Jump to content

Community Wishlist Survey 2022/Larger suggestions/1%

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki


  • Problem: The WMF's funding is larger than ever, reaching obscene amounts, and none of that seems to make its way into community support / addressing technical requests. This proposal is simple. Allocate at least 1% of the WMF warchest/yearly budget to the Community Tech team. In 2019–2020, the WMF raised $130M, 1% of that is $1.3M. This is small potatoes for the WMF, but would ACTUALLY FOR ONCE yield tangible impacts on the features the community actually want, rather than on... whatever it is the WMF is spending that money on.
  • Proposed solution: Allocate at least 1% of the WMF yearly budget to the Community Tech team. Hire people. Buy new servers for toolserver. Whatever else needs to be done.
  • Who would benefit: All the community and volunteers, who would finally get the technical support they've been craving for years.
  • More comments:
  • Phabricator tickets:
  • Proposer: Headbomb (talk) 00:30, 11 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]


  • Hello Headbomb, what is Community Tech team? Thanks, PeterEasthope (talk) 01:02, 11 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
    @PeterEasthope, Community Tech is the team solely responsible for the entire Community Wishlist Survey. SGrabarczuk (WMF) (talk) 02:01, 11 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
    So the proposal is to allocate 1.3 M$ for this survey. What is the current expenditure? How is the number 1% arrived at? Assuming 1.3 M$ is more than currently spent on the survey, what will be added with the larger investment. Thx, PeterEasthope (talk) 02:16, 11 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
    I don't know what the current budget is exactly, but the Community Tech team is apparently 12 people, whom I doubt are assigned full time on this. If we ballpark an average salary of $30/hour, that's roughly $62,500 per full time coder per year, or ballpark $750,000. $1.3M would get us roughly 20 full time coders at that rate. So maybe the proposal should be increase the Community Tech team to 20 full time coders that are specifically assign to deal with community requests. The 1% is symbolic. Headbomb (talk) 02:50, 11 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
    Obviously it’s not as simple as $1.3m equating to 20 F/T employees, there’s other overheads & expenses involved aside from salary. It’d definitely be good to see exactly how much is attributed to the CMTT though to weigh it up. Jcshy (talk) 08:46, 11 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
    Yes, there's overhead, but it's a ballpark figure. Point if you have $130M annual income, more should be spent on things that aren't PR and feel good initiatives. Headbomb (talk) 10:26, 11 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
  • Do we know what the current percentage of the WMF budget given to the team is? {{u|Sdkb}}talk 01:06, 11 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
  • I was actually considering making a proposal like this myself (I did not think about 1% specifically though, and I don't know if it is an adequate number. The point is that the team has to be bigger in several kinds of resources, perhaps at cost of teams that are not working towards direct community requests). --Base (talk) 10:03, 11 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
  • Could this be formulated more diplomatically? I think it's the most important proposal out here, but starting with the word cancer is not the best strategy to get overwhelming support. 1% is quite modest, if you compare this with the back-of-the-envolope estimate of current spending. Would you consider adding an additional medium-to-long term goal of say 2.5%? Femke (talk) 10:44, 11 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
    • +1. Remove the aggressive "cancer", and instead state what the current budgets numbers are for that team, and name their responsabilities or give a link towards those details. How much less than 1% is it? This proposal is basically a signal from the online community to WMF, that transparency/oversight is wanted over what happens to our donations. --Enyavar (talk) 12:13, 11 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
    • +1 on the phrasing change, I can handle being tactful if it makes it more likely to get those who disagree onboard, and +1 on bumping the numbers - let's ask for 2%. Two helpful numbers to include would be the amount spent on knowledge equity and the per/year salary of the new CEO (which, for clarity's sake, I don't think is unreasonable, just a good mark of how small the community tech budget is) Nosebagbear (talk) 12:33, 11 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
    • Maybe it could be changed to something like "from what has been described as cancer-like". I'd also like to note that just increasing spending by itself never helped anything:
the money also has to be actually useful and it should be spent well and efficiently. All of this could tie in with my proposal below to add a banner at the top of all software-development Wikipedia articles to engage developers which would link to a page/system to organize, streamline and facilitate the development such as via selected tutorials&tasks, making it easier to set the development environment up, badges and rankinglists.
-1 on the proposed phrasing changes so far, that term is well-known and I immediately knew the page it was linked to.
I think we should strive to facilitate maximum volunteer development (some of that could for example turn into payed development over time) and maximum usefulness of both payed and volunteer development (such as focusing mainly on high-priority tasks of community wishlist proposals and phabricator tasks that e.g. decrease running costs, are relatively quick to implement, got much support or would save much editors' time).
--Prototyperspective (talk) 12:56, 11 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
  • An excellent suggestion. We may want to work on the detail but I'd support any of the wordings so far. An organisation as rich as the WMF should not have a resource bottleneck on the thing it was actually created to do. Certes (talk) 14:38, 11 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
  • $30/hour is significantly lower than it should be given the higher than US-average number of staff in the Bay area. It also doesn't factor in the additional costs. I know we are going "you can give more than the 1%", but I reckon they're probably already spending about 0.9% on the Team. Nosebagbear (talk) 15:20, 12 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
  • I don't think there is a shot in hell of the Wishlist Survey determining WMF staffing or budgets. Not that it's a bad idea for more full-time help. Just saying. -- GreenC (talk) 19:23, 12 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
    Not determining perhaps, I would see it more like a petition that can go far to mend the relationship between the community and the WMF. Femke (talk) 20:01, 12 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
  • FWIW, the budget allocated for "Platform Evolution" (defined as "to provide technical systems to support equitable, global growth such as through the addition of a caching center that serves Africa and the Middle East, as well as investing in the technical future of our projects") was increased from US$2.4 million to US$7.9 million in the 2021-2022 WMF Annual Plan. RamzyM (talk) 02:15, 14 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
  • (1) This is out of scope for the Community Tech Team so this is not the right forum. (2) It's also not in the right ballpark. Even at the middle of San Francisco market rates, the annual total cash comp of this team with taxes and benefits would already be well over $1.3M. czar 19:07, 14 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
  • We will not get it, but we should keep asking, to make it clear to the WMF what the community thinks their priorities should be. The amunt specified should be increased, as Czar and others have pointed out--Using Nosebagbear's estimate, and realizing it will take time to increase capacity, we should ask for a doubling of between $2 and $3 million this year, increasing as possible in the future. The bottleneck is managerial priorities, not financial unavailability. DGG (talk) 21:22, 15 January 2022 (UTC) .[reply]
    I've made an alternative proposal on talk, asking for a doubling, and in more diplomatic terms. The goal of this is to convince the WMF, and I think this type of wording will give us a larger chance of success. Femke (talk) 11:47, 16 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
  • Agree in principle. I'll echo what some others have said: the framing of the linked essay is antagonistic to the point of being self-defeating. That's not to say it doesn't have a point in there, but if the goal is to be taken seriously, link somewhere else. There's no shortage of "WMF has a ton of money" links. But yeah, I asked about how to get funding increased at a Community Tech Q&A somewhat recently, and don't recall that I got a clear answer (apologies to those who responded if I'm misremembering). I think perhaps this is something we'll need the Movement Charter folks to throw their weight behind (however much that weight is). It's a clear step the foundation could take which would address the widespread belief that not enough of the budget goes to directly support the community. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 15:14, 16 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
  • We absolutely do need much more funding directed at the technical side of the project. Currently the developers are clearly overworked; a lot of the early decisions have proven to be ineffective or simply bad (see our "amazing" parser, for example). Now we are also facing an increasing number of security threats that, again, cannot be eliminated simply because of how the project was built. This is a major tech issue and it is my wish to get more tech workpower so I believe that this submission should stay in the Community Wishlist. Le Loy 04:07, 18 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
    I agree too! This will be very good for WMF! Esaïe Prickett (talk) 00:53, 20 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]

