IRC office hours/2010-06-08

    From Strategic Planning

    eekim: welcome all to strategy office hours

    [9:01pm] eekim: for those of you coming from foundation-l, there is _no_ agenda
    [9:01pm] eekim: but as always, there is plenty we can and hopefully will talk about
    [9:01pm] NativeForeigner joined the chat room.
    [9:01pm] • Philippe peers at the user list... all the regulars, plus one or two new faces. Nice.
    [9:01pm] Philippe: Hey NativeForeigner
    [9:02pm] eekim: welcome all!
    [9:02pm] NativeForeigner: heya, thought I'd jump in
    [9:02pm] eekim: two things continuing to happen this week
    [9:03pm] eekim: first, we want to bring movement priorities to a close:
    [9:03pm] howief joined the chat room.
    [9:03pm] eekim: second, we're continuing to work to create a Proposals dashboard to try to encourage self-organization and activate volunteers
    [9:03pm] howief left the chat room. (Client Quit)
    [9:03pm] eekim: would love feedback on both
    [9:03pm] eekim: and if there are other topics or questions related to strategy, feel free to raise them
    [9:04pm] Jamesofur: I assume no one here is involved in the ideatorrent prototype?
    [9:04pm] Philippe: link to the dashboard, eekim?
    [9:04pm] howief joined the chat room.
    [9:04pm] Jamesofur: howdy howie
    [9:04pm] Risker joined the chat room.
    [9:04pm] eekim: no live dashboard mockup yet
    [9:04pm] Philippe: utoh, the place is headed downhill now. Risker's here.
    [9:04pm] eekim: but people can see the components live. let me grab some urls
    [9:05pm] Philippe: (heh, components are what I meant. I'm not in the habit of asking my boss to provide links to pages that haven't been built yet)
    [9:05pm] Philippe: Jamesofur: No, we're not directly involved in ideatorrent's prototype. Early on we looked at using it, but it wasn't quite right.
    [9:05pm] Philippe: Mostly because we didn't have time to hack on it to make it work.
    [9:05pm] eekim: for starters, werdna is building an extension to help us measure activity
    [9:06pm] • Jamesofur wants to yell at someone to make it so the passwords aren't stored as plaintext
    [9:06pm] eekim: he's started with task forces, but he'll adapt it to proposals
    [9:06pm] eekim:
    [9:06pm] eekim: spec is at:,_task_forces
    [9:06pm] Philippe: And eekim, the ranking section there is ... backlinks?
    [9:06pm] eekim: for now, yes
    [9:06pm] Chzz: oh blimey, Wikipedia is lagging
    [9:06pm] eekim: note also on the proposal the sidebar
    [9:07pm] eekim: built by mr. philippe
    [9:07pm] Jamesofur: Chzz: yea there was a big delete because of a large AfD
    [9:07pm] • Philippe just fixed the associated priorities.
    [9:07pm] eekim: the goal is to make the status of proposals clear, to link proposals to strategic priorities, and to give people the opportunity to sign up for proposals
    [9:07pm] Philippe: Chzz, should be better now, I think... the servers are catching up
    [9:08pm] howief left the chat room. (Client Quit)
    [9:08pm] Philippe: eekim: That proposal has the sign-up section at the bottom too That's the prototype one.
    [9:09pm] Ashlee: Busy meeting.
    [9:09pm] eekim: heh. howie can't decide whether to stay or go.
    [9:09pm] Philippe: howie's having connection problems i think. he's been in and out for a while.
    [9:09pm] eekim: evening office hours (for me and philippe) tend to take a while to get going
    [9:09pm] Ashlee: Is that a euphemism?
    [9:09pm] Philippe: Ashlee: definitely not
    [9:11pm] Ashlee: I bought Béarnaise sauce in a jar today.
    [9:11pm] Ashlee: Fairly sure that was a poor life decision.
    [9:11pm] Ashlee: It didn't taste right.
    [9:11pm] Philippe: Let us know where to send the funeral flowers, 'kay?
