User talk:LilaTretikov (WMF)/Archive 8

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Archive This is an archive of past discussions. Do not edit the contents of this page. If you wish to start a new discussion or revive an old one, please do so on the current talk page.

Volunteer engagement

Lila, looking more widely at other issues raised in preceding sections, you may want to consider how much volunteer time and effort has been and is being wasted while your staff fail to engage effectively with the rest of the community. Even while your "call to action" is being fleshed out in detail, your staff continue to alienate the very people you should be seeking to bring on board with the huge changes that will be needed to get WMF and its projects through the next few years. Motto Luigi (talk) 20:07, 29 April 2015 (UTC)

I'd love to change things any faster than I already have, but that is not as simple as it may seem. What are you specifically referring to? And where? LilaTretikov (WMF) (talk) 04:05, 6 May 2015 (UTC)
The projects referred to at User talk:LilaTretikov (WMF)/Archive 7#Community Engagement (Product)/Process ideas, User talk:LilaTretikov (WMF)/Archive 7#Access to nonpublic information policy, User_talk:LilaTretikov (WMF)#Community Engagement (Product)/Product_Surveys, User talk:LilaTretikov (WMF)/Archive 7#Flow and User talk:LilaTretikov (WMF)#Flow have consumed considerable amounts of volunteer time and effort to no purpose, and that discussed at #Gather / Collections is likely to do so. It seems likely that almost all of that time and effort has been wasted, and that represents a failure of community engagement that you cannot afford at the present juncture. Perhaps you do not see it as wasted, or think that it is as an unavoidable price worth paying? Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 21:33, 6 May 2015 (UTC)
You can see process is changing in action with VE (example are the weekly triage sessions and public prioritization), but not yet with some other features as these changes take time. There was a product survey test for gadgets in december and the new Community team is ramping up to begin building priority lists and ultimately executing on them. Proactive Flow rollouts were suspended last fall until we are clear on success criteria and meanwhile the tiny team of 3 refocused on modularizing components and APIs so we can reuse work done and reorganize as needed. I still don't have the use cases I wanted to review for Flow and ultimately the team needs the capabilities to make better determinations themselves, but those are coming. At the end we are going to use data and user testing to tell us if a change is positive or negative (do more people create content? is that content quality? etc...) Would be great to have community collect those for Talk pages or for any other way to have a conversation around editing. LilaTretikov (WMF) (talk) 03:57, 7 May 2015 (UTC)
I'll respond about Flow in a separate section.
What works great:
  1. Bug fixes.
  2. Requests for improvements to active projects. (Adding bells and whistles features)
  3. Anything behind-the-scenes like HHVM. The WMF is effectively the customer writing software specifications for yourself.
What doesn't work:
  1. No communication *before* starting code for outward-facing projects. This is Russian Roulette. When there are issues that staff weren't aware of, the Community doesn't get this pain-free opportunity to point them out. The WMF builds the project first, sinking a time&money investment into it.
  2. Once the project is built, with no Community input, it becomes the assigned job of staff to get that project to the predetermined destination. Bug-fixes are in-scope for their job, adding bells and whistles features are in-scope for their job, but cancelling or fundamentally changing direction are out-of-scope. Even the idea that the WMF&Community could discuss whether the project should continue is out-of-scope for discussion. All attempts to discuss the issue get ignored. All we get is "lets talk about bugfixes and upgrades instead".
    • The longer ineffectual discussions drag on the more upset the community becomes at being ignored, while development barrels forwards.
    • The longer ineffectual discussions drag on the deeper WMF investment becomes.
    • When the Community gives up on discussions and finally takes action, the WMF feels aggrieved at the Community "jumping in at the last minute" sabotaging a long running deeply invested project. To the WMF, the community looks like an irresponsible angry mob trashing your hard work and flushing money down the drain. Why oh why didn't the community raise these issues sooner?
Looking at the current case, I don't know what the Community will do about Gather but I see at least a possibility of bot-nuking all Collections. I'm trying to get effective engagement before that point. I'd like at least one person at the WMF to notice that there's an informal consensus saying hell-no. I'd like at least one person at the WMF to care why the Community has a problem with it. I'd like the WMF&Community to discuss whether the Community should do the maintenance work required by this project. I'd like the WMF to recognize that the right answer might be "no", and that cancelling the project is an in-scope possibility. Alsee (talk) 05:05, 7 May 2015 (UTC)
Alsee, I am very happy that you are trying to get more "effective engagement" as you describe it. Lets set Gather Collections aside, and from the effective engagement perspective, you may want to help us all define, how do we want the workflow of this type of content to be like? As mentioned many times earlier, Gather can be disabled, however, the earlier community request of public watchlists should happen at some point. What are we going do about those public lists of articles, collected and labeled by one user? This is not an attempt to change the subject, on the contrary, this is an attempt to look beyond a beta feature. --Melamrawy (WMF) (talk) 16:31, 7 May 2015 (UTC)
Unfortunately, as has been pointed out on this page before, there is currently no effective mechanism for the community to engage constructively with the 265 staff of the WMF on setting strategic goals or designing requested features, and previous attempts to develop them have stalled or failed. So these questions cannot be usefully answered at present. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 21:15, 7 May 2015 (UTC)
LilaTretikov (WMF), Melamrawy (WMF), Gather can be disabled - I beg you, I beg you, I beg you, please tell me what process would be required for that?
If there were a Formal Central Community Consensus request, issued by RFC at Village Pump, would the WMF either disable Gather or set all Collections private? The WMF is warmly welcome to participate in that discussion and present reasons supporting Gather and supporting keeping collections public. I proposed this general type of discussion three times before, and got no response on it. Regarding the rest, I'll reply soon at Gather/Moderation_Criteria.Alsee (talk) 15:38, 8 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Lila, thank you for your prompt response, but I have to say it was a little underwhelming. I was hopng for definite proposals, clear commitment and an explicit timeline. I do not think you have the luxury of allowing the discrepancy between the WMF view and the community, as clearly expressed in the comment above, for example, to drift wider. Might I suggest, incidentally, that merely tinkering with processes will be insufficient. There needs to be a shift of attitude on the part of WMF staff towards a real appetite for engagement: in the past we have seen too much argument and not enough disussion -- and to be blunt more than a hint of condecension, even contempt, from staff towards mere volunteers. That has to change for anything else to have a chance of working. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 21:34, 7 May 2015 (UTC)
There is a discussion at Talk:Community Tech project ideas which is relevant. Please get this up and running before the community comes to believe that you are either unable or unwilling to do so. In particular it would be very helpful to say explicitly and publish widely the exact date by which you are committed to having this working. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 16:58, 23 May 2015 (UTC)

Flow misunderstanding

Lila, I'll put this as generously as possible..... it seems that your previous comments on flow were seriously misunderstood by everyone following this topic. It seems there was no stop to actually reconsider Flow. It seems that WMF doesn't care whether the Community considers Flow to be a beneficial or even viable transition. It seems only change is an internal redrafting how many bells and whistles to hang on the Flow-train before it is "finished".

I'm curious, is this primarily an assumption that the Community will change it's view once they see how fantastic the finished product will be? Or do you expect it will be a manageable bump in the road to force out Flow even if there is strong Community rejection? Alsee (talk) 07:32, 7 May 2015 (UTC)

This is an important question and I also would appreciate an answer. BethNaught (talk) 17:47, 14 May 2015 (UTC)
+1 2601:0:9B40:D0:7CD9:8B25:8CAD:F509 21:04, 14 May 2015 (UTC)
+1 Wbm1058 (talk) 20:44, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
Yes there is absolutely a re-evaluation pending, we have pulled back on all roll-outs but we kept two people on refactoring the feature so we can reuse components (don't quote me exactly, I will ask the team to comment). People working on collaboration are now part of the Editing team and we will be looking at where the current system maybe applicable/useful and where it is not. Like with VE, Collaboration components we develop will have clear success criteria in that we will want to understand and measure how they impact our editors positively. LilaTretikov (WMF) (talk) 19:53, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Thank you for (after two weeks!) answering, but I don't think that explicitly addresses Alsee's question. Shouldn't it be for the communities and not the WMF to decide which system they think is useful and which they want? The WMF needs to face up to the fact that Flow is deeply unpopular with many and the question of who wants it should be addressed now. Otherwise it continues to appear the WMF has "an assumption that the Community will change its view once they see how fantastic the finished product will be".
Moreover the recent faux pas at w:en:WT:Flow, where a developer tried to convert that page to Flow without even notifying the en.wp community, is at best WMF staff not clearly understanding the situation and at worst a display of the arrogance which the WMF tends to display in this matter. BethNaught (talk) 12:06, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Hi, BethNaught. What is the difference of vertical and horizontal tolerance? I am speaking with the experience of a young membre of de.wp. You are expecting horizontal tolerance with Lila answering in (your understanding of) time. No, something else is happening: Your are recieving vertical tolerance. You are given the chance to comment and be obedient and stay alert to recieve your answer in time (by the rules of WMF about their understanding of cooperation). WMF needs to write down a Contributor Relation Management (CRM, with the participation of the international Community of Individual Volunteers (iCIV)) – once being developed to a Charter of the Wikimedia Movement (Charter of WMM) with iCIV and WMF as members of a structure of horizontal tolerance. After some practice of tolerance real cooperation starts, I keep on hoping. Please join me. --Edward Steintain (talk) 19:06, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Please forgive (one way to get out of intolerance) Lila and her staff. They just do not know. They are traditionally addicted to vertical tolerance. A typical conflict since quite a couple of centuries which led into war or shunnig. Shunning is a social rejection in case of disturbed cooperation and a low-cost punishment (Haidt, Science 2007).
Joke. Says one Wikipedian to the other: „Ok, we are off!“ --Edward Steintain (talk) 19:20, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
@Alsee: @BethNaught: Lila said that she would ask the team to comment. I think she may accidentally be giving the wrong impression. The Collaboration team currently has five developers working on Flow, which is in active development. You can check out our progress on the Collaboration team workboard on Phabricator. Please feel free to come talk to us on Mediawiki's Talk:Flow page if you've got questions about what the team is doing. DannyH (WMF) (talk) 13:01, 29 May 2015 (UTC)
@DannyH (WMF): You still aren't answering the question. If Lila's aim is to look like she is disconnected from the communities and like she is deliberately dodging serious questions, she is certainly succeeding. You still haven't answered the fundamental question, which is: "when Flow is considered by devs to be ready for release, will individual wikis have the choice of whether or not to use it?" Instead you're saying how brilliantly you're supposedly working with communities, ignoring the question of whether it's actually wanted.
For an analogy which hopefully illustrates the point, it's like trying to win over UKIP voters by proclaiming how David Cameron is re-negotiating with the EU. The question is: will there be an in-out referendum?
The manner in which you, Lila and all the rest of the WMF have been dodging this question leave me now with no choice but to believe that the WMF is either:
  • so deluded that it thinks it can make a consensus majority of people at every wiki like Flow that no concessions are necessary; or
  • planning to force this out, and the roll-out pause is merely a bluff to take the heat out of the issue temporarily. BethNaught (talk) 14:14, 29 May 2015 (UTC)

