Critical issues presentations/Criticizing Criticism

From Wikimania 2016 • Esino Lario, Italy
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Submission no. 11
Title of the submission

Criticizing Criticism

Author of the submission
  • Darya Kantor
Country of origin




  • Motivation
  • Criticism
  • Positivity
  • Encouragment

The Wikimedia movement is contently growing and trying new ideas. In the past we were able to write anything, do any project, experiment. The community was small young and still learning. But we are now in a point in history that we can be critical of ourselves. We can learn from our mistakes, and make decisions that are based on experiment. In fact, in order to continue growing and evolving, it is crucial for any organization to be able to be critical of itself. How else will it stay relevant?

However the Wikimedia movement is in a delicate position. Most of the activities behind it are based on volunteers. Sometimes criticism can really hurt the volunteers, especially when you critic something they are very passionate about. When you think of resources, then volunteer's motivation is one of the most valuable assets of the movement. Maintaining it is just as important as anything else. This leads us to two important questions:

How do you maintain motivations in general?

1. Content orientation- keep it interesting, by new ideas, collaborations, projects, and free knowledge.

2. Community empowerment- keep it pleasant by encouraging pleasant behavior, such as wikilove notes, thankyous, and Welcome to Wikipedia projects.

3. Having a vision! (give it passion)

And how do you give criticism when you need to (because sometimes you do) without hurting the volunteer's motivation?

1. Bringing up all positive aspects of the project.

2. Hear from the volunteers what they think the project strength and weaknesses.

3. Measure what is done and successful.

4. Address the problems without accusations.

5. Bring up problems that can be fixed or addressed. There is no point of expecting the impossible.

6. Try to learn as much as you can from the experience.

7. Make sure that you give the volunteers a clear way ahead (to continue with the current project or suggest a new one, employing their strengths)

By being positive, and carful with criticism we can gain volunteers and continue to grow and learn.


Not accepted