Grants talk:Project/Rapid/Pine/Continuation of educational video and website series

 Welcome to the talk page for Pine's tutorial on "Citing sources with VisualEditor"

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Trademark use


@Pine: Thanks for reaching out to ask about this. As best I can tell from your description of the project, your use of the Wikimedia marks would be allowed under section 3.3. of the Trademark Policy. It's also covered by section 3.1 to the extent you publish the materials on Wikimedia Commons. However, please share the materials with me by emailing if they are Wikipedia-branded: I would want to do additional review, and potentially ask you to sign a trademark agreement, if you present the materials in a way that makes them seem "official", such as by saying that they are "by Wikipedia" or "from Wikipedia", using a title like "The Wikipedia guide to…", or opening a video with a shot of just a Wikipedia logo. --Charles M. Roslof (WMF) (talk) 00:28, 15 December 2018 (UTC)Reply

@CRoslof (WMF): that is okay with me. I plan to communicate in the video that it produced by me with financial support from WMF. I would want to avoid presenting a video that says something like "The Official Guide to Wikipedia Referencing" because, in my view, a label of "official" could only be legitimate for this video if the video received community consensus like a guideline. While my goal is for the video to be widely used and I hope that people will choose to include it in community help, guideline, and/or policy pages, I don't think that there is a need for me to include a label like that in the video. --Pine 03:25, 16 December 2018 (UTC)Reply

Measures of success discussion, copied from this page on English Wikipedia

Pine, do we have any statistics on what percentage of editors are currently using Visual Editor and/or MediaWiki edit toolbar? One would hope that a video tutorial increases the numbers, but what is our starting point? --Guy Macon (talk) 17:57, 27 February 2019 (UTC)Reply
Hi Guy Macon, thanks for your question. I think that instead of looking at a change in the percentage of people who use VE as a measure of success for this project, I would prefer to look statistics such as (1) the persistence of new editors, with the hope that increasing their success with editing Wikipedia will increase the average number of edits and/or number of text characters that they edit before they stop editing, and (2) whether people who help new editors think that the video is a good resource that makes helping easier for them. My guess is that in the short term there will not be large variances with (1) as a result of this single pilot video, but over time and if more video tutorials are produced then I would hope that it will be possible to show statistically significant improvements in editor retention.
User:MMiller (WMF)'s team is also working on improving the usability of Wikipedia's interfaces.
It might be possible to use analytics to determine whether new editors who watch this individual video have higher persistance than editors who do not watch the video, but my guess is that WMF would not want to spend the time to do that type of research for a single video. However, I am very interested in getting feedback regarding both the draft video script and the finished video from people who help new editors, and I included that type of feedback in the measures of impact when I proposed this project for funding.
Thanks again for your question. If you have additional questions I would like to request (emphasis: this is not a requirement) that you place them on the project's talk page so that other people who are interested in the project can also see your question and participate in the discussion if they would like to do so. I will copy this discussion to that page. Thanks again, --Pine 23:19, 27 February 2019 (UTC)Reply
Those do seem like better metrics, especially persistence of new editors. I would still like to know what percentage of editors are currently using Visual Editor and/or MediaWiki edit toolbar, though. Does anyone have any statistics on that? --Guy Macon (talk) 02:44, 28 February 2019 (UTC)Reply
Hi Guy Macon, I think that one of the WMF Research people might be able to answer that question. I'll ask LZia (WMF). --Pine 21:37, 1 March 2019 (UTC)Reply
Did you get a reply? --Guy Macon (talk) 00:19, 5 March 2019 (UTC)Reply
Hi Guy Macon, not yet. I left a message in a new section on LZia (WMF)'s talk page. However, LZia is probably is plenty busy, so I suggest waiting another few days before you or I send another message. --Pine 02:18, 5 March 2019 (UTC)Reply
No hurry. --Guy Macon (talk) 03:09, 5 March 2019 (UTC)Reply
Guy Macon, I asked Leila about this via email. Hopefully we'll get an answer within a few days. --Pine 23:58, 12 March 2019 (UTC)Reply
I asked about this again on LZia (WMF)'s talk page, and pinged you there. --Pine 21:56, 20 March 2019 (UTC)Reply

Video tutorial "Referencing with VisualEditor" – newsletter issue 1

 Video tutorial "Referencing with VisualEditor" – newsletter issue 1

Good news: the (lengthy!) script draft 1 is complete!


Hello, I am happy to share that script draft 1 is complete and ready for public comment.

The script (link to the Google doc) is much longer than I anticipated, at almost 21 pages!

Although I think that the 21 page script would be a very good introduction to referencing policies and workflows, I am considering dividing it into two or more smaller scripts that would be produced as separate videos. For example, one script could focus on policies and a different script could focus on how to use the citation tool. I am considering this for three reasons:

  • People may be more willing to watch shorter videos that have more specific focus.
  • Shorter videos may be easier to search for an answer for a single specific question.
  • There is a possibility that if I attempt to produce a single video from almost 21 pages of script that I might exceed the budget for this mini-project. I would like for both WMF and the community to be satisfied with the results from this mini-project, and I think that dividing the script into smaller scripts which could be produced separately would be a good way to ensure that the budget for the current grant is not exceeded. While there is a reasonable possibility that I could finish production of the entire 21 pages of script within the current grant, I think that dividing the script would be prudent. After one of the smaller scripts is fully produced within the currently available funding, remaining script could be considered for production within the current grant if there seems to be adequate remaining funds, or could be saved for possible production with a future grant.

Request for constructive criticism and comments


I would very much appreciate constructive criticism and comments regarding the script, preferably by March 10 at 11:59 PM UTC. This is a shorter time window than I would like to provide, but the planned end date for this project is March 14 and I would like to finish video production by the end of March 13 so that I have 24 hours for communications before the grant period ends. If you would like to review the script or make other comments but the end of March 10 is too soon for you, please let me know that you need more time, and I will take that into consideration as I plan for final production and consider whether to request a date extension from WMF. (Extending the finish date for the project would not involve requesting additional funding for the current grant.) I would prefer that the video be done perfectly a few days late than that the video be done on March 14 but have an important error that was not caught during a rush to the finish.

I have three specific requests for feedback:

1. Please find errors in the script. This is a great time to find problems with my work, before the script goes into production and problems become more expensive to fix. Please go to this link in Google Docs and use the Comment feature in the Google Doc.

2. Do you have comments regarding whether the script should be divided, and if so, how it should be divided? Please let me know on the project talk page.

3. How do you feel about the name for the video? Do you prefer "Referencing with VisualEditor" or "Citing sources with VisualEditor", or a third option? Again, please comment on the project talk page. However, if I divide the script then I will create new names for the smaller videos.

Closing comments


Thank you for your interest in this mini-project. I am grateful to be working on a project which I hope will help Wikipedia contributors to be more efficient and effective, and indirectly help to improve Wikipedia's quality by teaching contributors how to identify and to cite reliable sources. I believe that the finished video will be good, and I hope that the community and novice contributors will find the video to be very useful.

Yours in service,

--Pine 07:55, 7 March 2019 (UTC)Reply

Suggestions/Thoughts regarding draft 1


Just going to bullet a few thoughts:

  • Nowhere in the script does it explain how to edit an existing citation. This seems to me to be something that should be added
  • I would suggest that no video be more than 3 minutes and ideally bite sized videos of roughly 90 seconds would be even better in terms of quick use to learn about a particular need
  • Conceptually I would love if you would consider use of an open source AI voice rather than a human narrator. This way when Visual Editor is updated/changed the video could be updated accordingly without having to rerecord the entire thing. I don't know if there are open source voices that would have the level of engagement and interest you're looking for but it feels worthy of testing/consideration. Barkeep49 (talk) 16:47, 7 March 2019 (UTC)Reply
Hi @Barkeep49:,
  • I will probably follow your suggestion to add information regarding how to edit an existing citation. I previously skipped that topic due to time considerations, but I agree that it's a good topic.
  • I think that sectioning the current script into 3 minute segments could be challenging. It might be doable, but I'm concerned about the possibility of going over budget on this project. Within the scope of the current budget I think I can divide the script into 2 to 4 segments.
  • Awhile ago I researched artificial voices, and I didn't find options that I thought were good. I found one that was willing to license the voice for commercial reuse only with a significant fee. Within the scope of the current grant I'm likely to use a human voice, but I agree that using an artificial voice is worth considering for the future.
  • Thanks very much for the constructive comments. --Pine 00:10, 13 March 2019 (UTC)Reply
@Pine: Thanks for your thoughtful response. I'm going to push again on one of thoughts. In the video training field, something I know about in a small way because of what I do professionally, you have longform videos and you have shortform videos. Longform videos require a level of production we're not likely to get here. Instead this kind of training is far more similar to the kinds of nuts and bolts training done well in shortform videos. It is my experience that most of the commercial operators in this space have switched to videos that are less than 5 minutes in length. I know this could be a challenge but from a novice perspective they can always move on to the next video if they want to learn a lot. However if they want to learn just one part of something a shorter video meets their need better since they can get the knowledge they seek and move on. I don't think there would be substantial changes needed to the script content to get to shorter lengths, just a mindset to do it that way. Anyhow thanks again for your work on this project and I wish you the best as you move forward. Barkeep49 (talk) 01:48, 13 March 2019 (UTC)Reply
Hi Barkeep49, I think that within the context of the current grant, five minute segments might be achievable. I don't hear anyone objecting to the idea of dividing the script into smaller segments, and I too think that smaller segments would be preferable, so I am planning to divide the script into two or more segments. I will test a few different divisions before I settle on a final arrangement. Later this month I hope that you will watch the finished videos and let me know what you think. --Pine 02:33, 13 March 2019 (UTC)Reply
  • I would strongly suggest at least 3 videos - those individuals willing to watch a lengthy "cover all" video are probably keen enough to use the textual sources. Additionally, we want beginners to pick up the bare basics (thus solving the biggest issues) and improving editors to be able to go straight to what they're looking to find out.
I would suggest the following division:
  1. Bare basics - what a source is, why we have them, where to look for good sources (short form), how to do a basic reference in VE
  2. Proper explanation of "reliable, independent, verifiable", sources to avoid (interviews, blogs etc)
  3. What if opinion, what if uncertain/controversial, how to handle a more complicated reference, "If we want to copy or refer to information from a different Wikipedia article",
I'd imagine it's worthwhile including your "where to get help" content in each one
  • I'm not sure I agree with the AI voice one - they generally sound/pronounce strangely, and I don't think it will help the humanising, we aren't uber-technical, appearance.
Finally - Wow! That's a lot of work, and with such detailed filming instructions too! Nosebagbear (talk) 17:02, 7 March 2019 (UTC)Reply
Yeah I'm not sure I agree with it either. However the opportunity to be able to keep the videos current rather then them becoming obsolete has some value. Enough to outweigh the downsides? I dunno but it's why I was hoping for at least an exploration of the idea. Barkeep49 (talk) 21:02, 7 March 2019 (UTC)Reply
Hi Nosebagbear,
  • I agree that it might be good to create a shorter version of the existing script, but I'm concerned that attempting to produce the current script in one or more segments, and creating a shorter version of the script, would make me exceed the budget for the current grant. However, I can propose creating a condensed version for a future grant, especially if feedback from helpers and helpees who watch the finished video(s) is that they would prefer a version that has less information. I would want to be careful when selecting which subjects to cover in a shortened version.
  • I think that your proposed division of subjects makes sense. I'll think more about how to segment the script. If I try one way of segmenting and the feedback that I receive from the people who use the videos is that a different way of segmenting the videos would work better, then I can propose a new arrangement in the future.
  • I agree that putting "Where to get help" content in each segment is probably good.
  • I commented regarding the possibility of using an artificial voice in response to Barkeep49 above.
  • Thanks very much for the feedback. --Pine 00:24, 13 March 2019 (UTC)Reply

Comments copied from Nick Moyes originally at English Wikipedia's Teahouse talk page


@Pine: Thanks for this update. I've skimmed through your script, but only have time to make general observations and constructive criticism here, I'm afraid. It would have been easier if I could have judged your approach against a clear and succinct "Aims and Objective" for the video. I looked for one across the two separate pages you linked to, but was unable to quickly find anything which clearly identified primary purpose of video, its target audience, intended duration, topic coverage etc. So my responses here could well be off-beam a bit:

1) I'm unable to offer detailed feedback on the script at this time, except to comment that it sounded like it was being delivered in a classroom to college students - very formal and impersonal. Maybe that was one of your objectives, but I found very little that said "you" can do this, or here's how "you" can do that. So, for me, I think it could perhaps engage more directly and personably with the viewer. I didn't like 'hearing' the narrator repeat the section titles word for word (it's like speakers who read from a PowerPoint bullet point). Far better to say the same thing in a slightly different way for added interest - two bits at the cherry, if you will.

I didn't particularly like the introductory explanation of references, citations and sources. I thought it might be a bit confusing. It could have explained, first, that you should only add new facts to a Wikipedia page if you can prove it comes from a reliable SOURCE such as a book or newspaper. You add these to the article as REFERENCES (which appear at the bottom of the page), and you link them to the right bit of the article by inserting it as a CITATION immediately the relevant fact. And then perhaps go on to say that on Wikipedia most people use References and Citations to mean the same thing, and that's quite OK.

Automatic: One additional step that I find is essential when automatically adding references in WP:VE is the need to check and add in anything that's missing or garbled. So often the automatic process mixes up or misses off the authors, misses off the page number, date etc. I think that optional check step should be mentioned.

2) My feeling was that there is are many learning elements for one video. If split into two shorter parts, all the learning outcomes could be listed in Part one, but only the basics need be given in that element as to why and how a reference is added. It could say that Part Two will expand on quality, reusing references, getting help, etc.

My one strong dislike was to the example of adding "citation needed" to the statement that "the moon is made of cheese". This is such a bad example, and so patently absurd that any editor should swiftly remove it, without tagging it for someone else to deal with. Why not use a related example such as "Water has been discovered on the moon"? This could be right; but could be wrong - so it seems a perfect demonstration case for [citation needed]}

During your end credits, why not also display links to the Help Desk and Teahouse so they're on screen for longer, plus a link to the online VE instructions, if these can be simply done.

3)Titling. Being English, I normally like to use the word 'References' than 'Citations' BUT on this occasion, I have to say that I feel "Citing sources with VisualEditor" is considerably better than the alternative. It does what it says on the tin.

If I do get time, I'll go through the Google docs and leave further detailed suggestions. Hope this helps a bit, at least. Nick Moyes (talk) 10:43, 7 March 2019 (UTC)Reply

Hi Nick Moyes,
  • Agreed that having the slides be different from the spoken narration might be preferable. I'll give it a try, most likely by shortening the bullet points.
  • I like your explanation of the differences between sources, references, and citations. I'll try to edit that section of the script in a way that doesn't require significant time to rewrite.
  • I agree that checking the automatically generated reference is a good idea. I'll work on adding that to the text of the script.
  • OK, I will change the cheese example.
  • Yes, adding links on a slide is relatively straightforward. However, I wanted to minimize the number of help options that I suggest. I agree that adding a link to the VE help page would be good, so I'll do that.
  • Thanks for the comment regarding the title. I am continuing to think about this. I am likely to make the script be two or more segments.
  • Thanks very much for the detailed feedback. I hope that you will have a chance to review the finished video(s) after publication. Best wishes, --Pine 00:48, 13 March 2019 (UTC)Reply
Glad that was of help. I will definitely check it out once its finished. Sorry I can't give you more time. Nick Moyes (talk) 11:31, 15 March 2019 (UTC)Reply

Request for date extension


Hi I JethroBT (WMF) and WJifar (WMF), I would like to continue working on this project. I request an extension of the finish date to March 31. I hope to finish by the end of next week, but I am proposing March 31 to allow for contingencies. I am not requesting a change to the $2000 ceiling, but I plan to use the $500 contingency that was included in the original budget. The biggest unknown for me is how much time will be required to produce the final scripts into finished video. Fortunately I am not planning to do a lot of animations and effects, which should make the videos be easier to produce than some of the other scripts which focus more on how to accomplish on wiki tasks, so I continue to aim to finish the project within the $2000 limit. If I exceed that by a small amount then I won't request reimbursement for the difference from WMF. Once I start the production process, if I think that there is a significant mismatch between hopes and realities, then I'll consult you regarding how best to adapt to that. Does all of this sound okay? I heard some information that implied to me that you may be unavailable this week, and if that is the case then after March 14 I will wait to do further work on this project until I hear back from you. Thanks, --Pine 03:35, 13 March 2019 (UTC)Reply

Approval of date extension


Hello Pine thank you for requesting for additional time here. I am approving your request for the project to end on March 31st. Your new reporting deadlines will be April 30, 2019. We don't need to do anything with the budget since it's part of the approved amount. Best regards, WJifar (WMF) (talk) 22:12, 13 March 2019 (UTC)Reply

Thank you very much. --Pine 22:17, 13 March 2019 (UTC)Reply

Video tutorial "Referencing with VisualEditor" – newsletter issue 2 short version

 Video tutorial "Referencing with VisualEditor" – newsletter issue 2

Hi! The full version of this newsletter issue has a lot of information. I am sending a short version to talk pages.

The most important information to know is that draft 2 is finished, that the single long script has been divided into many smaller scripts, and that portions of the script have been prioritized for production.

Due to budget constraints, not all scripts can be produced within the scope of the current pilot grant, but the other scripts will remain available for potential future production. (This project feels somewhat like doing a vehicle repair when the mechanic starts to work on the engine, and once the mechanic gets under the engine and starts to work, they discover that accomplishing their objective requires twice as much time as they first had estimated.) However, nothing is lost, so do not fear. Overall, my assessment (me being User:Pine) is that this project is producing a lot of good output and is generally a valuable pilot project.

For more information, including my requests for your feedback, please see the full version of the newsletter.

Thanks very much. --Pine(✉) 22:51, 22 March 2019 (UTC)Reply

Comments regarding draft 2 of Scene 3


Here is some feedback on Scene 3, sources. I'm preferring to answer here vice at Google Docs with my other online identity.

Why say "generally" at the first bullet (reliable, verifiable, independent)? The exceptions are so fleeting (e.g. a company naming a new CEO or a BLP referring to subject's preferred gender or religious identification) that I don't think we need to confuse new editors with this. In other words, the 'should' in "sources should..." gives us enough wiggle room.

"Academic textbooks" might be better phrased "Recognized standard textbooks" (following WP:MEDRS) so as not to suggest only academic topics are worthwhile. E.g. a textbook for chefs would be just fine to cite information on kitchen work.

Might want to call out (briefly) especially high requirements for BLPs and MEDRS.

The grouping of poor secondary sources could be better. I'd create one subgroup for all the self-published sources, to include self-published books, social media, business' own websites and press releases, blogs, and blog-like online media ( for example), and unreferreed/unreviewed research. The common element here is no editorial review by another party. Again we have an exception that probably would just be confusing to mention to beginners: blogs by recognized experts.

You didn't mention that sources need not be online. This is a common misconception and I'd be super happy to have more editors going out to physical books and archives to retrieve stuff that routine Google-fu doesn't find.

Good work so far. This is a tricky subject to cover succinctly because there are so many legalistic exceptions-to-exceptions and so forth. ☆ Bri (talk) 23:20, 22 March 2019 (UTC)

Hi @Bri:
  • I prefer to leave "generally" in.
  • Thanks for the comments about "Recognized standard textbooks". I'll change that.
  • I am trying to avoid overwhelming newbies with information or intimidating them, which is why I did not mention MEDRS or BLPs. In my original big picture plan for LearnWiki I was planning a module that focused on medical and psychology topics in Wikimedia, including MEDRS. I was planning to mention BLP policy under the module "Wikipedia policies for contributors". I remain hesistant to add info about BLP and MEDRS into Scene 3 because of its introductory nature. What I could do is break up the medicine and psychology module into a scene regarding sourcing and a separate scene regarding everything else that I had planned in that module. Also, I could create a scene for BLP policy. Maybe what I'll do is include these in my list of potential future scenes.
  • Regarding grouping the poor sources, I like the grouping that you suggested. I'll consider that further.
  • I used examples of offline sources in scene 6A, but I can add statements from the narrator that makes this point clearer in both 3 and 6A. I agree that this would be preferable.
Thanks for the very helpful comments. --Pine(✉) 06:01, 27 March 2019 (UTC)Reply

Plans for the next few months


Hi WJifar (WMF) and I JethroBT (WMF),

I'd like to provide an update regarding plans for the next few months.

The funds from this grant are nearly exhausted, and I am using more time on this project than I expected, but generally I am happy with how this pilot project is going. I intend to complete the two selected pilot scenes (Scenes 3 and 6A) without requesting additional funding. I will be tracking these hours and I intend to include this information either in my final report or in an amendment to that report. Because this project has taken more time than I anticipated, and because I have important non-Wikimedia tasks that are scheduled for April, I might take a few weeks to finish production. I plan not to use WMF funds beyond March 31 from this pilot grant.

I think that it will be good to observe how the community responds to and uses the finished videos. I plan to do some light promotion of the videos to encourage the community to use them. I will want to gather information regarding the community's use and responses to the videos for several weeks before making a decision about whether to request funding for production of additional videos, possibly including adaptations of videos for additional languages. If I request funding to produce additional videos then I would probably make that request for June or July.

For the the next several months, if I request additional funding, I think that continuing to request funding from Rapid Grants would be preferable to requesting funding from Project Grants. My understanding of how to manage scope for this type of project continues to improve, and I believe that I can continue to divide the larger project into pieces that are small enough for funding through Rapid Grants. However, a concern that I have regarding continuing to use Rapid Grants is that I need for the turnaround time for WMF's processing of Rapid Grant requests to be somewhat short and predictable. If WMF can process Rapid Grant requests within approximately three weeks, and if I can request more than one Rapid Grant in parallel, then I think that I can probably continue to work successfully with Rapid Grants. I could potentially have more than one Rapid Grant in parallel and I can stagger them in a way that allows me to have continuous funding.

Thanks for your interest and support of this pilot project. Overall I am happy with the pilot, and I am hopeful that the community will make good use of the videos after they are published. Please let me know if you have questions or comments.

--Pine(✉) 21:49, 27 March 2019 (UTC)Reply

Date for final report


Hi WJifar (WMF) and I JethroBT (WMF),

My non-Wikimedia activities are keeping me busy (I need to pay my bills with or without Wikimedia income), but I am slowly continuing to work on this project on unpaid time. This project is taking more time than I expected, and the budget has been exhausted, but I intend to complete my two selected scenes and publish them without requesting further funding from WMF. I am near enough to the finish line for this pilot project that I am not discouraged.

I have started to draft the final report for this pilot project. I think that it would be best to wait to complete that report until I have published the videos and I have had the opportunity to gather feedback from the community, so I request an extension of the date for the report to June 30.

I am treating this project as a blocker in the sense that I won't request further funding from WMF for this or any other project until the videos from these two scenes are complete and published to Commons. I apologize for the delay. Overall, although I underestimated the time and budget requirements, I think that the amount of time and money are small enough in absolute terms that this underestimation is a relatively minor problem from the perspective of the big picture. If WMF decides that these types of projects are too risky or that it does not want to fund me for further work, I can accept simply completing this pilot project, especially if the community is happy with the outputs.

Thank you, --Pine (✉) 21:36, 30 April 2019 (UTC)Reply

Hi Pine, and thanks for the update on your progress so far, and for the link to your final report so far. I'm sorry to hear the project took more time than you expected. Sometimes delays do happen in the course of funded work, and this is perfectly acceptable. If there are circumstances or reasons why the work took longer than expected, please let us know as you write the final report so we understand what happened. Your requested extension to June 30th is approved. Thanks, I JethroBT (WMF) (talk) 02:56, 1 May 2019 (UTC)Reply
Hi I JethroBT (WMF), thanks for the approval. No apologies are needed from you or anyone else at WMF. While I'm writing, I'll comment to Marti here that I think that using a rapid grant for a pilot project was a good move, and that the scale of my underestimation here was much more palatable than my underestimation with the original LearnWiki project. Overall I'm happy with this pilot, and even if no further work gets funded, I think that this is a very worthwhile experiment. I appreciate WMF's willingness to collaborate here. --Pine (✉) 00:58, 2 May 2019 (UTC)Reply
Pine (✉), thanks for pinging me about this. I'm really happy to hear that this was a positive experience, and that the pilot went well! --Marti (WMF) (talk) 01:34, 2 May 2019 (UTC)Reply
Hi Marti, let me emphasize that the pilot is not finished yet. I have several tasks that need to be completed on this project. I exhausted the budget of $2,000 so I am now working on unpaid time. However, the relatively small scale of the pilot was good and I think that overall the pilot is accomplishing more or less what WMF, the community, and I all want it to do. This is a much less painful experience than the original LearnWiki, and I think that this pilot is demonstrating that a different approach to project management was the correct choice. I will include more specific information in the final report. This project is far from perfect but overall I'm happy with the pilot, and I'm hoping that WMF and the community will also be happy with it. Regards, --Pine (✉) 04:06, 8 May 2019 (UTC)Reply

@I JethroBT (WMF) and WJifar (WMF): I thought I should update you regarding my status. I had many hours in the past couple of weeks that I had planned to spend on this project, and although I did spend some time on this project, much more of my time was spent in and around the constitutional crisis on English Wikipedia which I think is a more immediate problem. For this project I have new material to share including what I think are final drafts of scripts plus some communication updates. I will continue to keep you updated on my progress. I think that I'm near to the finish line for this project. Thank you for your patience. --Pine (✉) 16:23, 1 July 2019 (UTC)Reply

Likely no future funding Discussion about future funding


Hi @I JethroBT (WMF) and WJifar (WMF): I received the update today regarding Rapid Grants critera being updated. Based on that announcement, my impression is that there will be no further funding for this type of project from Rapid Grants. If that is true, then I will wrap up the current pilot project and after that there probably will be no more work from me on this type of project.

This project has not proven successful in a way that would make me feel comfortable with trying to scale it up into a Project Grant, I have a history of underestimating the amount of hours that are required for these types of projects, and doing this type of work on a part time basis has proven to be challenging for me. My thinking is that if WMF is interested in having this type of work continue then instead of funding it through grants, WMF might consider funding a contractor such as Victor. A downside of this is that, partially based on my impression of recent events, WMF's understanding of how English Wikipedia works seems to be limited, and another downside is that I do not know that the community would accept this type of resource if it comes from WMF. On my end, I regret my consistent underestimation of the number of hours required to complete this type of project and that I am often stretched between multiple activities.

I believe in the value of the project but between my own limitations and WMF's recent announcement about changes to funding criteria, I think that this type of project is unlikely to continue. I would appreciate confirmation that my understanding is correct regarding the change of funding criteria, so that I can include that information when I send my next update to subscribers to the project newsletter. I would also like to advise Marti.

Thank you, --Pine (✉) 00:59, 2 July 2019 (UTC)Reply

I have further comments.

Although I am pained to say this, I think that stopping paid work on this project is a reasonable decision even if WMF was willing to fund future rapid grants for it. There are a few reasons:

  • A problem has been that I am not willing to put my life and career on hold for $2000 increments of money. The amount of money is too small and the long term funding is very uncertain. The periodic changes of the rules for grants are a significant cause for concern. I would be more willing to rely on $2000 increments if the grants program was more stable.
  • Working on this project part time has been less effective and reliable than I wanted.
  • I have concerns about accepting funding from WMF because of the potential for conflict of loyalties between WMF and the community, particularly the English Wikipedia community.
  • If I could afford to work regularly on this project without being paid I would do that, but the time requirements for effective planning, communication, and execution for this type of project have routinely been higher than I estimated, and I cannot afford to provide countless hours of work in a reliable way without correspondingly reliable funding.

I think that the vision for this project remains good. The community has expressed support for the project.

The points that I mentioned above lead me to conclude, with sadness, that the project is unlikely to continue beyond the pilot.

Unless you have any questions for me, or can think of how further iterations of this project could be viable, I will write a final report that reflects that I am not requesting further funding and I would probably advise against most people attempting a similar project within the Rapid Grants program. I think that chapters which can provide larger increments of funding for staff or contractors, as well as WMF contractors to which WMF is willing to award larger increments of money, would be better suppliers of work for this type of project if the community will accept them.

Regretfully, I think that this pilot has been a successful learning experience, but in a sad way.

--Pine (✉) 06:38, 2 July 2019 (UTC)Reply

Hi @I JethroBT (WMF) and WJifar (WMF): I have been thinking about this more. After a very stressful few days (Monday was an especially bad day), I am feeling somewhat better. I have been asking myself "How could this project be made to succeed?".

If I had finished the project within the number of hours that I originally estimated then the project would have been completed in a fairly timely way. The overrun on hours is what has correlated with the long series of schedule conflicts.

The overrun of hours for the pilot project is bad, but for a relatively small pilot project with a correspondingly small budget of $2000, perhaps I should take a more positive view. One of the reasons to do pilot projects is to test workflows on a small scale. Surprises are somewhat expected in pilot projects.

Could I squeeze future iterations of this project into $2000 increments after the pilot? If I lower my expectations for the increments, I think that the answer is yes. However, the funding needs to be reliable, and I am concerned about WMF's periodic changes to the terms for the Rapid Grants program, including blocking out entire months to devote the grants program to focusing on events.

I personally want this project to be successful, and I think that the community will benefit from this project. However, I cannot afford endless unpaid hours for this project, so I need to do a better job of scaling down expectations for what can be achieved with $2000 increments.

Where do we go from here? I'm not sure. I would like to hear any suggestions or ideas that you have. I want this project to succeed.

--Pine (✉) 21:16, 3 July 2019 (UTC)Reply

@Pine: Hi Pine, I just wanted to let you know that we've read over your comments and will have a response to you by either tomorrow or Wednesday this week. Thanks, I JethroBT (WMF) (talk) 14:36, 8 July 2019 (UTC)Reply
@Pine: Hello again Pine, I've had a chance to review your reflections and considerations around how to proceed. Unfortunately, but this project can no longer be supported through Rapid Grants. I understand this is disappointing to hear, and I'd like to explain why we came to this decision. First and foremost, Rapid Grants will no longer be funding compensation for people's time, and will be limited to direct expenses. Secondly, Rapid Grants is not designed to support projects that require multiple grants to complete it or sustain it (whether that is due to compensation or otherwise). Finally, while this grant has resulted in substantive scripts with revisions supported by good community engagement and feedback, this current project was not completed in the sense that no videos were produced, so it is not possible to measure the impact of this project in relation to the project goals. I agree with your earlier comments that while vision of this project was good, and worthwhile to fund a pilot, I would also not recommend similar projects in this grant program. I JethroBT (WMF) (talk) 18:44, 9 July 2019 (UTC)Reply
Hi @I JethroBT (WMF):, thanks for the update. I think I would like to share a few further thoughts. This does not change the conclusion that neither of us would recommend trying this type of project again with Rapid Grants, but I think that these points are worth considering.
  • I am not giving up on the pilot, so I think that it is too early to say that no videos were produced. The project is not dead and I think that I can complete the video modules with unpaid time, although this was not my goal and the overrun on hours is a significant problem. I would not say that this project is a failure. I think that one of the important points of a pilot is to test how things work, and if there are problems then at least those problems happened in a pilot and not in a larger scale project.
  • I believe that I had previous discussions with Woubzena regarding producing discrete video segments with the $2000 increment. While the pilot had an overrun on hours for the $2000 budget, I would not necessarily discourage someone from trying a pilot project with a $2000 Rapid Grant in the future.
  • Looping back to some of my earlier comments, in hindsight I think that there was a mismatch between the vision that I had for this pilot and the funding limit for it, but while this experience is painful for me, and I would not want someone else to go through the same experience, that does not mean that attempting a pilot was a bad decision. I think that given the information that I had at the time, this project was not unreasonable to attempt.
  • It is unlikely that I will request a WMF Project Grant in the foreseeable future. This point is probably most relevant to Mjohnson (WMF).
  • I think that the other funding mechanisms that I mentioned would be better ways to fund this type of project. I believe that WMDE is already doing this.
  • While this pilot has been problematic, I hope that this does not discourage WMF from funding pilots for other projects. Back in the days of Individual Engagement Grants, one of the points of those types of grants was to fund projects that were somewhat risky but could also have high payoff. I would like to see WMF maintain some willingness to fund pilots and experiments that are somewhat risky but also could be highly beneficial.
Thanks, --Pine (✉) 07:29, 15 July 2019 (UTC)Reply

