Talk:Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20/Recommendations/Iteration 3/Promote Sustainability and Resilience

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Freemium[edit]

I thought it worth highlightng "we could explore offering “tiered” premium service for large users of our API." Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 23:41, 20 January 2020 (UTC)

If this idea applied only to absolutely stupid overuses of the API, this could make sense. But seeing as we don't have an API request limit documented anywhere other than the User-agent policy, I don't even know what that level would be. That ignores, of course, the implications for the relationship between the WMF and the community. --AntiCompositeNumber (talk) 01:21, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
The way the idea is commonly proposed is to come up with such limits that large commercial users like Google or Apple would have to pay while everyone else wouldn't. FWIW this idea predates the strategy process (this recommendation incorporates a lot of ideas that have been floating around for a while), and was even the motication for some of the ongoing API development work. --Tgr (talk) 06:47, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
Does Wikimedia need more money? And if so, how would that money benefit the movement more than having the content created by Wikpedia being one of the main sources of information used on those smart devices? 98.113.245.219 07:37, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
In the opinion of the people who have participated in creating this recommendation, it clearly does. To quote from the text, The ambition of our strategic direction will require an increase in revenue for the Movement beyond incremental growth,[11] as the current level will be insufficient to grow our Movement to create local capacity for leadership, decision-making, and accountability and bring about the desired change. The current model, being heavily dependent on banner donations, also lacks resilience against external changes, such as disintermediation trends or cultural shifts that make Wikipedia less attractive to small donors...
The hidden assumption in your other question seems to be that asking for renumeration from very heavy users of our APIs would scare away some of those users and thus reduce the extent Wikimedia content is available on smart devices. That's certainly something to be cautious about, although it seems unlikely to me (there's a huge disparity between what counts as significant cost for e.g. Google and significant revenue for us); such feasibility checks would happen in the implementation phase of the strategy. --Tgr (talk) 08:12, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
@Tgr: Is there a Phabricator ticket? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 09:04, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
@Pigsonthewing: to be more clear, what I'm referring to is that when the new REST API for MediaWiki was designed recently (which was a very overdue change for a number of reasons unrelated to this topic), one of the design goals was to make it sure that that the kind of user management that's typical for paid APIs (user keys and whatnot) is possible. Whether that capability would actually be used within Wikimedia for something like quotas / tiers is not a technical decision, and that decision has not been made (and presumably won't happen on Phabricator), but the design process acknowledged that it might happen in the future.
With that said, the most related Phabricator task is T221161. --Tgr (talk) 09:13, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
"Select a Premium tier to fully access the sum of all knowledge!" --186.54.208.231 23:02, 23 January 2020 (UTC)
Placing any part of any project of the Wikimedia Foundation behind a paywall, is an antithesis to the concept of Open knowledge.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 00:41, 24 January 2020 (UTC)
It of course isn't; all Wikipedia content is under a commercial license for the exact reason that distributors can ask money for it and recoup their costs. Why would the Wikimedia websites themselves be an exception?
The free licence (and in any case our mission and values) compels us to make the content available for free, with no charges, with no restrictions other than license itself, proactively, to everyone. And we do that: it is available via the websites, via APIs with reasonable throttling rules, via downloadable dumps. That does not mean every conceivable way of accessing the content has to be free, even if it is relatively costly to us, even if it is only relevant to large commercial reusers for whom the fees would be trivial. This is well established; we had paid API arrangements in the past.
Also, the assumption that this would mean some things that are now free would become paid is not necessarily true. We already rate limit our APIs today, because server resources are finite; the difference is you can't get faster rates even if you'd be willing to pay. The way tiered APIs were proposed in the past was usually to offer higher request rates to paid users than what we allow today, and use part of that money to cover the extra costs caused to us by those higher rates. --Tgr (talk) 01:13, 24 January 2020 (UTC)

Large user?[edit]

There is also ambiguity in the language. "we could explore offering “tiered” premium service for large users of our API." (my emphasis). What does that mean? That some random professor from a large university making one single query should pay? Or does it really mean large usage, and have the limit at possible thousands or millions of queries per second, not regarding if you belong to a tech giant or are a citizen scientist? Or is this lingo for GAFA? Ainali (talk) 19:00, 11 February 2020 (UTC)

Cultural Change[edit]

We should ensure that cultural change happens? Do you mean cultural change within our movement? Cultural change of societies on this planet? What if nothing changes because some aspects are not supposed to be changed or some things simply work? --Gereon K. (talk) 08:28, 21 January 2020 (UTC)

