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Talk:Open letter on Community Health

I'm looking to support this effort toward a healthy welcoming community. The Admin training idea has a lot of support from people I've talked to at the 2018 North American WikiConference. It could be in the form of an in-person admin boot camp analogous to the GLAM Boot Camp It only obliquely addresses community health, but it seems like a great and practical idea so it's something. Let's gather ideas on what it would contain and who would lead the workshop(s), and figure out where funding for travel would come from.

Attendees could include present-day admins, presumably mainly from en.wp, and people who are considering becoming admins. Topics could include:

  • the software tools admins have and how to use them
  • stories from the field
  • guidance from admins
  • selection of tasks and how to respond to conflicts

-- econterms (talk) 21:04, 28 October 2018 (UTC)

Is "community health" in this essay used as synonym of systemic bias? --Nemo 14:35, 8 November 2018 (UTC)
Yeah, I got the same impression. Admin bootcamp and training in non-violent communication don't really have anything to do with whether we had articles on Strickland or Ocasio-Cortez. Besides that, the comparison betwen Ocasio-Cortez and Brat seems silly. The only difference I see is that one had an article the day of the election and the other had an article the day after. That's not really an indication of a systemic problem that needs to be addressed.
Other than that, these bursts of media coverage come (as I indicated in my article on the issue), with a good lot of misunderstandings of how Wikipedia actually works, and nothing we can do is going to change the fact that we are a trailing indicator of notability, and not a leading one. We will continue to have bursts of coverage of "LOLMYGOD they didn't have an article", but I suspect this only makes the news cycle when it neatly fits some narrative, and not while loads of volunteers are writing loads of articles every day on people who didn't have one the day prior.
I'm also not sure how much credence I give overall to the impending doom of Wikipedia, especially in a talk from 2009, where here we seem to be a decade later chugging along fairly well. At lot of this begs the question, and simply assumes that we have a critical community problem that desperately needs fixed, while offering little more than anecdotes and ignoring all the work that quietly gets done every second of every day.
So it's not clear that this essay establishes that there actually is a problem, how that problem should particularly be framed, or how any of the proposed solutions are supposed to fix it. GMGtalk 15:42, 9 November 2018 (UTC)
I agree that some of the stated symptoms of problems are not actually community health problems. There are problems and I support an investment in encouraging diverse community participation in seeking solutions. The WMF alone cannot resolve these issues with their money and no community, and the community cannot give more time and labor to every administrative issue without more funding support. Blue Rasberry (talk) 13:41, 10 November 2018 (UTC)
gender bias, and admin adversive behavior are both symptoms of unhealthy community. yes, the essay assumes you agree there is a problem (i have yet to meet the fire-eater who argues there is no problem, but "chugging along fairly well" = really?) , and the framing is community health. and the impetus must be with the foundation, since it is their brand reputation at risk. Slowking4 (talk) 14:30, 10 November 2018 (UTC)
Well we're still pushing scores of projects with >1,000 active contributors. So it wouldn't seem that we're exactly on the verge of collapse. But the plural of anecdote is not evidence.
Overall, the suggestions are vague to the point of being mostly meaningless. What is non-violent communication training? What particular model are we proposing we follow? Has this model been shown to be effective in the literature? Has this effectiveness been studied with regard to volunteer online communities? How is new editor training supposed to substantially differ from our existing indoctrination regimes, like the Teahouse, various Help Desks, and all manner of tutorials? What is "Admin-camp"? How is this to be organized? By whom? How does this purport to address the supposed problem of toxic administration when presumably toxic administrators are going to be the very ones that will not elect to attend? How is "process design training" anything more substantial than a collection of nebulously positive sounding words? How are we to be accountable for any of this? How are we to know when these goals have been accomplished? How are we to evaluate whether any of it has been effective and should be continued or discontinued?
You're not under any obligations to answer those questions in detail, but if you don't, then what you've got is more of a suggestion and not really a proposal with anything concrete and actionable (read: fund-able). GMGtalk 15:52, 13 November 2018 (UTC)
there is a well developed literature and curriculum for non-profit human resource management. number of contributors is not a relevant metric for community health. you can minimize it if you will, but the lack of community health is widely accepted as a critical problem. it is continually reported in the press. the WMF must organize this work, it is beyond the scope or capability of any one chapter or individual editor. we can measure community health. i am not interest in a grant, rather i expect that the WMF will do it's duty. the WMF knows what it needs to do, it is actionable. if it fails to address the problem, we will continue to suffer from the toxic communities. Slowking4 (talk) 03:14, 18 November 2018 (UTC)
My view: "Community health" here addresses nastiness online, not systemic bias in content. Some good editors are driven disproportionately away, e.g. women, and new editors sometimes feel beaten up when they are only trying to figure it out. Admin training could focus on those topics, and on managing conflicts. In-person training seems important for this, apart from the many online tools and pages. -- econterms (talk) 18:24, 17 December 2018 (UTC)
nastiness and bias are both symptoms of people problems, they are foreseeable, and can and should be managed. thus far, there has been a reliance on technical solutions only, rather than building knowledge, skills, and abilities of the human capital workforce. and there is an opportunity cost for every year that the WMF fails to invest resources, that cannot be regained in future years. Slowking4 (talk) 00:08, 31 December 2018 (UTC)
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