    [9:11pm] eekim: that was definitely a poor life decision, Ashlee
    [9:11pm] eekim: should have checked with Philippe, first
    [9:11pm] Ashlee: Well, I'm a busy man.
    [9:11pm] Ashlee: And I didn't really feel like learning to make it.
    [9:12pm] Jamesofur: what was it for?
    [9:12pm] Philippe: btw, Ashlee: Casey's going to be in your neck of the woods. Think he might ring you for a drink.
    [9:12pm] Ashlee: steak
    [9:12pm] NativeForeigner: it's not that hard
    [9:12pm] Jamesofur: ^
    [9:12pm] Ashlee: I'm hard.
    [9:12pm] Ashlee: And busy, Christ. I made dinner at like 10.
    [9:12pm] Philippe: headed.
    [9:12pm] eekim: rein it in, Ashlee
    [9:12pm] Ashlee: And didn't cook the meat enough, again.
    [9:13pm] Philippe: I dunno how you can undercook steak. It didn't moo, right?
    [9:13pm] Chzz: Where's Keegan
    [9:13pm] Ashlee: It was almost there.
    [9:13pm] Ashlee: But still a bit raw in places.
    [9:13pm] NativeForeigner:
    [9:13pm] Philippe: "flavah"
    [9:13pm] Ashlee: I'm prepared to blame ... I won't say it.
    [9:13pm] Risker: so....about this bot.....
    [9:13pm] NativeForeigner: french
    [9:13pm] Chzz: ew, sounds well over-cooked
    [9:13pm] NativeForeigner: yeeah, back on topic
    [9:13pm] eekim: yes, Risker?
    [9:13pm] Jamesofur: so... how much of it is bot done and how much is extension doine?
    [9:13pm] Jamesofur: *done
    [9:14pm] Jamesofur: says it's a bot but then says Tim wrote an extension
    [9:14pm] Jamesofur: to implement it
    [9:14pm] eekim: it's been implemented as an extension. you can see the current status at the test page I cited before
    [9:14pm] eekim: still got bugs
    [9:14pm] Philippe: "Bot" is a loose term for the purpose of this.
    [9:14pm] Philippe: It's a thing.
    [9:14pm] eekim: i originally proposed it as a bot, but Tim implemented it as an extension
    [9:15pm] NativeForeigner: where has it been implemented, if anywhere?
    [9:15pm] eekim: doesn't matter much either way, although with a bot, we don't have to worry about code review by staff before deployment
    [9:15pm] Philippe: Just on strategy. It's local.
    [9:16pm] eekim: if you go to
    [9:16pm] eekim: you'll notice a few things
    [9:16pm] eekim: sort by edits looks at edits in the past 7 days to all pages categorized by task force
    [9:16pm] eekim: we'd like that to include talk page activity as well
    [9:17pm] eekim: sort by members is supposed to sort by number of signups
    [9:17pm] eekim: that's broken right now
    [9:17pm] Risker: it should include talk pages, often they are more active than the project page
    [9:17pm] eekim: as philippe noted, sort by ranking currently sorts by backlink
    [9:17pm] eekim: Risker, I agree. have asked werdna to do this
    [9:17pm] eekim: anyone want to take a pass at turning this into a pretty dashboard?
    [9:18pm] eekim: feel free to edit werdna's test page directly
    [9:18pm] Philippe: <koffAshleeJamesofurkoff>
    [9:18pm] Ashlee: 8=========D
    [9:18pm] • Risker would likely do less harm by juggling knives over the heads of small children
    [9:19pm] Jamesofur: I'm looking
    [9:19pm] Jamesofur: though I'm not really the "pretty" guy
    [9:19pm] eekim: thanks, Jamesofur!
    [9:19pm] Risker: well, we can see Ashlee is up for it, do you think you can help there?
    [9:19pm] eekim: pretty is less important than functional
    [9:19pm] mikelifeguard: What bot is this?
    [9:20pm] eekim: not a bot, an extension:,_task_forces
    [9:20pm] mikelifeguard: aha
    [9:22pm] NativeForeigner: it seems fairly functional
    [9:22pm] howief joined the chat room.
    [9:22pm] Philippe: ...but ugly.
