Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20/2019 Community Conversations/Community survey

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Overview[edit]

165 survey responses contained content for analysis. They were broken into the following themes:

  • Advocacy
  • Capacity building
  • Diversity
  • Partnerships
  • Products and technology
  • Resource allocation
  • Revenue streams
  • Roles and responsibilities

Gender and location were also asked.

Survey responses were submitted in a variety of languages including English (58), French (47), Spanish (7), Arabic (2), and German (1).

Many answers were very thoughtful and went into paragraphs of text. The extensive responses indicate that the people who responded to the survey are very invested in Wikipedia. However, they reflect overrepresentation of mostly western English and French speakers, with few representatives from users in other languages and outside North America and Europe.

Survey response data was analyzed by an external consultant who looked at key words and phrases in each response, and then assigning a theme to the responses. More than one theme could be assigned to each response; for example hostility (unwelcoming environment) and abuse (personal attacks) could be in a single answer to a question. Themes were then analyzed to determine how frequently they arose. After survey responses to each question were analyzed for common phrases, keywords and themes, recurring and emergent themes were identified and dummy variables used to determine the frequency of emergent topics (1=yes, to facilitate counting). Each response could contain multiple themes and keywords. Finally, the consultant reviewed the survey analysis with an eye to the 13 clusters developed by Working Groups. These clusters are:

  1. Enable Change by Making our Movement Sustainable and Resilient
  2. Create Content to Enable Real-World Impact
  3. Expand the Definition of Free Knowledge Through Innovation
  4. Make the Cultural Changes Required to Include Future Communities
  5. Create Structures for More Sustainable and Equitable Power Distribution
  6. Foster and Develop Leadership for More Sustainable Communities
  7. Provide for the Safety and Security of Online and Offline Contributors
  8. Create Knowledge Resources Necessary to Support Activities
  9. Ensure that the Movement Infrastructure Can Scale
  10. Iterate and Adapt for Greater Impact
  11. Enable Coordination Across the Movement
  12. Invest in Skills Development
  13. Improve the User Experience and Break Barriers to Participation and Diversity

Below is a summary of the survey responses received. Survey responses reflect the input found through Community Consultations, events, and social media; while other consultations validate the survey findings, it is important to keep in mind that survey responses came overwhelmingly from North America and Europe in English in French.

Urgent issues reflected in the survey included

  • Maintaining the credibility of Wikipedia, which has implications for how revisions to criteria for neutrality and sources should be undertaken, and for preventing Wikipedia and Wikimedia being used to promote fake information and propaganda
  • Implementing and enforcing a Code of Conduct, which has implications for treatment of newcomers and therefore diversity, as well as conflict resolution
  • Better communication, which has implications for conflict resolution, treatment of newcomers, and almost all new clusters
  • Developing a better mobile editing interface, which has implications for diversity (for example, Asia could be better represented)

Answers per Working Group area[edit]

Advocacy[edit]

N=45 public respondents, no staff

Significant statements included:

“address fake information, do not let wiki become a source of fake info, separate advocacy from editing”

“A true movement for digital civil rights should be our goal, advocating for free internet access, but it is harder to negotiate with governments (less space for Civil Society at these negotiations) and neutrality is critical to the rigor of information.”

“Lobby for non-US other government data to be in public domain”

One respondent repeatedly included, “Please do not put the feedback into a cardboard box and forget about it. It takes us time to write all of this stuff” in the ‘anything else’ field.

Q1: In your opinion, what are the key actions to undertake to bring down external barriers preventing our projects from thriving?

  • 14 people referred to better communication, including 2 for more translation, and overall communication of the WP/WM mission.
  • 9 referred to lobbying/advocacy and
    • 4 referred to specific campaigns, such as addressing censorship in specific nations where wikipedia is banned, which could be 'strategic advocacy.'
  • 6 suggested lowering personal barriers to participation, including editors hostile to newcomers, deletions and use of neutrality to remove certain content.
  • 4 suggested increasing partnerships including with universities and scientists, some of these were concerned with credibility.
  • 4 referred to copyright reform, including one French-language response.
  • 2 English language responses were anti-advocacy.
  • 1 Arabic response was for promoting WM as an individual pursuit because obstacles in the Arab world are political.
  • 1 response pointed out that the perception (backed by fundraising practices) of WMF as American presented an obstacle to effective advocacy outside the US.
  • 1 person emphasized the need to address fake news, and on a related theme, 2 emphasized the need to improve the credibility of WP.

