Re: [Wikimedia-l] Be the change you want to see (was: WMF commitment for a Wikimedia projects archive)

2019-05-15 Thread James Hare
On Wed, May 15, 2019 at 6:26 AM Yaroslav Blanter  wrote:

> This is of course fine, and everybody is free to participate or not to
participate on this mailing list, but, generally speaking, does WMF have
any channels to listen to the volunteers working on the project?

I am a product manager at the Wikimedia Foundation. What this means, in the
broadest of terms, is that I need to know what people want/need in order to
do my job “correctly,” for some definition of “correct.” Of course, what
constitutes a “correct” decision on my part is something not everyone will
agree on and that’s fine. But I need to gather information as part of this
work.

The problem is that there is no “one” place to go. To give you an idea of
the magnitude of the problem, there are over 900 wikis.  Hundreds of those
wikis comprise Wikipedia, a project with a cumulative total of 50,000,000
articles. Each one of those articles either has a talk page or could
theoretically get one as soon as someone makes the first post. So, just
starting with Wikipedia articles, we have over 50,000,000 potential or
existing discussion venues, with very little coordination or
cross-organization between these venues, and this doesn’t even include
individual user talk pages or really, really specific talk pages like
“Wikipedia talk:Administrators’ noticeboard/Incidents” which is... very
precisely, a venue to discuss the administration of that specific
noticeboard (but not to, itself, host noticeboard-like posts).[0]

It is very convenient and easy to create a talk page because talk pages are
a very central paradigm to the MediaWiki software (going back to 2002?
2003?) and so they are built into the overall website experience in a way
that things that were tacked on way later, simply are not. But it is a poor
interface that doesn’t scale across more than several people or a few
concurrent conversations. But if Wikipedia’s fundamental sidebar chat
system fails to support more than occasional chatter, how exactly is any of
this supposed to work?

There are two ways to go from here: (a) fix the original problem or (b)
develop workarounds. If you were around back in 2013 or so you may recall a
project called “Flow” that is now called “Structured Discussions.” I can’t
speak officially to any of it because it was before my time and many of the
staff involved no longer work here. And I am actually very hesitant to
bring it up at all, much less by name, because of the taboo that developed
around it. A retrospective on this project is out-of-scope for this post,
but if you need a short and convenient answer: it didn’t work, and it
generally made it impossible for the Wikimedia Foundation to even broach
the subject for the following several years. (There is starting to be work
on this again, and this time, it seems to be going at a more deliberate
pace, but I will defer to the staff working on this.)

Let’s talk about workarounds. We have workarounds that make the talk pages
themselves more useful (talk page archiving comes to mind[1]), and we also
have workarounds that consist of outsourcing the issue entirely, whether it
be solutions we host ourselves (mailing lists, Discourse) or proprietary
platforms that happen to be convenient for large segments of our
communities. There are different advantages and disadvantages to each
solution, which has only resulted in the proliferation of solutions.

Let’s back up. On the wikis themselves there are millions of discussion
venues; there are different software interventions that work or don’t work,
depending on the situation; and we are now in a position where we have so
many places to hold conversations it becomes an extraordinary use of time
(and several people’s full time jobs) to try to understand the
extraordinarily complex social interactions that take place in the hundreds
of languages we speak.

Having introduced all that context, the short answer to your question is
there are some channels we are better at paying attention to than others,
but we don’t know what we don’t know. And this is frustrating for everyone
involved. It makes projects take longer, it makes it harder to onboard
staff, and I can imagine it’s *even more* frustrating for the many users of
our many wikis who have to deal with the software being broken and not
really knowing what to do. I think we manage,  but I think we deserve
better than just “managing” it.


My best regards,
James Hare



[0] This brings up another topic that not all discussions that take place
on Wikipedia happen on discussion pages. Also, there are over 50,000,000
Wikidata items, and almost none of them have talk pages, but theoretically *all
of them* can.

