Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikitech-l] Community Tech: New Format for 2020 Wishlist Survey

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikitech-l] Community Tech: New Format for 2020 Wishlist Survey

Benjamin Ikuta


Thank you for writing this; I completely agree.

I've long thought the WMF should put more resources into community wishes, not less.

I do hope this will be reconsidered.

Perhaps there could be more wishes granted to non-Wikimedia projects, while maintaining the same number of wishes for Wikipedia?



> On Oct 4, 2019, at 4:43 PM, Yuri Astrakhan <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Ilana, restricting wishlist to non-Wikipedia this year is a very sad news.
>
> For many years, wishlist survey was the best way for the community to talk
> back to the foundation, and to try to influence its direction. WMF mostly
> ignored these wishes, yet it was still a place to express, discuss,
> aggregate and vote on what community needed. Big thank-you is due to the
> tiny community tech team that tackled the top 10 items, but that's just ~3%
> of the foundation's employees.
>
> WMF has been steadily separating itself from the community and loosing
> credibility as a guiding force.  Take a look at the last election -- almost
> every candidate has said "no" to the question if WMF is capable of
> deciding/delivering on the direction [1].  In **every** single conversation
> I had with the community members, people expressed doubts with the movement
> strategy project, in some cases even treating it as a joke.
>
> This is a huge problem, and restricting wishlist kills the last effective
> feedback mechanism community had.  Now WMF is fully in control of itself,
> with nearly no checks & balances from the people who created it.
>
> I still believe that if WMF makes it a priority to align most of its
> quarterly/yearly goals with the community wishlist (not just top 10
> positions), we could return to the effective community-governance.
> Otherwise WMF is risking to mirror Red Cross Haiti story [2] -- hundreds of
> millions of $$ donated, and very few buildings actually built.
>
> With great respect to all the people who made Wikis what they are today,
> --[[User:Yurik]]
>
> [1]
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Affiliate-selected_Board_seats/2019/Questions#Do_you_believe_the_Wikimedia_Foundation_in_its_present_form_is_the_right_vehicle_for_the_delivery_of_the_strategic_direction?_If_so_why,_and_if_not,_what_might_replace_it?
>
> [2]
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Red_Cross#Disaster_preparedness_and_response
>
> On Fri, Oct 4, 2019 at 5:18 PM Ilana Fried <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> Hello, everyone!
>>
>> My name is Ilana, and I'm the product manager for the Community Tech team.
>> We’re excited to share an update on the Community Tech 2020 Wishlist Survey
>> <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Community_Wishlist_Survey_2020>. This
>> will
>> be our fifth annual Community Wishlist Survey, and for this year, we’ve
>> decided to take a different approach. In the past, we've invited people to
>> write proposals for any features or fixes that they'd like to see, and the
>> Community Tech team has addressed the top ten wishes with the most support
>> votes. This year, we're just going to focus on the *non-Wikipedia content
>> projects* (i.e. Wikibooks, Wiktionary, Wikiquote, Commons, Wikisource,
>> Wikiversity, Wikispecies, Wikidata, Wikivoyage, and Wikinews), and we're
>> only going to address the top five wishes from this survey. This is a big
>> departure from the typical process. In the following year (2021), we’ll
>> probably return to the traditional structure.
>>
>> So, why this change? We’ve been following the same format for years — and,
>> generally, it has lots of benefits. We build great tools, provide useful
>> improvements, and have an impact on diverse communities. However, the
>> nature of the format tends to prioritize the largest project (Wikipedia).
>> This makes it harder to serve smaller projects, and many of their wishes
>> never make it onto the wishlist. As a community-focused team, we want to
>> support *all* projects. Thus, for 2020, we want to shine a light on
>> non-Wikipedia projects.
>>
>> Furthermore, we’ll be accepting five wishes. Over the years, we’ve taken on
>> larger wishes (like Global Preferences
>> <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Community_Tech/Global_preferences> or Who
>> Wrote That
>> <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Community_Tech/Who_Wrote_That_tool>),
>> which are awesome projects. At the same time, they tend to be lengthy
>> endeavors, requiring extra time for research and development. When we
>> looked at the 2019 wishlist, there were still many unresolved wishes.
>> Meanwhile, we wanted to make room for the new 2020 wishes. For this reason,
>> we’ve decided to take on a shortened list, so we can address as many wishes
>> (new and remaining 2019 wishes
>> <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Community_Wishlist_Survey_2019/Results>)
>> as possible.
>>
>> Overall, we look forward to this year’s survey. We worked with lots of
>> folks (engineering, product management, and others) to think about how we
>> could support underserved projects, all while preserving the dynamic and
>> open nature of the wishlist. *Please let us know your thoughts
>> <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:Community_Wishlist_Survey_2020>*
>> related
>> to this change. In addition, we’ll begin thinking about the guidelines for
>> this new process, so *we want your feedback
>> <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:Community_Wishlist_Survey_2020>* (on
>> what sorts of processes/rules we may want to consider). Thank you, and
>> we’re very curious to see the wishes in November!
>>
>>
>> Thanks,
>>
>> Ilana Fried
>>
>> Product Manager, Community Tech
>> <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Community_Tech>
>> _______________________________________________
>> Wikitech-l mailing list
>> [hidden email]
>> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikitech-l
> _______________________________________________
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikitech-l] Community Tech: New Format for 2020 Wishlist Survey

