Thank you for making your point of view clear, I appreciate that. Please
allow me to make two points clear myself.
(A) It is not my opinion that only active Wikipedians are „community“.
There are other Wikimedia wikis, and also activities, that have a community
character. I do reject the idea to open the term community to literally
everybody/anybody „and beyond“. It would be necessary that the draft paper,
instead, explains what should be understood by „movement“ or „community“ in
order to avoid certain ambiguities.
(B) I also do not deny that there is an overweight of content that is
related to Western countries and culture. On (English) Wikipedia, the
average Dutch village is certainly much better described than a larger city
in, for example, Ethiopia or Guatemala. I am always supportive of
initiatives that want to do something about this lack of balance. (And I
suppose that most people on the Berlin conference meant that, too).
But the wording in the further strategy process was much different. The
concept of „reliable sources“ was called a Western bias, while „oral
traditions“ should be considered to be reliable as well.
I know that writing the history of many countries is difficult because of
the lack of written material. That makes it also difficult to write a more
complete history of, for example, Celtic and Germanic tribes in ancient
But „oral traditions“ are just not reliable in the way scholarly literature
is. Historians provide us with numerous examples how people fail in
remembering what they heard a long time ago, or even recently. The human
brain is simply not made by nature to be a historian or a data storage;
human memory is fragile and changes. Also, additionally some people have a
malicious intent when giving their testimony to a historian or a well
meaning platform for „oral history“. A historian‘s work is to collect
several testimonies, compare them to each other (= the transcripts of their
interviews) and corroborate them with other material - and finally write
their own account of their research.
Imagine, I would claim that I am a descendant of Charlemagne (source: my
father and grandfather told me so). Or that national socialism had a
positive impact on Germany and many other lucky countries in Europe
(source: what someone told me at family meetings). - Wikipedia works
because we use „secondary sources“, scholarly literature. That is where
(some major aspects of) the quality comes from. That is why people like
Wikipedia and donate for it.
It would be necessary to make Wikipedia the great (even greater)
encyclopedia it could be. With an integration of Wikidata and Commons, and
good interfaces. With the focus on readability, with a well thought through
concept of providing content for the general public, for special groups and
for scholars. With an understanding of what we do and what we explicitly
don’t do, with whom we can partner up (and where are the limits). This more
cautious vision makes me not very enthusiast, to say the least, about
widening the scope to a degree that we loose recognizability.
Guillaume Paumier <gpaumier(a)wikimedia.org> schrieb am Mi. 4. Okt. 2017 um
For context, I want to preface this by saying that I am speaking as a
former member of the strategy team, not as a Foundation employee. My
perspective was always that the team leading the movement strategy process
was working in service of the movement, not of the Foundation.
I hear that you are unsatisfied with some of the content of the document. I
hear that you disagree with particular elements like advocacy or new forms
of knowledge. I hear that you question the broad definition of "community",
which in your opinion should only include active Wikipedians.
I don't agree with all your points, but I understand them and I relate to
I appreciate that you hold very strong opinions on some of those topics. I
would like you to see that other people in the movement can hold
dramatically different opinions that are just as valid.
Many people (in and outside the movement) pushed for Wikimedia
organizations to become much more active politically. Others expressed
concerns about becoming too political. In the end, the document gave a nod
to political advocacy but didn't make it the number-one priority of the
movement. There was a balance to strike, and I would like you to understand
I would also like you to understand that your approach and language may
alienate other members of our communities. When you call oral traditions
one of "the most terrible things from the paper" and disparage experts who
shared their opinion with us, your words unwittingly cast away communities
who have been historically left out, and you contribute to perpetuating
their structural oppression.
You argue that the notions of new forms of knowledge, oral traditions, and
Western bias were pushed by experts and by the Foundation, and didn't come
from the communities. And yet, at the 2017 Wikimedia conference in Berlin,
whose participants were coming from Wikimedia communities, the
most-voted-for statement at the end of the conference was this one:
*Knowledge is global: we must move beyond western written knowledge,
towards multiple and diverse forms of knowledge (including oral and
visual), from multiple and diverse peoples and perspectives, to truly
achieve the sum of all human knowledge.*
What I am trying to convey is that for each of your concerns, there are
people within our movement and communities who have fought, like you are
fighting now, for those elements to be part of the movement's strategic
direction. And they have outweighed you. On some other topics, your opinion
is the one that prevailed. On many topics, we all agreed. It is now time to
accept the outcome and focus on what motivates us to contribute
individually to parts of the strategic direction, so that we can advance as
2017-10-03 13:38 GMT-07:00 Ziko van Dijk <zvandijk(a)gmail.com>om>:
Thank you for sharing your point of view. But I cannot agree with you
this is a case of „negativity bias“ or „tunnel
visions“ or „begrudging
fashion“. I have fundamental concerns about the redefinition of the
community and the widening of the movement‘s purpose, and I fully join
Frank Schulenburg‘s statement that the draft paper says hardly anything
the average Wikipedian.
