Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board decisions on movement funding and approval issues

2014-02-13 Thread Gregory Varnum
Phoebe,

I appreciate you sharing this information - it fills in a few gaps.  I am
still concerned that there was not more opportunity for input prior to the
decision - and that everyone was clearly not on the same page about what
was going to be discussed exactly.

Regarding your earlier comments on the funding. I recognize that there are
options beyond FDC - however it seems to send mixed messages. Also, did the
board discuss capping the other WMF funding options? I still think there is
confusion over the incorporated user group concerns - but I will keep that
conversation on Meta. Finally, can you speak to any changes the board may
be making in future processes and if the community or at least committees
will have more input on these types of decisions?

-greg aka varnent
PS. Nothing said from any official AffCom or WM related roles.


On Tue, Feb 11, 2014 at 5:16 PM, phoebe ayers phoebe.w...@gmail.com wrote:

 On Tue, Feb 11, 2014 at 10:37 AM, Gregory Varnum
 gregory.var...@gmail.comwrote:

  While AffCom will likely be making an official statement later, I am
 having
  a hard time not chiming in and I do think it is worth pointing out that
  AffCom was not consulted in a manner I think most of us would have
 imagined
  occurring. I have noticed it mentioned a few times that our feedback was
  taken into consideration, but that may give the wrong idea of what
  happened.
 
  While it is true we provided feedback before the decision was made, I
 would
  not consider it consulting with us or even communicating with AffCom in a
  way that allowed us to provide the level of feedback I think the
 community
  has come to expect. Frankly we got a lot of our information second-hand,
  and am still not sure personally we know the full story. My personal
  expectation would have involved a lot more communication before the
  decision was made, and most importantly, some two-way dialogue. At the
 very
  least I think the chairs of FDC and AffCom should have been looped into
  parts of the conversation during the meeting


 Hi Greg and all,

 This is not a direct reply to your points, but I think it might be helpful
 in removing the cloak of mystery from all this.

 Here is what happened during the board meeting, from my perspective.*

 Background context:

 * The board has been discussing movement roles for literally years (as have
 many of the folks commenting!)
 * The board started discussing the topic again specifically in October;
 many trustees are interested in broad movement roles questions and it was
 brought to the table as a broad topic the board should take up.
 * Various contexts to the discussion include: the need to review new
 affiliates more thoroughly than we historically have done (as recommended
 by our legal team, and as indicated by the history of some chapters not
 staying active); the new trademark and user group policies which make
 different models for volunteers both possible and easier; and various
 trustee concerns over our increasing focus movement-wide on incorporation
 and administration.

 For these two specific decisions:

 * The board first discussed the ideas of usergroups-first  capping the
 budgets in October. This was without any specific proposals or wording.
 * Later on, before the November meeting, a recommendation to take these
 decisions was presented in a packet by the WMF Executive Director to the
 board, along with some context. The packet included a summary
 recommendation, some arguments pro and con, and emails from Affcom and the
 FDC, with the proposal as presented by staff to these committees and the
 committee replies.
 * we (board members) discussed the recommendations first on our email list
 for a week or so before our meeting, and then over two sessions in our
 meeting, over the course of two+ days. On the list and in the meeting, we
 discussed the arguments as presented as well as arguments that emerged over
 the course of discussion from our own individual viewpoints, as well as the
 overall milleux of movement roles.

 * Important note that perhaps wasn't emphasized enough in the FAQ: the set
 of decisions was not meant or presented as major strategy but as a
 temporary set of decisions, to buy us all some time while we hire a new ED
 and reconsider movement roles strategy. The new ED point is important; we
 wanted to try to decide these issues before they start, since they will
 have plenty of other stuff on their plate to figure out.

 * In the meeting, we (the board) wrote and re-wrote the text of the
 decisions to match our emerging consensus about what we wanted to do.
 * When we seemed to have reached a stable version of the text, and also to
 have exhausted our ability to reach further consensus, we voted on these
 two decisions. I motioned for the vote because I happened to be
 facilitating the discussion at the time, and it seemed to me that as a
 group we were ready to vote.

 * The no consensus thing: of course we discussed this as well. Like 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fwd: [Wikimedia Announcements] (press release)

2014-02-13 Thread ENWP Pine
Hi LiAnna, who wrote the FAQ for the press release? I have some concerns.
Thanks,
Pine


 Date: Wed, 12 Feb 2014 13:19:42 -0800
 From: LiAnna Davis lda...@wikimedia.org
 To: Wikimedia Mailing List wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
 Subject: [Wikimedia-l] Fwd: [Wikimedia Announcements] (press release)
   Frank Schulenburg named executive director of new Wiki Education
   Foundation
 Message-ID:
   caejbvqzsiesxhw8hjrv51cile5tldu3b86t1xkgpo4dotu9...@mail.gmail.com
 Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
 
 Forwarding on for those of you not on the Wikimedia Announcements list.
 
