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

2016-03-10 Thread Gordon Joly
On 23/02/16 22:34, SarahSV wrote:
> ​Brian, I'd be interested to hear how volunteers could be cultivated and
> supported. We felt under attack by the Foundation until Lila arrived, and I
> think a lot of editors are grateful to her for having improved that
> relationship. But not feeling attacked isn't the same as feeling supported.
> 

I am not sure how much Sue Gardner or Lila Tretikov affected my passion
for Wikipedia (in either direction), whereas some of the members on this
list have (positively). Recently attending Wikimania in London, UK
(where I live) and being a member of the local chapter, also going to
meetups and editathons locally have had a real effect.

I use Mediawiki to build websites.

> The Foundation often boasts that it only has around 200 employees, but the
> truth is that it has an enormous unpaid workforce. Most of us don't go to
> meet-ups, so we don't even see travel expenses. We're grateful if we can
> get a free JSTOR subscription.

I am a member of that unpaid workforce. Speaking personally, I don't
want to be paid. My local chapter (Wikimedia UK) will usually offer
travel expenses, for small amounts (e.g. within London). Larger amounts
might not be met.

As a serial volunteer, I tend to disappear quite quickly when I don't
have fun (or I don't get reasonable expenses).

YMMV,

Gordo





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

2016-02-29 Thread Ilario Valdelli
The KPIS is not only quantitave measures.

For instance an anonymous survey may measure the level of satisfaction of
people and it's more qualitative.

The simplicity of KPIS is to agree (all parties) about the indicators and
to cut off discussions about success/insuccess.

Something can be a success for someone an insuccess for another one.

They are indicators and not only measures.

Kind regards
Il 29/Feb/2016 14:58, "Brion Vibber"  ha scritto:

> On Feb 29, 2016 3:13 AM, "Ilario Valdelli"  > wrote:
> >
> > Hi,
> > in my opinion there is no need to differentiate and to clarify what
> > "high-tech" means.
> >
> > The real problem is to define the KPIs (key performance indicators) and a
> > balanced relation of those indicators.
> >
> > A corporation can be a high-tech corporation and take care of the comfort
> > of all stakeholders without problems, the big deal is to find this
> balanced
> > relation.
>
> I too like measuring things, but I think we can't just measure people and
> expect that's going to create a healthy productive environment for staff
> and volunteers. I think you have to talk and listen to people to do that.
> Rant time:
>
> It's great to track measurable things to engage in a feedback loop for
> whether we're accomplishing our goals, but the measures are always limited
> in what they tell you; at best they're proxies for the information you
> really wanted -- such as "page views" when we want to know "how many people
> are learning and improving their lives through Wikipedia?" or active editor
> counts when we want to know "do we have a strong, healthy volunteer
> workforce?"
>
> It's very common for such feedback loops to fail dramatically when you
> optimize for the measurement instead of for your actual goals...
>
> Focusing on KPIs is how people die in hospitals (because the sickest people
> don't get risky surgery to keep post-op survival rates up) or schools with
> at-risk children get defunded here in the US (schools whose students
> get low standardized testing results are punished under the "No Child Left
> Behind" law of 2001).
>
> This link came up in some discussions off list, and aligns with my
> concerns:
>
> http://www.the-american-interest.com/2015/08/03/the-costs-of-accountability/
>
> -- brion
>
> >
> > Kind regards
> >
> >
> >
> > On Tue, Feb 23, 2016 at 10:29 PM, Brion Vibber  >
> > wrote:
> >
> > > I think there are many different interpretations of what it means to
> "be a
> > > high-tech organization", which makes it a difficult label to base
> arguments
> > > around; readers will interpret it very differently depending on their
> > > personal experiences and biases.
> > >
> > > One view might concentrate on notions of "innovation", "excellence", or
> > > "return on investment" achieved through super-smart people creating
> unique
> > > technology -- this view associates "high-tech" with success,
> competitive
> > > advantage, brand awareness/marketshare, and money (profit for
> traditional
> > > corporations, or investment in the mission for non-profits).
> > >
> > > Another view might concentrate on other features considered common to
> > > "high-tech" companies such as toxic work environments, lack of
> diversity,
> > > overemphasis on engineering versus other disciplines, disconnection
> from
> > > users' needs, and a laser-focus on achieving profits at the expense of
> > > long-term thinking. This view associates "high-tech" with social and
> > > economic inequality and exploitation of employees and users for their
> labor
> > > & attention to the detriment of their physical and emotional health.
> > >
> > > And there are many, much subtler connotations to be found in between.
> > >
> > >
> > > I believe a high-tech organization should invest in smart people
> creating
> > > unique technology. But I also think it should invest in people, period.
> > > Staff and volunteers must be cultivated and supported -- that's how
> loyalty
> > > and passion are developed, and I believe they pay dividends in
> productivity
> > > and recruitment.
> > >
> > > Absolutely Wikimedia Foundation needs to build better technologies --
> > > technologies to serve the needs of our editors, our readers, our
> > > photographers, our citation reviewers, etc. This means Wikimedia
> Foundation
> > > needs a good relationship with those people to research, brainstorm,
> plan,
> > > develop, test, redevelop, retest, and roll out software successfully.
> The
> > > people who represent Wikimedia Foundation in those relationships are
> its
> > > staff, so it's important for management to support them in their work
> and
> > > help them succeed.
> > >
> > > It is my sincere hope that when the current crises are resolved, that
> the
> > > Board of Trustees and the executive can agree on at least this much as
> a
> > > 

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

2016-02-29 Thread Brion Vibber
On Feb 29, 2016 3:13 AM, "Ilario Valdelli" > wrote:
>
> Hi,
> in my opinion there is no need to differentiate and to clarify what
> "high-tech" means.
>
> The real problem is to define the KPIs (key performance indicators) and a
> balanced relation of those indicators.
>
> A corporation can be a high-tech corporation and take care of the comfort
> of all stakeholders without problems, the big deal is to find this
balanced
> relation.

I too like measuring things, but I think we can't just measure people and
expect that's going to create a healthy productive environment for staff
and volunteers. I think you have to talk and listen to people to do that.
Rant time:

It's great to track measurable things to engage in a feedback loop for
whether we're accomplishing our goals, but the measures are always limited
in what they tell you; at best they're proxies for the information you
really wanted -- such as "page views" when we want to know "how many people
are learning and improving their lives through Wikipedia?" or active editor
counts when we want to know "do we have a strong, healthy volunteer
workforce?"

It's very common for such feedback loops to fail dramatically when you
optimize for the measurement instead of for your actual goals...

Focusing on KPIs is how people die in hospitals (because the sickest people
don't get risky surgery to keep post-op survival rates up) or schools with
at-risk children get defunded here in the US (schools whose students
get low standardized testing results are punished under the "No Child Left
Behind" law of 2001).

This link came up in some discussions off list, and aligns with my concerns:
http://www.the-american-interest.com/2015/08/03/the-costs-of-accountability/

-- brion

>
> Kind regards
>
>
>
> On Tue, Feb 23, 2016 at 10:29 PM, Brion Vibber >
> wrote:
>
> > I think there are many different interpretations of what it means to
"be a
> > high-tech organization", which makes it a difficult label to base
arguments
> > around; readers will interpret it very differently depending on their
> > personal experiences and biases.
> >
> > One view might concentrate on notions of "innovation", "excellence", or
> > "return on investment" achieved through super-smart people creating
unique
> > technology -- this view associates "high-tech" with success, competitive
> > advantage, brand awareness/marketshare, and money (profit for
traditional
> > corporations, or investment in the mission for non-profits).
> >
> > Another view might concentrate on other features considered common to
> > "high-tech" companies such as toxic work environments, lack of
diversity,
> > overemphasis on engineering versus other disciplines, disconnection from
> > users' needs, and a laser-focus on achieving profits at the expense of
> > long-term thinking. This view associates "high-tech" with social and
> > economic inequality and exploitation of employees and users for their
labor
> > & attention to the detriment of their physical and emotional health.
> >
> > And there are many, much subtler connotations to be found in between.
> >
> >
> > I believe a high-tech organization should invest in smart people
creating
> > unique technology. But I also think it should invest in people, period.
> > Staff and volunteers must be cultivated and supported -- that's how
loyalty
> > and passion are developed, and I believe they pay dividends in
productivity
> > and recruitment.
> >
> > Absolutely Wikimedia Foundation needs to build better technologies --
> > technologies to serve the needs of our editors, our readers, our
> > photographers, our citation reviewers, etc. This means Wikimedia
Foundation
> > needs a good relationship with those people to research, brainstorm,
plan,
> > develop, test, redevelop, retest, and roll out software successfully.
The
> > people who represent Wikimedia Foundation in those relationships are its
> > staff, so it's important for management to support them in their work
and
> > help them succeed.
> >
> > It is my sincere hope that when the current crises are resolved, that
the
> > Board of Trustees and the executive can agree on at least this much as a
> > shared vision for the Foundation.
> >
> > -- brion
> > ___
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org

> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > 
?subject=unsubscribe>
>
>
>
>
> --
> Ilario Valdelli
> Wikimedia CH
> Verein zur Förderung Freien Wissens
> Association pour l’avancement des connaissances libre
> 

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

2016-02-29 Thread Ilario Valdelli
Hi,
in my opinion there is no need to differentiate and to clarify what
"high-tech" means.

The real problem is to define the KPIs (key performance indicators) and a
balanced relation of those indicators.

A corporation can be a high-tech corporation and take care of the comfort
of all stakeholders without problems, the big deal is to find this balanced
relation.

Kind regards



On Tue, Feb 23, 2016 at 10:29 PM, Brion Vibber 
wrote:

> I think there are many different interpretations of what it means to "be a
> high-tech organization", which makes it a difficult label to base arguments
> around; readers will interpret it very differently depending on their
> personal experiences and biases.
>
> One view might concentrate on notions of "innovation", "excellence", or
> "return on investment" achieved through super-smart people creating unique
> technology -- this view associates "high-tech" with success, competitive
> advantage, brand awareness/marketshare, and money (profit for traditional
> corporations, or investment in the mission for non-profits).
>
> Another view might concentrate on other features considered common to
> "high-tech" companies such as toxic work environments, lack of diversity,
> overemphasis on engineering versus other disciplines, disconnection from
> users' needs, and a laser-focus on achieving profits at the expense of
> long-term thinking. This view associates "high-tech" with social and
> economic inequality and exploitation of employees and users for their labor
> & attention to the detriment of their physical and emotional health.
>
> And there are many, much subtler connotations to be found in between.
>
>
> I believe a high-tech organization should invest in smart people creating
> unique technology. But I also think it should invest in people, period.
> Staff and volunteers must be cultivated and supported -- that's how loyalty
> and passion are developed, and I believe they pay dividends in productivity
> and recruitment.
>
> Absolutely Wikimedia Foundation needs to build better technologies --
> technologies to serve the needs of our editors, our readers, our
> photographers, our citation reviewers, etc. This means Wikimedia Foundation
> needs a good relationship with those people to research, brainstorm, plan,
> develop, test, redevelop, retest, and roll out software successfully. The
> people who represent Wikimedia Foundation in those relationships are its
> staff, so it's important for management to support them in their work and
> help them succeed.
>
> It is my sincere hope that when the current crises are resolved, that the
> Board of Trustees and the executive can agree on at least this much as a
> shared vision for the Foundation.
>
> -- brion
> ___
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> 




-- 
Ilario Valdelli
Wikimedia CH
Verein zur Förderung Freien Wissens
Association pour l’avancement des connaissances libre
Associazione per il sostegno alla conoscenza libera
Switzerland - 8008 Zürich
Wikipedia: Ilario 
Skype: valdelli
Tel: +41764821371
http://www.wikimedia.ch
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] What it means to be a high-tech organization

2016-02-28 Thread Andreas Kolbe
Brion,

Thanks. Our mails crossed, and this answers some of the questions I had.
Please be assured that I wasn't expecting you to "defend" anything – I'm
merely curious.

Regardless, I think the issues Lila summarised in her mail last month[1],
when we were discussing charging for API usage, bear thinking about.

Best,
Andreas

[1]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2016-January/081155.html

Andreas

On Sun, Feb 28, 2016 at 8:57 PM, Brion Vibber  wrote:

> On Feb 28, 2016 12:29 PM, "Anthony Cole"  wrote:
> >
> > Brion, are you aware of any WMF tech work aimed specifically at helping
> > large for-profits engage with our projects? Andreas mentioned a
> > side-project for Amazon.
>
> As far as I know, Wikipedia lookups via Apple's  Siri and Amazon Kindle's
> lookup widget are handled 100% by Apple and Amazon respectively. They get
> our data (presumably through our open data dumps), censor it, index it, and
> write and maintain their own search and snippet display services.
>
> And here's an example perhaps of why:
>
> In 2008 or so WMF made an agreement with Apple to provide a search API for
> the Mac OS X Dictionary app, which screen-scrapes Wikipedia articles as one
> of the lookup options. They paid us a small sum and provided source for a
> sample implementation, which I replaced with a one-file PHP script proxying
> to our existing OpenSearch API. The entirety of effort on our end since has
> been occasionally moving the PHP file to another server.
>
> We found it was a bad deal -- in terms of it was moderately annoying
> sometimes for ops and was pretty unclear in success terms, and they paid us
> very little to begin with because we had no experienced business
> development folks yet. We never made further such agreements that I'm aware
> of.
>
> I suppose Andreas might also be referring to work in mobile apps or mobile
> web teams to improve compatibility with various systems, such as making
> sure our Android app is installable on the Android-based Amazon Kindle Fire
> devices. That's to benefit users by making sure they can use our free app
> (open source and no-cost) on their devices regardless of which megacorp
> made the device.
>
> If that's "work for a company" then I have bad news -- our web site works
> in browsers made by for-profit companies too! ;)
>
> If there's anything else I'd really appreciate not having to guess at what
> we're supposed to be defending or denying.
>
> > Regardless of specific instances, in principle, would that be a
> reasonable
> > place to invest general donation revenue, or should we get the
> for-profits
> > to fund such work if it arises?
>
> I don't even know what is being referred to so I'm not sure how to talk
> about it. If talking about compatibility work that helps users, then I
> think that's part of our job to do. If talking about making search engines,
> they can and do just do it themselves without our involvement.
>
> -- brion
>
> >
> > On Monday, 29 February 2016, Brion Vibber  wrote:
> >
> > > On Sunday, February 28, 2016, Andreas Kolbe  > > > wrote:
> > >
> > > > Jimmy,
> > > >
> > > > I think the first step is for the Foundation to be more open and
> > > > transparent about what work it is actually doing for commercial
> re-users,
> > > > and to announce such work proactively to both donors and the
> community.
> > > > There should be a dedicated space where such information is collected
> and
> > > > available to the public. Major developments should be announced on
> the
> > > > Wikimedia blog.
> > > >
> > > > If some engineering team does work *specifically* for Amazon Kindle,
> > > Amazon
> > > > Echo, Google Play, Siri etc., then in my view the companies concerned
> > > > should pay for that work, or the work should be left to a for-profit
> > > > contractor. It should not be paid for by donors.
> > >
> > >
> > > What non-hypothetical work are you referring to?
> > >
> > > {{cn}}
> > >
> > > -- brion
> > >
> > >
> > > > Donors do not give money to the Foundation so it can flood the
> knowledge
> > > > market with a free product that a handful of companies then earn
> billions
> > > > from.
> > > >
> > > > As for API use, if there are *generic* APIs that multiple commercial
> > > > re-users can benefit from, then they should be charged according to
> their
> > > > usage, with small users operating below a certain threshold being
> exempt
> > > > from payment.
> > > >
> > > > Lastly, we should not seek world domination. :) It's unhealthy,
> > > especially
> > > > in the world of information and knowledge. Prices should be high
> enough
> > > > that some competition is possible.
> > > >
> > > > Andreas
> > > >
> > > > On Sun, Feb 28, 2016 at 5:32 PM, Jimmy Wales  > > 
> > > > > wrote:
> > > >
> > > > >
> > > > > On the very specific topic of donor funding going to help
> 

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

2016-02-28 Thread Anthony Cole
If that's the limit of your bespoke work for for-profits, I see no problem.

I'm curious about Andreas's other point. Does the WMF have any formal or
informal agreements with for-profits that aren't yet on the public record?
I realise this is probably a question for the board or chiefs.

On Monday, 29 February 2016, Dan Garry  wrote:

> On 28 February 2016 at 13:07, Andreas Kolbe  > wrote:
> >
> > What originally triggered my curiosity was this: I noticed a couple of
> > weeks ago that the Kindle offered a Wikipedia look-up function. I
> couldn't
> > recall -- and cannot find -- any corresponding WMF announcement. So, how
> > did this happen?
> >
>
> Amazon is using our APIs and/or dumps. There's little to add to Brion's
> explanation of how this works, so I'd suggest you re-read it.
>
>
> > "In side project work, the team spent time on API continuation queries,
> > Android IP editing notices, Amazon Kindle and other non-Google Play
> > distribution, and Google Play reviews (now that the Android launch dust
> has
> > settled, mobile apps product management will be triaging the reviews)."
> >
> > https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Engineering/Report/2014/July
>
>
> To the best of my knowledge, that refers to exactly what Brion suggested it
> might, specifically working on the Android app so that it's compatible with
> more platforms. It has nothing to do with the Wikipedia lookup
> functionality on the Kindle.
>
> Dan
>
> --
> Dan Garry
> Lead Product Manager, Discovery
> Wikimedia Foundation
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-- 
Anthony Cole
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] What it means to be a high-tech organization

2016-02-28 Thread Dan Garry
On 28 February 2016 at 13:07, Andreas Kolbe  wrote:
>
> What originally triggered my curiosity was this: I noticed a couple of
> weeks ago that the Kindle offered a Wikipedia look-up function. I couldn't
> recall -- and cannot find -- any corresponding WMF announcement. So, how
> did this happen?
>

Amazon is using our APIs and/or dumps. There's little to add to Brion's
explanation of how this works, so I'd suggest you re-read it.


> "In side project work, the team spent time on API continuation queries,
> Android IP editing notices, Amazon Kindle and other non-Google Play
> distribution, and Google Play reviews (now that the Android launch dust has
> settled, mobile apps product management will be triaging the reviews)."
>
> https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Engineering/Report/2014/July


To the best of my knowledge, that refers to exactly what Brion suggested it
might, specifically working on the Android app so that it's compatible with
more platforms. It has nothing to do with the Wikipedia lookup
functionality on the Kindle.

Dan

-- 
Dan Garry
Lead Product Manager, Discovery
Wikimedia Foundation
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] What it means to be a high-tech organization

2016-02-28 Thread Anthony Cole
If a tech task is relatively cheap and will expand the spread of free
knowledge then no one would object to you spending a little bit of donor
mony, I'm sure. But don't you see a point where it becomes sensible to
expect the for-profit/s who are expanding their profits thanks to such work
to pay for such work? Especially when we have a limited budget, and
volunteers' requests for you to help them make and present knowledge are
routinely turned down?

