Talk:Wikimedia exit interview/Sue Gardner

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Has anyone let Sue know about this page? (Link to diff/post if possible, for the lazy). Killiondude (talk) 23:21, 24 April 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

User_talk:Sue_Gardner#Exit_Interview. PiRSquared17 (talk) 23:24, 24 April 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
How did you find that?! --MZMcBride (talk) 23:27, 24 April 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Excuse me sir/madame, I think he stalks contribs. Killiondude (talk) 05:50, 25 April 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Oh I do hope he stalks me! :P I feel so lonely making my edits. :( Also, hi killion(wb?). Theo10011 (talk) 16:41, 25 April 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I stalk RecentChanges, my watchlist, and certain users' edits. No comment on which users, though. :P PiRSquared17 (talk) 17:10, 25 April 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Fingers-crossed one of 'em is me! ;) Theo10011 (talk) 17:19, 25 April 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I do know about this page, and I am kind of loving it. Seriously -- exit interviews are great, and a public one for my role is a brilliant idea. So I just wanted to drop in and say thanks to Theo (who I think first thought of this) and everyone who is contributing here. When the time comes, I'll be happy to answer these questions, and any others that have come up :-) Sue Gardner (talk) 02:49, 17 May 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thanks Sue, Unfortunately I can't take any of the credit for this. It was MZMcBride who first had this idea. I just saw it at an opportune moment, and added my voice to it. He also made this page, and things seem to be organizing themselves pretty well so far. Thank you for graciously accepting to do this. And my Thanks to Mz for getting things rolling. Which reminds me, that I'm late at announcing this. Theo10011 (talk) 04:00, 17 May 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"The biggest mistake", "biggest or best change", "most important quality of the successor"...[edit]

I do think some of these questions could be rephrased so that Sue can answer now only one mistake, one change, the quality etc.., because I think we would have a deeper and broader answer if we tried to tell more of these things, like several skills Sue thinks her successor should have. It is obvious for me that Sue implemented a lot of changes to the actual confortable situation of WMF in some aspects. --Tom (talk) 19:48, 18 May 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Be bold. :-) --MZMcBride (talk) 00:40, 19 May 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It may be a little late to change the questions that have now been voted on. But Sue is watching this page and will hopefully expand on those answers where she feels like it. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 01:24, 19 May 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Not the interview which is referred to here, but let's add a link to this recent conversation with her. --Elitre (talk) 21:34, 5 June 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Reddit "Ask Me Anything": <> --MZMcBride (talk) 04:01, 15 November 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

A post in /r/IAmA would be much more visible, but I understand why she posted there. Compare jorm's AMA. PiRSquared17 (talk) 04:18, 15 November 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@MZMcBride: is she still going to do this exit interview? If so, any idea when? PiRSquared17 (talk) 13:39, 30 November 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I imagine that a successor will be announced and there will be a period of time between the successor fully taking up the role and Sue fully stepping down. I assume we'll do it then. --MZMcBride (talk) 04:45, 2 December 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It seems it will be a while yet: Executive Director Transition Team/Update 9 December. --MZMcBride (talk) 19:47, 10 December 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]


MZMcBride, do you think you could ask her to do this now? PiRSquared17 (talk) 01:45, 2 May 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It probably makes sense to do the exit interview with Sue this month, if ever. I'm not sure if there's still a lot of interest in pursuing this idea, though. I think it might be a cool and valuable experience, but that's just my opinion. :-) --MZMcBride (talk) 01:57, 5 May 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I remain interested in reading such an interview and would be grateful to anyone who conducted and published it. Blue Rasberry (talk) 15:18, 5 May 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
+1. --MF-W 22:53, 5 May 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@MZMcBride, MF-Warburg, and Bluerasberry: her response. :-) She is willing to do this, do you think the list of questions is as complete as it will get? PiRSquared17 (talk) 00:40, 6 May 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
We could wait a bit or re-advertise this, but I am happy with the questions as they are now. Blue Rasberry (talk) 15:44, 6 May 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Bluerasberry, PiRSquared17: I definitely think we should re-advertise this page and give people a firm deadline to submit questions. What about 23 May 2014 by 12:01 UTC? Does this seem reasonable? And we'll send a note to wikimedia-l and post to Wikimedia Forum? Anywhere else? --MZMcBride (talk) 23:51, 8 May 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

