Talk:Technical Collaboration/Community collaboration in product development/Tech ambassadors and translators

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This consultation was open Tuesday, August 8th to the 22nd, 2017. You may add any further thoughts to be evaluated in future conversations.

Tech ambassadors (mega thread)[edit]

Your comments and suggestions go here. Please note we are aiming at just 1 KPI for group for this first year. For comparison, you can find an existing definition here. Location, and hence title, of any subpages may be changed later. Merging content may be necessary.
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?
What would you like to do to help, but cannot, because [reasons]?
  • 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)
  • Your opinion here, don't forget to sign :)

Tech translators (mega thread)[edit]

Your comments and suggestions go here. Please note we are aiming at just 1 KPI for group for this first year. Tech News has been chosen as a "benchmark" because of its frequency and its role in spreading technical information. Location, and hence title, of any subpages may be changed later. Merging content may be necessary.
What do you think of the draft definition provided in the main page?
What would you like to do to help, but cannot, because [reasons]?
  • My comment here is related to my comment in the section above. Documentation, proofs. 3 weeks ago, I wrote to my ambassador/translator mate: I resigned from this job [Tech News translations] because I can't assess how many such people [who are interested in tech stuff and don't know English well] there is. What if all Polish Wikimedians who are interested in what Tech News inform about actually know English well enough to prefer the original version? Bad translation can be worse than a text in a foreign language. I haven't seen any complaint, any request for translation, any question "what does that mean" on plwiki. By the way, who (beyond ambassadors) reads Tech News and similar newsletters? What's the point of translating such texts? Those questions require answers - of course, not just here. Communications related to new software and features are a completely different story. The more people are supposed to use a piece of software, the more obvious the need of translation is. Tar Lócesilion (queta) 16:20, 11 August 2017 (UTC)
    • Tech News informs about changes to features and may affect all users (non-technical). I think everyone should read these notices to not be surprised about notable changes. Not all know technical language. I think reading in native language is easier. Tech News is published to some active places (village pumps) where anyone is noticed and nobody will announce "I read this". "I resigned from this job [Tech News translations]" - maybe you want to translate something else? --Wargo (talk) 19:27, 11 August 2017 (UTC)
    • I translate texts I find important enough. Strengthening the 2 roles depends on who the stakeholders are, what they need, what are the CLs' possibilities, what should be changed, why, what for, who exactly directly will benefit in the first place. I'm not grumpy, I'm just like a technocratic devil's advocate. Arguments like reading in native language is easier don't convince me. In this case, as I wrote above, a bad translation can be worse than a text in a foreign language. Ofc I mean routine translations only, not introductions of new features.
      I'll read CE Insights. Maybe I'll find some answers there. Tar Lócesilion (queta) 23:25, 11 August 2017 (UTC)
    • What is risk of bad translations and should we (translators) collaborate more to review our translations? --Wargo (talk) 08:38, 12 August 2017 (UTC)
    • By what is risk you mean scale? To translate well, one must know both languages and Wikimedia well. Meanwhile, out of say 6-8 Polish translators I've noticed in past 3-4 years, at least a third part were newbies, and thus didn't really understand the meaning of translated text, or did translate foreign proper names when it was unnecessary or misleading, or translated sth else incorrectly. Users who aren't newbies make mistakes as well. Of course we should collaborate more. A good tool would be a notification about a page having been translated to a language a user watches. It'd be like watch a language. But I doubt if that's possible, given our lack of manpower. Tar Lócesilion (queta) 11:47, 13 August 2017 (UTC)
  • Your opinion here, don't forget to sign :)

Feedback period is over[edit]

Thanks everyone for your feedback here and at Wikimania. Before the month ends I should be able to sum up what we have learned and the changes we'll make accordingly. --Elitre (WMF) (talk) 10:07, 23 August 2017 (UTC)

Here's a recap, as promised.

Points we'll want to work on:

  • Ambassadors: Role needs more visibility (link from Wikimedia Resource Center, periodically featured on blogs, …)
  • Non-textual documentation would help (are logic models and graphs a good starting point?)
  • Evidence of role importance is requested (how to measure this?)
  • Translators:
  • Translating certain technical concepts = too difficult, should it really be done? (Long-time argument that some terms may better be left in English.)
  • Does translating really matters? Some prefer reading English anyway (need to double-check what Insights says on the topic)
  • Translators too much behind the scenes (for interface, they're even a non-WMF wiki away)
  • Translators don't know each other, would love a way to get reciprocal help
  • Translators would appreciate training (i.e. on the Translate extension)
  • No indication of priorities re: content to work on. (It was suggested that ambassadors should work on the most important stuff, and translators on the rest.)

Per the feedback we gathered so far, looks like we aren't ready yet to start measuring when it comes to translators, so we'll keep the KPI about top 25 communities covered by tech ambassadors, but we won't have one for translators as well this year (to be clear: we aren't giving up on the idea, we just need to spend more time thinking). So, we'd like to turn this list of points into actionable tasks for aspects to be investigated further later this year, including thru Insights if necessary. I will take care of the Ambassadors part of this, while my colleague Johan and others will work on the Translators part of this. As there was no feedback against the formulation of roles that we proposed, we'll keep them: I'll need to decide where to put the Ambassadors' one (could expand the existing page), while one (or one section) for Translators' one needs to be made.

Next steps for me are:

  1. starting a second round of email "please sign up on ambassadors list" (next week);
  2. starting a community tour for those communities where nobody volunteered (maybe next quarter);
  3. then, starting to discuss/work on the points above with everyone who's on the list so far: this is the part where we also have conversations around our communal process (who communicates what, where, how, etc.).

I appreciate your involvement so far, and your encouragement! Please keep spreading the word about becoming an ambassador and a translator. Our wikis would be so poor without all of you. Best, --Elitre (WMF) (talk) 08:34, 1 September 2017 (UTC)

What's WRC? --Nemo 13:46, 1 September 2017 (UTC)
Wikimedia Resource Center.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  11:48, 19 September 2017 (UTC)

For future conversations around translators[edit]

I'll leave the link to Translation coordinators per language here (Nemo pointed to it), so we don't forget about it. --Elitre (WMF) (talk) 13:15, 5 September 2017 (UTC)