Research talk:Committee/Areas of interest

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[John]: One general theme that we should explore in some of our first conversations is the extent to which we should see ourselves as a body that is helping to influence the direction of research on Wikipedia, vs. a body that is helping manage access to resources for Wikipedia researchers. I am strongly in favor of the latter. The argument in favor of our focusing on providing resources is that it “allows 1000 flowers to bloom”. It is very difficult in advance to predict which types of research will be most valuable, and if we’re trying to do that, we will often be getting in the way of researchers as much as we are helping them. On the other hand, there are a number of ways in which Wikipedia it is not yet an excellent platform for carrying out research, and by removing those obstacles, we have the potential to do a great deal toward enhancing the long-term health of Wikipedia. The idea is that if hundreds or perhaps even thousands of researchers are able to explore and innovate in an unobstructed fashion that will lead to the maximum innovation for Wikipedia.

The reason I raise this point is that I notice that a number of the highest priority activities in the list above are direction setting, and I think we should be careful how much of our time we put into those activities.

Full agreement to John, that is also my view of the RC. I do see that the intent is also to provide help with research to WMF, but I rather look at the side of helping researchers to do research around the WMF organized projects. --denny
The only ones that I see as Direction setting are "helping to formulate the key strategic research objectives of the Wikimedia movement (see strategy.wikimedia.org)" and "Helping to formulate small tactical experiments related to Wikimedia's strategic goals". WereSpielChequers 18:14, 18 September 2010 (UTC)