Verksamhetsberättelse 2020/Story: Envisioning the technical future of content partnerships

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In this Story we are focusing on how Wikimedia Sverige is trying to develop the Wikimedia movement into a key partner to organizations that have content they would like to share with the world. We believe that our current technical infrastructure prevents us from getting as far as we could. The challenges are even larger if we, as a movement, want to form content partnerships in less digitized countries across the globe, as more types of services will be needed. The efforts we hoped to initiate in 2020 have been postponed to 2021 due to the pandemic and the uncertain financial situation, but we are hopeful the work will take place.

Over the years WMSE have had many types of interesting and valuable content partnerships. We have worked hard to engage our partners in every step of the process and to encourage them to work with us continuously and to share their experiences with their peers. This has in many ways been successful, but we have identified many areas for improvement together with them. If these improvements could be made the Wikimedia movement could become the main go-to place for content owners that want to share their knowledge with the world. For partners with limited digital presence more support from the Wikimedia movement would be needed. Dedicated support would greatly benefit the partners that currently do not have the infrastructure or the means needed to bring their knowledge online. This would also allow smaller Wikimedia affiliates and volunteers in more parts of the world to form successful partnerships with local actors.

In 2019-2020 our chapter tried and tested uploading a large number of different types of data to the Wikimedia platforms to explore what can be done and what still needs to be developed. Our learnings were summarized in a white paper consisting of seven case studies.

Together with Toby Negrin, Ben Vershbow and their teams at Wikimedia Foundation we worked on developing a technical direction for content partnerships. In it we outline areas we believe could be improved upon significantly in a 12 month period. The tools were chosen based on a number of factors, such as the possibility to add the identified missing functionalities with a brand new team, if the tools have been requested by content partners and if there was any active development taking place. After the initial development sprints the tools would need long term maintenance and support to cover gaps that currently exist for content partners across the world.

Due to COVID-19 and the uncertainties around the yearly fundraising WMF halted all expansion of teams and projects in 2020. This directly affected our plans and the planning project was extended for an additional year without increasing the budget contrary to the original plan in which the budget was set to increase significantly. With the current budget we were able to continue to work with affiliates and teams that are working on tools for partnerships and refine our technical direction. The funding also allowed us to support other affiliates with batch uploads and events and to develop our organizational capacity so that we can build better tools in the future.