Wikimedia Space Blog Is Going on Holiday for the End of 2019, CC 0 Public Domain

The publishing side of the Wikimedia Space Blog is taking a break over the end-of-the-year holiday season. Drafts can still be submitted, and some pre-planned publication will happen, but new drafts will not be reviewed or scheduled until the new year. We’ll be back the week of 6 January and resume our bi-monthly editorial meetings and regular publishing process.

The Discuss side of Space will continue to be active (and moderated!) over the holiday season. For any urgent requests, please reach out to the Wikimedia Space team at

Testing the path from mailing lists to Wikimedia Space

Mail Coaches on the Road: the Louth-London Royal Mail progressing at Speed by Charles Cooper Henderson Public Domain

In the Wikimedia Space vision, the mailing lists still active today have evolved into forum categories fully operational via email. In that future, everyone benefits from the integration of these mailing lists to Space, and users still preferring email-based interaction lose nothing. Today, this vision is just an idea for discussion. A technically solid idea that emerged from the discussions about the future of Mailman in Wikimedia and more than two years piloting Discourse.

The path to fully discuss, agree upon, and eventually implement this vision is expected to be long, and perhaps alternative visions arise as we go. However, the distance is nothing; it is only the first step that costs (thanks Wikiquote!). Here is a proposal for a first step.

Continue reading “Testing the path from mailing lists to Wikimedia Space”

How to request a new category or closed group on Space

English: Women of the Wall prayer group
Women of the Wall talking with Kotel women.jpg () by Women of the Wall, CC-BY-SA-3.0.

So you want to bring your community conversations to Wikimedia Space, but your topic doesn’t fit in any of the categories. Or maybe you want to create a new closed group, with its own private category, for collaboration. Great, let’s talk about setting up a place for you. 

To request a new category or closed group, open a conversation in the #About Wikimedia Space category, using the “categories” or “groups” tag, with the following information:

  1. Proposed name of category/group. Make sure your name is descriptive and specific to the area of interest.
  2. Proposed text for the “About” post of the category/group. Examples: About the Regional Coordination category, About the Translation category.
  3. Proposed position within category system. Is it its own standalone category? Should it be a subcategory of a category that already exists? Should it be a parent category of a category that already exists? Note that groups come with private discussion categories, so this applies to closed groups as well.

Once your category is created, there may be some additional factors you’d like to consider.

Category/group moderatorship: Space allows for general site moderators (who gain moderatorship by moving up organically in trust levels and expressing interest) as well as category and group-specific moderators. All category and group moderators will be granted Trust Level 4 so that they can access the range of moderator tools: responding to flags, splitting topics, merging topics, closing topics, pinning topics, etc. You can nominate moderators for your category or group at any time. 

Reply by email: You may want to enable reply by email for the category or group, to allow users to respond to posts without having to visit the site. This will depend on the preferences of the user base.

Adding tags: With use, you may realize that there are missing tags corresponding to the category or group’s subject matter. Users with Trust Level 3 and above can create tags, so feel free to reach out to the category moderator (if you have one) or to any site moderator to create new tags at any time.

Configuring notifications: To ensure you’re notified about any new content posted in the category or group, click on that category or group from the Discuss Space main page, click the circle icon on the upper right-hand corner, and set it to “Watching”. You can invite other participants to do the same. 

We look forward to hosting your community discussions!

Building a multilingual Space, part I

Dodhara Chadani Bridge, Kanchanpur.jpg () by Hopingyousuf, CC-BY-SA-4.0.

A critical part of Space’s mission is to offer a welcoming and accessible place for all movement contributors. And how can you be welcoming, accessible and monolingual, you ask? Great question. You can’t. 

Today, we officially embarked on the (long and winding) journey toward making Space a fully-functioning multilingual forum. 

Your language preference can now be set in your interface preferences. Anonymous users will have their language automatically set from their web browser’s language headers.

When using another language you’ll notice that, while Discourse software’s content is translated to varying degrees, all of the content that we have customized in our theme (like the header menu, for example) remains in English. Our next step is to add localizable strings to our theme components to make the UI smoother across languages.

As said, this is just the beginning, and even Discourse translations are far from complete. Notice something missing in your language? You can contribute!

