Milos -

What an emotional and touching letter. I know it's a hard decision to not
only leave the movement, but to know who you want to let know and who you
want to not let know about leaving - and I am glad you made the decision to
share your honest and emotional declaration with us.

As someone supportive of Indigenous languages having their own wiki spaces
for their own survival and development, I really do hope that more work
will proceed regarding languages and the work you have done. There have
been groups forming, including the work Wikimedia Canada has done, about
Indigenous and rare languages. Heck, one of the projects I have been
working on has had numerous articles written in Nahuatl,[1] something that
blows my mind. So things are happening, and thank you for your passion and
work regarding that.

Also, I'm happy to know the gamification project is proceeding and WM DC is
helping to lead that. I agree that it's important to see this happen, and
it's shown successful in the Teahouse with badges. Thank you also for your
work on that and I do hope your Wikimedia legacy will be preserved in the
successful development of that project.

I understand about being able to write a book about how Wikimedia has
changed my life. I look forward to seeing where your life leads next, and I
hope you won't stop contributing to Wikipedia as an editor, at least :)

Thank you for everything you have, and continue to do,



On Fri, Jun 7, 2013 at 9:32 AM, Milos Rancic <> wrote:

> I am leaving the movement. I thought to leave it quietly, with just a
> bit more than a few words to stewards and Wikimedia Serbia, but after
> the first question why I am leaving, I realized that I actually owe to
> many of you the explanation for leaving the movement after almost 10
> years.
> If you want to skip the story of my motivation, continue with
> "Unfinished projects" section.
> == On my motivation ==
> In short, I am struggling with the motivation to work inside of the
> movement for almost two years. My participation in Haifa was the
> culmination of my Wikimedia engagement and everything after it was
> going down and down.
> I was struggling hard. I didn't want to leave the movement because I
> was feeling responsible for a number of issues. As time went, as I
> wasn't taking any new responsibility, the level of "feeling
> responsible" was lowering and lowering. My last really big
> responsibility was to push the creation of Wikimedia Serbia Office
> last fall. After that I felt that there is no need for me inside of
> the movement.
> But I wanted to stay, I wanted it hardly! For at least two years I was
> struggling with my steward activity and although I know that I am
> important to other stewards, I have problem to make one fucking
> steward action for months. And that wasn't about my free time. I have
> it enough. That was about my motivation.
> I was trying to find a way to motivate myself to participate in the
> movement. Alone or in cooperation with other Wikimedians, I started
> some not yet published projects. I thought that I could raise my
> motivation if I leave issues related to the chapters and I left
> Chapters committee. But it didn't help.
> I was on Amsterdam Hackathon and talking with Erik about one more
> important Wikimedia issue: thousands of languages which are waiting
> for their editions of Wikimedia projects. He was encouraging; for the
> first time I got clearly positive response. But it wasn't enough.
> Instead of enthusiastically working on the project, I just didn't have
> enough motivation to do anything.
> I thought that becoming a Board member could raise my motivation. At
> the beginning, I was actually very enthusiastic. But last two weeks I
> spent much more time in being worried about the possibility to be
> elected than about thinking about how to be elected.
> For a number of times I was thinking to quit, but this time I had
> appropriate personal trigger and finally got courage to admit myself
> that there is nothing which would change my motivation.
> == Wikimedia impact on me ==
> I've just realized that if I am writing this kind of email, I should
> say something about Wikimedia impact on me.
> When I first edited Wikipedia I was less than a month older than 30.
> This November I will be 40. The whole decade of my life was under the
> strong influence of Wikimedia movement. I spent intellectually
> formative years inside of Wikimedia and it changed me a lot, probably
> not comparable to anything else.
> And I could write a book about how Wikipedia and Wikimedia influenced me.
> == Unfinished projects ==
> This is important. I am leaving some things unfinished and both of the
> projects are very important.
> * First, languages. There are more than 6000 languages and there are
> less than 300 language editions of Wikipedia. It is likely that all of
> 3000 languages with more than 10,000 of speakers would survive if they
> have Wikipedia edition in their language. And if you ask why Wikimedia
> movement should do that, it's because there is no other relevant
> international body capable to do that. That makes Wikimedia's position
> unique and with large amount of historical responsibility. I will
> share my research with anyone willing to work on this issue.
> * Gamification. Mostly because the lack of my motivation, the project
> Wikichievements didn't start yet. It's actually in the very initial
> phase. Wikimedia Serbia and Wikimedia DC would do that. If you are
> interested in that, please contact Kirill Lokshin from WM DC.
> Gamification and social features are extremely important in making
> Wikimedia movement attractive to young generations again.
> == Wikimedia movement *is* important! ==
> Wikimedia movement is not just "important", it is the best try of our
> civilization to create a global movement based on completely different
> principles than anything else before. It's the best chance of our
> civilization to survive. And it's up to you to use the chance or not.
> If Wikimedia movement fails, I am sure that the similar chance would
> appear once in the future. But not soon and maybe too late.
> Every Wikimedian is a highly important person, likely more important
> than many heads of states. And that importance brings high
> responsibility to keep and develop Wikimedia projects and the
> movement.
> * * *
> Thanks for all the fish! It is pleasure to know all of you! I won't
> leave wikimeida-l for a couple of days. It's not nice to leave the
> communication immediately. And you have my email; some of you other
> means of communication with me. It will be always a pleasure to me if
> I could help to any of you!
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*Sarah Stierch*
*Museumist, open culture advocate, and Wikimedian*
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