User:DRanville (WMF)/Rapports Mensuels/Juillet/EN

Monthly Report - July 2019: Input from the francophone community about strategy thematic areasEdit

This page gathers the observations and suggestions from the french-speaking community about strategy thematic areas of the Wikimedia 2030 process. This list is a summary of discussions that happened in July 2019 and that I was informed of as strategy liaison for the french community.

Number of people involved in the discussionsEdit

33 people took part in the discussion + 30 answered a survey

Background of the participantsEdit

Gender:

  • F - 15
  • M - 15
  • Non-binary- 2
  • 1 GLAM (museum)

Geography:

  • Africans (Guinea, Tchad) - 2
  • Quebec - 2
  • Swiss - 7
  • French - 21

Discussion ChannelsEdit

On-wikiEdit

  • Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Wikisource (village pumps + project talk pages)
  • Meta talk page

TwitterEdit

  • reactions to threads I made
  • 1:1 with people
  • Survey

Emails and videocallsEdit

  • 1:1 contacts with specific people about specific themes

Key points by themesEdit

AdvocacyEdit

None.

Capacity BuildingEdit

  • The WMF and the Chapters should conceive serious training programs for motivated volunteers
  • Encourage mentoring programs
  • The WMF should communicate better (for example with videos) to allow the circulation of information and knowledge inside the movement (for example about how Wikimania works)

Community HealthEdit

ToolsEdit

  • We should not follow the wrong indicators (for example, counting rude words in one's messages says nothing of who is harassing whom). We tend to block the person saying “fucking nazi” instead of the person saying nazi thing with polite words.
  • We should use statistical tools to prevent bullying from escaping radars : detect coordinated raids in votes or RfC (requests for comments), or statistic anomalies in processes (for example the Gender Gap measure)
  • Wikimedia platform should contain more tools fostering positive interactions (it doesn't prevent negative ones, but it balances the feeling)
  • The WMF should create events like “wikicontests” or “wikiloves”, but with a collaborative functioning (these events are a good way to create peer-recognition and positive interactions, but if they are only competitive they can also create frustration and renuncement)
  • The Friendly Space Policy should be written with more precision, so as to leave as little room as possible for interpretation and ambiguity
  • Online behavior rules should be clarified
    • currently, rules are vague and never implemented
    • the WMF should give clear instructions about their implementation
  • Create a forum for underaged contributors to adapt content and tone because discussions are sometimes harsh or inadapted (?); or (other opinion) just make the regular village pump less harsh
  • On Wikipedia, protect by default biographies of minors to avoid vandalism

IRL eventsEdit

  • The Friendly Space Policy should be better highlighted at events like Wikimania (for example by reminding main points during the opening session)
  • IRL events should be planned including the specific needs of autistic people
    • A volunteer with autism has written an essay to give advice about this issue, it could be summarized and turned into a guide for event organizers
  • The WMF should make sure that every IRL Wikimedia event is as safe as possible
    • Awareness needs to increase among allies, but since allies are often very clumsy, we need to support non-mixed events
  • Stay aware of what can happen outside Wikimedia spaces, where people can be more vulnerable

Training, educationEdit

  • The Wikimedia movement should do educational work inside the community;
    • Train people in key positions : Stewards, Bureaucrats, Oversights, Check-Users, Arbitrators (so they are not indifferent, or even complicit, of bullying)
    • These training need to be duly funded
    • Users should be confident in reporting bullying and be assured that it will be acknowledged as such and addressed
    • Train volunteers
    • Concentrate on prevention because it is more compatible with community management, as it avoids too much interference from the WMF and T&S.

OrganizationsEdit

  • Trust and Safety is a good thing but:
    • we should reinforce our « Terms of service »
    • Trust&Safety should be more strict with sexist, racist, transphobic discourses.
    • Chapters should publicly support T&S's decision to “enforce basic standards of decency”
  • T&S should have more transparent procedures (while still protecting victims)
    • procedure needs to allow each stakeholder to express their view
    • the proportionnality of sanctions should be better explained, so that both the person who is sanctionned and the community understand the decision
    • opacity and lack of communication tends to create confusing situations, which impacts the community's trust in T&S's impartiality
    • T&S should inform concerned Chapters whenever a procedure concerning one of their members is initiated
  • The movement should form an special team to handle such issues
    • it could be an intermediary between T&S (necessary but too opaque) and community organs (transparent but inefficient)
    • it would allow more communication between the WMF and communities
    • this body should comprise people who are qualified and well identified by the community
    • it could be a semi-professionalization of stewards (or a special group of admins)
    • these people would have access to T&S files and would decide of what is the appropriate community feedback
  • The Wikimedia movement could draw inspiration from the Burning Man Festival, which has a “Fluffer Team” dedicated to the volunteers' well being: during the festival, they go around distributing food and drinks, prevent people from over-engaging if they detect burnout risks... The rest of the year, they send thank-you postcards from everyone. Our movement could have a similar team, dedicated not to punishing bad behavior, but supporting good feelings and caring for people.
  • Staff could be responsible for checking in about physical and moral health of the most enaged volunteers in order to avoid burnout, reveal issues, etc.

