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Technical vs social experimentation[edit]

I think it's important to differentiate between technical experimentation and social experimentation. The Wikimedia production cluster is not ideal for technical experimentation because wikis are not segregated from each other so problems with an experimental wiki can easily spread to other wikis. (I gave a talk last Wikimania exploring this in more detail, along with possible solutions, but those would not be cheap.) So things like WikiCite or Lexeme or VideoWiki are probably not really viable. --Tgr (talk) 13:55, 16 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]

I agree this should primarily be for social experimentation, although I do think there is room for some interesting low-tech innovation with templates and Wikidata/Wikibase integration.--Pharos (talk) 03:46, 21 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Questions in comparison to Incubator[edit]

Having experienced the incubator I have some questions;

  1. Criteria for testing, what under lying conditions will there be...
  2. Will there be a background support team to ensure issues are raised and addressed, in a timely fashion.
  3. keeping it simple to edit, Incubator is the worst place to bring new contributors to as templates, links, and other features require far more complexity than a live wiki to work with
  4. how/who/when will decisions on next step be taken, is the path clear and easy to follow with honest, defined, and clear goals..
  5. what happens to information developed but not progressed,

I like the idea of a development space for sister projects, I have some concepts I'd like to bring to it but my bad experiences with the incubator is hard to shake. Gnangarra (talk) 09:45, 20 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]

This proposal is still at an early stage, so I cannot give full answers and these will evolve over time, but here are my best approximations at the moment:
  1. For interim development, we will run an annual Community Wishlist-style contest to see which proposals will have real community support on Wikispore. Obviously we cannot govern the Wikimedia Foundation's final approval of a new sister project, but I think that with time, we can develop the credibility to begin recommending the "graduating" of one or two spores a year.
  2. We do not have a professional development staff, of course, but we will work on bringing together a volunteer team that can also work with WMF staff, who can help mentor us through this process.
  3. We will go with a namespace-based system rather than a subpage-paged system like Incubator. This is imperfect but an improvement, and may become functionally identical to independent wikis with the adaptation of a more suited namespace extension.
  4. I can help to provide some leadership and help to bring a group together, and I hope that we work out a consensus-driven path that also has modest and achievable goals.
  5. Information in namespaces will generally be retained on Wikispore, unless for some reason it is judged harmful. We will probably limit the number of wiki pages for proposals that do not have consensus to develop as a namespace (perhaps 10-100 pages), so grand personal efforts will not be wasted.

I'm hopeful we can evolve quite significantly on the Incubator model, and also provide a better experience for participants.--Pharos (talk) 04:25, 21 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]

More incubation vs. less incubation[edit]

Interestingly, there is a proposal in the opposite direction, to close Incubator and just set up new wikis instead: T228745 (kudos to Jdforrester for pointing it out). While for languages it is a bit different situation (the decision whether we want a project in a given language is made before starting to incubate it, while for new project types that might not be a good idea) the reasons listed there about why Incubator doesn't work well are very relevant. --Tgr (talk) 07:44, 21 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]

The task discussion is helpful, thanks for the link. My reading is that any newly-created project should be a first-class wiki from the beginning and not live under a prefix.
One detail worth repeating here is that small wikis are at risk from vandalism. Each new wiki should build its own community, but we might also look for a way to share the patrolling work.
Adamw (talk) 23:21, 13 August 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Steps for setting up a new wiki[edit]

AIUI the process for setting up Wikispore would be:

  1. getting more supporters (also it's generally a good idea to differentiate between people who like the idea and support it in theory vs. people actually willing to spend time on the new wiki)
  2. meta RfC (since the new project proposal process doesn't really work)
  3. board vote on the proposal
  4. the wiki creation script must be fixed (see T212881), hopefully this will happen soon anyway

--Tgr (talk) 08:11, 21 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Potential projects[edit]

A long, long time ago Jimbo gave a talk about what kind of new wikiprojects we should have most (with a follow-up a few years later from Erik Möller), and the 2010 strategy tried to turn that into a more complete list. It might be interesting to sort through the proposals with an eye towards that. --Tgr (talk) 08:16, 21 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]

