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

Jane Darnell jane023 at gmail.com
Mon May 13 06:59:06 UTC 2013

I can sympathize with the issue, namely, that it would be nice if only
Foundation employees could be allowed admin access on their own wiki.
I recall a similar issue (which was not so widely blown up) for our
WMNL board wiki in the Netherlands (and yes Phoebe, that is a very
boring wiki). I find it interesting to read Gayle's reaction, but I
don't think she should have apologized.

The way the community interacts with newbies is unforgiveable, period.
This is a perfect example of the reason that many women will go away
after their first few edits, or they grow some sort of special magic
Wikipedia filter. Even if she was just the messenger and it was
Philippe's idea, as far as the reactions to Gayle go, I agree with
Philippe's "it's often damn hard to wade into these waters...", but I
would rather conclude with "Staff members are Wikipedians too."

And don't get me started on the concept of "higher standards"!!

2013/5/13, phoebe ayers <phoebe.wiki at gmail.com>:
> On Sun, May 12, 2013 at 10:32 PM, Federico Leva (Nemo)
> <nemowiki at gmail.com>wrote:
>> Casey Brown, 13/05/2013 07:05:
>>> [...] [Note that I'm speaking generally -- I personally think Gayle can
>>> handle criticism and she seems very nice. She also probably had no
>>> idea this would create dramz. My comment is directed towards the
>>> general "omg think of the staff member!" response to criticism that is
>>> systemic in our movement.]
>> Still, "omg think of the staff member!" seems to be the point Gayle and
>> Philippe make on this thread. If history teaches something, I guess the
>> board will soon approve a resolution to request the development of a
>> Personal Communitymember Filter to AT LAST hide all that offensive content
>> in our community. MediaWiki-mailman integration offers some challenges,
>> but
>> our commitment to openness will swiftly help, shutting down more mailing
>> lists in favour of wiki discussions.
>> Nemo
> Au contraire, I feel we should all earn some kind of barnstar just for
> participating in this discussion/situation. You know, it's kind of the
> ultimate Wikimedian tempest: arguing over who gets to add users and delete
> pages on what is quite possibly the world's most boring wiki[1]...
> It's also a quintessentially Wikimedian debate because there's all this
> subtext -- assumed but not articulated -- that isn't minor at all: about
> community ownership versus corporate control, about who has authority to
> make decisions in what sphere, about the role volunteers play in the
> organization, over what personal reputation means on the projects, over
> what admin rights mean, what kind of work environment the staff have, etc..
> I'm gonna take a stab in the dark here and guess that Gayle wasn't
> intending to start a debate on all these big important topics, or even
> perhaps to comment on them at all. I'm also gonna say from experience that
> it's often damn hard to wade into these waters and take an action *without*
> touching off a debate on all these subjects. As someone said upthread, the
> golden rule does help, as does practice working with the wiki way, and
> knowing all the personal ins and outs of Wikimedia and our arcane culture.
> But *even that* doesn't always save someone from making an unpopular
> decision, or from screwing up or not thinking through all the ways they
> might be wading into a minefield -- and that goes for all of us, staff,
> board, & community alike. Hey, ask me how I know.
> Sheesh, being part of the world's biggest collaborative project is hard
> sometimes.
> -- phoebe
> 1. I exempt, of course, the internal wiki at my workplace, which has won
> the crown many years running.
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