[Wikimedia-l] An Open Letter to Wikimedia Foundation BoT

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[Wikimedia-l] An Open Letter to Wikimedia Foundation BoT

ido ivri
Dear members of the WMF Board of Trustees,

I’ve been following the recent events silently - from the voting out of
James Heilman, to the unfortunate timing of recruiting Arnnon Geshuri and
the lack of clear, timely communication around WMF strategy in in general
and specifically around the so-called “Knowledge Engine” grant, received by
the Knight Foundation.

Even more alarming to me, is the slew of exceptional community-facing
employees who left (or are leaving) the Foundation, accompanied by muffled
sounds of discontent from staying Foundation employees.

I’m breaking my silence because I’m very concerned. My concerns stem from
my past experiences with facilitating strategic changes and my experience
in grantmaking - both in and outside of the Movement.

I’m concerned because it’s evident that the Foundation is undergoing a
deep, strategic change. But this change is not accompanied by the required
transparency, honesty and accountability required by the Foundation in
order to truly transform in a way that's beneficial for the organization
and its community.

I’m concerned, because while the “Knowledge Engine” grant provides only a
specific example, it underlines a larger picture that is disturbing:
concealment (rather than openness) as a default, lack of consultation with
the community and weak, general communication around important matters only
after bad press. I also suspect that the vocal members of the community are
right, and that a $250K grant is not the issue, but it part of a bigger
move that will require significantly more resources for the Foundation to
implement.

Lastly, I’m concerned because all this stirs no clear communication from
the Board of Trustees. A Board of Trustees implies there should be trust
between the Board and its constituents. I suspect this isn’t the case
anymore.

If any APG-receiving affiliate conducted itself in such a non transparent,
dishonest manner and with lack of clear, timely communication with its
community and stakeholders, it would get seriously reprimanded by the
Foundation: its board audited, its budget cut, etc. Expecting the
Foundation to be held to a lower standard than any of its worldwide
affiliates is just hypocritical.

I urge the Board of Trustees - Don’t forget that the community of
volunteers and affiliates is a major stakeholder of the Wikimedia
Foundation - and many of us are concerned. I think the community deserves
to better understand where the Wikimedia Foundation is going, and get
honest answers about the changes in the organization, for us to be trusting
again. Please start communicating clearly about those topics.

With utmost respect,

Ido (AKA AlleyCat80)


Board Member, WMIL

Member, Simple APG & GAC.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] An Open Letter to Wikimedia Foundation BoT

Ilario Valdelli
Hi Ido,
your email is interesting and reveals an important issue: the governance of
a no for profit organization is a little bit different from that of a
"commercial" company.

In my opinion there is an unclear definition of the stakeholders and the
definition of the importance of these stakeholders and the relations they
have.

Missing a clear definition of these entities and how they are related and
what kind of potential conflicts can be generated by them, it can only
drive to the current picture.

Kind regards

On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 9:04 AM, ido ivri <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Dear members of the WMF Board of Trustees,
>
> I’ve been following the recent events silently - from the voting out of
> James Heilman, to the unfortunate timing of recruiting Arnnon Geshuri and
> the lack of clear, timely communication around WMF strategy in in general
> and specifically around the so-called “Knowledge Engine” grant, received by
> the Knight Foundation.
>
> Even more alarming to me, is the slew of exceptional community-facing
> employees who left (or are leaving) the Foundation, accompanied by muffled
> sounds of discontent from staying Foundation employees.
>
> I’m breaking my silence because I’m very concerned. My concerns stem from
> my past experiences with facilitating strategic changes and my experience
> in grantmaking - both in and outside of the Movement.
>
> I’m concerned because it’s evident that the Foundation is undergoing a
> deep, strategic change. But this change is not accompanied by the required
> transparency, honesty and accountability required by the Foundation in
> order to truly transform in a way that's beneficial for the organization
> and its community.
>
> I’m concerned, because while the “Knowledge Engine” grant provides only a
> specific example, it underlines a larger picture that is disturbing:
> concealment (rather than openness) as a default, lack of consultation with
> the community and weak, general communication around important matters only
> after bad press. I also suspect that the vocal members of the community are
> right, and that a $250K grant is not the issue, but it part of a bigger
> move that will require significantly more resources for the Foundation to
> implement.
>
> Lastly, I’m concerned because all this stirs no clear communication from
> the Board of Trustees. A Board of Trustees implies there should be trust
> between the Board and its constituents. I suspect this isn’t the case
> anymore.
>
> If any APG-receiving affiliate conducted itself in such a non transparent,
> dishonest manner and with lack of clear, timely communication with its
> community and stakeholders, it would get seriously reprimanded by the
> Foundation: its board audited, its budget cut, etc. Expecting the
> Foundation to be held to a lower standard than any of its worldwide
> affiliates is just hypocritical.
>
> I urge the Board of Trustees - Don’t forget that the community of
> volunteers and affiliates is a major stakeholder of the Wikimedia
> Foundation - and many of us are concerned. I think the community deserves
> to better understand where the Wikimedia Foundation is going, and get
> honest answers about the changes in the organization, for us to be trusting
> again. Please start communicating clearly about those topics.
>
> With utmost respect,
>
> Ido (AKA AlleyCat80)
>
>
> Board Member, WMIL
>
> Member, Simple APG & GAC.
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>




--
Ilario Valdelli
Wikimedia CH
Verein zur Förderung Freien Wissens
Association pour l’avancement des connaissances libre
Associazione per il sostegno alla conoscenza libera
Switzerland - 8008 Zürich
Wikipedia: Ilario <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Ilario>
Skype: valdelli
Tel: +41764821371
http://www.wikimedia.ch
_______________________________________________
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
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] An Open Letter to Wikimedia Foundation BoT

Andrea Zanni-2
Thanks Ido.
For what is worth, and in my personal capacity (I'm not affiliated with
Wikimedia Italia any  more) I completely second your concern,
Discussions are ongoing from months now and BoT seems frozen in silence.
People really don't understand why.

I would also like to thank you for expressing it in such a delicate, polite
but clear tone.

