Structured data on Commons is a huge and important area -- for one thing,
the whole Media Viewer project would have gone much more smoothly if there
were underlying structured data to rely on. Kudos to WMF and Sloan for the
focus on this issue!

If I'm not mistaken, this is by far the most extravagant restricted grant
in the history of the WMF. I believe the Stanton Foundation's usability
grant ($890k in 2008)[1] and Public Policy Initiative grant ($1.2 million
in 2010)[2] are the only ones that comes close. In the past, WMF board
members have expressed great skepticism about -- specifically -- the Sloan
Foundation's influence, when it sought to place an observer in WMF board
meetings. A former WMF Executive Director has written at length about the
dangers of restricted grants.

It appears there is a new theory in play around restricted grants. Will
somebody be expressing it publicly? Will the past practice of publishing
the details of the grant expectations be followed?[3]

-Pete
--
[[User:Peteforsyth]]

[1] https://blog.wikimedia.org/2008/12/03/improved-usability-in-our-future/
[2]
https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Press_releases/May_2010_Wikimedia_Foundation_will_engage_academic_experts_and_students_to_improve_public_policy_information
[3]
https://outreach.wikimedia.org/wiki/Public_Policy_Initiative_project_details

On Mon, Jan 9, 2017 at 11:48 AM, Wes Moran <wmo...@wikimedia.org> wrote:

> Hello Wikimedia community,
>
> It’s our delight to inform you that we received a US$3,015,000 grant from
> the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
> <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfred_P._Sloan_Foundation> [1] to expedite
> development of structured data on Commons. The grant will be given over the
> course of three years, and will allow us to develop a team, in
> collaboration with the Wikidata team at Wikimedia Deutschland, that can
> focus on integrating the structured data features of Wikidata into
> describing the media files on Commons.
>
> This work will allow us to expedite features both on the Wikidata
> development roadmap, and in other products supported by the Wikimedia
> Foundation. The grant also provides funding to ensure that movement
> stakeholders, like Wiki Loves Monuments and GLAM-Wiki program leaders, and
> external partners who contribute heavily to Commons, such as GLAMs, can be
> involved in the development.
>
> We have drafted a high level overview of the grant and its scope, available
> on Commons
> <https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Structured_data/Sloan_Grant>
> [2]. A blog post about the grant is also available on the Wikimedia blog
> <https://blog.wikimedia.org/2017/01/09/sloan-foundation-structured-data>
> [3].
>
> We are currently in the process of identifying the technical lead for the
> project. If you have questions, Alex Stinson, the Foundation’s GLAM-Wiki
> strategist, will be leading the community engagement and communications for
> the project until we hire a community liaison as part of the grant. Stay
> tuned for more details about the project in the coming months.
>
> We’re excited to be able to support this project, and look forward to your
> participation in its development.
>
> Thank you,
>
> Wes Moran and Maggie Dennis
>
> *Wes Moran, Vice President of Product*
> *Maggie Dennis, Interim Chief of Community Engagement *
> *Wikimedia Foundation*
>
> [1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfred_P._Sloan_Foundation
> [2] https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Structured_data/Sloan_Grant
> [3] https://blog.wikimedia.org/2017/01/09/sloan-foundation-structured-data
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