Talk pages consultation 2019/Status updates

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These updates are from the planning stages of the 2019 talk page consultation. More recent notes can be found at Talk pages consultation 2019#Status updates.

July 2019[edit]

July 31, 2019[edit]

The Phase 2 report is coming together and, at the earliest, will be available at the end of this week, but isn't a guarantee. While many of the sections are coming together nicely, the team wants to make sure that communities understand the product direction is derived solely from the feedback of the phases; also that the direction is not guided by the feedback from any one community.

"Where the project goes from here" section is likely going to be of particular importance, especially to those members who have been following the TPC from its outset. Special consideration is being made to answer some of the most common questions likely to arise, e.g. "how long is production going to take?" (end of 2020, but not set in stone), "how will we measure success?", "will there be user testing?" (yes, likely newcomer-focused as well as experienced users), "will there be a beta product(s)?", "will specific communities be targeted?", etc.

The section will also address some of the most frequently mentioned concerns so that users understand there are some things the team has no intention of doing, such as: making a chat/forum, getting rid of the ability to edit wikitext, or focusing on expanding Flow. The focus is to make talk pages avenues for collaboration in a way that improves the articles they are connected to, using to-be-determined metrics for measurement. Not only is this a new product, but it likely will be comprised of several smaller components. The idea is to utilize user testing; some of those components may be successful, some not, and some might end up taking a much longer amount of time to develop than anticipated. The idea, of course, is to keep those elements that prove successful. Elements that might take a longer time to produce won't necessarily be scrapped, but they will be placed on the back burner - the reasoning is that we don't want to deliver a half-baked product. Focus on providing full development resources to elements that are the most viable, based on metrics and feedback, in promoting healthy, productive talk pages.

As far as this team goes, the last meeting is scheduled for after Wikimania. The Editing team will take over from there. Conversations have already started with the developers, so we want to make sure we are conveying all necessary subjects in those meetings.

July 24, 2019[edit]

With the upcoming Wikimania, the team is preparing their presentation, with a number of key goals to consider, first of which is relaying to communities that they are, indeed, listening to feedback and incorporating it into the recommendation being forwarded to the designers/engineers. Along the same thought, it should be mentioned here at least that those additional teams have already been in contact with the team and reviewing material, so the recommendations will not be a surprise.

The feedback has come from a wide variety of TPC participants across communities and languages, with some core shared themes emerging. It is clear that improvements to communication are wanted to varying degrees from all walks of users, including movement organizers, experienced Wikimedians, GLAM, chapter participants, wiki trainers, and those who support newcomers in a variety of fashions.

The team will give an overview of Phase 2 and their findings, as well as product principles, next steps, participation and testing, etc. More pointed questions, such as what is happening to Flow and Talk pages, will be answered.

The presentation will closely mirror what will be contained in the Phase 2 report. That report is not yet ready.

July 17, 2019[edit]

With comments properly tagged and with tags consolidated, the framework of the Phase 2 report was created. The team is working to fill in the details, including major findings, concerns, direction moving forward, relevant quotes, and tag counting. Among multiple points raised, a discussion was had about the "stupid people" argument that some users tend to bring up, i.e. "if they aren't smart enough to figure out wikitext, we don't want them because they're too stupid". While the team certainly wants to avoid another Article Feedback situation that occurred on some sites, one of the core principles centers around knowledge equity and equal access for all. Visitors can be exceptionally bright about particular subjects yet untrained in wikitext; lumping people together into a bucket of "stupidity" doesn't serve the greater purpose of allowing anyone who has information to share - wikitext-savvy or not - the ability to share it. There is a further argument to be made that requiring such knowledge is, in essence, throwing out the baby with the bathwater in an attempt to minimize unwanted chitchat. The team does recognize, however, that idle chitchat is not what editors use talk pages for.

A rough draft of the report will hopefully be completed by this coming Friday to be reviewed internally. An effort is being made to have the entirety of the report translated across multiple languages. The team is also looking internally for some assistance in the visual design aspect.

Once the report is finalized, a determination will be made by the team regarding the next phase, with a focus on what the team is handing off to the next team, as the consultation itself will be complete. There needs to be a definition of what "better" entails for talk pages, as well as the ability for the next team to access all gathered data and project pages. All the internal gdocs have already been shared.

July 11, 2019[edit]

Tagging of community responses is largely complete, and the team is taking time to go through them to pull the weightiest comments. These will be grouped onto an internal doc for review. To be clear, however, all comments are in the process of being grouped by their respective tags for ease of reading and consolidation of ideas. Community response has been largely positive with regard to product direction, for instance, but there are concerns and suggestions that need to be examined and addressed. As in Phase 1, a tally will be made of all tags.

The Phase 2 report is still in its infancy. The meat of the report will focus on the first two questions (e.g. What do you think of this product direction? and marking separate discussions); additional questions will be addressed in smaller subsections. Due to the information gleaned during the first two phases, the consultation itself will not have a Phase 3 (clarifying from previous meeting).

Some questions have arisen from communities about Flow in general, and so the following has been clarified: No more Flow deployments. Flow is not being removed from any wikis. No new features are planned for Flow at this time. Maintenance will continue for the foreseeable future.

July 3, 2019[edit]

Due to end-of-fiscal-year responsibilities, much of the tagging of community responses was put on hold and resumes this week. Final tagging likely will not be complete until the end of the week at the earliest, and then the tags need to be properly sorted and parsed - per question, probably - to enable a more structured look at community concerns and suggestions.

Phase 2 has largely been considered successful, though the translation issues have been noted for future consideration, especially regarding length of reports and the burden that places on volunteer translators. Phase 2 will transition to Phase 3, from consultation to design. At the Monthly Activities meeting in mid-July the results of the TPC project will be presented, highlighting how the overall project went, its outcomes, direction moving forward, and overall vision; the official report likely will not be ready at this time, as the report deals with the minutia while the presentation is a general overview.

June 2019[edit]

June 19, 2019[edit]

About half of all community discussions have been officially closed by their respective communities. Some remain open, though most communication has ceased. Iberocoop discussion remains officially open, as that community has been granted an additional week before their summary is due. Community summaries are also starting to come in.

TMeadows has been working to gather all the feedback together in a set of documents. The first set consists of documents for each community, with all responses machine-translated, requesting additional help when those translations make little sense. The second set consists of documents for each question, with feedback copied from the first set. An ongoing task at the moment is to use a master tagging sheet to tag responses in the second set so the team can properly organize feedback and distill what communities are relaying.

Danny (DannyH) is meeting with Peter from the editing team to go over all the nuances of the project. Peter has already been in several meetings getting a handle on the process as it currently stands. Together they will also be trying to figure out how to best use the information from the documents in preparation for readying a report on the current phase and potential product directions moving forward.

For the upcoming Phase 2 report, there is an understanding that a fully realized product might not result from the gathered information. While some aspects may be fairly solid, others might require more research and questions. The hope is to have the report out to users no later than the beginning of Wikimania, August 14th. Danny is looking into translators for the report (and to fully translate the P1 report as well). He has a line on translators used by the Fundraising team, but will likely need additional people to double-check anything before it is posted.

June 12, 2019[edit]

After reviewing the amount of feedback given between Phase 1 and Phase 2, using English Wikipedia as a litmus test, it looks like the majority of communities are participating at expected levels, given what they are being asked. English Wikipedia was the litmus test because that community has the lowest bar to participation when it comes to being able to read the Phase 1 report (since it is in EN) and responding. The only community of concern is Iberocoop (22 pages of feedback in P1, none so far for P2), so the decision was made to create a feedback page for them on their community and advertise locally. Their due date has been pushed back an additional week.

The Qualtrics survey has been scrapped due to internal feedback and how late it is during this phase. The page will be updated to reflect this, and people will be sent to the Individual Feedback page or the P1 Report Talk Page.

As it pertains to some of the feedback the team has received, it has become clear that there is a need to possibly pay to have the Phase 1 report translated and, by extension, the upcoming Phase 2 report. Some participants have expressed confusion over how come a topic is deemed important or the process by which a particular point was reached, both of which are detailed in the report. It is especially important that this confusion is diminished as the team moves into Phase 3.

In preparation for P3, the internal feedback documents will be examined and their points sorted similarly to how was done in P1. Each proposed question will receive a page of its own with every community's responses listed, and then those responses will be tagged according to their specific points. Also, the Editing team will be meeting with Jack who built the house to pick his brain about what he has done on the Russian Wikipedia.

Moving into Phase 3, the team is keenly aware of past mistakes of the Foundation - such as the Article Feedback tool - and the troubles those mistakes caused. They want to remain attentive to the concerns brought up about those tools to insure those mistakes do not happen again. Before even starting to build anything, they want to have set what success and failure of a product will look like and how to measure that; this isn't going to merely be "it's successful if more people are using those pages" but rather along the lines of quality of participation and whether more (needless) work is being created for admins.

May 2019[edit]

May 29, 2019[edit]

The team is very much in the data collection stage of this phase. So far, things are going well across the dozen or so conversations that are taking place, both here and on wikis who are hosting their own discussions. As feedback is published, it is being gathered on internal documents, much the same as in Phase 1, so the team can review and share. There are well over 100 pages already, with English, Russian, and French communities supplying the most thus far. Sherry (Whatamidoing) will be reaching out to the German community as well. Czech wikipedia was just added into the feedback database today.

As for the landing page for the banner, it will be tweaked by Danny (DannyH) to give a clearer direction for folks following the banner link.

May 22, 2019[edit]

With the report finalized and posted, the team is transitioning into a data collection role, but there are certain tasks that still need to be completed in order to make that fully happen. The translation needs for the report have been greatly expanded. For those that might not wish to participate via traditional on-wiki means, the proposed Qualtrics survey is in the final building stages. In addition to translations for the survey, additional questions are being built by Sherry (Whatamidoing) that focus on some key demographics such as user experience level and home wikis. These aren't included in the on-wiki discussion because there it is a simple matter of checking by looking at individual user profiles. Once those questions and translation are finished, the survey will be posted.

Benoît (Trizek) is working on a central notice banner that will inform all logged-in users of this next phase. The content of the announcement was decided today, and so needs translation before hopefully launching this coming Monday. He is in the preliminary stages of creating a landing page that will show users where they can go to participate, depending on their desired avenue. Some placeholder discussion pages on wikis appear to need help in setting up, so Sherry is performing outreach for that.

In terms of carrying out the TPC proposal once things are finalized, the Editing team will begin work at the start of the next year, though they will likely begin far earlier in a less official capacity. Danny (DannyH) will be inviting members of the Editing team to join in the TPC team's meeting so that everyone is on the same page and brought up to speed. Note that this is just currently passing on information; nothing solid will materialize until after Phase 2 is completed and the feedback analyzed. Other teams might also be involved in carrying out more specific aspects of the proposal as it fits their niche, such as Design, etc. The thought is to keep all that work organized and centralized when the time comes to begin.

May 15, 2019[edit]

Proofreading of the final draft of the report is being done by Sherry (Whatamidoing), who is also including a "How to participate" section for Phase 2 and finalizing the questions the team will ask. The report is still slated to go live today, barring any unforeseen issues. Translations will be needed, specifically for the intro, summary, and questions. Due to the extremely long nature of the section including quotations, that section will not be translated; quotes there will be presented as they appeared on their home wiki, with their rough English translation, as that was already done during initial data-gathering.

Once the report is posted, Benoît (Trizek) will inform those communities who participated in Phase 1. Similarly to that phase, communities can copy the questions for Phase 2 and are encouraged to create their own discussion pages on their home communities. Once enough communities have created discussions, a central notice banner will go live leading to a page containing those links. Additionally, the Qualtrics survey is expected to launch next week to give participants a different avenue to contribute their feedback if they do not want to use the traditional discussion format. Data-gathering will begin as early as next Wednesday and continue through June 15th, at which time Phase 2 is expected to wrap.

In finalizing the transition between phases, TMeadows will revamp the participant group sign-up page to include a section particular to Phase 2, while moving existing information to a Phase 1 section. Due to the fact that Phase 1 led to the direction of building on the wikitext interface rather than going with Flow or other alternatives, the focus of Phase 3 will now be to decide what features and improvements will be made based on the trade-offs discussions, rather than the product (i.e. Flow vs. wikitext vs. new tool). The main TPC page will be updated to reflect this.

May 8, 2019[edit]

The final draft of the Phase 1 report is being worked on by both Danny (DannyH) and Sherry (Whatamidoing). The plan it to have it ready for internal review by Monday, with a soft release on Wednesday of next week. Included in the report will be an announcement for Phase 2 and how folks can participate; this will be at the end of the report and the "summary of findings" section. Hard release will occur the following week; the delay between the two is merely due to a time conflict for Benoît (Trizek), who is heading up promotion across participating communities. Soft release will be via direct contact, while hard release will likely be via mass messaging of some sort.

Due to feedback specifically obtained regarding metadata, Marshall (MMiller) is running another set of user tests focused on those boxes, i.e. wikiproject tags, etc. There are five test pages users can interact with (sample here) with the goal of ascertaining how tags affect a user's understanding of a page's intended use. This will help to inform a more targeted discussion about metadata during Phase 2. Results are expected next week.

For those participating in Phase 2, feedback will come from a couple of avenues. The first is direct reaction to the report issued from Phase 1. The second is by answering trade-off questions either on-site or via a Qualtrics survey, the content of which will be polished in an upcoming, separate meeting. Data collection for Phase 2 is set to begin prior to the 23rd of May, as Danny will be gone for a period of time after that. Going over the data is not expected to begin until June.

May 1, 2019[edit]

The final touches are being put on sifting through and organizing all the information gathered from Phase 1 of the project. The projected release of the report to users is the end of the week, though that is certainly not set in stone. As it stands, new feedback was incorporated from third-party MediaWiki sites and there is still a need for better translation for the Hungarian feedback.

For the report itself, the determination was made to present direct quotes first, then their EN translations. User testing was recently completed and a summary of those findings will also be included. Some of the more interesting points was that talk/discussion pages weren't immediately apparent to users and, once they were found, users weren't exactly certain what was going on within them. The same interface as articles seemed to be misleading.

A meeting is happening (WikiSalon) in the office tonight that Danny (DannyH) will be attending. Since Phase 1 is complete, Danny will be presenting the TPC project and what the team has found, looking for thoughts and reactions, focusing on features versus flexibility, and sharing the user testing.

This meeting is indicative of what Phase 2 will look like: looking for feedback on findings, figuring out what direction to take based on that feedback, and serious discussions about trade-offs. Some things communities have expressed a need for might be easier to implement, such as automatic signatures and indenting. Other things, such as the various way threads are created and then subsequently treated, will be much harder. There needs to be a discussion about metadata and various options dealing with that, as well as whole page histories and section histories; this latter is not an "either/or" case. The team wants to figure out use cases and frequency, among other questions.

Note: This paragraph is merely conjecture and is not meant as a definitive direction or set of ideas. This is merely the team spit-balling based on the data collected and analyzed. The actual direction will only be formulated and set after Phase 2 discussions have taken place with communities. At this juncture it seems that Flow will not be the direction. For now, it seems the best approach might be to have a system whereby wikitext - for those who want to use it - will be an "under the hood" feature, accessible for more advanced users, with a "surface" interface more user-friendly for lay users or simply those that have no desire to use wikitext. Yet new features suggested by communities might break established conventions, so the team wants to make sure those trade-offs make sense via discussion with all communities. Even if there is a different overall interface, the thought is to make certain there is still a transfer of needed skills and abilities that users have pointed out are vital.

April 2019[edit]

April 24, 2019[edit]

Transition is ongoing. As trade-offs will be the next phase, a good deal of time was spent last Friday (April 19) further narrowing down the classification of user input and formulating what will be a public-facing report.

In order for the report to be finalized, there are still tasks that need to be completed. The user stories will be grouped by Marshall (MMiller) for an easier read. Sherry (Whatamidoing) is working to incorporate a variety of user quotes across languages that reflect popular opinions and themes, and there are some formatting issues to address, such as placing quotes in their original language first, followed by translation. Sherry is also going to reach out to Hằng, WMF graphic designer, to see about adding illustrations for the sake of clarity; talking with her can also serve as a litmus test (as she is new) of not only what reaction might be to the report (clarity, etc.), but also whether she can understand what the team is attempting to say.

Also included in the report will be a brief overview of what the team has learned thus far. Highlights include the indication that most users see talk systems as imperfect, and so some improvements are likely to be welcome, so long as they are based on the feedback. Related: though there are a wide variety of opinions and proposed solutions across communities and languages, there is also a core batch of improvements that virtually everyone seems to agree on, such as automatic signatures, even across new and veteran users. The feedback thus far seems to be leaning towards improving existing systems rather than making something new, but nothing has been taken off the table as of yet.

Marshall is also going to be processing the results of user testing that occurred on Friday. The first set of tests were completed, and the team always has the option of requesting more if needed. WMF has the rights to post those videos of users attempting to use talk pages, and they will be publicly presented along with analysis by Marshall on a separate page.

For steps past Phase 1, it seems many of the trade-off questions will have to do with desired features versus flexibility. While the specifics have yet to be hammered out, automatic archiving was one such discussion the team had. While having such a feature could feasibly be possible, what would that mean in terms of how it affects current archiving flexibility that users have? Those are the sorts of questions that would be raised in Phase Two and put forth to communities, though not necessarily on a feaure-by-feature basis.

To that end, Danny (DannyH) will be working on a set of short, simple questions over the weekend for trade-offs that focus on prioritization. These questions will be included in the Phase 1 report, and communities will have a brief period of time to comment on them if they so desire. Once the questions have been decided, Benoît (Trizek) will reach out to communities about hosting their own trade-offs page, similar to how they hosted their own TPC page. Banners will be run announcing Phase 2. Potentially in addition to those pages, a qualtrics survey will also be set up, but attention has to be given to translations, as they can be a bit of a chore importing into qualtrics.

April 17, 2019[edit]

The team is in the process of transitioning from Phase 1 to Phase 2. Already Danny (DannyH) has posted a preliminary report about Phase 1 in the above section. This will be posted and/or linked to on the community discussion pages, potentially Tech News, and disseminated to users such as ambassadors. Though the majority of summaries have been provided by participating communities, there are three still outstanding. Benoît (Trizek) reached out to those communities yesterday; if they do not respond, the decision is to move forward without those summaries - the team has already incorporated the feedback into the documents they are working with, so those users' needs will not go unrecognized.

Danny and Benoît will be meeting this Friday in order to go over user stories and trade-off notes (potential conflicts and determining what desires are actionable), as well as what the next steps are going into Phase 2. Marshall (MMiller) may also be at the meeting.

Speaking of Marshall, user testing has been slightly delayed due to license expiration. This should be resolved as early as this afternoon so that targeted user testing can commence. Once the results are in, which may take a bit of time, Marshall will then be tasked with analyzing the data.

Sherry (Whatamidoing) is working on converting many of the tagged issues into workable and easily-digested summaries, as well as taking note of the frequency of each stated issue. The descriptions are matched to the tags the team is working with, and the results will be posted publicly on mediawiki. TMeadows continues to assist with additional tagging of notes, and will be merging the tags of those that are nearly identical.

April 10, 2019[edit]

Overall, the direction the consultation is heading and the amount of information via summaries that communities and individuals have provided is going very well. There seems to be a very good variety of sources, and the upcoming user testing - hopefully available as early as today - will only add to that pool. In preparation for the next phase, TMeadows will be parsing out a series of internal documents that relate to each issue brought up by the community, with linking throughout so that Sherry (Whatamidoing) and Danny (DannyH) can prepare a succinct report and a thank-you for those interested here as to what the overarching themes are across communities. This will also help prepare for the upcoming trade-offs phase. Values will also be included - such as an emphasis on not allowing a singular community to determine the outcome of the project for all other communities. The goal is to have the report available by the end of this week at the earliest.

Most communities have submitted their feedback, but there are some, such as Arabic, Hindi, and German that are still missing. Benoît (Trizek) will reach out to those communities and provide a reminder and/or track down interested users. There were some short notes from the Berkeley edit-a-thon meeting, so those will be incorporated by TMeadows into the pool of feedback the team has received.

April 3, 2019[edit]

In talking about the use of Qualtrics, the determination was made that a survey would not be used for this particular phase, though Sherry (Whatamidoing) did reach out to see what requirements the team had to meet from Legal. Any survey will come after all input has been gathered and sorted from the current phase, and the exact nature of the survey has yet to be determined. For the initial part of this phase, feedback will be gathered from groups and users and incorporated into the existing internal (for now) document. While most discussion groups will provide a summary of their discussions, the team will reference the actual discussions as well for clarity and context.

As far as asking for assisting via the Berlin conference, that did not garner any feedback.

For the idea concerned a 24-hour banner, the determination was made that the focus of the banner would not necessarily be to gather information - though such feedback would be useful - but to see if banners really do much at all in notifying the general wiki populace. The go-ahead was given for such a banner, which will be released to all users who have chosen EN as their language. It will not show 100% of the time, however - the banner only has a 10% chance of showing. This is partly to avoid "banner fatigue" and also because the team would like to reserve a more robust banner for the most important announcements.

Marshall (MMiller) and Danny (DannyH) continue to formulate an idea for user-testing and are working through what screening questions to use. Though user testing has been performed in the past, it was done six years ago, and things have changed. Also, this user-testing will allow for the aforementioned screening, so the results should be more applicable to the stated goal of the project.

Conversation also centered on direction to give those that are providing community discussion summaries. While more information from those groups is certainly the preference, the team recognizes that some volunteers may not be able or want to write an exhaustive summary. The direction will be worded in such a way as to allow that flexibility. The team would ideally like all opinions to be represented in these summaries.

March 2019[edit]

March 27, 2019[edit]

Focus today was spent on discussing switching from the information-gathering phase to the trade-offs phase (see preliminary notes here). Danny (DannyH) has created a place for staff to gather "user stories", namely a listing of what users want to accomplish to communicate on wiki. This focuses more on the goals that users are trying to accomplish, rather than specific features. A separate tagging page helps sort related direct quotes from users into a searchable database. These will be published on the wiki in the next couple of weeks.

Due to lower than desired interaction with the announcement banner, the team is planning on launching a short-duration (24 hour) test banner that points to a simple page containing only a couple of questions. This would be for English and French users only, though French users would be guided to the existing French discussion. The goal is to see how many people interact with these banners, seeing if the short page draws more feedback. This should launch within the next day or two.

Many of those the team wanted to reach out to who are part of affiliates/chapters are having a meeting in Berlin. There are a number of staff going as well, so Danny will reach out to those folks and ask they keep track of feedback they receive about wiki communication and report back to the team.

Currently a button exists at the top of the TPC page that leads to a feedback page for groups. A feedback page for individuals (and corresponding button) needs to be created for individuals. Danny will work on that and, once implemented, those will be translated.

At this phase, it feels as if there might not be enough user involvement. Though there are still months remaining before the project is tentatively projected to end, the question rose as to whether the conversation would be closed or remain open, especially due to involvement. No matter what happens, it seems, the goal is to have the discussion remain open with users, even if TPC results in moving into the development phase. Transparency is still a high priority. The team will still focus in these remaining months on pursuing different avenues to get more participants and opinions.

March 20, 2019[edit]

Due to Trevor's departure, Marshall (MMiller) was brought onto the team, especially due to his experience in survey construction. More discussion was had as to the best approach for the trade-offs phase and its associated survey, with Danny (DannyH) and Marshall working on a more focused approach this coming Friday. Values-based and hard trade-off questions may be incorporated into the updated version. Values-based questions could help in defining and supporting any future decisions to show how those decisions match with the community's feedback.

In order to remain transparent, future thought is to show how enabling certain most-desired features might affect the current iteration of communication tools. For instance, enabling VE, seeing how it functions merely by turning it on, and then examining publicly what would need to be done in order to get it to function correctly. Could it be done with how things function now with only a few tweaks? Or is the task so large that it would require a new system altogether?

Spanish and Arabic WP are joining in the TPC discussion. There remains concern about newcomers and how best to rest then in order to elicit responses. To that end, Benoît (Trizek) will be querying the system to determine what users have not only attempted to use Talk pages, but who have less than 500 edits, to invite them to share their experience on this main discussion page. Education programs have already been invited with no result, so Marshall is going to reach out directly to Sage Ross for assistance in touching bases with beginners about talk pages. Sherry (Whatamidoing) will also be sending out individual emails for similar groups since on-wiki outreach has done little; while creating fully fleshed out responses might not be of interest to those contacted, perhaps some sort of short survey could help in getting some data. Likert scale satisfaction-type survey via Qualtrics perhaps. This could also be expanded to include just about everyone who might be interested in providing feedback. Due to the internal weakness of such a survey, however, that idea is shelved for now.

Because the project has now moved into the feedback stage, the main TPC page should not only be updated to reflect that, but also provide clear direction for how and where interested parties can now leave their thoughts. Beginning to host conversations at this juncture means communities won't have time to complete that before the deadline of April 6th, so that should also be removed. Trevor had an email set up for feedback, so Danny (DannyH) will take over that aspect. For groups and individual feedback, Danny is going to set up a landing page.

Danny will also talk with Aubrie and get FB conversations set up, talk with Jack who built the house on Russian about their Telegram group, talk with Ed Sanders about VE and talk pages, and talk with Roan and Moriel to see if there is any documentation about the future evolution of SD/Flow.

March 13, 2019[edit]

The team has noticed that there are a number of wikis that, though they have an initial invitation to participate in consultation, have remained silent thus far. For some wikis, it may be a matter of lack of advertising to their user base. A concerted effort should be made to draw them into the discussion; to that end, the team will reach out to individual users on those wikis that could help start the discussion. As well, those communities may benefit from a survey in order to generate some sort of feedback. Different wiki and individual voices are still very much an important part of the consultation. Due to the number of wikis and the need for translations, however, the team may focus on the 10 largest wikis (in terms of active editors).

For groups involved in emerging communities, the message should be tailored somewhat to their community, in the sense that the team is seeking their input as it relates to their particular needs and context, i.e. conflict resolution, specialized needs, tech support. These lists need to be either cleaned or created, which should be done by the end of the week.

The number of wikis in these lists will be quite large, so an effort will be made to pull in as much help as possible in posting to them, including finding existing contacts on those wikis and pulling in other WMF people.

When the trade-offs survey is created, it needs to be translated into multiple languages. Tentative launch date: April 15, so needs to go to translators at least a week in advance. Discussion is ongoing about specific questions (values, features, etc.) and format of the survey itself. On concern is that answers may be skewed, especially depending on ranking values.

March 6, 2019[edit]

While the action items are moving along at a great pace, there is some concern that the majority of feedback gathered so far has come from more experienced users. Certainly that feedback is invaluable, but solely relying on one perspective defeats the intention of casting as wide a net as possible to gain a variety of feedback and perspectives. Some of this is mitigated with an upcoming in-person questionnaire provided by Benoît (Trizek) for this Friday's summit in France. It will further be mitigated by reaching out via social media; a plan is still in the stages of formulation. There is some archival feedback to go through related to Flow, and Danny (DannyH) will reach out to see if there is user test data anywhere else.

A point that resurfaced was with users providing very ephemeral feedback (i.e. I hate this) rather than points that could be brought to the designers that are both actionable and have support. Continued efforts will be made to reach out to communities to both clarify that we need this sort of explanation (whether pro or con x tool) and potentially reach out to individuals to ask for such clarification.

Regarding edit-a-thon organizers, Trevor performed outreach via email and most team members will be receiving those replies.

The team has noted there are some user-created tools and scripts that have addressed some issues with communication tools, such as on the Russian wiki. When they're found, the team should investigate how many people use those tools and potentially reach out to their authors.

February 2019[edit]

Feb 27, 2019[edit]

Date for communities to turn in their summaries has been set to April 6, 2019.

In light of ongoing community discussions, it seems some editors are simply stating whether they like or dislike a feature. While their opinions certainly matter, the TPC group has to also obtain the reasons behind opinions in order for them to become an actionable item ("use case") for the designers. To that end, an effort needs to be made to reach out to communities hosting those discussions to ensure that reason are also included. Since the team would be reaching out anyway, it might also be good to do intermittent check-ins just to see how conversations are going and provide any other feedback as it becomes necessary.

Some current discussions have pointed out that a purposeful barrier to entry for talk page participation might not be altogether a bad thing, as it can help to filter out undesirable editors. There are arguments from both points of view, so having further discussion on this matter is warranted and may be included as part of the above check-in/guidance.

Users for various reasons may not want to use the current talk page discussions to provide feedback. Some capable editors across sites simply do not use them as a regular means of communication, while others may not feel comfortable doing so due to skill level or just sharing their opinions publicly. Multiple other avenues will be pursued to reach out to those folks as well, via an email address to leave feedback and Wikipedia's Facebook page. This further fleshes out the pool of respondents to include as many diverse populations as possible. Further, consideration should be made to reach out to those adding their communities to the tools in use page.

Something that may be of particular use, especially in the trade-offs/prioritization phase, is to use a polling engine like Qualtrics to gauge user interest in proposed features. Any questions would ideally be translated well ahead of time.

For edit-a-thon organizers, an email will be drafted and sent that invites them to participate in the conversation. Should also ask what the best way is for them to participate. In order to avoid potentially sharing email addresses between groups, will make sure the recipients are bcc. Recipients would also be able to respond directly to the team if they wanted to provide feedback in that way. If needed, that feedback would be anonymized and posted. A subpage of the TPC project will also be created for them to post in.

Though a message was sent to the EN teahouse page, individual teahouse hosts will now be contacted. Further clarification will be included to indicate that conversations may happen across platforms/sites. Mailing Lists need to be looked into and a list generated for those contacted. Chapters and Affiliates need invitations sent.

Feb 20, 2019[edit]

The Announcement message has been rewritten to be more of a call to action, which helps communities know what steps they need to take to be involved with this discussion. Ambassadors are being asked to review the announcement and provide translations, which have already been done in almost a dozen languages. If there are no issues, the plan is for mass distribution of the announcement tomorrow (2/21).

Due to multiple global initiatives already utilizing the banner feature, that will not launch this week. After Benoît's (Trizek) talk with Seddon, it seems the earliest the banner will launch would be March 4th.

Benoît and Sherry (Whatamidoing) both have outlets for posting the announcement, though social media will be more complicated and take a greater amount of time. The Communication page will list all such avenues, preferably with when outreach will be done and by whom, as well as keeping track of when outreach has been performed. The page is in the earliest stage of development and needs to be revamped. In terms of social media accounts, we need to reach out to see who has the official WMF Facebook and Twitter accounts and get them to post.

A post-mortem page has been constructed trying to tie together all the feedback and suggestions for Talk pages, Flow, and LiquidThreads. This will be added to as more information comes in; for now, each bullet point should link to the appropriate reference from where it was lifted. Sherry will also be posting a subpage about the history of Discussions Systems, which should be live by tomorrow.

In terms of the TPC discussion itself, Danny (DannyH) will be heading up responses for now, focusing on those comments that need direct replies while using the "thank" system to acknowledge others. If the conversation becomes too long and complex, others may step into this role as well. There is also consideration of having users make their own sections on the page to leave feedback, but this would happen if/or once the page becomes too long.

Due to the growing amount of subpages, some sort of navigation will be placed on this page by the end of the day to insure people have access to all information.

Feb 14, 2019[edit]

The scope of this week's meetings was primarily around how to announce the TPC project and to whom. A wide net is the most desirable that reflects a varied array of user experience levels and wikis. As such, there isn't one method of communication about the TPC project that will work across the board. The following was proposed:

  • Potential "soft" launch this week of the announcement, reaching out to teahouses, newcomer groups, and niche communities. This is partly due to launching late in the week, as the preference is to be on-hand to respond to comments as much as possible. This is also because the more wide-spread banner will not launch until next week at the earliest.
    • Ambassadors from niche communities may be asked to disseminate the announcement to their communities.
    • Sherry (Whatamidoing) will handle outreach to some, such as GLAM/edu.
    • For third-party MW sites, may have yo reach out for a mailing list
  • The banner, as mentioned, will hopefully launch at the beginning of next week and last for a week, as is the typical lifespan of banners.
    • Benoît (Trizek) may have to schedule a meeting with Seddon in order to get this posted earlier rather than later.
  • A more aggressive communications push will happen in the coming week focusing more on Village Pumps.
  • Tracking of outreach will be kept on the communications subpage.
  • A live "office hours" event might be of some use, so will give it a try at some point (TBD). If it goes well, will keep doing it, but if not, will shelve. This would likely take the form of a YouTube stream paired with an IRC channel for chat.

Feb 5, 2019[edit]

We're excited to overhaul this page and present more information about how this talk page consultation will work over the next several months! Have a read of this project page, which includes information the structure, timeline, and decision-making criteria. To shape this documentation we've discussed this consultation with Wikimedia Foundation staff: both executive leadership as well as an open staff working group. We want this process to be aware of the past while pragmatically working toward the future, allowing for all voices to be heard equally.

See the § Participate section above to get started and help us make this a successful endeavor. Thank you! 🚀

January 2019[edit]

Jan 2, 2019 (part 2)[edit]

Okay, more updates. Danny (DannyH) met with folks from Community Relations the week before holiday break -- Benoît (Trizek) will be the primary person working on the project, with support from Sherry (Whatamidoing) and others.

We're currently putting together a staffing plan for the project, starting with a list of roles that we need people to fill. This will include a logistics manager, keeping track of the schedule and deliverables -- probably a part-time contractor that we'll hire.

We'll also need people to:

  • organize and update the documentation
  • lead the writing of the post-mortems on LiquidThreads and Flow
  • reach out to wikis and user groups
  • facilitate conversations (multiple wikis and languages, on-wiki and off)
  • collect, summarize and publish notes and takeaways from discussions
  • synthesize themes and produce deliverables for each phase

Those are big tasks, and each will probably be filled by multiple people -- hopefully, a mix of staff, contractors and volunteers. We'll discuss this some more internally, and then put out a call for folks to fill various roles.

Some of the action items coming up include:

  • Define the overall consultation structure, scope and intended output
  • Establish the structure for project pages and documentation
  • Define a code of conduct for the consultation
  • Identify wikis, languages and user groups to reach out to

We're also talking about how to define participation guildelines and a code of conduct for the consultations, so that everyone feels comfortable participating.

That's what we're discussing right now, more info and updates will be coming.

Jan 2, 2019[edit]

Coming back after holiday break, catching up and making plans!

Danny (DannyH) posted the notes from the second staff working group meeting: Talk pages consultation 2019/Staff working group notes#November 29, 2018. Major points include:

  • Medium-term goals: what do we want by the end of the consultation process? The idea is "rough consensus" (actual definition TBD) that we have a product direction that a team can start experimenting with, ideally by July but not bound to that deadline. Major points will be settled -- are we building one thing, or two? is it building something new, or modifying something that exists?
  • Staffing plan: Danny and Benoît (Trizek) will work with Community Relations Specialists, and Toby and Maggie, to define staffing requirements. We will have money to hire a contractor, we need a plan & a job description to begin that process.
  • Post-mortems: We'll need to gather documentation and research on talk pages, Flow and LiquidThreads, and do post-mortems on previous projects. We discussed possible approaches to this; it's still an important open question.
  • Defining stakeholders, and how to reach them: We have a commitment to the 2030 movement strategy, and the Knowledge Equity goal is especially relevant to this project. We need to build tools that break down barriers for diverse communities. That means we have an obligation to include small wikis and big wikis, people who currently use wiki talk pages and people who currently use off-wiki communication tools. We're not building tools for "everyone in the world," but we are building for everyone who wants to contribute to our projects.

Danny (DannyH) also talked the week before Christmas with Benoît, Erica and Quim; notes & action items from those discussions coming soon.

November 2018[edit]

Nov 12, 2018[edit]

Something to think about: it's clear from discussions on the talk page and in the working group meeting that documenting the past projects is going to be an important part of this process. People want post-mortems, so that we can learn from the past. The question is: how do we assemble that material, knowing that there are varying perspectives on those events? Nemo says on the talk page: "Before asking the community to provide yet another round of feedback on the topic, it would be good to make sure that you have complete knowledge and unbiased summaries of what you already got in the past, which is plenty." Is there such a thing as an unbiased summary of the Flow & LQT projects?

The thing that I (DannyH) would like to avoid is creating opportunities for people to re-fight old battles, bringing up missteps and old accusations, and leaving us stuck in the past. At the same time, we can't act like this is magically a fresh start, and that nothing in the past still matters. One thing that occurs to me is that rather than try to fashion a single "unbiased summary", we assemble a collection of people's points of view -- essays that express what each individual wants us to learn from the previous projects. I'd be interested to know what other people think.

Nov 9, 2018[edit]

We had the first staff working group meeting for this project yesterday, with 14 people attending. See Talk pages consultation 2019/Staff working group notes. Here's a summary:

This was an introductory meeting, the first time that most of the attendees had talked about the project and goal. There was no structured agenda, just an introduction, and then conversation ran in various overlapping paths. The conversation moved from big picture questions about how we run the whole project to some precise comments about specific technical ideas that we should consider. The next working group meeting, which will happen the week after Thanksgiving (Nov 26-30), will have a more defined agenda, as we start to put a plan together. We also need a dedicated note-taker. :)

In the last five minutes, we did a free-writing exercise to come up with next steps, and questions to consider. Some of the important things that came up:

Documentation is going to be a big deal. We need to collect and/or generate:

  • existing workflows & use cases for talk pages (a lot of this exists already)
  • non-communication use cases for talk pages
  • how different wikis use off-wiki communication
  • post-mortems on the Flow and LiquidThreads projects, with lessons learned

We also need to create a structure for that documentation, so that people can add and organize information.

We need to list key stakeholders, and make a plan to reach them.

A framework for the project is starting to come together -- documentation, outreach, generating ideas and opinions, then finding ways to cluster those ideas and start discussing tradeoffs. We need to talk to Design Research about how this kind of project is done.

Nov 8, 2018[edit]

We moved this project page from Meta to Mediawiki, on the advice of the Community Relations Specialists, who say that this wiki is used by more people. Mediawiki uses Flow on its talk pages, but using Flow for this consultation would send the wrong message. :) This page's talk page is a regular wikitext page.

There will be a lot of subpages for this page, and creating a new subpage will give it a Flow talk page. We can turn those back into wikitext talk pages by using Special:ChangeContentModel. That tool is only accessible to people with admin rights; we'll see how that goes and if we need to change that system.

Nov 5, 2018[edit]

The Community Wishlist Survey is currently running, and as usual, there are a number of proposals that relate to talk pages. Community Tech won't work on any talk-page-related projects next year, because the changes to talk pages will be determined by the talk pages consultation, and not through the Wishlist Survey. So -- fully aware of the irony here -- Danny (DannyH) is going to reject those proposals and take them out of the Wishlist Survey.

But obviously, those proposals -- and the discussions happening under each one -- are a part of this project, and we shouldn't lose the ideas, the information or the enthusiasm that people are bringing to those conversations. Danny is going to list and link them all here, so they can be part of the record of this process.

  • Implement widespread autoarchiving: "WMF should provide community talk page archive bots, with a view to eventually assuming community bot responsibilities. WMF should provide an easy prompt to implement autoarchiving on talk pages (eg duration, number of remaining posts, and desired archive box)." Proposed by Tom (LT).
  • Release VE on Talk pages: "Currently VE is disabled on talk pages without any proper reason. This makes editing, especially for new users, more complicated. It would help a lot with regards for help to n00bs, if all wikipages could be edited in the same way. Now there is an artificial and not technically necessary Division between the article and the talk page." Proposed by Sänger, who also submitted a similar proposal in last year's survey: Release VE on Talk pages 2017. There's discussion on that page too.
  • Renovate all discussion pages - they won't be a wikipages: "turn on talks without wiki-technology in all talkpages (non-multiple-namespaces). Discussions will be like as comments on http://4pda.ru, http://habr.com or other sites with same design of comments. It is simple, laconic and functional. But don't loss the templates with {}, they will work. Ye, it's a rocket science. Renovate all mechanics of discussions! But... Really, we are the most popular site in the Internet, why we will look like a Soviet tractor? We will look like Yandex, Google and other top sites. Don't be a dinosaur!" Proposed by Фред-Продавец звёзд.
  • Reply link for talk pages: "New editors often have trouble understanding how to reply to comments on talk pages, or signing their messages, etc. Especially for editors used to the Visual editor, using talk pages and the conventions of using repeated colons is clearly confusing to new editors. We need a reply link functionality added to each comment, to make it easier for IPs and new editors to reply to comments on talk pages. While Flow was a disaster because it didn't integrate well with the current system in use, there is a much easier solution in the form of a current user script ( ) which could be implemented globally to great effect." Proposed by Insertcleverphrasehere.
  • Link permanence and archiving: "Discussions on Wikipedia can be quite hard to track, this is especially true for those that took place at least a little while ago. This problem is partly caused because after a while most discussions are moved to archives, which immediately breaks links to sections. Currently to find the linked section, you'll have to extract the link from the URL and then dig your way through archives with the search function and CTRL+F. Doing this for multiple links is very time consuming and when you look at it again at another occasion you'll have to dive in the archives once again. Simplifying this would be especially useful for non-power users who don't know how to adequately search archives. One solution might be when clicking on a link to a section that no longer exists, it no longer redirects to the page but to the search page which includes both the original page as well as the title of the subheading. Of course this would exclude links to articles in the main namespace." Proposed by Kippenvlees1.
  • Make individual threads watchable: "The ability to "watch" individual talk page or forum threads, and receive notifications when people post to those threads, is required for use on forum pages with many active threads, such as the month-by-month sub-pages of https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Wiktionary:Tea_room, for example. The way it presently works is hopeless. If, like me, you participate in multiple threads over a period of time, there is apparently at the moment no feasible way of discovering when someone has posted a reply to a specific thread (unless the poster explicitly "pings" you, which usually does not happen), short of checking each one individually, which is clearly infeasible on a regular basis, or subscribing to the whole page and being deluged with irrelevant notifications." Proposed by Mihia.

Nov 4, 2018[edit]

This was Danny's (DannyH) scratch page of ideas for a while; it's now in a form that looks like a real project page, so this becomes a "we" project instead of an "I" project. The first staff working group meeting will happen soon, and we'll talk about what we need to do to get started. The working group meeting will be well-documented, with on-wiki meeting notes. Part of the discussion will include how to get users involved in the working group.

October 2018[edit]

Oct 8, 2018[edit]

An interesting touchpoint on transparency and traceability, recommended to me by Peter Pelberg: Transparency Is the New Objectivity.

"You can see this in newspapers’ early push-back against blogging. We were told that bloggers have agendas, whereas journalists give us objective information. Of course, if you don’t think objectivity is possible, then you think that the claim of objectivity is actually hiding the biases that inevitably are there. That’s what I meant when, during a bloggers press conference at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, I asked Pulitzer-prize winning journalist Walter Mears whom he was supporting for president. He replied (paraphrasing!), “If I tell you, how can you trust what I write?,” to which I replied that if he doesn’t tell us, how can we trust what he blogs?
"So, that’s one sense in which transparency is the new objectivity. What we used to believe because we thought the author was objective we now believe because we can see through the author’s writings to the sources and values that brought her to that position. Transparency gives the reader information by which she can undo some of the unintended effects of the ever-present biases. Transparency brings us to reliability the way objectivity used to." (David Weinberger, Joho the Blog)

Oct 3, 2018[edit]

One of the big concerns that the working group will have to figure out is the possibility that a small group of very active people will dominate the discussion, and less active/more quiet people will be left out. I think one answer to this problem is to not have one single discussion -- but instead have a constellation of different inputs and bring that together.

Oct 2, 2018[edit]

It's time to get this page into a real shape, and turn it into a project page that we can use. It's now the beginning of October; we'll need to form a staff working group and start to plan. Right now, I'm going to write down all the random notes that I've jotted down, and then organize the page.

  • Working groups: We start with a staff working group, to figure out how to structure the process. There are a lot of things to figure out, listed below.
    • When and how can we invite people from the community to be part of the planning process?
    • Full documentation of the process starts with the first staff working group meeting. How do we record things?
    • Bringing people into the conversation who care about the new user experience
    • Hosting conversations in multiple languages
    • Hosting conversations at meetups & regional conferences
    • Designing for mobile as well as desktop
    • Looking at communication that currently happens off-wiki
    • Also: questioning the decisions that have been made so far.
  • Principles of the team
    • Traceability and transparency for all conversations and decisions.
    • Respect for all participants.
    • Sincere desire to learn.
  • The 2 problems with the Flow process that led to trouble:
    • Making decisions outside of the public view, deciding on tradeoffs that we didn't have consensus on.
    • The desire to solve everything with one tool. This is not necessarily the right answer, we may need different tools for different kinds of conversations.
  • Traceability: writing down notes and summarizing each step, making those notes and summaries public, and then making sure that the next part of the conversation begins with the summary of the previous conversations -- without taking ideas out, or making priority decisions outside of the public view.
  • The goal of the consultation, part 1: A clear direction, by June 2019, so a product team can start working on the feature(s) in July. That means an understanding of the different options, with pros and cons, an understanding of the tradeoffs, and a rough consensus that we can start testing and designing and experimenting with.
  • The goal of the consultation, part 2: Trust, broadly construed.
  • Measurement: How do we measure the quality of communication that we want, as well as the quantity? It's easy to come up with quantitative goals for this project -- more people, more conversations, more messages. It's also important to build something that supports intelligent, thoughtful conversation rather than chatter.

Sept 25, 2018[edit]

Two problems with the way Flow was introduced: #1) it was presented as a fully-baked concept, #2) it was going to be one tool that worked for all use cases (with modifications). We should approach this consultation with the expectation that different use cases may require different tools. The many conversations about indentation depth were a proxy for whether the tool was going to work for big, complex conversations too.

August 2018[edit]

Aug 9, 2018[edit]

A good idea from Sydney P. in an Anti-Harassment Tools meeting -- she's had success bringing people into the discussions about per-page blocking tools using Twitter. Surprisingly, a notice at the top of the Special:Block page didn't work, but social media did. We should make sure we use various social media platforms to bring more people into these discussions.

Aug 6, 2018[edit]

Something to think about: lots of people that we met at Wikimania from non-English wikis use social media to communicate with other users -- Facebook messaging, WhatsApp, Google Groups. Why are people using these services, rather than wiki talk pages? We're not going to "win" by making a better chat platform than Facebook; they've pretty much nailed what they do well. But we should explore why people use off-wiki communication systems -- what features are people looking for?

A similar question: on big wikis, I think there's some contention around on-wiki conversation about content vs conversation that's personal and not specifically wiki-related. This is an important area to explore: what are we optimizing for? Marshall (MMiller) knows examples of languages where the conversations shift naturally from wiki to personal and back to wiki. If we make it easier for people to make friends on wiki, then they'll want to be able to get to know each other, without getting slapped for going off-topic.

Filed a ticket for Community Relations support: phab:T201375. Includes a rough timeline, as follows: In September, we'll put a cross-functional working group together and plan the structure of the consultation. Plans will take shape over the course of a few months, including gathering input from various communities on the proposed structure. The first phase of the actual consultation will start in January/February 2019, and will probably run until June. First steps on this ticket will be conversations between Danny (DannyH) and CRs, to figure out the pre-planning and source the cross-functional working group.

July 2018[edit]

July 21, 2018[edit]

From conversations at Wikimania: Let's say (for the sake of argument, not a proven fact) that Flow was "better" at one-to-one user talk and project talk conversations, but not "better" at big complex discussions like RfCs. It should be a principle of our work that anything we build needs to be demonstrably better than current wikitext talk for that specific use case. If there's no difference between the current tool and a new tool that we build, then we might as well leave the current tool the way it is. This should apply to each use case.

Also, we obviously need a consensus on what "better" means. That should be part of an early stage (first or second).

July 18, 2018[edit]

Creating this project page, so I can talk to people about the project at Wikimania.

June 11, 2018[edit]

Talked to Guillaume, who worked on the 2017 Wikimedia Movement Strategy process. The talk pages consultation will be much smaller -- we're not setting up live conferences in various countries. But the big picture is similar -- bringing together a lot of disparate communities, to generate, distill and prioritize ideas, so that everyone's ideas are heard, and we come to a consensus that everyone can support.

People participated because we don't know what it was going to be. First - very open - what will the world look like? People could opt out and go next time. People need some open space, could be completely divergent. Finding commonalities, summarizing -- end up with a list of findings to cluster. Take out irrelevant stuff, cluster everything if you can.

Resources? 19 starting coordinators: 16 with one primary language community, 3 with a few more communities. Get input from not just the usual suspects. Community could have a discussion in their own language and their own style -- coordination was the link between discussion and the central process.

Assuage fears that everything is on the table. Start with difficulties you have in communicating with each other, rather than difficulty with a tool. We want to help the communities, and not just build a tool we want to impose on them.

Traceability is key. The end of one cycle links up with the discussion of the next cycle. People should be able to trace back, go back through the process to see where an idea came from. This gives credibility.

Process advisory committee improves the process, gives legitimacy. Document these discussions, post detailed notes.

One of the outcomes is building trust, the process is also a goal. Had to move slowly sometimes to make sure people are heard. Clear roles and responsibilities, having regular retrospectives facilitated by someone not on the team.

Don't get attached to the baby you're creating. Be more attached to the process.

Be clear -- is this going to be one thing in the end, or multiple based on local communities? Is this something that you have to get on every wiki?

Have some non-negotiable principles, as the basis of discussion. A red line that we won't cross. Not too many.

First agree on the principles of the process.

The whole movement includes people who aren't yet part of the movement.

Coordinators asked communities when and where they wanted to be included -- some on their own wiki, some preferred on Meta because the village pump was for internal business. Give people as many ways to be consulted, without overwhelming people. Mailing list, weekly message, monthly message -- give people opportunities to set their own appetite for information.

Groups to include: chapters and usergroups. Especially user groups who do training, editathons. They can facilitate discussions with volunteer communities. Summarize conversations and document on wiki.