[Foundation-l] More on Wikimedia strategic planning

phoebe ayers phoebe.wiki at gmail.com
Fri May 1 06:08:53 UTC 2009

On Thu, Apr 30, 2009 at 10:24 PM, Thomas Dalton <thomas.dalton at gmail.com> wrote:
> 2009/5/1 Samuel Klein <meta.sj at gmail.com>:
>> On Thu, Apr 30, 2009 at 6:23 PM, Thomas Dalton <thomas.dalton at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> 2009/4/30 Samuel Klein <meta.sj at gmail.com>:
>>>> I'd like to see Wikimedia as a community take some 300-year stances on
>>>> knowledge dissemination,
>>> Did you mean 300 years?
>> Yes.  Considering the stakes and our capacity for history, this seems
>> to me appropriate and possible.
> It is impossible to predict what humanity will be like in 300 years,
> if it even still exists, so it is completely impossible to predict
> what Wikimedia will be like or what challenges it will need to face.

Can we perhaps split the difference between you two and say: 30 years?
There are all sorts of issues that arise on this time span that are
also useful to consider on much shorter and much longer scales. Some
are considerations of what we would like to become; some are simply
considerations of organizational and project survival. E.g.:

* long-term archival backups, and their distribution, storage and processing
* how our live content interfaces with the rest of the changing
internet and information universe (how do we deal with disappearing
sources, references, languages? project forks? Increasingly available
public domain materials?) How do we advocate for more free content
* keeping the codebase up to date and maintainable
* a long-term, sustainable funding model, through good times and bad
* how to keep governance open and yet sustainable
* keeping the projects we work on relevant, useful and high quality
(including maintaining current projects and content, and finding new
projects to take on)
* how we transmit our community culture to new people who become
involved (at all levels); how we maintain our values over the long
term, and yet remain flexible and open to new ideas, new styles, and
other projects that may develop that share our goals.
* how do we scale everything?

I see these as the *big* questions that are equally relevant no matter
if you're talking about 3 years out or 300. I hope the strategic
process will at least take the time to reflect on some of these
questions, or perhaps frame the whole discussion in terms of them or
similar questions, as well as working on more specific and concrete
strategies and initiatives.

-- phoebe

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