Wikimedia Café/minutes 2020 05

Saturday, 30 May 2020 at 9:30 AM Pacific time / 12:30 PM Eastern time / 4:30 PM UTC / 10 PM IST edit

  1. Welcome, as described above
  2. Wikimedia 2030 strategy recommendations
  3. Discussion regarding whether Wikimedia Café meetups should be recorded in audio, text to speech, or not at all.
  4. Discussion of adding an additional Café meetup, possibly one Sunday per month at approximately 3:00 AM UTC, to accommodate people who live in more time zones and/or are prevented from meeting on Saturdays.

Sign up edit

If you plan to attend then please sign here. The organizers can use this list to know who to contact individually if there are significant changes to the plan to the meeting, such as for the schedule.

  1. I would like to attend this event. however, I am unable to attend any events that occur during the en:Jewish Sabbath. I would appreciate it if this could be scheduled for literally any other day of the week. might that be possible? please advise. thanks. --Sm8900 (talk) 02:44, 11 May 2020 (UTC)[reply]
  • @Sm8900: thanks for the message. The attendance at Café meetups has been good in its current time slot, but there have been a few requests for alternate times. I am considering adding a second Café meetup each month that is offset from the current time slot by 12 hours. Scheduling the additional meetup on a different day of the week is very possible. Would you be OK with moving this discussion to Talk:Wikimedia Café? I would prefer to discuss this issue at more length on the talk page. Thanks, ↠Pine () 06:00, 12 May 2020 (UTC)[reply]
no problem, will do. thanks!! --Sm8900 ([[User talk:Sm8900|tal
  1. Ad Huikeshoven (talk) 14:31, 13 May 2020 (UTC)[reply]
  2. ↠Pine () 19:47, 13 May 2020 (UTC)[reply]
  3. Abhinav619 (talk) 02:22, 14 May 2020 (UTC)[reply]
  4. Nosebagbear (talk) 20:05, 15 May 2020 (UTC)[reply]
  5. Wiki Ruhan (talk) 16:59, 16 May 2020 (UTC)[reply]
  6. Michaelgraaf (talk) 06:51, 18 May 2020 (UTC)[reply]
  7. Eltomas2003 (talk) 19:01, 24 May 2020 (UTC)[reply]
  8. Ainali (talk) 06:41, 30 May 2020 (UTC)[reply]