Within the movement. This refers to the suggestions in the How section, like getting better at recognizing and appreciating contributors. --Tgr (talk) 09:04, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
And, who is expected to change? Forced attempts at "cultural change" don't exactly have a stellar history. Seraphimblade (talk) 01:48, 22 January 2020 (UTC)
Therein lies the opportunity for Movement input, namely for how we together negotiate and move forward with our own changing of our Movement. I agree with you Seraphimblade, that forced change rarely if ever work in the long term. --- FULBERT (talk) 02:30, 22 January 2020 (UTC)
Alright. What if the answer is "We're fine already, thanks"? Seraphimblade (talk) 03:06, 22 January 2020 (UTC)
We are not really "fine allready ": there are clearly levels of incivilities and sometimes a toxic climate generated by a concept of unmoderated "free speech" which is applied only to a certain type of priviledged contributor. We need to talk more about how we feel, we need to empower ourselves to react to toxic behaviors, especially to welcome newbies, underrepresented communities of contributors and solve gender gao issues.Nattes à chat (talk) 09:58, 23 January 2020 (UTC)
The exact terms are "Elaborate a list of indicators to ensure cultural change happens and measure them on a regular basis.". I think monitoring what is happening is indeed important. To initiate action we need indicators, and volunteers allready hve so much to do, that if this can be done in each language by the foundation I find it very useful. Tools like this one measuring the gender gap for exemple need to be updated to include a time scale so that we can measure the impact of our actions efficiently. So total support for elaborating lists of indicators (and in each specific language) Nattes à chat (talk) 10:19, 23 January 2020 (UTC)
@Seraphimblade: I agree forced culture change is doomed to fail, but "nudged" culture change can be a very useful thing. Most real-life culture change is driven by some intentional effort too. Culture does not come from our genes, it's a reflection on our knowledge and experiences, and failures of a culture usually reflect gaps in that knowledge and experience, and those gaps can be bridged with time and effort (a lot of it, admittedly). Also to some extent it reflects the environment (e.g. we tend to be more hostile in environments where we feel unsafe) which is again a thing that can be improved. --Tgr (talk) 01:21, 24 January 2020 (UTC)
  • I think one of the factors that negatively affects the impression given by this particular "deliverable" is that nobody really agrees what our culture is now, or what problems there are with the current culture, what positives there are about current culture, and whether these are localized or global. It starts from the presumption that there is something about the "culture" that needs to be changed. Realistically, there has never been a monolithic culture across projects, nor should there be. There is not a monolithic culture across organized groups, either. I worry a lot about this recommendation, because these kinds of recommendations generally mean "people should be more like me/us" or "this should work the way I/we think it should be" rather than "I/we need to change". There are very good reasons for significant differences in cultures across projects, because different projects require different kinds of volunteers; even in similar projects, cultures vary widely across language groups. We have Wikipedias that are largely bot-generated, ones that have flagged revisions, and apparently there are some projects that may not be written from a neutral point of view (based on certain reports, and denied by others). But nothing would make me happier than to stop hearing how horrible English Wikipedia is; it's nowhere near the least welcoming project, it's nowhere near the most biased project, and it's nowhere near the project where a new user is most likely to be driven away promptly (despite being the project with the biggest trolling/vandalism issues). So it would be nice to start getting more data on the "culture problems" of some of the other projects, not to mention some of the organized groups.
    There may be reason to encourage modifications of localized cultures, but there is no reasonable way that the Wikimedia movement will become a single, unified culture. If we were to become one, I believe we would have failed in the most significant way possible, because we will become inherently far more unwelcoming to others than even the most challenging project is now. Risker (talk) 07:15, 12 February 2020 (UTC)
    apparently there are some projects that may not be written from a neutral point of view (based on certain reports, and denied by others) − to clarify, are you still referring to Wikipedia projects? (Because if not, then sure there are projects not following Neutral point of view [as outlined in the first sentence on that page]). Jean-Fred (talk) 09:41, 12 February 2020 (UTC)

Natural resources?[edit]

Having "Promote Sustainability and Resilience" as number one recommendation makes a lot of sense, but it makes no sense to me that that recommendation manages not to mention natural resources in any way. -- Daniel Mietchen (talk) 10:17, 21 January 2020 (UTC)

User:Daniel Mietchen, do you mean from an environmental sustainability point-of-view? CKoerner (WMF) (talk) 16:00, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
I believe he does, and I share this concern. How can we talk about sustainability and excluding that point of view when there is no knowledge on a dead planet? Ainali (talk) 18:02, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
Indeed. Movement recommendations regarding sustainability and resilience definitely should include environmental aspects, from the environmental footprint of our servers, meetings and travels to assisting humanity in finding information related to the climate crisis and potential ways of mitigation to the environmental impact of open versus non-open knowledge to Wikimedians affected by disasters or responding to them to environmental aspects of global inequity and so on. -- Daniel Mietchen (talk) 01:28, 22 January 2020 (UTC)
This is a useful notice of what now appears as an omission Daniel Mietchen. Going back through previous input, I do not recall this being mentioned before, though may certainly have missed it. I think this should in some way be addressed in the final version. --- FULBERT (talk) 02:31, 22 January 2020 (UTC)
IMO in "from the environmental footprint of our servers, meetings and travels to assisting humanity in finding information related to the climate crisis and potential ways of mitigation" the first part is trivial when compared in impact to the second part, and as such not really a useful optimization target; and the second part, while an important point, does not really fit into this recommendation (which is about ensuring that our movement is on a stable growth path). Prioritize Topics for Impact does touch on it (although it does not call out climate change specifically, as opposed to other global challenges such as poverty or epidemics, but it does apply to it). --Tgr (talk) 01:27, 24 January 2020 (UTC)
Yes, the sustainability this recommendation aims at is for the Movement (with fewer people or with more limited resources, we would not be able to operate or not for a long time). Other recommendations like the Prioritize Topics for Impact look at the consequences of making available certain contents. However, the negative impact we have on the planet just by operating as Movement should fall in between Evaluate, Iterate, and Adapt and Plan Infrastructure Scalability recommendations. --Marcmiquel (talk) 11:44, 26 January 2020 (UTC)--Marcmiquel (talk) 11:44, 26 January 2020 (UTC)--Marcmiquel (talk) 11:44, 26 January 2020 (UTC)

The devil is in the details[edit]