On Monday, 29 February 2016, Lodewijk  wrote:

> If statements are hard to answer in real life. I don't think this issue is
> as black-and-white as you paint it to be.
>
> The question is about impact for your bucks. If it requires a relatively
> small investment from WMF for Wikimedia content to be spread among more
> people, to reach a wider audience, and if that cost somehow prohibits those
> commercial players to do it in an open way or with other hurdles that
> hinder further distribution - why not!
>
> Why donors give money, is pure speculation. We only know one thing: we can
> only spend it on our mission. So lets do that.
>
> Lets not exclude whole ranges of issues based on some vague qualification
> that may or may not have foundation in reality. If there is a specific
> example that is terrible and you'd like to bring up, then do so.
>
> Lodewijk
>
> On Sun, Feb 28, 2016 at 9:29 PM, Anthony Cole  > wrote:
>
> > Brion, are you aware of any WMF tech work aimed specifically at helping
> > large for-profits engage with our projects? Andreas mentioned a
> > side-project for Amazon.
> >
> > Regardless of specific instances, in principle, would that be a
> reasonable
> > place to invest general donation revenue, or should we get the
> for-profits
> > to fund such work if it arises?
> >
> > On Monday, 29 February 2016, Brion Vibber  > wrote:
> >
> > > On Sunday, February 28, 2016, Andreas Kolbe  
> > > > wrote:
> > >
> > > > Jimmy,
> > > >
> > > > I think the first step is for the Foundation to be more open and
> > > > transparent about what work it is actually doing for commercial
> > re-users,
> > > > and to announce such work proactively to both donors and the
> community.
> > > > There should be a dedicated space where such information is collected
> > and
> > > > available to the public. Major developments should be announced on
> the
> > > > Wikimedia blog.
> > > >
> > > > If some engineering team does work *specifically* for Amazon Kindle,
> > > Amazon
> > > > Echo, Google Play, Siri etc., then in my view the companies concerned
> > > > should pay for that work, or the work should be left to a for-profit
> > > > contractor. It should not be paid for by donors.
> > >
> > >
> > > What non-hypothetical work are you referring to?
> > >
> > > {{cn}}
> > >
> > > -- brion
> > >
> > >
> > > > Donors do not give money to the Foundation so it can flood the
> > knowledge
> > > > market with a free product that a handful of companies then earn
> > billions
> > > > from.
> > > >
> > > > As for API use, if there are *generic* APIs that multiple commercial
> > > > re-users can benefit from, then they should be charged according to
> > their
> > > > usage, with small users operating below a certain threshold being
> > exempt
> > > > from payment.
> > > >
> > > > Lastly, we should not seek world domination. :) It's unhealthy,
> > > especially
> > > > in the world of information and knowledge. Prices should be high
> enough
> > > > that some competition is possible.
> > > >
> > > > Andreas
> > > >
> > > > On Sun, Feb 28, 2016 at 5:32 PM, Jimmy Wales  
> > > 
> > > > > wrote:
> > > >
> > > > >
> > > > > On the very specific topic of donor funding going to help
> commercial
> > > > > re-users, we've had some interesting but inconclusive board
> > discussions
> > > > > about this topic.  Despite that he takes every opportunity to
> attack
> > > me,
> > > > > and surely it will disappoint him to know, but my general view is
> > 100%
> > > > > in agreement with him on the core issue - where commercial re-users
> > are
> > > > > getting enormous value from our work, they should be paying for the
> > > > > engineering resources required for their support.
> > > > >
> > > > > Here are two push-backs on the idea that I do think are deserving
> of
> > > > > serious consideration:
> > > > >
> > > > > 1. Part of our core mission as a community is free access - will a
> > "pay
> > > > > for service" model for APIs for commercial re-users alienate a
> > > > > significant portion of the community?  Does requiring some to pay
> > while
> > > > > others get it free raise questions similar to those around "net
> > > > > neutrality"?
> > > > >
> > > > > As a historical footnote, there was a deal many years ago with
> > > > > Answers.com to give them access to an API which 

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

2016-02-28 Thread Risker
Somewhat off-topic comment:

Andreas, the way you are formatting your messages  (especially with that
---o0o--- symbol), it's pretty much impossible to differentiate what you're
saying and what you're quoting from someone else.  Could you please be much
more clear on this?

Risker/Anne

On 28 February 2016 at 16:07, Andreas Kolbe  wrote:

> On Sun, Feb 28, 2016 at 7:04 PM, Brion Vibber 
> wrote:
>
> >
> > What non-hypothetical work are you referring to?
> >
> > {{cn}}
> >
> > -- brion
> >
>
>
> Brion,
>
> You tell me. :) For what it's worth, Jimmy Wales has said in this thread
> today,
>
>
> ---o0o---
>
> On the very specific topic of donor funding going to help commercial
> re-users, we've had some interesting but inconclusive board discussions
> about this topic.
>
> ---o0o---
>
>
> So this clearly has come up.
>
> What originally triggered my curiosity was this: I noticed a couple of
> weeks ago that the Kindle offered a Wikipedia look-up function. I couldn't
> recall -- and cannot find -- any corresponding WMF announcement. So, how
> did this happen?
>
> The only thing I did find, as I was looking for a WMF announcement, was a
> mention in an Engineering Report, which mentioned, in passing, a WMF team
> doing work on this:
>
>
> ---o0o---
>
> "In side project work, the team spent time on API continuation queries,
> Android IP editing notices, Amazon Kindle and other non-Google Play
> distribution, and Google Play reviews (now that the Android launch dust has
> settled, mobile apps product management will be triaging the reviews)."
>
> https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Engineering/Report/2014/July
>
> ---o0o---
>
>
> Google Play certainly contains a lot of Wikipedia content, and it's a
> commercial service. I also recently was pointed to this 2008 email from Sue
> Gardner, released as a court exhibit in the same antitrust case Arnnon
> Geshuri was involved in. Sue said, in part:
>
>
> ---o0o---
>
> I think Google and Wikipedia can and should have a complementary and
> positive relationship. And I gather Larry and Sergey feel the same: I
> believe they've told Jimmy that Google has no ill will towards Wikipedia,
> and that they'd be willing to make a donation to us in order to signal that
> publicly.
>
> I also believe that any real or perceived tensions in the Google/Wikipedia
> relationship may be being exacerbated at some levels inside Google by their
> unfulfilled desires to do business with us. Since relocating to the Bay
> Area in January, we've had plenty of Google folks reach out to us. But - we
> have a total staff of 21 people, with just one person responsible for
> business development, so I am not sure we are even able to politely keep up
> with their pitches. IMO, rather than spending our time on multiple
> product-specific pitches, it would probably be more productive for
> Wikipedia and Google to develop a single umbrella relationship/agreement
> (obviously within the limits of Wikipedia's non-commercial context).
>
> So. I think a good next step would be some kind of high-level meeting
> between Wikipedia and Google, to talk through these issues and see if a
> donation and/or business deal makes sense.
>
> http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/sandberg.pdf
>
> ---o0o---
>
>
> I don't recall any such business deal or umbrella agreement ever having
> been announced publicly. So, what happened, and has it impacted in any way
> what people at WMF have been working on since?
>
> I believe that if the WMF does enter into business agreements with
> companies like Google or Amazon, or does work designed to enhance their
> product, then the community and the donating public should be told.
>
> I'm sure you appreciate that it's very hard for me as a non-staff member to
> gauge what's going on, but there were enough breadcrumbs here for me to
> feel it was worth asking the question.
>
> Does that help?
>
> Andreas
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] What it means to be a high-tech organization

2016-02-28 Thread Andreas Kolbe
On Sun, Feb 28, 2016 at 7:04 PM, Brion Vibber  wrote:

>
> What non-hypothetical work are you referring to?
>
> {{cn}}
>
> -- brion
>


Brion,

You tell me. :) For what it's worth, Jimmy Wales has said in this thread
today,


---o0o---

On the very specific topic of donor funding going to help commercial
re-users, we've had some interesting but inconclusive board discussions
about this topic.

---o0o---


So this clearly has come up.

What originally triggered my curiosity was this: I noticed a couple of
weeks ago that the Kindle offered a Wikipedia look-up function. I couldn't
recall -- and cannot find -- any corresponding WMF announcement. So, how
did this happen?

The only thing I did find, as I was looking for a WMF announcement, was a
mention in an Engineering Report, which mentioned, in passing, a WMF team
doing work on this:


---o0o---

"In side project work, the team spent time on API continuation queries,
Android IP editing notices, Amazon Kindle and other non-Google Play
distribution, and Google Play reviews (now that the Android launch dust has
settled, mobile apps product management will be triaging the reviews)."

https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Engineering/Report/2014/July

---o0o---


Google Play certainly contains a lot of Wikipedia content, and it's a
commercial service. I also recently was pointed to this 2008 email from Sue
Gardner, released as a court exhibit in the same antitrust case Arnnon
Geshuri was involved in. Sue said, in part:


---o0o---

I think Google and Wikipedia can and should have a complementary and
positive relationship. And I gather Larry and Sergey feel the same: I
believe they've told Jimmy that Google has no ill will towards Wikipedia,
and that they'd be willing to make a donation to us in order to signal that
publicly.

I also believe that any real or perceived tensions in the Google/Wikipedia
relationship may be being exacerbated at some levels inside Google by their
unfulfilled desires to do business with us. Since relocating to the Bay
Area in January, we've had plenty of Google folks reach out to us. But - we
have a total staff of 21 people, with just one person responsible for
business development, so I am not sure we are even able to politely keep up
with their pitches. IMO, rather than spending our time on multiple
product-specific pitches, it would probably be more productive for
Wikipedia and Google to develop a single umbrella relationship/agreement
(obviously within the limits of Wikipedia's non-commercial context).

So. I think a good next step would be some kind of high-level meeting
between Wikipedia and Google, to talk through these issues and see if a
donation and/or business deal makes sense.

http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/sandberg.pdf

---o0o---


I don't recall any such business deal or umbrella agreement ever having
been announced publicly. So, what happened, and has it impacted in any way
what people at WMF have been working on since?

I believe that if the WMF does enter into business agreements with
companies like Google or Amazon, or does work designed to enhance their
product, then the community and the donating public should be told.

I'm sure you appreciate that it's very hard for me as a non-staff member to
gauge what's going on, but there were enough breadcrumbs here for me to
feel it was worth asking the question.

Does that help?

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

2016-02-28 Thread Brion Vibber
On Feb 28, 2016 12:29 PM, "Anthony Cole"  wrote:
>
> Brion, are you aware of any WMF tech work aimed specifically at helping
> large for-profits engage with our projects? Andreas mentioned a
> side-project for Amazon.

As far as I know, Wikipedia lookups via Apple's  Siri and Amazon Kindle's
lookup widget are handled 100% by Apple and Amazon respectively. They get
our data (presumably through our open data dumps), censor it, index it, and
write and maintain their own search and snippet display services.

And here's an example perhaps of why:

In 2008 or so WMF made an agreement with Apple to provide a search API for
the Mac OS X Dictionary app, which screen-scrapes Wikipedia articles as one
of the lookup options. They paid us a small sum and provided source for a
sample implementation, which I replaced with a one-file PHP script proxying
to our existing OpenSearch API. The entirety of effort on our end since has
been occasionally moving the PHP file to another server.

We found it was a bad deal -- in terms of it was moderately annoying
sometimes for ops and was pretty unclear in success terms, and they paid us
very little to begin with because we had no experienced business
development folks yet. We never made further such agreements that I'm aware
of.

I suppose Andreas might also be referring to work in mobile apps or mobile
web teams to improve compatibility with various systems, such as making
sure our Android app is installable on the Android-based Amazon Kindle Fire
devices. That's to benefit users by making sure they can use our free app
(open source and no-cost) on their devices regardless of which megacorp
made the device.

If that's "work for a company" then I have bad news -- our web site works
in browsers made by for-profit companies too! ;)

If there's anything else I'd really appreciate not having to guess at what
we're supposed to be defending or denying.

> Regardless of specific instances, in principle, would that be a reasonable
> place to invest general donation revenue, or should we get the for-profits
> to fund such work if it arises?

I don't even know what is being referred to so I'm not sure how to talk
about it. If talking about compatibility work that helps users, then I
think that's part of our job to do. If talking about making search engines,
they can and do just do it themselves without our involvement.

-- brion

>
> On Monday, 29 February 2016, Brion Vibber  wrote:
>
> > On Sunday, February 28, 2016, Andreas Kolbe  > > wrote:
> >
> > > Jimmy,
> > >
> > > I think the first step is for the Foundation to be more open and
> > > transparent about what work it is actually doing for commercial
re-users,
> > > and to announce such work proactively to both donors and the
community.
> > > There should be a dedicated space where such information is collected
and
> > > available to the public. Major developments should be announced on the
> > > Wikimedia blog.
> > >
> > > If some engineering team does work *specifically* for Amazon Kindle,
> > Amazon
> > > Echo, Google Play, Siri etc., then in my view the companies concerned
> > > should pay for that work, or the work should be left to a for-profit
> > > contractor. It should not be paid for by donors.
> >
> >
> > What non-hypothetical work are you referring to?
> >
> > {{cn}}
> >
> > -- brion
> >
> >
> > > Donors do not give money to the Foundation so it can flood the
knowledge
> > > market with a free product that a handful of companies then earn
billions
> > > from.
> > >
> > > As for API use, if there are *generic* APIs that multiple commercial
> > > re-users can benefit from, then they should be charged according to
their
> > > usage, with small users operating below a certain threshold being
exempt
> > > from payment.
> > >
> > > Lastly, we should not seek world domination. :) It's unhealthy,
> > especially
> > > in the world of information and knowledge. Prices should be high
enough
> > > that some competition is possible.
> > >
> > > Andreas
> > >
> > > On Sun, Feb 28, 2016 at 5:32 PM, Jimmy Wales  > 
> > > > wrote:
> > >
> > > >
> > > > On the very specific topic of donor funding going to help commercial
> > > > re-users, we've had some interesting but inconclusive board
discussions
> > > > about this topic.  Despite that he takes every opportunity to attack
> > me,
> > > > and surely it will disappoint him to know, but my general view is
100%
> > > > in agreement with him on the core issue - where commercial re-users
are
> > > > getting enormous value from our work, they should be paying for the
> > > > engineering resources required for their support.
> > > >
> > > > Here are two push-backs on the idea that I do think are deserving of
> > > > serious consideration:
> > > >
> > > > 1. Part of our core mission as a community is free access - will a
"pay
> > > > for service" model for APIs for 

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

2016-02-28 Thread Lodewijk
If statements are hard to answer in real life. I don't think this issue is
as black-and-white as you paint it to be.

The question is about impact for your bucks. If it requires a relatively
small investment from WMF for Wikimedia content to be spread among more
people, to reach a wider audience, and if that cost somehow prohibits those
commercial players to do it in an open way or with other hurdles that
hinder further distribution - why not!

Why donors give money, is pure speculation. We only know one thing: we can
only spend it on our mission. So lets do that.

Lets not exclude whole ranges of issues based on some vague qualification
that may or may not have foundation in reality. If there is a specific
example that is terrible and you'd like to bring up, then do so.

Lodewijk

On Sun, Feb 28, 2016 at 9:29 PM, Anthony Cole  wrote:

> Brion, are you aware of any WMF tech work aimed specifically at helping
> large for-profits engage with our projects? Andreas mentioned a
> side-project for Amazon.
>
> Regardless of specific instances, in principle, would that be a reasonable
> place to invest general donation revenue, or should we get the for-profits
> to fund such work if it arises?
>
> On Monday, 29 February 2016, Brion Vibber  wrote:
>
> > On Sunday, February 28, 2016, Andreas Kolbe  > > wrote:
> >
> > > Jimmy,
> > >
> > > I think the first step is for the Foundation to be more open and
> > > transparent about what work it is actually doing for commercial
> re-users,
> > > and to announce such work proactively to both donors and the community.
> > > There should be a dedicated space where such information is collected
> and
> > > available to the public. Major developments should be announced on the
> > > Wikimedia blog.
> > >
> > > If some engineering team does work *specifically* for Amazon Kindle,
> > Amazon
> > > Echo, Google Play, Siri etc., then in my view the companies concerned
> > > should pay for that work, or the work should be left to a for-profit
> > > contractor. It should not be paid for by donors.
> >
> >
> > What non-hypothetical work are you referring to?
> >
> > {{cn}}
> >
> > -- brion
> >
> >
> > > Donors do not give money to the Foundation so it can flood the
> knowledge
> > > market with a free product that a handful of companies then earn
> billions
> > > from.
> > >
> > > As for API use, if there are *generic* APIs that multiple commercial
> > > re-users can benefit from, then they should be charged according to
> their
> > > usage, with small users operating below a certain threshold being
> exempt
> > > from payment.
> > >
> > > Lastly, we should not seek world domination. :) It's unhealthy,
> > especially
> > > in the world of information and knowledge. Prices should be high enough
> > > that some competition is possible.
> > >
> > > Andreas
> > >
> > > On Sun, Feb 28, 2016 at 5:32 PM, Jimmy Wales  > 
> > > > wrote:
> > >
> > > >
> > > > On the very specific topic of donor funding going to help commercial
> > > > re-users, we've had some interesting but inconclusive board
> discussions
> > > > about this topic.  Despite that he takes every opportunity to attack
> > me,
> > > > and surely it will disappoint him to know, but my general view is
> 100%
> > > > in agreement with him on the core issue - where commercial re-users
> are
> > > > getting enormous value from our work, they should be paying for the
> > > > engineering resources required for their support.
> > > >
> > > > Here are two push-backs on the idea that I do think are deserving of
> > > > serious consideration:
> > > >
> > > > 1. Part of our core mission as a community is free access - will a
> "pay
> > > > for service" model for APIs for commercial re-users alienate a
> > > > significant portion of the community?  Does requiring some to pay
> while
> > > > others get it free raise questions similar to those around "net
> > > > neutrality"?
> > > >
> > > > As a historical footnote, there was a deal many years ago with
> > > > Answers.com to give them access to an API which they used to present
> > our
> > > > content alongside many other resources.  They paid for that - not a
> > huge
> > > > amount, but it was meaningful back in those days.  I don't recall
> this
> > > > being particularly controversial.
> > > >
> > > > 2. In many cases it may be too simplistic to simply say "a company is
> > > > benefiting, so they should pay".  The point is that *we* also
> benefit,
> > > > from increased readership for example, from our work making it to end
> > > > users as technology changes and as the way people get information
> > > > changes.  There is certainly a situation where setting too high a
> price
> > > > would simply push commercial re-users to not use our content at all,
> so
> > > > sensible pricing would be key.  And with real serious ongoing
> analysis,
> > > > the right price 

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

2016-02-28 Thread Anthony Cole
Brion, are you aware of any WMF tech work aimed specifically at helping
large for-profits engage with our projects? Andreas mentioned a
side-project for Amazon.

Regardless of specific instances, in principle, would that be a reasonable
place to invest general donation revenue, or should we get the for-profits
to fund such work if it arises?

