Talk:Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20/Recommendations/Archive2

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The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

Structure issue[edit]

Since all recommendations' talk pages are forwarded to this central one, how can we help readers to understand what recommendation people are talking about? Alice Wiegand (talk) 20:56, 20 January 2020 (UTC)

Good point. I've been trying to link to the recommendation being discussed in my response to help provide context to others. Perhaps we could ask the same of folks starting new sections? CKoerner (WMF) (talk) 21:09, 20 January 2020 (UTC)
We've now created talk pages for each recommendation, and encourage discussion on those individual pages. --KStineRowe (WMF) (talk) 21:19, 20 January 2020 (UTC)
Yep, I was a little confused. I've moved some early conversations here to the related recommendations to help with context and discussion (as folks won't see them here going forward!) CKoerner (WMF) (talk) 21:34, 20 January 2020 (UTC)
I usually forward all talk pages of translated pages to a central one, as there should be only one talk page per topic, regardless of language. Und natürlich darf dann Englisch nicht die Pflichtsprache sein, das ist hier sowieso viel zu anglozentristisch. Bei diesem Riesenberg an Unterseiten überlasse ich das lieber dem von uns, den Communities, bezahlten Servicepersonal, Geld hat die Stiftung ja mehr als genug, ich wollte es nur hier als Anmerkung anbringen. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden)
Ja, zu viel Englisch. Genau. :) (Sorry, my German is not that great. Only two years in college.) The strategy folks at the foundation did take the effort to have each of the recommendations translated. I agree to your point about directing the translations sub pages. That's something I can work on. CKoerner (WMF) (talk) 22:17, 20 January 2020 (UTC)
Not all of them are. I just left a comment at Talk:Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20/Recommendations/Plan Infrastructure Scalability because that was where the "Discussion" tab went when I clicked on "13. Plan Infrastructure Scalability." Should I have left the comment here instead? EllenCT (talk) 04:58, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
User:EllenCT, nope, you have it correct. There was some caching of a redirect that was originally put in place that caused some confusion, but we intended to have conversations about the recommendations on their respective talk pages. CKoerner (WMF) (talk) 16:21, 21 January 2020 (UTC)

Navigability[edit]

For a set of recommendations that includes improvements to user experience, these pages are hard to navigate. For example, if you click through to a "community input" page about a recommendation, there's no link back to the recommendation itself. There are, however, links the next and previous recommendations (not their community input). There's also a link to the parent Community Input page, which has the same label, location, and appearance as the link I clicked to get on the recommendation's community input page in the first place. The talk pages for the Community Input pages also still redirect to this page, instead of a more relevant page. As another editor mentioned on another talk page, the collapsed sections also make it hard to find information. The wide left margin on the recommendation pages looks nice in a landscape window, but opening it in a portrait orientation shoves the text into the corner. --AntiCompositeNumber (talk) 22:41, 20 January 2020 (UTC)

Thanks for the feedback. I'll bring it up to the rest of the team and see if we can't make some improvements. CKoerner (WMF) (talk) 22:47, 20 January 2020 (UTC)
We were so focused on getting the content up and in place, now we can make it more navigable. Super useful feedback AntiCompositeNumber, appreciated. MPourzaki (WMF) (talk) 01:51, 21 January 2020 (UTC)

Voting?[edit]

Will the Community have a chance to vote on this Recommendations? ...Sicherlich Post 00:03, 21 January 2020 (UTC)

Hi Sicherlich. The goal of this discussions is to collect descriptive feedback from different groups (editing ones, non-editing ones, emerging, established, etc.), and to check what should be improved and why or what seems to be the strongest point *overall*. A voting doesn't seem to the best way to achieve that. SGrabarczuk (WMF) (talk) 00:17, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
So no is the answer? Okay good to know. So waste of time anyways ...Sicherlich Post 00:27, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
@SGrabarczuk (WMF): Putting the central point slightly differently: Do the corporate/organization-based/off-wiki elements intend to try to force through certain changes even if those changes are broadly opposed by Wikimedia? There's a lot of speculation that our facilitating/supporting institutions might be intending to go out of their role, and try to act as though they can make decisions for the communities. If that's not the case, and these are actually just recommendations (ie, these texts are suggestions to the community), it would be a good idea to make that clear. Thanks. --Yair rand (talk) 01:27, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
Hey Yair rand, thanks for your input. The writers of these recommendations, comprising individuals from online editing communities and organization-based entities, worked hard to create a strategic document that addresses the needs of the entire movement, on- and off-wiki. A lot of community input has influenced the thinking around these recommendations. No one will be making decisions for others, that's in fact very much the ethos of this document, equity and inclusion. We need to know what the movement thinks, the entire movement, so the recommendations can be finalized and collective implementation conversations can begin, with many individuals sitting at the table. MPourzaki (WMF) (talk) 02:02, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
Sicherlich, what are your thoughts on the current iteration of recommendations? George Ho (talk) 02:29, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
? Nothing to do with my question here?!? Some of my thoughts you find on the specific pages here and on de. ...Sicherlich Post 05:55, 21 January 2020 (UTC) and additional one: To many. 13 goals means focussing on everything; so on nothing. But if one wants to discuss this: open a new section

There's a relevant FAQ entry, How will decisions be made about the implementation of recommendations? --Tgr (talk) 07:21, 21 January 2020 (UTC)

Oh thx. "We are aiming to get a sense" - so yes. The community will not be asked as "we" (whoever this is) will "try to feel it" 😂 ...Sicherlich Post 07:12, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
Which community, though? The community of people who are willing to use Meta? The communities of wiki editors? (How do you weight between decisions by those communities? E.g. how much should the opinion of eswiki matter compared to enwiki, given that there are way more enwiki editors, but eswiki is serving a larger native speaker community?) The affiliates? The readers? To what extent should people who are excluded by the choices of the current community leadership should be given a voice? It's not like we have an established cross-movement decisionmaking process. --Tgr (talk) 07:27, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
The community this recommendation is talking over and over again? Would be reasonable, wouldn't it? - If its unclear who this community is (which shall have this strategy) this might be a major issue of the whole thing, right?
"how much should the opinion of eswiki matter..." - If I get your statement right: lets not ask them at all as we don't know if we can weight the communities opinion? So all the weight is with the WMF and some people who are liked by the people of WMF and have so more influence? Really? We can't have it perfect so lets skip it totally? that one accepts more suggestions by someone you like or who is closer to your own thought shall not be understood as an accusation. Its quite normal.
if en or es have different things they are striving for: maybe this strategy makes no sense for one of them? So maybe the strategy for this global organization is not globaly but simply biased for one group?
"an established cross-movement decisionmaking process" - pretty bad if an organisation thats by its own understanding is a global community does not have it. So its either not a global community so it makes no sens to have a common strategy or its needed. (I believe its not. Its en centered. This is the first time at all all that WMF translated at least the main things into other languages. Something asked for over and over again. For years. And thats just the very basic need to build a common understanding) ...Sicherlich Post 10:31, 21 January 2020 (UTC)

@Sicherlich - WMF's view of this all is long and well known. -- Marcus Cyron (talk) 21:24, 22 January 2020 (UTC)

Community consensus[edit]

How is the Wikimedia Foundation going to know that the community of content contributors to Wikimedia projects agrees with the final recommendation (to be clear: I'm not asking about the current status, but about the final result of the strategy process)? --Frank Schulenburg (talk) 01:08, 21 January 2020 (UTC)

Hi Frank Schulenburg, thanks for your question. Your question is answered in the FAQ page, but I'm more than happy to give you a quick summary. The core team will be summarizing the community input collected over the next 5 weeks and presenting it to the WMF Board of Trustees, as well as the movement itself. How the community feels about these recommendations will play a significant role in decisions made around them and in their finalization. Looking forward to your thoughts around how to bring about changes for the betterment of our movement. Happy reading. MPourzaki (WMF) (talk) 02:10, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
Hi Mehrdad, thanks for your quick answer. I understand that the community has input at this point in time and I appreciate it. However, I think it will be crucial to ask the community for its endorsement of the final result. Given that the implementation of the strategy will affect many content contributors' lives over the next couple of years, I'm having a hard time imagining a world where the community did not have a say in whether to adopt this strategy or not. Please consider that people like me have devoted a large part of their free time over the course of many years on getting Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects to where they are today. Not asking for a final approval seems to be against the spirit of this grassroots effort. Also, from the Wikimedia Foundation's perspective and the one of the people who were involved in coming up with the strategy (and who spent many hours on drafting the final result), wouldn't it be much more satisfying for both if they knew that the community agrees with what will guide our path for years to come? The Wikimedia Foundation has nothing to fear – I for my part think there's a lot to like about the direction this is taking. All the best, and thanks for your efforts here. --Frank Schulenburg (talk) 02:45, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
Thanks so much Frank Schulenburg, really grateful for your input and jovial that you see the product moving in the right direction, it's been an amazing journey and it means a lot coming from you. A grand old endorsement was not the plan per se at this point, rather collective sentiments and community impressions around individual recommendations as we move to finalize them. However, your feedback is noted and the future remains dynamic, we are excited for the next 5 weeks and looking forward to what the community has to say. MPourzaki (WMF) (talk) 03:13, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
In other words: Take it or leave it. --MatthiasGutfeldt (talk) 08:41, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
It's also known as telling the most active volunteers to fork off. -- (talk) 10:52, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
Really not sure how you read such things into comments and open discussions, but hey glad to see you're here and interested in strategy. MPourzaki (WMF) (talk) 13:36, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
  • @MPourzaki (WMF): community impressions about individual recommendations - so the WMF is committed to not progressing with any individual recommendation if the Community does not support it? If that is not the case, please provide a clear WMF statement that the Community's objection to any given recommendation(s) will not be taken as sufficient authority to prevent it? Nosebagbear (talk) 12:00, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
Hi Nosebagbear, you know well that there isn't one Community in the movement, but rather many diverse communities. We are committed to collecting input from communities across Wikis and languages around each recommendation to see which ones are majorly supported, which ones need amendments, and which ones seem to be contentious. The Board of Trustees will be monitoring this closely as well. I don't anticipate any recommendation having one unanimous community stance, but we will have to see and come to a decision. If/when there is an official stance, I'll happy share it. For now we are just so happy that the movement strategy recommendations are here and want to know what communities think. What are your thoughts on individual recommendations? MPourzaki (WMF) (talk) 16:26, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
@MPourzaki (WMF): - hi, it's "Community" in the sense of the massed aggregate editing community - it is, of course, made up of all the individual language and project communities, but they all belong to one overall Community. It is that aggregated version that I am talking about - it's also why we have meta, as the cross-Community forum. Obviously if en-wiki or fr-wiki said yes, but a clear majority of all editors said no, then en-wiki's shouldn't be binding (since why not cr-wikis etc) - it's the combined "no" chorus that's important. Nosebagbear (talk) 22:08, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
Thanks Nosebagbear. What the community says around each recommendation will play a significant role in how the recommendations are finalized and progressed; which ones move to implementation and which ones will require amendment or further consideration, if kept at all. This is a dynamic process and we are very much interested to know how the community thinks they'll be affected by each recommendation. MPourzaki (WMF) (talk) 21:10, 22 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Asking the larger aggregation of content creators to approve/disapprove of these lofty proposals is something of a moot issue. Based on my experience over 18 years, those ideas that make sense will be implemented -- & some may have been already. Those that aren't good ideas will only be implemented with a varying degrees of coercion -- which may not succeed or only succeed in the short term, but in either case over the long term coercion will lead to volunteer losses & even reduction in employee headcount at the Foundation. (There is also the possibility that forcing the adoption of bad ideas here may put projects into a downward spiral ending with their death.) In other words, don't force things. -- Llywrch (talk) 21:27, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
sorry, Frank Schulenburg, but I disagree. I feel this is somewhat nebulous. --Sm8900 (talk) 03:41, 22 January 2020 (UTC)
Hey Sm8900, sorry, but I don't understand what you're disagreeing with. But I'm interested in learning more about your thoughts. Would you mind explaining your statement? Best, --Frank Schulenburg (talk) 11:23, 22 January 2020 (UTC)
If the strategy influences self-governing of the (sub-)communities, i would be unhappy with not having a say/vote as one of the stakeholders. --Ghilt (talk) 00:44, 23 January 2020 (UTC)
And specifically a binding one - if a recommendation goes through and is accepted by the board, I absolutely guarantee that if a controversial action based on it occurs in the future, the WMF will state it was "supported", and that there's no reason to be acting against it - regardless of the level of original support. Nosebagbear (talk) 09:36, 23 January 2020 (UTC)

Who is "we"?[edit]

The first sentence refers to "we" as the body who set an "ambitious goal". Who are these persons? I for one do not want the wikimedia projects to "become the essential infrastructure of the ecosystem of free knowledge". This implies dominance rather than diversity. Free knowledge should be federated. If this is really to become the goal of the "movement", I'd rather leave than be part of it. ---<(kmk)>- (talk) 03:05, 21 January 2020 (UTC)

They're talking about the strategic direction folks, and yeah, this was shoved through without any real support, and yes, it's pretty much the exact opposite of our ideals. It's a bit of a mess. --Yair rand (talk) 03:16, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
Wrt support, Strategy/Wikimedia_movement/2017/Direction/Endorsement might be a useful read. --Tgr (talk) 07:20, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
@Tgr: I am very familiar with it; a list of organizations and their people (some using their personal accounts), and no real support from the volunteer editorship.
I am amazed that things really went that far. This is Wikimedia. We release all content under a free license, so that power over distributing it isn't tied to one entity. We use a wiki so that writing and curating that content isn't limited to one group. We use free software so that the setup can be used by whoever wants to host a wiki. Building that software is open as well, and we make sure that people can fork the software (and sites). Why? So that anyone can host the system for building the software for running the wiki for building the content for anyone to distribute. Etc, etc, etc. There are more layers around and in between, and we do our best to make it that none of them are tied to a central anything. It boggles the mind that someone could look at this and think "you know what this whole deliberate-absence-of-central/controlling-infrastructure-at-every-level needs? A central infrastructure!". --Yair rand (talk) 18:03, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
Overly ambitious if not the exact opposite. But it's a logical contradiction, because an ecosystem is a community without any sole essence. EllenCT (talk) 05:04, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
Federation still requires infrastructure; actually, much more of it. (I've really been impressed lately by the efforts of the Matrix project to replace to current world of communication silos with a communication network of federated entities talking over an open, community-governed standard; there they give the estimate of requiring six times the time and resources of building a centralized network.) I think with Wikidata we have taken some important steps towards a federated world of knowledge; I hope we will take much more in the future. That is entirely in line with the strategic direction the way I would interpret it. (It's certainly ambitious; I hope it's not overly so.) --Tgr (talk) 07:20, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
The most fundamental thing you need for a federation is a number of independent entities. Else, there is no one to federate with. In addition, the entities have to be reasonably comparable in size, weight or whatever the relevant metric is. Essentially, the entities should be able to treat each other on eye level. Being "the essential infrastructure" would put the WMF in a position of a monopolist. If you'd want to contribute to the universe of free knowledge you'd have to play by the rules of the foundation. It would be their way or the highway.
Wikidata is about as central as a service can be. It is a single data base, that is designed for a single purpose - to serve the requirements of the different language versions of Wikipedia. Yes, technically it can be used by other projects as well. But when you look at it, the bells and whistles of wiki-data are really tuned to the needs of Wikipedia. ---<(kmk)>- (talk) 01:51, 29 January 2020 (UTC)
@KaiMartin: I think you and the writers are in agreement on that first point. The idea is not for the WMF to be “the essential infrastructure of free knowledge”, but for the Wikimedia movement as a whole / all together. Given how subsidiarity, self-management are principles underpinning these recommendations, the way I interpret them is certainly to have more entities (and less of a single behemoth), all independent from each other while being accountable to a global governance body − I think.
It’s a bit of a tangent, but regarding Wikidata and how it is designed for [the] single purpose [of serving] the requirements of […] Wikipedia: if you have not seen it before, the current current Wikidata strategy is an interesting read (it explicitly mentions Strengthen the open knowledge movement as a whole in a new, decentralized, linked data ecosystem).
Jean-Fred (talk) 13:28, 29 January 2020 (UTC)
@Jean-Frédéric: This is exactly where I beg to differ. The Wikimedia foundation with all its subsidiary projects is a big player on the field of open knowledge for sure. But it is far from the only one. Think OpenStreetmap, the Directory of Open Access Journals, Project Gutenberg and of course the universe of Free and Open Software to name just a few of the more visible ones. In addition, there is a multitude of databases that offer their data with a CC license. See PubChem for a prominent example. If the WMF wants to become the "essential infrastructure of free knowledge", it essentially aims to take over and supersede the existing ecosystem(s). I find this approach both patronizing and delusional. Open knowledge is much more than what the WMF can realistically cover. ---<(kmk)>- (talk) 20:43, 16 February 2020 (UTC)

Terms of Use for the WMF[edit]

One of the most clear bits of feedback from the previous round of the strategy process was Terms of Use for the WMF, a suggestion by an editor on how the board should create '"terms of use" that the foundation has to comply with in their dealings with the communities'. It had a voting phase where 50 users supported it, versus zero that opposed it. Looking through the references on the recommendations page, I don't see that any of the recommendations mentions this clear piece of feedback. Would a member of the WMF or the drafting community to explain how this input was considered as part of the drafting process? Thank you. 98.113.245.219 08:25, 21 January 2020 (UTC)

These recommendations intend to address the needs of hundreds of thousands of editors, not just 50 with the strongest grievances towards the WMF. Although I do share some of the complaints regarding the WMF's lack of collaboration with the communities, these recommendations and the recent consultations about partial blocks, office actions, talk pages show a positive direction.
The purpose of this consultation is to find solutions to the issues and needs of the wider community. Constructive feedback can positively affect the outcome.
If some editors wish to enact a TOU for the WMF, they should actually write one and bring it to community RfC. Unfortunately, that vote had no such merits. It was misplaced and only created disruption, best to be avoided. I, for one did not vote for this reason. —Aron Man.🍂 edits🌾 19:12, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
They show a positive direction? Where? I still haven't heard any apology by the now head of Trust ans Safety, who once was engaged as one of the main villains in a nuclear war against the communities by the WMF, i.e. SuperProtect. How could someone that disgraced end up in that position? And why do I see a line between that and the next war against the communities by the WMF with Framban? The WMF should finally come to terms that it is not the leader of the Wikiverse, but a servant of the communities. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 19:29, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
The thread called 'Terms of use for the WMF' is an example of the feedback that was solicited in previous rounds of this process. It might be that the 50 editors that chose to weigh in aren't representative, but if that were the case, then it should have been possible to address the comment and show how it's not. Instead, as best as I can tell, this feedback appears to have been ignored by the smaller number of editors that drafted these recommendations, rather than being addressed. TomDotGov (talk) 20:12, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
  • @Aron Manning: - if the participating members aren't suited to consider something because they're a group with a viewpoint and only make up a fraction of the discussion, then surely the recommendations with support should also not have got this far - there weren't any 50-0 support !votes. Nosebagbear (talk) 09:39, 23 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Agreed. No other proposal received this level of support. It's hard to avoid the conclusion that any support for things the WMF wants will be cited as evidence for community support, whereas support for things the WMF doesn't want will be ignored. The bigger danger is that opposition to things the WMF wants will also be ignored. EddieHugh (talk) 17:59, 25 January 2020 (UTC)

Partnering[edit]

In general I like the recommendations. I have not, though, found a dedicated recommendation when it comes to partnering. Both partnering in being providers to our projects and also partnering in sharing she same goal as us, but with other then input to our projects.Yger (talk) 09:17, 21 January 2020 (UTC)

Dear Yger, thank you for this comment! Even though possible work with partners has been embedded in a number of recommendations (e.g. Prioritize Topics for Impact, Plan Infrastructure Scalability or Coordinate Across Stakeholders), but it needs to be much more explicit in the areas where it is a key function. We will look into this during integration of feedback in March. Thanks again! --KVaidla (WMF) (talk) 15:39, 31 January 2020 (UTC)

Chart of the future Wikipedia Movement[edit]

Chart for the proposed new order of the Wikipedia movement. In purple the new elements.

Hello, I tried to create for myself an overview. This is how the movement will look like in future. I based it on the rebranding and strategy process. If I missed something important, or made mistakes, I am happy to receive corrections. Ziko (talk) 09:55, 21 January 2020 (UTC)

Do you think you could add financial flows on this chart? That would be useful.Nattes à chat (talk) 14:59, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
I was just asking about money also! I am really curious about how money passes through this. Also what is the governance body and movement charter? I wish the Wikimedia Movement could encompass something. Blue Rasberry (talk) 15:01, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
I think the chart is missing transversal links between user groups. chapters and communities and projects as well. Nattes à chat (talk) 15:04, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
Hello everyone and Hi Ziko, thanks for the visual. I would like to highlight that the structures suggested by the Movement Strategy Process and discussed in the recommendations are emergent in nature. This means that there isn't a blue print of the structures waiting to be established. Feedback from the community members, suggestions from the affiliates, review and advice from the legal department of WMF and other affiliates are all key towards establishing any new structure. I invite everyone to go through the recommendations in detail and provide the feedback that can shape and influence these emergent structures. THasan (WMF) (talk)

Hello Bluerasberry, I do not know more about the financial flows, but the document says that the GB will allocate the resources. Also, the more I read the document, the more I understand that the GB is supposed to receive a very, very big role in the movement. The document often talks about allocating resouces, about doing research, about holding an entity accountable, and there these lines that say: thse are taks for the GB.

Hello THasan, you use the word "emergent" and that there will be "feedback". But the decision about the "new structures" (the GB and its instruments) will be made by the WMF Board, without a vote of the communities or movement entities. --Ziko (talk) 19:02, 21 January 2020 (UTC)

What makes you think there won't be a vote of communities or movement entities? I would certainly expect structural recommendations that affect movement organisations to end up being endorsed by movement organisations (as well as in a meaningful sense being co-created by them). Whether it's possible or necessary or desirable for online communities to feed into that in addition to the movement organisations I am unsure. Chris Keating (The Land) (talk) 16:30, 22 January 2020 (UTC)
Hello User:The Land, I was referring to Frank's question about community consensus. At that occasion, we were not told about movement entities. Ziko (talk) 17:45, 22 January 2020 (UTC)
I think that was an answer to a different question. "Is there going to be a vote where Wikimedians vote yes or no to the recommendations as a whole?" Probably not, and certainly not at this point. "Is this whole process going to be fully implemented without a single vote on a single subject on a single wiki?" I would imagine that is also a 'no'. "Are Wikimedia affiliates going to be asked to endorse the idea of having a governance body and a movement charter?" Very probably. Chris Keating (The Land) (talk) 18:35, 22 January 2020 (UTC)
Thank you for your educated guess. Yes, it is likely that the "endorsement" procedure will be last time. Maybe there is a reason for not asking the communities? Ziko (talk) 20:07, 22 January 2020 (UTC)
  • If the intention here is that content policies will be dictated to local project in a top-down manner from the Foundation, whether it's a good idea or not, there is no world where that's going to go over. GMGtalk 17:55, 22 January 2020 (UTC)
I have been told fyi that the chart above is not officially accepted by the WMF and is possibly not a fair representation. There is an ongoing discussion on the francophone Bistrot (village pump) here. I have not particular advice on this chart, but if it is not officially validated by the WMF maybe we could be provided with such a synthetic chart which is representing the WMF official position? Nattes à chat (talk) 11:32, 26 January 2020 (UTC)

Couple of points for clarity[edit]

As a strategy enthusiast and Wikimedian, I am happy to see that recommendations are creating engagement and people are coming up with formats for communicating their interpretation of the recommendations. At the same time, it’s very important to remember that these interpretations are exactly that: interpretations by individuals. They may focus only specific parts of the content, for instance, or in other ways inadvertently bring in a personal perspective and so might create confusion regarding actual content in the recommendations. For this reason, I would urge everyone to read the actual recommendations and remember that you may see things differently than these interpretations do.

The writers of these recommendations themselves deliberately chose not to create a new map or model of the movement to accompany the recommendations. They were concerned that doing so might overstep the purpose of the recommendations, to reflect consensus that we need to improve approaches to certain aspects within the movement, and begin to move into implementation. Many connections, details, responsibilities and roles will only take shape in the implementation phase and then can serve as the basis for a structured model/map.

Instead of relying on singular graphics or other abbreviations, please read the recommendations as a collective body of work, supported by principles like transparency, participation, and self-management, to jointly shape the future of free knowledge. We invite commenters to think deeply and review broadly.

That said, there are a couple of confusion points in relation to the specific drawing by Ziko that I’d like to note:

  1. The brand strategy is outside the scope of the movement strategy recommendations, which only use the language “Wikimedia Foundation” and “Wikimedia movement.” Mixing discussions of the two topics is unhelpful and causes unnecessary confusion.
  2. The drawing does not take into account the existing links between affiliate, online communities, and other stakeholders. While these relationships are often highly complex, the bilateral nature and importance of these relationships is not sufficiently reflected.
  3. The drawing focuses strongly on a fraction of recommendations, namely the part of Movement Governance Body and Movement Charter. Even though the text of recommendations suggests that a Movement Governance Body will have significant influence on the organizational part of the movement (i.e. Affiliates and Wikimedia Foundation), these influences are not at all depicted on the drawing and the focus is deliberately put on the online community part.
  4. At the same time, the Movement Governance Body and Movement Charter, based on the recommendations, would rather focus on governance and rules of engagement aspects in the movement. Highlighting ‘content policies’ as the main output of the Movement Charter is far from the main goal of the charter.
  5. The recommendations state that the Charter will be created in a consultative process with all the stakeholders. It is difficult to understand why the dotted line has been used to depict input from the online communities, while other lines are not dotted.
  6. In the drawing, the Movement Governance Body and Movement Charter are placed within the Wikimedia Foundation. As per the recommendation, this would not be a body developed for the Foundation or controlled by the Foundation. It would be a “Movement Governance Body”, so it is difficult to understand why this way of depiction was chosen, as it would be more in line with the recommendation text if it were situated between the stakeholders with some overlap with all of them.

To reiterate, this drawing is helpful in understanding an individual’s interpretation of the recommendations, but to get a grasp on actual content, we advise reading the recommendations yourself. --KVaidla (WMF) (talk) 17:47, 25 January 2020 (UTC)

  • I'm sorry, but could you rewrite this corporate speak into something legible? This doesn't make any sense! Lukasz Lukomski (talk) 17:54, 25 January 2020 (UTC)
The short version is: Ignore the graphic, it doesn't bear much relation to the recommendations. Chris Keating (The Land) (talk) 12:02, 26 January 2020 (UTC)

Distributed Leadership: Centers of Excellence[edit]

I'd like to point people to the talk page of one of the subsections ("Foster and Develop Distributed Leadership") of this recommendation where I asked for more information about the model of Centers of excellence. To me, the question, whether and to which extend we're going to continue with the current centralized model is among the key aspects of this strategy process. As it seems like most people are discussing things here, I'd be more than happy to move my contribution to this page. I just don't want this to get lost. --Frank Schulenburg (talk) 15:24, 21 January 2020 (UTC)

Hi Frank. The way I read this recommendation is that it talks about decentralisation/distribution as a principle, but not as a framework. During the recommendation synthesis process it became clear there were several different vocabularies being used - "centres of excellence", "regional hubs," "thematic hubs" - as well as plenty of scepticism from the WMF participants about the scope or nature of decentralisation. All of this together is why the issue has been parked and left to happen "emergently" in the implementation phase. I'm really quite unsure how much this is down to a desire to allow flexibility within the implementation process, and how much is down to the WMF getting an answer it didn't like about its own future role. Chris Keating (The Land) (talk) 11:58, 22 January 2020 (UTC)
Hey Chris, thanks so much. Your explanation clarifies some things for me. If you like, please take a look at the suggestion I made earlier today at Talk:Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20/Recommendations/Foster and Develop Distributed Leadership. I fear the current version of the text doesn't allow flexibility and I'd like this to change. Thanks again, much appreciated! --Frank Schulenburg (talk) 12:10, 22 January 2020 (UTC)

What happened to Elgafar, Quotiel, and Situla?[edit]

My favorite part of the previous iteration was the three Roles & Responsibilities restructuring proposals:

I liked Situla. What happened to it? EllenCT (talk) 17:25, 21 January 2020 (UTC)

Hi Ellen. Essentially, the decision on future structures has been moved into the 'implementation' phase. This is for several reasons: challenges in synthesising different elements of the recommendations from Roles & Responsibilities and Resource Allocation; lack of a shared understanding of what 'decentralisation' meant; concern from the WMF about whether decentralisation was actually a good idea; and concern that mapping out new structures in this process was premature. So the recommendation text includes things like decentralisation as principles, and incorporates the easy bit of Situla (the global governance body) but leaves the idea of e.g. regional hubs as something that is going to be 'emergent'. So we'll have to see whether what 'emerges' and how much meaningful distribution of power and influence we end up with. There is an easy wrong answer, in my view, which is that the WMF tries to take on everything itself. Chris Keating (The Land) (talk) 10:34, 22 January 2020 (UTC)

hi. where would I add any comments?[edit]

thanks so much for this great page!! sorry, but where would I go to comment or to discuss this? thanks!! --Sm8900 (talk) 17:43, 21 January 2020 (UTC)

Hi User:Sm8900, if you have a general comment about the recommendations, you're in the right spot. If you have thoughts about one of the 13 recommendations, please see the relevant talk page. CKoerner (WMF) (talk) 17:57, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
Some people will not be comfortable making comments in a public forum, e.g. on Meta. What accommodations have been made for them? For example, former members of Working Groups might email their comments to someone on the Core Team because we've developed those relationships. Some people belong to Affiliates who will have meetings with Strategy Liaisons. But what about people who lack connections, e.g. the majority of people in the movement? This is something that the Community Health Working Group recognized and addressed during our consultation period so I'm keen to understand the communication channels for this consultation. Thank you. --Rosiestep (talk) 20:42, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
That's a common issue, and more extreme in this case: Staffers would face tremendous personal risk in opposing these recommendations, and so they're likely to remain silent. But there really isn't a workable solution: To participate in wiki activities, one must be able and willing to participate in wiki activities. Off-wiki discussions aren't valid for decision-making, WG violations notwithstanding. --Yair rand (talk) 22:07, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
Agreed with Yair Rand. It is, of course, always an option to comment anonymously, perhaps from a public network from which one has not previously edited. But this is a public proposal, and feedback should be shared publicly, not via backchanneling. Seraphimblade (talk) 00:10, 22 January 2020 (UTC)
Rosiestep this is an important point; thanks for helping to bring this to my attention. Know that I'm working on some solutions, and will reply here with an update by the end of the week. --KStineRowe (WMF) (talk) 21:29, 22 January 2020 (UTC)
Thanks, KStineRowe (WMF). In case you are unaware, see this edit by Anna Rees (WMDE) on the recommendations mainpage where they have added an email option (strategy2030 at wikimedia dot org) for comments. --Rosiestep (talk) 11:24, 23 January 2020 (UTC)
Thanks Rosiestep. Yes, this was coordinated it just came together faster than I thought when I wrote yesterday. ;) --KStineRowe (WMF) (talk) 13:37, 23 January 2020 (UTC)
Some means of public verification is needed - there's been a bit of a habit of claiming in the past that support at, say, breakout sessions at Wikimania were in favour of something, so online consensus is irrelevant - nowithstanding that Wikimania isn't a balanced subgroup of even long-term editors, let alone all editors. It's also tricky to challenge and discuss points with them. Perhaps authorising Stewards to take a message on their behalf and post it (they'd need to know to avoid duplications). Specifically on the WGs, we need their open, active, participation on a bunch of things since a number of areas need clarification, and a number of areas need explanation of why they were included - at the moment we're just guessing. Nosebagbear (talk) 09:44, 23 January 2020 (UTC)

Commentary[edit]

I feel like a broken record on this, but I'm still waiting for the part where there is an actual plan. As examples, the "plan" from Equity is that we've convened a group of people to figure out what to do, and they've reckoned that what we should do is form groups of people to figure out what to do. The "plan" from Managing Internal Knowledge is that to better manage knowledge, we should create something to better manage knowledge. We don't really know what that thing is, how it will function, where it will be, who will create it, or how it will be used, but meta data is a buzzword that everyone can get behind.