Looking at the recommendation, I find it hard to criticize what has been written; at the same time, I find it hard to endorse what has been written. There's a lot of positive language there, some potential for improving things, yet... well, the section header says it all. The emphasis here is clearly on hiring more people (which will require money) to support us volunteers -- but in what ways? I have been accumulating a list of ways the Foundation could help front-line editors like myself who write the content that attract the views that have made en.wikipedia one of the most visited websites. Some are financial (e.g. grants or reimbusements for research materials), but many would incur minimal cost, such as providing instructions on how to deal with slander/libel laws around the world, or how to obtain Wikimedian-in-Residence positions. I can't help but suspect the outcome of this proposal will simply be to justify raising & allocating funds for people to travel to meetings around the world to gather input that will be used to facilitate planning further meetings to accomplish more of the same -- & which will have minimal effect on improving content. I would not be so concerned about this -- many groups that promote the expansion of useful knowledge are unavoidably saddled with a parasitic bureaucracy -- but it has become clear that a number of people who meet at these meetings to plan for meetings are making a very good living, doing nothing to sustain we volunteers who are doing the vital albeit low-level work. Which becomes one more reason to stop being a volunteer. -- Llywrch (talk) 18:57, 21 January 2020 (UTC)

You are raising some helpful ideas Llywrch. I wonder if the list you have developed can be broken out to the various Recommendations where they fit best, and be added there? That could be useful for others to see them and perhaps share agreement or engage additional conversation, which can then build more consensus around the missing items to work toward their inclusion? --- FULBERT (talk) 02:34, 22 January 2020 (UTC)
This is a very valid concern. Inappropriate or ineffecient use of travel scholarships and in-person meetings is, AFAIK, a commonly raised issue and it does sometimes seem to have little impact on online content (I'd be able to say more on that if I switch to my volunteer account, I guess).
However, the recommendation doesn't really address such events or expenditures, at least not explicitly. This is the first of 13 recommendations that complete each other: thus, the increase in revenue and staff it calls for is intended to support implementing the rest of the recommendations with their different outcomes. As many of these otucomes require more staff support and funding, there comes the purpose. Does this make it more clear? --Abbad (WMF) (talk) 15:22, 22 January 2020 (UTC).
Maybe I've been exposed to too much corporate advertising, but whenever I encounter a message that sounds good I usually suspect it is a diversion from the true aims of the organization -- which is to sell me a lot of worthless stuff or services I don't need. My suspicions strengthen when I find an absence of tangible details in the message. So when I read the statement on the article page, as much as I want to assume good faith I can't avoid suspecting it is so much verbiage to justify increasing the fundraising target & use the additional money in ways that don't benefit content creation. As I said above, the devil is in the details. And despite my skeptical tone -- both here & elsewhere -- I would honestly enjoy being proven wrong about my suspicions. -- Llywrch (talk) 21:02, 22 January 2020 (UTC)

Translation feedback[edit]

Voici un document qui dès le premier paragraphe mentionne les "utilisateurs et les donateurs". Mais quoique me considérant parfois non binaire j'ai été assignée femme à la naissance, je me genre au féminin et sauf erreur, ce document est rédigé au masculin, masculin qui m'exclut d'emblée alors que le mouvement a une philosophie d'inclusivité et s'est attelé à la réduction du fossé des genres depuis longtemps. Dès lors j'irai m'exprimer sur la version anglophone, puisque je suis exclue de la version dans ma langue maternelle. I do not feel included in this version as a woman given the fact that I am a woman and the document uses the masculine from from the very first paragraph. Therefore I will not comment in my native language, given the fact that I am able to do so in English. Nattes à chat (talk) 18:07, 20 January 2020 (UTC)

So in fact the rest of the document is far better than the first paragraph. Thank you for taking this so seriously, I appreciate the effort. Nattes à chat (talk) 22:38, 20 January 2020 (UTC)
Thanks for sharing this Nattes à chat. I recall the issue of translation being discussed on several occasions, and while I speak some French, it is not enough to be useful for translation beyond thanking you for your input. --- FULBERT (talk) 02:36, 22 January 2020 (UTC)
Hi FULBERT, here is the complete translation of the first part of what I wrote "Here is a document that from the very first paragraph metions "users and donators" (note : in the masculine form in French "utlisateurs et donateurs"). Although I sometimes consider myself as non binary, I have been assigned female at birth and I use the female form to identify myself, and this document was written in th masculine form, which excludes me from the beginning, when the movement promotes a philosophy of inclusivity and has dedicated itself to tackle gender gap issues for a long time. Therefore, I will write only on the anglophone version, as I am excluded from this version in my native language.

(I must add that after checking the rest of the document was in general fine, but I thought that because the second page started in the masculine form it would continue like that). I have offered my help to translate the remaining masculine forms, but as this is an official document it cannot be edited from what I understand, so my first changes were reverted. I have received assurance however that this would be adressed so I hope it will.Nattes à chat (talk) 02:46, 23 January 2020 (UTC)

What do we need additional funding for?[edit]

That's the question, isn't it? To my knowledge, the current level of funding is more than sufficient to support the operation and maintenance of Wikimedia sites. The document seems to assume that more money is needed, but—why? What's it for? Without that, this document is incomplete, as the need to increase revenue isn't even made clear. Seraphimblade (talk) 00:30, 22 January 2020 (UTC)