Q2: What needs to happen so that people are inspired to do advocacy?

  • 16 referred to creating a more welcoming environment, including for newcomers, ending problematic legacy administrators who exclude others (1) and
  • 15 referred to better communication about issues, for example copyright was an example, with one respondent citing new pictures of the Louvre featuring IM Pei’s pyramid as copyright violation – educate people about this issue and how to work to change it.
    • This was supported by 3 responses suggesting training for advocacy, 1 of which suggested a certificate for the training
    • The cluster heading “Create Knowledge Resources Necessary to Support Activities” would be critical for advocacy, in order for people to understand issues on which they could advocate.
  • 8 responses suggested emphasizing the common good and pride in it that WP can foster, that sharing knowledge is a common good and presenting it this way is key. Linking this to education about issues and training for advocacy could be key to the cluster heading “Create Content to Enable Real-World Impact”
  • 2 suggested increasing the credibility of WP, in one instance to promote participation of experts, also related to cluster headings “Create Knowledge Resources Necessary to Support Activities” and “Create Content to Enable Real-World Impact”
  • 2 suggested international events, 1 of these was unclear whether educating others about censorship (blocking of WP) during international events – in any case international events seemed to be linked to communication of issues and training
  • 1 response included legal support, whether for strategizing advocacy campaigns and writing bills or for advocates who suffer consequences under WP-repressing regimes was unclear. This could be related to the cluster heading “Provide for the Safety and Security of Online and Offline Contributors”

Q3: What are the barriers to advocacy in your particular context?

  • 10 people referred to the lack of a more welcoming environment, friendly to newcomers and diversity, related to cluster headings “Make the Cultural Changes Required to Include Future Communities” and “Improve the User Experience and Break Barriers to Participation and Diversity”.
  • 3 responded that there are no obstacles, and
  • 3 described difficulty influencing international bodies
  • 2 reported that divided constituencies were an obstacle, especially when the divisions prevented dialog and
    • 1 of these 2 referred to capitalist lobbies.
  • 2 reported that misinformation is an obstacle.
  • 2 responded that racism is an obstacle, related to the cluster headings “Make the Cultural Changes Required to Include Future Communities” and “Improve the User Experience and Break Barriers to Participation and Diversity”
    • 1 of whom specifically emphasized anti-indigenous knowledge perspectives.
  • 1 response described a lack of volunteer and advocacy culture.
  • 1 response referred to ‘harassing’ EU MPs about an uploader.

Additionally, some people acknowledged time constraints and lack of interest.

Q4: How can we ensure that the movements advocacy efforts are not harming the neutrality of the Wikimedia project’s content?

  • 7 people suggested more participation, with
    • 1 including that advocates must participate on wiki
  • 7 people suggested emphasizing NPOV, including better communication of the pillars,
    • Some of whom included emphasizing all 5 pillars but the main issue for this question is neutrality
  • 5 suggested clear separation of roles, advocacy being separate from generating content, and
    • this was linked to rigorous information by 1, and
    • an additional respondent not among these 5 referred to ‘content neutrality’ demonstrating understanding of the difference between advocacy on policy and generation of content
  • 3 suggested advocating for more editors and, relatedly,
  • 1 person writing in Arabic suggested emphasizing diversity and inclusion
  • 1 person stressed that anti-indigenous bias violates NPOV,
  • 2 explained that they found ENwiki to be biased (these responses were in English, French and Spanish) but that other European-language wiki seemed to work well;
  • 1 person said that WikiPride was an invitation to non-neutral content

Q5: Anything else you would like to share with the Advocacy working group?

