I think I better understand at where you are coming from.

One of the difficulties of the role stems from the particularly brutal
nature of A/B testing. I don't mean that inasmuch as the decisions based on
them them can be without care or thought (and I assure you, in the case of
fundraising they aren't), but more that when 95 in 100 ideas turn out to be
failures it's difficult to make people feel that they are appreciated when
the testing machine appears at face value to have a personal vendetta
against you. I am personally amazed that my colleagues who have been
working in fundraising at this continuously for the last 5, 6 or 7 years
still remain as optimistic as they do. Combined with that there are also
only so many tests that the data allows you to run without reducing the
effectiveness of testing. You have a finite number of opportunities for
success, a system that failure is an inherent part of and all done against
a background consisting of a budget that up until this year was increasing
about 30% every year for the last five years. That's a pretty daunting task
to be asked to be a part of and not exactly one that would be enticing to
everyone. My colleagues do what they do because they know and believe in
the values that are so important to this movement. You can't do that job,
with the level of dedication they show, without that.

So part of the reason my position exists, and similarly those of the
Community Liasons, is not simply to be the mouthpiece of the department.
The role is there to act as a conduit between the teams at the foundation
and the communities they serve. Much of that is facilitation of thought,
ideas and conversation, ensuring that the team remains grounded and
conscious of the community in its work. Certainly in this case the role
itself was the embodiment of the team's desire for that to happen. Part of
that involves being advocate for the community to colleagues, and
particularly when the work is intense, fast paced and there are goal that
need to be reached, ensuring they are keeping in touch with their own roots
and the values they hold in being part of our movement that despite what
many think, are no different to our own values.