[1] I remember when Werdna wrote the first talk page archiving bot in 2006.
I thought it was cool that someone did that, but looking back on it, I
wonder why I was happy with that as a solution – it seems really convoluted
in retrospect.



> > positive tone needs to be made and a much more conciliatory sta

Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wiki-research-l] please hire a CTO who wants to protect reader privacy

2019-03-23 Thread James Hare
Hello,

Technically this is a personal statement and not one on behalf of the
Foundation, but I am reasonably confident that whatever CTO we hire will
consider the protection of reader privacy to be important.


Thank you,
James Hare

-- 
*James Hare* (he/him)
Associate Product Manager
Wikimedia Foundation <https://wikimediafoundation.org/>


On Sat, Mar 23, 2019 at 3:37 PM James Salsman  wrote:

> I noticed just now that the Foundation is soliciting applications for a
> new CTO:
> https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6515003866130505729
>
> Can we please hire a CTO who would prefer to protect reader privacy
> above the interests of any State or non-state actors, whether they
> have infiltrated staff, contractor, and NDA signatory ranks, and
> whether it interferes with reader statistics and analytics or not,
> please?
>
> In particular, I would like to repeat my request that we should not be
> logging
> personally identifiable information which might increase our subpoena
> burden or result in privacy violation incidents. Fuzzing geolocation
> is okay, but we should not be transmitting IP addresses into logs
> across even a LAN, for example, and we certainly shouldn't be
> purchasing hardware with backdoor coprocessors wasting electricity and
> exposing us to government or similar intrusions:
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/analytics/2017-January/005696.html
>
> Best regards,
> Jim
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] HHS Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's National Guideline Clearinghouse

2018-07-17 Thread James Hare
For what it’s worth, the Internet Archive is hard at work preserving the 
guidelines, so at minimum we will have that.

> On Jul 17, 2018, at 6:54 PM, James Salsman  wrote:
> 
> Can we move the Department of Health and Human Services' National
> Guideline Clearinghouse to Wikisource? Do we have contacts in HHS to
> help?
> 
> https://www.thedailybeast.com/hhs-plans-to-delete-20-years-of-critical-medical-guidelines-next-week
> 
> "The Trump Administration is planning to eliminate a vast trove of
> medical guidelines that for nearly 20 years has been a critical
> resource for doctors, researchers and others in the medical community.
> 
> "Maintained by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality [AHRQ],
> part of the Department of Health and Human Services, the database is
> known as the National Guideline Clearinghouse [NGC], and it’s
> scheduled to “go dark,” in the words of an official there, on July
> 16.\\
> 
> https://www.ahrq.gov/gam/about/index.html
> 
> https://www.ahrq.gov/gam/updates/index.html
> 
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[Wikimedia-l] Help us build Toolhub

2018-06-13 Thread James Hare
Hello everyone, sorry for cross-posting.

What does your participation on the Wikimedia projects look like? Do you
edit articles? Upload files? Patrol vandalism? Translate articles?
Translate interface messages? Do you organize people, online or offline? Do
you train new editors, or new trainers? Do you write code?

There are many different ways to contribute to Wikimedia – more than you
would expect just from reading Wikipedia articles. With many kinds of
contributions there are many tools you can use, most of which have been
developed by our volunteer community. But do you know how to find these
tools?

Since January the Wikimedia Cloud Services team at the Wikimedia Foundation
has been meeting with contributors, organizers, and tool developers to
learn more about the role tools play in our communities' work. We have also
been researching existing methods for organizing lists of tools – at least
14 of them, including popular tool catalogs like Hay's Tool Directory.[0]
With this research, we hope to figure out how best to put the right tools
in front of the right people.

For this, we need your help. We have a page on Meta summarizing our current
work,[1] as well as a proposed data model for describing tools.[2] Consider
what work you currently do, whether you contribute content, code,
organizing support, what have you – and ask: if there was a tool you needed
to complete a certain task, would you know where to look? How would you
look for it? Please look over [1] and [2] and let us know what you think.
Feedback is welcome in any language. If you would like to get in touch
privately, you are also welcome to email me at jh...@wikimedia.org.


