IRC log

IRC log

FloNight: okay guys and gals were here to do a status check on Community Health task force's progress.

[2:02pm] StrategyBoTT is now known as Amgine.
[2:03pm] Philippe|Wiki: !bot log
[2:03pm] StrategyBot: Status: Logging.
[2:03pm] LauraHale left the chat room. (Excess Flood)
[2:04pm] sjc: Well, I took a look at the pngs that were uploaded earlier and it paints a bleaker picture of the state of affairs than I had suspected
[2:04pm] LauraHale joined the chat room.
[2:04pm] Philippe|Wiki: sjc, which pngs are you referring to?
[2:04pm] FloNight: sjc, in what way?
[2:05pm] sjc: They're the ones that detail the decline of editors graphically
[2:05pm] FloNight: I see
[2:05pm] Philippe|Wiki: From the Ortega study?
[2:05pm] sjc: I've got the links down so I'll put them on my page later
[2:05pm] sjc: yeah
[2:05pm] Philippe|Wiki: Debunked. Even Ortega says so now. (Watch for an interview with Wikipedia Weekly)
[2:06pm] Amgine: <snorts>
[2:06pm] FloNight: Philippe, has the reworked data been published?
[2:06pm] Philippe|Wiki: not yet.
[2:06pm] Philippe|Wiki: Coming very soon.
[2:06pm] FloNight: ok
[2:06pm] FloNight: I've seen it
[2:06pm] sjc: OK, the pngs looked horrific
[2:07pm] Philippe|Wiki: Yeah, the issue has to do with some study methedology stuff. We don't dispute that there's a plateau, but it's not the decline Ortega's original numbers suggest.
[2:07pm] FloNight: sjc, the stats have been examined and alternative ways of looking at the data saw a different conclusion
[2:07pm] sjc: That's statistics for ya...
[2:08pm] • Philippe|Wiki shuts up now.
[2:08pm] aude joined the chat room.
[2:08pm] FloNight: Philippe|Wiki: when will the new analysis be published?
[2:09pm] Philippe|Wiki: FloNight: let me check and see if I have that info.
[2:09pm] FloNight: And can we get a copy of it now to all our members?
[2:09pm] Mike_lifeguard left the chat room. ("Mike is a four-letter word.")
[2:09pm] Philippe|Wiki: OK, all I have is that there's a new Erik/Erik blog post to come. At that point, I'll happily share it.
[2:10pm] Philippe|Wiki: brb
[2:10pm] sjc: (breaks Godwin's Law while Philippe is otherwise engaged)
[2:10pm] FloNight: ok
[2:13pm] Philippe|Wiki: i'm back, sorry, Sue was standing over my desk
[2:13pm] FloNight: sjc, either way, the CH task force still will do the same thing, I think
[2:14pm] JC left the chat room. (Read error: 104 (Connection reset by peer))
[2:14pm] Philippe|Wiki: Yeah, agreed. I don't think the Ortega study should influence the outcome; we agree there are CH issues, and we don't need Felipe to tell us that, right?
[2:15pm] sjc: Correct
[2:15pm] sjc: I think he's maybe also not looking in the right places
[2:16pm] FloNight: sjc, have you looked at any of Preece's studies?
[2:16pm] sjc: Nope, I've really been trying to steer clear of other people's work in this area so my approach remains uncluttered by preconceptions
[2:17pm] sjc: Except for broad numeric measurements
[2:17pm] sjc: And even they appear to be suspect to soem extent or another
[2:17pm] Philippe|Wiki: I'm stepping away for half a second
[2:19pm] sjc: I have been digging back into the dim and distant depths of 2005 and 2006 and there really does appear to be a watershed at about that point, where policy became more important than content
[2:19pm] Amgine: Instruction creep, plus codification of roles: us vs them.
[2:20pm] sjc: Yes, but more insidious than that
[2:20pm] lyzzy: FloNight: did you get any impressions of the discussions, which are held on german wiipedia and in german blog and press?
[2:21pm] lyzzy: I just wonder if that could give some impotant input for your work
[2:21pm] Amgine: Mike released numbers beginning of November indicating WMF traffic is declining relative to Internet growth, despite continued gains in literal traffic.
[2:21pm] FloNight: lyzzy, I'm not sure that I've seen it recently.
[2:22pm] FloNight: I would like to look at it
[2:22pm] FloNight: Do you have the links
[2:22pm] lyzzy: FloNight: there are really many discussions, it was started by a blog post about our relevance rules
