Billabong/Archive 2

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Meeting/resolution updates?

Any chance of an update to the lists of Meetings and Resolutions? It would be nice to be able to keep up with where the committee is at. --99of9 11:37, 22 July 2011 (EST)

We have caught up on publishing all the meetings minutes and have put in place a procedure to always have the minutes published before the public meeting (i.e. within two weeks). There are a lot of resolutions pages which haven't been created, but they should all be found in the minutes. John Vandenberg 19:22, 5 September 2011 (EST)

HideTopContrib copied from en

I have included User:Markhurd/hidetopcontrib.js, copied from en Wikipedia, that allows you to hide contributions where the editor (normally yourself) is the top contributor; i.e. it leaves all edits where there has been a subsequent editor.

To use it, add to your skin's custom JavaScript(JS) page (which can be located with the Appearance tab of Special:Preferences) the following:

// User:Markhurd/hidetopcontrib.js
document.write('<script type="text/javascript" src="' 
            + 'http://www.wikimedia.org.au/w/index.php?title=User:Markhurd/hidetopcontrib.js' 
            + '&action=raw&ctype=text/javascript"></script>');

If you also specify

userHideAllSubsequent=true;

before the above script, it will remove all subsequent edits as well, similar to WatchLists. markhurd 16:47, 28 August 2011 (EST)

I should mention it is not quite as useful as it is on en without Navigation Popups, allowing you to just hover over the hist links to see what the subsequent changes are. And Popups can be introduced remotely (as probably could have my HideTopContribs):
// wikipedia:User:Lupin/popups
importScriptURI("http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=User:Lupin/popups.js&action=raw&ctype=text/javascript");
markhurd 16:59, 28 August 2011 (EST)

Non-member participation

The committee is looking for people to take on a community role of "account approvers" on this wiki. Members and non-members can apply. See Non-member participation for more info. Expression of interests should be sent to committee-at-wikimedia.org.au. The committee will make a decision at the 18 September committee meeting. John Vandenberg 19:26, 5 September 2011 (EST)

The committee minutes have been published at Meeting:Committee_(2011-09-15)#Non-member_participation, and the "account approvers" have been given the necessary permissions.[1] Thank you, John Vandenberg 15:35, 26 September 2011 (EST)

age considersations

Are there any age issues with participation on this wiki. For example, the US law w:COPPA has a few regulations which apply to anyone who is under 13. Does it apply to US citizens using a AUS website? Are there AUS laws about this? We can put any requirements on MediaWiki:Requestaccount-text. --John Vandenberg 19:32, 5 September 2011 (EST)

I did some research years ago for something completely unrelated, and my findings we probably only need to get COPPA details for under-13s in the USA. It doesn't apply to Australian under-13s provided that the website is hosted in and administratively run in Australia (which is true for this wiki). That was a long time ago though and is not a substitute for proper legal advice! Lankiveil 12:17, 11 September 2011 (EST).

Institutional membership

At 2010-2011 AGM we considered changing the rules to allow corporate affiliates. This was narrowly voted down. We have a proposal for Affiliated organisations, however this is designed to cater for small organisations. I would like to propose that we start an proposal for large organisations to become members, where we can look at what benefits/rights they should have. John Vandenberg 17:26, 26 September 2011 (EST)

The Hong Kong Chapter has an institutional membership, where these institutions pay extra and only get one institutional vote. Proposing something similar would probably be ideal. --LauraHale 15:03, 2 October 2011 (EST)

Testing edit access

I, as Mark Hurd (Testing), can currently edit here, but not the talk page. Mark Hurd (Testing) 23:19, 26 September 2011 (EST)

Rules on sidebar

Should we add Rules to the sidebar? It's on the front page, however I've seen the "Constitution"/"Articles of Incorporation"/etc on the sidebar of several chapter wikis. John Vandenberg 21:46, 26 January 2012 (EST)

nov irc meeting?

