Staff characteristics

Noto Emoji Pie 1f4c4.svg (English) This is an essay. It expresses the opinions and ideas of some Wikimedians but may not have wide support. This is not policy on Meta, but it may be a policy or guideline on other Wikimedia projects. Feel free to update this page as needed, or use the discussion page to propose major changes.

Wikimedia Foundation staff and contractors are increasingly displaying a number of problematic characteristics, particularly staffers hired from outside the Wikimedia community. This page attempts to identify these problematic characteristics and discuss ways to address them.

Proposed problemsEdit

  1. Cult-member tendencies — a worrying increase in phrases like "serving the Mission", "serving the Foundation", etc.; these phrases are marks of a cult
  2. Desire for an increase in bureaucracy — an inexplicable growth in bureaucracy, particularly focused around account creation
  3. Lack of a sense of humor — self-explanatory, I imagine
  4. Aversion to transparency — increased use of private or semi-private technologies like Etherpad, Skype, WebEx, RT, etc.; increased use of private mailing lists, internal wikis, etc.; decreased use of public wikis, IRC, public mailing lists, or other established, transparent venues

Proposed solutionsEdit

The proposed problems are debatable. Members of the Wikimedia community feel so, but naturally many members of the Wikimedia Foundation feel otherwise.

Many of the problems have readily available solutions. The larger issue seems to be a lack of top-down push to see the greater principles at stake defended. For example, a lack of transparency can be addressed by requiring the default operating procedure to be in a public venue. This is not currently the case.

The increase in bureaucracy may be a natural part of a growing organization, but it has already become problematic according to a number of people inside and outside of Wikimedia.

Past discussionsEdit