What is the MS Forum?
The implementation of the Movement Strategy requires collaboration across communities, projects, and languages. Hundreds of people must be able to learn from each other, work together, and have fun together. Newcomers should enjoy their involvement as much as long-time volunteers. Casual contributors should find opportunities to take part. Dedicated contributors should find the tools they need to get things done.
Currently, we lack the infrastructure to solve these needs.
Hence, the MS Forum. It is a Discourse-based platform that enables multilingual communication in over 100 languages.
The MS Forum 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 an overview of the responses received to the community review questions. The team received the responses via the forum, Meta-Wiki, and the Wikimedia-I mailing list.
The result of the community review is positive. The goal of the MS Forum is:
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 also 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.
If you are interested to learn more about the community review, read the report here. You can join the MS Forum with Wikimedia account.
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