Talk:Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2017/Archive 1

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I am sure that members of the community who have been concerned about the development of a strategic direction for the movement as a whole and the Foundation in particular, will join in welcoming this initiative, especially with its emphasis on engagement with the community and learning from the past. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 05:13, 31 August 2016 (UTC)

Points of information

  • What is the "2016-18 Wikimedia Foundation strategy" mentioned under "Audit Processes"? Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 05:19, 31 August 2016 (UTC)
@Rogol Domedonfors: Apologies - the mention to 2016-2018 in that section was a typo, and we is meant to be a reference to the 2015 Call to Action strategy. The 2015 Call to Action strategy was the Wikimedia Foundation's strategy prior to the 2016-18 plan currently in place. I have added some additional links to the page to help clarify. --Gregory Varnum (WMF) (talk) 20:23, 1 September 2016 (UTC)
  • "Retreat with product teams" -- is there an agenda or reports that can be shared, please? Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 05:19, 31 August 2016 (UTC)
@Rogol Domedonfors: This was one of the Product Department's staff retreats. We generally publish more information about the outcomes through quarterly reviews and other regular updates from teams. The discussion during that retreat was about how the strategy will functionally intersect with Product work. Other discussions, for some context, included continuing discussions on Community and Product interactions in development, coverage for features, programs and development services not currently supported, team evaluation metrics and impact, and how Product communicates development and feature launches. --Gregory Varnum (WMF) (talk) 22:54, 16 September 2016 (UTC)
  • (add your point for clarification here)

Listening and learning

The listening and learning timeline thread from July to December 2016 seems to focus more heavily on WMF staff than it does with the community as a whole: this seems disproportionate, and does not reflect the narrative given earlier. Surely more effort should be made to capture views from the community, especially about what has worked and not worked in recent times. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 05:23, 31 August 2016 (UTC)

@Rogol Domedonfors: As noted on other areas of the page, consultations with community leaders are already underway, and "strategic discussions will occur between January and July 2017". The page also mentions that "The actual movement-wide strategic discussions will start in January 2017." --Gregory Varnum (WMF) (talk) 20:23, 1 September 2016 (UTC)
Thank you for that, but it does not address my point. I am talking about the involvement of the Community in that part of the process happening in 2016, in which the consultation is being planned: I am not referring to the strategic consultation itself. Who are these "community leaders"? How were they selected? But my point remains. Whoever these people are, it seems to me that the community is under-represented, compared to other stakeholders, in the process of planning the consultation. And yet the community, whom you will be consulting next year, must surely be the best source of ideas and information about how community consultations and engagements most effectively work. It is my contention that the community are insufficiently involved in the planning of the consultation, and that poses a risk of their views on what works and what does not being adequately captured, leading in turn to the risk that the consultation itself is less effective that it might have been. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 04:36, 2 September 2016 (UTC)
In this initial phase of developing the draft process, we’ve taken a broad approach to consultation, in order to learn from the past as well as hear from potential future participants. We started by conducting reviews of past strategic processes from 2010 onward, including both open and closed processes. This included a review of wiki documentation and interviews with key people involved in those processes, conversations with individual contributors and members of structured movement groups, and conversations with staff about support and resources. We are still working to incorporate the feedback from these conversations into a plan that can be reviewed by community to suggest new ideas, identify gaps and risks, and strengthen the final outcome. Because the needs and contributions are different for individuals (active editors versus an affiliate, for instance), our initial plan may include parallel and overlapping paths for input and engagement. For example, the 2010 process focused on an open call for proposals and then task force teams to create recommendations. We are considering a similar direction for both individuals and organized movement groups, while thinking about how these different types of participants could or might not collaborate in the process. We are also still exploring the best ways to get input from people and partners who aren’t in the conversation now. While limited, we will do some testing of these proposals with their intended participants before publishing them, to learn if the proposed process could reasonably meet the stakeholders needs and the timeline. The proposals will be shared out for community feedback in October. The feedback will be incorporated where it makes sense, then presented to the Board for review in November. The current intent is to start the strategic engagement process, focusing on the substance of strategy, in January 2017. That process would then run 6-8 months. --Gregory Varnum (WMF) (talk) 23:03, 16 September 2016 (UTC)

Board contribution

It would be valuable if members of the Board were to set out their personal views -- not necessarily a collective view, unless it happens by chance that they all agree about everything -- on possibilities and preferences for the long-term direction of travel for the movement. The last time we saw something like this was in 2014 at User talk:LilaTretikov (WMF)/Archive 3#Our Future and the role of the Foundation and it certainly provoked a considerable amount of discussion. Unfortunately Board members since then have not given much publicity to such views, see Wikimedia Foundation Board noticeboard/Archives/2016#Deep strategy for example, although of course community and affiliate nominated members have had the opportunity to do so in their public platforms before nomination. I suggest that a point be built into the schedule where Board members who wish to formulate their ideas and publish them to inform, guide and stimulate subsequent engagements: perhaps in time for them to be considered at the retreat planned for November. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 05:40, 1 September 2016 (UTC)

Hi, board involvement in the public process is yet to be defined and will be discussed during our November board retreat. We'll decide on clear rules of engagements there and will share them then. But as the board retreat will be only focused on the strategy process, it will be expected from all of us to be able to share our views during our meeting. Schiste (talk) 16:43, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
Thank you for that, but I was suggesting that the Board members share their views with the community in public. In fact, as you will see from the Board noticeboard archive, I have been advocating that for some time, and I see no good reason why Board members should have been so reluctant to share their views in the past. I do hope that the existence of this process will not be used, as your posting seems to suggest, to make an excuse for not being more open now. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 06:11, 6 September 2016 (UTC)
I'm not suggesting anything, just saying that it is a topic we will address during our November board meeting to set clear rules of engagement and expectations. I cannot say beforehand what we will decide. And whatever the decision, it will come with explanations and arguments :) Schiste (talk) 12:34, 6 September 2016 (UTC)
@Rogol Domedonfors: Members of the Board are expecting to be actively involved. The Board will be meeting in November during their annual Board retreat to discuss their strategic priorities, and one of the things they will discuss is how best to share the outcomes of their discussions. We will pass along the recommendation that they do so on-wiki. It is too early to know if the specific issue of travel will come up, but we have noted it as a suggested topic. --Gregory Varnum (WMF) (talk) 22:55, 16 September 2016 (UTC)
I understand that the Board are expecting to be actively involved, since I have seen and referred to the activities scheduled for them in the timeline. My suggestion was that they actively engage with the community on an individual basis by publishing their personal ideas about the future of the movement. By "direction of travel" I did not mean, as you appear to believe, or possibly joke, which plane tickets they should buy. I would like to hear from individual Board members, what is the direction, broadly speaking, in which those Board members expect the movement to go -- bigger, smaller, richer, poorer, active, passive, controlling, permissive, centralised, dispersed, globalised, localised, proactive, reactive, democratic, oligarchic, left-wing, right-wing, inward-looking, outward-looking, ... . Not "do we change planes in Newark or O'Hare?" Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 10:30, 17 September 2016 (UTC)

Stakeholders and partners, present and prospective

It seems that it is already too late to affect the list of stakeholders, since the timeline called for it to be completed yesterday. I do hope that it will be published here very shortly. I am concerned that there is no room in the process to identify other organisations with similar goals, or with whom the movement might partner in the future. Assuming that wider partnerships are to be a possible component of the movement's future, this seems a lack. I made some suggestions a year ago under Innovation but as far as I can tell those suggestions gained no traction. I suggest a point at which potential partnerships with compatible organisations be proposed and discussed. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 05:44, 1 September 2016 (UTC)

