[Wikimedia-l] Time to simplify the Bureaucracy ?

classic Classic list List threaded Threaded
14 messages Options
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

[Wikimedia-l] Time to simplify the Bureaucracy ?

Zubin JAIN
Hello,
As a rare newcomer to the Wikimedia project, I've been thinking of some of
the factors that seem to discourage me from contributing and one of the
primary ones seem to be the fact that the way the administration is
organized and rules enforced is often vague and unclear. The definition and
the method of collection of the vague idea of "Consensus" aren't easily
found and take a lot of digging to get out.

A lot of the guideline is often mixed with philosophical rants that often
seem to contradict each other and has grown in size to the point that it's
unreasonable for any newcomer to have read through it all. The project
designed to work on consensus and community often seems unresponsive and
automated as anarchic communication structure impedes effective
communication by forcing users to learn an obscure markup language just to
communicate.

I'm wondering if there have been any whitepapers on addressing these
problems especialy the ones about bureaucracy, reading through the news I
remember a lot of hay being made about a decline in Wikipedia editor from a
few years back but that seems ot have faded. Is there any hard data on the
future trajectory of the project?

--
Sincerely,
Zubin Jain
_______________________________________________
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>
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Time to simplify the Bureaucracy ?

Yaroslav Blanter
Hi Zubin,

not that I know of.

Cheers
Yaroslav

On Thu, Mar 1, 2018 at 2:42 PM, Zubin JAIN <[hidden email]>
wrote:

> Hello,
> As a rare newcomer to the Wikimedia project, I've been thinking of some of
> the factors that seem to discourage me from contributing and one of the
> primary ones seem to be the fact that the way the administration is
> organized and rules enforced is often vague and unclear. The definition and
> the method of collection of the vague idea of "Consensus" aren't easily
> found and take a lot of digging to get out.
>
> A lot of the guideline is often mixed with philosophical rants that often
> seem to contradict each other and has grown in size to the point that it's
> unreasonable for any newcomer to have read through it all. The project
> designed to work on consensus and community often seems unresponsive and
> automated as anarchic communication structure impedes effective
> communication by forcing users to learn an obscure markup language just to
> communicate.
>
> I'm wondering if there have been any whitepapers on addressing these
> problems especialy the ones about bureaucracy, reading through the news I
> remember a lot of hay being made about a decline in Wikipedia editor from a
> few years back but that seems ot have faded. Is there any hard data on the
> future trajectory of the project?
>
> --
> Sincerely,
> Zubin Jain
> _______________________________________________
> 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>
_______________________________________________
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>
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Time to simplify the Bureaucracy ?

WereSpielChequers-2
In reply to this post by Zubin JAIN
Hi Zubin and welcome.

The discussions about declining editor levels started to go quiet in mid
2015 after we noticed that numbers had started to rally at the end of 2014.

Here is the signpost article that covered part of this in 2015
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/2015-08-26/In_focus
That focussed on the very active, but the raw edit count shows the same
pattern on English wikipedia, a decline from 2007 to 2014, then a rally and
the last couple of years being broadly stable.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Time_Between_Edits

"Wikipedia in terminal decline" was an interesting story for journalists
and others, "maturing organisation is broadly stable on several measures"
sounds just a tad boring.

As for your concern about bureaucracy and philosophical rants. Many of the
policies are complex, and there are even examples of things that contradict
each other. But it is a very very complex system, and some of the
complexity comes from hard won compromises between people with very
different views. A commercial organisation could have done some things more
simply, but a volunteer organisation can't simply tell people to do what
they are paid to do. I suspect that many reforms are possible and may even
be necessary, but it really helps when you are changing something to
understand the different perspectives that lead to that compromise.


WereSpielChequers






> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 5
> Date: Thu, 1 Mar 2018 21:42:32 +0800
> From: Zubin JAIN <[hidden email]>
> To: [hidden email]
> Subject: [Wikimedia-l] Time to simplify the Bureaucracy ?
> Message-ID:
>         <CABRVQKPs3YDucchXt7VHshrdrvrz=PMVD5u3pNeVFM+fjC2=sQ@mail.
> gmail.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="UTF-8"
>
> Hello,
> As a rare newcomer to the Wikimedia project, I've been thinking of some of
> the factors that seem to discourage me from contributing and one of the
> primary ones seem to be the fact that the way the administration is
> organized and rules enforced is often vague and unclear. The definition and
> the method of collection of the vague idea of "Consensus" aren't easily
> found and take a lot of digging to get out.
>
> A lot of the guideline is often mixed with philosophical rants that often
> seem to contradict each other and has grown in size to the point that it's
> unreasonable for any newcomer to have read through it all. The project
> designed to work on consensus and community often seems unresponsive and
> automated as anarchic communication structure impedes effective
> communication by forcing users to learn an obscure markup language just to
> communicate.
>
> I'm wondering if there have been any whitepapers on addressing these
> problems especialy the ones about bureaucracy, reading through the news I
> remember a lot of hay being made about a decline in Wikipedia editor from a
> few years back but that seems ot have faded. Is there any hard data on the
> future trajectory of the project?
>
> --
> Sincerely,
> Zubin Jain
>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Subject: Digest Footer
>
> _______________________________________________
> 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>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> End of Wikimedia-l Digest, Vol 168, Issue 13
> ********************************************
>
_______________________________________________
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>
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Time to simplify the Bureaucracy ?

Anders Wennersten-2
Are you aware of the huge difference in bureaucracy on the different
language versions?

Of course a more elaborate set of written rules is needed where there
are many users, then what is needed where the number of contributors are
fewer.

But even on an smaller language version like "mine" svwp, it is tough to
be a newbee. There is a lot or best practice being accumulated, and you
must follow these even if i is more by being told of these then need for
you to "know" or look into policiy documents etc. And there is a need to
know more of techniques, like templates and Wikidata use.

