Talk:Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20/Recommendations

Active discussions
This page contains changes which are not marked for translation.

Structure issueEdit

Since all recommendations' talk pages are forwarded to this central one, how can we help readers to understand what recommendation people are talking about? Alice Wiegand (talk) 20:56, 20 January 2020 (UTC)

Good point. I've been trying to link to the recommendation being discussed in my response to help provide context to others. Perhaps we could ask the same of folks starting new sections? CKoerner (WMF) (talk) 21:09, 20 January 2020 (UTC)
We've now created talk pages for each recommendation, and encourage discussion on those individual pages. --KStineRowe (WMF) (talk) 21:19, 20 January 2020 (UTC)
Yep, I was a little confused. I've moved some early conversations here to the related recommendations to help with context and discussion (as folks won't see them here going forward!) CKoerner (WMF) (talk) 21:34, 20 January 2020 (UTC)
I usually forward all talk pages of translated pages to a central one, as there should be only one talk page per topic, regardless of language. Und natürlich darf dann Englisch nicht die Pflichtsprache sein, das ist hier sowieso viel zu anglozentristisch. Bei diesem Riesenberg an Unterseiten überlasse ich das lieber dem von uns, den Communities, bezahlten Servicepersonal, Geld hat die Stiftung ja mehr als genug, ich wollte es nur hier als Anmerkung anbringen. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden)
Ja, zu viel Englisch. Genau. :) (Sorry, my German is not that great. Only two years in college.) The strategy folks at the foundation did take the effort to have each of the recommendations translated. I agree to your point about directing the translations sub pages. That's something I can work on. CKoerner (WMF) (talk) 22:17, 20 January 2020 (UTC)
Not all of them are. I just left a comment at Talk:Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20/Recommendations/Plan Infrastructure Scalability because that was where the "Discussion" tab went when I clicked on "13. Plan Infrastructure Scalability." Should I have left the comment here instead? EllenCT (talk) 04:58, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
User:EllenCT, nope, you have it correct. There was some caching of a redirect that was originally put in place that caused some confusion, but we intended to have conversations about the recommendations on their respective talk pages. CKoerner (WMF) (talk) 16:21, 21 January 2020 (UTC)


For a set of recommendations that includes improvements to user experience, these pages are hard to navigate. For example, if you click through to a "community input" page about a recommendation, there's no link back to the recommendation itself. There are, however, links the next and previous recommendations (not their community input). There's also a link to the parent Community Input page, which has the same label, location, and appearance as the link I clicked to get on the recommendation's community input page in the first place. The talk pages for the Community Input pages also still redirect to this page, instead of a more relevant page. As another editor mentioned on another talk page, the collapsed sections also make it hard to find information. The wide left margin on the recommendation pages looks nice in a landscape window, but opening it in a portrait orientation shoves the text into the corner. --AntiCompositeNumber (talk) 22:41, 20 January 2020 (UTC)

Thanks for the feedback. I'll bring it up to the rest of the team and see if we can't make some improvements. CKoerner (WMF) (talk) 22:47, 20 January 2020 (UTC)
We were so focused on getting the content up and in place, now we can make it more navigable. Super useful feedback AntiCompositeNumber, appreciated. MPourzaki (WMF) (talk) 01:51, 21 January 2020 (UTC)


Will the Community have a chance to vote on this Recommendations? ...Sicherlich Post 00:03, 21 January 2020 (UTC)

Hi Sicherlich. The goal of this discussions is to collect descriptive feedback from different groups (editing ones, non-editing ones, emerging, established, etc.), and to check what should be improved and why or what seems to be the strongest point *overall*. A voting doesn't seem to the best way to achieve that. SGrabarczuk (WMF) (talk) 00:17, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
So no is the answer? Okay good to know. So waste of time anyways ...Sicherlich Post 00:27, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
@SGrabarczuk (WMF): Putting the central point slightly differently: Do the corporate/organization-based/off-wiki elements intend to try to force through certain changes even if those changes are broadly opposed by Wikimedia? There's a lot of speculation that our facilitating/supporting institutions might be intending to go out of their role, and try to act as though they can make decisions for the communities. If that's not the case, and these are actually just recommendations (ie, these texts are suggestions to the community), it would be a good idea to make that clear. Thanks. --Yair rand (talk) 01:27, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
Hey Yair rand, thanks for your input. The writers of these recommendations, comprising individuals from online editing communities and organization-based entities, worked hard to create a strategic document that addresses the needs of the entire movement, on- and off-wiki. A lot of community input has influenced the thinking around these recommendations. No one will be making decisions for others, that's in fact very much the ethos of this document, equity and inclusion. We need to know what the movement thinks, the entire movement, so the recommendations can be finalized and collective implementation conversations can begin, with many individuals sitting at the table. MPourzaki (WMF) (talk) 02:02, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
Sicherlich, what are your thoughts on the current iteration of recommendations? George Ho (talk) 02:29, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
? Nothing to do with my question here?!? Some of my thoughts you find on the specific pages here and on de. ...Sicherlich Post 05:55, 21 January 2020 (UTC) and additional one: To many. 13 goals means focussing on everything; so on nothing. But if one wants to discuss this: open a new section

There's a relevant FAQ entry, How will decisions be made about the implementation of recommendations? --Tgr (talk) 07:21, 21 January 2020 (UTC)

Oh thx. "We are aiming to get a sense" - so yes. The community will not be asked as "we" (whoever this is) will "try to feel it" 😂 ...Sicherlich Post 07:12, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
Which community, though? The community of people who are willing to use Meta? The communities of wiki editors? (How do you weight between decisions by those communities? E.g. how much should the opinion of eswiki matter compared to enwiki, given that there are way more enwiki editors, but eswiki is serving a larger native speaker community?) The affiliates? The readers? To what extent should people who are excluded by the choices of the current community leadership should be given a voice? It's not like we have an established cross-movement decisionmaking process. --Tgr (talk) 07:27, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
The community this recommendation is talking over and over again? Would be reasonable, wouldn't it? - If its unclear who this community is (which shall have this strategy) this might be a major issue of the whole thing, right?
"how much should the opinion of eswiki matter..." - If I get your statement right: lets not ask them at all as we don't know if we can weight the communities opinion? So all the weight is with the WMF and some people who are liked by the people of WMF and have so more influence? Really? We can't have it perfect so lets skip it totally? that one accepts more suggestions by someone you like or who is closer to your own thought shall not be understood as an accusation. Its quite normal.
if en or es have different things they are striving for: maybe this strategy makes no sense for one of them? So maybe the strategy for this global organization is not globaly but simply biased for one group?
"an established cross-movement decisionmaking process" - pretty bad if an organisation thats by its own understanding is a global community does not have it. So its either not a global community so it makes no sens to have a common strategy or its needed. (I believe its not. Its en centered. This is the first time at all all that WMF translated at least the main things into other languages. Something asked for over and over again. For years. And thats just the very basic need to build a common understanding) ...Sicherlich Post 10:31, 21 January 2020 (UTC)

@Sicherlich - WMF's view of this all is long and well known. -- Marcus Cyron (talk) 21:24, 22 January 2020 (UTC)

Community consensusEdit

How is the Wikimedia Foundation going to know that the community of content contributors to Wikimedia projects agrees with the final recommendation (to be clear: I'm not asking about the current status, but about the final result of the strategy process)? --Frank Schulenburg (talk) 01:08, 21 January 2020 (UTC)

