Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2017/Track A/Advisory Group/Notes/2017-03-24

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Track A Advisory Group Meeting[edit]

Date: March 24, 2017

Time: 7:30 a.m. Pacific (2:30 p.m. UTC) (See conversion)

Group Members[edit]

In attendance[edit]

Group Members: Sandra, Andrea, Kaarel, Rosie, Cindy, Farah, Ivan, Alex

WMF Staff & Contractors: Nicole Ebber (Facilitator), Jaime Anstee, Karen Brown

Meeting agenda[edit]

Note: Group discussions often touched on more than one agenda item or jumped back and forth during this meeting; these notes have been roughly grouped by topic, and topics by time, but this page's notes do not necessarily represent a chronological log

Welcome & Announcements[edit]

See Charter

Track A description:

  • Track A is intended to focus on research, conversations and input from organized groups, which include the Wikimedia movement affiliates, organized movement committees including the Funds Dissemination Committee and Affiliations Committee, staff members at the Wikimedia Foundation and affiliates, the Foundation's Board of Trustees, and other organized or semi-organized groups that help support the movement.
  • Close connection to Track B, Individual Editors (Track B Lead Jaime Anstee and Maggie Dennis)

Proposed timeline for the Advisory Group:

  • March 13: First constitutive call; share process and expectations, get feedback on the process, provide insight into the WMCON strategy track program.
  • March 24-27: Second call, review current process, gather last input for WMCON.
  • March 29-April 2: In person meeting at WMCON (for those who attend WMCON), to socialize and generally feedback and help shape the process.
  • April-Wikimania: Bi-weekly calls; sounding board for the process steps and sense-making; help iterate and improve along the way; monitor the different cycles and discuss solutions for outreach to underrepresented groups.
  • August 10-13: In person meeting at Wikimania (for those who attend Wikimania; call-in via video-conf optional).
  • Wikimania-end of the year: Bi-weekly calls; sounding board for the process steps and sense-making, help create new discussion cycles, advise on different forums for conversations around roles, resources and responsibilities, and discuss solutions for outreach to underrepresented groups.
Task Responsible Status
Email non-neutral phrases in Strategy Briefing docs to group. Alex + any advisory group members Alex prepared the doc and will share it with the group
Join the updates list - All Check-in: Have all group members signed-up?
Address issue of difficulty to find sign-up link to updates due to different navbox designs Jaime Done - now located in the lower navbox
Possibly bring Guided Tours idea back to strategy team Jaime & Nicole Guided Tours became enabled last week on meta and we are exploring the feasibility of using for later cycles - we do not currently have resourcing for coding and need to understand the interaction with translation
Read through the briefing docs and watch for the updates coming as we launch more fully in the next days Advisory Group Check-in: How is the launch going?
Invite Group to the next call Nicole Hello and welcome again =)

Welcome and Announcements notes[edit]


