Talk:Volunteer Supporters Network

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Latest comment: 2 years ago by Incnis Mrsi in topic Censorship and self-censorship

Workshop attendees and notes, August 2014[edit]

Link to workshop attendees and notes is here. --Elitre (WMF) (talk) 15:26, 13 November 2014 (UTC)Reply

Definition of 'Volunteer'?[edit]

Please have a look at User:Ariconte/Volunteer Management and possibly more importantly User talk:Ariconte/Volunteer Management. And: and

I suspect you are thinking of supporting 'Editors'. You need to know who your working with before you start!!??

Regards, Ariconte (talk) 09:46, 27 November 2014 (UTC)Reply

Thanks for your comment. I assume that the different players have different definitions of “volunteer support“ or “community support“. Finding out what we have in common and where we see things differently should be one of our tasks as a network. For WMAT, volunteer support is not restricted to editor support – it also includes volunteers in project management or workshops. --Raimund Liebert (WMAT) (talk) 10:46, 27 November 2014 (UTC)Reply
I was about to ask whether tech volunteers are included here, so here is another request for a clear definition.--Qgil-WMF (talk) 10:48, 27 November 2014 (UTC)Reply
Hi Qgil, hi Ariconte. I guess one of our main findings at the workshop was the awareness how many different shapes volunteer support can take and how many different approaches and target groups are there. For Wikimedia Deutschland it means supporting volunteers who are engaged in creating and spreading Free Knowledge - which is far broader than just editors and includes for example also all the tech volunteers, e.g. Wikidata volunteers. So for now I do think the definition is "people inside the movement who not primarily are active but help, support and advice volunteers who are active." To get clearer definitions and less redundancies this network hopefully will help :-) -- Dirk Franke (WMDE) (talk) 11:17, 27 November 2014 (UTC)Reply

For a longer discussion for that, you can also see the results of the Chapters Dialogue regarding volunteers: "In addition, almost any combination of the above is possible, the spectrum is huge." Hopefully this network will play its part in fostering communication and have clearer definitions when we talk about volunteers. -- Dirk Franke (WMDE) (talk) 15:17, 27 November 2014 (UTC)Reply

Who's not at the table is just as important as who is at the table[edit]

First off, let's thank those who have started working on this for their participation, and for sharing their experiences and knowledge. It's something that we need to think about. But I look at this, and every single participant has a publicly acknowledged affiliation, with either a large chapter or the WMF itself. Who isn't at the table are: volunteers who are not affiliated with a large chapter (most of our chapters are small), volunteers affiliated with thematic groups, volunteers who are unaffiliated with any group (the overwhelming number of active volunteers), volunteers whose focus is on MediaWiki, and volunteers from the global south and from geographies where the number of volunteers is actually growing. I'd suggest step one for this group is figuring out how to change its face to be more representative of the actual volunteer community. That's unlikely to happen without active efforts to involve those who look at the makeup of this group and see themselves as excluded - again. Risker (talk) 21:11, 29 November 2014 (UTC)Reply

Hi Risker, i just want to better understand: Are you talking about volunteers or volunteer supporters? Best, --Muriel Staub (WMCH) (talk) 09:15, 17 December 2014 (UTC)Reply

Does AffCom qualify for participation?[edit]

Curious if the group is interested in involvement from the Affiliations Committee. While not technically an organization, we do certainly work on matters related to Wikimedia volunteer support. I can check with the committee if you would like an officially selected representative, but I would be interested in participating as an AffCom member (I have not yet brought this up with the rest of AffCom). --Varnent (talk)(COI) 00:00, 28 December 2014 (UTC)Reply

Hi Varnent, good to hear you're interested in the Volunteer Supporters Network. From my point of view, I don't see any reason why you shouldn't participate :-) --Muriel Staub (WMCH) (talk) 11:06, 19 January 2015 (UTC)Reply

Education extension[edit]

Hello. I have been participating in the Wikipedia Education program for a while. Volunteer support tools associated with managing instances of this program include the software described at mw:Extension:Education Program and en:Help:Education Program extension, and the social structure which recommends best practices for using this software.

