Talk:Community Engagement (Product)

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I'd appreciate suggestions about categorization, if that's needed? Thanks. --Elitre (WMF) (talk) 17:55, 5 August 2014 (UTC)

A reverse idea about community engagement[edit]

I see - if I'm not wrong - that the core of community engagement is, to help developers to explain and document new software. As a DIY, layman developer of small, but hopefully useful gadgets, I see that the reverse way could be useful too: t.i. to let developers known about software/gadgets built by users, to select, develop, and share best ideas. When users develop gadgets by their own, they are focused of minor, but nevertheless relevant issues, making their work simpler and faster; this is their goal, on the basis of a hard editing activity. But their product is far from "professional" usually, and sharing tools as GIT are hard to manage. Help by professional programmers could convert pretty rough ideas into smart tools. --Alex brollo (talk) 07:17, 25 August 2014 (UTC)

@Alex brollo: Re: core of community engagement - that's partially correct, but it really does go in both directions. We're here to assist communication, and increase the speed/depth of understanding, for all groups involved. A lot of the work that we do in the community-->staff direction, is in meetings/IRC/email/trello/etc, hence it's not as visible.
Re: Gadgets - Great minds think alike! See these pages, and the pages linked from there, for (slowly) ongoing work and discussion:
Hope that helps. Quiddity (WMF) (talk) 17:49, 25 August 2014 (UTC)

Community Liaison job openings at WMF[edit]

Hello! There are currently 2 job openings, and I thought someone here might be interested. Specifically:

  • Community Liaison - this position will initially focus on working with the Flow team and also with the Editing (VisualEditor) team, mostly at non-English wikis; however, a lot of smaller or short-term tasks continually come up, so the WMF is particularly looking for someone who is adaptable, and with diverse interests.
  • Community Liaison (Part time contract) - this part-time position will primarily focus on working with the Mobile teams, as the link explains.

If you need further information, feel free to send an email to cep@lists.wikimedia.org (but do not use this address to apply). Please pass it along, if you know someone who might be interested or a good fit for the Community Engagement team. Thanks! Quiddity (WMF) (talk) 18:27, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

Question copied from en:WT:Flow:

What's the definition of "community liason"?
Is it a salesman to sell the botched software fiascos of the WMF to the communities, who want to block them, and sugarcoat the oligarchic process currently done against the communities?
Or should s/he be an advocat of the communities, to give the real bosses, that's the communities, better access to the ivory tower decision process in SF, to break up the disconnected in-group and rejoin them with the community?
--♫ Sänger - Talk - superputsch must go 09:46, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
@Sänger S.G: Hi, I'm copying the question and replying here, partially so that my colleagues can potentially join the discussion, and partially because it's not directly related to WT:Flow; I hope that seems reasonable.
Long answer: I keep telling people, "I'm a community liaison, not a staff liaison." Most of my job, is explaining/describing (or researching and asking if I'm not familiar with something) the way that we editors do things, to the other staff that I work with; either from my own experience or based on all the (past and present) onwiki discussions and mailing-list discussions and policies/guidelines/precedents and general philosophy that I've absorbed from living as a Wikipedian for 9+ years - this includes a large number of video-call meetings and emails and IRC discussions, and keeping uptodate on all the bug-tickets and projectmanagement tools (currently Trello, but soon to be Phabricator), hence it's not as visible as we all would like it to be. When I need to explain a potentially-unpopular software-team decision, to the communities, (eg. fixed width), I just try to do it as clearly and logically as possible, but whilst also keeping the discussion open/ongoing/calm, for collecting more input/references/evidence/perspective. I'm an editor above all, and I obviously disagree with my colleagues sometimes (on both small and big issues), but I'm also not going to aggressively disagree with them in public, because that's not effective at creating change; instead it just makes anyone defensive. So I send a lot of very carefully phrased emails, and try to prevent problems before they start, by worrying constantly and being a voice of caution.
Abstractly: The best solutions are usually arrived at via slow and careful discussion. The best solution is often not the first solution; hence the job (of CL, and editor!) requires a lot of patience to do well. m:Eventualism got the projects to where they are, and has always seemed to (generally) be the best route forward. But all the philosophies have to work well together, and I can understand the sense behind them all in certain situations, hence translating-concepts (putting an idea into different words) is a huge part of what I try to do.
Short answer: #2. Definitely #2. Despite being shot at regularly, we are not messengers! If you think you'd be good at it (or someone you know), then please do apply. Quiddity (WMF) (talk) 23:13, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
Liaisons dangereuses
Why not call them "Community explainers" then? It would also be much easier to translate than such a mixed term. Most romance languages people will think of liaisons dangereuses and affaires, which is certainly better than the cliché of a divorce between the community and the WMF, but not quite clear. --Nemo 12:06, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
As the saying goes, "there are two hard things in computer science: cache invalidation, naming things, and off-by-one errors". And much of wikimedia is really good (bad) at the second one! Ambiguous, confusing, historical, and alternate names everywhere! From projects to people! ;-)
But also, because that's just how I do things, and currently. Some have suggested that I should change my focus, and work more as a megaphone/amplifier for the work and decisions the staff make (either within my particular teams, or WMF-wide). If I had more time/energy (and more of my colleagues' individual expertises), I'd do everything (and more). Quiddity (WMF) (talk) 19:50, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
So, you see, it follows that this is not a problem of terminology or misunderstandings of the liaison's role. It's simply a problem of contrasting expectations and of negotiation. At some point perhaps a shared understanding will be reached, and it might also come with a new name as a symptom; but we're not there yet. In the meanwhile, I'm glad that you found a thoughtful balance which works for you. --Nemo 21:31, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for your thoughts, Nemo, the translation point you raise is definitely worth thinking about. I know that the title Community Liaison has been around for awhile so I'm sure this is not the first time this has come up. To expand on what Quiddity (WMF) has said, yes, naming things is not always clear so in thinking about it, it seems that any potential change should come with a some thought. I'm happy that you raised this so that it's on our radars. As a team we're trying to consider better and more ways of broadcasting information in order to raise awareness and bring more voices into the product process, at all phases of development. Ideally, increased collaboration is the goal. --Rdicerb (WMF) (talk) 19:50, 23 November 2014 (UTC)
I note that having raised the question last November, it took only until April to raise task phab:T97432 to Finalize the team name, so those thoughts are definitely being had, and at High Priority too. It isn't on the June to-do list, though, so it might we worth asking here when exactly the volunteer community may expect to know the name of the team assigned to liaise with us? Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 06:27, 15 June 2015 (UTC)

Welcoming Moushira to the team![edit]

It's my pleasure to introduce User:Melamrawy_(WMF) back to the Wikimedia Foundation as Community Liaison to the Mobile Web and Mobile Apps teams. She is currently in a part-time capacity and the team is delighted that she has rejoined the Foundation with work with mobile users. :) --Rdicerb (WMF) (talk) 23:59, 16 February 2015 (UTC)

Wikimedia Conference 2015[edit]

Just a note that I'm going to be in Berlin next week and as usual I'd like to meet and talk to as many people as possible! Best, --Elitre (WMF) (talk) 11:27, 5 May 2015 (UTC)

Understand the needs, concerns and priorities of volunteers in order to support the community and develop recommendations for future programs[edit]

Lila initiated a process that produced Communications/State of the Wikimedia Foundation. In that, we read that As of March 2015, the Community Engagement team has launched in internal working group to begin this process, "this process" being to understand the needs, concerns and priorities of volunteers in order to support the community and develop recommendations for future programs. It is not clear how far a purely internal group can go in developing that understanding, but in any case please would that internal working group tell us what steps they propose to take to consult the volunteers about their needs, concerns and priorities; when they will take those steps; when they propose to finish this process; and when and how they will communicate those results? Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 20:45, 8 June 2015 (UTC)

Does this have a task number? I was unable to locate it at this workboard but I may have been looking at the wrong place. The only plausible-sounding title there was Maximize volunteer/staff engineer engagement in MediaWiki software projects but that seems unlikely, since this is currently a low priority task, on the backlog and assigned to None (surprising in itself, but then I suppose the team has more important things to do). Are there other workboards where the internal working group would be represented? Or is it the case that it has already finished its work? Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 06:20, 15 June 2015 (UTC)