 -- Forwarded message --
 From: Jay Walsh jwa...@wikimedia.org
 Date: Wed, Feb 12, 2014 at 1:16 PM
 Subject: [Wikimedia Announcements] (press release) Frank Schulenburg named
 executive director of new Wiki Education Foundation
 To: wikimediaannounc...@lists.wikimedia.org 
 wikimediaannounc...@lists.wikimedia.org
 
 
 Passing along for your information. This release is posted on the WMF wiki
 at
 https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Press_releases/Frank_Schulenburg_named_executive_director_of_new_WEF
 
 An accompanying QA can also be found here:
 https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/QA_Frank_Schulenburg_announcement_February_2014
 
 ---
 
 Frank Schulenburg named executive director of new Wiki Education Foundation
 
 (San Francisco, California) 12 February 2014 -- The Wiki Education
 Foundation, a new nonprofit organization that supports the Wikipedia
 Education Program in the United States and Canada, has named Frank
 Schulenburg as its inaugural executive director. Schulenburg, formerly
 senior director of programs at the Wikimedia Foundation, will begin
 his new role February 18, 2014.
 
 I look forward to leading the Wiki Education Foundation, said
 Schulenburg. We are off to a great start, and will build on the
 strong success of the Wikimedia Foundation's Wikipedia Education
 Program to further engage educators, researchers and students to
 provide more high-quality content for Wikipedia's readers.
 
 Started by the Wikimedia Foundation in 2010, the Wikipedia Education
 Program encourages students to contribute content to Wikipedia
 articles on course-related subjects as part of classroom assignments
 developed by their faculty and instructors. Over the past four years,
 more than 6,000 students in the United States and Canada have
 contributed content to Wikipedia as part of the Wikipedia Education
 Program, adding the equivalent of 36,600 printed pages of content to
 Wikipedia and significantly increasing the amount of high-quality
 content that Wikipedia offers its half-billion readers.
 
 In response to that success and to give the program more focused and
 specialized support, in 2012 the Wikimedia Foundation began a process
 to spin off the United States and Canada work into its own,
 independent nonprofit organization. The resulting Wiki Education
 Foundation was created in late 2013, and Schulenburg will be its first
 executive director. The Wiki Education Foundation will continue to
 support the Wikipedia Education Program in the United States and
 Canada, and will develop additional programs to promote academic
 research and teaching that engage with Wikipedia.
 
 I am delighted that Frank has agreed to lead the Wiki Education
 Foundation as executive director, said Dr. Diana Strassmann, Carolyn
 and Fred McManis Distinguished Professor in the Practice at Rice
 University and chair of the board of the Wiki Education Foundation,
 who began using Wikipedia as a teaching tool in her classes in 2007.
 Under Frank's leadership, the Wiki Education Foundation will continue
 to expand engagement among educators, students, and Wikipedia, and
 will continue to diversify the community of Wikipedians, while
 improving the quality and depth of Wikipedia.
 
 Frank is the perfect person to lead the Wiki Education Foundation,
 said Wikimedia Foundation Executive Director Sue Gardner. Frank's a
 very experienced Wikipedia contributor with a long track record of
 inventing and leading successful programs that make Wikipedia better
 and more useful for its readers. I am sorry we will lose him from the
 Wikimedia Foundation, but I look forward to seeing the Wiki Education
 Foundation thrive and succeed under his leadership.
 
 A longtime Wikipedian and an employee of the Wikimedia Foundation
 since 2008, Schulenburg has focused on broadening participation and
 developing the public understanding of Wikipedia, especially among
 subject matter experts. He has spoken globally about efforts to
 increase the relevance of Wikipedia in academia. In 2006, he founded
 Wikipedia Academy, an event aimed at cultivating dialogue between
 Wikipedia contributors and academics. In 2009, he initiated the
 Bookshelf Project, which created the first educational materials for
 new Wikipedia contributors. In 2010 he designed and implemented the
 Wikipedia Education Program. From 2012 on he was a member of the
 executive 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board decisions on movement funding and approval issues

2014-02-13 Thread Federico Leva (Nemo)

Mark, 13/02/2014 00:58:

In other projects this doesn't seem to be as big of a deal. I'm a heavy
participant in OpenStreetMap, which is an organization legally based in
the UK. That's a country I have no connection to at all. But it doesn't
really matter, because the OSM Foundation does things I benefit from,
since they aren't really UK-specific: they maintain the servers,
maintain and develop the software, look after the legal situation of the
project, etc. As a map editor, I have no complaints with their
stewardship of the core project. Of course, actual mapping activities
happen on a distributed basis (it is difficult to map Denmark well, if
you don't live here), but that doesn't mean there is anything wrong with
letting the UK organization continue to manage maintenance of the
servers and software.