Hi Frank Schulenburg, thanks for your question. Your question is answered in the FAQ page, but I'm more than happy to give you a quick summary. The core team will be summarizing the community input collected over the next 5 weeks and presenting it to the WMF Board of Trustees, as well as the movement itself. How the community feels about these recommendations will play a significant role in decisions made around them and in their finalization. Looking forward to your thoughts around how to bring about changes for the betterment of our movement. Happy reading. MPourzaki (WMF) (talk) 02:10, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
Hi Mehrdad, thanks for your quick answer. I understand that the community has input at this point in time and I appreciate it. However, I think it will be crucial to ask the community for its endorsement of the final result. Given that the implementation of the strategy will affect many content contributors' lives over the next couple of years, I'm having a hard time imagining a world where the community did not have a say in whether to adopt this strategy or not. Please consider that people like me have devoted a large part of their free time over the course of many years on getting Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects to where they are today. Not asking for a final approval seems to be against the spirit of this grassroots effort. Also, from the Wikimedia Foundation's perspective and the one of the people who were involved in coming up with the strategy (and who spent many hours on drafting the final result), wouldn't it be much more satisfying for both if they knew that the community agrees with what will guide our path for years to come? The Wikimedia Foundation has nothing to fear – I for my part think there's a lot to like about the direction this is taking. All the best, and thanks for your efforts here. --Frank Schulenburg (talk) 02:45, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
Thanks so much Frank Schulenburg, really grateful for your input and jovial that you see the product moving in the right direction, it's been an amazing journey and it means a lot coming from you. A grand old endorsement was not the plan per se at this point, rather collective sentiments and community impressions around individual recommendations as we move to finalize them. However, your feedback is noted and the future remains dynamic, we are excited for the next 5 weeks and looking forward to what the community has to say. MPourzaki (WMF) (talk) 03:13, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
In other words: Take it or leave it. --MatthiasGutfeldt (talk) 08:41, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
It's also known as telling the most active volunteers to fork off. -- (talk) 10:52, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
Really not sure how you read such things into comments and open discussions, but hey glad to see you're here and interested in strategy. MPourzaki (WMF) (talk) 13:36, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
  • @MPourzaki (WMF): community impressions about individual recommendations - so the WMF is committed to not progressing with any individual recommendation if the Community does not support it? If that is not the case, please provide a clear WMF statement that the Community's objection to any given recommendation(s) will not be taken as sufficient authority to prevent it? Nosebagbear (talk) 12:00, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
Hi Nosebagbear, you know well that there isn't one Community in the movement, but rather many diverse communities. We are committed to collecting input from communities across Wikis and languages around each recommendation to see which ones are majorly supported, which ones need amendments, and which ones seem to be contentious. The Board of Trustees will be monitoring this closely as well. I don't anticipate any recommendation having one unanimous community stance, but we will have to see and come to a decision. If/when there is an official stance, I'll happy share it. For now we are just so happy that the movement strategy recommendations are here and want to know what communities think. What are your thoughts on individual recommendations? MPourzaki (WMF) (talk) 16:26, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
@MPourzaki (WMF): - hi, it's "Community" in the sense of the massed aggregate editing community - it is, of course, made up of all the individual language and project communities, but they all belong to one overall Community. It is that aggregated version that I am talking about - it's also why we have meta, as the cross-Community forum. Obviously if en-wiki or fr-wiki said yes, but a clear majority of all editors said no, then en-wiki's shouldn't be binding (since why not cr-wikis etc) - it's the combined "no" chorus that's important. Nosebagbear (talk) 22:08, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
Thanks Nosebagbear. What the community says around each recommendation will play a significant role in how the recommendations are finalized and progressed; which ones move to implementation and which ones will require amendment or further consideration, if kept at all. This is a dynamic process and we are very much interested to know how the community thinks they'll be affected by each recommendation. MPourzaki (WMF) (talk) 21:10, 22 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Asking the larger aggregation of content creators to approve/disapprove of these lofty proposals is something of a moot issue. Based on my experience over 18 years, those ideas that make sense will be implemented -- & some may have been already. Those that aren't good ideas will only be implemented with a varying degrees of coercion -- which may not succeed or only succeed in the short term, but in either case over the long term coercion will lead to volunteer losses & even reduction in employee headcount at the Foundation. (There is also the possibility that forcing the adoption of bad ideas here may put projects into a downward spiral ending with their death.) In other words, don't force things. -- Llywrch (talk) 21:27, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
sorry, Frank Schulenburg, but I disagree. I feel this is somewhat nebulous. --Sm8900 (talk) 03:41, 22 January 2020 (UTC)
Hey Sm8900, sorry, but I don't understand what you're disagreeing with. But I'm interested in learning more about your thoughts. Would you mind explaining your statement? Best, --Frank Schulenburg (talk) 11:23, 22 January 2020 (UTC)
If the strategy influences self-governing of the (sub-)communities, i would be unhappy with not having a say/vote as one of the stakeholders. --Ghilt (talk) 00:44, 23 January 2020 (UTC)
And specifically a binding one - if a recommendation goes through and is accepted by the board, I absolutely guarantee that if a controversial action based on it occurs in the future, the WMF will state it was "supported", and that there's no reason to be acting against it - regardless of the level of original support. Nosebagbear (talk) 09:36, 23 January 2020 (UTC)

Who is "we"?Edit

The first sentence refers to "we" as the body who set an "ambitious goal". Who are these persons? I for one do not want the wikimedia projects to "become the essential infrastructure of the ecosystem of free knowledge". This implies dominance rather than diversity. Free knowledge should be federated. If this is really to become the goal of the "movement", I'd rather leave than be part of it. ---<(kmk)>- (talk) 03:05, 21 January 2020 (UTC)

They're talking about the strategic direction folks, and yeah, this was shoved through without any real support, and yes, it's pretty much the exact opposite of our ideals. It's a bit of a mess. --Yair rand (talk) 03:16, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
Wrt support, Strategy/Wikimedia_movement/2017/Direction/Endorsement might be a useful read. --Tgr (talk) 07:20, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
@Tgr: I am very familiar with it; a list of organizations and their people (some using their personal accounts), and no real support from the volunteer editorship.
I am amazed that things really went that far. This is Wikimedia. We release all content under a free license, so that power over distributing it isn't tied to one entity. We use a wiki so that writing and curating that content isn't limited to one group. We use free software so that the setup can be used by whoever wants to host a wiki. Building that software is open as well, and we make sure that people can fork the software (and sites). Why? So that anyone can host the system for building the software for running the wiki for building the content for anyone to distribute. Etc, etc, etc. There are more layers around and in between, and we do our best to make it that none of them are tied to a central anything. It boggles the mind that someone could look at this and think "you know what this whole deliberate-absence-of-central/controlling-infrastructure-at-every-level needs? A central infrastructure!". --Yair rand (talk) 18:03, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
Overly ambitious if not the exact opposite. But it's a logical contradiction, because an ecosystem is a community without any sole essence. EllenCT (talk) 05:04, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
Federation still requires infrastructure; actually, much more of it. (I've really been impressed lately by the efforts of the Matrix project to replace to current world of communication silos with a communication network of federated entities talking over an open, community-governed standard; there they give the estimate of requiring six times the time and resources of building a centralized network.) I think with Wikidata we have taken some important steps towards a federated world of knowledge; I hope we will take much more in the future. That is entirely in line with the strategic direction the way I would interpret it. (It's certainly ambitious; I hope it's not overly so.) --Tgr (talk) 07:20, 21 January 2020 (UTC)

Terms of Use for the WMFEdit

One of the most clear bits of feedback from the previous round of the strategy process was Terms of Use for the WMF, a suggestion by an editor on how the board should create '"terms of use" that the foundation has to comply with in their dealings with the communities'. It had a voting phase where 50 users supported it, versus zero that opposed it. Looking through the references on the recommendations page, I don't see that any of the recommendations mentions this clear piece of feedback. Would a member of the WMF or the drafting community to explain how this input was considered as part of the drafting process? Thank you. 08:25, 21 January 2020 (UTC)

These recommendations intend to address the needs of hundreds of thousands of editors, not just 50 with the strongest grievances towards the WMF. Although I do share some of the complaints regarding the WMF's lack of collaboration with the communities, these recommendations and the recent consultations about partial blocks, office actions, talk pages show a positive direction.
The purpose of this consultation is to find solutions to the issues and needs of the wider community. Constructive feedback can positively affect the outcome.
If some editors wish to enact a TOU for the WMF, they should actually write one and bring it to community RfC. Unfortunately, that vote had no such merits. It was misplaced and only created disruption, best to be avoided. I, for one did not vote for this reason. —Aron Man.🍂 edits🌾 19:12, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
They show a positive direction? Where? I still haven't heard any apology by the now head of Trust ans Safety, who once was engaged as one of the main villains in a nuclear war against the communities by the WMF, i.e. SuperProtect. How could someone that disgraced end up in that position? And why do I see a line between that and the next war against the communities by the WMF with Framban? The WMF should finally come to terms that it is not the leader of the Wikiverse, but a servant of the communities. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 19:29, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
The thread called 'Terms of use for the WMF' is an example of the feedback that was solicited in previous rounds of this process. It might be that the 50 editors that chose to weigh in aren't representative, but if that were the case, then it should have been possible to address the comment and show how it's not. Instead, as best as I can tell, this feedback appears to have been ignored by the smaller number of editors that drafted these recommendations, rather than being addressed. TomDotGov (talk) 20:12, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
  • @Aron Manning: - if the participating members aren't suited to consider something because they're a group with a viewpoint and only make up a fraction of the discussion, then surely the recommendations with support should also not have got this far - there weren't any 50-0 support !votes. Nosebagbear (talk) 09:39, 23 January 2020 (UTC)


In general I like the recommendations. I have not, though, found a dedicated recommendation when it comes to partnering. Both partnering in being providers to our projects and also partnering in sharing she same goal as us, but with other then input to our projects.Yger (talk) 09:17, 21 January 2020 (UTC)

Chart of the future Wikipedia MovementEdit

Chart for the proposed new order of the Wikipedia movement. In purple the new elements.

