WIKIMOVE/Podcast/Transcript Episode 10

Nicole: Welcome to episode 10 of WIKIMOVE. In this podcast, we discuss the future of the Wikimedia movement. I'm Nicole Ebber and with me is Nikki Zeuner.

Nikki: Hey everyone.

Nicole: We are both part of Wikipedia Deutschland's Movement strategy and global relations team.

Nikki: This episode was recorded on March 7th, 2023 at 1500 UTC. Things may have changed since we recorded this show, but what we still know is…

Nicole: …that by 2030, Wikimedia will become the essential infrastructure of the ecosystem of free knowledge and anyone who shares our vision will be able to join us.

Nikki: Our home base is not only this podcast, but we also have a meta page and a web page and all the relevant links are available in the show notes.

Nicole: On today's show, we will talk to two long standing members of our Movement about governance, but not about global governance and the decision-making of organizations, but instead about the governance of the Wikimedia projects, particularly Wikipedia, because it is one project with the largest number of contributors.

Nikki: So in some of our previous episodes, guests from emerging communities pointed out how difficult it is sometimes for them to get started as newcomers in the projects. And we sort of felt that maybe the governance of Wikimedia projects may be standing in the way of this pillar of our Movement strategy, which is called knowledge equity. So I guess mentioned among other things that how their community struggles with IP blocks or how the notion of notability can be different between the global north and the global south. And so today in our interview, we are trying to understand the reasoning behind these rules, how the projects are governed, and maybe what can be done to solve, or to make it more welcoming and more easy to get into for newcomers from emerging communities.

Nicole: And our conversation today builds upon the notion in the strategic direction that we will remove technical and social barriers to participation. And there are, for example, two recommendations. Recommendation number seven, manage internal knowledge, which also talks about onboarding newcomers and teaching them the rules of how to contribute to our projects and to Wikipedia. And then we have recommendation number nine, innovate in free knowledge, and that says that notability criteria can sometimes be seen as a barrier in accessing content and especially content related to underrepresented communities. And this should be addressed in the future.

Nikki: So we look very much forward to talking today to Florence Devouard and Martin Rulsch to hear about their perspectives on these issues and learn more from their experience. So Florence Devouard, hope I'm not butchering your name, is currently the co executive director of Cape Town based Wiki in Africa Association, and Wiki in Africa Association is there to empower and engage citizens of Africa and its diaspora to collect, develop, and contribute educational and relevant content that relates to the theme of Africa under a free license and to engage in global knowledge systems by encouraging access to awareness of and support for open knowledge, the open movement, and the Wikimedia projects and working in collaboration with like minded organizations. So that's their mission statement. And we'll probably hear more about their work later in the show. Florence has done a whole bunch of other things. She's been a Wikipedian since February of 2002. She's a former steward. She's a former WMF chairwoman. She's a founding member of Wikimedia France. She was a Wikimedia in residence at the World Intellectual Property Organization. So long list of things she's done and she's an icon of the movement. She's by training an agricultural science engineer. And so I'm super happy to welcome Florence. Hi, where are you joining us from today?

Florence: Hello, Nkiki and hello everyone. So I'm joining from Marseille in France.

Nikki: Cool. I bet it's warmer there than here.

Florence: It's not snowing.

Nikki: Oh yeah, that's a plus.

Nicole: And then we have Martin, Martin Rulsch with us. He is a classical philologist and a project manager. And he has been volunteering on Wikimedia projects since 2005 in really various roles. For example, as a Wikimedia steward, he does administrative tasks like fighting global vandalism and also he supports community governance and communications at various places. I will also say that he is a colleague of ours at Wikimedia Deutschland, but today he's joining us in his volunteer capacity. So, hi Martin, where are you calling in from today?

Martin: Hello, I'm calling in from my home city Berlin, close to you and I look forward to the conversations.

Nicole: Yeah, we already, we start with asking you the first question, Martin, from Berlin to Berlin, so to say. So when we did our prep conversation for this episode, you basically, did you introduce us to the term? I mean, you said, actually, I'm a functionary. And yes, that's actually the term. These are volunteers that help govern Wikipedia and its sister projects. What kind of functionaries are there and what are their roles in general? Can you first talk a little bit about that?