So I agree the general complexity is increasing, but I disagree that
there is in general increasing bureaucracy.

Anders

Den 2018-03-06 kl. 11:16, skrev WereSpielChequers:

> Hi Zubin and welcome.
>
> The discussions about declining editor levels started to go quiet in mid
> 2015 after we noticed that numbers had started to rally at the end of 2014.
>
> Here is the signpost article that covered part of this in 2015
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/2015-08-26/In_focus
> That focussed on the very active, but the raw edit count shows the same
> pattern on English wikipedia, a decline from 2007 to 2014, then a rally and
> the last couple of years being broadly stable.
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Time_Between_Edits
>
> "Wikipedia in terminal decline" was an interesting story for journalists
> and others, "maturing organisation is broadly stable on several measures"
> sounds just a tad boring.
>
> As for your concern about bureaucracy and philosophical rants. Many of the
> policies are complex, and there are even examples of things that contradict
> each other. But it is a very very complex system, and some of the
> complexity comes from hard won compromises between people with very
> different views. A commercial organisation could have done some things more
> simply, but a volunteer organisation can't simply tell people to do what
> they are paid to do. I suspect that many reforms are possible and may even
> be necessary, but it really helps when you are changing something to
> understand the different perspectives that lead to that compromise.
>
>
> WereSpielChequers
>
>
>
>
>
>
>> ------------------------------
>>
>> Message: 5
>> Date: Thu, 1 Mar 2018 21:42:32 +0800
>> From: Zubin JAIN <[hidden email]>
>> To: [hidden email]
>> Subject: [Wikimedia-l] Time to simplify the Bureaucracy ?
>> Message-ID:
>>          <CABRVQKPs3YDucchXt7VHshrdrvrz=PMVD5u3pNeVFM+fjC2=sQ@mail.
>> gmail.com>
>> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="UTF-8"
>>
>> Hello,
>> As a rare newcomer to the Wikimedia project, I've been thinking of some of
>> the factors that seem to discourage me from contributing and one of the
>> primary ones seem to be the fact that the way the administration is
>> organized and rules enforced is often vague and unclear. The definition and
>> the method of collection of the vague idea of "Consensus" aren't easily
>> found and take a lot of digging to get out.
>>
>> A lot of the guideline is often mixed with philosophical rants that often
>> seem to contradict each other and has grown in size to the point that it's
>> unreasonable for any newcomer to have read through it all. The project
>> designed to work on consensus and community often seems unresponsive and
>> automated as anarchic communication structure impedes effective
>> communication by forcing users to learn an obscure markup language just to
>> communicate.
>>
>> I'm wondering if there have been any whitepapers on addressing these
>> problems especialy the ones about bureaucracy, reading through the news I
>> remember a lot of hay being made about a decline in Wikipedia editor from a
>> few years back but that seems ot have faded. Is there any hard data on the
>> future trajectory of the project?
>>
>> --
>> Sincerely,
>> Zubin Jain
>>
>>
>> ------------------------------
>>
>> Subject: Digest Footer
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> 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>
>>
>> ------------------------------
>>
>> End of Wikimedia-l Digest, Vol 168, Issue 13
>> ********************************************
>>
> _______________________________________________
> 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>


_______________________________________________
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>
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Time to simplify the Bureaucracy ?

Gergő Tisza
In reply to this post by WereSpielChequers-2
On Tue, Mar 6, 2018 at 2:16 AM, WereSpielChequers <
[hidden email]> wrote:

> The discussions about declining editor levels started to go quiet in mid
> 2015 after we noticed that numbers had started to rally at the end of 2014.
>

The numbers for English Wikipedia, you mean. For the next four largest
wikis, only French has improved recently; for German the decline got
slightly less steep around 2014 but still ongoing, Dutch has been in a
pretty much linear decline since 2007 and Russian actually started to
decline around 2014.
https://imgur.com/a/OISNg

Many other wikis show the same pattern of decline. Also if you look at
English Wikipedia new editor counts it's not hard to think that whatever
caused the stabilization was a one-off event:
https://imgur.com/a/SEN5e
_______________________________________________
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>
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Time to simplify the Bureaucracy ?

Dariusz Jemielniak-4
In reply to this post by Zubin JAIN
hi Zubin,

thanks for being a newcomer to Wikimedia, and also for your interest in the
issue of bureaucracy. I think you're right that it is something worth
analyzing. A chapter of my "Common Knowledge? An Ethnography of Wikipedia"
(2014, Stanford University Press) was dedicated to studying the issue. You
can peruse it, also to see other references on the topic. I am not aware of
strong quantitative studies of the problem though, as it is quite difficult
to account for all the factors, in different projects, etc.

best,

dj "pundit"


--
________________________________________________________
<http://nerds.kozminski.edu.pl/>
Dariusz Jemielniak, Ph.D.
Professor of Management
Chair of MINDS (Management in Networked and Digital Societies) Department
Kozminski University
 http://nerds.kozminski.edu.pl  <http://nerds.kozminski.edu.pl/>

associate faculty at Berkman-Klein Center for Internet and Society,
Harvard University
*Recent articles:*

