IRC office hours/2010-06-01

From Strategic Planning

eekim: welcome, foks

[2:59pm] geniice joined the chat room.
[2:59pm] Philippe: hey geniice
[2:59pm] • Jamesofur always reads foks as folks anyway.... and foks just made that much worse
[2:59pm] foks: Fox is taken.
[2:59pm] foks: <3
[3:00pm] foks: Cheers, eekim .
[3:00pm] Dafer45 joined the chat room.
[3:00pm] Philippe: Dafer45: hey!
[3:00pm] eekim: hey dafer45!
[3:00pm] Philippe: Good crowd today. All the usual suspects, plus a few. Love that.
[3:00pm] Dafer45: Hi Phillipe and eekim!
[3:01pm] eekim: great crowd!
[3:01pm] eekim: i want to talk about a little experiment we're introducing this week
[3:01pm] eekim: haven't had a chance to post it on village pump yet, so i'll introduce here
[3:01pm] GerardM-: ..
[3:01pm] eekim: hey GerardM-
[3:02pm] eekim: one of the challenges with LiquidThreads is that conversations get long and hard to follow
[3:02pm] • Jamesofur nods
[3:02pm] eekim: in an ideal world, conversations would be easy to summarize
[3:02pm] eekim: LiquidThreads has a summary feature, but it's not widely used
[3:02pm] eekim: frankly, it's not easy to use
[3:02pm] eekim: there's a researcher at U. Washington who's been experimenting with this problem with forums
[3:02pm] eekim: he has a project called Reflect:
[3:03pm] eekim: we've been talking for the past several weeks, and this past weekend, he wrote a Greasemonkey script that lets us use Reflect on LiquidThreads
[3:03pm] eekim: for the uninitiated, Greasemonkey is a Firefox extension that essentially lets you hack your browser
[3:03pm] eekim: it's similar to the Gadgets extension for MediaWIki
[3:04pm] eekim:
[3:04pm] Philippe: (btw: you can run Greasemonkey scripts in Chrome with a little easy modification... also Opera)
[3:05pm] Philippe:
[3:05pm] eekim: Travis's Greasemonkey extension for LiquidThreads is at:
[3:06pm] Philippe: (sorry, this is the better Chrome link:
[3:06pm] geniice: eekim you are squeezing text to the left in order to adress the problem of a handful of TL:dr posts
[3:06pm] GerardM-: when I look at LQT there are still CSS things to be done to make it look pretty ... it shows clearly in translatewiki
[3:06pm] eekim: i'd like to get a bunch of people to install this so that we can use it for the Movement Priorities discussion page:
[3:06pm] Jamesofur: ahh was about to ask about chrome
[3:06pm] eekim: GerardM-, absolutely
[3:07pm] Philippe: btw... one caveat - if you do install it, it loads a little slowly on really big talk pages. Give it a minute, it'll be fine.
[3:07pm] eekim: geniice, what's "TL:dr"?
[3:07pm] in2thats12 joined the chat room.
[3:07pm] eekim: welcome in2thats12
[3:07pm] Jamesofur: eekim: Too long didn't read
[3:07pm] Philippe: TL; dr:;_didn't_read
[3:07pm] Philippe: hey in2thats12
[3:07pm] eekim: thanks, Jamesofur and Philippe
[3:08pm] eekim: geniice, what resolution is your browser at?
[3:08pm] in2thats12: hey Philippe, though I would stop by
[3:08pm] geniice: eekim the same as my screen
[3:08pm] eekim: which is?
[3:08pm] GerardM-: Philippe, eekim I proposed a discussion panel at Wikimania ... did you see it ?
[3:09pm] bawolff: GerardM-: on the note of css changes, we've done some experimenting on wikinews for those who liked the old talk pages better and got it too look almost exactly like a normal page
[3:09pm] Philippe: I did, GerardM-
[3:09pm] geniice: 1024*768
[3:09pm] • Philippe makes a note to check out the css on wikinews
[3:09pm] GerardM-: did not see that you would attent ..
