Where should cross-wiki tools be announced?

I asked this question on Twitter a while ago and wasn’t entirely satisfied with the responses. Let’s try to crowdsource some more here.

Possible places to announce a tool that is not specific to one wiki:

See also distribution list, best practices for reaching out to projects in multiple languages, and news channels (comprehensive list, not all channels are suitable for tool announcements).

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I would say the Mass Message is by far more efficient than anything else, even if it has not been translated (and sometimes people do translate it at least to main languages).

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If the cross-wiki tool in question is a technical change that affects (or could affect) a larger number of wikis, the typical way it tends to be spread is through Tech News, which would reach ~100 community pages (mainly Village Pumps) and ~750 individual subscribers, in addition to those who read it on Meta or through the Wikitech Ambassadors mailing list, and tends to be included in the Signpost (through the tech report).

Gets more translations than the average message that’s sent out, but each item is only a couple of sentences with a link if someone wants to read more.

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Personal opinion: I’m a bit worried about the effect MassMessage to all wikis have on the small wikis. There are Village Pumps we have effectively killed, because they’re just messages in English from the wider community (or the Foundation), meaning that whoever stumbles on that page will see that this isn’t a place for communication even if the last communication was five months ago – it’s a place where other people leave messages in a language they might not even speak. Maybe a lot of these Village Pumps would be dead anyway, but this way, we (in the broad sense) seem to be killing all chances they’ll ever be used the way they were intended to.

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New stuff could also go through the Tech Showcase “newsletter” (for those who aren’t familiar, these are more “get pings on topics of your interest” than actual newsletters. https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Special:Newsletters for more!)

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I usually just toss it on twitter, and my blog if it’s non-trivial. Enough wiki people follow me on Twitter to sees word-of-mouth distribution :grin:

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There are many more channels than that!
I’ve been slowly compiling a larger list of all the venues where someone can learn about news (primarily technical), at https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Quiddity_(WMF)/news_channels – Feel free to edit/add/etc. The aim is to eventually have a comprehensive map of all the announcement venues, so that further organization and perhaps discussion and simplification/clarification can eventually occur. :slight_smile:

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Add the many channels and groups on the Telegram app (wish list for a sole channel dedicated to announce things to the community there.)

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I am active on several small wikis, and if a wiki is dead (no users at all or only a few regulars who do not need to use a village pump) the village pump indeed mostly consists of mass messages but nobody cares. If the wiki is alive, users go to the village pump irrespective of the mass messages present there.

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Hello, I once made a list for all communication channels of WMNL and then we decided which to use in future and which not. It is simply a lot of work to maintain all these channels, so I symathize with a cleaning up.
On the other hand, e.g. a mailing list as the main information channel can be a problem as some people tend not to subscribe for fear that they will receive a lot of unwanted messages.
Anyhow, a discussion on the most central channels is a good thing.

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In the short term, we could collaborate on a single page in Meta where all this wisdom is collected. If only the participants in this young topic would agree to put together their current lists and best practices in one locations, others would follow.

Now, imagine this future: you draft a post in Wikimedia Space, you add the related tags, you select boxes for specific on-wiki and external social media channels, you press Publish… and you’re done!

It is technically feasible. For starters, see Displaying / importing Wikimedia Space feeds in Wikimedia wikis.

Of course, another factor to consider is that Wikimedia users could subscribe directly to specific Space categories and tags. About this, see Display Wikimedia Space notifications in your wiki.

And since mailing lists are mentioned… This is a deeper problem, and we have some ideas to untangle it. See Integrating mailing lists to Wikimedia Space.

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Template:Newsletters on the English Wikipedia also links to several newsletters with at least some software-related content, if that helps.

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(For the sake of experimentation I have set the first post in “wiki mode”. Now everyone (with sufficient trust level) can edit it. This allows us to e.g. collaborate quickly on drafts here before producing a page for Meta.)

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Does it provide a history of edits that can be looked at?

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Look at the top right corner of the first post. There is an icon of a notepad with the number of revisions. You should be able to click it and see the diffs.

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Well, perhaps in the sense that you get most for least amount of effort. But that doesn’t say you get much. On svwiki, all mass messages posted to the village pump are speedy moved to an obscure page that is watched by a number of people less than 5% of the number that is watching the village pump

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I don’t think that https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Distribution_list/Global_message_delivery is always up to date.

For some specific changes (e.g., API), I’ve had reasonable success in posting to the Bot Owners’ Noticeboards (list at https://www.wikidata.org/wiki/Q13380832 – hmm, nothing for Commons there?). The problem of off-topic notices is significant, especially in the smallest communities.

WMF Technical Engagement had plans to build a tool catalog… not sure what’s the status of that project.

@Tgr_WMF Re: Toolhub, the Research and planning has made a lot of progress, but I believe they still need to find resources for actually developing it. (cloud is a heavily backlogged area). Existing notes are at https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Toolhub

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