Talk:Wikimedia Foundation Annual Plan/2024-2025

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Latest comment: 44 minutes ago by RWeissburg (WMF) in topic MENA Community call

Draft plan feedback[edit]

Tech grants[edit]

Will this plan include the reintroduction of grants for technical projects not fundable under the rapid grants program? Such a program was available before the grants refresh, was promised after the grants refresh, but never materialized. AntiCompositeNumber (talk) 01:07, 13 April 2024 (UTC)Reply

Thanks for this question, @AntiCompositeNumber, and I’m sorry it took a while to provide an update on this. Over the past year or so, we’ve been working with the Product & Tech department to better align grantmaking to technical projects. In the past, we recognized that we would from time to time fund projects that seemed like a good idea, but that were not sufficiently aligned with WMF’s Product & Tech roadmap. This would lead to very understandable community frustration about the plethora of unmaintained tech in the ecosystem.
As you noted, when we launched the grants refresh strategy, we put the Tech Fund on hold so we could ensure that when we started funding technical work again, it was in alignment with Product & Tech. Since then, WMF hired a new CPTO, so we further put this work on hold to allow her and her leadership team time to align on their strategy.
That brings us to today, and I now have an update on this work. We will also update the relevant page on the Community Resources page on Meta.
We will not have a dedicated Tech Fund in the near future. Instead, if community tooling is needed, the Product & Tech department will work directly with volunteers to develop a plan for building it (potentially using contract agreements vs. grants), alongside a plan for maintaining it.
Relatedly, as part of the changes being made to the Community Wishlist Survey, the WMF Comm-Tech team intends to invite and support volunteer developers to join in the effort to help resolve technical issues raised by community members. The broad objectives are aimed at improving participation in the wishlist survey process towards wish submission, and wish resolution (details). In March 2024, WMF conducted the first Community Wishathon - a virtual event for community developers and WMF staff to work on technical issues submitted through the recent wishlist surveys. From the later half of 2024, the community wishlist survey will remain open permanently as an intake mechanism for technical wishes. As a result, we will introduce changes to address those wishes with better engagement and collaboration. Besides periodic events like community wishathons, we would like to continuously support volunteer developers willing to take up some of these technical issues by providing guidance, reviews, mentorship, and assistance with long-term maintenance plans for that software. If the need arises for specific work to be done via contractual agreements, we will explore those opportunities as well. RWeissburg (WMF) (talk) 13:28, 16 April 2024 (UTC)Reply
Got it. The work that would have been done will continue to not be done. AntiCompositeNumber (talk) 13:29, 16 April 2024 (UTC)Reply
So if I understand correctly, WMF is planning to enhance the collaboration between WMF themselves and volunteer developers, and funding / contractual agreements will become a part of the collaboration and support? I am concerned about if developing maintenance plan (e.g. setting up the schedule) will affect the motivation of volunteers as it will limit their flexibility. Thanks. SCP-2000 15:56, 16 April 2024 (UTC)Reply
Getting hired/contracted by the Foundation is a lot higher bar than grant-funded work, and it absolutely won't work for previously grant-funded work including the building and maintenance of community tools. AntiCompositeNumber (talk) 20:20, 16 April 2024 (UTC)Reply
This will inevitably bring much less attention to the problems and wishes of non-English speaking communities. Tech grants allowed people to start developing tools that didn’t need a buy-in from English Wikipedians, making everything depend on CWS only re-inforces the systemic biases of both the WMF and the Wikimedia movement at large. stjn[ru] 14:46, 17 April 2024 (UTC)Reply
Hello @Stjn. The upcoming changes to the community wishlist survey are intended to expand the visibility into technical needs of non-English communities, which have historically not participated in the wishlist much. There are several developer volunteers working individually or as user groups (formal and informal) across the world who have greater visibility into the technical issues faced by the communities around them. We plan to reach out to these groups and individuals to better coordinate about technical needs, and understand how these issues can be addressed. This will also help us build a better connected network of technically competent people who can work alongside the WMF Product and Tech teams. Some of these collaborations are already happening, and we are promoting them further through events like the Community Wishathon, or the Wikimedia Technical Summit in India. Runa Bhattacharjee (WMF) (talk) 03:22, 24 April 2024 (UTC)Reply
This approach gives me pause. Without well-advertised, open calls for participation, a plan to "work directly with volunteers to develop a plan" will typically revert to informal word-of-mouth social networks that have problems of their own. My hope is that there are more structured engagements that are planned.
I would feel more confident if we had better connections from the communities to WMF staff and processes. However, it has always been hard for the communities to understand or track who are the right entities to be interacting with or what projects are still functional.
For example:
  • The current public staff/contractors chart does not reflect the fact that the VP of Product Design Margeigh Novotny left in September 2023.
  • There is currently a Wikimedia Foundation "Future Audiences" group (setup in May 2023?) but it does not show up on that chart.
  • Sometimes an email bouncing, mid-exchange with WMF staff, will be the only indicator that the person has left or that a department has changed. This was the case recently with a Knowledge Equity Grants project and a WMF VP.
These cases may be minor, but they do point to the challenges of staying in touch especially since the staff/contractors list is not on a wiki anymore so tracking these changes is increasingly difficult. - Fuzheado (talk) 15:25, 23 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
I created phab:T344479 in 2023 to try to get the staff and contractors page updated. Feel free to make some noise in that ticket. However, I think that WMF has a private OfficeWiki where they store this information, so they have little incentive to update the public page. –Novem Linguae (talk) 23:47, 23 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