Chris Keating-2
Hi Yuri,

I just wanted to respond to this as I think there are two levels of issue
here, and on one level I agree and on another I disagree!

On the more immediate level about "ok, there's a technical wishlist, what
should we do with it" - I think it's a reasonable decision for the WMF to
opt to have a year where the wishlist focuses on non-Wikipedia projects.
Certainly if you talk to people who are mainly active on Wikisource or
Commons or somewhere else they feel Wikipedias get all of the attention,
and it seems to me that this decision is based on people at the WMF hearing
that and finding a way to act on it.

However I agree with most of the rest of your email, particularly the issue
about overall alignment of priorities between the community and the WMF. I
think your question about "what if all the WMF's efforts were focused on
the results of the wishlist?" is quite thought-provoking. I imagine a large
part of the reason this doesn't happen is that the wishlist only reflects
the needs and perceptions of highly active contributors [at present I think
it only accepts submissions in English ,which is another obstacle, but that
could be addressed]. Of course highly active contributors are not the only
audience the WMF is building products for, but "community input" isn't
sought in prioritising projects that mainly affect e.g. reader experience.

Which poses some questions about what a more collaborative approach to
setting priorities for product across the piece might look like - which is
something you can see some of the strategy process recommendations moving
towards. Probably a vote on a wishlist wouldn't be the right way to do it,
because it's a challenging task to try to prioritise e.g. something that
makes life easier for readers in Nigeria vs something that makes life
easier for editors in Germany, and there probably isn't a really simple
solution. However there is almost certainly a better solution than all of
that prioritisation being done within the WMF staff, part for the certain
amount of resource that gets dedicated to the wishlist...

Thanks

Chris

On Sat, Oct 5, 2019 at 12:44 AM Yuri Astrakhan <[hidden email]>
wrote:

