Re: [Wikimedia-l] Why are we so boring?

2015-12-10 Thread Pierre-Selim
Well speaking only for myself,

 I love tacking things seriously and I'm probably a boring guy.
However I seems to have a lot of very fun memories of all the wikimedia
related time I spent.

Selective memory, or somehow dullness might be fun too :)

2015-12-10 16:17 GMT+01:00 Milos Rancic :

> First of all, it's obvious that the part of our movement already
> suffers from the "old grey man" illusion, although the most of us are
> not old nor grey.
>
> That's typical modernist paradigm, which brought many achievements to
> our civilization, but also removed decision-making power from the
> majority of population: women + minorities consist definitely more
> than 50% of population.
>
> We have to move from that point. Yes, it's hard as our main product is
> of modernist nature, but I think we are clever enough to overcome it.
>
> Participation in Wikimedia movement requires a lot of time. That's the
> reason why we have to have fun while working on it. Otherwise, anyone
> not willing not to have fun during significant portion of their
> everyday life wouldn't be excited to be with us. And there are many
> reasons why we need them.
>
> And not just that. I am sure I am not the only Wikimedian
> significantly demotivated to work on important things for our movement
> just because we are boring. It's exhausting to work on various issues
> if the only set of benefits is consisted of "Thanks! This is
> important!" and similar more or less elaborate variants. I want to be
> eager to do those things, to expect fun after spending time on doing
> "important things". Although my beard is partially grey, I definitely
> don't strive to be an "old grey man", emotionally fulfilled
> exclusively by the fact that I did something important.
>
> Think about what we are offering to any of us, as well as to newcomers:
> * You are working on an epochal project.
> * You have to have all "serious" qualities to do that.
> * If you are suffering from OCD, you'll find that it's extremely fun
> to correct typos and categorize pages.
> * You could become a member of your own local organization and spend a
> lot of time arguing with other people suffering from OCD. You know,
> it's a kind of fulfilling.
> * We are more and more important and you'll find it's fun to
> participate in official ceremonies and cocktails with important
> people.
> * 
>
> Basically, we tell us and newcomers that we have to work an unpaid and
> boring part time job because we'll be more successful in doing other
> boring things. It is important, but it works for just a small part of
> population. And, of course, it's not fun.
>
> * * *
>
> But let's go to the brighter side... From your responses, including a
> couple of them sent to me privately, I'd conclude the next and call
> for action.
>
> * There is one thing I missed while writing this. Obviously, some
> Wikimedians do have fun anyway. It could be because of different
> cultural expectations, but also because some of you know and
> practicing something the rest of us don't. So, please, share with us
> how you have fun during Wikimedia meetings and conferences! Let's
> start here, then we could create a Meta page for sharing ideas.
>
> * There are a number of fixable things and they are related to what
> Chris said: event management and meeting skills. I think we are mature
> enough to find a way how to get and share the knowledge on those
> topics.
>
> If WMF requires from chapters and other affiliate groups to develop
> strong formal procedures, it could also at least offer help in making
> our events and meetings more interesting.
>
> If contemporary progressive companies all over the world are able to
> make things a bit more shiny with all of those "team buildings" and
> similar bullshits, I am sure it would be much easier to achieve that
> inside of our, mostly volunteering environment. Mostly, we are not
> here to do boring things; we are here to have a kind of fun, no matter
> how weird it could look like. So, it shouldn't be hard to get positive
> outcome if we implement some of the contemporary straight-forward HR
> and organizational methods.
>
> * Software. How hard is to implement XMPP-based web chat? I see a
> number of contemporary free software web platforms offering it. Yes,
> we are a decade late, but it's better sooner than later anyway. Other
> social features? Any *really* *interesting* and educational game
> around? And, of course, opt-in only because we have "old grey men"
> which would be offended by the idea that serious work could be also
> fun and social.
>
> * The level of our culture is the most complex one. Bad news is the
> fact that there are no howtos for making a culture more fun. Good news
> is that it's not hard to have fun and to spread it around yourselves.
> And that should help. And, yes, everything above counts in changing
> the culture from being boring to being fun.
>
> ___
> Wikimedia-l mailing 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Why are we so boring?

2015-12-10 Thread Milos Rancic
First of all, it's obvious that the part of our movement already
suffers from the "old grey man" illusion, although the most of us are
not old nor grey.

That's typical modernist paradigm, which brought many achievements to
our civilization, but also removed decision-making power from the
majority of population: women + minorities consist definitely more
than 50% of population.

