User talk:Whatamidoing (WMF)

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Old discussions: June 2013 to May 2014, June 2014 to May 2015, June 2015 to May 2016, June 2016 to May 2017, June 2017 to May 2018, June 2018 to May 2019

Heather Thomson USA former RHONY[edit]

When you look up Heather Thomson former Real Housewives star, designer, inventor, consultant- Her image comes up with someone else’s BIO. - A New Zealand runners Bio shows up but the image is of Heather Thomson From housewives??? How can we get the image changed??????? Please help!! Memfit@gmail.com HeatherThomson (talk) 11:43, 1 June 2019 (UTC)

User:HeatherThomson, I believe that the instructions you are looking for are located at Wikipedia:Contact us/Article subjects. As your account has been blocked for a possible impersonation attempt, the e-mail option might be the most feasible for you. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 00:25, 2 June 2019 (UTC)

Collaborative editing[edit]

Not sure if it's the kind of example you're looking for, but I personally think Sissinghurst Castle Garden was a nice example of what collaboration on here can do. KJP1 (talk) 21:52, 21 July 2019 (UTC)

Thanks, KJP1. I'll definitely look at that example. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 23:17, 21 July 2019 (UTC)

Thank you[edit]

Actually I did want to stop by days ago, but life tends to get in the way, and then I get distracted. Anyway - I find it much easier to talk to someone like you who actually does or at least has volunteered at our project. It seems there are a few folks at WMF who are simply professional NPO employees (not saying that's good or bad - we need good professionals in important positions). In my mind the folks who should making decisions on members of the community here should BE members of the community here. But I'm getting off track here - while there's folks I don't have much respect for at WMF - you are one that I DO respect, and I appreciate you responding on Iridescent's talk page. I could go on, but it would be pointless venting. Thank you; both for what you've done, and for what you do. All my best. — Ched :  ?  — 11:32, 23 July 2019 (UTC)

Thanks for the kind note, Ched. The WMF staff seems to have a mix of folks. That can have advantages and disadvantages. I think it shouldn't matter much in background work (who really cares whether the bookkeepers like to edit Wikipedia?), and it can be either an advantage or a disadvantage in other roles. At one point, there was a 50% minimum of volunteers-turned-staff (by CEO decree), but I don't think that the numbers have been officially tracked since Sue quit.
IMO some teams, such as design, probably benefit most from a mix. I'd put both grant-making and design in that list. It might be hard to fairly evaluate a grant applicant that you've worked with on wiki. But if you know a community, you can identify some problems with a proposal that another person would completely miss. On the design side, you want both fresh perspectives and deep knowledge. The "new" designer in the Editing team, for example, wasn't really "one of us" when she was hired a year ago, but she's turning into one of us, and I am so pleased. (It helps that she is absolutely awesome as a designer, which means absolutely awesome at evaluating different processes in context and with as few unidentified preconceived notions as possible.)
On the flip side, everyone in CommTech (or maybe all but one of them now?) is a long-time wiki person, and I think that might make it harder for them to see alternatives. And I know that I have to be vigilant against my own tendency to think the English Wikipedia first and only. So a balance seems indicated. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 22:31, 23 July 2019 (UTC)
Another thing: I don't think that most volunteers realize how many staff members are also volunteers.  My "real" team (there's an endless supply of internal re-orgs to change who's on my "official" team at any given moment) has always been 100% Wikipedia editors.  My boss has 30K edits as a volunteer; her boss has 10K edits; until the last re-org, his boss had more than 100K edits (the new C-level is a non-editor).  My team would have put "don't bother applying if you haven't already made a thousand edits to a WMF site already" on our job descriptions years ago, except that the recruiters wouldn't let us.  (We did get them to start asking for applicants' usernames.  Amusingly, a lot of non-Wikipedians then created accounts and told us that they hoped to start editing soon.  But again, it doesn't matter for other things, so when my "official" team hired a graphics artist earlier this year, hiring a long-time Wikipedian wasn't a significant goal.)
To give you an idea of what it feels like for me:  Yesterday started with one of the directors of product telling me how excited he was about an article he created over the weekend.  The dev team I've worked with the most has always had multiple Wikipedia admins on it.  Their new product manager (hired in January) has edited occasionally for several years.  Their project manager doesn't edit much herself, but has worked with local edit-a-thons.  
As you might be able to tell, I've been thinking about this problem for years.  ;-)  I don't know whether the real problem is that almost nobody realizes that "PEarley (WMF)" is the same person as "The Interior" (with my username, which I insisted upon when I was hired, the connection is obvious.  But do watch out for the capitalization...), or if there is some mental shift in which being "one of us" means something other than whether you happen to edit Wikipedia.  I was briefly tempted last month to start replying to some comments about T&S not knowing anything about the English Wikipedia with diffs of that speaker voting in favor of those team members at their (volunteer) RFAs.  But in the end, I don't think that "knowing" is what those people really meant.  I think they meant something more like, "Hey, my values are different from yours".  Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 23:01, 23 July 2019 (UTC)

Translation newbies on VE newsletter[edit]

Could you please mentor Stombari8 until they master the basics of translation on wikis? You have invited them to translate VE newsletter, however, applying raw machine translation output only breaks links by inserting spaces to cut _$_ links at least. I hope they will catch up soon, and be a very strong translation hand as well. Yes, I’ve been there, and don’t want them henpecked. (: Cheers, --Omotecho (talk) 16:27, 31 July 2019 (UTC)

Thanks for the note, Omotecho. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 20:56, 31 July 2019 (UTC)

Forgot to mention...[edit]

... that keepng a list of Things to Not Break is an excellent software engineering practice. I am so glad you are doing this. Cheers, Clayoquot (talk | contribs) 19:57, 31 July 2019 (UTC)

Hi, Clayoquot,
Thanks for the note. I find it helpful, and the title seems to provide clarity. From a purely selfish point of view, it's important to me that the things that I do (as a volunteer) to not get screwed up. I'm willing to make a fair trade, but not to just have stuff break. On Friday, I walked a designer through a normal morning: Step one, wake up. Step two, find out what happened at WT:MED while I was asleep, so I know who needs help today. Step three, do my bit to respond to a request for help. She and I went through everything that I did on Friday morning before work, so she could see how I did it. I want all of that to keep working.
You are always (at any time, even next year, without any need for an excuse) welcome to ping me or leave a note here with ideas that you think belong on such a list, or a "case study" that you think worked particularly well (or poorly). You are always welcome to tell me what matters to you. I can also set up video calls if you want to show someone on the team how you edit (or in person, if you'll be at Wikimania). Just let me know. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 21:06, 31 July 2019 (UTC)

What are you doing? ;-)[edit]

(slowest answer ever) Did you try sending me wikipedia email? I'll reply with my contact info.

--Kim Bruning (talk) 18:40, 7 September 2019 (UTC)

Hi Kim! What a delight to find your name on wiki today. I'll send you e-mail in case you want to follow up off wiki, but first I'd like you to take a look at https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Talk_pages_consultation_2019/Discussion_tools_in_the_past since that was what I was working on at the time. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 04:46, 8 September 2019 (UTC)

So what are you doing?[edit]

Over two months ago Katherine said she would find out why the Foundation continued to host the Detox tool, despite knowing it produced racist and homophobic results, and with no indication on the project page that it was deprecated, or the nature of its unacceptable results. She has not bothered found time in between tweeting managed to answer yet. I understand from her latest post that she leaves answering things on her talk page to the "Community Relations" team. So is there any chance the Foundation will answer, or is it just hoping that people will lose interest? DuncanHill (talk) 20:25, 13 September 2019 (UTC)

I have replied to your email, twice. DuncanHill (talk) 21:40, 13 September 2019 (UTC)
Thanks. I'm not sure whether it's realistically possible to get a satisfying answer to how m:Detox got dropped. Most of the people involved are inactive. I'll ask around, and I'll post when (which I suppose means "if") I learn anything potentially useful. What might be most helpful, if you happen to know it offhand, is some notion of the timeline.
As for the overall problem of what to do in the future, I'm currently thinking that experimental tools are a bit like a draft article in userspace. Anyone could improve it; some of them are worth doing that, and you wouldn't want to demolish the house while it's still being built, but at some undefinable point, which is likely variable across projects (e.g., much sooner if it's producing bad results), the odds of it actually getting improved could be small enough that you might as well delete it. I don't think that we (that's the volunteer-we) sorted out the ideal way of doing that for articles, and they have many years' less experience with doing it for tools. It feels like the bigger problem of maintaining software. Everyone wants to create the shiny new thing, but nobody wants to spend a year, or even a quarter, doing boring maintenance work. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 23:06, 13 September 2019 (UTC)
What I know of the timeline is it was dropped over two years ago and nobody was told, nobody on wiki even knew it even existed until Framgate when another editor found it and several of us had a lot of fun putting innocuous sentences into it and getting appalling results, and after a lot of prodding in lots of places someone else eventually admitted it was crap and not used. After a lot more prodding it was eventually marked as "completed" - not as deprecated or rubbish, mind you, just "completed", and someone else removed it from the "Community Health Initiative" - again with no in article deprecation of it, just a "we don't use it anymore" comment in an edit summary. I also had to point out other outdated pages such as this. I really don't care to dig up all the old posts across enwiki and meta and mediawiki, but I'm told there's a Community Relations team that keeps an eye on things like that and will have flagged it up if they thought it needed any WMF action or feedback. I'm sorry that last bit reads like a dig, but if we're to take Katherine's word for it that discussions on wiki are actually picked up by the Foundation then that's what you're going to get. I'm sick of management-speak and shiny-happy-oh-we-do-value-you crap from the Foundation when the actions give the lie to the words. I'm sure I'm not alone in that. DuncanHill (talk) 23:28, 13 September 2019 (UTC)
m:Template:Research project doesn't support a status of "rubbish". The available options are draft, proposed, planned, active, and completed. I believe that the usual approach is to describe the limitations of any software used in the research in prose, especially since you can have a highly successful research project about a bad idea (the success being in conclusively determining that it was a bad idea). If I were designing the template, I'd consider including an option for |status=stalled or |status=abandoned, as I think that might be more descriptive in this case, but to the extent that |status=completed communicates that nobody's researching that question any longer, that's probably not wrong.
I understand that the code itself is held off wiki. I don't know if there is a process at Github for discouraging the use of individual code repositories.
I see that others have replied to your questions elsewhere. I'm not clear whether those replies answer your real questions, though. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 02:58, 15 September 2019 (UTC)
A reader of the Detox page would have no idea of the limitations of the software. He'd see some links to stories making claims about "toxic editors" based on Detox - claims which he would have no way of knowing were based on rubbish, and which the Foundation has done nothing to correct.
"Other editors have replied elsewhere" - well if you mean the "some people left and we were hoping it would get better" answers on Katherine's talk page, well I think you will see from my responses that I don't find them acceptable.
I don't think you are in a position to help much more on this. You don't know the history of Detox, so can't help me understand it. DuncanHill (talk) 09:04, 15 September 2019 (UTC)