The lion's share of the whole thing overall seems very much like "in order to accomplish X, we should do things that make X accomplished". Great. I'm still waiting for the part where the plan is. I keep getting told that we're too early in the process for the plan part, and I keep waiting, and most of what I see is still just people planning for someone to have a plan some day. GMGtalk 18:10, 21 January 2020 (UTC)

I'm sorry you feel like a broken record GreenMeansGo. At this point the shape of the strategy is a little fuzzy, but with every phase gains more shape. In my experience the "expected outcomes" section of the recommendations help give a little more clarity on what sort of work will come out of the strategy – again informed by the discussions you mentioned. It sounds like maybe you're more interested in the implementation details of the strategy? Have you had a look at the timeline? Does that help at all in clarifying where we're at and what's next? CKoerner (WMF) (talk) 18:20, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
GreenMeansGo, I totally agree with you. it's funny you should make that comment now. I literally made that comment about five or ten minutes ago. I suggest you go to the page below, and look at my comments there, and then add some of your own great points in line with the comment that you made above. perhaps that might be one good way to start to really address this. thanks.
thanks.--Sm8900 (talk) 18:38, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
(Edit conflict.) Yes, I'm just not entirely sure how the "shape" is still "fuzzy" after two years of planning, two months before we're supposed to start implementing...something. I read through like five of these, and stopped reading because...I'm just not really sure we had proper technical guidance on what "how" means.
What: Build a house. How: By gathering stakeholders to ensure the emplacement of structural elements that support the building integrity and aesthetic value of the house, that can withstand environmental factors while adhering to all applicable building codes. ... None of that tells me anything about the house we're building. And that's not really a parody. I just rewrote a sentence from the Plan Infrastructure Scalability "how".
  • Create dedicated teams or Movement entities to analyze our infrastructures What is a working group on Product & Technology if not a dedicated team to analyze
  • Create structural support spaces What is a structural support space? What does it look like? How will it function? What is the timeline of implementation? How will we know it's been accomplished? This is so vague I can't tell you for certain that they're not suggesting we rent actual co-working space.
  • Invest in communication solutions and processes What solutions and processes? What criteria are we to use in selecting and evaluating them? How much much needs invested over how long? How do we measure when we've accomplished this and what "solutions and processes" have been effective?
  • Adopt a plan Making a plan is not an outcome. Making a recommendation that someone come up with a plan is just a recommendation for someone else to recommend something.
  • Design a process Designing a process isn't an outcome. That's the planning part.
I mean...I get that I'm probably a little out of touch because I for some reason I got a degree once in non-profit administration. But I really didn't think that it was so difficult to have clear working definitions of what constitutes a plan and what constitutes an outcome. GMGtalk 19:01, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
well, GreenMeansGo, if that's your really your name, we did say we'd do a thing to figure out a thing. now you want us to say what the thing" actually is? how? with what facts? do you really expect us to just do a "thing"? first we need to figure out a process for discussing how to analyze the best ways to design a set of discussions that maybe can consider some form of collaborative discussions on maybe considering whether we have a way to think about what the thing (if it exists) may be!! ;-) Face-smile.svg --Sm8900 (talk) 20:13, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
My concern is that we have absorbed what is probably a non-trivial amount of time, energy, and money, and while we have brought these groups together, I wonder whether we gave them adequate training in how to effectively do what it is their supposed to be doing. I mean, the original plan was for the recommendations to be concrete recommendations for the movement on how to ratify and implement them. I don't think we've really accomplished that goal very well. GMGtalk 20:22, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
GreenMeansGo, you forgot the part about budgeting & scheduling all the meetings to gather input & summarize information to utilize in those steps. (I guess we need a series of meetings to discuss the criteria for doing all that, & then we can have some meetings to set up a budget & schedule to act on those points. Do you have any spare time this week?) -- Llywrch (talk) 20:54, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
I don't want to be overly flippant about the whole thing. At the end of the day, these are serious matters that consume real time and resources. But I am very concerned that two years into the process, no one has apparently discussed the en:SMART criteria, because this seems to pretty roundly fail it. GMGtalk 23:23, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
  • I'm rather noticing the same thing. After reading most of these proposals, I'm still left with the question "So, what is it you actually plan to do?" The proposals themselves certainly don't answer it, except in the most general, fuzzy terms that could turn out to mean anything. For example, several proposals advocate a "Global Code of Conduct". Is that the one we actually asked for during the consultation, clearly laying out what the WMF should and should not do when interacting with the communities? Or something else, which the community clearly found objectionable? I don't know, because it doesn't say what it would be. These aren't proposals, they're proposing to one day have proposals. If this is the final version for comment and feedback, it should be concrete and detailed, with very specific steps on implementation in the "How" sections, not fuzzy language which could turn out to mean just about anything. Seraphimblade (talk) 00:15, 22 January 2020 (UTC)
I agree with Seraphimblade, and with GreenMeansGo. I made some similar comments at Recommendations/Ensure_Equity_in_Decision-Making. --Sm8900 (talk) 03:44, 22 January 2020 (UTC)
  • @Seraphimblade, GreenMeansGo, and Sm8900: - as well as a number of ideas I'm directly against, I'm increasingly considering opposing anything that doesn't have at least moderately clear specifics. One particular thought about the original recommendations comes to mind, which is that the "Risks" section was almost entirely non-filled out, and when it was, at least ten gave the Community as the sole risk - with a number alluding that it was only done to preserve power, control etc. Nosebagbear (talk) 09:48, 23 January 2020 (UTC)

@GreenMeansGo, I think part of the disconnect is that people often expect an entirely unrealistic level of detail. The "plan" from Managing Internal Knowledge is that to better manage knowledge, we should create something to better manage knowledge. We don't really know what that thing is, how it will function, where it will be, who will create it, or how it will be used, but meta data is a buzzword that everyone can get behind. - I wrote most of that recommendation (although it's just a collation of half a dozen working group recommendations so not a writing process with lots of creative freedom) so I can comment on that. Building a good KMS for internal documentation is a project that's probably roughly comparable in scope to building a good on-wiki discussion system. I'm not sure how much you have followed that effort; I think the current talk page project is at something like half a dozen man-years now, and the larger part of that was requirements collection, planning and consultation (and it of course built on all the knowledge gathered by the earlier, failed attempts at discussion systems). The idea that the movement strategy process could have produced something like that, times a dozen, is just entirely divorced of reality IMO. What it can realistically do is declare that this is one of our most important problems and needs to be prioritized above some of the stuff we are currently working on; so that a multi-year development project for a team to research, design and build a solution can be budgeted and resourced. Trying to rush the design part of the work usually just means that it will take longer and cost more (the talk page projects are a good example for that as well).

I think some of your other expectations are reasonable for movement strategy in general, but unrealistic for this process specifically. As you say, the original plan assumed the working groups would do more things, such as recommendations on how to ratify and implement things, and the usual project management buzzwords (not SMART specifically, I think, but theory of change and Cynefin framework and whatnot), and those got dropped at some point. As a participant I only had limited insight of how the process evolved, but the fundamental problem was pretty clear: the number of people willing to participate in a community-driven strategy process is much smaller than those who show up to deliver witty smackdowns once it is over. For example, re: Create dedicated teams or Movement entities to analyze our infrastructures What is a working group on Product & Technology if not a dedicated team to analyze - the Product and Technology working group was slated to be fifteen people; we ended up with twelve, a little more than half of whom actually regularly showed up. (I don't mean to blame anyone - people overestimated their availability, or only had vague ideas on what such a project would be like and then found it to be very different and found it did not motivate them or they did not feel they could contribute effectively. This kind of thing happens.) It was volunteer work, so mornings, evenings and weekends, whenever they were available. (The FAQ talks about 40% staff participation, which I think gave some people the wrong idea. From what I have seen, those working group members were asked to participate on top of their normal duties; so they were not very different from volunteers in terms of how much time they had available for the project. I think this was an intentional process design choice, to avoid staff members with way more time available dominating what was supposed to be a community-driven process.) Plus most of us did not have experience with strategic planning, and had to learn as we went. So a year sounds like a lot of time but it actually wasn't. Enough to make a rough analysis of editor and developer pain points (with some of the deliverables dropped, as said above), and to what extent are they a consequence of structural problems with the movement. Nowhere near enough to make a full infrastructure risk or sustainability assessment (for which we didn't have the depth of skill anyway - the group tried to cover a wide range of perspectives instead of being experts in any particular one).

I don't mean to make excuses - in the end what matters is whether the proposed movement strategy is useful; if it's not, knowing why won't change much. My point is that I think the process achieved about as much as it could, given the available volunteer talent pool, and given the design constraint of having a community-driven strategy process instead of a team of experts and professional consultants paid by and beholden to the WMF. That was an extremely bold choice from the people who requested and designed this process; no doubt it resulted in a less professional document, for some value of "professional". I am a Wikimedian because I think Wikipedia can provide far more value than traditional encyclopedias, despite being less "professional"; I spent all my free time on this process for the last several months for the same reason. (The last time the WMF outsourced strategy work to professional consultants is not among my fondest memories.) I can understand if others disagree (although on occasion it would be nice if they disagreed a little less gleefully), I just want to make clear that, in my opinion, this is what disagreements will have to boil down to: do you think the current proposal, unrefined as it is, is a step forward? Or is it better to have a strategy produced by some external consultancy, or maybe WMF staff? Or is it better to stick with the status quo? While I have no say and very limited insight into how the strategy process is designed, I think there would be very little appetite both from WMF management and from the participating volunteers to do it again, or even continue it for much longer, so those are the real options as far as I see. Arguments for why the recommendations, or some of them, should be discarded, are valuable; but other than, I don't think talking about the quality leads anywhere. --Tgr (talk) 07:19, 24 January 2020 (UTC)

Tgr, I appreciate that at least this time around, we're actually receiving thoughtful responses. Maybe things could have gone better if feedback was not ignored in the earlier iterations, but it largely was. That being said, the "status quo" has resulted in breathtaking success. We have created one of the largest (if not the largest) educational works ever created by man. We have done so by the means we have developed to do that. Those efforts have not gone unrecognized; to the contrary, the English Wikipedia is one of the top 5 sites out of the millions and millions on the Internet. It is the only nonprofit site to hold such a position, and just as importantly, it is the only one whose contents are free not only to read but to reuse, and to have a privacy policy that actually means it, not "You have no privacy, we'll sell your data to whoever will pay for it." What we have done to date has led to tremendous accomplishment. A lot of that is due to our volunteers' work in administration and quality control. Yes, sometimes, that pisses people off when they're told "No, really, no sources, no article." That does not mean that their backchannel feedback is anywhere close to as valuable as those who have been doing this for, in some of our cases, well over a decade, and have a very intimate understanding of what works and what does not. Sorry, but unless you've done the time in the trenches, comments from many miles away just don't mean anywhere near as much. That's why we disregard anonymous, backchannel feedback. If you want to be counted, put it up in the public discussion, raise your hand, be counted, and yes, people might disagree with you. That's a feature, not a bug.

That certainly does not mean there is not room for improvement. Our projects are based upon the idea that there is always room for improvement. But they are also based upon the idea that such improvements occur organically, by consent of the involved community, not imposed by some top-down "leadership". The communities are the "leadership". And the community consists of anyone willing to be a part of it. No one even has to reveal their race, gender, etc., so the idea that there's some attempt to exclude people based on that is laughable. If you're not comfortable disclosing those things—don't! No one will make you! On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog. And most editors don't disclose those things, so to even presume to know the makeup of the race, gender, etc., of editors is also laughable. For the vast majority of editors, that's "unknown". It is dishonest to ignore unknowns. If we know that 1% of editors are male, 0.2% of editors are female, and the rest are unknown, the accurate statement is not "80% of editors are male", it is "Between 1% and 99.8% of editors are male." Unknowns must be accounted in statistical analysis.

But basically, if you want to make sweeping changes to the status quo, better present a really compelling argument. What we've done has worked, and worked unimaginably well, for coming up two decades. If you think a change is needed to that, it is on you to convince the communities that it is beneficial and necessary. It is not, or at least should not be, on the communities to once again have to take extreme measures to resist top-down coercion. We've been down that road. It damages the projects, it damages the communities that keep them running, and it even damages the WMF. We don't need another trip down that road. So, yes, absent a compelling argument to the contrary, we'll keep doing what we've done, since that's worked very well indeed. If you come up with something better, actually go to the community or communities that would be affected by it, and make your case. But the answer always might be "no", and the community does have the right to give that answer. No amount of backchanneling or "surveys" or "salons" or whatever else changes that. Discussions that affect the projects take place in public and on the wiki. Period. Seraphimblade (talk) 08:38, 24 January 2020 (UTC)

@Seraphimblade: Sure, the whole Wikimedia enterprise, overall, has been successful and we have Wikipedia (and more) to show for it. But if I remember correctly some of the points I have read from you (apologies if I misremember) and others, I recall plenty of concerns regarding the movement as it is (such as, say, WMF’s perceived legitimacy, its perceived disconnect with online communities, it being overly-centralized, etc.) − well, all that is part of the status-quo, and it is some of the things that this strategy process tries to address. Really, I have a hard time reading “Nah, no need to change anything, everything worked out so far” next to “the WMF has too much power/is not accountable!” or “online communities are not listened to when it comes to software development!” or <insert here typical (and legitimate) grieving regarding the state of the movement>. So, yes, Tgr’s question is very relevant − how happy are you with the movement as it is, and do you think that what is outlined here could be going in the right direction. No? Jean-Fred (talk) 12:17, 24 January 2020 (UTC)
(Regarding statistical analysis of the gender gap numbers, you may be interested in doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0065782. Jean-Fred (talk) 12:17, 24 January 2020 (UTC)
@Seraphimblade:, I appreciate you taking the time to share this perspective. While in my own experience as a volunteer and staff member lends me to disagree that all conversations that affect the projects happen on-wiki, it's illuminating and really helps to understand your approach. the idea that there's some attempt to exclude people based on that is laughable I read this really thoughtful book by someone who specializes in inclusion. I think it's an apt response to the idea that there's a conscious attempt to exclude people. "If we don't proactively and consciously include, we will unconsciously exclude to our own detriment." CKoerner (WMF) (talk) 15:21, 24 January 2020 (UTC)
Seraphimblade's comment is easily the best one I've seen in this discussion so far, and everyone would do well to re-read it and take it to heart. The content creators (and to a lesser extent, the devs) are the ones who did the work to give the English wikipedia 6,000,000 articles, and to provide similar content to a hundred other projects. When the content creators have a concern about the movement (for example, that the WMF is spending money on something unnecessary, like a rebranding), that's important - since it was the content creators that make the projects successful. Other portions of the movement exist to support the content creators, and hence their opinions of the content creators are unimportant. Changes might be needed, but those changes should be originated on-wiki, by asking those do the work what motivates people to do the work. Plans collected from things like surveys, junkets, reading books, and so on pale in comparison to the lived experience of the content creators that produce value. The many flaws in this Strategy process come from not meeting with content creators where they work (ideally, on the content wikis, and not even meta), and not understanding that the content creators have an inherent veto on whatever's adopted, with the ability to decide how they direct their uncompensated time. TomDotGov (talk) 04:09, 27 January 2020 (UTC)
  • @Tgr: Well I'm not blaming any individual people who wrote any of these. I chose Managing Internal Knowledge at random, and not because it was particularly poorly done. The recommendations are actually quite uniform in sharing these same problems, which strongly suggests that this is a process issue and not a people issue. What I think is the best outcome of a discussion like this is to come up with process recommendations, the things sprinkled throughout this talk page currently, like writing at a secondary school level, following and providing training in writing SMART plans, preferring plans that are smaller in scope but clearly actionable, and scaling our scope to the extent to which we can construct actionable plans, rather than scaling our plans to the size of our scope even if it dilutes their direct usefulness.
Many of these kinds of things are lessons that we learn as Wikimedians, as I'm sure you're familiar, with all the challenges that crowd sourced projects face, like continually herding diverse and sometimes deeply contrarian contributors, navigating the official and unofficial hierarchies of an online community, and managing the fatigue and opportunity cost that comes with relying on volunteers with limited time and energy. These are not necessarily principles that translate easily into the organizational culture of traditional non-profits. That difference in culture has always been a part of the friction between the Foundation and our communities, and they seem to have always struggled at some level to manage it effectively.
Whether this is better or worse than the status quo? I can't really say. We are at a deep level relying on the implementation phase to do our planning for us. The process thus far has been a goal-forming one, and what we've accomplished thus far is breaking those goals down into somewhat more granular objectives. But wars are won and lost in tactics and logistics, and we haven't really gotten to that point yet to be able to judge whether we are going to be effective or not. GMGtalk 11:35, 24 January 2020 (UTC)
  • On a separate issue, @Seraphimblade: If I understand the point you are making correctly regarding exclusion, I'm not sure I could disagree with it more strongly. Being anonymous online doesn't erase your perspective and individual context. It doesn't prevent you from writing as colonizers, an in-group writing the story of an out-group with an in-group lens. White people writing for brown people. Straight people writing for gay people. Men writing for women. Christians writing for Hindus. What makes that a great deal more serious is that from all we've gathered, our content creation tends to come more heavily from industrialized nations and urban centers, while our readership tends to skew more toward developing nations and rural populations, the people for whom free knowledge is of greater importance, because they lack much of the educational infrastructure that our contributors enjoy, in fact, the very educational ecosystem that allows them to contribute in the first place. GMGtalk 11:46, 24 January 2020 (UTC)
  • I'm not sure why that's an issue. I certainly don't think there's any intent on being "colonizers"; we might joke that Wikipedia has taken over the world, but that's not actually going to happen, not to mention lacking the means. The only current nations I know of with colonial ambitions are Russia, China, and one might perhaps include North Korea. Other than that, colonization was stick-a-fork-in-it dead after WWII, and on the way out even before that. NPOV and an insistence on proper sourcing solves the rest. If you can tell anything about my personal perspective on a subject from what I've written in an article about it, I failed at the primary thing we must do, that being to neutrally summarize reliable sources. Now, I'm certainly all for us getting editors from underrepresented places, but I'm not sure the lack thereof are things we are in a particular position to solve. You mentioned lack of educational opportunity, but there could also be factors like availability or expense of Internet access. There might be some ways we could help with the second, but I think the first is beyond the scope of what we can realistically do anything about, besides continuing to provide the very best educational resources that we are able to. But I don't particularly like the focus on who wrote it and what race, etc., they might have been. We should be entirely agnostic to that. (Certainly, I don't think it would go over well if someone suggested it was a problem for a black person to write about white people, or women writing about men, and it certainly shouldn't go over well if someone said that. But unacceptable one way, unacceptable the other). Also, I suspect it depends on the project. I suspect, for example, that there is a far higher proportion of nonwhite editors editing the Japanese Wikipedia, because, well, there are a very high proportion of nonwhite Japanese speakers. But I wouldn't see that as particularly a problem. Seraphimblade (talk) 21:41, 24 January 2020 (UTC)
  • @Seraphimblade: I presumed it would be fairly evident that I was using "colonizers" as a metaphor. (But if you think that literal colonialism was dead after WWII, then I can suggest a free resource for knowledge regarding that assumption.) Besides that, there is fairly good evidence to suggest that the quality of our articles increases as the diversity of contributors does the same. You may call it writing-as-outsiders if you will, but if you think that we are the pure holy vessels of the sources, and our writing is not translated through ourselves, then I wonder how much you've been lately in the trenches of content creation. I highly suspect that bit of philosophy is divorced from reality. GMGtalk 22:02, 26 January 2020 (UTC)
  • I've long had an idea that ties into what GreenMeansGo says that I'll throw out here: why can't the Foundation set up a program where various members of these excluded groups perform a critique of their coverage, thus providing a clue to the rest of us what we may be missing? Of course a good chunk of what we may be told will be worthless. (No, we will not whitewash any biographies of heads of government. Or give space to otherwise unnotable nationalistic theories or myths.) And there's no guarantee that any volunteers will actually listen & act on this criticism. (Although, based on my experience, I honestly doubt it.) But some of us editors do want to be sensitive about writing about groups that are foreign to us, & having feedback like that would help us. I regret no one thought of setting up such a mechanism with the user groups in the Global South during this process to do exactly that. Since they're Wikimedians, this would not only have conserved resources, but helped strengthen their bonds with the rest of the movement. (The result would have been far more useful & concrete than what was eventually produced.) -- Llywrch (talk) 22:03, 24 January 2020 (UTC)

Full list[edit]

Note[edit]

Here is the actual list (i.e., see table below). the funny thing is that, in my view, the minute that I'm still trying to figure out whether if someone like me actually proposed anything in any of these areas, to do anything specific, or to actually do something, there is nothing here that I can agree or disagree with. the very people who worked on these are exactly the people who would probably tell me that more discussion is needed, before we can actually do anything concrete or specific.

However, I highly recommend that all commenters read the action items on each page below, before commenting on this process as a whole.

also below is the actual navbox for navigating all of these pages, and recommendations, etc etc.

Note: I have created a draft page for this, to avoid bothering other users here. you can feel free to visit this draft, at: User:Sm8900/draft of table. if you want to help out, or to add info to this table at the draft page, feel free to do so!! tagging Bluerasberry, GreenMeansGo, Seraphimblade. feel free to tag others, if you wish!!! thanks!
it may take me a day or two to actually complete this item, so I would rather do so at this draft page, to avoid bothering other users here. thanks!! --Sm8900 (talk) 15:44, 22 January 2020 (UTC)

table[edit]

Title of page Summary of page Excerpt of key items
# Promote Sustainability and Resilience focuses on strengthening existing human and financial resources. highlights ways to promote fund-raising, and ways to recruit volunteers for various functions.
# Create Cultural Change for Inclusive Communities TBD TBD
# Improve User Experience TBD TBD
# Provide for Safety and Security TBD TBD
# Ensure Equity in Decision-Making TBD TBD
# Foster and Develop Distributed Leadership TBD TBD
# Invest in Skills Development TBD TBD
# Manage Internal Knowledge TBD TBD
# Coordinate Across Stakeholders TBD TBD
# Prioritize Topics for Impact TBD TBD
# Innovate in Free Knowledge TBD TBD
# Evaluate, Iterate, and Adapt TBD TBD
# Plan Infrastructure Scalability TBD TBD

---> just a thought. --Sm8900 (talk) 03:55, 22 January 2020 (UTC)

Nav box[edit]

also, below is the nav box. also, we can use the subsection below for any comments that people wish to add.

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(any comments can go here.)

The language is incomprehensible[edit]

The current discussion on the German Wikipedia surfaced what I think of as a major issue. People perceive the language of the recommendations as incomprehensible. Part of the problem is the terrible translation from English to German, but even for me as someone who moved to the US more than ten years ago, large parts of the English original are simply difficult to understand. Someone on the German Wikipedia thinks this might be an attempt to trick the community into something, someone else got reminded of texts produced by the former East German government that tried to leave people in the dark about its real intentions. I strongly disagree, as I know that the people who drafted these recommendations tried their very best and I find such allegations highly unfair. I guess people are not taking into account that a good portion of the working group members aren't native English language speakers, yet had to come up with recommendations about how to solve complex issues. With that being said, the purpose of a strategy document is to provide direction and clarity. If parts of our community don't think it's even worth engaging in this process because the language of the text is incomprehensible, then something needs to be fixed. If the community doesn't understand what the recommendations mean, how is it supposed to provide feedback? Any suggestions on how to proceed? --Frank Schulenburg (talk) 11:21, 22 January 2020 (UTC)

Building on these comments. I do not want to judge about the quality of the translations; it must have been a tremendously difficult task because translating requires you to first understand what is actually meant. Basic problems seems to be:
  • We have serious terminology problems in the WM movement, which is not the fault of any particular person or group.
  • Sometimes the document makes it difficult to understand what real world object is meant by a particular term. For example, there is a glossary that explains what the word "stakeholders" means in general. Okay. But when the word is used in a certain section, in a certain context, I often wondered: who are these stakeholders? Which concrete groups or people are they? Political pressure groups? Museums? National governments? Individual readers of Wikipedia or Wikivoyage? Depending on who are these stakeholders, I would make up my mind whether I find their involvement suitable or not.
  • I understand that the recommendations are not meant to always finalize everything. They often want to leave some options open to the WMF board. Maybe it would be helpful to be more explicit about this intention. (Instead of "we will have to deal with this task" more like "the WMF board, the GB or a different body or structure will have to deal with this task".)
  • In general, there is a huge improvement compared to previous documents. I think that some parts are better to read than others.

