I had the email address wrong. This is why I forward it as well.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Gerard Meijssen <gerard.meijssen@gmail.com>
Date: 16 December 2016 at 07:58
Subject: Wikisource and sharing its content
To: Katherine Maher <kmaher@wikimedia.org>
Cc: wikisource@lists.wikimedia.org

Hoi Katherine,

I have had a read of your long mail on strategy. I want to mention a few things in reply and give you another perspective. I am a really long time contributor and for me there is one over arching idea that captures everything that we do. Everything we do fits "sharing the sum of all knowledge". Everything we should fit and when it does not, the question is does it fit us.

The biggest problem I see is that we are not true to this motto because as a movement we discriminate against our "other" projects, we put too much emphasis on Wikipedia and on English Wikipedia at that. English does not represent 50% of our traffic.

We raise funds only on Wikipedia and it makes beggars of all the other projects. It is an arguments that is used by English Wikipedians; "you should be grateful for all the attention you get and, MediaWiki fits what you need anyway". In this way the needs for the other projects are ignored and waved away.

When you then think about what our aim is, "share in the sum of all knowledge" we effectively are no longer thinking how to achieve that. Wikisource is a project to create digital publications from paper publication. The problem is that this is not what sharing/publishing is about. Sharing has an emphasis on readers and seeking more readers for content. This is why all these books are transcribed.

My solution would be to separate out the editing of Wikisource and the reading of Wikisource finished material. We need a platform where only the finished goods are presented to a public and helps them find freely licensed books. The data for all the books is largely available at Wikidata, the books are at Wikisource so it is just a matter of presentation.

In this way we provide a platform where people actually find books. We will generate more readers and thereby more interest for Wikisource. To top it off it may grow into a platform for both fundraising and advocacy for more transcriptions.

We can use template for authors, we can use templates for books and publishing companies. Software will be localised at translatewiki.net and it may be used for existing platforms for finished Wikisource goods (they exist in Tamil and Malayalam and probably more).

Why do this? Because it will grow Wikisource and it will have us do a better job at "sharing the sum of the knowledge that is available to us".

Does it cost money sure, but it will enable us to fundraise for Wikisource. I talked to Seddon; he said it is not cost effective to raise funds on the "other" projects and the "other" languages. It is an honest discrimination but the resulting lack of care is not benign. I have asked a friend of mine if he could do a good job and he can. It would use Wikidata for its data and the Wikimedia user database.

It is well within the budget of the WMF, I am convinced that it will grow the reading of freely licensed books exponentially.