[Wikimedia-l] Go away, community (from WMF wiki at least)

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Go away, community (from WMF wiki at least)

Tomasz W. Kozlowski
This isn't a comment aimed at anyone in particular, so I'm not going to
quote anybody, but can we please stop hijacking this thread, and posting
about how Wikimedia Foundation staff are also humans and how the WMF was
badly organised X years ago — which are valid discussion for a different
time — and get back to the bottom of the topic?

Here are some questions that I asked, and which haven't been covered at
all:

1) Who made the decision to remove adminship from all community members?
2) Why did you make this decision now? What changed?
3) Who precisely (what department) is responsible for the maintenance of
the wiki, and why didn't they perform their roles before?

And a question that I think someone else asked:
1) For how long has the decision of removing adminship from those
community members been discussed behind the closed door of the WMF, and
who participated in that discussion?

I think that having those questions answered will bring much more value
than focusing on things that have been discussed over and over in the past.

(Also, I think that FT2's idea of working together on creating
guidelines and best practices for moving forward proposals — both
technical and community-related — is worth looking at.)

        -- Tomasz

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Go away, community (from WMF wiki at least)

MZMcBride-2
In reply to this post by Philippe Beaudette-3
Philippe Beaudette wrote:
>At the expense of sounding trite, I think I can safely say "Mistakes were
>made."  Gayle was trying to solve a real problem, and she got a lot of
>advice on how to do that.

At every introductory wiki workshop, new users are taught to be bold, as
any mistake they make can easily be undone. The wiki is built to be
resilient. With any project involving (m)any people, mistakes are to be
expected. And growing pains have their name for a reason. But wikis give
us the opportunity to learn from—and rectify our—mistakes.

As for the "real problem," perhaps I'm too close to the situation to see
it, but based on comments in this thread, there seems to be fairly
widespread confusion about what the real problem is. Any clarification you
or anyone else could provide would be welcome. (That is, a series of
actions were taken; the missing piece continues to be _why_.)

>With that said: I'm afraid we're headed toward a precipice.  What I'm
>seeing scares me.  I see less and less good faith being offered toward the
>WMF.

This is not a fair statement to make, at least not in the context of this
discussion. There cannot be any good faith when you take the people who
have spent hundreds, if not thousands, of hours volunteering for your
organization and strip them of their user rights on a whim, without any
warning or notice. While I think everyone acknowledges that mistakes were
made, I don't see how we can even begin to discuss good faith being
offered toward the Wikimedia Foundation when volunteers like Casey and
Alex and others were treated in this way.

Several people in this discussion have sought an exigency. People have
looked for a reason for such a seemingly rash series of actions. Nobody
has found one yet. And many people are still searching for a rationale.

MZMcBride



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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Go away, community (from WMF wiki at least)

Yaroslav M. Blanter
In reply to this post by Tomasz W. Kozlowski
On 13.05.2013 14:07, Tomasz W. Kozlowski wrote:

> This isn't a comment aimed at anyone in particular, so I'm not going
> to quote anybody, but can we please stop hijacking this thread, and
> posting about how Wikimedia Foundation staff are also humans and how
> the WMF was badly organised X years ago — which are valid discussion
> for a different time — and get back to the bottom of the topic?
>
> Here are some questions that I asked, and which haven't been covered
> at all:
>
> 1) Who made the decision to remove adminship from all community
> members?
> 2) Why did you make this decision now? What changed?
> 3) Who precisely (what department) is responsible for the maintenance
> of the wiki, and why didn't they perform their roles before?
>
> And a question that I think someone else asked:
> 1) For how long has the decision of removing adminship from those
> community members been discussed behind the closed door of the WMF,
> and who participated in that discussion?
>

If I read the e-mails correctly, 1 and 2 were covered. 1 is Gayle, and
2 is that "it was on her to do list for a long time", so apparently she
decided to perform this on Friday afternoon since it was not pleasant
and had to be done anyway.

I am not sure though pursuing these questions is very much
constructive. I personally would be more interested in 5) what measures
are to be taken to exclude this in the future, and 6) how can we
continue assuming good faith and be nice to each other.

FT2 tried to relegate these questions to a separate thread, but so far
unfortunately without much follow-up.
Cheers
Yaroslav

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Go away, community (from WMF wiki at least)

Matthew Roth
Wading into the water here. I hope we can separate the blog issue out a bit
from the Foundation wiki issue, at least in terms of the user rights part.

I was the one who changed a whole slew of user rights from "Editor" to
"Contributor," which in our WordPress setup limits some of their abilities,
like approving comments, uploading files and editing posts written by other
people, among others. I was cleaning up old emails from previous WMF
Communications interns/volunteers, staff members and others I hadn't seen
active in the two years I've been here. It was easy to see who was former
staff (@wikimedia.org emails), but not as much with volunteers who had been
given access in the past (and there were a number of them with zero
activity in years). I should have been more careful and I'm happy to
reinstate "Editor" rights for anyone else I inadvertently moved (and
upset).

I'm sorry Casey and Alex for the confusion. I've moved your accounts back
to the "Editor" rights category. If I bungled anyone else's permissions,
please let me know.

thanks,
Matthew


On Mon, May 13, 2013 at 7:43 AM, Yaroslav M. Blanter <[hidden email]>wrote:

> On 13.05.2013 14:07, Tomasz W. Kozlowski wrote:
>
>> This isn't a comment aimed at anyone in particular, so I'm not going
>> to quote anybody, but can we please stop hijacking this thread, and
>> posting about how Wikimedia Foundation staff are also humans and how
>> the WMF was badly organised X years ago — which are valid discussion
>> for a different time — and get back to the bottom of the topic?
>>
>> Here are some questions that I asked, and which haven't been covered at
>> all:
>>
>> 1) Who made the decision to remove adminship from all community members?
>> 2) Why did you make this decision now? What changed?
>> 3) Who precisely (what department) is responsible for the maintenance
>> of the wiki, and why didn't they perform their roles before?
>>
>> And a question that I think someone else asked:
>> 1) For how long has the decision of removing adminship from those
>> community members been discussed behind the closed door of the WMF,
>> and who participated in that discussion?
>>
>>
> If I read the e-mails correctly, 1 and 2 were covered. 1 is Gayle, and 2
> is that "it was on her to do list for a long time", so apparently she
> decided to perform this on Friday afternoon since it was not pleasant and
> had to be done anyway.
>
> I am not sure though pursuing these questions is very much constructive. I
> personally would be more interested in 5) what measures are to be taken to
> exclude this in the future, and 6) how can we continue assuming good faith
> and be nice to each other.
>
> FT2 tried to relegate these questions to a separate thread, but so far
> unfortunately without much follow-up.
> Cheers
> Yaroslav
>
>
> ______________________________**_________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list
> [hidden email].**org <[hidden email]>
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/**mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l<https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l>
>



--

Matthew Roth
Global Communications Manager
Wikimedia Foundation
+1.415.839.6885 ext 6635
www.wikimediafoundation.org
*http://blog.wikimedia.org/*
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Go away, community (from WMF wiki at least)

Todd Allen
In reply to this post by Philippe Beaudette-3
Philippe,

Thank you for a thoughtful reply. I have especially taken seriously your
advice to moderate the tone, something I have been guilty of in the past.
We expect editors to treat one another respectfully even when they
disagree, and I think staff should receive the same courtesy.

