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[Wikimedia-l] Non-WMF funding sources for community work

Pine W
Hi folks,

I'd like to ask for your thoughts about (1) whether it would be a good
idea, and if so (2) how, to get non-WMF funding sources for community work
which WMF can't, won't, or shouldn't fund, and could benefit from paid
human resources.

Two areas that I have in mind that could benefit from paid human resources
for community work are

(1) the *Signpost*, which seems to me like it requires enough skilled work
to produce on a weekly
basis that its staff should be paid in a manner similar to the staff of US
college weekly newspapers. (For a time I was a regular *Signpost*
contributor, but no longer. I know how much work was involved in doing a
good job with creating and publishing the *Signpost* weekly.)

and

(2) conflict of interest work, in three domains: (a) education of COI
editors, particularly those who express interest in abiding by community
norms and policies; (b) reviews of changes that have been made or proposed
in a manner consistent with the spirit of community norms of policies; and
(c) investigations of potential COI problems such as undisclosed paid
editing.

Perhaps there are other areas which would also benefit from additional paid
human resources, but which WMF can't, won't, or shouldn't fund.

Let me repeat the questions that I asked at the top of this email. (1) How
would people feel about non-WMF funding for these kinds kind of work, if
funding can be found? (2) If funding for these kinds of work would be
beneficial, how might the funding be possible to obtain it without WMF
involvement?

A third question which will need some thought, if there aren't a lot of
objections to the concept and if funding can be found, is "who should
administer the funding?" WMF shouldn't, and my initial thought is that
setting up a new 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization would be a good way to
go. I suggest waiting to think about this question for the moment, and
first focusing on the two other questions.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

Pine
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Non-WMF funding sources for community work

jmh649
1) We do have decent funding mechanisms within the Wikimedia movement. Why
could the Signpost not be funded by a movement grant? One would just want
the oversight to be from a community run entity rather than from the WMF.
Here are the members of the project grants committee
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:Project/Quarterly/Committee

2) With respect to COI work. There was support to set up a group of
functionaries to take on some of this work on EN WP. The big push for this
is to allow concerns regarding off WP evidence to be mostly dealt with
privately to balance our support of the right to anonymity for good faith
editors.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia_talk:Conflict_of_interest#Milieu_3

Additionally legal already does a fair bit of COI follow up but is fairly
quiet about the work they do. So we do have some paid staff on this right
now.

By the way neither of these comments are in opposition to third party
indepedent funding to support more work in these topic areas :-)

Best
James

On Sun, May 7, 2017 at 12:24 PM, Pine W <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hi folks,
>
> I'd like to ask for your thoughts about (1) whether it would be a good
> idea, and if so (2) how, to get non-WMF funding sources for community work
> which WMF can't, won't, or shouldn't fund, and could benefit from paid
> human resources.
>
> Two areas that I have in mind that could benefit from paid human resources
> for community work are
>
> (1) the *Signpost*, which seems to me like it requires enough skilled work
> to produce on a weekly
> basis that its staff should be paid in a manner similar to the staff of US
> college weekly newspapers. (For a time I was a regular *Signpost*
> contributor, but no longer. I know how much work was involved in doing a
> good job with creating and publishing the *Signpost* weekly.)
>
> and
>
> (2) conflict of interest work, in three domains: (a) education of COI
> editors, particularly those who express interest in abiding by community
> norms and policies; (b) reviews of changes that have been made or proposed
> in a manner consistent with the spirit of community norms of policies; and
> (c) investigations of potential COI problems such as undisclosed paid
> editing.
>
> Perhaps there are other areas which would also benefit from additional paid
> human resources, but which WMF can't, won't, or shouldn't fund.
>
> Let me repeat the questions that I asked at the top of this email. (1) How
> would people feel about non-WMF funding for these kinds kind of work, if
> funding can be found? (2) If funding for these kinds of work would be
> beneficial, how might the funding be possible to obtain it without WMF
> involvement?
>
> A third question which will need some thought, if there aren't a lot of
> objections to the concept and if funding can be found, is "who should
> administer the funding?" WMF shouldn't, and my initial thought is that
> setting up a new 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization would be a good way to
> go. I suggest waiting to think about this question for the moment, and
> first focusing on the two other questions.
>
> Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
>
> Pine
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> wiki/Wikimedia-l
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>




