Talk:Question of the week

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Thread titleRepliesLast modified
When will it be next week?1202:23, 5 February 2010
Hiring editors910:54, 12 January 2010
Comments101:20, 8 January 2010
for have more persons using and developing wikipedia120:27, 4 January 2010
Thoughts from this week's IRC office hours017:38, 24 December 2009

When will it be next week?

Are we out of questions?

05:01, 29 January 2010

For now, we're not doing Question of the Week. What we really need is for people to read the task force recommendations and Sue's letter and to identify gaps in the plan. Then, we need to begin drafting a larger strategy: the strategy for the movement as a whole, which will include components for the Foundation, the chapters, and individual volunteers.

Sorry that we didn't clearly tell you that we were putting QOTW on hiatus.

05:03, 29 January 2010

I can't figure out why these QOTW discussions keep showing up at at Special:NewMessages for me.

I have tried every way I can think of to unwatch all LiquidThreads discussions, and they keep showing up. How do I unwatch them? A single "unwatch" button to nuke them all would be nice.

00:31, 2 February 2010

Hmmmm... that's a very good question and one that I don't know the answer to. I'm going to point Werdna to this discussion. :)

00:33, 2 February 2010

Thanks. It looks like my reply put this particular discussion on Special:NewMessages. I always click the "mark all as read" link to bail out for awhile. But many discussions keep coming back. I will unwatch this discussion too. So I may not see other messages to me here.

The LiquidThreads Special:NewMessages format is so confusing that I normally avoid LiquidThreads if at all possible.

It would be much more intuitive if LiquidThreads discussions were watchlisted the normal way.

00:41, 2 February 2010

I'm sorry to hear that you don't like the format of Special:NewMessages.

There isn't presently a way to disable the functionality of Special:NewMessages — you are, of course, free to ignore it entirely. Do let me know if there's something about Special:NewMessages that is difficult to ignore, and I can probably resolve it.

01:35, 2 February 2010

Is there a way to designate a particular thread and say "don't tell me about new messages to this thread again"? For instance, if I'm watching threads relating to the 2008 election, and I no longer care about it?

04:54, 2 February 2010

I guess the way to do that is to unwatch it. There's a link for that at the top-right of the thread.

02:23, 5 February 2010

We can certainly continue doing these here, but we need people with energy to come up with good, general questions from the discussion, particularly data-oriented questions. For anyone motivated to drive this, count me in to help.

16:04, 2 February 2010

We need well prepared data-oriented questions that will likely get enough responses to start a semblance of discussion.

I prefer one good question every 2 weeks rather than meuuuhh one every week. A good question is one that let participants feel that homework have been done before putting it and that reaching realistic proposals is within their capabilities.

So avoid questions where people "contest" the very basis of the question and/or question that not likely get enough participations to break the discussion initial inertia.

21:49, 2 February 2010

Once every two weeks rather than once every week makes a lot of sense. Do you want to start editing Question of the week/Ideas and pointing other people there as well? Let's see if we can get some momentum around starting it up again. Thanks!

08:21, 3 February 2010

Hiring editors

I know that this is a controversial issue but still worth of considering. Why would us hire "Wikipedia editors / community gardeners" to those language versions with a high number of speakers but a slow growth?

The people should naturally be hired from the current active voluntary community members.

Isn’t this what the Red Cross is doing? Paying for people who will work for the Organization in a difficult conditions and locations.

--Teemu 04:55, 3 January 2010 (UTC)

04:55, 3 January 2010

Teemu, I suggest you ask this question at the Movement Roles Task Force discussion page. There's also some information on the Red Cross page, although it doesn't answer your exact question.

Volunteer organizations have to be very careful about who they hire and why, because hiring can sometimes demotivate volunteer activity. The key is to be explicit about the role. In my opinion, I don't think hiring editors or community gardeners is the right thing to do. It raises all sorts of problematic issues.

However, there's an opportunity to hire for other roles: marketing, community development, etc. Things that don't necessarily happen (or happen well) on their own.

20:43, 4 January 2010

Hi Eekim,

I fully agree with you. With the voluntary organizations one must be careful with the hiring people. It is also possible, that when the voluntary organizations is primary operating online -- like Wikimedia -- one must be even more careful. This is anyway a pretty unique territory for any organization.

Anyway, I think a good way to think about the difference between "volunteers" and "paid staff" is to think the Red Cross model. When the Red Cross volunteers are giving blood (and money), taking part in the first-aid training (and helping someone when there is a car accident) the paid staff members of the Red Cross go when there is a humanitarian disaster. They both share the same mission and also value each other contribution.

The volunteers in a way work for the Organization when they have time (like me now on my vacation) whereas the paid staff are there to do the job when I do not have time.

I assume the mission of the foundation is widely accepted among the volunteers / the community. If this is the case then having some one working for money to reach it shouldn't be a problem to anyone. I as a volunteer can not contribute to the Hindi Wikipedia so, if my little monetary contribution can help to make the Hindi Wikipedia to grow I do not have anything against it.

However, like you wrote it is possible that the marketing, community development etc. is a more fair and cost-efficient method to build the editor community. Still, I assume the hired marketing / community development people should come from the existing editor community.

18:01, 7 January 2010

There has been some discussion in the local language projects task force about whether there is a good idea to hire proffessionals, or give volunteers the chance to make some money from translation of the MediaWiki software messages. It has been estimated that there would take around 9,000 hours to translate all messages into all languages with more than one million native speakers. Organized localization of the software is done at right now where most of the work is voluntary. But twice a year there has been bounty rallies, where translators that completes 500 translations within some time frame has been given a share of €10,000. The problem that has been discussed is whether the volunteer comunity will disappear if others get payed for the same work.

