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Latest comment: 3 years ago by Dagelf in topic Time frames

Renaming plan sections and Celtic Knot 2020 report[edit]

Thank you to the design group for all their work on these plans over the past few weeks. You have achieved a lot in a short space of time. I have only two comments. The first is to suggest that you might want to consider renaming one of the 'small events' - at the moment the plan includes 1. Small events, 2. Big events, 3. Small events. I found that a bit confusing - perhaps it should be something like 1. Small introductory events, 2. Big events, 3. Small concluding events. My second comment is just to add that Wikimedia UK and our partners produced quite extensive documentation of the recent online Celtic Knot conference, which I'm sharing here in case it's of use to the design group or the staff at the Foundation who will be organising these events: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/WikiProject_remote_event_participation/Documentation/Celtic_Knot_conference_-_July_2020 LucyCrompton-Reid (WMUK) (talk) 13:38, 7 August 2020 (UTC)Reply

  • Hi Lucy, thanks for your naming suggestion, makes a lot of sense, noted. Thanks also for the reference to the Celtic Knot conference. Would be great to touch base with you and organizing colleagues once our plan is a little bit more concrete, so we can build on your lessons learned. Appreciated. MPourzaki (WMF) (talk) 16:26, 7 August 2020 (UTC)Reply

"focused on output"[edit]

What, if anything, does "focused on output" mean? (Please ping me if responding, I don't watch meta.) - Jmabel (talk) 15:39, 10 August 2020 (UTC)Reply

  • Hi there @Jmabel: Focused on output was envisioned to recommend communicating the concrete result of a Transition event to people, so communities can assess their needs and interests more readily, given limited volunteer time. For example, announcing participation for a call focused on the Interim Global Council rather than'ensure equity in decision-making,' which can be more abstract. This was in reaction to feedback we had previously where some community members found it difficult to engage with strategy or found it too high-level. Would you suggest a different wording for this? Thanks for your question. MPourzaki (WMF) (talk) 19:12, 10 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
    • "communicating a concrete result" is certainly clearer than "output". Making that change would be a good example of exactly what you are telling other people to do! - Jmabel (talk) 22:48, 10 August 2020 (UTC)Reply

How can we get more online communities involved?[edit]

Judging by past experiences in strategy discussions, where online communities felt unheard und dropped out of participating quite soon, I propose letting them influence and shape the agenda. For those recommendations which mostly require actions from volunteers I would go as far as saying, they should also set much of the agenda. Specific proposals which have little chance of being realised in a reasonable timeframe on the more mature projects (as seen by past strategy discussions, where they have been opposed again and again with good arguments, past RfCs on the projects and suchlike) should thus not take up too much valuable time for discussion and not lead to unnecessary antagonisation and opposition. --HHill (talk) 15:42, 10 August 2020 (UTC)Reply

@HHill:, this is a good idea, but how do you technically see the implementation?--Ymblanter (talk) 16:38, 10 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
That is the difficult bit, and I only have some very general suggestions and ideas.
As there are no obvious procedures and institutions in place, creating them explicitly being part of the implementation process, and the procedures used in the strategy process up to now being perceived as lacking legitimacy (at least that is the impression I get from reading the discussions on dewiki, enwiki and meta) I would argue this is less of a technical and more of a political problem. Part of the solution could be adopting and adapting existing community processes known for confering legitimacy. Relying more on election and/or sortition and less on self-selection, cooptation and hiring could minimize (unfounded) impressions of nepotism and capture. The larger decisions will probably have to be made online and onwiki in large open discussions and/or votes. Smaller and offwiki events will probably only be suitable for smaller questions and problems explicitly delegated to them.
E. g. the Community Wishlist Survey 2020 could possibly serve as a model for quickly whittling down a large number of proposals, or prioritizing areas that need work like de:Wikipedia:Umfragen/Technische Wünsche 2020 Themenschwerpunkte did. --HHill (talk) 11:52, 12 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
Dear HHill, thank you so much for the suggestions and thinking with us on this topic! I would like to hear more on your suggestion regarding sortition, because I do not remember having heard of using it in the wiki communities. Do you have examples where this has been used? If not, how would you see that functioning.
I hear clearly the need of using the on-wiki discussions and thinking out how they can run in parallel with the events part. How would you build an effective informational architecture around this? Or tackle the issues regarding timely information flow and language issues that has functioned as a barrier in previous conversations? Feel free to share your thoughts here or join the thread about this on en.wp! Thank you again for your contribution to this conversation! --KVaidla (WMF) (talk) 12:10, 14 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
Aside from a recent proposal here on meta I am currently not aware of any use of sortition on wikiprojects. There are quite a few historical precedents in other low trust environments though (I doubt we will have to take it as far as Venice). Back when I was dabbling a bit in political science the textbooks mostly discussed elections, but recently there has been renewed interest in sortition (at least as far as I can gather from listening to some podcasts and reading a few book reviews). In those few real world experiments I've heard of sortition was mostly used to create (rather shortlived) groups for investigation into or consultation on a particular topic or more general advisory institutions for longer periods. So far as I am aware, neither of those had any legislative nor executive powers. The final decisions would thus still be taken by elected officials or assemblies or even put to a referendum.
A significant bottle neck in past multilingual discussions has been the WMF (at least in my experience) with volunteer translators apparently increasingly unwilling to provide free work on texts which in large parts reflected the interests of said organisation not their own. One way to remedy this situation would be to cut the WMF out of the loop, e. g. by creating an independent body for future work on the strategy, perhaps financed via grants. A large majority of its members would probably have to be transparently selected by the wiki-communities and be responsible to them. To avoid suspicions of collusion the WMF then should preferably participate only publicly and only in (ideally narrowly defined) areas of interest or expertise like anybody else. --HHill (talk) 02:29, 16 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
@KVaidla (WMF): this week's Economist has an article on those groups selected via sortition I mentioned: Some assembly required. In: The Economist Vol. 436 Nr. 9212 (September 19th 2020), pp. 49-50. See also the leader on that topic: Amateurs to the rescue. Ibid. pp. 12-14. --HHill (talk) 15:09, 20 September 2020 (UTC)Reply
Dear HHill, thank you so much for following up on this and for the links, also for previous reflections that you have said. We have been looking into different models and experiences and this addition fits well on the picture. --KVaidla (WMF) (talk) 10:55, 21 September 2020 (UTC)Reply
@KVaidla (WMF): in that case you may want to look also into religious orders, cf. e. g. some works of Léo Moulin (Les origines religieuses des techniques électorales et délibératives modernes. In: Politix, vol. 11, n°43, Troisième trimestre 1998, pp. 117-162 DOI:10.3406/polix.1998.1746 to name just one). --HHill (talk) 11:52, 21 September 2020 (UTC)Reply


See subsection #After some progress: 2 for current discussion: most of what is raised in this section is resolved, and what is not is reiterated in the subsection. - Jmabel (talk) 02:14, 15 August 2020 (UTC)Reply

This is loaded down with gerunds and passive voice to a degree that makes it (1) bland and (2) difficult to read. Are we permitted to edit this to improve language, or is this only for "insiders" to edit, despite being a wiki?

Again, please ping me if replying, I don't watch meta. - Jmabel (talk) 15:43, 10 August 2020 (UTC)Reply

I'll take a shot. I'll also list phrases here where I can't even tell what they mean to say, so I can't be the one to clarify them, and someone on the Design Team should.

  • Question Question: reiterated in next section: "to design for virtual events" - Should this just drop the word "for" or does it mean something other than what that would leave? [[[File:OOjs UI icon check-constructive.svg|23px|Check mark|alt=Green tick|class=noviewer]]Y Resolved below. Jmabel (talk) 02:14, 15 August 2020 (UTC)]Reply
  • Green tickY "priorities specific to different contexts in the movement requiring resources": "resources" is so general that I don't know what to make of this. I see, it's way below; linking.
  • Question Question: reiterated in next section: "will discuss the recommendations around topics and areas of interest" - I can't even guess what this means. [[[File:OOjs UI icon check-constructive.svg|23px|Check mark|alt=Green tick|class=noviewer]]Y Resolved below. Jmabel (talk) 02:14, 15 August 2020 (UTC)]Reply
  • Green tickY "We are hosting office hours" - who is "we"? The Design Group?
  • Green tickY "Ensure inclusivity and diversity in the Transition events." - inclusivity and diversity with respect to what? Or a link to somewhere this is spelled out? In any case I've reworded this as "We intend the community participating in the Transition events to be inclusive and diverse" but it still needs clarification as to what (if anything) that means beyond "Everyone in the movement should be able to participate."
  • Green tickY "with the Movement Strategy principles at heart" - is there somewhere to link "Movement Strategy principles", since that is not inherently clear to anyone who hasn't been involved?
  • Green tickY What does "Value all contributions in the Transition events" mean. Is that an imperative, and if so to whom? If not, can someone reword that to say what it means? Similarly, "Ensure…" and "Bridge…" on the items following. And then there are a bunch more imperatives; I'm going to leave this next several items alone until someone can tell me to whom these imperatives are directed.
    • So we've now clarified to whom the imperative is addressed -- the organizers -- but I still think "Value all contributions…" is vague to the point of vacuity. See further remarks below. - Jmabel (talk) 02:37, 13 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
    • This edit changed that to "Event organizers should pay attention to all views and contributions, and understand that even what may not seem directly valuable comes from someone's genuine concerns, and should not be dismissed out of hand."
  • Green tickY "online communities" is a bit vague, can someone give, say, three examples?
    • [answered below, I paraphrased on first mention as "online communities (the communities of the various wikipedias and other sister projects; volunteer developers; etc.)" - Jmabel (talk) 16:37, 11 August 2020 (UTC)]Reply
  • Green tickY "Onboard on individual, organizational and regional levels" - I have no idea what this means. Ditto for "socialize the process and the information". I can think of several meanings of the word "socialize," none of which make sense here.
  • Green tickY What, if anything, does "high energy" mean in this context?

