Wikimedia Foundation Board Governance Committee/Wikimania 2016 training

The Board Governance Committee has discussed the needs for training for the Board members. We have identified three areas that we want to focus on in the future:

  • skills training in the areas identified by the Board members by external instructors (to be discussed, possibly to start in November 2016),
  • knowledge workshops by the WMF staff (continued),
  • cultural workshops for the Board members unfamiliar with the wiki world.

The last point is new and we would like to possibly start during Wikimania 2016. I would like to reach out to the community to suggest the areas, topics, as well as volunteer instructors (who would have to be Wikimania attendants) that our two external members, Guy and Kelly, would benefit most. The whole training, covering all topics, should last about 2-4h. Once we decide about the areas and people, we'll start scheduling. Please, suggest topics below (and indicate if you are available to offer training, with a brief description of your background in the field).

Wikimedia-specific nuances of copyright, licensingEdit

(what does "free" mean? what is the freedom of panorama? what is the difference between fair use, public domain, CC-BY-SA, GPL?...)

  1. Pundit (talk) 19:20, 29 April 2016 (UTC) I think we need to have this covered.Reply[reply]
  2. --Lord Bumbury (talk) 22:45, 29 April 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  3. NickK (talk) 11:58, 30 April 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  4. Discott (talk) 14:55, 30 April 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  5. And also why we care. For instance, it's important to know what the Creative Commons are, but it's key also to understand why we don't accept non-commercial licenses (which may sound strange at the beginning). - Laurentius (talk) 17:07, 30 April 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  6. Ajraddatz (talk) 17:18, 30 April 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  7. --アンタナナ 19:42, 30 April 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  8. This doesn't need to be a masterclass on the specific legal details (like, what changed in version 4 of CC, or why we swapped from GFDL) but about how the principles of the mission are interpreted in a practical sense (c.f.]. Wittylama (talk) 09:26, 5 May 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  9. add your name to support

Wikimedia movement's values in relation to other movements in the fieldEdit

Review the agreed upon Wikimedia Values from 2007 and the Wikimedia Foundation Guiding Principles as formulated in 2013. Other movements in the field are ... (please specify).

  1. Sydney Poore/FloNight (talk) 21:23, 29 April 2016 (UTC) Topics include diversity of contributors, consensus decision making, community participatory decision making, and transparency.Reply[reply]
  2. Jensbest (talk) 21:57, 29 April 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  3. Pundit (talk) 22:55, 29 April 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  4. Discott (talk) 14:54, 30 April 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  5. Definitely Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 08:18, 1 May 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  6. Ad Huikeshoven (talk) 13:30, 1 May 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  7. add your name to support

Wikimedia movement notable incidentsEdit

(monkey selfie? blackouts? WCA? Flow? Visual Editor? what events shaped our movement?)

  1. Pundit (talk) 19:20, 29 April 2016 (UTC) I think our history casts a shadow on our future, and we need to understand itReply[reply]
  2. The Haifa letter - Laurentius (talk) 17:07, 30 April 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    and the subsequent decoupling of fundraising and funds dissemination; creation of the FDC. Ijon (talk) 01:05, 12 May 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  3. The unexplainable removal of James Heilman? Generic hipster (talk) 19:24, 30 April 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  4. Gregory Kohs - And an excellent source for material "of note" is the List of Wikipedia controversies. — The preceding unsigned comment was added by Thekohser (talk)
  5. MediaViewer/Superprotect Ijon (talk) 01:05, 12 May 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  6. the Belfer Affair Ijon (talk) 01:05, 12 May 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  7. (recent history, but for completeness) the Knowledge Engine fiasco Ijon (talk) 01:05, 12 May 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  8. add your name to support

Life outside of English Wikipedia - other Language Communities and sister projectsEdit