That aside, I do indeed disagree.

Communication is not the problem. Yes, it was a problem here, but it was
not -the- problem.

This started for me with ACTRIAL. The community came to an unprecedented
consensus for a major change, and asked WMF to implement.

WMF said no.

The community looked at the new new-message system and clearly said "Do not
want! Roll it back!"

WMF said no.

I see a precipice too. But that precipice is with WMF attempting to rule,
rather than serve, the communities they lead. Just like project admins are
expected to use their technical authority to uphold and implement community
consensus, never to overrule or subvert it, so should we expect the same of
WMF. We know how to run our projects better than you do.

After ACTRIAL, we heard the same thing-"We communicated poorly." Much of
the frustration you see, and certainly my own, is the "I didn't hear that"
aspect.

When you overrule the community, it is a slap in the face. You are telling
the volunteers who took the time to develop and gain consensus for their
proposal that they both wasted their time and do not know what they are
doing. What we are saying is not "Give us a little better notice when you
plan to slap our face" or "Please explain a little better why you slapped
my face." It is, instead, "Please stop slapping my face."

Once again, you are being told "You are standing on my toes. Perhaps it was
inadvertent, but it hurts. Please move." What I would like to be clear on
is that when you hear that with one voice from the community, it requires
not an apology or explanation, but a reversal. That didn't happen in the
two scenarios I mentioned, and it hasn't in several others. Yes, that
created bitterness and mistrust, disillusionment and many to leave
altogether. To ask a serious question, not intended to be sarcastic or
rhetorical, did you foresee some other outcome from such absolute overrules?

I hope I've spoken clearly and without undue bitterness, but I feel this
point must be made clearly. Communication isn't the root problem. Heavy
handedness is. I suppose you could say the problem is in listening. The
community is, in many cases, coming to a strong consensus on what it does
and does not want. The WMF is ignoring that and doing something else.

You won't stop that from being a problem by communicating better or sooner.
At the end of the day, we need you to stop doing that.

Here, you've been told "We disapprove of this action." Do we talk around it
and leave more resentment to linger? Or do you listen and reverse it?

Thanks if you took the time to read all this. I see a precipice, too. Let's
all step back.

Regards,

Todd Allen
On May 12, 2013 7:04 PM, "Philippe Beaudette" <[hidden email]>
wrote:

> So, I took Florence's excellent advice and went for a walk (beautiful day
> in SF, by the way - absolutely perfect).
>
> And I reflected on what I've seen since "flipping the switch" on things
> last Friday.  Here's where I stand, and I haven't discussed this with
> anyone else at WMF, including Gayle.
>
> At the expense of sounding trite, I think I can safely say "Mistakes were
> made."  Gayle was trying to solve a real problem, and she got a lot of
> advice on how to do that.  But the principle role of a staff member in a
> role such as mine is "to advise", I think, and I'm afraid that I didn't
> offer good advice in this case.  I don't think I gave bad advice - rather,
> I didn't give as good of advice as I could have.  What our leadership
> should be able to expect from staff is that we look at things from a
> different perspective, and I think I failed to get as far out of my own
> head and into other peoples' to offer that varying perspective.  So when I
> say that mistakes were made, I include my role in that, through commission
> or omission, and I sincerely apologize for that.
>
> With that said: I'm afraid we're headed toward a precipice.  What I'm
> seeing scares me.  I see less and less good faith being offered toward the
> WMF.  One of the arguments that doesn't work for me is "seven years ago the
> WMF didn't make these mistakes" - because seven years ago the WMF was
> paralyzed from lack of strategy and direction.  All of that has changed and
> the WMF is out and aggressively trying things to arrest the editor decline
> and improve the user experience.  And yet, when our talented engineers try
> a data-driven tactic for something that needs to change, they're lambasted
> for forgetting the existing community.  And yet everyone here knows that if
> we don't change some things, things will get very very ugly, very very
> quickly.
>
> One of the things that must continue to change is the tone on the wikis,
> and the tone (in IRC and by email) between staff and volunteers.  I know
> that volunteers are individual and - in addition to several frankly abusive
> emails I've received this weekend, I've also received absolutely wonderful
> support from volunteers who reached out to make me smile, laugh, or just
> remind me why I love this community.  But the abusive ones absolutely
> *must*stop.  I have never once, in my entire time at WMF, sent an
> email that
> approaches the level of things that I see WMF staff subjected to routinely,
> and I have to counsel over and over that "it's okay, they don't speak for
> the community", but I see the community tacitly support that behavior (or
> fail to condemn it), and it's hard to say with a straight face that the
> people sending abusive mail or making abusive statements in IRC don't speak
> for the community.
>
> So my challenge and my promise:  I promise to reflect on the experiences of
> this weekend and figure out how I could have offered Gayle better advice,
> given the circumstances, and given the fact that there are some things that
> are not public about the decision, and unfortunately they can't be.  My
> challenge to the community:  think about the tone of what you see happening
> around you.  And if you wouldn't want to see your grandmother asked a
> question like that, and if it would make you feel defensive to see her
> questioned in that tone, then step in and make it clear that the tone is
> unacceptable.  Staff members are people too.  How about finding one that
> has done something you appreciate (come on, there must be ONE) and tell
> them so?  You'd be shocked how much gratitude they'll feel, because you may
> be the first community member EVER to tell them that.
>
> Best,
> pb
>
>
>
> ___________________
> Philippe Beaudette
> Director, Community Advocacy
> Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.
>
> 415-839-6885, x 6643
>
> [hidden email]
>
>
> On Sun, May 12, 2013 at 5:46 PM, Russavia <[hidden email]
> >wrote:
>
> > On Mon, May 13, 2013 at 7:58 AM, Gayle Karen Young <[hidden email]
> >
> > wrote:
> > > This definitely feels like a bit of trial by fire.
> >
> > True dat. Now that you have received your initiation, there's nothing
> > left to say but WELCOME TO WIKIPEDIA :)
> >
> > Cheers,
> >
> > Russavia
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list
> > [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
> >
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Go away, community (from WMF wiki at least)

Dariusz Jemielniak-3
In reply to this post by Florence Devouard-3
hi Florence,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Sock_puppetry

sockpuppeting is using more than one account in the same time. There are
legitimate situations when users have a new account set up (e.g. after
forgetting a password). Also, some users have multiple accounts for privacy
reasons. Finally, we also have a clean start policy, which is not
considered improper.