I think I'm going to give up on editing (or even trying to read this) until at least most of the above are answered. - Jmabel (talk) Jmabel (talk) 00:09, 11 August 2020 (UTC)Reply

@Jmabel: Thanks a lot for editing. I will start answering, and I hope the colleagues will help me.
  • Online communities - these are just project communities (like Commons community or Punjabi Wikipedia community). It might include the developer community as well., but generally this term (I am personally not quite fond of the usage) mean to identify editing volunteers who are not necessarily affiliate members and can not use affiliates as channels to influence the strategy (implementation).--Ymblanter (talk) 10:54, 11 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
I would be really interested to hear suggestions on better term for this. The ones most often used are "project communities" (which might be a better one) and "online communities". As I have heard it to be used quite often, having a better fitting term might be really helpful. --KVaidla (WMF) (talk) 11:59, 11 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
  • Office hours - in principle, the design group. We have five (?) WMF employees, I guess they will organize the process, and whoever else from the group is present can also join in answering questions. I am not yet sure whether I myself can be present, I will need to check my agenda.--Ymblanter (talk) 10:56, 11 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
"Movement Strategy principles" refers to Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20/Recommendations/Movement Strategy Principles, I think. If so, it should be linked in the draft, imo. --Yair rand (talk) 16:02, 11 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
Yes, absolutely--Ymblanter (talk) 16:21, 11 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
I've applied the answers given above; looks like someone beat me to linking "Movement Strategy principles". - Jmabel (talk) 16:37, 11 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
Concerning diversity and inclusivity: The idea was that as many groups as possible could be represented (groups are: projects/affiliate? WMF, different languages, different regions ...). Since the events themselves will be of limited size we can not say that everyone can participate, but we can say that everyone should be in some way represented. (Everyone should be also able to give feedback before and after the event6, but I believe this is a different point).--Ymblanter (talk) 19:07, 11 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
@Ymblanter: Does this edit take care of it from your point of view? It does from mine. - Jmabel (talk) 00:15, 12 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
@Jmabel: Yes, it does, thanks a lot.--Ymblanter (talk) 05:53, 12 August 2020 (UTC)Reply

Note that as of this writing, there are 5 questions above that no one has yet been able to answer. How is anyone supposed to understand this document if the people who wrote it can't even expand on these clumsy or vacuous phrases? And I'm not even a quarter of the way through it. - Jmabel (talk) 05:58, 12 August 2020 (UTC)Reply

Hi Jmabel, thank you so much for your edits and suggestions, it's really appreciated and helps to make the document more understandable.

  • "Value all contributions in the Transition events" was intended to mean all contributions in the Transition events will be valued; trying to indicate that a high-level knowledge of strategy is not needed to participate in Transition, and that people can join and share thoughts around a topic of interest whether they join just once or multiple times. This ties in with 'ensure ideas are carried through.' We'll make sure the language is clarified in the final iteration. The 3 imperatives you have highlighted are trying to indicate that the events will be inclusive. In previous discussions, we heard from some people that strategy was too high-level for them and did not connect to their local context. Transition is planned to bridge that. All the imperatives are for the organizers, as principles for Transition events, whether at the local or global level.
  • Onboarding here was meant to indicate preparing communities for participation and familiarizing people with strategy and the Transition process. Link to definition.
  • Similar to onboarding, socialize might be a buzzword. Trying to say, introduce, make familiar. Sorry this wasn't clear. It's a twist on the word where one could "socialize" a concept or an idea by introducing it around, talking to people about it.
  • We heard from some communities previously that some find strategy boring, high-level, not relevant to every-day matters, especially when precious volunteer time is limited. "High energy" here is striving for events that are interesting and engaging.

Let me know if anything else needs further clarification. This has been super useful for us, appreciated. --MPourzaki (WMF) (talk) 22:20, 12 August 2020 (UTC)Reply

  • I incorporated what you said about high energy and low barriers but Question Question: (reiterated in next section) it seems to almost directly contradict the immediately following point that events should "Focus on needs, interests and action relating to Movement Strategy", so I would say the latter also needs some rethinking. [[[File:OOjs UI icon check-constructive.svg|23px|Check mark|alt=Green tick|class=noviewer]]Y Resolved below. Jmabel (talk) 02:14, 15 August 2020 (UTC)]Reply
  • Green tickY (Addressed by This edit.) I still think "Value all contributions…" is vague to the point of vacuity. To put it simply: not all contributions are valuable. Some people blather on and waste others time. I'm going to put that phrase in brackets in the content page, indicate that it's being discussed on the talk page, and someone should work out what they mean to say. In particular, I would suggest you focus on what the concern is here of what contributions might not be sufficiently valued and what is being done to counter that. - Jmabel (talk) 02:37, 13 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
  • Green tickY "[Event] organizers" and "Design Group": are these one and the same, or does "organizers" mean something different/broader, and if so how does someone either ask to become an "organizer" or get drafted into being one? - Jmabel (talk) 02:59, 13 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
    • In particular @MPourzaki (WMF):, you write that "All the imperatives are for the organizers," but Question Question: (reiterated and expanded upon in next section) unless "organizers" and "Design Group" are interchangeable, it's hard to see how the any of the imperatives under "Communication across events as an important element" could be directed to organizers of individual events. I suspect here that vague language may be covering vague thought as to just who is responsible for what. - Jmabel (talk) 03:04, 13 August 2020 (UTC) [[[File:OOjs UI icon check-constructive.svg|23px|Check mark|alt=Green tick|class=noviewer]]Y Resolved below. Jmabel (talk) 02:14, 15 August 2020 (UTC)]Reply
      No, Design group is certainly not the same as Event organizers (there might be some overlap at the end, but the Design Group already exists, and the Event organizers have not yet been defined).--Ymblanter (talk) 06:36, 13 August 2020 (UTC)Reply

(I'll keep going, but my current open issues are all marked above with {{Question}}). - Jmabel (talk) 02:51, 13 August 2020 (UTC)Reply

Thanks so much Jmabel for all of this.

  • Really solid. We need to clarify that "focus on needs, interests and action" is referring to the framework of Movement Strategy. The thinking was that communities can come and share their needs and interests relating to a movement strategy topic without needing knowledge OF movement strategy. Like if there is a call on knowledge management, people could attend and share their thoughts on that. However, if a topic is not in movement strategy at the moment, then there wouldn't be a Transition event for it.
  • Re: value all contributions, the thinking is that all contributions should be acknowledged, even if not directly valuable. The concern must be coming from somewhere and passed on to others. Too often concerns go unaddressed and we wanted to change that in this process. You raise a good point for reflection though, thank you.
  • The Design Group will create the design for the events, but the actual technical operations of hosting the calls, etc. will be done by event organizers. However, we are hoping that there will be community liaisons and other such roles, so some of the imperatives would be their guiding principles as well. We'll make sure this is more clearly communicated. The Design Group or some members from it will remain as an entity that the Foundation and event organizers will check in with regularly to hear feedback, course correct if needed, etc.

This has so helpful. Thank you very much. MPourzaki (WMF) (talk) 14:57, 13 August 2020 (UTC)Reply

After some progress: 1[edit]

See subsection #After some progress: 2 for current discussion: most of what is raised in this section is resolved, and what is not is reiterated in the subsection. - Jmabel (talk) 02:14, 15 August 2020 (UTC)Reply

Enough of the issues raised above have now been resolved that I think we are better to start a separate round: leftover unclosed issues from above, and undoubtedly there will be more.

