IRC office hours/Office hours 2010-01-07

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  • Jan 07 09:01:12 <cary> Hi randmontoya !
  • Jan 07 09:01:19 <Rjd0060> Morning Rand.
  • Jan 07 09:01:19 <cary> How did the fundraiser go?
  • Jan 07 09:01:20 <randmontoya> Hello All
  • Jan 07 09:01:30 <randmontoya> G'morning Ryan, Cary.
  • Jan 07 09:03:02 <randmontoya> I have no prepared remarks. There were lots of things that worked really well and some areas for improvement: in short, a typical fundraiser.
  • Jan 07 09:03:17 <randmontoya> I'm happy to answer any questions that I can.
  • Jan 07 09:03:41 <randmontoya> If there are few questions, I'll just start humming to myself.
  • Jan 07 09:04:00 <cary> I bet mpeel has questions
  • Jan 07 09:04:04 <Avruch> what sorts of things can be improved for next year?
  • Jan 07 09:04:25 <Avruch> and have you considered e-mailing or otherwise contacting previous donors during the fundraiser?
  • Jan 07 09:04:50 <cary> Those are very good questions, Avruch
  • Jan 07 09:04:51 <randmontoya> Avruch: the thing I love about our community is not only are they very free to give help, they are equally free to identify things that could be made better.
  • Jan 07 09:05:27 <randmontoya> In fact, I have meetings set up with the chapters, wmf staff, & our consultants to discuss all the areas of improvement.
  • Jan 07 09:05:52 <randmontoya> I even have volunteers help organizing those suggestions: http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Wikimedia:Fundraising_2009#Reminders_for_next_year
  • Jan 07 09:06:23 <randmontoya> Of course, like all the suggestions from last year, we can't possibly *DO* everything. It's my job to do as much as we can with the resources we have.
  • Jan 07 09:06:31 <Rjd0060> That's quite a list.
  • Jan 07 09:07:06 <aie> randmontoya: how did you think the cooperation with the volunteers went?
  • Jan 07 09:07:15 <randmontoya> Some things seems very simple...but the reality is that we're a very very small staff trying to do something amazing: raise money in every country on Earth in 200+ languages. We still don't know how to do it perfectly.
  • Jan 07 09:07:50 <aie> were there enough of them helping out with OTRS, translations and all, do you think temp professional help might be needed etc?
  • Jan 07 09:07:53 <randmontoya> aie: I love my volunteers...and they were amazing this year. But that is something that needs to be explored more. How much can and should I rely on volunteers?
  • Jan 07 09:08:30 <randmontoya> Should I be hiring more professional staff for 3 months? Should I hire temps? What is the best way to get all the work done.
  • Jan 07 09:08:30 <Avruch> randmontoya: What were the problems that really jumped right out at you, say the top 3-5?
  • Jan 07 09:08:40 <randmontoya> I don't have a perfect answer yet, aie.
  • Jan 07 09:09:08 <aie> randmontoya: not looking for perfect answers, but first impressions
  • Jan 07 09:10:19 <randmontoya> Avruch, I believe I needed MUCH more technical support this year. Most of my issues were big time technical where there were very few people who could really do the job. The reasons for this are many, but I hope to not have the same problems next year.
  • Jan 07 09:11:06 <randmontoya> The banners not working on day 1 and many of the other technical improvements that never came to be (the Dreaded Ariel Extension, eg), were a result of too little tech support.
  • Jan 07 09:12:07 <Avruch> Do you think you'll start earlier on getting those things set up next year?
  • Jan 07 09:12:08 <Amgine> Question: Could this have been mitigated by using professional ad software?
  • Jan 07 09:12:10 <randmontoya> As the manager of this project, I have to spend my resources to the greatest effect to make things work.
  • Jan 07 09:12:19 <cary> First Avruch, then Amgine
  • Jan 07 09:12:39 <cary> <Avruch> Do you think you'll start earlier on getting those things set up next year?
  • Jan 07 09:13:29 <randmontoya> Avruch, the biggest problem with the timing was the late entry of the marketing plans into the fundraiser. Sadly, the selection process took much longer than possible. We planned for what we could given that our copy came in late October.
  • Jan 07 09:13:50 <randmontoya> The things that we had time to work on (Credit cards and Geo IP) worked pretty well.
  • Jan 07 09:14:27 <randmontoya> Amgine: Unknown...we haven't looked into professional software yet or systems like that yet. We may or may not for next year.