Hi AntiCompositeNumber, I'm glad someone already asked this question.

Some quick thoughts: if we group past technical projects and proposals by scale, we might have

  • Strategic projects needing > $3M to get off the ground, with extensive ground work needed before their core use materializes (Wikidata, Abstract WP). Generally funded or co-funded by WMF with plans integrated into shared long-term technical and content visions
  • Projects needing $300k-$3M to get off the ground (Wikipedia itself, Commons, the collected Manskeverse, Wikia, SDC, Shared Citations❌, DPLA integration into Commons). Funded and maintained in a diversity of ways – self-funded, crowd-funded, vc'ized, targeted grants, never funded. Initial funds generally give rise to further ones.
  • Projects needing $30-$300k (TranslateWiki, dbpedia ←→ wikidata fact sync, Balinese palm leaf transcription integration w/ Wikisource (1 + 2), Migrating the Lingua Libre project to a MW+Wikibase instance, OpenRefine support for Commons batch jobs, developing a Wikibase loader for a popular data pipeline tool, AI category suggestions for Commons images❌, making Timeless a baseline for future skin design❌). These often streamline existing community-maintained work, make it accessible to new audiences, or port things to be compatible with existing frameworks.
  • Projects needing $3-30k (Global watchlist, The Wikipedia Adventure, making Timeless easy to maintain, WD editor for WP❌, VideoWiki dev support (1,2,3❌)). These have been more diverse in scope and impact, sometimes (often?) intended to be maintained by the creators or their community of non-technical curators.

Only a tiny subset of these ideas make it to the top-5 of a community-wishlist. Wishlist ideas may or may not have a clear implementation; a technical proposal has both implementation and willing implementers with time. I'm not sure how much of the broad-ranging community work would be considered in scope for the core team, focused on a small number of big-ticket concepts. But the synching, scripting, cleanup, and merging-in of other small communities of [tools and practice] is part of the living ecosystem of the wikis. And for the most part, we keep our tools and core separate...

RWeissburg thanks warmly for your comments. Some related questions:

  1. The current roadmap [at least WMF's roadmap; maybe the rest of the wikiverse needs to merge and articulate its joint roadmaps?] doesn't say much about content-facing or user-facing products; most of which are created and maintained by individuals + other groups in the movement. Are things not explicitly on the roadmap by default considered 'aligned' or 'unaligned'?
  2. How can smaller community scripts and tools get grant support from within the wikiverse, unless it is through regional affiliates? a) if directly related to something on the roadmap; b) if not?
  3. How can substantive integrations, simplifications, and large-scale content improvements get support? given that our formal Plans and roadmaps are fairly silent on the topic of reaching out to new knowledge communities or scaling up our inclusion of knowledge from existing partner institutions?
  4. How should larger projects (think WikiCite) think about getting support, say from a mix of wiki and matching state or external-foundation funding?

