Talk:Strategy consultation

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This is the primary discussion space for the WMUK Strategy, agreed 08/03/2014

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Much of the consultation feedback was taken through the individual talk pages of the documents. The Strategy consultation letter summarises that feedback, and our responses and actions arising from the consultation process. On the 8th of March 2014 the board voted on, and approved, the strategy as amended following the consultation process. The comments on the talk pages of the individual documents can still be seen in the page histories, but to avoid confusion I've redirected those pages to here to direct people in the first instance to the Strategy consultation letter. Of course any further points can be raised on this page, although the consultation period itself is over and the strategy now approved by the board. Sjgknight (talk) 11:33, 9 March 2014 (UTC)

Quality and quantity

Looking at the strategy monitoring plan, I notice the following are under "G1.2 The quality of Open Knowledge continues to improve".

  • Number of new articles started on a Wikimedia site (eg any of the encyclopedias), excluding Welsh Wicipedia
  • Number of new articles started on Welsh Wicipedia inspired by WMUK

Would they not be better under "G1.1 The quantity of Open Knowledge continues to increase"?

Yaris678 (talk) 19:59, 1 May 2014 (BST)

We take it that new articles are an indicator of increasing coverage - a quality indicator. The content added is covered under G1.1 Sjgknight (talk) 20:08, 1 May 2014 (BST)
Sorry, this is a very strange answer to Yaris' question. Measuring quantity is by definition a measurement of quantity. A measurement of quality must be qualitative, such as increased depth or range of a subject area, or improvement in article quality, say by moving stubs into 'B' class articles. Going from 300 articles on a subject to 400 does not mean that quality is 30% better, for example a bot could create 100 basic stubs to deliver that quantity. -- (talk) 21:07, 1 May 2014 (BST)
Counting articles moving from stub to 'A' is also quantitative. We're not saying this is a perfect measurement, it's a proxy, but it is something we think worth measuring (and a relatively easy measure to capture). This is a way of us creating proxy indicators, and targets, for quality. You're quite right it is of course more complex (and "30% better" will always be open for debate); we hope to develop more sophisticated indicators, e.g. Technology Committee/Project requests/WikiRate - rating Wikimedia Sjgknight (talk) 21:14, 1 May 2014 (BST)

It says in the table that it is a proxy too. But what is it a proxy for? Increased coverage of a thing (e.g. a TV Show) might mean that thing has a higher quality... but it doesn't say anything about the quality of open knowledge. Yaris678 (talk) 10:41, 2 May 2014 (BST)

It's a proxy for quality.... If new articles are created and 'survive', we can assume that coverage has been expanded and that basic notability requirements were met. We're looking at whether this sort of survival metric (WikiTrust) can be used on an individual contribution level too, but the 'article creation' case is an easier one. Note the quality here is not necessarily the articles themselves - that would require edit level analysis, it's that increased coverage improves the quality of open knowledge (or the encyclopaedia) in general, would you disagree with that? I'm very happy to discussion this, but I would note we did put out requests for comment prior to agreeing these goals and concerns were not raised at that time. Sjgknight (talk) 10:47, 2 May 2014 (BST)
Yes, comments were invited. However as the strategy was presented as a done deal after being prepared in-camera, I found that there was significant resistance to new ideas or making any significant improvement, such as making measurements more realistic and meaningful that could help trustees monitor the performance of the charity, that I just gave up on the process after being rebuffed a few times. No doubt this is a problem with the consultation with members that exists in my head, what with having "an ability to lose friends alienate people which is almost unparalleled" according to your respected fellow trustee.
The working Chapter solution, as we have been advised on the Engine room, is that when the official performance targets are not met, rather than seeing this as a "non-success" of Operations, the trustees will accept a narrative as an authoritative statement of successful performance instead. Most organizations that are so concerned about PR that they always re-frame non-success into success stories have a problem with learning and improvement, often waiting until there is such a high level external-facing radical incident, that they are forced to break the pattern rather than managing the change needed. -- (talk) 11:29, 2 May 2014 (BST)
That is not an accurate framing of what I said on the engine room. For clarity, so there is no misunderstanding through poor rephrasing, what I said on the engine room is here. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 12:27, 2 May 2014 (BST)
@Sjgknight
  1. If I understand your words, you are saying that "number of new articles started" is a proxy measure of the quality of the articles created, because if a poor article was created it would be removed. If this is the case, the words need to be tightened up. An article that was created and then deleted might still be counted as "started", depending on who is doing the counting.
  2. In terms of when is an appropriate time for such comments:
    1. Remember you a dealing with volunteers who give time when they have it, rather than when is most convenient for others.
    2. If comments result in a decision to make a big change, there is nothing wrong in saving that change until then next time that is convenient.
    3. In this case, it looks like the solution is just to tighten up some words. If that is the case then I think that can be implemented now without causing any disruption to the operation of the charity.
Yaris678 (talk) 13:37, 2 May 2014 (BST)
On the second point - yes absolutely. On the first, almost. What I'm saying is 'new articles' are a proxy indicator for an improvement of the encyclopaedia in general (rather than the articles themselves) assuming that those articles are not deleted. I'd need to check how we deal with this at the moment, but longevity/survival is a reasonable control which on the article level ought not be too complex for us to implement. For individual edits, at the moment, survival probably is more complex than we can address. The issue re: counting method is an interesting one and you're right we need to have some system here (we may do, as I say, I'd need to check) so we don't count in different ways at different times, there will still be flaws (the article deleted after 6 months and a day, or whatever) but for a broad indicator this is to be expected. Does that allay your concerns? Sjgknight (talk) 14:13, 2 May 2014 (BST)
This does allay my concerns and it sounds like everything is in hand. Just one thing that might need clarfifying: if the number of new articles are to be seen as a proxy for improvement of the encyclopedia in general, couldn't we say something similar for new images improving commons? i.e. how do we differentiate between a measure of quality and a measure of quantity? Are we saying that both G1.1 and G1.2 are measures of the same thing: content? Yaris678 (talk) 17:37, 30 May 2014 (BST)
@Yaris678: Ok great. G.1 and G.2 are both content indicators. However, I think our view is that: 1) the more inclusive nature of commons (in contrast to the new article requirements in Wikipedia) and 2) the need for new articles to be on new topics (while images might be varying images of the same subject - this isn't to say that's a bad/poor quality contribution, but it's much harder to capture that value) both suggest something a bit different about adding articles to adding images, and that difference is around improving quality (inc. coverage). For sure this is an operationalisation decision, it's certainly not perfect, but as above, I think it's defensible to include new articles as an indicator for quality, than just counting that content as more 'quantity'. The cases this fails on are, for example, where images are uploaded of items we currently have no image for. In such cases, though, I guess we'd anticipate those images then going on to illustrate articles (which we do capture as a quality indicator). Sjgknight (talk) 18:02, 30 May 2014 (BST)
Thanks. I understand the thinking behind these categories now. Yaris678 (talk) 14:37, 1 June 2014 (BST)