  • Jan 07 09:14:41 <randmontoya> Avruch, Amgine: did I answer the question?
  • Jan 07 09:14:54 <Amgine> No, but that's okay.
  • Jan 07 09:15:23 <randmontoya> Amgine: to really answer: I have no idea. I don't know what such software would do if we had it.
  • Jan 07 09:15:26 <randmontoya> There you go.
  • Jan 07 09:15:53 <randmontoya> I know what it could do in theory, but not in our application. Wikis are weird worlds.
  • Jan 07 09:16:12 <cary> Rand, "Wikis are weird worlds"
  • Jan 07 09:16:26 <Avruch> Yep. I'm just thinking that a testing phase, with banners live on a small or test project and the donor landing pages operating, would allow you to manage problems like the credit card and banner issues before major go-live.
  • Jan 07 09:16:27 <randmontoya> They are!
  • Jan 07 09:16:51 <Amgine> Uhm, advertising on the internet is advertising on the internet. Doesn't really matter if it's a wiki or a newspaper or a TV show.
  • Jan 07 09:16:53 <randmontoya> Avruch, agreed.
  • Jan 07 09:17:29 <randmontoya> Amgine, from my experience, there isn't anything typical about the world of Wikis.
  • Jan 07 09:17:48 <Avruch> Did you happen to answer the question about contacting/following up with donors from previous drives? I've heard CiviCRM mentioned a few times in posts to Foundation-l, but I don't know if it has that capacity.
  • Jan 07 09:17:49 <Amgine> Then you're not looking at it as a process.
  • Jan 07 09:18:10 <Avruch> It seems like other organizations I donate to do a great deal of e-mail follow-up, and it's curious that there is none at all from the WMF ;)
  • Jan 07 09:19:25 <randmontoya> Avruch, we always have plans to email previous donors to keep them appraised of our activities and how we are spending their donation. I consider that a key part of the fundraising process. We have the ability to email our donors and we'll be doing that shortly with our Annual Report and a TY note from Sue.
  • Jan 07 09:19:35 <randmontoya> CiviCRM can handle that.
  • Jan 07 09:19:42 <Avruch> Is that new this year?
  • Jan 07 09:20:20 <GerardM-> is CiviCRM localised and used by our chapters ?
  • Jan 07 09:20:35 <randmontoya> Avruch, we are very open to communicating with our donors. It's been an issue of having appropriate cultivation messages to send. We sent one last last October (the Annual Report).
  • Jan 07 09:20:51 <randmontoya> And we'll be doing more cultivation in the future.
  • Jan 07 09:21:12 <randmontoya> GerardM-, each chapter that uses CiviCRM has their own version.
  • Jan 07 09:21:34 <GerardM-> I take it you mean their own database ..
  • Jan 07 09:21:44 <randmontoya> I know of several chapters that use it...I hope to get feedback on how it worked next week when I speak with the chapters.
  • Jan 07 09:22:00 <randmontoya> Yes
  • Jan 07 09:22:07 <cary> bad hours
  • Jan 07 09:22:26 <Avruch> Is there a page that shows how much each chapter earned during the drive?
  • Jan 07 09:22:44 <cary> Good question
  • Jan 07 09:22:44 <randmontoya> Nothing public, Avruch. It's not up to me to release such things.
  • Jan 07 09:23:17 <randmontoya> As a whole, the chapters are reporting about $1.6M so far.
  • Jan 07 09:23:22 <randmontoya> Collectively.
  • Jan 07 09:23:33 <Avruch> And that total is separate from the ~8M to the WMF?
  • Jan 07 09:23:39 <randmontoya> Yes.
  • Jan 07 09:24:54 <randmontoya> The phrase I like to use is: "A rising tide floats all boats." I think when the WMF message is strong and clear, the chapters will have strong results as well.
  • Jan 07 09:25:33 <GerardM-> has the percentage of the donations from Europe grown ?
  • Jan 07 09:26:17 <Avruch> The infamous "Wikipedia Forever" banner and messaging... What's the verdict on that? I know its use was limited by the end of the drive (prior to Jimmy's appeal), but it still is in use on wikimediafoundation.org?
  • Jan 07 09:26:48 <randmontoya> GerardM-, I don't have those stats yet. We are still entering in lots of donation information and our final numbers aren't ready. I know that we've gotten over 1 million Euros so far.
  • Jan 07 09:27:39 <randmontoya> Avruch, my opinion on that: I wish that campaign hadn't been hit by technical problems at the outset.
