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We invite you to nominate one or more scholarly research publications
to be considered for the Wikimedia Foundation Research Award of the
Year. Learn more below.
=Purpose of the award=
Recognize recent research on or about the Wikimedia projects or recent
research that is of importance to the Wikimedia projects. Recognize
the researchers behind the research.
You can learn more about 2021's winners at
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* The research must be on, about, using data from, and/or of
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* The research must have been published between January 1, 2021 and
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Submit your nominations by 2022-02-07 through
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to provide the following information in your nomination:
* Title of the manuscript
* A copy of the manuscript you are nominating
* A summary of the research and a clear justification for why the work
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Note that self-nominations and nominations of others' work are both welcome.
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Benjamin Mako Hill (University of Washington)
Leila Zia (Wikimedia Foundation)
(Speaking in my volunteer capacity)
I doubt there is any malicious intent by WMF. I personally think the
underlying problem is time. Let me explain.
Fixing a big issue in software takes time (I wrote a long essay about it in
this thread) so it makes sense WMF annual planning to focus on issues
before they get to a level that hinders community's work. The problem is
that an issue doesn't get enough attention if it's not severe enough to
affect users so the cycle of frustration continues. For example, I sent an
email in February 2021, at the start of annual planning, to one of the
directors at product outlining all of the issues of multimedia stack.
Because at that point, it wasn't this bad, it didn't make it to FY21-22
plans. Now I feel like a cassandra. We have similar issues in lots of other
places that will lead to frustration. Load balancers (pybal), dumps, beta
cluster, flagged revs, patrolling tools, etc. etc.
On Tue, Jan 11, 2022 at 8:21 AM bawolff <bawolff+wn(a)gmail.com> wrote:
> Honestly, I find the "not in the annual plan" thing more damning than the
> actual issue at hand.
> The core competency of WMF is supposed to be keeping the site running. WMF
> does a lot of things, some of them very useful, others less so, but at its
> core its mission is to keep the site going. Everything else should be
> secondary to that.
> It should be obvious that running a 300 TB+ media store servicing 70
> billion requests a month requires occasional investment and maintenance
> And yet, this was not only not in this year's annual plan, it has been
> ignored in the annual plan for many many years. We didn't get to this state
> by just 1 year of neglect.
> Which raises the question - If wmf is not in the business of keeping the
> Wikimedia sites going, what is it in the business of?
> On Tue, Jan 11, 2022 at 6:01 AM Kunal Mehta <legoktm(a)debian.org> wrote:
>> On 1/1/22 12:10, Asaf Bartov wrote:
>> > It seems to me there are *very few* people who could change status quo,
>> > not much more than a handful: the Foundation's executive leadership (in
>> > its annual planning work, coming up this first quarter of 2022), and
>> > Board of Trustees.
>> If the goal is to get paid WMF staff to fix the issues, then you're
>> correct. However, I do not believe that as a solution is healthy
>> long-term. The WMF isn't perfect and I don't think it's desirable to
>> have a huge WMF that tries to do everything and has a monopoly on
>> technical prioritization.
>> The technical stack must be co-owned by volunteers and paid staff from
>> different orgs at all levels. It's significantly more straightforward
>> now for trusted volunteers to get NDA/deployment access than it used to
>> be, there are dedicated training sessions, etc.
>> Given that the multimedia stack is neglected and the WMF has given no
>> indication it intends to work on/fix the problem, we should be
>> recruiting people outside the WMF's paid staff who are interested in
>> working on this and give them the necessary access/mentorship to get it
>> done. Given the amount of work on e.g. T40010 to develop an
>> alternative SVG renderer, I'm sure those people exist.
>> Take moving Thumbor to Buster for example. That requires
>> forward-porting some Debian packages written Python, and then testing in
>> WMCS that there's no horrible regressions in newer imagemagick, librsvg,
>> etc. I'm always happy to mentor people w/r to Debian packaging (and have
>> done so in the past), and there are a decent amount of people in our
>> community who know Python, and likely others from the Commons community
>> who would be willing to help with testing and dealing with whatever
>> So I think the status quo can be changed by just about anyone who is
>> motivated to do so, not by trying to convince the WMF to change its
>> prioritization, but just by doing the work. We should be empowering
>> those people rather than continuing to further entrench a WMF technical
>>  https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T40010
>>  https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T216815
>> -- Legoktm
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The Call for Feedback: Board of Trustees elections is now open and will
close on 7 February 2022.
With this Call for Feedback, the Movement Strategy and Governance team is
taking a different approach. This approach incorporates community feedback
from 2021. Instead of leading with proposals, the Call is framed around key
questions from the Board of Trustees. The key questions came from the
feedback about the 2021 Board of Trustees election. The intention is to
inspire collective conversation and collaborative proposal development
about these key questions.
There are two confirmed questions that will be asked during this Call for
1. What is the best way to ensure more diverse representation among
elected candidates? *The Board of Trustees noted the importance of
selecting candidates who represent the full diversity of the Wikimedia
movement. The current processes have favored volunteers from North America
2. What are the expectations for the candidates during the election? *Board
candidates have traditionally completed applications and answered community
questions. How can an election provide appropriate insight into candidates
while also appreciating candidates’ status as volunteers?*
There is one additional question that may be presented during the Call
about selection processes. This question is still under discussion, but the
Board wanted to give insight into the confirmed questions as soon as
possible. Hopefully if an additional question is going to be asked, it will
be ready during the first week of the Call for Feedback.
Join the conversation.
Movement Strategy and Governance
Jackie Koerner (she/her) Communication Specialist, Movement Strategy and
Governance Location: Midwestern US (UTC-6)
Wikimedia Foundation <https://wikimediafoundation.org/>
Join the Research Team at the Wikimedia Foundation  for their monthly
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Through these office hours, we aim to make ourselves more available to
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Emily Lescak (she / her)
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