Making wikimediafoundation.org more open to contributions

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Making wikimediafoundation.org more open to contributions

MZMcBride-2
Hi.

When wikimediafoundation.org was first established (as a fishbowl wiki),
there were concerns expressed about its lack of open editing. For one of the
most prominent wiki and community-based organizations to have a closed site
for its non-profit foundation is rather silly and anachronistic.

The wiki was created before extensions like FlaggedRevs existed, but even
today with these extensions theoretically capable of allowing outside
contributions with moderation, there are still relevant and serious concerns
about features that are enabled at wikimediafoundation.org, such as allowing
raw HTML to be used.

Since 2004, a page has existed at Meta-Wiki to allow outsiders to comment
and discuss wikimediafoundation.org called "Foundation wiki feedback".[1]

In the spirit of being bold, I've taken a number of steps to correct what I
view as deficiencies in the current contribution system, all of which I'll
outline in this e-mail. If anyone has objections to these changes, they're
more than welcome to revert them and we can discuss ways to improve the
overall situation.[2]

Probably the most noticeable change I made was modifying the "view source"
tab and title to "contribute".[3][4][5] There are two ideas behind this
change: (1) to encourage people to contribute (whether it's typo fixes,
accuracy problems, etc.); and (2) to create a middle ground between "edit"
and "view source". It seems unreasonable that a user would ever click "view
source" to make a helpful comment about a page, but we don't want to change
the tab to something like "edit" if the user doesn't have the necessary
permissions to edit the page. The primary entry point to Meta-Wiki's
"Foundation wiki feedback" should be through the edit screen, so encouraging
users to reach that screen is important. "View source" simply doesn't
achieve this goal.

The next change I made was to modify the message that users see above the
textarea on wikimediafoundation.org if they don't have permission to edit.
Rather than the default (bland) messages, I customized the message and made
it a bit more colorful and friendlier.[6][7][8] I also included two
prominent buttons in the message: one button is to report a problem with
that specific page; the other button is to report a problem with the site in
general. Clicking either button will load Meta-Wiki's "Foundation wiki
feedback" page with a new section and auto-fill the section title. It's also
possible to customize the message that users view above the textarea at
Meta-Wiki based on whether they're clicking the buttons from
wikimediafoundation.org, but I've left that for a later date. Obviously I'm
not a great designer, but this is a vast improvement when you compare the
before and after pictures:
* before: http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:WMFwiki-edit-before.png
* after: http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:WMFwiki-edit-after.png

Then I headed over to Meta-Wiki to make some changes there. First, I killed
the "Foundation wiki feedback/admin" subpage, as it caused confusion,
clutter, and was rarely used.[9] I merged all of the header content into the
single "Foundation wiki feedback/Header" template and simplified it.[10] I
also made the page generally less obnoxious:
* before: http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:FWF-view-before.png
* after: http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:FWF-view-after.png

The final changes were to the editnotice above the textarea at Meta-Wiki:
* before: http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:FWF-edit-before.png
* after: http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:FWF-edit-after.png

Hopefully these changes will encourage more participation and engagement. In
addition to these changes, I've filed a bug in Bugzilla to work on ways to
make wikimediafoundation.org more open to outside contributions.[11]

MZMcBride

[1] http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Foundation_wiki_feedback
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:BOLD,_revert,_discuss_cycle
[3] http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/MediaWiki:Viewsource
[4] http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/MediaWiki:Viewsourcefor
[5] http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/MediaWiki:Vector-view-viewsource
[6] http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Template:Contribute
[7] http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/MediaWiki:Permissionserrorstext
[8] http://wikimedia.org/wiki/MediaWiki:Permissionserrorstext-withaction
[9] http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Foundation_wiki_feedback/admin
[10] http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Foundation_wiki_feedback/Header
[11] https://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/show_bug.cgi?id=27006



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Re: Making wikimediafoundation.org more open to contributions

Erik Moeller-4
2011/1/27 MZMcBride <[hidden email]>:
> In the spirit of being bold, I've taken a number of steps to correct what I
> view as deficiencies in the current contribution system, all of which I'll
> outline in this e-mail. If anyone has objections to these changes, they're
> more than welcome to revert them and we can discuss ways to improve the
> overall situation.[2]

Looks great to me :-)

I agree that the edit restrictions on the WMF wiki are very
unfortunate and there's still much more that can be done (perhaps one
day leading toward www.wikimedia.org as a single information,
collaboration and discussion hub, subsuming both WMF and Meta, and
possibly other backstage wikis).