Wow, no kidding, we really do have some fundamental misunderstandings here. The mw:Collaboration team is charged with acquisition, engagement and retention of editors that contribute in a positive manner to our projects. Flow, discussion and collaboration software, is the key initiative of the team. A look at the half-dozen past projects of this team shows that all of their solutions to the problem are software-based. Let me suggest that the key problems in the area of editor collaboration are not software-based, but rather more related to interpersonal relationships and psychology, etc. Changing software will not do anything to address the issue of editors who are not collaborating. We need major initiatives to solve, or at least, better deal with, these interpersonal problems. We've been pointed to a mindbogglingly long bug list that the current team of five (not two, apparently) is working on. I'll suggest that most of these bugs relate to capabilities and features of current talk-page technology, which Flow lacks. By the time you are finished fixing these bugs, how different from current technology will Flow actually be? Will volunteer editors be invited to participate in this pending re-evaluation, hopefully more than a few days before such re-evaluation is completed, or will this be just an internal re-evaluation? Wbm1058 (talk) 15:58, 31 May 2015 (UTC)

„Cooperation is needed for evolution to construct new levels of organization.“ (Nowak Science 2006). WMF has to spend money for new goals of the WikiMedia Movement (WMM) like asking todays specialists of cooperation to introduce their knowlegde to WMM and the international Community of Individual Volunteers (iCIV) to be discussed. WMF and WMM desperately need the hope for solutions as being part of todays world: Let's try to cooperate at new levels of organization to be developed.[1]. --Edward Steintain (talk) 20:20, 13 June 2015 (UTC)
Lila, imagine WMF is spending 10 to 30 kUSD to every Chapter of WMM to its free availiability to ask spezialist or to develope projects to support the developement of new structures of cooperation. At least it is an instrument to feed the spirit of community. --Edward Steintain (talk) 20:39, 13 June 2015 (UTC)
  1. Code of Good Practice for Civil Participation in the Decision-Making Process, Background, Council of Europe (dtsch: Europarat), Konferenz der INGOs (internationale Nichtregierungsorganisationen), PDF 118 kB; (deutsch: Verhaltenskodex für die Bürgerbeteiligung im Entscheidungsprozess; Matrix der Bürgerbeteiligung: siehe Seite 18 des PDFs)

Innovation

Lila, in a previous post [1], which sadly aged off without your having had the opportunity to respond to it, I raised the issue of Innovation. In another post you pointed out that the WMF has 200 staff supporting 100,000 people community: I suggest that you actually have 100,000 people community supporting 200 staff, if you will let them. That means resolving various engagement problems, but that's not the point I want to make. I suggest that you initiate your focus on innovation by sending a few people over to AMPLab in Berkeley. They have a pretty exciting form of innovation going on there. If you care to venture futher afield, you could do worse than visit London (the Wikpedia Science Conference would be a great opportunity). There you'll find the Open Data Institute, a Google Campus, the Farr Institute, Alan Turing Institute, Health and Social Care Information Centre and University College Big Data Institute, the last four incidentally all being within a few minutes walk of the conference venue. I would offer to broker meetings, but I imagine that you and Jimmy Wales between you need no introduction! There's a lot of fire-power in research and innovation in knowledge and data in just those few places: well worth a visit? If not, perhaps some of your innovation-related staff could make it? Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 21:33, 15 June 2015 (UTC)

Wikipedia reader interface update

Hi Lila,

The Signpost had this rather chilling summary of a recent ITM item, which I will abbreviate here:

"Time profiles (April 14) Lila Tretikov, executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation. Time paints a grim picture of the challenges faced by Tretikov and the encyclopedia, many of which were discussed in a recent Signpost's special report: a "meager annual budget", the gender gap, "critical gaps in coverage" (such as the Global South), the shrinking ranks of active editors, and the lack of contributions from those who access Wikipedia content through mobile devices, search engines, and personal digital assistants. Time speculates that Wikipedia could contract suddenly, with something similar to the almost 25% dropoff in active editors on the Italian Wikipedia in 2013, or dwindle gradually, a possibility that Andrew Lih (Fuzheado) compared to "the boiling frogs scenario". William Beutler (WWB), author of the blog The Wikipedian, told Time "I do not envy Lila Tretikov’s position."

"Time outlined efforts by Tretikov and the WMF to address these issues, such as the Inspire Campaign and Wikipedia Zero. Time wrote that "Tretikov is focusing the Foundation’s limited resources on how readers and editors use the site," including gathering data about user preferences, increasing the number of WMF engineers, and improving and creating editing software like mobile apps."

I realize that the strategy update is likely intended to address many of the problems in this summary.

IMO, one project that the WMF could undertake that would be helpful would be a major interface update to the reader experience, similar to WikiWand, that would be compatible with VisualEditor for the cases where readers convert into editors. The Mobile Apps team is moving in that direction. Could the same be done for desktop? A cost of $600,000 would be less than the cost of MediaViewer, and if done well could have good results. Another option might be for WMF simply to acquire WikiWand outright, and I think that would be an option worth exploring.

Thanks, --Pine 04:43, 9 May 2015 (UTC)

I would also like to see an interface update. I remember seeing a beautiful potential version in a media story somewhere year or two or maybe more ago. Biosthmors (talk) 20:57, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

A question back to the group...how do you see the current mobile app interface (iOS, Android). Do you think it is going in the right direction? What is missing? LilaTretikov (WMF) (talk) 20:06, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
I think the mobile app interface is going in the right direction. I would like to our mobile web interface look more like the mobile app interface, although with the additional features that make mobile editing easier than it is on mobile apps. Also, for all interfaces (mobile web, mobile apps, and desktop) I would like to present users with easy options for changing their readership experience, such as different skins, high-contrast options for the visually impaired, "night mode" like on mobile apps, and so on. WikiWand is an excellent step in the right direction and I would look to them for inspiration, and perhaps buying them. --Pine 18:59, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
There have been many interesting ideas over the years, most of which are collected at en:Wikipedia:Unsolicited redesigns (add anything you know of that is missing). Examining them all for good elements/aspects, would be great.
Re: "[...] high-contrast options for the visually impaired, "night mode" like on mobile apps [...]" - See phab:T91201 ("Accessibility settings") which has been discussed for a long time, and was worked on at the Lyon Hackathon this weekend! The hope is to roll the first version out as a gadget, soon, for discussion about further features and changes. Quiddity (WMF) (talk) 15:21, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
Thank you Quiddity but frankly Lila this is an example of what is wrong with the current model of engagement. The discussion is referred to two other places where discussions might take place, or have taken place in the past.
What is needed at this stage for comununity engagement is a single, well-advertised, widely-accessible, well-maintained, well-monitored portal where a constructive moderated discussion will take place and a nominated member of WMF staff taking ownership of each issue and reporting back to the community. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 19:31, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
Rogol, I think it's safe to say that we all (strike to clarify: I don't want to speak for everyone) many staff internally agree with you. There are a ton of challenges with that - translation, the inherent difficulties of linking to a site other than one's "home" wiki, etc, but it's something that I think we would all like to work toward. I know we've talked about that internally some, but it's not a simple problem to solve. Know that it's getting some discussion internally though. Philippe Beaudette, Wikimedia Foundation (talk) 07:16, 28 May 2015 (UTC)
I am glad to hear that, but the future of the relationship between the WMF and the volunteers will be determined and judged not by your (invisible to us) private discussions but by your public actions. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 20:54, 28 May 2015 (UTC)
I just wanted to chime in here to mention that there is indeed already a site that could be used for employees to take ownership of suggestions, discuss them, track them and implement them as needed. Its called Phabricator. Its not perfect and has its flaws as well but if used in addition to a Wiki page I think it would work pretty well and give everyone visibility of it. Reguyla (talk) 13:28, 16 June 2015 (UTC)
Unfortunately ownership is not a question of site or of technology, be it wiki, phab or whatever. It's a question of attitude. Unless and until we can wean the WMF staff off their notion that talking about an issue constitutes doing something about it, we shall not get the successful engagement that we all want. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 16:45, 16 June 2015 (UTC)
I totally agree and although some folks at the WMF do, many do not edit the project. They do not talk or care to talk to the community. They have no interest in working collaboratively with the community and really don't care what the community thinks. That has been clear time and time again. Which I personally view as a leadership failure as much as anything. Because if the leadership of the organization made working closer with the community a goal and helped to advocate a team environment between the WMF members and the community, things would change. As long as the WMF leadership sees the community as an adversary rather than a peer because working with them can be hard and listening is even harder, its not going to change. Reguyla (talk) 17:15, 16 June 2015 (UTC)
You may be right. Incidentally, as far as Phabricator is concerned, I have just had an interesting exchange at Talk:Community Engagement (Product)#Understand_the_needs,_concerns_and_priorities_of_volunteers_in_order_to_support_the_community_and_develop_recommendations_for_future_programs where the disadvantages of the current WMF way of using Phabricator are becoming apparent. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 19:07, 16 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Quiddity (WMF) is anyone at WMF doing sustained work at updating the mobile web and desktop interfaces? If not, I would suggest to Lila that this would be a good investment of WMF resources. --Pine 20:09, 3 June 2015 (UTC)