We have to move from that point. Yes, it's hard as our main product is
of modernist nature, but I think we are clever enough to overcome it.

Participation in Wikimedia movement requires a lot of time. That's the
reason why we have to have fun while working on it. Otherwise, anyone
not willing not to have fun during significant portion of their
everyday life wouldn't be excited to be with us. And there are many
reasons why we need them.

And not just that. I am sure I am not the only Wikimedian
significantly demotivated to work on important things for our movement
just because we are boring. It's exhausting to work on various issues
if the only set of benefits is consisted of "Thanks! This is
important!" and similar more or less elaborate variants. I want to be
eager to do those things, to expect fun after spending time on doing
"important things". Although my beard is partially grey, I definitely
don't strive to be an "old grey man", emotionally fulfilled
exclusively by the fact that I did something important.

Think about what we are offering to any of us, as well as to newcomers:
* You are working on an epochal project.
* You have to have all "serious" qualities to do that.
* If you are suffering from OCD, you'll find that it's extremely fun
to correct typos and categorize pages.
* You could become a member of your own local organization and spend a
lot of time arguing with other people suffering from OCD. You know,
it's a kind of fulfilling.
* We are more and more important and you'll find it's fun to
participate in official ceremonies and cocktails with important
people.
* 

Basically, we tell us and newcomers that we have to work an unpaid and
boring part time job because we'll be more successful in doing other
boring things. It is important, but it works for just a small part of
population. And, of course, it's not fun.

* * *

But let's go to the brighter side... From your responses, including a
couple of them sent to me privately, I'd conclude the next and call
for action.

* There is one thing I missed while writing this. Obviously, some
Wikimedians do have fun anyway. It could be because of different
cultural expectations, but also because some of you know and
practicing something the rest of us don't. So, please, share with us
how you have fun during Wikimedia meetings and conferences! Let's
start here, then we could create a Meta page for sharing ideas.

* There are a number of fixable things and they are related to what
Chris said: event management and meeting skills. I think we are mature
enough to find a way how to get and share the knowledge on those
topics.

If WMF requires from chapters and other affiliate groups to develop
strong formal procedures, it could also at least offer help in making
our events and meetings more interesting.

If contemporary progressive companies all over the world are able to
make things a bit more shiny with all of those "team buildings" and
similar bullshits, I am sure it would be much easier to achieve that
inside of our, mostly volunteering environment. Mostly, we are not
here to do boring things; we are here to have a kind of fun, no matter
how weird it could look like. So, it shouldn't be hard to get positive
outcome if we implement some of the contemporary straight-forward HR
and organizational methods.

* Software. How hard is to implement XMPP-based web chat? I see a
number of contemporary free software web platforms offering it. Yes,
we are a decade late, but it's better sooner than later anyway. Other
social features? Any *really* *interesting* and educational game
around? And, of course, opt-in only because we have "old grey men"
which would be offended by the idea that serious work could be also
fun and social.

* The level of our culture is the most complex one. Bad news is the
fact that there are no howtos for making a culture more fun. Good news
is that it's not hard to have fun and to spread it around yourselves.
And that should help. And, yes, everything above counts in changing
the culture from being boring to being fun.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Why are we so boring?

2015-12-08 Thread Anders Wennersten

Do you imply boring is a bad thing?

In a world more and more focusing on show and 10 seconds fame, I am 
proud and glad to be part of another type of society, where truth, 
reflection and serious discussions are at focus


Donald Trump is one of the least boring people just now, but I would be 
seriously unhappy if our movement was dominated with Donald Trump clones


Anders



Den 2015-12-08 kl. 14:36, skrev Milos Rancic:

We are. It's not about particular thread on this list, it's about our
existence. Initially I thought it's because the level of our
responsibility, but eventually I've realized we are simply boring and
nobody bothers about that.

Our meetings and conferences look like the meetings of a regional branch of
German Social Democratic Party at the best. In regular occasions they are
more like the meetings of a village cell of a communist party from an East
European country during the 80s.

This enormous distance between the value of our work and ideals and
presenting ourselves to *us* in the range between shiny snake oil merchants
and demagogues nobody trusts is quite striking. (OK, there is one more end,
thus making a triangle: highly specialized topics which require highly
specialized knowledge to participate.)

The distance is also quite striking because the most witty people I ever
met are from the Wikimedia movement itself.

It's endemic. From local Wikimedian meetings to Wikimania. The most
interesting part of such events is talking with other Wikimedians.
Listening talks, lectures and ceremonies is the worst option. Workshops and
collective decision making are like gambling: it could be constructive, but
it could also be not just wasting time but occult session with the only one
goal: to drain the energy from the participants.