Martin: Sure. I won't provide a complete list. That would actually be too long. Nevertheless, just for the listeners, of course you can add Wikipedia. So, people would be called editors in that way, but there are also people who try to solve conflicts, delete articles and such. Most of these people are called administrators, but beyond that level of administrators, there are more people which we summarize as functionaries because they have special functions like checking IP addresses, assigning user rights, managing things on a local level or on a global level. And one of the groups with the most functions on a global level are the Wikimedia stewards. And I'm happy to help this group out for the last 15 years.

Nicole: Do you want to talk like two more sentences about the stewards? What kind of group is it? How many are there? Maybe that is also an interesting question.

Martin: The Wikimedia stewards are a pretty small group of currently 33 people who have access to all functions, all user rights, which exists on Wikimedia projects. However, they are not allowed to use them at every moment. They are allowed to use them on smaller Wikis. They are called for emergency actions. They have a close contact to the Wikimedia Foundation and regular calls and such. So they help out on every kind of governance which cannot be dealt with on a local level.

Nikki: So can I ask, so the stewards are all operating at the global level, but the administrators are working at the level of language versions of Wikipedia or geographic boundaries or how are they distributed?

Martin: So we currently have about 900 Wikimedia projects. Not all of these are Wikipedias. We also have sister projects and local administrators are only elected to administer one of these projects. And we as stewards help out on the smaller Wikis with not so many administrators or take over more sensitive functions and such on larger wikis. And next task, a lot of things to do, global activities. So when you create an account, for example, on German Wikipedia, you also have an account on English Wikipedia. This is one global account and these cannot be handled on a local level, but only by stewards on a global level.

Nikki: Got you. Okay. All right, back to you, Nicole.

Nicole: Yeah, and I wanted to ask you, Nicky referred to that in our introduction and we've been hearing about that from other guests. What are IP blocks? Can you try to explain it in a way that Nikki and I understand it and ideally our listeners understand it as well?

Martin: So, while stewards handle accounts, profiles which are created, to added Wikimedia projects, of course people can still contribute to most of the projects without registration. And when they do this, their IP address, the number which is assigned by their providers to connect to the internet, they use this IP address to add it. This one is saved in the article histories. And identifies the people with what they are doing. And of course, not only registered users can do bad things to the open encyclopedia and the sister projects, but also people who do not register can cause vandalism, can destroy parts of articles and such, or harass people or whatsoever. And one of the activities of functionaries like administrators and stewards is to prevent such vandalism by blocking either registered users or IP addresses, as we call them, not locked in users, IP addresses.

Nikki: OK, so we'll talk later about how that could be a problem for some people. I want to move over to Florence. So talk a little bit about in the context of your work with WikiAfrica, how do you deal with functionaries? What role do functionaries play and how do you work within this existing governance system that we have?

Florence: Thank you, Nikki, for the question. So let me first give you a little bit of context of why I do need functionaries. And I explain that because I am myself a functionary. As it was mentioned earlier, I'm a former steward. It was already quite a long time ago. I'm an admin on several projects, a bureaucrat, a translator, administrator, whatever. So in myself, I very rarely need any functionary because I can do the things by myself. That's the good part. But now here's the bad part of it, the problem we face. So I run this organization, Wiki in Africa, and as part of this organization, we run a global initiative in support of the WikiAfrica Movement. So some of these initiatives are run amongst others. There are, for example, the photographic contest Wiki Loves Africa. There's some mentorship program such as Wiki Loves Women. There are some tools, some of these, such as Ease a Tool and so on. So it's a bunch of initiative. But the fact is, we are usually not confronted directly with the direct editors. We do not train final people. We train our final in the sense the last bit of editing, participating in contribution. The people we interact the most with are the future project leaders. So they are the Wikimedia user group. There are some chapters sometimes and they are leaders that themselves organize activities in their own country. So our challenge is, it is not so much that we need the functionary, our problem is that these future leaders actually do need functionaries. Because basically none of them are administrators, none of them are to work, none of them are a translator, administrator, they do not have these functions, none of them. And this is a topic we can discuss further. So my problem right now is that we try to teach future leaders to become global leaders, in particular African leaders and women leaders, and we need them to learn about all these tools and all these peoples and what they can ask from these people because they don't know when they start. So I will want to give you a couple of examples of why we would need such functionaries support. There's the IP block that Martin mentioned early on. This is very frequent in Africa that people are actually blocked. And when these global leaders try to organize some editions, then they get some editors being blocked. In turn, they need to find a solution to fix that. A second example is that all of our projects are multilingual. So it's very important for us that the pages be translated and available to everyone. So we need some functionaries, but these leaders need to understand how translation works so that they can get help and know how to do it themselves. And of course, the main topic that comes back all the time is article deletion that comes for notability issues. So again, when these leaders organize editions with their local teams, they want to be able to know what to do when they are confronted with the deletion of text. So my problem is that we need these people to get sufficiently informed about all these tools, where to get help, who to contact. And this is my primary challenge at the level of Wiki in Africa.

