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Latest comment: 6 years ago by Wolliff (WMF) in topic WMF decision

Extension of 1 May application deadline to 15 May[edit]

Hello, WMPL colleagues:

This is an official notification that you have received an extension until 15 May. This is due to the short notice you had to prepare the application and our desire to allow you sufficient time to prepare a quality application. The committee has been notified of this delay.

Best, Winifred Olliff (WMF Program Officer) talk 22:32, 2 May 2018 (UTC)Reply

Questions from the SAPG Committee[edit]

Questions from Liang / User:Shangkuanlc[edit]

Hi, thank you for proposing the grant here, it is a great pleasure to read and also I think you are doing a great job in combining the global initiatives with the flavor of your own community, such as Wiki Vacations, these ideas are really inspiring and insightful. I have following questions for you:


  • I would like to know the bot's detail. How can you set up a baseline of active level for each individual editors? In Taiwan, there are some seasonal fluctuation when young contributors are especially active in the summer vacation, and the retired seniors in Czech I heard may need to go to summer resort without internet so there is no chance for them to edit during the summer time. Also, would this make editors feel violate since if not track properly, some may feel they are tracked?
    Hello there! Thank you for the thoughtful questions, I'll take the first one. It is true, the writers may come back even after years of hiatus, and some of them may have their concerns about privacy and being tracked. What is even worse, many people are already accustomed with some "gamification", automated tools etc. and may feel used / gamified by us to induce some behaviour (I remember my reaction for the welcoming messages in 2004, when I thought - wrongly! - that they are made by bots, and a positive change of my attitude when it proved otherwise).
    OTOH, other people like to claim credit, made positive reactions to feedback, etc. This is why in our opinion we should run such a project, however carefully and starting with a small, limited scale to learn: how many people have privacy concerns, how they react and what works best. Firstly, we want to take a bot-assisted, not a fully automated approach: find very active users (both with and without strong ties with the community) and approach them "manually", addressing their credit/topic areas, recognizing their work and asking about the reasons of leaving. It is important to note that the people have their Right to Leave, and even to do so quietly: however it may be beneficial to check and possibly quantify their reasons. Passing them our thanks is also a major goal, and bringing them back is only secondary/tertiary. With these priorities in mind, I believe we can make a possibly non-intrusive message and see what happens (e.g. if we see any patterns).
    Side note: I have been doing some similar messaging on a different webproject - in a Polish distributed computing team, BOINC@Poland. For what it's worth, I have never received angry responses or privacy concerns: mostly no responses, sometimes "I am not this important" feedbacks, very little "Great, I'll do X" answers: nevertheless, I believe it was worth trying and it seems to be a starting point - we don't have many practical options available. Best, aegis maelstrom δ 14:30, 15 May 2018 (UTC)Reply


  • The editing workshop and 1lib1ref event are both aligned with global user groups in the filed of education, library, what do you think about these kind of user groups? Do these kind of topic wise user group help you in a certain way, or they just seems totally unrelated to your annual plan?
    • As far as we can tell, none of the thematic usergroups are deeply involved in either Poland or Polish-language projects, unless we are missing something. Seeing WMPL as a one-stop solution in Poland, I am not at liberty to say that the local community is so large that it can be fragmented easily to cover the area. We are definitely open to cooperating with other Wikimedia-related entities, since we already cooperate with the WMF as well as other local partners, see e.g. the Ethnography of the Carpathian project where we touch base with local WMF partners, and as far as I can tell there has never been a project originating from outside WMPL where the Board did not listen in on the idea, the rationale and the expected results. Wojciech Pędzich Talk 20:33, 16 May 2018 (UTC)Reply
  • Do you have any incentives to put on newsletter such as "This Month in Education" or "This month in GLAM"? I have read several pieces mentioned Poland, but still wondering does writing and reporting to the global Wikimedians help you or not?
    • We do try to submit our pieces to the CEE Newsletter, very close to our hearts, but we are faced with limited capabilities here, especially after our press officer, Krzysztof Machocki, left us (and the rest of the world as well) permanently, lowering our possible text output. We find writing to newsletters inspiring and worth doing, and I am sure we will revisit this option after the onboarding our newly-hired press officer. Also, we keep and will keep our blog alive. Wojciech Pędzich Talk 19:58, 15 May 2018 (UTC)Reply

--Liang(WMTW) (talk) 07:21, 15 May 2018 (UTC)Reply

Questions from Philip[edit]

Hi dear Wikimedia Polska, I'm very glad you submitted this proposal and hope that these discussions will help you establish what WMPL is all about :-)

