Re: [Wikimedia-l] WMF trustee Arnnon Geshuri and part in anticompetitive agreements in Google

2016-01-09 Thread Yaroslav M. Blanter

On 2016-01-09 13:14, Ilario Valdelli wrote:

Yes but this overlapping generates this kind of misunderstanding.

For people being outside wikimedia community there are several changes 
too

much complicated.
Il 09/Gen/2016 13:08, "Yaroslav M. Blanter"  ha 
scritto:




To be honest, I think people outside the Wikimedia community do not 
care.


The problem at this point is the lack of mutual trust between WMF and 
the community, which started to get repaired in the second half of 2015, 
and which was not helped by the recent events.


Cheers
Yaroslav

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] WMF trustee Arnnon Geshuri and part in anticompetitive agreements in Google

2016-01-09 Thread Ilario Valdelli
Yes but this list is public.

Being in the shoes of an external I would have so much material to do a
science fictional romance.
Il 09/Gen/2016 13:21, "Yaroslav M. Blanter"  ha scritto:

> On 2016-01-09 13:14, Ilario Valdelli wrote:
>
>> Yes but this overlapping generates this kind of misunderstanding.
>>
>> For people being outside wikimedia community there are several changes too
>> much complicated.
>> Il 09/Gen/2016 13:08, "Yaroslav M. Blanter"  ha
>> scritto:
>>
>>
> To be honest, I think people outside the Wikimedia community do not care.
>
> The problem at this point is the lack of mutual trust between WMF and the
> community, which started to get repaired in the second half of 2015, and
> which was not helped by the recent events.
>
> Cheers
> Yaroslav
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] WMF trustee Arnnon Geshuri and part in anticompetitive agreements in Google

2016-01-09 Thread Brad Jorsch (Anomie)
ObDisclaimer: This reply consists of my own personal views and in no way
represents anything official.

I think I can leak a little useful information on this topic without fear.
;)

On Sat, Jan 9, 2016 at 3:12 AM, Anders Wennersten 
wrote:

> I also think it would be good  to remember that WMF transformation from
> the "Superprotect disaster" to a very much appreciated 2015 Community
> Wishlist Survey. To go from an "inside-out" to an "outside-in" model in
> deciding what functionality to develop is a revolution. And even if we as
> users all applaud this change, we should also respect it can be felt tough
> to adjust to if you are "inside"
>

You seem to be assuming that staff have had a negative reaction to the idea
of the Community Wishlist. From what I've seen on the internal mailing
list, staff are very supportive of this. The word "awesome" was used
several times in replies on the thread announcing it.

The closest thing to a negative comment I see wasn't very negative at all.
Paraphrased, "At first I was afraid this would be more lip-serivce, but now
I see it and you're really interested in community input."

For more positive comments you can see some of the staff replies to <
https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2015-December/080329.html>,
since that announcement was CCed to the internal list and some people used
"reply all".


> I give Lila 100% credit for this change and thank the Board for supporting
> this change (and also to have recruited Lila with this as main purpose)


IMO, you should give credit to the Community Tech team. They're the ones
who came up with the wishlist idea and did it, unless I'm totally mistaken.

You could also give some credit to the staffers who originally proposed
creating the Community Tech team. It wasn't a top-down proposal.


-- 
Brad Jorsch (Anomie)
Senior Software Engineer
Wikimedia Foundation
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] WMF trustee Arnnon Geshuri and part in anticompetitive agre...

2016-01-09 Thread BishopJ
Let me provide a somewhat dissenting opinion.
 
I'm not sure that Arnnon Geshuri's sins were all that bad. Remember that  
where's there's big money, there will be predatory lawyers looking for  
trouble. 
 
Is it bad corporate policy, wrong, or even illegal for a company to make a  
decision not to actively recruit from certain other companies in the same  
industry? Companies legitimately have widespread discretion in what their  
employees are directed to do, particularly when representing the  company. 
These were not even competitors mind you but companies  whose strength and 
existence benefited the others.   There is no  suggestion that any of the 
normal activities such as accepting resumes from  candidates who contact the 
employer or informal employment networking were  prohibited. 
 
I don't see a problem with Google people serving on the WMF board either.  
The importance of the relationship between these two organizations cannot be 
 emphasized enough.  Wikipedia might not have even taken off if it didn't  
start appearing at the top of every Google search.  Same with Google. Their  
audience might have been only a fraction of what it is today but for  
Wikipedia.  Is there a bias built into Google searches that favors  Wikipedia?  
Could a serious falling out between the two result in far fewer  Wikipedia 
links in Google searches?  At various Wikipedia conventions over  the years, 
I've run this by some of those who might know and they seemed  quite closed 
mouthed about the subject.
 
As for the subject of elected v. appointed trustees, the WMF should  
carefully examine the role of university boards.  The events at Dartmouth  
College 
are particularly interesting -- and quite accurately described  in 
Wikipedia BTW.  Starting about a decade ago four "opposition  trustees" were 
elected 
against the will of the larger board.  The  ensuing soap opera was 
interesting to say the least. 
 
Another important point to understand about university boards is that seats 
 ARE for sale. Large donors are frequently appointed to university boards.  
It sounds really corrupt but the fact is that the institutions have been  
well served by the policy.  Wikpedia's circumstances are different and they  
should not get mixed up in this.
 
My last point is that the technical performance of the WMF has been both  
outstanding and cost effective.  As I understand it Google and Microsoft  
regularly spend billions on large server centers.  Wikipedia online queries  
throughout the world are fast and efficient. There are plenty of issues 
relating  to content and poor treatment of controversial editors but on the 
technical side  maybe it's best not to mess with something that works.
 
Joe Bishop
PhanuelB
 
 
 
 
In a message dated 1/8/2016 3:17:06 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,  
wiki.p...@gmail.com writes:

Upon  hearing of Arnnon's history at Google, I confess to being surprised to
the  point of a long silence.

If these news reports are true, this is  disturbing to say the least.
Whether he was happy about it or not, it  appears that he chose to
participate in illegal activity in a prominent  role as a "Senior Staffing
Strategist", and described a Google employee's  noncompliance with the
illegal scheme as "an error in judgment". I cannot  think of an excuse from
an HR professional that I would accept for  this.

Dariusz, you said in your statement that was published in the  Wikimedia
Blog that WMF "considered dozens of candidates from all over the  world,
with not-for-profit and technology experience, and the highest  professional
standards.” I would be interested to hear how you reconcile  "highest
professional standards" with the prior actions of  Arnnon,

Lila, you said that "Kelly and Arnnon bring a special  combination of
expertise, integrity, and love for our mission." I am  interested in hearing
how you reconcile this assessment with the reports  about Arnnon's role in
this illegal scheme at Google.

Looking at the  WMF situation more broadly in light of the Board's removal
of James and its  surrounding circumstances, I am very disappointed with
what we are learning  and I am losing confidence in the governance of WMF. I
am considering  strategic options for the  community.

Pine
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] WMF trustee Arnnon Geshuri and part in anticompetitive agreements in Google

2016-01-09 Thread Yaroslav M. Blanter

On 2016-01-09 12:54, Steinsplitter Wiki wrote:

That James was replaced with Geshuri, who was involved in a scandal is
yet a other scandal.



James Heilman was never replaced by Arnnon Geshuri. Arnnon replaced Stu 
West, and James will be replaced by a to-be-elected community member 
later this year.


Cheers
Yaroslav

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Announcement about changes to the Board

2016-01-09 Thread MZMcBride
Milos Rancic wrote:
>Our technology is based on the concept from 1990s, implemented in 2001
>and slightly changed up to the moment. The only major technology which
>catches 2005 (Visual Editor) is in alpha or beta stage, depending on
>how harsh QA process would be implemented.
>
>Something should be done with that. While I would be much more happy
>with a social and gaming platform, I think anything towards technology
>innovation is good, as during the last 15 years our technology
>innovation was around zero. The most important Sue's impact on
>Wikimedia is financial stability. I expect that the most important
>Lila's impact on Wikimedia will be moving it from technologically
>passive organization to an active one.

I think we should have you use only UseModWiki for a few months and then
you can come back and tell us whether we've actually made any improvements
to our technology stack since 2001. :-)

In parts, our sites certainly look staid, dated, or even boring, but we
have a number of cool new features, with more to come, of course. Briefly
putting all of this recent drama and in-fighting aside, the most vital
part of the Wikimedia Foundation's responsibilities, keeping the sites
running fast, reliably, and securely, is being appropriately handled.
The world continues to be able to read and contribute to our shared free
content and for that I'm grateful. The rest is commentary, as they say.

MZMcBride



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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Announcement about changes to the Board

2016-01-09 Thread Milos Rancic
On Sat, Jan 9, 2016 at 9:48 AM, geni  wrote:
> On 9 January 2016 at 02:07, Milos Rancic  wrote:
>> On top of that, unlike Sue, Lila is a geek. And geeks have troubles in
>> understanding the social impact of their actions, especially inside of
>> the extraordinary complex environment of Wikimedia movement.
>
> You aren't seriously trying that argument are you? in any case it doesn't
> really help since people skills are a job requirement for WMF ED.

I tried to shorten the explanation, but, obviously it didn't work :)

The position of WMF ED is likely the most complex position inside of
the Wikimedia movement. Board is a collective body and they are rarely
involved in lower than policy level decision making. ED has to care
about the effects of her decisions not only on practical level, but
about their political implications inside of the movement: What would
say editors of English Wikipedia? What would say Wikimedia Germany?
What's going on on wikimedia-l? Signpost? Any independent Wikimedian
who's position could affect many others? Ideally, WMF ED should have
skills of one prime minister.

Besides that and unlike in the most of the organizations, WMF
employees are not just regular employees, but their voice is also very
important inside of our movement, as their contribution to the
movement itself is extraordinary significant. WMF ED doesn't lead
ordinary employees, with whom she can act in the traditional
capitalist way.

