Talk:Groups/San Francisco

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New, related group starting up

Peteforsyth (talkcontribs)

Hi all, there are a few of us interested in starting a bay area wiki user group, called Wiki BUG. I wanted to let you know here -- I think it makes sense for this to be a separate group, but we're open to discussion of course! The distinguishing features would be:

  • Our focus is on editing wikis, not on the technical side of things
  • We want to do something that spans the bay (we imagine the BART service district as, more or less, the area we'll focus on).

Please check out the more detailed description we've put up on Meta, and share any ideas over there: meta:Wiki BUG

マイキ (talkcontribs)
 Check in with the San Francisco Engineering MediaWiki group (would they like to merge, or remain separate?)

Is that something your core peeps are considering? I came a bit late to the party, but had I been planning this from the get go, I would wanted a more inclusive group. I am a fan of cognitive diversity, and I also think a non-technical focus is better in general. I don't think it has to be prohibitive, but my interest is in using wikae to improve our lives and communities, and it only take a handful of sysops to get that done.

Quim, what are you thoughts on this? I don't know how much of this group is you working alone to get something together, and how much it is the group deciding things have to be a certain way. I really like the idea of supporting the BART region, since that is also an important region for positive social change and easy access to events. I would feel a lot more empowered to participate if we operated way the WikiBUG folks are suggesting, since we can still do vendor and user outreach, and it is still sanctioned by WMF, but we would have folks on the ground with specific plans.

I will draw attention to this discussion on the mailing list. Pete, would you followup with the folks you are working with and see how they feel about the stated goals of this group, and if a merge is possible? We should wait for Quim to respond, since I know e has done a lot of work setting this up, and I am being disruptive, but I think it merits consideration.

Peteforsyth (talkcontribs)

I've replied in more detail on meta:Talk:Wiki BUG, but briefly: we're flexible, but think it probably makes sense to have one group that is primarily oriented to writers, and another that is primarily oriented to technical people. I think the groups would overlap a lot, and personally I would want to remain part of both, and maiki, it sounds like you would too. But if you really think merging the groups is a better way to go, I'm happy to listen!

Qgil-WMF (talkcontribs)

I also think it is good to have separate groups for editing and tech. Having some people in both groups is as desired as collaboration in promotion and common activities.

マイキ (talkcontribs)

I am okay with this either way, and it seems that at least two of the folks spearheading these groups think they should be separate and focus on different areas. There is obvious overlap, and I am in a position where I will benefit from and contribute to both of them. I am using this as an opportunity to just blurt out a whole bunch of thoughts. It is easier than waiting for them to come up, and it will help us all get on the same page (if it is the case that I am not the only one not on said page). ^_^

Pros of a single group:

  • Single points of contact - As it is, we are going to have to consolidate some of our communication channels, since to get anything to a group, I have to post in multiple places. This is a communications issue, but it is multiplied by multiple groups, and it would useful to collapse those channels for two groups that have overlap.
  • Diversity - It is uncharacteristic of me, but I actually think this would benefit one side more, the develops among us. Writers, especially the dedicated ones that might start projects of their own will of course want access to a pool of folks to work with. Members who are inclined to the more technical aspects of running and configuring a wiki would greatly benefit from see how they are actually used, and to have a feedback loop where writers are equal-class citizens. This is a digital divide thing, and it is important to me.
  • I am selfish - I like keeping things simple, and having one group is easier than two. Consider this my disclaimer!

Cons of a single group:

  • Potentially too much noise - I don't know what volume of messaging will happen. I can't think there are many things that one group would be concerned with that another wouldn't. Even though the meetup group is called the Wikimedia Engineering Group, the next talk is Brion talking about the mobile interface, which is important to everyone, and it is also important that lots of different folks are present to ask questions that affect them. All the events that Wiki BUG mentioned would be posted here, and so far the wikimedia-sf list has been fairly low volume. I don't think anyone is so technically inclined that they don't want to hear about an edit-a-thon happening; we are all interested in this stuff!
  • Confusion with branding. Bigger discussion than will fit in a list item.

As far as I can tell, Quim solicited suggestions for a group name and no one spoke up, so it became MediaWiki Group San Francisco. However, it is more than the city, and as Pete has pointed out, the region served by BART is a good, logical grouping, and I think the SF group feels the same. I'm in Berkeley, myself. I think the SF group overlaps the same area as Wiki BUG, in practicality if not in name.

