For me this initiative raises more questions then it answers. As I
understand it, it is a change in vocabulary and it defines when a
Wikipedia  community is big enough to get "official" attention.

My problem is that it is very much standalone; it does not connect with
other practices. It does mention "incubating languages" but it does not
mention the incubator. In the language committee we have had organisations,
educational organisations who want to champion a language in their school.
This makes them bigger than the limit of 10 editors. At this time we do not
have a way to accomodate such requests. In my opinion for all the wrong
reasons. The wrong reasons because we know how effective schools are in
providing basic facts in a Wikipedia..

Once the Wikimedia Foundation had a group of technical people who worked on
language technology. Most of these people are still working at the WMF but
they are no longer involved in language tech. This became obvious when a
really worthy improvement for the Bashkir language, collation, was
implemented by a volunteer and Amir blogged that he had supported it as a
*volunteer*.. (he made a point of this). Particularly in the smaller
languages issues like collation are areas where the Wikimedia could make a
big difference. It is quite obvious that when we advertise the quality of
our language support (and because of our existing font support it is
already quite good) we can gain a lot of adventurous people.

In the current approach to languages and support it is imho very much
Wikipedia as we know it. We do not leverage the content in Wikidata as much
as we could. There has a lot of acrimoniousness regarding the Cebuano
Wikipedia. Millions of articles were generated as fixed text and
consequently it is currently impossible to maintain it.  The root cause is
our inability to cooperate. When this information was imported in Wikidata
(and cooperate with the original source) we could generate the text and
serve it as cached content. When the data is improved, the cached text gets
changed. The fact that such things are not considered is proof perfect of
opportunities wasted. Opportunities open to any language.

So it would be really cool when we consider how we can "share in the sum of
all our available knowledge". This is attainable if we dare to think
through what we can achieve and how we can make the most out of our
communities and the knowledge they hold.

On 27 September 2017 at 19:28, Asaf Bartov <abar...@wikimedia.org> wrote:

> Dear Wikimedians,
> Years ago, as part of the first Strategy process of 2009-2010, a
> distinction entered our lives, between Global North and Global South
> countries.  That distinction was borrowed from a United Nations agency
> named ITU, and it was used as shorthand to refer to communities the
> Foundation considered to need additional resources and help to achieve
> impact on our mission of creating and sharing free knowledge.
> However, the distinction was never a very good fit for us.  It was based on
> UN notions like the Human Development Index, and gave much weight to
> nation-wide economic conditions.  Its binary nature did not allow for
> distinguishing between countries where Wikimedia work is possible and
> happening, albeit with difficulty, and ones where no Wikimedia work, or
> next to none, is happening, or possible.  It also looked only at geography,
> whereas much of our work is defined by language communities and not by
> geographies.  And it was political and alienating to many people.
> In short, it was both not as useful as we needed it to be as well as
> unloved and rejected by many.
> The Community Resources team at the Wikimedia Foundation has been thinking
> about replacing that distinction with a more nuanced one, that would be a
> much better fit with our needs, would take into account the actual state of
> editing communities, would consider multiple axes beyond geography, and
> would be less controversial.
> We began using the term "emerging communities" two years ago, first as a
> replacement for the term Global South, but it has always been our intention
> to define Emerging Communities ourselves.  Finishing the proposed
> definition took a back seat for a while due to other priorities, but we are
> ready to share the proposed definition today:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Community_Engagement/
> Defining_Emerging_Communities
> We welcome your thoughts, on the talk page (ideally) or on this thread.
> The definition is already our working definition, but we are open to
> incorporating changes to both wording and substance through October 31st.
> Be sure to take a look at the FAQ supplied at the bottom of the page, too.
> :)
> Cheers,
>     Asaf
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