From 2016-2018 I was on the board of trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation. This organization oversees the thirteen Wikimedia properties including Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Wikibooks, Wikimedia Commons, and so on. It’s goal is to provide the infrastructure that makes free knowledge available to everyone.
There are more than 200,000 Wikimedia editors and contributors. More than a billion unique devices access Wikimedia projects every month. Wikipedia alone averages approximately eighteen billion page views per month.
The English version of Wikipedia contains approximately six million articles, and people add approximately 600 articles per day. In 2020 supporters donated more than $120,000,000 to the organization.
With firsthand certainty, I can tell you that leading Wikimedia is one of the hardest jobs in technology. This is because you have to make so many people happy: Wikipedia editors and contributors, end users, donors, partners, and employees and your tools do not include offering employees stock options, selling advertising, or collecting affiliate fees.
This episode’s remarkable guest is Katherine Maher. Until April 2021 she was chief executive officer and executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation—and she did a remarkable in this remarkable position.
She has a bachelor’s degree from New York University as well as extensive education in the Middle East.
She worked for UNICEF, National Democratic Institute, World Bank, and Access Now. She was chief communications officer of Wikimedia from 2014 until 2016 when she became the interim executive director.
Something that truly irritates me is that teachers tell students not to use Wikipedia as an information source, so this interview starts there. FYI, IMHO, Wikipedia is the best source of information in the world.
Listen to Katherine Maher on Remarkable People:
If you enjoyed this episode of the Remarkable People podcast, please head over to Apple Podcasts, leave a rating, write a review, and subscribe. Thank you!
Join me for the Behind the Podcast show sponsored by my friends at Restream at 10 am PT. Make sure to hit “set reminder.” 🔔
Text me at 1-831-609-0628 or click here to join my extended “ohana” (Hawaiian for family). The goal is to foster interaction about the things that are important to me and are hopefully important to you too! I’ll be sending you texts for new podcasts, live streams, and other exclusive ohana content.
Please do me a favor and share this episode by texting or emailing it to a few people, I’m trying to grow my podcast and this will help more people find it.