--
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MD, CCFP-EM, Wikipedian

The Wikipedia Open Textbook of Medicine
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Non-WMF funding sources for community work

Pine W
I don't think that WMF project grants would be a suitable funding source
for *Signpost *work, for multiple reasons. I consider the *Signpost *to be
"content", and WMF shouldn't fund content if it wants to maintain its
immunity to lawsuits regarding user-contributed content. Also, there would
be a conflict of interest between the journalistic role of the *Signpost *and
the WMF; the *Signpost *should have significant financial, legal, and
managerial independence from WMF.

Project grants could be a good source of funding for some work that
addresses COI, although I think it would be good to keep in mind that WMF
shouldn't be creating (or editing) content directly. I would be wary of
using WMF funds to pay people to decide whether or not certain edits are
appropriate. I think that training materials, and software tools to detect
edits that look promotional or controversial, could be developed with WMF
funds. I'd want someone who isn't reporting to WMF to make the decisions
about the appropriateness of edits that are flagged for review (whether
flagged by humans or technical tools, and whether or not self-reported by
COI editors who request review). If a process leads to a community (i.e.
not WMF and not COI editor) decision that edits are incompatible with
community policies and norms, then at that point the matter could be (1)
addressed directly by the reviewer such as by declining a proposed edit or
reverting an edit, (2) referred to site administrators for community
interventions such as warnings or blocks, and/or (3) referred to WMF for
legal action using WMF resources. That's a long way of saying that I think
that there are important technical and legal roles that WMF can have in
helping to identify and deter COI editing, but WMF's roles should be be
carefully separated from and in alignment with the community's roles.

Pine
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Non-WMF funding sources for community work

jmh649
My point was more that these are ethically movement funds rather than WMF
funds. Yes I realize that legally the matter differs. The Signpost produces
reviews of issues of interest to Wikimedias rather than forward facing
content for our readers. I do not see it as different than funding the WMF
blog.

James

On Sun, May 7, 2017 at 5:49 PM, Pine W <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I don't think that WMF project grants would be a suitable funding source
> for *Signpost *work, for multiple reasons. I consider the *Signpost *to be
> "content", and WMF shouldn't fund content if it wants to maintain its
> immunity to lawsuits regarding user-contributed content. Also, there would
> be a conflict of interest between the journalistic role of the *Signpost
> *and
> the WMF; the *Signpost *should have significant financial, legal, and
> managerial independence from WMF.
>
> Project grants could be a good source of funding for some work that
> addresses COI, although I think it would be good to keep in mind that WMF
> shouldn't be creating (or editing) content directly. I would be wary of
> using WMF funds to pay people to decide whether or not certain edits are
> appropriate. I think that training materials, and software tools to detect
> edits that look promotional or controversial, could be developed with WMF
> funds. I'd want someone who isn't reporting to WMF to make the decisions
> about the appropriateness of edits that are flagged for review (whether
> flagged by humans or technical tools, and whether or not self-reported by
> COI editors who request review). If a process leads to a community (i.e.
> not WMF and not COI editor) decision that edits are incompatible with
> community policies and norms, then at that point the matter could be (1)
> addressed directly by the reviewer such as by declining a proposed edit or
> reverting an edit, (2) referred to site administrators for community
> interventions such as warnings or blocks, and/or (3) referred to WMF for
> legal action using WMF resources. That's a long way of saying that I think
> that there are important technical and legal roles that WMF can have in
> helping to identify and deter COI editing, but WMF's roles should be be
> carefully separated from and in alignment with the community's roles.
>
> Pine
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> wiki/Wikimedia-l
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>




--
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MD, CCFP-EM, Wikipedian

The Wikipedia Open Textbook of Medicine
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Non-WMF funding sources for community work

Pine W
A distinction that I see between funding the WMF blog from funding the
*Signpost
*is that the former is WMF corporate communications and the latter is
community journalism. It would be difficult to maintain journalistic
integrity and independence at the *Signpost *if its staff feel like their
paychecks (which would probably be similar to what part-time reporters make
at US college newspapers) are in any way dependent on pleasing WMF. (I'm
not saying that the *Signpost *should go out of its way to be critical, but
it should be as independent as realistically possible.)