SJ talk  23:39, 21 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

Financial Model[edit]

What do you mean by "Invest in longer-term strategies that will provide increased revenue in a future where Wikipedia content is primarily consumed off our platform."? --Mervat (talk) 02:27, 16 April 2024 (UTC)Reply

Hi @Mervat, as we see in the external trends section of the plan, the ways people are searching for content online and the type of content they’re searching for is changing. People are increasingly consuming Wikipedia content off our platform, which poses challenges to the banner fundraising model that has been the primary revenue stream historically. The changing online environment and a future where readers may no longer primarily read content directly on Wikipedia requires us to invest in longer-term strategies that are more resilient to changing readership trends: Wikimedia Enterprise, the Wikimedia Endowment, and a growing Major Gifts program. We discuss these revenue streams in the long-term revenue strategy section of the plan. The movement strategy revenue working group also discussed the need for these long-term strategies as knowledge becomes more granular, remixed by others, and served through other interfaces. MeganHernandez (WMF) (talk) 21:06, 17 April 2024 (UTC)Reply
Thank you @MeganHernandez (WMF) --82.212.106.8 (talk) 14:14, 23 April 2024 (UTC)Reply

More technical support for Wikimedia Commons[edit]

Hello – for certain reasons, my litmus test for this annual plan was if and how it budgets more technical support and development work for Wikimedia Commons. Can I ask you to point me to the relevant section? Thank you, Gnom (talk) 20:00, 18 April 2024 (UTC)Reply

Hey @Gnom, while it's not explicit in the text, some support for Wikimedia Commons is planned as part of Objective & Key Result WE2.3. The implication of this are still being defined by the people who will be in charge of this objective, so I can't go into detail, but there will be some support and development work going around Commons also for next fiscal year. Hope this helps! Sannita (WMF) (talk) 11:44, 2 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
@Sannita (WMF): Thank you – but this leaves me confused. This means that zero work on Commons is in the annual plan? Gnom (talk) 12:36, 2 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
@Gnom I cannot still confirm how work on Commons will play out, but there will be some level of support and bugfixing for Commons. Sannita (WMF) (talk) 12:39, 2 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
Well, we need to underline that there is zero mention of any such work in the current draft of annual plan. Commons desparately needs more development resources – not just "some level of support and bugfixing" – and the annual plan should absolutely reflect this. Gnom (talk) 07:27, 3 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
You're not the only one suggesting this, and I will report that there is cross-wiki substantial consensus to get more info about this kind of data. Sannita (WMF) (talk) 15:40, 3 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
Yes, please. —Ismael Olea (talk) 15:18, 28 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
I would like to +100 this comment from @Gnom. I fear this annual plan has only "Infrastructure" in the list of high level goals, and does not specify anything substantial about our interaction and relationship with the audience in terms of multimedia or rich content beyond the text of Wikipedia. I worry greatly about the specific emphasis on this: "Improve User Experience on the wikis, especially for established editors and functionaries." What about public-facing experiences, and evolving our platform towards visual learners, the Tiktok generation, those on mobiles, and more? I recall one of my earliest conversations with SDeckelmann-WMF was in Berlin (September 2022) about her concern on how we might be relevant in the era of Tiktok. Therefore, it is a surprise this doesn't show up at all in the annual plan.
While Wikimedia_Foundation_Annual_Plan/2024-2025/Goals/Infrastructure mentions MediaWiki specifically, it does not mention Wikimedia Commons, nor does it mention interactive, multimedia, video, or Wikidata. To its credit, it does mention reviving the defunct Graph extension sometime in the future. But this would be an ideal time to also allocate resources or strategic bandwidth to Think Big (see the 2022 letter) about not just the Graph extension, but about a whole slew of backlogged requests in Phabricator related to Commons, such as support for 3D file formats (Phabricator), VR/360 photography (Phabricator), video , and more.
It is times like this that I believe we made a mistake in the Movement Strategy. We stated too emphatically about being the "essential infrastructure of the ecosystem of free knowledge," without also mentioning user-facing aspirations and priorities. I fear that we are taking it way too literally to the detriment of evolving our approach to content and what is actually contained in that infrastructure. Since the establishment of that "infrastructure" phrasing, we have seen the decline or under-resourcing of Structured Data on Commons, GLAM Wiki tools (see GLAM manifesto or GLAM CSI), and Commons in general (see previous Think Big letter). If there is still time, I would urgently request the addition of more audience-facing thinking, as right now it feels like a significant oversight. Tag: Ziko, Frank SchulenburgFuzheado (talk) 17:13, 21 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
@Sannita (WMF): For what it's worth: I'm an admin on Commons, active for 20+ years in Wikimedia projects, and I can only fully support the statements by Gnom and Fuzheado. Commons is barely clattering along on its rusty mechanical legs unto which the community has heroically bolted all kinds of rickety support structures and cogs just to keep it more or less usable, but these tools break all the time, not to speak of meaningful video support or advanced features for using Commons content. Gestumblindi (talk) 19:18, 21 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
@Sannita (WMF): as yet another longer term contributor at around 19 years and creator of Commons biggest(my measurement) project; Quality Images Commons has really been left to stagnat, even wither on the vine. This plan doesnt look to bring Commons even up to a reliable service level, there is nothing that indicates any concept of far media formats have progressed since its inception. While it may be seen as backwater the WMF doesnt want to invest in, until Commons is improved and advanced every other project is hamstrung by it. Gnangarra (talk) 15:09, 22 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
I think the apparent disregard for the needs of Commons shows a lack of understanding of Commons' dual importance: First, its fundamental role as a supporting project for most Wikimedia projects, a central media repository that just has to work reliably. Second, Wikimedia Commons as the only place on the internet with a community-curated collection of truly free educational media content that fulfils at least CC-BY-SA standards, that is, a project which has the intention to guarantee that you can freely reuse (even commercially) and modify the content (I say "the intention" because the community is often overwhelmed and there's a lot of content on Commons that shouldn't be there; also something for which we would need more and better tools to manage). Other platforms like flickr (for images) or commercial giants such as YouTube are much, much larger, but none of these have Commons' vision of scope, quality and licensing standards, all handled by a rather small, but passionate community. Gestumblindi (talk) 20:03, 22 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
Dear colleagues @Fuzheado, @Gestumblindi, @Gnangarra, @Gnom: I can only agree with your assessment. It is obvious what priority the WMF gives to our Wikimedia Commons media collection. A very low one. In any case, it looks like the opposite of "Think Big".
Perhaps the WMF is thinking: WMC works somehow, and if necessary the volunteers will just have to invest more work to upload something and make the images accessible. It won't be the intention, but you get the feeling that volunteer work is seen as an infinite resource.
And what about the cooperation with GLAM institutions? What is the message to them? I wouldn't even want to elaborate on that here. Ziko (talk) 10:02, 25 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

