Talk:Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20/Working Groups/Roles & Responsibilities/Interviews Insights Summary

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Please comment here! Chris Keating (The Land) (talk) 18:00, 28 February 2019 (UTC)

Ambigous can be good[edit]

I get the feeling of reading the (good) status report that you perceive unclear responsibilities etc as something bad (=that needs to be fixed). I question this as I see this basically as something of a strength in the Movement, it gives opportunities for individual to take initiatives to solve issues and not an organization. I agree though that in many areas (like between project) it is a weakness that should be addressed. But i hope with a bottom up approach and not top down. We can have coordinating bodies instead of decision oriented bodies.Yger (talk) 19:04, 28 February 2019 (UTC)

I agree, but the problem is that the vacuum is often filled "abusively" and there is no way to hold the decision-makers accountable, especially when they have a practically infinite supply of money. Nemo 14:05, 4 March 2019 (UTC)
Thanks for the thoughts on this. I agree there can be situations where leaving responsibilities fluid is an advantage. For instance, the creation of Wikidata; there was very little clarity about whether a chapter could/should take on supporting a major new technical project, but WMDE decided they were going to fill that gap. We should definitely keep in mind that in some cases the answer might well be that leaving things undefined is the right thing to do. However, we encountered more people perceiving that these kinds of gaps are now a problem, at least for the specific issues that they identified.
I wonder whether the increasing complexity of the movement means that there are fewer opportunities for individual volunteers (or small groups) to take the initiative to solve issues in the way you identified. For instance, in 2014 I was involved in setting up some chapter board training workshops, and had conversations with people about turning this into a broader initiative to support the development of affiliates... but even with a group of volunteers and WMF staff happy to spend some time on the issue, any bigger solution to the problem was far more than we could sustain, we all drifted into doing other things, and 5 years later the problem remains unsolved. This ties into another part of our thinking, which is that actually it's quite difficult to even start a conversation about solving some of these issues, which is in itself something that should be addressed. Chris Keating (The Land) (talk) 10:14, 5 March 2019 (UTC)
Some examples where it has worked fine without a decision body. The meeting of chapters in Eastern Europe is driven by the people involved, financed by WMF but not driven by them. Last year something similar was done for entities in Northern Europe driven by one of the EDs. And I actually see FDC as a good example of a process driven from bottom to top and not top to bottom. I really worry that this strategy work will end up with more of a bureaucracy type of organization. Clear accountability in a structured organization mostly means less room for initiatives and creativity.Yger (talk) 19:22, 6 March 2019 (UTC)

Research needed[edit]

There is an assumption that our volunteer model won't work in many communities, but a lack of research into this. We know that editing Wikipedia is not an entry level task for new users of the Internet, but while Internet retailers have long had a rule of thumb that new users of the internet won't start purchasing on the internet until they have two years experience, we don't yet know what the gap is for Wikipedia editing. Equally, we know that the ratio of readers to editors is very different among smartphone users than PC users, but we don't know what that ratio is or whether it is in part a longer lead time from becoming a reader to becoming a writer on the less editor friendly mobile platform. WereSpielChequers (talk) 09:22, 3 March 2019 (UTC)

Chapter - WMF roles and responsibilities[edit]

I agree that a lot of Chapter/WMF interactions and responsibilities are not clear or not formally specified. Therefore during the previous months on my own initiative, as a Chapter Chairperson, I have attempted to make an inventory of the mutual responsibilities between Chapters and the WMF: see wmbe:WMF Chapter Roles and responsibilities. Could this possibly be used as an input to the R&R working group process? Geert Van Pamel (WMBE) (talk) 14:06, 3 March 2019 (UTC)

Thank you! This is a great overview and definitely a helpful resource for us. CDG (WMAT staff) (talk) 13:53, 4 March 2019 (UTC)