Talk:Tech/Ambassadors/List

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Ping group[edit]

Is anyone familiar with Template:Ping group? I was thinking about using it to facilitate conversations with the group. In my past experiences, people don't watchlist talk pages enough to know that a discussion is happening :) Elitre (WMF) (talk) 12:16, 15 November 2017 (UTC)

At least it's used a lot on Wikidata. I'm personally not a big fan, because I follow talk pages and am not interested of unnecessary pings. I had to remove myself from some member lists because I got too many pings that I didn't want to see. Stryn (talk) 16:10, 15 November 2017 (UTC)
My colleague made Meta:Babylon/Translators newsletter for translators, so I think I'm going to may investigate the same system for ambassadors. Elitre (WMF) (talk) 18:04, 21 November 2017 (UTC)
Personally I prefer to be pinged rather than miss some relevant inforamation, I can safely ignore things where I have nothing to bring. --Psychoslave (talk) 13:52, 20 February 2018 (UTC)

Tech ambassadors, take 2[edit]

As this group will get larger (I am now going to ping several communities so that new volunteers may join), more voices are appreciated on the topic of this role, its future, and better ways to collaborate. I'm copy/pasting some contents from our previous chat on the subject (outcomes of the various conversations had been summed up there), and I'm adding one question. As the fiscal year continues, we'll turn these thoughts into action items together! --Elitre (WMF) (talk) 14:35, 29 November 2017 (UTC)

Questions[edit]

  1. What do you think of the draft definition provided in the main page, that we're considering as an integration/addition to the existing definitions?
  2. What would you like to do to help, but cannot, because [reasons]?
  3. What is it a "small thing" Community Liaisons may already do now that would enable you to achieve a lot of impact in your community in this role? When it comes to two-ways communications, would you like a detailed protocol/process, or should we keep things casual?

Answers[edit]

  • First of all, the role description should be more visible for the community. Perhaps only a part of those who act like ambassadors is aware of this name, scope, resources, etc. A good thing would be to put a link on the Wikimedia Resource Center. Second, more user-friendly (not necessarily textual) documentation! Not only simple matters like how to report a bug, but also more complex ones, like how to deal with major concerns, and how to explain the workflow and intentions of WMF teams/community. Third, more interaction between tech ambassadors. Mutual exchange of experience, a sense of belonging to a distinctive group, maybe some meetings online. And, above all, there should be proofs showing that the ambassador role is meaningful, influential, needed, resultful. There's a glass ceiling as long as such proofs are lacking. Additionally, maybe a series of Community Profiles on blog.wikimedia.org?
    As for your proposed definition, I like it. Even the order of attributes. "Making sure the message is well understood" and "contributing to a faster resolution of local issues" aren't easily verifiable, because the only certain related facts are whether or not an ambassador did post a message / answer to community questions, but that can be clarified and measured somewhere else.
    As for the KPI: for top - say - 10, I'd add "covered by at least two tech ambassadors". Tar Lócesilion (queta) 12:28, 11 August 2017 (UTC)
  • I think some of the requirements are not realistic when combined for the same person. For instance I see some ambassadors who translate and spread notices very well, but are not active at all on Phabricator. Nemo 12:06, 15 December 2017 (UTC)
  • I share some thoughts about the questions:
    1. To be a proactive tech ambassador, we must talk together to understand how is developed the Mediawiki software and how impact the future major releases in our communities. I'm a newbie in this group and I don't know if we are talking about the latest changes -or future releases- that could impact the users.
    So the counter-question is, how could the tech ambassador get empowering his link between the local community and the developer team?.
    2. I really like to program into Mediawiki, but I see it a little complex to do it ;). In our role, I don't know if we can open a bug in Phabricator and if the team get the task or just leave in some board in the tracking system (as Technical Debt?). In my case, I'm developing a tool to reach deleted revision and I opened a ticket in Apr 2016 and it was resolved in Nov 2017 (over 1,5 year!).
    3. As I say many times in a month: "Don't be the things complex if we don't need it".
Regards! Superzerocool (talk) 15:24, 15 December 2017 (UTC)
Hi there! I'll try to comment on a few things at the best of my ability, (and in the limits of these ugly talk pages). But to stress your last comment: let's start from something small :)
As for a better understanding of development in our environment, hopefully my colleague User:AKlapper (WMF) will help us with that when contents for phab:T181884 are developed. For the time being though, it won't hurt to write down the real basics which we already know of. For example, what MW release notes comments (added by ReleaseTaggerBot) in Phabricator mean. What could be other examples? Could people who are approaching this for the first time list what it is they could struggle with? (Maybe imagine Tech/News/2017/50 contains one or more items that are critical, were not translated in your language, and mean that some breaking change will happen later this week on your wiki. This is just an example obviously: there won't be deployments until New Year.)
When it comes to "being the link". It is important to see how at this stage this is mostly about understanding more, getting more clarity, and helping others to understand and get more clarity, where the others are not just the community but also the dev teams. You won't be a "magic wand" that solves issues, but you can make sure that those issues are understood and correctly flagged, and I promise you that's already a lot. A few super easy things that one could try would be chatting up with your community about the choice you made to serve in this role, to give them more awareness, and maybe prompt a conversation about their expectations.
A very practical thing we may look into could be using Template:User_tech_ambassador on the user pages on our wikis, to help communicate belonging on a steady basis. Babel boxes may be old-fashioned, but that's why we like them, I guess!
Anyone can file a task into Phab, even if there's no expectation of a specific person/team working on it soon. Have ideas for Wishlist Survey 2019 already? Go ahead. We can totally have a column where we help each other triage tasks. --Elitre (WMF) (talk) 10:44, 18 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Agreed in general with all that's said above. To elaborate:
    The "definition" points seem like reasonable first drafts to me, though could use clarification. My self-assessment in the "Other ambassadors" rather than "Active ambassadors" column now seems like a good instinct on my part. Under the new definitions, I don't really qualify yet under point no. 2, if it means posting tech-related information from Phabricator, MediaWiki.org, Meta, or the official WMF site to my main project's community spaces. (Though Nemo's comment that not every TA will necessarily excel in all four areas is probably correct.) Part of why I'm here in this thread and was appreciative of the recent user-talk notice was because it looks like we're going to be better connected to the pipelines for this information and what to do with it (and better connected to each other). The thread below is also a step in this direction.

