[Wikimedia-l] Re: Wikimedia Endowment reaches initial $100 million goal and welcomes new board members

2021-09-23 Thread phoebe ayers
Thanks Christophe, SJ and all! Lisa, agreed - it's taken a lot of work over
the years from many people to get here. A big thanks to all of the
endowment staff past and present and especially to you Lisa, who has been
there as an advocate from the very beginning "what if we made an
endowment?!" days. Also thanks to my fellow current and former trustees on
the WMF & Endowment boards who have supported this effort. I'm honored and
excited to be a part of the next chapter of the endowment, and I hope to
hear community members' thoughts on the best way an endowment could support
the very long term future of the Wikimedia projects and free knowledge too.

Galder -- though the endowment may only ever indirectly support this, yes
to a wishlist system that fulfills more wishes. I want to see this too.
Cunctator -- this seems like a different topic for a different thread?
Vito -- Good meme usage. I can't find the perfect meme to answer so I'll
just say that (as I expect you know) the endowment is meant to support the
projects in perpetuity, which means it isn't there to replace daily
operation funding or annual fundraising. The 100M is meant to generate
investment income (which best case scenario will still only be a fraction
of the current WMF budget.) Changing fundraising strategies really means
changing the size and scope of the WMF annual plan, including affiliate
grants; the need for fundraising follows from the budget. While that's a
good conversation to have, I don't think the existence of the endowment
will direct it (or our larger movement strategy conversations).

cheers,
Phoebe


On Thu, Sep 23, 2021 at 1:21 PM Lisa Gruwell  wrote:

> Thank you, Christophe and SJ.  You both were great supporters of this
> effort when you were on the WMF board and it wouldn't have gotten off the
> ground without you.  It takes a lot of vision and trust to do something
> long-term like an endowment.  Thanks for giving that to us!
>
> Best,
> Lisa
>
> On Thu, Sep 23, 2021 at 1:52 AM Christophe Henner <
> christophe.hen...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> Congratulations Lisa and team, I know how much energy you pour into it!
>> That is an amazing step. And great to see the endowment becoming its own
>> organization.
>>
>> And "welcome" to the "new" endowment board members! :)
>>
>> Few people might know Doron, but he is not a stranger. He has been
>> supporting the movement for a very very long time and knows us very well. I
>> remember back in 2016, he understood very very fast why it was critical to
>> invest in Wikidata and that lead to the Structured Data grant:
>> https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Structured_data/Sloan_Grant.
>>
>> Phoebe, Doron and Patricio are great additions to the endowment board!
>>
>> All good news, thank you again Lisa!
>>
>>
>> --
>> Christophe
>>
>>
>> On Wed, 22 Sept 2021 at 16:58, Lisa Gruwell 
>> wrote:
>>
>>> Dear all,
>>>
>>> Today I am very happy to announce the Wikimedia Endowment [1] has
>>> reached its initial $100 million goal. The Endowment was started in 2016 as
>>> a permanent fund to support the Wikimedia projects in perpetuity [2].
>>>
>>> My deep gratitude goes out to our generous donors, the Endowment board,
>>> Foundation staff, and volunteers who made this possible. I am grateful
>>> to the future-focused community members who began considering the idea of
>>> an endowment years ago, to those who participated in community
>>> conversations on Meta [3] to help us think through initial decisions
>>> regarding its launch, and to all contributors whose work creating
>>> Wikimedia content has brought free knowledge to the world.
>>>
>>> As part of this milestone, the Wikimedia Endowment Board has also
>>> welcomed three new members: Phoebe Ayers, Patricio Lorente, and Doron
>>> Weber, bringing in important expertise of the Wikimedia movement and
>>> priorities as well as in nonprofit management.
>>>
>>> You can read more about this milestone, what it means for the movement,
>>> and what comes next for the Endowment on Diff [4] and the Endowment Meta
>>> page [5]. We invite you to share any questions or feedback on the Endowment
>>> talk page [6].
>>>
>>> Thank you to everyone who has made this incredible achievement possible.
>>>
>>> Best regards,
>>>
>>> Lisa
>>>
>>> [1] https://wikimediaendowment.org/
>>>
>>> [2] https://wikimediafoundation.org/about/mission/
>>> <https://wikimediafoundation.org/about/mission/>
>>>
>>> [3] https

[Wikimedia-l] Fwd: FW: Professor Jing Wang (1950–2021)

2021-07-30 Thread phoebe ayers
Hi folks,
I am forwarding this note from MIT to share the sad news of Professor Jing
Wang's death, because in addition to being a distinguished scholar, she was
also at one time a member of the Wikimedia advisory board (
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Advisory_Board). She was also generally a
supporter of open culture. Condolences to those who knew her.

-- Phoebe





*From:* L. Rafael Reif 
*Sent:* Thursday, July 29, 2021 11:09 AM
*To:* Phoebe Ayers 
*Subject:* Professor Jing Wang (1950–2021)



Sharing the news of Professor Jing Wang’s passing

View online version
<http://inj9.mjt.lu/nl2/inj9/minqh.html?m=AMwAAKqL8X0AAcrqnbA83MsAGqoAJUNBAAiQzwBhAsSMSUNopTskT0CMncxamYYExAAIIWc=956b4d43=ddf446eb=1fcWx36dd5hQhqYea4H_ng>



[image: Letterhead for MIT President L. Rafael Reif]



To the members of the MIT community,

With great sadness, I share the news that Jing Wang, S.C. Fang Professor of
Chinese Languages & Culture and professor of Chinese media and cultural
studies, died on Sunday following a sudden health emergency.

Professor Wang’s interests ranged from the classical literature of
premodern China – the subject of her first book, the award-winning *The
Story of Stone* – to groundbreaking work on contemporary Chinese culture,
including the role of advertising and the nuanced ways that activists use
social media to inspire societal change.

After earning a bachelor’s degree in foreign languages and literatures from
National Taiwan University, Jing completed her education in the US, earning
her PhD in comparative literature from the University of Massachusetts,
Amherst.

She spent 16 years on the faculty at Duke, rising to chair the Department
of Asian and African Languages and Literature and to direct the Center for
East Asian Cultural and Institutional Studies. In 1996, she published her
second solo volume, *High Culture Fever: Politics, Aesthetics, and Ideology
in Deng's China*.

In 2001, Jing arrived at MIT, beginning with an appointment in Foreign
Languages and Literatures (now Global Languages), a group she would head
from 2005 to 2008. Intense and inspiring, Jing earned the Levitan Award for
Excellence in Teaching, the highest teaching honor in MIT’s School of
Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (SHASS), and was a relentless advocate
for women in academia.

As she developed her ideas for two more provocative books – *Brand New
China: Advertising, Media, and Commercial Culture* (2008) and * The Other
Digital China: Nonconfrontational Activism on the Social Web* (2019) – she
found an additional intellectual home in Comparative Media Studies/Writing
(CMS/W). Since 2019, CMS/W was her primary appointment. She also went out
of her way to serve the Institute, including providing guidance to MIT on
working in China and, this summer, joining the advisory committee to
identify a new dean for SHASS.

You can read more about her life and work
<http://inj9.mjt.lu/lnk/AMwAAKqL8X0AAcrqnbA83MsAGqoAJUNBAAiQzwBhAsSMSUNopTskT0CMncxamYYExAAIIWc/1/uPVktsYYxVdc-DyQdsH71w/aHR0cHM6Ly9uZXdzLm1pdC5lZHUvMjAyMS9qaW5nLXdhbmctcHJvZmVzc29yLWRpZXMtMDcyOQ>
on MIT News.

Passionate about using knowledge to improve people’s lives, Jing founded
the MIT New Media Action Lab
<http://inj9.mjt.lu/lnk/AMwAAKqL8X0AAcrqnbA83MsAGqoAJUNBAAiQzwBhAsSMSUNopTskT0CMncxamYYExAAIIWc/2/46t05aJDgca0uG5WIMBrSA/aHR0cHM6Ly9zaGFzcy5taXQuZWR1L25ld3MvamluZy13YW5ncy1uZXctbWVkaWEtYWN0aW9uLWxhYi1pbmNyZWFzZXMtaW1wYWN0LW5nb3MtYWNyb3NzLWNoaW5h>,
to help non-profits and communities in developing countries explore the
potential of new media, and launched NGO 2.0
<http://inj9.mjt.lu/lnk/AMwAAKqL8X0AAcrqnbA83MsAGqoAJUNBAAiQzwBhAsSMSUNopTskT0CMncxamYYExAAIIWc/3/jw9_PLw8uIVn64dAgbQj8Q/aHR0cHM6Ly9jbXMubWl0LmVkdS91cGRhdGUtb24tbmdvMjAv>,
an ambitious effort based in Beijing and Shenzhen to promote the use of
information communication technology to help activists achieve their social
goals. On the advisory board of the Wikimedia Foundation since 2010, she
also chaired the International Advisory Board of Creative Commons
<http://inj9.mjt.lu/lnk/AMwAAKqL8X0AAcrqnbA83MsAGqoAJUNBAAiQzwBhAsSMSUNopTskT0CMncxamYYExAAIIWc/4/VXGnl7MKRh1iIwgFcYzyHQ/aHR0cHM6Ly9lbi53aWtpcGVkaWEub3JnL3dpa2kvQ3JlYXRpdmVfQ29tbW9ucw>
for China.

Having lost her daughter, Candy
<http://inj9.mjt.lu/lnk/AMwAAKqL8X0AAcrqnbA83MsAGqoAJUNBAAiQzwBhAsSMSUNopTskT0CMncxamYYExAAIIWc/5/YywrXXH3sLfXXVKFpK5TLA/aHR0cDovL2NhbmR5d2VpLm9yZy8>,
tragically two decades ago, Jing was keenly attuned to the struggles of
others. Warm, caring and generous, she was a gifted cook who made sure that
students from far away had a welcoming place to go for Thanksgiving.

May we honor her memory by making room at our own tables – and by reaching
out now to the many friends, colleagues and students grappling with her
loss.

With sympathy,

L. Rafael Reif





Massachusetts Institute of Technology
77 Massachusetts Ave | Cambridge, MA 02139

This ema

[Wikimedia-l] Wikimania 2021: Call for volunteers and core team

2021-02-21 Thread phoebe ayers
Hello everyone,

Following the recent news that 2021 Wikimania will be virtual

[1], the Wikimania Steering Committee
[2] wanted to follow
up with some updates and opportunities to be involved in the planning for
Wikimania 2021.

TL;dr: *The Wikimania Steering Committee has begun planning for Wikimania
2021, and we are looking for 5-6 people to be on the core organizing team,
plus additional volunteers for other roles.* If you would like to be part
of the core team for organizing this year's virtual Wikimania, please let
us know by applying by *March 1.* Details are here:
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimania_2021/Call_for_volunteers
or read
on!

==Hosting Wikimania 2021==

As there’s no physical location for this year's Wikimania, there are no
geographically based hosts. Instead, the Wikimania Steering Committee and
the Core Organizing Team (details below) will serve as an international
team of community organizers for Wikimania 2021. The Foundation will be
providing infrastructure, logistics and organizational support.

We invite you to join us and help produce this event for the community, by
the community.

==What we've done==

In order to help imagine and design a virtual event, in January 2021 the
Wikimania Steering Committee engaged in a series of design sprints that
were facilitated by event design experts. The goal of our design sprints
was to collaboratively start designing a few formats for a virtual
Wikimania experience to bring back to the wider community. You can read
more about the process, the people involved, and the outcomes of our design
sprints here
.[3]


==Theme & Dates==

Since this year marks the 20th anniversary of Wikipedia, and celebrations
are ongoing, Wikimania 2021’s theme will also celebrate 20 years of
Wikipedia. We’ll look back at our history and imagine our future.

We’re planning for the conference to be held in August 2021, following the
precedent set by past Wikimanias. Exact dates will follow soon.

==What about scholarships?==

Since an in-person event scholarship cannot be awarded for a virtual event,
there is an opportunity for us to look into repurposing the scholarships
program to enable participation and promote accessibility. A feasibility
study will be completed to develop how the scholarships program can be
repurposed, and the Core Organizing Team will help decide on the best
course of action.

==How to get involved==

For supporting the organization of Wikimania, we will need help from
community members around the world. To begin, we've identified roles that
will be part of the Core Organizing Team.

We are inviting nominations and self-nominations for the Core Organizing
Team for Wikimania 2021. This team will help lead the development and
production of the overall event, focused on the conference program, and
will be supported by technical and project staff at the Wikimedia
Foundation and the Wikimania steering committee. Volunteers will need to
commit time each week between now and August to make the event a success.

There will be additional calls for volunteers in other roles in the coming
months as well. If you have an idea for how you might be able to contribute
to Wikimania organization in other ways, please let us know by filling out
the application form
.

If you have organized past events in person or online, or are interested in
hosting international Wikimedia events in the future, we need you! Planning
Wikimania is an amazing way to meet and collaborate with other Wikimedians
from all over the world. This group will need people who are strong
collaborators, communicators, and solution-oriented and who are able to be
consistently involved through the conference.

If you have thoughts, ideas, or questions before applying, feel free to add
your comments on this meta page:
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:Wikimania_2021 [4]

==So what are we looking for?==

Total number of people we are looking for

   - Organizing core team members: minimum of 2, maximum 3 community
   representatives
   - Programming core team members: minimum of 2, maximum 3 community
   representatives
   - These will be joined by 1-2 steering committee liaisons and staff from
   the WMF, including a project manager and virtual event producer


What are the responsibilities of Organizing core team members (2-3
people)?:

   -
   - Help choose the right format for a virtual Wikimania - using prior
   design work to set the length and outline of the event
   - Help shape/decide the outcome of the recommendations of the
   Scholarship Feasibility Report
   - Keep our international community up to date and involved throughout
   planning phase
 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikimedia Announcements] Announcing a new Wikimedia project: Abstract Wikipedia

2020-07-04 Thread phoebe ayers
Thanks Denny! I appreciate this, and your thoughtfulness as always.

Thanks for starting an explicit discussion. I think our field (meaning,
computer science & internet projects broadly) often assumes that these
questions will just arise in context, or get solved as we go, but they
rarely do. So making ethics a focus from the start is crucial. There may
not be good "solutions"! But inviting lots of people in to talk about
scenarios etc I think will make a much stronger and innovative project in
the end.

all best,
Phoebe

On Fri, Jul 3, 2020 at 7:54 PM Denny Vrandečić  wrote:

> Thank you Phoebe for the congratulations, and thank you for the
> considerations, and I agree with them.
>
> On wiki, Denis Barthel and Ryan Kaldari already raised a number of the
> concerns - although not all - that you are raising here.
>
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:Abstract_Wikipedia#Kaldari's_concerns
>
>
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:Abstract_Wikipedia#Revisiting_and_twisting_a_Kaldari_concern
>
> And I tried to answer some of them there. But I do agree that this is not
> sufficient, and I would love to be able to ensure that the ethical concerns
> you raise do not get lost, and are sufficiently represented when we do the
> project.
>
> Alas, I am also a bit at a loss about how to ensure that. Yes, for some of
> them, we have a pretty good, albeit developing understanding of how to
> cover them, particularly around ethics and AI and about bias and ethical
> data. Also I think doing several best / worst case scenario exercises at
> relevant points is a great idea. The one thing that troubles me most,
> though, is how to ensure that in the new communities that we will foster
> the representation among contributors is indeed more representative of the
> diversity in the world. To the best of my knowledge, we have no answers for
> that - and I would very much want to learn about this.
>
> So, here's what I can promise - among the many topics that we need to
> discuss while we are ramping up the project, I will also start an explicit
> discussion on how to make sure that ethical considerations are sufficiently
> represented during the development of the project. I obviously cannot
> promise that we will successfully avoid all ethical pitfalls - but I can
> promise that I will do my best to do so.
>
> It is, in the end, ethical concerns that motivated me, and some of them
> are discussed and described here:
>
> https://wikipedia20.pubpub.org/pub/vyf7ksah/release/6
>
> It is this motivation of allowing more people to share in more knowledge
> in more languages which drives me.
>
> I hope you'll join us on the new list and keep an eye on what we're doing.
> Your voice would be very appreciated.
>
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/abstract-wikipedia
>
> Thank you!
> Denny
>
>
>
> On Fri, Jul 3, 2020 at 11:07 AM phoebe ayers 
> wrote:
>
>> Congratulations to everyone, this is exciting.
>>
>> It is also very exciting that we have an almost-unprecedented opportunity
>> to build a new project that is fully informed by both lessons from own past
>> projects, as well as from the rapidly developing field of ethics in
>> computer science and AI. From our own past projects, we have learned (among
>> other things) that pitfalls could include contributor recruitment;
>> continued maintenance; transparency and accessibility of the UI; unclear
>> provenance of data; that many communities want a say in how they are
>> represented online, but often don't have one; and that the biases and
>> systemic biases of the world are reflected in who contributes, what sources
>> they use, and what areas of focus are. We have also learned that our
>> relationship with reusers, particularly around structured data that is
>> highly valued by commercial entities, is poorly defined and tenuous. From
>> the movement to build more ethical AI systems, we've learned (among other
>> things) that flawed model assumptions can result in unpredictable and often
>> deeply harmful downstream outcomes; that most sources of data are not
>> transparent in their limitations or provenance; and that incorporating the
>> concerns of people affected by systems can result in less biased data and
>> outcomes.
>>
>> These are hard problems, and they are not problems that have obvious,
>> one-size-fits-all solutions. But we do have an obligation I think to
>> consider these issues front and center in this new project that we are
>> building. It concerns me that, at least in the high-level project proposals
>> I've seen (I haven't been tracking this closely, and haven't read the
>> academic papers) I have not yet see

Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikimedia Announcements] Announcing a new Wikimedia project: Abstract Wikipedia

2020-07-03 Thread phoebe ayers
Congratulations to everyone, this is exciting.

It is also very exciting that we have an almost-unprecedented opportunity
to build a new project that is fully informed by both lessons from own past
projects, as well as from the rapidly developing field of ethics in
computer science and AI. From our own past projects, we have learned (among
other things) that pitfalls could include contributor recruitment;
continued maintenance; transparency and accessibility of the UI; unclear
provenance of data; that many communities want a say in how they are
represented online, but often don't have one; and that the biases and
systemic biases of the world are reflected in who contributes, what sources
they use, and what areas of focus are. We have also learned that our
relationship with reusers, particularly around structured data that is
highly valued by commercial entities, is poorly defined and tenuous. From
the movement to build more ethical AI systems, we've learned (among other
things) that flawed model assumptions can result in unpredictable and often
deeply harmful downstream outcomes; that most sources of data are not
transparent in their limitations or provenance; and that incorporating the
concerns of people affected by systems can result in less biased data and
outcomes.

These are hard problems, and they are not problems that have obvious,
one-size-fits-all solutions. But we do have an obligation I think to
consider these issues front and center in this new project that we are
building. It concerns me that, at least in the high-level project proposals
I've seen (I haven't been tracking this closely, and haven't read the
academic papers) I have not yet seen discussions of ethical data, or how we
might think about identifying bias, or even how to recruit contributors and
the impact on existing contributors.

In my day job, I am the librarian for a pretty well-known computer science
school.[1] There, the recent movement to consider ethics in the computer
science curriculum, and in the systems that our computer scientists build,
is being discussed now at all levels of the university -- but is being led
primarily by students who recognize that they have an obligation, as the
next generation of engineers, to help build better systems for a better
world.  Meanwhile, as practitioners who build systems at Wikimedia, we
consider ourselves part of a small group of influential organizations that
is "making the internet not suck" -- we believe in openness, in community,
and in making sure that everyone in the world has access to knowledge, in
their own language; we believe in an aspirational better world. As a part
of this mission, we must take questions of ethics seriously -- and we do.
We have collectively spent thousands of hours trying to expand our
contributor base; thinking about systemic bias; thinking about sources and
provenance; trying to open up copyright to make knowledge accessible;
working with communities on indigenous knowledge; building UIs that are
easier to contribute to. These are all efforts related to our ethics and
values. With our new projects, we can set precedent. We can explore the
problems that we face today on Wikipedia, Wikidata, and Commons and
consider not just how to avoid them but how to build a better project. We
can do this in a multilingual context with perspectives from volunteers and
staff around the world, in a way that almost no other projects online --
certainly no single university or research group -- can. We can, without
much legacy infrastructure to hamper us, spin out worst-case and best case
scenarios, ask questions about our data and who might participate, think
about downstream consequences. And *that* is truly exciting.

best,
-- Phoebe


[1]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MIT_Computer_Science_and_Artificial_Intelligence_Laboratory



On Thu, Jul 2, 2020 at 12:04 PM Katherine Maher 
wrote:

> (A translatable version of this announcement can be found on Meta [1])
>
> Hi all,
>
> It is my honor to introduce Abstract Wikipedia [1], a new project that has
> been unanimously approved by the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees.
> Abstract Wikipedia proposes a new way to generate baseline encyclopedic
> content in a multilingual fashion, allowing more contributors and more
> readers to share more knowledge in more languages. It is an approach that
> aims to make cross-lingual cooperation easier on our projects, increase the
> sustainability of our movement through expanding access to participation,
> improve the user experience for readers of all languages, and innovate in
> free knowledge by connecting some of the strengths of our movement to
> create something new.
>
> This is our first new project in over seven years. Abstract Wikipedia was
> submitted as a project proposal by Denny Vrandečić in May of 2020 [2] after
> years of preparation and research, leading to a detailed plan and lively
> discussions in the Wikimedia communities. We know that the energy and the
> 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board Update on Branding

2020-06-23 Thread phoebe ayers
I second Jan-Bart; thanks to Nat for this letter. As someone who asked for
a board statement, I appreciate this very much. And as someone who has also
been on the other side, like Jan-Bart I am aware of how much work a
statement like this likely took (and how difficult it is to balance many
perspectives, and address many audiences, knowing many will be irritated or
angry in any controversial debate).

I also take heart -- honestly and genuinely -- that we are debating this
issue. I am glad that enough people care about Wikimedia, and what it
means, that they are willing to argue the point -- it would be a sad day
indeed if that wasn't true. I take heart that we do want more people to
join our projects and movement, and are exploring ways to do that --
including how people know of us, our names and brands. I also, lastly, want
to acknowledge Brad's post, with which I agree. It is a fundamental role of
the Foundation to hold our marks in trust on behalf of the community. This
(like hosting the servers themselves, or other essential infrastructure
work) is part of what we need a corporate entity for. And our legal team,
over many years and many GCs and leaders, has done an admirable job of
defending those marks and keeping them for all of us. I appreciate that
very much. Keeping the marks is a social trust as well as a legal one, and
that social aspect is what we find ourselves discussing now.

For the staff involved, I want to acknowledge that many of you have been
working on this for years, and it must feel like you cannot win, or that
there is not enough consultation in the world. Is there enough consultation
in the world to get hundreds of thousands of Wikimedians to all agree?
Probably not, no. But is there enough consultation to, as the Quakers would
say, discern the sense of the meeting? I think that there is, and I think
with every consultation exercise we get closer to finding that consensus. I
wrote elsewhere on Meta that I was profoundly disappointed in this process.
That is true, and yet: I am also profoundly glad that I, and so many of us,
have such high standards for our movement -- our absolutely unique,
sometimes infuriating, and profoundly essential movement, that values
debate and dissent, collaboration and consensus. That is a brand we all
keep in trust.

-- Phoebe


On Mon, Jun 22, 2020 at 6:25 AM Jan-Bart de Vreede 
wrote:

> Hi Natalii (and everyone)
>
> Thank you for this mail. I know this was hard to write, also knowing that
> it will be dissected by a lot of people who will read it with a perspective
> all of their own.
>
> Having been on the other side of the fence I know how hard it is to
> (re)gain trust after mistakes have been made (and to be clear, mistakes
> have and will be made by everyone). In my opinion this is caused by an
> existing tension between the volunteer movement and the Foundation which is
> based mostly on emotions and a difference of opinion with regards to the
> best path forward for a lot of issues. Everyone seems to remember the time
> that the Foundation was tone deaf, but no one recalls all the things that
> are going well. So it is encouraging to read that we still have time before
> the board has to make this decision (and to understand that the deciion has
> not been made)
>
> Honestly: I realise that people find it annoying to be reminded that the
> board has the authority to change the name of the Foundation. But apart
> from being very direct it is not only true, but also your responsibility.
> As I stated elsewhere I look towards the board to make a decision which
> looks at the benefits (which could be financial or otherwise) and the costs
> (which in this case seem to include a lot of resistance from the
> community). Apparently you are not in a position to make that decision at
> this time, and that is understandable.
>
> However: there is a question if you can accurately measure the outcome of
> the survey as it is formulated now (which should give you a good indication
> of the movements feelings on this topic)… I have heard several people
> complain that it is “not easy” to fill in the survey to indicate that one
> is against a name change altogether. It might be a good idea to make this
> an easier option or gauge feedback in another way. by pausing or restarting
> the community consultation process in a different way.
>
> Thanks again for your efforts.
>
> Jan-Bart de Vreede
>
> PS: I am thinking of making a standard disclaimer under my emails on
> topics such as these: During my 9 years as a Board member of the Foundation
> I have made mistakes and so have the people I worked with, both volunteers
> and staff. I have however never doubted anyone’s intentions and have always
> noticed that  tensions such as these are also fueled  by a passion that can
> only come from caring a lot about the subject matter. It is often easy to
> forget that. I take the blame for the mistakes that were made during my
> tenure, and I hope that the above 

[Wikimedia-l] WikiConference North America live stream

2019-11-07 Thread phoebe ayers
Dear all,
We are looking forward to WikiConference North America here at MIT in
Cambridge, Massachusetts this weekend! We will be welcoming around 250
people over the four-day weekend, with a museum and cultural institution
culture crawl on Friday, conference sessions on Saturday and Sunday, and
discussion/hackathon focused on reliability and credibility on Monday.