    [9:22pm] eekim: it is. just needs some tweaks. will be great when it works for proposals too.
    [9:23pm] mikelifeguard: Why are we doing this as the strategy project is winding down?
    [9:23pm] eekim: for context, the reason we decided to use inbound links rather than ReaderFeedback to rank was that we found inbound links to be a better indicator of popularity
    [9:23pm] eekim:
    [9:23pm] eekim: mikelifeguard, have you seen the conversation on Village Pump?
    [9:23pm] mikelifeguard: no, but I'll take a look
    [9:24pm] eekim:
    [9:24pm] eekim: would love people's thoughts on that too
    [9:27pm] mikelifeguard: Can this extension be generalized so it will be useful on other wikis?
    [9:27pm] eekim: don't see why not
    [9:27pm] eekim: as with everything we do, my hope is that if we come up with something useful, others can adopt it also
    [9:28pm] eekim: someone raised this point on the wiki earlier
    [9:28pm] eekim: it may be that this proposal system we're building may be better suited on project wikis than on a separate wiki such as ours
    [9:28pm] eekim: in which case, we'd love it if projects stole the system
    [9:29pm] Risker: hmmm. Not sure about that. Perhaps on smaller projects, but it would be a nightmare on a really active one
    [9:29pm] howief left the chat room. (Quit: howief)
    [9:29pm] eekim: why?
    [9:29pm] Philippe: Risker, I think it's a scale thing, though, right? More people to propose = more people to become engaged, more people to manage it etc.
    [9:29pm] Philippe: on theory.
    [9:30pm] Risker: or you could wind up with lists of wikiprojects that have (in some cases) hundreds of people signed up but being inactive
    [9:30pm] Philippe: That's where the extension comes in handy: it points out the ones that are really working, versus the ones that are dormant.
    [9:30pm] eekim: there's an opportunity to tweak the extension to make it more relevant for situations like this
    [9:31pm] eekim: we need real data, though
    [9:31pm] Philippe: and then you can set criteria to close the dormant ones
    [9:31pm] eekim: right
    [9:31pm] eekim: the nice thing about doing this on the wiki is that we can take advantage of wiki ways of organizing
    [9:31pm] eekim: best of both worlds
    [9:32pm] Risker: Philippe, that would mean closing about 95% of the enwp ones
    [9:32pm] eekim: would that be a bad thing?
    [9:32pm] Philippe: So actually, let's divert to that: is that bad? If they're dormant? I mean,I can make an argument for keeping them there to be reactivated, but why not?
    [9:33pm] NativeForeigner: I don't think so
    [9:34pm] eekim: say more
    [9:34pm] gopher65 left the chat room.
    [9:34pm] NativeForeigner: maintaining project pages and tags, but marking pages as dormant at least makes sense
    [9:34pm] NativeForeigner: maybe even having them collapse: so many times I'll go to notify a wikiproject of an AfD and nobody has changed the page in over a year
    [9:35pm] Chzz: NativeForeigner Template:SoFixIt - merge the proj up into a higher-level one
    [9:35pm] NativeForeigner: yeah, certainly makes sense
    [9:35pm] Risker: Philippe, we don't actually know the correlation between active use of project-specific pages and activity within the scope of the project
    [9:35pm] NativeForeigner: however, I haven't dealt with many wikiprojects, so
    [9:35pm] Chzz: & could easy be done w/ a bit of SQL to find them and merge them, NativeForeigner
    [9:35pm] NativeForeigner: just korea, and milhist
    [9:35pm] Philippe: Risker, how would we measure that?
