Roundtables is an experimental program that aims to support the development of new features for Wikipedia through focused, small group discussions between the Wikipedia community and the Wikimedia Foundation.
This page provides a quick overview of this program, as outlined below. Be sure to read the reports on the first roundtables below for more details.
The goal of this experimental program is to create better user experiences through effective collaborations between Wikimedia product teams and members of the Wikipedia and MediaWiki communities. We aim to discuss challenges and opportunities, review our work in progress — and gain new insights from these conversations.
This roundtable proposal is based on the premise that face-to-face meetings and webcasts or video conferences can augment text-only communication channels to solve complex issues through real-time, high-bandwidth conversations from diverse perspectives.
We expect to combine these roundtables with existing text-based communication channels such as talk pages and IRC chats to discuss product goals and issues with community members through a range of interaction modes. In the process, we hope that this will give a variety of options for Wikipedians to participate in our product development work.
Here are the reports on our first roundtable discussions and meetups in 2013 and 2014:
- 2013-06-22: Roundtable 1 on Editor Engagement – Wikimedia Foundation Office, San Francisco.
- 2013-07-10: Roundtable 2 on Multimedia – Google Hangouts, online.
- 2013-08-08: Roundtable 3 on Multimedia – Wikimania 2013, Hong Kong.
- 2013-11-27: Roundtable 4 on Multimedia – Google Hangouts, online.
- 2013-12-04: Roundtable 5 on Multimedia – Google Hangouts, online.
- 2013-12-09: Technical meetup on Multimedia – Wikimedia Foundation Office, San Francisco.
- 2014-08-06: Roundtable 6 on Upload Wizard – Wikimania 2014, London. (Slides | Notepad)
- 2014-08-07: Roundtable 7 on Structured Data – Wikimania 2014, London. (Slides | Notepad | Photos)
- 2014-08-07: Roundtable 8 on Media Viewer – Wikimania 2014, London. (Slides | Notepad)
- 2014-08-08: Roundtable 9 on Multimedia – Wikimania 2014, London. (Photos)
- 2014-08-08: Submission: Multimedia Overview – Wikimania 2014, London. (Slides | Notepad | Photos)
- 2014-08-10: Roundtable 10 on Multimedia – Wikimania 2014, London. (Slides | Notepad | Photos)
- 2014-08-10: Submission: A Culture of Kindness – Wikimania 2014, London. (Slides | Notepad | Photos)
The first roundtable on engagement was a daylong face-to-face discussion in San Francisco, the second roundtable on multimedia was hosted virtually, over Google Hangouts, while the third roundtable was a two-hour face-to-face conversation at Wikimania in Hong Kong. All three approaches seemed effective in their own ways, and we are now evaluating the pros and cons of each collaboration method.
We also plan to host some IRC chats and will announce them through our editor engagement and multimedia mailing lists, as well as through posts on online community channels.