  • Community
    • Adding to Liang's question, have you thought about an opt-in option for your burnout bot? Checking on everyone might have the opposite effect if some receive unwanted attention.
      Hi Philip! Elaborating further, I am afraid it is rather impossible to give an opt-in or opt-out option retroactively. Furthermore, without a serious MediaWiki tweaking it is hard to expect a majority of users to make a conscious choice here - this would need to be a privacy setting embedded with one's account (which might be a good idea in general to implement by the WMF for all wikiprojects, BTW).
      OTOH, we can make assumptions and execute rules. One central assumption made by Wikimedia is: if you give your e-mail address, you want to receive the e-mails from the project. Moreover, the transparency is the central rule of Wikimedia - you have your right to (pseudo)anonymity, you can even use multiple accounts or no logged account at all - but (besides special cases) you cannot mask who made an edit and these metadata are parsable and available for further analysis. This state of things is pretty obvious for (previously) very active contributors and it has been communicated. Revising this policy would require a much wider debate, involving reseearchers, toolmakers and various parts of the WMF.
      Ofc, the feelings remain - however it might be a cultural difference as e.g. pl.wiki already does similar things when we are noticing users with extra functions (like adminship) about to lose their rights due to an inactivity; such users are informed in a procedural manner and I don't remember complaints on being monitored and reminded about the inactivity period stripping rights was controversial but not checks to implement this policy. Thus, it would be only an extension of an already existing praxis - however with a much more positive and individual, less automated feedback. aegis maelstrom δ 20:26, 15 May 2018 (UTC)Reply
    • Scholarships / conferences - is there any other expected outcome of volunteers attending Wikimania or the CEE Meeting besides writing a report?
      Yes, indeed - and actually these outcomes to achieve were the main criterium of giving the scholarship this year (art. 6.2). The candidacies were chosen basing on personal goals to attend and a realistic usage of knowledge, experience, contacts and activities to forward Wikimedia. This year, mostly due to South African costs we have elevated the threshold and sadly resigned from scholarships for non-Polish CEE attendees but don't be this sad, usually our picks get funded by the WMF nowadays. Nevertheless, we are proud to have issued two strong scholarships: one for our long time Wiki Loves X events co-runner and a Pattypan supporter, other for our long-time Belarussian wikis contributor and trainer, willing to expand our outreach to younger audiences. We have our plans to work with these volunteers and their ideas, and we are hoping for further great submissions later this year. aegis maelstrom δ 20:43, 15 May 2018 (UTC)Reply
    • Microgrants
      • How do the results of the microgrants compare to bigger projects? Do they yield better or worse results?
        • Thank you for giving me the opportunity to talk more about one of my favorite projects :) I am not sure if I understand the question correctly so please ask more or clarify if I don't tell you what you wanted to know. The answer (as is usually the case with answers to interesting qustions) is - it depends. Depends on which results are you looking at. Microgrant's huge advantage over the other projects is that they follow the interests of editors and let them identify knowledge gaps in their fields, sometimes highly specialised. Which is why it helpes to address the needs we would have trouble to work with in bigger projects. They are also a project with the best results in working with our growing sister projects - Wikisource and Wiktionary (in 2017 we gave away 4 grants for that projects, in 2016 - 11). It is also very successful in engaging volunteers in chapter's work - the Microgrant Committee consists of volunteers who do an excellent job. And because we have establised a good workflow managing the project is fairly easy and does not consume a lot of our time on a daily basis. It's disadvantage is that it is much easier to predict the results in bigger projects - with microgrants it is hard to tell at the beginning of the year what kind of projects exactly will be realised through Microgrants (small photo expeditions? scanning rare books? new articles? improving articles? etc.). And if you are counting on media attention one big Wikiexpedition or a photo contest would be much more succesful than the Microgrant project. Natalia Szafran-Kozakowska (WMPL) (talk) 20:54, 15 May 2018 (UTC)Reply
      • Your goals suggest that you expect every microgrant to average around 25 pages per microgrant (i.e. pictures or articles) and you have every participant apply for 2 microgrants. Is that the current model or an ideal situation for you to have the same volunteers apply for more microgrants?
        • It is very common for participants to apply for more than one grant in a year. Usually after completing one they move into another. For example in 2017 six volunteers applied for more than one grant (and it is not uncommon for one person to apply for as many as 10 grants a year). I could risk dividing our grantees into two groups - the ones who take one, long-time grant with time-consuming goals and the ones who work on a series of shorter grants and completing one after another (for example a series of one-day photoexpeditions to different areas of their region) Natalia Szafran-Kozakowska (WMPL) (talk) 20:54, 15 May 2018 (UTC)Reply
