[Wikimedia-l] Go away, community (from WMF wiki at least)

Seb35 seb35wikipedia at gmail.com
Sat May 11 18:01:15 UTC 2013

Thanks a lot for this explanation.

On the other side, wikis not only need content producers (here WMF) but  
also curators (wikignomes) who are sorting the pages, deleting and moving  
pages, typocorrecting, templating things, helping new users in formatting  
texts, etc. (I read some of the Florence’s blogposts :) -- and not being  
admin restricts a lot the possible actions.

And on the example you give about disagreement between two editors (e.g.  
staffer and volunteer), in theory there is no reason the staffer’s  
solution is better or worse than the volunteer’s solution, but perhaps a  
mean solution can be better than any of the two initial solutions; and in  
this case, the spent time is not a waste of time.


Le Sat, 11 May 2013 18:48:38 +0200, Sue Gardner <sgardner at wikimedia.org> a  
> Gayle is travelling today and not online, so I'll take a crack at
> responding to this.
> The editors are responsible for the projects: the Wikimedia Foundation
> knows that, acknowledges it, and is deeply appreciative (as are all
> readers) for the work that volunteers do in the projects. The Wikimedia
> Foundation is responsible for the Wikimedia Foundation wiki (and the  
> blog).
> We are grateful to get community help there, and a small number of
> community members do really good work with us on both the WMF wiki and  
> the
> blog. But ultimately that wiki, and the blog, are our responsibility, and
> we are accountable for making sure that e.g. the staff page, the Board
> bios, the resolution texts, etc., are maintained and in good shape. Most
> material on the WMF is not created via collaborative production processes
> -- it's "corporate" in nature, meaning that it is developed by the
> Wikimedia Foundation, for an audience of Wikimedia Foundation  
> stakeholders,
> which includes community members and prospective community members,  
> donors,
> readers of the projects, media, and others.
> My understanding is that administrator rights have been removed from a
> small number of volunteers, but that those people still have basic  
> editing
> rights. My understanding is that the Wikimedia Foundation staff who work  
> on
> the Foundation wiki have been grateful (and are grateful) for the help
> they've gotten from community members in maintaining the Foundation wiki,
> and that we hope they'll continue to help us. They've been great, and  
> we're
> grateful.
> But, my understanding is also that occasionally volunteers have  
> overridden
> decisions made by staff on the Wikimedia Foundation wiki. I don't think
> that's ever been a huge problem: I don't think we've ever had a situation
> in which extensive discussion hasn't reached an okay conclusion. But, the
> extensive discussions --which, I understand, have typically been
> one-on-one, by which I mean, not a large number of community members or a
> community consensus against something the Foundation has wanted to do,  
> but
> rather one volunteer disagreeing with something staff have been asked to  
> do
> as part of their job --- occasionally, those discussions have been
> extremely time-consuming. That's not good. The staff working on the
> Wikimedia Foundation wiki have jobs they've got to get done, in support  
> of
> the entire movement. If they spend days or weeks needing to persuade a
> single community member of the merits of something they want to do on the
> Foundation wiki, or if they need to modify their plans extensively to
> accommodate the opinions of a single community member, that reduces the
> amount of time available for them to do the rest of their work. Which, I
> repeat, is in the service of the movement overall.
> So I would say this:
> This decision is not about "the community" versus "the WMF." This  
> decision
> is about the WMF staff, and making it possible for them to do their work  
> on
> the WMF wiki with some reasonable degree of efficiency and effectiveness.
> This decision clarifies roles-and-responsibilities. On the projects, the
> volunteers are the editorial leads, and the WMF plays a supporting role  
> by
> creating functionality, maintaining the servers, paying the bandwidth
> bills, and so forth. On the WMF wiki, the WMF is the editorial lead, and
> volunteers can (and do) play a supporting role helping staff organize
> pages, maintain pages, and so forth. That's a reasonable division, and I
> think having clarity around it is a good thing.
> Slightly more broadly: when the Wikimedia movement was very young,
> everybody did everything and there wasn't much division of
> roles-and-responsibilities. I remember when the Wikimedia Foundation
> budgets were prepared by volunteers, when the trademarks were managed by
> volunteers, and so forth. That was appropriate for the time, and even
> though it was messy, it was kind of great. Then we all went through a
> period in which roles-and-responsibilities were utterly unclear -- it
> wasn't at all obvious who should do what, and many
> roles-and-responsibilities were hotly disputed. Personally, I feel like
> we're moving into a period now in which things are getting clearer. We
> don't pay staff to edit the projects: staff who edit do it on their own
> time, as a hobby or special personal interest. We do pay staff to do  
> things
> that are better done by staff than by volunteers, such as managing the
> trademark portfolio. Some volunteers (such as Domas) have very special
> privileges and powers, because they've proved over time they are
> exceptionally skilled. Some volunteers support the Wikimedia Foundation
> staff in their work in a variety of ways, because they've proved their
> interest and abilities. Some work happens in close partnership between
> staff and volunteers, such as production of blog posts, speaking with the
> media, and in projects such as the Global Ed one. Sometimes organized
> groups of volunteers are created by volunteers and supported by staff  
> (e.g.
> ArbCom or AffCom) and sometimes organized groups of volunteers are  
> created
> by the Wikimedia Foundation and supported by the Wikimedia Foundation  
> (such
> as the FDC). Upshot: community members and Wikimedia Foundation staff  
> work
> together in many different coordinated fashions. The ways on which we  
> work
> together are becoming increasingly clear, and I think that clarity is  
> good.
> So. People can disagree with this decision, and that's okay. But
> ultimately, the Wikimedia Foundation is responsible for the Wikimedia
> Foundation wiki: it's our job to figure out how best to manage and  
> maintain
> it. That's what we're doing here.
> Thanks,
> Sue
> On May 11, 2013 4:15 AM, "K. Peachey" <p858snake at gmail.com> wrote:
>> This is the email that got sent out to everyone,
>> ---
>> Dear XXX,
>> Thank you for your work with the Foundation wiki.  At this time, we
>> are formalizing a new requirement, which is that administrator access
>> is given only to staff and board.  I am having administrator access to
>> accounts that are neither staff or board be disabled, effective
>> immediately.
>> Sincerely,
>> Gayle
>> --
>> Gayle Karen K. Young
>> Chief Talent and Culture Officer
>> Wikimedia Foundation
>> 415.310.8416
>> www.wikimediafoundation.org
>> ---
>> Gayle's response (which was the first time she has edited the wiki in
>> ~5 months[2]) seems lacking[1] in general and the subsequent responses
>> about knowing what these people do on the wiki
>> Another interesting fact is that Mz got desysoped first, When you
>> would expect it to be done in alphabetically order.
>> "We've been discussing this for awhile, and the thought is that it's
>> ultimately the Foundation's web presence, not the community's web
>> presence. A useful parallel to consider might be how userrights are
>> given to staffers on the community wikis; they're distributed as and
>> when they're needed for a specific task."
>> Um, Rights for staff on wikis are given out like candy?, although not
>> as much thee days but it still happens.
>> Also, How is the foundation wiki not apart of the community? Has the
>> position of the legal department changed? or the boards? just randomly
>> changing without any imput or discussions seems utlimately strange.
>> since it is actually their wiki (just like everything else that falls
>> under the foundation)
>> [1]. <
>> https://wikimediafoundation.org/w/index.php?diff=91857&oldid=91855#Users_stripped_of_rights.3F
>> >
>> [2]. <
>> https://wikimediafoundation.org/w/index.php?title=Special%3AContributions&target=Gyoung
>> >
>> [3]. <https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Special:Log/rights>
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