SupportEdit

  • hire professional mediators from outside the movement so they have a neutral approach to conflicts
  • hire psychologists (including specialized in online and offline traumas) to support victims (so they are not alone while wainting for a decision)
  • offer legal aid to people who are threatened of trial
  • better support communities who face regular targeting: women, POCs, LGBTQI, disabled people, and – often forgotten: administrators.

Valorization of volunteersEdit

  • The Wikimedia movement should find more ways to show recognition of the work of volunteers (for example, WM Sweden invited a volunteer to a minister reception)
    • This could avoid moral burnouts and compensate negative interactions or overinvestment

CommunicationEdit

  • The Chapters should better inform volunteers and members about the actions and events they organize, inviting them explicitly and in advance (some people feel left aside, disregarded)
  • Documents about community health created by the WMF (for example « Allyship skills » and « Keeping events safe ») should be systematically distributed to affiliates and translated into a maximum of languages

DiversityEdit

  • Meta pages and IRL events should be translated in as many languages as possible
    • Systematic use of English creates a social barrier
  • The WMF and Chapters should do partnerships to support the production of quality sources on minorized topics, or help make such existing sources more accessible
    • these sources could be universitary or journalistic work
    • production of sources should be supported in particular in emerging countries
    • oral sources should be integrated into Wikimedia projects
  • The WMF should consider funding minorized people. It would be legitimate in the global South and for queer people, for example.
  • The WMF should develop access for disabled people (example: develop audio content for blind people)
  • The WMF should test its tools with people from outside the community
    • currently, many people are discouraged by the “hermetical” aspect of the Wikimedia community, which has a big “nerdy” biais
    • more intuitive and open tools would foster the participation of more diverse people
  • The Wikimedia movement should continue to support IRL event directed towards minorized or marginalized groups, because they are safe places where we can create conviviality and inclusivity
    • Online, marginalized people have to face a lot of obstacles that take time and energy, while the already face obstacles IRL (for example, going through a gender transition is already a challenge)

PartnershipsEdit

CommunicationEdit

  • The WMF and the Chapters should organize efficient communication channels that volunteers could use so that they can communicate more widely about the partnerships and events they organize, and be easily informed about the partnerships that other people organize.
    • Have people who take care of logistic issues (transport, accomodation) so that contributors from distant places can take part to events (like editathons)
    • Have a tool to list all partnerships and share it across the movement, or even beyond: through a newsletter, a blog, or even vlogs in an engaging video channel?

Training inside GLAMsEdit

  • Partnerships should be more structural and tighter on the long term, for example:
    • Train GLAM staff, at best turn them into contributors, because it allows long-term collaboration and deeper sharing of our values and projects (while a simple editathons can remain a one-shot)
    • Develop Wikimedians in residence so that they share free knowledge culture with GLAMs
    • Raise awareness among GLAM staff about Wikimedia projects to fight their prejudices
    • Encourage contribution on paid time, because it allows more constant contribution
  • To have Wikimedia projects infused in GLAMs' practices, we need to produce reports about model-partnerships to show they are useful and thus convince decision-makers.

ProfessionalizationEdit

  • (In particular in emerging countries), the WMF should invest to train local volunteers to specific GLAM contribution tools and to learn how to build partnerships.
  • In emerging countries, the WMF sould recognize more chapters in order to allow hiring of staff, which is necessary to build lasting partnerships.
  • In all countries, the WMF and Chapters should train volunteers to become interlocutors for local partners.
  • The WMF should fund affiliates so that they can hire people in charge of partnerships (ex: Canada)
    • Partners need interlocutors who work at office hours (while volunteers have other jobs)
  • The WMF should create a training program delivering a “Wikimedia projects trainer” certification because it would give volunteers legitimacy / credibility in the eyes of GLAMs.

Volunteers and workEdit

  • The WMF should be careful that, when it asks for “impact results” from chapters, it can encourage them to appropriate volunteer work.
  • When doing partnerships for editathons, volunteer work from the online community should be made visible and valorized
    • After editathons, it is the online community who does “after-sales service”: check articles, categorize, etc. (example: an editathon at the UNESCO attracted 200 newbies. The partner had no idea volunteers then worked for days to “absorb” what they had produced)
    • Online volunteer work should be evaluated and valorized in reports, including for partners.
    • GLAM staff should all be trained to Wikimedia projects, so that they can 1/understand how much “invisible work” is behind events, 2/be able to participate in “after-sales service” if possible.
  • The WMF should give better support to volunteers organizing partnerships, events, trainings, or other IRL projects, because it requires a lot if time and energy. This could be done through:
    • creating training or support programs
    • encourage paying for their time (either by funding it directly, or having the partner pay for their time)