@Rogol Domedonfors: You are not too late. We are still building an initial draft of major stakeholders and potential engagement activities. We plan to post that by early October for feedback and suggestions. One of the broad categories we’ve identified is "stakeholders not currently in the conversation," which could include like-minded organizations or potential partners. The Wikimedia Foundation staff has regular conversations with some of these organizations - for example Creative Commons, OpenStreetMap, and Internet Archives. We are interested in suggestions for how they, or other interested organizations could best contribute their ideas and feedback into our future strategy. There have been efforts over the years to identify such organizations, but people are invited to contact additional ones and invite them if they are not one we are already reaching out to. More information on that will be available closer to the consultations beginning in January. --Gregory Varnum (WMF) (talk) 22:56, 16 September 2016 (UTC)
I seem to recall suggesting potential partner institutions on the Innovation page thirteen months ago. However I would take issue with the notion that it is up to volunteers to do all this work. Those of us who have connections with possible partner organisation still need support from the Foundation in terms of contact information. Who should I refer to at WMF who would be responsible for picking up any introduction that I might be able to broker? In the other direction, a well-constructed mass mailing type approach would almost certainly come better direct from the Foundation. I would suggest, for example, tasking someone at the WMF to take a list of all the national academies and scientific unions adherent to the en:International Council for Science and contact them directly saying something like "I represent the WMF, a nonprofit charitable organization dedicated to encouraging the growth, development and distribution of free, multilingual, educational content, and to providing the full content of these wiki-based projects to the public free of charge. We are developing a long-term strategy for our movement and would like to explore how our mission aligns with that of your organisation. Please contact XXX at the WMF to further information and to discuss how we might develop cooperation". You'll see that volunteers can't write that, since they don;t represent the WMF, and even those who have an association with an organisation would need to know the value of the unknown XXX. Other places to start the search might be en:Union Académique Internationale, en:European Association of Science Editors, en:UNESCO. It's a chunk of work, perhaps a contractor-shaped task. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 17:01, 17 September 2016 (UTC)

Open versus closed

I appreciate that this discussion is about process rather than content, but there is of course a connection between the two. The impression I get from the timeline is that it leans towards being top-heavy, complicated and closed. There seems to me a danger that this will discourage out-of-the-box thinking and constructive challenge: some people might even feel that the Foundation needs to be disrupted in the interests of the movement. This will be at a discount in consultations which focus those employed by or strongly associated with existing structures, It also suggests that the questions to be put to the wider movement will be closed: that volunteers will be asked to choose from a restricted list of choices rather than trying to capture imaginative proposals not previously considered. I think we want more radical thinking and that can only happen if the community are seriously engaged at an earlier stage than currently proposed. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 18:33, 1 September 2016 (UTC)

Hey, so I shared my state of mind during Wikimania but didn't do it online, here I come. This process is being engaged by the board putting all the question back on the table, even the one we didn't dare to ask month/years ago. If we want us, as a movement, to be successful, we must face that process with open minds. So, when you lay down a process, it is always hard to actually see how open it will be. But the intention and the state of mind is to disrupt our movement if needs be. To make sure we are thinking radically about who we are and what we do and to not shy away for the changes we might, or not, need to make to keep on changing the world! Schiste (talk) 16:50, 5 September 2016 (UTC)

The idea of a "Board Retreat" is predicated on the idea that closure is necessary. The idea is that since you can generally communicate with all of the officials because they have either public talk pages or email or both, they are usually open. The retreat is for them to be able to halt that while they are working together. The purpose it serves is that allows them to discuss the plans as they perceive them to make sure they are aligned with the mission and other goals. It also gives them a chance to talk about conflicts of interest in ways that can be more embarrassing in public.

If you want to participate, the latest way to do so is to read the 2016 Strategy/Recommendations and comment on them in their discussion. EllenCT (talk) 13:56, 6 September 2016 (UTC)

I do understand that the Board has decided to make its deliberations private. I simply suggest that it would be better for this process if the Board members had chosen to air their views on future strategy individually and in public. The notion that it is necessary for the Board to formulate a single message in private suggests the desire to form a strategy and put it to the Community, rather than engaging in an open dialogue. While the Board has a noticeboard on which it is possible to send messages, it has unfortunately been much rarer to receive any response. By the way, the page you point to is about forming a strategy for the WMF: this talk page is for discussing how to develop a process for the formulation of a strategy for the movement; they are not the same things. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 20:30, 6 September 2016 (UTC)
Is there any reason to expect that the movement strategy will not be aligned with the Foundation's? EllenCT (talk) 14:47, 8 September 2016 (UTC)
There seems to me no reason to believe that it will be. Suppose, purely hypothetically, that the movement collectively were to decide that the Foundation was currently adding no value beyond what it currently does in running the servers, something that would require about one fifteenth of its current staff and income, and no endowment. It might be that at that point the strategy of the movement would diverge from that of the Foundation rather drastically. Suppose that the movement collectively decided that the Foundation should be doing what it is currently trying to do, but that it is rather ineffective and should sack its entire staff and start afresh. Again, some sort of divergence would become likely. Suppose that the Foundation were to decide that the English-language Wikipedia should become some sort of social media site rather than an encyclopaedia, and that the volunteers in the movement should be required to curate the social activities -- oh, no, that one did happen. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 15:35, 8 September 2016 (UTC)
Hi, I fear our communication on that wasn't clear, and I apologize. But we commited to lead on a process to define the strategy for the movement. And WMF's strategy will be aligned to the movement's. And as I said during Wikimania every question is on the table, and we will answer all of them with clear and argumented answers<from the discussion we will have had. Schiste (talk) 19:55, 8 September 2016 (UTC)
Thanks, but I have to say that it isn't quite clear which is the "that" in "our communication on that wasn't clear". Could you be explicit please? Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 18:52, 9 September 2016 (UTC)
@Rogol Domedonfors: are you opposed to social activities in general, e.g. editathons and such, or is there something specific on enwiki that you think has gone wrong with socially-oriented communications? What do you mean when you suggest volunteers are required to curate social activities? EllenCT (talk) 02:43, 10 September 2016 (UTC)
@EllenCT:, I have nothing against such activities and was not referring to them. "[T]hat one did happen" refers to the attempt to impose mw:Gather, an extension that would have added a social media element, on to the English-language Wikipedia, contrary to their stated policy en:WP:NOTSOCIAL. The mw:Gather/Moderation Criteria made it clear that the community was expected to moderate this feature, in spite of it being contrary to their policy, an additional and unwanted line of work, and the extension giving them no tools to do so. After user protest, the extension was abandoned (which means of course that a lot of time and money was wasted). There is a discussion of this at User talk:LilaTretikov (WMF)/Archive 7. In my view, the fundamental reason this went so badly wrong was that there was no engagement between the community and the WMF at the design stage, leading to the developers creating a product which was unwanted and unworkable, something that could have been avoided had there been adequate consultation early on. It is this lack of engagement at the design and planning stage which I have been arguing to rectify in such areas as User talk:LilaTretikov (WMF)/Archive 10#Us and them, Wikimedia Foundation Board noticeboard/Archives/2016#Build or rebuild, User talk:Katherine (WMF)#Community involvement in planning, mw:Talk:Technical Collaboration Guideline, mw:Talk:Technical Collaboration Guideline/Vision, among others – it is fair to say that while perhaps some progress is being made, it is far from complete. It seems to me this is an area in which the needs of the movement are not always aligned with the needs of the Foundation: to be completely cynical, the Foundation as an organisation needs to demonstrate its continued value to the mission by activities such as code development and has on occasion done so with an inadequate grasp of whether the activity is likely to generate value for the mission. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 06:54, 10 September 2016 (UTC)
Thank you for this feedback. The intention has always been for a pretty open process, but the work of designing that process itself has to start somewhere. For context, the Foundation spent similar time doing pre-work in 2010 to prepare for how to structure that engagement. This time, we have started by building draft lists of stakeholders, working backwards from the deadlines, thinking about ways to welcome existing and new voices, and considering how to ensure open space for all the things we certainly haven't thought of. It has always been our intention to have multiple channels available for the community to provide input on the strategy and the strategy process. We will publish all of these ‘strawdog’ or draft ideas and processes for open feedback in early October, so it can be integrated before presenting for Board approval in November. One critical thing we have been considering is how the process itself can give guidance or ask questions that can prompt bigger ideas. We know that a common challenge for strategy and vision development work is that people everywhere have a tendency to frame their thinking through their current circumstances. We are open to ideas on how to challenge that tendency so we can expand the scope of creative ideas we receive - it will be essential to both developing ideas that will move us forward, and being receptive to more the challenging ones. We look forward to your thoughts on our ideas when we publish them early in October. --Gregory Varnum (WMF) (talk) 23:01, 16 September 2016 (UTC)
Nothing could better exemplify the open versus closed dichotomy than this last sentence We look forward to your thoughts on our ideas when we publish them. Not the ideas of the community, just those of the "insiders". Let me unpick some other parts of this response. It has always been our intention to have multiple channels available for the community to provide input on the strategy and the strategy process. Point to five channels for the community to provide input on the strategy process -- indeed, point to one. I see none at present. We are open to ideas on how to challenge that tendency. I am challenging that tendency right now: point to those channels. I challenge the extent to which this is a closed shop, insider-driven process with no realistic way that the great majority of the volunteer community can influence the process until they are presented at a late stage with a more-or-less finished set of insider ideas for comment. [W]e can expand the scope of creative ideas we receive. How do you expect to receive them, through the ether? I challenge you to read the discussions this page that you claim you are not properly able to monitor if you want a channel. The community response to your ideas is not the same sort of thing as the ideas of a community engaged with on a frank and an equal basis to develop a common process. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 17:13, 17 September 2016 (UTC)

