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Latest comment: 7 years ago by Evolution and evolvability in topic Next Survey?
You are welcome to leave feedback about the survey on this page. Feel free to write comments in your own language, although replies might be in English.

See also the Q&A about the survey. You can fix typos etc. in the translated questionnaires here

May I inform the community?[edit]

Thanks for working on this new survey, Tilman. Is it too early to inform the enwp community about this survey? I'd like to give the enwp community time to provide feedback on the new surevey if it's OK with you. Thanks much. 05:15, 7 July 2012 (UTC)Reply

Hi, of course this page is public and you don't need to ask for permission to draw attention to it if you feel that's useful ;) However I was hesitant to spam village pumps with it (and to avoid an enwiki bias, it would have been preferable to do that for other Wikipedias as well if one does it for the English Wikipedia); rather, I am in the process of pinging a few users that had already left feedback about the last version. What we need right now are just a few experienced Wikipedians going over the questions to spot possible problems. I might however post a request in the forum here on Meta. Regards, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 03:06, 17 July 2012 (UTC)Reply
I'm an eavesdropper here but fwiw I'd have liked to have been involved for the reasons I gave on my feedback on the result. Fascinating how these things develop. LookingGlass (talk) 10:46, 8 November 2012 (UTC)Reply
ps and it feels odd that I am here after being asked to provide "feedback" here, on a survey carried out in October, when others were "feeding back" here three months befor the survey opened LookingGlass (talk) 10:48, 8 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

"activities in the last 30 days"[edit]

Some of the replies to Q4a in the December 2011 survey
Percentages of "Often/Very often" replies in the last survey

Question 10 (formerly Q4a) ("... please indicate how often you have participated in the following activities in the last 30 days") generated some concern in the last issue of the survey. To address three points:

  • Concern that for some activities which typically take place less often, a respondent may be have to answer "never" although they do engage in this activity comparatively frequently. In particular, someone who organizes six meetups per year might not have worked on this during the last 30 days and therefore would fall in the "never" column in the "I organize or help to organize events, workshops, meet-ups, or the annual Wikimania conferences" sub-question. - This can be assumed to "average out" over a large number of respondents, and indeed last time around 8% of 6,366 respondents replied at least "seldom" or more often to this sub-question, i.e. around 500 Wikipedians said that they had been involved in some form of event organizing in the last 30 days, which I find unlikely to be under-reporting. More likely, it could be over-reporting, relating to the next concern:
  • "I suspect the resulting data will be somewhat distorted, a mix of answers strictly adhering to definition 'in the last 30 days' and others who don't." - The above example gives some substance to this concern, although the events sub-question may be an outlier. In my view, stating the concrete "30 days" timespan is useful to make it easier on respondents' memory (similarly to the "during the last seven days" restriction in the new question "How much time have you spent contributing"), and to provide a common frame of reference. If someone has been a Wikipedian for years, but only took up one particular activity two months ago, we don't want them to agonize whether that means "seldom" or not when answering this question. For this reason, I'm reluctant to drop the "30 days"; I'll check if there is a possibility to make them more visually prominent.
  • "Seldom", "often" etc. are subjective terms: That's true, but asking respondents to pick absolute numbers instead (how many typos fixed/disputes resolved/MediaWiki lines coded last month?) doesn't seem very realistic, and the results from the last survey still appear meaningful, at least for the ten or so most frequently names activities (cf. blog post).

Still, suggestions on how to improve this question are welcome, although we need to finalize it soon and want to preserve consistency with the last surveys as much as possible. Regards, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 03:06, 17 July 2012 (UTC)Reply

Maybe change the responses to something like "Never", "Not in last 30 days", "1-5 times within the last 30 days", "more than 5 times in the last 30 days" (added by JimJJewett, who apparently only has an account on a sibling project, and isn't inclined to create a new one)
In the second point above you say that the 30 days limit is good, because what would respondents think if they [...]. Well, why not handle the case explicitely? "If you have participated in an activity seldom in the past but often recently, or conversely, choose the more recent [or higher?] frequency."
That way you don't need to talk about 30 days, which in my opinion is really a bad constraint, because anything can happen in only one month. I mean, it's summer. What if the respondent just took a 3 weeks vacation and contributed either much more or much less that usual? I don't like the idea of assuming that the respondent will identify the question as inadequate and answer as if it was different.
If we were nitpicking, a not-so-regular contributor could even feel outcast by this question. Maybe they write a full article on their favorite subject once or twice a year and it amounts to nothing according to our question. That's why I think any duration below 6 month or 1 year is not very interesting.
Unrelated thought: There are some pieces of information that can be directly observed from one's log of contributions. For example, whether I participate in discussions about articles. Are there statistics compiled from the raw data and compared with the result of the survey?

-- Rinaku (t · c)

Many of my edits are anonymous, because of the hassle of signing in. That said, I didn't get this survey until I signed in, so not just using the logs (without explaining why) made me wonder if the survey was a waste of time, or even a phishing expedition.

"Pick three"[edit]

Just a note that because several people had pointed out (example) that it is not possible for every respondent to "pick three" of the listed problems with Wikipedia culture that they agee with in Q23 (now #18), we have removed that restriction for the new edition, as promised by Ayush here. The resulting inconsistency should be tolerable, as it can be assumed that respondents who now pick less than three would have skipped the question or given a less accurate reply in the former version. Regards, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 03:22, 17 July 2012 (UTC)Reply

Duration test[edit]

The last issue of this survey was completed by over 6000 respondents, meaning that each minute of survey duration corresponds to over 100 hours of Wikipedians' time, and you can help us to use that time judiciously: A test version of the upcoming survey is now up here. Please record the time you needed to complete it, and then tell us below how long it took. Other feedback is still welcome, too (as noted on the page, the questions might see some changes or possible additions). Regards, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 19:03, 17 July 2012 (UTC)Reply

Three responses from IRC (#wikipedia):
  • "took me 6 minutes"
  • "07:15.3"
  • "my stopwatch says 20 minutes 1 second [...] and 35 hundredths :)"
Regards, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 19:43, 17 July 2012 (UTC)Reply
Just did the survey - you want the duration here? Took me about 15 minutes, but I knew what I was doing - it could take some people even longer. I think it's length maybe needs to be looked at - some may leave the survey without finishing it because it takes too long - but that's just my observation. Steven Zhang (talk) 23:02, 29 July 2012 (UTC)Reply

The current survey that I just now completed is far too long. I was sorely tempted to abandon it. Do you collect statistics on how many people start the survey and how far they get before they abandon it? That could be good information to help modify the survey. Also, fix the pages so that we don't need to scroll to click on the ?next? button. You could reduce the amount of white space - that would help make the pages.

(NEXT COMMENT) The survey took me 24 minutes, from 10.01pm to 10.24pm. I feel that this is TOO LONG. I generally have a policy of avoiding taking surveys, they invariably take too long. Those who compose surveys seem to feel that once they have snared a respondent, he or she is a captive for the next 15 minutes - usually I just cut them off after about two minutes, but in this case I made an exception for Wikipedia. In addition: I just took this survey for the second time. On the first computer I used, the survey 'timed out' after about 20 minutes (is this a software error), making me feel that I HAD WASTED 20 MINUTES. I was furious. Is this a software error?Prospero10 (talk) 02:42, 4 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

It took me about 30 minutes, and I don't think I am that slow. I suggest better pre-publication measurements, as it is desirable to honestly tell the respondents they need about half an hour. --PICAWN (talk) 18:06, 6 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

I didn't count but it took me a long time. I guess it depends on how much you consider your answers (to questions that are also inherently contradictory at times). My overall impression was that the survey was bloated. The initial section with choices of language etc seemed odd being in some sort of nested alphabetical order LookingGlass (talk) 10:51, 8 November 2012 (UTC)Reply
It took me around 30 minutes to complete the survey (including time spent restarting the survey in Chrome because in Firefox I couldn't get the "what language(s) do I speak" widget to select any languages). I found myself halfway through the survey thinking "okay; this is definitely *not* a 15-minute survey." The Wikimedia Foundation elements ought to be asked in a separate survey, I think. I didn't know much about the Foundation but still had to slog through reading all of the items in that area. I also think survey design problems added to the time required: some questions had me grappling with different answers because the answer I would have given didn't fit the allowed options - and this wasn't always because of some missing "not applicable / I don't know" options. In some cases, it was simply that the answer I would have given didn't fit the allowed selections, and I wanted to make sure to give the best answer I could within the constraints. Memetics (talk) 06:12, 10 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

"Global South"[edit]


The term "Global South" is very popular inside the Foundation, but not so popular in the general public. "Developing countries" would be a lot easier to understand. --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 06:16, 28 July 2012 (UTC)Reply

I thought that Developing countries was an obsolete term - it isn't really applicable to countries where the GDP is below its peak. I prefer Global South. WereSpielChequers (talk) 13:22, 28 July 2012 (UTC)Reply
My understanding is that Global South is the term preferred by the Foundation and used throughout its materials, and is gaining usage in the general public as well. Christine (WMF) (talk) 00:58, 8 August 2012 (UTC)Reply
"Global South" is pretty offensive and it reminds us in Latin America, for instance, of the racist term "sudacas" used by the Spaniards to refer to Latin American immigrants (which BTW, can be even blonde and blue-eyed) when they listen to our accent. And Christine, could you please show us a proof that this term is gaining usage in the general public? To us, it looks like the WMF is imposing a term coined by someone who's not from this side of the world, period. --Jewbask (talk) 14:52, 25 August 2012 (UTC)Reply
I think "developing countries" and "Third World" are slowly going out of fashion, with Global South still much less used, but gaining in popularity. What term would you use instead? --Bence (talk) 15:11, 25 August 2012 (UTC)Reply
"Global South" is a term that started to be used in the Anglican Church in 2003 to describe poorer and more conservative (religiously speaking) nations in the south. I had thought of High-HDI and Low-HDI but it doesn't apply since countries like Argentina have a higher HDI than Russia or Serbia, for instance. OECD and Non-OECD wouldn't apply either, since Chile and Mexico belong to OECD, but not Taiwan or Hong Kong. It's kinda complex..but still, it sounds racist to us. "Developing Countries" sounds more realistic, because in general, our countries are doing that. --Jewbask (talk) 21:11, 27 August 2012 (UTC)Reply
Great to see that the protests of countries from the Global South has still being ignored. Iberocoop chapters have constantly said that GS is a pejorative and unpopular word, still being used in the WMF who knows why. No single international organization not even a country in the so-called GS has used that word, while "developing country/nation" is the most common word. But well, who cares about the opinion of the people from the Global South, right? --B1mbo (talk) 23:05, 2 September 2012 (UTC)Reply
I wasn't involved in the past discussions when this term was chosen, but my understanding is that the term "developing countries" was controversial too, and that "Global South" was regarded as the least worst alternative by many. And while Jewbask's link is interesting, note that it doesn't say that the term was invented by the Anglican Church in 2003, quite the contrary. This is also evident in this version of Bence's link, which shows the sharp rise in usage of "Global South" even more clearly (starting way before 2003). I would much prefer to have a wording that everybody is happy with, but even if the wording hadn't been finalized and translated yet, it seems that a consensus alternative might simply not exist. Regards, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 23:47, 7 September 2012 (UTC)Reply
I disagree this is gaining (significant) usage. I'm a 47 yrs. old and this survey I took today is the first time I've ever seen (or heard) this term. Global south to me didn't have any meaning to me besides an alternste term for the southern hemisphere...so Australia, South America, much of Africa, and so on. If people object to the previous terms for whatever reasons, regardless of origin, another term should be sought, as location (south) has nothing to do with it. I'm sorry, the term just seems silly.

I agree with the sentiment above by Carlos and Osmar. I recall some discussion early last year that Global south would be avoided in official communications originating from WMF and eventually, phased out. It might be worth noting that the voices defending the use of the term "Global South", aren't from the "Global South", while the people being referred to here, clearly don't like the term, even going as far as to consider it racist. I suppose it reflects on how term originated and how things are perceived. Interesting. Anyway, I think it is entirely too late at this stage, not that I expect it would have been changed earlier either. Theo10011 (talk) 15:49, 4 September 2012 (UTC)Reply

See Global South. Theo10011 (talk) 09:59, 7 September 2012 (UTC)Reply
While I accept that there are objections to the term (and I didn't author this part of the survey), I find the strong opinions you express a bit surprising, as you seem to have used the term "Global South" quite frequently yourself in the past, without any hint of objection or irony. Was there anything in particular that prompted your change of opinion?
Regards, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 23:47, 7 September 2012 (UTC)Reply
I'm not sure what seniority you base your high opinions on "I accept there are objections" and so on, you haven't really been around for long at WMF. When people discuss usage of the word in official communications by WMF, they are not referring to you. Try and accept that objections existed far before you even thought of joining the WMF. My objections were never as strong as you have made them at this stage, but they are certainly on record. That objection went to WMF, and not you, which you seem to assume at every turn. So, while WMF found the term, used it extensively for the 3 years, even popularized and communicated the term at every turn, and continues to do at this point, your justification would be that "you used it too"? after 3 years of constant and repeated usage. Anyway, look above maybe more people used it including Carlos, and Osmar, here or in the past, that should be enough to justify your inept reasoning going forward, point that out to them as well. Theo10011 (talk) 12:12, 8 September 2012 (UTC)Reply
It shouldn't be assumed that there was a change of opinion because the term has been used in the past. I believe that's a wrong conclusion. In real life we don't formaly state all the time what we don't agree with, until we do, and since the issue has been raised it should be adressed.--3BRBS (talk) 18:20, 8 September 2012 (UTC)Reply
To be clear, Iberocoop members asked in 2011 to stop using the word "Global South" for being patronizing, outdated, erroneous and pejorative. You can see here when we kindly asked for stop; also, you can see our presentation online (see 1:15:30). WMF is not responsible for creating the term but it has been consistently used even though Latin American, African and Asian members have asked for its removal. "Developing nations" is the most common term: it is an evolving term and denotes how countries are moving (some LatAm countries even have a better GDP than some Europeans) and not are permanently poor just because they are to the south of certain border. We have asked kindly every time with no answer... we are kindly asking it again. --B1mbo (talk) 19:25, 11 September 2012 (UTC)Reply
Another example of the concern presented here: [1]--3BRBS (talk) 14:28, 12 September 2012 (UTC)Reply
Thanks for the links. I had a look at the slide last month, watched the part of the video where you (B1mbo) talked about the issue (btw, here's a direct link to that part: [2]) and read your comments on that talk page. It made me understand the argument of dynamical ("developing") vs. static (fixed geographic delineation) and, in case that wasn't clear, I never had a strong preference about either term. The racist connotations were news to me and I don't see them explained in the links either; I suppose one will have to look elsewhere for more background on that.
I didn't mean to imply that Iberocoop members had uncritically used the term themselves in the past (that remark was directed at somebody else); sorry if you got that impression. However, I couldn't help noting that even Jewbask/Maor X has recently used the term "Global South" himself on behalf of an Iberocoop chapter, sure enough distancing himself from the term by a "so-called". This does of course not make his concerns about racism invalid, but it does point to an argument that Theo has expressed elsewhere: For better or worse, "Global South" is currently the most established term regarding the WMF(-funded) activities in these geographic regions, and when trying to make oneself understood when talking about them (like Theo to mailing list readers, or this survey questionnaire to logged-in Wikimedians) one often feels oneself pulled towards using this term simply because it serves the purpose of being understood best in that context.
Regards, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 16:21, 25 October 2012 (UTC)Reply
That's one way of distilling my reasoning to its most antithetical, illogical conclusion. I assume I'm the one being referred to as "somebody else", either way, you point out it was for "someone else", apologize, and then go on to point to its usage from Carlos within the next sentence in the same indirect, ineffectual manner. I don't know if all that indirectness is intentional or ordered. You do like to point to old references, and instances of usage, but no one really disputes them to begin with. If you want, I can start using "Non-Tilman world" or "The world previously known as the Global South" on mailing lists, or enter long drawn explanations for your approval, but try and understand that the world doesn't revolve around you - You are perhaps the only one resisting this so strongly, most others agree to vacate the term instantly if it offends. Everyone is trying to distance themselves and you are the only running the other way, you would use our fleeting, critical, self-aware move to abandon it as proof for holding on to the same argument - This is and should never be about you or what you are going to use as an example. This is about what comes next, coming from an official position that once introduced the term would go much further than anything else. You argument now become "I now know it offends, but I don't care, and that's how I'll refer to 'them' - 'those people over there' - who don't look like me or come from the same continent." your continuous refusal to vacate the term in the face of mounting criticism, just reasserts a stubbornness and perhaps, a general apathy towards offending someone.
I know it might be hard, but try and understand this minor distinction- You are not the one being referred to! You are offending someone and they are asking you to stop. Your opinion about what offends "them" doesn't matter, it offends. The rest shouldn't matter. ( BTW this debate has been going on long enough, and I'm waiting for someone to breach Godwin's law.)
Let's try this analogy - A racial epithet - Ni***rs for example, used for African-americans in the US. Let's apply your two reasoning-
  • a) "You used it too" - In the past, and you might even find some of 'them' still using the term now - That should qualify you?
  • b) "There isn't a better term now" (after we established it) - It was introduced by the privileged a while ago, to lump 'them' together - different nationalities, cultures, for all those people from over there who are not like us, and now we just can't go stop!
If you still have a problem understanding, I suggest you try an experiment of using that racial epithet around SF, maybe not the tenderloin district, perhaps in the office (there are enough offensive words for almost all races), and offering the same drawn-out excuses. Who cares if they get offended, your reasoning should be enough. Theo10011 (talk) 11:16, 31 October 2012 (UTC)Reply

Seems to me that the problem is not in the words but in the concept. "A rose by any other name ..etc". The proble seems to me to lie in the wetern, euro-centric view of the world and the "charity" of this "world" towards those on the rest of the planet whom it has conquered and continues to conquer. For myself I think the whole initiative sucks big-time. In the main it is our primary economic policies (overt and covert) that give rise to the siruations we then love to ride in to salve. LookingGlass (talk) 10:59, 8 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

India, Brazil, Arabic language[edit]

I'd separate these three into their own questions. Many people have opinions (sometimes strong opinions) about one but no opinion about the other. If we want the answer to be a meaningful indication of anything, those should be separate. Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 22:03, 28 July 2012 (UTC)Reply

We thought about this suggestion, but in the end decided against it - e.g. because of the general desire to limit length (and also, to give somewhat equal space for questions about the various areas of work of the Foundation). Regards, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 21:19, 8 August 2012 (UTC)Reply
I interpreted these as examples of current work, but e question as regarding this kind of work in general.
without specific information about the needs and proposed programming, I can't imagine that a most readers are qualified to decide which languages or regions require more support.