On average, I would rather spend two times more time talking with a
Wikimedian than listening her or his lecture or talk.

There are some straight forward techniques. For example, we could work on
making our talks much better. We could also ask HR professionals how to
make our live interaction better.

However, being boring is somehow quite deeply rooted inside of our culture.
While trying to become "serious", we lost our ability to be playful.
Creativity is something we treat as the least important of our activities.

This is not something which could be fixed quickly. There is no a pill to
magically cure it. But we could start thinking about this as a problem and
start implementing various ideas to tackle it.

I wouldn't say that our revolution forbids us to dance. (Whenever somebody
from Bay Area is DJ-ing, we dance and it's beautiful, no matter how trashy
the music is.) But I am sure we can do better.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Why are we so boring?

2015-12-08 Thread Jane Darnell
I wouldn't object to more Australians spread around the Wikiverse, and they
are always welcome in the Netherlands

On Tue, Dec 8, 2015 at 3:11 PM, Gnangarra  wrote:

> maybe the movement needs to get a few more Australians around events to
> liven things up, as its never boring here... we'll even bring drop bears
>  and other furry creatures to
> keep
> people on their toes  
>
> On 8 December 2015 at 21:47, Anders Wennersten 
> wrote:
>
> > Do you imply boring is a bad thing?
> >
> > In a world more and more focusing on show and 10 seconds fame, I am proud
> > and glad to be part of another type of society, where truth, reflection
> and
> > serious discussions are at focus
> >
> > Donald Trump is one of the least boring people just now, but I would be
> > seriously unhappy if our movement was dominated with Donald Trump clones
> >
> > Anders
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Den 2015-12-08 kl. 14:36, skrev Milos Rancic:
> >
> >> We are. It's not about particular thread on this list, it's about our
> >> existence. Initially I thought it's because the level of our
> >> responsibility, but eventually I've realized we are simply boring and
> >> nobody bothers about that.
> >>
> >> Our meetings and conferences look like the meetings of a regional branch
> >> of
> >> German Social Democratic Party at the best. In regular occasions they
> are
> >> more like the meetings of a village cell of a communist party from an
> East
> >> European country during the 80s.
> >>
> >> This enormous distance between the value of our work and ideals and
> >> presenting ourselves to *us* in the range between shiny snake oil
> >> merchants
> >> and demagogues nobody trusts is quite striking. (OK, there is one more
> >> end,
> >> thus making a triangle: highly specialized topics which require highly
> >> specialized knowledge to participate.)
> >>
> >> The distance is also quite striking because the most witty people I ever
> >> met are from the Wikimedia movement itself.
> >>
> >> It's endemic. From local Wikimedian meetings to Wikimania. The most
> >> interesting part of such events is talking with other Wikimedians.
> >> Listening talks, lectures and ceremonies is the worst option. Workshops
> >> and
> >> collective decision making are like gambling: it could be constructive,
> >> but
> >> it could also be not just wasting time but occult session with the only
> >> one
> >> goal: to drain the energy from the participants.
> >>
> >> On average, I would rather spend two times more time talking with a
> >> Wikimedian than listening her or his lecture or talk.
> >>
> >> There are some straight forward techniques. For example, we could work
> on
> >> making our talks much better. We could also ask HR professionals how to
> >> make our live interaction better.
> >>
> >> However, being boring is somehow quite deeply rooted inside of our
> >> culture.
> >> While trying to become "serious", we lost our ability to be playful.
> >> Creativity is something we treat as the least important of our
> activities.
> >>
> >> This is not something which could be fixed quickly. There is no a pill
> to
> >> magically cure it. But we could start thinking about this as a problem
> and
> >> start implementing various ideas to tackle it.
> >>
> >> I wouldn't say that our revolution forbids us to dance. (Whenever
> somebody
> >> from Bay Area is DJ-ing, we dance and it's beautiful, no matter how
> trashy
> >> the music is.) But I am sure we can do better.
> >> ___
> >> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> >> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> >> Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> >> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> >> 
> >>
> >
> >
> > ___
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > 
> >
>
>
>
> --
> GN.
> President Wikimedia Australia
> WMAU: http://www.wikimedia.org.au/wiki/User:Gnangarra
> Photo Gallery: http://gnangarra.redbubble.com
> ___
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> 
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Why are we so boring?