[3:09pm] eekim: geniice, you're definitely correct that this pushes content to the left
[3:10pm] eekim: i'm looking at it at 1024x768 now, and it seems like a worthy tradeoff
[3:10pm] eekim: most posts are pretty short
[3:10pm] bawolff: philippe: its not default though, its a gadget for one whiney user
[3:10pm] Philippe: ahhhh, thanks, bawolff
[3:10pm] eekim: gerardm, i haven't signed up for any sessions yet
[3:11pm] Ziko: we are supposed to talk about strategy and end up talking about software what does that tell about us?
[3:11pm] Jamesofur: oh is wikinews using liquidthreads now too? (I haven't been there for a while)
[3:11pm] Philippe: Ziko: software as a tool to enhance strategy is fair game, I think
[3:11pm] eekim: what Philippe said
[3:11pm] Philippe: to enhance planning for strategy, rather.
[3:12pm] bawolff: jamesofur: only in comments: namespace
[3:12pm] Ziko: ok
[3:12pm] Jamesofur: Ziko: it could be worse we could spend the entire time talking about a template for someone who isn't even online
[3:12pm] Jamesofur: (jokes )
[3:12pm] eekim: can we have some volunteers install the Reflect script and try summarizing some of the posts on the Movement Priorities page?
[3:12pm] Philippe: So eekim, maybe I missed it, but maybe it would make sense to spell out exactly what the perceived gain is from summarizing? Is it just so lazy people like myself don't have to deal with long comments? (leading question and I know it)
[3:12pm] Ziko: i will always remember what debora weber-wullf tought us: you can't solve social problems by software
[3:13pm] Jamesofur: that's your job
[3:13pm] eekim: that's a good question, philippe, even if it is a leading question
[3:13pm] Philippe: lol, thanks Jamesofur, eekim
[3:13pm] GerardM-: it is not my job
[3:13pm] GerardM-: and it would help me
[3:14pm] geniice: eekim we are wikipedia. We are PHd deathmatch. Encouraging a TL:DR mentality is a bad thing
[3:14pm] Philippe: GerardM-: I think he meant it was my job to ask leading questions
[3:14pm] eekim: we want to make sure the essential points from the discussion stand out, so that we can make sure they are addressed, both in discussion and on the content page
[3:14pm] geniice: if people make long posts to talk pages it's generaly because they have something to say
[3:14pm] geniice: we are not twitter
[3:14pm] Ziko: that's what i meant by social problems
[3:14pm] eekim: geniice, the problem isn't long posts. the problem is making sure we capture the essential points.
[3:15pm] geniice: eekim on wikipedia we care about context
[3:15pm] eekim: the long posts won't go away. we're just creating an entry point to those points.
[3:15pm] eekim: in fact, one of the nice features of Reflect is that it shows the context of the summary
[3:15pm] geniice: the entry point is the first sentence
[3:15pm] Philippe: oooh, not always, geniice
[3:15pm] eekim: Hover over one of the summarized bullet points, and you'll see the main point highlighted
[3:16pm] • bawolff thinks this reflect thing sounds magical
[3:16pm] eekim: we're trying to create helpful ways to navigate discussions
[3:16pm] eekim: bawolff, it's not magical, it's a simple idea (well executed in my opinion) that may be helpful
[3:17pm] eekim: it's a simple experiment. i would love it if people here would try it and see if it's helpful.
[3:17pm] Philippe: So once we have the salient points summarized, what's the idea then, eekim? Is it that it's an iterative step, or is it for some other use?
[3:17pm] eekim: iterative step
[3:17pm] geniice: eekim no. You are creating a way that allows people to skip all the nuance and subtlety ans skip strait to the "You are wrong and I will fight you to the ends of the earth" stage
[3:17pm] eekim: there are two possible things that can happen at that point
[3:18pm] Philippe: geniice: nobody's suggesting installation on Wikipedia This is project specific, for strategy, for the summation/writing process.
