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Topic on Talk:Collaboration/Workflows

Looking forward to this!

Wittylama (talkcontribs)

It's been several months since Wikimania, but I just wanted to come here and say that your introduction of the 'Workflows' project in Mexico was a personal highlight. Not only do I agree that giving these kinds of community-created processes (that have arisen organically to fill the needs of the project) some design and software-development attention would make them easier to participate in, but I believe it will also have important flow-on effects...

  1. Simplifying the procedures required to maintain workflows like AfD on english Wikipedia will help decrease the bureaucratic workload on those people who undertake those tasks. This will reduce stress in general and also enable those people to be more efficient with their time. They are key people for the community's health after-all.
  2. Making the processes themselves easier to understand and interact with, will decrease their 'intimidation factor' and increase the number of people who are willing to contribute to the discussions themselves. By definition this will also increase the diversity of people contributing and the diversity of their views.

What I'm trying to say is that I think this project, if successful, would have a very real and important impact on broader issues like the gender-gap and declining retention-rates. The current systems have evolved by, and for, the people who use them most. Consequently they reinforce the ability of the existing community who are comfortable with those processes to express their opinions, and unintentionally marginalise newer community members or those who simply couldn't be bothered to work out how to transclude a template etc. I'm not saying that the existing system is designed with malicious intent or to be deliberately confusing - and I think that's where the tone of the presentation at Wikimania went a bit wrong because it made the existing workflow-operators feel like they were being attacked - but I am saying that the existing workflows create a reinforcing cycle of 'in-group' consensus.

So - I'm looking forward to the progress of the Workflow project and would love to help wherever I can.

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