--
Erik Möller
Deputy Director, Wikimedia Foundation

Support Free Knowledge: http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Donate

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Re: Making wikimediafoundation.org more open to contributions

Philippe Beaudette-2
In reply to this post by MZMcBride-2


On Jan 27, 2011, at 7:58 PM, MZMcBride wrote this plus some other stuff:

> Hi.
>
> When wikimediafoundation.org was first established (as a fishbowl wiki),
> there were concerns expressed about its lack of open editing. For one of the
> most prominent wiki and community-based organizations to have a closed site
> for its non-profit foundation is rather silly and anachronistic.
>
> The wiki was created before extensions like FlaggedRevs existed, but even
> today with these extensions theoretically capable of allowing outside
> contributions with moderation, there are still relevant and serious concerns
> about features that are enabled at wikimediafoundation.org, such as allowing
> raw HTML to be used.


I have to say, I rather support these changes.

I've long been troubled with the perception that our own foundation-wiki was so restrictive.  It seemed anti-thetical to me.  I'm pleased to see steps towards opening this up.

_______________________
Philippe Beaudette
Head of Reader Relations
Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.

[hidden email]

Imagine a world in which every human being can freely share
in the sum of all knowledge.  Help us make it a reality!

http://donate.wikimedia.org
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Re: Making wikimediafoundation.org more open to contributions

James Alexander-3
In reply to this post by Erik Moeller-4
On Fri, Jan 28, 2011 at 12:34 AM, Erik Moeller <[hidden email]> wrote:

> 2011/1/27 MZMcBride <[hidden email]>:
> > In the spirit of being bold, I've taken a number of steps to correct what
> I
> > view as deficiencies in the current contribution system, all of which
> I'll
> > outline in this e-mail. If anyone has objections to these changes,
> they're
> > more than welcome to revert them and we can discuss ways to improve the
> > overall situation.[2]
>
> Looks great to me :-)
>
> I agree that the edit restrictions on the WMF wiki are very
> unfortunate and there's still much more that can be done (perhaps one
> day leading toward www.wikimedia.org as a single information,
> collaboration and discussion hub, subsuming both WMF and Meta, and
> possibly other backstage wikis).
>
> --
> Erik Möller
> Deputy Director, Wikimedia Foundation
>
> Support Free Knowledge: http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Donate
>
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>



Agreed, There are pages that you would obviously not want touched but I
really wish it could be more open. In the long run I agree I think we want
something more all encompassing with the community etc. I believe there is
an extension that turns on raw html for protected pages only or by
namespace... though I've never used them before. In the long run I'm sure
there are lots of options but in the short run I like the changes.


--
James Alexander
[hidden email]
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Re: Making wikimediafoundation.org more open to contributions

theo10011
Great Work, MZ.

One small point, the buttons on foundation wiki redirect to a the page we
get on FWF page on Meta, the edit page has a newly created header that
includes "Wikimedia is not associated with Wikileaks". I think the confusion
with Wikileaks issue is ephemeral and is not as common anymore. Maybe we
should consider removing that small disclaimer on the edit page, its already
there on the main page itself.


Regards


Theo

On Fri, Jan 28, 2011 at 11:35 AM, James Alexander <[hidden email]>wrote:

> On Fri, Jan 28, 2011 at 12:34 AM, Erik Moeller <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > 2011/1/27 MZMcBride <[hidden email]>:
> > > In the spirit of being bold, I've taken a number of steps to correct
> what
> > I
> > > view as deficiencies in the current contribution system, all of which
> > I'll
> > > outline in this e-mail. If anyone has objections to these changes,
> > they're
> > > more than welcome to revert them and we can discuss ways to improve the
> > > overall situation.[2]
> >
> > Looks great to me :-)
> >
> > I agree that the edit restrictions on the WMF wiki are very
> > unfortunate and there's still much more that can be done (perhaps one
> > day leading toward www.wikimedia.org as a single information,
> > collaboration and discussion hub, subsuming both WMF and Meta, and
> > possibly other backstage wikis).
> >
> > --
> > Erik Möller
> > Deputy Director, Wikimedia Foundation
> >
> > Support Free Knowledge: http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Donate
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > foundation-l mailing list
> > [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
> >
>
>
>
> Agreed, There are pages that you would obviously not want touched but I
> really wish it could be more open. In the long run I agree I think we want
> something more all encompassing with the community etc. I believe there is
> an extension that turns on raw html for protected pages only or by
> namespace... though I've never used them before. In the long run I'm sure
> there are lots of options but in the short run I like the changes.
>
>
> --
> James Alexander
> [hidden email]
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>
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Re: Making wikimediafoundation.org more open to contributions

KIZU Naoko
In reply to this post by James Alexander-3
I rather welcome these changes. Also I support improvement on Meta
feedback pages: a single page seems a better solution in these days.

Historically the foundation wiki was restricted just for avoiding
spams, as far as I understood. Later we found some users who were
proud of the foundation & movement knowledge weren't knowledgeable as
they believed (information they had were outdated etc.), so to some
extent restriction have made a sense.

But I'd like to point out it was in days we had no FlaggedRev extention yet.