Best regards,
James Hare

[0] https://tools.wmflabs.org/hay/directory/
[1] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Toolhub
[2] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Toolhub/Data_model


James Hare
Associate Product Manager
Wikimedia Foundation
https://wikimediafoundation.org
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Hello. New user - which mailing list should i use ?

2018-06-05 Thread James Hare
On Mon, Jun 4, 2018 at 3:49 AM,  wrote:

>  Hello.
>
> Im the admin of a newish (by definition) mediawiki.org wiki. and have
> a few queries about which settings etc i should be using.
>
> i am very familiar with web design / programming etc (not a newbie),
> however when looking over your mailing lists for this type of wiki, I
> am confused.
>
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists
>
> also - https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Overview
>
> im finding mailing lists of requesting funds, setting up new local
> groups, competitions, education progarmmes, committees, media etc &
> all these other "administration" type lists.
>
> Can anyone advise which list i should be joining on "how to" do, or
> "how to find" etc type queries. for people who are new to running a
> wikimedia wiki and want to set up the wiki correctly.
>
> Thank you
>
>
> --
>
> Gordon.
>
>
>
It sounds like you would like the MediaWiki-l mailing list. MediaWiki is
the software that runs Wikipedia and many similar projects.
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/mediawiki-l


James Hare
Associate Product Manager
Wikimedia Foundation
https://wikimediafoundation.org
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Recent statement on the block of Wikipedia in Turkey

2018-05-24 Thread James Hare
On Thu, May 24, 2018 at 12:55 AM, David Cuenca Tudela <dacu...@gmail.com>
wrote:

> Hi Eileen,
>
> Thanks for the follow up and for the nice letter that you wrote to the
> Turkish Minister. There is something I do not understand about Turkey's
> block and maybe you (or somebody else) could offer some insights about it.
>
> Apparently the ban was issued because it was felt that Turkey was
> misrepresented in some articles. My question is, why didn't they block only
> the offending articles (as they did in the past with other articles)
> instead of the whole site?
>
> Regards,
> David



One of the effects of Wikipedia's HTTPS-only policy is that ISPs, the
Turkish government, and other parties who may be monitoring traffic can't
see the contents of the traffic – they can only see a connection between
your machine and "wikipedia.org". The option to selectively block traffic
doesn't exist because they can't see what that traffic even is.

So why not allow HTTP-only connections if it gives the Turkish government
the option to block the articles it wants and letting the others through?
Political implications of that aside, the result is that a user couldn't
really guarantee what they were reading was Wikipedia. Which is to say, the
policy of only allowing access to Wikipedia over a secure connection is how
Wikipedia guarantees that you are actually reading Wikipedia and not
Wikipedia plus injected propaganda or injected advertisements or what have
you.



James Hare
Associate Product Manager
Wikimedia Foundation
https://wikimediafoundation.org
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Project Grants program will fund 11 community-led projects

2018-05-18 Thread James Hare
What a great panel of funded projects! I feel like the project grant proposals 
get better every year.

Congratulations to our latest project grantees! You join (or re-join as the 
case may be) a group of distinguished individuals who have pioneered paths 
forward for the Wikimedia movement.