OSM has chapters too.

Nemo

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board decisions on movement funding and approval issues

2014-02-13 Thread phoebe ayers
Hi Greg!

A few fast notes before I go to bed :)

On Wed, Feb 12, 2014 at 11:59 PM, Gregory Varnum
gregory.var...@gmail.comwrote:

 Phoebe,

 I appreciate you sharing this information - it fills in a few gaps.  I am
 still concerned that there was not more opportunity for input prior to the
 decision - and that everyone was clearly not on the same page about what
 was going to be discussed exactly.


I take your point about wanting more formal committee consultation, for
sure, and in hindsight I agree we should have done things differently. (I
think writing comments would probably work better logistically than skyping
folks in, just for logistical and stylistic reasons, but it's an
interesting thought -- perhaps worth a try).


 Regarding your earlier comments on the funding. I recognize that there are
 options beyond FDC - however it seems to send mixed messages. Also, did the
 board discuss capping the other WMF funding options?


Nope.


 I still think there is
 confusion over the incorporated user group concerns - but I will keep that
 conversation on Meta.


I just posted a reply on meta about this, that hopefully will clear up some
concerns. Short answer: if you need to incorporate in your country for
whatever reason, go ahead and incorporate. You just don't *have* to for
wikimedia recognition.


 Finally, can you speak to any changes the board may
 be making in future processes and if the community or at least committees
 will have more input on these types of decisions?


Hmm. I know there is a desire to talk about movement roles strategy in
general among several trustees, so we may well talk about related issues,
but I don't know if that will be on a meeting agenda in the near future,
and we don't have any decisions planned that I know of (though of course
issues may be raised that aren't on the agenda now). The April meeting will
hopefully mostly be adjusting/approving the annual plan and working on the
shift to a new executive director, especially if they are hired and
available by then.

-- Phoebe
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board decisions on movement funding and approval issues

2014-02-13 Thread Gregory Varnum
Quick follow-up question and comment -

Is there any reason for affiliates to feel they should now at least plan
for possible caps on other areas? Does that absolutely seem unlikely
(granted anything is possible) or not really something the board can
comment on more firmly - which I suspect will just keep people concerned
about this cap indicating a new trend while new strategic planning under
the new ED begins (er..continues..).

I am happy to hear that there is agreement that things should be done
better next time. My one comment on the notes is that I hope they are more
immediately two-way in nature. While the liaisons and committees are very
helpful in many circumstances - the nature of things sometimes causes
multiple week gaps between individual notes. That is just my personal
reaction.

Also - and sorry if I just overlooked this elsewhere - will the board be
discussing or presenting more on this topic at the April conference in
Berlin?

-greg


On Thu, Feb 13, 2014 at 3:19 AM, phoebe ayers phoebe.w...@gmail.com wrote:

 Hi Greg!

 A few fast notes before I go to bed :)

 On Wed, Feb 12, 2014 at 11:59 PM, Gregory Varnum
 gregory.var...@gmail.comwrote:

  Phoebe,
 
  I appreciate you sharing this information - it fills in a few gaps.  I am
  still concerned that there was not more opportunity for input prior to
 the
  decision - and that everyone was clearly not on the same page about what
  was going to be discussed exactly.
 

 I take your point about wanting more formal committee consultation, for
 sure, and in hindsight I agree we should have done things differently. (I
 think writing comments would probably work better logistically than skyping
 folks in, just for logistical and stylistic reasons, but it's an
 interesting thought -- perhaps worth a try).


  Regarding your earlier comments on the funding. I recognize that there
 are
  options beyond FDC - however it seems to send mixed messages. Also, did
 the
  board discuss capping the other WMF funding options?


 Nope.


  I still think there is
  confusion over the incorporated user group concerns - but I will keep
 that
  conversation on Meta.


 I just posted a reply on meta about this, that hopefully will clear up some
 concerns. Short answer: if you need to incorporate in your country for
 whatever reason, go ahead and incorporate. You just don't *have* to for
 wikimedia recognition.


  Finally, can you speak to any changes the board may
  be making in future processes and if the community or at least committees
  will have more input on these types of decisions?


 Hmm. I know there is a desire to talk about movement roles strategy in
 general among several trustees, so we may well talk about related issues,
 but I don't know if that will be on a meeting agenda in the near future,
 and we don't have any decisions planned that I know of (though of course
 issues may be raised that aren't on the agenda now). The April meeting will
 hopefully mostly be adjusting/approving the annual plan and working on the
 shift to a new executive director, especially if they are hired and
 available by then.