Damon Sicore

[2] ? Peter Damian (talk) 20:29, 18 June 2015 (UTC)

I would like to bring something to your attention

Greetings Lila, I realize this is probably falling on deaf ears and there isn't much you can do about it even if you wanted to but I wanted to mentioned it to you anyway. I used to be one ot the English Wikipedia's highest output editors with over 500, 000 edits, hundreds of articles, featured content and a variety of other things to my credit done to improve Wikipedia.

I first need to give a little background on the history for this to make sense

I was banned from the English Wikipedia a little over a year ago because of my outspoken criticism about the us and them mentality of some of the English Wikipedia admins and my feelings that they should have to follow the policy they are suppose to be enforcing rather than using a double standard with Admins much less affected by policy then regular editors. I still to this day feel that it was done only though manipulation by repeatedly submitting ban requests that a minority of individuals eventually got what they wanted after being repeatedly told there was no consensus for a ban. At that time the Arbitration did not care about my ban and even advocated that I be outed to my employer because I refused to accept what I felt was a ban done in retaliation for my criticism, which someone did shortly there after in an attempt to get me fired from my real life job. At that time and continuously since the Members of the Arbitration committee had no interest in doing what I felt was the right thing and intervening and eventually, in August 2014 a Ban review was held by the community where it was determined that my ban was indeed invalid and that I should be unblocked in February 2015 after a short punitive period for my conduct after my ban. At that time my talk page was unlocked so that I could interact. A few people did not agree so they turned my talk page into a battleground to justify a "disruption" and then took me to ANI (where I was not allowed to comment in my own defense) and got someone to extend my block to May. As far as I was and am concerned my block ended in February per the community so I edited via a new account per the English Wikipedia's policies of Cleanstart and Ignore all rules. They extended my block again to August and I again created a new account and continued to edit so a former member of the Arbitration committee changed my block to indefinite. I attempted to contact the UTRS folks to get unblocked per the communities decision in August that wasn't done and was told I had to go to the Arbitration committee. After going back and forth for some time I agreed to contact the Arbitration committee to consider unblocking me even though they have consistently stated they have no interest in my case (IMO because they are some of them are admins I criticized in the past).

Action needed by the WMF

The thing I wanted to bring up is this, when I submitted my request I was told it would take about 6 weeks to do anything about my case. Now I do not expect to be unblocked because quite frankly the Arbitration committee is a Kangaroo court but to take 6 weeks to make a decision on whether or not they will follow the communities decision is, to me, ridiculous and shows the lack of seriousness that they take that particular task considering it generally only takes 1 month to do a full case (even though they are almost always late). My suggestion to you actually has nothing to do with my case but in the process in general. I recommend a full review be conducted by the WMF of the request for unblock/unban process including UTRS and the Arbitration committee process and the WMF intervene to ensure that the process is both fair and taken seriously. I realize that these folks are volunteers, but that is no excuse for dragging their feet on tasks they volunteered to do because they aren't exciting. Its bad enough that these cases are discussed in secret offline so that no one outside the Arbcom even knows what was discussed or how. Reguyla (talk) 14:29, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

Reguyla, generally the (and your) problem has been described as being understood: Swiss cheese model (dtsch Schweizer-Käse-Modell, span Modelo del queso suizo). Some people turn to become victims by administrational failures. Be mindfullness. Forgive Lila. Manager manage! (the way Lila was chosen for her job.) Cooperation must be introduced by a Charter of WMM (WikiMedia Movement). --Edward Steintain (talk) 20:38, 21 June 2015 (UTC)
I suggest Reguyla to be the first visted by Lila by the means of en:Community Organizing: Lila listening to Reguyla (and Winternacht next) – with Lila leaving her desk in San Francisco and even going to Hongkong. Lila, do it! --Edward Steintain (talk) 20:53, 21 June 2015 (UTC)
For what its worth Im not in Hong Kong I am in Washintgton DC so she could visit the DC and New York Chapters while she is here. :-) With that said, I am quite sure Lila reads her talk page far more often than she comments on it. So at this point I am sure she has read this, chosen not to comment because it doesn't affect her or her job and has moved on to other topics. Again though this isn't about my personal situation on ENWP but about the larger and more problematic ongoing failures of the Arbcom and the Admin corps on the English Wikipedia who have established a culture of bullying editors and abusing people who cannot or more accurately will not defend themselves. Reguyla (talk) 11:17, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
The basic idea of community organzing: First step. The organizer goes and sees a member of a community personaly (face to face) – as suggested Nr. 1 will be Reguyla, second Winternacht, 3. … and even individuals in Hongkong. As far as I have understood there is no interface between chapters and WMF if a chapter fails to solve a conflict in an appropiate time I would like User:Slaporte to check. Bullying must be managed by the staff of an organization (see above: Janice Harper). Generally there is a lack of horizontal cooperation in WMF and the chapters causing victims standing alone without any help by (organizational) second-order free-riders. Reguyla, you are invited to post an article about second-order free-riders or what ever you like on my User-talk-page. I shall transfer it to en.wp = intercontinental horizontal cooperation. --Edward Steintain (talk) 20:25, 23 June 2015 (UTC)
There are many veteran editors (New York Times) - possibly an obstacle for brave editors and their suggestions for a change. --Edward Steintain (talk) 20:40, 23 June 2015 (UTC)
Related:
--Guy Macon (talk) 17:57, 3 June 2015 (UTC)
Thanks Guy, in fairness those are fairly small snippets of a much larger issue and a lot more happened on and off wiki. I was critical of abusive admins who were (and still are) not held accountable for their actions because of their status as admins. That made me a target and because of that I was banned through a small minority of individuals who continuously resubmitted ban requests until one came back with the result they wanted. At the time a small handful of editors constituted a community ban consensus and it was approved. Now a much larger group agreed I should be unblocked in February and because I have been critical of admins in the past, they have chosen not to act on the communities decision because its not convenient to them. I have thus, continued to ignore the technical status of my account being locked and chosen to instead follow Wikipedia's policies of Ignore all rules, Bold and Clean Start and follow the functional purpose of the communities decision that I be unblocked and continued to edit. Its a no win situation all around. If no one is going to follow the communities decision to unblock me then the project loses, if I follow it the project loses and if I don't follow it then I am in violation of one policy that can then be used by a minority of individuals to prevent me from improving the project because I am a threat to their control and the project still loses. With the mass bannings and Witch hunts going on in Wikipedia these days looking for editors to ban the project needs editors now more than ever. Especially high output ones who believe in the projects success.
Back on point though, the point of this post really isn't about my case because quite frankly I know that no one on ENWP has the morale courage to do the right thing and unblock my account at this point. What this post was about is the failure of the ENWP ban/block review process in general and the Arbitration committee's failure to take the task seriously. Six weeks to determine if someone will be unblocked is completely unacceptable. Especially when they have more than a 95% deny rate anyway. Everyone knows the process is a joke and telling someone to "take it to Arbcom" has a been a site wide joke for a while. All the process amounts to is a burden to everyone and is just a waste of the Arbcom, the submitter and the communities time. It needs to be completely redesigned to be fair, unbiased and in the open. Not hidden offsite under the excuse that its a privacy issue. Very few cases involve privacy issues and this is merely an excuse to cover up a jaded process where decisions can be made without being criticized, questioned or defended. Blocks that are being reviewed by the same people that did the block does not represent a fair and unbiased process. Reguyla (talk) 18:43, 3 June 2015 (UTC)
"You are blocked because of what you did, not because of what others did. For this reason, do not complain about other people, such as editors you may have been in a conflict with, or the blocking administrator." --en:WP:NOTTHEM
--Guy Macon (talk) 06:35, 5 June 2015 (UTC)
Quoting Wikipedia essays like they were absolute biblical truths, comes over as shouty. Reguyla is highly unlikely to get anywhere by raising the issue here, but slapping them down will not help return them to being a productive contributor to Wikimedia projects. Calm discussion, even if it ends up reiterating old issues, can help to suggest a way forward or an acceptance of the situation. -- (talk) 13:30, 5 June 2015 (UTC)
I would like to clarify that I have never stopped being a "productive contributor to Wikimedia projects". The only reason I am not a "productive contributor" on the English Wikipedia is because of a vindictive and spiteful block done in retaliation for my criticism that admins should have to follow the same policies they enforce on editors. There are actually a lot of people that want me back editing including a lot of admins and even some former arbs. But this all really distracts from the actual purpose of this which is that the Arbcom should not take 6 weeks to tell someone if they are willing to unblock/unban them. Especially when they almost always tell them no and provide no explanation or evidence of discussion. We really don't even know how many they review, how many they accept and how many they decline. They say it take a lot of time and offer zero proof or substantiation of those claims. Reguyla (talk) 13:38, 5 June 2015 (UTC)
And more irrelevant posting of links to discussions that do not pertain to this one in an childish attempt to discredit me. Guy, its obvious Lila isn't going to respond. She is busy on the road and stated that above so your jabs at me are unneeded, irrelevant and only show the degrading culture of the English Wikipedia in acceptance of your methods on their site and banning useful high output contributors like me because I think the Admins should show the same enthusiasm for policing their own ranks as they do for banning, blocking and scolding regular editors. I wasn't banned for being a vandal, a sockmaster or a troll as much as you might think. I was banned because of my advocation that admins should have to follow the rules and to show the community what happens when those admins are criticized. Reguyla (talk) 13:43, 8 June 2015 (UTC)