The money are not everything. We have the money and job offers. But what are the problems? The error in Wikimedia Mowement and WMF. I think:

  • The normal user don't know about the news in Wikimedia Movement.
  • The normal user don't know about something more about the news on him local wiki, universities, about metawiki, WMF and about the jobs of WMF.
  • Wikimedia Movement and WMF only to wait, wait and wait.
    • I do not read anything about events in the Slovak media in Wikimedia movement. Nothing about job offers.
    • None The day of developers.
    • No promotion in SWAN and him entities.
  • It is the year 2022, none the year 2030. We don't have the Global Council.
  • Nobody is looking for / addressing talents.
  • Money-results: where is the report for the past year? If a person sees that it is useful, he makes an interesting contribution, wants to help or join.
  • IT people are not much.
  • Job offers:
    • None global content search.
    • If I am interested in projects and not programming languages?
    • What is the labor price?
    • None special contact / e-mail.
  • WMF presentation of works is totally like just an institution.
  • Why should I work for WMF? WMF is one of the other organizations why I should work.
  • Nobody investing in talent people.
    • Who needs a detailed knowledge of Wikidata or other languages? In him normal life doesn't need know very detailed. He doesn't generate any complex analyses.
  • Is working for WMF very special? Or can I use knowledge elsewhere?
  • International work can be discouraging.
  • Tech/News – it's Tech news (People can create some small context), or the report with the technical news (Very formal, narrow shot)?

✍️ Dušan Kreheľ (talk) 17:47, 10 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]