Knowledge diversification[edit]

Commons is an important project that deserves more love (and not just from the WMF). However, maybe I could broaden the question a bit beyond Commons: as a movement, we're very dependent on Wikipedia. I see some value in diversifying our movement with regards to how we develop, aggregate, present and share knowledge. Could you perhaps talk about if and how the current Annual Plan actively supports that diversification (e.g. support sister projects more actively than before, or provide more infrastructural support for volunteers to do so)? Effeietsanders (talk) 04:48, 23 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

Global Majority Wikimedia Technology Priorities[edit]

I am writing to bring to the attention of the Wikimedia Foundation (SDeckelmann-WMF and others) and the group following discussions on this Annual Plan a recently released document called Global Majority Wikimedia Technology Priorities. Points this document makes are relevant for the WMF Annual Plan.

This document lists ten priority points for the Wikimedia technological infrastructure and its associated challenges through the perspectives of the Global Majority communities. It was developed as a year-long collective investigation with Global Majority movement organizations with tech capacity. The Global Majority Wikimedia Technology Priorities document is opened for support signature.

As indicated at the conclusion of these Global Majority Wikimedia Technology Priorities, there is a request to "initiate discussions with the Wikimedia Foundation, affiliates and other Wikimedia Movement bodies to advocate for the incorporation of these priorities into their strategic plans and to have an opportunity to jointly discuss performance indicators for each one of them". Humbly acting on behalf of the collective action that produced this set of priorities, I kindly ask they are considered into this Annual Plan and other WMF tech-based deliberations.

