2009/7/21 Samuel Klein <meta.sj(a)gmail.com>om>:
We should leave quality.wikimedia.org
in place as an
object lesson to future
wikifounders. "When 20 interested editors isn't enough"...
I don't think it's comparable. The Quality Portal was an attempt to
drive attention towards some existing technologies and initiatives -
the FlaggedRevs extension, the trust coloring demo, etc. To some
extent I think it succeeded at driving constructive conversation and
awareness about these possibilities. There wasn't an active push to
utilize the portal on an ongoing basis, and I think it's completely
fine for it to have existed as a subdomain for a while and to then be
merged back into Meta.
The strategy process is a year-long, facilitated process with lots of
planned outputs and deliverables. Importantly, it's also intended for
people outside the existing community to give input on our five-year
plan and beyond. Meta is a lovely wiki, but it's very easy to get
lost, and even wading through recent changes can become pretty
nightmarish if you're trying to pay attention to something specific.
The idea of a strategy wiki is more comparable, if anything, to
<usability.wikimedia.org>, which seems to be working quite well to
focus attention and discussion. And again, I don't think merging
information back into Meta, if that turns out to be desirable, is a
sign of failure; it may well be part of the natural lifecycle of such
an effort. Nor do I think that there's any a priori answer to when a
new wiki is or isn't appropriate.
A blank slate can help to ensure that participatory structures are
understandable. I know you personally have no problems navigating the
complexity of even our wildest wikis, but I don't think that the same
can be said for anyone who may want to participate in this process. A
purpose-built wiki with no other focus than this process can help to
make things more understandable, accessible, searchable, and
ultimately useful, and perhaps can also help to escape groupthink by
making purposes and structures more immediately understandable to
people who aren't part of the club.
Another reason to consider a new wiki is that it makes it easier to
roll-out specific extensions that we want to consider using for this
process. Philippe has been looking at various talk page extensions,
for example, and we may consider using one of them to make the
discussion process more accessible to wiki-newbies. Again, that's easy
to experiment with if you're using a new wiki, but much harder with
all the existing structures and content of a site like Meta in place.
Deputy Director, Wikimedia Foundation
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