IRC office hours/Office hours 2010-10-14

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Session Start: Thu Oct 14 13:08 2010
Session Ident: #wikimedia-office
[13:08] <Dakdadaah> Good evening from me
[13:08] <+sgardner> It's true! Someone is always awake :-)
[13:08] <killiondude> Why was he banned? I didn't think he was being obtuse.
[13:09] <aude> good morning sgardner!
[13:09] <killiondude> He actually came in to #wikimedia asking if that was okay to ask, and a few people thought it was okay.
[13:09] <Theo10011> Hi
[13:09] <dgultekin> Hey Theo
[13:09] <+sgardner> Hi Katie, Theo :-)
[13:09] <+sgardner> Dakdadaah :-)
[13:10] <@StevenW> Killiondude: There is a list of exactly two people that the WMF feels obliged never to engage with.
[13:10] <+sgardner> Steven's going to answer killiondude's question about Greg Kohs.
[13:10] <+sgardner> ooh, he is answering.
[13:10] <Nihiltres> killiondude: his question isn't intrinsically bad, but it's not helpful
[13:10] <@StevenW> Kohs and an IRL stalker that the office has had.
[13:10] <killiondude> Are these office hours ever helpful, Nihiltres?
[13:11] <Nihiltres> killiondude: I like to think so
[13:11] <+sgardner> While Steven is typing, maybe I will say some other stuff also.
[13:11] <@StevenW> We didn't answer him on the mailing list for that reason, and IRC is no different.
[13:11] <killiondude> He was told to use IRC.
[13:11] <Dragonfly6-7> oh, but was kicked off?
[13:12] <@Jamesofur> the IRC discussion was meant for the mailing list as a whole
[13:12] <dferg> what's the topic for today's office hours, please? Thank you.
[13:12] <@StevenW> Killiondude: We were responding to John Vandenberg IIRC. Who is obviously a good faith Wikimedian who deserves to be answered.
[13:12] <killiondude> w/e, i don't care too much. I just find it disappointing. :-)
[13:12] * Theo10011 waves at dgultekin
[13:12] <+sgardner> So. The board met over the weekend, and SJ has published four resolutions from the meeting: one on Movement Roles II, one on trustee term length, one on fundraising principles and one on the five-year-targets. So I am happy to talk about that, or about any other topic associated with the board meeting.
[13:13] <+sgardner> And, I am happy to talk about any other topic as well, and I'm happy to answer the Greg Kohs question if you folks want me to.
[13:13] <aude> sgardner: what other topics were discussed at the board meeting?
[13:13] <+sgardner> Sure.
[13:13] <Abbasjnr> waves @StevenW &Dgultekin
[13:13] <@StevenW> Hi Abbasjnr :)
[13:13] <dgultekin> Hi Abbas!
[13:13] <Abbasjnr> Hi
[13:13] <Eloquence> hi Abbas :)
[13:14] <+sgardner> The controversial content study was discussed for three hours; there was a governance committee update; there was a discussion of chapters, financial controls and movement-wide transparency; there was a strategy update and review, and some other general discussion.
[13:14] <+sgardner> In addition to the topics I already mentioned that had resolutions associated with them.
[13:14] <Abbasjnr> Oh, so the Deputy ED is here too! Wonderful:-)
[13:14] <Eloquence> lol
[13:14] <+sgardner> Actually, I don't think Erik is here -- oh, he is :-)
[13:14] <+sgardner> LOL.
[13:14] <+sgardner> Erik I thought you were in a meeting next door :-)
[13:15] <Eloquence> sgardner: I am - still waiting for danese
[13:15] <+sgardner> Ah. Okay -- you may as well stay with us, then, until she gets here.
[13:15] * Sky2042_afk is now known as Sky2042
[13:15] <Abbasjnr> So we'll be grilling both the ED and her Deputy!!
[13:15] <+sgardner> Grill away, Abbas!
[13:15] <jowen> Published Board resolutions (http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Resolutions)
[13:15] <+sgardner> Thanks James.
[13:16] <Nemo_bis> sgardner, please talk about five-year targets
[13:16] <+sgardner> Sure Nemo_bis, I'd be happy to.
[13:16] <+sgardner> Do you want me to give a recap of how they were developed, or talk about how they will be used?
[13:17] <+sgardner> Or something else?
[13:17] <+sgardner> Do you want to talk about them yourself -- your reactions?
[13:17] <Eloquence> Please see http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/foundation-l/2010-October/061563.html for some Q&A on the targets
[13:17] <Nemo_bis> I would like to know how this document was prepared.
[13:17] <Nihiltres> a quick recap would be welcome as I can't access the .ods on this computer
[13:17] <+sgardner> Sure, no problem.