The software is functional but the development of it has mostly been managed by the Wikimedia Foundation and the Wiki Ed Foundation, and community input has been limited. It works but there are some grating problems with it. Another problem with it is development may be ended - I have heard but do not understand when Wiki Ed said that they are replacing this software with something newer and better. I am not sure that what is new would replace all the functionality of these existing tools, and if it does not, then perhaps they could still be used.

The other part to the software is that it requires userrights to be used, and userrights are presumed to be regulated by community assignment of them, and there was never a solid working process in place for regulating the userrights around these tools. Restriction on using the education extension may or may not be necessary ultimately, but now with the software having lots of quirks and potentially causing problems, it might be nice to continue to restrict the use of it to people who will use it in a proscribed way.

If anyone at this group wants to talk about use of the education extension tools to support volunteers in managing community groups, then I would participate in talks. Thanks. Blue Rasberry (talk) 15:23, 21 January 2015 (UTC)Reply

Hi Blue Rasberry. As far as I know, Fabian Tompsett might very much be interested to talk about this. Best wishes, --Muriel Staub (WMCH) (talk) 13:10, 28 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
Hi Bluerasberry. Hi Muriel Staub. Thank you so much for your interest in the Education Program Extension. It would be wonderful to have more community input about it, and, potentially, support for it. :) While we know it isn't perfect, it really can be a great aid to volunteers. A group of people from the Wikimedia Foundation and the Wiki Ed Foundation will be discussing this today. I will let you know what comes of that conversation, and I will definitely loop in Fabian Tompsett, too. Anna Koval (WMF) (talk) 17:25, 29 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
Hi, good to see the discussion going forward on this. This is going to be one of the topics at our Volunteer Strategy Gathering 2 at the end of February. It would be very useful to have information from discussions in other parts of the community, so that we can see how our activities and proposals fit with other initiatives. Personally I find all this quite an exciting development. Fabian Tompsett (WMUK) (talk) 10:16, 2 February 2015 (UTC)Reply
Fabian Tompsett (WMUK) Will someone from Wikimedia UK co-present with me in wm2015:Submissions/Tour of the education extension? If so please sign on and change anything in the description. Blue Rasberry (talk) 12:53, 3 February 2015 (UTC)Reply
Hi, I was hoping to have a clearer idea by now of whether I shall be able to make it to Wikimania (under my own steam). However funding is proving problematic. I am not sure who else from WMUK is likely to attend, but I will update you when I have a better idea. Fabian Tompsett (WMUK) (talk) 15:15, 23 February 2015 (UTC)Reply

Wikimania panel[edit]

I sent the link in the mailing list, but I think it shouldn't hurt to remind about User:Wolliff (WMF)'s proposed panel for this year: . --Elitre (WMF) (talk) 18:30, 23 February 2015 (UTC)Reply

SInce the Education Extension was brought up here before...[edit]

TL;DR, Whether you are an amateur or an expert coder, or if you are a current or interested user of the WikiEduDashboard or of the Education Extension, please join us at a hackathon session at Wikimania on Wednesday, 15 July in Workplace 2 - Don Genaro at 1pm. [0]

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, the Wikimedia Foundation developed Extension:EducationProgram. It did what we needed it to do at the time, which was to provide a tool that helps organize classes that want to edit Wikipedia articles for course credit. Since its release, the extension has been deployed to 18 Wikimedia projects: it's on 4 sister projects in 16 languages.

Recently, the Wiki Education Foundation [1], led by project manager Sage Ross - User:Sage (Wiki Ed), User:Ragesoss - developed a Ruby on Rails app called the WikiEduDashboard [2], which they will use beginning this fall instead of the EducationProgram extension, for the university courses that they support on English Wikipedia.

We believe it is possible to use their freely-licensed code to create a clone of this dashboard that can be used for non-Wiki Ed education program courses and other group editing activities on English Wikipedia and, ultimately, on other Wikimedia projects and in other languages.

We are asking for community support for this project since this is outside the scope of WMF's engineering team for this year. We see the need for a global dashboard tool and would love to have your help building it!

