Brandon and Sarah:

I'm going to resist the urge to delve into the specifics of Flow here, as
I'd really like to stay on the topic of whether post-mortems on divisive
issues are valuable, and how they should be approached.

Do you agree that an annotated summary of what has gone well and what
hasn't, in the case of discussion technology like Liquid Threads and Flow,
might help us to have generative conversations on this topic? Or do you
disagree? What kinds of approaches do you think might help the organization
and the community learn the best lessons from past efforts, avoid repeating
mistakes, and find ever more effective ways to engage with each other?


On Sun, Feb 21, 2016 at 7:42 PM, SarahSV <> wrote:

> On Sun, Feb 21, 2016 at 8:19 PM, Pete Forsyth <>
> wrote:
> >
> > Is it possible to imagine an effort that would not be shot down, but
> > embraced?
> >
> > What would need to be different?
> >
> > These are the kinds of questions I wish the Wikimedia Foundation would
> get
> > better at asking and exploring.
> >
> > ​Lila is good at asking the right questions of the community, which is
> why
> (so far as I can tell) editors like her. If you look at her meta talk page,
> you can see her asking good questions about Flow and trying to find out
> what editors need.
> That was literally the first time we felt we were being listened to. There
> was one point when Flow was introduced – and I have been trying to find
> this diff but can't – where there was something on the talk page that
> amounted to "if you agree with us that x and y, then you're welcome to join
> the discussion."
> So from the start, it felt as though staffers had ruled out the community
> as people who might know something about what tools are needed to
> collaborate on an article (which is not the same as chatting). People who
> had been doing something for years were not regarded as experts in that
> thing by the Foundation.
> We would say "we need pages," and they would explain why we didn't. We
> would say "we need archives," and they would explain why good search was a
> better idea. We would say "there's too much white space," and they would
> explain that people like white space. And so on.
> Sarah
> ​
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