Re: [Wikimedia-l] NY Times on Google team dynamics/success research

2016-02-29 Thread Philippe Beaudette
Jordan,

This is fantastic stuff. Thanks to you and to George for calling it to our
attention. This is my reading for the night...

Philippe

On Monday, February 29, 2016, Jordan Adler  wrote:

> We've shared our findings here: https://rework.withgoogle.com/
>
> On Sat, Feb 27, 2016 at 9:50 AM George Herbert  >
> wrote:
>
> >
> > Relevant to the discussion on Foundation issues...  The NY Times reports
> > on Google's research into what made some teams succeed and some fail.
> >
> > Short answer: Team norms to respect the individual members, for everyone
> > to get a chance to talk and contribute and be heard.
> >
> >
> >
> http://mobile.nytimes.com/2016/02/28/magazine/what-google-learned-from-its-quest-to-build-the-perfect-team.html?smid=tw-nytimes=cur&_r=0=https://t.co/m4sRhDftJz
> >
> > George William Herbert
> > Sent from my iPhone
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Philippe Beaudette

phili...@beaudette.me
415-275-1424
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] I am going to San Francisco

2016-02-29 Thread Erik Moeller
> Anne, I have mentioned several times in the past few days here on this list
> Sue Gardner's 2008 email suggesting that the WMF enter into an "umbrella
> relationship/agreement" or "business deal" with Google. In case you missed
> it, here is the link again:
>
> http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/sandberg.pdf
>
> Scroll to the very end of the document to see the email in question. I am
> still interested in learning what the results of that effort were.

Nothing other than establishing some mutual points of contact, as far
as I know. Back in 2008, Sue and I reached out -- as WMF just had
relocated to the Bay Area -- to major tech companies to introduce
ourselves, with the help of Jimmy and some of our early supporters. We
made a pitch for donations, and in-kind hardware support where
appropriate. By and large corporate support didn't go very far,
because usually folks wanted PR benefits at a level we couldn't give
them. Some individual major donors did give their support, as noted on
the benefactors page.

Incidentally, this was also the year in which Google launched Knol,
which was sort of their version of the Knowledge Engine (official
line: "We have no intent of competing with Wikipedia" -> media
reports: "Google launches Wikipedia killer"). It was later converted
to a WordPress blog.

We did continue to cultivate the relationship with Google and
continued to ask for support, and eventually Google made a one-time
$2M donation. [1] As you know, Google also was one of the early
supporters of Wikidata [2], and Sergey Brin's family foundation has
also given to WMF in the past. [3] This was all unambiguously good for
Wikimedia, and is all public knowledge.

Beyond those donations, we've generally had an informal relationship
with changing points of contact over the years. WMF has given tech
talks at Google, for example, or our point of contact might help us
get some passes for the I/O conference. Part of the mandate of the
partnerships hire WMF made last year was to bring more of a systematic
approach to these relationships, and as the org stabilizes it might be
good to seek a broad conversation as to what that ideally should look
like in terms of transparency, lines we shall not cross, etc.

Generally speaking, when WMF did enter into significant business
relationships, these are a matter of the public record in press
releases and such: Yahoo back in 2005, Kaltura, PediaPress, Orange,
the various WP Zero operators, some data center partners, etc. The
Apple dictionary integration Brion mentions in [4] is an exception to
the rule; contrary to Brion's recollection it actually predates even
Sue Gardner and, as far as I know, was not announced at the time.

Erik

[1] 
https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Press_releases/Wikimedia_Foundation_announces_$2_million_grant_from_Google
[2] https://www.wikimedia.de/wiki/Pressemitteilungen/PM_3_12_Wikidata_EN
[3] 
https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Press_releases/Brin_Wojcicki_Foundation_Announces_$500,000_Grant_to_Wikimedia
[4] https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2016-February/082741.html

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Open letter: Issues needing addressing by the Wikimedia Foundation's Board of Trustees

2016-02-29 Thread David Emrany
Dear Erik,

Wikimovement veterans recall your invaluable assistance in arranging
the 3 million grant from the Sloan Foundation to WMF, so reading your
email, we also recall these quotes from the time of the Stanton
Foundation fiasco ? [1]

"The Executive Director and Chief Revenue Officer agree that in the
future, any grants that are not unrestricted will receive a special
high level of scrutiny before being accepted."
..
"The ED plans, with the C-level team, to develop a better process for
staff to escalate and express concerns about any WMF activities that
staff think may in tension with, or in violation of, community
policies or best practices. It will take some time to develop a
simple, robust process: we aim to have it done by 1 May 2014."

In this context can we have a public comment from Jimmy / WMF on who
exactly are the large donors funding WMF's systematic promotion of
LGBT "Wiki loves Pride" type themes and Pride edit-a-thons, and can
the political biases / preferences of WMF be clearly linked to when
soliciting donations from Wikipedia users through banner ads along
with links to full disclosure of WMF's institutional sponsors and
their quid-pro-quos.

[1] 
https://outreach.wikimedia.org/wiki/Assessment_of_Belfer_Center_Wikipedian_in_Residence_program.
[2] https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2014-March/070665.html
[3] https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2014-March/070670.html
[4] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wiki_Loves_Pride

David

On 3/1/16, Erik Moeller  wrote:
> 2016-02-29 19:24 GMT-08:00 Chris Sherlock :
>
>> With the greatest of respect, I'm not sure how could come to the
>> conclusion that general
>> Internet search was not a core component of the Knowledge Engine.
>
> It's important to remember that this is a $250K grant, with a grant
> period that ends later this year. It's clear that this was done
> because everyone involved realized that the plans are likely to
> change. Knight has given grants to WMF in the past, including a $600K
> one with a longer grant period [1], so this isn't a particularly bold
> step for them or for WMF. Within the scope of a grant with these
> parameters, it's completely reasonable for WMF, at the end of the
> grant period, to go back to Knight and say: "We've done everything we
> committed to for the grant period [improve internal search etc.], but
> we won't be doing anything beyond that."
>
> That is not to say that this process was managed well -- obviously it
> wasn't. But at least there are no catastrophic long term consequences
> for the organization or for the movement, as far as I can tell. That
> is, unless Larry Page read one of the early news stories and decided
> to send a DESTROY WIKIMEDIA memo to all Alphabet companies, in which
> case I expect Boston Dynamics robots to show up at New Montgomery
> Street any day now. [2]
>
> Erik
>
> [1] http://knightfoundation.org/grants/20123673/
> [1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVlhMGQgDkY

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Open letter: Issues needing addressing by the Wikimedia Foundation's Board of Trustees

2016-02-29 Thread Chris Sherlock
On 1 Mar 2016, at 5:00 PM, Erik Moeller  wrote:
> 
> 2016-02-29 19:24 GMT-08:00 Chris Sherlock :
> 
>> With the greatest of respect, I'm not sure how could come to the conclusion 
>> that general
>> Internet search was not a core component of the Knowledge Engine.
> 
> It's important to remember that this is a $250K grant, with a grant
> period that ends later this year. It's clear that this was done
> because everyone involved realized that the plans are likely to
> change.

That’s rather missing the point though. The plan may change, but from the very 
start we have been told the plan is not the one that was proposed to the Knight 
Foundation. 

We have been told, over and over again, that the application is for internal 
search. I have quoted the relevant sections in my previous email that show that 
the Knight Foundation proposal, as written, was not at any stage what was being 
planned for (apparently) within the Board. 

The only other option is that there were indeed plans afoot within the Board of 
Trustees for an external search engine, but these got changed after the grant 
was submitted. In which case, James Heilman is entirely vindicated. 

This raises an interesting point though. Is this grant still active? If this 
grant is still active, who is actively working on it? What is currently being 
done in the Discovery team around this particular grant application? 

I’m very interested to hear who is in charge of getting this grant going if 
that’s the case. Have I entirely missed something (possible) or has there been 
no announcements about who or what is working on the requirements of this 
grant? The grant was issued in September last year, and the grant specifies 
that the initial $250,000 was for activities to be run over a 6 month period, 
after which the Discovery team needs to show some quite measurable results from 
the “discovery” stage. [1] In particular, the team need to establish core usage 
and performance metrics to work out core usage and performance metrics, and 
will need to have show test results of how well content can be found, the 
results of research and user testing, an improved search engine and API for 
Wikipedia searches, a public-facing dashboard of the core metrics used in 
product development, and a sample prototype based on a small dataset. 

So basically, 6 months means that by midway through this month, we will see all 
of these deliverables. Could someone please advise us how this is proceeding?  
I’d imagine that we should at least be able to see the dashboard by now, but 
I’m curious to find out more about the research that’s been conducted and the 
results of the user testing performed. 

> Knight has given grants to WMF in the past, including a $600K
> one with a longer grant period [1], so this isn't a particularly bold
> step for them or for WMF. Within the scope of a grant with these
> parameters, it's completely reasonable for WMF, at the end of the
> grant period, to go back to Knight and say: "We've done everything we
> committed to for the grant period [improve internal search etc.], but
> we won't be doing anything beyond that.”

I’m in complete agreement. The Knight Foundation I’m sure feels the same way. 
Sadly, that is definitely NOT the point I was making. From what I can tell, the 
Knight Foundation was given an application for increasing mobile access to 
those on lower end, less well powered devices. This has been a rousing success, 
and from what I can tell (as I can’t see the grant application anywhere) 
achieved every one of the criteria that were specified by the Knight 
Foundation. 

That’s very different than saying, however, that we will be making an Internet 
search engine, building up a team within the WMF, and then pivoting the 
direction from what was stated radically. 


> That is not to say that this process was managed well -- obviously it
> wasn't. But at least there are no catastrophic long term consequences
> for the organization or for the movement, as far as I can tell. That
> is, unless Larry Page read one of the early news stories and decided
> to send a DESTROY WIKIMEDIA memo to all Alphabet companies, in which
> case I expect Boston Dynamics robots to show up at New Montgomery
> Street any day now. [2]

If I hear about any weaponized Roombas in Wikimedia Australia I’ll be sure to 
advise everyone immediately.

Personally, I think the idea of an open search engine is great. I think it 
should be largely based on Wikimedia projects, but the whole idea has a lot of 
merit. The governance, as I have said a number of times, and debacle about how 
various people have been treated and the loss of trust within the wider 
community due to closed an opaque processes, and abusive comments from the top 
of Wikimedia management, have made what *should* be a positive and lasting 
project into an absolute nightmare. We’ve lost an ED and a trusted member of 
the Board already, and a 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Open letter: Issues needing addressing by the Wikimedia Foundation's Board of Trustees

2016-02-29 Thread Erik Moeller
2016-02-29 19:24 GMT-08:00 Chris Sherlock :

> With the greatest of respect, I'm not sure how could come to the conclusion 
> that general
> Internet search was not a core component of the Knowledge Engine.

It's important to remember that this is a $250K grant, with a grant
period that ends later this year. It's clear that this was done
because everyone involved realized that the plans are likely to
change. Knight has given grants to WMF in the past, including a $600K
one with a longer grant period [1], so this isn't a particularly bold
step for them or for WMF. Within the scope of a grant with these
parameters, it's completely reasonable for WMF, at the end of the
grant period, to go back to Knight and say: "We've done everything we
committed to for the grant period [improve internal search etc.], but
we won't be doing anything beyond that."

That is not to say that this process was managed well -- obviously it
wasn't. But at least there are no catastrophic long term consequences
for the organization or for the movement, as far as I can tell. That
is, unless Larry Page read one of the early news stories and decided
to send a DESTROY WIKIMEDIA memo to all Alphabet companies, in which
case I expect Boston Dynamics robots to show up at New Montgomery
Street any day now. [2]

Erik

[1] http://knightfoundation.org/grants/20123673/
[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVlhMGQgDkY

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] What it means to be a *volunteer* organization

2016-02-29 Thread Ilario Valdelli
Hi Leigh
In general there is always a transparent hierarchy and an untasparent one
self organized following the real leaderships.

Problems happen when the gap between both increases. In this case the real
decisions are made in front of a coffee machine and not in the right places.

The solution is a strong commitment from higher levels and a different
organization  (for instance by matrix and not simply functional).

Anyway it is the C level having the power to introduce a revolution like
this.

Kind regards
Il 28/Feb/2016 08:09 PM, "Leigh Thelmadatter"  ha
scritto:

> I have to agree here. The WMF and its employees have forgotten that the
> mission is to support the work done on the various wikis, not make work for
> fireworks for themselves.
> Nothing we are dealing with here is new. It is just the eruption of some
> very long-standing problems with the WMF and the tone it sets for the rest
> of the movement. While some might be celebrating now, Lila was not the
> problem.  IMHO, the problem is a lot of hidden hierarchies (denied of
> course). Add to that, that the lack of transparency allows the growth of
> hidden agendas.
> Remember this blew when a community selected board member was tossed off
> the board unceremoniously. We find out through this that the community (or
> chapters) have no real voice on the board under the current set up.
>
>
> > From: dacu...@gmail.com
> > Date: Sun, 28 Feb 2016 17:52:30 +0100
> > To: wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> > Subject: [Wikimedia-l] What it means to be a *volunteer* organization
> >
> > I am starting a new thread because I disagree with the idea that the WMF
> > should be a high-tech organization as the other thread by Brion seemed to
> > suggest. Yes, technology is a tool that we use in our mission to gather
> and
> > process all forms of human knowledge, but in the end the driving force is
> > volunteership.
> >
> > Without volunteers there wouldn't be any movement and there wouldn't be
> any
> > need for tools, or any donations whatsoever. It is the concept of working
> > for free for the common good that allows us to exist and fulfill our
> > mission. The WMF is instrumental in providing the tools for it to happen,
> > but those tools are not only technological, they are also legal,
> > educational, and social, however when talking through computer screens we
> > seem to forget that.
> >
> > A hi-tech tool can work for a given task or not, but there are more
> > important topics like trust, commitment, empowerment, motivation, and joy
> > that cannot be assessed so easily, and that are at least as crucial as
> any
> > software. What is the point of having a perfect tool Z if I don't enjoy
> > working with my fellows on a common mission?
> >
> > The role of nurturing volunteers is not exclusive of affiliate
> > organizations, the WMF offer grants to volunteers and organizes several
> > gatherings. Is that enough to strengthen the volunteer community? Then I
> > look at organizations like WOOF or workaway that thrive with full-time
> > volunteers and I wonder if more opportunities could be opened for our
> > volunteers.
> > Is there anything holding us back to try new things besides old patterns
> of
> > participation?
> >
> > It is a challenge to do more for the volunteer community without
> resorting
> > to grants or payment, but that is the key to succeed as a volunteer
> > organization, to provide an ecosystem where personal growth is possible.
> >
> > I am interested in hearing what others have to say about it. Maybe it is
> > possible to gather ideas or even a team of people who wants to research
> > more information about the topic.
> >
> > Cheers,
> > Micru
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] NY Times on Google team dynamics/success research

2016-02-29 Thread Jordan Adler
We've shared our findings here: https://rework.withgoogle.com/

On Sat, Feb 27, 2016 at 9:50 AM George Herbert 
wrote:

>
> Relevant to the discussion on Foundation issues...  The NY Times reports
> on Google's research into what made some teams succeed and some fail.
>
> Short answer: Team norms to respect the individual members, for everyone
> to get a chance to talk and contribute and be heard.
>
>
> http://mobile.nytimes.com/2016/02/28/magazine/what-google-learned-from-its-quest-to-build-the-perfect-team.html?smid=tw-nytimes=cur&_r=0=https://t.co/m4sRhDftJz
>
> George William Herbert
> Sent from my iPhone
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikimediauk-l] Free as in beer

2016-02-29 Thread John Mark Vandenberg
On Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 10:19 PM, Richard Symonds
 wrote:
> So...
>
> BrewDog, a Scotland-based "hipster brewery" - for want of a better phrase -
> have just "open-sourced" their entire recipe collection.
>
> You can read more at https://www.brewdog.com/lowdown/blog/diy-dog.
>
> It's not entirely clear what "licence" they're using but they say:
>
> "copy them, tear them to pieces, bastardise them, adapt them, but most of
> all, enjoy them. They are well travelled but with plenty of miles still left
> on the clock. Just remember to share your brews, and share your results.
> Sharing is caring."

Ask them to clarify their license...?  The PDF would be a great
addition to Wikimedia Commons, if possible.  However the inclusion of
packaging diagrams in their PDF's recipes is likely to mean they dont
want to release this PDF under generous terms, but instead this is a
marketing gimmick only.  If we can only get it without those packaging
diagrams, that would still be good.

> I guess "free as in beer" has a slightly different meaning now!

no, no this is not some magic moment of enlightenment.

similar sharing of beer recipes has occurred as long as beer has existed.

Even properly licensed shared beer brew recipes have been around for a
*very* long time.

Even the US Whitehouse got in on the action

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Wh_beer_recipe_both-o.svg

There are even companies that share their beer trademark

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_Beer

--
John Vandenberg

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Free as in beer

2016-02-29 Thread David Emrany
Dear Richard

Free as in beer ..or paid as in PR !!!

This is exactly the sort of PR paid editing for which Wikimedia-UK
(and the UK centric paid editing cabals) are notorious for.[1],[2],[3]

Do you seriously expect the community to believe that promoting a
web-page which starts off with an investment pitch is all innocent and
charitable ?

David

[1]  
https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=User_talk:Bishonen=prev=35070171
[2] https://www.brewdog.com/equityforpunks/prospectus-download
[3]  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_UK#Gibraltarpedia

On 2/29/16, Richard Symonds  wrote:
> So...
>
> BrewDog, a Scotland-based "hipster brewery" - for want of a better phrase -
> have just "open-sourced" their entire recipe collection.
>
> You can read more at https://www.brewdog.com/lowdown/blog/diy-dog.
>
> It's not entirely clear what "licence" they're using but they say:
>
> *"copy them, tear them to pieces, bastardise them, adapt them, but most of
> all, enjoy them. They are well travelled but with plenty of miles still
> left on the clock. Just remember to share your brews, and share your
> results. Sharing is caring."*
>
> I guess "free as in beer" has a slightly different meaning now!
>
> Richard Symonds
> Wikimedia UK
> 0207 065 0992
>
> Wikimedia UK is a Company Limited by Guarantee registered in England and
> Wales, Registered No. 6741827. Registered Charity No.1144513. Registered
> Office 4th Floor, Development House, 56-64 Leonard Street, London EC2A 4LT.
> United Kingdom. Wikimedia UK is the UK chapter of a global Wikimedia
> movement. The Wikimedia projects are run by the Wikimedia Foundation (who
> operate Wikipedia, amongst other projects).
>
> *Wikimedia UK is an independent non-profit charity with no legal control
> over Wikipedia nor responsibility for its contents.*
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] My posts going to spam

2016-02-29 Thread Richard Ames
Please see:

https://help.yahoo.com/kb/mail/email-service-providers-send-tofrom-yahoo-mail-addresses-sln24016.html

for the explanation of the issue

Richard.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] My posts going to spam

2016-02-29 Thread Austin Hair
On Tue, Mar 1, 2016 at 4:48 AM, Michael Snow  wrote:
> On 2/29/2016 5:37 AM, Jimmy Wales wrote:
>>
>> I'm switching to this email address for posting, because apparently
>> there is some kind of weird problem between yahoo and google such that
>> gmail users see all or most of my messages in their SPAM folder.
>
> It's not just Google either. My provider uses Yahoo's service for email, and
> yet Jimmy's messages to the list, and as best I can tell only Jimmy's from
> the ymail account, appear to get bounced and never even reach my spam
> folder, let alone my inbox.

Just to be clear, this is not a list admin issue—Jimmy's ymail address
was initially moderated as a new subscriber, but we unmoderated him as
soon as he posted from it. The rest is on gmail, unfortunately.

It's also not the first time we've seen it. Others have had issues
posting from Yahoo addresses in the past.

Austin

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] My posts going to spam

2016-02-29 Thread Michael Snow

On 2/29/2016 5:37 AM, Jimmy Wales wrote:

I'm switching to this email address for posting, because apparently
there is some kind of weird problem between yahoo and google such that
gmail users see all or most of my messages in their SPAM folder.
It's not just Google either. My provider uses Yahoo's service for email, 
and yet Jimmy's messages to the list, and as best I can tell only 
Jimmy's from the ymail account, appear to get bounced and never even 
reach my spam folder, let alone my inbox.


--Michael Snow

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Open letter: Issues needing addressing by the Wikimedia Foundation's Board of Trustees

2016-02-29 Thread Chris Sherlock
> On 1 Mar 2016, at 11:12 AM, Kevin Smith  wrote:
> 
> I think some people aren't realizing the difference between the leaked
> presentation (which outlined a general search engine) and the actual grant.
> The former was just an idea, while the latter is official. By my reading,
> the grant clearly is NOT for a general internet search engine, although it
> (unfortunately) did retain a bit of the language from earlier documents.

With the greatest of respect, I'm not sure how could come to the conclusion 
that general Internet search was not a core component of the Knowledge Engine.

I'm just going to quote directly from the Grant application here [1]:

> Knowledge Engine By Wikipedia will democratize the discovery of media, news 
> and information—it will make the Internet's most relevant information more 
> accessible and openly curated, and it will create an open data engine that's 
> completely free of commercial interests. Our new site will be the Internet’s 
> first transparent search engine, and the first one that carries the 
> reputation of Wikipedia and the Wikimedia Foundation.

So to reiterate the words that make it hard for the WMF to deny that they were 
pitching for an Internet search engine:

> Our new site will be the Internet's first transparent search engine, and the 
> first one that carries the reputation of Wikipedia and the Wikimedia 
> Foundation.


For context, this is the answer to the grant application question "Opportunity: 
What is the overall challenge being addressed? What is the proposed approach? 
And what evidence is there that this approach will work?"

The grant application also states that one challenge that could disrupt the 
project is:

> Third-party influence or interference. Google, Yahoo or another big 
> commercial search engine could suddenly devote resources to a similar 
> project, which could reduce the success of the project. This is the biggest 
> challenge, and an external one.

It truly strains credibility that an internal search engine merely indexing 
internal sites could be threatened by either Google or Yahoo devoting resources 
equal to or greater than the grant money allocated to this project, just to 
index Wikimedia properties. Similarly, it makes no sense to me how you can 
"democratize the discovery of media, news, and information" to "make the 
Internet's most relevant information more accessible and openly curated" 
without pulling that information from...the Internet! 

And of course, to risk repeating myself, the next line states that "our new 
site will be the Internet's first transparent search engine". 

You can tell me the scope was intended to be only for Wikimedia projects, but 
that isn't what is said in that grant application. That document as it stands 
literally states that it is to be an Internet search engine. No, I correct 
myself. It says it is to be THE Internet's search engine.

So when you say than there is confusion between the internal presentation and 
the official external grant application, I must respectfully disagree with you. 
There is no such confusion. The two parts of the application I have quoted 
cover almost a third of the grant application and I'd argue are the key parts 
of the application.

If fully one third of the grant application seem to be ambiguous or even flat 
wrong - and key parts at that! - then it's not just "unfortunate" that a "bit" 
of the language of the presentation remained in the grant application 
accidentally. That's sheer downright incompetence. Lila signed off on this 
document, and it was reviewed by others. I don't know who vetted and drafted 
this, but the buck stops with Lila, and she has never acknowledged her part in 
the language and scope of this application aside from once stating in a 
Discovery team meeting [2] that:

> How do we explain the story now? The original idea was a broader concept. 
> Never a crawler. We abandoned some ideas during the ideation phase, but we 
> haven’t been clear what/when we abandoned.


I mean, we have here an admission from Lila that it is unclear to the wider 
community and even WMF staff what they have and haven't abandoned! Why have 
they assumed that the Knight Foundation would take anything from that grant 
application that most of us here, the Press, and interested members of the 
general public would not conclude from merely reading the document? 

There has been some handwaving going on from a variety of different parties 
that "oh, it's just a Grant application, these things are very high level and 
vague, it doesn't really matter what we write in it lets just put the broadest 
possible objectives and vision for this thing and we'll deal the scope later on 
after we've been given the grant money".