2015-12-08 Thread Gnangarra
maybe the movement needs to get a few more Australians around events to
liven things up, as its never boring here... we'll even bring drop bears
 and other furry creatures to keep
people on their toes  

On 8 December 2015 at 21:47, Anders Wennersten 
wrote:

> Do you imply boring is a bad thing?
>
> In a world more and more focusing on show and 10 seconds fame, I am proud
> and glad to be part of another type of society, where truth, reflection and
> serious discussions are at focus
>
> Donald Trump is one of the least boring people just now, but I would be
> seriously unhappy if our movement was dominated with Donald Trump clones
>
> Anders
>
>
>
>
> Den 2015-12-08 kl. 14:36, skrev Milos Rancic:
>
>> We are. It's not about particular thread on this list, it's about our
>> existence. Initially I thought it's because the level of our
>> responsibility, but eventually I've realized we are simply boring and
>> nobody bothers about that.
>>
>> Our meetings and conferences look like the meetings of a regional branch
>> of
>> German Social Democratic Party at the best. In regular occasions they are
>> more like the meetings of a village cell of a communist party from an East
>> European country during the 80s.
>>
>> This enormous distance between the value of our work and ideals and
>> presenting ourselves to *us* in the range between shiny snake oil
>> merchants
>> and demagogues nobody trusts is quite striking. (OK, there is one more
>> end,
>> thus making a triangle: highly specialized topics which require highly
>> specialized knowledge to participate.)
>>
>> The distance is also quite striking because the most witty people I ever
>> met are from the Wikimedia movement itself.
>>
>> It's endemic. From local Wikimedian meetings to Wikimania. The most
>> interesting part of such events is talking with other Wikimedians.
>> Listening talks, lectures and ceremonies is the worst option. Workshops
>> and
>> collective decision making are like gambling: it could be constructive,
>> but
>> it could also be not just wasting time but occult session with the only
>> one
>> goal: to drain the energy from the participants.
>>
>> On average, I would rather spend two times more time talking with a
>> Wikimedian than listening her or his lecture or talk.
>>
>> There are some straight forward techniques. For example, we could work on
>> making our talks much better. We could also ask HR professionals how to
>> make our live interaction better.
>>
>> However, being boring is somehow quite deeply rooted inside of our
>> culture.
>> While trying to become "serious", we lost our ability to be playful.
>> Creativity is something we treat as the least important of our activities.
>>
>> This is not something which could be fixed quickly. There is no a pill to
>> magically cure it. But we could start thinking about this as a problem and
>> start implementing various ideas to tackle it.
>>
>> I wouldn't say that our revolution forbids us to dance. (Whenever somebody
>> from Bay Area is DJ-ing, we dance and it's beautiful, no matter how trashy
>> the music is.) But I am sure we can do better.
>> ___
>> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
>> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
>> Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
>> 
>>
>
>
> ___
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> Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> 
>



-- 
GN.
President Wikimedia Australia
WMAU: http://www.wikimedia.org.au/wiki/User:Gnangarra
Photo Gallery: http://gnangarra.redbubble.com
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Why are we so boring?

2015-12-08 Thread Yaroslav M. Blanter

On 2015-12-08 17:57, Andreas Kolbe wrote:

I like that post, Milos. :)

The other day someone suggested to me in a chat Wikipedia should have a
function like Skype, or IM, so people could chat about stuff privately. 
I
think it's a great idea. (Obviously you would have to make it so people 
can

only instant-message you after you've accepted their contact request.)

At the same time, I have a feeling such a proposal made on wiki would 
sink

like a lead duck. On Wikipedia, having friends and talking to them
PRIVATELY on a Wikipedia feature where (shock! horror!) others are 
EXCLUDED

and can't see what you're saying elicits dire fears of "canvassing",
"cabal" and other such words (while people still generally accept that 
it
is okay for contributors to have email correspondence, or talk to 
someone

in the pub).

I am not even saying that such fears would be unjustified – the Eastern
European Mailing List arbitration case comes to mind – but it is 
somehow a
weird culture. And as Milos says, all of that tends to evaporate when 
you
are actually standing in a corridor at an event, or having your lunch 
and

chatting.

Andreas



I think as soon as there is no reference to this chat as a 
decision-making venue (like "We have chatted and I unblocked them", or, 
even worse, "blocked them"), it should be ok, and might be even accepted 
as an on-wiki suggestion (we have irc anyway, and many people are there 
24h/24), but then of course someone would need to lobby it, organize 
RfC, closing etc.


Cheers
Yaroslav

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Why are we so boring?

