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Disagreement with purpose of survey[edit]

Sue has previously tried to do this kind of survey and I pointed out then that it can't work. How much you spend on a particular thing depends on how much it costs and how much you have. It's nonsense to say you think half our money should be spend on servers, say. If buying enough servers to host the site will cost 90% of our money, then most people would agree that we should spend 90% of our money on servers. If we can get all the servers we need for only 10% of our money, most people would agree that we shouldn't spend more than 10% on servers. You can't just divide up money in percentage terms, budgeting doesn't work like that. --Tango 15:31, 2 February 2012 (UTC)Reply

There's a possibility that core operating expenses will not be included in the survey. I won't be writing it, but I'll pass your concerns along. :) Obviously, it would be a bad idea to create a budget based on a survey of this kind for exactly the reasons you identify, but I nevertheless think there's potentially valuable data here. It could be enlightening to find out what kinds of things people feel are important to fund...and the kinds of things they don't. We may be surprised by what the communities value most. --Maggie Dennis (WMF) 15:48, 2 February 2012 (UTC)Reply
Tango, don't think of it as dollars, then. Think of it as points. Or whatever token means something to you. The idea is to get a feeling of general tendency toward value on particular things. Philippe (WMF) 19:59, 2 February 2012 (UTC)Reply
I added a bunch of things I think would be useful but i'm not sure how much use this is as there is no mechanism for others to upvote or downvote items and assign importance (Rationalwiki has this - can we add it here?)Filceolaire 20:58, 2 February 2012 (UTC)Reply
Thanks, Filceolaire! :) That's interesting, but I worry if we tried to do it that way we might edit conflict ourselves to death. :D The contributors will assign importance when the survey goes out, and the data will be published here. --Maggie Dennis (WMF) 21:15, 2 February 2012 (UTC)Reply
I think Filceolaire means the importance of including them in the survey, not the importance of spending money on them. You can't have too long a list in the survey or it will be too difficult, confusing and time-consuming for people to respond. Something like the voting system RationalWiki uses would be very helpful in deciding what to include in the survey. --Tango 00:15, 3 February 2012 (UTC)Reply
Hmmm. I don't know if we can do that; alas, I'm not very technical, and I've got to have this list finalized in a relatively short period of time. I'll see what I can find out. :) My current plan is take the larger list and start boiling it down into broader categories - hopefully collaboratively - in a few days. In spite of the write-in option, I think it's pretty important that we try to offer a broad and representative spectrum. --Maggie Dennis (WMF) 11:59, 3 February 2012 (UTC)Reply
It doesn't make any difference what you call it. Whenever you are planning a survey the first thing you need to do is work out what it actually is that you want to know. Once you know what question you want the answer to, you ask that question. What do you want to know? I doubt you want to know whether people think you should be spending more on A or on B, since that is going to depend on how much A and B cost and how much we can afford and the general community aren't necessarily going to know that. I think what you want to know is how people think you should be prioritising different spending. If that's the case, then that's what you need to ask. If you want to know priorities then you don't ask for percentages, you ask for rankings. I would suggest asking people to assign each item a number 1 to 10 or X (numbers can be repeated and skipped). 1 means we should spend as much as it takes to do this, whatever else we have to sacrifice to do it. 10 means we should only spend money on this if there is some left over and we don't know what else to do with it. X means we shouldn't be doing this even if we had all the money in the world. Make it clear in the instructions that there is overlap between the rankings, so you don't have to spend as much as possible on rank 5 things before spending anything on rank 6 things, for example - if something is at rank 6 that means you shouldn't start spending on it until you've covered at least the most important and cost-effective parts of the rank 5 things, but you can sacrifice the optional extras of the rank 5 things in order to spend money on the most important and cost-effective parts of the rank 6 things. If I've correctly guessed what it is you are trying to find out, I think that survey will tell you want you want to know. Your survey will require people to make guesses and assumptions and you won't know what they've guessed and assumed, so you won't be able to interpret the answers correctly. --Tango 00:13, 3 February 2012 (UTC)Reply
That's an interesting approach. I'll make sure that's mentioned in discussing the survey. --Maggie Dennis (WMF) 11:59, 3 February 2012 (UTC)Reply
Hey folks -- this is just a quick note to say that yes, Maggie and Philippe and I just met briefly on this survey, and we think Tango's right: what we're really after is prioritising rather than dollars. So we will change that. Thanks Tango :-)
I want to articulate here the goals of the survey as I understand them, so we are on the same page. The first goal of the survey is to come up with a good solid list of community funding needs. So, we have built a list of potential funding needs here, with some input from community members. We will now do some categorization/sorting/whatever, and release that as the fixed set of options for the survey. But *importantly*, we will also have a write-in option. After the survey, we'll do some clustering and analysis to figure out what community funding needs exist that we did not know previously know about. That'll enable us to have a fairly solid capture of all key community funding needs, and we can use that list to help us structure funds dissemination processes. (Let me give an example here for clarity. Let's say that we surface that a massive number of editors say they need the Wikimedia movement to provide them with access to scholarly research --- if that were true, we would then be able to imagine how best to meet that need.) So, one key purpose of the survey is to function as a needs assessment tool, so that we can figure out what needs exist, which are being already met, and how to meet the ones that currently aren't being met. I think this will likely be really interesting, and may surface some surprises. The second key purpose of the survey, in my view, is to prioritize the needs. I don't have any preconceived ideas of what kind of data that aspect of the survey will yield, and I am not sure how actionable it will be. But regardless of how we end up using it, I think having it makes sense: it would be better to know people's priorities, rather than to not know them.
I say this because I don't want people here to get too hung up on the prioritization aspect of the survey. I actually think it's likely the "community needs" surfacing will yield more useful and interesting material. Thanks Sue Gardner 22:36, 8 February 2012 (UTC)Reply

