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Submissions/Q & A the other way: Meet the Erasmus laureates

After careful consideration, the Programme Committee has decided not to accept the below submission at this time. Thank you to the author(s) for participating in the Wikimania 2015 programme submission, we hope to still see you at Wikimania this July.

Submission no.
Title of the submission
Q & A the other way: Meet the Erasmus laureates
Type of submission
(panel) discussion
Author of the submission
E-mail address
Country of origin
Affiliation, if any (organisation, company etc.)
Personal homepage or blog
Abstract (at least 300 words to describe your proposal)

Last Wikimania's end was the starting point of the superprotect affair which effectively destroyed the mutual trust between the volunteers/editors/contributors/wikipedians on the one side and the WMF staff/programmers/board on the other side.

Q & A (for "questions and answers") slots usually give the volunteers an opportunity to address their questions, troubles, worries, etc. to those who are in a position of responsibility. Another contact zone between these two groups of people is on meta, where requests for comment, evalution forms, and not least Lila's talk page are increasingly utilized to address concerns or to gather opinions. In the perception of many volunteers these online communication tools are, however, not sufficiently taken use of by those in responsibility, who seem to avoid statements on the matters many community members regard as the very delicate ones. Evalution forms, requests for comment etc. launched by WMF affiliates, however, are constantly criticized for missing the point or for having a perspective and target the volunteers and contributors do not share. Altogether, many community members feel as if their concerns were completely ignored and not shared or recognized at all in Frisco.

One specific zone of conflict between the decision-makers and the users is software development, exemplified not only by superprotect implementation, but also by media viewer, visual editor, open phabricator tasks already approaching their teenage years, toolserver and labs. The impression that new software is often something fancy but buggy, but only in some cases something helpful for everyday users and working right away, has manifested itself.

Community members more and more feel abandoned and betrayed by the leaders of the movement, "fuck the community, who cares" seems to them to be more than an inconsiderate statement. While in the announcement of the 2015 winner of the Erasmus Prize the collaborative aspect was clearly stressed, in reality the collaboration between board, WMF staff and volunteers and pulling together for a better future requires drastic improvements.

Among the attendees I have asked about their impressions at Wikimanias many, including my humble self, mentioned that the conference seems not really to be made and meant for contributors of content. This panel alone, of course, won't change that completely, but it aims to provide an environment where things can be discussed on a level playing field. These things shall be brought into the discussion by volunteers just as much as by developers, staff, board members, founders, or whoever wants to meet and have a word with those who spend their time building up what Wikipedia is actually reknown for.

  • WikiCulture & Community
  • (possibly also fitting in Technology, Interface & Infrastructure)
Length of session (if other than 30 minutes, specify how long)
45 minutes
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?
Slides or further information (optional)
Special requests
no video recording

Interested attendees

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  1. Slowking4 (talk) 03:23, 1 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  2. Ghilt (talk) 20:17, 1 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  3. DerHexer (talk) 20:57, 1 March 2015 (UTC) Neutral.[reply]
  4. As a mostly neutral party. CT Cooper · talk 22:14, 2 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  5. --Claudia.Garad (talk) 12:26, 9 April 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  6. Add your username here.