[2:23pm] lyzzy: but it develoed to thoughts about community, new editors and old behaviours
[2:23pm] FloNight: "relevance rules"?
[2:24pm] sjc: I'm guessing notability
[2:24pm] lyzzy: yes, it's notability in en
[2:24pm] sjc: $$
[2:24pm] sjc: A hot topic
[2:25pm] sjc: You know there are users who exclusively nominate articles for Afd/speedy?
[2:25pm] FloNight: about all topics or about biographies of living people?
[2:25pm] lyzzy: i could try to collect some important link to the discussions at the weekend
[2:25pm] lyzzy: about everything
[2:25pm] FloNight: lyzzy, thanks I would appreciate you collecting them.
[2:26pm] sjc: They don't edit, they just nominate for speedy/Afd and I would be prepared to put money on some of them being bots or sockpuppets
[2:26pm] lyzzy: it could be important for a few task forces it think+
[2:26pm] FloNight: yes, lyzzy.
[2:26pm] lyzzy: sjc: of course they are
[2:27pm] sjc: which is a big problem
[2:27pm] lyzzy: we have a bunch of false 1 EUR donations
[2:27pm] lyzzy: which only were made to put an statement on our website
[2:28pm] sjc: Hmmm
[2:28pm] FloNight: Everyone knows about the trial newbie account experiment, right?
[2:28pm] sjc: Yeah
[2:28pm] FloNight: On English WP?
[2:28pm] sjc: I became the proof that it also happens to experienced eds
[2:29pm] sjc: Speedy on an article in less than 1 minute
[2:29pm] sjc: on a website owned by the worlds largest media conglomerate
[2:29pm] FloNight: There is some good news in that although many articles did get tagged, there were users that stepped in and helped save them.
[2:29pm] sjc: Yes
[2:30pm] sjc: But how many users get turned away as a consequence?
[2:30pm] sjc: And how much goodwill does that destroy?
[2:31pm] FloNight: It is a tough situation because having people monitor recent changes is goodness.
[2:31pm] randomran joined the chat room.
[2:31pm] randomran: people?
[2:31pm] sjc: Except when they are acting with malice aforethought
[2:31pm] Philippe|Wiki: I've returned. I've got a new article to stub out today, it'll be interesting to see how llong it lasts
[2:31pm] Amgine: Yes.
[2:31pm] sjc: Or they#re bots
[2:31pm] lyzzy left the chat room.
[2:31pm] randomran: sorry i'm late. things are a little late
[2:32pm] sjc: nm good to see ya here
[2:32pm] randomran: i see some familiar people. hey sjc
[2:32pm] sjc: yo
[2:32pm] randomran: i miss anything?
[2:32pm] FloNight: We need for people to revert vandals and remove copyright vio, and take down hoaxes.
[2:32pm] FloNight: hi randomram :-0
[2:32pm] sjc: Copyright vios can also be wrongly attributed....
[2:33pm] randomran: hey flonight
[2:33pm] randomran: are we just chatting, or do we have some kind of agenda for tonight?
[2:33pm] sjc: I think we are chatting with purpose
[2:34pm] FloNight: We talked about the Ortega study.
[2:34pm] randomran: yeah it's really dense, but interesting
[2:34pm] randomran: any revelations or conclusions?
[2:35pm] Philippe|Wiki: The rumors of Wikipedia's death are greatly exaggerated.
[2:35pm] sjc: well you can look at the statistics in different ways...
[2:35pm] sjc: << cynical
[2:36pm] randomran: yeah even ortega is much more conservative than i am
[2:36pm] randomran: he thinks that the stabilization may be totally natural, and not a bad thing... like a true scientist
[2:36pm] randomran: but i'm assuming that we have a community health task force for a reason, so i'm assuming we want things to keep growing -- even if we're trying to do the impossible
[2:37pm] Philippe|Wiki: Is a larger community a healthier community?
[2:37pm] sjc: Personally I think much of Wikipedia's content is nailed to the perch with dubious citations and references these
[2:37pm] sjc: days
[2:37pm] FloNight: The key point is that we are not getting every demographic group now.
[2:37pm] Amgine: Not to mention obscure English language references.
[2:37pm] sjc: No Philippe, it probably isn't
[2:37pm] yannf: Philippe|Wiki, Eugène contacted me about Indian languages, do you know about that?
[2:37pm] Philippe|Wiki: Whilst I understand that, Amgine....
[2:38pm] Philippe|Wiki: yannf: I'll send you a pvt message