Brief status update


While I do not plan to request further funding from Rapid Grants or any other WMF grants source in the near future, now that I am spending less time dealing with WMF-communtiy conflict on ENWP and that my off-wiki obligations are in better condition than they were when I started this thread, I feel more optimistic about finishing this pilot project on unpaid time. After that I will want to see how the community responds and think about how much volunteer time I can spend on future development. I don't want to request further funding until my off-wiki obligations are relatively predictable and until a reliable source of funding is available for this project. Regardless of future funding, I spent a lot of effort to get the project to this point, and I want to get at least the pilot videos finished for the community. --Pine (✉) 18:50, 16 July 2019 (UTC)Reply

@I JethroBT (WMF), WJifar (WMF), and Mjohnson (WMF): I am pinging you in case you did not see the comment above. I apologize if this is not a communication that is useful to you. I hope that your week is starting well. --Pine (✉) 22:02, 22 July 2019 (UTC)Reply
@Pine: Thanks for this update, Pine, and it was helpful to hear this from you. I know you have been working on your report already, and I'm glad you think you can complete the project. Please let us know when the report has been completed or if these circumstances change. Thanks, I JethroBT (WMF) (talk) 20:38, 24 July 2019 (UTC)Reply
Hi I JethroBT (WMF), a brief status update to say that my current estimate is that I will have some time in the next couple of months when my real-world obligations are at a low enough level that I should be able to finish the two pilot videos. I make no guarantees that anything will happen after the two pilot videos are finished and I'm finished with the report, but I'm hoping that the community response will be positive. Beyond the first two videos, my willingness to continue this project at a larger scale would probably be contingent on having funding to work on this project full time instead of trying to do it as a part time project, because trying to do this on a part time basis has not been effective. I don't know whether that type of funding will ever be available, but regardless, I want the community to at least have the first two pilot videos, and then we'll see what happens after that. --Pine (✉) 23:18, 2 August 2019 (UTC)Reply
I'll add, I'm somewhat pessimistic at this point that this project will have a future after the first two videos. I don't think that WMF would be willing to pay me full time, and even if was willing to that, I would want to be very careful about limiting potential conflicts of interest between the community and WMF. I don't know how I could ever be confident that WMF won't (yet again) simply use its legal ownership of technical infrastructure or other tools of influence or brute force to do it wants regardless of community consensus, and I'm wary of becoming financially dependent on WMF in a way that makes me reluctant to do what I think is in the community's interest. There might be a way to thread this needle, but I'm very cautious and not optimistic at this point. --Pine (✉) 23:52, 2 August 2019 (UTC)Reply

Minor update


Hi @I JethroBT (WMF) and WJifar (WMF): this is a minor update but I'm happy with how it turned out. My current intention is for the most public facing elements of this project to live on the Outreach wiki at Today I created a navbar there and I think that it looks good. There's a lot more work to do before I'm ready to start having dozens or hundreds of visitors on that page, and keep in mind that this project may only produce a small number of videos unless there's a way to address the needs for time and funding that this project would require to scale up (and at the moment I am not counting on that), but I'm happy with this small step. If you're interested in user experience design or are simply curious then you can look at this when you have time. Thanks, ↠Pine () 04:13, 28 October 2019 (UTC)Reply

Now that I think about it, @Mjohnson (WMF): might be interested too. :) ↠Pine () 04:20, 28 October 2019 (UTC)Reply
Thank you Pine for the update. Best regards, WJifar (WMF) (talk) 18:43, 29 October 2019 (UTC)Reply
@I JethroBT (WMF) and WJifar (WMF): Here is an update for this week. Please feel free to postpone reading this if you have urgent tasks that you need to get done.
I have started to reduce the amount of time that I spend on WMYHTW for Wikimedia-l and the Signpost so that I can spend more time on NavWiki. The community seems to like WMYHTW, and I think that it's good for the public health of the community, but I have more tasks that need my time than I can adequately address. I think that by the end of this weekend I'll finish dealing with my backlog of important Wikimedia emails, and I'm trying to create a much scaled-down version of WMYHTW that the community will like but is less of a drain on my time. I've made more updates to the the pages on, especially the navbar. I want to do more work on those pages to make them be more informative for readers, and following that I'll start to write the next issue of the project newsletter to provide an update to people who expressed interest in the project. I continue to want the first two videos produced in a way that satisfies the community and I hope will be beneficial for newcomers. After the videos are published and I have received feedback then I'll decide on next steps. I'm not planning to request additional funding from WMF anytime soon, but I want the project to continue and I am thinking about how to succeed at that without WMF funding. Happy November, ↠Pine () 23:00, 5 November 2019 (UTC)Reply

Meeting invitation for January 2020


Happy new year, MMiller (WMF), WJifar (WMF), I JethroBT (WMF), and Mjohnson (WMF). I invite you to the Wikimedia Café meetup for January 2020, where NavWiki is on the agenda. I will understand if you are too busy with other issues to attend, but your participation would be welcome. Regards, ↠Pine () 04:07, 5 January 2020 (UTC)Reply

Hi Pine -- thank you for letting me know. I won't be able to join at that time, but I'll look forward to seeing the notes! Making videos is definitely a challenge, and it will be interesting to see how you approach it. -- MMiller (WMF) (talk) 02:00, 15 January 2020 (UTC)Reply
Hi MMiller (WMF), thank you for the information. I am currently happy with these pages on Outreach and with the status of the scripts that I have in mind for the first round of production. The bottlenecks for me are time and money. I can't afford, on unpaid time, to do everything that I want to do and I think that the community wants to have done. I am also reluctant to request any further WMF grant funding, for a variety of reasons. I don't know how much of a future this project has, but I want to at least get some initial videos published for the community to use. I make no promises for NavWiki about anything beyond that, although I would like to continue to work on it with volunteer time and/or paid time. Ideally, there would be a non-WMF funding source for this type of work. Anyway, I hope that your new year is going well, and I look forward to further updates from the Growth Team. ↠Pine () 05:46, 15 January 2020 (UTC)Reply

Minor project update


Hello @Mjohnson (WMF), I JethroBT (WMF), and WJifar (WMF): I have decided that I am taking a temporary break from The Signpost and "What's making you happy this week?". As much as I think that the community benefits from those publications, the smallest amount of time that I managed to spend on them each week in the recent past was about two hours, and I spent a lot of time training Clovermoss. Very thankfully, Clovermoss has volunteered to take over for me in The Signpost and WMYHTW for at least the next few weeks.