Regarding the whole crisis now, and in particular in relation to wiki (not
blog) I believe that two things need to be separated: the decision to get
rid of community admins from wiki, and the way it was enforced.

I think I'm quite neutral to the decision itself. If it is a WMF wiki, and
if indeed there were some problems with staff being overridden by
volunteers, I think it may perhaps make some sense to leave it to WMF.
However, the way this change was introduced was definitely poorly planned,
badly communicated (and not announced ahead of time), occasionally harsh,
 quite insensitive. Also, clearly, some discussion ahead of time would be
good - both to let people know, but also to let the community think about
addressing the problems related to it, too.

I believe that especially Gayle, but also Philippe, have expressed their
sincere apologies for the way things turned out, and for their
unthoughtfulness prior to going through with the plan. Gayle also promised
to reflect more on the issue once she gets back to the office. I think that
this is quite a good way to deal with the problem.

best,

Dariusz ("pundit")






On Mon, May 13, 2013 at 1:45 PM, Florence Devouard <[hidden email]>wrote:

> omg, he just admitted sockpupetting !!!
>
>
>
> On 5/13/13 12:35 PM, Philippe Beaudette wrote:
>
>> Previous account, Nemo. :)
>>
>> ------------------
>> Philippe Beaudette
>> Director, Community Advocacy
>> Wikimedia Foundation, Inc
>>
>>
>>
>> On May 13, 2013, at 3:01 AM, "Federico Leva (Nemo)" <[hidden email]>
>> wrote:
>>
>>  Philippe Beaudette, 13/05/2013 11:21:
>>>
>>>> I actually was, Florence :-)
>>>>
>>>
>>> Let's see... <https://en.wikipedia.org/?**diff=prev&oldid=55625971<https://en.wikipedia.org/?diff=prev&oldid=55625971>
>>> >
>>> First (registered user, non deleted) edit 28 May... so not 7 years yet?
>>> ;-)
>>> And of course answering on day counts is a very constructive way to
>>> address Florence's points, congrats.
>>>
>>> Nemo
>>>
>>
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>>
>
>
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--

__________________________
dr hab. Dariusz Jemielniak
profesor zarządzania
kierownik katedry Zarządzania Międzynarodowego
i centrum badawczego CROW
Akademia Leona Koźmińskiego
http://www.crow.alk.edu.pl
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Go away, community (from WMF wiki at least)

Oliver Keyes-4
In reply to this post by Todd Allen
Todd

Thanks for your thoughtful post :). I've been thinking over it for a bit;
this is probably going to be a bit TL;DR, and doesn't address the original
point of the thread (if you're here for foundationwiki discussion, look
away now!)

So: after ACTRIAL, we said we communicated poorly. We /did/ communicate
poorly. And so we solved for it. I'm not sure if you saw the development of
Page Curation, but from my perspective, at least, it involved the community
much more concretely; we threw prototypes out early, talked people through
what they wanted, built what they wanted. It was a good model to use, and a
good model to follow. Even AFT5, problematic though it was, featured vast
amounts of community engagement (I think I worked out that, at one point,
we were doing office hours sessions more frequently than Sue. Three in one
24-hour period.) and ended in, well, us accepting the community's wishes on
the feature. There are always going to be negative parts of any development
plan, but I want to make clear that I think we've been doing a lot of stuff
right. There are beneficial things we can take from AFT5, from Page
Curation, even from Echo,[1] and I want to make sure that doesn't get
forgotten: that we have improved. Sure, we're not perfect, and yes, we're
going to slip up from time to time in an embarrassing way. But compared to
where we were two years ago, we're getting a lot better.

Having said that: the problem is that, compared to where we were two years
ago, we're making a lot more decisions. We're doing more things that have
an impact on the community. So, even if we improve so that we're only
causing a problem, say, 5 percent of the time instead of 20, we might be
having six times as many rolls of the dice, and the improvements get lost
in the noise. This does /not/ mean we're going to stop trying to improve.
But, it also doesn't mean we're going to start doing merely what the
community wants.

Let me be totally clear here; I agree wholeheartedly that the community
knows how to run the community better than we do, although I'd point out
that there is a substantial overlap between the community and the WMF.[2]
But when we talk about the community, what we're talking about in software
terms is power users; a specific subset of users. Those who choose to get
involved in meta-conversations, the top part of the power curve. That's not
the sum of Wikimedians; far from it. And we don't know that it's
representative of the sum of Wikimedians, or the sum of potential
Wikimedians. Fact of the matter is we have no evidence I'm aware of to
suggest that's the case. Now: power users are always going to have a damn
good idea as to what power users need, because it's close to their heart.
But, and speaking as a Wikipedian of ~7 years now, we're not necessarily
going to have all the ideas in relation to other groups. New users,
intermediate users, potential users; we haven't been any of those for a
very long time. We don't necessarily remember what we needed, or what
would've made us-back-then's lives easier. Even if we do, we're dealing
with very different demographics now from how we were in 2005 in terms of
user expectations.

This means that, when it comes to serving not just "the community of power
users" but "the community of Wikimedians", it's not something that the
community can just do on its own, or by fiat, instructing the Foundation.
Sure, we could make the argument that the community ultimately has the
authority to accidentally drive the site into the sea - that failure is an
option, and that failure for all in the pursuit of success for some is a
right we've earnt. But the fact of the matter is, that's not the
Foundation's job. Every staffer you meet has been tasked by a Board of
Trustees, incorporating several community-elected or chapter-elected
members, to make the Wikimedia projects work for as many people as
possible. It's our job. It's what we're paid to do. And our taskmasters are
ultimately, formally, that Board. So we can't just say "hey, knowing the
limitations of the community, we'll just do what they want". That isn't an
option.