Pine
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Non-WMF funding sources for community work

Ramzy Muliawan
I do not think that WMF funding would be the best solution for the
Signpost, as it would raise questions about their journalism independence
and integrity. There are many other options to explore, though, like grants
from Knight Foundation <https://knightfoundation.org/programs/journalism>
 and MacArthur Foundation
<https://www.macfound.org/info-grantseekers/grantmaking-guidelines/media-grant-guidelines/>
if
we are really going to go with paid contributor as Pine suggested.

But I would also suggest the option to integrate Signpost with its sister
publications in other Wikipedia edition, such as Der Kurier in German
Wikipedia and Correio da Wikipédia in Portuguese Wikipedia. I think it
would be beneficial to integrate all community news publication that
currently exists, but also retains its multilingual edition.

Salam,
Ramzy.

*Ramzy Muliawan*
Reporter, LN North Star
<http://northstaronline.org/staff/?writer=Ramzy%20Muliawan>
Editor and administrator, id.wp - min.wp - meta.wiki
<https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Muhraz>
Blog <http://ramzym.blogspot.com/> / Medium <https://medium.com/@ramzym> /
Twitter <https://twitter.com/ramzymuliawan> / Public PGP Key
<https://keybase.io/ramzy/key.asc>

On Mon, May 8, 2017 at 2:28 AM, Pine W <[hidden email]> wrote:

> A distinction that I see between funding the WMF blog from funding the
> *Signpost
> *is that the former is WMF corporate communications and the latter is
> community journalism. It would be difficult to maintain journalistic
> integrity and independence at the *Signpost *if its staff feel like their
> paychecks (which would probably be similar to what part-time reporters make
> at US college newspapers) are in any way dependent on pleasing WMF. (I'm
> not saying that the *Signpost *should go out of its way to be critical, but
> it should be as independent as realistically possible.)
>
> Pine
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> wiki/Wikimedia-l
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Non-WMF funding sources for community work

Florence Devouard-6
In reply to this post by Pine W
Le 07/05/2017 à 20:24, Pine W a écrit :

> Hi folks,
>
> I'd like to ask for your thoughts about (1) whether it would be a good
> idea, and if so (2) how, to get non-WMF funding sources for community work
> which WMF can't, won't, or shouldn't fund, and could benefit from paid
> human resources.
>
> Two areas that I have in mind that could benefit from paid human resources
> for community work are
>
> (1) the *Signpost*, which seems to me like it requires enough skilled work
> to produce on a weekly
> basis that its staff should be paid in a manner similar to the staff of US
> college weekly newspapers. (For a time I was a regular *Signpost*
> contributor, but no longer. I know how much work was involved in doing a
> good job with creating and publishing the *Signpost* weekly.)
>
> and
>
> (2) conflict of interest work, in three domains: (a) education of COI
> editors, particularly those who express interest in abiding by community
> norms and policies; (b) reviews of changes that have been made or proposed
> in a manner consistent with the spirit of community norms of policies; and
> (c) investigations of potential COI problems such as undisclosed paid
> editing.
>
> Perhaps there are other areas which would also benefit from additional paid
> human resources, but which WMF can't, won't, or shouldn't fund.
>
> Let me repeat the questions that I asked at the top of this email. (1) How
> would people feel about non-WMF funding for these kinds kind of work, if
> funding can be found? (2) If funding for these kinds of work would be
> beneficial, how might the funding be possible to obtain it without WMF
> involvement?
>
> A third question which will need some thought, if there aren't a lot of
> objections to the concept and if funding can be found, is "who should
> administer the funding?" WMF shouldn't, and my initial thought is that
> setting up a new 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization would be a good way to
> go. I suggest waiting to think about this question for the moment, and
> first focusing on the two other questions.