@Tgr: Yes suddenly we have greater capacity to consider these things. With new technology, new social infrastructure, and massive new access to free and open media from external sources, our situation has changed and we have new options. Blue Rasberry (talk) 16:01, 5 September 2019 (UTC)[reply]

It might be worth omitting 'sci-hub' from the examples list. No matter its usefulness, it's the only one that is explicitly illegal so wmf would have to keep a distance from it. T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 02:01, 18 September 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Wikidata strategy includes many Wikibase spin offs[edit]

This just out today -

When Wikimedia NYC proposed this WikiSpore idea they had hosted a Wikibase conference earlier this year. There was talk of more Wikibase instances but no one really knew the timescale - maybe 1-3 years? With these new strategy documents the schedule seems more rushed.

I see this Wikibase strategy and this Wikspore proposal as complementary.

Blue Rasberry (talk) 22:01, 27 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]

The proposal feels premature[edit]

Currently, I see no specification about how this new project should be governed. The proposal lists supporting sci-hub. While I agree that a world with sci-hub in it is better then a world without it, there are huge legal risks that come with having such a project under the Wikimedia umbrella. Wikispore should work in a way where there are mechanism exist that prevent a single user from creating a sci-hub like branch within our space and imports those legal risks. On the same token, we need a process to decide how to decide what projects deserve to be in the Wikipedia namespace. There needs to be a process to decide on whether projects like simple.Wiki can be created in new languages. We need democratic processes for deciding whether or not mn-mong.Wiki should exist or shouldn't (langcom currently blocks it). ChristianKl14:11, 3 March 2020 (UTC)[reply]

@ChristianKl: Non-free content is actually not a major focus of the initial stage of the project, for just this reason. Instead, we're looking more into experimenting more with genre, notability amd sourcing. I'd invite you to check out the prototype wiki, and particularly the various Spores.--Pharos (talk) 00:33, 4 March 2020 (UTC)[reply]
@Pharos: Without having an idea about how a project is governed, you don't know how you can enforce what happens within your project and what people who contribute to the project will do.ChristianKl19:12, 5 March 2020 (UTC)[reply]
@ChristianKl: Our basic policy is the Tripod, and we do not have non-free content beyond what is allowed on regular Wikimedia projects. Introducing that idea would mean adopting a new policy, which might make sense for the future, but not now.--Pharos (talk) 00:37, 11 March 2020 (UTC)[reply]
  • @ChristianKl: Yes it is premature but if not now, when? I put Sci-Hub on that list to provoke responses like yours, so thanks. Sci-Hub is the most accessible channel for open access and public domain works and Wikipedia should envy and take inspiration from that platform for that among other reasons. No one here is advocating for undue legal risk but I do advocate for open discussion about what works and what future the Wikimedia community wishes to design for itself. Their founder Alexandra Elbakyan spoke as a keynote speaker at Wikimania 2017 in Montreal to imagine a world in which every single person has access to the sum of all scientific knowledge. I wish that Wikimedia projects could somehow acquire a comprehensive set of that (uncopyrightable, public domain) comprehensive citation metadata which Sci-Hub has. When anyone has ideas to do anything new, or like in the case of the existing Wikicite project, then I wish that Wikispore could be the channel for negotiating the financial costs, legal review, ingestion, publication, and wiki curation of content. If only Wikimedia projects could emulate Sci-Hub just for public domain and open access works, which seems like a Wikimedia thing to do, then the world would be a better place.
I want these kinds of discussions and ideas to get tested and reviewed at a much higher rate, especially in the context of increased government and academic funding going into Wikimedia projects to develop such things. I support Wikispore because I can imagine increased resources enabling sudden rapid growth in many directions. Blue Rasberry (talk) 12:39, 14 April 2020 (UTC)[reply]
  • I think there's a need of governance that prevents projects that are potentially harmful to the Wikimedia community and that includes projects which directly violate laws. If you do want a project where new project of the nature of Sci-Hub can be discussed, it would be better to do that outside of the legal responsibility of the WMF. Hosting a server in Iceland and putting up a Wiki for that purpose isn't expensive enough to need institutional support by the WMF.
We need a structured process for approving new projects and deciding which projects can live in the Wikipedia namespaces if we don't want to continue to let langcom stiffle anything they dislike. Currently, there no framework laid out for Wikispore that would fill that role. I would like to see someone lay out such a framework. ChristianKl11:00, 15 April 2020 (UTC)[reply]
@ChristianKl: I take back everything I said. No good can come of a mention of Sci-Hub. I wanted to talk about library catalogs and I care nothing whatsoever for legal discussion. Forget I ever mentioned it. Imagine instead that I said I wanted to pull in any arbitrary free and open dataset from a noncontroversial source which would have 100% consensus. I made a horrible choice in mentioning that organization and Wikispore has nothing at all to do with anything of the sort you mention. I am completely in error. Excuse me. Blue Rasberry (talk) 23:47, 18 April 2020 (UTC)[reply]

