Candidacy for the Wikibase Community User Group
Here is my candidacy for group contact of the Wikibase Community User Group.
I’m Envel Le Hir, a data architect, working part time for a major IT Company in France (unrelated to any work about Wikibase and the Wikimedia movement). I’m an active Wikimedian since 2015, with nearly 400K edits on Wikidata.
In the Wikidata community:
- I contributed mostly about biographies (French politicians, French National Library, family names, etc.).
- I developed Denelezh, a tool that provides statistics about the gender gap in the content of Wikimedia projects. Its replacement by Humaniki is in progress, result of the collaboration of several Wikimedians on this topic.
- I organized and took part in several presentations and workshops about Wikidata, from my local group to international conferences.
- I built the ice breaker of WikidataCon 2019 🙂
I’ve also been involved in the “meta” of the Wikimedia Movement. For instance, I helped solving the crisis that shook Wikimédia France in 2017, by starting the legal process to hold an anticipated general assembly, by representing the chapter at Wikimania 2017 and by being a member of the electoral committee during the most complicated assembly in the history of the chapter.
I have no conflict of interest (to be completely transparent, I worked a few months in a wiki-related startup more than three years ago). I am a member of Wikimédia France, the French Wikimedia chapter, and of April, a French non-profit organization promoting free software.
Involvement in Wikibase and in the Wikibase Community User Group
Specifically on the Wikibase Community User Group:
- I organized two online meetings of the user group (2020-02-20 and 2021-06-09).
- I started, wrote the largest part, involved the community to its writing, and submitted the 2019 annual report of the user group.
- I started and contributed to the 2020 and 2021 annual reports of the user group.
- I improved the structure of the pages about the user group on Meta (automatic discussions archival, navigation box, etc.).
- I’m involved in the main communication channels of the user group.
Plan as a group contact of the Wikibase Community User Group
Here are the topics I would like to work on as a group contact of the Wikibase Community User Group:
- Clarify the roles of the two affiliates, the Wikibase Community User Group and Wikimedia Deutschland.
- The current position of Wikimedia Deutschland is confusing. At the same time, they state that they don’t want to be involved in the organization of the user group and they also organize meetings in the name of the user group. In my opinion, this leads to less engagement of the Wikibase community in the organization of the user group (for instance, people are less likely to write reports about events they didn’t organize). To my knowledge, the Wikimedia Foundation informally advised Wikimedia Deutschland to stop using the name of the Wikibase Community User Group, and Wikimedia Deutschland chose to ignore this advice.
- A solution could be the signing of a formal agreement between the user group and Wikimedia Deutschland. The goal is to have a real and mutual collaboration between the two affiliates, not a hierarchical relationship.
- Organize meetings of the user group, in a more inclusive and collaborative way.
- Open community decision for the recurrent schedule (the choice of the WLS schedule is an excellent example of the survivorship bias).
- Open community agenda, not something:
- made up by a single person who states they don’t want to be involved in the organization of the user group,
- announced three days in advance.
- Free the mailing-list.
- Take back the control of the mailing-list from its inactive founders.
- Make it more active. For instance, by:
- making its existence known to the Wikibase community,
- forwarding some discussions that take place only on the Wikidata mailing list.
- Share its management with Wikimedia Deutschland if they are interested.
- Restart the Wikibase Registry.
- At the moment, it is managed by a Wikimedia Deutschland employee on their free time. As a consequence, it takes time to solve issues, like this one (I can’t access my account because I lost my password and emails are broken).
- A technical upgrade would be welcome so the Wikibase Registry could be used to showcase Wikibase features. This could maybe be done with WBStack?
- Promote the service so more people register their Wikibase projects. The proactive approach used by Paul-Olivier Dehaye at WikidataCon 2019 was excellent and should be reproduced.
- As a Wikimedia affiliate, strengthen the link between the Wikimedia movement and the Wikibase Community User Group, especially because the Wikibase community is essentially composed of institutions outside the Wikimedia movement.
Some of these actions can be done without being a group contact and I hope to work on them, regardless of the outcome of the election.
This could have been my candidacy. However, I don’t think I’m a suitable candidate for this position and I will not run for it. I hope the chosen representatives will adopt some of my ideas.
Wikibase logo by H. Snater, CC BY-SA 3.0.