Talk:Wikimedia Space

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

This is a Wikimedia Foundation corporate relations space, right?[edit]

Are there any Wikimedia community members named in establishing this project?

Is there any published record of Wikimedia community participation in designing this project? Blue Rasberry (talk) 18:24, 25 June 2019 (UTC)

@Bluerasberry: Wikimedia Space is a proposal to the movement in the form of a prototype. The motivations and design of this project are directly derived from the Wimedia strategic direction and the Wikimedia Foundation medium-term plan. While no volunteers have participated in the three weeks that it took us to build this prototype, volunteers’ feedback and participation will be fundamental in bringing this project to production. Qgil-WMF (talk) 11:12, 27 June 2019 (UTC)
Thanks. Blue Rasberry (talk) 17:33, 27 June 2019 (UTC)

New user?[edit]

It seems weird that I could only put two links in my post because I am a new user. Why were my phab credentials needed if not to verify I am not a new user? –MJLTalk 20:34, 25 June 2019 (UTC)

@MJL: The age of your Phabricator account presumably has no effect on this, since the Discourse account is still newly created. I don't think they'll change this, and I don't know if it's possible to turn the limits off but only for certain new accounts. Jc86035 (talk) 12:01, 26 June 2019 (UTC)
Hey MJL, Thanks for putting your event on the Space calendar!
To elaborate more on what Jc86035 said, we’re using Phabricator for now as a way to verify that people registering at Space are actual Wikimedians. However, we know that Phabricator doesn’t prevent abuse completely: a spammer can create a Wikimedia account (as they do frequently) followed by a Phabricator account (where there has also been vandalism). This is why all users start as new Space users and move up (quickly) with participation.
We’ve lowered Discourse software’s default requirements to move from Level 0 to Level 1, which should resolve the link limit fairly quickly for everyone (you now only need to post once, read one post and spend 5 minutes reading to move up). Feel free to open a new topic on Discuss in the About Wikimedia Space category to talk further about user rights. --ELappen (WMF) (talk) 17:03, 26 June 2019 (UTC)
@ELappen: Thank you for this response. I appreciate that explanation and resolution to my concern! :D –MJLTalk 17:17, 26 June 2019 (UTC)

Reminder[edit] --Nemo 21:01, 25 June 2019 (UTC)

Wikimedia Blog[edit]

The page seems to describe as a goal to have "blog with comments", i.e. what we had before Wikimedia Foundation website/2017-2018 update shut down the blog, demoted the wiki and gave us a website without a comment area. Why not just restore the previous functionality? Nemo 21:03, 25 June 2019 (UTC) was a WordPress blog with WordPress comments. Wikimedia Space consists of a WordPress blog connected with Discourse, which provides blog comments and way more features that many Wikimedians are missing and finding in Facebook, Google Groups, Telegram, etc. Wikimedia Space is a lot more than a “blog with comments”. I’d encourage you to join and have a look around yourself. CKoerner (WMF) (talk) 14:30, 27 June 2019 (UTC)
Thanks for the correction: we had a blog with comments and now we have a blog with comments (but on two separate softwares), plus a dead blog and a blog without comments. So why not keep and add this new comment system to it? Nemo 14:11, 28 June 2019 (UTC)
It took only one year but it seems that Diff (blog) is the answer. Nemo 20:17, 26 July 2020 (UTC)

Clarification request[edit]

@Qgil-WMF: Is the intention for the governance of this system to be transferred to the community as soon as possible, with the current status being a temporary setup during the early prototype phase? This page says that the proposal is for a "discussion space for the Wikimedia movement run by Community Relations", which could use some clarifying if it's not actually intended to be like that in production. --Yair rand (talk) 19:18, 26 June 2019 (UTC)

