Wikigénero/Textos/Sue Gardner

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Sue Gardner
So I'm gonna speak... Before I speak I'm gonna ask a couple of questions that would just help me gage where I should emphasize more and where I should emphasize less.
And If I can honestly speak... you are staying further back than in the row twenty-four or five...
If you wouldn't mind moving up a little bit so that I can see you better [...]; I cannot see your eyes, I cannot see your faces, 'cause you're too far back...
I'm sorry, Yes, you, I think you're one, you at the [...] line.

[reply from person at the back]

Sue Gardner
If you'd want to move that would be great, if you don't that's ok... you don't have to move up, but it makes it easier for me to see you, I can see your expressions and figure out whether I’m being understood or I’m talking too quickly.
So, welcome to our meeting.
Let me ask a question first.
Who here has English as their first language? Ok. Not that many. And who has English as their second language [...] report that is listening to me in English? So may be half can listen to me in English, and the rest of, will they listen to a Spanish translation? And is there a translator present? Can I speak to the translator? I will speak to all of you... and specially having a translator...
I understand that I talk quickly even in English, and if you listen to through translation it might get difficult for the translator to keep up, and it might be difficult for me to keep up and listen to the translated version...s
So you are all welcome to ask me to slow down, if I start talking too quickly... And that is for the translator, if you wave me then I'll know that I need to slow down. I will try to control myself also, but you are welcome to control me if you have too.
Ok. So I have three questions for you.
Who in the room either has presented on behalf of Wikipedia, about Wikipedia, or might in the future sometime present about Wikipedia? Ok, good, I encourage you all present on Wikipedia all the time.
Can you tell me, can you raise your hand if you feel you have a fair idea about what the Wikimedia Foundation is, the gist of how it works? Ok. I planned to show make 5 or 6 slides about Wikimedia Foundation, it's not gender focused, but I’m kind of feel like I'm speaking to a general audience and not at least needing pure basic information, as long as people don't really ask much on Wikimedia Foundation.
And when I ask this... this is to check-in. I'm making the assumption that most people who are here are more aware of the gender gap in Wikipedia, and care about it, and you see it as a problem that want to get solved [...] sort of generally speaking your view? Oh this is interesting, not everybody, ok, that's interesting.
All right. I'm gonna operate from the assumption that most people care and if not caring now to work towards closing the gender gap, it may happen in the future that you will work to close the gender gap, you'll decide to do that.
This is not my laptop, which puts me at a great disadvantage.
Ok. So the first word of the topic -are we a little bit late, or how much longer do I have?
Yes. We are a little bit late
But how long will this last for?
About from 12... From 2 to... we have forty minutes.
Oh that's perfect, that's easy. Good.
I'm gonna start with some general slides about Wikipedia. Sometimes I skip this... when I'm talking to novices about Wikipedia...
I'm gonna not skip them here even if those of you are very familiar with Wikipedia, and the reason is because is that this project slides, this information about Wikimedia Foundation, you should be able to use them in your own presentations. [...]
Ok.
So how do I often start is with an analogy. So I ask people to imagine, imagine that it is 1700. In the 1700, restaurants, according to Wikipedia, restaurants have not yet been invented, right? So imagine that you have a friend, and this friend tells to you: I think I'm gonna start this new thing, I will start inviting to come into my house, I'm gonna cook them dinner, I'm gonna serve them wine, and they're gonna pay me money and it's gonna be fantastic.
If you imagine that, what do you think people would have said to that? So I think, what many people would have said was, or is.
That's just a really bad idea, right? You shouldn't be inviting strangers into your house because it might mean walking into serious stuff.
Why would anyone would want that you cook for them? Why would you invite people to your house, and give them booze to drink, whereupon they will get drunk and have fights each other. And of course if you don't serve them food you will have to [...] And they will stab each other. And they will be every night... terrible...You'll have that every night. Please don't do that. Right.
That probably happened to somebody in the 1700s and yet, oops - and yet, we know, restaurants in fact are part of our culture... everything from cafeterias, to hot-dog stands, to high-end fine dining... and if does happens sometimes get too drunk, or they fight each other, or they run away with pep can ... But it's not what normally happens.