  • NE: Welcome everyone, and thank you so much for being willing to join us on this committee. We need all the feedback and brainstorming and perspectives you are willing to offer because this process is just so huge!
    • We’ve already received feedback from you all and some of the discussion coordinators about how the process as it currently exists is somewhat overwhelming, with so much information in so many places, and it’s hard to figure out what to DO.
    • We’re in the process of simplifying and clarifying the process in response to this feedback. We still need more feedback and more time to make it all work well.
  • NE: Let’s start with the task list from last time. The briefing doc was supposed to have been read by everyone who led a discussion, but it turned into a information-dense 30-page slideshow, so we are working on a shorter version of that. Also we got feedback that parts of the briefing might be too political or US-centric, and that may not have been agreed upon by the community. So I have passed this feedback on to the Strategy Team and we will be working on a more neutral, focused scope for Berlin.
    • NE: If you have other feedback about the briefing, please let us know (we’ll work on it in docs, too, so doesn’t need to be right now)
  • NE: You can sign up for updates re: the strategy process, to receive talk page messages at [link]. I think it would be useful if all of you on this committee signed up for those, to stay up-to-date.
  • NE: Last time there was a suggestion that we create a “guided tour”/user journey through the process so people understand what they’re supposed to DO (we may be able to use the Guided Tours extension for this)
    • JA: GT is enabled on Meta, but no one on the support team is experienced using it and setting it up, so we would need help on that. But it really is an overwhelming amount of information, and it will be worse for people who come in later in the process. So it’s important that we figure out some solution along the lines of GT.
    • NE: Question for the group: can you think of other ways other than GT to lead people through the process, if we can’t use that particular extension? Right now we have a sidebar we created and put on the Track A pages to help guide people through the steps. We need our own version of “Clippy” from MS Word! Anyone know of some kind of tool/method?
      • AZ: Maybe more headers? Side bar is a good first step, but maybe not enough. I was looking through the toolkit, and some pages are “toolkit” subpages but others aren’t. When you go to a page, you can’t always find the way back if the menus/headers/etc change.
        • NE: Like breadcrumb navigation?
          • AZ: Like the visual headers that show the tracks on the highest-level pages. Try to make sure every page you could end up with has navigation of some kind
        • NE: We can certainly fix headers/navigation setup
      • SR: We had our first discussion session this weekend, and people did say there was a lot of information, and not all of it was done, so sometimes we ended up at an empty page. All the information is clumped on Meta. Maybe we can offer a “if you just want to participate, go here” distillation, and a separate “if you want to organize a discussion, go here” with the more extensive information
        • AH: +1 to this
        • NE: So it depends on what you come in wanting to do, how you need to navigate
        • AH: It’s not clear where the “call to action” is, visually they [?] are different
        • AH: It’s a good resource center, but it appears to be a resource center, not a place to participate. And there’s so many places to go that it’s hard to find the “useful” ones
        • RSG: I’m part of a very distributed community group, and we can’t sit down at a table together and look at one screen. So each of us is on our own to click around as much as we can/want to. And when you click on the main page, say, and start scrolling - it’s so dense, heavy with information and sections that the average person who isn’t intimately familiar with organizational strategy just gave up. What’s “Track A-D”? Do I care about those? Should I click on them? Instead, people gave up on those pages and came back to our own discussion space to just talk to each other about strategy. So unless I give them pointers to particular pages in the set that I want them to look at, they will probably never find them. Highest-level strategy process planning is just not a priority for most of my people. They want to talk about strategy, but not spend hours exploring dozens of pages
        • AH (via chat): one other thing: there is no link from the meta home page: it could be added at "Going-on", for example
        • Ivan: Yes, I feel the same. You’re coming to a point where we need more pointers to “you can work here”, “you can discuss here”
          • NE: We have something coming up on the agenda that might help with that. Stay tuned.
      • Kaarel: We are so link-heavy, and many of those pages linked to are drafts and there’s no way to know when they will be done or get updates when they are changed to “done”. It’s confusing. Maybe it’s time to make a decision [??]. Providing information about “cycle 2” and “cycle 3” when we’re hardly into cycle 1 and haven’t even finished cycle 1’s pages is not useful
        • NE: Some of the links are supposed to be finished or will soon be finished, but yeah. We should consider condensing the number of pages and the content on the pages. We could always link out to a denser “more information”/”deep dive” page for people who care. And we shouldn’t be leading people to empty pages, that’s just frustrating.
      • SR: At the moment, the pages serve many different audiences (coordinators, contributors…). As soon as possible, we should shift the emphasis to people who want to contribute, because that’s what will actually yield a strategy. Move the more “meta-level” stuff to the background
        • AZ: Yes, agree with Sandra. With everything on the same pages and same level, it works for experienced community/wiki-navigation members maybe, but it’s very complicated and overwhelming for people who may not be as deeply familiar
        • NE: Yes, this stuff is essential to people being able to actually contribute to the process. So we need to figure out a way to fix this so we don’t break the process and drive away the participants! I really, really appreciate this feedback. It’s very important that we hear and act on it.
        • JA: Are we talking about the main /2017 landing page, or the Participate page? Or the…? We’re only directing people to those two main pages (unless they choose to go to information about being a discussion coordinator, and then they can go to those places), so I would appreciate more specifics about where the problem is
          • AZ: The main page is clearer, I think, but even that is just so big (though it helps that it has lots of whitespace) and assumes you’re familiar with what “organize” would be, etc. And then the Participate page is much more problematic, imo. Very complicated. But also this feedback applies to all the pages in my mind, not just the top-level ones.
        • JA: Kaarel, can you talk more about how you hit the empty pages?
          • K: “Potential topics”, etc are all empty - so if you start to dig in more to the pages the navbox, etc give, you find that the information you’re being told to go read isn’t there! It’s really confusing and disappointing. If we haven’t filled the pages by now, let’s remove them from the menu. Put them back if/when they’re ready.
          • JA: Thank you. Those are pointers for things that will come up in discussions but haven’t happened yet, so thank you for that feedback about it.
  • NE: You’re always welcome to read through these notes and leave comments on docs after the meeting, by the way