That sounds like a good idea. I'm not sure where else we should advertise it. Maybe the Signpost and/or Village Pump? PiRSquared17 (talk) 23:53, 8 May 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Okay, I sent the e-mail to wikimedia-l and posted to Wikimedia Forum. --MZMcBride (talk) 05:40, 9 May 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Folks, do have some patience: Sue is very busy this month and next :) Also, you should know that the Board of course is conducting its own confidential exit interview, unrelated to this. But if Sue is game, I think these public questions are interesting and fine! cheers, -- phoebe | talk 20:53, 9 May 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Key part of the above, my emphasis - "... its own confidential exit interview ...". That one might have some candor in it. Sadly, I'd say the value of this public one is likely to be no more than if a PR firm wrote up the answers for her (and how would we know that didn't happen?). In fact, in the Wiki way, one might just as well "crowdsource" it - take the questions, have the answers written as a quasi-wikipedia article. I wonder which one would be a better result. -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 21:47, 9 May 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I believe that Sue *will* answer these questions candidly, once she has time -- these are big-picture, good questions that she's spent a lot of time thinking about, and certainly spent a lot of time writing about in public too. I didn't mean to imply anything by my comment above; I just didn't want anyone to wonder if this was replacing a board process. best, -- phoebe | talk 22:02, 9 May 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Let me clarify I didn't think you were implying anything in your comment above. Rather, I wanted to highlight what I saw as the most significant part it, with the implications I drew being from my own fully admitted jaded and cynical perspective. Regarding candid answers, I'll believe it when I see it. People leaving one high-profile job for (presumably) another high-profile job rarely say anything that might cause discomfit to either constituency. I'm not good at this, but I'll bet we get something like "Leadership is drawing strength from our differences. We should have more gender diversity. Internet freedom must be preserved by having no government interference except for the specific regulations which big web corporations want like Net Neutrality." (argh, I'm getting sarcastic, that's why I can't write like a PR flack). -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 22:46, 9 May 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Phoebe: this page is over a year old. I think everyone has been/continues to be patient. ;-) My thanks to PiRSquared17 for his continuing work to move this forward. --MZMcBride (talk) 14:56, 25 May 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
User_talk:Sue_Gardner#Exit_interview_questions. PiRSquared17 (talk) 15:14, 25 May 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I have to say, I didn't expect to see Ms. Gardner consulting at the Tor project. That's no simple task. The history there is a story where candid answers would be fascinating (though again, we'll never get them). -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 06:04, 31 July 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I know this is VERY after the fact, but do any of my Wikimedia friends and acquaintances (PiRSquared17, MZMcBride, Blue Rasberry (talk) etc.) know if Sue Gardner ever did any sort of exit interview prior to (or during) her successor's tenure, or at any point thereafter? I would still be interested in reading her responses to these questions or any others. Thank you for indulging this BUMP, and forgive me if I should not have asked after so much time has elapsed.--FeralOink (talk) 14:00, 10 December 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@FeralOink: It did not happen.
A bigger issue is the Wikimedia community's lack of capacity for journalism. Both the wiki community and external media have a great appetite and interest in Wikipedia-related news. For various reasons we are not producing journalism products to meet demand or even for narrating history and major events. It is fine to ask, besides just exit interviews I wish we had the chance for open recorded discussion with Wikimedia Foundation people regularly on all sorts of topics. I would like to get to that point. Blue Rasberry (talk) 16:42, 11 December 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hi FeralOink and Blue Rasberry. She did a Reddit "Ask Me Anything": <>. I don't think these specific questions ever got answered tho. I imagine she had exit interviews and transition meetings with staff and board members at the time. Regarding wanting to conduct regular interviews with staff, I'm sure that could be arranged if there's substantive and concrete interest. --MZMcBride (talk) 01:30, 25 February 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@MZMcBride: The reader interest is there, both on-wiki and in other media channels. Journalism or reporting is considerably more complicated than wiki-editing, though, and we lack a lot of the administrative support. I am still trying to address this problem. As start, I am drafting out a proposal at Wikimedia LGBT+/conversation series proposal to get WMF funding to hire wiki people to organize more community conversations, organize the talks into a narrative, and publish results. I want to greatly increase the pace and scope of conversation. Right now, the WMF funds a lot of talks on topics that it chooses and its staff also make editorial decisions on the outcome. I think this should be wiki community controlled. In the LGBT+ community we have a lot of social and ethical challenges to discuss, but after piloting there, I wish that the WMF could include funding for community conversation, reporting, and journalism in the budgets for all established groups. Bluerasberry (talk) 13:33, 25 February 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]