   - Dariusz Jemielniak, Maciej Wilamowski (2017)  Cultural Diversity of
   Quality of Information on Wikipedias
   <http://crow.kozminski.edu.pl/papers/cultures%20of%20wikipedias.pdf>
*Journal
   of the Association for Information Science and Technology* 68:  10.
    2460–2470.
   - Dariusz Jemielniak (2016)  Wikimedia Movement Governance: The Limits
   of A-Hierarchical Organization
   <http://www.crow.kozminski.edu.pl/papers/wikimedia_governance.pdf> *Journal
   of Organizational Change Management *29:  3.  361-378.
   - Dariusz Jemielniak, Eduard Aibar (2016)  Bridging the Gap Between
   Wikipedia and Academia
   <http://www.crow.kozminski.edu.pl/papers/bridging.pdf> *Journal of the
   Association for Information Science and Technology* 67:  7.  1773-1776.
   - Dariusz Jemielniak (2016)  Breaking the Glass Ceiling on Wikipedia
   <http://www.crow.kozminski.edu.pl/papers/glass-ceiling.pdf> *Feminist
   Review *113:  1.  103-108.
   - Tadeusz Chełkowski, Peter Gloor, Dariusz Jemielniak (2016)  Inequalities
   in Open Source Software Development: Analysis of Contributor’s Commits in
   Apache Software Foundation Projects
   <http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article/asset?id=10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0152976.PDF>
   , *PLoS ONE* 11:  4.  e0152976.


On Thu, Mar 1, 2018 at 2:42 PM, Zubin JAIN <[hidden email]>
wrote:

> Hello,
> As a rare newcomer to the Wikimedia project, I've been thinking of some of
> the factors that seem to discourage me from contributing and one of the
> primary ones seem to be the fact that the way the administration is
> organized and rules enforced is often vague and unclear. The definition and
> the method of collection of the vague idea of "Consensus" aren't easily
> found and take a lot of digging to get out.
>
> A lot of the guideline is often mixed with philosophical rants that often
> seem to contradict each other and has grown in size to the point that it's
> unreasonable for any newcomer to have read through it all. The project
> designed to work on consensus and community often seems unresponsive and
> automated as anarchic communication structure impedes effective
> communication by forcing users to learn an obscure markup language just to
> communicate.
>
> I'm wondering if there have been any whitepapers on addressing these
> problems especialy the ones about bureaucracy, reading through the news I
> remember a lot of hay being made about a decline in Wikipedia editor from a
> few years back but that seems ot have faded. Is there any hard data on the
> future trajectory of the project?
>
> --
> Sincerely,
> Zubin Jain
> _______________________________________________
> 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>




--


________________________________________________________________________________
*Please, note, that this email will expire at some point. Bookmark
 [hidden email]
<[hidden email]> as a more permanent contact
address. *
_______________________________________________
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>
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Time to simplify the Bureaucracy ?

Chris Keating-2
In reply to this post by Zubin JAIN
Hi Zubin,

> As a rare newcomer to the Wikimedia project, I've been thinking of some of
> the factors that seem to discourage me from contributing and one of the
> primary ones seem to be the fact that the way the administration is
> organized and rules enforced is often vague and unclear. The definition and
> the method of collection of the vague idea of "Consensus" aren't easily
> found and take a lot of digging to get out.

It's interesting you mention this. I was discussing Wikipedia the
other week with participants in another online learning community, and
it really struck me just how much of a focus Wikipedia has on very
dense rules about content, and how little a focus we have on community
and positive interactions.

There are an immense number of guidelines and policies, but discourse
on-wiki is often mainly a string of references to these policies and
guidelines - which is baffling for anyone unfamiliar with them, and
doubtless a big turnoff for anyone who *isn't* familiar with them who
wants to take part (even if you can navigate the technical aspects of
talking to people.) By contrast, praise, thanks and encouragement are
fairly scarce.

Regards,

Chris

_______________________________________________
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia-l
New messages to: [hidden email]
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Time to simplify the Bureaucracy ?

Pine W
In reply to this post by Zubin JAIN
Hi Zubin,

I'd like to respond to this in multiple ways.

1. Yes, there are lots of rules and guidelines with varying degrees of
clarity and authority. This seems to me to be an understandable outcome of
a bottom-up process for developing many of Wikipedia's rules and
guidelines. I think that many of those rules and guidelines were created
with good intentions, and the complex nature of an encyclopedia requires
considerable thought being invested in the encyclopedia's structure.

2. However, the maintenance, coordination, organization, and harmonization
of the guidelines and rules is difficult with the diffuse nature of
Wikipedia and its community. A Wikipedia community, such as English
Wikipedia or German Wikipedia, could by consensus delegate some
responsibility to a committee for one or more of these functions. If a
community wanted to make such a delegation, there would also need to be
people who have the time, skills, and willingness to execute the role well.
A chronic problem with Wikipedia communities is that we have far greater
need that we can possibly fill with our limited human resources.

3. If we move up a level of abstraction to consider "user friendliness", of
which the rules and guidelines are one aspect, we probably can make
improvements, although again we are limited by human resource constraints
(and also by financial constraints). I am working on a long term project to
develop training resources for English Wikipedia, Commons, and Wikidata. I
hope that these resources will decrease the steepness of the learning
curve. I believe that similar work is already happening for Italian
Wikipedia and German Wikipedia, and that at least one other person is
working on improving the documentation for Visual Editor on English
Wikipedia.

4. I think that in-context help for Wikipedia and its sister projects could
be very beneficial. However, the Wikimedia Foundation is not Google,
Microsoft, Facebook, Amazon, or Apple. WMF does not have dozens or hundreds
of spare engineers, designers, and researchers who can be easily reassigned
to work on improving the interface. WMF does have a significant amount of
money its its reserves, and I believe that a good choice would be to shift
the WMF's priorities away from increasing the size of the reserve and
toward improving the interface.

I realize that this is a complex and perhaps disappointing reply to your
thoughtful email. I think that we can make improvements on user
friendliness in multiple ways, that some of this work is ongoing, and that
perhaps WMF can be convinced to spend more resources in this area.

Thanks for speaking up.