  • The introduction is very wall-of-text. Could it be split over multiple pages?
  • "Below is a similar list of activities. Please indicate how often you have participated in the following activities in the last 30 days." - I don't know what this means :). Like, it goes from "series of sorta general options" to "list of even broader ones". Are they meant to change depending on your answers to Q4a?
  • For Q17; is "none" an option? Because these are all very, very polarised. It's hard to define an entire community by such polarised terms - if the people I encounter are 49 percent snark and 51 percent yay, does that mean I describe the entire group as "friendly" or "helpful"? Ironholds (talk) 23:00, 29 July 2012 (UTC)Reply
I just tried to shorten the introduction somewhat, but there isn't really much redundancy (and much of it is required legal boilerplate anyway), and added a subsection to make that wall a bit more readable (will still need to check how it looks in Qualtrics). I want to avoid splitting it up because each additional click before the action begins is likely to lose respondents. Regards, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 21:41, 7 August 2012 (UTC)Reply
My understanding is that the options don't depend on answers to Q4a. As to Q17, you do have to pick two options... if the community gives you snark and yay, you can pick "helpful" and "rude." Or "Friendly" and "Unfriendly." Choosing one does not mean you are not allowed to choose the polar opposite, nor does it invalidate your answer, believe it or not. And, you can always skip the question if you don't feel like any of the answers work for you. Even skipping the question gives us interesting data! Christine (WMF) (talk) 01:51, 8 August 2012 (UTC)Reply
But why do we have to choose two options? Couldn't we have the possibility to choose only one, if only one suits us? --Julien Demade (talk) 12:47, 2 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

Christine, data remains only data. Only when it is contextualised ie put within a superordinate construct does it carry any information. If the contextual frame within which the interpretation of the data is going to be made is not made extant then the data given is more unlikely than likely (as there is only one condition set that is the actual interprative context and a potentially infinite number that are not) to have been given in order to communicate information that is not received or even receivable by the person reading and interpreting it. Absolute mechanistic neutrality is not an option and acting as if it were a possibility simply renders your objectives covert. LookingGlass (talk) 11:06, 8 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

Technology and Networking[edit]

Currently this section is very short, and the answers won't really give much useful information. It might be worth expanding it to ask what devices people use to edit, and what they would like to use to edit (focusing on whether they would like to edit using a mobile phone, perhaps?). Mike Peel (talk) 19:10, 31 July 2012 (UTC)Reply

We actually asked those questions (which devices people use to edit and which to read, although not which they would like to use to edit) in the November 2011 survey. However, we took them out this time because we thought that asking them again probably wouldn't yield useful trend analysis and we were looking to cut down on the length of the survey in general. User:Beckien (talk) 19:38, 31 July 2012 (UTC)Reply

See questions 8c and 8d in the technology section https://meta.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Research:Wikipedia_Editors_Survey_November_2011/en&oldid=3065552 User:Beckien (talk) 19:50, 31 July 2012 (UTC)Reply

Ah, makes sense, thanks for pointing that out. Mike Peel (talk) 22:28, 31 July 2012 (UTC)Reply

Spending money, not just the WMF[edit]

Question 23 currently reads "We are interested in your opinion on how the Wikimedia Foundation should spend money. If you donated 100 dollars to the Foundation, how would you like the Foundation to allocate money for the following? " However, it's not just the Foundation that receives donations and spends money - it's also chapters. I'd suggest rephrasing to read "We are interested in your opinion on how Wikimedia should spend money. If you donated 100 dollars to Wikimedia, how would you like that money to be allocated for the following?" Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 19:13, 31 July 2012 (UTC)Reply

(Note that question 23 has since been renamed to P3, Mike was commenting about the questionnaire while it was still in its draft state. As with his question in the following section, I already briefly talked about this comment with Mike in person shortly after he made it, but should have replied here on-wiki with more detail earlier.)
I agree that this might be an useful question - your observation parallels the changed scope of the recently published 2012-13 WMF Annual Plan ("This year for the first time the annual plan incorporates all revenue and spending for the Wikimedia movement (with the exception of “other chapter revenues”)"). But I don't think is wrong to ask this question separately about the Foundation, or, for that matter, about any other organization in the movement, say Wikimedia UK.
And, as already remarked below, this was one of the questions that was already present in the same form in the last survey, and one main motivation for including it was to be able to identify changes/trends. We would have lost that when modifying it. I would also like to point out that the present form of the question was the result of an extensive discussion involving chapter representatives (also in an Internal-l thread last October), as you may recall because you briefly participated yourself, although back then without making the present suggestion.
Regards, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 12:07, 24 August 2012 (UTC)Reply
In that section, I also see a category "advocacy for free knowledge" or something along those lines that is a bit less terse and focused than "defending editors" or "working on legal cases" missing. It would be interesting to see how much of advocacy the editors would like us to do to defend their work on a broader level. notafish }<';> 10:53, 21 August 2012 (UTC)Reply
I assume you are referring to the choices for P1. Christine may be able to comment further on this, but let me remark that these mostly reflect actual or already planned focus areas of the work of the Foundation - i.e. editors are asked here how it should prioritize among them -, rather than potential new ones, which would mean asking editors how the Foundation should expand these focus areas. Also, as Sue remarked in 2011 (link above) on Effeietsanders' idea to include for opinions about hiring paid editorial staff ("not because I want it to happen, but because I'm curious what our donors think"), there is a risk that adding an option about an activity might be misunderstood, by the press and the community, as an actual intention to take up that activity. And political advocacy, even when limited to the area of free knowledge, is not an entirely uncontentious activity. That being said, I agree that it would be interesting to know, but there is always "P2. Is there anything you think the Foundation should work on that you didn’t see listed above?"
Regards, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 12:07, 24 August 2012 (UTC)Reply
Hi Tilman. We talked about this, but I'm afraid that I'm still struggling to understand the approach that's being taken here - particularly given my original comment. The WMF keeps making the point that the funds donated to Wikimedia are donations to the Wikimedia movement rather than any single organisation, yet the WMF still ends up asking the question about how it should spend money rather than how the Wikimedia movement should spend money. That makes no sense to me... Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 21:54, 27 August 2012 (UTC)Reply
Following from this, I've directly modified the phrasing of the question so that it is talking about the Wikimedia movement rather than the WMF specifically. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 19:13, 31 August 2012 (UTC)Reply
Mike, the purpose of this question is not to tell the respondent what paradigm the WMF Board of Trustees adopted in its March 2012 FDC resolution for thinking about movement money. I agree with you that it is a good paradigm, but that is beside the point here.
Instead, the purpose is to gauge the respondent's opinions about how the expenses of the Foundation should be distributed, which is a perfectly reasonable question in any scenario, even if one also considers the expenses of other organizations in the movement.
To have the respondent imagine that they themselves donate $100 to the WMF is just a survey technique to make this question less abstract. Yes, if the respondent were to make a donation following a banner appeal on a WMF site during the fundraiser, the money would be considered "movement money" per the Board's resolution, but if one insists on understanding the question that literally, it can also be pointed out that it's still possible to donate directly to WMF or other organizations in the movement, including Wikimedia UK I believe. In any case the question is, and has to be, highly simplified in several other ways. Summarily, I fail to see why this particular simplification should be problematic, even if I would formulate the question differently if it would be posed for the first time in this instance of the survey.
Which brings me to the main point: In your remarks I don't see any consideration of the main reason of repeating this question in the form that it was asked in the last survey (before the Board's resolution): To track changes in Wikimedians' opinions about this topic since the last time. In other words, changing the question removes the main reason it is being asked in the first place. Or to look at it differently: If we assume that it took a responent 1.5 minutes on average to answer this question and distribute "their" $100 among the options, the data from the last survey about this question represents over 150 hours of Wikipedians' time. To discard all this work for the present survey just because of some some rather abstract political considerations seems a bad choice of priorities to me.
Finally, I find it extremely contradictory to on the one hand argue above that respondents must be asked about how chapters should spend money, too (in aggregation with WMF's spending), but on the other hand arguing below that the same respondents are not capable of judging the work that chapters do using that money.
Regards, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 07:39, 1 September 2012 (UTC)Reply

Hi, I just wanted to say that it would help if this question had a graphical representation of the allocation given. Thanks.-- 17:12, 3 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

I was surprised to find that the options given did not seem to reflect the previous questions regarding the Foundations activities. I felt I had no option but to put my 100 into something completely different. LookingGlass (talk) 11:10, 8 November 2012 (UTC)Reply


There's a massive section of questions about the WMF, but hardly anything about the chapters, and what there is seems to be put under the WMF. Please could a lot of the questions that are being asked about the WMF also be asked about the local chapter, as well as asking whether they know what a chapter does, and whether they're aware of the chapter in their country (particularly when they've specified that they're in a country where a chapter exists)? Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 19:20, 31 July 2012 (UTC)Reply

User:Tbayer (WMF) will probably have more information on this (and the above question, this applies to both); I was originally working on a specific survey to detail community satisfaction with the Foundation as a whole, which was merged in with the larger Editor Survey. I do know there are more plans for future surveys, and perhaps a survey dealing specifically with Chapters can be considered. Christine (WMF) (talk) 03:47, 2 August 2012 (UTC)Reply
Is there any update on this? --Bence (talk) 17:31, 20 August 2012 (UTC)Reply
Wondering also why this is a full stage during this survey about the WMF and nothing about the chapters. --Itzike (talk) 17:42, 20 August 2012 (UTC)Reply
Well, the update seems to be that Mike's comment was overlooked, since the survey is supposed to launch in a few days (see Tilman's statement below) and nothing was done to change/correct this. In any case, I find the merging between satisfaction about the WMF and a larger editor survey quite infortunate, I would have found much more interesting and relevant to have satisfaction about the work of Wikimedia organisations ont he one hand and general satisfaction/remarks/feedback about the WM projects on the other. Moreover, I cannot believe that the really out of context question of how the chapters perform is still in this survey this year (under FINAL THOUGHTS). This question, after many questions about what the WMF does, and none whatsoever about what the chapters do is simply bound to ever give the same answer. Can we please take it out once and for all, or put it in a survey where it actually makes sense and is put into context (ie. people are asked if they live in a country where there is a chapter, people are asked whether or not they know what the chapter does etc. the same way this is done for the Foundation?) Thanks. notafish }<';> 08:43, 21 August 2012 (UTC)Reply
The question about "performance", as I noted multiple times, is completely meaningless as far as I can see, and can probably be completely disregarded. As for chapters, given how horrible the questions about chapter were in the past, I think it's better that the WMF (probably to avoid more criticism) skipped them. --Nemo 12:24, 21 August 2012 (UTC)Reply

Comments from Wikimedia Germany[edit]

Thank you very much for your outstanding work on this year’s survey! We apologise for not responding earlier, and we promise to engage in the process more timely in the future.
It is great to see that you have further improved the survey and implemented most of last year’s feedback. However, we anticipate severe problems concerning some parts of the survey. Some relate to the specifics of chapter work in general, others are specific to the German translation.
These are the most important points directly affecting our chapter work:
  • In section 5 about the Wikimedia Foundation it is unclear to the respondents, whether the work of the chapters is included in (the familiarity F1, support measures F2/F3 and – if intended – general direction F4 of) the Wikimedia Foundation or not. If an inclusion was intended, this should be stated clearly. If not, this should be stated clearly as well. The responses will otherwise reflect a mix of both interpretations.
  • In section 5, Priorities P3, the term “community work” seems to be ambiguous in the English version. What exactly is meant by this term? Because of this ambiguity, the German translation “Gemeinschaftsarbeit” is definitely misleading. If this question is actually going to be used to allocate funds in one way or the other, this will lead to severe bias.
  • In section 5, Final Thoughts T3, the question concerning the chapters cannot be properly answered by respondents that live in a country without any chapters or even by respondents that do not know that chapters exist or what their purpose is. Again, this will lead to severe bias rendering the responses meaningless. (This question falsely will generate answers that look like actual opinions about the work of chapters, where in fact, the respondents only moments before might not even have know what chapters do or that they even exist.) We second Delphine’s suggestion to either completely strike this question off the survey or add a filter question where respondents are asked whether they live in a country with a Wikimedia chapter (Yes/No/Don’t know). This question should introduce the term “chapter” and give examples that are relevant to the respondent’s country of residence.
We find it very important that all language versions can build upon the tremendous work that you have done with the survey. It would be a real shame if the responses to several questions could not be used for methodical reasons the chapter questions) or simply because they cannot be understood in German.
We have offered Tilman the help of our research and translation staff to give more detailled feedback.--Nicole Ebber (WMDE) (talk) 16:30, 21 August 2012 (UTC)Reply
Thanks for the feedback, Nicole, and I'd likewise apologize for not responding here earlier.
First, let me confirm in public that I did indeed receive this friendly offer by email. Apparently there had been some misunderstandings about the German translation that the WMDE team had been reading here on Meta, in particular that it was
  1. a draft
  2. in the process of being reviewed by volunteer translators (see also #Translation status and NOTICE ABOUT TRANSLATIONS)
  3. freely editable (as are most pages on Meta).
But those were cleared up subsequently, and I'm grateful to the WMDE staff members who have since participated in the translation review process to which I had invited on the day before your comment, as I am to the at least six volunteers from the German-speaking community who have done the same. I hope you were OK with the more than 100 further changes that these community members made to your version. (I'd also like to note that as a native German speaker and longtime community member myself, I would have felt quite comfortable in checking for questions that "cannot be understood in German", but considering the many other tasks involved in this survey, everyone's support was much appreciated.)
  • "In section 5, Priorities P3, the term “community work” seems to be ambiguous in the English version. What exactly is meant by this term? Because of this ambiguity, the German translation “Gemeinschaftsarbeit” is definitely misleading."
The translation that you criticized as "misleading" was chosen for the December 2011 survey by an experienced German Wikipedian; we can assume she is at least as familiar with the language used in the German community as you and me. That being said, perhaps her translation wasn't optimal, thanks for the efforts to improve it. I agree that it's not always good to substitute German terms for English ones (even though it has to be said that this volunteer was not the only one to do so for "community" in this questionnaire).
You did not explain why you considered the term "community work" to be ambiguous in English. But I surmise that this was because it can also mean volunteer work by employees of an organization for charitable purposes (other than that of their own employer). While many WMF employees are doing such volunteer work outside of their working hours, I think that the financial context of the question makes it reasonable clear that the intended meaning was quite different, based on the interpretation of "community" as "community of editors on a Wikimedia projects" which can be assumed to be common among the target group of the survey, i.e. members of this exact same community.
  • If this question is actually going to be used to allocate funds in one way or the other, this will lead to severe bias.
You do not seem to have been aware that this question had been taken verbatim from the December 2011 survey. Back then, it had been reworded from its April 2011 version following an extensive discussion involving many chapter representatives, after Sue had solicited feedback on its wording (in an Internal-l thread comprising 37 postings, and here on Meta). Despite this lively discussion touching various aspects of this question, none of the many comments by chapter representatives objected to the term "community work". What's more, the current wording that you are concerned about was actually authored by a co-founder and former vice chairman and Executive Director of Wikimedia Germany, which makes me even more interested in the factual basis for your claim that it could endanger Wikimedia Germany's work.
Also, your statement did not give the impression that it was written by someone who is very familiar with the statistical meaning of the word "bias". Was it assuming that there can only be bias in a survey if funding decisions are subsequently based on it? And where would that "severe bias" lean toward, and why?
In any case, as Sue has since tried to clarify in a mailing list posting, the present survey is not run for the purpose of using its results to determine decisions regarding funding - this is not a budget vote. This is perhaps in contrast to other surveys and research reports - such as WMDE's own Spendwerk report - that were produced on behalf of various movement organizations during the fundraising debates that ended with the Board's decision earlier this year (during which period Sue's above mentioned feedback request had happened).
In other words, the concerns about possible financial losses for Wikimedia Deutschland, which appear to have contributed to its decision to allocate staff time for participating in this discussion, would appear unfounded. Apologies if this had been unclear in the beginning, and led to unnecessary expenses for WMDE. (Perhaps the misunderstanding about the financial implications had been furthered by the Board of Trustees' commitment to integrate community feedback into the FDC funding process, but that was achieved differently. The present question had never been designed for that purpose, nor would it have been suitable for it.)
  • "In section 5 about the Wikimedia Foundation it is unclear to the respondents, whether the work of the chapters is included in (the familiarity F1, support measures F2/F3 and – if intended – general direction F4 of) the Wikimedia Foundation or not."
Wikimedia chapters are organizations in their own right which are separate and independent from the Wikimedia Foundation. The target group of this survey are active editors, and several questions assume some basic wiki- or Wikimedia-specific knowledge. To cite some other examples that already occurred in the previous surveys: Respondents need to know what a featured article is, what reverting means, or indeed that Wikipedia is freely editable - among the general populations, not even the last one woudl be a fait accompli. With each of these, it is expected - like in basically every survey - that there may be a small percentage of respondents which are unaware of that fact, but that this does not affect the quality of results too much, or that it can be controlled for - indeed question F1 would largely seem to allow to do that. You appear to be assuming that there are many active editors who on the one hand know about the chapters and their work - otherwise this confusion wouldn't even arise -, but on the other hand confound them with another organization which has a different name, even after a short description of that organization has been provided. I am not aware of an empirical basis for this concern, nor have I seen it brought up among the many comments about the previous two surveys, which already included questions both regarding the Foundation and the chapters.
Also, for each of the above three points (responding to the third separately, as it was the only one brought up by others as well), you did not describe any mechanism by which it could be "directly affecting [y]our chapter work". Summarily, I am proceeding under the assumption that these won't be major issues. But if it indeed turns out that Wikimedia Germany's great work suffers measurable damage as a result of this survey and/or the two previous ones, then by all means let us know what happened.
  • Finally, while I of course fully acknowledge that thoughtful evaluations and responses take time, I have to say that I found it puzzling that after the German chapter reported on this upcoming survey on its official blog ("Feedback about the questions is welcome. Changes are still possible for a short time; translations are planned to start this week"), a full 19 days including the public review period passed before it first mentioned the "serious problems" it saw, despite fearing that its own activities were threatened by them.
Regards, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 23:30, 30 October 2012 (UTC)Reply
I totally agree with Nicole and Delphine, this section talks too much about the WMF (and believe me, a lot of people doesn't even know the WMF exists) and nothing about the chapters, which are the ones performing activities at a local level. And perhaps can be read as "not really". --Jewbask (talk) 14:55, 25 August 2012 (UTC)Reply

Mike, I fail to understand why the onus is on WMF to inform the editors about chapters? The survey is titled the Editor survey, rightfully so, it is questioning editors about the project and through that relation, WMF. Chapters aren't engaged in hosting or running the projects. Majority of the chapters are not directly linked to editors, speaking just for anglophones, WMUK can not hold any authority to be addressed on behalf of English Wikipedians. Theo10011 (talk) 16:32, 25 August 2012 (UTC)Reply

Please don't misrepresent my views. I expect the onus to be on the organiser of any Wikimedia survey to make sure that it is as unbiased as possible. In this case, chapters are very much involved in community and editor relations, and hence they should be fairly represented in any survey that is asked to the community. I have no clue what you mean, or are intending to imply, by your statement about WMUK and authority. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 21:30, 27 August 2012 (UTC)Reply
I don't think I was misrepresenting your views, intentionally anyway. I was implying that Chapters won't be the only entities anymore representing WMF, why stop at just chapters. The other point was about English Wikipedia, and the logistics of targeting only UK based editors which might not represent a large subset of the larger editor base, only to inform or question them about a local chapter. Anyway, I wasn't sure what I was thinking at the time myself, Please feel free to disregard it. Theo10011 (talk) 19:37, 28 August 2012 (UTC)Reply
Mike, it seems this is conflating "unbiased" in the sense in which is usually used in the context of surveys (e.g. not favoring certain answers to questions) with evenness of coverage of certain topics (i.e. which areas to ask questions about). And even if the questionnaire spent an equal amount of bytes on Foundation and chapters, it would still leave out many other important topic.
Also regarding "should be fairly represented", let us remember that most surveys of Wikipedia editors are not done by WMF or chapters, but by independent researchers (e.g. I just reviewed one such study in the new issue of the Wikimedia Research Newsletter, where the researchers had to resort to a somewhat awkward method of contacting respondents). The Foundation does not make demands from the researchers conducting such surveys that WMF "should be fairly represented" in their questionnaires; it would be a very strange thing for us to do.
Regards, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 14:11, 30 August 2012 (UTC)Reply

Proposal for an independent Editor Survey that addresses local impact and Chapter engagement[edit]

I had trouble finding any mention of the chapters in this list. Sadly, this Editor Survey will have no tangible value in understanding the impact of the Chapters or the work we do. If the Chapters would like a survey that meaningfully addresses local impact, then it appears (based on a lack of response or interest here from the Foundation over the last month), that the Chapters may have to commission our own independently of the Foundation. (talk) 15:51, 25 August 2012 (UTC)Reply

Why don't you go ahead. Theo10011 (talk) 16:32, 25 August 2012 (UTC)Reply
As soon as the FDC gives us a grant to do it. Perhaps you would like to help prepare a proposal Theo? We can base a budget on what this survey costs. -- (talk) 16:37, 25 August 2012 (UTC)Reply
No. Thanks for asking though. I'm done preparing budgets. ;) I just enjoyed the irony of asking WMF for a grant to fund another survey because the one they are running isn't independent enough. Anyway, I'm sure the future FDC, and its 30 odd proposed members, would fund that one right through. Theo10011 (talk) 16:59, 25 August 2012 (UTC)Reply

I already commented on a similar question in the IRC office hour shortly before Mike made his suggestion above, and shortly afterwards briefly talked to Mike about it in person (so much for notafish's and Fæ's speculations). But thanks for reminding me to respond here too, and apologies we didn't do so earlier - the translation process and other necessary preparationg for the survey's launch have been quite time-consuming this week.

To recap what was already said earlier, the idea is that after we get the editor surveys going again with this one, they will be run more frequently from now on (aiming at a quarterly schedule), in a more lightweight version, and with a different focus for each one. We are fully aware that there are a lot of interesting possible questions which are left out of the present survey - not just regarding chapters, but also, for example, our WMF colleagues working on new software features would like to get feedback on them, as noted above; but we had to tell them to wait for an upcoming survey, too. We also plan to reach out to academic researchers and to the editing communities themselves to have them suggest questions in the future. Regarding chapters again, here's what I (HaeB) said in the IRC office hour:

Jul 31 10:17:38 <Nemo_bis> 2) Maybe you want to comment why chapters are no longer mentioned (I know, I suppose, but it's worth noting)
Jul 31 10:18:04 <HaeB> some of those actually arent' in this edition any more (mostly because it was questions where a one-time answer was enough, and folowing trends wasn't too important)
Jul 31 10:19:00 <Nemo_bis> I appreciate the "99 I don’t know" option btw
Jul 31 10:20:03 <HaeB> so that question actually still retains the part about chapters
Jul 31 10:20:37 * Fluff|brb is now known as Fluffernutter
Jul 31 10:21:04 <Nemo_bis> oh, right, there's still that one
Jul 31 10:21:06 <rneumann> question Q10 asks about participation in chapter work
Jul 31 10:21:17 <HaeB> but yes, the emphasis this time is on satisfaction/dissatisfaction with wmf ;)
Jul 31 10:21:23 <rneumann> it asks how often people have done this activity in the past 30 days
Jul 31 10:21:50 <HaeB> again, we are already thinking forward to the next survey where we will have room for other things
Jul 31 10:22:51 <HaeB> one person from an european chapter suggested to ask "Please tell us what you think were the top three/five/few achievements/contributions of [your country's] chapter in the past year. "
Jul 31 10:23:27 <HaeB> i think that generates technical problmes (it's hard to evaluate free-form answers if you have >6000 respondents)
Jul 31 10:23:44 <HaeB> but we may look to include something similar

Summarily, I'm absolutely open to the idea of including a focus on chapters in one of the upcoming surveys, and I will be happy to delve into the discussion about what would be good questions to ask once I have a little more time after the launch of this one. However, I sense a notion of "wherever there is WMF there must be chapters" in some comments, which I find a little strange. For example because, on the other hand, some of the same comments seem to suggest chapters are not a suitable topic for an international survey targeted at all logged-in editors such as this one (I disagree). But also because it does not seem to acknowledge that surveys like this are a huge demand on editors' time and can't be expanded at will - adding a question that takes a respondent one minute to answer on the average corresponds to asking for more 100 additional hours of Wikimedians' time. So it does make sense to restrict the focus of each survey, and separate topics over subsequent surveys.