Nikki: I see. So you mentioned notability criteria and that's something I've heard in conversations with people from Africa particularly. Let's talk a little bit more about that. So what I heard, just paraphrasing at WikiIndaba, is that notability criteria are just a huge pain because people, or let's say the implementation of them is painful to people because they create content about people they perceive to be notable and relevant. And then the administrators who are typically from the global north perceive that content to not be relevant and delete it. So can you maybe talk from your experience a little bit more about what happens there and where this frustration comes from?

Florence: So the frustration comes from editors from Africa trying to edit in particular big projects such as English Wikipedia or French Wikipedia. This problem doesn't really exist when they edit local language Wikipedia where they usually manage the space. So they don't face this problem much. So when it comes to the English and French Wikipedia or Arabic Wikipedia, the rules have been set up already 20 years ago. They are very much ingrained. And the problem is not so much that the local administrator does not think that the content is relevant. The problem is that they are not, in most cases, able to check that these topics are notable. They can't find the sources. So it's not a question of relevance. It's a question of variability. And why does it come? It's simply because first, many of these cultures are still very much oral cultures so not much is written. And second, because many of these countries still do not have a lot of their content available on the net. So sometimes the information actually might be available in books and completely good books, relevant books and trustworthy books, but only in books. And the books are only in local libraries. You can't find them. So you cannot check if the information is proper. So the whole issue comes from there. It's not a question of relevance. It's a question of where do we find the secondary source that we can trust to check what you're writing? Of course, if you have been an editor for 15 years and have a good track record of editing and you try to do this, they will complain to you. They will say, hey, you wrote something and you did not provide secondary sources. You need to find a way to second what you wrote. And we usually find a path. We find a way to go forward. But when it comes to rather new editors with no track record, no reputation or low reputation, then they immediately hit the wall because they do not understand the rules. They do not understand why what they are writing is being questioned. So they feel offended very quickly, there are some discussion around colonialism and so on. When the real issue is that number one, they don't have yet a reputation and number two, they can't be able to find sources that can be verified. That's the main issue.

Nikki: Yeah. So would it be, so let me counter that by saying maybe then the way we have sourced knowledge from the global north, and I know that's not a good term, but for lack of a better term in the established communities in countries with lots and lots of documented sources. So this way maybe does not work for gathering encyclopedic knowledge in countries of the global. So do the rules need to change? Or what do we do? Because income is Movement strategy and we say, knowledge equity, everybody should be able to share and contribute in the sum of all knowledge. Yet our rules prohibit that basically because we don't have sources.

Florence: Yeah, and that's complicated because I fear that in 20 years the rules have proved to be quite solid and effective. Thanks to these roles, this is why most of the world now believe in our believers to be a trustworthy source in a notion of fake news and old outdated news and all. So we build our quality thanks to these roles. So it's very difficult to move away from them and to abandon them because of this. So we need to find ways and maybe the ways would not come so much from us changing the rule, but from us creating more opportunities to have access to these local sources. So maybe we have been talking a lot about oral sources. It seems to be getting nowhere. I've been hearing about oral sources for 15 years now. I haven't seen anything efficient be set up. So I don't know if it's the right move. But there's also the question of how can we also help all the institutional structures in Africa to actually make sure that the resource they have is also available on the net? Or is more available? Many of the museums do not have anything about their content on the net at the moment. It's only locked in their museum. So maybe one path might be to work better, to work more with these structures and help them unlock these resources to make them accessible to others so that we can in turn create some sources for us. So might be a path, but I'm not so sure myself that the rules need to be changed. I'm not a big fan. Some of them might be refined, but..