Pine
( https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Pine )

On Thu, Mar 1, 2018 at 5:42 AM, Zubin JAIN <[hidden email]>
wrote:

> Hello,
> As a rare newcomer to the Wikimedia project, I've been thinking of some of
> the factors that seem to discourage me from contributing and one of the
> primary ones seem to be the fact that the way the administration is
> organized and rules enforced is often vague and unclear. The definition and
> the method of collection of the vague idea of "Consensus" aren't easily
> found and take a lot of digging to get out.
>
> A lot of the guideline is often mixed with philosophical rants that often
> seem to contradict each other and has grown in size to the point that it's
> unreasonable for any newcomer to have read through it all. The project
> designed to work on consensus and community often seems unresponsive and
> automated as anarchic communication structure impedes effective
> communication by forcing users to learn an obscure markup language just to
> communicate.
>
> I'm wondering if there have been any whitepapers on addressing these
> problems especialy the ones about bureaucracy, reading through the news I
> remember a lot of hay being made about a decline in Wikipedia editor from a
> few years back but that seems ot have faded. Is there any hard data on the
> future trajectory of the project?
>
> --
> Sincerely,
> Zubin Jain
> _______________________________________________
> 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>
_______________________________________________
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>
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Time to simplify the Bureaucracy ?

Gerard Meijssen-3
Hoi,
Yes, there are many rules. Yes, they have arisen because of the need felt
by some. It is totally obvious that these rules are created with the "best
intentions". Given the state of play these rules are not analysed for their
effect particularly not for their side effects.

The rules and the consensus associated with them are produced by an
in-crowd that is either directly affected because they get a result that
they seek because it enables them to manage whatever in the way they see
fit or they are in it because they made a career out of it. The
participation in these processes is low and consensus may be defined by a
functionary who has an interest in the result. It is true that there are
too few people involved in applying these rules but given the toxicity
involved and the power politics it is quite obvious for me that I keep an
arm length's distance as much as I can help it. My problem is that I seek
ways to share the information we have and seek mechanisms to share more
widely. I care passionately about this and the best personal reply is a ban
or a rejoinder that it is always the same thing I bring up. Even though
arguments have an effect in that they help change the models I propose I
seldom hear arguments probably because they expose the weaknesses in the
way "we do things".

When we are reminded that the rules are an impediment to joining our
projects as a volunteer. The best answer there is "because". The problem is
that "because" is not good enough because there are too few people
maintaining the texts, the data we hold. We do not seek mechanisms that
help all of us maintain known basic information. There are two options to
do more; it is to be smart at what we do, automate where we can or seek
more people. When we automate our way out of a problem, the existing biases
are maintained and get solidified. When this is noted, it is already even
more problematic even more difficult to change.

The consequence for me is that a different perspective to mitigate what
ails us is needed. The primary objective is and remains that we share in
the sum in the information that is available to us. This in the best way
possible to us. For me the sense of superiority of Wikipedians is a serious
impediment in achieving results. So to gain a foothold we should break down
things that will help us improve and things that will help us expand. Let
me explain this with an example that helps us improve: For winners of the
George Polk Award there is a list
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_George_Polk_Award_winners> on the
English Wikipedia. It has over five hundred entries. It consists of blue
and red links. There are many false friends in both the blue and red links;
a reference is made to the wrong person or the person exist under a
different spelling/name. The winners are being added to Wikidata by me to
demonstrate the effect of a curated list. The differences between "my
Listeria list"
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User%3AGerardM%2FGeorge_Polk_Award> and the
Wikipedia list are something I am willing to resolve when I know the result
is structural. It will be structural when, not noticed by readers or
uninterested Wikipedia editors all links are associated with Wikidata
items. We can expand our information provision from that for red links; we
can show data structured to be informative. We can even generate texts when
we so choose but that is politically hardly possible given that the
"dissemination of the knowledge we have" is not a priority by the Wikipedia
powers that be.

When information is shared among multiple Wikipedias, the benefits becomes
more pronounced. I have an interest in the Ottoman Empire and added
information for Sultans and Grand Viziers in the past. This query
<https://query.wikidata.org/#SELECT%20%3Fsultan%20%3FsultanLabel%20%3Fsultan_start%20%3Fsultan_end%20%3Fvizier%20%3FvizierLabel%20%3Fvizier_start%20%3Fvizier_end%20WHERE%20%7B%0A%20%0A%20%20%20%20%3Fsultan%20p%3AP39%20%3Fsultan_stmt%20.%0A%20%20%20%20%3Fsultan_stmt%20ps%3AP39%20wd%3AQ15315411%20.%0A%20%20%20%20OPTIONAL%20%7B%3Fsultan_stmt%20pq%3AP580%20%3Fsultan_start%20%7D%20.%20%20%20%20%20%20%0A%20%20%20%20OPTIONAL%20%7B%3Fsultan_stmt%20pq%3AP582%20%3Fsultan_end%20%7D%20.%0A%0A%20%20%20%20%3Fvizier%20p%3AP39%20%3Fvizier_stmt%20.%0A%20%20%20%20%3Fvizier_stmt%20ps%3AP39%20wd%3AQ15063567%20.%0A%20%20%20%20OPTIONAL%20%7B%3Fvizier_stmt%20pq%3AP580%20%3Fvizier_start%20%7D%20.%20%20%20%20%20%20%0A%20%20%20%20OPTIONAL%20%7B%3Fvizier_stmt%20pq%3AP582%20%3Fvizier_end%20%7D%20.%0A%20%20%0A%20%20%20%20FILTER%20%28%28%3Fvizier_start%20%3C%3D%20%3Fsultan_end%29%20%26%26%20%28%3Fvizier_end%20%3E%3D%20%3Fsultan_start%29%29%0A%20%20%0A%20%20SERVICE%20wikibase%3Alabel%20%7B%20bd%3AserviceParam%20wikibase%3Alanguage%20%22%5BAUTO_LANGUAGE%5D%2Ctr%22.%20%7D%0A%7D%20ORDER%20BY%20%3Fsultan_start%20%3Fvizier_start>
brings the data together. It shows Sultans and their Grand Viziers. (Thank
you for the query Jheald). This query can be the basis for information in
every Wikipedia. Given the current interest in Turkey and regaining access
for the Turkish Wikipedia, improving data about the Ottoman Empire is
something to explore. I learned by adding this information that the Catalan
Wikipedia covers more information about the Ottoman Empire than the
English. I learned that because of the many spellings for these people it
is not trivial to add information that is consistent over all the
Wikipedias. I expect that there is room for improvement.

