North Carolina Triangle Wikipedians/Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2017/Cycle 2

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Community[edit]

This page is set up to get feedback on Cycle 2 of the Wikimedia movement strategy process for all Wikimedians who participate in, or are interested in, projects of the North Carolina Triangle Wikipedians.

A few notes:

  • Cycle 2 is open until June 12, so please be sure to give your feedback by June 11, allowing us one day to move the results to the main strategy discussion pages.
  • You don't need to answer all questions for all 5 themes. We are encouraged to give feedback on the elements that are most relevant to us.
  • If you're wondering whether you're informed, qualified, or involved enough to contribute to this conversation, the answer is YES! You are! The more voices, the stronger the discussion. Please share your thoughts!

Communication channels[edit]

There are a couple options for participating in this discussion:

  • On Meta via this page
  • Personally, by contacting Sodapopinski7. If you'd rather share your feedback off-wiki, please feel free to contact me and I'll incorporate your feedback into the conversation.


Cycle 2: Feedback on 5 themes[edit]

Please review each of the 5 statements below and comment under each of them, trying to answer the following questions:

  1. What impact would we have on the world if we follow this theme?
  2. How important is this theme relative to the other 4 themes? Why?
  3. Focus requires tradeoffs. If we increase our effort in this area in the next 15 years, is there anything we’re doing today that we would need to stop doing?
  4. What else is important to add to this theme to make it stronger?
  5. Who else will be working in this area and how might we partner with them?

Theme #1: Healthy, Inclusive Communities[edit]

Statement for consideration[edit]

By 2030, the Wikimedia volunteer culture will be fun, rewarding, and inclusive for both existing contributors and newcomers. We will welcome new volunteers to our movement and mentor them to ensure that they have a great experience and continue to engage in the projects. People from every background will feel included in an ecosystem of unique groups and organizations that deepen connections with each other. As a result, our movement will grow both in size and in character, as our projects flourish from the healthy community we cultivate together.

Discussion[edit]

  1. What impact would we have on the world if we follow this theme?
  2. How important is this theme relative to the other 4 themes? Why?
  3. Focus requires tradeoffs. If we increase our effort in this area in the next 15 years, is there anything we’re doing today that we would need to stop doing?
  4. What else is important to add to this theme to make it stronger?
  5. Who else will be working in this area and how might we partner with them?

This strikes me as the most significant areas of improvement for the movement, and the one that likely presents the most barriers to overcome. I've been struck by how disproportionately Wikipedia articles that relate to marginalized communities are subject to flags for notability, lockdowns because of unsupportive (and often hostile) discussions, etc. I know several people locally who have decided to disengage from Wikipedia as a result. If we follow this theme, the movement has the potential to fulfill the utopian many of us have for it. If we don't, we risk becoming irrelevant. Sodapopinski7 (talk) 20:58, 7 June 2017 (UTC)

This could be great in terms of increasing participation and growing new editors. It becomes a challenge when people have different points of view -- greater diversity involves more chances for misunderstanding and conflict in the short term. What might help: More focus on conflict resolution? Ways of keeping people engaged while promoting discussion of different points of view? I am not optimistic about this in the short term -- new editors get turned off quickly, and the current state of politics and discourse in much of the world suggests that the pendulum is going in the wrong direction. It would be great if Wikipedia could help correct that, but the vision seems utopian at the moment. Worth aiming for, though. Getting experienced editors to not scare off newbies as quickly, and shaping expectations that there will be a learning process to get good at making edits (all things that I know WikiEd and others are working on, but we could use more!). Eyoungstrom (talk) 22:00, 12 June 2017 (UTC)

Theme #2:The Augmented Age[edit]

Statement for consideration[edit]

By 2030, the Wikimedia movement will collaborate with learning machines to help our volunteers be much more creative and productive. We will use prediction and design to make knowledge easy to access and easy to use with novel, humanized, intelligent interfaces. Volunteers will collaborate with machine translators to deepen the quality and quantity of content in more languages – at a heightened pace and scale. We will curate knowledge in structured and interactive formats that enhance and reflect the way people learn and contribute — beyond the browser, the app, and the encyclopedic format. We will embrace technological innovation as the most viable path toward meeting our vision.

Discussion[edit]

  1. What impact would we have on the world if we follow this theme?
  2. How important is this theme relative to the other 4 themes? Why?
  3. Focus requires tradeoffs. If we increase our effort in this area in the next 15 years, is there anything we’re doing today that we would need to stop doing?
  4. What else is important to add to this theme to make it stronger?
  1. Who else will be working in this area and how might we partner with them?

This seems like the biggest growth area for me in terms of learning what is already available and with whom to partner. I think that most anything that we can have a machine learn to do, we should deploy that -- it offers a completely different scale of change, frees the experienced editors to do what it takes a human to do, and it could indirectly reduce some of the friction getting new people involved by reducing the number of "rookie mistakes," creating a big source of tension when experienced editors feel like they are pressed into repairing well-intentioned damage.

This seems like one of the most important areas of focus in terms of improving scale, reducing conflict, and increasing the global reach of Wikipedia. Very high marks (too bad I don't know how to contribute more in this area yet!). Eyoungstrom (talk) 22:05, 12 June 2017 (UTC)

Theme #3:A Truly Global Movement[edit]

Statement for consideration[edit]

The Wikimedia movement will turn our attention to the places in the world that were underserved during the first 15 years of our history. We will build awareness of Wikimedia and make it more useful to people. We will overcome barriers to accessing knowledge, so more people can freely share in the Wikimedia projects. We will support communities in underserved parts of the world and make space for new forms of contribution and citations that meet global knowledge traditions. By 2030, we will be a truly global movement.

