[Foundation-l] Wikia leasing office space to WMF

Gerard Meijssen gerard.meijssen at gmail.com
Fri Jan 23 21:49:49 UTC 2009

Having an office close to the main office, having an environment that is
shared with colleagues who way are sharing their impressive usability
improvements are tangible benefits. The cost of the office space conforms to
market rates.

The natural state of these discussions is that there are always people
pissing in the wind. That spoils things somewhat.

The benefits of this deal are quite obvious and material. The work done both
by Wikia and Wikimedia Foundation is open source. Both organisations will
benefit because of the new emphasis on usability. It is the WMF that
benefits most because they have to catch up. Wikia will only start to
benefit when their usability improvements are adopted. Some of the Wikia
improvemets will be more then welcome.

2009/1/23 Thomas Dalton <thomas.dalton at gmail.com>

> 2009/1/23 Erik Moeller <erik at wikimedia.org>:
> > 2009/1/23 David Levy <lifeisunfair at gmail.com>:
> >> Erik Moeller wrote:
> >>
> >> [snip]
> >>
> >>> * We've suggested to Wikia a fair market rate based on the average of
> >>> the other options we obtained;
> >>> * After some negotiation, Wikia accepted. Weighing other pros and cons
> >>> of the space against other options, we decided to go with Wikia;
> >>
> >> To clarify, did Wikia match the lowest bid?
> >
> > No, and we didn't ask them to. We obtained about a dozen bids, ranging
> > from about $150 to $565 per person/month. Obviously all those spaces
> > had different characteristics.  Wikia was in the running because it
> > had desirable characteristics from the start (high proximity, shared
> > kitchen access, shared speakerphone use, shared Internet connection,
> > etc.). We used averaging as a way to arrive at a fair market rate to
> > neither advantage nor disadvantage Wikia when suggesting a rate. The
> > averaging also resulted in a rate that was roughly equivalent to the
> > most comparable space in the running.
> Is that common practice for US charities? I'm not sure that would cut
> it in the UK...
> > Wikia, too, looked at different potential tenants for the space. The
> > final rate we negotiated was slightly higher than the most comparable
> > option we looked at (and considered very seriously, including a site
> > visit). However, the relative advantages of the Wikia space
> > compensated for that. We were quite careful not to draw any special
> > advantages from our relationship to Wikia, and Wikia was careful to
> > treat us in our negotiations like any other tenant. While we're likely
> > to work with them on technical aspects of the projects, we were also
> > careful to keep that completely separate.
> You don't just need to avoid a COI, you need to avoid the perception
> of one. This deal will, undoubtedly, be interpreted by many as an
> inside job. I'm sure it isn't, but that's how a lot of people will see
> it. Did you consider the PR cost when weighing it all up?
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> foundation-l at lists.wikimedia.org
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l

More information about the foundation-l mailing list