    On the specific "definition" points, using the same numbers they have in the page:

    1. Being identifiable in that list isn't the only kind of recognizability needed; the people need to be well known, and respected as competent, on the "home" project(s) at which they're being ambassadorial.
    2. As noted above, this could use some clarification of what tech info is coming from where. The "making sure the message is well understood" bit almost comes off as "spin this the way WMF wants it understood". I'm sure that's not the intent, but I think it's apt to be misinterpreted that way, especially by people who are skeptical of some of the tech projects (Flow and VE probably being at the top of that list). I don't think this "message" wording works, at least not in English; it's too tied to "I'm gonna get my message across to you" idiom, which can seem confrontational.
    3. All good, except one thing: many of the issues are not local. Quite a few open Phab tickets are of concern across all projects. It is just sometimes going to be the case that certain projects (mostly larger ones with diverse content, like the major Wikipedias) have A. identified more issues, and B. have more people who care about them (and may be unhappy about it).
    4. All good.
My "What would you like to do to help, but cannot" thing is just a generalized matter of being new to the role and group, and not being well-integrated into workflows outside of en.WP. That'll come with experience and more tools, like the Workboard.

The third question, on Community Liasons: I'm not entirely sure who or what the CLs are. I'm not finding a page about them on Meta, though WikiSource likes to use the term a lot. I do see wmf:Job openings/Community Liaison, and assume that's the same CL role, though I don't know if there are 2 of them or 100. At this stage, I think a "casual" arrangement is fine. I have enough organizational lifecycle experience to know that bureaucracy (in both the necessary structure and unnecessary "red tape" senses) develops over time and in response to contextual pressures; trying to implement procedures before a need for them has been identified is counter-productive proceduralism, because they generally will be based on something with different needs rather than the actual needs of the project and people at hand. And to be clear, I have no interest in being a MW developer; it's not my kind of coding. What I care about is better communication between the editorial community and the process[es] that develop the tools they're working with. One of the things I suggested to Katherine Maher upon her becoming WMF's executive director (in private e-mail, when I was bucking for the communications director job >;-) is that WMF needs to act much less like a software company with a userbase and much more like a nonprofit with a constituency. I know this really, really well, having spent most of my professional career at major tech-oriented nonprofits like EFF and CRF.