  • Support for this effort was expressed, in English, French, and German.
  • Some described the need for community buy-in, which is already understood by WMF, and the need to communicate more about other WMF projects in addition to WP.
  • 1 said, “Please do not put the feedback into a cardboard box and forget about it. It takes us time to write all of this stuff.”

4 responses to the Advocacy committee were hostile to WMF.

Capacity Building[edit]

N=32, 31 public and 1 staff

Capacity building inherently relates to multiple cluster headings including

  • Invest in Skills Development
  • Create Structures for More Sustainable and Equitable Power Distribution
  • Foster and Develop Leadership for More Sustainable Communities
  • Create Knowledge Resources Necessary to Support Activities
  • Ensure that the Movement Infrastructure Can Scale

Q1: What are the capacity building needs of movement stakeholders and their organizations? In other words, how can people and organizations be best supported so they can do their work and reach their goals?

  • Online and offline communication and training and skills building were popularly recommended.
  • 16 respondents referred to regional and local events, 14 recommended skills building, 12 recommended online workshops.
  • 10 recommended leadership development, some through these meetups and workshops.
  • Curmudgeons emphasized that Wiki is not a political movement and denounced 'impenetrable jargon' like the term capacity building.

The first 3 of these suggestions directly relate to cluster heading “Invest in Skills Development.”

Q2: What capacity building efforts already exist within any part of the Movement? Especially tell us about local ones we may not know about!

  • 2 referred to rapid grants (1 from Ivory Coast), and 2 referred to transparency in grantmaking (“Invest in Skills Development”, “Create Knowledge Resources Necessary to Support Activities” and “Foster and Develop Leadership for More Sustainable Communities”)

Q3: Which capacity building formats and methods have worked and which ones have not?

  • ClubWikis, WikiKouman, GlamCamp, WikiCons, and trainings and competitions were praised. One person gave input against WikiWomenCamp.
  • There was praise for WikiEducation,
  • One person recommended improving MediaWiki.

Q4: How much/what capacity building should occur locally, regionally and thematically, and how much/what should be organized and provided centrally?

  • 8 respondents referred to local control.
  • One Dutch Wikimedian recommended Code of Conduct
  • One person suggested separate OTRS for business and GLAM institutions.
  • One person in a rural area suggested a kind of certificate wikiversity, perhaps with scholarships, in addition to training, saying “The workshops work. Perhaps we can explore the possibility of considering Wikiversity as another mechanism to develop the capabilities of our editors” and “¿Y si los editores pudiesen abalar los conocimientos que afirman tener sobre ciertos temas mediante ‘certificados’ de Wikiversity, válidos dentro de la Fundación?” “What if the editors could share the knowledge they claim to have on certain topics through Wikiversity ‘certificates’, validated within the Foundation?” This could be transformational in many places.
  • 3 referred to more translation of documents, related to cluster headings “Create Structures for More Sustainable and Equitable Power Distribution”, “Foster and Develop Leadership for More Sustainable Communities” and “Create Knowledge Resources Necessary to Support Activities”.

Q5: Anything else you would like to share with the capacity building working group?

3 respondents were hostile to WMF.

Diversity[edit]

N=75, 70 public, 5 staff

The questions on diversity directly relate to multiple clusters including

  • Improve the User Experience and Break Barriers to Participation and Diversity
  • Make the Cultural Changes Required to Include Future Communities
  • Enable Change by Making our Movement Sustainable and Resilient
  • Create Structures for More Sustainable and Equitable Power Distribution
  • Foster and Develop Leadership for More Sustainable Communities
  • Provide for the Safety and Security of Online and Offline Contributors

Q1: How can underrepresented groups share their knowledge without being drowned out by mainstream bias – both direct and systemic – or being made to feel excluded or disrespected? (Note: direct bias = racism, sexism, xenophobia, etc.; systemic bias = male is the default; racial or ethnic profiling, assimilation policies, etc.)

