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[Wikimedia-l] Building a "we" in the wikimedia movement
During this Wikimedia Conference 2015 there was a paradigm shift in the way
problems are expressed. It was highlighted that the wikimedia movement is
not only about gathering and sharing knowledge, but also about the people
behind it, about finding ways to enhance the togetherness that is created
by participating in our sites, no matter which ones they are in the
present, and no matter which they will be in the future.

There was a lot of blindness in the past from my side and from a lot of
people I met during the years. Our movement is not only a "knowledge
movement" or a "open movement", it is above a "social movement" which
depends very much on the strength of our social connections to advance and
thrive. The most obvious connection is between contributor and reader, it
is the most singular one which differentiates us from other platforms like
facebook, however it is far from being the only one.
Contributor-to-contributor is another key one which has been
underestimated, and it is the salt and pepper of the community.

There have been attempts to improve the atmosphere of those relationships,
however they have failed because humans are social creatures mostly in
person, and online relationships work best once you know the person you are
communicating with. With strangers it might work too, but there is a lot of
work to do at the personal level to improve the empathy, the goodwill, and
of course, to assume good faith.

I am not aware of any attempts to show contributors how they can be better
persons online with online strangers, perhaps it is something that can be
practiced and learned. There is the common tendency to think that the fault
is always in others, but very seldom one seeks to dig deep into oneself and
try to find inner peace. I believe that with a strong inner peace conflicts
would be less, the atmosphere would improve, and the so-called "editor
decline" would be a problem of the past.

That goodwill can be cultivated at upper levels too. Sometimes there are
decisions that must be taken to improve our sites, and some of them have
created a lot of drama which maybe could have been minimized by enabling
expression spaces, where there can be some real communication happening,
that is, bidirectional, and not to force any ideas, just to foster
understanding.

In the wikimedia movement there is a serious lack of said expression
spaces. For instance, during the WMCON 15, it was the first time that user
groups representatives seated down together, also with some WMF employees,
to discuss user groups in an open manner. I think it is a big step forward
which paves the way in other areas too.

Problems of the past like VE deployment schedule, and the upcoming Commons
reform could profit of the "sit-and-talk" approach. It is costly, it takes
time, however in the end there are more smiles, less drama, and the general
feeling that besides of the you and me, there is a we, which is created
together.

I would like to propose the creation of a user group for each area of
interest that we have problems with, so users can participate in the
problem solving approaches. That is of course only half the way, the other
half way is even more difficult which involves *using* those spaces
constructively, and also involving more and more users in this other kind
of "contribution" which is so radically different from the "click-and-type"
contribution.

There is for instance the need to create roads for users to progress in the
movement, to bring users from "casual reader" to a "wise wikimedian"
status. Such a wise people already exist in our movement, it is a pity that
we don't enable more knowledge transfer between the "elders" and newcomers,
because when one of our wise wikimedian (digitally) dies, it leaves behind
a big gap which is very big to fill up again.

I dream of a movement like that, wise, and which enables people to grow to
the very best of their abilities. And not only that, I dream of growing
myself with all of you together and finding countless friends along the
way. What a good way to finish one's life that to have been able to do
every day what one loves with people who does the same. This is pure joy
and I want more of it :)

Micru
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Building a "we" in the wikimedia movement [ In reply to ]
Hoi,
It would be good.. The thing is that we are so many communities. All of
them have their place and all of them have their relevance. Sociology
indicates that the "own" group is the most important of all. It is why
there is so little room to understand what is important for another, it is
why typically only the biggest groups are catered for.

It goes so far that Wikipedians are unwilling to consider that their effort
(any Wikipedia) provides only a subset of the knowledge that is available
to us all. It is why there is so little time to provide GLAM's with the
data that makes it obvious why their contribution is so valuable to us. It
is how they justify the real money they invest in open content..

