Re: [Wikimedia-l] Upcoming: WMF metrics/activities meeting - November 1

2012-11-02 Thread Erik Moeller
On Thu, Oct 18, 2012 at 4:28 PM, Erik Moeller e...@wikimedia.org wrote:
 The meeting will take place November 1, 2012 at 5:30 PM UTC. The IRC
 channel is #wikimedia-metrics-meetings [1] on irc.freenode.net.

All documentation [*] can now be found here:

https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Metrics_and_activities_meetings/2012-11-01

Upcoming meeting information will always be available at

https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Metrics_and_activities_meetings

but we'll send out a pre-announcement as well.

Cheers,
Erik

[*] With the exception of the IRC log. I only have a partial log, so
if someone has the whole meeting, please add. Going forward it's been
added to the logging service at http://bots.wmflabs.org/~wm-bot/logs/
(thanks Peter).
-- 
Erik Möller
VP of Engineering and Product Development, Wikimedia Foundation

Support Free Knowledge: https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Donate

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[Wikimedia-l] Board vote on narrowing focus

2012-11-02 Thread Bishakha Datta
Dear all,

At its in-person meeting on 26 October, the board unanimously agreed to
accept the recommendation to narrow focus as presented by the Executive
Director.

This vote has been published at:
http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Vote:Narrowing_Focus

Best
Bishakha
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[Wikimedia-l] Board resolutions on bylaw amendments and appointment of Foundation staff officers

2012-11-02 Thread Bishakha Datta
Dear all,

At its in-person meeting of 26 October, the Board of Trustees also approved
the two following resolutions:

http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Resolution:Amended_Bylaws
This resolution approved the revised and amended Foundation bylaws. The
updated Bylaws are being adopted to ensure the Foundation's continued
compliance with applicable laws and to further clarify certain procedural
matters.

Please note the substantive change in Article V: Officers and Duties. As
per the amendments, the Secretary and Treasurer are now non-trustee officer
positions.

In line with this amendment, non-trustees have been appointed to both these
positions.
The resolution approving these appointments is published at:
http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Resolution:Appointment_of_Foundation_Staff_Officers

All resolutions from the in-person meeting of 26 October have now been
published.

Questions and comments, as always, are welcome.

Best
Bishakha
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board resolutions on bylaw amendments and appointment of Foundation staff officers

2012-11-02 Thread Federico Leva (Nemo)
Just reiterating for the n-th time on this list that people would 
appreciate if you publicly shared draft bylaws amendments before 
approving them.
The consistent lack of transparency in such fundamental decisions within 
the WMF is always astonishing.


After the fact, I'd appreciate a readable resolution or diff as both 
https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Resolution:Amended_Bylaws and 
https://wikimediafoundation.org/w/index.php?title=Bylawsdiff=84853oldid=84852 
are useless.


Nemo

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board vote on narrowing focus

2012-11-02 Thread Виктория
Great news - I propose a heading for the Signpost Board unanimously agreed
to the Executive
Director proposal that Wikimedia movement fends for itself.

Victoria

On Fri, Nov 2, 2012 at 7:46 AM, Bishakha Datta bishakhada...@gmail.comwrote:

 Dear all,

 At its in-person meeting on 26 October, the board unanimously agreed to
 accept the recommendation to narrow focus as presented by the Executive
 Director.

 This vote has been published at:
 http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Vote:Narrowing_Focus

 Best
 Bishakha
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board vote on narrowing focus

2012-11-02 Thread Lodewijk
Thanks Bishakha,

while I can understand the move of the WMF to do what they are best at, for
me it is always a bit confusing when the Board (or Sue) is talking about
the Foundation, and when about the movement. I hope I'm correct in my
assumption that this narrowed focus is mostly a Foundation thing.

The question I am missing in this analysis (but perhaps it was discussed
orally) is 'which organization/group/individual is best placed to execute
this' and then I definitely agree that many events etc are probably better
executed at a chapter level than by the WMF. I do hope that freeing up
these resources does mean that chapters and other groups will be supported
more in taking over these tasks and where necessary, a transition process
is considered.

I do have one more specific question. In discussions previously on meta,
there were some insinuations (maybe only my interpretation) that the
organizational support (so not just money) for chapters and other
affiliated groups would be reduced as a consequence of this narrowed focus.
I sincerely hope the opposite will be true - and that more effort will be
put in enabling these organizations to take over tasks where possible and
take on new initiatives as much as possible. As long as the Chapters
Association is not active (it seems to me it will be another year before it
will be fully functional) I think it would be a waste to reduce this
enabling capacity (for example the great networking function that is being
provided by Asaf - but he could use some help!) while there is no other
organization yet to take over those functions. Could you elaborate a bit on
this?

Best,
Lodewijk

2012/11/2 Bishakha Datta bishakhada...@gmail.com

 Dear all,

 At its in-person meeting on 26 October, the board unanimously agreed to
 accept the recommendation to narrow focus as presented by the Executive
 Director.

 This vote has been published at:
 http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Vote:Narrowing_Focus

 Best
 Bishakha
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board resolutions on bylaw amendments and appointment of Foundation staff officers

2012-11-02 Thread Lodewijk
Dear Bishakha,

could you please elaborate why the board has chosen for a secretive
amendment procedure here, rather than sharing the proposed amendments with
the community and asking their input on it? Especially where it concerns
such non-trivial changes.

I hope that also other board members will share their view on this process,
and why they didn't ask input of the community themselves. I would have
expected such questions especially from those board members that were
(s)elected by the community and/or the chapters. Do you consider such
community discussions unwanted? Was there an exceptional legal threat that
required these changes at short notice?

Kind regards,
Lodewijk

2012/11/2 Federico Leva (Nemo) nemow...@gmail.com

 Just reiterating for the n-th time on this list that people would
 appreciate if you publicly shared draft bylaws amendments before approving
 them.
 The consistent lack of transparency in such fundamental decisions within
 the WMF is always astonishing.

 After the fact, I'd appreciate a readable resolution or diff as both
 https://wikimediafoundation.**org/wiki/Resolution:Amended_**Bylawshttps://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Resolution:Amended_Bylawsand
  
 https://wikimediafoundation.**org/w/index.php?title=Bylaws**
 diff=84853oldid=84852https://wikimediafoundation.org/w/index.php?title=Bylawsdiff=84853oldid=84852
 are useless.

 Nemo


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board vote on narrowing focus

2012-11-02 Thread Anders Wennersten
As a newly appointed secretary of FDC and just back from San Francisco 
after a four days deliberation session, where these thing has been in 
focus I can give you some facts from what I have understood.


The Board has earlier decided to give WMF an budget for 2012-2013 for 
30,3 MUSD for core activities, up from 26,2 the earlier year, mainly 
engineering and thing like fundraising support.


The Board has also set a budget of 11,4 MUSD for activities partly to be 
disseminated to chapters and to a part to WMF, where Grants make up big 
part. The total of 11,4 is an increase.


The narrowed focus in practice means that The WMF part funded through 
FDC is changed in composition, so less in direct activities by WMF 
personnel and more money in Grants to be allocated to chapters and 
individuals.


The narrowed focus is only a issue for WMFs internal budget. The planned 
funds dissemination to chapters is not effected and the actual result of 
the the implementation of the Narrowed focus is that more money will be 
used by community/chapters via grant then was earlier planned


Anders Wennersten








Lodewijk skrev 2012-11-02 12:05:

Thanks Bishakha,

while I can understand the move of the WMF to do what they are best at, for
me it is always a bit confusing when the Board (or Sue) is talking about
the Foundation, and when about the movement. I hope I'm correct in my
assumption that this narrowed focus is mostly a Foundation thing.

The question I am missing in this analysis (but perhaps it was discussed
orally) is 'which organization/group/individual is best placed to execute
this' and then I definitely agree that many events etc are probably better
executed at a chapter level than by the WMF. I do hope that freeing up
these resources does mean that chapters and other groups will be supported
more in taking over these tasks and where necessary, a transition process
is considered.

I do have one more specific question. In discussions previously on meta,
there were some insinuations (maybe only my interpretation) that the
organizational support (so not just money) for chapters and other
affiliated groups would be reduced as a consequence of this narrowed focus.
I sincerely hope the opposite will be true - and that more effort will be
put in enabling these organizations to take over tasks where possible and
take on new initiatives as much as possible. As long as the Chapters
Association is not active (it seems to me it will be another year before it
will be fully functional) I think it would be a waste to reduce this
enabling capacity (for example the great networking function that is being
provided by Asaf - but he could use some help!) while there is no other
organization yet to take over those functions. Could you elaborate a bit on
this?

Best,
Lodewijk

2012/11/2 Bishakha Datta bishakhada...@gmail.com


Dear all,

At its in-person meeting on 26 October, the board unanimously agreed to
accept the recommendation to narrow focus as presented by the Executive
Director.

This vote has been published at:
http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Vote:Narrowing_Focus

Best
Bishakha
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board vote on narrowing focus

2012-11-02 Thread Dariusz Jemielniak
Hi,

as the newly appointed Chair of the FDC, but expressing my personal
understanding, I support Anders' view. The narrowed focus means more
activities done through the chapters, and the community at large. Of course
the specifics will have to be established, but now WMF applies for their
non-core activities like everybody else.

Best,

Dariusz

2 lis 2012 12:28, Anders Wennersten m...@anderswennersten.se napisał(a):

 As a newly appointed secretary of FDC and just back from San Francisco
after a four days deliberation session, where these thing has been in focus
I can give you some facts from what I have understood.

 The Board has earlier decided to give WMF an budget for 2012-2013 for
30,3 MUSD for core activities, up from 26,2 the earlier year, mainly
engineering and thing like fundraising support.

 The Board has also set a budget of 11,4 MUSD for activities partly to be
disseminated to chapters and to a part to WMF, where Grants make up big
part. The total of 11,4 is an increase.

 The narrowed focus in practice means that The WMF part funded through FDC
is changed in composition, so less in direct activities by WMF personnel
and more money in Grants to be allocated to chapters and individuals.

 The narrowed focus is only a issue for WMFs internal budget. The planned
funds dissemination to chapters is not effected and the actual result of
the the implementation of the Narrowed focus is that more money will be
used by community/chapters via grant then was earlier planned

 Anders Wennersten








 Lodewijk skrev 2012-11-02 12:05:

 Thanks Bishakha,

 while I can understand the move of the WMF to do what they are best at,
for
 me it is always a bit confusing when the Board (or Sue) is talking about
 the Foundation, and when about the movement. I hope I'm correct in my
 assumption that this narrowed focus is mostly a Foundation thing.

 The question I am missing in this analysis (but perhaps it was discussed
 orally) is 'which organization/group/individual is best placed to execute
 this' and then I definitely agree that many events etc are probably
better
 executed at a chapter level than by the WMF. I do hope that freeing up
 these resources does mean that chapters and other groups will be
supported
 more in taking over these tasks and where necessary, a transition process
 is considered.

 I do have one more specific question. In discussions previously on meta,
 there were some insinuations (maybe only my interpretation) that the
 organizational support (so not just money) for chapters and other
 affiliated groups would be reduced as a consequence of this narrowed
focus.
 I sincerely hope the opposite will be true - and that more effort will be
 put in enabling these organizations to take over tasks where possible and
 take on new initiatives as much as possible. As long as the Chapters
 Association is not active (it seems to me it will be another year before
it
 will be fully functional) I think it would be a waste to reduce this
 enabling capacity (for example the great networking function that is
being
 provided by Asaf - but he could use some help!) while there is no other
 organization yet to take over those functions. Could you elaborate a bit
on
 this?

 Best,
 Lodewijk

 2012/11/2 Bishakha Datta bishakhada...@gmail.com

 Dear all,

 At its in-person meeting on 26 October, the board unanimously agreed to
 accept the recommendation to narrow focus as presented by the Executive
 Director.