[2:38pm] Amgine: <lol> But FloNight may not.
[2:38pm] sjc: The brighter more freethinking and intelligent demographic is being driven out systematically by the accountants and actuaries of policy
[2:38pm] randomran: to use an analogy... a larger population has always been good. more births, fewer deaths. but then, there are other measures: life expectancy, quality of life...
[2:38pm] FloNight: We need a functional community.
[2:38pm] sjc: yup
[2:39pm] randomran: i think a dysfunctional community will eventually become a stagnant community though.
[2:39pm] randomran: if it's stabilizing now, it might have been dysfunctional for a year or two already.
[2:39pm] randomran: people can live in a bad climate for a while, but after a while they leave/die
[2:39pm] FloNight: I know that females are under represented on Wikimedia projects.
[2:39pm] sjc: It's been dysfunctional since about 2005/2006 imo
[2:40pm] Philippe|Wiki: FloNight: Radically so. Something around 12% of contributors self-identify as female.
[2:40pm] randomran: females and minorities are a tricky topic. the main barrier is that they're not driven to contribute in the first place, correct me if i'm wrong
[2:40pm] sjc: which is probably about right since the press are just beginning to get a handle on it
[2:41pm] FloNight: Do we want to change to include more people. Will that makes us healthier?
[2:41pm] sjc: Think you may be wrong, they have other barriers
[2:41pm] randomran: it would be one thing if we had a female contributors who got scared off, and the population shrunk... but as far as i can tell, it's always been small.
[2:41pm] randomran: i think we can improve the experience in the community, but we need the reader conversion task force to think about how to get people to try wikipedia for the first time
[2:41pm] Philippe|Wiki: I think there's some of both, randomran. Have you looked at the stuff that Wikichix did on this?
[2:42pm] randomran: no i haven't... link?
[2:42pm] randomran: "both" is probably the most accurate explanation, for sure.
[2:42pm] Philippe|Wiki:
[2:44pm] randomran: yeah, systemic bias shows that there's a connection to quality too
[2:45pm] randomran: i used to work on race/gender type articles as an IP... it's a tough area to tackle
[2:45pm] sjc: If we don't have a balanced demographic, NPOV inevitably becomes less likely
[2:45pm] randomran: and that's to say nothing of how it effects all kinds of articles, not just articles that are focused on race/gender
[2:45pm] randomran: agree with sjc
[2:45pm] randomran: I ^^
[2:46pm] randomran: to bring it back full circle to community health...
[2:46pm] randomran: part of the problem is wikipedia has been around long enough to have a culture
[2:46pm] randomran: and the culture is a little bit colored by the population of white males. (that's a conservative way of putting it.)
[2:46pm] Amgine: And to become a target of planned campaigns. Witness the Israel-related articles on en.WP
[2:46pm] sjc: Yes. But part of the problem is that the original culture has been subsumed bya culture that doesn't really understand what wikia are about
[2:47pm] randomran: so even if we can get more diversity in there, it's not to say that they will actually fit in.
[2:47pm] sjc: agree
[2:47pm] randomran: changing rules and stuff is the easy part
[2:47pm] randomran: how do you change a whole culture?
[2:48pm] FloNight: Excellent question?
[2:48pm] sjc: Which is why my sem-joking 3-way fork was proposed
[2:48pm] sjc: the deletionists will take up no space anyway
[2:48pm] randomran: at best, we have a culture of technocratic nerds with strong opinions. at worst, we have open hostility.
[2:48pm] randomran: <-- technocratic nerd with strong opinion
[2:49pm] FloNight: randoman, sjc, we need to start working on the recommendations this next week, I think.
[2:49pm] sjc: yup
[2:49pm] randomran: that makes sense to me. i'm running out of places to look for data.
[2:49pm] randomran: although i've been busy this week. i wanted to give it one last look
[2:49pm] sjc: I'm runnning out of places to hide from data
[2:49pm] randomran: LOL