Nikki: Martin looks like he has an opinion. Martin, do you want to add to this? This dilemma that we're facing?

Martin: Well, it's always good to assume good faith for all people involved. So stewards and other functionaries, local administrators usually not intend to block, get the good people out. And usually there are reasons why things have to be done. So we as functionaries, have to find a balance between protecting the site from abuse, vandalism, harassment and such, and providing helping hands for newbies. And of course we need tools for that because of the sheer amount of things which go on. And if we look at the IP blocks, there's another inequity here. So in our countries, with much more computers and such, IP addresses move to IP version 6, which means more or less each one of us has one particular IP assigned to their computer. However, in other countries, especially in African countries, IP addresses are not assigned one by one, but for networks, for groups of people. And if one of them does the wrong thing, we as functionaries or stewards don't have the right tools to say, you're out, but the rest is in.

Nikki: And so it blocks a whole bunch of people instead of just one person.

Martin: And sadly, this changes, and gets worse over time. There's a lot of things like also privacy related initiatives which try to hide IP addresses and to make it more difficult to identify who is actually doing things. But we have to know to stop those who do harm to the projects. So we have to find the right mechanism to throw tools to stop that one which is a problem and to help out those who innocently get affected by activities.

Nikki: So that sounds like a technical barrier, right? Mostly, or a technical issue, let's say that, I'm not saying that makes it solvable, but it's more a technical issue than a social issue or an issue of governance.

Martin: Yeah, we have various things here. So we have these technical challenges. And of course, most of them are known. My colleague Ray, greetings, has published a nice series on the DiffBlock about IP blocks and proxies and all the things which cause these problems, in particular in African countries like Nigeria and Ghana. So this is one thing, technology, but also we have to look at the social part of the Movement. And as Florence has said, she wants to bring people into such functions. When I checked where stewards actually came from the 140 stewards which served the global community, zero are from Sub -Saharan Africa. One might say, okay, the stewards are doing just serving the community, using the tools and such. So it doesn't matter much where they come from because the policies are very strict, what we can do and what not. But of course, this is not an equal distribution of people.

Nikki: And policies are always up for interpretation and there's always an individual choice and a judgment and an action that an individual will take.

Florence: At least some understanding of the situation.

Martin: Thanks to Florence who raised this topic on our internal mailing lists. Some stewards considered how to interpret these rules, guidelines, so that balance is shifted a bit more towards those who have good intentions from those who have bad intentions. And yes, so we have to find these kind of checks and balances here as well.

Florence: I'm glad to hear I had a little impact there. It's very nice. We had a long, long, long discussion related to this IP block situation and the store. And some time ago there were the new Steward elections, so reconduction of all Steward and candidacy from new Steward. And I thought I would point out this to all my newcomers and thinking that they should learn about the different functionary and get a better sense of this. And I got some people asking me if they could actually be candidate to become Steward. And of course I had to say, well, there are some criterias and you first need to have been there a long time, for a long time, have lots of experience. And then you need to be, more or less, right, Martin? But you also need to be an admin. I mean, you need to have a certain reputation somewhere, somehow. And then that's the thing I faced. None of the people I was talking with were admins. And they're probably very far from ever becoming an admin, maybe they will become an admin on their local language, but I'm not sure that will really be a proof of their skills and reputation when it comes to be elected as a steward. They need to be elected on a big wiki to establish this reputation. And we are facing the situation where none of them are. And that's more tricky than the steward situation because admin can actually have a deeper understanding of what is going on locally, and they can intervene or explain or justify or make it smoother for when people are rejected, in particular on Wikipedia, when they submit an article and this article is rejected because of supposedly lack of notability, they can help. So the first step before becoming a storage needs to start early on. And even before becoming an admin, there's a whole bunch of other roles, other functionary roles that are easier to access with, much easier to access with. And they could start by this little step, baby step by baby step, but they have no idea. They have no idea of this. So they need to have an acquisition of skills on that matter.

