IRC office hours/Office hours 2012-05-11
From apprx. 17:00-18:00 UTC
<sgardner> Hey folks!
Sorry to be delayed: I needed to reboot and it was slow.
<bodnotbod> Hi Sue
<SarahStierch> Hi sgardner!
<Hubertl> hi sgardner
<sgardner> Bodnotbod, hello! Sarah, Hubert1!
<Moonriddengirl> Hi, Sue. :)
<aude> hi sgardner
<sgardner> Everyone -- yay! nice to see you all :-)
<jps> Good morning Sue
<omtsh> Hi sgardner, Ms Executive director, sir :)
<sgardner> Do we want to collect topics for a little while, and then get started?
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<jps> Sue, I have a request which I would like to submit, and while I am prepared to discuss it, you might not want to. I'd like to ask you consider it and perhaps discuss it more thoroughly at a later date.
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<jps> It will take less than a minute for me to describe the situation in full.
<sgardner> Sure jps, go ahead.
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<jps> Specifically, I think you should study the standard of living of long term, high volume volunteers. From what I have been able to tell so far, about 1 in 5 English Wikipedia administrators are technically living below the US poverty line
but there might be substantial mitigating factors, such as shared households, in-kind work, and as-needed paid work situations which obscure the extent to which they are actually impoverished.
I intend to publish a full report of my findings, but there have been very substantial irregularities involved so I think it would be best if the Foundation took a look at this particular finding, so (1) it won't catch anyone by surprise and
(2) the irregularities associated with it won't call it into question. in any case, it's a request, and it's too important to make a quick decision about. I'm prepared to discuss this, but fully understand if you would prefer to move on and think about this first.
<sgardner> While you're typing, other people can toss out stuff too. StevenW's with me, and he'll help collect topics.
<jps> That's all I have to say about it unless someone has questions for me.
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<StevenW> Yeah, anyone can feel free to give me topics/questions they're interested in
<sgardner> Thanks jps. If you're doing a study of some kind, I'd be very happy to read it.
<jps> I'll send preliminaries in email
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<SarahStierch> hey bryony ! :D
<sgardner> I can throw out some ideas for you to pick from, plus you can offer up your own ideas. We could talk about the annual plan -- the Wikimedia Foundation is coming up towards the end of the planning proecss, and I'll be giving the plan to the Board for discussion in a week or so.
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<StevenW> hi Pharos
<SarahStierch> and Pharos !
<sgardner> We could talk about the FDC -- the Funds Dissemination Committee requested by the Board in April.
<bryony> hey sarah… hope your teacher got her buttons ;-)
<SarahStierch> bryony: i'll follow up with her! thanks for reminding em to do so.
and thanks for making a button order.
<sgardner> We could talk about Wikimania, although I personally don't know much about it at this point. But Aude is here, and she probably does.
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<aude> sgardner: happy to talk about wikimania
<sgardner> We could celebrate Hong Kong for 2013 :-)
- SarahStierch cheers
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--- StevenW has changed the topic to: IRC office hours with Sue Gardner, Exec. Director of the Wikimedia Foundation
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<NardtheBard> So, wait... you want to study how people without careers that take up all their time might be poor, and then use that extra time on Wikipedia?
<Moonriddengirl> Can you tell us a little bit about the upcoming Wikiwomencamp, Sue?
<sgardner> StevenW could talk about some of the editor engagement experiments.
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<tommorris> hey sgardner
<SarahStierch> hi tommorris
<StevenW> but Moonriddengirl has a question :)
And yeah, I can talk a little about Wikiwomencamp. :-)
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<sgardner> Is anyone here going -- it's in Argentina, in a few weeks.
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<Hubertl> in 12 Days sgardner
<aude> sgardner: i'm interested to know if/how/what geoff is looking at compatibility, from legal standpoint, between ODBL (osm) and using OSM on wikipedia
<StevenW> that's an interesting question
<aude> if you know.....
<sgardner> So Wikiwomencamp is a conference about women in Wikipedia, which is being staged in Buenos Aires, immediately prior to the WikiGenero conference there.
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- tommorris is going to AdaCamp and intends to sit quietly at the back and listen politely rather than be an aggressive asshole bro.
<mindspillage> aude: people are looking at it! I don't know what the resolution will be. It is more on Creative Commons's side than ours, I think.
- SarahStierch cheers at tommorris
<sgardner> I'm going, because Patricio gently mocked me for doing a European tour this past November, when I hadn't been to South America since Wikimania was held there. And because I care about the gender issue.
The conference is being staged by (I think) Beatrice, Beria and Laura Hale.