As for previous respondents' comments, I'm especially taken with Tar's suggestions; that whole list sounds great. Superzerocool's point no. 1 is also key.

 — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  00:53, 16 December 2017 (UTC)
Hi to you as well! On the definition points:
  • I don't think we meant those to be "current criteria". If someone thinks they currently don't fit with number 2 or 3, it isn't the end of the world. Can they do that in, say, 6 months from now? Are they willing to commit to make that happen? Those are the questions, and I certainly hope so. I also think that eventually a lot depends on the community's size and habits. I guess we're trying to establish what the "minimum" amount of communication could be, and where it happens, for the moment. Maybe I could clarify this somewhere :) Even the columns weren't meant to divide people into primary, secondary etc., but more as a way to structure the information.
  • I believe that being recognized and appreciated at your own community certainly helps. I wouldn't make it too crucial though. I do believe that the ambassador, like many others, is a role in which you "prove" your skills while growing them. You earn a reputation, respect etc. Your availability, your honesty, your commitment, and more, are all things that in this context are likely more important than your overall number of edits, or what your position was in that last huge RfC that your wiki had. I would really enjoy working with people with different backgrounds, to compare their experiences, and I'd love if this group had a number of people who are not necessarily experienced contributors. I also believe there actually needs to be balance, especially in cases in which there is just one ambassador. On one hand, community size may be what it is; but OTOH, the fact that someone is the only person who speaks English at a certain project and cares to become that bridge between the community and the "external" world, risks to make them a "gatekeeper". But that's part of a too long conversation that's probably for another time ;)
  • I think "well understood" (thanks for the point about wording, not a native speaker myself) only means, in an accurate way despite containing technical language, terms in a different language, this kind of things. In my experience, it happens too often that people aren't clear on very basic details, and get mad with no reason :) I love Tech News because it manages to convey information in a very plain way. Sometimes, when there's a lot of information to publish, that's really hard to do.
  • Your comment on #3 is correct, and that's the key: once the information is out there, most communities usually just acknowledge it and move on with their lives. But for those communities where this doesn't happen - we need to know about this, so we can take action together if necessary.
  • Re: your comments about Liaisons, now I'm curious where you've been looking :) We exist, I promise!
Best, --Elitre (WMF) (talk) 11:34, 18 December 2017 (UTC)
In the same order: I don't disagree with you about growing into the role, with regard to points #1 and #2; however, the reason for this role definition statement is to get the right people (and, I suppose, to steer the potentially right people into becoming them); "your name is in the list below" doesn't do that; it's just an e-paperwork matter. Something should be in #2 about a TA's relationship with their "home" editing community/communities. The "#3" point I understand; I just thought the wording was strange. Maybe I'm over-interpreting. Oh, and I had found the Community Liaisons page since posting. Heh. The people involved and the nature of the role aren't widely known among editors. E.g., I'm familiar with both Quiddity and WhatamIdoing, and have been a regular editor for most of 2005–2017, but had no idea either of them were CLs. So, to come full circle to the CL–TA communication question, a means of regularizing that would be helpful, even if should not be bureaucratized.
 — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  14:08, 19 December 2017 (UTC)
  • My take on the questions:
    1. The scope is fine except for the "proactive" element which I'll discuss below.
    2. The main thing I wish someone can do but I can't is keeping up with translations. We are only human volunteers. In fact I think each language will need four or five regular volunteers to translate all the tech ambassador announcements.
    3. Time limitations mean that I can only be proactive at relaying the tech requests of my little community (yue.wp) to WMF Community Tech, not the other way round. I need to focus on the direction with lower volume and higher impact per volume. I can also respond to Community Liaisons if contacted directly and infrequently. I think the relationship should be formal (between Ambassador and Liaison) but the format of communication should be regulated as little as necessary. Deryck C. 10:56, 20 December 2017 (UTC)
  • My thoughts on the questions,
    1. The draft definition is nice. Are we missing collaboration in the definition? Aren't the ambassadors expected to collaborate with each other? Or are they not expected to do that much? Apart from that it could still be improved in various ways. Here are a few suggestions,
      • improve the clarity to avoid misinterpretations and to ensure people get what you want exactly. (probably suggested by other users too)
      • separate the characteristics and the activities expected for the characteristic. Though they seem related I think it would be better to list the characteristics like proactivity, supportive etc., separately from the activities like post tech-related information ..., help get information from their community ... etc., that might denote them. I think this way because there might be people who are interested in being a Tech Ambassador and would be searching for activities that a Tech ambassadors are expected to perform to ensure if they can do this. For those people, it would be better if we list them separately and make it clear they are not in any compulsion to do all of the listed activities. So something like,
        Active tech ambassadors are people who are,
        1. recognizable in their community
        2. proactive about sharing tech-related information
        3. supportive
        4. reachable by people about tech related stuff
        Generally tech ambassadors,
        1. identify themselves as ambassadors in their community and in other places like the Signup table so that people could find/recognize them easily
        2. post tech-related information in their project's community spaces, making sure the message is well understood. Tell them only what's necessary (it's a little hard to find that sometimes)
        3. help get information from their community to MediaWiki.org and Phabricator, thus contributing to a faster resolution of issues
        4. respond when contacted by Community Liaisons (or others) about tech stuff
        NOTE: Of course, the general requirement is that they serve as a bridge between the community in which they are involved and the technical teams. Any activity that's related to it is considered helpful and appreciatable.
    2. I would like to engage more with the community and would like to have a handbook or guide about to how to go about with it. Starter's guide to engaging with the community Or maybe I'm overthinking and just comes out of experience by involving in Discussion, RfCs, Village Pumps, Tea House etc., But it took a long time for me to discover even these and would like to have a guide/document that lists various ways to get involved with the community.
    3. I would like to go with SMcCandlish's thought that a casual communication is better and protocol might be a premature evil. Anyways we should ensure we follow a little protocol as to where we discuss/communicate to make sure we don't miss things. - - Kaartic correct me, if i'm wrong 17:54, 31 December 2017 (UTC)