As I do not know your prerogatives given from above, I cannot judge about
your personal role. I don’t want to and I have nothing against you
personally, on the contrary. Indeed, you took some of the most terrible
things from the paper - such as the „oral traditions“. But they still
appear as a residue in the „Appendix“, and how could it happen in the
place that they were ever pushed forward by the
WMF? Challenge 2 called
work with reputable sources a „Western bias“.
Where did that come from?
from the communities (my definition), but from
„experts“ such as a man
runs a company for storytelling and claims that
he can trace his ancestry
to the middle ages via „oral traditions“!
As Andreas pointed out, there is much more in the Appendix such as the
cooperations with Youtube and Google, „new incentives“ etc. and also the
opinion that „Wikimedia“ should become more „political“. Certainly, I was
against SOPA and like to see the WMF fight copyright problems. But what I
saw at Wikimania made me wonder about the common ground. The WMF is
partnering up with the ACLU that endorses the freedom of speech for the
KuKluxKlan. The WMF is already approaching EU laws from an American point
of view and dismisses the possibility that Europeans may think
If we keep all those things in the draft paper and in the Appendix - the
WMF will have carte blanche to do literally anything it likes, being a
social movement fighting whatever technical, political or social
But well, the WMF will claim that that is what
the „community“ wants -
given the new definition of community, that would even be true. :-(
Certainly, people can set up a page on Meta to express their concerns
about such an unready draft paper. Is this an announcement that
endorsements of the draft paper will be welcomed at the main gate, while
the concerns will have to use the backyard entrance?
Guillaume Paumier <gpaumier(a)wikimedia.org> schrieb am Mo. 2. Okt. 2017
> If you feel a strong urge to reject the text, there is obviously nothing
> preventing anyone from creating a Meta-Wiki page to that purpose.
> I would first ask to reflect on the process,
its outcome, and where it's
> Strategy is complicated. Building a movement strategy even more so [
> ]. One person's serious issue may be another person's slight preference.
> People's serious issues may be at odds with each other (and I can tell
> from experience that they are indeed).
Balancing all those priorities
> difficult exercise, and I certainly don't
claim to have done it
> But I do think the outcome we've arrived
at represents the shared vision
> a large part of the movement.
> As I was writing, rewriting and editing the text of the direction, I did
> consider everything that was shared on the talk page, and the last
> is indeed based on those comments, as well as
those shared during
> Wikimania sessions, individual chats,
comments from the Drafting group,
> from affiliates, from staff, and so on.
> While I did consider all of those, I didn't respond to every single
> comment, and there is little I can do about that except apologize and
> endeavor to do better. I should have set clearer expectations that not
> every comment would be integrated in the text. I ran into an issue all
> familiar in the Wikiverse where one person
had to integrate comments and
> feedback from a large group of people at the same time.
> High-level vision and strategy integration isn't really something that
> be spread across a group of people as easily
as writing an encyclopedia
> article, and so I ended up being a bottleneck for responding to
> had to prioritize what I deemed were issues that were shared by a large
> group, and those that seemed to be more individual concerns.
> Anyone who knows me knows that I'm not the "everything must be positive,
> fantastic, yeehaw-we-are-number-one" type. If anything, I'm rather the
> opposite, as I think many Wikimedians are. If we had unlimited time, I'd
> probably continue to edit the draft for years, and I'm sure there would
> other perfectionists to feed my obsession.
> However, others in my personal and professional circles have helped me
> realize in the past few weeks that even getting to this stage of the
> process is remarkable. As Wikimedians, we often focus on what's wrong
> needs fixing. Sometimes, our negativity bias
leads us to lose focus of
> accomplishments. This can clash with the
typical American culture, but I
> think somewhere in the middle is where those respective tunnel visions
> widen and meet.
> One thing I've learned from Ed Bland, my co-architect during this
> is that sometimes things can't be
perfect. Sometimes, excellence means
> recognizing when something is "good enough" and getting out of the
> asymptotic editing and decision paralysis loop. It means accepting that
> few things annoy us so that a larger group of
people is excited and
> motivated to participate.
> From everything I've heard and read in the past two months, the last
> version of the direction is agreeable to a large part of individuals,
> groups, and organizations that have been involved in the process. Not
> everyone agrees with everything in the document, even within the
> Foundation, and even me. But enough people across the movement agree
> enough of the document that we can all use it
as a starting point for
> next phase of discussions about roles,
resources, and responsibilities.
> I do hope that many of you will consider endorsing the direction in a
> weeks. While I won't claim to know
everyone involved, I think I know you
> enough, Ziko and Fæ, from your work and long-time commitment in the
> movement, to venture that there is more in this document that you agree
> with than that you disagree with. I hope that the prospect of moving in
> shared direction will outweigh the possible
annoyances. And so I hope
> we'll endorse the direction together,
even if it's in our typically
> Wikimedian begrudging fashion.
> 2017-10-02 6:56 GMT-07:00 Ziko van Dijk <zvandijk(a)gmail.com>om>:
> > Hello Katherine,
> > This is actually sad news. In my opinion, the draft is far away from
> > a useful and appropriate document for our future.