But at the same time, we can't say "whatever, the community doesn't like it
but we'll do it anyway". As I said, we as power users have a pretty great
understanding of what power users need. We can't afford to let new users go
without support, but we can't afford to let power users be unsupported
either. So rolling over the community isn't an option, but neither is the
community rolling over the WMF. We have to find a middle ground; a place
where both sides can end up, if not happy, then at least equally,
begrudgingly tolerant to whatever the ultimate decision is.

I have to say that I've seen a lot of willingness to negotiate on the
Foundation side on this. You bring up ACTRIAL; yes, we said no to the
original proposal. Then we dedicated ~6 months of engineering time to
building the Page Curation/PageTriage suite in an attempt to address the
problem, in a process that heavily incorporated editor feedback. You bring
up Echo; yes, we didn't bring the Orange Bar back. But we spent a lot of
cycles coming up with alternatives, running them past people, with many
editors and many staffers actively engaged in the process. We had
designers, developers, product managers participating in the discussion,
and in the end we came up with something that everyone, well, begrudgingly
tolerates.

This isn't to say we're doing things perfectly. We're still learning, and
improving, and we're going to screw up sometimes. But we've demonstrated
we're willing to work towards the necessary middle ground; that we
acknowledge power user involvement as something which keeps us /us/, which
keeps us the Wikimedia movement. I've seen a lot of editors with the same
attitude. But I've seen a lot without it. We have to stop taking the
attitude that we (whoever "we" is) can rule by fiat: the real world doesn't
work like that. The problems we have, as a movement, can't be solved by
that.

Off-topic ramble ended. If anyone wants to start a new thread (or poke me
offlist) to discuss this, I'm more than happy to talk through it.


[1]So, for example: I really like the model we came up with of "when we're
asking people what they want to do, actually show them scripted prototypes
instead of mockups". We need to be doing that a lot more with user-facing
software, imo.
[2]I'm a long-time editor, Philippe is a long-time editor. So are Steven
Walling, James Alexander, James Forrester, Sage Ross, Sarah Stierch, S
Page, Ryan Kaldari...the list goes on and on and crosses department lines
and pay grades. That's without mentioning the people who have come to us
from outside and gone "I need to participate as a volunteer if I want to
understand this" - Heather Walls, Maryana Pinchuk, Fabrice Florin and many
others.

On 13 May 2013 16:37, Todd Allen <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Philippe,
>
> Thank you for a thoughtful reply. I have especially taken seriously your
> advice to moderate the tone, something I have been guilty of in the past.
> We expect editors to treat one another respectfully even when they
> disagree, and I think staff should receive the same courtesy.
>
> That aside, I do indeed disagree.
>
> Communication is not the problem. Yes, it was a problem here, but it was
> not -the- problem.
>
> This started for me with ACTRIAL. The community came to an unprecedented
> consensus for a major change, and asked WMF to implement.
>
> WMF said no.
>
> The community looked at the new new-message system and clearly said "Do not
> want! Roll it back!"
>
> WMF said no.
>
> I see a precipice too. But that precipice is with WMF attempting to rule,
> rather than serve, the communities they lead. Just like project admins are
> expected to use their technical authority to uphold and implement community
> consensus, never to overrule or subvert it, so should we expect the same of
> WMF. We know how to run our projects better than you do.
>
> After ACTRIAL, we heard the same thing-"We communicated poorly." Much of
> the frustration you see, and certainly my own, is the "I didn't hear that"
> aspect.
>
> When you overrule the community, it is a slap in the face. You are telling
> the volunteers who took the time to develop and gain consensus for their
> proposal that they both wasted their time and do not know what they are
> doing. What we are saying is not "Give us a little better notice when you
> plan to slap our face" or "Please explain a little better why you slapped
> my face." It is, instead, "Please stop slapping my face."
>
> Once again, you are being told "You are standing on my toes. Perhaps it was
> inadvertent, but it hurts. Please move." What I would like to be clear on
> is that when you hear that with one voice from the community, it requires
> not an apology or explanation, but a reversal. That didn't happen in the
> two scenarios I mentioned, and it hasn't in several others. Yes, that
> created bitterness and mistrust, disillusionment and many to leave
> altogether. To ask a serious question, not intended to be sarcastic or
> rhetorical, did you foresee some other outcome from such absolute
> overrules?
>
> I hope I've spoken clearly and without undue bitterness, but I feel this
> point must be made clearly. Communication isn't the root problem. Heavy
> handedness is. I suppose you could say the problem is in listening. The
> community is, in many cases, coming to a strong consensus on what it does
> and does not want. The WMF is ignoring that and doing something else.
>
> You won't stop that from being a problem by communicating better or sooner.
> At the end of the day, we need you to stop doing that.
>
> Here, you've been told "We disapprove of this action." Do we talk around it
> and leave more resentment to linger? Or do you listen and reverse it?
>
> Thanks if you took the time to read all this. I see a precipice, too. Let's
> all step back.
>
> Regards,
>
> Todd Allen
> On May 12, 2013 7:04 PM, "Philippe Beaudette" <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>
> > So, I took Florence's excellent advice and went for a walk (beautiful day
> > in SF, by the way - absolutely perfect).
> >
> > And I reflected on what I've seen since "flipping the switch" on things
> > last Friday.  Here's where I stand, and I haven't discussed this with
> > anyone else at WMF, including Gayle.
> >
> > At the expense of sounding trite, I think I can safely say "Mistakes were
> > made."  Gayle was trying to solve a real problem, and she got a lot of
> > advice on how to do that.  But the principle role of a staff member in a
> > role such as mine is "to advise", I think, and I'm afraid that I didn't
> > offer good advice in this case.  I don't think I gave bad advice -
> rather,
> > I didn't give as good of advice as I could have.  What our leadership
> > should be able to expect from staff is that we look at things from a
> > different perspective, and I think I failed to get as far out of my own
> > head and into other peoples' to offer that varying perspective.  So when
> I
> > say that mistakes were made, I include my role in that, through
> commission
> > or omission, and I sincerely apologize for that.
> >
> > With that said: I'm afraid we're headed toward a precipice.  What I'm
> > seeing scares me.  I see less and less good faith being offered toward
> the
> > WMF.  One of the arguments that doesn't work for me is "seven years ago
> the
> > WMF didn't make these mistakes" - because seven years ago the WMF was
> > paralyzed from lack of strategy and direction.  All of that has changed
> and
> > the WMF is out and aggressively trying things to arrest the editor
> decline
> > and improve the user experience.  And yet, when our talented engineers
> try
> > a data-driven tactic for something that needs to change, they're
> lambasted
> > for forgetting the existing community.  And yet everyone here knows that
> if
> > we don't change some things, things will get very very ugly, very very
> > quickly.
> >
> > One of the things that must continue to change is the tone on the wikis,
> > and the tone (in IRC and by email) between staff and volunteers.  I know
> > that volunteers are individual and - in addition to several frankly
> abusive
> > emails I've received this weekend, I've also received absolutely
> wonderful
> > support from volunteers who reached out to make me smile, laugh, or just
> > remind me why I love this community.  But the abusive ones absolutely
> > *must*stop.  I have never once, in my entire time at WMF, sent an
> > email that
> > approaches the level of things that I see WMF staff subjected to
> routinely,
> > and I have to counsel over and over that "it's okay, they don't speak for
> > the community", but I see the community tacitly support that behavior (or
> > fail to condemn it), and it's hard to say with a straight face that the
> > people sending abusive mail or making abusive statements in IRC don't
> speak
> > for the community.
> >
> > So my challenge and my promise:  I promise to reflect on the experiences
> of
> > this weekend and figure out how I could have offered Gayle better advice,
> > given the circumstances, and given the fact that there are some things
> that
> > are not public about the decision, and unfortunately they can't be.  My
> > challenge to the community:  think about the tone of what you see
> happening
> > around you.  And if you wouldn't want to see your grandmother asked a
> > question like that, and if it would make you feel defensive to see her
> > questioned in that tone, then step in and make it clear that the tone is
> > unacceptable.  Staff members are people too.  How about finding one that
> > has done something you appreciate (come on, there must be ONE) and tell
> > them so?  You'd be shocked how much gratitude they'll feel, because you
> may
> > be the first community member EVER to tell them that.
> >
> > Best,
> > pb
> >
> >
> >
> > ___________________
> > Philippe Beaudette
> > Director, Community Advocacy
> > Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.
> >
> > 415-839-6885, x 6643
> >
> > [hidden email]
> >
> >
> > On Sun, May 12, 2013 at 5:46 PM, Russavia <[hidden email]
> > >wrote:
> >
> > > On Mon, May 13, 2013 at 7:58 AM, Gayle Karen Young <
> [hidden email]
> > >
> > > wrote:
> > > > This definitely feels like a bit of trial by fire.
> > >
> > > True dat. Now that you have received your initiation, there's nothing
> > > left to say but WELCOME TO WIKIPEDIA :)
> > >
> > > Cheers,
> > >
> > > Russavia
> > >
> > > _______________________________________________
> > > Wikimedia-l mailing list
> > > [hidden email]
> > > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
> > >
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list
> > [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
> >
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
>