<aude> mindspillage: good and somethign about it on http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Legal_and_Community_Advocacy would be very helpful
and long overdue
<mindspillage> aude: I don't think there's anything to say yet.
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<sgardner> I don't know a lot about it, but I'll be attending part of it, and speaking about gender at the WikiGenero conference the next day. Much the same presentation I gave in London in November at Imperial College -- essentially, talking about the reasons female non-editors give for not editing, and what I think we can do to encourage them.
<SarahStierch> If you don't mind me chiming in real quick: Attendance for the conference is closed, but the Wikigenerio I believe is open for anyone to attend. http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikig%C3%A9nero
<aude> mindspillage: it's becoming too late.... well already too late to change what osm does
<sgardner> Thanks Sarah :-)
Glad you are able to attend!
<sgardner> That's all I have to say about BA. I'm looking forward to it. I had hoped to go to Brazil afterwards, but I don't think I'm going to be able to fit that in. So I am going to try to do another trip, to Brazil, sometime in the next few months.
<StevenW> Yeah the Brazilian community is awesome. :)
<Moonriddengirl> Thanks, Sue. I'll look forward to reading more about the event after, hearing some of what's gone on.
<StevenW> To answer aude's question...
<tommorris> sgardner: will you be attending AdaCamp and/or the Wikimania Hackathon this year?
<StevenW> I am not sure about the legal/licensing side of OSM integration
<sgardner> Everyone says that (about Brazil). I have never been there, although of course I know a few Brazilian Wikimedians, because we spent time together in Berlin around the ash cloud.
<SarahStierch> For those interested, AdaCamp is an event focused on increasing women's participation in open source/stuff, including Wikipedia. Any gender can attend. It's July 10-11: http://dc.adacamp.org/
<StevenW> except that we are currently planning to have our own OSM server(s) to support mobile https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/OpenStreetMap
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<aude> StevenW: i know and helping with that :)
<sgardner> Hi tommorris! I don't know. I think some of that conflicts with the Board meeting, but if there are parts that don't, I will likely come hang around. You got a scholarship, right?
<StevenW> ah cool
<sgardner> (To Wikimania, not to the hackathon or Ada specifically.)
<tommorris> sgardner: WMUK have given me a scholarship for Wikimania, sure.
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<aude> but me and others had asked wmf a year or more ago about odbl
<tommorris> I'll be at AdaCamp with my BarCamp London hat on, probably.
<sgardner> yeah, I was happy about that. I saw your note on FB when you didn't get a scholarship in the WMF round: I was happy to see UK stepped up for you :-)
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<aude> and not sure exactly, what if anything to do to comply with odbl
<sgardner> How is Wikimedia UK? Is today the AGM?
<tommorris> sgardner: tomorrow.
<aude> (also relevant for wikidata)
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<sgardner> Ah. Is it an important meeting? Is there anything big on the agenda? (I have never been to the UK GM.)
<tommorris> sgardner: well, there's voting for the board of trustees and a few adminstrative things, plus talks about various things like GLAM. I'm talking about OpenStreetMap
<aude> tommorris: cool :)
<tommorris> and we have more people standing for the board than last year, and some women
- aude hopes to come to glam wiki UK conference
<tommorris> this time tomorrow, we may have a woman on the WMUK board of trustees
<sgardner> Do we know who the chair is post-Roger? Or does that / might that, change tomorrow?
And who's the woman/women? :-)
<tommorris> sgardner: it's currently Fae, but generally it goes to the person with the most support in the votes
<sgardner> I see. I wasn't sure how the officer positions were determined.
<tommorris> My memory is rather hazy on these things. I'm sure Richard Symonds will know. ;-)
<sgardner> (The WMF Board votes internally on the officers -- chair, vice-chair, secretary, treasurer.)
Do you folks want me to talk about the annual plan, or is that just too dry? (I saw Amgine left because it's too "mature" here, LOL.)
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<aude> sgardner: not too dry ;)
<Hubertl> annual plan, not a bad idea!
<Amgine> That's my normal part message (hitting buttons accidentally is embarrassing)
<StevenW> Hi sj
- tommorris downloads the video of the Monthly Metrics video and transfer it to his iPad.
<sgardner> Also, I have a question for tommorris. I was talking with Erik the other day about how increased use of mobile will affect editing and I was wondering -- Tom, do you currently edit Wikipedia from the train, and if you are, are you using a laptop or a tablet-type device? Sorry if I have asked you before.