We should be thankful for what is done and consider how we can get the most
out of the information that is available to us all. It starts with the
realisation that there is more that we can share.
Thanks,
GerardM

On 23 May 2015 at 09:27, David Cuenca Tudela <dacuetu@gmail.com> wrote:

> During this Wikimedia Conference 2015 there was a paradigm shift in the way
> problems are expressed. It was highlighted that the wikimedia movement is
> not only about gathering and sharing knowledge, but also about the people
> behind it, about finding ways to enhance the togetherness that is created
> by participating in our sites, no matter which ones they are in the
> present, and no matter which they will be in the future.
>
> There was a lot of blindness in the past from my side and from a lot of
> people I met during the years. Our movement is not only a "knowledge
> movement" or a "open movement", it is above a "social movement" which
> depends very much on the strength of our social connections to advance and
> thrive. The most obvious connection is between contributor and reader, it
> is the most singular one which differentiates us from other platforms like
> facebook, however it is far from being the only one.
> Contributor-to-contributor is another key one which has been
> underestimated, and it is the salt and pepper of the community.
>
> There have been attempts to improve the atmosphere of those relationships,
> however they have failed because humans are social creatures mostly in
> person, and online relationships work best once you know the person you are
> communicating with. With strangers it might work too, but there is a lot of
> work to do at the personal level to improve the empathy, the goodwill, and
> of course, to assume good faith.
>
> I am not aware of any attempts to show contributors how they can be better
> persons online with online strangers, perhaps it is something that can be
> practiced and learned. There is the common tendency to think that the fault
> is always in others, but very seldom one seeks to dig deep into oneself and
> try to find inner peace. I believe that with a strong inner peace conflicts
> would be less, the atmosphere would improve, and the so-called "editor
> decline" would be a problem of the past.
>
> That goodwill can be cultivated at upper levels too. Sometimes there are
> decisions that must be taken to improve our sites, and some of them have
> created a lot of drama which maybe could have been minimized by enabling
> expression spaces, where there can be some real communication happening,
> that is, bidirectional, and not to force any ideas, just to foster
> understanding.
>
> In the wikimedia movement there is a serious lack of said expression
> spaces. For instance, during the WMCON 15, it was the first time that user
> groups representatives seated down together, also with some WMF employees,
> to discuss user groups in an open manner. I think it is a big step forward
> which paves the way in other areas too.
>
> Problems of the past like VE deployment schedule, and the upcoming Commons
> reform could profit of the "sit-and-talk" approach. It is costly, it takes
> time, however in the end there are more smiles, less drama, and the general
> feeling that besides of the you and me, there is a we, which is created
> together.
>
> I would like to propose the creation of a user group for each area of
> interest that we have problems with, so users can participate in the
> problem solving approaches. That is of course only half the way, the other
> half way is even more difficult which involves *using* those spaces
> constructively, and also involving more and more users in this other kind
> of "contribution" which is so radically different from the "click-and-type"
> contribution.
>
> There is for instance the need to create roads for users to progress in the
> movement, to bring users from "casual reader" to a "wise wikimedian"
> status. Such a wise people already exist in our movement, it is a pity that
> we don't enable more knowledge transfer between the "elders" and newcomers,
> because when one of our wise wikimedian (digitally) dies, it leaves behind
> a big gap which is very big to fill up again.
>
> I dream of a movement like that, wise, and which enables people to grow to
> the very best of their abilities. And not only that, I dream of growing
> myself with all of you together and finding countless friends along the
> way. What a good way to finish one's life that to have been able to do
> every day what one loves with people who does the same. This is pure joy
> and I want more of it :)
>
> Micru
> _______________________________________________
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> Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Building a "we" in the wikimedia movement [ In reply to ]
Hi.

I don't know how you're going to shoehorn "we" into "Wikimedia movement".
I guess, similar to putting the "me" in "team", it will require
transposing letters? Or perhaps dropping letters altogether (since we[!]
already have a W and several Es)? Hmm, or I suppose a careful alignment of
the two words might do it...

Wikimedia
movement

David Cuenca Tudela wrote:
>During this Wikimedia Conference 2015 there was a paradigm shift in the
>way problems are expressed. It was highlighted that the wikimedia
>movement is not only about gathering and sharing knowledge, but also
>about the people behind it, about finding ways to enhance the
>togetherness that is created by participating in our sites, no matter
>which ones they are in the present, and no matter which they will be in
>the future.