Aubrey

On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 11:15 AM, Ilario Valdelli <[hidden email]>
wrote:

> Hi Ido,
> your email is interesting and reveals an important issue: the governance of
> a no for profit organization is a little bit different from that of a
> "commercial" company.
>
> In my opinion there is an unclear definition of the stakeholders and the
> definition of the importance of these stakeholders and the relations they
> have.
>
> Missing a clear definition of these entities and how they are related and
> what kind of potential conflicts can be generated by them, it can only
> drive to the current picture.
>
> Kind regards
>
> On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 9:04 AM, ido ivri <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > Dear members of the WMF Board of Trustees,
> >
> > I’ve been following the recent events silently - from the voting out of
> > James Heilman, to the unfortunate timing of recruiting Arnnon Geshuri and
> > the lack of clear, timely communication around WMF strategy in in general
> > and specifically around the so-called “Knowledge Engine” grant, received
> by
> > the Knight Foundation.
> >
> > Even more alarming to me, is the slew of exceptional community-facing
> > employees who left (or are leaving) the Foundation, accompanied by
> muffled
> > sounds of discontent from staying Foundation employees.
> >
> > I’m breaking my silence because I’m very concerned. My concerns stem from
> > my past experiences with facilitating strategic changes and my experience
> > in grantmaking - both in and outside of the Movement.
> >
> > I’m concerned because it’s evident that the Foundation is undergoing a
> > deep, strategic change. But this change is not accompanied by the
> required
> > transparency, honesty and accountability required by the Foundation in
> > order to truly transform in a way that's beneficial for the organization
> > and its community.
> >
> > I’m concerned, because while the “Knowledge Engine” grant provides only a
> > specific example, it underlines a larger picture that is disturbing:
> > concealment (rather than openness) as a default, lack of consultation
> with
> > the community and weak, general communication around important matters
> only
> > after bad press. I also suspect that the vocal members of the community
> are
> > right, and that a $250K grant is not the issue, but it part of a bigger
> > move that will require significantly more resources for the Foundation to
> > implement.
> >
> > Lastly, I’m concerned because all this stirs no clear communication from
> > the Board of Trustees. A Board of Trustees implies there should be trust
> > between the Board and its constituents. I suspect this isn’t the case
> > anymore.
> >
> > If any APG-receiving affiliate conducted itself in such a non
> transparent,
> > dishonest manner and with lack of clear, timely communication with its
> > community and stakeholders, it would get seriously reprimanded by the
> > Foundation: its board audited, its budget cut, etc. Expecting the
> > Foundation to be held to a lower standard than any of its worldwide
> > affiliates is just hypocritical.
> >
> > I urge the Board of Trustees - Don’t forget that the community of
> > volunteers and affiliates is a major stakeholder of the Wikimedia
> > Foundation - and many of us are concerned. I think the community deserves
> > to better understand where the Wikimedia Foundation is going, and get
> > honest answers about the changes in the organization, for us to be
> trusting
> > again. Please start communicating clearly about those topics.
> >
> > With utmost respect,
> >
> > Ido (AKA AlleyCat80)
> >
> >
> > Board Member, WMIL
> >
> > Member, Simple APG & GAC.
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>
>
>
>
> --
> Ilario Valdelli
> Wikimedia CH
> Verein zur Förderung Freien Wissens
> Association pour l’avancement des connaissances libre
> Associazione per il sostegno alla conoscenza libera
> Switzerland - 8008 Zürich
> Wikipedia: Ilario <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Ilario>
> Skype: valdelli
> Tel: +41764821371
> http://www.wikimedia.ch
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>
_______________________________________________
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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] An Open Letter to Wikimedia Foundation BoT

Cristian Consonni
Hi,

2016-02-18 11:44 GMT+01:00 Andrea Zanni <[hidden email]>:
> Thanks Ido.
> For what is worth, and in my personal capacity (I'm not affiliated with
> Wikimedia Italia any  more) I completely second your concern,
> Discussions are ongoing from months now and BoT seems frozen in silence.
> People really don't understand why.
>
> I would also like to thank you for expressing it in such a delicate, polite
> but clear tone.

strong +1

Thanks Ido for your thoughtful email, which I wholeheartedly support.
I like very much your email because it voices what I think many
Wikimedians are feeling but may not be keen on expressing themselves
publicly.

2016-02-18 9:04 GMT+01:00 ido ivri <[hidden email]>:
> I’m concerned because it’s evident that the Foundation is undergoing a
> deep, strategic change. But this change is not accompanied by the required
> transparency, honesty and accountability required by the Foundation in
> order to truly transform in a way that's beneficial for the organization
> and its community.

I share this concern completely.

The only thing I would add to what Ido said is: is there a way that we
- as a community - could help?

Remember that the community is not only a shareholder but also the
greatest asset we have.

Cristian

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] An Open Letter to Wikimedia Foundation BoT

Liam Wyatt
In reply to this post by ido ivri
On 18 February 2016 at 09:04, ido ivri <[hidden email]> wrote:
> If any APG-receiving affiliate conducted itself in such a non transparent,
> dishonest manner and with lack of clear, timely communication with its
> community and stakeholders, it would get seriously reprimanded by the
> Foundation: its board audited, its budget cut, etc. Expecting the
> Foundation to be held to a lower standard than any of its worldwide
> affiliates is just hypocritical.

The principle of the WMF being a good role model for its affiliates -
and living up to minimum standards that it sets for those affiliates -
is one of the primary reasons that the FDC recommended the WMF submit
its next Annual Plan to the same APG system.[1]

This FDC recommendation was built into a full proposal WMF Community
Resources team,[2] and this proposal was accepted by the WMF
leadership - as described by Luis during the January Metrics
Meeting.[3]

This, means that there will at *least* the same level of detail
required from the WMF in annual planning documents, and the same
timeline of public consultation upon those documents. Alongside
Wikimedias Armenia, France, Norway and also CIS, the WMF will be
providing an Annual Plan by April 1 on the central application page on
Meta.[4]

During the 1 April to 30 April community review period,[5] everyone
will be encouraged to thoroughly investigate those documents.
Obviously, the scale of the WMF plan will be larger and (hopefully)
more detailed than would be required from an affiliate. As a member of
the FDC myself, I will be heavily relying on the analysis of the
community to help identify areas that are of concern or are unclear.

So, during the month of April, I strongly encourage everyone to help
with the analysis of the next WMF annual plan!

-Liam

[1] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:APG/FDC_recommendations/2015-2016_round_1#Wikimedia_Foundation
[2] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/WMF_2016-17_Annual_Planning_Recommendation
[3] Starting at 19:40. https://youtu.be/GpZOx1Mzmuk?t=19m40s  One
crucial difference will be that the FDC will be making recommendation
based on its analysis, but *not* be providing a recommendation in
terms of actual dollars.
[4] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:APG/Proposals/2015-2016_round_2
[5] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:APG/Information#Calendar

wittylama.com
Peace, love & metadata

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] An Open Letter to Wikimedia Foundation BoT

Isaac Olatunde
In reply to this post by ido ivri
Dear Ido.