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<bodnotbod> Question: The Foundation Report for April just came out. One of the things in the Five Year Plan was a commitment to improve quality. But it appears article quality is not being tracked in the 'Data & Trends' section of the report. Should it be?
<sgardner> (I am trying to get a sense of how real people's real editing patterns are shifting, as a result of mobile.)
- aude edits osm on mobile
<aude> it's different but .....
<sgardner> Oh LOL, okay Amgine :-)
<StevenW> thanks for the question bodnotbod
<sgardner> So why don't I answer bodnotbod, then we can talk about the plan?
<tommorris> sgardner: I use a laptop, and simply get frustrated when I enter tunnels. Mostly though I end up doing everything but WP on the train, answering interminable emails, doing academic work and writing code.
- aude favors mailing lists over meta wiki pages
<aude> easier to use on mobile
<_sj_> dry + otr
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<_sj_> I also pull out a laptop if I must edit a page; else +1 aude
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<SarahStierch> hi _sj_ :D
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<sgardner> tommorris: yeah, that's kind of what I'm afraid of. I am having a hard time imagining people actually editing articles while mobile. Anecdotally, the images on Commons that I've seen of editors are all in studies, dens, libraries. People surrounded with books and papers. I am worried that the shift to being more mobile will make editing much more of a niche time-constrained pursuit, even for core editors.
<SarahStierch> I'd still love to see the opportunity to upload images to Commons from mobile easily. Someday..
….a wikigeek can dream..
<tommorris> SarahStierch: Commons uploader for Android is pretty handy.
<jps> It is very difficult to track quality in a single statistic. The most important aspects of quality are accuracy and coverage, and neither of those can be assessed automatically. Studies of quality usually have to sample a subject area and then ask experts for independent evaluations. There's no way to boil that down to automated statistics
<SarahStierch> I have an iPhone
Is there an app or something?
<aude> sgardner: little pieces of data, mobile-friendly discussion pages, pictures, geocoordinates, etc.
<tommorris> (is there a Commons category for Wikipedians editing? Preferably one where the category name starts "Nude or semi-nude")
<sgardner> it is of course possible to edit on mobile, and it'll get easier over time, but it just feels unlikely. Article-writing is a deep thoughtful focused thing, not a quick-hit kind of thing. Sorry if that's inarticulate.
<SarahStierch> I blame my clueless on the past two years of getting my masters :P
<StevenW> There is a prototype uploader app for iPhone but not sure if it's deployed to the app store
<tommorris> sgardner: there are various adminnish wikignome tasks that are quite doable on mobile.
<sgardner> and yes Sarah, uploading photos to Commons is a good use case. I am looking forward to seeing it happen, much more, with this year's WLM.
- SarahStierch nods at sgardner
<sgardner> tommorris, LOL.
<SarahStierch> I still hope some folks can take up the ropes with WLM here in the States. :(
<the-wub> Here's the Android app for anyone interested: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=nl.michiel1972.main
<tommorris> approving and rejecting articles at AfC is easy enough to do on an iPad
<sgardner> whoops, I mean the Commons category comment, not the wikignoming.
<StevenW> FYI mobile is working on this stuff https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/MobileFrontend/Photo_upload/Upload_Wizard_mobile_port
<Hubertl> annual plan?
<sgardner> Yes, wikignoming will make sense on mobile. I am just talking about core thoughtful deep article-writing.
<tommorris> yup, link to annual plan would be useful
<_sj_> ss Q:-D - one-click upload? maybe flip-cam integration.
<SarahStierch> ty StevenW
<sgardner> sure Hubert1, sorry!
<StevenW> It also is tied in with improvements to the account creation process, since you need to login/register to upload
<sgardner> Let me start with Bodnotbod's question, briefly.
<aude> there could be an app for categorizing images on commons
<sgardner> There is a long answer, but I will try to give a succinct answer.
<aude> or be part of an app
- aude thinks all the NARA and other GLAM images
<tommorris> even with the uploads, I sort of don't want to do Commons uploads from mobile too much: I'd rather spend a bit of time sorting out metadata and such in Commonist. I've got a load of photos of Amsterdam to upload soon.
<SarahStierch> good idea aude. there are some crowd sourcing games out there that allow people to do similar tasks. tagging images.
<StevenW> slaporte is working on a game to dab links right now
<aude> StevenW: cool
<sgardner> Bodnotbod asked about the tracking of article quality. Improvement in article quality is one of the goals of the five-year plan, and Bodnotbod is asking whether actuals are being tracked, because he noticed in the most recent monthly report that they are not currently being tracked there.
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<SarahStierch> nice. dab link stuff is addictive. perfect for my oddness.