  • Green tickY: "to design for virtual events" - Should this just drop the word "for" or does it mean something other than what that would leave?
  • Green tickY: "will discuss the recommendations around topics and areas of interest" - I can't even guess what this means.
There has been a conversation in the design group about how there needs to be options for community members and affiliate representatives to focus their work on the recommendations and topics that are most relevant for them or where they have most interest in participating in, i.e. not all the participants of the events need to part of all the events, but people can contribute to and follow through on specific topics. In my understanding this sentence tries to capture that on a high, summarizing level. --KVaidla (WMF) (talk) 11:09, 14 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
Good. I believe now addressed by this edit. - Jmabel (talk) 15:39, 14 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
  • Green tickY: "Focus on needs, interests and action relating to Movement Strategy": how does that sit with the other points that call for "low barriers," "high energy," and paying attention even to what may not seem directly valuable? They seem to me like a contradictory set of instructions to event organizers. I can't work it out from MPourzaki's remarks above.
In my understanding the "needs, interests and action" part of the sentence is exactly related to the point clarified just above and this is closely correlated to the "high energy" - people are more engaged if they are working on their areas of interest and organizational or community needs. Also we have noted in the process so far that people are waiting for clear action and are tired of endless discussions, so the conversation needs to be action oriented. The second half of the sentence, in my understanding, tries to highlight that as the purpose of the events is to work on movement strategy recommendations and create a transition implementation plan, we should not go completely down the "rabbit hole" of needs and interests that take us far from the recommendations - the conversations need to have relation to movement strategy. This is a bullet point that tries to capture all that in a nutshell and clarify the focus of the first iteration of the "small events". --KVaidla (WMF) (talk) 11:18, 14 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
OK. I think this captures what you wrote. - Jmabel (talk) 15:45, 14 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
  • Question Question: User:MPourzaki (WMF) wrote a paragraph above that begins, "The Design Group will create the design for the events, but…" It doesn't really answer the question I had: how does someone either ask to become an "organizer" or get drafted into being one? The document as it stands seems to assume that event organizers will appear magically. Ditto for "community liaisons" and any other roles that need to be filled. If these are existing entities, they should be identified. If not, the document needs to address how these roles will be filled (even if that is a reference to another document, or just an acknowledgment of an issue that has not yet been addressed).
This is a great question, but not really one that has been discussed thoroughly with the design group. The focus has been rather on the participation and not so much on the organizing of the events. As Wikimedia Foundation is coordinating and financing the transition phase, we have put in place a Support Team that is also in charge of administration of the upcoming events, including procurement for technical support, translation support and other external expertise, e.g. facilitation. We have proposed to the design group that as they have worked on the design of the events, they can serve as stewards to this process - we will have to see how many of them will be available to work with us in that role.
At the same time, there has been a discussion about including affiliates and project communities in delivery of the events, but the details have not been fleshed out. There are more clear models for working with affiliates on such things, but with online communities it is much more unclear. Ymblanter asked the question about this on the last call, but we never really got to an answer with the group. In short this means that currently it is a gap that needs to be address. There is no assumption that the event organizers will appear magically. --KVaidla (WMF) (talk) 11:43, 14 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
@KVaidla (WMF): Green tickY Does the support team have a page of its own and/or a preferred means of being contacted? Your link to 5 pictures people and their names doesn't seem like what really belongs in the document. - Jmabel (talk) 15:54, 14 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
@Jmabel:, this page is currently all we have. How do you think it could be better presented? The email address strategy2030(_AT_)wikimedia.org is currently managed by the transition support team, so it could be used as a clear contact point. --KVaidla (WMF) (talk) 19:48, 14 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
OK, I've gone with what we have. - Jmabel (talk) 00:03, 15 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
Green tickY Are the "support team" the same people currently referred to in the document by the rather vague "Professional or staff support", or does the former coordinate the latter, or are the two basically unrelated? - Jmabel (talk) 15:54, 14 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
@Jmabel: - This is vague, because all the support systems have not been defined. "Support team" is related, but will only be part of the support systems. We need to define whether there will be need for further support of other Wikimedia Foundation or affiliate staff members. Also we might need to procure for "external" support to deliver the events. This will be defined once we have the final design brief from the group. --KVaidla (WMF) (talk) 19:48, 14 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
Again, I've gone with what we have. - Jmabel (talk) 00:03, 15 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
  • Green tickY Someone from the team who wrote this needs to clarify to whom some of these imperatives are addressed. The answer above ("All the imperatives are for the [event] organizers") is clearly not the case. Some are probably for the Design Group itself going forward, some may be for an unnamed entity or entities. Look again at the imperatives under "Communication across events as an important element": it makes no sense to me that these would be the responsibility of organizers of individual events, and any such expectation would presumably lead to failure.
    • Here is an extreme example because it isn't even worded as an imperative. In the section After the closing event, "A final implementation plan is prepared for use by the movement." There is absolutely no indication who will prepare that plan. - Jmabel (talk)
The agency for that one is clear from the discussions - the implementation plan is to be prepared by the participants of the events. As stated above, we have assembled a Transition Support Team in Wikimedia Foundation to support the conversations and administrative / management side of the events, but this also means that the core work will happen at the events between the event participants from organizations and project communities across the movement. They will be the ones making choices and decisions and also put forward a clear plan for moving forward with the implementation of changes and actions from the recommendations. The open question here that needs further work is how it will be connected with parallel on-wiki conversations and how these will flow into the creation of the implementation plan (see also discussion on en.wp). --KVaidla (WMF) (talk) 11:50, 14 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
  • @KVaidla (WMF): Green tickY I don't see how you can say that "the implementation plan is to be prepared by the participants of the events." That is liable to be several thousand people, certainly at least several hundred, presumably making their points in a variety of languages, probably dozens of languages. Of course the implementation will be based on the discussions, but who is responsible to synthesize that and is there any transparency at all to that process? I'm trying mainly to function here as an editor rather than offer my comments as a community member, but here I can't hold back: given the history of distrust between some of the online communities and the WMF, I don't think it is a good idea to say "you'll all have input and then by some completely opaque process a group of WMF employees will synthesize that." - Jmabel (talk) 16:15, 14 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
@Jmabel: - Thanks for providing your perspective here, it is clear and relevant. Regarding the idea is that at the "big events" where we convene with everyone, the recommendations or initiatives that they entail will be prioritized and sequenced, so we can see what will need to be taken up first. Then people and organizations can sign up for the initiatives they want to take forward and we break out into smaller group work and discussions. This is the stage where the plans will be developed. In that sense just saying participants is too vague indeed, but we don't have developed the language for these groups yet (like we had working groups in last phase). What would be your suggestion in naming them?
Regarding "opaque synthesis", I agree that it will be a problem. Hoepfully these groups will be representative of the diversity of the movement, so we have people with diverse profiles in there, but this does not resolve the problem, because it will be still a smaller discussion where the plans are being made. We will report back to wider community and integrate the feedback that we receive, but I would be interested in hearing how it would be possible to keep the discussions effective so we can get to an actual plan, yet provide sufficient transparency so people who are interested can see what is happening "inside the machinery". Any thoughts? --KVaidla (WMF) (talk) 19:57, 14 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
@KVaidla (WMF): I've paraphrased that here. If you think I didn't get it quite right, please have a go. - Jmabel (talk) 01:32, 15 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
I believe I've integrated the specifics of what we discussed. What remains is:
Question Question: Someone from the Design Team needs to go through the document and make sure that wherever there is an imperative it is clear to whom it is addressed. - Jmabel (talk) 01:32, 15 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
Thank you! It does make sense to get some of them to do a full review and ensure their discussions and ideas are well represented. We will ping them. --KVaidla (WMF) (talk) 13:38, 15 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
This is indeed the same, thanks for clarifying. --KVaidla (WMF) (talk) 20:09, 14 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
Integrated. - Jmabel (talk) 00:03, 15 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
I believe this is mainly for the Support Team, but probably in some cases includes a wider circle of event organizers. --KVaidla (WMF) (talk) 20:09, 14 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
It is a bit unclear how it is exactly done. These imperatives are principles that the Design Group has defined, but it makes sense to be clear about the responsibility, indeed. Ideally the ideas will be carried forward by the peers who follow through at the events, so the people who have participated in smaller events represent not only the ideas that are their own, but also key points from these discussions at bigger events. Also people can ensure that ideas from their communities are well presented, even if they don't share all of them. This helps to carry the diversity of perspectives so we don't oversimplify the solutions.
However, this is insufficient so we will support that information architecture - creating reports and summaries from different ongoing discussions and bringing them in to relevant discussions at later stage. This is a responsibility of the "support team", but wherever possible we will pull in participants and event organizers to write or at least review reports. I hope this explanation / interpretation is helpful and also that it does justice to the discussions in the design group. --KVaidla (WMF) (talk) 20:09, 14 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
@KVaidla (WMF): I've paraphrased that very loosely and I think more clearly, but it is possible I did not fully understand your intent, please review. - Jmabel (talk) 01:54, 15 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
@Jmabel:, thanks for integrating and for the ping for review. I think this needs more discussion with the group to provide more clarity. I think we cannot be more specific based on the conversations so far. --KVaidla (WMF) (talk) 13:43, 15 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
  • Green tickY: It remains unclear who "will be responsible to bridge local contexts and individual perspectives with global strategy conversations" and in what context will those latter conversations occur. - Jmabel (talk) 16:36, 14 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
The global conversations will happen at "big events", separate question being parallel on-wiki discussions. It is related to people following through and representing prior discussions and their communities. As well as dependent on the reporting. So this is a split responsibility between participants and event organizers and the support team, if that makes sense. --KVaidla (WMF) (talk) 20:09, 14 August 2020 (UTC)Reply

As is so often the case: there are places in this document where vague and passive language is papering over lacunae.

Fully agree that use of passive language masks the subject and it creates lacunæ because of the missing subject, even if there is a clear agent that is responsible for the action. We need to include it in our checklist for future communications to avoid passive language wherever possible. Thanks for that clear note! --KVaidla (WMF) (talk) 11:54, 14 August 2020 (UTC)Reply

(Also pinging User:Ymblanter, who has been very useful here.) - Jmabel (talk) 00:09, 14 August 2020 (UTC)Reply

"Design for virtual events" - we are hitting the language usage here, so let me explaint it in a verbose plain language. We are not going to organize the events, not going to decide who is invited, what topics precisely are disussed etc. What we are going is to provide the event design in the sense that the fist series of events will be small scale, following extensive discussion, following by one or two bog scale events and agaon by small-scale events, that most events of the first series will be regional, that they will produce some list of topics to discuss with the community etc (the specific details still may change after feedback, but I hope it ic clear what I mean". If "design events" describe what I just said unambiguously it is probably it.--Ymblanter (talk) 05:38, 14 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
    • @Ymblanter: How about "to design for virtual events" => "to design the general scheme of a series of increasingly larger virtual events"? - Jmabel (talk) 06:26, 14 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
      They are not necessarily increasingly larger (we currently want to have the last series to be small events), but may be just "to design the general scheme of a series of virtual events" could work?--Ymblanter (talk) 08:35, 14 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
      • @Ymblanter: That's a bit vacuous, but it could be expanded on in a separate sentence. I'll make that edit and also add "We expect to have small events at the beginning, then some larger events, and finally another round of small events focused on synthesis and plans for implementation." If that's not quite on the mark, someone should feel free to edit the latter sentence. - Jmabel (talk) 16:15, 14 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
Just a small note of gratitude for Jmabel and Ymblanter for diving in and trying to make language more clear. Not only the work on text, but also clarifying questions and discussions are helpful in making it more clear how to improve the writing in the future, that is essential for engaging wider circle of people in such discussions. Thank you for your contributions! --KVaidla (WMF) (talk) 11:59, 14 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
  • Green tickY Does "Smaller events with focus topics" just mean "Smaller events focused on particular topics" or does it mean something else?
    Yes, this is what it means. (We are currently thinking about actually collecting the topics during the events, but this is not in the draft text, and may be will net make it there).--Ymblanter (talk) 19:33, 14 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
  • Question Question: (or maybe just a remark): My eyes totally glazed over on the three bullet points under "Work between the events" (previously something about "asynchronous" whatever, at least that is addressed). Could someone who knows what this means to say have a look at it and see if it can be made clearer? - Jmabel (talk) 17:03, 14 August 2020 (UTC)Reply

After some progress: 2[edit]