--
Oliver Keyes
Community Liaison, Product Development
Wikimedia Foundation
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Go away, community (from WMF wiki at least)

theo10011
In reply to this post by Dariusz Jemielniak-3
On Mon, May 13, 2013 at 10:09 PM, Dariusz Jemielniak <[hidden email]>wrote:

> hi Florence,
>
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Sock_puppetry
>
> sockpuppeting is using more than one account in the same time. There are
> legitimate situations when users have a new account set up (e.g. after
> forgetting a password). Also, some users have multiple accounts for privacy
> reasons. Finally, we also have a clean start policy, which is not
> considered improper.
>

<facepalm>

Do you know anything about Florence? BTW Aren't you the FDC chair?

-Theo
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Go away, community (from WMF wiki at least)

Andy Mabbett-2
In reply to this post by Oliver Keyes-4
On 13 May 2013 18:01, Oliver Keyes <[hidden email]> wrote:

>.You bring
> up Echo; yes, we didn't bring the Orange Bar back. But we spent a lot of
> cycles coming up with alternatives, running them past people, with many
> editors and many staffers actively engaged in the process. We had
> designers, developers, product managers participating in the discussion,

And still you miss (if not ignore) the point; you removed something
which was useful; consensus - supported by justifications and
experience - was that it should be restored, and you ignored that
consensus.

You consulted on options including that restoration; and when it it
was supported, you disregarded it out-of-hand.

You (collectively) made unsupportable assertions and accusations, and
resorted to snide comments when called on them.

> and in the end we came up with something that everyone, well, begrudgingly
> tolerates.

And that's just downright false.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Go away, community (from WMF wiki at least)

David Goodman-2
Basically, you (in the plural)  thought you could do better than the
consensus, and therefore simply without rejecting it , did not implement it
while you tried other things first.   All these trials would have been
good, ''had they been done before implementation.'' I am waiting for
someone from the foundation to come out and agree to that, a recognition
that the error was that they needed to be done first.

I am then waiting for a statement that all future changes of this sort will
be broadly announced and trialed first,

And I'm further waiting for a statement that the  actual implementation
will depend on the consensus.

Frankly, if these are not forthcoming, the community needs to consider what
it can do to retain control over the interface. While  some individuals at
the WMF may have greater individual expertise at some of the things
involved, they collectively do not have better judgment than the editing
community about what makes a good editing interface. They may have the
power to override it, but  they do not have the right to do so.   If they
think they ought to have the right, let them justify it.

Probably the first step is to insist on its consensus on this feature. I
wouldn't want to make an example of this otherwise, but unless we have  an
acknowledgement that we will have the right to decide in the future, the
time to assert our right to decide is now. The WMF presumably thinks it can
out-wait us, and needs to learn otherwise.   I'm not eager to do this:
I've heard some ideas, and I hope we do not need them.