Thank you. -- JPeschanski (WMB) (talk) 04:59, 19 April 2024 (UTC)Reply

Thanks for sharing! The ideas in the report resonate with a number of current and upcoming initiatives at the Wikimedia Foundation, including changes around the community wishlist survey, our global developer support, and co-creating tools alongside communities around the world. Let me know if there are any of these topics you'd like to talk more about, and I'd be happy to connect you to the person working on them. KStineRowe (WMF) (talk) 15:14, 2 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

Major Gifts[edit]

I think that the Wikimedia Foundation should not rely on Major Gifts and a culture of Philantropy. Instead it is important to try to get the things done having less money. There is from my point of view potential to be able to do that. One thing what is mentioned in the technology strategy is the shifting of the technology development for the Wikimedia Projects away from the Global North. As I wrote in the years before I think the salaries at the Wikimedia Foundation are high. After I got explanations how they are set I understand it. Still it is from my point of view great if it will be possible to be able to reduce salaries without paying people low salaries who make it difficult to live. Hogü-456 (talk) 19:40, 24 April 2024 (UTC)Reply

Thanks @Hogü-456 for your comment. The annual plan for fiscal year 2023-24 (shared last year) discussed our approach to reducing expenses, as part of a multi-year strategy to slow overall growth in line with our revenue predictions for the coming years. This draft plan for the next fiscal year, provides further details about how this is being done including investments in infrastructure and prioritising support for the movement. Regarding our workforce, the Wikimedia Foundation is globally distributed with staff (49% of the workforce is based outside of the US) and we recruit in over 50 countries. You can read about our approach to compensation for a global workforce and global guidelines on Diff. KStineRowe (WMF) (talk) 15:18, 2 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

Employer of Records Fee[edit]

How high is the fee the Wikimedia Foundation needs to pay if a person is working for the Wikimedia Foundation outside of the US and is employed through a employer of record. I have thinked about if it would be cheaper to employ people who work for the Wikimedia Foundation and that are located in countries with a huge chapter like in Germany at the local chapter instead of a employer of record. To get the cost covered the chapter would then have a agreement with the Wikimedia Foundation. Hogü-456 (talk) 18:27, 1 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

Hi @Hogü-456, thanks for your suggestion. From a purely cost perspective, Employer of Record (EoR) agreements benefit from economies of scale. Consolidating employment under one or two EoRs allows for streamlined administration, compliance with labor laws, and access to specialized expertise in managing global and local employment arrangements. Secondly, we intentionally try to balance cost-saving measures with the need to provide an equitable experience for all staff. Working with an EoR allows us to provide a more consistent hiring and benefits experience across many different countries. Relying on local chapters to manage employment could introduce inconsistencies in employment terms, benefits, and protections across different regions, which would raise concerns about fairness and make it harder to recruit and retain top quality staff - pushing up overall costs to the organisation. All in all, using an EoR helps us to have a more diverse and globally distributed workforce, not less. KStineRowe (WMF) (talk) 15:32, 17 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
@KStineRowe (WMF) from my point of view inconsistencies in employment terms, benefits and protections across different regions should be avoided. If you think an equitable experience for all staff is not so propable when the employment happens through local chapters it is form my point of view important to check where there are differeces at the moment. So I mean countries with different conditions for employees of the Wikimedia Foundation and ones of the local chapter located in the same country. Hogü-456 (talk) 19:14, 21 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

Confusing analysis of the data[edit]

Hello, maybe it's because I'm not a native English speaker, but I don't understand this sentence very well: "While the ultimate impact of AI remains to be seen, the impact of this pressure over time may contribute to some of our declining metrics like regional traffic and new contributors." And then, there are several statistics being provided. However, the regional metrics shows a decrease only in three regions (Subsaharan Africa, LAC and MENA), but then in all the other regions it has actually increased. So are there declining metrics or not? Then, the "new contributors" link does show a slight decrease in active editors, but it does show a 10% increase in content interactions. The data is showing one thing, however, the sentence is saying exactly the opposite from what the data is showing. Moreover, none of the metrics being provided show a correlation between the perceived threat of AI and the declining metrics. This is a construed correlation, because there's no further information indicating this in the metrics or in the analysis. Is there a more lenghty analysis on what's really going on? Scann (WDU) (talk) 22:37, 8 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

