Andrew Whitworth wrote:
How much of
this is similar to the idea of the "Wikibooks Foundation"
idea I floated before the last board elections on the Staff Lounge?
(More like a lead balloon that sank at sea, but I still raised it.)
There are some activities that the WMF board either doesn't want to get
involved with or for various reasons legally can't.... which some
Wikibookians do want to get involved with. Some of what you are saying
here about having a completely independent website might have some good
merit, and I am liking the general approach you are taking on doing this.
I want to make it clear that there certainly is a huge role that a WMF
sponsored website for textbook and other book-length material to be
hosted, and I'm not trying to say by any means to tell of the WMF off...
but at the same time trying to organize activities, particularly some
potentially profit-making activities, has been embarrassingly difficult
to put together and at the same time maintain a distance to avoid the
appearance of ethical conflicts.
Wikibooks is reaching a new level of development, and it will be
interesting where the community will go from here.
-- Robert Horning
Hello Rob! how are you? You are right, this is basically the "sinister
alterior motive" that I've had about this. The idea of having a
separate "Wikibooks Foundation" might not have been a success, but it
has been influential nonetheless. One thing I want is to have a
platform that isn't dependant on WMF money or WMF
developers/volunteers to run. People are busy enough as-is.
Consider as a parallel issue the fact that Google News refuses to
aggregate Wikinews directly, because it is "untrustworthy". To
circumvent this, Wikinews created a news blog to post it's stories
(once they have been completed), and Google News will link to the
Wikinews Blog. It's this kind of small step that can go a long way to
promoting Wikinews, and ideally all other WMF projects. Imagine for a
short moment a read-only website where "checked" and "approved"
could be hosted, and then included in Google Books searches. Think
about what Veropedia does to improve the reliability of certain
This is sort of a tangent, of course, but it illustrates the fact that
sometimes our neat self-contained little wikis do need some support
from other websites which are not necessarily WMF-affiliates.
This said, whilst some of the activities you suggest seem best to "keep"
aside from WMF, others totally fit under the umbrella of Wikimedia
Blogs : I think the http://en.planet.wikimedia.org/
is a good start to
This aggregation is for all projects, english focused.
is the same, german focused.
We could perfectly image a http://en.planet.wikibooks.org
, for a
Also, a website which would host Wikibooks pdf versions of books seem
perfectly "inline" with the mission.
News would seem logical to me as well
However, hosting personal website (photos) is really not our job indeed.
Email aliasing as well.
Presumably, a separate association could be created, which could be a
partner of Wikimedia Foundation, and which would have certain activities
that the Foundation does not want to be involved in.