 This vote has been published at:
 http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Vote:Narrowing_Focus

 Best
 Bishakha
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board vote on narrowing focus

2012-11-02 Thread Lodewijk
Hi Dariusz and Anders,

Thank you for your replies. It does however not answer my questions -
although I may have worded them poorly. What I'm trying to figure out is
what will happen to the organizational support to the other movement
organizations and individuals. This support is already much lower than I'd
like, but the suggestion on meta was that it might decrease further. Some
examples:

* PR support by WMF PR staff when writing press releases for an
international audience
* Networking support by Asaf (who to approach), specifically for global
south countries and chapters to be.
* Tech support for initiatives
* Institutional support for the GLAM related activities in the US (until
the US Federation is fully functional, if ever)
* Layout/design support for education related activities

While I agree on principle that several of these tasks belong at the WCA,
US Federation or individual chapters, I do recognize it needs time to be
transferred. Which tasks will the Foundation (continue to) execute, and
which not? Which will it explicitely transfer? Or will it just drop it -
and then it is up to others to catch them or not?

Best,
Lodewijk

2012/11/2 Dariusz Jemielniak dar...@alk.edu.pl

 Hi,

 as the newly appointed Chair of the FDC, but expressing my personal
 understanding, I support Anders' view. The narrowed focus means more
 activities done through the chapters, and the community at large. Of course
 the specifics will have to be established, but now WMF applies for their
 non-core activities like everybody else.

 Best,

 Dariusz

 2 lis 2012 12:28, Anders Wennersten m...@anderswennersten.se
 napisał(a):

  As a newly appointed secretary of FDC and just back from San Francisco
 after a four days deliberation session, where these thing has been in focus
 I can give you some facts from what I have understood.
 
  The Board has earlier decided to give WMF an budget for 2012-2013 for
 30,3 MUSD for core activities, up from 26,2 the earlier year, mainly
 engineering and thing like fundraising support.
 
  The Board has also set a budget of 11,4 MUSD for activities partly to be
 disseminated to chapters and to a part to WMF, where Grants make up big
 part. The total of 11,4 is an increase.
 
  The narrowed focus in practice means that The WMF part funded through FDC
 is changed in composition, so less in direct activities by WMF personnel
 and more money in Grants to be allocated to chapters and individuals.
 
  The narrowed focus is only a issue for WMFs internal budget. The planned
 funds dissemination to chapters is not effected and the actual result of
 the the implementation of the Narrowed focus is that more money will be
 used by community/chapters via grant then was earlier planned
 
  Anders Wennersten
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  Lodewijk skrev 2012-11-02 12:05:
 
  Thanks Bishakha,
 
  while I can understand the move of the WMF to do what they are best at,
 for
  me it is always a bit confusing when the Board (or Sue) is talking about
  the Foundation, and when about the movement. I hope I'm correct in my
  assumption that this narrowed focus is mostly a Foundation thing.
 
  The question I am missing in this analysis (but perhaps it was discussed
  orally) is 'which organization/group/individual is best placed to
 execute
  this' and then I definitely agree that many events etc are probably
 better
  executed at a chapter level than by the WMF. I do hope that freeing up
  these resources does mean that chapters and other groups will be
 supported
  more in taking over these tasks and where necessary, a transition
 process
  is considered.
 
  I do have one more specific question. In discussions previously on meta,
  there were some insinuations (maybe only my interpretation) that the
  organizational support (so not just money) for chapters and other
  affiliated groups would be reduced as a consequence of this narrowed
 focus.
  I sincerely hope the opposite will be true - and that more effort will
 be
  put in enabling these organizations to take over tasks where possible
 and
  take on new initiatives as much as possible. As long as the Chapters
  Association is not active (it seems to me it will be another year before
 it
  will be fully functional) I think it would be a waste to reduce this
  enabling capacity (for example the great networking function that is
 being
  provided by Asaf - but he could use some help!) while there is no other
  organization yet to take over those functions. Could you elaborate a bit
 on
  this?
 
  Best,
  Lodewijk
 
  2012/11/2 Bishakha Datta bishakhada...@gmail.com
 
  Dear all,
 
  At its in-person meeting on 26 October, the board unanimously agreed to
  accept the recommendation to narrow focus as presented by the Executive
  Director.
 
  This vote has been published at:
  http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Vote:Narrowing_Focus
 
  Best
  Bishakha
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board resolutions on bylaw amendments and appointment of Foundation staff officers

2012-11-02 Thread Thomas Dalton
Bishaka,

Seeing as there was no public discussion of these amendments, to my
knowledge, can you at least explain them now?

The responsibilities of the Secretary and Treasurer are board
responsibilities. While the day-to-day work of the role may be delegated to
staff, it is still the job of the board to ensure that everything is done
correctly. How does the board intend to do that in future? Have individual
trustees been appointed as liaisons to these new officers? Or are there
committees to oversee their work?
On Nov 2, 2012 9:29 AM, Bishakha Datta bishakhada...@gmail.com wrote:

 Dear all,

 At its in-person meeting of 26 October, the Board of Trustees also approved
 the two following resolutions:

 http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Resolution:Amended_Bylaws
 This resolution approved the revised and amended Foundation bylaws. The
 updated Bylaws are being adopted to ensure the Foundation's continued
 compliance with applicable laws and to further clarify certain procedural
 matters.

 Please note the substantive change in Article V: Officers and Duties. As
 per the amendments, the Secretary and Treasurer are now non-trustee officer
 positions.

 In line with this amendment, non-trustees have been appointed to both these
 positions.
 The resolution approving these appointments is published at:

 http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Resolution:Appointment_of_Foundation_Staff_Officers

 All resolutions from the in-person meeting of 26 October have now been
 published.

 Questions and comments, as always, are welcome.

 Best
 Bishakha
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[Wikimedia-l] Fwd: Wikivoyage EDP draft

2012-11-02 Thread Federico Leva (Nemo)

In the meanwhile there are other drafts to review. ;-)

Nemo

 Messaggio originale 
Oggetto: Re: [Wikivoyage-l] Migration update
Data: Fri, 2 Nov 2012 09:23:16 -0400
Mittente: Powers ltpowers_w...@rochester.rr.com
Rispondi-a: Wikivoyage Mailing List wikivoyag...@lists.wikimedia.org
A: 'Wikivoyage Mailing List' wikivoyag...@lists.wikimedia.org


Formal WMF approval is not required. I suggest linking the policy from
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Non-free_content and sending a quick
note to wikimedia-l when you've got a draft ready for broader
community input.

Erik


I have created a Wikivoyage section on that page and linked our draft policy
(using the full URL since we're still waiting on the interwiki prefix), but
I'm not a member of wikimedia-l at the moment.  If anyone wants to drop a
note there I'd appreciate it.

Thanks for your help!


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board vote on narrowing focus

2012-11-02 Thread Samuel Klein
Hello Lodewijk,

These are good questions.  I expect effort will be required in the short
term to delegate effectively and help move to a narrower focus.   A few
clarifying questions for you in return:

On Fri, Nov 2, 2012 at 7:47 AM, Lodewijk lodew...@effeietsanders.orgwrote:


 * PR support by WMF PR staff when writing press releases for an
 international audience


Do you have an example in mind of a recent press release that took
advantage of this support?
How useful to you find ComCom, as a list and network, compared to direct
personal facilitation by WMF staff?


 * Networking support by Asaf (who to approach), specifically for global
 south countries and chapters to be.


Do you think the WMF should be the arbiter of who to approach to connect
with chapters-to-be?  It seems to me that this level of support and
connection could be provided well and in a variety of languages by a
support network (or a community body such as AffCom or the WCA), even
today.


 * Tech support for initiatives

* Layout/design support for education related activities


How do you feel the above worked for WLM this year, as an example?
What tech and design support was needed, and where did it come from?


 * Institutional support for the GLAM related activities in the US (until
 the US Federation is fully functional, if ever)


I agree there is room for a global GLAM support for regions that don't have
local [chapter] organization.  Why do you feel this is a special problem
for the US, compared to other archive-rich parts of the world - given the
two regional chapters and numerous present and past Wikipedians in
residence?

Sam.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board vote on narrowing focus

2012-11-02 Thread Bishakha Datta
On Fri, Nov 2, 2012 at 4:35 PM, Lodewijk lodew...@effeietsanders.orgwrote:

 Thanks Bishakha,

 while I can understand the move of the WMF to do what they are best at, for
 me it is always a bit confusing when the Board (or Sue) is talking about
 the Foundation, and when about the movement. I hope I'm correct in my
 assumption that this narrowed focus is mostly a Foundation thing.

 Yes, this narrowed focus relates to Foundation programs.


 I do hope that freeing up
 these resources does mean that chapters and other groups will be supported
 more in taking over these tasks and where necessary, a transition process
 is considered.

 As I see it, the intention of re-allocating or re-prioritizing resources
(rather than freeing it up) is to make it easier for the Foundation to
focus on two key priorities: engineering and grantmaking, and to move
towards more impactful execution of each.

I don't think the re-prioritization can be seen either as supporting or not
supporting other groups to take over these tasks; many of these decisions
are upto other groups themselves. For instance, there is scope for chapters
to fund fellowships, but that is a decision that each chapter needs to make
for itself.

A narrower focus by the Foundation does leave room for other community
entities to step up, but whether they do so or not is also dependent on
each entity's annual plans, its vision, and how it sees its own role in the
movement now and going forward in the future. As slides 13 and 16 say,
there is scope to support the growth and build the eco-system of entities
via the grants process.

Best
Bishakha
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board vote on narrowing focus

2012-11-02 Thread Tilman Bayer
On Fri, Nov 2, 2012 at 8:15 AM, Federico Leva (Nemo) nemow...@gmail.comwrote:

 Samuel Klein, 02/11/2012 16:01:

  * Institutional support for the GLAM related activities in the US (until
 the US Federation is fully functional, if ever)


 I agree there is room for a global GLAM support for regions that don't
 have
 local [chapter] organization.  Why do you feel this is a special problem
 for the US, compared to other archive-rich parts of the world - given the
 two regional chapters and numerous present and past Wikipedians in
 residence?


 The problem is always the same, i.e. that the WMF acts as WM-USA while a
 chapter is missing, rather than being truly global.
 Random (unfair?) recent example: WLM-USA uses the allegedly global
 Wikimedia blog https://blog.wikimedia.org/**2012/10/31/wiki-loves-**
 monuments-us-top-ten-photos-**announced/https://blog.wikimedia.org/2012/10/31/wiki-loves-monuments-us-top-ten-photos-announced/
 unlike all the other national editions.
 But perhaps Lodewijk meant something else.


I'm a bit confused about precisely what damage that blog post has done in
your opinion. As noted on http://wikilovesmonuments.us/ , the US WLM
finalists were also announced on Commons, and on the other hand the blog
features a lot of posts from volunteers and chapters (see e.g the
subsequent post
https://blog.wikimedia.org/2012/10/31/the-expansion-of-wikimedia-sverige/ ,
draft blog posts can be submitted on Meta:
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Blog ).

BTW, a lot of the organizing work for Wiki Loves Monuments in the US was
done by three volunteer Wikimedians who also happen to be WMF employees
(Kaldari, Sarah and Matthew), but did this in their spare time.

-- 
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Senior Operations Analyst (Movement Communications)
Wikimedia Foundation
IRC (Freenode): HaeB
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board resolutions on bylaw amendments and appointment of Foundation staff officers

2012-11-02 Thread Benjamin Lees
On Fri, Nov 2, 2012 at 5:29 AM, Bishakha Datta bishakhada...@gmail.comwrote:

 Please note the substantive change in Article V: Officers and Duties. As
 per the amendments, the Secretary and Treasurer are now non-trustee officer
 positions.


This doesn't seem too unreasonable in itself, but it is somewhat surprising
that you didn't readjust the board's composition accordingly.  The
justification for having unelected seats is to ensure that the board has
people with specific skills or backgrounds, and my impression was that
getting someone with accounting experience to serve as treasurer was part
of that.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board resolutions on bylaw amendments and appointment of Foundation staff officers

2012-11-02 Thread Bishakha Datta
On Fri, Nov 2, 2012 at 9:31 PM, Benjamin Lees emufarm...@gmail.com wrote:

 On Fri, Nov 2, 2012 at 5:29 AM, Bishakha Datta bishakhada...@gmail.com
 wrote:

  Please note the substantive change in Article V: Officers and Duties. As
  per the amendments, the Secretary and Treasurer are now non-trustee
 officer
  positions.
 