I would like to review the plan as it develops

Per the "inclusive process" instructions, please add me to the list of people who would like to review the plan as it develops.

2016 Strategic Approaches Report

The File:2016 Strategic Approaches Report.pdf does not appear to be referred to on this page. Please could someone point to a brief description about how the outcome of that exrercise relates to the process for managing this one? Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 07:34, 10 September 2016 (UTC)

The 2016 Strategic Approaches report is the outcome of the Feb-March 2016 strategic consultation that helped drive the Foundation’s strategy for the 2016-2018 timeframe and inform short-term annual planning. This report includes a summary of community members’ responses to three critical questions in the areas of Reach, Communities, Knowledge. The report gives some initial thinking on the challenges facing the Wikimedia movement. While there are a few process recommendations included, this report will not be used as the basis for the movement-wide strategy. However, this research and other reports may be used by volunteers and staff as background research for their collaborative work on the movement-wide strategy. --Gregory Varnum (WMF) (talk) 23:04, 16 September 2016 (UTC)
Thank you for that. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 10:49, 18 September 2016 (UTC)

Learning and listening versus Community engagement

To focus in on one aspect of the more general point "Open versus closed", I want to look at the activities programmed for September and October. Under "Learning and listening" we see five meetings with WMF staff, and some interviews with the Board. There are no meetings, interactions, discussions or listening to members of the community outside the WMF, and in October there will be a summary of the findings. Under Community engagement we see updates on wiki (here, I presume) notes and timelines. In other words, the people you will listen to are people deeply involved in the WMF and the current ways of doing things, and with a likely predisposition to the continuation of doing the same things and in the same way. As an explicitly distinct activity, your notion of engagement with the community is telling them things. Let me put it to you that this is not a model of community engagement. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 07:52, 10 September 2016 (UTC)

Anyone can do volunteer outreach by announcing the discussions on wikipedias village pump and announcement templates and email lists. Do you think the Foundation needs to? I say, let the community edit if that's what they want to do and let us here have the benefit of those who are keeping track of where the strategy discussion is. Too many cooks spoil the broth, but on the other hand, the more the merrier. I imagine that the Foundation knows how to use median voting on quantitative questions such as the optimal number of community participants in long range movement strategy discussion. What do you think the optimal number of community participants is, approximately? EllenCT (talk) 17:40, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
A good question. Right now the only answer I have is that the optimal number is greater than zero. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 06:10, 16 September 2016 (UTC)
The work right now is to develop the draft process for engagement – not to conduct strategic content work. This document will include a proposed collaborative process, a list of possible stakeholders, potential types of consultation by stakeholder type, and proposed deliverables, timelines, and budgets. While limited, we are conducting some interviews to ensure these first drafts make sense to people who want to participate in developing strategy. The draft process will be shared out for community comment in early October. Once refined, it will then be presented to the Board for review in November. The intent is to start the strategic engagement process in January 2017, which would then run 6-7 months. --Gregory Varnum (WMF) (talk) 23:04, 16 September 2016 (UTC)
I do realise that what is happening right now is the planning for the consultation. I am discussing the extent to which the Community should be involved in that planning. There is nothing in the timeline that suggests that you will listen to and learn from the Community during the planning stages in September and October. The interviews you refer to appear to be solely with staff and Board members: insiders if you will. The sharing out for community comment is not on the timeline, and still represents a "closed" as opposed to "open" mindset. Your process is to ask a group of insiders, draw up a plan, then put the plan to the community on a timescale which does not allow for anything much beyond a yes/no or slight tweaking. Community and volunteer input and experience from previous consultations, successful and unseccessful, could and should have been built in at the same time as you are collecting input from staff and board members. I do not know why WMF has chosen not to do this, but I can say that their failure to so is bound to impair the value of the product that emerges. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 10:38, 17 September 2016 (UTC)

Staff will not be able to properly monitor discussions

I wlecomed the posting of this page in which you outline the steps being taken to develop a discussion about the future strategy for the movement. It is clear that those steps fall into two parts: developing the process for the discussion (July-December), and putting that process into practice (January-August). It's that first part, defining, scoping and planning the engagement that I am concerned about here. I am disappointed to read this announcement that "This process is still being formed" (good, that's what your timeline made clear) "you are welcome to continue to use the discussion page" (good, that's what discussion pages are for) "the Wikimedia Foundation staff will not be able to properly monitor discussions right now" and that last part although clear, is in my view quite unacceptable. You are saying that you do not wish to hear from the community about how to structure your discussion: that the community's experience about what has and hasn't worked in the past in trying to interact with the WMF at a strategic level is of no account. Considering that the timeline for this process began in July 2016, and the steps for planning the engagement end in December, it is clear that the process of planning the engagement is not "in an early stage": we are in the middle of it, and yet you are explicitly informing us that you do not intend to take into account input from the community about how to plan that engagement. You are not interested in hearing the experience of the community in what has and has not worked well for them in the past, you are not interested in their suggestions for ways, old and new, to engage with them, you do not wish to take advantage of the probability that of the 100,000 or so members there will be people who are as least as expert as staff in any given subject. You prefer to rely for this phase on a closed consultation among yourselves, staff and trustees. This is not the way to develop an effective, innovative and engaging process, and it is not the way to develop a consensus around the results of that process. Shame. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 06:35, 16 September 2016 (UTC)

@Rogol Domedonfors: Thank you for the feedback, I can see how it came across that way, but that was not our intention. We very much do want community participation and ownership throughout. The process documentation is a draft, and we have added more content to offer some clarity on this topic. For example, although the timeline started in July, the actual work on process proposal development started only in September, while we used July and August to talk to different movement stakeholders, read dozens or more pages, reports, and recommendations on Meta and elsewhere, and start clarifying expectations on the timeline and hoped-for outcome.
The header was to clarify the availability of our resources during this stage. As you quoted: "the Wikimedia Foundation staff will not be able to properly monitor discussions right now". This is true - right now, at this stage, we do not have the resources available to properly monitor these discussions in real time. Part of planning for the strategy process also involves determining what resources we will need to allocate from the Foundation in order for community to be effectively supported. We anticipate that we will be bringing more people to this work as we publish more information and enter into community review next month.
For now, this doesn't mean we are not monitoring it at all. We are. We just want to avoid any unrealistic expectations around response time and availability of information at this early stage. We have already held conversations with several community members, and will be posting the notes when they are available. For example, we recently posted the notes from the CEE meeting on strategy participation. However, we recognize those meetings do not capture all aspects of the community, which is why we are more formally inviting a discussion on the process itself beginning early October. --Gregory Varnum (WMF) (talk) 23:06, 16 September 2016 (UTC)
If you very much want community participation throughout, you need to put it on the timeline and explain to the community what you actually propose to do. This discussion in early October is not on the timeline and this posting is the first we have heard of it. Please either say what you are going to do, and do it. Whether or not you propose to take much account of what you read on this page, it is the place where you have invited community comment, and I for one propose to comment here. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 10:41, 17 September 2016 (UTC)

