Today, we are thrilled to share an updated visual design style on the
Wikimedia Foundation website (wikimediafoundation.org)!
This updated design was developed by the Wikimedia Foundation’s Product
design team. We worked on feedback from Meta-Wiki, emails, Phabricator, and
hundreds of conversations paired with user testing with people in the
target audiences for the website. We are incredibly appreciative of the
great care that team has taken in making strategic, data-led design
decisions and really helping us amplify the website's ability to convey our
story to people generally unfamiliar with Wikimedia.
We have also expanded on the information about the website on its Meta-Wiki
page, and updated the public mirror of the code base to reflect the
technical changes made to the site for this updated design.
Thank you to the now hundreds of people that have been involved in helping
us build a website for the Foundation which we can be proud of!
-greg & the Wikimedia Foundation Communication team
= A bit more about the site =
== How is the site doing? ==
Since the site's soft launch in July 2018, traffic has continued to
increase. There has also been a significant increase in donations collected
via this website. Two key audiences, potential staff and partners, have
shared positive feedback on the site’s content and organization, enabling
them to find jobs and contact key teams respectively. Additionally, user
testing has shown a positive response to the content and overall
architecture of the site.
== What brought us here ==
The Wikimedia Foundation Communications department has been collecting
feedback on the Foundation's website since late 2016 and beginning in
early 2017 has been working on addressing the backlog of issues related to
the website. The original Foundation site, launched in 2004, did not have a
clear audience, and as a result was not effectively serving any of the
hundreds of uses people saw for it. Maintaining the site's content beyond
English had become a growing problem - leaving visitors with different
information, depending on which language they were using, on basic details
like our address and executive staff. Additionally, the site had over
17,000 pages - a vast majority of which were either out of date or no
longer in use.
In 2017-18, the Communications department ran a "Discovery" process to help
inform our decision making. This process included reviews of methods used
by other organizations, assessment of our current communication channels,
collecting feedback at Wikimania, and interviews with dozens of volunteers,
donors, contractors, and staff. The resulting report and recommendations
helped identify the objectives and audiences of the website, and were
utilized throughout the initial design and development of the new website.
Shortly after the soft launch, the department began working with the
Product department's design team to perform user testing, process feedback
collected in the weeks following the soft launch, and collect additional
feedback to help us make informed decisions. They helped us collect and
process feedback from hundreds of individuals within and outside of the
Based on feedback, they conducted user testing and developed the updated
design we deployed this morning. We will continue to use a data and
feedback informed decision making in managing the site. Given the external
audience nature of the site, it has consistently proven important to take
the time to collect feedback and data from a wide variety of sources -
including volunteers, press, donors, partner organizations, and readers of
== What comes next ==
More languages! The Communications department will continue to work on
content development and expanding translations to additional languages. If
you are interested in our plans for translations, please check out the
information shared recently about the Organization communications
== Providing feedback ==
The Communications department will continue to monitor the talk page for
the Foundation's website on Meta-Wiki. Additionally, I will be attending
Wikimania in Stockholm and available to chat with folks.
Gregory Varnum (pronouns - he/his/him)
Wikimedia Foundation <https://wikimediafoundation.org/>
In an attempt to move the discussion on from unprofitable and
inappropriate speculations about information shared in confidence,
let's look at one of the aspects that is made public. When the WMF
issues a WMF Global Ban in line with
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/WMF_Global_Ban_Policy it has been in
the habit of doing so by login identity or pseudonym as at
This makes perfect sense in terms of blocking users from logging in,
but the bans are not only issued against individuals personally rather
than specific account names ("A Foundation global ban is placed
against an individual instead of against a specific username") but
applies to real-world activities such as events and meetings ("as well
as any in-person events hosted, sponsored or funded by the
Foundation") for which people tyoically register and pay under a real
Has the time not come to for WMF Global Bans to name people under
their real names, where known? In answer to one likely objection:
this is not outing, since that applies only to members of the
Wikimedia community. People subject to WMF Global Bans are no longer
members of that community: the ban pernamentaly and irrevocably
removes them from membership ("Foundation global bans are final; they
are not appealable, not negotiable and not reversible.").