[3:18pm] eekim: geniice, how are we causing people to skip nuance? we're adding summary points that link to the context.
[3:18pm] GerardM-: geniice now you have a situation where people turn off altogether ..
[3:18pm] Jamesofur: I must admit I worry about the "anyone can add" on the side just because I fear it will end up being just as cluttered, or worse misleading
[3:18pm] bawolff: geniice: thats the funnest part
[3:19pm] eekim: Jamesofur, that's a fair concern. let's experiment and see if that happens.
[3:19pm] Jamesofur: of course
[3:19pm] geniice: eekim next you will be suggesting that people base their opinions on articles rather than headlines
[3:19pm] geniice: <Philippe so you are going kinda meta-meta-meta. Okeeey
[3:19pm] Dafer45 left the chat room. (Quit: Page closed)
[3:20pm] Philippe: geniice: Hey, we've got a document to write and this one IS on a deadline, unlike the 'pedia.
[3:20pm] peteforsyth left the chat room. (Ping timeout: 240 seconds)
[3:20pm] eekim: geniice, i fail to see how this is suggesting anything close to that
[3:20pm] Dafer45 joined the chat room.
[3:21pm] Jamesofur: aye, if we can help to structure liquid threads more I'm all for it. That has been my biggest concern about it. It actually seems to make it much harder for me to follow the whole discussion
[3:21pm] geniice: eekim you are dissucussing a way to organise description of disscussion about amoung other things how wikipedia should disscuss things
[3:21pm] Jamesofur: I like the interface, structure but..
[3:22pm] eekim: geniice, i'm suggesting we experiment with an interface that will help us with the Movement Priorities discussion on strategy
[3:22pm] Philippe: geniice: again, nobody's talking about installing it on wikipedia
[3:22pm] GerardM-: <grin> first we have to love it to bits
[3:22pm] geniice: Philippe that was my point
[3:23pm] geniice: well part of it anyway
[3:23pm] bz_g joined the chat room.
[3:23pm] eekim: so to finish my earlier point about how i hope this will be helpful for the movement priorities discussion...
[3:23pm] Philippe: OK, so putting aside the technical tool - there's merit to summarizing points for the purpose of writing the plan - in whatever format works for you...
[3:23pm] eekim: i see this as an interim step in:
[3:23pm] eekim: 1. summarizing longer discussions
[3:24pm] eekim: 2. making sure we capture key points from the discussion into the Movement Priorities itself
[3:24pm] eekim: Jamesofur, would like to hear the rest of your "but..." point
[3:25pm] Jamesofur: aye, it's basically a repeat of what I said above it. I like the interface and the.. I guess the idea of the structure but I always find it much harder to follow.
[3:25pm] Jamesofur: I think alot of this ends up being because the discussions DON'T totally stay within one thread
[3:25pm] eekim: Reflect or LiquidThreads?
[3:26pm] Jamesofur: they either get broken up or spread out among other threads and make it hard to keep track of where everything is being said
[3:26pm] Philippe: Interesting point, Jamesofur - we haven't done a great job of aggressively moving posts, or splitting them, or merging them.
[3:26pm] Jamesofur: LiquidThreads, haven't experienced much with Reflect
[3:26pm] eekim: got it. definitely hear you on these points. will you give Reflect a try?
[3:26pm] geniice: Philippe you have a deadline yes?
[3:27pm] Jamesofur: aye Philippe, but that isn't totally your guys problem. If this is going to be in a larger field wiki that won't happen much so we need to be prepared for that
[3:27pm] Philippe: Jamesofur: yep. That's the value of using a test bed.
