[MediaWiki-l] Adding a row of logos to the mediawiki.org front page

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[MediaWiki-l] Adding a row of logos to the mediawiki.org front page

Yaron Koren
Hi,

There's currently an effort in place to redesign the front page of the
MediaWiki website, mediawiki.org. You can see the current proposed layout
here:

https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/MediaWiki/Homepage_improvements_2018/Proposal

I think it would be great to add to the front page somewhere - probably
near the bottom - a row of logos showing some of the largest companies and
organizations currently using MediaWiki. I probably don't need to link to
an example of such a thing, because they're so common on the websites of
software projects (both open-source and proprietary), but here's an example
on the front page of the XWiki website - the set of gray logos starting
with EMC:

https://www.xwiki.org/xwiki/bin/view/Main/WebHome

Such a row of logos would provide some important information that is
currently not to be found anywhere on mediawiki.org, as far as I know: that
MediaWiki is being used by some of the biggest and most important companies
and organizations in the world. Specifically, the list of logos that I
think should be displayed would be: Boeing, GE, NASA, NATO, SAP and
Toshiba. These are all organizations that currently make substantial use of
MediaWiki, and that I think would be willing to let us display their logo.
And they're all very large organizations, i.e. with over 15,000 employees
in all these cases, I believe; some have much more than that.

(If some of these aren't willing to have their logo on the MediaWiki
homepage, I think even just displaying 4 or 5 of these would be fine. And
there are potentially other companies that could take the place of these if
necessary, like Philips and Intel, though I'm less sure that those two are
still using MediaWiki.)

I don't know if other people agree that this would be a good idea.
Personally, I think a simple row like this could provide more of a
marketing boost than anything else on mediawiki.org at the moment. That's
in large part because the marketing-type language on mediawiki.org is
rather tepid, like this page, which actually has more items under
"Disadvantages of wikis" than "Advantages of wikis":

https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Manual:Deciding_whether_to_use_a_wiki_as_your_website_type

Now, we could debate whether the MediaWiki homepage should be trying to
"sell" the software more. But I think a row of logos would concisely
clarify that MediaWiki is not just "homely and awkward" (to quote that
"Deciding" page!), but is in fact viewed as world-class enterprise software
by some of the biggest companies in the world.

Now, this is all somewhat of a lead-up to stating that there's a problem
with having such a row of logos, which is that these logos are copyrighted
material, meaning that it would break the current rules of mediawiki.org to
display them anywhere on the site. Specifically, in the Wikimedia
Foundation's "licensing policy" page, it says, "All projects are expected
to host only content which is under a Free Content License".

https://foundation.wikimedia.org/wiki/Resolution:Licensing_policy

From what I understand from reading that page, individual sites like
mediawiki.org can adopt an Exemption Doctrine Policy (EDP) for specific
exceptions to that overall rule - and one of the examples given for a valid
EDP is for displaying company logos.

So, I think it makes sense for mediawiki.org to adopt an EDP that would
apply only to that small set of maybe 4-8 logos that would be shown on the
front page.

Those are my thoughts, but I'd love to hear what other people have to say:
whether such a set of logos is a good idea, whether it justifies having
non-free content on the page, whether the whole thing is feasible, etc.

-Yaron
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