The Wiki that Wikis Itself[edit]

User:Denny has been publishing weird stories of publishing a Wikipedia through Wikidata items for years. I find them all wild, exciting, and inspiring! The general idea is to connect everything in the world to Wikidata, then auto-generate all reference text in every language on every topic. The prototype of this is Reasonator, and everyone should check out those Wikidata-generated Wikipedia articles. See Denny's own publications for his own way of explaining it.

"Proposal towards a multilingual Wikipedia and a new Wikipedia project".

I agree that we will produce a self-generated Wikipedia eventually and that we should start planning now! Wikispore could support this effort by assisting to convene the conversation, formatting an application process, and making its development familiar after the model of other similar proposals.

In my view the biggest barrier to progress is growing a social base in Wikimedia projects who all understand the idea and share a common set of values. If we can get the ethics and fair process right on this then I think government, academic, and corporate funding is available for us to realize this project in the Wikimedia space.

This is a big idea. It is also a kind of crazy. This is the singularity manifest through Wikipedia, the Ur Wiki, the Wiki of Babel, the Wiki of Wikis, Wikiwikipedia, the Wiki that Wikis Itself, and the Last Wiki. What do others think, does this fit for Wikispore support? Blue Rasberry (talk) 13:12, 14 April 2020 (UTC)[reply]

I agree with most of what you write and look forward to experiments (activity I enjoy the most). I would not easily call it singularity manifest through Wikipedia, the Wiki of Babel, but maybe would the Wiki of Wikis, Wikiwikipedia. With the Wiki that Wikis Itself, and the Last Wiki...I would not agree, as Wiki cultures are more then sum of all content of all Wikipedias for sure. There is much in social and organizational side that is less often reflected on critically beyond urgency of (inter)operability.--Zblace (talk) 10:45, 15 June 2020 (UTC)[reply]

Proposed tagline: Free (Media)wiki content germination[edit]

Maybe tagline should be more precise that it is using Mediawiki and focusing on content germination - correct? Zblace (talk) 17:04, 28 May 2020 (UTC)[reply]

This is a bit more precise, but I believe taglines are supposed to be more inspirational than technical, and concision is important for a tagline too.--Pharos (talk) 15:19, 29 May 2020 (UTC)[reply]
I agree, that can be the case, but than at least at least add 'hosting'? In between extremes of Free wiki germination and Free (Media)Wiki ((open)) (content) (hosting) germination... I feel first is just a bit too vague and any of extra words would help direct it and distinguish from other similar hosting and wiki projects --Zblace (talk) 10:32, 15 June 2020 (UTC)[reply]
I agree that the title is not ideal: taglines for Wiktionary or Wikibooks let me know exactly what I'm getting (a dictionary/thesaurus and textbooks) but "content germination" doesn't give me a clear idea of what is made at Wikispore. I also fear that we may end up stretching the plant-based metaphors a little too much. —Justin (koavf)TCM 19:20, 15 June 2020 (UTC)[reply]

You're welcome to join us at Wikispore Day on Sunday July 19, it starts at 1pm Eastern / 17:00 UTC, and it will run for about 2 hours. You can RSVP on that page and possibly give a lightning talk on any Wikispore-adjacent topic. You will also be able to participate and ask questions via the YoutTube livesrtream here.--Pharos (talk) 01:42, 19 July 2020 (UTC)[reply]

Support for WikiSpore[edit]

