Hi All: 

Following on from my last message in this thread, we are aiming to provide a more solid update on talks about Mastodon in the next few weeks. This has been an ongoing discussion among several Foundation teams and was also a topic of conversation in our meeting with ComCom [1] in February. 

The Foundation Communications department sees social media platforms as places that should have many Wikimedia accounts with a view to goals and audiences. They are huge tools for outreach, organizing, and communicating values. There are currently many volunteer- and affiliate-led social media accounts working alongside Foundation-guided accounts, providing us all with a networked ability to share and localize content to advance specific goals with different audiences. We believe in this wide, collaborative model. Thank you. 


[1] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Communications_committee

On Thu, Apr 13, 2023 at 11:51 AM Luis Villa <luis@lu.is> wrote:
On Thu, Apr 13, 2023 at 12:29 AM Kunal Mehta <legoktm@debian.org> wrote:

On 4/7/23 18:17, Dan Szymborski wrote:
> It doesn't make sense to even talk about actually getting
> involved without discussing *which* of the multitude of Mastodon
> instances to "join," <snip> There's a lot of legwork to be
> done first, as opposed to the simpler task of signing up for, say, an
> alternative of similar construction, like Spoutible.

To be clear, this discussion started in December, which has been more
than enough time for our friends and allies at Mozilla, Creative
Commons, Internet Archive, OpenStreetMap and plenty more to set up their
Mastodon presences. There's no excuse for the WMF to not have figured
out which server to sign up on

With no offense to any of those groups (almost all of whom I have some past or present affiliation with), WMF has a professional Twitter presence with more followers than all of those organizations combined, and with substantial donor mindshare and revenue attached to that presence (almost certainly more than all of those orgs combined, though harder to know for certain). The much better comparison is the large media organizations — who are also all struggling with this challenge.

[As just one example of the challenge, NPR was (incorrectly) rumored to have showed up on press.coop last night and... the server has been down or inaccessibly slow pretty much since then. And it wasn't even true!]

I do think that WMF should have a presence on federated media, and I hope they're working with Wordpress (who power diff) to implement it. But Wordpress is still labeling their ActivityPub plugin as beta, so no surprise that they aren't rolling it out yet to their biggest customers—like WMF.

There's a case to be made that WMF should not act like a guardian of a global brand—as Depths of Wikipedia has been reminding us all of late, many people love Wikipedia's weird, rough edges, so the standard global brand toolkit may not be a good fit for us. But any discussion of "move fast, maybe break the brand" has to start from that — what is the brand? what is the risk of playing fast and loose with it? what are the "right" kids of risk to take with it? It'd be irresponsible to plunge ahead before having that discussion.
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