[WikiX-l] Updated on Wikipedia's 10th anniversary planning

Jay Walsh jwalsh at wikimedia.org
Wed Sep 1 02:15:04 UTC 2010

(cross posted to comcom/internal, and wikix-l)

Hi folks,

I wanted to provide a quick updated on the Foundation's perspective and planning/support about the (quickly) upcoming 10th Anniversary of Wikipedia, which kicks off on January 15, 2011.

Some of you have probably been wondering what's in store, and how the Foundation sees its role shaping up.  Generally speaking we see ourselves involved in four different areas: grants to support global celebrations/activities, global media planning, and branded merchandise distribution.  The planning around these initiatives is underway right now, and we'll have more detail to share as things shape up over the next week or two.  But here are some notes to get your engines started and to prompt you to send along links/data that we might need to consider.

* Grants to support local celebrations
The Foundation has a special budget this year to supply moderate-sized grants, $1,000 to $3,000 USD to chapters or other recognized/established volunteer groups plan and support activities related to the 10 year celebration.  The budget is sufficient to provide grants to all of our chapters, so it's not really necessary to worry about whether there's enough for everyone.  We hope to see the proposals shared in a single space where everyone can benefit from others plans and ideas, and ultimately create a site where the public can pin-point activities in their area.

We'll share more details on this, including a process for submitting public proposals shortly, but till then:
* supported activities don't have to land on the 15th, they could be one or more events on or after the anniversary - or even a series of events through the anniversary year
* events could be out-right celebrations, or they could be conferences or other public events
* events should involve local mission supporters in your region: creative commons or other free culture groups, perhaps - and any partner who can help the celebration by hosting or providing in-kind sponsorship etc.
* the focus is on supporting events that are open to the public, free, somehow oriented around the 10th anniversary
* guidelines will be quite open (your organization will be free to spend the funds as you wish), but you should be prepared to describe your plans
* We'll also share some draft planning/proposal formats soon so you can see exactly what information we'd like.
* The deadlines will be flexible, but right now we're looking at disbursing grants at the end of Sept and the end of October.

* Global media planning
Obviously the occasion of the 10th anniversary, alongside the Foundation's highly visible annual campaign, is a unique opportunity to drive a big, global media story.  We want to help all the national chapters and related organizations plug into a unified media and public relations campaign that promotes a unified message.  We also need to consider how to take advantage of public interest in the 10th anniversary and leveraging similar interest in our fundraising efforts - both are special things, and we know the chapters especially see this as a critical way to drive awareness for raising funds.  

Some of the ideas we're looking at within the media planning:
** a call to the public/big organizations to celebrate the milestone in their own way (perhaps local libraries, municipalities, community centers, or other businesses - including on-line operations)
** Building a compelling message that focusses on Wikipedia as a community project - driven by passionate volunteers since its inception, etc
** using pre-existing and new social media channels, such as the recently created Wikipedia 10th facebook page etc.
** Offering reporters access to global Wikipedians to hear stories from around the world
** Building and translating a supply of media materials: a 10 year history timeline, snapshots of Wikipedia in 2001, sharing video etc.

* Branded 10th Anniversary merchandise
The Foundation will be commissioning the production of a few promotional products to celebrate this great occasion - likely t-shirts and other lower-cost (but quality) items.  It's our intention to share a significant supply (perhaps 200-300 of each item) to all of the chapters and organizations who support the celebrations. The items would have a unique look and feel - or a 10th anniversary-style branding.  We could also invite any users or other groups to share their branding ideas, and of course encourage everyone to localize and own the style in their region.
** We'll have more to share about this soon - the Foundation sharing product doesn't mean that grants cannot be used for producing product locally, but we're hoping this will let volunteers focus on putting the money to good use.

I hope to have more info about the grants process to share in the next few days or early next week so interested organizations can post and share their proposals and think about how to use the funds.  

I welcome discussion on any of the relevant lists (as soon as we have more firm details I'll share through Foundation-l, blog etc) but please be aware a list has been created just for the occasion: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikix-l

I would encourage anyone planning to organize a formal event in their area to subscribe and join the discussion there.

Thanks in advance - looking forward to kicking off the planning for this once-in-projects-history event!


Jay Walsh
Head of Communications
+1 (415) 839 6885 x 609, @jansonw

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