Community Liaisons (CL; previously called Community Engagement (Product)) serve readers, contributors, and the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF) by supporting the WMF Audiences and Technology departments in their collaboration with the communities of WMF-hosted sites. We inform the WMF of communities' views and particular needs about software products; and we inform the communities during the whole process of development of said software, and facilitate its adoption. We are in charge of the “Community collaboration in product development” program in the Wikimedia Foundation 2017-18 Annual Plan.
Community Liaisons are part of the Community Relations team in the Community Engagement WMF department.
Supporting Wikimedia communities when new or updated software by WMF is deployed on their wikis:
- facilitating communications from and to the WMF's Audiences and Engineering departments
- assisting with testing, bug filing, documentation writing
- delivering announcements, news, and feedback
- engaging translators for the user interface and for documentation
Among our common workflows are:
- Programmatic work for long-term results aimed at solving complex issues in our movement (i.e., translation strategy, scalability of knowledge sharing, etc.).
- Supporting decision making around rollout locations and audiences and planning engagement and deployment strategies.
- Drafting and implementing communications to communities around product and engineering events.
- Providing unique knowledge of community dynamics in internal conversations.
Turning user feedback intake into Phabricator tickets and actionable tasks
- Converting onwiki requests, complaints and observations into Phabricator tasks; holding conversations to clarify and request more information, update and offer feedback, and support community requests.
- Creating and updating internal documentation to collate and quantify feedback (spreadsheets and other docs).
Facilitating public meetings around product development
- Triage and other kind of technical meetings—announcing and handling the posting of logistical information, facilitating.
- IRC office hours—staffing product and engineering initiatives when requested, handling publicity and followup to users.
- Individual product newsletters. The visual editor bulletin, the largest of publications, is delivered to 480+ individual subscribers and 460+ project pages. The most recent one is Collaboration's newsletter (sign up!).
- Tech/News —a weekly workflow. Over the past years, the readership of Tech News has been growing steadily to over 550 individual subscribers (be one of them!), and over 75 community pages (like the English Wikipedia's Technical Village pump).
Engaging volunteer translators in updating documentation created by product teams
- Sourcing and engaging translators of interface messages and other documentation.
- Translathons—initiating and engaging volunteer editors in translating documentation pages so that users understand new products.
- Newsletters and other non-periodic communications—marking the page and sending out call for translations.
Engaging users in surveys and other online testing of products
- On-wiki and off-wiki surveys around individual products (such as the visual editor's Papercuts-style survey).
- Polls around what users want to see built (such as AllOurIdeas).
Managing conversations around product rollouts and WMF product initiatives
- Decision-making conversations (like RfCs) about product requests.
- Community consultations to determine needs for product development.
- Connecting users and product teams by directing users to the right teams and venues to find more information and supporting/facilitating online conversations.
- Ensuring proper coverage of other teams' initiatives where needed and possible, such as during 2015 strategy consultation.
- Other short-term tasks as needed to support organizational priorities.
Wikimania, Hackathon and Conferences
- Demonstrating product uses and new features to users.
- Connecting and introducing community members with product team staff and facilitating their discussions.
- Wikimania and regional/chapter conferences—holding formal sessions and discussions around individual products or how communities can collaborate effectively with the WMF product teams.
- Meetings with individual volunteers, chapter members or non-WMF staff to provide advice, to support events organization, etc.
The Community Liaisons currently consist of:
- Quim Gil (Qgil)
- Team Lead
- Quim joined the Wikimedia Foundation in November 2012.
- Benoît Evellin (Trizek)
- Editing Department, Collaboration & Language Teams; TechNews support
- Benoît hails from the French Wikipedia, where he started to contribute in May 2008. Since 2011, he is contributing on his wiki to community efforts to help new users on their first steps, by increasing interactions, rewriting help pages and promoting new editing products. He joins the Foundation in May 2015, to work on the visual editor on small wikis and then moved to the Global Collaboration team products (mostly StructuredDiscussions and New filters for Edit Review). He is also active in outreaching and documentation.
- Johan Jönsson (Johan)
- Community Tech; TechNews lead
- Johan (User:Julle in his volunteer capacity) has been a Wikimedia editor since 2004. He's mainly active on Swedish Wikipedia but has written articles in around a dozen languages and sometimes employs his mediocre photographing skills for Wikimedia Commons, when no one better suited is around. He will mainly be working with Community Tech, as well Analytics and TechOps. He also writes and edits Tech/News.
- Chris Koerner (CKoerner)
- Chris has been involved in the MediaWiki community since 2011 when he inherited two internal wikis while at a large healthcare provider. Shortly after he jumped into the community as a member of the MediaWiki Stakeholders' Group. He thinks everyone should use MediaWiki. He's also a small-time editor on English Wikipedia and a tiny contributor to Wikimedia Commons.
- Erica Litrenta (Elitre)
- Manager, Community Liaisons
- Erica has been in the Movement since 2005, mostly active at the Italian Wikipedia and on the Italian queues of VRTS. She joined the Foundation in mid 2013 and has been primarily liaising for the visual editor on most wikis for years. She transitioned to a more organizational role in the team and became a manager in February 2018.
- Keegan Peterzell (Keegan)
- Technical Collaboration Specialist
- Keegan has been an editor on the English Wikipedia since 2005 and an administrator since 2006. He's also an Oversighter and CheckUser there. Globally he's a VRTS administrator and a Global Renamer. A former Community Liaison, Keegan's job now involves documenting best practices for working with communities and consulting on community collaboration.
- Sherry Snyder (WhatamIdoing)
- Editing Department, visual editor
- Sherry has been a regular editor at the English Wikipedia since 2007, and she's been in the top 500 most prolific editors of all time for a couple of years. Her interests run from medicine to pastry to education, with odd points in between, but she also spends a lot of time working as a metapedian. She's the go-to liaison for the visual editor on English-speaking WMF projects. She's fond of flowers that look like dandelions, but actually aren't.
- Nick Wilson (Quiddity)
- Editing Department; Collaboration; Community Tech; TechNews support
- Nick has been an editor since 2005, helping with everything from page and site redesigns to informal mediation. He lives in Canada, and is interested in anything related to words, felines, connections, and design. Since late 2013, he's been working as the liaison for Flow, and various smaller changes.
What are the most effective ways for you to support your community with your tech-oriented skills?
Do you have ideas, compliments, concerns, questions for or about the Community Liaisons team? Please reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Community Liaisons team
Senior Manager, Technical Collaboration
Community Liaison (International)
Community Liaison (International)
Manager, Community Liaisons
Technical Collaboration Specialist
Community Liaison (Contractor)
Community Liaison (International)