I would also like to point out, for the benefit of those who have not yet read the Q&A for this survey and the "notice about translations" in the questionnaire, that we are at a point where it is extremely difficult and costly (in terms of both staff and volunteer translator time) to change the questionnaire, as it has been finalized a while ago and the translation review process is wrapping up now. But again, I'm looking forward to including chapters-related questions for the upcoming surveys.

Regards, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 17:02, 25 August 2012 (UTC)Reply

Thanks for the reply. As for Notafish and my "speculations", I'm afraid we can only go by the facts presented, my noting an absence of follow-up comment after Christine's initial note here over the last month was not speculation, it was a statement of precisely what can be seen. I cannot feel guilty for being unaware of the contents of an IRC discussion back in July, in fact checking my diary I was in a Wikimedia UK telecon at that exact time. I look forward to a being given a firm commitment on a date for a survey that will address chapter engagement. Perhaps you could provide a date for such a survey to run and we might then conclude this discussion thread; as if there is a date, then Wikimedians interested in the chapter view but who may not keep an eye on the Editor Survey can plan to participate in plenty of time. Obviously, if a future survey that does what is expected cannot be delivered until 2014, then it may still be relevant to commission an alternative in 2013. -- (talk) 17:25, 25 August 2012 (UTC)Reply
Hi Fæ, I know you were really busy at the time of the IRC office hour due to important changes going on at Wikimedia UK, and of course you were not required to attend. However, the log of the IRC office hour was published at IRC office hours/Office hours 2012-07-31 on July 31 and has also been linked from the survey page.
I think that Wikimedia-l was a good place to announce the survey last month, and for Wikimedians who want to make sure they do not miss any new developments of movement-wide relevance, I would recommend subscribing to that list. But for future surveys, I'm open to suggestions for additional venue for the announcement.
The decision about the future surveys is not mine alone to make, but I can confirm that the current thinking, set out by Barry, is to run them quarterly (of course this may need some adjustment in some cases, e.g. due to the fundraiser, but postponing until 2014 is definitely not on the table), and that I had a conversation with Barry and Anasuya in July - not long after Wikimania - where we agreed that including questions specifically about chapters would be a good idea for the next survey. (As many may know, along with the rest of the WMF Communications team I am changing over from Barry's department over to the LCA department, which already provided the part of the current survey that is being discussed here, but I do not expect this to change the equation.)
Regards, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 21:47, 25 August 2012 (UTC)Reply
(Did anyone else immediately think of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy at this point? :P ) Orderinchaos (talk) 14:10, 26 August 2012 (UTC)Reply
lol, I did. ;) Theo10011 (talk) 13:21, 27 August 2012 (UTC)Reply
Hi Orderinchaos, this was an honest attempt to give Fae (and other readers) as much relevant information about the Foundation's internal decision process as possible. I hope your reaction does not come out of a dismissive attitude towards institutional transparency in general. Regards, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 14:11, 30 August 2012 (UTC)Reply
Mine does. Or it might be to your ineptitude at communication or to the joke of institutional transparency being advertised above which might suit vogons more.Theo10011 (talk) 12:18, 8 September 2012 (UTC)Reply
Tilman, "in terms of both staff and volunteer translator time", from what I know, the foundation paid for translation and didn't uses the movement translator network for this survey, from some unknown reason to paid extra money. --Itzike (talk) 19:12, 25 August 2012 (UTC)Reply
Itzik, at this point I would much appreciate it if you could spend a few minutes to familiarize yourself with the survey's process. For example, just reading the "notice about translations" in the questionnaire that you have been commenting about would have saved yourself the embarrassment of making the false statement "didn't uses the movement translator network for this survey" in public. Yes, we used a inexpensive and fast external translation service to start off the process and make sure that the most important languages were covered (the last editor surveys had likewise commissioned some paid translations toward that goal). But their subsequent review and editing by volunteer translators - who are likely to be more familiar with movement-specific terms than the professional ones - was an integral part of the process from the beginning; as was the opportunity to provide volunteer translations in additional languages. Involving the movement translator network was the whole point of providing the questionnaire translation here on Meta; and I wrote a new bot specifically for that. One could also just have read my August 20 comment further below on this page, or looked at the version history of one of the translation pages (for example the Hebrew translation which was entirely done by volunteers), or checked the edits of my account from earlier this week to see hundreds of translation notifications sent out to volunteers (example). Regards, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 21:47, 25 August 2012 (UTC)Reply
I have been noticing more and more unnecessary snark in your comments. I don't know how you are first calling his statement false, then proceeding to prove him right in the following sentence. By your admission above, an external service was used, his claim wasn't disproved in that alone, you just redirected, that the external translations thus provided were up for review on Meta, while some less "important languages" were translated by volunteers. It would have been a rather simple explanation without the use of polemics and more tact.
Well, Theo...didn't you expect it? --Jewbask (talk) 03:47, 29 August 2012 (UTC)Reply
Your IRC log and explanation above, seems to imply that every one on one conversation or comment, or your contribution history should be followed for answers, rather than direct questions that were posted on the designated page, like this one where the question mike raised remained unanswered while others were answered. Theo10011 (talk) 19:29, 28 August 2012 (UTC)Reply
Theo, as it is clearly stated above, I wasn't referring to the use of external services, but to the claim that WMF "didn't uses the movement translator network for this survey", which I hope you are not going to defend. Maybe you are right that the response could have been worded a bit friendlier, but it was not the first time that someone was spreading inaccurate claims about the survey, and this one was a bit exasperating to read right after hundreds of notifications had been sent out to that network and its volunteers had done work on translations of the survey in over 10 languages - especially because it would have been really easy to find out that the opposite was true. Not necessarily by following my contribution history, as you are pointing out correctly, but surely by just reading the prominent "NOTICE ABOUT TRANSLATIONS" (sic) in the very questionnaire they were commenting on, or my comment titled Translation status right here on what you call the "designated page" (where apparently the commenter was eagerly monitoring my contributions for a response to this section). Having the courtesy to spend these one or two minutes to inform oneself about the matter which one is commenting on helps to convince others about the seriousness of the concerns expressed. Regards, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 14:11, 30 August 2012 (UTC)Reply
I've removed the question about chapter performance, given how it has been repeatedly pointed out (both here and on the mailing lists) how flawed this question is. It can be added back if/when we have a survey that fairly covers chapter activities. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 19:15, 31 August 2012 (UTC)Reply

"performance of the Wikimedia chapters, in contributing to the Wikimedia movement" question[edit]

To recap: Like the previous two surveys in April 2011 and December 2011, the present survey asks editors to rate the contributions of four different parts of the Wikimedia movement: Volunteers overall, the Foundation, the chapters, and the respondent himself/herself. It seems that in 2011 when this question was first published, no concerns regarding the inclusion of chapters in that list prior had been voiced originally, before the publication of the results of the first survey. But it's true that since then, many chapter members have objected to this. During the drafting of the questionnaire for the present survey, I tried to examine these arguments in detail (including reaching out to one of their proponents in person at Wikimania this summer). While there will likely remain disagreement, I promised earlier to outline the rationale, as I see it, for including this item in this survey as well, responding fuller those objections before the survey launches. Many of them were voiced outside of this page, e.g. for some reason in a more recent thread on the private mailing list Internal-l, but I don't see a reason not to continue this discussion here in public. (As noted below, we did make a change to address one part of this feedback, resolving concerns about possible bias due to the placement of the question which had been expressed by Delphine above, among others.)

  • Should editors from countries or regions where there is no chapter be allowed to rate the work of chapters in general?: This has been by far the most frequently made argument against the inclusion of chapters in this question. I'll try to respond to it in the example of the WMDE staff comment above: "In section 5, Final Thoughts T3, the question concerning the chapters cannot be properly answered by respondents that live in a country without any chapters or even by respondents that do not know that chapters exist or what their purpose is."
    • First, it appears that like a lot of the criticism, the cited comment overlooked the fact that an explicit "I don’t know" answer option had already been added to the question. (Almost all questions in this survey can be skipped without answering, but only few include such an explicit "don't know" or "Prefer not to say" option; the question about gender being another example.) In other words, we are talking about excluding the opinion of editors who themselves feel qualified enough to answer the question, and we would expect that honest "respondents that do not know that chapters exist or what their purpose is" will recluse themselves from judging their performance. This renders the second part of the above quoted objection baseless. Admittedly, dishonest editors will still be able to lie, but that risk exists with any survey question.
    • Second, the argument that editors who live in a country/region without a chapter (e.g. myself) cannot have a valid opinion about the performance of chapters, and must therefore be excluded from this question, ignores the global importance of chapters' work. I will concede that I understand part of the logic - let me summarize: The research and translation staff of Wikimedia Germany appears to hold that a chapter's work has no global impact or importance beyond its own country, because its activities are localized there. Therefore, it is assumed that while the global performance rating makes sense for the Foundation, because it is relevant to every Wikimedian, it should not be asked for chapters, because each of them is irrelevant to all Wikimedians except those from one country. - I agree that having an account on Wikimedia projects (the defining characteristic of the target audience of this survey) entails prima facie a much more direct relation with the Foundation than with any chapter; e.g. simply because it runs the servers that they are working on. However, I disagree in that I think that a chapter's work is relevant beyond the corresponding nation. For once, simply because the Wikimedia projects, support of which is, IIRC, a main purpose of chapters, are always international. This is especially evident at the Wikimania conferences, which have so far been organized or supported by at least five different chapters. What's more, some chapter activities are even physically extending far beyond the border of the chapter country, e.g. the admirable projects by Wikimedia France or Wikimedia Israel in Africa. Finally, if I'm informed correctly, some of the work of Wikimedia Germany itself is explicitly intended to support the global editing community: To put it bluntly, I am hopeful that Nicole's argument is not taken seriously even within her own organization, or else the Wikidata developers and Toolserver admins would be need to start dismissing feedback about their work by all non-German Wikimedians right now ;)
    • Finally, the general notion that respondents must not be asked about their opinion about actors in faraway countries which they may or may not be informed about does not appear to be rooted in the actual practices of professional surveys. See e.g. this recent survey from Pew Research (which accepted "Don't know" levels of up to 73%, when Indian respondents were asked about Hu Jintao).
  • Used to disparage chapters?: Some have voiced concern that the question's results in the last two surveys have been used to disparage chapters or put them in a negative light in public. While I disagree that this was the case in the cited example (Sue's Wikimania keynote), it's true that for practically any such survey, results can be cited selectively, and that those from opinion surveys in particular can be used to criticize people, organizations or concepts. But distorted representations or insensitive comments by others can't be blamed on the survey itself. And actually, in the present survey, this risk extends much more to the Foundation itself and its various departments and teams than to chapters: With this question block, we are putting ourselves out there, and will likely receive some judgements and opinions from respondent that we disagree with, or think are misinformed. In any case, I do understand the frustration of chapter members who are doing excellent work, in case they feel that a judgment about a large group is applied to them personally without discretion. I hope the past discussions about this survey may have served to sensitize people about interpreting its results carefully and "with a big grain of salt", as Sue said somewhere.
  • "The Wikimedia chapters" can't be judged a whole?: This argument was brought up fairly recently and I sympathize somewhat with it. Again, elsewhere in the same question my own work for the Foundation will be judged in aggregation with that of more than 100 other employees, for good or bad ;) However, professional surveys regularly ask for opinions about organizations or groups that are far larger and more complex that even WMF and chapters together. In fact, "Wikimedia volunteers overall" are one such group and the first part of the performance question asks about their contribution as well, but there has been no concern about this so far. In this point like in some others, I feel that people are pointing out limitations that apply to such surveys in general, but selectively apply them to one particular question.
  • Professionalism: Also, I would like to point out that the contested question had been authored by a sociology PhD, who already had several years of professional experience in quantitative research and conducting surveys in various countries when she joined the Foundation staff. This does not mean at all that it can't be criticized with sound arguments, of course. But perhaps it explains scepticism towards arguments made from authority against the validity of this question ("no survey ever does X") without either naming the critic's own professional credentials or citing professional or academic literature about surveys.
  • Evaluate results per chapter/non-chapter countries?: E.g. above, Nicole suggested to "add a filter question where respondents are asked whether they live in a country with a Wikimedia chapter (Yes/No/Don’t know)". Again, I'm not sure she was aware that a preceding question already asks where the respondent lives. We can indeed use this for a more fine-grained analysis of the chapters rating results, I'm going to outline something below (this doesn't need to be decided until after the survey has run). This will also help to explore the concern that admitting all countries introduced a negative bias against chapters. I haven't seen a pertinent explanation for a mechanism that would introduce such a bias. (Someone already did such an analysis using the public datasets from the previous two surveys; to me the preliminary results did not appear to yield strong evidence for such a bias. I hope they will be published somewhere.)

There is more aspects to this, and I'm happy to discuss them as well as the survey progresses. And I think there is time for that; I don't expect we will include the same question in the next survey when the plan progresses to run these more frequent from now on.

Regards, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 23:30, 30 October 2012 (UTC)Reply

I was totally at see with the questions referring to Chapters (is this something to do with Freemasonry?) I'd never heard of them before, and that made me feel uneasy about the whole thing. Why hadn't I known? I've been a contributer for a decade and use Wiki a lot. LookingGlass (talk) 11:13, 8 November 2012 (UTC)Reply


A few little things :

  • In question P1 I saw an empty line at the top of the table.
  • In question 17b I find the progression of the possible answers weird: there is a huge gap between "Very Happy" and "Neither Happy or Unhappy", and between the latter and "Very Unhappy". Instead of I think it should be more like (Very Happy / Happy / Neither Happy or Unhappy / Unhappy / Very Unhappy).
  • It's sad that one can't go back to a previous page in the survey.

--Rinaku (t · c) 12:04, 2 August 2012 (UTC)Reply

Some of these (like the not being able to go back) may be limitations of the survey software, but I'll doublecheck that. Thanks! Christine (WMF) (talk) 19:32, 7 August 2012 (UTC)Reply

Hopefully this helps answer your questions:

  • The top of table in P1 is supposed to blank in this question's current design
  • I'm not sure what the original reasoning was for this particular wording, but we've kept it in this survey because it was used in past surveys and we wanted in order to preserve as much continuity as possible
  • In the November survey I believe it was decided to not include a back button enabling respondents to change their answers to previous questions or previous sections, but we can add one this time if the consensus is that there should be one

Thanks for the feedback! Beckien (talk) 20:02, 7 August 2012 (UTC)Reply

Actually, I take that back. There was one in the November survey, and we'll add one to this survey as well. Beckien (talk) 14:07, 8 August 2012 (UTC)Reply

Allocate $100 (Q23)[edit]

"If you donated 100 dollars to the Foundation, how would you like the Foundation to allocate money for the following? (Please ensure that all the responses add up to $100.)"

I think this is not a good question. It is interesting to know how people think the money should be spend, but here I cannot give a good answer because I don't know how much each mission costs. For example, I think the primary goal of the foundation is to keep the website online, but I don't know whether this currently takes 30% or 80% of the Foundation's budget.

I think the question could be replaced by one of 2 better ones:

  • Ask to sort the mission from the most important to the least important, without talking about money.
  • Ask whether each mission should get more or less money (compared to the others) than it currently gets. (The question could tell how the money is curently allocated.)

--Rinaku (t · c) 12:43, 2 August 2012 (UTC)Reply

This is a question that was also asked in the last incarnation of the survey, I believe, and we kept it this time around (and in its same form) to be able to track change over time. It's okay if you don't know the percentage of the budget each of these items takes; this question is more about understanding what you think the priorities of the Foundation should be. If you think that the primary goal is to keep the sites online and that 80% of the budget should be geared at that, then by all means, say so! Christine (WMF) (talk) 19:31, 7 August 2012 (UTC)Reply
The point is, it's not that keeping the sites online "should" use 80% of the budget. On the one hand, if it only required 20% of the budget, you wouldn't try to pay twice the price just for fun. On the other hand, if this mission required 95% of the budget, you would do it anyway, you wouldn't take the sites down to do something else with the money... at least I hope so :) But do what you can with the question. --Rinaku (t · c) 22:19, 7 August 2012 (UTC)Reply
I entirely agree with what Rinaku wrote, except perhaps I wouldn't say this is not a good question, but I'd rather say this is a bad question. In a sense, the question's format is optimal in that if you could get everyone's true opinion on the topic, it would then be very easy for financial officers to draw the big lines of the budget. But asking all respondents to do a budget is unreasonable, as it requires too much knowledge. I perfectly understand that financial officers want to know if hosting should get more money or less, but I for one have a very rough idea of the total budget and of what is currently spent on hosting, therefore - as Rinaku explained, I cannot say whether I should put 1% or 100% if I want the status quo. I would skip that question, but the system won't let me (I entered an extra item "Dummy - skip" with a 100% weight, but I doubt this will have the expected impact). Asking respondents to simply rank areas by priority could help, although it definitely can't give a picture as precise. At the very least, if you want to keep the current format, data on the current situation should be provided. And still, it won't be possible to distinguish those who answered with the status quo because they approve it from those who answered the same because they don't know what should be changed. BTW, I spent quite more than 15 minutes answering despite skipping that question and many more. I understand the desire to track change in opinions from the last survey, but frankly, if the last survey had the same question asked identically, the results should be considered as basically worthless. --Chealer (talk) 04:06, 2 November 2012 (UTC)Reply
Agree entirely with Rinaku. It's also a generally poor question for the simple reason that it takes far too long to answer properly and the more you try the worse this gets. It also is a question totally out of the style of the rest of the survey and unsupported by it. The rest is multiple choice and there is insifficient tie-in generally between questions in my opinion. LookingGlass (talk) 11:16, 8 November 2012 (UTC)Reply
Afraid I have to disagree. While I thought the question could be worded more clearly - maybe adding a brief explanation about how this is a way of thinking about relative priorities, and that the answer doesn't necessarily correspond with actual budgets - I appreciated being able to think about the organization's priorities in a less abstract, more tangible way. Also, the purpose here seemed obvious to me since this question followed some other priorities-related questions. However, I do think that if the previous questions included areas that were not part of this question's options, as an earlier poster indicated, then perhaps the answer set needs to be expanded to include those areas. Memetics (talk) 06:30, 10 November 2012 (UTC)Reply
I agree it is interesting to muse about financial management but this wasn't an exercise. The issue here is how are conclusions to be drawn from the question given its fundamental flaws? The apparent purpose of it seems obvious but how is it possible to derive meaningful information from it when, for instance, there is such extreme variability in its possible interpretation? LookingGlass (talk) 09:07, 13 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

Features, design, community[edit]

For purely selfish reasons, I'd like to see at least a line or two in the WMF technology section about our work experimenting with and designing new features, as well as working with editors to revamp community processes like page patrol, article creation, and user messaging. From what I heard at Wikimania (and what I continue to hear on mailing lists and in onwiki discussions), most editors have no idea that this is something for which we're allocating engineering resources, and I'd be interested to see if that lack of awareness is representative of the broader editing population. Maryana (WMF) (talk) 16:52, 2 August 2012 (UTC)Reply

Due to the time constraints, I'm not certain we can add any other questions. But, I think that the initiatives you're working on would be a good topic for a future survey! Christine (WMF) (talk) 19:23, 7 August 2012 (UTC)Reply

What language is primary, contribute, read[edit]

The first set of questions in three parts feels a bit cumbersome. Is it possible for one to select all the languages they speak as the first question, and then the next page can list those selected languages with radio button on whether you read or contribute to Wikipedia in those languages. This may have the added benefit of identifying the untapped reserve of editor talent in various languages.

