there is 10'000 km between you and me so i only read mails on this
list. would you mind detailing what you expect from your CEO to
trigger "she benefits me"?


On Mon, Feb 22, 2016 at 2:41 AM, Brion Vibber <> wrote:
> Lila, a few notes.
> First, many staff members feel that the accomplishments you claim under
> "we" are not attributable to you.
> Complaints about lack of strategy and confusing management have come from
> all levels of the staff; the implication that people who failed to be
> promoted might be behind discontent seems not to hold water.
> As to shutting down pet projects to improve focus, it's unclear what
> projects you refer to.
> Fundamentally we agree that we must improve tech. But the tech side of the
> organization, based on my conversations with other employees including
> managers, does not seem to have benefited from your tenure -- ops laregely
> manages itself, while the other sections get occasionally surprised by a
> reorg. We've still not fully recovered from the 2015 reorg and Damon's
> appearance and disappearance.
> If your contention is that tech supports you as a silent majority, I have
> strong doubts that this is the case.
> -- brion
> On Feb 21, 2016 4:22 PM, "Lila Tretikov" <> wrote:
>> Why we’ve changed
>> I want to address some of the many questions that are coming up in this
>> forum. From the general to the very concrete, they all touch on the fact
>> that many things about the WMF have been changing. We are in the thick of
>> transformation, and you all have the right to know more about how and why
>> this is occurring. This is not a statement of strategy, which will come
> out
>> of the community consultation next week. This is the ED’s perspective
> only.
>> After 15 years since the birth of Wikipedia, the WMF needs to rethink
>> itself to ensure our editor work expands into the next decade. Recently we
>> kicked-off some initiatives to this end, including aligning community
>> support functions, focus on mobile and innovative technology, seeding the
>> Wikimedia Endowment, re-organizing our internal structure, exploring
>> partnerships and focusing on the most critical aspects of our mission:
>> community and technology. We started this transformation, but as we move
>> forward we are facing a crisis that is rooted in our choice of direction.
>> The choice in front the WMF is that of our core identity. Our mission can
>> be served in many ways, but we cannot do them all. We could either fully
>> focus on building our content and educational programs. Or we can get
> great
>> at technology as the force multiplier for our movement. I believe the the
>> former belongs to our volunteers and affiliates and that the role of the
>> WMF is in providing global support and coordination of this work. I
> believe
>> in -- and the board hired me to -- focus on the latter. To transform our
>> organization into a high-tech NGO, focused on the needs of our editors and
>> readers and rapidly moving to update our aged technology to support those
>> needs. To this end we have made many significant changes. But the
> challenge
>> in front of us is hard to underestimate: technology moves faster than any
>> other field and meeting expectations of editors and readers  will require
>> undistracted focus.
>> What changed?
>> When Jimmy started Wikipedia, the early editors took a century-old
>> encyclopedia page and allowed anyone to create or edit its content. At the
>> time when creating knowledge was still limited to the chosen few, openly
>> collaborating online gave us power to create and update knowledge at a
> much
>> faster rate than anyone else. This was our innovation.
>> As we matured, we encountered two fundamental, existential challenges. One
>> is of our own doing: driving away those who would otherwise join our
>> mission through complex policies, confusing user experiences, and a
> caustic
>> community culture. The other is external and is emerging from our own
> value
>> of freely licensed content: Many companies copy our knowledge into their
>> own databases and present it inside their interfaces. While this supports
>> wider dissemination, it also separates our readers from our community.
>> Wikipedia
>> is more than the raw content, repurposed by anyone as they like. It is a
>> platform for knowledge and learning, but if we don't meet the needs of
>> users, we will lose them and ultimately fail in our mission.
>> Meanwhile, in the last 15 years revolutionary changes have taken hold. The
>> rate of knowledge creation around the world is unprecedented and is
> increasing
>> exponentially <>.
> User
>> interfaces are becoming more adaptive to how users learn. This means we
>> have a huge opportunity to accelerate human understanding. But to do so
>> requires some significant change in technology and community interaction.
>> So let’s begin with technology: Many at the WMF and in our community
>> believe that we should not be a high-tech organization. I believe we
>> should. With over half of our staff fully committed to delivering product
>> and technology, it is already our primary vehicle for impacting our
> mission
>> and our community. In fact we constantly see additional technology needs
>> emerging from our Community department to help amplify theirs and our
>> community work.