@Yair rand: Clarifying expectations about the governance of Wikimedia Space is important, and it makes a lot of sense to have this conversation at Wikimedia Space. We envision governance to take shape during the iterations of this project, with interested participants helping form the structures and policies, and rising to become key players. --Qgil-WMF (talk) 10:40, 1 July 2019 (UTC)
@Qgil-WMF: Assuming that Wikimedia Space is going to be at some point an actual Wikimedia space, it might make sense to have that conversation there. However, I am very hesitant to participate directly so long as I don't know for certain that this is going to be actually Wikimedian. Could you please clarify specifically, whether there's any intention to eventually make an announcement of community control like those that have been done in similar situations? ("We invite the community to take over this wiki..." - WMDE's announcement at the launch of Wikidata.)
Regardless of any transitional period (during development and such), if this isn't the eventual plan, legitimizing the space would be extremely dangerous. I hope you understand my hesitation. --Yair rand (talk) 20:52, 1 July 2019 (UTC)
@Yair rand: Yes, we understand this hesitation. Please understand our perspective as well. While "governance" is just one word, having a common understanding of its meaning requires shared definitions and knowledge about the technical possibilities to implement such governance. For instance, currently governance is being applied differently in different Wikimedia projects and channels. MediaWiki-based content projects are following a more or less common schema, but then non-MediaWiki & non-wiki content projects are using other schemes, partly because their purposes (and risks of abuse) are different, partly because their tools are different and offer different access control features. Examples include Phabricator, Gerrit and the previous Wikimedia Blog. For instance, one thing is to discuss the governance of the blog editorial process or the moderation of discussions, another thing is to discuss who has web admin access to Discuss (which implies access to users private data and private conversations) or direct access to the servers powering Wikimedia Space. Let me reiterate the invitation to discuss governance further at the Space. A basic principle we can agree upon is that governance of Wikimedia Space will be defined and assumed by its own contributors.--Qgil-WMF (talk) 07:17, 2 July 2019 (UTC)

Good to see this[edit]

It matches very closely some of the ideas that I had proposed starting from Wikimania Montreal about giving the people who work more in the space of events, wikipedians in residence, editathons etc etc a place that is more representative of their activities and in a way that is also easier to share and document with their own audiences as well. I'm looking forward to how this will evolve and I will gladly provide feedback going forward. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 14:07, 28 June 2019 (UTC)

Safe spaces[edit]

"we lack safe spaces to support that"

"Safe. Code of Conduct observed through community moderation."

"In order to make Wikimedia Space a safe place where everyone, regardless of who they are, feels comfortable to contribute"

Safe spaces! Because that went over so well when Reddit tried it! (try Wikibooks for something more serious) So we're fucked ain't we? We don't need safe spaces. You know what's a real safe space? Airstrip One. Safe spaces are an ineffective solution for a problem that doesn't exist.

If there are any Ellen Pao-like figures on WMF's payroll, you need to fire them. Today. - Alexis Jazz (talk) 18:11, 1 July 2019 (UTC)

  • There is a definite need for some safe spaces in Wikimedia movement if we are going to cite far-right mobs harassing women into oblivion as a good thing. Shame on you, to be quite honest. stjn[ru] 18:09, 11 July 2019 (UTC)
  • In addition to the ridiculousness of essentially asserting that harassment doesn't exist, Pao didn't actually have much to do with the incidents that led to her leaving Reddit (and this has been known since two days after her resignation), so this would have been a bad example if the argument had any substance to begin with. Jc86035 (talk) 11:35, 18 July 2019 (UTC)
  • It is easy not to see harassment, or to deny it, when someone is in a position of privilege. At Wikimedia Space, we try to set high standards of respect and psychological safety, especially for those who have to suffer harassment and/or micro-agressions (like the one opening this section) in many other Wikimedia channels.--Qgil-WMF (talk) 14:22, 18 July 2019 (UTC)
    • I'd like it if everyone tried a little harder to assume good faith. Wikimedia has a lot of different cultures, a lot of different viewpoints, a lot of very different understandings of certain historical events, a lot of different styles of communication, and a lot of different understandings of certain words. @Alexis_Jazz: The WMF is located in a culture that uses the term "safe space" to refer to, IIUC, a style of communication and moderation, which does not particularly resemble what you likely think the term means. @Stjn, Jc86035, Qgil: Most people in the world - most people on the English-speaking areas of Wikimedia, even - are unfamiliar with a lot of the terminology that you may be used to using. In general, the only time the term "safe space" ever makes its way outside a certain cultural group is when someone horrendously abuses the concept so much that it becomes a scandal. I admit I'm not particularly familiar with all the term's actual intended connotations. (Before today, I don't think I've ever heard the term "microaggression" used by anyone who wasn't trying to discredit it.) No one here is in favor of harassment, no one here is in favor of a dictatorial system that silences anyone opposed to it, no one wants to scare away particular ideological or demographic groups. No one's trying to attack anyone. We have to at least try to overcome the cultural gap and act civilly, seriously. --Yair rand (talk) 18:41, 18 July 2019 (UTC)
      • @Yair rand: It would be better of you not to assume that people responding to the topic starter are ‘from English-speaking areas of Wikimedia’. My native language is Russian, Qgil’s are Catalan, and Spanish, Jc86035’s are are English, and Chinese. Moreover, since Alexis Jazz demonstrates a big familiarity with some highly American-specific online scandals, it is not strange to think that they know the meaning of the term ‘safe space’ and are just not in agreement with the concept. stjn[ru] 16:23, 21 July 2019 (UTC)
    • I find it curious to see a WMF staff member lecturing a volunteer about privilege. Nemo 20:21, 18 July 2019 (UTC)
      • Why? Seniority and authority within the Wikimedia movement are far from the only forms of privilege that exist. Jc86035 (talk) 16:27, 21 July 2019 (UTC)
        • Indeed, and WMF staff are typically the Wikimedia movement participants with less seniority and authority (conflicts with the community often arise because WMF staffers are inexperienced newbies who perceive a need for protection). But that's irrelevant: I never said that privilege is all on one side. Nemo 16:46, 5 September 2019 (UTC)