It is a bit cumbersome, it's mainly this way so we can track changes from the last survey, which was also done this way. It is a pretty big pain point though, and something to look into fixing in the next go 'round of the survey (and future ones). Christine (WMF) (talk) 00:01, 8 August 2012 (UTC)Reply

Agreed. I suppose one potential advantage of doing it this way is that people may still read (although probably not contribute) in languages that they don't call "primary" (respondent might differentiate between primary languages and all languages spoken--for instance, someone might understand a language but not use it in daily life and therefore not label it as "primary"). This way doesn't prevent respondents from choosing non-primary languages in the reading/contributing questions, esp. since past surveys didn't allow respondents to move backwards and change answers. This is, of course, a very small possibility and it creates a rather cumbersome structure, so this might be something to consider in future surveys. Beckien (talk) 20:16, 7 August 2012 (UTC)Reply

I didn't understand the "primary" thing. I thought it means native language. You should use more standerd termes: native, foreign, languages you contribute in Wikimedia. Otherwise, the survery has really good questions. Thank you! --NaBUru38 (talk) 00:53, 31 October 2012 (UTC)Reply
I got thrown more by the "read" question - I wasn't sure whether I should include two languages I'm vaguely familiar with just because I had looked up something a few times in those wikis, or if the question really was asking whether I *regularly* used those versions of Wikipedia. I ended up selecting them all, but now I'm thinking I should have selected only the English-language Wiki, since I always use that one by default. Memetics (talk) 06:38, 10 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

typo in introduction[edit]

super small corrections:

  1. "You have made Wikipedia what it is and your input will help make our projects even better." : there should be a comma after "is" and "and your..."
  2. "We realize that this is a significant request of your time and we want..." : comma between "your time" and "we want."

Jwild (talk) 19:42, 6 August 2012 (UTC)Reply

Super small, are still super helpful! Thanks! Christine (WMF) (talk) 19:23, 7 August 2012 (UTC)Reply
Fixed, thanks! Regards, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 21:41, 7 August 2012 (UTC)Reply

One of the section overviews in the survey I took tonight ended with a list of phrases or clauses but the sentence ended prematurely: I can't remember the exact language, but it was analogous to "The Foundation does work in the areas of legal defense of administrators and wikimedia content, expansion of the wikimedia editor base." I was looking for the "and [last item in list]", but the sentence just ended. Again, the example I gave was analogous; I don't recall whether it was even in the Foundation question set, but it might have been. Memetics (talk) 06:42, 10 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

Found it: "R1. Technology Support: The Foundation hosts Wikipedia and its sister sites and implements technological improvements. This includes maintaining servers and other hardware, performing routine replacements and other scheduled maintenance, and non-routine activities, such as upgrading technology, providing for the development of the software the websites run on." The problem is the "such as" list at the end. If it's a two-item list, it needs an "and" instead of the comma. That, or it's missing the third item in the list, in which case at the end it needs ", and" plus the item. Memetics (talk) 07:11, 10 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

Translation status[edit]

The survey is intended to be launched within the next days. It will be seen by many thousands of Wikimedians, and to help make sure that they are not confronted with confusing or flawed questionnaires, please help reviewing the existing translations and mark them as "Ready", or leave a comment on their status below. Thanks!

About the translations for the survey's questionnaire and CentralNotice banner, see also the notice about translations and the message group statistics.

The questionnaire consists of an old part, where translations can be reused from the last survey if available, and a new part. The externally provided translations for the new part into German, Spanish, French, Russian, Japanese, Italian, Chinese, Portuguese, Polish and Arabic have all been imported (using a new bot written specifically for this purpose), alongside with their counterparts from the previous survey, except in Polish and Portuguese, where those old translations were not directly available on Meta - but they will be imported shortly as well.

Translations in some other languages have already been provided and they are welcome until shortly after the launch of the survey, as long as the language is available in the interface of Qualtrics, the survey platform we are using (see the list). If you would like to provide a translation where the old part is available but has not been imported yet, feel free to start it and ping me so that I run the bot for that language.

Regards, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 10:04, 20 August 2012 (UTC)Reply

Most translations have been reviewed by now, but as it might have been noticed since last week, the launch of the survey has been delayed for various reasons, including taking more time to respond to feedback here and on Internal-l, a Unicode bug (thanks to Evan for helping to resolve it), and other aspects. At the moment the goal is to launch early next week.

Regards, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 09:22, 8 September 2012 (UTC)Reply

A missing verb?[edit]

Is this sentence correct ? "You can more information about Wikimedia Foundation initiatives here" in the exit screen. Thank you --Cquoi (talk) 17:05, 23 August 2012 (UTC)Reply

Fixed, thanks! Fortunately, it seems it had been silently corrected (or even not been noticed in the first place) by the translators. Regards, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 17:14, 23 August 2012 (UTC)Reply
I hope the extraneous bits were copy-edited out beyond this version. Tony (talk) 10:48, 29 August 2012 (UTC)Reply

Position of the "how would you rate the performance ..." question[edit]

In recent weeks, after the survey questionnaire had been finalized, several people from Wikimedia chapters have voiced concern (mainly on the private Internal-l mailing list; I hope that that discussion can be moved into a public venue) that question where respondents can express their opinion about the performance of "the different participants of the Wikimedia community" (volunteers overall, Foundation, chapters, oneself) is preceded with several other questions that ask in detail about activities by the Foundation.

While I am not quite convinced that this introduces a clear positive or negative bias for the question about the Foundation compared to the other three, in the survey team we have been looking into addressing these concerns without having to restart the translation process, and have decided that it is an acceptable compromise to move this question up to right before section V, which asks those detailed questions about WMF, so that respondents will only see them after having already given the performance rating. (The English version of the questionnaire had already been imported to Qualtrics, and we made the change there first, as people who over the last week or so have tried out the Qualtrics link given above might already have noticed; for transparency and consistency I'm now adjusting the version of the questionnaire here on Meta too; this should not invalidate existing translations, fingers crossed.)

The downside of this change is that it makes the questionnaire a tiny bit less consistent regarding the grouping into sections: The performance question is still being asked of all respondents including Commons users, but section IV only from those who are coming from a Wikipedia site. But that seems a tolerable price to pay for addressing these concerns of possible bias.

Regards, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 15:01, 9 September 2012 (UTC)Reply

It's nice to see a willing of finding a compromise. But I'm still skeptical about the obstinacy too keep a single controversial question, whereas the simple removal of this question would have cause no problem of translation and no disturbance to the consistence of the survey...--Chandres (talk) 08:20, 10 September 2012 (UTC)Reply

Update on the timeline[edit]

Hi, is there any update on the timeline for this survey? Thanks, --Nicole Ebber (WMDE) (talk) 11:54, 4 October 2012 (UTC)Reply

Thanks for asking! After various events and other projects intervened, work on the remaining technical tasks was taken up again and we currently aim to launch tomorrow PT (i.e. before Saturday morning UTC). Before that, I'm also still going to post some outstanding replies to feedback. Regards, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 16:21, 25 October 2012 (UTC)Reply

Russian version[edit]

The Russian version needs few small grammatical corrections. Gamliel Fishkin (talk) 00:48, 31 October 2012 (UTC)Reply

Please correct them here and we will update the live survey version from there. Many thanks! Regards, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 01:56, 31 October 2012 (UTC)Reply

Less or more compared to half a year ago[edit]

Hi, there is a question:

“If you think back to half a year ago: Were you more or less active on Wikipedia compared to now?”

If and only if I select “less” the next question is:

“Why did you become less active on Wikipedia? Please choose all that apply.”

That does not make sense. If I were less active half a year ago, I have become more active since then. Could anybody explain that behaviour? --Chricho (talk) 00:53, 31 October 2012 (UTC)Reply

I also noticed this error. Should be immediately fixed since it confuses users (including me) who got more active in the past half year and users who actually got less active in the past half year don't see the question "Why did you become less active on Wikipedia?". As a result we don't get their quite important feedback! -- Patrick87 (talk) 01:11, 31 October 2012 (UTC)Reply
Yes. This. Also, for my situation in particular, I would have liked to see "were you more or less active on Wikipedia" three years ago, or five years ago. I was much more active from 2006-2008 than I have been since, and I have reasons for that. "Why did you become less active?" would be a great question. Frankly, I don't know what the Foundation can do about it, but I think that the culture of Wikipedia makes being an editor very frustrating. I ended up spending more time defending myself, and my authority, and trying to keep compromises and agreements established through debate and discussion intact (against attacks by new editors who weren't there when the compromise was made), rather than contributing to content. Editing Wikipedia should be fun, it should be relaxing. It should not be stressful, least of all should it be the greatest source of stress in my life. Like I said, I don't know what the Foundation can do about this, but I think it a key problem in the culture. Or, at least the culture as it was back in 2008. Now that I think about it, things might have changed dramatically already, it being a whole 4 years later... Still, that question on the survey "why are you less active today" would have been nice to see. LordAmeth (talk) 02:43, 31 October 2012 (UTC)Reply
Translations are affected, too. --Chricho (talk) 01:39, 31 October 2012 (UTC)Reply
Thanks, should be fixed now. Regards, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 02:02, 31 October 2012 (UTC)Reply
I had the same error when I did the survey a few minutes ago, using the German translation. It looks like it is NOT fixed yet. (Or maybe not fixed in every language?) Please correct that ASAP since - as Lexein points out further down - the current behaviour causes wrong raw data. -- Christallkeks (talk) 03:26, 31 October 2012 (UTC)Reply
I have paused the banners for now while so we can sort this out. The survey flow (i.e. such conditional questions) should be the same for all translations. Obviously we may need to discard some data, but at least it should be restricted to this question. Still annoying of course. Thanks for your help. Regards, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 03:40, 31 October 2012 (UTC)Reply
I just did some research and found a possible origin for the bug: Counting Issues? The questionaire says:
12a. If you think back at half a year ago: [RANDOMIZE FIRST TWO QUESTIONS]
     a. Did you witness more or less conflict in the community than today?
     b. Did you feel more or less motivated to contribute to Wikipedia than today?
     c. (cf. Q7a) Were you more or less active on Wikipedia compared to now? [ANCHOR]


12b. (Q7b) Why did you become less active on Wikipedia? Please choose all that apply.
Humans start counting with ONE -- answer[1]=more; answer[2]=less; answer[3]=same; -- which makes more the answer with the index number 1. But computers start counting at ZERO -- answer[0]=more; answer[1]=less; answer[2]=same; -- which makes less the answer with the index number 1. Basically ALL programming languages work in this way and possibly the survey software's markup language does so too. Maybe that's the bug's origin? -- Christallkeks (talk) 03:48, 31 October 2012 (UTC)Reply

I found this question extremely confusing. I imagine a large percentage of readers would miss the "relative to today" and answer the questions in the reverse sense to how they're actually meant. I'd say it's more natural to say "I participate less now than I did six months ago" than to say "I participated less six months ago than I do now". To say that I'm less active than I was, I had to select the "more" options, which were confusing. --AlexChurchill (talk) 12:30, 1 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

+1 for LordAmeth's point that half a year is a far too short time frame if you want to compare my acitivity to how it was in the past. --F30 (talk) 16:01, 1 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

Perhaps the software is reading these questions as incomplete sentences. I did until I realized what was meant is: Were you more active or were you less active... Did you witness more conflict or did you witness less conflict... Did you witness more or less conflict is an incomplete sentence (to me), and probably to a computer. Respectfully, Tiyang (talk) 17:04, 2 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

Isn't this a sledgehammer attacking a nut and missing? The problem seems one of grammar, as pointed out in the opening lines of this. Pseudo code for the original would run something like this:

IF "you are less active than six months ago" THEN "why?" ENDIF

A better version imo would be:

"Are you more active today than six months ago?". (Yes/No)

IF "yes" THEN "Why are you more active today than six months ago?" ENDIF
IF "no" THEN "Are you less active today than six months ago?"
IF "yes" THEN "Why are you less active than six months ago?" ENDIF
IF "no" THEN "Would you like to be more active today than six months ago?"
IF "yes" THEN "What can wiki do to help you be more active?" ENDIF

LookingGlass (talk) 11:36, 8 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

Just a minor point[edit]

You asked at the start of the survey which country the participant resides in but didn't include all countries in the drop down menu. For instance, I live in Bermuda and it's not there. If you include a drop down menu at the start of a survey that makes the participant feel unimportant or unnoticed they may not invest the time to complete it or think you don't want comments from people who reside in that country. Snowysusan (talk) 01:08, 31 October 2012 (UTC)Reply

Good point. Thanks for pointing this out. We've added an "other" option at the bottom to include countries not on the list - User: Beckien (talk)

Education level[edit]

Hello. When they ask your education level in the French version, that's verry confusing because they use the terms in France but French is spoken in many countries that have different education systems. There should be a way to adapt it to your country or just describe them in a less confusing way. -- 02:46, 31 October 2012 (UTC)Reply

Possible technical issues with the survey[edit]

I noticed two problems with the technical implementation of the survey.

  1. The last page of the survey is a fake exit screen; it shows no actual questions but rather just the "Thank you very much [...]" text. However, it does have a next (>>) button leading to the actual exit screen – the same text in smaller print. I think many editors would mistakenly leave the survey site before actually submitting their responses. Will these "99% complete" survey forms be counted as fully complete ones?
  2. I don't see an option to save the survey and continue it later, even though one is supposed to be there. Is there supposed to be some link users can bookmark? If there is, the instructions should mention it. PleaseStand (talk) 02:49, 31 October 2012 (UTC)Reply

Me, too! I came here from what looked like the 2nd to last page. I can't get back there to complete. I hope the time I spent on the survey wasn't wasted!

Quick response regarding 1. (exit screen, see also [3]): This unfortunately a technical limitation of the survey software (Qualtrics) that already occurred in the previous survey and which we haven't been able to circumvent, even with the help of their tech support. The survey is intended to be left at the translated exit screen, and these "99% complete" questionnaires will be counted fully, as the translated exit/thank you message promises. Regards, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 04:11, 31 October 2012 (UTC)Reply

Me, three! I finished the survey (I thought), opened new tabs to look at the pages (including this one) that were linked from there, read through the comments and noticed this one, added a couple of notes of my own, and returned to the survey's tab to close it. Only then did I notice the final forward arrow, and I probably wouldn't have noticed it if I hadn't read this comment. I then advanced one more page and received the notice that my responses had been processed. Mjflory (talk) 20:26, 31 October 2012 (UTC)Reply

I had the same kind of slight "panic" moment when, from the second-to-last survey page, I clicked on a link to this talk page (where we're at now). When I tried to go back in the browser to complete the survey, the browser warned that it would have to re-submit the data. Since I didn't want to double-submit and skew your data, I never went back to complete the survey. It's good that you're still getting the data; it's just more of a user-anxiety and confusion issue than anything. It might help to move the links from the second-to-last page to the "survey completed" page, though. Memetics (talk) 06:52, 10 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

Hi regarding #2, users can pause and continue the survey later as long as they don't close the browser. they can do other stuff and come back to it and their answers will still be there (it will never time-out or anything like that), but they won't be able to get back to the survey if they fully close it unless they email us and request another link since the banner only appears once for each user Beckien (talk) 04:01, 1 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

Sense error in question at 15%[edit]

"If you think back to half a year ago: "

"Were you more or less active on Wikipedia compared to now?".

I answered "Less", meaning that I was less active half a year ago. The next page asks,

"Why did you become less active on Wikipedia? Please choose all that apply. "

This is based on the opposite of my answer to the previous question; all the followup questions are based on becoming less active which I did not do. I think this is a showstopper error. There is no way for a user to know that the first answer is being recorded the way I clicked it, as a number, or as text (for "vote" validation), or if it is being recorded correctly, but interpreted incorrectly on all following pages.

As it is, this construction risks IMHO badly wrong raw data gathering. I'll cancel out and take the survey later, when the bugs are worked out.

  • I see above that it was noted as fixed at 02:02 - it was not, since I checked in after that.

--Lexein (talk) 02:53, 31 October 2012 (UTC)Reply

Thanks, we are looking into the reason why it's still not fixed yet. Regards, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 03:22, 31 October 2012 (UTC)Reply

Hi, just looked into this. Glad you caught it. It should work now. Beckien (talk) 06:40, 31 October 2012 (UTC)Reply

It is still the same. Or do I have to start over to get a fixed version? --Chricho (talk) 08:31, 31 October 2012 (UTC)Reply
See below -- I had the same problem at 11:15UTC.      Jim . . . . Jameslwoodward (talk to me) 11:31, 31 October 2012 (UTC)Reply

Took a second stab at fixing it. Worked in previews, so hoping this issue has been solved Beckien (talk) 03:31, 1 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

Still the same for me. --Chricho (talk) 12:17, 1 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

Country List[edit]

The country where I live (Bhutan) is not available for selection in the "Country where you live" question. If all countries can't be listed at least include an "Other" option.

Thanks for pointing this out--an 'other' option has been added to the countries list User: Beckien (talk)

The country where I live is there, but incredibly hard to find: normally 日本語 is alphabetised as 'nihongo', but 日本 and 日本語 appeared somewhere among the i's and j's, and even some of the i's do not begin with i (!) -- Bahasa Indonesia, for example starts with 'B'. Really a selection list that long is unfriendly; at least allow keyboard entry of the two-letter codes as an option.
Imaginatorium (talk) 11:06, 31 October 2012 (UTC) (Japan)Reply


There are 2 Norwegian language Wikipedias: norsk (nynorsk) and norsk (bokmål). On the lists for choosing language etc. I saw Bokmål twice and Nynorsk once. My preferred language is Nynorsk, but that choice wasn't an option. Please list BOTH of the Norwegian languages in these lists. Thank you.

This should be fixed now. Thanks for letting us know - User: Beckien (talk)

A few thoughts on the survey[edit]

1 - I felt uncomfortable answering the "Recruiting female editors" question. I fully support female editors, but I felt like any answer that I chose other than "yes" could be twisted into a dislike of female editors. I felt the issue was a non-issue, but selecting "Inappropriate subject for Wikipedia to be getting into" could be interpreted as a lot of things, depending upon the reader. I would have felt better with more information. Is there a shortage of female editors? Why is this question even being asked when anyone who wants to edit is free to register and edit? Is there something stopping female editors from joining and editing? I feel like I'm being asked my opinion on an argument I'm walking into with no background.

Hear hear!! Imaginatorium (talk) 11:08, 31 October 2012 (UTC)Reply

2 - There's not much for folks who read Wikipedia often, but don't edit. All the questions were about editing. I only step in when I see something wrong, stated badly or grammatically incorrect. It doesn't happen much - hence the amount of time I spend editing Wikipedia: Low. The amount of time I spend on Wikipedia: A lot!

There's my two bits.-- 07:37, 31 October 2012 (UTC)Reply

Interesting comments, thanks!
1. Gender gap and the links there might help to understand the background. Sorry that the question made you feel uncomfortable; having no opinion would have been a fine option as well.
2. Well yes, it's the "editors survey" ;) (The Wikimedia Foundation has also conducted a separate readers survey, which was advertised to all accessing Wikipedia, not just logged-in users as this survey.) That being said, it's useful to know how many people might log in mostly just to read, so your responses consist valuable information, too.
Regards, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 07:58, 31 October 2012 (UTC)Reply
The gender gap receives more attention than the age gap. The focus seems to be on recruiting students. Respectfully, Tiyang (talk) 11:34, 2 November 2012 (UTC)Reply
This sounds wierd to me. What's "the age gap" (other than the jnumber of years experience etc etc between two individuals)? Is this some sort of philosophy of equality rather than equivalence ie it's unfair that muscular people are stronger? It's something that is concerning me about this survey. Is wiki's aim to generate a Newspeak Encylcopedia or a bona fide resource of verifiable and substantiated knowledge?
I also can't get Tbayer's comment (sorry). Just because the survey is aimed at editors it is also open to and promoted for non-editors to complete as well as editors (who ARE often actually editors as the originator notes). As one of the apparent aims of the survey is to increase the ability of those who edit to do so, or of concerned readers to edit, then the comments about the inaccessibility of the survey to "non-editors" seem to me to be very well made. Or.... am I seeing now an indication in the survey of a messiah complex emerging in the Foundation? LookingGlass (talk) 11:54, 8 November 2012 (UTC)Reply
Age gap: I assume it's suggesting that the age distribution of editors on Wikipedia is incongruent with the age distribution of the population as a whole (same with the "female editors" question), and the idea is to try to get the editor population to be more representative of the general population. People do this in many organizations, especially public ones, as an attempt to improve equitable representation, increasing overall quality. Memetics (talk) 06:58, 10 November 2012 (UTC)Reply
Exactly Memetics, and at the same time that this drive has become accepted practice the rational for it seems to all but have vanished from sight. On what basis can it be argued that more closely matching demographic representation of editors (with..what?..readers?) results in an increase in the quality of information they produce?? If there are ten people: 9 men with no knowledge of the writings of Clare Duchemsky and 1 woman who is the world authority on them, do we think that the 9 men know more than the expert because there are more of them?? I strongly believe the 9 men should question the expert's conclusions, her methods, and her evidence, but I can't see knowledge as a numbers game. Change the sexes around in the example for an example of the distortions we create applying such a perspective. LookingGlass (talk) 09:34, 13 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

German Version: describe the other writers with one word[edit]

This question is logically incorrect and therefore personally offending. There are some who are friendly and some who are not. So which word am I supposed to take?