[13:17] <Nemo_bis> For example (let me dig strategywiki)...
[13:18] <Nihiltres> (I only have LibreOffice at home :( )
[13:18] <Eloquence> lol, Nihiltres, I thought LibreOffice was an OO fork? it should handle ODS just fine
[13:18] <Dereckson> Nihiltres> would a PDF output be useful to you?
[13:18] <Pharos> probably not addressed directly in the strategy, but how would you see something like the Ambassadors program working in 5 years?
[13:18] * Nemo_bis looks for a document on strategywiki which was supposed to be approved by the board...
[13:18] <Nihiltres> Dereckson: that would be useful
[13:18] <Dereckson> Okay, I'm preparing it.
[13:19] <Nihiltres> Eloquence: I am not at home ATM
[13:19] <+sgardner> Essentially: there was a lot of discussion on the strategy wiki about goals, targets, measurements. Some of which happened on a page that I think was called Movement Priorities. That was the first starting point for the targets. I made the spreadsheet --did SJ post the spreadsheet?-- based on the Movement Priorities conversations on the strategy wiki, and conversations I had with senior staff here in the office, and with the Bridgespan
[13:19] <+sgardner> people.
[13:19] <+sgardner> (still typing)
[13:19] <Eloquence> Nihiltres: I see :)
[13:19] <Nemo_bis> perhaps http://strategy.wikimedia.org/wiki/Strategic_Plan/Role_of_the_WMF : is it going to be adiscussed/pproved by the board?
[13:20] <Nihiltres> ++Nemo_bis
[13:20] <+sgardner> After I made the spreadsheet, I ran a couple of simple little surveys, of community members, board members and staff members, to surface people's general attitudes towards target-setting, as well as their specific views on the things we were --at that point- considering measuring. I used that input to refine the targets, then I floated them with the board and got some further feedback which resulted in a few additional modifications...
[13:20] <+sgardner> then they were given to the board for a vote.
[13:20] <+sgardner> That was the process.
[13:20] <Nemo_bis> (Yes, SJ published the spreadsheet: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/foundation/9/9c/Wikimedia_Five-Year_Targets.ods )
[13:21] <+sgardner> I want to say one thing about how they should be interpreted. But first, does anyone have any questions about the process itself?
[13:21] <+sgardner> Oh and I should also say, Erik and Barry were particularly helpful through the target development process :-)
[13:22] <Nihiltres> the process itself seems relatively straightforward
[13:22] <Dereckson> Nihiltres > http://devio.us/~dereckson/wikimedia/Wikimedia_Five-Year_Targets.pdf
[13:22] <Nihiltres> Dereckson: thanks muchly :)
[13:22] <@Jamesofur> thank you Dereckson
[13:23] <killiondude> thanks. I have no idea who uses .ods files. :-)
[13:23] <Pharos> I know who :)
[13:23] <+sgardner> I do :-)
[13:23] <Dereckson> it's nothing
[13:23] <killiondude> Not the general public. I know that!
[13:24] <@Jamesofur> hey even MS Office opens them now it isn't that bad!
[13:24] <@Jamesofur> though of course everyone should use OO :)
[13:24] <bawolff> eww, everyone should use abiword :P
[13:25] <Nihiltres> all right, I did have a question that Dereckson's PDF helped me remember
[13:25] <Werespielchqrs> What proportion of Wikimedia's funds are going to be directed differently as a result of these targets?
[13:25] <aude> sgardner: can you talk about how WMF might support GLAM outreach (as mentioned in target #3)
[13:26] <Nihiltres> ++aude
[13:26] <+sgardner> So one thing I would add about the targets, then. I think it's important that they be understood, and known to be, primarily _indicators_, rather than direct measurements of everything we care about. We needed a small number of targets that were easy to measure and easy to talk about / understand. Which inherently means they're going to be a little simplistic.. a little over-simplified. We know, for example, that the number of articles
[13:26] <+sgardner> in Wikipedia is not the only significant measurement of "the amount of information" we provide for people. But it's a useful indicator of the amount of information we provide. So it's in that spirit that the targets should be understood. Or rather, it's in that spirit that the targets are intended.
[13:26] <@StevenW> Lots of questions being thrown out, we're going to try and answer them in order.
[13:27] <+sgardner> I'll answer Werespielchqrs's question first, then aude. Let me know if I'm missing anyone.
[13:27] <Nihiltres> I'll ask mine once aude's is answered
[13:27] <@Jamesofur> I think thats it for now
[13:27] <Chaoticfluffy> mine's in the lineup too, Jamesofur
[13:28] <@Jamesofur> Chaoticfluffy: Aye but different topic :) Holding it for you though
[13:28] <+sgardner> Werespielchqrs: none. The targets themselves don't have a direct downstream impact on anything. Ideally of course we're measuring stuff we care about, and so the kinds of things we're measuring will likely also turn up as priorities elsewhere, in addition to just being targets. But the fact that they are targets has no implications for spending.