Thanks Abhinav for your email. I'm having a hard time splitting the email
out in a) what is the exact and complete set of reasons that Affcom put the
chapter on suspension. b) what additional complaints are part of the big
picture. c) what is the response from WMIN.
I realize it is really hard for you to separate these components, because
you have been living this discusion for the past 8 months (at least), if I
read this correctly.
You mention that AffCom has not heard your objections, but from the rest of
your email, it sounds more like they heard your responses (you mention both
written and oral communication), but they hold a different opinion on the
value of those objections. That may be because of a different set of
expectations. I know these discussions are always painful for everyone, and
I'm confident that AffCom does not enjoy suspending chapters. While this is
no legal procedure, it is their job to make the best decision both for the
movement as a whole and the Wikimedia movement in India.
Anyhow, I was unable to find the resolution that explains this decision, so
it's hard to really understand it. I do hope that you and affcom will be
able to work towards a solution together - probably by addressing the
On Mon, Jul 8, 2019 at 4:19 PM ravinder jadeja <tnkpndy(a)gmail.com> wrote:
> It is such a long message and what I understand a very painful one for the
> writer. Asking Affcom to come in public with data is a right demand
> everyone can read then.
> I know FCRA is very tough thing today and I feel sorry reading that point
> What is this problem with CIS I am new and would like to know.
> On Tue, 9 Jul 2019 at 00:04, Subhashish Panigrahi <psubhashish(a)gmail.com>
>> Forwarding esp. for those Indian Wikimedians who are on the Wikimedia-l
>> ---------- Forwarded message ---------
>> From: Abhinav srivastava <abhinav619(a)gmail.com>
>> Date: Sun, Jul 7, 2019 at 2:20 PM
>> Subject: [Wikimedia-l] Open Letter to Affiliations Committee : Wikimedia
>> India's Demand For A Fair And Transparent Hearing
>> To: Wikimedia Mailing List <wikimedia-l(a)lists.wikimedia.org>
>> Dear Friends From Affcom,
>> I am posting an open public request for your notice of Suspension moved at
>> Wikimedia India (WMIN) which we continue to contest and to our ignored
>> demand of having a public hearing as shared with you all over mail and
>> shared again here under Annexure [A]. You have taken an official position
>> on suspension without even hearing us even once, unexplained accusations
>> have been provided and we continue to believe Affcom has been
>> insufficiently investigating facts before making judgements. We repeatedly
>> over and over again provided justifications over Mail but you never took
>> them to your notice and only over calls you heard us, provided your
>> rationale for expectation gaps but never took our oral commentary which
>> refutes your claims,in any action, anywhere. Now you say WMIN won’t remain
>> a Chapter after 14th September and be transformed into a User Group.
>> Republic of India happens to be one of the only few countries where
>> volunteer driven Chapter and User Groups has a full-time staff based WMF’s
>> Allied Organisation CIS-A2K . Wikimedia India activities  may be
>> due to no source of funds  however, Community Members from India put
>> their efforts, strive hard to take the movement ahead. Whether it be the
>> previous financial year or the present, no Wikimedia Foundation Grants
>> Rapid Grant, Project Grant etc have been applied by Wikimedia India
>> to support any Chapter activity. They remain self-financed. We received
>> your notice last year when Wikimedia India was contesting a dispute with
>> CIS-A2K over attribution grabbing for our self-financed projects and
>> ignoring Chapter at important National level initiaves . While working
>> with virtually no source of funds and struggles with WMF’s Allied
>> Organisation, your notice of suspension was the least bad we could have
>> We continue to contest your suspension notice. It was Suo Moto (on its
>> decision making and as found and re-stated above and below in detail,
>> were gaps and misunderstanding in your basis. We also continue to contest
>> there has been a Rush-to-decision making. No written responses via Mail to
>> Chapter’s clarification are being provided and invitation for calls are
>> initiated where brief responses are shared on a Cloud Document. It has
>> subsequently found by both parties on there being gaps in communication.