 This doesn't seem too unreasonable in itself, but it is somewhat surprising
 that you didn't readjust the board's composition accordingly.  The
 justification for having unelected seats is to ensure that the board has
 people with specific skills or backgrounds, and my impression was that
 getting someone with accounting experience to serve as treasurer was part
 of that.


And that accounting experience is still very much needed on the Board - to
head the Audit Committee and to oversee the treasurer.

Best
Bishakha
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board vote on narrowing focus

2012-11-02 Thread Yaroslav M. Blanter
BTW, a lot of the organizing work for Wiki Loves Monuments in the US 
was
done by three volunteer Wikimedians who also happen to be WMF 
employees

(Kaldari, Sarah and Matthew), but did this in their spare time.


Not trying to underestimate their contribution, I am afraid this is 
better worded as some fair share of the organizing work... . For 
example, User:Thundersnow spent, as I can see, all of their free time in 
September (essentially, all of their time except for sleep) working 
here:


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_National_Register_of_Historic_Places/Unused_images

He was complimented on the NRHP project, but, as I could see, nowhere 
else.


There were more users like Thundersnow.

Cheers
Yaroslav



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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board vote on narrowing focus

2012-11-02 Thread Tilman Bayer
On Fri, Nov 2, 2012 at 9:09 AM, Yaroslav M. Blanter pute...@mccme.ru wrote:
 BTW, a lot of the organizing work for Wiki Loves Monuments in the US was
 done by three volunteer Wikimedians who also happen to be WMF employees
 (Kaldari, Sarah and Matthew), but did this in their spare time.


 Not trying to underestimate their contribution, I am afraid this is better
 worded as some fair share of the organizing work... . For example,
 User:Thundersnow spent, as I can see, all of their free time in September
 (essentially, all of their time except for sleep) working here:

 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_National_Register_of_Historic_Places/Unused_images

 He was complimented on the NRHP project, but, as I could see, nowhere else.

 There were more users like Thundersnow.
Or User:Smallbones, for example. I said a lot of the, not all of the ;)

 Cheers
 Yaroslav




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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board resolutions on bylaw amendments and appointment of Foundation staff officers

2012-11-02 Thread Bishakha Datta
On Fri, Nov 2, 2012 at 4:53 PM, Lodewijk lodew...@effeietsanders.orgwrote:

 Dear Bishakha,

 could you please elaborate why the board has chosen for a secretive
 amendment procedure here, rather than sharing the proposed amendments with
 the community and asking their input on it? Especially where it concerns
 such non-trivial changes.

 Ok, now that the document showing old and new has finally been uploaded, I
will try to answer your question.

The legal team proposed that we amend the bylaws, primarily to ensure
compliance with Florida non-profit laws.

Since most of the changes are legal in nature, they were not referred to
the community for prior input.

I understand how this action can be seen as secretive or opaque, even
though it may not have been intended as such.

Is it also possible to see this action as reasonable, given the nature of
most of the changes?

Just asking! Feel free to disagree,
Bishakha
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board vote on narrowing focus

2012-11-02 Thread Anders Wennersten

the evaluation (coming also
from FDC) are focused to promote bigger organizations which are able to
spend a lot.

This must be a misunderstanding. There is now just two weeks until the 
FDC recommendation for the 12 proposals for round 1 2012 will be 
official where you can judge yourself


Anders W




Ilario Valdelli skrev 2012-11-02 17:14:

In general I agree with the narrowing focus, but what seems really strange
to me is that the strategies and in generale the evaluation (coming also
from FDC) are focused to promote bigger organizations which are able to
spend a lot.

Basically there is a weak evaluation costs/benefits. An organization
spending 30 millions of USD should produce benefits for 30 millions of USD
and should be evaluated as an organization spending 30 millions of USD. Big
budget - stronger evaluation and stronger measures.

An organization (for instance a small chapter) spending 500K USD should be
evaluated as an organization spending 500K USD and this organization should
produce benefits for 500K USD. Small budget - weak evaluation and flexible
measures.

Basically if a small chapter, spending 500K USD, is evaluated using the
same parameters of WMF, it should spent an additional amount of 500K USD to
create an organization and a paid staff in order to be able to be evaluated
at the same level of WMF and to receive the 500K USD for their projects
(total = 1 million of USD).

The criteria to evaluate chapters/organizations using the same parameters
of WMF basically imposes to all applicants a model and this would be a good
model, but it means that they should hire more people and should spent more
money.

Basically the idea to use the grantmaking or the idea to setup a FDC are
not bad ideas, but these ideas are not supported by a flexible system of
evaluation. The request would impose the same standards of WMF to all
Wikimedia's organizations, but WMF is spending 30 MUSD plus a percentage of
the 11,4 MUSD, at the back there is WM DE spending 1,8 MUSD (5% compared
with the budget of WMF) and WM UK and WM FR (2% compared with the budget of
WMF), but they are evaluated using the same parameters of WMF.

My concern is linked to this point. The grantmaking (I include also the
FDC) may bar the access to the funds for smaller entities.

This may be a benefit because the control is perfect, but it may be also a
big damage for the movement because the control may be stifling. There is
not a proportionate control.

I remember that we discussed a lot during the meetings with WMF about how
people should manage the changes. The better solution to manage the changes
is to have a differentiation because the changes may block a lot some kinds
of organizations and may promote a lot some others. The changes make a
selection and if all of them are clones, the changes may kill all clones.

To impose a single model or to impose stronger rules would reduce a lot the
possibility to have a differentiation and would produce a group of
organizations which seems to be stronger and better, but essentially it
will lose the capacity to react to the changes.

I am not speaking about anarchy, in general I defend a lot the systems of
control, but a system of control and a system of evaluation should be
flexible.

On Fri, Nov 2, 2012 at 12:28 PM, Anders Wennersten m...@anderswennersten.se

wrote:
The Board has earlier decided to give WMF an budget for 2012-2013 for 30,3
MUSD for core activities, up from 26,2 the earlier year, mainly engineering
and thing like fundraising support.

The Board has also set a budget of 11,4 MUSD for activities partly to be
disseminated to chapters and to a part to WMF, where Grants make up big
part. The total of 11,4 is an increase.





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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board vote on narrowing focus

2012-11-02 Thread Bence Damokos
Hi SJ,


On Fri, Nov 2, 2012 at 4:01 PM, Samuel Klein meta...@gmail.com wrote:

 Hello Lodewijk,

 These are good questions.  I expect effort will be required in the short
 term to delegate effectively and help move to a narrower focus.   A few
 clarifying questions for you in return:

 On Fri, Nov 2, 2012 at 7:47 AM, Lodewijk lodew...@effeietsanders.org
 wrote:

 
  * PR support by WMF PR staff when writing press releases for an
  international audience
 

 Do you have an example in mind of a recent press release that took
 advantage of this support?
 How useful to you find ComCom, as a list and network, compared to direct
 personal facilitation by WMF staff?

While not recent or international; I have taken advantage of both personal
WMF staff support and ComCom in the past, in slightly different
circumstances. For planning a communications strategy, the direct input,
coaching and concentrated involvement of a Comms manager of WMF was
instrumental; while ComCom in my experience has been useful in providing
advice on how to react to a situation, which required  less time of any
given participant. In the former case the help might have been an
unmandated task, and the person providing the help did not need to be WMF
staffer (after all, Wikimedia Deutschland also had similar levels of
communications expertise at the time, though still no mandate to be
available to the global community).
One important result of this interaction (and also other similar
interactions in other fields of expertise, as well as that of the
WMF-funded organizational development pilot) was the transfer of skills,
ways of thinking that has been useful beyond the one project in question,
and has perhaps resulted in not requiring to contact WMF again.


Sue's recommendations include crisis support as something to maintain,
but I hope this will not be seen as exclusively crisis support, i.e.
interactions between the WMF and the community will not be intentionally
narrowed to the times of crisis.
Grants are a good tool for problems that can be solved by money, but it is
an imprecise and slow tool, e.g. to solve the above problem that one could
rely on the help of WMF, would require writing a grant to engage a
communications consultant (the grant would need a month to be reviewed and
a week or so more for the bank transfer; the consultant would need to be
found, the consultant needs to be educated about our values, an evaluation
report needs to be written etc.). In the long run, when a certain region or
entity is big enough it will make sense to hire a local comm person through
grants, but until then the grants-only approach, without attendant focus on
capacity development has the potential, I fear, to lead to lost
opportunities and waste.
Over time, other entities in the movement will adapt to serve the needs of
the international community, but if WMF is not careful, it stands to lose a
big chunk of interactions with the wider community, the resulting good
relationships and more sadly the transfer of skills and experience in
non-technical areas between the WMF and the volunteers might cease, leading
to a less empowered and skillful volunteer base.
I sincerely hope that this is not the intention or the result.


  * Networking support by Asaf (who to approach), specifically for global
  south countries and chapters to be.
 

 Do you think the WMF should be the arbiter of who to approach to connect
 with chapters-to-be?  It seems to me that this level of support and
 connection could be provided well and in a variety of languages by a
 support network (or a community body such as AffCom or the WCA), even
 today.

Perhaps what was meant here is that Asaf told people which WMF staffer to
approach with certain requests or simply questions (e.g. for trademarks,
comms help, merchandise, the WMF blog, accounting etc.).
WCA and AffCom, etc. will certainly be able to provide similar assistance,
but the big question is whether people at the WMF will be allowed to
receive such contact (or which functions will not be), and then figuring
out who can act as a substitute. (As a number of functions are available at
multiple places in the movement, it is not a movement-wide tragedy if
certain functions become unavailable at the WMF, but the WMF is seen as the
cornerstone of the movement, if it closes off, it will lead to a
readjustment of that picture. It is not necessarily all bad, it might lead
to non-WMF orgs seen as more equal and responsible parts of the movement,
but it might lead to certain volunteers being unserved without a default
fallback to the WMF.)

--
I really hope the way the WMF understands grantmaking will include a strong
emphasis on proactively building the capacities of the potential grantees
and not only in a pull matter, but also in a push matter where
opportunities (even if technically called grants) are actively offered to
the other entities.

Best regards,
Bence
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Upcoming: WMF metrics/activities meeting - November 1

2012-11-02 Thread Victor Grigas
Photos:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Victorgrigas#Wikimedia_Foundation_Monthly_Metrics_Meeting_November_1.2C_2012

On Fri, Nov 2, 2012 at 12:30 AM, Erik Moeller e...@wikimedia.org wrote:

 On Thu, Oct 18, 2012 at 4:28 PM, Erik Moeller e...@wikimedia.org wrote:
  The meeting will take place November 1, 2012 at 5:30 PM UTC. The IRC
  channel is #wikimedia-metrics-meetings [1] on irc.freenode.net.

 All documentation [*] can now be found here:

 https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Metrics_and_activities_meetings/2012-11-01

 Upcoming meeting information will always be available at

 https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Metrics_and_activities_meetings

 but we'll send out a pre-announcement as well.

 Cheers,
 Erik

 [*] With the exception of the IRC log. I only have a partial log, so
 if someone has the whole meeting, please add. Going forward it's been
 added to the logging service at http://bots.wmflabs.org/~wm-bot/logs/
 (thanks Peter).
 --
 Erik Möller
 VP of Engineering and Product Development, Wikimedia Foundation

 Support Free Knowledge: https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Donate

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Storyteller
Wikimedia Foundation
vgri...@wikimedia.org
+1 (415) 839-6885 x 6773
149 New Montgomery Street 6th floor
San Francisco, CA 94105
https://donate.wikimedia.org/
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board vote on narrowing focus

2012-11-02 Thread Ilario Valdelli
Yes, there is a misunderstandings.

I am not speaking about how the FDC committee is judging, but about the
overall process which is the same for an organization asking 30 MUSD and an
organization asking 100K USD.