Export strategy[edit]

Was a maintenance script developed to export all the content of the Discourse instance to wikitext, so that it can be preserved on Meta-Wiki if/when the domain is shut down? It would be irresponsible to make people spend their time producing content in a place which has no long-term preservation strategy. Are there dumps in an open format? Nemo 20:27, 18 July 2019 (UTC)

  • WordPress and Discourse store their content in standard MySQL and PostgreSQL databases respectively. We are producing backups on a daily basis. If needed one day, we have the resources to produce a script capable of exporting the content of Wikimedia Space and import it to Meta-Wiki. Meanwhile, our priority is to bring Wikimedia Space to production, where it will inherit the same long-term preservation strategy that the rest of projects in Wikimedia production servers have. (On a slightly related note, Wikimedia Space users can download their contributions in a standard CSV format, whenever they want, from their own Activity page. 🤫) Qgil-WMF (talk) 09:45, 19 July 2019 (UTC)
    • Ok, so that's a "no". Very sad that we never learn from past mistakes, even when it already cost us dearly to ignore best practices and well-documented standards (there's even ). Nemo 13:29, 25 October 2019 (UTC)

Success criteria[edit]

The proposed goals for "success" are ridiculously low. The number of registered users is completely irrelevant, yet you compare it to the number of active users on Meta-Wiki. 100 active users would be one order of magnitude less than Meta-Wiki and significantly less than mailing lists (on a random month, a few dozens mailing lists out of hundreds already get over 100 participants with over 2 messages).

Even the Wikimedia Italia internal discussion venues easily reach about 50 active users per month; multiply this by a few chapters and it would easily dwarf the number that you propose to consider a "success".

What's worse, if you indeed count passive engagement as well, the numbers should be reduced by an order of magnitude before they become comparable with everything else. So, a more likely goal to become even remotely effective could be 10k "engaged" users per month, or 5000 to be generous. Nemo 16:28, 5 September 2019 (UTC)

These criteria aim to define the success of the prototype, not the success of the program itself. Their purpose is to define if/when the prototype should move to a next development phase in production. The participation metrics proposed aim to reflect critical mass of interest and participation. We believe the participation metrics proposed would clearly reflect this critical mass of interest. Qgil-WMF (talk) 07:07, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
You are entitled to your own beliefs, of course. You can still express them without making spurious comparisons. Nemo 13:30, 25 October 2019 (UTC)

Promotional language[edit]

Much of the language used on this page is overtly promotional and otherwise problematic. Pages like this are supposed to be neutral documentation. If someone wants to write an essay on why they think Space will be great, it should be taken elsewhere. Language like "promotes learning by welcoming people from every background to build strong and diverse communities" cannot be used by the global community site's own voice. --Yair rand (talk) 21:32, 24 October 2019 (UTC)