For those who can't be here with us in person, we have a live stream
planned of three of our session rooms on Saturday and Sunday. To access the
stream, go here:
http://web.mit.edu/webcast/wiki/f19/

We are looking forward to sharing as much of the conference as we can with
you all! To find out what is when, the schedule is here (all times eastern
time):
https://wikiconference.org/wiki/2019/Schedule

We have a packed schedule with sessions about education, research,
outreach, and more, as well as a special focus/track in our main auditorium
on credibility and reliability in the news and media, which our partners at
the Credibility Coalition are assisting with. As we think about the future
of Wikipedia as a reliable source in a world where social media platforms
and media networks are struggling with issues of misinformation and
credibility, we hope that this program will be both timely and helpful.

Let me know if you have any questions and I hope you are able to tune in
online.
Phoebe, for WCNA


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Results of the Affiliate Selected Board Seats voting

2019-06-15 Thread phoebe ayers
Congratulations to Nat and Shani! And big thanks to Christophe for your
energy and care.

Being on the Board is a very tough job and a huge commitment of time and
energy, and thanks to all who ran.

I'm also glad the voting has been expanded; in addition to the points Chris
Keating makes about improving the election, I hope that in the next round
we will share good practices for how affiliates can use the elections to
get their members and friends more involved in thinking about strategy and
Wikimedia. It's a great opportunity for groups!

Thanks to everyone involved,
Phoebe

On Wed, Jun 12, 2019 at 6:56 PM Ad Huikeshoven  wrote:

> *Dear Wikimedians, We are writing to let you know the result of the
> election for the 2 Affiliate Selected Board Seats on the Wikimedia
> Foundation board. The successful candidates were Nataliia Tymkiv and Shani
> Evenstein Sigalov. A total of 122 affiliates voted, 85% of the 143 eligible
> to vote, which is a record. As you know the election was conducted under a
> variation of the Single Transferable Vote, which meant that prorated votes
> were redistributed between candidates to come up with the final result. In
> the 10th step of counting the final place, after Nataliia Tymkiv was
> elected, was between Shani Evenstein Sigalov (40.519678) and Richard Knipel
> (40.480322).  We have put the full count narrative on meta so that others
> can verify it if they wish.[1] It is the closest ASBS result for some time,
> and all candidates brought very valuable perspectives to the work of the
> WMF.  In the 9th step of counting Reda Kerbouche lost by a very small
> margin. Adding a ballot with rank #1 for Richard or Reda would result in
> them being elected instead of Shani. The same goes for removing a ballot.
> Changing the ranking on one of the ballots in a specific can way can result
> in a different outcome for the second seat. This is an election in which
> every vote counts.  As in any election, there is a chance that some voters
> misinterpreted the instructions and voted wrongly. We don't see a
> justification for an action as extraordinary and controversial as opening
> votes for review after the vote period is over. The instructions were
> visible and clear: "Rank any candidate from 1 (your preferred candidate) to
> 11 (your least preferred candidate)." After voting, voters received a
> confirmation email stating the name of each candidate they voted with the
> number of their rank: Rank 1, Rank 2, ... The agency of voters should be
> respected. As part of the retrospective we may identify areas of
> improvements on our side, but still the process was quite simple and
> documented. Some voters realized they made a mistake and requested a new
> ballot. New ballots were issued in those cases. This choice was done
> because of the specific situation of this election, since the process was
> complex for new affiliates and participation, diversity and inclusion were
> a clear goal.[2] We have published on meta information about who got a new
> ballot within the voting deadline.[3] The Election Facilitators have been
> available nearly 24 hours a day monitoring the various communication
> channels to answer any questions affiliates might have. We did our best at
> answering all of them. After our own scrutiny of the data, and based on our
> experience in community processes, we strongly advise the community to
> respect the integrity of the process, and advise against allowing any
> modifications of votes at this point. If the votes had been reopened for
> modification with or without publishing vote results, that would have
> caused significant confusion and criticism that could have jeopardized the
> entire election.  We will publish a debrief with recommendations for a next
> ASBS process on meta.[4] We invite all representatives of affiliates to a
> feedback session at Wikimania.[5] We would like to congratulate Nataliia
> Tymkiv and Shani Evenstein Sigalov and thank everyone who stood.  Regards,
>  Ad Huikeshoven, Lane Rasberry, Jeffrey Keefer, Neal McBurnett, Abhinav
> Srivastava, Alessandor MarchettiElection Facilitators [1]
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Affiliate-selected_Board_seats/2019/Results
> <
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Affiliate-selected_Board_seats/2019/Results
> >
> [2]
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Affiliate-selected_Board_seats/Resolution_2019
> <
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Affiliate-selected_Board_seats/Resolution_2019
> >
> [3]
>
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Affiliate-selected_Board_seats/2019/New_ballots
> <
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Affiliate-selected_Board_seats/2019/New_ballots
> >
> [4]
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Affiliate-selected_Board_seats/2019/Debrief
> <
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Affiliate-selected_Board_seats/2019/Debrief
> >
> [5]
> https://wikimania.wikimedia.org/wiki/ASBS_Feedback
> *
> ___
> 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Reviewing our brand system for our 2030 goals

2019-04-13 Thread phoebe ayers
On Sat, Apr 13, 2019 at 2:29 PM Rebecca O'Neill 
wrote:

> I agree Galder!
>
> I would like to respond to Phoebe's comment on not wanting to draw people
> to the *Wikimedia* movement is not true of the Irish experience. We have
> some idea of an editing community that aren't interested in getting
> involved in our user group (and probably never will be), so we are very
> keen to draw people to volunteering as Wikimedians not just as editors.
> Presenting our group as something more than people who are experienced
> Wikipedia editors is very important to us, and anything that makes that
> message easier would be of huge benefit to us.
>

Dear Rebecca,
Thanks for this. Let me try to explain my thinking a bit more...
I too want people to join Wikimedia New England, which is the group I'm
currently running. And in general, I want a thriving and healthy ecosystem
of affiliates. But I want that to be true because the work that chapters,
affiliates and the Foundation itself does is meant to be enabling for the
larger goal of making free knowledge available, and specifically for
improving and sustaining Wikipedia and her sister projects.

Everything that the groups do - from building the technical/legal
infrastructure side, to training new editors, to providing a friendly
geographic or topical face to Wikipedia, to doing outreach, to supporting
existing editors - is a means to an end. It is not the end itself. We do
this multivarious work because we recognize that there are many, many
effective ways to contribute in a project as complex as ours, and that
participants can sometimes best find a home in ways that are not directly
editing. But equally: there are of course other means to this end of
building free knowledge that have nothing to do with the Wikimedia group/
structure, most notably the thousands of independent volunteers who work
largely alone to maintain and build the projects, and upon whose work we
all depend. Groups, and the Foundation, are important! But they are not, in
themselves, the end goal.

So where does this leave us with rebranding? I admit I haven't read all of
the comments/analysis. But, to my mind, there's a cost to rebranding: the
several hundred person-hours that have already been put into this
discussion, if nothing else. For the benefit to outweigh the cost, we need
to imagine what will happen to increase participation in building free
knowledge as a result. If we are "Wikipedia New England" or "Wikipedia
Ireland" et al, will our groups be more effective -- for instance, with an
easier to understand name, will new people join our trainings, perhaps
becoming Wikipedia editors? Will more cultural institutions reach out, and
be more amenable to releasing images? If the Foundation is the Wikipedia
Foundation, then how does this improve the infrastructure that the
Foundation provides, exactly?

If the answer is that this change will definitely increase participation in
the projects and free knowledge generally, through the mechanism of the
various groups being more recognizable and thus reaching a bigger audience,
then the proposal is worth seriously considering. But if it is hard to
imagine - and I admit I do find it hard to imagine that the name of the
Foundation is the thing standing in our way to wider Wikipedia
participation - then it doesn't seem worth the cost.

-- Phoebe
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Reviewing our brand system for our 2030 goals

2019-04-13 Thread phoebe ayers
On Mon, Feb 25, 2019 at 10:14 PM Zack McCune  wrote:

> :: Apologies for cross-posting to multiple mailing lists. We want to ensure
> we spread the word about this opportunity to as many people as possible. ::
>
> Hi all,
>
> We are writing today to invite you to be a part of a community review on
> Wikimedia brand research and strategy.
>
> Recently, the Wikimedia Foundation set out to better understand how the
> world sees Wikimedia and Wikimedia projects as brands.[1] We wanted to get
> a sense of the general visibility of our different projects, and evaluate
> public support of our mission to spread free knowledge.
>

Dear all,
I haven't weighed in before. But it seems to me there's a simple question
underlying all of this: do we actually want, or need, to increase public
awareness of the Wikimedia Foundation and Wikimedia chapters/affiliates (as
opposed to the projects themselves)?

Having Wikimedia be a more recognizable entity or brand does not seem to me
like it would help us in our core goals, of recruiting editors and content
to the *projects*. We do not typically use the Wikimedia name to do
outreach, or to talk about the projects; the handful of us that are
insiders and give presentations about the WMF is small, relative to the
number of educators and librarians and editors talking about Wikipedia. (I
give many trainings on editing Wikipedia every year; talking about
Wikimedia is irrelevant for this purpose). Perhaps a rebrand would make
fundraising easier -- but we already use the project brand for that, as
most fundraising is directly off the projects, and the fundraising that
isn't (grants and large donations) has a lot of communication around it. So
I'm not sure how a rebrand would help here either.

The premise of this whole exercise is that people knowing about Wikimedia
as an entity will somehow help us. But we are not trying to recruit
contributors to the Foundation, or to the chapters; we are trying to
recruit them to the projects, and if the infrastructure of our network is
invisible, I am fine with that. I think to increase the centrality of the
*organization* is a distraction that misses the point of both our mission
and the role of the organization, which is to provide infrastructure. We're
not selling shoes here; more brand awareness of the Foundation does not
translate into a direct furthering of our mission, and more focus on the
organization is at best a distraction for overworked volunteers.

Like Andrew, I might have been excited about naming it the Wikipedia
Foundation ten or fifteen years ago. But now, I think there is a wide world
of free knowledge that we want to imagine -- including a future of our
projects remixed into something new, beyond Wikipedia. So for that reason
too, I am skeptical.

regards,
Phoebe
(former WMF trustee)
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[Wikimedia-l] thank you for Wikimania

2018-07-26 Thread phoebe ayers
All,
A huge thanks to the Wikimedia South Africa team + the WMF logistics &
travel team + all the volunteers from around the world on the program
committee and assisting in other capacities + all of the enthusiastic
attendees - for making this a wonderful Wikimania.

We got to experience the beautiful city of Cape Town and surrounds, which
was for many attendees our first time in South Africa (or anywhere in
Africa). We met new friends and people in the movement doing amazing work
on the continent & beyond. We talked about editing the projects, about
movement strategy, about next steps. We had a fun dance party... and I know
that I, and many others, are newly inspired to work with the people I met
to improve and strengthen our projects in and about Africa and the African
diaspora.

Thanks again to the organizers (especially to Douglas Scott for hosting us
& running a week-long Wikimania and THEN leading (amazing) walking tours
for two days, to Liam Wyatt for running program logistics and getting
everything organized so that we could have a program, and to Ellie Young &
her WMF team for running things smoothly behind the scenes) -- and to
everyone who participated for making this such a great time. I encourage
everyone, whether you attended or not, to watch some talks, get inspired to
host local events and connect with the Wikimedians who presented their
projects and initiatives, and edit about South Africa!

greetings and wikilove from my last (alas) day in Capetown,
Phoebe

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Craig Franklin passed away

2018-04-18 Thread phoebe ayers
On Mon, Apr 16, 2018 at 1:56 PM, Lodewijk 
wrote:

> Hi all,
>
> Through various other channels I learned the unfortunate news that Craig
> Franklin (Lankiveil) has recently passed away.
>

What! that is terrible. I fondly remember talking (& sometimes having
friendly arguments) with Craig at various Wikimedia conferences and events
over the years, and seeing him around the English Wikipedia as an editor &
admin since way back (2004). A loss for his family and friends, and for our
movement.

Thanks for passing on the news, & my condolences to all of his friends.
- Phoebe
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Austin Hair is gone

2017-12-18 Thread phoebe ayers
Thanks Asaf.

On Mon, Dec 18, 2017 at 11:17 AM, Andy Mabbett 
wrote:

> Please will someone write something suitable at:
>
>https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Deceased_Wikipedians
>

I would be glad to work on this over the next few days, with others who
knew and worked with him.
---

Thank you Asaf for sending this.

Austin was a very dear friend of mine. We met in 2005 at the first
Wikimania in Frankfurt, along with many (now) old-timers. Austin was quiet,
kind, good at programming, and a Wikipedian through and through as Lodewijk
wrote elsewhere -- fond of politics and facts. We ended up working together
on Wikimania 2006 and then for several conference editions after that. I
remember late nights printing badges in Cambridge, Taiwan, Poland...

He also served on the chapters committee and then Affcom (2006-2012) and
was chair of that committee. He was administrator of this mailing list for
a very long time (and believe me, had seen every argument under the sun).
Before that, he was an IRC administrator. He worked on various versions of
meta strategy projects, and there are doubtless many other things I'm
forgetting.

His family lives in Texas; his friends are everywhere. He will be missed a
great deal.

We'll be collecting photos and memories for his family. If you have stories
or anecdotes to share, please add them to the meta page, and if you have
photos there's a commons category here:
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Austin_Hair

Hugs to all,
Phoebe

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Appointment of Esra’a Al Shafei to Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees

2017-12-02 Thread phoebe ayers
Congratulations everyone! Esra'a is a wonderful addition to the Board. I'm
delighted she was able to join!

Best,
Phoebe

PS on the photos question, I worked closely with Esra'a on this for
Wikimania - it was not difficult to accommodate no photos of her, and it's
important. She has a lot of experience with how to do this practically in
group situations - being out of frame, etc - and I don't think a reluctance
to have photos of herself online changes her, or our, commitment to
crowdsourced, well-documented open projects in the slightest.

On Dec 1, 2017 3:59 PM, "Christophe Henner"  wrote:

> Hi everyone,
>
> With the appointment of Raju to the Board of Trustees a couple of months
> ago, we were left with a remaining open vacancy to fill. I am thrilled to
> share that after several months of searching and discussions, we have made
> another important appointment. At our November Board Retreat, the Board
> appointed and welcomed Esra’a Al Shafei to fill our vacant expert seat.
>
> Esra'a is a prominent international human rights activist and social
> entrepreneur. She founded and directs Majal, a nonprofit which utilizes
> digital media to amplify under-reported and marginalized voices throughout
> the Middle East and North Africa. For those of you that heard her keynote
> presentation at this year's Wikimania, I think you will agree she will make
> a very valuable addition to the Board and brings an important perspective
> and skillset to the Board's efforts.
>
> Below (and on the Wikimedia Blog) you will find the official announcement
> about Esra’a Al Shafei. Please join me in warmly welcoming her to the
> Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees and to the Wikimedia movement!
>
> Christophe
> Chair, Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees
>
> P.S. Due to the nature of Esra’a’s work, sharing photos or videos of Esra’a
> may endanger her safety or the safety of others. To help ensure the privacy
> and safety of Esra’a and her colleagues, we are not sharing any photographs
> or videos of Esra'a. We ask that you please join us in supporting this
> important safety consideration.
>
>
> Press release
>
> Header: Esra'a Al Shafei joins Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees
>
> Subheader: Bahraini human rights activist and social entrepreneur brings to
> the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees more than a decade of experience
> in applying creative solutions to challenges faced by underserved and
> underrepresented communities.
>
> Image: https://wikimania2017.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Esraa.png[a]
>  LuEi5a9gJDpB7HWEft4/mobilebasic#cmnt1>
> [b]
>  LuEi5a9gJDpB7HWEft4/mobilebasic#cmnt2>
> [c]
>  LuEi5a9gJDpB7HWEft4/mobilebasic#cmnt3>
> [d]
>  LuEi5a9gJDpB7HWEft4/mobilebasic#cmnt4>
>
> San Francisco, California, 1 December 2017 — The Wikimedia Foundation today
> announced the appointment of Esra'a Al Shafei, a prominent human rights
> activist and a passionate defender of free expression, to the Wikimedia
> Foundation Board of Trustees.
>
> A native of Bahrain, Esra'a’s work aims to increase and protect free
> speech, promote expression for youth and underrepresented voices, and
> improve the lives of LGBTQ people in the Middle East and North Africa. She
> founded and directs Majal, a network of online platforms that
> amplify under-reported and marginalized voices.
>
> “Esra'a shares Wikimedia's foundational belief that shared knowledge can
> facilitate shared understanding,” said Wikimedia Foundation Executive
> Director, Katherine Maher. "Her achievements exemplify how intentional
> community building can be a powerful tool for positive change, while
> her passion
> for beautiful and engaging user experiences will only elevate our work. We
> are so fortunate to have her perspective in support of our global Wikimedia
> communities."
>
> Esra'a founded Majal in 2006 as Mideast Youth, at the time a series of
> blogs bringing a voice to marginalized and underrepresented young
> people across the Middle East. Today, the organization's team helps build
> communities that celebrate, protect, and promote diversity and social
> justice. Their endeavors include CrowdVoice.org, which curates crowdsourced
> media to contextualize social movements throughout the world; Mideast
> Tunes, the largest web and mobile app showcasing underground musicians in
> the Middle East and North Africa who use music as a tool for social change;
> and Ahwaa.org, an open discussion platform for Arab LGBTQ individuals that
> uses game mechanics to protect and engage its community.
>
>
> “When I first encountered Wikipedia shortly after obtaining an internet
> connection in the early 2000s, I felt that the true purpose of the internet
> was realized. With 

[Wikimedia-l] Wikimania registration & hotel: register today!

2017-06-25 Thread phoebe ayers
Hi all,

Reminder! Register today for Wikimania and for the conference hotel, if you
plan to stay there. The early registration deadline is July 10 and the
deadline for booking accommodation in the conference hotel (where the
sessions will be located) is June 30th: next week!

details:
https://wikimania2017.wikimedia.org/wiki/Accommodation
https://wikimania2017.wikimedia.org/wiki/Registration

best,
Phoebe

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[Wikimedia-l] Berkman report: censorship of Wikipedia around the world

2017-06-08 Thread phoebe ayers
Apologies if you've already seen this -- looks like it was mentioned in the
media report but I haven't seen it posted otherwise. There is a new report
out from the Internet Monitor project at the Berkman Klein center that may
be of general interest:

"Analyzing Accessibility of Wikipedia Projects Around the World"
https://cyber.harvard.edu/publications/2017/04/WikipediaCensorship


Abstract:

This study, conducted by the Internet Monitor project at the Berkman Klein
Center for Internet & Society, analyzes the scope of government-sponsored
censorship of Wikimedia sites around the world. The study finds that, as of
June 2016, China was likely censoring the Chinese language Wikipedia
project, and Thailand and Uzbekistan were likely interfering intermittently
with specific language projects of Wikipedia as well.

However, considering the widespread use of filtering technologies and the
vast coverage of Wikipedia, our study finds that, as of June 2016, there
was relatively little censorship of Wikipedia globally. In fact, our study
finds there was less censorship in June 2016 than before Wikipedia’s
transition to HTTPS-only content delivery in June 2015. HTTPS prevents
censors from seeing which page a user is viewing, which means censors must
choose between blocking the entire site and allowing access to all
articles. This finding suggests that the shift to HTTPS has been a good one
in terms of ensuring accessibility to knowledge.

The study identifies and documents the blocking of Wikipedia content using
two complementary data collection and analysis strategies: a client-side
system that collects data from the perspective of users around the globe
and a server-side tool to analyze traffic coming in to Wikipedia servers.
Both client- and server-side methods detected events that we consider
likely related to censorship, in addition to a large number of suspicious
events that remain unexplained. The report features results of our data
analysis and insights into the state of access to Wikipedia content in 15
select countries.

-- Phoebe

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikimania-l] Wikimania ‘17 Draft Program is UP! Early Bird Registration Discounts

2017-06-08 Thread phoebe ayers
Thank you Ellie: we are all looking forward to Wikimania and to welcoming
the community in the beautiful, exciting city of Montréal!

I would like to personally encourage everyone to register soon, and if you
are able to, to arrive in time for the preconference day(s) and exploring
the city. And as you make travel plans, remember that we have a welcome
dinner on Thursday and a closing party on Sunday!

Also, for presenters in particular, I want to emphasize the DRAFT in that
draft programme... to get sessions into the most appropriate room for the
type of session, some community-submitted sessions will move around between
the three days, plus there are some additions to come. If you have specific
needs, as usual, please write wikimania-prog...@wikimedia.org. We will also
be contacting all accepted presenters and submitters again soon as well
with further info. I know that there have been various issues with getting
emails for waitlisted talks in particular, plus some of you have questions
that are waiting; we're working on a better system for contacting everyone.
THANK YOU for your patience, as I juggle many moving parts (and a day job)!

cheers,
Phoebe Ayers
... Wikimania '17 program co-chair


On Thu, Jun 8, 2017 at 2:50 PM, Ellie Young <eyo...@wikimedia.org> wrote:

> Attention Everyone (and please spread the word):
>
>
>
> Early Bird Registration is Open for Wikimania 2017.  This discount pricing
> ends on July 10th so don’t delay!
>
>
>
> https://wikimania2017.wikimedia.org/wiki/Registration
>
>
>
> Draft Program for the Conference is Now Up!
>
> https://wikimania2017.wikimedia.org/wiki/Programme
>
>
>
> Deadline for Accommodation at the Headquarters hotel is June 22.  See
> below!
>
>
>
> Wikimania 2017 will be held  August 9-13, 2017  in and around the Le
> Centre Sheraton Montréal <https://wikimania2017.wikimedia.org/wiki/Venue>,
> in Montréal, Canada
> <https://wikimania2017.wikimedia.org/wiki/Montr%C3%A9al> The venue will
> host most of the conference, hackathon, meetups, and pre-events. Most of
> the WMF personnel and scholarship recipients will be housed there as well.
> Those that submitted accepted talks for the program have been notified and
> the agenda will be finalized in the next few weeks.
>
>
>
> We would like to encourage all speakers and attendees to register early
> and book their flight and travel as soon as possible.   It is going to be a
> very popular, busy summer in Canada this year because of the 150th
> ​Anniversary
> of Canada and the 375th Anniversary  of Montréal.
>
> If you wish to stay at the headquarters hotel and take advantage of our
> discounted rate, the deadline is June 22.  After that prices will be higher
> and availability throughout the city limited.There is also a secondary
> property close by that is holding rooms for us as well.  See:
>
>
>
> https://wikimania2017.wikimedia.org/wiki/Accommodation
>
>
>
> If you have any questions with regard to the conference, please contact :
>
>
>
> wikimania-i...@wikimedia.org
>
>
>
> ​We h
> ope you can join us in Montréal this summer!
>
>
>
>
>
> Ellie Young, WMF Events Manager
>
> on behalf of the Wikimania ‘17 Organizing Team
>
>
>
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikimania-l] Update on Wikimania '17 - Scholarships, Registration, Submissions

2017-05-27 Thread phoebe ayers
Hi all,

and an update to Ellie's update... all of the acceptance/rejection/waitlist
emails for the Wikimedia program have gone out, as of early this week. If
you're expecting to hear from me about a submission and haven't yet, let us
know: wikimania-prog...@wikimedia.org (I know there are still some followup
questions in the queue, but if you haven't heard from us at all there may
be a problem with the email).