"Uns interessiert, wie du deine Mitautoren beschreiben würdest. Unten findest du eine Liste von Wörtern, mit denen man Wikipedia-Autoren beschreiben kann. Bitte suche genau ZWEI Wörter aus, die am besten zur Beschreibung der Wikipedia-Autoren geeignet sind. Bitte wähle zwei." --Thomas Ledl (talk) 08:45, 31 October 2012 (UTC)Reply

This was also discussed (with regard to the English version) in #Comments above. Basically, if half your fellow authors are helpful and the other half are arrogant, it's fine to pick "helpful" and "arrogant" as the top two terms for this answer, meaning that you find these the most useful among the given choices for the purpose of describing fellow editors. Like the rest of that section, this question comes from the previous surveys, and unfortunately we can not make significant changes to its wording without risking to lose consistency and the ability to compare results with last year's. Regards, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 14:57, 31 October 2012 (UTC)Reply
Tbayer, I appreciate the value of such comparisons, yet in some cases wouldn't it be better to discard a flawed question rather than draw possibly flawed conclusions from the comparison? Alternately, if comparison seems paramount, one could include both the same question as in the previous survey, and a revised/improved question (telling respondents that the intent is to improve the quality of the data, so they are willing to take the time), and then phase out the bad question. Just a thought. Memetics (talk) 07:03, 10 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

For me some essential criteria/fields-of-meaning are missing; that's the one of "bureaucracy"/"institutionalism" and "blockhead-ism".--Druseltal2005 (talk) 17:33, 16 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

Further areas of exploration for the next survey[edit]

Firstly, one comment:

Frankly, I know next to nothing about the Foundation and, while I'm sure it does some good work, my answers were more or less "don't know"......

Main concern:

I think that the survey needs to obtain opinions from editors regarding their feelings about persistant vandalism, unregistered editors being allowed to contribute, etc. I spend far too much time reverting vandalism and reporting vandals (half of whom seem to be high school "students"). bUt, as soon as some are blocked, more appear.

While in general "good faith" may be assumed, it is very clear that obscenity and nonsence are deliberately added. There's got to be some sort of "three strikes and you're out" (to use an American baseball term) whereby vandals are blocked far more quickly. 09:43, 31 October 2012 (UTC)Reply

  • A need to rework the AGF policy has been my concern as well. We don't have to assume good faith; what we need instead is to not assume bad faith. The quote I submitted to the survey:
  • We need to establish a better philosophy at Wikipedia. So far the AGF policy might look good, but it's unconvenient when it is applied to obvious spammers who have to get 3 warnings on their page before they're blocked - this is a waste of administrators effort. Similar applies to awkward attempts of established contributors to go yadda yadda I-think-you-did-it-in-good-faith for people who vandalise; there is a need for INDIVIDUAL ATTENTION to new editors instead of the wide-spread templates (ie warnings), so if they think that vandalise for a reason, it should be addressed lightly, in a human way and using discussion, rather than three kicks and a block. --Gryllida 10:53, 31 October 2012 (UTC)Reply
  • P.S. Yes, there is an option to input a text of one's liking ("what else could wikimedia foundation do to improve .." or something question text); it's not multiline but it's there and you can use it. --Gryllida 10:54, 31 October 2012 (UTC)Reply

Some people don't understand what "movement" means[edit]

Some people told me that they are confused by the terms "Wikimedia Foundation" and "Wikimedia Movement". It sounded to them like it should be the same thing and they didn't understand why does it have a different name.

I guess that the survey should explain somewhere what is the difference between the Foundation, the chapters and the movement. If it's impossible to fix it in the current survey, then it should be noted for the next one. --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 10:07, 31 October 2012 (UTC)Reply

Strongly agree with these comments. Taking part in the survey and now reading the comments here I have become very disquietened about the direction of this (and irritated at having responded to the request for donations). I saw my donation as supporting a Foundation for accesible quality knowledge, something strongly believe in, and not for a quasi-political movement which I have no belief in whatsoever. LookingGlass (talk) 11:59, 8 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

Lack of a generic feedback field.[edit]

Some Editors who are being surveyed probably have a long amount of text to contribute to explain what they think should be done to make Wikipedia better. However this survey lacks a generic multiline comments box. Adding it might be a good plan. --Gryllida 10:50, 31 October 2012 (UTC)Reply

I wish to second this comment:

For example, there are differences in rules between the German and the English/US-Amercan versions. I had uploaded the RADURA logo which was easily acceptable in German; however, in English it was marked as a propriaty logo of some company; but in fact it is without any restriction. I could not find any way to resolve this conflict. -- Dieter E (talk) 12:03, 31 October 2012 (UTC)Reply

I second the originator's comment. (not sure what the logo etc has to do with that though) LookingGlass (talk) 12:01, 8 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

Two problems[edit]

At one point in the survey it asks if I was editing more, the same, or less than some time ago (I don't remember the time span). I checked "more". The next page then asked me to check reasons why I was editing less.

Also, the survey constantly referred to "Wikipedia" and did not include Commons in its choice lists. I took this to mean that I was supposed to answer only with respect to my activity on Wikipedia. Since I am an active Admin and CU on Commons, and spend most of my WMF time there, my answers were very different from what they might have been if I had included both.      Jim . . . . Jameslwoodward (talk to me) 11:28, 31 October 2012 (UTC)Reply

Yes, the parts about editing experience are Wikipedia-specific, as it is clearly stated at the beginning of each section (e.g. "The next few questions are about your participation in Wikipedia.", see questionnaire). They should not be displayed if you click the banner on Commons instead of Wikipedia.
So your understanding was the right one. This is the first time that the editor survey includes a non-Wikipedia project; of course Commons-specific questions would be a good thing to have in the future.
Regards, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 14:35, 31 October 2012 (UTC)Reply

"Wikimedia Movement"[edit]

Do you mean Wikipedia, do you mean Wikipedia+Commons, or do you mean all projects hosted by WMF? I find these three possible interpretations fairly significantly different. \Mike 11:41, 31 October 2012 (UTC)Reply

See e.g. Wikimedia movement. It's indeed a quite general term, but all people who use it understand it to encompass all Wikimedia project, not just Wikipedia and or Commons. Regards, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 14:35, 31 October 2012 (UTC)Reply
In theory, yes. In theory it's supposed to be general, and not a PC term for "Wikipedia" In practice, I am ... uhm ... frustrated. \Mike 17:48, 31 October 2012 (UTC)Reply

Loading Time in china[edit]

It takes a lot of time to load these pages! They should have a server in Asia, especially in China. Arthur200000 (talk) 13:47, 31 October 2012 (UTC)Reply

這很難説是維基基金會的職責,你不能指望他們對中國的網絡自由或者中國的網速負責。Yanglifu90 (talk) 06:13, 1 November 2012 (UTC)Reply
It's not specific to China, as I reported below. Maybe their server is simply overloaded. Platonides (talk) 19:14, 3 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

Feedback on the survey questions[edit]

I just completed the survey. I would like to share a couple observations and a general comment.

  1. The question beginning "We are interested in finding out how you would describe fellow editors..." was really poor, and I did not answer it. I have been around for years and seen "all of the above." A lot of each. It is, after all, a very large community. Asking respondents to stereotype the community in this way does not strike me as particularly useful.
  2. Questions about my own on-wiki activity and experience were framed exclusively in terms of Wikipedia. 90% of my Wikimedia activity is at a sister project, so my responses only relate to 10% of my Wikimedia activity and experience. That 10% is distinctly different from my overall experience. (I am a very happy Wikimedia editor generally, but I find it excruciatingly difficult go get anything constructive done at Wikipedia in particular.)

In general, it seems to me that the way questions about community experience were framed is indicative of the some of the reasons the Foundation is finding it difficult to make headway on community issues. I do not envy those whose task it is to find top-down approachs to improving the health of the community. ~ Ningauble (talk) 14:21, 31 October 2012 (UTC)Reply

Superbly put imo Ningauble ! In a nutshell ! The problem with top-down versus bottom-up is as with any other dichotomy: it is only a tool of understanding, not the reality itself. Bottom-up has leadership just as top-down does just of a (very) diferent kind. Anarchy is chaos and human systems organise themselves in a universally predictable manner, with no silver bullet. The abrogation of responsibility by those in authority is simply disingenuous; a circular logic. These matters express themselves in the form that any bottom-up deelopment takes place. LookingGlass (talk) 12:12, 8 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

Two minor things[edit]

I've just done the survey.

  1. Wot, no sister projects? Again? Seriously. As an admin on Wikinews and a contributor to Commons and occasionally to Wiktionary, it's somewhat disappointing that the Foundation could have taken the lead here on being inclusive to sister project editors. I mean, it's not like we're asking for brand new features or money; just occasionally acknowledging our existence would be nice.
  2. "married" really ought to include "or in a civil union/partnership". Until countries like Britain actually have full marriage equality for same-sex partners, it's generally advisable for people creating surveys to bundle civil partnerships in with marriage.

Tom Morris (talk) 16:43, 31 October 2012 (UTC)Reply

Surprised about the sister projects, are you? But hey! We were actually mentioned in a question.... And after all, Wikimedia Foundation is doing a Wikipedia editor survey, so I shouldn't have been surprised. And it is my longstanding hypothesis that there will be done a "sisterproject editor survey" as soon as English Wikipedia is finished... \Mike 17:59, 31 October 2012 (UTC)Reply
Disappointed, not surprised. —Tom Morris (talk) 19:43, 31 October 2012 (UTC)Reply
Re 1.: " just occasionally acknowledging our existence would be nice" - I fear you overlooked question F2. ("How well do you believe the Foundation supports ... Wikimedia Commons? Other Wikimedia sites like Wiktionary, Wikiquote, etc.?") and missed your chance to express your opinion in a way that will be recorded in the survey's results ;)
True, a large part of the survey is still Wikipedia-specific, but at least give us some credit for this being the first survey in the series that also runs on a non-Wikipedia project.
Re 2.: OK, should be noted for next time (other commenters are pointing this out as well).
Regards, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 05:03, 1 November 2012 (UTC) (who had >70 edits on Commons in October ;)Reply
I did respond to question F2. But it'd be nice if the survey asked me how I feel about contributing to Wikimedia projects as a whole rather than the more limited question of how well I believe the Foundation is supporting the sister projects. —Tom Morris (talk) 01:05, 3 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

Users under 18 years old?[edit]

In the end there should be an option for users that is under 18 years old, so you know if they (we) are ten years old or 16. It makes a difference.

And the difference between even 14 and 16 matters more than the difference between 41 and 43. If it isn't going to be free-text, it would make sense to group people into (at least) 5-year cohorts, so there would be less scrolling.

Also, another thing about wikipedia is that I think many readers are afraid to edit because they think they mustn't or don't know they can do it. --Astridx (talk) 17:37, 31 October 2012 (UTC)Reply

You're right, some additional interesting data could have been obtained by asking for the precise age (in years) even when the respondent is 18 or younger. But that was omitted intentionally. Regards, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 20:13, 31 October 2012 (UTC)Reply
Does that mean that under 18s will be combined with those who decline to answer the question? Or is it a mandatory field and we are only accepting under 18s if they give us a false age? WereSpielChequers (talk) 21:44, 31 October 2012 (UTC)Reply
Neither. The drop-down box offers the answer options "≤ 18", the numbers 19 to 99, "> 99" and "Decline to state". (And like most questions, this one can also be skipped entirely.) Regards, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 05:30, 1 November 2012 (UTC)Reply
I agree : be 10 or be 17, it is not the same thing. --Pols12 (talk) 11:59, 3 November 2012 (UTC)Reply
The question is, of what value is the data? Is there a need for such fine granularity, or would the results be just as useful (and easier to read) if groupings of 5-10 years were used? Memetics (talk) 07:18, 10 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

Principal edit language[edit]

The survey first asks me to list my languages, and then to give my principal language. There it should present just the languages I gave in answer to the previous question, instead of asking me to find my principle language in a list of 200+ languages.

Muijz (talk) 19:59, 31 October 2012 (UTC)Reply

Agreed and the serach seemed harder than necessary somehow, with alphabetical lists appearing nested. Searching for Finland by entering "F" almost worked (from memory the entry was several entries north of the landing) but in any case the entry for Finland is shown as Suomi/Finland, but not searcheable by "S"... or maybe I was too confused byt then to figure what was going on. LookingGlass (talk) 12:16, 8 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

I got lost when I tried to return to a previous page.[edit]

A technical issue: I was unsure at one point if I'd answered as I'd intended on a previous page and I used the back-arrow to return to the page. I received a message that the page had expired. I tried to go forward and received the same message. Only when I went a few pages back in the history and then told Firefox (14.0.1, running on 64-bit Linux Mint 13) to reload the page did I get the message instructing me not to use the back arrow to navigate pages. I then was able to navigate using the survey's own arrows, but if I hadn't chanced upon the idea of reloading the page I would have bailed out. Mjflory (talk) 20:28, 31 October 2012 (UTC)Reply

Yes. Also, the link to this feedback page is placed twice: at the very end (100% completed), which makes sense, and in the second-last page, before completion, so clicking to come here before fully completing the survey brings up the same "no backspace" issue. It seems to me that placing this link once, when the survey is fully completed, would suffice and be less confusing. Divining Rod (talk) 03:27, 8 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

A non-technical point about time frames[edit]

It's been a busy month, and I haven't done a thing on Wikipedia for over 30 days. Often in survey research one uses multiple time frames, and I think that either repeating questions with other time frames (e.g. three months, a year) or allowing the respondent to choose a time frame (e.g. "once a month or more" / "several times a year" / "once a year or less") might catch some activity that's just missed this way. These are loose categories, but most people are very imprecise about elapsed time anyway; I honestly don't know when I made my first Wikipedia edit (it was before I had an account) and I just answered "2010" as a very rough guess, as I couldn't proceed after entering "unsure." Mjflory (talk) 20:28, 31 October 2012 (UTC)Reply

See the discussion above. In short, it is necessary to state a certain timeframe so that the results will be comparable (you're right that offering several such timeframes would be possible, but it would also require more time of the respondents, and we did not want the survey to take too long). I understand that you are concerned that the last month was not representative for your own Wikipedia activity, but the survey results will be based on an aggregate of responses from many editors, where such random effects will average out.
Regards, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 04:05, 2 November 2012 (UTC)Reply
Surely a less deterministic approach would give more meanigful data? Instead of the absolutism of: "the last 30 days" why not ask instead of: "in a typical month"? There are conflicts in the quasi-scientific approach that seems to have been adopted as it is predicated inevitably on what are inevitably the subjective interpretations of what is being asked and compromised with what respondents want to say. LookingGlass (talk) 12:24, 8 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

What do you mean by children?[edit]

The survey asks if I have children. Yes, I do though they are both adults. I'm guessing what you are really looking for is "Do you have children under 18?" or "Do you have minor children?". Kevink707 (talk) 22:43, 31 October 2012 (UTC)Reply

No, this and the preceding question ask about family relations and the term should be understood in the sense of wikt:child#Noun #1: "A daughter or son; an offspring", i.e. you should answer with yes. (The article en:Bill Clinton says that he has children, even though his daughter is an adult.) Regards, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 04:51, 1 November 2012 (UTC)Reply
Maybe something more like "...sons or daughters..." would be better. I too am of the opinion that a significant fraction of people are going to interpret that as "minor children" in the absence of the explanation/disambiguation you just provided.
I disagree with all the above concerns about "meaning". Think children - think KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid). The questionnaire simply asks "Do you have any children?" meaning "So you have any offspring?", but that doesn't mean "offspring" should be used instead, for example. Or (for the benefit of genealogists) "Do you have any issue?"! One's children are one's children, regardless of whether they're 5 or 15 or 55. Consider why it doesn't ask how many of them are still alive, or literate, or still in touch with their parent(s), etc ad infinitum. - 'Cos further info's not needed, of course! It asks just "Do you have any children?" so as to gain (one must presume) a very simple indication of the respondant's immediate social environment vis-a-vis familial relationships. This can be helpful, as for example people with children might edit less than average (preferring to put maximum effort into contributing to their own children's individual education), or might edit more than average (believing Wikipedia's influence on their own children to be significant and therefore needing to be honed and assisted by online editing). It's just a simple, useful question - no more, no less. Pete Hobbs (talk) 13:19, 12 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

I resented being asked all of the personal questions and do not accept that a "prefer not to comment" option could not have been attached to all of them. I don't care whether people know my gender, or family status, or age but I do dispute the relevance of that data to my answers. There is a quasi-political agenda here that naively I had not appreciated before. LookingGlass (talk) 12:28, 8 November 2012 (UTC)Reply


About the question if I am married or not, or just living with partners : a question like 'Are you married or in a civil union' would be better. For example, in France, many people are engaged in a civil union called PACS which is very close to the marriage and available for same-sex people. People who have registered a PACS are no longer considered single in terms of their marital status. Anyway, I think people who are in a civil union ticked 'married'... Tobovs (talk) 23:06, 31 October 2012 (UTC)Reply

Noted for next time, thanks. Regards, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 05:32, 1 November 2012 (UTC)Reply
Suggest adding PACS. I am married and will not answer yes to the question "Are you married or in a civil union?" Some of these questions seem to be for statistical purposes rather than Editing. Respectfully, Tiyang (talk) 11:55, 2 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

"If you had to choose..."[edit]

If you had to choose, which of these would you agree with:<br\>

The feedback from other editors through reverts, discussions, etc. has been a bad experience for me.<br\> The feedback from other editors through reverts, discussions, etc. has helped me become a better editor.

There is a "Neither" option but not "Both". Checkboxes instead of radio buttons could also work. Survey looks great—good work czar · · 00:51, 1 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

  1. +1 --Wikinade (talk) 11:01, 1 November 2012 (UTC)Reply
  2. Yes, I very much wanted to say "Both" here! --AlexChurchill (talk) 12:33, 1 November 2012 (UTC)Reply
  3. yes, I too have had both a lot of helpful encouragement and a few utterly stupid deletions happen. --unsigned by 2001:470:E107:2001:219:94FF:FE28:350F
Yes, I thought the same thing. Although I believe nearly every experienced editor would check "both", which would not provide useful information to Wikimedia. Perhaps questions soliciting more granularity on each of those:
  1. How has editor feedback helped make you a better editor?
  2. What can be done about bad experiences with other editors?
Something like that -- each with multiple choice or with an open-ended text box. Sparkie82 (talk) 16:09, 15 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

Clarify question scope, Wikimedia community, and provide more information[edit]

For the languages question, the survey needs to specify what "primary languages" means. How proficient do we have to be in a language in order for it to be considered "primary"? Do we have to be able to write an essay in that language, or does the question mean what primary language(s) we speak at home?

For the question that asks "Which language versions of Wikipedia do you CONTRIBUTE to," the survey needs to specify the "definition" of contribution. Do I contribute to another language Wikipedia if I add an image - or even if I only have a single edit in that Wikipedia?

For the parts of the survey that mention the Wikimedia community, the survey question needs to specify whether the Wikimedia community includes Wikipedia and all the sister projects, or just the community here in the Wikimedia wiki. Also, can the survey provide more information explaining some of the questions (on the actions of the Wikimedia Foundation) and defining some terms so that people will understand what the questions mean?

For one of the Foundation questions, an answer choice is "I don't know/It's complicated". These answer choices should not be grouped together into a single one because that will make this answer choice meaningless and hard to analyze.