WMF Board never searched for a person with "skills of one prime
minister". Their decision is to have either a Bay Area "we are saving
the world" NPO or Bay Area "Elon Musk is God" NPO. Bad side of the
approach is that it will never cover all necessary things; good side
of the approach is that Wikimedia movement is fairly decentralized and
the rest of us could cover what's missing. And I think that it's
easier to cover social than technological part, as technological part
assumes highly structured workflow which volunteers can't implement.

On Sat, Jan 9, 2016 at 1:54 PM, MZMcBride  wrote:
> I think we should have you use only UseModWiki for a few months and then
> you can come back and tell us whether we've actually made any improvements
> to our technology stack since 2001. :-)
>
> In parts, our sites certainly look staid, dated, or even boring, but we
> have a number of cool new features, with more to come, of course. Briefly
> putting all of this recent drama and in-fighting aside, the most vital
> part of the Wikimedia Foundation's responsibilities, keeping the sites
> running fast, reliably, and securely, is being appropriately handled.
> The world continues to be able to read and contribute to our shared free
> content and for that I'm grateful. The rest is commentary, as they say.

I never said that WMF engineering team did bad job during the last 15
years. Besides that, I am completely aware that there were and are a
lot of good ideas, some of them invisible for the end user, some of
them never implemented because of lack of capacity of higher
management and stubbornness of Wikipedia editors.

Thanks to Sue, we are far away from struggling with money for servers
and operations. And your position -- we are fine as Wikimedia servers
are up and running -- is serious and widespread issue among the
Wikimedia veterans, which affects the whole movement. I remember the
time when I was personally highly anxious because it wasn't that clear
that WMF would have had money for the servers next year, too. I am
relieved by the fact that that's a non-issue for at least five years,
too.

But that reasoning -- we were struggling for food, we have the food
now and that's the top achievement of our lives -- is something which
have put us as a movement into the prolonged state of melancholy. Not
that we are not attractive to new generations, we are not attractive
even to ourselves.

You have to be hungry, remember vividly hungry times, be very
imaginative or high on drugs to be excited when you open a
refrigerator full of food. As I don't think any of us remember vividly
the time before approximately 2010, as well as being very imaginative
is not that common trait, we have to be high on drugs to be excited by
the fact that WMF has enough money to pay bills for a lot of servers
and people maintaining them.

We need to go further because we can. And that's not just an empty
phrase. We already feel the effects of not going further. People tend
to be demotivated and we depend on the motivation of volunteers.

The time of financial stabilization passed. Wikimedia movement is now
financially stable. We should use that stability to move forward. And
making visible and important technological advancements is something
we need for a long time.

-- 
Milos

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] WMF trustee Arnnon Geshuri and part in anticompetitive agreements in Google

2016-01-09 Thread Ilario Valdelli
Yes but this overlapping generates this kind of misunderstanding.

For people being outside wikimedia community there are several changes too
much complicated.
Il 09/Gen/2016 13:08, "Yaroslav M. Blanter"  ha scritto:

> On 2016-01-09 12:54, Steinsplitter Wiki wrote:
>
>> That James was replaced with Geshuri, who was involved in a scandal is
>> yet a other scandal.
>>
>>
> James Heilman was never replaced by Arnnon Geshuri. Arnnon replaced Stu
> West, and James will be replaced by a to-be-elected community member later
> this year.
>
> Cheers
> Yaroslav
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] WMF trustee Arnnon Geshuri and part in anticompetitive agreements in Google

2016-01-09 Thread Anders Wennersten

Very good point Chris.

I also think it would be good  to remember that WMF transformation from 
the "Superprotect disaster" to a very much appreciated 2015 Community 
Wishlist Survey. To go from an "inside-out" to an "outside-in" model in 
deciding what functionality to develop is a revolution. And even if we 
as users all applaud this change, we should also respect it can be felt 
tough to adjust to if you are "inside"


I give Lila 100% credit for this change and thank the Board for 
supporting this change (and also to have recruited Lila with this as 
main purpose)


Anders

Den 2016-01-09 kl. 10:06, skrev Chris Keating:

I suspect they need a few days, based on past experiences. To dig into the
matter, and prepare an answer

Quite, and thanks for saying that Lodewijk.

In my view, the WMF board's top priority has to be the issues about
strategy, leadership and staff morale that are being made public now. It is
in everyone's interests that these issues get sorted out and some key parts
of the solution have to happen in private.

I am sure that the Board have invested a huge amount of time and energy in
these issues already. Unless you have been on the board of an organisation
that's gone through a serious problem it's difficult to appreciate the
pressure this creates. I have, and I would urge everyone to take a deep
breath and  think before emailing. It's worth repeating that Board members
are all volunteers with jobs and families and what's more are trying to
coordinate between three different continents.

In particular hundred-email threads on this list where everyone speculates
and demands answers to their particular questions  (and some people
downright stir the shit) are less than helpful - a board member who spends
5 hours a week on WMF business could easily spend that just reading all the
emails

Dariusz has said the Board is looking into the situation with Arnnon, which
they were clearly not aware of - that is what needs to happen and yet more
emails on this list won't mean that happens any more quickly.

Regards,

Chris Keating
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] WMF trustee Arnnon Geshuri and part in anticompetitive agreements in Google

2016-01-09 Thread Austin Hair
Having waited two days for any kind of meaningful response from either
the Board or from individual trustees, I have to say that Kat's
comments (unsurprisingly) nailed it.

I mean, seriously, nobody googled him?

Austin


On Fri, Jan 8, 2016 at 9:48 PM, Kat Walsh  wrote:
> I wish the best for the new board, and for the movement. But I am
> troubled to learn of this.
>
> I have always welcomed the appointed seats on the board--in my
> experience they brought useful perspectives and experience with their
> view from the outside, and I don't expect them all to begin their
> tenure as perfect representatives of the priorities and ideals of the
> Wikimedia movement as the community-selected members are.
>
> But as they are full voting members, participating in all decisions,
> we have always expected them to share key values, and probably the
> most important of those is integrity. It's always hard to judge
> beforehand; what you really really want to know is how someone would
> act in a situation they haven't yet been faced with. But if the news
> reports are true (or even just mostly true) about Arnnon Geshuri's
> role in the staffing scandal, then this is a disappointing choice by
> the WMF board. (Of course, someone who refused to go along with it
> probably would not have been visible to the selection
> committee--uncompromising ethical standards make it much harder to get
> and keep a position of responsibility and expertise in most
> organizations; the exceptions exist but less commonly than I'd wish,
> and I hope we're among them. But this is probably a systematic failure
> in recruiting for us.)
>
> The reason this bothers me so much--enough to break my list
> silence--is that I think integrity is the most important and most
> difficult thing for a board member of this organization. One of the
> key things that distinguishes Wikimedia from other entities is that it
> does not take the easy path: it does not sell the privacy of users, it
> does not make restricted content deals, it does not believe influence
> over content or governance should be able to be bought. If these
> decisions were easy and came without tradeoffs or pressures everyone
> would make them, but they don't; we see all over that Wikimedia is an
> outlier, not the norm, while others make decisions that look good in
> the short term but are damaging in the long term. Organizations with
> tremendous reach and influence--such as Google and Wikipedia--have a
> great responsibility not to take actions that systematically harm the
> people that rely on them. To know that someone at such an organization
> participated in something unethical in this way does not give me great
> confidence in them for leadership in Wikimedia.
>
> I don't envy the current board the problems they are faced with, and
> recognize the difficulty in recruiting for it given the level of
> commitment involved--and I don't doubt that the new appointee has much
> to recommend him. But despite the wealth of experience he would bring,
> if the situation is as it seems to be, I cannot be supportive of this
> choice.
>
> -Kat
>
> On Fri, Jan 8, 2016 at 12:16 PM, Pine W  wrote:
>> Upon hearing of Arnnon's history at Google, I confess to being surprised to
>> the point of a long silence.
>>
>> If these news reports are true, this is disturbing to say the least.
>> Whether he was happy about it or not, it appears that he chose to
>> participate in illegal activity in a prominent role as a "Senior Staffing
>> Strategist", and described a Google employee's noncompliance with the
>> illegal scheme as "an error in judgment". I cannot think of an excuse from
>> an HR professional that I would accept for this.
>>
>> Dariusz, you said in your statement that was published in the Wikimedia
>> Blog that WMF "considered dozens of candidates from all over the world,
>> with not-for-profit and technology experience, and the highest professional
>> standards.” I would be interested to hear how you reconcile "highest
>> professional standards" with the prior actions of Arnnon,
>>
>> Lila, you said that "Kelly and Arnnon bring a special combination of
>> expertise, integrity, and love for our mission." I am interested in hearing
>> how you reconcile this assessment with the reports about Arnnon's role in
>> this illegal scheme at Google.
>>
>> Looking at the WMF situation more broadly in light of the Board's removal
>> of James and its surrounding circumstances, I am very disappointed with
>> what we are learning and I am losing confidence in the governance of WMF. I
>> am considering strategic options for the community.
>>
>> Pine
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>> 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Thank you, Jan-Bart and Stu

2016-01-09 Thread Subhashish Panigrahi
Jan-Bart and Stu, thank you so much for your great contribution to the
movement!