I share your concern about these problems and thanks for exercising your right to voice your concerns. I'm a bit worried about the  potentially devastating effects of these problems on the Wikimedia Projects. Personally, I don't want to have any reason to lose confidence in the BoT but I think the community deserves clarity on certain issues. Volunteers and affiliates are major backbones of the Wikimedia Foundation and they need to understand why certain decision is taken by the WMF. I probably do not understand why the BoT decided to remain silent on pertinent issues raised here over a month now. This is worrisome and heartbreaking.

Best,

Olatunde Isaac
Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless handheld from Glo Mobile.

-----Original Message-----
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Sender: "Wikimedia-l" <[hidden email]>Date: Thu, 18 Feb 2016 12:00:25
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Subject: Wikimedia-l Digest, Vol 143, Issue 85

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Today's Topics:

   1. Re: An Open Letter to Wikimedia Foundation BoT (Ilario Valdelli)
   2. Re: An Open Letter to Wikimedia Foundation BoT (Andrea Zanni)
   3. Re: An Open Letter to Wikimedia Foundation BoT (Cristian Consonni)


----------------------------------------------------------------------

Message: 1
Date: Thu, 18 Feb 2016 11:15:24 +0100
From: Ilario Valdelli <[hidden email]>
To: Wikimedia Mailing List <[hidden email]>
Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] An Open Letter to Wikimedia Foundation BoT
Message-ID:
        <CAKHM5EQrxwyugi_Q_6X7=[hidden email]>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8

Hi Ido,
your email is interesting and reveals an important issue: the governance of
a no for profit organization is a little bit different from that of a
"commercial" company.

In my opinion there is an unclear definition of the stakeholders and the
definition of the importance of these stakeholders and the relations they
have.

Missing a clear definition of these entities and how they are related and
what kind of potential conflicts can be generated by them, it can only
drive to the current picture.

Kind regards

On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 9:04 AM, ido ivri <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Dear members of the WMF Board of Trustees,
>
> I’ve been following the recent events silently - from the voting out of
> James Heilman, to the unfortunate timing of recruiting Arnnon Geshuri and
> the lack of clear, timely communication around WMF strategy in in general
> and specifically around the so-called “Knowledge Engine” grant, received by
> the Knight Foundation.
>
> Even more alarming to me, is the slew of exceptional community-facing
> employees who left (or are leaving) the Foundation, accompanied by muffled
> sounds of discontent from staying Foundation employees.
>
> I’m breaking my silence because I’m very concerned. My concerns stem from
> my past experiences with facilitating strategic changes and my experience
> in grantmaking - both in and outside of the Movement.
>
> I’m concerned because it’s evident that the Foundation is undergoing a
> deep, strategic change. But this change is not accompanied by the required
> transparency, honesty and accountability required by the Foundation in
> order to truly transform in a way that's beneficial for the organization
> and its community.
>
> I’m concerned, because while the “Knowledge Engine” grant provides only a
> specific example, it underlines a larger picture that is disturbing:
> concealment (rather than openness) as a default, lack of consultation with
> the community and weak, general communication around important matters only
> after bad press. I also suspect that the vocal members of the community are
> right, and that a $250K grant is not the issue, but it part of a bigger
> move that will require significantly more resources for the Foundation to
> implement.
>
> Lastly, I’m concerned because all this stirs no clear communication from
> the Board of Trustees. A Board of Trustees implies there should be trust
> between the Board and its constituents. I suspect this isn’t the case
> anymore.
>
> If any APG-receiving affiliate conducted itself in such a non transparent,
> dishonest manner and with lack of clear, timely communication with its
> community and stakeholders, it would get seriously reprimanded by the
> Foundation: its board audited, its budget cut, etc. Expecting the
> Foundation to be held to a lower standard than any of its worldwide
> affiliates is just hypocritical.
>
> I urge the Board of Trustees - Don’t forget that the community of
> volunteers and affiliates is a major stakeholder of the Wikimedia
> Foundation - and many of us are concerned. I think the community deserves
> to better understand where the Wikimedia Foundation is going, and get
> honest answers about the changes in the organization, for us to be trusting
> again. Please start communicating clearly about those topics.
>
> With utmost respect,
>
> Ido (AKA AlleyCat80)
>
>
> Board Member, WMIL
>
> Member, Simple APG & GAC.
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>




--
Ilario Valdelli
Wikimedia CH
Verein zur Förderung Freien Wissens
Association pour l’avancement des connaissances libre
Associazione per il sostegno alla conoscenza libera
Switzerland - 8008 Zürich
Wikipedia: Ilario <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Ilario>
Skype: valdelli
Tel: +41764821371
http://www.wikimedia.ch


------------------------------

Message: 2
Date: Thu, 18 Feb 2016 11:44:14 +0100
From: Andrea Zanni <[hidden email]>
To: Wikimedia Mailing List <[hidden email]>
Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] An Open Letter to Wikimedia Foundation BoT
Message-ID:
        <CAC=[hidden email]>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8

Thanks Ido.
For what is worth, and in my personal capacity (I'm not affiliated with
Wikimedia Italia any  more) I completely second your concern,
Discussions are ongoing from months now and BoT seems frozen in silence.
People really don't understand why.

I would also like to thank you for expressing it in such a delicate, polite
but clear tone.

