Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2017/Sources/Cycle 2/Wikimedia Polska Strategy Dinner - Warsaw June 5, 2017

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Information[edit]

A table before meeting

What group or community is this source coming from?

name of group A group of experts invited to dinner by Wikimedia Polska strategy coordinator
Location "Czerwony Wieprz" restaurant in Warsaw
Location type in-person discussion
# of participants in this discussion 17

Summary[edit]

The summary is a group of summary sentences and associated keywords that describe the relevant topic(s). Below is an example.

Fill in the table, using these 2 keys.

Theme key
  1. Healthy, inclusive communities
  2. The augmented age
  3. A truly global movement
  4. The most trusted source of knowledge
  5. Engaging in the knowledge ecosystem
Questions key
  1. What impact would we have on the world if we follow this theme?
  2. How important is this theme relative to the other 4 themes? Why?
  3. Focus requires tradeoffs. If we increase our effort in this area in the next 15 years, is there anything we’re doing today that we would need to stop doing?
  4. What else is important to add to this theme to make it stronger?
  5. Who else will be working in this area and how might we partner with them?

Group 1[edit]

Group 1 notes
Group 1 table

Group 1: devoted to theme A and B: Jarosław Lipszyc, Katarzyna Zielonka, Piotr Rypson, Mirosław Filiciak, Marcin Wilkowski and Krzysztof Machocki as a secretary and facilitator of the group.

Line Theme Question Summary Statement Keywords
1 A 4 We have to replace deletionism with human-friendly contact with newbies. More tutoring and mentoring is needed. Tutoring of newbies
2 A 4 The current methods of contact of users is very poor and unclear to newbies; if they are contacted via discussion pages they quite often do not spot it, so other forms of contacts are needed - pop up windows, tailored to them banners, etc. Contacting newbies
3 A 4 It is vital to organize contacts between current users and potential users of similar interests -  for example workshops on selected departments of universities for both wikipedians, and potential newcomers - students and staff. Cooperation with academia
4 A 5 We could use student’s practices and essays writing to ask them to edit Wikimedia projects instead of putting outcomes of their work into never to be read by others university archives and drawers. Student practices
5 A 5 We can cooperate within specific projects focused on teenagers performed by other NGO; for example project “pol-gra” about how children learn via on-line gaming; Wikipedia/Wikidata games for children as an outreach tool. Wikipedia/Wikidata games for children
6 A 5 We can offer experts utilization of their conference papers in Wikimedia projects, instead of publishing them in post-conference materials, which are never read; it might bring them to Wikipedia as editors as well. Utilizing conferences
7 A 3 Current metrics about retention are not precise, therefore we have limited knowledge about real trends in retention; current metrics should be replaced by more deep studies in order to find real reasons for low retention. Studies on retention of users
8 A 2 The real threat is that there is very few young people starting editing; Wikipedia community is aging, therefore we should perform more studies to understand better why young people do not join. Studies on new generations of users
9 A 5 We should visit and participate in academic conferences about topics which are very hot in Wikipedia such as contemporary history - so we can address our dilemmas with academic people and ask them for help/expertise/external conflict resolutions. Visiting external conferences
10 C 1 There are attractive alternatives for our content such as YT or KhanAcedemy, so we have to fast change our methods of spreading knowledge if we really want to be global Competition for Wikimedia projects
11 C 1 & 3 This is important issue, however global north will probably remains as the main source of content for Wikimedia Project so we should rather focus on translations of at least basic, common knowledge to as many languages as possible than hopelessly trying to find editors in poorer areas. Translations
12 C 1 Encyclopedic knowledge is an westernish idea, therefore there is a problem to overcome basic cultural barriers especially for Arabic countries and provide a knowledge in other than encyclopedic formats - story telling, movies, how-to-do instructions? Cultural barriers
13 C 3 Political issues  - especially in countries like Sudan, Ukraine or Russia creates problems that covering themes which are taboos for local governments may end up in blocking - just as it happened in Turkey; so a trade-off of omitting some content is need in order to reach such places or we must be ready to leave these places in order to stay 100% NPOV. Political issues with NPOV.