Thanks everyone for your thoughts, keep them coming. A few clarifications (sorry to repeat myself!):

What this "taskforce" will primarily focus on are "important, major projects (to be defined, of course...)" that will require the active involvement of most/all the committed ambassadors. This is not going to be "every item in every Tech News issue", or "every change for which an email is sent to the ambassadors list", although of course there will be overlaps. Recurring questions during these months have been "what makes something a priority? what should people be pointed to, how do we convey importance/urgency?". These are not easy questions: one thing ambassadors could do is coming up with a list of examples of things that should warrant a call to action (and hence deserve the tag on Phabricator), and things that are business as usual and will only go through the regular channels of TN and the mailing list.
We have also discussed the part in which ambassadors help each other assessing problems so that they can be correctly addressed/escalated. I do not have a strong opinion on how this should work, other than I think a dedicated column in the Phabricator workboard will certainly help.
Another point that could probably use clarification is that ambassadors do not necessarily have to be the ones to personally do all the work! Part of why you are such a great asset to your community is your network: you can find others to support you or get something done on your behalf. It is important for us to know that you are a reliable point of contact, but we certainly hope you will also be counting on others, because you shouldn't get overwhelmed. And part of the fun is how you'll figure out in the making how many people could actually lend a hand if they were aware it's needed, or that it doesn't take much to encourage someone to step up and join ongoing efforts.
HTH, --Elitre (WMF) (talk) 11:30, 5 January 2018 (UTC)

Wiki projects requesting beta features and other early deployments[edit]

You are welcome to weigh in on this topic at https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T177923, FYI. Best, --Elitre (WMF) (talk) 13:22, 4 December 2017 (UTC)

I responded there. Some material I left out because is "political" or "PR" material, not suited to a Phab ticket is covered below.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  01:31, 16 December 2017 (UTC)
Thanks, also for actually taking this back here. (I think it'd be good for that task's clarity to edit that comment and just link here or just to remove it.) I have more comments/replies that I'll post on this page soon. --Elitre (WMF) (talk) 16:19, 19 December 2017 (UTC)

Some community-relations material that wasn't really on-topic for the Phab ticket[edit]

A key issue is that not everyone who has "(WMF)" in their username is making a good impression when they show up to places like w:en:Wikipedia:Village pump. Often they (regardless what their intent is) come across as trying to proselytize a WMF official viewpoint, even when the editorial community is strongly expressing both diagreement with "the message" (see comments in previous section about that) and with how it's being delivered. I know from a decade+ experience being the primary mouthpiece for an organization with a large constituency that it's quite challenging to effectively advocate an organizational viewpoint and set of goals without setting off various groups of people in that constituency, so I'm not meaning to personally criticize anyone. But it's a skill, and it's learned, sometimes painfully. The more defensive and denialistic you sound, the worse it comes off. It's also not effective to sound patronizing, nor to be dismissive of concerns (despite those being somewhat at odds with each other). That's a three-axis range in which to try find the organizational communications "sweet spot".