>> However, even after clarity during call, Affcom has not taken any action
>> over them.
>> The basis of your suspension notice has been shared here for the wider
>> Legal Structure : Affcom asked Wikimedia India to resolve and obtain
>> necessary license in order to obtain funds. At present, as per
>> of India restrictions it is difficult to obtain foreign funding.
>> India informed the Affcom on roughly 13,000 Non-Government
>> (NGO)s  are struggling with a similar crisis to which Affcom
>> responded, “reconsider applying for a User Group.” and “no evidence
>> the current organization’s leadership will be able to drive this
>> toward resolution”. Chapter efforts and commitment in resolving the
>> crisis cannot be dusted in few words. A Government restrictive policy
>> has an impact on 13,000 NGOs and Affcom finding flaws in WMIN Board
>> capability. WMIN would leave it for public interpretation.
>> Why not a capability audit for hosting zero-budget activities? While most
>> of the time are being spent on resolving the said crisis, WMIN continues
>> undertake activities as listed. Taking the Open Knowledge Movement forward
>> remains a commitment for the Chapter irrespective of whatsoever political
>> climate may remain. Affcom was asked two questions respectively in this
>> regard however no response has been attained. The questions are
>> Would zero-budget activities, those self-financed not meet sufficiency
>> Please elaborate for us to stand better and to improve upon.
>> Would resolving Legal Structure and being able to receive WMF Grants be
>> a necessary criteria for WMIN to meet sufficiency or continued
>> not meet the fulfilment criteria?
>> (2) Open Governance : Affcom informed Chapter that a member needs to be in
>> physical presence at the Chapter Assembly to cast vote and raise voice and
>> asked The Chapter to change its bylaws. This information is anything but
>> false. This was communicated during the Call but Affcom did not bring
>> anything in action. Also, as per the Chapter Agreement between WMF and
>> WMIN, a copy of bylaws was provided in English Language to WMF. The bylaws
>> were approved by the then Chapter’s Council. No evidence has been brought
>> to notice on WMIN violating the Clause 7.2 of the Chapter’s Agreement,
>> “The Wikimedia Chapter shall be required to advise the Foundation of any
>> planned or actual change in the bylaws or status of the Chapter which
>> affect the Foundation or the continued existence or effectiveness of this
>> (3) Active Contributor Involvement :The November 10 email carried the
>> statement, “The chapter lacks broad and diverse membership, community
>> representation, as well as buy-in and involvement “ and “Membership seems
>> to be sourced through university leadership rather than through open
>> community participation and representation.” Chapter till date received
>> evidence or logic construction on how the said argument was reached. Later
>> during the call, Affcom did acknowledge that there has been a
>> gap. Chapter further floated the idea of sharing the Member’s data base
>> (4) Capacity : WMIN was able to submit its annual reports on 21st
>> 2018 (3.5 months late) due to a notice by Income-Tax department which
>> caused delay in preparing our Financial reports. Although we do not have
>> any annual grants or use any money to support any activity, as per
>> Chapter’s agreement, affiliate is required to submit Financial Results.
>> Meanwhile, WMIN reported its activities on every quarterly basis and
>> it with the wider Indian community via India Mailing List and also other
>> channels , , ,. Annual activity report is a compilation from
>> the quarterly reports.
>> Affcom claimed via Cloud document that no high level response submitted
>> repeated delay is not accepted. WMIN informed Affcom that previous delay
>> needs to be looked at independently from earlier financial period and
>> suspension notice (WMIN then had a grant), but we received no response.