<jps> bodnotbod: ...so in general, it's better to depend on the independent� work of scholars outside the foundation to publish quality assessments and track those. E.g. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reliability_of_Wikipedia
<SarahStierch> er, oddness = oddness, but same difference ;0
<tommorris> so, could we have an internal measure for article quality, certainly on enwiki?
<sgardner> And it's true, article quality is not currently being tracked in the monthly reports.
<tommorris> perhaps picking out a few key wikiprojects and seeing if the number of GAs and FAs and so on is improving
<_sj_> I actually want to edit (serious content) most often while out w/friends or at a pub. It's easy to discover something new and want to add it; and not hard to find 3-4 refs online. Just hard to physically add it - Iemail the edit to someone (or myself) than to edit the page.
<sgardner> I think that originally, we had expected to develop a single metric tracking article quality, that would be contributed to by a number of sub-measures -- including, like tommorris says, FAs GAs and so forth. We had also planned to include Article Feedback tool results in the blended measure.
<tommorris> I guess the question is at what end do we care about article quality: making sure we don't have unsourced, BLP-infringing shit, making sure every little stub has a few references and so on, or that we take some article on some obscure topic that nobody cares about and nudging it up from GA to FA
<sgardner> But we are not making very good progress towards that.
<StevenW> Partially because it's the most difficult metric to focus on, turning qualitative assessments into quantitative stuff like the rest of the reporting
<_sj_> StevenW: sweet! tommorris: or making sure topics of interest (in the literature, online) have a stub at all
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<sgardner> I wanted us to use Article Feedback as a key component to this measure, but my understanding is that the Article Feedback results are not very useful. As I understand it, lots of readers use Article Feedback to signal whether they like the article *subject*, rather than assessing the actual quality of the article itself.
<jps> that's for certain
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<sgardner> And as we know, it turns out that editors are "harder markers" -- essentially, better tougher critics of their own work -- than readers are.
<jps> some of the AFT v1-4 star counts are bimodal
<Hubertl> sgardner: about sources: you remember last year in Vienna in the hofburg, I was talking about digitising the complete Library. I will start this projekt in July. Its fixed. as an wikipedian in residence
<sgardner> So we are not making too-good progress there, AFAIK. There may be work happening that I don't know about. As StevenW says, measuring quality is very difficult.
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<bodnotbod> jps mentioned taking a sample of articles. We have lists of core articles (most important 1k and 10k articles). So if it were possible to track those that would be good.
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<sgardner> Yes. That makes sense, bodnotbod.
<tommorris> sgardner: well, and you have the Justin Bieber problem. (I mean, the other problem besides his continued existence in spacetime.)
<sgardner> Hubert1, I just realized who you are. Hello! Glad you'll be doing that project -- that is fabulous :-)
Should I talk about the plan for a little while?
<jps> I've been tracking the vital articles. They are slowly increasing in length, for whatever that's worth
<aude> Hubertl: yay!
<sgardner> jps: that's good.
<Hubertl> sgardner: hi, yes, and in the very end we will have about 100.000 pages digitised
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<bodnotbod> jps how do you track them?
<sgardner> Hubert1: wonderful.
<jps> the API
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<jps> there is a category for vital articles, and you can ask the API for the lengths of all the articles in a category
<StevenW> bodnotbod, did we answer your question sufficiently? :)
<jps> it's also pretty easy to screen-scrape article histories for growth rates
<Hubertl> it was quite a hard work to get the money from WMDE and WMAT. But it was also very cooperative with them
- tommorris might write a length script and pick out some key articles and run his own little test.
<sgardner> tommorris: do it, please :-)
<bodnotbod> StevenW I am happy with replies since I know this is hard. However, I would like to propose the Foundation consider taking a sample (using the core) setting a baseline and monitoring for improvement. Of course volunteers can help but will likely need guidance or a volunteer leader.
<tommorris> bodnotbod: just for enwiki?
<Bence> sgardner: re:topics: an update on FDC progress would be welcome
<bodnotbod> tommorris Well, ideally it wouldn't be I guess. But I'm only familiar with en. and thinking much beyond that gives me headaches.
- aude is amazed at the quality of dewiki articles
<sgardner> Let me talk about the annual plan a little bit. You probably all know that the Wikimedia Foundation develops its annual plan every year, normally starting by consulting with the Board in January, and then iterating for several months, and presenting the Board with a final plan in June, that the Board votes on. This year, we are doing that normal process. But the key difference this year is that for the first time, we'll be launching a volunte
er driven Funds Dissemination Committee (the FDC that Bence just referred to).