On Mon, May 13, 2013 at 1:32 PM, Andy Mabbett <[hidden email]>wrote:

> On 13 May 2013 18:01, Oliver Keyes <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> >.You bring
> > up Echo; yes, we didn't bring the Orange Bar back. But we spent a lot of
> > cycles coming up with alternatives, running them past people, with many
> > editors and many staffers actively engaged in the process. We had
> > designers, developers, product managers participating in the discussion,
>
> And still you miss (if not ignore) the point; you removed something
> which was useful; consensus - supported by justifications and
> experience - was that it should be restored, and you ignored that
> consensus.
>
> You consulted on options including that restoration; and when it it
> was supported, you disregarded it out-of-hand.
>
> You (collectively) made unsupportable assertions and accusations, and
> resorted to snide comments when called on them.
>
> > and in the end we came up with something that everyone, well,
> begrudgingly
> > tolerates.
>
> And that's just downright false.
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
>



--
David Goodman

DGG at the enWP
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:DGG
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:DGG
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Go away, community (from WMF wiki at least)

Dariusz Jemielniak-3
In reply to this post by theo10011
Theo,

I know who Florence is and was, and quite honestly her suggestion that
Philippe was sockpuppeting in my view only called for this short reminder.
And if she joked, I'm sure she appreciated it, too. :)

PS You forgot the </facepalm> tag!

dj


On Mon, May 13, 2013 at 7:31 PM, Theo10011 <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Mon, May 13, 2013 at 10:09 PM, Dariusz Jemielniak <[hidden email]>wrote:
>
>> hi Florence,
>>
>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Sock_puppetry
>>
>> sockpuppeting is using more than one account in the same time. There are
>> legitimate situations when users have a new account set up (e.g. after
>> forgetting a password). Also, some users have multiple accounts for
>> privacy
>> reasons. Finally, we also have a clean start policy, which is not
>> considered improper.
>>
>
> <facepalm>
>
> Do you know anything about Florence? BTW Aren't you the FDC chair?
>
> -Theo
>
>


--

__________________________
dr hab. Dariusz Jemielniak
profesor zarządzania
kierownik katedry Zarządzania Międzynarodowego
i centrum badawczego CROW
Akademia Leona Koźmińskiego
http://www.crow.alk.edu.pl
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Go away, community (from WMF wiki at least)

Isarra Yos
In reply to this post by Jane Darnell
Employees have a separate wiki specifically for employee things. The
foundationwiki is different from that, serving as a forefront to the
movement itself, something which we are all a part of - and that admin
access should be reflecting people's specific type of association with
the movement doesn't seem to be a decided fact.

On 13/05/13 07:59, Jane Darnell wrote:

> I can sympathize with the issue, namely, that it would be nice if only
> Foundation employees could be allowed admin access on their own wiki.
> I recall a similar issue (which was not so widely blown up) for our
> WMNL board wiki in the Netherlands (and yes Phoebe, that is a very
> boring wiki). I find it interesting to read Gayle's reaction, but I
> don't think she should have apologized.
>
> The way the community interacts with newbies is unforgiveable, period.
> This is a perfect example of the reason that many women will go away
> after their first few edits, or they grow some sort of special magic
> Wikipedia filter. Even if she was just the messenger and it was
> Philippe's idea, as far as the reactions to Gayle go, I agree with
> Philippe's "it's often damn hard to wade into these waters...", but I
> would rather conclude with "Staff members are Wikipedians too."
>
> And don't get me started on the concept of "higher standards"!!
>
> 2013/5/13, phoebe ayers <[hidden email]>:
>> On Sun, May 12, 2013 at 10:32 PM, Federico Leva (Nemo)
>> <[hidden email]>wrote:
>>
>>> Casey Brown, 13/05/2013 07:05:
>>>
>>>> [...] [Note that I'm speaking generally -- I personally think Gayle can
>>>>
>>>> handle criticism and she seems very nice. She also probably had no
>>>> idea this would create dramz. My comment is directed towards the
>>>> general "omg think of the staff member!" response to criticism that is
>>>> systemic in our movement.]
>>>>
>>> Still, "omg think of the staff member!" seems to be the point Gayle and
>>> Philippe make on this thread. If history teaches something, I guess the
>>> board will soon approve a resolution to request the development of a
>>> Personal Communitymember Filter to AT LAST hide all that offensive content
>>> in our community. MediaWiki-mailman integration offers some challenges,
>>> but
>>> our commitment to openness will swiftly help, shutting down more mailing
>>> lists in favour of wiki discussions.
>>>
>>> Nemo
>>>
>> Au contraire, I feel we should all earn some kind of barnstar just for
>> participating in this discussion/situation. You know, it's kind of the
>> ultimate Wikimedian tempest: arguing over who gets to add users and delete
>> pages on what is quite possibly the world's most boring wiki[1]...
>>
>> It's also a quintessentially Wikimedian debate because there's all this
>> subtext -- assumed but not articulated -- that isn't minor at all: about
>> community ownership versus corporate control, about who has authority to
>> make decisions in what sphere, about the role volunteers play in the
>> organization, over what personal reputation means on the projects, over
>> what admin rights mean, what kind of work environment the staff have, etc..
>> I'm gonna take a stab in the dark here and guess that Gayle wasn't
>> intending to start a debate on all these big important topics, or even
>> perhaps to comment on them at all. I'm also gonna say from experience that
>> it's often damn hard to wade into these waters and take an action *without*
>> touching off a debate on all these subjects. As someone said upthread, the
>> golden rule does help, as does practice working with the wiki way, and
>> knowing all the personal ins and outs of Wikimedia and our arcane culture.
>> But *even that* doesn't always save someone from making an unpopular
>> decision, or from screwing up or not thinking through all the ways they
>> might be wading into a minefield -- and that goes for all of us, staff,
>> board, & community alike. Hey, ask me how I know.
>>
>> Sheesh, being part of the world's biggest collaborative project is hard
>> sometimes.
>>
>> -- phoebe
>>
>>
>> 1. I exempt, of course, the internal wiki at my workplace, which has won
>> the crown many years running.
>> _______________________________________________
>> Wikimedia-l mailing list
>> [hidden email]
>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
>>
> _______________________________________________
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> [hidden email]
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--
-— Isarra


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Go away, community (from WMF wiki at least)

Erik Moeller-4
In reply to this post by Dariusz Jemielniak-3
On Mon, May 13, 2013 at 9:39 AM, Dariusz Jemielniak <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I think I'm quite neutral to the decision itself. If it is a WMF wiki, and
> if indeed there were some problems with staff being overridden by
> volunteers, I think it may perhaps make some sense to leave it to WMF.
> However, the way this change was introduced was definitely poorly planned,
> badly communicated (and not announced ahead of time), occasionally harsh,
>  quite insensitive. Also, clearly, some discussion ahead of time would be
> good - both to let people know, but also to let the community think about
> addressing the problems related to it, too.
>
> I believe that especially Gayle, but also Philippe, have expressed their
> sincere apologies for the way things turned out, and for their
> unthoughtfulness prior to going through with the plan. Gayle also promised
> to reflect more on the issue once she gets back to the office. I think that
> this is quite a good way to deal with the problem.