On Fri, Nov 2, 2012 at 5:25 PM, Anders Wennersten
m...@anderswennersten.sewrote:

 the evaluation (coming also
 from FDC) are focused to promote bigger organizations which are able to
 spend a lot.

 This must be a misunderstanding. There is now just two weeks until the FDC
 recommendation for the 12 proposals for round 1 2012 will be official where
 you can judge yourself

 Anders W




 Ilario Valdelli skrev 2012-11-02 17:14:

  In general I agree with the narrowing focus, but what seems really strange
 to me is that the strategies and in generale the evaluation (coming also
 from FDC) are focused to promote bigger organizations which are able to
 spend a lot.

 Basically there is a weak evaluation costs/benefits. An organization
 spending 30 millions of USD should produce benefits for 30 millions of USD
 and should be evaluated as an organization spending 30 millions of USD.
 Big
 budget - stronger evaluation and stronger measures.

 An organization (for instance a small chapter) spending 500K USD should be
 evaluated as an organization spending 500K USD and this organization
 should
 produce benefits for 500K USD. Small budget - weak evaluation and
 flexible
 measures.

 Basically if a small chapter, spending 500K USD, is evaluated using the
 same parameters of WMF, it should spent an additional amount of 500K USD
 to
 create an organization and a paid staff in order to be able to be
 evaluated
 at the same level of WMF and to receive the 500K USD for their projects
 (total = 1 million of USD).

 The criteria to evaluate chapters/organizations using the same parameters
 of WMF basically imposes to all applicants a model and this would be a
 good
 model, but it means that they should hire more people and should spent
 more
 money.

 Basically the idea to use the grantmaking or the idea to setup a FDC are
 not bad ideas, but these ideas are not supported by a flexible system of
 evaluation. The request would impose the same standards of WMF to all
 Wikimedia's organizations, but WMF is spending 30 MUSD plus a percentage
 of
 the 11,4 MUSD, at the back there is WM DE spending 1,8 MUSD (5% compared
 with the budget of WMF) and WM UK and WM FR (2% compared with the budget
 of
 WMF), but they are evaluated using the same parameters of WMF.

 My concern is linked to this point. The grantmaking (I include also the
 FDC) may bar the access to the funds for smaller entities.

 This may be a benefit because the control is perfect, but it may be also a
 big damage for the movement because the control may be stifling. There is
 not a proportionate control.

 I remember that we discussed a lot during the meetings with WMF about how
 people should manage the changes. The better solution to manage the
 changes
 is to have a differentiation because the changes may block a lot some
 kinds
 of organizations and may promote a lot some others. The changes make a
 selection and if all of them are clones, the changes may kill all clones.

 To impose a single model or to impose stronger rules would reduce a lot
 the
 possibility to have a differentiation and would produce a group of
 organizations which seems to be stronger and better, but essentially it
 will lose the capacity to react to the changes.

 I am not speaking about anarchy, in general I defend a lot the systems of
 control, but a system of control and a system of evaluation should be
 flexible.

 On Fri, Nov 2, 2012 at 12:28 PM, Anders Wennersten 
 m...@anderswennersten.se

 wrote:
 The Board has earlier decided to give WMF an budget for 2012-2013 for
 30,3
 MUSD for core activities, up from 26,2 the earlier year, mainly
 engineering
 and thing like fundraising support.

 The Board has also set a budget of 11,4 MUSD for activities partly to be
 disseminated to chapters and to a part to WMF, where Grants make up big
 part. The total of 11,4 is an increase.




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Association pour l’avancement des connaissances libre
Associazione per il sostegno alla conoscenza libera
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board resolutions on bylaw amendments and appointment of Foundation staff officers

2012-11-02 Thread Bence Damokos
Hi Bishakha,

In my opinion, given the generally curious nature of our movement, it might
be a good idea to make more preparatory material for the board meetings
available publicly in advance.
Not necessarily as a way to allow comments or input, but as a matter of
transparency. Especially for proposals that are not likely to be changed
during the meeting (e.g. the technical bylaw amendments) and that will
become public as a result of the board vote, it might be possible to
publish them in advance without any adverse consequences, and resulting in
greater transparency.

(In this regard, the fact that Sue's recommendations were on Meta already
was a great step; without knowing the exact deliberations that happened at
the meeting, probably the bylaw amendments and the committee charters could
have been made public in advance.)

Best regards,
Bence


On Fri, Nov 2, 2012 at 5:21 PM, Bishakha Datta bishakhada...@gmail.comwrote:

 On Fri, Nov 2, 2012 at 4:53 PM, Lodewijk lodew...@effeietsanders.org
 wrote:

  Dear Bishakha,
 
  could you please elaborate why the board has chosen for a secretive
  amendment procedure here, rather than sharing the proposed amendments
 with
  the community and asking their input on it? Especially where it concerns
  such non-trivial changes.
 
  Ok, now that the document showing old and new has finally been uploaded,
 I
 will try to answer your question.

 The legal team proposed that we amend the bylaws, primarily to ensure
 compliance with Florida non-profit laws.

 Since most of the changes are legal in nature, they were not referred to
 the community for prior input.

 I understand how this action can be seen as secretive or opaque, even
 though it may not have been intended as such.

 Is it also possible to see this action as reasonable, given the nature of
 most of the changes?

 Just asking! Feel free to disagree,
 Bishakha
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board resolutions on bylaw amendments and appointment of Foundation staff officers

2012-11-02 Thread Bishakha Datta
On Fri, Nov 2, 2012 at 10:03 PM, Bence Damokos bdamo...@gmail.com wrote:

 Hi Bishakha,

 In my opinion, given the generally curious nature of our movement, it might
 be a good idea to make more preparatory material for the board meetings
 available publicly in advance.
 Not necessarily as a way to allow comments or input, but as a matter of
 transparency. Especially for proposals that are not likely to be changed
 during the meeting (e.g. the technical bylaw amendments) and that will
 become public as a result of the board vote, it might be possible to
 publish them in advance without any adverse consequences, and resulting in
 greater transparency.

 (In this regard, the fact that Sue's recommendations were on Meta already
 was a great step; without knowing the exact deliberations that happened at
 the meeting, probably the bylaw amendments and the committee charters could
 have been made public in advance.)

 Fair point. And kudos to Sue for creating her recommendations on Meta.

But I do (now speaking personally) actually agree with your larger point,
and this is something we will discuss on the Board and, hopefully, take on
board more fully.

Bishakha
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board vote on narrowing focus

2012-11-02 Thread Bishakha Datta
On Fri, Nov 2, 2012 at 8:30 PM, MZMcBride z...@mzmcbride.com wrote:


 It would be nice if someone could export the linked presentation from
 Google
 Docs and upload it to wikimediafoundation.org (or Wikimedia Commons) as a
 PDF or ODP (or both). I don't think we should rely on external resources in
 the context of historical Board archives unless absolutely necessary.

 Taken your feedback and done the needful,
Bishakha
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board vote on narrowing focus

2012-11-02 Thread Matthew Roth
On Fri, Nov 2, 2012 at 9:26 AM, Bence Damokos bdamo...@gmail.com wrote:


  Do you have an example in mind of a recent press release that took
  advantage of this support?
  How useful to you find ComCom, as a list and network, compared to direct
  personal facilitation by WMF staff?


I spent a fair amount of time supporting Lodewijk and the international
team with press work around Wiki Loves Monuments, drafting press releases,
communications strategy, etc. When I couldn't continue to spend time in a
staff capacity given the many other demands for time, I did other work as a
volunteer, much as I did for other elements of organizing the U.S. version
of the contest. It was a great deal of fun and I look forward to helping
again next year, in both capacities.


 
 While not recent or international; I have taken advantage of both personal
 WMF staff support and ComCom in the past, in slightly different
 circumstances. For planning a communications strategy, the direct input,
 coaching and concentrated involvement of a Comms manager of WMF was
 instrumental; while ComCom in my experience has been useful in providing
 advice on how to react to a situation, which required  less time of any
 given participant. In the former case the help might have been an
 unmandated task, and the person providing the help did not need to be WMF
 staffer (after all, Wikimedia Deutschland also had similar levels of
 communications expertise at the time, though still no mandate to be
 available to the global community).
 One important result of this interaction (and also other similar
 interactions in other fields of expertise, as well as that of the
 WMF-funded organizational development pilot) was the transfer of skills,
 ways of thinking that has been useful beyond the one project in question,
 and has perhaps resulted in not requiring to contact WMF again.


In addition to working with folks on ComCom around reactive situations, or
PR training/planning, we continue to seek out material for the
communications channels that we manage, including the Wikimedia Foundation
blog http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Blog and several large social media
channels http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Social_Media. Several chapters
and many individual Wikipedians have taken advantage to contribute material
to blog.wikimedia.org. We're working on a process to re-design that blog so
that we can better incorporate more voices beyond the Foundation and in
many more languages (think more of a news magazine format and not just a
chronological blogroll). We've been expanding the number of multi-lingual
posts http://blog.wikimedia.org/tag/multilingual-post/ and utilizing the
great translate extension as much as possible. We'd welcome many more posts
about movement activities from chapters or other event and activity
organizers. The best way to do that is to contact me or anyone else listed
under the guidelines section of the Meta page for the blog here:
http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Blog

We can get you help with editing the posts and put them on the calendar.
We're also happy to help share/re-tweet/further spread the word on social
media channels where applicable.

So hopefully the changes you see coming from the WMF communications team
include more support for the work you do, a more robust infrastructure to
make it easier to publicize your work, and much better multi-lingual
communications across the many channels available to us. Please feel free
to reach out to me directly or anyone at communications at wikimedia dot
org for any reason.

Matthew

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Global Communications Manager
Wikimedia Foundation
+1.415.839.6885 ext 6635
www.wikimediafoundation.org
*https://donate.wikimedia.org*
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board resolutions on bylaw amendments and appointment of Foundation staff officers

2012-11-02 Thread Thomas Dalton
On Nov 2, 2012 3:07 PM, Bishakha Datta bishakhada...@gmail.com wrote:

 On Fri, Nov 2, 2012 at 5:26 PM, Thomas Dalton thomas.dal...@gmail.com
wrote:

 
  The responsibilities of the Secretary and Treasurer are board
  responsibilities. While the day-to-day work of the role may be
delegated to
  staff, it is still the job of the board to ensure that everything is
done
  correctly. How does the board intend to do that in future? Have
individual
  trustees been appointed as liaisons to these new officers? Or are there
  committees to oversee their work?
 

 Yes, both will be overseen by Board members. The Treasurer will be
overseen
 by the Audit Committee head, while the Secretary will be overseen by the
 Board Governance Committee head.

Thank you!
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board vote on narrowing focus

2012-11-02 Thread Erik Moeller
On Fri, Nov 2, 2012 at 4:05 AM, Lodewijk lodew...@effeietsanders.org wrote:

 The question I am missing in this analysis (but perhaps it was discussed
 orally) is 'which organization/group/individual is best placed to execute
 this' and then I definitely agree that many events etc are probably better
 executed at a chapter level than by the WMF.

\o/

I really like this part of the strategy. I'd love to see more small
hackathons around the world organized by chapters and attended by
smaller groups of WMF staff along with volunteers and chapters staff.

 I do have one more specific question. In discussions previously on meta,
 there were some insinuations (maybe only my interpretation) that the
 organizational support (so not just money) for chapters and other
 affiliated groups would be reduced as a consequence of this narrowed focus.

I can speak mostly for the tech side, where our general approach is to
try to ensure that we've got scalable review/integration processes
that advance as much trust and autonomy to other individuals and
organizations as reasonably possible. For example I think WMF needs to
make sure that Labs runs smoothly, and can be used to build tools from
start to the finish line. We may then still have to help pushing it
over the last few inches, but most of the work should not require our
help.

Similarly we're continually expanding the circle of trust for folks
who can review and merge code. We're a bit more conservative with the
final deployment button push, but we're pretty close to letting
anyone with the right talents and inclinations push code into
production.

