Nina Simon wrote a blog post [1] that I think has a lot of merit for what
we could do to gain relevance. Nina is big in the GLAM world and the museum
she works for has an approach that will have a big effect when we consider
it carefully and implement it in the best way we can.


On 19 February 2018 at 01:26, Pine W <wiki.p...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Caitlin, thanks for sharing this.
> My general thoughts are below. These are not directed at Caitlin or anyone
> else in particular.
> I think that the document does a generally good job of outlining trends and
> asking questions. I think that I agree with about 95% of what's in the
> document. I agree especially strongly that there should be more emphasis on
> improving the user experience for those who wish to contribute content
> using mobile devices.
> My most significant concern is with the question that the document asks
> staff: "How will the Wikimedia Foundation assert and balance leadership of
> the Wikimedia movement with its role fostering a robust volunteer culture?"
> WMF's role is that of a public service organization, not a central
> management agency, and "assert(ing)" leadership is the opposite of what WMF
> should do. Wikimedia's culture is collective rather than monarchical. Staff
> and Board members should be trained to understand that their role is to
> serve the public interest, and not to manage or supervise the community.
> Leadership of individual projects, initiatives, and teams happens in many
> ways inside and outside of WMF, and leadership skills are important.
> However, I believe that leadership of the entire movement is not and should
> not be WMF's role. WMF can be the facilitator, but should not be the
> manager. In the recent past we had a vivid demonstration of what happens
> when there are governance problems in WMF.
> I think that good questions would be:
> 1. How can WMF better align its internal priorities with those of the
> community? There has been progress on this during the past few years, and I
> would like to see continued progress.
> 2. How can WMF evolve such that if WMF became dysfunctional or inoperable,
> the remaining organizations and people in the Wikimedia ecosystem could
> continue to thrive?
> I also would like to see questions about the governance and financial
> transparency of the Wikimedia Foundation, for example by asking questions
> such as "Should WMF decentralize some of its current functions?", "Should
> WMF become a membership organization?", and "Should WMF increase its
> financial transparency?"
> After reading the document, I'm left wondering how to make progress on some
> of the issues that the document outlines. We've known about some of these
> issues for years, and in a number of cases WMF has funded efforts to
> address them, but in multiple cases we have had limited success.
> Even when we have agreement about the nature of challenges and that we'd
> like to address them, we don't necessarily know how to address them
> effectively. I think that the document does a good job of asking us
> questions that we should explore, and probably will continue to explore for
> many years.
> We need considerably more human resources than we have now on many fronts,
> including more contributors in diverse languages, contributors with the
> skills and tools improve the visual experience of Wikimedia content, and
> contributors who can protect the sites from interference from people who
> harm the integrity of the information on Wikimedia sites. I am not sure how
> we make that happen, or that it will happen. I fear that it will only
> happen after AI takes over a considerable number of jobs that humans do
> today, so that there is a significant increase of global unemployment and
> under-employment of people who have the skills and the will to contribute
> to Wikimedia. I hope that I'm wrong.
> I realize that this email sounds a bit pessimistic. I think that there are
> numerous significant challenges for us. I am hoping for the best. In the
> short term we are doing okay, and we continue to numerous incremental
> successes. In the long term, I am worried.
> Pine
> ( https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Pine )
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