There is general agreement that systemic bias is harder to address than direct bias. Staff had the clearest suggestions from a technical perspective, including a checklist about diversity for problematic topics, and a secondary review about notability to prevent systemic/direct bias. 13 people suggested mentoring both within and external (expertise based mentoring) to wiki for editors, 4 suggested ally training or cultivating allies from dominant groups, and 10 suggested training events. One person suggested that training be offered or mandated every 6 months including for NPOV and distinguishing between good and less reliable resources and sources of information. Multiple people suggested writing anonymously to avoid conflict and being singled out, but the CHWG saw that this is unsatisfactory.

20 respondents referred indirectly or directly to an enforced code of conduct, for example by addressing legacy editors and harassment by admins, and the need to act when abuse is reported. 4 suggested increasing inclusion of diverse sources, for example sources in underrepresented languages. 8 referred to anonymous reporting and 16 suggested mentoring newcomers. 11 respondents were against any kind of changes.

Q2: Which safe space policies and decision-making processes, both on and off Wikimedia platforms, do you think need to change to make sure we have a diverse representation and foster a safe environment?

Discussing safe spaces, 11 were against any policy at all, citing the ways 'safe space' has been abused; some of this is probably from people who are of dominant group, but others referred a distinction between 'safe space' free from harassment and free from criticism. Criticism is key to improvement of WP entries. 19 described the use of an enforced code of conduct, 8 suggested anonymous reporting, 15 suggested mentoring newcomers and improving community. These answers relate to the cluster “Provide for the Safety and Security of Online and Offline Contributors.”

Q3: Legal and social barriers have undervalued people and activities of different groups of society. Do you think there are ways our open knowledge movement can bridge gaps and eliminate barriers by accepting a broader definition of reliability and neutrality in sources?

Regarding the question about expanding criteria for sources, people were very concerned about losing credibility, and many suggested using other projects like oral histories to address this, and also supporting the Internet Archive to create durable sources from geographically or linguistically or otherwise neglected communities. 24 were against this idea and 16 were for this idea.

This relates to the clusters ”Create Content to Enable Real-World Impact“ and ”Expand the Definition of Free Knowledge Through Innovation“.

Q4: Geographical location, socio-economic status, access to technology and formalized academic study can be barriers to inclusion. What kind of technological support and systems can be designed to help bridge gaps and give voice to more diverse groups of society?

Regarding ways to use tech to give voice to more people, 24 people suggested helping with more reliable internet access, for example by mobile, including improving the mobile interface. 10 suggested lighter tech needs to use the site, for example, assuming no better than 4G. 3 suggested helping with equipment - an example was that Georgian language users are shut out in part by having QWERTY keyboards. 23 suggested improving access to information, including both digital and physical libraries, for example. These suggestions relate to the cluster “Ensure that the Movement Infrastructure Can Scale.”

Two francophone responses referred to WikiMOOC, which could be related to the suggestion for a certificate-offering WikiUniversity referred to in Capacity Building Q3, related to cluster headings “Expand the Definition of Free Knowledge Through Innovation” and “Create Knowledge Resources Necessary to Support Activities”.

Q5: Volunteerism can be seen as an activity for the privileged - those who have "free time to donate". What do you think about starting a paid contribution model for those whose voice is not represented, but can't afford to give their time to the Wikimedia projects?

The question about paying volunteers from underprivileged groups illustrated the great divide on diversity, with 18 in favor (8 in French) and 40 against (1 Arabic, 1 German, 2 Spanish, 5 French), and 15 (some of whom could be classified as also for or against) offering considered modifications - paying mentors, paying trainers, paying for equipment and access to libraries and resources, and expanding Wikimedian in residence, rather than paid editing. These answers are very divided and relate to clusters “Make the Cultural Changes Required to Include Future Communities”, and “Improve the User Experience and Break Barriers to Participation and Diversity.”

Partnerships[edit]

30 people answered questions on the theme of partnerships, including 29 members of the public and 1 staff.

Partnerships relate to clusters “Ensure that the Movement Infrastructure Can Scale”, “Expand the Definition of Free Knowledge Through Innovation”, “Make the Cultural Changes Required to Include Future Communities”, “Create Knowledge Resources Necessary to Support Activities”, and “Improve the User Experience and Break Barriers to Participation and Diversity.”

Q1: In your opinion, what kinds of partnerships are the most important to advancing in our strategic direction?