On Monday, 29 February 2016, Brion Vibber  wrote:

> On Sunday, February 28, 2016, Andreas Kolbe  > wrote:
>
> > Jimmy,
> >
> > I think the first step is for the Foundation to be more open and
> > transparent about what work it is actually doing for commercial re-users,
> > and to announce such work proactively to both donors and the community.
> > There should be a dedicated space where such information is collected and
> > available to the public. Major developments should be announced on the
> > Wikimedia blog.
> >
> > If some engineering team does work *specifically* for Amazon Kindle,
> Amazon
> > Echo, Google Play, Siri etc., then in my view the companies concerned
> > should pay for that work, or the work should be left to a for-profit
> > contractor. It should not be paid for by donors.
>
>
> What non-hypothetical work are you referring to?
>
> {{cn}}
>
> -- brion
>
>
> > Donors do not give money to the Foundation so it can flood the knowledge
> > market with a free product that a handful of companies then earn billions
> > from.
> >
> > As for API use, if there are *generic* APIs that multiple commercial
> > re-users can benefit from, then they should be charged according to their
> > usage, with small users operating below a certain threshold being exempt
> > from payment.
> >
> > Lastly, we should not seek world domination. :) It's unhealthy,
> especially
> > in the world of information and knowledge. Prices should be high enough
> > that some competition is possible.
> >
> > Andreas
> >
> > On Sun, Feb 28, 2016 at 5:32 PM, Jimmy Wales  
> > > wrote:
> >
> > >
> > > On the very specific topic of donor funding going to help commercial
> > > re-users, we've had some interesting but inconclusive board discussions
> > > about this topic.  Despite that he takes every opportunity to attack
> me,
> > > and surely it will disappoint him to know, but my general view is 100%
> > > in agreement with him on the core issue - where commercial re-users are
> > > getting enormous value from our work, they should be paying for the
> > > engineering resources required for their support.
> > >
> > > Here are two push-backs on the idea that I do think are deserving of
> > > serious consideration:
> > >
> > > 1. Part of our core mission as a community is free access - will a "pay
> > > for service" model for APIs for commercial re-users alienate a
> > > significant portion of the community?  Does requiring some to pay while
> > > others get it free raise questions similar to those around "net
> > > neutrality"?
> > >
> > > As a historical footnote, there was a deal many years ago with
> > > Answers.com to give them access to an API which they used to present
> our
> > > content alongside many other resources.  They paid for that - not a
> huge
> > > amount, but it was meaningful back in those days.  I don't recall this
> > > being particularly controversial.
> > >
> > > 2. In many cases it may be too simplistic to simply say "a company is
> > > benefiting, so they should pay".  The point is that *we* also benefit,
> > > from increased readership for example, from our work making it to end
> > > users as technology changes and as the way people get information
> > > changes.  There is certainly a situation where setting too high a price
> > > would simply push commercial re-users to not use our content at all, so
> > > sensible pricing would be key.  And with real serious ongoing analysis,
> > > the right price could still be "free" even if we in principle charge.
> > >
> > > 
> > >
> > > For me, despite those being real concerns, I come down firmly on the
> > > side of being careful about falling into a trap of doing lots of
> > > expensive work for commercial re-users without having them pay.  I
> don't
> > > actually think we do a lot of that right now.  What I'd like to see is
> > > more of it, and I'm pretty agnostic about whether that's in the form of
> > > "self-financing cottage industries" or a "separate for-profit arm" or
> > > within the current engineering organization.  I can see arguments for
> > > any of those.
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > On 2/28/16 8:02 AM, Andreas Kolbe wrote:
> > > > On Sun, Feb 28, 2016 at 3:24 PM, Dariusz Jemielniak <
> dar...@alk.edu.pl 
> > >
> > > > wrote:
> > > >
> > > > We COULD outsource most of our tech (I'm not supporting this, I'm
> just
> > > >> giving perspective).
> > > >>
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > One thing I've been wondering about of late is how much donor-funded
> > the
> > > > work the 

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

2016-02-28 Thread Mohammed Bachounda
>
> Message: 5
> Date: Sun, 28 Feb 2016 17:54:26 +0100
> From: Florence Devouard <fdevou...@gmail.com>
> To: wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] What it means to be a high-tech
> organization
> Message-ID: <nav8o2$aip$1...@ger.gmane.org>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=utf-8; format=flowed
>
> Le 27/02/16 22:41, SarahSV a écrit :
> > On Fri, Feb 26, 2016 at 6:49 PM, Florence Devouard <fdevou...@gmail.com>
> > wrote:
> >
> >
> >> Removing a COI is not the only issue at stake Sarah.
> >>
> >> Would WMF get involved into such a process, it would also possibly
> change
> >> its legal reponsibility. Right now, WMF does not get involved in the
> >> editorial process, which allows to claim WMF is only hosting the
> content.
> >> If WMF is somewhat involved in an editorial process which results in
> >> paying the authors, then WMF might lose the "host" status.
> >>
> >> Flo
> >>
> >>
> >> ​Hi Flo, I've heard so many contradictory positions about that over the
> > years that I have no idea what the implications would be.
> >
> > Moving away from the very complex issue of paid editing, Brion opened the
> > thread with different views of what a high-tech organization is, one of
> > which involves lack of diversity, overemphasis on engineering, and
> > exploitation of staff and users at the cost of their physical and
> emotional
> > health. He argued that the WMF should instead cultivate and support staff
> > and volunteers.
> >
> > So what can we do to move the WMF away from the bad aspects of high-tech
> > organizations and toward a position where the health of the paid and
> unpaid
> > workforces is actively nurtured?
>
>
> I had written a LONG email to tell the story of how "Wiki Loves Women"
> ended up NOT funded by Wikimedia Foundation (it is entirely funded and
> supported by partner Goethe Institute).
>
> But in the end... I thought the whole story would bore people here. So
> let me toss two ideas
>
>
> 1) It would be nice that it be possible to ask for grants from WMF that
> would not fall in either of the 4 options, currently
> - annual plan grants (for big official affiliates)
> - PEG (for groups and individuals)
> - individual grants
> - travel grants
>
> PEG is capped (roughly around 30.000 dollars apparently). So between PEG
> and affiliates... there is a big void.
>
>
> 2) It would be nice that WMF set up a system where it is officially
> supporting a project, even though it is not funding it with REAL cash (=
> it is easier to look for other funding organizations when WMF has
> already put a sort of "yeah great project" stamp on it.)
>
>
> Florence
>
>
Although cross grants are welcome; it helps so much to go as fast in the
implementation of the projects

Our Algerian UG in advance with the help of several Algerian organizations,
of course if WF supports our projects with strength
that's really nice :)

-- 

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

2016-02-28 Thread Brion Vibber
On Sunday, February 28, 2016, Andreas Kolbe  wrote:

> Jimmy,
>
> I think the first step is for the Foundation to be more open and
> transparent about what work it is actually doing for commercial re-users,
> and to announce such work proactively to both donors and the community.
> There should be a dedicated space where such information is collected and
> available to the public. Major developments should be announced on the
> Wikimedia blog.
>
> If some engineering team does work *specifically* for Amazon Kindle, Amazon
> Echo, Google Play, Siri etc., then in my view the companies concerned
> should pay for that work, or the work should be left to a for-profit
> contractor. It should not be paid for by donors.


What non-hypothetical work are you referring to?

{{cn}}

-- brion


> Donors do not give money to the Foundation so it can flood the knowledge
> market with a free product that a handful of companies then earn billions
> from.
>
> As for API use, if there are *generic* APIs that multiple commercial
> re-users can benefit from, then they should be charged according to their
> usage, with small users operating below a certain threshold being exempt
> from payment.
>
> Lastly, we should not seek world domination. :) It's unhealthy, especially
> in the world of information and knowledge. Prices should be high enough
> that some competition is possible.
>
> Andreas
>
> On Sun, Feb 28, 2016 at 5:32 PM, Jimmy Wales  > wrote:
>
> >
> > On the very specific topic of donor funding going to help commercial
> > re-users, we've had some interesting but inconclusive board discussions
> > about this topic.  Despite that he takes every opportunity to attack me,
> > and surely it will disappoint him to know, but my general view is 100%
> > in agreement with him on the core issue - where commercial re-users are
> > getting enormous value from our work, they should be paying for the
> > engineering resources required for their support.
> >
> > Here are two push-backs on the idea that I do think are deserving of
> > serious consideration:
> >
> > 1. Part of our core mission as a community is free access - will a "pay
> > for service" model for APIs for commercial re-users alienate a
> > significant portion of the community?  Does requiring some to pay while
> > others get it free raise questions similar to those around "net
> > neutrality"?
> >
> > As a historical footnote, there was a deal many years ago with
> > Answers.com to give them access to an API which they used to present our
> > content alongside many other resources.  They paid for that - not a huge
> > amount, but it was meaningful back in those days.  I don't recall this
> > being particularly controversial.
> >
> > 2. In many cases it may be too simplistic to simply say "a company is
> > benefiting, so they should pay".  The point is that *we* also benefit,
> > from increased readership for example, from our work making it to end
> > users as technology changes and as the way people get information
> > changes.  There is certainly a situation where setting too high a price
> > would simply push commercial re-users to not use our content at all, so
> > sensible pricing would be key.  And with real serious ongoing analysis,
> > the right price could still be "free" even if we in principle charge.
> >
> > 
> >
> > For me, despite those being real concerns, I come down firmly on the
> > side of being careful about falling into a trap of doing lots of
> > expensive work for commercial re-users without having them pay.  I don't
> > actually think we do a lot of that right now.  What I'd like to see is
> > more of it, and I'm pretty agnostic about whether that's in the form of
> > "self-financing cottage industries" or a "separate for-profit arm" or
> > within the current engineering organization.  I can see arguments for
> > any of those.
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > On 2/28/16 8:02 AM, Andreas Kolbe wrote:
> > > On Sun, Feb 28, 2016 at 3:24 PM, Dariusz Jemielniak  >
> > > wrote:
> > >
> > > We COULD outsource most of our tech (I'm not supporting this, I'm just
> > >> giving perspective).
> > >>
> > >
> > >
> > > One thing I've been wondering about of late is how much donor-funded
> the
> > > work the WMF is doing that is primarily designed to support commercial
> > > re-users.
> > >
> > > The other day, I read an Engineering report on the Wikimedia blog that
> > > spoke of the Wikipedia Zero team doing "side project" work for Amazon
> > > Kindle and Google Play.
> > >
> > > I was thinking, Why are donors paying for that? – especially at a time
> > when
> > > the Foundation worries about being able to sustain fundraising growth.
> > >
> > > Wikimedia content is worth billions. Wikidata in particular has huge
> > > potential value for commercial re-users.[1] So have the link-ups
> between
> > > Wikipedia and Amazon, Google, Bing etc.
> > >
> > > It's clear that even in 

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

2016-02-28 Thread Dan Garry
On 28 February 2016 at 07:31, Yaroslav M. Blanter  wrote:
>
> The relocation does not have to happen overnight. It can easily take
> several years (which is likely longer than the average time a WMF employee
> spends in the organization). But I think discussing this as a strategical
> direction would be beneficial for the movement. The topic was raised
> several times in the past, and I did not get the impression that there was
> any willingness to discuss it from the Board / WMF. (I might be wrong
> though, and pointing out to such discussions will be appreciated).
>

Considering relocation of the office (or, indeed, considering whether we
even need a centralised office at all) is a topic of debate amongst staff.
Lots of staff have opinions, some stronger than others. I imagine this
debate will ultimately inform whomever decides whether we should relocate
or not.

As an aside, this is an example of why I find statements like "the WMF has
no willingness to discuss X" to be problematic; like the larger Wikimedia
community, the Wikimedia Foundation is a collective of individuals with a
broad range of opinions. Statements like "WMF thinks X" or "Community
thinks Y" are almost always trivially false. I find it better to be
specific. :-)

Dan

-- 
Dan Garry
Lead Product Manager, Discovery
Wikimedia Foundation
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] What it means to be a high-tech organization

2016-02-28 Thread Andreas Kolbe
Jimmy,

I think the first step is for the Foundation to be more open and
transparent about what work it is actually doing for commercial re-users,
and to announce such work proactively to both donors and the community.
There should be a dedicated space where such information is collected and
available to the public. Major developments should be announced on the
Wikimedia blog.

If some engineering team does work *specifically* for Amazon Kindle, Amazon
Echo, Google Play, Siri etc., then in my view the companies concerned
should pay for that work, or the work should be left to a for-profit
contractor. It should not be paid for by donors.

Donors do not give money to the Foundation so it can flood the knowledge
market with a free product that a handful of companies then earn billions
from.

As for API use, if there are *generic* APIs that multiple commercial
re-users can benefit from, then they should be charged according to their
usage, with small users operating below a certain threshold being exempt
from payment.

Lastly, we should not seek world domination. :) It's unhealthy, especially
in the world of information and knowledge. Prices should be high enough
that some competition is possible.

Andreas

On Sun, Feb 28, 2016 at 5:32 PM, Jimmy Wales  wrote:

>
> On the very specific topic of donor funding going to help commercial
> re-users, we've had some interesting but inconclusive board discussions
> about this topic.  Despite that he takes every opportunity to attack me,
> and surely it will disappoint him to know, but my general view is 100%
> in agreement with him on the core issue - where commercial re-users are
> getting enormous value from our work, they should be paying for the
> engineering resources required for their support.
>
> Here are two push-backs on the idea that I do think are deserving of
> serious consideration:
>
> 1. Part of our core mission as a community is free access - will a "pay
> for service" model for APIs for commercial re-users alienate a
> significant portion of the community?  Does requiring some to pay while
> others get it free raise questions similar to those around "net
> neutrality"?
>
> As a historical footnote, there was a deal many years ago with
> Answers.com to give them access to an API which they used to present our
> content alongside many other resources.  They paid for that - not a huge
> amount, but it was meaningful back in those days.  I don't recall this
> being particularly controversial.
>
> 2. In many cases it may be too simplistic to simply say "a company is
> benefiting, so they should pay".  The point is that *we* also benefit,
> from increased readership for example, from our work making it to end
> users as technology changes and as the way people get information
> changes.  There is certainly a situation where setting too high a price
> would simply push commercial re-users to not use our content at all, so
> sensible pricing would be key.  And with real serious ongoing analysis,
> the right price could still be "free" even if we in principle charge.
>
> 
>
> For me, despite those being real concerns, I come down firmly on the
> side of being careful about falling into a trap of doing lots of
> expensive work for commercial re-users without having them pay.  I don't
> actually think we do a lot of that right now.  What I'd like to see is
> more of it, and I'm pretty agnostic about whether that's in the form of
> "self-financing cottage industries" or a "separate for-profit arm" or
> within the current engineering organization.  I can see arguments for
> any of those.
>
>
>
>
> On 2/28/16 8:02 AM, Andreas Kolbe wrote:
> > On Sun, Feb 28, 2016 at 3:24 PM, Dariusz Jemielniak 
> > wrote:
> >
> > We COULD outsource most of our tech (I'm not supporting this, I'm just
> >> giving perspective).
> >>
> >
> >
> > One thing I've been wondering about of late is how much donor-funded the
> > work the WMF is doing that is primarily designed to support commercial
> > re-users.
> >
> > The other day, I read an Engineering report on the Wikimedia blog that
> > spoke of the Wikipedia Zero team doing "side project" work for Amazon
> > Kindle and Google Play.
> >
> > I was thinking, Why are donors paying for that? – especially at a time
> when
> > the Foundation worries about being able to sustain fundraising growth.
> >
> > Wikimedia content is worth billions. Wikidata in particular has huge
> > potential value for commercial re-users.[1] So have the link-ups between
> > Wikipedia and Amazon, Google, Bing etc.
> >
> > It's clear that even in 2008, the Foundation was inundated with "multiple
> > product-specific pitches" from Google.[2] I imagine the breadth and
> number
> > of these pitches from Silicon Valley companies can only have increased
> > since then.
> >
> > Sure, Wikimedia is committed to using its donated funds to make content
> > freely available under an open licence, but does that mean donors should
> > 

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

2016-02-28 Thread Jimmy Wales

On the very specific topic of donor funding going to help commercial
re-users, we've had some interesting but inconclusive board discussions
about this topic.  Despite that he takes every opportunity to attack me,
and surely it will disappoint him to know, but my general view is 100%
in agreement with him on the core issue - where commercial re-users are
getting enormous value from our work, they should be paying for the
engineering resources required for their support.

Here are two push-backs on the idea that I do think are deserving of
serious consideration:

1. Part of our core mission as a community is free access - will a "pay
for service" model for APIs for commercial re-users alienate a
significant portion of the community?  Does requiring some to pay while
others get it free raise questions similar to those around "net neutrality"?

As a historical footnote, there was a deal many years ago with
Answers.com to give them access to an API which they used to present our
content alongside many other resources.  They paid for that - not a huge
amount, but it was meaningful back in those days.  I don't recall this
being particularly controversial.

2. In many cases it may be too simplistic to simply say "a company is
benefiting, so they should pay".  The point is that *we* also benefit,
from increased readership for example, from our work making it to end
users as technology changes and as the way people get information
changes.  There is certainly a situation where setting too high a price
would simply push commercial re-users to not use our content at all, so
sensible pricing would be key.  And with real serious ongoing analysis,
the right price could still be "free" even if we in principle charge.



For me, despite those being real concerns, I come down firmly on the
side of being careful about falling into a trap of doing lots of
expensive work for commercial re-users without having them pay.  I don't
actually think we do a lot of that right now.  What I'd like to see is
more of it, and I'm pretty agnostic about whether that's in the form of
"self-financing cottage industries" or a "separate for-profit arm" or
within the current engineering organization.  I can see arguments for
any of those.




On 2/28/16 8:02 AM, Andreas Kolbe wrote:
> On Sun, Feb 28, 2016 at 3:24 PM, Dariusz Jemielniak 
> wrote:
> 
> We COULD outsource most of our tech (I'm not supporting this, I'm just
>> giving perspective).
>>
> 
> 
> One thing I've been wondering about of late is how much donor-funded the
> work the WMF is doing that is primarily designed to support commercial
> re-users.
> 
> The other day, I read an Engineering report on the Wikimedia blog that
> spoke of the Wikipedia Zero team doing "side project" work for Amazon
> Kindle and Google Play.
> 
> I was thinking, Why are donors paying for that? – especially at a time when
> the Foundation worries about being able to sustain fundraising growth.
> 
> Wikimedia content is worth billions. Wikidata in particular has huge
> potential value for commercial re-users.[1] So have the link-ups between
> Wikipedia and Amazon, Google, Bing etc.
> 
> It's clear that even in 2008, the Foundation was inundated with "multiple
> product-specific pitches" from Google.[2] I imagine the breadth and number
> of these pitches from Silicon Valley companies can only have increased
> since then.
> 
> Sure, Wikimedia is committed to using its donated funds to make content
> freely available under an open licence, but does that mean donors should
> also be paying for programming work that is primarily designed to support
> commercial re-users?
> 
> That work could be done by self-financing cottage industries built up by
> Wikimedians, working for profit, or even a for-profit arm of the
> Foundation. All the Foundation would have to do would be to provide basic
> documentation; the rest could be left to the open market.
> 
> The astonishing thing to me is that there seems to be very little or no
> publicity and transparency from the WMF about developments in this area.
> For instance, I was unable to find any WMF communication about Wikipedia
> Smart Lookup being integrated in the Amazon Kindle (something Amazon
> announced in 2014),[3] even though WMF teams clearly have done programming
> work on this. You'd have thought having Wikipedia search embedded in a
> major product like the Kindle is a big thing, worthy of a community-facing
> announcement?
> 
> In short, I think the WMF should collate and publicise more information
> about commercial re-use applications, and be transparent about the work
> it's doing to support such re-use. Maybe there is another "transparency
> gap" here.[4]
> 
> And if there is any work that the Foundation is currently doing that
> primarily benefits commercial re-users, then I think it should stop doing
> that for free (= at donors' expense), and allow for-profit contractors to
> spring up and pitch for that work. That would allow 

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

2016-02-28 Thread Florence Devouard

Le 27/02/16 22:41, SarahSV a écrit :

On Fri, Feb 26, 2016 at 6:49 PM, Florence Devouard 
wrote:



Removing a COI is not the only issue at stake Sarah.

Would WMF get involved into such a process, it would also possibly change
its legal reponsibility. Right now, WMF does not get involved in the
editorial process, which allows to claim WMF is only hosting the content.
If WMF is somewhat involved in an editorial process which results in
paying the authors, then WMF might lose the "host" status.

Flo


​Hi Flo, I've heard so many contradictory positions about that over the

years that I have no idea what the implications would be.

Moving away from the very complex issue of paid editing, Brion opened the
thread with different views of what a high-tech organization is, one of
which involves lack of diversity, overemphasis on engineering, and
exploitation of staff and users at the cost of their physical and emotional
health. He argued that the WMF should instead cultivate and support staff
and volunteers.

So what can we do to move the WMF away from the bad aspects of high-tech
organizations and toward a position where the health of the paid and unpaid
workforces is actively nurtured?



I had written a LONG email to tell the story of how "Wiki Loves Women" 
ended up NOT funded by Wikimedia Foundation (it is entirely funded and 
supported by partner Goethe Institute).


But in the end... I thought the whole story would bore people here. So 
let me toss two ideas



1) It would be nice that it be possible to ask for grants from WMF that 
would not fall in either of the 4 options, currently

- annual plan grants (for big official affiliates)
- PEG (for groups and individuals)
- individual grants
- travel grants

PEG is capped (roughly around 30.000 dollars apparently). So between PEG 
and affiliates... there is a big void.



2) It would be nice that WMF set up a system where it is officially 
supporting a project, even though it is not funding it with REAL cash (= 
it is easier to look for other funding organizations when WMF has 
already put a sort of "yeah great project" stamp on it.)



Florence




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

2016-02-28 Thread Andreas Kolbe
On Sun, Feb 28, 2016 at 3:24 PM, Dariusz Jemielniak 
wrote:

We COULD outsource most of our tech (I'm not supporting this, I'm just
> giving perspective).
>


One thing I've been wondering about of late is how much donor-funded the
work the WMF is doing that is primarily designed to support commercial
re-users.

The other day, I read an Engineering report on the Wikimedia blog that
spoke of the Wikipedia Zero team doing "side project" work for Amazon
Kindle and Google Play.

I was thinking, Why are donors paying for that? – especially at a time when
the Foundation worries about being able to sustain fundraising growth.

Wikimedia content is worth billions. Wikidata in particular has huge
potential value for commercial re-users.[1] So have the link-ups between
Wikipedia and Amazon, Google, Bing etc.

It's clear that even in 2008, the Foundation was inundated with "multiple
product-specific pitches" from Google.[2] I imagine the breadth and number
of these pitches from Silicon Valley companies can only have increased
since then.

Sure, Wikimedia is committed to using its donated funds to make content
freely available under an open licence, but does that mean donors should
also be paying for programming work that is primarily designed to support
commercial re-users?

That work could be done by self-financing cottage industries built up by
Wikimedians, working for profit, or even a for-profit arm of the
Foundation. All the Foundation would have to do would be to provide basic
documentation; the rest could be left to the open market.

