Wiki Strategies just submitted the following grant application. Please vote for us here! (Fair warning: you will have to connect a Facebook account in order to vote.) In addition, I hope this concise overview of the current status of Wiki Strategies and our future plans will be of interest to our readers!
Tell us about your business. What inspired you to start your business? How is your business successful? What makes it unique?
Wiki Strategies advises corporations, non-profits, and universities in effective and ethical engagement with Wikipedia, the only top 5 web site that invites anyone in the world to directly write and edit its articles. Pete Forsyth, a 7 year veteran Wikipedia contributor with 20 years’ experience in traditional media, offers expert advice on the site’s rules, social norms, and technical challenges. Clients, including many highly respected organizations, build capacity in new media engagement.
How is your business involved with the community you serve?
Wiki Strategies is deeply rooted in the global community of 100,000+ Wikipedia volunteers. We are inspired by the community’s accomplishments, and are honored to contribute to its success. As the Wikimedia Foundation’s first Public Outreach Officer, founder Pete Forsyth designed the global Wikipedia Education Program; he has been an invited speaker at events on 3 continents, and facilitated GLAMcamp DC, a leadership development workshop. Our influence is felt on thousands of Wikipedia articles.
What would a $250,000 grant mean to your business and how will you utilize the funds to ensure long-term growth and stability?
Wiki Strategies has a “good” problem: we are currently getting more high quality inbound inquiries than we can handle. The unique model Wiki Strategies offers enable diverse organizations to work together effectively. It is vital that we find a way to grow – both internally, and in developing a field of trainers and consultants who can offer similar services. The grant would facilitate hiring an assistant and an associate, in turn permitting us to grow this important field at greater scale.
What challenges can you identify for your business, and how do you plan to overcome them?
The challenge is in staying true to the ethical principles we have worked hard to develop, and discuss both in the Wikipedia and the business community, while growing to meet demand. Wikipedia’s community has traditionally been hostile to business interests, and with good reason: many in the PR industry have acted in ways that are at odds with Wikipedia’s mission. We have a good model, but need to be simultaneously aggressive and judicious about spreading the word.
Describe the talent and skill of your employees, and how they contribute to a successful business.
As yet I have no employees, though I have worked closely with a number of individuals on various projects. Those individuals all deeply embrace Wikipedia’s vision, to develop a community that can freely share all human knowledge around the globe. That commitment is essential, and I am honored to work alongside anyone who shares it. A consulting mentality is also essential: listening closely to clients and pursuing a solution that meets their needs elegantly.