2015-12-08 Thread Yaroslav M. Blanter

On 2015-12-08 17:39, Sebastian Moleski wrote:
On Tue, Dec 8, 2015 at 1:47 PM, Anders Wennersten 


wrote:

Indeed, I would agree with Milos here. I'd like for many of our events 
to
become more approachable by and relatable to the non-nerdy general 
public.
We've built something that hundreds of millions of people are using. 
Yet,
more often than not, we act more like an obscure/niche open source 
project

(nothing wrong with them - but they neither aim nor will every reach a
similar impact).

Cheers,



Actually, I think one can write a popular book about out movement which 
would be fun. Just everybody is lazy.


Cheers
Yaroslav

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Why are we so boring?

2015-12-08 Thread Andreas Kolbe
I like that post, Milos. :)

Frankly I think this is also one of the main reasons why women are not
particularly attracted to Wikipedia. There would have to be much more
gregariousness and socialising for that to happen (the percentage of women
at the movement's social events is always considerably larger than it is
online). I guess it's one reason why edit-a-thons manage to attract women:
you can actually have a chat and a laugh and a coffee with someone in
between edits. It makes it *actually* communal; you interact face to face
on a first name basis, not with some screen pseudonym.

The other day someone suggested to me in a chat Wikipedia should have a
function like Skype, or IM, so people could chat about stuff privately. I
think it's a great idea. (Obviously you would have to make it so people can
only instant-message you after you've accepted their contact request.)

At the same time, I have a feeling such a proposal made on wiki would sink
like a lead duck. On Wikipedia, having friends and talking to them
PRIVATELY on a Wikipedia feature where (shock! horror!) others are EXCLUDED
and can't see what you're saying elicits dire fears of "canvassing",
"cabal" and other such words (while people still generally accept that it
is okay for contributors to have email correspondence, or talk to someone
in the pub).

I am not even saying that such fears would be unjustified – the Eastern
European Mailing List arbitration case comes to mind – but it is somehow a
weird culture. And as Milos says, all of that tends to evaporate when you
are actually standing in a corridor at an event, or having your lunch and
chatting.

Andreas

On Tue, Dec 8, 2015 at 1:36 PM, Milos Rancic  wrote:

> We are. It's not about particular thread on this list, it's about our
> existence. Initially I thought it's because the level of our
> responsibility, but eventually I've realized we are simply boring and
> nobody bothers about that.
>
> Our meetings and conferences look like the meetings of a regional branch of
> German Social Democratic Party at the best. In regular occasions they are
> more like the meetings of a village cell of a communist party from an East
> European country during the 80s.
>
> This enormous distance between the value of our work and ideals and
> presenting ourselves to *us* in the range between shiny snake oil merchants
> and demagogues nobody trusts is quite striking. (OK, there is one more end,
> thus making a triangle: highly specialized topics which require highly
> specialized knowledge to participate.)
>
> The distance is also quite striking because the most witty people I ever
> met are from the Wikimedia movement itself.
>
> It's endemic. From local Wikimedian meetings to Wikimania. The most
> interesting part of such events is talking with other Wikimedians.
> Listening talks, lectures and ceremonies is the worst option. Workshops and
> collective decision making are like gambling: it could be constructive, but
> it could also be not just wasting time but occult session with the only one
> goal: to drain the energy from the participants.
>
> On average, I would rather spend two times more time talking with a
> Wikimedian than listening her or his lecture or talk.
>
> There are some straight forward techniques. For example, we could work on
> making our talks much better. We could also ask HR professionals how to
> make our live interaction better.
>
> However, being boring is somehow quite deeply rooted inside of our culture.
> While trying to become "serious", we lost our ability to be playful.
> Creativity is something we treat as the least important of our activities.
>
> This is not something which could be fixed quickly. There is no a pill to
> magically cure it. But we could start thinking about this as a problem and
> start implementing various ideas to tackle it.
>
> I wouldn't say that our revolution forbids us to dance. (Whenever somebody
> from Bay Area is DJ-ing, we dance and it's beautiful, no matter how trashy
> the music is.) But I am sure we can do better.
> ___
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> 
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Why are we so boring?

2015-12-08 Thread Sebastian Moleski
On Tue, Dec 8, 2015 at 1:47 PM, Anders Wennersten 
wrote:

> Do you imply boring is a bad thing?
>
> In a world more and more focusing on show and 10 seconds fame, I am proud
> and glad to be part of another type of society, where truth, reflection and
> serious discussions are at focus
>
> Donald Trump is one of the least boring people just now, but I would be
> seriously unhappy if our movement was dominated with Donald Trump clones
>

Well, perhaps there's some room between the extremes of "regional branch of
German Social Democratic Party" and Donald Trump. Actually, I severely hope
so.