The SF group has an ambiguous mission, but the gist is that we should be an easy outlet for folks to interact with the WMF and MediaWiki communities (an interactive outlet is probably called an inlet...). If we can leverage non-Foundation employees/contractors, all the better. In this way, we are mostly left to do our own thing, but we have reps from WMF coaching us and offering resources, such as the WMF offices for meetups. We haven't established an alternative meetup yet, but it has been suggested that we have something separate from the Wikimedia Engineering group's. Quim, tell me if I am off, or if your vision is drastically different.

Wiki BUG, on the other hand, is a group of wiki writers (which I personally prefer over "editors", by the way), that use the methods and some of the tech to run a bunch of non-WMF projects, in addition to being Wikipedians. Pete, why is it that you folks are trying to become a sanctioned group, from the WMF? I suspect it is because we use Wikimedia sites as a central place for wiki stuff, and it makes sense to use their resources where we can to further the entire hobby/industry/passion/art/technology of wiki.

I know it seems like there are two axes: MediaWiki versus Other, and Techies versus Writers. I just don't those axes being particularly long. Instead, I think that there are so many benefits from exposing all the various folks that we would attract separately, it makes a lot of sense to bring them all together.

Also, I like the name better, though I would leave out the space: WikiBUG. San Francisco is a privileged word (I live in the Bay Area, not the SF Bay Area), and it makes some folks feel excluded. And as it stands, I think that if someone is looking for groups to join, they are going to look at one or the other, are not going to find the overlap, and will pick one instead of both.

Whew! Okay, with that out of the way, if folks still feel they should be separate, then I have some pointed advice on how to ensure that there is cross-pollination, and that we are encouraging folks to participate in the other.

Peteforsyth (talkcontribs)

Very briefly for now, and speaking for myself, without any intent of speaking for the rest of the group. As to your bolded question above, it's actually not critically important to me to be an officially recognized group. I think it would be nice, for these reasons:

  • All the events I organize are Wikipedia-focused, and it would be nice to be able to have clear permission to use the logo in promotional materials;
  • I think (or hope, at least) recognition would send a message to my colleagues in Wikimedia-land that we are here, and encourage participation, resulting in more people coming forward to propose and run their own events;
  • Setting something up now creates opportunities for deeper engagement in the future if that should become desirable (for instance, if we wanted to run another West Coast Wiki Conference and wanted to seek grant funding, we would have the head-start of being a "known and recognized entity.")

That said, it's really not critical. My main reason for wanting to do this is to increase a sense of community among local people who are energized to put together collaborative writing events; that part really does not require official recognition.

You brought up lots of other good points, and I'm happy to discuss..except right now, I will be happier to go to bed :) Till soon, -Pete F (talk) 08:53, 29 January 2013 (UTC)

Peteforsyth (talkcontribs)

Oh wait, did I forget to say this? THANK YOU for putting so much careful thought into this idea! Since you've clearly expressed an interest in being part of the group regardless of what form it takes, I want to heartily encourage you to sign up as a member on the page: meta:Wiki BUG. -Pete F (talk) 08:55, 29 January 2013 (UTC)

Qgil-WMF (talkcontribs)

As for diversity, you can solve it by organizing activities together for both audiences. But for the daily live I still think it is better to have a focus on each group. For 1 person that is interested in both groups you might get x,y only interested in one or the other, and we might drive away those with too many "off-my-topic" discussions.

And yes, thank you very much for your thought and your energy. I think it's time for action. Propose something!  :)

PopbobHausemaster (talkcontribs)
Reply to "New, related group starting up"

Think it should be easier to upload photos and videos from an article page?

Qgil-WMF (talkcontribs)
Reply to "Think it should be easier to upload photos and videos from an article page?"
Qgil-WMF (talkcontribs)

Hi, the theme of the next meetup is The Wikimedia mobile challenge. Brion Vibber will do one presentation. There is one slot available for a speaker chosen by this group, hopefully presenting a mobile related topic as well. Suggestions?

Reply to "Next meetup:"
Qgil-WMF (talkcontribs)

Two priorities I want to push for this group:

  • Promote technical efforts from the Wikimedia Foundation and 3rd parties in the Bay Area, in an integrated way.
  • Get another promoter not working at the WMF.

Any volunteers?

マイキ (talkcontribs)
 Promote technical efforts from the Wikimedia Foundation and 3rd parties in the Bay Area, in an integrated way.

What does that entail?