[2:49pm] sjc: its so overwhelming you can't miss it
[2:50pm] FloNight: I think we all agree that editor recognition/reward will part of the recommendations. But what else?
[2:50pm] sjc: the problem is so vast that we could make any number of recommendations and they would all be a drop in the ocean
[2:50pm] sjc: Clarify and document policy
[2:51pm] sjc: so that it is unambiguous
[2:51pm] randomran: i actually talked with bodnotbod a bit about the potential areas for recommendation
[2:51pm] randomran: i know we only have 2-4 ... but as far as i can tell, there might be 6 or 7 ways to improve community health
[2:52pm] FloNight: hmmm
[2:52pm] sjc: There are any number of roads that we could go down.
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[2:52pm] Philippe|Wiki: Please... 2-4 main recommendations
[2:52pm] FloNight: Do you have supporting facts for the recommendations?
[2:52pm] randomran: (1) rewards, (2) social networking and other features, (3) improved usability, (4) improved governance, (5) improved dispute resolution and decision making (6) policy
[2:53pm] Philippe|Wiki: If more than that come out, it becomes overwhelming for the Board.... 16 task forces, and more than 4 action paths do not a happy plan make.
[2:53pm] randomran: there's data that supports (1), (3), (4), (5)
[2:53pm] randomran: (2) and (6) are tricky
[2:53pm] FloNight: Some of those are covered by other task forces
[2:53pm] randomran: actually, i wanted to talk about that
[2:53pm] randomran: i'm imagining jimbo or whoever else reading all these recommendations from all these different task forces
[2:54pm] randomran: i'm also imagining him saying "good idea" to some, but rejecting others
[2:54pm] FloNight: The Board and staff at Wikimedia
[2:54pm] randomran: does it help us to reinforce the work that other task forces are doing? (and vice versa?)
[2:54pm] Philippe|Wiki: It certainly doesn't hurt anything
[2:54pm] randomran: or are they inclined to take all the recommendations, no matter what?
[2:54pm] Philippe|Wiki: but that's a large part of the work that we'll do afterwards, to weave these into a strategic package.
[2:54pm] FloNight: Supplement but not duplicate, I think.
[2:55pm] randomran: makes sense
[2:55pm] Philippe|Wiki: randomran: I have a hard time saying that they're inclined to take all recommendations when they haven't been drafted
[2:55pm] randomran: haha, point taken
[2:55pm] FloNight: I think we need to fill gaps that others are not filling.
[2:55pm] Philippe|Wiki: I will say that all recommendations from task forces will be taken very seriously. And I agree with FloNight's caveats.
[2:55pm] randomran: i think that will happen naturally
[2:56pm] randomran: i know that the quality task force has talked a bit about interface and tools... they've even talked about decision making
[2:56pm] randomran: but they're looking at it from a quality angle
[2:56pm] randomran: there will be some overlap, but we'll cover different aspects of interface and tools to improve community health.
[2:56pm] sjc: I think if you look at my key points in the article I wrote we alreayd have an outline discussion document for 4,5, and 6.
[2:57pm] sjc: I'm not that hot on rewards
[2:57pm] Philippe|Wiki: As long as they're going to me....
[2:57pm] randomran: haha
[2:57pm] sjc: Social netowrking may increase the number and depth of cabals
[2:57pm] randomran: i'm not sure what our priorities should be
[2:57pm] FloNight: rewards are motivating factors, sjc.
[2:58pm] randomran: yeah, i'm worried about that too, sjc
[2:58pm] randomran: although that's not a reason to reject the idea of social networking outright...
[2:58pm] Philippe|Wiki: The other thing is that your task force could say "we recommend an EXPERIMENT into social networking".....
[2:58pm] sjc: But I am all for improved usability
[2:59pm] Philippe|Wiki: though my preference would be for recommending stuff and not experiments into stuff.
[2:59pm] randomran: yeah, i think we should focus on the things that have the most leverage
[2:59pm] randomran: an experiment is not likely to have a big impact