The astonishing thing to me is that there seems to be very little or no
publicity and transparency from the WMF about developments in this area.
For instance, I was unable to find any WMF communication about Wikipedia
Smart Lookup being integrated in the Amazon Kindle (something Amazon
announced in 2014),[3] even though WMF teams clearly have done programming
work on this. You'd have thought having Wikipedia search embedded in a
major product like the Kindle is a big thing, worthy of a community-facing
announcement?

In short, I think the WMF should collate and publicise more information
about commercial re-use applications, and be transparent about the work
it's doing to support such re-use. Maybe there is another "transparency
gap" here.[4]

And if there is any work that the Foundation is currently doing that
primarily benefits commercial re-users, then I think it should stop doing
that for free (= at donors' expense), and allow for-profit contractors to
spring up and pitch for that work. That would allow the non-profit
foundation to focus on user-facing improvements.

Andreas

[1]
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/02/25/wikidata_turns_the_world_into_a_database/
[2] See Sue Gardner's email quoted on the last two pages of
http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/sandberg.pdf
[3]
http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/forums/kindleqna/ref=cs_hc_k_m_oldest?ie=UTF8=Fx1FI6JDSFEQQ7V=Tx27IU7Z5IQJV2J=oldest
[4]
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:Wikimedia_Foundation_transparency_gap#Transparency_about_donor-funded_work_supporting_commercial_re-users
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] What it means to be a high-tech organization

2016-02-28 Thread Yaroslav M. Blanter

On 2016-02-28 16:24, Dariusz Jemielniak wrote:
On Sun, Feb 28, 2016 at 10:18 AM, Yaroslav M. Blanter 


wrote:







A direct consequence would be that one should think again whether San
Francisco is the best location for the WMF office, rather than a place
better known for culture and education and less for proximity to 
Silicon

Valley. Boston was named in the same discussion.



If we were choosing a location from the scratch - definitely. As it is 
now,
I think that relocating would involve really huge intangible costs for 
our
staff, and our staff is our unique asset. I would be cautious to rush 
any

changes in this respect.

dj
___


The relocation does not have to happen overnight. It can easily take 
several years (which is likely longer than the average time a WMF 
employee spends in the organization). But I think discussing this as a 
strategical direction would be beneficial for the movement. The topic 
was raised several times in the past, and I did not get the impression 
that there was any willingness to discuss it from the Board / WMF. (I 
might be wrong though, and pointing out to such discussions will be 
appreciated).


Cheers
Yaroslav

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

2016-02-28 Thread Dariusz Jemielniak
On Sun, Feb 28, 2016 at 10:18 AM, Yaroslav M. Blanter 
wrote:

> Actually, in the facebook discussion which was earlier referenced on this
> list someone noticed (unfortunately, without much impact) that WMF is not a
> business company and not a high-tech company, but more like a culture/
> educational institution.


As stated on a number of occasions, I whole-heartedly agree with this
approach. It is also logical from strategic management point of view: our
core competitive advantage is the ability to engage with the knowledge
communities around ideas (we are the best in the world at that), and not
developing tech (we're good, but we're no match for Google, 3M, or Facebook
here). We should realize that as the vision of the WMF as predominantly a
high-tech organization is really dangerous.

We COULD outsource most of our tech (I'm not supporting this, I'm just
giving perspective). We COULD NOT outsource the community support.



> A direct consequence would be that one should think again whether San
> Francisco is the best location for the WMF office, rather than a place
> better known for culture and education and less for proximity to Silicon
> Valley. Boston was named in the same discussion.


If we were choosing a location from the scratch - definitely. As it is now,
I think that relocating would involve really huge intangible costs for our
staff, and our staff is our unique asset. I would be cautious to rush any
changes in this respect.

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

2016-02-28 Thread Yaroslav M. Blanter

On 2016-02-28 16:10, Guettarda wrote:

On Sat, Feb 27, 2016 at 8:54 PM, Gnangarra  wrote:



​
technology is our tool not our purpose



This should be printed on a banner and hung on the wall every time the
Board meets.


Actually, in the facebook discussion which was earlier referenced on 
this list someone noticed (unfortunately, without much impact) that WMF 
is not a business company and not a high-tech company, but more like a 
culture/ educational institution. A direct consequence would be that one 
should think again whether San Francisco is the best location for the 
WMF office, rather than a place better known for culture and education 
and less for proximity to Silicon Valley. Boston was named in the same 
discussion.


Cheers
Yaroslav

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

2016-02-28 Thread Anthony Cole
Yes, thanks Florence. That's about my understanding too.

There's editing and there's imposing policy. I can see that WMF, obviously,
can't take on an editorial oversight role (and the entailed responsibility)
because it can't possibly vet every edit.

But it seems to me they can impose editorial and other behavioural *policy*
on the projects. Yet, even in the case of BLP, they just urged the projects
to behave responsibly and left it up to the projects to take it or leave
it.

Not that I want them meddling in projects' policies much. I'm just worried
they're unnecessarily constraining themselves. Others have implied this
inaction on project policy is in order to safeguard their protections under
the Communications Decency Act but nothing in that, to my non-expert eye,
stops them from imposing editorial and behavioural policy.

If it's just a position they've adopted for philosophical reasons, that's
fine. But I'd like to know what is at the heart of the WMF's practice here.

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









Anthony Cole


On Sun, Feb 28, 2016 at 7:49 PM, Florence Devouard 
wrote:

> I am not a lawyer so would not have the correct legal words to explain
> this. But roughly... the legal responsibility is not the same when you are
> simply "hosting" content published by others, as opposed to "publishing
> with an editorial role".
>
> For example, when you are simply a host provider, you can not be held
> responsible if you host a content which is defaming a person as long as you
> were not aware of it. Once the host is informed of the existence of the
> illegal content, it has an obligation of removing it.
> And to a certain extent, the host has an obligation to make sure that
> steps are taken to avoid illegal content to land on its servers. This is
> one of the reason for the existence of terms of use. Or this can justify
> recommandations made by WMF to the community to be super careful when
> dealing with biographies of living people.
>
> However, when the company is considered to have an editorial role (and
> this is very vague...), it may be considered legally responsible for any
> illegal content being on its servers. It is by default considered aware of
> the illegal content, and even worse... supporting its presence there.
>
> The LAST thing we want is to have the WMF being recognized as having an
> editorial role.
>
> Is that clearer ?
>
> Flo
>
>
> Le 27/02/16 18:50, Anthony Cole a écrit :
>
> Florence, can you explain to me the actual risk the foundation  would be
>> exposed to if ir got involved in editorial decisions, please? Perhaps some
>> hypothetical examples would help.
>>
>> Anthony Cole
>>
>>
>> On Sat, Feb 27, 2016 at 9:49 AM, Florence Devouard 
>> wrote:
>>
>> Le 27/02/16 00:37, SarahSV a écrit :
>>>
>>> On Fri, Feb 26, 2016 at 12:11 PM, Pete Forsyth 
>>>
 wrote:


 However, if the core interest (as Sarah suggests) is to create paid
> opportunities for those who excel at Wikipedia writing and editing,
> those
> opportunities exist, and are increasingly available. The money doesn't
> need
> to flow through the WMF. In my opinion, it's much better if it doesn't;
> the
> WMF has enough political challenges to deal with, without getting
> involved
> in paid editing.
>
>
> ​Hi Pete,
>
>
 I didn't intend to start a detailed discussion about paid editing in
 this
 thread. I mentioned it only as one of the ways in which the Foundation
 could help unpaid editors.

 To address a few issues: the point of suggesting the Foundation as a
 neutral broker is to remove the paid editor's COI. The editor would have
 no
 relationship with the people wanting the article, and would not be
 chosen
 by them. The brief from the Foundation would be to produce a
 well-written,
 reasonably comprehensive, neutral article about X, based on the best
 sources available. (Someone referred to this as advertising. It would be
 exactly the opposite.)

 It needn't be the Foundation that organizes this. A third party might
 work,
 but the danger of a private company doing it is that they would rely on
 it
 for profit, and therefore would be sensitive to pressure from companies.
 The idea of the Foundation as broker is that it would always place the
 core
 policies above the desires of the client. Foundation involvement struck
 me
 as the only way for an editor to be paid for an article without having a
 COI.

 I believe someone else suggested in this thread that it could be run the
 way the Education Program is, as a related but separate body. That would
 be
 something you would be perfectly placed to lead, Pete, given your
 experience as consultant, editor, and former Foundation employee.

 Sarah
 

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

2016-02-28 Thread Guettarda
On Sat, Feb 27, 2016 at 8:54 PM, Gnangarra  wrote:


> ​
> technology is our tool not our purpose
>
>
This should be printed on a banner and hung on the wall every time the
Board meets.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] What it means to be a high-tech organization

2016-02-28 Thread Florence Devouard
I am not a lawyer so would not have the correct legal words to explain 
this. But roughly... the legal responsibility is not the same when you 
are simply "hosting" content published by others, as opposed to 
"publishing with an editorial role".


For example, when you are simply a host provider, you can not be held 
responsible if you host a content which is defaming a person as long as 
you were not aware of it. Once the host is informed of the existence of 
the illegal content, it has an obligation of removing it.
And to a certain extent, the host has an obligation to make sure that 
steps are taken to avoid illegal content to land on its servers. This is 
one of the reason for the existence of terms of use. Or this can justify 
recommandations made by WMF to the community to be super careful when 
dealing with biographies of living people.


However, when the company is considered to have an editorial role (and 
this is very vague...), it may be considered legally responsible for any 
illegal content being on its servers. It is by default considered aware 
of the illegal content, and even worse... supporting its presence there.


The LAST thing we want is to have the WMF being recognized as having an 
editorial role.


Is that clearer ?

Flo


Le 27/02/16 18:50, Anthony Cole a écrit :

Florence, can you explain to me the actual risk the foundation  would be
exposed to if ir got involved in editorial decisions, please? Perhaps some
hypothetical examples would help.

Anthony Cole


On Sat, Feb 27, 2016 at 9:49 AM, Florence Devouard 
wrote:


Le 27/02/16 00:37, SarahSV a écrit :

On Fri, Feb 26, 2016 at 12:11 PM, Pete Forsyth 

wrote:



However, if the core interest (as Sarah suggests) is to create paid
opportunities for those who excel at Wikipedia writing and editing, those
opportunities exist, and are increasingly available. The money doesn't
need
to flow through the WMF. In my opinion, it's much better if it doesn't;
the
WMF has enough political challenges to deal with, without getting
involved
in paid editing.


​Hi Pete,



I didn't intend to start a detailed discussion about paid editing in this
thread. I mentioned it only as one of the ways in which the Foundation
could help unpaid editors.

To address a few issues: the point of suggesting the Foundation as a
neutral broker is to remove the paid editor's COI. The editor would have
no
relationship with the people wanting the article, and would not be chosen
by them. The brief from the Foundation would be to produce a well-written,
reasonably comprehensive, neutral article about X, based on the best
sources available. (Someone referred to this as advertising. It would be
exactly the opposite.)

It needn't be the Foundation that organizes this. A third party might
work,
but the danger of a private company doing it is that they would rely on it
for profit, and therefore would be sensitive to pressure from companies.
The idea of the Foundation as broker is that it would always place the
core
policies above the desires of the client. Foundation involvement struck me
as the only way for an editor to be paid for an article without having a
COI.

I believe someone else suggested in this thread that it could be run the
way the Education Program is, as a related but separate body. That would
be
something you would be perfectly placed to lead, Pete, given your
experience as consultant, editor, and former Foundation employee.

Sarah
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Removing a COI is not the only issue at stake Sarah.

Would WMF get involved into such a process, it would also possibly change
its legal reponsibility. Right now, WMF does not get involved in the
editorial process, which allows to claim WMF is only hosting the content.
If WMF is somewhat involved in an editorial process which results in
paying the authors, then WMF might lose the "host" status.

Flo



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

2016-02-27 Thread Gnangarra
Another thread thats digressed from its original question but right through
the discussion not one person raised the concept that that the WMF is a
charity (An organization, the objective of which is to carry out a
charitable purpose) our purpose is to share the sum of all knowledge, think
about that for one minute

Nothing in that defines the WMF purpose as being a high-tech corporation,
we use technology to share knowledge but technology is one of our tools not
our purpose, we could inefficiently achieve our purpose by printing on
paper and delivering a copy to every person along with regular updates.

We can redefine the purpose of the WMF to;


*providing the technology to share the sum of all knowledge*


I doubt that would get the same level of donations that are currently
being received, but it would release the WMF from the need to support
things like Wikimania, WMCONF, local communities and those pesky volunteers
who create content. It would also mean that the WMF wouldn't have to worry
about issues every time a now gadget is rolled out the WMF could build all
the gadgets it wanted regardless of whether they work or are implemented.

​We need to be building something an uneducated truck driver can use as
readily as a professor can, technology is our tool not our purpose



On 28 February 2016 at 06:21, Risker  wrote:

> On 27 February 2016 at 16:41, SarahSV  wrote:
>
> > On Fri, Feb 26, 2016 at 6:49 PM, Florence Devouard 
> > wrote:
> >
> >
> > I would love to see the WMF agree never again to discuss trapping editors
> > in feedback loops intended to keep them editing,
> >
>
>
> I've never, ever seen the WMF (or any other Wikimedia community or
> organization) suggest trapping editors in feedback loops.  Wanting
> community members to stay (or finding out why they're leaving) is not
> "trapping" anyone.
>
> Risker/Anne
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] What it means to be a high-tech organization

2016-02-27 Thread Risker
On 27 February 2016 at 16:41, SarahSV  wrote:

> On Fri, Feb 26, 2016 at 6:49 PM, Florence Devouard 
> wrote:
>
>
> I would love to see the WMF agree never again to discuss trapping editors
> in feedback loops intended to keep them editing,
>


I've never, ever seen the WMF (or any other Wikimedia community or
organization) suggest trapping editors in feedback loops.  Wanting
community members to stay (or finding out why they're leaving) is not
"trapping" anyone.

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

2016-02-27 Thread SarahSV
On Fri, Feb 26, 2016 at 6:49 PM, Florence Devouard 
wrote:


> Removing a COI is not the only issue at stake Sarah.
>
> Would WMF get involved into such a process, it would also possibly change
> its legal reponsibility. Right now, WMF does not get involved in the
> editorial process, which allows to claim WMF is only hosting the content.
> If WMF is somewhat involved in an editorial process which results in
> paying the authors, then WMF might lose the "host" status.
>
> Flo
>
>
> ​Hi Flo, I've heard so many contradictory positions about that over the
years that I have no idea what the implications would be.

Moving away from the very complex issue of paid editing, Brion opened the
thread with different views of what a high-tech organization is, one of
which involves lack of diversity, overemphasis on engineering, and
exploitation of staff and users at the cost of their physical and emotional
health. He argued that the WMF should instead cultivate and support staff
and volunteers.

So what can we do to move the WMF away from the bad aspects of high-tech
organizations and toward a position where the health of the paid and unpaid
workforces is actively nurtured?

I've made a small start by suggesting software [1] that asks editors how
long they want to spend on the site when they log in, along with options to
be logged out automatically and not logged in again for a set time
(following a suggestion from a former Google engineer in the *New York
Review of Books*). [2]

I would love to see the WMF agree never again to discuss trapping editors
in feedback loops intended to keep them editing, but instead to help them
plan and monitor their interactions with Wikimedia sites. Another idea is
for opt-in software that asks how you're feeling every few hours – "Are you
feeling angry? Is it time for a break?" – or when you log out: "How did
your interactions today make you feel?" Questions could be asked that would
be useful to the WMF in its gender-gap, anti-harassment and other
initiatives (once the data is anonymized).

These are examples of how WMF engineers could show that the WMF is
committed to being an ethical high-tech organization.

Sarah

[1] https://meta.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Tech=15386522#Request

[2] http://www.nybooks.com/articles/2016/02/25/we-are-hopelessly-hooked/
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] What it means to be a high-tech organization

2016-02-27 Thread David Emrany
I am appalled that anybody is seriously suggesting "paid editing" be
institutionalized.

The real issue to be addressed are the large number of trustees,
staff, Arbcom members, and
administrators who are undisclosed paid editors and who ensure that
uninterested editors are driven away.

What do you do when admins like Wifione deny and deny and stonewall
their conflict of interests ? Was Wifione the sacrificial exception
because he was from India ?

How do you expect an uninvolved ordinary editor to cope at ANI with a
Arbcom member (especially one who has self declared their SEO business
/ paid editing) if they have a dispute?

David
Ludwigsburg, DE

On 2/27/16, Anthony Cole  wrote:
> Florence, can you explain to me the actual risk the foundation  would be
> exposed to if ir got involved in editorial decisions, please? Perhaps some
> hypothetical examples would help.
>
> Anthony Cole
>
>
> On Sat, Feb 27, 2016 at 9:49 AM, Florence Devouard 
> wrote:
>
>> Le 27/02/16 00:37, SarahSV a écrit :
>>
>> On Fri, Feb 26, 2016 at 12:11 PM, Pete Forsyth 
>>> wrote:
>>>
>>>
 However, if the core interest (as Sarah suggests) is to create paid
 opportunities for those who excel at Wikipedia writing and editing,
 those
 opportunities exist, and are increasingly available. The money doesn't
 need
 to flow through the WMF. In my opinion, it's much better if it doesn't;
 the
 WMF has enough political challenges to deal with, without getting
 involved
 in paid editing.


 ​Hi Pete,

>>>
>>> I didn't intend to start a detailed discussion about paid editing in this
>>> thread. I mentioned it only as one of the ways in which the Foundation
>>> could help unpaid editors.
>>>
>>> To address a few issues: the point of suggesting the Foundation as a
>>> neutral broker is to remove the paid editor's COI. The editor would have
>>> no
>>> relationship with the people wanting the article, and would not be chosen
>>> by them. The brief from the Foundation would be to produce a
>>> well-written,
>>> reasonably comprehensive, neutral article about X, based on the best
>>> sources available. (Someone referred to this as advertising. It would be
>>> exactly the opposite.)
>>>
>>> It needn't be the Foundation that organizes this. A third party might
>>> work,
>>> but the danger of a private company doing it is that they would rely on
>>> it
>>> for profit, and therefore would be sensitive to pressure from companies.
>>> The idea of the Foundation as broker is that it would always place the
>>> core
>>> policies above the desires of the client. Foundation involvement struck
>>> me
>>> as the only way for an editor to be paid for an article without having a
>>> COI.
>>>
>>> I believe someone else suggested in this thread that it could be run the
>>> way the Education Program is, as a related but separate body. That would
>>> be
>>> something you would be perfectly placed to lead, Pete, given your
>>> experience as consultant, editor, and former Foundation employee.
>>>
>>> Sarah
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>>> 
>>>
>>>
>> Removing a COI is not the only issue at stake Sarah.
>>
>> Would WMF get involved into such a process, it would also possibly change
>> its legal reponsibility. Right now, WMF does not get involved in the
>> editorial process, which allows to claim WMF is only hosting the content.
>> If WMF is somewhat involved in an editorial process which results in
>> paying the authors, then WMF might lose the "host" status.
>>
>> Flo
>>
>>
>>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] What it means to be a high-tech organization

2016-02-27 Thread Anthony Cole
Florence, can you explain to me the actual risk the foundation  would be
exposed to if ir got involved in editorial decisions, please? Perhaps some
hypothetical examples would help.