Others may not think this is not a concern. I do though, and I'm very concerned 
that we are making grant applications and not really disclosing our full 
intentions, and we are not making it clear what are the 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Vendors and Transparency

2016-02-29 Thread Jimmy Wales
On 2/29/16 6:15 PM, Richard Ames wrote:
> 'Deals' and other 'preferential' arrangements can be easily avoided
>   The WMF can deal with others in public at competitive rates.
> 
> If the vendor wishes to make donations to the WMF they can do so and
> get a tax deduction!

It wasn't a great example, but I think most people got my basic
intention - things like standard boilerplate language to be signed by
all employees doesn't strike me as something in and of itself to be kept
private - there is a valid interest in showing that our policies are
fair and humane for employees, responsible in terms of the privacy of
personal information, etc.

And yet there are plenty of cases where things can and should be held
privately for a variety of very good reasons.



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Re: [Wikimedia-l] I am going to San Francisco

2016-02-29 Thread Craig Franklin
My understanding is that the Foundation purchases certain technical and
apps services (cloud email, for instance) from Google.

Cheers,
Craig

On 1 March 2016 at 12:15, Risker  wrote:

>
> I cannot for the life of me imagine what Google sells that the WMF would be
> interested in buying, so I'm finding your example a bit weird.
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] I am going to San Francisco

2016-02-29 Thread David Emrany
Dear Anne

As a community member *I* am interested in knowing if WMF (or Jimmy)
is selling to Google - or to anybody else ... like the Chinese.[1]

David

[1] http://wikipediasucks.boards.net/post/762

On 3/1/16, Risker  wrote:
> On 29 February 2016 at 20:43, Andreas Kolbe  wrote:
>
>> On Tue, Mar 1, 2016 at 12:52 AM, Risker  wrote:
>>
>> >
>> > So please, let's stop pretending those two words mean the same thing.
>> >
>>
>> Nobody here is talking about vendor agreements; at least I am not. I have
>> no problem whatsoever with your scenario. If the WMF enters into an
>> umbrella agreement or business deal with Google or whoever, then that is
>> something the community should know. If the WMF gets computer hardware at
>> a
>> preferential rate, absolutely no one is interested in that.
>>
>
> Because, Andreas, I do not want the Wikimedia Foundation to commit
> suicide.
>
> I cannot for the life of me imagine what Google sells that the WMF would be
> interested in buying, so I'm finding your example a bit weird. >
> RIsker/Anne

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Open letter: Issues needing addressing by the Wikimedia Foundation's Board of Trustees

2016-02-29 Thread Kevin Gorman
The thing that disturbs me more than anything else about a lot of recent
events is the utter lack of transparency related to a lot of recent
changes.  To pick a tangential topic: WMF now has six employees dedicated
to foundations and major gifts.  I don't mean general fundraising
employees, I means specifically tasked to pursue foundation grants and
major gifts.  I think it's probably a *good* thing that we now have a major
gifts team, but the standard in the past was to be extremely leary of major
gifts, and for pretty good reason. I think we should have a team pursuing
grants and major gifts, but the standards governing what type of major
gifts WMF pursues and accepts  should've been developed as part of an open
community conversation, not apparated out of thin air.  We've always taken
some major gifts and grants - e.g., Stanton & the USEP - but there has both
been a lot of caution around them, and community discussion around them.
The Knight Foundation grant is an example of how this goes wrong, but I'm
betting a lot more are going to surface.

Jimmy is also refusing to release a single exchange he had with James that,
I am assured, contained no remotely confidential information - een though
James has requested its release multiple times.  It's disappointing to see
such a lack of transparency on so many fronts at once.  When I tried to
return my (working) key to the WMF offices a year after I'd no longer had a
real reason to have a key,the person (who no longer works there, and their
departure from WMF wasn't good for WMF,) they laughed and told me to keep
it because I came in to the of office enough that I might as well save
people the time of opening doors from me.  I have a feeling if I had an
identical internship now, I'd be required to sign a NDA, have my key yanked
the second either my internship was over or I did anything remotely
suspicious, and would not been exposed to the valuable training working
with Moka and Jay provided me, because that information would be perceived
as too sensitive to let an intern near.  It seems more and more like
instead of a shining light, a black sheet is being draped over WMF's doings.


Kevin Gorman

On Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 4:12 PM, Kevin Smith  wrote:

> I think some people aren't realizing the difference between the leaked
> presentation (which outlined a general search engine) and the actual grant.
> The former was just an idea, while the latter is official. By my reading,
> the grant clearly is NOT for a general internet search engine, although it
> (unfortunately) did retain a bit of the language from earlier documents.
>
> Also, I think I disagree with this statement:
>
> > It envisages a volunteer-curated search engine drawing on a whole host of
> > sources from within and outside of the Wikimedia universe, with output
> > vectors including "Mobile", "API", "Kindle" and "Apps".
> >
> > This is part of the overall strategy to this day. Consultation would
> really
> > be appropriate here.
>
> The only "volunteer curation" I see in the actual grant can be covered by
> the curation of Wikidata that volunteers are already doing. I don't see
> anything in the grant that relies on volunteers signing up for additional
> work.
>
> To my knowledge, drawing on non-Wikimedia sources is still in the
> "strategy" (or more accurately the roadmap) in two ways: 1) OpenStreetMap
> data is already being used in limited ways, and 2) other free information
> sources are only being considered in a vague "maybe someday but not this
> year" way.
>
> I don't recall hearing of any plans for Kindle support, but we do already
> support APIs and mobile apps, and will (presumably) continue to expand
> both. If Kindle support were considered at some point (past or future),
> that wouldn't seem like a radical step to me.
>
> I say all of this as someone who works closely with the Discovery team. If
> I'm mistaken on any of the facts, please let me know.
>
>
>
> Kevin Smith
> Agile Coach, Wikimedia Foundation
>
>
> On Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 3:41 PM, SarahSV  wrote:
>
> > On Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 8:00 AM, Jimmy Wales 
> > wrote:
> >
> > >
> > > James had gotten, from somewhere, the idea that there really was a
> > > secret project to build a Google-competing search engine.  We had a
> > > discussion where I told him that wasn't right.  We had further
> > > discussions at the board level of what it means, and eventually James
> > > himself made the motion to approve the Knight grant, and voted in favor
> > > of it.
> > >
> > >
> >
> > ​Jimmy, this is something I find disturbing.
> >
> > In October 2015 James opposed accepting the grant application because of
> > the lack of clarity and transparency around it. [1] But on 7 November he
> > not only formally supported its acceptance, but actually proposed it to
> the
> > Board. [2]
> >
> > James has written that he did this "following pressure which included
> > comments 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] I am going to San Francisco

2016-02-29 Thread Todd Allen
On Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 5:52 PM, Risker  wrote:

> On 29 February 2016 at 19:10, Andreas Kolbe  wrote:
>
> > 
> >
> > No. You are either transparent and honest, or you are not.
> >
> > Andreas
> > ___
> >
>
> Or you could be opaque but honest. "Honest" and "transparent" are not
> synonyms.
>
> There are several things that organizations cannot reveal, for legal,
> contractual, or ethical reasons - or at least they cannot reveal them
> without risking serious censure, lawsuits or in some cases regulatory
> charges.  Reputational risk is bad enough, but if a board member leaks
> something that leads to a credible threat of legal action or regulatory
> charges - even with the best of intentions and with no ill-will intended -
> not only does the board need to take action, but it needs not to compound
> the error in judgment by broadcasting it.
>
> Jimmy gave an example in an earlier post of the need to not reveal the
> terms of a contract that was extremely favourable to the WMF as a condition
> of the contract - the condition added because the contractor did not want
> to offer the same terms to other organizations.  If a board member leaked
> that to, say, a competitor of the contractor, that would violate the
> contract, even if the intention was good (such as trying to obtain
> favourable terms from the competitor as well).   Now...keep in mind that
> revealing the fact of a leak would have the same net effect of saying
> "Company A is giving us a special deal", i.e., the very thing that the
> contract is supposed to prevent.  If the board removed a member for a
> scenario along this line, they would be being honest, even if they were not
> being transparent because they did not reveal the precise reason for the
> removal.
>
> That is a scenario, and I have no inside knowledge or any reason at all to
> believe that this is what occurred on the WMF Board.  But I can think of
> several other similar scenarios that would fall into the same "honest but
> not transparent" response.
>
> So please, let's stop pretending those two words mean the same thing.
>
> Risker/Anne
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>


Risker,

I agree in general with your message, but there's still a critical
distinction to be drawn there.

There are legitimate reasons that a matter just cannot be discussed. Any of
us who've been on ArbCom, which you have too, know that. And I damn well
know the frustration of it; in a lot of those cases, I desperately wished I
could say why we did what we did, and we'd have gotten a lot fewer rocks
thrown at us. But in those cases, it wasn't possible (and you have to
protect the privacy of the jerks the same way as the innocent victims), so
you endure the suspicion and that's all you can do.

But there's still a critical distinction to be drawn there. In those cases,
we still said plainly "Sorry, but we're not able to discuss that." We
didn't dance around it, or obfuscate, or spin, or try to bury the fact that
we weren't going to answer it in pages upon pages of PR say-nothing crap.
"I cannot answer that", in cases where one genuinely can't, still is an
honest response that's as transparent as possible. Trying to deflect
attention away, bury it, and spin it is dishonest.

So that's the distinction I see there. Spin, PR, and obfuscation are
dishonest in all cases. If you can't or won't answer, then flatly and
unambiguously say that. If possible, at least say in general terms (legal
concerns, privacy, NDA, etc.) why you can't discuss it. Trying to deflect
and hoping people just lose interest is a fundamentally dishonest tactic.

Todd
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] I am going to San Francisco

2016-02-29 Thread Leila Zia
I discussed with both James and Jimmy the choice of the word "unanimous".
I'm satisfied with their responses. The BoT had a straw poll to make a
decision about the leadership in November and the result of that poll may
or may not have been unanimous (I'm fine with it being a straw poll at that
point in time given the fact that there was a big information asymmetry
among BoT members which would question doing a real poll. I'm also happy to
see that BoT members are listening and want to improve our information
sharing mechanisms). However, all BoT members agreed to support Lila, which
is what Patricio has told us.

As a side note, I'd like to ask that we don't bring the conversations
specifically tagged private to lists or conversations that include a
broader audience. For example, staff were asked to create a safe space for
everyone and not share the content of the November meeting publicly.

Leila
On Feb 29, 2016 5:43 PM, "Andreas Kolbe"  wrote:

> On Tue, Mar 1, 2016 at 12:52 AM, Risker  wrote:
>
> >
> > So please, let's stop pretending those two words mean the same thing.
> >
>
>
> They don't mean the same thing at all. But would you really dispute the
> statement that WMF leaders should be both transparent AND honest?
>
> Transparency is a fundamental WMF value.
>
> Nobody here is talking about vendor agreements; at least I am not. I have
> no problem whatsoever with your scenario. If the WMF enters into an
> umbrella agreement or business deal with Google or whoever, then that is
> something the community should know. If the WMF gets computer hardware at a
> preferential rate, absolutely no one is interested in that.
>
> Andreas
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] I am going to San Francisco

2016-02-29 Thread Risker
On 29 February 2016 at 20:43, Andreas Kolbe  wrote:

> On Tue, Mar 1, 2016 at 12:52 AM, Risker  wrote:
>
> >
> > So please, let's stop pretending those two words mean the same thing.
> >
>
>
> They don't mean the same thing at all. But would you really dispute the
> statement that WMF leaders should be both transparent AND honest?
>
> Transparency is a fundamental WMF value.
>
> Nobody here is talking about vendor agreements; at least I am not. I have
> no problem whatsoever with your scenario. If the WMF enters into an
> umbrella agreement or business deal with Google or whoever, then that is
> something the community should know. If the WMF gets computer hardware at a
> preferential rate, absolutely no one is interested in that.
>


Because, Andreas, I do not want the Wikimedia Foundation to commit
suicide.  On what basis do you say, with complete confidence, that the
basis of the issue is NOT a contract, or a legal agreement, or a human
resources issue - all of which will likely require some degree of
non-transparency?  For example - if the focus of all this excitement is a
human resources issue, there are very, very strict regulations about what
can and cannot be public.  It's why there is an "executive session" at
every board meeting - because human resource issues involving identifiable
persons MUST not be publicly discussed.

I cannot for the life of me imagine what Google sells that the WMF would be
interested in buying, so I'm finding your example a bit weird.  And
unfortunately, there are indeed enough people around here who are so
determined to have total transparency that they *would* believe that
failure to publicly report that the WMF had received computer hardware at a
preferential rate was *failing to be transparent.*

So yes, I do dispute that WMF leaders must always be both transparent and
honest.  Honest, I'll go for - although as we're pretty clearly seeing in
this situation, there's a pretty wide divergence between what different
leaders consider honesty.  But not transparent.  I don't want them
reporting personal human resources issues or other legally confidential
issues publicly - if for no other reason than they'll be slapped with
lawsuits that would be a terrible, terrible waste of our donor's money.

RIsker/Anne
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[Wikimedia-l] Vendors and Transparency

2016-02-29 Thread Richard Ames
'Deals' and other 'preferential' arrangements can be easily avoided
  The WMF can deal with others in public at competitive rates.

If the vendor wishes to make donations to the WMF they can do so and
get a tax deduction!

Regards, Richard.

On Tue, Mar 1, 2016 at 12:43 PM, Andreas Kolbe  wrote:

> Transparency is a fundamental WMF value.
>
> Nobody here is talking about vendor agreements; at least I am not. I have
> no problem whatsoever with your scenario. If the WMF enters into an
> umbrella agreement or business deal with Google or whoever, then that is
> something the community should know. If the WMF gets computer hardware at a
> preferential rate, absolutely no one is interested in that.
>
> Andreas


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] What it means to be a *volunteer* organization

2016-02-29 Thread David Emrany
Hi David,

It would be even nicer if we have more editors editing voluntarily
instead of driving them away.

In the present scenario a University of Minnesota report by Aaron Halfaker says
"The declining number of editors is not due to the site's inability to
keep longtime editors contributing. Instead it can't keep new editors
from sticking around, due to an abrasive collective of editors and a
system that is crushingly bureaucratic." [1]

English Wikipedia's biggest problem today is its established
syndicates of 90% white male "content creators" and their
self-protecting policies.  A large number of these persons are paid
editors / PR -SEO "consultants" who have worked themselves up to
positions of administrators, Arbs, and WMF Trustees and blatantly
misused their positions and lied about their background / Conflicts of
Interest.

I suggest its high time now for the WMF to directly take legal
responsibility for the actions and policies of their (mostly)
anonymous users and what is "hosted" on WMF servers.

I suggest the WMF should immediately institute a regime of verified
identities for its users and administrators across all its projects,
and purge all rogue editors (along with their self serving
so-called""community" policies) who are damaging the credibility of
its projects, including through paid editing.

David

[1] 
http://www.businessinsider.in/Wikipedia-Could-Degenerate-If-It-Cant-Fix-One-Big-Problem-CHART/articleshow/26238463.cms

On 2/29/16, David Cuenca Tudela  wrote:
> James, I think it is very nice to put measures against paid editing, but it
> would be nicer to put measures to get editors more free time to edit
> voluntarily...
> There are not that many suggestions on how to do it, so it could be that it
> cannot be done.
>
> Cheers,
> Micru
>
> On Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 6:14 AM, James Heilman  wrote:
>
>> With respect to paid promotional editing, I have done a bit work trying to
>> address it. For example I reached out to Upworks the company behind Elance
>> and Fiverr and they are interested in working together on this. Have been
>> a
>> little distracted and not sure if there is sufficient community or
>> foundation support to move forwards.
>>
>> With respect to using AI to detect paid editing, I spoke with Aaron
>> Halfaker about the possibility in Nov 2015. What he needed was datasets of
>> confirmed paid promotional editors. I have sent him some details. If
>> others
>> have details that would likely be useful. Things are in the very very
>> early
>> stages from what I understand.
>>
>> --
>> James Heilman
>> MD, CCFP-EM, Wikipedian
>>
>> The Wikipedia Open Textbook of Medicine
>> www.opentextbookofmedicine.com
>> ___
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>>
>
>
>
> --
> Etiamsi omnes, ego non
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] I am going to San Francisco

2016-02-29 Thread Andreas Kolbe
On Tue, Mar 1, 2016 at 12:52 AM, Risker  wrote:

>
> So please, let's stop pretending those two words mean the same thing.
>


They don't mean the same thing at all. But would you really dispute the
statement that WMF leaders should be both transparent AND honest?

Transparency is a fundamental WMF value.

Nobody here is talking about vendor agreements; at least I am not. I have
no problem whatsoever with your scenario. If the WMF enters into an
umbrella agreement or business deal with Google or whoever, then that is
something the community should know. If the WMF gets computer hardware at a
preferential rate, absolutely no one is interested in that.

Andreas
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [WMCEE-l] Wikimedia Ukraine’s Board

2016-02-29 Thread Nabin Sapkota
Congrats and welcome all the board members. And obviously wish a very good
luck for the coming days..

Regards,
Nabin
On Mar 1, 2016 6:44 AM, "Tito Dutta"  wrote:

> Welcome all, and all the best. :)
>
> On 1 March 2016 at 04:54, Asaf Bartov  wrote:
>
> > Welcome, new board members, and thank you for your service, departing
> > members.
> >
> > And thank you, Nataliia, for taking the time to introduce them to folks
> who
> > haven't had the opportunity to get to know them in person.
> >
> >A.
> >
> > On Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 2:09 PM, attolippip 
> wrote:
> >
> > > Dear all,
> > >
> > > I want formally introduce to you Wikimedia Ukraine’s Board, elected by
> > our
> > > General Assembly on December 27, 2015.
> > >
> > > We can do it only now, as we have just recently successfully completed
> > the
> > > requirements from our state to change the people responsible for the
> > > chapter officially [1].
> > >
> > > Three people has decided not to run this year, and I want to thank them
> > > wholeheartedly for all their time and efforts spent on our projects and
> > > making this world better for a change:
> > >
> > >
> > >-
> > >
> > >[[User:Amakuha]], Andrii Makuha. He has been our Chair for the last
> > >two years; his calm personality helped us a lot, especially during
> > the most
> > >turbulent times of transferring «power» from one to another Chapter
> > Board
> > >«without pain» [2], as Andrii has tried his best to understand
> > everyone and
> > >continue the dialogues even when it seems that we won’t be able to
> > come to
> > >any acceptable terms. By the way, awarding Wikizghushchivka [3] was
> > his
> > >idea.
> > >-
> > >
> > >[[User:NickK]], Mykola Kozlenko, our Treasurer, with great
> analytical
> > >skills and profound knowledge about the Community (and I am talking
> > not
> > >only about our local community, but the global one as well) and the
> > >Wikimedia Movement. He is actively engaged in Wikimedia Ukraine’s
> > projects,
> > >though he lives in France and can contribute almost only via
> > Internet. But
> > >he was able to be a vital part of organizing the rather successful
> > regional
> > >conference WIkimedia CEE Meeting in Kyiv in December 2014.
> > >-
> > >
> > >[[User:Ліонкінг]], Levon Azizian. He is a lawyer in real life, a
> > >passionate Wiki(m|p)edian. He is blessed with the skills to make the
> > >dreams ideas come into reality, as he is very convincing and
> > one
> > >just gets the feeling that (s)he can do it. And so they do it :) And
> > then
> > >there is only a pure wonder of: wow, we have organized a
> > wikiconference in
> > >2 weeks; wow, we have organized a CEE Meeting in a month; wow, we
> can
> > >actually (but it is really hard!) organize wikitrainings for two
> weeks
> > >non-stop in Luhansk region, go to librarians, preach about editing
> > >Wikipedia… and just around the corner there is a real war zone…
> > >
> > >
> > > These three are my dear friends, and I was really sorry to see them not
> > > running. But it was our dream from a long ago: to have more great
> > > Wiki(m|p)edians join the chapter and get interested in our projects. So
> > > here we have our newly elected three Board members:
> > >
> > >
> > >-
> > >
> > >[[User:Olena Zakharian]], Olena Zakharian. She was (and still is!)
> our
> > >press secretary, she is very keen about Nature and Freedom of
> Speech,
> > she
> > >believes in our Mission and has contributed greatly to most of our
> > projects
> > >before and she is a crucial part of our Board becoming more
> > transparent for
> > >our Community.
> > >-
> > >
> > >[[User:Helgi]], Oleh Yatsozhynskyi. He is an active member of
> > >Ukrainian Wikipedia community, he has joined the organization only
> in
> > >September, but he is an invaluable part of us now (especially his
> > >directness :)) He is responsible for Wikiexpeditions now [4], and he
> > is
> > >full of ideas and desire to implement them (and that’s something
> > really
> > >really important, you know)
> > >-
> > >
> > >[[User:Pavlo1]], Pavlo Lakiichuk. He is the Secretary of the Board
> > >now, so he is responsible for all the boring stuff around the
> process
> > of
> > >making decisions. He is also an active member of our local
> community,
> > he
> > >cares about wikiprojects a lot. He has initiated a number of
> meetings
> > for
> > >creators of “real” encyclopedias and wikipedians to talk a few
> issues
> > over
> > >and get to know each other better (well, it works! quite a few myths
> > were
> > >dismissed by talking over a cup of tea :) )
> > >
> > >
> > > The other four members of the Board, re-elected for this year, are:
> > >
> > >-
> > >
> > >[[User:Ilya]], Illia Korniiko. He is our Chair now. He codes. :) 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] I am going to San Francisco

2016-02-29 Thread Anthony Cole
If a board member mentions staff fear, you might ask if item 2 of the code
of conduct [1] couldn't be rewritten so it's not a soviet-style catch-all
that outlaws discussion about anything that happens within the WMF.

Staff, if a board member mentions staff fear, you might ask if item 2 of
the code of conduct [1] could be rewritten so it's not a soviet-style
catch-all that prohibits discussion about anything that happens within the
WMF.

(Off topic, but: If Jimmy utters the word "accountable" over the next few
days, would one (or all) of you please take the opportunity to ask him to
relinquish his founder seat, abolish the seat, add another
community-selected seat, and run for election as a community-selected
trustee in the next round? (That's the next round, not in three years when
his current term expires.)

If any board member mentions "transparency", ask them if we could please at
least know what topics are discussed at board meetings. I.e., could the
secretary please take down and publish at least the barest minimum by way
of minutes, if that's not too much to ask.

Take notes. If they disallow note-taking in the meeting, sit down
immediately afterwards and summarise what happened, from memory.

1.
https://wikimediafoundation.org/w/index.php?title=Code_of_conduct_policy=toggle_view_desktop

On Tuesday, 1 March 2016, Andreas Kolbe  wrote:

> On Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 4:44 PM, Oliver Keyes  > wrote:
>
> > So my concern is not that you lost touch with staff. I don't
> > particularly care about any one person. My concern is that the *board*
> > did. My concern is that when staff reached out the Board replied with
> > a letter indicating they had full and unanimous confidence in our
> > leadership. You indicating that you see a problem here and have some
> > sympathy is nice; so is you visiting the office. So is Alice visiting
> > the office. But nice is not sufficient.
> >
> > Guy Kawasaki, I believe, lives in the bay area (correct me if I'm
> > wrong). Denny works a 10 minute walk from the office. Kelly's org is
> > based in Mountain View. There are a whole host of trustees who could
> > be making it into the office, experiencing the culture and the
> > sentiment and the concerns directly. Why are they not coming in? Why
> > are they not listening to people?
> >
>
>
> I must confess that this was my initial response as well.
>
> My initial impression of Jimmy coming to SF was that this was a
> self-selected PR exercise for Jimmy – borne out of a desire to be seen as
> part of the solution of the problem, rather than part of its causes – and
> not so much an effort by the Board to develop a better rapport with staff.
>
> As you say, there are several board members who could comfortably pop in
> for afternoon tea at the WMF office any day of the week.
>
> Still, I hope the discussions with Jimmy and Alice in SF are fruitful.
>
>
>
> > While I appreciate, deeply, both you and Alice coming in, I am unable
> > to shake my concerns that the rest of the board making decisions
> > informed not by their perspectives but by your recollection of your
> > perspectives, is going to be tremendously limiting. We selected these
> > people because we thought they had something to contribute we didn't
> > already have: because their experiences would shape incoming
> > information in new and interesting ways. So let them receive that
> > information, and let them shape it. Let's have an informed board.
> > Because trust isn't great, right now, and this last year should have
> > made us steer *away* from processes with a small bus factor, not
> > towards them.
> ___
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-- 
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [WMCEE-l] Wikimedia Ukraine’s Board

2016-02-29 Thread Winifred Olliff
Congratulations on a successful General Assembly, welcome to the new board
members, and thanks to the existing members for your continued service. I'm
looking forward to working with you all! Thanks also to the departing
members for your years of service.