The document is open to interpretation. And when people don't understand a document, then they start to interpret it even more... Kind regards, Ziko (talk) 12:09, 22 January 2020 (UTC)

  • There may be some value in driving home the point that (not unlike writing for Wikipedia) when you're writing for an audience of all ages, educations, backgrounds and varying levels of English proficiency, if you're writing at anything higher than about a mid-secondary-school level then you're doing it wrong. There are very real ways in which writing in what is probably around a low-post-graduate level is actively discriminatory. GMGtalk 14:20, 22 January 2020 (UTC)
@Frank Schulenburg:, as a native English speaker with a comprehension level equivalent to low-post-graduate ability, I can assure you that the original English is terrible itself. There are a lot of vague, positive-sounding words here, yet little concrete content. Of course, we want all of this to be more inclusive, but the proposals are so vague I'm unsure if the means to accomplish this are to perform outreach, or to reduce the number of over-represented people (i.e., white, male, college-educated, from North America & Western Europe), or simply to provide an agenda for an endless series of pointless meetings. (And I find the similarity to texts created by the former DDR very appropriate.) The same with improving user experiences, making the support infrastructures self-sustaining, etc. etc. The problem is that the proposals aren't concrete, actionable proposals, they are slogans. IMHO (which is admittedly biased & ill-informed) is that the "How" portions as they stand need to be discarded & replaced with concrete, actionable suggestions.
For example, at Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20/Recommendations/Evaluate, Iterate, and Adapt the "How" section has the paragraph, "Programmatic and project planning will include systematic evaluation as an integral part of the process, as preconditions to adapting to changing environments, and to the improvement of our overall work. Evaluation needs to be incorporated into decision-making at all institutional levels. Planning for adequate resources, skills development, and capacity needs will be necessary to create meaningful evaluation processes." NO!!! At best, this is stating the obvious; at worst, this is bullshit. Say here exactly what is needed. For example, say we agree that Wikimedians need training? Ok, in what areas? Which Wikimedians need this training? How can the training be delivered? Do we have other Wikimedians who can provide this training, or should we look beyond our group? And, of course, we can include an evaluation as the final step of this training, but except to identify clear failures or a waste of resources, any evaluation won't tell us the whole story. Sometimes the value of being exposed to new information or ideas is not understood until much later. (And sometimes the answer to a problem is unbelievably simple; the hard parts are accepting that the answer is simple, as well as putting the answer into practice.)
Yes, I know people spent years on this, but when you find that you have boarded the wrong bus, you get off at the next stop & find your way onto the right bus; you don't ride the wrong bus to the end of the line. -- Llywrch (talk) 23:20, 22 January 2020 (UTC)
Hi Llywrch, could I invite you to share this valuable feedback on the Evaluate, Iterate and Adapt Talk page? It would be super helpful for further refining the recommendation and making it more concrete. Thanks for taking the time to review the recommendations and engaging in these discussions, it's appreciated. MPourzaki (WMF) (talk) 02:52, 23 January 2020 (UTC)
Just to make the point further, if you find that you are actually entirely unable to rewrite your post-graduate level text at a secondary school level, it's usually a good indication that you have mistaken words for meaning, and cannot rewrite the text because when you strip away the language, there is no underlying meaning to rewrite. GMGtalk 14:49, 23 January 2020 (UTC)
Actually, I may be a bit too generous. When you run Promote Sustainability and Resilience through a en:Flesch–Kincaid readability tests (you can do this using Microsoft Word), it scores at a grade level of 18. So, written at about the level of a first-year doctoral student. GMGtalk 15:06, 23 January 2020 (UTC)
Wow, it is therefore slightly tougher to read than my Masters' dissertation (which, vaguely ironically given the theme of these discussions, was on effective decision making) Nosebagbear (talk) 16:22, 23 January 2020 (UTC)
@Nosebagbear: With an admitted conflict of interest, this may be a good time to point out that the US military uses the Flesch–Kincaid readability test specifically because we write regulation that needs to be understood by the person who fuels the aircraft, and maintains the aircraft, as much as it is understood by the person who flies the aircraft and designs the aircraft. GMGtalk 22:47, 23 January 2020 (UTC)

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Hi Frank, thanks for raising the language issue here. I agree. The english version by itself is already hard to understand - how could a translation make it easier to understand? One thing is that we use different terms when translating the different pages. What may help for any larger project in the future could be a translation table for the main terms i.e. here "movement strategy", "advocacy", "leadership", "capacity building" - terms which definitely need some thinking before just picking the first translation you have in mind. What I can add here is some background from the process. I was member of the advocacy working group and the last text I worked on is the second iteration of recommendations, which we took to Tunis. In those recommendation you already find very abstract descriptions and there is a lot of generalism and blah in it. This is by design. In our working group we tried not to move into operational recommendations. So we avoid to determine who is responsible for what and from what I understand this is something the Board of Trustees will discuss. After the Tunis meeting some people volunteered to consolidate 89 (from my memory, can be some more or less) recommendations to one single paper. This is what we discuss here. They created 13 recommendations and factored in all those recommendations. You can follow this with the references in the text, they link to the particular recommendation which motivated the recent recommendation. I don't know anything about the process the writers used and it is pretty obvious that it comes with tradeoffs and some losses. While trying to include all those ideas and different styles and terms, we now recognize redundancies, overlappings and (of course) even more generalism and blah than any single working group created. It's sad and from my perspective we lose an opportunity to clarify and profile what we want to achieve in the future and what we need to achieve it. At the same time I understand where it comes from and the writers get all my respect and esteem. This does not provide any solution, though hopefully some background which helps to get a better understanding of where the language comes from. Alice Wiegand (talk) 23:31, 22 January 2020 (UTC)

Hi Alice, thanks for taking the time to respond and for sharing your experience with everyone. The background definitely helps. It's really appreciated. Hi all. It's exactly for this reason that the recommendations are here for feedback. It wasn't easy to transition out of the thematic areas and bring the 89 recommendations together around overlaps. It's definitely not perfect. For some people, the redundancies indicate the validity of the ideas put forward. There are many ways these recommendations can be improved before finalization, and we need focused input for that. Please provide feedback for individual recommendations, all of them or ones that resonate with you. You already have Alice, thank you, but rich relevant conversations on Meta can be very helpful. Grateful for your support and goodwill. MPourzaki (WMF) (talk) 02:52, 23 January 2020 (UTC)
I'm going to add myself as another native English speaker, with multiple degrees, and this English still is not clear. @MPourzaki (WMF): - are the translations going to be improved in line with any requests from others, and if so, will the consultation period be tweaked to account for that? Nosebagbear (talk) 11:30, 23 January 2020 (UTC)
Thanks for jumping in Nosebagbear. Some of the translations are better than others, I reviewed Farsi myself, wasn't too bad. Luckily we have 6 dedicated community liaisons working in Arabic, Catalan, French, German, Hindi, Portuguese and Spanish. They can directly adapt translations if communities alert them , so no need to tweak the timeline. They already had a review of the work, but it can always be improved. As for English, the individual recommendation talk pages would be the ideal place for feedback on how to bring improvements or more clarity, around language or content.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by MPourzaki (WMF) (talk)
@MPourzaki (WMF):In several cases where specific sentences have been pulled out as unclear, it's been indicated that clarity will be provided in the implementation stage. That suggests multiple issues - deliberate vagueness (not ideal for assessing whether something should be supported, since we've no idea of community ability to enforce implementation decisions), aspects just not considered, and genuine complexity and confusion with the English. That mix makes it hard to even determine what you'd be willing to change and what is being viewed as (rightly or wrongly) as a feature, not a bug. There's a huge amount of text, and it's going to become rather draining to suggest parts only to be told it's intentionally vague or only alluding. Nosebagbear (talk) 16:22, 23 January 2020 (UTC)
Hi Nosebagbear. For this, I would refer to the principles, especially inclusive community development. Implementation will be collaborative with communities, that is the ethos of this document and an integral aspect for the writers. It's really not about vagueness, but rather proposing ideas at a level where it is not too prescriptive so it can be adapted and contextualized. Please help us make improvements, you can start with recommendation areas that matter to you or those that would impact you and your community. MPourzaki (WMF) (talk) 02:25, 24 January 2020 (UTC)
Thank you, Alice, for giving the insight. I also read the "one sheet version" by Andrew Lih. After I noticed that my reply on this page became very long, I decided to post it on a different page. Ziko (talk) 16:30, 23 January 2020 (UTC)
I for one disagree to the nebulous strategy paper because I don’t wanna buy a pig in a poke. Instead, the WMF should publish a detailed plan about what they what to change. --Morten Haan (talk) 15:40, 24 January 2020 (UTC)

This is a wiki, right?[edit]

I've decided to en:WP:BEBOLD and en:WP:FIXIT (yes, those link to the same place), here's a start. Anyone want to join me? cc GreenMeansGo Mdaniels5757 (talk) 21:29, 23 January 2020 (UTC)

Hey Mdaniels5757, let's discuss the contents of the recommendations as they are. This way folks participating over the coming weeks can have some consistency in these discussions. We're already asking folks to read a lot, and extending that to diffs between changes to catch up on conversations is even more. Not to mention we had folks translate these pages for us and edits will knock those translations out of sync pretty quickly. If something's not clear, let's discuss how to make it more clear on the relevant talk page. I'll revert then we can discuss if you want. CKoerner (WMF) (talk) 21:31, 23 January 2020 (UTC)
@CKoerner (WMF): I'd be happy to do that (I'm no stranger to en:WP:BRD). I'd note that (as far as I can tell) none of my edits changed any meaning and were merely making the existing meaning clearer. I'd agree that you're "asking folks to read a lot", and note that edits for clarity and conciseness would help address that issue. Keeping in mind that I was in the process of refining my edits prior to the revert, I respectfully invite editors to compare the diffs between our versions [1] [2] and bring their thoughts and proposed improvements to the relevant talk pages. Best, Mdaniels5757 (talk) 21:52, 23 January 2020 (UTC)
A "translation" or rather, a radical copy-edit would be more than welcome. The jargon is exclusionary; it makes it very difficult for people who are not accustomed to working with consultants to participate. Vexations (talk) 22:11, 23 January 2020 (UTC)
So long as we're treating this as a learning process, which would seem consistent with a Movement [that] is people-centered and make[s] changes that address the needs and challenges of present participants, it may be appropriate in the future for these to be drafts for community review and changing. That would seem like a good way to "enable coordination among all the various stakeholders" and "develop a practice of cooperation and collaboration". GMGtalk 22:41, 23 January 2020 (UTC)
The German translation is terrible because the English text is already terrible: full of jargon, weasel words, vague meaningless stateme ts etc. It's as if you guys took all the recommendations from Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style and did exactly what they say not to do. And then apparently you gave this to volunteers for translation instead of professional translators? --MatthiasGutfeldt (talk) 23:58, 23 January 2020 (UTC)
Proposal: should we copy one of the worse pages to one of our userspaces and try to translate from MBA-speak to English (for later translation to other languages)? Or would that be futile/not accepted? (In other words, should we coordinate strategic feedback from stakeholders to harness existing resources to improve coordination and prioritize synergy?) Mdaniels5757 (talk) 01:21, 24 January 2020 (UTC)
You mean leverage synergy. You're obviously new at this. EEng (talk) 03:01, 24 January 2020 (UTC)

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Dear Mdaniels5757, thanks for being bold and taking the initiative to improve readability of the recommendations! Also thanks to everyone else for sharing your concerns and perspectives.

  • At this point of time we would like to keep the text as it is. The reason for this is that the discussions are happening on different platforms with a number of Google Docs and pdfs distributed for usability. There are also translations to a number of languages. We would like to get input and feedback based on the same content. I hope it makes sense.
  • This being said, you are welcome to provide feedback regarding improvement of language either on the talk pages of different recommendations, creating a separate thread here or using user pages or sandbox for this. There is a planned revision period for the recommendations in March to integrate the feedback and input, during which also language suggestions can be taken into account.
  • We will try to provide more clarity regarding sentences and phrases that feel incomprehensible, so please go ahead and ask questions where you feel you don't understand. Some of the vagueness however comes from the level of abstraction, which however does not mean that there is no meaning behind that. As it has been called out on some of the pages of the recommendations, there is a concern that this might lead to multiple options for interpretation. In this case it would be great to hear from you regarding your interpretations of the text, so we can better identify the causes for unclarity.
  • To be clear: there was a sincere effort made to make the language accessible by people writing the recommendations. It is really unfortunate that there are difficulties in comprehension and it feels too jargony. Please bear in mind that this is a document written by a diverse range of movement actors, most of whom were non-native speakers, so in some cases use of jargon words stemming from Latin or Ancient Greek is understandable, as often cases these are words used across the languages. However, there were couple of native English speakers who supported us with copy-editing and I think they really helped with making the text more readable and flowing. It is unfortunate that following these efforts there are still issues with readability that makes it difficult to engage with the content. As said before - we will try to clarify some of the aspects in the ongoing discussions. I hope it is helpful.

Thank you all again for sharing your thoughts! --KVaidla (WMF) (talk) 21:51, 24 January 2020 (UTC)

    • I really wouldn't want to see versions without the effort of making the language accessible. Who the hell are movement actors? It's not helpful - we're not waiting for a simplified version, we're expecting an actual meaning, an actual plan. Without corporate speak polished my managers and directors, coordinators and liaisons. What it actually means, not circular stories what we need to do to achieve what we need to do to get what we want. Lukasz Lukomski (talk) 22:35, 24 January 2020 (UTC)n
An inclusive movement should include all linguistic contributors and be inclusive also what regards the correct gendering of people. Maybe more efforts should be put in translating everything in every language in the future if we really want to be a global movement (speaking as a francophone contributor #lessanspages}.Nattes à chat (talk) 17:45, 29 January 2020 (UTC)

Recommendation talk pages in various languages[edit]

Just a quick note to say sorry for some confusion I may have caused for folks leaving feedback on the recommendation talk pages. Yesterday I redirected the translated recommendation talk pages to point here. I didn't check in with others coordinating this consultation before doing that and caused some confusion. Super embarrassed. :( If I moved your comment here it was a mistake. Rather than move things around again I just wanted to reach out to the folks I affected and let you know in case you want to move your topic. User:Marcus Cyron User:CJackel (WMF) User:Sicherlich User:Noé User:Nattes à chat CKoerner (WMF) (talk) 21:54, 22 January 2020 (UTC)

Danke für die Info. Aber da es kein Voting gibt und nur einen völlig nebulösen "sense" der WMF der dann irgendwie zu spüren behauptet was die Community will ist das alles nur Brot und Spiele fürs Volk. Daher ist es wohl relativ unbedeutend wo meine Anmerkungen ignoriert werden ...Sicherlich Post 21:57, 22 January 2020 (UTC)
Thanks for the note, Chris. Mh, I see pros and cons. While it might be more inviting for those who don't want to discuss in english, I wonder how an exchange will happen. What I've seen so far is that some people from working groups (2. phase) and the writers group (last phase, in which this document was created), discuss with people (even if the comment was in German) and already clarified and answered several issues. Not sure if this will happen on a non-english page. Let's see how that works. Alice Wiegand (talk) 22:47, 22 January 2020 (UTC)

Ok, sorry. Thanks. —Sm8900 (talk) 04:14, 24 January 2020 (UTC)

"The essential infrastructure"[edit]

Makes it sounds like Wikimedia Foundation is/should be the be all, end all of w:Open knowledge. While we are presently one of the largest players in the Open Knowledge field, we are not the only source, nor will we be. Other Open Knowledge sources will be able to operate without us. That said we should seek to collaborate with those other sources, so that we all can work together to bring knowledge, and information, to the masses.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 22:48, 22 January 2020 (UTC)

that ship sailed 2 years ago. the grandiose, master of the universe vision is a community value, even as open knowledge is moving on. to the extent that the community "does not playing nice with others" and fails to keep up with robust audio / video, it will get routed around. we already see this in the google knowledge graph image presentation. open knowledge scholars will build on a wikipedia substrate, with a civility layer on top. Slowking4 (talk) 23:55, 22 January 2020 (UTC)
@RightCowLeftCoast: See #Who is "we"?, above. The WMF has drifted scarily far away from Wikimedia's ideals. --Yair rand (talk) 01:57, 23 January 2020 (UTC)
I see WMF as less a be-all than an end-all. EEng (talk) 03:04, 24 January 2020 (UTC)

[edit]

So, I've now finished reading through these recommendations. There is not a single word in them about one of the absolute biggest issues we face today: Paid advocacy editing. We have been complaining about that for years. Are there any plans at all to deal with this issue, or at the very least acknowledge it? Seraphimblade (talk) 06:45, 23 January 2020 (UTC)

For clarity, would you mind clarifying who’s “we” who has been complaining? Did you mean “we on Wikipedia”, “we on the English Wikipedia” or something else entirely? (for what it’s worth, I don’t recall paid contribution being a major issue on my home wiki Wikimedia Commons [although of course I may just have missed it]). Jean-Fred (talk) 08:55, 23 January 2020 (UTC)
  • My take is that there are WMF policies already in place addressing paid editing and then there are more specific policies on paid editing and COI in the individual wikis. I see that as a disciplinary issue that is already being addressed through the existing structure. The policy of WMF projects being free knowledge is in the intro. (FWIW, the problems over on Commons are more the opposite of paid editing, they have more to do with crap like Getty taking cc-licensed stuff, then watermarking it, claiming it's theirs, and wanting money for it) Montanabw (talk) 19:30, 23 January 2020 (UTC)
  • By the way, if anyone would like to see an indication of just how fed up users on at least the English Wikipedia have gotten with paid editing, take a look here. I believe that's the first time I've seen a request for comment still be unanimously supported after 62 editors (as of this writing) have commented. Seraphimblade (talk) 06:54, 28 January 2020 (UTC)

Gender bias[edit]

Another of the "absolute biggest issues we face today". Nothing on this either, as far as I can see. It should probably be addressed in several sections but as two years have gone by without any real concern, it's probably far too late to expect any fundamental changes.--Ipigott (talk) 10:17, 23 January 2020 (UTC)

In this connection, it looks to me as if the article titled Wikimedia Foundation releases gender equity report and the associated Gender equity report should have been taken into account at an early stage. Were those working on the strategy back in April 2018 aware of their existence? Then, and now, we could read under Knowledge equity: "We will focus our efforts on the knowledge and communities that have been left out by structures of power and privilege." Surely there are no better examples of this than knowledge about women and women's communities. I fail to understand why no attention has been given to these considerations but fear it is too late to have them included.--Ipigott (talk) 12:34, 23 January 2020 (UTC)

Seems after the absurd idea of putting a quota into Wikipedia it was kicked out totally. (And I'm fine with it.) ... But thanks to the unspecific strategy you can easily put it into Create Cultural Change for Inclusive Communities - changing from man to women. The "expected outcome" says "...for participation concerning diversity " ...Sicherlich Post 13:05, 23 January 2020 (UTC) the outcome is puzzling like most of them are. The outcome is to "develop something" - so the process of doing smth is the outcome. I would expect that at least having the process to evaluate and applying it to be the outcome. But no: in 10 years WMF is still developing it
Sicherlich: Thanks for stepping by. I don't agree with the quotas either but thanks for your link; it makes interesting reading. I simply think it would be useful to mention the current disparity and adapt some of the items to facilitate measures to overcome it. In the current version of the document, I don't see much room for the development of initiatives focused on attracting more female contributors or facilitating the creation of more articles about women and their works, either in the developed and or in the developing world. But let's first see if anyone else feels this is important.--Ipigott (talk) 16:08, 23 January 2020 (UTC)
IMO: This "strategy" contains already far too much. 13 "goals" - that means we focus on everything --> so nothing gets really a focus. IMO it means no harm to add more as there is no focus anyways and everybody feels happy 😉 ...Sicherlich Post 16:24, 23 January 2020 (UTC) this focus on women is already going on since some years. But is there any progress? I have the impression I read the same lines every year. No change. The percentage of female Wikipedians is unchanged, right? Maybe its flogging a dead horse?
(Edit conflict.) To be honest, if we do insist on taking up paying session runners in certain areas, setting an aspect on the number of female editors still active after 6 months seems a good route - however, as I've already raised the issue of verification, I'm not sure how that would be checked. Spot checks just leave us blotchy. Nosebagbear (talk) 16:26, 23 January 2020 (UTC)

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IMHO, I think a document like this needs to use broad language to promote general support for inclusivity, and it does. "Everyone can edit" means EVERYONE, and that means that if we get into the weeds of which specific population groups are discouraged, underrepresented or marginalized, there are many. People as individuals also get run off by trolls for various reasons. Women ARE underrepresented, both in editing and in content, and it needs to be worked on. The document allows that to happen. I think the same is true for people from the Global South, minority populations in various nations, and so on. Sometimes too specific a list of those affected works to limit inclusion rather than encourage it. And, as the primary heading above is already showing, it is clear that it's probably impossible to reach a consensus on "the absolute biggest issue." Just my two cents. Montanabw (talk) 19:39, 23 January 2020 (UTC)

Hi Ipigott, hi all. How the writers went about this is aligned with what Montanabw shares here. For them, unrepresented and underrepresented encompassed women, used intentionally throughout this document to avoid omitting or alienating any other groups. Thanks for sharing your concern, I have taken note of it for further discussion and clarity when these recommendations are finalized after this round of community consultations. Thanks for reading and your contributions, really appreciated. MPourzaki (WMF) (talk) 02:07, 24 January 2020 (UTC)
Thanks MPourzaki (WMF), I understand the general stand you are taking but I think that at the very least the concept of "gender" needs to be more clearly defined and concepts such as "gender bias" and "gender equity" need to be included in appropriate sections. A document geared first and foremost to those involved in its drafting is not a very effective means of communicating to Wikimedians in general and to the world at large. I don't think "underrepresented" will evoke the absence of women contributors or the absence of articles about women to non-initiates. I note, by the way, that the definitions are not included in the PDF document. If they were, it might be possible to recommend adaptations.--Ipigott (talk) 12:05, 24 January 2020 (UTC)
Very well noted Ipigott for the finalization of the document, thank you. Quick note, the "extended document" PDF does have the glossary, it was left out of the "core doc" and "cover note" to reduce page numbers. Appreciative. MPourzaki (WMF) (talk) 13:24, 24 January 2020 (UTC)
MPourzaki (WMF): OK, I've found the link here. My mistake. Perhaps "Read these recommendations as a PDF: If you'd like to read through the recommendations in an offline or all-in-one format, you can find a PDF of the core document here, the extended version here, and the cover note here" could be more explicit. I really think you need to redefine "Underrepresented" if a "group" is intended to represent 50% of the world's population. Ditto "Inclusion". "Equity" is set in the context of racial equity rather than gender. The examples given from the schools environment under "Source/link" are misleading. Wikipedia is hardly just a classroom enterprise. Sorry to push this once again but we need to be widely understood.--Ipigott (talk) 14:28, 24 January 2020 (UTC)
Thank so much Ipigott, I've taken note of all these for when we update the glossary for the final product in March. Appreciative of your feedback. MPourzaki (WMF) (talk) 23:28, 24 January 2020 (UTC)
When I hear the matter of gender bias raised, I find myself wondering at one fact: the last 3 heads of the Wikimedia Foundation (& the head of the Board of Trustees before that) were women, were presumably capable & effective women, & were in a position to do something about it. Yet there is a gender bias. I'm not denying that it exists, just the fact that we've repeatedly given women the chance to do something about it, yet it persists. Either the women at the top aren't really trying (in which case, we need to find an effective advocate for women, & maybe even for other excluded groups), or the problem is more complex than any single solution will fix (e.g. institute a different code of conduct). Any effective recommendation ought to address this incongruous fact. -- Llywrch (talk) 21:31, 24 January 2020 (UTC)
Llywrch, in my opinion, gender bias -including the participant gender gap, the reader gender gap, the content gender gap, the reliable sources gender gap, etc.- are societal issues, so I don't think there's a strong correlation between the issue and the gender of our leaders (EDs, BoT chair, etc.). Gender bias (and other biases) will persist unless we have everyone's commitment -no matter what your gender is- to champion change. Creating and instituting a different code of conduct would be a step in the right direction, but, echoing what you just said, "the problem is more complex than any single solution will fix". --Rosiestep (talk) 02:28, 25 January 2020 (UTC)
Rosiestep, I won't argue your point about societal issues. However, generalized assertions about fixing how the projects address them doesn't accomplish anything, except give a blank check to certain groups who will exploit these statements to benefit themselves. Either to promote their own ideological agenda, or to simply benefit themselves. We gave certain women the opportunity to address these matters -- at least as far as gender inequality -- & all I've seen are some hackeneyed speeches about how women are oppressed on Wikipedia & the other projects. If they really wanted to fix this, they'd have investigated the problem & offer some possible solutions. (And I'll note that efforts to fix this such as Women in Red did not originate with the Foundation, but from the volunteer community. As far as I can tell, it happened without any direction from the last strategic planning, let alone input from the Foundation.) -- Llywrch (talk) 04:56, 27 January 2020 (UTC)
Llywrch, I agree with you that it is frustrating that it’s 2020 and gender inequity still exists. I am a bias scholar who studies inequity in learning communities (even Wikipedia!). I love that you’re frustrated because I am too. We as a community should really work on this. The tough bit I am finding with your language and beliefs is that it’s on women to fix. This is hard for me for a number of reasons. First, women didn’t make this issue and we are not the only ones who should ‘fix’ this. Second, and largely, it comes down to power structures and the authority women have to disrupt them in a group in which they are a minority, where their concerns about such issues are stood up to with straw men, and quantifiable outcomes are exploited to diminish the problem. Like, Rosiestep said, it’s a societal issue. We need society’s participation to clear this up. I find putting it all on women to rectify to be incredibly offensive and frankly a bit archaic. The gender imbalance goes deeper than Wikipedia is old. It can’t be ‘fixed’ by a few women in power; it requires everyone participation. Best, Jackiekoerner (talk) 07:43, 30 January 2020 (UTC)
Jackiekoerner You're not the only one to miss my nuance here. My point is not that women have to fix the problem: it's that we've given several women as much power as we can with the movement, & all I saw they did about it was lecture us that there is a problem. I've been told offline that Sue Gardner did take several actions to address the problem, yet from a talk that Rosiestep gave a year ago, during Gardner's tenure the number of women editors declined from 12.5% to 8.5%.[3] Not a fact I'm happy about. (And what was I doing at this time? I had a young daughter whose needs forced me to cut back my participation on Wikipedia. I barely had time to contribute content, let alone for admin duties, & I had to cut way back even on editing for a couple of years.) My point is that the Foundation shouldn't lecture us about the problem -- which only annoys we men who are concerned about this -- but provide us concrete ideas how to address this. Or leave us alone to find them ourselves. This lack of how to deal with this one issue is not only typical of the recommendations in this guide: lots of verbiage about processes & intentions, but nothing I can read & decide, "Yes, I can do this." -- Llywrch (talk) 19:11, 30 January 2020 (UTC)
I'm coming late, but I would like to state, that "anyone can edit" has two connotations: "Anyone is allowed to edit" and "anyone is able to edit". We have high barriers for entry such as (in no particular order) access to scientific thinking and writing, access to qualified literature, spare time, social acceptance of contributing to the projects, culture of unpaid volunteering, access to hardware that is suitable for editing long texts (laptop/desktop computers, mobile phones alone won't do). Of course anyone is allowed to edit Wikipedia, but only a small percentage of the world population is able to. And those barriers are working differently for different geographic and social groups. And none of them can be changed with anything I've seen so far in the Strategy process. --h-stt !? 20:59, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
From memory, h-stt, an earlier version of these strategy recommendations proposed concrete measures to improve access to reliable sources. Despite talk page support, they seem to have been dropped from the current recommendations. EddieHugh (talk) 23:02, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
Found it: "Digitization and Resource Prioritization for Marginalized Groups". It proposed improving access to materials through digitizing them. In other words, a bottom-up approach: give people access to materials and let them get on with using them. But the current proposals stress top-down initiatives. In other words: centralize control, add extra layers of bureaucracy, and tell people what (not) to do. One of these approaches led to the creation of the greatest encyclopedia the world has ever seen; the other approach... EddieHugh (talk) 23:27, 10 February 2020 (UTC)

Confused about what made it in to the current version?[edit]

Hi, Perhaps this is related to the problem identified above about the language in some recommendations being less-than-comprehensible, but I can't tell if some working group recommendations made it in to the current version. Two of the ones that come to mind (although I'm sure there are more) are whether 1) a "broader definition for 'reliable sources'" should be imposed on projects and 2) making NC and ND licenses be allowed on (some/all?) projects. What are their status? Best, Mdaniels5757 (talk) 20:36, 23 January 2020 (UTC)

@Mdaniels5757:, for the first one you're looking at this recommendation (equity section). I've not seen anything about the latter one of those. I do encourage you to join the talk page discussion on the notability side. Nosebagbear (talk) 14:12, 24 January 2020 (UTC)
Hi Mdaniels5757, thanks for your question. In order to bring the 89 recommendations together into one coherent set, many programmatic and project-specific recommendations needed to be zoomed out. Actually, some of those initial ideas didn't even make it to the second iteration of the draft recommendations based on online feedback and discussions at Wikimania. The writers tried to look at the underlying structures those recommendations were trying to address, such as improving the diversity of content and contributions, and content gaps. This is now captured mainly in innovate in free knowledge and prioritize topics for impact. As per principle of inclusive community development, such topics would be discussed at the appropriate project level, involving the communities impacted, that's the only way to do it. MPourzaki (WMF) (talk) 23:48, 24 January 2020 (UTC)

No genuine on-wiki consultation[edit]

I see a big contrast between the discussion pages when the strategy 'proposals' were officially at the community 'consultation' stage and now at the 'recommendation' stage. When there was officially a 'consultation' going on, getting anyone from a strategy working group or the WMF to respond to a talk page comment or question was almost impossible. Now that we have 'recommendations', there's someone from the WMF or its funded bodies responding within hours.

