User talk:Sue Gardner/Narrowing focus/Wikimania

Active discussions
  • WMF scholarship oversight: not in the first Wikimanias; only since 2008 I believe.
  • Responsible for skill development : developing community skill in the areas that this liaison is responsible for (not just doing it, year over year).

SJ talk  03:53, 16 November 2012 (UTC)

As the leader of a two time bidding Wikimania team, I fully support this, it seems like an excellent idea. Wikimania is starting to grow into a really large event, and where events are concerned rapid and reliable response is really important. EdSaperia (talk) 11:17, 17 November 2012 (UTC)

"What's missing"? Remote participation without consuming fossil fuelEdit

I was disappointed to see [1] and [2] which I am reverting with an alternate vendor. I have no interest, financial, familial, or otherwise in the specific example product.

There are a lot of people who would like to attend Wikimania but are unable to do so because they can't afford to, they can't travel generally, or because they choose not to involve conspicuous travel in their lifestyle. If the issue of mentioning particular solution vendors presents a problem, then I suggest the logical solution is to find an alternative vendor with a better price instead of implying that others have a conflict of interest. 71.215.79.206 02:44, 19 November 2012 (UTC)

My apologies for mistaking your intent. When the only contributions a non-logged-in user makes are to a commercial product, it's usually spam; but I can see your intent is much more constructive.
I'd suggest rephrasing this in general concepts instead of in reference to a specific product, but I'm not going to belabor the point :) -Pete F (talk) 02:50, 19 November 2012 (UTC)

Scholarship timelineEdit

Here is the rough timeline for the scholarships work as would need support by this contractor. Pieces in need of most critical attention and most able to outsource are highlighted:

  • Nov - Dec: coordinate with Wikimania team to pull together committee, set criteria, and develop application infrastructure
  • Jan - Feb: Scholarship applications open
  • March: Final selections made (based on committee recommendations, budget, and representation goals); results announced
  • April: coordinate travel with recipients; manage waitlist
  • May-July: process reimbursements; finalize travel; be point of contact
  • August-September: collect and compile feedback

Jwild (talk) 16:30, 19 November 2012 (UTC)

A few observationsEdit

Sue,

I'd like to echo the appreciation expressed for your intent here, and also for your open solicitation for input. As a member of the Wikimania 2013 jury, a supporter (in principle) of the Wikimania community proposal, and as (perhaps) the kind of consultant who might bid on an RFP like this one, I think I have a unique perspective, and I have some thoughts to share below.

Before I get into it, I want to address my possible conflict of interest. While my work is in many ways similar to what is proposed here, my intent in these comments is not to steer the RFP in a direction that would be more favorable to me, but to support the design of something that will genuinely help Wikimania and Wikimedia grow and thrive. (It's also pretty unlikely, for a variety of reasons, that I would bid on this project -- but not entirely impossible.)

With that out of the way, here are some observations, and some questions that arise for me, reviewing this document. I hope this is helpful.

  • Will there be more or less support? The biggest area of concern for me is the possibility that conflicting expectations may be emerging. Sue has presented this proposal with the goal of reducing the resources expended by WMF on Wikimania. But some of the feedback has reflected an understanding of increased support for the Wikimania team, with a dedicated person. It isn't altogether impossible that, through taking a careful approach, both goals could be achieved: perhaps there are enough efficiencies to be developed that spending less can lead to increased results. But to my mind that is not a likely outcome, especially in the first year of a new approach; so it would be nice to see some discussion around this so that everybody's understanding/expectations align going into it.
  • Who is the client? The contractor seems to be intended to serve the Wikimania team (planning/executing a great event), but also the WMF (minimizing staff time required). If taking on this project, I would want some clarity around how I would be expected to balance those responsibilities.
  • How much staff time is available? It seems to me that going from "too much" staff time dedicated to Wikimania, to an expectation that no staff time would be required, would be unrealistic and counterproductive. If a given staffer spent (say) 100 hours on Wikimania in 2012, perhaps it would be reasonable to shoot for 50 hours or 20 hours, but not zero. If I were bidding on this, I would want the Statement of Work to contain a "client participation" section with some language guiding how much staff support I and the Wikimania team could expect, and how to put that time to the best use.
  • Deliverables Ultimately, it will of course be important to know what specific outcomes the contractor is responsible for. I think a section on "deliverables" would be useful to brainstorm the best things to focus on.
  • Structure: year-after-year It seems a bit strange to me that one contractor would be expected to perform this function year after year. It's a little hard for me to imagine somebody who is qualified, and also able to make even a loose commitment to this project for more than one year at a time. Perhaps that person is out there, but it seems unlikely to me. One slight change might be to consider small consulting companies. Specific examples might be mine, or better, Eugene Eric Kim's. A small, and closely aligned company might be better suited: while an individual might or might not be available to take on the whole project every year, he or she might have partners or staff to pass on most of the work to, and participate at a reduced level, sufficient to contribute specialized knowledge.

I want to reiterate, though -- I think this is at its core an excellent and needed idea, and an excellent process for refining the idea. I look forward to seeing where it goes. -Pete F (talk) 19:47, 21 November 2012 (UTC)

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