> Ilana, restricting wishlist to non-Wikipedia this year is a very sad news.
>
> For many years, wishlist survey was the best way for the community to talk
> back to the foundation, and to try to influence its direction. WMF mostly
> ignored these wishes, yet it was still a place to express, discuss,
> aggregate and vote on what community needed. Big thank-you is due to the
> tiny community tech team that tackled the top 10 items, but that's just ~3%
> of the foundation's employees.
>
> WMF has been steadily separating itself from the community and loosing
> credibility as a guiding force.  Take a look at the last election -- almost
> every candidate has said "no" to the question if WMF is capable of
> deciding/delivering on the direction [1].  In **every** single conversation
> I had with the community members, people expressed doubts with the movement
> strategy project, in some cases even treating it as a joke.
>
> This is a huge problem, and restricting wishlist kills the last effective
> feedback mechanism community had.  Now WMF is fully in control of itself,
> with nearly no checks & balances from the people who created it.
>
> I still believe that if WMF makes it a priority to align most of its
> quarterly/yearly goals with the community wishlist (not just top 10
> positions), we could return to the effective community-governance.
> Otherwise WMF is risking to mirror Red Cross Haiti story [2] -- hundreds of
> millions of $$ donated, and very few buildings actually built.
>
> With great respect to all the people who made Wikis what they are today,
> --[[User:Yurik]]
>
> [1]
>
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Affiliate-selected_Board_seats/2019/Questions#Do_you_believe_the_Wikimedia_Foundation_in_its_present_form_is_the_right_vehicle_for_the_delivery_of_the_strategic_direction?_If_so_why,_and_if_not,_what_might_replace_it
> ?
>
> [2]
>
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Red_Cross#Disaster_preparedness_and_response
>
> On Fri, Oct 4, 2019 at 5:18 PM Ilana Fried <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > Hello, everyone!
> >
> > My name is Ilana, and I'm the product manager for the Community Tech
> team.
> > We’re excited to share an update on the Community Tech 2020 Wishlist
> Survey
> > <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Community_Wishlist_Survey_2020>. This
> > will
> > be our fifth annual Community Wishlist Survey, and for this year, we’ve
> > decided to take a different approach. In the past, we've invited people
> to
> > write proposals for any features or fixes that they'd like to see, and
> the
> > Community Tech team has addressed the top ten wishes with the most
> support
> > votes. This year, we're just going to focus on the *non-Wikipedia content
> > projects* (i.e. Wikibooks, Wiktionary, Wikiquote, Commons, Wikisource,
> > Wikiversity, Wikispecies, Wikidata, Wikivoyage, and Wikinews), and we're
> > only going to address the top five wishes from this survey. This is a big
> > departure from the typical process. In the following year (2021), we’ll
> > probably return to the traditional structure.
> >
> > So, why this change? We’ve been following the same format for years —
> and,
> > generally, it has lots of benefits. We build great tools, provide useful
> > improvements, and have an impact on diverse communities. However, the
> > nature of the format tends to prioritize the largest project (Wikipedia).
> > This makes it harder to serve smaller projects, and many of their wishes
> > never make it onto the wishlist. As a community-focused team, we want to
> > support *all* projects. Thus, for 2020, we want to shine a light on
> > non-Wikipedia projects.
> >
> > Furthermore, we’ll be accepting five wishes. Over the years, we’ve taken
> on
> > larger wishes (like Global Preferences
> > <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Community_Tech/Global_preferences> or
> Who
> > Wrote That
> > <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Community_Tech/Who_Wrote_That_tool>),
> > which are awesome projects. At the same time, they tend to be lengthy
> > endeavors, requiring extra time for research and development. When we
> > looked at the 2019 wishlist, there were still many unresolved wishes.
> > Meanwhile, we wanted to make room for the new 2020 wishes. For this
> reason,
> > we’ve decided to take on a shortened list, so we can address as many
> wishes
> > (new and remaining 2019 wishes
> > <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Community_Wishlist_Survey_2019/Results
> >)
> > as possible.
> >
> > Overall, we look forward to this year’s survey. We worked with lots of
> > folks (engineering, product management, and others) to think about how we
> > could support underserved projects, all while preserving the dynamic and
> > open nature of the wishlist. *Please let us know your thoughts
> > <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:Community_Wishlist_Survey_2020>*
> > related
> > to this change. In addition, we’ll begin thinking about the guidelines
> for
> > this new process, so *we want your feedback
> > <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:Community_Wishlist_Survey_2020>*
> (on
> > what sorts of processes/rules we may want to consider). Thank you, and
> > we’re very curious to see the wishes in November!
> >
> >
> > Thanks,
> >
> > Ilana Fried
> >
> > Product Manager, Community Tech
> > <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Community_Tech>
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikitech-l mailing list
> > [hidden email]
> > https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikitech-l
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia-l
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikitech-l] Community Tech: New Format for 2020 Wishlist Survey

Johan Jönsson-2
In reply to this post by Benjamin Ikuta
Den lör 5 okt. 2019 kl 22:46 skrev Chris Keating <[hidden email]>:

> the wishlist only reflects
> the needs and perceptions of highly active contributors [at present I think
> it only accepts submissions in English ,which is another obstacle, but that
> could be addressed].

The wishlist has explicitly accepted wishes in any language.

//Johan Jönsson
--

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikitech-l] Community Tech: New Format for 2020 Wishlist Survey

Gerard Meijssen-3
In reply to this post by Benjamin Ikuta
Hoi,
The disappointing you show and the grotesque conclusions are imho based in
a sense of entitlement. You had it your way for so long and they are now
robbing you from your cookies... It is easy to "forget" that a program
where a majority decides what is on a "community wish list" favours the
biggest projects. It is easy to forget that the WMF has many projects and
your Wikipedia is only one out of over 250 and, there are the "other"
projects as well. So I understand your disappointment and let me give you,
as a solace, my Wikipedia projects that are unlikely to be considered but
will have a positive impact on the quality and usability of Wikipedias