Best,
Subha

On 1/9/2016 1:20 PM, Nurunnaby Chowdhury (Hasive) wrote:
> All the best and Thanks you Jan-Bart de Vreede and Stu West.
>
> On Sat, Jan 9, 2016 at 5:22 AM, Samuel Klein  wrote:
>
>> Goodness, yes.  Lodewijk, what a fitting thread.
>>
>> We spend more time reflecting on mistakes made, but JB and Stu were often
>> responsible for the things that were done well, and without fanfare.  They
>> could always be relied upon to consider the impact of decisions on the
>> movement and society, and not just on [the current version of] the
>> Foundation.
>>
>> Thank you both for the dedication and creativity you put into your work -
>> going above and beyond the requirements of being a trustee. Future trustees
>> of all stripes have some mighty large shoes to fill.
>>
>> Sam
>> On Jan 8, 2016 2:29 PM, "Katy Love"  wrote:
>>
>>> I've worked with Jan-Bart for three years,  and I too want to thank him
>> for
>>> his many years of service to the movement and the board, as well as to
>> the
>>> annual plan grant program and to the Funds Dissemination Committee!
>>>
>>> As one of the Board FDC representatives to the FDC for several years,
>>> Jan-Bart, you provided leadership and support to us as we developed,
>>> refined and evaluated the program. As others have said, it's clear how
>> much
>>> this movement means to you, and you've been a significant presence and
>>> supporter to many.
>>>
>>> Thank you for all you've given!
>>> Katy
>>>
>>> On Wed, Jan 6, 2016 at 4:12 PM, Florence Devouard 
>>> wrote:
>>>
 Thank you for this message Lodewijk !

 I would like to join the messages already posted to thank both Stu and
 Jan-Bart. I was on the board when we ask them to join us and I have no
 memory of ever regretting that decision ;)

 I wish you both the best !
 JB, can we expect to see you in Italy next summer ? I sure hope so...

 Anthere

  Le 06/01/16 08:10, Lodewijk a écrit :

 While we have long discussions on this list about board composition, we
> seem to almost ignore the fact that two long time veterans are leaving
>>> the
> Wikimedia Foundation board, as scheduled. Jan-Bart de Vreede and Stu
>>> West
> have been around longer than many regular editors nowadays, and I
>> think
> there are not many people who can recall the days that the board
>> didn't
> have them on it. I have never had the pleasure to serve on the board
>>> with
> them, but a little thank-you from our community side, would seem in
>>> place.
> Stu joined the board already in 2008 (filling Michael Davis' seat),
>> and
> has
> been a solid power on the board's audit responsibilities (I believe he
> chaired the audit committee for quite a while) and was a force behind
>>> the
> accountability of movement affiliates. While we often strongly
>> disagreed
> on
> affiliate issues, I appreciate the fact that he always remained
> constructive and wanted to think about solutions rather than problems.
>>> He
> served both as treasurer and vice chair.
>
> Jan-Bart was on the board even longer, since early 2007, and I recall
> already working with him through Kennisnet (a Dutch foundation for
> education and IT) before that. Jan-Bart is one of those rare people
>> who
> went to ALL wikimania conferences, and can be easily recognised there
>>> with
> his big smile. I can't remember a theme Jan-Bart didn't work on in the
> past
> years (Affiliates, HR, searching a new Executive Director) and he
>> served
> the board in many positions, including as chair.
>
> I'm sure that the WMF communications staff and/or board has a nice
> thankyou
> coming up - with a more accurate description of the awesome work they
>>> did,
> that I now made up from the top of my head. But in the mean time, I'd
>>> like
> to do it myself: Thank you Jan-Bart and Stu for all the time, energy
>> and
> effort that you poured into our movement. I know that not all of us
> appreciate this as much as we perhaps should, and sometimes you may
>> even
> have perceived us as hostile. I do sincerely hope that you had fun
>> with
>>> us
> though, and I'm confident that you made a big dent in our impossible
> mission of sharing the sum of all knowledge with everyone.
>
> I hope to meet you again soon, at least in Italy at Wikimania, and I
>>> hope
> to see you around in our movement in many different ways.
>
> Best,
>
> Lodewijk
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> 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Knight Foundation grant for search and discovery

2016-01-09 Thread Andreas Kolbe
On Sat, Jan 9, 2016 at 3:48 AM, Michael Snow  wrote:

> While it depends on the purpose of the grant, for the deliverables
> identified in the original post it seems clear that the most natural costs
> to pay would be salaries in software engineering, broadly speaking. As to
> the comment about how the grant amount aligns with the size and salary cost
> of this particular team - in the grantmaking world, it is entirely normal
> to make awards that pay for only fractions of people's salaries. Let's say
> you pay for 5% of X's salary and 10% of Y's salary, and as part of the
> agreement those people are then expected to spend the corresponding
> percentage of their time dedicated to working on the grant project. I'm
> sure that the Discovery team has more things to work on than just this one
> project, but the reason the Foundation would accept this grant is
> presumably that it overlaps enough with what the organization wants to do
> anyway.



This is confusing. If you look at the Discovery FAQ[1], it says,


--
*"Knowledge Engine" (KE) was an early term used to describe a number of
initiatives that related to search and discovery of content. It was/is not
a product and instead was meant to easily reference what the Discovery team
was focusing on. We've since stopped using the term as it caused confusion.*
--


So the Knowledge Engine is what the Discovery team is all about. The two
terms are described as practically synonymous in the FAQ: the Knowledge
Engine term (now deprecated) was a shorthand way of referring to the
Discovery team's work. From that, it doesn't sound like the Discovery team
has anything else to work on than that.

The Knight Foundation (KF) grant first announced by the Knight Foundation
in September last year[1], and announced by the WMF only a few days ago,
used the same language:


--
*To advance new models for finding information by supporting stage one
development of the Knowledge Engine by Wikipedia, a system for discovering
reliable and trustworthy public information on the Internet.*
--


To me at least this means that the KF grant was indeed intended to fund the
Discovery team's work, something which the $250,000 named can clearly only
do in part, given the amount of personnel involved. The rest of the funding
thus must claim a share of the Foundation's own resources.

There is an interesting post by "Eagle" on Wikipediocracy,[3] which I
suspect may go some way towards explaining the wider technological
background of the Knowledge Engine effort and the strategic decisions
underlying it:


--
*Today, a fork is possible because the Mediawiki software is open source
and all of the database has been licensed by the contributors. We do not
know if the Knowledge Engine software will be open source or how the
Knowledge Engine database will be licensed. *

*This is a very interesting trend. A large base of volunteers have gathered
a lot of the world's knowledge. The original model, created by Messrs.
Wales and Sanger, is that the collection should be delivered in the form of
an encyclopedia. *

*Then, IBM's Watson, Apple's Siri, and Microsoft Cortana came forward and
created proprietary natural language systems to use Wikipedia (plus other
data sources) to provide access to general knowledge in [a] way far more
attractive than a text encyclopedia. *

*The question becomes would a fork away from the WMF be possible once
Wikipedia shifts away from a Mediawiki based "encyclopedia?" Even if the
entire Wikipedia community shifted to working on the fo[r]k, would the user
interface of the Knowledge Engine keep the user traffic (and the Google
juice) with the WMF after the shift? *

*Conversely, if the world of information seekers is shifting away from a
text encyclopedia model to access information, does anyone seriously
believe that the WMF technical staff (even if enhanced by the Knight
Foundation grant) can compete with the best that IBM, Apple and Microsoft
will continue to develop? *


*This is a very serious problem that Mr. Wales, Lila, Doc James and seven
others can not solve by themselves locked into a secret sound-proof
chamber.*
--


While I am pretty sure that any Knowledge Engine software developed by the
Wikimedia Foundation will be open source (if I am wrong on this, please put
me right!), and am not proposing to initiate a discussion about forking
here, some of what Eagle says about the wider technological background
feels like it might be very relevant to the motivations underlying the
Knowledge Engine (or "Discovery") project.

People looking up Wikipedia on their smartphone in the pub will indeed not
read a long encyclopedia article. They just want a snippet of information.
But does that mean that, given developments like the Knowledge Graph, Siri,
Watson etc., the writing is on the wall for Wikipedia's -- presently at
least -- immensely popular and much-loved encyclopedia format?

I don't understand what happened between the 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] WMF trustee Arnnon Geshuri and part in anticompetitive agreements in Google

2016-01-09 Thread MZMcBride
Austin Hair wrote:
>Having waited two days for any kind of meaningful response from either
>the Board or from individual trustees, I have to say that Kat's
>comments (unsurprisingly) nailed it.
>
>I mean, seriously, nobody googled him?

Since it doesn't seem to have been mentioned in this thread already, one
of the trustees, Jimmy Wales, has provided some responses on his English
Wikipedia talk page. He directly mentions googling and Google.

---
I cannot speak for the entire board. As for myself, I was aware (from
googling him and reading news reports) that he had a small part in the
overall situation when he was told by Eric Schmidt that Google had a
policy of not recruiting from Apple, and that a recruiter had done it, and
that the recruiter should be fired, and he agreed to do so. As for your
other allegations, that he "helped manage that collusion", the part about
some "ugly and humiliating" termination, and chastisement by a Federal
Judge, I don't (yet) know anything about that.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 09:41,
8 January 2016 (UTC)
---

In response to a request to further expand on Mr. Geshuri's suitability to
be a trustee:

---
Sure, I'll offer my views when the time is right. At the moment, I'm
waiting for a staff report and some board discussion to take place. It
would be inappropriate for me to offer a public opinion at this early
stage.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 08:03, 9 January 2016 (UTC)
---

There's also:

---
I don't think this board has any unhealthy relationship with
Google.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 08:02, 9 January 2016 (UTC)
---

Source: .

MZMcBride



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Re: [Wikimedia-l] WMF trustee Arnnon Geshuri and part in anticompetitive agreements in Google

2016-01-09 Thread David Gerard
... and the court papers, and the smoking gun documents, and ...

This is the sort of thing that needs some serious explaining. Assume
good faith, but we're starting from some pretty *startling*
circumstances and evidence here.


- d.