I plan to take a wikibreak for a few weeks while Clovermoss takes my place, and then return to being active for a few hours each week. I'm not sure that I'll return to The Signpost and WMYHTW, at least not as the lead writer, because those publications are so time consuming to write. NavWiki shouldn't wait forever, and I need to do something about being overstretched.

I wish that I could afford to do everything that I think should be done for free, but unfortunately I can't afford to do that.

I do not foresee myself requesting any further grants from WMF in the near future. If I do request a grant in the future, it is likely to be for an amount of money that is larger than previous grants, in proportion to the needs for time to be successful on this project. I now understand why projects such as NavWiki usually involve larger amounts of time and money than I previously requested or have wanted to request. However, complication about requesting further funding is that having my project depend on WMF for funding for a community project creates a concern about conflict of interest, and I have not figured out a way to resolve that issue. Also, this project is turning out to involve significant levels of unpaid time and personal cost, and I am not sure that I should continue to do this type of project as a grantee due to the personal risks that are involved. I think that if I do this type of work as paid work again, I would want to be the employee of a professional organization so that I can rely on a regular paycheck and hopefully have a more reliable schedule.

I hope that this update is useful for you. Thanks again to Clovermoss for her help.

↠Pine () 06:48, 26 January 2020 (UTC)Reply

Interest income and a question about reporting


@I JethroBT (WMF): there was a small amount of interest income from the rapid grant funds that were deposited from the initial $2000 before the money was fully spent on my time. The amount is less than $1. Would you like me to return the money to WMF? I think that WMF staff time for handling the return of the funds would exceed the value of the interest, but I'm happy to arrange for the interest to return to WMF so that there are no financial issues that are carried forward. Also, if you want, I can complete a "final" report for the project based on where it is now, and then later I can supplement that with my own non-WMF reports regarding further actions. The report that I would complete prior to the completion of the first two videos won't capture everything that I'm hoping to do with this phase of the grant, but the funding has long been exhausted and WMF might appreciate having a finished report so that it doesn't need to carry over any accounting for the rapid grant from one quarter to the next. ↠Pine () 00:54, 24 February 2020 (UTC)Reply

@Pine: As you've suggested, these remaining funds can be kept without any financial issues. And yes, a final report should be completed for the project based on where it is now. Do you have an estimate of date for when this final report can be completed? I JethroBT (WMF) (talk) 06:28, 24 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
Hi @I JethroBT (WMF): I'll put "complete a report" on my list of things to do for this month. I'm planning to continue the project on volunteer time, even after the report is complete. As odd as this may sound, I'm very happy with the content of the project. There are other issues such as funding that I don't know how to fix. Hopefully my report will communicate both what is going well and what is not going well. ↠Pine () 21:31, 10 March 2020 (UTC)Reply
@Pine: Thanks, Pine. I'll adjust your final report due date for March 31st. I'm glad to hear you are happy with progress on the project, and I look forward to reviewing it as well as what has and hasn't gone well in your final report. I JethroBT (WMF) (talk) 03:12, 11 March 2020 (UTC)Reply
@I JethroBT (WMF): OK. Feel free to ping me if you don't see a report from me by April 1. The biggest pain is accounting for all of the hours on the project. I have been tracking them, and while the accounting won't be perfect, I think that it will be accurate enough to give me a rough idea of what to estimate for future work. I have an increasingly good understanding about why projects like this have big budgets for good quality work, including a lot of time spent on communications. By the way, I think that in order to fix a ping as you did here, the sender of the ping needs to re-sign their post. I'm not sure if that's a problem with Echo itself or with the replyto template. HTH, ↠Pine () 21:30, 11 March 2020 (UTC)Reply
@I JethroBT (WMF): I'm working on this. If it's not finished by the time that I log off tonight then I should be able to finish it sometime tomorrow. ↠Pine () 23:04, 31 March 2020 (UTC)Reply
Hi @I JethroBT (WMF): the report is almost complete. There are a few blocks of time from early in the project that I should have described better in my records, and soon I'll finish accounting for what I did during those blocks of time. After I do that, I will look at the numbers again with fresh eyes and then post the numbers to the report. As mentioned, I'm continuing the project after the completion of the report. Apologies for the delay in the report. The report should be finished within 24 hours. ↠Pine () 07:37, 1 April 2020 (UTC)Reply

Grant report completed; project continuing


Hello, anyone who is interested may view the grant report at Grants:Project/Rapid/Pine/Continuation of educational video and website series/Report. Although the grant funds are exhausted and the project is over budget, I will continue to work on this project. I am not requesting additional funding from WMF at this time. This report is primarily intended for WMF staff, especially Mjohnson (WMF) and I JethroBT (WMF), but anyone is welcome to read the report. In the future, I intend to publish a new issue of the project newsletter that is shorter than the report and is designed to inform community members regarding the progress of the project. Please ping me with any questions or comments regarding the report. ↠Pine () 23:25, 1 April 2020 (UTC)Reply

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