I suggest that interested people create an Individual Engagement Grant to
create a women's space on Wikipedia. This can engage women through events,
activities, recruitment, social media (incorporate WIkiWomen's Collab) and
You'd get funding from WMF, if approved, to hire a designer to make it cool
looking (not ugly Wikipedia) and create the right team to make it happen.
I think it's the logical step. Just "doing it" is fine, but, I think
creating a space with the back up of the community (WMF and editors) is
On Wed, Dec 31, 2014 at 3:16 PM, Kerry Raymond <kerry.raymond(a)gmail.com>
To me, a “practice wiki” is NOT the answer. But
it’s what looks like
an answer when you frame the issue as “let’s fix the problem with women”
instead of “let’s fix the problem with Wikipedia”. I do not think a retreat
to various “off-WMF” platforms is anything other that, a retreat.
I think the place to start is with the next WMF Strategic Planning cycle.
Although I have not noticed anything being mentioned on-wiki yet, it’s
being talked about in the Metrics & Activities meetings as something that
has started with WMF. I presume soon it has to engage with the community.
Let’s push for a target for female participation (the current one has one
at 25% so just retaining that would be fine).
But let’s push for the things that WMF didn’t do last time in support of
1) Have a means to measure it. Create a demographic database within
WMF and encourage new and existing users to provide information about
themselves (by default or as a user-specified option, this information
should be kept totally private and only used for statistical purposes to
maximise people’s willingness to provide the information). Then with this
information, we can track various kinds of diversity and therefore be able
to produce “active women editor” graphs (or for any other group) as easily
as “active editor graphs”. There’s no point having a target if you have no
way of knowing if you’ve reached it or not! I would also suggest this
demographic database invited users to provide an email address to be used
for other WMF-internal survey purposes. The primary one would be if their
participation ceased for an extended period so they can be contacted for
survey purposes. We need more information on why people leave because of
editor decline more generally. I think the details of all this could be
left in the hands of the WMF Analytics and Research team.
2) Experiment with platform-changes (usual A/B testing) to see if
we can “design in” more gender-friendly solutions. As an engineer, Lila
Tretikov probably understands this. It is very hard to change people’s
behaviours (culture) **but** it is a lot easier to change the platform
through which the behaviours/cultures are manifested to make some
behaviours easier or harder. As a simple example, Facebook took away the
“dislike” (thumbs down) button a long time ago. Today, you can only “like”
someone else’s posting but have to bother to write a comment to express
disagreement. That’s a good example of making a “socially-positive”
behaviour easy and a “socially-negative’ behaviour harder. I suspect on
Wikipedia, even ignoring vandalism, there are a lot more reverts than
thanks. Is that socially-positive or socially-negative? If we have the user
profiles (above), then changes to the platform (whether for gender-equity
purposes or any other reason) can track the impact on editor behaviour (or
more simply, does participation by women rise or fall or remain unchanged
as a result).
3) Demand a higher proportion of self-identified women on
committees etc. How high? Higher than the current self-identified female
active editor proportion (because we are trying to lift the game) but not
so high that female editors willing to serve on such things are exhausted
by the workload. Maybe track it at 5% above the current female editor level
or something like that. Did all the women on this list vote in the WMF
Board of Trustee elections and any other elections that you were eligible
to? No (and I confess I won’t always bother either) so
If we want change at a massive scale, we need scalable solutions.
Hand-to-hand combat over specific issues is unlikely to achieve this. We
need to lift our focus to winning the war, not winning the battle.
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