Learning and listening

I thought it worth starting a section for lessons learned from pevious consultations activities. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 10:49, 17 September 2016 (UTC)

  • Community Liaisons/Process ideas, was Community Engagement (Product)/Process ideas. This was a failure, for several reasons. It did not have a clear scope, a clear timeline, a clear deliverable or clear rules of engagement. It was allowed to drift on until staff lost interest. A specific lesson to learn is that staff members who are going to be involved with implementing the results of such a process should not participate in the discussions. We saw unconstructive arguments in which people trying to propose points were directly contradicted by the staff who were supposed to be managing the process.
Lesson clarity on scope, timing, deliverable
Lesson clarity on rules of engagement with impartial moderation (of behaviour) and facilitation (of ideas) is key
Lesson clarity on responsbility for followup, pullthrough and delivery
Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 10:49, 17 September 2016 (UTC)
  • 2015 Strategy/Community consultation. The report on this was delivered seven months after it closed, five months late, and a contractor had to be brought in to produce it. The value of the exercise was diminished by the delay.
Lesson assign clear responsbility and resources for the deliverable, and hold those responsible to account.
Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 11:12, 17 September 2016 (UTC)
Thank you, Rogol Domedonfors! I will be keeping an eye on this section to see what people have to say. Kbrown (WMF) (talk) 18:22, 3 October 2016 (UTC)

Suggestions for community engagement

A section to propose ways in which the community enegagement part of the consultation could happen. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 10:53, 17 September 2016 (UTC)

  • There are going to be dozens of meetups of varying degrees of size and scope during the consultation. Provide a set of brief disccussion points which can be circulated to meetup organisers to be discussed and key points captured during an informal or social session. Probably better to have several "question and answer sheets" each with a single topic assigned randomly. Brevity is key, this is to be an enjoyable discussion as part of a social meetup not an examination! Scope for meetings to discuss and propose other topics of course. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 10:53, 17 September 2016 (UTC)
  • Engage professional facilitators to lead sessions at the larger in-person meetings. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 11:14, 17 September 2016 (UTC)
  • Pick various dimensions along which the future of the movement might be discussed (such as those I mention above in the "direction of travel" discussion) and allocate each one to a Board Member as lead. Ask them to make an initial pitch and publish it as a thought piece. Allocate each member appropriate clerical and technical support and have them lead, moderate and facilitate the discussion on a chosen channel, such as wiki, IRC, videoconference, visiting meetups, side sessions at academic or trade conferences, dropin public meetings, ... Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 17:17, 17 September 2016 (UTC)
  • We ought not to forget the readers (after all, what would the mission be without them). While some readers will no doubt be interested in pursuing the discussion in greater depth, many will only be inclined to give a small amount of time and attention to the issues. Hence I suggest a campaign with banners (not dissimilar to the fundraising technology, which is already in a very mature state) leading on a random selection of simple questions, possibly the binary choices I have already alluded to. There should also be a hook along the lines of "Want to say more? Join the discussion on this topic at WWW!" However perhaps plunging straight from a binary choice into a free-form discussion is diving into the deep end. Better would be to develop some structured, survey-like questions which branch out from the initial question in a tree-structured way, with free text boxes and links to discussion as options to be presented on a tick in the "It's not that simple" box. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 10:41, 18 September 2016 (UTC)
  • Translation is going to be an issue. I was involved in a discussion about this and suggested some ideas for technical support to multi-language discussions last year and tried again to raise interest in the project this year. Unfortunately my attempts at innovation have not (yet) been taken up. But as I wrote thirteen months ago "While it may be sustainable to translate relatively stable documentation into numerous languages, consultations involving working discussions need a faster timescale. While I naturally assume that the working language would be English, that is not quite a given. You need to decide which languages you can sustain near-to-realtime translations from: probably only a handful. Are there automated or sem-automated tools that can help? Are there new ideas for resourcing, recruiting, recognising, rewarding and retaining the additional translations you are going to need?. No doubt you already have data on which are the most effective languages to conduct business in, as that information is already needed across all areas engaging with the community at a strategic level, and preliminary scoping on the resource implications." No doubt the Foundation is closer to an answer to that challenge than it was in August 2015. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 10:47, 18 September 2016 (UTC)


Hi, Rogol Domedonfors. May I suggest tabling your ideas off-wiki until this page is properly monitored? Staff will announce when they are ready to listen. Until then, anything posted here is noise, and noise is not indelible. Cheers! Checkingfax (talk) 17:31, 17 September 2016 (UTC)

Thank you for your suggestion. If you know of any venues where suggestions from members of the community at large for making this strategy more effective may more conveniently be directed, please do reveal them. Since this page is explicitly headed you are welcome to continue to use the discussion page, I do not understand why you think that members of the community should not post constructive comments and suggestions here, and discuss lessons which might be learned from previous community consultations. If your comment "noise is not indelible" is intended to suggest that postings on this page you do not happen to like could or should be deleted, then I suggest that you may wish to reconsider it. (Oh, and if you have comments to make about any specific user's decorum or lack thereof, they are best directed to that user's talk page.) But better still, please join with me here in suggesting ways in which this strategy consultation can be made more effective. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 20:12, 17 September 2016 (UTC)

Community discussion about strategy in 2015

There was a community discussion about strategy at WikiConference USA 2015 that could inform the upcoming WMF-driven strategy review. I felt that the community discussion was very good and I offer the notes here. Unfortunately I lack the time to reformat the notes for better aesthetics, but I welcome anyone to do so who has that capacity.

Step 1: Where are we today? Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats {SWOT)
Step 2: Where do we want to be 15 years from now?
Step 3: How do we get to our 15 year goals from where we are today?

I hope that these thoughts from the community at WikiConference USA 2015 are helpful for the 2016-2017 WMF strategy update. --Pine 04:26, 24 September 2016 (UTC)

Thank you Pine, I will pass these on :) Kbrown (WMF) (talk) 18:20, 3 October 2016 (UTC)

Are we ready for this, are there other things that should come first?

A Strategy is presumably a broad direction for the movement to, well, move in. Something like "we seem to have done the quantity thing, we now need to increase our focus on quality". Which I think was a big part of the strategy in 2007 and since and which inspired initiatives such as GLAM. But to agree such a strategy you really need to have consensus as to where you want to go and what your major problems are. I like to think we broadly agree on what we want to achieve. I'm not convinced we would have such agreement as to what our main obstacles are. I would have much more confidence in this process if we started by trying to agree what our major challenges were, before we started to plan how to solve them. WereSpielChequers (talk) 23:00, 7 October 2016 (UTC)


I believe the place to start with inclusivity is in deciding how we're going to measure our progress and our success. Once we can establish what inclusivity looks like and how we'll know when we've achieved it, then we can identify what milestones will look like and what attack vectors we can use to achieve our goals.--TParis (talk) 19:51, 8 October 2016 (UTC)

Hi TParis, It is good to measure things if they can be measured. But there is a risk that you then focus too much on the things that are easily measured. At an extreme you get into the problem some people got with the Wikimedia stats; Since it usually took four warnings before a block, most blocked vandals would make 5 or more edits. So the more successful the edit filters were at stopping vandals from making those 5 edits the worse our "editors making 5 or more edits that month" stats got. Since then we've had the move of the intrawiki links to Wikidata and a huge loss of bot edits. A better system, and I wouldn't like to see us go back to the old ways, but it has "lost" us a lot of edits. WereSpielChequers (talk) 10:37, 13 October 2016 (UTC)
What'd I'd like to see is a focused effort with a tangible outcome. If we don't know what it looks like to be inclusive, then how do we know what to do to get there?--TParis (talk) 01:56, 18 October 2016 (UTC)