Do you mean in general Seraphimblade, or here specifically in Promote Sustainability and Resilience? --- FULBERT (talk) 02:37, 22 January 2020 (UTC)
FULBERT, I mean in general. If one of our strategic priorities is going to be "Make more money", the question remains: Why? What do we need that for? What will it be used for? How much is that projected to cost? The proposal states The ambition of our strategic direction will require an increase in revenue for the Movement beyond incremental growth,[11] as the current level will be insufficient to grow our Movement to create local capacity for leadership, decision-making, and accountability and bring about the desired change., but what's all that extra money needed for, and if the strategy isn't already decided (which, if community feedback is being sought in good faith, presumably it has not), then what in specific do we need any additional money for, over and above what we already bring in today? If we're good on money, then we could better spend time on other efforts. Seraphimblade (talk) 03:03, 22 January 2020 (UTC)
@Seraphimblade: the strategy proposal includes a recommendation on how to fund that strategy. Seems like a reasonable thing to me, whether it's accepted or not. Obviously if all the other recommendations get rejected, this one will become somewhat moot. (Although the ambitious strategic direction is not the only reason for needing new revenue mechanisms; as the document says, The current model, being heavily dependent on banner donations, also lacks resilience against external changes, such as disintermediation trends or cultural shifts that make Wikipedia less attractive to small donors. The internet seems to be moving towards users largely interfacing with information through virtual assistants and other smart interfaces which repackage information as it best suits them, instead of directing users to the website which is the source of the information; so our banner donation model has a somewhat uncertain future.) --Tgr (talk) 18:24, 24 January 2020 (UTC)
Seraphimblade, I think it is more realistic to ask, to what extent can a portion of the recommendation be supported using the existing level of overall funding, by reducing the portion of it that is now used for some purposes. This obviously depends of the cost of those portions selected for receiving support, and the cost and essential nature of the current activities to receive decreased funding, both of which are much more complicated questions than suitable here. (Though I think anyone reading this is likely to interpret this to mean decreasing the size of the central organization). DGG (talk) 18:48, 25 January 2020 (UTC)

Value of people[edit]

What does it mean that we need "better means of valuing the people who are already in our Movement"? A social rank? Skill badges? Performance reviews? I don't understand it. How is that critical? --186.54.208.231 22:47, 23 January 2020 (UTC)

It is meant in the regard highly; think much of; place importance upon sense of the word, not measuring their value. It includes things like better recognizing volunteer achievements, showing appreciation, or giving support. --Tgr (talk) 18:17, 24 January 2020 (UTC)

It is not only the value of people as an aspect of quantity but of quality. It proposes to create more mechanisms to appreciate and give support to people so we can have a safer environment (with less dropoff, basically) and constant renewal of roles. Likewise, building a culture of appreciation of people means to value other metrics than edit count, and more profiles than the editor. Every profile valuable to the Movement should be recognized as such by everyone in the Movement. --Marcmiquel (talk) 11:30, 26 January 2020 (UTC)

Endowment[edit]

Why can't Wikimedia Foundation, create an endowment, which can be invested, thus creating a consistent internal revenue base? It works for universities, why not Wikimedia Foundation?--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 00:45, 24 January 2020 (UTC)

Would Wikimedia Endowment be what you have in mind? Jean-Fred (talk) 11:14, 24 January 2020 (UTC)
I was previously unaware that that existed. Thanks @Jean-Frédéric:!--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 04:18, 30 January 2020 (UTC)

Highlights from the Arabic Speaking Conversations - Promote Sustainability and Resilience[edit]

On the first week of community conversations, 11 members of the Online Arabic speaking community discussed the first recommendation "Promote Sustainability and Resilience" on the Arabic Wikipedia Facebook group. Comments from editors were positive and supportive to the recommendation, with a special mention to the strong support for the suggestion of hiring people at the local level, and to have dedicated staff for the region, because "volunteering is not sustainable, especially for non-editing tasks". Some editors participated also in giving suggestions for improvement/change to the recommendation, by suggesting the recommendation to add that "if we want to recruit new members, specific outreach strategies need to be defined as part of the strategy". Other suggestions mentioned "showing appreciation to volunteers by making the number of visits for articles they wrote/edited easier to see for all" as a mean of appreciation, and "diversify sources of revenue, by considering paid editing/software workshops and trainings organized by local groups". -- ASedrati (WMF) (talk) 11:07, 26 January 2020 (UTC)

Feedback from French-speaking Wikimedians about Promote Sustainability and Resilience[edit]

  • There was defiance from a couple of users about financial aspects (who will be funded for what). They think resources and capacity building should be directed towards the editing community in priority.
  • Others said the recommendation is right to advocate to secure income and editor retention.

See feedback links and context here.

DRanville (WMF) (talk) 16:24, 28 January 2020 (UTC) - French Strategy Liaison

Some personal feedback below[edit]

  • In How > Financial Resources section, I would remove the non-commercial attribute. This may lead to confusion regarding the licenses we are using in some of our projects, and the possibility of 3rd parties using content or software in a commercial fashion. I think non-profit or similar wording might be far better.
  • In the same section as above, the suggestion of monetizing APIs is something I see potentially troubling if not dealt with care, since I am afraid it might lead to equity problems separating first-class and second-class API users.
  • In Expected Outcomes > People, "grow communities and hire dedicated local staff, when relevant, who are part of the communities they serve, to increase community involvement in leadership and the ability to advocate on their own behalf." This is something somehow I might agree, but I feel it needs to be put in place together with volunteering, transparency / "working in open" and movement governance bodies considerations, otherwise it might end up having unwanted results.