  1. Alleycat80 (talk) 22:36, 29 April 2016 (UTC) - things look radically different in various Wikipedia communities around the world, and in non-Wikipedia communities. It's important for the BoT to appreciate what is the need in supporting languages spoken by few people, and projects that are non encyclopaedic.Reply[reply]
  2. --Lord Bumbury (talk) 22:45, 29 April 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  3. Definitely needed, there is a strong focus on English language and English WP and it influences everything, from the way WMF looks at chapters to the way software is developed with specific language in mind (and without much thought of, say, inflected languages; ping me should you be interested in details). Halibutt (talk) 23:35, 29 April 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  4. It is important to explain that we have not just one project but almost thousand different projects — NickK (talk) 11:59, 30 April 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  5. Ajraddatz (talk) 17:16, 30 April 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  6. --アンタナナ 19:42, 30 April 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  7. notafish }<';> 14:28, 1 May 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  8. --Xabier Cañas (talk) 15:38, 2 May 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  9. Ijon (talk) 01:06, 12 May 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  10. add your name to support

The history of Wikimedia: organisational development and historical milestonesEdit

Some variation on my talk for newcomers held at the Wikimedia Conference might be a good thing to have. Slides will be on meta shortly. notafish }<';> 23:27, 29 April 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Notafish is it different than the third proposal? If you're coming to Wikimania, perhaps you'd volunteer to lead it, if it gets picked as a topic? Pundit (talk) 00:52, 30 April 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I would second this, it would be good to merge third and fifth proposals and have Notafish as a speaker on this :) — NickK (talk) 12:00, 30 April 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    It is different from the third proposal, which is community/project focused. My talk was about organisational growth. I won't be at Wikimania, so you need someone else to talk about this. ;) notafish }<';> 21:49, 30 April 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Notafish, would you please include a mention of Wikipedia Zero if it's not already a part of your presentation - touching on the arguments about net neutrality? --Anthonyhcole (talk) 12:18, 30 April 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I think this would be particularly valuable (not that many other things already suggested on this page wouldn't!) because it would explain why and how the status quo of the Movement came to be. For example, why is the office in SF; why do two chapters fundraising directly and others not; Why do we have chapters with staff in Europe but not many other places; why is Wikidata developed in Berlin with a specific budget, but Wikisource is not. All of these kinds of questions have answers relating to the way things have developed rather than because it was necessarily the "best" answer, and explain a lot of our movement history in the process. Wittylama (talk) 10:05, 5 May 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Community dynamics and how to work with themEdit

Without wanting to be too self-promotional, I'd suggest they read my essay on community dynamics. Also I'd recommend Asaf's post on "how to recover from mistakes", not sure if that is on Meta anywhere. This could potentially fit into some kind of discussion/training session but not sure how (sadly I won't be there). Chris Keating (The Land) (talk) 10:38, 30 April 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Indeed it is on Meta: So you've made a mistake and it's public... Asaf (WMF) (talk) 16:31, 30 April 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This is an aspect of the topic I'm pushing about community values around participatory decision making, transparency, etc. From some of the discussions in Berlin, it is important to acknowledge that the wikimedia movement's processes are somewhat broken. The community dynamics don't always lead to effective participatory decision making. The new board members need to understand where the wikimedia movement processes need work to get better! Sydney Poore/FloNight (talk) 16:54, 30 April 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • As User:Benjamin Mako Hill says in his blogpost Consider the redirect: "I’ve told people that if they want to understand the soul of a Wikipedian, they should spend time participating in RfD." I'd recommend that reading this blogpost, then contributing some time to working on redirects for discussion is an *excellent* way to begin to understand the nature of Community Dynamics. He continues, "When you understand why arguing about and working hard to come to consensus solutions for how Wikipedia should handle individual redirects is an enjoyable way to spend your spare time — where any outcome is invisible — you understand what it means to be a Wikipedian." Wittylama (talk) 10:13, 5 May 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

How to sign your posts 101Edit

(previous, needlessly snarky title by, was: How to sign your posts 101)

