[Foundation-l] Wikijunior - State of the Project

Andrew Whitworth wknight8111 at hotmail.com
Thu Nov 1 13:14:13 UTC 2007

I don't mean to sound accusative or argumenative with this post, so I apologize in advance if that's the way it "sounds" over email. 

In 2005 the Beck Foundation contributed a substantial sum of money ($10,000) in the form of a grant for the development and promotion of Wikijunior books. To the best of my knowledge, that money has never been properly accounted for. At the very least, what happened to that money and how it was used to help Wikijunior specifically has never been made public.  Somehow I feel like it wasnt intended for that money to be rolled over into the "Wikipedia growth expenditures" portion of the budget, so I would hate to hear that it silently was. We could perhaps raise the bigger issue that finances have never been made as transparent or well-reported as they should be. That is a different topic for a different thread. I would be hesitant to pursue any additional forms of grant money for Wikijunior until there is some assurance that the money won't disappear into the abyss.

Also, like Randy mentioned, one of the books (Wikijunior Big Cats) was published on Lulu press, but Jimbo personally had that book removed from the website citing a vague series of "concerns" and asked for more discussion on the matter first. We asked for input from the board on several occasions, and received no helpful replies. 

I'm not really going on any warpaths about this until the fundraiser is over (I know it's taking up a lot of our collective attention right now), So long as the issue of Wikijunior has been raised I do feel that these are a few points worth considering for future discussion. I would like to get Wikijunior in to a good place early next year so that we can push for it to be used during the following school year. The things that randy suggested, such as the read-only domain would be key to making this happen.

--Andrew Whitworth
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