Long-term strategy movement process development

A presentation by Katherine Maher is available at Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 16:29, 9 October 2016 (UTC)

@Rogol Domedonfors: Quick clarification, this is not a presentation. This is a working doc where we have begun putting ideas down to help us get timelines together, think about the details, ask questions, and have conversations with different people. The concepts and plans written here are very likely to change as we continue to have these conversations. This means that if you have ideas about anything in the document, please share them here - we're open to anything that will improve the proposed process. --Gregory Varnum (WMF) (talk) 19:51, 9 October 2016 (UTC)

MassMessage list

Hi. Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2017/Updates/Signup could probably be using a ContentHandler-backed MassMessage list. --MZMcBride (talk) 03:52, 16 December 2016 (UTC)

@MZMcBride: Good idea - I have gone ahead and done so. It does not appear that the ContentHandler-backed pages fully support Translate extension. However, I setup the header template so if the user has their language set, it should show the correct translation (where available of course). Open to any ideas on how to make that setup easier for users. --Gregory Varnum (WMF) (talk) 06:27, 16 December 2016 (UTC)


I'm not sure $2,500,000 is going to be quite enough for this important strategy development process. Has the team accounted for all of the airfare, hotels, and meals that will be crucial toward building a right-fitted consensus of knowledge mixing? - Thekohser (talk) 16:56, 20 December 2016 (UTC)


I don't seem to be able to save my fix to the "Whats happening now?" section title. Elitre (WMF) (talk) 21:43, 17 February 2017 (UTC)

Fixed, thank you. Were you perhaps trying to edit a translation page, i.e. the /en subpage? It seems a few people have encountered similar issues recently. Guillaume (WMF) (talk) 22:07, 17 February 2017 (UTC)

Rename "tracks"

Hello, most people will not understand the concept of "track". I suggest you to use an easier word such as "channel" (as in a communication channel). -- 21:33, 18 February 2017 (UTC)

Hi, I believe the word "track" is used here, with the definition as commonly used for a "conference track", i.e. a "cluster" or "grouping". For example, Wikimania 2016 had "three parallel presentation tracks throughout the three days": wm2016:Programme. Naming things is definitely complicated! Thank you for pointing out the potentially confusing terminology. Quiddity (WMF) (talk) 20:45, 20 February 2017 (UTC)
I'm translating this to Swedish, as meaning 'group', since no better translation seems to be avalible. Josve05a (WMF) (talk) 07:47, 7 March 2017 (UTC)
When I was translating to Polish, I primarily decided to use team (like working group), but Polimerek used field (like set of issues). I think the latter is better. SGrabarczuk (WMF) (talk) 10:42, 7 March 2017 (UTC)

Language list in development

According to Strategy/Wikimedia_movement/2017/Team, a language list is in development. Here's a list of the top wiki-languages, as of 29 January, 2017.[1] First column is rank by active_users, then rank by users, then language. Active users gets pretty low for the bottom dozen or so, severely limiting potential for engagement.

Rank by active users Rank by users Linguistic version
1 1 English + Simple English
2 4 German
3 3 French
4 2 Spanish
6 6 Russian
8 5 Chinese
5 10 Japanese
7 8 Italian
9 7 Portuguese
11 9 Arabic
10 14 Polish
12 13 Dutch
14 11 Turkish
13 15 Persian
18 12 Indonesian
15 16 Swedish
19 18 Korean
17 22 Ukrainian
16 25 Hebrew
20 21 Czech
25 17 Vietnamese
21 23 Hungarian
24 20 Norwegian (Bokmål)
22 24 Finnish
31 19 Romanian
23 29 Catalan
26 26 Danish
29 27 Thai
27 31 Bulgarian
28 30 Greek
30 32 Serbian

Alsee (talk) 00:55, 30 January 2017 (UTC)

Alsee: Thank you for the list; very useful. As an aside, it's worth mentioning that, in addition to current editors, we want to include in this movement-wide conversation people who are not (yet) actively editing Wikimedia wikis. This includes for example potential editors, GLAM partners, and affiliates who train newcomers. They all have a stake in the future direction of the movement. I've personally been looking at lists like List of languages by number of native speakers and List of languages by total number of speakers to strive for a conversation that is closer to being representative of the full human diversity, beyond the current (limited) composition of the Wikimedia community of editors. My colleagues from the Community Engagement department (ping JAnstee) may have more to add on the specific criteria they have weighed to determine the languages for which to hire liaisons. Guillaume (WMF) (talk) 16:10, 30 January 2017 (UTC)
Our consideration, in coordination with community advisors, has been a blend of the two. :) That is, we prioritized by number of speakers but also considered size of community as a dimension. Hence, some languages that are not as large as others made the list because of thriving communities, and some languages that are not as active on our projects made the list in an effort to learn better what challenges they face in growth and engagement. --Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 19:21, 30 January 2017 (UTC)
Bengali and Hindi are excellent additions to the list. They have very small wiki communities so outreach may be hard, but they two of the top global languages. They are clearly under-served and emerging populations.
I'm no language expert, but it looks like Malayalam may have been a mistake? Did you mean Malay? Malay and Malayalam are as unrelated as carp and carpentry. Malay is a language group with ~290 million speakers in Indonesia. Malayalam is one of the smaller languages in India, about 38 million speakers. If you really were trying to target an additional language in India then Telugu, Marathi, and Tamil each have almost double the population as well as slightly larger wiki communities. Alsee (talk) 10:13, 5 February 2017 (UTC)

On the level of "which languages are important for sharing knowledge with all of humanity": One might consider not only "total language speakers" and "native language speakers" but "number of people who read this language and no other", or "intelligibility of nearest larger language".

On the level of "which languages have a community large enough to participate deeply": It's worth reaching out to a) translators' networks, b) Int'l education networks, c) linguistics / sociology / language-preservation networks, to find coalitions of people in every language who care about the availability of a WP-style corpus, with local networks in those real-world language communities, who may already spend time writing and editing for public enlightenment. Warmly, SJ talk  17:01, 8 March 2017 (UTC)

I thanks for the language list, I believe it is extremely useful. Wikipedia still faces a major linguistic challenge. I think that their needs to be a recruitment campaign for languages excluding English. With this, other languages encyclopedias could expand. (Cass)

Possible framing discussions


I was hoping to see some of these issues raised in framing:

Additional lessons of previous efforts
  • A single "consensus document" may not be the most useful output for a movement.
  • A team of paid staff may produce a punctuated-equilibrium planning culture that cannot transition smoothly to a time when there are no dedicated staff at all.
  • The final stage of "compressing a thriving public discussion into a brief, focused document" is an easy place for an open process to unravel. Shared energy and alignment get left on the cutting room floor; what was meant to be an open movement strategy ends up being decided in private, under deadline, by a few officials & consultants, with an eye towards what a central organization needs from a strategy document. Doubly so if key contracts all come to an end at once, and incentives hinge on getting a document out the door on schedule.
  • Prioritization is essential to do, and easy to put off. Do it early and often, and from multiple perspectives.
Broad structure of planning

With too little structure it's easy to get stuck thinking in only one dimension.

For instance, you could separate planning foreground and background:

  • Foreground: Impact, societal change, audience, distribution, narrative
  • Background: Tools, platforms, structures, roles, regs, funding, feedback
  • Middleground: Knowledge, authors, curators, self-imposed scope

There are other ways to split things up conceptually. But a minimum amount of structure can make it easier to focus & prioritize, to avoid comparing things that cannot be compared.