That in many ways is the story of Wikipedia. This is Jimmy Wales. So in 2001 Jimmy Wales had just retired from a job doing research for a Chicago freelance company and he moved out to Florida. And after he moved to Florida he started Wikipedia as a hobby site. So he said to people "I'm gonna start an online encyclopedia, later he posted it to Wiki. And it was "That's cool, I’ll do that".
And the soonest leap of faith was that people would watch it, come together and share what they know. People called him crazy; people said that it was a terrible idea.
But of course what he ended up in, is that he is that brought us Wikipedia which is a gift to the world
This slide shows you what Wikipedia is. This just comes from Mediametrics data, which is the industry standard for audience measurements of websites globally. And what it shows is the global traffic over time starting in 2006 or 2007 and going up to up to last year. Wikipedia is the blue line at the top. That's Wikipedia at the top. Clustered more towards the bottom: I think BBC, CNN, Merriam Webster, National Geographic, Encyclopedia Britannica, etc.
I don't show this slide because I think it's great to get on the brink of traditional media organizations, traditional purveyors, of user information. But I show this slide because as they say, a couple of times a day, people get their information from Wikipedia. That's why Wikipedia matters.
Oops.
This is a map of the world; it shows you where Wikipedia is more popular and less popular. We know from this map that Wikipedia --actually the country where Wikipedia is the most popular is in Canada, which is were I come from and which makes me very happy. But you can see, the wealthier the country, the likelier is that people will use Wikipedia a lot. This was the key finding in a research over a couple of few years ago.
The conditions for Wikipedia to succeed are more present on the wealthier parts of the world, people have internet access, they have more money to buy devices, they are more likely to be literate it, they have university education, and so forth. And they have leisure time to build something like Wikipedia.
So the conditions for success on a world presence, involve a key presence that is less present in poorer countries.
So one of the key finding [...] was that if you want to shift the emphasis of Wikipedia movement, away from the wealthier parts of the world, where it has already grown, and attract more attention on poorer countries, where Wikipedia has not yet become as established.
[...]I'm sure you all know of that. Each one is a cultural riot. We are number 5 most popular website in the world, according to Consumer metrics, which is the industry standard.
We are getting... We are getting past half a billion visitors every month. [...] So that's a key condition for us to be outreaching new people. I think you should get it as good as you can, explain your story the best way you can and explain your story in a simple way. So we do all this without any money on advertising. We never spent any money on advertising. And Wikipedia is free to use, is free for anyone, as you know.
So the Wikipedia Foundation has a staff of about a 100 people. It hired the last of them a couple of years ago. I think for example, 139 staff-members, and we have roughly about 100,000 active editors editing and editing growing all the time around the world. It's a little bit lower than that but it covers around 88 to 5,000, depending on the time of the year.
And as you know, editing is kind of slow, a gradual editor-client is the biggest challenge facing us, hands outreach, hands desire to increase diversity, [...] be more welcoming and bring in more people.
So I'm gonna show you a video. Have you guys seen this video before? Have you seen the video that we shot in in Romania, a couple of years ago?
So we shot these videos because we were having a difficult time in the Wikimedia Foundation telling the story of Wikipedians.
I'm gonna point out and talk to audiences in in the United States, You know Wikipedians are incredible smart, they are bookish people, they are pedantic, they're extremists about information, they're often graduate students, but I didn't know what was needed for it to be successful, the kind of tone, the flavor, personality of the people who write an encyclopedia, and I really wanted to do that. So I commissioned to have this video shot, and you won't probably recognize some of the people there, there's actually one or probably two of the people are here, so I’m not sure that the audio...
Ok.