--Toniher (talk) 22:25, 28 January 2020 (UTC)

  • I agree that "non-commercial" is a poorly chosen word here, given that we precisely do not allow strictly "non-commercial" licenses. Something like "that products and properties created by the Movement remain non-commercial freely accessible, freely reusable, and available to anyone free of charge." Even there, wording might be added to make it clear that others may make commercial use of them, as long as there are also channels through which these things can be accessed without charge. - Jmabel (talk) 03:28, 29 January 2020 (UTC)

"Partners"[edit]

"Some of our partners are impacted by our current failures to provide metrics on their contributions’ usefulness, lack of some Movement stakeholders’ ability to commit to long-term planning, and a limited vision of our mutual accountabilities without public recognition."

What does "partners" mean here? Organizations we work with? Individual contributors? Because while the former doubtless have some need of metrics and formal recognition, many of the latter would really rather do without much "public recognition." - Jmabel (talk) 03:12, 29 January 2020 (UTC)

Promoting People and their work regularly (Some people work and don’t get proper recognition, that may impact on their passion and flow of work. We have discussed to bring this on)

This is a quote of the cited source, so I'd say it probably includes individual contributors in addition to organizations. Some editors may not prefer this "recognition" (I'm not sure if it ought to be 'public'), but since this is coming from an existing Wikimedia community, it's evidence that at least some may also like to be more recognized --Abbad (WMF) (talk) 17:23, 2 February 2020 (UTC).

Conflict between paid work and volunteerism[edit]

There is inevitably a conflict involved in trying to get some people to volunteer for free while others are being paid or otherwise compensated. I realize that a document like this cannot go into this at any depth, but it seems to me that it should at least acknowledge the conflict and mention it as something we already have to deal with and will have to deal with all the more if there is more money in our "ecosystem." - Jmabel (talk) 03:32, 29 January 2020 (UTC)

The document specifically mentions paid work as a way to "compensate people for non-editing volunteerism". While non-editing activities are still often (or even mostly) tended to be volunteers, paid staff already comprise a very significant percentage of Movement organizers, and this long standing situation doesn't seem to raise a wide controversy compared to paid editing. Nevertheless, you're completely right in that, advocating for it as part of a Strategic vision, it may well receive a different reaction than the de facto situation. Addressing the potential conflict will be potentially considered within the final revision --Abbad (WMF) (talk) 17:32, 2 February 2020 (UTC).
A problem is that by paying for some functions, but not editing, we're saying "these functions are more important than editing, so we're willing to pay for them." That kind of makes sense in terms of the functions that are necessary to keep the wikis up and running, and that require unique and marketable skills - thinks like managing the servers and developing the mediawiki software - but once you get to other functions, it's hard to argue that they're more important than the editing that makes up the core mission.
Not to mention that if something is compensated (more than a simple reimbursement for expenses), it stops being volunteerism. TomDotGov (talk) 18:16, 2 February 2020 (UTC)

Feedback from Wikiwomen Group on Sustainability and Resilience[edit]

Individual Feedback on Content

Supporting development of affiliates 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.

Regional Hubs
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.

Impact and funds dissemination
It's recommended to clarify the movement's definition of 'impact'. This means that there would be a clearer set of criteria around funds distribution based on what impact projects are expected to have on people and on knowledge equity.

Decision making from the ground-level
It's also recommended that more of the decision-making power for funds dissemination will sit closer to the communities using the funds. It has been suggested that there should be more focus on local communities with regional hubs rather than global communities such as global grants program within an overall framework established at a global level.

Overall, it was observed there should be more clarity on the involvement of chapters/user-groups in the process since they will be needed to be involved actively for the implementation phase. RSharma (WMF) (talk) 21:01, 30 January 2020 (UTC)

plain english version[edit]

Because I find the readability of the Promote Sustainability and Resilience recommendation problematic, I have created a translation from what I'd call "consultant-speak" to Plain English. It's at User:Vexations/Promote Sustainability and Resilience Please edit my translation if you think I misrepresented the intent of the writers of the source document. It wanted to make the language clearer, not to express my opinion. Now that I have made my best effort at articulating what I think they're trying to say, I'm in a better position to critique it, and I think others might be as well. I wish I could find out who the writers were to give them a courtesy ping, but I can't find their user names anywhere (and yes, this strikes me as antithetical to the ethos of any Wiki* movement). Anyway, I hope this helps, Vexations (talk) 20:28, 31 January 2020 (UTC)

Thank you so much for taking the time to do this! There has been an amount of readability complaints and this kind of language revision will be very helpful in fine-tuning the recommendations later in March.
I find your version very appropriate for community consultations given the straightforward language. I would like to point out that such additions as the one you omitted (e.g. from the Expected Outcomes) are intended to make these outcomes measurable and actionable for the implementation phase. It does make sense, though, that they are not super relevant to readers at this point --Abbad (WMF) (talk) 17:37, 2 February 2020 (UTC).

