Stronger than ever

Today, together, the Wikimedia community did a really powerful thing. We raised an incredible amount of awareness about an issue critical to achieving our vision.

More importantly, we demonstrated once again the power of our community model. The thousands of you who participated in the community RfC. The volunteer administrators who Continue reading

How many will be affected by #WikipediaBlackout? 100+ million.

The #WikipediaBlackout just started. One question that keeps coming up is, “How many people will it affect?” Let’s put on our stat-nerd hat and build a reasonable estimate.

First off, if we want to put this in human terms, we need to think about people and not Page Views or one of the other metrics out there. One source for that is comScore, which has released fairly recent global data for November 2011 based on its panel of 2 million internet users.

Since the blackout itself is only on English Wikipedia, let’s start there. comScore estimates that each month 236 million people (or “Unique Visitors”) come to the English Wikipedia globally from a browser on a computer. Continue reading

Notes on future of fundraising

For those who are not following it, there is an incredibly interesting, incredibly important, and incredibly long discussion page in response to Sue’s notes on the future of fundraising and funds dissemination. It’s worth a read. To keep track of my own thoughts, and to draw in blog readers who don’t normally visit gargantuan talk pages, I’ll post large comments I make. Here’s one from tonight.

…the issue as I see it is a fundamental tension between our decentralized culture and the challenges of our newfound wealth. Together, over the past few years, we have all built some extraordinary capabilities in raising funds to pursue our vision. That has given us tremendous resources to pursue free knowledge. But if we want to continue to have access to resources at that scale, we have to accept the responsibility to our donors to ensure every contribution is spent wisely and with the greatest impact. That requires Continue reading

RfC: Geography and Wikimedia

Ahead of our scheduled WMF Board meeting in early February, I’ve been thinking through a really hard and thorny movement-wide issue. Last time I was dealing with a similarly hard issue, I put some rough notes/questions up here and asked for your thoughts and help thinking through the issue. I’d like to try another Request for Comments with a related but bigger issue.

Let me set this up as a thought experiment. Imagine that we can all go back to the beginning of our movement. Imagine that we have a clean slate and can start fresh. But also imagine that we have the benefit of the past 10 years of experience, and with it all the lessons we’ve learned about ourselves and our strengths and weaknesses as a community.

Let’s say our objective is to define the basic structure of a movement that will most effectively help our community pursue our vision over the next 100, 200 or even 500 years. Long-term impact is the primary objective.

If we could start over, how would we organize our movement?   Continue reading