[13:28] <Nihiltres> hi flipzagging :)
[13:28] <+sgardner> Does that make sense?
[13:28] <+sgardner> It felt a little over-written :-)
[13:29] <killiondude> O_O
[13:29] <Nihiltres> in other words, the spending isn't *planned* around the targets but will be affected by them?
[13:31] <Abbasjnr> Sgardner> So you have no idea how much it will cost to achieve the strategies?
[13:31] <+sgardner> No -- there's no direct relationship between the targets and the spending.
[13:31] <+sgardner> No, Abbasjnr, that's a different question with a different answer.
[13:31] <Nihiltres> ok
[13:31] <bawolff> question: In the pdf, one of the measures is # of people served, but they don't give it as per unit time. Is that per month, year, all time?
[13:32] <Abbasjnr> OK
[13:32] <+sgardner> Okay -- should I go to Aude's question, then?
[13:32] <Nihiltres> please
[13:33] <+sgardner> sure
[13:33] <Nemo_bis> bawolff, I think it's unique vistors per month according to comScore
[13:33] <Nemo_bis> + some other things
[13:33] <+sgardner> So essentially, the Wikimedia Foundation will support GLAM activities and events via grants (money).
[13:33] <+sgardner> In 2009-10, the Wikimedia Foundation gave out 120K in grants to chapter and volunteer activities. In 2010-11, we will give out a minimum of 250K: by July 2011.
[13:34] <+sgardner> That's the primary way that we're going to support that work. It's also true that individual Wikimedia Foundation staff people will support GLAM events and people who are staging them -- e.g., I am speaking at a GLAM event being staged by Liam Wyatt in the UK in I think November.
[13:34] <+sgardner> But our primary form of support will be funding.
[13:34] <aude> sgardner: what about through the fellowship program? is that in the scope?
[13:35] <+sgardner> Yeah. Aude, if your question is, will some fellows be dedicated to GLAM-type work, I think it's fairly likely that would be the case.
[13:35] <jowen> Yes Sue will be at the UK GLAM event on Saturday, November 27
[13:35] <+sgardner> Thanks James.
[13:35] <aude> i'm concerned the "Wikipedian in residence" sort of effort, some sort of stipend or something would be good (maybe through chapters)
[13:35] <aude> or something to make outreach efforts more sustainable
[13:36] <Pharos> ++aude
[13:36] <+sgardner> Oh I see what you're saying. Like, 'could the fellowship program be expanded to subsidize Wikimedians in residence at places like the British Museum.' Is that what you mean?
[13:36] <Nihiltres> that is an interesting idea
[13:36] <aude> sgardner: possibly... i'm sure others will think of different ideas, but leave the door open for such possibilities
[13:37] <Nihiltres> though I think that ought to be done on more of a grant basis
[13:37] <aude> in case, where there is a chapter, the effort can be channeled through the chapter with a grant, perhaps
[13:37] <+sgardner> Yeah --- I think Nihiltres is correct, that would happen through the grant program. And aude, the grant program is now also open to individuals, not just chapters.
[13:38] <aude> sgardner: thanks. i'll let you get to the next question :)
[13:38] <+sgardner> K, thanks. I actually want to go back to bawolff for a second, on the "number of people served."
[13:38] <+sgardner> (I just noticed the back-and-forth about it, so I'd like to return there for a second.)
[13:39] <+sgardner> So bawolff: the "number of people served" is intended to aggregate together all readers of the projects.
[13:39] <+sgardner> Currently, it includes comScore global unique visitors monthly, which is currently sitting at about 400 million global UVs monthly.
[13:40] <killiondude> QUESTION: The recently completed 2010 Donor Survey, by Q2 Consulting... was a competitive bid put out for that work, and if not, why not? If so, by what criteria were Q2 Consulting selected? How much did the project cost the Foundation?
[13:40] <+sgardner> But we also want it to include visitors to the mobile gateway.... and also people who consume offline versions.
[13:40] <killiondude> Whenever you get to it is fine, just wanted to but myself in line.
[13:40] <killiondude> *put
[13:41] <+sgardner> (Sure killiondude, no problem.)
[13:41] <Nihiltres> My question is also about #3: are there initial ideas for improving/initializing expert assessment? Or is that merely a general direction to look at?
[13:41] <bawolff> sgardner: thanks
[13:41] <+sgardner> So -- on "people served" -- the trick is to aggregate together the total number of readers of the projects, while not counting people twice.