Notes from etherpad edit

  1. Pine - reviewed the agenda, which is online. Pine is in Seattle.
  2. Han's Legacy / Ruhan - in Bangladesh, generally editing Bangla language
  3. Geert van Pamel - with Wikimedia Belgium, organizing video conferences
  4. Mehrdad - originally from Iran, now in Toronto, now with Wikimedia Foundation, previously with UNESCO
  5. Lane / Bluerasberry (taking notes)
  6. Jan Ainali, previously WMSE, now Wikimedians for Sustainable Development
  7. zBlace - "z" for short. First time joining from Croatia. I am curious about the topic today.
  8. Michael Graaf - in South Africa - more involved with organizing/access than editing. It is a winter night here now I am grateful to be in a warm dry bed!
  9. Pharos - Richard, in New York
  10. George Ho - here to join in, I edit Wikipedia, like the rest! That's all! I live in the Western US.
  1. Wikimedia Strategy 2030 - ongoing discussion - review of final recommendations
    1. A Wikipedian named Andrew Lih made a one page summary on the previous version which was so popular that the Movement Strategy core team produced one for the final version as well.
    3. Mehrdad presented this talk. In 2019 9 working groups came together to process the recommendations.
      1. We have these summaries of the recommendations.
    4. Mehrdad - we had various meetings with diverse participation. In some cases the participants were new small Wikimedia groups which advocated for the needs of communities like that. The feedback of these groups emphasized the need to better serve these communities.
    5. Wikimedia groups organized meetups or supported other groups in doing so, including Wikimedia Argentina and Wikimedia France. Following many discussions, in January and February 2020 there were on wiki discussions,as well as affiliates and Board feedback which brought the 13 recommendations
    6. question: What should we think of the Wikimedia Foundation Universal Code of Conduct and the controversy around it?
      1. Mehrdad - it is an old idea which predates the strategy and is seen as a necessity to have the common denominator for safety across the whole movement, with the needed resources and capacity.
      2. George: various people oppose it.
      3. Mehrdad - the Trust and Safety team is organizing this. It is not a closed conversation. Doing it in consultation with the communities was a priority for the WMF Board.
    7. Power sharing, community management, and leadership are big elements in the recommendations. Some parts apply more to the organized part of the movement than individuals online and we would like to better involve online communities in implementation discussions and in finding relevance among the recommendations. We would like to make models of organization to be useful both online and offline. No one wants authority to come top down, whether online or offline. Facebook has a model of implementing rules and the community has to adapt, but in Wikipedia, this cannot happen. Also various people experience Wikipedia in different ways. Many people now use Wikipedia with mobile devices. Also, virtual assistants are becoming more important. Two years ago it was recognized that capacity building was necessary as a thematic area. Skills training was a very common request also across all working groups. Understanding ourselves and our impact is key also. COVID-19 has generated positive feedback for Wikipedia's place in global issues.
    8. Z: Why is 2030 selected as the target year?
      1. Mehrdad: I am not sure! Strategy is usually done for 5 or 10 years. The process for a new strategy came about from discussions going further back when the previous strategy wrapped up and afterwards the ED, Katherine Maher, was tasked with it by the WMF Board of Trustees. This was going to be done the Wikimedia way though and be movement-led. Perhaps this is to coincincide with the Sustainable development Goals of the UN, which are through 2030.
      Increase the Sustainability of Our Movement
    9. There are many untapped local opportunities for fundraising and growth, which needs local capacity and movement-wide accountability. For example, focus here is on small groups, we want to support them in doing their own fundraising. They can partner with the United Nations and with other funding sources locally. Also, we have been talking about the sustainability of the Wikimedia Movement, but have not been talking about the sustainability of the planet. Increasing brand awareness is not tied to the branding discussion which has come up many times. When fundraising, funders do not know who "Wikimedia" is, but they know "Wikipedia". We need to better teach the public the brand and what Wikipedia does and has achieved. Also the API comes here. Many people absolutely oppose and many support. The idea is that when massive users, like Google and Facebook, use Wikimedia data, then they greatly tax the system's resources. We want to charge such organizations to build and staff these interfaces and to use the resources in when they do so.
    10. George: What do you think of the "Wikimedia has cancer" essay?
      1. Mehrdad - I found it quite a negative view of growth and our community effort. We do not support paid editing. (I think this - paid editing - was in relation to a different question re: supporting volunteers?). In many parts of the world where there are young people leaving school or work to organize events, we want to be more sustainable in the movement to grow. What do you think about this George?
      2. George: I think the opposers have a point. They feel like money is wasted.
      3. Pine: I will note budget as a potential topic for future meetings
    11. Jan - Could you elaborate on how API revenue generation could look like?
      1. Mehrdad - I do not have the tech expertise to explain. Google and Facebook have come to us to say they will support the development of the APi with funding and expertise. We do not want to become dependent on this funding or security risks which disclose user information, hence the addition of 'our values' to the topic. This is already happening and we stress commercial users because there are also large non-profit users of our data, like libraries. We do not want to put our resources behind paywalls, especially libraries, but if the private sector is making money off the content that we put up for free, why not take money from it. We have to find out how to partner with big private users of our data without hurting our values.