Where WMF really is the only older of certain expertise, we try to
provided it when needed, but we should also make a continuing effort
to reduce expertise bottlenecks. The changes in this regard over the
last 2 years have been huge -- more of our infrastructure than ever is
now versioned as code and testable in Labs.

Erik

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VP of Engineering and Product Development, Wikimedia Foundation

Support Free Knowledge: https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Donate

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board resolutions on bylaw amendments and appointment of Foundation staff officers

2012-11-02 Thread Lodewijk
Hi Bishakha,

2012/11/2 Bishakha Datta bishakhada...@gmail.com

 On Fri, Nov 2, 2012 at 4:53 PM, Lodewijk lodew...@effeietsanders.org
 wrote:

  Dear Bishakha,
 
  could you please elaborate why the board has chosen for a secretive
  amendment procedure here, rather than sharing the proposed amendments
 with
  the community and asking their input on it? Especially where it concerns
  such non-trivial changes.
 
 Ok, now that the document showing old and new has finally been uploaded, I
 will try to answer your question.

 The legal team proposed that we amend the bylaws, primarily to ensure
 compliance with Florida non-profit laws.

 Since most of the changes are legal in nature, they were not referred to
 the community for prior input.

 I understand how this action can be seen as secretive or opaque, even
 though it may not have been intended as such.

 Is it also possible to see this action as reasonable, given the nature of
 most of the changes?


I don't see how this validates the fact that you did not consult the
community on these changes. If the changes are fairly trivial and
legalistic, then the community will likely have little objection. But as
you noted, there was at least one significant change (I haven't been able
to check myself) and I'm having a hard time understanding why you (the
board) would /not/ want the input of the community on such decisions.

If people talk rubbish, it is easy to ignore. But maybe they have a very
good point that you want to take into account. If they come up with an
argument that changes your mind - wouldn't that mean that the goal has been
accomplished?

Especially with the second most important governing document of the
Wikimedia Foundation (after the Articles of Incorporation) I don't
understand why changing it is not considered to be relevant to the
community. Maybe this specific change was a good one (I'm not sure yet I
agree, until I heard the explanation of the why) but maybe next time the
changes are more drastic and infringing. I find it silly that we do require
chapters to let their bylaws approved by the Affiliations Committee
(although enforcement of that could be improved), and make them public
before doing so - but that the Wikimedia Foundation wouldn't have to follow
the same standards.

But let me make this constructive: I will set up a page on meta (I'll send
a separate email about that) where the community can discuss measures to
make the Wikimedia Foundation more democratic.

Kind regards,

Lodewijk
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[Wikimedia-l] Democratizing the Wikimedia Foundation

2012-11-02 Thread Lodewijk
Dear all,

I have set up a brainstorming page on metawiki (
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Democratizing_the_Wikimedia_Foundation)
where I would like to invite you to think about ways to democratize the
Wikimedia Foundation.

This doesn't mean that the Wikimedia Foundation is totally undemocratic,
but it does mean that in my humble opinion, improvements are possible. This
was triggered by me after the third time in my memory that the Foundation
board has changed the bylaws of the Foundation without even consulting the
community - but this doesn't have to be the only possible improvement.

This is not intended as a huge complaint 'moo, the WMF is evil and
dictatorial' but rather as a constructive exercise. I invite you to
approach this also constructively, and think about possible improvement to
current procedures - to ensure that there is a large community involvement
in the governance of the Wikimedia Foundation - directly or indirectly -
and that processes are transparent.

I hope that our community selected board members will take this up as well,
think along and bring the proposals to the board when the time is there
(Alice, Kat, Patricio, SJ, and Ting: I'm looking at you) but of course I'm
counting on it that also other board members will support the thought
behind this. Any input on how to make this process more constructive would
be appreciated. I also hope that the legal team will be watching the page
and advise when something is legally impossible and how it could be made
possible.

With kind regards,

Lodewijk
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board vote on narrowing focus

2012-11-02 Thread Sarah Stierch

Hi all,

I have a comment inline below. Humor me on my rampage about the US and 
our desperate need for a more organized GLAM movement in this giant 
country.



On 11/2/12 8:01 AM, Samuel Klein wrote:



* Institutional support for the GLAM related activities in the US (until
the US Federation is fully functional, if ever)


I agree there is room for a global GLAM support for regions that don't have
local [chapter] organization.  Why do you feel this is a special problem
for the US, compared to other archive-rich parts of the world - given the
two regional chapters and numerous present and past Wikipedians in
residence?




The United States is a legendary place when it comes to this discussion. 
Numerous fellow-US-Wikipedians and myself have spent countless nights 
mulling over this. If you live outside of Washington, D.C. and New York 
City vicinities, the Wikipedia world in the US is a VERY lonely place. 
Perhaps not for everyone, but for many more than you'd think. I meet 
Wikipedians in the US who have no clue there is a grant program. Like 
some countries in global south - I know Wikipedians in Chicago who 
attend meet-up's with 2 people on a regular basis. I mean Chicago? 
Really? Yup.


I live in San Francisco. I'm lucky: I'm wrapping up a year long 
fellowship, I'm a social butterfly, but it took me almost one year of 
doing GLAM projects on my own budget before I realized that I could 
apply for a grant to go to a conference. I thought there was no way I'd 
get a grant to attend a museum conference. Lori Phillips has done a lot 
of work in her one year coordinator position. She has tried her best to 
bring together US Wikipedians - and for many of us, that's like herding 
cats. She's redone our website, she's created a blog, and she's got 100 
GLAMs breathing down her neck who want Wikipedians in Residence - all 
this while GLAMs are undergoing hiring freezes and are lucky if they can 
send one staff member to a conference where Lori, myself, and/or Dominic 
speak about the subject.


The development of the US GLAM Consortium[1] was a concept Lori hoped 
could make up for a few things: the lack of chapters in the US (the US 
is like Russia - it's freaking huge, and having two small chapters on 
one side of the country doesn't necessarily help those of us in 
Oklahoma, Indiana, New Mexico, or Oregon, per se), the lack of GLAM 
organization around the subject, etc. We've got a great group of 
advisors from some of the biggest GLAMs in the US - however, the 
Consortium has no money. GLAMs don't have the free cash to throw at 
organizing it, and the Foundation won't support it unless a GLAM steps 
up to throw money in - if they do the Foundation will match them. And 
we've had little to no luck thus far at getting outside funding. But, 
most of these GLAMs have hiring freezes, can't even afford to pay a 
Wikipedian in Residence a small stipend, and all of the staff members on 
the US Consortium project are doing it as volunteers. One of the most 
important things we need to do is have a Consortium meeting - in person, 
not online - and we can't financially fund it because of this matching. 
I don't blame anyone we're working with - Asaf is great and he works his 
ass off and cares a lot for what we're all doing. But, in the US - we 
can't financially do a lot of things because we're limited by distance, 
lack of chapters, and situations like this matching thing. I get we 
can't rely on the Foundation for everything, but in the US, outside of 
one area, it's the only thing we have.


And trust me - having numerous present and past Wikipedians in 
residence doesn't make up for having financial and chapter support. 
While it's great that museums want to fly us around the country to talk 
about our projects - they can't afford it. I was asked to speak at one 
of the finest museums in the United States - the Met of the West, so to 
say, and they had to cease planning the talk because they can't afford 
to bring me down from San Francisco to LA, and I surely can't afford to 
do that myself. And a ticket to fly to LA generally costs about $150 - 
not expensive. And there is only so much that me, Dominic and Lori can 
do. (And that's having families, jobs and school)


I could go on and on and on about this, but, a few of us in the GLAM US 
movement have learned that we can ask the Foundation for grants when 
needed, and we are grateful, but, other than that, you're on your own - 
and many of us also know that if we had a US GLAM Consortium - who needs 
to meet in order to get the ball rolling - then we'd probably have a 
chance to bring in outside funding and so forth. I'm continuously 
grateful for the support participation grants have given me, but this 
isn't about me, I'll be okay - it's about the large scale impact in the 
US which we still need to make.


Things have started to move a bit though - organizations like the Open 
Knowledge Foundation have taken notice that we need better organization 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board vote on narrowing focus

2012-11-02 Thread Sarah Stierch

On 11/2/12 8:15 AM, Federico Leva (Nemo) wrote:

Samuel Klein, 02/11/2012 16:01:
* Institutional support for the GLAM related activities in the US 
(until

the US Federation is fully functional, if ever)



I agree there is room for a global GLAM support for regions that 
don't have

local [chapter] organization.  Why do you feel this is a special problem
for the US, compared to other archive-rich parts of the world - given 
the

two regional chapters and numerous present and past Wikipedians in
residence?


The problem is always the same, i.e. that the WMF acts as WM-USA while 
a chapter is missing, rather than being truly global.
Random (unfair?) recent example: WLM-USA uses the allegedly global 
Wikimedia blog 
https://blog.wikimedia.org/2012/10/31/wiki-loves-monuments-us-top-ten-photos-announced/ 
unlike all the other national editions.


There is a US blog: http://www.wikilovesmonuments.us/

I'm not sure why it was posted on the WMF blog. I'm sure if other 
countries submitted their top ten's they'd be posted to the WMF blog.


Remember: anyone in the movement - around the world - can write a blog 
for the WMF blog, in any language they want. So do it!



-Sarah

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*/Museumist and open culture advocate/*
Visit sarahstierch.com http://sarahstierch.com
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Democratizing the Wikimedia Foundation

2012-11-02 Thread Patricio Lorente
2012/11/2 Lodewijk lodew...@effeietsanders.org:
 Dear all,

 I have set up a brainstorming page on metawiki (
 https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Democratizing_the_Wikimedia_Foundation)
 where I would like to invite you to think about ways to democratize the
 Wikimedia Foundation.

 This doesn't mean that the Wikimedia Foundation is totally undemocratic,
 but it does mean that in my humble opinion, improvements are possible. This
 was triggered by me after the third time in my memory that the Foundation
 board has changed the bylaws of the Foundation without even consulting the
 community - but this doesn't have to be the only possible improvement.

 This is not intended as a huge complaint 'moo, the WMF is evil and
 dictatorial' but rather as a constructive exercise. I invite you to
 approach this also constructively, and think about possible improvement to
 current procedures - to ensure that there is a large community involvement
 in the governance of the Wikimedia Foundation - directly or indirectly -
 and that processes are transparent.

 I hope that our community selected board members will take this up as well,
 think along and bring the proposals to the board when the time is there
 (Alice, Kat, Patricio, SJ, and Ting: I'm looking at you) but of course I'm
 counting on it that also other board members will support the thought
 behind this. Any input on how to make this process more constructive would
 be appreciated. I also hope that the legal team will be watching the page
 and advise when something is legally impossible and how it could be made
 possible.

Hi Lodewijk! I really appreciate this initiative -although I think the
subject does not make too much sense: it would be better Improving
governance, perhaps-. Anyway, it will be an important input for us.

Patricio

-- 
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Blog: http://www.patriciolorente.com.ar
Identi.ca // Twitter: @patriciolorente

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board resolutions on bylaw amendments and appointment of Foundation staff officers

2012-11-02 Thread Samuel Klein
It's a good idea to make prep materials available a week in advance, to the
community as to the board.
Exceptions can be made for any materials that are sensitive in nature.

I can think of only one or two examples from the past few meetings.  Much
of the material is published afterwards anyway.

On the same subject, most draft resolutions can be worked out on meta as
well.  This might encourage more community-proposed resolutions for the
Board to consider, which would also be healthy.

SJ


On Fri, Nov 2, 2012 at 12:33 PM, Bence Damokos bdamo...@gmail.com wrote:

 Hi Bishakha,

 In my opinion, given the generally curious nature of our movement, it might
 be a good idea to make more preparatory material for the board meetings
 available publicly in advance.
 Not necessarily as a way to allow comments or input, but as a matter of
 transparency. Especially for proposals that are not likely to be changed
 during the meeting (e.g. the technical bylaw amendments) and that will
 become public as a result of the board vote, it might be possible to
 publish them in advance without any adverse consequences, and resulting in
 greater transparency.