    • Digging into online communities such as gaming is very interesting - what kind of approach are you looking at for this project?
      • We want to try to use this to fuel motivation. I feel that at some point the joy and pleasure is lost, sometimes boredom sneaks in, other times the work needed to be done in some areas seems overwheling etc. And we want to bring the fun back and engage the community in doing it. Let me use an example. In Jauary we invited users to participate in "Wikipedia Game 2018", we created a fun checklist of articles to write (for example: write an article with a coulour in the title, write an article with the even number of vovels in the title etc.) and a printout to mark progress. There were no prizes, people who complet the challenge enter the Masters' Round where the challenges are invented by other users. The number of participants was much higher than anticipated and the community started organising subchallenges concentrated on a specific thematic area. We are creating some space for fun and challenging oneself and leave a lot of freedom for the community to build up on the initial idea. It is obvious that our main goal is not to raise the number articles with colour names in the titles or season names in the text ;) But to boost activity and good feelings about contributing. Natalia Szafran-Kozakowska (WMPL) (talk) 21:41, 15 May 2018 (UTC)Reply
    • Does the Wikimedia Polska Conference have any other goals besides holding the annual general assembly?
      • The General Assembly is the major, yet definitely not the only goal of having the conferences. The GA starts on Saturday before noon and runs to the end of the conference day, but Saturday morning and all through Sunday we also hold panels, presentations, and discussions. Examples: a side track of the 2017 conference was designated for our discussions / work on the first phase of the Movement Strategy process, and there were Sunday sessions on the upcoming CEE Meeting, machine-aided translations, the relations between the WMF, volunteers, donors, and staff, or our GLAM landscape. All the programs are documented on the relevant conference pages. Additionally, the conferences serve to cement our community as we work towards organizing each one in a different, yet accessible, city, so that different volunteer community members may get involved in our activities, which knits the community tighter. Wojciech Pędzich Talk 16:02, 15 May 2018 (UTC)Reply
    • What is your reasoning behind paying for catering for local meet-ups? Would those meetings happen without your support?
      • Catering is too big of a word here. It usualy means coffee and a Wikipedia cake (for Wikipedia Day or plwiki birthday). And one of the most succesful local events - The Wikibarbecue in Poznań has been done with none or very little financial support. While I would not suggest funding a full lunch, a coffee break and a dessert for a local meeting, some basic drinks (tea, coffee, water) + some cakes are good. People will have a hard time staying at an event for more than 2 hours if they can't keep their coffeine level at the amount they like ;) or have something cold to drink. And we don't want exclude anyone who would not have funds to pay for something by him/herself. And when an occasion calls for celebration - a Wikipedia birthday cake is always a good thing to have. Natalia Szafran-Kozakowska (WMPL) (talk) 21:41, 15 May 2018 (UTC)Reply
  • Staff / governance
    • Are you planning to look at similar organisations in Poland and their organisational structure? That might help you think outside the box a bit, but maybe the organisational audit will also take care of that part.
      • We are hoping to draw on the expertise of the external auditor. Someone who has experience aiding in the restructuring of organizations and leading them in the succession efforts will have the knowledge of those organizations' way towards improvement. At the same time, this is a person external to Wikimedia Polska, which will cast the impartial look on the organization and its challenges. Wojciech Pędzich Talk 20:47, 15 May 2018 (UTC)Reply
    • In your budget you mention a "GLAM coordinator" and a "GLAM specialist"? Is the GLAM specialist position comparable to a travelling Wikipedian in Residence?
      • 2014 saw the expansion of our staff. Prior to that, we employed only the administration coordinator + employed / outsourced for bookkeeping services, but after that year's GA we employed the press officer, volunteer support specialist and the GLAM coordinator. Turned out that the GLAM landscape in Poland is a very active one - not in the volcanic sense but in the number of institutions willing to work with us and donate their materials, time, and other resources to the advancement of free knowledge. The organizational profile from our 2018 WMCON submission is the answer here - our GLAM coordinator requested the addition of some manpower (or in this case womanpower) so that the incoming requests can be processed in a timely manner and institutions can work with us efficiently. Both the coordinator and the specialist do hands-on work, visiting the institutions, overseeing or conducting workshops, trainings, and edit-a-thons, with Marta, the coordinator, responsible for overseeing the big picture. Wojciech Pędzich Talk 16:10, 15 May 2018 (UTC)Reply