[3:01pm] randomran: oh... forgot (7) help and tutorials
[3:01pm] sjc: OK I think we can probably bury social networking then unless anyone has strong objections?
[3:01pm] sjc: 7 is really a subset of 3
[3:01pm] randomran: i think we'll want to bring bodnotbod into that discussion. i'm on the fence.
[3:02pm] randomran: yeah, true
[3:02pm] randomran: it could be framed that way
[3:02pm] sjc: its a usability pattern...
[3:02pm] Philippe|Wiki: I'd hate to see social networking buried totally....
[3:02pm] randomran: yeah, especially if the tutorials are more like wizards. walking you through a process.
[3:02pm] Philippe|Wiki: but i'm just an advisor here
[3:02pm] randomran: yeah, i know what you mean philippe
[3:03pm] sjc: (fetches shovel)
[3:03pm] randomran: we only have 4 areas we can focus on though
[3:03pm] randomran: i'm almost positive every group will use all four... but we kind of dilute ourselves the more we spread our recommendations out
[3:03pm] sjc: and there are cogent reasons not to go there with social networking
[3:03pm] sjc: we have enough of a problem with the cabals on irc
[3:03pm] sjc: let alone providing them with usegroups
[3:03pm] randomran: there are cogent reasons not to go there for almost anything just to be devil's advocate
[3:04pm] FloNight: Improved governance as in structures or better ways to help people into leadership roles.
[3:04pm] randomran: i think this is the kind of discussion we may want to have on the message board, where everyone has a chance to partcipate
[3:04pm] sjc: probably yes
[3:04pm] Philippe|Wiki: ...which is my cue to say that I need to drop off in about two minutes.
[3:04pm] sjc: and its getting late for me anyway
[3:04pm] sjc: yup
[3:04pm] Philippe|Wiki: But my bot will continue logging.
[3:04pm] randomran: flonight: a little bit of both maybe... but i was thinking about structure mostly
[3:05pm] sjc: OK night guys
[3:05pm] FloNight: nite
[3:05pm] randomran: night sjc... and philippe
[3:05pm] Philippe|Wiki: not night for me, my next meeting
[3:05pm] Philippe|Wiki: only 3 in the afternoon here
[3:05pm] You are now known as Philippe|Away.
[3:05pm] randomran: flonight, there are a lot of proposals that seem to have it in for the admins. there's some agreement that we could improve there. but some think that's reason to get rid of admins and take away their power, whereas others think that's a reason to add another layer that can help ease the problems with admins now
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[3:08pm] FloNight: I think that we need bettter career paths for people to move from user to leadership positions.
[3:08pm] randomran: ... lots of other aspects of governance too... i've seen people call for an alternative kind of moderator who focuses more on content. i know that the quality task force likes the idea of trusted users, and sue gardener has supported that as being good for community health too
[3:08pm] randomran: yeah, that's a part of it too. what do you think of the career paths that people have at present?
[3:09pm] FloNight: There are no good career paths.
[3:09pm] randomran: what about AN/I?
[3:09pm] randomran: err, RFA?
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[3:10pm] FloNight: Many people will not do a RFA.
[3:10pm] You are now known as Philippe|Away.
[3:10pm] randomran: why do you think that is?
[3:10pm] FloNight: Very unfriendly process.
[3:11pm] FloNight: Has been for years
[3:11pm] randomran: i'll say that much. a lot of people wanted me to go for admin, but i just wasn't keen on it
[3:11pm] randomran: it was more that i just didn't want to spend time dealing with user incidents and stuff... i wanted to focus more on content, and content issues
[3:11pm] FloNight: And not just on English WP.
[3:12pm] randomran: so are you talking about making RFA more friendly, or opening up another channel for leadership that's different?
[3:13pm] FloNight: Different.
[3:13pm] randomran: i would really like to explore that. there's a lot of potential there
[3:13pm] randomran: i think that ties into a lot of what i've seen in terms of suggestions for governance