  • Question Question: [partly answered below, but it looks like the vagueness is simply the way it is - Jmabel (talk) 15:14, 18 August 2020 (UTC)] We are still vague on how someone becomes an "event organizer". Do they put themselves forward? Do they get drafted? Some combination of the two? The document should answer that, and doesn't. There is some discussion above; I'm not repeating it here because it was inconclusive. If someone wants to repeat their own remarks from above, please do. - Jmabel (talk) 02:14, 15 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
    I do not think this is clear at this point. They are probably somehow recruited by the affiliates, but this process would likely leave many of the the project communities out. A good point to discuss.--Ymblanter (talk) 19:43, 17 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
    • @Ymblanter: "somehow recruited by" implies that event organizers will be drafted according to some as yet unspecified process and that there is no way for anyone to put themself forward. That does not strike me as particularly transparent. Am I missing something? - Jmabel (talk) 22:43, 17 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
      This is correct that the process has not yet been specified, and if someone if interested in organizing the event they should contact the WMF strategy transition team. This is presumably a way to "put themselves forward". What happens if people want to organize way more events than the WMF has resources for, I do not know.--Ymblanter (talk) 05:37, 18 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
      • @Ymblanter: As you can imagine, that strikes me as "pretty weak tea" two days before the end of the comment period. It sounds like there will be no opportunity to comment on anything about that part of the process.
      • I've added a remark in the content page beginning with the phrase "Creating events and selecting organizers" where I do my best to present that in as unjudgemental a way as I can. Obviously others should feel free to edit. - Jmabel (talk) 15:14, 18 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
  • Question Question: (or really remark) Someone from the Design Team needs to go through the document and make sure that wherever there is an imperative it is clear to whom it is addressed. Similarly, if there is a statement that something will happen, it should be clear who is responsible. - Jmabel (talk) 02:29, 15 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
  • Question Question: (or maybe just a remark): My eyes totally glazed over on the three bullet points under "Work between the events" (previously something about "asynchronous" whatever, at least that is addressed). Could someone who knows what this means to say have a look at it and see if it can be made clearer? - Jmabel (talk) 02:14, 15 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
    • I just now took the liberty here and in a few other places of identifying unclear points by adding bracketed remarks in italics directly in the document itself. If someone from the Design Group knows what they intended to say, they should please just edit inline, or we can discuss here. - Jmabel (talk) 19:19, 15 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
  • Green tickY We talk about "translation support where possible to overcome language barriers." Are there some minimal set of languages that we are specifically committed to supporting in this process? [that part is answered below, I split out the rest for clarity. - Jmabel (talk) 21:53, 15 August 2020 (UTC)] - Jmabel (talk) 02:19, 15 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
I see that there is a mention of "Arabic, German, Spanish, French, Russian, Chinese, and others identified by the Design Group and the movement." There is a glaring omission of English in this list. May I presume that is because implicitly the "main line" of events and discussion will be predominantly in English? - Jmabel (talk) 19:17, 15 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
Your interpretation is correct - that is the plan.--KVaidla (WMF) (talk) 21:11, 15 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
    • Question Question: [partly answered, but it looks like the vagueness is simply the way it is - Jmabel (talk) 15:14, 18 August 2020 (UTC)] If people wish to hold an event in a particular language other than those, is there at all a well-defined process for them to ask to do so and to get translation support for a resulting document, if needed? If there is no well-defined process, is the Transition Support Team responsible to create that process? If not, where does that responsibility reside? - Jmabel (talk) 02:19, 15 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
    I guess they just ask the WMF (via the Transition Support Team) to translate.--Ymblanter (talk) 19:45, 17 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
    1. @Ymblanter: Does that mean that if someone wishes to propose an event in a different language, they should contact the Transition Support Team and have a reasonable chance of getting that approved? - Jmabel (talk) 22:48, 17 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
    2. Does that mean that if someone proposes an event in a different language, they have a reasonable chance of getting such translation support if needed? Also, I would imagine that some do not need translation support - e.g. if someone wanted to hold an event in Catalan, I doubt there are more than a handful of Catalan-speakers in the world who cannot read at least one of Spanish, French or English. - Jmabel (talk) 22:48, 17 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
    (i) Yes, I do not know how reasonable the chance is, but this definitely can be done (ii) In practice, only major languages may require language support, for exactly the reason you mention - all language speakers who potentially can participate in the events are bilingual. I think it is a part of the question of what events are organized - the very first series will be (mainly) regional, and then I imagine a European or a Central European event will be in English anyway, whereas the Latin American one could be in Spanish (not sure what they would do with Brazilians though).--Ymblanter (talk) 05:43, 18 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
      • I've added a remark in the content page beginning with the phrase "Creating events and selecting organizers" where I do my best to present that. Obviously others should feel free to edit. - Jmabel (talk) 15:14, 18 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
  • Question Question: At this point, give or take the questions above, I've worked through about the first 60% of the document. Starting with Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20/Transition/Events Outline/Draft#Transition events in detail I see mostly a welter of statements that things will occur, with no indication of who is responsible to make it so. Would someone from the Design Group please take on the responsibility to go through that section, preferably before the weekend is over, and reword these things to indicate who will do what? [Apparently, they would not. - Jmabel (talk) 15:14, 18 August 2020 (UTC)] A plan that simply asserts things will happen and makes no statement as to who is responsible to make them happen is very unlikely to succeed. - Jmabel (talk) 19:31, 15 August 2020 (UTC)Reply

It has now been about 48 hours with no answers to the above. We are three days from the end of the comment period and large portions of the document remain nearly incomprehensible.

Is some individual from the Design Group responsbile to give clarifications where this document is incomprehensible? As far as I can tell, YMblanter is the only one of the 20 who is responding, and I gather from him that he was not particularly responsible for writing this. I believe the other useful responses I've gotten are from WMF employees who are not even part of the group. If some are part of the group, sorry, I didn't pick up on that. And if those same or other WMF employees can again pick up the slack here, great, but the way it looks to me is that I'm seeing right now on the talk page the same problem I've pointed out several places in the document itself: an assertion that something will happen isn't worth a damn if no one is actually responsible to make it happen. - Jmabel (talk) 19:25, 17 August 2020 (UTC)Reply

@Wikilover90: as the only member of the Design Group who identifies him- or herself as a native English-speaker, do you not have some responsibility here? And if not you, who? I hadn't wanted to call out individuals, but this has ground to a screeching halt. - Jmabel (talk) 19:30, 17 August 2020 (UTC)Reply

Hello Jmabel, thanks for your comments. I want to clarify that all members of the Design Group can speak, read and write English and although, I am not the only member who is an English speaker, I am happy to clarify on some of your questions. The content of the project is being managed by Abbad (WMF) and from my understanding, the reason the details like you have pointed in the above paragraph are missing because they haven't been planned out yet. The whole design of the process has been built in peices and is getting updated accordingly on the go. As soon as more details are designed, they will be reflected on the meta. Thanks Wikilover90 (talk) 09:24, 18 August 2020 (UTC)Reply

  • @Jmabel: Sorry for being late on this, especially after the you've posted several reminders for us. Since you (and a remarkable amount of people who provided us with very useful feedback) expressed that language issues are making it challenging for you to engage with the actual content of this document, we're working on a refined version with, hopefully, a bit more clarity. The refined version will build upon the edits you made here on Meta, and will be also guided by some the input we got to enhance language and clarity: from you here as well as from various communities. The refining also includes clarifying who's responsible for what action (as you've suggested above). The aim is to post the new draft here on Meta by tomorrow's (August 19th) afternoon or evening UTC. I hope that's reasonable timeframe, and apologies again for a late response! --Abbad (WMF) (talk) 16:41, 18 August 2020 (UTC).Reply

I'm glad to see some discussion moving forward again. Three questions above are simply unanswered; two are partially answered. I have to focus the next few days on my own paid work, but I will try to check in on this at least once a day. I really wish someone from the Design Group would actually drive this and get to a document where people have a chance to comment on the merit of the proposal, not just on whether it is comprehensible. - Jmabel (talk) 15:14, 18 August 2020 (UTC)Reply

Thanks again. I am afraid at this point I do not know much better what is the future evolution of the text. We have the last meeting on Thursday, I hope some of the issues will be discussed, but I think whatever is left is up to the WMF Transition Team to arrange - wteher it would be extension of the comment period, or re-writing the text explicitly taking all comments on this page into account, or some other solution.--Ymblanter (talk) 15:33, 18 August 2020 (UTC)Reply

It's been 6 more days, we are 4 days past the supposed deadline for review, and neither User:Abbad (WMF) nor anyone else has pinged me to say this would be ready for me to look at again. What is the current state of this? - Jmabel (talk) 00:32, 25 August 2020 (UTC)Reply

@Jmabel: Thanks for following up. As was indicated in my last response, the draft was updated on August 19th with a new version, integrating some of the feedack related to language and the outline's structure (it has also been indicated in a brief change log). Apologies for the lack of a ping or a reminder --Abbad (WMF) (talk) 15:57, 25 August 2020 (UTC).Reply
@Abbad (WMF): Yes, I gather that some of the feedback has been absorbed. So: we are past the ostensible deadline for comment. Is it now set in stone so there is no point to anyone still looking at it and suggesting changes? Conversely, is it still in flux from your end and not really ready for review? I still have no idea what its status is supposed to be. - Jmabel (talk) 23:25, 25 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
@Jmabel: This suggests it is available for review and not set in stone (note that our Transition Group has finished the work, so we are not involved anymore in this official quality).--Ymblanter (talk) 07:54, 26 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
@Jmabel: If you have any changes to the language of the document, please feel free to jump in as you've (thankfully) done before. As for content-related feedback, it's now compiled in the summary that Ymblanter linked, and is being integrated into a final version (there's no hard timeline for the final version so far). If you think the feedback you'd like to provide isn't covered in the summary, please share it here and I'll do my best to include it --Abbad (WMF) (talk) 13:27, 26 August 2020 (UTC).Reply


Are we like what? Two years into this and our plan is to plan to plan a plan still? GMGtalk 23:04, 10 August 2020 (UTC)Reply

