> Anne, I have mentioned several times in the past few days here on this list
> Sue Gardner's 2008 email suggesting that the WMF enter into an "umbrella
> relationship/agreement" or "business deal" with Google. In case you missed
> it, here is the link again:
> http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/sandberg.pdf
> Scroll to the very end of the document to see the email in question. I am
> still interested in learning what the results of that effort were.

Nothing other than establishing some mutual points of contact, as far
as I know. Back in 2008, Sue and I reached out -- as WMF just had
relocated to the Bay Area -- to major tech companies to introduce
ourselves, with the help of Jimmy and some of our early supporters. We
made a pitch for donations, and in-kind hardware support where
appropriate. By and large corporate support didn't go very far,
because usually folks wanted PR benefits at a level we couldn't give
them. Some individual major donors did give their support, as noted on
the benefactors page.

Incidentally, this was also the year in which Google launched Knol,
which was sort of their version of the Knowledge Engine (official
line: "We have no intent of competing with Wikipedia" -> media
reports: "Google launches Wikipedia killer"). It was later converted
to a WordPress blog.

We did continue to cultivate the relationship with Google and
continued to ask for support, and eventually Google made a one-time
$2M donation. [1] As you know, Google also was one of the early
supporters of Wikidata [2], and Sergey Brin's family foundation has
also given to WMF in the past. [3] This was all unambiguously good for
Wikimedia, and is all public knowledge.

Beyond those donations, we've generally had an informal relationship
with changing points of contact over the years. WMF has given tech
talks at Google, for example, or our point of contact might help us
get some passes for the I/O conference. Part of the mandate of the
partnerships hire WMF made last year was to bring more of a systematic
approach to these relationships, and as the org stabilizes it might be
good to seek a broad conversation as to what that ideally should look
like in terms of transparency, lines we shall not cross, etc.

Generally speaking, when WMF did enter into significant business
relationships, these are a matter of the public record in press
releases and such: Yahoo back in 2005, Kaltura, PediaPress, Orange,
the various WP Zero operators, some data center partners, etc. The
Apple dictionary integration Brion mentions in [4] is an exception to
the rule; contrary to Brion's recollection it actually predates even
Sue Gardner and, as far as I know, was not announced at the time.


[2] https://www.wikimedia.de/wiki/Pressemitteilungen/PM_3_12_Wikidata_EN
[4] https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2016-February/082741.html

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