HH:10 Anything to share from your own conversations?  [edit]

Any questions or ideas coming from you own conversations, among your groups or communities?

:10 notes[edit]

  • NE: We have prepared agenda examples for in-person and on-wiki meetings. I would like to hear if people understand what they might come up with in their community conversations - what’s the output? What do you do with the output once you have it (translation, summarization, transferring to Meta…)
    • SR (via chat):
    • SR: That page (in Dutch, sorry) is the results of our discussion. “Can be done in 2 hours”? Hah, no, not with Wikipedians, who like to discuss in depth. And people want to talk about things that range from very specific to very general, and weren’t sure which to focus on. We want some identification of the problems.
    • NE: Yes, sounds like the process was a little bumpy, but actually your results seem to be exactly what we were hoping to end up with from these discussions!
      • JA: I agree - seems the output is on target - not surprised it took more time than two hours - I imagine that is also related to group size as group conversations go. Sandra, how many folks participated in the dutch conversation?
      • SR: 8
      • JA: Wow, small and productive group!
    • AZ: I am trying to do discussions on a couple WikiSources, and what’s coming out of that is we’re discussing what WikiSource will look like in the future, rather than “the movement” or other high-level things. Minority projects/user groups/etc are likely to find themselves doing this a lot, focusing on what would work for their project’s needs
  • NE: It will be really interesting as we start getting discussion results to see what they do and don’t have in common
  • [conversation drifts to another agenda topic, then returns to this]
  • NE: Any experiences from your conversations that we haven’t already talked about?
    • Alex: On Cawiki we have some questions and it’s not going poorly, but many people are trying to share via private/off-wiki methods, and we don’t know what to do with that input - when someone sends you their thoughts in a private email, you can’t just plunk it onwiki, but to do nothing with it means their opinion does not get counted, so…? They “want to come in, but don’t want to formally collaborate and make it An Official Opinion”
      • JA: You could try a survey that you then synthesize? Or just summarizing conversations onwiki, whether they’re 1:1 or 1:100, and then combining those to find themes, etc. When combining your notes from across conversations, you just want to be careful not to lose comments that are diverse across your conversations, but you do want to amplify the themes that don’t just come from one person.
  • NE: Has anyone experienced major pushback? The dewiki community has some members like that, who prefer not to engage at movement-level planning; they focus on their own project(s) and do not wish to be drawn into these strategy discussions.
    • AZ (via chat): no. italian wikisource is going quite well. international wikisource less so (low participation).
    • SR: I think people are entitled to not contribute to it if they’d rather focus on their project-level work. That’s what keeps everything else in business! Plenty of people are not inspired by thinking about “global strategies” or “in 2030”...but also things like “what would make Wikipedia better for you and your project to use it?” are questions they probably do care about.  I don’t expect the entire Dutch community will be contributing maybe (less than) a hundred out of the whole
    • NE: Yes, in an ideal world we would get that type of information from people too.
    • SR: Perhaps put up a banner asking “what would make it easier/better?” and direct people to a very simple page to answer it. See what we would get through that.
    • AZ: Also consider presenting it in terms of what would help readers, too - editors and readers have different POVs, different mentality, and different needs. Perspectives vary depending on how one engages with projects in the first place.
      • KV: Answers to such questions may become too specific and thus untranslatable to themes. This would bring us to same point where we were last time with lots of input, but lack of generalization power
  • RSG: I had thought about having a logo for the strategy movement. Something fresh, clever. Not necessarily a re-do of an affiliate-style logo with the color themes, etc, either. And then all the different talk pages could share the logo, and you could go to the logo file on Commons, and see which pages it’s used on to see all the discussions! Right now people mostly find pages created/administered by staff; give them a way to find the pages where the communities themselves are talking about this stuff.
    • IM: +1 to this
    • JA: There is a hashtag (#wikimedia2030)
    • NE: I have brought your suggestion to the strategy and comms teams a little while ago, and we’ve been discussing. Right now we think it would be better to stick with the regular logo, but add the "movement strategy lettering"(?), since the branding should be a part of this logo/process
      • JA: Comms gets to decide most logo things, and they have said that we should be using a community logo. But they do encourage us to use the hashtag, and use the community logo with “movement strategy” under it. Does that seem like it would solve the issue?
        • KB: Potentially this cross-pollination idea that Rosie references could be done via Wikidata if we figure out how to use it to do that?
        • NE: Am I understanding right that the goal would be to automatically link together all the different language conversations, so it doesn’t have to be handled manually?
        • RSG: Karen I think that’s a potentially good idea, doing it via WikiData! During one of my strategy conversations, it came up that someone wanted to know what they were saying on dewiki, and they couldn’t get any useful responses (both due to language issues, and people just not knowing where to look). Find a way to let people find all of the conversations easily from one place
        • NE: Fortunately, I share an office with some WikiData people. I will chat with them here (and maybe we can all talk in Berlin) about how this could perhaps be done