Indeed, I would agree with Milos here. I'd like for many of our events to
become more approachable by and relatable to the non-nerdy general public.
We've built something that hundreds of millions of people are using. Yet,
more often than not, we act more like an obscure/niche open source project
(nothing wrong with them - but they neither aim nor will every reach a
similar impact).

Cheers,

Sebastian Moleski
Schatzmeister / Treasurer
-
Wikimedia Deutschland e.V.
Tempelhofer Ufer 23-24
10963 Berlin

Telefon 030 - 219 158 26-0
www.wikimedia.de

Stellen Sie sich eine Welt vor, in der jeder Mensch an der Menge allen
Wissens frei teilhaben kann. Helfen Sie uns dabei!
http://spenden.wikimedia.de/

Wikimedia Deutschland - Gesellschaft zur Förderung Freien Wissens e. V.
Eingetragen im Vereinsregister des Amtsgerichts Berlin-Charlottenburg unter
der Nummer 23855 Nz. Als gemeinnützig anerkannt durch das Finanzamt für
Körperschaften I Berlin, Steuernummer 27/681/51985.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Why are we so boring?

2015-12-08 Thread
On 8 December 2015 at 13:36, Milos Rancic  wrote:
...
> Our meetings and conferences look like the meetings of a regional branch of
> German Social Democratic Party at the best. In regular occasions they are
> more like the meetings of a village cell of a communist party from an East
> European country during the 80s.

Yes, comparing to the SDP is accurate. My experience in leading
meetings and making presentations to Wikimedians over many years, is
that if you make jokes and lighten things up by being creative, then
you run the risk of frequently being taken the wrong way. Sometimes
the harsh criticism every time you try something new, feels so
negative or obtuse and far outweighs the odd thanks that you get, that
it can really put you off volunteering your time.

From trying to make others happy and tick the boxes of the many
multiplying standards and recommendations for our meetings, I stopped
making jokes of any kind, frankly my presentations became dull to my
eyes. At the moment I have no plans to make any presentations or even
take part in meetings in the year ahead. The prospect of starting up
again and freely sharing knowledge or experience from my volunteer and
programming through planned presentations and workshops does not
excite me any more. Instead it now feels like the sort of painful hard
work that needs to be paid for.

We actually expect and plan for volunteer burn-outs. It's a shame that
the focus is always on attracting new people, and only a fraction of
that effort goes into ensuring that our most high impact unpaid
volunteers don't crash and burn after a couple of years of
flourishing.

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

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Why are we so boring?

2015-12-08 Thread Carlos Colina (Maor_X)
WellIberocoopians always have fun ;-)

Sent from my HTC

- Reply message -
From: "Milos Rancic" 
To: "Wikimedia Mailing List" 
Subject: [Wikimedia-l] Why are we so boring?
Date: Tue, Dec 8, 2015 3:36 PM

We are. It's not about particular thread on this list, it's about our
existence. Initially I thought it's because the level of our
responsibility, but eventually I've realized we are simply boring and
nobody bothers about that.

Our meetings and conferences look like the meetings of a regional branch of
German Social Democratic Party at the best. In regular occasions they are
more like the meetings of a village cell of a communist party from an East
European country during the 80s.

This enormous distance between the value of our work and ideals and
presenting ourselves to *us* in the range between shiny snake oil merchants
and demagogues nobody trusts is quite striking. (OK, there is one more end,
thus making a triangle: highly specialized topics which require highly
specialized knowledge to participate.)

The distance is also quite striking because the most witty people I ever
met are from the Wikimedia movement itself.

It's endemic. From local Wikimedian meetings to Wikimania. The most
interesting part of such events is talking with other Wikimedians.
Listening talks, lectures and ceremonies is the worst option. Workshops and
collective decision making are like gambling: it could be constructive, but
it could also be not just wasting time but occult session with the only one
goal: to drain the energy from the participants.

On average, I would rather spend two times more time talking with a
Wikimedian than listening her or his lecture or talk.

There are some straight forward techniques. For example, we could work on
making our talks much better. We could also ask HR professionals how to
make our live interaction better.

However, being boring is somehow quite deeply rooted inside of our culture.
While trying to become "serious", we lost our ability to be playful.
Creativity is something we treat as the least important of our activities.

This is not something which could be fixed quickly. There is no a pill to
magically cure it. But we could start thinking about this as a problem and
start implementing various ideas to tackle it.

