Talk:Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20/Recommendations/Manage Internal Knowledge

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Learning assets[edit]

What are learning assets? EllenCT (talk) 05:18, 21 January 2020 (UTC)

@EllenCT: it's a generic phrase for "things that are valuable for learning". Could be wiki pages, documents, videos, MOOCs, even people (e.g. volunteers who are willing to teach/mentor others). --Tgr (talk) 06:53, 21 January 2020 (UTC)

How is the metadata being added?[edit]

Since the difficulty is finding things, how is more useful meta data (or something like key words) being added? Nosebagbear (talk) 12:21, 23 January 2020 (UTC)

(Not having particular insights in this proposal, just based on my reading, interpretation, and common sense)
I assume you are referring to the part It is necessary to encourage the creation of metadata for every piece of internal knowledge to support its findability through a search tool and various types of syndication.
I don’t fully understand your question. Are you asking about how, technically, metadata would be added (as in, in which format, by using which interface etc.) ; or (per the “Since the difficulty is finding things,”) how would one even know that there is something out there that needs metadata?
If the former, this sounds to me like an implementation question, hence to be sorted out in the implementation phase.
If the latter, then it stands to reason that the metadata would in general be added at the time of creation of the documentation itself ; and if not, it’s not because something is in general hard to find at some point by most people, that it was never be found by anyone ever, who could then improve/add metadata. Just coming up with a random example, if there is some amazing documentation written in 2015 partnership with a minority language TV station, which unfortunately is not found by someone doing something similar in 2022 ; there would have been plenty of opportunity in 2015, at the time where that documentation was published and passed around, to add such metadata. Or to take a different example: we have in general a tool discovery issue in the movement − someone may not know about that one tool that would be super-useful to them − but plenty of other people do know about it, and if it were possible for that group to add relevant metadata (picked up, say, by Hay’s directory), then the first group would have better chance to find out about that tool.
(I am not under the impression of saying anything particularly clever here − it’s just some scenarios I find easy to come up with that fit into my interpretation of the text :-)
Jean-Fred (talk) 14:26, 23 January 2020 (UTC)

What is this actually proposing?[edit]

As above. The proposal seems to say very little about what it intends. If it's just "better documentation", just say that. If it's something else, I cannot for the life of me figure out what that something is. Seraphimblade (talk) 11:24, 23 January 2020 (UTC)

It tries to identify and resolve the structural reasons for why we don't have better documentation today - where the software falls short, what incentives are missing for volunteers and for paid staff, etc. --Tgr (talk) 07:49, 24 January 2020 (UTC)

those seem like good questions. --Sm8900 (talk) 23:14, 11 February 2020 (UTC)

Facilitate a culture of documentation[edit]

Umseitig steht

"Facilitate a culture of documentation to be treated as an integral part of Wikimedia’s work and as an outcome in itself by resourcing its creation in key areas, such as capacity building, advocacy, partnerships, and technology"

ich habs deutsch gelesen: da steht noch irgendwas von Geld aber ich habs nicht verstanden. Nun habe ich mir das Original angeguckt und denke mir immer noch; ? Wikimedia will mehr dokumentieren? Das ist das Ergebnis eines strategischen Ziels? Verstehe ich das richtig? Wenn dem so ist hätte ich sowas als Strategie eher dem deutschen Beamtentum zugetraut als einer Orangisation die das hawaiische Wiki im Namen trägt ...Sicherlich Post 21:49, 23 January 2020 (UTC)

(with apologies, your English is a lot better then my German, so I'll stick with English) There are three areas where our documentation is poor: governance and organizational transparency (e.g. project documentation for the WMF and affiliates), technical documentation and wiki help pages. All of those are major pain points: we miss opportunities to learn from each other (e.g. one chapter does a project, makes mistakes and learns from them; another chapter then has a similar project and commits the same mistakes), and developer and new editor onboarding is slow and has a low success rate for volunteers. Experienced editors are the least affected by this, since they have already learnt how the wiki works, but one example that might resonate is how hard it can be to find information about (or just find out about the existence of) technical tools like gadgets or Toolforge tools. --Tgr (talk) 07:57, 24 January 2020 (UTC)

Thats what this sentence means? Don't see it but let me believe you 🙈 -
are there any ideas how to measure this outcome?
and like all the outcome it should be at least "a culture of documentation" not the faciliating of it. ...Sicherlich Post 10:46, 24 January 2020 (UTC)
  • I agree that this sort of documentation is generally useful and helpful. Historically speaking, there was an expectation that organizations document "learnings" from various projects they undertook, regardless of whether the outcome was positive or negative, because everyone could learn from failure as well as success. It seems to me that embracing the learning opportunities in failure is something that has been very seriously deprecated in the last five years; I see some degree of documentation of successes, but very little about things that have not worked out the way that was expected. The WMF has been particularly bad at it, but just about every group (both organized off-wiki groups and on-wiki projects) has been increasingly less willing to document what didn't work and why it didn't work. It is one of the reasons that we are seeing what might be called "already failed" proposals being included in the recommendations: we haven't articulated what went wrong before, so the people on various teams are unable to factor the [potential, unspoken] learnings into recommendations. We depend far too much on oral history within the movement.
    The current lack of documentation - and it *is* a real issue - at least in part derives from the complexity of our movement. Having a useful "help" page in English doesn't solve for issues on projects in other languages. Even experienced developers find much of the technical documentation to be weak. And creating new projects without supporting documentation (I'm looking at you, Wikispace) can doom it to failure.
    Having said this, there is a real cost to creating and maintaining this documentation, and only limited penalties for not developing it and sharing it. Grant-receiving organizations have to make some documentation in order to get more grants. But having a badly developed and maintained technical document does not (for example) prevent that software from being uploaded, used and built upon. And new-language projects start off with no help pages whatsoever until a volunteer comes along and translates from another language - thus requiring volunteers who are interested in doing it AND have the linguistic capability to do the work. Finally, we need to change our attitude toward activities, projects and software that are unsuccessful. We need to return to treating them as learning opportunities, and we also need to say "sorry, but this isn't working", which is something we don't do nearly often enough. Risker (talk) 22:50, 11 February 2020 (UTC)