I wonder if there was an nov. irc meeting? If you know, pipe up :-) Privatemusings 08:56, 9 November 2012 (EST)

I turned up an hour late due to timezone confusion. afaik there was no discussion. John Vandenberg 10:36, 9 November 2012 (EST)

Two new draft proposals

I have started drafting two new proposals aimed to promote contributions to our wiki: User:John Vandenberg/userspace policy and User:John Vandenberg/Suspending the private mailing list. Looking forward to feedback and assistance on developing these so that they are ready for the committee to enact them. John Vandenberg 13:59, 1 December 2012 (EST)

Thank god: please shut down that secret mailing list. Then if they want to keep attacking me, they'll have to do it in public. Tony1 15:43, 1 December 2012 (EST)

New pages

Members, I've started two pages for you to contribute in specific ways:

Please visit! Tony1 18:24, 2 December 2012 (EST)

December 2 IRC transcript

Craig's log has been cleaned and posted at Meeting:Public (2012-12-02). Anyone want to create minutes? ;-) John Vandenberg 23:07, 2 December 2012 (EST)

New Approved proposals category

I suggest we create an Approved proposals category with corresponding changes to the {{Proposal}} template, shifting already approved (and perhaps abandoned?) proposals out of the Proposals category.

Mark Hurd 12:09, 3 December 2012 (EST)

Yes check.svg Done I've gone ahead with this, without addressing abandoned and failed proposals. Mark Hurd 03:19, 4 December 2012 (EST)

Timeline for 2013

Members and board: could I suggest that we develop a timeline/wishlist for the things we know or are fairly certain will happen in 2013?

If we're making an application to round 2 of the FDC, for example, can we work back from the 1 March deadline and put some kind of scheduling in place—what should be done by when (then we might start to volunteer for components)?

Are we going to apply for funding from the GAC?

What else is on the horizon? Tony1 20:32, 3 December 2012 (EST)

revise annual plan is supposed to be published by 1 Feb, ALIA needs volunteers, new rules still need to be addressed, WLM will have needs, be good to see the AGM date set earlier. Gnangarra 23:27, 3 December 2012 (EST)
OK, pity there couldn't be an interim plan before the break. 1 Feb is getting rather close to the FDC deadline. Tony1 20:32, 7 December 2012 (EST)

double log in required

it may just be me - but this wiki has for some time required me to log in twice to edit - first time it simply fails to login, second time it works ok - thought I'd mention it :-) Privatemusings 13:09, 4 December 2012 (EST)

Yep, I've been getting the same thing today. Sam Wilson 17:13, 4 December 2012 (EST)
I had it before but since they changed my user status about a month or so ago it hasnt happened Gnangarra 17:17, 4 December 2012 (EST)
It looks like it's a domain difference: with www vs. without. After logging it to the non-www, we get redirected to www., and are no longer logged in. Sam Wilson 14:44, 5 December 2012 (EST)

Process suggestions

Here are some suggestions for managing our increasing number of projects. In my opinion, it would be good if we could easily find our projects (whether they are under consideration or currently being implemented or are finished and have been reported on), so we can know where they are up to and contribute in a timely manner. If we are going to start on the road towards Wiki Loves Monuments (WLM), for example, we will need a place for these separate things that we can all find and follow - WLM is a year long process.

Project communication and management

The ideal way to manage proposals for projects is to follow a known structured process.

PHASE 1: Propose

We consider the proposal, discuss the big questions such as whether the project is a good idea and fits with our goals. (For example, the three questions I asked about the Winter Sports Project). The discussion will show whether or not to go to the next phase.

PHASE 2: Plan

We determine the project requirements and plan them. (For example, the timeframe, the resources needed (including skills, budget and quality, and whatever else needs planning.)

PHASE 3: Do

We undertake the project (provided it passed the first two phases).

PHASE 4: Report

We submit whatever reports are needed.

PHASE 5: Learn

We consider how it went and document what we learned.

Purpose and extended process

I applied this normal process to the example of planning GLAM events and published it at GLAM Best Practices. The purposes of such a process are: to maximise the efficiency of the project itself (by thinking it through in advance); to be able to get whatever necessary authorisations or funding are needed; (in our case) so we know what is going on; and (in my own case, and perhaps in yours) so I can find where things are. (At the moment, I find it difficult to know where the where the project is, where it is up to and where relevant discussion is.)

A few suggestions

I suggest that we:

  • set up a tab for "projects";
  • use the front page of each proposal for facts about it, and make it clear which phase it is up to;
  • include an end date for Phase 1 to the front page of each proposal so we can all see how much time there before we have to move onto planning;
  • use the discussion page for discussions about each phase of the project and another sub page for "plans" so that plans can be developed as the discussions are proceeding and independently of them.


Whiteghost.ink 16:18, 10 December 2012 (EST)

Agree with pretty much everything you have said. Kerry Raymond 19:26, 10 December 2012 (EST)
Yes, so do I. It would be interesting to take a quick look at how a few other chapters do it, although I'm not suggesting we copy anyone. Tony1 19:36, 10 December 2012 (EST)
I also agree with the above Nick-D 21:05, 10 December 2012 (EST)
Agreed - this looks to me like it would add clarity & efficiency.
Tony1's suggestion to look at other chapters' processes is also a good one. --Chris Watkins 22:12, 17 December 2012 (EST)

Decoupling funding proposals from specific people

I'm interested in people's thoughts on decoupling funding proposals from specific people. That is, a funding proposal says "lets spend about $X doing Y". That proposal is then accepted/rejected on its merits. If it's accepted, then any number of individuals can front up and say "I'm ready, willing and able to do Y and I estimate my costs would be $Z" and decisions can be made, based on the past track record of the individuals, the costs they are seeking, etc.

The benefits of this approach is that we avoid the issue of self-interest in the decision to allocated funding to a goal/activity, and allow an open competition for anyone who was interested, which hopefully would produce a "best value for money" outcome.

The downside is that the process would be longer than the current process (two sets of decisions, committing the funding and then choosing the people).

What do people think? Kerry Raymond 19:35, 10 December 2012 (EST)