One thing in particular that is torquing people off is WMF's excessive dwelling on Visual Editor. Many editors are tired of hearing about it. Most serious editors (at en.WP, anyway) do not use it due to problems with it, and sometimes because we're just very "source mode" by nature. There are people who are opposed to it in a more philosophical or politicized way, but mostly it's a concern about the violence it can do to articles' wikisource code when used incautiously or without sufficient clue. The general gist is that people don't want it imposed, including that they don't want it to be the default editor for anons or for new registered users. Whether it's accurate or not, the overall impression is that WMF doesn't care and is not listening, and is aggressively "marketing" VE. Rumor has it that WMF has spent a tremendous amount of money on it, and feels that they're past a "point of no return", causing them to fall for a variant of the gambler's fallacy, to continue investing in it on the premise that a) they've put in so much already that they can't stop, and b) any moment now it will all just fall into place and work out fine. Many editors disagree with these assumptions (and they may not actually be assumptions that WMF has, though this is the perception of the situation).

Consequently, it's a bit worrying that the MW Editing Team's weekly triage meetings are so tied to VE matters, when the ET's mandate is way broader than VE, and most of the issues with MW that editors are grumpy about are basic editing issues that are actually within the ET's scope. I.e., the ET isn't, apparently, focusing on what the editorial community actually expects them to focus on, only what WMF wants them to focus on. This might ultimately be the proximal source of a whole lot of the friction. Some of the "us versus them" kind of commentary at task T177923 is quite disheartening and simplistic, too. The User Notice project's workboard mentioned above (which seems to be devoted to producing the Tech News) looks to be more topically diverse, so that's a good sign, at least.
 — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  01:31, 16 December 2017 (UTC)

Great job with the Remex announcement[edit]

Last week I put up a page for translation. It was just a few languages, but you acted super fast making our anticipated publishing deadline look silly. And there was a side conversation about the announcement itself, which was the other point of involving ambassadors for early, relevant feedback. I don't know whether the involved people are also keeping an eye on local conversations if any, but again, thanks a lot for the quick help there, immensely appreciated. --Elitre (WMF) (talk) 11:01, 16 January 2018 (UTC)

i will like to know more from you..you are highly welcomed Sakhumza (talk) 18:15, 9 May 2018 (UTC) Sakhumza (talk) 18:15, 9 May 2018 (UTC)

A Phab workboard for us?[edit]

I'd like to discuss with you an idea about a way to keep the ambassadors informed and ready for action.

(This is assuming that all ambassadors are familiar with the Phabricator environment. If you aren't, just let me know. We can get you up to speed!)

Phabricator is where devs "live", and the most up-to-date and centralized source for information about incoming changes. You may or may not know that Tech News also uses Phabricator to plan for content to include in future issues. You can see the workboard here. https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/project/view/1097/

My idea is having a workboard like this one for changes that require tech ambassadors' attention and/or action. Tasks would end up there after getting properly tagged (likely with something like #techambassadors).

So in addition to "To triage", or "Not ready to announce", we could have columns like "To translate", "To announce on village pumps", "To start a discussion about", etc. So you'd have all the relevant tasks at a glance, and you'd automatically get the related notifications in the way you prefer (see here for details).

My team uses workboards, and several colleagues of mine use them to organize their personal work as well, because they're pretty powerful. To be clear, I expect that this would require most of you to simply look at the workboard/react to the pings, (the more bureaucracy-inclined of you would be free to help with tagging, moving tasks and other kind of maintenance, once we've reached an agreement about how to do all of this).

But! Because this doesn't need to go into one direction only, we could also create a column containing well written/documented tasks coming from the various communities. These could be triaged together to be tagged properly, and hence sent in the queues for the appropriate products/features; there could even be a column to "incubate" ideas for the future Community Wishlists, etc.