Rogol Domedonfors, I think I see the issue here - "Community Engagement (Product)" is essentially the Community Liaisons team. "Community Engagement" is the new overall department, comprising of Community Liaisons, Community Advocacy, Grantmaking (now known as the Community Resources), Learning and Evaluation, Education, and Wikipedia Library). I've been remaining patient with the renaming of my team (it isn't just an internal decision) - but I definitely see that it can be confusing as to who does what.
The specific statement that you pull from for the State of the Wikimedia Foundation in actuality is that of the Community Resources team - they work with movement-wide programs, and I believe that team is not actively using Phabricator yet. You might find some of the information you're looking for on their page that I linked to. -Rdicerb (WMF) (talk) 01:21, 16 June 2015 (UTC)
Thank you for taking the time to acknowledge my comment. As I understand it then, "understand the needs, concerns and priorities of volunteers in order to support the community and develop recommendations for future programs" is not part of your team's remit, but "maximize volunteer/staff engineer engagement in MediaWiki software projects" is. I fail to see how you could do the latter without the former, perhaps that's why your task, which you did not mention, is still languishing on the backlog. It would be very helpful if you collectively could draw up and publish prominently an explanation of what it is that the various departments do, and where and how members of the community can most effectively engage with Community Engagement, and who has the specific responsibility for managing each interaction. I note with regret that you did not recognise the need for this in your reply. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 06:42, 16 June 2015 (UTC)
Hey, while maximize volunteer/staff engineer engagement in MediaWiki software projects is something we certainly did to a certain extent in the past, I'd say that's definitely mw:Engineering Community Team's specialty! The good thing is that team recently became part of our Community department, which will translate into more collaboration (I personally feel I always have something to learn from Quim's team). I think that updates to Community Engagement was among the duties of a person the dept is about to hire?, so thanks for your patience, I'm sure we'll see movement soon on this page as I'm making a note of checking what the status is. --Elitre (WMF) (talk) 08:11, 16 June 2015 (UTC)
@Elitre (WMF): then at the very least your team Phabricator workboard is out of date -- please would you correct it as soon as convenient. I had, apparently incorrectly, assumed that it was something that I was entitled to rely on as an aaccurate view of your work. @Rdicerb (WMF): please have your team tell the community where we may go to find an authoritative, up-to-date statement of the remit of your team. It would be of great help to the community to have a clear, actionable, statement of what matters that the community wish to raise are, and are not, within your remit, and clear and authoritative statement of where and how such matters may be effectively raised.
May I further request that we do not have a discussion here between members of your team as to what or where such things might be. Please, no delays, no excuses, no references to other pages or other parts of the organisation. What we want and need, is a single, prompt, clear, accessible, agreed, authoritative, reliable, actionable statement of what these things actually are. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 16:59, 16 June 2015 (UTC)
Phabricator is a quite new tool, and like several other teams, we're working to integrate it more in our workflows as time goes by (it does give more visibility into what a team does, but it doesn't work equally well for all the teams of course - some stuff just can't be captured there, like cases where privacy/security is involved). What you see on a Phabricator workboard like the one you linked to is not necessarily "everything a team has to do", so I now understand where the confusion comes from! In several cases, "projects" (like the Community-Liaison tag) are added to a task just to CC a team on something they may be interested in, but that's not necessarily something they really need to work on, something they own: who's writing may need a bit of help with the task, but most of the times is more "FYI" or a consulting request (and that's actually the case for a lot of those tasks on our board, I think). Sometimes reasons for why a given team was added in the first place are given in the task comments. (Looks like there is no way to distinguish between the various roles teams may have on a task, but I bet there may be a related request on Phab itself... or we can always file one, of course.) Tasks filed by team members for a given project or assigned to that team's members are the relevant ones. For the rest, had you seen the longer description of what we do on mediawiki.org? If there's something unclear, I'd like to see if there's anything I can do about it. Thanks, --Elitre (WMF) (talk) 17:28, 16 June 2015 (UTC)