Nikki: Sorry, Nicole, but I keep getting down this rabbit hole. Go ahead. I see. If I understand you correctly, to become an admin and a steward or a functionary, it is as much a matter of skills, which can be learned, but it's also a matter of reputation and maybe number of edits. I don't know. It's very hazy to me how you get to that point, but I'm wondering how much of that can be addressed. So if we want to increase the number of functionaries and we want to increase the number of functionaries from emerging communities. How much of this sort of onboarding skill building can be addressed through training and how much is sort of a social thing that you just need to work your way through?

Florence: It's training, it's social experience, it's behavior, and it's actually a lot of editing so that you get the essence. So that all these rules, you may not know all the rules because there are so many rules now that it's impossible to know all of them. And I will never claim that I do. But you need somehow to get the concept, the essence of the rule to understand where this comes from. And as long as you do not have this completely in your body, then you cannot really reasonably ask to be an admin and be and be recognized as such and behavior, of course, trying to be helpful, do all the legwork, be polite, be friendly, all these things. So it's a bunch of reasons.

Nikki: Wow. So we've built something really complicated and now it's, let me be a little bit provocative, it's not helping us at this point to maintain a number of functionaries and diversify.

Martin: Well, and you really would want to do this kind of job.

Nikki: Yeah, it doesn't sound like something I would want to do.

Martin: You're not writing articles, you're not creating content, which might be way more visible than doing things in the background. So there's the challenge of you have to know all the horrible stories from the past 15 to 20 years. We too, Florence and I have the good thing that we have these years lived through and you have to bring some technical background, mostly for Steward activities nowadays. You have to bring some reputation and I really think this is one of the most problematic things because whenever we look at also global elections or, I don't know the UCCUS things, tens of percents are still coming from the top five projects by article size and by number of users. So it's like who participates in such elections. But I wouldn't say that in the perfect world it shouldn't be a solution to elect people to a position just to change things.

Nicole: So I'm going to ask that question now to move us a little bit from the challenges towards the solutions. So what you're describing is really like a governance crisis in our Movement in the functionaries world, how do we get out of this crisis that you're describing?

Florence: There's a big silence. Ah, yeah, million dollar question. So I think there is a challenge we have not mentioned, Nicole. It's a tricky one.

Nicole: Okay, we can go back to the challenges if we then go back to the challenge and then immediately you go, we go to the solution immediately. We go to the solution.

Florence: No, yet another challenge is that there are people all the time. We're actually growing, right? Getting more experience, having some tech background, understanding languages beginning to understand the Wikimedia strategy because they read all those documents. So they're getting there. And this is exactly the moment where we think, okay, we are going to maybe recruit new functionaries. This person might be interested in doing the site noticing. Just an example, because we are dropping volunteers there. So maybe they might be interested, but what happened is that they somehow get recruited to join other positions. So they might be recruited as staff member of Wikimedia Foundation because they become visible and the Wikimedia Foundation is all the time trying to recruit people. Or they might be recruited to various comedies, the YouCock and all those comedies we hear about regularly. And all the time they could have dedicated to these less visible but so important roles is lost because all of a sudden, they were doing a little bit of it and up there are gone entirely swallowed by other projects. So that's the last challenge I would mention because all the time we try to train people to get them there and all of a sudden it's gone. So now solutions.

Martin: Yes, suddenly the hand and act problem. Training new trainers and such solutions.

Florence: Yes, solutions. I'd love us to spend less time on, sorry, I shouldn't say that to you, but it's the amount of time we spend on strategy in the past few years.

Nikki: You're doing it right now.

Florence: Yeah, we are doing right now, but we're not doing only strategy. We are practical strategy at the moment. But yeah, we needed the strategy to be established. That was super important. I'm very happy with all the work that was done. And thank you very much for your Wikimedia Deutschland for really being a moving force there. But there's also a balance to find between the amount of time and energy we spend on the theoretical strategy and the practical things to get the organization working. And I remember a couple of years ago, we were just during maybe the pandemic, we were swallowed in a collection of surveys. Do you remember that time? We were receiving about 10 surveys per week. It was terrible. On all the different topics, right? Not only movement strategy.