[Video]
I just wanna cry a little bit when I see place like this. This is the mentality of the video that we pitch to people that wants to edit, we are trying to sell people, you should edit. And so, in that video, she calls on friends and lovers... And that's fantastic, because I can't say that I promise you lovers, I really can't, but I love that she did... I thought it was great. In that video there are more women in that video than are actually in the Wikimedia community. That wasn't a conscious decision that we made. We didn't want to make a video that would be actively misleading, we didn't want to show to the world that we wish we were more than we are, and at the same time, we knew that people need to see themselves reflected in something, just feel that they could belong in it, and so by having a supportive picture, but having the sufficient number in the video so that people watching it, so women watching it could imagine that it would be something that they wanted, something they would be able to do.
So those are Wikipedians. So I'll stop for a second to explain how Wikipedia works. So I picked the accordion and selected quotes from cultural reporting, cultural figures.
So this is by Nicholson Baker, she is an American novelist and she wrote really beautiful article about Wikipedia in the New Yorker Review of Books, which was called the Charms of Wikipedia, was really poetic, a lovely piece. That I hope that people more would want to edit.
She says: "Wikipedia flourishes because it's a shrine to Altruism. It's a place for shy, trawl people to deposit their choice."
And that is what happens in this video. Because they're also shy people, they're introverted people, they're sharply intelligent people and they know stuff and they want to share it with others
Cass Sunstein says: "Wikipedia works because the people who know the truth are usually more numerous and committed, than people who believe in a falsehood."
And then in that same day... Daniel Pink is a very smart journalist from Wired Magazine, Daniel Pink says, "Wikipedia represents a belief in the supremacy of reason and in the goodness of others."
And I think these are important truths about Wikipedia, right? Wikipedia [...] what it is a leap of faith, it was trustful, when Jimmy created it, he was trustful, he was awkwardly under the assumption that people would x safe nets, and he just tried to build something beautiful and that's what happened, he contributed to our faith in human beings, and to our faith in each other, and our love for each other, and that's what happened.
I just say going out to Wikipedia Foundation. So I'm gonna go through this quickly but honestly I just feel I should talk people through a bit about Wikimedia when I do talks like this.
So Wikipedia Foundation is a strange organization. There's nothing –-honesty-- really like it.
It's kind of living at the intersection of all of these types of places. In the top left hand corner is Google, eBay, yelp, YouTube, mmm, huge web companies, that are fairly popular, they rely on "user-edited content", we are in that field, and like those in the top right, we are also an internationally active, non-profit organization and we are an important cultural institution, like Spiegel, like the BBC, like the Library Alexandrina, right, the work of Wikipedia is important, the work of Wikipedia is serious, education matters to the world.
And if you people look down at the bottom latch you get to radical groups and radical presence.
This is the piece of the business that for people who are engaged in the Wikipedia movement, people don't realize it, you know, there's, the Free Software Foundation, Creative commons, Linux, EFF, [...], we are an organization that is radical, in ways that, personally, I wish we were not essentially understood to be radical. I would like that free unlimited access to, your know, the internet is not a controversial statement. But when [...] it is sometimes a controversial statement. So if we accept that that is a radical motion, that internet should be free, that people should be free to share on it, to that extent we are a radical movement and Wikimedia Foundation is a radical organization.
So that's the staff of Wikipedia Foundation. There are only one or two pictures that show us all. And that is one of them. So that's back in the day when we had a hundred people, that's likely may be ten months ago. Half the staff is engineers; half the staff works in technology and the other half do everything else. And what that means is ... You know we have counselors, we have lawyers defending our contracts, continue to look to into [...], we have people who work closely [...] with Wikimedia community and writing news, we have researchers running our experiments, so that we can better understand our community [...], there's people like me as well, managers, and there's a great team, and all of that.
For those who don't notice, 40% of the staff, you're Wikimedia community members; you know which one is the staff? That's actually the higher... that has ever been at various points during our ancient history. Modern experience is that a proportion of the staff started in Wikimedia as community members. It did drop a lot at the third, [...]
And of course over time, staff originated as cyber community, like me, I consider myself pretty much a part of the community.
And the average staff has been hired before 4 years. 42% of the staff are non-Americans, 70% have lived outside the US and the rest of them live in their home country. And all this has is one little piece of information that is not in this slide which is: Just over a third the staff is female.
I think that's great. I think that's great that Wikimedia has a staff that reflects population more closely, but... So I don't think that's terrific.
But if you think in the context of an organization that its recruits are heavily male, an organization that is doing a lot of recruiting, that has a lot of engineers, particularly engineers of free software, you know 2% of volunteers in free software are female. I think that in that context, truly 4% female is not too bad.
Oh, and we speak 41 languages, ok -I'll keep that slide out for a second.
So the average staff person speaks 2.12 languages --I speak 1.1. [laughs] I can say some words in several languages, but most is just English.
Ok, so now back to the gender stuff.
So why does Wikipedia have a gender problem? So 9% of editors are women. That is statistically a cornerstone of Wikipedia, of Wikipedia Foundation survey of editors, search wikis and Google... So that's self-reported, it is Google's sample size and the margin of error is relatively low, and the number that we consistently are getting is 9% is neither going up, nor going down, so the point here is why is that a little bit broken.
Can you read that from where you are? I was speaking anyway.
So what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna walk you through, like 9 or 10 slide-stats that we are getting, but I'm gonna give you two caveats before I do.
One is --I’m not a social scientist, this is not research, this is not extensible research. What this is the result of my five-years of experience talking to women who edit Wikipedia, and talking to those who used to edit Wikipedia and quit, and talking to who never edited Wikipedia of why they don't, it's also informed by women that I interviewed at the NY Times; afterwards there was this explosion of commentary on the internet of the gender gap. I've read every word of that that I could find, and I kind of selected a bunch of data and did a little bit of analysis. Analysis --I am not a social scientist but it is an analysis of that.
And it is also informed by surveys and studies and other research stuff conducted by Wikimedia foundation. And stuff conducted by external researchers. So this is what I think I know. And I think this as a person who is a woman, has been a new editor in Wikimedia community and has had an experience editing in Wikimedia community, and also who is involved with WikiChix since 2007.
So, oh, and my second caveat is that many of these things... when I talk through this data, people often say to me, that many of those thing apply to men as well; and you know that sometimes discredits or devalues what I'm saying... Of course it applies to men as well, because men are people, right? Both men are women are both people, so lots of these issues apply to all people, to trigger the lesser degrees. So I'm not questioning that any of these things are solely gender related at all, these are what women say about why they don't edit.
So the first thing I say is that the Wiki syntax is a pain. The Wiki syntax happens to be in a special "quasi-programming language" *shield to be tracked on the Internet and create user content. Was fine, in 2001, it was normal. It's no longer normal. We are been doing a lot of work at Wikimedia Foundation to pull out a visual editor which would make things much easier of that date couldn't come too soon for all many people who would like to edit but were deterred by the internet.
Second is guys... she's busy. Everybody feels like they are very busy. Women are statistically --according to surveys-- are busier. They have more... mostly family obligations, they get more obligations, typically, and they’re giving in. And then people tell us that they are just too busy.
Now, busy if what you make of it. You make time for things that you think are more important, and make time for things that you think are fun. Right? So what that suggests... what it really means is that... it's not fun enough, it's not appealing enough, it's not rewarding enough. If it were, they would make time to make it happen.
This is gendered... Who am I to change what the person before me has written? This was something that came up on the internet after the NY Times story... A woman wrote that... and I think that it's a very female statement. Right? Women are socialized to be more sensitive to feelings of others and to value commentary of people in their inner group. Obviously these are news stereotypes but that is how women are socializing. And so it makes sense to me that a women would say, some women would say, whether you feel of sense of "I'm going to [...]", "I'm not going to because...", wanting not to overwrite something that somebody else has thought is important to contribute... So there's a social conditioning factor there.
Also very gendered... A lot of women mentioned this issue.
A woman said "I'm not thick-skinned enough for Wikipedia. I end up feeling discouraged" I just... Why would I edit that? And I've could have said that I'm too busy. I'm too busy, because is not enough fun. Why is it not fun? Is not fun because I do lack confidence or ugly [...] and we do now that we are not a harmonious community.
Another direct quote. YA is Young Adults. Right? Young Adults literature.
Female YA authors are not noteworthy. Meanwhile, 1-Book Nobody Dude’s did this: Wikipedia page is 14,000 pages long.
This is a semi bias, right? The women at the Wiki camp, I think they talked about this [...], at least they talked about [...] inside the community, this is real, this is not real. I would argue that the GroupLens research suggested this is real.
If the article is about, you know, Bridges of Madison Country, if that article is significant shorter than Randal, then this it's real. And it seems that I happened to be at a conference... Shortly after reading that, I happened to be at a conference with some PR guy, who was a PR pro YA, and I asked him about it... and he laughed... and he said 'I think it got so weird in the YA industry, 'cause most YA authors are women, and yet a women's seems that after writing about something serious in a Wikipedia article and then meanwhile ... [...] has a loving article about that... in the YA industry, I'm disappointed that this came out in the conference, this is the world of math, that Wikipedia disproportionately contains information that interests men and not so much information that interests women.
Another quote
I find myself facing attitudes of sexism and gender discrimination. And that's the sign of things in Wikipedia. Right?
So there's been a lot of discussion as to what extent Wikipedia is misogynist, to what extent people experience sexism in Wikipedia.
Personally, I have never experienced direct sexism or misogyny in Wikipedia, but I know that other people have, and it's the internet. Right? Everybody, anybody could be on Wikipedia, so it doesn't surprise me when people tell me stories of harassment and abuse. It makes me sad; I wish it wasn't the case, obviously, but it doesn’t surprise me, right? Because it is a reflection of our own culture. And I should say that my own experience is that, Wikimedia editors, I think one of the reasons that some editors are sensitive to the gender gap, is because they're feelings are quite rational and they don't buy into units in their culture, not having want errors, in their wiki. And I feel that lots of people (men) who work in Wikipedia understand themselves to be non sexists and pride themselves on being non sexists. So this is complicated. It's coming to conversations where discussions of sexism and misogyny can alienate people who like to be helpful, and push those people away. But certainly this is some people's experience on Wikipedia.
And the sexualized culture. And I noticed that in the Wiki Women's Camps you guys had posters up on the wall, about various experiences, and one of them said something about "Date cannot all the time." And that is also an experience that women editors had as self-reported as having in the free software community. Editors have very few women around, so when those two women were there, our editor is hoping and dreams for a partner, and it makes sense, these people share mutual interests, and they are socializing together, and they like each other, and there are things they talk about it. So it makes sense that if there is 1 women out of every 9 men, you know, she might feel a little bit over the focus of attention, sometimes.
[...]
Oh, and this is... I think that's the clickable on Argentina.
"The software call me male"
So what is the word for editor, for male editor in Spanish? The word for male editor is "editor" and the word for female editor is "editora". And do you change that? Is it possible to define yourself as female in the software? Can you choose that?
User, in Spanish now is "usuaria", but not in your page, in your page, now in Spanish is usuaria.
So you can pick which way you want it to show? Is that for all users?
Because it used to be in gendered languages that.... [...] it used to be the case that you could only get described as male user.
My deputy Erik Möller pointed that out about 18 months ago, [...] so we instituted -I'm not sure if it's on all gendered languages or it's done upon request, the female are enabled for people to choose to use the female user if they wanted.
And is it the case here?
It was funny, because there was some controversy of whether it should not be done. But my view is that if some people wanted that it should be done. Why should be hold it from them?
And the last reason.
Wikipedia is not social enough. Wikipedia is not friendly enough.
You know, I sometimes feel that comparisons between Wikipedia, in general, Wikipedia in general, and something like Facebook, they're kind of not direction carrots, because Facebook has a very different purpose. Facebook is a social space to hang out with your friends. Wikipedia is this work, actually. It's work --this work that many people find pleasurable, but it this work nonetheless. You wouldn't just edit something for pleasure; it's not just a platform for people self-expression.
So I don't feel like that necessarily, you know, every form of expression on the internet is going to be equally interesting to all different kinds of people, and so I don't know, with whatever respect that for example Facebook does but I do think that is ridiculously obvious that Wikipedia needs to provide people with means to express and thanking, and appreciation for each other.
It’s not an accident that Facebook has a like button. Right? I use the right the button all the time. I use it when I don't have anything particularly special to the conversation, but I just want to say yes, that's cool, that's great, that's cool that you went there.
And I think Wikipedia needs, if not a like button, we have wikis, log and some mechanisms to show appreciation and kindness to people, and it is very important, because if you are in Wikipedia for longer than half an hour, as a member, you are going to get some rating, you're gonna get criticized. Some of that is essential, is unavoidable, because it is an encyclopedia to it has to be build the right way, and it has to be neutral in case of user preferences.
So to me the argument therefor is we need to counterbalance some of that inherence correction, you want to counterbalance with lots and lots of love and affirmation and warmth. Because otherwise, and we noticed in countless studies and in part in the editor's surveys that we did in Wikimedia Foundation a month ago, we know that otherwise people feel like the system hates them, they feel that Wikipedia is rejecting them, that Wikipedia does not like them. Another that we find is that people misunderstand the attraction. So Phillip, who is an editor, if Phillip says something mean to me in Wikipedia, I feel like Wikipedia is saying something mean to me. The site is rejecting me; the site doesn't want my contributions. That's an error that people make. We just don't realize it's just another person, and that person may have not done anything wrong, they feel the system is yelling at them, is rejecting them.
So what's being asked for here is that it is necessary for people to have more conversations that are positive, as well as for having interactions that are less positive.
Ok.
So this is Wikipedia conversion funnel. So these are the necessary pre-conditions for people to edit the encyclopedia. So let's start from over.
First. You need to be literate. So anybody who is not literate can't come to make Wikipedia.
Second. You need to own a computer and you need to actually be able to get on the computer. That's not so awful on people
Third. You need to have a little time. Again, I don't think that people need to have a lot of leisure time. The people we are screening for happy editors it's not that they don't have anything else to do, right?
Everybody is busy, everybody has lots of calls on their time but the necessary conditions to get a little bit of time, and may be care enough, if for no other reason, to watch a musical, contribute to Wikipedia.
You do need to be reasonably tech comfortable. You don't have to be a [...], but you have to be a reasonably fast dial, using the computer, you know, being on internet.
It helps to be pedantic. Right? So it’s a characteristic of Wikipedians that I've ever met in every Wiki event, a Wikipedian is kind of geeky, kind of fuzzy, kind of licensed to be right, gets irritated when things are wrong. We know, and you know and through studies that we've done, that the way that people edit the first time often is they sought a mistake, a mistake button and they fixed it. Those are our people. People who are irritated by error and want to fix it, that's us.
And then, the last characteristic. [...] For all women there will always be some conditions. [...] But I think that because women do face some degrees of sex bias in Wikipedia, I think in order to succeed and enjoy being an editor, they need something a little bit extra, a little bit motivating extra, more so than men. It needs to a little bit easier all the time. So what's that extra thing?
I think that that extra thing is the thing that the world needs to know about X.
It doesn't matter what the topic is. Right? Like I had a particular interest for no reason in a Danish silversmith work. When I'm on Wikipedia and I see that there is this 19th century Danish, modern, fantastic artist, who is not on Wikipedia, it hurts me. The world needs to know about this awesome guy. Why do I care? May be there are thousands of people who really care. But that little bit of I really care, motivates me to put up an article about this person.
[...] For many who work in the next years, I guest that zeal is....
Oh, that female designer, there's nothing like this art. She's a great designer.
That's a little grip, a little bit to pull people, to propel people to make the time to do the writing. To make it important to write for them. I think that there's a kind of a fine line. My experience of women coming on Wikipedia and wanting to change it for the better is that, if they have a little bit zeal it helps them, it's evil, it supports them. If they're too angry, and if they've had too many difficult experiences right at or outside Wikipedia, I think it makes it harder for them. Like they feel there's a lot that could irritate them.
So if they're kind of tired, at the end of their day, it will push you over. So a little bit of zeal it's actually what they need.
So this is the funnel that we need to find women and push them through. So I only have one final thing to say actually and then I'm gonna conclude.
But we need to find women to push them. I think that how we are going to do that is through gatherings like this with people talking to who they know who would want to become Wikipedia editors, it has to be people with one degree of separation from people in this room. There's no point in trying to teach your lover, or your mother, to edit Wikipedia, even if she is a fantastic scholar, if she doesn't care about the internet; she's pushed too far, she can't do it, she won't do it. There's no point to trying to persuade people who are very, very different to the current editors.
It should be people just as fine, who aren't different than me. We know people who should be editing Wikipedia. [...]
So before I talk, do I have two more minutes?
Yes. Five.
So I just want to talk for a second about how change happens in the Wikipedia movement, because it is unlike how change happens everywhere else.
And I was thinking about this when I was ready to come and speak. [...] and what I did, that was the first time that Wikimedia Foundation had ever spoken publicly about the gender gap, we didn't know about it, for four or five or six month months we always suspected it but we didn't find any [...] for real... When I finally decided to speak about that a lot of people told me that it would be a real bad idea; people would be embarrassing about the movement, I would find a lot of real trolls... People would make fun of us...
And I did it anyway because I thought "There's no benefit to anybody slipping this problem under the rug. People are telling us that this exists.
The funnel's premise of Wikipedia is that people want to help you. Right?
So I'm going to assume, or rather was assuming, that if I talk to NY Times, people will know that there is problem and will be motivated to help us fix it.
I remember that prior to talking to the NY Times I called [...] and there's always one woman there, right? And almost always she's with her partner and she would not describe herself as Wikipedian, and then she would upload these 200 photos and comments showing that she was a real Wikipedian, it was just heart-breaking. These women were terrific, and they didn't understand themselves to be Wikipedia contributors or part of this because they were not community members. It was always one woman. And them I asked people if they could seen any gender problem on Wikipedia. And people would say: "Oh no, they have just come to meet us. Sometimes there are women here." Or whatever.
But no one new for sure because there was not enough data. So since I got there, exactly what I would have thought to happen is exactly what happened.
[...]So when GroupLens said through a lawyer, that they read this article on the NY Times and said "let's do a study on this". That's what exactly I was actually thinking about GroupLens. I can phone you guys or I can just pop in.
And then it was this conference. I was at WikiChix last year. I've been on every Wiki Chicks since 2007.
The thing is, we were 40 women in the room, and we went around, specifically there.
So when all women went into another room, one said whether they'd experienced [some] kind of a gender [issue] on Wikipedia.
And practically every single women said, I've never been in a room, this female dominated in my life. Right? They were women who came from engineering companies, to science labs, from math departments at universities, [...] deals, free software, they've always have been the only women in every room, they had a couple friends, but they were all used to be the only one anywhere ever. And there was sense in the room that day, of comfort, that may be deserved, and then someone proposed at Wiki Chicks, may be we should reach out to women's science departments at universities... and someone said... "You happen to be the only who wants to do it."
And then somebody who I don't name, but I'm just horrified me, someone who happens to be a friend of mine said "Oh my goodness, Wikipedia is ruled in a kind of this mutual committee." They are people. They should be part of this. That is discrimination of their point of view.
Anyway, that was two years ago. And yet today, here we are, in this whole room full of people who come from, I don't know, 15 countries around the world, to take on this issue. And this is why I ask you to start with do you want to face a problem, most of you do... Yay! Right?
So this is how change happens in the Wikimedia movement. It happens through informal leadership. You could have stand up and say "I'm gonna fix it" and you fix it. Laura helped make this conference, right? That's how it happens.
Sometimes people have a tendency in Wikimedia to wait for other people do things... They might say "what is the Foundation doing about X?" or "what is Mike [...] doing?"
So I would say, please don't wait, just action... because if you wait for anybody to solve the problem...
If the people in this room, the people who raised their hands, has seen the problem, and want to fix it, are people who are good at fixing... so I would be like "stand up and I will make room for you" [...] And in two years from now there will be 10 times this same people and that would be awesome.
Thank you so much. Thank you for inviting me to this.
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