   - Wikidatification of blue red and black links [1] This will improve
   quality on the biggest projects by a 4 to 6% particularly in lists
   - Importing the uncontroversial data from DBpedia [2] This will have a
   quantitative and qualitative impact on the ability of Wikidata to serve
   - Improve the usability of the Wikidata UI [3] This will make Wikidata
   more friendly to other languages then English kick starting labelisation of
   items.
   - Research the effect of Listeria list as a tool to promote diversity of
   content [4] There is another project on Indian Wikipedias that works in a
   similar way but here having the same content in multiple Wikipedias is key.
   - Introduce the "one page wonder" [5] Citations are not read, provide a
   way to read more about subjects and particularly what we have not written
   at the WMF.

I do agree that a one off project is not the best of ideas. A cash rich
organisation like the WMF can afford it to have both a non Wikipedia and a
Wikipedia wish list project a continuous feature of its support.
Thanks,
      GerardM

[1]
https://ultimategerardm.blogspot.com/2016/01/wikipedia-lowest-hanging-fruit-from.html
[2]
https://ultimategerardm.blogspot.com/2019/09/the-lowest-hanging-fruit-in-dbpedia.html
[3]
https://ultimategerardm.blogspot.com/2019/10/what-data-is-wrangled-is-obvious-when.html
[4] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:GerardM/Africa
[5]
https://ultimategerardm.blogspot.com/2019/08/there-is-much-more-to-read-introducing.html



On Sat, 5 Oct 2019 at 01:44, Yuri Astrakhan <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Ilana, restricting wishlist to non-Wikipedia this year is a very sad news.
>
> For many years, wishlist survey was the best way for the community to talk
> back to the foundation, and to try to influence its direction. WMF mostly
> ignored these wishes, yet it was still a place to express, discuss,
> aggregate and vote on what community needed. Big thank-you is due to the
> tiny community tech team that tackled the top 10 items, but that's just ~3%
> of the foundation's employees.
>
> WMF has been steadily separating itself from the community and loosing
> credibility as a guiding force.  Take a look at the last election -- almost
> every candidate has said "no" to the question if WMF is capable of
> deciding/delivering on the direction [1].  In **every** single conversation
> I had with the community members, people expressed doubts with the movement
> strategy project, in some cases even treating it as a joke.
>
> This is a huge problem, and restricting wishlist kills the last effective
> feedback mechanism community had.  Now WMF is fully in control of itself,
> with nearly no checks & balances from the people who created it.
>
> I still believe that if WMF makes it a priority to align most of its
> quarterly/yearly goals with the community wishlist (not just top 10
> positions), we could return to the effective community-governance.
> Otherwise WMF is risking to mirror Red Cross Haiti story [2] -- hundreds of
> millions of $$ donated, and very few buildings actually built.
>
> With great respect to all the people who made Wikis what they are today,
> --[[User:Yurik]]
>
> [1]
>
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Affiliate-selected_Board_seats/2019/Questions#Do_you_believe_the_Wikimedia_Foundation_in_its_present_form_is_the_right_vehicle_for_the_delivery_of_the_strategic_direction?_If_so_why,_and_if_not,_what_might_replace_it
> ?
>
> [2]
>
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Red_Cross#Disaster_preparedness_and_response
>
> On Fri, Oct 4, 2019 at 5:18 PM Ilana Fried <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > Hello, everyone!
> >
> > My name is Ilana, and I'm the product manager for the Community Tech
> team.
> > We’re excited to share an update on the Community Tech 2020 Wishlist
> Survey
> > <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Community_Wishlist_Survey_2020>. This
> > will
> > be our fifth annual Community Wishlist Survey, and for this year, we’ve
> > decided to take a different approach. In the past, we've invited people
> to
> > write proposals for any features or fixes that they'd like to see, and
> the
> > Community Tech team has addressed the top ten wishes with the most
> support
> > votes. This year, we're just going to focus on the *non-Wikipedia content
> > projects* (i.e. Wikibooks, Wiktionary, Wikiquote, Commons, Wikisource,
> > Wikiversity, Wikispecies, Wikidata, Wikivoyage, and Wikinews), and we're
> > only going to address the top five wishes from this survey. This is a big
> > departure from the typical process. In the following year (2021), we’ll
> > probably return to the traditional structure.
> >
> > So, why this change? We’ve been following the same format for years —
> and,
> > generally, it has lots of benefits. We build great tools, provide useful
> > improvements, and have an impact on diverse communities. However, the
> > nature of the format tends to prioritize the largest project (Wikipedia).
> > This makes it harder to serve smaller projects, and many of their wishes
> > never make it onto the wishlist. As a community-focused team, we want to
> > support *all* projects. Thus, for 2020, we want to shine a light on
> > non-Wikipedia projects.
> >
> > Furthermore, we’ll be accepting five wishes. Over the years, we’ve taken
> on
> > larger wishes (like Global Preferences
> > <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Community_Tech/Global_preferences> or
> Who
> > Wrote That
> > <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Community_Tech/Who_Wrote_That_tool>),
> > which are awesome projects. At the same time, they tend to be lengthy
> > endeavors, requiring extra time for research and development. When we
> > looked at the 2019 wishlist, there were still many unresolved wishes.
> > Meanwhile, we wanted to make room for the new 2020 wishes. For this
> reason,
> > we’ve decided to take on a shortened list, so we can address as many
> wishes
> > (new and remaining 2019 wishes
> > <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Community_Wishlist_Survey_2019/Results
> >)
> > as possible.
> >
> > Overall, we look forward to this year’s survey. We worked with lots of
> > folks (engineering, product management, and others) to think about how we
> > could support underserved projects, all while preserving the dynamic and
> > open nature of the wishlist. *Please let us know your thoughts
> > <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:Community_Wishlist_Survey_2020>*
> > related
> > to this change. In addition, we’ll begin thinking about the guidelines
> for
> > this new process, so *we want your feedback
> > <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:Community_Wishlist_Survey_2020>*
> (on
> > what sorts of processes/rules we may want to consider). Thank you, and
> > we’re very curious to see the wishes in November!
> >
> >
> > Thanks,
> >
> > Ilana Fried
> >
> > Product Manager, Community Tech
> > <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Community_Tech>
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikitech-l mailing list
> > [hidden email]
> > https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikitech-l
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia-l
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikitech-l] Community Tech: New Format for 2020 Wishlist Survey