Not to rain on your revelation, but I hardly think this is new or a
paradigm shift. That said, I didn't attend Wikimedia Conference 2015.

>That goodwill can be cultivated at upper levels too. Sometimes there are
>decisions that must be taken to improve our sites, and some of them have
>created a lot of drama which maybe could have been minimized by enabling
>expression spaces, where there can be some real communication happening,
>that is, bidirectional, and not to force any ideas, just to foster
>understanding.

Right now, the reality is that Wikipedia is massively popular without the
help of nearly anyone at the upper level of the current Wikimedia
Foundation management. In my mind, the new upper management of the
Wikimedia Foundation has a lot more to learn from the Wikimedia movement
than vice versa. Which one of them has over a decade of experience
building Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia? :-)

There's plenty of work to be done, to be sure, but I get annoyed when I
read statements such as "decisions that must be taken to improve our
sites" that created drama. Forcing software on a volunteer community is a
bad idea and many of the recent dramas seem to involve some version of
doing that. I think it says a lot that people at the Wikimedia Foundation
have been so uncomfortable with the products they've created that the
sheer awesomeness of the products alone can't attract people to want to
use them. VisualEditor, ArticleFeedbackTool, MediaViewer, etc. are all
examples of this. (VisualEditor, by the way, is a lot better now.)

It's not about open communication, exactly, it's about building products
that people want and want to have enabled, instead of trying to force
subpar products on volunteers, many of whom have limited time and patience.
If you build great products, users will want to use them and have them
enabled by default. If your users are all rejecting your product and your
product is actively damaging the sites that these volunteers care for,
your product sucks and you likely either don't understand your target
audience or you don't understand the problems you're intending to solve.

>In the wikimedia movement there is a serious lack of said expression
>spaces. For instance, during the WMCON 15, it was the first time that user
>groups representatives seated down together, also with some WMF employees,
>to discuss user groups in an open manner. I think it is a big step forward
>which paves the way in other areas too.

I very much doubt that this was the first time that Wikimedians sat down
and discussed user groups. ;-)

>Problems of the past like VE deployment schedule, and the upcoming Commons
>reform could profit of the "sit-and-talk" approach.

Like Jane, I'm curious what you mean by Commons reform. Can you please
elaborate?

MZMcBride



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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Building a "we" in the wikimedia movement [ In reply to ]
I agree with a bunch of what you're saying here. That's probably worth
saying up front, because I'm going to disagree with a bunch of it, too.


> to assume good faith.
>

"Assume good faith", and nearby concepts such as "be civil", have in the
long term severely damaged the social infrastructure of the projects.


> I believe that with a strong inner peace conflicts
> would be less, the atmosphere would improve, and the so-called "editor
> decline" would be a problem of the past.
>

I agree that the editor decline is due partly to toxic social atmosphere
(mostly, in my experience, on Wikipedia; the smaller sisters are homier,
though of course it's hard to know how much of that is simply because
they're smaller). Hopefully it's clear that there no way to externally
enforce inner peace, and I suggest that attempting to do so is a major
source of social toxicity.


> That goodwill can be cultivated at upper levels too.


Maybe. Not through "assume good faith", though, which merely gives upper
levels an excuse to ignore things they don't want to hear.


> Sometimes there are
> decisions that must be taken to improve our sites, and some of them have
>
created a lot of drama which maybe could have been minimized by enabling
> expression spaces, where there can be some real communication happening,
> that is, bidirectional, and not to force any ideas, just to foster
> understanding.
>

That's a key mistake of reasoning, right there. The Foundation making bad
decisions is a problem because the decisions are bad, and any resentment is
a secondary concern. The Foundation cannot help making, statistically, bad
decisions. The Foundation is intrinsically less qualified than the
contributors to make decisions about what direction is in the best
interests of the sisterhood; the Foundation's unilateral judgement cannot
help being mostly worse for the sisterhood than the contributors'
judgement. Can the contributor base make bad decisions? Sure, but the
Foundation is at least as likely to be wrong about when that's going to
happen as they are likely to be wrong about anything else.