On 9 January 2016 at 09:19, Craig Franklin  wrote:
> Chris,
>
> Thanks for saying that.  I'd also add that while the situation with Arrnon
> looks damning on the face of it, I'm a little disappointed that people are
> breaking out the pitchforks based purely on media reports, before he has a
> chance to present his own side of the story and before Dariusz and the
> others can properly look into the matter.  I also think that some of the
> more 'excitable' commentary on this list in the past couple of weeks is
> more likely to push the trustees away than get us the explanations we
> want.  Yes, what is happening is deeply concerning, but lets not all lose
> our heads.
>
> Cheers,
> Craig
>
> On 9 January 2016 at 19:06, Chris Keating 
> wrote:
>
>> > I suspect they need a few days, based on past experiences. To dig into
>> the
>> > matter, and prepare an answer
>>
>> Quite, and thanks for saying that Lodewijk.
>>
>> In my view, the WMF board's top priority has to be the issues about
>> strategy, leadership and staff morale that are being made public now. It is
>> in everyone's interests that these issues get sorted out and some key parts
>> of the solution have to happen in private.
>>
>> I am sure that the Board have invested a huge amount of time and energy in
>> these issues already. Unless you have been on the board of an organisation
>> that's gone through a serious problem it's difficult to appreciate the
>> pressure this creates. I have, and I would urge everyone to take a deep
>> breath and  think before emailing. It's worth repeating that Board members
>> are all volunteers with jobs and families and what's more are trying to
>> coordinate between three different continents.
>>
>> In particular hundred-email threads on this list where everyone speculates
>> and demands answers to their particular questions  (and some people
>> downright stir the shit) are less than helpful - a board member who spends
>> 5 hours a week on WMF business could easily spend that just reading all the
>> emails
>>
>> Dariusz has said the Board is looking into the situation with Arnnon, which
>> they were clearly not aware of - that is what needs to happen and yet more
>> emails on this list won't mean that happens any more quickly.
>>
>> Regards,
>>
>> Chris Keating
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] WMF trustee Arnnon Geshuri and part in anticompetitive agreements in Google

2016-01-09 Thread Risker
On 9 January 2016 at 10:09, Fæ  wrote:

>
> 
>


>   We are well overdue for a major turnover of board members.
> Fae
> --
>
>

While I have largely kept out of this thread to this time, this statement
needs to be rebutted.  There are ten seats on the board.  Five of them -
all three "community-selected" seats and two of the four board-appointed
seats - have changed hands in the last six months.  An additional
board-selected seat changed hands not long before Wikimania last year (Guy
Kawasaki).  That means six of the 10 board members have less than a year's
experience in the role.  (One of those has now been removed, but that still
means half the board has very limited experience.)

Of the remaining seats, two are "Chapter/Thorg-selected" seats that will be
contested in the near future. Historically, only one of the incumbents of
those seats have been reseated, and I make no predictions for this year.
Jimmy Wales is assumed to still hold the Founder seat, and the fourth
board-appointed seat is held by longtime community member Alice Weigand.

We do not know how the board will decide to fill the recently vacated
"community-selected" seat - the options appear to be narrowed to appointing
the fourth-place candidate from the last election (which would bring an
experienced board member back to the table) or an election, which could
also bring a completely new trustee.

At minimum, we already have five board members who weren't board members
this time last year.  By the end of their Wikimania board meeting, we could
have as many as eight trustees with less than 18 months of experience under
their belt.  Of all the problems the board has, insufficient turnover is
NOT one of them.

Risker
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] WMF trustee Arnnon Geshuri and part in anticompetitive agreements in Google

2016-01-09 Thread Pete Forsyth
Sarah, thanks for the response -- but I find this puzzling. I don't want to
get into too many details here, as I think the comment thread on the
Signpost op-ed, or the poll on the letter's talk page, are more appropriate
venues for that; but briefly:

On Sat, Jan 9, 2016 at 12:30 PM, SarahSV  wrote:

> Pete, it does seem that since Lila arrived a lot of the tension between
> the Foundation and community has gone. I've several times heard her talk of
> the need to respect the community because Wikipedia is nothing without it.
>

I am more interested in discussing actions than words.


> ​You wrote above: "​As I understand it, we are still very much in the
> 'Superprotect disaster' era -- one which began under the same Executive
> Director we have today."
>
> Superprotect was implemented just after Lila arrived, but it was a decision
> of Erik's.


I'd say "citation needed," but in this case I am highly confident that no
citation exists. We have had no formal statement whatsoever on which to
base speculation. Beyond that, Lila was Erik's boss; and people closer to
the situation than myself have actually (privately) asserted just the
opposite, that Lila was the driving force.

The tensions behind it were very much a product of the pre-Lila
> era, and had been growing for years.


I very much agree with this, yes.


> It appeared that Lila quickly understood that it needed to go.
>

I do not agree with this. She did acknowledge that the software feature had
been a problem, when she announced its removal. (Keep in mind, its
implementation happened on a Sunday afternoon, and its removal took a year
and a half -- so I'm not sure about "quickly.")

But more importantly, neither she nor the board have acknowledged, much
less moved to address, non-technical aspects of the letter.

-Pete
[[User:Peteforsyth]]
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] WMF trustee Arnnon Geshuri and part in anticompetitive agreements in Google

2016-01-09 Thread Pete Forsyth
Hi Anders,

Your perspective is very different from mine or from any I've heard, and
I'd like to understand it better:

On Sat, Jan 9, 2016 at 3:12 AM, Anders Wennersten 
wrote:

> I also think it would be good  to remember that WMF transformation from
> the "Superprotect disaster"

I do not see the transition you suggest. As I understand it, we are still
very much in the "Superprotect disaster" era -- one which began under the
same Executive Director we have today and, I believe, four of the present
Trustees. None has publicly acknowledged the existence of the letter signed
by 1,000 people,[1] nor addressed the (IMO more important) second of the
letter's two requests.

These sentiments reflect the more-or-less-unanimous (depending how you
interpret the comments) perspectives of those responding to an informal
poll I requested,[2] which was presented in a November 2015 op-ed I
published in the English Wikipedia Signpost.[3]

Since the poll is informal, it is in no way "closed" -- if you have a
different perspective, Anders (or for any who agree, for that matter), I
would appreciate any additions to that page.

to a very much appreciated 2015 Community Wishlist Survey.

I am aware of the existence of the Community Wishlist Survey, and I
appreciate that it reflects a desire to move forward, which is a good
thing; but I would stop well short of "very much appreciated," for two
reasons:

(a) In the absence of a clear assertion from the WMF about the role of
local projects (along the lines of what was requested in the letter), I am
personally reluctant to engage in WMF-directed engagement processes (on the
principle "Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.") I
prefer to put my time into efforts where I have confidence that I will have
appropriate influence.

(b) The name "Community Wishlist Survey" continues a misguided notion that
has been prevalent at WMF for many years: Namely, that "the community" is a
constituency among others, which should be appeased. My experience of
people in "the community" is utterly different: many volunteers are just as
concerned about the future of Wikipedia, and issues like demographic
biases, the needs of readers, etc. as WMF personnel. These things are in
fact what *drive* us to volunteer to begin with. But according to the
artificial distinction of "community" as a stakeholder group distinct from
"reader" that is prevalent at the WMF, it is a truism that "community
interests" are something other from "reader interests." That truism is in
fact false.

I would rather see a "Wishlist Survey" (another name for which could be
"Open Strategic Planning Process"), than a *community-specific* wishlist
survey. But this year, unlike the five year plan created in 2010, we have
no such thing.

To go from an "inside-out" to an "outside-in" model in deciding what
> functionality to develop is a revolution.


The trend in recent years, in my view, has been in the opposite direction.


> And even if we as users all applaud this change, we should also respect it
> can be felt tough to adjust to if you are "inside"
>

It is my view that many who are "inside" -- staff at the WMF -- have been
pushing hard to have the kind of "revolution" you seem to think has already
happened. Given the number of staff who have lost their jobs, I believe
they are doing so at their own peril, which makes that work all the more
admirable. I wish I could name names here, as there has been excellent work
done within the walls of WMF by a large number of people; but I expect that
in the present environment, they would prefer *not* to be named and
acknowledged.


> I give Lila 100% credit for this change and thank the Board for supporting
> this change (and also to have recruited Lila with this as main purpose)
>

I would have to give this final point a big "citation needed" tag.

-Pete
[[User:Peteforsyth]]


> [1]
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Letter_to_Wikimedia_Foundation:_Superprotect_and_Media_Viewer
> [2]
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:Letter_to_Wikimedia_Foundation:_Superprotect_and_Media_Viewer#November_2015_poll:_Has_the_letter_achieved_its_goal.3F
> [3]
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/2015-11-11/Op-ed
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] WMF trustee Arnnon Geshuri and part in anticompetitive agreements in Google

2016-01-09 Thread SarahSV
On Sat, Jan 9, 2016 at 12:56 PM, Pete Forsyth  wrote:

>
> > I give Lila 100% credit for this change and thank the Board for
> supporting
> > this change (and also to have recruited Lila with this as main purpose)
> >
>
> I would have to give this final point a big "citation needed" tag.
>
> -Pete
> [[User:Peteforsyth]]
>
>
> ​Pete, it does seem that since Lila arrived a lot of the tension between
the Foundation and community has gone. I've several times heard her talk of
the need to respect the community because Wikipedia is nothing without it. ​


​You wrote above: "​As I understand it, we are still very much in the
'Superprotect disaster' era -- one which began under the same Executive
Director we have today."

Superprotect was implemented just after Lila arrived, but it was a decision
of Erik's. The tensions behind it were very much a product of the pre-Lila
era, and had been growing for years. It appeared that Lila quickly
understood that it needed to go.