[13:42] <+sgardner> My assumption is that measurement services (eg comScore) will get more sophisticated about this over time. That is partly why the targets are so high-level, to allow for better methodologies that'll be developed over the coming years.
[13:42] <@Jamesofur> we have a couple questions in the queue before Killiondudes if possible (Nihiltres and Nemo_bis on this topic and one from Chaoticfluffy on the controversal content study)
[13:42] <+sgardner> You're welcome bawolff; I just wanted to make sure there was a little more clarity around that measure.
[13:43] <+sgardner> Okay: Jamesofur -- which is next: Nihiltres?
[13:43] <@Jamesofur> aye NIhiltres is next :)
[13:43] <@Jamesofur> <Nihiltres> My question is also about #3: are there initial ideas for improving/initializing expert assessment? Or is that merely a general direction to look at?
[13:43] <+sgardner> Okay --- thanks!
[13:43] <+sgardner> Yes, expert assessment.
[13:43] <+sgardner> This is such a tough one.
[13:43] <Nihiltres> agreed :)
[13:44] <+sgardner> We are talking a lot about it in the office, and there are pretty divergent views on it.
[13:44] <aude> question for the queue: about serving people, I have been talking w/ accessibility folks... wikipedia does fairly well, but improvements can be made. is this something WMF is interested in? if so how might improved accessibility be supported?
[13:44] <aude> this is, making wikipedia easily accessible with screen readers and such
[13:45] <@Jamesofur> thanks aude
[13:45] <+sgardner> When I was at CBC News, we commissioned a panel of experts to listen to subsets of our coverage (for example, coverage of election night) and assess its quality, reliability, neutrality and so forth, for us. We also did surveys of the general population. The idea was that surveys of gen-pop would give us quantifiable data that would help us track trends-over-time, but that would need to be supplemented by expert assessment. So our basi
[13:45] <+sgardner> c view here is similar: we want quantitative data, but we also need deep qualitative assessments as well.
[13:45] <+sgardner> So the question is, how to do that.
[13:47] <+sgardner> I believe the PPI will be experimenting with soliciting expert assessment, although I don't know the details about how they're going to do it. I believe they're using a modified version of the article assessment process that we use internally in the projects, and asking public policy experts to assess public policy articles using it.
[13:47] <ragesoss> Re: expert assessment, there a trial of that going on right now in the Public Policy Initiative. Amy Roth has been recruiting a number of public policy experts to use rate articles using the detailed assessment system we came up with, and she'll be comparing expert rating with Wikipedians' ratings.
[13:47] <+sgardner> So from that, we will likely learn something about experts' willingness and capabilities to engage directly with us.
[13:47] <ragesoss> yep, Sue has it right.
[13:47] <+sgardner> Ah, Sage!'
[13:47] <@StevenW> Relevant link is the Assessment tab of WP:USPP
[13:47] <Nihiltres> yeah, I looked over that a while back
[13:47] <+sgardner> Sage should talk about this, not me.
[13:47] <ragesoss> You can see the basics here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_United_States_Public_Policy/Assessment
[13:47] <+sgardner> (Go ahead, Sage, if you want.)
[13:48] <+sgardner> (And I will talk a little more broadly.)
[13:48] <ragesoss> basically, we wanted to find a system that was easier for non-Wikipedians to understand and use that the standard Wikipedia 1.0 class system, but still compatible with it.
[13:49] <ragesoss> And now, Amy is testing it experimentally, assigning a group of Wikipedians and a group of experts to rate specific articles at several different points in time.
[13:49] <+sgardner> Basically: the conversation we're having in the office at the moment, probably parallels all the other conversations that have been had on this same topic inside the community. How to extract maximum value from experts' high-level view (they can see the forest, not just the tree) .... which means getting qualitative input. While still ideally enabling LOTS of input, e.g., mechanisms that scale. It's a hard problem. I know we all know t
[13:49] <+sgardner> hat :-)
[13:49] <+sgardner> (Also: Phoebe has offered to dedicate some energy towards this, which I think is good and will be helpful.)
[13:50] <ragesoss> Yep.
[13:50] <Theo10011> Sue about the new CTCO
[13:51] <Theo10011> is there an office hour scheduled with Ms. Skyberg?
[13:51] <Nihiltres> Cyn Skyberg?
[13:51] <+sgardner> (And also: I have found it really interesting that in the 'rate-this-article' beta, Wikimedia editors turn out to be much harder markers than typical readers. That suggests a bunch of things to me, including that we likely have internal credible experts ourselves, and we may want to look at explicitly surfacing them and treating their input in some kind of special way.)
[13:51] <ragesoss> And once he have a more quantitative idea of how systematically expert ratings differ from our editor ratings (which differ again from reader ratings, which we're also getting for these articles through the Article Feedback Tool pilot) we'll hopefully be in a better place for the next stage of figuring out how experts might help us understand the quality of our content.