Hello, I tried to create for myself an overview. This is how the movement will look like in future. I based it on the rebranding and strategy process. If I missed something important, or made mistakes, I am happy to receive corrections. Ziko (talk) 09:55, 21 January 2020 (UTC)

Do you think you could add financial flows on this chart? That would be useful.Nattes à chat (talk) 14:59, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
I was just asking about money also! I am really curious about how money passes through this. Also what is the governance body and movement charter? I wish the Wikimedia Movement could encompass something. Blue Rasberry (talk) 15:01, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
I think the chart is missing transversal links between user groups. chapters and communities and projects as well. Nattes à chat (talk) 15:04, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
Hello everyone and Hi Ziko, thanks for the visual. I would like to highlight that the structures suggested by the Movement Strategy Process and discussed in the recommendations are emergent in nature. This means that there isn't a blue print of the structures waiting to be established. Feedback from the community members, suggestions from the affiliates, review and advice from the legal department of WMF and other affiliates are all key towards establishing any new structure. I invite everyone to go through the recommendations in detail and provide the feedback that can shape and influence these emergent structures. THasan (WMF) (talk)

Hello Bluerasberry, I do not know more about the financial flows, but the document says that the GB will allocate the resources. Also, the more I read the document, the more I understand that the GB is supposed to receive a very, very big role in the movement. The document often talks about allocating resouces, about doing research, about holding an entity accountable, and there these lines that say: thse are taks for the GB.

Hello THasan, you use the word "emergent" and that there will be "feedback". But the decision about the "new structures" (the GB and its instruments) will be made by the WMF Board, without a vote of the communities or movement entities. --Ziko (talk) 19:02, 21 January 2020 (UTC)

What makes you think there won't be a vote of communities or movement entities? I would certainly expect structural recommendations that affect movement organisations to end up being endorsed by movement organisations (as well as in a meaningful sense being co-created by them). Whether it's possible or necessary or desirable for online communities to feed into that in addition to the movement organisations I am unsure. Chris Keating (The Land) (talk) 16:30, 22 January 2020 (UTC)
Hello User:The Land, I was referring to Frank's question about community consensus. At that occasion, we were not told about movement entities. Ziko (talk) 17:45, 22 January 2020 (UTC)
I think that was an answer to a different question. "Is there going to be a vote where Wikimedians vote yes or no to the recommendations as a whole?" Probably not, and certainly not at this point. "Is this whole process going to be fully implemented without a single vote on a single subject on a single wiki?" I would imagine that is also a 'no'. "Are Wikimedia affiliates going to be asked to endorse the idea of having a governance body and a movement charter?" Very probably. Chris Keating (The Land) (talk) 18:35, 22 January 2020 (UTC)
Thank you for your educated guess. Yes, it is likely that the "endorsement" procedure will be last time. Maybe there is a reason for not asking the communities? Ziko (talk) 20:07, 22 January 2020 (UTC)
  • If the intention here is that content policies will be dictated to local project in a top-down manner from the Foundation, whether it's a good idea or not, there is no world where that's going to go over. GMGtalk 17:55, 22 January 2020 (UTC)

Distributed Leadership: Centers of ExcellenceEdit

I'd like to point people to the talk page of one of the subsections ("Foster and Develop Distributed Leadership") of this recommendation where I asked for more information about the model of Centers of excellence. To me, the question, whether and to which extend we're going to continue with the current centralized model is among the key aspects of this strategy process. As it seems like most people are discussing things here, I'd be more than happy to move my contribution to this page. I just don't want this to get lost. --Frank Schulenburg (talk) 15:24, 21 January 2020 (UTC)

Hi Frank. The way I read this recommendation is that it talks about decentralisation/distribution as a principle, but not as a framework. During the recommendation synthesis process it became clear there were several different vocabularies being used - "centres of excellence", "regional hubs," "thematic hubs" - as well as plenty of scepticism from the WMF participants about the scope or nature of decentralisation. All of this together is why the issue has been parked and left to happen "emergently" in the implementation phase. I'm really quite unsure how much this is down to a desire to allow flexibility within the implementation process, and how much is down to the WMF getting an answer it didn't like about its own future role. Chris Keating (The Land) (talk) 11:58, 22 January 2020 (UTC)
Hey Chris, thanks so much. Your explanation clarifies some things for me. If you like, please take a look at the suggestion I made earlier today at Talk:Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20/Recommendations/Foster and Develop Distributed Leadership. I fear the current version of the text doesn't allow flexibility and I'd like this to change. Thanks again, much appreciated! --Frank Schulenburg (talk) 12:10, 22 January 2020 (UTC)

What happened to Elgafar, Quotiel, and Situla?Edit

My favorite part of the previous iteration was the three Roles & Responsibilities restructuring proposals:

I liked Situla. What happened to it? EllenCT (talk) 17:25, 21 January 2020 (UTC)

Hi Ellen. Essentially, the decision on future structures has been moved into the 'implementation' phase. This is for several reasons: challenges in synthesising different elements of the recommendations from Roles & Responsibilities and Resource Allocation; lack of a shared understanding of what 'decentralisation' meant; concern from the WMF about whether decentralisation was actually a good idea; and concern that mapping out new structures in this process was premature. So the recommendation text includes things like decentralisation as principles, and incorporates the easy bit of Situla (the global governance body) but leaves the idea of e.g. regional hubs as something that is going to be 'emergent'. So we'll have to see whether what 'emerges' and how much meaningful distribution of power and influence we end up with. There is an easy wrong answer, in my view, which is that the WMF tries to take on everything itself. Chris Keating (The Land) (talk) 10:34, 22 January 2020 (UTC)

hi. where would I add any comments?Edit

thanks so much for this great page!! sorry, but where would I go to comment or to discuss this? thanks!! --Sm8900 (talk) 17:43, 21 January 2020 (UTC)

Hi User:Sm8900, if you have a general comment about the recommendations, you're in the right spot. If you have thoughts about one of the 13 recommendations, please see the relevant talk page. CKoerner (WMF) (talk) 17:57, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
Some people will not be comfortable making comments in a public forum, e.g. on Meta. What accommodations have been made for them? For example, former members of Working Groups might email their comments to someone on the Core Team because we've developed those relationships. Some people belong to Affiliates who will have meetings with Strategy Liaisons. But what about people who lack connections, e.g. the majority of people in the movement? This is something that the Community Health Working Group recognized and addressed during our consultation period so I'm keen to understand the communication channels for this consultation. Thank you. --Rosiestep (talk) 20:42, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
That's a common issue, and more extreme in this case: Staffers would face tremendous personal risk in opposing these recommendations, and so they're likely to remain silent. But there really isn't a workable solution: To participate in wiki activities, one must be able and willing to participate in wiki activities. Off-wiki discussions aren't valid for decision-making, WG violations notwithstanding. --Yair rand (talk) 22:07, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
Agreed with Yair Rand. It is, of course, always an option to comment anonymously, perhaps from a public network from which one has not previously edited. But this is a public proposal, and feedback should be shared publicly, not via backchanneling. Seraphimblade (talk) 00:10, 22 January 2020 (UTC)
Rosiestep this is an important point; thanks for helping to bring this to my attention. Know that I'm working on some solutions, and will reply here with an update by the end of the week. --KStineRowe (WMF) (talk) 21:29, 22 January 2020 (UTC)
Thanks, KStineRowe (WMF). In case you are unaware, see this edit by Anna Rees (WMDE) on the recommendations mainpage where they have added an email option (strategy2030 at wikimedia dot org) for comments. --Rosiestep (talk) 11:24, 23 January 2020 (UTC)
Thanks Rosiestep. Yes, this was coordinated it just came together faster than I thought when I wrote yesterday. ;) --KStineRowe (WMF) (talk) 13:37, 23 January 2020 (UTC)
Some means of public verification is needed - there's been a bit of a habit of claiming in the past that support at, say, breakout sessions at Wikimania were in favour of something, so online consensus is irrelevant - nowithstanding that Wikimania isn't a balanced subgroup of even long-term editors, let alone all editors. It's also tricky to challenge and discuss points with them. Perhaps authorising Stewards to take a message on their behalf and post it (they'd need to know to avoid duplications). Specifically on the WGs, we need their open, active, participation on a bunch of things since a number of areas need clarification, and a number of areas need explanation of why they were included - at the moment we're just guessing. Nosebagbear (talk) 09:44, 23 January 2020 (UTC)


I feel like a broken record on this, but I'm still waiting for the part where there is an actual plan. As examples, the "plan" from Equity is that we've convened a group of people to figure out what to do, and they've reckoned that what we should do is form groups of people to figure out what to do. The "plan" from Managing Internal Knowledge is that to better manage knowledge, we should create something to better manage knowledge. We don't really know what that thing is, how it will function, where it will be, who will create it, or how it will be used, but meta data is a buzzword that everyone can get behind.