Decentralised hosting for technical and legal resilience, including hosting by other entities (even if the Edit buttons link back to the canonical version)[edit]

I am a little unclear about this option: does whoever added it to the page want to flesh it out a little? I'm particularly unclear about what decentralized hosting means in this context. Having servers in multiple jurisdictions increases our (the Wikimedia Foundation's) legal exposure: it does not reduce it. Thanks Sue Gardner 22:40, 8 February 2012 (UTC)Reply

Funds in each wiki (or each wikiproject for large wikis) for microgrants and Local funds in each nation (or each state/region for large states) for microgrants[edit]

I think these two bullets are straying too far into the "how" of the funds dissemination, rather than the "what" of funds dissemination. I think they should probably come out. The purpose of this exercise is to conduct a needs assessment, so we should be aiming here to name needs (e.g., a camera, a scanner) rather than to talk about how to meet those needs (e.g., microgrants for wikis, microgrants for nations). Sue Gardner 22:51, 8 February 2012 (UTC)Reply

Collapsing core operations and technical improvements into a single line item[edit]

I am going to collapse "core operations" and "technical improvements" into a single line item. The main purpose of this survey is to surface community needs/desires for funding, not to prioritize how Wikimedia Foundation funds should be spent. Given that, I think that multiple line items delineating Wikimedia Foundation spending are just going to distract from that core purpose. Better to fully flesh out the kinds of funding that community members might need or want. Thanks Sue Gardner 01:01, 9 February 2012 (UTC)Reply

Note for Philippe and Maggie[edit]

Hey Philippe & Maggie --- I think at this point the list is a pretty good brainstorm of the kinds of support volunteers typically seem to ask for. (I asked Erik & Asaf to add more items, based on their experience running the grants programs.) It is long, but I think it's reasonably complete and clear, and I don't think we could shorten it too much without damaging its usefulness.

So, at this point we have a reasonably-complete list of resources that Wikimedia volunteers typically seem to want from the Wikimedia movement, in order to support their work. It includes things like cash, but also access to scholarly journals, legal advice, T-shirts, and the right to use the trademarks.

IIRC, what we want to ask people now is some version of this:

  • Are there any additional resources, not listed here, that you believe you or other volunteers might want, in order to help you do your work. Please list them.
  • Imagine a scale of 0 to 10, if 0 means "should not be offered at all" and 10 means "absolutely critical that this be offered." Using that scale, please assign a value to each of the resources listed here, based on how important you think they are to the overall success of the Wikimedia movement.
  • Here is the same list of resources. Please tick the checkbox next to any resources that you think you might one day want access to, yourself.
  • Before taking this survey, did you know that the Wikimedia movement currently has several programs that offer access to these types of resources for volunteers?

Plus, I think we will want to ask for the following demographic information:

  • Home wiki (language & project)
  • Country of residence

I think that's all we need. Thanks guys :-) Sue Gardner 02:35, 9 February 2012 (UTC)Reply

Question for Philippe and Maggie :-)[edit]

Hey Philippe & Maggie -- I haven't checked in with you on this lately --- can you let me know where we're at with it? No rush, I am just getting caught up on all the FR&FD stuff. Thanks Sue Gardner (talk) 19:29, 28 February 2012 (UTC)Reply

It is actively in translation at Survey of how money should be spent/Questions, and I'm frankly gobsmacked by how quickly and well people are rising to the challenge of translation. :) I believe it is expected to be done by within the week. Stephen has taken point on coordinating with Jon on that, but I'll get the current release schedule for you unless Philippe drops by with it first. :) --Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 13:02, 29 February 2012 (UTC)Reply