[13:51] <ragesoss> (okay, I'm done now)
[13:51] <+sgardner> Thanks Sage :-)
[13:51] <Nihiltres> thanks ragesoss :)
[13:52] <+sgardner> Where do I go now, Jamesofur?
[13:52] <@Jamesofur> aye We have a quick one from Nemo bis
[13:52] <@Jamesofur> Question: would the number of entries on all WMF projects be less «easy to measure and easy to talk about / understand»?
[13:52] <@StevenW> Theo10011: There's one scheduled with Cyn on Friday, October 22.
[13:52] <@StevenW> Hasn't been announced yet on the lists, though.
[13:52] <Theo10011> Thanks steven
[13:52] <@StevenW> np
[13:53] <Nemo_bis> (Less than the number of Wikipedia articles.)
[13:54] <Pharos> well, tall the wiktionaries would pretty seriously inflate it
[13:54] <+sgardner> Ah, Nemo_bis. I hate to say this, because I may just be muddying waters ... but I think that target may have been changed from "number of Wikipedia articles" to "number of all Wikimedia 'articles.'" In other words, your implicit criticism may have been addressed. I got a mail to that effect from SJ this morning, but haven't gone back yet to check it myself.
[13:54] <Nemo_bis> I think that it would be useful.
[13:54] <Nemo_bis> You could set it to 100 or 150 millions.
[13:55] <Nemo_bis> And Wiktionary, Commons etc. etc. users would feel more involved in the plan.
[13:55] <+sgardner> Basically though: the purpose of measuring "number of Wikipedia articles" was to have a simple stand-in indicator for "amount of information." If it were just as easy to measure "number of 'articles or article-like objects' on all projects," then there'd be no reason not to measure that. But I cannot remember which we actually ended up doing :-)
[13:55] <Abbasjnr> I have a question on queue. Let me know when your done
[13:56] <PeterSymonds> Ask it and it'll be added.
[13:56] <+sgardner> Yep, I'm done -- I know we're starting to run out of time.
[13:56] <Nihiltres> sgardner: I think one of the Wikipedia stats pages used "gigabytes of article text" as a measure
[13:56] <+sgardner> What are the remaining questions, and I'll try to burn through them pretty fast :-)
[13:56] <@Jamesofur> we have a quick one from aude on this topic as well
[13:56] <@Jamesofur> <aude> question for the queue: about serving people, I have been talking w/ accessibility folks... wikipedia does fairly well, but improvements can be made. is this something WMF is interested in? if so how might improved accessibility be supported?
[13:56] <@Jamesofur> [13:44] <aude> this is, making wikipedia easily accessible with screen readers and such
[13:56] <+sgardner> Thanks Nihiltres :-)
[13:56] <aude> FYI: http://usability.wikimedia.org/wiki/Accessibility
[13:57] <Abbasjnr> Are all the current WMF employees on the Wikimedia Foundation staff page? And are there, if any, staff who are working remotely?
[13:57] <Theo10011> on a similar note, there were proposals related to a pre-loaded offline version of Wikipedia on devices like the kindle
[13:57] <+sgardner> Hi Aude. I can't speak to the specifics on that. All I can say is that if we want to reach every single human being on the planet, obviously a high level of accessibility is a necessary precondition. So yes, it should be important to us all. But I can't speak about any specific initiatives related to it.
[13:58] <aude> sgardner: feedback i got is that improved accessibility and improved mobile access involve many of the same fixes
[13:58] <@Jamesofur> and asked earlier for sue: The recently completed 2010 Donor Survey, by Q2 Consulting... was a competitive bid put out for that work, and if not, why not? If so, by what criteria were Q2 Consulting selected? How much did the project cost the Foundation?
[13:59] <RoanKattouw> Abbasjnr: Of the people on the staff page at least Tim Starling, Rob Halsell, Mark Bergsma and Ryan Lane work remotely off the top of my head
[13:59] <aude> blind people will for example use facebook mobile site even on desktop because the interface is simple... on the other hand, we want everyone to be able to edit so the regular site is good but could be better
[13:59] <Abbasjnr> Thanks RoanKattouw
[14:00] * ragesoss works remotely as well. He heads the Pittsburgh Office of the Wikimedia Foundation.
[14:00] <jowen> Abbasjnr I also just looked at the staff page from what I can tell it is current but there might be one or two new hires who are not yet added.
[14:00] * @Jamesofur works from Boston but isn't permenant so not on that page :)
[14:00] <RoanKattouw> Abbasjnr: Also, my understanding is that people on temporary contracts aren't on there. Contractors (who are not employees, technically) aren't on there either for some legal reason
[14:01] <PeterSymonds> m:Wikimedia Foundation contractors
[14:01] <killiondude> http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_contractors
[14:01] <Nihiltres> maybe we need a "see also" :P
[14:01] <PeterSymonds> They're on a separate page.