<tommorris> bodnotbod: I was thinking more for sister projects. subjectively, I'd say that Wikinews has improved if you compare old articles with new ones, for instance
<StevenW> FDC = https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Funds_Dissemination_Committee
<aude> wouls be interesting to compare some of the languages
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<bodnotbod> Actually, I suppose the problem with a publically known sample is that they would then get targeted for improvement and so no longer be representative. Hmmm.
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<jps> I would be more comfortable if quality assessments remained independent. There's too much potential for social interactions to interfere if some automated assessment decided that someone's hard work on a FA resulted in lower quality than an unassessed article organically edited by IPs
<tommorris> bodnotbod: I'm not going to publicly release my list. ;-)
<bodnotbod> Sorry, I have to go away for 10-15 minutes... (That's good Tommorris :O)
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<sgardner> The FDC is a big deal -- it's really, really important. The gist of it, is that for the first time funds dissemination decisions will be made by a body of movement volunteers. They will actually be only making recommendations, because the Board can't legally delegate its fiduciary responsibility for donations, but the Board is planning to take their recommendations very seriously, and I think it's fair to say that our collective hope/expectat
ion is that all FDC recommendations will be approved easily.
Bence - to update on where we're at with the FDC:
First, we've established an Advisory Group, to help guide and give feedback on the process as it develops.
<Hubertl> WMDE just elected the new Funds Dissemination Committee for 2012. I am part of it.
<Hubertl> we call it here CPB-Committee
<sgardner> It includes people like FloNight, Pavel Richter, Christophe from the French chapter, and some members of the Board of Trustees.
Board members = Jan-Bart, Stu and Ting.
<StevenW> speaking of the Board...
when do we expect the chapter seats results to be announced?
<sgardner> We made an advisory group because we know that building the FDC will be difficult, and there will be lots of problems in its first few years. So, we wanted to set up a group that would take responsibility for carefully observing the process, and giving lots of feedback on the FDC's development. Where things are working, and where they are not working so well.
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<sgardner> So that's that group.
The FDC advisory group has its first meeting 9 June in the office in San Francisco, by the way.
<Bence> StevenW: by Wikimania the latest
<Bence> I expect sometime in June
<StevenW> Thanks Bence
<lyzzy> are there any minutes or something that can be shared with us?
<sgardner> Meanwhile, Bridgespan (the same group that helped us with the strategy project) is doing the legwork to help me build the FDC recommendation for the Board.
There you go lyzzy :)
<sgardner> Basically -- how the FDC will work. What membership will look like, how people will join and leave, what criteria they will use for decision-making, and how the annual funding cycle will play out.
- aude is curious about http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Education_Working_Group <-- sgardner
<sgardner> Bridgespan is doing its work in public: you can see some of the interviews they've conducted on meta.
<StevenW> I think BobTheWikipedian is the best person to ask about that aude.
<sgardner> They've talked with most Board members, about a dozen chapters people in Berlin, and with me and Barry. Most of the interview notes are posted, but not all yet. I think Jimmy's will be posted later today, if it's not already.
<aude> StevenW: it seems a bit disorganized, IMHO
<sgardner> And there are some conversations happening on meta about how the FDC should/could work.
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<aude> and appears to cut out the U.S. based chapters
<Hubertl> sgardner: FDC is just for people from chapters?
<sgardner> And Bence, Bridgespan is planning to send out a short survey to organizations that are expected to be eligible for funding in 2012-13, to ask them about their needs, and how they want things to work.
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<aude> and WM CA
<Jan_eissfeldt> the survey is already published, btw
<Bence> yeah: http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Funds_Dissemination_Committee/Chapter_Finances_Survey
<aude> Hubertl: i'm not sue, but no it includes wikimedia community people also
<jps> aude: the EWG is partly an attempt to get more enwiki help with and understanding of the Wikimedia Education Program, which got off to a bad start with rampant copyvios, but has entirely addressed that problem
<Hubertl> or the decision makers have to be from chapters?
<Bence> just received the invite
<sgardner> Hubert, no. The FDC will fund what we're calling "eligible entities." To be eligible, it's likely an entity would need to be i) an official Wikimedia entity (acknowledged/recognized by the Board), ii) with a track record of having received two prior grants, and iii) not having been out of compliance with prior grant conditions. (Meaning, the group had successfully completed e.g., its reporting obligations.)
<aude> jps: understand and hope the education program goes in a good direction
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<Hubertl> sgardner: thanks!