To get back to the topic of the track. There is a need for change. Many
changes, like the one I propose, can start very low level with little or no
visibility. One major benefit is that we will cooperate more because that
is the only way whereby we can even attempt to share the sum of all
knowledge let alone the easier objective of the sum of the knowledge,
information that is available to us. When we do, arguments like "lets ditch
Wikidata wholesale" become impossible; they are as silly as "lets ditch
Commons".

As to spend our way out of the problem; there is not enough money to waste
when we insist on maintaining problematic premises
Thanks,
       GerardM



On 11 March 2018 at 05:55, Pine W <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hi Zubin,
>
> I'd like to respond to this in multiple ways.
>
> 1. Yes, there are lots of rules and guidelines with varying degrees of
> clarity and authority. This seems to me to be an understandable outcome of
> a bottom-up process for developing many of Wikipedia's rules and
> guidelines. I think that many of those rules and guidelines were created
> with good intentions, and the complex nature of an encyclopedia requires
> considerable thought being invested in the encyclopedia's structure.
>
> 2. However, the maintenance, coordination, organization, and harmonization
> of the guidelines and rules is difficult with the diffuse nature of
> Wikipedia and its community. A Wikipedia community, such as English
> Wikipedia or German Wikipedia, could by consensus delegate some
> responsibility to a committee for one or more of these functions. If a
> community wanted to make such a delegation, there would also need to be
> people who have the time, skills, and willingness to execute the role well.
> A chronic problem with Wikipedia communities is that we have far greater
> need that we can possibly fill with our limited human resources.
>
> 3. If we move up a level of abstraction to consider "user friendliness", of
> which the rules and guidelines are one aspect, we probably can make
> improvements, although again we are limited by human resource constraints
> (and also by financial constraints). I am working on a long term project to
> develop training resources for English Wikipedia, Commons, and Wikidata. I
> hope that these resources will decrease the steepness of the learning
> curve. I believe that similar work is already happening for Italian
> Wikipedia and German Wikipedia, and that at least one other person is
> working on improving the documentation for Visual Editor on English
> Wikipedia.
>
> 4. I think that in-context help for Wikipedia and its sister projects could
> be very beneficial. However, the Wikimedia Foundation is not Google,
> Microsoft, Facebook, Amazon, or Apple. WMF does not have dozens or hundreds
> of spare engineers, designers, and researchers who can be easily reassigned
> to work on improving the interface. WMF does have a significant amount of
> money its its reserves, and I believe that a good choice would be to shift
> the WMF's priorities away from increasing the size of the reserve and
> toward improving the interface.
>
> I realize that this is a complex and perhaps disappointing reply to your
> thoughtful email. I think that we can make improvements on user
> friendliness in multiple ways, that some of this work is ongoing, and that
> perhaps WMF can be convinced to spend more resources in this area.
>
> Thanks for speaking up.
>
> Pine
> ( https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Pine )
>
> On Thu, Mar 1, 2018 at 5:42 AM, Zubin JAIN <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>
> > Hello,
> > As a rare newcomer to the Wikimedia project, I've been thinking of some
> of
> > the factors that seem to discourage me from contributing and one of the
> > primary ones seem to be the fact that the way the administration is
> > organized and rules enforced is often vague and unclear. The definition
> and
> > the method of collection of the vague idea of "Consensus" aren't easily
> > found and take a lot of digging to get out.
> >
> > A lot of the guideline is often mixed with philosophical rants that often
> > seem to contradict each other and has grown in size to the point that
> it's
> > unreasonable for any newcomer to have read through it all. The project
> > designed to work on consensus and community often seems unresponsive and
> > automated as anarchic communication structure impedes effective
> > communication by forcing users to learn an obscure markup language just
> to
> > communicate.
> >
> > I'm wondering if there have been any whitepapers on addressing these
> > problems especialy the ones about bureaucracy, reading through the news I
> > remember a lot of hay being made about a decline in Wikipedia editor
> from a
> > few years back but that seems ot have faded. Is there any hard data on
> the
> > future trajectory of the project?
> >
> > --
> > Sincerely,
> > Zubin Jain
> > _______________________________________________
> > 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>
> _______________________________________________
> 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>
>
_______________________________________________
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>
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Time to simplify the Bureaucracy ?

Peter Southwood
In reply to this post by Pine W
Fair comment
Cheers,
Peter

-----Original Message-----
From: Wikimedia-l [mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf Of Pine W
Sent: 11 March 2018 06:56
To: Wikimedia Mailing List
Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] Time to simplify the Bureaucracy ?

Hi Zubin,

I'd like to respond to this in multiple ways.

1. Yes, there are lots of rules and guidelines with varying degrees of clarity and authority. This seems to me to be an understandable outcome of a bottom-up process for developing many of Wikipedia's rules and guidelines. I think that many of those rules and guidelines were created with good intentions, and the complex nature of an encyclopedia requires considerable thought being invested in the encyclopedia's structure.

