Hi Yuri,

I just wanted to respond to this as I think there are two levels of issue
here, and on one level I agree and on another I disagree!

On the more immediate level about "ok, there's a technical wishlist, what
should we do with it" - I think it's a reasonable decision for the WMF to
opt to have a year where the wishlist focuses on non-Wikipedia projects.
Certainly if you talk to people who are mainly active on Wikisource or
Commons or somewhere else they feel Wikipedias get all of the attention,
and it seems to me that this decision is based on people at the WMF hearing
that and finding a way to act on it.

However I agree with most of the rest of your email, particularly the issue
about overall alignment of priorities between the community and the WMF. I
think your question about "what if all the WMF's efforts were focused on
the results of the wishlist?" is quite thought-provoking. I imagine a large
part of the reason this doesn't happen is that the wishlist only reflects
the needs and perceptions of highly active contributors [at present I think
it only accepts submissions in English ,which is another obstacle, but that
could be addressed]. Of course highly active contributors are not the only
audience the WMF is building products for, but "community input" isn't
sought in prioritising projects that mainly affect e.g. reader experience.

Which poses some questions about what a more collaborative approach to
setting priorities for product across the piece might look like - which is
something you can see some of the strategy process recommendations moving
towards. Probably a vote on a wishlist wouldn't be the right way to do it,
because it's a challenging task to try to prioritise e.g. something that
makes life easier for readers in Nigeria vs something that makes life
easier for editors in Germany, and there probably isn't a really simple
solution. However there is almost certainly a better solution than all of
that prioritisation being done within the WMF staff, part for the certain
amount of resource that gets dedicated to the wishlist...

Thanks

Chris

On Sat, Oct 5, 2019 at 12:44 AM Yuri Astrakhan <yuriastrak...@gmail.com>
wrote:

> Ilana, restricting wishlist to non-Wikipedia this year is a very sad news.
>
> For many years, wishlist survey was the best way for the community to talk
> back to the foundation, and to try to influence its direction. WMF mostly
> ignored these wishes, yet it was still a place to express, discuss,
> aggregate and vote on what community needed. Big thank-you is due to the
> tiny community tech team that tackled the top 10 items, but that's just ~3%
> of the foundation's employees.
>
> WMF has been steadily separating itself from the community and loosing
> credibility as a guiding force.  Take a look at the last election -- almost
> every candidate has said "no" to the question if WMF is capable of
> deciding/delivering on the direction [1].  In **every** single conversation
> I had with the community members, people expressed doubts with the movement
> strategy project, in some cases even treating it as a joke.
>
> This is a huge problem, and restricting wishlist kills the last effective
> feedback mechanism community had.  Now WMF is fully in control of itself,
> with nearly no checks & balances from the people who created it.
>
> I still believe that if WMF makes it a priority to align most of its
> quarterly/yearly goals with the community wishlist (not just top 10
> positions), we could return to the effective community-governance.
> Otherwise WMF is risking to mirror Red Cross Haiti story [2] -- hundreds of
> millions of $$ donated, and very few buildings actually built.
>
> With great respect to all the people who made Wikis what they are today,
> --[[User:Yurik]]
>
> [1]
>
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Affiliate-selected_Board_seats/2019/Questions#Do_you_believe_the_Wikimedia_Foundation_in_its_present_form_is_the_right_vehicle_for_the_delivery_of_the_strategic_direction?_If_so_why,_and_if_not,_what_might_replace_it
> ?
>
> [2]
>
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Red_Cross#Disaster_preparedness_and_response
>
> On Fri, Oct 4, 2019 at 5:18 PM Ilana Fried <ifr...@wikimedia.org> wrote:
>
> > Hello, everyone!
> >
> > My name is Ilana, and I'm the product manager for the Community Tech
> team.
> > We’re excited to share an update on the Community Tech 2020 Wishlist
> Survey
> > <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Community_Wishlist_Survey_2020>. This
> > will
> > be our fifth annual Community Wishlist Survey, and for this year, we’ve
> > decided to take a different approach. In the past, we've invited people
> to
> > write proposals for any features or fixes that they'd like to see, and
> the
> > Community Tech team has addressed the top ten wishes with the most
> support
> > votes. This year, we're just going to focus on the *non-Wikipedia content
> > projects* (i.e. Wikibooks, Wiktionary, Wikiquote, Commons, Wikisource,
> > Wikiversity, Wikispecies, Wikidata, Wikivoyage, and Wikinews), and we're
> > only going to address the top five wishes from this survey. This is a big
> > departure from the typical process. In the following year (2021), we’ll
> > probably return to the traditional structure.
> >
> > So, why this change? We’ve been following the same format for years —
> and,
> > generally, it has lots of benefits. We build great tools, provide useful
> > improvements, and have an impact on diverse communities. However, the
> > nature of the format tends to prioritize the largest project (Wikipedia).
> > This makes it harder to serve smaller projects, and many of their wishes
> > never make it onto the wishlist. As a community-focused team, we want to
> > support *all* projects. Thus, for 2020, we want to shine a light on
> > non-Wikipedia projects.
> >
> > Furthermore, we’ll be accepting five wishes. Over the years, we’ve taken
> on
> > larger wishes (like Global Preferences
> > <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Community_Tech/Global_preferences> or
> Who
> > Wrote That
> > <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Community_Tech/Who_Wrote_That_tool>),
> > which are awesome projects. At the same time, they tend to be lengthy
> > endeavors, requiring extra time for research and development. When we
> > looked at the 2019 wishlist, there were still many unresolved wishes.
> > Meanwhile, we wanted to make room for the new 2020 wishes. For this
> reason,
> > we’ve decided to take on a shortened list, so we can address as many
> wishes
> > (new and remaining 2019 wishes
> > <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Community_Wishlist_Survey_2019/Results
> >)
> > as possible.
> >
> > Overall, we look forward to this year’s survey. We worked with lots of
> > folks (engineering, product management, and others) to think about how we
> > could support underserved projects, all while preserving the dynamic and
> > open nature of the wishlist. *Please let us know your thoughts
> > <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:Community_Wishlist_Survey_2020>*
> > related
> > to this change. In addition, we’ll begin thinking about the guidelines
> for
> > this new process, so *we want your feedback
> > <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:Community_Wishlist_Survey_2020>*
> (on
> > what sorts of processes/rules we may want to consider). Thank you, and
> > we’re very curious to see the wishes in November!
> >
> >
> > Thanks,
> >
> > Ilana Fried
> >
> > Product Manager, Community Tech
> > <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Community_Tech>
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikitech-l mailing list
> > wikitec...@lists.wikimedia.org
> > https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikitech-l
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