  • People overwhelmingly suggested partnering with educational organizations like universities, schools and libraries.
  • One curmudgeon is against partnerships,
  • Another said that getting women's bios on wiki has been overdone.

Q2: Who should we partner with and why?

GLAM partners was the most common named, but many other good partners were named.

Technological partners suggested included:

  • Internet Archive,
  • Creative Commons,
  • Open Courseware,
  • Open Street Map,
  • Mozilla,
  • Open Source Initiative,
  • Digital Public Library of America,
  • World Wide Web Foundation,
  • LibriVox,
  • MusOpen,
  • Ada Initiative,
  • Europeana,
  • Apertum (Swedish tech consultancy) on IT and environment,
  • Freenode,
  • Project Gutenberg, and
  • OpenNYC

Non-technological partners suggested included:

  • UNESCO,
  • Sunlight Foundation (on US government processes and bodies),
  • Indigenous people,
  • University of Western Australia's school of Indigenous Studies,
  • Smithsonian,
  • European Union,
  • US Government, and
  • international organizations with local representation

Q3:What can we learn from other organisations or movements who have faced, or are facing,

similar challenges? Who should we be studying / talking to?

People offered responses related to their backgrounds and locations. For example, someone with ties to Portugal suggested

  • National Library of Portugal,
  • Universidade de Lisboa,
  • Universidade Aberta,
  • Universidade do Porto,
  • Universidade da Madeira,
  • ISAL,
  • Presença Feminina,
  • Câmara Municipal do Funchal.

Also suggested were

  • Smithsonian Institute,
  • Noongarpedia, working with UWA great people but lack of funding for Wikimedia support

One person pointed out that the “Main challenge is to have volunteers to work in and with those projects. Without volunteers, it's pointless to look for more partnerships, or even keep some of the ones we already have. Unless they manage to be self-sustainable.”

A good point was made that partnering with secondary and other schools would contribute to the development of new contributors, perhaps in a mentoring program. An example offered was Schotpedia being very successful and possibly a good environment (is that part of success) perhaps because of the type of institution. This is related to clusters “Make the Cultural Changes Required to Include Future Communities” and “Improve the User Experience and Break Barriers to Participation and Diversity” and possibly also “Create Structures for More Sustainable and Equitable Power Distribution” and “Foster and Develop Leadership for More Sustainable Communities”. In order to expand participation, cluster “Provide for the Safety and Security of Online and Offline Contributors” is inherently involved.

Q4: What kinds of partnerships have you established in the past or currently? Can you point us to them, highlighting strengths and weaknesses, challenges and opportunities?

Q5: Anything else you would like to share with the Partnerships working group?

People wrote:

“Value the people we have, support the people we have, it’s more cost effective to keep someone active who’s building relationships compared to teaching and identifying new people every couple of years”

“Our outreach should be equally weighed across the political spectrum. There is fair criticism that we have focused on groups at the liberal end of the spectrum.” This comment may not be accurate, as one staff member pointed out, many “heritage projects” bring conservative people to wiki. However, it reflects a perception that the working groups may want to be aware of, and that participants in many research projects express the sentiment that ‘the other side’ is favored.

“Please do not put the feedback into a cardboard box and forget about it. It takes us time to write all of this stuff.”

“Actively look for better partnerships with other websites where users create content and show them the benefits of the Creative Commons license.”

Product and Technology[edit]

34 respondents replied to questions on the theme of Products and Technology, including 26 members of the public and 8 staff. These respondents were opinionated and informed, and their answers were more detailed than those for some other themes. The questions and answers had some overlap, so the responses are presented in bullet points below the question asked. The answers relate to clusters:

  • Create Knowledge Resources Necessary to Support Activities (through documentation)
  • Ensure that the Movement Infrastructure Can Scale (overall, and especially through better testing and better mobile interface)
  • Enable Coordination Across the Movement (through documentation)
  • Invest in Skills Development (through technical training for volunteers)
  • Improve the User Experience and Break Barriers to Participation and Diversity (through better testing and better mobile interface)
  • Iterate and Adapt for Greater Impact (related to better testing)

Q1: What structures and processes are needed for more participatory product and technology planning and deployment?