Sarah
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[Wikimedia-l] WMF Scholarship Deadline for Wikimania is Today

2016-01-09 Thread Ellie Young
Reminder:
Scholarship applications for Wikimania 2016 which is being held in Esino
Lario, Italy on June 22–27, 2016 are now being accepted. Applications are
open until Saturday, January 09 2016 23:59 UTC. Applicants will be able to
apply for a partial or full scholarship. A full scholarship will cover the
cost of an individual's round-trip travel, shared accommodation, and
conference registration fees as arranged by the Wikimedia Foundation. A
partial scholarship will cover conference registration fees and shared
accommodation. Applicants will be rated using a pre-determined selection
process and selection criteria established by the Scholarship Committee and
the Wikimedia Foundation, who will determine which applications are
successful. To learn more about Wikimania 2016 scholarships, please visit:
https://wikimania2016.wikimedia.org/wiki/Scholarships To apply for a
scholarship, fill out the multi-language application form on:
https://scholarships.wikimedia.org/apply It is highly recommended that
applicants review all the material on the Scholarships page and the
associated FAQ ( https://wikimania2016.wikimedia.org/wiki/Scholarships/FAQ
) before submitting an application. If you have any questions, please
contact: wikimania-scholarships at wikimedia.org
 or leave a message at:
https://wikimania2016.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:Scholarships


-- 
Ellie Young
Events Manager
Wikimedia Foundation
eyo...@wikimedia.org
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] WMF trustee Arnnon Geshuri and part in anticompetitive agreements in Google

2016-01-09 Thread
On 9 January 2016 at 17:34, MZMcBride  wrote:
> I don't think this board has any unhealthy relationship with
> Google.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 08:02, 9 January 2016 (UTC)
> Source: .

LOL.

A new WMF trustee was proven in court to have been *acting illegally
for Google*, yet the WMF board are completely confident that they have
no "unhealthy relationship with Google" and the WMF Chairman has
firmly stated in writing that they have no plans to have an
independent review of the board governance because they are so darn
happy with their professional self-governance.

Jeez, this board are complacent beyond the point of incompetence. We
are well overdue for a major turnover of board members. For goodness
sake, what a bunch of clowns we have put in charge of the cash cow.

Fae
-- 
fae...@gmail.com https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Fae

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[Wikimedia-l] Beyond the Board (was: WMF trustee Arnnon Geshuri and part in anticompetitive agreements in Google)

2016-01-09 Thread Milos Rancic
Forking the issue of Board composition.

We tend to think of Board as the governing body of the movement, not just
WMF. Board members tend to think of themselves as the governing body of
WMF, with shiny cool movement supporting it.

We tend to discuss of community representation, they tend to assimilate
anyone who joins them. While "trust and honesty" are noble words, they tend
to be the words of excuse, covering forced imposition of the dominant
position over everybody inside of the group.

The Board composed as it is now has no capacity to overcome this problem. I
am not talking about particular persons inside of the Board, but about the
culture of assimilation, which usually ends in assimilation, but, as we
could see now, it could end in removal of a Board member.

I see two options to overcome this problem and both of them require wide
consensus, including the present Board.

One option is to restructure the Board itself, the other one is to create
new cover organization, with WMF as one of its institutions.

It's obvious to me that Wikimedia is not an ordinary organization or even
an ordinary movement. The importance of Wikimedia movement is on the level
of smaller country. Our needs are on the level of a city-sized society. And
our governance should be so.

At the moment, we have a kind of a mix which works because of that culture
of assimilation and because WMF makes enough money. Destroying any of those
corruptive powers would destroy WMF itself. So, if we want to change
something, we have to reorganize the structure, not to fix it.

What every organized social group? Yes, assembly (or whatever the name is
inside of the particular structure). If it's about business, it's the
assembly of shareholders. If it's about democratic institutions, it's about
the assembly which represents all members of the society.

WMF Board is quasi-assembly, quasi-government. It will always has partial
excuse that it's about community-elected members, but also that it needs
"an expertise" as a governing body. It's no surprise that the turnover on
the best elections (the last one) was around 10%. Not a lot of Wikimedians
think they are able to change anything and they are right.

I suggested few times that we should create assembly as a real democratic
institution. Such assembly could then appoint the Board as a governing body
or leave to ED and staff to be executive body of the movement.

The other option is to create assembly outside of WMF and make the relation
between them later.

As long as we don't talk about this issue, we will have the same stories
again and again. The set of mistakes Board could make is not finite. And
whenever something odd or harmful happens, we will be talking the same
stories.

By moving it into openly political discourse, we will avoid secrecy and
Wikimedians will be able to influence decisions, outside of closed groups
and personal connections.

(At the end, I am wondering why I am repeating this, as nobody responded to
this idea previous few times. Not even with "this is bad idea because
of...".)

-- Forwarded message --
From: "Todd Allen" 
Date: Jan 9, 2016 19:34
Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] WMF trustee Arnnon Geshuri and part in
anticompetitive agreements in Google
To: "Wikimedia Mailing List" 
Cc:

> There is still a significant problem the Board does have, though.
> "Chapter/thorg selected seats" are not community seats. And we've recently
> found out that none of the seats at all are actually considered to be
> community-selected, and that a community elected board member can be
> removed without referendum to the community.
>
> A majority, at least six seats, on the Board, should be directly elected
by
> the Wikimedia community. (Not "chapters", the entire community). And
> "directly elected" should mean that the member cannot be removed
> involuntarily except by vote of that same electorate, whether by
referendum
> or the community's own initiative.
>
> On Sat, Jan 9, 2016 at 11:29 AM, Risker  wrote:
>
> > On 9 January 2016 at 10:09, Fæ  wrote:
> >
> > >
> > > 
> > >
> >
> >
> > >   We are well overdue for a major turnover of board members.
> > > Fae
> > > --
> > >
> > >
> >
> > While I have largely kept out of this thread to this time, this
statement
> > needs to be rebutted.  There are ten seats on the board.  Five of them -
> > all three "community-selected" seats and two of the four board-appointed
> > seats - have changed hands in the last six months.  An additional
> > board-selected seat changed hands not long before Wikimania last year
(Guy
> > Kawasaki).  That means six of the 10 board members have less than a
year's
> > experience in the role.  (One of those has now been removed, but that
still
> > means half the board has very limited experience.)
> >
> > Of the remaining seats, two are "Chapter/Thorg-selected" seats that
will be
> > contested in the near future. 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] WMF trustee Arnnon Geshuri and part in anticompetitive agreements in Google

2016-01-09 Thread
Hello everyone, I would like to put out a friendly reminder that good
practice is to keep threads on topic within reason, and to create new
discussion threads for distinct tangents or complete spin off
discussions.

"Community Tech Team" and "Lila's performance" are interesting, and to
be fair they deserve their own threads. If your email to this thread
does not mention the appointment of Arnnon Geshuri as a new WMF
trustee (see thread title), it is worth considering which thread it
ought to be posted under, or whether it is time to create a new
subject line.

Thanks,
Fae

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Announcement about changes to the Board

2016-01-09 Thread MZMcBride
On January 8, 2016, the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees issued "a
short statement on recent comments by James Heilman". For completeness'
sake, I'm pasting the text of that statement into this thread.

---
Recently, James Heilman wrote, regarding his removal from the Wikimedia
Foundation Board: "It had in part to do with me wanting there to be public
discussion on our long term strategy."
[https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=User_talk:Jimbo_Wales=next
=698553023 diff].

I wrote the following statement, which has been agreed to by the entire
board at the time, names below:

"The removal of James as a board member was not due to any disagreement
about public discussion of our long term strategy.  The board unanimously
supports public discussion of our long term strategy, has offered no
objections to any board member discussing long term strategy with the
community at any time, and strongly supports that the Wikimedia Foundation
should develop long term strategy in consultation with the community."

* Dariusz Jemielniak
* Frieda Brioschi
* Denny Vrandecic
* Patricio Lorente
* Alice Wiegand
* Guy Kawasaki
* Jan-Bart de Vreede
* Stu West
* Jimmy Wales

I would like to add to this, speaking for myself only, that the loss of
trust that I felt in James was in no small part due to this kind of
statement on his part, in which the thinking of other board members is
being misrepresented to the community and to the staff.  James apologized
to the board for certain actions which he has chosen not to share with the
community, which is his right.  He asked for a second chance, and the
board declined to give it.  My own preference, as expressed to him
repeatedly, is that he live up to the values of honesty and transparency
that are core to our community, and certainly that he not continue to
misrepresent what happened.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 09:31, 8 January 2016 (UTC)
---

Source: .

Obviously a single mailing list thread can't and won't capture all of the
information related to this removal, but it seemed remiss to omit an
official statement from the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees on the
subject, especially when we have already included a number of other
statements from individual trustees and the Board in this thread.

MZMcBride



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Re: [Wikimedia-l] WMF trustee Arnnon Geshuri and part in anticompetitive agreements in Google

2016-01-09 Thread Todd Allen
There is still a significant problem the Board does have, though.
"Chapter/thorg selected seats" are not community seats. And we've recently
found out that none of the seats at all are actually considered to be
community-selected, and that a community elected board member can be
removed without referendum to the community.

A majority, at least six seats, on the Board, should be directly elected by
the Wikimedia community. (Not "chapters", the entire community). And
"directly elected" should mean that the member cannot be removed
involuntarily except by vote of that same electorate, whether by referendum
or the community's own initiative.

On Sat, Jan 9, 2016 at 11:29 AM, Risker  wrote:

> On 9 January 2016 at 10:09, Fæ  wrote:
>
> >
> > 
> >
>
>
> >   We are well overdue for a major turnover of board members.
> > Fae
> > --
> >
> >
>
> While I have largely kept out of this thread to this time, this statement
> needs to be rebutted.  There are ten seats on the board.  Five of them -
> all three "community-selected" seats and two of the four board-appointed
> seats - have changed hands in the last six months.  An additional
> board-selected seat changed hands not long before Wikimania last year (Guy
> Kawasaki).  That means six of the 10 board members have less than a year's
> experience in the role.  (One of those has now been removed, but that still
> means half the board has very limited experience.)
>
> Of the remaining seats, two are "Chapter/Thorg-selected" seats that will be
> contested in the near future. Historically, only one of the incumbents of
> those seats have been reseated, and I make no predictions for this year.
> Jimmy Wales is assumed to still hold the Founder seat, and the fourth
> board-appointed seat is held by longtime community member Alice Weigand.
>
> We do not know how the board will decide to fill the recently vacated
> "community-selected" seat - the options appear to be narrowed to appointing
> the fourth-place candidate from the last election (which would bring an
> experienced board member back to the table) or an election, which could
> also bring a completely new trustee.
>
> At minimum, we already have five board members who weren't board members
> this time last year.  By the end of their Wikimania board meeting, we could
> have as many as eight trustees with less than 18 months of experience under
> their belt.  Of all the problems the board has, insufficient turnover is
> NOT one of them.
>
> Risker
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] WMF trustee Arnnon Geshuri and part in anticompetitive agreements in Google

2016-01-09 Thread MZMcBride
Brad Jorsch (Anomie) wrote:
>IMO, you should give credit to the Community Tech team. They're the ones
>who came up with the wishlist idea and did it, unless I'm totally
>mistaken.
>
>You could also give some credit to the staffers who originally proposed
>creating the Community Tech team. It wasn't a top-down proposal.