Nataliia, I also appreciated this helpful introduction! It's nice to know a
bit about the new board members :)

Best wishes,

Winifred

On Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 4:58 PM, Tito Dutta  wrote:

> Welcome all, and all the best. :)
>
> On 1 March 2016 at 04:54, Asaf Bartov  wrote:
>
> > Welcome, new board members, and thank you for your service, departing
> > members.
> >
> > And thank you, Nataliia, for taking the time to introduce them to folks
> who
> > haven't had the opportunity to get to know them in person.
> >
> >A.
> >
> > On Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 2:09 PM, attolippip 
> wrote:
> >
> > > Dear all,
> > >
> > > I want formally introduce to you Wikimedia Ukraine’s Board, elected by
> > our
> > > General Assembly on December 27, 2015.
> > >
> > > We can do it only now, as we have just recently successfully completed
> > the
> > > requirements from our state to change the people responsible for the
> > > chapter officially [1].
> > >
> > > Three people has decided not to run this year, and I want to thank them
> > > wholeheartedly for all their time and efforts spent on our projects and
> > > making this world better for a change:
> > >
> > >
> > >-
> > >
> > >[[User:Amakuha]], Andrii Makuha. He has been our Chair for the last
> > >two years; his calm personality helped us a lot, especially during
> > the most
> > >turbulent times of transferring «power» from one to another Chapter
> > Board
> > >«without pain» [2], as Andrii has tried his best to understand
> > everyone and
> > >continue the dialogues even when it seems that we won’t be able to
> > come to
> > >any acceptable terms. By the way, awarding Wikizghushchivka [3] was
> > his
> > >idea.
> > >-
> > >
> > >[[User:NickK]], Mykola Kozlenko, our Treasurer, with great
> analytical
> > >skills and profound knowledge about the Community (and I am talking
> > not
> > >only about our local community, but the global one as well) and the
> > >Wikimedia Movement. He is actively engaged in Wikimedia Ukraine’s
> > projects,
> > >though he lives in France and can contribute almost only via
> > Internet. But
> > >he was able to be a vital part of organizing the rather successful
> > regional
> > >conference WIkimedia CEE Meeting in Kyiv in December 2014.
> > >-
> > >
> > >[[User:Ліонкінг]], Levon Azizian. He is a lawyer in real life, a
> > >passionate Wiki(m|p)edian. He is blessed with the skills to make the
> > >dreams ideas come into reality, as he is very convincing and
> > one
> > >just gets the feeling that (s)he can do it. And so they do it :) And
> > then
> > >there is only a pure wonder of: wow, we have organized a
> > wikiconference in
> > >2 weeks; wow, we have organized a CEE Meeting in a month; wow, we
> can
> > >actually (but it is really hard!) organize wikitrainings for two
> weeks
> > >non-stop in Luhansk region, go to librarians, preach about editing
> > >Wikipedia… and just around the corner there is a real war zone…
> > >
> > >
> > > These three are my dear friends, and I was really sorry to see them not
> > > running. But it was our dream from a long ago: to have more great
> > > Wiki(m|p)edians join the chapter and get interested in our projects. So
> > > here we have our newly elected three Board members:
> > >
> > >
> > >-
> > >
> > >[[User:Olena Zakharian]], Olena Zakharian. She was (and still is!)
> our
> > >press secretary, she is very keen about Nature and Freedom of
> Speech,
> > she
> > >believes in our Mission and has contributed greatly to most of our
> > projects
> > >before and she is a crucial part of our Board becoming more
> > transparent for
> > >our Community.
> > >-
> > >
> > >[[User:Helgi]], Oleh Yatsozhynskyi. He is an active member of
> > >Ukrainian Wikipedia community, he has joined the organization only
> in
> > >September, but he is an invaluable part of us now (especially his
> > >directness :)) He is responsible for Wikiexpeditions now [4], and he
> > is
> > >full of ideas and desire to implement them (and that’s something
> > really
> > >really important, you know)
> > >-
> > >
> > >[[User:Pavlo1]], Pavlo Lakiichuk. He is the Secretary of the Board
> > >now, so he is responsible for all the boring stuff around the
> process
> > of
> > >making decisions. He is also an active member of our local
> community,
> > he
> > >cares about wikiprojects a lot. He has initiated a number of
> meetings
> > for
> > >creators of “real” encyclopedias and wikipedians to talk a few
> issues
> > over
> > >and get to know each other 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] [WMCEE-l] Wikimedia Ukraine’s Board

2016-02-29 Thread Tito Dutta
Welcome all, and all the best. :)

On 1 March 2016 at 04:54, Asaf Bartov  wrote:

> Welcome, new board members, and thank you for your service, departing
> members.
>
> And thank you, Nataliia, for taking the time to introduce them to folks who
> haven't had the opportunity to get to know them in person.
>
>A.
>
> On Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 2:09 PM, attolippip  wrote:
>
> > Dear all,
> >
> > I want formally introduce to you Wikimedia Ukraine’s Board, elected by
> our
> > General Assembly on December 27, 2015.
> >
> > We can do it only now, as we have just recently successfully completed
> the
> > requirements from our state to change the people responsible for the
> > chapter officially [1].
> >
> > Three people has decided not to run this year, and I want to thank them
> > wholeheartedly for all their time and efforts spent on our projects and
> > making this world better for a change:
> >
> >
> >-
> >
> >[[User:Amakuha]], Andrii Makuha. He has been our Chair for the last
> >two years; his calm personality helped us a lot, especially during
> the most
> >turbulent times of transferring «power» from one to another Chapter
> Board
> >«without pain» [2], as Andrii has tried his best to understand
> everyone and
> >continue the dialogues even when it seems that we won’t be able to
> come to
> >any acceptable terms. By the way, awarding Wikizghushchivka [3] was
> his
> >idea.
> >-
> >
> >[[User:NickK]], Mykola Kozlenko, our Treasurer, with great analytical
> >skills and profound knowledge about the Community (and I am talking
> not
> >only about our local community, but the global one as well) and the
> >Wikimedia Movement. He is actively engaged in Wikimedia Ukraine’s
> projects,
> >though he lives in France and can contribute almost only via
> Internet. But
> >he was able to be a vital part of organizing the rather successful
> regional
> >conference WIkimedia CEE Meeting in Kyiv in December 2014.
> >-
> >
> >[[User:Ліонкінг]], Levon Azizian. He is a lawyer in real life, a
> >passionate Wiki(m|p)edian. He is blessed with the skills to make the
> >dreams ideas come into reality, as he is very convincing and
> one
> >just gets the feeling that (s)he can do it. And so they do it :) And
> then
> >there is only a pure wonder of: wow, we have organized a
> wikiconference in
> >2 weeks; wow, we have organized a CEE Meeting in a month; wow, we can
> >actually (but it is really hard!) organize wikitrainings for two weeks
> >non-stop in Luhansk region, go to librarians, preach about editing
> >Wikipedia… and just around the corner there is a real war zone…
> >
> >
> > These three are my dear friends, and I was really sorry to see them not
> > running. But it was our dream from a long ago: to have more great
> > Wiki(m|p)edians join the chapter and get interested in our projects. So
> > here we have our newly elected three Board members:
> >
> >
> >-
> >
> >[[User:Olena Zakharian]], Olena Zakharian. She was (and still is!) our
> >press secretary, she is very keen about Nature and Freedom of Speech,
> she
> >believes in our Mission and has contributed greatly to most of our
> projects
> >before and she is a crucial part of our Board becoming more
> transparent for
> >our Community.
> >-
> >
> >[[User:Helgi]], Oleh Yatsozhynskyi. He is an active member of
> >Ukrainian Wikipedia community, he has joined the organization only in
> >September, but he is an invaluable part of us now (especially his
> >directness :)) He is responsible for Wikiexpeditions now [4], and he
> is
> >full of ideas and desire to implement them (and that’s something
> really
> >really important, you know)
> >-
> >
> >[[User:Pavlo1]], Pavlo Lakiichuk. He is the Secretary of the Board
> >now, so he is responsible for all the boring stuff around the process
> of
> >making decisions. He is also an active member of our local community,
> he
> >cares about wikiprojects a lot. He has initiated a number of meetings
> for
> >creators of “real” encyclopedias and wikipedians to talk a few issues
> over
> >and get to know each other better (well, it works! quite a few myths
> were
> >dismissed by talking over a cup of tea :) )
> >
> >
> > The other four members of the Board, re-elected for this year, are:
> >
> >-
> >
> >[[User:Ilya]], Illia Korniiko. He is our Chair now. He codes. :) WLX
> >Jury Tool is his pet project, but he was deprived of almost all
> chances to
> >work on it, as our state’s bureaucratic system is quite a monster to
> >overcome...
> >-
> >
> >[[User:Юрій Булка]], Yurii Bulka. He is responsible for Wikipedia
> >Education Program in Ukraine. And he was the one to suggest and
> implement
> >the project of digitizing and making available the phonograph cylinder
> >collection 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] I am going to San Francisco

2016-02-29 Thread Risker
On 29 February 2016 at 19:10, Andreas Kolbe  wrote:

> 
>
> No. You are either transparent and honest, or you are not.
>
> Andreas
> ___
>

Or you could be opaque but honest. "Honest" and "transparent" are not
synonyms.

There are several things that organizations cannot reveal, for legal,
contractual, or ethical reasons - or at least they cannot reveal them
without risking serious censure, lawsuits or in some cases regulatory
charges.  Reputational risk is bad enough, but if a board member leaks
something that leads to a credible threat of legal action or regulatory
charges - even with the best of intentions and with no ill-will intended -
not only does the board need to take action, but it needs not to compound
the error in judgment by broadcasting it.

Jimmy gave an example in an earlier post of the need to not reveal the
terms of a contract that was extremely favourable to the WMF as a condition
of the contract - the condition added because the contractor did not want
to offer the same terms to other organizations.  If a board member leaked
that to, say, a competitor of the contractor, that would violate the
contract, even if the intention was good (such as trying to obtain
favourable terms from the competitor as well).   Now...keep in mind that
revealing the fact of a leak would have the same net effect of saying
"Company A is giving us a special deal", i.e., the very thing that the
contract is supposed to prevent.  If the board removed a member for a
scenario along this line, they would be being honest, even if they were not
being transparent because they did not reveal the precise reason for the
removal.

That is a scenario, and I have no inside knowledge or any reason at all to
believe that this is what occurred on the WMF Board.  But I can think of
several other similar scenarios that would fall into the same "honest but
not transparent" response.

So please, let's stop pretending those two words mean the same thing.

Risker/Anne
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] My posts going to spam

2016-02-29 Thread K. Peachey
If you are using gmail, Set a rule that *@lists.wikimedia.org never go to
the spam folder.

(If you are using  rule to label them, it can be done at the same time.)

On 1 March 2016 at 09:48, SarahSV  wrote:

> On Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 3:10 PM, George Herbert 
> wrote:
>
> >
> > Just to confirm, all Jimmy's email in these threads were in my Gmail spam
> > folder when I looked.
> >
> > If you're using Gmail, go look at the spam folder and bring his messages
> > back in...
> >
> >
> That is why I asked Jimmy a question yesterday that he had already answered
> in another thread. I wasn't aware that he had been replying until I saw
> someone else answer one of his emails.
>
> So yes, everyone using gmail, check your spam folders.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Open letter: Issues needing addressing by the Wikimedia Foundation's Board of Trustees

2016-02-29 Thread Kevin Smith
I think some people aren't realizing the difference between the leaked
presentation (which outlined a general search engine) and the actual grant.
The former was just an idea, while the latter is official. By my reading,
the grant clearly is NOT for a general internet search engine, although it
(unfortunately) did retain a bit of the language from earlier documents.

Also, I think I disagree with this statement:

> It envisages a volunteer-curated search engine drawing on a whole host of
> sources from within and outside of the Wikimedia universe, with output
> vectors including "Mobile", "API", "Kindle" and "Apps".
>
> This is part of the overall strategy to this day. Consultation would
really
> be appropriate here.

The only "volunteer curation" I see in the actual grant can be covered by
the curation of Wikidata that volunteers are already doing. I don't see
anything in the grant that relies on volunteers signing up for additional
work.

To my knowledge, drawing on non-Wikimedia sources is still in the
"strategy" (or more accurately the roadmap) in two ways: 1) OpenStreetMap
data is already being used in limited ways, and 2) other free information
sources are only being considered in a vague "maybe someday but not this
year" way.

I don't recall hearing of any plans for Kindle support, but we do already
support APIs and mobile apps, and will (presumably) continue to expand
both. If Kindle support were considered at some point (past or future),
that wouldn't seem like a radical step to me.

I say all of this as someone who works closely with the Discovery team. If
I'm mistaken on any of the facts, please let me know.



Kevin Smith
Agile Coach, Wikimedia Foundation


On Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 3:41 PM, SarahSV  wrote:

> On Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 8:00 AM, Jimmy Wales 
> wrote:
>
> >
> > James had gotten, from somewhere, the idea that there really was a
> > secret project to build a Google-competing search engine.  We had a
> > discussion where I told him that wasn't right.  We had further
> > discussions at the board level of what it means, and eventually James
> > himself made the motion to approve the Knight grant, and voted in favor
> > of it.
> >
> >
>
> ​Jimmy, this is something I find disturbing.
>
> In October 2015 James opposed accepting the grant application because of
> the lack of clarity and transparency around it. [1] But on 7 November he
> not only formally supported its acceptance, but actually proposed it to the
> Board. [2]
>
> James has written that he did this "following pressure which included
> comments about potentially removing members of the Board." [3] He wrote:
> "Jimmy Wales had made comments about removing other board members during
> the days before the Knight grant vote. I believed that my opposing at that
> point in time would have changed nothing (because there were not enough
> opposing votes to block it), and doing so would have led to my removal."
> [4]
>
> After his removal, you used that he had proposed accepting the grant to
> show that he was being inconsistent. You later called it a "flat out lie"
> that any board member had put pressure on him. [5]
>
> James is an honest and independent-minded person. If he says he acted under
> pressure, he did. That doesn't mean anyone intended him to feel that way,
> of course. But please say whether you said anything about removing board
> members during, or in the days leading up to, that meeting.
>
> If James did feel so much pressure that he acted against his own views, it
> raises the question of whether other trustees have been similarly affected,
> now or in the past. When we elect trustees, we need to know that they're
> going to make their own decisions.
>
> This is one of the many reasons we need all the emails to be released, as
> well as all documentation around the Knowledge Engine and Knight grant.
>
> Sarah
>
> [1]
>
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/2016-02-03/In_focus
>
> [2]
>
> https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Minutes/2015-11-07#Knight_Foundation_Grant
>
> [3]
>
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/2016-02-03/In_focus
>
> [4]
>
> https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=User_talk:Doc_James=prev=704867811
>
> [5]
>
> https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=User_talk:Jimbo_Wales=prev=704228495
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] I am going to San Francisco

2016-02-29 Thread Andreas Kolbe
On Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 10:23 PM, Chris Keating 
wrote:

> On Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 9:39 PM, Oliver Keyes  wrote:
> **To that end, the Board remains unanimously committed in
> > our support of Lila in her role** and in her efforts to adapt her
> > leadership and to address these issues."



> > Asterisks mine. If your commitment and straw poll wasn't unanimous
> > your chair lied to staff, and that's not a great opening to our
> > rebuilding.
>
>
> If the Board had decided, formally or informally, not to sack Lila in their
> November meeting then frankly "unanimous commitment to support her" is the
> only thing they could have done.
>
> The only course of action open to a Trustee who felt they *could not*
> support Lila continuing, if there was no majority to sack her right away,
> would have been to resign themselves (which none of them did).
>


Chris,

I really, really disagree.

If a board does "straw polls" to avoid having to record votes in the public
minutes, that is a problem.

If the chair of the board says the board is unanimous when the board is not
unanimous, that is a problem.

If a board feels dissenting board members have to resign, that is a problem.



> Doubtless many of them used "support" in the meaning of "do whatever is in
> their power to help improve Lila's performance and reduce stress on the
> staff, while keeping a very close eye to see whether their original
> instinct was in fact correct and whether Lila's departure was in fact
> inevitable."
>


This is not, I repeat NOT, what "unanimously committed in our support of
Lila in her role" means to the casual reader.

Please don't defend people writing in riddles.

There seems to be this idea in the Wikimedia universe that it's okay for
leading Wikimedia lights to write messages whose surface meaning turns out
be at stark variance with the facts, as long as it can be shown with
hindsight that there is a particular way of parsing the statement that
makes it compatible with those facts.

This sort of sophistry is not helpful. It does not build trust.

It's like me telling you "There isn't a single error in this document." So
you proceed on the assumption that the document is correct. And when you
find out, to your cost, that what the document said was complete
balderdash, I then turn around and tell you, "I never said the document was
correct. It is a total lie to claim I said that. I said that it didn't
contain a single error, and I absolutely stand by my statement. What I said
was 100% correct. The document contains hundreds of errors, not a single
one."

How much trust would you have in anything I might tell you next time?

If leaders have something to say, they should make every effort to say it
in such a way that anyone capable of speaking English understands it the
right way the first time, rather than sculpting sentences with hidden
trapdoors yielding secret meanings diametrically opposed to what the
message seemed to mean.



> (I also fail to see how the knowledge that the WMF Board retained
> confidence in the ED's abilities by a 5-4 or 7-2 or whatever vote would
> have helped *anyone* in November)
>


No. You are either transparent and honest, or you are not.

Andreas
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wmfall] Inspire Campaign on content curation & review launches today!

2016-02-29 Thread Aaron Halfaker
I just finished submitting two ideas that I'd like to advise.

https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:IdeaLab/Automated_good-faith_newcomer_detection
Build and deploy a machine learning model for flagging newcomers who are
editing in good-faith. This has the potential to mitigate some of the
secondary, demotivational effects when good-faith newcomers' work passes
through curation/review processes.

https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:IdeaLab/Fast_and_slow_new_article_review
Concerns about the introduction of spam into Wikipedia has lead Wikipedians
towards implementing high speed new article review/curation processes. The
speed at which editors tag articles for deletion via these processes is
great for dealing with spam, but it might also be faster that good-faith
new article creators can build their articles. We could build a machine
learning classifier that is tuned to detect spammy article drafts. This
would allow the new pages queue to be split into a high-speed spammy
article review, and a low-speed article review that allows creators time to
make a better first draft.

I'll submit some more when I can.  :)

On Sun, Feb 28, 2016 at 4:56 PM, Chris "Jethro" Schilling <
cschill...@wikimedia.org> wrote:

> Hi everyone,
>
> I am pleased to announce the launch of the second Inspire Campaign for
> IdeaLab.[1]  The theme of this campaign is focused on improving tasks
> related to content curation & review in our projects:
>
> 
>
> Reviewing and organizing tasks are fundamental to all WIkimedia projects,
> and these efforts maintain and directly improve the quality of our projects
> in addition to increasing the visibility of their content.  We invite
> everyone to participate by sharing your ideas and proposals on how to
> enhance these efforts. Constructive feedback and collaboration on ideas is
> encouraged - your skills and advice can elevate a project into action. The
> campaign runs until 29 March.
>
> All proposals are welcome - research projects, technical solutions,
> community organizing and outreach, or something completely new! Grants are
> available from the Wikimedia Foundation for projects developed during this
> campaign that need financial support.[2]  Google Hangout sessions are
> available in March if you'd like to have a conversation about your ideas.[3]
>
> Join the Inspire Campaign and let’s work together to improve review and
> curation tasks so that we can make our content more meaningful and
> accessible.
>
> With thanks,
>
> Jethro
>
> [1] You can learn more about the results of the first Inspire Campaign
> here: <
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Research:Spring_2015_Inspire_campaign>
> [2] 
> [3]   (Note: If
> another time would work better for you, feel free to e-mail me or ping me
> on-wiki).
>
> ---
> Chris "Jethro" Schilling
> I JethroBT (WMF) 
> Community Organizer, Wikimedia Foundation
> 
>
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> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wmfall
>
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] My posts going to spam

2016-02-29 Thread SarahSV
On Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 3:10 PM, George Herbert 
wrote:

>
> Just to confirm, all Jimmy's email in these threads were in my Gmail spam
> folder when I looked.
>
> If you're using Gmail, go look at the spam folder and bring his messages
> back in...
>
>
That is why I asked Jimmy a question yesterday that he had already answered
in another thread. I wasn't aware that he had been replying until I saw
someone else answer one of his emails.

So yes, everyone using gmail, check your spam folders.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Open letter: Issues needing addressing by the Wikimedia Foundation's Board of Trustees

2016-02-29 Thread SarahSV
On Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 8:00 AM, Jimmy Wales 
wrote:

>
> James had gotten, from somewhere, the idea that there really was a
> secret project to build a Google-competing search engine.  We had a
> discussion where I told him that wasn't right.  We had further
> discussions at the board level of what it means, and eventually James
> himself made the motion to approve the Knight grant, and voted in favor
> of it.
>
>

​Jimmy, this is something I find disturbing.

In October 2015 James opposed accepting the grant application because of
the lack of clarity and transparency around it. [1] But on 7 November he
not only formally supported its acceptance, but actually proposed it to the
Board. [2]

James has written that he did this "following pressure which included
comments about potentially removing members of the Board." [3] He wrote:
"Jimmy Wales had made comments about removing other board members during
the days before the Knight grant vote. I believed that my opposing at that
point in time would have changed nothing (because there were not enough
opposing votes to block it), and doing so would have led to my removal." [4]

After his removal, you used that he had proposed accepting the grant to
show that he was being inconsistent. You later called it a "flat out lie"
that any board member had put pressure on him. [5]

James is an honest and independent-minded person. If he says he acted under
pressure, he did. That doesn't mean anyone intended him to feel that way,
of course. But please say whether you said anything about removing board
members during, or in the days leading up to, that meeting.

If James did feel so much pressure that he acted against his own views, it
raises the question of whether other trustees have been similarly affected,
now or in the past. When we elect trustees, we need to know that they're
going to make their own decisions.

This is one of the many reasons we need all the emails to be released, as
well as all documentation around the Knowledge Engine and Knight grant.

Sarah

[1]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/2016-02-03/In_focus

[2]
https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Minutes/2015-11-07#Knight_Foundation_Grant

[3]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/2016-02-03/In_focus

[4]
https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=User_talk:Doc_James=prev=704867811

[5]
https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=User_talk:Jimbo_Wales=prev=704228495
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [WMCEE-l] Wikimedia Ukraine’s Board

2016-02-29 Thread Asaf Bartov
Welcome, new board members, and thank you for your service, departing
members.

And thank you, Nataliia, for taking the time to introduce them to folks who
haven't had the opportunity to get to know them in person.

   A.

On Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 2:09 PM, attolippip  wrote:

> Dear all,
>
> I want formally introduce to you Wikimedia Ukraine’s Board, elected by our
> General Assembly on December 27, 2015.
>
> We can do it only now, as we have just recently successfully completed the
> requirements from our state to change the people responsible for the
> chapter officially [1].
>
> Three people has decided not to run this year, and I want to thank them
> wholeheartedly for all their time and efforts spent on our projects and
> making this world better for a change:
>
>
>-
>
>[[User:Amakuha]], Andrii Makuha. He has been our Chair for the last
>two years; his calm personality helped us a lot, especially during the most
>turbulent times of transferring «power» from one to another Chapter Board
>«without pain» [2], as Andrii has tried his best to understand everyone and
>continue the dialogues even when it seems that we won’t be able to come to
>any acceptable terms. By the way, awarding Wikizghushchivka [3] was his
>idea.
>-
>
>[[User:NickK]], Mykola Kozlenko, our Treasurer, with great analytical
>skills and profound knowledge about the Community (and I am talking not
>only about our local community, but the global one as well) and the
>Wikimedia Movement. He is actively engaged in Wikimedia Ukraine’s projects,
>though he lives in France and can contribute almost only via Internet. But
>he was able to be a vital part of organizing the rather successful regional
>conference WIkimedia CEE Meeting in Kyiv in December 2014.
>-
>
>[[User:Ліонкінг]], Levon Azizian. He is a lawyer in real life, a
>passionate Wiki(m|p)edian. He is blessed with the skills to make the
>dreams ideas come into reality, as he is very convincing and one
>just gets the feeling that (s)he can do it. And so they do it :) And then
>there is only a pure wonder of: wow, we have organized a wikiconference in
>2 weeks; wow, we have organized a CEE Meeting in a month; wow, we can
>actually (but it is really hard!) organize wikitrainings for two weeks
>non-stop in Luhansk region, go to librarians, preach about editing
>Wikipedia… and just around the corner there is a real war zone…
>
>
> These three are my dear friends, and I was really sorry to see them not
> running. But it was our dream from a long ago: to have more great
> Wiki(m|p)edians join the chapter and get interested in our projects. So
> here we have our newly elected three Board members:
>
>
>-
>
>[[User:Olena Zakharian]], Olena Zakharian. She was (and still is!) our
>press secretary, she is very keen about Nature and Freedom of Speech, she
>believes in our Mission and has contributed greatly to most of our projects
>before and she is a crucial part of our Board becoming more transparent for
>our Community.
>-
>
>[[User:Helgi]], Oleh Yatsozhynskyi. He is an active member of
>Ukrainian Wikipedia community, he has joined the organization only in
>September, but he is an invaluable part of us now (especially his
>directness :)) He is responsible for Wikiexpeditions now [4], and he is
>full of ideas and desire to implement them (and that’s something really
>really important, you know)
>-
>
>[[User:Pavlo1]], Pavlo Lakiichuk. He is the Secretary of the Board
>now, so he is responsible for all the boring stuff around the process of
>making decisions. He is also an active member of our local community, he
>cares about wikiprojects a lot. He has initiated a number of meetings for
>creators of “real” encyclopedias and wikipedians to talk a few issues over
>and get to know each other better (well, it works! quite a few myths were
>dismissed by talking over a cup of tea :) )
>
>
> The other four members of the Board, re-elected for this year, are:
>
>-
>
>[[User:Ilya]], Illia Korniiko. He is our Chair now. He codes. :) WLX
>Jury Tool is his pet project, but he was deprived of almost all chances to
>work on it, as our state’s bureaucratic system is quite a monster to
>overcome...
>-
>
>[[User:Юрій Булка]], Yurii Bulka. He is responsible for Wikipedia
>Education Program in Ukraine. And he was the one to suggest and implement
>the project of digitizing and making available the phonograph cylinder
>collection of Filaret Kolessa (early 20th century) [5]
>-
>
>[[User:Friend]], Pavlo Sokhan. He is an administrator of uk.wikiquote,
>works in a library. He has contributed greatly into organizing of the first
>Wikimedia CEE Spring article contest in 2015. He is now responsible for our
>book scanning kit [6] and we hope to get lots of stuff 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] I am going to San Francisco

2016-02-29 Thread Oliver Keyes
On Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 5:23 PM, Chris Keating
 wrote:
> On Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 9:39 PM, Oliver Keyes  wrote:
>
>> On Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 2:58 PM, James Heilman  wrote:
>> > Regarding to Oliver's comment: "My concern is that when staff reached out
>> > the Board replied with a letter indicating they had full and unanimous
>> > confidence in our
>> > leadership."
>> >
>> > This statement is not really true. We had a formal vote regarding the ED
>> in
>> > November and it was not unanimous. The vote unfortunately has not yet
>> been
>> > made public.
>> >
>>
>> Very well, let me quote directly from the email sent to staff by
>> Patricio Lorente in his role as Chair of the Board:
>>
>> "We are working with Lila to put together a plan to address these
>> issues. We are confident that she has the capability and the
>> commitment needed for this challenging time, and we know that, at the
>> present time, she is listening carefully to the Board, to you, and to
>> the community. **To that end, the Board remains unanimously committed in
>> our support of Lila in her role** and in her efforts to adapt her
>> leadership and to address these issues."
>>
>> Asterisks mine. If your commitment and straw poll wasn't unanimous
>> your chair lied to staff, and that's not a great opening to our
>> rebuilding.
>
>
> If the Board had decided, formally or informally, not to sack Lila in their
> November meeting then frankly "unanimous commitment to support her" is the
> only thing they could have done.
>
> The only course of action open to a Trustee who felt they *could not*
> support Lila continuing, if there was no majority to sack her right away,
> would have been to resign themselves (which none of them did).
>
> Doubtless many of them used "support" in the meaning of "do whatever is in
> their power to help improve Lila's performance and reduce stress on the
> staff, while keeping a very close eye to see whether their original
> instinct was in fact correct and whether Lila's departure was in fact
> inevitable."
>
> (I also fail to see how the knowledge that the WMF Board retained
> confidence in the ED's abilities by a 5-4 or 7-2 or whatever vote would
> have helped *anyone* in November)
>

Well, for me at least it would have given the impression that there
was actually support and genuine empathy and understanding of the
issues and concerns at the board's end. Because what "unanimous"
achieved - beyond, as we're now discovering, apparently not being
true, or at least being very economical with the truth - was conveying
the message that the board was not particularly worried. That the
efforts staff had made to surface issues, at risk to their own neck,
had not been convincing, and that we were essentially on our own when
it came to working out the problems.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] I am going to San Francisco

2016-02-29 Thread Chris Keating
On Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 9:39 PM, Oliver Keyes  wrote:

> On Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 2:58 PM, James Heilman  wrote:
> > Regarding to Oliver's comment: "My concern is that when staff reached out
> > the Board replied with a letter indicating they had full and unanimous
> > confidence in our
> > leadership."
> >
> > This statement is not really true. We had a formal vote regarding the ED
> in
> > November and it was not unanimous. The vote unfortunately has not yet
> been
> > made public.
> >
>
> Very well, let me quote directly from the email sent to staff by
> Patricio Lorente in his role as Chair of the Board:
>
> "We are working with Lila to put together a plan to address these
> issues. We are confident that she has the capability and the
> commitment needed for this challenging time, and we know that, at the
> present time, she is listening carefully to the Board, to you, and to
> the community. **To that end, the Board remains unanimously committed in
> our support of Lila in her role** and in her efforts to adapt her
> leadership and to address these issues."
>
> Asterisks mine. If your commitment and straw poll wasn't unanimous
> your chair lied to staff, and that's not a great opening to our
> rebuilding.


If the Board had decided, formally or informally, not to sack Lila in their
November meeting then frankly "unanimous commitment to support her" is the
only thing they could have done.

The only course of action open to a Trustee who felt they *could not*
support Lila continuing, if there was no majority to sack her right away,
would have been to resign themselves (which none of them did).

Doubtless many of them used "support" in the meaning of "do whatever is in
their power to help improve Lila's performance and reduce stress on the
staff, while keeping a very close eye to see whether their original
instinct was in fact correct and whether Lila's departure was in fact
inevitable."

(I also fail to see how the knowledge that the WMF Board retained
confidence in the ED's abilities by a 5-4 or 7-2 or whatever vote would
have helped *anyone* in November)

Regards,

Chris
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] My posts going to spam

2016-02-29 Thread George Herbert

Just to confirm, all Jimmy's email in these threads were in my Gmail spam 
folder when I looked.

If you're using Gmail, go look at the spam folder and bring his messages back 
in...


George William Herbert
Sent from my iPhone

> On Feb 29, 2016, at 5:37 AM, Jimmy Wales  wrote:
> 
> I'm switching to this email address for posting, because apparently
> there is some kind of weird problem between yahoo and google such that
> gmail users see all or most of my messages in their SPAM folder.
> 
> If you've asked me something and think that I didn't respond, I
> recommend looking there.
> 
> 
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[Wikimedia-l] Wikimedia Ukraine’s Board

2016-02-29 Thread attolippip
Dear all,

I want formally introduce to you Wikimedia Ukraine’s Board, elected by our
General Assembly on December 27, 2015.

We can do it only now, as we have just recently successfully completed the
requirements from our state to change the people responsible for the
chapter officially [1].

Three people has decided not to run this year, and I want to thank them
wholeheartedly for all their time and efforts spent on our projects and
making this world better for a change:


   -

   [[User:Amakuha]], Andrii Makuha. He has been our Chair for the last two
   years; his calm personality helped us a lot, especially during the most
   turbulent times of transferring «power» from one to another Chapter Board
   «without pain» [2], as Andrii has tried his best to understand everyone and
   continue the dialogues even when it seems that we won’t be able to come to
   any acceptable terms. By the way, awarding Wikizghushchivka [3] was his
   idea.
   -

   [[User:NickK]], Mykola Kozlenko, our Treasurer, with great analytical
   skills and profound knowledge about the Community (and I am talking not
   only about our local community, but the global one as well) and the
   Wikimedia Movement. He is actively engaged in Wikimedia Ukraine’s projects,
   though he lives in France and can contribute almost only via Internet. But
   he was able to be a vital part of organizing the rather successful regional
   conference WIkimedia CEE Meeting in Kyiv in December 2014.
   -

   [[User:Ліонкінг]], Levon Azizian. He is a lawyer in real life, a
   passionate Wiki(m|p)edian. He is blessed with the skills to make the
   dreams ideas come into reality, as he is very convincing and one
   just gets the feeling that (s)he can do it. And so they do it :) And then
   there is only a pure wonder of: wow, we have organized a wikiconference in
   2 weeks; wow, we have organized a CEE Meeting in a month; wow, we can
   actually (but it is really hard!) organize wikitrainings for two weeks
   non-stop in Luhansk region, go to librarians, preach about editing
   Wikipedia… and just around the corner there is a real war zone…


These three are my dear friends, and I was really sorry to see them not
running. But it was our dream from a long ago: to have more great
Wiki(m|p)edians join the chapter and get interested in our projects. So
here we have our newly elected three Board members:


   -

   [[User:Olena Zakharian]], Olena Zakharian. She was (and still is!) our
   press secretary, she is very keen about Nature and Freedom of Speech, she
   believes in our Mission and has contributed greatly to most of our projects
   before and she is a crucial part of our Board becoming more transparent for
   our Community.
   -

   [[User:Helgi]], Oleh Yatsozhynskyi. He is an active member of Ukrainian
   Wikipedia community, he has joined the organization only in September, but
   he is an invaluable part of us now (especially his directness :)) He is
   responsible for Wikiexpeditions now [4], and he is full of ideas and desire
   to implement them (and that’s something really really important, you know)
   -

   [[User:Pavlo1]], Pavlo Lakiichuk. He is the Secretary of the Board now,
   so he is responsible for all the boring stuff around the process of making
   decisions. He is also an active member of our local community, he cares
   about wikiprojects a lot. He has initiated a number of meetings for
   creators of “real” encyclopedias and wikipedians to talk a few issues over
   and get to know each other better (well, it works! quite a few myths were
   dismissed by talking over a cup of tea :) )


The other four members of the Board, re-elected for this year, are:

   -

   [[User:Ilya]], Illia Korniiko. He is our Chair now. He codes. :) WLX
   Jury Tool is his pet project, but he was deprived of almost all chances to
   work on it, as our state’s bureaucratic system is quite a monster to
   overcome...
   -

   [[User:Юрій Булка]], Yurii Bulka. He is responsible for Wikipedia
   Education Program in Ukraine. And he was the one to suggest and implement
   the project of digitizing and making available the phonograph cylinder
   collection of Filaret Kolessa (early 20th century) [5]
   -

   [[User:Friend]], Pavlo Sokhan. He is an administrator of uk.wikiquote,
   works in a library. He has contributed greatly into organizing of the first
   Wikimedia CEE Spring article contest in 2015. He is now responsible for our
   book scanning kit [6] and we hope to get lots of stuff scanned and uploaded
   to Wikiprojects :)
   -

   and [[user:antanana]], Nataliia Tymkiv. I am an administrator of
   Ukrainian Wikipedia, and I am quite active in a lot of Wikimedia Ukraine’s
   projects. I am a member of Simple Annual Plan Grants Committee [7]


I am sorry for a bit long introduction. But I do believe that it is vital
for us all to work together, so even if you do not read the whole letter
and remember all the names, you’ll be able to find the info 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikimedia Announcements] A workshop on harassment

2016-02-29 Thread Patrick Earley
Lodewijk, thanks for the feedback! I'll reply on Meta ...

On Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 1:14 PM, Lodewijk 
wrote:

> Hi Patrick,
>
> 'workshop' shouts to me that it is a real life, real time event that people
> can register for, and attend (in person or remotely). The page seems to
> suggest however (at a quick glance) that it is rather an online discussion
> forum. Maybe good to clarify that immediately at the top of the page, given
> the potentially confusing title that it has.
>
> Another thing I would find helpful (maybe a bit too obvious for you) is
> clearly stating expectations and goals at the top. What are you trying to
> accomplish? (options that come to mind is reducing harassment, or helping
> people to deal with (accept? fight? hide?) harrassment. I expect the
> first).
>
> Finally, a thing that was also mentioned by Liz at the page (and maybe by
> others), is that in a multilingual community like ours, it is really tough
> to discuss sensitive issues like this without a very clear understanding of
> what we're talking about. People probably have very different expectations
> of what you mean with 'harrassment'. My first thought with the word was
> basically sexual or physical harrassment, with real life or near-real life
> aspects. At Wikimania I got a better understanding that apparently others
> were using a much wider definition of the word.
>
> Hopefully will clarifications like the above on the page reduce the
> threshold to participate, especially for those that are not native speakers
> (and who have more trouble to read through the whole page to get an
> understanding).
>
> Best,
> Lodewijk
> (also posted this on the talkpage)
>
> On Sat, Feb 27, 2016 at 3:27 AM, Patrick Earley 
> wrote:
>
> > Hello all,
> >
> > With a lot of discussion on multiple issues going on, I know it can be
> > hard to find time or "bandwidth" for an problem with no easy solutions.
> > But some of the community has started to work on some approaches to the
> > problem of harassment at the workshop on Meta. [1]
> >
> > It's an issue that isn't going away on its own, and we've started
> > gathering some possible ways forward.  We'd love to see you there.
> >
> > [1] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Harassment_workshop
> >
> > Best regards,
> >
> > --
> > Patrick Earley
> > Senior Community Advocate
> > Wikimedia Foundation
> > pear...@wikimedia.org
> > (1) 415 975 1874
> >
> > ___
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> > directed to Wikimedia-l, the public mailing list of the Wikimedia
> > community. For more information about Wikimedia-l:
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Wikimedia Foundation
pear...@wikimedia.org
(1) 415 975 1874
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] I am going to San Francisco

2016-02-29 Thread Joseph Seddon
Similarly the following remark was made by Patricio at the all staff
meeting in November:

*"I want all of you know that the Board unanimously agreed to support our
current leadership."*

I would ask for the sake of the staff and community that a speedy and clear
explanation of whatever vote occurred be made.

Seddon

On Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 9:39 PM, Oliver Keyes  wrote:

> On Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 2:58 PM, James Heilman  wrote:
> > Regarding to Oliver's comment: "My concern is that when staff reached out
> > the Board replied with a letter indicating they had full and unanimous
> > confidence in our
> > leadership."
> >
> > This statement is not really true. We had a formal vote regarding the ED
> in
> > November and it was not unanimous. The vote unfortunately has not yet
> been
> > made public.
> >
>
> Very well, let me quote directly from the email sent to staff by
> Patricio Lorente in his role as Chair of the Board:
>
> "We are working with Lila to put together a plan to address these
> issues. We are confident that she has the capability and the
> commitment needed for this challenging time, and we know that, at the
> present time, she is listening carefully to the Board, to you, and to
> the community. **To that end, the Board remains unanimously committed in
> our support of Lila in her role** and in her efforts to adapt her
> leadership and to address these issues."
>
> Asterisks mine. If your commitment and straw poll wasn't unanimous
> your chair lied to staff, and that's not a great opening to our
> rebuilding.
>
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*Advancement Associate (Community Engagement)*
*Wikimedia Foundation*
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] I am going to San Francisco

2016-02-29 Thread Oliver Keyes
On Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 2:58 PM, James Heilman  wrote:
> Regarding to Oliver's comment: "My concern is that when staff reached out
> the Board replied with a letter indicating they had full and unanimous
> confidence in our
> leadership."
>
> This statement is not really true. We had a formal vote regarding the ED in
> November and it was not unanimous. The vote unfortunately has not yet been
> made public.
>

Very well, let me quote directly from the email sent to staff by
Patricio Lorente in his role as Chair of the Board:

"We are working with Lila to put together a plan to address these
issues. We are confident that she has the capability and the
commitment needed for this challenging time, and we know that, at the
present time, she is listening carefully to the Board, to you, and to
the community. **To that end, the Board remains unanimously committed in
our support of Lila in her role** and in her efforts to adapt her
leadership and to address these issues."

Asterisks mine. If your commitment and straw poll wasn't unanimous
your chair lied to staff, and that's not a great opening to our
rebuilding.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikimedia Announcements] A workshop on harassment

2016-02-29 Thread Lodewijk
Hi Patrick,

'workshop' shouts to me that it is a real life, real time event that people
can register for, and attend (in person or remotely). The page seems to
suggest however (at a quick glance) that it is rather an online discussion
forum. Maybe good to clarify that immediately at the top of the page, given
the potentially confusing title that it has.

Another thing I would find helpful (maybe a bit too obvious for you) is
clearly stating expectations and goals at the top. What are you trying to
accomplish? (options that come to mind is reducing harassment, or helping
people to deal with (accept? fight? hide?) harrassment. I expect the
first).

Finally, a thing that was also mentioned by Liz at the page (and maybe by
others), is that in a multilingual community like ours, it is really tough
to discuss sensitive issues like this without a very clear understanding of
what we're talking about. People probably have very different expectations
of what you mean with 'harrassment'. My first thought with the word was
basically sexual or physical harrassment, with real life or near-real life
aspects. At Wikimania I got a better understanding that apparently others
were using a much wider definition of the word.

Hopefully will clarifications like the above on the page reduce the
threshold to participate, especially for those that are not native speakers
(and who have more trouble to read through the whole page to get an
understanding).

Best,
Lodewijk
(also posted this on the talkpage)

On Sat, Feb 27, 2016 at 3:27 AM, Patrick Earley 
wrote:

> Hello all,
>
> With a lot of discussion on multiple issues going on, I know it can be
> hard to find time or "bandwidth" for an problem with no easy solutions.
> But some of the community has started to work on some approaches to the
> problem of harassment at the workshop on Meta. [1]
>
> It's an issue that isn't going away on its own, and we've started
> gathering some possible ways forward.  We'd love to see you there.
>
> [1] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Harassment_workshop
>
> Best regards,
>
> --
> Patrick Earley
> Senior Community Advocate
> Wikimedia Foundation
> pear...@wikimedia.org
> (1) 415 975 1874
>
> ___
> Please note: all replies sent to this mailing list will be immediately
> directed to Wikimedia-l, the public mailing list of the Wikimedia
> community. For more information about Wikimedia-l:
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[Wikimedia-l] I am going to San Francisco

2016-02-29 Thread James Heilman
No, I am not making a general statement about what should go in the
minutes. But in this case, the chair of the board (and others, I believe)
have misrepresented things. I mentioned the vote (irrespective of whether I
can prove it) as a piece of evidence that exists to prove the decision was
not unanimous.

-- 
James Heilman
MD, CCFP-EM, Wikipedian

The Wikipedia Open Textbook of Medicine
www.opentextbookofmedicine.com
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] I am going to San Francisco

2016-02-29 Thread Pierre-Selim
2016-02-29 20:58 GMT+01:00 James Heilman :

> Regarding to Oliver's comment: "My concern is that when staff reached out
> the Board replied with a letter indicating they had full and unanimous
> confidence in our
> leadership."
>
> This statement is not really true. We had a formal vote regarding the ED in
> November and it was not unanimous. The vote unfortunately has not yet been
> made public.
>

Just a question, do you think transparency is about having those kind of
vote in
public minutes ? The comment you made worries me a lot.


> --
> James Heilman
> MD, CCFP-EM, Wikipedian
>
> The Wikipedia Open Textbook of Medicine
> www.opentextbookofmedicine.com
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Pierre-Selim
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[Wikimedia-l] I am going to San Francisco

2016-02-29 Thread James Heilman
I have been sent a possible correction. When I had stated a "formal vote"
had taken place some are of the position that this was simple a straw poll.
Not sure if Geoff Brigham can clarify.

-- 
James Heilman
MD, CCFP-EM, Wikipedian

The Wikipedia Open Textbook of Medicine
www.opentextbookofmedicine.com
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Affiliate-selected Board seats] Christophe Henner candidacy

2016-02-29 Thread Chris Keating
Hello all,

Also, if there are questions you would like to see all candidates
answering, please could you put them on this page:

https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Affiliate-selected_Board_seats/2016/Questions

Thanks,

Chris
(Election facilitator)

On Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 5:45 PM, Christophe Henner <
christophe.hen...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi everyone,
>
> A week ago I published my candidacy to the Affiliates-Selected Board Seats
> process :
>
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Affiliate-selected_Board_seats/2016/Nominations/Christophe_Henner
>
> I'll be happy to answer any questions you may have, including (but not
> only) funny ones, on the talk page :
>
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:Affiliate-selected_Board_seats/2016/Nominations/Christophe_Henner
>
>
> All the best,
>
> --
> Christophe
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Help a Wikipedia & Commons volunteer raise funds for a new computer.

2016-02-29 Thread Mardetanha
He deserves all help that we give to him, thanks for sharing this


Mardetanha

On Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 9:14 PM, Natalia Szafran-Kozakowska <
natalia.szaf...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi all
>
> You probably know Jacek Halicki[1]. And even if you don't - you probably
> have seen his pictures. Jacek has contributed about 9000 photographs to
> Wikimedia Commons (many of them are Quality, Featured or Good Images). It
> was not easy for him - Jacek has a severe mobility impairment and is unable
> to walk on his own. He moves around on a special tricycle. Imagine how hard
> it is for a photographer, especially if he specializes in photographing
> narrow streets of small towns.
> Jacek has done a lot for Wikimedia projects. And now he needs our help. His
> computer has been stolen from him, and without it he can't share his works
> with Wikimedia projects. He has started a campaign[2] to raise funds for a
> new computer. Please support him in any way you can. By contributing or
> just sharing the story with your friends or through social media. Thank
> you!
>
> [1] https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Jacek_Halicki
> [2]
>
> https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/help-jacek-halicki-buy-a-new-computer--2#/story
>
>
> Natalia Szafran-Kozakowska
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[Wikimedia-l] I am going to San Francisco

2016-02-29 Thread James Heilman
Regarding to Oliver's comment: "My concern is that when staff reached out
the Board replied with a letter indicating they had full and unanimous
confidence in our
leadership."

This statement is not really true. We had a formal vote regarding the ED in
November and it was not unanimous. The vote unfortunately has not yet been
made public.

--
James Heilman
MD, CCFP-EM, Wikipedian

The Wikipedia Open Textbook of Medicine
www.opentextbookofmedicine.com
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[Wikimedia-l] A quick note about the future

2016-02-29 Thread James Heilman
@ Newyorkbrad

I agree that nothing needs to be kept secret for my sake. I am have always
been fully supportive of discussing the issue of board conduct and my
removal.

-- 
James Heilman
MD, CCFP-EM, Wikipedian

The Wikipedia Open Textbook of Medicine
www.opentextbookofmedicine.com
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[Wikimedia-l] My posts going to spam

2016-02-29 Thread Jimmy Wales
I'm switching to this email address for posting, because apparently
there is some kind of weird problem between yahoo and google such that
gmail users see all or most of my messages in their SPAM folder.

If you've asked me something and think that I didn't respond, I
recommend looking there.