> On May 18, 2018, at 10:04 PM, Marti Johnson  wrote:
> 
> *Hi all,In the latest round of Project Grants, the committee has
> recommended 11 projects for a total of $354,654 in funding.  We received 24
> proposals for review.  Here’s what we’re funding. [1]Software: four
> projects funded - ScienceSource
> : Medical
> knowledge is accessed over 2 billion times a year on Wikimedia projects,
> but only a relatively small number of editors create and maintain it.
> ScienceSource seeks to build an algorithm that will model editor
> decision-making to identify reliable biomedical reference sources. By using
> machine automation to sift through large volumes of reference materials,
> ScienceSource will support volunteers to do their work faster and more
> effectively.  [2] - WikiProject X
> :
> WikiProject X seeks to create better tools for Wikipedian editors
> collaborating around common interest areas.  Previously funded
>  twice through
> Individual Engagement Grants, the project piloted new features for several
> WikiProjects, including Women in Red
> .  This
> grant will replace the multiple disparate modules of WikiProject X with a
> new extension, CollaborationKit.  This improvement will offer editors a
> more seamless, adaptable interface to for productive collaboration.
> [3][4][5]. - Timeless: Post-deployment support
> :
> Timeless is a new volunteer-developed skin designed for editors.  It was
> deployed across all Wikimedia projects in 2017, but lacked sufficient
> support to address bugs.  This grant will support general improvements to
> make Timeless into a more stable and user-friendly product. [6] -
> WikidataJS :
> This grant will enable the JavaScript developer community to produce fast,
> high quality tools so others can better access information on Wikidata. The
> project builds on Maxlath
> ’s previous
> creation of several Wikidata-related tools:  wikidata-sdk, wikidata-edit,
> wikidata-cli, wikidata-filter.  [7][8]Online organizing: two projects
> funded - Wiki Loves Monuments international team/2018 coordination
> :
> The international coordination team for Wiki Loves Monuments
>  (WLM)
> proposes to strengthen the foundation for healthy and sustainable WLM
> competitions across the world.  As the project celebrates its 10th
> anniversary, its leaders aim to critically rethink the structural framework
> of WLM.  This grant will support efforts to gather information from
> national leaders, collect and share best practices from across the
> community, facilitate the ongoing integration of WLM into Wikidata, and
> improve operational processes system-wide. [9][10] - Wikimedia CEE Spring
> 2018
> :
> This annual international article writing contest generates content from
> every country and region in Central and Eastern Europe on 30+ Wikipedias.
> CEE Spring’s remarkable community spirit plays a central role in fostering
> a thriving, collaborative volunteer base in the region. The grant will
> incentivize content creation focused on closing the gender gap, expanding
> minority language Wikipedias, and showcasing the cultural heritage of
> Central and Eastern Europe. [11]Offline outreach: five projects funded -
> BlackLunchTable/BLT 2018
> :
> As an organization, BlackLunchTable 
> seeks to create a more truthful and inclusive historical account by
> inviting people to write the histories of their own culture.  In this
> project, they will host a series of edit-a-thons with the aim of recruiting
> editors of color and women editors to write biographical articles about
> notable artists of the African diaspora.  The project will primarily focus
> on English Wikipedia. [12][13] - Wiki In Africa/Wiki Loves Women 2018
> :
> In 2016, Wiki Loves Women
> 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Wikimedia Foundation Board Recruitment: Updates

2018-05-15 Thread James Hare
This mailing list thread is about the Wikimedia Foundation recruiting
members for its board and I would like to ask we stick to that, please.


James Hare
Associate Product Manager
Wikimedia Foundation
https://wikimediafoundation.org

On Tue, May 15, 2018 at 11:22 AM, James Salsman <jsals...@gmail.com> wrote:

> To follow up on this, Katherine, would you please state the relative risk
> to politically controversial editors of using CPUs without backdoor
> coprocessors to host Foundation projects?
>
> Ref.:
> https://chiefio.wordpress.com/2017/02/03/for-deep-security-
> use-arm-avoid-intel-amd-processors/
>
> Are there a corresponding subpoena and national security letter burden
> differences in choosing open source hardware without backdoor coprocessors?
> Thank you for considering these questions.
>
> Best regards,
> Jim
>
> On Mon, May 14, 2018 at 12:28 PM, James Salsman <jsals...@gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
> > On the original topic of technology advocacy representation on the Board,
> > [c]an we please get someone from the open source hardware community and
> > Legal to tell us how much we could save in subpoena, hardware, and
> overhead
> > costs by avoiding backdoors? Has anyone on the Board ever championed open
> > source hardware, since, Sam maybe?
> >
> > Please see:
> >
> > https://www.reddit.com/r/linux/comments/5xvn4i/update_
> > corebootlibreboot_on_amd_has_ceo_level/
> >
> > https://np.reddit.com/r/technology/comments/8aovfb/
> > china_has_started_ranking_citizens_with_a_creepy/
> >
> > https://teachprivacy.com/why-i-love-the-gdpr/
> >
> > https://www.mediawiki.org/w/index.php?title=Wikimedia_
> > Technology%2FAnnual_Plans%2FFY2019%2FCDP3%3A_Knowledge_
> > Integrity=revision=2762601=2762351
> >
> > Best regards,
> > Jim
> >
> > On Mon, May 14, 2018 at 12:44 AM, Philippe Beaudette <
> > phili...@beaudette.me> wrote:
> >
> >> And even if such laws do not exist (and I'm no expert), as an employee I
> >> would be gravely concerned about taking a role with any employer where I
> >> knew that they would be publishing the reason for my departure.
> >>
> >> Now, employees may /choose/ to publish a reason (as I did) but to
> presume
> >> that it would be mandatory (and to be willing to stake your career on it
> >> in
> >> advance) would likely seriously inhibit some candidates from applying.
> >> When you pair that with the WMF's (relatively) transparent
> organization, I
> >> think the two together would be a significant inhibitor to recruiting.
> >>
> >> Philippe
> >>
> >> On Sun, May 13, 2018 at 2:10 PM, Joseph Seddon <josephsed...@gmail.com>
> >> wrote:
> >>
> >> > "I am unaware of any laws which would prohibit WMF from publishing the
> >> > entirety of executives' compensation
> >> > details including their employment contracts, severance agreements,
> >> > and the circumstances
> >> > in which their departures happen."
> >> >
> >> > Pine, I often appreciate your view and input on a range of topics but
> >> to be
> >> > blunt if this is your genuine opinion I'm personally rather glad my
> >> > employer does not base its HR policies and practices on your personal
> >> > interpretation of employment law.
> >> >
> >> > Seddon
> >> >
> >> > On Sun, May 13, 2018 at 8:59 PM, Pine W <wiki.p...@gmail.com> wrote:
> >> >
> >> > >
> >> > > Given Jaime's previous statement on this matter, and my general
> >> > > dissatisfaction with WMF's level of financial transparency, I am
> >> > > uncomfortable with his involvement with selecting a new WMF Board
> >> member
> >> > > based on his or her finance expertise. I would encourage the Board
> to
> >> > > reconsider Jaime's role in the selection process, and to place a
> >> strong
> >> > > emphasis on identifying a new board member who has experience with
> >> > > significantly increasing the financial transparency of
> organizations.
> >> > >
> >> > > Pine
> >> > > ( https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Pine )
> >> > >
> >> >
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> >> i/Wikimedia-

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fake news

2018-04-29 Thread James Hare
To clarify, are you referring to Wikipedia's reporting of fake news, or
fake news being disseminated on Wikipedia itself?




James Hare
Associate Product Manager
Wikimedia Foundation
https://wikimediafoundation.org

On Fri, Apr 27, 2018 at 7:26 AM, Devouard (gmail) <fdevou...@gmail.com>
wrote:

> Hi
>
> I have been proposed to give a conference about wikipedia and fake news
> and to focus on very specific examples rather than general concepts. I
> already have a few ideas but any pointers to particularly interesting cases
> or discussions will be welcome.
>
> Thanks for your help.
>
> Florence
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikidata] An answer to Lydia Pintscher regarding its considerations on Wikidata and CC-0

2017-11-29 Thread James Hare
On November 29, 2017 at 3:33:47 PM, Scott MacLeod (
worlduniversityandsch...@gmail.com) wrote:

Dear Lydia, Mathieu, Nicolas and All,

I'm seeking a clarification here to "An answer to Lydia Pintscher regarding
its considerations on Wikidata and CC-0" re the implications of CC-0
licensing for Wikidata say in comparison with CC-4 licensing.