Continuity of planning
  • Having continuity in planning, and regular small updates, may be more useful than a more polished initial product that everyone is afraid to touch. How does this happen year after year? (WMDE might offer an point of discussion in how they handled their chapters dialogue)
  • We need a simple way to align + update str work of different movement groups over the years. (using PurpleNumbers for each idea raised?)
  • If it's worth prioritizing, it's worth measuring well and often. How / when do strategies get matched with feedback loops?
  • Worth discussing: the idea of transitioning from this full-team press effort, to something more continuous, distributed, low-key. An important point of meta-strategy is being able to respond to feedback and change; requiring {$$, spin-up, specification, hiring; quick implementation, write-up, spin-down} makes this hard.
Distinction of different strategy audiences
  • Distinguish strategy for "all knowledge for all people" (encompassing the work of hundreds of partners and fellow travelers) from movement str.
  • Distinguish WM movement str from WMF + WMDE str.
  • Distinguish major strategic threads + approaches (good ideas, clustered) from the small set that all agree to share. Less-central threads should all eventually fit into an overarching global str. Matchmakers could help match unclaimed threads with partners or champions. Rather than expecting all groups to focus on the same small set of strategies (and penalizing them for any work attempted outside that framework!), that can be a shared touchstone, with encouragement to also find other threads that match especially well to local expertise & opportunity.
Engagement of major non-Affiliate community groups
  • On-wiki projects are often as organized and populous as official Affiliates. We do not yet live in a world where most of these want to be User Groups. An active multilingual Genealogy wikiproj may be as relevant as the Gibraltar Wikimedians UG.
  • Fellow travelers (archivists, curators, authors, governments) realizing our exact mission, referencing our projects, but storing their own free knowledge work elsewhere b/c they think it's not welcome. Clearly part of the community executing our mission; we should treat them as such in strategizing, and not as generic readers/reusers/supporters. Cf: any of the dozens of great projects that have asked to be adopted over the years; many with their own limited funding, independent communities, and significant knowledgebases.

Regards, SJ talk  17:35, 8 March 2017 (UTC)

"Let's build the future of Wikimedia together"

Terrible speach out of a fortune cookie. But at the end I've lerned once more the same thing: The movement is international. The Wikimedia Foundation is not. It's so sad. Already in the site notice is written, there are (only) people wanted, who are fluent in english language. One language over all the others. People who don't speak english (and I had once more to learn two weeks ago in Poland, that there are places in the world, nearly nobody speaks english!) are outsiders. And this is the way, the WMF adresses people as wanted authors for their projects? As long you don't speak english, you can write for you're home Wiki - but not participate in the internatonal processes. My english is OK. But even I don't understand everything here. It's often written in a terrible burocratic language. So we will never become a really international comunity. Marcus Cyron (talk) 11:14, 11 February 2017 (UTC)

Marcus Cyron: Thank you for expressing this problem. Some of that issue will be addressed once we hire the language liaisons, who will help with translation of those pages and with being a bridge between the strategy process and local communities. As a French speaker, I certainly understand your position. I will try to improve the text on this page and others. I would appreciate if you could take another look in a week or two and tell me if it has improved. Guillaume (WMF) (talk) 16:15, 11 February 2017 (UTC)
Marcus Cyron I understand your frustration. There are many people as the Foundation (such as Guillaume (WMF)) who do speak other languages and come from other cultures. But you are correct that I am American, and despite my efforts to learn other languages, I am only fluent in English. I lament this deeply, but nowhere more than as a member of this international movement. I must depend on the skills of my colleagues - and the patience of the community - as we assemble the team of language liaisons. I do sincerely hope this will address some of your concerns in the coming weeks, as I also hope for your participation. On the point of fortune cookie speech: One thing I did learn in my efforts to acquire other languages is that every culture has its own ear for rhetoric. What moves a Sinophone may do little for a Lusophone, what is poetry to an Arabophone may be obscure to a Hispanophone. In this case, I see my Anglophone intent to enthusiasm has merely elicited a shrug. We all learn. Katherine (WMF) (talk) 18:35, 11 February 2017 (UTC)
Marcus Cyron: I'm sorry, I missed your comment about the site notice. The site notice is only to recruit the language liaisons. The liaisons must speak English in order to coordinate with other liaisons, but they must also speak other languages to organize discussions on local wikis. For example, the liaison for German communities needs to be a German speaker who also speaks English. This is why the site notice says "English-speaking". But the people participating in discussions on the German-language wikis do not need to speak English; on the contrary, that is why we're hiring liaisons! Guillaume (WMF) (talk) 18:38, 11 February 2017 (UTC)
I've edited the text of the French-language banner to make this clearer, and JSutherland did the same for the German-language banner. Guillaume (WMF) (talk) 21:09, 11 February 2017 (UTC)
I hope I made a bit clearer in German Wikipedia's Kurier, too. Martin Rulsch (WMDE) (talk) 21:50, 14 February 2017 (UTC)

I don't know where to post this, so I post it here, feel free to move it if so needed. I have nothing against WMF using time and money on strategy, but I don't expect much out of it. I have participated in Wikipedia since 2004 (mostly in Norwegian Bokmål/Riksmål, but also some English, Swedish, Commons, Wikidata etc) and I have over the years used quite a lot of time in trying to attract new contributors. Why? Because I believe that only with many more hands we will be able to make a better site. More editors = Better Wikipedia. I used to run courses, but have stopped as realizing after some dozen courses that it does not work.

What works is this: As I arrived myself. In 2004 I stumbled across Wikipedia, I started to edit, and even though my contributions were terrible I was not kicked out, and over the years I believe I improved. What happens today? Either people get their first contribution deleted, they get patrollers on their heels - or both. At least this is what I believe happens on Wikipedia in Norwegian Bokmål/Riksmål.

What can be done about it? So far, nothing. I have put up several alternatives, but either people don't care to join discussions, or they have ideas that I don't think grip the main point - how to have an inviting workspace as priority number one so we can keep people that drop by and try to contribute. Is it a big problem for me? No. I am very happy with contributing to Wikipedia and if I had a fortune I would quit my day job and only do this. What can the WMF do about it? Very little, except from keeping servers running. Through the local chapter we get money for Wiki-meetups where we 2-3 times a year meet, hopefully this over time (within some years) help build a more welcoming community and lay the foundation for the small changes that needs to be done to keep the one's that steadily come and try to edit out of curiosity, as I did in 2004. Best regards, Ulflarsen (talk) 17:39, 12 March 2017 (UTC)

Actually this is a very important point to be included in strategy, even if you don not believe the process will make noticeable changes.--Papuass (talk) 12:58, 13 March 2017 (UTC)
To Papuass: I would be happy if it could be of any use. And again, I am not against WMF doing this and contrary to some others I don't think they use too much money on it. But for many years I tried to find out how we could have more people to contribute, and suddenly I realized - no need to go looking for them (running courses etc) as they come all the time. The only thing you and I (and other established Wikipedians) have to do is not scare them away when they come.
How not to scare them away is also very easy and simple, just treat them as contributors were in the years before 2008. Will we stop scaring them away? I don't think so, as at least the community in Norwegian Bokmål/Riksmål are not willing to accept giving new users "slack", or not open for engaging in the discussion, so we don't get a basis for the changes.
The result as I see it is that we will have significantly less contributors, which over time means quality of the articles do not improve as fast as it could if we had twice or five times as many contributors as today. So this is a question of strategy. Right now we win the battles, but loose the war - that is we keep deleting bad articles and remove edits not up to our standard (winning battles) and it results in new users giving up on us (loosing the war).
Are there no downsides to implement my proposed changes? Of course it is, minor mistakes will (that is must) be left for days, as not to irritate new users. So we patrollers remove what is obviously crap - but let the other changes rest for some days (in practice we would need to divide patrollers in two groups - the one patrolling from the top of the heap, removing crap, and the ones patrolling from the bottom, fixing the minor mistakes).
If I am right, then what the WMF can do to help the communities is to find data that proves this, possibly by making a big A/B test. They could for example go to Wikipedia in Danish and say "Hi, girls and guys, we give you an offer you can't refuse". If you test this (what I described above) we will literally shower you with money (for running training for admins, users whatever to make them "go back" to before 2008 in treating newcomers). So the A in the testing would be Wikipedia in Danish (who get all the money they can use, and then some) and the B would be Wikipedia in Norwegian Bokmål/Riksmål, which will not be part of the program.
Run this for 2-3 years, use the same amount of money (2-3 million dollars) and we would have proven that this is the way, and during the work with the Danish a template for using with other chapters could be developed. Ulflarsen (talk) 20:06, 13 March 2017 (UTC)

WMFr's position

The process of discussing the movement’s strategic direction launched by the Foundation is a welcome initiative and we, at Wikimedia France, fully support it.