And if you were accepted but haven't written back: please do so asap!

We should be able to resolve waitlist submissions within the next couple of
weeks; this is a fairly labor-intensive period of going back & forth to
build the schedule. Thanks for your patience!

Phoebe


On Tue, May 16, 2017 at 9:18 PM, Ellie Young  wrote:

> Here's an update on various activities pertaining to our the upcoming
> Wikimania '17 which is being held August 9-13 in Montréal, Québec, Canada.
>
> WMF Scholarship Program:  110 people were offered and subsequently
> accepted a full or partial scholarship to attend.  The awardees are listed
> by user names and the list is posted here:
>
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:TPS/Wikimania_scholars
>
> Submissions:  The program committee has just finished it's review and
> deliberations.  Rejections and acceptance emails are going out this week
> and next.  We expect to post the program by the end of this month.
>
> Registration and accommodation information is now up for everyone at:
>
> https://wikimania2017.wikimedia.org/wiki/Registration
> https://wikimania2017.wikimedia.org/wiki/Accommodation
>
> If you are a scholarship or other WMF funded attendee (staff, contractor,
> board, etc), please wait until you hear from the WMF with your registration
> and accommodation instructions.
>
> If you have any questions about the conference, please email
> wikimania-i...@wikimedia.org
>
> Please spread the word
>
> Thanks, Ellie
>
>
> --
> Ellie Young
> Events Manager
> Wikimedia Foundation
> eyo...@wikimedia.org
> ​
>
>
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>


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] DEADLINE EXTENDED: Wikimania 2017 call for submissions

2017-04-09 Thread phoebe ayers
Thanks Joseph! Just a followup reminder that submissions are due TOMORROW.

If you have submitted a proposal already but it's marked as a "draft",
please finalize it and mark it as "completed" by tomorrow as well. (If you
are a submitter you may already have email from me about this).

thanks everyone! We are going to have a great program this year!

Phoebe
(for the program committee)



On Sat, Apr 8, 2017 at 10:38 AM, Joseph Seddon <jsed...@wikimedia.org>
wrote:

> REMINDER: Deadline for submitting presentations, panels,
> roundtables and workshops to Wikimania is *April 10*.
>
> You have TWO days remaining.
>
> The deadline for posters and birds-of-a-feather sessions remains *May 15*.
>
> Please see below for the call for submissions for Wikimania, and submit
> your ideas! Please also note, for those who have already submitted, there
> is now a field in the registration form for "completed" or "in-progress"
> submission. When you are ready to have your submission reviewed, please
> note that it is "completed". Thank you!
>
> Please contact us with any questions: wikimania-prog...@wikimedia.org
>
> Seddon
>
> Phoebe
> >
> > On Tue, Feb 14, 2017 at 10:10 AM, phoebe ayers <phoebe.w...@gmail.com>
> > wrote:
> >
> > > All,
> > > I'm very pleased to send out the Wikimania Montréal Call for
> Submissions,
> > > which can be found in French here:
> > > https://wikimania2017.wikimedia.org/wiki/Submissions/fr
> > > and in English here:
> > > https://wikimania2017.wikimedia.org/wiki/Submissions/en
> > >
> > > On behalf of the Wikimania programme committee,
> > > Phoebe Ayers
> > > -
> > >
> > > Que vous soyez un membre de la communauté de l’un des projets Wikimédia
> > > (tels que Wikipédia, Wikibooks, Wikidata, Wikisource, Wikinews,
> Wikimedia
> > > Commons, Wiktionnaire, MediaWiki ou autres), un créateur de contenu
> libre
> > > ou un consommateur, nous recevrons avec plaisir votre proposition pour
> > une
> > > session lors de Wikimania 2017.
> > >
> > > *dates importantes*
> > >
> > > Appel aux propositions ouvert : 2 février 2017
> > > Date limite de soumission des présentations (conférence, panneau, table
> > > ronde et atelier) : *15 avril 2017*
> > > Date limite de soumission des brefs exposés, affiches et réunions
> > > d’oiseaux de la même plume : 15 mai 2017.
> > > Notification d’acceptation des présentations : 20 avril 2017
> > > Notification d’acceptation des brefs exposés, affiches et réunions
> > > d’oiseaux de la même plume : 10 juin 2017
> > >
> > > *Types de soumissions & Comment soumettre: *https://wikimania2017.
> > > wikimedia.org/wiki/Submissions/fr
> > >
> > > *Des questions ?* Merci de contacter le Comité du programme par
> > > wikimania-program(à)wikimedia.org.
> > >
> > > 
> > >
> > > Whether you are a community member of one of the Wikimedia projects
> (such
> > > as Wikipedia, Wikibooks, Wikidata, Wikisource, Wikinews, Wikimedia
> > Commons,
> > > Wiktionary, MediaWiki or others), or a fellow open content creator or
> > > consumer, we welcome your proposal for a session at Wikimania 2017.
> > >
> > > *Important dates*
> > >
> > > Call for proposals opens: February 2, 2017
> > > Deadline for submitting presentation (lecture, panel, roundtable and
> > > workshop) submissions: *April 10, 2017*
> > > Deadline for submitting lightning talks, poster, and birds of a feather
> > > submissions: May 15, 2017
> > > Notification of acceptance for presentations: April 20, 2017
> > > Notification of acceptance for lightning talks, poster and birds of a
> > > feather submissions: June 10, 2017
> > >
> > > *Submission types & how to submit:* https://wikimania2017.
> > > wikimedia.org/wiki/Submissions/en
> > >
> > > *Any questions?* Please contact the Programme Committee at
> > > wikimania-program at wikimedia.org
> > >
> >
> >
> >
> > --
> > * I use this address for lists; send personal messages to phoebe.ayers
> 
> > gmail.com *
> > ___
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[Wikimedia-l] DEADLINE EXTENDED: Wikimania 2017 call for submissions

2017-03-26 Thread phoebe ayers
Dear all,

We have extended the deadline for submitting presentations, panels,
roundtables and workshops to Wikimania until *April 10*. The deadline for
posters and birds-of-a-feather sessions remains *May 15*.

Please see below for the call for submissions for Wikimania, and submit
your ideas! Please also note, for those who have already submitted, there
is now a field in the registration form for "completed" or "in-progress"
submission. When you are ready to have your submission reviewed, please
note that it is "completed". Thank you!

Please contact us with any questions: wikimania-prog...@wikimedia.org

best,
Phoebe

On Tue, Feb 14, 2017 at 10:10 AM, phoebe ayers <phoebe.w...@gmail.com>
wrote:

> All,
> I'm very pleased to send out the Wikimania Montréal Call for Submissions,
> which can be found in French here:
> https://wikimania2017.wikimedia.org/wiki/Submissions/fr
> and in English here:
> https://wikimania2017.wikimedia.org/wiki/Submissions/en
>
> On behalf of the Wikimania programme committee,
> Phoebe Ayers
> -
>
> Que vous soyez un membre de la communauté de l’un des projets Wikimédia
> (tels que Wikipédia, Wikibooks, Wikidata, Wikisource, Wikinews, Wikimedia
> Commons, Wiktionnaire, MediaWiki ou autres), un créateur de contenu libre
> ou un consommateur, nous recevrons avec plaisir votre proposition pour une
> session lors de Wikimania 2017.
>
> *dates importantes*
>
> Appel aux propositions ouvert : 2 février 2017
> Date limite de soumission des présentations (conférence, panneau, table
> ronde et atelier) : *15 avril 2017*
> Date limite de soumission des brefs exposés, affiches et réunions
> d’oiseaux de la même plume : 15 mai 2017.
> Notification d’acceptation des présentations : 20 avril 2017
> Notification d’acceptation des brefs exposés, affiches et réunions
> d’oiseaux de la même plume : 10 juin 2017
>
> *Types de soumissions & Comment soumettre: *https://wikimania2017.
> wikimedia.org/wiki/Submissions/fr
>
> *Des questions ?* Merci de contacter le Comité du programme par
> wikimania-program(à)wikimedia.org.
>
> 
>
> Whether you are a community member of one of the Wikimedia projects (such
> as Wikipedia, Wikibooks, Wikidata, Wikisource, Wikinews, Wikimedia Commons,
> Wiktionary, MediaWiki or others), or a fellow open content creator or
> consumer, we welcome your proposal for a session at Wikimania 2017.
>
> *Important dates*
>
> Call for proposals opens: February 2, 2017
> Deadline for submitting presentation (lecture, panel, roundtable and
> workshop) submissions: *April 10, 2017*
> Deadline for submitting lightning talks, poster, and birds of a feather
> submissions: May 15, 2017
> Notification of acceptance for presentations: April 20, 2017
> Notification of acceptance for lightning talks, poster and birds of a
> feather submissions: June 10, 2017
>
> *Submission types & how to submit:* https://wikimania2017.
> wikimedia.org/wiki/Submissions/en
>
> *Any questions?* Please contact the Programme Committee at
> wikimania-program at wikimedia.org
>



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[Wikimedia-l] Wikimania 2017 call for submissions

2017-02-14 Thread phoebe ayers
All,
I'm very pleased to send out the Wikimania Montréal Call for Submissions,
which can be found in French here:
https://wikimania2017.wikimedia.org/wiki/Submissions/fr
and in English here:
https://wikimania2017.wikimedia.org/wiki/Submissions/en

On behalf of the Wikimania programme committee,
Phoebe Ayers
-

Que vous soyez un membre de la communauté de l’un des projets Wikimédia
(tels que Wikipédia, Wikibooks, Wikidata, Wikisource, Wikinews, Wikimedia
Commons, Wiktionnaire, MediaWiki ou autres), un créateur de contenu libre
ou un consommateur, nous recevrons avec plaisir votre proposition pour une
session lors de Wikimania 2017.

*dates importantes*

Appel aux propositions ouvert : 2 février 2017
Date limite de soumission des présentations (conférence, panneau, table
ronde et atelier) : 30 mars 2017
Date limite de soumission des brefs exposés, affiches et réunions d’oiseaux
de la même plume : 15 mai 2017.
Notification d’acceptation des présentations : 20 avril 2017
Notification d’acceptation des brefs exposés, affiches et réunions
d’oiseaux de la même plume : 10 juin 2017

*Types de soumissions & Comment soumettre: *
https://wikimania2017.wikimedia.org/wiki/Submissions/fr

*Des questions ?* Merci de contacter le Comité du programme par
wikimania-program(à)wikimedia.org.



Whether you are a community member of one of the Wikimedia projects (such
as Wikipedia, Wikibooks, Wikidata, Wikisource, Wikinews, Wikimedia Commons,
Wiktionary, MediaWiki or others), or a fellow open content creator or
consumer, we welcome your proposal for a session at Wikimania 2017.

*Important dates*

Call for proposals opens: February 2, 2017
Deadline for submitting presentation (lecture, panel, roundtable and
workshop) submissions: March 30, 2017
Deadline for submitting lightning talks, poster, and birds of a feather
submissions: May 15, 2017
Notification of acceptance for presentations: April 20, 2017
Notification of acceptance for lightning talks, poster and birds of a
feather submissions: June 10, 2017

*Submission types & how to submit:*
https://wikimania2017.wikimedia.org/wiki/Submissions/en


*Any questions?* Please contact the Programme Committee at
wikimania-program at wikimedia.org
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[Wikimedia-l] join the Wikimania program committee!

2017-02-03 Thread phoebe ayers
Dear all,

We are looking for members of the 2017 Wikimania program committee!
The committee will help put together the program and schedule for
Wikimania Montreal, to be held on 9-13 August 2017:
https://wikimania2017.wikimedia.org/

Committee member responsibilities include helping promote the call for
submissions and recruiting speakers, helping design the program and
reviewing program submissions. Review dates this year are April 2017
and mid-May through June 2017; program committee members should commit
to having availability for reviewing submissions and regular meetings
during those times.

If you are a Wikimedian interested in building a great Wikimania, you
are welcome to apply! We are especially looking for committee members
with experience with (one or more of) sister projects, non-English
speaking communities, technical projects, or GLAM and education
projects. We are also especially looking for French speakers who can
assist in recruiting and reviewing French-language submissions.

Please let us know if you are interested by contacting
wikimania-prog...@lists.wikimedia.org with your name, interest, and
availability. We will be forming the committee quickly. More
information on the program, including the call for submissions, will
be coming soon.

Thank you!
Marc-Andre Pelletier (Wikimania chair)
Phoebe Ayers (program co-chair)
Deror Lin (program co-chair)
Guillame Paumier (program co-chair)

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Concerns in general

2017-01-29 Thread phoebe ayers
On Thu, Jan 26, 2017 at 5:33 PM, Romaine Wiki  wrote:
> Today I was reading in the (international) news about websites with
> knowledge on the topic of climate change disappear from the internet as
> result of the Trump administration.
...
> Luckily there are many scientists working on getting all the data abroad,
> out of the US to ensure the research data is saved, including on servers in
> the Netherlands where Trump (hopefully) has no reach.

Yes: there are several projects in the scientific community and
universities in the US as well right now (I'm involved in some library
efforts) to back up US government datasets, especially complex or
dynamic datasets that are not easily scraped. It's unfortunate that
this is ad-hoc emergency work. There is a lot of important data that
is at risk of being taken offline (or simply not maintained), or has
already been taken down; this is fragmented across US government
agencies and pages and represents a great deal of the world's climate,
oceanic, and other scientific data.

> In the past week I was reading about the Internet Archive organisation, who
> is making a back up in Canada because of the Trump administration. I did
> not understood this, you may call me naive, but now I do understand,
> apparently they have some visionary people at the Internet Archive.

Yes, I agree with your point about backups, but also: Internet
Archive's work is crucial to our work in lots of ways, and one thing
we can do is support and partner with them even more. (IA just gave a
nice presentation about some of our collaborations and future work at
the WikiConference North America:
https://wikiconference.org/wiki/Submissions:2016/Internet_Archive_and_Wikipedia_collaboration:_Link_rot,_multimedia_and_more)


> Trump is now promoting harassment and disrespect, already for some time,
>
> What signal is given to the rest of the world if an America based
> organisation is spreading the thought of a harassment free Wikipedia and
> the free word, while the president of the US is promoting harassment,
> disrespect and censorship on a massive scale.

As an American, I agree. I hope that being US-based does not mean
people think that all US people or organizations agree with the
current government. As an organization with strong and long-held
values, I think Wikimedia must state our disagreement with policies of
censorship and xenophobia (from the US administration, or from any
government), which so profoundly differ from our own values of
internationalism, cooperation, respect and accurate information.

A statement of clearly articulated organizational values is important
for every organization, and especially important for US-based
organizations now. This is distinct from (also) lobbying about the
copyright and internet law issues that affect our work.

Organizations similar to us are also reacting to this weekend's news
about immigration restrictions; for instance Mozilla just posted a
note: https://blog.mozilla.org/blog/2017/01/28/us-immigration-ban/.

...
> To come to a conclusion, I think WMF and the Wikimedia movement should
> think about a back-up plan if it actually goes wrong.

The discussion of backing up data elsewhere is a good one. We should
think about other specifics as well. I don't know if we have
Wikimedians affected by the current US immigration rulings, but we
must think ahead even if we do not. The new privacy orders are
confusing and unclear, but certainly affect us. I'm sure there are
other dimensions: let's discuss it and figure out the steps we should
take as an organization to support our values and preemptively deal
with government threats. How should we organize?

Phoebe

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] With my thanks to everyone ...

2016-07-15 Thread phoebe ayers
Geoff!

At some point in the past that feels like a million years ago (but
actually was about five years ago), I was at a party in Berlin
watching you have enthusiastic, lengthy discussions about copyright
over a beer with Wikipedians from many countries.

Afterwards, I told someone "you know, our new lawyer is going to be great."

And of course you were and are. Thanks for putting out a thousand
fires, some of which we didn't even realize were burning. Thanks for
bringing rigor to our board processes and managing our chaos. Thanks
for building a stable and respected and immensely talented legal team.
Thanks for helping us all think about policy, and bringing open
internet advocacy to the forefront as an important part of our
movement. Thanks for your endless, endless patience, commitment to
explaining things, and strong sense of morality.

We've been in some tough conversations over the years -- and some fun
joyous times too -- and I appreciated your being there in all of them.
I hope YouTube realizes what a fantastic hire they just made -- and I
hope that we turned you into a lifelong Wikimedian, and will see you
again from time to time. You will be so missed.

With all my best, and all my respect,
Phoebe



On Wed, Jul 13, 2016 at 5:25 PM, Geoff Brigham  wrote:
> Hi all,
>
> Over the past five years, I’ve been honored to serve as the General Counsel
> and Secretary of the Wikimedia Foundation. This job has been amazing, and
> I’m grateful to everyone who has made it so rewarding. It's now time for my
> next step, so, in the coming days, I will be leaving the Foundation to
> pursue a new career opportunity.
>
> I depart with such love for the mission, the Foundation, the Wikimedia
> communities, and my colleagues at work. I thank my past and present bosses
> as well as the Board for their support and guidance. I stand in awe of the
> volunteer writers, editors, and photographers who contribute every day to
> the Wikimedia projects. And I will hold special to my heart my past and
> current teams, including legal and community advocacy. :) You have taught,
> given, and enriched me so much.
>
> After my departure, Michelle Paulson will serve as interim head of Legal,
> and, subject to Board approval, Stephen LaPorte will serve as interim
> Secretary to the Board. I can happily report that they have the experience
> and expertise to ensure a smooth and professional transition.
>
> The future of the Foundation under Katherine's leadership is exciting.
> Having had the pleasure of working for her, I know Katherine will take the
> Foundation to its next level in promoting and defending the outstanding
> mission and values of the Wikimedia movement. Although I'm delighted about
> my next opportunity, I will miss this new chapter in the Foundation's
> story.
>
> My last day at the Foundation will be July 18th. After that, I will take a
> month off to recharge my batteries, and then I start my new gig at YouTube
> in the Bay Area. There, I will serve as Director of YouTube Trust & Safety,
> managing global teams for policy, legal, and anti-abuse operations. As with
> Wikimedia, I look forward to learning from those teams and tackling
> together a new set of exciting, novel challenges.
>
> For those who want to stay in touch, please do! My personal email is:
> geoffrey.r.brig...@gmail.com.
>
> With respect, admiration, and gratitude,
>
> Geoff
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Announcing WikiFundi and the Wikipack Africa

2016-06-14 Thread phoebe ayers
Hi Florence!

This is a very cool and ambitious project! Is the idea that offline
contributions would be loaded into the relevant projects when internet is
available?

Phoebe
On Jun 13, 2016 5:59 PM, "Florence Devouard"  wrote:

> Hello everyone
>
> WikiAfrica has recently started a new project, the Wikipack Africa.
>
> The project amalgamates:
>
> * the coding of a software, WikiFundi, that provides an off-line editing
> environment that mimics the Wikipedia environment. The software will be
> made available in French and English.
>
> * the creation of action packs for use by local Wikimedia chapters, user
> groups or isolated individuals in Africa, and
>
> * a Wikipedia Writing Contest to be run in African Schools, #WikiChallenge
> African Schools
>
>
>
> It will roll out in two phases :
>
> Phase 1 involves the creation of the WikiPack Africa. WikiPack Africa is a
> digital kit located via a local network device (Raspberry PI). The local
> network device will provide access to an off-line editing platform that
> mimics Wikipedia, and provides related materials and additional OER
> resources. The WikiPack Africa will both facilitate the outreach work of
> Wikimedia chapters, User Group and individuals, and encourage the growth of
> digital skills and content contribution by teachers and students across
> Africa. The pack allows for ongoing training and contribution even when
> technology, access and electricity outages fail or are not available at all.
>
> The WikiPack Africa delivered to users will comprise two Raspberry PIs and
> some offline materials (posters, leaflets, pull-up banner, tee-shirts,
> etc.). The WikiPack will be delivered to several Wikimedia User Groups
> located in Africa end of 2016. A Call for Interest will be made to identify
> which groups will receive the Packs (8 countries will be covered as part of
> the pilot launch).
>
>
> The project has been conceptualised and conceived by Isla and myself after
> seeing how frustrating limited access to internet or even to electricity
> could be when trying to participate to Wikipedia.
>
> The WikiPack Africa is primarily meant for individuals and groups wanting
> to implement outreach projects and:
> * work with galleries, libraries, archives and museums to bring cultural
> content online;
> * work with education partners to get educators and students contribute or
> better understand Wikimedia projects;
> * more generally, organise edit-a-thons, photo hunts, workshops, press
> conferences, etc. to promote Wikimedia projects.
>
>
>
> The #WikiChallenge African Schools (Phase 2) will use the WikiPack Africa
> to facilitate an entertaining, powerful, collaborative and interactive
> content creation competition between schools in Sénégal, Côte d'Ivoire,
> Guinée, Niger, Tunisia, Madagascar, and Cameroon (countries may change...).
> The challenge will run early 2017.
>
>
>
> The full project is run in partnership with Wikimedia CH and the Orange
> Foundation. It will be primarily implemented by Florence, Isla and Emmanuel
> Engelhart (Kelson, from Kiwix) from May 2016 until summer 2017.
>
> The project proposal, its documentation and its outcomes will be under a
> CC BY SA 4.0 licence.
>
> -
>
> CALL for SUPPORT
>
> Current next steps include in particular
>
> * working on the WikiFundi software. This shall be lead by Kelson and part
> of the development should be done during the Kiwix Hackhaton prior to
> Wikimania. If you are interested to help, and simply interested to better
> understand what is planned, please get in touch;
>
> * working on the content that will be put on WikiFundi.
> We will NOT provide the entirety of Wikipedia on the plateform, but only a
> mix of "presentation material", some "help:pages", "showcase of best
> articles" and a large % of templates currently available on Wikipedia. If
> you want to help or provide insightful input, please get in touch (with
> me), by email or on the wiki talk page or during Wikimania.
> We start working on the English content first. My current challenge is to
> identify the most relevant help pages... and adapt them to this offline
> editing environnement.
>
>
>
> -
>
> * To read more about Wikifundi:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/WikiFundi
>
> * More information about the wikipack :
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikipack_Africa/en and
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikipack_Africa/fr
>
> * WikiProject page on the English Wikipedia :
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_Wikipack_Africa
>
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] What can we learn

2016-04-11 Thread phoebe ayers
On Mon, Apr 11, 2016 at 4:29 PM, Chris Keating
 wrote:
> If I read Denny's email correctly, this section is broader than conflict of
> interest:
>
>>
>> I discussed with Jan-Bart, then chair, what is and what is not
> appropriate to
>> pursue as a member of the Board. I understood and followed his advice, but
>> it was frustrating. It was infuriatingly limiting.
>>
>
> E.g. any comment Denny made on Phabricator now being read in the light that
> he was a board member.

While I'm not sure exactly what Denny meant in his mail, I think
Chris' comment is spot on -- every trustee, especially those used to
weighing in on community discussions, feels somewhat limited in what
they can say and how to say it when they join the board, whether
that's proposing a new idea or weighing in on an existing one. (Then,
of course, you also get criticized for not speaking up enough!) It can
be an awkward balancing act that takes some time to learn, and can
indeed be frustrating.

Partly I think it's simply inherently difficult. As a trustee your own
interests and areas of volunteering are often not what's best for the
WMF overall to focus on -- either because they are too narrow, or too
resource intensive, or a host of other reasons -- not least because
one contributor cannot possibly speak for a whole area of the
movement, and as a movement we value consensus and broad input for
every idea. But I also think we're not very good on the board at
utilizing people's individual strengths and recognizing that the very
reasons why someone is interesting as a trustee (because they are an
expert contributor in some area, as all the trustees are) also means
that they likely have biases and opinions about strategic directions,
and could use those opinions productively to help the organization
learn and grow.

As for what we can learn from this situation, I'm intrigued by this proposal:

On Sun, Apr 10, 2016 at 12:38 PM, Atsme  wrote:
> Establish alternates who are non-voting members but are in the wings waiting 
> to fill vacancies.  It’s a win-win.

We could certainly vote in alternates; it would be as simple as taking
the 4th place winner.
Also, we do have a mechanism set up for observers at the board
meetings, and have not taken advantage of it recently; 1 or 2
community observers could join.
Another idea: what about field training of some sort for candidates or
those considering candidacy? It's a big commitment that people make
and that the movement makes to those people, and having a week or two
immersion and preparation -- it could be done virtually -- wouldn't be
the worst thing. Board boot camp, if you will.