Is this a strategy at all?[edit]

To me it does not sound like a strategy goal. already the word "internal" sounds an alarm. Taking care of ourself internally is not totally unimportant but if this becomes strategy its a thing we focus on. ... TO me strategy should be something with outreach. Something where we make a difference to the world outside. .... I don't say this point is unimportant. But its rather a tool we need to achieve smth. and not a goal itself ...Sicherlich Post 10:50, 24 January 2020 (UTC)

Thanks for your comment, @Sicherlich:. In fact, I think you are kind of right. The strategy has to do with your situation in relation to a problem or to a scenario. We want to become the essential infrastructure to support free knowledge, and this is certainly external. However, to achieve that, not all we have to do needs to be something with outreach. Manage internal knowledge more efficiently, with more ease, and across areas, will have an impact on how fast we create content and the quality of it; how quick we can expand in the world regions we aren't yet, among others. Therefore, improving at managing internal knowledge has second-order consequences that benefit the whole Movement. Since it is unlocking many other areas' potential, we can say it is strategic. --Marcmiquel (talk) 23:12, 27 January 2020 (UTC)


I am a bit surprised that the word "transparency" does not appear anywhere on this page. Is that better covered somewhere else in this (somewhat sprawling) strategy document? - Jmabel (talk) 03:38, 29 January 2020 (UTC)

@Jmabel: Transparency is one the principles outlined in Strategy/Wikimedia_movement/2018-20/Recommendations/Principles#Transparency_&_openness. Hope that helps, Jean-Fred (talk) 09:50, 29 January 2020 (UTC)
@Jean-Frédéric: Shouldn't that page be linked somewhere on this page? Far weaker connections get links elsewhere in the document. - Jmabel (talk) 15:48, 29 January 2020 (UTC)
It's linked in the left column on each strategy page. Maybe these links to important information aren't visible enough. Alice Wiegand (talk) 16:08, 29 January 2020 (UTC)
It does seem that everyone (including me!) is funnelled through diving head-on into the 13 recommendations (which are very detailed) ; but ultimately I found the cover-note and the principles much gentler introduction into the recommendations. And indeed the Get Started section literally says : To understand how the recommendations all connect, we suggest reading the narrative of change first. […] To gain a deeper understanding of ideas that underpin the recommendations and have informed their development, please read through the principles that have informed the development of the recommendations.. But who reads instructions ;-) − Maybe these links should just be moved before the numbered list on the home page.
Jean-Fred (talk) 18:15, 29 January 2020 (UTC)
I wasn't saying the link was nowhere on the page, but that is more of a navigation tool. Quite a few of these link to each other within their body; this seems to me to be another case that calls for that. It isn't even mentioned in the Connection to other recommendations. - Jmabel (talk) 17:24, 1 February 2020 (UTC)

Highlights from the Spanish Speaking Conversations - Manage Internal Knowledge[edit]

About 70-80 present in conversations at different degrees (not everyone said something, of course). Among the participants there is support, but there are complaints on how this has been made so far.

They don’t oppose the recommendation, but are strongly against using their time to fill metrics. They don’t care if it is done by WMF staff or Affiliate staff, but complete opposition to let volunteers do it.--FFort (WMF) (talk) 16:36, 13 February 2020 (UTC)

Highlights from the Catalan Speaking (Valencian) Conversations - Manage Internal Knowledge[edit]

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

This recommendation is perceived as similar to the previous one, but with even less mention of money. So, they get very much in favor.

Doubts: Who creates the metadata? People like the culture of documentation: who documents? It will be a problem because Amical doesn't likes payed staff but every other agent in the region has set a position clearly against volunteers filling documentation for WMF.--FFort (WMF) (talk) 16:36, 13 February 2020 (UTC)

Feedback from Hindi Community for Manage Internal Knowledge[edit]

Three users supported a participatory, multi-lingual, and searchable knowledge-base system with access to all Movement learning assets. It was mentioned that this can provide more visibility in the information that the community may wish to know. RSharma (WMF) (talk) 15:20, 14 February 2020 (UTC)

Feedback from Portuguese-speaking community[edit]

From a member of Wikimedia Portugal: Cleaning, organizing, improving our contents is needed. Not sure if it should be a new platform though.

A female user on Telegram thinks that if we better organize our own information regarding rules and procedures, it will be easier for newcomers to join and contribute on wikis. Mentions that the document is closely related with her routine on wikis and how difficult it is to learn about them. LTeles (WMF) (talk) 03:05, 20 February 2020 (UTC)