(If you prefer, you can read this text on Meta-Wiki, and comment there.)
The Movement Strategy and Governance (MSG) team at the Wikimedia Foundation launched a proposal for a new Movement Strategy Forum (MS Forum) on 24 May 2022. The proposal was open for a 2-month community review period, ending on 24 July 2022. During that time, the MS Forum was operational for community members to try it out. The community review process included several questions. It resulted in interesting and enlightening conversations. The community review report presents a concise overview of the responses received to the community review questions. The team received the responses via the forum itself, Meta-Wiki, and the Wikimedia-I mailing list.
The results of the community review were mixed and encompassed a wide range of opinions. The feedback received on the MS Forum ranged from very supportive to cautiously accepting. The participants were diverse in terms of years contributing to Wikimedia, mother tongue, and geographic location. The forum’s automatic translation capabilities were particularly well received. Outside of the MS Forum, several long-term Wikimedia contributors criticized the creation of a new space, preferring to focus on the use of Meta-Wiki.
The goal of the MS Forum is:
to improve community collaboration around Movement Strategy (MS) on a multilingual platform that is welcoming and easy to use.
The participation and support received during the community review support the premise. Close to 300 people participated in the community review; many participants were from Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Many are contributors from medium-size and small Wikimedia projects.
Accordingly, the MSG team commits to the long-term maintenance of the MS Forum and its integration into the Movement Strategy processes. The MSG team will announce a call for new moderators and administrators. The approach will ensure long-term and volunteer-driven governance of the MS Forum. Outreach efforts to increase the awareness and participation of the MS Forum are starting soon.
The community review stressed some requirements for the success of this forum:
- The MS Forum is not a substitute for Meta-Wiki. Both spaces complement each other. Movement Strategy processes need to support both.
- The MS Forum is not a substitute for outreach and participation among local communities. Communications must include these local channels.
- The MS Forum must be community-driven. It cannot advance only through the participation of the Wikimedia Foundation’s staff.
- The Wikimedia Foundation must commit to a long-term plan to support the MS Forum. This is how contributors will trust the new platform and invest in it.
During the community review, some people opposed the proposal for an “off-wiki” MS Forum. They reasoned that the Wikimedia Foundation should implement this functionality on MediaWiki instead. These initiatives are not in competition. The popularity of MS Forum features can support introducing new features on Talk Pages and its programs. As MediaWiki discussion and collaboration features are enhanced, there may come a time when the MS Forum is no longer needed.