I think I've said this elsewhere, but the idea of having a "Community
Tech" team continues to strike me as very strange as it immediately raises
the question of what everyone else is working on. "What do you mean
there's a Community Tech team? Are there technology teams at the Wikimedia
Foundation working on technology not for the Wikimedia community?" Or put
another way: every team at the Wikimedia Foundation should be carefully
considering the needs of the Wikimedia community and working with it.

It's also really not impressive to create a survey and solicit ideas.
In my brief skimming, a lot of the proposals listed at
 aren't
even new ideas. I'm happy to give credit when some of these proposals are
properly implemented, by whoever takes the time to create a plan of
action, write the necessary code, and get it deployed. But for now, it
seems pretty silly to try to give credit for essentially having a group of
people vote on Phabricator Maniphest tasks.

MZMcBride



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Re: [Wikimedia-l] WMF trustee Arnnon Geshuri and part in anticompetitive agreements in Google

2016-01-09 Thread Kevin Gorman
Though I'm trying to cut back on the number of posts I make to this list, I
want to respond to a couple points made in this thread.

First I totally understand - and agree - that we can't expect immediate
board comment on Arnnon's appointment.  Although I think the degree of the
issue should've been discovered in pre-appointment due diligence, it seems
like the issue and it's degree has caught many of the trustees by surprise
- even if figuring out how to respond to issues like this was their full
time (and since even the trustees are volunteers, it's certainly not,) it
would take some time to come up with a reasonable response, and they should
certainly be given the time they need to form an appropriate response.

However, I also want to respond to the suggestion that people are bringing
out their pitchforks based solely on media coverage of Arnnon's actions.
Although there are still shareholder lawsuits underway and there has
certainly been gossipy media coverage, the employee settlement has already
been agreed to upon by the companies (and class representatives) involved,
many of the documents involved have been released by order of the federal
judge involved, etc.  Arnnon's emails that I sent a copy of out earlier on
this thread don't come from someone leaking to Gawker - they were given by
Google to a federal judge, and then unsealed by her order.  We're not in a
situation where there's just media gossip that Arnnon was involved in some
way in setting up an illegal and unethical anti-solicitation agreement
between tech companies - rather, he was found to play a fairly integral
role in it's creation by a federal judge.  Some lawsuits are settled to
make them go away, but nearly half a billion dollars is not "This is a
groundless lawsuit, but it'll cost less to settle it than to make it go
away" territory - even for the companies involved, as large as they are.

Best,
Kevin Gorman

On Sat, Jan 9, 2016 at 1:21 PM, Pete Forsyth  wrote:

> Anders, thank you for your thoughtful message; I understand your position
> much better now, and see much to agree with:
>
> On Sat, Jan 9, 2016 at 1:08 PM, Anders Wennersten <
> m...@anderswennersten.se>
> wrote:
>
> > I used the word Superprotect but could just as well said the disastrous
> > implementation of Visual Editor, which definitely  was not the doing of
> > Lila. And the very positive response to Community Wishlist i have read on
> > this list (and on the talkpages), I have not co,me across any real
> negative
> > feedback.across
> >
>
> Yes, I agree -- the organization's software development processes are
> improved under Lila's leadership. Significant positive steps have been
> taken, no question -- and she certainly deserves some credit for that.
>
> I am happy to read that there were several in the tech org who initiated
> > this, and that there is a positive feeling of it. I was 25 years ago for
> > seven years was a manager of a org developing sw tools for 3000 sw
> > developer (very similar the WMF setup)  and I went through the process of
> > going from inside-out.  And I learned that the setup of "wishlists" etc
> was
> > the easy part. I learned that when this was in place the internal org and
> > roles had to be redefined (it was not upwards you had to look what to
> > implement but to the community).
>
>
> I don't know for sure, but my impression is that in this case, much of this
> has been done simultaneously; internal structures have been changing
> alongside the processes for community engagement. I expect there is much
> credit for that to be shared among various parties, including Lila.
>
> And there were a lot of squeaks before the org got sorted out, but then the
> > people got very stimulated working in a outside-in organisation.
> >
>
> Glad to hear of this experience.
>
>
> > And from this perspective I actually think the Board made a very good
> work
> > identifying the competence Geshuri has which I believe is just what the
> > Board and WMF needs just now.
>
>
> That very well may be the case. I do not have a strong opinion on Mr.
> Geshuri's competencies, and am happy to defer to your more-informed
> perspective. I am heartened to hear that the Board may have done good work
> in identifying and addressing certain missing competencies (even if there
> may be separate issues with the specific choice).
>
> I do think there are two significant issues with Mr. Geshuri's appointment,
> though -- the second of which has not been brought up yet:
> (1) The Board did not apparently do basic due diligence in looking into his
> background
> (2) Mr. Geshuri himself did not highlight the Google firing issue to the
> board prior to his appointment, which makes me wonder about his judgment.
>
> The problems associated with him is already identified and I am not denying
> > these, but please give the Board also credit for their good work, not
> just
> > blaming when (and if) they make mistakes
>
>
> I am happy to do so, but I 

[Wikimedia-l] In Support of Community

2016-01-09 Thread Damon Sicore
To All,

Just to mark this moment, or maybe remind those who paid attention when I
published these, some long before I vanished in silence:

https://damon.sicore.com/proof-0/

https://damon.sicore.com/proof-1/

https://damon.sicore.com/proof-2/

https://damon.sicore.com/proof-3/

https://damon.sicore.com/proof-4/

https://damon.sicore.com/proof-5/

https://damon.sicore.com/proof-6-the-mistake/

https://damon.sicore.com/proof-the-stand/

I trust James Heilman.  I support the community.

:)

Yours faithfully,
Damon Sicore
aka: gnubeard, ex-vp of eng, and briefly head of product, WMF
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] WMF trustee Arnnon Geshuri and part in anticompetitive agreements in Google

2016-01-09 Thread Austin Hair
On Sat, Jan 9, 2016 at 5:21 PM, Fæ  wrote:
> Hello everyone, I would like to put out a friendly reminder that good
> practice is to keep threads on topic within reason, and to create new
> discussion threads for distinct tangents or complete spin off
> discussions.
>
> "Community Tech Team" and "Lila's performance" are interesting, and to
> be fair they deserve their own threads. If your email to this thread
> does not mention the appointment of Arnnon Geshuri as a new WMF
> trustee (see thread title), it is worth considering which thread it
> ought to be posted under, or whether it is time to create a new
> subject line.

Not exactly coming from the source I would expect, but indeed, please
keep your comments germane to subject line. (Starting new threads is
entirely appropriate, and welcomed.)

Austin

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] WMF trustee Arnnon Geshuri and part in anticompetitive agreements in Google

2016-01-09 Thread SarahSV
On Sat, Jan 9, 2016 at 2:21 PM, Pete Forsyth  wrote:

> I do think there are two significant issues with Mr. Geshuri's appointment,
> though -- the second of which has not been brought up yet:
> (1) The Board did not apparently do basic due diligence in looking into his
> background
> (2) Mr. Geshuri himself did not highlight the Google firing issue to the
> board prior to his appointment, which makes me wonder about his judgment.
>
​
Do we know who suggested ​
Arnnon Geshuri
​ for a board seat?

Sarah
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] WMF trustee Arnnon Geshuri and part in anticompetitive agreements in Google

2016-01-09 Thread Theo10011
Hey Fae

On Sat, Jan 9, 2016, Fæ  wrote:
>
> LOL.


> Jeez, this board are complacent beyond the point of incompetence. We
> are well overdue for a major turnover of board members. For goodness
> sake, what a bunch of clowns we have put in charge of the cash cow.


I know there is a good bit of frustration and disappointment around, but
language like that is not helpful. I say this with appreciation for all the
research and relevant comments you've made so far. You are doing yourself
and the conversation a disservice by comments like that. A "bunch of clowns
we have put in charge of the cash cow" is wrong on so many levels, and I
know you realise it too.

Don't reduce the level of conversation here, you have been doing well here.
It will only make it easier to marginalise and ignore all your effort.

Kind Regards
Theo
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] WMF trustee Arnnon Geshuri and part in anticompetitive agreements in Google

2016-01-09 Thread Milos Rancic
On Sun, Jan 10, 2016 at 12:02 AM, SarahSV  wrote:
> Do we know who suggested
> Arnnon Geshuri
> for a board seat?

Spoiler: As "trust and honesty" are highly valued, his name likely
appeared inside of a list "we compiled in the past".

-- 
Milos

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] In Support of Community

2016-01-09 Thread Joseph Fox
Thanks, Damon. It all makes sense now.