[3:27pm] Jamesofur: eekim: going to try it if I can get greasemonkey to work with chrome (didn't know it did but Philippe posted a link I'm going to take a look at)
[3:27pm] Philippe: We learn stuff like the social engineering that's necessary behind it
[3:27pm] eekim: definitely. there's lots of room for improving LiquidThreads. this is one possible experiment.
[3:27pm] eekim: fantastic, thanks, Jamesofur!
[3:27pm] eekim: are others playing with Reflect right now?
[3:28pm] geniice: Meta meta meta
[3:29pm] Dafer45: me
[3:29pm] GerardM-: That is the one issue with Reflect it is a geeks geek tool
[3:29pm] eekim: thanks, Dafer45!
[3:29pm] eekim: GerardM-, is that because of the installation steps or the tool itself?
[3:29pm] • Philippe mumbles "gadget"
[3:29pm] GerardM-: I feel uncomfortable adding to my production tools because I rely on their stability
[3:29pm] foks left the chat room. (Quit: Connection fed to lions by peer)
[3:30pm] eekim: Philippe, I've pointed Travis to the Gadgets API. hoping that he can hack it.
[3:30pm] eekim: GerardM-, that's fair. That said, it shouldn't break anything. It's a bit slow on long Talk pages though.
[3:30pm] GerardM-: when things go awry I do not know how to solve things
[3:30pm] geniice: seriously did none of you read Arthur C. Clarke's /Superiority/ ?
[3:31pm] eekim: I hear you, GerardM-. if you don't want to chance it, that's fair. If you're willing to chance it, Travis has been very responsive in fixing things.
[3:33pm] geniice: I am correct in thinking you haven't had an agender in 3 months?
[3:33pm] GerardM-: what is an agender
[3:34pm] geniice: Agenda
[3:34pm] eekim: geniice, are you here to be constructive?
[3:34pm] geniice: are you? Look at yourselves
[3:34pm] GerardM-: <grumble>
[3:34pm] geniice: You've got a deadline. You know this
[3:35pm] geniice: you know what existing tool exist
[3:35pm] Jamesofur left the chat room. (Read error: Connection reset by peer)
[3:35pm] Philippe was promoted to operator by ChanServ.
[3:35pm] geniice: you know their abilities to the nth degree
[3:35pm] geniice: so rather than working out how to meet that deadline with those tools
[3:35pm] geniice: something I know you can do
[3:35pm] GerardM-: ok did you read about the proposal for signwriting wikipedias ??
[3:36pm] geniice: you are playing with tools you have little idea about
[3:36pm] geniice: GerardM ja
[3:36pm] GerardM-: they have started an incubator on their own server to develop the software and to incubate the project
[3:36pm] geniice: <GerardM the problem is we risk htting issues if that area of unicode is ever used for something yes
[3:36pm] GerardM-: I would love it when this is part of what we see as strategic
[3:36pm] Philippe set a ban on *!*@wikipedia/geniice.
[3:36pm] Jamesofur joined the chat room.
[3:36pm] Philippe geniice from the chat room. (geniice)
[3:37pm] eekim: folks, just for the record, I asked Philippe to kick geniice off the channel
[3:37pm] Philippe is demoted from operator.
[3:37pm] GerardM-: the Unicode things can be solved .
[3:37pm] eekim: one of the things i'm very proud of is a spirit of constructive discussion
[3:37pm] eekim: on the strategy process
[3:37pm] eekim: i felt like geniice was not willing to engage in constructive discussion and was instead unduly berating people
[3:38pm] eekim: as he pointed out, we _are_ on a deadline, and we don't have time for this behavior
[3:38pm] eekim: i'm happy to take questions/concerns about that, but in the meantime, let's get back on topic
[3:38pm] eekim: if you're playing with Reflect, please post experiences here
[3:39pm] eekim: in the meantime, i want to also talk about next steps for strategy wiki
[3:39pm] Philippe: Yeah... interesting thread about that started on Village Pump today
[3:39pm] eekim:
[3:40pm] Philippe: Is Kozuch here? He's not, is he.