Other than the issues mentioned above, I think the survey is pretty well constructed. OjdvQ9fNJWl (talk) 03:55, 1 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

+1. OjdvQ9fNJWl expressed design concerns that I share - and did so much more clearly and succinctly than I had stated them earlier. Memetics (talk) 07:25, 10 November 2012 (UTC)Reply


我查看的是簡體中文的調查頁面,應該有人來對翻譯工作進行校訂。Yanglifu90 (talk) 06:07, 1 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

You can make corrections to the (simplified) Chinese version here (click the links on the left to edit a particular translation unit). Regards, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 07:05, 1 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

+1,简体还存在部分繁体Lilidfgs (talk) 13:15, 11 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

Wikipedia vs. Wikimedia; budget[edit]

I had two problems with the survey. The minor one was asking us to break down a Foundation budget. I imagine you wanted quantitative priorities, but I couldn't help trying (and failing) to guess how much basic needs like equipment, administration, legal, and other unglamorous things would take. I'm hoping your methodology has a means to deal with not only the problems of these actual costs, but also your inability to know how much individuals would try to weight for perceived requirements versus desired priorities.
The major problem, however, was the impossibility of knowing whether your questions about "Wikipedia" were meant to be about "all Wikimedia projects". In every bit of correspondence within the Wikipedia community, and every Wikimedia event I've attended or read about, most participants assume that these two are the same thing. Those of us who work more on other projects like Wikiquote or Wiktionary eventually grow mental calluses that cause us to hear "Wikimedia" when asked about "Wikipedia", unless the question is specifically about encyclopedias. Therefore, unless you explicitly state "Wikipedia (not other Wikimedia projects)" (explicitly exclusive) or "all Wikimedia projects" (explicitly inclusive), your survey takers will be answering different questions depending on where they spend their wiki-time, skewing the results. This is an ongoing problem throughout the Wikimedia community, and the failure of a late-2012 survey to make the distinction just shows it's far from being addressed adequately. (Yeah, I'm being pedantic, but this has been said hundreds of times over the past decade, yet the sloppy terminology continues to this day. Perhaps you need several non-WP Wikimedians on your survey committee to do a formal copyedit of any future surveys to remove all traces of "whatever-you-think-we-mean-by-Wikipedia".) ~ Jeff Q (talk) 06:23, 1 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

It would have been really nice to have links to descriptions, examples, etc., regarding the list of budget options. Living in the UK (or perhaps it's just my idealism/naivety!), it hadn't occurred to me that WM required a large legal budget. Probably because of its prominence in the questionnaire, I allocated some of my budget to it. However, now having now done some research, and found this, I am wondering why we were ever asked about it. It seems to me that: 1, WM itself is generally protected by its status as a service provider, and its T+Cs; 2, any editors acting in good faith will be quoting other sources, and certainly won't be just making things up; and 3, any court case against WM itself, or against any editor acting in good faith, will attract enough publicity that there will be hundreds of lawyers offering their advice and services for free. Having said all that, however, my overwhelming feeling at this point is that this kind of survey is not the place for questions about budgeting decisions!
With regards to your main point: I'm afraid I have no experience of your Wikipedia vs. Wikimedia issue, but I agree that it seems ridiculous that any experienced contributors see them as the same thing. Is there not a recognised policy that can be easily referred to, like Wikipedia:NPOV for instance, so that authors can easily be inclusive or exclusive? Perhaps there is/should be a standard phrase, to be used in introductions to things like this survey, that succinctly states the differences, and draws attention to the fact that the authors know the difference, and use the terms correctly... and perhaps it was time the reader did too! Laned130 (talk) 22:47, 1 November 2012 (UTC)Reply
Regarding the difficulty of quantifying priorities, this part is being discussed above. --Chealer (talk) 04:09, 2 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

Cross-site scripting.[edit]

A note before the survey begins that akamai.net must be allowed to run scripts would be appreciated - that way form data doesn't have to be resent when for instance the language selector doesn't work when one allows XSS. -- Jeandré, 2012-11-01t10:51z

Agreed. The language selector widget wouldn't work for me in Firefox with NoScript running, and if I'd known which sites needed exceptions, I wouldn't have had to restart the survey in Chrome. Memetics (talk) 07:58, 10 November 2012 (UTC)Reply


Hier ist die Möglichkeit für Administratoren, nach der Umfrage, ein Feedback zu geben:

Mein persönliches Feedback: Wieso, sollte man manche Punkte immer und immer wieder Beantworten müssen, wenn man in einem 30Tage Rhythmus diese Umfrage als evtl. Pflichtteil der Community ansieht, um so die Community zusammenzuhalten oder Hinterfragungen oder Feedback´s zu bekommen, womit man sich hier gleich darüber auch näher dazu Äußern kann und die Problematiken nachlesen oder erfassen kann, was innerhalb der Community abgeht? Somit nicht nur durch die Umfrage auf manche Punkte aufmerksam gemacht wird. Denn Erfahrung kann man durch erleben, lesen oder hören bekommen...

Denn es sind ja alle angesprochenen Punkte evtl. wichtig(zumindest wenn ich die Überschriften lese, aber zu Lesefaul grad bin auf alle Punkte einzugehen ;) )

Foundation activities: automatic responses?[edit]

There are a few questions about Foundation activities in groups of 3, generally of the form(s) of: did you know, should we be doing, and how well are we doing it. Doesn't it make sense that if the survey taker didn't know the Foundation did X the answer would be that the taker doesn't know how well the Foundation is doing X?

Arrogant editors[edit]

Thank you for touching on the subject of arrogant editors. I would like to be more involved in Wikipedia, but I don't have the time to waste when some guy in his 20s (without, I'm guessing, full-time employment or a significant other) is watching and waiting to instantly delete my work, and to threaten me if I try to redo it.

Too many Wikipedia editors have a hostile attitude of ownership when it comes to particular articles or topics; too many of them have little or no respect for scholarship; too many of them are contemptuous of female contributors; too many of them seem to be devoted to a faith in the things they think they know.

The articles on Mormonism, to give one example, are guarded jealously. There is no section in the article on "Mormonism" that addresses real and specific reasons that Christians don't regard Mormonism as a part of Christianity. Instead we get, "According to Bruce McConkie, a general authority of the LDS Church, "Mormonism is indistinguishable from Christianity."[44] In many ways, however, the religion differs from Christian orthodoxy as held by Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant Christianity. To those for whom Christianity is defined by that orthodoxy, Mormonism's differences place it outside the umbrella of Christianity altogether.[45][46]" That's it.

Well, yeah: Mormonism was founded by a convicted con man who was repeatedly tripped up by misreading the Egyptian Book of the Dead and the Greek psalter as different "scriptures", to name just two egregious bloopers; is polytheistic (generally a deal-killer if you want to claim to be a part of a monotheistic religion); and believes that every good Mormon man will eventually become a god with his own planet and harem (see previous comment).

No, I wouldn't expect those particular words to be acceptable, although the facts they present should be. But it doesn't matter how criticisms are phrased: They are not permitted. It doesn't matter what scholarship is presented: It is instantly excised. Any attempt to correct errors, to provide another point of view, is immediately deleted, and its author threatened. Since when is Wikipedia intended to promote particular religions? Why is a self-appointed group of returned missionaries allowed to control the content of these pages?

That's one example; I know people who have given up because of other sets of controlling editors. Wikipedia really needs to find a way to open things up to a wider group of people, particularly women and educated adults.

In the meantime, I restrict myself to fixing egregious errors in spelling and grammar, and to clarifying confusing phrasing. (See preceding paragraph concerning educated adults.)

By the way, I was logged in when I got to this page, but when I tried to log in again, I was told that my account doesn't exist. Meanwhile, I'm shown as logged in on other pages. But that's another issue!

~~ RossweisseSTL

I agree that WM should be trying to increase their editor base, and encourage more women. However, it seems to me that: 1, your description of the editor(s) implies a small amount of arrogance of your own, or at least a the potential for future prejudice based on past experiences; and 2, 'arrogant editors' and 'religiously fanatical editors' are not the same thing, and any discussions and examples of each should be kept separate. Being atheist, I'm afraid my feeling is not "too many [editors] seem to be devoted to a faith in the things they think they know" but rather "too many people seem to be devoted to a faith"! Regardless, here was not the place to bring your long-winded and irrelevant religious dispute. Laned130 (talk) 23:23, 1 November 2012 (UTC)Reply
Sorry, but it's born of long frustration - and it was just one example of the issues presented by Wikipedia's current base of editors. Feel free to ignore my specific example; the problem is demonstrable, and remains. Tell me, Laned130, why should non-fanatics waste our time when our contributions will just be deleted by the self-appointed elite? It doesn't matter whether they're dedicated to a faith (such as atheism), or a view of history, or anything else. Their iron grip on certain articles needs to be pried off, or Wikipedia will never approach its potential.

~~ RossweisseSTL

For the WP and truthfulness it is not important what you are or what I am, religious, fanatic, atheist or all that, but it is most important to be NPOV, neutral and objective. There must be a distance to the Lemma for example Mormon. It is not important to increase the count of authors but it is most important that everybody can be an editor in the WP. The written facts and sentences are the point. -- 13:56, 4 November 2012 (UTC)Reply
Forget the religious aspect, and focus on my point, please. When anonymous gatekeepers get to rule, with zero accountability, on what the facts are, you've eliminated a large part of what makes Wikipedia valuable. Wikipedia needs to reform its system and eliminate that "ownership." Not everybody can, in reality, be an editor while this shadowy self-appointed clique wields so much unsupervised power.

Perhaps because of the passionate way they have been written, the comments of RossweisseSTL above do not seem to me to have been addressed, much less answered. There are issues that arise with certain pages and that appear impossible to correct ie to form the article into one with an NPOV. They are not limited to religious entries (though these are problematic) but also occur with "scientific" articles. I have no idea (despite years of editing and using wiki) of how the "community" here works, in matters of preventing continual and contentious reverts for instance. Articles are deleted or merged often with weak or misguided rational. The powers-that-be, in my experience of them, exist in the shadows. Who does these things and why do they do them? I strongly believe there are countless authors out there who would happily contribute to wiki but are suspicious of it generally. Only greater transparency in its governance will put these fears aside and avoid the inevitable corruption that a lack of transparency brings. LookingGlass (talk) 12:42, 8 November 2012 (UTC)Reply
Thank you, LookingGlass. I'm sorry about the passion (and about using a religious example instead of, say, opera - although, come to think of it...), but the self-appointed ownership of pages and topics is a major problem for Wikipedia and its future. I now tend to restrict myself to making corrections to grammar - and I no longer trust Wikipedia when it comes to any topic where factual accuracy and inclusivity are imperative.
This bears repeating: "Only greater transparency in its governance will put these fears aside and avoid the inevitable corruption that a lack of transparency brings." Wikipedia, please add some openness and accountability to your system.


I own an Android device not an "Android". Android is a mobile OS, not a device. Also swap Blackberry with Windows Phone or better yet, get rid of the examples altogether. Smartphone isn't a difficult concept to grasp for most folk. Marcus Qwertyus (talk) 22:23, 1 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

Especially not for their owners. It seemed odd to have that question on a separate page, and odd to have mobile phone included as a lot of models in circulation either have no internet access of any note or are not used by their owners to access the internet (for a variety of reasons). Why not simply ask the question: "What do you access wiki on, and what would you like to be able to access wiki on?" LookingGlass (talk) 12:45, 8 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

Writing (and editing) for the audience?[edit]

Suspect I'm kind of an odd man out, but... I've been a professional technical editor for many years now, and I felt that the survey kind of missed an important aspect. Who are you writing for? I definitely have to adapt what I am writing based on the audience and the purposes that they bring to it. The survey could have started with some consideration of how I use Wikipedia, though I think it would make more sense to begin with a survey of how the audience is using Wikipedia and ask the editors whether or not they are aware of what the audience is doing. Just to start the ball rolling I'll say that I have two very frequent usages of Wikipedia, and I'm pretty sure one is unusual. The usual one is looking for background information on some topic (often a person) that I've encountered. The unusual one is crossing between my two languages, which basically means using my strong English to support my weak Japanese. For that reason, one of my high priorities would be a display (and editing) mode to compare two versions of Wikipedia with colorized highlighting for similar passages or words (depending on a granularity slider). Shanen (talk) 02:47, 2 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

Well, this survey was indeed specifically aimed at editors, not readers. (The Wikimedia Foundation has also conducted a *reader* survey.) Asking editors how they imagine the needs of Wikipedia readers might be an idea for a future editor survey, though.
"mode to compare two versions of Wikipedia" - you may be interested in http://www.manypedia.com/ .
Regards, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 03:39, 2 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

Isn't the issue: whi is Wiki for? In the same manner as NPOV governs editors I had imaged there was an accessibility criteria ie that articles should be for the general public first and for specialist technical audiences second (if at all). In this schema the articles would start with descriptions of the subject matter that are generally comprehensible and then devlop technical detail. LookingGlass (talk) 12:48, 8 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

Re: "If you think back to half a year ago"[edit]

This options on this question seem to lack a follow-up that (in my opinion) renders the results useless without it. Especially the "Were you more or less active on Wikipedia compared to now?". I assume the researchers will link this to wat the foundation has done last year and whether people became more or less active. But there can be any number of reasons (work, study, other online activities, personal health, you name it..). –Krinkletalk 03:15, 2 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

Many of such reasons are offered in the subsequent question 12b (e.g. "a. I don’t have time. ... c. I spend more time on other offline activities like reading, spending time with my family and friends etc. ... n. I spend more time on school and/or academic work. ")
The follow-up question 12b is only displayed (or should be, we had some problems with the survey software, see above) to respondents who say that they are now contributing less than half a year ago.
Regards, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 03:45, 2 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

Survey design[edit]

I found the survey very very hard to use. The difficulties fell into two categories.

Firstly, I have never contributed to Wikipedia. My only related activity is contributing to Wiktionary, and that only for a few months. It seemed to me that I shouldn't have been surveyed, but I guessed that 'Wikipedia' was being used generically to include the likes of Wiktionary, so I went ahead on that basis, though I took any opportunities that appeared to stress my ignorance.

Secondly, I found the survey very hard to use and could write a very long essay on the problems I faced, but I would much rather spend my time contributing to Wiktionary. Perhaps my difficulty stems from having retired from the computing field nearly 10 years ago (after 30 years as a systems engineer with IBM, and 20 years teaching about computing at a university).

Your comment seems to me to sum up many deep issues that surfaced for me through the survey. To me that you are precisely the sort of editor that wiki should be encouraging. The survey bagan in a confused manner and continued from there and it is beginning to seem that the Foundation is less interested in quality than quantity, both in the articles themselves and in the editorial base. I have noticed over the last few weeks that I have started to find better quality information on other online encyclopedias, even though these are perhaps less comprehensive. I find that sad and unecessary. LookingGlass (talk) 12:54, 8 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

keuze van land en taal is omslachtig[edit]

keuzelijst staat niet echt alfabetisch en keuze met eerste letters typen is niet mogelijk

Translated (from Dutch): the choice of country and language is cumbersome: the list is not in alphabetical order and finding the right language by typing the first few letters is not possible. (i agree :). Husky (talk) 19:52, 2 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

Odd set of possible responses; going back 6 months[edit]

The set of possible responses in question 16b ("Thinking about the last time you asked a fellow editor for help") seem problematic enough that I think they should be changed whether or not they were like this in earlier versions of the Editor Survey as was mentioned earlier on this page. "Extremely happy" and "very happy" seem almost like synonyms in this context, especially since there is no possible response of "somewhat happy" or just "happy" (ditto for the "unhappy" set of responses). When got to this question, I would have selected "(somewhat) unhappy" but not "very unhappy", and so I just wound up selecting the "neither" option.

In question 12a ("If you think back at half a year ago") it seems that six months is too short a time frame, at least for me. I usually edit small things of no real import, but once in awhile, I try to do something more significant, and this is when I find myself interacting with other editors. But it doesn't happen often enough with me to be able to make a comparison within the span of only six months. S. Neuman (talk) 19:40, 2 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

Suggestions for improvement[edit]

A few things:

  • Boy, this survey is long. I wonder how many people quit mid-way. Try to minimize the questions.
  • The interface is pretty cumbersome. Why can't i search for a language i speak? Why should i re-enter the year i started editing on Wikipedia? Have someone do the survey beforehand, let them speak out loud what they're doing and use that as a reference for improvements
  • Lots of questions about the WMF, but very little specific to chapters.
  • Please allow me to get direct results for the survey by entering an e-mail adress. I'm not going to check the blog every other week :)
  • A general 'is there anything you would like to say that wasn't mentioned in this survey' would be nice.
  • General comments should not be done on a meta talk page because it supposes people know about the wiki syntax. Simply have a form for people to enter comments, and maybe add them automatically to this wiki page.

Husky (talk) 19:56, 2 November 2012 (UTC)Reply


Ich empfand alle Fragen als wichtig. Allerdings fand ich, dass es zu wenig Fragen zum Thema der Arbeit und besonders der Förderung von AutorINen sowie dem Anwerben von NeuautorINen und der Kommunikation innerhalb Wikipedias, waren. Unverständlich war mir das "Abwerben", von wo und wen? -- 21:35, 2 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

It's absolutely true that there are many more interesting and important questions which were not asked in this survey. But the space (or rather, the time that we can ask of respondents to spend on the questionnaire) is limited.
What do you mean by "Abwerben"? I don't see the term used in the German version of the questionnaire.
Regards, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 04:05, 3 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

Technical problem: Double 5 on “0 to 10” scale[edit]

There is one question (I think “Would you recommend Wikipedia as a hobby?” or something) with a fancy slider interface to choose on a “0 to 10” scale (i.e. not a series of radio buttons). On this scale, there is a double 5: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. --Chirlu (talk) 23:42, 2 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

Thanks, should be fixed now. (It should not invalidate the data, as the selected number was correctly displayed on the right. but it certainly looked a bit awkward ;) BTW, we switched to this slider design because an other, simpler one offered by Qualtrics caused problems in RTL languages.
Regards, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 01:14, 3 November 2012 (UTC)Reply


The survey tried to pop-up a box, of course this was stopped by my browser. Don't use pop-ups, certainly don't trigger them before a redirect so there is no option to "allow" if one should want to. Rich Farmbrough 05:10 3 November 2012 (GMT).

Lost the survey[edit]

I tried to complete the survey but lost my browser on a reboot. Can I get the link so I can start again please. Kerry Raymond (talk) 05:26, 3 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

Some slightly deeper queries[edit]

Asking questions about motherhood and apple-pie don't really help. For example, increasing the percentage of female editors, yes it's a generally laudable aim. But there's a lot more to it than that - we can fix the numbers, for example, by blocking 4/5 of male editors. Or by paying female editors (if we had enough cash). Neither of these would be good solutions.

So then we are left with the two clichés, WYSIWIG editor and a "nicer" community environment. But do we have hard evidence that these will increase female editorship? (Meanwhile they are good things to have, at least.) Where is the hard research on what actually "prevents" female editing - or what "encourages" male editing that doesn't apply so much to females?

The same applies to "global south" editing - the idea that there is some small step that will enable these groups to edit is making sweeping assumptions that they want to edit, and that they want to edit in certain languages.

Rich Farmbrough 05:27 3 November 2012 (GMT).

To me the demographic concerns are irrelevant in an encyclopedia but bias is central. The idea of some form of positive discrimination in technical authorship seems to me like Alice Through The Looking Glass. Wiki is a voluntary endeavour (for the most part, I think..) It's not a real part of society ie you contribute by your engagement with research with the only impediment being access to the technology. A social-engineering project on knowledge and information seems Orwellian. LookingGlass (talk) 13:01, 8 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

A question of pots[edit]

When asking about funds for technical developments for advanced editors/basic editors/readers a false trichotomy is set up. I want, for example, features that allow me to write smarter templates, that provide features for basic editor, that in turn provide better content for readers. Rich Farmbrough 05:27 3 November 2012 (GMT).

Is transsexual a gender ?[edit]

We can choose between Male, Female or Transsexual for example. But transsexual is not a gender, isn't it ? I have been choked. --Pols12 (talk) 12:05, 3 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

As strangely it might sound, some people don't feel they are a man or a woman, but both, none or something else. Check the Wkipedia articles, there are several variants of the phenomena. Good luck! --NaBUru38 (talk) 18:43, 3 November 2012 (UTC)Reply
  • It should say "Other" as happens at plus.google.com (registration)
  • I would agree with "Other". Though few would self-identify as inter-sex, MTF or FTM transsexual, there are many that would prefer not to be forced to identify as any of these or Male or Female. You may want to raise the topic on lgbt(_AT_)lists.wikimedia.org for further feedback. Thanks -- (talk) 07:08, 5 November 2012 (UTC)Reply
I like "Other". Also: "Prefer not to identify" would be a reasonable option (and quite different, at least in connotation from "prefer not to say". Groupuscule (talk) 09:43, 6 November 2012 (UTC)Reply
'Other' seems like a good option to me assuming that people don't want to spell out some of the other options out there like 'genderqueer' or 'intersex' or 'two spirit'. I think another problem is that 'male' and 'female' aren't genders, they are sexes. If we want to know gender we should be talking about 'man' and 'woman'. Also I'm only new so I don't really know if it's appropriate to get rid of the comment below by PorteBidet, but that is super offensive and unfriendly. Angelbird72 (talk) 08:51, 11 November 2012 (UTC)Reply
Thanks for pointing the offensive comment out Anglebird72, I have redacted it. If someone does become offensive on LGBT issues (not uncommon I'm afraid) then it may be worth asking for action to be considered at m:Requests for help from a sysop or bureaucrat rather than being tempted to repeatedly revert something that is likely to be deliberate trolling. Cheers -- (talk) 09:05, 11 November 2012 (UTC)Reply
The user insisted, so I blocked him for two weeks; please do warn me on my talk or other users at WM:RFH if he continues. Thanks, Nemo 17:46, 12 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

survey problems[edit]

Many times taking this survey I clicked the send (Next) bottom only to have nothing happen at all. I had to click twice or the Enter key on the computer, which resulted in a message that i cannot do that. I'd answer the questions again and clicking on Next would work -- until a few questions later. The questions were fine, but the mechanism was rather poor.

A few issues[edit]

  • The survey tries to load [4]. This is wrong for a couple of reasons:
    • It is loaded through http, weakening the security of the https page.
    • That file no longer exists.
  • In the country lists, "Ecudador (ec)" should have been "Ecuador"
  • What's the point of sorting the languages? (you can move them up and down)
  • Where it asks if you have a mobile phone I think it should differenciate between "dumb" ones (with no access to the internet at all) and smartphones (quite powerful for contributing to the projects).
  • What does "I regularly interact with the WMF" mean?
  • "I am not sure" should be the option in the middle. Otherwise the radios are unbalanced.
  • The Spanish text "También defiende contenido de licencia gratuita y de dominio público. " is clearly a wrong translation. It should say "de licencia libre"
  • It takes between 3 and 4 seconds to load each new page. It wouldn't be so much an annoyance if they were just a few screens. As there are 23 screens, that's too much waiting.
  • The last screen (the thank-you one) resulted in a blank page, showed after reloading.

