Hi

Sue Gardner started working on this document on Meta a couple of weeks ago
- http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Sue_Gardner/Narrowing_focus The
document outlines some rather big changes in the priority for WMF and
future responsibilities it will agree to keep. I am surprised by how little
attention this is getting from the larger community. There are comments but
mostly from the same individuals on Meta, little to none from some of the
most active voices and the larger English Wikipedia community.

This is the new direction being considered by the WMF, to basically abandon
or cut back on majority of activities from the last few year. Here are some
points-
1) No more Fellowships.
2) No more direct work in the developing markets (aka Global South- India,
Brazil, MENA)
3) No more support for International events, and cutting back on Wikimania

Instead of these, things like Editor engagement, Mobile and FDC/grant
making are being made priorities for WMF in the future. A large majority of
editors have had no interaction with grants and are unlikely to have so
with FDC as well, same with some of the mobile initiatives like Wikipedia
Zero which are limited to certain developing markets. A lot of these
changes will have a lasting impact, its not just relevant to those
interested in governance issues. Some of the implications are - Fellowships
would be removed all together, little to no spending on Hackathons,
possibly GLAM camps and other international events all together, less
spending on Wikimania and scholarships, the work in India and Brazil will
be moved away from WMF completely for a "partner" organization to take over
with a grant from WMF. If you do find some time, please consider taking a
look and commenting on these developments before they are approved.
http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Sue_Gardner/Narrowing_focus

Regards
Theo

The document has some interesting quotes -

"The Wikimedia Foundation is not a think tank or a research institute.
We're not an advocacy organization or a lobbyist, and our core mission
isn't to keep the internet free and open. We are not a general educational
non-profit. (We are a website, or set of sites, and everything we do needs
to be understood through that lens.) We don't just reactively "support the
community"—responding to requests from editors and doing what they ask us
to do. Our purpose isn't to provide MediaWiki support for third parties
(but it's in our interest to ensure that a healthy third party ecosystem
develops around MediaWiki). We're not, ourselves, content creators. Our
purpose is not to ensure the chapters grow and develop, nor is it to
support the chapters in their growth and development: rather, chapters are
our partners in supporting editors and other content creators.

The Wikimedia Foundation is not the only fish in the sea of free knowledge;
not everything that needs to be done must be done by the Wikimedia
Foundation, and it's not our job to do work that other individuals or
entities are better positioned or mandated to do, however important that
work may be. When we try to do work that more properly belongs to other
individuals or groups, we imperil our ability to get our own core work
done, and we arguably make it less possible for other entities to do what
they're supposed to be doing."
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