Hi Lila, Thanks for the message. I won't go into this and the other aspects of the current situation in detail -- I think this is an important conversation primarily with current staff and active community members --, but I'll respond to a couple points that I think are important, and for which I can provide some historical perspective.
> In the past year we managed -- for the first time since 2007 -- to finally > stem the editor decline. This is a pretty powerful statement! As many folks know, "stemming the editor decline" was long a top organizational priority, due to research that showed an increasing tendency for new editors to encounter barriers, such as the Editor Trends Study, summarized here: https://strategy.wikimedia.org/wiki/Editor_Trends_Study Many will remember the graph illustrating this study, which specifically underscores that new editors' 1-year retention decreasing dramatically during Wikipedia's most rapid growth, and remained low since then. https://strategy.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Enwp_retention_vs_active_editors.png As a consequence, an important number to pay attention to when characterizing the editor decline is the number of new editors who successfully join the project. Has that number increased or stabilized? It has not, as far as I can tell: https://stats.wikimedia.org/EN/TablesWikipediaZZ.htm Note in interpreting all data that January is a seasonal recovery month in editor statistics. One number to look at here is "New editors", which is the number of editors who have crossed the threshold of 10 edits in a given month. For all Wikipedias combined, this number has been in the 12000-13000s for the last 6 months. Near as I can tell, the last time it has hovered around or below those levels for this long was a decade ago, in December 2005. The more modern metric of "new editor activation" (which does not seem to have the same level of data-completeness) appears to show similar troubling signs: https://vital-signs.wmflabs.org/#projects=all,ruwiki,itwiki,dewiki,frwiki,enwiki,eswiki,jawiki/metrics=RollingNewActiveEditor Another key metric we paid attention to is the "Active Editors" number, which has stagnated for a long time; it appears to continue to do so with no recovery. The most complete visualization I was able to find is still the one we created years ago, here: https://reportcard.wmflabs.org/graphs/active_editors Finally, there's the measure of "very active editors". These are folks who make 100 edits/month, and one could also call this the "core community". It's a measure less affected by new user barriers, and more by the effectiveness of existing editing/curation tools. This is one metric which does indeed show a positive trend, as was noted here: https://blog.wikimedia.org/2015/09/25/wikipedia-editor-numbers/ This graph focuses on English Wikipedia; this table contains the numbers for all languages combined, in the "Very active editors" column: https://stats.wikimedia.org/EN/TablesWikipediaZZ.htm The numbers for "very active editors" appear to have stabilized at a slightly higher level than previously. I can't find any firm conclusion on what has caused this in Wikimedia's public communications, but the HHVM rollout, long-planned and implemented in December 2014 under Ori Livneh's leadership seems like a plausible hypothesis: https://blog.wikimedia.org/2014/12/29/how-we-made-editing-wikipedia-twice-as-fast/ It seems reasonable to assume that very active editors would most benefit from performance improvements. One very positive trend is the Content Translation tool, and its impact on new article creation, especially in combination with targeted calls to action, as detailed here: https://cs.stanford.edu/people/jure/pubs/growing-www16.pdf But overall, it seems premature of speaking of "stemming the decline", unless I'm missing something (entirely possible). I don't mean to be negative about it -- I do think it's a super-important problem, and hence important to be clear and precise about where we are in addressing it. > 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 Like Brion, I'm also curious what this ("pet projects") refers to. With regard to tech, I'm not aware of any major projects that were shut down. I read that major feature development on Flow was suspended, but active maintenance work to support an active trial (launched after said announcement) on user talk pages is ongoing, as far as I can tell: https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/#/q/Flow+status:merged,n,z To be clear, the course of action taken here -- to evaluate a controversial tool for a specific use case, and see how it fares -- seems completely reasonable to me. I'm just curious if that's what you're referring to, though, or if there are other examples, perhaps outside engineering, you have in mind? Erik _______________________________________________ Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines New messages to: Wikimediaemail@example.com Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:wikimedia-l-requ...@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe>