[Foundation-l] the choice of what is going to be developed is very much a management issue;

Oliver Keyes scire.facias at gmail.com
Sun Oct 30 19:50:06 UTC 2011

I'm not saying that they would *ignore* readers, just that consistently
taking outside parties into account is something every group finds
difficult. I can see the community noting, in such discussions, that
readers have a stake. I can even see them taking this stake into account
when making decisions. I cannot see this becoming standard operating
procedure - as ACTRIAL, amongst other things, demonstrates.

Even simply "ringfencing" part of the budget wouldn't work. It would
require technical changes that impact on readers and technical changes that
impact on editors to be completely distinct, to the point where a change
for one group doesn't impact on the other. This is not the case. Again,
ACTRIAL - if the staff were forced to enact things or give them certain
priorities because the editors demanded it, that would not be in force.
Ringfencing budgets only works if liabilities and consequences are also
ringfenced, and reality just doesn't work like that.

Again, it also requires that particularly vocal and vehement members of the
community represent the community as a whole, which they do not in any way,
shape or form. To subject technical development for all editors to the
control of the people who shout the loudest is a Bad Thing. I'm going to
take the jump now and point out that the Foundation's staffers do not
answer to editors. Editors, such as myself, do not control what staffers
do, and they do not *get* to control what staffers do - that's the board's
job. If you have a problem with this, run for the board of trustees and
campaign to change that. Until such a decision gets made, however, there is
no requirement for engineering to prioritise things based on what the
editors want. Such a requirement would inevitably leave staff in a position
where the editors are demanding X, and the people who pay their salary are
demanding Y, causing chaos.

This is not to say staff do not take editors into account - of course they
do. As said, I'm working on engaging editors myself as a contractor, and
the staff genuinely care what editors think of features in order to make
them the best features they can possibly be. However, wanting an editorial
perspective into features design does not and should not extend to
editorial *governance*.

In my personal capacity, as always.

On Sun, Oct 30, 2011 at 7:37 PM, WereSpielChequers <
werespielchequers at gmail.com> wrote:

> Re OKeyes "Switching authorisation and prioritisation over to the editors
> completely ignores readers, and assumes that editors will act outside their
> own/interests to ensure that reader-specific features do get some
> traction;" I'm not convinced that the community would want to ignore
> readers, I'm aware that many editors are motivated by the desire to see
> their work read. But I could accept a compromise with part of the
> development budget being ringfenced for initiatives proposed and
> prioritised by the community.
> Re Gerard "the community was involved in defining our strategy. Making our
> community more friendly is a strategic choice defined by the strategy
> project and endorsed by the board." I took part in the Strategy project,
> and I agree with some of what came out of it, especially the bit about
> making our community more open. But just because some of us took part in
> the Strategy exercise doesn't mean that we can't usefully comment now. Nor
> does a strategy of being nicer mean that every development intended to
> achieve that will actually do so, or indeed be the best way to do so. I'm
> pretty confident that if the community was to prioritise potential
> developments as to whether they would make things friendlier and easier for
> the sort of newbies that we want, then wikilove would be a long way from
> the top of the list. The GLAM sector is a case in point, reading
> http://futureofmuseums.blogspot.com/2011/10/building-better-fishing-pole-how.htmlI
> don't get the impression that the ability to give each other kittens
> would make Commons as attractive as Flickr for museums to upload image
> collections. Developments to match flickr's "robust tagging and search
> tools" would, but what chance is there of us getting IT resources for that?
> WereSpielChequers
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