For spamming concerns, I think FR will be a solution. Other concerns,
on pages we don't want anyone touch casually, we need to take more
time to consider what is the best. But not criticism, but a mere fact,
I would point out wmf site whose editors have been all highly trusted
users hasn't been immune from edit warring. Seeking for openness on
foundation wiki fits the nature of our community and movement, I
think, which the wiki should represents to the world.

Cheers,

On Fri, Jan 28, 2011 at 3:05 PM, James Alexander <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Fri, Jan 28, 2011 at 12:34 AM, Erik Moeller <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> 2011/1/27 MZMcBride <[hidden email]>:
>> > In the spirit of being bold, I've taken a number of steps to correct what
>> I
>> > view as deficiencies in the current contribution system, all of which
>> I'll
>> > outline in this e-mail. If anyone has objections to these changes,
>> they're
>> > more than welcome to revert them and we can discuss ways to improve the
>> > overall situation.[2]
>>
>> Looks great to me :-)
>>
>> I agree that the edit restrictions on the WMF wiki are very
>> unfortunate and there's still much more that can be done (perhaps one
>> day leading toward www.wikimedia.org as a single information,
>> collaboration and discussion hub, subsuming both WMF and Meta, and
>> possibly other backstage wikis).
>>
>> --
>> Erik Möller
>> Deputy Director, Wikimedia Foundation
>>
>> Support Free Knowledge: http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Donate
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> foundation-l mailing list
>> [hidden email]
>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>>
>
>
>
> Agreed, There are pages that you would obviously not want touched but I
> really wish it could be more open. In the long run I agree I think we want
> something more all encompassing with the community etc. I believe there is
> an extension that turns on raw html for protected pages only or by
> namespace... though I've never used them before. In the long run I'm sure
> there are lots of options but in the short run I like the changes.
>
>
> --
> James Alexander
> [hidden email]
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>



--
KIZU Naoko / 木津尚子
member of Wikimedians in Kansai  / 関西ウィキメディアユーザ会 http://kansai.wikimedia.jp

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Re: Making wikimediafoundation.org more open to contributions

arablue99
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Re: Making wikimediafoundation.org more open to contributions

Pharos-3
On Fri, Jan 28, 2011 at 9:27 AM, Aaron Adrignola
<[hidden email]> wrote:

>>
>> I agree that the edit restrictions on the WMF wiki are very
>> unfortunate and there's still much more that can be done (perhaps one
>> day leading toward www.wikimedia.org as a single information,
>> collaboration and discussion hub, subsuming both WMF and Meta, and
>> possibly other backstage wikis).
>>
>> --
>> Erik Möller
>> Deputy Director, Wikimedia Foundation
>>
>
> Perhaps have Meta: Strategy:, Outreach: Usability:, Tech:, and Wikimania*:
> namespaces to replace the separated sites in existence today.  The main
> space could cover wikimediafoundation.org content.  Wikimedia: for meta-wiki
> discussion.  Or any variation on that.  At the least, there is no need to
> keep creating new wikis for Wikimania if you properly tag content for the
> year it applies to.
>
> -- Aaron Adrignola

Here, here, for the namespace solution!

There is a lot of flexibility in degrees of differentiation and
control of namespaces that is really underused as a tool, and could
help us get a really integrated and useful 'wiki to rule them all' for
Wikimedia organizational purposes.

Thanks,
Richard
(User:Pharos)

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Re: Making wikimediafoundation.org more open to contributions

phoebe ayers-3
On Fri, Jan 28, 2011 at 12:19 PM, Pharos <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Fri, Jan 28, 2011 at 9:27 AM, Aaron Adrignola
> <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>>
>>> I agree that the edit restrictions on the WMF wiki are very
>>> unfortunate and there's still much more that can be done (perhaps one
>>> day leading toward www.wikimedia.org as a single information,
>>> collaboration and discussion hub, subsuming both WMF and Meta, and
>>> possibly other backstage wikis).
>>>
>>> --
>>> Erik Möller
>>> Deputy Director, Wikimedia Foundation
>>>
>>
>> Perhaps have Meta: Strategy:, Outreach: Usability:, Tech:, and Wikimania*:
>> namespaces to replace the separated sites in existence today.  The main
>> space could cover wikimediafoundation.org content.  Wikimedia: for meta-wiki
>> discussion.  Or any variation on that.  At the least, there is no need to
>> keep creating new wikis for Wikimania if you properly tag content for the
>> year it applies to.
>>
>> -- Aaron Adrignola
>
> Here, here, for the namespace solution!
>
> There is a lot of flexibility in degrees of differentiation and
> control of namespaces that is really underused as a tool, and could
> help us get a really integrated and useful 'wiki to rule them all' for
> Wikimedia organizational purposes.