I don't have a problem with the idea, but in the past I've applied to, or set up, jobs where the job description was specifically tailored to hire a particular person, so it doesn't necessarily solve the problem. That said, I gather you are proposing running a Request for Tender process once the proposal has been accepted? In which case it makes sense.
As an aside, one of the concerns I've had in the past is that we aren't always sending the right people, in part because the process is tied to the proposer. For some tasks, especially related to photography, we need to either identify the best people to be involved in projects, or work to build up the equipment and skills needed for the people handling the project to take the best advantage of the opportunities. If we are going to fly photographers around Australia and, as it seems to be the case, internationally to get photographs of special events, then we need to build up our skill base so that we can take advantage of what we're doing. This is likely to involve both the purchase of equipment an provision of training. - Bilby 09:07, 11 December 2012 (EST)
If the project needs funding, then that can be added to the proposal page and of course, the funding needs approval. It can be decoupled from the proposer. However...
A caution: what we want to avoid is creating a system where people set up things for OTHER people to do. I am absolutely NOT trying to do is bureaucratise our systems so that approvals are needed for everything. We want to make it easy for people to start an activity, find one or join in. We are are volunteer community. Usually, the best people to do something are the ones interested in it. So, for example, when I set up a project page for an edit-a-thon next year to leverage the European effort, it was because I want to do it and I was trying to make it easy for others to join in. The page also offers a place to collect articles to work on so it's an easy way to plan and prepare. (Apologies for using my own example, but it's quicker for me.) If no one joins, I'll do the best I can, unless work prevents me doing anything at all, in which case, no harm done. This kind of nimbleness is one of the things that is good about Wikimedia work. We need to keep it fun. So, requests for tender should only be when we need to outsource some aspect of a project for which we already have funding approval (catering and auditing spring to mind).
As a way of managing though, projects suit us. The thing to remember about projects is their defining characteristic, which is that they finish. They start, then they end. That suits us as a volunteer community. Approvals, more discussion, and decisions about whether or not to attempt a project are needed when it is big or needs ongoing coordination or requires funding. All these apply to WLM, which has serious and quite complex organisational requirements. In most cases, and as a way of being a group that people might want to join, we just get on with it, using clear project pages and findable discussion pages to show what we are up to.
With regard to our photographer skill base, Bilby is right. These are special skills. For example, what JJ can do is rare and amazing. It would be great to "deploy" our photographers well, highlight their work, and find ways of supporting them to build their skills. While JJ is great at wildlife, for example, who is good at photographing sculpture? How can we develop skills in photographing architecture?
If you think it's a good idea, I will re-jig the WLM project page so that we can separate the discussion from the proposal. Whiteghost.ink 11:51, 11 December 2012 (EST)
Architecture is, fortunately, one of the easier things to take photos of and get good results. Great results are much harder, of course. However, my main areas of concern are probably portraiture and sports photography, because they tend to need more specialised skills and equipment, and are areas we generally lack the people for. Great landscapes and nature photography is equally important, but we have some coverage there with people like JJ. I'd toss in product shots, which is more my area now, but that is easier to train, and has the advantage that you get more than one go at it.
I guess the main issue, going back to what Kerry was saying, is that sometimes people will have great ideas, but we need to ensure that the best people are the ones involved. Often the best people are the proposers, and that's not remotely a bad thing, but sometimes we may need to think more carefully about it, especially with the big ticket items. And sometimes, I think we need to look at spending more that what is in the initial proposal in order to provide those going with the skills or equipment they need to do it as well as possible. - Bilby 13:18, 11 December 2012 (EST)
  • Decoupling the person who proposes a project is crazy, this is the quickest way to ensure that people wont work with WMAU. When someone brings a project to WMAU they've spent countless hours already building it, besides Freopedia I've got two other projects that I've been working on but theres no reason for me to continue with those if once I've done all the work at my expense it gets taken away from me and given to someone else to run. Not only does that damage our relationship with potential partners it destroys the reputation of the person who did all the ground work. A better way is to ensure that projects have mentoring and assistance provided that keeps the original proposer as the lead, it also keeps the energy in the project and builds the community nothing more fracturing for a community than to say oh we'll do this project but this person will be organising it gives us all your information. Gnangarra 06:50, 12 December 2012 (EST)
  • Good point. From what I know of Freopedia, it doesn't ask for much money and the local folk involved contribute a lot of time and effort. Pretty clearly there's no good reason for anyone other than the proposers to run such a project. I guess I was thinking more about the situation where the proposal is relatively expensive, which then begs the question of getting the best "bang for buck". If I made a similar proposal to do a MargaretRiverPedia project involving an expensive airfare, accommodation etc, it might look like I was planning a nice holiday in Margaret River at WMAU's expense. You might quite reasonably think "hey, I'm a lot closer, I know more about WA, and I've got a friend living there who I could stay with, I've run similar activities, if something needs doing in Margaret River, wouldn't it make more sense for me to go instead of Kerry?" and of course it probably would make more sense for you to do it instead of me. And I must admit I was thinking of the initial "concept proposal" as lightweight in terms of effort and the "detailed proposals" as the ones that might require more "countless hours" and detailed budgeting. Perhaps I will recast my suggestion as "proposals with an anticipated budget of more than $X" should start life as lightweight concept proposals (as Tony1 has recently done with WikiLovesMounuments, where he has floated the idea but not presented any detailed proposal) decoupled from the funding of individuals. Then if WMAU decided to budget $20K (say) for WLM on the back of the enthusiasm shown in the discussion, then folks could be invited to put in some detailed proposals "$X for a prize for SuchAndSuch", "$Y to hold a launch event in my town", and the committee could then decide which set of detailed proposals were the best way to proceed with WLM. Kerry Raymond 08:58, 12 December 2012 (EST)
I guess one question that emerges from this is funding. If the FDC provides the funding, I don't think they would fund a lightweight proposal. So the model would have to be put forward a lightweight (but major) proposal, give in principle approval, run a request for tender/call for specific proposals, approach the FDC with the specific proposals, and then fund the proposal/s. The specific proposals would be made without guarantee of funding until after the FDC process. I think, though, that such a process would be looked on positively by the FDC.
Proposals which do not need a complex process, such as Freopedia, would be handled in one step, and may not need FDC funding anyway. And my assumption is that some proposals would be such that the original proposers - even for major, high cost, proposals - would be the ones to run it anyway, Freopedia being such a case. - Bilby 10:54, 12 December 2012 (EST)
  • Some proposals are going to be person specific group/individual projects due to expertise and effort already spent as Gnangarra mentions. Others are going to be programs, like the camera equipment and regional wikiacademy proposals, which are designed to be available to all. We should be developing programs wherever possible, but its not always possible or is a bad cost/benefit ratio. For example, Gnangarra's and JJ Harrison's photography trips could be converted into a generic program, but nobody had the time to develop that - it is a good pilot that we should covert into a generic program if someone has time, or we see other similar requests. John Vandenberg 17:30, 12 December 2012 (EST)