Perhaps a solution would be to make this an "intended to..." + quote, like in the previous sentence? Nikkimaria (talk) 23:25, 24 October 2019 (UTC)
Our intention is to explain the motivations and goals of this project, so people can understand it beyond the current features that they might see. While the perception of "promotional" or "problematic" content might be subjective to an extent, I believe we can find a common ground. I will work on the sentence highlighted. If there are more, or you see a specific pattern that you think should be changed, let's discuss / edit.Qgil-WMF (talk) 11:31, 25 October 2019 (UTC)
Some of the recent edits have exacerbated the problem. Perhaps we could have a separate "promo box" full of the flowery language, making it clear that it's a quote from the WMF? Or a dedicated section or two? We could have a section labelled "Motivation and goals", with the content in a box indicating its source. It's clear that the WMF has a viewpoint here, and the original words published by ELappen on this may be significant enough themselves that they should be quoted here. --Yair rand (talk) 13:56, 30 October 2019 (UTC)
Yair rand, this is a project page, not an encyclopedic article. It seems fair that promoters and maintainers of Wikimedia projects get a chance to explain in Meta the motivations and goals of these projects they are working on. If someone tells lies or hides relevant information, then sure, that crosses a line and edits are welcome to remedy the problem. I don't think it is the case here. On the other hand, edits removing motivations and project decisions, how are they useful? Adding two mentions about Community Relations in a sentence that already has one, what is the intention? This predominant focus on the code of conduct (which hasn't been problematic) in several edits, which point is trying to make? All these are frank questions. The Space team would like to explain the Space project in Meta. If anyone has criticism toward this project I am sure there are ways to integrate it in the project page and this Talk page without being so disruptive. Yair rand, we appreciate feedback and criticism, and we are trying to be responsive and constructive with the points that you and anyone else are making about Space. But we need to respect each other and perhaps agree to disagree sometimes. Qgil-WMF (talk) 15:27, 30 October 2019 (UTC)
@Qgil-WMF: It seems to me that this stopped being a proposal page when the WMF independently decided to just go ahead and launch the site. If the Space team wants to publish something promoting their project, they are free do so in an appropriately-labelled essay in the mainspace or their userspace.
We're talking about a documentation page on Meta-Wiki, the global community site. While the contributions of WMF employees are certainly welcome, the WMF does not have any authority over such pages, as I'm sure you agree.
Such a page must be a simple fair description of the topic as it relates to Wikimedia's free wiki projects.
Re the sentence with multiple mentions of the WMF Community Relations team, I think it's reasonable to mention the founding group, governing body, and the creator of local policies, even if these all happen to be the same group. If you can figure out how to word it to communicate the information without repeating the words "Community Relations" multiple times, that would of course be preferable. The platform's departure from Wikimedia's principles of community governance and volunteer-centrism are certainly notable elements here. (Similarly, I would also suggest adding something to the lead about the inclusion of systems for non-public forums.)
I've posted a note to Babel to try to get some more opinions here. --Yair rand (talk) 10:21, 31 October 2019 (UTC)

Next steps on Wikimedia Space[edit]

Last year, the Wikimedia Foundation launched Wikimedia Space to experiment with new ways to connect volunteers, increase movement participation, and showcase community stories. While we remain committed to this important goal, based on lessons learned through the Space prototype, the Foundation has decided to close Discuss Space. The Space blog, which continues to fill a need to share news for the movement by the movement, will continue in a new home. Please continue to submit stories, so that we may share them with the movement.

To learn more about the next steps, check the full announcement at

We have learned a lot from this initiative and want to thank all Space users for their time and contributions. We also invite everyone interested in documenting lessons learned and discussing next steps to join us in taking this effort even further, either at the About Wikimedia Space category in Discuss or here. Qgil-WMF (talk) 10:17, 18 February 2020 (UTC)