Aubrey

On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 11:15 AM, Ilario Valdelli <[hidden email]>
wrote:

> Hi Ido,
> your email is interesting and reveals an important issue: the governance of
> a no for profit organization is a little bit different from that of a
> "commercial" company.
>
> In my opinion there is an unclear definition of the stakeholders and the
> definition of the importance of these stakeholders and the relations they
> have.
>
> Missing a clear definition of these entities and how they are related and
> what kind of potential conflicts can be generated by them, it can only
> drive to the current picture.
>
> Kind regards
>
> On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 9:04 AM, ido ivri <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > Dear members of the WMF Board of Trustees,
> >
> > I’ve been following the recent events silently - from the voting out of
> > James Heilman, to the unfortunate timing of recruiting Arnnon Geshuri and
> > the lack of clear, timely communication around WMF strategy in in general
> > and specifically around the so-called “Knowledge Engine” grant, received
> by
> > the Knight Foundation.
> >
> > Even more alarming to me, is the slew of exceptional community-facing
> > employees who left (or are leaving) the Foundation, accompanied by
> muffled
> > sounds of discontent from staying Foundation employees.
> >
> > I’m breaking my silence because I’m very concerned. My concerns stem from
> > my past experiences with facilitating strategic changes and my experience
> > in grantmaking - both in and outside of the Movement.
> >
> > I’m concerned because it’s evident that the Foundation is undergoing a
> > deep, strategic change. But this change is not accompanied by the
> required
> > transparency, honesty and accountability required by the Foundation in
> > order to truly transform in a way that's beneficial for the organization
> > and its community.
> >
> > I’m concerned, because while the “Knowledge Engine” grant provides only a
> > specific example, it underlines a larger picture that is disturbing:
> > concealment (rather than openness) as a default, lack of consultation
> with
> > the community and weak, general communication around important matters
> only
> > after bad press. I also suspect that the vocal members of the community
> are
> > right, and that a $250K grant is not the issue, but it part of a bigger
> > move that will require significantly more resources for the Foundation to
> > implement.
> >
> > Lastly, I’m concerned because all this stirs no clear communication from
> > the Board of Trustees. A Board of Trustees implies there should be trust
> > between the Board and its constituents. I suspect this isn’t the case
> > anymore.
> >
> > If any APG-receiving affiliate conducted itself in such a non
> transparent,
> > dishonest manner and with lack of clear, timely communication with its
> > community and stakeholders, it would get seriously reprimanded by the
> > Foundation: its board audited, its budget cut, etc. Expecting the
> > Foundation to be held to a lower standard than any of its worldwide
> > affiliates is just hypocritical.
> >
> > I urge the Board of Trustees - Don’t forget that the community of
> > volunteers and affiliates is a major stakeholder of the Wikimedia
> > Foundation - and many of us are concerned. I think the community deserves
> > to better understand where the Wikimedia Foundation is going, and get
> > honest answers about the changes in the organization, for us to be
> trusting
> > again. Please start communicating clearly about those topics.
> >
> > With utmost respect,
> >
> > Ido (AKA AlleyCat80)
> >
> >
> > Board Member, WMIL
> >
> > Member, Simple APG & GAC.
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>
>
>
>
> --
> Ilario Valdelli
> Wikimedia CH
> Verein zur Förderung Freien Wissens
> Association pour l’avancement des connaissances libre
> Associazione per il sostegno alla conoscenza libera
> Switzerland - 8008 Zürich
> Wikipedia: Ilario <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Ilario>
> Skype: valdelli
> Tel: +41764821371
> http://www.wikimedia.ch
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>


------------------------------

Message: 3
Date: Thu, 18 Feb 2016 11:54:03 +0100
From: Cristian Consonni <[hidden email]>
To: Wikimedia Mailing List <[hidden email]>
Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] An Open Letter to Wikimedia Foundation BoT
Message-ID:
        <CAEs8i0jZvieC7gxMEgnw=[hidden email]>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8

Hi,

2016-02-18 11:44 GMT+01:00 Andrea Zanni <[hidden email]>:
> Thanks Ido.
> For what is worth, and in my personal capacity (I'm not affiliated with
> Wikimedia Italia any  more) I completely second your concern,
> Discussions are ongoing from months now and BoT seems frozen in silence.
> People really don't understand why.
>
> I would also like to thank you for expressing it in such a delicate, polite
> but clear tone.

strong +1

Thanks Ido for your thoughtful email, which I wholeheartedly support.
I like very much your email because it voices what I think many
Wikimedians are feeling but may not be keen on expressing themselves
publicly.

2016-02-18 9:04 GMT+01:00 ido ivri <[hidden email]>:
> I’m concerned because it’s evident that the Foundation is undergoing a
> deep, strategic change. But this change is not accompanied by the required
> transparency, honesty and accountability required by the Foundation in
> order to truly transform in a way that's beneficial for the organization
> and its community.

I share this concern completely.

The only thing I would add to what Ido said is: is there a way that we
- as a community - could help?

Remember that the community is not only a shareholder but also the
greatest asset we have.

Cristian



------------------------------

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End of Wikimedia-l Digest, Vol 143, Issue 85
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] An Open Letter to Wikimedia Foundation BoT

Dariusz Jemielniak-3
In reply to this post by Liam Wyatt
18.02.2016 7:25 AM "Liam Wyatt" <[hidden email]> napisał(a):
>
>
> The principle of the WMF being a good role model for its affiliates -
> and living up to minimum standards that it sets for those affiliates -
> is one of the primary reasons that the FDC recommended the WMF submit
> its next Annual Plan to the same APG system.

Yes, I'm glad that after several years of championing the idea within the
FDC and to the Board, we have succeeded in making it finally happen.

> During the 1 April to 30 April community review period,[5] everyone
> will be encouraged to thoroughly investigate those documents.

And the community can do much more here than in the previous years, where
feedback was quite minimal.

As far as I'm concerned, I've often times repeated that I believe that WMFs
main source of competitive advantage is the relations with the communities
and our unique symbiosis. Content is not our competitive advantage, as it
is free to copy by anyone, and in technology we're years behind the curve
(the same goes for design, structures, etc.). But collaboration with our
communities is something that makes us at least as good as the giants of
the Internet industry (remember Google's failed community-driven
encyclopedia? Case in point).

We need to get a grip, have more transparency, but also more bidirectional
support, and start thinking about the future (I'm not saying this to sound
as "nothing to watch, move on", but to restore some perspective and
proportions). There is way too much blaming/bashing/sour expectations
working both ways - we almost forget how unique we are, irrespective of
many slips and avoidable failures we make (and WMF  is definitely leading
here, too! ;)
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] An Open Letter to Wikimedia Foundation BoT

Ori Livneh
On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 4:47 AM, Dariusz Jemielniak <[hidden email]>
wrote:

> There is way too much blaming/bashing/sour expectations
> working both ways - we almost forget how unique we are, irrespective of
> many slips and avoidable failures we make (and WMF  is definitely leading
> here, too! ;)
>

No, we're not. My peers in the Technology department work incredibly hard
to provide value for readers and editors, and we have very good results to
show for it. Less than two years ago it took an average of six seconds to
save an edit to an article; it is about one second now. (MediaWiki
deployments are currently halted over a 200-300ms regression!). Page load
times improved by 30-40% in the past year, which earned us plaudits in the
press and in professional circles. The analytics team figured out how to
count unique devices without compromising user anonimity and privacy and
rolled out a robust public API for page view data. The research team is in
the process of collecting feedback from readers and compiling the first
comprehensive picture of what brings readers to the projects. The TechOps
team made Wikipedia one of the first major internet properties to go
HTTPS-only, slashed latency for users in many parts of the world by
provisioning a cache pop on the Pacific Coast of the United States, and is
currently gearing up for a comprehensive test of our failover capabilities,
which is to happen this Spring.