  • 10 respondents including 1 staff want more volunteer development training
  • 8 respondents want better documentation that is easier to find, and better communication.
  • 1 respondent referred to transparency in planning and OPEN INTERACTIVE DOCUMENTATION
  • 1 person wants to cancel community wishlists, 1 is in favor of community wishlists
  • 1 staff wants to reinstate developer wishlists

Q2: How can we encourage and embrace volunteer and third-party contributions to product and technology work?

  • Some people were content with the environment.
  • Others want better documentation, some suggested using wiki for this.
  • Another suggested working groups
  • And gentle introductions of changes and training
  • 2 people want to improve the mobile interface

Q3: How can we better support contributors in doing technical work (such as development of MediaWiki and other Wikimedia software, operating tools or bots, bug reporting, performing tech support or tech ambassador roles)?

  • 3 public respondents suggested paying developers, because volunteer code is not great quality and hard to maintain when the volunteer moves onto a different project or hobby.
  • 2 staff are pro-Media Wiki, 1 is for abandoning it for something more current
  • 2 public respondents want better testing (beta?) and 3 staff want faster/better code review systems
  • 5 members of the public want phabricator to be improved or changed.

Anything else you would like to share with the Product & Technology working group?

The Codes of Conduct for the development community seems to be working out.

Another respondent said that TechNews is awesome.

Regarding Q1 and 2, 2 respondents including 1 staff were upset by the thought of wikipedia as a product, signaling 'weird corporate direction'.

Resource Allocation[edit]

36 people responded to questions related to resource allocation, including 35 members of the public and 1 staff member.

Responses demonstrated that resource allocation may be critical to diversity, as demonstrated by the appreciation of people who had benefited, including an Ivory Coast User Group, from WMF resources. They mobilized participants who responded to the survey, so they have already contributed to processes, demonstrating leadership capacity. These facts imply that the following clusters are relevant:

  • Improve the User Experience and Break Barriers to Participation and Diversity
  • Make the Cultural Changes Required to Include Future Communities
  • Enable Change by Making our Movement Sustainable and Resilient
  • Foster and Develop Leadership for More Sustainable Communities
  • Create Structures for More Sustainable and Equitable Power Distribution

Resource allocation prompted numerous responses about accountability and transparency, therefore it is also relevant to the cluster “Iterate and Adapt for Greater Impact.”

Q1: Thinking about when you have wanted resources (money, advice, support, staff, tools, etc.), what made asking for that resource difficult? What barriers did you encounter? What made asking for resources easy?

  • No one described the process as easy.
  • Bureaucracy and reporting was described as an obstacle.
  • However, transparency was also viewed as important, as well as audits and accounting.

Q2: We understand the Strategic Direction to mean that Wikimedia’s resources – especially financial – should be able to be used for projects, and requested by people and organizations, which are outside the Wikimedia movement. How (using what principles) should we extend our resources toward new communities while still serving our existing communities?

  • Transparency was also viewed as important, as well as audits and accounting. Grants should have impact, and they have had impact.
  • People want the grants to stay within wiki rather than external projects.
    • There was a question about whether once they receive a grant and work with it, don't people become part of the community? This may indicate that perception of outside does not reflect actual grantmaking.
  • Local support for resource allocation proposed,
  • also microfinance.
  • Two respondents want 50% of funds to stay in communities of origin.

Q3: How have allocated resources created impact (long term, broad changes) in your community? What impact can future allocated resources create for your community?

  • People who benefit are grateful, those who do not are resentful, see bias against other languages if they ask Anglophone Wiki for resources and don't get them. This may reflect that grant forms are in English.
  • Ivory Coast has benefited from rapid grants, and this enabled more contributors.
  • The working groups created a new kind of participation by which User Groups felt the impact of their activities in online projects in 20 countries; this had not happened in Arabic wikimedia before.
  • One public respondent was hostile to WMF, and wants access to informational resources and wants to know if that can be facilitated through grants.