Possible impersonator

Is this you? I wasn't sure so I reported it to UAA on en.wp just in case. Everymorning (talk) 02:14, 17 June 2015 (UTC)

This is not me. Thank you LilaTretikov (WMF) (talk) 11:22, 26 June 2015 (UTC)

Staff roles and responsibilities

Lila, last October you stated [3] that We are thinking about how to best clarify who does what -- I agree that it would help doing so. Please follow through on that. The reorganisation which is consuming so much of the time of your staff will have involved a clarification or re-specification of all staff roles and responsibilities, so it should involve almost no extra work: simply post the job description at each staff member's user page. For the volunteer community to have a clear view of who to go to for what would make working relations between volunteers and staff more efficient, more effective and more harmonious for all concerned. Part of the reorganisation will presumably have been to ensure that each of the Meta processes has a responsible staff member or team. Please could you mandate a notice at each working page here on Meta -- that is, each page where decisions are made that result in WMF action -- specifying the teams responsible for monitoring the process, taking decisions on behalf of WMF where necessary, and making any resulting interventions. Again this is very little work, since each page will have been assigned at least one staff member, who can add the notice the next time they check the page. At present there seem to be a number of process pages where consensus has been reached, or discussion otherwise terminated, but the community knows of no member of staff willing to make a closure or take action. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 19:11, 28 June 2015 (UTC)

Arbcom procedure change need at ENWP

Problem

I have another procedure change that needs to be considered for the English Wikipedia (and any others with an Arbitration committee). Currently one of the Arbcom members, GorillaWarfare is party to a case against them for misuse of the tools. Regardless of the outcome of this accusation or its validity, the acceptance of the case by the other Arbcom members causes a conflict for her. As long as she is a member of the Arbcom she has access to all the backchannel and offsite correspondence used in the case and that gives her a substantial and unfair advantage that everyone else doesn't have. Its not right for one member of a case to see and be able to interact with all the offsite activity while the other members of the case have to just see what's made available.

Suggestion

I recommend the WMF initiate a policy that directs all the Arbcoms, including the English Wikipedia version, that if an Arbcom member is a direct party to a case, they be suspended access to the offsite activities, especially pertaining to that case.

Justification

Since the Arbitration committee's are a quasi legal entity on the sites and have significant support and assistance from the WMF themselves, often discussing cases with the WMF legal, their conduct and decorum reflects directly on the WMF and you more than a regular editor (or even admin for that matter) would, as does the perceptions of inappropriate actions and activities. Reguyla (talk) 10:13, 30 June 2015 (UTC)

Hi Reguyla, during the case in 2012 for which I was a party, Arbcom used a sub-list with more limited membership than the full Arbcom list. Though not common, this has happened for several cases. The reason for doing this (from memory) is that some parties with access to the Arbcom mail list were named in the case evidence. If your explanation of the above problem is accurate, I see no impediment to GorillaWarfare being left off the circulation for a specialized sub-list, so there may be no need for new procedures to be proposed. Email to the Arbcom list is moderated, so any related off-site correspondence would be redirected and correspondents informed as necessary. Apart from the email lists, there should be no other backchannels for a case and Arbcom members would avoid creating them or inappropriately discussing the case in existing alternative channels. Thanks -- (talk) 11:45, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
Perhaps, but they also have an Arbcom wiki that is unrestricted, several IRC's and various other offsite mediums with which they discuss issues. I would be quite surprised to find out if they did not use Skype or something like it to have a meaningful conversation about cases. My point is that there can really be no hope of a fair and impartial review of the issues, with relation to GorillaWarfare's actions on AE (which general consensus is that it was inappropriate) when she has access to some or all of the offline content related to the case she is a party too. I am actually quite surprised that others have not brought this up on the case already. The Arbcom has already shown clear favoritism be renaming the case to remove any and all mention of GorillaWarfare and has clearly made it solely about the "AE policy" eventhough she clearly and without hesitation blatantly violated policy and consensus in her actions. If it were an editor and not an Arb the case would clearly state their name and would focus on their actions and conduct. But lord knows we cannot have a case with an active Arb mentioned in the title...that would be what we do to editors...not arbs! Reguyla (talk) 19:28, 30 June 2015 (UTC)

List of community-facing projects

Lila, there was a recent discussion about a WMF-led project where it appeared that the community had not been fully involved in the planning (and hence its requirements had possibly been misunderstood) and another in which we were unable to determine the status of another similar project. In the former discussion you stated we are doing an evaluation of ALL technical projects as part of this year's due diligence and measuring them against proposed impact. As a result of that it should be rather easy to post a centralised list of the WMF-initiated projects with a significant community impact, their status, the teams and teams leads, the names of the community liaisons, links to the community discussions and planning documents establishing the need for the projects and the underlying research where appropriate, together with clear statements of the major design and success criteria. Might I suggest that you have that made public as soon as possible. Your evaluation will have drawn out all of those elements, so publishing them in a single location will be a small amount of work. In the first case I mentioned there was some concern that the design did not meet the community requirements (not an unprecedented event, it must be said) and it would be a good idea to expose as much as possible of WMF planning to the community as early as possible to ensure that the expected impact is indeed what the community expects and needs. After all, any mismatch is likely to lead to a waste of staff time (which is to say, a waste of donors' money) and risk a further deterioration of the relationship between the community and the WMF. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 19:36, 30 June 2015 (UTC)