+1 for a single wiki with differentiated namespaces for all of these topics :)

I think it would do us a lot of good to be able to recombine all of
these topics so when we are looking for a calendar or a presentation
bank or a list of media or whatever there is ONE place to go, not
five. Such a solution would make it easier to fold separate wikis
(such as a conference wiki) back into Meta when we were done with
them, too.

My solution to the challenge of combining everything would be to have
a global edit sprint -- "meta-cleanup-and-merge editing party
weekend!"

-- phoebe

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Re: Making wikimediafoundation.org more open to contributions

Keegan Peterzell
On Fri, Jan 28, 2011 at 2:33 PM, phoebe ayers <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> I think it would do us a lot of good to be able to recombine all of
> these topics so when we are looking for a calendar or a presentation
> bank or a list of media or whatever there is ONE place to go, not
> five. Such a solution would make it easier to fold separate wikis
> (such as a conference wiki) back into Meta when we were done with
> them, too.
>
>
Agreed there.  A couple weeks ago while wrapping up the fundraiser and doing
some other work, bouncing accounts between meta, en.wp, and tenwiki got to a
maddening point in figuring out just where I was in the wikiverse surrounded
by a thousand tabs.

--
~Keegan

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Keegan
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Re: Making wikimediafoundation.org more open to contributions

phoebe ayers-3
On Fri, Jan 28, 2011 at 9:21 PM, Keegan Peterzell <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Fri, Jan 28, 2011 at 2:33 PM, phoebe ayers <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>> I think it would do us a lot of good to be able to recombine all of
>> these topics so when we are looking for a calendar or a presentation
>> bank or a list of media or whatever there is ONE place to go, not
>> five. Such a solution would make it easier to fold separate wikis
>> (such as a conference wiki) back into Meta when we were done with
>> them, too.
>>
>>
> Agreed there.  A couple weeks ago while wrapping up the fundraiser and doing
> some other work, bouncing accounts between meta, en.wp, and tenwiki got to a
> maddening point in figuring out just where I was in the wikiverse surrounded
> by a thousand tabs.

Yes... death by a thousand tabs is a bit like death by a thousand papercuts!

When this discussion came up in person for me a few weeks ago, someone
pointed out that MediaWiki did need its own wiki, because it is a
separate project, and I think that is a good argument (c.f. the other
foundation-l thread about the usability wiki). But for everything
else... the lines blur.

Having many wikis is an ongoing source of irritation for many, and it
would be great to resolve this issue. Are there good arguments *for*
having separate sites? Or at least for not recombining them into meta
with a redirect from the clean URL?

-- phoebe

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Re: Making wikimediafoundation.org more open to contributions

David Gerard-2
On 29 January 2011 16:20, phoebe ayers <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Having many wikis is an ongoing source of irritation for many, and it
> would be great to resolve this issue. Are there good arguments *for*
> having separate sites? Or at least for not recombining them into meta
> with a redirect from the clean URL?


Suggested principle: stuff should go on meta unless there's a very
good reason for it not to. The strategy and usability stuff should
have been on meta or mediawiki.org in the first place, for example. A
wiki for every little thing is a *bad* idea.


- d.

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Re: Making wikimediafoundation.org more open to contributions

Erik Moeller-4
In reply to this post by phoebe ayers-3
2011/1/29 phoebe ayers <[hidden email]>:
> Having many wikis is an ongoing source of irritation for many, and it
> would be great to resolve this issue. Are there good arguments *for*
> having separate sites?

Yes, and I think most people generally underestimate the complexity of
the issue. The reasons for WMF to spin up separate sites have varied,
but to try to put it as simply as possible, a dedicated wiki, in all
technical and social respects, focuses collaborative activity, which
can enhance productivity and reduce barriers to participation. In the
case of e.g. StrategyWiki, it also allowed us to try some radical
changes (like using LQT on all pages, or receiving hundreds of
proposals as new page creations) without disrupting some surrounding
context. I have absolutely no regrets about our decision to launch
StrategyWiki, for example -- I think it was the right decision, with
exactly the expected benefits.

Meta itself has grown organically to support various community
activities and interests that had no other place to go. It has never
been significantly constrained by its mission statement. The "What
Meta is not" page only enumerates two examples of unacceptable use:

1. A disposal site for uncorrectable articles from the different
Wikipedias, and it is not a hosting service for personal essays of all
types.
2. A place to describe the MediaWiki software.

Its information architecture, in spite of many revisions, has never
kept up with this organic growth, making Meta a very confusing and
intimidating place for many, especially when one wants to explore or
use the place beyond some specific reason to go there (vote in an
election, nominate a URL for the spam blacklist, write a translation).

So, let's take the example of OutreachWiki as a simple case study to
describe the differences between the two wikis.