 -- Phoebe
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikimedia Announcements] (press release) Frank Schulenburg named executive director of new Wiki Education Foundation

2014-02-13 Thread Itzik Edri
Allow me first to congratulate Frank. I think he is a great choice and
already proved how much he capable to do amazing things, so I have a great
hopes in this new organizations.

Saying that and moving to talk about the organization and the process, and
not about the person, this grant and program itself had been discussed over
the past months in a unofficial lists.

This grant is a the biggest grant the WMF ever gave to a new group -
147,570$. The grant department gave in the past (for one year) more than
that to a few big chapters (WMNL/AT/SE/DE) but all of them was a already
existing chapters with a record of few years. The WEF hasn't been yet
approved by the affcom, BTW. I can't see in the near future  (especially
after the last board decision) any other new group or chapter getting even
quarter of budget in their first new year. It's worth to read the
discussion the GAC had around this grant request:
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants_talk:PEG/User:Pjthepiano_-_Wiki_Education_Foundation/US_and_Canada_Wikipedia_Education_Program

I'm part of the communication committee for a many years, and indeed this
press release was also very strange to me (and it been also published on
Wikipedia's official Facebook page and others social media channels). It
seem like it will be unclear if the WEF will get a special treatment from
the WMF/staff, not like others groups or chapters.

BTW, the WEF didn't budgeted office rent in their grant request, and as the
grants are restricted, it seem like they will need to find a Pro bono
office, or to ask for revising their grant.



On Thu, Feb 13, 2014 at 8:30 AM, Jan-Bart de Vreede jdevre...@wikimedia.org
 wrote:

 Hi

 On 13 Feb 2014, at 04:46, Liam Wyatt liamwy...@gmail.com wrote:

  Good question Andy!
  Moreover, as this is an independent organisation, why does the fact of it
  getting a director deserve a WMF press-release? For comparison, has the
  hiring of senior staff for any of the Chapters received a WMF-written
 press
  release?

 Because the director happens to be an extremely valued long time member of
 the senior staff of the Wikimedia Foundation.

 SNIP

   I note that on the QA that the
  organisation is Based in San Francisco - I hope this means that it is
 not
  getting free accommodation in the WMF offices as I'm sure there's lots of
  other independent groups that would like free office space too.
 

 Assuming good faith would be a good start here. Funny thing is... Frank
 moved to San Francisco for his work at the Wikimedia Foundation (and built
 up a life there), so that could also be a logical reason for the office
 being based there (and in fact I think that is the reason, because the last
 I heard the Wiki Education Foundation will not be located in the Wikimedia
 Foundation office)

 Rather than just answer your concerns I want to take the opportunity to
 congratulate Frank on this move. While he will be sorely missed at the
 Wikimedia Foundation this step makes sense for him personally. The fact
 that he will remain part of our movement helps make this a little less
 painful. I am sure that in his new capacity he will continue to move
 mountains to further our goals. I wish him the best of luck and hope that
 the Wiki Education Foundation becomes a great succes.

 Jan-Bart de Vreede
 Chair
 Board of Trustees
 Wikimedia Foundation





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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikimedia Announcements] (press release) Frank Schulenburg named executive director of new Wiki Education Foundation

2014-02-13 Thread
On 13 February 2014 06:30, Jan-Bart de Vreede jdevre...@wikimedia.org wrote:
...
 Because the director happens to be an extremely valued long time member of 
 the senior staff of the Wikimedia Foundation.

This makes for a useful tip for recruiting managers for new Wikimedia
organizations or and large programmes. Always useful to have friends
who can interpret policies in our favour.

Fae
-- 
fae...@gmail.com http://j.mp/faewm

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikimedia Announcements] (press release) Frank Schulenburg named executive director of new Wiki Education Foundation

2014-02-13 Thread Andy Mabbett
On 13 February 2014 06:30, Jan-Bart de Vreede jdevre...@wikimedia.org wrote:

 Rather than just answer your concerns

But you haven't done. Will anyone?

-- 
Andy Mabbett
@pigsonthewing
http://pigsonthewing.org.uk

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fwd: [Wikimedia Announcements] (press release) Frank Schulenburg named executive director of new Wiki Education Foundation

2014-02-13 Thread Federico Leva (Nemo)
WEF is a spin-off from WMF, with direct management continuity. Good or 
not, it's standard for spin-offs to have a special treat from their 
parent organisation. A number of things can be said and done about this 
of course but it's hardly surprising.


Nemo

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikimedia Announcements] (press release) Frank Schulenburg named executive director of new Wiki Education Foundation

2014-02-13 Thread Chris Keating
Chipping in my 2p very quickly -

Given it's a senior WMF staff member leaving to join another movement
organisation, it makes perfect sense that both bodies have put out a joint
statement.

It's also a good thing for the movement that it's possible to spin off
projects like this, which the Foundation has decided are no longer core
activity, to other entities.

So well done Frank for getting the role, and good luck to the Wikimedia
Education Foundation for the future.

Chris




On Thu, Feb 13, 2014 at 10:05 AM, Andy Mabbett a...@pigsonthewing.org.ukwrote:

 On 13 February 2014 06:30, Jan-Bart de Vreede jdevre...@wikimedia.org
 wrote:

  Rather than just answer your concerns

 But you haven't done. Will anyone?

 --
 Andy Mabbett
 @pigsonthewing
 http://pigsonthewing.org.uk

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikimedia Announcements] (press release) Frank Schulenburg named executive director of new Wiki Education Foundation

2014-02-13 Thread
On 13 February 2014 13:31, Chris Keating chriskeatingw...@gmail.com wrote:
...
 It's also a good thing for the movement that it's possible to spin off
 projects like this, which the Foundation has decided are no longer core
 activity, to other entities.

I agree with the sentiment, especially as it is a firm requirement on
charities in the UK to review this option.

I attempted to say something similar about QRpedia - a Wikimedia UK
service for the rest of the world that may well not be seen as core to
the chapter's mission some day. A pity that the discussion was rapidly
shot down as an apparent threat:
https://wikimedia.org.uk/wiki/Engine_room#Cultural_Outreach_Limited

Fae

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[Wikimedia-l] [Wikimedia Announcements] Wikimedia engineering report, January 2014

2014-02-13 Thread Guillaume Paumier
Hi,

The report covering Wikimedia engineering activities in January 2014 is now
available.

Wiki version:
https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Wikimedia_engineering_report/2014/January
Blog version:
https://blog.wikimedia.org/2014/02/13/engineering-report-january-2014/

We're also proposing a shorter, simpler and translatable version of this
report that does not assume specialized technical knowledge:
https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Wikimedia_engineering_report/2014/January/summary

Below is the HTML text of the report.

As always, feedback is appreciated on the usefulness of the report and its
summary, and on how to improve them.

--

Major news in January include:

   - the transition of our search
engineshttps://blog.wikimedia.org/2014/01/06/wikimedia-moving-to-elasticsearch/on
Wikimedia sites to ElasticSearch;
   - a presentation of how the Tech newsletter
workshttps://blog.wikimedia.org/2014/01/07/tech-news-fighting-technical-information-overload-for-wikimedians/,
   including a historical perspective;
   - an invitation to comment on the 2-year
visionhttps://blog.wikimedia.org/2014/01/09/multimedia-vision-2016/of
the multimedia engineering team;
   - a request for
commentshttps://blog.wikimedia.org/2014/01/23/rfc-should-we-support-mp4-video-on-our-sites/on
whether the MP4 video format should be supported on Wikimedia sites.

*Note: We’re also providing a shorter, simpler and translatable version of
this report
https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Wikimedia_engineering_report/2014/January/summary
that does not assume specialized technical knowledge.*

Engineering metrics in January:

   - 159 unique committers contributed patchsets of code to MediaWiki.
   - The total number of unresolved
commitshttps://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/#q,status:open+project:%255Emediawiki.*,n,zwent
from around 1386 to about 1320.
   - About 22 shell requests
https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Shell_requestswere processed.

  Contents

   - 
Personnelhttps://blog.wikimedia.org/2014/02/13/engineering-report-january-2014/#Personnel
  - Work with
ushttps://blog.wikimedia.org/2014/02/13/engineering-report-january-2014/#Work_with_us
  - 
Announcementshttps://blog.wikimedia.org/2014/02/13/engineering-report-january-2014/#Announcements
   - Technical 
Operationshttps://blog.wikimedia.org/2014/02/13/engineering-report-january-2014/#Technical_Operations
   - Features 
Engineeringhttps://blog.wikimedia.org/2014/02/13/engineering-report-january-2014/#Features_Engineering
  - Editor retention: Editing
toolshttps://blog.wikimedia.org/2014/02/13/engineering-report-january-2014/#Editor_retention:_Editing_tools
  - Core 
Featureshttps://blog.wikimedia.org/2014/02/13/engineering-report-january-2014/#Core_Features
  - 
Growthhttps://blog.wikimedia.org/2014/02/13/engineering-report-january-2014/#Growth
  - 
Supporthttps://blog.wikimedia.org/2014/02/13/engineering-report-january-2014/#Support
   - 
Mobilehttps://blog.wikimedia.org/2014/02/13/engineering-report-january-2014/#Mobile
   - Language 
Engineeringhttps://blog.wikimedia.org/2014/02/13/engineering-report-january-2014/#Language_Engineering
   - Platform 
Engineeringhttps://blog.wikimedia.org/2014/02/13/engineering-report-january-2014/#Platform_Engineering
  - MediaWiki
Corehttps://blog.wikimedia.org/2014/02/13/engineering-report-january-2014/#MediaWiki_Core
  - Quality
assurancehttps://blog.wikimedia.org/2014/02/13/engineering-report-january-2014/#Quality_assurance
  - 
Multimediahttps://blog.wikimedia.org/2014/02/13/engineering-report-january-2014/#Multimedia
  - Engineering Community
Teamhttps://blog.wikimedia.org/2014/02/13/engineering-report-january-2014/#Engineering_Community_Team
   - 
Analyticshttps://blog.wikimedia.org/2014/02/13/engineering-report-january-2014/#Analytics
   - 
Offlinehttps://blog.wikimedia.org/2014/02/13/engineering-report-january-2014/#Offline
   - 
Wikidatahttps://blog.wikimedia.org/2014/02/13/engineering-report-january-2014/#Wikidata
   - 
Futurehttps://blog.wikimedia.org/2014/02/13/engineering-report-january-2014/#Future