Anthony Cole


On Sat, Feb 27, 2016 at 9:49 AM, Florence Devouard 
wrote:

> Le 27/02/16 00:37, SarahSV a écrit :
>
> On Fri, Feb 26, 2016 at 12:11 PM, Pete Forsyth 
>> wrote:
>>
>>
>>> However, if the core interest (as Sarah suggests) is to create paid
>>> opportunities for those who excel at Wikipedia writing and editing, those
>>> opportunities exist, and are increasingly available. The money doesn't
>>> need
>>> to flow through the WMF. In my opinion, it's much better if it doesn't;
>>> the
>>> WMF has enough political challenges to deal with, without getting
>>> involved
>>> in paid editing.
>>>
>>>
>>> ​Hi Pete,
>>>
>>
>> I didn't intend to start a detailed discussion about paid editing in this
>> thread. I mentioned it only as one of the ways in which the Foundation
>> could help unpaid editors.
>>
>> To address a few issues: the point of suggesting the Foundation as a
>> neutral broker is to remove the paid editor's COI. The editor would have
>> no
>> relationship with the people wanting the article, and would not be chosen
>> by them. The brief from the Foundation would be to produce a well-written,
>> reasonably comprehensive, neutral article about X, based on the best
>> sources available. (Someone referred to this as advertising. It would be
>> exactly the opposite.)
>>
>> It needn't be the Foundation that organizes this. A third party might
>> work,
>> but the danger of a private company doing it is that they would rely on it
>> for profit, and therefore would be sensitive to pressure from companies.
>> The idea of the Foundation as broker is that it would always place the
>> core
>> policies above the desires of the client. Foundation involvement struck me
>> as the only way for an editor to be paid for an article without having a
>> COI.
>>
>> I believe someone else suggested in this thread that it could be run the
>> way the Education Program is, as a related but separate body. That would
>> be
>> something you would be perfectly placed to lead, Pete, given your
>> experience as consultant, editor, and former Foundation employee.
>>
>> Sarah
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>> 
>>
>>
> Removing a COI is not the only issue at stake Sarah.
>
> Would WMF get involved into such a process, it would also possibly change
> its legal reponsibility. Right now, WMF does not get involved in the
> editorial process, which allows to claim WMF is only hosting the content.
> If WMF is somewhat involved in an editorial process which results in
> paying the authors, then WMF might lose the "host" status.
>
> Flo
>
>
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] What it means to be a high-tech organization

2016-02-26 Thread Peter Southwood
On the surface it looks like an excellent idea.
Should be considered seriously.
Cheers,
Peter

-Original Message-
From: Wikimedia-l [mailto:wikimedia-l-boun...@lists.wikimedia.org] On Behalf Of 
Gerard Meijssen
Sent: Friday, 26 February 2016 12:16 PM
To: Wikimedia Mailing List
Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] What it means to be a high-tech organization

Hoi,
If we want to make a difference, a real difference, we enable refugees in 
refugee camps to edit Wikipedia. They have nothing to do, they are often well 
educated. It is wonderful when they can because it not only gives them 
something to do, it gives them a sense of self-worth and this prevents the 
onset of a lot of mental health issues.

Obviously this is not easy but we do not pay them directly but still make a 
real difference.
Thanks,
GerardM

On 26 February 2016 at 09:39, David Cuenca Tudela <dacu...@gmail.com> wrote:

> I think there are more ways of supporting volunteers than just paying 
> them cash. For instance another option could be to offer them a place 
> to stay, food and healthcare. That is how many volunteer programs 
> work, like workaway or woofing, and I don't see anything wrong with it.
>
> Would it be an acceptable compromise?
>
> Regards,
> Micru
>
> On Fri, Feb 26, 2016 at 6:49 AM, David Goodman <dgge...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > Involving the foundation as a broker would corrupt  the Foundation 
> > altogether.  It would in essence turn it into an advertising agency.
> We're
> > supposed to be different from Google. Google earns money by letting
> itself
> > be used as a medium for advertising. It at least  hopes to achieve 
> > this
> by
> > while not being   evil, and succeeds reasonably well at the compromise.
> >
> > Wikipedia fortunately does not need to earn money, as ordinary 
> > people freely give  us more than enough for our needs,  and can 
> > therefore hope
> to
> > achieve the positive good of providing objective information on 
> > encyclopedic topics that people want to read about, not information 
> > that other organizations want people to read.  We have no need to 
> > compromise.
> >
> > On Thu, Feb 25, 2016 at 11:15 PM, SarahSV <sarahsv.w...@gmail.com>
> wrote:
> >
> > > On Thu, Feb 25, 2016 at 10:31 AM, Yaroslav M. Blanter <
> pute...@mccme.ru>
> > > wrote:
> > >
> > > - Possibly POV will be compromised in paid articles.
> > > > - Unhealthy situation within the editing community. In the 
> > > > debates
> with
> > > > WMF staff when we disagreed, I always felt awkward, because they 
> > > > were
> > > paid
> > > > arguing with me, and would do it until they convince me or I 
> > > > give up,
> > > and I
> > > > was doing this in my free time, and got tired very quickly. I 
> > > > also
> had
> > > very
> > > > unpleasant experiences interacting with some chapter people 
> > > > whose
> only
> > > goal
> > > > was to keep their position. They did not care about the quality, 
> > > > efficiency, anything, only about their personal good. And if 
> > > > somebody defends their personal good, you know, thy usually win, 
> > > > and the
> quality
> > > > loses. Now, imagine there is a content dispute between a user 
> > > > who is
> > paid
> > > > (and is afraid to lose the salary) and a user who is unpaid and 
> > > > have
> to
> > > do
> > > > the same for free - I am sure a paid user will be way more
> persistent.
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > ​Yaroslav, we already have a lot of paid editors on the English
> > > Wikipedia.
> > > Some are Wikimedians in residence, and this has always been 
> > > regarded as okay, though I believe they're expected not to edit 
> > > articles about the institution that employs them.
> > >
> > > But we also have a lot of paid PR editing and obvious COI problems
> > because
> > > of that, as well as the problems you highlight (e.g. the paid 
> > > editor
> > being
> > > more persistent).
> > >
> > > Introducing the Foundation as a broker between organizations that 
> > > want articles and editors who want to write them would not solve 
> > > all the problems you highlight, but it would remove the COI 
> > > aspect. So my
> > thinking
> > > was that it would be better than the current situation.
> > >
> > > Sarah​
> > > 

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

2016-02-26 Thread Dan Andreescu
I loved the healthcare idea, sounded like such a positive thing.  Until I
thought about implementation details.  Inevitably, there would have to be
some connection to how active the editor was, otherwise we would have to
get healthcare for millions of users.  So then, even worse, if someone fell
under the active threshold, I assume health care would be taken away...  So
then we'd probably have to deal with awful situations like "Wikipedia cuts
health benefits for editor unable to edit due to health problems".

I don't like poking my head into these dark hypotheticals, but I wanted to
share that the situation is more complicated than at least I thought.

On Friday, February 26, 2016, Florence Devouard  wrote:

> Le 27/02/16 00:37, SarahSV a écrit :
>
>> On Fri, Feb 26, 2016 at 12:11 PM, Pete Forsyth 
>> wrote:
>>
>>
>>> However, if the core interest (as Sarah suggests) is to create paid
>>> opportunities for those who excel at Wikipedia writing and editing, those
>>> opportunities exist, and are increasingly available. The money doesn't
>>> need
>>> to flow through the WMF. In my opinion, it's much better if it doesn't;
>>> the
>>> WMF has enough political challenges to deal with, without getting
>>> involved
>>> in paid editing.
>>>
>>>
>>> ​Hi Pete,
>>>
>>
>> I didn't intend to start a detailed discussion about paid editing in this
>> thread. I mentioned it only as one of the ways in which the Foundation
>> could help unpaid editors.
>>
>> To address a few issues: the point of suggesting the Foundation as a
>> neutral broker is to remove the paid editor's COI. The editor would have
>> no
>> relationship with the people wanting the article, and would not be chosen
>> by them. The brief from the Foundation would be to produce a well-written,
>> reasonably comprehensive, neutral article about X, based on the best
>> sources available. (Someone referred to this as advertising. It would be
>> exactly the opposite.)
>>
>> It needn't be the Foundation that organizes this. A third party might
>> work,
>> but the danger of a private company doing it is that they would rely on it
>> for profit, and therefore would be sensitive to pressure from companies.
>> The idea of the Foundation as broker is that it would always place the
>> core
>> policies above the desires of the client. Foundation involvement struck me
>> as the only way for an editor to be paid for an article without having a
>> COI.
>>
>> I believe someone else suggested in this thread that it could be run the
>> way the Education Program is, as a related but separate body. That would
>> be
>> something you would be perfectly placed to lead, Pete, given your
>> experience as consultant, editor, and former Foundation employee.
>>
>> Sarah
>> ___
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>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
>> 
>>
>>
> Removing a COI is not the only issue at stake Sarah.
>
> Would WMF get involved into such a process, it would also possibly change
> its legal reponsibility. Right now, WMF does not get involved in the
> editorial process, which allows to claim WMF is only hosting the content.
> If WMF is somewhat involved in an editorial process which results in
> paying the authors, then WMF might lose the "host" status.
>
> Flo
>
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] What it means to be a high-tech organization

2016-02-26 Thread Florence Devouard

Le 27/02/16 00:37, SarahSV a écrit :

On Fri, Feb 26, 2016 at 12:11 PM, Pete Forsyth 
wrote:



However, if the core interest (as Sarah suggests) is to create paid
opportunities for those who excel at Wikipedia writing and editing, those
opportunities exist, and are increasingly available. The money doesn't need
to flow through the WMF. In my opinion, it's much better if it doesn't; the
WMF has enough political challenges to deal with, without getting involved
in paid editing.


​Hi Pete,


I didn't intend to start a detailed discussion about paid editing in this
thread. I mentioned it only as one of the ways in which the Foundation
could help unpaid editors.

To address a few issues: the point of suggesting the Foundation as a
neutral broker is to remove the paid editor's COI. The editor would have no
relationship with the people wanting the article, and would not be chosen
by them. The brief from the Foundation would be to produce a well-written,
reasonably comprehensive, neutral article about X, based on the best
sources available. (Someone referred to this as advertising. It would be
exactly the opposite.)

It needn't be the Foundation that organizes this. A third party might work,
but the danger of a private company doing it is that they would rely on it
for profit, and therefore would be sensitive to pressure from companies.
The idea of the Foundation as broker is that it would always place the core
policies above the desires of the client. Foundation involvement struck me
as the only way for an editor to be paid for an article without having a
COI.

I believe someone else suggested in this thread that it could be run the
way the Education Program is, as a related but separate body. That would be
something you would be perfectly placed to lead, Pete, given your
experience as consultant, editor, and former Foundation employee.

Sarah
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Removing a COI is not the only issue at stake Sarah.

Would WMF get involved into such a process, it would also possibly 
change its legal reponsibility. Right now, WMF does not get involved in 
the editorial process, which allows to claim WMF is only hosting the 
content.
If WMF is somewhat involved in an editorial process which results in 
paying the authors, then WMF might lose the "host" status.


Flo


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

2016-02-26 Thread SarahSV
On Fri, Feb 26, 2016 at 12:11 PM, Pete Forsyth 
wrote:

>
> However, if the core interest (as Sarah suggests) is to create paid
> opportunities for those who excel at Wikipedia writing and editing, those
> opportunities exist, and are increasingly available. The money doesn't need
> to flow through the WMF. In my opinion, it's much better if it doesn't; the
> WMF has enough political challenges to deal with, without getting involved
> in paid editing.
>
>
> ​Hi Pete,

I didn't intend to start a detailed discussion about paid editing in this
thread. I mentioned it only as one of the ways in which the Foundation
could help unpaid editors.

To address a few issues: the point of suggesting the Foundation as a
neutral broker is to remove the paid editor's COI. The editor would have no
relationship with the people wanting the article, and would not be chosen
by them. The brief from the Foundation would be to produce a well-written,
reasonably comprehensive, neutral article about X, based on the best
sources available. (Someone referred to this as advertising. It would be
exactly the opposite.)

It needn't be the Foundation that organizes this. A third party might work,
but the danger of a private company doing it is that they would rely on it
for profit, and therefore would be sensitive to pressure from companies.
The idea of the Foundation as broker is that it would always place the core
policies above the desires of the client. Foundation involvement struck me
as the only way for an editor to be paid for an article without having a
COI.

I believe someone else suggested in this thread that it could be run the
way the Education Program is, as a related but separate body. That would be
something you would be perfectly placed to lead, Pete, given your
experience as consultant, editor, and former Foundation employee.

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

2016-02-26 Thread Jimmy Wales
On 2/25/16 2:16 AM, Risker wrote:
> And I'll say that if I was going to favour paying anyone, it would be paying 
> qualified translators to
> support smaller projects...

I'd find a pilot project to do something like this very exciting.



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

2016-02-26 Thread Pete Forsyth
Regarding the Wikimedia Foundation paying editors, brokering paid editing
to displace the role of PR agencies, etc.:

Since 2009, my full time work has centered on this area, in providing solid
advice to companies and other organizations on how to engage ethically and
effectively with Wikipedia. There is one central point that drives my work:
an ethic of transparency and non-pushy transparency is the main thing that
will lead companies toward engaging in ways that support Wikipedia's goals.
As for the identity and background of editors, their level of experience
with Wikipedia, and who does or does not pay them -- these things are all
important, but they are secondary to the way they approach their work, and
whether/how they express respect toward other Wikipedia editors on an
ongoing basis.

One aspect: working as a Wikipedian in Residence is no different, in
structure, from working for a PR company. I believe the Belfer Center
Wikipedian in Residence proves this point decisively;[1] simply having a
certain kind of title or affiliation is no guarantee that one's efforts
will be compatible with Wikipedia's values, policies, guidelines, or
cultural norms.

On the other hand, my clients routinely exhibit good behavior, and get good
results. Unfortunately I'm not able to disclose my connection with my
clients (who I merely advise -- I don't take any action on their behalf,
either on wiki or by reaching out to editors in private), but I can
disclose a few projects. The most recent case is the film The Hunting
Ground, where the immediate reaction of Wikipedians (including,
influentially, Jimmy Wales) was knee-jerk negative, but upon more careful
investigation Wikipedians identified no substantial problems in how my
client conducted himself. Wikipedians -- myself very much included -- are
not perfect. Making clear, meaningful disclosure of one's role, and
behaving in ways that reflect a genuine respect for the Wikipedia
community, are the key.

I have seen many instances of, as Sarah suggests, a paid editor being "more
persistent" than Wikipedia volunteers, and using that as a significant
tactical advantage. I abhor that practice, and guide my clients explicitly
in avoiding that kind of thing. It's in my clients' interest to avoid doing
that -- not just in Wikipedia's interest. My clients are typically
interested in good long-term results, and they do not want to be saddled
with a poor reputation among Wikipedians. It takes some explaining to help
them see how that plays out in practice -- but that's what they pay me for.
I routinely explain to them how winning a short-term victory through
persistence may have negative long-term impacts, because months or years
down the road it might result in their article getting deleted or massively
changed, or worse, it might land them negative news coverage. They are
generally persuaded by this argument.

I don't think the WMF should pay existing Wikipedians to write or edit
articles, or get involved in identifying which Wikipedians are "better"
than others. I have seen very good Wikipedians make errors in judgment; I
have made errors in judgment myself. I believe a practice of meaningful
transparency is the best approach, because it creates a layer of
accountability, where it's possible for others to notice and address errors
in judgment.

However, if the core interest (as Sarah suggests) is to create paid
opportunities for those who excel at Wikipedia writing and editing, those
opportunities exist, and are increasingly available. The money doesn't need
to flow through the WMF. In my opinion, it's much better if it doesn't; the
WMF has enough political challenges to deal with, without getting involved
in paid editing.

-Pete
[[User:Peteforsyth]]
Included for transparency: Founder/Principal of Wiki Strategies
wikistrategies.net

On Thu, Feb 25, 2016 at 9:49 PM, David Goodman  wrote:

> Involving the foundation as a broker would corrupt  the Foundation
> altogether.  It would in essence turn it into an advertising agency. We're
> supposed to be different from Google. Google earns money by letting itself
> be used as a medium for advertising. It at least  hopes to achieve this by
> while not being   evil, and succeeds reasonably well at the compromise.
>
> Wikipedia fortunately does not need to earn money, as ordinary people
> freely give  us more than enough for our needs,  and can therefore hope to
> achieve the positive good of providing objective information on
> encyclopedic topics that people want to read about, not information that
> other organizations want people to read.  We have no need to compromise.
>
> On Thu, Feb 25, 2016 at 11:15 PM, SarahSV  wrote:
>
> > On Thu, Feb 25, 2016 at 10:31 AM, Yaroslav M. Blanter 
> > wrote:
> >
> > - Possibly POV will be compromised in paid articles.
> > > - Unhealthy situation within the editing community. In the debates with
> > > WMF staff when we disagreed, I always 

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

2016-02-26 Thread Pharos
This classic science fiction novel comes to mind...

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

And a shout-out to User:Daniel The Monk, our resident NYC Monastapedian :)

Thanks,
Pharos

On Fri, Feb 26, 2016 at 3:51 AM, Ed Saperia  wrote:

> A Wikimedia monastery! ^_^
>
> Sent from my iPhone
>
> > On 26 Feb 2016, at 08:39, David Cuenca Tudela  wrote:
> >
> > I think there are more ways of supporting volunteers than just paying
> them
> > cash. For instance another option could be to offer them a place to stay,
> > food and healthcare. That is how many volunteer programs work, like
> > workaway or woofing, and I don't see anything wrong with it.
> >
> > Would it be an acceptable compromise?
> >
> > Regards,
> > Micru
> >
> >> On Fri, Feb 26, 2016 at 6:49 AM, David Goodman 
> wrote:
> >>
> >> Involving the foundation as a broker would corrupt  the Foundation
> >> altogether.  It would in essence turn it into an advertising agency.
> We're
> >> supposed to be different from Google. Google earns money by letting
> itself
> >> be used as a medium for advertising. It at least  hopes to achieve this
> by
> >> while not being   evil, and succeeds reasonably well at the compromise.
> >>
> >> Wikipedia fortunately does not need to earn money, as ordinary people
> >> freely give  us more than enough for our needs,  and can therefore hope
> to
> >> achieve the positive good of providing objective information on
> >> encyclopedic topics that people want to read about, not information that
> >> other organizations want people to read.  We have no need to compromise.
> >>
> >>> On Thu, Feb 25, 2016 at 11:15 PM, SarahSV 
> wrote:
> >>>
> >>> On Thu, Feb 25, 2016 at 10:31 AM, Yaroslav M. Blanter <
> pute...@mccme.ru>
> >>> wrote:
> >>>
> >>> - Possibly POV will be compromised in paid articles.
>  - Unhealthy situation within the editing community. In the debates
> with
>  WMF staff when we disagreed, I always felt awkward, because they were
> >>> paid
>  arguing with me, and would do it until they convince me or I give up,
> >>> and I
>  was doing this in my free time, and got tired very quickly. I also had
> >>> very
>  unpleasant experiences interacting with some chapter people whose only
> >>> goal
>  was to keep their position. They did not care about the quality,
>  efficiency, anything, only about their personal good. And if somebody
>  defends their personal good, you know, thy usually win, and the
> quality
>  loses. Now, imagine there is a content dispute between a user who is
> >> paid
>  (and is afraid to lose the salary) and a user who is unpaid and have
> to
> >>> do
>  the same for free - I am sure a paid user will be way more persistent.
> 
> 
>  ​Yaroslav, we already have a lot of paid editors on the English
> >>> Wikipedia.
> >>> Some are Wikimedians in residence, and this has always been regarded as
> >>> okay, though I believe they're expected not to edit articles about the
> >>> institution that employs them.
> >>>
> >>> But we also have a lot of paid PR editing and obvious COI problems
> >> because
> >>> of that, as well as the problems you highlight (e.g. the paid editor
> >> being
> >>> more persistent).
> >>>
> >>> Introducing the Foundation as a broker between organizations that want
> >>> articles and editors who want to write them would not solve all the
> >>> problems you highlight, but it would remove the COI aspect. So my
> >> thinking
> >>> was that it would be better than the current situation.
> >>>
> >>> Sarah​
> >>> ___
> >>> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> >>> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> >>> New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> >>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> >>> 
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> --
> >> David Goodman
> >>
> >> DGG at the enWP
> >> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:DGG
> >> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:DGG
> >> ___
> >> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> >> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> >> New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> >> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> >> 
> >
> >
> >
> > --
> > Etiamsi omnes, ego non
> > ___
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> 
>
> ___
> 

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

2016-02-26 Thread Jane Darnell
We could help them by making Wikipedia pages about registration agencies,
European immigration laws, and/or uploading sample forms that they could
translate into their own languages.

