On Sun, Aug 24, 2014 at 4:38 AM, MZMcBride <z...@mzmcbride.com> wrote:

> Pi zero at <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Special:Permalink/9622503>
> writes, "The non-Wikipedian sisters are the growth sector of the
> wikimedian movement, and the WMF by dissing them is strangling the
> wikimedian movement's best chance of having a vigorous future, with
> Wikipedia embedded in a thriving ecosystem of wikimedian sisters
> augmenting each other's strengths."

Thanks MZMcBride for bringing attention to Pi Zero's insightful comment,
which actually correspond with how big companies devise strategies to be
successful. They do not promote only one brand, they promote several with
the hopes that, if one dies, they will have another one (or several) to
take up its place. If you look at companies that failed in the past, most
of the ones that could have avoided their fate didn't or couldn't, because
they had over-commited to a single product, and when that failed they had
no back-up plan with products better adapted to the new conditions, and
someone else had occupied that market slot. It is always wise to have
several baskets where to put eggs.

The biggest asset of the Wikimedia stream is not that its community can
materialize around a digital encyclopedia, but that it can do so around
many other projects that are also aligned with the mission of sharing and
opening knowledge. And those opportunities have *increased* over time.

There are people who are concerned about public spending, others that are
concerned about creating reliable medical information, others about
adapting information for schoolchildren, others about collaborative and
open science, etc. if you look at the past proposed projects or adoption
requests the list goes on and on, and of those many only one was adopted.
It is never sure which one is going to be succesful, but if several are not
tried, then for sure they will fail because they lack leverage.

I think the biggest fear in the past was to stretch too much, or to not be
able to re-integrate the generated information into a central space (like
Wikipedia), but that is now less so. Wikidata is starting to become the
central information backbone, and what in the past looked disperse, now can
be put back together with little effort, no matter where one contributed.

One of the ideas I liked the most in Wikimania is that we could have
several projects adapted to the interest of each person or community, with
a fresh start, without so many rules, with new tools deployed there, and
generating information that can be merged back into a central space if
wished so. What is stopping us of having medical.wikipedia.org? Or

I think the recent drama around MV shows that you can't teach an old dog
new tricks, or at least not as fast as the changing situation requires. If
the existing strategy is not working, and if after these years the editor
decline couldn't be stopped. Why not to try something different?

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