I would like to think that at some point Lila would leave a comment about one or some of these discussion topics, provide some thoughts about the comment in general or give us some indication she is even reading these discussions or doesn't really care. I would hope not the latter but given the extremely short and generic responses we are getting in general from her on meta, I don't think she really even knows what to say and doesn't really know anything about the communities or how they function. I really get the impression she just doesn't feel strongly enough to make the time to comment. Reguyla (talk) 21:15, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
Lila is obviously extremely busy, and while, as I said before [4], it's disappointing, not to say a little discourteous, that she is not able to comment at length, or indeed at all, to all of these points, perhaps the more disturbing aspect is that there is no effective community liaison visible here to take responsibility for these issues on her behalf. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 21:38, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
I do not understand. Merely two months have passed since that comment, and today is the last day of the fiscal quarter; there is no indication Lila's statements that the work was already ongoing at the time of the comment. Why would you have expected that "this year's due diligence" would be completed within two months, in a quarter when there were already a very extensive list of deadlines and tasks? Risker (talk) 00:55, 1 July 2015 (UTC)
I agree and I can sympethize for being busy. I'm busy too, but I make time for the projects because I believe in their goal and I am not going to let anyone keep me from contributing to them. Not even on ENWP where a few admins continue to defy a community decision and refuse to unblock my account because I expect admins to follow the rules they enforce. In the same way, I believe that if Lila wanted too, she would find the time to comment and listen to the communities comments. I am sure some are reading this thinking I am a huge jerk but its no worse than never commenting on a project talk page when your supposed to be leading those projects. These projects cannot be managed from a boardroom, they require interactive leadership, not passive aggressive I'll have someone look into sometime in the next 3 years if we have nothing else to do type attitudes. It doesn't require use cases and a requirements development team to read a discussion, look into the matter, see that there is a problem and address it. There are a variety of significant problems on the projects and I personally am tired of the WMF beign complacent and kicking the can down the road.
In relation to what Risker said, "only 2 months have passed". Really? That's kind of a long time. Would you still be defending at the 6 or 12 month mark? I get that things are busy, its always busy so using that as an excuse doesn't really carry much sympathy. The WMF doesn't even have the leadership to post a schedule, a list of priorities or ask the community for help with some things. If they asked, in areas where the community can assist, does anyone here think they would be denied? I sure don't, and there are quite a few things that the community could and would help them with in order to allow them to meet these sorts of deadlines. The fact that they do not ask, do not have the foresight to list out the projects they are working on in an measurable way that will allow the community to help with them, to me, shows a lack of leadership and planning. Reguyla (talk) 01:05, 1 July 2015 (UTC)
Frankly, I'd be surprised if they're able to come up with a full list of all the stuff that's in MediaWiki in six months; there's some stuff buried so deep in there that it might take an archeologist to figure it out. They're in the middle of a complete reorganization and still haven't hired for one of the two key roles in the technology leadership. They're reprioritizing the entire technical side of the house. Then there's all the stuff that volunteers are either leading or doing - they have to figure out how to account for that and decide whether it's become mission-critical enough that they need to bring it in-house - and we're only talking the techie side. Then there's the significant confusion about communications and community relations; hardly any change in staff in the actual community engagement department, but a whole whack in communications (almost none of it internally facing) and some sort of strange hybrid communications/community section in Engineering too. I'm hardly going to say Lila's a saint, but the organization spent most of the last 15 years without measuring anything or keeping track of most things, documentation of almost everything technical has been historically well below tech industry standard (at least in part because so much of it was done by volunteers) and the volunteers outnumber the staff about 450:1 and are more of a challenge to manage than herding cats. There's a lot of history to get through to figure out some of this stuff, including trying to determine if projects that were long ago abandoned are still in the codebase or (perhaps more troublingly) out of the codebase but still having an impact on projects. I recently was trying to address something that has been screwed up for a long time and couldn't fix a year ago because it was somehow or other interfering with some study (that as best I can tell was never reported anywhere) primarily being "managed" by a staffer who resigned last September. Projects are littered with stuff like this, and it takes a lot of digging to find those bits and pieces, figure out if they're abandoned, badly maintained, or being maintained by someone else (staff or volunteer). Risker (talk) 01:38, 1 July 2015 (UTC)
You have some good points and you are of course right that nothing changes overnight. Your also correct in your assessment that nothing has really been measured since day one and that the volunteers outnumber the WMF by huge margins. Here are a few suggestions that might be viable off the top of my head:
  • The WMF needs to establish an agenda of priorities. They need to answer 5 questions clearly and concisely. Where are we? Where are we going? How are we going to get there? How much is that going to cost? And what does the WMF workers need from management to accomplish that task?
  • In their great reorg they need to ask the communities if there are people who are interested in helping certain areas. This should include technical folks like developers and DBA's as well as Community liaisons. Of course there are other areas too and not every task is appropriate for volunteers to do, but a lot of effort can be readjusted at the WMF by re-engineering their business process to include the communities. They have a unique asset that most companies would love to have, large pools of free labor...if they are willing to use it.
  • They need to use Phabricator and the other suite of applications rigorous. Good configuration management will help them to measure their inputs, outputs and progress.
  • Management needs to be engaged with the community rather than ducking the community. The WMF leadership need to adopt the mantra, "The community is our friend, we need each other" and continue to repeat that until it sinks in. If the WMF stops stabbing the community in the back, then the community will reciprocate.
Of course there are a lot more things that need to be done, but that illustrates some things anyway. Its going to take time, but they need to start somewhere and quite kicking the can down the road. Reguyla (talk) 01:54, 1 July 2015 (UTC)
Well, "it's going to take time" is precisely my point. Picking apart 15 years of stuff doesn't happen in two months. A more sensible timeline would be 2-3 years. Seems to me that they're working on establishing priorities, only to have the community's discussion get sidetracked on the cost of office furniture. Seems to me that the overwhelming majority of wikimedians doesn't even know what phabricator is, let alone how to use it or find anything in it. Seems to me that there are an awful lot of grudges within various sectors of the community (including the part of the community employed by the WMF) that people simply don't want to let go, and it makes for near-insurmountable barriers to progress. It is in everyone's best interest to stop fighting old battles, to pull up our AGF socks, to maintain open minds. Wikipedia and Wikimedia are not going to get better until *everyone* drops the sticks. Risker (talk) 05:12, 1 July 2015 (UTC)
I think Risker and I agree more than perhaps she thinks. My point is that work done in the reorganisation should actually be producing a lot of this information that the community would find valuable if only it is gathered togther in one place. I personally have always been concerned to abstract away from the specific issues and bring out the strategic, policy or process aspects: in short to learn from rather than to replay old problems. For example, I'm not at all concerned about furniture -- the reason the discussion got side-tracked was that there was no simple mechanism for that question to be authoritatively answered, even if the answer was "We are not going to tell you", and that was, and is, my concern [5],[6]. There is a common thread to much of the dispute between the community and the staff in recent times: there is no clear line of accountabilility. Too often it appears that people do not know where to go for clear, authoritative information, and staff do not accept the responsibility to deliver it. Fixing that is as much a cultural as a procedural issue. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 06:30, 1 July 2015 (UTC)
I also agree with you both. It does take time and everyone knows that I am aware of the grudges that are held on the projects, the lack of AGF, the general collapse of collegiality and working together, especially on the English Wikipedia which is the cornerstone of most of what keeps the other projects going. Which is also my point, the WMF is responsible for letting it get that way because of complacency and 15 years of sitting on their hands, watching it, seeing it and refusing to act except in self interest situations. I also agree a lot of the community doesn't know about Phabricator and that should change, it needs to be advertised and marketed. I also agree with Rogol, the information is scattered if it exists at all and the WMF, with all their good intentions, doesn't seem to have a plan or any leadership capable of implementing one. I also agree there is no accountability and I am even more concerned that the WMF doesn't seem to want there to be any, which is a problem that also permeates the projects and I believe is what is driving that sentiment in the Admin corps on Wiki and in groups like the Arbcom. If there is no accountability and no oversight then they don't need to worry about what they do, how they do it or who they do it too. That is the sort of thing that happens in organizations with weak leadership and weak unsupported policies. Problems start at the top and the tone of the leader sets the tone of the organization. If you get complacent leadership that advocates a culture of secrecy, lacks of trust, shady back channel deals and a lack of oversight then that is what the rest of the organization is going to do as well. The reason people don't know "where to go for clear, authoritative information" is because in many cases it simply doesn't exist. Reguyla (talk) 11:33, 1 July 2015 (UTC)
Ah, I think I see the cause of the confusion. I was thinking of currently active projects initiated by the WMF and which WMF staff are actively working on. I am confident that that information is readily available, as I am sure that Lila knows what her staff are working on. However, I may be wrong about that, although I hope I'm not: I mention the time estimate because I want to make it clear I'm not just making random demands. (I agree that information on oher projects may not be so easy to come by.) However, if I'm wrong about getting information on the projects WMF staff are actively working on, then it is for Lila to say so: the suggestion is meant for her, and she can easily judge for herself whether or not it is practical. The most useful thing other commentators here can do is say whether or not, as members of the community, they think it would be useful. Then Lila can decide for herself on cost versus benefit. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 18:23, 1 July 2015 (UTC)

I cannot speak for Lila, and this is only a partial answer to your actual query, but I wanted to point out that a lot of information about what the Wikimedia Foundation is working on is available publicly on mediawiki.org. For the next three months worth of work (i.e. July, August, September 2015) you can look at mw:Wikimedia Engineering/2015-16 Q1 Goals. For the previous financial year (July 2014 - June 2015), you can look at mw:Wikimedia Engineering/2014-15 Goals. To standardise, the whole organisation switched to the OKR format for Q4 2014-15 (April, May, June 2015) and use that now. These pages identify what each department's primary goals are, and who is responsible for the process that sets those goals; they are not intended to be a fully exhaustive list of projects. --Dan Garry, Wikimedia Foundation (talk) 05:21, 2 July 2015 (UTC)

Thanks those are a good start and I also found the Vision, Mission statement and a few other things, most of which are out of date or need improvement, but its a start. Now if they were in a good, easy to locate place. There really should be a portal or page that lists that stuff in one easy to find location instead of scattering it out. Maybe I'll make something and put my money where my mouth is, of course it doesn't mean it won't get deleted or get used, but I'll try and make something in the next few days. Then maybe we can all work on improving them. I am thinking of something thats a combination of the portal and WikiProject formats on Wikipedia. If anyone has any ideas or opinions just let me know. Reguyla (talk) 15:36, 2 July 2015 (UTC)
Indeed, a good start, and justifies my expectation that the information will not be hard to gather. However, my preference is that the list be compiled and maintained by a member of WMF so that it is, and stays, authoritative. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 21:19, 2 July 2015 (UTC)

Another typical example of the Admins attitude about policy on the English Wikipedia

Explanation of the problem

There is an ongoing discussion on ENWP that's a pretty typical example of the attitudes of many of the admins on the English Wikipedia these days. An attitude that the rules need not apply to them. In the case of this discussion about admins putting enough meaningful information in block notices to be useful to others, in accordance with Help:Edit summary, many feel its just not necessary and have an attitude that its not important and it would take too much time to do it right. What this discussion really shows me is the growing attitude of contempt towards editors on the project. I admit that some folks look to vandalize the project and just troll it to try and see their name, but a lot don't and trying to justify a bad policy of admins shouldn't have to leave a useful edit summary when blocking is just dumb. Additionally, they argue that using a simple edit summary of "Arbcom block" or "Checkuser block" is, in itself, enough for "security or privacy purposes" when in fact that argument is really just hyperbole too. In very few cases is security and privacy a factor but some try to use it as a catch all to reduce the amount of work they have to do so they can be lazy.