@GreenMeansGo: At this level I can answer this question. The strategy is one thing, the implementation of the strategy is another thing. The strategy says "we need to improve the user experience". This was finalized in May, I guess? Earlier this year, anyway. Great, we all want to improve user experience. What are the specific steps to improve the user experience? For example, UCoC is supposed to be one of them (whether it would work or not is a different story). Well, that one was pretty specific, and we have already a committee working on it. Fine, anything else to improve the user experience? Do we all understand the user experience in the same way? Is the understanding of a typical member of Wikimedia Pakistan the same as the one of a typical member of the WiR Wikiproject on the English Wikipedia? Do we have a common denominator? If we do, can we make the next step and introduce the measures? Who would decide? Who would propose the measures? Howe can we exclude things which are clearly non-starters? In principle, all of this could have been part of the strategy exercise, but I am personally happy it was not, because then the project communities would have no say in what is going on, and we would have a disaster of a similar scale to the rebranding one happening every month.
Having said this, I think your comments on em.wp that the language is very unspecific and difficult to digest are pretty much to the point. We are still going to have two sessions, and I hope the language issue will be sufficiently addressed.--Ymblanter (talk) 11:04, 11 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
Don't get me wrong. If anything, your participation lends some level of legitimacy maybe, because I don't expect you'll be pulling any punches. And I don't really have anything against any person at the Foundation. Those I've had the opportunity to sit and drink coffee with all seems like really nice well-meaning folks.
But there seems to be two levels of activity here. There are things the Foundation does because it decided so, and they don't really pretend to give a damn about the community. And then there's whatever these things are, where we have a committee that meets, and drafts several hundred words of mostly inanity, and like a Babushka doll infinite regress, ultimately decides that what we really need are more committees and more meetings to decide what to do.
I'm not necessarily against inaction. In some ways, doing nothing and just keeping the lights on is often the best thing the Foundation can do. But I'm not a big fan of wasting inordinate amounts of volunteer time so we can pretend to do something while doing nothing at all. GMGtalk 11:45, 11 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
Dear GreenMeansGo, thank you for elaborating your standpoint and to Ymblanter for your response. I do agree with the view that volunteer time should not be used in vain. I also agree that we have struggled to ensure that the language we use is accessible and facilitates peer review, which needs to be worked on. However, I disagree with the diagnosis of the approach of WMF in these consultations and we need to clarify this to get to a constructive conversation.
In my understanding there are 2 initiatives that are moving forward where Wikimedia Foundation has a coordinating role, namely Universal Code of Conduct and Okapi. Both of these have a history of discussions and debates in the movement and would have probably been in one way or another discussed again with or without movement strategy. Both of these initiatives are also somewhat controversial and so it makes sense to provide a clear and concrete platform that focuses on these discussions. I am unaware of any other initiatives that are moving forward and for which "the decision has been made". I don't understand how the narrative of "done deal" is helping a constructive dialogue around the recommendations overall - perhaps you can help me to understand the value of building and using such narrative?
Regarding the aspect of the slowness of the process, it is related to the fact that in order for these recommendations to be useful in any way, there has been a need to map longstanding problems and challenges across the projects, communities and affiliates, also to understand better the needs and expectations of stakeholder groups so we can develop and build the movement. There are certain struggles and complexity which we face in these global conversations, which I have highlighted in my response to another user on different talk page and will not repeat here. You are welcome to join that discussion to bring your perspective and insights. Overall, the slowness comes from the fact that we are not making a strategy for one organization or one project. We are truly trying to build a movement strategy and because of the complexities this process is slow. However, I do feel that despite of the shortcomings we are making progress. Transition events and implementation will be the key in making a true "breakthrough", in my perspective, because here we will be finally moving from theory to practice and having a good representation of diverse voices and context, and space for constructive multilogue will be essential. Some of the questions that we need to tackle and answer, are the ones that Yaroslav has highlighted in his response.
I hope sharing my perspective is helpful in some way. Thank you for your engagement and for sharing your concerns! --KVaidla (WMF) (talk) 12:35, 11 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
Pivoting slightly, I brought this up months ago. When we write these documents, and we swim in this jargon-ridden catch-phrase-dependent language, we are being actively discriminatory. There is a reason that we write English articles on about a 10th-grade level. This is the lingua franca, and lots of people who speak English as a second language are going to be reading it.
...asynchronous... Really? I speak English as a first language and I have a graduate degree, and I've never seen that word before. It very much gives the impression that we either don't know who we're writing for, don't care, or don't expect anyone to actually read it.
And this is without addressing length-as-barrier. For all the actual substance this document has, it could be three paragraphs tops. I just...I don't understand how no one understands the irony of prattling on about inclusivity and participation in pages long tomes that many can't or don't have the time to read.
We're going to have big events, and small events, and we're going to have meetings on Tuesday and Thursday. That's literally all this document says. GMGtalk 13:23, 11 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
Asynchronous is actually a very good example. I also have never came across this word until three weeks ago, but apparently it is common in the WMF affiliate circles (where I guess it made from the corporate speak). We exactly need this (including yours) input to make things clearly written in an understandable language (I have a PhD but English is not my mothertongue).--Ymblanter (talk) 13:35, 11 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
Huh, I would have guessed that asynchronous was a fairly well-known word. Good to know. (I think the gap here comes from tech jargon rather than corporate-speak, though.) --Yair rand (talk) 14:58, 11 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
It may be well known enough to those who are educated and well-off enough to participate in meta already. But if we want to be inclusive, then we need to put our money where our mouth is, which means not writing seven pages at a graduate level about how inclusive we are. Does someone from Lagos understand what you're saying even if they have the time to read it? Does someone from Toronto have the time to read it? At some level, stop talking about accessibility and start practicing it. GMGtalk 16:09, 11 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
I agree completely. --Yair rand (talk) 18:52, 11 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
I remember, I had a full bird colonel once, a giant of a man, probably a general by now. I would have pages of spreadsheets and analysis, and he would stand chest-to-chest, look down at me, and say what is the "so what". Take your memos and your spreadsheets and all that crap and just give me the "so what". What do I need to know now, right now before we transition into the next 12 hours of operations.
At some level, the document is not the "product". Just gimme the "so what" so that we can get 100,000 involved in this discussion, rather than the 13 people who were on the conference call earlier today. GMGtalk 22:08, 11 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
"length-as-barrier" is IMO very good point; for two reasons;
first one has to read and understand the long text along with all the subpages; who has the time? (Besides the people doing this as a job in WMF/WMD/WMA...)? - further more not all pages are translated [but to look on the bright side: it took WMF only something over 10 years of constant complaining and finally at least some pages are translated in a few languages. So there is progress ;o) )
the second one: there is no focus. 10 recommendations all of them with subitems and somehow we have 50 initatives (no idea how they are connected) ... so whatever WMF wants to do it can do; everything will somehow fit into this. ... at the same time WMF can ignore points it does not want to do. ... so even if the WMF would care (and no, the Wikipedia Foundation does not care) to put input of the community into all this pages it can simply ignore it. Its just a waste of time for the community to participate ... oh and yes its to late to shorten all this: like it was at the beginning of the process when I mentioned it; KISS is the term ...Sicherlich Post 14:22, 11 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
Dear Sicherlich, thank you so much for chiming in on this topic. It is clear that "text-wall" is indeed a barrier for engagement, which we tend to overlook. It seems essential to get "all" the information out in the open, but at the same time we forget how it can truly be overwhelming for people. Putting the link here for the KISS principle you are referring to and I agree that we need to ensure that the "access points" are easy to grasp and it is essential in getting people truly engaged in the discussions. Maybe it is not too late to solve this - we'll bring that feedback back to the design group. --KVaidla (WMF) (talk) 18:15, 11 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
Its not only the text-wall (nice phrase) - its the amount of "goals" (call them Recommendations or Principles or whatever) - make it 3 or max 4 and really go for them. Make it 10 or more and you feel great writing them down but your focus is lost in randomness. You can't heal it and you will see the truth in it in 10 years. Been there, done that ;) ...Sicherlich Post 18:51, 11 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
Almost sounds like we should've started Wikipedia with just biology, politics, geography and history... Braveheart (talk) 08:54, 12 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
Not at all. The goal (rather a vision but as far as I know there was no goal at that time) was to create a encyclopedia with the human knowledge; Wikipedia. ... End of the story. ... Other goals came later and started new projects: Wiktionary, Wikiqute, Commons aso. They had not been a goal from the start. ...Sicherlich Post 11:34, 12 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
PS: not having smth. as a strategic goal does not mean not doing it. It might be supporting the goal or just be essential to do anything. You just concentrate your energy/research/... on the goal. ...Sicherlich Post 11:43, 12 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
That comparison doesn't work when we're talking about people, different regions and different communities. Some of the recommendations have high priority in big communities, but what good are community recommendations when there is no community? The priorities in South America will probably also be quite different from those in Europe or North America, based on the socio-economic problems faced in that region. I agree that for example France or the UK should not engage in 5 recommendations/initatives at the same time, and of course these recommendations can change based on how the first year goes. If we realise that fundraising locally sounds like a good idea but gets super complicated and bureaucratic, then that recommendation will change. But the main point is that we all decide on this in the future via the global council and the regional hubs, instead of the WMF being pushed into that role. Braveheart (talk) 12:19, 12 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
it totally does; We create Wikipedia was a goal over all languages, regions aso. ... What you describe is the issue with different stakeholders who all have different priorities. And thats the reason there are so many goals. So everybody is happy; and doing what he did anyways.
... as well: if fundraising should be a goal than it is fundraising (WMF calls it Sustainability of Our Movement - sounds better). With that goal go all the different approaches; its hell of a job to adopt it to all the different realities. So there are a lot of resources (manpower) needed to get it done right. ... But WMF has 9 more goals which, if done right, need a lot of manpower. If you want to do them right. ...
Anyways: es ist müßig darüber zu diskutieren. Ich bin mir sicher die Ziele werden mehr oder weniger so kommen wie sie da stehen. Am Ende wird jedes kleines Stückchen Zielerreichung als Erfolg gefeiert werden. ... "we all decide on this in the future" - doubt that. We oben schon beschrieben; liest eh "keiner" der "inhalte Schaffenden" und wie auch beim Namen "Wikipedia Foundation" bräuchte es schon einen riesigen Aufstand um WMF überhaupt zum "nachdenken" zu bringen. Ob WMF dann was ändert steht noch auf einem ganz anderen Blatt. ... Für die meisten Beitragenden ist es auch gleichgültig: wirds zu blöd geht man halt. Das ist für WMF-MAs auch kein echtes Problem; die Inhalte sind erstmal da und damit ist auch über Jahre das Gehalt gesichert. Ein Wettbewerber wäre ein Problem: aber nur für WMF, nicht für die Inhalte Schaffenden. ...Sicherlich Post 12:38, 12 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
Dear Sicherlich, thank you for sharing your views on this topic and Braveheart for jumping in and clarifying yours! It is really helpful. I will add couple of perspectives from my viewpoint that I hope to be helpful.
The key issue I see here is that we have been working under the term of movement strategy while parts of the work we have been doing are not strategy in usual sense or use of the word. The working question has been about structural or systemic changes needed to enable us to do better work. This means that in these discussions key areas of movement structures have been covered as well as different levels of structures and action have been included, i.e. local, regional, and global. We have included a wider range of people in the discussions to truly make it a movement strategy and have nearly 100 people participating in actual writing of the recommendations, which is not how it is usually done (but well needed to hold the diversity of perspectives we have in the movement). In addition, we were trying to really think ahead in the timeframe of 15 years (as movement strategy was first announced 2016 after celebration of 15 years of Wikipedia), which is not a usual timeframe for strategy processes.
As a result, the final recommendations indeed have a wide scope, which has also been criticized during the January-February consultations. However, working on a wide scope of themes was intentional. The idea of these discussions has been to provide a platform for conversations about longstanding issues, look at the challenges and brainstorm solutions that can bring us to a better place in the future. The idea was to embrace the diversity of perspectives we have in the movement and facilitate the discussions to a higher level where we can generally align and agree (or at least consent) about the general direction we need to be taking in reforming our structures and resolving longstanding challenges. There are some controversial topics in there, but this is again needed, because around these topics there was a lot of energy in the discussions and it seemed that these are important issues that need to be tackled in near future.
Basically, this brings us to the current situation where movement strategy recommendations, as they are can serve multiple purposes. I feel that you are getting at 2 important ones that are both viable.
  1. we prioritize the changes that are essential for the global movement, have global discussions and resolutions around them and then focus our efforts in WMF, affiliates, and project communities to deliver them. Prioritization is one of the steps planned for the transition events and this will result in a plan that is resembling more a regular corporate or non-profit strategy with clear distribution of roles and responsibilites, resource mapping for delivery as well as SMART criteria, OKRs or KPIs to monitor the progress (pardon my jargon in this sentence!). This is the core of the idea of the imlementation plan. This is also what Sicherlich is talking about, in my understanding.
  2. we take up initiatives that are inspired by or related to the movement strategy recommendations in specific contexts. We need to ensure that we make it really clear where such distributed initiatives might be harmful (e.g. if every community starts working on the Movement Charter, it will not work out nor benefit anyone) and on the other hand where it would be a good approach. As a global movement we are working in complex environment and experimentation or probing can provide us solutions how to tackle that complexity and how to implement things in certain contexts. To avoid confusion it would make sense to transparently communicate what we are working at in different projects or organizations, so we avoid duplication and learn from each other, etc. I believe that this is what Braveheart is talking about.
I don't see that there is a necessary contradiction between these 2 options for implementation as long as we are completely clear about what we are doing and what is the purpose of our action. For global action I truly feel that prioritization and focus is needed, as we do not have the capacity to do everything at the same time and we will get distracted and not make progress. At the same time, implementation on a more specific level is less complicated and does not require as many resources, so we might still be able to do some experimentation inspired by the recommendations that will help us make progress on some projects or in some organizations or regions.
I hope my take on this makes some sense and would be happy to clarify my perspective. It would be also great to hear your further thoughts about this. Thank you again for this thread! --KVaidla (WMF) (talk) 13:53, 14 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
Sicherlich, although you state that it is pointless to continue this discussion even further, I have my personal take on your comment in German and will share that anyway in this thread.
One of the reasons why I am working on the movement strategy and taken up this role is the frustration I have regarding the collaboration I see in the movement and at the same time I see the movement strategy to be a good platform we could use to actually change the dynamics. I often feel that because the work we do is somewhat overwhelming we focus on our own projects or organizations and forget about the bigger picture in it. As a result, the communication in the discussion spaces become unilateral and we seem not only to understand the other standpoint, but often do not even try. This is not helpful in any way and I feel that it is hindering us in different ways.
I am not as naive to hope that everything will change completely with the movement strategy transition. I am quite sure it will not, but I am hopeful that we can take at least a small step forward, come together in these discussions and respectfully listen to each other, genuinely trying to understand the different contexts and perspectives. I am sure there will be shortcomings in the transition process, but if we can at least upkeep a constructive discussion and get a wider circle of people engaged in the discussions, we have made progress and maybe can continue progressing in the future.
As project communities, Wikimedia Foundation is made up of people. A diverse range of profiles, skillsets, expectations. As it is not helpful to paint the whole project community with the same color or brush, it is also not helpful to do that for Wikimedia Foundation. I also think that projecting certain negative traits on these people without context nor validation is not really fair. It can be as harmful as projecting the motive of paid editing to all the contributors of a certain project, because we perhaps have heard that this has been the case for a fraction of them and we assume that anybody does anything just for the money - it would be a highly destructive and unhelpful conclusion. I believe that we are a passion-driven movement and that upholds for online contributors, affiliate organizers and Foundation staff members alike. For example, I am working on the movement strategy, because I believe it contributes to the free knowledge and access to knowledge. You might respectfully disagree, but that is how I see it.
I do disagree with your take on celebration. I think we should celebrate our successes and not be ashamed of that. We should not forget about the fun that comes with collaboration and accomplishing goals. Whether it is celebrating certain number of articles or wikidata items created or hitting a targeted milestone for photo competition or meeting key milestones in your work. That helps us to step out of the troubles and challenges of our day-to-day work and see the big picture. I think this is essentially important for people who care, passionately, like we do as Wikimedians. So I would actually suggest to celebrate more.
For me the key problem is, how we could use the movement strategy transition to bring the movement together and have more meaningful global conversations to advance our work. As stated above, project communities and organizations are made up of people and people do change and are willing to try out new things and approaches. Especially if the reasoning behind them is made more clear. I hope we can achieve that clarity and create a small change to the positive in dynamics between project communities, affiliates and WMF. ... Then again, I might be naive after all ... --KVaidla (WMF) (talk) 15:03, 14 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
"movement strategy was first announced 2016" - I already asked that on several occasions and here is another one: What happened to the Wiki in the name of Wikimedia? I know the name is going to change to smth like Wikipedia Foundation [against most of the community but who cares] - but there is still this Wiki thing. Maybe consider Lohimedia? (SCNR)
it would make sense to transparently communicate - it would. To me its not the case. Maybe for 2 reasons:
1st: "hundreds" of pages and subpages and talkpages with endless texts. If one is deeply involved he probably knows whats going on. I don't and doubt that most Wikipedians do (even the "hardcore" editors) - thats more a mock transparency to me. on the good sides: it seems finally WMF understood that global does not mean english and one can find some translations
2nd: I don't really care as I'm sure WMF is following its own agenda and the participatin is just a fig leave [yep, repeating it]. Newest evidence: "Wikipedia Foundation" - asking the community but later stating: its anyways already decided.
Your last passage is interesting to me and fits to my 2nd point. To me it sounds pretty much like WMF wants to tell volunteers and "WMCountries" what to do. It might work for the WMCy-groups as you can force them with money. easy thing.
The volunteers you can't force that way... So you have to motivate and convince them that it is a good thing to work on XY - thats ressources on the WMF side. If you want to go for 10 goals; well a lot of ressources on the WMF side. ... so my forecast: WMF is working on whatever it wants (CoC probably one of them; Its already worked on and gives WMF finally some legal reasoning for things like Framban and Superprotect) ... and everybody else is doing what it wants and will find a justification in one of the 10 goals. So no focus but we have a paper with a strategy. ...Sicherlich Post 15:42, 14 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
After (BK) "we can take at least a small step forward" - can't see it. I'm not involved in the "big" Wikimedia politics but the naming thing of WMF is like screaming in ones face; "We don't care".
Or take Framban or Superprotect. WMF (or its employee) is saying "we care" but the real action says differently.
My comments on the strategy are not about me or my own personal goals I want to see in the strategy. If it effects me in any way to much negative I'll simply leave or reduce my work [as I already did years ago] I have a real life ;) ... (And I would not know how any of the goals could effect me personaly positive)
...Sicherlich Post 15:42, 14 August 2020 (UTC)Reply