  • Jan 07 09:28:53 <Avruch> Didn't other banners, some volunteer generated, outperform the Forever banners into the campaign?
  • Jan 07 09:28:59 <randmontoya> I leave the future of WP 4eva to the PR/marketing people. I can see how it rubs some people the wrong way, but I wish I had been properly able to test it.
  • Jan 07 09:29:01 <Avruch> (I could be wrong, just what I seem to recall)
  • Jan 07 09:29:17 <randmontoya> Avruch, we never had good testing on any of that.
  • Jan 07 09:29:43 <randmontoya> When we go over my personal regrets from the fundraiser, it's that technical problems didn't allow us to do some real nice testing on all our messages.
  • Jan 07 09:30:35 <randmontoya> We did run some volunteer messages and they did just fine. Had the fundraiser continued, we would have brought them back for another run.
  • Jan 07 09:31:13 <GerardM-> will you consider doing the translations at translatewiki a next time ?
  • Jan 07 09:31:34 <effeietsanders> Q: what is the most surprising conclusion you drew from the stats on the used messages?
  • Jan 07 09:31:47 <randmontoya> GerardM-, happily. I need to learn more about the process, of course. And I need volunteers to help manage that.
  • Jan 07 09:31:47 <Amgine> Question: Did you do any market rotations? What kind of data collection was in use? Will this data be made available for others to analyse?
  • Jan 07 09:32:07 <cary> GerardM-, I think that question can best be addressed to the translation team, who makes those decisions :)
  • Jan 07 09:32:45 <randmontoya> effeietsanders: the stuff that I blogged about how some quotes with low donations pulled in lots (and LOTS) of small donations and the reverse
  • Jan 07 09:33:10 <randmontoya> http://meta.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Special:NoticeTemplate/view&template=2009_Notice18
  • Jan 07 09:33:14 <effeietsanders> GerardM-: an implication there might also be that it is not always a translation, but there might be other versions for other countries although the same language
  • Jan 07 09:33:17 <randmontoya> That message was a game changer.
  • Jan 07 09:33:50 <effeietsanders> randmontoya: you mean that big donors gave less, or that more people started donating?
  • Jan 07 09:34:00 <Amgine> Question: What about Sister Projects' complaints they were being spammed with Wikipedia-everything?
  • Jan 07 09:34:04 <randmontoya> Amgine: No market rotations. I'll have to talk to our tech team about getting all the data out, but it will be available. As I mentioned earlier, we are still entering in gifts.
  • Jan 07 09:34:41 <randmontoya> effeietsanders, that message encouraged a lot of small donations from people who wouldn't have given at all
  • Jan 07 09:35:47 <randmontoya> Amgine: that is a decision that I made based on the technical resources that we had. We are aware and cognizant of the issues and tried very hard to avoid them. We were not perfect...but will do better in the future.
  • Jan 07 09:36:16 <Avruch> Is the CiviCRM donor messaging communicated in the donors language? (Thanks for donating, update on fund use, please donate, etc.)
  • Jan 07 09:36:37 <GerardM-> effeietsanders: when a different text is to be used for another language, it makes no difference when executing that functionality
  • Jan 07 09:36:38 <bawolff> Q: (specifically related to Amgine's) : Could we in future at the very least not have wikipedia's logo in the fundraiser message on non-wikipedia projects
  • Jan 07 09:36:53 <GerardM-> the problem is only in making sure that the message is appropriate
  • Jan 07 09:37:02 <Rjd0060> What Avruch said - some way to do this would be good. Lots of people requested it via OTRS.
  • Jan 07 09:37:08 <randmontoya> Avruch, no. That is a huge technical hurdle for the future.
  • Jan 07 09:37:40 <Avruch> Possibly something translatewiki could help with, assuming CiviCRM stores donor language preferences
  • Jan 07 09:37:43 <GerardM-> that is exactly one of the things that you may want to discuss with siebrand
  • Jan 07 09:37:43 <randmontoya> bawolff, I would love it to be so.
  • Jan 07 09:38:32 <Amgine> Avruch: if it doesn't, e-mail address tld is often a good proxy.
  • Jan 07 09:38:55 <GerardM-> when people donate to a chapter in stead of the foundation, it is still very important to ensure that they get their message and thanks
  • Jan 07 09:39:05 <randmontoya> Avruch, the good thing about CiviCRM is that we can mold what we want into it...it just takes time and money. But we can do that.
  • Jan 07 09:39:34 <randmontoya> I've lost track of questions, people. Please remind me with a big QUESTION at the front if I've missed yours.
