Re: [Wikimedia-l] Account of the events leading to James Heilman's removal

2016-05-02 Thread Oliver Keyes
While *some* of research ethics comes from the medical world -
particularly from the Belmont report and the Western-centric research
atrocities of the last century - much of it does not. Things like the
Zimbardo and Milgram experiments have had a marked impact on our
conceptualisation of appropriate ethics and IRBs, and it is not
unusual for institutions to even separate out behavioural and social
studies from medical studies in training, IRB composition and expected
practices.

And yet the social sciences contain the same duties and
responsibilities around ethical principles that medical studies do.
The principles of confidentiality, of transparency to the participant,
of the participant taking the lead in defining what is and is not
acceptable. Ethical principles along these lines are a common and core
part of the IRB process, if you're involving humans, regardless of the
nature of that involvement. And I note that the current board contains
(not to single him out, but simply because he is the best example
Dariusz Jemielniak, full name *Dr*  Dariusz Jemielniak, who is an
_ethnographer_, one of the social fields of study that pays very close
attention to these things.

So it is not as simple as "James's experiences were shaped by his
medical background, other people did not have that". The need for
ethical principles is enshrined in a lot of fields, including not just
medicine, but those several other board members have as a background.
This should have been a known. I agree that there is apparently an
inadequacy in Board training, but I'm mostly amazed (and disappointed)
that the people who wrote Denny's statement didn't twig that,
actually, ethics in these areas are both paramount and much more
complicated than just "well my legal duty says..." for the
participants involved.


On Mon, May 2, 2016 at 10:44 PM, Nathan <nawr...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Mon, May 2, 2016 at 10:11 PM, Justin Senseney <jsens...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> On Mon, May 2, 2016 at 5:33 PM, Oliver Keyes <ironho...@gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>> > +1 to that question, which is the biggest flag I have here.
>> >
>> > "The highest standards of confidentiality" is nice but, as you note,
>> > people presumably reached out to these individual Board members,
>> > rather than the whole Board, because they felt the individuals could
>> > be trusted a lot better than the Board as a whole. Which in my mind is
>> > totally understandable.
>> >
>> > If people reached out in confidence, demanding that their experiences
>> > and information be turned over to the entire Board - without noting
>> > that as a caveat when first interacting with the source, or without
>> > asking for the source's permission - well, I'd be cagey too. Anyone
>> > who has ever dealt with human subject research would be cagey.
>> >
>> > The perspective of human subjects research makes a lot of sense here.  A
>> lot of research studies are asking the question, can we share data between
>> studies now that we have the "cloud" technology to do it? In every case
>> I've seen, researchers have to explicitly ask for two consents, one to
>> collect the data from the subject, another to share it.  I would expect
>> anyone in the medical profession to operate the way James has.
>>
>> Most internal review boards won't even allow you to ask human subjects for
>> the broad ability to share their data, you have to identify the specific
>> place it will be shared, before you collect it.  In the US, these rules
>> come from Institutional Review Boards.  These IRBs function in a similar
>> way to the Board, by providing an independent level of oversight to medical
>> research, and are given a wide latitude to go as far as halt research
>> studies and punish misconduct, even though they are not medical researchers
>> themselves.
>>
>> I wish the Board had the same respect of confidential data that James has
>> shown, and that Institutional Review Boards throughout the research
>> community have when it comes to human data.  IRB members aren't necessarily
>> medical professionals, they are the same people you would find sitting on
>> any board.  So I think it's reasonable for us to ask the Board to treat
>> confidential data in the same way any IRB would, the same way James has.
>>
>> -Justin
>>
>>
> Justin - many of these elements of current research ethics, enforced in
> some instances by IRBs, have grown in no small part due to the regulatory
> environment around personal health information. The legal framework for
> information held by a corporate board member is very different. It may be
> that James' approach to conf

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Account of the events leading to James Heilman's removal

2016-05-02 Thread Oliver Keyes
+1 to that question, which is the biggest flag I have here.

"The highest standards of confidentiality" is nice but, as you note,
people presumably reached out to these individual Board members,
rather than the whole Board, because they felt the individuals could
be trusted a lot better than the Board as a whole. Which in my mind is
totally understandable.

If people reached out in confidence, demanding that their experiences
and information be turned over to the entire Board - without noting
that as a caveat when first interacting with the source, or without
asking for the source's permission - well, I'd be cagey too. Anyone
who has ever dealt with human subject research would be cagey.

if people *did* grant permission, obviously that's an entirely
different situation. But if they didn't, James was doing entirely the
right thing by refusing to turn over, wholesale, information
communicated to him and him alone, to a wider body that was quite
clearly not trusted by the people making these reports.

On Mon, May 2, 2016 at 4:03 PM, SarahSV  wrote:
> On Mon, May 2, 2016 at 11:07 AM, Denny Vrandečić 
> wrote:
>
>> The protection of any personal or confidential information was, to the best
>> of my knowledge, at all time guaranteed and has not been compromised. The
>> official task force, set up by the Trustees, worked under the standards of
>> keeping confidentiality, obviously. I thought this goes without saying, but
>> I am explicating it.
>>
>> Was information passed to people on the task force without the original
> sources' consent?
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] What New Thing is WMF Doing w. Cookies, & Why is Legal Involved?

2016-05-02 Thread Oliver Keyes
On Monday, 2 May 2016, Brion Vibber <bvib...@wikimedia.org> wrote:

> On Sun, May 1, 2016 at 9:21 PM, Oliver Keyes <ironho...@gmail.com
> <javascript:;>> wrote:
>
> > One element I can answer: no, it does not contain flash objects, flash is
> > not a technology included in the Wikimedia stack on account of it barely
> > being classifiable as a technology.
> >
>
> There is one use of Flash in our tech stack: audio output for media
> playback on Internet Explorer when using our JavaScript Ogg playback
> compatibility library.


I'm so sorry :(. 'Ogg' is onomatopoeic then ;)


>
> This is a small shim which does not use cookies or any other type of local
> storage, which is why it is not listed on a page about cookies.
>
> Here's the source code of the Flash component; feel free to review it for
> security:
>
> https://github.com/brion/audio-feeder/blob/master/src/dynamicaudio.as
>
>
> On Sunday, 1 May 2016, Toby Dollmann <toby.dollm...@gmail.com
> <javascript:;>> wrote:
> > > 1. Whether, or not, editors of Wikimedia websites", say
> > > "en.wikipedia.org" or "commons.wikimedia.org", can edit if cookies
> > > (broadly construed) are disabled and not stored on client devices.
> >
>
> Like every other site on the world wide web, MediaWiki uses cookies to
> maintain login state. If you disable cookies, login will not work and your
> edits will not be attributed to your account.
>
> Editing "anonymously" without cookies works, but reveals your IP address in
> a permanent public way.
>
>
> > > 2. Whether, or not, the locally stored objects referenced in the
> > > cookie policy include
> > > (i)  Javascript code, or
> >
>
> MediaWiki's ResourceLoader can and does cache JavaScript module code in
> localStorage. This code has no special privileges or abilities because of
> that; it just takes up a tiny bit of space on your disk.
>
>
> > > (ii)  Flash objects
> >
>
> No, no Flash code is stored in cookies or localStorage.
>
>
> > >
> > > 3. Whether, or not, the locally stored objects inserted by the WMF, on
> > > client computers and stored there, have the capability of collecting
> > > extensive personal information of editors, the degree of which not
> > > being explicitly disclosed in advance to users.
> >
>
> No, they are just data until they are executed, at which point they are
> just code, same as code loaded straight from the server. That code can do
> nothing special that it could not already do.
>
> -- brion
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] What New Thing is WMF Doing w. Cookies, & Why is Legal Involved?

2016-05-01 Thread Oliver Keyes
It seems like you can either deny James's knowledge of the technical/legal
overlap or ask him questions, but probably not both :p.

One element I can answer: no, it does not contain flash objects, flash is
not a technology included in the Wikimedia stack on account of it barely
being classifiable as a technology.

On Sunday, 1 May 2016, Toby Dollmann  wrote:

> > It's certainly possible that this is only 'obvious' to me because of my
> > knowledge of outside organizations or law but it doesn't surprise me.
>
> Your reply is not obvious to me. I understand that your employment is
> exclusively with WMF and you do not appear to be particularly
> qualified (or experienced) in law.
>
> Treating the cookie statement as an explanation / extension of WMF's
> privacy policy and noting the poster's concern that the WMF legal team
> have amended certain descriptors for locally stored objects (not
> cookies) of indeterminate (theoretically infinite) persistence, would
> you clarify the following technical /legal aspects relating to cookies
> and their usage on Wikimedia.
>
> 1. Whether, or not, editors of Wikimedia websites", say
> "en.wikipedia.org" or "commons.wikimedia.org", can edit if cookies
> (broadly construed) are disabled and not stored on client devices.
>
> 2. Whether, or not, the locally stored objects referenced in the
> cookie policy include
> (i)  Javascript code, or
> (ii)  Flash objects
>
> 3. Whether, or not, the locally stored objects inserted by the WMF, on
> client computers and stored there, have the capability of collecting
> extensive personal information of editors, the degree of which not
> being explicitly disclosed in advance to users.
>
> 4. Whether, or not, the WMF is aware that a certain "toxic and
> juvenile .. problem" [reff#1] WMF sysop (now banned) with extensive
> knowledge of WMF's checkuser process, the cookie policy and its
> internals has achieved remarkable technical capability to closely
> impersonate other editors and get them blocked by a network (aka "porn
> crew") of surviving cooperative "community appointed" sysops favorably
> still disposed to him/her. That this problem person (who has also
> threatened legal action against WMF) extensively uses mobile Wikipedia
> via "millions of IPs" [ref#2] in multiple languages, including several
> some fairly obscure ones, for abusive purposes which are 'obviously'
> related to WMF_legal's recent subject edit.
>
> Toby
>
> [ref#1] "I should be clear - the problem is not the abuse of me, but
> the toxic and juvenile environment at Commons. I have never failed in
> 30 seconds of looking to find a horrifying BLP violation at commons of
> a photo of an identifiable woman engaged in sexual activity with
> highly questionable provenance (for example a deleted flickr account).
> Every time (including tonight) that I go there hoping to see
> improvement, I am disappointed. And I think that as long as we
> tolerate it and don't bounce some very bad admins, we will not solve
> the problem.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 23:04, 14 October 2014 (UTC)"
>
> [ref#2]
> https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=User_talk%3AOdder=historysubmit=revision=194440022=194439438
>
> On 5/2/16, James Alexander >
> wrote:
> > On Sun, May 1, 2016 at 2:40 PM, Trillium Corsage <
> trillium2...@yandex.com >
> > wrote:
> >
> >> I noticed Michelle Paulson editing the "Cookie Statement" page, and it
> >> seemed kind of strange to me because I thought it more a technical and
> IT
> >> thing to edit. But Michelle is WMF Legal, right
> >>
> >
> > I won't/can't comment on the rest of your questions but I'm confused
> about
> > why you would be surprised here... the cookie statement is, essentially,
> a
> > legal statement/privacy policy "type" document (obviously different but
> > similar) and just like the privacy policy (or access to non public
> > information or document retention policy or terms of use or other policy
> > docs along those lines) the cookie statement has been owned by Legal for
> as
> > long as it's existed (I can attest to that fact since the CA team was
> asked
> > to help put it up for them).
> >
> > It's certainly possible that this is only 'obvious' to me because of my
> > knowledge of outside organizations or law but it doesn't surprise me.
> > Cookie statements are part of the law in some countries (not necessarily
> > ones we have to follow given our position in the US but Europe has laws
> > about it for example) and so would usually be within the legal department
> > for many organizations. Cookies are also closely tied with privacy and
> the
> > privacy policy and so compliance and ensuring that the org stays within
> > their promises would, also, often fall within the legal department
> (though
> > everyone should/does have a hand in ensuring they follow the promises the
> > org as a whole made).
> >
> > James Alexander
> > Manager
> > Trust & Safety
> > 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] What New Thing is WMF Doing w. Cookies, & Why is Legal Involved?

2016-05-01 Thread Oliver Keyes
Honestly this is kind of a bewildering set of hypotheticals to me.

You worry wikimedia is gathering new data and maybe selling it to marketers
and maybe releasing it to the community, or not, or some of them, or all of
them, based on:

An edit titled 'fixed two errors in cookie names' which...well, fixed two
errors in cookie names.[0] that's all the revision appears to contain.

Legal editing the cookie statement seems pretty usual to me, and the edit
(self-evidently) had nothing to do with changes to what is gathered. It was
copyediting.

There are a lot of things the Foundation does it could communicate better,
but legal tends to do a pretty good job: this edit is really evidence of
that since it's senior counsel taking time to make very very sure they are
reporting to our users precisely what is going on. If the WMF were to start
selling a reading list to Facebook, I'm pretty sure there'd be an
announcement, and I'm absolutely certain the policy change would need to
consist of a bit more than two typo corrections.

[0]
https://wikimediafoundation.org/w/index.php?title=Cookie_statement=revision=105722=104960

On Sunday, 1 May 2016, Trillium Corsage  wrote:

> I noticed Michelle Paulson editing the "Cookie Statement" page, and it
> seemed kind of strange to me because I thought it more a technical and IT
> thing to edit. But Michelle is WMF Legal, right?
>
> Is WMF doing something new (or newish, maybe I'm a little late in picking
> up on this) with cookies? Can someone describe to me what that is, in
> layman's terms?
>
> Is it about third-party marketing and working up personal profiles of
> editors and readers? What sort of new information is the WMF gathering, if
> it is, on editors and readers?
>
> Are there privacy concerns we should be worried about?
>
> Will the information gathered by the cookies be made available to the
> anonymous administrative "volunteers" the WMF grants access to the
> non-public information of editors? The so-called "sockpuppet investigators"
> and so forth?
>
> Here:
> https://wikimediafoundation.org/w/index.php?title=Cookie_statement=historysubmit=revision=105722=104960
> .
>
> Trillium Corsage
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Wikipedia is basically just another giant bureaucracy

2016-04-30 Thread Oliver Keyes
Chris,

Yeah, all I meant with my email was 'discussing whether Wikipedia is a
bureaucracy on *any* mailing list is likely to be further supporting
evidence to the average journalist' and have, since waking up and scanning
the new posts to the thread, reached pretty much the same state of...piqued
humour? Let's go with that :p

On Saturday, 30 April 2016, Chris Keating 
wrote:

> Is it just me that notices an irony when someone posts a message about
> Wikipedia being a bureaucracy, and there follows a discussion about whether
> the message was sent to the correct mailing list or not? ;)
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Wikipedia is basically just another giant bureaucracy

2016-04-29 Thread Oliver Keyes
I'm honestly not sure what this thread is meant to achieve.

Might I suggest that if you object to the reporting you contact the author,
rather than drag their work in a largely-unknown internal mailing list?
It's likely to be more productive.

On Friday, 29 April 2016, Benjamin Lees  wrote:

> On Fri, Apr 29, 2016 at 8:32 PM, Stephen Philbrick
> > wrote:
> > and it is astonishing how bad it is.
>
> If you're astonished, then I'm afraid you haven't read enough news
> articles about Wikipedia yet. :-(
>
> P.S. MAYBE IT'S TIME WE REEVALUATED OUR STANCE ON ALLCAPS.
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Open and recorded WMF Board meetings

2016-04-23 Thread Oliver Keyes
On Saturday, 23 April 2016, Gerard Meijssen <gerard.meijs...@gmail.com>
wrote:

> Hoi,
> Governance worth a damn...  Did you know that I introduced Jan Bart
> to Jimmy  the rest is also history.


Yes Gerard, you're very very important. Much more so than me. Well done.

>
> But honestly. In the final analysis the more importance is given to the
> board, the more it shows a dysfunctional movement. When governance is so
> relevant, the first thing to do is not to micro-manage. That is what the
> board is not supposed to do and when something did not go right, remember
> that they are people. Ask yourself how we as a movement suffer instead or
> when you find that a certain behaviour did not win the beauty contest.
>
>
I know the board are people. I also know the people their actions affect
are people. I am agreed that the board is too prominent - see also the
spinoff thread - and given too much importance. But when the board sets
direction on almost everything that costs money, it's function or
dysfunction is absolutely an 'important thing'

I'm going to drop this thread because it is relatively clear we are not
making any progress, in either direction, on convincing the other one we're
right. But hey, at least neither of us demanded the other question their
own sanity :p


> This whole affair is backward. It does not help us forward, it does hinder
> and it takes energy away from those things that really matter.
> Thanks,
>    GerardM
>
> On 17 April 2016 at 22:13, Oliver Keyes <ironho...@gmail.com
> <javascript:;>> wrote:
>
> > On Sun, Apr 17, 2016 at 3:55 PM, Gerard Meijssen
> > <gerard.meijs...@gmail.com <javascript:;>> wrote:
> > > Hoi,
> > > So when as a result of your yihad the worst of what you imagine comes
> > out,
> > > the most you have achieved is that you can say "this is why I think he
> is
> > > an asshole". Then what. It does not change a thing. We are still intend
> > on
> > > sharing the sum of all knowledge. You still have to do a lot of
> > convincing
> > > before most other people would agree with you.
> > >
> > > The problem with your single issue approach is achieves more turmoil
> than
> > > anything else. I fail to understand people like you. It is no longer
> > about
> > > what we hope to achieve. I have tried to engage you in meaningful talk
> > but
> > > for me it failed.
> >
> > From what I can see, "what we hope to achieve" is governance worth a
> > damn. It's people in key positions not using those positions as
> > weapons. It's people taking empathy and consideration and fiduciary
> > duties seriously. Now, if the absence of these doesn't affect you, I'm
> > profoundly jealous, but the fact that you do not understand why
> > Jimmy's behaviour makes it difficult to claim he's a suitable
> > participant in Wikimedia's governance does not change that a lot of
> > other people do have concerns - not just me, not just Andreas.
> >
> > >
> > > The one question that I have. In all your hiha I have not understood
> that
> > > you understand what it is what Jimmy uniquely brings to our community.
> He
> > > is really effective as an ambassador for what we do. In this there is
> > noone
> > > who can replace him. How do you want to replace him. Arguably the
> latest
> > > crop of board members have shown how hard it is in the first place to
> > make
> > > a meaningful contribution.
> >
> > Who said anything about replacing him as an ambassador? When Jimmy is
> > mentioned in the media it's in the context of being Wikipedia's
> > founder, not one of a dozen-odd board members, and unless there's an
> > IEG for the invention of a TARDIS I don't think anyone is removing his
> > founder status. The question is simply whether he is a suitable person
> > to indefinitely sit on the Board of Trustees, making governance
> > decisions, given the behaviour he has shown.
> >
> > > Thanks,
> > >GerardM
> > >
> > > On 17 April 2016 at 20:20, Andreas Kolbe <jayen...@gmail.com
> <javascript:;>> wrote:
> > >
> > >> On March 21, Jimmy posted excerpts from an email conversation he'd had
> > with
> > >> James Heilman on his Wikipedia user talk page, making further
> > allegations
> > >> against James.[1]
> > >>
> > >> James replied twice:
> > >>
> > >> 
> > >>
> > >> Jimmy Wales' summary above of our email correspondence is far from
> > >> complete, an

Re: [Wikimedia-l] wikinews has a NPOV policy derived from wikipedia, mamamia ...

2016-04-22 Thread Oliver Keyes
You're publishing on the main movement mailing list to complain about
another user and ask Jimmy a yes/no question?

This could've been handled with a neutral description of the background.
I'm not sure if you're in a position to be frightened by the comments of
long-term editors right now.

On Friday, 22 April 2016, rupert THURNER  wrote:

> hi jimmy,
>
> i asked on the facebook group wikipeda weekly if joe/ed could publish
> an upcoming blog post on wikinews. joe sutherland mentioned ".. I
> simply cannot get my head around its attitude to news coverage". which
> i find frightening. an editor for 10 years, tens of thousands
> contributions, thousands of pages created, degree in journalism,
> dissertation about news on wikipedia, administrator.[1]
>
> jimmy, as wikinews refers an old mail of you from 2003 as the holy
> grail of NPOV, could you please clarify once and for all that your
> NPOV statemant you sent to wikien-l was valid for wikipedia. and not
> for wikisource, wikiquote, wikinews. best on the wikinews talk page
> concerning NPOV [2][4]. i understand of course that certain publishing
> standards might apply - but NPOV, and "sourced" in the sense of
> published somewhere else cannot be amongst them [3].
>
> just as a note, i hate that the blog [5] opens 20 times slower than
> wikinews on my mobile phone, that it is not in different languages,
> that i do not have the "usual mediawiki features". i hate that
> signpost [7] cannot be read on mobiles because of formatting. i hate
> the glam newsletter [6] for the same reason, despite beeig again on a
> different wiki, no "read in different languages". which is the main
> reason i write this mail ... and asked joe why not using wikinews. and
> i hate that wikinews does not use mediawiki features to properly
> classify what quality an article has, e.g. "blog", "npov", etc.
>
> [1]
> https://tools.wmflabs.org/xtools-ec/?user=Foxj=en.wikipedia.org
> [2]
> https://en.wikinews.org/wiki/Wikinews_talk:Neutral_point_of_view#raphael_honigstein_and_outreach_blog_on_wikinews.3F
> [3] https://en.wikinews.org/wiki/Wikinews:Pillars_of_Wikinews_writing
> [4]
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikien-l/2003-November/008096.html
> [5] blog:
> http://blog.wikimedia.org/2016/04/22/ted-wikimedia-collaboration/
> [6] glam newletter: https://outreach.wikimedia.org/wiki/GLAM/Newsletter
> [7] signpost: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost
>
> best,
> rupert
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fwd: Wikimedia Foundation ED search steering group created

2016-04-19 Thread Oliver Keyes
On Tue, Apr 19, 2016 at 7:05 PM, Pine W  wrote:
> Ironholds, I think that you're taking a negative interpretation. It seems
> to me that any ED candidate is going to want to know what they're getting
> into before agreeing to take the job, and if forks are on the horizon --
> whether planned or only under consideration -- then this is something that
> they should know about. It also seems to me that the target skill set and
> experience that WMF is seeking should take these issues into consideration.

The interpretation I'm taking is that you're asking for complexities
and slowdowns in an already slow and complex process. Is that
incorrect?

Yes, the ED candidate should know what they're getting into, but one
mailing list discussion does not a probability or even a plausible
possibility make. If we informed the candidates about everything that
had ever been discussed on the mailing lists, they'd die of old age
before we'd finished.

It would be nice if the ED candidate had skills that could be applied
to fork or delegate creation, sure, because it's always nice to find
candidates who are overqualified. But that doesn't mean we hire for
"must have skill at forking". That's not how skills work. We hire for
judgment and experience governing similar organisations, and then we
trust.

The old job description does not include "must be capable of suing the
NSA" - yet we managed to pull it off. Because what the old JD did call
for was an awareness and interest in public policy, and sound judgment
about what public policy issues put the movement and its goals at
risk. We hire for broad areas, not narrow. The broad areas for forking
would, presumably, be a desire to empower people at the lowest
possible level, which is already part of the process - because however
flawed we are at it sometimes (a lot of the time, really) that is
inherently part of the movement's goals and principles.

>
> Andy, as far as I know there have been periodic mentions of this idea off
> and on for years, but I'm unaware if the WMF Board is actively pondering
> this issue.

You're unaware of if the WMF Board is actively pondering this issue.
None of us are. In fact, the only commentary we have on this issue at
all recently is a single mailing list thread.

Yes, it's been debated on and off for years. It's the very definition
of a perennial proposal. And for what it's worth, I'm actually a fan
of delegating elements of the organisation's activities or creating
spinoffs! But that doesn't mean it's worth throwing in a job
description or factoring into the hiring process for an executive
director of an organisation that spent 18 months on ED hiring _before_
it was systemically traumatised.

> I'm revising my thinking as we continue this conversation and I appreciate the
> questions.
>

Well, I for one won't *be* continuing this conversation. What I said
to you was "that sounds non-trivial, please consider the disruption
and misery drawing this process out is likely to cause people". And
beyond saythat it's easier than it sounds - without, actually,
providing any evidence that it's easier than it sounds - you've done
none of that.

As a community member, as a former staffer, as a human being, I am
tired of conversations which, while polite on the surface, simply
gloss over or ignore the actual human cost of decisions that might be
reached, or the cost of even participating in the conversations in the
first place. I asked you to factor these costs in. I'm not seeing that
done. I'm not interested in engaging in discussions which lack that
consideration, any more. Our limited time on this tiny blue ball is
far too valuable for that.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Open and recorded WMF Board meetings

2016-04-19 Thread Oliver Keyes
Yes, Jimmy is effective in his board role - unfortunately, well, have you
seen the threads about his behaviour in that role? If you instead mean he
is only valuable as an icon or media figure because of it you'll need a
better argument than a statement as if the claim is fact.

Also, no, the United States is explicitly not a democracy. It's a republic.
And no, the Wikimedia movement is not a democracy - but it's *also* not a
dictatorship or a banana republic with a President For Life. Senior
movement figures with zero substantive accountability is a recipe for
madness.

But thank you for making the good faith claim that anyone who disagrees
with you on this is just making a power play. What was it you were saying
about taking an approach that achieves turmoil, again? ;)

On Monday, 18 April 2016, Gerard Meijssen  wrote:

> Hoi,
> Do you really think that democratic processes produce a best result? Do you
> really think that the Wikimedia Foundation or the United States deserve
> that label?
>
> Many may request democratic processes but I prefer a greater deal of
> transparency. When you talk about accountability, it is not so much to
> people but more related to the extend we achieve what we aim for. When you
> consider where people are and where we have our audience, I find that our
> results are lukewarm, maybe improving. There are some stellar projects and
> there are some that are in need of an overhaul. The good thing of our
> movement is that up to a point people can work towards solutions and make a
> high impact without getting sidetracked by "democracy".
>
> What our movement needs is more recognition for what works. More room for
> experimentation helps. More trust in the good intentions of the people that
> make things work helps.We need less Wikipedia think and more result think.
> It is a travesty for instance that the great work in Wikisource is not
> recognised as a generator of traffic. That is what they do in India and it
> is why I as a non elected member of a committee have a deviant idea: in my
> strong opinion we need both more wikisources as a tool to generate content
> and a platform to bring that content to a world audience. I am thrilled
> that Wikidata will improve the functionality of red links in Wikipedia even
> though it is only a subset of what is possible. There will be a small
> conference on sources and quality and that is something I applaud.
>
> I have found that consistently this noisy crowd clamoring for "democracy"
> is not really interested in results. It feels too much like a power
> game.that is being played.
>
> Finally; Jimmy is effective. Removing him from the board will disable his
> ability to function. Think about it in terms of what we aim to achieve and
> forget all the self serving rhetoric about democracy. Democracy is
> secondary.
> Thanks,
>GerardM
>
> On 18 April 2016 at 20:28, James Heilman >
> wrote:
>
> > If Jimmy was to stand for community election and not be elected it will
> not
> > decrease his ability to be an ambassador for the movement one bit. If he
> > stands for election and wins it will increase his legitimacy.
> >
> > What I think many are requesting is democratic processes and
> > accountability. Our movement does not need anyone sitting on the board
> for
> > life. Our current situation is a disheartening for many within the
> > movement.
> >
> > James
> >
> > On Sun, Apr 17, 2016 at 10:30 PM, Gordon Joly  >
> > wrote:
> >
> > > On 17/04/16 20:55, Gerard Meijssen wrote:
> > > >  Arguably the latest
> > > > crop of board members have shown how hard it is in the first place to
> > > make
> > > > a meaningful contribution.
> > > > Thanks,
> > > >GerardM
> > >
> > >
> > > In particular?
> > >
> > > Gordo
> > >
> > >
> > > ___
> > > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > > New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org 
> > > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > > 
> ?subject=unsubscribe>
> > >
> >
> >
> >
> > --
> > James Heilman
> > MD, CCFP-EM, Wikipedian
> >
> > The Wikipedia Open Textbook of Medicine
> > www.opentextbookofmedicine.com
> > ___
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fwd: Wikimedia Foundation ED search steering group created

2016-04-18 Thread Oliver Keyes
It's not a reason to *dismiss* it, no, but it's definitely not a
reason to entirely reorganise our plans for organisational governance
in case it turns out to get traction at *some* point. And that's what
you're talking about here; making monumental changes to the timetable,
scope and demands of a very important hiring decision, because 'an
idea [was] hatched by a few people'.