Feedback from Portuguese-speaking community[edit]

Two users on Telegram support recommendations 1 and 2 in general. They hope that, in order to value and retain funcionaries and provide diversity, their wages do not vary profoundly depending on which country they live as that it may lead to them being hired by other companies. LTeles (WMF) (talk) 22:22, 31 January 2020 (UTC)

Editor retention[edit]

The "Why" says that "Contributor retention depends on multiple factors" and links to https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Strategy/2017/Reports/Features_and_Programs_report_summary, which mentions retention once: "Retention and win-back programs". The proposed outcome that seems to come closest to doing something about loss of experienced editors is "Design systems to track and support contributors taking up new roles, to increase their satisfaction and productivity over the life of their participation." I'm not a fan of getting "tracked", but I suppose a more charitable interpretation is that we can try to measure editor contributions, see if we can detect changes in editing patterns, figure out if they correlate to leaving and try to learn something from that. I remember a (flawed IMO) proposal to measure the effect of giving barnstars to people to see if that improved retention. (Research:How role-specific rewards influence Wikipedia editors’ contribution) Other research on the subject has been done, no doubt. So, how is it that we don't say: for the purpose of developing strategy, we need to have some degree of certainty about our assumptions. There is a huge amount of research on Wikipedia. How come there is no review article that summarizes what we already (ought to, anyway) know to be true about ourselves? Let's start with that. If I'd have to guess, we'll find that people leave because they don't feel respected. There are opportunities for changes to the software to express trust or otherwise endorse editor contributions that ought to be looked at for their feasibility. The outcome I'd like to see added then, would be: Write or commission a review article on editor retention. Based on these findings, propose a set of tools and processes that improve experienced editor retention, and facilitate bringing new editors into the community. Develop a protocol for researching that is respectful of contributor's wishes to be part of an experiment. (Concretely: add a preference that defaults to "do not experiment on this user") and then test these tools on a small scale with willing participants before proposing them to the larger wikis. Vexations (talk) 13:36, 1 February 2020 (UTC)

The Working Group members who wrote this (and the other recommendations) did look into a whole lot of past research, reports from Phase 1 of Strategy, volumes of community input and even work with external experts and researchers. Given the vast amount of tasks they had on their plate, as volunteers, it wasn't very reasonable to ask them to look into more, although there's definitely an extremely valuable body of past research that can still be visited in the implementation phase (starting later this year). As for your proposal, I really like the idea of a adding a preference for "experimenting", that should be a primary standard to cope with Wikimedia principles. It's also evident that the "tracking" word can be fairly problematic for similar reasons. Well noted --Abbad (WMF) (talk) 17:58, 2 February 2020 (UTC).

The Wikimedia Wrong Concepts, topic 1 according official list[edit]

1. Sustainability and Resilience

The fight between users has been a destruction program, based on the reality (not bla-bla-bla) created from the actittudes by the users OURselves. Actually, The Wikimedia Foundation haven't recognized its structure and phylosophy bringing the own problems. The Wikimedia decided to adopt a hierarchical classes: administrator, robot, blockers, et coetera. The authority doesn't exist by legislation features, enpowering a couple of more frequent users!!! (LoL) but from the knowledge. When I say "Knowledge" it means the authority of a) first, the prove; b) second, the argumment. It DOESN'T NEED blockers, cause such act means censure, which must be applied only to vandalism on the article. So, the Resilience becomes to be the fight for maintenance of individual interesses, thus ideologies, passions, fanatisms, what takes all of this negativity to block the truth. Such system, anyway, CANNOT BE sustainable.

The Sustainability means the knowledge empire, not a vanity empire. The foundamental work of this system, maybe called Wikipedia, is writing, okay? It's very simple idea, and I told to you all, there are registers, through the no-agressive campaign "PAY THE AUTHORS NOW", in other to make you all understand there's no encyclopedia if writers come to desappear, alright??? So, in the same time, this kind of system needs a network. But this network CANNOT BE determined by frenectic numbers of access, feeding the ambicious addiction. Is it finally clear? Do you all understand this criteria kills the knowledge and its authority? And disturbes the use and goal for both editor and reader? Good.

Of course, there is a solution to this problem. But some species of members prefer to deny, cause it's very interesting to maintenance of own power and money. The system acquires a cruel status of casta or clergy, beyound the blocks of text, the spa travels to discuss nothing, or nothing minds, called unofficially "Wikitours" or "Wikitravels". This money HAS TO BE employed to the authors and networkers, framed on a new Wikimedia system, by criteria of number of types resting on page for 5 years. The control of networkers HAS TO BE ONLY against vandalism. If the information (for God, I said "information", not versions, what "information" means: sustenaible on statistical numbers, citation or LOGICAL argumment), if the information was inputed, so it´s NOT ALLOWED to delete or block, unless for freedom of expressive. Is it an argumment, a logical argumment? Good. If the information is a doubt, so the networkers HAVE TO contact the professors (or specialists) college of this language, chosed by a cientific criteria: testified curriculum. Do you all understand that this college DOESN'T MEAN ONLY REAL PROFESSORS? Thank you.

In suma, the system of knowledge is sustainable on; a) writers, Wikimedia pays by 5 years old types; b) specialist college, Wikimedia pays for each intervention by types in question (according another type/cent of dollar relation); c) other networkers, who interest to censure, competition, fight, block, clean, reign, authority, ideologies, control, selfmerchandise, travel, status and misfreedom of information, HAVE TO DELETE vandalismo, cause it is the unique banned expression. Do you all understand? Thanks you all. Maybe, now the Wikimedia Foundation BEGINS its journey to Knowledge Society.--Camillo Cavalcanti (talk) 00:36, 11 February 2020 (UTC)

Source for lack of contributions?[edit]

I was under the impression, not the least from all the hackathons, that there are many more than just staff that contribute to the software. But the statement "Successful open-source software projects tend to rely on a wide array of stakeholders with diverse goals and interests sharing the resource burden (money, staff, volunteer time, etc.) of improving the software, which does not currently happen for our platform." bluntly says that there is no volunteer time being spent on improving our platforms. That seems false, but what is the source for this bold claim? Ainali (talk) 19:05, 11 February 2020 (UTC)