In the prospect of this reflection, we want to start by addressing important issues and summarising our view of the movement’s architecture.

The community of editors, pillar of the movement, must be at the centre of preoccupations, and this community is very attached to its autonomy and the decentralisation of power. In our view, these two notions are paramount for staying true to the movement’s spirit.

1. The missions conducted by the projects and movement must be carried out as locally as possible to take into account the cultural and judicial specificities of the different actors. For instance, fundraising or interactions with public administrations are not managed uniformly across Europe, Asia, Africa or the Americas.

The principle of subsidiarity must be systematically enforced, with local organisations assuming all the missions they are capable of carrying out, and the Foundation taking over the jobs where it is blatantly more efficient than local actors, or world level issues (infrastructure development and maintenance, brand management, etc)

2. Our movement is inherently decentralised and collaborative; on each project, communities set their rules and auto-organise. We want to reaffirm our unreserved attachment to this philosophy and its reality. Indeed, it would be uncalled for to operate the movement as a whole in such an antagonistic fashion to how the projects are run.

Central entities such as the Foundation and the FDC (and maybe others yet to be created) are meant to coordinate the movement at a global level and maintain its unity.

3. We are calling for a clarification of the movement’s organisation, with a re-examination of the respective roles of local organisations, the FDC and the Foundation.

The FDC could gain some autonomy: an open and democratic control of the FDC, including member appointments and internal operations, is a central issue in the upcoming strategic discussion.

The location of the FDC also warrants examination. It doesn’t have to be governed by US law, and a decentralised entity might be very relevant to avoid current issues with fund transfer across national borders.

The Foundation would then apply for FDC grants and be subjected to the same reporting obligations as any other Wikimedia organisation, because organisational introspection is relevant at all institutional levels.

On behalf of Wikimédia France Board of Trustees, Emeric Vallespi (talk) 16:34, 13 March 2017 (UTC).

Hi Emeric, Thanks for this statement. Can I ask what the objective of making the FDC more independent of the WMF would be? You mentioned this would encourage the same level of "organisational introspection" at WMF as currently happens with organisations applying for FDC grants - is that the main objective you have in mind? Many thanks, Chris Keating (The Land) (talk) 12:50, 14 March 2017 (UTC)

Stakeholder involvement

The strategy process is big and extensive. It involves multiple tracks. It involves contributors, editors and readers. The consultation is targeted to organized groups within the movement and targeted towards individuals within the movement. And towards readers. Will there be a consultation of outside stakeholders? For example, will someone ask the CEO of Creative Commons where Wikipedia/Wikimedia should move in the next fifteen years? Or the Free Software Foundation, or the EFF? Or Open Street Map. Will there be any consultation of individual Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums? Or of umbrella organizations of GLAM? Will someone consult parts of the UN, like UNESCO, or IMF or the Worldbank? Will someone consult educational institutions or universities? Or consult the Red Cross? Ad Huikeshoven (talk) 19:45, 4 April 2017 (UTC)

Ad Huikeshoven: The stakeholders you mention seem to be in scope for Track C and Track D. I would advise that you add those recommendations to the relevant pages or contact the track leads with specific names and contact details, if you have them. If you're interested, you are also welcome to contact those groups directly with questions you think would be of interest to the process and report back on Meta with a dedicated summary page, for inclusion in the synthesis. Guillaume (WMF) (talk) 08:01, 7 April 2017 (UTC)


This is a simple and technical problem: in the previous version pdf-outprint included tables and info-boxes. This is no longer the case. It should be possible to solve this problem, and it would improve the value of outprints. best regards Rmir2 (talk) 07:35, 11 April 2017 (UTC)

Dream of our own map

I personally am fond of geography and that is the field where most of my contributions are. What I dream of is Wikipedia's own map, that could feature links to the possible articles like wikimapia map, with option of choosing the language, and also the location of the photos in commons that have coordinates, like the older version of Google map had (here we have better administration, the old google put some photoes right where they did not belong to - perhaps that is why they switched to the new system? It could also host historical photos, thus differing from Panoramio, and possible different layers (nature, history etc. Of course, all the possible borders might make that map too difficult to make, but it could just hang to the key words, as more exact borders would be in the corresponding articles. In a way it is like map here, just a bit less details and with options to get more information in it. - Melilac (talk) 09:45, 23 March 2017 (UTC)

Hi, Melilac. You can create a proposal yourself. See "Proposals for new projects" for instructions on creating a new proposal. Alternatively, you can share an idea at Grants:IdeaLab. --George Ho (talk) 12:38, 12 April 2017 (UTC)

Bring more ideas from another Wikipedia

I think that WIkipedia should bring more ideas from German Wikipedia, Wikipedia editions from Europe and another languages from the world. Bring ideas from software, discussions, quality, more options, more possibilities to bring quality to edits, articles and the site. --Ultragp7 (talk) 00:08, 19 April 2017 (UTC)

Update needed

There is a text now "There are three cycles of discussions. The first cycle is running from now until 15 April, 2017." in this page, please update it. --Papuass (talk) 15:03, 24 April 2017 (UTC)

Papuass: Yes check.svg Done, thank you for the note. Guillaume (WMF) (talk) 16:17, 24 April 2017 (UTC)
Guillaume (WMF), Cycle one ended in April 18, not 15. I tried fixing it, but got a weird error message: "Translation unit markers in unexpected position. Translation unit text: What do we want to build or achieve together over the next 15 years?". Chico Venancio (WMF) (talk) 14:11, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for noticing, Chico Venancio (WMF); I've fixed it. I didn't get the error message :/ Guillaume (WMF) (talk) 15:25, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
It might be the flags, Staff and TranslationAdmin provide a lot of power and responsability, or my use of the new wikicode editor. I've had a similar problem over at a Board candidate statement and Millosh had no problems.
Since he has the same flags as my account it probably is the editor (at least I have a simple fix). I'll look if there is a task about this and file one if necessary latter. Chico Venancio (WMF) (talk) 12:11, 26 April 2017 (UTC)
I think it's related not to the ownership, but to the fact that I was changing the original, while you were trying to change the translation. It would be a good idea to check my hypothesis somewhere :) --Millosh (talk) 13:33, 26 April 2017 (UTC)
I was trying to change the original (fix the link). It really seems to be the new wikicode editor. I confirmed with an edit that gave a simmilar error and I managed to save it with the old normal editor. I'll find/create a task for this bug latter this week. Chico Venancio (WMF) (talk) 20:21, 26 April 2017 (UTC)
I am always using wiki syntax, i.e. "edit source". Could it be the reason? --Millosh (talk) 19:19, 27 April 2017 (UTC)

Plánování s nulovým dopadem

Člověk má pocit, že furt vyplňuje nějaké dotazníky ale s minimálním dopadem. Už 10 let si stěžujeme na technickou a jazykovou bariéru na Wikimedia Commons, píšeme to do rozných požadavků a výzev a stále se nic neděje. Kam ty mraky peněz co získává WMF tečou? Co ty mraky programátorů ve WMF dělají? Ano udělal se kvalitní Visual Editor, ale co dál? Je důležitější vyvíjet software MediaWiki, nebo odobourávat bariéry?--Juandev (talk) 09:49, 21 May 2017 (UTC)