If CC-0 licensing allows for commercial use -
"Once the creator or a subsequent owner of a work applies CC0 to a work,
the work is no longer his or hers in any meaningful sense under copyright
law. Anyone can then use the work in any way and for any purpose, including
commercial purposes, subject to other laws and the rights others may have
in the work or how the work is used. Think of CC0 as the "no rights
reserved" option " (https://wiki.creativecommons.org/wiki/CC0_FAQ ) ...

... and, by contrast, CC-4 licensing (say by MIT OpenCourseWare in its 7
languages, for example, - where its CC-4 licensing allows for "sharing"
"adapting" but "non-commercially"), what would CC-0 Wikidata licensed
databases allow for commercially? Since Wikidata, or Wikisource or Project
Wikicite in particular, for example, are licensed CC-0 licensing option,
could (CC) Bookstores, for example, use this CC-0 licensing, in all 295 of
Wikipedia's languages, for the books in their (online) bookstores? (Also
are there any data, or sister projects, affiliated with Wikidata that are
not CC-0 re https://www.wikidata.org/wiki/User:Lydia_Pintscher_%28WMDE%
29/CC-0 ? )

Thanks,
Scott



CC-0 is functionally equivalent to the public domain. Anything released
under CC-0 can be used by anyone for any reason with no conditions
whatsoever. For more information see <
https://creativecommons.org/share-your-work/public-domain/cc0/>. Since
Wikidata’s data is released under CC-0, it can be used by anyone for any
reason with no conditions.


Cheers,
James Hare
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikitech-l] [Wikimedia Announcements] Changes to Product and Technology departments at the Foundation

2017-06-12 Thread James Hare
Multimedia was recently moved to the Reading (now Readers) vertical. To the
best of my knowledge that isn’t changing.

On June 12, 2017 at 12:52:44 PM, Pine W (wiki.p...@gmail.com) wrote:

James: thanks for asking; I'm copying that question to the Wikitech list.
While we're on that topic, what's happening to multimedia? I believe that
at one time there was a multimedia team, and I could understand how pairing
multimedia with maps in the same team could make sense. If multimedia is
separate, it would be good to know where that's being housed now; I believe
that there's work happening with 3D files for Commons, and I vaguely recall
hearing about improvements to the Commons upload wizard.

Pine


On Mon, Jun 12, 2017 at 8:07 AM, James Heilman  wrote:

> Looks like a reasonable change. Glad to see the degree of internal input
> that went into it.
>
> Does maps also include other rich content like graphs, charts, heat maps
> and other forms of data visualization?
>
> Best
> James
>
> On Mon, Jun 12, 2017 at 8:44 AM, Toby Negrin 
> wrote:
>
> > Hi Jan --
> >
> > Thanks for the question. We'll be making a more specific announcement
> this
> > week about the future of the discovery projects. Sadly we don't have a
> lot
> > of new information for maps in particular and will need to do a bit more
> > scenario planning before we talk to the community.
> >
> > As far as focus, most of our "reading" features are actually content
> > created by editors that is consumed by readers and maps is no different.
> > While we don't have specifics as far as the roadmap, both authoring and
> > consumption features are totally in scope.
> >
> > Hope this helps to provide some information (if not clarity :) about how
> we
> > are approaching this.
> >
> > -Toby
> >
> > On Thu, Jun 8, 2017 at 2:21 PM, Jan Ainali  wrote:
> >
> > > 2017-06-07 23:12 GMT+02:00 Toby Negrin :
> > >
> > > >
> > > > The team working on maps, the search experience, and the project
> entry
> > > > portals (such as Wikipedia.org) will join the Readers team. This
> > > > realignment will allow us to build more integrated experiences and
> > > > knowledge-sharing for the end user.
> > > >
> > > Does maps going to readers mean that there will be less focus on
> editors
> > > tools for adding maps to articles and more focus on the readers
> > possibility
> > > to interact with the maps? If so, what is actually in the pipeline for
> > > maps?
> > >
> > > /Jan
> > > ___
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> >
>
>
>
> --
> James Heilman
> MD, CCFP-EM, Wikipedian
>
> The Wikipedia Open Textbook of Medicine
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[Wikimedia-l] Strategy and its subtypes

2016-02-23 Thread James Hare
 to decide how content is presented, and how are these decisions made?