Platonides (talk) 19:13, 3 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

Thanks for these points.
  • The Spanish translation and the typo in "Ecuador" were fixed a few hours after your comment.
  • The 404/HTTPS issue - which, it should be pointed out, is unlikely to have impacted the experience of most users - was fixed a few days later (we had to ask Qualtrics to do that), by replacing [5] with [6]. Because this concerned the general skin used for all WMF surveys on that platform, we should replace it further with a version of this image that is stable across MediaWiki revisions, so that the issue doesn't return in the future. Does someone know a stable URL for that image?
  • Agree about the important distinction between smartphones and "dumb" mobile phones, but there was a follow-up question (only for those respondents stating they had a mobile phone) asking more specifically about smartphones.
  • We'll mention the loading speed issues to Qualtrics.
Regards, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 19:42, 20 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

Question 19[edit]

Question 19 is "19. If you had to name one thing that motivates you most to contribute to Wikipedia, what would it be?" The field is freeform. However when I put in text I get an error "Please enter a valid number (0, 1, 2, 3, ...)". John Vandenberg (talk) 09:11, 4 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

argh. The error was about question 20. Very confusing. I had a blank value for 'Minutes'. I put in 0 and all is well. John Vandenberg (talk) 13:26, 4 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

No opinion[edit]

More than once I was confronted with a question I didn't care about or had no opinion on, but I wasn't able to express this or skip the question. Also I would have welcomed a section where I could have given additional comments or explanations.--Ykraps (talk) 12:04, 4 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

Same here - the survey should tell participants which questions are optional and which ones are not. Just my $.02 Ottawahitech (talk) 15:54, 4 November 2012 (UTC)Reply
I don't agree. I mean, it's the WMF we are talking about. Even if such a field existed and they hired someone to read and analyze all our comments, they would ignore them anyway afterwards :) --Elitre (talk) 14:28, 5 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

Survey length[edit]

FYI, there's a discussion over at the English Wikipedia about the length of the survey. Mabeenot (talk) 17:38, 4 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

Chrome on Android crashing[edit]

I have twice encountered a Google Chrome on Android crash while doing the language selector. John Vandenberg (talk) 12:04, 5 November 2012 (UTC)Reply


Non sono riuscita a capire la domanda R3. Community Advocacy, e non credo che dipenda dall'uso della parola "revisori". Ho risposto comunque in modo distorto a tutte le domande che contenevano quella parola, anche se potevo immaginare che volesse riferirsi a chi edita. Nella sezione "priorities", l'ordine delle risposte è a mio avviso insensato, con la 3 che avrebbe dovuto essere al posto della 1 e viceversa. --Elitre (talk) 12:38, 5 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

Segnalo di essermi inoltre accorta che per qualche motivo non mi erano state proposte diverse sezioni. Poiché non aveva salvato il risultato, ho dovuto ricominciare daccapo. Ho disabilitato l'ad-blocker per sicurezza. --Elitre (talk) 13:54, 5 November 2012 (UTC)Reply
Segnalo problemi di traduzione
  • in SEZIONE V: WIKIMEDIA FOUNDATION "LA FONDAZIONE:La Fondazione Wikimedia supporta un gruppo di siti, tra cui Wikipedia e Wikipedia Commons", va corretto "Wikipedia Commons" con "Wikimedia Commons"
  • mentre alla pagina prima, alla SEZIONE IV, correggere "Wikipidia" con "Wikipedia"
  • Rivedere il soggetto: a volte si usa il "lei" a volte il "tu".
Segnalo anche che il non poter salvare il questionario e tornarci in un secondo tempo mi stava per spingere ad abbandonarlo.-- 14:16, 5 November 2012 (UTC)Reply
Ok, io ci lascio perdere. E' la seconda volta che lo salvo ma se ci ritorno su mi invita a ricominciarlo. --Elitre (talk) 14:26, 5 November 2012 (UTC)Reply
You are very welcome to improve the translation here - I already fixed the two typos pointed out above. Or in particular here for R3. What translation would you suggest instead for "editors" as opposed to "readers"? Elsewhere "utenti" is used, but I understand that like "user" in English, it doesn't emphasize the aspect of active participation. Regards, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 14:46, 5 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

Thank you[edit]

Thank you for the survey, I could finally pour out my soul of all the concerns I have for Wikipedia which made me quit editing after 3 years of fruitful editing. Thank you once more, it's been a pleasure to help you all for so many years. Kubek15T C 17:55, 5 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

Lots of blah blah blah About the survey but how do I actually Do it?[edit]

Where is the actual survey itself? I see it closes at the end of November but I'm going around and around and around in circles trying to find the actual "This is the Wikipedia Editor Survey 2012, please answer these quations" page. You smack us in the eyes with huge fugly banners for some stuff but the existence of this survey seems to be a secret outside of a few discussion pages such as this one. Dodger67 (talk) 17:58, 5 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

See "How can I take the survey?" in the Q&A. Regards, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 19:16, 5 November 2012 (UTC)Reply
I tried these instructions on the english WP. It fails. The result is "This user has not specified a valid e-mail address" for User:Editor_survey. In my case, I was logged into a Kindle Fire when I got the notification, which said I can "resume at any time" or some such. I realized that it would take forever on a tablet computer, so I logged off and went to a desktop. Now I cannot figure out how to start or resume. -Arch dude (talk) 10:59, 6 November 2012 (UTC)Reply
Thanks, emailing the "Editor survey" user should work now on en:, I tested it from two different accounts on. (The email address had been specified right when the account was created here on Meta, but did not propagate to en: for some weird reason, probably related to bugzilla:39996). Regards, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 13:23, 6 November 2012 (UTC)Reply
Thanks. e-mail sent. What happens next? -Arch dude (talk) 14:05, 6 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

Missing options for other/ don't know/ prefer not to say & Wikipedia movement[edit]

1, I was always taught that when designing surveys every question (bar name address etc. if relevant) should have an option for other/ don't know or prefer not to say as appropriate to the question. Accordingly I nearly had to discard the entire survey due to the lack of a don't know option on the budget question (I don't feel I know enough about the foundation to give an answer). Sorry but to me its a very basic requirement, otherwise you are left with 2 options 1, bin it, or 2, lie neither of which I feel are useful.

2, I'm not sure how useful the answers related to 'Wikipedia movement' are going to be as its very open to interpretation and the survey gives no definition on which to base your thoughts. --Wintonian (talk) 20:26, 5 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

Actually, as noted in the Q&A, almost all question can be skipped (this could perhaps be noted in the introductory screen more clearly, but the results of the past survey had indicated that many respondents were aware of this possibility). The budget question is unfortunately among the very few exceptions, because of limitations of the survey software; even their tech support wasn't able to offer a solution. In hindsight, we should probably just have removed the consistency check on that one (that the given numbers add up to $100) and instead discard invalid replies later.
Regards, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 21:02, 5 November 2012 (UTC)Reply
On the $100 question, you could add a "None of the above" box and an "I'm not sure" box; putting your $100 in the "I'm not sure" box would satisfy the consistency check. Also, I, too, was not aware that questions could be skipped, but for consistency and clarity, having some kind of "no answer" option wherever possible would likely result in better data and a better survey-user experience. Memetics (talk) 08:25, 10 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

No new translations?[edit]

I was asked to investigate setting up a new translation for Indonesian, as it is supported by Qualtrics.

I am not familiar with the new translation system (the "+" to start a new translation is missing), but I found that if I go to Research:Wikipedia_Editor_Survey_August_2012/Questions/id I get the following helpful instructions embedded in an error page:

"You do not have permission to create pages, for the following reason:
This page cannot be updated manually. This page is a translation of page Research:Wikipedia Editor Survey August 2012/Questions and the translation can be updated using the translation tool."

When I follow that page, I am confronted with

"This page cannot be translated to Indonesian.
A translation administrator decided that this page can only be translated to Arabic, German, German (formal address), Spanish, French, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Dutch, Polish, Portuguese, Brazilian Portuguese, Russian, Swedish, Ukrainian and Chinese.

Reason: survey has launched, see also https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Research:Wikipedia_Editor_Survey_2012/Questions#NOTICE_ABOUT_TRANSLATIONS"

However that notice does not explain why translations can not be added while the survey is in progress. Of course new translations couldnt be offered until the translation is completed and marked Ready. Is it impossible to add content in a new language into Qualtrics after the survey has been launched? John Vandenberg (talk) 04:16, 6 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

Hi John,
OK, the explanation "survey has launched" was perhaps a bit brief. The main reason of disabling new translations yesterday was that the time is getting rather short to complete and review them before the survey ends, and we don't want translators to waste their time. Also, even if a translation completes and is reviewed before the survey ends, we want the ratio of active editors in a certain language (...Wikipedia) to respondents in that language not to vary too widely. (Ideally it would be the same across all languages, but that's of course unrealistic.) So that's a good reason not to launch a language too shortly before the survey is switched off. Technically though, adding new translations during the survey is certainly possible and we are doing it (and thanks to the script for automatic import that we have now, it's also much more feasible time-wise than for the last surveys: instead of someone copying and pasting them by hand, I just need to wait a few minutes for the bot to read out the ~270 translation units,and then Beckie uploads the resulting XML file containing the translated questionnaire into the live survey).
In short, I would be very happy to be able to offer the survey in Indonesian, and if you are confident that you can provide a reviewed translation within a day or so, I'm fine with adding it then. I have reenabled translations for id and you can start it here. Just be aware of the short timeframe. Thanks!
Regards, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 05:29, 6 November 2012 (UTC)Reply
It is finished!! ;-) Thanks Tilman. John Vandenberg (talk) 05:29, 7 November 2012 (UTC)Reply
Great, thanks! I have already exported it and it should be live soon, after which we will activate the banner invitation for Indonesian. Regards, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 16:40, 7 November 2012 (UTC)Reply
I've tested the banner works. Terima kasih! I would appreciate an answer to the question immediately below, as we could organise translations for other important language communities if we know that the translation effort wont be wasted. i.e. translation not deployed or deployed just before the survey is concluded. Of the most used Wikipedia languages that are missing: Turkish Wikipedia is 12th; Czech is 15th (Indonesian is 16th); Finnish Korean Thai are the next ones with Ukrainian rounding out the top 20 according to [7]. I think it is feasible to organise a few of those within a few days. Could the survey run a bit longer on those projects? John Vandenberg (talk) 00:51, 8 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

Survey end[edit]

Research:Wikipedia Editor Survey 2012#When, and how often will the survey be conducted? currently says "It is planned to run this survey from late October, for about 5-10 days depending on the response rate on each language project." When will the survey end? John Vandenberg (talk) 11:28, 6 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

I hadn't noticed this and it seems to me to be a sad reflection on the Foundation's perception of Wiki. Do "ordinary" editors edit weekly? Are the only editors of concern those that do? What is the rational for the time to be so short? Seems odd at first sight and maybe the reason I have felt so exluded over the years. I may spend two weeks when I seem to do nothing but research (and therefore edit wiki). There may then be several weeks when I do not visit at all... LookingGlass (talk) 10:44, 8 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

Job choices[edit]

hi, i see that there are >4 choices of gender (which is ok), but only 2.5 for jobs... full employed, part employed, not working.

I am a freelancer since more than 10 Years now and i am not employed at a company not in part or full-time. I am my own company and i am self employed as many in "the new media". The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) 2012-11-06T13:36:33‎ (UTC)

I had the same issue. The self-employed, retired, and what about peole like carers, those whose work is family and home? Why don't these people count?? Actually I'm not at all sure that I liked much of the "statistical demographic" stuff in the survey. It felt at best very 60's/70's. If the observations made then on social integration and racial prejudices have not been converted into more immediate perceptual capacity then imo we need to go back to the basics rather than clinging onto formulae to save us. LookingGlass (talk) 10:38, 8 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

Vragen over de Wikimedia Foundation[edit]

Ongeveer de helft van de vragen betreft de Wikimedia Foundation (ik hoop dat ik naam zo goed weergeef). Dit is echter een instituut dat m.i. ver van de meeste gebruikers afstaat. Ik wist wel dat er zoiets bestaat, maar ik heb veel van mijn kennis over dit instituut pas uit de enquête opgedaan. Het is ongetwijfeld nuttig wat er op dit niveau gebeurt, maar het blijft toch een beetje de "ver-van-ons-bedshow"... (Het automatisch in krom Engels-Nederlands vertalen van deze in het Nederlands getypte bijdrage vind ik trouwens zeer hinderlijk, dat doet alleen maar afbreuk aan de tekst!) De Jaren (talk) 14:36, 6 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

asnwer column reversion[edit]

i agree with the above section that most of the question, especially about the Wikimedia Foundation, i could only answer with "i don't know", cause they seem to be geared towards highly invloved users, not average users. but i had a problem with the second questions page: the answer columns were reversed relative to previous question pages, with the equivalent of "agree" being on the right and "disagree" on the left, while they had previously been reversed. i had filled it in the wrong way and only just in time did i notice and correct it. --w:user:lygophile 03:22, 7 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

There seemed to me to be logical errors built into the questions as well. If one had no knowledge that the Foundation was involved and thought it should not be involved how then could one rate its successfulness? The question becomes inherently contradictory. LookingGlass (talk) 10:19, 8 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

Q1 Am I an Editor?[edit]

I found the first question, "am I an editor" a stumbling block.

Technically, I am an editor because I have edited articles, but, on the other hand, I don't wear a blue "e" around my neck and routinely participate in editing. When I see something that is incorrect or appears not to be confirmed, that is when I change it.

For example, when someone vandalized Judy Collins's page, since I run (a neglected) web page for her, I am a magnet for all things Judy and someone emailed me. I called her office to confirm that the reports of her death were greatly exaggerated (sorry, Samuel Clemens) and then edited the page, citing the phone call as a source.

I had researched some primary sources concerning the difference between Nakamichi Cassette decks and all others and I think I clarified the complexity of that situation without being too boring.

But I don't think of myself as an editor or a member of the "content police". I do think that the editors ARE doing a good job because, more and more, I'm finding well-written, well-researched, well-attributed/footnoted articles, and thorough articles on many subjects. I am also pleased that legitimate death notices are often put in within hours of a person's death--with cause of death when known. It shows that people are on top of things.

Anyway, my two cents. The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) 2012-11-07T21:57:09.

I dub thee Editor with a capital E. Go forth and edit some more. John Vandenberg (talk) 23:42, 7 November 2012 (UTC) (this question in the survey is a bit silly, as the survey banner knows how many edits/contributions you have made, and can hide the banner if you dont have any edits/contributions)Reply
Seconded!! As is your point John about silliness and redundancy. However I also sympathise with the above and the author's sense of disengagement from Wiki. It's easy to edit and correct, even quite significantly, but there seems then to me to be a gulf that opens between that and being part of "The Community". Resolution of disputes, merges, new articles, etc etc are workings of the Inner Circle. LookingGlass (talk) 10:24, 8 November 2012 (UTC)Reply


After taking the Wikimedia Editor Survey I was asked to provide feedback here. My feedback is that feedback should not be asked for in this way.

Feedback on the survey should be provided contemporaneously with the survey ie on each page a free text entry box should be provided to enable feebback on that page's questions. Similarly at the end instead of asking respondents to sign in again and provide "feedback" on a Talk page, they should be given the opportunity to provide feedback then and there.

My main issue with the3 survey is that it appears skewed to provide community support for its community building aspirations. However I use and value Wikipedia as a knowledge resource. For me it is an global library such as that of the British Museum Reading Room where p[eople can find and research reliable information, rather than that of a local library where people can enjoy a cuppa with a quiet read of the newspapers. My wish would be be to see the quality of articles improve as well as the approach to knowledge generally.

Personally I find the community aspirations of Wiki ironic as, despite hundreds of hours as an editor over nearly a decade, I have had no experience of any community. To me the community seems to be more of a shadowy clique. I have been irritated and frustrated by Wiki announcements of the conclusion of consultations and the like that I have had no idea of. I find the mechanism for communication between editors, via Talk pages, to be clumsy, awkward and opaque to say the least. Perhaps this is because I use Wiki as an encyclopedia not a an alternative to FB. Drupal.org also eschews the use of BB instant email notifications on the basis of the cost, without recognising the value of the mechanism, or the3 relationship between the form of the organisation and its function, and between form and content.

The survey asked about Wiki involving academia, but used the word "students", obviating any distinction between academics, doctors, undergrads, and schoolchildren. Universities across the globe produce peer reviewed knowledge that should be leveraged however the use of schoolchildren as editors encourages the perception of knowledge as prejudice. Wiki is being used more and more by students who oftne today copy and paste articles, which themselves have often been copied and pasted into Wiki, instead of engaging critically with information. This is a major problem going forward.

Wiki's veracity is generally questioned in the media however unjustifiably but these criticisms need to be defended in action not mereley in word. Scientific articles on Wiki often carry no citations at all yet remain unchallenged. They also disdain to follow Wiki's goal of being a general encyclopedia rather than one silo'ed for specialists. More general articles often contain references only to blogs, yet these are accepted as providing authority whereas axiomatic statements have requests made for them to prove their authority. In my opinion Wiki needs to urgently concentrate on its "core business" first, rather than on its messianic expansion into global social agendas, no matter how worthy. If the quality is not being continuously improved at a rate that exceeds mere growth then it is decaying.

Lastly Wiki should more strenuously research and adopt sustainable funding strategies rather than continue to rely on periodic charitable pushes. A subscription option is the only route in my opinion, perhaps giving greater access to community resources for subscribers for instance.

In my opinion all of the preceding could be resolved as one matter, however that would mean that the political agenda of Wiki was need to be put on the back burner, something that from the questionnaire now seems impossible to countenance.

LookingGlass (talk) 10:16, 8 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

I just scanned all the feedback on this page and I found your comments to be the most relevant. I came away from the survey with the impression that some relatively insular group within the Foundation was sitting on a bunch of cash and looking for ideas on how to spend it, rather than starting from a core mission and developing from that.
Regarding Wikipedia's denigration by old media, I would not put much stock in comments from them. They are acting in their own self interest and they perceive Wikipedia a threat to their gate-keeping function and to advertiser-censored mass media in general. This is actually a unique benefit of Wikipedia which I believe should be more actively exploited and cultivated by the Foundation. Contrary to what the old media says, when I want to explore a subject and get an accurate, balanced, and uncensored view of the topic, I turn to Wikipedia. Old media cannot provide that. If the Foundation wants to attract more readers and editors, that is what they should promote as their unique proposition.
I also question efforts to recruit students as editors. Without sounding too ageist here, I feel that although younger people can provide energy and new ideas to projects, I think a more mature editor community would facilitate a culture more reflective of the core values. A lot of problems that arise with editor interactions stem from simple immaturity. Also, editors with more life experience tend to have more to draw on when pulling together research and sources into articles. Related to this is the goal of obtaining more gender balance, which I believe would also improve the culture.
I think the Foundation could make more effort at drawing casual editors into their organization because, based on my impression of this survey, there is clearly a disconnect between the editor community and the core group at the Foundation. Maybe they could identify a few casual editors who quietly work at improving Wikipedia and embody the core values to recruit into the Foundation; or maybe a semi-random selection of editors to draw into the organization. This might help make the group less insular.
Note: Before finding your comments, I added a section below regarding the integration of meta-survey feedback into the questionnaire (Research_talk:Wikipedia_Editor_Survey_2012#Meta_feedback_button_on_each_question_of_the_survey) which you also touched on above.

Sparkie82 (talk) 18:19, 15 November 2012 (UTC)Reply


Does Wikimedia need all the plethora of bots which comb through it all the time? Perhaps the survey should include probes about the role of bots vis-à-vis flesh-and-blood editors. Additionally, is the anonymity that cloaks so many editors necessarily always a good idea? Rammer (talk) 22:02, 8 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

Missed the pop-up, emailed and no reply[edit]

I never seen the pop-up for the survey and have sent a email via "Special:EmailUser/Editor_survey" but no reply. Bidgee (Talk) 01:12, 9 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

Tablet problems[edit]

I completed the survey on an iPad.

The popups and buttons in the primary language questions are incomprehensible. I think I reverse-engineered the survey authors’ intent and left a sensible response, but I would imagine the average reader would be confused and frustrated. Not a great way to start a 15-minute project for a general audience. I’m curious how many respondents just give up when they hit this one.

Also, I’m still vaguely wondering if it mattered if “primary language” meant my primary language(s), or the language(s) I primarily edit in.

The free text fields were much too short to enter even a brief sentence in. They are far shorter than the corresponding multiple-choice responses, which I presume have already been professionally edited for brevity. Actually re-reading my own response or trying to edit it was terribly frustrating, because there’s no way to scroll the tiny keyhole view of three or four words.



what I missed in the survey was what the Wiki Foundation is struggling with. Also: where do you want to go?