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[Wikimedia-l] [Affiliate-selected Board seats] Christophe Henner candidacy

2016-02-29 Thread Christophe Henner
Hi everyone,

A week ago I published my candidacy to the Affiliates-Selected Board Seats
process :
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Affiliate-selected_Board_seats/2016/Nominations/Christophe_Henner

I'll be happy to answer any questions you may have, including (but not
only) funny ones, on the talk page :
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:Affiliate-selected_Board_seats/2016/Nominations/Christophe_Henner


All the best,

--
Christophe
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[Wikimedia-l] Help a Wikipedia & Commons volunteer raise funds for a new computer.

2016-02-29 Thread Natalia Szafran-Kozakowska
Hi all

You probably know Jacek Halicki[1]. And even if you don't - you probably
have seen his pictures. Jacek has contributed about 9000 photographs to
Wikimedia Commons (many of them are Quality, Featured or Good Images). It
was not easy for him - Jacek has a severe mobility impairment and is unable
to walk on his own. He moves around on a special tricycle. Imagine how hard
it is for a photographer, especially if he specializes in photographing
narrow streets of small towns.
Jacek has done a lot for Wikimedia projects. And now he needs our help. His
computer has been stolen from him, and without it he can't share his works
with Wikimedia projects. He has started a campaign[2] to raise funds for a
new computer. Please support him in any way you can. By contributing or
just sharing the story with your friends or through social media. Thank
you!

[1] https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Jacek_Halicki
[2]
https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/help-jacek-halicki-buy-a-new-computer--2#/story


Natalia Szafran-Kozakowska
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Free as in beer

2016-02-29 Thread isacdaavid



Le lun. 29 févr. 2016 à 9:19, Richard Symonds 
 a écrit :

I guess "free as in beer" has a slightly different meaning now!


This is not the first time libre beer is made: 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_Beer

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] 2016 Strategic Approaches Report

2016-02-29 Thread Maggie Dennis
Hello, Legoktm. :)

I've copied your questions to
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:2016_Strategy/Community_consultation
and will make sure those are seen. I don't know if our consultant has an
account on Wikimedia-L, and it'll probably be helpful to keep questions in
that one central place. Easier to track them for future, for instance. :)

Suzie is traveling today, so it may not be today that she is able to
respond.

Best,

Maggie

On Sun, Feb 28, 2016 at 3:19 AM, Legoktm 
wrote:

> Hi,
>
> On 02/26/2016 10:25 PM, Patrick Earley wrote:
> > A summary report of the first stage of community consultation for the
> 2016
> > Wikimedia Foundation strategy process has uploaded to Commons in PDF
> > format.[1]
>
> Two quick questions:
> 1. How was a user's "home wiki" determined?
> 2. Page 29 says that 17 users have 0 edits. AIUI you had to edit the
> wiki to participate, so how do they have 0 edits?
>
>
> > [1]
> >
> https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:2016_Strategic_Approaches_Report.pdf
>
> Thanks,
> -- Legoktm
>
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-- 
Maggie Dennis
Interim Sr. Director of Community Engagement
Director, Support and Safety
Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] I am going to San Francisco

2016-02-29 Thread Andreas Kolbe
On Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 4:44 PM, Oliver Keyes  wrote:

> So my concern is not that you lost touch with staff. I don't
> particularly care about any one person. My concern is that the *board*
> did. My concern is that when staff reached out the Board replied with
> a letter indicating they had full and unanimous confidence in our
> leadership. You indicating that you see a problem here and have some
> sympathy is nice; so is you visiting the office. So is Alice visiting
> the office. But nice is not sufficient.
>
> Guy Kawasaki, I believe, lives in the bay area (correct me if I'm
> wrong). Denny works a 10 minute walk from the office. Kelly's org is
> based in Mountain View. There are a whole host of trustees who could
> be making it into the office, experiencing the culture and the
> sentiment and the concerns directly. Why are they not coming in? Why
> are they not listening to people?
>


I must confess that this was my initial response as well.

My initial impression of Jimmy coming to SF was that this was a
self-selected PR exercise for Jimmy – borne out of a desire to be seen as
part of the solution of the problem, rather than part of its causes – and
not so much an effort by the Board to develop a better rapport with staff.

As you say, there are several board members who could comfortably pop in
for afternoon tea at the WMF office any day of the week.

Still, I hope the discussions with Jimmy and Alice in SF are fruitful.



> While I appreciate, deeply, both you and Alice coming in, I am unable
> to shake my concerns that the rest of the board making decisions
> informed not by their perspectives but by your recollection of your
> perspectives, is going to be tremendously limiting. We selected these
> people because we thought they had something to contribute we didn't
> already have: because their experiences would shape incoming
> information in new and interesting ways. So let them receive that
> information, and let them shape it. Let's have an informed board.
> Because trust isn't great, right now, and this last year should have
> made us steer *away* from processes with a small bus factor, not
> towards them.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] I am going to San Francisco

2016-02-29 Thread Oliver Keyes
On Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 9:13 AM, Jimmy Wales  wrote:
> On 2/29/16 2:25 AM, Molly White wrote:
>> Thank you for your reply, and I apologize for how late this one is. When
>> I asked how you intend to speak with the Board of Trustees and with staff, I
>> did not mean what technical means you will use. It doesn't much matter to me
>> whether you speak with them in person, over email, over Hangouts, or what 
>> have
>> you.
>
> Ah, ok. :)  I wondered why it mattered but thought I'd just answer
> plainly in case you were concerned that not doing it in person would
> fail to convey nuance, etc.  (A valid concern, always.)
>
>> I am instead concerned with how (and if) you will be able to clearly
>> communicate your discussions between these two groups, since you are 
>> apparently
>> the one doing so.
>
> I'm not the only one.  Alice is here in San Francisco, too.
>
>> Perhaps more concerning to me: do you intend to take steps to
>> make WMF staff comfortable speaking to you? If so, what are these steps? As
>> Oliver and others have made clear, staff have gone through what sounds like 
>> an
>> extended, traumatic period. I think the mass exodus of staff members makes 
>> that
>> very clear. Some have spoken of intimidation about speaking up with their
>> concerns. How will you ensure they don't feel the same around you?
>
> Sure.  It's a potentially tough problem, and likely made worse by a lot
> of misconceptions being thrown around by people who have misrepresented
> my views.  It's been claimed, for example, that I was the chief
> architect of a concept that staff shouldn't talk to board members -
> overcoming that misunderstanding is important to me.
>
> I am not involved at all in hiring and firing decisions, and don't
> intend to become so involved.  I'm not becoming the interim ED nor the
> permanent ED.  I've been here from the beginning and I am very
> passionate about Wikipedia and our mission.  I have no specific axe to
> grind other than that one.
>
> My heart is heavy about what has happened here, and one of the things
> that I feel most heavy about - and that I've heard from staff - is that
> I lost touch with them.  I remember driving to the November board
> meeting thinking "Well, this is going to be fairly routine and boring"
> because I had no idea what awaited me there - which was a train wreck of
> a meeting which left millions more questions than answers but which made
> it clear that something big was going on.

Well, to make my position as one (current, for a bit) staffer clear:
that *you* lost touch with things is not my worry. It's not the thing
I regret. This might simply be because I tend to treat you more as
"the guy who kicked things off and so has a board seat" rather than
"the carrier of the flame of What The Ethos Of Wikipedia Is". I rely
on the community trustees for that, because (1) the community ethos is
set by the community, not by what the community looked like in 2001
and (2) having a dependency on any one person is a terrible idea.

So my concern is not that you lost touch with staff. I don't
particularly care about any one person. My concern is that the *board*
did. My concern is that when staff reached out the Board replied with
a letter indicating they had full and unanimous confidence in our
leadership. You indicating that you see a problem here and have some
sympathy is nice; so is you visiting the office. So is Alice visiting
the office. But nice is not sufficient.

Guy Kawasaki, I believe, lives in the bay area (correct me if I'm
wrong). Denny works a 10 minute walk from the office. Kelly's org is
based in Mountain View. There are a whole host of trustees who could
be making it into the office, experiencing the culture and the
sentiment and the concerns directly. Why are they not coming in? Why
are they not listening to people?

While I appreciate, deeply, both you and Alice coming in, I am unable
to shake my concerns that the rest of the board making decisions
informed not by their perspectives but by your recollection of your
perspectives, is going to be tremendously limiting. We selected these
people because we thought they had something to contribute we didn't
already have: because their experiences would shape incoming
information in new and interesting ways. So let them receive that
information, and let them shape it. Let's have an informed board.
Because trust isn't great, right now, and this last year should have
made us steer *away* from processes with a small bus factor, not
towards them.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] I am going to San Francisco

2016-02-29 Thread Oliver Keyes
On Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 10:38 AM, Andreas Kolbe  wrote:
> On Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 3:06 PM, Jimmy Wales 
> wrote:
>
>> On 2/29/16 7:00 AM, Andreas Kolbe wrote:
>> > A few days ago, Oliver Keyes said[1] here on this list that, even though
>> he
>> > had already quit his job, he was scared to share with people the content
>> of
>> > the non-disclosure agreement he had to sign as a WMF staff member.
>> >
>> > Do you believe the various non-disclosure agreements and
>> non-disparagement
>> > clauses that staff have to sign to work at the WMF should be public? Will
>> > you encourage staff to share their content, in the interests of
>> > transparency?
>>
>> I don't know, as I haven't seen those.  If there is a standard
>> boilerplate non-disclosure agrement that all staff sign (normal
>> practice) then I don't see any reason why that shouldn't be made public.
>>  I also don't see much reason *for* it to be made public, if it's just
>> the usual sort of thing.  I don't see that it matters much either way,
>> to be frank.
>>
>
>
> Well, there's been enough interest in this over the years to justify it. It
> would quell speculation.
>
> As you are currently in SF, it should be fairly easy to arrange for someone
> to post the standard, boilerplate non-disclosure
> agreements/non-disparagement clauses that (1) staff and (2) management have
> to sign here on this list, or lets us know where we can find them on the
> WMF website.
>
> If universities and commercial companies are able to do that, so should WMF.
>

It's worth noting that publishing the current standard != publishing
what people have signed. The document has varied a lot over the years
(I helped tweak/copyedit some of the volunteer NDAs a few years back,
hence paying attention to this). I would really love if whatever the
latest version of the NDA is, everyone re-signed, to avoid ambiguity
here. At the moment what people are prohibited from doing varies
depending on when they joined the organisation.

The current staff NDA, interestingly, I can't find on the Office wiki.
The volunteer NDA is there, but even I don't know what the current
staff one is (I may just be missing a link, or having a bad search
experience, which given the team I work for would be a weird kind of
funny). The version I signed, way back when, both prohibited me from
disclosing confidential information and contained a non-defamation
clause around the organisation and its legal agents.

Now, I have no idea if this is still in the staff contract and NDA. I
sincerely hope it's not. But I hope people recognise that a clause
prohibiting staffers from saying a class of things about C-levels in
public, when most staff are not lawyers, is by definition going to
have a chilling effect on conversations about organisational direction
and staff performance. Sure, that class of things may in fact be
totally unacceptable and actually not things that we'd say...but how
the heck are we to know that?

So I support the idea, at a minimum, of publishing the current NDA and
contract form, and I would really like it if legal could bring all
staff NDAs up to spec.

One thing that was discussed early on that would also be fantastic;
the whistleblower policy currently protects people for reporting
*legal* violations to the *government*, and nothing else. Given that
California is an at-will state, broadening this would be...I was going
to say nice but really I mean "essential to any transparent
organisation that wants processes resistant to one bad apple".

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Open letter: Issues needing addressing by the Wikimedia Foundation's Board of Trustees

2016-02-29 Thread Chris Sherlock

> On 1 Mar 2016, at 3:09 AM, Nathan  wrote:
> 
> Jimmy - the limit is a "soft limit" of 30 posts per month. If someone goes
> well over you might get an e-mail from Austin or another moderator to cut
> back, but otherwise there is no need to ask for an exception.
> 
> Chris Sherlock -  It is certainly not "unambiguous" what qualifies in that
> statute as a corporate record; feel free to google "corporate record" or
> "business record" in search of the many different definitions offered by
> various states and federal agencies. My suggestion is that you let this
> tangent go.

I appreciate your legal advise here. 

I’m not quite sure why you think I’m going to say any more on the matter, I 
thought the fact that I had already said it is rather off-topic might have been 
a clue that I’ve got no intention of making any further comment on this :-)

Chris
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikimediauk-l] Free as in beer

2016-02-29 Thread WereSpielChequers
Well they definitely aren't adding either NC or ND, but they might be implying 
SA with all that sharing is caring stuff.

You could ask before migrating to wiki source, my guess is they are choosing 
CC-BY-SA

Regards

Jonathan / WereSpielChequers 


> On 29 Feb 2016, at 15:19, Richard Symonds  
> wrote:
> 
> So...
> 
> BrewDog, a Scotland-based "hipster brewery" - for want of a better phrase - 
> have just "open-sourced" their entire recipe collection. 
> 
> You can read more at https://www.brewdog.com/lowdown/blog/diy-dog.
> 
> It's not entirely clear what "licence" they're using but they say:
> 
> "copy them, tear them to pieces, bastardise them, adapt them, but most of 
> all, enjoy them. They are well travelled but with plenty of miles still left 
> on the clock. Just remember to share your brews, and share your results. 
> Sharing is caring."
> 
> I guess "free as in beer" has a slightly different meaning now!
> 
> Richard Symonds
> Wikimedia UK
> 0207 065 0992
> Wikimedia UK is a Company Limited by Guarantee registered in England and 
> Wales, Registered No. 6741827. Registered Charity No.1144513. Registered 
> Office 4th Floor, Development House, 56-64 Leonard Street, London EC2A 4LT. 
> United Kingdom. Wikimedia UK is the UK chapter of a global Wikimedia 
> movement. The Wikimedia projects are run by the Wikimedia Foundation (who 
> operate Wikipedia, amongst other projects).
> 
> Wikimedia UK is an independent non-profit charity with no legal control over 
> Wikipedia nor responsibility for its contents.
> 
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Open letter: Issues needing addressing by the Wikimedia Foundation's Board of Trustees

2016-02-29 Thread Andreas Kolbe
On Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 4:01 PM, Dariusz Jemielniak 
wrote:

> On Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 10:55 AM, Andreas Kolbe 
> wrote:
>
> > Here is what I don't understand: both Dariusz and James have said that
> they
> > pushed hard for transparency and community engagement about the project
> at
> > that time, and expressed concern that there hadn't been any. Do you not
> > remember that? Yet nothing happened.
> >
>
> My recollection is that we were given a plausible explanation that all the
> big visions and brainstorming never went into production. Yes, there were
> ideas floating around, but they did not go anywhere.
>
> This is why James motioned to approve the grant, as I understand. I don't
> think either of us would support the grant if we were unconvinced at the
> time. We did, however, insist that any work going outside of the simple
> "improve internal search" scope should be consulted.
>


Thanks for this, Dariusz.

We should be quite clear here though that the Discovery 0-1-2
presentation,[1] which is still part of the official FAQ,[2] speaks of
"federated open data sources". It envisages far more than a purely
*internal* search engine.

It envisages a volunteer-curated search engine drawing on a whole host of
sources from within and outside of the Wikimedia universe, with output
vectors including "Mobile", "API", "Kindle" and "Apps".

This is part of the overall strategy to this day. Consultation would really
be appropriate here.



> My personal view is also that we need to be careful not to commit any
> resource in the future by agreeing on some relatively small grants in the
> present.
>
>
> > If they were in favour, and you were in favour, why didn't it happen? Who
> > resisted?
> >
>
> I don't think that anyone resisted - we basically came to an understanding
> that the grant was not a big project, and that while there may have been
> grand(iose) visions about it, they never materialized to the level that
> would require board or community involvement.



Thanks again, that helps.

[1]
https://www.mediawiki.org/w/index.php?title=File:Discovery_Year_0-1-2.pdf=9
[2] https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Discovery/FAQ
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Open letter: Issues needing addressing by the Wikimedia Foundation's Board of Trustees

2016-02-29 Thread Nathan
Jimmy - the limit is a "soft limit" of 30 posts per month. If someone goes
well over you might get an e-mail from Austin or another moderator to cut
back, but otherwise there is no need to ask for an exception.

Chris Sherlock -  It is certainly not "unambiguous" what qualifies in that
statute as a corporate record; feel free to google "corporate record" or
"business record" in search of the many different definitions offered by
various states and federal agencies. My suggestion is that you let this
tangent go.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Open letter: Issues needing addressing by the Wikimedia Foundation's Board of Trustees

2016-02-29 Thread Dariusz Jemielniak
On Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 10:55 AM, Andreas Kolbe  wrote:

> Here is what I don't understand: both Dariusz and James have said that they
> pushed hard for transparency and community engagement about the project at
> that time, and expressed concern that there hadn't been any. Do you not
> remember that? Yet nothing happened.
>

My recollection is that we were given a plausible explanation that all the
big visions and brainstorming never went into production. Yes, there were
ideas floating around, but they did not go anywhere.

This is why James motioned to approve the grant, as I understand. I don't
think either of us would support the grant if we were unconvinced at the
time. We did, however, insist that any work going outside of the simple
"improve internal search" scope should be consulted.

My personal view is also that we need to be careful not to commit any
resource in the future by agreeing on some relatively small grants in the
present.




> If they were in favour, and you were in favour, why didn't it happen? Who
> resisted?
>

I don't think that anyone resisted - we basically came to an understanding
that the grant was not a big project, and that while there may have been
grand(iose) visions about it, they never materialized to the level that
would require board or community involvement.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Structuring revolution

2016-02-29 Thread Yaroslav M. Blanter

On 2016-02-29 16:41, Milos Rancic wrote:

I created the set of pages, starting with [1]. That's the place for
structuring our ideas, thoughts etc. I decomposed the thread "What it
means to be a high-tech organization" and I needed for the whole task
~5 hours.

On the talk page [2] you can find the manual how to help.

[1] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Revolution_of_2016
[2] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:Revolution_of_2016


Thanks Milos, looks great.

Cheers
Yaroslav

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Open letter: Issues needing addressing by the Wikimedia Foundation's Board of Trustees

2016-02-29 Thread Jimmy Wales
(People keep mentioning a post limit, and I'm sure I'm going to hit it.
 I'll see if someone can give me a temporary exception, but I also
wanted to warn that I'm in back to back meetings for the next 3 days and
intend to deliberately go quiet because of that.  In the evenings, I
plan to be writing up my notes and reflecting on what I'm learning.)

On 2/29/16 7:41 AM, Chris Sherlock wrote:
> Not at all, I apologise for any confusion I may have brought to bare
> here.

No problem.

> FWIW, I don’t think anyone is opposed to a better search engine. I’m
> rather impressed you had built one back in the day :-)

Well, it wasn't anything too amazing. :)  It wasn't long before Magnus
Manske did the radical thing of actually using a real database, making
my amateurish efforts a moot point.

> I was very harsh in a reply to a blogpost by Lila on the 16th [1],
> and frankly I regret the degree of hostility in that comment - I read
> it now and cringe a little. 

We've all been through a very emotional time.

> Is what I’m saying is the truth, then I do hope someone has gotten in
> contact with the Knight Foundation to clarify the application? 

My understanding is that the Knight Foundation is fine.  Keep in mind
that many people have a mental model of grant making that works like this:

1. A program is announced to fund projects of a specific kind.
2. Someone writes up an application and mails it off, fingers crossed.
3. The funder decides and announces the award.

In reality, it's more a conversation with multiple meetings and
conversations.

> If you could please advise then why we added dramatic language that
> gave an impression we were building something we aren’t to the Knight
> Foundation, who then funded the first tranche, then I’d appreciate
> it.

I wasn't involved but it seems to be a non-issue.  As I am here in SF,
I'll try to figure out who to ask more about our relationship with
Knight.  But as I say, my rough understanding is that there isn't a
problem there.



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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Open letter: Issues needing addressing by the Wikimedia Foundation's Board of Trustees

2016-02-29 Thread Andreas Kolbe
On Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 3:55 PM, Andreas Kolbe  wrote:

> And there are things in the FAQs even today, like the plans for "public
> curation or relevance",[1][2] that are of material interest to volunteers,
> because they are the ones envisaged to be doing that work.
>


That should have read "public curation *of* relevance". Apologies.



> Wikimedia volunteers have never been called upon to determine search
> engine rankings. It's a whole new field of activity.
>
> [1] https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Discovery/RFC
> [2] https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Discovery/FAQ
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Open letter: Issues needing addressing by the Wikimedia Foundation's Board of Trustees

2016-02-29 Thread Andreas Kolbe
On Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 1:36 PM, Jimmy Wales 
wrote:

> We went back and forth in pleasant emails discussing the situation and
> as a part of that I said: "I am always in favor of more community
> consultation."  I went on to discuss a bit that I didn't think we were
> at the point where a full-scale community consultation (like the one
> that legal did on revising the terms of service) was necessary for a
> mere $250,000 grant.  But I was supportive of consulting the community.
>


Here is what I don't understand: both Dariusz and James have said that they
pushed hard for transparency and community engagement about the project at
that time, and expressed concern that there hadn't been any. Do you not
remember that? Yet nothing happened.

If they were in favour, and you were in favour, why didn't it happen? Who
resisted?

Why was there resistance from other board members to even show James and
Dariusz the documentation that was later leaked?

And there are things in the FAQs even today, like the plans for "public
curation or relevance",[1][2] that are of material interest to volunteers,
because they are the ones envisaged to be doing that work.

Wikimedia volunteers have never been called upon to determine search engine
rankings. It's a whole new field of activity.

[1] https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Discovery/RFC
[2] https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Discovery/FAQ
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] A quick note about the future

2016-02-29 Thread Denny Vrandecic
I agree as well.
On Feb 29, 2016 06:00, "Jimmy Wales"  wrote:

> On 2/29/16 5:52 AM, Nathan wrote:
> > There is a simple and easy way to rectify this: you and the other members
> > of the board can honestly and fully describe the circumstances that led
> you
> > to eject Heilman from the board.  I've seen lots of indirect and
> > non-specific claims from both sides; I wish you would all stop making
> vague
> > assertions and just tell us what happened. I'm sure you can come up with
> > lots of reasons why you Simply Cannot Do That, but if that's the case
> then
> > maybe stop talking about it altogether.
>
> I agree with you completely.
>
>
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[Wikimedia-l] Structuring revolution

2016-02-29 Thread Milos Rancic
I created the set of pages, starting with [1]. That's the place for
structuring our ideas, thoughts etc. I decomposed the thread "What it
means to be a high-tech organization" and I needed for the whole task
~5 hours.

On the talk page [2] you can find the manual how to help.

[1] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Revolution_of_2016
[2] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:Revolution_of_2016

-- 
Milos

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Open letter: Issues needing addressing by the Wikimedia Foundation's Board of Trustees

2016-02-29 Thread Chris Sherlock
On 1 Mar 2016, at 2:00 AM, Jimmy Wales  wrote:
> 
> On 2/29/16 6:46 AM, Chris Sherlock wrote:
>> Unfortunately though, the WMF very much did have internal documents
>> that were positioning the WMF into building a search engine. In fact,
>> it was a grand idea. But one that was done in secret. James was not
>> wrong, and he wasn’t lying. You may not have been aware of it at the
>> time, but there were indeed confidential documents that showed that
>> someone was developing an internal search engine.
> 
> There are a lot of confusions here and I think you've not been very
> precise, so let me work through this slowly.  Apologies for the tedium
> but I'm sure you'll agree there has been too much that has been too vague.

Not at all, I apologise for any confusion I may have brought to bare here. 

> First, before we start, let's clarify some terminology.  There is "an
> internal search engine" which we have now, have had for many years.[1]
> There was and is a project to improve it - this is part of what the
> Knight grant is all about, and I think it's great.  It's also not
> controversial.  The controversial part is "search engine" in the sense
> of a Google-competitor.  It's important to recognize that using the term
> 'search engine' as a standalone can lead to misconceptions.

Drat. Autocorrect’ed by my iPad. That *should* have read “Internet”, not 
“internal”. 