Phoebe


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[Wikimedia-l] "flyover country" app w/ georeferenced articles

2016-03-30 Thread phoebe ayers
Another use for georeferenced Wikipedia articles: this app lets you
load up a flight path in the United States between two airports, and
get Wikipedia articles about points of interest as well as geological
and fossil data along that path, and then view it offline as you fly
over. Also available for driving and hiking speeds.

http://fc.umn.edu/

-- phoebe


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Wikimedia NYC proposal to broaden WMF nominations - submit today

2016-03-08 Thread phoebe ayers
Thanks Pharos for making this offer and for outlining what your chapter
voting process will be! Both are good practices to bring to a process that
has in the past been generally opaque.

Best,
Phoebe
On Mar 8, 2016 8:14 AM, "Pharos"  wrote:

> On Mon, Mar 7, 2016 at 11:02 PM, Pharos 
> wrote:
>
> > Hi fellow Wikimedians,
> >
> > Wikimedia NYC is interested in opening up and diversifying the Wikimedia
> > Foundation board nominations process (beyond the typical
> chapter-affiliated
> > candidates), so interested parties are welcomed to submit their
> > self-nominations today on Meta-Wiki, and we will consider all reasonable
> > applications from around the world, and will endorse those
> non-traditional
> > candidates whose inclusion we would find to benefit the overall elections
> > process.
> >
> > You just have to start the page for your nomination on Meta-Wiki today,
> > details can be filled in over the coming week.
> >
> >
> >
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Affiliate-selected_Board_seats/2016/Nominations
> >
> > Nominations must be in by UTC end of day March 8 on Meta-Wiki (which is
> > the global deadline), and Wikimedia NYC will formally make the choice of
> > candidates to endorse for participation in the elections at its March 16
> > 'WikiWednesday' public meeting, to be determined by an open vote of
> > attendees at that meeting.
> >
> > We also commit to having a vote at our public meeting in April or May to
> > make our chapter's decision for the actual elections.
> >
> > Feel free to write to us beforehand if you have questions.
> >
> > Thanks,
> > Pharos
> > Wikimedia NYC
> >
> > On Mon, Mar 7, 2016 at 3:40 PM, Lane Rasberry 
> > wrote:
> >
> >> Hello,
> >>
> >> The board of trustees for the Wikimedia Foundation has 10 seats. The
> >> office
> >> holders for 2 of these 10 seats will be selected in the "2016
> >> affiliate-selected board seats" process described at
> >> 
> >>
> >> For a candidate to be considered in this election, they must be
> nominated
> >> by 8 March and endorsed by a voting Wikimedia organizational affiliate
> by
> >> 23 March.
> >>
> >> If anyone has any nomination to make, we are now in the last day!
> >> Nominations must be made by the end of 8 March! Make a nomination for
> >> yourself or another person at
> >> <
> >>
> >>
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Affiliate-selected_Board_seats/2016/Nominations
> >> >
> >>
> >> For those making a nomination, please follow up by soliciting for
> >> endorsement of the nomination from one voting organization. That
> >> endorsement must be posted by 23 March. Candidates in the election must
> be
> >> nominated by the end of March 8 and must have their endorsement by 23
> >> March.
> >>
> >> Beyond nomination, please participate in the election by encouraging all
> >> organizations which are eligible to vote to cast their vote later during
> >> the voting period.
> >>
> >> Thanks - and forgive me if I misspoke in any part of this. I am anxious
> >> about writing correctly and clearly. The official election documentation
> >> is
> >> on-wiki.
> >>
> >> yours,
> >>
> >>
> >> --
> >> Lane Rasberry
> >> user:bluerasberry on Wikipedia
> >> 206.801.0814
> >> l...@bluerasberry.com
> >> ___
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> >
> >
> >
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] I am going to San Francisco

2016-02-27 Thread phoebe ayers
On Sat, Feb 27, 2016 at 2:30 PM, Anna Stillwell
 wrote:

> Before adding another layer of process and reporting and complexity
> structurally, we should more likely try to renew the heart of HR and allow
> them to work with Legal in partnership as they had done so well throughout
> our entire history.

Fair, and I certainly appreciate this. To be clear my idea is only for
a temporary position -- only a few months at most, really -- and could
certainly happen concurrently with such a build-out of HR.

Phoebe

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

2016-02-27 Thread phoebe ayers
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.

-- Phoebe

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] What it means to be a high-tech organization

2016-02-24 Thread phoebe ayers
On Tue, Feb 23, 2016 at 8:20 PM, pajz  wrote:
> Well, we all know about the problems of giving monetary compensation to
> editors. Just thinking aloud here, but I guess if you want to reward
> editors in some way, but don't want to pay them directly, there's some
> middle ground: Don't pay them, but let them donate their share of the cake.
>
> At the beginning of the year, the WMF would set a budget, add some buffer,
> and all that is received on top of that goes to a charity pool which
> "belongs" to the editors. However, they can't claim any of the money for
> themselves, but instead can choose how much they'd like to give to charity
> A, charity B, etc. So, for instance, I'm a fan of the work of UNICEF and a
> lesser-known charity called Evidence Action. So "my" compensation for my
> Wikipedia work would be an amount X that I prorate between these two
> organizations. Other editors would also take part in this scheme.

And here I thought you were going to suggest giving each editor a pool
of $$ to assign to their favorite skunkworks projects.

If we divide the current WMF budget ($58M) by the current number of
monthly active editors (71K), then take 60% off the top for keeping
the lights on, infrastructure, etc. -- this is a fairly typical
overhead percentage for grants at universities -- we're still left
with $325/editor.

Personally, I'd vote my funds for edit-a-thons in a box :)

Phoebe, causing trouble

p.s. this is a thought experiment. I think the logistics would be
unwieldy. But not so unwieldy that the the highly-praised community
tech punchlist couldn't be implemented in many other areas too.

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

2016-02-24 Thread phoebe ayers
On Wed, Feb 24, 2016 at 1:34 PM, Oliver Keyes  wrote:


. 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?)

This is an important thing to say and an important lens to look at the
organization through; thank you for saying it, and thank you for being
specific.

How can an organization turn itself around?
Many of you know I changed jobs last year, to be at MIT Libraries.
There's a lot of good things about this, but one good thing is that
the head of the library is remarkable, and thinks a lot about how to
make equity and diversity an actionable part of our daily work.

One of the first things she did was to add a section to our
performance review forms (which also include sections for goals, etc)
to include a section called:
"Demonstration of organizational values of diversity and inclusivity–
Note participation in formal and informal activities and demonstrated
behaviors that enhance these values (past year, ongoing and planned)."

She also added a similar category to our staff awards process. She
invited two line staff on a semi-annual rotation to join the
leadership group (our equivalent of the C-levels). Then she did the
same thing for a big formal strategy process. Then we sponsored an
outside organization that supports underrepresented librarians. Now,
because she's set a tone, rhetoric in meetings and among all levels of
staff is similar.

None of this is perfect or earthshaking, and I suspect there are a lot
of ideas yet to come. But what she's taught me, in the few months that
I've been here, is that an organization can address systemic and
societal problems through concrete actions without a lot of drama.

 In other words, the litmus test for me is: what
> happens when the socially and politically weakest person in the
> organisation has an idea?

A question that we sometimes talk about for the community, too (and is
sometimes framed as what ways can a person develop a positive
reputation sufficient enough to make a change); not unrelated to the
question of how we treat smaller projects too.

best,
Phoebe

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Wiki Loves Africa 2015 results

2016-02-23 Thread phoebe ayers
On Tue, Feb 16, 2016 at 9:09 PM, Florence Devouard  wrote:
> Good evening everyone
>
> Another day... another announcement :)
>
> We closed yesterday the last vote session for winning pictures of Wiki Loves
> Africa 2015.
>
> We are happy to announce our winners
>
> https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Wiki_Loves_Africa_2015/Winners
>

These are really beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing, and for
continuing to work on supporting this contest!
Phoebe

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Why we changed

2016-02-22 Thread phoebe ayers
On Mon, Feb 22, 2016 at 5:03 AM, George Herbert
 wrote:

> Lila's vision here clearly calls the change campaign out as having explicitly 
> intended to break eggs.
>
> It further suggests strongly that this was the Board of Trustees' intention 
> in hiring her, and that they agreed with breaking those eggs.

Since you bring it up, and ask for the perspective of past trustees --
as one of the people who helped hired Lila, I did so because I found
much of how she thought about technology, contribution and open
knowledge compelling -- some of which is stated in her mail above --
and I hoped that she'd have the right combination of openness and
boldness to help lead us. I also thought she had the right foundation
of skills and values to do the work in our weird, complex environment.

The Board's initial task for her, as it might have been for any new
ED, was to learn the organization, continue with the usual running of
the organization, and to work with us and Wikimedia as a whole to
develop a strategy for the future. We expected and supported her
focusing on technology, given what a big piece of the organization
this is and her own background; and we supported explorations into the
organization's culture and how it could improve.

I've heard a few conspiracy theories about how the board must have
intended to clean house with Lila's hire. From my perspective, that
was not the case. We hoped of course that Lila would help the
organization improve -- but I am thinking of improvements like
speeding up development and reducing drama around software rollouts,
goals that I don't think would either come as a surprise to anyone or
are particularly controversial.

That does not mean I was surprised that some staff left, especially in
the first few months after she was hired. People do leave in a
leadership transition, for many reasons. And I also was not surprised
by the possibility that Lila might create a  different style of
working environment at the Foundation, which would lead others to
leave later. I am surprised and saddened however by this current
crisis (and the last few months leading up to it). According to many
people, things seem to have gone quite badly in terms of
communication, giving guidance and developing organizational consensus
around strategy. Those problems are general problems of execution and
management, and that is deeply unfortunate.

best,
Phoebe

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Endowment Discussion

2015-12-01 Thread phoebe ayers
On Mon, Nov 30, 2015 at 12:09 PM, Lisa Gruwell  wrote:
> Hi all-
>
> For several years, the Wikimedia movement has been having discussions
>  about whether and when to begin
> building an endowment. I put an essay up on meta recently in an attempt to
> rekindle this conversation with the community.  We included launching an
> endowment in the FY 2015-16 annual plan.

Fantastic, this is exciting news. I am very happy to see this moving
forward, and will comment on the talk page of the endowment essay.

On Mon, Nov 30, 2015 at 1:01 PM, Brion Vibber  wrote:
> Thinking about our social responsibility as an investor is
> probably worthwhile.

I agree, and this is a good point to bring up.

The endowment, if it's of a scale that will be effective, will have an
investment manager and perhaps even an investment committee. I think
directing that group to look at investment vehicles (i.e. mutual
funds) with certain value guidelines in mind would be appropriate,
much as we would direct them to have certain financial goals and
levels of risk in mind. Figuring out what those values should be might
not be so easy, but we could look at the investment policies of other
large socially-minded organizations for ideas.

best,
Phoebe

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Free Bassel

2015-11-25 Thread phoebe ayers
Has there been a discussion of timing for this? SJ (who is offline right
now) just mentioned that the Free Bassel group may be planning a focused
outreach push tomorrow through Friday. Let's coordinate with them if
possible.
On Nov 25, 2015 11:21 AM, "Gerard Meijssen" 
wrote:

> Hoi,
> I have looked at the article. It does not have the necessary urgency. He is
> likely to have been sentenced to death and the article reads like a
> Wikipedia article. This is Meta, it is not Wikipedia and it needs urgency.
> We appeal to the world to get involved to let his death not happen. That is
> imho what the message needs to be.
> Thanks,
>  GerardM
>
> On 25 November 2015 at 02:57, Asaf Bartov  wrote:
>
> > FYI: User:Odder has now created [[m:Free Bassel
> > ]], as a landing page to
> link
> > from the banner.
> >
> > If anyone would like to help with a design for the banner (I concede not
> > everyone shares my taste for 10pt-black-on-white text), we would be able
> to
> > move ahead.  There is, so far, nothing but support.
> >
> >A.
> >
> > On Tue, Nov 24, 2015 at 10:57 AM, Katherine Maher 
> > wrote:
> >
> > > Hi everyone,
> > >
> > > Thank you for raising this issue here on this list. I wanted to share
> > some
> > > more information about how we’ve been working to support Bassel to this
> > > point, in public and behind the scenes. Unfortunately, some efforts are
> > > sensitive, so can’t be shared in full on public mailing lists. But
> we’re
> > > committed to supporting next steps or decisions by the community, and
> > > keeping you updated going forward.
> > >
> > > Working with some other colleagues at the Foundation, we have been
> > tracking
> > > Bassel's case for some time now, in direct contact with the organizers
> of
> > > the #FreeBassel campaign  [1], and Bassel's
> > family.
> > > The actions we have taken to date have been in coordination and
> approval
> > > with the #FreeBassel campaign, including:
> > >
> > >- Coordination and communication with related organizations, such as
> > the
> > >Electronic Frontier Foundation and Amnesty International. (ongoing)
> > >- Regular contact and updates with senior human rights officials at
> > the
> > >U.S. State Department. (ongoing)
> > >- Outreach to the press around Bassel’s arbitrary detention and
> > >contributions to the free knowledge movement. Please see this WIRED
> > > story, “A
> > >Jailed Activist’s 3-D Models Could Save Syria’s History From ISIS
> > ><
> > >
> >
> http://www.wired.com/2015/10/jailed-activist-bassel-khartabil-3d-models-could-save-syrian-history-from-isis/
> > > >.”
> > >[2] (Although we did reach out to WIRED, we cannot say for certain
> if
> > > that
> > >story was the direct result of our efforts or others within the
> > > #FreeBassel
> > >coordination community). (10/21)
> > >- Raising Bassel’s case in public speaking opportunities, including
> > >Lila’s keynote to the Creative Commons Summit. (10/15)
> > >- Blog post #FREEBASSEL: Free culture advocate who built 3D
> renderings
> > >of Palmyra missing in Syria
> > > [3].
> > >(10/08)
> > >- Ongoing participation in #FreeBassel social media campaigns on
> > >Facebook and Twitter.
> > >
> > > Bassel is in a situation known as arbitrary detention
> > > <
> > >
> >
> http://en.alkarama.org/1763-syria-un-calls-for-the-release-of-freedom-of-speech-advocate-bassel-khartabil
> > > >
> > > [4]. Arbitrary detentions are characterized by uncertainty, lack of
> > > information, and volatility. They’re scary because we don’t know what’s
> > > happening, and often we are making decisions without a lot of
> > information.
> > > Our goal is always to support Bassel to make sure our efforts help him
> > > without putting him at greater risk. So we’ve been working with
> > experienced
> > > human rights campaigners, including the #FreeBassel campaign, to
> > understand
> > > the best actions to take at different times over the past two months.
> > >
> > > We’ve been in touch with Bassel’s family, who would support continued
> > > efforts to raise awareness about Bassel’s situation through a note on
> > > Wikipedia if that should happen. We can also join action letters (like
> > this
> > > <
> > >
> >
> http://www.amnesty.nl/nieuwsportaal/pers/syria-fears-life-free-expression-advocate
> > > >
> > > [5]) where the community agrees it's appropriate. If the community
> > decides
> > > to move forward with an action, we are here to help. We are monitoring
> > the
> > > discussions and activity in
> > > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Banner:Free_Bassel as a place where
> > > community consensus can form. Please let us know if there’s anything
> else
> > > we can do to support efforts to raise awareness for Bassel.
> 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Departure

2015-09-24 Thread phoebe ayers
On Thu, Sep 10, 2015 at 5:53 PM, Garfield Byrd  wrote:
> All,
>
> For the last four years, I’ve led the Wikimedia Foundation’s finance,
> administration, and office IT teams.

Four years but I feel like you've been a part of the movement forever!
Thank you for everything. Your contributions include managing our
largest financial decisions and projects, but also have included many
quiet acts of support behind the scenes, from helping run Wikimania to
talking with contributors who wanted to know how to run their local
group better. You've always been present in moments of crisis and
emergency, and also in our most joyous moments out on the dance floor
:) You'll be missed.

All the best with everything,
Phoebe

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] What's cool?

2015-06-25 Thread phoebe ayers
Belatedly (this thread is awesome!)

On Wed, Jun 10, 2015 at 3:11 PM, Johan Jönsson brevlis...@gmail.com wrote:
 As of writing, Danish Wikipedia is now 32 articles from reaching 200,000.
 It's midnight in Denmark now, so it will at some point tomorrow, CET.

Congratulations Danish Wikipedia and Wikipedians!

I note from Meta (https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_News) that
Bulgarian Wikipedia also reached 200K this month. :)

On Thu, Jun 11, 2015 at 12:35 PM, attolippip attolip...@gmail.com wrote:
 Oh, Liam, you are right :)

 We award the best newbie of the month on Ukrainian Wikipedia and award
 him/her with a can of condensed milk via post [1]
 (we also award with a can of condensed milk the best contributor of the
 month, and want to do it is a few smaller wikiprojects as well (Wikiquote,
 f.ex.))

That is *delightful*.

On Thu, Jun 11, 2015 at 2:32 PM, Andrea Zanni zanni.andre...@gmail.com wrote:
 TL;DR: the Italian Wikisource has been indexed by a digital library
 platform used by over 4500 libraries in Italy [1]. This means that over
 3500 texts (proofread and/or validated) can be read by library patrons.
 Many libraries will add them to the catalog too (!).

This is SO COOL. And wow, cataloging!!

On Fri, Jun 12, 2015 at 11:42 AM, Michael Peel em...@mikepeel.net wrote:
 Thanks to Wikidata and Module:Wikidata [1], it is now possible [2] to include 
 a basic infobox in an article using a single line, rather than the usual 
 lengthy piece of wikicode (which new users could find off-putting). For a 
 live example, see:
 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Pole_Telescope

Mindblowing. (And possibly EVEN more mysterious for new editors -- not
sure if that's good, though getting rid of a giant chunk of wikitext
certainly is).

On Tue, Jun 23, 2015 at 7:33 PM, MZMcBride z...@mzmcbride.com wrote:
 MZMcBride wrote:
 https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Print_Wikipedia

I have also been following the project's automated twitter feed, which
lists volumes as they're uploaded: https://twitter.com/PrintWikipedia

Please, keep posting delightful projects!

Phoebe

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] What's cool?

2015-06-04 Thread phoebe ayers
On Thu, Jun 4, 2015 at 5:58 PM, Milos Rancic mill...@gmail.com wrote:
 Huh, I didn't have intention to make anyone depressive.

You didn't! I was thinking of other unrelated things. :)


 Languages list suddenly revived. And during one day we've learned for three
 separate initiatives for building Wikipedia articles in a number of Latin
 American native languages. That reminded me that there are a lot of people
 in the wild willing to work on Wikipedia content, even in many languages
 which don't have its edition of Wikipedia yet. And we should start
 searching for them collectively.

Very cool! Which languages?

Phoebe


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[Wikimedia-l] What's cool?

2015-06-04 Thread phoebe ayers
I need a break from thinking about things going wrong. And so per Milos'
observation that discussion here is falling off, I thought I'd start an
open discussion thread about things going right.

What's a cool thing you just discovered or are involved in that is
happening in the Wikimedia world?

My contribution: the SF Wikimedia list just had an announcement about an
edit-a-thon (organized by Jake Orlowitz at the wmf office) that is
happening during the American Libraries Conference, which is in SF this
year. 30,000 librarians attend ALA! I'm super pleased we are infiltrating
library conferences :)

What's happening over in your part of the project?

Phoebe
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] What's cool?

2015-06-04 Thread phoebe ayers
Ps Fabrice sent the blog roundup while I was writing this! Those are all
cool things. Would love to learn about more as well.

Phoebe
On Jun 4, 2015 2:41 PM, phoebe ayers phoebe.w...@gmail.com wrote:

 I need a break from thinking about things going wrong. And so per Milos'
 observation that discussion here is falling off, I thought I'd start an
 open discussion thread about things going right.

 What's a cool thing you just discovered or are involved in that is
 happening in the Wikimedia world?

 My contribution: the SF Wikimedia list just had an announcement about an
 edit-a-thon (organized by Jake Orlowitz at the wmf office) that is
 happening during the American Libraries Conference, which is in SF this
 year. 30,000 librarians attend ALA! I'm super pleased we are infiltrating
 library conferences :)

 What's happening over in your part of the project?

 Phoebe

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] While Election committee counts the votes...

2015-06-04 Thread phoebe ayers
On Wed, Jun 3, 2015 at 9:04 AM, Yaroslav M. Blanter pute...@mccme.ru wrote:
 On 2015-06-03 17:42, Raymond Leonard wrote:

 Folks,

 At the link, you can find
 List votes: Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees Elections 2015
 https://vote.wikimedia.org/wiki/Special:SecurePoll/list/512

 Yours,
 Peaceray
 --


 Thank you. I am indeed listed as voting from Meta, where I barely qualify,
 and not from for example en.wp or ru.wv where I have tons of edits.

 Cheers
 Yaroslav


Small point -- because this is the first election we've done using SUL
(hooray!!) the wiki listed is whatever someone's home wiki is
according to SUL (I think) and not, as in past years, the wiki where
you actually clicked the vote link from.

The point that many editors are active on many wikis, and thus
potentially eligible on many wikis, is certainly true. I would guess
that (again because of SUL) each wiki's voter list represents those
eligible voters who have that wiki as their home wiki, so there's not
duplication. But the election committee can verify that.

best,
Phoebe

p.s. before I forget: a big thank-you to the elections committee for
making this election smooth and inclusive, and to everyone who did
get-out-the-vote efforts. It's really heartening to see a rise in
participation, and like others I was really impressed by the candidate
slate, too!


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[Wikimedia-l] the digital language divide

2015-05-29 Thread phoebe ayers
This feature on multilingualism online and the digital language divide
from the Guardian is thought-provoking:
http://labs.theguardian.com/digital-language-divide/

It summarizes a bunch of recent research on language online, including
the work from the Oxford Internet Institute on Wikipedia.

-- Phoebe


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] A transition and a new chapter.

2015-04-13 Thread phoebe ayers
Dear Erik,

On Mon, Apr 13, 2015 at 11:12 AM, Erik Moeller e...@wikimedia.org wrote:
 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. :)

Every so often when we talk, you will surprise me by telling me about
one more thing in the Wikimedia universe that you thought of or
created or were involved in over the past many years that I didn't
realize you had a role in. It seems the list is never-ending.

Thank you: for your innovation and creativity, your (superhuman)
persistence, your boldness, your commitment to our shared values.
Thank you for your role in creating so many parts of this thing that
we now call a movement.


 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.

I am excited to see what's next for you! And I have no doubt that all
of us who work on collaboration will be the richer.

(First, though, I hope you have a lovely restful vacation, and then
come to Wikimania to sheckle us/s hang out!).

Here's to your next projects! Your likelihood of success seems alarmingly high.*

-- Phoebe

* http://nostalgia.wikipedia.org/wiki/Why_Wikipedia_is_so_great


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

2015-03-15 Thread phoebe ayers
Hi all,

On Thu, Mar 12, 2015 at 9:54 PM, MZMcBride z...@mzmcbride.com wrote:
 phoebe ayers wrote:

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

 Whether the Wikimedia Foundation should be engaged in political advocacy,
 and if so, who decides when and to what extent, seem like issues where
 there should be Wikimedia community, Board, and staff involvement.

Since there's been some discussion -- let me expand a little bit on
what I meant.

For all the specific questions people have asked about whether this
particular lawsuit is likely to be effective, what the likely
progression through the courts is, whether it would be possible to sue
in a foreign court and make a difference, etc. -- I trust our legal
team's opinion entirely. That is why we have professional (and in this
case, world-class-expert) staff.

I *also* trust (and in fact expect, as a trustee) the legal team to
surface large-scale risks, threats, and legal issues that affect our
community and operating model  -- in other words, figuring out *what*
to act on.

But this surfacing and deciding whether to be active in a broad issue
is also something that I agree we *all* have a role in: as MZ says,
community, board and staff. I think we have clear community values,
but it takes debate and strategic judgement to decide what to focus on
out of all of the constant issues (IP laws and copyright, internet
restrictions, etc.) that affect us, and it will take all of us to
surface all of the things that are going on in our world and what's
important.

From the board side, here's my thought process about things like this,
other than asking about logistics: if I thought that this particular
lawsuit was either a) against our community values (rather than
reinforcing the near-universal concern and disapproval about mass
surveillance that we've heard); or b) likely to significantly distract
the WMF from other core work; or c) would significantly blacken our
reputation in the US or globally to the extent that it would harm our
ability to do other work (rather than reinforcing our current
reputation as something of a hero of the internet), I would have
raised concerns. But I do not think any of these things are likely to
happen. I think the other risks (we lose, it takes a long time, etc.)
are manageable, the potential gain is worth the risk, and as I
articulated earlier, I think this is a morally important issue that we
have a role to play in.

