Meta uchta alohida rolni bajaradi. Ular bir-biriga yaqin, lekin ko‘pincha foydalanuvchilarning turli xil kichik guruhlarini o‘z ichiga oladi.
- Wikimedia loyihalarini muhokama qilish va shakllantirish, xususan ochiq-kontentni litsenziyalash kabi turli loyihalar uchun tegishli siyosat muhokamasi hisoblanadi. Muhokama qilinadigan asosiy masala bu Wikimedia Forumi. Yuqori darajadagi ba'zi bir munozaralar, asosan 2009-yilda bo‘lib o‘tgan, va Strategy Wikiga ajratilgan.
- Vikimediya loyihalari va umuman Wikimedia Movement, shu jumladan, ingliz tilidan tashqari tillarda muhokama qilish uchun interlingual (cross-wiki) va xalqaro muvofiqlashtirish uchun joy hisoblanadi. Bu esa Wikimedia Foundation va uning filiallari bilan bog‘liq bo‘lgan tarjimalar, yangiliklar, shuningdek, voqealarni va faktlarni tushuntirish, hujjatlashtirish va muhokama qilishni talab qiladi (pan-Wikimedia yoki boshqa vikilar uchun). Shuningdek, hisobotlarni, voqealarni, outreach va grantlarni ham ko‘ring.
- Wikimedia loyihalari haqida shaxsiy bayonlar uchun forum. Ular odatda neytral nuqtai nazardan olib kelinmagani uchun, neytral masalalar sahifalarida TIPAESA yoki uning pastki IPA kabi formatlardan foydalangan holda bir nechta nuqtai nazarga ega bo'lish kerak. Wikimedia loyihalari bilan bog'liq bo'lgan narsalarni belgilashda erkinlik darajasi mavjud. Meta shuningdek, wiki madaniyati va naqshlari kabi masalalarni muhokama qiladigan turli xil vikilarni ham yaratadi. MediaWiki hujjatlari asosan hozirdan chiqarib tashlangan (quyida ko'rib chiqing). Ushbu rol ko'proq rasmiy tadqiqotlar va muhokama qilishni o'z ichiga oladi.
The categories provide a big-picture representation of Meta's content.
What Meta is not
- A disposal site for uncorrectable articles from the different Wikipedias
- A place to describe the MediaWiki software. The software has its own wiki at MediaWiki.org. Content and pages such as these should be transferred.
It has often been discussed whether Meta has a community. What's sure is that it doesn't have a community of its own, separate from the communities of the Wikimedia projects: as someone said, «a meta-project — existing for and about the other Wikimedia wikis, not as a content project to itself — a community of communities, rather than its own little island community».
This also means that many discussions, processes and other activities happen on Meta, with different participants and people in charge (if any) — for instance, among many, some Wikimedia committees, the stewards, the WMF staff for grants —: none of them, and all of them, is Meta. Meta is the space and the tool for their participants to achieve their objectives, not an actor in them; and even less a power over them.
Strictly speaking, however, there is a community specific to Meta: it's a loose group of people regularly active in some or many such activities (especially as "gardeners"), who care about Meta serving the purpose above, and who are more likely to intervene to ensure it does.
"Metawikian" is a term also used sometimes, to indicate a member of the specific "Meta community", that is the community of Meta regulars who are more often active on Meta, for instance as contributors to its content pages or as facilitators of other discussions and processes.
Meta-Wiki was first created as "Meta-Wikipedia" in November 2001 to make the English Wikipedia less cluttered, by moving all meta-content (content about the Wikipedia website and its users), as opposed to actual content (encyclopedia articles), to a new wiki. Since its upgrade to Wikipedia's custom MediaWiki software, Meta has become a multilingual discussion forum used by all Wikimedia language communities. As the number of Wikimedia projects and translations increased, so too did Meta's scope. Meta comprises 89 003 articles. Many of the older pages here are still worded as being specific to Wikipedia, but arguably many now apply to all Wikimedia projects.
- Meta:Categories – introductory page for browsing
- Meta's Zeitgeist can give a clue about the main activities of any month (only main namespace, although talk could be more indicative)
- Meta:Babel templates – language competence of Meta users
- Meta:Requests for deletion
- Meta:Requests for undeletions
- Project portals – a list of Wikimedia project portals
- Wikimedia Foundation and the Wikimedia projects.