If the on-wiki feedback from the 'consultations' had really had a major impact on the 'recommendations', then I'd welcome the extra engagement that I now see. But I don't think it did. The consequence is that the extra engagement from the WMF and its funded bodies now looks like it's being done to defend decisions that were made before the community 'consultations'. This is very disappointing. EddieHugh (talk) 21:42, 23 January 2020 (UTC)

I very much agree. This seems more to be to claim that very broad documents were "presented", and then when the inevitable objections to attempts at implementation come around, say "Well, gosh, we already put it up for discussion!". Rather the good old Hitchhiker's Guide "But the plans were on display..." bit. Without details, the plans aren't on display. Figure out all the details, and put them up for up-or-down approval. These aren't anywhere near done yet. To have an actual consultation, these need to be "We plan to accomplish A, via doing B, C, D, and E", where "A" is a concrete goal, and B-E are concrete implementation steps. This seems, rather than that, to be an attempt to pull some kind of fait accompli in ramming through stuff so broad it could mean damn near anything, and that is not going to fly. Get sorted what you want to do, in concrete and unambiguous terms, and then ask for feedback. (The talk page feedback has been similarly reminiscent of weasel wording, such as being told that "people" supported certain things through presumably some backchannel process, but after asking for verification of that and specifics, I've gotten only silence.) Seraphimblade (talk) 00:36, 24 January 2020 (UTC)
I think this round of dialogue is a bit different from the plans being on display in a locked box in a disused toilet with a sign on the door saying 'beware of the leopard', but your mileage may vary ;) Chris Keating (The Land) (talk) 15:24, 24 January 2020 (UTC)
Ok, so, I don’t mean to put words in your mouths, but this sounds to me like:
  • Community member: you did not engage enough on-wiki!
  • Strategy folks: OK, we’ll try to do better.
  • Strategy folks: *engaging on-wiki*
  • Community member: your engagement on-wiki now is suspicious and disappointing!
So, really, you would find it better if they would not engage now? Sounds like “Damned if you do, damned if you don’t”, no?
Jean-Fred (talk) 11:56, 24 January 2020 (UTC)
No, Jean-Fred. You've missed the bit about the WMF already having made decisions before the 'consultations'. The 'consultations' on some topics at least were and are, therefore, shams. EddieHugh (talk) 19:36, 24 January 2020 (UTC)
Sorry, what decisions do you think the WMF has already made and when did it make them? My main criticism of the WMF in this process is that it's not been engaged enough with it and has had a hard time getting to grips with some of the key concepts that the working groups were putting forward. We even had a three-day session in Tunis that had absolutely no agreed outcomes because of what was, at the time, an almost complete lack of consensus between the people present (both between the different working group and between the working groups and the WMF representatives). The fact that we have got from that point to having this document is quite an achievement, but certainly not one accomplished by the WMF having already decided it is going to do anything. Chris Keating (The Land) (talk) 20:18, 24 January 2020 (UTC)
See Talk:Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20/Recommendations/Provide for Safety and Security#A movement process and the links in that section. The WMF had decided to go ahead with a universal code of conduct before so-called on-wiki consultations about it. EddieHugh (talk) 09:52, 25 January 2020 (UTC)
Apart from the issue of making sweeping claims about "the recommendations", which then turn out to be about a small part of two recommendations (out of the 89 working group recommendations, which then got compressed into the 13 final ones, exactly one concerned itself with the universal code of conduct; it ended up as two lines in Create Cultural Change for Inclusive Communities and two lines in Provide for Safety and Security), if the volunteer-led group working on the recommendations felt a universal code of conduct was an important issue, and the WMF decided to work on the UCoC without waiting for their proposal, what should that group have done? Retract the proposal, just because the WMF agrees with it? That seems a somewhat ridiculous expectation to me. --Tgr (talk) 03:03, 26 January 2020 (UTC)
That's the one that is known about; there's an unknown number of others. What should have been done was to tell everyone explicitly, during what was described as a 'consultation', that some things were already happening and would continue to happen, irrespective of on-wiki community feedback. (Also see a separate post here, asking for examples of on-wiki 'consultation' feedback that has been cited as feedback that influenced the latest 'recommendations'. None has been mentioned yet.) EddieHugh (talk) 09:59, 26 January 2020 (UTC)

Is there any substance to this?[edit]

I have spent some time reading these recommendations. I think they are full of convoluted and mostly empty sentences with very little actual content. What is the point of this? Who wrote these recommendations? How many people do you think will actually read this? --Ita140188 (talk) 15:05, 25 January 2020 (UTC)

I think, s/he is looking for any real meaning behind this smokescreen of meaningless bullshit-bingo, that was formulated by those people. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 17:24, 25 January 2020 (UTC)
It is difficult to find substance, I agree. I always try to keep in mind that the current text is a try to summarize many other texts, which was certainly very difficult. They tried to remain faithful to the other texts (I suppose). But these current recommendations really need some severe structural changes. Ziko (talk) 18:54, 25 January 2020 (UTC)
I just added a section with my view on this below. Hope it's helpful. Chris Keating (The Land) (talk) 19:27, 25 January 2020 (UTC)

Notification[edit]

Have on-wiki groups been notified about the latest publication of these recommendations? If so, how? EddieHugh (talk) 18:02, 25 January 2020 (UTC)

Dear EddieHugh, thanks for the inquiry! This has generally been done via Village Pump. Here are some of the examples: English Wikipedia, French Wikipedia, Portuguese Wikipedia, etc. There are also strategy portals opened on some wikis, e.g. German Wikipedia, Arab Wikipedia and Hindi Wikipedia. Hope this is helpful! --KVaidla (WMF) (talk) 14:00, 28 January 2020 (UTC)
Thank you. Is there a better way of making more people aware? That En page averages 210 views per day. The Fr one seems to have a new page for every day of the year. They can't be optimal ways of reaching people. EddieHugh (talk) 17:51, 28 January 2020 (UTC)
Thank you, EddieHugh for reflecting on this! For me the key question is the quality of contributions rather than sheer quantity. Definitely there are ways to get more people here, but for me 'optimal' means something else. For me the main issue with the previous consultation and also this one is the level of abstraction of the recommendations. There is a high value in consulting the wider range of communities on more concrete plans, especially it is essential regarding topics that will affect the online communities directly. We need the input now to improve the recommendations and get a better understanding how they resonate in different contexts and what are the concrete proposals for improvement. However, we will also need further input when we come to more concrete plans with actual content and not just concepts. If there is a number of people in the communities that get frustrated with the current abstract level of recommendations, we will not have their input when it will be more relevant for them in the future. Now the question is how do we get sufficient level and quality of input now and still have resources left for future?
I agree that village pump post might be insufficient, but it will get us people who are actually interested about the ongoing conversations, without creating too much noise for the others. The other options we have considered are for example targeted messages to certain groups, most active users etc. There has also been consideration of using the site notice for some of the projects to get further traction, but I would be really careful with site notices as some people find them rather disturbing in day-to-day editing work.
I would be happy to hear your thoughts regarding ways how could we collect constructive feedback that will help us to improve the recommendations with further context input and more diverse range of perspectives, without causing consultation fatigue. Thank you again for reflecting on this topic! --KVaidla (WMF) (talk) 11:26, 1 February 2020 (UTC)

Sections at the side line[edit]

Hello, at the side line, to the left of the Table of Contents, there are some other sections. Among them, "principles". Possibly, they and their talk pages are hardly noticed? They also don't appear in the navigation box. I would be grateful with someone with the edit rights could put them in. :-) Kind regards, Ziko (talk) 18:50, 25 January 2020 (UTC)

What's all of this for?[edit]

I know it's not easy to engage with a 70-page document, or to work out the practical effect of some of the high-level recommendations. So I wanted to give my perspective on some concrete, positibve changes that I believe the strategy recommendations can result in. Obviously this is my personal perspective - I was involved in the strategy process until the end of September, but haven't been involved in writing this round.

Bringing WMF, community, and affiliates closer together
Currently there are no clear expectations of how the WMF and affiliates and communities work with one another. There are countless examples of this - everything from on-wiki crises like Superprotect to situations where a local chapter is trying to ask a donor for money but the WMF has rung the donor a week before to ask for the same thing.
And when something does go wrong there is no feedback loop, no method of raising concerns, no method of resolving conflicts. Or at least not much. Most community members feel they have no way to influence the WMF except by writing emails or posts that appear to go unread and unanswered (which is frustrating and leads to the tone of those emails getting increasingly angry); and once every 3 years you can vote in the Board election. The situation is not much better for people on the WMF side of things, who perceive that if they try to do almost anything, a bunch of people will show up and tell them they're doing the wrong thing; but the people who show up are probably not representative of the whole community they are trying to serve. A significant part of the recommendations is about trying to bridge this gap.
In particular, it calls for:
  • a Movement Charter, which sets out a common set of expectations around behaviour and accountability of all movement entities (including both the WMF and all affiliates)
  • a new "global governance body" that would provide input into future development of future strategy; would set the framework for funds dissemination; and hold all movement entities accountable. (including affiliates and the WMF)
(To be clear, it's very likely that many existing WMF/Affiliate structures (AffCom, FDC, etc) would end up being folded into the global governance body.)
The objective is to find a way to have more structured conversations within the movement. This includes conversations where the WMF is being held accountable by community members. It's to the WMF leadership's credit that they seem quite open to this idea. Of course, that is not the *only* role of the proposed Governance Body, it would also shape the development of movement strategy, do much of what FDC and/or AffCom currently do, and many other things, and the whole thing will not work if it becomes a sort of institutionalised verison of Wikimedia-l. But one benefit of it is that it would give much more structure to the next Superprotect-type situation.
Supporting development of skills and capacities
There is a strong emphasis in the recommendations on building skills and supporting individuals and organisations. Training, mentorship, and learning are all mentioned a great deal.
This is a direct response to feedback mainly from affiliates that there is not enough support on offer from the movement at the moment. Many affiliates have been saying "Ok, we got recognised by Affcom, what comes next?" and finding there is no real support on offer. These recommendations are aimed at solving that problem. There is also the concept of 'regional hubs' which would exist to bring affiliates (or affiliates-in-formation) together to better support them. Again, this is directly in response to the fact that many of our existing regional partnerships have a lot of value for affiliates and communities, and affiliates are asking for support in languages other than English and geographically close to them.
And while this is (mainly?) aimed at the organised part of the movement, there are also on-wiki roles (stewards, arbitrators, functionaries) which can be difficult and challenging, where more support might be helpful.
Understanding how we spend money and why
Currently the way the movement (mainly WMF) decides how to spends money is not particularly clear. I think this whole area is probably less familiar to people who aren't used to the 'organised part' of the movement, but there are issues like "how do we decide whether to fund a project adding 100,000 Wikidata items, or a set of wikimeets?" The recommendations say we should come up with a better way of understanding what impact the movement has on people, leading to a clearer set of criteria around funds distribution.
It's also recommended that more of the decision-making power for funds dissemination will sit closer to the communites using the funds. So less focus on global committees like the FDC or global grants programmes, more focus on groups of affiliates and community members in regional hubs working out what to spend their money on (within an overall framework established at a global level). To my mind, this is important to seriously follow through on the ambition to reach more people with more knowledge.

Of course, any of these things could go wrong. There are ways any of them could be badly implemented and result in time, money and effort wasted. But all of them are (in my view) worth trying, and even coming close to achieving any of them could make the movement a markedly better place. Chris Keating (The Land) (talk) 19:26, 25 January 2020 (UTC)

Dear @The Land:, thank you for your execellent essay. It shows the clarity and thought that I know from you, and it was a pleasure to read it. I can also very much agree with you.
Alas: this essay is only your personal interpretation. This is not what the actual document text says. You write: the Governance Body will "hold all movement entities accountable. (including affiliates and the WMF)" But does the text really say so? It only says that all entities in the "movement" will be held accountable. What is the movement? According to the Glossary, not the WMF, because it is not mentioned there (only "partners of the Wikimedia foundation", not the WMF itself, or the Board of Trustees). So it is only your personal interpretation that the WMF board will be held accountable by the Governance Body.
The document text does not make clear whether the GB will be above the WMF board, or the WMF board above the GB. I tried to find that out by searching for all text sections where the GB or the WMF are mentioned. I found out that the GB is going to assist the WMF board, and that the WMF board will decide which tasks it will transfer to the GB. So the documents asks for the creation of a very powerful body, which will be an instrument in the hands of the WMF board.
You write in your essay a couple of times about the "communities". Well, as the document re-defines "community" to anybody and anything, I always wonder what is meant by "community" in the strategy discussions. To me, it is an "online creation community" such as the wiki editor community on English Wikipedia.
Thank you again for your explicit thoughts, I wish to have seen this clear style more often in the actual document. But I understand that there is the fiction that "the community" input created the document, and the last team only had the task to combine the 89 previous texts. That prevented, I suppose, the team from writing a more coherent and clear text. - Kind regards, --Ziko (talk) 10:40, 26 January 2020 (UTC)
Ich kann mich Ziko nur anschließen, dieser Text ist a) lesbar und hat b) Inhalt, das komplette Gegenteil von dem unlesbaren, inhaltsentleerten Marketinggelaber in den Vorschlägen. Ein solcher Text müste am Anfang des Prozesses als Ausgangspunkt für den Feinschliff der Vorschläge stehen, eine klare, nachvollziehbare, präzise Problemanalyse, um dann ganz konkrete Texte zu formulieren, die in diese Richtung gehen. Wolkige, nichtssagende Formulierungen, von denen mensch auch noch erwarten muss, dass sie seitens der technisch mächtigen WMF durch Rosinenpicken und selektive Exegese gegen die Projekte ausgelegt werden würden (Superprotect, Framban...), sind nicht zielführend.
Was mich an dem Ganzen von vorne herein stört, ist die gesamte auf Geschäft ausgerichtete Sprache, wir betreiben hier kein Geschäft, wir sind ein NGO. Wir brauchen kein Branding, weil wir nichts verkaufen. Wir haben nicht mal ansatzweise ein Geldproblem (außer, dass wir die riesigen Spendeneinnahmen irgendwo parken sollten, statt das Budget mit immer mehr Tinnef aufzublähen). Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 11:06, 26 January 2020 (UTC)
Hi Ziko and Sänger. Glad to hear my perspective is useful. Yes, I agree the document is ambiguous in these places and I wish it was not. I could talk at some length about how the process so far has resulted in this kind of text, but I don't think that is entirely helpful.Chris Keating (The Land) (talk) 13:29, 26 January 2020 (UTC)

Has no feedback from previous Wikimedia consultations been cited?[edit]

I've looked at all 13 of the Community Input pages listed here. The Footnotes section of each gives a source for some bits of the recommendation. I see no footnote in any of them that cites any feedback from previous Wikimedia consultations on the recommendations (specifically, the ones around August–September 2019). Am I missing something?

This report, which lists some of the comments from those consultations, states: "Meta-Wiki (all below, commments from late August through mid October 2019. Will be further analyzed.)" Were they analyzed? If so, where is the analysis? EddieHugh (talk) 19:56, 25 January 2020 (UTC)

Dear EddieHugh, thank you for raising this valid and fair point that is undermining also current levels of participation and creating misunderstanding regarding the value of participating. The input has been considered first in the working group stage and then again for drafting current synthesized recommendations, but there is no public report regarding this beyond what you have already linked. There has been analysis of input across different channels and we will look into how to make this data available. Input from meta often led to removing content rather than complementing and so it is not a key reference point in the content of current recommendations. This does not mean there has not been considerable influence to shaping the recommendations. Overall, it makes complete sense to get back to the thematic area recommendations pages and report back how the input has been taken forward, being fully aware that ideally this should have happened prior to having another round of conversations. We will ping contributors who took the time to participate in these previous discussions when this happens. Best regards, --KVaidla (WMF) (talk) 16:14, 31 January 2020 (UTC)

The Strategy Document does not work - how to go on?[edit]

Hello, I believe that the current document just does not work. The document ("recommendations" was supposed to have several functions or tasks:

  • to sum up the results of the previous months of discussions
  • to give insight in severe problems of the movement
  • to make a coherent set of proposals to the WMF board
  • to allow the people of the Wikimedia movement a last feedback (before the WMF board decides on a final document and further steps.)

The document fails with these tasks. It does not make feedback possible, and its value for the movement and the WMF board is limited:

  • Vast sections are simply incomprehensible. We already talked here and elsewhere about the difficult language style and related problems. You cannot give substantial feedback about a text you don't understand.
  • The document tries to redefine some established terms, such as "movement" and "community". This adds to the confusion.
  • There is also a lack of substance. Very often the document says only that "we" have to do something, and we all wonder who this "we" is in the context. The document talks about old and new structures, but remains silent on important points. The document focusses on values and claims that "equity" is not possible in the current "structures", but fails to explain why that is exactly, or how the proposed new structures will make a difference. You cannot give feedback about this rudimentary proposals, and you might get the feeling that the document gives the WMF board a "carte blanche".
  • The WMF board receives insufficient input for solving problems of the movement.

I don't blame the team members, they had a very difficult task. But: how can the movement go on without a document that serves its purposes?

  1. First option: the WMF board might go on with this document (or a revised version) in spite of these problems.
  2. The WMF board might ignore the document and come up with a reform proposal of its own.
  3. The WMF board might declare that the strategy process (at least in its original format) has been a failure.
  4. The WMF board might create a new commission to write a new document based on feedback in January-March 2020. The commission should feel free to compose the text freely, focussing on concrete proposals. One member of that commission should be an expert writer who ensures that the document will be easy to understand and to translate.

If you think that I exaggerate, and that the document is just fine, please read the following sentence:

"TRANSPARENCY & OPENNESS / Ensuring everyone can clearly understand how our systems, governance, and collaborations work enables participation and responsibility to one another." (Strategy document, p. 7)

Does the document really meet its own standards?

Kind regards, Ziko (talk) 19:56, 25 January 2020 (UTC)

Hi, Ziko!
(Strategy document, p. 7) It's not exactly clear which "Strategy document" you're referring to and it took some time to find it is the " Principles" document. Could you please link to it in your comment? {cn}
The sentence you've cited:
"TRANSPARENCY & OPENNESS / Ensuring everyone can clearly understand how our systems, governance, and collaborations work enables participation and responsibility to one another."
In this sentence every word has a meaning for me and they form a meaningful sentence that I can associate with my expectations regarding the future of wiki collaboration. Although it is an abstract sentence that does not explain how understanding our systems and collaborations will enable participation and responsibility, for me this means that by defining our governance structures and roles it will be clear to editors, who is responsible for what and who can help with specific questions, thereby enabling collaboration between the right persons. In the present state it is very hard to find the right person for any specific question or issue and it depends on random (chance) encounters.
I don't see what issues you see with this sentence. Could you clarify what words bear no meaning for you? —Aron Man.🍂 edits🌾 20:57, 25 January 2020 (UTC)
Sorry, @Aron Manning:, I always use the PDF extended version. Don't mind about the quoted sentence, I asked myself does the document in general meet the standards expressed in this sentence. (Which I may find, by the way, anyway more difficult than you. As a non native speaker of English, I have it more difficult to quickly identify the verbs and understand -ing-forms.) Ziko (talk) 21:29, 25 January 2020 (UTC)
So, what you're trying to say is this: The organization is a mess; nobody knows who is responsible for what. We need to reorganize so that we can hold people accountable for how they do their job and make sure that the people we serve know who to talk to. Vexations (talk) 23:15, 25 January 2020 (UTC)
It would help our non-native English speakers if we could at least get the grammar right: "Ensuring everyone can clearly understand how our systems, governance, and collaboration enable participation and responsibility to one another."--Ipigott (talk) 08:04, 26 January 2020 (UTC)
How about: "We are accountable for our actions. How we operate is easy to understand. Our tools are accessible and easy to use. Our processes are well-defined. Anyone can participate in our projects because we provide clear guidance on how to collaborate." Even Google knows how to translate that into German.Vexations (talk) 13:05, 26 January 2020 (UTC)
Thank you Vexations for this example of good writing. This document should follow the same principles. Avoid complex sentences, avoid passive, avoid complex words when not necessary, ans so on. As it is now, this document is impossible to understand. This not only makes it hard to discuss, but also makes the recommendations less well-defined and more prone to abuse. --Ita140188 (talk) 05:21, 27 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Ziko expresses an opinion which to a large extent I share, and my impression is that it is shared by a large number of others who have contributed their opinions. There is a disconnect between the people who composed these strategy documents and the ordinary members of the projects which comprise the bulk of the movement in terms of numbers of people, and this is particularly evident in the failure to communicate with the large number of us who are not native English speakers. The tendency, or habit, of assuming that everyone else should understand not just English, but heavily jargonised, nuanced and grammatically complex English, is contrary to the principles of inclusivity and diversity the movement claims to hold as core goals. Even native English speakers with above average comprhension and vocabulary often have difficulty working out what the intended meaning actually is, as we do not have the full context that is available to those who worked together to put these proposals together. I would guess that a large proportion of interested and affected people do not comment because it is too difficult to comment meaningfully, and they are either too polite or insecure in their abilty to express themselves in English, or feel that one more complaint is not going to help and simply give up and go away with an aggravated feeling of exclusion. · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 07:34, 29 January 2020 (UTC)
Peter, you express exactly what I mean. Ziko (talk) 07:46, 29 January 2020 (UTC)
+1 Well said. I hear and speak English all day long - but still don't get the meaning of a huge portion of these recommendations and feel excluded. The recommendations fall short of their own well-sounding demands, such as inclusion and equity. --Martina Nolte (talk) 22:01, 1 February 2020 (UTC)

Stakeholders[edit]

I am trying to understand the documents and proposals and I came up with some questions, how was strategy defined? and does the organization envision the final document to play an important communication tool to be distributed and presented to various stakeholders including donors and other organizations within the free knowledge ecosystem? In addition, did an external analysis of the open knowledge ecosystem take place prior to the on-wiki dialogues and if there was, how important were issues raised in the external analysis important in shaping these proposals, such as a possible prevalence of code of conduct in other organizations, inclusivity, and retaining or acquiring new volunteers. Regards Alexplaugh12 (talk) 15:32, 27 January 2020 (UTC)

Dear Alexplaugh12, thank you for raising these questions for clarification!
* The question regarding definition of 'strategy' goes to the essence of the process and even though we have tried to explain it on different occasions, there still seems to be quite a confusion around it. What we are doing is not really a common 'organizational strategy'. This is a movement strategy that needs to create an alignment across a wide range of stakeholders, including organizations, online project communities, partners, and at the same time to deal with overlaps of them. The second aspect is the timeframe, which is 10-15 years. It is a long-term direction, rather than an action plan. For the implementation part there will be iterations, which means adaptability and contextualization will need to be built into the implementation. This means that actual measurable criteria and also budget allocations will highly depend on how exactly the overall direction will be followed and will be only decided as part of implementation. The final aspect is the content of the process. The framing has been "enabling us to move towards the strategic direction" and the focus has been on systemic change in the movement, structural reform or in other terms creating a shared understanding how we can collaborate better to achieve wider impact. We strive to become essential support system for the whole free knowledge ecosystem, but at first we need to get our infrastructure right. Considering all of this the definition of strategy for this process would be "creating alignment and agreement across movement stakeholders regarding systemic change that will enable us to function better as a truly global movement". Happy to discuss it further, as this is a key point regarding the movement strategy overall.
* There need to be discussions at different levels and in the end there needs to be a product that can be easily shared with our partners, donors, and peers in the free knowledge ecosystem. There have been attempts to include people from other stakeholders, but it has proven to be rather difficult. There were a number of conversations in 2017 and we have also facilitated discussions at events beyond our movement (e.g. Creative Commons Global Summit 2019. So the external discussions have happened and they have been taken into account in developing the strategic direction and movement strategy recommendations, but in a way we have gone down the 'rabbit hole' of more internal discussions that have become harder to access for 'external' stakeholders. There needs to be a further effort for re-engagement and a product that they can understand and relate with would be the basis of this. At the moment, however, it is essential that we manage to create a shared understanding with our own communities and this is a priority. Comments regarding the language and miscomprehension regarding current document shows that there is still a lot of work to do on that and we hope to improve with the March iteration.
* We have not overlooked the value of looking at other organizations to learn from their best practices. There were research items commissioned by the thematic area working groups. Parts of the research did touch upon inclusivity and volunteering in different contexts (e.g. working groups worked with Whose Knowledge? and there was additional consultant regarding this for resource allocation group], however a more detailed research on the code of conduct did not happen.
I hope these explanations are helpful. Feel free to follow up with questions and specifications to create more clarity! --KVaidla (WMF) (talk) 10:13, 1 February 2020 (UTC)
They were helpful, I am usually on the outskirts of movement issues, so I do appreciate the informative response.Alexplaugh12 (talk) 12:19, 4 February 2020 (UTC)

I wrote about the term "stakeholder" being either too broad, too vague, too ambiguous, or too loose. Then I found out that the word "stakeholder" is used in other recommendations. I also wrote that anyone (even someone affiliated with a dubious company or big corporation) can be a "stakeholder", especially if the meaning of it is not clarified. George Ho (talk) 07:09, 14 February 2020 (UTC)

Feedback from French-speaking Wikimedians[edit]

During the past week, about a dozen French-speaking Wikimedians engaged around strategic recommendations on-wiki, plus ~10 people on social media.

For a couple of people, there was some misunderstanding about the process itself (confusion with re-branding process), but also a majority of people who understood the process and think it's needed. Some even stated that the Foundation and the communities both have to step up to change a number of things (especially harassment issues and newbie retention).

One user regretted that the language of the recommendations was not gender-inclusive enough (this has been fixed since).

There is also a general feeling that the language of the text is too abstract and that phrasing is beating about the bush : « 80% of the time it is unclear what the subject is » (are we talking about affiliates ? LGBT people ?). People feel everything is invisibilized behind generic terms, letting too much space for interpretation. Note : the Glossary might be useful here.

Specific comments have for now concentrated on a few recommendations : number 1, 2, 3, 10 and 11.

Discussions happened on Meta in French, on village pumps of French Wikipedia and Wiktionary, plus Telegram channels and Twitter.

DRanville (WMF) (talk) 15:58, 28 January 2020 (UTC) (French Strategy Liaison)

Some personal feedback below[edit]

Most of the text below is about principles and some other aspects. I will paste other specific comments about the actual recommendations in their respective talk pages.

Regarding values/principles, I must say I miss an explicit value and discussion about the freedom of knowledge (going back to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Information_wants_to_be_free). Despite I think this is the founding concept of our movement and, as it is written at the very beginning, as the strategic direction points it: "the essential support system of the ecosystem of free knowledge", I do not think it has been dealt as it would deserve. It might be given for granted but I think it stills needs a discussion. This aspect is important because otherwise you might get the wrong impression that many recommendations that are proposed might be simply copy-pasted for any vanilla global organization.

I must say that I concur that equity, inclusiveness and many other discussed values, sadly not as present as they should, must further permeate inside our movement if we want to go several steps ahead. However, I think it is important not to forget to acknowledge (and also question if necessary) our major contribution value to humankind, that is, freedom of knowledge. Accordingly, I think 'Innovate in freedom of knowledge' recommendation should have a more prominent role in the document.

Related to my previous comment, as it is written down in that recommendation, I agree that is important to innovate in free knowledge beyond strictly encyclopaedic boundaries. It is specially a sensitive matter for endangered and/or colonized cultures. I am concerned that topics such as notability or authority itself are considered as secondary matters (a kind of relic of a concreted past). On the contrary, I believe they are open to innovation themselves. This is important in the context of present-day debates about post-truth or fake news. Moreover, concepts and experiences from (Open) Science such as reproducibility or peer review could enter this umbrella as well.

Another important aspect I think it is not sufficiently explicitly approached is volunteering, specially considering that most of our present-day stakeholders are actually volunteers (from casual editors to the Board of Trustees). I don't think this must be regarded as an implicit list item in some recommendations and this must need some additional thoughts and discussions, either as a value or more explicitly in some recommendations. It is important a critical debate on volunteering for many other considerations to be realistic, such as capacity building, leadership, inclusiveness, etc.

On the other hand, as a technically-oriented person, and considering previous recommendation iterations, I have the overall feeling that there is a decrease in the tech focus (missing writers from this profile?). Free software contributions from our movement are also something that needs to be acknowledged, further explored and improved, not only from a usability perspective.