  • Jan 07 09:40:02 <Avruch> I think you're caught up
  • Jan 07 09:40:52 <randmontoya> Any more questions?
  • Jan 07 09:41:13 <Amgine> Bawolff's.
  • Jan 07 09:41:16 <randmontoya> Don't make me tell you how awesome fellow staffer Megan Hernandez and Anya Shyrokova are.
  • Jan 07 09:41:19 <cary> QUESTION: where does your wife get those delicious recipes?
  • Jan 07 09:41:33 <Avruch> Has contracting with outside communication/PR help had a measurable impact?
  • Jan 07 09:41:50 <Amgine> QUESTION: <bawolff> Q: (specifically related to Amgine's) : Could we in future at the very least not have wikipedia's logo in the fundraiser message on non-wikipedia projects
  • Jan 07 09:42:03 <Avruch> [12:37] <+randmontoya> bawolff, I would love it to be so.
  • Jan 07 09:42:13 <bawolff> Q: In future fundraisers, if the fundraising team doesn't have enough time to make project specific messages, will it reach out to respective communities to help in making more project appropriate messages?
  • Jan 07 09:42:14 <meganrhernandez> thanks rand
  • Jan 07 09:42:15 <randmontoya> Btw, Megan and Anya have been handling near infinite donor phone calls regarding credit cards...you have no idea how much time and energy they have spent being exceedingly nice to our donors. All the credit in the world to them.
  • Jan 07 09:42:25 <Amgine> ah sorry, thanks Rand
  • Jan 07 09:42:29 <randmontoya> randmontoya: bawolff, I would love it to be so.
  • Jan 07 09:43:31 <bawolff> What stood in the way of that happening this time?
  • Jan 07 09:43:59 <randmontoya> bawolff: Messaging is a tough thing, bawolff. We want a common theme throughout the fundraiser. I believe we have plenty of room for growth in doing a better job of working with the projects.
  • Jan 07 09:44:18 <randmontoya> bawolff: limited technical resources.
  • Jan 07 09:44:25 <effeietsanders> randmontoya: did you keep stats of the enquiries?
  • Jan 07 09:44:34 <effeietsanders> incl email
  • Jan 07 09:44:48 <effeietsanders> might be interesting to set them out in time towards technical changes, messaging etc
  • Jan 07 09:45:50 <randmontoya> effeietsanders, i may let Megan or Anya answer that one.
  • Jan 07 09:45:53 <Natalie> The next major fundraiser is a year away.
  • Jan 07 09:46:04 <Natalie> Want to take bets that there will be the same "tech issues" then?
  • Jan 07 09:46:27 <randmontoya> Natalie, I always expect tech issues.
  • Jan 07 09:46:28 <effeietsanders> (I assume otrs admins could draw the email stats somehow)
  • Jan 07 09:46:34 <meganrhernandez> we've kept track of voicemails we've received and refunds for duplicate and fraudulent charges
  • Jan 07 09:46:35 <Amgine> Natalie, the next major fundraiser should have begun about 4 months ago.
  • Jan 07 09:46:48 <Amgine> As a campaign, I mean.
  • Jan 07 09:46:52 <randmontoya> Any questions that I missed?
  • Jan 07 09:46:57 <Natalie> Well, it's forever, you see...
  • Jan 07 09:47:02 <Avruch> Q: One impression I had this year is that the WMF paid for outside help, but used less volunteer resources. Maybe next year, the new resources devoted to the fundraiser could in part address making better use of volunteer help?
  • Jan 07 09:47:53 <randmontoya> Avruch, I couldn't disagree more. I think we relied on more volunteers than ever. True, we had some marketing/PR help and worked with consultants on the CC processing, but I had so much help from volunteers.
  • Jan 07 09:48:16 <cary> email stats?
  • Jan 07 09:49:22 <randmontoya> I think without either group, the fundraiser doesn't succeed.
  • Jan 07 09:49:22 <randmontoya> Without our OTRS volunteers, my staff's head explode. Our translation help was incredible. I don't think I could ask for more than I got.
  • Jan 07 09:49:42 <Rjd0060> I have one number that I just got on how many emails we replied to
  • Jan 07 09:49:58 <Avruch> That's a good point, I had mind more the marketing aspects - like the content of the banners, and project-specific messaging.
  • Jan 07 09:50:42 <bawolff> Q: This fundraiser seemed to have a lot more community backlash then in previous years (or at least it seemed to to me). How do you think this could be minimized in future years?