Nicole: Oh, no, no. So many topics.

Florence: Everybody thought we can't meet face to face again. So we are going to do stuff online. Let's do surveys. And we were drawn on the surveys. So yeah, it's exactly this problem. We need to identify the elements that are currently swallowing so much, too much time maybe from people so that they can regain work and get to see all these other tasks we need to take care of. So this is really thinking about balance, activity balance.

Martin: Yeah, I can only agree to this. So what goes through my mind is getting better on internal knowledge. We have to find good ways to document all the struggles which were so that we don't have to repeat the mistakes from earlier years. And to also reduce the workload on those who are already here for a long time. So I'm expanding nowadays, my time is secured mostly like this rule developed with these intentions because of that and they're now like this. And you interpret it now that way, but originally it was intended to be like that.

Nikki: It's like a lawyer, like an attorney in court.

Martin: Interpretation of rules and such. Having this knowledge at hand is also one step. And from my group, I can say that for the stewards, that there is still room for improvement on this, also with internal governance. But this also means everywhere you increase governance, you remove people from doing other things. So stewards are there to protect the pages, the global pages. And there are a lot of things to do, global spam bots and file sharing on our platforms, etc. etc. Things which often don't reach the public, which are handled by stewards level. But who can help us to develop as a group? Nowadays, we mostly do this by ourselves. So some people like myself, try to help out, this, others are doing outreach like this, talking about the situation. But while I'm doing this, I cannot help people and fill their problems in Africa. I cannot respond to all the emails we get from people who were affected by one of the blocks. So I can't even talk to the Wikimedia Foundation at the same time. “Can you provide us some technical solutions?” There is some support from Wikimedia Foundation for groups like stewards, setting up monthly meetings, etc. But the internal governance is mostly shaped still by volunteers.

Nicole: Martin, can I ask a follow-up question? We haven't talked about this question in our prep, but maybe you have ideas about this because we talked a lot about managing internal knowledge and there's also the question of like leadership development. How do we grow new functionaries or people who take on more responsibility than just editing? What role could affiliates probably play in that? You know, could they, I don't know, provide support? Is that even something that functionaries want, you know, because there's a lot of the notion of independence and so on. But still, I mean, what could affiliates do to support that, if at all?

Martin: Well, once again, the hen and -egg problem. If we take ourselves out for more trainings, we cannot do the things like this. If we are already all overworked and we don't have time to find new people. So how can we manage this? This is really a problem. We have this visible and taken to the public with creating articles and such, but I have the observation that the struggles within governance are much more concerning than the other ones. You can write articles the next couple of years, but if there's no one in the background who can actually help you understand the policies, help newbies and such, it's a problem. And of course, and I'm hearing pretty well what you imply, the visibility of such groups also within the Movement has to increase. So it's not only counting edits. I know how to push a button and make 10 ,000 edits on our media archive on Wikimedia Commons.

Nicole: We'll put that into the show notes.

Martin But this isn't it more way more important to maybe spend an hour to explain things to people to multiply effects. Nobody will do this. I got also feedback on my steward confirmation, we Stewart's are open for confirmations once per year. Like you didn't do, I'm counting your steward activities and you did just these and that. I said, I did some more hundreds which are not logged publicly because of the seriousness of the things I'm doing. There are tons and tons of activities beyond that, like writing reports, or we created a Wikimedia affiliate, user group, to organize better towards Wikimedia Foundation, asking about grants and such, which also takes time, but this is not visible. How can we make this actually visible? And I see Florence has an idea on that.