That's just the activity happening immediately around me in the org, and
says nothing of engineering accomplishments like the Android app being
featured on the Play store in 93 countries and having a higher user rating
than Facebook Messenger, Twitter, Netflix, Snapchat, Google Photos, etc. Or
the 56,669 articles that have been created using the Content Translation
tool.

This is happening in spite of -- not thanks to -- dysfunction at the top.
If you don't believe me, all you have to do is wait: an exodus of people
from Engineering won't be long now. Our initial astonishment at the Board's
unwillingness to acknowledge and address this dysfunction is wearing off.
The slips and failures are not generalized and diffuse. They are local and
specific, and their location has been indicated to you repeatedly.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] An Open Letter to Wikimedia Foundation BoT

Moiz Syed
Wow, thank you Ori. +1 to everything you said.

That line from Dariusz disappointed me to, but I just chalked it up to just
another case of a board member downplaying community/staff concerns and
plea for help.

On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 10:33 AM, Ori Livneh <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 4:47 AM, Dariusz Jemielniak <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>
> > There is way too much blaming/bashing/sour expectations
> > working both ways - we almost forget how unique we are, irrespective of
> > many slips and avoidable failures we make (and WMF  is definitely leading
> > here, too! ;)
> >
>
> No, we're not. My peers in the Technology department work incredibly hard
> to provide value for readers and editors, and we have very good results to
> show for it. Less than two years ago it took an average of six seconds to
> save an edit to an article; it is about one second now. (MediaWiki
> deployments are currently halted over a 200-300ms regression!). Page load
> times improved by 30-40% in the past year, which earned us plaudits in the
> press and in professional circles. The analytics team figured out how to
> count unique devices without compromising user anonimity and privacy and
> rolled out a robust public API for page view data. The research team is in
> the process of collecting feedback from readers and compiling the first
> comprehensive picture of what brings readers to the projects. The TechOps
> team made Wikipedia one of the first major internet properties to go
> HTTPS-only, slashed latency for users in many parts of the world by
> provisioning a cache pop on the Pacific Coast of the United States, and is
> currently gearing up for a comprehensive test of our failover capabilities,
> which is to happen this Spring.
>
> That's just the activity happening immediately around me in the org, and
> says nothing of engineering accomplishments like the Android app being
> featured on the Play store in 93 countries and having a higher user rating
> than Facebook Messenger, Twitter, Netflix, Snapchat, Google Photos, etc. Or
> the 56,669 articles that have been created using the Content Translation
> tool.
>
> This is happening in spite of -- not thanks to -- dysfunction at the top.
> If you don't believe me, all you have to do is wait: an exodus of people
> from Engineering won't be long now. Our initial astonishment at the Board's
> unwillingness to acknowledge and address this dysfunction is wearing off.
> The slips and failures are not generalized and diffuse. They are local and
> specific, and their location has been indicated to you repeatedly.
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> 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] An Open Letter to Wikimedia Foundation BoT

Toby Negrin
Indeed - thank you Ori on behalf of the entire technical organization.

Dariusz - I'd ask that you consider the assumptions that you listed in your
email more closely. Ori, myself and others would be very happy to work with
you this.

-Toby

On Thursday, February 18, 2016, Moiz Syed <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Wow, thank you Ori. +1 to everything you said.
>
> That line from Dariusz disappointed me to, but I just chalked it up to just
> another case of a board member downplaying community/staff concerns and
> plea for help.
>
> On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 10:33 AM, Ori Livneh <[hidden email]
> <javascript:;>> wrote:
>
> > On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 4:47 AM, Dariusz Jemielniak <[hidden email]
> <javascript:;>>
> > wrote:
> >
> > > There is way too much blaming/bashing/sour expectations
> > > working both ways - we almost forget how unique we are, irrespective of
> > > many slips and avoidable failures we make (and WMF  is definitely
> leading
> > > here, too! ;)
> > >
> >
> > No, we're not. My peers in the Technology department work incredibly hard
> > to provide value for readers and editors, and we have very good results
> to
> > show for it. Less than two years ago it took an average of six seconds to
> > save an edit to an article; it is about one second now. (MediaWiki
> > deployments are currently halted over a 200-300ms regression!). Page load
> > times improved by 30-40% in the past year, which earned us plaudits in
> the
> > press and in professional circles. The analytics team figured out how to
> > count unique devices without compromising user anonimity and privacy and
> > rolled out a robust public API for page view data. The research team is
> in
> > the process of collecting feedback from readers and compiling the first
> > comprehensive picture of what brings readers to the projects. The TechOps
> > team made Wikipedia one of the first major internet properties to go
> > HTTPS-only, slashed latency for users in many parts of the world by
> > provisioning a cache pop on the Pacific Coast of the United States, and
> is
> > currently gearing up for a comprehensive test of our failover
> capabilities,
> > which is to happen this Spring.
> >
> > That's just the activity happening immediately around me in the org, and
> > says nothing of engineering accomplishments like the Android app being
> > featured on the Play store in 93 countries and having a higher user
> rating
> > than Facebook Messenger, Twitter, Netflix, Snapchat, Google Photos, etc.
> Or
> > the 56,669 articles that have been created using the Content Translation
> > tool.
> >
> > This is happening in spite of -- not thanks to -- dysfunction at the top.
> > If you don't believe me, all you have to do is wait: an exodus of people
> > from Engineering won't be long now. Our initial astonishment at the
> Board's
> > unwillingness to acknowledge and address this dysfunction is wearing off.
> > The slips and failures are not generalized and diffuse. They are local
> and
> > specific, and their location has been indicated to you repeatedly.
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > New messages to: [hidden email] <javascript:;>
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > <mailto:[hidden email] <javascript:;>
> ?subject=unsubscribe>
> >
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: [hidden email] <javascript:;>
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email] <javascript:;>
> ?subject=unsubscribe>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] An Open Letter to Wikimedia Foundation BoT

Dan Andreescu
In reply to this post by Ori Livneh
>
> This is happening in spite of -- not thanks to -- dysfunction at the top.
> If you don't believe me, all you have to do is wait: an exodus of people
> from Engineering won't be long now.