The lion's share of the whole thing overall seems very much like "in order to accomplish X, we should do things that make X accomplished". Great. I'm still waiting for the part where the plan is. I keep getting told that we're too early in the process for the plan part, and I keep waiting, and most of what I see is still just people planning for someone to have a plan some day. GMGtalk 18:10, 21 January 2020 (UTC)

I'm sorry you feel like a broken record GreenMeansGo. At this point the shape of the strategy is a little fuzzy, but with every phase gains more shape. In my experience the "expected outcomes" section of the recommendations help give a little more clarity on what sort of work will come out of the strategy – again informed by the discussions you mentioned. It sounds like maybe you're more interested in the implementation details of the strategy? Have you had a look at the timeline? Does that help at all in clarifying where we're at and what's next? CKoerner (WMF) (talk) 18:20, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
GreenMeansGo, I totally agree with you. it's funny you should make that comment now. I literally made that comment about five or ten minutes ago. I suggest you go to the page below, and look at my comments there, and then add some of your own great points in line with the comment that you made above. perhaps that might be one good way to start to really address this. thanks.
thanks.--Sm8900 (talk) 18:38, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
(Edit conflict.) Yes, I'm just not entirely sure how the "shape" is still "fuzzy" after two years of planning, two months before we're supposed to start implementing...something. I read through like five of these, and stopped reading because...I'm just not really sure we had proper technical guidance on what "how" means.
What: Build a house. How: By gathering stakeholders to ensure the emplacement of structural elements that support the building integrity and aesthetic value of the house, that can withstand environmental factors while adhering to all applicable building codes. ... None of that tells me anything about the house we're building. And that's not really a parody. I just rewrote a sentence from the Plan Infrastructure Scalability "how".
  • Create dedicated teams or Movement entities to analyze our infrastructures What is a working group on Product & Technology if not a dedicated team to analyze
  • Create structural support spaces What is a structural support space? What does it look like? How will it function? What is the timeline of implementation? How will we know it's been accomplished? This is so vague I can't tell you for certain that they're not suggesting we rent actual co-working space.
  • Invest in communication solutions and processes What solutions and processes? What criteria are we to use in selecting and evaluating them? How much much needs invested over how long? How do we measure when we've accomplished this and what "solutions and processes" have been effective?
  • Adopt a plan Making a plan is not an outcome. Making a recommendation that someone come up with a plan is just a recommendation for someone else to recommend something.
  • Design a process Designing a process isn't an outcome. That's the planning part.
I mean...I get that I'm probably a little out of touch because I for some reason I got a degree once in non-profit administration. But I really didn't think that it was so difficult to have clear working definitions of what constitutes a plan and what constitutes an outcome. GMGtalk 19:01, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
well, GreenMeansGo, if that's your really your name, we did say we'd do a thing to figure out a thing. now you want us to say what the thing" actually is? how? with what facts? do you really expect us to just do a "thing"? first we need to figure out a process for discussing how to analyze the best ways to design a set of discussions that maybe can consider some form of collaborative discussions on maybe considering whether we have a way to think about what the thing (if it exists) may be!! ;-)   --Sm8900 (talk) 20:13, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
My concern is that we have absorbed what is probably a non-trivial amount of time, energy, and money, and while we have brought these groups together, I wonder whether we gave them adequate training in how to effectively do what it is their supposed to be doing. I mean, the original plan was for the recommendations to be concrete recommendations for the movement on how to ratify and implement them. I don't think we've really accomplished that goal very well. GMGtalk 20:22, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
GreenMeansGo, you forgot the part about budgeting & scheduling all the meetings to gather input & summarize information to utilize in those steps. (I guess we need a series of meetings to discuss the criteria for doing all that, & then we can have some meetings to set up a budget & schedule to act on those points. Do you have any spare time this week?) -- Llywrch (talk) 20:54, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
I don't want to be overly flippant about the whole thing. At the end of the day, these are serious matters that consume real time and resources. But I am very concerned that two years into the process, no one has apparently discussed the en:SMART criteria, because this seems to pretty roundly fail it. GMGtalk 23:23, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
  • I'm rather noticing the same thing. After reading most of these proposals, I'm still left with the question "So, what is it you actually plan to do?" The proposals themselves certainly don't answer it, except in the most general, fuzzy terms that could turn out to mean anything. For example, several proposals advocate a "Global Code of Conduct". Is that the one we actually asked for during the consultation, clearly laying out what the WMF should and should not do when interacting with the communities? Or something else, which the community clearly found objectionable? I don't know, because it doesn't say what it would be. These aren't proposals, they're proposing to one day have proposals. If this is the final version for comment and feedback, it should be concrete and detailed, with very specific steps on implementation in the "How" sections, not fuzzy language which could turn out to mean just about anything. Seraphimblade (talk) 00:15, 22 January 2020 (UTC)
I agree with Seraphimblade, and with GreenMeansGo. I made some similar comments at Recommendations/Ensure_Equity_in_Decision-Making. --Sm8900 (talk) 03:44, 22 January 2020 (UTC)
  • @Seraphimblade, GreenMeansGo, and Sm8900: - as well as a number of ideas I'm directly against, I'm increasingly considering opposing anything that doesn't have at least moderately clear specifics. One particular thought about the original recommendations comes to mind, which is that the "Risks" section was almost entirely non-filled out, and when it was, at least ten gave the Community as the sole risk - with a number alluding that it was only done to preserve power, control etc. Nosebagbear (talk) 09:48, 23 January 2020 (UTC)
Hi @Seraphimblade, GreenMeansGo, Nosebagbear, , Ghilt, and Llywrch:, Hi all. I have just created a new WikiProject, at Wikipedia:Wikipedia:WikiProject Editor Empowerment. Please come over when you get a chance, and feel free to add your comments on the talk page. if you want to join, please feel free to add your name at the section for members. 

Right now, this WikiProject page is simply a redirect that points to a draft in my own user space. I want to retain editorial control, simply while I am still revising it enough to be ready to present to others. however, I would like to get some folks on board asap. this can be our new shared space to cover some of the points, concerns, and questions covered here. I hope you'll come over and join sometime.

Please note, all comments, views, and opinions are welcome there. I would simply like to start trying to get some members there now, just to get this off the ground. I appreciate your help. thanks. --Sm8900 (talk) 18:23, 23 January 2020 (UTC)

@GreenMeansGo, I think part of the disconnect is that people often expect an entirely unrealistic level of detail. The "plan" from Managing Internal Knowledge is that to better manage knowledge, we should create something to better manage knowledge. We don't really know what that thing is, how it will function, where it will be, who will create it, or how it will be used, but meta data is a buzzword that everyone can get behind. - I wrote most of that recommendation (although it's just a collation of half a dozen working group recommendations so not a writing process with lots of creative freedom) so I can comment on that. Building a good KMS for internal documentation is a project that's probably roughly comparable in scope to building a good on-wiki discussion system. I'm not sure how much you have followed that effort; I think the current talk page project is at something like half a dozen man-years now, and the larger part of that was requirements collection, planning and consultation (and it of course built on all the knowledge gathered by the earlier, failed attempts at discussion systems). The idea that the movement strategy process could have produced something like that, times a dozen, is just entirely divorced of reality IMO. What it can realistically do is declare that this is one of our most important problems and needs to be prioritized above some of the stuff we are currently working on; so that a multi-year development project for a team to research, design and build a solution can be budgeted and resourced. Trying to rush the design part of the work usually just means that it will take longer and cost more (the talk page projects are a good example for that as well).

I think some of your other expectations are reasonable for movement strategy in general, but unrealistic for this process specifically. As you say, the original plan assumed the working groups would do more things, such as recommendations on how to ratify and implement things, and the usual project management buzzwords (not SMART specifically, I think, but theory of change and Cynefin framework and whatnot), and those got dropped at some point. As a participant I only had limited insight of how the process evolved, but the fundamental problem was pretty clear: the number of people willing to participate in a community-driven strategy process is much smaller than those who show up to deliver witty smackdowns once it is over. For example, re: Create dedicated teams or Movement entities to analyze our infrastructures What is a working group on Product & Technology if not a dedicated team to analyze - the Product and Technology working group was slated to be fifteen people; we ended up with twelve, a little more than half of whom actually regularly showed up. (I don't mean to blame anyone - people overestimated their availability, or only had vague ideas on what such a project would be like and then found it to be very different and found it did not motivate them or they did not feel they could contribute effectively. This kind of thing happens.) It was volunteer work, so mornings, evenings and weekends, whenever they were available. (The FAQ talks about 40% staff participation, which I think gave some people the wrong idea. From what I have seen, those working group members were asked to participate on top of their normal duties; so they were not very different from volunteers in terms of how much time they had available for the project. I think this was an intentional process design choice, to avoid staff members with way more time available dominating what was supposed to be a community-driven process.) Plus most of us did not have experience with strategic planning, and had to learn as we went. So a year sounds like a lot of time but it actually wasn't. Enough to make a rough analysis of editor and developer pain points (with some of the deliverables dropped, as said above), and to what extent are they a consequence of structural problems with the movement. Nowhere near enough to make a full infrastructure risk or sustainability assessment (for which we didn't have the depth of skill anyway - the group tried to cover a wide range of perspectives instead of being experts in any particular one).

