[Wikimedia-l] Wikivoyage launch: why no blog post or pressrelease?

Tom Morris tom at tommorris.org
Wed Jan 16 14:06:36 UTC 2013

I'd say it's simpler than any of that.  

Wikimedia Foundation need to synchronise the formal launch of projects with press announcements and availability of press contacts. I don't care whether that's done on GMT, EST, PST, BST, CET, MMA, BDSM, MI5 or any other timezone. What's important is we don't formally launch a new project with a big stonking banner on Wikipedia (hint: people do see those) and not have any press release or blog post up… journalists will be confused, bloggers will be confused, ordinary citizens of the Internet will be confused.

In fact, pretty much the only people who won't be confused will be people who have spent time keeping track of Wikimedia policy and governance stuff. Which is a pretty small group. And they won't even be able to say to the confused friends, bloggers, journalists etc. "Oh, here's a blog post from the Foundation which explains it" because there isn't a blog post or press release to point them to.

Not having press releases or blog posts out when a project is formally launched is about as big a failure of basic public relations/press handling as you can get. If a PR professional working for a commercial organisation failed to make material available for the press upon launch of a new product, that'd be grounds to rapidly dropkick them from the building. (I mean, it's not like the Foundation are formally launching new sister projects every other week like in the old days…)

Any plans to make sure things like this don't happen in the future?  

Tom Morris

On Wednesday, 16 January 2013 at 05:52, Peter Southwood wrote:

> There are two immediately obvious possibilities for this.
> 1 GMT/Universal time, which would be relatively unsurprising to most, as  
> it is traditionally the zero offset timezone.
> 2 +12 so that New Zealand and other extreme east timezone users would  
> see something when the time arrives.
> A more complex option would be to link to the user's timezone and release  
> when that reaches the relevant time. This may not be feasible or even  
> particularly useful.
> Linking to a time zone which is tomorrow for half the world would be  
> counterproductive, better early than late.
> I would recommend GMT as least surprise option.

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