Discourse is being translated by the Discourse community in Transifex. To get started, sign up for an account and join the Discourse project.

To support translators, both in the context of Space and in the Wikimedia projects in general, we are also opening a new category in Space, Translations. Translators have been a cornerstone of our movement, doing the difficult but critical work of making Wikimedia content accessible across the globe. This category will serve as a hub for translators to connect, collaborate and support one another. Have a look around the new category, and change your notifications settings to “Watching” to stay up to date on all conversations within it.

If you’re interested in how multilingual features will continue to be developed into the future, and in providing input on the overall plan, feel free to comment in Discussions in many languages, organized by tags, or open a new topic in Translations.

How to write a blog post

Matson Collection – PD

So, you’ve got something you want to share with the Wikimedia movement. Great! Where do you go? Wikimedia Space.

How does this all work?

Anyone can submit a blog post to Wikimedia Space. While we are still a prototype, the process is a few steps more than we’d like. You’ll want to join Wikimedia Space. Then login to the blog and create a new article. All new authors start with the “Contributor” role. This allows you to create and edit your own posts, upload media, and review the posts of others.

We’re using WordPress, an open-source publishing platform. It has a text editor that uses the concept of blocks for organizing content as you write. Revisions are kept automatically, and you can see all past revisions of an article. You can add photos, videos, quote blocks and more. Log in and try it out.

Once you have your draft in a reviewable state, you can submit it for review. An editor will review the content and leave notes with any questions or suggestions. If everything meets the editorial guidelines, an editor will reach out to coordinate the scheduling of your post.

Once published, all posts will have a corresponding comment section in the Discuss space.

Why write here?

The scope for the Space blog is news about the Wikimedia movement, for the Wikimedia movement. News and updates from committees and affiliates, links to interesting Wikimedia stories and discussions, interviews with movement organizers and other key players in the free knowledge movement, and announcements and requests for feedback from the Wikimedia Foundation are a few examples.

A post doesn’t have to be a 10,000 word tome. 500–700 words is a good goal. In the spirit of the movement, the first draft doesn’t have to be perfect either. Blog posts do have to have a clear impact on the Wikimedia movement and opinion articles are out of scope.

The primary objective of the Wikimedia Space Blog is to give movement writers a platform to share what is important to them. We want the Blog to reflect the richness and diversity of our movement, with stories and reports from all corners of the globe. If you have heard of something interesting happening within the movement, submit a pitch or draft article. Too much commitment? Then let us know with a new topic in Discuss and tag it with wikimedia-space-blog.

Volunteers covering news about projects that don’t yet have a larger public presence are especially encouraged to write.

Who reviews submissions?

Wikimedia Space has an editorial board that reviews submissions for publication. The editorial board is also responsible for maintaining the blog, its content, design, processes and structure. The board is open to volunteers, meaning contributors like yourself can join and help guide others through the editorial process. This process will be determined with your interest and participation. To start we’re going to try and host a meeting every two weeks on Friday to discuss upcoming posts and the editorial process. Join us.

For a more in-depth explanation of the editorial guidelines, take a look at the project page on Meta.

I have thoughts!

Great, we want to hear what you’re thinking about. Can we improve the process? Can we make something clearer or simpler? We need your voice and participation to adapt and grow this space. Leave a comment below and tell us what’s on your mind.

How do blog comments work?

English: Friends in conversation after Holi Calcutta Kolkata India
India – Kolkata chat group – 4231.jpg () by Jorge Royan, CC-BY-SA-3.0.

At the end of every post, like this one, you may see comments. Every time a blog post is published, a corresponding topic thread is created in the Discuss section of Wikimedia Space. From there you can discuss the topic in a thread, show your appreciation for other comments with a like, flag comments for attention, and see the other discussions around the movement.

Check out the About Wikimedia Space category for more How To’s and feature requests. Ask any questions you have pertaining to posting and interacting with comments there.

How to follow the blog

WOCinTech Chat – CC BY 2.0

Here are few quick ways to keep up with Wikimedia Space news as it’s shared.

If you have any questions or thoughts on how to make it easier to follow topics here, please leave a comment and let’s discuss.

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!