Introducing Wikimedia Space: A platform for movement news and conversations

Originally published at: https://space.wmflabs.org/2019/06/25/introducing-wikimedia-space-a-platform-for-movement-news-and-conversations/

Today, the Wikimedia Foundation’s Community Engagement department is launching Wikimedia Space, a platform for movement organizers, affiliates, contributors, partners, and the Foundation to share news, questions, and conversations.

Learning from others has been the bedrock for development and growth in our movement. With this platform, we want to promote these sorts of enriching exchanges by welcoming people from every background to build strong and diverse communities, breaking down the barriers for entry to our movement, and focusing our efforts on facilitating collaboration, including from communities that are new to our movement.

Wikimedia Space is a single place for collaboration, comprising Blog and Discuss hubs. The Blog section provides a movement-wide platform for project updates, recent events, and shared learnings. We have designed editorial guidelines that allow everyone to share their news with others.

At Discuss, anyone can start conversations, comment, like, and bookmark other people’s comments, both in public and closed groups. Wikimedia Space also allows anybody to add an event, which can be discovered in a calendar or a map of the movement. We want this new space to be safe and welcoming, especially for newcomers, and this is why it is governed by a code of conduct, and relies on active community moderation.

Map displaying Wikimedia events around the world.

Wikimedia Space is currently a prototype, built on WordPress and Discourse. While at present it only operates in English, it will evolve to include multiple languages in the near future. Our plan is to gather feedback from early adopters from across the movement and iterate this version of the platform to suit Wikimedians’ needs. This project is only possible with your participation. Spread the news and join Wikimedia Space!

What stories can you find in the Wikimedia Space?

The Blog section of the space is dedicated to stories by the movement, from the movement. We want to know what inspires you, what you are learning from, and what new innovative ideas you are trying. Why is what you do important to achieve our shared movement goals? We want to hear about it.

In this space, we will also publish stories from Wikimedia Foundation teams that are aimed at community members—things like community news to tech-focused updates, for example. We will also feature reports, interviews with community members, and community profiles. In the near future, we aim to integrate newsletters from different topic areas in the movement.

We have defined editorial guidelines with a template for community members to submit ideas, which can be done via WordPress. In order to promote conversations, each story published in the news section will create a new topic on the Discuss side of the website.

What questions and conversations can you find in the Wikimedia Space?

Discuss is the space to enquire about and collaborate on all things Wikimedia. It is an open, welcoming forum to exchange and develop ideas publicly or in closed groups, among other things. We believe that by centralizing questions in a single place, we improve access to knowledge about the movement, making it easier for newcomers to join Wikimedia as active contributors.

Screenshot showing how to report uncivil behavior.

In Discuss, users can move up in trust levels based on their contributions over time. This will, in turn, give them access to additional features, enhancing the experience for contributors.

Discuss also allows Wikimedians to add events and view them in a calendar and a map, a tool that enables the mapping of Wikimedia activities all over the world. Many of the initial features in this space constitute great tools for community organizers, and we look forward to adding new developments in the near future, like the ability to post messages across different platforms.

Create your account

This space will not be possible without your participation. If you have always supported newcomers, this is the space for you to share your knowledge. If you have questions about how to start contributing, this is also the space to learn the many hats you can wear in our movement! If you are a community organizer, this is the space to promote your group and your events; please share this project with your local community, and encourage them to participate in the new Wikimedia Space.

Check out About Wikimedia Space to learn how to make this space personalized for you, and what new features will be coming. Take a look at the editorial guidelines to see how to publish blog stories, then read over the Space’s code of conduct.

Follow the project’s page on Meta-Wiki to learn about our vision, problem statement, and other documentation about this project. Help us expand Wikimedia Space: add your voice, share your questions and knowledge with the wikiverse!

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