On 08/21/2014 07:17 PM, Erik Moeller wrote:
> It's very different futures -- a WMF that
> exists purely to do what communities ask it to, or a WMF that exists -
> in part - to look forward, close gaps, and help anticipate where we
> want to be 3, 5, 10 years from now. Irrespective of what my own take
> might be, both approaches do truly have their merits.

Along the same lines (by my reading) a week ago...

On 08/14/2014 02:57 AM, Erik Moeller wrote:
> If you want a WMF that slavishly implements RFCs or votes to disable
> features upon request, you'll need to petition to replace more than
> just one person. In fact, you should petition to reduce the staff
> dramatically, find an administrative ED who has no opinion on what to
> do, and exclusively focus on platform-level improvements and requests
> that clearly have community backing.

I'd enjoy reading about these very different futures. As a mostly casual
observer/fan of the various organizations and individuals of Wikimedia,
the futures don't seem necessarily different.

On looking forward -- big developments such as Wikidata (some kind of
semantic wiki database; yay!), Visual Editor (WYSIWYG editing),
Multimedia Viewer (more usable Commons; of these MV addresses the
smallest slice of the corresponding ur-wish), and Flow (more usable talk
pages) each reflect wishes expressed by many Wikip/medians for almost as
long as Wikipedia and Commons have existed, probably your expressions
and experiments being among the very earliest.

On resources, making reasonably fast progress only on features with
strong community backing would require a large paid staff, preferably
larger than what exists now.

In my limited view, WMF isn't especially visionary nor is it especially
authoritarian. What it has uniquely is the ability to do relatively
massive fundraising, and thus bring concentrated resources to bear.

I don't care about deployment disputes, and probably would never be
aware of them if I didn't follow this list and know some more active
Wikimedians socially. Hopefully some process is worked out that all in
some years see as a great innovation, or minimally, that all can forget
there was any dispute about.

But I am kind of concerned about what I perceive as an underlying theme,
with deployment disputes as a side effect: WMF as a product development
organization, some of the most passionate users of its products as
obstacles to innovation and optimization. That may be how other top n
websites are operated, but that's also how more numerous former top n
websites operated (of course I have no data). In the case of
commons-based peer production sites like Wikimedia ones, that dynamic
seems especially risky on one hand, and on the other, not leveraging the
their strengths. If communities aren't looking forward and anticipating
where we want to be 3, 5, 10 years from now (presumably facilitated by
WMF; I admired the strategy process some years ago but admittedly didn't
follow it closely enough to have an informed opinion) that's a serious
gap to close.

I expect all to muddle through, but seriously I would love to read about
(and see fully realized perhaps in new commons-based peer production
projects without organizational history) what exciting things WMF would
do if users weren't of concern (except as revealed by aggregate data and
experiments), and what a somehow user-direct-democracy version would do.
For my reading/observing satisfaction, I'd like them to have very
different results. Maybe former would quickly implement lessons from
gaming, some described by
http://www.raphkoster.com/2014/08/12/wikipedia-is-a-game/ (I'd enjoy
seeing them all tried in some commons-based peer production system)?
Maybe latter would use all that power to reform itself into being
predominantly friendly and welcoming (harder to imagine, but I'd love to
be surprised)? Or maybe the reverse!?


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