--Toniher (talk) 22:17, 28 January 2020 (UTC)

Dear Toniher, thanks for this extended feedback!
Regarding the principle of standing for freedom of the knowledge - in the final iteration it might have indeed taken as a prerequisite for everything else and as a result not so well present in the final document itself. This has been considered as one of the key points and is also well present in thematic area recommendations, especially expressis verbis in Roles & Responsibilities. However, you are probably right regarding functionality of the document without being clear about this and we will take this input into account during iteration.
Currently the recommendation is "Innovate in Free Knowledge' rather than freedom of the knowledge. I would like to hear more from you regarding what would this prominent role mean and also what is your take on the content of this recommendation. Feel free to engage on the respective talk page.
'Notability' and 'authority' have been big conversation topics in the groups and there is not one clear pathway forward. I believe this needs to be a continued conversation with the communities to get a better understanding how to continue with these concepts. There is some conversation around this in discussion of "Prioritize Topics for Impact recommendation where you can weigh in. There was also a specific recommendation about this from the diversity thematic area. You can find relevant meta discussion here.
Volunteerism and paid support roles have been a discussion topic across the thematic areas. Again I understand the criticism that some of the aspects around volunteering are embedded in the recommendations implicitly while more explicit approach might be more beneficial in highlighting these aspects. There is also a comment made about this on the "Promote Sustainability and Resilience" recommendation talk page. I would like to hear from you more specifically, which explicit points seem to be currently missing, i.e. where do we need more clarity about volunteerism to make this feedback more useful for iteration.
It is interesting to hear that you see a notable decrease in tech related topics. On one hand, the principle of people-centeredness was really important for writers of the recommendations, but on another the technical nature of our movement was also recognized. User:Tgr was part of final writers and was of big support in integrating recommendations from thematic area of product & technology and in my perspective there is a notable amount of recommendations that include these aspects from support to third party developers and tooling to developers (see [[Strategy/Wikimedia_movement/2018-20/Recommendations/Plan_Infrastructure_Scalability|Plan Infrastructure Scalability), to technology council to support software development see Coordinate Across Stakeholders, to a specific recommendation about improving user experience. What do you feel is especially missing in these final recommendations and would need to be addressed?
Thank you again for your input and comments! I look forward to learn more about your perspectives. Best regards, --KVaidla (WMF) (talk) 17:56, 31 January 2020 (UTC)

Can these be written in the action items format of the 2016 Strategy Recommendations?[edit]

Many of these recommendations are aspirational without having been operationalized, and many others call for ongoing processes, such as the development of further documents or software, in a declarative manner, describing the hoped-for end result instead of a to-do list of tasks to accomplish, like the 2016 Strategy Recommendations. Do the authors and process managers believe that these new recommendations can be written that way? EllenCT (talk) 06:57, 29 January 2020 (UTC)

That's not a bad idea. Drawing on of "Promote Sustainability and Resilience" for instance, that one might end up as:
Why
In the long term, we face challenges in both the human and financial sustainability of the Wikimedia movement.
We need to increase the retention and satisfaction of volunteers, and also find ways to reach out to people in communities that are currently under-represented (or not represented at all) within the movement. Our volunteer model poses challenges for people whose financial position prevents them from taking part in the movement, and risks the movement being dominated by people from wealthy countries. Partnerships offer an opportunity to find new volunteers (as well as new content), but expanding our partnerships work faces challenges related to our ability to report on impact and to commit to long-term relationships with partners.
The financial resources we need may be more than those delivered by growth from existing revenue sources. Further, there is a risk that banner donations may fall in future if people no longer read Wikipedia content on our own platforms. We also need to consider the impact that the concentration of revenue within the WMF and a small number of large chapters has on equity within the movement.
How
  1. Improve the support and development opportunities for people in key roles in the movement (e.g. movement organisers, technical contributors) - through finding methods of training, mentoring and coaching that work in the context of the Wikimedia movement, and ensuring this area of work is adequately resourced.
  2. Develop our ability to engage in partnerships, with better partnership resources (e.g. documentation) and better approaches to measuring the impact of partnership.s
  3. Consider offering financial and/or in-kind support to volunteers whose participation might otherwise be limited by their financial resources. On-wiki activity (editing) would be excluded from the scope of this, given the movement's firm stance against paid editing.
  4. Develop a movement-wide fundraising strategy, which will include steps to build up fundraising capacity across movement organisations (rather than, at present, concentrating it in the WMF).
  5. Within the fundraising strategy, consider monetising the Wikipedia and Wikidata APIs through charging large-scale users.
Hmmmm... I think I got that right! Chris Keating (The Land) (talk) 13:26, 29 January 2020 (UTC)
though also the result is fairly similar to the "Expected Outcomes" section, which might be the kind of bullet point list you're looking for, @EllenCT:. Though I do note a few things show up in the expected outcomes list that don't appear in the narrative itself. Chris Keating (The Land) (talk) 11:58, 30 January 2020 (UTC)
+++ support "Consider offering financial and/or in-kind support to volunteers whose participation might otherwise be limited by their financial resources. On-wiki activity (editing) would be excluded from the scope of this, given the movement's firm stance against paid editing.". As someone participating in trying to reduce the gender gap, we are often confronted with the fact that project managers and event organizers work is not paid although it is time consuming, has an impact on personnal lives especially for women (who are in average paid 20% less than men in real life and have less time to dedicate to so called "hobbies"). This is also true for marginalized communities. Nattes à chat (talk) 17:31, 29 January 2020 (UTC)
I'd like it if the recommendations were written up in a similar manner to my attempted summary of the phase 1 recommendations, but this would also be a huge improvement on the current format. --Yair rand (talk) 19:16, 30 January 2020 (UTC)

Office hours[edit]

If you want to learn more about movement strategy or ask the core team your questions regarding the process, join our office hours tomorrow, on Thursday, January 30 at 8:00 UTC (one hour) and at 18:00 UTC (one hour). Find links and see more: here. --KVaidla (WMF) (talk) 18:18, 29 January 2020 (UTC)

@KVaidla (WMF): I see a lot of Google over there, is there a way to partake without succumbing to this completely unsuitable moloch, that lives off raping peoples privacy? Using Google is an absolute no-go. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 18:56, 29 January 2020 (UTC)
Hi Sänger ♫, thank you for sharing this concern and checking in regarding options! Would Zoom be a suitable option from your perspective? --KVaidla (WMF) (talk) 18:58, 29 January 2020 (UTC)
I read something about Google Ads in their privacy statement, something that is completely incompatible: Google Ads and privacy are antipodes. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 19:11, 29 January 2020 (UTC)
We will be holding second session tomorrow in Zoom. Thanks for bringing this up! --KVaidla (WMF) (talk) 22:02, 29 January 2020 (UTC)

Architecture of the project - Working with Biomimetic architects[edit]

Hi ! I'm currently reading and trying to grasp the concepts and see how they interact and which could be the synchronicity. I suggest that, as you worked with a design agency for the rebranding, you work with an architect for this big ten years strategy project. Why ? Concepts are simply thrown without structure which make them difficult to memorize and articulate. Given the very special form of the "ecosystem" of Wikipedia, you should ensure that a structuration will not kill this "natural", "spontaneous" diversity. There is no proof for the moment that artificialization of a part of the ecosystem by wilful politics and grants will ensure that these added parts melt correctly with the further one and that the community will live per se after such a big intervention. That is why we should ensure that the new space you want to create (an artificially supported ecosystem) has a valid form. The best would be to ask a professional architect to modelize the community you see in this ten year project. I suggest to choose architects who make Biomimetic Architecture projects (like Michael Pawlyn, IDC - Institute for Computational Design and Construction - Germany...). I guess they would be able to understand the complexity of Wikipedia and the movement and to render them in a visible form. We need that to understand all who we are and how we are structured. --Waltercolor (talk) 11:52, 30 January 2020 (UTC)

Dear Waltercolor, thank you for raising this point. There is a really rough sketch of the overall ecosystem that can be found here. This does not take into account the complexities, and as a result functions rather as a starting point for embracing the complexity. At the same time I do not agree with the term 'artificialization' in this context. I would rather put it in the terms of Cynefin framework that there are truly complex parts in our movement as well as the whole free knowledge ecosystem, as well as there are complicated parts. The attempt of this movement strategy process is to understand which parts are which and then take fitting approach to harness complexity or plan well for complicated part, to enable us to function and collaborate better. Even in organic systems there are backbones (or midribs, if you prefer) that support the functionality of other parts; even in current Wikimedia ecosystem we have parts that are more of the complicated nature rather than complex, e.g. organizational part, especially WMF and chapters that have existed for a long time. Some of the understanding regarding the landscape has been generated through discussions prior to the movement strategy and also has been further developed in conversations as part of the movement strategy, but nevertheless it would make sense to work in more detail on it to ensure better understanding of the 'ecosystem architecture'. It would indeed be beneficial for the success of this process.
In short, point taken. We do not have a detailed 'mapping of the ecosystem' at the moment and will look into options regarding this. --KVaidla (WMF) (talk) 09:34, 1 February 2020 (UTC)
Thank you, @Waltercolor:. I made a similar recommendation here. "Complicated" is basically a simplified version of the "Hegelian" system in C. West Churchman's Inquiring Systems. "Obvious" corresponds to Churchman's "Lockean" systems of inquiry, and "Complex" is most similar to his "Kantian" or "Leibnizian" systems. "Chaotic" doesn't correspond to any of them as best as I can tell, but as he only outlined five different systems, it wasn't intended to be comprehensive. From my reading of it, all of it tilts heavily on the "complicated" or "Hegelian" side, even more than is typical for policies and essays on Wikipedia. This risks alienating more science-minded types due to lack of diversity in ways of thinking and problem solving in the same way the pointy haired boss in Dilbert alienates Dilbert. My current take on this is that "Hegelian" thought patterns can be organizationally useful, and especially useful politically, but tend to be deficient in ethics and lack depth of understanding when a high degree of precision is needed.--Epiphyllumlover (talk) 00:42, 25 February 2020 (UTC)

Which working group champions which recommendation[edit]

The number of final recommendation is only slightly bigger than the number of working groups in the previous phase. Which working group champions which recommendation? And which working group ended up with more than 1 final recommendation? Or where did the extra recommendations come from? Ad Huikeshoven (talk) 19:19, 30 January 2020 (UTC)

Ad, these recommendations consolidate the prior recommendations from phase 2. There is no 1 to 1 match. You find references to the respective working group's recommendations in each recommendation. Usually you find several recommendations from the workings groups which were combined and condensed. Alice Wiegand (talk) 19:28, 30 January 2020 (UTC)

Global governance body[edit]

Somebody argued about 'trias politica', and the Global governance body might become the legislative power in the movement, and the WMF (or the BoT thereof) the executive branch. (A judiciary branch might be needed as well.) In membership associations such a governance body is the general members meeting, and the board is the executive power. Currently the WMF is not a membership organization. Will the WMF become a membership organization? Or, will a global membership association be established to create a global governance body? Or, who will elect the global governance body? Or will an (expanded) BoT serve as global governance body? Ad Huikeshoven (talk) 19:39, 30 January 2020 (UTC)

Hi Ad. There is no intention for the WMF to become a membership organisation. The governance body would, strictly speaking, be an advisory body to the WMF board. The idea is that the governance body is elected in some manner by project communities and/or affiliates. It might also have some appointed members. It is also expected that there will be some mechanism (or several mechanisms) to ensure that it is a very diverse body. Thanks, Chris Keating (The Land) (talk) 15:45, 31 January 2020 (UTC)
Hello Ad, indeed, this trias thinking occured to me to, and I tried to understand how the new organ would fit in. Chris' description does correspond to the document's statement that the GB will "assist" the WMF board. What struck me was the powerful list of tasks for the GB: making rules and holding everybody accountable to them. Ziko (talk) 23:59, 8 February 2020 (UTC)

Overall language analysis[edit]

It was pointed out in a discussion in Wiki Women telegram group that even the native english speakers are having difficulty in understanding the language of the document. There was an analysis done using the tool <<https://www.online-utility.org/english/readability_test_and_improve.jsp>> and <<www.online-utility.org>>. It was found out that Test Document Readability which indicates the number of years of formal education needed to understand the language, stated 19.9 average from which 8 is the easy-to-understand level of English.RSharma (WMF) (talk) 21:04, 30 January 2020 (UTC)

I ran the entire text of the recommendations through the same utility, and got these numbers:
Approximate representation of the U.S. grade level needed to comprehend the text: 	 
Coleman Liau index: 16.39
Flesch Kincaid Grade level: 17.76
ARI (Automated Readability Index): 18.20
SMOG: 18.07 

Vexations (talk) 21:47, 30 January 2020 (UTC)

It's been stated before, everybody sees that the language used is very difficult to understand, especially to non-native speakers. But the real question is: what are you going to do about this? tufor (talk) 09:25, 31 January 2020 (UTC)
Going forward, this issue can be actioned either by interfacing with stakeholders to eschew obfuscation in the deliverable, or simply sunsetting it into the circular file. Drilling down may reveal core competency issues needing addressing as well. EEng (talk) 10:25, 31 January 2020 (UTC)
We should do what we're doing when improving the writing on Wikipedia. Copy edit it. There are tabs for different languages. Add one to each recommendation. Call it "Plain English". Vexations (talk) 12:12, 31 January 2020 (UTC)
  • In all seriousness, this period of the process is scheduled to end by 01 March. At that time, I would like to see the Foundation review the feedback here, and offer an executive summary of community recommendations, along with an actionable plan for how we will incorporate that feedback, ideally prior to the implementation phase. GMGtalk 13:40, 31 January 2020 (UTC)
I strongly support the idea of an executive summary of community feedback and how it is impacting implementation. --Martina Nolte (talk) 21:05, 8 February 2020 (UTC)
Yes. I stick to my opinion that the text, in this present form, is not suitable for community feedback. Ziko (talk) 23:05, 8 February 2020 (UTC)
Community Conversations Timeline, January to March 2020.png
@GreenMeansGo: What you propose is exactly how the current process for community feedback is designed. The community feedback summary is currently scheduled to be shared on February 24th: the community will be then asked if the summary actually reflects their input correctly, so that it can be incorporated into the final text in mid March --Abbad (WMF) (talk) 01:41, 11 February 2020 (UTC).

Keywords - Occurrences[edit]

From my reading of the Movement Strategy Recommendations Extended doc EN.pdf , a non-exhaustive list of keywords and the number of their occurences in the document :

Keywords and occurrences of some special focuses :

  • o Diversity 116 occurrences , many of them in the references;
  • o Written Policies 60 among which : Policies 29 including "Movement policies" 3, Movement Charter 18, Code of conduct 11 including "Universal Code of Conduct", Governance Document 2;
  • o Power 45 among which: "redefining power" 10,
  • o Technical 41 among which: "Technical Contributor" 26;
  • o Governance 36;
  • o Conflict 31, mainly about conflict management and conflict resolution.

Other significant keywords : Community, Communities 339 occurrences; Knowledge 206; Structure, Infrastructure 162; Technology 115 mainly in references; Partner, partnership 111 mainly in references; Decision, decision making 99; Stakeholders 83; Evaluation, monitor, monitoring, evaluate, evaluating 82; Security, Safe, Safety, Secure 81; Contributor, contribution 79; Content 78; Wikimedia 67; Inclusion, inclusive, inclusivity, inclusiveness 59; Global, Globally 60; Ecosystem 54; Learn, learning 54; Equity 51; Platform 45; Local, locally 42; Leadership 40; Train, Training 32; Protection, Protect 30; Financing 29 among which : Revenue 27, Funds, funding, fundraising 19, Grants 5, Budget 3, Finance 2; Danger 29 among which : Threat, threatening 17, Toxic 5, Emergency 4, Danger 2, Harassment 2, Bullying 1, Prosecution 1, Censorship 1; Volunteer 23; Region, Regional 22; Representation, Represented, Underrepresented, Unrepresented 20; Mentor, mentoring 20; Staff 18; Wikipedia 15; Editor, editorial 15; Experts, expertise 15; Legal 10; Donor, donations 7; Linguistic, multi-lingual 7; Gender 7 among which: Gender gap 1; API 3; Metrics 3; IA (Artificial intelligence) 2; Wikidata 2. --Waltercolor (talk) 15:40, 31 January 2020 (UTC)

Hi Waltercolor, this is amazing. Thanks so much for sharing it. What are your thoughts on these patterns of occurrence? What kind of a picture do they paint for you? MPourzaki (WMF) (talk) 22:05, 31 January 2020 (UTC)
Hi MPourzaki (WMF) ! Thank you so much for reading the comments and interacting with the community. My thoughts on these patterns of occurrence? When the last Recommendations came out (I already have been reading and commenting the precedent ones ), I just thought : "Well. This time they have delivered the chestnuts with the husks". So I tryed to find a way to understand the core idea of this new version of the recommendations for the strategic plan. I highlighted some words that I believed, were landmarks and could help to guide me in this huge text where there is so much lingo. Why this shortlist ? The choosen terms are not the most common one, but I noticed that they interacted together or pointed to a new or important topic. I'll just explain why for each for one.
- Diversity : as far as I understand the project, one of the basic idea of the strategy is to enlarge the basis of the community. This idea goes through the whole text : to get different profiles joining the circle. But at this point, diversity seems to be still a vague concept, only defined as the inverse image of the average contributor of nowadays. It's the choice of the Foundation not to have separated the gender question from the diversity question. And this appears in the second list where Gender has only 7 occurrences from them Gender Gap only 1. So if you make the ratio : Diversity 116 / Gender Gap 1, you can suppose that the Gender question inside of the diversity question is at risk not to be treated for its specificities.
- The written policies are important cause they are mainly the best mean to solve a problem. So the way these reference texts are presented in the project are important. 60 : it's a moderate occurence for such a big effect ! Many problems will be regulated by policies. So if they don't surface clearly with their differences (which difference between a Chart, a Code, a Policy, what is Universal if one is and one is not ?) and the exact number of reference documents you want to create, you loose in efficiency. Or perhaps is it too early for such a fine tuning, but I think it could already be more precise at this level of the process (the number of the policies is determined by the number of the fields treated and their hierachy by the place of each concerned problematic in the whole project space).
- "Power" is a word you meet rarely in projects or texts. Cause power is generally already distributed. Re-distributing the power is a crazy idea and you should really focus on it. It's a GREAT idea and quite new and rarely proposed. People generally agree to share anything except power.
- I stressed on the "technical" occurrences bk a "technical contributor" seems to be something really attractive. It's related to another great and hidden idea in this project : the creation of the "Technology Council" (2 occurrences). So I calculated : well, aside the editing contributors, the technical contributors will get a new status, they will communicate together and share and decide in a Technology Council which will develop new technologies to include more profiles in the community and share more diverse contents. Did I get it in a phrase ? Technology is here not separated from the other activities, it will be the main lever of change. Highlight it and put it in the centre.
- Governance : you want to create a Global Gouvernance Body ? Seriously ? Get it out of the cave and put light on it. What is this diamond ? Do you seriously think that "Enable equitable representation in global decision-making" is the best way to understand a very revolutionary concept like a Global Gouvernance Body aside a Board of Trustees ? No rags for this Body. Find the best words and give it the best place.
- Conflict : I know that the community is often plagued by conflicts. But I never realized how deep this problem is. We really have to make a step forward to get out of this mud. I believe that sometimes, some forms of interactions just ease violence (f. ex : discussion forums quickly transform themselves in arenas with gladiators). Perhaps this time too, innovation in technology could help us to decrease the violence, the intolerance. And we need this descalation to welcome new people in our circles. I believe that self-evaluation tools would help a lot to this. Hold up a mirror to an angry man and he will be faced to himself. Self-evaluation also eases the entry of newcomers by becoming less dependant from the insiders and more autonomous. With self-evaluation tools, objective criteria can also emerge and lower the conflicts between contributors. I know it's complex for Wikipedia but it can be done step by step, at least for basic recurrent problems. I already discussed this topic of self-evaluation tools in the community. But I have been told it's impossible to do. Believe me : nothing is impossible. It all depends on the spirit in which you lead a process.
So, these were my "philosophical" comments to my key-wording of the Recommendations. Thanks for reading them. --Waltercolor (talk) 01:15, 1 February 2020 (UTC)
Hi Waltercolor, this analysis is incredibly helpful, THANK YOU! This is how the writers began to bring the 89 thematic area recommendations together; by identifying overlapping functions and repeating patterns, ideas and proposals. Prominent among them, diversification and growth. I'd like to reiterate that other than financially supporting this process, the Foundation didn't make any decisions or interventions on content, this has very much been a movement-led process. Writers went back and forth on listing specific underrepresented communities or keeping it open to not leave anyone out. However, making gender more explicit has been raised a few times and is valued, which we will address in finalizing the recommendations. Your point about a better definition of diversity is also key. Do you see an interconnectedness in your analysis like I do? Your reflection and narrative are spot on - having clearly written policies and reference texts, sharing power, and new technologies can better support existing communities and welcome new ones. This has been the ethos of the recommendations from the onset, including better representation of communities and global governance. Love your enthusiasm, indeed nothing is impossible, definitely not amongst Wikimedians and not in the Wikiverse. An emergent step by step approach with transparent self-evaluation and learning can help continue to grow and strengthen our movement, to be brave, bold and kind. I am deeply grateful for the extent of your feedback, the richness of your perspective, and your expertise. Really helpful. MPourzaki (WMF) (talk) 03:15, 6 February 2020 (UTC)
Hi MPourzaki (WMF) ! Thanks a lot for the comments and feedback.--Waltercolor (talk) 10:46, 6 February 2020 (UTC)
Thanks, Waltercolor, for the interesting approach. As the document is difficult to read, this makes clearer what the document might be about. Ziko (talk) 00:00, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
Word cloud Wikimedia Recommendations Feb 2020.JPG

Waltercolor, I like your approach to try to identify core topics but I wonder which criteria you applied to select your top six keywords. Just for fun: Here are the recommendations as a word cloud. --Martina Nolte (talk) 03:47, 10 February 2020 (UTC)

Hi Martina Nolte ! Thanks for the remark. I tried to find a guide in that flow of words of 70 pages. There is no index, but only a glossary with about 40 items, few of them intersect with your cloud and my occurrences. Glossary list is : "Accessibility, Adaptability, Capacity Building, Coaches, Community, Contextualization, Contributor, Cultural change, Disintermediation, Emergent structures / regional hubs, Equity, External, Function, Impact, Inclusion, Internal, Knowledge management, Mentorship, Movement, Principle, Reinventing the wheel, Resilience, Resources, Scalability, Self-determination, Self-management, Stakeholders, Strategic principle, Subsidiarity, Support, Sustainability, Toxic environment, Underrepresented, Unrepresented, Unrestricted funding, Usability, User Experience".
I made my personal index, thus not picking all the words. I specifically searched for terms that seemed to be important indicators for a need of change (diversity, power, conflict), and terms that indicate possible changes in the structure (written policies, governance, technical contributor). That was the philosophy. --Waltercolor (talk) 15:17, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
Possibly the staff could use Waltercolor's comments as a guide to rewrite this in an easily understandable way; and even plagarize a bit?--Epiphyllumlover (talk) 06:59, 25 February 2020 (UTC)

A major omission[edit]

I've read through the full set of recommendations now, and there seems to be a major omission: there seems to be nothing addressing how people who begin as volunteers, if they are not located in capital cities or something comparable (e.g. in this respect Munich & Seattle are quasi-capitals) can become involved in off-wiki aspects of the Movement, and how people who begin as volunteers in general can have reasonable opportunities to move into the paid roles in WMF. Reading between the lines I can see a few things that hint at this, but: as we all know, there has been a lot of friction between volunteers and paid staff. Presumably, the Foundation is intended to exist in support of the volunteer infrastructure, rather than vice versa. If, as it seems to me, we continue to have a paid staff only a tiny fraction of whom have any experience in being involved in volunteer roles, how can that friction ever be reduced? - Jmabel (talk) 18:14, 1 February 2020 (UTC)

Thanks for raising this. I think the gap you're referring to is more or less about empowering volunteers and allowing Open pathways to power positions, both being significant topics tackled in different parts of the document. I realize the current text may not be putting forward the problem on the same level of detail that you've framed, but that's an intentional aspect of the Strategic level of the recommendations. Hope that helps --Abbad (WMF) (talk) 23:43, 1 February 2020 (UTC).
The "pathway to power" part seems to say that power positions shouldn't be representative to the community of volunteers but to the larger society. This means that the plan is to continue the friction between the volunteer community and the WMF. ChristianKl❫ 08:24, 10 February 2020 (UTC)

Two birds, one stone[edit]

These recommendations try to offer overarching solutions and strategies that would apply to Wikimedia as an organization, their affiliates, and to their online communities indifferently. This can't work. The organizational needs of the Wikimedia Foundation and its affiliate organizations are completely different from those of Wikimedia's online communities. Some might even be the exact opposite.
Wikimedia's online communities grew and thrived with a maximum of self-organization. Lots of volunteers, specifically Wikipedians, feel that their unpaid work has made Wikimedia into the well-known organization it is today and draws millions of millions of donations each year. They have almost no say about these funds, they have little access to those funds, they have little impact on decisions within Wikimedia's organization. In return, they expect as little influence as possible from Wikimedia into their daily processes, goals, topics, conflict resolution, and decision-making processes.
The recommendations do not specify what strategy would actually effect the online communities in which way exactly; they do not provide any forecast of the actual impact that the proposed strategies would have on the projects' daily processes and operations. They do not address how those new policies and goals such as a Universal Code of Conduct, Inclusion, Equity, Knowledge Equity, Distributed leadership, Prioritization of topics for impact would fit in with the projects' own guidelines and principles, and how they would be implemented and enforced in Wikimedia's online projects. The current proposals leave too much details unknown. Online communities will vastly reject the proposals. Expect more backlash like this:

--Martina Nolte (talk) 23:08, 1 February 2020 (UTC)

I agree. There's a serious danger that by deliberately limiting online community feedback up to this stage in the process, so much effort will have been spent by the time the full proposals are developed that the WMF will feel compelled either to force changes on communities or abandon the changes altogether. EddieHugh (talk) 14:01, 2 February 2020 (UTC)
Also, the meat of the proposals is in the sections Why and How of each recommendation - those are being blocked from translation by volunteers. I tried to start translating those for the German speaking community (top 4 of the Wikipedia projects) and was told to wait for translation contractors. If online community feedback will be collected for only another 3 weeks from now, the translated versions will be available for only a very brief time. Participation, accessibility, equity in the decision-making process - nope. --Martina Nolte (talk) 18:30, 2 February 2020 (UTC)
@Martina Nolte: - I had no idea that translations efforts were being prohibited by the WMF. Could a WMF staff member explain why the translation wasn't carried out and then consultation opened? Or, if translation hasn't run to schedule, explain why timelines aren't being expanded? The only timeline imperatives are being internally set, which won't hold up if that's where a limit is being created. Even 3 weeks isn't that long, and discussion is only truly valid once everything is translated. Nosebagbear (talk) 20:19, 2 February 2020 (UTC)
@Nosebagbear:: - Well. Now we are allowed to translate all sections. :-) --Martina Nolte (talk) 02:40, 3 February 2020 (UTC)
@Nosebagbear: Seems I was wrong. Only single pages are being unblocked for translators, Aaseestift some paid staff finds time. See my user disk. I'm not willing to volunteer my time for translations under these circumstances. --Martina Nolte (talk) 18:52, 8 February 2020 (UTC)


Hi Martina Nolte, thanks for sharing your thoughts and for flagging the translations, fixed. Regarding various communities, I know the writers discussed extensively how to balance a strategy that could apply to our whole movement, i.e. WMF, affiliates, and the amazing online communities, as well as diverse partners. They aimed for this while trying to avoid being overly prescriptive to leave ample room for contextualization and adaptation, and at the same time, putting robust ideas forward. I am glad that you point out self-organization, which very much remains a key attribute, principle 1 in fact. Considering your experience and expertise, I wonder if you think the creation of an inclusive global governance body could bridge this separation and better align the movement for the future? Your thoughts would be appreciated. MPourzaki (WMF) (talk) 06:52, 3 February 2020 (UTC)
Hi MPourzaki (WMF), thanks for your answer and additional info. The recommendations leave plenty room for interpretation, yes. In my view this is a major problem as it leaves too much potential for conflict and misunderstanding.
I cannot think of a reason why the existing online communities would need to be more aligned with Wikimedia's global socio-political goals and values than they currently are. I do not understand what our online communities would be lacking today, or what exactly was wrong today that would need to be fix and better aligned in the future.
And I wonder: What would be the benefit of a global governance body for online communities like Wikimedia Commons, Wikidata, or Wikipedia?
I truly appreciate that the writers of the recommendations consider self-organization a top principle. But yet, several of their recommendations have the potential to force big changes onto Wikimedia's existing online communities. At this point it is not foreseeable how much say the online communities would have in that new landscape. For example, nobody could explain at this point if there is a chance that the proposed universal Code of Conduct could overrule and supersede each online community's existing conduct guidelines such as AGF, PA, and Wikiquette. Another example: "Prioritize Topics for Impact" cannot be aligned with core rules of Wikipedia, such as Neutral Point Of View, No Original Research, requirements for sources, or notability criteria.
Could a global governance body bridge the separation between online communities and Wikimedia as an organization? I cannot think of a way how such a body could include and represent the countless offline and online communities and cultures around the world equally. I anticipate that the new governance body would simply be another part of Wikimedia's organization. Don't get me wrong please. I am not opposed to implementing an overarching governance body that redistributes power and funds worldwide. I simply don't get how this new player could benefit existing volunteer contributors in Wikimedia's online projects, and how this top global body could become less alienated from the base than current parts of the organization.
Overall, I wish they would have written recommendations for a future governance structure of Wikimedia's organization. And separately discussed innovations that they deem necessary or helpful for existing and new online projects. That would probably have avoided most of the current irritation. --Martina Nolte (talk) 06:37, 4 February 2020 (UTC)
Hi Martina Nolte, it’s an answer to only a small point of yours ; but regarding Another example: "Prioritize Topics for Impact" cannot be aligned with core rules of Wikipedia, such as Neutral Point Of View, No Original Research, requirements for sources, or notability criteria. − on that talk page, Tgr clarified that this is primarily about how to spend movement funds.
(And were it to be applied to online projects, it’s clear to me that it would only insofar as within the boundaries of their internal policies.)
Hope that helps, Jean-Fred (talk) 08:20, 4 February 2020 (UTC)
Then why is it not stated in clear and unambigous words instead of this bullshit bingo. If this is just about funding and grants, why write "topics", something that's about content? Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 11:48, 4 February 2020 (UTC)
Martina Nolte, there isn't "a chance that the proposed universal Code of Conduct could overrule and supersede each online community's existing conduct guidelines such as AGF, PA, and Wikiquette"... it's a certainty. The main reason for having a UCoC is to impose a top-down system on everyone. EddieHugh (talk) 19:44, 4 February 2020 (UTC)
Hi Martina Nolte, thanks for your response. An aim of these recommendations is very much around opening pathways so communities get better access to funds and become more involved in decision-making, should they so chose. In many 'usual suspect' and increasingly other parts of the world, access to free knowledge is coming under threat; from cyberattacks to government blocks and censorship, so increased coordination, alignment and effort is needed, status quo won't suffice that long. It will become harder for various communities that make up our movement to operate in silos. We have received plenty of feedback on 'prioritize topics for impact' and will make it clear that volunteer autonomy and core values of projects will not be changed in a top-down way. In many parts of the world, existing volunteer contributor communities feel excluded and are held back by lack of resources, particularly to organize and build skills, to generate funds locally, and share them back with the movement, especially in places where volunteering for non-editing activities is just not possible. Your point is very valid on ensuring the representativeness of this global body and ensuring pathways remain open. We will have to figure that out together when we transition to implementation. Thanks for taking the time to provide this feedback and helping to improve the recommendations. MPourzaki (WMF) (talk) 03:33, 6 February 2020 (UTC)
Hi and thanks again MPourzaki (WMF), if an interference with existing online projects and a top-down way are not intended the paper will need a complete overhaul to eliminate such statements like for example
  • "We must create a Movement Charter that lays out the shared values and principles of the Movement and from which other governance documents will derive—for online and offline governance alike".
  • "Code of Conduct for Movement-wide behavioral standards and enforcements to establish basic community responsibilities for safeguarding and maintaining a healthy working atmosphere, along with procedures to be followed for reporting and follow-up."
In order to avoid any potential for misunderstanding and conflict, the final version of the recommendations will hopefully use a consistent verbiage (i.e. which communities, which projects, online or offline, new or existing, volunteer or paid) and will clearly distinguish between structural changes in the organization and any potential impact on existing online communities. --Martina Nolte (talk) 03:29, 7 February 2020 (UTC)
Hi Martina Nolte, thanks for your response. There has been a lot of feedback to make the language and the 'asks' more clear and concise, and we'll make sure this is addressed when input is integrated in March. Inclusive community development and movement expertise as principles need to be made explicit to indicate that movement-wide recommendations proposed, like code of conduct and movement charter, require further consultation and would not be done in a top-down way. Really useful feedback to make the document more clear and avoid any misunderstandings. Thank you. MPourzaki (WMF) (talk) 14:56, 7 February 2020 (UTC)
Thanks again MPourzaki (WMF) --Martina Nolte (talk) 18:52, 8 February 2020 (UTC)

My Recommendations[edit]

  1. shut down the WMF and all non regional and non thematic affiliates
  2. create a new highest organ, elected by the Communitity (and only by the Community) that gives the direction
  3. creation af a legal affiliate for central legal issues and brand management - but as sub orgnaization just with supportive tasks
  4. creation af a donation affiliate for central collecting of money worldwide for those regions, who can not do this for themself.
  5. a new Wikimedia Foundation with regional and thematic organizations only - these know what authors need and we only know what is needed to work on the different projects.
  6. the new WMF is built out of the regional and thematic organizations build by community members.
  7. bring the servers to safe spots on the world, so as Iceland. In a country that elect a Trump an possibly re-elect such a man, our servers can't be longer safe.
  8. the most important thing is: the WMF must, must stop the war on the Community. -- Marcus Cyron (talk) 19:19, 4 February 2020 (UTC)
What does af mean? EllenCT (talk) 04:15, 6 February 2020 (UTC)
I think he means "of" Nosebagbear (talk)
Does anything that happens here affect me in any way? Should I attempt to read the Strategy Recommendations or should I just go about my business? Mr.choppers (talk) 03:41, 8 February 2020 (UTC)
@Mr.choppers: That's the jackpot question. The text is too cryptic to really know which changes for our online projects (Marcus refers to us as the Community) might be intended. --Martina Nolte (talk) 18:30, 8 February 2020 (UTC)
Ensure Equity in Decision-Making talks about a Governance Body with budgetary control, but I'm not sure whether it's the same as the Board of Trustees. EllenCT (talk) 04:52, 11 February 2020 (UTC)

What was Struck? What is kept for later?[edit]

The 2nd of the chats about this indicated something that was of surprise to me:

Significant parts of content that was removed between the last set and this set wasn't struck, but just kept so it can be added back in at an implementation stage. It was agreed that it was impossible for readers, in most cases to know what had been taken out as a result of the consensus against it and what was just taken out because the recommendations wanted to be more abstract.