[14:01] <killiondude> darn you peter.
[14:01] <PeterSymonds> Thanks SoxBot.
[14:01] <jowen> RoanKattouw is correct we are not at this time listing temporary contract staff on the page
[14:01] <Abbasjnr> Thanks, Roan and James
[14:02] <+sgardner> Okay, donor survey:
[14:02] <guillom> It's not really a question, but since we're going to run out of time soon, I'd like to draw some attention to the message I just left on the Commons Village pump about our licensing tutorial (i.e. a comic strip about copyright and licenses). Please read it :) http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Village_pump#The_Licensing_tutorial_needs_you </shameless plug>
[14:02] <jowen> You can always follow up with Daniel Phelps or Cyn if you want more information about our staffing numbers, remote staff, and other hiring details.
[14:02] <Nihiltres> all right, I have to go :(
[14:02] <Nihiltres> Have a nice day, everyone :)
[14:02] <+sgardner> Bye Nihiltres, nice to speak with you :-)
[14:02] <Abbasjnr> OK, James:)
[14:02] <@Jamesofur> thanks for coming Nihiltres
[14:02] <+sgardner> So.
[14:02] <+sgardner> So I think the question is, did we run an RFP for the process of picking a firm to help us with the fundraising. And the answer is no, we did not. The Wikimedia Foundation doesn't have a policy for when we run RFPs versus when we have less-formal processes for selecting vendors. I think that's completely fine: there are a variety of factors that go into the decision each time, and I don't think it would be easy to write a really good,
[14:02] <+sgardner> robust policy designed to dictate the circumstances that require an RFP.
[14:02] <+sgardner> In this instance, we didn't run an RFP. We chose a firm that we thought would do a great job for Wikimedia – in part because we felt they could work well with our community, in an open setting. I don't regret that, and I don't think it was the wrong way to handle it.
[14:03] <+sgardner> That's the gist, on Q2.
[14:03] <+sgardner> (Q2 is the name of the firm.)
[14:03] <+sgardner> Any follow-up questions on that -- I'd be happy to answer them, if there are any.,
[14:04] <Nemo_bis> Do you usually run an RFP above some spending limit?
[14:04] <Theo10011> any idea about a pre-loaded kindle version of Wikipedia?
[14:04] <+sgardner> No, not necessarily.
[14:04] <+sgardner> (Nemo_bis)
[14:04] <Werespielchqrs> Do you have a policy on what size of contract can be awarded without a bidding process?
[14:04] <+sgardner> The thing is that dollar-amount isn't necessarily the best indicator of whether an RFP is required/helpful.
[14:05] <+sgardner> Same question, Werespielchqrs, and it's the same answer.
[14:05] <Nemo_bis> You can have exceptions. :-)
[14:05] <+sgardner> I think it's possible that in the fullness of time, we will develop policy for when to run an RFP.
[14:05] <Nemo_bis> Obviously we should consider that time to run an RFP is a cost.
[14:05] <+sgardner> For example, at the CBC we certainly did have policy on this.
[14:06] <Nemo_bis> There was a question from Theo10011
[14:06] <+sgardner> But Nemo_bis is correct: it comes at a cost. Running an RFP is complicated and time-consuming, particularly if individual staffers need to run their own RFPs every time, rather than having support from for example a Purchasing Department.
[14:06] <@Jamesofur> <Theo10011> any idea about a pre-loaded kindle version of Wikipedia?
[14:06] <+sgardner> In many ways, large organizations are better suited to running RFPs relative to small organizations.
[14:06] <killiondude> How much did the research study cost, by chance?
[14:07] <+sgardner> I don't know how much it cost.
[14:07] <+sgardner> (Which means it was not a very, very large amount of money.)
[14:08] <killiondude> Thanks for your answers, Sue.
[14:09] <+sgardner> Anyway: upshot -- likely at some point in the future we will develop an RFP policy, but it's not imminent. And I think it's fine for us, at this point, to experiment a little -- sometimes running RFPs when we think circumstances warrant it, and sometimes not running them when we think it's not warranted. That way we can learn how much work it is, whether it leads to useful outcomes, and so forth. In general, our goal is to get the best
[14:09] <+sgardner> possible outcomes, and if RFPs don't help us do that, I would be less inclined to use them as a tool.
[14:09] <+sgardner> No problem, killiondude, happy to answer.
[14:09] <+sgardner> Are there one or two last questions?