Regards
Seddon

On Fri, Dec 2, 2016 at 3:51 AM, Pete Forsyth <petefors...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Joseph,
>
> Thank you for the timely and thorough response -- good info in there, and
> I'm especially gratified to know that Lodewijk's op-ed has sparked some
> worthwhile discussion.
>
> However, I think I may not have been clear enough about what I was
> suggesting. (And I should note, I understand this is an unusual kind of
> approach, that might not feel very "wiki-like" to many in our community;
> but if I'm right in my hunch that it would be an *effective* approach, it
> might merit further consideration.)
>
> I used the term "expert" to refer to two different kinds of efforts, which
> I think made my point hard to follow. This is what I suggest:
>
> * Hire a service provider that is *expert at learning from a certain
> important audience*
> * Work with that service provider to properly incentivize and efficiently
> garner insights from those who are *expert about Wikimedia values* and how
> they might apply to the fundraiser.
>
> Speaking for myself, I would hesitate to devote an hour or similar of my
> time to a feedback session run by the WMF. Partly, because I would want to
> be compensated for that time; and partly, because I have some skepticism
> about WMF's ability to run a session that would fully absorb the points I
> might have to make. (I do not suggest that my own perspective is especially
> important, but rather, that others might share one or both of my concerns.
> And I mean no disrespect to WMF by saying this; most people and
> organizations have difficulty fully absorbing feedback, and can benefit
> from skilled facilitation of some kind.)
>
> Sometimes, a trained professional whose expertise lies in helping
> organizations understand what their stakeholders think can be very
> valuable.
>
> In that way, what I suggest is fundamentally different from the expert
> (Jelly, who is indeed extraordinarily good at what he does, even if that
> one campaign did not turn out to everybody's liking), and is a
> fundamentally different kind of engagement, from what you mention at the
> end of your message.
>
> -Pete
> [[User:Peteforsyth]]
>
> On Thu, Dec 1, 2016 at 5:25 PM, Joseph Seddon <jsed...@wikimedia.org>
> wrote:
>
> > So we have definitely worked with market research companies, mostly to
> help
> > us get a better understanding of our audience rather than directly
> sourcing
> > design input. We worked with Lake Research Partners [1], on our English
> > Reader Survey in 2014-15 [2] and our Japan Reader Survey in 2015-2016
> [3].
> > And we may consider commissioning similar research in other geographies
> but
> > I don't believe we haven't taken any decision about future work at the
> > moment.
> >
> > The purpose of the sessions is try and do what we can to ensure that the
> > messaging we use is as representative of the community as we can make it
> > whilst also having a successful fundraiser. To do that we need to be able
> > to offer as many possibilities to volunteers to be able to contribute to
> > the Fundraiser, and this touches on many of the issues in Lodewijk's
> op-ed
> > in the Signpost over the weekend (which I intend to provide a fuller
> > response to soon).
> >
> > Although we didn't run the second series in English we are still planning
> > on running sessions for input in other languages next year. Most likely
> in
> > Dutch and in Swedish where we've already gauged some early interest, and
> > potentially other languages too if there is the desire for it.
> >
> > We ran a successful couple of test sessions back in September with
> > community members and with staff earlier in year. They produced some
> > fantastic input into our processes with both a critique of our banners as
> > well as being a source new ideas. These sorts of sessions help guide us
> > towards the areas that are important to our communities, allowing us to
> > focus our efforts on dealing with issues raised by the community such as
> > getting rid of the ominous black banners, not describing ourselves as a
> > small non-profit and doing our best to find alternatives to the infamous
> > coffee cup line that has been present in our appeals for th. Outside
> > experts can't provide that same touch we are looking for that members of
> > the movement, staff or community can provide.
> >
> > This particular way of garnering input wasn't successful at this moment
> in
> > time but there will be other opportunities but it's not the only way and
> I
> > am definitely hopeful to find other methods for the wider community to be
> > able to get involved in the campaign.
> >
> > Plus.... experts gave us this:
> > https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/
> > 2009-11-16/Fundraiser
> >
> > Regards
> > Seddon
> >
> > [1 http://www.lakeresearch.com/]
> > [2
> > https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/foundation/c/c2/
> > Wikimedia_Survey_2014_English_Fundraiser.pdf
> > ]
> > [3
> > https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/foundation/e/ef/
> > Report.WikimediaJapan.f.071916.pdf
> > ]
> >
> > On Thu, Dec 1, 2016 at 10:36 PM, Pete Forsyth <petefors...@gmail.com>
> > wrote:
> >
> > > On Mon, Nov 28, 2016 at 5:25 PM, Joseph Seddon <jsed...@wikimedia.org>
> > > wrote:
> > >
> > > >
> > > > Finally we didn't get any interest in our fundraising feedback and
> > design
> > > > sessions last week and the week before so they were put on hold,
> > however
> > > if
> > > > there are individuals who are interested in taking part in such a
> > > session,
> > > > one on one, then reach out to me and I would be happy to arrange a
> time
> > > > with you.
> > > >
> > >
> > > Often, when an organization needs to get the sense of a stakeholder
> > group,
> > > they work with a market research firm, which would have expertise in
> > > getting the needed feedback. It's common for that research to
> compensate
> > > those participating.
> > >
> > > I've participated in such studies; and while some of them evaluate
> common
> > > products like refrigerators or cell phones, others are quite
> specialized.
> > > An interesting example: I actually participated in one that was modeled
> > > after a jury trial. The parties in an actual trial ran a process, which
> > > included four juries of (if I recall correctly) 11 people each. We
> heard
> > > expert testimony and lawyer arguments for two days before being
> > sequestered
> > > for deliberation; our findings were used to determine the settlement in
> > the
> > > case.
> > >
> > > The kind of input the WMF seeks is fairly sophisticated. There are not
> > many
> > > people with the depth of knowledge of the Wikimedia movement to give
> > > worthwhile input, and to be frank, I would imagine few of them, like
> me,
> > > would be reluctant to volunteer time for the kind of session you
> suggest.
> > >
> > > Has the WMF considered seeking the assistance of an experienced market
> > > research firm, and/or compensating experts, to get the kind of input
> you
> > > desire?
> > >
> > > -Pete
> > > [[User:Peteforsyth]]
> > > _______________________________________________
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> > >
> >
> >
> >
> > --
> > Seddon
> >
> > *Advancement Associate (Community Engagement)*
> > *Wikimedia Foundation*
> > _______________________________________________
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-- 
Seddon

*Advancement Associate (Community Engagement)*
*Wikimedia Foundation*
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