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WikiProject X

Posted: Sun Jun 16, 2019 1:00 am
by badmachine

Clever name. I wonder what it is:

Most WikiProjects on the English Wikipedia fail to encourage collaboration. We can fix that by learning about those that succeed.
English Wikipedia
strategic priority
increasing participation
online community organizing
• Harej
• Isarra
*Harej will be the project manager for WikiProject X. James has been a Wikipedia editor since 2004. From 2007 until 2011 he developed and maintained several bots on the English Wikipedia, including RFC bot, RM bot, GA bot, and One bot. In developing these automated processes he worked with groups of Wikipedia maintenance volunteers to develop solutions to inefficient procedural workflows on English Wikipedia. As a result of this effort, the amount of work necessary to list article RFCs or good article nominations has been reduced, making it easier to coordinate discussions across English Wikipedia. He is also a founding member of Wikimedia District of Columbia's Board of Directors, though he is applying in a strictly personal capacity.
*Isarra is the designer for WikiProject X. Isarra is a user experience designer, experienced in designing MediaWiki interfaces. In 2013 she participated in the Outreach Program for Women, where she designed wireframes for new discussion pages.

(emphasis added)

Wow, $20,075 to fix WikiProjects, and Harej and Isarra are respected members of the community. This should be interesting. :roll:

*Project Manager: $10,000
This is a stipend, but based on the following calculation: $20/hour, 20 estimated hours/week, 25 weeks (~6 months)
Roles: Overall management and direction; communicating with the public and stakeholders; designing and distributing surveys; data analysis; developing interview lists and interviewing WikiProject participants; working with the designer on developing interfaces and workflows; carrying out in-person usability tests
*Designer: $10,000
This is a stipend, but based on the following calculation: $20/hour, 10-30 hours/week, 25 weeks (~6 months)
Roles: Researching current interfaces and workflows in use; designing new ones to achieve project objectives; carrying out online usability testing where feasible; continuously refining designs according to feedback and testing
*Merchandise: $75
Breakdown: $15/t-shirt, 5 t-shirts to raffle.
Total: $20,075

(emphasis added)

Wow, $10,000 to Isarra and $10,000 to Harej, plus a stylish new t-shirt for the suckers volunteers! Oh wait, what's this?

Remaining funds
Do you have any unspent funds from the grant?

Please answer yes or no. If yes, list the amount you did not use and explain why.

*We did not use our $75 budget on merchandise, as we ultimately canceled our interview program (in deference to another WikiProject-related interview program that was already going on).

If you have unspent funds, they must be returned to WMF. Please see the instructions for returning unspent funds and indicate here if this is still in progress, or if this is already completed:

*It was never disbursed to us per se, so... problem solved?

(emphasis added)

:sad trombone:

At least it was successful enough to get renewed:

Toolkit for WikiProjects on the English Wikipedia: Complete work for deployment of CollaborationKit in order to better to address live issues and assess results
English Wikipedia
10,000 USD
• Isarra

Wew, $10,000 to "complete work for deployment" of whatever this is. Looks like Isarra ran into some trouble, per an old revision of her midpoint report:

Grantee reflection
We’d love to hear any thoughts you have on how the experience of being an grantee has been so far. What is one thing that surprised you, or that you particularly enjoyed from the past 3 months?

This has been quite possibly the most singularly stressful project I have ever worked on, for various reasons, and the only reason I'm even continuing to go anywhere near it is because I said I would. I don't know if this is healthy, but I made a commitment and I intend to stick to it as much as I am able. -— Isarra ༆

Okay, it's going better now, but next time remind me to hire a dev. I'm not a dev. I'm a dressmaker. -— Isarra ༆

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

The remarks above didn't make it to the final "midpoint report".

I lost the URL for this:

WikiProjects are community spaces dedicated to specific subjects or goals.

WikiProject X is an initiative seeking to improve and streamline these WikiProjects that they may better serve their purpose, through research, design, and experimentation. This project is a community initiative initially led by Harej and Isarra and funded by the Wikimedia Foundation through an Individual Engagement Grant, and now now being completed by Isarra with funding through a Project Grant.

*For the first iteration of the project, we delved into the extant WikiProject landscape and created an onwiki prototype: the WikiProject X UI
*For the second iteration, we began work on an extension to more effectively implement a subsequent prototype, based on what we learned from the first: the MediaWiki extension CollaborationKit; the completion and deployment of this is what Isarra is now working on.

The "first iteration" resulted in the WikiProject X UI:

It's just a list of WikiProjects that have adopted their whatever this is. Oh look, WikiProject Women in Technology! Surely WikiProject X has "encourage[d] collaboration" on that WikiProject?

Only three users on this very important WikiProject. :sad trombone:

The last newsletter released on English Wikipedia is interesting (sorta):

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
< Wikipedia:WikiProject X‎ | Newsletter‎ | Past issues
Jump to navigationJump to search
WikiProject X icon.svg
Newsletter • December 2018
This month: A general update.

The current status of the project is as follows:

Progress of the project has been generally delayed since September due to development issues (more bitrot than expected, some of the code just being genuinely confusing, etc) and personal injury (I suffered a concussion in October and was out of commission for almost two months as a result).
I currently expect to be putting out a proper call for CollaborationKit pilots in January/Febuary, with estimated deployment in February/March if things don't go horribly wrong (they will, though, don't worry). As a part of that, I will properly update the page and send out announcement and reach out to all projects already signed up as pilots for WikiProject X in general, at which point those (still) interested can volunteer specifically to test the CollaborationKit extension.
Wikipedia:WikiProject X/Pilots was originally created for the first WikiProject X prototype, and given this is where the project has since gone, it's only logical to continue to use it. While I haven't yet updated the page to properly reflect this:
If you want to add your project to this page now, feel free. Just bear in mind that more information what to actually expect will be added later/included in the announcement, because by then I will have a much better idea myself.
Until then, you can find me in my corner working on making the CollaborationKit code do what we want and not just what we told it, per the workboard.
Until next time,

-— Isarra ༆ 22:38, 20 December 2018 (UTC)

(emphasis added)

To be quite frank I don't understand what they hope/hoped to achieve except Isarra got $20,000 and Harej got $10,000, so that's a pretty good achievement IMO.

EDIT: Oh look, here is Isarra and Harej presenting WikiProject X at Wikimania 2015. I wonder if there's a video or updated image of them presenting WikiProject X at a more recent Wikimania. I will have a look and add it here if i find one. :?

EDIT 2: Found a video of them presenting, but it's at so idk how to embed it here. WikiProject X starts at 1h 11m and 46s:

EDIT 3: []This .pdf file[/url] won't display the .jpg preview but it looks sorta like this:


Also, here is WikiProject X's page at the Wikimania 2015 wiki.


ugh edits 4 and 5, fixed the pic i omitted and corrected the link to the pdf

Re: WikiProject X

Posted: Sun Jun 16, 2019 8:56 am
by ericbarbour
Well put. The WMF is an episode of It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia that goes on forever. No one can escape the stupidity.

Harej is OF COURSE a longtime WP suck-up, and now a WMF employee. He's been a "director" of the infamous Wiki Med Project for a few years. Isarra is Kim Schoonover, who came to Wikipedia from that jerky non-funny joke wiki Uncyclopedia. She is also a MediaWiki developer, whatever that means.

Re: WikiProject X

Posted: Sun Jun 16, 2019 9:49 am
by Graaf Statler
I watch at random the video but it is to me complete unclear what these guys are doing, can anyone give a short summery? To me it seems a ultimate "Paddo project", but I can be wrong. You know, that stuff what makes yearly many tourists jumping of the roof or there balkony's of there hotel in Amsterdam. Paddo's, dried mushrooms.

Re: WikiProject X

Posted: Sun Jun 16, 2019 11:04 am
by CrowsNest
Bizarre. Looks like just another waypoint on the strategy of using automation to cope with the falling numbers of volunteers, and realizing it is too difficult and not remotely rewarding. And certainly not worth any money you get paid to do it.

WikiProjects are nothing more than a tool for helping volunteers interested in a specific sub-topic, or a Wikipedia wide maintenance activity, to better coordinate their efforts, and therefore your direct measures of success are number of new articles, and articles promoted to GA and FA, in the topic area. Measuring indirect stuff like size of membership rolls or even member activity (if not zero) is pointless, active Projects can help users who don't sign up. Membership is open to all, and so signing your name is pretty meaningless. The best run projects would have a separate subscriber list for who wants to receive notices or newsletters.

As I just coincidentally wrote elsewhere, using the model of WikiProject Women In Red, the Wikipedians have already found out how to improve the usefulness of a Project to further their goals. They basically use it as a container to operate a cult within a cult, to allow them to operate outside the usual norms of Wikipedia as a whole. They have redefined being a member as designating whether you are a believer or not, which helps members know who can be attacked, and who must be defended. Jess Wade is only a member of the project, and reluctantly so. She doesn't participate in it in any way, but they needed her to be a member so they could offer her their protection when her articles briefly came under scrutiny by the sections of the community still under the impression WP:N is a thing, and WP:PROF is presumption, not a green light index.

Rather than these things having informally appointed roles, basically secretaries to do grunt work, these new breed of projects are bringing the ideas that these cults within a cult can actually have leaders, with actual powers over others, and actual power over the content within their project's scope, which they of course see as theirs. Totally unwiki. But the faithful go along with it, because that is how cults work.

These new breed of Projects have stopped being merely about coordinating efforts around a topic or a Wikipedia wide maintenance task, in their desire to be an encyclopedia within an encyclopedia, they have created intersectional sub-groups. Even though there is absolutely no practical reason for it, they now have groups working on tasks like adding references to biographies of women. Not even the infamously separatist Med project went that far, every task they have like that exists only because the specific workflows use Med specific guidance. There is no women specific guidance for how to add references to Wikipedia, it would be absurd to create one - that didn't stop the "Founder" of WiR declaring their generic how to write an article essay as their property, a blatant breach of OWN.

This is basically because these projects have ceased to be about the betterment of Wikipedia as a whole, these are about hitting targets to meet ideological goals to get PR recognition, not for Wikipedia, but for Women In Red. They want credit, because they see themselves as being responsible for having hit these targets, even though in reality they are simply taking credit for the work of anyone who worked on the articles, whether they did so because of the project, or in many cases now, in spite of it.

Perhaps the worst aspect is that these Super-Projects have ceased to be internal entities at all, they now have their own social media, their own outreach activities, press contacts, etc, etc. In all cases the project's brand identity and goals are presented above that of Wikipedia's. What they don't have of course, is anything that would remotely give outsiders the impression they have responsibility for 'their' content in terms of harm reduction or legal issues.

There is nobody at WiR I can hold accountable, not least the Founder, for the fact Jess Wade keeps adding false information to her biographies and spreading fake news on Twitter. The cult within a cult they still wants that to be seen a Wikipedia level problem, even though it is beyond doubt Wade is only the useless slapdash ignorant entitled editor she is because she has been inspired and guided (and protected) in her editing more by the irresponsible guff of WiR than any Wikipedia wide documentaiation or governance systems.

Granted, many of these things were foreshadowed by earlier projects, the really big ones like Med, Military History, Roads and Transport, but even they always seemed to accept the were not separate entities no matter how much they wanted to be. While the informal cabalism gave certain tactical advantages, there was never a sense that if push came of shove, their individual members couldn't be brought back into line by AN/I.

There's no such sense for WiR (and whetever other Super-Projects they inspire to be created) who have become too big and powerful for even AN/I to control. ArbCom would be utterly horrified of the negative press attention examining the activies of WiR would bring. Whipped up buy the social media game of their members, or course, if not simply written by themselves!

Consequently, when you look at what WiR members often say when taking about basic even policy and indeed the general goals of Wikipedia, you are not sure if they even realize they are still on Wikipedia. Many quite clearly think they wish they were an entirely separate entity.

Re: WikiProject X

Posted: Sun Jun 16, 2019 11:28 am
by CrowsNest
An example probably helps.

WikiProject Med was concerned that the reliability of medical articles needs improving. Their self -appointed leader Doc James has gobbed off many times in the media about it. They went about this by writing improved guidance MEDRS. Now, while they can be quite precious, there is no real sense that this change is resisted by the whole of Wikipedia, only specific battlers, as there always is. They got buy-in because all the media stuff was presented as it should be - working groups within Wikipedia trying to evolve Wikipedia to better meet its goals, using its existing systems.

Contrast to the way WiR has approach the gender gap (specifically male/female bio ratio). The tidal wave of bullshit in the media has always been resisted by large parts of the community, it has always felt more like an external attack motivated by ideology, not good wikiscience. Rather than do what Med did and change the policies to meet their goals, WiR has simply set themselves up as a group separate from the rest of the Wikipedians, and they are trying to use every trick in the book to achieve their goals, without changing WP:N (because they know they can't).

Where Med used them as they should be, as means of coordination and getting your message to other Wikipedians (and potentially new ones), WiR use their Project as an insurrectional staging post, and the media and social media as weapons against those who are nominally meant to be their colleagues, all one big Wikipedia happy family.

Now, people have seen what I think of Doc James before, this is by no means meant as an endorsement of that man or his methods. But compared to the leading lights of WiR, he's a model Wikipedian.

It will be interesting to see what happens when WikiProject Med starts to examine the quality of biographies on medical people written by Jess Wade. Who prevails there, will tell you if the movement is stronger than ever, or weaker than ever.

Re: WikiProject X

Posted: Sun Jun 16, 2019 11:31 am
by Graaf Statler
But this seems to me a box of Pandora in the gift of the devil Wikipedia.

Correct me if I am wrong, but you create in my opinion in this way groups of cheerleaders who are only there to make themself populair, and who start to defend indeed types as Jess Wade, Doc James, a middle of the road ER doctor.
Both for them and these groups of wolves, bad informed groups of cheerleaders a win-win situation arises in this way, special because there are benefits to divide.

Because a hundred million dollars is a lot of money..........

Re: WikiProject X

Posted: Sun Jun 16, 2019 12:09 pm
by CrowsNest
Topical example - in the Case Request to consider matters arising from the Fram ban, while the Committee clearly hasn't yet come to a decision on what the scope of the Case would be, what they are apparently absolutely sure of, is that the resulting off-site attacks on Fram from the official Women In Red Twitter account, are not going to be considered. Why? Who knows. Per WP:HARASS, we know such misconduct is within the purview of Wikipedia self-governance. It definitely can't be in deference to the lower courts, because it is crystal clear that matter will involve private evidence (specifically who sent the Tweet) and also since it was most likely an Administrator who would most likely have to be demoted as punishment for such a serious crime. What we can probably surmise is that nobody in ArbCom wants any part of the negative PR of that being part of any Case outcome, should the media ever figure out what this drama has been about and write a story on it.

Re: WikiProject X

Posted: Sun Jun 16, 2019 12:15 pm
by CrowsNest
This has officially been punted to ArbCom by the office. The fundamental question is whether it should be okay for administrators to revert office actions and wheel war with impunity. If the answer is yes, give me back the bit; I'll re-block Fram myself. ~ Rob13Talk 22:11, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
Maybe you shouldn't have been stupid enough to give it up in the first place?

Re: WikiProject X

Posted: Sun Jun 16, 2019 12:42 pm
by Graaf Statler
Jezus Christ! A formal Arb and sysop. Good catch, Crow.

But I already understood his position in this matter because horny steward Trijnstel regretted the ending of his sysop career on Meta.
It's a kings drama, don't fool with the Cabal, we are the leaders and look what happens if you revolved against us.
But what they forget is it is all charity money and if that media ever figure out this and other drama's there will occur a world wide shortage of pitch and feathers I am afraid.

Re: WikiProject X

Posted: Sun Jun 16, 2019 11:28 pm
by badmachine
ericbarbour wrote:Well put. The WMF is an episode of It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia that goes on forever. No one can escape the stupidity.

Harej is OF COURSE a longtime WP suck-up, and now a WMF employee. He's been a "director" of the infamous Wiki Med Project for a few years. Isarra is Kim Schoonover, who came to Wikipedia from that jerky non-funny joke wiki Uncyclopedia. She is also a MediaWiki developer, whatever that means.

it's funny that all that money for whatever that is, and the Commons page for the .pdf (which i forgot to link) is broken