  • Jan 07 09:51:03 <randmontoya> Avruch, the core messaging comes from Jay and the PR team (and ultimately Sue and Erik)...I work with them on things like that.
  • Jan 07 09:51:26 <Natalie> No, Rand.
  • Jan 07 09:51:27 <Rjd0060> Between Nov 10 and Jan 5 we replied to 4,228 emails in the donations queues.
  • Jan 07 09:51:30 <Natalie> That's not my understanding.
  • Jan 07 09:51:31 <Rjd0060> randmontoya: ^
  • Jan 07 09:51:42 <Avruch> Rjd0060: Wow
  • Jan 07 09:51:45 <randmontoya> Ty, Ryan.
  • Jan 07 09:51:47 <Natalie> It's my understanding that you were the person in charge of this.
  • Jan 07 09:51:51 <Natalie> Not anyone else.
  • Jan 07 09:52:01 <ashyrokova> rjd0060, wow indeed :)
  • Jan 07 09:52:04 <Rjd0060> :)
  • Jan 07 09:52:13 <Natalie> Is Jay in here?
  • Jan 07 09:52:18 <Natalie> Can he clarify this?
  • Jan 07 09:52:23 <Natalie> Or is Sue for that matter?
  • Jan 07 09:52:31 <Platonides> add to that emails which moved to different queues
  • Jan 07 09:52:36 <effeietsanders> Rjd0060: wow indeed :) Do you think it would be possible (not per se now) to make day-to-day stats?
  • Jan 07 09:52:38 <Platonides> it's a impressing amount of mails :)
  • Jan 07 09:52:45 <effeietsanders> based on when they were received
  • Jan 07 09:52:56 <Rjd0060> effeietsanders: That would take some time but it is certainly do-able.
  • Jan 07 09:53:16 <effeietsanders> and for your feeling, what kind of emails were it?
  • Jan 07 09:53:31 <effeietsanders> thankyou's, problems like wrong transactions, questions?
  • Jan 07 09:53:41 <Natalie> Anyone?
  • Jan 07 09:54:00 <effeietsanders> (I know numbers on that are not possible, but some indication might be nice)
  • Jan 07 09:54:14 <effeietsanders> gut feeling-ish
  • Jan 07 09:54:24 <ashyrokova> thank you's, wrong transactions, questions like why we aren't advertising...those kinds of things
  • Jan 07 09:54:30 <Avruch> randmontoya: Q: Do you plan a wrap up e-mail to the mailing lists describing the close of the drive, the efforts of volunteers (thanking OTRS etc.)? I know I don't know all the sorts of effort volunteers put in, but I'd like to.
  • Jan 07 09:54:40 <Amgine> effeietsanders: Most advertising servers can give real-time numbers, stats, regional breakdowns, etc.
  • Jan 07 09:55:01 <randmontoya> Avruch, absolutely.
  • Jan 07 09:56:02 <randmontoya> Any more questions?
  • Jan 07 09:56:39 <Avruch> In theory I could ask questions all day, but I won't ;p
  • Jan 07 09:57:02 <bawolff> [13:50] <bawolff> Q: This fundraiser seemed to have a lot more community backlash then in previous years (or at least it seemed to to me, based on discussions i see compared to other years). How do you think this could be minimized in future years?
  • Jan 07 09:58:18 <randmontoya> bawolff, I think this year's backlash was similar to previous years...maybe a bit worse. The lateness of the release of the core messaging was one of the problems. I release it as soon as I got it. I hope to have it sooner next year.
  • Jan 07 09:58:50 <randmontoya> Last year's backlash was strong too...every year it seems worse. Not sure yet if it will ever really be minimized.
  • Jan 07 09:59:01 <Amgine> <agrees about the backlash> same-old same-old.
  • Jan 07 10:00:10 <randmontoya> I'm happy to answer any specific ones you might have in the future. We're still putting in donations and cleaning things up. I'll have more final reports later in the month.
  • Jan 07 10:00:33 <randmontoya> Thanks to all who have helped with the fundraiser...without the community and the volunteers, we don't succeed.
  • Jan 07 10:01:27 <cary> Thanks Rand
  • Jan 07 10:01:30 <Avruch> thank you Rand. Whatever early trouble, it's the most successful fundraiser to date.
  • Jan 07 10:01:39 <cary> Thanks everyone.
  • Jan 07 10:01:40 <Avruch> By far. So, nice job ;p