Over the past few weeks I have been discussing how to correct the lack of information about community opinion and the disadvantages of relying on opt-in (RFCs or less formal "speak up and stick your neck out") methods for addressing the problem with Foundation staff, other community members, and outside researchers experienced with surveying wikipedians. A number of themes are apparent, most prominently that I should, "collectively propose and work to develop additional systems," as one Foundation staffer put it.
So to get that ball rolling, I propose a monthly survey of editing community members as follows: (1) Anyone may suggest a topic or subject area to be included, for each of the top 20 largest language editions of Wikipedia by number of active editors, by sending email to an independent, outside firm experienced with surveying community members. All such emails will have their sender and other identifying information removed and then will be posted in a public location on the web for review by anyone interested. (2) Each month, the independent firm will pick the top five most popular topics to be included in each language's Wikipedia community survey, and will compose two to five opinion questions on each of those topics, with the goal of producing a neutral opinion questionnaire with about twenty likert and multiple choice tally questions. Every question will have an "other" option when appropriate, enabling a fill-in-the-blank opportunity when selected. (3) All questions will be clearly indicated as entirely optional. Each survey will conclude with demographic questions asking the respondents' age, sex, education, household income, and household composition, in compliance with the instructions at https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Survey_best_practices along with state-level geographic location, estimated hours spent editing over the past month, and the date each respondent started editing. (4) When each month's survey is ready, the independent firm will use the Recent Changes history for one day randomly selected from the past two weeks to select 1,000 users with contribution histories of at least 100 edits and going back at least one year, and who have email enabled, and send a link to a Qualtrics survey questionnaire to each of those 20,000 users. I believe this step can be efficiently automated, but bot approval will be necessary at least for the final step of sending the survey email text and links. (5) The email will indicate that the survey will be open for two weeks. At the end of the two week period, the raw Qualtrics results, expected margins or error, and any significant cross-tabulations information apparent in the data will be made public at a new web page for each language each month, all linked from a static URL where highlights from the results will also be summarized in paragraph form. I would be thrilled to learn what you think of this proposal. I hope the Foundation will consider funding such a regular opinion survey, and I certainly hope they will help with implementing the technical aspects, but if not, I am willing to pass the hat in the form of a GoFundMe or similar. Finally, it seems to me that more than a few of the nagging controversial questions concerning the Draft Code of Conduct for Technical Spaces, a subject of ongoing apparent acrimony on this list recently, could easily benefit from such a facility, were it available. -Will _______________________________________________ Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia-l New messages to: Wikimediaemail@example.com Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:wikimedia-l-requ...@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe>