Roundtable Panorama by Leslie Tom.

Roundtables is an experimental program that aims to support the development of new features for Wikipedia through focused, small group discussions between the Wikipedia community and the Wikimedia Foundation.

This page provides a quick overview of this program, as outlined below. Be sure to read the reports on the first roundtables below for more details.



The goal of this experimental program is to create better user experiences through effective collaborations between Wikimedia product teams and members of the Wikipedia and MediaWiki communities. We aim to discuss challenges and opportunities, review our work in progress — and gain new insights from these conversations.

This roundtable proposal is based on the premise that face-to-face meetings and webcasts or video conferences can augment text-only communication channels to solve complex issues through real-time, high-bandwidth conversations from diverse perspectives.

We expect to combine these roundtables with existing text-based communication channels such as talk pages and IRC chats to discuss product goals and issues with community members through a range of interaction modes. In the process, we hope that this will give a variety of options for Wikipedians to participate in our product development work.

First roundtables


Here are the reports on our first roundtable discussions and meetups in 2013 and 2014:

The first roundtable on engagement was a daylong face-to-face discussion in San Francisco, the second roundtable on multimedia was hosted virtually, over Google Hangouts, while the third roundtable was a two-hour face-to-face conversation at Wikimania in Hong Kong. All three approaches seemed effective in their own ways, and we are now evaluating the pros and cons of each collaboration method.

Next roundtables


We plan to host more roundtables and meetings in the new year. The next dates will be posted in this section in early January.

We also plan to host some IRC chats and will announce them through our editor engagement and multimedia mailing lists, as well as through posts on online community channels.

This page will be expanded as we learn more about the impact of this program on our product development process and community relations.

(To be continued.)