Grants talk:Project/WCDO/Culture Gap Monthly Monitoring/Midpoint

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Comments from I JethroBT (WMF)[edit]

@Marcmiquel: Hi Marc, and thanks for your midpoint report on the monitoring tools, community engagement, and research efforts you have started or completed in this project. I am accepting this report with the following comments and questions:

  • We created new Top CCC articles on several topics (folk, monuments, earth, music creations and organizations, sports and teams, food, paintings, glam, books, clothing and fashion, and industry). This was not planned for the project, but we believed it was very convenient as it helps many Wikimedia initiatives to think about cultural diversity.
    • This is a great, unplanned addition to the project's outcomes. I am thinking about about recent programs using the Wiki Loves X program model have touched on novel themes such as fashion, food, and sports, which these new Top CCC article tools can support organizers to set goals and prepare events along a number of thematic areas.
      • Yes. This was the idea: to slice the local content in specific types of content so that the lists could be used in many programs to always be able to have something from every language and have more cultural diversity. I believe other lists can still be added according to other diversity needs I've detected...
  • You've presented an impressive level of dissemination of the project including a book publication, several conference proceedings, YouTube videos en Català and in English, strategic discussions in the Diversity Working Group, research publications, amongst other communications. This really is an all-out approach to community engagement, and I appreciate the work you've done in preparing and coordinating all these different tasks. In terms of engagement, learning about, and making practical use of the project's tools, what approaches to dissemination do you believe have been most effective so far? This is more about your subjective notion of what has worked well, not necessarily a request for raw usage numbers (which I suspect are not really possible to gather, anyway).
    • Thank you. I don't think this dissemination is enough though - I believe I should have tried blog posts and Social Media publications. But this will be the next steps. I think that all of the different actions are required: talking in public allows you to refine the discourse. To make it more simple. Writing a chapter or papers allows you to gain depth. Recording a video is something new that I still would like to do more, as I feel I can do better (the link you pasted is in Catalan, but I also made one in English). I think there is no single best strategy. I see it more a transition from research to community engagement. As soon as the tools and interfaces are better and with less bugs the communication will be more direct and will probably have more impact. The feedback I could gather is mostly qualitative at the moment (feedback on talks, messages I receive in the e-mail to join the project, new applications, other researchers asking for data or code, etc.).
  • I also wanted to ask specifically about your experience talking with smaller communities. One of your goals around community engagement was to convince them of the value of creating a minimum of articles of different topics in their own cultural context. Have you been able to engage smaller communities on this need? If so, can you discuss what has come out of those conversations?
This is something I want to work on in more depth. I had conversations with people from the Cornish community and from the Luganda community, but I couldn't give something real. I want to generate a very clear document with guidelines (3 pages or so) based on what I've seen on the data on how a 'healthy' Wikipedia creates local content. Perhaps it would be a good idea to disseminate it to some of the participants in Wikiindaba (the African languages).
  • It is an important challenge to face the technical development of such a big project, especially to access, retrieve and process almost all the available data from the 300 Wikipedia language editions. This requires facing different sorts of technical bottlenecks (RAM, Disk, etc.), as data were retrieved from different sources (Wikidata dump, Wikipedia dumps, MySQL wikireplicas, etc). We need data to create topical selections of articles and data to rank articles according to relevance. The processes to do this used to take 13 days last November.
    • Thanks for capturing this point. For folks who are not aware of what it means to retrieve, organize, and transform data from 300 Wikipedia projects, it's important to understand this preliminary aspect of technical work is substantial and time-consuming, even with good hardware. But this is necessary in order to be working and addressing movement needs at this scale. To be fair, I don't know what kind of hardware you happen to be using, but I'd hazard a guess that it's probably better than what most folks are using at home to edit Wikipedia. :)
This is a very sensitive topic. I know it is noone's fault but it made me lose weeks and even a month in rewriting code. The servers are not working the way they did at the beginning of the year. I am looking for different ways to retrieve the data and do the calculations needed to select the local content and create lists and stats. I'm still figuring out what I can do to fix some problems, and meanwhile, I try to write and do other parts of the project.

There are some more questions I have around your challenges, next steps, and reflections, but I think it would be better to capture it in a conversation. I'll follow up with you over e-mail to see if we can discuss this further. Thanks for very much for a thorough midpoint report, and I look forward to the remainder of your work to support communities' work in increasing diversity in their local projects. I JethroBT (WMF) (talk) 23:04, 27 September 2019 (UTC)

Thank you! I'm passionate about this project - always available to answer more questions. We'll continue this conversation. --Marcmiquel (talk) 16:50, 9 October 2019 (UTC)