[Foundation-l] Five-year WMF targets exclude non-Wikipedia projects

Samuel J Klein sj at wikimedia.org
Tue Oct 12 18:52:14 UTC 2010

It is good to see discussion of the targets.  There is also a final
strategic plan document, which is almost finished and which the Board
reviewed at our meeting over the weekend.  There were small wording
changes in the final plan.

Mike Peel wrote:
> I think one of the major benefits of the strategy exercise was
> to get Wikimedians considering where Wikimedia should be in 5 years
> and setting their individual aims accordingly. Getting the WMF Board to
> recognise those aims is only a secondary consideration, really, as it's the
> community that drives Wikimedia's success and breadth/depth/etc. of content.

Yes, this may have been the greatest benefit to the process.  I would
say "setting individual *and* project aims accordingly" -- every
project (both sister Projects in general and individual language
projects) are encouraged to come up with their own targets and
priorities for the next five years.

> On Sun, Oct 10, 2010, Federico Leva (Nemo)
> <nemowiki at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Despite repeated assurances at Wikimania, on lists and on strategywiki,
>> that the strategic plan was going to consider all Wikimedia projects as
>> important, now at
>> http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Resolution:Five-year_targets the
>> second target, «Increase the amount of information we offer» considers
>> only the number of Wikipedia articles.

The problems with focusing only on Wikipedia articles were noted.  The
text of this target in the final strategic plan refers to growth in
articles available 'on Wikimedia projects', not just on Wikipedia.
This is still only a very rough estimate of growth in meaningfully
available knowledge. [1]

The target does not say anything about the growth of Commons, though
this shows up elsewhere in strategy discussions.  I hope the Commons
community will develop its own targets and priorities for growth, of
both its collections and its community.

On Sun, Oct 10, 2010 at 11:20 PM, John Vandenberg <jayvdb at gmail.com> wrote:
> I am likewise disappointed.  The five year plan _should_ have seen the
> other projects as the most likely source of new talent, contributors
> and innovation, and should have focused on developing them.

That is how I see the focus on innovation, by the way, including
"other users of MediaWiki" along with "the other projects".

> Even worse is the third target, which is _wrong_ because the
> Foundation hasn't included other projects in its considerations.  It
> says we don't have baselines for quality.  On Wikisource, we _do_ have
> empirical data on quality built into in the Proofreading system.
< http://wikisource.org/wiki/Wikisource:ProofreadPage_Statistics

True, and a number of the largest Wikipedias also have quality
measures used in their article assessments.  But there is no baseline
that applies across all projects, as many do not have such measures.

The third target is not fully specified yet -- an important part of
this focus will be identifying and visualizing quality measures on
different projects, connecting them to one another, and sharing good

> Also, how was the 100,000 contributors per month with 5+ edits
> calculated?  Using simple addition of monthly counts for each project,
> I can only see 90,000 contributors with >=5 edits.  The figure would
> be lower as the contributors to smaller projects usually intersects
> the contributors to the larger projects.

A good point, which also came up over the weekend.  As I understand
it, the baseline may be updated in the strategic plan when it is
published, with the target remaining 'doubling by 2015' by a
consistent measure.


[1]  It is worth noting that Wikipedia, thanks to having the
preponderance of editors and traffic, is sometimes used as a casual
shorthand for the effective size of Wikimedia, even within our
community.  This is a skewing of focus that requires effort to
overcome -- but the effort is worth it, as Wikipedia alone will not
fulfill our mission. Better communication about the sister projects'
work and news may help.

This holds true for public discussions as well.  I was speaking at a
library conference last week, and mentioned Wikisource.  A librarian
interrupted with enthusiasm, "there's also a Wikisource?" and later
had ideas about how to contribute digitizations.  Many potential
partners in disseminating knowledge may be able to contribute directly
to one of our projects, but not the others.

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