1) The wiki's main page and sidebar are optimized for its stated purpose;
2) As a new user, you receive a welcome message that's specifically
about ways you can support public outreach (
http://outreach.wikimedia.org/wiki/Template:Welcome )
3) All special pages remain useful to track relevant activity or
content without applying further constraints;
4) Userboxes and user profiles can be optimized for the stated purpose
(e.g. http://outreach.wikimedia.org/wiki/Languages_and_skills )
5) There's very little that's confusing or intimidating -- the content
is clean, simple, and organized.
6) If the OutreachWiki community wants to activate some site-wide
extension, it can do so, focusing only on its own needs.

On the other hand:

1) Activity is very low;
2) The wiki is largely in English;
3) Meta has a long tradition of hosting outreach-related content, and
many pages still reside there or are created there.
4) The existence of yet-another-wiki brings tons of baggage and
frustration (more dispersed change-tracking for users who want to keep
up with all activity, more creation of meta/user page/template
structures, more setup of policies and cross-wiki tools, etc.).

It's not a given that 1) and 2) are a function of having a separate
wiki. As we've seen with StrategyWiki, activity is largely the result
of focused activation of the community. The small sub-community that
cares about public outreach on Meta is ridiculously tiny compared with
the vast global community that could potentially be activated to get
involved through centralnotices, village pumps, email announcements,
etc. So the low level of activity on OutreachWiki is arguably "only" a
failure of WMF to engage more people, not a failure of a separate
wiki. (It certainly makes all the associated baggage much harder to
justify.)

But, I think the disadvantages of working within a single system can
be rectified for at least the four most closely related backstage
wikis (Meta/WMF/Strategy/Outreach). I do think working towards a
www.wikimedia.org wiki is the way to do that, importing content in
stages, with a carefully considered information architecture that's
built around the needs of the Wikimedia movement, a very crisp mission
statement and list of permitted and excluded activities, a WikiProject
approach to organizing related activity, etc. But it also would need
to include consideration for needed technological and configuration
changes, in descending importance:

- namespaces (e.g. for essays, proposals, public outreach resources,
historical content)
- template and JS setup to support multiple languages well (e.g.
mirroring some of the enhancements made to Commons)
- access controls (e.g. for HTML pages)
- FlaggedRevs/Pending Changes (e.g. for official WMF or chapter information)
- LiquidThreads (e.g. for a movement-wide forum that could
increasingly subsume listservs)
- Semantic MediaWiki/Semantic Forms (e.g. for event calendars)

To simplify security considerations, we might want to have all
fundraising-related content elsewhere (e.g. donate.wikimedia.org).

An alternative strategy, of course, is to focus on making the
distinction between different wikis as irrelevant as possible by
vastly improving cross-wiki tools, but the former approach seems more
viable in the not too distant future. I don't think "just move it all
to Meta" is the correct answer.

--
Erik Möller
Deputy Director, Wikimedia Foundation

Support Free Knowledge: http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Donate

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Re: Making wikimediafoundation.org more open to contributions

koteche mcintosh
Why can't people pay £2 per month and be a member of Wiki-everything!

Better than [pledging.

Have a on line active site that tells you what is going on how much money
there is! Get a members package?


What do you think?!
On Sun, Jan 30, 2011 at 5:13 AM, Erik Moeller <[hidden email]> wrote:

> 2011/1/29 phoebe ayers <[hidden email]>:
> > Having many wikis is an ongoing source of irritation for many, and it
> > would be great to resolve this issue. Are there good arguments *for*
> > having separate sites?
>
> Yes, and I think most people generally underestimate the complexity of
> the issue. The reasons for WMF to spin up separate sites have varied,
> but to try to put it as simply as possible, a dedicated wiki, in all
> technical and social respects, focuses collaborative activity, which
> can enhance productivity and reduce barriers to participation. In the
> case of e.g. StrategyWiki, it also allowed us to try some radical
> changes (like using LQT on all pages, or receiving hundreds of
> proposals as new page creations) without disrupting some surrounding
> context. I have absolutely no regrets about our decision to launch
> StrategyWiki, for example -- I think it was the right decision, with
> exactly the expected benefits.
>
> Meta itself has grown organically to support various community
> activities and interests that had no other place to go. It has never
> been significantly constrained by its mission statement. The "What
> Meta is not" page only enumerates two examples of unacceptable use:
>
> 1. A disposal site for uncorrectable articles from the different
> Wikipedias, and it is not a hosting service for personal essays of all
> types.
> 2. A place to describe the MediaWiki software.
>
> Its information architecture, in spite of many revisions, has never
> kept up with this organic growth, making Meta a very confusing and
> intimidating place for many, especially when one wants to explore or
> use the place beyond some specific reason to go there (vote in an
> election, nominate a URL for the spam blacklist, write a translation).
>
> So, let's take the example of OutreachWiki as a simple case study to
> describe the differences between the two wikis.
>
> 1) The wiki's main page and sidebar are optimized for its stated purpose;
> 2) As a new user, you receive a welcome message that's specifically
> about ways you can support public outreach (
> http://outreach.wikimedia.org/wiki/Template:Welcome )
> 3) All special pages remain useful to track relevant activity or
> content without applying further constraints;
> 4) Userboxes and user profiles can be optimized for the stated purpose
> (e.g. http://outreach.wikimedia.org/wiki/Languages_and_skills )
> 5) There's very little that's confusing or intimidating -- the content
> is clean, simple, and organized.
> 6) If the OutreachWiki community wants to activate some site-wide
> extension, it can do so, focusing only on its own needs.
>
> On the other hand:
>
> 1) Activity is very low;
> 2) The wiki is largely in English;
> 3) Meta has a long tradition of hosting outreach-related content, and
> many pages still reside there or are created there.
> 4) The existence of yet-another-wiki brings tons of baggage and
> frustration (more dispersed change-tracking for users who want to keep
> up with all activity, more creation of meta/user page/template
> structures, more setup of policies and cross-wiki tools, etc.).
>
> It's not a given that 1) and 2) are a function of having a separate
> wiki. As we've seen with StrategyWiki, activity is largely the result
> of focused activation of the community. The small sub-community that
> cares about public outreach on Meta is ridiculously tiny compared with
> the vast global community that could potentially be activated to get
> involved through centralnotices, village pumps, email announcements,
> etc. So the low level of activity on OutreachWiki is arguably "only" a
> failure of WMF to engage more people, not a failure of a separate
> wiki. (It certainly makes all the associated baggage much harder to
> justify.)
>
> But, I think the disadvantages of working within a single system can
> be rectified for at least the four most closely related backstage
> wikis (Meta/WMF/Strategy/Outreach). I do think working towards a
> www.wikimedia.org wiki is the way to do that, importing content in
> stages, with a carefully considered information architecture that's
> built around the needs of the Wikimedia movement, a very crisp mission
> statement and list of permitted and excluded activities, a WikiProject
> approach to organizing related activity, etc. But it also would need
> to include consideration for needed technological and configuration
> changes, in descending importance:
>
> - namespaces (e.g. for essays, proposals, public outreach resources,
> historical content)
> - template and JS setup to support multiple languages well (e.g.
> mirroring some of the enhancements made to Commons)
> - access controls (e.g. for HTML pages)
> - FlaggedRevs/Pending Changes (e.g. for official WMF or chapter
> information)
> - LiquidThreads (e.g. for a movement-wide forum that could
> increasingly subsume listservs)
> - Semantic MediaWiki/Semantic Forms (e.g. for event calendars)
>
> To simplify security considerations, we might want to have all
> fundraising-related content elsewhere (e.g. donate.wikimedia.org).
>
> An alternative strategy, of course, is to focus on making the
> distinction between different wikis as irrelevant as possible by
> vastly improving cross-wiki tools, but the former approach seems more
> viable in the not too distant future. I don't think "just move it all
> to Meta" is the correct answer.
>
> --
> Erik Möller
> Deputy Director, Wikimedia Foundation
>
> Support Free Knowledge: http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Donate
>
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>
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Re: Making wikimediafoundation.org more open to contributions

Keegan Peterzell
On Sun, Jan 30, 2011 at 12:46 AM, koteche mcintosh <
[hidden email]> wrote:

> Why can't people pay £2 per month and be a member of Wiki-everything!
>
> Better than [pledging.
>
> Have a on line active site that tells you what is going on how much money
> there is! Get a members package?
>
>
> What do you think?!


The principle is that everything is free.  You can donate to the Wikimedia
Foundation, but the Foundation has a core belief in not advertising or
requiring subscription.


--
~Keegan

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Keegan
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Re: Making wikimediafoundation.org more open to contributions

metasj
In reply to this post by phoebe ayers-3
Thank you MZM, for making those long-needed changes!  That made my day.

On Fri, Jan 28, 2011 at 3:33 PM, phoebe ayers <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Fri, Jan 28, 2011 at 12:19 PM, Pharos <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> On Fri, Jan 28, 2011 at 9:27 AM, Aaron Adrignola
>> <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>> Erik Moeller wrote:
>>>>
>>>> I agree that the edit restrictions on the WMF wiki are very
>>>> unfortunate and there's still much more that can be done (perhaps one
>>>> day leading toward www.wikimedia.org as a single information,
>>>> collaboration and discussion hub, subsuming both WMF and Meta, and
>>>> possibly other backstage wikis).
>>>
>>> Perhaps have Meta: Strategy:, Outreach: Usability:, Tech:, and Wikimania*:
>>> namespaces to replace the separated sites in existence today.  The main
>>> space could cover wikimediafoundation.org content.  Wikimedia: for meta-wiki
>>> discussion.  Or any variation on that.  At the least, there is no need to
>>> keep creating new wikis for Wikimania if you properly tag content for the
>>> year it applies to.
>>>
>>> -- Aaron Adrignola
>>
>> Here, here, for the namespace solution!