 Personnel Work with us https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Work_with_us

Are you looking to work for Wikimedia? We have a lot of hiring coming up,
and we really love talking to active community members about these roles.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikimedia Announcements] (press release) Frank Schulenburg named executive director of new Wiki Education Foundation

2014-02-13 Thread MZMcBride
Jay Walsh wrote:
Passing along for your information. This release is posted on the WMF
wiki at https://www.wikimedia.org/wiki/Special:Permalink/95859

An accompanying QA can also be found here:
https://www.wikimedia.org/wiki/Special:Permalink/95860

For wikimedia-l in particular, it probably would have been better to
include the FAQ rather than the press release. The FAQ has far more
relevant info for this list. :-)  Ah well.

Federico Leva (Nemo) wrote:
WEF is a spin-off from WMF, with direct management continuity. Good or
not, it's standard for spin-offs to have a special treat from their
parent organisation. A number of things can be said and done about this
of course but it's hardly surprising.

A $147,000 grant and the full support and cooperation of the Wikimedia
Foundation. A platinum parachute, perhaps. At least there's a good bit of
transparency here, which I (app)laud.

(I was going to add a member of the Wikimedia Foundation staff to the
list as well, but it turns out Jami Mathewson was a consultant and hasn't
been listed on the staff and contractors page since December 2013.)

In any case, not a bad way to go out. And a mutually agreeable separation
is always preferable to the alternative.

There seems to be an undercurrent on the list (a rumbling below the
surface) about the Wikimedia Foundation's role in supporting GLAMs and
other educational institutions that I'd like to directly address. I think
it makes sense to once again look at this document from October 2012 in
which Sue lays out that the Wikimedia Foundation's core priorities should
be grant-making and engineering:
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Sue_Gardner/Narrowing_focus.

I see a dismantling of the Programs group (cf.
https://www.wikimedia.org/wiki/Special:Permalink/95865) as a means of
continuing this narrowing of focus. The Board and current head of the
Wikimedia Foundation seem to agree that doing cultural outreach, at an
institutional level (i.e., Wikimedia Foundation -- GLAMs and other
educational institutions), is not currently a top priority.

If anyone believes that this is wrong path to be taking, you'll need to
convince or replace Board members, particularly in conjunction with the
upcoming strategic planning process which will cover 2016 and beyond.
While 2016 seems somewhat distant, at nearly 200 staff members, the
Wikimedia Foundation has become a big machine that can't move as swiftly
any longer (and that's partially a good thing). It takes time and patience
to add or remove large, high-level focuses (and Board members).

In this particular case, Frank gets a good bye and the people in his
department get relocated, with grant-making (a core priority) taking in
some staff and engineering (a core priority) taking in some staff. I can
somewhat understand others being disappointed or disagreeing with these
changes, but they're hardly surprising and I, personally, think that the
Wikimedia Foundation is largely headed in the right direction. I think it
can still be leaner and more focused, but, again, time and patience. :-)

MZMcBride

P.S. I'm still recovering from whiplash as I initially thought this press
release was announcing a new Wikimedia Foundation Executive Director.
Frank Schulenburg named executive director of new WEF is quite close!



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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Consultation decision making (was: Board decisions on movement funding and approval issues)

2014-02-13 Thread Michael Peel
Hi all,

On 11 Feb 2014, at 17:58, Lodewijk lodew...@effeietsanders.org wrote:

 I'm very sorry about these decisions. Not only because I disagree with them
 on the content (although there are one or two aspects I can live with) and
 because I think this is very bad for the volunteers, but also because the
 board returned to a mode where they make decisions without involving the
 stakeholders properly. The Affiliations Committee will probably come with a
 more elaborate (and perhaps nuanced) reply as a committee later, but after
 this email from Jan-Bart, I feel the need to emphasize that the Affiliation
 Committee was not consulted by the board on this topic - despite the
 suggestions being made now. Affcom was consulted on a different (but
 related) proposal by a staff member, with very different arguments from
 those that the board used in their discussion. In my feeling the board is
 painting an unjust and unfair picture of the consultation that took place.
 
