Grants:IdeaLab/Take Responsibility

Take Responsibility
Aggregate all the feedback received into a set of unique metrics. Discount none.
idea creator
this project needs...
contact email
created on18:59, 27 July 2018 (UTC)

This is sort of meta. Most of this is probably stuff you were already planning to do in running this campaign.

Project idea


What Wikimedia project(s) and specific areas will you be evaluating?


I guess the whole IdeaLab, really.

Describe your idea. How might it be implemented?

  1. Read every proposal. This will take a couple hours.
  2. For each idea, try to find at least one way to turn it into a valid metric, something you know for sure you can measure. Turn everything into a metric, no matter how inconsequential it seems at first.
  3. When any two proposals can be measured by the same metric, make a note of it and categorize appropriately.
  4. Pay special attention (and give credit) to ideas that explicitly authored the metrics you create. Strongly consider contacting them.

Are there experienced Wikimedians who can help implement this project?


No. Wikis are a new concept that's never happened before in history. Nobody knows how to pull one off well or what health looks like. The experienced Wikimedians are precisely the ones who don't know what they're doing most. If anyone were qualified for this, it'd already be happening.

How will you know if this project is successful? What are some outcomes that you can share after the project is completed?


I won't. I shouldn't need to. My willingness to provide feedback should, ideally, for my use-case, have no discernible outcome or subsequent feedback. With any luck, you will know the outcome and report on it as relevant.

I only mean to be a user that bothered to speak up.

How would your measurement idea help your community make better decisions?


Oh it doesn't. That's nonsense. You won't get magically better from having a health meter. If you do anything sensible, all you'll end up doing is demotivating your administration and making it harder to justify any executive decision, because you'll finally be processing the feedback (opposition) you've otherwise dismissed up to this point that led you to need to run this campaign.

Nothing will allow you to make better decisions unless the finger is allowed to be pointed at the exact part of the system where the problems are originating most.

Do you think you can implement this idea?


I sort of already did.

Skimming the summaries of all the ideas, I see two main types of metrics for health: Content and users. Half the ideas are about treating users better. This is all important feedback, and there's no reason not to focus on doing both better. The important thing to remember here is that Be bold. made Wikipedia possible. Everyone who chose to contribute because of that policy helped create something and is ultimately what made me feel like I understood the purpose and meaning of editing and creating articles. It's good to have a vibrant community, but it's even better to let people contribute how they see fit. Try to interpret every action as an attempt to be bold. The users and the quality of the content are tightly coupled, but not in the ways that it might seem from an executive standpoint.

Do you need people with specific skills to complete this idea?

No, and that's the beauty of it: Volunteers can come together anonymously and choose to contribute to something they both value without relying on the administrators to lead everything. Peers are all a wiki needs, and for something on the scale of Wikipedia, everyone is a potential peer. Yes, even places like 4chan. (If only to document their own history, when they're not just doing a raid.) The idea that quality is improved by weeding out the "bad seeds" has never worked anywhere. Find a way to take the time to get everyone who's interested involved. Never shut out an idea. Always be open to feedback. And by "open," I mean make it clear that you actually want feedback. All the time, not just during month long idea drives. You should be ready to improve year-round on a continual basis. If nobody will volunteer for outreach, even when it sounds insane, then you're not doing everything that's possible. Even if you're doing everything you can.

Are there any financial needs for this project? If you can’t implement this project, can you scale down your project so it is doable?

It's certainly doable. If you didn't believe it could be, you wouldn't be asking for better health metrics. All I'm saying is that if you want a true holistic approach to health, then you need to do the full holistic analysis. Take all perspectives into account. Discount none. Health is all of these things added together, not just picking and choosing the things you want to believe are relevant.

What support do you need?


The only support I need is that you take me as a user and leave me as a user, to whatever content I am so bold enough to contribute. I don't want, I shouldn't need, to become part of the community. I just like the idea of an online encyclopedia.

If you can accept that use-case, then you've given me all the support I need or can care to expect.

What questions didn't we ask that we should have? Is there more we need to know to make an informed decision on your idea?


That's hard to answer. If anyone knew what health looked like for a large-scale (global) wiki, this Inspire campaign would have looked completely different. On some level, you've always been aware that Wikipedia (I know it's not the only Wikimedia project, but it's the one that needs a solid measure of health most) is something nobody knows how to make successful or even work on a basic level. It's always been there, and is probably the main reason behind the "be bold" policy. Without all the bold people and administrators and other volunteers that made this successful, it wouldn't have been possible. I could spend all day coming up with new ideas or changes to make to the community or administrative infrastructure, but I'd have no way of knowing if any of the ideas would actually improve anything or if the issues the community faces run deeper. Kudos to whoever crystallized the idea that we don't really know what health looks like beyond basic success.

I don't know what health looks like, but I know it has to be holistic to be truly meaningful.

Get Involved


About the idea creator


Just a user.




  • I'm sort of endorsing the general idea, though it is really soft and fuzzy. For example, I think even the title should be reworded, perhaps as "Accept Responsibility", because the direction is unclear for "Take". However mostly I was looking for possible improvements or ideas related to the EPR idea I submitted, and could not find anything to borrow... Shanen (talk) 17:16, 29 July 2018 (UTC)