Hi @Scann (WDU), thank you for this question.
We do not have evidence that establishes a correlation between AI and our metrics. What we mean to communicate is that we are monitoring trends relating to AI and have some concerns. One concern we have is that, if people rely on chatbots and other AI products (many of which source their information from Wikipedia), they may not visit Wikipedia. And if fewer people are visiting or aware of Wikipedia, we worry that we will not get as many new contributors over time who will help sustain our projects.
We have seen declines in unique devices in certain regions - most notably Latin America & the Caribbean, where traffic has been declining for some time. We linked to the Q2 snapshot of unique devices, but in our monthly reporting you can see the overall trends more clearly - see page 5 of the Movement Metrics report from February (this is part of the same report we linked to for "new contributors").
As you noted, traffic has increased in some regions compared to the prior year. However, in regions with the most traffic – Northern & Western Europe, North America, and East Southeast Asia & Pacific – the longer term trend has been largely flat or declining traffic. In North America we observed unexpected increases in the beginning of 2024 that we are investigating; one hypothesis is that the increase is due to increased automated or spider traffic that is being miscategorized as user (human) traffic. And one trend that is more clear: automated and spider traffic has been increasing dramatically over the past couple of years. See, for example, the pageviews from automated and spider traffic on English Wikipedia and Spanish Wikipedia.
The "new contributors" link should go directly to page 7 of the Movement Metrics report from February, where we noted that new active editors decreased significantly by about 9.5% compared to the same time last year. We have been observing this decline in new editors for awhile now. We have investigated several hypotheses but so far have not identified a clear answer for this decline. KZimmerman (WMF) (talk) 18:53, 10 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

MENA Community call[edit]

This is a section for questions left over from the MENA community call held on May 4, 2024.

1. The editing community in many regions doesn't see an immediate benefit in affiliates, hubs, or other governance structures. Was the editing community considered?

At the Wikimedia Foundation, we consider all parts of the movement and strive to include them in annual and long-term planning conversations, whether they are individual members of the editing community, affiliates or another group within the movement. This year the planning began through Talking:2024 and unsurprisingly we did hear varying perspectives on this.
Some noted how the editing community does not see an immediate benefit in affiliates. Others mentioned the good work by affiliates who are deeply engaged with the community (organising events and trainings, working with partners on content donations, engaging in advocacy locally, providing microgrants for contributors to cover their books, tickets, to write articles etc). Most recognised the complex task at hand - how do we bring together a community that is so huge. How do we ensure everyone feels like they belong and are heard?
The need for individual volunteer representation within the Movement Charter was also brought up at the recent Summit in Germany and voted upon by the affiliates present (Wikimedia Foundation staff and trustees did not vote on these). The  Wikimedia Foundation feedback on the final draft of the Movement Charter also talks about the need to enable the movement to effectively handle present and future challenges (for example, more external regulation, generative AI, and graver risk of external interference in sharing free knowledge). मयूर Mayur Paul (WMF) (talk) 18:20, 21 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

2. From the summary's text: “the Foundation will also begin to signal more clearly where some recommendations are more informative than others in our collective pursuit of the 2030 Strategic Direction.” How will the Foundation begin this? Who will perform this task?

The Foundation is already working on several of the movement strategy recommendations and has been since the recommendations were finalized. You’ll find these recommendations throughout our Annual Plan. For example, Recommendation #2: Improve User Experience informs our Infrastructure goal, especially through investments in the contributor experience, an improved product experimentation platform, MediaWiki sustainability, and shared movement metrics.
Recommendation #4: Ensure Equity in Decision Making informs our Equity goal, including work on movement governance, resource distribution, closing knowledge gaps, and connecting the movement.
Recommendation #3: Provide for Safety and Inclusion informs our Safety & Integrity goal, which involves work around trust & safety, human rights advocacy, and protection against scaled abuse.
Recommendation #10: Evaluate, Iterate, and Adapt, informs our Effectiveness goal, which involves our work on financial sustainability, improving employee engagement and effectiveness, and streamlining Foundation processes.
At the same time, there are other movement strategy recommendations that other groups throughout the movement may be better positioned to lead on, and we invite thoughts on that here onwiki and also on the conversations we're joining with communities around the world. NGunasena (WMF) (talk) 15:26, 22 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

3. Given the shift towards chat-based search and AI-mediated content consumption, how does Wikimedia plan to maintain visibility and attribution for its content in this evolving internet landscape?