Do you propose that longer description of what you do as a clear, actionable, statement of what matters that the community wish to raise are, and are not, within your remit, and a clear and authoritative statement of where and how such matters may be effectively raised? Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 18:56, 16 June 2015 (UTC)
Hi everybody! Elitre summarized it very well so I cannot add much: Phabricator is open for any teams (also non-engineering), but not all teams use Phabricator yet. We introduced Phabricator approx. half a year ago to overcome some of the previous problems but the specific needs and workflows of each team for a task management tool like Phabricator are diverse and aren't always trivial to cover. :) Taking a look at phab:T85590 I see several teams associated to that task as they could provide valuable input on that task, but that specific topic sounds like primary Engineering-Community-Team (ECT) territory. So it is on the Backlog list and help is welcome to drive that task, it's just that other tasks have higher priority in this month's sprint - see ECT's June 2015 board for what's being worked on by the ECT team. :-/ --AKlapper (WMF) (talk) 11:33, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for that but it does not quite address my point. If you look at the project page here, you see tht this workboard is advertised as a way in which the community can keep up to date with what this team is doing:
Learn about what we're currently working on and get the latest news about the products we are liaising. Our workboard on Phabricator is generally more up-to-date.
The "latest news" is to a page of mediawiki which was replaced by a redirect, to mw:Community Engagement (Product)/Products, which seriously out of date -- it refers to SUL as coming soon, for example, to non-existent engineering dashboard, and to a presumed defunct product survey. So we look to the Phabricator workboard to be up-to-date. Now we discover that it is so easily read as you might be led to think, given that it is advertised as the up-to-date source of information on what the team is doing. That's hardly surprising of course, since a project workboard is not the same thing as a clear summary of the team's current activities for the benefit of the community members who might wish to be involved in, or comment on, that work in some way. So I repeat my question. Where does the community go for a clear, actionable statement of what matters that the community wish to raise are, and are not, within your remit, and a clear and authoritative statement of where and how such matters may be effectively raised? Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 12:00, 20 June 2015 (UTC)
I think we'll just re-structure the team page with info we're working on at an org level, and maybe re-think the subpage. We work on dozens wikis: products usually have local feedback pages where people engage with us and learn about any initiative they can be involved in. I also flag goings-on in mailing lists, village pumps etc., and generally wherever I think there may be an interested audience, because reaching the users where they are is the only approach which works (I mainly deal with editors). It may be easier now to maintain a centralized venue for information about the team (like this page at Meta) now that we have more people on board; I created it, but I'm perfectly aware that even if it were perfect, it wouldn't have enough visibility to be really useful (only a few people have it in their watchlist). I therefore think that maintaining something on Phabricator might be even better - we'll get there when our team processes really consolidate. This said, if you have an actual matter you'd like to raise, aside from pointing out what you think we need to improve, please post it here as well and we'll be glad to tell you if we can help, or ping who we know can help, as we usually do. Thanks, --Elitre (WMF) (talk) 07:34, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
This last sentence is interesting -- I wonder what you regard as "an actual matter". I think that asking for "a clear, actionable statement of what matters that the community wish to raise are, and are not, within your remit, and a clear and authoritative statement of where and how such matters may be effectively raised" would be asking about an actual matter, if you were to provide it, but I gather that you have decided to do something else instead. I rather thought that having your engagement spread over dozens of wikis would be an argument for rather than against having a central portal; that Meta as a coordination wiki was the obvious place to have such a portal; and that if its location were not immediately obvious to the community, you would have the means to spread knowledge of that location widely, quickly and effectively. But it is your team's job, and your team must in the end carry the responsibility for whether or not you are doing it efficiently and effectively, with or without the help of the community -- I suppose that the phrase "aside from pointing out what you think we need to improve" is a euphemistic way of saying that you are no longer interested in constructive suggestions? Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 20:54, 4 July 2015 (UTC)