FWIW, I don’t think anyone is opposed to a better search engine. I’m rather 
impressed you had built one back in the day :-) In fact, I don’t think anyone 
is opposed to a search engine that indexes the wider Internet, taylored to the 
WMF’s purposes. I think even Google would find this a total non-issue. In fact, 
if it was truly open, they could just use it as a source of index data. Google 
knows just how hard it is to develop a search engine, it’s taken them years and 
years and a LOT of expertise, and they have to bypass bad actors and goodness 
only knows what else. 

> Second, I am now aware that a former employee was advocating for the
> idea of building a direct competitor to Google. His presentation about
> this was shared under rather extreme "cloak and dagger" with PGP
> encryption, etc.  This idea did not get traction, and never rose to
> being something presented to the board for approval.  As far as I
> understand it, some of the dramatic language did survive here and there,
> but if you read it independently you'd not really interpret it that way.

Yeah, I’ve read those emails on this mailing list. Its very… odd. 

I was very harsh in a reply to a blogpost by Lila on the 16th [1], and frankly 
I regret the degree of hostility in that comment - I read it now and cringe a 
little. Nevertheless my conclusions stand. If the dramatic language in the 
Knight Foundation document is the language that talks about being a transparent 
Internet search engine by Wikimedia, then that document was very badly put 
together. 

If the grant application that was put to the Knight Foundation had specific 
language that talked about Internet search, then it appears that we may have 
inadvertently misled the Knight Foundation. There’s no real way of putting it 
I’m afraid - that’s just sheer incompetence. 

Is what I’m saying is the truth, then I do hope someone has gotten in contact 
with the Knight Foundation to clarify the application? Surely if they are 
giving us money though, it’s on the proviso that we do what we say we will do? 
Part of what we were telling them was that we want to make an amazing 
transparent Internet search engine, one that does away with the opaque and 
potentially damaging search algorithms of proprietary search engines - and we 
made it worse by stating that Google could be a risk due to interference and 
wasted effort working on the same thing?

Forgive me for harping on about this, but that document *did* give the *very 
strong* impression to almost everyone, including I’d hazard the Knight 
Foundation, that we were applying for a grant into searching the wider 
Internet. Whilst I’m not exactly a fan of the global media, that was their take 
on the matter also - the Australian Broadcasting Corporation was one of the 
first to pick this up, and they are (despite being a state-funded institution) 
quite a reliable and reasonably neutral source of news. 

If you could please advise then why we added dramatic language that gave an 
impression we were building something we aren’t to the Knight Foundation, who 
then funded the first tranche, then I’d appreciate it. 

If you could clarify that if this is an accurate summation of a big problem in 
that grant application, to a big and well respected grant funder, then what has 
the WMF done to reach out to the Knight Foundation to clarify what they were 
actually funding?

> James had gotten, from somewhere, the idea that there really was a
> secret project to build a Google-competing search engine.  We had a
> discussion where I told him that wasn't 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] I am going to San Francisco

2016-02-29 Thread Jimmy Wales
I agree with Dariusz on this, and have 2 additional thoughts:

1. I'm not sure that Silicon Valley organizations as a whole are more
secretive than many NGOs.  Some are famously super secretive - Apple.
Others are not really - Automattic (Wordpress).  Some NGOs tend to be
very controlling of messages, and some not so much.

2. The overall point, I think, is that we should make sure that employee
agreements are on the open end of the spectrum.  F/L/OSS movements and
organizations tend to be much more open than other organizations.  We're
a strongly community-driven movement *about the free sharing of
knowledge* - so our culture means we need to push openness to a point
that most organizations would find bewildering.

--Jimbo


On 2/29/16 7:26 AM, Dariusz Jemielniak wrote:
> On Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 10:00 AM, Andreas Kolbe  wrote:
> 
>> Do you believe the various non-disclosure agreements and non-disparagement
>> clauses that staff have to sign to work at the WMF should be public? Will
>> you encourage staff to share their content, in the interests of
>> transparency?
>>
>>
> There are different ways to perceive the WMF and different benchmarks to
> relate to.  If we perceive the WMF as a Silicon Valley, high-tech
> organization, that just happens to be organized as an NGO, and is
> contemporarily relying on an open collaboration in a community of editors
> (until the machines can substitute them), then surely good benchmarks will
> be other Silicon Valley organizations, and using the industry standard
> non-disclosure and non-disparagement agreements make sense.
> 
> I believe that we are something else. We are a social movement, and the WMF
> is a mission-driven NGO, that has its top competence in supporting the open
> knowledge community, and happens to be pretty good at legal and tech
> support, too. But tech has a supportive, not leading role. We,
> theoretically, could outsource a lot of tech, but we could not outsource a
> lot of community work.
> 
> Therefore I believe that better benchmarks would be other rights- and
> access-oriented NGOs (Amnesty International? Soros Foundation?), F/L/OSS
> movement (Apache Foundation? EFF?), and universities (Oxford? Harvard?
> Sorbonne?). By understanding these benchmarks, we can build adequate
> standards of transparency, and follow suit in legalese. I believe that a
> lot of our current tensions stem basically from not formulating the
> fundamental vision of who we are and who we want to be.
> 
> dj
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] I am going to San Francisco

2016-02-29 Thread Andreas Kolbe
On Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 3:06 PM, Jimmy Wales 
wrote:

> On 2/29/16 7:00 AM, Andreas Kolbe wrote:
> > A few days ago, Oliver Keyes said[1] here on this list that, even though
> he
> > had already quit his job, he was scared to share with people the content
> of
> > the non-disclosure agreement he had to sign as a WMF staff member.
> >
> > Do you believe the various non-disclosure agreements and
> non-disparagement
> > clauses that staff have to sign to work at the WMF should be public? Will
> > you encourage staff to share their content, in the interests of
> > transparency?
>
> I don't know, as I haven't seen those.  If there is a standard
> boilerplate non-disclosure agrement that all staff sign (normal
> practice) then I don't see any reason why that shouldn't be made public.
>  I also don't see much reason *for* it to be made public, if it's just
> the usual sort of thing.  I don't see that it matters much either way,
> to be frank.
>


Well, there's been enough interest in this over the years to justify it. It
would quell speculation.

As you are currently in SF, it should be fairly easy to arrange for someone
to post the standard, boilerplate non-disclosure
agreements/non-disparagement clauses that (1) staff and (2) management have
to sign here on this list, or lets us know where we can find them on the
WMF website.

If universities and commercial companies are able to do that, so should WMF.



> In some cases, employees will be bound by specific nondisclosure
> agreements with partner organizations that bind the Foundation.  I would
> not say that publishing the details of those makes sense.  Let me give a
> purely hypothetical example for the sake of clarity.
>
> Suppose we negotiate with a vendor to buy some hardware and manage to
> get a great discount because the vendor loves Wikipedia.  The vendor
> might say, hey, look, I can only give this discount to Wikipedia, and it
> would hurt my competitive position in the marketplace if the price I'm
> giving you were well known.  So they'll say, hey, I can give you this
> discount, but only under a nondisclosure agreement.
>
> I wouldn't support publishing that nondisclosure agreement.
>


Sure. Me neither.

Andreas
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] I am going to San Francisco

2016-02-29 Thread Dariusz Jemielniak
On Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 10:00 AM, Andreas Kolbe  wrote:

> Do you believe the various non-disclosure agreements and non-disparagement
> clauses that staff have to sign to work at the WMF should be public? Will
> you encourage staff to share their content, in the interests of
> transparency?
>
>
There are different ways to perceive the WMF and different benchmarks to
relate to.  If we perceive the WMF as a Silicon Valley, high-tech
organization, that just happens to be organized as an NGO, and is
contemporarily relying on an open collaboration in a community of editors
(until the machines can substitute them), then surely good benchmarks will
be other Silicon Valley organizations, and using the industry standard
non-disclosure and non-disparagement agreements make sense.

I believe that we are something else. We are a social movement, and the WMF
is a mission-driven NGO, that has its top competence in supporting the open
knowledge community, and happens to be pretty good at legal and tech
support, too. But tech has a supportive, not leading role. We,
theoretically, could outsource a lot of tech, but we could not outsource a
lot of community work.

Therefore I believe that better benchmarks would be other rights- and
access-oriented NGOs (Amnesty International? Soros Foundation?), F/L/OSS
movement (Apache Foundation? EFF?), and universities (Oxford? Harvard?
Sorbonne?). By understanding these benchmarks, we can build adequate
standards of transparency, and follow suit in legalese. I believe that a
lot of our current tensions stem basically from not formulating the
fundamental vision of who we are and who we want to be.

dj
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] What it means to be a *volunteer* organization

2016-02-29 Thread David Cuenca Tudela
James, I think it is very nice to put measures against paid editing, but it
would be nicer to put measures to get editors more free time to edit
voluntarily...
There are not that many suggestions on how to do it, so it could be that it
cannot be done.

Cheers,
Micru

On Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 6:14 AM, James Heilman  wrote:

> With respect to paid promotional editing, I have done a bit work trying to
> address it. For example I reached out to Upworks the company behind Elance
> and Fiverr and they are interested in working together on this. Have been a
> little distracted and not sure if there is sufficient community or
> foundation support to move forwards.
>
> With respect to using AI to detect paid editing, I spoke with Aaron
> Halfaker about the possibility in Nov 2015. What he needed was datasets of
> confirmed paid promotional editors. I have sent him some details. If others
> have details that would likely be useful. Things are in the very very early
> stages from what I understand.
>
> --
> James Heilman
> MD, CCFP-EM, Wikipedian
>
> The Wikipedia Open Textbook of Medicine
> www.opentextbookofmedicine.com
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>



-- 
Etiamsi omnes, ego non
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[Wikimedia-l] Free as in beer

2016-02-29 Thread Richard Symonds
So...

BrewDog, a Scotland-based "hipster brewery" - for want of a better phrase -
have just "open-sourced" their entire recipe collection.

You can read more at https://www.brewdog.com/lowdown/blog/diy-dog.

It's not entirely clear what "licence" they're using but they say:

*"copy them, tear them to pieces, bastardise them, adapt them, but most of
all, enjoy them. They are well travelled but with plenty of miles still
left on the clock. Just remember to share your brews, and share your
results. Sharing is caring."*

I guess "free as in beer" has a slightly different meaning now!

Richard Symonds
Wikimedia UK
0207 065 0992

Wikimedia UK is a Company Limited by Guarantee registered in England and
Wales, Registered No. 6741827. Registered Charity No.1144513. Registered
Office 4th Floor, Development House, 56-64 Leonard Street, London EC2A 4LT.
United Kingdom. Wikimedia UK is the UK chapter of a global Wikimedia
movement. The Wikimedia projects are run by the Wikimedia Foundation (who
operate Wikipedia, amongst other projects).

*Wikimedia UK is an independent non-profit charity with no legal control
over Wikipedia nor responsibility for its contents.*
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[Wikimedia-l] Meeting in Berlin (was: Executive transition planning)

2016-02-29 Thread Tim Moritz Hector
Dear fellow Wikimedians,

I have been closely following the developments of the previous weeks. A lot
of things have been said, concerns and frustration have been raised, hope
has been voiced, and many many questions have been brought up. It’s hard to
keep up with all the voices on all the different digital channels these
days, and hard to find solutions and agreement in an unfacilitated stream.

The first chance for many of us to personally meet, vent, and look ahead
will be the the Wikimedia Conference in Berlin. Wikimedia Deutschland is
hosting the event, and welcoming movement affiliates, committees and board
and staff of the Wikimedia Foundation from April 20-24.

The movement is standing at a crossroad, but I am confident we can find the
best path if we work together. Wikimedia Deutschland has gone through
turbulent times in the past as well, and we would like to offer our
experience and full support as host and facilitator of an essential part of
this process. With your participation and contribution, Wikimedia
Conference can be a platform for exchange and progress.

Let us use this opportunity to jointly figure out how we want to move
forward as a network of partners. The conference is the ideal platform to
discuss and define next steps to find answers to questions like: How do we
imagine a movement striving for free knowledge and what structure and
framework best serve these needs? How do the WMF and affiliates define
their role and responsibilities on a global and local level? How shall an
revamped search process for a new executive leadership of the WMF look
like, and what are the main qualifications new candidates should bring? How
will the strategy process for the WMF evolve and how can affiliates
contribute? How do we involve our stakeholders from within and outside of
the movement in this process? How do we manage to look ahead rather than
repeating the old narratives?  How do we create consensus on all these
questions?

In light of the current situation, we would like to dedicate a whole
conference track to these issues. Of course, the initial conference topics
of impact and capacity building are still important and will be covered as
well.

We have set up a page on meta and encourage you to share your questions,
ideas, and concerns[1]. We intend to work closely with WMF and affiliate
representatives in the coming eight weeks and create the program along
their input.

Looking forward to seeing you in Berlin in April,
Tim Moritz Hector

[1]
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Conference_2016/Program_Design_Process/Track:
How to move forward

-- 
Tim Moritz Hector
Chair of the Board

Wikimedia Deutschland e. V.
Tempelhofer Ufer 23-24 | D-10963 Berlin
http://www.wikimedia.de
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] What it means to be a high-tech organization

2016-02-29 Thread Ilario Valdelli
The KPIS is not only quantitave measures.

For instance an anonymous survey may measure the level of satisfaction of
people and it's more qualitative.

The simplicity of KPIS is to agree (all parties) about the indicators and
to cut off discussions about success/insuccess.

Something can be a success for someone an insuccess for another one.

They are indicators and not only measures.

Kind regards
Il 29/Feb/2016 14:58, "Brion Vibber"  ha scritto:

> On Feb 29, 2016 3:13 AM, "Ilario Valdelli"  > wrote:
> >
> > Hi,
> > in my opinion there is no need to differentiate and to clarify what
> > "high-tech" means.
> >
> > The real problem is to define the KPIs (key performance indicators) and a
> > balanced relation of those indicators.
> >
> > A corporation can be a high-tech corporation and take care of the comfort
> > of all stakeholders without problems, the big deal is to find this
> balanced
> > relation.
>
> I too like measuring things, but I think we can't just measure people and
> expect that's going to create a healthy productive environment for staff
> and volunteers. I think you have to talk and listen to people to do that.
> Rant time:
>
> It's great to track measurable things to engage in a feedback loop for
> whether we're accomplishing our goals, but the measures are always limited
> in what they tell you; at best they're proxies for the information you
> really wanted -- such as "page views" when we want to know "how many people
> are learning and improving their lives through Wikipedia?" or active editor
> counts when we want to know "do we have a strong, healthy volunteer
> workforce?"
>
> It's very common for such feedback loops to fail dramatically when you
> optimize for the measurement instead of for your actual goals...
>
> Focusing on KPIs is how people die in hospitals (because the sickest people
> don't get risky surgery to keep post-op survival rates up) or schools with
> at-risk children get defunded here in the US (schools whose students
> get low standardized testing results are punished under the "No Child Left
> Behind" law of 2001).
>
> This link came up in some discussions off list, and aligns with my
> concerns:
>
> http://www.the-american-interest.com/2015/08/03/the-costs-of-accountability/
>
> -- brion
>
> >
> > Kind regards
> >
> >
> >
> > On Tue, Feb 23, 2016 at 10:29 PM, Brion Vibber  >
> > wrote:
> >
> > > I think there are many different interpretations of what it means to
> "be a
> > > high-tech organization", which makes it a difficult label to base
> arguments
> > > around; readers will interpret it very differently depending on their
> > > personal experiences and biases.
> > >
> > > One view might concentrate on notions of "innovation", "excellence", or
> > > "return on investment" achieved through super-smart people creating
> unique
> > > technology -- this view associates "high-tech" with success,
> competitive
> > > advantage, brand awareness/marketshare, and money (profit for
> traditional
> > > corporations, or investment in the mission for non-profits).
> > >
> > > Another view might concentrate on other features considered common to
> > > "high-tech" companies such as toxic work environments, lack of
> diversity,
> > > overemphasis on engineering versus other disciplines, disconnection
> from
> > > users' needs, and a laser-focus on achieving profits at the expense of
> > > long-term thinking. This view associates "high-tech" with social and
> > > economic inequality and exploitation of employees and users for their
> labor
> > > & attention to the detriment of their physical and emotional health.
> > >
> > > And there are many, much subtler connotations to be found in between.
> > >
> > >
> > > I believe a high-tech organization should invest in smart people
> creating
> > > unique technology. But I also think it should invest in people, period.
> > > Staff and volunteers must be cultivated and supported -- that's how
> loyalty
> > > and passion are developed, and I believe they pay dividends in
> productivity
> > > and recruitment.
> > >
> > > Absolutely Wikimedia Foundation needs to build better technologies --
> > > technologies to serve the needs of our editors, our readers, our
> > > photographers, our citation reviewers, etc. This means Wikimedia
> Foundation
> > > needs a good relationship with those people to research, brainstorm,
> plan,
> > > develop, test, redevelop, retest, and roll out software successfully.
> The
> > > people who represent Wikimedia Foundation in those relationships are
> its
> > > staff, so it's important for management to support them in their work
> and
> > > help them succeed.
> > >
> > > It is my sincere hope that when the current crises are resolved, that
> the
> > > Board of Trustees and the executive can agree on at least this much as
> a
> > > 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Open letter: Issues needing addressing by the Wikimedia Foundation's Board of Trustees

2016-02-29 Thread Jimmy Wales
On 2/29/16 6:46 AM, Chris Sherlock wrote:
> Unfortunately though, the WMF very much did have internal documents
> that were positioning the WMF into building a search engine. In fact,
> it was a grand idea. But one that was done in secret. James was not
> wrong, and he wasn’t lying. You may not have been aware of it at the
> time, but there were indeed confidential documents that showed that
> someone was developing an internal search engine.

There are a lot of confusions here and I think you've not been very
precise, so let me work through this slowly.  Apologies for the tedium
but I'm sure you'll agree there has been too much that has been too vague.

First, before we start, let's clarify some terminology.  There is "an
internal search engine" which we have now, have had for many years.[1]
There was and is a project to improve it - this is part of what the
Knight grant is all about, and I think it's great.  It's also not
controversial.  The controversial part is "search engine" in the sense
of a Google-competitor.  It's important to recognize that using the term
'search engine' as a standalone can lead to misconceptions.

Second, I am now aware that a former employee was advocating for the
idea of building a direct competitor to Google. His presentation about
this was shared under rather extreme "cloak and dagger" with PGP
encryption, etc.  This idea did not get traction, and never rose to
being something presented to the board for approval.  As far as I
understand it, some of the dramatic language did survive here and there,
but if you read it independently you'd not really interpret it that way.

Third, and this is really really really important: NO ONE was ever
actually "developing" a Google killing search engine.  It got no further
than a brainstorming idea - and I hope that we do NOT end up out of all
of this that staff feel constrained from even brainstorming bold ideas.
 That no development work ever happened has been confirmed by developers.

James had gotten, from somewhere, the idea that there really was a
secret project to build a Google-competing search engine.  We had a
discussion where I told him that wasn't right.  We had further
discussions at the board level of what it means, and eventually James
himself made the motion to approve the Knight grant, and voted in favor
of it.


[1] Fun historical fact, I wrote the first in-house search engine for
Wikipedia, before that the software essentially looked linearly through
files for a keyword, which broke down completely very quickly.

> In the interests of transparency, could you please release these
> emails? They sound innocuous enough, it would be nice to be able to
> verify this and read the email discussion you and James had.

I'd like to do that.  I'm starting a private conversation with James
that I hope will be productive.

> Under Fl. St. § 617.0808(1) [2] James is not allowed to possess any
> such email records.

I think you are badly misreading that.  I think the point is that he's
not allowed to withhold "records" (which probably meant paperwork at the
time the statue was written), not that he's not allowed to keep copies.
 I've never heard of the idea that a board member has to delete all
their old board email archives!

Anyway, the issue is probably just about finding a particular discussion
in a mountain of correspondence.



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Re: [Wikimedia-l] I am going to San Francisco

2016-02-29 Thread Jimmy Wales
On 2/29/16 7:00 AM, Andreas Kolbe wrote:
> A few days ago, Oliver Keyes said[1] here on this list that, even though he
> had already quit his job, he was scared to share with people the content of
> the non-disclosure agreement he had to sign as a WMF staff member.
> 
> Do you believe the various non-disclosure agreements and non-disparagement
> clauses that staff have to sign to work at the WMF should be public? Will
> you encourage staff to share their content, in the interests of
> transparency?

I don't know, as I haven't seen those.  If there is a standard
boilerplate non-disclosure agrement that all staff sign (normal
practice) then I don't see any reason why that shouldn't be made public.
 I also don't see much reason *for* it to be made public, if it's just
the usual sort of thing.  I don't see that it matters much either way,
to be frank.

In some cases, employees will be bound by specific nondisclosure
agreements with partner organizations that bind the Foundation.  I would
not say that publishing the details of those makes sense.  Let me give a
purely hypothetical example for the sake of clarity.

Suppose we negotiate with a vendor to buy some hardware and manage to
get a great discount because the vendor loves Wikipedia.  The vendor
might say, hey, look, I can only give this discount to Wikipedia, and it
would hurt my competitive position in the marketplace if the price I'm
giving you were well known.  So they'll say, hey, I can give you this
discount, but only under a nondisclosure agreement.

I wouldn't support publishing that nondisclosure agreement.



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Re: [Wikimedia-l] A quick note about the future

2016-02-29 Thread Chris Sherlock
This is actually a fairly easy one to clear up. 

Basically, it’s the law. 

Under Fl. St. § 617.0808, which deals with the removal of directors, it clearly 
states that "Any director who is removed from the board is not eligible to 
stand for reelection until the next annual meeting at which directors are 
elected.” [1]

I am not a lawyer. Just a guy who has read far too much of the Florida Statutes 
around non-profit entities. 

Chris

1. 
http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute_String==0600-0699/0617/Sections/0617.0808.html

> On 1 Mar 2016, at 1:47 AM, Jimmy Wales  wrote:
> 
> This touches on matters beyond my scope of expertise.  I didn't write
> that FAQ, and I am not an expert on legal terminology like
> "mismanagement" or "misconduct".  I support that the board and legal
> team review the matter seriously and generously.
> 
> All I'm saying is that if he is eligible, and if he is elected, then I
> support him rejoining the board.  I'm putting forward that although I've
> been disappointed by his behavior (and thanks to Pete's wise words, I'm
> trying to open a private conversation to try to work through some of
> that) I am not in any way a key obstacle to his rejoining.


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] I am going to San Francisco

2016-02-29 Thread Andreas Kolbe
On Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 2:13 PM, Jimmy Wales 
wrote:

> Intimidation about speaking up is a terrible and perverse thing to
> happen in any organization.  If that's a feeling that the organization
> has had, I want to put forward the idea that it's over.  If I were
> moving into the ED position, it would be my first priority - to root
> that out.  It's devastating.  Work life shouldn't be about that - it
> should be about the mission, about everything we have all be dreaming of
> and working toward and enjoying for all these years.
>


A few days ago, Oliver Keyes said[1] here on this list that, even though he
had already quit his job, he was scared to share with people the content of
the non-disclosure agreement he had to sign as a WMF staff member.

Do you believe the various non-disclosure agreements and non-disparagement
clauses that staff have to sign to work at the WMF should be public? Will
you encourage staff to share their content, in the interests of
transparency?

Andreas
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Open letter: Issues needing addressing by the Wikimedia Foundation's Board of Trustees

2016-02-29 Thread pajz
On 29 February 2016 at 06:18, SarahSV  wrote:

> Everything Doc James has said so far appears to have been correct, based on
> the information we have.
>

Ha, like those "Oh, I have done nothing wrong and no have no idea why I was
removed" messages we heard for two weeks after James' removal, during which
James avoided to mention that just about a week before he got dismissed
from the Board, he personally emailed his then-Board colleagues and
apologized to them for his mistakes, saying that he himself even considered
stepping down but instead now wanted to ask the other trustees for a
"second chance" since he's a guy who "learn[s] from [his] mistakes"? Of
which we only learnt after insistent nagging by Denny?

I don't know if James' removal from the Board was justified or not, and
maybe it was not. But I find it difficult to come up with a rationale for
suggesting to the world that you were kicked out of the Board without any
reason, when you yourself begged the Board for a second chance just a week
before that decision. When I ask someone for a second chance, I know I
messed something up, and of course I know what that was.

