[Wikimedia-l] The new narrowed focus by WMF

Dan Rosenthal swatjester at gmail.com
Sun Oct 21 21:29:54 UTC 2012

On Sun, Oct 21, 2012 at 11:30 PM, Yaroslav M. Blanter <putevod at mccme.ru>wrote:

> On Sun, 21 Oct 2012 19:19:59 +0300, Dan Rosenthal wrote:
>> I too have to say that while I agree with a narrowing focus, I disagree
>> with the tabling of Fellowships. Not only have they brought a lot of great
>> talent into the foundation (as I saw when I worked there, as well as
>> after), but more than anything the WMF is an agent of disruptive
>> innovation, and I feel strongly that encouraging Fellows to explore things
>> that might not be viable for the rest of the staff (whether due to
>> resources or interest) serves that innovation, and thus the foundation
>> itself. I believe at one point there was a Fellow working on studying ways
>> to improve en.wp's internal governance. After witnessing the utter debacle
>> that is going on in the clarifications on Malleus' ban, I'm more convinced
>> than ever that such a review is critical and that the WMF should actually
>> be devoting MORE resources to this. Editor engagement comes not just
>> through things like Visual Editor (which is awesome), but also creating a
>> conducive environment for new editors from a policy standpoint. I'm afraid
>> we're going to lose that in a narrowing focus.
>> Dan Rosenthal
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> Hi Dan,
> whereas I can agree or disagree with you on your points, I fail to see the
> connection to the Malleus's ban debate. Could you please elaborate? I am
> not sure I would like to see WMF involved there, if this is your point
> (probably not).
> Cheers
> Yaroslav

The connection is that it is an example of the significantly more
negative/hostile environment and failure of en.wp's governance structure
that harms editor retention; this is something that could have been studied
and reported on by the Fellowship program. Basically, it's a specific
example of a broader problem that would be perfect for Fellows to look at,
were the program to continue. I was not advocating that the WMF be involved
in Malleus's specific debate.


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