[3:40pm] eekim: as the strategy process draws to a close, we need to discuss what happens next
[3:40pm] eekim: we've talked about it off and on both on the wiki itself and here during office hours
[3:40pm] Philippe: I've asked him to expand a little on that thread, but I think other viewpoints would be critical there.
[3:40pm] peteforsyth joined the chat room.
[3:41pm] eekim: as we've discussed in the past, one of the things we'd like to try is to get people acting on ideas
[3:41pm] eekim: there are lots of great proposals that simply require some motivated volunteers to get working
[3:41pm] eekim: we want to make it as easy as possible for people to find, discuss, and organize around great ideas on strategy wiki
[3:41pm] eekim: hey peteforsyth
[3:42pm] GerardM-: some people do and they do not need much of a framework other people will need some support but I think the majority of people do not actually do take up new ideas early on
[3:42pm] Philippe: One of the tools that we're playing with is an easy-breezy template to put on the proposals pages, asking people to associate them to priorities.
[3:42pm] bz_g left the chat room. (Quit: ERC Version 5.3 (IRC client for Emacs))
[3:42pm] eekim: why do you think that is, GerardM-? what do you think we need to do to get people to be more active?
[3:42pm] Philippe: You can see the draft of it at
[3:42pm] GerardM-: one of the more debilitating things is the people who always know better, who love to throw iced water on hot ideas
[3:43pm] eekim: do you have thoughts on how we could address this?
[3:43pm] bz_g joined the chat room.
[3:43pm] GerardM-: <grin> what I do is largely ignore them
[3:43pm] GerardM-: listen and move on
[3:43pm] • bawolff thinks potential contributors cannot find good ideas
[3:44pm] eekim: both of these are good points
[3:44pm] GerardM-: bawolff potential contributors for NEW things are in an even worse position, they do not have the credibility to get away with things
[3:45pm] Philippe: and you can see the template resident on a proposal at,_task_forces -- note, this is just a mockup that I tossed on the proposal, I haven't actually associated it to any goals yet
[3:45pm] GerardM-: you have to be a known quantity to have that room
[3:45pm] eekim: we want to: 1. make it easier to find good ideas, and...
[3:45pm] eekim: 2. make it easy to ignore the unnecessary negativity
[3:45pm] eekim: in addition to the templates philippe has been working on (and could use help with), we're also playing with custom extensions to make it easier to find good proposals
[3:45pm] GerardM-: and known quantities are often fixed in their positions
[3:45pm] Philippe: GerardM-, bawolff, I think you're both right about that.
[3:46pm] eekim: werdna has been playing with an extension for us for Task Forces that could easily be adapted to proposals.
[3:46pm] eekim: you can see the current test at:
[3:46pm] Philippe: What that extension does, by the way, is call out very prominently the amount of activity around Task Forces.
[3:46pm] eekim: basically, we can sort task forces and proposals based on activity (number of edits in the past week), number of people signed up, and ranking
[3:47pm] eekim: we still need to play with visualizations, etc., but i think it's a good first step
[3:47pm] bawolff: ranking as in from the reader feedback extension?
[3:47pm] eekim: we're also going to add a "Sign-Up" section to each proposal
[3:47pm] eekim: bawolff, excellent question
[3:47pm] bawolff: if not from that, where do you get the rankings from?
[3:47pm] eekim: for starters, we're going to use backlinks for ranking:
[3:48pm] eekim: eventually, we want to use a variant of ReaderFeedback
[3:48pm] eekim: possibly some combination of these two methods
[3:48pm] mikelifeguard is now known as Mike||gone.
[3:48pm] eekim: the reason we're not using ReaderFeedback by default is that it hasn't been effective for the proposals
[3:48pm] Philippe: backlinks are really cool and interesting... and a pretty good indicator of interest, I think.