Best, Arthur Graaff, Holland


There were plenty of references to editors, but what about admins? That is what's missing. There should have been more questions about admins. The work they do, the powers they have. Questions about whether we feel they are contributing postively and responsibly, or are some admins here part of an out-of-control clique of power trippers that abuse their authority to suit their own personal vendettas. There really needs to be more focus on this necessary evil. 22:47, 9 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

Enquete wiki foundation[edit]

Zojuist vulde ik een enquete in over wikipedia (dacht ik), wikifoundation (bleek het vooral te zijn). Het bleek niet zozeer een enquete te zijn, als wel een manier om de wikifoundation op te hemelen - er steeg vooral uit op dat de wikifoundation een geweldige uitvinding is - bah. Zoiets is wellicht leuk voor Proctor and Gamble, Unilever en Heineken en zo (maar die weten al dat zo`n pseudo-enquete contraproductief is), het trekt een wissel op de gebruiker die wel eens wat bijdraagt aan de online-encyclopedie Wikipedia en dan opeens met eikelpoetserij van de wikifoundation wordt geconfronteerd. Doe dit niet nog eens, it sucks, gewoon een echte enquete aan de gebruiker voorleggen, met IN de enquete de mogelijkheid daarop commentaar te leveren, niet pas op een andere plaats als deze pagina.

The instructions and preamble were misleading. I'm a fast reader and a fast worker but it took me 26:34 to complete. More honesty is required when telling people how long it will take to complete. The dropdown menus for languages and countries were a complete mess. I couldn't find my country of residence (pop. over 60 million) listed. Some of the questions were not sufficiently neutrally worded. I realise that in order to make a comparison, the format and content of this survey is similar to the preceding one, but future surveys should be compiled by experts. Kudpung (talk) 12:41, 10 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

Suggestions for improvement[edit]

When we gave a strong response, e.g. "strongly disagree", I think you could elicit useful info by asking us "why?". (There's no need to do this for weaker reponses such as "somewhat".) Here are some of the responses that came to me but that I didn't find a place for:

- I don't think you need to recruit women specifically - after all, information is just that; it doesn't matter who provides it. But I do think a greater fraction of computer-savvy people are men, so they tend to do the editing. If Wikipedia wants to attract more people who are less computer-savvy, we need a simpler, briefer editing guide. Most of the markup needed to construct a simple page could be fitted onto a single Wiki page. But this info sure is hard to find. Maybe a button on every page that opens a new window contining the basic info? This page could have a button that takes you deeper.

- Some of the editing syntax is cryptic, to say the least. Despite having been an editing user for several years (and despite the guide that now appears at the top of the Edit window) , I still have not figured out how to change a reference successfully. It's tricky just to report a broken link. This is partly due to the fact that when you open an edit, the refs section looks utterly different (and appears in a different place) from how it appears on the actual Wiki page. As for the numbering system - just to look at it is to destroy it. ;}

- some mechanism is needed to restrain the most arrogant people, who feel possessive (even aggressively defensive) about their writings. They will re-edit something you have corrected, as often as you are willing to do it. The result is that after two rounds I give up - even though I'm convinced what's there is wrong. Sadly I don't know how you might police this. Clearly resolving such a disagreement would require a referee.

- I don't think it makes sense to support development of Wikipedia in every language on Earth. It's just too much work. By all means select a subset of supported languages that should then reach say 90% of people. They might (for example) be Chinese, Russian, Arabic, Spanish, English. If Wiki does this, it should provide a high-quality translator between these languages. People should of course be free to provide their own translated Wiki pages in other languages.

- I would urge the wrtiters of pages to provide reference links to open-access sources as often as possible. At the moment it takes a bit more work to find them but it's getting easier and easier as access to academic publications opens up. It is intensely frustrating to click on a promising link only to find the material is behind a subscription barrier. --skylark42 15:41, 10 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

Free-form response[edit]

I think it would be nice to have a free-form response section at the end. Also, I think some terms should be clarified…

  • Mobile (=mobile telephone/cellular telephone? =mobile computer/laptop?)
  • App (I think this is a new word for application software, but I'm not totally clear, and haven't been able to find a good definition)
  • Global South (possibly =regions south of the equator?)

Thanks! Goldenshimmer (talk) 04:25, 11 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

"What is your gender?" needs revision[edit]

It is not clear whether you are asking for the editor's biological sex, or what his mental relationships are in relation to self and others. Please think about what you actually want to know -- whether it's the editor's sex, or his self-identity -- and revise the question and answers accordingly. -- Ethereality (talk) 20:55, 11 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

Survey completion should redirect back to where one came from![edit]

Talk about annoying! I was just about to edit something on Wikipedia when the survey invitation popped up. So I did the survey, and then on completion... what? Nowhere to go next or back to? Where was I? How am I supposed to remember now? The survey should have been on a separate "pop-up" Wikimedia page, instead of which I've now got to close the page, open a new page, go to Wikipedia, try to remember what part of what page I was going to make a correction to... But how can I have forgotten, I hear you ask? Because I had to read this entire talk page next, in order to establish whether or not anyone had already complained, to avoid unneccesary duplication. Yeah, talk about annoying !! Pete Hobbs (talk) 13:45, 12 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

I found the (paper) Missing Manual very useful - anyone else?[edit]

Before I started editing I bought and read "Wikipedia: the Missing Manual" by John Broughton (O'Reilly, ISBN 978-0-596-51516-4) and found it very useful, not just for the mechanics of making my first edits but for getting used to the culture.

How about a question asking about peoples' experiences with this or similar manuals produced outside Wikimedia? I have no idea if translations or foreign-language equivalents exist. If many English-speakers found this one useful, it might encourage production of foreign ones ... --SteepLearningCurve (talk) 19:38, 12 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

WishList - A Copy of my Completed Survey (any format)[edit]

Especially without the ability to go back through the panels, I wish that future surveys provide the ability to save the completed survey.


  • - A recap page showing the completed survey would at least allow the text to be copied then pasted into a local document
  • - An option to eMail the Author the completed survey as text
  • - An option to Save the completed survey as text
  • - All of the above

This could be enhanced with other file formats such as Html, Pdf, ePub etc.

LantzR (talk) 00:56, 13 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

More "Decline to answer" choices[edit]

My main complaint pertains to the part of the survey that asks questions about personal data. It definitely should include more choices to "Decline to answer". If someone clicks a radio button, perhaps accidentally, then decides that any response to that question is a potential privacy issue, there is no way to undo the click. I myself found that to be the case; nevertheless, I completed the survey, albeit begrudgingly.

After reading some of the other responses here, I am inclined to agree with many of them, especially a rather lengthy one - LookingGlass (talk) 10:16, 8 November 2012 (UTC) - that cited a number of topics, including 1) feedback; 2) community building; 3) the Wiki community (who, what or where is it?); 4) students (of what groups is that term composed?); and 5) article citations (the need for more authoritative source listings). One issue on which I disagree with LookingGlass is funding. He/she proposes a subscription fee, apparently for all who access the Wikipedia service. However, I am a proponent of a free Wikipedia, mainly because its basic foundational premise was, and should continue to be, providing free encyclopedic information.

I am mainly - almost exclusively - a minor-edit editor, in that most of the changes that I make are corrections of grammatical errors, which, in some cases could lead to confusion or ambiguity. — The preceding unsigned comment was added by Soapm162 (talk) 20:17, 13 nov 2012 CET (UTC)

about Wikiquote[edit]

I find many quotes, in English and in Portuguese, that weren't really ever said or written by the people they are attributed to. There should be more supervision of that content. Mainly when it comes to phrases supposedly said by politicians. OR when a phrase was in fact written by a writer, but it is not his or her opinion: it's just the opinion of a character in a romance. This should be made clear in the quote. --Betty VH (talk) 14:12, 14 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

This is not related to the survey, is it? It's true that the English and Portoguese Wikiquote have only recently implemented stricter policies (compared to other languages like French, German and Italian) and have a big cleanup backlog, but your comment surprised me a bit; it's probably better if you continue discussing this at q:Wikiquote:Village pump where I forwarded your feedback. Thanks, Nemo 16:12, 14 November 2012 (UTC)Reply
Two points about this: (1) The survey is indeed not about the quality of Wikiquote content. The research group has displayed remarkably little interest in the most popular quotation site on the web that actually attempts to cite sources. (2) The work of researching and verifying quotations is not done by supervisors. It is done by volunteers like you. Please help. ~ Ningauble (talk) 18:00, 14 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

Language Selection INTERFACE is Cumbersome[edit]

The interface used to select languages is not at all intuitive. I use an interface vaguely like this about twice per year, but I've been a computer nerd nearly my whole life. I don't find this kind of list where items can be moved into a new column when I'm doing anything mainstream. Your interface isn't hard to use, but there are NO INSTRUCTIONS included. So if I'd never seen such a thing before, I'd be baffled. I think it will be new to many of your survey takers.

Yes, I thought it was confusing/cumbersome also. I think simply listing all the languages in columns on a page with checkboxes next to each would be much easier. Also, subsequent questions asked me to select one from the list of languages previously selected, e.g., "Which language version of Wikipedia do you PRIMARILY READ?". I only had selected one language from the previous list, so it should have accepted that answer and not even asked the subsequent question. Sparkie82 (talk) 16:46, 15 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

Meta feedback button on each question of the survey[edit]

Easier than having to sort through all the comments here, maybe it would be helpful to include a generic button on all of the questions of the survey that says, "This question is confusing or ambiguous". When clicked, it prompts the survey taker to explain the problem with the question. That way, the Foundation could get realtime meta feedback on the questionaire tied directly to each ambiguous or confusing question and allow for rapid corrections to problems in the construction of survey questions. Sparkie82 (talk) 16:35, 15 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

Has the Foundation become insular?[edit]

There are some comments about this at: Research_talk:Wikipedia_Editor_Survey_2012#Feedback.. Sparkie82 (talk) 18:33, 15 November 2012 (UTC)Reply


I'm retired - no option to specify that. Only choices were employed or not employed. The preceding unsigned comment was added by RainbowLady77 (talk • contribs) 2012-11-16T23:27:52.

How long[edit]

Before results are published? --Elitre (talk) 20:48, 4 March 2013 (UTC)Reply

Beckie and I have been working on the data during the last few days, and we hope we can wrap this up soon. In any case, we still have the ambition of keeping the timespan between the conclusion of the survey and the publication of the first results shorter than in the preceding editors survey. Regards, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 21:13, 4 March 2013 (UTC)Reply
It has been almost a year since results from the last survey. WMF was supposed to do the survey twice a year, what's happened? Has there been a change in priority on incorporating editor opinion. The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) 2013-04-17T19:18:42.

@Tbayer (WMF): - any updates? John Vandenberg (talk) 09:44, 13 July 2013 (UTC)Reply

John Vandenberg, "soon on blog.wikimedia.org" according to slides for Metrics and activities meetings/2013-09-05:

. --Nemo 14:41, 6 September 2013 (UTC)Reply

Wikimania presentation[edit]

As many are already aware (although I forgot to advertise it here), I'm giving a presentation about editor surveys at Wikimania today, which will include some of the first results of the 2012 editor survey. Everyone interested is most welcome to attend. Also, the topline report(s) and some posts with further analysis should begin to appear on blog.wikimedia.org soon (will put a note here too), and we have already started to prepare the anonymized data which we hope will enable many interesting results by other researchers. Regards, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 02:03, 9 August 2013 (UTC)Reply

Some photos of the slides are here on facebook (sorry). Hopefully a video is available soon. John Vandenberg (talk) 04:56, 7 September 2013 (UTC)Reply

Looking for survey results[edit]

Is anyone aware what the percentage of male and female contributors was among the respondents to this survey? I have not seen that figure reported anywhere to date. Cheers, Andreas JN466 11:40, 30 August 2014 (UTC)Reply
It has been two years since the survey and a year since the above statement about publishing data. I suggest the following:
Assertion: The WMF have no plan to release further data or its analysis from the 2012 editor survey.
Assertion: No analysis of participation by women in the 2012 editor survey will be made public.
I welcome links to solid information to refute these assertions, otherwise given such a long period it seems entirely fair for unpaid volunteer Wikimedians to take these assertions as fact. -- (talk) 13:25, 30 August 2014 (UTC)Reply
Thank you , and +1. Note [8], which has remained unanswered. --Andreas JN466 03:24, 31 August 2014 (UTC)Reply

See Mako's study which includes the initial numbers from before his changes. I thought the study results were already released by the time he did the study but maybe I'm wrong. Anyway at least there are numbers. But IMHO absolute numbers are not as important as change rates over time. (which has been the topic of debate among researchers not too long ago also) --Jeremyb-phone (talk) 18:16, 27 November 2014 (UTC)Reply

Well, what we got there was a statistical manipulation resulting in a convenient upwards adjustment of the 2010 UNU figures, while the results of this survey have never been published (I was tempted to say withheld, but am doing my damnedest here to "assume good faith"). It's been two years: where are the figures, and where is the promised data set? Andreas JN466 23:55, 27 November 2014 (UTC)Reply
From your wording ("statistical manipulation", "convenient"), I understand that you have concerns about the validity of the propensity correction method used in the independent, peer-reviewed paper by Hill and Shaw (see also). Would you mind explaining them? I'm asking just out of curiosity - we are not going to be able to apply their correction method directly to this survey anyway, as it lacks the necessary comparison data that were available in case of the WMF/UNU-MERIT survey conducted in 2008 (whose full results were published in 2010, btw, and would not gain their fullest attention until 2011).
Thanks for assuming good faith and apologies for the late reply!
Regards, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 20:22, 6 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
  1. I could not see that the authors of the original UNU study had been in any way involved, or asked for comment. I would have been interested in their views of Hill/Shaw's re-analysis.
  2. Intuitively, I would have thought that women and trans Wikipedia editors were more likely to participate in surveys, given presumed awareness of their minority status (even in 2008).
  3. Given that Hill is on the Wikimedia Advisory Board, I don't believe the study qualifies as fully independent.
Incidentally, Tbayer (WMF), are there plans for any future editor survey, and if not, why not? Regards, Andreas JN466 21:29, 12 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
Thanks - so I understand there are no concerns about the actual method they used. Regarding 1., I agree that this might be interesting, but it's by no means a requirement for academic papers (it's not a news articles). Regarding 2., I would say that the value of the scientific method is that it enables one to go beyond mere intuition ;) 3. is clearly declared in the paper, so I assume PLOS ONE's review process took it into account. Regards, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 00:34, 6 March 2015 (UTC)Reply

Yes, please can the results be shared?--Kathleen Kmccook (talk) 03:24, 28 November 2014 (UTC)Reply

I understand the frustration about the fact that the complete results and the dataset haven't been published yet (I'd like to point out though that some results are already available in form of these slides). I can assure everyone that they will still be made available as planned. While I've been working a bit again in recent months on the remaining tasks needed for this, competing work priorities have meant that this hasn't been completed yet. But I do have support from my managers to eventually spend the time necessary to get everything out.

I want to explain why we don't want to publicize the overall gender ratio among respondents of this survey ahead of a fuller analysis. It's true that such numbers have often been used (also sometimes by WMF) as shorthand estimate for the ratio among the entire editor population. However, when focusing on examining how demographics change over time (a main objective of this survey), the direct comparison of these numbers is very misleading, because the underlying populations are actually different - e.g. the surveys were available in different sets of languages, or the participation rate of editors from a particular country or language might vary between the different surveys. Unfortunately, ignorance of this fact has already led to misunderstandings - in the press and elsewhere - for past editor surveys, e.g. in the form of erroneous claims like - paraphrasing - "Wikipedia's women ratio dropped from 13% to 9% between 2010 and 2011". (Longtime Wikipedian Oliver Keyes, today an employee of the WMF Analytics team, once wrote a nice blog post explaining these issues in detail, on his old personal blog which seems to be offline now.) To help avoiding such misunderstandings this time, we plan to publish a blog post which alongside other results from the 2012 survey will contain a more solid analysis of the gender ratio changes, e.g. on a per-country basis. Also, since the results of the preceding editor survey were published, we have learned from the above mentioned paper by Hill and Shaw that web-based editor surveys like this are likely to underestimate the ratio of female editors by several percent, because of participation bias (simply put, female editors were less likely to participate in that survey than male editors). While their correction method can't be applied directly to this survey, this is another reason why it would not be responsible to publicize the overall ratio in isolation without providing additional context.

Importantly - and IIRC I already stated this publicly in 2013 - the results from this survey do not change the overall conclusion that Wikipedia's editing community has a large gender gap. And the Foundation remains committed to support increasing diversity on Wikipedia by various activities.

Regards, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 20:22, 6 January 2015 (UTC)Reply

Thanks, Tilman. We would very much like to have the raw figures so that we can update the old ones. Do you have a timetable for getting the analysis ready? SlimVirgin (talk) 15:21, 13 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
+1. You said above, "Beckie and I have been working on the data during the last few days, and we hope we can wrap this up soon." Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 21:13, 4 March 2013 (UTC) This is nearly two years ago. Please speak to your superiors, tell them how much work there is left for you to do, negotiate with them a time frame within which you will be able to complete the work, on the clear understanding that they will give you time to do so without overburdening you with other activities, and then commit to that date here on this page. Andreas JN466 12:13, 14 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
The thing to do here, surely, is simply to publish the gender split percentages for the various countries separately, with an indication of sample size for each country (and population size, if this has changed significantly over the years) in each of the various surveys, going back at least to the 2008 UNU survey. This makes the data instantly comparable. You don't really need to write much here, beyond the standard statistical caveats (small samples may be more affected by error, etc.). Just a table with the numbers will do. Andreas JN466 11:03, 14 January 2015 (UTC)Reply

"The numbers were bad but the Foundation published them right away" versus "The numbers were bad and the Foundation waited half a year to report them" versus "The numbers were so bad the Foundation won't release them even after everyone noticed that they've been sitting on them for half a year" -- which help solve the problem and which just make it worse? EllenCT (talk) 03:38, 16 January 2015 (UTC)Reply

Global South User Survey 2014 - Full Analysis Report

Ladies and Gentlemen, have a look, THAT is a hellova survey! Pure awesome! And it's from 2014, not 2012. --Atlasowa (talk) 20:38, 18 February 2015 (UTC)Reply

See also Research:Global_South_User_Survey_2014#Results_presentations, with videos, pdf and all. --Atlasowa (talk) 11:53, 19 February 2015 (UTC)Reply
Thanks, Atlasowa - I agree that that survey is definitely worth looking into (my colleague Haitham worked hard on it during the last several months, I was one of the many people who helped a bit on the side). Just as a caution though for people wanting to compare gender or other data about editing communities with the 2012 or 2011 editor surveys: The Global South survey used a differing definition of contributor, which makes the numbers not directly comparable. Regards, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 00:34, 6 March 2015 (UTC)Reply
Based on Aaron Shaw's message, it seems the data in this survey is actually "irrecoverable". I guess we'd better wait for the next one, I understand there is desire to update data in 2015. --Nemo 10:33, 19 February 2015 (UTC)Reply
I think you misunderstood something. The data is available in (at least) the same quality as for the two 2011 surveys. Regards, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 00:34, 6 March 2015 (UTC)Reply
Hi Sarah, I have been busy with other projects in January and much of February, but as promised above, I have been having support for devoting some time to work on the survey more recently and now expect to publish topline reports including gender data before the end of next week. (Will update this page once the first post is out, but you can also follow along on Phabricator: [9] [10] [11].) Regards, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 00:34, 6 March 2015 (UTC)Reply
Hi Tilman, thanks for the reply. Can we have an update here as to when the figures might be available (even in rough form)? Sarah (SV) talk 18:05, 21 March 2015 (UTC)Reply
Hi Sarah (SV), we changed plans last month and the gender figures will now be published ahead of the full reports, but as part of a general overview that provides the necessary context. That should go out later this week.
I want to preemptively mention a limitation of the anonymized datasets (those from the two 2011 editor sureys, and the 2012 one that is still going to be published) for the topic that people seem to be primarily interested in here. As described in detail in the documentation, the anonymization procedure involved “a series of steps to ensure the privacy of minorities – geographic, language as well as gender”. This means in particular that some gender/country information had to be removed to prevent easy identification of, say, the only female editor in a certain small country. (By the way, I would be interested to learn about any reuse of the two 2011 datasets, for gender analysis or otherwise. Based on the interest that has been expressed so far, I hope we'll see more reuse for the 2012 one.) Regards, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 02:31, 8 April 2015 (UTC)Reply
Thanks for letting us know, Tilman. Sarah (SV) talk 02:40, 8 April 2015 (UTC)Reply
That blog post was postponed a bit more for several reasons (including the opportunity to include some additional information and, in particular, the busy schedule of the blog team), but is now planned to go out by or before the middle of next week. Regards, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 22:44, 12 April 2015 (UTC)Reply
Hi Sarah (SV) and all, the post is now out at [12] (took longer once more for reasons unrelated to the part about the 2012 survey). Regards, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 14:07, 1 May 2015 (UTC)Reply
  • Is it still intended to publish the data as stated on 8 April? If so, please could we have an update as to when and where? If the intention has changed, then the project page needs to be updated, and an explanatioln here would be nice too. Have all the reports and analysis been published now, or is there more to come? Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 05:12, 25 August 2015 (UTC)Reply
Hi Rogol Domedonfors, as mentioned above, this is now tracked on Phabricator, where I posted an