That is, the problem isn't that the Foundation needs to find a better way
to liase with the contributors about situations where the Foundation must
make unilateral strategic decisions, the problem is that the Foundation is
under the delusion there are situations like that. The problem can't be
addressed by helping the Foundation to make better unilateral decisions,
because it's not possible for the Foundation to be enabled to do so. The
problem can't be addressed by improving Foundation-contributor relations,
because that doesn't make the Foundations' decisions less damaging to the
infrastructure.


> In the wikimedia movement there is a serious lack of said expression
> spaces. For instance, during the WMCON 15, it was the first time that user
> groups representatives seated down together, also with some WMF employees,
> to discuss user groups in an open manner. I think it is a big step forward
> which paves the way in other areas too.
>

Communicating is much better than not communicating. The Foundation
institutionally recognizing its limitations is badly needed.


> There is for instance the need to create roads for users to progress in the
> movement, to bring users from "casual reader" to a "wise wikimedian"
> status.


Now, that is very true. One really good thing to do for that would be to
consistently emphasize users working directly with wiki markup (which
teaches by exaemple, something systematically prevented by WYSIWYG), and
consistently emphasize everything being done in wiki markup rather than
separate languages such as Lua or JavaScript (or, FSM help us all, PHP).


> Such a wise people already exist in our movement, it is a pity that
> we don't enable more knowledge transfer between the "elders" and newcomers,
> because when one of our wise wikimedian (digitally) dies, it leaves behind
> a big gap which is very big to fill up again.
>

Capturing contributor experience, enabling it to be applied and transferred
to newcomers, is what I mean to accomplish with my dialog tools
<https://en.wikinews.org/wiki/Help:Dialog>. I mean to transform wiki
markup into a medium that can make wikis crowdsourced repositories of
know-how about wikis for contributors as well as of knowledge for readers.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Building a "we" in the wikimedia movement [ In reply to ]
His MZMcBride,

I agree with Micru on a number of points, particularly that it would be
helpful to think of Wikimedia as a social movement, with all of the
diversity and methods of interaction among ourselves making us a very
complex social environment. I'm in the process of writing a piece for the
Signpost about WMCON 2015 where I plan to share further thoughts about the
social nature of Wikimedia.

I agree that a lack of experience with our products and "society" is a
shortcoming in WMF, and that a number of WMF decisions over the years have
been of little benefit, harmful to community health, and financially
expensive. There have been a number of times when I've lost sleep over
trying to figure out what to do, last night being one of them. I wish that
I had easy answers. Compounding the diffuculty is that WMF and the
community sometimes seem to think that the other organization is the source
of most problems. I get the sense that the WMF Board is thinking about
devolving more of its responsibilities to the community, and I think that
this would be a good start that would lead to better outcomes for everyone
in the long term. Also note that the current WMF Board elections provide a
window for the community to make some changes.

Regarding user groups, a common theme at the conference is that they need
various kinds of support in order to grow and flourish. I get the sense
that Lila and Siko are supportive of this general concept.

I like the idea of fostering more and friendlier connections among
community members, and recently made suggestions to Philippe about how WMF
could help with this process. This would help community health, and is an
opportunity for WMF to have a positive leadership role.

I'm glad that we're having this conversation, and I look forward to hearing
further discussion, including thoughts from WMF staff.