 I'm strongly disappointed in /all/ board members for not consulting with
 the stakeholders (Affcom, FDC, the existing affiliated, the candidate
 affiliates and of course the community at large) on these strategy changing
 decisions. From the votes it is clear that these decisions were of course
 not unanimous, but the sole fact that a decision was taken at all without
 proper consultation (in favor or not) strikes me as almost offensive
 towards the volunteers involved. I feel this as a slap in the face and the
 board becomes an unreliable body making unpredictable course changes
 without allowing stakeholders to influence those.

I want to +1 on everything that Lodewijk says here.

The WMF board has done a really bad job here with involving its stakeholders. 
Both of these decisions should really have been prefaced with online discussion 
with the community, and also in-person discussion at the Wikimedia Conference 
in a couple of months time. Additionally, these two decisions relate 
specifically to topics that the WMF board has committees for - as such, ideally 
it should have asked the committees for clear recommendations about what could 
be done in both of these issues. That none of these took place is very 
disappointing.

 I hope that the board will return on this decision, and take it again after
 a proper consultation. But even more so, I hope that this situation will
 not repeat itself. I have brought this up before on the topic of bylaw
 changes, but similar arguments are of course valid here.

I share that hope.

Thanks,
Mike
(As per Lodewijk, this is sent in my personal capacity, although I am a member 
of the FDC.)


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board decisions on movement funding and approval issues

2014-02-13 Thread Michael Peel

On 11 Feb 2014, at 20:18, Samuel Klein meta...@gmail.com wrote:

 Hello Frédéric, a quick comment:
 
 On Tue, Feb 11, 2014 at 4:44 AM, Frédéric Schütz sch...@mathgen.ch wrote:
 Your decision is not you should have a good track
 record, it is you should have a good track record AND NOT have bylaws.
 
 Bylaws are fine, whatever makes sense for each group; just not mandatory.
 The Board is looking for two years of active work when recognizing entities.
 
 The WMF also wants to let all groups have easier access to trademarks
 and funds.  This is what user groups were designed to allow, with
 minimal overhead.  These two ideas were combined into be a user group
 for two years.

The board meeting minutes specifically say unincorporated Wikimedia user 
group”, though, which makes it sound like you don’t want groups to, well, 
incorporate. Which means people involved in those user groups take on personal 
liability for their activities rather than having the protection of a formal 
organisation, which is really bad for the volunteers should anything go badly...

Thanks,
Mike


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikimedia Announcements] (press release) Frank Schulenburg named executive director of new Wiki Education Foundation

2014-02-13 Thread Frank Schulenburg
Hi all,

First of all, thanks a lot for the many good wishes that I received on- and
offline. Let me answer some of the questions that came up in this thread.

(1) WMF grant money

The Wiki Education Foundation received a grant to get things off the ground
last year as part of the Projects and Events Grants process. The Wiki
Education Foundation has already reached out to a major donor in the United
States and is confident to get third-party funding in place by the second
quarter of this year.

(2) Office space

One of the first things on my to do list will be to start looking for
office space in San Francisco. From February 18th on, I plan to work out of
my living room (yes, my wife knows).

(3) Recognition

At this point, the Wiki Education Foundation would like to focus on
programmatic work. Like many organizations that are not formally recognized
Wikimedia organizations, we will be part of the global free knowledge
community. We look forward to participating in various education and free
information events consistent with our mission, including through
participation at Wikimania and working closely with like-minded groups
within the United States, Canada and other countries.

Thanks,

Frank
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikimedia Announcements] (press release) Frank Schulenburg named executive director of new Wiki Education Foundation

2014-02-13 Thread Michael Peel
Hi all,

Frank, congratulations on the new job. :-) Can I ask for a clarification on the 
funding situation please?

 (1) WMF grant money
 
 The Wiki Education Foundation received a grant to get things off the ground
 last year as part of the Projects and Events Grants process. The Wiki
 Education Foundation has already reached out to a major donor in the United
 States and is confident to get third-party funding in place by the second
 quarter of this year.

Are you anticipating that direct donors will be able to support all of WEF’s 
future funding needs, or might you be applying to GAC or FDC for funding in the 
future?

I’d also like to echo Andy’s question:
 ...why isn't this called The Wiki Education North America
 Foundation,, or suchlike?

as that would seem to be a more natural name for the organisation (unless it 
has international intentions?), and would help avoid the confusion between 
‘WEF’ and ‘WMF’.