Please don't hesitate to ask for clarification if a question should turn out to be confusing :-) Best, Philip Kopetzky (talk) 14:10, 15 May 2018 (UTC)Reply

@Wojciech Pędzich, Natalia Szafran-Kozakowska (WMPL), and Aegis Maelstrom: Thanks for answering my questions so thoroughly! I won't start a lengthy discussion here, but I'm sure we'll have ample opportunity to discuss some of the topics in a different setting :-) Philip Kopetzky (talk) 20:38, 22 May 2018 (UTC)Reply

One Question, one note from Ido[edit]

Hi Natalia and everyone. Congrats on a very clear and professionally done submission! My note is to say that reading all the materials you presented (proposal, staffing plan, budget...) it occurs to me that WMPL is a highly professional Wiki organization. As such, I would actually encourage you to move beyond the 1% AND WMF funding, and seek out other sources of revenue.

Now, to my question: would you be comfortable to share the internal audit process publicly (HR involved, what worked, what didn't)? I've been thinking for years that there are other Simple APG grantees that might benefit from some organizational consulting, and such an audit may be a good start. So I would encourage you to divulge more information about this at WMCON or Wikimania, or just on a blog post that many organizations can read.

Thank you again, this has been a delight to read :) Alleycat80 (talk) 22:54, 15 May 2018 (UTC)Reply

Thank you for the kind words in reaction to our grant proposal. Concerning your question: I remember mid-2015 when I was thinking of attending my first CEE Meeting ever – the one in Estonia – and I had this idea of telling the participants about how our 2014 recruitment process went. I should have known, I organized this process, so maybe it would be worth telling the growing chapters, emerging chapter candidates, growing user groups – what they can expect? I did a presentation and it did receive attention, brought questions and discussion. Now – the audit is something we have not done before, many organizations in the Wikimedia movvement probably have not done before, and barring any NDA’s (although, why would there be any?) with the auditor, I am sure this would be valuable to those organizations that have not faced this. I can definitely see signs of this willingness to know within the community, such as the rapidly-organized meeting of European chapters with paid staff and no ED on Sunday morning at this year’s WMCON where we exchanged the descriptions of how we operate and what challenges this brings. In terms of presenting the results, Wikimania 2018 would be too early in the process, CEE Meeting is a possiblity (although I understand you would like this shared with a wider community and I totally agree), next year’s WMCON? If the GA wants me on the Board for the next two years, you can count on me submitting this session to the program. Wojciech Pędzich Talk 07:41, 16 May 2018 (UTC)Reply

Simple APG committee recommendations[edit]

Committee recommendations
Funding recommendations:

Wikimedia Polska is a first-time applicant to Simple APG requesting 11,762 USD for 6 months, out of an annual budget of 160,503 USD for 2018. These funds are specifically to build their governance capacity over the next 6 months. We recommend funding WMPL in the amount of 11,762 USD for 6 months. Most of the budget requested is for conducting a governance audit, a process that we encourage in order to understand gaps and challenges for the organization and take steps to bridge these. The committee encourages WMPL to share lessons learned about this process, so other organizations could consider having this process in place.

WMPL has been an active part of the Wikimedia movement for many years, and have relied entirely on non-WMF funding to support their organization. It has been a pleasure to get to know WMPL’s work as part of this grant application process. WMPL worked to put together a detailed application in a very short time frame, which we appreciate. WMPL has expertise in several areas that are targeted in this proposal, especially community support, thematic content drives and competitions, and GLAM.

WMPL is engaging partners at the national level to release valuable content and organize content-focused events such as edit-a-thons. We appreciate how WMPL has several initiatives that target very specific content gaps, as this seems to motivate their volunteer communities to contribute. Examples include the lighthouses project and the audio recordings project. It is great to see these content-focused activities working on different types of media as well as articles.

One thing we really liked about WMPL’s plans for their community work is the emphasis on creating a fun environment and appreciating volunteers. We appreciate how thoughtful WMPL is in this area, and are also very interested in their work to address burnout in their communities. We look forward to seeing these approaches develop further.

While we are not sure it belongs in programs, we very much appreciate WMPL’s ongoing work to emphasize storytelling.

While WMPL has presented a great plan with may quality projects, each program area seems to include a long list of projects and it is sometimes difficult to see these as a unified program. For example, measurable objectives are presented for each individual project activity and not for the program area as a whole and the unified goals at the start of each program include a very long list of goals. Especially in the area of Content Creation and Improvement, activities and approaches do not always seem closely related. This is something that WMPL can improve in future proposals.

WMPL has presented a good quality budget, with a level of detail appropriate for a budget of their size. There are open questions about WMPL’s future staffing plan and revenue model. We believe that conducting a governance audit will support WMPL in assessing their current situation, which is why we feel this investment in their capacity is very good value.

Strengths identified by the committee:

See recommendations above.

Concerns identified by the committee:

See recommendations above.

On behalf of the committee. Philip Kopetzky (talk) 08:29, 23 May 2018 (UTC)Reply

WMF decision[edit]

Approved. 11,762 USD for 6-months to develop the specific capacity-building needs outlined here. Congratulations! Winifred Olliff (WMF Program Officer) talk 18:43, 25 May 2018 (UTC)Reply