2. However, the maintenance, coordination, organization, and harmonization of the guidelines and rules is difficult with the diffuse nature of Wikipedia and its community. A Wikipedia community, such as English Wikipedia or German Wikipedia, could by consensus delegate some responsibility to a committee for one or more of these functions. If a community wanted to make such a delegation, there would also need to be people who have the time, skills, and willingness to execute the role well.
A chronic problem with Wikipedia communities is that we have far greater need that we can possibly fill with our limited human resources.

3. If we move up a level of abstraction to consider "user friendliness", of which the rules and guidelines are one aspect, we probably can make improvements, although again we are limited by human resource constraints (and also by financial constraints). I am working on a long term project to develop training resources for English Wikipedia, Commons, and Wikidata. I hope that these resources will decrease the steepness of the learning curve. I believe that similar work is already happening for Italian Wikipedia and German Wikipedia, and that at least one other person is working on improving the documentation for Visual Editor on English Wikipedia.

4. I think that in-context help for Wikipedia and its sister projects could be very beneficial. However, the Wikimedia Foundation is not Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Amazon, or Apple. WMF does not have dozens or hundreds of spare engineers, designers, and researchers who can be easily reassigned to work on improving the interface. WMF does have a significant amount of money its its reserves, and I believe that a good choice would be to shift the WMF's priorities away from increasing the size of the reserve and toward improving the interface.

I realize that this is a complex and perhaps disappointing reply to your thoughtful email. I think that we can make improvements on user friendliness in multiple ways, that some of this work is ongoing, and that perhaps WMF can be convinced to spend more resources in this area.

Thanks for speaking up.

Pine
( https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Pine )

On Thu, Mar 1, 2018 at 5:42 AM, Zubin JAIN <[hidden email]>
wrote:

> Hello,
> As a rare newcomer to the Wikimedia project, I've been thinking of
> some of the factors that seem to discourage me from contributing and
> one of the primary ones seem to be the fact that the way the
> administration is organized and rules enforced is often vague and
> unclear. The definition and the method of collection of the vague idea
> of "Consensus" aren't easily found and take a lot of digging to get out.
>
> A lot of the guideline is often mixed with philosophical rants that
> often seem to contradict each other and has grown in size to the point
> that it's unreasonable for any newcomer to have read through it all.
> The project designed to work on consensus and community often seems
> unresponsive and automated as anarchic communication structure impedes
> effective communication by forcing users to learn an obscure markup
> language just to communicate.
>
> I'm wondering if there have been any whitepapers on addressing these
> problems especialy the ones about bureaucracy, reading through the
> news I remember a lot of hay being made about a decline in Wikipedia
> editor from a few years back but that seems ot have faded. Is there
> any hard data on the future trajectory of the project?
>
> --
> Sincerely,
> Zubin Jain
> _______________________________________________
> 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>
_______________________________________________
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>

---
This email has been checked for viruses by AVG.
http://www.avg.com


_______________________________________________
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>
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Time to simplify the Bureaucracy ?

John Erling Blad
In reply to this post by WereSpielChequers-2
This is slightly more complex. Some projects have a very large and steady
decline, especially in new contributors,[1] while some projects have an
increase, especially in the established users group.[2] Why it is so is not
clear at all, but some editors favor an idea that other sites like Facebook
have drained the pool of available editors. What is pretty clear is that
users have limited time and Wikipedia is not what they favor the most. To
little social and cultural credit for the work, perhaps even a hostile
environment, can be attributed to the decline.

The referenced graphs are made by averaging over a one year window, and
taking a diff over one year to make the trend visible. It looks backward in
time to avoid the artificial drop-off that became so much discussed some
years ago!

[1]
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Nowiki-stats-new-users-2017-01-15.png
[2]
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Nowiki-stats-100-users-2017-01-15.png

On Tue, Mar 6, 2018 at 11:16 AM, WereSpielChequers <
[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hi Zubin and welcome.
>
> The discussions about declining editor levels started to go quiet in mid
> 2015 after we noticed that numbers had started to rally at the end of 2014.
>
> Here is the signpost article that covered part of this in 2015
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/
> 2015-08-26/In_focus
> That focussed on the very active, but the raw edit count shows the same
> pattern on English wikipedia, a decline from 2007 to 2014, then a rally and
> the last couple of years being broadly stable.
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Time_Between_Edits
>
> "Wikipedia in terminal decline" was an interesting story for journalists
> and others, "maturing organisation is broadly stable on several measures"
> sounds just a tad boring.
>
> As for your concern about bureaucracy and philosophical rants. Many of the
> policies are complex, and there are even examples of things that contradict
> each other. But it is a very very complex system, and some of the
> complexity comes from hard won compromises between people with very
> different views. A commercial organisation could have done some things more
> simply, but a volunteer organisation can't simply tell people to do what
> they are paid to do. I suspect that many reforms are possible and may even
> be necessary, but it really helps when you are changing something to
> understand the different perspectives that lead to that compromise.
>
>
> WereSpielChequers
>
>
>
>
>
>
> > ------------------------------
> >
> > Message: 5
> > Date: Thu, 1 Mar 2018 21:42:32 +0800
> > From: Zubin JAIN <[hidden email]>
> > To: [hidden email]
> > Subject: [Wikimedia-l] Time to simplify the Bureaucracy ?
> > Message-ID:
> >         <CABRVQKPs3YDucchXt7VHshrdrvrz=PMVD5u3pNeVFM+fjC2=sQ@mail.
> > gmail.com>
> > Content-Type: text/plain; charset="UTF-8"
> >
> > Hello,
> > As a rare newcomer to the Wikimedia project, I've been thinking of some
> of
> > the factors that seem to discourage me from contributing and one of the
> > primary ones seem to be the fact that the way the administration is
> > organized and rules enforced is often vague and unclear. The definition
> and
> > the method of collection of the vague idea of "Consensus" aren't easily
> > found and take a lot of digging to get out.
> >
> > A lot of the guideline is often mixed with philosophical rants that often
> > seem to contradict each other and has grown in size to the point that
> it's
> > unreasonable for any newcomer to have read through it all. The project
> > designed to work on consensus and community often seems unresponsive and
> > automated as anarchic communication structure impedes effective
> > communication by forcing users to learn an obscure markup language just
> to
> > communicate.
> >
> > I'm wondering if there have been any whitepapers on addressing these
> > problems especialy the ones about bureaucracy, reading through the news I
> > remember a lot of hay being made about a decline in Wikipedia editor
> from a
> > few years back but that seems ot have faded. Is there any hard data on
> the
> > future trajectory of the project?
> >
> > --
> > Sincerely,
> > Zubin Jain
> >
> >
> > ------------------------------
> >
> > Subject: Digest Footer
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > 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>
> >
> > ------------------------------
> >
> > End of Wikimedia-l Digest, Vol 168, Issue 13
> > ********************************************
> >
> _______________________________________________
> 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>
>
_______________________________________________
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>
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Time to simplify the Bureaucracy ?