Q4: Anything else you would like to share with the Resource Allocation working group?

Staff recommended criteria including both values and measurable indicators and reflected on how fortunate many contributors and staff are and that those who grasp their good fortune are willing and eager to share resources around the globe. This was echoed by a public respondent writing in Spanish.

Revenue Streams[edit]

26 people responded to questions about revenue streams. 24 responses came from the public survey, and 2 from the staff survey.

Revenue streams are related to clusters addressing sustainability and the future including

  • Enable Change by Making our Movement Sustainable and Resilient
  • Ensure that the Movement Infrastructure Can Scale
  • Create Knowledge Resources Necessary to Support Activities
  • Iterate and Adapt for Greater Impact (related to accountability)

Q1: What other organizations should the Wikimedia movement learn from or be more like when it comes to generating revenue?

Staff recommended partnerships with

  • Google and
  • WWF,

while public respondents recommended partnerships with

  • Firefox (Mozilla),
  • non-governmental organizations,
  • the Red Cross,
  • United Way,
  • universities,
  • libraries, and
  • research institutions.

Q2: What new revenue generating ideas should Wikimedia movement research and consider implementing?

  • 3 people recommended advertising, and
  • 3 recommended seeking grants from major foundations
  • 2 answers included that Wikimedia seems to generating more than enough funding as it is.
  • Some recommended seeking government grants, including from the EU.
    • One of these respondents also included money with ‘no strings attached’ demonstrating a lack of understanding how grants and reporting works.

Improving reporting and transparency were recommended. Two said that there was enough money, stop raising money, and one of these two added that the focus should be on how to spend it.

A contributor from Ivory Coast said that Wiki inspires writers there, and that the reliance of BOA for donations is difficult in some parts of the world.

Q3: What factors outside the movement affect our ability to generate revenue, now and in the future? (financial regulations, etc.)

One staff recommended a more transactional process with readers, and that the liberal slant of Wiki is counter to the conservative bias of those who donate. This person and others referred to oncoming recession and so it is wise to set up a reserve.

Q4: Anything else you would like to share with the Revenue Streams working group?

One response in Arabic commented that Wikimedia really pioneered its’ work.

5 public respondents were hostile to the WMF.

Roles and Responsibilities[edit]

There were 38 responses to the R&R questions, 33 public, 5 staff. The Arabic translator believed that the two Arabic responses were from the same person.

Roles and responsibilities pertain to the following clusters:

  • Enable Change by Making our Movement Sustainable and Resilient
  • Make the Cultural Changes Required to Include Future Communities
  • Create Structures for More Sustainable and Equitable Power Distribution
  • Foster and Develop Leadership for More Sustainable Communities
  • Provide for the Safety and Security of Online and Offline Contributors
  • Create Knowledge Resources Necessary to Support Activities
  • Enable Coordination Across the Movement
  • Improve the User Experience and Break Barriers to Participation and Diversity

Q1: What structures, processes, and behaviours will enable us to include all voices (including e.g. current contributors and emerging audiences) in our decision making?

Overall, respondents recommend decentralization of roles except for technical aspects including servers. 19 respondents referred to decentralization and 3 referred to democratization. 4 referred to nothing being top-down.

This question exposed sentiments that the consolidation of power on wiki in the hands of a few allowed these few people to set terms of engagement for many more people on Wiki. One Arabic language response included, “Examples of repulsive processes for such categories are currently found in Arabic Wikipedia,: Deletions of articles, closing of discussions on issues affecting content and issues affecting policy development. These are all conflicts which require a good knowledge of the mechanisms of Wikipedia's work, and sufficient technical know-how to accomplish many actions with little effort and time, such as follow-up, response, mobilization and exhaustion of escalation mechanisms. It is not only the knowledge of the subject in dispute itself that is needed, or the research effort, but much more than that.” This echoes the CHWG survey, which exposed similar sentiments, primarily on ENwiki, but this writer perhaps rightly noted that “In the larger communities, such as the English planetary-sized Wikipedia, this tendency to centralization and authoritarianism is balanced by the large size of society and the multiplicity of stakeholders, but its negative impact on smaller communities is significant.”

