On Tue, Feb 23, 2016 at 7:53 PM, Yuri Astrakhan <yastrak...@wikimedia.org>

> And that got me thinking. WMF, an organization that was built with the open
> and community-driven principles - why have we became the classic example of
> a corporate multi-level hierarchy? Should we mimic a living organism rather
> than a human-built pyramid?
> This may sound naive and wishful, but could we have a more flat and
> flexible team structure, where instead of having large teams with
> sub-teams, we would have small self-forming teams "by interest".  For
> example, someone decides to dedicate their 20% to building support for
> storing 3D models in wiki.

So glad to see this being discussed in the open with smart folks like
Brion, Dario, et al.

3D support would be most welcome – we’re in a holding pattern with
Smithsonian 3D GLAM projects in DC because of that shortcoming in Commons.
It was never known whether anyone was paying attention or going to put 3D
on the radar screen. (https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T3790)

At my keynote talk at Wikiconference USA, I said one of the things WMF
“must do” is multimedia and interactivity. Your work on the interactive
graph is a great step. Brion, myself and others have been working on
collaborative video. Brion’s ogv.js work is a great example of skunkworks
type projects having a huge impact.

And if 3D is given a priority, the three areas would be a great collective
step towards Wikipedia continuing its revolutionary work. Best of all, they
would be technologies developed in service of content and community needs,
and not simply created for tech’s sake.

An organism reacts to the change of its environment by redistributing
> resources to the more problematic areas. Would small, flexible, and more
> focused teams achieve that better?

Yes, and in a recent meeting you mentioned Bell Labs as a model. As someone
who worked there, it’s a very good ideal to shoot for.


Thanks for opening up this discussion.
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