last week I represented the Wikisource Community user Group at the
Wikimedia Conference, in Berlin.
As usual, it has been a great opportunity to talk and meet fellow
wikimedians, especially after the turmoil of the recent months in our
movement (Lila and the other multiple resignations from WMF; Denny and
James leaving the Board, etc.).
The atmosphere was quite calm and friendly, and this was a good sign.
I've spoken with many WMF employees and they all said "we're in a better
place now". There is hope for the future and they want to do a lot of
things. All this is positive, IMHO, especially after the things I'll
I've spoke with many people; especially
* Danny Horn and Ryan Kaldari of Community Tech team
* Alex Stinson, "The Wikipedia Library"
* Asaf Bartov, which all of you know well :-D
* Katy Love, Director of Resources
* Katherine Mayer, interim ED (!!)
I'll start from this last one.
Unfortunately I had my flight scheduled right after the meeting, so I was
in a rush. But I met with Katherine and other 2 members of other user
groups: it was the first time (that I know of) that the ED of the WMF took
the time to speak with such tiny groups, and that says something.
She was *genuinely* interested in knowing about Wikisource, and I hope our
conversation will continue in the future.
But a general "interest" in WS was all that I hoped for.
Discussions (separate and collective) with Alex, Danny and Asaf were much
* Alex Stinson is really interested in promoting Wikisource in the context
of GLAM-WIKI, which makes perfectly sense and has been don already.
Wikimedia Italia use Wikisource a lot in his talks with libraries and
archives, and we are seeing good results. GLAM-WIKI has a "political"
priority in the Wikimedia world, so we should harness that.
* Asaf is the "Head of Emerging Communities", and I don't see why not we
should *not* be see an emergent community! I don't really know what is the
daily job of Asaf but if he's the person to speak to for the Wikisource
community, we are in great hands.
* Probably the best discussion I had was with Danny Horn, from Community
Danny is one of the guys behind the Community Wishlist Survey.
He was really astonished (he said it many times) by the response from the
Wikisource community in that survey, and was the first to understand that,
if they are bound to count absolute votes to proposals, our tiny community
needs will never be addressed. They have that in mind and will change
things for the following surveys.
Danny spent *a whole hour* with me looking at Wikisource.
I should him the Proofread Page extension, the phe stats, the EPUB
generator. He was really shocked but what we do, how "details-oriented" we
are (I used less politically-correct adjectives :-), and how much work we
put into things.
He also saw a bunch of things who could really get some quick help (for
example, incresing the size of the radio buttons, or changing some icons,
or stuff like that) which I think would be great.
In the end, he was really excited and wanted to do stuff. Of course, he
didn't promise anything because his schedule is full, but there is maybe
the chance to finally push Wikisource into the agenda of the WMF.
All in all,
I was pretty happy with how people were interested in the project and I
think there is concrete room for improvement.
Let me know what you think :-)