Q2: Which responsibilities are better placed at a global, regional, local or thematic level; which should be centralized and which decentralized?

Almost all agreed that conflict resolution should be undertaken at the lowest and most local level possible, with exceptions for example in the case of death threats.

8 were hostile to WMF; one referred to the WMF role as serving the volunteers, and others who were not hostile referred to the need for transparency by the board.

A corporate lawyer pointed out that regarding legal issues, it is imperative to use a global structure, and another respondent pointed out that different national level contexts should push Wikimedia toward national-level decision-making.

Q3: How should conflict management and resolution be structured across the movement?

Almost all agreed that conflict resolution should be undertaken at the lowest and most local level possible, with exceptions for example in the case of death threats.

7 referred to transparency and 8 referred to better communication, with a great deal of overlap. They suggested decisions being made on-wiki, or at least discussed and justified on-wiki, which relates to accountability and therefore both “Enable Coordination Across the Movement” and “Iterate and Adapt for Greater Impact”.

2 referred to Fram, and one referred to Lila I think someone controversial on German wikipedia.

An Arabic response encouraged the use of consensus rather than voting, saying “Seek consensus in the first place. This is steadily diminishing, even in relatively small societies such as Arabic Wikipedia, in favor of the vote, which by its very nature is subject to balance of power and a desire for harmony and proximity to power centers. Vote strengthens the position of groups that are naturally highly represented in society, such as conservatives (both socially and religiously),as opposed to less represented communities such as women, religious, cultural and political minorities.” Consensus and decision making relate specifically to clusters “Enable Coordination Across the Movement,” “Iterate and Adapt for Greater Impact,” “Make the Cultural Changes Required to Include Future Communities,“ and “Create Structures for More Sustainable and Equitable Power Distribution”.

Q4: How should movement roles and structures be accountable and to who?

Responses overwhelmingly said that the structures should be accountable to the volunteers, with a few dissents like “to the president of Wikipedia Foundation.” An Arabic response included a broader global view emphasizing human rights and an anti-colonial, pro-diversity historical and political narratives, saying, “To all its members and to the international human rights agreements. The right of local cultures to be represented in historical and political narratives.” This question about accountability relates to the cluster heading “Iterate and Adapt for Greater Impact“ and perhaps “Make the Cultural Changes Required to Include Future Communities,“ and “Create Structures for More Sustainable and Equitable Power Distribution”.

This from a question above bears repeating here: 8 were hostile to WMF; one referred to the WMF role as serving the volunteers, and others who were not hostile referred to the need for transparency by the board. These responses to questions 2 and 4 overlapped a great deal.

Q5: Anything else you would like to share with the Roles & Responsibilities working group?

  • Two pedants, one staff one public, want the creators of the survey to use 'whom'
  • One response was anti-Langcom.

Statistics[edit]

Gender[edit]

55 public respondents responded to the question about their gender identity.

These 55 public respondents included 39 men, 10 women, and 6 responses from people who reported that they don't define or don't believe in gender or are agender, one "specifically" and one long personal-ad type answer without including gender.

10 staff were divided evenly with 5 men and 5 women.

Table 1. Public responses about gender
% n
male 71 39
female 18 10
other 11 6
100 55


Table 2. Staff responses about gender
STAFF % n
M 50 5
F 50 5
Table 3. All responses about gender
TOTAL % n
M 68 44
F 23 15
other answer 9 6
100 65

Geography[edit]

57 people disclosed their geographical region in the public survey.

  • Europe (n=27) and North America (n=17) were the most common answers.
  • 8 people reported being from Africa, primarily Ivory Coast.
  • 4 reported their location as Asia including Australia.
  • 2 reported from South America.

Language[edit]

165 survey responses contained content for analysis.

  • 58 in English,
  • 47 in French,
  • 7 in Spanish,
  • 2 in Arabic, and
  • 1 in German

Data limitations[edit]

It is imperative to keep in mind that survey responses came primarily from western participants communicating in English and French. While this reflects most users, other existing users from other regions and using other languages were not well represented.