On Fri, Feb 26, 2016 at 11:16 AM, Gerard Meijssen  wrote:

> Hoi,
> If we want to make a difference, a real difference, we enable refugees in
> refugee camps to edit Wikipedia. They have nothing to do, they are often
> well educated. It is wonderful when they can because it not only gives them
> something to do, it gives them a sense of self-worth and this prevents the
> onset of a lot of mental health issues.
>
> Obviously this is not easy but we do not pay them directly but still make a
> real difference.
> Thanks,
> GerardM
>
> On 26 February 2016 at 09:39, David Cuenca Tudela 
> wrote:
>
> > I think there are more ways of supporting volunteers than just paying
> them
> > cash. For instance another option could be to offer them a place to stay,
> > food and healthcare. That is how many volunteer programs work, like
> > workaway or woofing, and I don't see anything wrong with it.
> >
> > Would it be an acceptable compromise?
> >
> > Regards,
> > Micru
> >
> > On Fri, Feb 26, 2016 at 6:49 AM, David Goodman 
> wrote:
> >
> > > Involving the foundation as a broker would corrupt  the Foundation
> > > altogether.  It would in essence turn it into an advertising agency.
> > We're
> > > supposed to be different from Google. Google earns money by letting
> > itself
> > > be used as a medium for advertising. It at least  hopes to achieve this
> > by
> > > while not being   evil, and succeeds reasonably well at the compromise.
> > >
> > > Wikipedia fortunately does not need to earn money, as ordinary people
> > > freely give  us more than enough for our needs,  and can therefore hope
> > to
> > > achieve the positive good of providing objective information on
> > > encyclopedic topics that people want to read about, not information
> that
> > > other organizations want people to read.  We have no need to
> compromise.
> > >
> > > On Thu, Feb 25, 2016 at 11:15 PM, SarahSV 
> > wrote:
> > >
> > > > On Thu, Feb 25, 2016 at 10:31 AM, Yaroslav M. Blanter <
> > pute...@mccme.ru>
> > > > wrote:
> > > >
> > > > - Possibly POV will be compromised in paid articles.
> > > > > - Unhealthy situation within the editing community. In the debates
> > with
> > > > > WMF staff when we disagreed, I always felt awkward, because they
> were
> > > > paid
> > > > > arguing with me, and would do it until they convince me or I give
> up,
> > > > and I
> > > > > was doing this in my free time, and got tired very quickly. I also
> > had
> > > > very
> > > > > unpleasant experiences interacting with some chapter people whose
> > only
> > > > goal
> > > > > was to keep their position. They did not care about the quality,
> > > > > efficiency, anything, only about their personal good. And if
> somebody
> > > > > defends their personal good, you know, thy usually win, and the
> > quality
> > > > > loses. Now, imagine there is a content dispute between a user who
> is
> > > paid
> > > > > (and is afraid to lose the salary) and a user who is unpaid and
> have
> > to
> > > > do
> > > > > the same for free - I am sure a paid user will be way more
> > persistent.
> > > > >
> > > > >
> > > > > ​Yaroslav, we already have a lot of paid editors on the English
> > > > Wikipedia.
> > > > Some are Wikimedians in residence, and this has always been regarded
> as
> > > > okay, though I believe they're expected not to edit articles about
> the
> > > > institution that employs them.
> > > >
> > > > But we also have a lot of paid PR editing and obvious COI problems
> > > because
> > > > of that, as well as the problems you highlight (e.g. the paid editor
> > > being
> > > > more persistent).
> > > >
> > > > Introducing the Foundation as a broker between organizations that
> want
> > > > articles and editors who want to write them would not solve all the
> > > > problems you highlight, but it would remove the COI aspect. So my
> > > thinking
> > > > was that it would be better than the current situation.
> > > >
> > > > Sarah​
> > > > ___
> > > > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > > > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > > > New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> > > > Unsubscribe:
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > > > 
> > > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > --
> > > David Goodman
> > >
> > > DGG at the enWP
> > > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:DGG
> > > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:DGG
> > > ___
> > > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > > New messages to: 

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

2016-02-26 Thread Gerard Meijssen
Hoi,
If we want to make a difference, a real difference, we enable refugees in
refugee camps to edit Wikipedia. They have nothing to do, they are often
well educated. It is wonderful when they can because it not only gives them
something to do, it gives them a sense of self-worth and this prevents the
onset of a lot of mental health issues.

Obviously this is not easy but we do not pay them directly but still make a
real difference.
Thanks,
GerardM

On 26 February 2016 at 09:39, David Cuenca Tudela  wrote:

> I think there are more ways of supporting volunteers than just paying them
> cash. For instance another option could be to offer them a place to stay,
> food and healthcare. That is how many volunteer programs work, like
> workaway or woofing, and I don't see anything wrong with it.
>
> Would it be an acceptable compromise?
>
> Regards,
> Micru
>
> On Fri, Feb 26, 2016 at 6:49 AM, David Goodman  wrote:
>
> > Involving the foundation as a broker would corrupt  the Foundation
> > altogether.  It would in essence turn it into an advertising agency.
> We're
> > supposed to be different from Google. Google earns money by letting
> itself
> > be used as a medium for advertising. It at least  hopes to achieve this
> by
> > while not being   evil, and succeeds reasonably well at the compromise.
> >
> > Wikipedia fortunately does not need to earn money, as ordinary people
> > freely give  us more than enough for our needs,  and can therefore hope
> to
> > achieve the positive good of providing objective information on
> > encyclopedic topics that people want to read about, not information that
> > other organizations want people to read.  We have no need to compromise.
> >
> > On Thu, Feb 25, 2016 at 11:15 PM, SarahSV 
> wrote:
> >
> > > On Thu, Feb 25, 2016 at 10:31 AM, Yaroslav M. Blanter <
> pute...@mccme.ru>
> > > wrote:
> > >
> > > - Possibly POV will be compromised in paid articles.
> > > > - Unhealthy situation within the editing community. In the debates
> with
> > > > WMF staff when we disagreed, I always felt awkward, because they were
> > > paid
> > > > arguing with me, and would do it until they convince me or I give up,
> > > and I
> > > > was doing this in my free time, and got tired very quickly. I also
> had
> > > very
> > > > unpleasant experiences interacting with some chapter people whose
> only
> > > goal
> > > > was to keep their position. They did not care about the quality,
> > > > efficiency, anything, only about their personal good. And if somebody
> > > > defends their personal good, you know, thy usually win, and the
> quality
> > > > loses. Now, imagine there is a content dispute between a user who is
> > paid
> > > > (and is afraid to lose the salary) and a user who is unpaid and have
> to
> > > do
> > > > the same for free - I am sure a paid user will be way more
> persistent.
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > ​Yaroslav, we already have a lot of paid editors on the English
> > > Wikipedia.
> > > Some are Wikimedians in residence, and this has always been regarded as
> > > okay, though I believe they're expected not to edit articles about the
> > > institution that employs them.
> > >
> > > But we also have a lot of paid PR editing and obvious COI problems
> > because
> > > of that, as well as the problems you highlight (e.g. the paid editor
> > being
> > > more persistent).
> > >
> > > Introducing the Foundation as a broker between organizations that want
> > > articles and editors who want to write them would not solve all the
> > > problems you highlight, but it would remove the COI aspect. So my
> > thinking
> > > was that it would be better than the current situation.
> > >
> > > Sarah​
> > > ___
> > > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > > New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> > > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > > 
> > >
> >
> >
> >
> > --
> > David Goodman
> >
> > DGG at the enWP
> > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:DGG
> > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:DGG
> > ___
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > 
> >
>
>
>
> --
> Etiamsi omnes, ego non
> ___
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> 

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

2016-02-26 Thread David Cuenca Tudela
Actually I went last year to a winter retreat in Plum Village, a
mindfulness monastery in southern France, and the focus was cultivating
civility (loving-kindness they call it) and inner peace. I thought, well,
if besides of that one could contribute free knowledge here I would join
right away :)

I wonder if I would be the only one :P

Cheers,
Micru

On Fri, Feb 26, 2016 at 10:01 AM, Peter Southwood <
peter.southw...@telkomsa.net> wrote:

> With vows of civility and NPOV
>
> -Original Message-
> From: Wikimedia-l [mailto:wikimedia-l-boun...@lists.wikimedia.org] On
> Behalf Of Ed Saperia
> Sent: Friday, 26 February 2016 10:51 AM
> To: Wikimedia Mailing List
> Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] What it means to be a high-tech organization
>
> A Wikimedia monastery! ^_^
>
> Sent from my iPhone
>
> > On 26 Feb 2016, at 08:39, David Cuenca Tudela <dacu...@gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > I think there are more ways of supporting volunteers than just paying
> > them cash. For instance another option could be to offer them a place
> > to stay, food and healthcare. That is how many volunteer programs
> > work, like workaway or woofing, and I don't see anything wrong with it.
> >
> > Would it be an acceptable compromise?
> >
> > Regards,
> > Micru
> >
> >> On Fri, Feb 26, 2016 at 6:49 AM, David Goodman <dgge...@gmail.com>
> wrote:
> >>
> >> Involving the foundation as a broker would corrupt  the Foundation
> >> altogether.  It would in essence turn it into an advertising agency.
> >> We're supposed to be different from Google. Google earns money by
> >> letting itself be used as a medium for advertising. It at least  hopes
> to achieve this by
> >> while not being   evil, and succeeds reasonably well at the compromise.
> >>
> >> Wikipedia fortunately does not need to earn money, as ordinary people
> >> freely give  us more than enough for our needs,  and can therefore
> >> hope to achieve the positive good of providing objective information
> >> on encyclopedic topics that people want to read about, not
> >> information that other organizations want people to read.  We have no
> need to compromise.
> >>
> >>> On Thu, Feb 25, 2016 at 11:15 PM, SarahSV <sarahsv.w...@gmail.com>
> wrote:
> >>>
> >>> On Thu, Feb 25, 2016 at 10:31 AM, Yaroslav M. Blanter
> >>> <pute...@mccme.ru>
> >>> wrote:
> >>>
> >>> - Possibly POV will be compromised in paid articles.
> >>>> - Unhealthy situation within the editing community. In the debates
> >>>> with WMF staff when we disagreed, I always felt awkward, because
> >>>> they were
> >>> paid
> >>>> arguing with me, and would do it until they convince me or I give
> >>>> up,
> >>> and I
> >>>> was doing this in my free time, and got tired very quickly. I also
> >>>> had
> >>> very
> >>>> unpleasant experiences interacting with some chapter people whose
> >>>> only
> >>> goal
> >>>> was to keep their position. They did not care about the quality,
> >>>> efficiency, anything, only about their personal good. And if
> >>>> somebody defends their personal good, you know, thy usually win,
> >>>> and the quality loses. Now, imagine there is a content dispute
> >>>> between a user who is
> >> paid
> >>>> (and is afraid to lose the salary) and a user who is unpaid and
> >>>> have to
> >>> do
> >>>> the same for free - I am sure a paid user will be way more persistent.
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>> ​Yaroslav, we already have a lot of paid editors on the English
> >>> Wikipedia.
> >>> Some are Wikimedians in residence, and this has always been regarded
> >>> as okay, though I believe they're expected not to edit articles
> >>> about the institution that employs them.
> >>>
> >>> But we also have a lot of paid PR editing and obvious COI problems
> >> because
> >>> of that, as well as the problems you highlight (e.g. the paid editor
> >> being
> >>> more persistent).
> >>>
> >>> Introducing the Foundation as a broker between organizations that
> >>> want articles and editors who want to write them would not solve all
> >>> the problems you highlight, but it would remove the COI aspect. So
> >>> my
> >> think

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

2016-02-26 Thread Peter Southwood
With vows of civility and NPOV

-Original Message-
From: Wikimedia-l [mailto:wikimedia-l-boun...@lists.wikimedia.org] On Behalf Of 
Ed Saperia
Sent: Friday, 26 February 2016 10:51 AM
To: Wikimedia Mailing List
Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] What it means to be a high-tech organization

A Wikimedia monastery! ^_^

Sent from my iPhone

> On 26 Feb 2016, at 08:39, David Cuenca Tudela <dacu...@gmail.com> wrote:
> 
> I think there are more ways of supporting volunteers than just paying 
> them cash. For instance another option could be to offer them a place 
> to stay, food and healthcare. That is how many volunteer programs 
> work, like workaway or woofing, and I don't see anything wrong with it.
> 
> Would it be an acceptable compromise?
> 
> Regards,
> Micru
> 
>> On Fri, Feb 26, 2016 at 6:49 AM, David Goodman <dgge...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> 
>> Involving the foundation as a broker would corrupt  the Foundation 
>> altogether.  It would in essence turn it into an advertising agency. 
>> We're supposed to be different from Google. Google earns money by 
>> letting itself be used as a medium for advertising. It at least  hopes to 
>> achieve this by
>> while not being   evil, and succeeds reasonably well at the compromise.
>> 
>> Wikipedia fortunately does not need to earn money, as ordinary people 
>> freely give  us more than enough for our needs,  and can therefore 
>> hope to achieve the positive good of providing objective information 
>> on encyclopedic topics that people want to read about, not 
>> information that other organizations want people to read.  We have no need 
>> to compromise.
>> 
>>> On Thu, Feb 25, 2016 at 11:15 PM, SarahSV <sarahsv.w...@gmail.com> wrote:
>>> 
>>> On Thu, Feb 25, 2016 at 10:31 AM, Yaroslav M. Blanter 
>>> <pute...@mccme.ru>
>>> wrote:
>>> 
>>> - Possibly POV will be compromised in paid articles.
>>>> - Unhealthy situation within the editing community. In the debates 
>>>> with WMF staff when we disagreed, I always felt awkward, because 
>>>> they were
>>> paid
>>>> arguing with me, and would do it until they convince me or I give 
>>>> up,
>>> and I
>>>> was doing this in my free time, and got tired very quickly. I also 
>>>> had
>>> very
>>>> unpleasant experiences interacting with some chapter people whose 
>>>> only
>>> goal
>>>> was to keep their position. They did not care about the quality, 
>>>> efficiency, anything, only about their personal good. And if 
>>>> somebody defends their personal good, you know, thy usually win, 
>>>> and the quality loses. Now, imagine there is a content dispute 
>>>> between a user who is
>> paid
>>>> (and is afraid to lose the salary) and a user who is unpaid and 
>>>> have to
>>> do
>>>> the same for free - I am sure a paid user will be way more persistent.
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> ​Yaroslav, we already have a lot of paid editors on the English
>>> Wikipedia.
>>> Some are Wikimedians in residence, and this has always been regarded 
>>> as okay, though I believe they're expected not to edit articles 
>>> about the institution that employs them.
>>> 
>>> But we also have a lot of paid PR editing and obvious COI problems
>> because
>>> of that, as well as the problems you highlight (e.g. the paid editor
>> being
>>> more persistent).
>>> 
>>> Introducing the Foundation as a broker between organizations that 
>>> want articles and editors who want to write them would not solve all 
>>> the problems you highlight, but it would remove the COI aspect. So 
>>> my
>> thinking
>>> was that it would be better than the current situation.
>>> 
>>> Sarah​
>>> ___
>>> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
>>> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
>>> New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
>>> Unsubscribe: 
>>> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
>>> <mailto:wikimedia-l-requ...@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe>
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> --
>> David Goodman
>> 
>> DGG at the enWP
>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:DGG
>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:DGG
>> ___
>> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
>

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

2016-02-26 Thread Jane Darnell
Healthcare!!!

On Fri, Feb 26, 2016 at 9:39 AM, David Cuenca Tudela 
wrote:

> I think there are more ways of supporting volunteers than just paying them
> cash. For instance another option could be to offer them a place to stay,
> food and healthcare. That is how many volunteer programs work, like
> workaway or woofing, and I don't see anything wrong with it.
>
> Would it be an acceptable compromise?
>
> Regards,
> Micru
>
> On Fri, Feb 26, 2016 at 6:49 AM, David Goodman  wrote:
>
> > Involving the foundation as a broker would corrupt  the Foundation
> > altogether.  It would in essence turn it into an advertising agency.
> We're
> > supposed to be different from Google. Google earns money by letting
> itself
> > be used as a medium for advertising. It at least  hopes to achieve this
> by
> > while not being   evil, and succeeds reasonably well at the compromise.
> >
> > Wikipedia fortunately does not need to earn money, as ordinary people
> > freely give  us more than enough for our needs,  and can therefore hope
> to
> > achieve the positive good of providing objective information on
> > encyclopedic topics that people want to read about, not information that
> > other organizations want people to read.  We have no need to compromise.
> >
> > On Thu, Feb 25, 2016 at 11:15 PM, SarahSV 
> wrote:
> >
> > > On Thu, Feb 25, 2016 at 10:31 AM, Yaroslav M. Blanter <
> pute...@mccme.ru>
> > > wrote:
> > >
> > > - Possibly POV will be compromised in paid articles.
> > > > - Unhealthy situation within the editing community. In the debates
> with
> > > > WMF staff when we disagreed, I always felt awkward, because they were
> > > paid
> > > > arguing with me, and would do it until they convince me or I give up,
> > > and I
> > > > was doing this in my free time, and got tired very quickly. I also
> had
> > > very
> > > > unpleasant experiences interacting with some chapter people whose
> only
> > > goal
> > > > was to keep their position. They did not care about the quality,
> > > > efficiency, anything, only about their personal good. And if somebody
> > > > defends their personal good, you know, thy usually win, and the
> quality
> > > > loses. Now, imagine there is a content dispute between a user who is
> > paid
> > > > (and is afraid to lose the salary) and a user who is unpaid and have
> to
> > > do
> > > > the same for free - I am sure a paid user will be way more
> persistent.
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > ​Yaroslav, we already have a lot of paid editors on the English
> > > Wikipedia.
> > > Some are Wikimedians in residence, and this has always been regarded as
> > > okay, though I believe they're expected not to edit articles about the
> > > institution that employs them.
> > >
> > > But we also have a lot of paid PR editing and obvious COI problems
> > because
> > > of that, as well as the problems you highlight (e.g. the paid editor
> > being
> > > more persistent).
> > >
> > > Introducing the Foundation as a broker between organizations that want
> > > articles and editors who want to write them would not solve all the
> > > problems you highlight, but it would remove the COI aspect. So my
> > thinking
> > > was that it would be better than the current situation.
> > >
> > > Sarah​
> > > ___
> > > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > > New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> > > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > > 
> > >
> >
> >
> >
> > --
> > David Goodman
> >
> > DGG at the enWP
> > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:DGG
> > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:DGG
> > ___
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > 
> >
>
>
>
> --
> Etiamsi omnes, ego non
> ___
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> 
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] What it means to be a high-tech organization

2016-02-26 Thread Ed Saperia
A Wikimedia monastery! ^_^

Sent from my iPhone

> On 26 Feb 2016, at 08:39, David Cuenca Tudela  wrote:
> 
> I think there are more ways of supporting volunteers than just paying them
> cash. For instance another option could be to offer them a place to stay,
> food and healthcare. That is how many volunteer programs work, like
> workaway or woofing, and I don't see anything wrong with it.
> 
> Would it be an acceptable compromise?
> 
> Regards,
> Micru
> 
>> On Fri, Feb 26, 2016 at 6:49 AM, David Goodman  wrote:
>> 
>> Involving the foundation as a broker would corrupt  the Foundation
>> altogether.  It would in essence turn it into an advertising agency. We're
>> supposed to be different from Google. Google earns money by letting itself
>> be used as a medium for advertising. It at least  hopes to achieve this by
>> while not being   evil, and succeeds reasonably well at the compromise.
>> 
>> Wikipedia fortunately does not need to earn money, as ordinary people
>> freely give  us more than enough for our needs,  and can therefore hope to
>> achieve the positive good of providing objective information on
>> encyclopedic topics that people want to read about, not information that
>> other organizations want people to read.  We have no need to compromise.
>> 
>>> On Thu, Feb 25, 2016 at 11:15 PM, SarahSV  wrote:
>>> 
>>> On Thu, Feb 25, 2016 at 10:31 AM, Yaroslav M. Blanter 
>>> wrote:
>>> 
>>> - Possibly POV will be compromised in paid articles.
 - Unhealthy situation within the editing community. In the debates with
 WMF staff when we disagreed, I always felt awkward, because they were
>>> paid
 arguing with me, and would do it until they convince me or I give up,
>>> and I
 was doing this in my free time, and got tired very quickly. I also had
>>> very
 unpleasant experiences interacting with some chapter people whose only
>>> goal
 was to keep their position. They did not care about the quality,
 efficiency, anything, only about their personal good. And if somebody
 defends their personal good, you know, thy usually win, and the quality
 loses. Now, imagine there is a content dispute between a user who is
>> paid
 (and is afraid to lose the salary) and a user who is unpaid and have to
>>> do
 the same for free - I am sure a paid user will be way more persistent.
 