The new ED should know what the plan is. But at the moment, there *is*
no plan. When you've come up with one, and people have agreed with it,
it will be an appropriate time to stick a spanner in the works. Until
then, what you're suggesting is massively over the top for the
interest the plan has got so far.

I'll be honest and say I'm pretty disappointed by your approach's
failure to consider the human cost of decisions here. The organisation
is in some amount of chaos and uncertainty, with an associated cost in
stress and ill-enjoyment for the people participating in it. You're
suggesting perpetuating that chaos. Yes, Katherine is a great interim
ED from everything I've seen, but I haven't seen you ask if she wants
to do the job long-term, which is something your idea is entirely
premised on: being able to put the burden on her, or someone like her,
while we tilt at windmills. Some consideration has to be given to the
human beings involved in this process - to the fact that this is not
an abstract theoretical exercise in optimal governance, but for a lot
of people 8-12 hours of their day, and disruptions to it carry heavy
risks, particularly given how unpleasant things have been over the
last 6-12 months.

On Mon, Apr 18, 2016 at 1:22 PM, Pine W  wrote:
> Hi Andy,
>
> Just because an idea is hatched by a few people isn't a reason to dismiss
> it. Otherwise, how would ideas get traction?
>
> It seems to me that any incoming ED needs to know what the plan is, if
> there is a plan, regarding possible forks from WMF. It's also highly
> desirable that, if this is being actively considered, that the ED should be
> someone who has experience with forks. On the other hand if the plan is to
> continue with WMF in its current form, then maybe WMF should look for a
> unicorn again who can manage the wide scope of WMF's activities. So the
> question of whether WMF is thinking about forks is something that should go
> into the calculus of the ED selection process.
>
> Given the history of WMF, it seems to me that a fork is something that the
> ED and the Board should have on their radar as possible and maybe even
> likely as a desirable option. Katherine seems to be quite capable as an
> interim ED, so it seems to me that this buys us some time to think
> carefully about the experience that we're looking for in the next
> longer-term ED (who might be Katherine); whether or not we're looking for
> experience with forks is something that I think would be prudent to
> consider at this stage.
>
> I like a lot of the other ideas that are listed on
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_Executive_Director_Transition_Team/2016.
> It's this issue of what to do with regard to a potential fork that I'm
> trying to wrap my head around, and I hope that the Board and others are
> too. I tend to think that the concept of forking WMF should get serious
> consideration. That intersects a bit awkwardly with the ED transition, and
> I'm thinking that the best way to get those two processes to work together
> is to have the forking discussion (at least in the short term) happen first
> so that we know what we're looking for in the ED transition. I'm open to
> hearing other ideas; maybe Gayle could share her thoughts so I'm pinging
> her.
>
> Regards,
>
> Pine
>
> On Mon, Apr 18, 2016 at 4:21 AM, Andy Mabbett 
> wrote:
>
>> On 17 April 2016 at 21:52, Pine W  wrote:
>>
>> > But recent discussions have included the possibility of spinning off
>> > components of WMF and/or a breakup of the WMF organization, partly as a
>> way
>> > to mitigate the systemic risk from a dysfunctional or underperforming
>> WMF.
>> > So, should we be looking for an ED with the expectation that he or she
>> will
>> > manage an organization with 250+ employees, or should we look for someone
>> > who has experience with spinoffs and/or breakups?
>>
>> There has been a small amount of discussion of a vaguely-defined,
>> hypothetical split, which has involved only a handful of people. The
>> idea has not been tested with the wider community, much less developed
>> as a formal proposal. That's not a good basis on which to appoint an
>> ED.
>>
>>
>> --
>> Andy Mabbett
>> @pigsonthewing
>> http://pigsonthewing.org.uk
>>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] DARPA FOSSS programs of interest

2016-04-18 Thread Oliver Keyes
That didn't really identify any of the questions. You're suggesting
that counsel spend their time writing to agencies to ask about the
copyright status of programs with the intent of considering taking
them over, when we know almost nothing about them.

Since you've identified the people responsible and how to contact
them, if you care about this so much, you do it - and then come back
when you have information as basic as their copyright status or what
language they're even written in or whether they were even a success.
Legal should not be going on snipe hunts.

On Mon, Apr 18, 2016 at 10:10 AM, James Salsman  wrote:
>> Where do you see legal standing being a factor...?
>
> On further reflection, it would certainly be better to simply ask the
> DARPA Crowdsourced Formal Verification (CSVF) Program Manager Daniel
> Ragsdale, who has left DARPA and is now a Professor at Texas A
> University, about the extent to which enhancing games with logic
> puzzles produced crowdsourced assistance. I wonder whether they were
> using first person shooters, flying birds, modified tic-tac-toe, or
> what.
>
> Similarly for Rand Waltzman, who is now an Associate Director of
> Research at Carnegie Mellon's Software Engineering Institute, about
> the more interesting Social Media in Strategic Communication (SMISC)
> program and the extent to which it and related programs in other
> agencies have already involved Wikipedia. He might want to talk about
> that because the program was not intended to be covert. As an open
> program, it's very similar to multiple proposals from the community
> we've seen recently. As a covert program, it's likely discoverable and
> certainly referenceable in the lawsuit against the NSA as a means to
> measure the extent to which such programs across the government have
> resulted in law enforcement prosecutions from parallel construction
> affecting people because of the Wikipedia articles readers have chosen
> to access.
>
> The director of the Broad Operational Language Translation (BOLT)
> program, which was originally intended to be an open source and far
> more fully-featured alternative to Google Translate, is still at DARPA
> and the program is ongoing with software development partnerships at
> ten universities and three private companies:
>  
> https://slator.com/technology/darpa-doles-out-millions-to-academia-and-vendors-to-translate-any-language-by-2019/
>
> There is absolutely no question that the Foundation would directly
> benefit tremendously if the BOLT program were returned to unclassified
> free open source. Clearly that would not be in Google's interest at
> all.
>
> As far as I can tell from
> https://www.fbo.gov/utils/view?id=047042419d79fc12b8f6a12e41af570c
> the only reason the BOLT program requires Top Secret clearance is
> because the identities of wartime human translators are secret. I am
> no expert on classification and declassification, other to have
> noticed that even classification advocates say that there is far too
> much of it.
>
> Therefore I think it would be worth writing a letter asking that the
> BOLT, SMISC, and CSFV be returned to open source to the extent
> possible. This is the sort of thing that I imagine would take a few
> hours at most by the people working on the NSA lawsuit asking for a
> Mandatory Declassification Review per
> http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corres/pdf/523030m.pdf
>
> If I am mistaken or if anyone thinks it is not a good idea to ask for
> this, please let me know.
>
> On Wed, Apr 13, 2016 at 7:53 AM, James Salsman  wrote:
>>
>>> we have absolutely no idea ... about the technological
>>> stack [or] how much progress was made
>>
>> Can anyone think of another way to find out?
>>
>>> covert HUMINT or surveillance technology
>>
>> If we publish the code, it's not covert anymore. We all deserve to see the
>> mentions of Wikipedia which occurred in the SMISC program and project
>> archives, if we want to protect our readers from whichever intelligence
>> agencies have hacked Foundation servers.
>>
>> I selected BOLT and SMISC from
>> https://web.archive.org/web/20150529033655/http://www.darpa.mil/opencatalog/index.html
>> because they appeared compatible with Asimov's three laws of robotics, and
>> did not appear to be harmful. There is one project in there, CSFV which
>> could be actively harming the Foundation's ability to attract and retain
>> volunteer editors:
>>
>> "Crowd Sourced Formal Verification (CSFV) is a DARPA program that aims to
>> investigate whether large numbers of non-experts can perform formal
>> verification faster and more cost-effectively than conventional processes.
>> The goal is to transform verification into a more accessible task by
>> creating fun, intuitive games that reflect formal verification problems.
>> Playing the games would effectively help software verification tools
>> complete corresponding formal verification proofs."
>>
>> Doesn't that mean that 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fwd: Wikimedia Foundation ED search steering group created

2016-04-18 Thread Oliver Keyes
So you're suggesting we don't find an ED for the biggest org in the
movement because there's a thread on a mailing list about spinning bits of
it off?

I think hiring an ED can be done safely. Spinning elements off the WMF is
something that has already been done, repeatedly, be it duties (the FDC,
ish) or departments (see the WikiEd Foundation). In neither case did senior
leadership suddenly find they had nothing to do.

I guarantee that finding three executive directors is not an easier task
than finding one, however you split the duties.

On Monday, 18 April 2016, Pine W  wrote:

> Lisa,
>
> Good to hear. Thanks.
>
> I'm aware that my first question might feel like it's a lot for the Board
> to digest while it's got so many other urgent issues. However, it seems to
> me that any ED candidate would want to know if spinoffs or a breakup are
> under consideration, and that if these are likely or planned then the
> selection process will need to take theses issues into account when trying
> to find a candidate with optimal fit. Also impacting the search process is
> that it might be  easier to find two or three EDs for two or three
> separate, smaller, and more focused orgs than to try to find a single ED
> who can handle the wide and deep complexity of WMF in its current form. I
> have faith in Katherine as an interim ED and perhaps even as the ultimate
> selection, and I think that Katherine's abilities will provide us all some
> time and breathing room to think through questions about possible spinoffs
> and/or breakup. So, we can take some time to think carefully about the
> spinoff/breakup issue before proceeding further with selecting an ED for an
> organization that is currently very complex and is a significant systemic
> risk in the Wikimedia ecosystem.
>
> Pine
> On Apr 17, 2016 18:51, "Lisa Gruwell"  > wrote:
>
> > Hi Pine-
> >
> > I can answer your second question for you.  We are moving forward with
> > hiring the CTO, VP of HR, and VP of Community (in that order) during the
> > interim.
> >
> > Best,
> > Lisa
> >
> > On Sun, Apr 17, 2016 at 1:52 PM, Pine W  > wrote:
> >
> > > Hi Alice,
> > >
> > > Thank you for moving forward with this.
> > >
> > > Questions:
> > >
> > > 1. One of the characteristics listed is "Experience in leading an
> > > organization as ED or CEO, very preferably an NGO or F/L/OSS
> > > (Free/Libre/Open Source Software) organization, with 250 people or
> more."
> > > But recent discussions have included the possibility of spinning off
> > > components of WMF and/or a breakup of the WMF organization, partly as a
> > way
> > > to mitigate the systemic risk from a dysfunctional or underperforming
> > WMF.
> > > So, should we be looking for an ED with the expectation that he or she
> > will
> > > manage an organization with 250+ employees, or should we look for
> someone
> > > who has experience with spinoffs and/or breakups?
> > >
> > > 2. Will the hiring for execs for HR, Tech, and Community wait until
> after
> > > the new ED is selected, or will those recruiting processes happen
> > > independent of the ED hiring process?
> > >
> > > 3. For the search steering group. would you consider adding a
> > > representative elected from the affiliates, and a representative
> elected
> > > from the community, who are not WMF board members and can therefore be
> > > responsive to the affiliate and community constituencies without
> > potential
> > > conflict with WMF interests?
> > >
> > > Thanks!
> > > Pine
> > >
> > > Pine
> > > On Apr 17, 2016 11:37, "Alice Wiegand"  > wrote:
> > >
> > > > Hi all,
> > > >
> > > > Finding the next Wikimedia Foundation Executive Director is a clear
> > > > priority for the Board. To address this challenge, the Board has
> > created
> > > a
> > > > steering group tasked with crafting the actual job description,
> > planning
> > > > and conducting the search, and finding ways to include community
> > > > perspectives. This steering group will be regularly consulting with
> the
> > > > Board throughout the search process.
> > > >
> > > > Please see the ED transition team page on meta [1] to find more
> > > information
> > > > about the steering group, and get the latest updates. We have also
> > > included
> > > > three questions on the participation page to help us start forming a
> > > better
> > > > understanding of the community’s various opinions and expectations.
> > > >
> > > > [1]
> > > >
> > > >
> > >
> >
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_Executive_Director_Transition_Team/2016
> > > >
> > > > Alice.
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > --
> > > > Alice Wiegand
> > > > Board of Trustees
> > > > Wikimedia Foundation
> > > >
> > > > Support Free Knowledge: https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Donate
> > > > ___
> > > > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Open and recorded WMF Board meetings

2016-04-17 Thread Oliver Keyes
On Sun, Apr 17, 2016 at 3:55 PM, Gerard Meijssen
 wrote:
> Hoi,
> So when as a result of your yihad the worst of what you imagine comes out,
> the most you have achieved is that you can say "this is why I think he is
> an asshole". Then what. It does not change a thing. We are still intend on
> sharing the sum of all knowledge. You still have to do a lot of convincing
> before most other people would agree with you.
>
> The problem with your single issue approach is achieves more turmoil than
> anything else. I fail to understand people like you. It is no longer about
> what we hope to achieve. I have tried to engage you in meaningful talk but
> for me it failed.

From what I can see, "what we hope to achieve" is governance worth a
damn. It's people in key positions not using those positions as
weapons. It's people taking empathy and consideration and fiduciary
duties seriously. Now, if the absence of these doesn't affect you, I'm
profoundly jealous, but the fact that you do not understand why
Jimmy's behaviour makes it difficult to claim he's a suitable
participant in Wikimedia's governance does not change that a lot of
other people do have concerns - not just me, not just Andreas.

>
> The one question that I have. In all your hiha I have not understood that
> you understand what it is what Jimmy uniquely brings to our community. He
> is really effective as an ambassador for what we do. In this there is noone
> who can replace him. How do you want to replace him. Arguably the latest
> crop of board members have shown how hard it is in the first place to make
> a meaningful contribution.

Who said anything about replacing him as an ambassador? When Jimmy is
mentioned in the media it's in the context of being Wikipedia's
founder, not one of a dozen-odd board members, and unless there's an
IEG for the invention of a TARDIS I don't think anyone is removing his
founder status. The question is simply whether he is a suitable person
to indefinitely sit on the Board of Trustees, making governance
decisions, given the behaviour he has shown.

> Thanks,
>GerardM
>
> On 17 April 2016 at 20:20, Andreas Kolbe  wrote:
>
>> On March 21, Jimmy posted excerpts from an email conversation he'd had with
>> James Heilman on his Wikipedia user talk page, making further allegations
>> against James.[1]
>>
>> James replied twice:
>>
>> 
>>
>> Jimmy Wales' summary above of our email correspondence is far from
>> complete, and is not an accurate representation of the overall discussion.
>> Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 01:22, 24 March 2016 (UTC)
>>
>> Jimbo, you quoted some passages of our mails above. Would you have any
>> objection to my posting the complete exchange, so that the parts you quoted
>> can be seen in context? Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 01:09, 31 March
>> 2016 (UTC)
>>
>> 
>>
>> Jimmy Wales ignored the latter question until the thread was archived.
>>
>> So – will the community get to see the complete exchange or not, so that
>> everyone can judge for themselves how it was misrepresented by Jimmy's
>> selective quoting?
>>
>>
>> [1]
>>
>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Jimbo_Wales/Archive_206#What_James_said_publicly_.282.29
>>
>> On Mon, Apr 11, 2016 at 12:37 PM, Fæ  wrote:
>>
>> > If we are going to have more elections, can we please hold Jimmy to
>> > account this year rather than waiting for him to leave the board under
>> > his own steam?
>> >
>> > His use of "utter fucking bullshit", then using these distraction
>> > politics to avoid answering basic questions intended to deal with his
>> > repeated public allegations of lying against a respected community
>> > member, is not what the Wikimedia movement needs or wants from a
>> > Trustee, or someone who represents the movement to the press.
>> >
>> > If Jimmy were a WMF employee, he'd be gone by now.
>> >
>> > P.S. We are still waiting for Jimmy to publish his interviews with WMF
>> > employees resulting from his trip to SF, when he was claiming to act
>> > for the WMF board, I can't be bothered to work out how many weeks ago
>> > that was. Is this sort of promise that Jimmy would call "bullshit" if
>> > it was yet another person he had an ongoing feud with?
>> >
>> > Fae
>> >
>> > On 11 April 2016 at 12:24, Andy Mabbett 
>> wrote:
>> > > On 23 March 2016 at 11:48, Andy Mabbett 
>> > wrote:
>> > >> On 23 March 2016 at 10:01, Jimmy Wales 
>> > wrote:
>> > >>
>> > >>> But I did publish something on my user talk page that is relevant.
>> > >>
>> > >> Diff, please.
>> > >
>> > > Answer came there none...
>> >
>> > ___
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] DARPA FOSSS programs of interest

2016-04-12 Thread Oliver Keyes
Off the top of my head:

1. Because we have absolutely no idea, from the briefs given, about
the technological stack and how well it meshes with our existing
expertise as a movement, or the WMF's existing expertise as a
technical entity;
2. Because we have absolutely no idea, from the briefs given, how much
progress was made and thus how much work is needed or even if the
projects were a failure;
3. Because the policy you're linking to is a policy for 18F, and it's
totally unclear as to whether DARPA contractors or employees are
covered by that, or whether the source code would be released or fall
under the restrictions section given its origin in a military research
arena;
3. Because "hey, we took a load of propaganda software from the US
military and now we're spending donor dollars on it" looks
*incredibly* bad and ominous to pretty much anyone outside the US,
including most of Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, areas we are
trying to expand into as their populations come online more and more
and areas the US military that wrote this software is continuously
bombing the shit out of.

Basically it's far too early to make any useful determination about
this, and even if it wasn't, the optics are atrocious.

On Tue, Apr 12, 2016 at 1:54 PM, James Salsman  wrote:
> Re https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/publicpolicy/2016-April/001335.html
>
> Should the Foundation mount a campaign to rescue BOLT from whomever
> took it down from the DARPA site?
>
> "The Broad Operational Language Translation (BOLT) program is aimed at
> enabling communication with non-English-speaking populations and
> identifying important information in foreign-language sources by: 1)
> allowing English-speakers to understand foreign-language sources of
> all genres, including chat, messaging and informal conversation; 2)
> providing English-speakers the ability to quickly identify targeted
> information in foreign-language sources using natural-language
> queries; and 3) enabling multi-turn communication in text and speech
> with non-English speakers. If successful, BOLT would deliver all
> capabilities free from domain or genre limitations."
>
> Program Manager: Dr. Boyan Onyshkevych
>
> Contact: boyan.onyshkev...@darpa.mil
>
> Here is another one that we need to rescue:
>
> "The general goal of the Social Media in Strategic Communication
> (SMISC) program is to develop a new science of social networks built
> on an emerging technology base. Through the program, DARPA seeks to
> develop tools to support the efforts of human operators to counter
> misinformation or deception campaigns with truthful information."
>
> Program Manager: Dr. Rand Waltzman
>
> Contact: rand.waltz...@darpa.mil
>
> Are there any reasons that trying to do this might be a bad idea?
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] WikiProject Accuracy

2016-03-25 Thread Oliver Keyes
Featured Article, Good Article and point of view, in sequence. Hope that helps.

On Fri, Mar 25, 2016 at 10:20 AM, Gerard Meijssen
 wrote:
> Hoi,
> Sorry but your alphabet soup makes it hard if not impossible to understand.
> I do not edit en.wp and that should not be a necessity to understand what
> is being said.
> Thanks,
>   GerardM
>
> On 25 March 2016 at 14:13, Stephen Philbrick 
> wrote:
>
>> Improved accuracy is like motherhood and apple pie — I trust no one will be
>> opposed to the goal.
>>
>> However the initial proposal to achieve that goal needs a fair amount of
>> work.
>>
>>
>>
>> *Clarify scope* – the page WikiProject_Accuracy is in the English
>> Wikipedia, so implicitly, the initial scope is the English Wikipedia. I
>> note that page has a scope section with no content as yet. However, I think
>> taking on the entire English Wikipedia is biting off too much initially.
>> Projects such as this work best if started as a pilot project. While
>> someone may envision this eventually applying to all languages and treat
>> English as the pilot, there is no way in which a project who scope is over
>> 5 million articles can meaningfully be described as a pilot. Consider a
>> much more limited scope pilot. For example all articles within the purview
>> of wiki project medicine might be a good start, primarily because of the
>> importance of that subject matter and partly because of the strong
>> initiatives of editors in that area.
>>
>>
>> *Clarify ownership* – the seal of approval appears to be granted by a group
>> called the Project Accuracy's Editorial Review Board (PAERB). Are these WMF
>> employees? Editors who meet some criteria? Who establishes the criteria?
>>
>>
>> *Clarify mechanics* – unless there is a fundamental change to the way
>> Wikipedia works, it will be meaningless to slap a seal of approval on any
>> particular article, as that article could change literally seconds later. I
>> see two possible options although there may be more. The first and most
>> likely option is that the seal of approval appears on the article itself
>> but is actually a permanent link to a reviewed version. This concept has
>> been discussed by wiki project medicine I believe. A second option is to
>> add the seal to the article but then invoke pending changes protection. It
>> would probably have to be a new level of protection allowing only qualified
>> editors, either members of the PAERB, or vetted by the PAERB to make
>> changes. The second option will require a whole new level of bureaucracy.
>>
>>
>> *Eventual scope* – the current Wikiproject Accuracy page suggests that
>> RAAFA
>> is a level beyond GA & FA. I don’t think anyone reasonably expects that all
>> articles in the English Wikipedia will eventually become FA, so that
>> implies that it is unreasonable to assume that all, or even any
>> meaningfully significant proportion of all articles reach the level of
>> RAAFA. Is it intended to limit this to some subset such as vital articles?
>>
>>
>>
>> Sphilbrick
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] User interaction on Wikipedia --call for submissions

2016-03-19 Thread Oliver Keyes
While I agree with people that it's an uncommon and exclusionary
phrase (and a confusing one!) it seems like Moushira fully
acknowledges this and is going to work harder on this sort of problem
in the future, for which I laud her.

If we want to have a general conversation about language choice at the
WMF, broadly-construed, it seems like it would be best to kick off a
new thread to avoid the appearance of a pileon.

On Wed, Mar 16, 2016 at 9:13 AM, Derek V.Giroulle
 wrote:
> Hello everyone ,
>
> I agree with Fae and Craig,
> It's foreign jargon especially in this context , and on top of that jargon
> form a professional background where the term has been misused (imho)
> It has in my jargon the connotation of obsessively recurring idea , like a
> depressed patient
> always coming back to ideas of suicide : the suicidal ideation
> It would be the only place where i would allow fosuch reductive jargon
> because it has precise meaning
> i wouls never associate it with  idea generation or brainstorming what is
> wrong with using those words
> as craig indicated : cringe worthy (business) jargon
> the mere fact that product design (business ing general) is stealing a word
> form other jargon
> show a lack of creativity of innovation
>
> I would like to call on the communications dept to start  - and i can just
> picture someone for that task - a campaign
> at WMF  to ban jargon  "simply says it better"
>
>
> derek
>
>
>
> On 16-03-16 04:39, Craig Franklin wrote:
>>
>> Hi Moushira,
>>
>> The problem when you use jargon like "ideation" in this context is that
>> you're essentially excluding anyone who isn't familiar with the particular
>> terminology used in the field.  Especially so when there are plenty of
>> plain-English alternatives that can be used in its place.  Note that there
>> is a whole bunch of thought from experts that that word in particular is a
>> particularly obnoxious piece of jargon:
>>
>> * http://money.cnn.com/2014/10/26/pf/corporate-jargon/
>> * https://hbr.org/2008/08/why-jargon-feeds-on-lazy-minds.html
>> *
>>
>> http://www.lifed.com/10-cringeworthy-business-jargon-examples-that-should-be-banned
>>
>> It's hardly the worst example I've seen out of the WMF, but while we're on
>> the topic it should be pointed out.  Just because it's used elsewhere, it
>> doesn't mean that the WMF has to fall into the same trap.
>>
>> Cheers,
>> Craig
>>
>> On 16 March 2016 at 10:07, Moushira Elamrawy 
>> wrote:
>>
>>> Hello Fae,
>>>
>>> Ideation phase [0], is a term widely used in product and design context.
>>> Now, I see your point around how volunteers who are not related to these
>>> fields, might not be familiar with it. Possibly something like, idea
>>> generation, or brainstorming could have replaced it.
>>>
>>> I am not sure though if the factors that you have listed are relevant; I
>>> think it is a matter of using a word in a certain context where it
>>> actually
>>> fits, without realizing how a broader audience would perceive it.
>>>
>>> In any case, thanks for the note :-)
>>>
>>> [0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ideation_%28creative_process%29
>>>
>>> Moushira
>>>
>>> On Wed, Mar 16, 2016 at 1:51 AM, Fæ  wrote:
>>>
 On 15 March 2016 at 22:33, Moushira Elamrawy 
 wrote:
 ...
>
> The reading team is launching an experiment that supports early

 engagement
>
> in ideation phase, with a wide variety of users.

 ...

 Hi, sorry to target your email with a more general observation,
 however there seems to be a lot of odd jargon in Wikimedia
 announcements over the last few months. It would be great to see more
 'official' emails aimed at volunteers, written in plain and
 grammatically complete English. Phrases like "ideation phase" may be
 frequently used during meetings at the Wikimedia Foundation offices,
 but are unlikely to be heard in real life by volunteer contributors,
 and are unlikely to be easily understood outside of corporate America,
 especially by those without English as their first language.

 Sorry again about picking at your announcement rather than any other,
 it just stood out today.

 Thanks,
 Fae
 --
 fae...@gmail.com https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Fae

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Arbital, another Wikipedia competitor/complement

2016-03-13 Thread Oliver Keyes
Aye, the user-assessment model is kind of interesting, but agreed.
When I think "who can explain complex things in relateable terms?", my
answer has never been (and will never be) Bayesians.