I don't mean to make excuses - in the end what matters is whether the proposed movement strategy is useful; if it's not, knowing why won't change much. My point is that I think the process achieved about as much as it could, given the available volunteer talent pool, and given the design constraint of having a community-driven strategy process instead of a team of experts and professional consultants paid by and beholden to the WMF. That was an extremely bold choice from the people who requested and designed this process; no doubt it resulted in a less professional document, for some value of "professional". I am a Wikimedian because I think Wikipedia can provide far more value than traditional encyclopedias, despite being less "professional"; I spent all my free time on this process for the last several months for the same reason. (The last time the WMF outsourced strategy work to professional consultants is not among my fondest memories.) I can understand if others disagree (although on occasion it would be nice if they disagreed a little less gleefully), I just want to make clear that, in my opinion, this is what disagreements will have to boil down to: do you think the current proposal, unrefined as it is, is a step forward? Or is it better to have a strategy produced by some external consultancy, or maybe WMF staff? Or is it better to stick with the status quo? While I have no say and very limited insight into how the strategy process is designed, I think there would be very little appetite both from WMF management and from the participating volunteers to do it again, or even continue it for much longer, so those are the real options as far as I see. Arguments for why the recommendations, or some of them, should be discarded, are valuable; but other than, I don't think talking about the quality leads anywhere. --Tgr (talk) 07:19, 24 January 2020 (UTC)

Tgr, I appreciate that at least this time around, we're actually receiving thoughtful responses. Maybe things could have gone better if feedback was not ignored in the earlier iterations, but it largely was. That being said, the "status quo" has resulted in breathtaking success. We have created one of the largest (if not the largest) educational works ever created by man. We have done so by the means we have developed to do that. Those efforts have not gone unrecognized; to the contrary, the English Wikipedia is one of the top 5 sites out of the millions and millions on the Internet. It is the only nonprofit site to hold such a position, and just as importantly, it is the only one whose contents are free not only to read but to reuse, and to have a privacy policy that actually means it, not "You have no privacy, we'll sell your data to whoever will pay for it." What we have done to date has led to tremendous accomplishment. A lot of that is due to our volunteers' work in administration and quality control. Yes, sometimes, that pisses people off when they're told "No, really, no sources, no article." That does not mean that their backchannel feedback is anywhere close to as valuable as those who have been doing this for, in some of our cases, well over a decade, and have a very intimate understanding of what works and what does not. Sorry, but unless you've done the time in the trenches, comments from many miles away just don't mean anywhere near as much. That's why we disregard anonymous, backchannel feedback. If you want to be counted, put it up in the public discussion, raise your hand, be counted, and yes, people might disagree with you. That's a feature, not a bug.

That certainly does not mean there is not room for improvement. Our projects are based upon the idea that there is always room for improvement. But they are also based upon the idea that such improvements occur organically, by consent of the involved community, not imposed by some top-down "leadership". The communities are the "leadership". And the community consists of anyone willing to be a part of it. No one even has to reveal their race, gender, etc., so the idea that there's some attempt to exclude people based on that is laughable. If you're not comfortable disclosing those things—don't! No one will make you! On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog. And most editors don't disclose those things, so to even presume to know the makeup of the race, gender, etc., of editors is also laughable. For the vast majority of editors, that's "unknown". It is dishonest to ignore unknowns. If we know that 1% of editors are male, 0.2% of editors are female, and the rest are unknown, the accurate statement is not "80% of editors are male", it is "Between 1% and 99.8% of editors are male." Unknowns must be accounted in statistical analysis.

But basically, if you want to make sweeping changes to the status quo, better present a really compelling argument. What we've done has worked, and worked unimaginably well, for coming up two decades. If you think a change is needed to that, it is on you to convince the communities that it is beneficial and necessary. It is not, or at least should not be, on the communities to once again have to take extreme measures to resist top-down coercion. We've been down that road. It damages the projects, it damages the communities that keep them running, and it even damages the WMF. We don't need another trip down that road. So, yes, absent a compelling argument to the contrary, we'll keep doing what we've done, since that's worked very well indeed. If you come up with something better, actually go to the community or communities that would be affected by it, and make your case. But the answer always might be "no", and the community does have the right to give that answer. No amount of backchanneling or "surveys" or "salons" or whatever else changes that. Discussions that affect the projects take place in public and on the wiki. Period. Seraphimblade (talk) 08:38, 24 January 2020 (UTC)

@Seraphimblade: Sure, the whole Wikimedia enterprise, overall, has been successful and we have Wikipedia (and more) to show for it. But if I remember correctly some of the points I have read from you (apologies if I misremember) and others, I recall plenty of concerns regarding the movement as it is (such as, say, WMF’s perceived legitimacy, its perceived disconnect with online communities, it being overly-centralized, etc.) − well, all that is part of the status-quo, and it is some of the things that this strategy process tries to address. Really, I have a hard time reading “Nah, no need to change anything, everything worked out so far” next to “the WMF has too much power/is not accountable!” or “online communities are not listened to when it comes to software development!” or <insert here typical (and legitimate) grieving regarding the state of the movement>. So, yes, Tgr’s question is very relevant − how happy are you with the movement as it is, and do you think that what is outlined here could be going in the right direction. No? Jean-Fred (talk) 12:17, 24 January 2020 (UTC)
(Regarding statistical analysis of the gender gap numbers, you may be interested in doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0065782. Jean-Fred (talk) 12:17, 24 January 2020 (UTC)
  • @Tgr: Well I'm not blaming any individual people who wrote any of these. I chose Managing Internal Knowledge at random, and not because it was particularly poorly done. The recommendations are actually quite uniform in sharing these same problems, which strongly suggests that this is a process issue and not a people issue. What I think is the best outcome of a discussion like this is to come up with process recommendations, the things sprinkled throughout this talk page currently, like writing at a secondary school level, following and providing training in writing SMART plans, preferring plans that are smaller in scope but clearly actionable, and scaling our scope to the extent to which we can construct actionable plans, rather than scaling our plans to the size of our scope even if it dilutes their direct usefulness.
Many of these kinds of things are lessons that we learn as Wikimedians, as I'm sure you're familiar, with all the challenges that crowd sourced projects face, like continually herding diverse and sometimes deeply contrarian contributors, navigating the official and unofficial hierarchies of an online community, and managing the fatigue and opportunity cost that comes with relying on volunteers with limited time and energy. These are not necessarily principles that translate easily into the organizational culture of traditional non-profits. That difference in culture has always been a part of the friction between the Foundation and our communities, and they seem to have always struggled at some level to manage it effectively.
Whether this is better or worse than the status quo? I can't really say. We are at a deep level relying on the implementation phase to do our planning for us. The process thus far has been a goal-forming one, and what we've accomplished thus far is breaking those goals down into somewhat more granular objectives. But wars are won and lost in tactics and logistics, and we haven't really gotten to that point yet to be able to judge whether we are going to be effective or not. GMGtalk 11:35, 24 January 2020 (UTC)
  • On a separate issue, @Seraphimblade: If I understand the point you are making correctly regarding exclusion, I'm not sure I could disagree with it more strongly. Being anonymous online doesn't erase your perspective and individual context. It doesn't prevent you from writing as colonizers, an in-group writing the story of an out-group with an in-group lens. White people writing for brown people. Straight people writing for gay people. Men writing for women. Christians writing for Hindus. What makes that a great deal more serious is that from all we've gathered, our content creation tends to come more heavily from industrialized nations and urban centers, while our readership tends to skew more toward developing nations and rural populations, the people for whom free knowledge is of greater importance, because they lack much of the educational infrastructure that our contributors enjoy, in fact, the very educational ecosystem that allows them to contribute in the first place. GMGtalk 11:46, 24 January 2020 (UTC)

Full listEdit


Here is the actual list (i.e., see table below). the funny thing is that, in my view, the minute that I'm still trying to figure out whether if someone like me actually proposed anything in any of these areas, to do anything specific, or to actually do something, there is nothing here that I can agree or disagree with. the very people who worked on these are exactly the people who would probably tell me that more discussion is needed, before we can actually do anything concrete or specific.

However, I highly recommend that all commenters read the action items on each page below, before commenting on this process as a whole.

also below is the actual navbox for navigating all of these pages, and recommendations, etc etc.

Note: I have created a draft page for this, to avoid bothering other users here. you can feel free to visit this draft, at: User:Sm8900/draft of table. if you want to help out, or to add info to this table at the draft page, feel free to do so!! tagging Bluerasberry, GreenMeansGo, Seraphimblade. feel free to tag others, if you wish!!! thanks!
it may take me a day or two to actually complete this item, so I would rather do so at this draft page, to avoid bothering other users here. thanks!! --Sm8900 (talk) 15:44, 22 January 2020 (UTC)


Title of page Summary of page Excerpt of key items
# Promote Sustainability and Resilience focuses on strengthening existing human and financial resources. highlights ways to promote fund-raising, and ways to recruit volunteers for various functions.
# Create Cultural Change for Inclusive Communities TBD TBD
# Improve User Experience TBD TBD
# Provide for Safety and Security TBD TBD
# Ensure Equity in Decision-Making TBD TBD
# Foster and Develop Distributed Leadership TBD TBD
# Invest in Skills Development TBD TBD
# Manage Internal Knowledge TBD TBD
# Coordinate Across Stakeholders TBD TBD
# Prioritize Topics for Impact TBD TBD
# Innovate in Free Knowledge TBD TBD
# Evaluate, Iterate, and Adapt TBD TBD
# Plan Infrastructure Scalability TBD TBD

---> just a thought. --Sm8900 (talk) 03:55, 22 January 2020 (UTC)

Nav boxEdit

also, below is the nav box. also, we can use the subsection below for any comments that people wish to add.

