The Wikimedia Foundation has been an important sponsor of WikiSym as well as this year’s WikiSym + OpenSym 2013. We are very happy to have received funding once more.
The Wikimedia Foundation also just published an independent report on its funding strategy. The research comes to the following conclusion as to WMF’s funding of WikiSym:
A large grant was given to the John Ernest Foundation in support of WikiSym 2011. This was the first grant of any size given by the Wikimedia Grants program to a non-Wikimedia movement organization. WikiSym is an annual conference focused on research into wikis, including into Wikimedia Foundation wikis. In 2011, eleven WMF-focused papers, one WMF-focused demo, and seven WMF-focused posters were presented. More research about WMF projects was presented at WikiSym than anywhere else in 2011. WikiSym is a good example of where a WMF grant to a non-movement group (for a mission-aligned event) can be very worthwhile. The Wikimedia Grants program currently has very limited visibility outside of the movement. It is likely to prove difficult to raise the profile of the Wikimedia Grants program outside of the movement, but increasing the Grants program’s engagement with non-movement members (for movement-aligned goals) is likely to be worthwhile.
Emphasis is ours. We believe that the increase in Wikimedia Foundation related project research in 2012 has kept us in this leadership position, and we are looking forward to further extending the WMF related research in 2013. To that end, we created a dedicated Wikipedia and related research track. Two more weeks to submit your paper! (Please also consider any of the other tracks, which are equally part of the sponsorship.)