You raise an important question and one that Wikimedia Foundation teams have been thinking about a lot. We want internet users to know where the information they encounter is coming from, regardless of whether they're using a search engine, a smart speaker, or a conversational AI. We’ve long asked internet companies and publishers to use Creative Commons’s “T.A.SL.” framework for proper attribution– which asks content re-users to identify the Title, Author, Source, and License for Wikimedia content they re-publish. In November 2022, the Foundation actually extended our brand attribution guidelines for AI platforms as well.
In this next FY, the Legal, Product, Brand, and Wikimedia Enterprise intend to actively share these attribution guidelines with conversational AI platforms. We want to explicitly encourage developers to link back to their Wikimedia content sources whenever possible. Our hope is that getting AI platforms to add proper attribution will be good for Wikimedia, in driving traffic back to the platform and visibility for our brand, and good for the AI platforms, in allowing their users to review and evaluate sources. NGunasena (WMF) (talk) 17:56, 23 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

4. With regards to the second goal, Equity, does content growth only correlate with tools and support systems that are easier to access, adapt, and improve? Or should the editing skills be improved?

Thank you for this question. I fully agree with your premise that both tools and skills are needed to increase volunteer content creation.
As the platform provider for Wikipedia and the sister projects, WMF is uniquely positioned to do certain things well. Improving the tools and the platform that volunteer editors use to create content is one of the things that we can and must do to support this movement. It is where we believe we at WMF can have the most impact. In many cases, Affiliates and online organizers, not WMF, are better positioned to do the skills development that you mention. Affiliates and organizers are often closer to editors who need this kind of support. They know specifically what skills need to be developed, and the specific contexts in which the editors operate (eg., what is needed to support editors in MENA may not be the same as what is needed to support editors in other regions).
There are, however, areas where I believe WMF can play a supportive role for Affiliates and organizers to do this important work. This is where the “support systems” piece comes in. For example, we continue to support Affiliates, organizers, and other experts to teach each other through programs like Let’s Connect. In this case, WMF provides the platform and infrastructure support, but it is Affiliates, organizers, and other community experts who teach other how to uplevel certain skills. You may also have heard of the Africa Growth Pilot where we are working with communities to understand what kind of editing skills training might help to increase editor retention. As we learn from this pilot, which is currently only happening in Africa, we can think about how we might support communities to adapt and contextualize these kinds of training to their local communities. RWeissburg (WMF) (talk) 16:40, 28 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

5. With regards to the fourth goal, Effectiveness, how can the affiliate ability to multi generational budget and planning be ensured?

For Affiliates to be able to support volunteers in their communities, they need to be able to carry out work in the near-term while also planning for the future. We have heard from many Affiliates that while they may be able to fundraise from outside of the Wikimedia ecosystem (see here for how and where Affiliates are raising funds), they need more clarity on what WMF funding will look like over the coming years. To do this, we’ll be working with Regional Funds Committees and Affiliate representatives to share a 3-year view of WMF grants, broken out by region. This will allow Affiliates to understand what the near future looks like in terms of funding and make plans for how to sustain and grow their work beyond these funds if that is a priority for them.
Program Officers from each region will continue to work with Affiliates to engage in longer-term strategic planning, including but not limited to financial planning. RWeissburg (WMF) (talk) 16:40, 28 May 2024 (UTC)Reply


6. With a slowing rate of revenue growth from online fundraising, what innovative approaches is Wikimedia exploring to ensure long-term financial sustainability beyond traditional donation models?

Thanks for asking. The Revenue Strategy section (Arabic translation here) of the annual plan offers a lot of detail on this question. In short, we are looking to diversify our revenue sources in areas that are more resilient to changing readership trends, such as through the Wikimedia Endowment and Wikimedia Enterprise, as well as growing our major gifts program to continue building resilience for the long term. MeganHernandez (WMF) (talk) 08:39, 24 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

7. The Arabic region faces a lot of challenges in terms of safety and conflicts. How does Wikimedia plan to measure the impact of its projects and initiatives in regions affected by conflict?

