Bonjour Orange! Wikimedia Partners with Orange to Spread Knowledge

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It’s my pleasure to announce that the Wikimedia Foundation has signed a strategic mobile and web partnership with Orange. Orange is one of the leading wireless and broadband internet providers in the world, and with this agreement we’ll begin integrating trademarked Wikipedia content onto their mobile and web channels. This is not just a way for me to improve my French (although that does need a lot of work. . .) – we’re also working with Orange to co-develop content channels and think about new ways to innovate and expand access to free knowledge. We’ve developed a QA as well dealing with aspects of the partnerships.
This is great news for Orange’s 175 million mobile customers and web users, as they’ll get better access to Wikipedia’s trove of knowledge throughout their daily lives. We’re starting out in the UK, Poland, Spain and France with plans to work together throughout Orange’s European footprint. This gets Wikipedia knowledge in front of more people in new ways, which helps us in our mission to expand knowledge to more people in more places. I especially want to praise all the volunteers who’ve made Wikipedia the world’s leading information resource. This partnership will help showcase their important work in front of more people than ever before.
I’ve been negotiating with Orange for a while, and I have been consistently impressed by their dedication to the Foundation’s mission of spreading free knowledge. They appreciate the importance of our community in everything we do, they’re committed to supporting neutral point-of-view, and they have an increasing interest in open source technology. The Foundation is always interested in business partnerships which understand our culture and help expand our mission, and Orange is an ideal partner for us.
This is an important new revenue stream to build on our successful fundraising campaigns. All the proceeds will go toward Wikimedia Foundation projects, with an emphasis on organizational sustainability and new services to make Wikipedia and our other projects better and easier to use. We’re a very lean nonprofit organization—just 27 of us help maintain the fourth-biggest website in the world—and this partnership will help us better support the vibrant community that makes Wikipedia possible.
Please join me in welcoming Orange as a new partner supporting the Wikimedia community!
Kul Wadhwa, Business Development<

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Was the first thought that entered anyone else’s mind “Wikipedia is partnering with the Elephant’s Dream project?!”, or is that just me?

I can see this being a very interesting development. Key to Orange I would guess is getting the Wikipedia logo on their phones, but I’d hope they’re going to put Wiktionary on there too.
Wikinews? Well, we’re still struggling to reach the critical mass of contributors that sees 20-odd stories out the door a day.

Orange is also in Africa aktiv. It´s sad that Africa is not part of this agreement.

Africa…not yet, but we have already been thinking about that. We know Orange has a strong footprint in parts of Africa so that’s another reason why they’re a great strategic fit. Maybe in the near future…

Fantastic news! I was just reading up some info about somewhere that I’d visited in Rome, when I had a great idea for a mobile app. I coincidentally then found this news item on wikimedia! The future is indeed bright!
Exciting times…

Its is not clear to me how: “this partnership will help us better support the vibrant community that makes Wikipedia possible.” From pratical point of view of a member of comunity what will be the vantages: faster server? additional free images to be used?

@Bramfab: for a member of the community that uses Orange, I’d presume a more accessible, perhaps faster, way to get mobile Wikipedia content. For the rest of us, a WMF with more money. That’s my take on it.

[…] le site de Wikimedia France (ne parlons même pas de Wikipédia), il est nécessaire d’aller sur le site de la maison mère Wikimedia Inc. pour trouver quelque chose et c’est en anglais bien sûr. Noter que Wikimedia Inc. a […]