(I should also add that the legal team *of course* has thought through
all of these concerns as well; their job is to give the board and the
organization a thorough analysis of everything that could possibly go
wrong, and they do :) )

But here's additional things that I've gotten from this community
discussion, both in this thread and privately: what else could we be
doing in Wikimedia to support reader/editor privacy? (And yes, these
are thorny technical/social issues). What other unfortunate laws are
happening elsewhere in the world and how do we track and maybe act on
those? And how do we articulate our role as an open educational
institution: recognizing, as Yann says, that education and openness
can be -- often are -- political issues?

I don't have great answers to the above questions. But I think they're
worth discussing :)

best,
Phoebe

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

2015-03-11 Thread phoebe ayers
On Tue, Mar 10, 2015 at 10:03 PM, MZMcBride z...@mzmcbride.com wrote:
 Hi.

 I'm of two minds here. I would love for mass surveillance to stop; the
 revelations of the past few years are disgusting. However, this lawsuit
 has the appearance of being the start of a completely un-winnable case
 that's merely an expensive political stunt. Perhaps especially due to the
 SOPA protests, I'm very wary of the Wikimedia Foundation engaging in
 stunts like this. I have a few questions.


 Has the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees passed a resolution
 authorizing the Wikimedia Foundation general counsel and executive
 director to pursue this lawsuit? I understand that one board member
 (Jimmy) is involved, of course, but something of this scale seems like it
 would require explicit authorization.

The board hasn't passed a resolution -- approving actions proposed by
the ED (and in this case general counsel) don't generally require a
resolution -- but we do support this action.

As for cost, remember that the ACLU is filing the suit on the
plaintiffs' (us) behalf. My understanding is our major investment here
is coordination time and our good name.

Whether it's worth us getting involved -- I'd argue of course it is.
The developments of the last few years about mass surveillance have
been egregious, even for the cynical among us. We (Wikimedia) are in a
rare position for an online organization -- of being widely used,
international, beloved, not beholden to corporate or government
interests, and with strong values of privacy, inclusion and openness,
which is reflected in everything from allowing anonymous editor
accounts to not tracking what our readers read. We also happen to be
based in the U.S., so can do things like file lawsuits here.

I trust our legal team to make decisions about what legal actions to
participate in. I also know and acknowledge that this is far from the
only thing that we can do on our own projects to support reader and
user privacy, and also far from the only thing that will have to
happen -- in the courts, in the congress, in technology circles -- to
make any change to policy. But if we could predict the outcome of
every suit before it was filed, the world would be a different place,
and the potential gain here is, I think, certainly worth the risk of
losing.

best,
Phoebe

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Wikimedia OTRS Annual Report

2015-02-25 Thread phoebe ayers
On Wed, Feb 25, 2015 at 2:39 PM, Asaf Bartov abar...@wikimedia.org wrote:
 Thank you for this fascinating report, and this is another opportunity to
 thank all OTRS agents across the movement, for their tireless and
 largely-unsung work.  I, for one, make it a point to mention and advocate
 for OTRS.

+1! The OTRS volunteers are heroes.

-- phoebe

p.s. The report layout/webpage is lovely! could it be used for other reports?


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikimedia Announcements] Announcement: A new structure for WMF Community Engagement

2015-02-22 Thread phoebe ayers
On Thu, Feb 19, 2015 at 2:15 PM, Lila Tretikov l...@wikimedia.org wrote:

 Dear Wikimedians,

 Among the WMF’s top priorities for 2015 is strengthening our engagement with
 Wikimedia editors and volunteers. Today we are taking the first step by
 bringing together the people who know our communities best and asking them
 to break barriers and improve engagement.

Let me join in congratulating Luis and Siko, and a huge thank you to
Anasuya -- your good humor, kindness and unflagging recognition of
individual motivations and issues while also setting up complex global
funding systems always inspired me.

And to the core priority of the WMF working more closely with
volunteers -- I think this is very much the right direction!

best,
Phoebe

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Engineering Community

2015-02-11 Thread phoebe ayers
On Wed, Feb 11, 2015 at 12:31 PM, Damon Sicore dsic...@wikimedia.org wrote:

 Dear Wikimedians,

 We are changing our engineering processes to improve how we engage with you 
 -- our valued contributors and editors -- around software development.

 We are beginning with the collaborative buildout and deployment of 
 VisualEditor. We are moving community engagement processes and product 
 decisions into earlier stages of development, and making them iterative.


Dear Damon and all,

I think this is great, and I'm genuinely excited to see what gets
developed and built with our editing and engineering communities
working together. I look forward to both participating in the process
and using the fruits of this work as an editor!

best,
Phoebe


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Become a Digital object identifier (DOI) registarnt

2015-01-20 Thread phoebe ayers
(sort of) related to this old thread... the DOI resolver site went
down today because they apparently forgot to renew the domain, and the
author of this blog post from CrossRef (who runs it) suggests relying
on *us* for persistent identifier stability:
http://crosstech.crossref.org/2015/01/problems-with-dx-doi-org-on-january-20th-2015-what-we-know.html

He notes the “persistence” [of persistent identifiers] is the result
of a social contract -- indeed.

best,
Phoebe

On Wed, Dec 31, 2014 at 9:20 AM, Andrew Gray andrew.g...@dunelm.org.uk wrote:
 My experience is that to create a DOI you need to provide a basic
 level of metadata for each item rather than simply registering a
 target URL - I'm not sure how curated this needs to be, and it can
 probably be autogenerated, but there might be problems scaling it and
 doing it on demand. There is also a short delay before they become
 active at the central registry. (I've certainly seen cases where a
 publisher has issued a DOI then announced it to the world before
 CrossRef are able to resolve it, and it takes a day or two before the
 DOI works...)

 As a result, I don't think we could generate these on the fly and use
 a URL-shortener type approach - there might be problems with
 generating that many of them, and they would not reliably work at the
 moment they're generated.

 Andrew.

 On 30 December 2014 at 21:53, Andy Mabbett a...@pigsonthewing.org.uk wrote:
 Digital object identifiers are an international standard for document
 identification:

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

 The WMF could be a DOI registrant, and resolve DOIs in the form
 10..Qn for Wikidata items, or, say, 10..en:609232908 for:


 https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=The_King_of_Romeoldid=609232908

 Where 's the best on-wiki (Meta?) place to propose this?

 --
 Andy Mabbett
 @pigsonthewing
 http://pigsonthewing.org.uk

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Science edit-a-thon in six museums‏

2014-12-09 Thread phoebe ayers
Dear Santiago,

This is very cool! Congratulations. I will add some of the portraits
to the English Wikipedia as well :)

best,
Phoebe

On Tue, Dec 9, 2014 at 5:41 AM, Santi Navarro
santiagonava...@wikimedia.org.es wrote:
 Hello,

 next week-end, Wikimedia Spain, with six science museums from five different
 cities in Spain, organizes an edit-a-thon about Spanish scientists and
 inventors. This is a collaboration with FECYT (Fundación Española para la
 Ciencia y la Tecnología). The museums who participate are:

 *MUNCYT, La Coruña
 *MUNCYT, Alcobendas (Madrid)
 *Museo de la Ciencia, Valladolid
 *Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales, Madrid
 *Casa de la Ciencia, Logroño
 *Casa de la Ciencia, Sevilla

 we could involve volunteers for every museum. There wil be different
 activities and the edit-a-thon will run on Saturday and in some museums also
 on Sunday.

 FECYT freely shared 104 portraits of Spanish scientists on Wikimedia
 Commons.[3]

 There is a coordination page on Spanish Wikipedia [1] and Galician Wikipedia
 [2]

 The hashtag of the event is  #WikimaratónCiencia and we invite you to
 participate on-line and to spread the word. This activity, in five different
 cities and six different museums the same week-end is a new challenge for
 us.

 Thanks

 [1]
 https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Encuentros/Wikimarat%C3%B3n_Cient%C3%ADfico_2014#Art.C3.ADculos_propuestos
 [2]
 https://gl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikimarat%C3%B3n_Cient%C3%ADfico_2014
 [3]
 https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Images_of_scientists_released_by_FECYT

 --
 Santiago Navarro Sanz
 Wikimedia España
 http://www.wikimedia.org.es/

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fundraising banners (again)

2014-12-05 Thread phoebe ayers
Hello all,

I just re-read this whole thread (!) this morning and here are the
themes of points raised that I'm seeing ... I'll add this to the talk
of https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Fundraising_principles too.

Anything else I missed? My editorializing is in brackets [ ].

==communication re: fundraising season==
* develop banner approaches in the off-season [the fundraising team
already does this, but there's desire for community discussion too]
* if you do something new (in a geography etc.) make sure you
communicate it to the stakeholders
* fundraising team seen as sometimes unresponsive [though acknowledged
that this, the en.wp fundraiser, is their biggest crunch week]
* Also many thanks for the acknowledged very efficient, remarkable job
at fundraising to the team; The fundraising team is amazing at their
jobs

==message content==
* don't mislead about ads: potential implication that if we don't get
the money we'll run ads is not ok [agreed.]
* don't mislead about WMF finances: potential implication that we'll
go off the air immediately if you don't donate is not ok [note, I'm
not seeing this in the current message, but I may not be seeing it
because every fundraising appeal I've ever gotten is crouched in
crisis terms.]
* message sounds like an obituary/doesn't sound like an obituary/is
clear/is too American [the latter is a problem esp. with English
Wikipedia messaging, I suspect]
* comments about emails, too [note, previous donors get 1 email a year]
* comment that 1/fundraiser a year is not true for those unlucky souls
who get a/b tested
* as contributors, we want to be proud of Wikimedia, and not
demotivated by the banners. some find the fundraising demotivating
because of above points.

==banner size==
* pop-ups are no good [pretty clear consensus]
* sticky banners no good [I'm not sure if there's consensus on this point]
* banners that obscure content are no good [note, though we agree on
the principle, I am personally skeptical about the claim of this
banner interfering with our mission; the content is still right there]
 * mobile banners too big, x to dismiss too small

==brand image==
* current messages are seen as harming brand image because of above
content points
* harming brand image is not ok [I think we're all agreed on this]
* messages should encourage people to contribute content as well [def.
worth exploring]
* user sentiment analysis is important [possible action point: maybe
user sentiment re: brand should be more highly weighted in the banner
tests?]
* what would happen if donors were shown financials alongside banners?
[note this seems very impractical to me. The majority of donors do not
have experience with big nonprofit finances or a scope of comparison.
Yes, I look at the 990s of charities I give to, but I suspect I'm
unusual in that way].

==data==
* we want all the data, because we are Wikipedians
* especially .. user sentiment methodology  raw data
* social media reaction: it seems very negative/more negative than
past??/how much is there/should we worry about it?
* how many impressions do people see? Is it really less? [note, we've
been trying to optimize for fewer impressions for a long while, hence
the shorter fundraiser]

---

Other questions for me:
Nemo asks about minutes. I suspect they'll be out in a couple of
weeks, and then there will be a week of delay or so as the board
approves them. All delays are on the trustee end, not on the
secretary's end. Note though that I already summarized probably the
most exciting discussion.

Andreas asks about the editor survey report. I looked through my
papers the last time you asked, and I don't think I have it. I'd send
it to you if I did.

best,
Phoebe

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fundraising banners (again)

2014-12-04 Thread phoebe ayers
With Sam, I'd like to add my thanks to Lila, and to the fundraising
team which has done an extraordinary job of testing, optimizing, and
running our fundraising campaigns. And thanks to all of you, for being
concerned about and invested in our projects' public image and
financial health and future.

Some perspective from my role as a trustee:
One section of our recent board meeting was spent discussing the
fundraising trends that Lila refers to, and thinking about the
longer-term future of fundraising on our projects. These trends
include: on-site page views are dramatically down over the past two
years in the US  Europe, where the majority of our revenue is raised.
At the same time, there are challenges with fundraising in many of the
places where readership is growing. Additionally, of course we want
and need a strong financial basis for the projects over the long-term
-- not only to keep the lights on but also to build better
infrastructure (ranging from current contributor-supporting projects
-- see the recent product survey -- to making the software easier on
new editors).

And, of course, fundraising is only one small supporting piece of the
overall picture -- so we discussed how shifting patterns in Wikimedia
project consumption, ranging from mobile to Google knowledge graph
type products, might affect our mission long-term.

Given all this context, in our meeting the board discussed whether we
should try to raise more money now to build our long-term reserves
(which I personally think is wise, given current trends). We also
discussed and deeply appreciate the delicate balance that fundraising
has: yes, we can raise more by running more banners, but at what cost?
I should note that the board didn't set new targets in this meeting.
But we did express our support and thanks for the fundraising team's
efforts, which have been remarkable at making sure that our projects
are funded by a world-wide group of independent readers.

One side note about the evolution of fundraising in Wikimedia that I
think is worth noting is that the overall length of the fundraiser has
shrunk dramatically in the last 7-8 years -- from a month at 100% in
2006 to a targeted 2 weeks (or less) today. Individual readers see
many fewer banner impressions now than they used to.

Personally, I think readers should worry about Wikipedia. We are a
nonprofit that exists because of the labor of volunteers. Our readers
who rely on our work and don't think much about how it gets on their
screens should recognize that what we do isn't guaranteed in
perpetuity -- it all depends on help, support and work from our global
community. If that knowledge motivates people to contribute,
fantastic. If contributing means donating 3$, great. And if it means
becoming an editor: even better. Let's all work towards that.

-- Phoebe



On Tue, Dec 2, 2014 at 12:53 AM, Samuel Klein meta...@gmail.com wrote:
 Lila - thank you for this thoughtful update.  Fundraising trends and data
 are always welcome, particularly where communities can help improve and
 test local messages.

 I am also deeply thankful for the smooth work of the fundraising team, who
 have made great progress over the last few years – in storytelling 
 translation, mobile giving, testing  data analysis. I look forward to
 seeing what we learn this year.

 Sam

 On Tue, Dec 2, 2014 at 1:53 AM, Lila Tretikov l...@wikimedia.org wrote:

 All -- we will not have a pop-up banner.

 I know you want more insight into the trends: we will provide some of those
 in our upcoming reports and metrics and we will plan to shift to a
 quarterly cadence of a more specific metrics report that will include
 fundraising.

 Just to cover some basic trends: the last two years have significantly
 changed our traffic composition. Regionally, we are seeing growth in
 emerging languages and regions. This is great: people who need the
 knowledge most, but cannot afford it and often live in countries where free
 speech is criminalized are learning about Wikipedia. We need to keep
 supporting that. In Europe, North America, Australia, etc. we see Wikipedia
 becoming a part of the fabric of the internet itself: embedded in web
 searches, operating systems, and other online resources. This is great too:
 people get knowledge wherever they are. Both of those trends however can
 make it more difficult to raise funds (and sometimes contribute), so we
 have to make sure we adapt.

 We are doing a lot of work around thinking through a diversified
 fundraising strategy. That said, our main tool today are the site banners.
 Just to be clear: the pop-up banner had advantages. It tested high with
 readers, was only shown once to each user and cut the total number of
 impressions needed by a factor of 7! We did hear your concerns however. The
 Fundraising team listened and quickly integrated your feedback. While our
 launch banner will be different from last year’s, it will not be a pop-up,
 overlay content, or be sticky. As always 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikimedia France] WikiCheese crowdfunding - Let's photograph 'em all

2014-12-04 Thread phoebe ayers
On Thu, Dec 4, 2014 at 6:13 AM, Pierre-Yves Beaudouin
pierre.beaudo...@wikimedia.fr wrote:


 Le 2014-12-04 14:57, Martijn Hoekstra a écrit :

 On Dec 4, 2014 2:46 PM, Jean-Frédéric jeanfrederic.w...@gmail.com wrote:
 Thanks again, I tried to remain brie-f 2014-12-03 18:06 GMT+00:00 Christophe 
 Henner christophe.hen...@gmail.com: 110% !!! We bleu our first goal. 
 Christophe, whether you are posting out of love for this awesome project

 or

 just for the sake of making puns, I cantal.

 A little humor on this thread may annoy some, but it's really a Brie of
 fresh air to me.

 Let's be serious. Sweet dreams are made of cheese. Who am I to diss a
 brie. I cheddar the world  the feta cheese. Everybody's looking for
 Stilton...

 Pyb

3 3 3 3 3

p.s. we are running a California edition too, thanks to Frank
Schulenburg and his cheese-iful ideas. (Paneer'ing for gold in the
California foothills?)

-- phoebe

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fundraising banners (again)

2014-12-04 Thread phoebe ayers
On Thu, Dec 4, 2014 at 3:22 PM, Ryan Lane rlan...@gmail.com wrote:
 phoebe ayers phoebe.wiki@... writes:


 With Sam, I'd like to add my thanks to Lila, and to the fundraising
 team which has done an extraordinary job of testing, optimizing, and
 running our fundraising campaigns. And thanks to all of you, for being
 concerned about and invested in our projects' public image and
 financial health and future.


 The fundraising team is amazing at their jobs. They raise money incredibly
 efficiently. So indeed, thank you fundraising team for your work. It's a
 high pressure job, which I can empathize with.

 As one of the people concerned about the projects' public image, I read your
 words of thanks, but don't feel thanked by the content of your post, since
 it doesn't address the raised concerns.

 Have you seen the data that suggests the public image isn't being damaged?
 The board members have signed NDAs, so they are allowed access to the raw
 data. I also have a signed NDA, so technically I should be allowed to see it
 as well.

You're asking me to prove a negative. My inability to do so has
nothing to do with NDAs or the lack of them. There's no secret data
that shows that well, the banners make people hate Wikipedia but they
have a good donation rate. And if there was, why in the world would
anyone who cares about the projects make that choice? We are all on
the same side here regarding wanting to preserve the love that people
have for our projects.

So no, I don't have data for you about the no doubt diverse set of
reactions that exist in the world to the banners. (Beyond anecdotal
info that we all have access to: twitter, this mailing list, etc.)
What I do have is information about whether the banners are compelling
enough to donate -- that's where the a/b testing etc. comes in -- and
that is info that Megan et al shares with everyone.


 Can you answer some direct questions? Do you feel the size of the banners is
 appropriate to the mission, given that it obscures the content significantly
 (and in many cases completely)? Do you feel the messaging is accurate to the
 financial situation of the Foundation?

Personally speaking: I happen to like this year's banners, more than
last year's. The boxes and disclaimers are clearer, the text is to the
point. And yes, I think the messaging is accurate. This is the text
I'm seeing in the U.S. at the moment:

This week we ask our readers to help us. To protect our independence,
we'll never run ads. We survive on donations averaging about $15. Now
is the time we ask. If everyone reading this right now gave $3, our
fundraiser would be done within an hour. Yep, that’s about the price
of buying a programmer a coffee. We’re a small non-profit with costs
of a top website: servers, staff and programs. Wikipedia is something
special. It is like a library or a public park where we can all go to
think and learn. If Wikipedia is useful to you, take one minute to
keep it online and ad-free another year.Thank you.

And all of that is certainly true. We do have the costs of a top
website, we are a small nonprofit (bigger than many, but smaller than
most brand-name NGOs), and we do survive on donations averaging $15
(something like 85% of our revenue comes from these donations, IIRC).
Additionally, I think we're all in agreement that we never will and
should never run ads.

I am not just saying this because I am a trustee -- I've seen every
fundraising campaign that the WMF has ever run, and participated in
discussions about most of them, and I genuinely do like this year's.
Yes, the banners are in your face, and I'm OK with that, given that
it's a quick campaign and as always one click makes them go away
(forever, I think). Obviously, opinions on the banner aesthetics can
and will vary. But discussions on how much money we should raise
(which, of course, is not an either/or choice) -- that's a different
conversation.

-- Phoebe

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fundraising banners (again)

2014-12-04 Thread phoebe ayers
On Thu, Dec 4, 2014 at 4:13 PM, Ryan Lane rlan...@gmail.com wrote:
 phoebe ayers phoebe.wiki@... writes:



 You're asking me to prove a negative. My inability to do so has
 nothing to do with NDAs or the lack of them. There's no secret data
 that shows that well, the banners make people hate Wikipedia but they
 have a good donation rate. And if there was, why in the world would
 anyone who cares about the projects make that choice? We are all on
 the same side here regarding wanting to preserve the love that people
 have for our projects.

 So no, I don't have data for you about the no doubt diverse set of
 reactions that exist in the world to the banners. (Beyond anecdotal
 info that we all have access to: twitter, this mailing list, etc.)
 What I do have is information about whether the banners are compelling
 enough to donate -- that's where the a/b testing etc. comes in -- and
 that is info that Megan et al shares with everyone.


 I'm not asking you to prove a negative. Lila wrote in a previous post that
 they have data that shows the banners are not causing brand damage. I'm
 asking if you've seen that data.

Hello! Sorry, I didn't realize that's what you were referring to. I
haven't looked at all the raw fundraising data, no, and I haven't
looked at that set that Lila refers to. (The reports we get are
summaries, which is much preferable when you've got a lot of
information to get through about all sorts of topics).

I *do* however trust our fundraising team's analysis, and I don't
think they need my mediocre user testing skills and even more mediocre
statistical skills to help them sort it out. I agree with you however
that it would be great if the anonymized data/test methods can be made
public; I think we would all learn a lot, and the group might be able
help refine the tests.


 The data from social media isn't anecdotal. It's public and is
 overwhelmingly negative towards the banners. It shows there's a negative
 reaction to both the message and size of the banners. Something I don't
 understand is why this isn't at least being acknowledged as being a problem.


It's anecdotal in the sense that without some statistical analysis
it's sort of a case of whatever catches your eye standing out. Your
statement surprised me, so I just read through around 1,500 #wikipedia
tweets from the last six hours; the vast majority are the canned
fundraiser tweet, with a handful of others (stuff about articles) and
three, that I saw, that are negative about the fundraising banners. Is
that a significant number? Is it a pattern? Is it more meaningful than
all those other people donating? Is the absence of positive feedback
significant? (though I doubt we've ever gotten I 3 the Wikipedia
banners as a tweet). I have some instincts around these questions,
but I honestly don't know the answers, and I would love to see some
proper analysis. I am, as always, a big fan of research :)

best,
Phoebe


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[Wikimedia-l] Fwd: [Wikimedia Announcements] Your support is wanted: The WMF Board of Trustees is looking for a new Board member

2014-11-16 Thread phoebe ayers
cross-post.

-- Forwarded message --
From: Maria Sefidari msefid...@wikimedia.org
Date: Sat, Nov 15, 2014 at 3:09 PM
Subject: [Wikimedia Announcements] Your support is wanted: The WMF
Board of Trustees is looking for a new Board member
To: wikimediaannounc...@lists.wikimedia.org


Dear all,

The Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees is currently looking for an
additional appointed trustee to fill the seat currently held by
Bishakha Datta, who has announced that she plans to step down at the
end of her term in December 2014. The Board Governance Committee is
leading the search to fill the position on behalf of the Board. Please
spread the word to those you would like to see on the Board!

The Board functions as a governance body that is ultimately
responsible for the Wikimedia Foundation and its activities,
supervises the disposition and solicitation of donations, and oversees
the management of the organization. To find out more about the
responsibilities and workings of the Board you can have a look at the
Board handbook.[1]

We are seeking a trustee who is a leader in their field and who is
committed to Wikimedia's values.[2] We are also particularly looking
for someone with technical experience, who can bring expertise with
strategic development and technical organizations to the Board. As
always, the Board values diversity in its members.

Appointments are for a two-year term and involve 3-4 in-person
meetings throughout the year, at least two in San Francisco, as well
as online work and participation in a Board committee.

If you would like to suggest a name or nominate someone, please
contact Ewen McAlpine at emcalp...@wikimedia.org, who is handling
initial contact for the committee.

Kind regards,

María

Chair, Board Governance Committee

[1] http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_Board_Handbook

[2] http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Values


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Call to Action

2014-10-08 Thread phoebe ayers
Every once in a while something happens in our Wikimedia-verse -- this
thread, for instance, or getting into a political discussion with
someone at an event -- that reminds me that I can violently disagree
on matters of politics with some of my dearest friends in Wikimedia.
Of course Wikimedians are deeply and clearly political when it comes
to free knowledge and copyright law -- but after that it's often a
mystery to me how people feel about various issues, and sometimes a
surprise to find that we agree or disagree.

And that is one of the things that I love about this community -- the
fact that regardless of whether we would vote for different people or
come down on different sides in almost anything else, we can agree
about our love of getting an encyclopedia edited and sharing free
knowledge. It's lovely :)

Now, let's get back to fighting about something that matters, like
Oxford commas and reference formats!

-- phoebe

p.s. welcome, Damon!