Hi Quill,
First I want to thank the team who has worked on developing Wikimedia Space: you've done a great work, and it must be hard to feel it wasn't successful, but I'm sure the lessons learned from this project will allow you to think even further and find the right solution for a tool that will fulfill the movement's needs.
I'm happy to hear that the blog will continue, and I hope you will find a new home for the events-map too, which was an amazing feature!
Now about the Discuss Space itself, I have to admit that, while I was really enthusiastic at first, in the end it didn't fulfill the needs my community and I had, so even trying hard, we didn't really adopt the tool.
But: as you wrote in the full annoucement, the need Space was trying to address is still real, and we have to discuss in deapth about how to address it and find a solution all together. As a strategy liaison (you might be familiar with my other username, DRanville (WMF)) and as an active volunteer in France at both the local and national level, I have been hearing a lot of input about the need for more efficient communication tools, and I'd like to share a couple of thoughts, hoping they'll be useful to you:
  • first, our "community" is in fact a spectrum of various types of communities, whose needs are themselves very diverse, especially when it comes to communication. In particular, we need to distinguish between needs to communicate about off-wiki and on-wiki matters. My point is: before designing any tool, we need to closely analyse what/whose needs we are trying to address exactly, how it could be best fulfilled, what is the goal, etc. => in one word, we need to do more research
  • on the other hand, there is also a huge amount of similarities across our communities: there are often the same needs across countries and projects. Which leads me to the following idea: once identified a need and conceived a tool to fulfill it, you can test it at small scale with one group and refine it before going bigger, because if it works with one groups, it is likely to work with all groups with the same needs. (Here I'm thinking about the fact that Space was shared at a large scale quickly, asking for a huge effort of engagement from across the movement, while its relevance could have been tested at a smaller scale). => in one word: a more economical deployment method
Then I also have personal feelings of what would be best to look into in the future, but it'll only be my needs and views, which need to be balanced with others' through more research. I'd be happy to share them anytime though, just ping me then ;)
Opsylac (talk) 13:02, 18 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Hi, firstly I'm glad that the Foundation wants to improve dialogue with the volunteer community and across different parts of the community, even if this didn't work out. But there are a couple of lessons from this that should have been learned a decade ago from the strategy wiki. Firstly the old software/engineering rule about testing individual elements one at a time is still worth following. At some point I'm sure we will have better software for talkpages, but the way to beta test it would be to talk one of the smaller wiki communities into being guinea pigs, not to roll it out as the price of taking part in a new cross wiki project. Secondly the wisdom of crowds is undermined by continuing to subdivide the crowd, and that matters because our project is based on the concept of the wisdom of crowds. I appreciate that fairly early on this project was brought into the universal login, but because it was on new software it didn't follow the standard notifications that link me to the various wikis I am involved in. I am very active on a couple of wikis, mildly active on three or of four others and have edited dozens more. I get notifications from everywhere I edit except EN wikibooks, and I suspect that is more a lack of other people's activity on that wiki than anything else. From Wikimedia Space I got a lot of emails, but to be honest I quickly stopped opening them because of the signal to noise ratio. So I'm glad you are now moving this to Meta, all you need to do now is merge "sharing news for the movement" in with outreach Wiki, the Meta events page and dare I say it the Signpost from EN wiki, to create an effective way of "sharing news for the movement". My own reccomendation would be to move most of those things onto Meta and enable crossswiki transclusions so that those communities that want to can put a local "Signpost" like wrapper on cross wiki news. WereSpielChequers (talk) 14:09, 18 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Thank you for the update. Please remember to copy the content of this announcement to Meta-Wiki, to ensure preservation and long-term discoverability. When in 5 or 10 years someone else will try doing the same thing, it will be useful for them to find this previous experience from Special:Search. In fact the entire and could be imported into Meta and the old URLs redirected here, especially if the blog isn't merged to some established blog we already have. It would also be useful to hear what learnings you can share on how to run comment sections in the various other blogs the Wikimedia Foundation runs. Thanks, Nemo 14:57, 18 February 2020 (UTC)

Thank you for all the feedback. After scanning different channels, we have a wide range of opinions which reflect how deep and complex the problem of cross-wiki collaboration is, and also how differently the Space prototype and this decision is being perceived. We will process this feedback and integrate it in the lessons learned. If you have more feedback or questions, please share. This conversation is important.

The channels we are watching:

If you are aware of more conversations related to this announcement, please share them here as well. Qgil-WMF (talk) 14:34, 19 February 2020 (UTC)

Facebook is no legitimate alternative, Facebook is something to be avoided at nearly all costs, as it'S a privacy raping private company where security concient people won't go. en:Cambridge Analytica ist the very essence of Facebook, it's not an anomaly. Everything done on Facebook has no real value for the Wikiverse, as it's at a place, where a lot of people will not dare to go out of security and privacy reasons. Anything of value has to be done within the Wikiverse, so this was a step in the right direction, to stop it, and with the stupid recommendation of using Facebook instread, is extremely disturbing. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 07:01, 27 February 2020 (UTC)

@Sänger: They are not advising you to go there. They are saying that people ARE discussing this specific topic there, that they are aware of this and that they ARE following that discussion (because it is an audience which opinion they value in this context). Also sometimes I meet my wikifriends in person and that is much more valuable than the isolationist definition of what the wikiverse is/should be in your eyes. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 09:00, 28 February 2020 (UTC)
Here it's stated, that the main venue is on Facebook, and as nobody of the (WMF)ers realy takes part in this discussions here or on Wikimedia-l, I have to assume, the main venue is at least somewhere else, so why not believe them, when they say Facebook?
BTW: What's isolationist with talking about the Wikiverse within the Wikiverse? Going to not trustworthy, thus massively excluding, outside venues is imho isolationist, it Isolates those, who discuss, from those, who is talked about. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 12:02, 28 February 2020 (UTC)