Group 2[edit]

Group 2 notes
Group 2 table

Group 2: devoted to theme D & E: Hanna Wróblewska, Piotr Cywiński, Krzysztof Siewicz, Alicja Pacewicz, Marta Puciłowska, Sylwia Czubowska, Waldemar Kuczyński, Mirosław Filiciak and Michał Buczyński as a secretary/facilitator.

Line Theme Question Summary Statement Keywords
14 E 4 Wikipedia is a useful tool for scholars - but not as as source of trustworthy knowledge but rather as as source of materials about everything which must be critically read; good place to teach how to recognize valuable knowledge and suspicious one; an importance of sources, phrasing etc. Teaching of criticism
15 E 4 We should learn about the process of editing Wikipedia in schools. Children can start with simple language errors correction, fact-checking using cited sources etc. Teaching Wikipedia editing process
16 E 3 However, the current Wikipedia editing control is too strict. It should be made less aggressive to let children experiment; several school projects in Polish Wikipedia failed due to to aggressive adminship. Aggressive adminship
17 D 3 Too strict editing control is based on fear that Wikipedia can be destroyed by trolls and hoaxes - the trust and assuming good faith should be re-established as it was in early days of Wikipedia; that could attract also experts and in fact increase the quality of content; doing anything due to fear is always counter effective. Fear of low quality
18 D 1 Wikipedia in general is already a great platform containing lots of useful and good quality content which is well structured and linked; there is no any other such platform in Internet. This is the biggest advantage of Wikimedia movement which already has great impact on knowledge dissemination; it is enough to simply continue the current progress. Wikimedia has a great content
19 D 2/3 Good quality content is more important than community producing it. There must be natural selection of editors and there is nothing wrong if only good writers and devoted correctors finally survive. There is no other way if we want to have higher quality content. Content most important
20 D 4 The issue is the gradation of importance of content, more important topics and people should have longer and better written articles than the less important. Gradation of importance
21 D 4 The above was denied by other experts expressing problems who and how should decide what is more and what less important; there is no universal points of reference to decide it. Lack of gradation of topics
22 D 4 The editing process should be changed. The content gaps should be first found with help of experts and then all efforts should be focused on filling them. Content gaps
23 E 2 & 3 The language and level of complications of many articles in Wikipedia is too high - for education it is more important to create content which is easy to understand than too strictly correct; therefore we should rather focus on readability than formal quality of content. Teaching of creation of knowledge
24 D 3 & 4 For younger generation well sourced content doesn’t matter; they rather expect that trustworthy content is the one which is not manipulated, so the more important is to keep NPOV than verifiability; Wikipedia can resign from being very accurate but not from NPOV. Wiki-culture vs quality control
25 D 4 & 5 The poorest part of Wikipedia content is its graphical side. Wikipedians seems to be reluctant in producing good quality info-graphics, charts and schemes well coordinated with textual context which make the overall content less useful in education; therefore we should think about outsourcing creation of graphical content; we can cooperate with paid professionals and NGO which specialize in such creativity. Outsourcing of graphical content
26 E 4 Younger generation sees Wikipedia as a part of “official system”, not the area of their natural creative activity (such as Snapchat or Instagram) - therefore the teaching of internal editing processes of Wikipedia is crucial if we want let them understand that they can also create knowledge, not only social and entertain content. Beyond Wikipedia
27 D 5 The most natural partners for content quality improvement are GLAMs; however cooperation with GLAMS may create POV both directly and by thematic bias, especially in case of state owned ones. GLAMs bias
28 D 5 Cooperation with academia is safer as they have less interest to force their POV but there is a problem with Wikipedia poor reputation. Academia vs reputation of Wikipedia

Detailed notes[edit]

A meeting table

The meeting took place in “Czerwony Wieprz” restaurant in Warsaw, June 5th, 2017 from around 18:30 till 22:30 CEST. The participants were invited experts. We invited 25 experts of which 19 confirmed arrival but finally there were 14 of them. The meeting was facilitated by 3 Wikipedians, who also played a role of secretaries of discussion groups.

