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Submissions/Wikimedia:The cost of failure and why talking about it matters

From Wikimania 2012 • Washington, D.C., USA

This is a withdrawn submission for Wikimania 2012.

Submission no.


Title of the submission
Wikimedia:The cost of failure and why talking about it matters
Type of submission (workshop, tutorial, panel, presentation)
Presentation and discussion
Author of the submission
Abbas Mahmood
E-mail address
abbasjnr <at> hotmail <dot> com
Country of origin
Affiliation, if any (organization, company etc.)
Wikimedia Kenya
Personal homepage or blog
Anirudh Bhati
E-mail address
anirudhsbh (at) gmail (dot) com
Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington
Affiliation, if any (organization, company etc.)
Wikimedia India
Abstract (at least 300 words to describe your proposal)

We always hear about successful projects that have been done in the Wikimedia community. But the people who have carried out projects for quite a while know of projects that failed. But how often do we talk about such failed projects? What have we learnt from them? How we would do things differently to avoid future repetition of past mistakes?

At this session, I hope to invite a number of people that have carried out projects that didn't work (for whatever reason) so that they can share their stories and we could brainstorm and stimulate our social entrepreneurship skills into coming up with possible solutions or plan Bs so that we can enable such people to turn their failed projects into success.

For example:

  • Benjamin Mako Hill will talk about 8 attempts to create online collaborative encyclopedia projects before Wikipedia and suggest a series of hypotheses about why these projects did not succeed while Wikipedia did (see this submission which will be merged in if this proposal is accepted).
WikiCulture and Community
Length of presentation/talk (if other than 25 minutes, specify how long)
60-90 Minutes
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?
Slides or further information (optional)
Special request as to time of presentations (for example - can not present on Saturday)

Interested attendees

If you are interested in attending this session, please sign with your username below. This will help reviewers to decide which sessions are of high interest. Sign with four tildes. (~~~~).

  1. Ijon (talk) 21:11, 7 March 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  2. Marclaporte (talk) 05:16, 11 March 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  3. Amir E. Aharoni (talk)
  4. Add your username here.
  5. mako 21:23, 18 March 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  6. Agree that this is a very worthwhile topic. A call to study failed collaboration projects more often instead of focusing research on successful "anomalies" was among the takeways of a panel at last year's WikiSym. At Wikimania 2009, I myself gave a talk (abstract, slides and notes) about an example that by now can be considered part of this category; I would be happy to contribute a brief summary about it. Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 07:44, 19 March 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  7. Zellfaze (talk) 20:21, 19 March 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  8. CT Cooper · talk 20:02, 22 March 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  9. This is really something important for the community and the Foundation to reflect on. We sometimes fall prey to "but we've already got so much invested in this, we can't quit now!" and dig our failed programs deeper. We need to examine how and why things go wrong so that we can know when and how to avoid failing again. Fluffernutter (talk) 17:53, 2 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]