On Sat, 9 Jan 2016 at 15:55 Damon Sicore  wrote:

> To All,
>
> Just to mark this moment, or maybe remind those who paid attention when I
> published these, some long before I vanished in silence:
>
> https://damon.sicore.com/proof-0/
>
> https://damon.sicore.com/proof-1/
>
> https://damon.sicore.com/proof-2/
>
> https://damon.sicore.com/proof-3/
>
> https://damon.sicore.com/proof-4/
>
> https://damon.sicore.com/proof-5/
>
> https://damon.sicore.com/proof-6-the-mistake/
>
> https://damon.sicore.com/proof-the-stand/
>
> I trust James Heilman.  I support the community.
>
> :)
>
> Yours faithfully,
> Damon Sicore
> aka: gnubeard, ex-vp of eng, and briefly head of product, WMF
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] WMF trustee Arnnon Geshuri and part in anticompetitive agreements in Google

2016-01-09 Thread Todd Allen
I think Fae's frustration (and everyone else's) is quite understandable. I
understand your concern with keeping the discussion civil, but there does
come a time to move from "Please provide more information about this" to
"Stop stonewalling and giving nonanswers, and tell us what in the hell is
actually going on here." If we're not at that point, we're sure close to
it. I think we passed it on the first non-answer-answer about James
Heilman, not to mention the deafening silence about the accusation that he
was denied access to documents. It's time for some answers that actually
provide information.

Todd
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] What happened on the Board of Trustees?

2016-01-09 Thread Comet styles
The major problem is and has been for a while  is that we have people
in the hierarchy who do not understand how the wiki works, most have
never made an edit out of their 'hidden' wikis or userpages on wmfwiki
or meta..

How can one trust a product in the hands of someone who does not use
it? ..We will never get a truthful answer for his removal and the
reason is probably quite petty as well but it shows discord amongst
our so called 'leaders' and its sad and ironic that this had to happen
around the time wikipedia is doing its donation drive..honestly, WMF
has taken a  nosedive since Sue left and left the organisation in the
hands of Lila who has failed as a leader..not to mention her
'baby-daddy' has been banned from most wikimedia wikis as well as IRC
for talking nonsense and is constantly using his blogs to attack the
same organisation his 'ex' is trying to run..

---
Cometstyles/Warpath

On 1/9/16, Tobias  wrote:
> Dear all,
>
> right now, we know very little about the removal of James. It is hard
> for anyone not involved (which is the vast majority of this community)
> to come up with any safe conclusions, because there is a lack of
> evidence. This opens up the possibility of speculation. I would prefer
> the stating of facts instead of speculation, but since that's not
> happening, I think speculation might be a way to incentivize more
> insiders to come forward with facts, if only to refute the content of
> speculation.
>
> I am going to attempt to do this in a neutral fashion, and I will also
> follow another important tradition in the movement, assume good faith. I
> do not subscribe to conspiracy theories that allege a secret plan by
> Google or intentions of harming Wikipedia on anyone's part.
>
> Here's what I think might have happened:
>
> James, a longstanding community member, is accustomed to how we do
> things on Wikipedia -- with transparency, an open discourse, but also
> endless discussions on talk pages. Other members of the board have less
> of a "Wikipedian" background, and are more accustomed to how things work
> in companies: board meetings in secret, focus on being effective at the
> cost of transparency, with a frank tone on the inside, and a diplomatic
> and collective voice to the outside.
> These very different conceptions clash, for instance when it comes to
> the plans of a "Wikipedia knowledge engine": some prefer early community
> involvement and plead openness, others, perhaps scared of the harsh
> criticism of early announced and unfinished products by the community,
> wish to wait with giving out more information. James is frustrated and
> tries to push other board members towards more transparency, which in
> turn makes them wary of him and they mutually develop distrust.
> The pivotal part of the story then is the question of WMF leadership,
> and the fact that there is a lot of discontent among WMF staff with
> senior leadership, as indicated by an employee engagement survey. James,
> being used to transparent discussions, pushes for a thorough and open
> review, and talks to staff members to gain more information. The other
> board members, perhaps somewhat in panic, think he will initiate a
> public discussion about replacing senior leadership and (perhaps
> inadvertently) will cause a major disruption to the entire foundation,
> so they decide to call a halt before it's too late and remove him from
> the board.
>
>
> This is what, given the information publicly available, is in my opinion
> at least one likely explanation of what happened. Please take it with a
> grain of salt, it /is/ speculation. I intend this to undergo the process
> of falsification and encourage anyone involved to call me out on what
> they perceive is incorrect.
>
> Tobias
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Announcement about changes to the Board

2016-01-09 Thread Comet styles
Jimmy has always been biased so I personally won't trust his words but
the way this is playing out, its like James somehow revealed the pass
codes to the WMF Nuclear launch codes or something...did he?

A board made up to govern a community driven project filled with
people no one voted in decides to give a community selected board
member the boot for reason which they supposedly 'cannot' reveal and
they wonder why the community is pissed off at them?

The FAQ on James removal gives nothing away and the community will
only accept an answer which they deem truthful, we have yet to get
one You only dismiss board/staff members when they waste away
millions on something which has no future (which they didn't) or if
they steal..sorry but a BoT member talking to staff about an ongoing
issue is not good enough a reason for removal..We will be celebrating
15 years of wikipedia soon, 9ish of those years were great, the last 6
years felt like an ongoing battle between the community and the
bloated staff/board with forced changes to the wmf wikis and
unexplained hiring, firings and wastage of money which we do not
have...

Atleast those that have been in the project for a while now would
fondly remember the good times on the wikis, back when bureaucracy did
not play any part in changing the direction the project was
heading.so now i ask the one question we all have been
ponderingWhen are the Google-ads coming?

On 1/10/16, MZMcBride  wrote:
> On January 8, 2016, the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees issued "a
> short statement on recent comments by James Heilman". For completeness'
> sake, I'm pasting the text of that statement into this thread.
>
> ---
> Recently, James Heilman wrote, regarding his removal from the Wikimedia
> Foundation Board: "It had in part to do with me wanting there to be public
> discussion on our long term strategy."
> [https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=User_talk:Jimbo_Wales=next
> =698553023 diff].
>
> I wrote the following statement, which has been agreed to by the entire
> board at the time, names below:
>
> "The removal of James as a board member was not due to any disagreement
> about public discussion of our long term strategy.  The board unanimously
> supports public discussion of our long term strategy, has offered no
> objections to any board member discussing long term strategy with the
> community at any time, and strongly supports that the Wikimedia Foundation
> should develop long term strategy in consultation with the community."
>
> * Dariusz Jemielniak
> * Frieda Brioschi
> * Denny Vrandecic
> * Patricio Lorente
> * Alice Wiegand
> * Guy Kawasaki
> * Jan-Bart de Vreede
> * Stu West
> * Jimmy Wales
>
> I would like to add to this, speaking for myself only, that the loss of
> trust that I felt in James was in no small part due to this kind of
> statement on his part, in which the thinking of other board members is
> being misrepresented to the community and to the staff.  James apologized
> to the board for certain actions which he has chosen not to share with the
> community, which is his right.  He asked for a second chance, and the
> board declined to give it.  My own preference, as expressed to him
> repeatedly, is that he live up to the values of honesty and transparency
> that are core to our community, and certainly that he not continue to
> misrepresent what happened.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 09:31, 8 January 2016 (UTC)
> ---
>
> Source: .
>
> Obviously a single mailing list thread can't and won't capture all of the
> information related to this removal, but it seemed remiss to omit an
> official statement from the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees on the
> subject, especially when we have already included a number of other
> statements from individual trustees and the Board in this thread.
>
> MZMcBride
>
>
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] What happened on the Board of Trustees?

2016-01-09 Thread Toby Negrin
Hi Cometstyles -

A lot of people have put much more of themselves into the project than me
but I would like to request that we maintain a civil tone and subject.
Regardless of how we feel about professional aptitude I think we should
leave personal lives and families out of these discussions.

-Toby



On Saturday, January 9, 2016, Comet styles  wrote:

> The major problem is and has been for a while  is that we have people
> in the hierarchy who do not understand how the wiki works, most have
> never made an edit out of their 'hidden' wikis or userpages on wmfwiki
> or meta..
>
> How can one trust a product in the hands of someone who does not use
> it? ..We will never get a truthful answer for his removal and the
> reason is probably quite petty as well but it shows discord amongst
> our so called 'leaders' and its sad and ironic that this had to happen
> around the time wikipedia is doing its donation drive..honestly, WMF
> has taken a  nosedive since Sue left and left the organisation in the
> hands of Lila who has failed as a leader..not to mention her
> 'baby-daddy' has been banned from most wikimedia wikis as well as IRC
> for talking nonsense and is constantly using his blogs to attack the
> same organisation his 'ex' is trying to run..
>
> ---
> Cometstyles/Warpath
>
> On 1/9/16, Tobias >
> wrote:
> > Dear all,
> >
> > right now, we know very little about the removal of James. It is hard
> > for anyone not involved (which is the vast majority of this community)
> > to come up with any safe conclusions, because there is a lack of
> > evidence. This opens up the possibility of speculation. I would prefer
> > the stating of facts instead of speculation, but since that's not
> > happening, I think speculation might be a way to incentivize more
> > insiders to come forward with facts, if only to refute the content of
> > speculation.
> >
> > I am going to attempt to do this in a neutral fashion, and I will also
> > follow another important tradition in the movement, assume good faith. I
> > do not subscribe to conspiracy theories that allege a secret plan by
> > Google or intentions of harming Wikipedia on anyone's part.
> >
> > Here's what I think might have happened:
> >
> > James, a longstanding community member, is accustomed to how we do
> > things on Wikipedia -- with transparency, an open discourse, but also
> > endless discussions on talk pages. Other members of the board have less
> > of a "Wikipedian" background, and are more accustomed to how things work
> > in companies: board meetings in secret, focus on being effective at the
> > cost of transparency, with a frank tone on the inside, and a diplomatic
> > and collective voice to the outside.
> > These very different conceptions clash, for instance when it comes to
> > the plans of a "Wikipedia knowledge engine": some prefer early community
> > involvement and plead openness, others, perhaps scared of the harsh
> > criticism of early announced and unfinished products by the community,
> > wish to wait with giving out more information. James is frustrated and
> > tries to push other board members towards more transparency, which in
> > turn makes them wary of him and they mutually develop distrust.
> > The pivotal part of the story then is the question of WMF leadership,
> > and the fact that there is a lot of discontent among WMF staff with
> > senior leadership, as indicated by an employee engagement survey. James,
> > being used to transparent discussions, pushes for a thorough and open
> > review, and talks to staff members to gain more information. The other
> > board members, perhaps somewhat in panic, think he will initiate a
> > public discussion about replacing senior leadership and (perhaps
> > inadvertently) will cause a major disruption to the entire foundation,
> > so they decide to call a halt before it's too late and remove him from
> > the board.
> >
> >
> > This is what, given the information publicly available, is in my opinion
> > at least one likely explanation of what happened. Please take it with a
> > grain of salt, it /is/ speculation. I intend this to undergo the process
> > of falsification and encourage anyone involved to call me out on what
> > they perceive is incorrect.
> >
> > Tobias
> >
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>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] What happened on the Board of Trustees?