Thanks, Dariusz. Yes, Gayle has indeed apologized - both here on the
list and individually on the talk pages of the affected users [1] -
for the rash way in which this was done. She's also in touch by direct
email with people who've reached out to her.

I think we're all in agreement that when such clarifications in
governance are made, we need to be extra careful to not make long-time
volunteers feel like their work isn't recognized or appreciated. We do
owe that to folks like Casey and Thehelpfulone but also early
Wikimedia veterans like Daniel Mayer (Wikimedia's volunteer CFO in the
early years) and everyone else who's helped maintain WMF wiki over the
years.

In turn, the staff of WMF also appreciates patience and forgiveness
when things like this happen. When conflict occurs, abusive language
is sometimes directed at staff, and we also appreciate when such
language is called out and not tolerated.

Thanks,
Erik

[1] e.g. https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/User_talk:Thehelpfulone#Apology_for_removal_of_admin_rights
; some of her notes are on Meta as well
--
Erik Möller
VP of Engineering and Product Development, Wikimedia Foundation

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Go away, community (from WMF wiki at least)

Erik Moeller-4
In reply to this post by David Goodman-2
On Mon, May 13, 2013 at 10:56 AM, David Goodman <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Basically, you (in the plural)  thought you could do better than the
> consensus, and therefore simply without rejecting it , did not implement it
> while you tried other things first.   All these trials would have been
> good, ''had they been done before implementation.'' I am waiting for
> someone from the foundation to come out and agree to that, a recognition
> that the error was that they needed to be done first.

Hi David,

I'm a little bit lost as to what you're referring to here, is this
about the decision to not reinstate the orange notifications bar after
the Echo rollout? If so, I already clarified [1] that I felt that we
didn't do a good job recognizing the likely impact of this change
earlier and addressing it more systematically upfront. We've since
implemented a compromise, and work is continuing to iterate on this
and other aspects of the new notifications system.

In general, for features rollouts (and if we want to talk more about
this, we should really split the thread), my recommendation is to
adopt a beta->production mode switch similar to the mobile site, which
will give us a generalized way to test new features with users who are
willing to do so, while not committing us to provide an opt-out
preference or mode switch for every new feature (which, while an easy
way to appease upset users, is also a recipe for technical debt). Had
Echo been available in beta on en.wp for a while before being
activated, I think the rollout could have been a lot smoother.

All best,
Erik

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikipedia_talk:Notifications&diff=prev&oldid=553547662

--
Erik Möller
VP of Engineering and Product Development, Wikimedia Foundation

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Go away, community (from WMF wiki at least)

Tomasz W. Kozlowski
In reply to this post by Yaroslav M. Blanter
Yaroslav M. Blanter wrote:

> If I read the e-mails correctly, 1 and 2 were covered. 1 is Gayle, and 2
> is that "it was on her to do list for a long time", so apparently she
> decided to perform this on Friday afternoon since it was not pleasant
> and had to be done anyway.

I'm not so sure about this, actually. Gayle clearly writes that "they
have been talking internally for a while", which suggests that more
people have been involved in making this decision.

Knowing whether this was just a decision taken between Gayle and
Philippe, or whether more senior WMF staff members have been involved
(Erik? Sue?) would definitely change the way I feel about it, and could
also have other consequences.

Also, the fact that this subject might have been on Gayle's to-do list
for a while doesn't answer the second part of my question — the one
about the changes which prompted such a sudden removal of rights from
those volunteers.

> I am not sure though pursuing these questions is very much constructive.
> I personally would be more interested in 5) what measures are to be
> taken to exclude this in the future, and 6) how can we continue assuming
> good faith and be nice to each other.

Seconded–having those questions answer would really help. I'll also try
to follow up to FT2's proposal in a more constructive way — maybe by
starting a page on Meta, I'll see what can be done.

        -- Tomasz

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Go away, community (from WMF wiki at least)

Florence Devouard-3
In reply to this post by Dariusz Jemielniak-3
On 5/13/13 6:39 PM, Dariusz Jemielniak wrote:
> hi Florence,
>
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Sock_puppetry
>
> sockpuppeting is using more than one account in the same time. There are
> legitimate situations when users have a new account set up (e.g. after
> forgetting a password). Also, some users have multiple accounts for privacy
> reasons. Finally, we also have a clean start policy, which is not
> considered improper.

Eh. I know... I was joking Dariusz. As in ... trying to lighten the
smoky atmosphere :)

Because I disagree with Philippe on his current stance and I think his
advice to Gayle was no good advice. But I love the guy 100% (or even
more than 100% since I discovered he had a big boy...) so I can live
with our disagreement anyway and forgive him for the bad move.


>
> Regarding the whole crisis now, and in particular in relation to wiki (not
> blog) I believe that two things need to be separated: the decision to get
> rid of community admins from wiki, and the way it was enforced.
>
> I think I'm quite neutral to the decision itself. If it is a WMF wiki, and
> if indeed there were some problems with staff being overridden by
> volunteers, I think it may perhaps make some sense to leave it to WMF.
> However, the way this change was introduced was definitely poorly planned,
> badly communicated (and not announced ahead of time), occasionally harsh,
>   quite insensitive. Also, clearly, some discussion ahead of time would be
> good - both to let people know, but also to let the community think about
> addressing the problems related to it, too.
>
> I believe that especially Gayle, but also Philippe, have expressed their
> sincere apologies for the way things turned out, and for their
> unthoughtfulness prior to going through with the plan. Gayle also promised
> to reflect more on the issue once she gets back to the office. I think that
> this is quite a good way to deal with the problem.
>
> best,
>

Exactly. Well put.