[14:09] <+sgardner> (I feel like I type A LOT, very quickly, in these meetings. Next time I think I will ask questions of you guys, and mostly just listen, myself :-)
[14:10] <Theo10011> <@Jamesofur> <Theo10011> any idea about a pre-loaded kindle version of Wikipedia?
[14:10] <@Jamesofur> Did you get Theo's on the kindle
[14:10] <@Jamesofur> yes that :)
[14:10] <aude> sgardner: where are the RFPs posted?
[14:10] <+sgardner> Thanks!
[14:10] <+sgardner> They aren't posted in a single place, aude.
[14:11] <+sgardner> I know when Jay did one for the communications campaign, it was published. But for example the board ran an RFP the other day for some board development work, and I don't believe it's been posted anywhere.
[14:11] <aude> Jamesofur: you're coming to the NYC meetup on saturday?
[14:11] <+sgardner> Okay, Kindle. And then I think there is one question on controversial content.
[14:11] <@Jamesofur> aude: Yup I'll be there
[14:12] <aude> cool, i'm thinking about taking a bus up to nyc... undecided but maybe
[14:12] * Keegan gives sgardner a hug
[14:12] <Abbasjnr> Question: Last time I checked, the South African chapter had hosted an event which members of ChapCom like Delphine had attended. Have they made any progress, in terms of getting approval from the Board, etc?
[14:12] <+sgardner> Re the Kindle: AFAIK nobody is actively talking with Amazon about putting an offline version of our material on the Kindle. Although, it is definitely a notion that comes up repeatedly, so it's fairly likely that at some point someone will aim to have that conversation.
[14:12] * drini_ is now known as DriniUnloved
[14:13] <Theo10011> theres a bunch of these readers out there sue
[14:13] * Keegan gives DriniUnloved a hug
[14:13] <Theo10011> and that market is growing at an astounding rate
[14:13] <@Jamesofur> if we have a second a question about controversal content: <Chaoticfluffy> Sue, this may be too big a topic for you to address in this format, but I was wondering whether you could give us a summary of the Controversial Content study. I tried to read it, but quickly got bogged down in its size and expansiveness, and I'd like to hear just a quick rundown of conclusions reached and/or actions suggested
[14:13] <@Jamesofur> and the queue is empty (yay!)
[14:13] <+sgardner> So you're arguing for not just the Kindle, but all e-readers, in effect?
[14:13] <Theo10011> yes
[14:13] <DriniUnloved> :D
[14:13] <Theo10011> ipads, nooks and what have you
[14:13] <+sgardner> yeah, I don't disagree.
[14:14] <@Jamesofur> Theo10011: fyi, there is actually one for the ipad/iphone/itouch
[14:14] <aude> fyi: http://www.brooklynmuseum.org/community/blogosphere/bloggers/2010/10/14/welcome-to-wikipop-25-articles-in-english-on-ipads-in-the-gallery/
[14:15] <+sgardner> Well, the one thing I would say is that we probably want to focus our efforts towards the lower end of the market, you know. Most companies are focused on affluent users -- the types of people who own iPads and iPods -- because that's where the potential revenue is. But for us, it's more important that we focus on getting information to people who don;'t have it, rather than focusing on making information available in new and exciting
[14:15] <+sgardner> ways, to people who laready have it.
[14:15] <jowen> Abbasjnr South Africa is not yet a chapter but they are form my understanding working on the process. I believe they are still working with Chap Comm and are not yet to the point of board approval. But you should follow up with Chap Comm Delphine probably has more information if you want.
[14:15] <Theo10011> well I can prob go online on the ipad, I meant a preloaded offline one james
[14:15] <+sgardner> Okay! I will answer the controversial content question now. And James, thanks for helping with the South Africa question :-)
[14:15] <Abbasjnr> OK, James
[14:16] <+sgardner> Ha! That IS a big question, LOL.
[14:16] <+sgardner> But I can take a crack at it :-)
[14:16] <+sgardner> So here's the gist. This will be super-rough and loose, and anyone who wants real accuracy should definitely read Robert's study.
[14:16] <+sgardner> But, roughly and loosely....
[14:16] <Chaoticfluffy> lol sorry. I have been re-reading and I think I have a better handle on it now anyway, but I'd still like to hear it in your words
[14:17] <+sgardner> Robert recommended that we make no changes to the way text is handled. He feels there is lots of controversial material handled in the projects in text form, and it is all done really well, and doesn't need any modification.
[14:18] * RoanKattouw is now known as RoanKattouw_away
[14:18] <+sgardner> He also recommended that Commons make some internal modifications to its policies and practices -- for example, he recommends that Commons enforce its own scope policies more aggressively, and that it elevate "the principle of least surprise" to the level of being an official, enforced policy. (For example, that would mean --I assume-- that upskirt photos would never appear in the "denim skirt" category.)