>> (5) Organizational Best Practices : Affcom asked us to ‘Resolve’ issues
>> relating to Organizational Best Practices, however, no information had
>> received on respective deliverables not been met. The November 10, email
>> carried the statement, “There are concerns about whether” referring that
>> Affcom was also not sure themselves. WMIN shared the best practices after
>> placing it in front of the community on member’s mailing list for more
>> 15 days. To this Affcom responded that you are late with your submission
>> hence we are terminating your contract. They never shared an evidence and
>> when WMIN took its time placed it in-front of the community and then
>> submitted, they said delayed and instead of sending their response in
>> writing over mail they again invited us for a call. We continue to insist
>> on providing a written response via Mail but no action.
>> (6) Action Plan : Affcom asked us to submit an Action Plan and we kept
>> asking what deliverable are needed. We cannot commit on resolving
>> Government restrictions within a said timeline as more than 13,000 NGOs
>> struggle with the similar crisis. We emphasised again and again we have
>> been running zero-budget activities and working for the movement. We asked
>> them to review Organizational Best Practices, based on gaps we could have
>> taken things into consideration. They rather said, you have missed the
>> deadline, so WMIN has to be closed now.
>> To sum up, Affcom friends, you made up your own decision, you made up you
>> own hearing and you made up your own decision. It was a monologue masked
>> the name of a dialogue.
>> I encourage you all to be in our boots someday, hosting activities on
>> zero-budget, fighting with the Government bureaucracy to attain some
>> funding as a help, the challenge of having a staff-based organisation in
>> parallel, struggle with self-financing activities and most importantly
>> working with Affcom to save yourself from their de-recognition threats.
>> If you believe you are correct, please abide to the request made under
>> Annexure [A] and put everything in public domain. Let community read for
>> themselves and decide. If Affcom is more transparent about its
>> investigation and actions then community would be able to better
>> the work and provide an opinion.
>>  https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/CIS-A2K
>>  Foreign Currency (Regulation) Act, 1960 compliance do not permit India
>> Chapter to receive money from its primary fiscal sponsor, Wikimedia
>>  Board of Directors at CIS, acknowledged in March, 2019 for a compliant
>> made in August, 2018 for CIS-A2K Staff not doing their duty to the order.
>> [A] Reallocating the Affcom - WMIN Communication To Meta : No
>> communications over email, video call, social media, instant messaging, or
>> anywhere but wiki! While this would not just be aligned with the editing
>> spirit, it would promote greater transparency and also helpful for us to
>> communicate the message to our community members. While, we understand
>> Affcom had been advocating the same, however, taking care of privacy
>> concerns, do let us. Once we hear from Affcom on having no privacy
>> concerns, we may reallocate the discussions.
>> If there a consent to this, would request a green light also for
>> Archiving the entire email conversation over a cloud document and
>> linking it to the relevant Meta page.
>> Documenting Internet Calls in an attempt to resolve communication gaps
>> and linking them to Meta page for greater transparency.
>> Based on Principal of Free Speech, allowing anybody to use the
>> discussion page for expression of their views.
>> Any Volunteer is free to translate the text into the language of their
>> Upload All PDF sent via Mails to Commons and link them to the Meta
>> All relevant customs and procedures which exist for any Meta page to be
>> in action.
>> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
>> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and
>> New messages to: Wikimedia-l(a)lists.wikimedia.org
>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
>> Wikimediaindia-l mailing list
>> To unsubscribe from the list / change mailing preferences visit
> Wikimediaindia-l mailing list
> To unsubscribe from the list / change mailing preferences visit
I really try not to spam the chat too much with pointers to my work on the
Abstract Wikipedia, but this one is probably also interesting for Wikidata
contributors. It is the draft for a chapter submitted to Koerner and
Reagle's Wikipedia@20 book, and talks about knowledge diversity under the
light of centralisation through projects such as Wikidata.
Public commenting phase is open until July 19, and very welcome:
"Collaborating on the sum of all knowledge across languages"
About the book: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia@20
Link to chapter: https://wikipedia20.pubpub.org/pub/vyf7ksah