 (In this regard, the fact that Sue's recommendations were on Meta already
 was a great step; without knowing the exact deliberations that happened at
 the meeting, probably the bylaw amendments and the committee charters could
 have been made public in advance.)

 Best regards,
 Bence


 On Fri, Nov 2, 2012 at 5:21 PM, Bishakha Datta bishakhada...@gmail.com
 wrote:

  On Fri, Nov 2, 2012 at 4:53 PM, Lodewijk lodew...@effeietsanders.org
  wrote:
 
   Dear Bishakha,
  
   could you please elaborate why the board has chosen for a secretive
   amendment procedure here, rather than sharing the proposed amendments
  with
   the community and asking their input on it? Especially where it
 concerns
   such non-trivial changes.
  
   Ok, now that the document showing old and new has finally been
 uploaded,
  I
  will try to answer your question.
 
  The legal team proposed that we amend the bylaws, primarily to ensure
  compliance with Florida non-profit laws.
 
  Since most of the changes are legal in nature, they were not referred to
  the community for prior input.
 
  I understand how this action can be seen as secretive or opaque, even
  though it may not have been intended as such.
 
  Is it also possible to see this action as reasonable, given the nature of
  most of the changes?
 
  Just asking! Feel free to disagree,
  Bishakha
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board vote on narrowing focus

2012-11-02 Thread Matthew Roth
On Fri, Nov 2, 2012 at 10:51 AM, Sarah Stierch sarah.stie...@gmail.comwrote:

 On 11/2/12 8:15 AM, Federico Leva (Nemo) wrote:

 Samuel Klein, 02/11/2012 16:01:

 * Institutional support for the GLAM related activities in the US (until
 the US Federation is fully functional, if ever)


 I agree there is room for a global GLAM support for regions that don't
 have
 local [chapter] organization.  Why do you feel this is a special problem
 for the US, compared to other archive-rich parts of the world - given the
 two regional chapters and numerous present and past Wikipedians in
 residence?


 The problem is always the same, i.e. that the WMF acts as WM-USA while a
 chapter is missing, rather than being truly global.
 Random (unfair?) recent example: WLM-USA uses the allegedly global
 Wikimedia blog https://blog.wikimedia.org/**2012/10/31/wiki-loves-**
 monuments-us-top-ten-photos-**announced/https://blog.wikimedia.org/2012/10/31/wiki-loves-monuments-us-top-ten-photos-announced/
 unlike all the other national editions.


 There is a US blog: 
 http://www.wikilovesmonuments.**us/http://www.wikilovesmonuments.us/

 I'm not sure why it was posted on the WMF blog.


Mostly because I wrote the blog post on Tuesday night after work :)
I'm happy to publicize more of the other country winners as well. I'll
check on Elke's and Lodewijk's posts at
http://www.wikilovesmonuments.org/and coordinate with them and anyone
else who would like to publicize them.

We'll also be doing PR around the final announcement of the overall winners
in December, as discussed with Lodewijk.

thanks,
Matthew



 -Sarah


 --
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 */Museumist and open culture advocate/*
 Visit sarahstierch.com http://sarahstierch.com
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Wikimedia Foundation
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www.wikimediafoundation.org
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board vote on narrowing focus

2012-11-02 Thread ENWP Pine
Could I ask about what information the Board had in addition to these 
slides? The slides provide little in the way of hard numbers for financial 
and ROI information, such as expected improvements to editor retention or 
the Visual Editor's progress that should occur with the changes to funding 
and FTE assignments.


Thanks,

Pine 



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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board vote on narrowing focus

2012-11-02 Thread Lodewijk
Hi Sam,

some people have excellently answered as well - I especially agree with
what Bence and Matthew wrote. I will answer some things myself as well
though.

2012/11/2 Samuel Klein meta...@gmail.com

 Hello Lodewijk,

 These are good questions.  I expect effort will be required in the short
 term to delegate effectively and help move to a narrower focus.   A few
 clarifying questions for you in return:

 On Fri, Nov 2, 2012 at 7:47 AM, Lodewijk lodew...@effeietsanders.org
 wrote:

 
  * PR support by WMF PR staff when writing press releases for an
  international audience
 

 Do you have an example in mind of a recent press release that took
 advantage of this support?
 How useful to you find ComCom, as a list and network, compared to direct
 personal facilitation by WMF staff?


I have two very specific occasions which I recall - but please forgive me
if I forgot several. In 2011 I had quite some interaction with Moka, who
advised me on how to run an international press release. This was the first
time we were running Wiki Loves Monuments in multiple countries, and none
of the chapters participating had any experience in international press
releases. The results of this were very thin - mostly because of language
issues (national releases work better, that was a valuable lesson) but the
help was great and helpful. This year I had quite some interaction with
Matthew who did a lot of help on drafting a good template release that
could be used by multiple countries and attractive blog posts. I honestly
don't know where his job stopped and his free time started - but what
counts to me most is that his skills were very valuable.

To some extent ComCom is helpful - but to be honest comcom has degraded
into not much more than a mailing list and a helpful place to shout for
help. It is not a great place to transfer skills or get help in
confidential stuff (such as the Guinness World Record press release).

Maybe this specific set of facilitation could move to the WCA - but at the
short term this is unlikely to happen.



  * Networking support by Asaf (who to approach), specifically for global
  south countries and chapters to be.
 

 Do you think the WMF should be the arbiter of who to approach to connect
 with chapters-to-be?  It seems to me that this level of support and
 connection could be provided well and in a variety of languages by a
 support network (or a community body such as AffCom or the WCA), even
 today.


No, in an ideal world I would prefer the WMF not to be necessary for this.
However, unfortunately this ideal world doesn't exist. Again the WCA could
become helpful - but that is midlong term thinking. Dropping these
functions /right now/ would hurt the movement - I prefer a transition
process.




  * Tech support for initiatives
 
 * Layout/design support for education related activities
 

 How do you feel the above worked for WLM this year, as an example?
 What tech and design support was needed, and where did it come from?


I think the tech support for Wiki Loves Monuments was very helpful (both
the upload wizard in 2011 (Jeroen!) and 2012 as the mobile app). I think
the current setup of the Toolserver and Labs is quite open for improvement
though - especially when it comes to access and reliability. i'm not a very
technical person though, so I suggest you ask some other people if you want
details. Thing is, sometimes volunteers need some last minute flexible
support to make a project work. To make their efforts effective.

Design work I mostly remember from the education program - I haven't been
much directly involved, so probably others can speak better for it.



  * Institutional support for the GLAM related activities in the US (until
  the US Federation is fully functional, if ever)
 

 I agree there is room for a global GLAM support for regions that don't have
 local [chapter] organization.  Why do you feel this is a special problem
 for the US, compared to other archive-rich parts of the world - given the
 two regional chapters and numerous present and past Wikipedians in
 residence?


I think Sarah answered this very well in the mean time. The US is a big
country, and currently mostly not covered by any kind of chapter. If the
WMF doesn't support it at this point, there will not be any organizational
support. Grant making is not enough - skill transfer and some basic
backbone support is simply necessary to make volunteers do what they are
best at. This is also why GLAM seems to be most successful in countries
with chapters.

I do feel that the WMF isn't best placed in the longer term to support
this. I think that the US federation idea that is currently being
considered might be a good step in the direction of organizational support
- and a US chapter might even be better. The GLAM-Wiki consortium might be
a great step. But again: a transition process is imho necessary and
invaluable. If you drop it now, there is a risk of loosing important
momentum. Give other organizations 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board resolutions on bylaw amendments and appointment of Foundation staff officers

2012-11-02 Thread Thehelpfulone
On 2 November 2012 16:06, Bishakha Datta bishakhada...@gmail.com wrote:

 Ok, I've added a reference link into the resolution at:
 http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Resolution:Amended_Bylaws

 Please go through this to compare old and revised versions of the bylaws;
 since there are many small changes, I have uploaded the entire document.

 The document showing the revisions can also be directly accessed from this
 link:

 http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Wikimedia_Foundation_Bylaws_posted_mark-up.pdf


Thank you for doing this, but (correct me if I'm wrong) it looks like this
document had already been created by Kelly, presumably for easy review
internally of the changes to the Bylaws.

Please don't forget that there's a huge online community that all have
different interests and pay particular attention to certain things - some
clearly with the WMF as evident from this mailing list thread.

Thus, in the future (this is for both Board members and WMF staff) it would
be much better, when announcing *any* potentially controversial changes
like this to *proactively* provide such documents, than potentially give
the impression that you are intentionally trying to hide something by
waiting for a community member to request it.

-- 
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http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Thehelpfulone
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Wikimedia Foundation Report, September 2012

2012-11-02 Thread ENWP Pine

Thank you for those replies, Tony and Tilman.

Pine
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Democratizing the Wikimedia Foundation

2012-11-02 Thread Lodewijk
Hi Patricio,

I am especially focussing on democracy (community involvement) and
transparency. I am afraid 'improving governance' is too broad and vague for
most of us to grasp. I realize that the title is a bit challenging and
tickling - that was intentional :)

I'm glad you appreciate it, and i hope you will also participate in it.

Best,
Lodewijk

2012/11/2 Patricio Lorente patricio.lore...@gmail.com

 2012/11/2 Lodewijk lodew...@effeietsanders.org:
  Dear all,
 
  I have set up a brainstorming page on metawiki (
  https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Democratizing_the_Wikimedia_Foundation)
  where I would like to invite you to think about ways to democratize the
  Wikimedia Foundation.
 
  This doesn't mean that the Wikimedia Foundation is totally undemocratic,
  but it does mean that in my humble opinion, improvements are possible.
 This
  was triggered by me after the third time in my memory that the Foundation
  board has changed the bylaws of the Foundation without even consulting
 the
  community - but this doesn't have to be the only possible improvement.
 
  This is not intended as a huge complaint 'moo, the WMF is evil and
  dictatorial' but rather as a constructive exercise. I invite you to
  approach this also constructively, and think about possible improvement
 to
  current procedures - to ensure that there is a large community
 involvement
  in the governance of the Wikimedia Foundation - directly or indirectly -
  and that processes are transparent.
 
  I hope that our community selected board members will take this up as
 well,
  think along and bring the proposals to the board when the time is there
  (Alice, Kat, Patricio, SJ, and Ting: I'm looking at you) but of course
 I'm
  counting on it that also other board members will support the thought
  behind this. Any input on how to make this process more constructive
 would
  be appreciated. I also hope that the legal team will be watching the page
  and advise when something is legally impossible and how it could be made
  possible.

 Hi Lodewijk! I really appreciate this initiative -although I think the
 subject does not make too much sense: it would be better Improving
 governance, perhaps-. Anyway, it will be an important input for us.

 Patricio

 --
 Patricio Lorente
 Blog: http://www.patriciolorente.com.ar
 Identi.ca // Twitter: @patriciolorente

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board vote on narrowing focus

2012-11-02 Thread MZMcBride
Bishakha Datta wrote:
 On Fri, Nov 2, 2012 at 8:30 PM, MZMcBride z...@mzmcbride.com wrote:
 It would be nice if someone could export the linked presentation from Google
 Docs and upload it to wikimediafoundation.org (or Wikimedia Commons) as a PDF
 or ODP (or both). I don't think we should rely on external resources in the
 context of historical Board archives unless absolutely necessary.
 
 Taken your feedback and done the needful,

You're wonderful. Thank you very much. :-)

MZMcBride



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Re: [Wikimedia-l] The new narrowed focus by WMF - notification methods for important Meta discussions

2012-11-02 Thread ENWP Pine

I must have missed the announcement in the Signpost. I think of Signpost as an 
ENWP publication, not a Meta publication. Do we have an equivalent list of 
announcements for Meta somewhere? I would have at least expected to see 
something posted in https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Goings-on, and I don’t see 
a reason *not* to make a separate post to this list, given the importance of 
these changes for WMF and the interest of many subscribers of this list.