We're planning some exciting improvements to the Wiki Education Dashboard, see Phabricator [3] for the full list.

  • Full i18n, including right-to-left support.
  • Generalize the UI to work for any wiki project and not only university courses.
  • Integration with the Gather extension, to render lists of articles being written and reviewed.
  • Integration with Campaigns, to track group membership and statistics.
  • Improvements to the API to simplify some actions taken from the Dashboard.
  • Potentially using Wikidata as the backend for storing information about courses and editing projects.

We look forward to working together to build this powerful tool which will support more education and outreach programs in the movement!

--Elitre (WMF) (talk) 16:57, 13 July 2015 (UTC), on behalf of the WMF's Education team, + Andrew Green, Adam Wight, Sage Ross.Reply



Hi all, sorry I can't attend this year's sessions, due to other commitments. I wanted to make sure you all saw the Community Engagement sessions scheduled in Mexico City, as listed at and In particular, I'd love to see you at my team's one, on Sunday at 9am in Don Julian. Happy Wikimania everybody, --Elitre (WMF) (talk) 16:49, 16 July 2015 (UTC)Reply

Thanks for the links and see you on Sunday at 9am the latest. ;-) --Raimund Liebert (WMAT) (talk) 18:55, 16 July 2015 (UTC)Reply

Wikimedia Conference?[edit]

Hey! any plans for next month? --Elitre (WMF) (talk) 11:21, 25 March 2016 (UTC)Reply

@Elitre (WMF) Yes. ː-) Muriel, Veronika and I are preparing a session/meet-up. We will announce more details soon via the mailing list. --Raimund Liebert (WMAT) (talk) 12:19, 29 March 2016 (UTC)Reply
👍Like --Elitre (WMF) (talk) 15:40, 7 April 2016 (UTC)Reply

Another portal?[edit]

Hey guys, I may be misremembering this - I thought you had said in Berlin that you have some kind of presence on de.wp as well, but I can't find anything about it? Thanks. --Elitre (WMF) (talk) 14:52, 3 May 2018 (UTC)Reply

Hi Elitre (WMF), I think we mentioned de:Wikipedia:Förderung in Berlin? This is a shared portal by WMAT, WMCH and WMDE addressing German-language communities. --Raimund Liebert (WMAT) (talk) 12:07, 9 May 2018 (UTC)Reply
Raimund Liebert (WMAT) TY for the link. So this is more general and there aren't bits specific to VSN, correct? Best, --Elitre (WMF) (talk) 16:23, 9 May 2018 (UTC)Reply
Right, there isn't anything specifically about VSN on de.wp. --Raimund Liebert (WMAT) (talk) 16:27, 9 May 2018 (UTC)Reply

Censorship and self-censorship[edit]

In the past contributors mostly trusted the government (at least in English Wikipedia) and, generally, spoke of their disagreements directly. On the other hand, an overt liar, PoV pusher or wrecker could be blocked long-term in few days, no matter how politely did s/he speak on various talk pages. It has been immediately dangerous to insert nationalistic shit into articles circa 2010, because editors (not only sysops) promptly reverted it, stalked and chased the pusher. Nowadays a user without credentials can wreck many articles in en.Wikipedia in a row, use socks for disruption, and get only sporadic short blocks until caught on so-called “personal attacks”. Admins police mostly talks instead of articles and categories. Many Wikipedians are unwilling to report depredations by semi-vandals because effective intervention is unlikely, but flamewars can ensue and the reporter can be harassed.

Of course, careerists always existed (who didn’t make any statement without considering their public relations), but again: ten years ago any established user has been generally safe with voicing criticism of his/her wiki project, administration, or whatever alike. No fashion for “positive” speech (that is, flatter) existed at the time.

Now communities whose views don’t align with the grand Wikimedia majority are vulnerable like never before, and self-censorship becomes a social norm for everyone, not a trait characteristic for wiki careerists. Is anyone here preoccupied with finding ways around the modern Wikimedia censorship? Incnis Mrsi (talk) 09:08, 22 August 2021 (UTC)Reply