      2. Pine: Gergo would be a good person to address this.
    12. Ruhan - how should the community spend this money that comes in?
      1. Mehrdad - in the coming months there will be public community discussions to identify what issues are important to the wiki community. We will look at the 10 areas and ask people what their priorities are.
      Improve User Experience
      1. We need better collaboration between contributors and developers. Too often this is top down or messy. Wikimedia Deutchland has good examples of collaboration in that. We plan to increase accessibility standards.
      2. Jan - Wikipedia does not currently meet accessibility standards like WCAG (which is mandated for government agencies in the European Union). It will have to do at least this much. Why do the recommendations target compliance as the goal instead of going further?
      3. Mehrdad - the recommendations follow what the Wikimedia community requests. It was challenging to get additional support.
      Provide for Safety and Inclusion
      1. Lots of people asked for this. One common request was anonymous reporting. Some of the women's groups said that they felt that reporting incidents in public is not safe, and they want a private alternative. There was a recent Wikimedia l thread where people talked about needing psychological support. There are many nuances in language which a bot cannot figure out. This is part of why we need a Universal Code of Conduct. It was thought as a common denominator to set standards for what projects should abide by. The elected board members especially said that the Code of Conduct must come from communities. Art + Feminism recently came out with a tool kit for addressing harassment. Some of the people who are opposing the Code of Conduct proposal are banned on their home wikis, so we have to keep that in mind.
    13. Ruhan - I have a comment. We have a Bangla user who experienced a threat from a political party due to their wiki participation. The political party is powerful and the local wiki community needs support. What should the local wiki community do?
      1. Mehrdad: participating in Wikipedia projects can cause physical danger. We want to support them. In this case you should contact Trust and Safety. They provide support, including providing lawyers or physical protection. This is exactly why we need safety and security. Reporting in public can increase vandalism.
      2. Pine: The Wikimedia Foundation has a legal defense fund. Consider checking that.
      3. Mehrdad - this is one of the main recommendations. It mostly supports affiliates,. When we had 89 recommendations, 18 of them got condensed into this one. Way before the recommendations were developed the most common requests were local offices of the Wikimedia Foundation, more councils of the board of the Wikimedia Foundation include tech expertise, local decision making, and clear responisibilities. First the Wikimedia Foundation will produce a movement charter to define roles and responsibilities.
    14. Pine: I have a devil's advocate question. These all seem like a call for more bureaucacy. That sounds nice but can create many more problems.
      1. Mehrdad: some of these structures will be new and some will be developed from what we have. The thought was not to add mroe bureaucracy but to clearify and make current systems more streamlined.
      2. Pine: We want new structures which seem fair and represent people's interests. There are many messy and undefined interfaces which would be great to clean up.
      3. Ruhan - where is wikimedia foundation taking feedback from. There are so many different opinions. Many people in different regions have different needs.
      4. Mehrdad - we want to grow where there are the more South Asia, East and South East Asia PAcific, and Sub-saharan Africa. There are parts of the world which are underepresented with teh most young people and least awareness of Wikipedia.
      Invest in Skills and Leadership Development
    15. Mehrdad - In North America being a leader is celebrated. In some other countries leadership is less celebrated, such as in Germany. In some places where people come edit there is support. In other places there are not. Some places want online support and MOOCs. Other places want a peer network and the in-person connection. Volunteer translators are doing amazing work but for some communities this is not enough content in their langauge. Some people say that there are already wikis, so why have other platforms? For other people they would learn better with a new skill development platform.
    16. Ruhan - How could delivery of hardware like laptops and flatscreens be enhanced or ensured?
      1. Mehrdad - the strategy thought is that having regional hubs close to the people makes things better. Some communities think that when compensating volunteers this is taboo, but volunteers have challenges doing organization and administration.
      Manage Internal Knowledge
    17. volunteers often do not capture information or do documentation, or can't be expected to do so. For both online and offline information there is little documentation for decision making processes. For ownership and transparency this should happen in a systematic way. Just making notes sometimes on meta is not sufficient. We frequently re-invent the wheel, available information is hard to find, or can be outdated. This requires staffing and resources.
    18. Identify Topics for Impact
    19. This was one of the most controversial topics of the previous 13 recommendations. The Wikimedia community felt that the Wikimedia Foundation would persuade or compell or drive the wiki community into editorial directions. The Wiki community already has its various project focuses, such as Wiki Loves Monuments and Women in Red. It's something we already do, but good to do it more systematically without affecting the autonomy of volunteers. Misinformation is also a big topic here. From North Face to political parties of Tunesia we have problems with misinformation and this will only grow. Also AI is becoming more important and will affect Wikimedia projects.
    20. Innovate in Free Knowledge