Qgil-WMF (talkcontribs)

We need to find out.  :) One idea could be to contact Wikia, WikiHow and other MediaWiki vendors and users in the Bay Area, and reflect their activity in a monthly MediaWiki SF meetup.

This MediaWiki meetup could alternate with the Wikipedia Engineering meetup, coordinating dates and agenda. This way MediaWiki and Wikimedia tech fans and potential contributors in the Bay Area would have an opportunity to meet every other week.

マイキ (talkcontribs)

User:Judytuna and I are having a go at this. We will need help making contact with some folks, if anyone is already in touch with them. Also, I don't use, but I think Judy does, so I will leave that to her to discuss on scheduling the meetups.

Peteforsyth (talkcontribs)

I just want to say hi -- I am very interested in promoting Wikimedia-oriented events in the bay area. I don't think it makes sense for me to be a promoter here, as the tech side of things is not a priority for me; but I am actively putting together Wikipedia edit-a-thons and similar. So I'd like to be in touch with whatever promoters emerge! -Pete F (talk) 20:48, 21 January 2013 (UTC)

マイキ (talkcontribs)

Hi Pete. I disagree, I think that it makes a lot of sense for you to be involved! The technical side of MediaWiki is only a priority for me when something breaks, but I would love to hear about more efforts like edit-a-thons. I am personally interested in getting more folks using Wikemedia projects, but also wikae in general.

As we figure out what we are doing, how about we have you come out to one of the meetings and talk about... something. I know you consult with orgs on how to use Wikipedia responsibly, so there is probably a lot of material in there that folks would like to hear.

Peteforsyth (talkcontribs)

Hi maiki, thank you -- I certainly am, and will stay, involved -- just not sure about taking on a formal role. If you think it would be of interest, I would gladly present to the group; but my projects are not typically technical.

Please do join us this coming Saturday for an edit-a-thon in Oakland! This will be the second in a series that I hope will be ongoing. There is also a weekly Oakland History edit-a-thon for which may be of interest -- I attended my first one yesterday, it was great!

I know some non-Wikimedia wiki people in the area, and will reach out to them to join the Meetup group.

Qgil-WMF (talkcontribs)

In the last meetup I had a chat with a Wikia engineer who told me that he could put me in touch with others over there. WikiHow is another other big name related to MediaWiki, and they are already aware of this group. I think it's basically a matter of having a first meeting.

Reply to "Priorities"

Promoting technical efforts...

AlexanderPico~mediawikiwiki (talkcontribs)

As a "3rd party in the Bay Area" I would love to be able to connect in a more integrated way with the Wikimedia/MediaWiki community. One idea (and urgent need) is to help advertise MediaWiki job openings (I have one!). My project has found an interesting way to integrate with Wikipedia through Interactive Pathway Maps. Another idea would be to host events where these integration points are presented, developed, hacked, etc. AlexanderPico (talk) 20:53, 21 January 2013 (UTC)

マイキ (talkcontribs)

Thanks for the ideas, I am sure job openings will be welcoming to some folks. I am just getting the ball rolling, figuring out how we bring folks together. I will keep you and your suggestions in mind. Would you be available to talk about your projects at a meetup?

AlexanderPico~mediawikiwiki (talkcontribs)

Absolutely. My contact info is in my signature. AlexanderPico (talk) 23:20, 21 January 2013 (UTC)

Qgil-WMF (talkcontribs)

I just realized Jobs exists. AlexanderPico, what about discussing at Talk:Jobs ways to improve that page and advertise job openings? I'm interested as well. If there is an URL decribing the job position I'm happy advertising it in our social media channels. Note that there is also the very recent Vendors, which is related to job openings.

About connecting with the Wikimedia/MediaWiki community there is a lot to discuss, but at least you can join us at the next Wikipedia Engineering Meetup. I'm trying to make that meetup also open for presentation from non-WMF projects.

Reply to "Promoting technical efforts..."
Bdamokos (talkcontribs)

Hi guys,

I am happy to let you know that this group has been approved by the Affiliations Committee, see: [1].

Please do get in touch, if we can be of any help to you as you begin your activities.

Best regards,

Qgil-WMF (talkcontribs)
Reply to "Group approved"
Qgil-WMF (talkcontribs)

"MediaWiki Group San Francisco" or "MediaWiki Group San Francisco Bay Area" or "MediaWiki Group SF Bay" or...?

Reply to "Name / scope of the group"
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