I hope you're wrong, Ori.  I hope people have the presence of mind, like
you say - despite the dysfunction at the top, to stay and talk things out
among each other.  And to realize that the dysfunction at the top does not
*really* matter.  People screw up, but this is a movement.  And this
movement, as you point out, has not screwed up.

I hope we talk, fix the problems, and grow stronger in our connection and
commitment to the amazing community we serve.

If anyone is feeling despair, please talk to me first, we have all the
reason in the world to channel our effort in a positive direction.  Just to
be clear, I admire Ori for his intelligence and for writing this email, I
just hope he's wrong that people will leave this place that I love so much.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] An Open Letter to Wikimedia Foundation BoT

Dariusz Jemielniak-3
In reply to this post by Moiz Syed
On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 1:48 PM, Moiz Syed <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> That line from Dariusz disappointed me to, but I just chalked it up to
> just another case of a board member downplaying community/staff concerns
> and plea for help.
>


it has not been my intention to downplay the amazing work WMF staff or
thousands and thousands of our editors do. When I wrote that we "almost
forget how unique we are" I only wanted to counter the occasional
negativism, present on this list.

I have utmost respect to the armies of hidden (as well as visible!)
champions in our movement :)

dj
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] An Open Letter to Wikimedia Foundation BoT

Joseph Seddon-6
In reply to this post by Ori Livneh
I must echo Ori.

We have some brilliant, brilliant people who really are doing some
fantastic work. The trouble is that as Brandon Harris has already confirmed
on the Wikipedia Weekly facebook group. People are looking to leave.
Actively.

On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 6:33 PM, Ori Livneh <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 4:47 AM, Dariusz Jemielniak <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>
> > There is way too much blaming/bashing/sour expectations
> > working both ways - we almost forget how unique we are, irrespective of
> > many slips and avoidable failures we make (and WMF  is definitely leading
> > here, too! ;)
> >
>
> No, we're not. My peers in the Technology department work incredibly hard
> to provide value for readers and editors, and we have very good results to
> show for it. Less than two years ago it took an average of six seconds to
> save an edit to an article; it is about one second now. (MediaWiki
> deployments are currently halted over a 200-300ms regression!). Page load
> times improved by 30-40% in the past year, which earned us plaudits in the
> press and in professional circles. The analytics team figured out how to
> count unique devices without compromising user anonimity and privacy and
> rolled out a robust public API for page view data. The research team is in
> the process of collecting feedback from readers and compiling the first
> comprehensive picture of what brings readers to the projects. The TechOps
> team made Wikipedia one of the first major internet properties to go
> HTTPS-only, slashed latency for users in many parts of the world by
> provisioning a cache pop on the Pacific Coast of the United States, and is
> currently gearing up for a comprehensive test of our failover capabilities,
> which is to happen this Spring.
>
> That's just the activity happening immediately around me in the org, and
> says nothing of engineering accomplishments like the Android app being
> featured on the Play store in 93 countries and having a higher user rating
> than Facebook Messenger, Twitter, Netflix, Snapchat, Google Photos, etc. Or
> the 56,669 articles that have been created using the Content Translation
> tool.
>
> This is happening in spite of -- not thanks to -- dysfunction at the top.
> If you don't believe me, all you have to do is wait: an exodus of people
> from Engineering won't be long now. Our initial astonishment at the Board's
> unwillingness to acknowledge and address this dysfunction is wearing off.
> The slips and failures are not generalized and diffuse. They are local and
> specific, and their location has been indicated to you repeatedly.
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>



--
Seddon

*Advancement Associate (Community Engagement)*
*Wikimedia Foundation*
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] An Open Letter to Wikimedia Foundation BoT

Casey Dentinger
In reply to this post by Ori Livneh
I would like to second what Ori said and add:

> and in technology we're years behind the curve

I think this is a reductive view of the technology at WMF.  It is true that
many systems have been around in name for a long time, but that doesn't
mean they haven't been evolving under the hood (as Ori describes) to scale
with demand at the same (or better) pace as our trendier peers (who are
often married to fly-by-night technologies).  In an era of 10s pageloads
hauling megabytes of trackware, WP's stats are actually pretty stellar.

On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 11:33 AM, Ori Livneh <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 4:47 AM, Dariusz Jemielniak <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>
> > There is way too much blaming/bashing/sour expectations
> > working both ways - we almost forget how unique we are, irrespective of
> > many slips and avoidable failures we make (and WMF  is definitely leading
> > here, too! ;)
> >
>
> No, we're not. My peers in the Technology department work incredibly hard
> to provide value for readers and editors, and we have very good results to
> show for it. Less than two years ago it took an average of six seconds to
> save an edit to an article; it is about one second now. (MediaWiki
> deployments are currently halted over a 200-300ms regression!). Page load
> times improved by 30-40% in the past year, which earned us plaudits in the
> press and in professional circles. The analytics team figured out how to
> count unique devices without compromising user anonimity and privacy and
> rolled out a robust public API for page view data. The research team is in
> the process of collecting feedback from readers and compiling the first
> comprehensive picture of what brings readers to the projects. The TechOps
> team made Wikipedia one of the first major internet properties to go
> HTTPS-only, slashed latency for users in many parts of the world by
> provisioning a cache pop on the Pacific Coast of the United States, and is
> currently gearing up for a comprehensive test of our failover capabilities,
> which is to happen this Spring.
>
> That's just the activity happening immediately around me in the org, and
> says nothing of engineering accomplishments like the Android app being
> featured on the Play store in 93 countries and having a higher user rating
> than Facebook Messenger, Twitter, Netflix, Snapchat, Google Photos, etc. Or
> the 56,669 articles that have been created using the Content Translation
> tool.
>
> This is happening in spite of -- not thanks to -- dysfunction at the top.
> If you don't believe me, all you have to do is wait: an exodus of people
> from Engineering won't be long now. Our initial astonishment at the Board's
> unwillingness to acknowledge and address this dysfunction is wearing off.
> The slips and failures are not generalized and diffuse. They are local and
> specific, and their location has been indicated to you repeatedly.
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> 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] An Open Letter to Wikimedia Foundation BoT

Dariusz Jemielniak-3
On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 1:56 PM, Casey Dentinger <[hidden email]>
wrote:

> > and in technology we're years behind the curve
>
> I think this is a reductive view of the technology at WMF.  It is true
> that many systems have been around in name for a long time, but that
> doesn't mean they haven't been evolving under the hood (as Ori describes)
> to scale with demand at the same (or better) pace as our trendier peers
> (who are often married to fly-by-night technologies).  In an era of 10s
> pageloads hauling megabytes of trackware, WP's stats are actually pretty
> stellar.
>

True, by all means. But my point (clumsily phrased) was that we will not
likely be considered more technologically advanced than Google or Apple,
while we really ARE more proficient in terms of the social systems and
community collaboration. My only regret is that we way too rarely reiterate
how amazing we are. The fact that we do a lot of great tech stuff, too is a
reason to celebrate (and my apologies to anyone who read my comment as
disparaging our work there).