At any rate, not mentioning that fact from the start strikes me as
surprisingly intransparent, particularly so given that James quickly
started to praise himself for his transparent approach, to the extent he
eventually even suggested that his removal from the Board was a result of
it.

Best,
Patrik
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] A quick note about the future

2016-02-29 Thread Jimmy Wales

This touches on matters beyond my scope of expertise.  I didn't write
that FAQ, and I am not an expert on legal terminology like
"mismanagement" or "misconduct".  I support that the board and legal
team review the matter seriously and generously.

All I'm saying is that if he is eligible, and if he is elected, then I
support him rejoining the board.  I'm putting forward that although I've
been disappointed by his behavior (and thanks to Pete's wise words, I'm
trying to open a private conversation to try to work through some of
that) I am not in any way a key obstacle to his rejoining.

On 2/29/16 6:35 AM, Ziko van Dijk wrote:
> Hello Jimmy,
> 
> Thank you for the note. I was wondering about the eligibility of
> James, because the page
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_Board_noticeboard/James_Heilman_removal_FAQ#Can_James_be_a_candidate_for_a_community-selected_seat_again.3F
> says:
> "Due to the removal from the Board, James is not eligible to be a
> candidate for the Board until the 2017 community selection process.
> Under the Bylaws, the Board oversees the rules and procedures for the
> community-selection process. If the Board determines that a candidate
> does not meet eligibility criteria, it may decline to appoint the
> candidate to the Board."
> 
> Before 2017, James could be appointed to the board by the sitting
> board members. Is he eligible for such an appointment?
> 
> According to the 2015 board selection page, a candidate for the
> community seats - and I assume that the rules for other seats are
> comparable - has to meet some criteria,
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_elections/Board_elections/2015
> "Prerequisites to candidacy".
> 
> If James was eligible in spring 2015, I guess that he is also eligible
> at the moment. But why does the FAQ say that James is not eligible
> "now" because of the removal?
> 
> The "prerequisites" say:
> "You must not have been removed from a position at a non-profit
> organization or other company because of mismanagement or misconduct"
> 
> So would this be a reason for not appointing James to the board, or
> call him not eligible for the 2017 elections? Was James removed from
> the WMF Board for "mismanagement or misconduct"?
> 
> Kind regards
> Ziko
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 2016-02-29 15:03 GMT+01:00 Amir E. Aharoni :
>> Nathan, as pretty much always, is correct.
>>
>> Everybody is tired of this mystery.
>>
>> I'm not blaming anybody - it's part of the unfortunate atmosphere of
>> unnecessary secrecy, which plagued us for way too long. That's what creates
>> the accusations and the wild rumors in all sides. We all have to fix it in
>> ourselves.
>>
>> Simply telling everybody's stories fully and openly is the only right thing
>> now.
>> בתאריך 29 בפבר׳ 2016 15:53,‏ "Nathan"  כתב:
>>
>>> On Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 8:45 AM, Jimmy Wales 
>>> wrote:
>>>

 One of the things that someone asked me privately to discuss is what I
 think of the possibility of James running for the board again.

 First, I have no opinion about whether or not he will be eligible at the
 next election.  That's a matter for people other than me to decide.  I
 don't know.

 Second, if he is eligible, and if he runs, and if he wins, then I will
 support his joining the board.  Because I've been willing to be vocal
 about what I view as his failures, people have sometimes gotten the
 mistaken impression that this is primarily a personal conflict between
 him and me.  That's not true.  Before the board vote to remove him, I
 told him that I would vote with the majority - because it is my feeling
 that on matters of trust, if he was unable to command the trust of at
 least the majority of other trustees, his position would be untenable.

 Third, it may interest you all to know that I did not and would not have
 instigated the meeting in which he was removed from the board.  Indeed,
 I missed an online board meeting where things happened apparently that
 brought this to a head, and in the final meeting with James, I mainly
 inquired "What brought this up now?" as I thought things were settling
 down.

 Fourth, having said all of that, I remain very disappointed in James and
 the way he has spun this without coming forward with the community about
 what happened.  He claimed reasons for his dismissal that everyone else
 on the board agrees unanimously are not the reasons.  I haven't seen him
 acknowledge that he was wrong about that, and I haven't seen him own up
 to the things that actually upset people.

 There are many narratives being spun by people who weren't there, who
 have made all kinds of assumption that aren't true.

>>>
>>> There is a simple and easy way to rectify this: you and the other members
>>> of the board can honestly 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Open letter: Issues needing addressing by the Wikimedia Foundation's Board of Trustees

2016-02-29 Thread Chris Sherlock
On 1 Mar 2016, at 12:36 AM, Jimmy Wales  wrote:
> In mid-October, before he emailed the board, James wrote me with a huge
> misconception - that we had a secret project to build a Google competing
> search engine.  Of course we didn't have such a project We had a few
> emails back and forth in which I explained that was not the case.

Jimmy, how does this square with the June 24 document entitled “Knowledge 
Engine by Wikipedia”? [1]

That appears to have been written by Lila. Part of the document reads:

"Our new site will be the Internet’s first transparent search engine, and the 
first one that carries the reputation of Wikipedia and the Wikimedia 
Foundation.” 

I would appreciate it if you could please “declassify” this document (and in 
fact, could you please have them all released) and tell us who authored it, 
once and for all. 

Unfortunately though, the WMF very much did have internal documents that were 
positioning the WMF into building a search engine. In fact, it was a grand 
idea. But one that was done in secret. James was not wrong, and he wasn’t 
lying. You may not have been aware of it at the time, but there were indeed 
confidential documents that showed that someone was developing an internal 
search engine. 

The language used in the document is very clearly *not* Damon Sicore’s, 
incidentally. I assume it was Lila who wrote the document as the entire 
document is written in her signature style. 

> We went back and forth in pleasant emails discussing the situation and
> as a part of that I said: "I am always in favor of more community
> consultation."  I went on to discuss a bit that I didn't think we were
> at the point where a full-scale community consultation (like the one
> that legal did on revising the terms of service) was necessary for a
> mere $250,000 grant.  But I was supportive of consulting the community.

In the interests of transparency, could you please release these emails? They 
sound innocuous enough, it would be nice to be able to verify this and read the 
email discussion you and James had.

>> 2. had offered to write an article for the Signpost about the project to
>> inform the community,
>> 
>> 3. was told by his colleagues on the board that the idea of a Signpost
>> article was not welcome?
> 
> I've tried to find this in my email records and have no record of it.  I
> don't know when this offer was made nor who responded.  If James knows,
> and wants to share the board emails with me directly, that would be
> appreciated.

Under Fl. St. § 617.0808(1) [2] James is not allowed to possess any such email 
records. In fact, James would have needed to return these to the board of 
directors within 72 hours. If he didn't, then a circuit court may summarily 
order him to do so. 

This isn’t an issue though, under that same statute - § 617.0808(5)(d) [2] to 
be precise! - all written communications have to be kept for three years. And 
you have the right to inspect and copy this information under § 617.1602. [3]

At least, I think this is correct - I’m not a lawyer, so it’s not legal advise, 
just me geeking out on Florida non-profit law :-) And it’s also in the 
handbook. [4] The point being is that you can request this information and it 
will be provided :-)

Chris

1. 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/2016-02-10/In_focus
2. 
http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute_String==0600-0699/0617/Sections/0617.0808.html
3. 
http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute_String==0600-0699/0617/Sections/0617.1602.html
4. 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_Board_Handbook#Removal_of_Board_members
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] A quick note about the future

2016-02-29 Thread Ziko van Dijk
Hello Jimmy,

Thank you for the note. I was wondering about the eligibility of
James, because the page
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_Board_noticeboard/James_Heilman_removal_FAQ#Can_James_be_a_candidate_for_a_community-selected_seat_again.3F
says:
"Due to the removal from the Board, James is not eligible to be a
candidate for the Board until the 2017 community selection process.
Under the Bylaws, the Board oversees the rules and procedures for the
community-selection process. If the Board determines that a candidate
does not meet eligibility criteria, it may decline to appoint the
candidate to the Board."

Before 2017, James could be appointed to the board by the sitting
board members. Is he eligible for such an appointment?

According to the 2015 board selection page, a candidate for the
community seats - and I assume that the rules for other seats are
comparable - has to meet some criteria,
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_elections/Board_elections/2015
"Prerequisites to candidacy".

If James was eligible in spring 2015, I guess that he is also eligible
at the moment. But why does the FAQ say that James is not eligible
"now" because of the removal?

The "prerequisites" say:
"You must not have been removed from a position at a non-profit
organization or other company because of mismanagement or misconduct"

So would this be a reason for not appointing James to the board, or
call him not eligible for the 2017 elections? Was James removed from
the WMF Board for "mismanagement or misconduct"?

Kind regards
Ziko









2016-02-29 15:03 GMT+01:00 Amir E. Aharoni :
> Nathan, as pretty much always, is correct.
>
> Everybody is tired of this mystery.
>
> I'm not blaming anybody - it's part of the unfortunate atmosphere of
> unnecessary secrecy, which plagued us for way too long. That's what creates
> the accusations and the wild rumors in all sides. We all have to fix it in
> ourselves.
>
> Simply telling everybody's stories fully and openly is the only right thing
> now.
> בתאריך 29 בפבר׳ 2016 15:53,‏ "Nathan"  כתב:
>
>> On Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 8:45 AM, Jimmy Wales 
>> wrote:
>>
>> >
>> > One of the things that someone asked me privately to discuss is what I
>> > think of the possibility of James running for the board again.
>> >
>> > First, I have no opinion about whether or not he will be eligible at the
>> > next election.  That's a matter for people other than me to decide.  I
>> > don't know.
>> >
>> > Second, if he is eligible, and if he runs, and if he wins, then I will
>> > support his joining the board.  Because I've been willing to be vocal
>> > about what I view as his failures, people have sometimes gotten the
>> > mistaken impression that this is primarily a personal conflict between
>> > him and me.  That's not true.  Before the board vote to remove him, I
>> > told him that I would vote with the majority - because it is my feeling
>> > that on matters of trust, if he was unable to command the trust of at
>> > least the majority of other trustees, his position would be untenable.
>> >
>> > Third, it may interest you all to know that I did not and would not have
>> > instigated the meeting in which he was removed from the board.  Indeed,
>> > I missed an online board meeting where things happened apparently that
>> > brought this to a head, and in the final meeting with James, I mainly
>> > inquired "What brought this up now?" as I thought things were settling
>> > down.
>> >
>> > Fourth, having said all of that, I remain very disappointed in James and
>> > the way he has spun this without coming forward with the community about
>> > what happened.  He claimed reasons for his dismissal that everyone else
>> > on the board agrees unanimously are not the reasons.  I haven't seen him
>> > acknowledge that he was wrong about that, and I haven't seen him own up
>> > to the things that actually upset people.
>> >
>> > There are many narratives being spun by people who weren't there, who
>> > have made all kinds of assumption that aren't true.
>> >
>>
>> There is a simple and easy way to rectify this: you and the other members
>> of the board can honestly and fully describe the circumstances that led you
>> to eject Heilman from the board.  I've seen lots of indirect and
>> non-specific claims from both sides; I wish you would all stop making vague
>> assertions and just tell us what happened. I'm sure you can come up with
>> lots of reasons why you Simply Cannot Do That, but if that's the case then
>> maybe stop talking about it altogether.
>> ___
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] A quick note about the future

2016-02-29 Thread Newyorkbrad
Although there may be aspects of the Doc James situation that
legitimately must, or at least should, stay private, I am sure more
can be revealed than has been to date.

Let me see if I can help with one aspect of the issue.  One stated
reason that information has not been forthcoming, has been that
revealing it could be a violation of Doc James's own privacy or his
expectations of confidentiality.

I expect that if asked point-blank, Dr. Heilman would agree to waive
any confidentiality interest that he personally might have in keeping
any aspect of the matter confidential or undisclosed.  So I hereby ask
him if he is able and willing to do that..

(My apologies if this has been done before and I missed it.)

Doc James' agreeing that nothing needs to be kept confidential for HIS
sake will not cut the entire Gordian knot that has kept this situation
unclear for months -- but perhaps it will be helpful at least to some
extent.

Newyorkbrad/IBM


On 2/29/16, Amir E. Aharoni  wrote:
> Nathan, as pretty much always, is correct.
>
> Everybody is tired of this mystery.
>
> I'm not blaming anybody - it's part of the unfortunate atmosphere of
> unnecessary secrecy, which plagued us for way too long. That's what creates
> the accusations and the wild rumors in all sides. We all have to fix it in
> ourselves.
>
> Simply telling everybody's stories fully and openly is the only right thing
> now.
> בתאריך 29 בפבר׳ 2016 15:53,‏ "Nathan"  כתב:
>
>> On Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 8:45 AM, Jimmy Wales 
>> wrote:
>>
>> >
>> > One of the things that someone asked me privately to discuss is what I
>> > think of the possibility of James running for the board again.
>> >
>> > First, I have no opinion about whether or not he will be eligible at the
>> > next election.  That's a matter for people other than me to decide.  I
>> > don't know.
>> >
>> > Second, if he is eligible, and if he runs, and if he wins, then I will
>> > support his joining the board.  Because I've been willing to be vocal
>> > about what I view as his failures, people have sometimes gotten the
>> > mistaken impression that this is primarily a personal conflict between
>> > him and me.  That's not true.  Before the board vote to remove him, I
>> > told him that I would vote with the majority - because it is my feeling
>> > that on matters of trust, if he was unable to command the trust of at
>> > least the majority of other trustees, his position would be untenable.
>> >
>> > Third, it may interest you all to know that I did not and would not have
>> > instigated the meeting in which he was removed from the board.  Indeed,
>> > I missed an online board meeting where things happened apparently that
>> > brought this to a head, and in the final meeting with James, I mainly
>> > inquired "What brought this up now?" as I thought things were settling
>> > down.
>> >
>> > Fourth, having said all of that, I remain very disappointed in James and
>> > the way he has spun this without coming forward with the community about
>> > what happened.  He claimed reasons for his dismissal that everyone else
>> > on the board agrees unanimously are not the reasons.  I haven't seen him
>> > acknowledge that he was wrong about that, and I haven't seen him own up
>> > to the things that actually upset people.
>> >
>> > There are many narratives being spun by people who weren't there, who
>> > have made all kinds of assumption that aren't true.
>> >
>>
>> There is a simple and easy way to rectify this: you and the other members
>> of the board can honestly and fully describe the circumstances that led
>> you
>> to eject Heilman from the board.  I've seen lots of indirect and
>> non-specific claims from both sides; I wish you would all stop making
>> vague
>> assertions and just tell us what happened. I'm sure you can come up with
>> lots of reasons why you Simply Cannot Do That, but if that's the case then
>> maybe stop talking about it altogether.
>> ___
>> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
>> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
>> New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
>> 
> ___
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] I am going to San Francisco

2016-02-29 Thread Jimmy Wales
On 2/29/16 2:25 AM, Molly White wrote:
> Thank you for your reply, and I apologize for how late this one is. When
> I asked how you intend to speak with the Board of Trustees and with staff, I
> did not mean what technical means you will use. It doesn't much matter to me
> whether you speak with them in person, over email, over Hangouts, or what have
> you.

Ah, ok. :)  I wondered why it mattered but thought I'd just answer
plainly in case you were concerned that not doing it in person would
fail to convey nuance, etc.  (A valid concern, always.)

> I am instead concerned with how (and if) you will be able to clearly
> communicate your discussions between these two groups, since you are 
> apparently
> the one doing so.

I'm not the only one.  Alice is here in San Francisco, too.

> Perhaps more concerning to me: do you intend to take steps to
> make WMF staff comfortable speaking to you? If so, what are these steps? As
> Oliver and others have made clear, staff have gone through what sounds like an
> extended, traumatic period. I think the mass exodus of staff members makes 
> that
> very clear. Some have spoken of intimidation about speaking up with their
> concerns. How will you ensure they don't feel the same around you?

Sure.  It's a potentially tough problem, and likely made worse by a lot
of misconceptions being thrown around by people who have misrepresented
my views.  It's been claimed, for example, that I was the chief
architect of a concept that staff shouldn't talk to board members -
overcoming that misunderstanding is important to me.

I am not involved at all in hiring and firing decisions, and don't
intend to become so involved.  I'm not becoming the interim ED nor the
permanent ED.  I've been here from the beginning and I am very
passionate about Wikipedia and our mission.  I have no specific axe to
grind other than that one.

My heart is heavy about what has happened here, and one of the things
that I feel most heavy about - and that I've heard from staff - is that
I lost touch with them.  I remember driving to the November board
meeting thinking "Well, this is going to be fairly routine and boring"
because I had no idea what awaited me there - which was a train wreck of
a meeting which left millions more questions than answers but which made
it clear that something big was going on.

In my reporting back to the board, and in future discussions with the
interim ED and permanent ED, I intend to report generally and as NPOV as
I can on what I've learned.  I don't intend to name names, as that's not
really relevant.  I won't be making any hiring or firing
recommendations, as I'm not in a position to even begin to evaluate
people on that level.

Intimidation about speaking up is a terrible and perverse thing to
happen in any organization.  If that's a feeling that the organization
has had, I want to put forward the idea that it's over.  If I were
moving into the ED position, it would be my first priority - to root
that out.  It's devastating.  Work life shouldn't be about that - it
should be about the mission, about everything we have all be dreaming of
and working toward and enjoying for all these years.

And it will be one of the qualities that I'm looking for in any interim
and permanent ED - a sense that they will build a creative, nurturing,
bold workplace.  And I also think we absolutely need to build in
mechanisms for structured, professional, facilitated thoughtful feedback
from the staff directly to the board is a regular thing.

In short, there is no reason for anyone to be afraid to talk to me.

But, I should note, I've had a huge response to my offer to meet with
people, and as far as I can tell checking with people who know more
people than I do, I'm getting a nice mix of people - noisy ones, quiet
ones, angry ones, satisfied ones.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] A quick note about the future

2016-02-29 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
Nathan, as pretty much always, is correct.

Everybody is tired of this mystery.

I'm not blaming anybody - it's part of the unfortunate atmosphere of
unnecessary secrecy, which plagued us for way too long. That's what creates
the accusations and the wild rumors in all sides. We all have to fix it in
ourselves.

Simply telling everybody's stories fully and openly is the only right thing
now.
בתאריך 29 בפבר׳ 2016 15:53,‏ "Nathan"  כתב:

> On Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 8:45 AM, Jimmy Wales 
> wrote:
>
> >
> > One of the things that someone asked me privately to discuss is what I
> > think of the possibility of James running for the board again.
> >
> > First, I have no opinion about whether or not he will be eligible at the
> > next election.  That's a matter for people other than me to decide.  I
> > don't know.
> >
> > Second, if he is eligible, and if he runs, and if he wins, then I will
> > support his joining the board.  Because I've been willing to be vocal
> > about what I view as his failures, people have sometimes gotten the
> > mistaken impression that this is primarily a personal conflict between
> > him and me.  That's not true.  Before the board vote to remove him, I
> > told him that I would vote with the majority - because it is my feeling
> > that on matters of trust, if he was unable to command the trust of at
> > least the majority of other trustees, his position would be untenable.
> >
> > Third, it may interest you all to know that I did not and would not have
> > instigated the meeting in which he was removed from the board.  Indeed,
> > I missed an online board meeting where things happened apparently that
> > brought this to a head, and in the final meeting with James, I mainly
> > inquired "What brought this up now?" as I thought things were settling
> > down.
> >
> > Fourth, having said all of that, I remain very disappointed in James and
> > the way he has spun this without coming forward with the community about
> > what happened.  He claimed reasons for his dismissal that everyone else
> > on the board agrees unanimously are not the reasons.  I haven't seen him
> > acknowledge that he was wrong about that, and I haven't seen him own up
> > to the things that actually upset people.
> >
> > There are many narratives being spun by people who weren't there, who
> > have made all kinds of assumption that aren't true.
> >
>
> There is a simple and easy way to rectify this: you and the other members
> of the board can honestly and fully describe the circumstances that led you
> to eject Heilman from the board.  I've seen lots of indirect and
> non-specific claims from both sides; I wish you would all stop making vague
> assertions and just tell us what happened. I'm sure you can come up with
> lots of reasons why you Simply Cannot Do That, but if that's the case then
> maybe stop talking about it altogether.
> ___
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] A quick note about the future

2016-02-29 Thread Jimmy Wales
On 2/29/16 5:52 AM, Nathan wrote:
> There is a simple and easy way to rectify this: you and the other members
> of the board can honestly and fully describe the circumstances that led you
> to eject Heilman from the board.  I've seen lots of indirect and
> non-specific claims from both sides; I wish you would all stop making vague
> assertions and just tell us what happened. I'm sure you can come up with
> lots of reasons why you Simply Cannot Do That, but if that's the case then
> maybe stop talking about it altogether.

I agree with you completely.


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[Wikimedia-l] What it means to be a high-tech organization

2016-02-29 Thread Brion Vibber
On Feb 29, 2016 3:13 AM, "Ilario Valdelli" > wrote:
>
> Hi,
> in my opinion there is no need to differentiate and to clarify what
> "high-tech" means.
>
> The real problem is to define the KPIs (key performance indicators) and a
> balanced relation of those indicators.
>
> A corporation can be a high-tech corporation and take care of the comfort
> of all stakeholders without problems, the big deal is to find this
balanced
> relation.

I too like measuring things, but I think we can't just measure people and
expect that's going to create a healthy productive environment for staff
and volunteers. I think you have to talk and listen to people to do that.
Rant time:

It's great to track measurable things to engage in a feedback loop for
whether we're accomplishing our goals, but the measures are always limited
in what they tell you; at best they're proxies for the information you
really wanted -- such as "page views" when we want to know "how many people
are learning and improving their lives through Wikipedia?" or active editor
counts when we want to know "do we have a strong, healthy volunteer
workforce?"

It's very common for such feedback loops to fail dramatically when you
optimize for the measurement instead of for your actual goals...

Focusing on KPIs is how people die in hospitals (because the sickest people
don't get risky surgery to keep post-op survival rates up) or schools with
at-risk children get defunded here in the US (schools whose students
get low standardized testing results are punished under the "No Child Left
Behind" law of 2001).