On Sun, Mar 13, 2016 at 10:53 PM, Craig Franklin
 wrote:
> They have correctly identified that a lot of our articles on scientific
> concepts are jargon-filled babble that is unintelligible to anyone who
> isn't already an expert in the field (and if they're an expert, why are
> they consulting an encyclopaedia?), but I'm not that confident that
> Yudkowsky of all people is going to be able to penetrate that and be able
> to explain complex concepts at the level of a layperson.
>
> I will confess that the software looks interesting though.
>
> Cheers,
> Craig
>
> On 14 March 2016 at 11:03, David Gerard  wrote:
>
>> Being put together by Eliezer Yudkowsky of LessWrong. Content is
>> cc-by-sa 3.0, don't know about the software.
>>
>> https://arbital.com/p/arbital_ambitions/
>>
>> Rather than the "encyclopedia" approach, it tries to be more
>> pedagogical, teaching the reader at their level.
>>
>> Analysis from a sometime Yudkowsky critic on Tumblr:
>>
>> http://nostalgebraist.tumblr.com/post/140995096534/a-year-ago-i-remember-being-baffled-by-eliezer
>>
>> (there's a pile more comments linked from the notes on that post,
>> mostly from quasi-fans; I have an acerbic comment in there, but you
>> should look at the site yourself first.)
>>
>> No idea if this will go anywhere, but might be of interest; new
>> approaches generally are. They started in December, first publicised
>> it a week ago and have been scaling up. First day it collapsed due to
>> load from a Facebook post announcement ... so maybe hold off before
>> announcing it everywhere :-)
>>
>>
>> - d.
>>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Arbital, another Wikipedia competitor/complement

2016-03-13 Thread Oliver Keyes
I for one look forward to the open and inclusive educational
experience provided by people who collectively lose their shit when
presented with a highly improbable AI thought experiment[0]

[0] http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Roko's_basilisk

On Sun, Mar 13, 2016 at 9:03 PM, David Gerard  wrote:
> Being put together by Eliezer Yudkowsky of LessWrong. Content is
> cc-by-sa 3.0, don't know about the software.
>
> https://arbital.com/p/arbital_ambitions/
>
> Rather than the "encyclopedia" approach, it tries to be more
> pedagogical, teaching the reader at their level.
>
> Analysis from a sometime Yudkowsky critic on Tumblr:
> http://nostalgebraist.tumblr.com/post/140995096534/a-year-ago-i-remember-being-baffled-by-eliezer
>
> (there's a pile more comments linked from the notes on that post,
> mostly from quasi-fans; I have an acerbic comment in there, but you
> should look at the site yourself first.)
>
> No idea if this will go anywhere, but might be of interest; new
> approaches generally are. They started in December, first publicised
> it a week ago and have been scaling up. First day it collapsed due to
> load from a Facebook post announcement ... so maybe hold off before
> announcing it everywhere :-)
>
>
> - d.
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Wikimedia Foundation executive transition update

2016-03-10 Thread Oliver Keyes
On Thu, Mar 10, 2016 at 10:17 PM, Pine W <wiki.p...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Thank you, Katherine.
>
> That's a good question, Oliver. I think that a lot will depend on whether
> WMF can fill the other C-level vacancies, particularly the CTO vacancy,
> with people who are mission-aligned and can are SMEs in areas where
> Katherine isn't. Also, a lot will depend on whether Katherine wants to stay
> in the job. Being the WMF ED is a very different beast from being the
> leader of a department; it remains to be seen if Katherine will like it and
> how other people are feeling as the ED search moves forward.
>
> Regarding these goals from Meta "Avoid lengthy process for identifying a
> new ED" and "Minimize uncertainty", I would encourage WMF not to rush the
> selection of a new ED; I believe that Katherine will do well in the
> interim, and this choice buys WMF some time to do a good job with the ED
> search. Regarding uncertainty, that's one of the few certain things around
> here, but of course steps can be taken to make people feel comfortable with
> the uncertainty.
>

Pine,

It was a joke.

> Good luck, Katherine. Many of us are relying on you and have faith in you.
>
> Pine
>
>
> On Thu, Mar 10, 2016 at 7:10 PM, Oliver Keyes <ironho...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> \o/\o/\o/\o/
>>
>> So glad to see this wonderful choice!
>>
>> ...if we're gonna have Katherine as the interim...do we really need to
>> find someone permanent? ;)
>>
>> On Thu, Mar 10, 2016 at 10:05 PM, James Heilman <jmh...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> > A very positive move. Thank you Katherine for agreeing to step up and
>> take
>> > on this role. You have my full confidence :-)
>> >
>> > James
>> >
>> > On Thu, Mar 10, 2016 at 8:01 PM, Pharos <pharosofalexand...@gmail.com>
>> > wrote:
>> >
>> >> Congratulations, Katherine!
>> >>
>> >> She is an excellent choice to navigate us through for this difficult
>> time.
>> >>
>> >> Thanks,
>> >> Pharos
>> >>
>> >> On Thu, Mar 10, 2016 at 9:55 PM, Patricio Lorente <
>> >> patricio.lore...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> >>
>> >> > Hello all,
>> >> >
>> >> > I’m happy to announce that the Wikimedia Foundation leadership team
>> has
>> >> > proposed an interim Executive Director, and the Board has given our
>> full
>> >> > support. Starting on March 14th, current Chief Communications Officer
>> >> > Katherine Maher (https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Katherine_(WMF)
>> )
>> >> > will
>> >> > step into the role of interim Executive Director. We thank the
>> C-levels
>> >> for
>> >> > their careful consideration in this process, and Katherine for
>> stepping
>> >> up
>> >> > during this period of transition.
>> >> >
>> >> > In choosing an interim ED, the C-levels started by identifying
>> immediate
>> >> > priorities for the coming months, including building trust, improving
>> >> > communications, and filling key leadership positions. They felt, and
>> we
>> >> > agree, that Katherine is the right person to lead the organization
>> while
>> >> it
>> >> > addresses these and other important issues. Additionally, this will
>> allow
>> >> > the rest of the executive team to focus on critical organizational
>> >> > functions, including community and engineering management,
>> fundraising,
>> >> and
>> >> > strengthening our human resources function. You can read more about
>> our
>> >> > process and thinking here:
>> >> >
>> >> >
>> >>
>> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_Board_noticeboard/March_2016_-_Leadership_Team_transition_planning
>> >> >
>> >> >
>> >> > Katherine has been with the Foundation as Chief Communications Officer
>> >> for
>> >> > about two years now. During that time, she has developed a versatile
>> and
>> >> > effective team that serves the needs of the organization and movement,
>> >> > collaborating closely with other departments and the community. She
>> has
>> >> > thoughtfully introduced new capacities and led her team through
>> >> > transitions, and played a critical role in shepherding the strategy
>> >>

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Wikimedia Foundation executive transition update

2016-03-10 Thread Oliver Keyes
\o/\o/\o/\o/

So glad to see this wonderful choice!

...if we're gonna have Katherine as the interim...do we really need to
find someone permanent? ;)

On Thu, Mar 10, 2016 at 10:05 PM, James Heilman  wrote:
> A very positive move. Thank you Katherine for agreeing to step up and take
> on this role. You have my full confidence :-)
>
> James
>
> On Thu, Mar 10, 2016 at 8:01 PM, Pharos 
> wrote:
>
>> Congratulations, Katherine!
>>
>> She is an excellent choice to navigate us through for this difficult time.
>>
>> Thanks,
>> Pharos
>>
>> On Thu, Mar 10, 2016 at 9:55 PM, Patricio Lorente <
>> patricio.lore...@gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>> > Hello all,
>> >
>> > I’m happy to announce that the Wikimedia Foundation leadership team has
>> > proposed an interim Executive Director, and the Board has given our full
>> > support. Starting on March 14th, current Chief Communications Officer
>> > Katherine Maher (https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Katherine_(WMF))
>> > will
>> > step into the role of interim Executive Director. We thank the C-levels
>> for
>> > their careful consideration in this process, and Katherine for stepping
>> up
>> > during this period of transition.
>> >
>> > In choosing an interim ED, the C-levels started by identifying immediate
>> > priorities for the coming months, including building trust, improving
>> > communications, and filling key leadership positions. They felt, and we
>> > agree, that Katherine is the right person to lead the organization while
>> it
>> > addresses these and other important issues. Additionally, this will allow
>> > the rest of the executive team to focus on critical organizational
>> > functions, including community and engineering management, fundraising,
>> and
>> > strengthening our human resources function. You can read more about our
>> > process and thinking here:
>> >
>> >
>> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_Board_noticeboard/March_2016_-_Leadership_Team_transition_planning
>> >
>> >
>> > Katherine has been with the Foundation as Chief Communications Officer
>> for
>> > about two years now. During that time, she has developed a versatile and
>> > effective team that serves the needs of the organization and movement,
>> > collaborating closely with other departments and the community. She has
>> > thoughtfully introduced new capacities and led her team through
>> > transitions, and played a critical role in shepherding the strategy
>> process
>> > and the annual plan, in collaboration with other C-levels. She is known
>> for
>> > listening to and empowering the people that she works with.
>> >
>> > For those who don’t know Katherine, she’s been a longtime advocate for
>> > global open communities, culture, and technology. She previously led
>> > advocacy for the international digital rights organization Access Now,
>> > where she worked on freedom of expression, access to information, and
>> > privacy. She has supported the efforts of citizens and governments around
>> > the world to deepen transparency and participation in her roles at the
>> > World Bank, National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, and
>> > UNICEF (where her team built wikis for youth participation in major
>> global
>> > issues). She is a member of the advisory board of the Open Technology
>> Fund.
>> >
>> > With interim leadership in place, our next step as the Board is to move
>> > quickly to plan and implement the search for a permanent Executive
>> > Director. We will be working together over the coming weeks to clarify
>> > roles and responsibilities in this search, and identify the best way for
>> > community and staff to participate.  We want this process to be inclusive
>> > and incorporate many voices. We look forward to sharing an update on our
>> > progress toward the end of next week.
>> >
>> > As interim Executive Director, Katherine will report to the Board. Geoff
>> > Brigham will continue serving as Board Secretary, and Jaime Villagomez as
>> > Board Treasurer, reporting to the Board in those capacities. As of March
>> > 14, Katherine's reports include the C-team: Geoff Brigham, Jaime
>> > Villagomez, Maggie Dennis, Lisa Gruwell, Joady Lohr, and Wes Moran. The
>> > Communications team will continue to report to Katherine for the time
>> > being, with support from the leadership of Juliet Barbara and Heather
>> > Walls.
>> >
>> > Thank you,
>> >
>> >  Patricio
>> >
>> > Translation notice - This message is available for translation on
>> > Meta-Wiki:
>> >
>> >
>> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_Board_noticeboard/10_March_2010_-_Wikimedia_Foundation_executive_transition_update
>> > --
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fwd: A conversation?

2016-03-09 Thread Oliver Keyes
I'm really not sure how this relates to this thread. If you're
interested in discussing the decision in 06, there's another thread
for that.

On Wed, Mar 9, 2016 at 8:48 PM, David Emrany <david.emr...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Oliver
>
> I have also been in the movement for over a decade, and I am sick of
> people on all sides distorting facts, gaming the system / manipulating
> the community.
>
> IMO, this came to a boil  in Dec 2006 when WMF altered its structure
> and purpose and relocated followed by the "COO scandal" [1] and other
> things.
>
> I'm glad that community people are now revisiting those early days and
> trying to figger out how it all happened so secretly and without a
> whimper from the community reps on the BoT  who we entrusted to
> protect our stake in our work,and who let us down very badly.
>
> David
>
> [1] http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/12/13/wikimedia_coo_convicted_felon/
>
> On 3/10/16, Oliver Keyes <ironho...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> I've been in the Wikimedia movement for over a decade now. I've seen
>> Wikimedia-l. I've seen internal-l. I've had death and sexual assault
>> threats show up in my inbox. And this, /this/, is genuinely the most
>> horrified I've ever been by any message I've seen yet.
>>
>> This email is not a good faith email. it is not, despite the
>> neutrality of its language, a civil email. It's the kind of blinkered,
>> detached, ultrarationalist gaslighting[0] I associate with people in
>> LessWrong.[1]
>>
>> No assumption of good faith. No discussion of the issues. No admission
>> that different people can legitimately and normally interpret things
>> in different ways. The framing of things so that the options are that
>> James is a liar, stupid, or suffering from PTSD. Whether deliberately
>> or not, it is deeply manipulative and frames the entire discussion
>> with assertions that James is disconnected from reality.
>>
>> Jimmy, if this is genuinely how you are comfortable behaving,
>> intentionally, and if
>> this is the standard that you wish to set, I would ask you to do it in
>> a new community. Resign from the Board. Abrogate your status as a
>> founder. Go create these standards somewhere new, with people who have
>> signed up for them.
>>
>> And if you instead don't understand why this
>> sort of message is chilling and terrifying and incredibly problematic,
>> you need to step back from all of these discussions for a time and go
>> find someone who wants to explain it to you. Because this is not
>> productive, and this is not how leaders behave. I appreciate you think
>> you *have* to participate as some kind of movement moral compass, but,
>> you aren't, and you don't. And even if you did, the morality
>> demonstrated by that email is, I suspect, not something any of us want
>> a part of.
>>
>> [0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaslighting
>> [1] for other examples of this kind of language, and the thing my
>> brain immediately jumped to, see how ultrarationalists deal with
>> people asking if individuals could please stop harassing them for
>> disagreeing with an idea
>> http://lesswrong.com/lw/lb3/breaking_the_vicious_cycle/bnrr
>>
>> On Wed, Mar 9, 2016 at 7:56 PM, Pete Forsyth <petefors...@gmail.com> wrote:
>>> Below is a message Jimmy Wales sent to James Heilman and myself on Feb.
>>> 29.
>>> I mentioned the existence of this message on the list on March 2:
>>> https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2016-March/082901.html
>>>
>>> I feel this message can provide important insight into the dynamics
>>> surrounding James H.'s dismissal, and various people have expressed
>>> interest in seeing it, so I'm forwarding it to the list. (For what it's
>>> worth, I did check with James H.; he had no objection to my sharing it.)
>>>
>>> For context, as I understand it, Jimmy's message was more or less in
>>> response to this list message of mine:
>>> https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2016-February/082764.html
>>>
>>> -Pete
>>> [[User:Peteforsyth]]
>>>
>>> -- Forwarded message --
>>>
>>> *From: *Jimmy Wales
>>>
>>> *Date: *February 29, 2016 6:21:46 AM
>>>
>>> *To: *Pete Forsyth,James Heilman
>>>
>>> *Subject: **A conversation?*
>>>
>>>
>>> James, I wonder if you'd be up for a one on one conversation. I've been
>>> struck in a positive way by some of the things that Pete has said and I
>>> realize that mov

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fwd: A conversation?

2016-03-09 Thread Oliver Keyes
I've been in the Wikimedia movement for over a decade now. I've seen
Wikimedia-l. I've seen internal-l. I've had death and sexual assault
threats show up in my inbox. And this, /this/, is genuinely the most
horrified I've ever been by any message I've seen yet.

This email is not a good faith email. it is not, despite the
neutrality of its language, a civil email. It's the kind of blinkered,
detached, ultrarationalist gaslighting[0] I associate with people in
LessWrong.[1]

No assumption of good faith. No discussion of the issues. No admission
that different people can legitimately and normally interpret things
in different ways. The framing of things so that the options are that
James is a liar, stupid, or suffering from PTSD. Whether deliberately
or not, it is deeply manipulative and frames the entire discussion
with assertions that James is disconnected from reality.

Jimmy, if this is genuinely how you are comfortable behaving,
intentionally, and if
this is the standard that you wish to set, I would ask you to do it in
a new community. Resign from the Board. Abrogate your status as a
founder. Go create these standards somewhere new, with people who have
signed up for them.

And if you instead don't understand why this
sort of message is chilling and terrifying and incredibly problematic,
you need to step back from all of these discussions for a time and go
find someone who wants to explain it to you. Because this is not
productive, and this is not how leaders behave. I appreciate you think
you *have* to participate as some kind of movement moral compass, but,
you aren't, and you don't. And even if you did, the morality
demonstrated by that email is, I suspect, not something any of us want
a part of.

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaslighting
[1] for other examples of this kind of language, and the thing my
brain immediately jumped to, see how ultrarationalists deal with
people asking if individuals could please stop harassing them for
disagreeing with an idea
http://lesswrong.com/lw/lb3/breaking_the_vicious_cycle/bnrr

On Wed, Mar 9, 2016 at 7:56 PM, Pete Forsyth  wrote:
> Below is a message Jimmy Wales sent to James Heilman and myself on Feb. 29.
> I mentioned the existence of this message on the list on March 2:
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2016-March/082901.html
>
> I feel this message can provide important insight into the dynamics
> surrounding James H.'s dismissal, and various people have expressed
> interest in seeing it, so I'm forwarding it to the list. (For what it's
> worth, I did check with James H.; he had no objection to my sharing it.)
>
> For context, as I understand it, Jimmy's message was more or less in
> response to this list message of mine:
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2016-February/082764.html
>
> -Pete
> [[User:Peteforsyth]]
>
> -- Forwarded message --
>
> *From: *Jimmy Wales
>
> *Date: *February 29, 2016 6:21:46 AM
>
> *To: *Pete Forsyth,James Heilman
>
> *Subject: **A conversation?*
>
>
> James, I wonder if you'd be up for a one on one conversation. I've been
> struck in a positive way by some of the things that Pete has said and I
> realize that moving things forward on wikimedia-l, being sniped at by
> people who are as interested in creating drama as anything else, isn't
> really conducive to reaching more understanding.
>
> I have some questions for you - real, sincere, and puzzled questions.
> Some of the things that you have said strike me as very obviously out of
> line with the facts. And I wonder how to reconcile that.
>
> One hypothesis is that you're just a liar. I have a hard time with that
> one.
>
> Another hypothesis is that you have a poor memory or low emotional
> intelligence or something like that - you seem to say things that just
> don't make sense and which attempt to lead people to conclusions that
> are clearly not true.
>
> Another hypothesis is that the emotional trauma of all this has colored
> your perceptions on certain details.
>
> As an example, and I'm not going to dig up the exact quotes, you said
> publicly that you wrote to me in October that we were building a
> Google-competing search engine and that I more or less said that I'm
> fine with it. Go back and read our exchange. There's just now way to
> get that from what I said - Indeed, I specifically said that we are NOT
> building a Google-competing search engine, and explained the much lower
> and much less complex ambition of improving search and discovery.
>
> As another example, you published a timeline starting with Wikia Search.
> It's really hard for me to interpret that in any other way than to try
> to lead people down the path of the conspiracy theorists that I had a
> pet project to compete with Google which led to a secret project to
> biuld a search engine, etc. etc. You know as well as I do that's a
> false narrative, so it's very hard for me to charitably interpret that.
>
> Anyway 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Open and recorded WMF Board meetings

2016-03-08 Thread Oliver Keyes
+1. There was an easy way to split the baby here; "the board has
confidence". Done. Simple. What the language actually used did, as
well as (now) betray trust and confidence, was induce the sense that
for all people said they were listening to staff, nobody was.

On Tue, Mar 8, 2016 at 12:39 PM, Andreas Kolbe  wrote:
> On Mon, Mar 7, 2016 at 11:24 PM, jytdog  wrote:
>
>> Pierre that is exactly what I struggle with.  You are saying that throwing
>> integrity out the window in the name of politics is OK.  I am saying it is
>> absolutely not OK.  The individuals representing the board should have been
>> honest and simply said "The board supports the ED" and left it at that, and
>> if asked, yes, been honest that support was not unanimous.  Misrepresenting
>> things a) accomplished nothing, as we can see now, and b) opened huge rifts
>> that remain gaping today.
>>
>> I do hear you, that the decision to retain the ED in November was itself
>> trust-destroying for you, because you view that as such bad judgement. I
>> hear that.
>>
>> To me, making public misrepresentations is another thing altogether.  It
>> calls into question whether folks are even telling the truth, and that just
>> destroys the very basis for authentic conversation.  It is a deeper wound.
>> This to me, bars the way to move forward.
>>
>> How do we trust what the board says going forward?  How can the board be
>> effective, when people cannot trust what its members say about its
>> decisions?
>>
>
>
> Quite. I hope board members have been reflecting on
>
> 1. who on the board suggested and pushed for this "unanimous" wording,
> 2. who on the board felt uncomfortable with it, and
> 3. whether the latter group was browbeaten into accepting it – and, if so,
> what that says about group dynamics on the board.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Qualities for the next long-term WMF executive director

2016-03-07 Thread Oliver Keyes
On Mon, Mar 7, 2016 at 9:52 PM, Pine W <wiki.p...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Mon, Mar 7, 2016 at 4:05 PM, Oliver Keyes <ironho...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> On Mon, Mar 7, 2016 at 1:57 PM, Pine W <wiki.p...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> > Employees have some rights too, including the right to organize and the
>> > right to quit. Good employees quitting may be a sign of problems with
>> > management.
>> >
>> > In WMF's case, many of the staff have plenty of employment options
>> outside
>> > of WMF, which is all the more reason to select a WMF ED who has good
>> people
>> > management skills in addition to a wide array of other skills.
>> >
>>
>> I'm sorry, but that's simply not true. I'm highlighting this not to be
>> harsh but to correct a pretty serious misunderstanding with the nature
>> of the WMF's employee base, one which I think is partially responsible
>> for a lack of proper understanding of precisely how scary, stressful
>> and frankly amazing the dissent over the last 12 months has been.
>>
>> Take the number of WMF employees. Pretty much all of them are good,
>> smart, qualified people for the work they do, so clearly they could
>> get awesome jobs elsewhere, right?
>>
>> Now, split out all the non-engineers. Our programme and education and
>> grants teams are fantastic; so are our administrative teams. But their
>> prospects aren't as great as those for engineers simply for the reason
>> that there is literally an entire industry, one of the few ones with
>> continuous growth, built on the existence and recruitment of
>> engineers. It's a lot harder to get a new job if you're outside that
>> group.
>>
>
> Perhaps I'm more of an optimist when it comes to job prospects for
> non-engineers because I happen to live a short distance from
> the Gates Foundation and a few months ago I looked over their job
> postings. It seemed to me that quite a few people in WMF's Community
> department would be good fit at Gates. I also believe that the
> US Government, school districts, and UN agencies would be interested
> in some of the people who work in the WMF Community Department.
> I'm not saying that I *want* WMFers to leave, just saying that I'm
> more of an optimist that people from the Community team could
> indeed find jobs elsewhere that are aligned with their skill sets.
>

The US Government only employs citizens in civil service rules; a
great executive order that one was. And, yes, I suspect the proximity
of a single non-profit may be a bias.

>
>
>>
>> So now we've got engineers. Still a pretty big chunk of the
>> organisation. Cool! Now remove anyone on a H1B visa. See, if you're on
>> a H1B and you quit, you're instantaneously no longer in the country
>> legally. Ditto if you're fired. The only way around it is to convince
>> a second employer to hire you, and file to transfer the petition over,
>> while still _at_ the first employer. Otherwise, bzzt. You quit, you
>> were fired, either way, get out of our country please.
>>
>
> That is indeed a problem. While I suppose that my statement remains
> correct that H1B engineers can get jobs elsewhere, it's certainly
> a big downside if they're effectively deported before that happens
> when they'd rather stay in the US.

I'm glad we're in agreement that being deported from the United States
and potentially banned from returning depending on how it happens is
"a big downside".

>
>
>>
>> So that's US-citizen or resident engineers left. Let's scrap from that
>> people outside the default stereotype of engineers as 20-something
>> people without dependants. If you're someone who does have dependants
>> or responsibilities - children, a partner not working, elderly
>> relatives - well that makes finding a new job a lot harder. Not only
>> do you have less energy and time in which to do it, because you're
>> looking after these people, you have to find a job that's as flexible
>> on when you work your 40 hours as the WMF is, otherwise you risk
>> running into some serious collisions with your out-of-work duties. And
>> heaven forfend if you're *having* a kid or have serious medical
>> conditions because not only do you have to deal with that, any gap in
>> employment is potentially financially crippling since you're now
>> without medical insurance.
>>
>
> My understanding is that outside of the 24/7 work environment at
> startups, particularly in large and now-old tech companies like
> Microsoft and Google, work-life balance is an aspect that those
> companies try to support and to a degree they use it as a
> re

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Qualities for the next long-term WMF executive director

2016-03-07 Thread Oliver Keyes
On Mon, Mar 7, 2016 at 2:42 AM, Keegan Peterzell  wrote:
> On Mon, Mar 7, 2016 at 1:21 AM, Pine W  wrote:
>
>> If the research results about qualities of effective managers have been
>> generally consistent for 30 years, then I wonder why so many managers in so
>> many organizations today have mediocre skills in those areas.
>>
>
> I'd hazard a guess that it's because there are more management positions -
> many, many more - out there in the world then there are stellar managers.

Agreed. I also suspect it's a question of power dynamics; namely, a
senior manager is much more able to be bad at their job than an
employee first because there are so few good managers that poor
quality is the norm, but second because if you have a manager who is
terrible, particularly in a non-profit environment, the impact tends
to be felt by their employees - i.e. the people with the least power
in the situation to do anything about the problem. An incompetent
employee, on the other hand, hurts their managers, who do have that
power.

>
>
>
>> I also wonder, in WMF's case, what can be done to ensure that the next ED
>> is robustly skilled in those areas.
>>
>
> This is a good question, hopefully this will be documented during the
> search.
>
> --
> ~Keegan
>
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Keegan
>
> This is my personal email address. Everything sent from this email address
> is in a personal capacity.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Open and recorded WMF Board meetings

2016-03-06 Thread Oliver Keyes
+1. I would also very much appreciate Patricio explaining whether the
"full confidence of the board" actually meant the full confidence:
IOW, that a vote was taken and everyone unanimously agreed that Lila's
continuation was the best thing.

I note that Patricio, despite being Chairman of the board, and a
trustee selected from within the movement, has not participated in
this list's discussion of the crisis, or the list at all, since
January. This is very disappointing.

On Mon, Mar 7, 2016 at 12:36 AM, SarahSV  wrote:
> On Sun, Mar 6, 2016 at 10:11 PM, jytdog  wrote:
>
>> How do we work out what actually happened, and how do we resolve the
>> contradictions?
>>
>
> Several people have asked Jimmy to release his 30 December 2015 email to
> James, in which he apparently explains in part why James was removed.
>
> Jimmy said on 28 February that he would know within a few days' whether it
> was okay to publish it. [1]  James has said that nothing needs to be kept
> secret for his sake. [2]
>
> It would be good to have an update regarding that email.
>
> Sarah
>
> [1]
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2016-February/082685.html
> [2]
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2016-February/082815.html
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] I am going to San Francisco

2016-02-29 Thread Oliver Keyes
On Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 5:23 PM, Chris Keating
<chriskeatingw...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 9:39 PM, Oliver Keyes <ironho...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> On Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 2:58 PM, James Heilman <jmh...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> > Regarding to Oliver's comment: "My concern is that when staff reached out
>> > the Board replied with a letter indicating they had full and unanimous
>> > confidence in our
>> > leadership."
>> >
>> > This statement is not really true. We had a formal vote regarding the ED
>> in
>> > November and it was not unanimous. The vote unfortunately has not yet
>> been
>> > made public.
>> >
>>
>> Very well, let me quote directly from the email sent to staff by
>> Patricio Lorente in his role as Chair of the Board:
>>
>> "We are working with Lila to put together a plan to address these
>> issues. We are confident that she has the capability and the
>> commitment needed for this challenging time, and we know that, at the
>> present time, she is listening carefully to the Board, to you, and to
>> the community. **To that end, the Board remains unanimously committed in
>> our support of Lila in her role** and in her efforts to adapt her
>> leadership and to address these issues."
>>
>> Asterisks mine. If your commitment and straw poll wasn't unanimous
>> your chair lied to staff, and that's not a great opening to our
>> rebuilding.
>
>
> If the Board had decided, formally or informally, not to sack Lila in their
> November meeting then frankly "unanimous commitment to support her" is the
> only thing they could have done.
>
> The only course of action open to a Trustee who felt they *could not*
> support Lila continuing, if there was no majority to sack her right away,
> would have been to resign themselves (which none of them did).
>
> Doubtless many of them used "support" in the meaning of "do whatever is in
> their power to help improve Lila's performance and reduce stress on the
> staff, while keeping a very close eye to see whether their original
> instinct was in fact correct and whether Lila's departure was in fact
> inevitable."
>
> (I also fail to see how the knowledge that the WMF Board retained
> confidence in the ED's abilities by a 5-4 or 7-2 or whatever vote would
> have helped *anyone* in November)
>

Well, for me at least it would have given the impression that there
was actually support and genuine empathy and understanding of the
issues and concerns at the board's end. Because what "unanimous"
achieved - beyond, as we're now discovering, apparently not being
true, or at least being very economical with the truth - was conveying
the message that the board was not particularly worried. That the
efforts staff had made to surface issues, at risk to their own neck,
had not been convincing, and that we were essentially on our own when
it came to working out the problems.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] I am going to San Francisco

2016-02-29 Thread Oliver Keyes
On Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 2:58 PM, James Heilman  wrote:
> Regarding to Oliver's comment: "My concern is that when staff reached out
> the Board replied with a letter indicating they had full and unanimous
> confidence in our
> leadership."
>
> This statement is not really true. We had a formal vote regarding the ED in
> November and it was not unanimous. The vote unfortunately has not yet been
> made public.
>

Very well, let me quote directly from the email sent to staff by
Patricio Lorente in his role as Chair of the Board:

"We are working with Lila to put together a plan to address these
issues. We are confident that she has the capability and the
commitment needed for this challenging time, and we know that, at the
present time, she is listening carefully to the Board, to you, and to
the community. **To that end, the Board remains unanimously committed in
our support of Lila in her role** and in her efforts to adapt her
leadership and to address these issues."