Bonjour Juandev. Je suis d'accord sur le fait que l'impact des actions de la Wikimedia Foundation n'a pas toujours été très clair. Il faut garder à l'esprit que la Foundation, bien qu'elle paraisse grande à l'échelle du mouvement Wikimedia, reste une organisation très petite comparée aux autres grands sites internet. Il faut par conséquent prendre des décisions difficiles quant aux nouvelles fonctionalités du logiciel et aux barrières à la contribution.
À mon avis, ce processus de planification stratégique a justement pour objectif de guider ces décisions. Par exemple, si la décision stratégique est d'être un espace d'accueil de tous les contributeurs quelles que soient leur langue et région d'origine, alors cela implique que le logiciel doit fonctionner de manière entièrement multilingue, notamment sur les sites comme Commons qui rassemblent des contributeurs d'horizons très différents. De la même façon, l'éditeur visuel a été décidé lors du plan stratégique de 2010.
C'est pour cette raison que je t'encourage à participer aux discussions sur la direction stratégique, car le résultat servira à prendre les décisions qui auront un impact sur de nombreuses activités de la Foundation et du mouvement, telles que les priorités du développement logiciel. Guillaume (WMF) (talk) 21:05, 22 May 2017 (UTC)

Díky za reakci! Je pravda, že Visual Editor byl velký krok kupředu a mnoha lidem ušetřil práci. Nicméně techničnost projektů je problémem od samého počátku a skoro od samého počátku je na tento problém upozorňováno. Tentokrát jsem nějakou zpětnou vazbu v tomto plánování zanechal, ale právě proto, že roky a desetiletí plynou a stále se upozorňuje na techničnost projektů a potřebu ji odstranita a odstraňuje se jen velmi pomalým tempem vede ke znechucení se stále opakovat. Ten požadavek už před lety učinili tisíce editorů.

To že je WMF malá organizace a má spoustu práce mi moc neštimuje. Například takovou obezličku, kterou je dnes VicunaUploader na Commons vyvinul jeden editor ve svém volném čase za pár dní. Dnes je to třetí nejpoužívanější způsob nahrávání souborů na Commons. Když to dokáže udělat dobrovolní za pár dní, je divné, že celý tým placených programátorů, nemá čas nebo prioritu vyřešit techničnost Commons roky. Navíc peníze, které Wikimedia Foundation získává stále rostou, čili je možno najmout další programátory. O převodu kategorií z Wikimedia Commons na Wikidata se hovoří již 5 let. Roky plynou a stále se nic neděje.--Juandev (talk) 21:10, 23 May 2017 (UTC)


I don't understand please help Owais siddiqi (talk) 19:04, 27 May 2017 (UTC)

A group of people in virtual isolation from mainstream world and left to create a culture including language learning s bs survival for a period of 15 years to see what type of culture and health ect is created M1ckm (talk) 05:37, 4 June 2017 (UTC)

Strategy beyond intended reach of Salon loc

Looking for clear, direct ways to make sense of the location meets and all that Salons led by foundations implies. The coding has no content attached. Codegames (talk) 23:10, 28 May 2017 (UTC)

Proof of the pudding

For me this whole process happens on two levels. There is what makes overall sense based on current practices. This translates in what can we do now to enhance current practices. Many interesting results have been produced. These results often have a back story indicating other approaches leading to a more inclusive result.

A great example is the visualisation of how much Wikidata represents the whole sum of all knowledge. It is done with a map and it shows a spectacular result. The backstory is that the data is based on articles that have been bot generated in several Wikipedias. The data comes from GeoNames, the data may not be purrfect and consequently people at Wikidata insisting on 100% perfection prevented the inclusion of that data only to have the data come in through the backdoor. As we are not collaborating with GeoNames we do not curate our and their data. Now it is not a Wikidata problem and harsh words are used on the "irresponsible" use of data by Wikipedians. An alternative would be to work together with GeoNames (they are open to this), use cached data in the Wikipedias who want this and cherish all the work done by two communities (Geonames, Wikidata) and the communities of the Wikipedias involved.

There are many more such stories where a little additional effort will make for a much more dynamic and successful result. This is unlikely to happen because as a movement, an organisation we do not really collaborate with others. We do not consider how we can optimise the results for the other and as a consequence have improved results for all of us. Two examples; we celebrate libraries but our collaboration with OCLC and Open Library can be easily and enormously improved when we consider the needs of the other and ways to cherish our collaboration.

The second level, as you can imagine, is organisational cooperation and seek improvements that individuals cannot realise. Thanks, GerardM (talk) 09:13, 13 August 2017 (UTC)

Academics can help?

Last week's (11 August) issue of Science had a interesting letter, "Academics can help shape Wikipedia", with a link to the "Participate" page. However, that page is entirely about this strategy document, and not at all on a main topic of the letter, which encourages the scientific community to edit the encyclopedia. I suspect a good many of the people following the supplied link, and not wanting to get involved in some arcane strategy stuff, will be sufficiently wiki-aware to click on the "Discussion" tab, bringing them ... here. And then what?

How to help (and encourage) "academics" and other experts to help Wikipedia is a good topic, and not constrained to any discussions on strategy. If there is already a good place to direct such interested experts it should be posted here, prominently. In lieu of anything better I recommend the following links.

I think there should also be a discussion about expert assistance, but that probably should be somewhere else. Perhaps someone would propose a suitable venue. ~ J. Johnson (talk) 22:33, 17 August 2017 (UTC)

Заинтресованные лица.

Неужели не нашлось ни одного заинтересованного? Энцо А 08:52, 25 November 2017 (UTC)

Вы кого спрашиваете, и о чём? --Kaganer (talk) 13:43, 8 December 2017 (UTC)


I see in wmfblog:2017/12/18/project-grants-awarded/ that in the phrase "Knowledge equity" the term equity is meant as the opposite of iniquity. In most dictionaries, this is not considered the most common meaning of the word. It would be better to say equality to ensure comprehension. --Nemo 15:48, 19 December 2017 (UTC)

This has been raised a couple of times so far in the process. Chris Keating (The Land) (talk) 16:07, 21 December 2017 (UTC)
If there is no counter-argument, I'd appreciate some native English speaker like you to edit the text directly. --Nemo 13:46, 26 December 2017 (UTC)

Learning projects on Part-up

In 2016 I discovered Part-up ( The community is organized in tribes. In the tribes people can start initiatives called 'part-ups'. You can participate in these part-up's as a supporter (thinking) or a partner (doing). The platform provides a Facebook like news stream and an activities tab. I use this platform to start learning projects. For instance participate in a tribe called Khan Academy Netherlands. In this tribe we want bring the Dutch version of the Khan Academy a step further. See I think this functionality could be an inspiration for Wikimedia. Timboliu (talk) 11:34, 14 June 2018 (UTC)

Proposed additional questions

Are there any objections to including the proposals at [2] in the Working Groups' question sections?

Please answer at Talk:Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20#Proposed additional questions. Thank you. James Salsman (talk) 08:33, 1 November 2018 (UTC)

"Phase 1 of the Movement Strategy Process is over" template

Hey y'all, is there any way to fix the header template so that it's not showing translation markup? Ed [talk] [en] 06:11, 6 February 2019 (UTC)

Hi @The ed17: thanks for your question. I used TNT template and it seems it works. SGrabarczuk (WMF) (talk) 21:58, 7 February 2019 (UTC)

We have moved on and a next stage of the Process is undergoing. Undergoing what? Presumably you meant "ongoing" or some cognate. Kablammo (talk) 22:27, 12 August 2019 (UTC)

Idea: Use a powerful XML processor

Not sure if it is a really good idea for the real situation in WikiMedia project, neither whether I am submitting to the right page. But this must be seriously considered.

Consider using of my software for switching MediaWiki (in a future version) from the current markdown mess to well-planned and well-engineered XML with namespaces as plugins (with a new system of plugins becoming in its part data rather than code, following the good trend of replacing code with data).

My software does automatic processing of XML objects with decisions taken based on semantics of XML namespaces.

I am willing to work on this project (paid if anyone pays me or for free)!

--VictorPorton (talk) 22:53, 5 November 2019 (UTC)