His MZMcBride,

I agree with Micru on a number of points, particularly that it would be
helpful to think of Wikimedia as a social movement, with all of the
diversity and methods of interaction among ourselves making us a very
complex social environment. I'm in the process of writing a piece for the
Signpost about WMCON 2015 where I plan to share further thoughts about the
social nature of Wikimedia.

I agree that a lack of experience with our products and "society" is a
shortcoming in WMF, and that a number of WMF decisions over the years have
been of little benefit, harmful to community health, and financially
expensive. There have been a number of times when I've lost sleep over
trying to figure out what to do, last night being one of them. I wish that
I had easy answers. Compounding the diffuculty is that WMF and the
community sometimes seem to think that the other organization is the source
of most problems. I get the sense that the WMF Board is thinking about
devolving more of its responsibilities to the community, and I think that
this would be a good start that would lead to better outcomes for everyone
in the long term. Also note that the current WMF Board elections provide a
window for the community to make some changes.

Regarding user groups, a common theme at the conference is that they need
various kinds of support in order to grow and flourish. I get the sense
that Lila and Siko are supportive of this general concept.

I like the idea of fostering more and friendlier connections among
community members, and recently made suggestions to Philippe about how WMF
could help with this process. This would help community health, and is an
opportunity for WMF to have a positive leadership role.

I'm glad that we're having this conversation, and I look forward to hearing
further discussion, including thoughts from WMF staff.


On May 23, 2015 7:23 AM, "MZMcBride" <z...@mzmcbride.com> wrote:
> Hi.
> I don't know how you're going to shoehorn "we" into "Wikimedia movement".
> I guess, similar to putting the "me" in "team", it will require
> transposing letters? Or perhaps dropping letters altogether (since we[!]
> already have a W and several Es)? Hmm, or I suppose a careful alignment of
> the two words might do it...
>    Wikimedia
> movement
> David Cuenca Tudela wrote:
> >During this Wikimedia Conference 2015 there was a paradigm shift in the
> >way problems are expressed. It was highlighted that the wikimedia
> >movement is not only about gathering and sharing knowledge, but also
> >about the people behind it, about finding ways to enhance the
> >togetherness that is created by participating in our sites, no matter
> >which ones they are in the present, and no matter which they will be in
> >the future.
> Not to rain on your revelation, but I hardly think this is new or a
> paradigm shift. That said, I didn't attend Wikimedia Conference 2015.
> >That goodwill can be cultivated at upper levels too. Sometimes there are
> >decisions that must be taken to improve our sites, and some of them have
> >created a lot of drama which maybe could have been minimized by enabling
> >expression spaces, where there can be some real communication happening,
> >that is, bidirectional, and not to force any ideas, just to foster
> >understanding.
> Right now, the reality is that Wikipedia is massively popular without the
> help of nearly anyone at the upper level of the current Wikimedia
> Foundation management. In my mind, the new upper management of the
> Wikimedia Foundation has a lot more to learn from the Wikimedia movement
> than vice versa. Which one of them has over a decade of experience
> building Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia? :-)
> There's plenty of work to be done, to be sure, but I get annoyed when I
> read statements such as "decisions that must be taken to improve our
> sites" that created drama. Forcing software on a volunteer community is a
> bad idea and many of the recent dramas seem to involve some version of
> doing that. I think it says a lot that people at the Wikimedia Foundation
> have been so uncomfortable with the products they've created that the
> sheer awesomeness of the products alone can't attract people to want to
> use them. VisualEditor, ArticleFeedbackTool, MediaViewer, etc. are all
> examples of this. (VisualEditor, by the way, is a lot better now.)
> It's not about open communication, exactly, it's about building products
> that people want and want to have enabled, instead of trying to force
> subpar products on volunteers, many of whom have limited time and
> If you build great products, users will want to use them and have them
> enabled by default. If your users are all rejecting your product and your
> product is actively damaging the sites that these volunteers care for,
> your product sucks and you likely either don't understand your target
> audience or you don't understand the problems you're intending to solve.
> >In the wikimedia movement there is a serious lack of said expression
> >spaces. For instance, during the WMCON 15, it was the first time that
> >groups representatives seated down together, also with some WMF
> >to discuss user groups in an open manner. I think it is a big step
> >which paves the way in other areas too.
> I very much doubt that this was the first time that Wikimedians sat down
> and discussed user groups. ;-)
> >Problems of the past like VE deployment schedule, and the upcoming
> >reform could profit of the "sit-and-talk" approach.
> Like Jane, I'm curious what you mean by Commons reform. Can you please
> elaborate?
> MZMcBride
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