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Wikimedia monthly activities meetings/Quarterly reviews/Discovery, July 2015

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Notes from the Quarterly Review meeting with the Wikimedia Foundation's Discovery (formerly "Search & Discovery") department, July 7, 2015, 10:30 am - 12:00 pm PDT.

Please keep in mind that these minutes are mostly a rough paraphrase of what was said at the meeting, rather than a source of authoritative information. Consider referring to the presentation slides, blog posts, press releases and other official material

Presentation slides from the meeting

Present (in the office): Lila Tretikov, Luis Villa, Terry Gilbey, Dan Garry, Garfield Byrd, Toby Negrin, Geoff Brigham, Zhou Zhou, Kim Gilbey, Katherine Maher, Tilman Bayer (taking minutes); participating remotely: Arthur Richards, Wes Moran

Terry: welcome
general reminder: these meetings are not about success or failure, but about learning; it's normal not to hit all goals

Wes: this is our initial qr, brand new team

slide 2

[slide 2]

goals this q were about developing foundations
achieved all goals
in Q1 will have lot more challenges, more action oriented

slide 3

[slide 3]

exceeded internal goals on survey participation
Lila: audience?
Wes: anybody who typed in search query
expanding to mobile and wikipedia.org front page in q1
will have Wikimania presentation (Moiz) and metrics meeting lightning talk
hiring went well, got a lot of internal transfers (instead of external hires), which was good
still need to do some frontend hires
established team presence on IRC, Phabricator, on-wiki team page
maps: working with Readership on this, mentioned in Annual Plan
limited production release
Lila: does the beta service get any attention from community?
Wes: some, limited. worked with Rachel's team
Lila: without widgets that community can start adding to articles it will be hard to get traction
especially for maps
community engagement team can then take these and plug them to specific communities
Wes: yes, good points
KPIs on whether used or not
Lila: should be like a one-line integration (wikitext or JS)
Wes: also need to improve current map services that are currently rendered, but agree
Lila: not immediately turn on on all articles, but provide editors opportunity to do it on case-by-case basis first
Terry: questions re WDQ:
how connected are you with WMDE on this?
Wes: Stas working with them
received lots of feedback from them at hackathon (Dan), helped us understand
Dan: yes, spoke both to German volunteers and WMDE staff
primary issue was perf and stability
it's on Labs right now, goes down when Labs goes down
Lila: so units don't work in Wikidata?
Dan: yes, not yet
Terry: can we get growth profile, and ask Mark B (Ops) whether we can handle it?
Wes: with WMDE, plan limited rollout first
Dan: not certain they have clear prediction
Terry: just don't want to have situation where there's a runaway success that we can't handle
Terry: where are we regarding community awareness and communications?
Lila: it's still a test, but these are the right questions
Wes: having conversation with Katherine is probably appropriate
first need to get [product] to functional state
Lila: everyone is asking for milestones on way to production service
Wes: used a template we discussed ~3months ago with Comms
Lila: I think it's Comms, CE and Ops [who should be involved]. if you have something like that, please share it
Toby: customer for this?
Wes: initially it was for Wikigrok, but less relevant now
now Search
Toby: if we plan for pieces of MW to use this, need to get it into Roadmap
Lila: absolutely
Wes: for next q, have KPI from dashboard, but I believe Lila wants these as separate slide
Lila: want roadmap from tech team by end of q
yes, KPIs separately, track them month over month or so
Terry: you succeeded on all goals
one key learning you could share?
Wes: set realistic goals ;)
Lila: clearly need more stretch goals ;)
Wes: discovery team is being discovered ;) getting requests from other parts of org
these would be mostly orange at this point
maybe add them in q1 as separate set of objectives
Lila: just saying that you could be more aggressive in Q1 planning
Wes: Q4 was about building team and foundations, Q1 will be more about moving needles
we're a bit of a mystery and that's great ;) but also want to start more interactions
Geoff: with reorg, trying to improve interactions between Legal and Eng
feel free to reach out to Zhou
Wes: yes, want to do the same with security team
Lila: internally too, we need checkpoints - who needs to be plugged in between your idea and users' eyeballs
Wes: building data analyst center was important for us, was challenge for us, but worked out fine
Geoff: planning to have internal conversation on privacy and innovation soon
promise we will look for solutions, not barriers
Toby: Oliver handled NSA stuff, and Reading team also worked with you on this
Lila: teams focusing on different aspects of data - Reading (Toby) on Pvs, Wes on entry points, Trevor on editors. these are the 3 people who need to be in that kind of conversation
Toby: also e.g. checkuser data
Luis: yes, Kalli getting trained on this
Geoff: at meta level, there are legal solutions for almost everything, but it's also a cultural issue
need guidance as legal team on these
Michelle has comprehensive view on all this
but need to define our overall policy stance on it
might need community consultation
in the meantime, Michelle good first point of contact
Toby: agree, but want to make Michelle's life easier
Wes: e.g. want dashboard on usage, want to be able show that [publicly]
Terry: (on process:) we get offtopic here
Katherine: you mentioned having worked on template with Comms
who did you work with in Comms?
Wes: this goes back to Product / Comms offsite meeting
(shows separate slides: 15/16 roadmap, Press Release template)
Katherine: ok, that's great, should follow up on who contact point in my team would be
Wes: we just took that [from the offsite meeting] and ran with it
Dan: will have chat with Juliet after Wikimania
Toby: WDQ[?] is pretty big ask from hardware perspective
Wes: right
Dan working on perf
worked with Mark to figure out limited prod service
we think it's a good service, want to use it
Toby: meant perf in sense of impact - e.g. does it increase pageviews?
we've talked about maps for a while, I love them, go to conferences about them, but...
Wes: it's also about overall presentation of product
provide multiple ways to look at content
individual landing pages
if that provides more relevant information, should lead to more PVs
so it does have those goals eventually [but need to be defined]

this one was community generated
Garfield: why is this [self-hosted] hardware driven, as opposed to [cloud]?
Wes: good question
conversation with Ops on Labs, how us being able to build things quickly
Luis: a lot of engineering culture comes down to self-hosting
Garfield: understand that for core things like Wikipedia
but for other things?
Lila: need capacity planning first, then compare cloud vs. our own hosting
I do think we have some sacred cows here, talk to Terry
Toby: subpoena protection was an important aspect
Lila: but that would be case by case
Wes: it came up in context of tile services
Lila: but maps contain no PII?
Luis: you get IP address [of reader], and article name [which they viewed]
Lila: dont' need user's IP [could proxy via our servers]
Geoff: there are legal solutions, but need to decide policy, consult with community
Luis: also, costs of outsourcing
Geoff: values discussion
Lila: maps is good example

slide 4

[slide 4]