Flo


> Dariusz ("pundit")
>
>
>
>
>
>
> On Mon, May 13, 2013 at 1:45 PM, Florence Devouard <[hidden email]>wrote:
>
>> omg, he just admitted sockpupetting !!!
>>
>>
>>
>> On 5/13/13 12:35 PM, Philippe Beaudette wrote:
>>
>>> Previous account, Nemo. :)
>>>
>>> ------------------
>>> Philippe Beaudette
>>> Director, Community Advocacy
>>> Wikimedia Foundation, Inc
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> On May 13, 2013, at 3:01 AM, "Federico Leva (Nemo)" <[hidden email]>
>>> wrote:
>>>
>>>   Philippe Beaudette, 13/05/2013 11:21:
>>>>
>>>>> I actually was, Florence :-)
>>>>>
>>>>
>>>> Let's see... <https://en.wikipedia.org/?**diff=prev&oldid=55625971<https://en.wikipedia.org/?diff=prev&oldid=55625971>
>>>>>
>>>> First (registered user, non deleted) edit 28 May... so not 7 years yet?
>>>> ;-)
>>>> And of course answering on day counts is a very constructive way to
>>>> address Florence's points, congrats.
>>>>
>>>> Nemo
>>>>
>>>
>>> ______________________________**_________________
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Go away, community (from WMF wiki at least)

David Goodman-2
In reply to this post by Erik Moeller-4
right; wrong thread.

But yes,beta is good,as with the virtual editor.


On Mon, May 13, 2013 at 2:15 PM, Erik Moeller <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Mon, May 13, 2013 at 10:56 AM, David Goodman <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > Basically, you (in the plural)  thought you could do better than the
> > consensus, and therefore simply without rejecting it , did not implement
> it
> > while you tried other things first.   All these trials would have been
> > good, ''had they been done before implementation.'' I am waiting for
> > someone from the foundation to come out and agree to that, a recognition
> > that the error was that they needed to be done first.
>
> Hi David,
>
> I'm a little bit lost as to what you're referring to here, is this
> about the decision to not reinstate the orange notifications bar after
> the Echo rollout? If so, I already clarified [1] that I felt that we
> didn't do a good job recognizing the likely impact of this change
> earlier and addressing it more systematically upfront. We've since
> implemented a compromise, and work is continuing to iterate on this
> and other aspects of the new notifications system.
>
> In general, for features rollouts (and if we want to talk more about
> this, we should really split the thread), my recommendation is to
> adopt a beta->production mode switch similar to the mobile site, which
> will give us a generalized way to test new features with users who are
> willing to do so, while not committing us to provide an opt-out
> preference or mode switch for every new feature (which, while an easy
> way to appease upset users, is also a recipe for technical debt). Had
> Echo been available in beta on en.wp for a while before being
> activated, I think the rollout could have been a lot smoother.
>
> All best,
> Erik
>
> [1]
> https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikipedia_talk:Notifications&diff=prev&oldid=553547662
>
> --
> Erik Möller
> VP of Engineering and Product Development, Wikimedia Foundation
>
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--
David Goodman

DGG at the enWP
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:DGG
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:DGG
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[Wikimedia-l] Patience

Michael Snow-5
In reply to this post by David Goodman-2
I originally wrote this message last year on a nonpublic list. It seemed
to be well received, and some people asked me to share it publicly, but
I didn't get around to it then. I think this would be a good time to
share it here now. It is not specifically directed at recent issues
here, but I think it does have some relevance. (I have some thoughts
more directly related to those matters as well, which I hope to share
when I have time to write them down. That might not happen until late
Friday, which is probably not the best time for it, but based on recent
history perhaps I can still hope some people will be reading then.)

Internet technology is known for letting things happen much faster than
they did before we were all so connected. This speed now seems normal to
us and, being immersed in that culture, we have come to expect it.
Wikis, as one aspect of that culture, have the feature of making that
speed a personal tool - you can make something happen right away. How
many of us got involved because we saw a mistake and figuratively
couldn't wait to fix it? And when we discovered that we literally didn't
have to wait, we were hooked.

One result of this is a culture that caters to impatience, sometimes
even rewards it. And that's why we are often tempted to think that being
irritable is a way of getting things done. We imagine: this problem
should be instantly solved, my idea can be implemented right away, I
will be immediately informed about whatever I care about. But as our
culture grows in scale, none of that remains true (and perhaps, we get
more irritated as a result).

I wish I could say that because it's a matter of scale, technology will
take care of things because that's how we handle scaling. However, the
issue is not about whether the technology will scale, but whether the
culture will scale. On a cultural level, scaling issues are not handled
by technology alone. They are handled by establishing shared values (be
bold, but also wait for consensus), by agreeing upon standard procedures
(which provide important protections when designed well, but also
introduce delays), and by dividing up responsibilities (which requires
that we trust others).

That last bit is critical; people have repeatedly suggested a certain
mistrust underlies the repeated flareups. Well, the reason that mistrust
has grown so much is because we are often impatient, and take shortcuts
in order to "get things done" (or so we believe). The impatience
manifests on all sides--to illustrate: volunteers get impatient about
the effort needed for any kind of policy change, chapters get impatient
about requirements to develop internal controls and share reports on
their activities, staff get impatient about time involved in consulting
with the community. Everyone thinks it would be so much better if they
were free to just do things and not have to deal with these hassles. But
in every one of these scenarios, and I'm sure I could come up with many
more, if we let impatience guide us, inevitably more trust will be
drained out of the system.

Patience as a virtue is in short supply on the internet. It is not
native to our culture, but we must apply it in order to scale.
Fortunately, it is simply a matter of maturity and self-control at
appropriate moments. I encourage us all to practice it.

--Michael Snow


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Patience

David Gerard-2
On 15 May 2013 07:45, Michael Snow <[hidden email]> wrote:

> That last bit is critical; people have repeatedly suggested a certain
> mistrust underlies the repeated flareups. Well, the reason that mistrust has
> grown so much is because we are often impatient, and take shortcuts in order
> to "get things done" (or so we believe).


You're quite sure that's the root cause?


- d.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Patience

Michael Snow-5
On 5/14/2013 11:48 PM, David Gerard wrote:
> On 15 May 2013 07:45, Michael Snow <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> That last bit is critical; people have repeatedly suggested a certain
>> mistrust underlies the repeated flareups. Well, the reason that mistrust has
>> grown so much is because we are often impatient, and take shortcuts in order
>> to "get things done" (or so we believe).
> You're quite sure that's the root cause?
I'm addressing this as a structural issue, and there may be other ways
to express it, but I'm not sure that talking about "the root cause" fits
the nature of the problem. With apologies for lapsing into legal
terminology, my message is not about proximate cause, such as for
particular incidents. Rather, I am focusing on a cultural phenomenon,
and as with most aspects of culture, certainly many factors may be at
play, but I do feel sure that as to what I'm describing, this is a major
part of the challenge. If you like, change that sentence to say "one"
reason rather than "the", I think the rest of what I wrote is still just
as valid.

--Michael Snow


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