HH:15 Questions to lead the conversations[edit]

:15 notes[edit]

  • NE: We have added question/theme prompts for organizers to use to help their discussions start. Please take a look at these prompts and let us know if you think it will help make conversations easier for people.
    • [Nobody talks]
    • NE: You can always leave comments on the page/doc later on :)

HH:20 WMCON[edit]

Group Meeting on Thursday from 20:00-21:00 in Room Hasenheide

  • Getting to know each other
  • Ask questions regarding the program
  • Encourage people to take a bird’s eye view at certain points during WMCON and provide feedback to strategy team for steps after WMCON

Strategy Track running through all three days

:20 notes[edit]

  • NE: We’re running out of time, but I do hope to see all of you at the Advisory Group meeting we have already set up for while we’re all in Berlin! Also please try to keep a “bird’s eye view” of the conversations you see and participate in while there - you are important eyes and ears for funneling community feedback into the development process.
  • The strategy track will run through all 3 days of the conference, with each discussion building upon the previous one, so it would be ideal if you attend all of them, but we understand that people may have other obligations
  • NE: We’re out of time, but please reach out to me by email or document ping if you have more comments or questions!

HH:45 Discussion Guide and Landing page revisit[edit]

:45 notes[edit]

  • (see above for discussion on guide and sidebar)
  • NE: I would like to hear if people think this scheme will be useful. We were trying to think about how we can make the pages more accessible and consumable, so they can use them to hold/organize their own conversations. What do people need if they want to start a discussion (info pages? Mailing lists?)? What about if they want to plan a discussion (“what does my community usually do to communicate with each other?”)? Organize a discussion? Call people to action? DCs don’t need to do this all along - how do they recruit facilitators, note-takers, etc
  • NE: You can always add comments to the Meta pages later on about organization, design, etc. Jaime, can you say why the discussion guide was [edited?]?
    • JA: It was related to the revisions we’re working on in the gDoc, about how to clarify the page content. So it’s a redundancy.
    • JA: Sidebar, etc are still being worked on

Relevant Links:[edit]

Main page of the strategy portal:

Overview of organized groups:

Each organized group is asked to appoint one Discussion Coordinator (with XX having signed up by now):

Before people enter the conversation, we encourage them to read – or at least skim – the briefing:

Conversations can happen on- and offline, the discussion guide provides material to prepare, conduct and document each type of conversation.

A page that shows all necessary steps to organize a conversation: