I'm a Wikipedian and I'd like to know whether organizing edit-a-thons or helping with the next round of Wiki Loves Monuments is more in line with the current "Movement Strategy", I might end up here. So, let's stress-test the current version from a Wikipedian's perspective:

  • Improving our infrastructure: Well, unless we all take programming language courses, building infrastructure might not be an option for individuals.
  • Focus on communities that have been left out: Let's assume I'm from Germany. What would I do as a Wikipedian in Germany in order to help further this goal? And if that's not what I naturally gravitate towards, how meaningful is the new strategic direction then to me?

Now, because we're already on it – let's say, I'm a member of the FDC and I'd like to get some guidance on which chapter activities to fund. Let's stress-test the current version as well:

  • Improving our infrastructure: If I was a member of the FDC, I might consider heavily reducing grants for everything that's not infrastructure related. Now, currently, how many of our chapters and user groups are in the business of creating infrastructure? What about the other chapters? Are we saying we'd like to see more chapters building infrastructure and de-emphasizing their GLAM programs instead?
  • Focus on communities that have been left out: from a funder's perspective this one might be the easiest one. E.g. the FDC would consider channeling more money into Egypt and less into England (just to simplify this; I'm well aware that this is not only a geographic question).

It seems like this new version works much better for a minority within the Wikimedia universe (WMF, people mostly interested in meta stuff) than for the average content contributor on Wikipedia.

Now, to me, the current version sounds more like a text that – unlike the earlier version which I found very inspiring – is not taking the perspective of the average Wikipedian into account. It simply doesn't resonate with people like me (in my personal capacity as a Wikipedian). I guess that's unintentional and I'm eager to help with solving that issue.

Thanks, --Frank Schulenburg (talk) 23:48, 21 September 2017 (UTC)Reply

I fully join Frank's concerns. Ziko (talk) 10:20, 22 September 2017 (UTC)Reply
It seems like there should be a section acknowledging the tension between the WMF & the various communities. Since the latter (the volunteer class) shape content and the former (paid by the donor class) fund product and program development (as well as the legal department and PR department), it seems as though it would be helpful to be transparent about how you intend to make this tension productive over the next decade. There is clearly a power disparity in the relationship, as altruistic editors are freely alienating their own time & labor (if they're following the rules) when they edit/patrol/gnome, whereas the "donor class" are freely donating their capital to help create "knowledge as a (free) service", with all the consequences that may have for an expertise-based economy of curation. It's important to hear minority voices, to have access to minority literatures, divergent viewpoints.
Checks and balances are needed between "power users" and "ordinary users" within Community hierarchy, there are just too many documented cases of abuse of power. The very real problem of digital "harassment" needs to be addressed as it is is a risk to your movement's chances of recruiting (partners, volunteers, or donors). Only guidelines that permit useful community introspection -- without assimilating any critique whatsoever with harassment -- will permit WP to get through its adolescence.
The word "anyone" appears 7 times in the document, the words "anonymity" or "anonymous" do not. Is this problem of anonymity a closed and perpetually hatted subject? If so, the statement of direction should at least be honest enough to use the word "anonymous" rather than hiding behind "anyone" (who, as e.e. cummings said, lived in a pretty how town).
As it stands the document still needs major rewriting for it to be useful, IMO. I'm not the one for the job. But I'll pitch in the perspective of one who's read about a fair number of the sausage machine mishaps in the last year on the "flagship" project, which incidentally promotes a lot of battleship articles to "featured article" status.
To respond to the point you raise about infrastructure in another way: the current CTO has been co-writing some interesting material about US defense leadership. To what degree does the community need to be aware of this aspect of the globalist project we see being developed here? SashiRolls (talk) 16:17, 24 September 2017 (UTC)Reply


I'd suggest avoiding the word "equity". It has four meanings in English - equality/fairness, value (in the sense of shareholdings or property ownership), or a specific area of law, or an actor's trade union. I initially read it as the second one (meaning something like "building value" in our context, rather than "raising the share price" ;) ) but clearly means "equal access". I will not be the only person who's confused by this. Please please please can we use a simpler word like "equality" or "equal access." Those are clearer English (and thus easier to translate - though also French and Spanish have similar words with similar meaning...) Chris Keating (The Land) (talk) 12:16, 24 September 2017 (UTC)Reply

I see that Guillame provided his rationale for using "equity" above - makes sense, though I'd still prefer we didn't use the word. First because I don't think the distinction of "equality" meaning "everyone is treated identically" vs "equity" meaning "everyone is treated fairly" has particularly wide use. If you share English-language memes about social justice, or read Everyday Feminism, then you probably get it. If you don't, then you probably don't. I spent some years steeped in progressive politics and wrote my undergrad dissertation on English socialism, and the "equity/equality" distinction didn't exist (at least not in those words!). Secondly, I think it's better to have an unambiguous word than an ambiguous one (even if one of the ambiguous meanings is more precise). Regards, Chris Keating (The Land) (talk) 12:45, 24 September 2017 (UTC)Reply
Googling "treated with equity" yields 250K results, "treated with equality" only 73K. I may also be influenced by French where commerce équitable translates fair trade. Again, I think it is productive to note that the WikiPiles have a financial value... and (again) believe exploring the ambiguity with the financial term is refreshingly fruitful (or at least fruity) ^^. SashiRolls (talk) 18:20, 24 September 2017 (UTC)Reply
I guess my English vocabulary is more limited than I thought, because before this draft, I never heard of 'equity' with this meaning. It does make me concerned that the draft is perhaps also in other parts overly complex. Perhaps an idea to write a version using only 'simple English'? Effeietsanders (talk) 17:30, 23 October 2017 (UTC)Reply
I have no idea how to translate "knowledge equity" to Spanish. "Equidad de conocimiento" is very confusing, like all facts are equal. --NaBUru38 (talk) 20:19, 2 November 2017 (UTC)Reply