Yes!

Phoebe Ayers writes;
> My solution to the challenge of combining everything would be to have
> a global edit sprint -- "meta-cleanup-and-merge editing party
> weekend!"

This sounds like a perfect topic for a barnraising.

Sam.

--
Samuel Klein          identi.ca:sj           w:user:sj          +1 617 529 4266

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Re: Making wikimediafoundation.org more open to contributions

Sage Ross
In reply to this post by David Gerard-2
On Sat, Jan 29, 2011 at 11:28 AM, David Gerard <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Suggested principle: stuff should go on meta unless there's a very
> good reason for it not to. The strategy and usability stuff should
> have been on meta or mediawiki.org in the first place, for example. A
> wiki for every little thing is a *bad* idea.
>

Not that I have anything new to add, but this is one of those threads
where it's nice to see a long string of +1's.

I wrote an essay a few months ago based on that principle:
http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Not_my_wiki

-Sage

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Re: Making wikimediafoundation.org more open to contributions

David Gerard-2
On 30 January 2011 16:00, Sage Ross <[hidden email]> wrote:
> On Sat, Jan 29, 2011 at 11:28 AM, David Gerard <[hidden email]> wrote:

> > Suggested principle: stuff should go on meta unless there's a very
> > good reason for it not to. The strategy and usability stuff should
> > have been on meta or mediawiki.org in the first place, for example. A
> > wiki for every little thing is a *bad* idea.

> Not that I have anything new to add, but this is one of those threads
> where it's nice to see a long string of +1's.


Although, as Erik pointed out, the opportunity to blithely deploy
useful new extensions, as on Strategy Wiki, may count as a good
reason.


> I wrote an essay a few months ago based on that principle:
> http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Not_my_wiki


+1

;-)


- d.

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Re: Making wikimediafoundation.org more open to contributions

koteche mcintosh
In reply to this post by Keegan Peterzell
How realistic is that?

Things change and this is completely voluntary. It just means Wiki can
branch out into-film making supporting initiatives and  communities in
places where light needs to shine. Gets people motivated. At the moment Wiki
stands for everything!!! People are looking up to it as a Brand..... and it
IS a brand whether you are ideologically opposed to that term or not... as
the case may be.

People choose to donate just like before. But on a regular basis. everyone
can see the fund. Everyone is part of the story..... this GALVANIZES
support. Shoes governments the POWER of public opinion. Creates a virtual
community striving for information in a world where information is
key......

To just side line this idea is sort sighted.





On Sun, Jan 30, 2011 at 7:45 AM, Keegan Peterzell <[hidden email]>wrote:

> On Sun, Jan 30, 2011 at 12:46 AM, koteche mcintosh <
> [hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > Why can't people pay £2 per month and be a member of Wiki-everything!
> >
> > Better than [pledging.
> >
> > Have a on line active site that tells you what is going on how much money
> > there is! Get a members package?
> >
> >
> > What do you think?!
>
>
> The principle is that everything is free.  You can donate to the Wikimedia
> Foundation, but the Foundation has a core belief in not advertising or
> requiring subscription.
>
>
> --
> ~Keegan
>
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Keegan
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>
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Re: Making wikimediafoundation.org more open to contributions

Stephanie Daugherty
In reply to this post by Erik Moeller-4
I think one thing that would help tremendously would be to decide on a
convention, be it subpages, or pseudo-namespaces, or a combination of the
two for grouping related content on meta and stick to it. When
a separate wiki is needed for technology demonstration, figure out (probably
through an extension) how to mirror the content between meta and the
separate wiki. This keeps everything together, and would improve the long
term participation and visibility.

As far as the development and planning being largely English only, it's a
matter more so of convenience and practicality to have a common language for
the development and inter-project collaboration, and this is largely a
healthy thing - it's unfortunate. but in this case we have to choose between
having a common language for this purpose and excluding non-English speakers
or collaborating in native tongues and fragmenting the WMF community as a
whole. Translations should happen - and this is an area where we need
ambassadors to make sure that non-English communities are reached not only
with messages of outreach, but also kept informed and given opportunities to
participate in their native language by insuring that meaningful comments
get translated back and included in the conversation.

Where it's beneficial just for visibility of a particular area, such as
outreach, how hard would it be technologically to engineer extensions to
give a namespace-restricted view of the outreach content on Meta - in other
words, if we had an Outreach namespace, and
http://outreach.wikimedia.org/just pulled it's entire content from
this namespace - any links outside the
namespace get translated to "interwiki" links when viewed on Outreach, and
Outreach:Main Page on Meta becomes the main page on outreach. This solves
the best interests of both consolidation and centralization, as well as the
positive benefits of having it's own wiki.