Chris Keating-2
In reply to this post by Johan Jönsson-2
>
> > the wishlist only reflects
> > the needs and perceptions of highly active contributors [at present I
> think
> > it only accepts submissions in English ,which is another obstacle, but
> that
> > could be addressed].
>
> The wishlist has explicitly accepted wishes in any language.


Thanks for confirming - and glad to hear it!

Chris
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikitech-l] Community Tech: New Format for 2020 Wishlist Survey

Yaroslav Blanter
The wishlist of course accepts wishes in any language, but in order to make
it to the accepted zone a wish must have several dozens supporters, which
is only realistically possible for English language wishes. (Supports can
also be in any language).

Cheers
Yaroslav

On Sun, Oct 6, 2019 at 10:51 AM Chris Keating <[hidden email]>
wrote:

> >
> > > the wishlist only reflects
> > > the needs and perceptions of highly active contributors [at present I
> > think
> > > it only accepts submissions in English ,which is another obstacle, but
> > that
> > > could be addressed].
> >
> > The wishlist has explicitly accepted wishes in any language.
>
>
> Thanks for confirming - and glad to hear it!
>
> Chris
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia-l
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikitech-l] Community Tech: New Format for 2020 Wishlist Survey

Dan Garry (Deskana)
In reply to this post by Gerard Meijssen-3
On Sun, 6 Oct 2019 at 05:50, Gerard Meijssen <[hidden email]>
wrote:

> The disappointing you show and the grotesque conclusions are imho based
> in a sense of entitlement.


I don't think calling Yuri's conclusions grotesque or saying he is entitled
are particularly productive comments. Let's keep this list discussion calm,
please?

Dan
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikitech-l] Community Tech: New Format for 2020 Wishlist Survey

Yuri Astrakhan
In reply to this post by Gerard Meijssen-3
Gerard, you assume that "my wikipedia" is the only project I participate
in?  Let me assure you this is not the case.  On the contrary, the last few
years I mostly contributed to Wikidata and recently - a massive Wiktionary
lexeme import, and very little to Wikipedia.

That said, I think removing the last actionable and visible community check
on WMF is a mistake for the reasons I outlined before.  We the community
(people who contribute to the open knowledge, who actually created the
knowledge that now generates all those donations) should have at least some
measurable input into how WMF spends those resources and priorities its
projects. WMF can say "we believe that free knowledge means we must spend
99% of the donations towards global warming, because one cannot have free
knowledge without the planet on which to live" (a bit of a straw man
argument, but it illustrates my point) -- and there is no community input
short of a Global protect or a Spanish-wiki-style revolt where the whole
community decides to move to a different platform for the feedback to get
across.