Thanks,

Pine
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board resolutions on bylaw amendments and appointment of Foundation staff officers

2012-11-02 Thread phoebe ayers
On Fri, Nov 2, 2012 at 10:35 AM, Lodewijk lodew...@effeietsanders.org wrote:


 I don't see how this validates the fact that you did not consult the
 community on these changes. If the changes are fairly trivial and
 legalistic, then the community will likely have little objection. But as
 you noted, there was at least one significant change (I haven't been able
 to check myself) and I'm having a hard time understanding why you (the
 board) would /not/ want the input of the community on such decisions.

Hi Lodewijk (and all),

Here's my thoughts on this... and a little history.

As I recall, the last time the Board revised the bylaws in 2010 the
board also didn't notify the community, except via resolution after
the fact, and I remember that you and I had a long conversation about
it where you basically made this same argument, and I agreed with you.

I brought your points up to the board at the time, and I believe
(though my memory is flawed) I proposed something like a two-week
notification period to notify the community for bylaws changes. I
think at the time there was general agreement that the principle
seemed good, though there were questions about how to integrate
feedback and some discussion that the bylaws themselves don't require
such notification. There may be other points that I'm forgetting.
Nothing really happened though (nothing formal was drafted) and the
issue didn't arise again during my term since we didn't need to make
further bylaws revisions.

So I totally understand your frustration, Lodewijk, because it must
seem like you've been having this exact same conversation with the
board for years. And this particular bylaws change is even more
complicated -- it is difficult to know how best to refer legal changes
to the community for review, when they need to be made for compliance
reasons.

Regardless, in the spirit of being constructive, I propose (as a
community member) two changes to the Board and community at large:
* a formal Board resolution that states the procedure for bylaws
changes (mirroring the other procedural resolutions, such as voting
transparency and deliberation rules).
* a better (more public) standing rules/procedures type of document
that lays out the procedure for how the board works -- i.e. what the
best practice is for notification of meetings, etc. etc. Currently
some of this information is in the board manual, some is in the
bylaws, some is in resolutions and some is in informal private
documents like the notes the secretary uses. It would be nice to bring
that all together into one place on meta, and such a document would
help future boards -- compared to many nonprofits, we have a lot of
turnover on our board, and it takes a while for each member as well as
each secretary to come up to speed. I'm imagining a document that is
more like an English Wikipedia guideline, rather than policy -- best
practices that the board follows unless there are good reasons not to.

I guess now that I've made these suggestions I've also volunteered
myself to work on them, huh :P

cheers,
Phoebe

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[Wikimedia-l] Wikimedia blog contributions; make participation invitation more obvious

2012-11-02 Thread MZMcBride
Sarah Stierch wrote:
 I'm not sure why it was posted on the WMF blog. I'm sure if other
 countries submitted their top ten's they'd be posted to the WMF blog.
 
 Remember: anyone in the movement - around the world - can write a blog
 for the WMF blog, in any language they want. So do it!

I'm going to fork this thread as I think this point should be highlighted.

Currently, looking at https://blog.wikimedia.org/, I'm not sure it's
obvious at all that anyone in the Wikimedia community is encouraged to draft
a blog post. As far as I can see, there's no submit a post or contribute
your own story or other invitation to participation anywhere on the blog.

Even adapting the Creative Commons license note in the sidebar might work.
This blog is licensed under blah blah. You can submit your own draft of an
article here! or something.

I'm as big a fan of security through obscurity as anyone, but it does
occasionally help to give people a decent pointer to a page such as
http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Blog#Drafting_a_post. Currently,
it looks like there _is_ a Guidelines link in the sidebar, but it's
painfully buried in the left-hand sidebar's list of links and its target
(https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Blog/Guidelines) is a wall of
text.

I'm not sure who could resolve this issue or how it's best tracked. I guess
via filing a bug in Bugzilla? If there's a central point of contact for the
blog, it'd be great to know who that is.

MZMcBride



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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Wikimedia blog contributions; make participation invitation more obvious

2012-11-02 Thread Tilman Bayer
On Fri, Nov 2, 2012 at 11:20 AM, MZMcBride z...@mzmcbride.com wrote:
 Sarah Stierch wrote:
 I'm not sure why it was posted on the WMF blog. I'm sure if other
 countries submitted their top ten's they'd be posted to the WMF blog.

 Remember: anyone in the movement - around the world - can write a blog
 for the WMF blog, in any language they want. So do it!

 I'm going to fork this thread as I think this point should be highlighted.

 Currently, looking at https://blog.wikimedia.org/, I'm not sure it's
 obvious at all that anyone in the Wikimedia community is encouraged to draft
 a blog post. As far as I can see, there's no submit a post or contribute
 your own story or other invitation to participation anywhere on the blog.

We installed the public drafting process for the blog a few months ago
and it was a bit of an experiment at first. But yes, now that this has
matured a bit, such a more prominent link on the blog itself sounds
like a great idea - we'll definitely look into it.

By the way, https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Blog/Drafts is
as much meant as an invitation to copyedit and comment on others'
drafts as it is for submitting new ones; we'd love to see more
participation of both sorts.

 Even adapting the Creative Commons license note in the sidebar might work.
 This blog is licensed under blah blah. You can submit your own draft of an
 article here! or something.

 I'm as big a fan of security through obscurity as anyone, but it does
 occasionally help to give people a decent pointer to a page such as
 http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Blog#Drafting_a_post. Currently,
 it looks like there _is_ a Guidelines link in the sidebar, but it's
 painfully buried in the left-hand sidebar's list of links and its target
 (https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Blog/Guidelines) is a wall of
 text.

 I'm not sure who could resolve this issue or how it's best tracked. I guess
 via filing a bug in Bugzilla? If there's a central point of contact for the
 blog, it'd be great to know who that is.

https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Blog/Guidelines#Blog_team
(Guillaume has indeed done most of the work on the blog design in the
past, but nowadays his time for working on the blog is unfortunately
very limited by his other duties.)

We are currently throwing around ideas for a redesign of the whole
blog in a Newsroom style, with a stronger emphasis on thematic
sub-blogs and widening participation further. Also, Daniel and I have
recently been talking about the possibility of having the blog in
Labs, which in this case would have enabled you to suggest that
invitation link by just coding it yourself ;)

-- 
Tilman Bayer
Senior Operations Analyst (Movement Communications)
Wikimedia Foundation
IRC (Freenode): HaeB

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board resolutions on bylaw amendments and appointment of Foundation staff officers

2012-11-02 Thread Alice Wiegand
Hi Phoebe,
thank you for your thoughts. I must admit that I don't remember these
discussions and yes, I understand the frustration even more with this
background. Like Bishakha and Sam I will support to publish as much
information as possible before our meetings. I agree that this issue
would have been a good start to do this, and we missed to realize
this. Most of the changes are somewhat cosmetical (continuous
designations, adjustments on former decisions). The change for
secretary and treasurer are critical to get the best of the Trustees
where it is needed and not to waste lots of energy and concentration
on things that are originally grounded and better placed in the hands
of staff. (Personally, I'm just happy to have Bishakha involved as
much in our discussions as any other Trustee without the
responsibility to take notes at the same time.)

Since I've joined the board I've wondered how things are done. And
after having asked lots of questions, peeved my colleagues and found
several places with descriptions for the public but without concrete
directions for the board, I've decided to build a set of rules of
procedures for the board. Since this has to do with processes and
standards to ensure and hopefully improve the board's work the
creation of it will be led by the Board Governance Committee. The
committee has agreed to start with it in 2013.

There will be a Meta page with the BGC's agenda in the next days and
I'm glad to get more input from the community.

Regards, Alice.


On Fri, Nov 2, 2012 at 7:16 PM, phoebe ayers phoebe.w...@gmail.com wrote:
 On Fri, Nov 2, 2012 at 10:35 AM, Lodewijk lodew...@effeietsanders.org wrote:


 I don't see how this validates the fact that you did not consult the
 community on these changes. If the changes are fairly trivial and
 legalistic, then the community will likely have little objection. But as
 you noted, there was at least one significant change (I haven't been able
 to check myself) and I'm having a hard time understanding why you (the
 board) would /not/ want the input of the community on such decisions.

 Hi Lodewijk (and all),

 Here's my thoughts on this... and a little history.

 As I recall, the last time the Board revised the bylaws in 2010 the
 board also didn't notify the community, except via resolution after
 the fact, and I remember that you and I had a long conversation about
 it where you basically made this same argument, and I agreed with you.

 I brought your points up to the board at the time, and I believe
 (though my memory is flawed) I proposed something like a two-week
 notification period to notify the community for bylaws changes. I
 think at the time there was general agreement that the principle
 seemed good, though there were questions about how to integrate
 feedback and some discussion that the bylaws themselves don't require
 such notification. There may be other points that I'm forgetting.
 Nothing really happened though (nothing formal was drafted) and the
 issue didn't arise again during my term since we didn't need to make
 further bylaws revisions.

 So I totally understand your frustration, Lodewijk, because it must
 seem like you've been having this exact same conversation with the
 board for years. And this particular bylaws change is even more
 complicated -- it is difficult to know how best to refer legal changes
 to the community for review, when they need to be made for compliance
 reasons.

 Regardless, in the spirit of being constructive, I propose (as a
 community member) two changes to the Board and community at large:
 * a formal Board resolution that states the procedure for bylaws
 changes (mirroring the other procedural resolutions, such as voting
 transparency and deliberation rules).
 * a better (more public) standing rules/procedures type of document
 that lays out the procedure for how the board works -- i.e. what the
 best practice is for notification of meetings, etc. etc. Currently
 some of this information is in the board manual, some is in the
 bylaws, some is in resolutions and some is in informal private
 documents like the notes the secretary uses. It would be nice to bring
 that all together into one place on meta, and such a document would
 help future boards -- compared to many nonprofits, we have a lot of
 turnover on our board, and it takes a while for each member as well as
 each secretary to come up to speed. I'm imagining a document that is
 more like an English Wikipedia guideline, rather than policy -- best
 practices that the board follows unless there are good reasons not to.

 I guess now that I've made these suggestions I've also volunteered
 myself to work on them, huh :P

 cheers,
 Phoebe

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board resolutions on bylaw amendments and appointment of Foundation staff officers

2012-11-02 Thread Nathan
While I'm sure most readers understand these principles well already,
they are worth restating: the Foundation is not a wiki. It is not
purely a democracy. Greater democracy has not, to my knowledge, been
shown to correspond with greater effectiveness in non-profit
management. The WMF is not a membership organization. Legally, the
practice of allowing the editing community to elect members to its
board is voluntary.

I'm not arguing that the community doesn't often have good input, or
that a general ethic of transparency and cooperation isn't an
extremely positive characteristic of the Foundation. In fact, the
support of the community is absolutely crucial to its survival. I
merely want to suggest that the tone of entitlement evident in some
recent posts to wikimedia-l is misplaced.

Nathan

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board vote on narrowing focus

2012-11-02 Thread Nathan
On Fri, Nov 2, 2012 at 12:14 PM, Ilario Valdelli valde...@gmail.com wrote:

 Basically there is a weak evaluation costs/benefits. An organization
 spending 30 millions of USD should produce benefits for 30 millions of USD
 and should be evaluated as an organization spending 30 millions of USD. Big
 budget - stronger evaluation and stronger measures.

 An organization (for instance a small chapter) spending 500K USD should be
 evaluated as an organization spending 500K USD and this organization should
 produce benefits for 500K USD. Small budget - weak evaluation and flexible
 measures.

 Basically if a small chapter, spending 500K USD, is evaluated using the
 same parameters of WMF, it should spent an additional amount of 500K USD to
 create an organization and a paid staff in order to be able to be evaluated
 at the same level of WMF and to receive the 500K USD for their projects
 (total = 1 million of USD).


This would only make sense to me if the organization spending $500k is
spending its own money. In this case, it's spending money donated to
the WMF; that means it is subject to the level of scrutiny applied to
the WMF, even if that money is spent on its behalf instead of by it.