This link came up in some discussions off list, and aligns with my concerns:
http://www.the-american-interest.com/2015/08/03/the-costs-of-accountability/

-- brion

>
> Kind regards
>
>
>
> On Tue, Feb 23, 2016 at 10:29 PM, Brion Vibber >
> wrote:
>
> > I think there are many different interpretations of what it means to
"be a
> > high-tech organization", which makes it a difficult label to base
arguments
> > around; readers will interpret it very differently depending on their
> > personal experiences and biases.
> >
> > One view might concentrate on notions of "innovation", "excellence", or
> > "return on investment" achieved through super-smart people creating
unique
> > technology -- this view associates "high-tech" with success, competitive
> > advantage, brand awareness/marketshare, and money (profit for
traditional
> > corporations, or investment in the mission for non-profits).
> >
> > Another view might concentrate on other features considered common to
> > "high-tech" companies such as toxic work environments, lack of
diversity,
> > overemphasis on engineering versus other disciplines, disconnection from
> > users' needs, and a laser-focus on achieving profits at the expense of
> > long-term thinking. This view associates "high-tech" with social and
> > economic inequality and exploitation of employees and users for their
labor
> > & attention to the detriment of their physical and emotional health.
> >
> > And there are many, much subtler connotations to be found in between.
> >
> >
> > I believe a high-tech organization should invest in smart people
creating
> > unique technology. But I also think it should invest in people, period.
> > Staff and volunteers must be cultivated and supported -- that's how
loyalty
> > and passion are developed, and I believe they pay dividends in
productivity
> > and recruitment.
> >
> > Absolutely Wikimedia Foundation needs to build better technologies --
> > technologies to serve the needs of our editors, our readers, our
> > photographers, our citation reviewers, etc. This means Wikimedia
Foundation
> > needs a good relationship with those people to research, brainstorm,
plan,
> > develop, test, redevelop, retest, and roll out software successfully.
The
> > people who represent Wikimedia Foundation in those relationships are its
> > staff, so it's important for management to support them in their work
and
> > help them succeed.
> >
> > It is my sincere hope that when the current crises are resolved, that
the
> > Board of Trustees and the executive can agree on at least this much as a
> > shared vision for the Foundation.
> >
> > -- brion
> > ___
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> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org

> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > 
?subject=unsubscribe>
>
>
>
>
> --
> Ilario Valdelli
> Wikimedia CH
> Verein zur Förderung Freien Wissens
> Association pour l’avancement des connaissances libre
> 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] A quick note about the future

2016-02-29 Thread Nathan
On Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 8:45 AM, Jimmy Wales 
wrote:

>
> One of the things that someone asked me privately to discuss is what I
> think of the possibility of James running for the board again.
>
> First, I have no opinion about whether or not he will be eligible at the
> next election.  That's a matter for people other than me to decide.  I
> don't know.
>
> Second, if he is eligible, and if he runs, and if he wins, then I will
> support his joining the board.  Because I've been willing to be vocal
> about what I view as his failures, people have sometimes gotten the
> mistaken impression that this is primarily a personal conflict between
> him and me.  That's not true.  Before the board vote to remove him, I
> told him that I would vote with the majority - because it is my feeling
> that on matters of trust, if he was unable to command the trust of at
> least the majority of other trustees, his position would be untenable.
>
> Third, it may interest you all to know that I did not and would not have
> instigated the meeting in which he was removed from the board.  Indeed,
> I missed an online board meeting where things happened apparently that
> brought this to a head, and in the final meeting with James, I mainly
> inquired "What brought this up now?" as I thought things were settling
> down.
>
> Fourth, having said all of that, I remain very disappointed in James and
> the way he has spun this without coming forward with the community about
> what happened.  He claimed reasons for his dismissal that everyone else
> on the board agrees unanimously are not the reasons.  I haven't seen him
> acknowledge that he was wrong about that, and I haven't seen him own up
> to the things that actually upset people.
>
> There are many narratives being spun by people who weren't there, who
> have made all kinds of assumption that aren't true.
>

There is a simple and easy way to rectify this: you and the other members
of the board can honestly and fully describe the circumstances that led you
to eject Heilman from the board.  I've seen lots of indirect and
non-specific claims from both sides; I wish you would all stop making vague
assertions and just tell us what happened. I'm sure you can come up with
lots of reasons why you Simply Cannot Do That, but if that's the case then
maybe stop talking about it altogether.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Jimmy Wales' potential conflict of loyalties for Wikia Inc. versus WMF

2016-02-29 Thread Nathan
On Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 5:35 AM, Fæ  wrote:

>
> Ownership of Wikia is a relationship where loyalty will be perceived
> by the public as questionable, and there may be indirect financial
> gains, even though there is no traceable direct benefit.
>
>
Fae,

Is there any evidence that this is broadly the case? Are there press
articles, blogs or other sources to support the claim that ownership of
Wikia is seen by the public as leading to divided loyalty? Given what has
been said about the diverging use of MediaWiki from Wikia and the WMF, can
you point to any specific instances where Board-level decisions may present
an opportunity for financial gain for Jimmy or a concern for divided
loyalty?

Are you bringing this up now because you believe that these conflicts are
relevant in some way to the issues causing upheaval in the WMF in recent
months? If so, can you describe how they are related and what role you
think these conflicts have played?  I understand you believe that Jimmy has
written negatively about you in private; do you think this has influenced
your perception of these conflicts or your decision to raise them
repeatedly?
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[Wikimedia-l] A quick note about the future

2016-02-29 Thread Jimmy Wales

One of the things that someone asked me privately to discuss is what I
think of the possibility of James running for the board again.

First, I have no opinion about whether or not he will be eligible at the
next election.  That's a matter for people other than me to decide.  I
don't know.

Second, if he is eligible, and if he runs, and if he wins, then I will
support his joining the board.  Because I've been willing to be vocal
about what I view as his failures, people have sometimes gotten the
mistaken impression that this is primarily a personal conflict between
him and me.  That's not true.  Before the board vote to remove him, I
told him that I would vote with the majority - because it is my feeling
that on matters of trust, if he was unable to command the trust of at
least the majority of other trustees, his position would be untenable.

Third, it may interest you all to know that I did not and would not have
instigated the meeting in which he was removed from the board.  Indeed,
I missed an online board meeting where things happened apparently that
brought this to a head, and in the final meeting with James, I mainly
inquired "What brought this up now?" as I thought things were settling down.

Fourth, having said all of that, I remain very disappointed in James and
the way he has spun this without coming forward with the community about
what happened.  He claimed reasons for his dismissal that everyone else
on the board agrees unanimously are not the reasons.  I haven't seen him
acknowledge that he was wrong about that, and I haven't seen him own up
to the things that actually upset people.

There are many narratives being spun by people who weren't there, who
have made all kinds of assumption that aren't true.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Open letter: Issues needing addressing by the Wikimedia Foundation's Board of Trustees

2016-02-29 Thread Jimmy Wales
On 2/29/16 2:42 AM, Andreas Kolbe wrote:
> Pete,

> Can you help me figure out how Jimmy and the board could have "assumed"
> that there was community discussion and consultation about the Knowledge
> Engine project when James Heilman
> 
> 1. had started a board discussion in mid-October specifically to point out
> that there was no community discussion and consultation,

Actually, although some of all this stuff is really complicated and
nuanced, as it involves judgment calls and normal human
misunderstandings, speaking for myself only and not the rest of the
board, this one is super easy.

From the Wikimania board meeting until James emailed me (before he
emailed the board) I hadn't given much thought to community engagement.
 Why?  We weren't presented with a Google-competitor search project at
that meeting but rather a plan to work on search and discovery that was
ambitious but in-line with our overall tech budget - and the first year
was all we really looked at in depth, and it seemed like good first
steps to explore ideas.

So, as I have said, there didn't see anything unusual or controversial
about the concepts being presented to us about the evolving ideas around
improving search and discover, and I simply assumed that there was
community discussion and consultation

In mid-October, before he emailed the board, James wrote me with a huge
misconception - that we had a secret project to build a Google competing
search engine.  Of course we didn't have such a project We had a few
emails back and forth in which I explained that was not the case.

We went back and forth in pleasant emails discussing the situation and
as a part of that I said: "I am always in favor of more community
consultation."  I went on to discuss a bit that I didn't think we were
at the point where a full-scale community consultation (like the one
that legal did on revising the terms of service) was necessary for a
mere $250,000 grant.  But I was supportive of consulting the community.

> 2. had offered to write an article for the Signpost about the project to
> inform the community,
> 
> 3. was told by his colleagues on the board that the idea of a Signpost
> article was not welcome?

I've tried to find this in my email records and have no record of it.  I
don't know when this offer was made nor who responded.  If James knows,
and wants to share the board emails with me directly, that would be
appreciated.



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Re: [Wikimedia-l] What it means to be a high-tech organization

2016-02-29 Thread Ilario Valdelli
Hi,
in my opinion there is no need to differentiate and to clarify what
"high-tech" means.

The real problem is to define the KPIs (key performance indicators) and a
balanced relation of those indicators.

A corporation can be a high-tech corporation and take care of the comfort
of all stakeholders without problems, the big deal is to find this balanced
relation.

Kind regards



On Tue, Feb 23, 2016 at 10:29 PM, Brion Vibber 
wrote:

> I think there are many different interpretations of what it means to "be a
> high-tech organization", which makes it a difficult label to base arguments
> around; readers will interpret it very differently depending on their
> personal experiences and biases.
>
> One view might concentrate on notions of "innovation", "excellence", or
> "return on investment" achieved through super-smart people creating unique
> technology -- this view associates "high-tech" with success, competitive
> advantage, brand awareness/marketshare, and money (profit for traditional
> corporations, or investment in the mission for non-profits).
>
> Another view might concentrate on other features considered common to
> "high-tech" companies such as toxic work environments, lack of diversity,
> overemphasis on engineering versus other disciplines, disconnection from
> users' needs, and a laser-focus on achieving profits at the expense of
> long-term thinking. This view associates "high-tech" with social and
> economic inequality and exploitation of employees and users for their labor
> & attention to the detriment of their physical and emotional health.
>
> And there are many, much subtler connotations to be found in between.
>
>
> I believe a high-tech organization should invest in smart people creating
> unique technology. But I also think it should invest in people, period.
> Staff and volunteers must be cultivated and supported -- that's how loyalty
> and passion are developed, and I believe they pay dividends in productivity
> and recruitment.
>
> Absolutely Wikimedia Foundation needs to build better technologies --
> technologies to serve the needs of our editors, our readers, our
> photographers, our citation reviewers, etc. This means Wikimedia Foundation
> needs a good relationship with those people to research, brainstorm, plan,
> develop, test, redevelop, retest, and roll out software successfully. The
> people who represent Wikimedia Foundation in those relationships are its
> staff, so it's important for management to support them in their work and
> help them succeed.
>
> It is my sincere hope that when the current crises are resolved, that the
> Board of Trustees and the executive can agree on at least this much as a
> shared vision for the Foundation.
>
> -- brion
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-- 
Ilario Valdelli
Wikimedia CH
Verein zur Förderung Freien Wissens
Association pour l’avancement des connaissances libre
Associazione per il sostegno alla conoscenza libera
Switzerland - 8008 Zürich
Wikipedia: Ilario 
Skype: valdelli
Tel: +41764821371
http://www.wikimedia.ch
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Open letter: Issues needing addressing by the Wikimedia Foundation's Board of Trustees

2016-02-29 Thread Andreas Kolbe
Pete,

According to his Signpost piece three weeks ago[1], James Heilman emailed
the board in mid-October about the Knight Foundation grant to warn the
board, and I quote –


*"4) There is a serious lack of transparency around this new "sister
project". This has not been discussed with our communities as far as I am
aware. Please correct me if I am wrong. As such it has the potential to
worsen WMF / community relations. Starting a new sister site without
community discussion is not the wiki way."*


No board member has come forward to deny that James sent this email. In the
same piece, James also said:


*"I emailed the board list offering to write up an overview of these ideas
for the Signpost, which was met with negative comments by some board
members."*


Nobody has denied that that happened, either. Now, Jimmy said on-wiki[2]
two days ago, and I quote:


*"I didn't see anything particularly unusual or controversial about the
concepts being presented to us about the evolving ideas around improving
search and discover, and I simply assumed that there was community
discussion and consultation **[...] had we **understood that a disconnect
was going on, and that the community was not being consulted, we absolutely
would have pushed harder for community engagement sooner. As it is, I think
most likely other board members, like me, simply assumed that it was being
talked about and not treated as some kind of super top secret thing. Is
that helpful?"*


Can you help me figure out how Jimmy and the board could have "assumed"
that there was community discussion and consultation about the Knowledge
Engine project when James Heilman

1. had started a board discussion in mid-October specifically to point out
that there was no community discussion and consultation,

2. had offered to write an article for the Signpost about the project to
inform the community,

3. was told by his colleagues on the board that the idea of a Signpost
article was not welcome?

I'm finding it impossible to reconcile. And like Sarah, I am struck by the
fact that so far, everything James Heilman has said about this turned out
to be true.

Andreas



[1]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/2016-02-03/In_focus
[2]
https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=User_talk:Jimbo_Wales=707285756=707282252
Quote in full:
*"The board has broadly encouraged open discussion and disclosure, and I'm
unaware of anyone individually giving her advice to hide anything about
long term strategy. Going into slightly more depth than that, I didn't see
anything particularly unusual or controversial about the concepts being
presented to us about the evolving ideas around improving search and
discover, and I simply assumed that there was community discussion and
consultation about it. The grander concept which, as I now understand,
Damon was pitching via cloak-and-dagger PGP encrypted files (one employee
told me that he had to give his PGP key on a USB stick because Damon didn't
trust the public keyservers), didn't really get traction and was quickly
abandoned. By the time of the board meeting in Mexico City, we specifically
discussed that this would not be anything like a "Google competitor". As to
the exact details of every single discussion with funders, obviously the
board is not privy to those as a practical matter. Certainly had we
understood that a disconnect was going on, and that the community was not
being consulted, we absolutely would have pushed harder for community
engagement sooner. As it is, I think most likely other board members, like
me, simply assumed that it was being talked about and not treated as some
kind of super top secret thing. Is that helpful?--Jimbo Wales
(talk
) 23:25, 27
February 2016 (UTC)"*



On Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 6:53 AM, Pete Forsyth  wrote:

> Jimmy and James, I'm glad to see you both agreeing on some facts. That's
> encouraging. But IMO you should both put some careful thought into this
> part:
>
> On Sun, Feb 28, 2016 at 9:36 PM, James Heilman  wrote:
>
> > Finally facts are not determined by a vote. That you got unanimity for
> "The
> > board.. has offered no objections to any board member discussing long
> term
> > strategy with the community at any time" should make all of us worry. I
> > have provided evidence that refutes this claim here
> >
> >
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/2016-02-03/In_focus
>
>
> As somebody who's following this, but who's not locked in a dispute, it
> seems there is a very natural explanation for this, that should not
> especially make us worry:
>
> Different people, reasonable people, can reasonably disagree about what
> constitutes "discussing long term strategy" and what does not.
>
> For the entire board to agree to a statement like that does not strike me
> as especially bad; perhaps there was a 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Jimmy Wales' potential conflict of loyalties for Wikia Inc. versus WMF

2016-02-29 Thread
After an offlist correspondence with Gergő, we agree it is quite hard
to get to grips with the beginnings of Wikia unless you lived through
it and casual interviews may be confusing.[1] This remains a tangent
to the issue of whether ownership of Wikia is seen in the public eye
as a conflict of interest or loyalty for Jimmy Wales.

Based on that discussion, a second issue that may muddy the waters is
that some may interpret "Conflict of Interest" in the same way as it
is interpreted on Wikipedia.[2] Keep in mind that companies and
charities read this narrowly in a legal sense as having a demonstrated
financial benefit from your actions as a board member, and that the
concept of conflict of loyalty extends this to relationships that may
make it harder for a trustee/director to be seen as capable of making
decisions that are not unduly influenced by those relationships.[3]
Ownership of Wikia is a relationship where loyalty will be perceived
by the public as questionable, and there may be indirect financial
gains, even though there is no traceable direct benefit.

Links:
1. Wikia early press releases: http://www.wikia.com/Press/2005;
archive of search.wikia
https://web.archive.org/web/20080516180103/http://www.search.wikia.com
- thanks to Gergő for suggesting these sources
2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Conflict_of_interest
3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conflict_of_interest

Fae

On 28 February 2016 at 19:47, Fæ  wrote:
> ISSUE
>
> Jimmy Wales has never declared a conflict of interest or loyalty when
> acting as a WMF trustee. He is co-founder of Wikia Inc, set up in
> 2004, a commercial company that often benefits from new MediaWiki
> developments, and clearly he benefits financially from resulting
> profitability of Wikia. The original vision for Wikia was as a
> "Google-killer" open search engine, so it would seem highly prudent
> for Jimmy to have declared a conflict of interest and avoided WMF
> board discussions and votes in relation to new development projects
> around open Knowledge Engines / Search Engines.
>
> I welcome some feedback as to whether the general perception of
> Wikimedians is that WMF trustees should be seen to do more to declare
> and manage their potential conflicts of interest, and whether Jimmy
> Wales is perceived to have a conflict of loyalties when steering the
> WMF board member in areas which overlap with Wikia Inc.'s marketing
> strategy, and that they might otherwise fund commercially.
>
> BACKGROUND
>
> With regard to his potential conflict of loyalties when serving as a
> voting unelected trustee on the WMF board, Jimmy Wales has stated:
> "I did not have any conflict of loyalties during that process.
> Spending a reasonable portion of our IT budget on an ambitious project
> to improve search and discovery, and to conduct research and community
> consultation on that, is a great idea for Wikipedia and for the
> broader Wikimedia movement and I strongly support it."[1]
>
> Most recently Jimmy Wales has been arguing the case against
> introducing charges for commercial reusers of WMF services, with an
> obvious reuser of MediaWiki code improvements and WMF supported open
> project data being Wikia Inc.[2]
>
> There is no record in the WMF board minutes for 2015 of Jimmy Wales
> having ever declared a conflict of interest or loyalty for Wikia Inc
> or for any other reason, nor of any other trustee doing so. In order
> to comply with standard company law, these are expected on the
> standing agenda for board meetings, and it is worrying for a
> Foundation with control of $100m assets to never have a trustee or
> director ever declare an interest as a reason to abstain from a vote
> or discussion.[3]
>
> Jimmy does not appear to see there may be a public perception of
> conflict of interest or loyalties[6] when he is involved in steering
> the WMF strategy for prioritizing new developments that are likely to
> benefit Wikia Inc. The Knowledge Engine / Search Engine project was
> discussed by the board during 2015 and Jimmy has been a public
> advocate of the project since it was publicly leaked. The overlap of
> what is thought to have been the original proposal to the Knight
> Foundation with Jimmy Wales' original vision for wikia.com, being
> "Search Wikia", described as a "Google-killer search engine", is an
> obvious concern. Jimmy Wales: "Obsession: Currently, it’s wikia.com.
> It is meant to take on Google by creating a search engine where all
> the editorial decisions are made by the general public and all the
> software is open."[5]
>
> Nine years later Jimmy is promoting the same ideas but with the WMF
> investing charitable donated funds to support a development that will
> benefit Wikia, rather than it being commercially funded while using
> much of the same rhetoric, such as the importance of transparency.[4]
>
> Links
> 1. https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2016-February/082678.html
> 2. 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] I am going to San Francisco

2016-02-29 Thread Molly White
Jimmy,

Thank you for your reply, and I apologize for how late this one is. When
I asked how you intend to speak with the Board of Trustees and with staff, I
did not mean what technical means you will use. It doesn't much matter to me
whether you speak with them in person, over email, over Hangouts, or what have
you.

I am instead concerned with how (and if) you will be able to clearly
communicate your discussions between these two groups, since you are apparently
the one doing so.

Perhaps more concerning to me: do you intend to take steps to
make WMF staff comfortable speaking to you? If so, what are these steps? As
Oliver and others have made clear, staff have gone through what sounds like an
extended, traumatic period. I think the mass exodus of staff members makes that
very clear. Some have spoken of intimidation about speaking up with their
concerns. How will you ensure they don't feel the same around you?

Thanks,
Molly (GorillaWarfare)


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Movement representation vs WMF board reform

2016-02-29 Thread Ziko van Dijk
Dear Brion, thank you for starting this thread and for your caveats.

Among the challenges when creating new movement entities, or organs, I
think there are at least two which we have experienced in the past:

a) A certain part of the Wikipedians has a very individualistic mind
and may not want to be represented at all. Representation means to
support someone who is speaking, partially/temporarily, on your
behalf. It is easy to imagine that, in an emotional moment confronted
with a "common enemy", e.g. a specific Wikipedia language version
community elects representants. But that is not enough: on the long
run those representants need the constant support of those they are
supposed to represent, otherwise their position will be very weak.

b) Building up an organ or structures in general needs skills and hard
work. It is often difficult to find people who don't only want to cast
a voice of protest but to attend meetings, write minutes, communicate
with many different people, read a lot of documents, support a
decision even if you don't agree for 100% etc.

Kind regards
Ziko







2016-02-28 15:53 GMT+01:00 Brion Vibber :
> I just want to split out a concept that came up in the big threads of the
> last few days:
>
> Some members of the WMF Board of Trustees are giving strong signals (like,
> saying it outright) that the BoT can't fully take on the role of movement
> leadership or community representation. Not because they think it shouldn't
> happen, but because structurally and legally and practically the board of
> Wikimedia Foundation Inc has different roles to fill.
>
> I think we should consider what roles and structures we *do* want as
> members of the Wikimedia movement community. And I think we should think
> about that and talk about that carefully before rushing into details like
> board reform.
>
> Perhaps we should explicitly accept WMF as a "first among equals" org
> within the movement, with specific roles like tech development and
> fundraising (or other emphases as well) while other orgs concentrate on
> different specific issues. Or even just "one among equals" that happens to
> have specialized in those roles.
>
> This probably means we should think about "umbrella" structures to
> coordinate and represent and look forward.
>
> And that's something we should *definitely* not rush into. If a mismatch in
> hopes for what the WMF BoT can and should do has been a factor in
> communication and leadership issues in the past, then it's very important
> we not make the same kinds of mistakes in any new structures that might be
> needed.
>
> Dream big.
> Act with passion.
> Talk with thought.
> Don't run with scissors.
>
> -- brion
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Movement representation vs WMF board reform

2016-02-29 Thread Brion Vibber
On Sunday, February 28, 2016, Pharos  wrote:

> Hi fellow Wikimedians,
>
> If we are seriously going to consider an expanded Community Council as an
> alternative to WMF BoT reform, we need to have a real discussion about what
> "devolution" would mean, and what specific responsibilities we think should
> be given up, and distributed to a broader community governance.
>
> For example:
>
> Should the WMF BoT devolve a non-core portion of the budget?  How would the
> core portion be defined, and the non-core aspects?


Our current situation is that WMF centralizes most fundraising for the
movement, distributes a portion of it to other movement organizations, and
spends the rest itself to support movement goals such as the hosting and
fundraising infrastructure, engineering support to improve the tools that
movement contributors use, public communications, legal support, etc.

In a multi-org world with national chapters like WMDE doing engineering
projects and sister organizations like WEF doing editor
coordination work, I think it's already incorrect to think of Wikimedia
movement fundraising monies as belonging to WMF and a "non-core" portion of
them potentially being devolved.

Rather, WMF provides fundraising to the movement as a service. WMF should
be only one of multiple orgs seeking disbursement of raised movement funds
in an open, documented, and transparent process (FDC?)



> Should the WMF BoT devolve aspects of the approval or closing of sister
> sites? (Wiktionary, Wikidata, Wikinews, a potential genealogy project)


Almost certainly. WMF is a provider of engineering and hosting services to
the movement; the BoT thereof provides oversight of its operations, but
should possibly not be deciding what community members can and can't work
on. It's the movement and its representatives who should decide what major
projects to include under the collective umbrella, and WMF's job to host
and support them.

Should the WMF BoT devolve aspects related to Wikimania and related
> regional meetings?


Yes. Most likely they should be operated by purpose-built institutions
specializing in this, like many large conventions and conferences are.

-- brion


>
> Thanks,
> Pharos
>
> On Sun, Feb 28, 2016 at 12:43 PM, Emmanuel Engelhart  >
> wrote:
>
> > On 28.02.2016 15:53, Brion Vibber wrote:
> > > I just want to split out a concept that came up in the big threads of
> the
> > > last few days:
> > >
> > > Some members of the WMF Board of Trustees are giving strong signals
> > (like,
> > > saying it outright) that the BoT can't fully take on the role of
> movement
> > > leadership or community representation. Not because they think it
> > shouldn't
> > > happen, but because structurally and legally and practically the board
> of
> > > Wikimedia Foundation Inc has different roles to fill.
> > >
> > > I think we should consider what roles and structures we *do* want as
> > > members of the Wikimedia movement community. And I think we should
> think
> > > about that and talk about that carefully before rushing into details
> like
> > > board reform.
> > >
> > > Perhaps we should explicitly accept WMF as a "first among equals" org
> > > within the movement, with specific roles like tech development and
> > > fundraising (or other emphases as well) while other orgs concentrate on
> > > different specific issues. Or even just "one among equals" that happens
> > to
> > > have specialized in those roles.
> > >
> > > This probably means we should think about "umbrella" structures to
> > > coordinate and represent and look forward.
> > >
> > > And that's something we should *definitely* not rush into. If a
> mismatch
> > in
> > > hopes for what the WMF BoT can and should do has been a factor in
> > > communication and leadership issues in the past, then it's very
> important
> > > we not make the same kinds of mistakes in any new structures that might
> > be
> > > needed.
> >
> > Delighting to read this. That said, the path to achieve this looks
> > pretty challenging. Would the WMF be able to organize such a move and
> > "give-up" parts of its duties/activities to better focus on core
> business?
> >
> > Emmanuel
> >
> > --
> > Kiwix - Wikipedia Offline & more
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