The Foundation is working to expand the community safety surveys, which will help both communities themselves and the Foundation to better understand the impact real world events might have on the projects alongside other factors. The organisation is also continuously working to improve measurements of the community projects impact on the world they serve but currently does not aim to build infrastructure specifically related to conflicts as the latter could create considerable risks for communities in affected areas due to the transparent platform environment where data is available (stats.wikimedia.org, etc.). --Jan (WMF) (talk) 13:13, 27 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

8. “These changes are accelerating as the internet has become more diverse and global, and less English-dominated.” This domination could be due to the immediate and machine translation of pages. Does Wikimedia plan to make these translations available permanently and for all of its pages?

Artificial intelligence claim[edit]

By many estimates, English Wikipedia forms the largest single source of training data ingested by ChatGPT – and among the highest-weighted for quality.

Where does the cited WaPo source make this claim? Was it intentional to link to the same article twice or was a different source intended here? czar 02:38, 23 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

This NYT article makes some closer claims about importance but still not as wide-reaching as being ChatGPT's largest data source (isn't that Google Patents per token count and the WaPo article?) and highest-weighted for quality (not sure what that would mean from the source). czar 04:19, 23 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

Metrics for top goals[edit]

Thoughts on two of the proposed metrics:

[A] "Increase # of quality articles on Wikipedia" -- This should not be a target metric, though progress in related goals would hopefully show up in the quality of information readers and reusers get from the projects.

  • "Quality" isn't well defined (even en:WP:QA is now only historical).
  • On larger projects, average quality increases organically thanks to community work, so this metric isn't diagnostic.
  • Quality in and of itself isn't our core strength, compared to coverage, speed + timeliness, participation, efficient curation.

To the exclusive focus on Wikipedia:

  • Increasing the # of articles across some threshold is not the top need, though it a healthy metric for the project.
  • Wikipedia is not necessarily the part of our knowledge ecosystem that needs the most work.
  • Wikipedia depth is not the area where we can make the most impactful change (in coverage, readership, and reuse) -- though as an umbrella do get updated to reflect improvements in other areas (data, media, &c).
  • Overindexing on "quality" leans into the potentially harmful trope that Wikipedia's mission is to be the world's reliable source of knowledge, whereas absolute reliability is an intentional structural weakness, accepted as a tradeoff with other strengths.

Potential metrics that could more effectively get at the core issues:

  • Coverage of new advances / top requests; balanced breadth across essential areas; tools to visualize and fill gaps (which would define helpful metrics); existing cleanup categories (already-defined metrics, many with their own scripts and tools that can be improved); better + faster integration of work on a given topic across Projects. This is closer to existing editorial goals, amplifies our strengths, doesn't overprivilege WP.
  • The possibilities for automation these days are spectacular; future Wikipedia (or its successors) will offer contributors much higher returns on invested time. That seems in the critical path. Speed/leverage of people working on one of the above metrics, and sufficiency of capacity to the size of a backlog, may be a useful second-order metric.

[B] "Maintain our programmatic expense ratio at 77%" -- this is tame for a top-level goal.

  • Shouldn't this be increasing? We just saw a period of rapid growth, and can now consolidate.
  • 23% overhead isn't great, considering that much of social + governance overhead is classified as programmatic expenses.
  • Some programmatic expenses (process creep, projects running hot and cold, long consultations for small effect) are a net negative for the community, taking time away from project work for little benefit. Finding ways to make that more efficient and satisfying, and to gently increase the expense ratio, seem like goals within reach.

SJ talk  15:55, 23 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

I'm not sure what "We will increase the number of quality articles on Wikipedia" means, exactly. Does it mean articles that have been chosen by the community in the various language versions of Wikipedia to formally receive a status similar to English Wikipedia's "good article" or German Wikipedia's "Lesenswerter Artikel" (the status one level below "featured article")? Or is the "quality" measured by some other means; if yes, what means could that be? Gestumblindi (talk) 09:47, 24 May 2024 (UTC)Reply