How to Run a Top-10 Website, Publicly and Transparently
2022-07-23, 13:00–13:50 (US/Eastern), 416 DAC

Wikipedia is the only top-10 website that is operated by a non-profit, but more importantly, runs fully transparently. Literally anyone can view detailed monitoring graphs for individual services and servers, see alerts fire in real time, and watch as engineers deploy code and debug problems live. It's not a one-way street. Participation from volunteers is encouraged and welcomed, with the Wikimedia Foundation giving out sever access to trusted volunteers, allowing them to view private logs and deploy changes. Even amongst smaller or other non-profit/public interest websites, this level of transparency and openness is really unheard of. Yet it is key in what has made Wikipedia such a force for good and, really, the Internet a better place. This talk will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of running a website in this way, including looking at case studies where this level of transparency enabled volunteers to provide key insights that fixed bugs and outages, saving the day.


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Kunal Mehta (@legoktm) is a volunteer Wikimedia sysadmin and a core developer of the MediaWiki software. He previously worked at the Wikimedia Foundation for about eight years, most recently as part of the Site Reliability Engineering team. Professionally, he works on SecureDrop at the Freedom of the Press Foundation.