Section breakEdit

(any comments can go here.)

The language is incomprehensibleEdit

The current discussion on the German Wikipedia surfaced what I think of as a major issue. People perceive the language of the recommendations as incomprehensible. Part of the problem is the terrible translation from English to German, but even for me as someone who moved to the US more than ten years ago, large parts of the English original are simply difficult to understand. Someone on the German Wikipedia thinks this might be an attempt to trick the community into something, someone else got reminded of texts produced by the former East German government that tried to leave people in the dark about its real intentions. I strongly disagree, as I know that the people who drafted these recommendations tried their very best and I find such allegations highly unfair. I guess people are not taking into account that a good portion of the working group members aren't native English language speakers, yet had to come up with recommendations about how to solve complex issues. With that being said, the purpose of a strategy document is to provide direction and clarity. If parts of our community don't think it's even worth engaging in this process because the language of the text is incomprehensible, then something needs to be fixed. If the community doesn't understand what the recommendations mean, how is it supposed to provide feedback? Any suggestions on how to proceed? --Frank Schulenburg (talk) 11:21, 22 January 2020 (UTC)

Building on these comments. I do not want to judge about the quality of the translations; it must have been a tremendously difficult task because translating requires you to first understand what is actually meant. Basic problems seems to be:
  • We have serious terminology problems in the WM movement, which is not the fault of any particular person or group.
  • Sometimes the document makes it difficult to understand what real world object is meant by a particular term. For example, there is a glossary that explains what the word "stakeholders" means in general. Okay. But when the word is used in a certain section, in a certain context, I often wondered: who are these stakeholders? Which concrete groups or people are they? Political pressure groups? Museums? National governments? Individual readers of Wikipedia or Wikivoyage? Depending on who are these stakeholders, I would make up my mind whether I find their involvement suitable or not.
  • I understand that the recommendations are not meant to always finalize everything. They often want to leave some options open to the WMF board. Maybe it would be helpful to be more explicit about this intention. (Instead of "we will have to deal with this task" more like "the WMF board, the GB or a different body or structure will have to deal with this task".)
  • In general, there is a huge improvement compared to previous documents. I think that some parts are better to read than others.

The document is open to interpretation. And when people don't understand a document, then they start to interpret it even more... Kind regards, Ziko (talk) 12:09, 22 January 2020 (UTC)

  • There may be some value in driving home the point that (not unlike writing for Wikipedia) when you're writing for an audience of all ages, educations, backgrounds and varying levels of English proficiency, if you're writing at anything higher than about a mid-secondary-school level then you're doing it wrong. There are very real ways in which writing in what is probably around a low-post-graduate level is actively discriminatory. GMGtalk 14:20, 22 January 2020 (UTC)
@Frank Schulenburg:, as a native English speaker with a comprehension level equivalent to low-post-graduate ability, I can assure you that the original English is terrible itself. There are a lot of vague, positive-sounding words here, yet little concrete content. Of course, we want all of this to be more inclusive, but the proposals are so vague I'm unsure if the means to accomplish this are to perform outreach, or to reduce the number of over-represented people (i.e., white, male, college-educated, from North America & Western Europe), or simply to provide an agenda for an endless series of pointless meetings. (And I find the similarity to texts created by the former DDR very appropriate.) The same with improving user experiences, making the support infrastructures self-sustaining, etc. etc. The problem is that the proposals aren't concrete, actionable proposals, they are slogans. IMHO (which is admittedly biased & ill-informed) is that the "How" portions as they stand need to be discarded & replaced with concrete, actionable suggestions.
For example, at Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20/Recommendations/Evaluate, Iterate, and Adapt the "How" section has the paragraph, "Programmatic and project planning will include systematic evaluation as an integral part of the process, as preconditions to adapting to changing environments, and to the improvement of our overall work. Evaluation needs to be incorporated into decision-making at all institutional levels. Planning for adequate resources, skills development, and capacity needs will be necessary to create meaningful evaluation processes." NO!!! At best, this is stating the obvious; at worst, this is bullshit. Say here exactly what is needed. For example, say we agree that Wikimedians need training? Ok, in what areas? Which Wikimedians need this training? How can the training be delivered? Do we have other Wikimedians who can provide this training, or should we look beyond our group? And, of course, we can include an evaluation as the final step of this training, but except to identify clear failures or a waste of resources, any evaluation won't tell us the whole story. Sometimes the value of being exposed to new information or ideas is not understood until much later. (And sometimes the answer to a problem is unbelievably simple; the hard parts are accepting that the answer is simple, as well as putting the answer into practice.)
Yes, I know people spent years on this, but when you find that you have boarded the wrong bus, you get off at the next stop & find your way onto the right bus; you don't ride the wrong bus to the end of the line. -- Llywrch (talk) 23:20, 22 January 2020 (UTC)
Hi Llywrch, could I invite you to share this valuable feedback on the Evaluate, Iterate and Adapt Talk page? It would be super helpful for further refining the recommendation and making it more concrete. Thanks for taking the time to review the recommendations and engaging in these discussions, it's appreciated. MPourzaki (WMF) (talk) 02:52, 23 January 2020 (UTC)
Just to make the point further, if you find that you are actually entirely unable to rewrite your post-graduate level text at a secondary school level, it's usually a good indication that you have mistaken words for meaning, and cannot rewrite the text because when you strip away the language, there is no underlying meaning to rewrite. GMGtalk 14:49, 23 January 2020 (UTC)
Actually, I may be a bit too generous. When you run Promote Sustainability and Resilience through a en:Flesch–Kincaid readability tests (you can do this using Microsoft Word), it scores at a grade level of 18. So, written at about the level of a first-year doctoral student. GMGtalk 15:06, 23 January 2020 (UTC)
Wow, it is therefore slightly tougher to read than my Masters' dissertation (which, vaguely ironically given the theme of these discussions, was on effective decision making) Nosebagbear (talk) 16:22, 23 January 2020 (UTC)
@Nosebagbear: With an admitted conflict of interest, this may be a good time to point out that the US military uses the Flesch–Kincaid readability test specifically because we write regulation that needs to be understood by the person who fuels the aircraft, and maintains the aircraft, as much as it is understood by the person who flies the aircraft and designs the aircraft. GMGtalk 22:47, 23 January 2020 (UTC)

Hi Frank, thanks for raising the language issue here. I agree. The english version by itself is already hard to understand - how could a translation make it easier to understand? One thing is that we use different terms when translating the different pages. What may help for any larger project in the future could be a translation table for the main terms i.e. here "movement strategy", "advocacy", "leadership", "capacity building" - terms which definitely need some thinking before just picking the first translation you have in mind. What I can add here is some background from the process. I was member of the advocacy working group and the last text I worked on is the second iteration of recommendations, which we took to Tunis. In those recommendation you already find very abstract descriptions and there is a lot of generalism and blah in it. This is by design. In our working group we tried not to move into operational recommendations. So we avoid to determine who is responsible for what and from what I understand this is something the Board of Trustees will discuss. After the Tunis meeting some people volunteered to consolidate 89 (from my memory, can be some more or less) recommendations to one single paper. This is what we discuss here. They created 13 recommendations and factored in all those recommendations. You can follow this with the references in the text, they link to the particular recommendation which motivated the recent recommendation. I don't know anything about the process the writers used and it is pretty obvious that it comes with tradeoffs and some losses. While trying to include all those ideas and different styles and terms, we now recognize redundancies, overlappings and (of course) even more generalism and blah than any single working group created. It's sad and from my perspective we lose an opportunity to clarify and profile what we want to achieve in the future and what we need to achieve it. At the same time I understand where it comes from and the writers get all my respect and esteem. This does not provide any solution, though hopefully some background which helps to get a better understanding of where the language comes from. Alice Wiegand (talk) 23:31, 22 January 2020 (UTC)