I am sure we each as individuals have answers to these questions, but we do not 
have a common understanding, whatsoever, the same way we generally understand 
that the Wikimedia Foundation does not do editorial policy, or that the 
Wikimedia Foundation generally avoids doing on-the-ground program work the same 
way chapters do. We do not even agree on how much the Wikimedia Foundation 
should focus on the software product aspect as opposed to other aspects.

Nor do I think we will arrive at this conclusion through developing a grand 
strategy and an overall movement framework. We’re big and decentralized, and we 
need to accommodate opportunities where they exist. Exhaustive planning 
documents do not lend themselves to that. And it is unlikely we can all come to 
a happy solution that accommodates everyone and everything.

This is why it is up to the Wikimedia Foundation to define its own role within 
the movement. My hope is that they do so by actively seeking out the needs of 
the entire movement, since they are in the unique position where they can 
support a large share of the movement. But it will need to define its role in 
the development of products—whether they be editing products, or products that 
present Wikimedia content. Whether it will seek to control the presentation of 
content or merely advise on the community’s own decisions. The most feasible 
way forward I see is that the Wikimedia Foundation decides what it is best 
suited to do, set its own boundaries, and call on the rest of the movement to 
fill in the gaps. This will help the Wikimedia Foundation focus its work: by 
explicitly saying “no” to some things and determining they are not within their 
remit, it opens the doors (through grant funding or some other mechanism) for 
other people or groups to do things that they are best suited to do. With 
programs being handled by non-WMF entities and some software development 
(including my own work at WikiProject X) being handled outside of the 
Foundation, this is possible.

The Wikimedia movement is a broad movement, and it would not be practical to 
come up with a movement-wide strategy. However, the Wikimedia Foundation 
specifically should try to define its own role with respect to software and 
call on the rest of the movement to fill in the gaps based on its needs.


Respectfully,
James Hare



[1] I’m not counting their rare interventions—for legal purposes—as editorial 
control.

[2] I honestly do not remember who said it or when. My point is not that 
someone out there has (or had) a heretical (or righteous) opinion, but that 
people have very divergent opinions on this.
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[Wikimedia-l] Introducing WikiProject X

2015-01-13 Thread James Hare
(Standard apology for cross-posting.)

Greetings everyone!

I am pleased to announce a new project, WikiProject X, funded by a Wikimedia 
Foundation Individual Engagement Grant. WikiProject X's goal is to improve the 
experience of WikiProjects, which are subject-area (or goal-oriented) 
collaborative spaces on the English Wikipedia. By making WikiProjects easier to 
use and maintain, it will be easier to build sub-communities of like-minded 
people, giving editors a sense of community on a huge and daunting website like 
Wikipedia. This includes mechanisms for recruiting new participants and 
encouraging the creation of safe spaces where editors, new and experienced 
alike, can feel like they can participate in discussions without fear of 
intimidation or jargon.

The project will begin with some research, both qualitative research in the 
form of interviews and case studies, and quantitative research based on 
Wikipedia’s database. Our focus will be on WikiProjects that have been 
successful in organizing editors, and learning more about what makes them work. 
Based on this research, we will develop new tools and interfaces that make 
WikiProjects easier to use and easier to maintain. Please note that this is an 
opt-in program for WikiProjects; no WikiProject will be required to make 
changes.

I would like to invite the community to check out our new page on Wikipedia, 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_X (shortcut WP:WPX). 
There, you can share your experiences with WikiProjects and sign up to become a 
pilot tester. Community participation is crucial for the success of this 
project, and the more voices we hear, the better.

If you want to sign up for more updates, sign up for our newsletter here: 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_X/Newsletter.

Please let me know if you have any questions. I am very much looking forward to 
working with everyone on making this project succeed!


Cheers,
James Hare
Project Manager, WikiProject X
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_X
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