 
 ​Yaroslav, we already have a lot of paid editors on the English
>>> Wikipedia.
>>> Some are Wikimedians in residence, and this has always been regarded as
>>> okay, though I believe they're expected not to edit articles about the
>>> institution that employs them.
>>> 
>>> But we also have a lot of paid PR editing and obvious COI problems
>> because
>>> of that, as well as the problems you highlight (e.g. the paid editor
>> being
>>> more persistent).
>>> 
>>> Introducing the Foundation as a broker between organizations that want
>>> articles and editors who want to write them would not solve all the
>>> problems you highlight, but it would remove the COI aspect. So my
>> thinking
>>> was that it would be better than the current situation.
>>> 
>>> Sarah​
>>> ___
>>> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
>>> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
>>> New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
>>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
>>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> --
>> David Goodman
>> 
>> DGG at the enWP
>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:DGG
>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:DGG
>> ___
>> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
>> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
>> New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
>> 
> 
> 
> 
> -- 
> Etiamsi omnes, ego non
> ___
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: 
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, 
> 

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

2016-02-26 Thread David Cuenca Tudela
I think there are more ways of supporting volunteers than just paying them
cash. For instance another option could be to offer them a place to stay,
food and healthcare. That is how many volunteer programs work, like
workaway or woofing, and I don't see anything wrong with it.

Would it be an acceptable compromise?

Regards,
Micru

On Fri, Feb 26, 2016 at 6:49 AM, David Goodman  wrote:

> Involving the foundation as a broker would corrupt  the Foundation
> altogether.  It would in essence turn it into an advertising agency. We're
> supposed to be different from Google. Google earns money by letting itself
> be used as a medium for advertising. It at least  hopes to achieve this by
> while not being   evil, and succeeds reasonably well at the compromise.
>
> Wikipedia fortunately does not need to earn money, as ordinary people
> freely give  us more than enough for our needs,  and can therefore hope to
> achieve the positive good of providing objective information on
> encyclopedic topics that people want to read about, not information that
> other organizations want people to read.  We have no need to compromise.
>
> On Thu, Feb 25, 2016 at 11:15 PM, SarahSV  wrote:
>
> > On Thu, Feb 25, 2016 at 10:31 AM, Yaroslav M. Blanter 
> > wrote:
> >
> > - Possibly POV will be compromised in paid articles.
> > > - Unhealthy situation within the editing community. In the debates with
> > > WMF staff when we disagreed, I always felt awkward, because they were
> > paid
> > > arguing with me, and would do it until they convince me or I give up,
> > and I
> > > was doing this in my free time, and got tired very quickly. I also had
> > very
> > > unpleasant experiences interacting with some chapter people whose only
> > goal
> > > was to keep their position. They did not care about the quality,
> > > efficiency, anything, only about their personal good. And if somebody
> > > defends their personal good, you know, thy usually win, and the quality
> > > loses. Now, imagine there is a content dispute between a user who is
> paid
> > > (and is afraid to lose the salary) and a user who is unpaid and have to
> > do
> > > the same for free - I am sure a paid user will be way more persistent.
> > >
> > >
> > > ​Yaroslav, we already have a lot of paid editors on the English
> > Wikipedia.
> > Some are Wikimedians in residence, and this has always been regarded as
> > okay, though I believe they're expected not to edit articles about the
> > institution that employs them.
> >
> > But we also have a lot of paid PR editing and obvious COI problems
> because
> > of that, as well as the problems you highlight (e.g. the paid editor
> being
> > more persistent).
> >
> > Introducing the Foundation as a broker between organizations that want
> > articles and editors who want to write them would not solve all the
> > problems you highlight, but it would remove the COI aspect. So my
> thinking
> > was that it would be better than the current situation.
> >
> > Sarah​
> > ___
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > 
> >
>
>
>
> --
> David Goodman
>
> DGG at the enWP
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:DGG
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:DGG
> ___
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> 
>



-- 
Etiamsi omnes, ego non
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] What it means to be a high-tech organization

2016-02-25 Thread David Goodman
Involving the foundation as a broker would corrupt  the Foundation
altogether.  It would in essence turn it into an advertising agency. We're
supposed to be different from Google. Google earns money by letting itself
be used as a medium for advertising. It at least  hopes to achieve this by
while not being   evil, and succeeds reasonably well at the compromise.

Wikipedia fortunately does not need to earn money, as ordinary people
freely give  us more than enough for our needs,  and can therefore hope to
achieve the positive good of providing objective information on
encyclopedic topics that people want to read about, not information that
other organizations want people to read.  We have no need to compromise.

On Thu, Feb 25, 2016 at 11:15 PM, SarahSV  wrote:

> On Thu, Feb 25, 2016 at 10:31 AM, Yaroslav M. Blanter 
> wrote:
>
> - Possibly POV will be compromised in paid articles.
> > - Unhealthy situation within the editing community. In the debates with
> > WMF staff when we disagreed, I always felt awkward, because they were
> paid
> > arguing with me, and would do it until they convince me or I give up,
> and I
> > was doing this in my free time, and got tired very quickly. I also had
> very
> > unpleasant experiences interacting with some chapter people whose only
> goal
> > was to keep their position. They did not care about the quality,
> > efficiency, anything, only about their personal good. And if somebody
> > defends their personal good, you know, thy usually win, and the quality
> > loses. Now, imagine there is a content dispute between a user who is paid
> > (and is afraid to lose the salary) and a user who is unpaid and have to
> do
> > the same for free - I am sure a paid user will be way more persistent.
> >
> >
> > ​Yaroslav, we already have a lot of paid editors on the English
> Wikipedia.
> Some are Wikimedians in residence, and this has always been regarded as
> okay, though I believe they're expected not to edit articles about the
> institution that employs them.
>
> But we also have a lot of paid PR editing and obvious COI problems because
> of that, as well as the problems you highlight (e.g. the paid editor being
> more persistent).
>
> Introducing the Foundation as a broker between organizations that want
> articles and editors who want to write them would not solve all the
> problems you highlight, but it would remove the COI aspect. So my thinking
> was that it would be better than the current situation.
>
> Sarah​
> ___
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> 
>



-- 
David Goodman

DGG at the enWP
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:DGG
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:DGG
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] What it means to be a high-tech organization

2016-02-25 Thread SarahSV
On Thu, Feb 25, 2016 at 10:31 AM, Yaroslav M. Blanter 
wrote:

- Possibly POV will be compromised in paid articles.
> - Unhealthy situation within the editing community. In the debates with
> WMF staff when we disagreed, I always felt awkward, because they were paid
> arguing with me, and would do it until they convince me or I give up, and I
> was doing this in my free time, and got tired very quickly. I also had very
> unpleasant experiences interacting with some chapter people whose only goal
> was to keep their position. They did not care about the quality,
> efficiency, anything, only about their personal good. And if somebody
> defends their personal good, you know, thy usually win, and the quality
> loses. Now, imagine there is a content dispute between a user who is paid
> (and is afraid to lose the salary) and a user who is unpaid and have to do
> the same for free - I am sure a paid user will be way more persistent.
>
>
> ​Yaroslav, we already have a lot of paid editors on the English Wikipedia.
Some are Wikimedians in residence, and this has always been regarded as
okay, though I believe they're expected not to edit articles about the
institution that employs them.

But we also have a lot of paid PR editing and obvious COI problems because
of that, as well as the problems you highlight (e.g. the paid editor being
more persistent).

Introducing the Foundation as a broker between organizations that want
articles and editors who want to write them would not solve all the
problems you highlight, but it would remove the COI aspect. So my thinking
was that it would be better than the current situation.

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

2016-02-25 Thread Yaroslav M. Blanter

On 2016-02-25 03:09, SarahSV wrote:
On Wed, Feb 24, 2016 at 4:20 PM, phoebe ayers  
wrote:








The Foundation could pay that number of workers, especially if it found
imaginative ways to do it.

For example, it could set up a department that accepts contracts from
individuals and groups who want certain articles to be written or
rewritten. Instead of paying a PR company, those people would pay the
Foundation. The Foundation would maintain a list of excellent editors 
and
would offer the contract to the most appropriate, taking a percentage 
of

the fee for itself.






I am sure this has been discussed before, but I also think this is a bad 
idea. Whereas I can imagine that as an exceptions some editors can be 
supported by the Foundation via an engagement grant, it should really 
stay an exceptions. The obvious reasons are:


- Different image of the movement, and, as a consequence, less 
donations, as Risker already pointed out.

- Possibly POV will be compromised in paid articles.
- Unhealthy situation within the editing community. In the debates with 
WMF staff when we disagreed, I always felt awkward, because they were 
paid arguing with me, and would do it until they convince me or I give 
up, and I was doing this in my free time, and got tired very quickly. I 
also had very unpleasant experiences interacting with some chapter 
people whose only goal was to keep their position. They did not care 
about the quality, efficiency, anything, only about their personal good. 
And if somebody defends their personal good, you know, thy usually win, 
and the quality loses. Now, imagine there is a content dispute between a 
user who is paid (and is afraid to lose the salary) and a user who is 
unpaid and have to do the same for free - I am sure a paid user will be 
way more persistent.


There should be many other reasons which I am sure have been already 
voiced.


Cheers
Yaroslav

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

2016-02-24 Thread Keegan Peterzell
Yeah, so, my ultimate point remains: we're talking about hundreds of
Wikimedia projects and how they interact with paid editors, and not just
how a few handle it. LIke everything, it's complicated beyond local
instances ;)

-- 
~Keegan

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Keegan

This is my personal email address. Everything sent from this email address
is in a personal capacity.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] What it means to be a high-tech organization

2016-02-24 Thread Keegan Peterzell
On Wed, Feb 24, 2016 at 11:24 PM, Keegan Peterzell 
wrote:

>
>
> On Wed, Feb 24, 2016 at 9:51 PM, Dan Andreescu 
> wrote:
>
>> I'm very new to this concept of paid editing.  But from what I understood
>> paid editing is allowed, as long as the editors disclose who they are paid
>> by on their talk page or in edit summaries.  I understood this to be
>> roughly the idea of the Wikipedian in Residence title.  I didn't look this
>> up on purpose, because I wanted to point out this might be a common
>> existing understanding.  Am I mistaken?  What is the policy?
>>
>>
> ​Different wikis have different policies on paid editing, most have no
> policy. There ​is no global policy.
>
>
​I've been poked to clarify:

Terms of Use[0] prohibit undisclosed paid editing. Local projects may have
their own way of interpreting and enforcing this. Local projects can also
opt out of this particular prohibition in the Terms of Use.

0. https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Terms_of_Use

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

2016-02-24 Thread GorillaWarfare
On Thu, Feb 25, 2016 at 12:24 AM, Keegan Peterzell 
wrote:

> ​Different wikis have different policies on paid editing, most have no
> policy. There ​is no global policy.
> 
>

That's not exactly true. All Wikimedia projects are beholden to the Terms
of Use (https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Terms_of_Use) which was
recently amended to add:

*Paid contributions without disclosure*
> These Terms of Use prohibit engaging in deceptive activities, including
> misrepresentation of affiliation, impersonation, and fraud. As part of
> these obligations, you must disclose your employer, client, and affiliation
> with respect to any contribution for which you receive, or expect to
> receive, compensation. You must make that disclosure in at least one of the
> following ways:
> - a statement on your user page,
> - a statement on the talk page accompanying any paid contributions, or
> - a statement in the edit summary accompanying any paid contributions.
> Applicable law, or community and Foundation policies and guidelines, such
> as those addressing conflicts of interest, may further limit paid
> contributions or require more detailed disclosure.
> A Wikimedia Project community may adopt an alternative paid contribution
> disclosure policy. If a Project adopts an alternative disclosure policy,
> you may comply with that policy instead of the requirements in this section
> when contributing to that Project. An alternative paid contribution policy
> will only supersede these requirements if it is approved by the relevant
> Project community and listed in the alternative disclosure policy page.
> For more information, please read our FAQ on disclosure of paid
> contributions.


Many wikis do not have policies that supersede this requirement, and so are
subject to it. That said, the ToU does not specify precisely what happens
when someone is found to be in violation of this rule, which I know we
struggle with on the English Wikipedia.

– Molly (GorillaWarfare)
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] What it means to be a high-tech organization

2016-02-24 Thread Keegan Peterzell
On Wed, Feb 24, 2016 at 9:51 PM, Dan Andreescu 
wrote:

> I'm very new to this concept of paid editing.  But from what I understood
> paid editing is allowed, as long as the editors disclose who they are paid
> by on their talk page or in edit summaries.  I understood this to be
> roughly the idea of the Wikipedian in Residence title.  I didn't look this
> up on purpose, because I wanted to point out this might be a common
> existing understanding.  Am I mistaken?  What is the policy?
>
>
​Different wikis have different policies on paid editing, most have no
policy. There ​is no global policy.

-- 
~Keegan

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Keegan

This is my personal email address. Everything sent from this email address
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] What it means to be a high-tech organization

2016-02-24 Thread Dan Andreescu
I'm very new to this concept of paid editing.  But from what I understood
paid editing is allowed, as long as the editors disclose who they are paid
by on their talk page or in edit summaries.  I understood this to be
roughly the idea of the Wikipedian in Residence title.  I didn't look this
up on purpose, because I wanted to point out this might be a common
existing understanding.  Am I mistaken?  What is the policy?

As I was thinking about this, if it's true, I figured the hardest part for
the community would be finding out which edit was sponsored and which was
not.  If the disclosure was just on the user's page, someone looking at
edit histories would have to click through a lot to find possible
affiliations.  I'd say we could easily create an "audit" mode to the edit
history that would decorate each revision based on any affiliation
templates from the user pages.

But, there I go inventing a feature for a problem I don't even know exists
: )  I'll just go look it up now.

On Wed, Feb 24, 2016 at 9:19 PM, Risker  wrote:

> On 24 February 2016 at 21:16, Risker  wrote:
>
> > Well, Sarah, after all of these years I didn't think you'd come up with
> > anything that would surprise me. I was wrong,  And I'll say that if I was
> > going to favour paying anyone, it would be paying qualified translators
> to
> > support smaller projects, and Wikisourcers, and people who may have the
> > interest and ability to edit but instead have to work 60 and 70 hour
> weeks
> > on susbsistence wages simply to feed their children.  I would have an
> > extremely difficult time justifying paying people in large, well-to-do
> > countries to edit Wikipedia. I also strongly suspect it would kill the
> > donation stream almost entirely once it became known that Wikipedia was
> no
> > longer written by volunteers, but instead was written by paid editors.
> >
>
>
> (Sorry for the inadvertent early send)
>
> Risker
>
>
>
>
> > 24 February 2016 at 21:09, SarahSV  wrote:
> >
> >> On Wed, Feb 24, 2016 at 4:20 PM, phoebe ayers 
> >> wrote:
> >>
> >> >
> >> > 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.
> >> >
> >> > ​As of January 2016, the English WP had 3,492 editors that the
> >> Foundation
> >> calls "very active," but that's only 100 edits a month. [1] The core
> >> workforce is considerably smaller, and they're the ones who keep the
> place
> >> running by tidying and writing/rewriting articles, creating and
> >> maintaining
> >> various processes and policies, creating templates, and so on.
> >>
> >> The Foundation could pay that number of workers, especially if it found
> >> imaginative ways to do it.
> >>
> >> For example, it could set up a department that accepts contracts from
> >> individuals and groups who want certain articles to be written or
> >> rewritten. Instead of paying a PR company, those people would pay the
> >> Foundation. The Foundation would maintain a list of excellent editors
> and
> >> would offer the contract to the most appropriate, taking a percentage of
> >> the fee for itself.
> >>
> >> The brief would specify that any article produced must adhere to the
> core
> >> content policies, so there would be no whitewashing, but there would be
> an
> >> effort to be fair. As things stand, unpaid editors have to clean up PR
> >> efforts anyway, so they might as well get paid to produce something
> decent
> >> from the start. It might only take a few ethical companies to sign up
> for
> >> the thing to take off.
> >>
> >> Sarah
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> [1] https://stats.wikimedia.org/EN/SummaryEN.htm
> >> ___
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> >>
> >
> >
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] What it means to be a high-tech organization

2016-02-24 Thread Risker
On 24 February 2016 at 21:16, Risker  wrote:

> Well, Sarah, after all of these years I didn't think you'd come up with
> anything that would surprise me. I was wrong,  And I'll say that if I was
> going to favour paying anyone, it would be paying qualified translators to
> support smaller projects, and Wikisourcers, and people who may have the
> interest and ability to edit but instead have to work 60 and 70 hour weeks
> on susbsistence wages simply to feed their children.  I would have an
> extremely difficult time justifying paying people in large, well-to-do
> countries to edit Wikipedia. I also strongly suspect it would kill the
> donation stream almost entirely once it became known that Wikipedia was no
> longer written by volunteers, but instead was written by paid editors.
>


(Sorry for the inadvertent early send)

Risker




> 24 February 2016 at 21:09, SarahSV  wrote:
>
>> On Wed, Feb 24, 2016 at 4:20 PM, phoebe ayers 
>> wrote:
>>
>> >
>> > 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.
>> >
>> > ​As of January 2016, the English WP had 3,492 editors that the
>> Foundation
>> calls "very active," but that's only 100 edits a month. [1] The core
>> workforce is considerably smaller, and they're the ones who keep the place
>> running by tidying and writing/rewriting articles, creating and
>> maintaining
>> various processes and policies, creating templates, and so on.
>>
>> The Foundation could pay that number of workers, especially if it found
>> imaginative ways to do it.
>>
>> For example, it could set up a department that accepts contracts from
>> individuals and groups who want certain articles to be written or
>> rewritten. Instead of paying a PR company, those people would pay the
>> Foundation. The Foundation would maintain a list of excellent editors and
>> would offer the contract to the most appropriate, taking a percentage of
>> the fee for itself.
>>
>> The brief would specify that any article produced must adhere to the core
>> content policies, so there would be no whitewashing, but there would be an
>> effort to be fair. As things stand, unpaid editors have to clean up PR
>> efforts anyway, so they might as well get paid to produce something decent
>> from the start. It might only take a few ethical companies to sign up for
>> the thing to take off.
>>
>> Sarah
>>
>>
>>
>> [1] https://stats.wikimedia.org/EN/SummaryEN.htm
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>
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] What it means to be a high-tech organization

2016-02-24 Thread Risker
Well, Sarah, after all of these years I didn't think you'd come up with
anything that would surprise me. I was wrong,  And I'll say that if I was
going to favour paying anyone, it would be paying qualified translators to
support smaller projects, and Wikisourcers, and people who may have the
interest and ability to edit but instead have to work 60 and 70 hour weeks
on susbsistence wages simply to feed their children.  I

On 24 February 2016 at 21:09, SarahSV  wrote:

> On Wed, Feb 24, 2016 at 4:20 PM, phoebe ayers 
> wrote:
>
> >
> > 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.
> >
> > ​As of January 2016, the English WP had 3,492 editors that the Foundation
> calls "very active," but that's only 100 edits a month. [1] The core
> workforce is considerably smaller, and they're the ones who keep the place
> running by tidying and writing/rewriting articles, creating and maintaining
> various processes and policies, creating templates, and so on.
>
> The Foundation could pay that number of workers, especially if it found
> imaginative ways to do it.
>
> For example, it could set up a department that accepts contracts from
> individuals and groups who want certain articles to be written or
> rewritten. Instead of paying a PR company, those people would pay the
> Foundation. The Foundation would maintain a list of excellent editors and
> would offer the contract to the most appropriate, taking a percentage of
> the fee for itself.
>
> The brief would specify that any article produced must adhere to the core
> content policies, so there would be no whitewashing, but there would be an
> effort to be fair. As things stand, unpaid editors have to clean up PR
> efforts anyway, so they might as well get paid to produce something decent
> from the start. It might only take a few ethical companies to sign up for
> the thing to take off.
>
> Sarah
>
>
>
> [1] https://stats.wikimedia.org/EN/SummaryEN.htm
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] What it means to be a high-tech organization

2016-02-24 Thread SarahSV
On Wed, Feb 24, 2016 at 4:20 PM, phoebe ayers  wrote:

>
> 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.
>
> ​As of January 2016, the English WP had 3,492 editors that the Foundation
calls "very active," but that's only 100 edits a month. [1] The core
workforce is considerably smaller, and they're the ones who keep the place
running by tidying and writing/rewriting articles, creating and maintaining
various processes and policies, creating templates, and so on.

The Foundation could pay that number of workers, especially if it found
imaginative ways to do it.

For example, it could set up a department that accepts contracts from
individuals and groups who want certain articles to be written or
rewritten. Instead of paying a PR company, those people would pay the
Foundation. The Foundation would maintain a list of excellent editors and
would offer the contract to the most appropriate, taking a percentage of
the fee for itself.