[14:20] <+sgardner> He also recommended that users of all projects be given the option of screening from their own view images that might be considered controversial. Basically, this would mean that controversial images/galleries would appear in 'collapsed' view to those who chose that, and those people would always have the option to change their mind, and view the images, without needing to jump through a bunch of hoops.
[14:20] <+sgardner> There is more, but that's a very fast, rough summary of what he recommended.
[14:20] * Chaoticfluffy nods. Thanks :)
[14:20] <jowen> You can read the controversial content study on meta at http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/2010_Wikimedia_Study_of_Controversial_Content
[14:20] <+sgardner> Hi Chaoticfluffy -- glad you're still here :-) I'm happy to write all this, but I'm also glad you're here reading it :-)
[14:21] <+sgardner> So I'll tell you now what happened at the board meeting.
[14:22] <+sgardner> We spent three hours on this issue. Robert talked though the recommendations for about a half-hour -- just explaining how he did the work, who he talked with, and sharing some observations, as well as summarizing the recommendations.
[14:22] <aude> Chaoticfluffy: you're speaking about the study at the nyc meetup?
[14:22] <Chaoticfluffy> aude: well, i didn't intend to, but when I mentioned to Pharos that I was going to ask this question here I somehow found myself signed up to do it there
[14:22] <+sgardner> Then the board shared some gut individual reactions -- both to the study overall, and to the specific recommendations, and spent an hour or so figuring out next steps.
[14:23] <Pharos> :)
[14:23] <aude> Chaoticfluffy: :) look forward to it
[14:23] <Chaoticfluffy> sgardner, are you willing (and/or allowed) to share with us some of the Board's reactions, as far as agreeing with the conclusions, or potential trouble spots in it?
[14:24] <aude> and reactions were?
[14:24] * RoanKattouw_away is now known as RoanKattouw
[14:24] <+sgardner> I don't want to characterize anybody's individual responses (that would be unfair) -- but I think it's reasonable to say that 1) everybody was really happy with the work Robert did, which is nice, and 2) there seems to be broad general consensus (I think) that at least some of the recommendations should move forward. Some I think the board felt need more scrutiny/thinking/discussion.
[14:24] <+sgardner> Oh sure Chaoticfluffy, I was just doing a bit of that :-)
[14:24] <Chaoticfluffy> great minds :)
[14:25] <+sgardner> So in effect, what the board is doing now is striking a committee to think through next steps -- how to get more information where more information is necessary, how to make decisions where there is currently dissent, and so forth.
[14:25] * Lcawte|Away is now known as Lcawte
[14:26] <Chaoticfluffy> Next steps are good. I came away from reading it vaguely worried that it would be "Ok, projects. Here's the conclusions, get moving!"
[14:26] <Chaoticfluffy> Followed quickly, of course, by civil war
[14:27] <killiondude> Nothing happens quickly when studies are involved. ;-)
[14:27] <Abbasjnr> I got to go. Bye guys
[14:27] <dgultekin> Bye Abbas
[14:27] <aude> bye Abbasjnr
[14:27] <+sgardner> The last thing I'll say, I think (unless anyone has questions): I thought it was a really good discussion. It's a hard topic, because it's very emotional and personal for lots of people. But I think the board did a really good job of having an open, honest conversation. Their views are informed by their personal opinions (of course), but I think everyone also wants to behave in the best interests of the projects and their readers, and
[14:27] <+sgardner> it's not at all obvious how to do that. So it was a good open, questioning conversation.
[14:27] <+sgardner> By Abbas!
[14:27] <+sgardner> *bye
[14:28] <@Jamesofur> Bye Abbasjnr :) Thank you everyone fro coming it really was a great discussion. I'll be posting the logs on meta (link in the topic) ASAP for everyone
[14:28] <+sgardner> So yeah. It was funny because the tech team (outside the boardroom) was listening for shouting and chair-throwing.. but there wasn't any. It was a good thoughtful conversation :-)
[14:28] <Chaoticfluffy> haha
[14:28] <jowen> Just as an FYI Sue's next office hours will be on Wednesday, October 27, 16:00-17:00 PT
[14:28] <+sgardner> And Barry is Friday, am I right?
[14:29] <@StevenW> Yep
[14:29] <+sgardner> Lovely.'
[14:29] <+sgardner> Thanks everybody. Next time I think I will come with questions for you, so I don't myself need to type so fast :-)
[14:29] <Theo10011> Thanx
[14:29] <killiondude> Heh.
[14:29] <+sgardner> Nice to talk with you all :-)
[14:30] <aude> sgardner: thanks for spending time with us!
[14:30] <PeterSymonds> Bye Sue.
[14:30] <+sgardner> Bye bye :-)