2018-08-10 11:19 GMT+02:00 Quim Gil <q...@wikimedia.org>:

> Mathieu, thank you for your research and for connecting so many dots.
> On Thu, Aug 9, 2018 at 6:40 AM mathieu lovato stumpf guntz <
> psychosl...@culture-libre.org> wrote:
> > Although Mastodon doesn't seem to be what I was looking for at start, I
> do
> > think it would be great to launch a Wikimedia instance and completely in
> > phase with the aim of becoming an essential infrastructure of the
> ecosystem
> > of free knowledge. So let me know if I can help in any way on this
> regard.
> > :)
> >
> In my professional role, I think it is worth considering the idea of
> approaching Wikimedia to the Fediverse as part of
> > Knowledge as a service: To serve our users, we will become a platform
> that serves open knowledge to the world across interfaces and communities.
> > We will build tools for allies and partners to organize and exchange free
> knowledge beyond Wikimedia.
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Strategy/Wikimedia_movement/2017/Direction
> In fact, I have started some very casual conversations about these ideas
> (equivalent to chats by the coffee machine, except that I'm remote and I
> don't drink coffee), partially motivated by this thread.
> https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T198363 is a good umbrella task. If
> someone wants to develop the idea of creating a Wikimedia instance in the
> Fediverse (official or not), then that would deserve its own discussion.
> Where to start this discussion? IdeaLab? Maybe it doesn't matter as long as
> we have one place well advertised.
> There are at least three aspects to consider:
> * Technical: Creating i.e. a Mastodon instance somewhere is technically
> simple, running that instance in Wikimedia production servers is another
> story. While there is no need to start with a service in production, it is
> useful to consider the scenario early on.

It may have changed since I last checked (a bit more than a year ago), but
while it is easy to create an instance, migrating an account to another
instance, or moving an entire instance to a new domain is not (I couldn't
even find documentation on how to accomplish this. So if we start an
instance that is supposed to become an official one, we need at the very
least have the final domain name from the start. Depending on the one we
want, we still might need official support (e.g., anyone can register
wikimedians.social, but wikimedia.social is restricted to the WMF by a DPML

> * Legal: Aiming for an official Wikimedia instance has implications of
> trademarks, legal requirements, and so on. While there is no need to start
> with an official instance, it is useful to consider the scenario early on.
Do you know what these requirements are? Are some issues unsolvable (for
example, if an official Wikimedia instance implies that no movie-based gifs
can be posted (for copyright reasons), then this instance has basically no
chance to gain a large user base. While this may not be a problem (a small
instance with a small number of accounts posting things like
#pictureOfTheDay to the whole Fediverse would still be valuable), this
would change the scope of what we try to accomplish.

> * Social: While creating an instance would be simple, having a critical
> mass of Wikimedians aware of it and using it regularly is not. There is no
> lack of brilliant ideas that failed because the people didn't follow. And
> here you would be fighting against resistance to change e.g. from those
> believing that Wikimedians should focus on wikis only, from Wikimedians
> well invested in corporate social networks (Facebook, Twitter, etc) and of
> course with everyone being "too busy to join another channel". Whoever
> drives this initiative must be ready to work hard explaining, promoting,
> supporting...

In April 2017 when the Mastodon hype wave hit France, I had several people
asking me if WMFr would create a Mastodon instance, so I'm not particularly
worried about that (If we had created the instance back then, there would
have several dozens of users creating their account). We may have lost that
momentum, but OTOH the fact that the Fediverse is still very active is a
good proof of resilience. And then again, even if there is not a critical
mass joining the instance, as it would interact with the Fediverse, this
does not mean that the few users there would be shouting in the void.

On a more personal note: I don't have enough time to lead this initiative
myself, but I would happily give help with administrating the instance, or
"explaining, promoting, supporting" it.


*Sylvain Boissel*

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