"What Wikipedia is (or should be) about" - valid paraphrase?
My concern I guess is that "what is the is-ness of Wikipedia" will be great guidance in some areas, and help to reach good decisions in others. But we're not yet at the refined point needed for sophistry. We're at a more basic point, where it's as basic as "what big inroads might matter most and be most achievable". Further along the road we may need to refine this, but for now we just need to be in the right ballpark.
80/20 rule, we're still facing gross (= very crude and unsubtle) quality matters and whatever the brand may be, whatever methodology one uses to decide where we're at, those are still going to be most of the "big deal" on quality for now, and the solutions will probably be similar, because the problems are gross not subtle.
I'll have a go at working in your way of thinking, and/or leave that aspect to those who can think that way better.
It seems you're after an overall framework of "what are we all about here" to help identify and guide quality, and the prioritizing of quality issues and nature of any recommended actions. I'm fine with that, as long as I don't have to think too hard about the is-ness of the which, and hurt my neurones :)
I do take one point where this can help. Namely, whether we need to suggest any very significant changes up front, to the structure/ethos/traditional stances/communal beliefs related to Wikipedia, as a prerequisite to getting quality on a better track for future. Asking "what do we want in 5 years time" or "what has to be, to be the best we can in 5 years", is an important perspective. I'm in favor of grasping nettles early if needed, and as we grew up randomly it's quite likely we've promulgated some stuff that's outdated and even harmful long term, and we should look critically for such matters.
Any better? :)
not really. I believe you are still seeing brand as top down, rather than as the driver in the process. Thus if you do not see it as the driver, you cannot understand how brand dictates decisions and that all decisions must be in concert with brand, including anything having to do with quality.
I do not know what analogy to use that would communicate this, however, this website, www.ries.com, may help. Try looking at the video about their new book, War in the Boardroom. Al Ries wrote The Ten Immutable laws of Branding, a key work in this field.
upon reread of your post a few thoughts did not sink in well enough before I posted. I think I see where you are getting some of the points. Is "grasping nettles" (perhaps doing that which is painful or uncomfortable) the concept of working on defining what the brand for Wikipedia is, or figuring out what the compass is?
Perhaps you don't have to think about the IS-ness, perhaps someone else can do it for you? Then you can just follow guidelines that another puts in place? That doesn't seem to be your speed, but it could work if you wished it to.
I handle brands with incredible care. I have been fortunate to handle a number of them. Wikipedia is no different to me -- to be handled with care.