Pine

On May 23, 2015 7:23 AM, "MZMcBride" <z@mzmcbride.com> wrote:
>
> Hi.
>
> I don't know how you're going to shoehorn "we" into "Wikimedia movement".
> I guess, similar to putting the "me" in "team", it will require
> transposing letters? Or perhaps dropping letters altogether (since we[!]
> already have a W and several Es)? Hmm, or I suppose a careful alignment of
> the two words might do it...
>
> Wikimedia
> movement
>
> David Cuenca Tudela wrote:
> >During this Wikimedia Conference 2015 there was a paradigm shift in the
> >way problems are expressed. It was highlighted that the wikimedia
> >movement is not only about gathering and sharing knowledge, but also
> >about the people behind it, about finding ways to enhance the
> >togetherness that is created by participating in our sites, no matter
> >which ones they are in the present, and no matter which they will be in
> >the future.
>
> Not to rain on your revelation, but I hardly think this is new or a
> paradigm shift. That said, I didn't attend Wikimedia Conference 2015.
>
> >That goodwill can be cultivated at upper levels too. Sometimes there are
> >decisions that must be taken to improve our sites, and some of them have
> >created a lot of drama which maybe could have been minimized by enabling
> >expression spaces, where there can be some real communication happening,
> >that is, bidirectional, and not to force any ideas, just to foster
> >understanding.
>
> Right now, the reality is that Wikipedia is massively popular without the
> help of nearly anyone at the upper level of the current Wikimedia
> Foundation management. In my mind, the new upper management of the
> Wikimedia Foundation has a lot more to learn from the Wikimedia movement
> than vice versa. Which one of them has over a decade of experience
> building Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia? :-)
>
> There's plenty of work to be done, to be sure, but I get annoyed when I
> read statements such as "decisions that must be taken to improve our
> sites" that created drama. Forcing software on a volunteer community is a
> bad idea and many of the recent dramas seem to involve some version of
> doing that. I think it says a lot that people at the Wikimedia Foundation
> have been so uncomfortable with the products they've created that the
> sheer awesomeness of the products alone can't attract people to want to
> use them. VisualEditor, ArticleFeedbackTool, MediaViewer, etc. are all
> examples of this. (VisualEditor, by the way, is a lot better now.)
>
> It's not about open communication, exactly, it's about building products
> that people want and want to have enabled, instead of trying to force
> subpar products on volunteers, many of whom have limited time and
patience.
> If you build great products, users will want to use them and have them
> enabled by default. If your users are all rejecting your product and your
> product is actively damaging the sites that these volunteers care for,
> your product sucks and you likely either don't understand your target
> audience or you don't understand the problems you're intending to solve.
>
> >In the wikimedia movement there is a serious lack of said expression
> >spaces. For instance, during the WMCON 15, it was the first time that
user
> >groups representatives seated down together, also with some WMF
employees,
> >to discuss user groups in an open manner. I think it is a big step
forward
> >which paves the way in other areas too.
>
> I very much doubt that this was the first time that Wikimedians sat down
> and discussed user groups. ;-)
>
> >Problems of the past like VE deployment schedule, and the upcoming
Commons
> >reform could profit of the "sit-and-talk" approach.
>
> Like Jane, I'm curious what you mean by Commons reform. Can you please
> elaborate?
>
> MZMcBride
>
>
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Building a "we" in the wikimedia movement [ In reply to ]
On 23 May 2015 at 17:08, Pine W <wiki.pine@gmail.com> wrote:

> I like the idea of fostering more and friendlier connections among
> community member

So do I.

However, the coreallry to this is the firamtion of cliques, which can
be equally unwlecoming to new editors and can entrench systemic
biases. We see this, and "ownership", in some en.WP wikiprjcts, for
example.

How can we itigate against this, while making our projects more social?

--
Andy Mabbett
@pigsonthewing
http://pigsonthewing.org.uk

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Building a "we" in the wikimedia movement [ In reply to ]
How?

Default to open meetings, not closed or invitation only.

Default to open wikis and lists, not closed.

Virtual attendance at meetings and conferences. Wikimania has always been
an opportunity to showcase virtual meetings, and encourage those of us
unable to fly (or not rich enough to pay) to feel part of the exclusive
"we".