Asynchronous is a perfectly good word if you are talking to engineers, software developers, or project managers but a lousy word to use in a document like this with a general audience. - Jmabel (talk) 00:59, 12 August 2020 (UTC)Reply

And, now that I look, it is being used rather vaguely. It appears it does not mean tasks that can be done in breakout sessions and then brought back to a main group, which is what I would have expected it to mean in this context. I'm not sure I understand what ir does mean here. "Things that can be done independently of events"? Or something else? Clarification would be appreciated. - Jmabel (talk) 01:05, 12 August 2020 (UTC)Reply

I would need to check every occurrence to be sure, but generally it is supposed to mean just "between the events".--Ymblanter (talk) 05:55, 12 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
@Ymblanter: If that's all it means, then "between the events" is a much better choice of words, and I will edit accordingly. - Jmabel (talk) 03:06, 13 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
Thanks a lot. Sorry I have not yet come to the remaining questions above, we have a session later today and things may change. I remember about the questions.--Ymblanter (talk) 06:31, 13 August 2020 (UTC)Reply

Why should members of the community participate at all?[edit]

The foundation has decided to change everything and the endorsement by users was "low" to say it friendly. Why should somebody work on a strategy that ist not theirs?

What I have read can be interpreted in such a wide way, that everything could be enforced on this basis. Whenever there was some kind of voting the alternatives were yes or yes, like last weekend in Belarus.