John Erling Blad
In reply to this post by Pine W
I wonder if some of the problem is that we have made a mash-up of policies
and guidelines on the same pages, thereby making it very hard for newcomers
to figure out what they must know and all the stuff that is simply nice to
know. Take a look at Verifiability at enwiki. [1] How much of this is
really a policy? The whole policy is in the nutshell template!

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Verifiability

On Sun, Mar 11, 2018 at 5:55 AM, Pine W <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hi Zubin,
>
> I'd like to respond to this in multiple ways.
>
> 1. Yes, there are lots of rules and guidelines with varying degrees of
> clarity and authority. This seems to me to be an understandable outcome of
> a bottom-up process for developing many of Wikipedia's rules and
> guidelines. I think that many of those rules and guidelines were created
> with good intentions, and the complex nature of an encyclopedia requires
> considerable thought being invested in the encyclopedia's structure.
>
> 2. However, the maintenance, coordination, organization, and harmonization
> of the guidelines and rules is difficult with the diffuse nature of
> Wikipedia and its community. A Wikipedia community, such as English
> Wikipedia or German Wikipedia, could by consensus delegate some
> responsibility to a committee for one or more of these functions. If a
> community wanted to make such a delegation, there would also need to be
> people who have the time, skills, and willingness to execute the role well.
> A chronic problem with Wikipedia communities is that we have far greater
> need that we can possibly fill with our limited human resources.
>
> 3. If we move up a level of abstraction to consider "user friendliness", of
> which the rules and guidelines are one aspect, we probably can make
> improvements, although again we are limited by human resource constraints
> (and also by financial constraints). I am working on a long term project to
> develop training resources for English Wikipedia, Commons, and Wikidata. I
> hope that these resources will decrease the steepness of the learning
> curve. I believe that similar work is already happening for Italian
> Wikipedia and German Wikipedia, and that at least one other person is
> working on improving the documentation for Visual Editor on English
> Wikipedia.
>
> 4. I think that in-context help for Wikipedia and its sister projects could
> be very beneficial. However, the Wikimedia Foundation is not Google,
> Microsoft, Facebook, Amazon, or Apple. WMF does not have dozens or hundreds
> of spare engineers, designers, and researchers who can be easily reassigned
> to work on improving the interface. WMF does have a significant amount of
> money its its reserves, and I believe that a good choice would be to shift
> the WMF's priorities away from increasing the size of the reserve and
> toward improving the interface.
>
> I realize that this is a complex and perhaps disappointing reply to your
> thoughtful email. I think that we can make improvements on user
> friendliness in multiple ways, that some of this work is ongoing, and that
> perhaps WMF can be convinced to spend more resources in this area.
>
> Thanks for speaking up.
>
> Pine
> ( https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Pine )
>
> On Thu, Mar 1, 2018 at 5:42 AM, Zubin JAIN <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>
> > Hello,
> > As a rare newcomer to the Wikimedia project, I've been thinking of some
> of
> > the factors that seem to discourage me from contributing and one of the
> > primary ones seem to be the fact that the way the administration is
> > organized and rules enforced is often vague and unclear. The definition
> and
> > the method of collection of the vague idea of "Consensus" aren't easily
> > found and take a lot of digging to get out.
> >
> > A lot of the guideline is often mixed with philosophical rants that often
> > seem to contradict each other and has grown in size to the point that
> it's
> > unreasonable for any newcomer to have read through it all. The project
> > designed to work on consensus and community often seems unresponsive and
> > automated as anarchic communication structure impedes effective
> > communication by forcing users to learn an obscure markup language just
> to
> > communicate.
> >
> > I'm wondering if there have been any whitepapers on addressing these
> > problems especialy the ones about bureaucracy, reading through the news I
> > remember a lot of hay being made about a decline in Wikipedia editor
> from a
> > few years back but that seems ot have faded. Is there any hard data on
> the
> > future trajectory of the project?
> >
> > --
> > Sincerely,
> > Zubin Jain
> > _______________________________________________
> > 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>
> _______________________________________________
> 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>
>
_______________________________________________
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>
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Time to simplify the Bureaucracy ?

Pine W
In reply to this post by John Erling Blad
Hi John,

I agree that millions of people choose to spend time on Facebook, as well
as games and other recreational activities like computer games. My guess is
that, for most people, these activities often don't feel like work, while
contributing to Wikimedia often feels like work. I think that are technical
and social factors that contribute to Wikimedia activity feeling like it
requires more effort and/or is less rewarding than the alternatives.