I would like to support WikiSpore as a new online realm for emerging Wikimedia projects that would fall into digital humanities, GIS, data visualization, and digital storytelling. I would also like to support WikiSpore as a potential hub for Wikimedia projects that use "non-traditional" information sources, such as oral histories, songs, poems, etc.. This also has the potential to serve as a site for marginalized / minority community projects that prefer using such resources to disseminate information, as opposed to Western academic methods. RachelWex (talk) 22:24, 24 July 2020 (UTC)[reply]

@RachelWex: I am also interested in using Wikispore for oral/indigenous sources. Do you by chance have a background in that? —Justin (koavf)TCM 10:37, 3 August 2020 (UTC)[reply]
@RachelWex: Did you see this? (koavf)TCM 14:11, 14 August 2020 (UTC)[reply]
Agreed it would be a fantastic place within WMF for smaller projects that don't fit into another project, and aren't big enough to warrant their own sister project, but nonetheless are worthwhile recording as part of the "sum of all knowledge". Supertrinko (talk) 04:55, 15 June 2021 (UTC)[reply]

License change[edit]

We have not specified a license when we set up Wikispore (sorry, that was stupid) and need consent from previous contributors to license the entire wiki under the standard CC-BY-SA-3 Wikimedia license. If you have edited Wikispore, and consent to your edits being relicensed, please say so at (Ping: @1234qwer1234qwer4:, @Ainali:, @AllyD:, @Amire80:, @Battleofalma:, @Bluerasberry:, @Clifford Anderson:, @Csisc:, @Daniel Mietchen:, @Denny:, @DutchTreat:, @Dyolf77:, @Econterms:, @EdSaperia:, @FULBERT:, @Funcrunch:, @GZWDer:, @Ircpresident:, @Killarnee:, @Kpjas:, @Kroger4:, @Librarian lena:, @Luk3:, @Masssly:, @Ottawahitech:, @Perohanych:, @R9H9:, @Reify-tech:, @Rosiestep:, @Sannita:, @Serial Number 54129:, @Sm8900:, @TrMendenhall:, @Treetopz:, @Yaron Koren:, @Ziko:) --Tgr (talk) 15:36, 25 July 2020 (UTC)[reply]

Yes, I consent. :) --Sannita - not just another sysop 18:47, 25 July 2020 (UTC)[reply]
Yes, I consent. --Treetopz (talk) 19:05, 25 July 2020 (UTC)[reply]
yes, I consent. --Sm8900 (talk) 05:21, 26 July 2020 (UTC)[reply]
Yes, I consent. --Dyolf77 (talk) 19:01, 26 July 2020 (UTC)[reply]
Yes, I consent. --Ircpresident (talk) 22:01, 27 July 2020 (UTC)[reply]
Yes, I consent. -- econterms (talk) 17:42, 2 August 2020 (UTC) -- will sign over at wikispore when I can log in again[reply]
Yes, I consent. --Kpjas (talk) 21:52, 4 October 2020 (UTC)[reply]

Wednesday July 28: Wikispore Day Unconference[edit]

Wikispore Day 0, the picnic that partially inspired Wikispore.
Wikispore Day 1, last year

The second anniversary of Wikispore Day, observed on July 28, 2020, marks twenty-four months from the conceptual sprouting of the Wikispore idea from the Strategy Wiknic in NYC, which was held on July 14, 2019.

You are invited to participate in a virtual unconference for this year!

Wednesday July 28:

  • 12:002:00 pm (New York City time)
  • (16:00–18:00 UTC/GMT, 18:00–20:00 Berlin)
  • Social Hour

Since Wikispore is probably the only Wikimedia project to be born at a picnic, you are encouraged to participate from a socially-distanced green space outdooors if possible.

Wikisporadic Newsletter: September 2022[edit]

Wikispore lunch in Berlin

Wikisporadic, an Occasional Newsletter for our Germinating Community.

Participate: Comment on stories and ideas in this Newsletter, Join Wikispore on Telegram, Join Wikispore mailing list

We'd welcome your comments and suggestions on the ideas in this Newsletter here!--Pharos (talk) 17:16, 20 September 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Personal Invitation to the Open Innovation Café of Wikimedia Deutschland[edit]

Dear Wikispore,

This year we are setting out on a journey to build a new format for the Wikimedia Movement, a safe space that will foster innovation and allow members of our community to experiment with and build new ideas for Free Knowledge. This is why we would like to extend a personal invitation to you for a representative of Wikispore to join our Open Innovation Café where we want to tell you all about what we are planning and how we would love you to be involved!