It was stated that this was going to be clarified, but that was over a week ago, and no change. Given the shortness of time, I'd like to be confident about what was actually removed and what wasn't. Nosebagbear (talk) 13:56, 10 February 2020 (UTC)

Wikimedia movement strategy recommendations presentation[edit]

A video of a presentation by Tanveer Hasan and Mehrdad Pourzaki "Wikimedia Movement Strategy Recommendations presentation at All-Hands in San Francisco 2020", https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Wikimedia_movement_strategy_recommendations_presentation_at_WMF_All-Hands_2020.webm was [recently added] to this page. It shows a slide deck that is impossible to read. The audio is quite difficult to follow as well. Is the slide deck available somewhere? And perhaps a transcript? Vexations (talk) 21:49, 12 February 2020 (UTC)

Yep, the deck is here: MSPRO at WMF all hands, also linked on our reports page. We are going to include the link to both in our upcoming outreach emails. I think that video is super helpful to get a quick, concise overview of every recommendation and also provides some insight into how each was developed. Cheers, Nicole Ebber (WMDE) (talk) 10:04, 13 February 2020 (UTC)
Yikes. That deck falsely claims that the WMF's "Strategic direction" was endorsed by the Wikimedia movement. Either they've redefined "the movement" to refer to the WMF and affiliated organizations, or (less likely) they have, like the Brands team, decided that honesty is no longer something they care about.
...And it also says that implementation planning will happen at the WM Summit in Berlin. Which seems to do away with letting the community have control over any of this. The WMF has developed an idea of where to go which clashes dramatically with Wikimedia's views, and is acting like they can just make those decisions. This is not going to go well. --Yair rand (talk) 17:45, 13 February 2020 (UTC)
Yair rand, to clarify a point. The strategic direction being referenced isn't the WMF's, but the movement's. It was endorsed by the communities, including affiliates and individuals, in 2017. Just like these recommendations, the role of the foundation is to support the movement-lead process around strategy work, not direct it. CKoerner (WMF) (talk) 18:27, 13 February 2020 (UTC)
@CKoerner (WMF): That's pretty obviously not at all correct. The WMF & affiliates directed every part of this, including selecting all of the people writing it. The Strategic direction was done similarly, and wasn't endorsed by editor communities at all. My estimate of the number of non-WMF/affiliate people in that "Endorsements" list is somewhere between 4 and 9 people, certainly nowhere near the number who cared enough to state their opposition. (And that's if you include the people banned on their home wikis among the supporters...) If the WMF were just supporting the movement-lead process, this would look very different: Every bit of it would have happened on-wiki, there would have been people editing it openly, there would be actual open discussions that would determine whether something made it in (as opposed to a lot of hopeless shouting into the void), and everything would have been consensus-driven. A bunch of WMF-picked individuals writing stuff up on a private Google doc before being pushed by the corporate side is not how community-driven processes work. --Yair rand (talk) 19:28, 13 February 2020 (UTC)
Yair rand, our experiences differ. In my experience working in the movement, a lot happens off-wiki that is still legitimate work. Technical discussions at Hackathons, bug and code review in Phabricator and Gerrit, organization of events across social media (and Google docs), and more. To be more inclusive and effective, to include more people than just those who show up on talk pages like you and I, we have to work beyond the wiki sometimes.
Your estimate of endorsements greatly undercounts the individual editors and their voice. If someone is a member of an affiliate they are no more or less part of our communities, yeah? But none of this is here nor there. I was in attendance for this presentation. I felt like it was a good overview of the strategy process and was informative – even for myself as someone who's been following the strategy work for a while now. I encourage you to take another listen.
I'm sorry you are frustrated and feel like you're not being heard. Myself and members of the strategy team (not to mention fellow editors reading these talk pages) are here and are listening. We are taking all the feedback, even if we don't respond to everyone, into consideration. I can only speak for myself, but I'm taking this seriously. Not because I'm staff, but because I genuinely care about the movement. I feel like the other strategy folks I've worked with – staff and volunteer alike – do so as well.
I can only ask you can take a minute and look at the recommendations and leave your thoughts on the talk page. CKoerner (WMF) (talk) 19:59, 13 February 2020 (UTC)
"If someone is a member of an affiliate they are no more or less part of our communities, yeah?" I think this shows the problem with the process, right here. The fact that someone is a member of an affiliate does not make them part of the community, not in the same way that contributing on the content-wikis does. As a thought experiment, consider what would happen if all the affiliates were to disband tomorrow. The projects would go on, more-or-less as they are today. By contrast, consider what would happen if people stopped contributing to the content wikis. If that was to happens, the "Wikimedia movement" would quickly become nothing.
That these processes focus on affiliates almost to the point of exclusion of the content wikis - well, that's why this process has been headed in the wrong direction from the start. We don't pay editors, so for everything else the movement supports, we have to ask - is it more important than actually editing wikis? TomDotGov (talk) 20:50, 13 February 2020 (UTC)
@TomDotGov: (Pretty sure CKoerner meant "no more or less" to mean that affiliate membership doesn't disqualify one from being part of the community, not that it alone implies that one is part of the community, but I'm just guessing.) --Yair rand (talk) 21:49, 13 February 2020 (UTC)
@Yair rand: (That's in the context of people who don't "show up on talk pages" and "work beyond the wiki". I think it's fair to question if such people *are* part of the community, or just people attempting to exploit the goodwill created by the content-wikis.) TomDotGov (talk) 23:06, 13 February 2020 (UTC)
I hear you @TomDotGov: As an individual it’s hard to feel heard sometimes. I can only try to assure you that the voice of content editors are present in these strategy discussions. I did a little math in good faith. I don't know if this helps or not. :) If we take all the folks who supported the endorsement in 2017 as individuals and get the average/median of their edits we get 95,766/17,589. That’s pretty significant numbers, yeah? The folks involved in strategy are individual editors. More importantly there is no clear delineation between groups or how people contribute! Counting edits is a terrible test for who we should listen to or not. Folks come together sometimes to edit, to organize, to agree, sometimes not, but they’re all fellow editors. CKoerner (WMF) (talk) 16:47, 14 February 2020 (UTC)
Chris, which view of what an "individual" is do you believe is more distorted: yours or those whom you're replying to? George Ho (talk) 19:16, 14 February 2020 (UTC)
Hey George I don't think anyone's view is distorted. At least, that's not the word I would use. :) I think we have different perspectives. Making sure everyone involved in the movement feels recognized and heard is important. But we're really getting off topic here! Happy to take it up on my talk page, but I'm going to stop replying to this thread now. CKoerner (WMF) (talk) 19:34, 14 February 2020 (UTC)

Yair rand and TomDotGov raise important points. If I were part of an affiliate or special interest group and therefore looking for more influence and money, then I'd be in favour of things that gave my affiliate or group more influence and money. Ordinary editors who aren't part of an affiliate or special interest group have no vested interest: they are purely volunteers. That, along with the simple fact that it's unaffiliated volunteers who have built Wikim/pedia's content and reputation, mean that I give more weight to the views of those who are 'only' unaffiliated volunteers. But that's the opposite of what this strategy process has done. EddieHugh (talk) 20:22, 14 February 2020 (UTC)

CKoerner (WMF), I tend to agree with EddieHugh. What matters is, ultimately, the content we create on the projects. Those who get into the trenches and do that are those whose input should be most valued. Affiliates, WMF staff, non-participants, blocked/banned editors with sour grapes, "critics" who don't actually try to join the discussion, whatever have you? Those people, to be blunt, don't count near as much, if at all. That's also why all these discussions should take place on the wikis, to ensure that they can be discussed, debated, and critiqued by those who they will most impact. "The community" means editors. Period. Not affiliates, not employees, not anyone else. The English Wikipedia community, for example, is composed of editors on the English Wikipedia. If you don't with some regularity do that, you're not part of it. The Commons community is composed of those who with at least some frequency contribute to Commons. Don't do that, you're not part of it. So on, so on. We have no need or use for people shouting input from the sidelines. Want to be part of the project? Get in there and be part of it. Seraphimblade (talk) 21:44, 14 February 2020 (UTC)
Also, I note that the video is incomplete. At several points there are jump cuts, and at 41:32 the presenters clearly call on someone to ask a question or make a comment, but that is not shown. Could you please provide an unedited video showing any questions or comments and the responses to them? As an aside, that's why we tend to be insistent that things be done on-wiki. We're being shown a cut version of a meeting here. On the wiki, the history preserves everything and nothing can be edited out or removed, and every question and comment and the responses to them would be preserved. That's exactly why most of us distrust this type of thing done off-wiki, and in this instance, it appears that distrust is well-founded. Don't present edited material; present the whole thing. Seraphimblade (talk) 22:49, 14 February 2020 (UTC)
I have been a Wikimedian for over 15 years. 10 of these I have been an affiliated volunteer ; it happens that since a few months I am not anymore (do my views then get back some of their weight? And lose some again were I to decide to affiliate again in the future? Who knows). I was no less of a community member during these years than I was before, and than I am now. Sorry, but your comments are deeply hurtful (love how you lump affiliates and staff with blocked/banned users, really tasteful).
The lines you are drawing are ultimately artificial − I can understand the urge to separate The Real Contributors™ from The Others™ ; and there sure are lots of people drawing that line − in wildly different places. For example, I sure know that there are some people on Commons who feel that photographers are 'more of a participant' than non-photographers (like categorizers), because, “really, what content do they create” (I should know − I was also a non-photographer on Commons for many years). On Wikipedia too, there are some article writers who look down on patrollers or copy-editors for similar reasons. Perhaps someone who focuses on conflict resolution should be shunned too because they don’t create much content (or is there a threshold over which one is safe?) Let’s not get into how contributors to technical spaces are being considered outsiders ; nor into the inter-projects relations (but as a Commonist and Wikidatian, I got looked down enough by some Wikipedians to have a thought or two about that).
(Personnally, I think that “we” are all the pople who work towards free knowledge − too radical probably).
Same goes for affiliates. As a volunteer organizer of Wiki Loves Monuments, I have created the conditions for massive content influx on the projects − far, far beyond what I could ever do on my own. I would have a hard time swallowing that it would make me less of a community member (if anything, makes me a more ingenious one really :-þ).
As for the [members of] affiliate or special interest group therefore looking for more influence and money − I’ll skip on the implied depiction of affiliated volunteers as power-hungry & money-hoarding ; but that “pure-editors” (interesting metaphor opportunity − am I referred to as a Mud-editcount in some circles?) have purer intents and superhuman selflessness is also a fiction: project participants advocate all the time for resources like technical development to be allocated to their group (project and/or language). When a Wikipedia editor votes on the Community Wishlist for a Wikipedia-only-related wish, they are effectively advocating for more money to go to their group, and not going to, say, Wikisource. That’s fair of course, but what it would be hard to miss what it is.
So really, I would appreciate if you folks could re-read what you wrote, and consider how deeply offensive it is.
Jean-Fred (talk) 23:14, 14 February 2020 (UTC)
Jean-Frédéric, I'm sorry if you find it offensive, but I will stand by what I said. If you are actually getting your hands dirty, doing the work, that is the only thing that would enable you to train others to do so. (If you're also an affiliate in the meantime, great for you, that in no way diminishes or enhances what you contribute; that's just your decision.) If you're not in there actually doing the work—well, sorry, you might find this really offensive, but if you're not doing it yourself, how could you possibly train anyone else to do it? Training someone to do it requires that kind of actual, hands-on knowledge of how it really works today, not ten years ago. If someone is both a contributor to the projects and an affiliate, well, great, they're still a contributor and should be considered such. If they're an "affiliate" but not a contributor, they should be considered quite suspect, as we've seen with these "strategy" proposals. It's clear these were designed with little or no input from those who actually run and maintain the Wikimedia projects. And the edited partial video just goes to show it as well. I don't want to see part of it, I want to transparently see the raw, unedited video of the whole thing. Seraphimblade (talk) 23:41, 14 February 2020 (UTC)
If you're also an affiliate in the meantime, great for you, that in no way diminishes or enhances what you contribute; that's just your decision. − well, thanks for saying as much: it certainly does not seem to be the opinion of others here who bluntly say by that choosing to affiliate, you’re devalueing yourself in their eyes.
But really, the offensive part is that you assume that because someone is affiliated then they also do not edit − that is simply not true. Most affiliated volunteers I met are also editors (some are editors who at some point affiliate ; for others affiliating is how they discover about the projects and get into editing).
You keep talking about “the work” − but as I showed, “the work” takes many different forms: if you do not draw the line between, say, photographers and categorizers, then why draw it as on-wiki vs off-wiki? We are all in this together. You talk how one has to go “to the trenches” and “get their hands dirty” − not too sure where you are going with these cliché military metaphors − I assume this is about fighting vandalism or pov-pushers and the like: good on the people who do that, that sure is important and necessary work. But the fact is, many editors do not do such things. Spending your week-ends, say, uploading photographs of small heritage buildings or writing articles on railway lines can hardly be described in gritty terms, yet is a perfectly common and welcome form of contributions − or isn’t it in your book?
Ultimately, this is a team work − in the same way that copy-editors are just as important as article-writers and categorizers as photographers − then non-hardcore-editing volunteers are also furthering the mission. I took the example of Wiki Loves Monuments earlier − an initiative that has mobilized tens of thousands of people, and contributed millions of images, something that I think (hope?) we can agree is furthering free knowledge. Some of the preparation for it is very much on-content-wiki ; some of it isn’t: let’s say someone volunteers to design appealing Central Notice banners, or run social media: are they contributing any less than the other organizers?
(Also, you seem to know very little of what affiliates do − really it’s far from just “training people”. I’d be happy to elaborate, but quite frankly, you do not come across as having much interest in learning more about that, so I’ll leave it at that [if you are interested, then do please let me know and I’d be happy to elaborate]).
Jean-Fred (talk) 12:06, 15 February 2020 (UTC)
We might all be in it together, contributing, but 'we' didn't all have the chance to contribute fully to the strategy process. Having groups A, B, and C (WMF employees, affiliates, and special interest groups) write proposals, which group Z (ordinary editors, etc.) can then comment on, inevitably leads to proposals that are in the interests of A, B, and C. So, although your description of the relationship and importance of the various groups and sub-groups is a plausible one, it's not one that this strategy process has followed. EddieHugh (talk) 15:50, 15 February 2020 (UTC)
@EddieHugh: Well, I’m an ordinary editor, and last August, commented on one of the Product & Technology recommendations: that feedback apparently inspired a recommendation of its own in the next iteration. So, that’s just me, but I do feel that I could contribute in a significant way to the process :-) Jean-Fred (talk) 13:56, 19 February 2020 (UTC)
You are right to point out that there are isolated examples of feedback from ordinary editors (i.e. a tiny proportion) leading to additions. However, the point stands: ordinary editors can comment on proposals that were written almost entirely by other groups. And, so far, it's also almost entirely those other groups that have decided what feedback to accept and what to ignore. EddieHugh (talk) 17:30, 19 February 2020 (UTC)
You're certainly welcome to go into more detail about what the affiliates do. (I know a fair bit of it, but please feel free to elaborate.) I also did not say that affiliates are not editors; I know many who are. My problem is with those who are clearly not editors, or maybe only did it casually a few times to try it out, being involved in these "strategy" processes; I think it's very clear from the outcome here and the community response that these had insufficient input from actual community members. As you see Vexations say below, that type of process breeds suspicion and distrust, because no one will clarify exactly how decisions were arrived at and it wasn't done via a public, transparent process. Even if we at least had detailed notes of how the process for these had played out, that would be better than nothing, but they seem to more or less drop from the sky. Then comments are made on an iteration, they seem to go into a black hole, and a new version falls from the sky that fails to address any of the concerns raised. That's not a path to trust or collaboration. Seraphimblade (talk) 17:16, 15 February 2020 (UTC)
As an example, I've asked Nicole Ebber (WMDE) both on the mailing list and here for an unedited version of the video which includes questions and responses. I've received no reply from her at all. Do you see how this does not establish any kind of trust? Seraphimblade (talk) 00:45, 16 February 2020 (UTC)
Thanks for the ping, Seraphimblade. Your question if from Friday late night, so I don't see any reason why it not being answered yet (Sunday afternoon) should allow for an assessment towards trusting us or not. Here's my short reply: We have edited it for the viewers' comfort, as the original was ~60 mins long. We wanted to focus on conveying the broad context and content of each recommendation, without putting too much emphasis on specific recommendations or details. We'll look into if the dialogues offer additional clarity and also ask those who asked the questions if they are comfortable with them being published. As this involves a couple of people, please allow us for a few days to get back to you. Thanks, --Nicole Ebber (WMDE) (talk) 13:00, 16 February 2020 (UTC)
Wow, that went in a direction I didn't expect. I thought that the somewhat more informal tone of the video actually clarified a few things for me, and in that sense it was helpful. If I may, I'd like to offer an observation: Much of the discontent from "the editors" stems from the fact that the WMF doesn't eat it's own dogfood. To folks who do things "the wiki way", the fact that the WMF even thinks about using anything other than a wiki is anathema and hugely offensive. Speaking for myself here; we like to see how to sausage is made, we want to see how ideas get proposed, formulated, changed, and changed again. What we're seeing is lacking in transparency and accountability. The WMF could have taken some really simple steps, like using people's usernames and not making it so frustratingly difficult to figure out who the people who wrote those recommendations even are. And yes, when writing something, use a wiki. It would contribute tremendously to people's credibility. It would make us think you're one of us. Vexations (talk) 01:58, 15 February 2020 (UTC)
Hi Vexations, so glad to read you found the video useful, and sorry about your frustration. Many people have contributed to drafting these recommendations that always do things "the wiki way." However, when you bring together defined groups of individuals in working groups - which has very much included all kinds of editors - who are discussing matters step by step - going from the strategic direction to the scoping of each thematic area to drafting multiple iterations of the recommendations - it is hard to do everything open when ideas and discussions are only being defined and refined. For working groups that included Wikimedia friends and advocates of free knowledge, online Docs connected to email accounts were more accessible. That was the "sandbox phase" of movement strategy, and then we went live and published each step. The deliberations and composition of the working group have never been secret, and have been transparent and accountable, though admittedly we have not always done a good job at communicating and conveying that to the movement, especially the online editing community. The working groups for each thematic area brought multiple individuals together, and the WMF never dictated how things should be done. This part has been a learning process and done the wiki way. Many individuals have contributed to various parts of the texts over time, rather than singular usernames. I hope the gratitude page of the recommendations provides some further clarity. Grateful for your input and participation in these discussions. MPourzaki (WMF) (talk) 23:44, 16 February 2020 (UTC)
@MPourzaki (WMF): Just to check, everyone on the core strategy team that wrote the recommendations we are debating is an employee or contractor for either WMF or WMDE, right? If so, doesn't that present a fatal conflict of interest right there, insofar as the WMF controls what they are being paid for this process?
I'd also like to know what is considered to comprise the movement, other than the "online editing community", and why the core strategy team decided these other portions of the movement were more important than the editors (and, to be fair, uploaders, patrollers, admins, and everyone else that adjusts the content-wikis) that gives the movement value. I'll be honest, I don't think this process has been run in a fair manner, and so I want to use my input to hold the process "accountable". TomDotGov (talk) 01:54, 17 February 2020 (UTC)
@TomDotGov: everyone on the core team that wrote the recommendations we are debating You’re implying that the core team wrote these recommendations − this is not true, the working groups did the writing. Jean-Fred (talk) 08:22, 17 February 2020 (UTC)
Huh. It seems that you're right and I'm wrong about that. I struck out my first paragraph, though I will point out that if the recommendations were produced on-wiki, the attributions would be clearer. TomDotGov (talk) 09:01, 17 February 2020 (UTC)
Thanks for the strike-out! Really appreciate that. :-) --Jean-Fred (talk) 09:46, 17 February 2020 (UTC)
Thanks for the strike-out TomDotGov as indeed members from the working groups did the writing and multiple individuals collaborated in the discussions and writing process that spanned the past year and a half, not one part can be attributed to a single individual. As for your question re: what comprises the movement, I think the discussion above sheds some light that there is no singular response. Many individuals and communities comprise and contribute to the Wikimedia movement and members of online editing communities from around the world were invited to be part of the working groups and some very much did. MPourzaki (WMF) (talk) 15:08, 17 February 2020 (UTC)

And who selected which people would be in the working groups? The Strategy core team! (Technically, "91 applications were shortlisted by the Strategy Core Team; out of this shortlist, 88 applicants were selected by the Steering Committee.") EddieHugh (talk) 20:27, 17 February 2020 (UTC)

Pretty solid steering committee! Glad the process and record-keeping has continued to be transparent the wiki way, though this was before me personally. The 88 was actually expanded later to bring in more global representation and diversity of opinions. MPourzaki (WMF) (talk) 22:39, 17 February 2020 (UTC)

Another endorsement process coming up? Usefulness of non-affiliated individuals[edit]

I'm reading the Timeline subpage, and I'm worried about whether there will be another endorsement process similar to the one in 2017. The endorsement process did not sit non-affiliated community very well and instead allowed WMF-affiliated individuals to count themselves as "individuals" at the expense of allowing "oppose" votes and consensus. If the endorsement process and then the Board approve the recommendation, what would be the use of feedback from non-affiliated individuals, including those opposing the recommendations? George Ho (talk) 06:51, 14 February 2020 (UTC)

Hi George Ho, thanks for your question. Endorsement processes have historically been complicated and not inclusive of individuals and communities that don't engage on Meta. Input from the ongoing movement conversations will be used to refine the recommendations. People have been engaging on Meta, social media, chatrooms, emails, calls, and in-person meetings. Some recommendations have been welcomed more or less across the board, while others have room for improvement. The writers will evaluate input from across the movement around each recommendation alongside guidance from the board of trustees, and bring the recommendation to a final state. Please do note that this is a 10-year strategy, so many of the recommendations will need to be reassessed in the future. As we transition to implementation, some concepts can be brought on rather quickly, where as other will require further research and discussions with the movement, including adapting them for various regional, linguistic and project contexts. MPourzaki (WMF) (talk) 23:07, 16 February 2020 (UTC)
@Mehrdad: Will the Board fully and thoroughly read all feedback about all drafts or about just the final draft of the recommendations before passing them? Or will the Board just read analyses of feedback done by the WMF staff? George Ho (talk) 06:46, 17 February 2020 (UTC); edited, 06:52, 17 February 2020 (UTC)
Hi George Ho, the Board of Trustees has been closely involved with the movement strategy process since the start, in fact they were the ones that called for it back in 2016. Board members have also contributed to discussions as participants in various working groups and we are grateful for that. I draw your attention to their July 2018 statement. They have checked in frequently on discussions and community input throughout the process and at key milestones. They have been aware of the feedback on each draft and many are seasoned Wikimedians that have been following discussions on wiki themselves. MPourzaki (WMF) (talk) 15:22, 17 February 2020 (UTC)
@Mehrdad: Have alternatives to the endorsement process been considered in the past? Why not delay the endorsement process if it's too complicated? Moreover, as you were saying, the implemented recommendation would be reviewed after (some) years of implementation even at the risk of affecting especially larger communities (including those unheard, nonparticipant, or overlooked) who would endure the implemented recommendations, right? George Ho (talk) 00:33, 18 February 2020 (UTC)

Report from 2030 Strategy Discussion - Wikimedia Morocco User Group[edit]

On February 8th, 2020, members of Wikimedia Morocco User Group met to discuss the 13 recommendations developed by the Strategy team. The discussion touched all the different recommendations from the local context, and how they could be useful for the Moroccan Wikimedians, as well as what might need to be changed or improved in order to fit their needs. The full report can be found at this Meta page. Have a good reading -- ASedrati (WMF) (talk) 16:00, 14 February 2020 (UTC)

Audio software...[edit]

When are we going to see music creation software integrated into the online free culture? It's been twenty years now since this sort of culture became a major issue. 2D editing is refined. 3D editing is refined. Programming is refined. Etc, etc. It's like discrimination. I'm not foolish enough to believe that just because the foundation has money at the moment they should spend it all, but if you are going to spend money, and your purpose is believing in this upward and outward expansion... Where is the audio software? You know music popular culture is traditionally driven underground in "the west", don't you? Can you not just open the door a little, please? It's so confusing that nobody is offering this in any meaningful way. Come on Wikimedia, nobody else is looking for something to do in this genre like you are. Do this please, even if nobody asks you to do it, you must know it will be used. No, experimenting with embedded midi is to an audio studio as wikis are to torn bits of paper. You are employing a bunch of people now. It's like a big gaping hole in the free software culture. An elephant in the room. Aw go on, give the elephant a banana for goodness sakes! ~^\\\.rT'{~ g 11:45, 16 February 2020 (UTC)

Feedback from French-speaking Wikimedians (2)[edit]

Hi, I am the strategy liaison for the French-speaking community, and here is some of the feedback I have gathered since the beginning of discussions:

Recommendation 1: Promote Sustainability and Resilience

Feedback was received from 31 people and expressed through various channels : FR:WP, FR:WT, in-person meeting in Grenoble (France), in-person meeting in Thies (Senegal), Wikimedia Space.

The general feeling is that this recommendation goes in the right direction, because indeed our organizations and people need to be more sustainably developed and provided more stable resources. One person warned that such moves will need to be collectively thought through with the whole movement, and Wikimedians from Senegal have suggested that the recommendations should mention that we specifically need to support the development of emerging communities.

Other suggestions for improvement include the need to reformulate the sentence about the API to take more precaution (how do we keep it fair for smaller stakeholders who need our API? how do we ensure we don't loose independence? etc.), the need to tie the recommendation more closely with "Invest in skills" and "Leadership", and also with "Coordinate across stakeholders", as a dense distributed network would be intrinsically more resilient.

There is need for clarification about what "compensation for non-editing activities" exactly means, and to distinguish better between volunteers and staff inside the paragraphs about "people".

Recommendation 2: Create Cultural Change for Inclusive Communities

Feedback was received from 47 people and expressed through various channels : Meta in French, FR:WP, FR:WT, in-person meeting in Thies (Senegal), in-person meeting in Port-au-Prince (Haïti), in-person meeting in Grenoble (France).

A lot of support was expressed for this recommendation, saying online and offline communities need to take their responsibilities to fight harassment or other toxic behavior and become truly inclusive. A number of users even think the recommendation should go further and be bolder in its statements and propositions of measures.

Concerns include the need to ensure procedures will be as transparent as possible and equitable for all parties, the need to ensure that a Code of Conduct will not impose western standards onto other cultures (ie. need for contextualisation), and the need to clarify how the suggested measures would apply respectively online and offline.

Several users also highlighted that the recommendation should explicitly define what is this "cultural change" we want: what is the culture we have now, and what is the new culture we want to build? (note: the issue was specifically raised by a Wikipedian who is also a specialist in cooperative organizations management).