The meeting was voice-recorded. All (except one) participants agreed to be photographed and mentioned publicly.

Participants[edit]

Participants experts:

  1. Jarosław Lipszyc – poet, journalist, president of the board of Fundacja Nowoczesna Polska (Modern Poland Foundation) and of the Koalicja Otwartej Edukacji (Coalition for Open Education), free culture activist. Decorated with the Gold Cross of Merit. Member of the management board of Internet Society Polska
  2. Hanna Wróblewska - art historian, museum curator, director of Zachęta National Gallery of Art. Pioneer of open-culture online museum projects and supporter of open access to culture.
  3. Piotr Cywiński - CEO of Auschwitz Museum, president of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation, involved from two decades in the Polish-Jewish relations. Devoted WIkipedian (admin, currently less active, but formerly the author of around 500 articles).
  4. Krzysztof Siewicz – legal expert and main creator of the Polish adaptation of Creative Commons licenses, specialises in copyright law.
  5. Alicja Pacewicz - CEO of Citizens’ Knowledge Foundation, the projects of which focus on educating people in how to organize themselves in order to influence national and local governments.
  6. Marta Puciłowska - CEO of “Schools with Class” Foundation, organiser of multiple open knowledge projects across Poland.
  7. Sylwia Czubkowska - journalist, Gazeta Prawna.daily, contributor to weekly and daily newspapers such as Dziennik, Polska the Times, Newsweek and Przekrój. Specialises in the Internet, new technologies and media.
  8. Marcin Wilkowski – historian, open GLAM expert, the founder of portal History and Media. He worked in the Modern Poland Foundation, coordinating the Coalition for Open Education. Initiator of the Polish edition of THATCamp (The Humanities and Technology Camp). Works at the Digital Humanities Laboratory at the University of Warsaw.
  9. Katarzyna Zielonka – head of Digitisation at the National Institute of Museology and Protection of National Heritage (NIMOZ)
  10. Alek Tarkowski – sociologist, former head of the Polish branch of Creative Commons, director of Centrum Cyfrowe Projekt: Polska (NGO conducting several open projects such as zabytki.pl) In 2008-2011 a member of a strategic advisors team to the Prime Minister of Poland. Doctor of sociology.
  11. Piotr Rypson - ViceDirector (CEO) of the National Museum in Warsaw, the leading arts and heritage museum in Poland. Supports museums’ collaboration with Wikimedia. Co-organiser of the Digital Museum conference organised with WMPL. Digital culture expert, PhD art historian, museum curator.
  12. Waldemar Kuczyński - former Minister of Privatisation in the very first non-communist government in Poland, a main architect of changes of the structure of Polish economy (together with Balcerowicz) . Actively interested in promoting open knowledge. Also an occasional editor of Polish Wikipedia.
  13. Mirosław Filiciak - PhD., DSc. Director of Institute of Cultural Studies and head of School of Ideas, SWSP University in Warsaw, His research is focused on relations and influences of internet and digitalisation on culture and its distribution.
  14. Contemporary female artist who wanted to stay anonymous.

Organizers:

  1. Krzysztof Machocki (User:Halibutt) - press officer of Wikimedia Polska - played a role of secretary of group 1
  2. Michał Buczyński (User:Aegis Maelstrom) - vice president of Wikimedia Polska, member of the FDC - - played a role of secretary of group 2
  3. Tomasz Ganicz (User:Polimerek) - President of Wikimedia Polska. - played a role of host and coordinator of the meeting

Report[edit]

After initial presentation of the attendants, Tomasz Ganicz presented short lecture explaining the idea of the Strategy process, some basic facts about current situation of Wikimedia movement, its actors, resources and global trends which might affect the Wikimedia projects, as well as cycle 2 themes and their meaning.