>> What do we need to do in light of the changes I described above? We need
> to
>> focus on increasing productivity of our editors and bringing more readers
>> to Wikipedia (directly on mobile, and from 3rd party reusers back to our
>> sites).
>> When we started, the open knowledge on Wikipedia was a large piece of the
>> internet. Today, we have an opportunity to be the door into the whole
>> ecosystem of open knowledge by:
>>    -
>>    scaling knowledge (by building smart editing tools that structurally
>>    connect open sources)
>>    -
>>    expanding the entry point to knowledge (by improving our search portal)
>> There are many ways to alleviate the manual burdens of compiling and
>> maintaining knowledge currently taken on by our editing community, while
>> quickly expanding new editing. We made significant strides this year with
>> our first steps to leverage artificial intelligence
>> <
>> to remove grunt work from editing. But that is just a start. Connecting
>> sources through structured data would go much further and allow our
> editors
>> to easily choose the best media for their article and for our readers to
>> recieve content at their depth of understanding or language comprehension.
>> Wikipedia is the trusted place where people learn. Early indicators show
>> that if we choose to improve the search function more people will use our
>> site. We are seeing early results in use of Wikipedia in our A/B testing
> of
>> search
>> <
>> , but we have a long way to go. We want people to come directly to our
>> sites -- and be known as the destination for learning -- so that
> eventually
>> we can bring our readers into our editing community. And without community
>> support none of this will be remotely possible.
>> Which brings me to the community. Over time the WMF has grown, with an
>> opportunity of becoming a complementary, mutually empowering partner with
>> the community. We need each other and we share one focus: humanity.
>> Reaching and sharing with people across the world is our common goal.
>> In the past year we managed -- for the first time since 2007 -- to finally
>> stem the editor decline. But that will not be enough. We need to find ways
>> to re-open and embrace new members instead of the hazing we conduct at
>> least in some parts of the site today. We must treat each other with
>> kindness and respect. Technology is not the main reasons for rampant new
>> editor attrition. It is how we talk to each other that makes all the
>> difference.
>> Without tackling these issues we artificially limit our growth and
>> scalability. And we will continue to reject those whose ideas are new or
>> different, the most vulnerable members of our community. In this, the
>> Gender Gap is the “canary in the coal mine”. Women are the first to leave
>> contentious and aggressive environments and are less likely to remain when
>> they encounter it. They are less likely to run in elections because of
> rude
>> and aggressive treatment. Yet in editor surveys and in our latest strategy
>> consultation, Gender Gap has been considered a low priority. I disagree.
>> Over the past two years I have actively pushed funding to improve
>> anti-harassment, child protection and safety programs; work in these areas
>> is ongoing. We are actively exploring some tangible approaches that -- I
>> hope -- will turn into concrete outcomes
>> <>. In the latest
>> research this year the number of female editors shown some growth.
>> What does this mean for the WMF?
>> In the past 18 months -- and thanks to hard work of the people at the WMF
>> and our community supporters -- we have made significant structural
>> changes. We have organized around two core areas: technology and
> community.
>> We have made changes with an eye on improving our relationships between
> the
>> volunteer community, the chapters and the WMF, including the creation of
>> structures that should vastly improve the WMF's responsiveness to
>> volunteers. We began adopting best industry practices in the organization,
>> such as setting and measuring goals and KPIs. We’ve given managers a lot
> of
>> responsibilities and demanded results. We’ve asked for adjustment in
>> attitude towards work, our responsibilities and professional
> relationships.
>> We prioritised impact and performance so that we can provide more value to
>> our communities and the world.
>> This has not been easy.
>> In practice this means I demanded that we set standards for staff
>> communication with our community to be professional and respectful. It
>> meant transitioning people, shutting down pet projects, promoting some but
>> not others, demanding goals and results to get funding. This level of
>> change is necessary to set up our organization to address the challenges
> of
>> the next decade.
>> All of this means stepping away from our comfort zones to create capacity
>> for building programs and technologies that will support us in the future.
>> It is a demanding and difficult task to perform an organizational change
> at
>> this scale and speed.
>> I believe that in order to successfully serve our community and humanity,
>> the WMF has deliver best-of class technology and professional support for
>> community. This will ensure we are delivering significant impact to
>> volunteer editors and opening avenues for new types of contributions. This
>> requires that we choose the route of technical excellence for the WMF with
>> support and encouragement from our community partners. Without this
>> empowerment, the WMF will not succeed.
>> The world is not standing still. It will not wait for us to finish our
>> internal battles and struggles. Time is our most precious commodity.
>> Lila
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