@Ainali: See eg Talk:Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20/Working Groups/Product & Technology/Recommendations/7, where Tgr indicated e.g. 80% of MediaWiki core commits in the last 90 days are from WMF+WME, and a further 19% from volunteers, most of whom are largely Wikimedia-affiliated; the contribution of non-Wikimedian organizations is about 1%. Jean-Fred (talk) 19:11, 11 February 2020 (UTC)
Thanks. But that cannot be the source for the statement of no volunteer time if it shows ~20%. Such rounding error would be negligent. Ainali (talk) 19:18, 11 February 2020 (UTC)
But I don’t think that’s what this statement says. I do find the sentence very clear Successful open-source software projects tend to rely on a wide array of stakeholders with diverse goals and interests sharing the resource burden (money, staff, volunteer time, etc.) of improving the software, which does not currently happen for our platform so I’m not sure how to put it differently. ^_^ I guess it sort of means roughly “no-one contributes to MediaWiki besides WMF/WMDE staff and a few Wikimedia volunteers” (which is not saying that "no volunteer is contributing”) − the stat the contribution of non-Wikimedian organizations is about 1% does support that. Jean-Fred (talk) 20:53, 11 February 2020 (UTC)
Here is a suggestion to put it differently that would be backed by the stats that was reported. "Successful open-source software projects tend to rely on a wide array of stakeholders with diverse goals and interests sharing the resource burden (money, staff, volunteer time, etc.) of improving the software. Except for volunteers contributing time, this does not currently happen for our platform." Ainali (talk) 21:01, 11 February 2020 (UTC)
  • I'd suggest that there is an inherent bias in the baseline data being used to support this recommendation. While almost all of the commits to core will be from staff/affiliate developers, that is because volunteer developers (a) are much less likely to be granted commit authorization and (b) tend to contribute at a non-core level. For example, they can be writing scripts, templates, managing interfaces, developing localized improvements, creating gadgets and so on. Several of them over the years have successfully applied for grants to support their development work for non-core software. In other words...volunteers are doing lots of technical work, just not the stuff that shows up on easily-gathered statistics like contributions to MediaWiki core. There is definitely something to be said for providing greater support, and for finding ways to better utilize their hard work across multiple wikis and/or projects. Risker (talk) 03:39, 12 February 2020 (UTC)
    Really, I don’t see where it’s said there are no volunteers developers. Of course there are volunteers doing lots of technical work (I should know − I have written scripts, templates, have interface admin rights and develop gadgets − among other things).
    As for the metric I quoted earlier, I would suggest reading the fuller quote at Talk:Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20/Working Groups/Product & Technology/Recommendations/7 which is perhaps clearer: [the draft recommendation was] more about users who invest back though, as a vibrant ecosystem requires multiple sources of resource influx, and that's currently not really the case for MediaWiki - the amount of funding going to non-Wikimedian groups working on MediaWiki is relatively small (anecdotally; we don't have good measures) and the amount of work that's done by non-Wikimedians but is useful for the Wikimedia movement is even smaller (again, anecdotally; we don't have great stats […].
    Jean-Fred (talk) 09:27, 12 February 2020 (UTC)

Highlights from the Spanish Speaking Conversations - Promote Sustainability and Resilience[edit]

About 70-80 present in conversations at different degrees (not everyone said something, of course). Overall, it is a recommendation well received, despite some issues that community want to point out or needs clarification. Community values that the movement can edit in several different projects.

The main opposition comes from users in es.wikipedia Village Pump, where there is a perception of "mercantilization" of the projects in recomendation such as this one.

Among the points that need clarification, there are questions about the use of "non commercial" in the text, because of the implication of the wording when it comes to licensing. Also, there is a rejection on the usage of the term "Developing Countries".

There are concerns that if 50% of WMF budget goes to developing countries, some current affiliates might have to decrease their activities. Also, the text talks about "honoraria and stipends" for volunteers, but if they received such, they would be no longer volunteers. Also, concerns about what would happen if some people in adverse context receives honoraria for doing the same activities that volunteers are doing elsewhere, even if they understand the context of such countries.

When it comes to tracking systems, and it is general for any other points where documentation is demanded, they don't want volunteers to fill documents and other time-consuming activities, and ask for staff to do so.--FFort (WMF) (talk) 10:41, 13 February 2020 (UTC)

Highlights from the Catalan Speaking (Valencian) Conversations - Promote Sustainability and Resilience[edit]

About five people present in different ways, giving feedback via both formal and informal channels. Different backgrounds.

Being aware of the need of resilence for communities, the recommendation is seen as dangerous because it open a door for paid editing, such as other recommendations (API use) also open doors for what it is perceived as a merchantilization of the movement.

Doubts about "multilingual professional training". Veteran volunteer wikimedians might not have the skills or the interest in doing workshops for fellas. Fear of professional training and doubts about what would happen with them once enough people has received training.

Micro-essay about Fundraising Strategies: Right now there are three ways of raising funds, the most usual two are microdonation (WMF) and offering services to paying entities (GLAM and Education). Since microdonation / banner is the funding path more aligned with volunteer/editor ideal, and this is a private matter of WMF and WMDE, we find that if we want to invest more in Global South, WMF has to fund regular affiliates with less money, which have to find new avenues of funding. This opens the door to an unexplored income path (at least for us/outside the U.S.) - big donations for affiliates. Doubt: What if a company called Gas X donates so much that it can afford to control a local chapter? This would crack the independence of the local chapter.