Florence: I don't know if it's an idea, but I wanted to mention that you are in a very specific situation because the work being done by stewards is so sensitive that you have to be hidden. So that's a problem that face your groups in particular, but it's not so much the problem of the other groups. Other functionaries have a work that is completely visible, but is not somehow, there are not always tools that allow to quickly check what is the work being done by a type of functionary. And Nicole, you were asking what, how could affiliates help? I have a suggestion. In some cases, somebody dedicating time to do a bone raising to clean up a space. I want to give you the example of the translation. Translation is absolutely not sensitive, data sensitive. It's entirely public activity. It's super useful to the community because if we want equity in the activity, we need things to be translated. But yet, if you look at the pages dedicated, the dashboard dedicated to translation, it is a disaster. It's outdated. The links are broken. The information is not valid. The tools is super broken. So maybe nobody is going to buy herself or himself take on this task. So maybe it needs to be a dedicated project from one affiliate to say, hey, next year, let's do a big cleanup there. Let's do a big cleanup together. And this is not work that is being taken on the time of the translator administrator. This is somebody from the affiliate, a group of volunteer, maybe led, helped with a staff person, but at least take an area and clean it up entirely. That would be one of my proposition to fix this mess.

Nikki: Okay. So chapters out there, affiliates out there, here's a job for you. Come join. Write a grant to the Wikimedia Foundation and do this.

Martin: Actually, when people show up and say how we have problems with this, this or that, then things can change. I mean, we all started with a blank page more or less and notice, oh, they're right to left languages. Maybe you should adjust our design also to make it possible for them. Of course, there are various more topics like this where people say, okay, I kind of changed this and that I'm in Africa and there are these kind of peer to -peer proxies, but they're has to be a solution now. And they want to do good things, you want to do a good thing and there needs to be some support. And I think that affiliates who are tackled with these struggles can definitely help on small levels and for the larger levels, there has to be some support also from Wikimedia Foundation.

Florence: With the KV that except for a couple of ones, most of the African user group are actually is very small. So they don't have a lot of volunteer time. There are a few exceptions, but most of them they have already so much to do because they are brand new. And contrary wise to many of the older groups, they have an influx of newcomers that is completely amazing. So their challenge right now is to actually welcome all these new people and try to orient them, get them involved the way is the best. The other challenge, the other solution to a challenge, Nicole, that I would like to raise following what I said earlier on about the notability rules. I think the path of Wikipedia in residence, working in cultural institution in Africa is really super important. And it might be extended to Wikipedia in residence working in the media space. So we know it's more murky because they might get into conflict of interest or whatever. But still, if there are any ways we could actually improve the visibility of the content that is being published, even on paper in Africa would be helpful. So these Wikipedia in residence solutions really need to be expanded, I think, to try to solve this.

Nikki: That's excellent. And that could also be another topic maybe for a future podcast is to shine more light on the potential of those programs, I think. Yeah. So we got some solutions. We talked about leadership development, internal knowledge management. We talked about what affiliates could do. We talk about Wikimedia and residents. What we know is something needs to happen. Otherwise, you know, our system will break and it won't be able to just take all the new people that were at the same time, you know, so enthusiastically inviting. So thanks for shining a light on these issues. We'll continue to talk about this. We'll continue to invite more people to also share their perspective on it. In the interest of time, we now have to call this a wrap. Thank you guys so much. I learned so much today. And I've been working at an affiliate for 10 years. I still had a big learning today. So thanks, Florence, and thanks, Martin, for your time today. And I'll call that a wrap. It's a wrap of the 10th episode of WIKIMOVE. Thanks for listening. Nicole, will you read us out?

Nicole: Yeah, Wikimov is a production of Wikimedia Deutschland and its Movement strategy and global relations team. Eva Martin pulls all the strings in the background so that Nikki and I can create that excellent content with our guests. Our music was composed and produced by Rory Gregory and is available under a Creative Commons license CC BY SA on Wikimedia Commons of course. And thank you very much to our wonderful guests Florence and Martin.

Florence: Thank you, Nicole and It's been really a pleasure talking to you.

Nicole: I can only second also what Nikki said. I've had a lot of epiphanies and I finally understood what IP blogs are and so on and I learned a lot. Thank you.

Nikki: We release new episodes every month. Visit our WIKIMOVE meta page to listen to previous episodes, to react to our podcast, connect with other listeners and subscribe to always be notified of our new episode releases. You can also contact us at to continue this discussion and share your suggestions for next episodes. Bye bye. Ciao for now. Tschüssi and au revoir. Au revoir.