On Wed, Oct 8, 2014 at 8:54 AM, Ziko van Dijk zvand...@gmail.com wrote:
 Well said, Craig. Because Che Guevara means for me: I'm out.
 Ziko

 Am Mittwoch, 8. Oktober 2014 schrieb Craig Franklin :

 I think the first lesson here is: if you're going to talk about a
 harmonious community, don't quote divisive political figures in support of
 your argument :-)

 That said, welcome Damon!  Certainly, it's a pretty tough job that you've
 stepped into, but I'm optimistic that a fresh approach and fresh eyes will
 assist the engineering team in pushing through the present difficulties
 with software deployments.

 Regards,
 Craig Franklin

 On 7 October 2014 11:02, Nathan nawr...@gmail.com javascript:; wrote:

  Hello and welcome, Damon.
 
  One thing I've long appreciated about the Wikimedia movement is that it
 is
  not political, and indeed the flagship project is explicitly neutral.
 This
  distinction has become a little more nuanced as the movement has taken
  political positions that are congruent with the overall mission, but I
  think it remains the case that Wikimedians have been able to avoid
  entanglements with general political issues. This has been especially the
  case with most deeply controversial and current political debates.
 
  So while I agree with your sentiment, that leaders must model values such
  as courage and integrity, I think it would have been better expressed
  without the ringing endorsement of Che Guevara. As you say, we should
  choose our words carefully and ensure that our language is positive and
  inclusive. This is obviously an area where we can all make progress.
 
  ~Nathan
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] To Flow or not to Flow

2014-09-08 Thread phoebe ayers
Thank you for this overview and history, Erik!

On Fri, Sep 5, 2014 at 9:49 PM, Erik Moeller e...@wikimedia.org wrote:

 Hi all,


 And as above, I'm open to us putting some short term effort into talk
 page improvements that can be made without Flow -- knowing it's still
 some time out.


Is there a good wiki page for brainstorming/discussing these kinds of talk
page improvements (that may or may not be part of Flow?)

I always find it helpful in these kinds of conversations to try and imagine
what concrete changes would help me on a day to day basis, as an editor and
discussion participant, since it can be hard to envision what working with
a whole new system would be like or to wrap one's head around the whole
universe of discussions that take place on talk pages.

best,
-- phoebe

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[Wikimedia-l] Thank you for Wikimania!

2014-08-12 Thread phoebe ayers
Thank you so much to the London Wikimania organizers for putting a
wonderful Wikimania 2014. I want to recognize everyone who helped out: the
core team who proposed the bid and worked for over a year organizing a
vision and a team to carry it out; the staff at Wikimedia UK and WMF who
worked on organization; the international volunteer teams who put together
the program and multiple scholarship programs; the tech staff in-person and
online; the on-the-ground volunteers who made the event go; all the
speakers, and everyone who contributed. Thank you! Pulling off a major
international conference isn't easy, and this one rocked.

This was the tenth Wikimania (!), and we had a small session reflecting on
each of the Wikimanias to date. They have all been different, but they have
certainly all had commonalities too: each Wikimania is a chance to meet
other people who are doing intriguing, wonderful things; to sit up late
into the night brainstorming and arguing about ideas; to learn from each
other about techniques for educating and talking about our projects; to
hack together.

More than anything, Wikimania is a way to recognize that we are part of a
real community of passionate and dedicated people -- people who love to
take pictures and write and code and learn new things and drink and dance
and eat stroopwafels and talk and talk and talk.

So, a huge thank you to the London team for holding a great event both for
long-time Wikimaniacs and for a whole new group of people (this was the
first Wikimania for hundreds of people, going by the opening session).

I encourage you all to watch the videos of the talks, and to keep the
Wikimania spirit alive this year by learning about new initiatives,
reaching out to people you don't already know who are doing cool stuff,
visiting a project that you're not familiar with and seeing what they're up
to, and experimenting with new things.

And I hope to see you all in Mexico next year!

[[3]],
Phoebe


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Options for the German Wikipedia

2014-08-11 Thread phoebe ayers
On Mon, Aug 11, 2014 at 3:12 AM, MZMcBride z...@mzmcbride.com wrote:

 Hi.



 I'm interested to read others' views about options and ways forward here.



I think the most helpful thing would be to not attempt to start wars, and
particularly not on behalf of anyone or against individuals. We are all on
the same side here: trying to make the projects (and the project
interfaces, as a part of that) better. That includes, for instance, trying
out a new way of viewing photographs.

I assume of course and as always that you send your message from a place of
also wanting the projects to be better and more usable. But it is hard to
see how anything you suggest above gets us there.

best,
-- phoebe
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikitech-l] [Wikitech-ambassadors] Deprecating print-on-demand functionality

2014-07-14 Thread phoebe ayers
On Fri, Jul 11, 2014 at 8:48 AM, Erik Moeller e...@wikimedia.org wrote:

 On Fri, Jul 11, 2014 at 8:45 AM, Luca Martinelli
 martinellil...@gmail.com wrote:
  so the Book Creator will still be active, maybe under another name,
  maybe with another engine, but still active?

 Same name and functionality, just the Order a printed book feature
 will disappear.

 Erik


That is great -- the book creator and PDF tools are both good tools, and
are very handy for projects big and small, especially projects like
Wikibooks and Wikivoyage that need to make offline reading easy. (I have
actually used both tools the most on internal wikis; when I need to catch
up on big discussions, I've made many pdfs from meta that I can read
offline.)

It was a worthwhile experiment with Pediapress, and I'm glad they stuck
with it as long as they did!

best,
-- Phoebe
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikimedia Announcements] Disclosure amendment to the Terms of Use

2014-06-17 Thread phoebe ayers
On Mon, Jun 16, 2014 at 6:16 PM, Risker risker...@gmail.com wrote:

 On 16 June 2014 20:48, phoebe ayers phoebe.w...@gmail.com wrote:

  On Mon, Jun 16, 2014 at 11:17 AM, Risker risker...@gmail.com wrote:
 
   Not quite sure what you're shouting about, Gerard.  The amendment
 clearly
   gives individual projects the right to have an alternative to this
   particular section of the terms of use, and that alternative can be
  either
   more strict or less strict.
  
 
  That's correct. Members of various projects asked for this kind of
  flexibility in the comment period, and the board agreed that we should
 add
  the ability for projects to craft alternatives on a per-project basis to
  this amendment.
 
  In the absence of a local policy, however, the ToU amendment applies to
  every project. While this issue is a concern of many on the English
  Wikipedia, the amendment was not crafted specifically for en:wp; this has
  been an issue across many language communities. The terms of use
  (amendments and all) apply to all of our projects.
 
  best,
  -- phoebe
 
 

 I'm so very disappointed in the Board and the WMF for this TOU amendment,
 which was obviously written to quell concerns about English Wikipedia, with
 extremely little consideration of any other project.  Now projects *must*
 formally exempt practices that are perfectly acceptable to them: Commons in
 particular, where professionals (who link to their personal for-profit
 websites in their file descriptions) contribute a great deal of the highest
 quality work; MediaWiki and all its developer-related sites, where a large
 number of our best non-staff developers are financially supported by other
 organizations; Wikidata, which is pure data and no benefit can be derived;
 Wikisource, where no benefit can be derived; and a multitude of Wikipedias
 that have openly welcomed editors who receive financial support or are paid
 by various organizations without any issue whatsoever.  It is extremely
 unlikely that it will ever be enforced in the vast majority of WMF
 projects.


I'm sorry you're disappointed. But I don't really follow your reasoning. I
don't know of many people who get paid *specifically* to upload photos or
contribute to Wikidata. Perhaps a few cultural professionals who are
already, in general, following this best practice. And if someone is
specifically getting paid to upload photos to Commons (or contribute to
another wiki) it seems, in general, like a good idea to know about it. (If
a professional photographer that's not doing work for hire chooses to
donate some of their professional-quality photos to the project -- in their
spare time, as it were -- I don't think the amendment applies, though I
leave discussion of that nuance to the legal team and the commons
community).

Anyway, I'm not sure why you are assuming that the amendment will
automatically be abhorrent to every community that's not English Wikipedia.
Of course projects do vary based on size and cultural norms and other
factors; that's why we put in the local exemption clause however.



 It would have been far more beneficial if the WMF and the Board had had the
 courage to work directly with the English Wikipedia community to develop a
 policy there instead of imposing it on hundreds of projects that not only
 don't care, they will now have to create policies to counteract the effects
 of this TOU amendment.  Simply put, Terms of Use should never include
 clauses whose enforcement is undesirable in a significant portion of the
 overall site.

 I'll be off now to help Mediawiki create their RFC to essentially void this
 decision.


Of course you should feel free, though I'm not entirely sure how a
provision that a person should disclose if they are getting paid
specifically to edit that wiki (in mediawiki's case, it would likely be
something along the lines of I work for the Foundation or I work for
someone else who has an interest in developing mediawiki and also
developing documentation on the wiki) is especially undesirable. I'm
pretty sure most paid developers do this anyway. (If someone is editing in
their spare time -- on any project -- and not specifically getting paid for
that work, the amendment doesn't apply). At any rate, I leave that specific
discussion to the mediawiki community, where I suspect it's basically a
non-issue.

best,
-- phoebe
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikimedia Announcements] Disclosure amendment to the Terms of Use

2014-06-16 Thread phoebe ayers
On Mon, Jun 16, 2014 at 11:17 AM, Risker risker...@gmail.com wrote:

 Not quite sure what you're shouting about, Gerard.  The amendment clearly
 gives individual projects the right to have an alternative to this
 particular section of the terms of use, and that alternative can be either
 more strict or less strict.


That's correct. Members of various projects asked for this kind of
flexibility in the comment period, and the board agreed that we should add
the ability for projects to craft alternatives on a per-project basis to
this amendment.

In the absence of a local policy, however, the ToU amendment applies to
every project. While this issue is a concern of many on the English
Wikipedia, the amendment was not crafted specifically for en:wp; this has
been an issue across many language communities. The terms of use
(amendments and all) apply to all of our projects.

best,
-- phoebe

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Wikipedian in Residence at ORCID

2014-06-11 Thread phoebe ayers
Thanks Gerard! However, I meant getting a list article subjects who have an
ORCID that we haven't already put in Wikidata, so we can update Wikidata!
:)

best,
Phoebe




On Tue, Jun 10, 2014 at 11:41 PM, Gerard Meijssen gerard.meijs...@gmail.com
 wrote:

 Hoi,
 Actually it is not that hard [1] to find who has an ORCID.
 Thanks,
  Gerard

 [1]

 http://tools.wmflabs.org/wikidata-todo/autolist2.php?language=enproject=wikipediacategory=depth=12wdq=claim%5B31%3A5%5D%20and%20claim%5B496%5Dmode=cat_and_wdqstatementlist=run=Runlabel_contains=label_contains_not=chunk_size=1





 On 11 June 2014 03:39, phoebe ayers phoebe.w...@gmail.com wrote:

  On Tue, Jun 10, 2014 at 10:29 AM, Andy Mabbett 
 a...@pigsonthewing.org.uk
  wrote:
 
   As of today, I am Wikipedian in Residence [1] at ORCID [2].
   The role is described in [3]. Please let me know if I can assist you,
   in that capacity.
  
   [1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:ORCID
  
   [2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ORCID
  
   [3]
  
 
 http://orcid.org/blog/2014/06/04/announcing-orcid%E2%80%99s-wikipedian-residence
  
   --
   Andy Mabbett
   @pigsonthewing
   http://pigsonthewing.org.uk
 
 
 
  Congrats, Andy!
 
  Coincidentally, as part of my day job, I was just looking into how we
 treat
  ORCIDs and other author ID schemes in Wikidata. One thing I discovered
  poking around by hand is that it is quite difficult to match up who has
  ORCIDs (not every researcher) with who has a Wikipedia article (also not
  every researcher). I think it would be great to use ORCID's API to search
  for article subjects who might have ORCIDs (though I think that list
 would
  have to be confirmed/matched by hand, because of lots of ambiguity around
  similar names in ORCID if there's no other information -- maybe a task
 for
  another Wikidata game :) )
 
  Anyway, I'd be happy to chat offlist or somewhere else about it, but I am
  glad to see they're reaching out to Wikipedia and that you're involved!
 
  cheers,
  Phoebe
 
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Wikipedian in Residence at ORCID

2014-06-10 Thread phoebe ayers
On Tue, Jun 10, 2014 at 10:29 AM, Andy Mabbett a...@pigsonthewing.org.uk
wrote:

 As of today, I am Wikipedian in Residence [1] at ORCID [2].
 The role is described in [3]. Please let me know if I can assist you,
 in that capacity.

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

 [2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ORCID

 [3]
 http://orcid.org/blog/2014/06/04/announcing-orcid%E2%80%99s-wikipedian-residence

 --
 Andy Mabbett
 @pigsonthewing
 http://pigsonthewing.org.uk



Congrats, Andy!

Coincidentally, as part of my day job, I was just looking into how we treat
ORCIDs and other author ID schemes in Wikidata. One thing I discovered
poking around by hand is that it is quite difficult to match up who has
ORCIDs (not every researcher) with who has a Wikipedia article (also not
every researcher). I think it would be great to use ORCID's API to search
for article subjects who might have ORCIDs (though I think that list would
have to be confirmed/matched by hand, because of lots of ambiguity around
similar names in ORCID if there's no other information -- maybe a task for
another Wikidata game :) )

Anyway, I'd be happy to chat offlist or somewhere else about it, but I am
glad to see they're reaching out to Wikipedia and that you're involved!

cheers,
Phoebe

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] 2015 strategic plan

2014-05-28 Thread phoebe ayers
On Wed, May 28, 2014 at 12:31 AM, ENWP Pine deyntest...@hotmail.com wrote:

 Hi, can someone with knowledge of WMF's thinking expand on this statement
 from Lila?

 Starting the process for our next strategic planning exercise, which will
 be different from last time, and focused on improving our ability to react
 quickly and adjust as necessary to opportunities and challenges.

 Is this implying that the entire strategic plan will focus on agility, or
 that agility will be a priority in the next strategic plan?

 Also, how was this decision reached?


This is a large topic. But quickly: I think the idea is that the next
strategic plan, rather than being a document that tries to cover every
possibility for what might happen, would be more useful if it recognized
that things do and will change -- technologies, community dynamics, etc. --
and recognized that the organization and movement will need to adapt to
those changes. (Think about how much has changed since 2009, when we
started working on that plan.) So I guess I would call agility more of a
design principle.

But I don't want to either speak for Lila or for the WMF, because we simply
haven't had those conversations yet with her, nor have we had them in the
community. As noted in the last set of board minutes:
https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Minutes/2014-01-31#Strategy_discussion--
the board has mainly agreed that we are flexible with regard to the
final shape of the plan, and will work with Lila on the process going
forward.

best,
-- Phoebe
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Metrics - accuracy of Wikipedia articles

2014-05-08 Thread phoebe ayers
On Thu, May 8, 2014 at 10:13 AM, edward edw...@logicmuseum.com wrote:

 On 08/05/2014 17:58, geni wrote:
 So while it is unlikely that a published journal article would be a
 complete hoax

 This is because they have a robust review process, which Wikipedia
 doesn't. Enough said.


Geni did say unlikely, not it never happens:
http://www.nature.com/news/publishers-withdraw-more-than-120-gibberish-papers-1.14763


By which I which I don't mean to say most literature is useless or a fraud:
it's not! But it's also not a 100% black or white picture.

-- phoebe

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Metrics - accuracy of Wikipedia articles

2014-05-08 Thread phoebe ayers
-- Forwarded message --
From: David Gerard dger...@gmail.com
Date: Thu, May 8, 2014 at 12:15 PM
Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] Metrics - accuracy of Wikipedia articles
To: Wikimedia Mailing List wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org


On 8 May 2014 19:27, Anthony Cole ahcole...@gmail.com wrote:

 I agree with those above who highlight the flaws in the current scholarly
 peer-review process. If enWikipedia is to embrace scholarly review (and we
 should) we need to confront and address the well-known problems with peer
 review in today's scholarship.


While acknowledging the likely truth of the flaws in scientific
knowledge production as it stands (single studies in medicine being
literally useless, as 80% are actually wrong) ... I think you'll have
a bit of an uphill battle attempting to enforce stronger standards in
Wikipedia than exist in the field itself. We could go to requiring all
medical sourced to be Cochrane-level studies of studies of studies,

That actually is the current best practice for medical articles in English,
I believe, and I think it's a good one:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:MEDRS

Sourcing to reviews when possible is particularly relevant for a field
(like medicine) that has a well-established tradition of conducting and
publishing systematic reviews -- but I find it a useful practice in lots of
areas, on the theory that reviews are generally more helpful for someone
trying to find out more about a topic.

Anthony: I hear you about veracity being particularly important in medical
articles; and I don't mean to get us too far in the weeds about what
quality means -- there's lots to do on lots of articles that I think would
be pretty obvious quality improvement, including straight-up fact-checking.

-- phoebe
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] How Wikimedia could help languages to survive

2014-04-22 Thread phoebe ayers
On Tue, Apr 22, 2014 at 5:18 AM, Andrea Zanni zanni.andre...@gmail.comwrote:

 [snip]

 For the things we could do, I quote form other people:
 * encourage Wikisource, Commons, Wiktionary as primary projects for
 new/endangered languages.
 You could scan books or documents if the language is written, or record
 audio/interviews and put that on Commons if t the language is just oral. or
 we could do both.


+1. I can imagine those working on languages already being able to do
things like record vocabulary and audio clips from native speakers, which
we (online Wikimedia volunteers!) can, if we have good associated metadata,
help format and make available on Commons. It could be a whole outreach
area into free-ing up this kind of knowledge, which we've barely scraped
the surface of. Recordings of words in thousands of languages on
Wiktionary! We have so much to do.

To Mike's point, yes, I can imagine better translation work happening in
underserved languages -- a problem for researchers and programmers and
linguists to collaborate on. From the outreach point of view, I have also
been kicking around the idea of using language classes to help kickstart
some Wikipedias. For instance, some African language Wikipedias are so
small that contributions from just a few people in an advanced class
studying that language (and they do exist, though there's not a lot) could
help improve the content a lot. It seems like for some languages there
could be the possibility to work with specialty language institutes around
the world.

As for resources, it's partly money, yes -- our money is not infinite --
but even more so I think it's a problem of limited human resources,
especially in the case of languages that are not spoken by many people.
Finding and helping contributors who speak the language well enough, have
online access, some technical skill, and are interested in contributing or
translating is the major issue. That problem becomes more acute the smaller
the language, which is why I like the idea of an effort to free up existing
language resources.

-- phoebe

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Announcement regarding Host for Wikimania 2015

2014-04-22 Thread phoebe ayers
Congratulations Mexico! I can't wait to visit the amazing Mexico City :)

And, a big thank you to all the bidders, everyone who commented and
participated, and to the selection jury, steering committee, and Ellie.
This is the first year in a long time that I haven't been involved in the
Wikimania selection process, and I am very pleased to have passed the torch
to such capable hands :)

best,
Phoebe

On Mon, Apr 21, 2014 at 10:27 AM, Ellie Young eyo...@wikimedia.org wrote:

 Dear Wikimedians,

 On the recommendation of the Wikimania 2015 selection Jury Committee, we
 have accepted the proposal from Mexico DF to host. The proposal will be
 further vetted by the WMF staff in the coming month, after which time we
 hope to confirm the award. Please join us in congratulating Wikimedia
 Mexico!

 We would also like to thank the teams from Cape Town and Monastir as well
 for all their effort in putting together excellent proposals for our
 consideration. As a volunteer-led movement, it is hugely encouraging to
 have so many who want to support Wikimania. The bidding process requires a
 substantial time investment, and we are most grateful for every team’s hard
 work.

 For those of you who are considering hosting in future years, we expect to
 issue the Request for Proposals  for 2016 by September this year.

 Sincerely,

 Ellie Young, WMF Conference Coordinator
 On behalf of the Wikimania Steering Committee
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikimedia Announcements] WMF Board of Trustees: Minutes of January 2014 meeting

2014-04-21 Thread phoebe ayers
Hi Mike,

Sure. Both were open discussions, and no decisions were taken or specific
proposals developed. And neither topic is in any way limited to being a
board discussion: both are broad-ranging topics concerning all of us. We
took these up to, as a board, have some time to step back and think about
big-picture issues.

The disruption discussion was largely focused around talking about
potential threats and disruptions to our future. These are both current
trends that we see happening and potential things that could happen that
would impact the sustainability and future of Wikipedia and the other
Wikimedia projects. For instance: the rise of mobile impacting how people
access the sites. Young people in school taking Wikipedia for granted
because they've never known anything different (and not realizing they can
help out too). We don't do anything about making video easier to use, and
so we miss out on a whole class of educational material. A competitor could
build a reading and/or editing interface that is far superior to ours,
causing a fork in readers or editors. The rise of more SOPA-like bills
could make our operating environment untenable. (These are just topics that
were raised that I remember off the top of my head, not a complete list).

The discussion was wide-ranging, inconclusive, and was meant to help us
think about risks that could impact the direction of WMF activities as well
as a kind of strategic planning warm-up.

The community council was not a long discussion, and was similarly
inconclusive; it was mostly along the lines of what Lodewijk said, that
this seems to be a need that is long-standing in our community. Other
trustees may have more details to add :)

best,
-- phoebe


On Mon, Apr 21, 2014 at 12:49 PM, Michael Peel em...@mikepeel.net wrote:

 Hi all,

 Stephen, thanks for posting this. :-)

 From my perspective, there's two items of particular interest here that I
 haven't seen discussed on this list or elsewhere - namely Disrupting the
 disrupters and Community council. The board minutes aren't really
 sufficient to understand the details of what the WMF board members are
 thinking about with these topics, so I'd like to ask the WMF board members
 if they would be willing to share their understanding of what these topics
 entail either here or on-wiki please?

 (BTW, in general I'm much more in favour of seeing detailed minutes that
 explain what was discussed, why it was discussed, and what individual
 people thought, rather than high-level summary minutes that say what was
 discussed without explaining the details. The [[Five Ws]] and the
 additional 'how' are an excellent guide here!)

 Thanks,
 Mike

 On 21 Apr 2014, at 20:14, Stephen LaPorte slapo...@wikimedia.org wrote:

  At the request of the WMF Board of Trustees, I am posting the minutes of
 the January 31 - February 1, 2014 meeting, which you may find here:
 
  https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Minutes/2014-01-31
 
  Best,
 
  Stephen LaPorte
  Legal Counsel
  Wikimedia Foundation
 
  For legal reasons, I may only serve as an attorney for the Wikimedia
 Foundation. This means I may not give legal advice to or serve as a lawyer
 for community members, volunteers, or staff members in their personal
 capacity.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] How Wikimedia could help languages to survive

2014-04-21 Thread phoebe ayers
On Sun, Apr 20, 2014 at 4:15 PM, Asaf Bartov abar...@wikimedia.org wrote:

 Interesting thoughts.  I have a few brief comments, and will engage further
 (on Meta, perhaps) later:


 2. This does include free knowledge _about_ every last language of the
 world, so by all means: let us preserve all languages' written output on
 Wikisource, and let us document all languages' lexicons on Wiktionary (not
 their own Wiktionary, but active Wiktionaries with existing editing
 communities), but we should not unconditionally spend resources to ensure
 the availability of free knowledge _in_ every last language.  I submit that
 our vision is satisfied by offering free knowledge in the languages people
 use to consume knowledge (a far _far_ smaller subset of even the 280-odd
 language editions we already have).


I like this thought a lot, and I don't think it's inconsistent with Milos'
proposal to save languages. Saving languages, at least as a first-pass
step, might not mean creating a Wikipedia in that language, but rather
working to make as much as has already been published in those languages,
and their lexicons and dictionaries, free and available on Wikisource,
Wikitionary, Wikibooks, etc.

One thing that makes me sad about small and very small languages is that
often there are only one or two dictionaries, and only a few books about
the languages, and these are published by small publishing houses that
can't really keep them in print or distribute them easily to everyone who
might be interested (and they can't possibly be great money makers for the
publisher, either)*. Similarly, online resources and lexicons are often
haphazardly published on unstable servers which may or may not stay up. In
other words, resources *about* languages, which are the first step in
preserving the language, often suffer from simple access issues themselves,
and would be worth effort -- the kind of effort that we are expert in, like
stable hosting and making works available under free licenses.

-- Phoebe

* Most recently I was thinking about this when I was in Oklahoma and
visited a small museum that had books in and about the Chickasaw language,
which is severely endangered:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chickasaw_language.

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[Wikimedia-l] 10 years of wikimedia-l

2014-04-17 Thread phoebe ayers
Hello everyone!

So, to change the subject entirely, I just discovered that this is the 10
year anniversary of foundation-l/wikimedia-l!