Why should someone participate in something already finalised? Above was statedː project communities would have no say - I respondː project communities have had and will have no say Bahnmoeller (talk) 12:55, 11 August 2020 (UTC)Reply

@Bahnmoeller: There is indeed a possible scenario that the project communities will not participate and then, once the decision has been taken, would resist the things they do not like (I can definitely anticipate things like relaxing notability criteria or dramatically changing the license policy). The point is it is just too stressful and not very productive - and I am saying this as someone who was pretty active in the recent events, such as FRAM and rebranding, on the community side. What we are trying to do here is to avoid this scenario by allowing the community input - and the question right now (well, part of the question we are discussing, there are many other facets which we do not need to) is what is the best way to organize this input (given that we have several dozen active large and middle-size project communities and way more small communities, who want to discuss at their project, do not always align, do not always speak a common language etc).--Ymblanter (talk) 13:30, 11 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
"by allowing the community input" - fig leaf is the english term, right? Thats the reason the soon to be "Wikipedia Foundation" named organization is doing this. ... The organisation who totally ignored the input of the community regarding its name and maybe(!) after an outcry of the community will refrain from doing so, this organisation is now asking for input of the community 😂. Please! ...Sicherlich Post 14:07, 11 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
I am not affiliated with the WMF, never been in the past, never got paid or got funded by the WMF. And my mothertongue is Russian - фиговый лист, wenn Du willst.--Ymblanter (talk) 15:05, 11 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
Oh sorry User:Ymblanter; it was not intended to be personal! It should be more a general statement. ...Sicherlich Post 15:29, 11 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
No problem, sure. But the whole purpose of this talk page is to try to establish some communication with the community. Other stakeholders such as affiliates are normally using other channels. I am assuming that whoever went here followed an announcement posted either by me or by some other member of the group on one of the projects.--Ymblanter (talk) 15:33, 11 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
Dear Bahnmoeller, thanks for sharing the concerns and for your questions! Dear Sicherlich thanks for sharing your perspective! Here are some aspects from my perspective that might help to clarify the context a bit.
It is true that the movement strategy process has been initiated and coordinated by Wikimedia Foundation. The reason for this is that probably it is the only entity in the movement that currently has ability to coordinate this, i.e. keeping in mind administrative and logistic implications that come with a process on that scale. Also in current state the Board of Trustees of Wikimedia Foundation is factually the governance body for the whole movement, as we don't have any other governance structure.
At the same time, the idea of movement strategy did not sprout from an empty space. By the time Wikipedia turned 15 in 2016 and we celebrated it across the globe, we already had created and lived through the first movement strategy for 2010-2015. Hitting this milestone raised the question regarding the future - what would the next 15 years for us look like and so the idea of a long-term direction of Wikimedia 2030 started to emerge.
To be sure, there were 2 attempts to create a new strategy in 2015 and in 2016, but these were rather constrained and not really received as the movement strategy. Things shifted when Katherine Maher was appointed as the new ED for Wikimedia Foundation and reconnecting with the movement became one of the priorities. This is when the movement strategy really took shape as it is, with the principle of doing this together with affiliates and project communities at its core. It has never been about "allowing community input", but making the community engagement an essential aspect of creating the new movement strategy.
This is also what got me engaged in the movement strategy in 2017 in different volunteer roles - I truly believe that this is the only way that movement strategy can be built. Of course, there have been issues and shortcomings around community engagement both in Phase 01 and Phase 02, but I really feel that there has been a genuine effort of engagement. As a result, I also feel that it is somewhat disrespectful and depreciative towards your peers who have engaged in good faith to call their participation a "fig leaf". In every working group there were 1-3 WMF participants, which was about 10% of all the working group participants. There was indeed higher engagement from the organizational part of the movement, i.e. from affiliates, constituting about 50% of the working group participants, but it also needs to be taken into account that the gap between affiliates and online communities is bigger for larger communities, like English and German. In many smaller communities actually a high number of affiliate members are actually prolific online contributors. The full report on the application process can be found there. What in the constituency of the working groups makes you state that it was a WMF process?
I do understand that there have been clear shortcomings, especially in online engagement for the movement strategy, which I have also tried to clarify and make explicit on a different thread on other talk page. (Feel free to join that discussion with your perspective to help us improve the engagement models!) I clearly understand that because of these issues a number of people do not feel that it is their strategy, even though they definitely feel as part of the movement. This means that there is still a long way to go and many conversations to be had. You are right in saying that a wide range of things could be done based on this strategy and in a way it is intentional, but not in a bad way. Namely, the strategy includes controversial topics, long-known and long-standing issues and challenges and with the conversations across the movement we tried to get to a sufficiently high level direction where we can have sufficient level of agreement and alignment, so we can move forward. At the same time, the details of the implementation need to be made clear and the implementation needs to happen in context. Now that we are nearing the actual action, we need to overcome the gap in engagement and ensure that *all the perspectives* are sufficiently represented, so we can actually make *informed decisions* on how to move forward.
In short, this means that my value proposition for participation is to help all of us across the movement get it right when it comes to the implementation and if there are disagreements and strong objections, these are just not silenced, but weighed and taken into account when developing the implementation plans. This seems much more constructive approach for me than any silent or loud boycott. I hope it makes sense and I can also follow up to any questions of clarity and understanding. Thanks again for your contribution! --KVaidla (WMF) (talk) 17:33, 11 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
To say it with Goethe: "Die Botschaft hör ich wohl, allein mir fehlt der Glaube" - from my side: The main issue to me might not be that WMF is leading the process. The main issue is, that there is no trust towards WMF to act for the benefit of the current community. Recent example is the renaming of the WMF; asking for input and after a clear statement of the community against Wikipedia WMF states: "who cares its decided already" --> now there was an outcry all over the projects and still WMF just rethinks it - WTF. Dont ask if you give a s***. ...
more? Superprotect? - too old? No, not at all. The person who applied it is now some steps higher in the hierarchy of WMF and look; its preparing the "law" what can later easily used to justify actions against the community. --> Its likes Ulbrichts: "Niemand hat die Absicht, eine Mauer zu errichten"; some month later we had it. ...Sicherlich Post 18:47, 11 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
To be honest, I can not imagine the strategy process to NOT being initiated by the WMF. Well, may be stretching my imagination - having some RfC somewhere to hold movement-wide elections of the group which would eventually lead the process - but this is utopic and would take a lot of time. I can not imagine a pure bottom-up process leading to a strategy acceptable for everybody in the movement. I think it is way more important how the process is organized.--Ymblanter (talk) 19:19, 11 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
I agree with Ymblanter here regarding the importance of the how. For me it also relates to what Sicherlich is saying with the citation from Goethe - talk is talk and action is action, so we need to ensure that the action is well aligned with the intent to get anywhere. Trust is not built by the words, but with action and we need to ensure we get it right or at least move in the right direction. Examples of previous shortcomings and mistakes are helpful, but we need to go a step further to clarify how will we actually get it right? There are many comments about how we should not do things, but having the balance shift more towards how we actually need to do them from different perspectives would be really helpful. --KVaidla (WMF) (talk) 15:47, 14 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
"how we actually need to do" -
(1) if you want to talk with the community go where they are. No, they are not here on meta. As one can see on this page. Nobody is here. A first step was to start translating pages. But it took WMF about a decade to realize that - and WMF got told this over and over again. If you go on with this speed (and I'm pretty sure you do) in a decade or so you will discover where the different communities actually discuss and a decade further on you will realize what the communities want and need.
(2) Dont lie - (if you ask the community about the name but already decided it: don't pretend you care. )
(3) stay out of community matters. - There was no need for a Framban. There was no need for superprotect. At least the big communities can handle issues pretty good by themselves. If not they will ask you for help. If there is no compelling legal reason to act; stay away (but you will not: the Code of Conduct was already in preparation even before it was decided to be a recommendation [see as well (2) ].).
(4)Stop keeping silent if matters got wrong - I'm not totally sure about this point but I have the impression if the community addresses smth what is against WMF silence it what happens- --> Talk:Community open letter on renaming - no WMF there, right? de:Benutzer Diskussion:JEissfeldt (WMF)#Versagen - no WMF there - to lazy to check for the rest. WMF responses very slowly if at all.
(5)If you care about what the communities want and need: get in touch with them. No the few people on huge meetings are not representative at all. There was this idea of Community Advocate - burned with using this advocate against the community and showed what their job was: keeping the community in line for WMFs liking. ... if WMF wants to know what people in the different communities say you need people who tell you. Who are part of the community and are in direct line with WMF. ... The issue that there was that kind of job but WMF used it as superior police force. Why should a community trust someone installed with a similar job description? I would not
...Sicherlich Post 23:26, 14 August 2020 (UTC)Reply

Thank you for clear suggestions, Sicherlich. I have couple of comments and questions.