<sgardner> In practice that means eligible entities would be about a dozen or so chapters, plus the Wikimedia Foundation itself (I will explain that part in a minute) plus theoretically the new "affiliated organizations" recently sanctioned as an idea, by the Movement Roles process.
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<jps> aude: you can track their progress at http://outreach.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia_Education_Program/News
<sgardner> But none of the affiliated organizations would yet be eligible, because at this point there's no offically-acknowledged affiliate organization, let alone one with a two-year track record.
Other entities, and individuals, that are not eligible for FDC funding, would continue to get grants and reimbursements from the Wikimedia Foundation, and/or other entities such as chapters that run grant-making programs.
<Bence> Amical will be a good candidate in the near future
<tommorris> so, correct me if I'm wrong, but this means that money goes...
<sgardner> Give me a second, and I will paste in the list of entities who we think might be eligible in 2012-12. (This assumes the Board accepts my recommendation for who is eligible.)
(That hasn't happened yet.)
<tommorris> donor -> WMF -> FDC -> Chapter/eligible org -> people who need it
<jps> tommorris: FDC also can decide to award funds to individuals, at least as far as the proposal said some months ago
<sgardner> Brace yourself, because I am dumping in a list from a spreadsheet, so this will be ugly formatting-wise:
<aude> jps: thanks
<sgardner> That's the current list of organizations who I think will be eligible.
- tommorris only asks because all FDC related email have been routed into a mailbox specifically designed to only be used as an insomnia prevention mechanism.
<sgardner> tommorris, yes, that's pretty much it. (Although in some cases there will be an intermediate step: donor > payment-processing chapter > WMF > etc.)
Does that sound awfully cumbersome :-)
<tommorris> ah okay
<sgardner> LOL tommorris, yet again :-)
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<lyzzy> what will happen with the gas?
<sgardner> with your FDC smap filter..
<Hubertl> community members of these countries either asks for grant directly the chapter?
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<lyzzy> gac, sorry
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<Hubertl> or directly at the FDC?
<sgardner> lol lyzzy, gas
<aude> sgardner: before office hours are over, can you update us about wiki travel guide and any steps toward it becoming a WMF project
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<StevenW> aude: good question, sure
<sgardner> lyzzy: the GAC will continue its normal work. I think that the FDC will approve the GAC allocation as well, the same way it'll approve allocations for chapters that make grants. This might be a good time for me to talk briefly about core versus non-core. Can you guys bear it, or is this tedious?
<lyzzy> or in other words: how can volunteers get a grant for whom no chapter feels responsible
<sgardner> and yes, aude, I can talk about wikitravel too, in a minute :-)
<Hubertl> lyzzy: thanks for this question
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<sgardner> lyzzy, it's a good question about volunteers getting grants. There are lots of people who want small amounts of money for purposes that are totally legitimate, but who don't have a chapter to apply to. (There are also people who have not-great relationships with the chapter in their country, which is a different additional and more complicated problem).
<Hubertl> sgardner: yes, thats really a problem.
<sgardner> But yes, we want the GAC to continue, because it seems to make sense to have a lightweight easy-to-use process for people to get smaller amounts of money, without requiring all the paperwork and documentation that would be necessary for an FDC grant.
<lyzzy> both aspects need some attention in the process building the fdc
<Hubertl> lots of volunteers don´t want the chapters
- aude thinks the GAC process is rather slow
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<aude> for microgrant type requests, like for pizza at an outreach event, GAC + asaf is not agile enough
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<sgardner> (in saying that, I am not saying that the GAC is necessarily all that user-friendly. I hope it's reasonably user-friendly, and I know they are trying hard. But the goal is that the GAC, and the individual reimbursement programs, will be faster and less administratively-heavy, relative to the FDC.)
<aude> well, GAC is responsive but it's can be slow
- aude thinks there's a bottle neck with the WMF approval part of the process
<Hubertl> sorry, I´m not sure, what GAC means
<sgardner> Aude, do you know, where do people go today if they want a small amount of money -- like $100 for something. Do they go to the GAC or are "reimbursements" handled differently?
<Hubertl> StevenW: thanks
<lyzzy> sry Hubertl, my fault
<sgardner> Sometimes, they come to me, I know :-)
<Hubertl> ok, I got it
<aude> sgardner: i don't know but some chapters help with that
<sgardner> aude, yeah, definitely.
<aude> WM DC now has some funding for not just our region , but also some WALRUS outreach (e.g. rest of the US)
<sgardner> And I think that makes lots of sense. Particularly for language/currency/simplicity reasons.