Recommended solution

This is a perfect example of the types of conduct that need to be addressed. The WMF needs to establish some cross wiki guidelines that if a block is given, it should have a meaningful, non biased edit summary.

Justification for the change

On the English Wikipedia at least admins are generally considered to have no conflict of interest in any discussion even in cases where the admin has a long history with the editor in question but even if they hate the editor, they should use a clear meaningful and professional edit summary when doing blocks. Currently many wiki's do not have a requirements to place a block notice/summary at all (they can just leave it blank) and I personally think that forcing them to use a summary when blocking is a standard that should be implemented as cross wiki guidance. Reguyla (talk) 11:14, 24 June 2015 (UTC)

Thank you Reguyla for your frank and honest contribution.

Answers and contributions to be discussed (QIOP)

Please respond to Reguyla and try to contribute in a new structured order. Go head and edit:

Questions

Ideas

  • Please compare Volunteer engagement, Lila's user-page. --Edward Steintain (talk) 20:11, 24 June 2015 (UTC)
  • The number of edit is not only influenced by competition and software but by the intra-wikipedian mood too. --Edward Steintain (talk) 20:56, 25 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Volunteer Relation Management, VRM (comp. CRM). At least every six weeks Lila will report on her user-talk-page how she is understanding the contributions and what needs to be done. --Edward Steintain (talk) 07:09, 26 June 2015 (UTC)
  • WMF shall introduce a Wikipedia Consensus Assistant, WCA (first two years with professional advice and mediation experience) to WMF and Chapters to support in an early stage of conflict and to give suggestions based on the rules of consensus (to be developed and translated for all Chapters). --Edward Steintain (talk) 08:15, 26 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Lila, assign the task of monitoring your page to a staff member. --Edward Steintain (talk) 19:46, 29 June 2015 (UTC)

Objections

Points of View

  • Lila might say: „Editors don't love Wikipedia anymore. What can be done?“ - Answer: „Do serve them!“ --Edward Steintain (talk) 07:09, 26 June 2015 (UTC)

Thanks, --Edward Steintain (talk) 19:45, 24 June 2015 (UTC)

Links to unsolved contributions and unanswered questions

  1. many other unsolved superprotectoid contributions and unanswered superprotectiod questions before.
  2. Charter of Wikimedia Movement (WMM)
  3. Talk page management
  4. Staff roles and responsibilities
  5. Arbcom procedure change need at ENWP
  6. List of community-facing projects. --Edward Steintain (talk) 20:37, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
  7. List of community-facing projects --Edward Steintain (talk) 20:53, 1 July 2015 (UTC)
  8. Community Tech : action is overdue --Edward Steintain (talk) 18:57, 3 July 2015 (UTC)

iCIV shall not forget! Wikipedia has a displayed memory beyond archivating bots. --Edward Steintain (talk) 20:19, 29 June 2015 (UTC)

Contributions beyond a structured order (to be summerized, cited, and added to QIOP)

Thanks Edward but I doubt anyone is going to comment let alone Lila. Its a hard question that no one has an answer too or wants to try to address...because its a hard question and an unpopular topic. Addressing the abusive administrative culture, why there is no such thing right? All of the thousands of admins across the sites are qualified and fair right? Who cares about editors really? Its not like they can be trusted (or else they would have access to the tools), its not like they aren't lining up to work on the project trustfully, its not like the projects have enough work to do...Oh wait, editors are leaving, less new ones are showing, few are applying to be admins and even less are getting access, more bad press is coming to light about scandals in the sight and on and on...maybe something does need to be done rather than buy new furniture and hire more college interns with no work experience! Reguyla (talk) 11:14, 25 June 2015 (UTC)
You are mischaracterizing the discussion, Reguyla. The discussion is between whether explanatory summaries should be identified as "best practice", using the word "should", or whether they should be required. The problem with requirement is that (a) the only current requirements on Wikipedia are negative (as in "don't do xxx"), they do not force people to do certain things. The other problem is that, in the few places where a certain behaviour is "required", there is always a parallel potential consequence (e.g., edits require verifiability and the potential consequence is reversion; one is required to NOT make personal attacks and the potential consequence is blocking, etc). The only hypothetical potential consequences for failing to include a block summary are (a) lifting the block and (b) desysopping; accounts are either blocked or not, editors either have the admin bit or not. Most importantly, there's no evidence whatsoever that any block has ever been reviewed by request of the user where the lack of a block summary was a significant point. Make-work projects and bureaucracy are a waste of everyone's time, including the time of the editors. I am fairly certain most editors don't care what block summary is used when an admin blocks the vandals or the spammers interfering with articles on their watchlists. I am fairly certain most editors don't care what block summary is used when accounts with abusive usernames are blocked. I know most editors don't care about the block summaries left by the bots that block open proxies. That's about 99% of all blocks in those three groups there. And the snapshot research done during the course of the discussion demonstrated that there are almost no blocks where there was no block summary and, of those few, the reason for block was obvious. There are a few places where there may be a sufficient benefit to add a 'requirement' that if A is to happen, it must happen in concert with B; however, there is no evidence whatsoever that this is one of those areas. Most importantly, there is no evidence that there is any element of "admin abuse" or malfeasance. There is a longstanding tradition of discussing non-existent problems as though they are serious issues; this is a very good example of that. Risker (talk) 17:39, 25 June 2015 (UTC)
(problem: Pings are not distributed intercapteral.) Hi, Reguyla. Please do not assume but go ahead and suggest (in a structure way (e.g. QIOP)) how to improve Wikipedia Movement (WMM) and the cooperation of WMF and iCIV. You have started successfully. The thread you have started shall become the longest stand of contributions on Lila's user talk page because it is very import and escential. Continue to be brave! After being blocked they cannot hurt you anymore (but retaliation could even intervent Wikipedia - so far undiscussed.). You have my support starting to drill with tiny tools into a big restinstant board – for Wikipedia sakes. Good luck, --Edward Steintain (talk) 19:44, 25 June 2015 (UTC)
I'm really not mischaracterizing the underlying problem with the discussion. My concern is the tone of the discussion in general which is that the admins want to maintain an environment where they have little oversight, little restrictions to what they can and cannot do, whom they can do it too and almost no repercussions for violations of policy. Its obvious that the current climate where admins have one set of rules and standards which are much lower than the set of standards applied to editors is an unsupportable situation that needs to be addressed if the project has any chances at revival. RFA is failing, editors aren't joining, those who do don't stay long, editing has become a toxic cesspool of pet projects and POV pushing and the admins just block along.
Take the recent Chase me ladies case as a perfect example. He was desysopped and had his functionary rights removed. That's it. If that had been a regular editor they would have been site banned indefinitely. But because they were an admin and functionary they got a slap on the wrist and are allowed to continue to edit. An admin that gets in trouble has to be taken to the Arbitration committee in a complex and lengthy writeup that has to be properly formatted and punctuated to even be considered and the result is almost always nothing, so people don't even waste their time. Look at the discussion about KWW and TRM now at ANI. Unanimous support of issues regarding both admins, unanimous support of problematic edit filters that cause more harm than good. Anything being done? Nope, comments about take it to Arbcom! Because Arbcom is a joke process and Kangaroo court. If that would have been a regular editor any admin could indef them with that admins discretion and punishment summarily imposed, only to be undone after consultation of the blocking admin. Then you have the case of Technical13. When past admins where brought to Arbcom and then took a break the case was suspended, when the person returned, the case was forgotten and everyone moved on. But since Technical 13 is an editor, not an admin, the case goes on without them to "set the example"! Right, the only example is that he is not an admin and the standard applied to editors is different.
My point is that enforcing that the poor admins must leave a meaningful edit summary isn't that inconvenient and arguments to the contrary are just hyperbole. If the admins have any respect for the policies (which some do and some do not) they are trying to enforce then ensuring that a fair and descriptive edit summary is left isn't such a big deal. Unless that is you are trying to one side the situation to ensure that the block remains and the individual stays blocked.
Your also right that most editors don't care about a block summary...until it happens to them and they are looking at a block summary of a blank space or some vague description like "Timeout". I don't care about the blocks by bots of open proxies either except that I think in general they are a waste of resources and time and unless there is some evidence that proxy has actually been used to edit, which there almost never is and I think they should stop doing them. I also know that a snapshot research can be manipulated. Just looking at a couple hundred blocks for a couple hours of one day is a pretty small number when considering the thousands that are done in an day or a week. We also both know that the problem is really a few of the admins doing the problematic blocks and the other admins like yourself simply look the other way and let them continue doing it because they are just blocking editors, editors have no rights and are expendable resources to be thrown away when its convenience and no one has the power or morale courage to stop it. Because we all know what happened to the last person that tried to stand up to the admins and abusive conduct on Wikipedia. He was banned indefinitely! And although the community voted to unban them effective February 2015, they are still blocked because involved admins and Arbitrators who voted against it and are admins do not agree with the community. They do not care what the community said, they do not care about policy that they don't want to enforce unless they want to enforce it and won't allow the unblock to be done as a message to the community of what happens when you stand up to admins. That is what happens when admins and arbitrators authority is questioned.
@Edward Steintain:. I would consider doing as you suggest if I thought it would matter. The WMF does not care, Lila sure doesn't and rarely even comments on her own talk page. The community does not pay her wages nor the wages of the other WMF employees so we are insignificant nuisances to her daily duties and deserve neither a response nor her time. At least that is the impression I get from her lack of interest in the discussions here and elsewhere. If I thought for a second, even a millisecond that the WMF would actually consider suggestions I would take the time to make them. But I have been given the impression over the last several years that not only are volunteer editors ideas not wanted nor needed. Reguyla (talk) 20:12, 25 June 2015 (UTC)
Reguyla, don't worry and be hopeful. Shunning is very powerful. Lila will react sooner or later once shunning is understood. I am giving an example. --Edward Steintain (talk)

┌─────────────────────────────────┘
So here is more information about the English Wikipedia's Arbitration committees disdain and disrespect of the community. Yesterday, in a period of 24 hours the Arbitration committee twice ignored a community consensus to do what they wanted to do in situations where they were clearly involved.