Discussion[edit]

  1. What impact would we have on the world if we follow this theme?
  2. How important is this theme relative to the other 4 themes? Why?
  3. Focus requires tradeoffs. If we increase our effort in this area in the next 15 years, is there anything we’re doing today that we would need to stop doing?
  4. What else is important to add to this theme to make it stronger?
  5. Who else will be working in this area and how might we partner with them?

I got some good perspective on this theme while attending the Wikimedia conference in Berlin in April this year: First, I was moved by the awesome global potential of this movement as a result of the brilliant and engaged participants from all over the world. But I was surprised to learn the extent to which a lack of awareness of Wikimedia and its component projects is a significant problem in many regions. If we want the movement to fulfill the promise of its potential, this goal seems critically important. Sodapopinski7 (talk) 20:54, 7 June 2017 (UTC)

This theme resonates with me, too. The majority of the population speaks a language besides English, and lives outside the USA and Europe. I am persuaded by the argument that Susskind & Susskind (2015) make in The Future of the Professions, and I want to see knowledge be a "commons," not a commodity restricted to the elite. All that said, I think that Theme #2 may be the way of achieving these goals faster, by increasing the scale of what is possible (robots and programs as work multipliers for the human editors) -- this should make it possible to add and translate content more rapidly, as well as reducing barriers to entry for new editors from poorer regions of the world. Having more "starter" content increases the perceived value of the resource, addressing the "awareness" concern raised above, too. Eyoungstrom (talk) 22:11, 12 June 2017 (UTC)

Theme #4:The Most Respected Source of Knowledge[edit]

Statement for consideration[edit]

By 2030, Wikimedia projects will be regarded as the most trusted, high-quality, neutral, and relevant source of free knowledge in the world. We will uphold the accuracy and verifiability of our content by integrating high-quality secondary sources and supporting the existence of reliable sources in society. We will improve public understanding of the processes that make Wikimedia reliable, and we will invite experts to join us and share their knowledge. We will surface the most relevant information to people when and where they need it. We will expand the depth of knowledge available, while upholding our standards for verifiable, neutral and comprehensive knowledge.

Discussion[edit]

  1. What impact would we have on the world if we follow this theme?
  2. How important is this theme relative to the other 4 themes? Why?
  3. Focus requires tradeoffs. If we increase our effort in this area in the next 15 years, is there anything we’re doing today that we would need to stop doing?
  4. What else is important to add to this theme to make it stronger?
  5. Who else will be working in this area and how might we partner with them?

It strikes me that this is an outcome that may well emerge from focusing on some of the other themes -- particularly theme #1 (Healthy, Inclusive Communities), theme #3 (A Truly Global Movement), and theme #5 (Engaging in the Knowledge Ecosystem). If the movement is inclusive and welcoming, recognized and active all over the world, and well-integrated with other information systems, that seems like a strong start on becoming the most respected source of knowledge. As a result, I'd recommend focusing on those three other strategies as top priorities. Sodapopinski7 (talk) 20:49, 7 June 2017 (UTC)

Here I have a different point of view. My vantage is as a researcher and teacher, so please add grains of salt accordingly. :-) If the goal is to increase the credibility of the Wikipedia as a source of information, then we need to do a much better job of engaging the scientific community. In the short term, this will unavoidably create some conflict with people who value other epistemologies (or who are more emotional, Dionysian types, instead of rational, Apollonian types). I don't think that there is a substitute for giving science and researchers a prominent voice in terms of building credibility, though. Science is not the only way of knowing, but it is a powerful one, and has a huge amount of pragmatic success. Of the other 5 themes, I think that #5, Engaging in the Knowledge Ecosystem, is the most likely to create quick synergies here. #1 could create tensions in the short term, as people focused on values and beliefs important to their community may not be familiar with scientific process and language (nor immediately feel valued and validated). It's a heart vs. head thing, and the head is important for credibility, too. :-) Eyoungstrom (talk) 22:21, 12 June 2017 (UTC)

Theme #5:Engaging in the Knowledge Ecosystem[edit]

Statement for consideration[edit]

By 2030, the Wikimedia Movement will have dramatically improved the quality, diversity, and global availability of free knowledge by working with diverse institutions and organizations that collaborate toward free knowledge for all. Wikimedia content, technology, and communities will be embedded in formal and informal learning throughout the world, in partnership with the world’s leading institutions in education, the arts, entertainment, civil society, government, science, and technology. Through strategic partnerships across our movement, we will build a diverse new generation of knowledge providers and seekers who will build and care for a growing body of freely accessible knowledge. We will make Wikimedia an integral part of a global knowledge ecosystem.

Discussion[edit]

  1. What impact would we have on the world if we follow this theme?
  2. How important is this theme relative to the other 4 themes? Why?
  3. Focus requires tradeoffs. If we increase our effort in this area in the next 15 years, is there anything we’re doing today that we would need to stop doing?
  4. What else is important to add to this theme to make it stronger?
  5. Who else will be working in this area and how might we partner with them?

This has a huge potential for impact. Here's a place that I can help, too, through partnerships with professional societies (e.g., the Society for Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology; the International Society for Bipolar Disorders), through collaborations with advocacy groups (e.g., NAMI; the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance), and trying to coordinate efforts like the Open Science Foundation (osf.io). Here we are talking about identifying ways that systems and organizations can identify shared goals and align to work together. This should create synergies that add content, functionality, and awareness (links and credibility!), while also potentially increasing the number of people who engage directly with content as well as editing. I hope that the community can help me figure out who would be good contacts in the WikiSphere to try to grow these sorts of strategic partnerships. Eyoungstrom (talk) 22:27, 12 June 2017 (UTC)