- bodnotbod_away goes into an idle reverie thinking of the insane gap between the teen user who just visited Wikipedia to find out Bieber's birthday with no awareness of the global foundation, committees, funding, metas, lawyers, researchers, fellows, chapters, IRCs, mailing lists, GLAMs, passions, arguments and three letter acronyms that lie behind presenting Bieber's birthday to that lonely teen.
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<sgardner> Do you folks mind if I talk briefly about core versus non-core? It is dry, but I think it's an important talk; I would love if people were to start getting their heads around it.
<Hubertl> its the same in Austria, we support the slovakians.
as far as we can. WMDE too.
<aude> sgardner: go ahead
<sgardner> Bodnotbod, I think of Wikimedia as a lovely bustling city. Just like Nicholson Baker wrote about in his Charms of Wikipedia essay :-)
<tommorris> gah, where's SarahStierch disappeared off to? needed to discuss evil plans for overthrowing the heteronormative patriarchy.
<sgardner> So here's core versus non-core. this will take a minute to type.
So the Wikimedia Foundation is going to push some of its funding requests through the FDC, as well as the chapters doing it, and other affiliated orgs.
Essentially, starting in 2012-13, we are going to split our spending into two categories: "core" versus "non-core."
"Core" will be approved as normally by the Wikimedia Foundation as part of the annual planning process.
<StevenW> I think maybe it should be called core and "optional"
<sgardner> And "non-core" will be approved by the FDC as part of its annual cycle.
<StevenW> non-core makes it sound like buying iPods for every staff person or a pool table or something
<aude> core and non-essential
<StevenW> that's good too
<sgardner> Core is expected to include all the normal ordinary costs of running a top-five website -- you need servers and hosting and engineers and lawyers and PR people and people like me.
- aude thinks of snow days.... essential people have to work and non-essential can stay home
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<aude> like hospitals, ...
<tommorris> sgardner: gotta rush off, congrats on the Minneapolis Public Radio thing btw
<bodnotbod> "core" and "ambition"?
<sgardner> Non-core is expected to include anything that tends to be geography-specific rather than global, or time-based rather than permanently-required.
Importantly, it does not mean "not important." non-core may well be critical.
Bye tommorris :-)
thanks re MPR, that was fun :-)
<bodnotbod> Bye tommorris ... I may try and contact you re sampling for quality.
<jorm> wait. we're getting ipods?
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<StevenW> hardy har jorm
<Hubertl> jorm: iRacks!
<sgardner> Part of the reason I want to push non-core funding through the FDC is because I think it's reasonable -- it makes sense. That way the community has more input on where spending happens, beyond the stuff that's fairly obvious (like servers, lawyers).
But the other reason is because I want the FDC to work -- and one good way to support that, is by making sure the WMF is eating its own dog food. That we have skin in this game.
(Sorry for the metaphors.)
<StevenW> mmm, dog food skin
<sgardner> Basically, I want to ensure the FDC is responsive and fair and credible and good. And if the WMF has skin in the game, we will know early if things are broken.
<NardtheBard> Suppose a member of the board of directors travels on business, which one would fund his expenses?
<sgardner> Hi NardtheBard. Governance = core.
So, Board travel would live in the core bucket.
<BobTheWikipedian> aude i just returned from lunch and saw you have concerns about the working group which i'd be happy to answer
<sgardner> That's the gist of core versus non-core.
Does that make sense? I would love to hear people's gut reactions.
<StevenW> The Board already had a small travel budget which is uses surprisingly little of, FYI.
<aude> BobTheWikipedian: yes and maybe details for another office hours soon?
+ when is the education working group meeting?
<jps> sgardner: if FDC has to make decisions about Foundation spending, how much will that detract from time and attention to external proposals?
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<Hubertl> sgardner: I think, that this is a quit good description and partitionment
<sgardner> jps: I think it'll be okay. The FDC is going to be constructed such that it's making a relatively small number of big decisions.
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<ldavis> hey aude, we will announce working group members on monday, along with the date of the kick-off meeting
<sgardner> It will do a fairly detailed review of requests, but it won't be doing line item approvals. Like, I do not expect it will say things like "we approve this German chapter spending, but we do not approve this German chapter spending." It won't be giving out what are called "restricted" grants -- it'll be giving out operating grants.
<lyzzy> sgardner: let's hope that this premise will stay alive during the creation process
<sgardner> Hope that makes sense.
<BobTheWikipedian> thanks ldavis
<aude> ldavis: good and i still wonder if/how you plan to work with the chapters?
<ldavis> i think the working group members having an office hour is a great idea, i will mention it to them
<StevenW> We should wrap up shortly, but we still need to tackle aude's question about Wikitravel and new projects.
