Summary:Talk:Task force/Wikipedia Quality/Looking ahead to recommendations: who has credibility/authority to move them forward?

From Strategic Planning
Starting point

Sue Gardner noted that the Board lacked precedent and role to mandate project-wide changes within communities. Nor was it well suited to evaluate community based proposals. Faced even with the best proposals, it could at most recommend them. It could not mandate adoption.

She suggested that:

"There is no group that currently exists, with the authority and the ability to mandate the kind of change your group is moving towards recommending. Because there is no body that is reasonably reflective of the full breadth of projects and languages, and would therefore would have the necessary credibility and moral authority.
This suggests to me that, rather than focusing your energy on the development of recommendations for new meta-level (cross-project, cross-language) policy changes (or maybe in addition to it)......... your group might better focus energy on developing a recommendation for a meta-level body that would have the necessary credibility and moral authority to mandate changes (or at least to strongly, confidently recommend them).
What would such a body look like? How would its membership be established? What level of "representation" would be required for it to be credible? How much "hard" authority would such a body ideally be granted - or should it just have the ability to recommend? What kind of support would it need, to do its job well? ... If your group sees a need for a meta-level body, I would be happy to carry that message to Movement Roles so we can support it."

She noted that this was the sole taskforce explicitly tasked to look at "quality", and that it should "mainly focus there".

General discussion

Piotrus (as an IP) stated that he was concerned that any proposals may end up pointless if few read them and none acted on them. He did not wish to see further bureaucracy, but rather, a simple statement (KISS) of recommendations in simple terms, heavily promoted. It should be "as useful as possible", which often correlated with KISS. But it should not be forced upon people.

Woodwalker stated he had reached a similar conclusion to Sue Gardner, that "we should form some kind of lobbying group/wiki-party pushing for quality improvement on a meta scale". This body should push for:

  1. A 'brand', containing the basic aspects of quality;
  2. Advertising, stimulation and education of these aspects of quality on as many Wikimedia projects as possible;
  3. More statistical research specifically directed at these aspects of quality and the proposals/systems which might best stimulate them;
  4. More guidance and teaching of new or inexperienced contributors;
  5. A technical addition that enables feedback for articles and talk page contributions;
  6. Admins to be more active against rude, demotivating behaviour.
  7. A 'senior editor' status to be created to give quality users more influence in wiki-politics and more authority in discussions;
  8. Measures that keep the not-understanding-but-wanting-to-comment types out of discussions;
  9. WikiProjects to function at a meta scale; apart from sharing specialist knowledge, such groups should create lists of the universal information that all Wikipedias should have.

Yaroslav Blanter added a note that these would not all be directed for auctioning at the same target audience.