    21. pasted from the previous recommendation: Especially from affiliates in the Americas, indigenous knowledge is not kept so well. There are various requests to take in oral knowledge or to partner with reliable sources that do and link with Wikidata. Many people feared that this would lower the quality of Wikimedia projects by reducing the notability criteria, and it's not so black and white. Whether project, policy or partnership, it'll make sense for some projects and not for others, and this we would learn in implementing with communities. Alexa and other virtual assistants move away from text based information and present knowledge in different forms, and as we have learnt with mobile technology, we have to be vigilent and adaptive to not become obsolete.
      Evaluate, Iterate, and Adapt
    22. there were discussions about whether this should even be a recommendation or rather a principle. It does not seem like something which every volunteer can do as it needs resources and expertise. Some of the affiliates shared that some things done around evaluation are top down or would be the priorities of whatever anyone top down was proposing. Lots of the evaluation work has been done multiple times without various people understanding them. It was seen as a crosscutting way to wrap up strategy and to make sure we learn as we implement and can share that learning with accountability.
    23. To review what comes next -
    24. Wikimedia Summit is where this strategy was to be discussed. The Foundation teams are taking parts of this forward.
    25. George - Mehrdad, you said that Wikipedia was behind in mobile. Can you say more?
      1. Mehrdad - We were slow to develop mobile tools and perhaps that hurt us when other platforms were switching to mobile. Something to note to be more vigilant around bringing change in the future. Mobile fundraising brings in more money than desktop.
      2. George - oh, I thought you were talking about how online products like Google docs were accessible through mobile devices.
      3. Mehrdad - Yes, these giants are having trouble to adapt for mobile. Visual Editor for example is easier to use on Desktop than on mobile devices.
    26. George - what is the support or oppose rate for the universal code of conduct?
      1. Mehrdad - we have not assessed this as such. Generally what we see is that German and English Wikipedia are not happy with the code of conduct. The board said that we have to have a code of conduct but it has to be with communities. Some Wikimedia community groups have given comment as an organization, but we cannot quickly determine how many people that group represents, and also we cannot distinguish when a group gives a statement and also an individual from that group gives a statement. Meta is in no way a representative measure of participation. The code of conduct conversation far predates strategy and has wide implications, especially for higher level disputes.
      2. Pine: there is not currently an RfC on this topic. There is a page on meta for this. I proposed a draft of what I thought a universal code of conduct could include that would be constructive.
      3. George - why do you think that the opposers on meta are more vocal on meta?
      4. Mehrdad - I am not sure that it is quite like that. When the 89 strategic recommendations came out people protested as there were many topics and recommendations were at various levels, but when they were dropped to 13 recommendations people supported more widely. For the landing page of the recommendations many people read them, around 15,000 pageviews in combination with the talk page, but less than 300 edits. Many more people read than comment and often if people are pleased with something, they would not comment. Also, many people felt that they had already provided input at various points and were happy with the results. The fact that many affiliates had in person events to discuss the recommendations meant that it was important. Many people who are actively engaged in meta have a long history with the Wikimedia Foundation. There have been failures and people remember those. Some people connected the recommendations to the Fram ban, which was a recent controversy. At this moment I think most people support and are ready to go forward.
      5. George - how would it work to communicate with the WMF board of trustees to modify this?
      6. Mehrdad - I do not engage with the board of trustees personally. I do not know how to contact them myself. Regarding the February statement asked, when Maria Sefidari from the board made a post to the talk page that would have been an opportunity to contact them and it still is.
    27. Ruhan - I have a question about Wiki Translation Tool. Is Wiki Translation tool using Google translation? If I put a text of Indic language and the same text in Wikimedia translation tool, the output is the same.
      1. Mehrdad - does anyone know?
      2. Pharos - yes, previously it was using Yandex. Now it defaults to Google, and also offers Yandex and some open source tools.
      3. Ruhan - it often has mistakes. Is there a a way to fix that?
      4. Pharos - Amir Aharoni is on translation and can make referrals.
      5. Mehrdad - if this has been recorded my presentation would have been different. I would have had a script and not casually spoke.
      6. Jan - we have a Wikidata meetup in Swedish language which we started recording.
      7. Ruhan - I think the idea of recording is good but not acceptable to everyone. I like the idea of having a recorded conclusion or summary.
      8. Jan - ...
  2. future meetings
    1. proposal - additional meeting at another time?
    2. Lane: I would like other meetings but with recordings. Notes scale impact, and manual notes are difficult.
      1. Pine: taking notes adds weight to the meetings. People will not speak candidly.
      2. Z: what about not having either recordings or notes?
      3. Pharos: What about recording only a designated part of the meeting?
  3. Pine: I will set up a discussion on the talk page.
  4. Mehrdad - perhaps set up a doodle for a meeting.
  1. Invest in Skills and Leadership Development
  2. Improve User Experience
  3. Manage Internal Knowledge
  4. Provide for Safety and Inclusion
  5. Identify Topics for Impact
  6. Ensure Equity in Decision-making
  7. Innovate in Free Knowledge
  8. Coordinate Across Stakeholders
  9. Evaluate, Iterate, and Adapt