Asterisks mine. If your commitment and straw poll wasn't unanimous
your chair lied to staff, and that's not a great opening to our
rebuilding.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] I am going to San Francisco

2016-02-29 Thread Oliver Keyes
On Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 9:13 AM, Jimmy Wales  wrote:
> On 2/29/16 2:25 AM, Molly White wrote:
>> Thank you for your reply, and I apologize for how late this one is. When
>> I asked how you intend to speak with the Board of Trustees and with staff, I
>> did not mean what technical means you will use. It doesn't much matter to me
>> whether you speak with them in person, over email, over Hangouts, or what 
>> have
>> you.
>
> Ah, ok. :)  I wondered why it mattered but thought I'd just answer
> plainly in case you were concerned that not doing it in person would
> fail to convey nuance, etc.  (A valid concern, always.)
>
>> I am instead concerned with how (and if) you will be able to clearly
>> communicate your discussions between these two groups, since you are 
>> apparently
>> the one doing so.
>
> I'm not the only one.  Alice is here in San Francisco, too.
>
>> Perhaps more concerning to me: do you intend to take steps to
>> make WMF staff comfortable speaking to you? If so, what are these steps? As
>> Oliver and others have made clear, staff have gone through what sounds like 
>> an
>> extended, traumatic period. I think the mass exodus of staff members makes 
>> that
>> very clear. Some have spoken of intimidation about speaking up with their
>> concerns. How will you ensure they don't feel the same around you?
>
> Sure.  It's a potentially tough problem, and likely made worse by a lot
> of misconceptions being thrown around by people who have misrepresented
> my views.  It's been claimed, for example, that I was the chief
> architect of a concept that staff shouldn't talk to board members -
> overcoming that misunderstanding is important to me.
>
> I am not involved at all in hiring and firing decisions, and don't
> intend to become so involved.  I'm not becoming the interim ED nor the
> permanent ED.  I've been here from the beginning and I am very
> passionate about Wikipedia and our mission.  I have no specific axe to
> grind other than that one.
>
> My heart is heavy about what has happened here, and one of the things
> that I feel most heavy about - and that I've heard from staff - is that
> I lost touch with them.  I remember driving to the November board
> meeting thinking "Well, this is going to be fairly routine and boring"
> because I had no idea what awaited me there - which was a train wreck of
> a meeting which left millions more questions than answers but which made
> it clear that something big was going on.

Well, to make my position as one (current, for a bit) staffer clear:
that *you* lost touch with things is not my worry. It's not the thing
I regret. This might simply be because I tend to treat you more as
"the guy who kicked things off and so has a board seat" rather than
"the carrier of the flame of What The Ethos Of Wikipedia Is". I rely
on the community trustees for that, because (1) the community ethos is
set by the community, not by what the community looked like in 2001
and (2) having a dependency on any one person is a terrible idea.

So my concern is not that you lost touch with staff. I don't
particularly care about any one person. My concern is that the *board*
did. My concern is that when staff reached out the Board replied with
a letter indicating they had full and unanimous confidence in our
leadership. You indicating that you see a problem here and have some
sympathy is nice; so is you visiting the office. So is Alice visiting
the office. But nice is not sufficient.

Guy Kawasaki, I believe, lives in the bay area (correct me if I'm
wrong). Denny works a 10 minute walk from the office. Kelly's org is
based in Mountain View. There are a whole host of trustees who could
be making it into the office, experiencing the culture and the
sentiment and the concerns directly. Why are they not coming in? Why
are they not listening to people?

While I appreciate, deeply, both you and Alice coming in, I am unable
to shake my concerns that the rest of the board making decisions
informed not by their perspectives but by your recollection of your
perspectives, is going to be tremendously limiting. We selected these
people because we thought they had something to contribute we didn't
already have: because their experiences would shape incoming
information in new and interesting ways. So let them receive that
information, and let them shape it. Let's have an informed board.
Because trust isn't great, right now, and this last year should have
made us steer *away* from processes with a small bus factor, not
towards them.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] I am going to San Francisco

2016-02-29 Thread Oliver Keyes
On Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 10:38 AM, Andreas Kolbe <jayen...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 3:06 PM, Jimmy Wales <jimmywa...@wikia-inc.com>
> wrote:
>
>> On 2/29/16 7:00 AM, Andreas Kolbe wrote:
>> > A few days ago, Oliver Keyes said[1] here on this list that, even though
>> he
>> > had already quit his job, he was scared to share with people the content
>> of
>> > the non-disclosure agreement he had to sign as a WMF staff member.
>> >
>> > Do you believe the various non-disclosure agreements and
>> non-disparagement
>> > clauses that staff have to sign to work at the WMF should be public? Will
>> > you encourage staff to share their content, in the interests of
>> > transparency?
>>
>> I don't know, as I haven't seen those.  If there is a standard
>> boilerplate non-disclosure agrement that all staff sign (normal
>> practice) then I don't see any reason why that shouldn't be made public.
>>  I also don't see much reason *for* it to be made public, if it's just
>> the usual sort of thing.  I don't see that it matters much either way,
>> to be frank.
>>
>
>
> Well, there's been enough interest in this over the years to justify it. It
> would quell speculation.
>
> As you are currently in SF, it should be fairly easy to arrange for someone
> to post the standard, boilerplate non-disclosure
> agreements/non-disparagement clauses that (1) staff and (2) management have
> to sign here on this list, or lets us know where we can find them on the
> WMF website.
>
> If universities and commercial companies are able to do that, so should WMF.
>

It's worth noting that publishing the current standard != publishing
what people have signed. The document has varied a lot over the years
(I helped tweak/copyedit some of the volunteer NDAs a few years back,
hence paying attention to this). I would really love if whatever the
latest version of the NDA is, everyone re-signed, to avoid ambiguity
here. At the moment what people are prohibited from doing varies
depending on when they joined the organisation.

The current staff NDA, interestingly, I can't find on the Office wiki.
The volunteer NDA is there, but even I don't know what the current
staff one is (I may just be missing a link, or having a bad search
experience, which given the team I work for would be a weird kind of
funny). The version I signed, way back when, both prohibited me from
disclosing confidential information and contained a non-defamation
clause around the organisation and its legal agents.

Now, I have no idea if this is still in the staff contract and NDA. I
sincerely hope it's not. But I hope people recognise that a clause
prohibiting staffers from saying a class of things about C-levels in
public, when most staff are not lawyers, is by definition going to
have a chilling effect on conversations about organisational direction
and staff performance. Sure, that class of things may in fact be
totally unacceptable and actually not things that we'd say...but how
the heck are we to know that?

So I support the idea, at a minimum, of publishing the current NDA and
contract form, and I would really like it if legal could bring all
staff NDAs up to spec.

One thing that was discussed early on that would also be fantastic;
the whistleblower policy currently protects people for reporting
*legal* violations to the *government*, and nothing else. Given that
California is an at-will state, broadening this would be...I was going
to say nice but really I mean "essential to any transparent
organisation that wants processes resistant to one bad apple".

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] What it means to be a *volunteer* organization

2016-02-28 Thread Oliver Keyes
On Sun, Feb 28, 2016 at 10:03 PM, David Emrany  wrote:
> Hi Brion
>
> When you refer to patches with other movements / affiliates, are you
> proposing that WMF sponsors more Gibraltrapedias ?
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gibraltarpedia
>
> Have we forgotten so soon the adverse media publicity about these
> stealth PR campaigns
>
> "Once Wikipedia becomes a pay-to-play platform in any sense, it's no
> longer a balanced, universal wellspring of information. It's just
> another commercial website, with a particularly insidious brand of
> camouflaged advertising. Any company with a sly enough PR person could
> promote ostensibly fascinating facts about its products" [1]
>
> "payment of money to Wikipedia editors represented "the greatest
> threat the [Wikipedia] brand has seen to date" [2].
>
> Lila had taken the first technical / automation /AI steps to identify
> / weed out the paid editing claques which rule the roost. That she was
> eased out in this way shows that WMF is in terminal disrepair, and I
> resent Flo's attempt to deflect this thread away from the numerous
> paid editing controversies which have dogged the projects since the
> very beginning and systematically driven away all competent potential
> long-term contributors.

Sure, there is technical/automation/AI work that's being done. It's
not being done by Lila, it's being done by Aaron Halfaker, who can
provide his own opinion on whether he feels that work has been
adequately resourced (in other words whether it's something the people
who determine resourcing can get much credit for, beyond allowing it
to exist).

It has nothing to do with paid editing: at the moment it identifies
whether something is likely to be reverted, whether it is likely to
have been made in good faith, or whether it is likely to be vandalism.

Is there some other AI work being done that you're referring to?

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] I am going to San Francisco

2016-02-27 Thread Oliver Keyes
On Sat, Feb 27, 2016 at 1:38 PM, phoebe ayers  wrote:
> On Sat, Feb 27, 2016 at 12:43 PM, Anna Stillwell
>  wrote:
>>  +1 to what Oliver and Vibber said.
>>
>> The situation is still delicate, Jimmy.
>>
>> Staff are being extremely kind to one another. I was blown away by the
>> respect and care that staff showed toward *the entire situation yesterday 
>> *when
>> we met as a group*.* We were mature, measured, civil, reasonable and
>> supporting and trusting of one another. Last but not least, we were forward
>> thinking.
>
> This is great! I am glad to hear it.
>
> One thought. Given that it is a complex situation, with many
> individual reactions and experiences as Brion points out, I wonder if
> it would be good for the organization to appoint a temporary, but
> on-site, omsbud who could listen to staff needs (...and those of
> contractors, and those working closely with staff).
>
> I'm imagining someone who could both be a sounding board outside of
> current structures, and who could assist any interim ED -- who
> themselves will likely not have enough to time to do all of this and
> also run the organization. An omsbud could triage issues: from those
> requiring changes in process or even Board attention to those that can
> be dealt with in other ways. And they could provide a place for those
> who simply want to vent or discuss can do so. Ideally it would be
> someone respected, empathetic and open, and with channels and
> influence at a high level, but not someone with too much history at
> the organization -- especially not recent history.
>
> I suggest this because I worry about the emotional load on people at
> the WMF who others turn to the most -- people who are respected and
> empathetic and thus have no doubt gotten a lot of extra work to do in
> listening to their colleagues in recent months. I worry about people
> who don't feel like they have anyplace to turn.  And I worry that the
> official structures in place to report areas where change is needed
> may not be sufficient given large-scale dissatisfaction.
>
> I think Jimmy's heart is absolutely in the right place for wanting to
> listen to staff and I commend him for it, and for doing what many of
> the other trustees are likely logistically unable to do right now. But
> even he doesn't have enough time or energy to be at the WMF for a few
> months, and calmly help facilitate the organizational processing that
> seems like needs to happen. I think that needs to be a separate,
> actual position, even if just for a brief period. And ideally, such a
> position would not get in the way of but rather be able to facilitate
> and sustain the self-generated group dynamic of support and energy for
> forward momentum that Anna describes.

I think this is a fantastic suggestion. We currently have an Employee
Relations person, but an Ombudsman (who was actually promised to staff
last year) has yet to appear.

To perpetuate Anna's pattern of thankfulness, I am very very thankful
that internally these are issues we have actively begun to discuss:
both the need for specialist help with recovery (HR has been very good
at this) and the emotional cost of people taking on the role of "toxin
handler" without it being in their JD, and without it being recognised
as real work.

>
> -- Phoebe
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] I am going to San Francisco

2016-02-27 Thread Oliver Keyes
Anthony has hit the nail on the head here with "could be used to
punish or intimidate staff"; the reason I, at least, am uncomfortable
talking about the internal details here (beyond the obvious PR
elements for the Foundation) is that there's a lot of ongoing fear
about repercussions. A couple of years ago this wouldn't have been the
case.

(This also indirectly answers the "can we see your NDA?" question. I
don't know. And hell, I'm this scared having *already quit*.)

More guidance, and public guidance at that, would be deeply
appreciated. Within the Discovery Analytics team we've gone out of our
way to write up pretty all-encompassing guidelines specifically for
data (which I look forward to being able to publish pretty soon - we
just got clearance to do so). It would be nice to have more firm
guidance on what we should do with transparency around other kinds of
information. It would, of course, be even nicer if we could rebuild
trust, since that's the source of a lot of the fear.

On Sat, Feb 27, 2016 at 6:40 AM, Anthony Cole  wrote:
> It's not just NDAs that constrain you, staff. The WMF code of conduct
>  (that
> applies to staff and trustees) reads,
>
> "People acting on the Foundation’s behalf must respect and maintain the
> confidentiality of sensitive information they have gained due to their
> association with the Foundation. This may include personal information
> about community members or members of the general public, and/or
> information about the internal workings of the Foundation or its partners
> or suppliers."
>
> "Information about the internal workings of the Foundation" is extremely
> broad and vague, and could be used to punish or intimidate staff who talk
> openly about anything. Perhaps you could add "some" ("some information
> about the internal workings of the Foundation") and leave it to the
> individual NDAs to specify what "some" means. Or perhaps you could just be
> specific in the code of conduct.
>
> Anthony Cole
>
>
> On Sat, Feb 27, 2016 at 6:51 PM, James Alexander 
> wrote:
>
>> On Fri, Feb 26, 2016 at 11:17 PM, Pine W  wrote:
>>
>> > Something that I would like to understand is why so much WMF information
>> is
>> > cloaked under NDAs. It seems to me that this is philosophically at odds
>> > with the values of the community, makes for poor governance, and provides
>> > cover for opportunities for mischief. I hope that recent events will
>> prompt
>> > WMF to rethink its habits and assumptions in the realms of transparency,
>> > openness, and values alignment.
>> >
>> > Pine
>> >
>>
>> While on a base level I agree with you I feel its important to add some
>> caveats to that. I think a good portion of this is actually everyone
>> needing a better understanding about what 'is' expected to be private (and
>> preferably why) from Management on down. I think a lot of what people are
>> calling "under the NDA" may not be :).
>>
>> I also think it's important to consider the categories of private
>> data/information too, however, because i fear we (both the staff and the
>> community) use "under NDA" as a very broad and note always accurate
>> description. The way I see it there is:
>>
>>
>>1. Private WMF Data or information that is most definetly covered by the
>>NDA: examples include most donor data, attorney-client privileged
>>information, information that is legally protected, information we
>> protect
>>via official public policy etc.
>>2. Information and notes that really don't need to be private: This is
>>the stuff we're talking about releasing.
>>3. Inter personal/team discussions and similar.
>>
>> [sorry, this turned out tldr, apologies. TLDR: Careful demanding sharing of
>> internal team discussions]
>>
>> 3. I actually think is really important because it is not what we think of
>> when we think of private information (and, honestly, probably isn't under
>> the NDA usually) but can be very important to be kept privately even if the
>> end result of the discussion should be made public etc.. This is especially
>> true to allow open conversations between staff members. Not only do they
>> need to feel comfortable bringing up crazy idea A (which some are now and
>> could probably be done more with culture change, possible on both the
>> community and WMF sides) but they need to feel comfortable saying that
>> crazy idea A is crazy and bad for reasons X,Y and Z.
>>
>> Lodewijk made my main point well in the thread about Lawrence Lessig:
>> People get very uncomfortable talking about others in public. If Staff
>> member B is breaking apart Staff member A's proposal there is a good chance
>> at least one of them is going to be feeling very uncomfortable about it.
>> That discomfort often gets much bigger the more people who see what's
>> happening either because they feel more shame (to pick just one of the
>> 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] I am going to San Francisco

2016-02-26 Thread Oliver Keyes
I would also like that. To be perfectly honest the NDAs are vague
enough (deliberately) that it makes things very hard for anyone
outside of counsel to really determine what might be a problem.

From my perspective: so, as well as a prohibition on sharing anything
we learn exclusively through our work without authorisation, my
contract also features a clause that prohibits me from saying anything
that might defame the Foundation, its trustees, or its officers. Quite
how this is defined has never been made clear to employees, which
makes transparency in an era of obscurity, or transparency in an era
where there are a lot of sensitive, nuanced things to talk about,
difficult.

On Fri, Feb 26, 2016 at 10:36 PM, George Herbert
<george.herb...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> It would be a good thing if the Board and current or expected interim ED 
> loosened up confidentiality on the employees.
>
> It helps internal morale and external confidence in reforms.
>
>
> George William Herbert
> Sent from my iPhone
>
>> On Feb 26, 2016, at 7:30 PM, Oliver Keyes <ironho...@gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>>> On Fri, Feb 26, 2016 at 8:57 PM, Pine W <wiki.p...@gmail.com> wrote:
>>> I admit to being surprised by the depth of the division between the ED and
>>> staff that we are hearing about. Thanks to the Signpost and internal leaks
>>> we in the community knew about the low marks in the staff survey, but I
>>> guess I didn't appreciate that the situation involved more than widespread
>>> professional disagreement and had reached such emotional depth for at least
>>> some staff.
>>>
>>> I would like to ask Brion, who seems to be acting as the de facto VP of HR,
>>> if he could ask people if they are willing to have their *anonymized*
>>> comments and notes be published. I think that these would be helpful to
>>> inform the discussions about the future.
>>
>> No, he's not. Don't get me wrong, Brion's help is TREMENDOUSLY
>> valuable and appreciated. But please recognise that you only see
>> things from the outside. Your understanding of what is going on,
>> absent internal discussions, is likely to be somewhat distorted. Brion
>> is one of the more preeminent volunteers for emotional support but he
>> is not acting without HR also acting.
>>
>>>
>>> I fully understand that people may feel comfortable venting and connecting
>>> about this situation in private. I am trying to respect that private space
>>> while also encouraging a flow of information that I hope will be beneficial
>>> for WMF in the rebuilding phase.
>>
>> The WMF's rebuilding is ultimately WMF-centric.
>>
>> There are elements with movement-wide components; reform of the board
>> of trustees, which is also supported by a lot of staff, is a good
>> example. But much of it is internal, private, and only fully
>> understood with an NDA. It's why so many people have been able to
>> gut-punch employees over the last few months: because there are a lot
>> of things where, even anonymised, we cannot say anything.
>>
>> Given that I would prefer not to risk compromising the healing with
>> publicly-shared transcripts, even anonymised ones. This is not to say
>> that public feedback and review and transparency isn't welcome and
>> needed: it is. Merely that this should not come from the commentary of
>> individual meetings.
>>
>>>
>>> Brion, thank you very much for taking on this role as staff facilitator.
>>>
>>> If a professional facilitator would help as well, I'd say to go for it.
>>
>> We already have one, and have for months.
>>
>>>
>>> Pine
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] What should happen next? My 5 ideas

2016-02-26 Thread Oliver Keyes
+1 to Keegan. I am glad you have spoken to staffers, Pete. I promise I
can identify at least 300 other people that fall into that category
too.

On Fri, Feb 26, 2016 at 9:40 PM, Keegan Peterzell
 wrote:
> On Fri, Feb 26, 2016 at 8:04 PM, Pete Forsyth  wrote:
>
>> Still, my list is very much influenced by what I
>> have heard from staff, board, etc. over many months -- so it's not like
>> your seat is getting cold without you. :)
>>
>
> My seat without me in it would be the very definition of it getting cold
> without me in it, not to be glib. Your presumptions are starting to be
> offensive.
>
> I am a person. I am a Wikimedian on my own,[0] apart from my role in my
> signature line.
>
> I think what we need to *first* do is stop pigeonholing individuals, and
> then presuming to know their opinions based on said hole placement, which
> was the point of my initial email: do not presume to know what those who
> are not speaking right now are thinking, and wait to hear from them. But I
> guess you're missing the point.
>
> I know you're going to say that's not what you're intending to do, but it's
> exactly what you're saying.
>
> Slow down. There are plenty of leaders with thoughts in this movement, give
> everyone space.
>
> 0.
> https://tools.wmflabs.org/xtools-ec/?user=Keegan=en.wikipedia.org=en
>
> --
> Keegan Peterzell
> Community Liaison, Product
> Wikimedia Foundation
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] I am going to San Francisco

2016-02-26 Thread Oliver Keyes
On Fri, Feb 26, 2016 at 8:57 PM, Pine W  wrote:
> I admit to being surprised by the depth of the division between the ED and
> staff that we are hearing about. Thanks to the Signpost and internal leaks
> we in the community knew about the low marks in the staff survey, but I
> guess I didn't appreciate that the situation involved more than widespread
> professional disagreement and had reached such emotional depth for at least
> some staff.
>
> I would like to ask Brion, who seems to be acting as the de facto VP of HR,
> if he could ask people if they are willing to have their *anonymized*
> comments and notes be published. I think that these would be helpful to
> inform the discussions about the future.

No, he's not. Don't get me wrong, Brion's help is TREMENDOUSLY
valuable and appreciated. But please recognise that you only see
things from the outside. Your understanding of what is going on,
absent internal discussions, is likely to be somewhat distorted. Brion
is one of the more preeminent volunteers for emotional support but he
is not acting without HR also acting.

>
> I fully understand that people may feel comfortable venting and connecting
> about this situation in private. I am trying to respect that private space
> while also encouraging a flow of information that I hope will be beneficial
> for WMF in the rebuilding phase.

The WMF's rebuilding is ultimately WMF-centric.

There are elements with movement-wide components; reform of the board
of trustees, which is also supported by a lot of staff, is a good
example. But much of it is internal, private, and only fully
understood with an NDA. It's why so many people have been able to
gut-punch employees over the last few months: because there are a lot
of things where, even anonymised, we cannot say anything.

Given that I would prefer not to risk compromising the healing with
publicly-shared transcripts, even anonymised ones. This is not to say
that public feedback and review and transparency isn't welcome and
needed: it is. Merely that this should not come from the commentary of
individual meetings.

>
> Brion, thank you very much for taking on this role as staff facilitator.
>
> If a professional facilitator would help as well, I'd say to go for it.

We already have one, and have for months.

>
> Pine
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] I am going to San Francisco

2016-02-26 Thread Oliver Keyes
On Fri, Feb 26, 2016 at 3:00 PM, Jimmy Wales  wrote:
>
> I can't speak for Lila, nor should I try.  But I know that for people
> new to our world, it's really quite confusing.  You hear a lot of voices
> and if you've been around for long enough, you get to know which ones
> are important and which ones are going to complain no matter what, with
> little substance.  If you listen to those who are going to complain no
> matter what, you can end up fearful and burned by communication.  If you
> don't listen to those who are only going to complain when it matters,
> you'll miss important things.  Knowing the difference is... well...
> ambiguous even in the best of times.
>
> So to go back to your question - what can be gained from my visit to San
> Francisco... it's only for a few days, but it will be followed by more
> visits in the coming months.  And part of what I want to do is get a
> better understanding of the specific concerns that serious people have,
> so that I can be more helpful to whoever ends up being the interim ED,
> and whoever ends up being our next permanent ED.


Jimmy,

A word of advice on language (from me, of all people. Yes, I know;
stopped clocks and all that).

A substantial number of staff at the Foundation have spent the last
few months in utter, miserable hell. Not in an abstract way, not
watching it from the sidelines (I've spent kind of a lot of time
wishing I was a volunteer in the last 6 months :/) but on a 9 to 5
basis, going into a space that has been deeply unpleasant, for the
sake of the mission. Part of this unpleasantness - a small part of the
problem, but a uniquely insidious and damaging part - was a refusal to
give more than lip-service to the concerns of some employees. Indeed,
some employees were actively warned, or prohibited from speaking, due
to how they chose to raise concerns;[0][1] And in the end, increasing
transparency revealed that the concerns of "disruptive" employees or
"chronic complainers" were eminently justified.

When I hear language about "ignoring those who are going to complain
no matter what" and, in an email premised on visiting and spending
time with staff, a distinction between the pool of people you'll be
talking to and the "serious people", with an implication that only the
concerns of the "serious people" will be taken, well, seriously, that
worries me. It feels a lot like what we're coming out of. It feels
like it will be a hindrance to progressing beyond this awful
situation.

I appreciate this is almost certainly not what you were trying to
communicate - indeed , I fully expect you'll come back confirming that
it wasn't. But it's best to be aware of the language you chose to use,
within the context of what staff have been going through since 2015. I
of all people know that how you choose to contextualise a situation
with your words has profound implications for how people approach you
and the treatment you receive. It's best to avoid unintentional
ambiguities or implications. When you use language that implies some
people or their concerns are worth ignoring, it's going to resonate
very strongly with the dividing tactics recently found at the
Foundation: where some people found their worries and issues - which
were totally legitimate - dismissed.

(As an aside from all of that, I entirely support Asaf's point about
group meetings, with note-taking. I think it's good to have a record
we can check what Everyone Knows against. Avoids FUD,[2] and at this
critical time, increases transparency.)

[0] 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=User_talk:LilaTretikov_%28WMF%29=prev=15301332
[1] No, I was not one of them)
[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fear,_uncertainty_and_doubt

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] What should happen next? My 5 ideas

2016-02-26 Thread Oliver Keyes
+1. It's difficult without breaking fifteen NDAs to underscore exactly
how shellshocked and traumatised staff are right now, dealing with all
of this for 8 hours a day for 3-18 months, depending on the nature of
their concerns. As the people most impacted by negative or positive
changes to the organisation it is imperative that their perspectives
be involved in these conversations, and at the moment I don't think
there's the emotional energy to do that. The emotional energy people
have is much better spent healing as people, and as teams, and as an
entity.

This isn't to say these points aren't valuable (they are!) merely that
at the moment they're probably most valuable as an airing of opinions
without consequence - a committee of the house, in parliamentary
terms. I wouldn't expect any of them to immediately result in changes,
and I think we'd be poorer if they did right now with such a big chunk
of the affected parties not in a space to contribute.

On Fri, Feb 26, 2016 at 4:49 PM, Keegan Peterzell
 wrote:
> (slightly indirect to the topic, but not worth its own thread)
>
> Hey Pete,
>
> Thanks for your time and reflection, and that extend to everyone else, with
> this and related topics over the past month. Wikimedia-l has actually been
> a refreshing kind of place, where cautious respect and rational discourse
> has been taking place. I've appreciated it greatly as events progressed as
> they did. These conversations are what meatballwiki[0] is made of, and what
> built Wikimedia in the first place.
>
> I look forward to these conversations continuing here, on meta, privately,
> Facebook, and all the other mediums, which is getting to my point: let's
> please keep all these much-needed discussions at a measured pace. I know
> that I'm shell-shocked[1] to a good extent from the recent past, with the
> burnout that comes with it as well, and I know I'm not the only one. I'd
> like to participate in, and not just read, these conversations, but I know
> it's going to take me some time to get back into the spirit of
> meta-discussions about Wikimedia. Othes as well.
>
> So please, continue talking, sharing, misunderstanding and then working it
> out, and all those other wonderful things, but please do remember that
> there are some of us who are going to be silent a bit in our reflection,
> and hopefully we'll be speaking again in the future.
>
> Everything else (for me, at least) is back to business/volunteering as
> usual.
>
> 0. http://meatballwiki.org
> 1. https://www.wikidata.org/wiki/Q15061465#sitelinks-wikipedia
>
> --
> Keegan Peterzell
> Community Liaison, Product
> Wikimedia Foundation
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Lawrence Lessig for ... WMF

2016-02-26 Thread Oliver Keyes
I'm agreed with Dan and Nathan (well, Nathan's implied point) both.