My point is -- in a democracy, if a large crowd is on the streets, the
government has already messed up. And the way to avoid it is to have a well
functioning feedback mechanism that can early-on tell WMF what the
"constituents" would like it to do.  We currently do NOT have any way for
donators to say what they want the money to be spend on. We currently do
NOT have any way for community to do the same.  Thus, its a self-driving
ship -- the inmates are running the asylum.


On Sun, Oct 6, 2019 at 12:50 AM Gerard Meijssen <[hidden email]>
wrote:

> The disappointing you show and the grotesque conclusions are imho based in
> a sense of entitlement. You had it your way for so long and they are now
> robbing you from your cookies... It is easy to "forget" that a program
> where a majority decides what is on a "community wish list" favours the
> biggest projects. It is easy to forget that the WMF has many projects and
> your Wikipedia is only one out of over 250 and, there are the "other"
> projects as well.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikitech-l] Community Tech: New Format for 2020 Wishlist Survey

Gerard Meijssen-3
Hoi,
You are entitled to an opinion and you may voice it and so am I. The
Wikimedia Foundation is not a democracy and neither is our movement. This
was done with deliberation. At best our movement is represented in the
board and through its chapters. In essence the main function of the WMF is
to ensure that the servers serve. That they serve optimally. As a
consequence they maintain the code base of MediaWiki and associated
software. As a result there have been several improvements in the
responsiveness of the software. There have been improvements in the amount
of energy our servers use. And frankly, that is their business and it is
none of the business of the community. It is their business because it
translates in the amount the servers take to serve, in the amount it takes
to transport the data and in the amount of energy to display it on a
screen. This reduces costs and it is a good investment as improvements will
serve us well as we move forward. It is also a fiduciary duty of the
Foundation to use the monies it gets well

Given that our movement is not a democracy, I find it operates very much in
a democratic way. At that it functions remarkably well representing the
needs of our communities particularly when you compare it with some nation
states. The Foundation serves its purpose well and even though I am well
known to be critical, if you care to, you will find that I am supportive of
what the Foundation does in the big picture. It is impossible to make
everybody happy and, it does imho a good job within the parameters of what
is possible to them. That includes people in a community who feel abandoned
when they are told to share "their" toys.
Thanks,
       GerardM







On Tue, 8 Oct 2019 at 00:36, Yuri Astrakhan <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Gerard, you assume that "my wikipedia" is the only project I participate
> in?  Let me assure you this is not the case.  On the contrary, the last few
> years I mostly contributed to Wikidata and recently - a massive Wiktionary
> lexeme import, and very little to Wikipedia.
>
> That said, I think removing the last actionable and visible community check
> on WMF is a mistake for the reasons I outlined before.  We the community
> (people who contribute to the open knowledge, who actually created the
> knowledge that now generates all those donations) should have at least some
> measurable input into how WMF spends those resources and priorities its
> projects. WMF can say "we believe that free knowledge means we must spend
> 99% of the donations towards global warming, because one cannot have free
> knowledge without the planet on which to live" (a bit of a straw man
> argument, but it illustrates my point) -- and there is no community input
> short of a Global protect or a Spanish-wiki-style revolt where the whole
> community decides to move to a different platform for the feedback to get
> across.
>
> My point is -- in a democracy, if a large crowd is on the streets, the
> government has already messed up. And the way to avoid it is to have a well
> functioning feedback mechanism that can early-on tell WMF what the
> "constituents" would like it to do.  We currently do NOT have any way for
> donators to say what they want the money to be spend on. We currently do
> NOT have any way for community to do the same.  Thus, its a self-driving
> ship -- the inmates are running the asylum.
>
>
> On Sun, Oct 6, 2019 at 12:50 AM Gerard Meijssen <[hidden email]
> >
> wrote:
>
> > The disappointing you show and the grotesque conclusions are imho based
> in
> > a sense of entitlement. You had it your way for so long and they are now
> > robbing you from your cookies... It is easy to "forget" that a program
> > where a majority decides what is on a "community wish list" favours the
> > biggest projects. It is easy to forget that the WMF has many projects and
> > your Wikipedia is only one out of over 250 and, there are the "other"
> > projects as well.
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia-l
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
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