2016-01-09 Thread Arjuna Rao Chavala
Hi Tobias

On Sat, Jan 9, 2016 at 12:06 AM, Tobias 
wrote:

> Dear all,
>
> right now, we know very little about the removal of James. It is hard
> for anyone not involved (which is the vast majority of this community)
> to come up with any safe conclusions, because there is a lack of
> evidence. This opens up the possibility of speculation. I would prefer
> the stating of facts instead of speculation, but since that's not
> happening, I think speculation might be a way to incentivize more
> insiders to come forward with facts, if only to refute the content of
> speculation.
>
> I am going to attempt to do this in a neutral fashion, and I will also
> follow another important tradition in the movement, assume good faith. I
> do not subscribe to conspiracy theories that allege a secret plan by
> Google or intentions of harming Wikipedia on anyone's part.
>
> Here's what I think might have happened:
>
> James, a longstanding community member, is accustomed to how we do
> things on Wikipedia -- with transparency, an open discourse, but also
> endless discussions on talk pages. Other members of the board have less
> of a "Wikipedian" background, and are more accustomed to how things work
> in companies: board meetings in secret, focus on being effective at the
> cost of transparency, with a frank tone on the inside, and a diplomatic
> and collective voice to the outside.
> These very different conceptions clash, for instance when it comes to
> the plans of a "Wikipedia knowledge engine": some prefer early community
> involvement and plead openness, others, perhaps scared of the harsh
> criticism of early announced and unfinished products by the community,
> wish to wait with giving out more information.

.
>


I second your thoughts on the most probable root cause for the current
dysfunction, having experienced similar events with various chapters as
well, where at least some members particularly with chapters  lack the
professional/corporate  experience and just get elected because of their
wikipedian experience.  This does call for a better definition of board
member election eligibility rules  at the chapters and WMF.

It is surprising that there does not seem to be well thought out induction
program for new members with one of the experienced board member as a
mentor. If there was such a process and implemented well, the  present
problem could have been nipped in the bud or managed better.

Best wishes
Arjuna Rao Chavala
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] WMF trustee Arnnon Geshuri and part in anticompetitive agreements in Google

2016-01-09 Thread geni
On 8 January 2016 at 22:41, Lodewijk  wrote:

> Maybe here the best is to wait a bit for the WMF to come with a response,
> before piling on - unless you actually have information to contribute.
> Pile-on threads seem to lead these days to the original questions being
> ignored/forgotten about.
>
>
They've had over 24 hours. How long do you think they need?



-- 
geni
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] WMF trustee Arnnon Geshuri and part in anticompetitive agreements in Google

2016-01-09 Thread Lodewijk
I suspect they need a few days, based on past experiences. To dig into the
matter, and prepare an answer relevant parties can agree on.

Lodewijk

On Sat, Jan 9, 2016 at 9:18 AM, geni  wrote:

> On 8 January 2016 at 22:41, Lodewijk  wrote:
>
> > Maybe here the best is to wait a bit for the WMF to come with a response,
> > before piling on - unless you actually have information to contribute.
> > Pile-on threads seem to lead these days to the original questions being
> > ignored/forgotten about.
> >
> >
> They've had over 24 hours. How long do you think they need?
>
>
>
> --
> geni
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Please sign your posts

2016-01-09 Thread Ricordisamoa

It is a failure of digest mode then.

--unsigned

Il 09/01/2016 03:21, billinghurst ha scritto:

To those who have fallen out of the habit of signing your posts,
please fall back into the habit of good netiquette. For those of us
who read the digest mode it is troublesome to have unsigned posts, and
then need to flick back to the digest ToC to find the poster. Thanks.

Regards, Billinghurst

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Announcement about changes to the Board

2016-01-09 Thread geni
On 9 January 2016 at 02:07, Milos Rancic  wrote:

>
>
> On top of that, unlike Sue, Lila is a geek. And geeks have troubles in
> understanding the social impact of their actions, especially inside of
> the extraordinary complex environment of Wikimedia movement.
>

You aren't seriously trying that argument are you? in any case it doesn't
really help since people skills are a job requirement for WMF ED.



-- 
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] WMF trustee Arnnon Geshuri and part in anticompetitive agreements in Google

2016-01-09 Thread Chris Keating
> I suspect they need a few days, based on past experiences. To dig into the
> matter, and prepare an answer

Quite, and thanks for saying that Lodewijk.

In my view, the WMF board's top priority has to be the issues about
strategy, leadership and staff morale that are being made public now. It is
in everyone's interests that these issues get sorted out and some key parts
of the solution have to happen in private.

I am sure that the Board have invested a huge amount of time and energy in
these issues already. Unless you have been on the board of an organisation
that's gone through a serious problem it's difficult to appreciate the
pressure this creates. I have, and I would urge everyone to take a deep
breath and  think before emailing. It's worth repeating that Board members
are all volunteers with jobs and families and what's more are trying to
coordinate between three different continents.

In particular hundred-email threads on this list where everyone speculates
and demands answers to their particular questions  (and some people
downright stir the shit) are less than helpful - a board member who spends
5 hours a week on WMF business could easily spend that just reading all the
emails

Dariusz has said the Board is looking into the situation with Arnnon, which
they were clearly not aware of - that is what needs to happen and yet more
emails on this list won't mean that happens any more quickly.

Regards,

Chris Keating
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] WMF trustee Arnnon Geshuri and part in anticompetitive agreements in Google

2016-01-09 Thread
On 9 January 2016 at 09:06, Chris Keating  wrote:
...
> Dariusz has said the Board is looking into the situation with Arnnon, which
> they were clearly not aware of - that is what needs to happen and yet more
> emails on this list won't mean that happens any more quickly.
...

Correction to "they [the board] were clearly not aware":

Yesterday Jimmy Wales confirmed that:[1]
"I cannot speak for the entire board. As for myself, I was aware (from
googling him and reading news reports) that he had a small part in the
overall situation when he was told by Eric Schmidt that Google had a
policy of not recruiting from Apple, and that a recruiter had done it,
and that the recruiter should be fired, and he agreed to do so."

It is not true that the WMF board were unaware before Arnnon was
offered a seat on the board, when there were trustees that knew he
took part in illegal activities at Google. The first page of results
of a google search shows that Arnnon was a named defence party in the
court case.

Links
1. 
https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=User_talk:Jimbo_Wales=698802294=698801520

Fae
-- 
fae...@gmail.com https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Fae

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] WMF trustee Arnnon Geshuri and part in anticompetitive agreements in Google

2016-01-09 Thread Thomas Morton
And more to the point; not knowing is a poor defence. Surely any level of
due diligence on new board members would have exposed this troubling
incident?

Tom

On Sat, 9 Jan 2016 09:27 Fæ  wrote:

> On 9 January 2016 at 09:06, Chris Keating 
> wrote:
> ...
> > Dariusz has said the Board is looking into the situation with Arnnon,
> which
> > they were clearly not aware of - that is what needs to happen and yet
> more
> > emails on this list won't mean that happens any more quickly.
> ...
>
> Correction to "they [the board] were clearly not aware":
>
> Yesterday Jimmy Wales confirmed that:[1]
> "I cannot speak for the entire board. As for myself, I was aware (from
> googling him and reading news reports) that he had a small part in the
> overall situation when he was told by Eric Schmidt that Google had a
> policy of not recruiting from Apple, and that a recruiter had done it,
> and that the recruiter should be fired, and he agreed to do so."
>
> It is not true that the WMF board were unaware before Arnnon was
> offered a seat on the board, when there were trustees that knew he
> took part in illegal activities at Google. The first page of results
> of a google search shows that Arnnon was a named defence party in the
> court case.
>
> Links
> 1.
> https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=User_talk:Jimbo_Wales=698802294=698801520
>
> Fae
> --
> fae...@gmail.com https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Fae
>
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[Wikimedia-l] Changing the subject line

2016-01-09 Thread MZMcBride
Austin Hair wrote:
>On Sat, Jan 9, 2016 at 5:21 PM, Fæ  wrote:
>> Hello everyone, I would like to put out a friendly reminder that good
>> practice is to keep threads on topic within reason, and to create new
>> discussion threads for distinct tangents or complete spin off
>> discussions.
>>
>> "Community Tech Team" and "Lila's performance" are interesting, and to
>> be fair they deserve their own threads. If your email to this thread
>> does not mention the appointment of Arnnon Geshuri as a new WMF
>> trustee (see thread title), it is worth considering which thread it
>> ought to be posted under, or whether it is time to create a new
>> subject line.
>
>Not exactly coming from the source I would expect, but indeed, please
>keep your comments germane to subject line. (Starting new threads is
>entirely appropriate, and welcomed.)

Unexpected, eh? I'm not sure it's very surprising that the person who
started the thread doesn't want to see it derailed by tangents. And that's
fair. Though it can be difficult to know when to start a new thread. Plus
you have to create a new subject line (naming is hard) and there are no
do-overs (you can't move a thread like you can a wiki page). In an ideal
world, subject lines would always match the body content and I guess we
can strive for that.

I'm amused that neither of you seemed to follow your own advice here,
starting and continuing a tangential (meta-)discussion without changing
the subject line to create a new thread. We'll all strive indeed. :-)

MZMcBride



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