Critical issues presentations/Reestablish community management of the WMF project

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Submission no. 73
Title of the submission

Reestablish community management of the WMF project

Author of the submission
  • Jan Lochman
Country of origin

Czech Republic


Governance, Projects

  • comunity management
  • Wikiversity
  • Wikipedia
  • comunity
  • user growth
  • project development

Smaller projects (less than 20) tend to be overtaken by individuals or smaller groups who push their expectations too high. These individuals already received the administrator or bureaucrat flag. Those who support them are awarded by admin flags or by protection (even when their behaviour is out of line - being uncivil, trolling, etc.), while those who don't support them are persecuted until the moment they leave the project or they can be blocked for something they have said.

In such projects community leadership, community decision making process we know from big WMF projects are gone. There are no written rules and the project goes the way the interest group leader wants it to. Such projects are full of interpersonal conflicts and due to the high number of incivility they are unattractive to newcomers. Such projects develop slower than others and in some cases they die altogether. This is when the interest group hound out all active users, but they are not interested in contributing - just holding power.

But there are also success stories. In Czech Wikipedia, exponential growth of new users helped to remove such group and restart community management. Unfortunately it took about two years. New policies had to be introduced and arbitration committee founded. Recently, we used the knowledge from Wikipedia on Czech Wikiversity to reestablish community management, and it worked. There was a need of a project leader and a need of new contributors who came from one school, where one of the Wikiversity contributor teaches. This is one way how Czech community recruits new participants (the other ways will be the part of presentation).



Interested attendees and comments