    [9:35pm] Chzz: it's not rocket-science to merge them
    [9:36pm] NativeForeigner: makes sense Chzz, would be a pain, but couldbe done
    [9:36pm] Chzz: merge everything into MilHist
    [9:36pm] NativeForeigner: lol, at this point it's unfortunately coming to that
    [9:36pm] Risker: one of the most inactive appearing projects is the biography one, there is little activity on project pages but lots of activity in the topic area, much of it related to the project
    [9:36pm] eekim: you can tweak the activity algorithm to measure that
    [9:37pm] NativeForeigner: that becomes the question: do you maintain a project due to the articles that are in its scope, or the project's activity itself
    [9:37pm] eekim: the basic idea behind this is, if you can make it easy for everyone to see stuff like this, good things will happen
    [9:37pm] Risker: there are several projects that go to a lot of trouble to tag everything that might possibly be within their scope, but that's all they do with it
    [9:37pm] Chzz: I'm a hypocrite when it comes to projects on EN; I recommend users join them (daily), but I do not join them myself - I prefer to 'do my own thing', despite working on subject areas covered by projects, I don't feel any need to sign up. But perhaps this is a discussion for EN, not here.
    [9:38pm] eekim: from what i've heard, i think many would agree with you Chzz
    [9:38pm] NativeForeigner: certainly, they deal with it differently on KO
    [9:38pm] • Risker has never joined a wikiproject
    [9:38pm] Risker: yes, how do they do it there, NativeForeigner?
    [9:38pm] Chzz: Risker I've seen all kinds of FA's shoe-horned into projects to make the proj feel better about their list of articles
    [9:38pm] NativeForeigner: on KO there are relatively few wikiprojects, each with ffteen or so members
    [9:39pm] eekim: KO?
    [9:39pm] NativeForeigner: korean wiki
    [9:39pm] eekim: thx
    [9:39pm] eekim: are they active?
    [9:39pm] NativeForeigner: but they are relatively intensively used to discuss (I think) content disputes
    [9:39pm] NativeForeigner: they are active, but don't have huge scope
    [9:39pm] Chzz: Where projects *are* useful is, in trying to locate 'experts' - but that can be done other ways too
    [9:40pm] Chzz: userb*xen, etc.
    [9:40pm] eekim: NativeForeigner raises an interesting point. I think projects have had limited success on en.wp, but I wonder if there are other projects (such as ko.wp) with different experiences
    [9:40pm] NativeForeigner: again, i don't speak much korean so I"m not sure entirely what all they discuss
    [9:40pm] NativeForeigner: it takes a different role
    [9:41pm] NativeForeigner: but then again featured articles are chosen by a panel there too
    [9:41pm] eekim: it's always a good reminder how many different models there are for all sorts of things
    [9:41pm] Chzz: eekim the problem is in maintaining the enthusiasm over time - the originators leave, and as it was 'their baby', it fizzles out. Comes back to the more fundamental need for better collaborative drive across all wikis
    [9:42pm] eekim: imo, the way you deal with that is you formally kill off projects
    [9:42pm] NativeForeigner: and excuse my cynicism but I think a lot of wikiprojects are founded so the founder can feel good about himself
    [9:42pm] eekim: it's okay for good things to come to an end
    [9:42pm] Philippe: NativeForeigner: Ego is a powerful motivator
    [9:42pm] NativeForeigner: and/or do well at RfA
    [9:42pm] eekim: better than having a whole bunch of stagnant projects
    [9:42pm] Risker: NativeForeigner, I think you are probably on to something there
    [9:42pm] NativeForeigner: once the poitn passes, oops, I don't care anymore
    [9:43pm] NativeForeigner: a while ago I ended up MfDing a couple totally incorrectly set up wikiprojects that were redundant which brings up a point: so many wikiprojects, even task forces, are endlessly redundant
    [9:44pm] eekim: i think a little redundancy should be tolerated, as forking can sometimes enable innovation
    [9:44pm] eekim: i think stagnant things should be ended with abandon
    [9:45pm] Philippe: but not too early
    [9:45pm] Philippe: i can think of one task force...
    [9:46pm] Philippe: that I had written off, before someone else picked it up at the last minute.
    [9:46pm] Philippe:
    [9:46pm] eekim: it's fair to list stagnant things in order to encourage others to start them up
    [9:46pm] eekim: point is, they should be clearly marked as stagnant
    [9:47pm] • Philippe nods
    [9:47pm] eekim: language is important. stagnant may be the wrong word. "inactive" perhaps.