Let me put it this way: it is great we have the tech as robust and advanced
as it is. This is awesome. Let's also recognize the fact that our
communities, working together with the WMF, is something unique, to avoid
the narrow vision of "evil foundation" vs. "unreasonable and random crowd".

dj
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] An Open Letter to Wikimedia Foundation BoT

Sydney Poore
In reply to this post by Dariusz Jemielniak-3
On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 7:47 AM, Dariusz Jemielniak <[hidden email]> wrote:
<snipped>
>
> We need to get a grip, have more transparency, but also more bidirectional
> support, and start thinking about the future (I'm not saying this to sound
> as "nothing to watch, move on", but to restore some perspective and
> proportions). There is way too much blaming/bashing/sour expectations
> working both ways - we almost forget how unique we are, irrespective of
> many slips and avoidable failures we make (and WMF  is definitely leading
> here, too! ;)

Dariusz,

While it is important to point out the ways that people can give
useful feedback to WMF today and over the next few months (as Liam
did), we also need to clearly recognize the deep feelings of concern,
frustration, and anger expressed by staff and members of the
community.

It is widespread now to the point that unless constructive measures
are taken to address these legitimate feeling, we risk having people
withdraw from productive venues for engagement.

Most people are likely to think that at least some the staff that
resigned didn't go without attempting to improve the situation before
they left. And that other staff still at WMF are also frustrated and
concerned. We need more validation of concerns that smart and
knowledgeable people's advice and counsel is/was overlooked and that
is going to change.

The staff and community need to believe that their engagement will
influence the outcome.

We need to build confidence that engagement will have an impact on
future actions of the WMF BoT and ED's plans.

Dariusz, I know that you have good intentions, but your comments in
this thread and other place are still not reassuring that you
understand that serious damage has occurred and needs to be repaired
before people are going to want to work collaboratively with WMF.

Warm regards,
Sydney

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] An Open Letter to Wikimedia Foundation BoT

Asaf Bartov-2
Thank you, Ori. +1 to everything you said.

Dariusz, I disagree with you: this *is* a time for "negativity".  We have
been laboring under significant dysfunction for more than a year now, and
are now in crisis.  We are losing precious colleagues, time, money, *even
more* community trust than we had previously squandered, and health
(literally; the board HR committee has been sent some details).

All this makes it a time for looking "the negative" in the eye and taking
decisive action, so that the healing can begin.  It is not a time for
concentrating on the still-wonderful aspects of this movement's work.  If I
did not know you and know for a fact that cannot be your intent, it would
sure feel like attempted misdirection. (Please read the beginning of the
previous sentence again if you need to.)

Please act.  If for some reason the board cannot act, please state that
reason.  Signal to us, community and staff, by concrete words if not by
deeds, that you understand the magnitude of the problem.

With great sympathy for how unpleasant it must be to be a (volunteer) board
member right now,

   A.
On Feb 18, 2016 11:29 AM, "Sydney Poore" <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 7:47 AM, Dariusz Jemielniak <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
> <snipped>
> >
> > We need to get a grip, have more transparency, but also more
> bidirectional
> > support, and start thinking about the future (I'm not saying this to
> sound
> > as "nothing to watch, move on", but to restore some perspective and
> > proportions). There is way too much blaming/bashing/sour expectations
> > working both ways - we almost forget how unique we are, irrespective of
> > many slips and avoidable failures we make (and WMF  is definitely leading
> > here, too! ;)
>
> Dariusz,
>
> While it is important to point out the ways that people can give
> useful feedback to WMF today and over the next few months (as Liam
> did), we also need to clearly recognize the deep feelings of concern,
> frustration, and anger expressed by staff and members of the
> community.
>
> It is widespread now to the point that unless constructive measures
> are taken to address these legitimate feeling, we risk having people
> withdraw from productive venues for engagement.
>
> Most people are likely to think that at least some the staff that
> resigned didn't go without attempting to improve the situation before
> they left. And that other staff still at WMF are also frustrated and
> concerned. We need more validation of concerns that smart and
> knowledgeable people's advice and counsel is/was overlooked and that
> is going to change.
>
> The staff and community need to believe that their engagement will
> influence the outcome.
>
> We need to build confidence that engagement will have an impact on
> future actions of the WMF BoT and ED's plans.
>
> Dariusz, I know that you have good intentions, but your comments in
> this thread and other place are still not reassuring that you
> understand that serious damage has occurred and needs to be repaired
> before people are going to want to work collaboratively with WMF.
>
> Warm regards,
> Sydney
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] An Open Letter to Wikimedia Foundation BoT

Edward Galvez
In reply to this post by Joseph Seddon-6
Second Asaf and Sydney. Please take these concerns seriously. If you truly
*respect* us and this movement, please act.