On Sun, Jan 30, 2011 at 12:13 AM, Erik Moeller <[hidden email]> wrote:

> 2011/1/29 phoebe ayers <[hidden email]>:
> > Having many wikis is an ongoing source of irritation for many, and it
> > would be great to resolve this issue. Are there good arguments *for*
> > having separate sites?
>
> Yes, and I think most people generally underestimate the complexity of
> the issue. The reasons for WMF to spin up separate sites have varied,
> but to try to put it as simply as possible, a dedicated wiki, in all
> technical and social respects, focuses collaborative activity, which
> can enhance productivity and reduce barriers to participation. In the
> case of e.g. StrategyWiki, it also allowed us to try some radical
> changes (like using LQT on all pages, or receiving hundreds of
> proposals as new page creations) without disrupting some surrounding
> context. I have absolutely no regrets about our decision to launch
> StrategyWiki, for example -- I think it was the right decision, with
> exactly the expected benefits.
>
> Meta itself has grown organically to support various community
> activities and interests that had no other place to go. It has never
> been significantly constrained by its mission statement. The "What
> Meta is not" page only enumerates two examples of unacceptable use:
>
> 1. A disposal site for uncorrectable articles from the different
> Wikipedias, and it is not a hosting service for personal essays of all
> types.
> 2. A place to describe the MediaWiki software.
>
> Its information architecture, in spite of many revisions, has never
> kept up with this organic growth, making Meta a very confusing and
> intimidating place for many, especially when one wants to explore or
> use the place beyond some specific reason to go there (vote in an
> election, nominate a URL for the spam blacklist, write a translation).
>
> So, let's take the example of OutreachWiki as a simple case study to
> describe the differences between the two wikis.
>
> 1) The wiki's main page and sidebar are optimized for its stated purpose;
> 2) As a new user, you receive a welcome message that's specifically
> about ways you can support public outreach (
> http://outreach.wikimedia.org/wiki/Template:Welcome )
> 3) All special pages remain useful to track relevant activity or
> content without applying further constraints;
> 4) Userboxes and user profiles can be optimized for the stated purpose
> (e.g. http://outreach.wikimedia.org/wiki/Languages_and_skills )
> 5) There's very little that's confusing or intimidating -- the content
> is clean, simple, and organized.
> 6) If the OutreachWiki community wants to activate some site-wide
> extension, it can do so, focusing only on its own needs.
>
> On the other hand:
>
> 1) Activity is very low;
> 2) The wiki is largely in English;
> 3) Meta has a long tradition of hosting outreach-related content, and
> many pages still reside there or are created there.
> 4) The existence of yet-another-wiki brings tons of baggage and
> frustration (more dispersed change-tracking for users who want to keep
> up with all activity, more creation of meta/user page/template
> structures, more setup of policies and cross-wiki tools, etc.).
>
> It's not a given that 1) and 2) are a function of having a separate
> wiki. As we've seen with StrategyWiki, activity is largely the result
> of focused activation of the community. The small sub-community that
> cares about public outreach on Meta is ridiculously tiny compared with
> the vast global community that could potentially be activated to get
> involved through centralnotices, village pumps, email announcements,
> etc. So the low level of activity on OutreachWiki is arguably "only" a
> failure of WMF to engage more people, not a failure of a separate
> wiki. (It certainly makes all the associated baggage much harder to
> justify.)
>
> But, I think the disadvantages of working within a single system can
> be rectified for at least the four most closely related backstage
> wikis (Meta/WMF/Strategy/Outreach). I do think working towards a
> www.wikimedia.org wiki is the way to do that, importing content in
> stages, with a carefully considered information architecture that's
> built around the needs of the Wikimedia movement, a very crisp mission
> statement and list of permitted and excluded activities, a WikiProject
> approach to organizing related activity, etc. But it also would need
> to include consideration for needed technological and configuration
> changes, in descending importance:
>
> - namespaces (e.g. for essays, proposals, public outreach resources,
> historical content)
> - template and JS setup to support multiple languages well (e.g.
> mirroring some of the enhancements made to Commons)
> - access controls (e.g. for HTML pages)
> - FlaggedRevs/Pending Changes (e.g. for official WMF or chapter
> information)
> - LiquidThreads (e.g. for a movement-wide forum that could
> increasingly subsume listservs)
> - Semantic MediaWiki/Semantic Forms (e.g. for event calendars)
>
> To simplify security considerations, we might want to have all
> fundraising-related content elsewhere (e.g. donate.wikimedia.org).
>
> An alternative strategy, of course, is to focus on making the
> distinction between different wikis as irrelevant as possible by
> vastly improving cross-wiki tools, but the former approach seems more
> viable in the not too distant future. I don't think "just move it all
> to Meta" is the correct answer.
>
> --
> Erik Möller
> Deputy Director, Wikimedia Foundation
>
> Support Free Knowledge: http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Donate
>
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>



--
Faith is about what you really truly believe in, not about what you are
taught to believe.
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