I would rather advise not starting an organization from scratch, but
rather to see if the project might not be hosted by an already existing
non profit with suitable mission and values.

None come to my mind because I know little about the community
journalism, but cutting down the administrative crap seems like
potentially good idea to me.

Florence


>
> Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
>
> Pine
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia-l
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Non-WMF funding sources for community work

Craig Franklin
In reply to this post by Pine W
Well, before we talk about funding the Signpost through the WMF or through
a non-WMF source, lets ask if that is what the folks who actually work on
the Signpost would like?  There's a pretty big assumption here that the
writers there would like to be paid in the manner of a college newspaper,
with all the responsibility that goes with that.

It seems to me that the Signpost has a lot of problems, but they're not the
sort of problems easily fixed by throwing money at them.

Cheers,
Craig

On 8 May 2017 at 16:28, Pine W <[hidden email]> wrote:

> A distinction that I see between funding the WMF blog from funding the
> *Signpost
> *is that the former is WMF corporate communications and the latter is
> community journalism. It would be difficult to maintain journalistic
> integrity and independence at the *Signpost *if its staff feel like their
> paychecks (which would probably be similar to what part-time reporters make
> at US college newspapers) are in any way dependent on pleasing WMF. (I'm
> not saying that the *Signpost *should go out of its way to be critical, but
> it should be as independent as realistically possible.)
>
> Pine
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> wiki/Wikimedia-l
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Non-WMF funding sources for community work

Pine W
During my time at the *Signpost*, there were large fluctuations in the
supply of people who had the time, willingness, and skills to write regular
features for the *Signpost* and work on the publication process. As far as
I know, the labor supply is still the biggest problem. The discussion on
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia_talk:Wikipedia_Signpost supports
that view, although there is also some discussion about technical problems
with the publication process.

I think that the labor supply problem could be partially addressed by
making at least some Signpost work into part-time paid work.

However, I'm not sure that anyone with the required financial resources
would be willing to fund this work. I think that is the biggest step that
would need to be addressed.

If work on the *Signpost* isn't funded and if volunteer availability
continues to be limited at best, then unfortunately the *Signpost* may
become a shadow of its former self, or fade into memory indefinitely. I
would be sorry to see either of those outcomes. I think that the *Signpost*
performed a valuable community service as a reliable weekly or semi-weekly
publication with a variety of informative and interesting content.

Pine
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Non-WMF funding sources for community work

jmh649
A paid position to take care of the coordination of the publication might
help. If such a position was not involved in content I would see less issue
with the funds for it coming from a movement grant.

Translation of more from the German Kurier could also be another good
source of content. And such a position could also involve setting up
content for translation into other languages.

J

On Thu, May 11, 2017 at 11:54 PM, Pine W <[hidden email]> wrote:

> During my time at the *Signpost*, there were large fluctuations in the
> supply of people who had the time, willingness, and skills to write regular
> features for the *Signpost* and work on the publication process. As far as
> I know, the labor supply is still the biggest problem. The discussion on
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia_talk:Wikipedia_Signpost supports
> that view, although there is also some discussion about technical problems
> with the publication process.
>
> I think that the labor supply problem could be partially addressed by
> making at least some Signpost work into part-time paid work.
>
> However, I'm not sure that anyone with the required financial resources
> would be willing to fund this work. I think that is the biggest step that
> would need to be addressed.
>
> If work on the *Signpost* isn't funded and if volunteer availability
> continues to be limited at best, then unfortunately the *Signpost* may
> become a shadow of its former self, or fade into memory indefinitely. I
> would be sorry to see either of those outcomes. I think that the *Signpost*
> performed a valuable community service as a reliable weekly or semi-weekly
> publication with a variety of informative and interesting content.
>
> Pine
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> wiki/Wikimedia-l
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>




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MD, CCFP-EM, Wikipedian

The Wikipedia Open Textbook of Medicine
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