Wikimedia World 5

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Hi. This is User:Eugene Ormandy from Toumon Wikipedian Club Japan. In the “Wikimedia World” series on Diff, I curate various archives of the Wikimedia movement. I hope it will encourage Wikimedians to learn more about the movement around the world, to compare the activities of other Wikimedians with their own, and to create archives of their experiences.

Uraniwa, CC0

Strategy Discussions in the Portuguese-Speaking Community

Wikimedia is not only a medium, but also a community made up of different groups. The participants of them called Wikimedians always discuss how to govern the community and how to make it better. Let’s learn about one example reading a Diff post entitled “Top Topics for Strategy Discussions in the Portuguese-Speaking Community.”

What is the best way of governance for all the different needs regarding the many activities related with the Wikimedia environment? According to the opinions of the lusophone participants, both centralized and decentralized methods are appropriate in different contexts. For instance, server maintenance and fundraising are better taken care of by paid functionaries of Wikimedia Foundation. On the other side, other activities could be changed for a decentralized management in order to better serve each different local demand.That would, in theory, shorten communication distances, provide more value to specific local details according to each culture, language, social condition. For instance, by establishing formal partnerships with government entities to help harder to reach and less resourceful schools to obtain access to free content.

LTeles_WMF (13 February 2020) “Top Topics for Strategy Discussions in the Portuguese-Speaking Community” Diff.
Capacity development training in Brazil, 2016. (Horadrim, CC BY-SA 4.0)

Messages from the Wikimedia Foundation Executive Team

Wikimedia is made not only by volunteer Wikimedians but also by Wikimedia Foundation (WMF), the nonprofit that hosts Wikipedia and Wikimedia projects such as Wikidata.

As a volunteer Wikimedian, I think it is very important for WMF executive members to share their vision or interests with volunteers and ask them to collaborate. In that respect, I am relatively satisfied with them because they sometimes write articles on Diff, a community blog hosted by WMF and we can learn about their activities and interests. Let’s examine a report entitled “Selena’s Listening Tour” written by Selena Deckelmann, the Chief Product and Technology Officer.

On a page of the first notebook I had for my onboarding, I quoted a person who said they just wanted “meaningful common goals.” This was a theme repeated over and over — a clear desire from everyone to do work together that was linked by common purpose, and with all the volunteers that have created all Wikimedia projects. I got to hear so many different voices, and I heard the details from every side — what’s working, what hasn’t been working for a long time — some of the problems we face are over ten years old. People shared what’s missing, what’s extra, who’s fighting to be heard and who’s feeling lost at sea. 

“I think there are lots of promising opportunities to incentivise people to pay off technical debt and make our existing stack more sustainable. Right now there are no incentives for engineers in this regard.”

“Are we really having impact?”

How can we unite behind meaningful common goals? And which metrics matter the most? We have so much data, but we really need lodestar (or some refer to this as north star) metrics across the whole Foundation, a system for reviewing and reflecting on what we learn from them, and then a way to connect those metrics with the day to day work everyone is doing. 

To get at that, we’re doing two main things — one is deepening our understanding of volunteer activities and the health of the volunteer communities. This will be through working closely with volunteers using existing processes and sharing what we’re learning, as well as qualitative and quantitative research workstreams, including reviewing existing research of volunteer activities and typical work profiles. The other is working to establish a set of Foundation-wide lodestar metrics. Shared metrics help everyone understand how we’re measuring success across the Foundation, and we’re sharing these publicly as part of our Annual Plan. Over time, we plan to bring our measures of success for important initiatives to communities for conversations and debate to help everyone align what success might look like. Shared metrics and data will empower us to make more effective and better decisions, along with collaboration with those who are working on changes and those who may be directly affected by them.

Selena Deckelmann (14 April 2023) “Selena’s Listening Tour” Diff.
Selena Deckelmann (endpointcorporation, CC BY-SA 2.0)

The History of Shibuya Crossing on Wikimedia Commons

Do you know Shibuya Crossing in Tokyo? It is one of the busiest and most famous crossings around the world. You can analyze how the crossing have changed by Wikimedia Commons!

Shibuya Crossing in 2009 (Aimaimyi, CC BY-SA 3.0)
Shibuya Crossing in 2016 (Hide1228, CC BY-SA 4.0)
Shibuya Crossing in 2023 (Dick Thomas Johnson, CC BY 2.0)

If you want more, go to [[Category:Shibuya Crossing]] on Wikimedia Commons!

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