[Foundation-l] Show community consensus for Wikilove

WereSpielChequers werespielchequers at gmail.com
Sun Oct 30 11:17:22 UTC 2011

> ------------------------------
> Message: 8
> Date: Sat, 29 Oct 2011 21:40:37 +0200
> From: Gerard Meijssen <gerard.meijssen at gmail.com>
> Subject: Re: [Foundation-l] Show community consensus for Wikilove
> To: fae at wikimedia.org.uk,       Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List
>        <foundation-l at lists.wikimedia.org>
> Message-ID:
>        <CAO53wxW=UwegSJZgTbk24D69zgd4EOwoGpypKbdQnJqXSEqKMw at mail.gmail.com
> >
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
> Hoi,
> I am happy to make a distinction of what I do officially and what I say
> because I am personally of a particular opinion. This is very much my
> personal opinion.
> There have been LOADS of opportunities where the community is asked, begged
> to be involved in what will be the way forward. The most obvious
> opportunity has been the Strategy project. At this time the Wikimedia
> Foundation is looking for all sorts of volunteers that are asked to help
> determine what future functionality will be like. Specifically I want to
> mention the need for "language support teams" and volunteers for our mobile
> development.
> The position of the WMF as I know it is that it wants very much an involved
> community. To be effective, it is important for the community to be
> involved early in the process. Sadly many people want to be only involved
> at the end of the process. This does not help much and particularly not on
> issues that are not the bread and butter of working on content by the
> existing community.
> I made points in my previous mail. They have not been addressed. We agree
> on the need for community involvement. The WMF has a strong tradition on
> involving its communities. My argument is that the programs that are
> discussed are very much monitored for their effect, based on the results
> the functionality will be tweaked. My argument is that these programs are
> the result of community consultation and therefore community involvement is
> the origin of the functionality we are discussing.
> Thanks,
>      GerardM
> Hi Gerard,

What changes do and do not require consensus is a fascinating issue, but
not I think related to my query re Wikilove. Brandon has told us that the
devs are only installing wikilove on wikis where there is a consensus for
it.  Hence my request for a link to the discussion that established
consensus for the introduction of Wikilove on EN wikipedia, as I seem to
have missed that debate and was having difficulty finding it. I'm not
trying to reopen the debate, I'm not actually opposed to wikilove if that's
what a bunch of editors want to volunteer their time for. If it was tweaked
as per Geni's proposal it might actually become a net positive. I just
wanted to read the discussion and see how that consensus was achieved. If
it's true that every wiki except for the EN Wikipedia gets the chance to
decide whether or not they want it then I wonder why that was the case, and
what that says about the Foundation's attitude to our largest community of

If wikilove was developed on Foundation money then I think it sad that this
was prioritised above so many more important things. For example a big part
of any welcome template is this bizarre looking instruction to sign posts
on talkpages with ~~~~. Aside from the signing business the original design
of talkpages is way superior and more newby friendly than liquid threads,
but it could do with one small enhancement; Autosign on talkpages, with the
preference defaulted to off for anyone who has signed a talkpage and on for
anyone who hasn't, including of course all new accounts from now onwards.
Implement that and we can easily improve the welcome templates, and greatly
reduce the number of newbies who raise a query on a talkpage only to be
responded with an admonition about their failure to sign their posting.
Then there is that one little bug in Cat a lot that prevents if from being
used to tackle the Commons categorisation backlog
of those would be way more important than Wikilove, the Article
Feedback tool or the image filter. On a different scale altogether is the
question of whether Museums and other GLAMS should skip us and go directly
to Flickr. Balboa Park has set out fairly clearly why they've taken the
decision to use Flickr rather than Commons
like to know how many developers the Foundation has working to catch

There is a broader point, a willingness to invest in things that might be
of use to hypothetical groups of potential new editors really shouldn't
come at the expense of neglecting the needs of the existing editor base. We
have an editor retention problem and one way to confront that is to invest
in fixing the problems that those editors raise and improve the tools they
use. Another is to empower the community and put them in control of their
projects. Only introducing new features where there is consensus for
implementation is a step towards that. A bigger step, and a way to get much
much better value from our IT budget is to get community input on the
priority of new features. The Image filter referendum made a small step
towards that by having a question about its importance. A more meaningful
consultation would be to give editors the ability to rate the relative
importance of a bunch of potential enhancements "How much do you want
this?" Should be the second question after "Do you want this?". The least
lovely feature of Wikilove as with the Article Feedback Tool is to think of
all the amazing things that could have been done instead.


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