Right now we need stability. I'd much prefer an interim ED appointed
from inside the organisation or movement, ideally someone who has been
watching what's been going on. And then time for healing and
reflection in that space of stability that lets us make a better
decision.

I have no particular opinions on Lessig - or on Creative Commons -
except to note that the organisational leaders are the people whose
opinions on trauma around reorganisations least matter, insofar as,
structurally, they are both the people least likely to be messed over
by them and the people most detached from any swirling mass of feeling
that exists in the employee base. I'd be interested instead in hearing
from current or former employees (I know a couple and they are not as
positive, but it's a small sample size) to make any evaluation more
informed.

On Fri, Feb 26, 2016 at 4:59 PM, Dan Andreescu  wrote:
> I met him, he's amazingly focused and radical, I appreciate his brand of 
> intellect very much. But I think suggesting candidates for the ED position at 
> this time is jumping two steps ahead of where we are.
>
> We just screwed up. We were all dragged through months of an awkward collapse 
> of our leadership and organizational structure. Before we start piling the 
> rubble of this collapse back up into the same exact shape with a different 
> keystone, let's take a breath and think.
>
> First we should make sure we understand what, more or less, failed. It was 
> not just Lila. Second, we should talk about what options we have and what 
> criteria we should use to evaluate those options.
>
> We can be patient. We have reaffirmed our respect for each other and we trust 
> each other enough to share ideas, emotions, and proposals. This is our 
> foundation, and it hasn't collapsed.
>
>   Original Message
> From: Yuri Astrakhan
> Sent: Friday, February 26, 2016 16:47
> To: Wikimedia Mailing List
> Reply To: Wikimedia Mailing List
> Subject: [Wikimedia-l] Lawrence Lessig for ... WMF
>
> I would like to continue the discussion of who, in an ideal case, would be
> a good fit for the ED position. This person has to fit culturally, share
> movement's values, and be a trusted figure in the time of rebuilding.
>
> Lawrence Lessig seems to have a very strong support in the community, and
> even attempted to run (unsuccessfully) a large organization called United
> States.
>
> Thoughts?
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] I am going to San Francisco

2016-02-26 Thread Oliver Keyes
On Fri, Feb 26, 2016 at 5:39 AM, GorillaWarfare
 wrote:
> I would be curious to hear precisely what you hope to accomplish from your
> trip to San Francisco. How do you plan to communicate what you learn to the
> rest of the Board of Trustees, and to those who will be instrumental in
> shaping the changes that will happen to the WMF in the near future? How do
> you plan to speak to staff members, who have seen many of their coworkers
> leave or be forced out in the last few years? How do you plan to increase
> morale among an incredibly demoralized group?
>
> I too hope that your return will be marked by "careful listening and
> thoughtful consideration" that Brion Vibber describes, not to mention
> strong actions resulting from what you learn during your trip. But quite
> frankly, Vibber's communications with the Wikimedia community outside of
> the Foundation have far surpassed yours in clarity and transparency. I hope
> that you will improve upon your messaging, but I would like clear
> reassurance that you realize this is necessary.
>
> There have been many things that have not impressed me recently: how the
> Wikimedia Foundation chose to handle the lack of transparency surrounding
> WMF actions (even once they were leaked), how the Board has handled the
> past unrest surrounding the Executive Director and senior leadership,
> communication surrounding James Heilman's removal... the list really goes
> on and on.
>
> I would love to know whether you supported Lila Tretikov's departure. It is
> clear that she did not up and resign on her own, and I would like to know
> if you were one of the folks who thought her departure would be beneficial,
> or if you preferred she "weather the storm," so to speak.
>

I would very much like to know the answer to this question, in
particular. Any conversation with staff should be based first and
foremost on honesty, after everything that has happened.

> I would also like to hear a clear statement about what you think can be
> gained from your return to San Francisco.
>
> Thank you,
> Molly White
> User:GorillaWarfare
> English Wikipedia community member
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Are we too rigid?

2016-02-24 Thread Oliver Keyes
On Wed, Feb 24, 2016 at 5:38 PM, Yuri Astrakhan
 wrote:
> Oliver, thanks!
>
>> In other words, the litmus test for me is: what happens when the socially
> and politically weakest person in the organisation has an idea?
>
> If we speak of a "product" idea, we have two groups of people - those who
> can implement the idea, and those who would need to convince others to do
> it.  They use fundamentally different, scarcely overlapping skill-sets. An
> engineer might go via the "hackathon + demo" route, implementing something
> simple and showing it to gain traction. A non-engineer would start with the
> social aspect first - talking to others if the idea is worth pursuing, how
> hard is it to do, and eventually - convincing others to allocate their
> time/resources to do it. Sometimes an engineer may go the social route
> instead, but it would be very hard for a non-engineer to engage in
> development. Lastly, the "designer" group has an amazing skill-set to
> visually present their full vision rather than the demo, thus often having
> easier time of conveying their thoughts.
>
> In a sense, the barrier of entry for the person in the "weakest position"
> would not be as high for the "doer" as for the "inspirer". So I think the
> real challenge is how do we capture and evaluate those ideas from the
> second group? Also, no matter how hard we try, it would be either very
> hard, or very expensive (and not just financially) to force the
> implementers to do an idea they do not believe in. So in a sense, doers
> need to be persuaded first and foremost.
>
> As with any explanation, a picture == 1000 words, so we could promote "idea
> visualizers" - designers who are easily approachable and could help to draw
> up a few sketches of the idea.


My email opened with "I think reducing things to engineering terms are
sort of indicative of the problem here". I'm not talking about code.
I'm not talking about designs. I'm not talking about software
products. And thinking about it in terms of engineering projects,
which is what we do as an organisation a lot, will not be helpful. If
it did, then after several years of insisting that we are primarily a
tech shop, we would hopefully not still be having conversations about
structure and direction!

What I am talking about is ideas generally. They might be about
software products. They might be about social products, a la the
teahouse. They might be about how to tweak our process by which we
interact with the community. They might be that our hiring process is
kinda weird and here's this one cool way we could look at improving
it. They might be that the break room snacks _suck_ (again,
hypothetical: they're fine. Sorry, Facilities).

In any case, the litmus test is just that; a litmus test. Our
structure should be designed cognizant to these problems, and then
pass the test, but not be designed *specifically* to pass the test.
And the designer idea seems pretty hyper-optimised just for the test.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Are we too rigid?

2016-02-24 Thread Oliver Keyes
I would like to clarify a fairly major premise of this conversation:
namely, the comment I made that Yuri quoted in the very first message.

When I say that the hierarchical organisation of the Foundation is
something that is preventing us from doing better, I was not thinking
of how we develop software. Indeed, I suspect that peoples' tendency
to bring things constantly back to "does it improve the measurable
speed at which we right code" is symptomatic of the problematic
dynamics here. What I was thinking about was how we pay attention to
organisational hiring, to how we promote, to how we treat people, what
empathy we have and how we value empathy.

I have consistently found the Foundation to lag in all of these
regards. It is not good at making sure that the recognition of
employees is fair and treated equitably (be that who gets called out
in presentations, who gets given opportunities, or who gets raises).
It is not good at making sure that how we hire is fair. It is not good
at making sure that concerns of employees are given weight. All too
often the people marginalised by our approaches are the people
marginalised outside the Foundation, as well; women, people in
"non-technical" roles, people in roles that we code as "support work"
(and guess what tends to correlate with a role being coded as support
work?) All too often the work marginalised by our approaches is the
work that Doesn't Product Code (again: guess who tends to do the heavy
lifting on things like organisational health and process and
structure?)

As an organisation I have found the Foundation overly rigid and
resistant to the most conservative change around these problems;
particularly I think of efforts to improve unintentional bias in our
job descriptions. Basically, unless you as an employee go out and do
the damn work yourself, for free, with 0 recognition of the emotional
and temporal cost of that work, it doesn't get done. The organisation
as a whole is not interested.

Switching to a flat organisational structure does not, in any way,
solve for this problem. In fact, in some way it makes it worse,
because it makes us *think* that we have solved for the systemic and
hierarchical power dynamics that make it difficult for low-level or
marginalised people to get things done, or people doing marginalised
work to get things done, when we have only shifted them.

To pick on someone, I pick Trevor (sorry Trevor. For reference this is
an entirely hypothetical example and Trevor is lovely): Trevor's voice
is given a lot more weight in the organisation than mine. Trevor has a
lot more influence than I do. Trevor has a lot more influence than
most WMFers do!

Crucially: this *isn't because he's management*. This was the case
even *before* he was management. Because:

1. He's been here a really really long time and so knows everyone.
2. He's an Engineer, and we give engineers more weight and cachet than
we do, say, administrative staff or people in "support" roles, even
though those people are both as-smart and have an equal interest in
the organisation's success;
3. His background matches what we strongly correlate with Authority Voices.

If we switch to a flat organisational structure where nobody has a
title, or..whatever, all of these things will still be true. We will
switch pronounce systemic biases or uneven power dynamics Done, and we
will have achieved something that's actually worse than not doing
anything at all. Because now, we still *have* all those problems, we
just think we're done and don't have to put any work in and can't talk
about it, and nobody has the responsibility for continuing to fix
things.

The Foundation I would return to is not an organisation with a flat
structure. In fact, it could be an organisation that looks a lot like
this one, because I don't believe reporting lines or titles have as
much of an impact on dynamics as we think they do. What *does* have an
impact is how we recognise the value of emotional labour, how we
recognise our implicit biases and advantages, and how honest we are
with each other: not just in terms of what we *say* but in terms of
how we *listen*. In other words, the litmus test for me is: what
happens when the socially and politically weakest person in the
organisation has an idea?

Anyway; I don't particularly want to go into a long drawn-out
conversation, just correct the initial, fundamental misunderstanding.
Hopefully I've provided a bit of food for thought along with that.

On Wed, Feb 24, 2016 at 3:50 AM, Pau Giner  wrote:
>>
>> If I remember correctly, I think that's how the Content Translation project
>> started -- it was someone's personal project, which got more people and
>> attention because it's a great idea and showed real success.
>
>
> That is not accurate. I think Content Translation is a good example of
> bottom-up and design-driven project, though.
>
> The Language team identified that users frequently were asking for better
> support for 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] One Last Ride

2016-02-23 Thread Oliver Keyes
Amusingly I plan to contribute _more_ now. I'll be working a job that
lets me out at 5pm!

My first project is turning our article on Aaron Burr into a Good
Article. My second project is finding someone who wants the 12 Aaron
Burr biographies I now own.

On Tue, Feb 23, 2016 at 8:47 PM, Anthony Cole <ahcole...@gmail.com> wrote:
> We've had our differences but I respect you, and hope this means we'll be
> seeing more of you on en.Wikipedia. All the best in your future endeavours.
>
> On Wednesday, 24 February 2016, James Forrester <jforres...@wikimedia.org>
> wrote:
>
>> On 23 February 2016 at 15:35, Oliver Keyes <ironho...@gmail.com
>> <javascript:;>> wrote:
>>
>> > I am leaving the Wikimedia Foundation to take up a job as a Senior
>> > Data Scientist at an information security company. My last day will be
>> > on 18 March.
>>
>>
>> Oliver,
>>
>> It's been a while
>> <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Meetup/London_11> since
>> we first met in person. I even followed you across the world to work in San
>> Francisco! Don't think you can get away from our friendship that easily!
>> ;-)
>>
>> Take care, and go in peace and with my respect. My very best wishes.
>>
>> Yours,
>> --
>> James D. Forrester
>> Lead Product Manager, Editing
>> Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.
>>
>> jforres...@wikimedia.org <javascript:;> | @jdforrester
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>
> --
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] One Last Ride

2016-02-23 Thread Oliver Keyes
I genuinely misread this as describing my wit as "strange and
wonderful and awful".

...actually you know what that still totally works ;p

On Tue, Feb 23, 2016 at 6:55 PM, Brion Vibber <bvib...@wikimedia.org> wrote:
> Oliver, thanks for all your work -- and for helping to keep many of us sane
> with your wit through times strange and wonderful and awful alike.
>
> Take care of yourself and do good things!
>
> -- brion
> On Feb 23, 2016 3:36 PM, "Oliver Keyes" <ironho...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> Dear all,
>>
>> I am leaving the Wikimedia Foundation to take up a job as a Senior
>> Data Scientist at an information security company. My last day will be
>> on 18 March.
>>
>> After 12 months of continual stress, losses and workplace fear, I no
>> longer wish to work for the Wikimedia Foundation.
>>
>> While I appreciate that the Board of Trustees may take steps to
>> rectify the situation, I have no confidence in their ability to
>> effectively do so given their failure to solve for the problem until
>> it became a publicity issue as well as a staff complaint.
>>
>> I wish the movement and community the best of luck in building a
>> fairer, more transparent and more representative governing structure.
>>
>> All the best,
>> Oliver Keyes
>> Of these last 5 years, Wikimedia Foundation
>>
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[Wikimedia-l] One Last Ride

2016-02-23 Thread Oliver Keyes
Dear all,

I am leaving the Wikimedia Foundation to take up a job as a Senior
Data Scientist at an information security company. My last day will be
on 18 March.

After 12 months of continual stress, losses and workplace fear, I no
longer wish to work for the Wikimedia Foundation.

While I appreciate that the Board of Trustees may take steps to
rectify the situation, I have no confidence in their ability to
effectively do so given their failure to solve for the problem until
it became a publicity issue as well as a staff complaint.

I wish the movement and community the best of luck in building a
fairer, more transparent and more representative governing structure.

All the best,
Oliver Keyes
Of these last 5 years, Wikimedia Foundation

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fwd: Shared list

2016-02-23 Thread Oliver Keyes
Thanks Anthony; it's really appreciated. I want to make clear that I'm
not saying "don't disagree!" - of course people can disagree. Hell,
we're Wikipedians. Even if nobody was disagreeing we'd disagree with
ourselves ;).

On Tue, Feb 23, 2016 at 2:54 AM, Anthony Cole <ahcole...@gmail.com> wrote:
> I'm listening to this, and thank you all. I'll try to be less ... whatever
> that is I'm being. I do know what you mean, and I'll tone it down. Oliver,
> I had/have no intention of minimising the hurt felt by those involved. I
> apologise if I gave that impression. But some of those hurt people have
> been dishing out - en masse - a world of pain, themselves. I understand the
> dynamic at play here.
>
> In my defence - though I know it's no justification - I'm deeply affronted
> by what's been happening here and, especially, on WW. I see its provenance
> - the almost inevitability of it, given a hands-off (read that as slow,
> ineffectual, irresponsible, mostly stupid and arrogant) board. But still,
> this has been just awful to watch, and the behaviour of some here and
> elsewhere has been truly, truly trashy.
>
> I shall try to improve my game.
>
> PS:
>
> That's the first time I've ever made public a private email. Literally.
> Ever. I assume it will be the last. That kind of thing, bullying people
> into silence, quietly, off-list, is IMNSHO, poor behaviour, billinghurst.
>
> Anthony Cole
>
>
> On Tue, Feb 23, 2016 at 3:09 PM, Benjamin Lees <emufarm...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> Someone complained to you off-list about the amount you're posting to
>> the list.  You immediately forwarded his email to the list.  Is this
>> the best approach?
>>
>> On Tue, Feb 23, 2016 at 12:13 AM, Anthony Cole <ahcole...@gmail.com>
>> wrote:
>> > I thought I was bringing a sorely under-represented perspective to the ED
>> > discussion on this list and wasn't aware I'd said or done anything
>> > inappropriate here.
>>
>> Well, Oliver Keyes said, 3 days ago:
>>
>> > Speaking as both a volunteer and staff, Anthony, I have found your
>> > attitude in this conversation and others on the subject to be deeply
>> > unproductive. It would be good if you spent more time asking questions
>> > and less time dismissing people's concerns.
>>
>>
>> For my part, I think it's inappropriate to, for example, take
>> someone's statement: "I restrained from expressing publicly any issues
>> I might have with your own performance; I would love you to not spread
>> covert allegations on my performace and professional attitude" and
>> proceed to "it is used as proof she's "literally Hitler"."  My
>> guidance would be to think carefully about the way you're responding
>> to others and whether you would like to be responded to in that way.
>>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fwd: Shared list

2016-02-23 Thread Oliver Keyes
On Tue, Feb 23, 2016 at 3:54 AM, Theo10011 <de10...@gmail.com> wrote:
> I am totally with Benjamin on this.
>
> On Tue, Feb 23, 2016, Oliver Keyes <ironho...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> "sorely under-represented perspective" or not, that kind of attitude
>> is of course going to piss people off. And it may be that denying the
>> value of peoples' experiences or dismissing their misery is not, in
>> fact, what you mean to be communicating. But it is how it's coming
>> out. For me, at least, that's why I find your emails frustrating.
>>
>
> That is an odd way to dismiss any counter-argument - it is going to piss
> you or others off? You are the only staff member so far objecting to any
> dissenting view, existentially. I'm sure you would prefer no dissent should
> exist at all because you are having a miserable time, just 100 people
> piling on one?
>
> I see the conversation heavily leaning in one direction - against Lila. She
> is overwhelmingly being blamed, accused and rebutted by just about every
> member on this list - in unofficial and official channels. This includes
> the staff, community members and even past board members. Anything short of
> calling her literally the worst or comparison her to lady hitler will not
> be moving things any further than they are.
>
> A few staff members like Brion, expressed dissent to Lila's assertion, but
> wonderfully well. They offered counter-arguments, and provided context we
> all needed. Dissent is necessary, it moves the conversation along. You are
> in essence doing what your senior management was accused of, silencing
> criticism internally because you are having a rough time. I'm sure it
> doesn't feel nice.

Well, no. They're entirely different things. I'm happy to turn that
into a longer discussion if you're genuinely interested in what I see
as the difference, but I appreciate that may not be the case.

>
> Regards
> Theo
>
> PS Anthony, you shouldn't have sent a private email to the list.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fwd: Shared list

2016-02-22 Thread Oliver Keyes
If I might provide at least my, minor, perspective: there is a big
difference between "perspective" and "dissent" and some of your
communiques.

People, particularly at the Foundation, are hurting a lot right now.
And the tone of your messages has been a lot of: justifying actual
people being in actual pain and misery. "Lila is making great
changes!" "yes, but people are so hurt by the way it's been going on
they're going on _MEDICAL LEAVE_" "Oh yes but I support her continuing
work!"

"sorely under-represented perspective" or not, that kind of attitude
is of course going to piss people off. And it may be that denying the
value of peoples' experiences or dismissing their misery is not, in
fact, what you mean to be communicating. But it is how it's coming
out. For me, at least, that's why I find your emails frustrating.


On Tue, Feb 23, 2016 at 12:13 AM, Anthony Cole  wrote:
> I've just received this from someone called billinghurst:
>
> "Please stop this rebuttal of people's statements. Their opinions are as
> valuable, if not more valuable than yours as statements. Your name is
> appearing too often IMNSHO."
>
> I thought I was bringing a sorely under-represented perspective to the ED
> discussion on this list and wasn't aware I'd said or done anything
> inappropriate here. I sincerely apologise if I have, but I'll need a bit
> more guidance if that's the case. I see a lot of rebutting going on here. I
> thought civil rebuttal was how rational argument progressed. But I've been
> wrong before.
>
>
> -- Forwarded message --
> From: billinghurst 
> Date: Tue, Feb 23, 2016 at 4:04 AM
> Subject: Shared list
> To: ahcole...@gmail.com
>
>
> Please stop this rebuttal of people's statements. Their opinions are as
> valuable, if not more valuable than yours as statements. Your name is
> appearing too often IMNSHO.
>
> - b
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Why we changed

2016-02-21 Thread Oliver Keyes
I'm with Vibber too. I work in Engineering. This summary does not
represent my views, or the views of anyone I know.

On Mon, Feb 22, 2016 at 12:04 AM, Anna Stillwell
 wrote:
> I'm with Vibber. He has seen things clearly.
>
>
> On Sun, Feb 21, 2016 at 8:56 PM, Gerard Meijssen 
> wrote:
>
>> Hoi,
>> Where have you been when the search was on for a new director for the
>> WIkimedia Foundation? It was the vision that Lila refers to that made her
>> the chosen candidate. The fact that people object, frustrate and sometimes
>> sabotage is an unfortunate micro level consequence of what is happening.
>>
>> Yes, we as a community are extremely self serving, we care for our own
>> hobby horses and we do not consider the impact of this narrow mindedness.
>> It makes what Lila stand for one enemy, others who have differing
>> objectives are at best ignored because arguments do not really matter, are
>> ignored or are refuted by quoting the same old old.
>> Thanks,
>>   GerardM
>>
>> On 22 February 2016 at 05:38, Nathan  wrote:
>>
>> > Lila's statement of her vision for WMF is compelling and attractive. If
>> > properly and faithfully executed, it seems like it would make just the
>> > right adjustments to the culture of the WMF and its interaction with and
>> > support of the Wikimedia community. I have long been concerned that a
>> > number of positions at the WMF amounted to sinecures, or at least
>> returned
>> > little value to the projects in exchange for resources expended. It seems
>> > logical to me that such a radical change, even well enacted, would prompt
>> > discontent and departures from the organization.
>> >
>> > That said, I'm not convinced that this paradigm shift has been handled
>> well
>> > by the WMF executive team and the board. First and foremost, this
>> statement
>> > from Lila is the best explanation given anywhere that I'm aware of
>> > describing the shift within the WMF. That is not good. Second, it appears
>> > that the work has not been done to get key members of the paid team and
>> > volunteers on board with this process. This is another very substantial
>> > failure.
>> >
>> > For anyone who believes that Lila's vision statement is right for the
>> > future of the WMF, these unforced errors should cause serious anguish -
>> > needed changes might be lost or avoided because incompetent execution of
>> > prior initiatives left everyone deeply change-averse.
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>
>
>
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> Wikimedia Foundation
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] An Open Letter to Wikimedia Foundation BoT

2016-02-20 Thread Oliver Keyes
Just staff and former staff? Huh. You must be reading
wikimedia-that-doesn't-include-liam-fae-former-board-members-or-almost-anyone-else-l.
What's it like there?

To Risker's point; "don't beat up on people who have less information
than you" is a good principle. But so is "don't call people
incompetent when the alternative is that you're missing something".
Speaking as both a volunteer and staff, Anthony, I have found your
attitude in this conversation and others on the subject to be deeply
unproductive. It would be good if you spent more time asking questions
and less time dismissing people's concerns.

On Sat, Feb 20, 2016 at 9:39 PM, Anthony Cole  wrote:
> Ah, Brandon. Thanks for writing me off as "the folks at Wikipediocracy."
> I'm also the folks at en.Wikipedia and the folks on the board of
> WikiProject Med Foundation. And I give a shit about Wikipedia.
>
> This push for the removal of the ED is coming from staff. And failed staff.
> If you want support from the wider editor community, you'll need to bring
> us with you. I'm making it clear to you that presently you haven't done
> that yet. Maybe you don't need to.
>
>
>
> On Sunday, 21 February 2016, Brandon Harris  wrote:
>
>>
>> Danny, don't kid yourself!  The folks at Wikipediocracy know
>> everything about everything that's happened at the Foundation and about
>> everything that will EVER happen.  They've never been wrong, ever!
>>
>> I don't understand why we're still talking about this!
>>
>>
>> > On Feb 20, 2016, at 5:29 PM, Danny Horn > > wrote:
>> >
>> > You know, it's possible that the people who work for the Foundation might
>> > understand the situation in a more nuanced way than you do. I know it
>> > doesn't seem likely, but dare to dream.
>>
>> ---
>> Brandon Harris :: bhar...@gaijin.com  :: made of steel wool
>> and whiskey
>>
>>
>>
>>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] US Copyright Law Forces Wikimedia to remove Public Domain Anne Frank Diary

2016-02-16 Thread Oliver Keyes
If she'd lived, her book _wouldn't be so important to the entirety of
humankind_.

You have a feeling about what she'd do about it? You're putting words
in a Holocaust victim's mouth. For shame.

On Tue, Feb 16, 2016 at 11:08 AM, Tomasz Ganicz  wrote:
> Well.. I don't think if it is good point. I mean - I have rather feeling
> that if only she could, she would probably decide to release her diary to
> public domain. Or in other words - this text is so important to the entire
> humankind that its publishing should not be blocked by copyright law just
> in order to produce some extra income.
>
> We had similar case in Poland - regarding works of Janusz Korczak, of which
> copyright was extended due to some legal tricks which were very disputable.
> I helped a bit in legal battle to put his works back to public domain and
> am quite proud to do so...
>
>
>
> 2016-02-16 19:38 GMT+01:00 Sandra Rientjes - Wikimedia Nederland <
> rient...@wikimedia.nl>:
>
>> I think you raise a very good point, Jonathan.  Anne Frank's diary is not
>> just any book.
>>
>> Paradoxically, the very fact that this is a special book by a special
>> author is also the reason why many people - especially in the Netherlands -
>> are uncomfortable about the recent and unexpected introduction of the
>> possibility that there is a co-author.
>>
>> Definitely, this is a very sensitive issue and Wikimedia Nederland is
>> proceeding very, very cautiously.  No-one should play copyright games with
>> Anne Frank's diary.
>>
>> (For those interested, ENWP has good information on the copyright issues:
>>
>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Diary_of_a_Young_Girl#Copyright_and_ownership_dispute
>> )
>>
>>
>> Sandra Rientjes
>> Directeur Wikimedia Nederland
>> 06 31786379
>>
>> verzonden vanaf mobiel
>> I may have an unpopular view here, but when an author has been murdered,
>> especially one so young, I find it distasteful to try to make that a test
>> case re copyright. If Anne Frank hadn't been murdered she might well still
>> be alive today, and presumably her work would still be in copyright.
>>
>> By all means we should be encouraging people to freely license things
>> openly, and arguing for open licensing against those who claim copyright on
>> faithful copies of out of copyright work, and for freedom of panorama in
>> countries less open about such things than Armenia or the UK.
>>
>> I'm sort of OK about as Michael Maggs put it  using it to "increase
>> awareness of the excessive length (95 years) of some US copyright terms."
>> Though I'd hope there are other examples where we don't look like taking
>> advantage of the murder of a child. I'm also OK with using this as an
>> example of us taking copyright seriously.
>>
>> But though it is an important work, is it really one we should be trying to
>> force into the open against the wishes of a charity set up by her
>> relatives?
>>
>> Regards
>>
>> Jonathan/WereSpielChequers
>>
>>
>>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] A transition and a new chapter.

2015-04-13 Thread Oliver Keyes
I believe (correct me if I'm wrong, somebody) that it'd be Philippe (a Director)

On Mon, Apr 13, 2015 at 9:31 PM, Robert Rohde raro...@gmail.com wrote:
 Erik, thank you for everything you have contributed to Wikimedia over the
 years.  It has made an immeasurable impact, and whatever future projects
 you turn to will be lucky to have you.

 I have often thought that Erik held a somewhat special place in the WMF as
 the highest ranking staff member who began their career as a major editor
 on the projects themselves.  Hence, I have tended to imagine that he would
 be there to provide the outside hires with valuable insights into the
 functioning and feelings of the editor community.  Not a flawless process
 for sure, but still an important one.