The brief would specify that any article produced must adhere to the core
content policies, so there would be no whitewashing, but there would be an
effort to be fair. As things stand, unpaid editors have to clean up PR
efforts anyway, so they might as well get paid to produce something decent
from the start. It might only take a few ethical companies to sign up for
the thing to take off.

Sarah



[1] https://stats.wikimedia.org/EN/SummaryEN.htm
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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] What it means to be a high-tech organization

2016-02-23 Thread Sydney Poore
Thanks for writing this email Brion. I agree that the movement needs to
invest more in people and the processes that support people.

One of the largest challenges facing the wikimedia movement, including WMF,
is creating good models for how people in the movement can successfully
engage with each other.

This means investing in people and structures that provide ample time and
motivation to engage/collaborate with other people.

For the past 4 years (at least), I've had the sense that WMF is attempting
to accomplish important public facing projects/programs/initiatives on a
tight time line, and it is causing strain inside WMF, with affiliate
organization, and with the larger wikimedia community.

Instead of a well executed "continual improvement process"1  like "Kaizen" 2,
"Agile" 3, or "Lean" 4, the timelines are rushed and too often WMf staff is
redirected from their planned activities.

Affiliates and the community have to shift their priories so are not well
positioned to engage with WMF. The work sprints appeal to people in the
wikimedia movement who tend towards addictive personalities and
unfortunately it normalizes the process. And the tight timelines hinder
engagement from people in the global movement who do not regularly engage
on meta.

While there has been justification made in each situations for the
accelerated timelines, this form of community engagement is far from ideal
and it has contributed to the miscommunication and stress felt by WMF staff
and the whole wikimedia movement.

So, while I'm eager to have changes that improve governance of WMF and
strengthen the wikimedia movement as a whole, I strongly urge that an
adequate time, resources and people are invested in the process to
implement the changes.

1 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Continual_improvement_process
2 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaizen
3 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agile_management
4 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lean_software_development#Lean_principles
Warm regards,
Sydney Poore
User:FloNight

Sydney Poore
User:FloNight
Wikipedian in Residence
at Cochrane Collaboration

On Tue, Feb 23, 2016 at 4:29 PM, Brion Vibber  wrote:

> I think there are many different interpretations of what it means to "be a
> high-tech organization", which makes it a difficult label to base arguments
> around; readers will interpret it very differently depending on their
> personal experiences and biases.
>
> One view might concentrate on notions of "innovation", "excellence", or
> "return on investment" achieved through super-smart people creating unique
> technology -- this view associates "high-tech" with success, competitive
> advantage, brand awareness/marketshare, and money (profit for traditional
> corporations, or investment in the mission for non-profits).
>
> Another view might concentrate on other features considered common to
> "high-tech" companies such as toxic work environments, lack of diversity,
> overemphasis on engineering versus other disciplines, disconnection from
> users' needs, and a laser-focus on achieving profits at the expense of
> long-term thinking. This view associates "high-tech" with social and
> economic inequality and exploitation of employees and users for their labor
> & attention to the detriment of their physical and emotional health.
>
> And there are many, much subtler connotations to be found in between.
>
>
> I believe a high-tech organization should invest in smart people creating
> unique technology. But I also think it should invest in people, period.
> Staff and volunteers must be cultivated and supported -- that's how loyalty
> and passion are developed, and I believe they pay dividends in productivity
> and recruitment.
>
> Absolutely Wikimedia Foundation needs to build better technologies --
> technologies to serve the needs of our editors, our readers, our
> photographers, our citation reviewers, etc. This means Wikimedia Foundation
> needs a good relationship with those people to research, brainstorm, plan,
> develop, test, redevelop, retest, and roll out software successfully. The
> people who represent Wikimedia Foundation in those relationships are its
> staff, so it's important for management to support them in their work and
> help them succeed.
>
> It is my sincere hope that when the current crises are resolved, that the
> Board of Trustees and the executive can agree on at least this much as a
> shared vision for the Foundation.
>
> -- brion
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] What it means to be a high-tech organization

2016-02-23 Thread pajz
Sarah,

thank you and Brion for some really insightful e-mails. I'll just add one
thought to one of your points.

On 24 February 2016 at 00:41, SarahSV  wrote:

> Should the Foundation be paying for that kind of work
> and thinking in those ways? I would say not.

[...]

4. Rethinking Sue's decision that the Foundation would never pay for
>
content. I can think of several ways in which the Foundation could either
> pay or facilitate payment.
>

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.

That would ensure we have a fully-funded (but not over-funded) WMF, we've
all done something good for the world, readers have a way to show
appreciation for editors, we don't negatively affect the intrinsic
motivation of editors by giving them money, all while transaction costs are
low as there'd just be one cumulative transfer per organization.
Economically speaking, I also think it's quite efficient: The WMF has a
great shiny product to showcase: Wikipedia. Wikipedia is something that
lots of people use, and benefit from, so it's rather easy to get them to
donate. On the other hand, if a more "classical" charity spends money on
installing water dispensers in Malawi, that goes unnoticed by most people.
So you'd expect that redirecting money to other charities should also
increase the total amout of donations made. Aside from that, the marginal
utility of the 50,000,001st dollar received the WMF is probably pretty low,
whereas if you're in the business of installing water dispensers, one would
expect it to be pretty high.

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

2016-02-23 Thread James Salsman
Sorry, http://mediawiki.org/wiki/Accuracy_review


On Tue, Feb 23, 2016 at 4:59 PM, James Salsman  wrote:
> SarahSV wrote:
>>
>>... how does a tech organization nurture and support its unpaid
>> workforce of mostly writers and researchers?
>
> I remain convinced that http://wikimedia.org/wiki/Accuracy_review can
> solve this problem through a new spinoff such as WikiEd Foundation,
> but that's still probably at least a year off.

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

2016-02-23 Thread James Salsman
SarahSV wrote:
>
>... how does a tech organization nurture and support its unpaid
> workforce of mostly writers and researchers?

I remain convinced that http://wikimedia.org/wiki/Accuracy_review can
solve this problem through a new spinoff such as WikiEd Foundation,
but that's still probably at least a year off.

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

2016-02-23 Thread Brion Vibber
Thanks for the thoughtful response; you've raised some excellent points
that strongly warrant further discussion.

Some more recent initiatives like the Community Tech team have been
specifically meant to help "power users" get stuff done; I hope that's
working out and helping, and that the focus on providing tools that our
contributors want and need continues.

The topic of unpaid labor -- and exploiting addictive behaviors -- is a
general one with free and open source software specifically, as well as
user generated content generally, and I agree it deserves a lot more
thought.

-- brion
On Feb 23, 2016 3:41 PM, "SarahSV"  wrote:

> On Tue, Feb 23, 2016 at 4:02 PM, Brion Vibber 
> wrote:
>
> >
> >
> > I think first we have to ask: why did many people feel attacked or in
> > unwanted adversarial positions before (both among volunteers, and among
> > staff)? What sort of interactions and behavior were seen as problematic,
> > and what led up to them?
> >
>
> ​The crux of the problem is that we all see ourselves as bosses.
> ​The paid workers don't want to be told what to do by the unpaid, and vice
> versa.
>
> There were clashes around the introduction of software, but these were only
> flashpoints. There was (and remains) a simmering resentment of the paid
> among the unpaid, for obvious reasons. And the paid staff seemed to regard
> experienced editors as "power users" who need to be chased off, missing the
> point that (a) "power users" have invaluable experience and a very unusual
> skill set that should be used not discarded, and (b) that the new users the
> Foundation wants to cultivate will become "power users" too one day if
> they're cultivated well – unless the idea is to appeal only to occasional
> users who want to fix typos, but you won't get an encyclopaedia that way.
>
> You mentioned the "exploitation of employees and users for their labor
> " in your email, and I'm glad you did, because that's almost never
> discussed. It was in part why there was such a strong reaction to the
> misunderstanding about the Knowledge Engine. We had visions of the
> Foundation trying to create yet another unpaid workforce to "curate" search
> results.
>
> I don't want this email to be essay-length, but let me raise an issue
> that's closely related to exploitation, namely addiction. A lot of the
> unpaid workers are addicted to what they do, and I've seen staffers discuss
> how to keep them that way (e.g. by creating feedback loops of responses to
> keep people going). Should the Foundation be paying for that kind of work
> and thinking in those ways? I would say not.
> ​
> So the question of how to support volunteers involves:
>
> 1. Recognizing that we are an unpaid workforce.
>
> 2. Recognizing that there are questions about exploitation and addiction
> that should be discussed, and that these are serious ethical and perhaps
> even public-health issues.
>
> 3. Developing an attitude of social responsibility toward us within the
> Foundation, rather than seeing us as a nuisance and an obstacle.
>
> 4. Rethinking Sue's decision that the Foundation would never pay for
> content. I can think of several ways in which the Foundation could either
> pay or facilitate payment.
>
> I'll leave it there, because this is long, and perhaps reply to your other
> points in another email. Just one final thought. When I lived in London
> years ago, a new newspaper started for homeless people, The Big Issue. It
> is sold by the homeless on the streets, with the idea of giving them a way
> to earn an income. The homeless and other volunteers also used to help
> write it. The idea was that, as it became more successful, everyone would
> be paid, because the concept of it was to lift everyone up.
>
> I would love to see the Wikimedia Foundation embrace that philosophy,
> namely that part of its job is to nurture its workforce (paid and unpaid),
> offer them opportunity where it can, lift them up, educate them, show them
> how to educate others, and respect them, so that everyone who gets involved
> seriously with Wikipedia finds their lives improved because of that
> involvement.
>
> Sarah
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] What it means to be a high-tech organization

2016-02-23 Thread SarahSV
On Tue, Feb 23, 2016 at 4:02 PM, Brion Vibber  wrote:

>
>
> I think first we have to ask: why did many people feel attacked or in
> unwanted adversarial positions before (both among volunteers, and among
> staff)? What sort of interactions and behavior were seen as problematic,
> and what led up to them?
>

​The crux of the problem is that we all see ourselves as bosses.
​The paid workers don't want to be told what to do by the unpaid, and vice
versa.

There were clashes around the introduction of software, but these were only
flashpoints. There was (and remains) a simmering resentment of the paid
among the unpaid, for obvious reasons. And the paid staff seemed to regard
experienced editors as "power users" who need to be chased off, missing the
point that (a) "power users" have invaluable experience and a very unusual
skill set that should be used not discarded, and (b) that the new users the
Foundation wants to cultivate will become "power users" too one day if
they're cultivated well – unless the idea is to appeal only to occasional
users who want to fix typos, but you won't get an encyclopaedia that way.

You mentioned the "exploitation of employees and users for their labor
" in your email, and I'm glad you did, because that's almost never
discussed. It was in part why there was such a strong reaction to the
misunderstanding about the Knowledge Engine. We had visions of the
Foundation trying to create yet another unpaid workforce to "curate" search
results.

I don't want this email to be essay-length, but let me raise an issue
that's closely related to exploitation, namely addiction. A lot of the
unpaid workers are addicted to what they do, and I've seen staffers discuss
how to keep them that way (e.g. by creating feedback loops of responses to
keep people going). Should the Foundation be paying for that kind of work
and thinking in those ways? I would say not.
​
So the question of how to support volunteers involves:

1. Recognizing that we are an unpaid workforce.

2. Recognizing that there are questions about exploitation and addiction
that should be discussed, and that these are serious ethical and perhaps
even public-health issues.

3. Developing an attitude of social responsibility toward us within the
Foundation, rather than seeing us as a nuisance and an obstacle.

4. Rethinking Sue's decision that the Foundation would never pay for
content. I can think of several ways in which the Foundation could either
pay or facilitate payment.

I'll leave it there, because this is long, and perhaps reply to your other
points in another email. Just one final thought. When I lived in London
years ago, a new newspaper started for homeless people, The Big Issue. It
is sold by the homeless on the streets, with the idea of giving them a way
to earn an income. The homeless and other volunteers also used to help
write it. The idea was that, as it became more successful, everyone would
be paid, because the concept of it was to lift everyone up.

I would love to see the Wikimedia Foundation embrace that philosophy,
namely that part of its job is to nurture its workforce (paid and unpaid),
offer them opportunity where it can, lift them up, educate them, show them
how to educate others, and respect them, so that everyone who gets involved
seriously with Wikipedia finds their lives improved because of that
involvement.

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

2016-02-23 Thread Brion Vibber
On Tue, Feb 23, 2016 at 2:34 PM, SarahSV  wrote:

> On Tue, Feb 23, 2016 at 2:29 PM, Brion Vibber 
> wrote:
>
> >
> > I believe a high-tech organization should invest in smart people creating
> > unique technology. But I also think it should invest in people, period.
> > Staff and volunteers must be cultivated and supported -- that's how
> loyalty
> > and passion are developed, and I believe they pay dividends in
> productivity
> > and recruitment.
> >
>
> ​Brian, I'd be interested to hear how volunteers could be cultivated and
> supported. We felt under attack by the Foundation until Lila arrived, and I
> think a lot of editors are grateful to her for having improved that
> relationship. But not feeling attacked isn't the same as feeling supported.


> The Foundation often boasts that it only has around 200 employees, but the
> truth is that it has an enormous unpaid workforce. Most of us don't go to
> meet-ups, so we don't even see travel expenses. We're grateful if we can
> get a free JSTOR subscription.
>
> Sue Gardner once declared that the Foundation would never pay for content,
> which was a blow to those of us who produce it. Unpaid workers with
> technical skills might one day be paid, but if your skills are editorial,
> forget it. That very much supports the idea that the Foundation is a tech
> organization and not an educational one.
>
> So – how does a tech organization nurture and support its unpaid workforce
> of mostly writers and researchers?
>

Excellent questions, and important ones for WMF and the wider Wikimedia
movement to explore and answer.


I think first we have to ask: why did many people feel attacked or in
unwanted adversarial positions before (both among volunteers, and among
staff)? What sort of interactions and behavior were seen as problematic,
and what led up to them?

Second we have to ask: given that several people on this list have
described improved relationships with staff in the last year or so, what
has actually changed in those interactions, and what can we do to make sure
we keep doing well?

Third we have to ask: what do our volunteer editors, module writers,
template tweakers, copyright divers, and library researchers need to
further the mission that they don't already have, and what can WMF do to
help them?

I know I'm answering questions with questions, but I think that's where we
stand; I do not have a "do this" answer to give beyond listening and
adjusting our behavior based on what we hear. I suspect that folks who have
worked on the 'product' side of WMF in talking to users about our software
projects have already been learning some of these lessons, but it's
important that we document and retain that knowledge and make it a
deliberate part of how WMF operates.


In that third subquestion is an implicit decision point, which is the crux:
"what can WMF do to help them?" can only be answered within the context of
what monetary and human "resources" the company has available or believes
it can develop.

It may well be that the answer is "WMF concentrates on building and
operating the tech that content-contributing Wikimedians use to accomplish
amazing things" while things like coordinating activity in specific content
areas is managed by other organizations -- I've seen people cite the Wiki
Education Foundation which helps organize professor & student activity as
being a good example of this sort of work going on, though I have to admit
I'm not intimately familiar with them.

I would personally love to see people employed to do serious content work,
and I'd rather see them supported through educationally-minded institutions
than be hired by random PR firms to work on their clients' articles. I
don't know whether that's politically feasible through WMF now or in the
future, but I also think it's important that the WMF not be seen as the
only funding game in town either.

That, too, might need further thinking about how we fundraise as a movement.

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

2016-02-23 Thread SarahSV
On Tue, Feb 23, 2016 at 2:29 PM, Brion Vibber  wrote:

>
> I believe a high-tech organization should invest in smart people creating
> unique technology. But I also think it should invest in people, period.
> Staff and volunteers must be cultivated and supported -- that's how loyalty
> and passion are developed, and I believe they pay dividends in productivity
> and recruitment.
>

​Brian, I'd be interested to hear how volunteers could be cultivated and
supported. We felt under attack by the Foundation until Lila arrived, and I
think a lot of editors are grateful to her for having improved that
relationship. But not feeling attacked isn't the same as feeling supported.

The Foundation often boasts that it only has around 200 employees, but the
truth is that it has an enormous unpaid workforce. Most of us don't go to
meet-ups, so we don't even see travel expenses. We're grateful if we can
get a free JSTOR subscription.

Sue Gardner once declared that the Foundation would never pay for content,
which was a blow to those of us who produce it. Unpaid workers with
technical skills might one day be paid, but if your skills are editorial,
forget it. That very much supports the idea that the Foundation is a tech
organization and not an educational one.

So – how does a tech organization nurture and support its unpaid workforce
of mostly writers and researchers?

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

2016-02-23 Thread Leigh Thelmadatter
As a humanities person myself, I did read into Lila's post that the 
non-engineering aspects of Wikimedia would take a back seat... perhaps a far 
back seat to all the shiny new things happening in Silicon Valley. This may not 
be the case, but if it is, I can understand it as to an engineer, everything is 
a tech issue.
I have been a college professor for 20 some-odd years and despite my linguistic 
and humanities background, don´t hate technology. I dont love it as much as 
others, but simply the fact that I will touch it has made me something of the 
technology "expert" in the various colleges and universities language 
departments I have taught.
Brion touches on something very important here... especially with the words 
"user disconnection."  Integration computer technology has been the buzzword 
for decades, but we are still in many ways no closer to effectively using 
technology in educational institutions than we were in the 1990s.  Some of it 
is how fast technology changes, but most, IMHO, is a lack of understanding of 
how to best use the tools that we have and will be invented.
Teachers and administrators, in my area at least, either swing toward 
"Technology is useless." to "If we buy stuff, it will solve all our problems."  
Heck, I had to laugh when MOOC's got introduced as a way to have large classes 
with only one lecturer. We have learned nothing from the first online classes 
in the 1990s, mostly because adminstrators still pray for 1000-student classes 
paying for only one professor. I exaggerate, but not by much.
Perhaps the most difficult thing is matching technology with the needs of end 
users, often because computer people and the rest of us look at the technology 
so differently. Unlike a doctor, who can tell patients what is good for them 
(or rather their bodies), engineers often understand what we non-techie end 
users need about as much we understand how to code.
This is one reason why schools waste so much money when it comes to technology. 
We have teachers who understand their classes but not the technology, and 
technology experts that do not know how to teach writing, history, philosophy, 
foreign language etc. 
Finding someone to bridge the gap, IMHO is crucial. 
It could be tempting for a Foundation in Silicon Valley to work solely on the 
technology end, but the end users (readers and editors) see Wikipedia/Wikimedia 
as a reference first. The technology serves the goal of informing and 
educating.  Not all technologies do help this. For example, in the 1990s and 
part of the 2000s, early research seemed to indicate that the immediate 
feedback from foreign language practice software was a benefit for students, as 
they could do more practice in less time. More recent research seems to 
indicate this benefit is limited at best. Fast and superficial feedback seems 
to get ignored, especially after the novelty has worn off.
My point is that it is necessary to monitor trends and make sure Wikipedia does 
not get so aniquitated that is it left behind. But on the other hand, blindly 
chasing new tech fads can tear the organization and the humans still very much 
needed to add to, improve and update a huge gathering of data. Any new 
technologies we want to explore must conform to the main purpose of Wikimedia, 
the free dissemination of information. I have no problem with, say, Wikipedia 
content be reused for other formats (it is already.) but that encyclopedic 
basis needs to remain intact and accessible to all, not just those who know all 
the new tech gizmos.


> Date: Tue, 23 Feb 2016 13:29:17 -0800
> From: bvib...@wikimedia.org
> To: wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> Subject: [Wikimedia-l] What it means to be a high-tech organization
> 
> I think there are many different interpretations of what it means to "be a
> high-tech organization", which makes it a difficult label to base arguments
> around; readers will interpret it very differently depending on their
> personal experiences and biases.
> 
> One view might concentrate on notions of "innovation", "excellence", or
> "return on investment" achieved through super-smart people creating unique
> technology -- this view associates "high-tech" with success, competitive
> advantage, brand awareness/marketshare, and money (profit for traditional
> corporations, or investment in the mission for non-profits).
> 
> Another view might concentrate on other features considered common to
> "high-tech" companies such as toxic work environments, lack of diversity,
> overemphasis on engineering versus other disciplines, disconnection from
> users' needs, and a laser-focus on achieving profits at the expense of
> long-term thinking. This view associates "high-tech" with social and
> economic inequality and exploitation of employees and users for their labor