Hi Alice, thanks for taking the time to respond and for sharing your experience with everyone. The background definitely helps. It's really appreciated. Hi all. It's exactly for this reason that the recommendations are here for feedback. It wasn't easy to transition out of the thematic areas and bring the 89 recommendations together around overlaps. It's definitely not perfect. For some people, the redundancies indicate the validity of the ideas put forward. There are many ways these recommendations can be improved before finalization, and we need focused input for that. Please provide feedback for individual recommendations, all of them or ones that resonate with you. You already have Alice, thank you, but rich relevant conversations on Meta can be very helpful. Grateful for your support and goodwill. MPourzaki (WMF) (talk) 02:52, 23 January 2020 (UTC)
I'm going to add myself as another native English speaker, with multiple degrees, and this English still is not clear. @MPourzaki (WMF): - are the translations going to be improved in line with any requests from others, and if so, will the consultation period be tweaked to account for that? Nosebagbear (talk) 11:30, 23 January 2020 (UTC)
Thanks for jumping in Nosebagbear. Some of the translations are better than others, I reviewed Farsi myself, wasn't too bad. Luckily we have 6 dedicated community liaisons working in Arabic, Catalan, French, German, Hindi, Portuguese and Spanish. They can directly adapt translations if communities alert them , so no need to tweak the timeline. They already had a review of the work, but it can always be improved. As for English, the individual recommendation talk pages would be the ideal place for feedback on how to bring improvements or more clarity, around language or content.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by MPourzaki (WMF) (talk)
@MPourzaki (WMF):In several cases where specific sentences have been pulled out as unclear, it's been indicated that clarity will be provided in the implementation stage. That suggests multiple issues - deliberate vagueness (not ideal for assessing whether something should be supported, since we've no idea of community ability to enforce implementation decisions), aspects just not considered, and genuine complexity and confusion with the English. That mix makes it hard to even determine what you'd be willing to change and what is being viewed as (rightly or wrongly) as a feature, not a bug. There's a huge amount of text, and it's going to become rather draining to suggest parts only to be told it's intentionally vague or only alluding. Nosebagbear (talk) 16:22, 23 January 2020 (UTC)
Hi Nosebagbear. For this, I would refer to the principles, especially inclusive community development. Implementation will be collaborative with communities, that is the ethos of this document and an integral aspect for the writers. It's really not about vagueness, but rather proposing ideas at a level where it is not too prescriptive so it can be adapted and contextualized. Please help us make improvements, you can start with recommendation areas that matter to you or those that would impact you and your community. MPourzaki (WMF) (talk) 02:25, 24 January 2020 (UTC)
Thank you, Alice, for giving the insight. I also read the "one sheet version" by Andrew Lih. After I noticed that my reply on this page became very long, I decided to post it on a different page. Ziko (talk) 16:30, 23 January 2020 (UTC)

This is a wiki, right?Edit

I've decided to en:WP:BEBOLD and en:WP:FIXIT (yes, those link to the same place), here's a start. Anyone want to join me? cc GreenMeansGo Mdaniels5757 (talk) 21:29, 23 January 2020 (UTC)

Hey Mdaniels5757, let's discuss the contents of the recommendations as they are. This way folks participating over the coming weeks can have some consistency in these discussions. We're already asking folks to read a lot, and extending that to diffs between changes to catch up on conversations is even more. Not to mention we had folks translate these pages for us and edits will knock those translations out of sync pretty quickly. If something's not clear, let's discuss how to make it more clear on the relevant talk page. I'll revert then we can discuss if you want. CKoerner (WMF) (talk) 21:31, 23 January 2020 (UTC)
@CKoerner (WMF): I'd be happy to do that (I'm no stranger to en:WP:BRD). I'd note that (as far as I can tell) none of my edits changed any meaning and were merely making the existing meaning clearer. I'd agree that you're "asking folks to read a lot", and note that edits for clarity and conciseness would help address that issue. Keeping in mind that I was in the process of refining my edits prior to the revert, I respectfully invite editors to compare the diffs between our versions [1] [2] and bring their thoughts and proposed improvements to the relevant talk pages. Best, Mdaniels5757 (talk) 21:52, 23 January 2020 (UTC)
A "translation" or rather, a radical copy-edit would be more than welcome. The jargon is exclusionary; it makes it very difficult for people who are not accustomed to working with consultants to participate. Vexations (talk) 22:11, 23 January 2020 (UTC)
So long as we're treating this as a learning process, which would seem consistent with a Movement [that] is people-centered and make[s] changes that address the needs and challenges of present participants, it may be appropriate in the future for these to be drafts for community review and changing. That would seem like a good way to "enable coordination among all the various stakeholders" and "develop a practice of cooperation and collaboration". GMGtalk 22:41, 23 January 2020 (UTC)
The German translation is terrible because the English text is already terrible: full of jargon, weasel words, vague meaningless stateme ts etc. It's as if you guys took all the recommendations from Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style and did exactly what they say not to do. And then apparently you gave this to volunteers for translation instead of professional translators? --MatthiasGutfeldt (talk) 23:58, 23 January 2020 (UTC)
Proposal: should we copy one of the worse pages to one of our userspaces and try to translate from MBA-speak to English (for later translation to other languages)? Or would that be futile/not accepted? (In other words, should we coordinate strategic feedback from stakeholders to harness existing resources to improve coordination and prioritize synergy?) Mdaniels5757 (talk) 01:21, 24 January 2020 (UTC)
You mean leverage synergy. You're obviously new at this. EEng (talk) 03:01, 24 January 2020 (UTC)

Recommendation talk pages in various languagesEdit

Just a quick note to say sorry for some confusion I may have caused for folks leaving feedback on the recommendation talk pages. Yesterday I redirected the translated recommendation talk pages to point here. I didn't check in with others coordinating this consultation before doing that and caused some confusion. Super embarrassed. :( If I moved your comment here it was a mistake. Rather than move things around again I just wanted to reach out to the folks I affected and let you know in case you want to move your topic. User:Marcus Cyron User:CJackel (WMF) User:Sicherlich User:Noé User:Nattes à chat CKoerner (WMF) (talk) 21:54, 22 January 2020 (UTC)

Danke für die Info. Aber da es kein Voting gibt und nur einen völlig nebulösen "sense" der WMF der dann irgendwie zu spüren behauptet was die Community will ist das alles nur Brot und Spiele fürs Volk. Daher ist es wohl relativ unbedeutend wo meine Anmerkungen ignoriert werden ...Sicherlich Post 21:57, 22 January 2020 (UTC)
Thanks for the note, Chris. Mh, I see pros and cons. While it might be more inviting for those who don't want to discuss in english, I wonder how an exchange will happen. What I've seen so far is that some people from working groups (2. phase) and the writers group (last phase, in which this document was created), discuss with people (even if the comment was in German) and already clarified and answered several issues. Not sure if this will happen on a non-english page. Let's see how that works. Alice Wiegand (talk) 22:47, 22 January 2020 (UTC)

Ok, sorry. Thanks. —Sm8900 (talk) 04:14, 24 January 2020 (UTC)

"The essential infrastructure"Edit

Makes it sounds like Wikimedia Foundation is/should be the be all, end all of w:Open knowledge. While we are presently one of the largest players in the Open Knowledge field, we are not the only source, nor will we be. Other Open Knowledge sources will be able to operate without us. That said we should seek to collaborate with those other sources, so that we all can work together to bring knowledge, and information, to the masses.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 22:48, 22 January 2020 (UTC)

that ship sailed 2 years ago. the grandiose, master of the universe vision is a community value, even as open knowledge is moving on. to the extent that the community "does not playing nice with others" and fails to keep up with robust audio / video, it will get routed around. we already see this in the google knowledge graph image presentation. open knowledge scholars will build on a wikipedia substrate, with a civility layer on top. Slowking4 (talk) 23:55, 22 January 2020 (UTC)
@RightCowLeftCoast: See #Who is "we"?, above. The WMF has drifted scarily far away from Wikimedia's ideals. --Yair rand (talk) 01:57, 23 January 2020 (UTC)
I see WMF as less a be-all than an end-all. EEng (talk) 03:04, 24 January 2020 (UTC)


So, I've now finished reading through these recommendations. There is not a single word in them about one of the absolute biggest issues we face today: Paid advocacy editing. We have been complaining about that for years. Are there any plans at all to deal with this issue, or at the very least acknowledge it? Seraphimblade (talk) 06:45, 23 January 2020 (UTC)

For clarity, would you mind clarifying who’s “we” who has been complaining? Did you mean “we on Wikipedia”, “we on the English Wikipedia” or something else entirely? (for what it’s worth, I don’t recall paid contribution being a major issue on my home wiki Wikimedia Commons [although of course I may just have missed it]). Jean-Fred (talk) 08:55, 23 January 2020 (UTC)
  • My take is that there are WMF policies already in place addressing paid editing and then there are more specific policies on paid editing and COI in the individual wikis. I see that as a disciplinary issue that is already being addressed through the existing structure. The policy of WMF projects being free knowledge is in the intro. (FWIW, the problems over on Commons are more the opposite of paid editing, they have more to do with crap like Getty taking cc-licensed stuff, then watermarking it, claiming it's theirs, and wanting money for it) Montanabw (talk) 19:30, 23 January 2020 (UTC)

Gender biasEdit

Another of the "absolute biggest issues we face today". Nothing on this either, as far as I can see. It should probably be addressed in several sections but as two years have gone by without any real concern, it's probably far too late to expect any fundamental changes.--Ipigott (talk) 10:17, 23 January 2020 (UTC)