Person in charge of this site?

I wonder whether the board might consider appointing someone who can generally maintain the site, liaise with the board and members about it, and post welcomes to any members who establish a user page? Tony1 19:29, 11 December 2012 (EST)

Membership rubric for outside Australia

Members, I notice that the membership page starts thus:

"As of December 2011, membership is A$20 a year for Australians ($10 a year concession), and A$10 for residents of Pacific islands without an established chapter ($5 a year concession)."

May I propose a change, to be more embracing of our neighbours who as yet have no chapter to represent them?

"As of December 2011, membership is A$20 a year for Australians and New Zealanders ($10 a year concession), and A$10 for residents of Papua New Guinea and Pacific islands without an established chapter ($5 a year concession)."

Pleased to hear people's thoughts on this. The text could easily be changed if any one of these locations establishes its own chapter. Tony1 21:11, 14 December 2012 (EST)

Sounds fine to me. --99of9 21:51, 14 December 2012 (EST)
This would increase the costs to New Zealanders (NZ and its external territories are Pacific Islands), without an increase in representation and support. i.e. we have one NZ member who would have fees increase. The decision to use "Pacific islands" was intended to definitely cover Micronesia, Melanesia (inc PNG), and Polynesia (File:Pacific Culture Areas.jpg). The committee initially considered like 'Oceania', but it was ambiguous, so we went with the broadest possible definition that wasnt ambiguous. "Pacific islands" includes Japan and Taiwan and the islands of Chile, however "without an established chapter" eliminates all of them (Japan has an informal group which has operated as a chapter for a long time, and is treated as such, but has yet to become an approved chapter). John Vandenberg 22:13, 14 December 2012 (EST)
So that there is no ambiguity, perhaps a notation or the like could be provided which explicitly states which Pacific nations are included. Then the actual wording becomes irrevelant. Russavia 23:27, 14 December 2012 (EST)
I agree with Russavia; I originally wanted to enumerate a list of countries and territories because "Pacific Islands" is unnecessarily ambiguous. Lankiveil 11:53, 15 December 2012 (EST).
Does Hawaii count as a pacific island? --99of9 20:33, 20 December 2012 (EST)
  • IMHO we shouldnt be charging for memberships for people from this region(even NZ), as there isnt any substantive ability to support them when we cant even support local events effectively. Gnangarra 19:34, 17 December 2012 (EST)
    • NZ counts as a developed economy in my view. Getting some members from there and especially from the small, isolated Pacific Islands, and PNG (and maybe even East Timor) would help us to determine ways of supporting projects in these countries. I know an Australian academic in the social sciences who runs a women's support collaboration with the w:University of Papua New Guinea (some exchanges involved); so there's a lead that could be followed up at some stage. From a GLAM point of view, there's the PNG National Museum and National Library. I wonder whether any members have ties with staff or students at the w:University of the South Pacific (mainly in Suva, Fiji).

      Can I say, en.WP and Commons coverage of our near neighbours is little short of dreadful. It would be one of the most significant achievements of the chapter if we could get things moving. A sparkle in my eye suggests that with the right strategies we could generate specific donations for projects, and forge a relationship with the Department of Foreign Affairs. I'm guessing that the WMF would also look very favourably on efforts to expand our scope in this way. Tony1 19:16, 20 December 2012 (EST)

Given we aren't overrun with "foreign" members, what's wrong with offering it to anyone resident in a county without a local chapter? For that matter, do we really even care whether they have a local chapter available? Presumably if a "foreign" person wants to join WMAU, they must perceive some connection with Australia (e.g. they might be an Australian living overseas or they might be fascinated by wombats or something). As a committee, we still retain the ability to reject any applications if we think there is something "unsuitable" about the person. Kerry Raymond 10:07, 23 December 2012 (EST)

Supporting our photographers

Following on from the discussions above about how to support our photographers, build our skill base and get the best possible photographs for our projects, I have two suggestions. The first is we allocate some funds to a few of our interested photographers so they could undertake specialised courses to develop specific skills, such as high-speed work, or composition, or light control (or whatever they need to learn). The second suggestion is that when an event needs a photographer, especially an overseas event where the cost is largely independent of the photographer's home base, we hold a mini-competition as a fair, quality-based way of deciding who should go. Those of our photographers who would like funding to go would submit a few previously unpublished anonymous relevant photographs and we judge which are the best. The idea would be to develop their skills and our "eye" for quality. There is only likely to be a few photographers who can and want to go on an overseas event, so it's not a big deal but should build up our collective skills. For Australian events, the home base of the photographer is more relevant and for cost reasons the closest (or closer) ones who have the skills should go. And that brings us back to developing all their skills in the first place by investing in their training. Whiteghost.ink 12:36, 17 December 2012 (EST)

As part of that, we also need to either insist that people have appropriate equipment, or provide appropriate equipment for the photos. In some cases, opportunities have been lost because the equipment used isn't really sufficient for the job. - Bilby 13:29, 17 December 2012 (EST)
It's one quick way to lose volunteers whom donate their time and equipment. Bidgee 13:33, 19 December 2012 (EST)
I'm not sure which suggestion you are referring to, but I presume it is the mini competition? At any rate, I don't see any major concerns with providing training to interested photographers. When you need a broader range of skills, you have the option of bringing in more people, or to train those you have. In this case I think we should be trying for both. - Bilby 12:31, 20 December 2012 (EST)
Regarding training and quality, can I put in a recommendation to use the peer review systems we have available on Commons? Quality Images / Valued Images / Featured Pictures. All look for something different, and will explain what you're missing if they vote your image down. So as long as you go into it with a thick skin, and willing to take criticism as an opportunity for self-improvement, they're very effective processes. I've learned almost all I know about photography from others there. But then again, if a consistent contributor feels they'd be helped by a reasonable formal course, I'd be fine with WMAU supporting that. (I agree the mini-competition is not helpful - our wiki-portfolios are already on show for everyone to see and compare us if that is necessary.) --99of9 20:45, 20 December 2012 (EST)
As a general comment, I suspect that the WPAU projects which deliver the greatest 'bang for the buck' are those which support photographers. The coverage of many regions of Australia and important events at WikiCommons is surprisingly limited, and the photographers who have been supported through WPAU really punch above their weight in adding diverse and high quality images - for instance, I've found their images really useful recently in adding photos to Australian Wiki Voyage articles. Nick-D 15:45, 21 December 2012 (EST)
Just in regard to more formal training vs informal, my experience of QI and the other peer-review models is that you get some decent hints, but that they wouldn't be as effective as a formal course. It is good to be told that your photos is a little soft, or the lighting isn't even, but a more formal course would tell you how to pose your subject, or how to place the lights, or just how to make best use of your equipment. - Bilby 18:30, 21 December 2012 (EST)