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Talk:CIS-A2K/Pilot Designs/Basic Community Building

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Please add comments, feedback, suggestions, etc. on this page. Hisham (talk) 09:33, 28 March 2012 (UTC)Reply

Pilot or Programs


IIRC Shiju has been doing the "Basic Community Building" (covering all aspects of work detail mentioned) for years now with very decent success without calling it one. Pilot is trying something new / untested. May be you should call it a program instead of a pilot.

  • An example of Indic pilot which I can give is conflict resolution / increasing awareness of Wiki policies / culture to newer/older community members alike through policy pages and sorting uneasiness between new and old editors which exist in few Indic wikis. This will lead to fewer cases of misuse / abuse of wiki-resources against good interest of community / wikimedia at large.(in effect prevent more cases like the recent RfC on a Hindi Wikipedian).
  • Yes, this is a tough task, there are issues in it, but taking up something like this at least at a smaller level, can be called a pilot, not something that's been proven successful for years now. Logicwiki (talk) 10:45, 29 March 2012 (UTC)Reply
There are 2 aspects of your comments, and I'd like to address them separately.
The first is that basic community building of the nature indicated in this pilot is of course something that has been done for years by many (including Shiju.) However, for the specific communities where this is being done now by Shiju, it has either not happened in any concerted form in the past or there is a lack of experience in that community on how to go about it. The reason it is therefore a pilot is that it is new for that community.
On the second aspect, there are a couple of different elements. The nature of the work that Shiju is doing requires him to build trust and confidence across communities. Playing the role of a policeman will hamper this. Aspects like conflict resolution and "integration" of new and old editors are best facilitated by encouraging communication and collaboration - which is precisely what we are trying to do, rather than a formal intervention process. Also, it's really important that intervention on the specifics within a community is something that that particular community must decide on. It must not appear to be imposed by folks from outside that community, no matter how well intentioned. The only exception I can think off is that if there is a very real risk to that particular project and where community voices appear to be suppressed. If that's the case, there is always the RfC process that is available. There may be situations where India Program triggers off the RfC process, but I would like to keep that as a measure of the absolute last resort. Hisham (talk) 04:55, 30 March 2012 (UTC)Reply
Conflicts happen due to user's understanding of policy which may / may not happen due to awareness and exposure to wikiculture. increasing awareness of Wiki policies can at least first study the nature of policies that exist / enforcement / impact(due to enforcement or lack of it). Am not asking for policing wikis, but ensure a favourable climate exists for all contributors. I disagree that only particular community must decide on intervention. This is classic case like corrupt politicians voting for anti-corruption law. In short will never happen. You might see that the Requests_for_comment/Userrights_on_hi.wiki was started by a steward outside the particular community. I agree RfC must be last sort, but can it also put in place a framework for this? No amount of outreach can help in increasing participation if there is an unfavorable climate inside the wiki. I repeat what I said on IRC, community development cannot in isolation ignoring these challenging aspects. Logicwiki (talk) 07:23, 30 March 2012 (UTC)Reply
Agree with Srikanth. This doesn't need to go as far as policing wikis (an earlier proposal for an indic sysop was opposed by admins from many communities), but a framework for handling cases like the one srikanth points above should be put in place. Something that can function as a place to go before an RfC is initiated. The hi wiki case is a good example for such an intervention is a must. A lot of us had an inkling things weren't good in hi wiki, but couldnt do anything (even an earlier RfC went nowhere). --Sodabottle (talk) 15:11, 30 March 2012 (UTC)Reply
Thanks for your comments, guys. Here's how it's working right now (and I write this in the context of a potential framework that both of you are asking for.) Shiju engages with a whole host of wikimedians across languages and is focused on community building. To this end, he works on, as User:Logicwiki put it, facilitating "a favourable climate exists for all contributors." There are some projects where this climate can be improved and how Shiju is working now is through one-on-one discussions with community members regarding wikiculture and wikipolicies. These discussions are almost always uncomfortable, and not always conclusive. I imagine a situation where if there is no amicable solution, the issue might be raised by a community member(s) - on the village pump, and if that also proves inconclusive, the RfC option is always there.
Having said this, I acknowledge that we are very likely to realise issues about a particular project or community before folks from other projects or communities. I'd love to hear from you what ideas you think can go into the "framework" you are both indicating. Do keep in mind the following when you respond, and my apologies for repeating some of these points
  • We do need to be exceedingly sensitive to avoiding the risk of interfering in the internal affairs of a community
  • We are only just starting a lot of our work - and we do not yet have the inter and intra community credibility necessary for us to be regarded as arbitrator-of-choice
  • Would anything we propose be a duplication of existing options and processes for discussion / arbitration that already are in place and established
  • An "intervention" by India Program will not serve any end if all it suceeds in doing is inflame an already tense situation, which might have otherwise been resolved by the community themselves given time.
I am stating these points only so that it gives you some perspective of our thinking of the matter, and of the constraints we believe we should be operating within.
I am really grateful for starting this discussion thread. It's very thought-provoking! Hisham (talk) 11:17, 4 April 2012 (UTC)Reply