    [9:48pm] Chzz: eekim that's very true; from personal experience - the 'Wikipedia Spotlight' EN project has launched, done good stuff for a few weeks/months, and fizzled about 4 times now, the last time being Yours Truly driving it; it failed, but we improved some articles. Thus, a Good Thing
    [9:48pm] eekim: absolutely
    [9:49pm] eekim: starting and stopping is great and natural, as long as stuff happens after it starts
    [9:49pm] eekim: within Wikimedia as a whole, there's too much starting and never stopping
    [9:49pm] eekim: i think that's one reason there hasn't been a new Wikimedia project in several years, even though there have been some decent proposals
    [9:49pm] Philippe: replace "stopping" with "declaring stopped" and i'll buy that
    [9:50pm] eekim: yup. thx for that. again, language is important.
    [9:50pm] Jamesofur: aye, the biggest issue is that there is alot that STOPS it just sits there "open" for years with no one touching it
    [9:51pm] NativeForeigner: until some random guy decides to take the initiative and start it again
    [9:52pm] NativeForeigner: and then BLPs...
    [9:53pm] Philippe: oy, BLPs.
    [9:53pm] Jamesofur: thats generally the argument for keeping it there (that someone could restart it) though it is a balancing act I think. Even with "unlimited" space I think there can be downsides to having alot of "dead wood" sitting around
    [9:53pm] eekim: seems like we're in general agreement. so what's preventing us from improving things?
    [9:53pm] Philippe: well, i've grown fat and lazy.
    [9:53pm] Philippe: so I count on Risker.
    [9:54pm] Risker: silly Philippe. Don't count on me, I work for a living
    [9:54pm] Philippe: (my real point: a sense of empowerment, perhaps?)
    [9:54pm] eekim: change always starts with a few
    [9:55pm] NativeForeigner: yeah, that's the way it is
    [9:55pm] Philippe: if you quote Margaret, I'm going to throw something at my computer
    [9:56pm] eekim:
    [9:56pm] eekim: fortunately, we only have a few more minutes until the end of office hours
    [9:56pm] NativeForeigner: yay
    [9:56pm] NativeForeigner: you guys in the SF office?
    [9:56pm] eekim: i won't get all squishy on y'all
    [9:56pm] eekim: nope. home.
    [9:57pm] Philippe: NativeForeigner: We both work from there, yes. But I'm in my apartment in Oakland.
    [9:57pm] • Risker is in her home in Canada
    [9:57pm] Philippe: funny, I had Risker pegged for European.
    [9:57pm] NativeForeigner: I'm in the san ramon valley
    [9:57pm] NativeForeigner: oops
    [9:57pm] eekim: everyone should come visit the office sometime
    [9:58pm] Philippe: It's a nice office. Good location. Great gyros across the street
    [9:58pm] NativeForeigner: lol
    [9:58pm] Jamesofur: ooo
    [9:58pm] NativeForeigner: wikimedians <3 gyros
    [9:58pm] Jamesofur: dangerous
    [9:58pm] • Risker is relieved to know that not all WMF staff are vegetarian
    [9:58pm] Philippe: oh, no, we have our few carnivores.
    [9:59pm] eekim: me = carnivore
    [9:59pm] NativeForeigner: how many of you are there?
    [9:59pm] • NativeForeigner hi-fives eekim
    [9:59pm] • eekim laughs
    [9:59pm] • Jamesofur shudders at the thought of vegetarian
    [9:59pm] Philippe: NativeForeigner: how many what? carnivores or staff?
    [9:59pm] NativeForeigner: staff
    [9:59pm] eekim: wow, great crowd tonight!
    [9:59pm] Philippe: uhm...eekim ... what are we, 42 now?
    [9:59pm] Philippe: something like that?
    [9:59pm] eekim: something like that
    [9:59pm] NativeForeigner: not bad
    [10:00pm] Philippe: Yeah, relatively small staff.
    [10:00pm] Philippe:
    [10:00pm] eekim: it's great. love seeing the Foundation grow with so many great people.
    [10:00pm] eekim: include Mr. Reader Relations himself
    [10:00pm] • Philippe bows
    [10:00pm] eekim: and with that, i hereby declare office hours over