On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 10:53 AM, Joseph Seddon <[hidden email]>
wrote:

> I must echo Ori.
>
> We have some brilliant, brilliant people who really are doing some
> fantastic work. The trouble is that as Brandon Harris has already confirmed
> on the Wikipedia Weekly facebook group. People are looking to leave.
> Actively.
>
> On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 6:33 PM, Ori Livneh <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 4:47 AM, Dariusz Jemielniak <[hidden email]>
> > wrote:
> >
> > > There is way too much blaming/bashing/sour expectations
> > > working both ways - we almost forget how unique we are, irrespective of
> > > many slips and avoidable failures we make (and WMF  is definitely
> leading
> > > here, too! ;)
> > >
> >
> > No, we're not. My peers in the Technology department work incredibly hard
> > to provide value for readers and editors, and we have very good results
> to
> > show for it. Less than two years ago it took an average of six seconds to
> > save an edit to an article; it is about one second now. (MediaWiki
> > deployments are currently halted over a 200-300ms regression!). Page load
> > times improved by 30-40% in the past year, which earned us plaudits in
> the
> > press and in professional circles. The analytics team figured out how to
> > count unique devices without compromising user anonimity and privacy and
> > rolled out a robust public API for page view data. The research team is
> in
> > the process of collecting feedback from readers and compiling the first
> > comprehensive picture of what brings readers to the projects. The TechOps
> > team made Wikipedia one of the first major internet properties to go
> > HTTPS-only, slashed latency for users in many parts of the world by
> > provisioning a cache pop on the Pacific Coast of the United States, and
> is
> > currently gearing up for a comprehensive test of our failover
> capabilities,
> > which is to happen this Spring.
> >
> > That's just the activity happening immediately around me in the org, and
> > says nothing of engineering accomplishments like the Android app being
> > featured on the Play store in 93 countries and having a higher user
> rating
> > than Facebook Messenger, Twitter, Netflix, Snapchat, Google Photos, etc.
> Or
> > the 56,669 articles that have been created using the Content Translation
> > tool.
> >
> > This is happening in spite of -- not thanks to -- dysfunction at the top.
> > If you don't believe me, all you have to do is wait: an exodus of people
> > from Engineering won't be long now. Our initial astonishment at the
> Board's
> > unwillingness to acknowledge and address this dysfunction is wearing off.
> > The slips and failures are not generalized and diffuse. They are local
> and
> > specific, and their location has been indicated to you repeatedly.
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> >
>
>
>
> --
> Seddon
>
> *Advancement Associate (Community Engagement)*
> *Wikimedia Foundation*
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>



--
Edward Galvez
Survey Specialist
Learning & Evaluation
Wikimedia Foundation
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] An Open Letter to Wikimedia Foundation BoT

Lila Tretikov
In reply to this post by Casey Dentinger
For a few 2015 accomplishments by the product/technical teams you can see
them listed here:

https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/2015_Wikimedia_Foundation_Product_and_Technology_Highlights







On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 10:56 AM, Casey Dentinger <[hidden email]>
wrote:

> I would like to second what Ori said and add:
>
> > and in technology we're years behind the curve
>
> I think this is a reductive view of the technology at WMF.  It is true that
> many systems have been around in name for a long time, but that doesn't
> mean they haven't been evolving under the hood (as Ori describes) to scale
> with demand at the same (or better) pace as our trendier peers (who are
> often married to fly-by-night technologies).  In an era of 10s pageloads
> hauling megabytes of trackware, WP's stats are actually pretty stellar.
>
> On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 11:33 AM, Ori Livneh <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 4:47 AM, Dariusz Jemielniak <[hidden email]>
> > wrote:
> >
> > > There is way too much blaming/bashing/sour expectations
> > > working both ways - we almost forget how unique we are, irrespective of
> > > many slips and avoidable failures we make (and WMF  is definitely
> leading
> > > here, too! ;)
> > >
> >
> > No, we're not. My peers in the Technology department work incredibly hard
> > to provide value for readers and editors, and we have very good results
> to
> > show for it. Less than two years ago it took an average of six seconds to
> > save an edit to an article; it is about one second now. (MediaWiki
> > deployments are currently halted over a 200-300ms regression!). Page load
> > times improved by 30-40% in the past year, which earned us plaudits in
> the
> > press and in professional circles. The analytics team figured out how to
> > count unique devices without compromising user anonimity and privacy and
> > rolled out a robust public API for page view data. The research team is
> in
> > the process of collecting feedback from readers and compiling the first
> > comprehensive picture of what brings readers to the projects. The TechOps
> > team made Wikipedia one of the first major internet properties to go
> > HTTPS-only, slashed latency for users in many parts of the world by
> > provisioning a cache pop on the Pacific Coast of the United States, and
> is
> > currently gearing up for a comprehensive test of our failover
> capabilities,
> > which is to happen this Spring.
> >
> > That's just the activity happening immediately around me in the org, and
> > says nothing of engineering accomplishments like the Android app being
> > featured on the Play store in 93 countries and having a higher user
> rating
> > than Facebook Messenger, Twitter, Netflix, Snapchat, Google Photos, etc.
> Or
> > the 56,669 articles that have been created using the Content Translation
> > tool.
> >
> > This is happening in spite of -- not thanks to -- dysfunction at the top.
> > If you don't believe me, all you have to do is wait: an exodus of people
> > from Engineering won't be long now. Our initial astonishment at the
> Board's
> > unwillingness to acknowledge and address this dysfunction is wearing off.
> > The slips and failures are not generalized and diffuse. They are local
> and
> > specific, and their location has been indicated to you repeatedly.
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> >
> _______________________________________________
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> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>



--
Lila Tretikov
Wikimedia Foundation

*“Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid.”*
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] An Open Letter to Wikimedia Foundation BoT

Dariusz Jemielniak-3
In reply to this post by Asaf Bartov-2
On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 2:54 PM, Asaf Bartov <[hidden email]> wrote:

> All this makes it a time for looking "the negative" in the eye and taking
> decisive action, so that the healing can begin.  It is not a time for
> concentrating on the still-wonderful aspects of this movement's work.  If I
> did not know you and know for a fact that cannot be your intent, it would
> sure feel like attempted misdirection. (Please read the beginning of the
> previous sentence again if you need to.)
>
I know of people who are overwhelmed with negativity on the list. I myself
feel it, too, although I am determined not to reduce my participation or
liaising with the communities.

When I refer to being constructive, I speak of exactly seeking decisive
actions and moving forward, instead of gathering around a lying body and
kicking :)

I understand I may receive much more of (also often valid) criticism just
because I participate in the dialogue here. I guess that's fine as long as
we all still move forward (read: suggest satisfactory protocols and decide
on actions that will lower the tensions).

I think that what is useful in such times is being precise: for instance,
there was a voiced demand (which I support and consider reasonable) to have
the Knowledge Engine explained. I really like the fact that there is an FAQ
prepared and that there are answers posted. This is a constructive method
of addressing a particular problem (I'm referring to the approach, not to
the content, obviously, since it is a new page). I think we need precision
in defining problems, and also precision in proposing constructive
solutions, that's all.

dj
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