I wouldn't say that our revolution forbids us to dance. (Whenever somebody
from Bay Area is DJ-ing, we dance and it's beautiful, no matter how trashy
the music is.) But I am sure we can do better.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Why are we so boring?

2015-12-08 Thread Pine W
I think the term that I would use is "serious". Of course we're serious
about the quality of our product. However that can involve plenty of stress
and burn-out. We deal with a lot of serious issues: conflicts of interest,
harassment, finances, legal compliance, reliability, privacy, safety, and
more. My personal experience is that there's little gratitude for good
work, and lots of complaints when things go awry. I would like to see us
foster an emotional environment that's a bit on the brighter side, and
would be interested in others' thoughts about how we can do that.

Pine
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Why are we so boring?

2015-12-08 Thread Risker
I confess.  I have used many adjectives to describe Wikimedians over the
years, but "boring" has never been one of them.

Risker/Anne

On 8 December 2015 at 14:20, Carlos Colina (Maor_X) 
wrote:

> WellIberocoopians always have fun ;-)
>
> Sent from my HTC
>
> - Reply message -
> From: "Milos Rancic" 
> To: "Wikimedia Mailing List" 
> Subject: [Wikimedia-l] Why are we so boring?
> Date: Tue, Dec 8, 2015 3:36 PM
>
> We are. It's not about particular thread on this list, it's about our
> existence. Initially I thought it's because the level of our
> responsibility, but eventually I've realized we are simply boring and
> nobody bothers about that.
>
> Our meetings and conferences look like the meetings of a regional branch of
> German Social Democratic Party at the best. In regular occasions they are
> more like the meetings of a village cell of a communist party from an East
> European country during the 80s.
>
> This enormous distance between the value of our work and ideals and
> presenting ourselves to *us* in the range between shiny snake oil merchants
> and demagogues nobody trusts is quite striking. (OK, there is one more end,
> thus making a triangle: highly specialized topics which require highly
> specialized knowledge to participate.)
>
> The distance is also quite striking because the most witty people I ever
> met are from the Wikimedia movement itself.
>
> It's endemic. From local Wikimedian meetings to Wikimania. The most
> interesting part of such events is talking with other Wikimedians.
> Listening talks, lectures and ceremonies is the worst option. Workshops and
> collective decision making are like gambling: it could be constructive, but
> it could also be not just wasting time but occult session with the only one
> goal: to drain the energy from the participants.
>
> On average, I would rather spend two times more time talking with a
> Wikimedian than listening her or his lecture or talk.
>
> There are some straight forward techniques. For example, we could work on
> making our talks much better. We could also ask HR professionals how to
> make our live interaction better.
>
> However, being boring is somehow quite deeply rooted inside of our culture.
> While trying to become "serious", we lost our ability to be playful.
> Creativity is something we treat as the least important of our activities.
>
> This is not something which could be fixed quickly. There is no a pill to
> magically cure it. But we could start thinking about this as a problem and
> start implementing various ideas to tackle it.
>
> I wouldn't say that our revolution forbids us to dance. (Whenever somebody
> from Bay Area is DJ-ing, we dance and it's beautiful, no matter how trashy
> the music is.) But I am sure we can do better.
> ___
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
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> 
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> 
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>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Why are we so boring?

2015-12-08 Thread rupert THURNER
was it fun?

On Tue, Dec 8, 2015 at 10:56 PM, Mardetanha  wrote:
> I also concur that best part of wikimania is get to know other wikimedians
> and fascinating stories , but nevertheless the workshops are also very
> useful. in each wikimania we enjoy both. I learnt a lot from them all.
>
> Mardetanha
>
> On Wed, Dec 9, 2015 at 12:51 AM, Chris Keating 
> wrote:
>
>> Most Wikimedians are very interesting people. However Milos has hit the
>> nail on the head when he says the most interesting things happening at
>> Wikimedia events are 1-1 conversations.
>>
>> In my view we don't have a "personality" problem (and if we did, we
>> couldn't fix it).
>>
>> What we have, at least in the offline space, is an *event management* and
>> *meeting skills" problem.
>>
>> We do not set up events to make anything *apart* from 1-1 conversations
>> effective. Events typically lack goals and focused programmes. Where issues
>> are being discussed, they lack common agreement about what problems are
>> trying to be solved and what voices need to be represented in the
>> solutions. Where skills are being shared, they lack a definition of what it
>> is people need to know and how to teach it to them effectively. And more or
>> less throughout, we have a low level of presentation and/or facilitation
>> skills as we don't actively train people in these.
>>
>> We are groping towards success in a couple of areas I'm familiar with, e.g.
>> the Wikimedia Conference is more clearly focused year on year. But there is
>> still a long way to go!
>>
>> Regards,
>>
>> Chris
>>
>> On Tue, Dec 8, 2015 at 7:39 PM, Pine W  wrote:
>>
>> > I think the term that I would use is "serious". Of course we're serious
>> > about the quality of our product. However that can involve plenty of
>> stress
>> > and burn-out. We deal with a lot of serious issues: conflicts of
>> interest,
>> > harassment, finances, legal compliance, reliability, privacy, safety, and
>> > more. My personal experience is that there's little gratitude for good
>> > work, and lots of complaints when things go awry. I would like to see us
>> > foster an emotional environment that's a bit on the brighter side, and
>> > would be interested in others' thoughts about how we can do that.
>> >
>> > Pine
>> > ___
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>> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
>> > 
>> >
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Why are we so boring?