I think that new board members, such as Guy, would be well-advised to attend a 2 hour symposium entitled "How to sign your posts: 101". I am willing to run this workshop. I will, however, need to apply for funding for a wind machine and a pony. 09:11, 30 April 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Perhaps just a basic editing training so that board members also know how to creat an article? — NickK (talk) 12:01, 30 April 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Basic editing training would be good. Ajraddatz (talk) 17:17, 30 April 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • per NickK. just a basic editing training --アンタナナ 19:42, 30 April 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • At Wikimedia UK, our new "non-Wikimedian" board members are usually trained in how to edit (usually by a staff member with a strong community background, or by one of our volunteer trainers). Doing that also introduces some of the other key concepts. Chris Keating (The Land) (talk) 15:02, 1 May 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Enable VE, Insert Ad Huikeshoven (talk) 17:56, 5 May 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Wikimedia Movement Strategic Plan (PDF)

The current strategy will last 18 to 24 months, with a main purpose to serve the 2016/2016 Annual Plan of the Wikimedia Foundation itself. We've had a kind of five year strategic plan 2010-2015 for the movement. That plan was bottom up developed in a collobarative way in the period 2009 to 2010 using the strategy wiki. In Berlin Kelly Battles told me and others she specifically asked for a kind of 5 year strategic plan. What we can discuss at Wikimania are the successes and failures of the 2009/2019 strategy process, what we've actually done and didn't do compared to plan in the past five years, and what we've accomplished and didn't accomplish in the past five years. On top of that we've done some things that were not in the plan, and those turned out to be extremely successful. So how to proceed to the next round of Strategy/Future - developing a strategic plan for the movement?

I think it is a great idea, but (a) not for a workshop (but for a discussion), and (b) not just for external members. What do you think? Pundit (talk) 14:08, 1 May 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

What not to doEdit

A helpful guide that documents many Wikipedia and Wikimedia mistakes and foul-ups that have gained media attention is found at Wikipedia's list of Wikipedia controversies. Board members may find this to be very interesting reading, at the very least because it points out that the "movement" may not be all sunshine and unicorns, as it is often presented. It's a hefty article, heavily documented (over 300 references) -- so some board members without the time to read the whole article might want to choose one incident per year, to at least sample the improper (or at least non-standard) activity that takes place related to Wikipedia.

  1. Gregory Kohs
  2. add your name to support


Since time is of essence, I'm inclined to close this poll with concluding that (a) it would be useful to have such a workshop and (b) the following two topics:

  • nuances of copyrights relevant for wiki world,
  • Wikimedia movement values and the community dynamics - with a particular emphasis on including non-English projects

I'm contacting Wikimania organizers to coordinate and seek volunteers, since no-one stepped forward here. Pundit (talk) 22:51, 9 May 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I would suggest it is precisely not "nuances" of copyright that need to be understood by all board members: I think our board members don't need to understand the freedom of panorama situation in France, but do need to understand what free licenses are (and are not, and what are not free licenses), what copyfraud is and why it is an easy way to upset a Wikimedian, what copyright reform efforts are and where they stand more or less, etc. In short, principles, not nuances. Ijon (talk) 01:12, 12 May 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
(and if there turns out to be difficulty finding volunteers to deliver any of this training, I am willing to help.) Ijon (talk) 01:13, 12 May 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks! I agree, the word "nuances" is badly chosen here, obviously we mean what in our situation is basics (while might be nuance in normal world). So far Lorenzo has volunteered, but if you could participate as well, that'd be awesome. We've been thinking of making it available for WMF staff as well, if some are interested. Pundit (talk) 15:55, 12 May 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree. However, there are a few things that are "nuances" but are relevant for us - for instance, freedom of panorama is a small detail, but it's important for us, and we are doing advocacy about it in a few countries, therefore I think it's important to know that it is an issue. - Laurentius (talk) 10:15, 29 May 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]