Foundation-l was founded in April 2004, and was renamed to wikimedia-l two
years ago:
http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/

Foundation-l was originally an offshoot from wikipedia-l, which is where
the first discussions about policies and issues on the projects were held.
It was proposed as a separate list in order to discuss Wikimedia-wide
issues.

Over the years, we have had debates on every subject under the sun. We've
gone through high points, hammering out constructive policies and debates,
sharing our experiences as encyclopedists and free culture enthusiasts; and
we've gone through low points, with allegations of bad behavior flying left
and right and people belaboring points beyond all reason. Sometimes --
usually, in fact -- it's both at once, in different threads. The list has
been a place to send ideas, manifestos, and information as well as a place
to discuss with others who share our passions.

We've debated the list and its place a lot over the years. We have talked
about moderation, but rarely done anything with it. We've implemented
posting limits (still in place: 30 posts/person/month); enforced posting
limits; forgotten to enforce posting limits; talked about stricter or
weaker limits. We've split sub-topic lists out; we've merged lists back
together. We've debated the cost in time and energy of each email, the
burden that being subscribed to the list means, how impossible to keep up
it is. We've tried summaries, filters, translations. We've talked about
languages, and tried many times (unsuccessfully to date) to make the list
truly multilingual. We've called each other out on bad behavior, and every
once in a while we've remembered to praise each other too.

The list has chronicled the growth of the Wikimedia Foundation from the
days when we celebrated raising $50,000 in the fundraiser and held the
first board elections to today. And it has chronicled the growth of the
Wikimedia movement, across languages and communities, and of the projects,
as they changed from rather odd novelties to a core part of the internet.

People on the list have come and gone. Sometimes, for months or years at a
time, someone will post on nearly every thread and every subject. Usually
they eventually taper off, and then someone new will take their place,
making the rest of the subscribers wonder how do they have so much time?!
For those who have been subscribed for a long time, these names are
recognizable because of their many posts and their (in)famous dedication to
the list. (Wouldn't it be fun if we could get those folks all together in
person, for a Wikimania panel or something?) Many subscribers never post;
others are able to find a balance. It is a truism that those who rarely
post often send the most thoughtful mails.

People have used the list to join the movement, to get to know others.
They've also used the list to quit the movement, sometimes loudly and
angrily, sometimes thoughtfully, sometimes silently; it is always sad when
this happens. Sometimes, people have used the list to return (welcome back!)

The list can be endlessly irritating. It's a source of conversation: wow,
the list is blowing up right now, can you believe it?! It also can be a
source of connection with other people who we may only know through their
emails, and a source of joy and inventive new ideas. It is disconnected
from the on-wiki communities, but is connected too. It serves as a place to
share with people across our movement, when there are few general channels
to do so. It is thousands of mails in thousands of in-boxes, over many
years.

The list is ours, our commons, ours to take care of and to try to make
better. Happy anniversary, Wikimedia-l.

-- phoebe

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikimedia Announcements] Proposed amendment to the Wikimedia Terms of Use

2014-02-20 Thread phoebe ayers
Hi all,

A few notes from my own perspective:

1) I'm glad to see this lively debate! I hope the right solution comes out
of it and is iron-clad against contingencies, insofar as possible :)

2) I don't want to see the projects used and misused as a platform to
achieve goals other than our mission of sharing free knowledge -- and, as a
part of that, I want to discourage contributions to articles that have an
end goal other than making those articles better according to objective
standards (and, of course, encourage contributions that do have the end
goal of making articles better). Though I haven't checked with legal, I
don't think that's a controversial statement :)

*How* we discourage contributions that don't fit with our own goals is the
question -- policy changes Wikimedia-wide, project-wide, something else?
This is a proposal using one of the legal tools in our toolbox, the ToU,
which is one of the very few Wikimedia-wide policies that can address
contribution standards and is also one of the very few tools that is
recognized as legally valid by outside parties (unlike for instance our
internal policies like NPOV, which are just that, editorial policies).

3) I think this proposal is trying to addressing a long-standing issue of
COI editing. That issue was recently brought to the forefront again by the
actions of a few companies, but it's been an issue for a long while.

4) I'm glad to see Dominic weigh in with some issues from a GLAM
perspective. Of course I personally am interested in GLAM issues, but I
also think we collectively need to grapple with how to make the projects
friendlier towards all kinds of people with things to share, including but
not exclusively GLAMs and educators.

For my part, I would love to see a world where contributing to Wikipedia
was seen as a normal part of business for educational and cultural
institutions and the people who work there; I think that would be a win for
all of us, including the GLAMS. How to do that so we also preserve our
neutrality and values is the challenge facing us right now: and we need to
figure out specific things, like how we balance disclosure versus anonymity
for these contributors, and how we distinguish good motivations from
cluelessness or COI. I don't have a good answer for this personally, though
I have lots of thoughts (I've worked with plenty of researchers who are in
fact trying to work on Wikipedia during their paid time. And bear in mind
that for academics like professors, there's often no real line between on
the clock and off the clock -- you do work relating to your job all the
time).

Disclosure: I myself contribute hours and hours of work to Wikimedia during
my day job, including writing this email, because I've made the case to my
employer that my contributions to WMF as a trustee and volunteer can be
seen as a professional obligation, just like helping out with a library
association would be. That does not include my actual editing of Wikipedia,
which I do with my volunteer hat on and in my free time. But let's face it:
the lines are often blurry. For instance, I don't think my edits to
engineering articles are a COI simply because I also work as an engineering
librarian. But I do recognize that there are lots of different cases,
ranging from that kind of mild overlap of day-job interest and Wikipedia
work; to a researcher making an edit on a subject they study and
(unknowingly or knowingly) over-representing their own work in the
references; to someone making an edit to a company article to make it more
favorable because they were paid by the company to do so. So, having
clarity when we talk about these issues about what kind of cases we have in
mind is important.

best,
-- Phoebe

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikimedia Announcements] Proposed amendment to the Wikimedia Terms of Use

2014-02-20 Thread phoebe ayers
On Thu, Feb 20, 2014 at 12:08 PM, Anders Wennersten 
m...@anderswennersten.se wrote:

 phoebe ayers skrev 2014-02-20 20:16:

  3) I think this proposal is trying to addressing a long-standing issue of
 COI editing. That issue was recently brought to the forefront again by the
 actions of a few companies, but it's been an issue for a long while.


 Please remember this is a description of the reality on en:wp. The reality
 looks very different on other version.


Thanks for talking about your situation :) I do think it's right to say
this has been a concern on several projects, not only enwp, but it is true
every wiki is different.


 On svwp we are a group of a few hundred active contributes  where paid
 editors and volunteers have a fruitful cooperation to create valuable and
 neutral articles. When we have discussed this proposal on our Village Pump
 we think it would be good to have it as a guideline and loose
 recommendation but if it would become mandatory we believe it would
 actually hurt our community and work. We are not bigger than it is possible
 for me alone to inspect all new articles from nonwikipedians 24/7, and
 react appropriate to different problems in the articles, and recognizing
 patterns of strange edits, and others are able to do the same for changes
 in articles

 So please let each project decide on how to tackle the COi issue by
 themselves, and encourage exchange on best practices in the area. But also
 make sure No mandatory restrictions on all projects on contributers like
 this that would seriously harm the work in several projects


How do you seeing this as a restriction on contribution? As it is proposed
it's not saying edits will be rejected, only that contributors who are paid
to edit should note this on their userpage or in edit summaries. I think
that every edit would still be subject to the same kind of editorial
scrutiny that happens now.

(note I'm not arguing that this proposal is exactly the right answer, I
just don't follow the reasoning why you think it would restrict
contributions).

best,
-- phoebe




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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Wikimedia Ukraine -- is everyone safe?

2014-02-20 Thread phoebe ayers
On Thu, Feb 20, 2014 at 12:54 PM, Keegan Peterzell keegan.w...@gmail.comwrote:

 On Thu, Feb 20, 2014 at 11:56 AM, Amir E. Aharoni 
 amir.ahar...@mail.huji.ac.il wrote:
 
 
  My dear friends in Ukraine, you are cool people and excellent
 Wikimedians.
  Know that I care about you and wish you peace and freedom. Please be
 safe;
  I trust you to do the right thing.


 This.


Yes. Friends in Ukraine and Venezuela and all difficult situations right
now, I hope you are well and safe. My thoughts are with you.

-- phoebe
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board decisions on movement funding and approval issues

2014-02-13 Thread phoebe ayers
Hi Greg!

A few fast notes before I go to bed :)

On Wed, Feb 12, 2014 at 11:59 PM, Gregory Varnum
gregory.var...@gmail.comwrote:

 Phoebe,

 I appreciate you sharing this information - it fills in a few gaps.  I am
 still concerned that there was not more opportunity for input prior to the
 decision - and that everyone was clearly not on the same page about what
 was going to be discussed exactly.


I take your point about wanting more formal committee consultation, for
sure, and in hindsight I agree we should have done things differently. (I
think writing comments would probably work better logistically than skyping
folks in, just for logistical and stylistic reasons, but it's an
interesting thought -- perhaps worth a try).


 Regarding your earlier comments on the funding. I recognize that there are
 options beyond FDC - however it seems to send mixed messages. Also, did the
 board discuss capping the other WMF funding options?


Nope.


 I still think there is
 confusion over the incorporated user group concerns - but I will keep that
 conversation on Meta.


I just posted a reply on meta about this, that hopefully will clear up some
concerns. Short answer: if you need to incorporate in your country for
whatever reason, go ahead and incorporate. You just don't *have* to for
wikimedia recognition.


 Finally, can you speak to any changes the board may
 be making in future processes and if the community or at least committees
 will have more input on these types of decisions?


Hmm. I know there is a desire to talk about movement roles strategy in
general among several trustees, so we may well talk about related issues,
but I don't know if that will be on a meeting agenda in the near future,
and we don't have any decisions planned that I know of (though of course
issues may be raised that aren't on the agenda now). The April meeting will
hopefully mostly be adjusting/approving the annual plan and working on the
shift to a new executive director, especially if they are hired and
available by then.

-- Phoebe
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Programmatic experience in past 2 years (was: Board decisions on movement funding and approval issues)

2014-02-12 Thread phoebe ayers
And to Pharos' point, for new groups i don't think becoming a penalty. If a
group goes from no Wikimedia recognition to being a user group they go from
no access to resources to access to the Wikimedia trademarks, access to
grants big and small, listing with other official groups...it's a big
change. Of course groups might want to become a chapter later on, but
that's not exactly always an easy process...
On Feb 12, 2014 1:20 PM, phoebe ayers phoebe.w...@gmail.com wrote:

 If a group was in the process of applying to affcom, we will consider then
 case by case - this decision does not apply to groups in process.

 If there's a group out there that had just talked about it but not talked
 to affcom - we don't have a way of knowing about them! New groups who
 haven't already talked to affcom and are trying to figure it out should
 apply to be a user group.

 Phoebe
 On Feb 11, 2014 11:58 AM, Pharos pharosofalexand...@gmail.com wrote:

 Certainly, in the last 2 years and before, a handful of Wikimedia
 volunteer groups have been quite as active and organized as those
 currently being classified as User Groups - only the option of being
 recognized as User Groups did not exist for them at the time of their
 founding.

 And it is a good thing that this category exists now, but is seems
 wrong to penalize Wikimedia volunteer groups that *do* have a track
 record of effective programmatic experience, just because they were
 started before the User Group category was in existence.

 Thanks,
 Richard
 (User:Pharos)

 On Tue, Feb 11, 2014 at 12:33 AM, phoebe ayers phoebe.w...@gmail.com
 wrote:
  Hi all,
 
  I want to draw your attention to two Wikimedia Board of Trustees
 decisions
  that were recently published, regarding funds allocated to the
 FDC/Annual
  plan grant process and Board approval of chapter/thematic organization
  status. In a nutshell, the Board decided to allocate approximately the
 same
  amount of funding to the FDC for the next two years. The Board also
 decided
  that new organizations should first form as a user group and have two
 years
  of programmatic experience before being approved as a legally
 incorporated
  entity (either a chapter or thematic organization).
 
  The decisions are published in the meeting minutes here:
  https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Minutes/2013-11-24#Movement_roles
 
  There is also a FAQ on Meta:
  https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Movement_roles_FAQ
 
  You will notice these decisions are published in the minutes for the
  November meeting. We originally took these decisions at that meeting;
  however as the FAQ explains it took us some time to talk to community
  groups, clarify our wording and write the FAQ.
 
  Hopefully the FAQ will answer many of your questions about these
 decisions;
  however, if there are other questions please do ask them, here or on the
  meta talk page. Thank you!
 
  for the Board,
  Phoebe
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board decisions on movement funding and approval issues

2014-02-11 Thread phoebe ayers
On Mon, Feb 10, 2014 at 11:46 PM, phoebe ayers phoebe.w...@gmail.comwrote:


 On Mon, Feb 10, 2014 at 10:30 PM, rupert THURNER rupert.thur...@gmail.com
  wrote:

 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 sorry you're disappointed in me.



 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. https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l



 Just so it's clear -- Stephen *posted* the FAQ and minutes for us -- he
 helps out the board by posting documents and taking minutes during the
 meeting -- but the decisions, and the FAQ, were written by members of the
 board in what I can promise was a highly collaborative process :)

 That said, I find it strange that you would accuse him of anything. Not
 that it matters, but in his free time he's been volunteering with Wikipedia
 events, coding and editing for years. Regardless, though, he was just doing
 his job here -- as requested *by the board*, and specifically by me  -- so
 please lay off the criticism of him. I have nothing but respect for our
 ultra-hard-working LCA team.

 -- phoebe

 Also, I just have to point out, having lots of edits is obviously no
guarantee of wisdom anyway -- I have 20K edits under my belt, and you still
think I make terrible decisions :)

-- phoebe



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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Consultation decision making (was: Board decisions on movement funding and approval issues)

2014-02-11 Thread phoebe ayers
Per Fae, a short response in bullet points:

* I'm sorry. I take your criticisms seriously.
* How we got to this point, as I see it*: I think the Board felt we had
gotten input from AffCom because we saw their responses to the proposal to
change to a usergroup-first approval model, which was presented by a staff
member. However, it seems AffCom didn't realize that the Board might take
up this proposal. This unclarity is the fault of the board.

-- phoebe

* speaking for myself, not all trustees may agree.



On Tue, Feb 11, 2014 at 10:16 AM, Fæ fae...@gmail.com wrote:

 Thanks for this honest critical feedback Lodewijk. It is refreshing to
 have a straight-forward statement. Most emails from established
 members of our community being critical about the WMF board or staff
 seem to feel they need to wrap anything negative in so much cotton
 wool and glib praise, that it looses any effect.

 It would be great for a WMF to respond to the failures your email
 identifies without writing about issues or successes that were not
 mentioned, and without garnishing with lengthy caveats or tangents.

 Fae

 On 11 February 2014 17:58, Lodewijk lodew...@effeietsanders.org wrote:
  Hi,
 
  I'm very sorry about these decisions. Not only because I disagree with
 them
  on the content (although there are one or two aspects I can live with)
 and
  because I think this is very bad for the volunteers, but also because the
  board returned to a mode where they make decisions without involving the
  stakeholders properly. The Affiliations Committee will probably come
 with a
  more elaborate (and perhaps nuanced) reply as a committee later, but
 after
  this email from Jan-Bart, I feel the need to emphasize that the
 Affiliation
  Committee was not consulted by the board on this topic - despite the
  suggestions being made now. Affcom was consulted on a different (but
  related) proposal by a staff member, with very different arguments from
  those that the board used in their discussion. In my feeling the board is
  painting an unjust and unfair picture of the consultation that took
 place.
 
  I'm strongly disappointed in /all/ board members for not consulting with
  the stakeholders (Affcom, FDC, the existing affiliated, the candidate
  affiliates and of course the community at large) on these strategy
 changing
  decisions. From the votes it is clear that these decisions were of course
  not unanimous, but the sole fact that a decision was taken at all without
  proper consultation (in favor or not) strikes me as almost offensive
  towards the volunteers involved. I feel this as a slap in the face and
 the
  board becomes an unreliable body making unpredictable course changes
  without allowing stakeholders to influence those.
 
  I hope that the board will return on this decision, and take it again
 after
  a proper consultation. But even more so, I hope that this situation will
  not repeat itself. I have brought this up before on the topic of bylaw
  changes, but similar arguments are of course valid here.
 
  Lodewijk Gelauff
  (While a member of the Affiliations Committee - I write this email
 entirely
  in a personal capacity)

 --
 fae...@gmail.com http://j.mp/faewm
 Personal and confidential, please do not circulate or re-quote.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board decisions on movement funding and approval issues

2014-02-11 Thread phoebe ayers
On Tue, Feb 11, 2014 at 12:43 PM, Gregory Varnum
gregory.var...@gmail.comwrote:

 One of the (many) problems that I have with this is that it both makes
 these user groups more dependent on movement funds for a longer period of
 time, but then caps those funds in the same decision.


One quick correction: we're not capping grant funds for all grant programs,
just the FDC process, which user groups aren't part of (neither are all --
or even most -- existing chapters). User groups can definitely (and
should!) apply for grants through the other grant processes.

Thanks for the constructive emails from all, and I will try to send some
longer replies later today or tonight.

-- phoebe
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board decisions on movement funding and approval issues

2014-02-11 Thread phoebe ayers
On Tue, Feb 11, 2014 at 10:37 AM, Gregory Varnum
gregory.var...@gmail.comwrote:

 While AffCom will likely be making an official statement later, I am having
 a hard time not chiming in and I do think it is worth pointing out that
 AffCom was not consulted in a manner I think most of us would have imagined
 occurring. I have noticed it mentioned a few times that our feedback was
 taken into consideration, but that may give the wrong idea of what
 happened.

 While it is true we provided feedback before the decision was made, I would
 not consider it consulting with us or even communicating with AffCom in a
 way that allowed us to provide the level of feedback I think the community
 has come to expect. Frankly we got a lot of our information second-hand,
 and am still not sure personally we know the full story. My personal
 expectation would have involved a lot more communication before the
 decision was made, and most importantly, some two-way dialogue. At the very
 least I think the chairs of FDC and AffCom should have been looped into
 parts of the conversation during the meeting


Hi Greg and all,

This is not a direct reply to your points, but I think it might be helpful
in removing the cloak of mystery from all this.

Here is what happened during the board meeting, from my perspective.*

Background context:

* The board has been discussing movement roles for literally years (as have
many of the folks commenting!)
* The board started discussing the topic again specifically in October;
many trustees are interested in broad movement roles questions and it was
brought to the table as a broad topic the board should take up.
* Various contexts to the discussion include: the need to review new
affiliates more thoroughly than we historically have done (as recommended
by our legal team, and as indicated by the history of some chapters not
staying active); the new trademark and user group policies which make
different models for volunteers both possible and easier; and various
trustee concerns over our increasing focus movement-wide on incorporation
and administration.

For these two specific decisions:

* The board first discussed the ideas of usergroups-first  capping the
budgets in October. This was without any specific proposals or wording.
* Later on, before the November meeting, a recommendation to take these
decisions was presented in a packet by the WMF Executive Director to the
board, along with some context. The packet included a summary
recommendation, some arguments pro and con, and emails from Affcom and the
FDC, with the proposal as presented by staff to these committees and the
committee replies.
* we (board members) discussed the recommendations first on our email list
for a week or so before our meeting, and then over two sessions in our
meeting, over the course of two+ days. On the list and in the meeting, we
discussed the arguments as presented as well as arguments that emerged over
the course of discussion from our own individual viewpoints, as well as the
overall milleux of movement roles.

* Important note that perhaps wasn't emphasized enough in the FAQ: the set
of decisions was not meant or presented as major strategy but as a
temporary set of decisions, to buy us all some time while we hire a new ED
and reconsider movement roles strategy. The new ED point is important; we
wanted to try to decide these issues before they start, since they will
have plenty of other stuff on their plate to figure out.

* In the meeting, we (the board) wrote and re-wrote the text of the
decisions to match our emerging consensus about what we wanted to do.
* When we seemed to have reached a stable version of the text, and also to
have exhausted our ability to reach further consensus, we voted on these
two decisions. I motioned for the vote because I happened to be
facilitating the discussion at the time, and it seemed to me that as a
group we were ready to vote.

* The no consensus thing: of course we discussed this as well. Like all
boards in our movement, I expect, we always have a question of whether we
should work towards unanimous consensus or whether we should accept split
votes. Personally I think it depends on the context and topic. in general,
I think, agreed to accept a split vote on this topic though it was somewhat
contentious to do so. Why was the vote split? Each trustee should speak for
themselves, but there was a range of arguments and feeling. I can tell you
that similar questions to those raised on the list so far were raised.

* After voting and recording the text, we then sent the text of the
decisions to Affcom and the FDC, via the Board liaisons.
* Then we (board members) wrote the FAQ over the course of several weeks
following, trying to answer the questions that Affcom  the FDC raised
emails back to us after we shared the published decision with them, and
also trying to answer additional questions we thought might arise.
* In the course of writing the FAQ and pondering the committee 

[Wikimedia-l] Board decisions on movement funding and approval issues

2014-02-10 Thread phoebe ayers
Hi all,

I want to draw your attention to two Wikimedia Board of Trustees decisions
that were recently published, regarding funds allocated to the FDC/Annual
plan grant process and Board approval of chapter/thematic organization
status. In a nutshell, the Board decided to allocate approximately the same
amount of funding to the FDC for the next two years. The Board also decided
that new organizations should first form as a user group and have two years
of programmatic experience before being approved as a legally incorporated
entity (either a chapter or thematic organization).

The decisions are published in the meeting minutes here:
https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Minutes/2013-11-24#Movement_roles

There is also a FAQ on Meta:
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Movement_roles_FAQ

You will notice these decisions are published in the minutes for the
November meeting. We originally took these decisions at that meeting;
however as the FAQ explains it took us some time to talk to community
groups, clarify our wording and write the FAQ.

Hopefully the FAQ will answer many of your questions about these decisions;
however, if there are other questions please do ask them, here or on the
meta talk page. Thank you!

for the Board,
Phoebe
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board decisions on movement funding and approval issues

2014-02-10 Thread phoebe ayers
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 sorry you're disappointed in me.



 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. https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l



Just so it's clear -- Stephen *posted* the FAQ and minutes for us -- he
helps out the board by posting documents and taking minutes during the
meeting -- but the decisions, and the FAQ, were written by members of the
board in what I can promise was a highly collaborative process :)

That said, I find it strange that you would accuse him of anything. Not
that it matters, but in his free time he's been volunteering with Wikipedia
events, coding and editing for years. Regardless, though, he was just doing
his job here -- as requested *by the board*, and specifically by me  -- so
please lay off the criticism of him. I have nothing but respect for our
ultra-hard-working LCA team.

-- phoebe

-- phoebe
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Textbooks Which Borrow Heavily from Wikipedia

2014-02-06 Thread phoebe ayers
On Thu, Feb 6, 2014 at 1:41 PM, Samuel Klein meta...@gmail.com wrote:

 I'm meeting with the Boundless team tomorrow.

 How could they improve attribution?


Looking at the g-book that James linked (and without paying for a download
etc) I don't see any particular attribution at all in the book itself. The
inside front cover should have a publisher credit (boundless), a date, and
a) authors/editors; b) a list of sources where they've taken info from...
the wikipedia articles (perma-urls), other sources. Also, license??

Without that (and any other useful info: place of publication, URL, ISBN,
etc) not only is it not attributed for our purposes, it's a nightmare for
any hapless library cataloger who might want to add it to a library
collection :P

-- phoebe
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikimedia Announcements] WMF Board approval of new Trademark policy and recommendation on the Community logo registration

2014-02-04 Thread phoebe ayers
And a big thank you to legal and the LCA team for their skilled handling of
these issues, including extensive consultations and developing a
community-centric policy. I am proud that we now have such a thoughtful,
open-focused, and yes, unconventional trademark policy for our projects.

best,
Phoebe

On Tue, Feb 4, 2014 at 11:55 AM, Yana Welinder ywelin...@wikimedia.orgwrote:

 Hi all,

 We are happy to announce that the Board of Trustees approved the new
 Trademark Policy this Saturday.[1] The policy is based on a seven-month
 consultation with the community to replace our 2009 policy. The new policy
 is unconventional in how it provides expansive use of the Wikimedia marks.
 Thanks to the community's collaboration, the policy is more readable,
 thorough, and consistent with our values.

 The Board also approved our recommendation to withdraw trademark
 registration and protection for the Community logo.[2] We will now initiate
 withdrawal of US and worldwide registrations.

 Many thanks to everyone who participated in these two consultations!