I think that, as Teemu says, if the goals the hired personal tries to achive is in line with the communities goals and the goals proves to not be achiveable by voluntary effort alone, there will be no problem with hired personel. But it is first important to ensure that the goals can't be achived by volunteers alone, then make it clear to the community why the hired personal is required and what the goals of this personal is. It should also be transparent to the community what such personal does, so that the community can follow the progress.

I don't think that that things that are done pretty well, or can be done pretty well by the community should be paid for even if the work can be done a little better with payed personal aid. If there are possibilities of increasing output by 10%, 20% or 50% by hiering personal that does the same things that volunteers do, I guess the negative effect on the volunteer community would reverse the gain. There has to be essential and obvious gains from hiering personal for this to be considered.

19:05, 7 January 2010

Teemu, this was discussed at length a few years ago (circa 2006), particularly re: editors in Africa, where the editor-native speaker ratio is quite low. Would paying someone make them more likely to contribute? Or would it be counterproductive, and against the wiki model where being a volunteer helps provide part of the motivation to contribute? The question also came up again during Wikimania 2008, re: the Arabic edition. Discussions regarding Arabic were interesting and a little unexpected; for instance, the large numbers of native Arabic speakers who preferred to contribute in English, the language of their university studies.

There've been a few attempts at getting editors in non-top-10 languages by throwing money at outreach efforts; to me, this seems more promising. For instance, in 2006 Ndsando Macha did outreach in Swahili, and in 2009 (this fall) there have been a series of Swahili Wikipedia workshops, sponsored by Google. This is not dissimilar from recruiting experts or any other population through outreach. Whether any of the people that are reached out to "stick" as editors probably depends on their own desires to edit, the availability of internet & computers, and their own time.

Paying translators to work on small languages is an approach that hasn't been taken in Wikimedia, afaik, and would be worth exploring.

01:18, 8 January 2010

IMHO more realistic would be to hire translators (En/De->X). They could create more articles in the same time and for same money.

13:39, 8 January 2010

After re-thinking the issue, I think paying for someone in a local Chapter to do promotion, awareness raising, workshops about Wikipedia is definitely a better idea than paying for editors.

The local communities should "own" their Wikipedia. To boost the creation of local communities, we probably could do a better job. We could give resources (or raise funds with them) to do Wikipedia / Wikimedia campaigns.

I think paying for someone to translate the English/German/French Wikipedia would be against the Wikipedia Philosophy - at least the way I have interpreted it.

One of the beauties of Wikipedia (if you ask me=) is that all language version are different, depending on the language (culture) they are written. In that sense Wikipedia is not free from bias, but culturally-bias in a good way (most topics in the World are not that simple). For me this is important, as it makes different interpretations visible and so facilitates global discourse about important topics.

22:32, 10 January 2010

I agree, Teemu. So the followup question is, how could we be doing a better job of boosting the creation of local communities? If we're going to spend money, what should we spend that money on?

Check out the work that the Local Language Projects Task Force has been doing in this area and see if that resonates. I'd love to hear feedback and other ideas.

17:41, 11 January 2010

Very true. We can only pay for special efforts (like outreach), not for something which is/can be done in numbers (editing). Competitions and awards might be better a use of money than wages. For example giving an award (partner with Creative Commons?) for yearly most valuable institutional contribution to expanding free content (like Bundesarchiv donation). We should build up these random acts of kindness in the media. WMF should ask for more, but also be willing to reward (share our brand goodwill) those who give - not only money, also multimedia/databases... We need a competitive drives not only for cash, but images etc. --Ras 10:54, 12 January 2010 (UTC)

10:54, 12 January 2010

Every Wikipedia has bias. The issue is how much bias and the self awareness of it.

The extreme would be one biased article enshrined as the "right" perspective and "truth".

08:54, 11 January 2010

Few comments:

  • Some languages will never have the critical mass of editors
  • "bigger wikipedia" are draining potentials users from "smaller wikipedia"

One thing that can be do is to "draft" editors from those big wikipedia. Using the user page infoboxes (the language ones), we can identify potential editors for those smalls wikipedia and incite them to "export" articles from big wikipedia to small wikipedia. Usually it's the other way around with editors importing article to their usual editing language space. Difficulties lay on which articles and how bothersome the "export" action will. Which article should be export in priority? What are the potential issues when loggin to destination wiki and with different standard in terms of Manual of Style and templates.

19:55, 27 December 2009

yes... the smaller wikis tend to be more informal. But trying to support translation to build up core articles in each language would be worth supporting, I think. We could probably do more with templates on en:wp, as the largest wikipedia.

01:20, 8 January 2010

for have more persons using and developing wikipedia

I DON'T KNOW THAT THIS IS THE BEST PLACE WHERE WRITE THIS, IF IT ISN'T DO WHAT YOU THINK BETTER, LIKE THIS TEXT IS MADE BY YOU is we create a software that use the information about files(like films, songs, autors, album, books, ecc)that are in pages of wikipedia for rename complitely files starting reserce using file names and formact the persons that use computer only to have films and songs will enter in wikipedia world in this usefull way. I'm lerning for create this software, but I'm not a very good person for do it. What will I use? What is better in this? Java or python? or what?

14:53, 25 December 2009

Hi, and welcome. You're right; this is not the right place to ask these questions. A great source for information is the Wiki on Wikis at

The purpose of this site is to explore strategy for the Wikimedia movement. You are welcome to participate if you have thoughts there.

Thanks, and good luck!

20:27, 4 January 2010

Thoughts from this week's IRC office hours

Lots of good thoughts posted from User:FT2 and User:Fajro during this week's IRC office hours.

17:38, 24 December 2009