On Jun 17, 2022, at 9:08 AM, effe iets anders <effeietsand...@gmail.com> wrote:
> How would you propose to measure 'output' in a somewhat objective way? It is 
> of course easy to identify that our own pet projects don't get the attention 
> we feel they deserve, but given that the priorities of the WMF are so much 
> broader than those of you and me personally, that may not be entirely fair.

I'm not sure we need an objective measure of output, per se. Lots of measures 
could be sufficient. If "pet" projects—by which I assume you mean projects that 
community members are interested in—are not being worked on, then what is being 
worked on instead? That's essentially my question. (The Phabricator link you 
provided shows a massive backlog and maybe three or four tasks currently in 

I'm developing a thesis that Wikimedia Foundation Inc., with a budget of over 
$150,000,000 USD per year, "has bloated to become unwieldy, unaccountable, and 
it has little to show for the hundreds of millions of dollars it has wasted and 
continues to waste." I think the design team is potentially a good case study 
for this, but first I need to better understand the inputs versus the outputs. 
I can see the inputs pretty clearly, about 25 staff members and a couple 
million dollars of donor money being spent per year. What are the outputs for 
this recurring investment? Is the site user experience improving due to this 
investment? Are we publishing a lot of useful design research due to this 

> Especially if you consider that the changes that the WMF comes up with often 
> meet a lot of pushback from the community.

This framing suggests that Wikimedia Foundation Inc. should be pursuing its own 
agenda and priorities that may not align with the needs or wants of the 
Wikimedia community. I think that's entirely the wrong framing. Wikimedia 
Foundation Inc. should be serving the community's needs and we seem to have 
drifted, over many years, very far from what was an established truth. This is 
partially what I mean by a lack of accountability.

> (as a sidenote: it turns out that the team has been roughly this big for a 
> while now)

Sure, though if we conclude that too much donor money is being spent per year 
on, for example, design resources, it just means the problem has compounded 
over the course of many years to be even larger. We could be talking about $6M 
or $8M or more. That's a lot of money to spend and I'm struggling to understand 
what the return on investment is.

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