<BobTheWikipedian> aude this will be working strictly with the u.s. and canada chapters
- aude is happy with the program at georgetown, but
<BobTheWikipedian> oops programs, not chapters
<sgardner> lyzzy: yes. It's all going to be quite difficult. But I am very glad we're on this road towards constructing the FDC. Even the small conversations that are happening on meta right now are making me very happy. We are talking about the right things, I think.
<ldavis> the idea of the working group is that 7 wikipedians and 7 academics will be leading the direction of the future of the US and Canada Education Programs in the future, with 2 WMF staff on the working group as well
<sgardner> Okay let me answer Aude's question about a Wikimedia travel wiki.
Can someone post the link to James Heilman's proposal?
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<Bence> I am a bit ambivalent about the core-non core distinction: I fear it is too easy to game (e.g. merging community advocacy and legal might be percieved as a way to move the former to the core category), and it is a bit not too brave decision to have the majority of the budget be non-negotiable (even though there is little chance FDC would not approve it, and the decision could be vetoed anyways). On the other hand, it is a good f
<aude> still a bit concerned that education is disjointed from chapters
<ldavis> so it will be up to those people to determine the way the program interacts with US and Canada chapters in the future
<sgardner> I will just recap quickly from the perspective of the Foundation.
<Bence> community review of wmf spending
<sgardner> (Thank you Bence. I will read your comment --and anything more that you write-- afterwards. So please feel free to write more, here or on the wiki: I want to know what you think.)
<BobTheWikipedian> several chapters have started projects that they are leading, such as in germany
<ldavis> you can see from all of the proposals here that chapter relations is certainly one theme the working group will need to address http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Education_Program_Structure_proposals
<sgardner> So on the wiki travel guide idea. James Heilman has made a proposal, which StevenW just posted.
<sgardner> It's getting the most serious discussion of any new wiki project proposal I've seen in the past five years.
<aude> ldavis: BobTheWikipedian WM DC is rather busy with wikimania, but has dabbled some in educaiton stuff and not sure if/how we want to coordinate
<sgardner> Which I think is GREAT -- I see it as a sign of energy and innovation inside the community, so it makes me happy.
<aude> and WMNYC has done a lot and think WM CA is interested for sure
sgardner: yes, it's interesting
<sgardner> I do want to say one thing really clearly: This is a community decision. That's important, because I don't want people to hang back waiting for the WMF to decide something. It's the purview of the community to make this kind of decision, so they should not wait for me or the Board.
So in general, I would just encourage people to be active on that page. I think it's a great conversation, and I'm happy it's happening./
<Logan_> Kind of reminds me of what they're doing at my local library. They're allowing anyone to write in the travel guides so that people have the latest, interesting information about travel destinations.
<ldavis> aude: absolutely, and i'd encourage you guys to coordinate with the working group members
<sgardner> That's it from me! :-)
<Moonriddengirl> Thanks, Sue!
<BobTheWikipedian> aude if the chapters take responsibility and wm d.c. is overwhelmed, then it may make sense for regions to be redivided such that d.c.'s extension is supported by another chapter such as new york
<sgardner> My neck is killing me. I've been craned over my laptop at a little tiny table: I am all physically broken from office hours.
<aude> BobTheWikipedian: i'm not sure about that
if there's a shortage of wikimedia volunteers and local support, doesn it make sense to try to take on as many classes as possible?
<Moonriddengirl> Sue, stretch it out before it settles in!
<aude> or focus on quality and take on only what the community (and local people ) can support?
<StevenW> alright, sounds like we should cede the floor to education stuff ;)
<ldavis> aude: our focus is definitely on quality for the future
<sgardner> So the last thing I'll say is, please go to the FDC meta pages and participate, unless (like tommorris) you just find it too dry for works. That would be understandable. But if you have any interest, please do go participate there :-)
<aude> ldavis: good
<BobTheWikipedian> aude: but like lianna said, feel free to discuss the proposals in the category she linked, and even write your own proposal
<StevenW> Thanks for coming everyone!
<aude> BobTheWikipedian: we can discuss another time and i'll await the announcement
<sgardner> Okay thanks folks. Steven and I hare going to bail out now. Bob, aude, Lianna, carry on with education stuff :-)
<ldavis> we're working on a research project: WP:Ambassadors/Research to figure out all of the characteristics for what makes classes successful
<BobTheWikipedian> lol stevenw and sgardner sorry for taking over :)
<sgardner> Bye bye :-)
<aude> sgardner: thanks for taking your time