After that there was general discussion about the process itself, the importance and meaning of all 5 topics in cycle 2 and general future and current state of Wikimedia projects, especially Wikipedia:

This is what participants shared

We don’t know why people are leaving, some hypothesis

  • Fresh blood cannot overpass a wall created by current community of editors: internal hierarchy, bots, checked versions, disappointment after first, usually reverted edits.
  • Too high entry barrier
  • Too much deletionism, strange and unclear “notability” rules.
  • No motivation especially by young generation - they got Wikipedia (and rest of the internet) for granted. It “always” existed for them, so why bother to co-create it?

About competition in internet: When Wikipedia started there was very little content for free in Internet. Today, there is plenty of it. Therefore the future advantage of the Wikipedia might be not in new content but rather by summarizing and linking the current one + very fast reaction to changes in the world and filling niche, but hot topics such as computer games, popular culture etc. Where children can learn about Mine-Craft - why not on Wikipedia?

Who can be a partner for Wikipedia in general? Culture institutions is an obvious choice as there is good synergy. With academia there is also a good synergy but there is an issue of lack of motivation - writing articles in Wikipedia does not help to make career in academia.

About motivations of GLAMs: During first cooperation of Wikimedia Polska with National Museum in Warsaw - several paintings uploaded to Commons were recognized due to Wikipedians who appeared to have unique knowledge. This is good example of synergy in cooperation. In this kind of cooperation we might ask general audience which articles and which pictures upload first - but how to do it? Voting in Museum? A special page in Wikipedia? During workshops?

The big advantage of Wikipedia is that it is ongoing never-ending dispute about everything. Thanks to this Wikipedia is not a boring “official” knowledge, but very interesting discussion place. The value is not in producing the “only truthful knowledge” but rather reporting general disputes, social, political and scientific. However, nowadays, due to “post fact” times, fair disputes are in danger and it might heavily affect Wikipedia as well. There is even a danger of takeover of Wikipedia by a group of politically motivated editors, especially when original, natural community is shrinking.

The other danger is “anti-intellectual democracy” - the general attitude that old, traditional intellectuals and their knowledge is useless and biased, therefore decision making should be based on practical, smart, simple people. It may also affects Wikipedia by pushing this kind of POV and removing or diminishing scientific knowledge and replacing it with pseudo-science and popular common sense.

About younger generations: All experts agreed that we have made mistake not to invite younger generation experts, who can provide the point of view of teenagers and undergraduate students who are probably the main consumers of our content. We should also ask younger generation what they want to do in Wikimedia projects and organize free space in which they can safely express themselves rather than force them to adapt to current ecosystem of Wikimedia projects. Let them contribute what and how they want - not to tell them what they should do.

In order to finish general discussion, which took too long, Tomasz Ganicz asked participants to choose maximum 2 topics from cycle 2 they think they are important strategically.

4 experts selected theme A,
1 expert selected theme C,
7 experts selected theme D
8 experts selected theme E

Based on this participants were divided in a group discussing theme A & C and a group discussing themes D & E.

Group 1: devoted to themes A and C: Jarosław Lipszyc, Katarzyna Zielonka, Piotr Rypson, Mirosław Filiciak, Marcin Wilkowski and Krzysztof Machocki as a secretary and facilitator of the group.

Group 2: devoted to theme D & E: Hanna Wróblewska, Piotr Cywiński, Krzysztof Siewicz, Alicja Pacewicz, Marta Puciłowska, Sylwia Czubowska, Waldemar Kuczyński, Mirosław Filiciak and Michał Buczyński as a secretary/facilitator.

Groups were discussing the themes in details for about 2 hrs. The results of the discussion is summarized in tables in summary section above.