If we had enough human and financial resources, there are changes that
could be made to improve the user experience and to make the rules be
easier to learn and to understand.

I think that making the rules be easier to learn and to understand are more
realistic goals than reducing the complexity of the rules.

Also, I think that there may be design and technical changes that could be
made to improve the intuitiveness of the user experience, and to improve
the social experience.

I'm hoping that my training project will help with users' learning and
understanding of the rules and the interface. However, this is a long term
project.

Design improvements made to the interface would be good if they could be
done well and if WMF could afford them, but my guess is that such changes
will be incremental over many years and that giants like Google will always
be in the lead party because they can afford to spend so much more money
and have so many more staff to make their sites be user-friendly and to
optimize their sites for the user behaviors that they want to foster.

To a certain extent, Google and other large consumer-oriented organizations
compete with WMF for the time of consumers, although one can hope that they
will eventually decide that Wikimedia content is valuable enough to them
that they want to support the community far more than they do at the moment.

I wish that I had reasons to be more optimistic about the human resources
and financial situation in Wikimedia. If you can think of any, I would like
to hear them. :)

Pine
( https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User: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>
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Time to simplify the Bureaucracy ?

Gnangarra
en:wp has a vast collective of policies, guidelines and essays to navigate.
Where once we had a philosophy "if the rule get in the way of making an
enncyclopedia ignore the rules" now with so much of what we do the rules
have become absolute. Acknwoledging BLLP, COI, and copyright need to be
absolute.

When new people come along we have expectations that these people can
research, write, and produce content as post grad level from day, if they
create a new article its expected to ready for at least a GA rating if not
FA.

we have so many processes that our precious volunteer resources are
stretched thin which leaves us with small groups of contributors focused on
discussion in isolation, that creates the power imbalance.


   1. Articles for deletion
   2. templates for deletions
   3. files for deletions
   4. categories for deletions
   5. redirect for deletions
   6. miscellany for deletions
   7. speedy
   8. prod

each with their own process and rules, each with their tiny own group
regulars responding to every request and doing the process gnome work.
While it may make for bigger maintance pages the reality is these 8
processes can defined into two areas,


   - Content
      - Articles
      - Files
      - Speedy
      - prod


   - internal / administrative functionality
      - templates
      - categories
      - redirects
      - miscellany

We then have deletion review, which also divided and into smaller parts
depending on the deletion discussion process it went through.   At the time
dividing process because they were too big sounded like a good idea, the
reality was what we did was also divide resources and create virtual
fiefdoms.   When you add into the deletion mix New page patrol with its
various tools and Articles for creation each with their own processes its
no wonder so many potential new contributors cant get their head around how
we work.  This isnt limited to deletion, it happens with everything Admin,
Vandalism, renames, disputes, and everything else we do.  We've made RFA a
big deal once admins got the tools if on the balance of things they likely
to work towards the benefit of the community, now if they are required to
have a lifetime of experience, the personality of a saint, and perfection
of master craftsman before they even get nominated at which the community
tears there contributions apart word by word looking for the faintest
reason to oppose, in the process veiled abuse and innuendo is accepted,
praised, and speaker raised to the status of a god.  In reality all we need
to see is positive contributions, and a fair tone when participating in
consensus building.

We frown upon external discussions about policies and process, like the
current Strategic direction discussions taking place maybe its time that
the WMF do a similar process talking to as many people as possible , bring
back to the community a way forward that not only refines our bureaucracy
but also ensures that the Wikipedia communities out lasts the 25 year
Strategic plan


On 24 March 2018 at 09:27, Pine W <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hi John,
>
> I agree that millions of people choose to spend time on Facebook, as well
> as games and other recreational activities like computer games. My guess is
> that, for most people, these activities often don't feel like work, while
> contributing to Wikimedia often feels like work. I think that are technical
> and social factors that contribute to Wikimedia activity feeling like it
> requires more effort and/or is less rewarding than the alternatives.
>
> If we had enough human and financial resources, there are changes that
> could be made to improve the user experience and to make the rules be
> easier to learn and to understand.
>
> I think that making the rules be easier to learn and to understand are more
> realistic goals than reducing the complexity of the rules.
>
> Also, I think that there may be design and technical changes that could be
> made to improve the intuitiveness of the user experience, and to improve
> the social experience.
>
> I'm hoping that my training project will help with users' learning and
> understanding of the rules and the interface. However, this is a long term
> project.
>
> Design improvements made to the interface would be good if they could be
> done well and if WMF could afford them, but my guess is that such changes
> will be incremental over many years and that giants like Google will always
> be in the lead party because they can afford to spend so much more money
> and have so many more staff to make their sites be user-friendly and to
> optimize their sites for the user behaviors that they want to foster.
>
> To a certain extent, Google and other large consumer-oriented organizations
> compete with WMF for the time of consumers, although one can hope that they
> will eventually decide that Wikimedia content is valuable enough to them
> that they want to support the community far more than they do at the
> moment.
>
> I wish that I had reasons to be more optimistic about the human resources
> and financial situation in Wikimedia. If you can think of any, I would like
> to hear them. :)
>
> Pine
> ( https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User: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>
>



--
GN.
Noongarpedia: https://incubator.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wp/nys/Main_Page
WMAU: http://www.wikimedia.org.au/wiki/User:Gnangarra
Photo Gallery: http://gnangarra.redbubble.com
Out now: A.Gaynor, P. Newman and P. Jennings (eds.), *Never Again:
Reflections on Environmental Responsibility after Roe 8*, UWAP, 2017.  Order
here
<https://uwap.uwa.edu.au/products/never-again-reflections-on-environmental-responsibility-after-roe-8>
.
_______________________________________________
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>