Fae
On 23 May 2015 17:19, "Andy Mabbett" <andy@pigsonthewing.org.uk> wrote:

> On 23 May 2015 at 17:08, Pine W <wiki.pine@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > I like the idea of fostering more and friendlier connections among
> > community member
>
> So do I.
>
> However, the coreallry to this is the firamtion of cliques, which can
> be equally unwlecoming to new editors and can entrench systemic
> biases. We see this, and "ownership", in some en.WP wikiprjcts, for
> example.
>
> How can we itigate against this, while making our projects more social?
>
> --
> Andy Mabbett
> @pigsonthewing
> http://pigsonthewing.org.uk
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Building a "we" in the wikimedia movement [ In reply to ]
I'll second that!

On Sat, May 23, 2015 at 6:29 PM, Fæ <faewik@gmail.com> wrote:

> How?
>
> Default to open meetings, not closed or invitation only.
>
> Default to open wikis and lists, not closed.
>
> Virtual attendance at meetings and conferences. Wikimania has always been
> an opportunity to showcase virtual meetings, and encourage those of us
> unable to fly (or not rich enough to pay) to feel part of the exclusive
> "we".
>
> Fae
> On 23 May 2015 17:19, "Andy Mabbett" <andy@pigsonthewing.org.uk> wrote:
>
> > On 23 May 2015 at 17:08, Pine W <wiki.pine@gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > > I like the idea of fostering more and friendlier connections among
> > > community member
> >
> > So do I.
> >
> > However, the coreallry to this is the firamtion of cliques, which can
> > be equally unwlecoming to new editors and can entrench systemic
> > biases. We see this, and "ownership", in some en.WP wikiprjcts, for
> > example.
> >
> > How can we itigate against this, while making our projects more social?
> >
> > --
> > Andy Mabbett
> > @pigsonthewing
> > http://pigsonthewing.org.uk
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > <mailto:wikimedia-l-request@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Building a "we" in the wikimedia movement [ In reply to ]
On Sat, May 23, 2015 at 9:18 AM, Andy Mabbett <andy@pigsonthewing.org.uk>
wrote:

> How can we [l]itigate against this, while making our projects more social?
>
>
Hi Andy,
regarding your question I guess there is no definite answer, perhaps it is
something inherent to social systems, so in a way there is nothing to be
done, but instead accepted. If cliques appear naturally, then let them be,
let them manifest as user groups, or as sub-communities, or as wikiprojects
and give them the space to be born and to die. Through try-and-fail many
will appear, and only the most friendly ones should be left on the long
run. Perhaps a more interesting question is "what can I do as individual to
avoid creating damaging cliques or behaviors?"

Again, there is no definite answer, or if there is one, there is one answer
for each one of us. However it is healthy to increase user awareness, and
to use this awareness to engage people in a more constructive way. For
instance, I cannot choose how you are going to react to my words, but I can
choose how I react to your words, I can be calm to a great extent,
specially because I met you in person and I know who you are and what are
your circumstances.

If I hadn't met you in person and we had a difficult argument, perhaps my
patience would be less, because humans are just like that, we spend less
time dealing with the unknown (which might me worthless) than with the
known (which might be more appreciated).
So in a way it is a matter of finding that appreciation for other
contributors, which can only happen when knowledge is gathered about who
they are, which in turn makes it difficult to make it online because we
want to respect privacy, but it is very easy to apply it in real life
environments because each one is free to create their own story.

I hope that my little rant makes sense, and it conveys clearly the
importance of IRL meetings to foster a healthy communication in online
environments.

Cheers,
Micru
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Building a "we" in the wikimedia movement [ In reply to ]
I third that!

However we are entering the field of privacy, because as useful the virtual
meetings can be, they might be intrusive if you are in your home and you
show your whole house to the world. As long as people are happy about that,
then I do not see any problem in increasing the number of meetings having a
virtual component in Wikimania.

I wonder if it is possible to organize a virtual conference first using
something like Google Hangouts to test if it would work at a bigger scale
like wikimania.