 Out of curiosity, with Erik's departure, who will be the highest ranking
 staff member(s) with extensive editing experience (say 5000 edits, or
 something like that)?  I skimmed the WMF bios, and I don't think there is
 anyone left in a VP or C-level position that grew out of the community.  It
 is the nature of the beast that many of the best talents will come to
 Wikimedia from outside of the community, and consequently they will have to
 learn what the community is all about.  However, I am a little surprised
 that there aren't more identifiable community members among the top level
 staff.  I would think that having that background and experience would be
 valuable for some of the roles.

 With Erik's departure it feels like we've passed some sort of milestone in
 the evolution of Wikimedia.  We've moved toward a more professional staff,
 but also a staff that is more distant from the roots of Wikimedia.

 Anyway, best wishes Erik.  Your contributions and eloquence will be missed.
  (Though I won't be shy in reminding you that you can still participate in
 the WMF projects as a volunteer, should you get that itch.  ;-)  )

 -Robert Rohde

 P.S.  Some of the senior staff bios could really use some cleanup and
 expansion (e.g. Lisa Seitz-Gruwell).


 On Mon, Apr 13, 2015 at 4:41 PM, Johan Jönsson brevlis...@gmail.com wrote:

 Thank you, Erik, for the time and effort you've spent on the Wikimedia
 projects (and will continue spending, I hope, in some capacity).

 Best of luck in your future endeavours.

 //Johan Jönsson
 --

 2015-04-13 20:12 GMT+02:00 Erik Moeller e...@wikimedia.org:

  Hi all --
 
  As Lila noted, since January 2008 I've worn many hats at the Wikimedia
  Foundation, and in the six years before that I was a Wikipedian,
  MediaWiki developer, and member of the WMF board of trustees. I became
  involved in Wikipedia when I was 22 years old. :) The Wikimedia
  movement has accomplished amazing things, but I believe it's time now
  for me to do something different and new.
 
  It's been a long and incredible journey, and one I am privileged to
  have helped to shape. When I joined the Foundation in December 2007 we
  were a staff of a dozen people, with barely enough funds to keep the
  lights on. Since then, we've tackled challenges of a complexity and
  scale faced by few other organisations. In doing so, we’ve been
  generously supported by people all over the world who are grateful for
  the gift of free knowledge.
 
  I’m proud of and happy with what we've achieved. Reaching people on
  mobile. Pioneering new approaches working with universities.
  Painstakingly building a visual editing experience on top of wikitext.
  :) I’m glad we’ve taken a stand when it matters (SOPA blackout, NSA
  lawsuit) and that we don’t shy away from complex issues such as
  community health and diversity.
 
  I’m excited that Wikidata is growing in leaps and bounds with the help
  of Wikimedia Germany, and that more and more powerful tools and
  services are being built on the basis of Wikimedia APIs and data. I’ve
  always believed that Wikimedia chapter and affiliate organizations are
  key to the success of the movement, and I hope they are going to truly
  thrive in years to come.
 
  But it's time. As the leadership team begins to coalesce under Lila, I
  want to open up space for the organization to learn and explore anew
  -- and I’d like to rediscover for myself what it means to tackle
  challenges outside of my areas of comfort and familiarity.
 
  I’m very interested in the technical challenges of federated
  collaboration, and am looking forward to getting my hands dirty in
  that domain. I also want to explore how to make patterns of ethics,
  policy, and self-governance more accessible and re-usable for
  communities. In short, I’m itching to immerse myself in new problem
  spaces and new ideas.
 
  Lila, Damon, Terry, myself and others in the org have been discussing
  how to organize product going forward to set the org up for success in
  the years to come, and we’ll have an update on that very soon. This is
  a very natural point for me to pursue something new.
 
  What Wikimedia does in the world is wonderful  important. I’m sure I
  will 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Access to Private Information Policy: How Long Will This Be Left a Question Mark?

2015-04-12 Thread Oliver Keyes
Have you considered that you might get a better response to your messages
if you - and this is just an idea drawn of idle whimsy, here - not spend
quite so much of them on an extended trip off the reservation in order to
attack and critique someone under their real name in public while hiding
any identification of who you are? While we're discussing privacy, here.

Seriously: you've spent a lot of this email indulging in the paranoid
fantasy that Philippe controls the board (he doesn't. One way you can tell
is that they don't wear sweaters literally everywhere :p).

If we're asking questions we've already seemingly made our minds up about,
and prefacing them with lots of grumping, let me get in on this - exactly
what response do you expect? How do you think your claim of a Philippe
Occupied Government enhances the utility of your message and the value a
reader takes from it?

On Sunday, 12 April 2015, Trillium Corsage trillium2...@yandex.com wrote:

 I'm writing to get an answer (from anybody at the WMF) on the status of
 the WMF's policy access to private (i.e. IP, Browser, etc.) information.
 Each day thousands of people edit Wikipedia and deserve to know what
 measures, if any, are taken to avoid divulging to the wrong sort of people
 this sensitive information about them.

 On 25 April last year, the board of trustees approved, in a non-public and
 scantily-documented meeting, a policy that accords Checkuser and Oversight
 and other statuses to community members appointed by a community process
 with essentially a mere two requirements: provide an email address, and
 assert that you are 18 or over. Name, address, NOT required. Is this truly
 an adequate way to protect the privacy interests of all those that edit
 Wikipedia? Well, I don't think so, but my purpose right now is to try to
 eliminate the ambiguity of what is actually occurring at this time.

 One source of this ambiguity is the edit of the WMF's James Alexander (
 http://wikimediafoundation.org/w/index.php?title=Access_to_nonpublic_data_policyaction=historysubmitdiff=98029oldid=95071)
 on 6 June, in which he wrote: This policy has been replaced by a new
 [[m:Access to non public information policy|Access to non public
 information policy]], which was approved by the Board of Trustees on 25
 April 2014. However, this policy remains in force until the new processes
 mandated by the new policy are put into place. A future announcement will
 be made to those affected before the new policy goes in effect. It's now
 the future (and after nine months, quite so), so what is the policy?

 The old policy mandated that those seeking the accesses fax or secure
 email a from of identification. Casual and rank-and-file Wikipedia editors
 were repetitively told that the checkusers and oversighters etc. were
 identified to the WMF. This was incredibly misleading because the
 practice of Philippe Beaudette was to shred and otherwise destroy the
 identifications after marking the noticeboard. It is apparent to any
 plain-spoken individual, I think, that you can't tell people that those
 granted these accesses are identified to the WMF when you have shredded
 the documents and all that is left (except in Mr. Beaudette's memory) is a
 checkmark by a username on a noticeboard. It wasn't a semantic dodge
 predicated on the definition of identified, rather it was in my opinion a
 smoke-screen. Mr. Beaudette felt loyalty to the privacy of the
 administrators, and evidently none to the common editors whose IPs and so
 forth he was exposing to them.

 The immediately above is not necessarily a criticism of the old policy,
 which taken at face value strongly implies that the WMF keeps the
 identifications on file, on a secure computer, or in a physical safe. It's
 rather that Mr. Beaudette operated for years in open defiance of the
 policy. To his credit though, apparently he impelled the Board to rewrite
 the policy in a manner corresponding to his actions.

 BUT MY QUESTION NOW is: What is the status of the policy? For example
 English Wikipedia just got three new checkusers: Bbb23, Callanecc, and Mike
 V. What information were they required to provide? Proper documents, or
 merely an email address and assertion that they are over 18?

 Trillium Corsage



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Re: [Wikimedia-l] WMF office location and remodel

2015-04-08 Thread Oliver Keyes
(volunteer hat on)

Glasgow to London in no way represents the scale of what any move,
even an in-US move, would be, unless the goal is for the WMF to end up
in LA or (maybe) Portland.

I would agree that a multi-location setup would work better as a good
expansion route here, although I'm not sure what that how that would
work out internationally, in terms of legal liability. Even just
having an east coast location in somewhere obvious (we have clusters
of staff in, e.g., Boston, Raleigh and NY, albeit small clusters)
would make a big difference.

On Wed, Apr 8, 2015 at 9:53 AM, Fæ fae...@gmail.com wrote:
 On 8 April 2015 at 06:07, Aleksey Bilogur aleksey.bilo...@gmail.com wrote:
 A logistical non-starter! They've got 200+ staff members, any gains to...

 Plenty of companies and charities happily move their HQ building
 location with more staff gaining benefits rather than losing them. I
 was involved with a corporate move where most staff went from London
 to Glasgow, with the benefit that their family and social lives
 improved and they could afford to buy large houses with the same money
 it takes to buy half a small flat in London. Presented the right way,
 a move can improve staff commitment and even reduce turnover.

 You also can't have it both ways, the WMF is supposed to be a
 multi-location global organization. Strategically it would be better
 to grow globally in several locations, rather than always having
 everyone in the same offices in the same city on the West Coast of
 America. Our staff and volunteers are highly experienced in virtual
 cooperation and meetings, the WMF could even become an exemplar for
 how that works for smaller organizations with global teams.

 Fae
 --
 fae...@gmail.com https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Fae

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Regarding knowledge

2015-04-05 Thread Oliver Keyes
Has there been work to determine the accuracy of our medical coverage
that's found it lacking? All the studies I've seen have said it's
pretty good, but that was a while ago, and I know anecdotally that
we've got a lot of work to do around, for example, womens' health
issues.

On Sat, Apr 4, 2015 at 9:37 AM, Anthony Cole ahcole...@gmail.com wrote:
 (I just posted this with bad formatting. Would a moderator please delete
 that earlier version?)

 Among my friends and acquaintances, everybody distrusts Wikipedia and
 everybody uses it.  — Freeman Dyson, How We Know The New York Review of
 Books, 10 March 2011.

 (Discussing recent UK survey results.) We're trusted slightly more than
 the BBC. Now, that's a little scary, and probably inappropriate. ... We all
 know it's flawed. We all know we don't do as good a job as we wish we could
 do ... People trusted Encyclopedia Britannica - I think it was, like - 20
 points ahead of us. — Jimmy Wales, State of the Wiki Wikimania speech,
 10 August 2014.

 The Wikimedia Foundation vision:  Imagine a world in which every single
 human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge. That's our
 commitment.

 But knowledge of something implies confidence in its accuracy. While
 Wikipedia is untrustworthy, it is purveying something other than knowledge.
 This is a problem for the foundation, since it is failing to realise its
 vision - and for humankind, who deserves an encyclopaedia it can trust.

 It is also a critical, existential vulnerability for Wikipedia. Google is
 factoring trustworthiness into its ranking algorithm.[1][2] It has already
 stopped using Wikipedia's medical articles in its knowledge graph.
 Rightly. Soon we'll see Wikipedia's medical content (rightly) demoted from
 (often) the top search result to 5th or 10th - or oblivion (rightly) on
 page two.

 The recently released State of the Wikimedia Foundation 2015 Call to Action
 [3] lists a set of objectives. One of the items under the heading Focus on
 knowledge  community is Improve our measures of community health and
 content quality, and fund effective community and content initiatives.

 The quality parameter that most needs measuring and improving is
 reliability/trustworthiness - if we take the survival of Wikipedia as an
 important goal. *Will the Foundation be funding any staff positions whose
 purpose is to measure the quality of the encyclopedia and nurture strategic
 initiatives specifically aimed at making Wikipedia an encyclopedia people
 can trust?*

 Five years ago the Wikimedia Movement Strategic Plan [4] resolved to
 measure and measurably improve the quality of our offering, and no
 resources were allocated and it did not happen.

 1. Hal Hodson 28 February 2015 Google wants to rank websites based on
 facts not links New Scientist
 2. Hal Hodson 20 August 2014 Google's fact-checking bots build vast
 knowledge bank New Scientist
 3.
 https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Communications/State_of_the_Wikimedia_Foundation#2015_Call_to_Action
 4.
 https://strategy.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Movement_Strategic_Plan_Summary/Improve_Quality

 Anthony Cole http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Anthonyhcole
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] New financing model for editations

2015-03-19 Thread Oliver Keyes
A +1 to both Richard and Pete; Making editathons harder to put on is NOT a
valuable use of anyone's time.

On Wednesday, 18 March 2015, Richard Symonds 
richard.symo...@wikimedia.org.uk wrote:

 I worry that running an auction and a raffle for each - or even some -
 editathons would be a lot of work, even if you just focus on the admin work
 (I'm not sure what the laws around fundraising auctions and lotteries are
 but that could be costly too). The FDC and the community in general are
 very much against increasing 'back office costs' and this would increase
 them by quite a bit for each editathon.

 The incentivising volunteers with money issue would also be very very
 difficult, even if the community was ok with it. You'd be paying
 volunteers, which in this country would make them staff, which means they'd
 need a minimum wage, taxes, and even a pension.

 Do we need to incentivise volunteers with cash at all? I'm not sure we
 do... there's no shortage of volunteers to run editathons in the UK at
 least!
 On 19 Mar 2015 00:54, James Salsman jsals...@gmail.com javascript:;
 wrote:

  I really like editathons because of the ease with which they can be
  designed to address systemic bias, but I'm not sure having them supported
  by the Foundation is optimal from the perspective of time and money both.
 
  Therefore, I propose that someone try some editathons where half the
  tickets are auctioned, the other half are raffled, and the Foundation
 pays
  to support them if and only if the auction fails to pay all of the
 expenses
  in advance, and then only the difference. This will allow them to become
  more exclusive, but not completely exclusive, and it will incentivize the
  organizing wikipedians by allowing them to pay themselves some contingent
  portion of the proceeds to be negotiated with the Foundation, and which
  could, for example, include an open-ended proportion of auction proceeds.
 
  Please share your thoughts on this proposal. I am also making diagrams
 for
  nine of the twelve steps listed on
  http://mediawiki.org/wiki/Accuracy_review
  and its talk page, where I will soon be proposing a different alternate
  funding model to avoid relying on Google Summer of Code. I would also be
  most interested in comments on that. Thank you!
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] New financing model for editations

2015-03-19 Thread Oliver Keyes
On the low or zero-cost element, the one bit I'd question is 'editathons
work well when attendees can buy their own food or attend a social where
they pay their own costs'.

This is certainly convenient for the chapter/volunteers/delete as
applicable, but I don't think we should have it as an expectation. The
thing that the last couple of years has made very clear is that Wikipedia's
outreach to marginalised or disenfranchised people needs work and is of
vital importance. If we have an expectation that those who attend will pay
their own way, then only those who can afford to do so will be able to
attend.

This is not to say that James's proposal is a good one (it's not. It seems,
frankly, entirely arbitrary, completely out of left field and not solving a
problem that we've actually seen happen. Honestly the portrayal of
editathons it contains makes me question how many the author has attended).
But we need to be cognizant of who we're excluding with these sorts of
expectations. So, yes, editathons work well when attendees pay their own
way - but they work /best/ when they don't.

On Thursday, 19 March 2015, Fæ fae...@gmail.com wrote:

 This thread puzzles me. When I was the Chair of a certain chapter, I
 recall a strategy meeting where I was the only participant who did not
 put fund raising as a 9/10 priority, I set it as merely 5/10. I
 guess it is in this area of money and branding that world-views are
 conflicting.

 When we first coined the word editathon the working model was that
 they were open events run at *zero cost* (we had no staff and
 insignificant funds). Later we started providing a free buffet, paying
 expenses for trained helpers and some others, and a couple years
 after that it started to become impossible to organize an editathon
 without first having an employee agreeing it, being required to use
 official feedback forms and committing to making event reports to help
 with future funding.

 Basic facts:
 * Unpaid volunteer editathon participants do not need travel costs,
 they should be local people who can get on a local bus, and do not
 need to travel hundreds of miles.
 * Editathons work well when attendees can buy their own food from a
 local cafe or expect a social event afterwards where they pay their
 own costs. Frequently the hosting institution provides drinks and
 sandwiches for free.
 * Editathons work perfectly well without incurring employee costs
 (this is why editathons work in countries where there are no Wikimedia
 employees). Volunteers who know enough about Wikimedia projects to get
 a geonotice approved and discuss the event in advance on relevant
 wikiproject noticeboards or email lists do not need, nor even ask for,
 funds.
 * The world is stuffed with free venues and institutions looking to
 support open knowledge. I had several organizations spontaneously
 offer me top class venues in the UK, so long as I could get a handful
 of keen editors to commit to coming. We are not even close to running
 out of goodwill of this type.

 Fae

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] New financing model for editations

2015-03-19 Thread Oliver Keyes
We have a vested interest, as a community, in having as diverse a
group of people behind our content as possible, because we have a
diverse group of readers. People who can't afford a lunch out
whenever they want is a demographic: a big one, depending on the
country in question. Coming up with statements that editathons go
great when the editor or newcomer in question covers all their
personal costs ignores the massive number of people who cannot afford
to do that and so will not attend. If your reaction to that is
discussions about studies or politically contentious plane tickets
then you've, at best, completely missed the point I was trying to
make.

On Thu, Mar 19, 2015 at 10:44 AM, Fæ fae...@gmail.com wrote:
 On 19 March 2015 at 14:33, Oliver Keyes ironho...@gmail.com wrote:
 ...
 expectations. So, yes, editathons work well when attendees pay their own
 way - but they work /best/ when they don't.

 I believe there is no verifiable evidence that editathons work best
 when attendees have all their costs paid. If there is, could someone
 provide a link please?

 There have been occasions where the way some attendees received
 payments to attend, including flying in from other countries, has been
 both politically contentious and anecdotally resulted in attendees
 without funding being put off using their volunteer time to support
 editathons run on the same basis. By anecdotally I include both this
 being said to me and there being emails on various lists relating this
 viewpoint.

 Fae
 --
 fae...@gmail.com https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Fae

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] New financing model for editations

2015-03-19 Thread Oliver Keyes
On Thu, Mar 19, 2015 at 1:16 PM, James Salsman jsals...@gmail.com wrote:
 when ticketed, this is usually to control numbers when
 space is limited. This model works pretty well and makes them
 popular events; indeed, they're one of our most visible public activities.
 I don't see where the benefit would come from selling - or raffling,
 auctioning, etc- tickets.

 We should be treating editing wikipedia as one of the most profoundly
 influential things a person can do in society, because there are
 pretty good reasons to believe that it is. We should present
 editathons led by skilled wikipedians as the premier cultural events
 that they are. We are recruiting the people who will teach those who
 are not in school, who answer questions and direct those in need of
 assistance to the best resources. Wikipedia is the most monumental
 feat of literature that civilization has yet produced. The idea that
 art or sculpture exhibits should raise more money than training new
 editors is, frankly, preposterous, and stems from the same fallacies
 which keep the rest of the developed world from achieving teacher
 salaries on par with Korea's.

 It would invariably deter attendees and reduce uptake

 I propose that this be measured, because there is reason to believe
 that transitioning to a half-auction, haff-raffle model could increase
 public interest for a variety of reasons: acknowledging them as the
 literary events that they are, the novelty (which may or may not
 last), the opportunity for anyone to mingle with those who were able
 to afford tickets if an when such events do become popular, etc. If at
 some point an auction raises an unexpectedly large amount of money,
 other cultural institutions might start to take notice, offer to host
 editathons, or even start their own.

This is completely ignoring the problem of people who cannot afford to
either (a) buy a /ticket/, on top of everything else they are already
expected to buy, or (b) spend time waiting for a totally random and
arbitrary decision about whether they won one in a raffle to schedule
things. Consider me definitely in category B.

Let me also express my amusement and profound disquiet at the
descriptor of an editathon as a literary event. We're already
claiming Wikipedia breaks theory - do you not think we have enough
of a sense of importance? ;p


 why would making them more exclusive be a *good* thing?

 Exclusive has both positive and negative connotations. Exclusive
 access to important sources is good for those who have access, but bad
 for everyone else. The half-raffle aspect keeps everyone involved
 without precluding the possibility of the events paying for
 themselves, paying all the bills in advance, and not risking low
 turnout or exceeding the size of the venue, which very substantially
 lowers the risk of organizing and hosting them. Presumably that could
 serve to make them easier and make them more likely to be held.

 I worry that running an auction and a raffle for each - or even some -
 editathons would be a lot of work

 I think software support should be easy, or even administration by
 email. Any auction bid, even 0, will enter the raffle, and auction
 bids would be accepted as payment from half of the available seats.
 When fewer nonzero bids than half the seats are received, then they
 would all be accepted and the remaining seats would be raffled.

 You'd be paying volunteers, which in this country would make them
 staff, which means they'd need a minimum wage, taxes, and even a
 pension.

 Isn't there a way to put the requirement of taking care of those tasks
 and expenses in the job responsibilities? Aren't there service agencies
 who do that as a flat fee for the mass commercial market?

 there's no shortage of volunteers to run editathons in the UK

 I wish other countries could say the same. But compare editathons to,
 for example, poetry slams, or street protests, in any country. Which
 are more common and which do we need more of? I am asking that someone
 measure the proposed way which may be able to substantially increase
 their number.

Again, you haven't shown how there's currently a problem paying for
events. Unless this really is a we should pay people to act as
instructors, in which case, I don't even know what to do with that.
Pay expenses, yes - see my comments about diversity above. Actively
pay them? I'm not seeing the need. What I'm seeing is a proposal which
would be massively exclusionary, add a layer of paperwork on top of
these events that does not currently exist - or more, if you're
suggesting (as below) that we get some kind of commercial entity, or
MULTIPLE commercial entities, to handle actually administrating this
influx of part-time employees, and all of this out of the idea that
requiring raffle software and participants to pay money and editathon
organisers to either sign contracts or do pension forms will make it
/more/ likely that there will be volunteers to run them and /more/
likely 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] New financing model for editations

2015-03-19 Thread Oliver Keyes
My apologies; I should've said have to pay their own way under any
and all circumstances, and further remembered that it's unreasonable
to expect people to attempt to put the final sentence of your comment
into the context of your entire comment before replying to it.

On Thu, Mar 19, 2015 at 11:02 AM, Fæ fae...@gmail.com wrote:
 On 19 March 2015 at 14:55, Oliver Keyes ironho...@gmail.com wrote:
 We have a vested interest, as a community, in having as diverse a
 group of people behind our content as possible, because we have a
 diverse group of readers. People who can't afford a lunch out
 whenever they want is a demographic: a big one, depending on the
 country in question. Coming up with statements that editathons go
 great when the editor or newcomer in question covers all their
 personal costs ignores the massive number of people who cannot afford
 to do that and so will not attend. If your reaction to that is
 discussions about studies or politically contentious plane tickets
 then you've, at best, completely missed the point I was trying to
 make.

 As the point you have made here is now factually different to:
... editathons work well when attendees pay their own
 way - but they work /best/ when they don't.

 then yes, it is hard to guess which point you want to make. Funding
 cases of people who cannot pay for a sandwich (or bring their own) or
 would like to have a bus ticket covered, is entirely different from
 stating that editathons work best all attendees are offered funding. I
 was asking what evidence there was to support the first claim. I
 conclude there is none and it is likely that nobody believes this is
 true.

 Fae

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Announcement: WMF to file suit against the NSA

2015-03-13 Thread Oliver Keyes
(Personal capacity)

Pine: I think you're reading far more into Phoebe's comment than it
actually contained. What she said was I trust our legal team to make
decisions about what legal actions to participate in. In other words,
to make evaluations about the probability of success, the necessity of
the thing that's being (defended|challenged) to the legal framework
that lets the projects exist, and act on that basis.

Unless I missed an election and the board now contains the equivalent
expertise in internet law and the intricacies of our governing
frameworks to an entire legal department, it seems entirely
appropriate that these kinds of evaluations be left to the, you know,
lawyers. I agree that boards should ask tough questions, but I've
never been in a WMF board meeting and, to my knowledge, neither have
you. There's a wide range of options between directly making
decisions about legal questions and not asking questions; it's not
as binary as you seem to believe. This applies to the VE as much as it
does anything else. If you think the WMF needs a more activist board -
which seems to mean a board that makes individual, specific product
decisions and assumes legal expertise, I encourage you to run in the
next election and we'll see what the movement as a whole thinks of
that position.

On Fri, Mar 13, 2015 at 3:04 PM, Pine W wiki.p...@gmail.com wrote:
 I'm generally supportive of this legal action, but I am troubled by this
 statement:

 I trust our legal team to make decisions about what legal actions to
 participate in.

 In general I think highly of Michelle, but this statement fits a
 long-running pattern I percieve in WMF governance of the board being
 deferential to the ED and staff. This goes back to Sue's tenure and
 possibly longer. I feel that the Board should respectfully ask tough
 questions about staff recommendations. Had the board done so, we might all
 have been saved from the MediaViewer, VisualEditor, and other product
 dramas because the Board would have been vigilant about project selection
 and quality control. WMF needs an activist board. All of the guidance that
 I read about boards in general says that good boards do due diligance, and
 I would encourage the WMF board to be proactive and ask tough questions.
 This can be done while maintaining a positive and respectful atmosphere.

 Thank you,

 Pine
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Announcement: WMF to file suit against the NSA

2015-03-13 Thread Oliver Keyes
So we've now moved from the board doesn't ask hard enough questions!
to the board doesn't tell us enough? Those are distinct concerns. If
you have them, I'd suggest spinning off a thread so we can keep this
one to what it's meant to be discussing.

On Fri, Mar 13, 2015 at 3:51 PM, Pine W wiki.p...@gmail.com wrote:
 Pardon the mobile device mistype. A *move* toward more openness.

 Pine
 On Mar 13, 2015 12:49 PM, Pine W wiki.p...@gmail.com wrote:

 Oliver,

 I have thought about running more than once (:

 Perhaps I am reading more into that comment than was intended.

 James,

 I have mixed feelings about having discussions behind closed doors.
 Sometimes it's convenient or emotionally easier to do so, but I worry about
 losing our value of openness in the process. The majority of my evaluation
 is based on what I've seen in writing from board minutes, which seem pretty
 sparse on QA with the ED and staff. By contrast, I'm accustomed to our
 generally open meetings of government entities here in Washington State
 where we have some pretty expansive open records and open meetings laws,
 and these seem to viewed in a positive light by the public which wants to
 understand the positions of its elected officials. A mice toward more
 openness about board discussions might ease some of my concerns.

 Thanks,
 Pine
 On Mar 13, 2015 12:32 PM, Oliver Keyes ironho...@gmail.com wrote:

 (Personal capacity)

 Pine: I think you're reading far more into Phoebe's comment than it
 actually contained. What she said was I trust our legal team to make
 decisions about what legal actions to participate in. In other words,
 to make evaluations about the probability of success, the necessity of
 the thing that's being (defended|challenged) to the legal framework
 that lets the projects exist, and act on that basis.

 Unless I missed an election and the board now contains the equivalent
 expertise in internet law and the intricacies of our governing
 frameworks to an entire legal department, it seems entirely
 appropriate that these kinds of evaluations be left to the, you know,
 lawyers. I agree that boards should ask tough questions, but I've
 never been in a WMF board meeting and, to my knowledge, neither have
 you. There's a wide range of options between directly making
 decisions about legal questions and not asking questions; it's not
 as binary as you seem to believe. This applies to the VE as much as it
 does anything else. If you think the WMF needs a more activist board -
 which seems to mean a board that makes individual, specific product
 decisions and assumes legal expertise, I encourage you to run in the
 next election and we'll see what the movement as a whole thinks of
 that position.

 On Fri, Mar 13, 2015 at 3:04 PM, Pine W wiki.p...@gmail.com wrote:
  I'm generally supportive of this legal action, but I am troubled by this
  statement:
 
  I trust our legal team to make decisions about what legal actions to
  participate in.
 