Recent hires[edit]

Although I already introduced them to the respective communities a while ago and the team page already describes their roles, I'd like to post a welcome note for User:Trizek_(WMF) and User:Johan_(WMF).

Benoît joins the team to work with the Editing vertical. He'll be working on VisualEditor and in coming months will work on community engagement around Flow. He has helped fr.wp in a volunteer capacity to get Flow adopted into a few pages so the communities there can collaborate on the product. He went to the Hackathon in Lyon recently, meeting many volunteers in his new role.

Johan joins the Community Liaisons to work with communities on product surveying and core contributors support in the Community Tech vertical and will be working with community facing projects by Analytics and TechOps as well as broad community collaborations which may come up all over the movement, and you may already have seen him working on the HTTPS project. We're so glad to have them with us! --Elitre (WMF) (talk) 08:45, 16 June 2015 (UTC)

Thanks, Elitre! /Johan (WMF) (talk) 16:06, 16 June 2015 (UTC)

Our session at Wikimania 2015[edit]

We'd like this information to reach as many people as possible: the team's proposal for a Wikimania session was accepted, which means we'll meet on Sunday, July 19 at 9 am in Room F. We'll discuss community engagement in the product development process, so if you're going to be at Wikimania, we'd really love to see you there - and our apologies for the early session after a party night, but you know, "the early bird gets the worm"! And if you can't make it, please pass the word along, and consider adding to the related task I just created (it's more intended for suggestions than long discussions, of course) - but we want people to be able to participate to the conversation no matter where they are. Best, --Elitre (WMF) (talk) 09:10, 16 June 2015 (UTC)

Communication plans[edit]

Your Mediawiki page states that you "play a vital role within product development by setting and implementing communication plans". Are these plans formal documents that you would be willing to publish to community for discussion, comment and possible improvement and assistance? If so, I would think it particularly beneficial to expose the plan for mw:Gather as this seems to have taken the community by surprise and there have been extensive discussions in various places, which you are doubtless aware of but which may not have been the best venue. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 11:22, 5 July 2015 (UTC)

Additional: I suggest that this will be especially important in the light of [Wikitech-l] The end of the Roadmap Phabricator project. As you revise your communications plans in the light of that announcement, I suggest that you do so on-wiki, in line with the WMF Board's Transparency commitment, in order that the volunteer community can help you to help them. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 16:23, 5 July 2015 (UTC)

Staying up-to-date[edit]

The link what we're currently working on currently points to Community Engagement (Product)/Action items, which is in turn a redirect to Community Engagement (Product)/Products. As a result of some manoeuvres at that latter page which I do not understand, that is now in turn a soft redirect to mw:Category:WMF Projects, which seems to be a list of every project in existence. Is that intended? Is there not a better description of "what we're currently working on" to be had? Oh, and is there a more up-to-date link than mw:Wikimedia Engineering/2014-15 Goals#Community Engagement (Product), perhaps involving 2015-16? Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 21:29, 3 August 2015 (UTC)

Community Liaison job opening at WMF[edit]

Hi. There's a new job posting for a Community Liaison to work with the Discovery department. Please pass it along, if you know someone who might be interested or a good fit. Thanks. Quiddity (WMF) (talk) 19:52, 21 October 2015 (UTC)

Uh, "projects on emerging issues in software projects". But I'm pleased to see a mention of Wiktionary, interesting. Nemo 20:29, 21 October 2015 (UTC)
Uh oh, thank you for pointing that out, Nemo. It does look a bit jargony and I think it's clearer if it says "projects FOR emerging..." - but if you have a suggestion I'm willing to hear it (issues is sufficiently neutral - a word like "problems" mostly denotes negative, which is why it says "issues". -Rdicerb (WMF) (talk) 21:36, 21 October 2015 (UTC)

Trying to add KPIs page to "See Also" section at this page[edit]

I posted into this Talk page but mostly to get that Talk page going - I doubt anyone has even noticed the page yet. As far as the question at that link: are there instructions somewhere? When trying to edit the "See Also" section of the team page in order to add a link to CL KPIs, I'm told it doesn't exist. -Rdicerb (WMF) (talk) 23:52, 23 October 2015 (UTC)

An IP editor helped to add the KPIs and I wasn't able to thank them directly, but I now send thanks out to the ether towards that person! :) -Rdicerb (WMF) (talk) 23:16, 26 October 2015 (UTC)

Outreach: conversations between product teams and communities[edit]

Where are some of the places that we might ask communities for volunteers to speak with product teams for an hour? VPs and individual project locations in particular, but are there other areas where the WMF can request people willing to talk with teams? For the software used, at this point I am thinking of IRC and google hangout sessions, but I'm open to other systems for a 1 hour group conversation ("group" consisting of no more than about 8-10 people, community members and WMF staff at any time). Maybe using Webex for some calls would be useful, and of course, face to face gatherings should be used when there's an opportunity to at conferences. As far as timing, these conversations should scheduled to accommodate time zones, to ensure a wide range of community members and staffers get to meet and learn a little more about what matters to one another and to be able to ask questions in a less structured setting. -Rdicerb (WMF) (talk) 18:08, 10 December 2015 (UTC)