[Foundation-l] hiding interlanguage links by default is a Bad Idea, part 2

Aryeh Gregor Simetrical+wikilist at gmail.com
Sun Jun 6 14:59:36 UTC 2010

On Sat, Jun 5, 2010 at 4:00 PM, Gregory Maxwell <gmaxwell at gmail.com> wrote:
> There is a clear attitude from the foundation staff that I, and
> others, are perceiving in these discussions.  The notion that the
> community of contributors is a particularly whiny batch of customers
> who must be 'managed', that they express demands unconnected from the
> needs of the readers... and that it is more meaningful when a couple
> of office staff retreat to some meeting room and say "we reached a
> decision".

I agree entirely with this, and most of the rest of your post.
Wikimedia has not yet figured out how to manage paid employees
alongside a community.  I've been meaning to write up some comments on
this, and hopefully will get to that soonish.  If important volunteer
contributors raise complaints about a change, it's not acceptable to
simply say "This is what we've decided".  You need to seriously engage
their arguments in detail, and provide the data used to make the
decision.  Yes, this costs employees time that they could be using to
work on other things, but a strong community will repay the time
invested tenfold.

Separately, I think that many (not all) of the people objecting to the
change in this case presented weak arguments, as I detailed in
previous posts.  But this does not mean that they should be ignored,
only refuted.  (And *some* of the arguments against the change were
not obviously incorrect.)

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