  In general I think highly of Michelle, but this statement fits a
  long-running pattern I percieve in WMF governance of the board being
  deferential to the ED and staff. This goes back to Sue's tenure and
  possibly longer. I feel that the Board should respectfully ask tough
  questions about staff recommendations. Had the board done so, we might
 all
  have been saved from the MediaViewer, VisualEditor, and other product
  dramas because the Board would have been vigilant about project
 selection
  and quality control. WMF needs an activist board. All of the guidance
 that
  I read about boards in general says that good boards do due diligance,
 and
  I would encourage the WMF board to be proactive and ask tough questions.
  This can be done while maintaining a positive and respectful atmosphere.
 
  Thank you,
 
  Pine
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] UTC in politics, editors threaten, or how rev history made the news

2015-03-02 Thread Oliver Keyes
This idea, I like it! And I think Yuri just volunteered to write the patches :P

On Mon, Mar 2, 2015 at 1:28 PM, Andrew Gray andrew.g...@dunelm.org.uk wrote:
 On 2 March 2015 at 13:49, Oliver Keyes ironho...@gmail.com wrote:

 But if we're going to implement something, why not just..have timezone
 be an element of the timestamps on history pages? It's UTC unless the
 user explicitly changes it, and if they explicitly change it that's
 known in the database (and already referenced to decide how to convert
 the UTC timestamp when the page is displayed). It's a perfectly
 sensible UI change that makes sense independent of this problem.

 This sounds like a good idea - in some ways, it's more robust than a
 notice at the top of the page. It's very easy for someone to not
 notice a general message, especially if they're looking at more than
 the first two entries in the history.

 If we want to be clever, we could always get JS trickery to display
 something like xx.xx UTC ($localtimezone +5.00) rather than just
 xx.xx UTC.

 Related point: if we adapt the way history timestamps are displayed,
 eg by adding 'UTC', we should be consistent and apply the same
 approach to the old revisions view of a page, and the This page was
 last modified on... footer. Signatures have (UTC) by default, so
 that's solved, at least.

 Andrew.

 --
 - Andrew Gray
   andrew.g...@dunelm.org.uk

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] UTC in politics, editors threaten, or how rev history made the news

2015-03-02 Thread Oliver Keyes
Well, not all users have JavaScript. But, on the core of the proposal:

What threats? What users? How many, how serious? Have they been
reported to Legal and Community Advocacy? These are the questions we
tend to ask about this sort of issue. Do we need to insert technical
features to prevent it? tends to come after a series of occurrences,
and I'm only aware of two in the last six years or so. We shouldn't
let one-offs dictate our UI direction and bandwidth load.

But if we're going to implement something, why not just..have timezone
be an element of the timestamps on history pages? It's UTC unless the
user explicitly changes it, and if they explicitly change it that's
known in the database (and already referenced to decide how to convert
the UTC timestamp when the page is displayed). It's a perfectly
sensible UI change that makes sense independent of this problem.

On Mon, Mar 2, 2015 at 8:37 AM, Yuri Astrakhan yastrak...@wikimedia.org wrote:
 A few days ago, a well known Russian politician Boris Nemtsov was
 assassinated https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_Boris_Nemtsov near
 the Kremlin. This murder had a huge political resonance, and conspiracy
 theories flourished. Yet, one of the theories was due to Wikipedia's
 representation of time - anonymous users see change history in UTC. This
 confusion was so big, that several major publications, including Moskovkij
 Komsomolets https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moskovskij_Komsomolets,
 published articles
 http://www.mk.ru/politics/2015/02/28/vikipediya-zaranee-otchitalas-ob-ubiystve-nemcova-zapis-poyavilas-v-2140.html
 (in
 Russian) claiming that the wiki page proclaimed him dead before the
 assassination. The MK article was later updated with the explanation, but
 the damage has been done: a number of threats were made against the editors.

 In light of the above, I feel we need to
   #1 Show a clear message at the top of all history-related pages for
 anonymous users that the time is in UTC until #2
   #2 JavaScript should fix time on the fly for all users

 Suggestions welcome.

 Thanks!
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] RfC: Works which can't be freely licensed

2015-02-22 Thread Oliver Keyes
On Sunday, 22 February 2015, Milos Rancic mill...@gmail.com wrote:

 As some of you know, we are working on the project [1] with Matica
 srpska [2]. Basically, that opens numerous possibilities and here is
 one of them.

 My professor, a Board member of Matica srpska and one of two
 co-authors of the Normative Grammar of Serbian Language wants to open
 the Grammar.

 Before I continue, I want to explain how good faith academics and
 university professors in Serbia treat their work in relation to the
 open and free access (and I suppose it's quite common for any part of
 the world):

 * Personally, they are not motivated by money. They are well
 established socially, financially secure and they are mature people,
 not fascinated by luxury, living modest lives.

 * They want their works to be as much accessible as it's possible, as
 well as as much used by other scientists as it's possible.

 * The only financial issue in such circumstances is related to the
 financial safety of particular institution (in this case Matica
 srpska). However, financial gains from selling the books are
 relatively small, it's about capital works and having them is a kind
 of obligation of every intellectual in Serbia and it's questionable
 would they lose (small amount of) money by opening the content or they
 would actually gain. In other words, I am addressing this issue on the
 level of going slowly to the process and making financial analysis of
 every step.

 * They don't really get variety of the licensing options. For them,
 it's practically the same if it's CC-BY or Encarta web license. If
 they open content, their default is that they are not counting on
 money from published books.

 * The only issue which they have is to keep their integrity and not to
 present their work as their if it could be edited by anyone. (Thus,
 inclusion of the dictionaries will go in the form similar to Milos,
 based on Serbian Ornithological Dictionary.)

 And all of those things are clear while we are talking about regular
 content.

 What we have here is the *Normative* Grammar. From my perspective,
 that can't go under anything which doesn't assume ND part. Obviously
 to me, if something is prescriptive work, it should go as-is.


I'm finding this a bit difficult to parse; am I interpreting it correctly
if I read it as: because the project is to produce a prescriptive,
normative grammar, there's a desired No Derivatives element of any adopted
license to prevent the field from being populated with multiple, similar
works that would confuse things and undermine the point of the project?



 However, that's my initial assumption. If there is an option to open
 it more freely, I'd be happy to hear the argumentation.

 [1]
 https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:PEG/Interglider.ORG/Wiktionary_Meets_Matica_Srpska
 [2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/en:Matica_srpska

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Engineering Community

2015-02-15 Thread Oliver Keyes
Personal opinion: as I recall, a big chunk of that scorn came from WMF
engineers. I appreciate it wasn't your intent, but the way you're phrasing
things here makes it look very much like you're saying 'hey, I bumped your
salary, throw some of your time my way' - which is not how it works. Ideas
should be worked on or not based on whether they can stand on their own,
not whether or not the writer thinks people owe them.

I agree that this is something that should be worked on: I disagree that
the idea, or your request for engineer time, has anything to do with the
question Rachel actually asked, which was (to rephrase it): 'community
people, what ideas do you have for better ways for us to communicate around
software?' 'Work on my thing' does not answer that question.

On Saturday, 14 February 2015, James Salsman jsals...@gmail.com wrote:

 Rachel diCerbo wrote:
 ...
  Community Engagement is continuously considering effective ways of
  interacting with you around product development and would love your
  suggestions. What kinds of communications from WMF would you like to see?

 Please volunteer to co-mentor my GSoC proposal:

 http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Accuracy_review

 There is absolutely no way I can possibly do this without a co-mentor
 from the WMF or WEF. It's not a hard task, and one of the major
 benefits I just learned yesterday is a robust implementation of
 per-word text attribution, which amazingly still hasn't been available
 to the wider community in a way that handles reverted blanking and
 text moves since WikiTrust went offline. Maribel Acosta, Fabian
 Floeck, and Andriy Rodchenko did a suitable replacement algorithm in
 2013, but it hasn't been folded back into the Wikimedia Utilities
 distribution.

 Please, WMF engineering staff, remember 2.5 years ago when I was
 literally the only one publicly arguing that you should be paid market
 rate for tech workers instead of lower nonprofit worker salaries? I
 took so much public abuse and scorn for that for over a year until it
 happened. Please consider giving back by co-mentoring the accuracy
 review GSoC proposal.  It shouldn't take more than a few hours per
 week over the summer.

 Best regards,
 James Salsman

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Announcement regarding Host for Wikimania 2016

2015-01-21 Thread Oliver Keyes
If only the first and only link in the thread you're following up on
contained pointers to dedicated journey and accomodation pages!
That would've made these questions so much easier to answer. Indeed,
it would've made asking them quite clearly rhetorical and intended to
passive-aggressively poke, rather than an actual, genuine question.

Oh, look.[0][1]

[0] 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimania_2016_bids/Esino_Lario/Accommodation
[1] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimania_2016_bids/Esino_Lario/Journey

On Wed, Jan 21, 2015 at 9:08 PM, Tim Davenport shoehu...@gmail.com wrote:
 A charming Northern Italian village of 775 people for a conference of 1,000.

 Congratulations indeed on such a bold choice!!!

 So where are people gonna sleep? And what's the nearest international
 airport???


 Tim Davenport
 Carrite on WP
 Corvallis, OR
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Introducing WikiProject X

2015-01-14 Thread Oliver Keyes
Well, yes. Was your clue the bit where it said English-language wikipedia?

Wikiproject-based things are incredibly difficult to generalize because
they're so dependent on project-specific nuances and setups. Wikidata will
change that, I hope, but it's not there yet.

On Tuesday, 13 January 2015, Ricordisamoa ricordisa...@openmailbox.org
wrote:

 Il 13/01/2015 23:24, James Hare ha scritto:

 (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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 Sounds like just another enwiki-specific thing.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Why WMF should reconsider the 3-month gender gap project-related decision

2015-01-08 Thread Oliver Keyes
On Thu, Jan 8, 2015 at 11:59 AM, Srikanth Ramakrishnan 
srik.r...@wikimedia.in wrote:

 Where is anyone whining about this?
 Nobody here is.
 The point being made is about why other grants are not being accepted.


So, to summarise:

Please, let's stop complaining on the basis that this excludes men
Where is anyone doing that? We're complaining on the basis that this
excludes men.



 On 08-Jan-2015 10:06 pm, Keilana keilanaw...@gmail.com wrote:

  Hearing people whine “what about the men” because, God forbid, men might
  not get *every single* grant this time (as they did in the pilot round of
  IEGs), is incredibly tiresome.
 
  On Thu, Jan 8, 2015 at 10:30 AM, Peter Southwood 
  peter.southw...@telkomsa.net wrote:
 
   If you take it entirely at face value, I find it quite inoffensive.
 As I
   have no experience with reviewing grant proposals, I can't comment on
 its
   accuracy, but I am quite happy to take Fred's word for it.
   Offence is often available if you search for it hard enough.
   Cheers,
   Peter
  
   -Original Message-
   From: wikimedia-l-boun...@lists.wikimedia.org [mailto:
   wikimedia-l-boun...@lists.wikimedia.org] On Behalf Of Fæ
   Sent: 08 January 2015 06:17 PM
   To: Wikimedia Mailing List
   Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] Why WMF should reconsider the 3-month gender
   gap project-related decision
  
   On 8 Jan 2015 16:11, FRED BAUDER fredb...@fairpoint.net wrote:
   ...
 I've noticed that women are often quite motivated and good at
 writing
   grant proposals.
  
   Extending good faith I would presume this is irony. It does not
 transmit
   well by email. Please keep in mind how offensive this sort of thing
  appears.
  
   Fae
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   Version: 2015.0.5577 / Virus Database: 4257/8890 - Release Date:
 01/08/15
  
  
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikimedia Announcements] Fwd: Tilman Bayer joins Product Strategy Department

2015-01-08 Thread Oliver Keyes
Indeed, although as I understand it he's going to be independent of the
actual Research  Data team.

On Thu, Jan 8, 2015 at 5:18 PM, Federico Leva (Nemo) nemow...@gmail.com
wrote:

 Erik Moeller, 07/01/2015 20:36:

 It’s my pleasure to announce that Tilman Bayer is joining the
 Foundation’s Product  Strategy department as Senior Analyst. I would
 like to thank Katherine Maher for supporting and helping to prepare this
 move from the Communications department.


 Thanks. If I understand correctly and this means we'll see more Tilman in
 research-y stuff, without reducing WMF transparency, it's great!

 I have a number of questions though, see
 * https://meta.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Special:
 Contributionsdir=prevoffset=20150108212736limit=3target=Nemo+bis
 * http://thread.gmane.org/gmane.org.wikimedia.foundation/75430/focus=76554

 Nemo

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] draft revised volunteer community survey

2014-03-14 Thread Oliver Keyes
On 14 March 2014 00:54, James Salsman jsals...@gmail.com wrote:

  The job of the Community Advocacy bit of Legal and Community
  Advocacy is, as I understand it, to advocate for the community's
  need within the Foundation, and act as a conduit to the community
  for legal stuff.

 That department and its predecessors have hired professional attorneys
 to lobby on copyright and patent issues for several years on multiple
 continents. Recently they have been active in many other legal
 advocacy areas including international trade, for example. The process
 by which those issues was selected has in the past had more to do than
 what the Board of Trustees could agree on, resulting in a common
 denominator fare less inclusive than typical volunteer opinions on
 what is an is not important to them, their families, their local
 communities, and the factors which determine the time and effort they
 are able to contribute. Willful ignorance of such factors is not good
 volunteer recruiting practice.

 Can you give an example of international trade lobbying?

The department lobbying on copyright and patent issues doesn't shock me.
It's the /legal/ department. Copyright is kind of important to us ;).


  Their job is not to advocate for reduction in public school
  class sizes

 Is there any reason to think that reduction of public school class
 sizes is not likely to result in more productive editors, with more
 time to contribute, or that it would not attract quality volunteers
 relative to taking no position on the question?


Not in the slightest, but that's not the test for whether we should plow
movement/foundation money and time into it. Pretty much *everything* that
is a Good Idea could, by your standards, fall into 'things we should
consider lobbying on'. To take this to its logical extreme; let's campaign
on the issues necessary for a zero cost economy! If everything is
incredibly cheap and/or free, everyone can be an artist or a philosopher or
an editor instead of having to do pesky things like 'working', and that way
we'll have all the editors we could possibly need.

That doesn't mean it's a thing we should spend time on, though. When I look
at the list of things I see a lot of stuff, such as reduction in public
school class sizes, that would help the community indirectly. I don't see a
lot of things that are likely enough to (a) succeed and (b) provide a
meaningful impact that we should spend limited movement resources and time
on them. Even assuming that people did say yes, we want the Wikimedia
Foundation, which runs a website, to campaign on child working hours and
rights!, you note yourself that the lawyers would likely consider this
absolutely anathema to our legal restrictions around lobbying - so even
were this unlikely outcome to occur, it wouldn't go anywhere. Since it
won't go anywhere, and it's unlikely to occur in the first place, it's a
waste of volunteer time to find out how much they think we should do
something we absolutely cannot do.


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Wikimedia Foundation
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] draft revised volunteer community survey

2014-03-13 Thread Oliver Keyes
Ah. Yeah. The job of the Community Advocacy bit of Legal and Community
Advocacy is, as I understand it, to advocate for the community's need
within the Foundation, and act as a conduit to the community for legal
stuff. Their job is not to advocate for reduction in public school class
sizes or more steeply progressive taxation. Indeed, these things are not
the job of anyone at the Foundation, and never should be. I'm kind of
bemused as to why these are even being brought up.


On 13 March 2014 21:04, Risker risker...@gmail.com wrote:

 On 13 March 2014 23:56, James Salsman jsals...@gmail.com wrote:

   Link to the board of decision to pay advocates please.
 
  The most recent seems to be the approval f the Annual Plan as per
 
 
 http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/2013-2014_Annual_Plan_Questions_and_Answers#What_is_included_in_the_.E2.80.9CLegal.2C_Community_Advocacy.2C_Communications.2C_Human_Resources.2C_Finance_and_Administration.E2.80.9D_spending_in_the_Annual_Plan.3F
 
 
 It's the name of a department Legal and Community Advocacy or LCA for
 short.  That's not really the same thing.

 Risker/Anne
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Let's accept Bitcoin as a donation method

2014-03-10 Thread Oliver Keyes
  
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board decisions on movement funding and approval issues

2014-02-10 Thread Oliver Keyes
On Mon, Feb 10, 2014 at 10:30 PM, rupert THURNER
rupert.thur...@gmail.comwrote:

 pheobe, concerning your motion to vote saying:
wikimedia foundation grows, the affiliated organisations do not grow
the affiliated organisations are recommended to seek other funding
 (which the foundation did try and did not succeed very well)
 i am disappointed personally by you. you as a person, you as an american,
 and you as a board member of the foundation. especially about your
 inability to grasp international cultural differences in terms of funding,
 fundraising.


I'm totally flummoxed by why you're disappointed given that I can't
actually find the quote you're attributing to Phoebe in either the minutes
or the FAQ, but you might want to try being less hyperbolic.


 because trust is mentioned: the FAQ and the minutes are written by a
 lawyer now, who has maximum 300 wikipedia edits as his lifetime
 achievement.  and for sure, the decision making process is also impressive
 nowadays: first somebody decides, then it is consulted with a couple of
 people (affcom, FDC), and the feedback is used only use it to phrase the
 FAQ about the decision. sometimes i think you people are from outer space
 ;)


Have you seen the detailed, word-for-word minutes from the meeting? If not,
exactly how do you come to this evaluation of how the board reached this
particular decision? I note that Phoebe came to the board at one point
*as*a representative of the chapters - entities in the wider movement
who are
directly affected by this change. If you're suggesting that the POV of the
wider movement didn't come into the decision, I'm disappointed in /you/ as
an applier of Occam's razor; I consider it exceedingly improbable that
Phoebe, of all people, would've relied on feedback only...to phrase the
FAQ.

Calm down and discuss it like a reasonable person...and, perhaps, try to
avoid personal attacks, even with a wink at the end. People who base their
pronoun display on the conventions in a made-up language probably shouldn't
throw 'you people are from outer space' stones ;p.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board decisions on movement funding and approval issues

2014-02-10 Thread Oliver Keyes
I think there needs to a basic rule of if you can get Max and I to
disagree with you for the same reasons, you're probably in the wrong ;p


On Mon, Feb 10, 2014 at 11:20 PM, MZMcBride z...@mzmcbride.com wrote:

 rupert THURNER wrote:
 i am disappointed personally by you. you as a person, you as an american,
 and you as a board member of the foundation.

 What about Phoebe as a woman? Or Phoebe as a librarian? Or as a
 brassratgirl? Horrors.

 Your unnecessary hyperbole aside, I see Phoebe's role as a Wikimedia
 Foundation Board of Trustees member as being a guardian and protector of
 the interests of the Wikimedia Foundation. Those interests may or may not
 align with those of Wikimedia or its chapters. It would help if you could
 extract portions of https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Movement_roles_FAQ
 and make specific and substantive criticisms of pieces you disagree with.

 Broadly, if you or anyone else is having difficulty doing
 Wikimedia-related work (specifically securing funding), please feel free
 to bring it up on this mailing list. There are a number of ways to receive
 money from the Wikimedia Foundation, Wikimedia, or other non-profits,
 depending on the type of project you're working on and your needs.

 because trust is mentioned: the FAQ and the minutes are written by a
 lawyer now, who has maximum 300 wikipedia edits as his lifetime
 achievement.

 Sorry, but this seems to be nothing more than scurrilous stupidity. Say
 what you will about lawyers, but this particular lawyer has over 600 edits
 to the English Wikipedia and has (in conjunction with his bot) over
 175,000 edits to the English Wikisource.

 Play nice, Rupert.

 MZMcBride



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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Community consultation + Wikimedia Foundation Executive Director selection process

2014-01-31 Thread Oliver Keyes
On 31 January 2014 12:55, James Salsman jsals...@gmail.com wrote:

 Craig Franklin wrote:
 ...
  it would be grossly unprofessional for Erik, Jan-Bart, or anyone else
  to publicly discuss the relative merits of people who may or may not
  be involved in a confidential hiring process

 No, the Board resolved to consult the community as necessary to
 assist with identifying, evaluating, and selecting candidates as per

 http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Resolution:Appointing_and_authorizing_a_transition_committee_in_the_search_of_a_new_Executive_Director

 How is it possible for the community to evaluate and select candidates
 without a transparent discussion of their individual merits?

 Easily; I think you're simply reading the resolution incorrectly. It can
be interpreted as each individual candidate should be publicly outed and
discussed, sure, but I don't think that's what it means.

I interpret the resolution to mean candidates, plural, as a group, not
candidates as a collection of singular subjects. Or to put it another way:
the community can help with identifying candidates by suggesting people who
should be invited to apply (we did that) The community can help with
evaluating and selecting candidates by explaining what they'd like to see
in the new ED (we did that too). This doesn't extend to the community
should be involved with every candidate as part of their individual
interview-and-hiring processes; for all the reasons James gives below,
that would be a startling thing to see from the board, and something they'd
say explicitly if they actually intended to say it. I think the error may
be on the part of the reader and not the writer.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] European Commission Copyright Consultation

2014-01-26 Thread Oliver Keyes
Where do I go to copyedit the suggested answers? ;).


On 26 January 2014 11:08, Federico Leva (Nemo) nemow...@gmail.com wrote:

 Dimitar Parvanov Dimitrov, 21/01/2014 17:12:

  Sorry, forgot the citation marker. The link to the answering guide is
 the
 [2]http://youcan.fixcopyright.eu/en/full/?guide=wikimedia


 That contains only yes/no answers, right? It's a bit hard to navigate the
 mass of text and I don't manage to see if there's any beyond the questions.
 :)

 Nemo


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] effect of edit filter on editing levels, (was thanking anons)

2014-01-15 Thread Oliver Keyes
Actually, yes, we do; Aaron Halfaker did a lot of work quantifying and
defining 'man-hours' in a Wikipedia sense.


On 15 January 2014 10:15, WereSpielChequers werespielchequ...@gmail.comwrote:

 Marc,

 It isn't just the vandalism and reversion of vandalism that we've lost as a
 result of the edit filters (originally known as abuse filters) there is
 also the lost userpage warnings, AIV reports, block messages and removal of
 AIV reports:) But yes the majority would have been vandalism and its
 reversion.

 Supporting this theory, we have as one would expect a drop in the number of
 editors clearing the five edit a month threshold - typically any vandal who
 got through the whole four level warning cycle and then did something block
 worthy would have made it into the 5 or more edits count for that month.

 I suspect we've also seen a some of our active vandal fighters drop away or
 shift to things that involve fewer edits per hour. Unfortunately I don't
 think we yet have any sort of estimated editor hours donated figure, for
 example one could do this crudely by only counting unique hours in which an
 editor has made at least one edit. It would be salutary to see how that was
 changing over time.

 Also the pattern of decline in raw edit count fits with a steady refinement
 of the edit filters from 2009 to the present day. The exception of course
 being the decline from 2007-2009, but I suspect much of that comes with
 Huggle et al speeding up vandalism reversion. Once you start blocking
 people after half a dozen edits rather than a couple of dozen you are bound
 to have a drop in total editing,

 Of course there remains the issue that our audience is still growing faster
 than the Internet whilst  nobody really knows whether the underlying rate
 of goodfaith editing is increasing or stable. I suspect that much of this
 is the growth of mobile where we are much more of a broadcast medium than
 an interactive one. But that is a rather more tenuous theory than the known
 effectiveness of the edit filters.

 I wrote an essay about this last
 spring
 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:WereSpielChequers/Going_off_the_boil%3F
 ,
 I'd be interested in your take on it. Erik Zachte tweeted it and I don't
 think that anyone has rebutted the main points.

 Regards

 Jonathan

 
  --
 
  Message: 4
  Date: Mon, 13 Jan 2014 23:38:15 -0500
  From: Marc A. Pelletier m...@uberbox.org
  To: Wikimedia Mailing List wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
  Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] Thanking anonymous users
  Message-ID: 52d4bf37.90...@uberbox.org
  Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
 
  On 01/13/2014 11:20 PM, Tim Starling wrote:
   The English
   Wikipedia edit rate has been declining since about January 2007, and
   is now only 67% of the rate at that time. A linear regression on the
   edit rate from that time predicts death of the project at around 2030.
 
  That's...  come /on/ Tim!  You know better than to say silly things like
  that.
 
  The abuse filter alone could very well account for this (the prevented
  edits and the revert that would have taken place).  :-)  I used to do a
  lot of patrol back in those years and - for nostalgia's sake - I tried
  doing a bit over a year ago.  The amount of surface vandalism has gone
  down a *lot* since.
 
  -- Marc
 
 
 
 
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Thanking anonymous users

2014-01-14 Thread Oliver Keyes
On 13 January 2014 20:32, Philippe Beaudette pbeaude...@wikimedia.orgwrote:

  On Jan 13, 2014, at 4:18 PM, Oliver Keyes oke...@wikimedia.org wrote:
 
  we're getting almost 3,000 thanks
  actions a day, every day

 It would be interesting to know if that impacted the number of
 barnstars


That would be difficult to track, but we can totally find out if there's
been any change in, say, wikilove.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Thanking anonymous users

2014-01-14 Thread Oliver Keyes
Yes, but what you'd then have to do is either go through the database dumps
or hit the API and check individual diffs. Database-stored information on
templates is where are those templates linked from, not and when were
those links added (unless something has changed relatively recently)


On 14 January 2014 10:49, Philippe Beaudette phili...@wikimedia.org wrote:

 Barnstars mostly use a set of templates, right?  (At least, the 80% case).
  We could ballpark it fairly effectively by checking for that set, no?

 pb


 *Philippe Beaudette * \\  Director, Community Advocacy \\ Wikimedia
 Foundation, Inc.
  T: 1-415-839-6885 x6643 |  phili...@wikimedia.org  |  :
 @Philippewikihttps://twitter.com/Philippewiki


 On Tue, Jan 14, 2014 at 10:05 AM, Oliver Keyes oke...@wikimedia.org
 wrote:

  On 13 January 2014 20:32, Philippe Beaudette pbeaude...@wikimedia.org
  wrote:
 
On Jan 13, 2014, at 4:18 PM, Oliver Keyes oke...@wikimedia.org
  wrote:
   
we're getting almost 3,000 thanks
actions a day, every day
  
   It would be interesting to know if that impacted the number of
   barnstars
  
  
  That would be difficult to track, but we can totally find out if there's
  been any change in, say, wikilove.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Thanking anonymous users

2014-01-14 Thread Oliver Keyes
There is inherent humour in being unable to test the comparative efficacy
of a technological whizbang due to the lack of sufficiently standardised
technological whizbangs ;p.


On 14 January 2014 11:32, Marc A. Pelletier m...@uberbox.org wrote:

 On 01/14/2014 02:18 PM, Oliver Keyes wrote:
  Database-stored information on
  templates is where are those templates linked from, not and when were
  those links added (unless something has changed relatively recently)
 

 And even then that'd give dubious results.  Some talk page get archived
 barnstars et. al., some people (like I do with User:Coren) move them off
 to a discrete subpage in their userspace, and some people simply remove
 old sections from their talk pages (which would make the template not
 show as a transclusion at all).

 Add to this the complexity that several barnstars are subst:ed rather
 than transcluded -- but not all -- and you end up with a completely
 intractable problem.

 -- Marc


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Thanking anonymous users

2014-01-14 Thread Oliver Keyes
So you'd rather measure effectiveness through...the feeling in your water?


On 14 January 2014 12:29, Federico Leva (Nemo) nemow...@gmail.com wrote:

 Oliver Keyes, 14/01/2014 20:36:

  There is inherent humour in being unable to test the comparative efficacy
 of a technological whizbang due to the lack of sufficiently standardised
 technological whizbangs ;p.