2015-12-08 Thread Chris Keating
Most Wikimedians are very interesting people. However Milos has hit the
nail on the head when he says the most interesting things happening at
Wikimedia events are 1-1 conversations.

In my view we don't have a "personality" problem (and if we did, we
couldn't fix it).

What we have, at least in the offline space, is an *event management* and
*meeting skills" problem.

We do not set up events to make anything *apart* from 1-1 conversations
effective. Events typically lack goals and focused programmes. Where issues
are being discussed, they lack common agreement about what problems are
trying to be solved and what voices need to be represented in the
solutions. Where skills are being shared, they lack a definition of what it
is people need to know and how to teach it to them effectively. And more or
less throughout, we have a low level of presentation and/or facilitation
skills as we don't actively train people in these.

We are groping towards success in a couple of areas I'm familiar with, e.g.
the Wikimedia Conference is more clearly focused year on year. But there is
still a long way to go!

Regards,

Chris

On Tue, Dec 8, 2015 at 7:39 PM, Pine W  wrote:

> I think the term that I would use is "serious". Of course we're serious
> about the quality of our product. However that can involve plenty of stress
> and burn-out. We deal with a lot of serious issues: conflicts of interest,
> harassment, finances, legal compliance, reliability, privacy, safety, and
> more. My personal experience is that there's little gratitude for good
> work, and lots of complaints when things go awry. I would like to see us
> foster an emotional environment that's a bit on the brighter side, and
> would be interested in others' thoughts about how we can do that.
>
> Pine
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Why are we so boring?

2015-12-08 Thread Mardetanha
I also concur that best part of wikimania is get to know other wikimedians
and fascinating stories , but nevertheless the workshops are also very
useful. in each wikimania we enjoy both. I learnt a lot from them all.

Mardetanha

On Wed, Dec 9, 2015 at 12:51 AM, Chris Keating 
wrote:

> Most Wikimedians are very interesting people. However Milos has hit the
> nail on the head when he says the most interesting things happening at
> Wikimedia events are 1-1 conversations.
>
> In my view we don't have a "personality" problem (and if we did, we
> couldn't fix it).
>
> What we have, at least in the offline space, is an *event management* and
> *meeting skills" problem.
>
> We do not set up events to make anything *apart* from 1-1 conversations
> effective. Events typically lack goals and focused programmes. Where issues
> are being discussed, they lack common agreement about what problems are
> trying to be solved and what voices need to be represented in the
> solutions. Where skills are being shared, they lack a definition of what it
> is people need to know and how to teach it to them effectively. And more or
> less throughout, we have a low level of presentation and/or facilitation
> skills as we don't actively train people in these.
>
> We are groping towards success in a couple of areas I'm familiar with, e.g.
> the Wikimedia Conference is more clearly focused year on year. But there is
> still a long way to go!
>
> Regards,
>
> Chris
>
> On Tue, Dec 8, 2015 at 7:39 PM, Pine W  wrote:
>
> > I think the term that I would use is "serious". Of course we're serious
> > about the quality of our product. However that can involve plenty of
> stress
> > and burn-out. We deal with a lot of serious issues: conflicts of
> interest,
> > harassment, finances, legal compliance, reliability, privacy, safety, and
> > more. My personal experience is that there's little gratitude for good
> > work, and lots of complaints when things go awry. I would like to see us
> > foster an emotional environment that's a bit on the brighter side, and
> > would be interested in others' thoughts about how we can do that.
> >
> > Pine
> > ___
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> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > 
> >
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