Resilience in South: We find much more interesting, and in line with what people are asking there, to give money to Universities (or other serious entities) there so they can have good Internet and some infrastructure that allows a local Wikiclub to grow, instead of donating money directly to individuals who might regard this as an income way instead of a collaboration.--FFort (WMF) (talk) 10:51, 13 February 2020 (UTC)

Feedback from Hindi Community Members on Sustainability and Resilience[edit]

7 users supported having dedicated local staff on various grounds. It was commented that local staff can provide better assistance in professional works, especially, for structured growth of community/affiliate, provide facilitation in coordination of tasks and the work efficiency would be improved for paid community advocate. It was mentioned if the local community consents for this, then affiliate staff can be appointed. There was oppose from one user for non paid compensation or staff for affiliate. It was mentioned that there should be more clarity on the involvement of chapters/user-groups in the process since they will be needed to be involved actively for the implementation phase. It was also recommended to clarify the movement's definition of 'impact'. There should be a clearer set of criteria around funds distribution based on the impact projects are expected to have on people and on knowledge equity. RSharma (WMF) (talk) 14:30, 14 February 2020 (UTC)

Feedback from Office Hours from 2 February and 9th February with members from Emerging communities from South Asian and Africa[edit]

Anass Sedrati (Strategy Liaison - Arabic) and Rupika Sharma (Strategy Liaison - Hindi) hosted Office hours on two Sundays (February 2nd and 9th) to discuss with members of Emerging communities from South Asia and Africa. Overall, around 50 people in total participated in either of the calls, representing various areas and regions.

Regarding recommendation 1, around 10 people expressed their support. Members endorsed the idea of Paid APIs and local staff for affiliates. It was mentioned that the API Security process needs to be thought about more thoroughly. Overall there was support for paid APIs. It was also argued that currently the third party organizations benefit from the movement's open source softwares but they don't share the profit made from softwares of the Wikimedia movement. There was strong support for hiring dedicated local staff for growing communities. It was added that we need to understand and expatriate on "when relevant" as this is relative. So it should be well spelt out and well interpreted and understood by the community in the implementation stage. It was mentioned by users that API should be studied in depth before application. Another user suggested that there should be more attention paid to communities in different parts of the world. There are issues in communicating problems and people have problems getting resources for different projects. Grant-making needs to be made more, the current the grant allocation system is slow and there is clear shortage of staff resources and something should be done for it. This is one of the most prominent gaps that communities face for sustaining community growth. There were questions regarding API, if its access is sold, will there be dedicated marketing and Sales staff pushing for this? Another comment was made on API’s use in revenue streams - if it is developed by volunteers for free, then would the volunteers work on it also get funds for compensation? RSharma (WMF) (talk) 19:56, 16 February 2020 (UTC)

@RSharma (WMF): If ten people supported it, of the remaining 40 that did not support it, how many opposed it, and how many did not express support or opposition? TomDotGov (talk) 21:51, 16 February 2020 (UTC)

Feedback about Fundraising[edit]

(This is intended to be included in the feedback that will be collected and summarized by the "core team", as described at [1])

Sustainability is not just a matter of acquiring more funds - it's a matter of prioritizing current and future goals to make sure that the projects that are most important to the mission can be sustained indefinitely. (This includes paying for servers hosting, maintenance of the servers and Mediawiki software, legal support, and the amount of fundraising needed to support those core projects.) Beyond that, it's important to realize that fundraising comes with its own set of costs. Putting banner ads between a reader and the information that reader is seeking makes the sites less convenient, and has the potential to divert that user to other sources of information, or even to the same information hosted in other places.

While it may be possible to cover some cost of new projects by selling API access, such a revenue stream seems like it would be unproven until it materializes - the same entities that might pay for API access would also be able to host a database dump, or simply spider the website to acquire the same information.

It's important for the core team, the board, and the members of community to realize that whole a project might have a benefit on its own, the cost of acquiring the funds to support that project can lead to a net negative for the project, by separating readers from the information that the editors provide to them through freely-given labor. When evaluating these recommendations, I encourage this to be kept in mind - fundraising incurs a cost to the mission in its own right. TomDotGov (talk) 20:44, 16 February 2020 (UTC)

Inclusion of an additional or integrated expected outcome[edit]

Good recommendation. Though it seems to only consider internal forces (People and Structure), and leaves out external forces (on expected outcomes), to be a fully resilient recommendation there might need to be an addition or integration of an external factor, as part of the expected outcomes, since sudden changes, disruptions, and disturbances might be external to "the essential infrastructure of the ecosystem of free knowledge”, --Douglaseru (talk) 23:45, 20 February 2020 (UTC)

Feedback from Wikimedians for Sustainable Development[edit]

This is the collective feedback from Wikimedians for Sustainable Development:

  • Having "Promote Sustainability and Resilience" as number one recommendation makes a lot of sense, but it makes no sense to us that that recommendation, while targeting sustainability "in terms of human and financial resources", manages not to mention natural resources at all. How can we pretend that the former are independent of the latter? How can we ignore that humanity is on a very unsustainable path that is very likely to affect individuals and groups within our Movement and amongst our donors in ways that modulate their ability and willingness to contribute?
  • Movement recommendations regarding sustainability and resilience should thus definitely include environmental aspects, highlighting aspirations in at least three dimensions of our efforts:
    1. assisting humanity in finding information related to Sustainability and Resilience at any level and in the languages of their choice,
    2. reducing our Movement's environmental footprint,
    3. strengthening the resilience of Wikimedians affected by disasters, whether natural or human-made.

On behalf of Wikimedians for Sustainable Development , Ainali (talk) 19:38, 21 February 2020 (UTC)


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