 I'd rather call is a systemic bias which makes us favor standardised
 technological whizbangs just because we can measure them rather than for an
 actual effectiveness.

 Nemo


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Thanking anonymous users

2014-01-14 Thread Oliver Keyes
Aha. I totally agree with that, then, but I don't think it's the motivation
for this feature.


On 14 January 2014 13:28, David Gerard dger...@gmail.com wrote:

 On 14 January 2014 21:20, Oliver Keyes oke...@wikimedia.org wrote:
  On 14 January 2014 12:29, Federico Leva (Nemo) nemow...@gmail.com
 wrote:

  I'd rather call is a systemic bias which makes us favor standardised
  technological whizbangs just because we can measure them rather than
 for an
  actual effectiveness.

  So you'd rather measure effectiveness through...the feeling in your
 water?


 No, he means doing things because they're susceptible to measurement,
 rather than because they're a good thing to do.

 The sort of thinking that leads to lightboxes over pages. Just look
 at our response metrics! Just look at your page.


 - d.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Thanking anonymous users

2014-01-13 Thread Oliver Keyes
Indeed. I see a user's awesome edit, via a diff. I hit thank. I hit
okay.

I see a user's awesome edit, via a diff. I hit the talk link, I hit the
new section button, I fill in my message, I save my message.

Ultimately, though, this compares apples to oranges; nobody is
technologizing this kind of user interaction because nobody is removing
the ability to leave thankful talk page messages - indeed, I think they
still serve a very useful purpose. I tend to thank people when they've made
an edit I appreciate; I head over to their talkpage and give barnstars when
this is indicative of wider good work on their part, or it's a /really/
great edit. All we've done is added some granularity to the system,
reducing the barrier for small amounts of thanks.


On 13 January 2014 14:24, Steven Walling steven.wall...@gmail.com wrote:

 On Mon, Jan 13, 2014 at 12:37 PM, Risker risker...@gmail.com wrote:

  I'm not entirely certain it's a good idea to technologize such very
 basic
  user interactions.  It takes as much work to thank someone using
  notifications as it does to leave them a talk page message.
 

 That's empirically not true.

 If I am on a page history or list of user contributions, it's takes just
 two clicks and you don't leave the page. To leave someone a Talk page
 message takes several new page loads and steps.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Thanking anonymous users

2014-01-13 Thread Oliver Keyes
On 13 January 2014 15:03, Steven Walling steven.wall...@gmail.com wrote:

 On Mon, Jan 13, 2014 at 2:57 PM, Risker risker...@gmail.com wrote:

  I dunno, guys.  I certainly would take a talk page message over a
  mechanical thank any day of the week.  More particularly, I notice a
  significant trend in using thank notifications to express agreement
 with
  people without having to actually say yeah, I agree somewhere.
 
  That the loss of human contact, replacing it with another technological
  whizbang, is considered a net positive...well, I guess that's what can be
  expected from Wikimedia.
 

 I don't view Talk page messages and thanks notifications as competing or
 detracting from each other, and I think pretty much everyone works on
 Thanks would agree. They are additive. It's helpful to have different
 levels and types of ways to engage with each other on the wiki.


Agreed. Re technological whizbangs

If you're receiving this message, it's because I've successfully pushed on
coloured lumps of plastic, sending electrical signals translated from
English-language characters into unicode characters, themselves translated
into binary signals, which are encoded by a lump of intricately etched and
forked metal the size of a transit card. These are then sent as electrical
signals, translated into pulses of light, translated back into electrical
signals (repeat an unknown number of times), and reach a hunk of metal on
your floor or desk containing a similarly etched piece of metal that
translates them from pulses of electricity to unicode strings to character
representations on a screen that ( assuming it isn't a CRT or some weird
LED...thing) consists of a couple of squares of plastic with liquid,
crystalline shapes connected to tiny transistors. There's tamed lightning
there too.

Some of the technical details may be wrong (Dammit, Jim, I'm an analyst,
not a computer engineer!) but the point is that if 'technological
whizbangs' are what you're objecting to, you should probably junk your
computer. What I think you probably mean instead is that the message
conveyed is, because it's in a standardised format, somewhat artificial. It
doesn't give you the freedom to express the full gamut of human sentiments.
And, well, it doesn't, because it was never designed to. If you want to
write a love sonnet to a user for clearing up the copyright backlog,
'thanks' is not for you. If you want to drop in a template that transcludes
in some CSS and SVG images in order to render a barnstar (potentially
containing a love sonnet - I don't judge), 'thanks' is not for you. On the
other hand, if what you want to do is say 'good job', you probably don't
need all the capabilities and complications of a system oriented around
trancluded templates with love sonnets in them. It's a much higher barrier
than is actually necessary for what you're trying to achieve, which is just
the internet equivalent of a thumbs up.

Is there some loss of human contact? Well, potentially - there is whenever
things are standardised - but, at least with the things /I/ use thanks for,
there wasn't really any human contact initially. Thanks for your edit on
[page] on a talk page doesn't really provide much more than [user]
thanked you for your edit on [page]. I know that whenever I've received
thanks for that kind of thing, it's cheered me up quite a bit, so evidently
the loss isn't /that/ great. In exchange, it dramatically reduces the
barrier to giving that thumbs up - we're getting almost 3,000 thanks
actions a day, every day, and I'd argue that's A Good Thing (and probably
not something we saw when the options were 'Wikilove or bust', because a
high barrier for a one-size-fits-all action does not benefit small uses of
that action).

Yes, it's less human than big long messages and barnstars and plaudits.
That's fine - things worthy of big long messages != things worthy of a
thumbs up, and Thanks is designed for the latter. When we have some spare
cycles, if we want to reduce the barrier to more long-form thank-yous,
that's probably a good thing to do as well. Just, please, nobody send me
any love sonnets.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Thanking anonymous users

2014-01-10 Thread Oliver Keyes
For 1: because it'd be impossible to accurately associate notifications
with the person, I assume.


On 10 January 2014 12:11, Isarra Yos zhoris...@gmail.com wrote:

 On 10/01/14 19:21, Ryan Kaldari wrote:

 These are two reason we don't have Thanks for anonymous editors:
 1. Anonymous editors don't get notifications
 2. Multiple editors often share the same IP address
 Problem #2 isn't as prominent as it use to be, but there are still many
 large companies and schools that connect to the internet through a single
 IP. I imagine that once IPv6 is widely in use, this problem will go away
 and we'll be able to turn on all notifications (including Thanks) for
 anonymous editors.

 Ryan Kaldari
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 1. Why not?
 2. A time limit might help resolve that with ipv4 addresses. Alternately,
 thanks could potentially be nice even if they didn't make the edit
 themselves, since it's the general feeling and such, so just letting that
 through for ipv4 addresses might be an option.

 Mind I'm mostly just echoing something someone else said on IRC just now,
 but they seem like interesting points to me.


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] WMF employee writing articles for $300

2014-01-05 Thread Oliver Keyes
Or to translate who cares what harm I do by peddling these assertions
without verifying them! I just want people to come along and admit I was
Right, because being Right on the internet is the most important of all the
things.

Your comment here makes clear that your only interest in the situation is
trying to bend people like Jimmy over a barrel in the hopes that they'll
tearfully exclaim that, yes, they were wrong, paid editing is hunky-dory
and oh, if /only we'd listened to Russavia/. Stop, please.


On Sun, Jan 5, 2014 at 9:52 PM, Russavia russavia.wikipe...@gmail.comwrote:

 Yes, Nathan, please let us cut the bullshit, for I have a pretty low
 tolerance for it, and I am happy to call you out on it.

 You are right, I don't see anywhere in Odder's blog or in my posts on this
 list that Sarah is being accused of sock puppetry. I don't know why you are
 making this totally irrelevation correlation, or is this you simply trying
 to run interference? (Very poorly I might add, but certainly a better
 attempt than Gerard). I suggest that you re-read the cease and desist
 letter (

 https://blog.wikimedia.org/2013/11/19/wikimedia-foundation-sends-cease-and-desist-letter-to-wikipr/
 )
 at the very top of page 2 you can see in pretty plain English that the WMF
 has invoked Section 4 of the Terms of Use, in which the WMF makes veiled
 legal threats of fraud, misrepresentation, etc. It is showing severe
 naivety on your part if you think the Wiki-PR case was built around a farm
 of sockpuppets; that was merely the catalyst for the anti-paid editing
 crowd to really sink their teeth into the situation -- that should surely
 be evident from Sue's press release.

 I seriously don't see why you think me contacting Wiki-PR to alert them of
 these posts here, so that they can follow it, as a bad thing. I thought
 that the movement was built around the notion of transparency. If terms
 of use are being invoked with them, don't they have the right to know of
 other such cases where they will likely be ignored because it's an insider
 we are talking about? That Sarah has engaged in undeclared paid editing is
 of her own doing -- we are all responsible for our own editing. She chose
 to engage in such editing immediately after a massive scandal knowing full
 well the possible consequences if it was discovered.

 It is not people like Odder who blogs or myself who dares step into the
 holy inner sanctum who will tear Sarah down, it is the tendentious and
 self-righteous
 barnacles that adhere to the paid editing is bad mmmkay mantra that is
 peddled from above on Wikipedia, and lately by the Wikimedia Foundation
 itself, and adhered to blindly by the masses, who will do that.

 So Nathan, where do you stand on the paid editing issue? Does Jimmy's
 bright line rule, and Sue's statements, apply to insiders as well as to the
 world-at-large?

 But again, let's wait for Sarah's comments first on these revelations. And
 then we can get those within the movement who have so publicly taken a
 stance on paid editing, namely Sue and Jimmy, to clarify where they truly
 stand on these issues for once and for all.

 Cheers,

 Russavia





 On Mon, Jan 6, 2014 at 9:23 AM, Nathan nawr...@gmail.com wrote:

  Let's be clear, Russavia - the terms of use bar sockpuppetry, and the
 cease
  and desist refers to concealing the identity of the author to deceive the
  editing community. I don't see that you've accused Sarah of sockpuppetry,
  so why not cut the bullshit? Thanks for notifying Wiki-PR, by the way,
 I'm
  sure everyone on this list really appreciates that.
 
  If there's one thing I love about Wikimedia, it's when tendentious and
  self-righteous barnacles on the community make it a mission to tear down
  good-hearted and dedicated Wikimedians at the expense of the movement.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] WMF employee writing articles for $300

2014-01-05 Thread Oliver Keyes
As an apparent Wikimedia insider; I think that if the allegations are
substantiated they need to be addressed. I don't mean to run interference
on that. I mean to try and undercut any attempt to turn a subject worth
discussing substantively into an excuse to crow. My objection is not that
you raised this allegation, it's that you insist on posting four hundred
word screeds about how hard-done by you are and how this demands that
people accept you were right all along. If you actually care about the
substance of the discussion, stop doing that. If you don't, just stop.


On Sun, Jan 5, 2014 at 11:10 PM, Russavia russavia.wikipe...@gmail.comwrote:

 Steven,

 Did it occur to you that the reason the account is anonymised is that
 one would likely not want it to be found out? It also beyond the
 realms of imagination that Wikipediocracy trolls would create an
 account on 6 January 2012 as a joe-job account, and sit on it all this
 time and then have Odder (who is certainly no friend of
 Wikipediocracy) find out about it, and let him beat them to the punch.

 But here's a little more evidence for you. From that screenshot, you
 will notice in September Sarah earned $96 from a job which is
 described as Wikipedia Writer Editor. The information for that job
 is found at https://www.odesk.com/jobs/~01fb1fd477c79e30b0 (and I have
 taken the liberty of uploading it at

 https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8j_w_yHF5ymdHQzTkJkRkY5TWM/edit?usp=sharing
 )

 From this we can ascertain the following:

 * The job was posted on 3 September 2013
 * The client is in the United States
 * Sarah was one of 9 applicants for the job, applying on 4 September 2013
 * The client was interviewing 2 applicants, and they ended up hiring Sarah
 * On 4 October 2013 (a Friday), the client last viewed this job -- the
 little question mark pop-up says This is when the client last viewed
 or interacted with the applicants for this job. - in all likelihood
 this is when the information was provided to Sarah.

 From Sarah's contributions between this period we can see that she was
 involved in creating and editing articles relating to Turkey, Algeria,
 Guatemala, creating articles such as
 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eugénie_Luce, etc

 On 6 October 2013 (-8 GMT), after editing articles on places/people in
 Moldova and Ukraine, at 12:14 she made this edit
 (
 https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Stephen_III_of_Moldaviadiff=prevoldid=576031919
 ).
 At 13:53, a little under 2 hours later, Sarah posted
 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melody_Inn_(nightclub). Again, this is a
 somewhat puff piece article, out of sync with what she was editing at
 the time, with sourcing that one wouldn't really expect in an article.
 The wording at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melody_Inn_(nightclub)#Music
 is especially telling. Then
 https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=1935diff=prevoldid=576044989
 is done straight afterwards. That it was posted a little under 2 hours
 after her edit to the Stephen III of Moldavia article would correlate
 with the 2 hours that she billed the client for cleaning the article
 up to make it presentable, receiving $96. Then it was back to normal
 editing. Not bad for 2 hours editing on a Sunday afternoon, eh?

 And surely you can understand why people would post this information
 publicly. Already on this very list I have been attacked by no less
 than 4 Wikimedia insiders (yourself included) who are clearly trying
 to run deflection and interference. Emailing the WMF and Sue
 privately, so that it can be quietly ignored, or swept under the
 carpet; this is the experience of many people in the past, so why
 waste one's time. And anyway, doesn't the public, including the media
 whom I have also taken the liberty of advising that this issue exists,
 have a right to know that such things are happening on a project that
 prides itself on how transparent it is.

 Steven, does this smell like trolling and an elaborate set up Sarah
 joe-job? People can continue to bury their heads in the sand, attack
 me for trolling, run interference, and believe in vast conspiracies
 and other such nonsense. I will look at this logically, and taken in
 with information that Odder provided, it's couldn't be clearer.

 What isn't so clear is how Sue and Jimmy will respond..





 On Mon, Jan 6, 2014 at 1:34 PM, Steven Walling steven.wall...@gmail.com
 wrote:
  On Sun, Jan 5, 2014 at 3:42 PM, Russavia russavia.wikipe...@gmail.com
 wrote:
 
  Odder has published a fantastic blog piece at
  http://twkozlowski.net/paid-editing-thrives-in-the-heart-of-wikipedia/in
  which it is revealed that a WMF employee is engaged in undeclared paid
  editing on English Wikipedia, and charging what it appears to be $300
 per
  article.
 
  I have cc'ed both Sue and Jimmy in on this email, but also sending to
 this
  list as I know they, and other WMF employees, do use this list, and I
 think
  it would be pertinent that they respond publicly to the issues 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Dells are backdoored

2013-12-30 Thread Oliver Keyes
Can you provide any evidence that doesn't fail to address software
compatibility or non-power related costs, doesn't feature the word
assume, isn't based solely on evidence from the manufacturer of the
machine and is less than 3 years old?

I suspect this is a non-starter from the get-go and will be disengaging; I
advise everyone else to do the same.


On 29 December 2013 23:53, James Salsman jsals...@gmail.com wrote:

 Jasper, if you can't write an email or pick up the phone asking for a
 hardware quote without supporting the status quo of the Foundation
 datacenter being a monument to the poster boy of corporate tax abuses,
 Microsoft OEM bundling abuses, and NSA collaboration, I really can't
 help you.

 If you're interested in what the long term savings can look like, see:

 http://www.cnx-software.com/2010/11/16/arm-based-embedded-servers-marvell-armada-xp/

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Radiological images

2013-09-18 Thread Oliver Keyes
On Tue, Sep 17, 2013 at 9:48 PM, James Salsman jsals...@gmail.com wrote:


 For those of you who treat WP:IAR as if it is not policy, how do you
 look yourselves in the mirror?


Pretty easily. Absent substantial changes in mass, the speed of light is a
constant.

If we could try to discuss things without histrionics, please, that would
be better.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Has the underlying level of edits risen or fallen since the Edit Filters came in in 2009?

2013-08-28 Thread Oliver Keyes
I can't speak for edit volume, but in my spare time I did some research
around blocks and found that the proportionate decline in bad-faith related
blocks since 2009 is (quite possibly) edit-filter linked.[1] So, whether
there's a causal link between the edit decrease and the edit filters or
not, they do appear to be doing good work.



[1] 0.63 modified R2 value


On Wed, Aug 28, 2013 at 5:29 PM, WereSpielChequers 
werespielchequ...@gmail.com wrote:

 Hi Fae,

 I hadn't factored in the spam
 filter,https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Spam_blacklist that's
 a separate process that just focusses on sites which we don't want more
 links to - presumably because people have tried spamlinking them on
 wikipedia. The edit
 filter,https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Abuse_filteroriginally
 known as the abuse filter is more complex and among other uses
 doesn't allow certain types of edits.. Both are generally deployed but can
 be tailored per wiki, I'm assuming that the edit filter is more heavily
 tuned by language, not least because a rude word in one language will often
 have innocuous meanings in another. Hence my question here, I am hoping for
 cross wiki input as this won't just be an EN wiki issue but some others may
 have very different experiences with them and may even have found a way to
 measure their effect

 Hope those links give the info you requested.

 Regards

 WSC


 Message: 2
 Date: Wed, 28 Aug 2013 13:42:22 +0100
 From: Fæ fae...@gmail.com
 To: Wikimedia Mailing List wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
 Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] Has the underlying level of edits risen or
 fallen since the Edit Filters came in in 2009?
 Message-ID:
 CAH7nnD0tACeBcE77mBZ1JQqar78=
 w+sb-sd-z-_gkr_32bw...@mail.gmail.com
 Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1

 On 28/08/2013, WereSpielChequers werespielchequ...@gmail.com wrote:
  Has anyone  come up with a formulae for the ratio between vandalism
  prevented by the edit filters and lost edits on Wiki?
 ...
  Regards

 Hi WSC,

 Could you link to where there is a definition of what the edit filters
 are and what they are supposed to do? I recall having problems
 including urls like youtube, but I'm not sure if that blacklist is the
 same thing. If this was something only implemented on the English
 Wikipedia project, it might be more relevant to raise on wikien-l.

 Cheers,
 Fae
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fwd: [Wikimania-l] git.wikimedia.org dead due to wikimania ; )

2013-08-13 Thread Oliver Keyes
We have weekend support - for core services, which constitute our MediaWiki
instances. Git, however, is not a core service - as Max accurately notes,
while it makes development finicky and frustrating, it doesn't impact on
our core mission, which is to provide the sum of human knowledge, for
everybody. It being down for a short period of time is not critical -
Wikipedia being down? Well, I think we'd agree that's a pretty serious
problem.

I'd like to think Engineering do a pretty good job at uptime for core
services - when was the last time you saw Wikipedia down for any extended
period of time? - regardless of what day of the week it is. I recall a few
months ago that we had weird, inconsistent cacheing problems that were
causing trouble for users - Leslie Carr, one of our Ops engineers, worked
11 hours on Friday and (iirc) 14 hours over the weekend to get it fixed.
This isn't the only story in that vein - where there are critical problems
to critical services, they tend to be fixed as promptly as possible, and
staffers pull out all of the stops to make it happen. But it's not
realistic for ops and dev/ops to maintain 24/7 uptime not just for our core
services, but for every single one of the miscellaneous instances we host.
If we had 150 engineers in Platform and Operations, then I might be singing
a different tune, but unfortunately we don't ;).

On the other hand, if you would like to donate enough money to pay for a
team of 6 to maintain our git instance 24/7, I'm sure we could set
something up :P


On 12 August 2013 20:19, Richard Farmbrough rich...@farmbrough.co.ukwrote:

 I maintained 24/7 support with a team of 6. WMF has 150 staff and does not
 have weekend support.  The tail is wagging the dog.



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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fwd: change in article edits after visual editor roll-out (was Re: Feedback for the Wikimedia Foundation)

2013-07-22 Thread Oliver Keyes
active editors == editors with  [5/10/depending on standard] edits a
month. It's pretty impossible, at our end, for us to identify one person
between multiple IPs or one person between multiple IPs.


On 22 July 2013 17:16, James Salsman jsals...@gmail.com wrote:

 Nathan wrote:
 ...
  Because they are measuring different things? The first refers
  to newly registered editors, which the second (judging by
  your summary) does not.

 You are absolutely right. This gives us a silver lining insight that about
 80% of anonymous IP editors have the editing experience of
 non-new registered editors. Therefore most of them should be added to the
 number of long term active editors, and even by a conservative estimate
 that means that the Foundation has finally reached the elusive long term
 strategic goal in growth of active editors.  Congratulations!

 Always look on the bright side!

 Robert Rohde wrote:
 ...
  early evidence that VE makes new users less likely to edit [2][3]
 ...
  [2]

 http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Research:VisualEditor%27s_effect_on_newly_registered_editors/Results
  [3]

 http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikipedia:VisualEditor/Feedbackoldid=565381622#Some_performance_notes
 ...

 [2] states: Newcomers with the VisualEditor were ~43% less likely to
 save a single edit than editors with the wikitext editor (x^2=279.4,
 p0.001), meaning that Visual Editor presented nearly a 2:1 increase
 in editing difficulty.

 [3] states:

  Change in total (daily) article edits since before VE became default on 1
 July (comparison: 18-30 June): -4.5%
  Change in registered user article edits since before VE became default:
 -2.2%
  Change in anon article edits since before VE became default: -8.6%

 Both of those statistics are terrible and would strongly support
 shutting the visual editor off except for opt-ins until all open bugs
 including browser and mobile device coverage are addressed before
 trying again.

 But why are those statistics so different?
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Use of YouTube videos in fundraising banners

2013-07-16 Thread Oliver Keyes
From what I understand the technical limitations are actually real; mostly
they operate around throwing the number of donors (or potential donors) we
get at the video.

(Having said that, I'm neither opsen nor fundraising, and will promptly
cram it. But: to the best of my knowledge there is a lot of reasoned
thinking behind the decision)


On 17 July 2013 03:44, Tomasz W. Kozlowski tom...@twkozlowski.net wrote:

 Hi,
 it came to my attention very recently that a link to a YouTube video has
 been included in our fundraising banners[1] last year, enabling people by
 default to watch a video about Wikipedia loaded through a YouTube iframe
 / element.

 There's been a small discussion about this on IRC, and I've been asked to
 seek the opinion of the wider community on this matter, which I hope to
 achieve by starting a thread on this list.

 I wonder how the solution used in the banners reflects on our values,
 especially since we prefer to use a proprietary service over our own
 Wikimedia Commons, and effectively invite our users to expose their data
 (such as their IP address) to an external website (because no one's going
 to read the small information about YouTube privacy policy).

 I am told that there are technical limitations behind the decision to
 prefer YouTube over Commons, but I'm not really convinced about that; I
 generally think that we should not include links to websites that can track
 our users in our banners, and YouTube (as well as websites that use Google
 Analytics for statistical purposes) definitely falls under that definition.

 [On an unrelated note, it might be worth pointing out that the video on
 YouTube is listed as CC-BY and as CC-BY-SA on Commons, which introduces
 confusion and might lead to creation of derivative works that are released
 without the ShareAlike clause, which - I believe - it's not what the author
 of the video was after.]

 == References ==
 * [1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/**Main_Page?banner=B12_1227_**
 ThankYou_5pillars**forceBannerDisplay=truehttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page?banner=B12_1227_ThankYou_5pillarsforceBannerDisplay=true

   Tomasz

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Use of YouTube videos in fundraising banners

2013-07-16 Thread Oliver Keyes
On 17 July 2013 04:12, Fajro fai...@gmail.com wrote:


 Youtube does not need free advertising on Wikipedia.


To be frank,[1] youtube has twice our annual unique visitors every /month/.
I would agree: they don't need advertising.

[1] my apologies to Frank - I'll be Oliver from hereonin

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Staff Images

2013-07-15 Thread Oliver Keyes
Again with the cultural issues! I demand that Brandon get Rocker tattooed
on his other arm.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mods_and_rockers


On 15 July 2013 19:27, John Andersson john.anders...@wikimedia.se wrote:

 As
  a non-native English speaker the only real problem that I can see is
 that the message could be hard to understand for some people. Hence, I
 hope that Brandon would be willing to internationalize himself a bit and
  add proper translations. The Swedish translation of Courage is Mod -
 feel free
 to add the new tattoo wherever you see fit.



 Best,

 John

 - - - -



 John Andersson



 Wikimedia Sverige



 Project Leader Europeana Awareness







 Phone: +46(0)73-3965189





 Email: john.anders...@wikimedia.se




 Skype: johnandersson86

 Be sure to follow us on Twitter at @wikieuropeana

  Would you like to support free knowledge? Please consider becoming a
 member of Wikimedia Sweden!


  Date: Sun, 14 Jul 2013 17:47:08 +0100
  From: geni...@gmail.com
  To: wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
  Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] Staff Images
 
  On 14 July 2013 00:44, Lucas Teles salvadore...@hotmail.com wrote:
 
   Is that [1] the photo? I was expecting something worse per the opening
 of
   this discussion. It seems to be fine for me (in a manly way of saying a
   photo of another man is fine), expect for the removal of Brandon's
 fingers.
   --Teles
  
  
   [1] -
 https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/File:Brandon_Harris_courage.jpg
  
  
  Its not fine. Look at the colour blotching under the arm. I wouldn't
 expect
  that from the 5DII even at ISO 640. Looks like its been pushed a bit too
  far in post. That said looking at Matthew 's other photos the camera
 seems
  to be struggling to get the light levels right when that EF 100mm f/2.8L
  Macro lens is used. Not sure why though since thats a pretty good lens
  camera combination. Perhaps if the WMF is going to insist on taking
 photos
  of people indoors under ambient light they should get him a EF 85 mm
 f/1.2L
  II.
 
  --
  geni
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Staff Images

2013-07-14 Thread Oliver Keyes
On 14 July 2013 00:44, Lucas Teles salvadore...@hotmail.com wrote:

 Is that [1] the photo? I was expecting something worse per the opening of
 this discussion. It seems to be fine for me (in a manly way of saying a
 photo of another man is fine), expect for the removal of Brandon's fingers.
 --Teles

 I guess it's time to reveal the truth to all of you; Brandon doesn't
actually /have/ any fingers. A sad story, really - he irrevocably damaged
them throwing the horns at a Dethklok concert. You'd expect it to slow him
down, what with his employment as a designer, but luckily his hair is
perfectly serviceable as a contact medium with tablets - and, in a pinch,
can even be used as a brush.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Staff Images

2013-07-12 Thread Oliver Keyes
Sure; there are countries with taboos around, for example, tattoos.
However, given that we run many encyclopaedias containing articles on
pretty much everything, taboo or no taboo (including ink!), anyone easily
offended is /going/ to be. There's a saying about horses and doors that
applies here.

Brandon does place his tattoo first. The tattoo, you will note, reads
courage. It's what is known as a statement. Brandon is endorsing being
bold, not endorsing being inked.


On 12 July 2013 12:10, Eddy Paine bloggin...@outlook.com wrote:

 Hi,
 I didn't say that people with thats are not proffesionals. I have multiple
 myself also.
 I am saying that the page has a lay-out with pictures that all fit
 together and are specially made for that page. I believe you shouldn't
 destroy the lay-out or style by adding personal pictures. Otherwhise you
 should lose the style completly.
 Secondly we are a world wide organisation, and there are still enough
 countries where tats are not accepted yet. So it can be wise to try to
 minimise the things on pictures that can be offensive for some people.
 And as last. Brandon places his tattoo first and makes his face blurry.
 Thats why I started posting. If both the tattoo would be vissible and his
 face I wouldn't have any problems at all.
 Ed

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