Hi all --
As Lila noted, since January 2008 I've worn many hats at the Wikimedia
Foundation, and in the six years before that I was a Wikipedian,
MediaWiki developer, and member of the WMF board of trustees. I became
involved in Wikipedia when I was 22 years old. :) The Wikimedia
movement has accomplished amazing things, but I believe it's time now
for me to do something different and new.
It's been a long and incredible journey, and one I am privileged to
have helped to shape. When I joined the Foundation in December 2007 we
were a staff of a dozen people, with barely enough funds to keep the
lights on. Since then, we've tackled challenges of a complexity and
scale faced by few other organisations. In doing so, we’ve been
generously supported by people all over the world who are grateful for
the gift of free knowledge.
I’m proud of and happy with what we've achieved. Reaching people on
mobile. Pioneering new approaches working with universities.
Painstakingly building a visual editing experience on top of wikitext.
:) I’m glad we’ve taken a stand when it matters (SOPA blackout, NSA
lawsuit) and that we don’t shy away from complex issues such as
community health and diversity.
I’m excited that Wikidata is growing in leaps and bounds with the help
of Wikimedia Germany, and that more and more powerful tools and
services are being built on the basis of Wikimedia APIs and data. I’ve
always believed that Wikimedia chapter and affiliate organizations are
key to the success of the movement, and I hope they are going to truly
thrive in years to come.
But it's time. As the leadership team begins to coalesce under Lila, I
want to open up space for the organization to learn and explore anew
-- and I’d like to rediscover for myself what it means to tackle
challenges outside of my areas of comfort and familiarity.
I’m very interested in the technical challenges of federated
collaboration, and am looking forward to getting my hands dirty in
that domain. I also want to explore how to make patterns of ethics,
policy, and self-governance more accessible and re-usable for
communities. In short, I’m itching to immerse myself in new problem
spaces and new ideas.
Lila, Damon, Terry, myself and others in the org have been discussing
how to organize product going forward to set the org up for success in
the years to come, and we’ll have an update on that very soon. This is
a very natural point for me to pursue something new.
What Wikimedia does in the world is wonderful & important. I’m sure I
will continue to cross paths with many of you in future as I continue
to move in free culture circles, and I very much look forward to it.
I’ll continue to be @ WMF full-time through April, and will make
myself available as necessary afterwards, for when the org needs human
institutional memory that surpasses digital archives. I wish you all
success and joy :-)
VP of Product & Strategy, Wikimedia Foundation