On Sat, May 23, 2015 at 9:29 AM, Fæ <faewik@gmail.com> wrote:

> How?
>
> Default to open meetings, not closed or invitation only.
>
> Default to open wikis and lists, not closed.
>
> Virtual attendance at meetings and conferences. Wikimania has always been
> an opportunity to showcase virtual meetings, and encourage those of us
> unable to fly (or not rich enough to pay) to feel part of the exclusive
> "we".
>
> Fae
> On 23 May 2015 17:19, "Andy Mabbett" <andy@pigsonthewing.org.uk> wrote:
>
> > On 23 May 2015 at 17:08, Pine W <wiki.pine@gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > > I like the idea of fostering more and friendlier connections among
> > > community member
> >
> > So do I.
> >
> > However, the coreallry to this is the firamtion of cliques, which can
> > be equally unwlecoming to new editors and can entrench systemic
> > biases. We see this, and "ownership", in some en.WP wikiprjcts, for
> > example.
> >
> > How can we itigate against this, while making our projects more social?
> >
> > --
> > Andy Mabbett
> > @pigsonthewing
> > http://pigsonthewing.org.uk
> >
> > _______________________________________________
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--
Etiamsi omnes, ego non
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Building a "we" in the wikimedia movement [ In reply to ]
Video is not necessary.

Fred

On Sat, 23 May 2015 09:42:34 -0700
David Cuenca Tudela <dacuetu@gmail.com> wrote:
> I third that!
>
> However we are entering the field of privacy, because as useful the
>virtual
> meetings can be, they might be intrusive if you are in your home and
>you
> show your whole house to the world. As long as people are happy
>about that,
> then I do not see any problem in increasing the number of meetings
>having a
> virtual component in Wikimania.
>
> I wonder if it is possible to organize a virtual conference first
>using
> something like Google Hangouts to test if it would work at a bigger
>scale
> like wikimania.
>
> On Sat, May 23, 2015 at 9:29 AM, Fæ <faewik@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> How?
>>
>> Default to open meetings, not closed or invitation only.
>>
>> Default to open wikis and lists, not closed.
>>
>> Virtual attendance at meetings and conferences. Wikimania has always
>>been
>> an opportunity to showcase virtual meetings, and encourage those of
>>us
>> unable to fly (or not rich enough to pay) to feel part of the
>>exclusive
>> "we".
>>
>> Fae
>> On 23 May 2015 17:19, "Andy Mabbett" <andy@pigsonthewing.org.uk>
>>wrote:
>>
>> > On 23 May 2015 at 17:08, Pine W <wiki.pine@gmail.com> wrote:
>> >
>> > > I like the idea of fostering more and friendlier connections
>>among
>> > > community member
>> >
>> > So do I.
>> >
>> > However, the coreallry to this is the firamtion of cliques, which
>>can
>> > be equally unwlecoming to new editors and can entrench systemic
>> > biases. We see this, and "ownership", in some en.WP wikiprjcts,
>>for
>> > example.
>> >
>> > How can we itigate against this, while making our projects more
>>social?
>> >
>> > --
>> > Andy Mabbett
>> > @pigsonthewing
>> > http://pigsonthewing.org.uk
>> >
>> > _______________________________________________
>> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
>> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
>> > Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
>> > Unsubscribe:
>>https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
>> >
>><mailto:wikimedia-l-request@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe>
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>
>
>
> --
> Etiamsi omnes, ego non
> _______________________________________________
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Building a "we" in the wikimedia movement [ In reply to ]
On Sat, May 23, 2015 at 7:22 AM, MZMcBride <z@mzmcbride.com> wrote:

> I don't know how you're going to shoehorn "we" into "Wikimedia movement".
> I guess, similar to putting the "me" in "team", it will require
> transposing letters? Or perhaps dropping letters altogether (since we[!]
> already have a W and several Es)? Hmm, or I suppose a careful alignment of
> the two words might do it...
>

It is a matter of individual choice. I can choose to say that the wikimedia
movement is a matter of "we", you can choose to decide to hold the opposing
view, and it is fine like that. As long as more people decide that the
wikimedia movement is a matter of "we" then it *will* be a matter of "we"
and "team". It is the same magic as by the money works, people just decide
to give little paper pieces (now plastic, or just bits) value and they dare
to call it money! Even if the illusion is certified by a collective group
of people assigning them fancy names like "government" or "treasury", it is
not less of an illusion. There is no reason why each one of us couldn't
uphold the illusion that there is a "we" behind the wikimedia movement.