  1. I agree that we need to meet people where they are to increase the level of engage. Currently in addition to meta we are reaching out in "village pumps" of the communities, relevant social media channels and discussions, as well as organize online meetings. What are the other ways for engagement that you would suggest?
  2. Right framing for the consultations is important, I agree. See also relevant discussion in a different thread.
  3. Community autonomy is an important value for the movement and this also reflects in the principles of movement strategy, e.g. subsidiarity. However there might be future cases where action or inaction might influence the perceptions related to the movement as a whole. Legal action, indeed, is a completely different case. What are your suggestions for such cases?
  4. For the movement strategy conversations we are trying to improve the response rate. It is a bit tricky to ensure that across the projects (meta, en.wp, de.wp, es.wp, etc.), but for our case a more responsive approach is highly relevant to ensure sufficient level of community engagement to inform the implementation of the recommendations in context.
  5. You are highlighting how the connection should not be built. What is your positive suggestion for a better engagement that we could learn from? --KVaidla (WMF) (talk) 10:33, 19 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
(1) "we are reaching out" - is that so? - e.g. For de:WD:K there was the announcment on the 6th and after that WMF went quiet - it took 9 days for an reaction at all (Wiki had once a meaning :o) ...) - dont get me wrong: as one can see you got immediately response so its good that you went there but why did it take so long for WMF? .. if there are other ways/places: I dont know ;) - Thats the place I would go and it might be the right place on de.
(2) - well, I assume the german approach to say is directly is too offensive in English. Still I prefer it the direct way.
(3) "Community autonomy is an important value" 😂 🤣 ... yeah it is, but nothing WMF cares too much about.
"action or inaction might influence the perceptions" - yeah sure. And the WMF which is challenged with finding the community, understanding the community and even speaking the language of the community knows that best?!? Simple example superprotect as this image viewing was such an important value which needed protection by WMF?! Frist: no, it was not at all. If we would life with the old version nothing would have happened and second: de-WP would have handle it by itself. The intervention of WMF was not needed to get it working on de. ... WMF does not know better and can't handle this kind of things better than the community. It might be different for really small projects but for the larger one its not. Maybe WMF needs to intervene to earn even more money; but thats not necessarily in the interest of the Community but solely of WMF. ...
for legal reasons: thats what once WMF announced as reasons for Office Actions and as far as I can tell its widely accepted. But it seems WMF is changing the reasons for office actions as it likes and using it as it likes (Framban).
(5) I don't have a real suggestion. At least on de WMF has IMO a very low standing (I might be biased but the response you got on the Kurier seems to support that view!?). If thats true thats the first thing WMF has to fix. I can't see any actions of WMF to do so [quite the contrary].
Examples why the trust is not coming back: Superprotect is still in the mind of a lot of people I think. So getting people involved in this matter to handle the Code of Conduct is to me a clear sign WMF still goes the way of being superior to the community. WMF does not even have the courtesy to wait till the recommendation is officially approved; its already working on it. ...
The rebranding is on other matter where WMF shows the finger to the community. ....
After WMF changed its mind about its own superiority maybe it would be a smart step to get someone into the (larger) communities who is/was part of it and having him as a connection between WMF and the community. Someone who tells WMF whats going on within the communities and who tells the community whats going on in WMF. ... Someone who knows whom to approach for which questions/tasks, where to talk, how to talk aso.; and knows it on both sides ... Cornelius Kibelka might be such an accepted person on de, but as soon as WMF uses him just as an advertiser of WMFs ideas or even against the community (like it was done with Jan Eissfeldt) all is ruined.
...Sicherlich Post 11:51, 19 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
Concerning the last point, I was supposed to be cuch person on en.wp, commons, wikidata and a couple of more projects, but it looks we need way more than one person for this job.--Ymblanter (talk) 13:27, 19 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
For sure you need more. But anyways IMO it makes no sense if its just about delivering the decisions made by the "authorities". As long as WMF does not realize that the community is its most valuable asset and that there is a huge amount of knowledge hidden (not only technical or "encyclopaedica" knowledge but to drive a real global organization) all the effort ist useless.
@User:KVaidla (WMF) as an idea check how en:AIESEC is working. Don't go for the US version, try to get contact with AIESEC International in the Netherlands. There are a lot of similarities to Wikimedia. They are global (over 100 countries), most of the work done is done by volunteers [students]. Still all are following a common goal and a global strategy. They change every now and than but still people are moving with them. There are a lot of differences but IMO a lot to learn how to lead people you can not force by paying them a salary ;) ...Sicherlich Post 14:00, 19 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
oh, changed a bit since I left ;) --> AI moved to Montreal; so its even closer to WMF ;) ...Sicherlich Post 14:08, 19 August 2020 (UTC)Reply


The current draft is somewhat disorganized, and a lot of the more important stuff is buried rather low down. I suggest reorganizing it somewhat like this:

  • Separate the actual event plan from information on the discussions leading up to it.
    • Before the big table in the Summary section, the actual outline (from the table in the Overview section) should be present. The table should probably use headers and sections rather than horizontally-placed boxes.
    • The Advantages/Challenges area in the Overview section should be below the actual descriptions, with any parts that are actually concluded aspects of how things should go moved into the overview/summary of the events.
    • Less principles, more concrete things. The large table in the Summary section should be split into general ideals (placed much lower down) and concrete steps to be taken (together with the description).
  • The document as a whole should be more descriptive than imperative. ("Keep spaces for on-wiki engagement..." -> "There will be spaces for on-wiki participation...") It's unclear who is the intended target of imperative sentences.
  • A "Background" section would be useful, for separating out information like the history and the Design group itself. People will skim past it when it makes sense to, allowing easier access to the real content.

Most of the actual important content here could be placed in four paragraphs or so. The extra content shouldn't interrupt readers trying to get at the most important information. --Yair rand (talk) 17:00, 11 August 2020 (UTC)Reply

Repetition of sections[edit]

The current draft has a "1. Small events" section, and also a "3. Small events" section. Shouldn't these be combined into one section, or is there something wrong with one or both of the headings?? Bahnfrend (talk) 13:17, 12 August 2020 (UTC)Reply

wurde schon unter #Renaming plan sections and Celtic Knot 2020 report angemerkt. Scheint ein größerer bürokratischer Prozess zu sein das umzubenennen ...Sicherlich Post 13:22, 12 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
  • Hi Bahnfrend, thanks for the question. The thinking in the Design Group was that a series of smaller focused events would kickstart the process. These events would centre around, for example, languages, communities, regions, etc. to have open conversations about immediate priorities and needs. These events would build up to a larger global event bringing many people together. And following that, there would be a wrap up process to report back on what decisions have been made, who will implement what recommendation and how, etc. Of course individuals are welcome to join any or all of the Transition events. --MPourzaki (WMF) (talk) 16:57, 12 August 2020 (UTC)Reply

Time zones[edit]

An important issue to which the present draft does not sufficiently respond is that events, and especially small events, should be organised so that they are accessible to people in a global range of time zones. The problem is, simply, that a time that might be suitable for someone in, eg, Southern Africa or Western Europe, or in, eg, North or South America, may not be suitable to someone in, eg, East Asia or Oceania. It may therefore be necessary for several, especially smaller, events to be held to cover much the same issues, at different times of the day. Otherwise, there will be a disproportionately large involvement by people in some time zones, and a disproportionately small contribution from people in other time zones. Bahnfrend (talk) 13:17, 12 August 2020 (UTC)Reply

  • Hi Bahnfrend, that is exactly the thinking around small events and the opportunities they provide. The plan is to organize smaller events for different language and geographies at convenient local timezones. Thanks so much for your review and feedback. --MPourzaki (WMF) (talk) 17:12, 12 August 2020 (UTC)Reply

The review period for this draft outline[edit]

In the document: "The review period for this draft outline is from August 6 to 20, 2020." We are more than halfway through that time, and I seem to be the only person really driving any edits to what started out as a pretty unclear document and which still has large, problematic sections. Is August 20 a hard deadline? - Jmabel (talk) 16:22, 14 August 2020 (UTC)Reply

And this is just one of five pages. I, for one, got so bogged down in this one that I haven't even looked at the others. Is someone driving similar work there? If not, is someone willing to? - Jmabel (talk) 16:55, 14 August 2020 (UTC)Reply

  • Hi Jmabel. First of all, thank you so much for your work. We have received feedback on other channels as well, like email from affiliates and office hours, to make the language simpler, more explicit, etc. Thanks to this feedback and your edits, I am confident that we'll be able to provide a much more succinct update on the draft. Like previously when we shared weekly updates, we'll share another update after the official review period and if there are still problems and gaps, we can continue editing on-wiki. The review period was largely around the overall process and the concept of the events so a plan could be created and a procurement process started. Otherwise, August 20 is not a hard deadline, particularly for editing and language and especially given the current global circumstances. Really grateful for your support. --MPourzaki (WMF) (talk) 20:18, 14 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
It would be really interesting to hear your thoughts, Jmabel, as you have now gone through a rather thorough reading of the text. Looking forward to hearing about your take and perspective! --KVaidla (WMF) (talk) 13:31, 15 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
My biggest concern so far is what looks like a complete lack of clarity about how event organizers will be chosen and whether there is any specific way for anyone to put themselves forward for that role or for communities to propose someone in that role. Also, it's pretty unclear how someone would propose a specific event, especially if it required some resources. - Jmabel (talk)
Sorry, what's this about five pages? I thought this was the whole draft? --Yair rand (talk) 18:04, 16 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
@Yair rand: I finally looked around, and I'm happy to say that the other pages linked at a peer level to this aren't things that need review. One is the page of people involved in the process, one is the Strategy document itself, etc. - Jmabel (talk) 21:11, 16 August 2020 (UTC)Reply

Need for consensus decision-making[edit]

The big missing element here seems to be a lack of any defined decision-making process for all of these meetings. Consensus decision-making is vital to our movement, and this certainly does not have to mean RfCs and all that (consensus takes many forms both on-wiki and off-wiki), but it does mean engaging with communities in extended conversations, empowering communities with real choice, and doing the hard work of being open to new ideas, and finding common ground between seemingly divergent positions. We can all learn from the Branding Project experience, and we can do so much better this time around. No Wikimedia strategy design is really complete without a commitment to consensus, and with such a commitment it will be so much stronger.--Pharos (talk) 04:38, 20 August 2020 (UTC)Reply

  • Hi Pharos. Thank you so much for this feedback and reflection. We look forward to extended conversations with communities and are very much open to new ideas. Consensus process, though not perfect (what is perfect :)), is intertwined with our movement in many ways. We need to make sure people can take part in consensus, feel safe and comfortable to do so, and are informed and enabled. We would LOVE to work further with you and others interested in this topic to figure out how and when to set up a comprehensive consensus process where appropriate. -MPourzaki (WMF) (talk) 19:08, 23 August 2020 (UTC)Reply

Time frames[edit]

I notice "Provide in-advance notice for each event". What does that mean? 1 week? 1 month? 3 months?

Please heed the message and not the messenger.

I hope that the way that this came about is not setting a trend. In my opinion, to get inclusion and community ownership in this movement, things need at least 6 months' notice. 3 months for something that's being pushed hard. Less than that it's literally being "snuck by".

Take the way the design committee and this document came about: A window of 20 days for nominations, and another window of 10 days for feedback just 3 months later, with no clear request for inputs inbetween, especially during a year like we've had, is sure to be missed by the majority of Wikimedians - and it was even missed by everyone in our chapter as evidenced by the lack of any mention in our committee meeting minutes, for example.

Without any criticism at the work done, this makes it seem like this is just an insignificant part of the overall movement strategy.

I would like to see a Wikimedia-wide survey of acceptable timeframes perhaps ranked by reach of the effects of a change. Is the plan here to "go fast" or to "go far" as the proverb goes? AFAIK it's the later. The wisdom to accomplish that is "go together"... and in the context of Wikimedia it means "wait for everyone to catch up" (otherwise you will not have buy in). Not just the salaried employees who get paid to drive what they drive every day, but also the thousands of volunteers who may only have a weekend every other month, or perhaps even less, but who also care deeply. Not to mention the chapter volunteers who need time for diffusion and feedback within their own communities. Dagelf (talk) 07:37, 16 November 2020 (UTC)Reply