 Thanks,
 Yana and Geoff

 [1] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Trademark_policy
 [2]
 https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Community_Logo/Request_for_consultation

 --
 Yana Welinder
 Legal Counsel
 Wikimedia Foundation

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] WikiConference USA Announcement

2014-01-29 Thread phoebe ayers
Hooray! I'm glad that this is happening and congrats to WM-NYC  DC. I hope
to attend!

-- phoebe

On Tue, Jan 28, 2014 at 1:05 PM, Pharos pharosofalexand...@gmail.comwrote:

 I am very pleased to announce that Wikimedia NYC and Wikimedia DC are
 working in collaboration to host the first national Wikimedia conference in
 the United States!

 Here are the details for the conference:

 Dates: Friday, May 30, 2014 - Sunday, June 1, 2014
 Location: New York Law School (185 West Broadway, New York, NY 10013)
 Website: http://wikiconferenceusa.org
 Email: wiki...@wikimedianyc.org
 Registration: http://wikiconusa.eventbrite.org/

 For more information, please review our official press release below! We
 hope you will join us and help us spread the word!


 https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:WikiCon_USA_2014_Press_Release_v1.pdf

 Thanks,
 Richard (User:Pharos)
 Wikimedia NYC
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Basic income Wikimedians

2014-01-09 Thread phoebe ayers
On Thu, Jan 9, 2014 at 11:44 AM, Mark delir...@hackish.org wrote:



 A basic income would remove the need for such accounting overhead, since
 one could just focus on how to best contribute to society, without having
 to worry about how to monetize and own every contribution. But absent
 such significant change, perhaps the Wikimedia movement could look more at
 how to improve at least the recognition (if not income) of significant
 contributors.


Since you mention it... :) I have a small project I'm working on to
document how academics, in particular, count or recognize their Wikipedia
contributions. I'm curious both about precedents -- people who have listed
wikipedia editing on their C.V. or tenure packets, for instance -- and
about tools that might make recognition of on-wiki work easier (for
instance, things like edit counters that pull out the top contributors to
an article).

If anyone has any thoughts about this I'd be glad to hear them!

-- phoebe

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[Wikimedia-l] Most viewed articles of 2013, across languages

2014-01-01 Thread phoebe ayers
I don't think this has been sent out yet:
http://tools.wmflabs.org/wikitrends/2013.html

(thanks to Itzik for drawing my attention to it, and Johan for coding it up!)

This is fascinating. It's interesting that some languages (like
English) have lots of results that are likely people trying to get to
other sites (Facebook, Google) but other languages less so.

Happy New Year, everyone!
Phoebe

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Resolution: Media about living people

2013-12-15 Thread phoebe ayers
On Sun, Dec 15, 2013 at 11:46 AM, Tomasz W. Kozlowski
tom...@twkozlowski.net wrote:
 While I appreciate the lengthy discussion about the scope of the resolution
 and about the ways it can be implemented in on-wiki processes, I would like
 to raise a different question.

 I note with some interest that Jimmy's vote is not recorded at
 https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Resolution:Media_about_living_people,
 and I wonder what are the exact reasons behind that

He was only able to attend part of the meeting and so missed this vote
-- he should have been marked as absent.

-- phoebe

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Resolution: Media about living people

2013-12-14 Thread phoebe ayers
On Sat, Dec 14, 2013 at 7:55 AM, MZMcBride z...@mzmcbride.com wrote:

 Your logic here is broken. There are certainly times to have widely
 advertised discussions, but doing so is not free: they often require
 creating and deploying banners (with an associated increased risk of
 banner blindness), related mailing list posts, time taken to draft and
 re-draft proposals, and, of course, the time taken by members of the
 community to discuss and re-discuss how best to move forward. Time is
 precious, especially volunteer time, so we should make every effort to
 ensure that when we ask people to donate theirs to a global discussion, we
 don't do so lightly.

Yes, I agree.

Our discussions are important, but they are not free in terms of our
collective time. Let's take this particular thread as an example --
it's some 30 messages. Say it takes 15 minutes to read all of them,
and 500 subscribers have done so. That's 125 person-hours reading this
single thread alone -- or 15 people for an entire 8 hour workday. 15
very experienced Wikimedians spending a day can get a lot done :)

I don't think this particularly resolution warranted community
consultation; if I did, I would have pushed for it. The issue of how
to go ahead with BLPs in general certainly does, though --  that's the
point I was trying to make.


 As for these theoretical objections, if _you_ or anyone else objects to
 this amendment, I'd certainly be interested to read why.

Seconded.

cheers,
Phoebe

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Resolution: Media about living people

2013-12-14 Thread phoebe ayers
On Sat, Dec 14, 2013 at 8:54 AM, John Vandenberg jay...@gmail.com wrote:

 The 2009 resolution on biographies of living people was about
 identifiable people, given they were the subject of a biography.  This
 new 'media about living people' resolution doesn't make any such
 distinction for media, which I guess will result in lots of confusion
 about whether the scope includes images of unidentifiable people.  It
 should, but ...

 This resolution appears to be asking for verifiability regarding
 images of living people.  We are going to need some clarity around
 what the board considers to be verifiability (how do we prove the
 photo was taken at a public event and it is real? etc), and whether
 that includes unidentifiable people.

 Ensuring that all projects in all languages that describe or show
 living people have policies in place calling for special attention to
 the principles of neutrality and verifiability in those articles;..


Hi John,

I think this is an interesting point, but I'm not entirely sure I
follow don't we always worry about verifiability for images? We
certainly try to ensure that images are real and correctly identified
and not in copyright, etc. If someone uploads a random photo of
someone and says it's a picture of a celebrity, I feel like we
[Commons editors] would check that out. Not so?

-- phoebe

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Resolution: Media about living people

2013-12-13 Thread phoebe ayers
On Thu, Dec 12, 2013 at 4:23 PM, Andy Mabbett a...@pigsonthewing.org.uk wrote:
 On 12 December 2013 19:40, phoebe ayers phoebe.w...@gmail.com wrote:

 With a nod to Andy's comment, as a
 community I think we may want to review our progress in the last few
 years on the BLP issue, and have a broad community consultation about
 where we are still falling short and ideas for going forward, given
 our constraints and changing environment of readers and editors.

 I didn't make a comment; I requested information:

 Please also provide a link to the consultation you carried out
  with the community, before making this change. I seem to have
  missed it.

 Oddly, I seem to have missed the response, also.

Well, with such a pointed comment, I assumed you were trying to make a
point about the value of community consultations, so that's what I
responded to.

As Maria noted, this was prompted by a community request on the board
noticeboard, which of course anyone is welcome to participate in. And
as I noted, we saw a need to clarify what we intended in the earlier
resolution -- not something that can really be determined by community
consensus. So no, we didn't have a broad community consultation on
this particular amendment, though I also don't think it was out of the
blue; there have been many related discussions on Commons and
Wikipedia over the years.

I was recently reminded by someone that we *did* have a general
community consultation on the BLP issue as part of the strategy
project -- there's still good info (and some broad recommendations to
the board) here, which are worth reviewing if the topic is of
interest: https://strategy.wikimedia.org/wiki/Task_force/Living_People

best,
Phoebe

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Resolution: Media about living people

2013-12-12 Thread phoebe ayers
On Wed, Dec 11, 2013 at 3:10 PM, Lodewijk lodew...@effeietsanders.org wrote:

 (just for the record: I'm not particularly against this amendment, I
 actually never assumed that files would be treated differently from texts
 anyway in this kind of stuff. Just plain curiosity.)

Neither did the board, which is why we passed the amendment -- because
there seemed to be some confusion on the matter :)

My take on the resolution -- not formally speaking for the board -- is
what I said on Commons: that the board feels Wikimedians should
exercise equal care when dealing with all portrayals of living people
on our various projects. So while the resolution is not meant to drive
to a very specific change and was not in response to any single
incident, it is meant as a statement of principles that we can use to
guide the development of process and policy -- and as with our past
resolution about images of individual people, I think we should
examine our policies and decisions in light of these principles.

best,
Phoebe

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Resolution: Media about living people

2013-12-12 Thread phoebe ayers
On Wed, Dec 11, 2013 at 1:35 PM, Jane Darnell jane...@gmail.com wrote:
 Thanks for this, but even with the amendments it sounds pretty weak.
 The closing text just shows how helpless we are in helping subjects
 when their article is under the watchful eye of some Wikipedia editor
 who feels that they own biography articles they have been watching
 for years. Though I support the intention behind this statement
 (Treating any person who has a complaint about how they are portrayed
 in our projects with patience, kindness, and respect, and encouraging
 others to do the same), it still offers no indication of a path
 forward for such subjects.  I would like to know where subjects can
 post their complaint besides on the talk page, since putting
 complaints there is still a form of publication and only serves to
 propagate the sensitive information that subjects want removed. Also,
 the text coming after People sometimes make edits or add media
 designed to smear others also doesn't address the problem. There are
 lots of unnecessarily sensitive edits made that are not made
 maliciously, but if they are sourced, are practically impossible to
 have removed, if the personal owner disagrees. I guess for major TV
 personalities and such it may be easier because there are more people
 watching and editing such biographies, but in the case of marginally
 notable people, they have no recourse whatsoever, as far as I can see.

All good and important questions, Jane -- and yes, all of this is left
unaddressed in this resolution. As careful readers have noted, this is
just a small update to the 2009 resolution, meant to clarify the
Board's original intent. We did not change the other parts of the text
or tackle the process-related parts of handling BLPs, which remains a
hard issue -- although one that has been addressed by various policies
and processes, such as our fantastic OTRS team.

BLPs remain one of our big challenges, and will continue to be so as
long as Wikipedia is popular. With a nod to Andy's comment, as a
community I think we may want to review our progress in the last few
years on the BLP issue, and have a broad community consultation about
where we are still falling short and ideas for going forward, given
our constraints and changing environment of readers and editors.

-- Phoebe

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Readers love you

2013-12-08 Thread phoebe ayers
Thank you, Megan :)

(besides the part where we get to continue to operate) the notes
were/are my favorite part of the fundraiser. So nice!

best,
phoebe

On Sat, Dec 7, 2013 at 7:42 PM, Megan Hernandez
mhernan...@wikimedia.org wrote:
 Hi everyone,

 Each year that we run the fundraiser, readers write in really lovely notes.
  Please take two minutes to listen to our readers.

 Enjoy!


 The story I like to tell is that whilst I had heard of Wikipedia but only
 looked at it a few times thereafter, when the 2004 Tsunami occurred the day
 after Christmas, mainstream news organisations (TV, newspapers) were all
 away from their offices. That day I turned to Wikipedia to try to
 understand the scale of the event. It was Wiki editors 'on the ground' that
 created the sort of information and coverage usually considered the
 province of rolling news organisations only. This I now dub my 'Wiki
 Epiphany'.


 Wikipedia is an amazing service. Almost always, I am able to find
 information on subjects I am interested in. Thanks and Kudos to all staff
 and volunteers!!

 My world has been opened up time and time again by Wikipedia. From studying
 Detroit and computer programming to finding unbiased information on
 America's history, Wikipedia has been a beacon of free speech and
 information for over ten years. Sometimes, I just sit in awe of the fact
 that the greatest accomplishment of man was assembled mostly by volunteers,
 people who just wanted to make the world a better place.

 Its made life easier for me and expanded my knowledge by allowing me to
 more easily find trusted and verified information on the internet. It
 organizes all the noise out there on the web and gives a great concise to
 the point fact summary of what I want to know. Thank you and thank you to
 the millions of volunteer editors. Wikipedia is a necessity in my life and
 not just a luxury.

 Wikipedia is a source of unbiased information. The caveats and notes from
 the editors alert to questionable information. The links within the
 articles are amazingly helpful and have led me on wonderful information
 expeditions.

 I'd like to thank the entire staff of wikipedia and its editors for my high
 school graduation.

 It's impossible to put in words. I cannot imagine Planet Earth without it
 [Wikipedia]. It has changed my life forever.

 My 17 year old son uses you constantly. You have made him a smarter human
 being.

 You guys are ^^%$#* unbelievably awesome, keep it up!

 web sites like Wikipedia are invaluable and I felt it my duty to try help
 even if only a tad.

 so much of the Internet has turned into self serving and unreliable junque;
 so I am very, very grateful for the Wiki resource.

 I regard W as the best and most reliable source of information available
 anywhere. I don't know how you do it so please keep on with your Excellence
 }i{  That;s a butterfly for you
 This is one of the best things on the internet. It goes back to the
 original development of the internet and has remained ethical and true to
 its origins. There appears to be no discrimination and it is available to
 everyone at no cost.

 I am 60 years old and I am still so cruious and interested in so many
 things. Wikipedia gives me reasonable information whenever I may want it.


 I use wikipedia all the time and credit it more toward my education than
 college did!


 It's nice to see humanity get together without any external forces for a
 common good!


 I am inspired by the high quality of Wikipedia and the high ideals of its
 founder and its myriad contributors and editors. What a magnificent
 collaborative human achievement you are building!


 It has simultaneously answered and given me more questions than I can
 comprehend.
 This represents to me what college should be like. Free and collective
 knowledge by and for all.

 When I want to know something, I google it and 99% of the time Wikipedia
 has what I want to know. Even drinking arguments, about what Biff from Back
 to the Future is doing now, are solved by Wikipedia. It's all there.

 Without Wikipedia I would be about 30% less intelligent. :(

 it is like a gift from the gods of knowledge

 I am a teacher and a writer, and I am amazed how often Wikipedia is useful
 to me. I consider Wikipedia to be one of the great democratic projects
 maybe ever, and it is one of the reasons why I try to stay optimistic about
 the world. Thank you.

 I honestly feel like the next generation of humans in general, will be much
 smarter than the previous because of this site. Well, at least they will
 know a whole lot more useless shit. I've heard (don't know for sure if it's
 true, doesn't matter) that the bigger a person's brain is, typically, the
 smarter that person is. So, if that is true, I think it's likely that
 because of this site, in about 50 years, humans will have huge heads. Their
 heads will look like the aliens' heads did in attack from mars. If y'all
 ever get into commercials for whatever reason, you 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] The Wikipedia Library's Books and Bytes newsletter

2013-12-05 Thread phoebe ayers
I just wanted to say thanks to Jake and everyone who has worked on the
Wikipedia Library project -- this is a really cool and exciting set of
initiatives. I've seen a lot of interest lately from libraries in various
Wikipedia projects, and this outreach is definitely a big part of that.

Also, a pitch/reminder: if anyone is interested in discussing library
projects and Wikimedia, we do have a separate mailing list here:
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/libraries that everyone is
welcome to join.

best,
phoebe

On Thu, Dec 5, 2013 at 10:16 AM, Jake Orlowitz jorlow...@gmail.com wrote:
 Books  Bytes

 Volume 1, Issue 2, November 2013

 by The Interior (talk =B7 contribs), Ocaasi (talk =B7 contribs)

 Sign up for monthly delivery:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:The_Wikipedia_Library/Newsletter/Re=
 cipients

 Read online:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:The_Wikipedia_Library/=
 Newsletter/November_2013


 Wikipedia Library Highlights

 New accounts survey

 TWL is in discussions with several database providers to start new
 pilot programs for research account donations. Two of the largest
 research database organizations in the world, EBSCO Publishing and
 ProQuest, are both interested in learning which of their database
 services Wikipedians would be most interested in receiving. TWL has
 put together a survey to help with this, as well as gather more
 general information about usage, editor satisfaction and the direction
 Wikipedians would like to see their library moving in. The brief
 Google Forms survey takes 5-10 minutes, and will be sent out this week
 to TWL subscribers.

 JSTOR expired, extended

 The JSTOR pilot program, which gave 100 free accounts to top article
 writers, expired this month. Thanks to Steven Walling, an extension
 until the end of January was secured. Talks with JSTOR are ongoing to
 keep this valuable resource available free of charge to editors. Sign
 up for JSTOR.

 New Metrics

 New data from the Credo Partnership showed a 500% increase in links to
 the site in total since the program began. With much larger numbers in
 general, and a shorter time frame, the HighBeam increase of 390% as of
 May 2013 is also of interest. Special thanks to Johnuniq for compiling
 this data. If you are data-inclined, TWL always needs help compiling
 statistics. These stats are useful not only to our current partners,
 but also to encouraging prospective new partners to make donations.

 Help Needed: TWL Account Coordinator

 TWL is seeking a manager for the coordinated dispersal of donated
 accounts. The role involves watchlisting the application pages,
 vetting candidates using a fairly simple set of requirements (1 year
 activity, 1000 edits on any Wikimedia projects, having email enabled
 and an expressed desire to use the account for article work), and then
 emailing the access codes to users. As it stands, this would be not
 more 1-2 hours of work a week (though it will when new accounts are
 announced). Great communication and responsiveness so that subscribers
 get prompt replies to their applications is a must. If you are
 interested, please get in touch with The Interior or Ocaasi. Apply to
 be the new Account Coordinator.

 Wikipedia Visiting Scholars

 Along with the announcement of a position at George Mason University,
 a second institution plans to host a Wikipedia Visiting Scholar
 placement - University of California at Riverside Library.More details
 on this partnership should be announced in December and over a dozen
 universities are interested in attending an information session about
 the program in January. Also in December, George Mason will be seeking
 applications for their position. For more information on the Visiting
 Scholar program, see http://enwp.org/WP:WVS. Sign up to be a Wikipedia
Visiting
 Scholar.

 TWL presents: American Library Association's mid-winter meeting

 The ALA is the largest library organization in the U.S. TWL has been
 accepted to present at their mid-winter conference in Philadelphia on
 January 25th from 1:30 to 3:00pm. The session will introduce academic
 librarians from around the country to the role Wikipedia can play in
 learning and research. We will use the session both to introduce TWL's
 mission and scope, and then to kick-off the Wikipedia Visiting
 Scholars program with an overview of the initiative and plenty of time
 for planning and questions. Over a dozen top universities have
 expressed interest in attending, which bodes very well for the future
 placing Wikipedians in official research affiliate positions.

 New Talk: The Future of Libraries and Wikipedia

 Ocaasi gave the first presentation of The Future of Libraries and
 Wikipedia to George Mason University. GMU Professor and THATcamp
 coordinator Amanda French brought students and librarians together for
 the event. The talk highlights the mission and pillars of Wikipedia,
 the Wikipedia Library's 5 goals, and 13 to explore the question, What
 if 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fwd: [WikiEN-l] access to journals

2013-09-24 Thread phoebe ayers
In the U.S. I encourage people to check out what database subscriptions
their local public library offers -- many larger public libraries offer a
surprising number of online journals  databases that are available to
anyone who has a library card, which you can generally get for free if you
live in the library's area (and sometimes for pay if you *don't* live in a
library's area -- especially if you are nearby). Additionally, some states
offer state-wide consortia deals on databases and subscriptions, so even
small public libraries have access to a wide range of materials. Also, if
you are close to a public university of some sort, the vast majority offer
on-site access to their online resources if you are physically on campus.

We do not, to my knowledge, have a national library program like what Liam
describes, but people in other countries should check and see if they do.

Standing offer: If you email me offlist, I will help you try to figure out
what library resources you might have access to :)

best,
Phoebe

On Tue, Sep 24, 2013 at 6:06 AM, Liam Wyatt liamwy...@gmail.com wrote:

 With regards to getting access to closed journals...
 I'm now working for the National Library of Australia and we offer free, at
 home, access to JSTOR and MANY other restricted access databases to any
 Australian, if they get a free library card.
 [You can see the full list at the NLA eResources page:
 http://www.nla.gov.au
 /app/eresources/ ]

 Is this unique to Australia? I must admit that I didn't realise until
 recently the extent of the restricted databases that were available for
 free to library card holders in their own home. With all the discussion
 over the years on the global Wikimedia mailing lists about trying to
 special access for Wikimedians, I had just assumed it was a global issue.
 But, at least for Australians, it's largely solved... Are other country's
 major libraries offering journal access to the public for free? If not,
 perhaps rather than trying to get special access for Wikimedians directly
 from the Database companies, we should be working to get access via Library
 subscriptions?

 Liam / Wittylama.

 [p.s. yes - I realise I'm promoting a service offered by my employer,
 sorry. But I reckon it's relevant and important that people know though.
 p.p.s. If you are Australian and want a free library card sent to you - go
 here: http://www.nla.gov.au/getalibrarycard/ ]

 wittylama.com
 Peace, love  metadata


 On 24 September 2013 12:48, Andrea Zanni zanni.andre...@gmail.com wrote:

  It's probably worth mentioning (again) that
  we started a brand new wikimedia mailing list about Open Access:
  https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/openaccess
 
  If you are interested in the topic of access to scientific/academic
  literature, you should be there.
  Getting access to closed journals is definetely something that we like
  and must pursue,
  but changing the very system of is more important.
  We shouldn't have this issue at all :-)
 
  Aubrey
 
 
 
 
 
 
  On Tue, Sep 24, 2013 at 2:18 PM, Tom Morris t...@tommorris.org wrote:
 
   If you've gone to university, it's well worth looking to see if your
   university provide alumni access.
  
   My university, the University of London, provide alumni access to the
   library for £220 a year, which includes an eight book borrowing limit,
  full
   JSTOR access (which doesn't have the limitation that JPASS has), Oxford
  DNB
   access and some other online resources.
  
   Some universities also charge the even better price of nothing.
  
   I've put up a page in project space on English Wikipedia so we can
   document which institutions provide access:
  
   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:JSTOR/Alumni_access
  
   --
   Tom Morris
   http://tommorris.org/
  
   On 24 September 2013 at 12:56:18, David Gerard (dger...@gmail.com)
  wrote:
  
   fyi
  
  
   -- Forwarded message --
   From: Kathleen McCook klmcc...@gmail.com
   Date: 24 September 2013 12:25
   Subject: [WikiEN-l] access to journals
   To: English Wikipedia wikie...@lists.wikimedia.org
  
  
   In an effort to enhance access options for people who aren’t
   affiliated with universities, colleges, or high schools,
   not-for-profit digital library JSTOR has launched JPASS, a new program
   offering individual users access to 1,500 journals from JSTOR’s
   archive collection. The move follows the March 2012 launch of JSTOR’s
   Register  Readprogram, which allowed independent researchers to
   register for a free MyJSTOR account, and receive free, online-only
   access to three full-text articles every 14 days. That service has
   since attracted almost one million users including independent
   scholars, writers, business people, adjunct faculty, and others, and
   JSTOR plans to continue offering the service in its current form.
   However, in a recent survey, many of Register  Read users expressed
   interest in an individual subscription model that would offer 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Questions for the Board post-Wikimania

2013-08-17 Thread phoebe ayers
On Sat, Aug 17, 2013 at 2:17 AM, Federico Leva (Nemo) nemow...@gmail.comwrote:

 phoebe ayers, 15/08/2013 12:26:

  And lastly of course what's been on everyone's mind lately is we must
 continue to try to figure out the best way to develop and roll out
 products
 in our complex, opinionated, multilingual community. To be frank, I don't
 know what the the best role for the board is in this process. I try to be
 careful about keeping my public comments to a minimum when tech debates
 are
 raging, as I think all the trustees do, because it's usually just not
 helpful to randomly weigh in. Does that mean developers feel unsupported
 by
 the board? That would be an unfortunate side effect of trying not to
 overstep our role...


 From a Wikimedia projects point of view, what I'd rather like to know is
 how the annual plan ends up containing some specific technical
 goals/products. This is for sure something under the board's responsibility
 as the board approves the plan, however – just we don't know absolutely
 anything in general on how the annual plan is produced and why it is as it
 is – it's not clear who proposes, who reviews and who actually decides what
 ends up in the plan, not to speak of the rationale. Does the board have any
 role in shaping the engineering goals as defined by the annual plan, apart
 from the final rubberstamping in a yes/no vote following some two weeks of
 discussion out of several months of mysterious drafting?


Hey, I'm hoping another trustee will jump in here since I wasn't involved
with the last annual plan (thanks to my gap year off the board). But it's a
good question. In general: the specific plan activities are written by the
staff; the board's influence is more on the level of approving the overall
balance and resourcing to different activities/goals (like how much do we
focus on product development vs. other development, etc.) And, the board
needs to see that the big issues (editor retention/keeping the sites
up/etc) are being addressed -- but how that happens is something we
generally leave to the staff's expertise.

-- phoebe


 P.s.: Generic questions to the board on this list are usually
 ignored/missed, unless [sometimes] when they are in reply to something
 posted on behalf of the board; in theory I guess the place for such public
 questions would be https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/BN which offers some
 permanency, but has never been really used yet.


Well, threads like this are fine; this came out of the Wikimania questions,
as Steven noted. We can certainly try to revive the board noticeboard too!
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