  • First, my criticism of the Arbitration committee and some admins is well known so the involvement in my case is clear as crystal. I was told via Email by the Arbitration committee that regardless of what the community consensus was, they were not going to allow my account to be unblocked. Although anyone can see that the community review stated I be unblocked in February and that its been continually manipulated and extended by people (including arbs and former arbs) who didn't agree. So that's one case. My case is additionally troubling because for the last 18 months the Arbcom has told me the community had to decide because it was a community decision (if you can call it that) that led to my ban. But they didn't agree with the result, so now they use fear intimidation and their influence to ensure no one will unblock my account.
  • Then, a discussion about Eric Corbett on the Arbitration Enforcement page leads to no consensus. Not caring about such things, Arbitration committee member GorillaWafare, who is heavily involved in Gender Gap Task Force issues comments frequently about those issues and has a long standing and well known hatred of Eric Corbett blocked Eric for a month in violation of a community consensus. That is leading to heated discussions on her talk page, on the talk page of Eric Corbett, at the Arbitration enforcement page, at ANI and a variety of other talk pages and venues throughout the project. Not to mention the emails and IRC chats going on about it.
  • In fact, a third case that recently came out of the Arbitration committee is equally troubling with regard to Technical 13. T13 was taken to ANI and then went on a short break. When this has happened in the past with admins, the Arbcom has always suspended the case until the admins could return. In this case though the Arbcom decided to continue with the case. This wasn't done IMO to set an example, this was done clearly because T13 wasn't an admin like the previous cases, he was an editor and was not subject to the loosened policy and secondary standards granted to admins over editors on the ENWP project.
  • Then you also have the case of Chase me ladies I'm the cavalry who was desysopped and had their checkuser and Oversight privileges removed for major violations of trust. Had he been an editor they would have been banned indefinitely. Because they were an admins though, policy and the usual penalties didn't apply so they can still edit (though without the admin tools).
  • The list goes on, an ANI discussion about KWW, another longstanding problematic admin with a log list of violations and a big Ego and that discussion is full of comments like take it to Arbcom, because they know that the results will be tilted in their favor.

Arbcom has become a joke and a kangaroo court and that directly reflects the failures of the WMF to deal with the Arbcom's overreaching and abusive tendencies.

So that's multiple instances in a 48 hour period where the Arbitration committee or its members over reached their mandate and authority. The committee is the highest court in the land so to speak on ENWP so there is no where to even take a complaint about them or one of its members. When is the WMF going to act to control the Arbitration committee? When is Lila going to enforce Wikipedia's policies about admin conduct, abuse and failure of admins on the English Wikipedia, including the Arbitration committee? The political aspirations, ego's and disrespect for community consensus and policies by the arbitration committee need to stop. They are there to serve the community and enforce policy not their own pet projects. Reguyla (talk) 11:20, 26 June 2015 (UTC)

At least this edit shows she is aware of the discussion and either hasn't had the time to read it or doesn't care. I am assuming good faith in the former over the latter possibility but it would be nice if she would at least acknowledge she read it, does or doesn't care and if we are just wasting our time informing her of this type of problem within the communities she is in charge of. Reguyla (talk)
Hi Reguyla, would you mind if I give you the nickname Sancho Panza with WMF being Don Quixote, the last real knight of Wikipedia. You are contributing in an enviroment that is not trustful (loads of Wikipedia Knights). In Working Together Lila Tretikov as the Executive Director of Wikimedia Foundation (WMF) has anounced cooperation and never fulfilled her promisses – as far as I know. Harvard says about negotiation: „If you are betrayed, leave immidiately: No further negotiation!“ Reguyla, you are one of thousands with the same fate. Formalized your case and apply at User:Slaporte officially for assistance and advice in an open notice I would like to read here on Lila's Talk Page. --Edward Steintain (talk) 19:18, 26 June 2015 (UTC) WMF is in a desperate situation without knowing anything about horizontal cooperation – and defection and shunning if not cooperating.
Hi Reguyla, your history at Wikipedia is a muster-case (dtsch Muster) more than must be done. Reguyla, you are Wikipedia! --Edward Steintain (talk) 19:30, 26 June 2015 (UTC)
Lol, thanks. Yeah I have over 500, 000 edits (mostly to the English Wikipedia), a couple dozen featured or good articles, created hundreds of articles, maintained WikiProjects and templates, etc. I did more for the English Wikipedia than all the current arbs combined (pretty much literally) yet they are the ones that are allowed to violate policy whenever it suits them, can use their positions and influence to manipulate the discussions and situations as they see fit, routinely run off and block editors that call them out or disagree with their decisions. When does it stop? The WMF and Lila continue to pay lip service to the community saying they are trying to make things better but better for who? The community, the WMF, the stockholders? I had hopes that Lila would come in and turn things with the foundation around, and she has done some good from what I can tell, but mostly its just the same old politics as before. tell the community what the want to hear and then the WMF does whatever they want while pretending they are fixing the problems when in fact they don't even recognize what the problems are. Its pretty obvious at this point Lila couldn't care less about this situation or anything on the projects that she can't addto her resume so all the community gets is another yes girl that lets the WMF do whatever they want to do and lets a handful of egotistical admins and functionaries and arbs drive the projects into the ground. Reguyla (talk) 21:53, 26 June 2015 (UTC)
LilaTretikov (WMF) and since I know you have logged in to edit recently, may I suggest leaving at least a quick comment here to acknowledge you have or haven't read it, do or don't care, stay off your talk page? Whatever. Reguyla (talk) 19:19, 27 June 2015 (UTC)
Lila Tretikov as the Executive Director of Wikimedia Foundation (WMF) is perfectly organizing. She is trying to do well. But Lila Tretikov has nothing delivered in a postive way to the problems of Wikipedia Movement (WMM), Wikimedia Foundation (WMF) and the international Community of Individual Volunteers (iCIV) - only false promisses. Lila Tretikov could do much better perhaps in an enviroment some where else than WMF. Wikipedia being part of WMM is the international Community of Individual Volunteers (iCIV) and will support Lila to find a better job than WMF bejond all the fuss with non-second-order free-riders. --Edward Steintain (talk) 20:31, 27 June 2015 (UTC)
I am a payed contributor. The payment are Reguyla's comments and my hopes in Wikipedia. I am a third-order free-rider - on probation . --Edward Steintain (talk) 20:45, 27 June 2015 (UTC)

Community Tech : action is overdue

Lila, a month ago I suggested that the Community Tech proposal had reached a psychological moment at which action was required. You chose not to answer that in any way, which was not polite, and since then nothing visible has been done. @TNegrin (WMF): the "incubator" has failed to respond to several direct and indirect requests to engage with the community. There appear to be two members of the team already in place, and they have also failed to communicate anything to the community -- what are they doing? This complete lack of engagement between WMF and community is positively insulting: it reads as an expression of conscious or unconscious contempt for the volunteer community. The unofficial discussion at Community Tech project ideas is stalled for lack of any authoritiative information on when, where and how to get proposals integrated into WMF planning. In the absence of both CTO and VPE, I think that you are now directly in charge of the project, but in any event I am asking you to please apologise on behalf of your staff and instruct them to initiate a constructive dialogue with the community as soon as possible, before this project loses all momentum and credibility. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 18:29, 3 July 2015 (UTC)

Talk page management

Lila, please would you consider whether you are managing your talk page in the most effective way for engagement with people who wish to have discussions with you? I realise that you have been out of the office and perhaps found it harder than usual to find time to read and respond to everything posted here, so let me suggest that you assign the task of monitoring your page to a staff member who can at least acknowledge messages; refer as appropriate to other leaders or teams; and make sure that you have a summary of those items which need your response. In recent weeks I have attempted to draw your attention to a number of issues which are certainly well-meant and, at least in my view, both appropriate for your attention and constructive in nature. Some of these have been aged off without so much as an acknowledgement from you, or on your behalf, or by any member of WMF staff with responsibility for the issues in question. I think that's a little discourteous. If you actively do not want suggestions like these, please just say so in a large banner at the top of your talk page. Here are some issues that I feel were not handled in a satisfactory way:

Oh, and there is a further issue that I have raised with you by email but which is not appropriate for this posting. In case it has been diverted into your junk folder, please look out for "Request for an inquiry". Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 16:55, 28 June 2015 (UTC)

Thank you. I do have to apologize for being behind here on this page as I consider this input incredibly valuable way to connect with you. I have been traveling and meeting Wikimedians face-to-face around the world (Europe and the Middle East), literally living on the plane in the last two months. I am prioritizing focusing internally in Q1 after Wikimania and will give updates on a few of the items here and our progress before I get back on the road for Asia in the fall. Thank you for your patience and again, apologies for recent delays LilaTretikov (WMF) (talk) 19:50, 6 July 2015 (UTC)
Thank you for that -- your connecting with the community is much appreciated. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 20:09, 6 July 2015 (UTC)

C-level staff

Lila, you often use the term C-level for a certain subset of your senior leadership. Yet there is no formal definition or list of such staff that I can find either on Meta or the Foundation wiki. Could we please have an authoritative definition and list, or have the letter C affixed at wmf:Staff and contractors? Thanks, Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 21:38, 9 July 2015 (UTC)

+1. This is confusing because there are now Cs reporting to vice presidents, so there appear to be two levels of C level staff. This is confusing, and I've never seen an organization with this kind of structure, so I think the org chart and titles could use some clarifications. --Pine 21:23, 14 July 2015 (UTC)
No, there is no unique definition for C letter currently, it is an executive role, but alternative names (VP, GC, etc.) are occasionally used. LilaTretikov (WMF) (talk) 20:08, 22 July 2015 (UTC)

Wikipedia reader interface update

Hi Lila,

The Signpost had this rather chilling summary of a recent ITM item, which I will abbreviate here:

"Time profiles (April 14) Lila Tretikov, executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation. Time paints a grim picture of the challenges faced by Tretikov and the encyclopedia, many of which were discussed in a recent Signpost's special report: a "meager annual budget", the gender gap, "critical gaps in coverage" (such as the Global South), the shrinking ranks of active editors, and the lack of contributions from those who access Wikipedia content through mobile devices, search engines, and personal digital assistants. Time speculates that Wikipedia could contract suddenly, with something similar to the almost 25% dropoff in active editors on the Italian Wikipedia in 2013, or dwindle gradually, a possibility that Andrew Lih (Fuzheado) compared to "the boiling frogs scenario". William Beutler (WWB), author of the blog The Wikipedian, told Time "I do not envy Lila Tretikov’s position."

"Time outlined efforts by Tretikov and the WMF to address these issues, such as the Inspire Campaign and Wikipedia Zero. Time wrote that "Tretikov is focusing the Foundation’s limited resources on how readers and editors use the site," including gathering data about user preferences, increasing the number of WMF engineers, and improving and creating editing software like mobile apps."

I realize that the strategy update is likely intended to address many of the problems in this summary.

IMO, one project that the WMF could undertake that would be helpful would be a major interface update to the reader experience, similar to WikiWand, that would be compatible with VisualEditor for the cases where readers convert into editors. The Mobile Apps team is moving in that direction. Could the same be done for desktop? A cost of $600,000 would be less than the cost of MediaViewer, and if done well could have good results. Another option might be for WMF simply to acquire WikiWand outright, and I think that would be an option worth exploring.

Thanks, --Pine 04:43, 9 May 2015 (UTC)

I would also like to see an interface update. I remember seeing a beautiful potential version in a media story somewhere year or two or maybe more ago. Biosthmors (talk) 20:57, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

A question back to the group...how do you see the current mobile app interface (iOS, Android). Do you think it is going in the right direction? What is missing? LilaTretikov (WMF) (talk) 20:06, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
I think the mobile app interface is going in the right direction. I would like to our mobile web interface look more like the mobile app interface, although with the additional features that make mobile editing easier than it is on mobile apps. Also, for all interfaces (mobile web, mobile apps, and desktop) I would like to present users with easy options for changing their readership experience, such as different skins, high-contrast options for the visually impaired, "night mode" like on mobile apps, and so on. WikiWand is an excellent step in the right direction and I would look to them for inspiration, and perhaps buying them. --Pine 18:59, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
There have been many interesting ideas over the years, most of which are collected at en:Wikipedia:Unsolicited redesigns (add anything you know of that is missing). Examining them all for good elements/aspects, would be great.
Re: "[...] high-contrast options for the visually impaired, "night mode" like on mobile apps [...]" - See phab:T91201 ("Accessibility settings") which has been discussed for a long time, and was worked on at the Lyon Hackathon this weekend! The hope is to roll the first version out as a gadget, soon, for discussion about further features and changes. Quiddity (WMF) (talk) 15:21, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
Thank you Quiddity but frankly Lila this is an example of what is wrong with the current model of engagement. The discussion is referred to two other places where discussions might take place, or have taken place in the past.
What is needed at this stage for comununity engagement is a single, well-advertised, widely-accessible, well-maintained, well-monitored portal where a constructive moderated discussion will take place and a nominated member of WMF staff taking ownership of each issue and reporting back to the community. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 19:31, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
This is true. The second call to action actually calls for a unified communication portal. We have not launched that yet and it will take time to change our behaviors to point to the right locations of conversations and the software to support in. In interim we have to keep moving forward with the system we have today: anyone can have a conversation anywhere on wikis and it is extremely hard to find. LilaTretikov (WMF) (talk) 20:05, 22 July 2015 (UTC)
I am glad we are in agreement. However I think you overestimate the difficulty of doing something more useful very quickly and underestimate the damage being done to community relationships by continuing the current non-system. I urge you to set up a portal on a trial basis right now. I believe it can be done, that it is worth doing, and that the community will react positively to support and refine the process. The process of changing behaviours, on the part of the WMF and of the community, is necessary but will not gain traction unless and until you have something definite to hang it on: until that happens, existing ineffective behaviours will become even more deeply entrenched.. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 21:01, 22 July 2015 (UTC)
Point taken. I will put it on the agenda for Q2. If you don't see it in our goals, please call me on it :) LilaTretikov (WMF) (talk) 19:32, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
Thanks, looking forward to it. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 20:43, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
Rogol, I think it's safe to say that we all (strike to clarify: I don't want to speak for everyone) many staff internally agree with you. There are a ton of challenges with that - translation, the inherent difficulties of linking to a site other than one's "home" wiki, etc, but it's something that I think we would all like to work toward. I know we've talked about that internally some, but it's not a simple problem to solve. Know that it's getting some discussion internally though. Philippe Beaudette, Wikimedia Foundation (talk) 07:16, 28 May 2015 (UTC)
I am glad to hear that, but the future of the relationship between the WMF and the volunteers will be determined and judged not by your (invisible to us) private discussions but by your public actions. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 20:54, 28 May 2015 (UTC)
I just wanted to chime in here to mention that there is indeed already a site that could be used for employees to take ownership of suggestions, discuss them, track them and implement them as needed. Its called Phabricator. Its not perfect and has its flaws as well but if used in addition to a Wiki page I think it would work pretty well and give everyone visibility of it. Reguyla (talk) 13:28, 16 June 2015 (UTC)
Unfortunately ownership is not a question of site or of technology, be it wiki, phab or whatever. It's a question of attitude. Unless and until we can wean the WMF staff off their notion that talking about an issue constitutes doing something about it, we shall not get the successful engagement that we all want. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 16:45, 16 June 2015 (UTC)
I totally agree and although some folks at the WMF do, many do not edit the project. They do not talk or care to talk to the community. They have no interest in working collaboratively with the community and really don't care what the community thinks. That has been clear time and time again. Which I personally view as a leadership failure as much as anything. Because if the leadership of the organization made working closer with the community a goal and helped to advocate a team environment between the WMF members and the community, things would change. As long as the WMF leadership sees the community as an adversary rather than a peer because working with them can be hard and listening is even harder, its not going to change. Reguyla (talk) 17:15, 16 June 2015 (UTC)
You may be right. Incidentally, as far as Phabricator is concerned, I have just had an interesting exchange at Talk:Community Engagement (Product)#Understand the needs, concerns and priorities of volunteers in order to support the community and develop recommendations for future programs where the disadvantages of the current WMF way of using Phabricator are becoming apparent. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 19:07, 16 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Quiddity (WMF) is anyone at WMF doing sustained work at updating the mobile web and desktop interfaces? If not, I would suggest to Lila that this would be a good investment of WMF resources. --Pine 20:09, 3 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Bumping this up from the archives because many we're still waiting to hear from Lila or Quiddity about this. --Pine 21:25, 14 July 2015 (UTC)
Looking at Wikiwand for gout [7] I do not beleive it is as well formatted as Wikipedia [8]
There are a couple of things I like but they are generally minor and cosmetic. I do not like the scrolling galleries. The pictures do not need to be bigger. Clicking on them does not provide attribution.
I can barely see the ref tags and the ref section is collapse. Gah. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 21:50, 21 July 2015 (UTC)
With formation of the Reader team we are looking at UX updates. The team will make the roadmap public once they have a draft. LilaTretikov (WMF) (talk) 20:05, 22 July 2015 (UTC)