Recommendation 3: Improve User Experience

Feedback was received from 55 people and expressed through various channels : FR:WP, FR:WT, Twitter, in-person meeting in Thies (Senegal), in-person meeting in Port-au-Prince (Haïti), in-person meeting in Grenoble (France), Wikimedia Space.

There is strong and widespread support among French-speaking Wikimedians for this recommendation. People feel that the need for a correct UX goes without saying and is a priority. Suggestions for radically more user-friendly features have received support from people working in GLAMs, long-time wikimedians as well as newcomers, emerging African communities as well as European ones. A lot of people are already interested in discussing implementation.

There were a number of suggestions for improvement such as: mention the need to take younger audiences into consideration ; mention the need for features that would improve newcomers/patrollers interactions (which now mostly consists in deleting articles without explanation) so that WP becomes more welcoming and able to retain new users. Also, one technical contributor expressed reservations about going W3C.

One strong statement about "what's missing" in this recommendation is the need to mention Sister Projects, esp. the fact that they need resources for software development (for now they get close to zero outside Commons and Wikidata).


All the other recommendations have been commented upon too. I will get to them in the coming days.

In the meantime, feel free to ask for any precision :)

--DRanville (WMF) (talk) 10:36, 18 February 2020 (UTC)

Discussions in the Netherlands[edit]

There have been discussions about the Movement Strategy 2030 in De Kroeg (Village pump) of NL Wikipedia and during a Wiki-Saturday organised by Wikimedia Nederland. A summary of both discussions (in English) can be found here. The Board of Wikimedia Nederland will publish a separate response later. Sandra Rientjes (talk) 10:45, 18 February 2020 (UTC)


"Wiki"[edit]

Can you find the wiki here?

Searching through the pdf of the core document, I realized that one thing that stood out to me is that it only mentions the word "wiki" in two places:

  • "Ease the path to propose and create new wikis (including new language versions) and to reuse community-developed software features on them." (page 10)
  • "Establish easily accessible incident reporting and support systems on and off-Wiki..." (page 12)

with the rest of the usage of "wiki" being a part of the word "Wikimedia". I guess my feedback, intended for inclusion in the core team's report about community feedback, is that by avoiding the word "wiki" the document seems to neglect the centrality of the wiki software to the wikimedia movement, and the centrality of the ideals promoted by that software to the movement as well. From the en:Wiki article:

A wiki engine is a type of content management system, but it differs from most other such systems, including blog software, in that the content is created without any defined owner or leader, and wikis have little inherent structure, allowing structure to emerge according to the needs of the users.

These recommendations don't really address how the fact that the movement is centered around wikis (and to support the work that goes on in those wikis) distinguishes it from other free knowledge movements. It doesn't consider how the projects were able to become successful despite being on a platform with "little inherent structure" - and how for a long time, a minimal WMF mimiced that lack-of-structure at an organizational level. The document includes the line "As a Movement synonymous with learning and verifiable information", but that's not true - the movement is synonymous with learning and verifiable information hosted on wikis, websites without any defined leader, structured by the users, that anyone can edit provided they do so in good faith.

Fundamentally, these recommendations fail to consider what makes this a wiki movement in addition to a free knowledge one. TomDotGov (talk) 21:13, 18 February 2020 (UTC)

I've noticed that too. The most frequently used terms are movement (260), knowledge (151), communities (111), stakeholders (75) structures (61) and resources (57). It would make sense that the recommendations are software agnostic. There is much emphasis on all kind of new-ish media and distribution channels that are not written text. How do you edit the encyclopedia using Siri or Alexa? Or even a mobile phone? How do you make a quick change in a video? Or something that isn't an encyclopedia but some other form of "free knowledge". Once you abandon the idea that an encyclopedia is (illustrated) text, wiki software is no longer a good tool. Not that I support any of those ideas. Text rules. Vexations (talk) 23:31, 18 February 2020 (UTC)
That is an excellent observation, and I think a lot of what I've been getting at, though I didn't think of looking at it that way. I do, however, agree entirely: The projects being on a wiki are a core and critical part of what they are. That's not just a convenient way to host them, changeable at any time. Seraphimblade (talk) 04:18, 19 February 2020 (UTC)
It doesn't consider how the projects were able to become successful despite being on a platform with "little inherent structure" − Not sure wheter this would answer your concern, but I do think the fact that the projects evolved on wikis permeates the recommendations, for example in the first principle: Self-management & participatory decision-making: the writers recognize the fact that the projects were highly succesful by self-organizing and recommend to follow such principles for shaping other parts of the movement.
(in one of the ealier documents, one of the working group was expanding on that aspect by drawing from the concept of en:Teal organisation, noting how this school of thought was itself heavily inspired by Wikipedia).
Jean-Fred (talk) 10:13, 19 February 2020 (UTC)
@Jean-Frédéric: I do not think this answers my concerns. Re-reading the section that you present, which is not particularly clearly written, it says we, as a Movement need to co-create an interlocking set of structures. I'd think that's the opposite of the way it has been done, where editors and other participants simply participate and self-organize, without requiring explicit movement permission. And while a working group might have produced a draft that was inspired by a concept that was inspired by Wikipedia, that's a long walk from addressing what we have now.
But take one step back. These recommendations are for a strategy that guides the Wikimedia movement for the next decade, a movement that revolves around the 944 wikis that are its primary output. Jean-Fred, do you think it is appropriate that those recommendations only mention 'wiki' twice? (One of which is as part of the phrase 'on- and off-Wiki'.) TomDotGov (talk) 15:43, 19 February 2020 (UTC)

Comments from the Wikimedia and Libraries User Group[edit]

The Steering Committee of the Wikimedia and Libraries User Group met this morning to discuss the recommendations of the Wikimedia 2030 vision. These comments are my personal summary of that discussion, though I have tried to capture the consensus of the group. Others from the Steering Committee as well as members of the User Group as a whole are cordially invited to share additional thoughts and opinions.

As members of the steering committee of the Wikimedia and Libraries User Group, we regularly serve as ambassadors between the Wikimedia movement and (public, academic, special, and school) libraries around the world. We would like to underscore the importance of supporting the relationship between Wikimedians and librarians (who are frequently one and the same) and appreciate the attention given in the "Promote Sustainability and Resilience" recommendation to "[reaching] the highest potential for our partnerships with institutions, galleries, libraries, archives, and museums, among others." We suggest cultivating these partnerships as a way toward sustainability, looking to the growing number of Wikimedians-in-Residence at GLAM institutions.

We also appreciate the emphasis in the "Improve User Experience" recommendation on creating environments to make it easier for newcomers to learn to edit Wikipedia. The Visual Editor, though not universally admired, has proved more friendly and accommodating to newcomers than teaching wiki text or markup in our experience. We look forward to the development of additional tools to increase accessibility during the implementation of the strategy.

We note with concern, however, the intention to achieve financial sustainability, in part, by monetizing the application programming interfaces (API) of Wikipedia and Wikidata. While we recognize that large internet companies who rely on the editorial labor of Wikimedia volunteers should also support its software infrastructure, we are concerned that these APIs and bulk data services not be marketed to libraries or other nonprofit information providers as a "tiered 'premium' service."

Finally, we hope that the movement strategy will be communicated in a clear and timely way to affiliates. In a quickly changing environment, it is not always easy for volunteers to keep up with who has responsibility for coordinating global campaigns. Finding the right balance between local initiative and centralized coordination will undoubtedly remain an ongoing task during the implementation phase of this strategic vision.

Clifford Anderson (talk) 23:19, 19 February 2020 (UTC)

As a member of the Steering Committee of Wikimedia and Libraries User Group, I agree with Mr. Clifford on all the points he raised. In fact, there is a lot of concerns about many parts of the Wikimedia 2030 Strategy. This interesting output should be revised and adjusted to be more effective. Regarding monetizing Mediawiki API, this is one of the most harmful recommendations. I will just add two reasons of why such a strategy recommendation should not be applied:
1. Wikimedia Foundation gets a lot of funding, data, volunteers and tools from institutions, universities and worldwide companies for free. The purpose of this is to enhance WMF wikis so that they can be properly used by these organizations. WMF wikis cannot stand alone without these contributions. If the Mediawiki API becomes paid, these organizations like Google and Stanford will create their own databases using a variety of methods such as web scrapping. Wikimedia Foundation will lose most of its funding and technical development quality.
2. Mediawiki API is fully created and curated by volunteers. These volunteers released their output under Creative Commons licences so that they can be shared and used for free. If the Mediawiki API becomes paid, we are not sure that these developers will continue to update Mediawiki. Most of them will either retire from developing Mediawiki or work on developing Mediawiki for salary. The Strategy team said that these developers can continue working on Mediawiki if they have grants and trainings. However, this is too far from being convincing. Effectively, Mediawiki Developers currently benefit from these slight advantages.
Yours Sincerely,
--Csisc (talk) 16:15, 20 February 2020 (UTC)
Cosign this concern. I am not a member of the steering group of the Wikimedia libraries group, but I am an academic librarian, and a long-term Wikimedian, and one of the very first people to ever talk about bringing librarians into Wikimedia and vice-versa. Currently when we negotiate with commercial publishers libraries push hard to decommercialize and de-monetize access to APIs. I cannot in good faith in my day job ask Elsevier et al to do something that my free and open passion project is not doing. Note this is distinct from service agreements - providing some level of support is a different issue. However, I worry that monetizing technical services would filter off more energy and time than frankly it would be worth. -- phoebe | talk 21:26, 20 February 2020 (UTC)
Dear Clifford Anderson, thank you so much for taking the time to share this feedback with us. It's really appreciated. We have taken note of the areas of support and priority for your Wikimedia and Libraries UG, especially on recommendations 1 and 3. With regards to your concern around API, I can share that throughout the drafting and writing process of these recommendations, offering "tiered 'premium' services" was never discussed for nonprofit information providers and partners. However, as this has been raised here and elsewhere in discussions, we must make that more explicit in the final text. Thank you. Your point regarding implementation is also well-noted. Balancing centralized coordination, providing needed capacity and resources, facilitating local adaptation and contextualization, sequencing and prioritizing the recommendations, and of course deciding responsibilities and allocating accountability will all be significant discussions to start in-person and online at Wikimedia Summit and ongoing afterwards. Thanks for contributing to Movement Strategy conversations. Csisc, phoebe thanks for chiming in and sharing your concerns as well. The debate around paid API for large commercial users predates these recommendations and is something that has to be explored as people increasingly move away from desktops and become more intertwined with voice activated, remote and virtual platforms where content from Wikimedia projects is used ubiquitously but without attribution. Working with large commercial users of our data also places a toll on limited resources. This aspect of the recommendation was seen as a way to increase access to resources for implementing the rest of the recommendations going forward and generating more resources for the movement. MPourzaki (WMF) (talk) 22:25, 21 February 2020 (UTC)

language around the long-term[edit]

Throughout this document, though perhaps it would be centered in the sustainability section, I don't find language around supporting Wikipedia and the projects for the long-term. Perhaps it is meant to be implied, given the scope of the strategy vision (til 2030), language around sustainability, and the current endowment; but I think it is important to explicitly talk about how we not only want to be knowledge infrastructure, we want it to continue for a long time. This is an essential difference that puts the Wikimedia projects closer to libraries, museums, etc and further from tech-startups, and we need to articulate it forcefully. -- phoebe | talk 21:29, 20 February 2020 (UTC)

Thank you phoebe. Yes this was envisioned implicitly throughout Movement Strategy and in fact, a reason why this whole process was kicked off. It should be made more explicit in the final version. Thanks for your feedback. MPourzaki (WMF) (talk) 22:27, 21 February 2020 (UTC)

Incorporate language intro strategy around 'trust' and 'trusted'[edit]

I am the Strategy Liaison for the Wiki Journals. The main feedback for the strategy is to try to incorporate the word ‘trust’ into the strategy, making it clear Wikimedia intends to be a trusted information source (something like Cochrane’s statement 'Trusted evidence'). In an era of ‘fake news’ we need a statement about how can we strengthen trust in our internal processes. One such project the Wiki Journals are involved in developing is STARDIT, allowing reporting of who created an information resource and how: https://scienceforall.world/stardit/

This project is also relevant to areas including 'Prioritize Topics for Impact’ and 'Evaluate, Iterate, and Adapt' Jacknunn (talk) 05:47, 21 February 2020 (UTC)

Hi Jacknunn. Thanks for your message. We'll make sure "trust" is explicitly reiterated in the final strategy as it is indeed a key area of concern for the credibility and sustainability of our movement in the age of misinformation and fake news. MPourzaki (WMF) (talk) 01:07, 24 February 2020 (UTC)

D E C E N T R A L I Z E 🔥 💥 ⚡[edit]

The money of the Wikimedia Movement belongs to the Wikimedia community. The Wikimedia Foundation is the steward of this money, and the Foundation collects this money in the name of the community, but the Foundation does not have a right to control the money except at the behest and under the direction of the community. The Wikimedia Foundation's primary objective should be advancing Wikimedia projects with direct approval of community stakeholders. Anyone employed by the Wikimedia Foundation is not a member of the community, nor can Foundation staff speak for the community, nor can the Foundation staff stand in place of, or represent, the community. It is the Foundation's place to use Wikimedia Movement funds to empower Wikimedia Community Groups to achieve their potential. The best role the Foundation can take in hiring and planning is to do the tasks which no Wikimedia community volunteer wants to do or has the resources to do. Wikimedia community volunteers can curate content, organize strategy and direction, do outreach, establish partnerships, and speak for themselves. The Wikimedia Foundation should avoid doing those things, and instead, should do things which volunteers find too complicated or tedious, like administration, the back end infrastructure, some software, some legal, paying the electricity bill, and anything boring but necessary. The path to empowering the community is the decentralization of power from the Foundation into Community Groups which can represent themselves in the Wikimedia movement.

I participated in online group discussions about the recommendations. The format of these meetings were that invitations were sent in the usual way for certain online community meetups, and the discussion of these recommendations was the agenda for the meeting. In some cases the meetings resulted in someone volunteering to share feedback from the group, and in other cases participants encouraged each other as individuals to post feedback to these recommendations.

I do not speak for these groups, but I do want to share that each of these groups organized online audio and video meetups to discuss these recommendations. I would guess that these groups collectively put 100 hours into discussing these recommendations, and even more time reading them in private.

Lots of people said lots of things. In my opinion, the most consistent feedback was that throughout these recommendations, there is a misguided and incorrect trend of recommending that the Wikimedia Foundation invest power and resources into itself, and control operations centrally, and to have Wikimedia Foundation staff stand in place of various demographics of community members to represent them. I only heard objections to this, and everywhere there was a recommendation for the Foundation to take control of some process, instead, there was a wish for the Foundation to share resources and support to empower communities to better represent themselves.

If something is worth doing at all that project is best done by the volunteer stakeholders. Of particular importance is that the Foundation does not operate competitively against the Wikimedia volunteers, or attempt to do things which volunteers would want to do. That is, the Wikimedia Foundation should avoid hiring staff to do what volunteers often do without pay, or would do with resource support. The Foundation should not have staff speak in representation of volunteers, but should instead support volunteers to take positions to advocate for their own communities.

I have heard no demand in any context for any Wikimedia Foundation team to grow at this time, nor for the Wikimedia Foundation in San Francisco to grow. There is a great wish for Wikimedia Movement funding to encourage decentralization in the power, and especially this should happen at the start. If the Wikimedia Foundation is to grow, then its growth should only happen after other Wikimedia allied organizations become more empowered, such that the community approves Wikimedia Foundation spending. Blue Rasberry (talk) 19:42, 21 February 2020 (UTC)

Bluerasberry (I know you've been around a while, so you may already know this, but as context for anyone more newly joined), that was more or less what WMF was initially founded by the English Wikipedia to do. (Yes, for those who don't know, Wikipedia founded WMF, not the other way around). Basically, just to take on roles it would be easier for an incorporated body such as a charity to do, that would be either legally troublesome or just too much to ask for particular volunteers to do, such as collecting and handling donated funds, and using them toward those boring but necessary tasks that keep the lights on and the servers humming, as well as serving to handle things like DMCA requests. It was never intended as something that would run Wikimedia projects, but as a service organization to assist project communities. I think this recommendation is absolutely spot on, and I find it telling that this "strategy consultation" hasn't ever come out to the Wikimedia communities and asked editors there what type of strategy they want to see. The idea was certainly not for WMF to see itself as a Silicon Valley tech company which produces "products" and holds focus groups they call "salons". Seraphimblade (talk) 20:56, 21 February 2020 (UTC)
Hi Bluerasberry, thanks for sharing this feedback. It was great taking part in the previous two Wikimedia Café discussions. To be honest, I'm having a bit of difficulty properly placing this information. "Supporting volunteers to take positions to advocate for their own communities" is very much what these recommendations put forward, particularly recommendations 5 and 6 focusing on better distribution of power and resources, and moving away from centralized structures towards global representation, regional support systems, and distributed local leadership. I am sure you have heard in many discussions also that in parts of the world where we have the biggest room to grow, volunteering is quite a privilege and not accessible to the majority, particularly around organizing events and community building activities. I believe this was directly shared on the last call by a participant from Africa. The recommendations don't address this by having more staff, rather through improved local decision-making and access to resources, more capacity, local trainings and mentorship, advocacy, and better knowledge management. The latter is one of those "boring but necessary" tasks that could benefit from staff support, that's also highlighted in the recommendations. In many of those same parts of the world, age, power, and gender are highly hierarchical, and communities have asked for central, global support and coordination around partnerships. For example, these volunteer community members have shared that they would not be seen by senior officials at government, UN, NGO or donor agencies unless backed by an international entity demonstrating fiscal responsibility. Greater distribution of power and resources, empowerment, and equity for communities and affiliates is referenced throughout this document and was raised by many community and affiliate members that contributed to and participated in the strategy discussions. Distribution is the new decentralization :)
Seraphimblade I wish you would look into the many community-led and community-driven salons that provided input throughout this process. Many brought volunteers from across their countries and regions together who had never met before and who had not previously taken part in any in-person events, to have a seat at the table, talk future opportunities, and for a first time, be meaningfully involved in movement-related conversations. For you to call them corporate focus groups is hurtful and belittling. MPourzaki (WMF) (talk) 23:32, 21 February 2020 (UTC)
MPourzaki (WMF), I am sorry if you find what I think to be hurtful and belittling. What I find to be so is, quite frankly, that these events held by groups are prioritized over those who are actually doing the work on the wikis. It is nice that those groups can hold their meetings, and I'd certainly never tell them that they can't, but where were the RfCs to come ask editors who aren't affiliated with one of these groups what they think? What I've seen is a pattern where, to be quite frank, such input is just ignored even when people find their way here to provide it. That is indeed hurtful and belittling, as you say. We have, for example, been complaining for years about the problem of paid advocacy on the English Wikipedia. Recently, we found out that WMF had not taken further action against one of the largest banned spammer companies because, according to WMF, we'd never asked them to. So, in one of the most lopsided RfCs I've ever seen on en.wp, we asked them to, in no uncertain terms. Since then: Crickets. These strategy proposals contain not one word about any plans to address paid advocacy, though we've been complaining about it for years. Had you just asked, you'd have heard that. No one asked. So, do forgive me if I'm more than a bit cynical about this whole thing. Seraphimblade (talk) 03:34, 22 February 2020 (UTC)
Hi Seraphimblade, thanks for sharing that, very relevant and useful. Even though combating misinformation and disinformation has been in the discussions for a long time, especially going back to phase 1 research, it needs to be made explicit at this point, carried forward and actionable. Thanks for reiterating here. MPourzaki (WMF) (talk) 16:01, 23 February 2020 (UTC)
MPourzaki (WMF), while I appreciate that, it doesn't actually address the core issue. No closed door discussions. Discussions happen on the wiki and in public, or they don't count. Seraphimblade (talk) 22:31, 25 February 2020 (UTC)
Seraphimblade, for some yes, but definitely not for all. Many ... MANY ... individuals and communities don't feel comfortable expressing themselves and their opinions publicly on wiki. It's unfortunate, but it's true. We can't be so one or the other about things. MPourzaki (WMF) (talk) 23:01, 25 February 2020 (UTC)
@MPourzaki (WMF): Do any of these individuals have anything to do with Wikimedia? Have they ever edited, or otherwise participated in anything Wikimedia has ever done? It's kind of a low minimum requirement, that to participate in Wikimedia one must be willing to participate on Wikimedia. It seems pretty clear to me that the opinions expressed off-wiki by such groups are completely irrelevant. If you want to disagree with the community on what does and does not constitute feedback from the community, I don't know how any cooperation is supposed to work. --Yair rand (talk) 00:01, 26 February 2020 (UTC)
MPourzaki (WMF), then, many, many individuals apparently don't want to participate. That's fine, they don't have to. But for those who are a good fit here, they participate on-wiki. Period. If they don't, then they don't count. We never do things behind closed doors. We do things on-wiki and in public view. Anyone who doesn't want to do that isn't a member of our community. Seraphimblade (talk) 02:37, 26 February 2020 (UTC)

General feedback on the final document[edit]

As a member of the Resource Allocation working group, albeit busy with other work and not involved in the final round of the merging outputs of all the WGs, I would like to say I am pretty impressed with the final editorial work and I don't see any major point to be omitted in the final document. Good work and thank you all, especially the volunteers pulling it to the end. Nevertheless, after some discussions with my fellow Polish Wikimedians and reading some concerns on Meta, I would like to elaborate on a few topics/keywords used in the document:

  1. Wikimedia as a distributed organization
    Both Wikimedia Movement and particular wikiprojects are prime examples of distributed, self-organizing organizations with powers and responsibilities assumed by dispersed individuals, creating their own institutions (norms, structures, programmes) and pursuing common goals. As the world of management theory grows interest in teal (turquoise) orgs, it is probably high time for us to cherish our roots and inherent cultural traits, focusing on the benefits we can obtain this way.
    This is why I like that one of the overarching keywords in the document is distributed. One can find it in many contexts: distributed peer process, distributed leadership and expertise, distributed resources... I think this word describes best many issues in the Wikimedia world, especially actual content production and curation (Wikiprojects) and a huge part of WM activities conducted "on the ground" (with communities, GLAM partners, educational and other institutions, media etc.). As a strong believer in this model in our context, I would like to keep and empower this trait of us, including distribution of power and resources across the Movement. Keep in mind that distributed is a much stronger word than decentralized, as it involves a relative autonomy of particular agents. I believe that Wikimedia Movement requires a lot of innovation, efficacy and empowerment of volunteers (because of many reasons, lack of possibility to deliver the projects in other ways is one of them). I am afraid these innovation and empowerment will not happen in one centralized, or even merely decentralized model (e.g. one WMF with offices in multiple cities across the globe). We need the structural autonomies and relative independence of particular actors, including distributed adequate resources, not only to be more flexible and closer to the recipients of our services (be it e.g. readers or editors) but also to provide organizational diversity and resilience.
  2. Diversity and priviledge
    This was one of the largest topics; we took it from many angles and I am happy how relatively elaborate PoV we have worked out, going beyond our individual contexts to better reflect our global, shared situation. I hope that this contextual, thoughtful, evidence-based approach will be kept and encouraged, prompting us to constantly improving and rethinking "fields" of diversity (e.g. WM organizations, partners, executives, rank-and-file employees, volunteers "in power structures", volunteers editting, readers/recipients, content etc.) and relevant dimensions (gender, age, personal wealth and income, language, ethnicity, cultural and sociodemographic traits). I hope we will be above pitfalls of local politics, and we will be improving ourselves in identifying relevant gaps and implementing effective actions. I hope we will be also diligent while identifying systemic biases and situations of priviledge - e.g. as WM is a primarly "unpaid-volunteers-editting-stuff" Movement, in general I don't see the opportunity to work for free as a "priviledge", and sadly it also applies to the volunteer-run governance bodies, even if they have nice names like "a board" or "a committee". However, there may be many priviledges involved with better opportunities to e.g. contribute or push your agenda - even because of real world deficiencies like e.g. language disparities, lack of proper written sources on Africa or an arbitrary perception of some human activities as "less notable"). Finally, I hope we will attribute a proper equity to all the contributors, donors and advocates of Wikimedia.
    Wrapping it up, diversity and equity are a process, not a simple solution.
  3. Hubs
    One of the most important, yet underdefined ideas are hubs, also known as competence centres. Final solution answering many questions still needs to be proposed (such as: will they keep a substantial part of resources and provide services to e.g. local organizations, or will they be lightweight and utilize resources delegated by the local orgs?). Regardless of these answers, I hope we will come up with a flexible network, where individuals and smaller orgs will have some flexibility whom they can ask for help. Otherwise we will end up with an unnecessary rigid structure with limited proliferation of best practice and lost opportunities.
  4. Governance
    As a former GAC and FDC member and the current president of a chapter I could elaborate on strenghts and weaknesses of boards and community oversight. Nevertheless and regardless of actual implementation, I believe Wikimedia Movement deserves dedicated, expert but rooted in the communities bodies for purposes like governance and resource allocation. Knowing the shortcomings of real world solutions like GA of United Nations (politization, vassalization, trading horses, passiveness), instead of a "global parliament" I would prefer smaller groups of dedicated, trusted experts with a majority representation of relevant communities.
  5. Safety and resilience
    In this increasingly undemocratic world of shrinking free speech and novel forms of manipulation I hope we will have ways and means to support individuals and orgs working "everywhere", and I would like to thank every person thinking about this issue.

My 2 cents, aegis maelstrom δ 22:58, 21 February 2020 (UTC)

Hi aegis maelstrom, taking these 2 cents right to the bank. This is super valuable feedback and elaboration, both with regards to your personal involvement with the working group process and your work with WMPL. Thank you. So much of what you share here with relating to distribution of power and resources, diversity and equity is aligned with what the writers had in mind when developing these recommendations. The concept of hubs proposed by different working groups did not always structurally align and the questions you mention here need to very much lead the implementation discussions. However, it couldn't hurt to make some of the aspirations and objectives more explicit. It's a fine balance between flexibility and rigidity as you rightly point and we should be bold in our ideation. Thanks for your thoughts around governance structures and safety. Really appreciated. MPourzaki (WMF) (talk) 16:44, 23 February 2020 (UTC)
Just to make it clear. These are either Aegis' own thoughts or WMPL stance (I don't know), not the overall opinion of Polish Wikipedia editors. We had some sort of a discussion on plwiki, there were only a few comments and majority (all?) of them were very critical of these recommendations. We feel excluded from the discussion as the recommendations were not translated into Polish. I cannot speak for others, but I myself tried to go through these recommendations. I failed as the English used was too difficult to understand and the contents were too ambigous, wishy-washy, not concrete enough. Having to choose between known status quo and unknown something I choose the former. Therefore I oppose these all ot these recommendations as a whole. tufor (talk) 18:11, 23 February 2020 (UTC)
Hi tufor, a summary of the recommendations had been translated into Catalan, Farsi, Hebrew, Polish and Russian. Thanks for your feedback on the language and sorry about the difficulties. It wasn't easy bringing the 89 recommendations of the thematic area working groups into one set, the writers wanted to be coherent and at the same time not too prescriptive so there would be room for local adaptation and further discussions. Making the final set of recommendations more explicit and easier to understand has been asked for by many community members. Definitely something we will address. Thank you. MPourzaki (WMF) (talk) 23:01, 23 February 2020 (UTC)

Feedback from the Wikimedians in Residence Exchange Network (WREN)[edit]

Introduction[edit]

The feedback shared here through Meta was compiled by the Wikimedians in Residence Exchange Network (WREN) Strategic Planning Feedback Working Group. The group consisted of Wikimedians and Wikipedians in Residence from organizations including libraries, museums, archives, and government agencies located in North America, South America, and Europe. The group met through voice and video chat for three hours during this phase of the strategic planning feedback process, and also contributed feedback asynchronously through Google Docs. All members of the group read and responded to the select topics in detail. Together, we have spent approximately 100 hours on the feedback process. We believed this process to be very important, and we devoted our resources to it.

We discussed, in depth, feedback related to these three recommendations, which is shared on the talk page for each recommendation:

  • Prioritize Topics for Impact
  • Plan Infrastructure Scalability
  • Ensure Equity in Decision-Making

We focused on the recommendations that we felt were the most important for areas of work, but recognise that they will all likely have impact.

The members of WREN who participated in this committee, in alphabetical order, are:

General Feedback[edit]

Despite decentralisation being a very common and strong component of previous documents it has been almost entirely removed from these recommendations. As the Wikimedia Foundation is funding this process, this change seems to originate with them. Therefore, this change is alarming and suspect. In addition, chapters and user groups are not represented in this document, it seems very Wikimedia Foundation focused. Arguably, this does not represent the views of the community, does not acknowledge different interests of different individuals, and creates an immediate dissonance between community needs and well-being, and Foundation goals. There is also a lack of acknowledgement that specific properties and projects (WikiCite, Wikidata), have different needs in terms of funding and support.

There is an assumption that non Wikipedia writing activities (administration etc) should be unpaid e.g community organising. The Wikimedia community wishes to do Wikimedia content engagement, discussion, presentation, and curation, and wishes for the Wikimedia Foundation to exclude itself from these activities. The Wikimedia community has less interest in administrative tasks which do not attract large numbers of volunteers, and the Wikimedia Foundation is free to do things that no volunteer wants to do. To say that “[by] 2030, Wikimedia will become the essential infrastructure of the ecosystem of free knowledge...” is arguably Problematic. ‘The’ in ‘the essential infrastructure’ ignores the work of other open organisations and feels colonial and unrealistic, like we are going to take over the work of other organizations that are doing similar work. We recognise that this is in the Strategic Direction statement and has been said by others but it is important to note that we are not the only ones doing this kind of work.