In this connection, it looks to me as if the article titled Wikimedia Foundation releases gender equity report and the associated Gender equity report should have been taken into account at an early stage. Were those working on the strategy back in April 2018 aware of their existence? Then, and now, we could read under Knowledge equity: "We will focus our efforts on the knowledge and communities that have been left out by structures of power and privilege." Surely there are no better examples of this than knowledge about women and women's communities. I fail to understand why no attention has been given to these considerations but fear it is too late to have them included.--Ipigott (talk) 12:34, 23 January 2020 (UTC)

Seems after the absurd idea of putting a quota into Wikipedia it was kicked out totally. (And I'm fine with it.) ... But thanks to the unspecific strategy you can easily put it into Create Cultural Change for Inclusive Communities - changing from man to women. The "expected outcome" says "...for participation concerning diversity " ...Sicherlich Post 13:05, 23 January 2020 (UTC) the outcome is puzzling like most of them are. The outcome is to "develop something" - so the process of doing smth is the outcome. I would expect that at least having the process to evaluate and applying it to be the outcome. But no: in 10 years WMF is still developing it
Sicherlich: Thanks for stepping by. I don't agree with the quotas either but thanks for your link; it makes interesting reading. I simply think it would be useful to mention the current disparity and adapt some of the items to facilitate measures to overcome it. In the current version of the document, I don't see much room for the development of initiatives focused on attracting more female contributors or facilitating the creation of more articles about women and their works, either in the developed and or in the developing world. But let's first see if anyone else feels this is important.--Ipigott (talk) 16:08, 23 January 2020 (UTC)
IMO: This "strategy" contains already far too much. 13 "goals" - that means we focus on everything --> so nothing gets really a focus. IMO it means no harm to add more as there is no focus anyways and everybody feels happy 😉 ...Sicherlich Post 16:24, 23 January 2020 (UTC) this focus on women is already going on since some years. But is there any progress? I have the impression I read the same lines every year. No change. The percentage of female Wikipedians is unchanged, right? Maybe its flogging a dead horse?
(Edit conflict.) To be honest, if we do insist on taking up paying session runners in certain areas, setting an aspect on the number of female editors still active after 6 months seems a good route - however, as I've already raised the issue of verification, I'm not sure how that would be checked. Spot checks just leave us blotchy. Nosebagbear (talk) 16:26, 23 January 2020 (UTC)

IMHO, I think a document like this needs to use broad language to promote general support for inclusivity, and it does. "Everyone can edit" means EVERYONE, and that means that if we get into the weeds of which specific population groups are discouraged, underrepresented or marginalized, there are many. People as individuals also get run off by trolls for various reasons. Women ARE underrepresented, both in editing and in content, and it needs to be worked on. The document allows that to happen. I think the same is true for people from the Global South, minority populations in various nations, and so on. Sometimes too specific a list of those affected works to limit inclusion rather than encourage it. And, as the primary heading above is already showing, it is clear that it's probably impossible to reach a consensus on "the absolute biggest issue." Just my two cents. Montanabw (talk) 19:39, 23 January 2020 (UTC)

Hi Ipigott, hi all. How the writers went about this is aligned with what Montanabw shares here. For them, unrepresented and underrepresented encompassed women, used intentionally throughout this document to avoid omitting or alienating any other groups. Thanks for sharing your concern, I have taken note of it for further discussion and clarity when these recommendations are finalized after this round of community consultations. Thanks for reading and your contributions, really appreciated. MPourzaki (WMF) (talk) 02:07, 24 January 2020 (UTC)
Thanks MPourzaki (WMF), I understand the general stand you are taking but I think that at the very least the concept of "gender" needs to be more clearly defined and concepts such as "gender bias" and "gender equity" need to be included in appropriate sections. A document geared first and foremost to those involved in its drafting is not a very effective means of communicating to Wikimedians in general and to the world at large. I don't think "underrepresented" will evoke the absence of women contributors or the absence of articles about women to non-initiates. I note, by the way, that the definitions are not included in the PDF document. If they were, it might be possible to recommend adaptations.--Ipigott (talk) 12:05, 24 January 2020 (UTC)
Very well noted Ipigott for the finalization of the document, thank you. Quick note, the "extended document" PDF does have the glossary, it was left out of the "core doc" and "cover note" to reduce page numbers. Appreciative. MPourzaki (WMF) (talk) 13:24, 24 January 2020 (UTC)
MPourzaki (WMF): OK, I've found the link here. My mistake. Perhaps "Read these recommendations as a PDF: If you'd like to read through the recommendations in an offline or all-in-one format, you can find a PDF of the core document here, the extended version here, and the cover note here" could be more explicit. I really think you need to redefine "Underrepresented" if a "group" is intended to represent 50% of the world's population. Ditto "Inclusion". "Equity" is set in the context of racial equity rather than gender. The examples given from the schools environment under "Source/link" are misleading. Wikipedia is hardly just a classroom enterprise. Sorry to push this once again but we need to be widely understood.--Ipigott (talk) 14:28, 24 January 2020 (UTC)

Confused about what made it in to the current version?Edit

Hi, Perhaps this is related to the problem identified above about the language in some recommendations being less-than-comprehensible, but I can't tell if some working group recommendations made it in to the current version. Two of the ones that come to mind (although I'm sure there are more) are whether 1) a "broader definition for 'reliable sources'" should be imposed on projects and 2) making and ND licenses be allowed on (some/all?) projects. What are their status? Best, Mdaniels5757 (talk) 20:36, 23 January 2020 (UTC)

@Mdaniels5757:, for the first one you're looking at this recommendation (equity section). I've not seen anything about the latter one of those. I do encourage you to join the talk page discussion on the notability side. Nosebagbear (talk) 14:12, 24 January 2020 (UTC)

No genuine on-wiki consultationEdit

I see a big contrast between the discussion pages when the strategy 'proposals' were officially at the community 'consultation' stage and now at the 'recommendation' stage. When there was officially a 'consultation' going on, getting anyone from a strategy working group or the WMF to respond to a talk page comment or question was almost impossible. Now that we have 'recommendations', there's someone from the WMF or its funded bodies responding within hours.

If the on-wiki feedback from the 'consultations' had really had a major impact on the 'recommendations', then I'd welcome the extra engagement that I now see. But I don't think it did. The consequence is that the extra engagement from the WMF and its funded bodies now looks like it's being done to defend decisions that were made before the community 'consultations'. This is very disappointing. EddieHugh (talk) 21:42, 23 January 2020 (UTC)

I very much agree. This seems more to be to claim that very broad documents were "presented", and then when the inevitable objections to attempts at implementation come around, say "Well, gosh, we already put it up for discussion!". Rather the good old Hitchhiker's Guide "But the plans were on display..." bit. Without details, the plans aren't on display. Figure out all the details, and put them up for up-or-down approval. These aren't anywhere near done yet. To have an actual consultation, these need to be "We plan to accomplish A, via doing B, C, D, and E", where "A" is a concrete goal, and B-E are concrete implementation steps. This seems, rather than that, to be an attempt to pull some kind of fait accompli in ramming through stuff so broad it could mean damn near anything, and that is not going to fly. Get sorted what you want to do, in concrete and unambiguous terms, and then ask for feedback. (The talk page feedback has been similarly reminiscent of weasel wording, such as being told that "people" supported certain things through presumably some backchannel process, but after asking for verification of that and specifics, I've gotten only silence.) Seraphimblade (talk) 00:36, 24 January 2020 (UTC)
Ok, so, I don’t mean to put words in your mouths, but this sounds to me like:
  • Community member: you did not engage enough on-wiki!
  • Strategy folks: OK, we’ll try to do better.
  • Strategy folks: *engaging on-wiki*
  • Community member: your engagement on-wiki now is suspicious and disappointing!
So, really, you would find it better if they would not engage now? Sounds like “Damned if you do, damned if you don’t”, no?
Jean-Fred (talk) 11:56, 24 January 2020 (UTC)

Note re new projectEdit

Note to everyone:

Hi @Seraphimblade, GreenMeansGo, Nosebagbear, , Ghilt, and Llywrch:, Hi all.

I have just created a new WikiProject, at Wikipedia:Wikipedia:WikiProject Editor Empowerment.

Please come over when you get a chance, and feel free to add your comments on the talk page. if you want to join, please feel free to add your name at the section for members. 

Right now, this WikiProject page is simply a redirect that points to a draft in my own user space. I want to retain editorial control, simply while I am still revising it enough to be ready to present to others. however, I would like to get some folks on board asap. this can be our new shared space to cover some of the points, concerns, and questions covered here. I hope you'll come over and join sometime.

Please note, all comments, views, and opinions are welcome there. I would simply like to start trying to get some members there now, just to get this off the ground. I appreciate your help. thanks. --Sm8900 (talk) 03:13, 24 January 2020 (UTC)
I am not interested, this is off topic, and this is the third ping you've sent me for this. Stop spamming me with them, please. Seraphimblade (talk) 03:54, 24 January 2020 (UTC)
Return to "Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20/Recommendations" page.