>
> Not to rain on your revelation, but I hardly think this is new or a
> paradigm shift. That said, I didn't attend Wikimedia Conference 2015.
>

It is the first time that I saw real intention behind those apparently
empty words, and that was new for me.


> Right now, the reality is that Wikipedia is massively popular without the
> help of nearly anyone at the upper level of the current Wikimedia
> Foundation management. In my mind, the new upper management of the
> Wikimedia Foundation has a lot more to learn from the Wikimedia movement
> than vice versa. Which one of them has over a decade of experience
> building Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia? :-)
>

Just because something has been true for the last ten years doesn't mean
that it couldn't change tomorrow, or the next ten years. I do not doubt the
usefulness of the WMF in performing tasks that allow the movement to be
more successful on the long run, even the record so far is not impressive,
the site works fine, and there have been changes and improvements, that are
indeed useful. It is however much easier to point out the faults than to
try to highlight what works.


>
> There's plenty of work to be done, to be sure, but I get annoyed when I
> read statements such as "decisions that must be taken to improve our
> sites" that created drama. Forcing software on a volunteer community is a
> bad idea and many of the recent dramas seem to involve some version of
> doing that. I think it says a lot that people at the Wikimedia Foundation
> have been so uncomfortable with the products they've created that the
> sheer awesomeness of the products alone can't attract people to want to
> use them. VisualEditor, ArticleFeedbackTool, MediaViewer, etc. are all
> examples of this. (VisualEditor, by the way, is a lot better now.)
>

Although the examples that you mention were considered failures, they were
done with the right intention of improving the movement. It is another
thing that should be recognized and accepted on a wider scale. The
possibility of making mistakes and failing big time. Without the
opportunity of failing there is no the opportunity of learning. In fact
what we call learning is just having the opportunity to do things were you
can fail until you master it. Since the community has let the wmf fail, now
that means that the gathered expertise should be put to good use, and
*keep* trusting the wmf. As you say the Visual Editor has gotten much
better, and that is thanks to people like Eric Moeller, who has been boo'ed
in the past for taking apparently bad decisions but which helped him (and
everybody else) to get more acquainted with the limits of our movement,
which limits and wishes, and expectations are not always clear-cut, they
are created on the go.


>
> It's not about open communication, exactly, it's about building products
> that people want and want to have enabled, instead of trying to force
> subpar products on volunteers, many of whom have limited time and patience.
> If you build great products, users will want to use them and have them
> enabled by default. If your users are all rejecting your product and your
> product is actively damaging the sites that these volunteers care for,
> your product sucks and you likely either don't understand your target
> audience or you don't understand the problems you're intending to solve.
>

You are not saying nothing new here, we are dealing with the unknown
constantly, and if it was known with exactly precision which products and
how they are integrated into the current ecosystem, then we wouldn't need
any discussion about this. Volunteers can help yes, but not any kind of
volunteers, you need volunteers with a great degree of involvement, the
same kind of volunteer that we are loosing more often because of burnout,
and of lack of understanding from the parties involved.

I very much doubt that this was the first time that Wikimedians sat down
> and discussed user groups. ;-)
>

I don't doubt that it has happen in the past, it is hardly new :) What is
new is the intention to escalate it and to integrate it with the internal
processes of the wmf. It is the "angular stone", and it is nor easy nor
obvious how it should happen. The fact that there was the first attempt to
create a togetherness it is by itself very promising.


>
> Like Jane, I'm curious what you mean by Commons reform. Can you please
> elaborate?
>

I meant Wikidata for Commons. I have not been following the last updates,
but I thought that there were many interested users in seeing that happen
to solve standing issues in Commons and to prepare it to compete at a
bigger scale with other sharing picture platforms out there.

Cheers,
Micru

PS: I thank you for sharing your thoughts, MZMcBride, I don't think we had
the pleasure to meet in person but I hope it happens soon at any venue :)
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