Also, as a general question to those involved, the announcement QA says: He 
was chosen by the Board of the Wiki Education Foundation in a process that 
began in late 2013 and concluded in February 2014.” Please could more details 
of that process be shared? What was the process, how was it structured, and who 
was involved in it?

Thanks,
Mike
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikimedia Announcements] (press release) Frank Schulenburg named executive director of new Wiki Education Foundation

2014-02-13 Thread Jami Mathewson
Hi, Mike.

For an answer to your question about the name, please see this
conversation[1] on Meta. Our board is active answering questions on wiki
and not on mailing lists, so I encourage you to post questions to the Wiki
Education Foundation board on Meta.

Hope that answers it for you,
Jami

[1] See
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:Wiki_Education_Foundation#Organization_Name


On Thu, Feb 13, 2014 at 2:01 PM, Michael Peel em...@mikepeel.net wrote:

 Hi all,

 Frank, congratulations on the new job. :-) Can I ask for a clarification
 on the funding situation please?

  (1) WMF grant money
 
  The Wiki Education Foundation received a grant to get things off the
 ground
  last year as part of the Projects and Events Grants process. The Wiki
  Education Foundation has already reached out to a major donor in the
 United
  States and is confident to get third-party funding in place by the second
  quarter of this year.

 Are you anticipating that direct donors will be able to support all of
 WEF's future funding needs, or might you be applying to GAC or FDC for
 funding in the future?

 I'd also like to echo Andy's question:
  ...why isn't this called The Wiki Education North America
  Foundation,, or suchlike?

 as that would seem to be a more natural name for the organisation (unless
 it has international intentions?), and would help avoid the confusion
 between 'WEF' and 'WMF'.

 Also, as a general question to those involved, the announcement QA says:
 He was chosen by the Board of the Wiki Education Foundation in a process
 that began in late 2013 and concluded in February 2014. Please could more
 details of that process be shared? What was the process, how was it
 structured, and who was involved in it?

 Thanks,
 Mike
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-- 
Jami Mathewson
Program Manager
Wiki Education Foundation
j...@wikiedfoundation.org
User:Jami (Wiki Ed) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Jami_(Wiki_Ed)
@WikiEducation https://twitter.com/WikiEducation

*Our organization supports the Wikipedia Education Program in the United
States and Canada.*
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikimedia Announcements] (press release) Frank Schulenburg named executive director of new Wiki Education Foundation

2014-02-13 Thread Kevin Gorman
Congratulations Frank -

I had been getting a bit worried about the ED search for the WEF, and
my faith in the organization's future success is significantly
increased by your selection for the position.

Best wishes,
Kevin Gorman

On Thu, Feb 13, 2014 at 2:14 PM, Jami Mathewson
j...@wikiedfoundation.org wrote:
 Hi, Mike.

 For an answer to your question about the name, please see this
 conversation[1] on Meta. Our board is active answering questions on wiki
 and not on mailing lists, so I encourage you to post questions to the Wiki
 Education Foundation board on Meta.

 Hope that answers it for you,
 Jami

 [1] See
 https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:Wiki_Education_Foundation#Organization_Name


 On Thu, Feb 13, 2014 at 2:01 PM, Michael Peel em...@mikepeel.net wrote:

 Hi all,

 Frank, congratulations on the new job. :-) Can I ask for a clarification
 on the funding situation please?

  (1) WMF grant money
 
  The Wiki Education Foundation received a grant to get things off the
 ground
  last year as part of the Projects and Events Grants process. The Wiki
  Education Foundation has already reached out to a major donor in the
 United
  States and is confident to get third-party funding in place by the second
  quarter of this year.

 Are you anticipating that direct donors will be able to support all of
 WEF's future funding needs, or might you be applying to GAC or FDC for
 funding in the future?

 I'd also like to echo Andy's question:
  ...why isn't this called The Wiki Education North America
  Foundation,, or suchlike?

 as that would seem to be a more natural name for the organisation (unless
 it has international intentions?), and would help avoid the confusion
 between 'WEF' and 'WMF'.

 Also, as a general question to those involved, the announcement QA says:
 He was chosen by the Board of the Wiki Education Foundation in a process
 that began in late 2013 and concluded in February 2014. Please could more
 details of that process be shared? What was the process, how was it
 structured, and who was involved in it?

 Thanks,
 Mike
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 --
 Jami Mathewson
 Program Manager
 Wiki Education Foundation
 j...@wikiedfoundation.org
 User:Jami (Wiki Ed) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Jami_(Wiki_Ed)
 @WikiEducation https://twitter.com/WikiEducation

 *Our organization supports the Wikipedia Education Program in the United
 States and Canada.*
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