On Mon, Jul 6, 2009 at 6:54 AM, Michael Snow<wikipe...@verizon.net> wrote: > > There are various possibilities here. One example is interest groups > that aren't tied to geography, the way the chapters are. I always cite > the idea of an Association of Blind Wikipedians, who might wish to > organize to promote work on accessibility issues. As with the Brazilian > situation, informal groups could also fit local conditions better > sometimes, or serve as a proto-chapter stage of development. Maybe > there's a benefit in having an association with some durability and > continuation, but without going to the effort of incorporation and > formal agreements on trademarks and such. It could also make sense to > have an organization form for a specific project and then disband after > it is completed, such as with Wikimania (somebody can correct me if I'm > wrong, but I understand the Gdansk team is planning something like this > as distinct from Wikimedia Polska).
I would to stress that the real problem for any organization of volunteers is the *continuity*. I think that a aggregation of volunteers not included in a framework (like that of chapters) can be workable *only* with a well defined and time limited aims. When these aims are reached, the group is released. This is the example of Wikimania's groups (technically these groups can be called "task force"). The real problem is the status of volunteers because any person cannot assure a big and continuous presence for a lot of time. The chapters can face the problem with an organization which are becoming more and more reliable because these chapters are looking for a system to assure the continuity also if this goal it's complicated to reach. In any case they are in a good way, but I can't imagine how another system of communities can solve this problem quickly. Surely the chapters have a statute, a board and a light organization, but if they change the big percentage of the board every year they should face every time an organizational problem. In any case they have the tools to assure the continuity. IMHO another "framework" can only introduce real problems for continuity, for communication and surely could put the WMF always in the situation to "re-organize" the organization to make order in an *entropic* system (more simple to say "work of Tantalus"). I can only imagine that for any problem we should not only discuss the competencies, but also the point of contact because in a volunteers organization it could change a lot. After this introduction I see that it could be good to "re-use" the chapters organization for other types of project and probably to *extend* the concept of chapters with *different levels* of status. In few words... reuse the framework of chapters extending the types of chapters (it could be good also for some kind of newborn chapters of for WIP chapters like Macedonian WM). It is not new that personally I have always asked to involve the chapters in some other projects like Wikimania (please look the word *involve*) to assure a trusted organization for this kind a projects. In any case WMF always asks for help to the chapters in this project for big involvement of people or for scholarships, I don't know why this involvement cannot be officially done at start. In my opinion the role of chapters cannot be limited only to collect money and to take care for local communication. It's a poor adaptation considering the effort that they should do to find "the continuity". Ilario _______________________________________________ foundation-l mailing list firstname.lastname@example.org Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l