What do you think? We could also look for solutions for cases in which a Phab task wouldn't do (can you think of examples?)

Thanks, --Elitre (WMF) (talk) 19:07, 13 December 2017 (UTC)

Can one watch a single column in a workboard? --Nemo 12:04, 15 December 2017 (UTC)
+1 to this point: I think that if only one project would be used for all possible activity (translation, activism etc.), the board would be simply unusable to keep track of (i.e. every comment from every task will get emailed to watchers, and it is too much for most people). stjn[ru] 14:33, 17 December 2017 (UTC)
You cannot watch a single column on a project's workboard. You can only watch projects. If you use workboard columns to categorize tasks which are so diverse that you do not care about the project in its entirety (=other columns), then you should probably set up separate (sub)projects instead of one big project. Also see mw:Phabricator/Project management#Boards. --AKlapper (WMF) (talk) 15:58, 20 December 2017 (UTC)
It's a good idea. One could even wonder why it wasn't proposed much earlier (I know: sticking to annual plans). Tar Lócesilion (queta) 14:08, 15 December 2017 (UTC)
I work with Trello, and I like the idea about boards to organize our tasks. About the columns, I don't know what are the most important things to organize, but we can create/remove/rename them. [insert thumbs up to idea]. Superzerocool (talk) 15:28, 15 December 2017 (UTC)
Sounds good. The only concern I would have is that some of us "live" way more in MW than in Phab, so some way to receive key notices on-wiki is needed (something that triggers the cross-project notifications system one way or another). This could be as simple as having a bot dump copies of stuff to a wiki-page we can watchlist, to something as complicated as a talk-page delivery service on a per-user customizable basis. Probably more like the former; I'm all too aware that creating work about doing work isn't very productive. But neither is having a tool people forget to use.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  23:27, 15 December 2017 (UTC)
To be clear, I would expect the tag to be used only for important, major projects (to be defined, of course...) that will require the active involvement of most/all the committed ambassadors. This is not going to be "every item in every Tech News issue", or "every change for which an email is sent to the ambassadors list", although of course there will be overlaps. But when a project requires a call to action, it is very likely that the various components of the action (such as, translating; posting on wikis; etc.) won't be really splittable (if there's a need for a message to be posted, it may make sense to translate that message in advance). Another point that could probably use clarification is that ambassadors do not necessarily have to be the ones to do all the work! Part of why you are such a great asset to your community is your network: you can find others to support you or get something done on your behalf. It is important for us to know that you are a reliable point of contact, but we do expect you to be also counting on others, because you shouldn't get overwhelmed. Part of the fun is how you'll figure out in the making how many people could actually lend a hand if they were aware it's needed, or that it doesn't take much to encourage someone to step up and join ongoing efforts. (I'm gonna repeat some of these concepts elsewhere.)
This said, if we think that the part where the ambassadors help each other identify issues and triage them properly is going to cause much noise, we could maybe have a separate board for that alone. But again, I'd say let's try to start, and then we can adjust if we see things are not working! --Elitre (WMF) (talk) 11:13, 5 January 2018 (UTC)
Support Support especially for
But again, I'd say let's try to start, and then we can adjust if we see things are not working!

Elitre (WMF).

- - Kaartic correct me, if i'm wrong 13:48, 5 January 2018 (UTC)
Sounds good. Stryn (talk) 14:24, 5 January 2018 (UTC)
I am going to survey ambassadors to make sure we're all on Phab and/or know how to get there. Next week I'll be in San Francisco and will get help in getting the workboard up to play with it. Stay tuned, --Elitre (WMF) (talk) 11:03, 16 January 2018 (UTC)
My apologies for the delay. I am now back on this project, will go through the list of ambassadors to figure out where we are with the Phabricator signups, and then will request that the workboard is created.
In a first test phase, we will mainly discuss what it should look like (that is, basically, how many columns it should have), and only I (or another Community Liaison) will actually tag any tasks so that they end up on the workboard. This is temporary, and only so that we don't end up with too many things at once. Did I tag something I shouldn't have tagged? Did I miss an important task instead? These are the only 2 questions we will try to answer in this phase!
Finally, I am happy to report that it is now easier to handle Phab tasks that come through your email (see documentation in the link)! (As a reminder, you can perform a variety of actions on Phabricator directly from your email client, beyond just commenting on tasks.) And a new "Mute" option has also been added, which provides even more flexibility. HTH, --Elitre (WMF) (talk) 11:18, 16 February 2018 (UTC)