> > The serious issues from the talk page are only partially addressed in
> > rewrite. So I contest your claim: "The version on Meta-Wiki is based
> > feedback you offered."
> > You have announced that organizations and individuals are invited to
> > endorse the draft. Will there also be a possibility to reject the
> draft? I
> > remember the 2011 image filter referendum, when the WMF asked the
> > how important it finds the filter, but not giving the option to be
> > it.
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Image_filter_
> > uselang=en
> > <https://meta.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Image_filter_
> > The drafts tries to enforce a new definition of the "community":
> > editors to donors, to organizers, and beyond". I thought that
> > were people who are contributing to the wiki Wikipedia on a regular
> > as volunteers.
> > I am very positive of having an open Wikimedia *movement*. But if in
> > more or less everybody will be *community*: that is in fact abolishing
> > community.
> > Kind regards,
> > Ziko van Dijk
> > 2017-09-30 22:28 GMT+02:00 Katherine Maher <kmaher(a)wikimedia.org>rg>:
> > > Hi all,
> > >
> > > Since my update last month, we have been collecting, processing, and
> > > including your most recent input into the lastest version of the
> > > strategic direction. This version is available on Meta-Wiki.
> > >
> > > We're so close! The direction will be finalized tomorrow, October 1.
> > > Starting tomorrow, we will begin to invite individuals and groups to
> > > endorse our movement's strategic direction. I want to share my
> > > thanks and appreciation for the work and contributions so many of
> > have
> > > made throughout this first phase (Phase 1) of developing a shared
> > strategic
> > > direction.
> > >
> > > In the coming weeks we will be preparing for Phase 2, which will
> > > developing specific plans for how we achieve the direction we have
> > > together. I do not have many more details to share right now, but
> will of
> > > course offer an update as they become available.
> > >
> > > *Strategic direction*. Thank you to everyone who provided feedback
> > > draft introduced at Wikimania. The version on Meta-Wiki is based on
> > > feedback you offered.
> > >
> > > *Endorsements*. Once the strategic direction closes tomorrow,
> > > organizations, groups, and individuals within the movement will be
> > invited
> > > to endorse the direction, in a show of support for the future we are
> > > building together. We'll be sending an update next week on the
> > and
> > > timeline.
> > >
> > > *Concluding Phase 1*. Please join me in offering thanks to the
> > volunteers,
> > > staff, and contractors who came together to make this possible! As
> > > transition into Phase 2, some of
these roles will be concluded and
> > ones
> > > created in their place. We'll keep you updated.
> > >
> > > *Wikimedia CEE Meeting 2017*. I was fortunate to join Wikimedians
> > > Central and Eastern Europe (CEE)
last weekend at the sixth annual
> > Wikimedia
> > > CEE Meeting in Warsaw, Poland. Nicole Ebber and Kaarel Vaidla
> > > series of discussions on the
direction, including what it means for
> > CEE.
> > > Thank you our hosts, Wikimedia Polska, and to all of the attendees
> > such
> > > a wonderful event!
> > >
> > > *In other news.* I've heard from many people how much you appreciate
> > these
> > > updates as a means of keeping track about what is going on. I'm
> > to
> > > the Communications department about keeping them going once the
> > > planning process concludes, with a focus on more general updates.
> > the
> > > feedback coming.
> > >
> > > Since my last update, our planet has reminded us of its incredible
> > > often unforgiving strength. My
thoughts, and those of many within
> > > Wikimedia Foundation, are with our
Wikimedia family which have been
> > > affected by the natural disasters of recent weeks. We have been in
> > > with our affiliates in the areas impacted, and will offer any
> > > can.
> > >
> > > Finally, as our CFO Jaime mentioned last week, the Foundation is
> > the
> > > process of moving into our new office, in One Montgomery Tower. We
> > > you to visit its new page on Meta-Wiki.
> > >
> > > We are at the halfway mark of this movement strategy process, and I
> > > incredibly proud of the work we
have done together on the strategy.
> > > you, again, to everyone for your contributions to this process. We
> > > more work ahead but should be proud of what we have achieved
> > >
> > > Ten cuidado (Spanish translation: “Be safe”),
> > >
> > > Katherine
> > >
> > > 
> > > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Strategy/Wikimedia_movement/
> > 2017/Direction
> > >  https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_CEE_Meeting_2017
> > > 
> > > https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:CEE_meeting_2017_%
> > > E2%80%93_Movement_Strategy.pdf
> > > 
> > > https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2017-
> > > September/088654.html
> > >  https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_
> > >
> > > --
> > > Katherine Maher
> > > Executive Director
> > >
> > > *We're moving on October 1, 2017! **Our new address:*
> > >
> > > Wikimedia Foundation
> > > 1 Montgomery Street, Suite 1600
> > > San Francisco, CA 94104
> > >
> > > +1 (415) 839-6885 ext. 6635 <(415)%20839-6885>
> > > +1 (415) 712 4873 <(415)%20712-4873>
> > > kmaher(a)wikimedia.org
> > > https://annual.wikimedia.org
> > > _______________________________________________
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