[3:13pm] randomran: what did you have in mind?
[3:15pm] FloNight: Maybe more traditional job descriptions for different kinds of volunteer work.
[3:15pm] FloNight: Depoliticize the structure.
[3:15pm] randomran: i think that could help a lot
[3:16pm] randomran: even just the titles help keep things a little more organized, and it's kind of a nice symbolic reward
[3:16pm] randomran: do you think the jobs would come with certain privileges too? or would it still be more like what we have now, where everyone can do everything?
[3:19pm] FloNight: What ever is needed for the work that they do.
[3:20pm] FloNight: And limits on how that they can use them.
[3:20pm] randomran: makes sense
[3:21pm] randomran: on that note, i guess i would get rid of the word "governance" and focus more on "organizational structure"
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[3:21pm] randomran: so it's not just about administrators and arbcom. it's also about editors and their responsibilities too.
[3:21pm] FloNight: I like that better, yes.
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[3:22pm] randomran: it looks like bodnotbod didn't make it was looking forward to his input. but it was good to see you and sjc
[3:22pm] FloNight: yes.
[3:22pm] randomran: did you want to tackle anything else tonight?
[3:22pm] FloNight: Maybe we should do it again next week.
[3:23pm] randomran: yeah i think that might be doable
[3:23pm] randomran: this time is decent for me. but i can try to be flexible if need be.
[3:23pm] FloNight: ok
[3:23pm] randomran: i guess we'll leave it that we identified a few different areas we could go with the recommendations... (i threw up around seven)
[3:24pm] FloNight: yes
[3:24pm] randomran: we will want to have a fact based discussion about what will have the most impact on community health
[3:24pm] FloNight: We need to narrow it down more. But these are a start.
[3:24pm] randomran: and even then, there is overlap between the seven areas... so even if we scrap 3, i'm sure they will still be mentioned in our other recommendations in some way.
[3:24pm] randomran: yeah, i think it's a good starting point
[3:25pm] FloNight: right.
[3:25pm] FloNight: ok.
[3:25pm] FloNight: Thanks for coming.
[3:25pm] randomran: thanks for organizing this. it was kind of fun even
[3:25pm] randomran: looking forward to the next step...
[3:26pm] randomran: bye flonight
[3:26pm] randomran: and bye everyone else...
[3:26pm] FloNight: me, too.
[3:26pm] FloNight: bye bye
[3:26pm] randomran left the chat room.
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[3:28pm] Philippe|Wiki: Hey Flo, I'll post your log
~Philippe (WMF)23:38, 3 December 2009

Sorry for not making the meeting everyone. I had an appointment earlier in the day and forgot about it. Many apologies. I'm not sure I would have added a great deal. I would say that I share SJC's concerns about social features aiding in some way some cabalistic behaviours; but I think they can be addressed by simply saying "all discussions will be public"... ie, new social features should NOT include any privacy. They should help people communicate more easily. Keep in touch with others but always be traceable.

I think I will now start drafting a recommendation (someone said in this chat that we may be ready for that now)... and, of course, I expect to be hardily argued against and re-edited, but it will be a good way of fighting things out and getting more discussion.

Thanks to Randomran for missing me :o)

Bodnotbod09:18, 4 December 2009

Yeah, I don't necessarily think social features are dead on arrival. We can find a way to get the good, without the bad.

One thing you'll notice from the log... I pointed out that there are several solutions for community health. So maybe it would be good if we put our heads together and figured out the best four. (Or even the top five -- we may not know which recommendations are good or bad until we actually work on them a little.)

... I'm just thankful that the chat log doesn't show emoticons. LOL

Randomran15:45, 4 December 2009