We are reaching out to people, affiliate representatives and Wikimedia community members who specifically indicated in some capacity that they are either working on or interested in innovation in the Wikimedia Movement and/or recommendation no. 9 “Innovate in Free Knowledge” of the Movement Strategy 2030. We will be a diverse, international group. The Café will be done in English and will be hosted by us. There is no preparation required, simply drop in as you are.

When and where will the Open Innovation Café take place? We will be running two identical open cafés, so choose the slot and time zone that suits you best:

We look forward to seeing you at the Open Innovation Café and diving deeper into this exciting, pan-Movement endeavor!

--Kannika Thaimai (WMDE) (talk) and Lucia Obst (WMDE) (talk) 14:53, 2 March 2023 (CET). Feel free to reach out to us at

Dear Wikispore, We saw that you were not able to make it to our Open Innovation Café, but we have set up a page on Meta-Wiki documenting our Re-Imagining UNLOCK journey. So be sure to have a look at what we are planning and join any future discussions! In short: We are setting up a new innovation format for the WIkimedia Movement, but we cannot do this on our own!
How can you get involved? We have created a quick 4-question survey (anonymous) that will help us in better understanding the needs and challenges of our Movement in innovating in Free Knowledge. This will form the basis of any new innovation format to take shape in the future. It would be wonderful if you could give us a few minutes of your time as we are grateful for any response.
Many thanks for being a part of this journey. We are also happy to keep you in the loop of any future developments, outcomes of the survey and the next Open Café! Best wishes,--Lucia Obst (WMDE) (talk) 12:38, 16 March 2023 (UTC)[reply]

Personal Invitation to the Open Innovation Café volume 2 of Wikimedia Deutschland[edit]

Dear Wikispore,

We asked – you delivered: After asking all our stakeholders for input through our Open Innovation Café volume 1, a survey and interviews, we have collected the research data and compiled some insightful problem statements. These cover the needs and challenges our Movement faces in innovating in Free Knowledge – quite eye-opening!

Join us at our Open Innovation Café volume 2 to hear about what we have found and how we will use these insights in building a new innovation format for the Wikimedia Movement. Maybe some insights will also be helpful in your community work as well?

When and where will the Open Innovation Café take place? We will be running two identical open cafés, so choose the slot and time zone that suits you best:

This will be done in English and is hosted by the Innovation team at Wikimedia Deutschland. There is no requirement for joining, simply drop in as you are. Looking forward to seeing you there! --Lucia Obst (WMDE) (talk) 09:37, 11 May 2023 (UTC)[reply]

Invitation to share your ideas on Wikimedia’s Innovation Idea Wall[edit]

Dear @Wikispore:

Thank you for being part of our, the Innovation team at Wikimedia Deutschland's, journey in developing a new innovation format for the Movement this far (you can read more about it here:Re-imagining_UNLOCK). As we are moving along with our process, we would love to hear your ideas on how to address the challenges that you have helped us identify – challenges that are keeping us from fostering innovation in our communities.

To facilitate collaborative ideation, we have created an Innovation Idea Wall—a virtual space where you can freely scribble down your ideas whenever you find a moment of inspiration. We believe that by putting together the collective wisdom and creativity of Wikimedians like yourself, we can unlock new possibilities for innovation in our Movement.

To access the Innovation Idea Wall, simply follow this link [1]. You will be directed to our concept board, an online whiteboard, where you will find the instructions on how to get started. We assure you that the process is easy to follow along. In brief, we have formulated some questions that we invite you to brainstorm on – any idea is welcome! Your opinions matter greatly to us, as we firmly believe that Wikimedians possess the firsthand knowledge and expertise needed to identify the necessary improvements in our approach to innovation.

We look forward to watching this Idea Wall grow over the coming weeks. The idea wall will be accessible until July 3rd.

Best regards, Sissela Björk (WMDE) (talk) 15:17, 12 June 2023 (UTC)[reply]