As an example of a strategic plan that we feel well-represents community needs and input, Extinction Rebellion UK is also doing a strategy process, lots of interesting comparisons with a much stronger focus on increasing participation and community wellbeing.

What is present in the XR strategy that is not in the Wikimedia strategy is community well-being, community resilience, helping people feel valued, happy, etc. Interesting to look at this document to see what is missing from the WMF planning document.

Feedback on “Prioritize Topics for Impact”[edit]

Feedback on “Plan infrastructure scalability”[edit]

Feedback on “Ensure equity in decision-making”[edit]

—The preceding unsigned comment was added by Emjackson42 (talk) 00:16, 22 February 2020‎

Hi, thank you for this detailed feedback and the extensive amount of time and effort dedicated to reviewing the content. Really appreciated. I would suggest that the recommendations are actually quite affiliate focused - considering the backgrounds of the majority of the writers - and set on greater inclusion, distribution of power and resources, and localized support for various communities as identified by the communities and projects themselves based on their needs. Improved engagement with partners in the ecosystem of free knowledge was another area of high importance for the writers. However, if these are not made explicit in the document, then there's much refining work left. Your input around the general direction and content of the recommendations is very useful for that, and thanks for the particular feedback on the 3 areas shared. MPourzaki (WMF) (talk) 23:28, 23 February 2020 (UTC)

Report from German language AdminCon in Dortmund (DE), February 2020[edit]

Hello, here a report from AdminCon, a meeting of administrators and other Wikipedians from German Wikipedia (21-23 Feb., 2020). At the beginning, a WMF representant presented the "recommendations" of the strategy document. In a conference call, two people involved in the process tried to respond to questions. Technical and acustical problems made the conversations even more difficult. Several participants have expressed their unhappiness about the process and the document. One person said he tried to understand the document in English and gave up. "Most people from German Wikipedia community don't get it." Another person found the session "terrible" and called "the incomprehensibility [...] metaphorical for the whole process." (For general privacy reasons I don't use names, but people can identify themselves here if they want, of course. I am the one who took most of the notes at the meeting.) Kind regards, Ziko (talk) 23:15, 23 February 2020 (UTC)

Thank you for taking notes and sharing your impressions, Ziko. Thanks so much for using the etherpad to keeping track of the conversations. I uploaded the slides meanwhile, someone requested it. Best regards --CJackel (WMF) (talk) 10:43, 24 February 2020 (UTC)
Hello User:CJackel (WMF), thank you for leading the session with an admirable calmness. I am sure that everybody present acknowledged that your task was very difficult. Ziko (talk) 12:35, 24 February 2020 (UTC)

Feedback from Wikimedia Ukraine[edit]

On February 22nd, Wikimedia Ukraine held a strategy session for its members and other Ukrainian volunteers. Movement Strategy Recommendations were among the questions discussed, and participants were asked to provide feedback to each recommendation.

We have posted feedback here: Talk:Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20/Recommendations/Feedback from Wikimedia Ukraine. --AntonProtsiuk (WMUA) (talk) 10:26, 26 February 2020 (UTC)

Hi AntonProtsiuk (WMUA), thank you so much for this feedback and detailed report, really appreciated. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by MPourzaki (WMF) (talk)

Wikimedia Deutschland’s perspective on the draft recommendations[edit]

On 15 February, the Supervisory Board of Wikimedia Deutschland met with the Executive Director to reflect on the draft recommendations. Taking into account how the recommendations were received in the German-speaking community as well as the perspective of Wikimedia Deutschland’s staff, we developed a position on the draft for our organisation.

First of all, we want to emphasise the outstanding achievement of the collaborative, global strategy process and the importance of this process for the future of the Wikimedia Movement. Proposals for important and necessary structural changes are now on the table and we are committed to participating in their further discussion and implementation. In the following, we would like to share our position on the draft recommendations. We hope to provide some helpful input (1.) for the final revision of the recommendations and (2.) for the preparation of the implementation phase.

(1.) Suggestions for the finalisation of the recommendations[edit]

For the current draft of the recommendations, the very large number of suggestions from the previous phase was reduced once again – but there are still many redundancies that make the text too detailed and too vaguely worded. Therefore, it is difficult to understand the core of each recommendation and which changes in the Movement the recommendations are intending.

Understanding the recommendations is further complicated by the fact that no clear distinction is made between the various stakeholders: For example, in many recommendations it is unclear if proposals affect the Movement organisations or the project communities. This makes it difficult to assess what exactly the recommendations are supposed to change and what their effects are on the Movement organisations and project communities.

The feedback from the German-speaking communities also shows us that as a result, there is a great concern about strong interference with the self-management of the project communities.

We therefore recommend the following overall revision of the recommendations:

  • Flesh out the core of each recommendation and what changes it will bring about. The following approach could help here: make the recommendations even more precise, focussing on the essentials from both the recommendation texts and the “expected outcomes”.
  • Pay more attention to using simple language that can be easily translated into different languages and cultural contexts.
  • Try a further synthesis of the recommendations: It should be examined whether similar recommendations can be further summarised and whether the number of recommendations can be further reduced. In this context, an attempt should also be made to create a clearer structure in the recommendations, e.g. distinguishing between structural changes (decision-making structures and resource allocation), values and standards for organisations and communities, and  principles for the implementation phase.
  • Make a greater distinction between the actors (stakeholders) in the recommendations and implementation proposals: Which aspects primarily concern the Wikimedia organisations, which the project communities, which beyond that also other actors such as partners?
  • Clarify the function of the “expected outcomes”: In the current version, the “expected outcomes” can be misinterpreted as implementation results that are already set. In our understanding, they rather serve as implementation proposals or suggested initiatives for implementing the recommendations. This is important as decisions on implementation clearly require priorisation (it is simply not possible to implement all proposed initiatives at the same time) and a clear understanding of the consequences for the different stakeholders in the Movement. Both aspects can only be addressed in the implementation phase.
  • Make sure that the principles are featured more prominently as the value-based guidance for the next steps. They provide important context for understanding the recommendations and provide a good starting point for the subsequent definition of values and standards in the implementation phase.

We have the following suggestions for improving the content of the recommendations:

  • Recommendation "Ensuring equity in decision-making": it should be made even clearer in which direction the structures within the Movement should change. Decentralisation and the principle of subsidiarity as fundamental principles should be clearly stated here. In addition, it should be made clear that all decision-making structures should be put to the test in an open-ended manner and that there may be an actual change in decision-making powers in the organised part of the Movement, for example between the Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation, local organisations  and new, global structures such as a Global Governance Body.
  • Recommendation "Prioritize Topics for Impact": In our view, this recommendation is misleading and unclearly worded. It needs to be clarified that the engagement of volunteers in the communities must not be predetermined or prioritised by the Movement organisations: Volunteers must continue to be free to decide what they want to work on in their free time according to their interests. Also, it is unclear what exactly is meant by "impact" and "prioritisation by impact". The text allows for different interpretations, some of which do make sense – for example, research into which content is underrepresented in Wikimedia projects. This could then be used, for example, by Wikimedia organisations to initiate special grant programmes or to align partnerships with institutions accordingly. Overall, however, this recommendation offers too much room for interpretation. In order for us to assess whether this recommendation is useful and can be supported, it needs to be more precise.
  • Revenue Streams and Resource Allocation: Following the principles of subsidiarity and accountability, changes are necessary in how funds are raised and distributed within the Movement. Previous versions of the recommendations contained concrete proposals in this regard, which are no longer clear enough in the current version. The final version of the recommendations should clearly state the intended changes.
  • Technology: Software and technology are crucial for the Movement and our future. While the recommendations mention this, in our view, they fail to do justice to the major future issues in the technology sector. We believe that it is essential to define which structural changes we want to address in the field of “Product and Technology” and to develop a strategy for achieving these changes. This goal should either be included in the recommendations or, alternatively, it should be quickly clarified how these central issues will be discussed and decided elsewhere.

(2.) Suggestions for the preparation of the implementation phase[edit]

Many decisions on structural changes will have to be made in the upcoming implementation phase.

  • It is therefore essential that the implementation phase is prepared in such a way that we can achieve quick results: the hard questions must be brought to the table with priority, and a plan must be prepared as to how we can subsequently implement change quickly and effectively. External support from experts experienced in implementing major change processes should be sought to prepare appropriate procedures and models. Furthermore, it seems important to us that communications with different communities and cultural contexts and the facilitation of according conversations be prepared and supported even more than in the previous phases.
  • With the implementation of the recommendations, we are facing a huge change process that cannot be managed by the Wikimedia organisations or individuals as an add-on to their daily work. It is therefore essential that budgets are commited for the implementation of the selected priorities and the actors from the Movement entrusted with this. In particular, it must be ensured that financially weaker organisations or community representatives are able to participate in implementation.
  • On the question of which topics should be the focus of the next phase, we have made initial considerations.
  1. The change of power and decision-making structures in the Movement should be a priority, along with the duties and rights of the various stakeholders. The central question here is who should make decisions in the future and on what level (Global Council, Regional Hubs, Local Hubs; role of organisations and self-administration of the project communities). In this context, it should be defined which values or standards apply to which stakeholders (e.g. in a Movement charter). Only with clear responsibilities and competencies is it possible to dispel reservations about the effects of the currently abstract recommendations (e.g. fear of undue intervention in the project communities) and to make the actual changes visible.
  2. At the same time, it is important that we do not focus exclusively on large, complex implementation projects. In addition to the enormous task mentioned above, we should also look for "quick wins” in order to see concrete results and to boost motivation.

For Wikimedia Deutschland

  • Lukas Mezger, Chair of the Supervisory Board --Gnom (talk) 16:07, 26 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Abraham Taherivand, Executive Director --Abraham Taherivand (WMDE) 16:27, 26 February 2020 (UTC)
Hi all, dearest WMDE friends, many thanks for this thoughtful and relevant feedback. Concerns around language, vagueness, and lack of distinction are shared across other communities as well. We will make sure to address them in finalization, thank you for your guidance. Similar sentiments also extend to fears around intrusion and interference with autonomy, self-management, and sovereignty. Your recommendations for improving the recommendations are very well-noted, both for their general attributes and for specific content and context, thank you so much. Your points around movement structures, volunteer autonomy, revenue generation and allocation, and tech solutions are really helpful. Further, thank you for your suggestions on implementation. We will make sure this is woven into implementation discussions. Looking forward to continued collaboration. MPourzaki (WMF) (talk) 23:32, 26 February 2020 (UTC)

Supporting Statement from Wikimedia Österreich on Wikimedia Deutschland's perspective[edit]

Wikimedia Österreich is still in the process of discussing the recommendations and possible next steps with our board, some of our volunteer expert groups, and finally with our community at the end of March in order to give our representatives a solid mandate for the Wikimedia Summit. Hence, we do not have a final detailed statement in place like WMDE does, but from our discussions so far, we see that there are quite a few points where we share their assessment, so we would like to support these parts with at least a short statement from our side:

Recommendation "Ensuring equity in decision-making": Like Wikimedia Deutschland, we strongly support the underlying principles of “self-management” and “subsidiarity” that inform these recommendations and believe that they together with the other principles are at the core of the current document and should be treated as such. However, we were concerned to see how much the language in the recommendations themselves has become way less strong and clear when it comes to decentralisation and the distribution of power. In addition, some of the original ideas have been watered down considerably, to the point where for example the Global Council only advises the WMF board. The original idea seemed to have a community-governed body that also holds the WMF accountable, in order to fill a gap that we have in the current movement governance structure. This new framing does not seem to be rooted in the source material or community discussions, which make it stand out compared to the rest of the text which attempts to only summarize existing ideas and public discussions. Unfortunately, this also leads to some severe misunderstandings in the discussions on DE:WP that supported the impression in parts of our community, that the general direction of the recommendations is more centralisation, not less - a notion that will most likely stick unless the next draft makes the original intent very clear.

Revenue Streams and Resource Allocation: In a similar fashion, we were missing some of the more concrete and bold ideas regarding Revenue Streams and Resource Allocation.

Suggestions for the implementation phase: We would like to echo Wikimedia Deutschlands comment regarding the complex change process ahead that cannot be managed by the Wikimedia organisations or individuals as an add-on to their daily work. We state this with the experience of an organisation which has contributed disproportionately to the strategy process compared to its size, but also serves as a fiscal sponsor for several international community projects and groups without formal structures or any staff resources. It is of utmost importance that the next steps are even more co-created and inclusive than the process so far, so we need to enable all interested players to partake. This first and foremost requires reliable, clear, flexible and lean grant making and access to resources for affiliates, groups, projects, and events to do our daily work and additional, equally accessible resources to participate in the implementation process.

For Wikimedia Österreich

Dear Philip Kopetzky, dear CDG (WMAT staff), thanks for this feedback. I have added it to the input received and sharing with the integration team for next week. Thanks for taking the time to share it here and for your guidance to improve the final recommendations. As a quick follow-up, what are the specific bold ideas from revenue streams and resource allocation working groups that you would like better represented and that would fit with where the recommendations are at the moment? Would appreciate your thoughts. MPourzaki (WMF) (talk) 21:46, 3 March 2020 (UTC)

Feedback from a reviewer[edit]

I want to share my little feedback from my perspective as a reviewer and former member of the advocacy working group here as well.

A. Language and comprehensibility

Most is already said. We need a document which can be understood by all of us, no matter in which role they are, what they do and wether they are organized or not. Language and focus should allow anyone to embrace a main statement and the general purpose of our strategy.

B. Our desperate objective

The document presents the collection and consolidation of many recommendations from the working groups. That was the task. Still it is not clear what the common most urgent goal is, where all the recommendations should lead us to. I'm happy to see the principles, I would like to see the overarching idea which unites the different parts and parties of our movement. And I would love to see a rationale how each recommendation moves us toward that goal. When people don't get a chance to understand why a respective change is necessary, the risk just rises that they reject it.

C. What kind of movement do we want to be?

There is a lot about self determination, learning, leadership and more people centered topics in the document and it's great. We are humans and being part of the movement changes us and develops our capacities and competences in different ways. Question is if this is our movement's main concept or the means to an end, which may be to collect, create and provide knowledge in its different manifestations. The movement strategy should be clear about that to avoid confusion.

D. Where to identify with

The document in the current state does not sufficiently explain who is addressed by respective recommendations, which role the different parts, individuals and organizations of the movement have. It is not easy to find an identification point when I look at the document from a contributor's perspective.

E. Structures and organization

When it comes to power distribution and structural/organizational changes there are obviously conflicting interests. And obviously there is no simple answer, discussion and solution finding will take more time. We only can move and change together, this is not an exercise to break down existing structures and organizations. It should be an excercise to check jointly, including all the expertise we have within the movement and external experts as well, how the structures we have need to change in order to support what we want to achieve. Structural and organzational changes are not goals by themselves. We have to talk about existing and future options more openly and without any prejudice. Alice Wiegand (talk) 20:03, 26 February 2020 (UTC)

Hi Alice Wiegand, thanks for taking the time to provide this feedback. Your points around language clarity and ease of understanding, including on who is being addressed, and on overarching uniting ideas to help people understand the changes proposed, are relevant and useful for finalizing the recommendations. This also extends to making explicit the kind of movement we are and want to be. Taking note of your comments regarding existing structures and organizations, and the changes proposed. Thank you for your thoughtful input. MPourzaki (WMF) (talk) 23:39, 26 February 2020 (UTC)

Feedback from another reviewer[edit]

I agree with everything Alice has pointed out above.

There are some points I'd particularly focus on:

  • Re-reading this strategy after having stepped away from it for a period, I don't see any particular focus on the prime objective of the movement; in fact, quite the contrary. The strategy doesn't seem as though it has any significant focus on freely sharing knowledge; the focuses seem to be more about a more populist distribution of [perceived] power and money. Reading this cold, I can't tell what the movement's purpose is, or what it hopes to achieve; or perhaps it is there, and it's so far distant from what I perceive the movement's purpose to be that I just can't recognize it.
  • The strategy, as it currently exists, is very contradictory in its handling of local/regional/project vs. global/centralized governance. Some of the responses from the strategy team have indicated that there is not an intention to require online projects to strictly adhere to global standards in which they have little to no say; however, that's really not what the documents say, and any time the terms "universal" and "global" are used, that very much implies that these are obligatory structures.
  • There is little recognition that much of the infrastructure discussed here already exists. There has been a global governance body for almost as long as there has been a movement, although it has restricted itself to certain things. There have been governance agreements and rules for off-wiki organized bodies for almost as long as there have been chapters and other off-wiki organized bodies, and these agreements and rules are regularly revised. There should be some recognition that what is sought is improvement and/or changes to existing infrastructure.
  • There does not seem to be any recognition that Wikimedia exists in the real world. Local and regional organized groups must exists within the laws of the place where they are located - even if those laws aren't particularly equitable, or don't permit certain principles or actions that "the movement" thinks is important. The reality that a large number of very complex organizations will need to be set up under a wide array of legal systems and structures in order to achieve the objectives of this strategy is not even mentioned in passing. When we're dealing with charitably-raised donor dollars, the bar is set very high, in just about every jurisdiction. Incidentally....there doesn't seem to be any significant recognition that the movement depends almost entirely on donors (of money, in-kind services, and volunteer content creators and managers).
  • There's no prioritization, and early-stage recommendations that have not been well-vetted or seriously discussed are still in the document.

Finally, I think it is absolutely critical that the Strategy team make clear that earlier versions of the strategies (those presented at Wikimania, those developed post Wikimania, and those in every prior version of what will go to the Board in a few weeks) are NOT WHAT IS BEING PROPOSED ANYMORE. In responses to this round of review, we've seen a lot of referrals to prior versions of the proposed strategy to clarify what is meant in the current version. That's a problem, because it clouds whether what's really being proposed is the current version, or it's the past version reworded so that it's more palatable.

I wish the team doing the final writing a lot of luck, because they have a very challenging job ahead of them. Risker (talk) 07:29, 27 February 2020 (UTC)

Hi Risker, thanks for this feedback. We have heard a great deal to make things more clear, including on who is being addressed and at what level. We'll make sure to address that. The document stresses that nothing will be developed or implemented without involving communities impacted, and this would apply to online communities as well. How could this be made clear and the contradiction you see resolved?
  • Much of the infrastructure exists or has existed at some point, but perhaps not working or at least not optimally so, how can that be addressed if there are so many gaps and voids? I wonder then how/if these existing structures were discussed in the context of various iterations of the roles and responsibilities models? What are your concrete thoughts around the global council and regional support structures / hubs, comparing what exists to what's being proposed here? Your input would be really helpful.
  • Thanks for the reality check regarding laws of where organized groups would/do exist. Although these are very much implementation discussions, based on assessments of where related entities and organized groups of Wikimedians already exist, why couldn't structures be expanded or strengthened considering risks, safety and security? The recommendations suggest things to be done in an emergent way, how can that be improved?
  • Other than concerns around term limits, IPs, and notability, which you had previously shared, what early stage recommendations are you referring to here exactly? This for me contradicts what you say next ... so if these early-stage recommendations are still in the document, then they must be what is being proposed? Everything being proposed is from amongst the 89, plus some phase 1 research. At the same time you say early-stage recommendations are still there, but then say these recommendations are not what's being proposed anymore. Would really welcome guidance from someone with your richness of experience and expertise to make the challenging job ahead easier. MPourzaki (WMF) (talk) 20:53, 27 February 2020 (UTC)

A statement from the Board of Trustees[edit]

Has been published here. Thanks, Raystorm (talk) 16:00, 28 February 2020 (UTC)

Awaiting core team's summary report[edit]

The FAQ page says that the core team will post the summary report today. Is there some delay or something? George Ho (talk) 00:13, 3 March 2020 (UTC)

@George Ho: I believe you talk about this: Strategy/Wikimedia_movement/2018-20/Reports/Summary_of_Movement_Conversations_2020#Learn_more? tufor (talk) 00:46, 3 March 2020 (UTC)
@Tufor: When will the summary report of Meta-wiki feedback arrive? George Ho (talk) 00:57, 3 March 2020 (UTC)
I don't know, I'm not a member of the Team, just a guy that found out about the page linked above via RecentChanges. @SGrabarczuk (WMF): should know better. Cheers, tufor (talk) 01:00, 3 March 2020 (UTC)
Yes, the report has been published. It's here: Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20/Reports/Summary of Movement Conversations 2020. SGrabarczuk (WMF) (talk) 01:03, 3 March 2020 (UTC)

Feedback of the Board of Wikimédia France[edit]

The Board of Wikimédia France thanks for the work that has been done to rewrite the Recommendations and coordinate reflection about the strategy. The new version of the Recommendations in 13 points is more clear, structured and flexible. We appreciated that the community had an opportunity to give a feedback. We would just like to bring up following points:

Readability There has been a real difficulty to understand the long text of these 13 Recommendations, even for English-speaking people, due to the way it has been written. A second difficulty surfaced for translated versions as the somehow confused original text was hard to render in other languages. Moreover, some very important parts of the Recommendations, which contained key concepts, were not available in local languages. A clear wording, a stable and complete translation of the definitive version would help to enhance the acceptance and involvement of the Community.

Communication Channels One point that is important for us as a French-speaking community is the Communication Channels topic (Recommendation 9 - Coordinate Across Stakeholders). One question is: for communication channels, will language barrier be taken in account? The biggest unrepresented community in the movement are the non-English-speaking people. It is a fact that access to the global movement informations, discussions, projects, events and structures is generally conditioned by good skills in English. This prevents a lot of people from participating to decisions. So will there be a corrective to this gap by promoting communication channels in local languages? For passing informations from the English-speaking common channel to the language groups and vice versa, a good investment would be to train facilitators (messengers) who could convey informations from one to other channels in order to make the discussion more "universal" and improve the joint decision-making.

Diversity Bringing more diversity in the Movement is the main focus of these new Recommendations. We strongly support this point and hope we can bring a significant contribution in that field.

Third parties Technology is one of the main services offered by the Foundation to the Movement. By opening this field widely to third parties, especially by selling services, we fear that there will be a risk of conflict of interests (Recommendation 1 - Promote Sustainability and Resilience, Section How, paragraph Financial resources - “tiered” premium service for large users of our API. This part was not translated in French). The opening of the technical field to third parties has to be done in full transparency, especially if Wikimedia develops commercial and structural exchanges with big partners such as GAFAM.

Structure As a Chapter, we were especially interested on changes in structures. In the new draft, we identified the creation of four new structural elements for the Movement : Global Gouvernance Body (Recommendation 5), Movement Charter (Recommendation 2), Code of Conduct (Recommendations 2, 4), Technology Council (Recommendation 9). We wonder if all these four structural elements will be held and highlighted in the final document. We believe that their weight and impact can differ a lot depending on the way (nature of the bodies, prioritization, etc...) they will be treated in the implementation phase. We already notice that the WMF has underlined its strong endorsement for the Universal Code of Conduct which should be developed in collaboration with communities.

We thank you for taking in account our feedback. With regards.

For Wikimédia France Pascale Camus-Walter aka --Waltercolor (talk) 07:54, 4 March 2020 (UTC) - CA / Member of the Board

Salut Waltercolor, thanks for this feedback and in perfect time for next week's integration. Very much taking note of your comments regarding language barriers, diversity, commercializing technology services for commercial users, and movement / governance structures. Thanks for the amazing support for movement strategy and the wealth of input generated from across the French-speaking world. Looking forward to continued close collaboration. Merci beaucoup. MPourzaki (WMF) (talk) 22:46, 4 March 2020 (UTC)

Wikimedia UK Feedback on Movement Strategy Recommendations and Principles[edit]

Overall Feedback[edit]

Wikimedia UK held a staff and board meeting to discuss the movement strategy recommendations on 27th February 2020, which was attended by most staff and half of our trustees. We encouraged volunteers to respond to the recommendations on meta and also invited them to email their comments to me to incorporate in the chapter’s overall feedback. This document therefore reflects some disparate viewpoints, but I have tried to make it clear where there was a strong consensus.

Wikimedia UK would like to thank everyone involved in getting to this point of the strategy process. In particular, we want to acknowledge the contribution of those involved in the working groups, and the volunteer writers who helped to turn the outputs from these groups into the current coherent set of recommendations.

The current version of the strategy is quite distinct from the previous version. Whilst we understand that there were challenges around harmonisation of the content produced by the working groups, this doesn’t quite explain the significant change in direction. It would be useful if the authors could elaborate on the rationale for some of the changes made in, order to provide reassurance to the community; in particular, by clarifying the journey and explaining how the significant work and consultation that has taken place to date has been evaluated and incorporated.

Generally, whilst we recognise the huge effort that has gone into communicating about and engaging people with the strategy process, these communications have not been particularly accessible for those who are short of time, or who are not already engaged. We are therefore concerned about a lack of community buy-in to the recommendations. We wondered how the recommendations would feel to editors on the ground and recognised that there could easily be the perception that this is about more (not less) centralisation.

Given the wide ranging nature of the recommendations, some key issues feel a little buried. Overall, we feel that the strategy now needs some further synthesis to create a sharper and clearer focus. We recommend that this round of review focuses on rationalising and consolidating the list, so that the strategic priorities are clear. We also note that some of the recommendations veer from strategy to proposed solutions, some of which imply the creation of new structures and (in some cases) paid staff roles.

We did not spend a lot of time in our meeting reviewing the principles, however overall there was a shared feeling that these are a strong and clear expression of where we want to be as a movement and what it will look like when we get there. The central themes of decentralisation, equity and subsidiarity - which wove through many of the working group recommendations - feel stronger and more incisive here than in the final 13 recommendations.

We would specifically like to congratulate those involved in creating and defining the Narrative of Change. The level of clarity here is a significant achievement.

There are references throughout the recommendations to the concept (and the importance of) leaders, however it is not clear exactly what is meant by leadership, which may mean different things in different contexts. References to sustainability could also be clearer, as sometimes this is about the sustainability of the movement and at other times it may refer to environmental sustaintainabily. Technology is threaded throughout the document, but there is no explicit and coherent strategy for technical development, and measures will be needed to prevent silos.

As a general note we believe that the strategy needs a much sharper focus on diversity, and intersectional inequalities that need to be named and discussed since these issues cut across geographies. Addressing country wide economic issues may hide or hinder the address of other issues that are important - eg gender, ethnicity, minority and indigenous languages, lgbtqi+, refugees/displaced people.

We also think that a greater emphasis is needed on evaluation, but realise this may form part of the plans for implemention, along with a timetable with scheduled milestones and a review process.

It’s encouraging that the recommendation on prioritising topics for impact references the UN Sustainable Development Goals, however there was a general feeling in our discussion that they could be linked in with many of the other recommendations too. Much of the movement strategy echos the aspirations of the SDGs and other global open knowledge strategies such as the UNESCO Recommendation on OER, but there is very little recognition of this within the strategy as it’s currently framed. The Movement Strategy does rather stand in isolation and we think it could be strengthened significantly by connecting it to other like minded global movements.

The overall ‘feel’ of the strategy at this stage is very inward focused. If this is the desired or required position, the reason for this focus should be elaborated. Building community, advocacy and policy, partner and stakeholder development, awareness and education all feel underplayed.

As part of our discussions we identified a number of areas where we felt the UK could play a role in the implementation of the recommendations, and look forward to sharing these at the Wikimedia Summit and other fora. LucyCrompton-Reid (WMUK) (talk) 16:29, 4 March 2020 (UTC)

WLM International Team feedback[edit]

The WLM international team had an in-person meeting last week. This team has been coordinating the efforts of hundreds of Wikimedians in organizing the world's largest photography competition for the past ten years. The work is supported both financially and otherwise by our movement. Movement affiliates of all types have been involved in the competition, as fiscal sponsor and/or national organizer.

While we generally support the relevant portions of the recommendations, there are a few thoughts we wanted to share:

  • Wiki Loves Monuments has originated from a wild idea, iterating on criticized concepts. It's important to maintain a level of individual mandate, some space to let many flowers bloom, and to try crazy ideas. Reporting, evaluation and approval processes are all great tools, but it needs emphasizing that their effects stack, and can smother an initiative.
  • Wiki Loves Monuments follows the principle of subsidiarity as much as possible: maintaining a federative structure that allows local decision making where possible, and global structure where helpful. We embrace that as a principle. We do recognize that in practice, not everyone agrees on what things should happen locally, and what should happen globally. Some kind of referee or authority that is neither, may be helpful.
  • Finding a home for collaborations is helpful, because it avoids the duplication of structures. This means that it should be interesting to both the host and the collaboration to feel appreciated for this structure, and may require some flexibility in funding structures.
  • Skill building is a tough challenge, and something that needs constant support. How can we encourage groups to better document/share what they know, without offloading a lot of work to them when they agree to put some effort into that? Documenting best practices should not cannibalize on those practices: people who are good at something should be encouraged to share and teach, but not at the cost of them doing what they are good at. Don't punish success with bureaucracy.
  • Getting help from Wikimedia staff members to improve processes and tools currently often requires a lot of personal connections, and/or them sacrificing their volunteer time. Find ways to support volunteer teams with rare skills that the Wikimedia organizations have access to.

I hope these thoughts are helpful in your further considerations. On behalf of the Wiki Loves Monuments international team, Effeietsanders (talk) 06:28, 9 March 2020 (UTC)


The above discussion is preserved as an archive. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.