2017 Community Wishlist Survey/Programs and events/Development of the programs and events dashboard

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⬅ Back to Programs and events The survey has concluded. Here are the results!

  • Problem: Organizations like GLAM institutes, universities, STEM institutes, and nonprofit expert organizations all are convinced that they need to hire communications staff to post to Facebook, Twitter, and every other major new media platforms except Wikipedia and Wikimedia projects. The major reason why organizations fail to partner with Wikimedia projects is that they are unaware that they can collect data about the impact of their participation in Wikimedia projects through the Programs & Events Dashboard. This tool already works, and it has already gained the Wikimedia community US$ millions in sponsorship through direct funding, staff time, and in-kind donations. It needs more development to be more awesome and grant every Wikimedian in every language the ability to make an overpowering argument to institutions that they should support Wikimedia projects. Every major organization in the world pays staff to share content through Twitter, Facebook, and the commercial new media platforms. Unfortunately, the Wikimedia community has fallen behind in getting recognition as a necessary media partner for the educational organizations whose content we all want represented in Wikimedia projects. Few organizations will direct their staff to do media and content contributions to Wikipedia because current management models require that organizations get metrics feedback (like audience counts) to justify the cost of engaging with a platform. The Programs & Events Dashboard is currently the Wikimedia community's only automated tool which can facilitate institutional partnerships by offering metrics. For technical reasons, perhaps developing this tool will not be a WMF priority, but regardless, we need either this or the next generation toolset to quickly and easily provide the metrics reports required for WMF grant reporting, wiki event management, and which solidifies institutional partnerships.
  • Who would benefit: Contributions from expert contributors at prestigious organizations greatly improve the reputation and health of Wikimedia projects and benefit everyone. Already reports of the sort the Dashboard provides are essential for any Wikipedia editors who organize in-person and on-line group Wikimedia editing events. This tool is the basis for institutional partnerships with schools, STEM organizations, GLAM organizations, or any organization. All staff Wikipedians or Wikipedians in Residence either do or should use these reports. Any Wikimedia community member who enjoys mass photo donations, mass document releases, mass data donations, etc would benefit from software serving this role because the reports convince organizations to make media donations and otherwise engage in Wikimedia projects.
  • Proposed solution: The Programs & Events Dashboard already does a lot, but there are a list of problems associated with it in Phabricator, and also some requested features which if implemented would open up entire new fields of outreach. On whatever timescale is reasonable we need a technical plan to use the Dashboard for as long as it makes sense while developing software which can be dependable to meet wiki reporting needs. The community needs to discuss social issues around outreach as soon as possible and starting a tech plan sooner would make this easier. Communications is a major business sector and professional media staff at all organizations use products like Salesforce.com, HootSuite and TweetDeck to collect metrics which demonstrate that their communication efforts actually reach an audience. In Wikipedia, we have powerful and extremely valuable reach and metrics to offer, like for example if an expert organization encourages their community to develop Wikipedia articles, then the Internet's single largest audience will see that content perpetually in Wikipedia. We need to empower Wikipedians to demonstrate that Wikimedia projects are the superior way for any institution to achieve its educational goals, and funding software to generate metrics reports for our partners. There are dozens of tickets and feature requests in the P&E dashboard; I want this software considered and for the tech team to be able to develop whatever next steps are appropriate.
  • More comments: Someday, universities, research institutions, academic publishers, and GLAM institutions will pour money into developing relationships and content for Wikimedia projects in the same way that they have heavily invested in social media. To be convinced, they need to see data like this from the dashboard:
Screenshot-2017-11-20 Consumer Reports - health project Programs — Programs Events Dashboard.png
Many organizations only invest in Facebook and Twitter because they feel that they do better outreach to their readers in those platforms, not knowing that they could be fulfilling their educational missions by reaching people through Wikipedia. The reality is that many organizations would be more satisfied with the return on their investment in Wikipedia as compared to what they get for paying staff to manage social media, just because Wikipedia gets more views from a more relevant audience. For an example of the tool's output, see Wiki NYC's report which summarized its outreach to the WMF for chapter reporting. Another example is a health outreach project which resulted in several organizations providing staff time to do Wikimedia outreach to medical schools. Note especially the "article views". Organizations pay staff to seek views in Facebook and Twitter, and can be convinced to value Wikipedia views in an analogous way if Wikimedians can give them tools to calculate them for the article development, media uploads, and editor recruitment which they can accomplish.