Pilot starting[edit]

Hi there. I am happy to report that the Phabricator project for tech ambassadors has been created! https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/project/profile/3302/ It is meant to flag changes that require tech ambassadors' attention and/or action, when a mere email to the mailing list won't do. In this pilot phase (April/May 2018), to avoid confusion, only Wikimedia Foundation's Community Liaisons will mark tasks so that they end up in the various columns. After this phase we can consider doing other grand things there, as we had discussed :)

  • Please add yourselves as Watchers at https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/project/members/3302/
  • Please review mw:Phabricator/Help#Notifications if you are not familiar with how notification about Phab activity works. You won't be swamped with pings or emails in this initial phase anyway, per the statement above. In my February comment above I also provide further tips to how you can customize your experience there.
  • See the workboard at https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/project/board/3302/ . Right now, it's empty.
    • When a suitable task exists, a Community Liaison will add the hashtag #tech-ambassadors to it so that it appears on the workboard. (This is similar to how changes get flagged to appear in Tech News.)
    • The task is then moved to the suitable column to flag why it needs tech ambassadors' attention and/or action. A comment will also be added at the bottom of said task with specific instructions, of course (for example, "this needs to be posted on the village pump of all the wikiprojects in Spanish").
    • When the work is completed, the task gets moved to the "Archive" column, and that's it.
      • Please provide input about the columns. Are we missing any workflow that's crucial to the ambassadors there? Should anything be merged? This is really the only thing that needs to be defined in order to make this tool useful to you. Some of my colleagues will also be around more from now on, as we'll also be looking into documentation that can be created to clarify the role even further and make it trivial for anyone, at any time, to join and figure out how they can contribute. Talk to you soon! --Elitre (WMF) (talk) 17:58, 11 April 2018 (UTC)

Discussion[edit]

  • I'm a little confused about the purpose of the "Mailing list notification only" board. Is it about notifying the ambassador's mailing list about something that needs to be done but is not very urgent? If that's the case, then that leads me into thinking that the Phabricator boards would be used to intimate ambassador's about the urgent things and less urgent things would be intimated to ambassador's through the ambassador's mailing list. Am I correct or am I missing something? - - Kaartic correct me, if i'm wrong 02:51, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
    • Sorry for the delay, Kaartic. So the mailing lists reaches way more people than the current group we're trying to gather these days. And it works very well for certain calls to actions. So the "ML only" column would simply help everyone visualize which kind of task only needed to be circulated there, while other columns would probably be more critical and time-sensitive. It's also possible that we don't really need that column though, and I guess getting started will help us figure that out! Thanks a lot for sharing your thoughts, --Elitre (WMF) (talk) 10:43, 26 April 2018 (UTC)
  • I agree with a few comments above that the workboard is very wide (both screen dimensions and scope), which could make this unworkable because you can only subscribe to the whole workboard, not particular columns of it. Can we condense it down to e.g. 4 columns and only put really important issues there? Also can we have a column (or separate workboard) where ambassadors bring their technical help needs to developers? Deryck C. 17:43, 1 May 2018 (UTC)
Which 4 would you recommend then? Re: the other request, I already said that's the plan, just not immediately. TY, --Elitre (WMF) (talk) 08:33, 2 May 2018 (UTC)

Toolhub[edit]

Hello, everyone. I am starting to send out announcements to various Wikimedia projects about the new Toolhub project. Text of the announcement is available here. Initial announcements are going out to village pumps and the talk pages for that wiki's equivalent of Project talk:Tools (e.g. d:Wikidata talk:Tools). Initial projects I am reaching out to are Wikidata, Wikimedia Commons, Wikipedia (Arabic, Catalan, English, French, Hindi, Swedish, Ukrainian), Wikisource (Catalan, English, French), and Wikivoyage (English, French). I would like to add more wikis as more translations come in; I will be doing more work on getting translations for those languages. Please let me know if there are any particular pages, projects, people, etc. I should reach out to. Harej (WMF) (talk) 00:02, 3 June 2018 (UTC)