Comments from Wikimedia Nederland[edit]

On 23 September, members, board and management of Wikimedia Nederland discussed the draft strategic direction during the General Assembly. Discussion focussed on the dilemma of balancing inclusivity (being open to participation from all groups and including different types of knowledge) with reliability. Those present at the General Assembly wholeheartedly supported the aim for the Wikimedia movement to become more diverse and inclusive. However, there was consensus that neutrality and verifiability are very precious to our projects and our mission, and need to be safeguarded. This could be made more explicit in the text of the strategic direction.

Also the participants in the meeting feel it is important to be as precise as possible at this stage of strategy development in the choice of words and phrases. Ambiguity in the English text can easily lead to problems in translation. In particular, the meaning of the frequently used terms ecosystem and infrastructure lead to discussion. Sandra Rientjes - Wikimedia Nederland (talk) 08:48, 25 September 2017 (UTC)Reply

Thank you for sharing this perspective from Wikimedia Nederland, Sandra; this is helpful. I stayed away from the concept of neutrality, because it is not a concept that is universally applied in Wikimedia projects; for example, Wikivoyage focuses on "fairness" instead, since reviews can inherently not be neutral. "Verifiability" is an important concept, but the word itself is a bit difficult to understand outside of the Wikiverse. In the end, I combined those two concepts under "trusted" knowledge. We can of course go into more details about neutrality and verifiability in the next phase of discussions.
As for words like "ecosystem" and "infrastructure", there were no good alternatives that didn't change the meaning. Instead of trying to find the utopian, perfectly-translatable English word, I ended up keeping those words but adding translation notes to explain their meaning. This hopefully helps translators focus on the concepts and find one that works well in their language, rather than get stuck on the words themselves. I hope this helps. Guillaume (WMF) (talk) 20:49, 4 October 2017 (UTC)Reply

" can only work in practice, not in theory."[edit]

Hello, the text says: "The idea that anyone can edit is so radical that we joke that it can only work in practice, not in theory." I know that some people love this proposition. But in my view, it is extremely stupid and annoying (somewhere in the range of "you don't need to know something, you just have to know where to look it up"). If your theory does not describe practice, then you have a poor theory and should improve it. - If the theory is that "anyone can do anything in Wikipedia", that is an imperfect theory of the more complex reality of Wikipedia, where you have rules and where the regular editors do look who made which edit. Ziko (talk) 11:48, 26 September 2017 (UTC)Reply

I agree, but feel your last sentence about the complex reality of Wikipedia should be clearer: power contributors do sometimes look to see which anonymous contributor has made which contribution. Some of these power contributors have been allowed to keep names like "neutrality" rather than using their own real names and being forthcoming about their RW associations. I see that this movement strategy document does not mention "neutrality" (at least not in the way the September 2016 Communications Audit authored by the Clinton Foundation CCO's company did), so perhaps the community sees neutrality as less of an issue than the main contractor working on Wikimedia's public image. SashiRolls (talk) 09:51, 27 September 2017 (UTC)Reply

Winding down comments[edit]

Hello folks,

I still need to respond to a few comments, but from what I'm seeing, most of the last comments are about things that people would prefer to see changed, added, or removed, and not about things that would be blockers. We could continue to discuss small changes for years to try to satisfy everyone, and still not succeed. Our discussions need a definite conclusion, so at this point I'm going to "close" the commenting period to make sure I can use the last few days of September to integrate or respond to the comments. By "closing", I don't mean that I'm going to protect this talk page, but that I may not be able to address the comments coming after this message. The target date for the final version of the text is still October 1. Guillaume (WMF) (talk) 01:53, 27 September 2017 (UTC)Reply

I'm one day late, but we're here. I'll try to respond to a few more comments over the next few days to explain the rationale behind some of the editing decisions. I reserve the right to improve and add references over time, but otherwise the text is now final. In a few weeks, we'll be able to endorse the direction, and after that move on to "phase 2" discussions. I'm uncharacteristically excited at the prospect of moving on to some of the discussions and decisions around movement roles, resources, and responsibilities. It's a bit daunting but I think we're in a good place. Guillaume (WMF) (talk) 20:57, 2 October 2017 (UTC)Reply

@User:Guillaume (WMF) Could you tell the translate admins to allow the closed version to be translated? thanks. --Goldzahn (talk) 15:52, 4 October 2017 (UTC)Reply

Goldzahn: I just marked the page for translation; My apologies for not doing it earlier. Guillaume (WMF) (talk) 21:28, 4 October 2017 (UTC)Reply

@Guillaume (WMF): is this the final version then? did I miss any announcement? or are we still waiting for something? Tar Lócesilion (queta) 09:38, 6 October 2017 (UTC)Reply

Tar Lócesilion: Yes, this is the final version. I think that Katherine will send one of her weekly email updates shortly. Nicole has also reached out to groups and affiliates and is preparing for the endorsement process for individuals, which will open in a few weeks. In the meantime, people are focusing on preparations for the endorsement and for the next phase. Guillaume (WMF) (talk) 17:16, 6 October 2017 (UTC)Reply
"Endorsement process for individuals"? What's that about? I don't recall ever reading anything about that. Wbm1058 (talk) 16:32, 7 October 2017 (UTC)Reply