  • Strong endorsement. Thank you, this is an important proposal and I am writing to share my appreciation for the Programs and Events Dashboard and support the proposal above to devote resources and attention to the ongoing support and development of the dashboard. In addition to the Phabricator tickets listed above, and would like to include two additional suggestion: 1) to develop a more robust communication space within the Dashboard for conversation between editors and 2) to develop an article recommendation tool that would base recommendations on ORES scores/page views and the topic/theme of an article selected (and not on an editor's editing history). As a WIR with OCLC, I have done research and had many informal conversations at conferences and by telephone with library staff from many library types in the Americans and there is an excitement in the air around Wikipedia. In the current project I am participating in with public libraries, staff are very eager to advance their presence on the open web with Wikipedia and to collaborate with an organization that is compatible with their values of service and knowledge for all. The Dashboard will help to facilitate this partnership between library staff and Wikimedia. Monikasj (talk) 18:47, 8 November 2017 (UTC)
    @Monikasj: Don't you think that your vote is too early?! --Liuxinyu970226 (talk) 05:12, 9 November 2017 (UTC)
@Liuxinyu970226: is it? Well, it seems so. Consider this a comment then to help improve the proposal. Monikasj (talk) 05:36, 9 November 2017 (UTC)
Yes, the voting phase starts on November 27. Until then don't want to make anything look like a vote, because others may see it and vote too, etc. I have changed the wording to "Strong endorsement". Hope this is OK! :) MusikAnimal (WMF) (talk) 04:49, 10 November 2017 (UTC)
Strong endorsement. Educators are looking at which platforms to use for managing Wikipedia assignments and opting to use the Course Extension (despite the lack of technical support) or Wikipedia Project pages because they see the Programs and Events dashboard is inferior to the Wiki Edu Dashboard. If the Programs and Events dashboard offered an in-Wikipedia interface similar to the Course Extension without the need of resorting to wiki markup then I strongly believe we would have much greater take-up at the University of Edinburgh and other universities. NB: This was first proposed on the Village pump here. Thanks for suggesting, Stinglehammer (talk) 17:42, 20 November 2017 (UTC)

Hi Bluerasberry and others: The Programs and Events Dashboard is dependent on the WikiEd Foundation, and the Community Tech team can't do any more work on developing that tool. WikiEd is still developing their dashboard based on their own use cases, and the Wikimedia dashboard is tied very closely to their version. It's also written in a language that very few WMF developers use. I agree that it's important to develop tools in this area, but requests for changes to the Programs and Events Dashboard need to go to the WikiEd Foundation. Is it possible to recast your proposal in a way that expresses the goals that you want to reach, without involving that dashboard? -- DannyH (WMF) (talk) 04:21, 21 November 2017 (UTC)

The Community Tech team has an investment in Community Tech/Grant metrics tool which, so far as I can tell, is intended to duplicate most or all of the Dashboard in function and appearance. This is a re-write of the dashboard to be more integrated with the preferred languages of WMF staff, right?
Whatever the case, obviously the quick and easy collection of these metrics is important for (1) anyone getting WMF grants because of the rule of requiring Learning and Evaluation/Global metrics, (2) all outreach programs, whether classroom editing projects, editathons, image upload events etc (3) any institution which has a staff Wikipedian or content sharing partnership.
It is challenging for me to navigate the politics of all this because the WMF conflicts with Wiki Ed conflicts with WM Deutchland/Wikidata, and also because WMF departments for education conflict with wiki chapter relations conflict with institutional partnerships. I do not know how to reconcile these conflicts from a management hierarchy or accounting perspective, but from a Community Tech team perspective, I need a software solution for getting quick and easy reports from 100 groups of 20 editors each editing 3 articles, and we need the reports divided for the 10 institutions which have just as strict demands for support as the WMF grants program. Previously we tried to do all this manually which is crazy. If you think talking would be useful then I could talk this over with you by voice or video. If we talked, I would want for you to believe with me that somehow in some way, community access to these data reports is tech challenge within the scope of the Community Tech Team and this wishlist project. What ideas do you have for guiding this discussion to a way that is more compatible with what you expect? Blue Rasberry (talk) 13:39, 21 November 2017 (UTC)
Bluerasberry: Yeah, I agree that this is confusing, and it would be great to talk with you about it. I'll post on your talk page. -- DannyH (WMF) (talk) 18:46, 21 November 2017 (UTC)
Alert I changed this proposal a bit. Previously this proposal was ambiguous in that it presented a problem and suggested a particular technical fix for it. I changed this - I want a technical fix for this problem, but I know nothing about which technical fix is appropriate. This proposal seeks support for the idea of generating automatic reports, regardless of the method used to generate them. Blue Rasberry (talk) 00:00, 23 November 2017 (UTC)
Bluerasberry: This is great, thanks for the alterations. I agree this is important, and it's something we're definitely interested in working on. -- DannyH (WMF) (talk) 00:40, 23 November 2017 (UTC)
  • GLAMs need KPIs to justify their engagement with us. One problem I have just encountered with the dashboard relates to trying to provide data on historical events. The statistic in the dashboard that I observe that is most loved by GLAMs is the Article views (because it's usually a large number and because it's an impact number, which really helps to justify why they contribute to Wikipedia). For a current program like QWiki Club we get those article view statistics. But for an historic program, 1Lib1Ref 2017, we do not get this important statistic. Please allow us to get statistics on programs that took place before this dashboard became available to us. Thanks Kerry Raymond (talk) 00:49, 2 December 2017 (UTC)