[3:48pm] eekim: the incoming links seem to be a much better measure of ranking/interest
[3:48pm] GerardM-: the issue with much of this is that it invites new things while "old" stuff does not get the attention it needs
[3:48pm] bawolff: and thats how google does it
[3:49pm] eekim: bawolff, true
[3:49pm] eekim: GerardM-, that's a fair question
[3:49pm] eekim: i think we need to use this as an axis for how we'll evaluate this
[3:50pm] eekim: i'm hoping that this system differs from other brainstorming systems out there in that it invites people to connect with old ideas, not just create new ones
[3:50pm] GerardM-: also it will be evolving those things that are furthest developed while most gains can be had in the old sometimes simple stuff
[3:50pm] eekim: we want to see proposals combined
[3:50pm] eekim: GerardM-, i would love to see rankings based on simplicity
[3:50pm] eekim: maybe that's something we should add instead of a "like" rating
[3:50pm] eekim: that's probably more useful
[3:51pm] eekim: i really love that idea
[3:51pm] eekim: it's something we could do right off the bat with existing extensions
[3:51pm] GerardM-: for instance ... statistics what people are looking for and cannot find is simple effective and it is not happening
[3:51pm] eekim: such as the en.wikinews modification to ReaderFeedback
[3:51pm] Philippe: hmmmm, simplicity is an interesting measure that we haven't used before. We used "feasibility", which isn't quite the same thing...
[3:52pm] GerardM-: the basic statistics one day.. packacking three weeks
[3:52pm] eekim: are you talking about Wikimedia stats?
[3:52pm] GerardM-: yes
[3:52pm] Philippe: So GerardM- you are talking about failed searches, for instance?
[3:53pm] GerardM-: yes
[3:53pm] • Philippe nods.
[3:53pm] Philippe: would be interesting to see.
[3:53pm] eekim: is there a proposal on that on strategy right now?
[3:53pm] GerardM-: topics missing ... they are the articles we want people to write
[3:53pm] GerardM-: yes
[3:53pm] GerardM-: I wrote that LONG time ago
[3:53pm] GerardM-: several times actually
[3:54pm] GerardM-: it is intelectually more stimulating to talk about quality
[3:54pm] GerardM-: but there is none when there is no article
[3:54pm] eekim: i'm looking at your contribution history, and i don't see it. can you post a link?
[3:54pm] GerardM-: if you want to promote reach, this is the easy stuff
[3:55pm] Philippe: GerardM-: Yeah, quality measures are interesting stuff, I totally agree.
[3:55pm] bz_g left the chat room. (Quit: ERC Version 5.3 (IRC client for Emacs))
[3:55pm] GerardM-: but again, there is no quality if the article is not there
[3:56pm] Dafer45: This ties to strategy 2 on
[3:56pm] GerardM-: <grin> it is a quality of a different kind
[3:56pm] Philippe: Dafer45: It does indeed.
[3:56pm] eekim: definitely
[3:56pm] GerardM-: it also applies to en
[3:56pm] Dafer45: yes, all projects could benefit
[3:58pm] eekim: okay, folks, we only have a few more minutes left
[3:58pm] eekim: to quickly wrap up
[3:58pm] eekim: please play with Reflect. i'll post about it on Village Pump. Please post your feedback there.
[3:58pm] eekim: second, please help us think through the activation / next steps phase
[3:58pm] eekim: Philippe, where's the best place to have that conversation?
[3:59pm] Philippe: Probably also village pump - Kozuch started a nice thread there
[3:59pm] Ziko left the chat room. (Quit: Page closed)
[4:00pm] Philippe: we can steal it and broaden it slightly beyond just the wiki.
[4:00pm] eekim: okay, we'll continue the conversation on Village Pump, and hopefully create its own landing page as well
[4:00pm] eekim: office hours are officially over
[4:00pm] eekim: thanks everyone!
[4:00pm] Jamesofur: thank you
[4:00pm] Philippe: Thanks folks... ya'll have a good day
[4:01pm] You left the room.