BrandingEdit

  • The WMF and Chapters should work on a way to present themselves to partners (for example a template-document) so that they avoid giving the impression that they represent the whole movement (which is mostly an online community) (GLAM often see the movement through a biased lense, only interacting with Chapters). This document should:
    • give partners an accurate vision of the Wikimedia projects online ecosystem
    • underline community constraints (for example: not available during the week because volunteers)
    • encourage partners to pay for Wikimedians' time when they organize events or facilitate editathons
  • The WMF should advertize more about smaller Wikimedia projects (other than Wikipedia)
    • Currently, volunteers from smaller projects face mistrust issues because of lack of reputation (ex: Wikisource)
    • Reinforce training for Wikimedians so that they can inform and reassure potential partners (for example about license issues)

ConventionsEdit

  • The WMF and Chapters should create partnership templates, adapted to various cultural contexts, that would be designed including communities, partners and chapters, so that all stakeholders are aware of each other's needs.

Partner with whom?Edit

  • The Wikimedia movement should mainly collaborate with the knowledge-building and preserving ecosystem (GLAMs, universities, schools, media with archives...) and the open movements on internet.
  • We should remain in a non-commercial logic because we are practically a public service, a common good.
  • The Wikimedia movement should build partnerships with associations on specific topics, but also foundations that could finance projects

ToolsEdit

  • The Wikimedia movement should create or adapt strong tools to follow projects and contacts on the long term, so that we gain time and efficiency. These tools should be:
    • adaptable (contexts) and collaborative
    • allow documentation of existing projects and easy retriving of information
    • be co-built with the community to match their needs (specifications)
    • be developed using agile methods along with concerned people
  • The Wikimedia movement should facilitate contribution from institutions by:
    • documenting workflows (example: how to properly and quickly upload pictures and inventories into Commons and Wikidata)
    • offering clear and simple tools, requiring no coding and no software installation (for example, in French GLAMs, installing a software on a computer can require multiple authorizations and take time)
    • offer a list of resource persons
    • currently, GLAMs find that training for Wikimedia tools is too long and complex, difficult to include into the institution's processes (direct feedback from a museum)
  • The WMF should have qualitative (and not only quantitative) tools for evaluating partnerships (for example: satisfaction rate / retention rate...)

Product & TechnologyEdit

  • The WMF should revise how the Wishlist for technical improvements works because:
    • currently, vote pages are hardly accessible (all in English / old interface only in wikicode / very little communication about it towards community)
    • some technical needs that would be useful to a majority of users are dismissed because most of the voters belong to a minority of expert users who don't care about ergonomy
  • The WMF should modernize its softwares by specifically asking feedback from non-expert users, otherwise there will always be a bias because people who spontaneously give feedback about these topics are usually already expert users
  • The WMF should simplify tools (for example Wikidata integration) because their complexity can frighten off new users

Resource AllocationEdit

  • Grants conditions of allocation should take into account the level of experience and engagement of the contributor, but evaluation needs to be adapted to the context, for example for young communities.
  • Resource allocation decision-making should be decentralized towards more regional or linguistic entities (for example: WikiFranca) because they understand better local issues.
  • For long term projects (example: fill the gender gap), the grant system should anticipate regular budgets and support the grantees in making the project last (having to apply for grants every year makes people feel insecure)
  • The Wikimedia movement should create a way to inform wikimedians that they have access to funding and about how to ask for it.
    • In a twitter survey asking “Obtaining resources from Chapters or the WMF is -easy, -complicated, -possible?? I had no idea”, 33% of people chose the last option (and 33% chose each of the other options)
    • We could create a mentoring program so that volunteer “elders” help new people to understand grant processes and have confidence in stepping in (it appears that external encouragement (peer-advice) is a strong facilitating factor)
    • Automatic messages could be sent to active contributors to inform them (just as we get “thank you for your 1000th edit”); or, for wikimedians who are more active online, they could be nominated by peers
  • The WMF should follow up with grantees' level of satisfaction to find out if the experience was positive for them
  • Asking for resources should be more inclusive:
    • Accessible in various languages
    • More simple procedures
    • Give money in advance (and not reimburse after) because some people can't afford advancing money
  • Grants application forms should be tested with various audiences (including newcomers and autistic people) to check if they are understandable for everyone (example: open-ended or ambiguous questions can provoque stress in autistic people; the Wikimania grant application form contained many unexplained terms that only insiders can understand, for example, there was no summary to explain what “learning days” are).

Revenue StreamsEdit

None.

Roles & ResponsibilitiesEdit

None. (Overlaping with other thematic areas)

Additionnal input or remarks from the communityEdit

Did I forget anything ? Would you like to oppose or complete a suggestion ? You can write here.