~Nathan

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board vote on narrowing focus

2012-11-02 Thread Ocaasi Ocaasi
I take the need for more organized and constructive movement in the U.S. as a 
given.  It's shocking to me that we have *two* chapters in all of the country.  
There's much important work to be done with GLAM, with the Education Program, 
partnerships with universities, non-profits, libraries and museums, and with 
general outreach.  Which is why I was so surprised by the resistance to the 
idea of creating a US Federation that would have made forming local/regional 
U.S. chapters extremely easy.  For some reason it was seen as a power grab or 
an unneeded layer of bureaucracy, but from my perspective it was just the right 
step to bootstrap tens and tens of active U.S. organizations.  While the WMF is 
'narrowing focus' and spinning off more and more responsibilities to affiliated 
groups, the opportunity to advance the U.S. towards working on the many needed 
areas of improvement should not be missed. --Jake Orlowitz (Ocaasi)
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[Wikimedia-l] Chapter reports Wikimedia Nederland, September and October 2012

2012-11-02 Thread Ziko van Dijk
Hello,

Here are the reports for WMNL, September and October 2012.

Kind regards
Ziko

http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_chapters/Reports/Wikimedia_Nederland/201209
http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_chapters/Reports/Wikimedia_Nederland/201210


-- 

---
Vereniging Wikimedia Nederland
dr. Ziko van Dijk, voorzitter
http://wmnederland.nl/

Wikimedia Nederland
Postbus 167
3500 AD Utrecht
---

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board resolutions on bylaw amendments and appointment of Foundation staff officers

2012-11-02 Thread Federico Leva (Nemo)

Bishakha Datta, 02/11/2012 17:08:

On Fri, Nov 2, 2012 at 9:31 PM, Benjamin Lees wrote:


This doesn't seem too unreasonable in itself, but it is somewhat surprising
that you didn't readjust the board's composition accordingly.  The
justification for having unelected seats is to ensure that the board has
people with specific skills or backgrounds, and my impression was that
getting someone with accounting experience to serve as treasurer was part
of that.



And that accounting experience is still very much needed on the Board - to
head the Audit Committee and to oversee the treasurer.


This seems quite a weak answer to Benjamin's point: if the experience of 
an expert board member is relevant/needed only for one committee which 
can consist also of non-board members (who in principle can also head 
it), then the board may well decide to restrict his/her partecipation to 
that committee, to take advantage of that experience where it's most 
effective and free a board position to allow further diversification and 
expansion of board member experiences.


Nemo

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] 2012 Editor survey launched

2012-11-02 Thread John Vandenberg
Hi Tilman,

Could you explain the logic behind the survey link not being static until
the user completes the survey or dismisses the notice?

I appreciate that you're offering, via email, to give people the survey
link if they missed it, but that will influence who ends up your survey
population. Not everyone on your target population is subscribed to a list
whetr this offer has been made.

John Vandenberg.
sent from Galaxy Note
On Oct 31, 2012 7:26 AM, Tilman Bayer tba...@wikimedia.org wrote:

 Hi all,

 we have just launched the Foundation's 2012 editor survey; with
 invitations to participate being shown to logged-in users on Wikipedia
 and Commons.

 A few quick facts about the survey (for more refer to
 https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Research:Wikipedia_Editor_Survey_2012
 ):

 * This is the third survey of editors as envisaged in the Foundation's
 2010-15 strategic plan in order to take the pulse of the community
 and identify pressing issues or concerns, after the April 2011 and
 December 2011 surveys.

 * The first main purpose of this survey is to continue the work of the
 2011 studies (conducted by Mani Pande and Ayush Khanna), with a focus
 on tracking changes since last year and identifying trends.
 Which is why many questions are being repeated from last time.

 * The second emphasis in this instance of the survey is to measure the
 satisfaction of the editing community with the work of the Wikimedia
 Foundation.

 * This is the first editor survey that includes a non-Wikipedia
 project (Commons, for the questions that are non Wikipedia-specific).

 * Thanks to everyone who commented on the draft questionnaire after we
 solicited feedback on this list and in and IRC office hour, as well as
 to those who commented about the last survey. We made several changes
 based on the feedback, and tried to reply to all concerns.

 * Also many thanks to all volunteer translators who reviewed or
 contributed translations; the questionnaire is available in 14
 languages (Italian, Polish and Portuguese will launch a bit later).

 * As with the previous two surveys, the results will be published in
 the following forms: A topline report detailing the percentage of
 responses for each question, a series of posts on
 https://blog.wikimedia.org analyzing the results, and a data set
 consisting of anonymized responses which others can use to do their
 own analyses. This time we will also aim to produce language-specific
 topline reports (an approach we already tested for Chinese with the
 data from the December 2011 survey).

 --
 Tilman Bayer
 Senior Operations Analyst (Movement Communications)
 Wikimedia Foundation
 IRC (Freenode): HaeB

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board vote on narrowing focus

2012-11-02 Thread Mark

On 11/2/12 6:43 PM, Sarah Stierch wrote:
If you live outside of Washington, D.C. and New York City vicinities, 
the Wikipedia world in the US is a VERY lonely place. Perhaps not for 
everyone, but for many more than you'd think. I meet Wikipedians in 
the US who have no clue there is a grant program. Like some countries 
in global south - I know Wikipedians in Chicago who attend meet-up's 
with 2 people on a regular basis. I mean Chicago? Really? Yup.


True to some extent, but I think a lot of U.S. Wikipedians are active, 
just in a more decentralized, movement-lite manner where they stick to 
editing and ignore the meta-stuff. Heck, I've been editing en.wiki for 
~10 years, and have made 40,000 edits, so am active in a sense, but I 
didn't know there was a grant program either. And I've been to maybe 3 
meetups ever! I'm even more meta-active than most Wikipedians I know, 
having gone to *any* meetups, and being subscribed to a mailing list. 
The other Wikipedia-editing folks I know tend to just see themselves as 
people who edit Wikipedia in an area they're interested in (mostly math, 
cs, or history), but don't want the commitment of joining a Movement or 
organization or social scene. It's sort of a different approach to being 
a Wikipedian I guess: a lightweight commitment where it's just a thing 
you can do, if you have some spare time on a weekend and find an 
interesting subject to improve.


Now as for whether that's more prevalent in the U.S. than elsewhere, 
and/or why that'd be, I have no idea.


-Mark


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board resolutions on bylaw amendments and appointment of Foundation staff officers

2012-11-02 Thread Samuel Klein
On Fri, Nov 2, 2012 at 6:46 PM, MZMcBride z...@mzmcbride.com wrote:


 My apologies. I read your previous suggestion during the travel guide
 discussion and the only real route for communicating with a Board member to
 solicit a proposal seemed to me to be private user-to-user e-mail. Are
 there
 other (a)venues available? Should people be using wiki user talk pages for
 this?


At times one does need a clear way to send private messages, perhaps to a
new ombudsman position on the Board, now that the secretary is not a
Trustee.  (Or is this is a reason to expand the scope of the ombudsmen
committee?)


 Drafting resolutions on Meta-Wiki sounds good. Does the Board do that? (-:


Increasingly, yes; as does the ED.   We could (should?) do more.  See:
http://meta.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=WWMzMcDoldid=4413588#Draft_more_Board_resolutions_on_Meta

Sam.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] 2012 Editor survey launched

2012-11-02 Thread John Vandenberg
Thanks Tilman. Good to see the offer is in the public FAQ.

I was on my phone at the time I saw it, and having some time on my hands I
tried to fill it in. I managed to screw up the survey software on the
languages selection by trying to select more than one, and then it wouldnt
let me pick any. I quit thinking I would get another chance...on my desktop.

I dont remember if the survey told me that I would only have one chance...

Do you know how many people have seen the banner vs how many have completed
it?

Is there a page which lists pros and cons of this approach?

I think the WMF should collect all the survey data they can. Maximum ROI
and all that.
You can use models to select a subset of the 2012 data that would be
comparable to the 2011 data.

John Vandenberg.
sent from Galaxy Note
On Nov 3, 2012 10:58 AM, Tilman Bayer tba...@wikimedia.org wrote:

 Hi John,

 On Fri, Nov 2, 2012 at 6:05 PM, John Vandenberg jay...@gmail.com wrote:
  Hi Tilman,
 
  Could you explain the logic behind the survey link not being static until
  the user completes the survey or dismisses the notice?
 I guess you are referring to the fact that the survey invitation
 banner is designed to be shown only once to each user? This is
 explained in the QA for the survey:

 https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Research:Wikipedia_Editor_Survey_2012#Why_will_a_user_see_the_link_to_the_survey_only_once.3F_How.3F
 In short, it's intended to reduce bias towards more frequent editors.
 There are reasons for and against this setup, but it's one of the many
 things that we want to keep consistent with the last survey so as to
 be able to do longitudinal analysis, i.e. identify trends.

 (In case this is not what you meant, feel free to rephrase the
 question and I will try to reply again.)

 
  I appreciate that you're offering, via email, to give people the survey
  link if they missed it, but that will influence who ends up your survey
  population. Not everyone on your target population is subscribed to a
 list
  whetr this offer has been made.
 I understand this concern from a theoretical standpoint, but
 considering the fact that only four people have requested such a link
 so far, the bias that this introduces is likely to be negligible. - If
 one goes down that road, one would need to worry much more about the
 effect of announcements and discussions about the survey on mailing
 lists and on Meta before it has completed, but this is a price we are
 happy to pay to involve the community and achieve transparence.

 
  John Vandenberg.
  sent from Galaxy Note
  On Oct 31, 2012 7:26 AM, Tilman Bayer tba...@wikimedia.org wrote:
 
  Hi all,
 
  we have just launched the Foundation's 2012 editor survey; with
  invitations to participate being shown to logged-in users on Wikipedia
  and Commons.
 
  A few quick facts about the survey (for more refer to
  https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Research:Wikipedia_Editor_Survey_2012
  ):
 
  * This is the third survey of editors as envisaged in the Foundation's
  2010-15 strategic plan in order to take the pulse of the community
  and identify pressing issues or concerns, after the April 2011 and
  December 2011 surveys.
 
  * The first main purpose of this survey is to continue the work of the
  2011 studies (conducted by Mani Pande and Ayush Khanna), with a focus
  on tracking changes since last year and identifying trends.
  Which is why many questions are being repeated from last time.
 
  * The second emphasis in this instance of the survey is to measure the
  satisfaction of the editing community with the work of the Wikimedia
  Foundation.
 
  * This is the first editor survey that includes a non-Wikipedia
  project (Commons, for the questions that are non Wikipedia-specific).
 
  * Thanks to everyone who commented on the draft questionnaire after we
  solicited feedback on this list and in and IRC office hour, as well as
  to those who commented about the last survey. We made several changes
  based on the feedback, and tried to reply to all concerns.
 
  * Also many thanks to all volunteer translators who reviewed or
  contributed translations; the questionnaire is available in 14
  languages (Italian, Polish and Portuguese will launch a bit later).
 
  * As with the previous two surveys, the results will be published in
  the following forms: A topline report detailing the percentage of
  responses for each question, a series of posts on
  https://blog.wikimedia.org analyzing the results, and a data set
  consisting of anonymized responses which others can use to do their
  own analyses. This time we will also aim to produce language-specific
  topline reports (an approach we already tested for Chinese with the
  data from the December 2011 survey).
 
  --
  Tilman Bayer
  Senior Operations Analyst (Movement Communications)
  Wikimedia Foundation
  IRC (Freenode): HaeB
 
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Democratizing the Wikimedia Foundation

2012-11-02 Thread Bishakha Datta
On Fri, Nov 2, 2012 at 11:11 PM, Lodewijk lodew...@effeietsanders.orgwrote:

 Dear all,

 I have set up a brainstorming page on metawiki (
 https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Democratizing_the_Wikimedia_Foundation)
 where I would like to invite you to think about ways to democratize the
 Wikimedia Foundation.

 This doesn't mean that the Wikimedia Foundation is totally undemocratic,
 but it does mean that in my humble opinion, improvements are possible.


Agree with the reading that improvements are possible - the page name is a
bit dramatic, with an underlying whiff of revolution: Democratize!
(exclamation mine).

Personally, I think this is a timely, useful and constructive initiative
and I've added a bunch of comments to the page.

Hope we will hear from a wider cross-section of the community.

Cheers
Bishakha
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