Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board of Trustees elections, membership, quorum, and

2020-10-07 Thread Adam Wight
Part of the blame here is mine, for casually bringing up a controversial and 
slightly off-thread topic.  But I agree with Paulo that an unelected Board has 
little legitimacy, even if we would like them to have it.  The most recent 
crisis of confidence around rebranding makes a person ask: Why are the Board 
and Foundation so often misaligned with the community they serve, and how can 
we improve their accountability?

This could be a great opportunity to help fill in any of the lost history 
around the membership organization conversion: as I understand it (see the 
article I referenced earlier), Brad Patrick was general counsel of WMF for ten 
months, exactly during the organization's change in legal status, and can offer 
a unique perspective into the moment. 

I've read the public mailing list discussions and I think it's pretty clear 
that everyone was acting in good faith, trying to chart a safe course for how 
to best protect and nurture the young Foundation.  The scenario seems to be, 
that the membership requirements as written on paper had never been fulfilled, 
so there was some risk in continuing under that structure.  Rather than leave 
the Foundation vulnerable to lawsuits from sometimes volatile editors, who made 
up the majority of the member class, instead membership was eliminated and a 
more predictable set of bylaws were established which emphasized stability and 
would prevent a "hostile takeover". Please correct any bad assumptions here! 

The drawback (beyond the loss of democratic oversight) is that the Foundation 
remained in legal jeopardy, but now because it had potentially broken Florida 
nonprofit law by converting to a non-membership organization without formally 
notifying its members. The reason notifications weren't sent out ahead of time 
is that very few people were registered with physical mailing addresses. In 
hindsight, it's been pointed out, WMF did have email addresses for its members 
but no notification went out by that channel. Ironically, this means that 
members as of November 29, 2006 may have standing to sue for damages or 
control. There seems to be no time limit for making this challenge.

I hope this gives background to my comment, and that one day Wikimedians own 
the trademarks to the copyleft movement they have built.

-Adam W.
(Writing in my personal capacity, not representing my employer.) 

On October 7, 2020 9:00:21 PM GMT+02:00, Paulo Santos Perneta 
 wrote:
>Hello Brad,
>
>Asking what the legitimacy of such a thing is for the broad Movement
>seems
>to me a very reasonable question, especially when I'm not from the US,
>I'm
>not a native English speaker and I'm not US-stuff wise.
>You, however, have answered in a defensive and aggressive way, as if
>everybody in the globe had to born knowing US laws and bureaucracy,
>which
>seems quite unreasonable.
>Stay with your truths and your "Former WMF General Counsel" title, my
>argument here is finished.
>
>Best,
>Paulo
>
>
>Brad Patrick  escreveu no dia quarta, 7/10/2020
>à(s)
>19:45:
>
>> This is a very, very old and tired argument. If you do not understand
>> United States non-profit corporations, go educate yourself about
>those
>> first. If your perspective is non-US based, you may have a different
>frame
>> of mind which is irreconcilable with the way WMF is. Take all the
>time you
>> need to see the differences before attacking WMF for (a) what it is
>and (b)
>> why it isn't what you want it to be.
>>
>> WMF exists legally, and has as its foundation organizational
>principle,
>> authority vested in a Board. WMF is not a membership organization.
>You
>> would not want it to be a membership organization (as a matter of
>law).
>>
>> Please temper your criticism accordingly.
>>
>> Brad Patrick
>> Former WMF General Counsel
>>
>> On 10/7/20, 12:47 PM, "Wikimedia-l on behalf of Paulo Santos
>Perneta" <
>> wikimedia-l-boun...@lists.wikimedia.org on behalf of
>> paulospern...@gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>> I knew they are theoretically self-appointed, but was under the
>> impression
>> that at least until now an appearance of democracy and legitimacy
>> towards
>> the community has been respected, which no longer seems to be the
>case.
>> I wonder what would be the legitimacy of a self-appointing body
>in the
>> eyes
>> of the Wikimedia Movement, and all the communities which are part
>of
>> it?
>>
>> Regards,
>> Paulo
>>
>> Adam Wight  escreveu no dia quarta,
>> 7/10/2020 à(s)
>> 17:20:
>>
>> > Greetings, this is a semiautomated response pointing out that
>the
>> > Wikimedia Foundation Board is 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board of Trustees elections, membership, quorum, and

2020-10-07 Thread Adam Wight
Greetings, this is a semiautomated response pointing out that the 
Wikimedia Foundation Board is not elected, it's self-appointing. The 
so-called "elections" are in fact nominations to be considered by the 
Board.  Therefore, the Bylaws have not been broken.


This is an unfortunate arrangement, please see [1] for some background 
about the conversion from a membership organization to a non-membership 
organization which is no longer legally required to hold elections.


Regards,

Adam W.
[[mw:User:Adamw]]

[1] 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_membership_controversy


On 10/7/20 5:55 PM, Paulo Santos Perneta wrote:

The terms of 3 BoT members expired last month, and the BoT itself decided
to extend them? What is the legitimacy of that? And why is a BoT which is
expected to be in a mere interim management waiting for elections,
presenting profound changes to its Bylaws [1]?

[1] -
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_Board_noticeboard/October_2020_-_Proposed_Bylaws_changes

Best,
Paulo

Nataliia Tymkiv  escreveu no dia quarta, 7/10/2020
à(s) 16:49:


Hello,

I can answer a few of the questions raised in this thread.

When the Board postponed the community selection of trustees, we also
extended the terms of the trustees in the affected seats (María Sefidari,
Dariusz Jemielniak, and James Heilman)[1]. Their terms were originally set
to expire last month, but because of that term extension they are still
serving as trustees, and as such María remains the Board Chair and Dariusz
and James continue on as Committee Chairs[2].

Raju Narisetti and Esra'a Al Shafei have been reappointed to the Board for
an additional three-year term[3][4].

The current members of the Board of Trustees are listed on the Wikimedia
Foundation website[5].

We do not currently have a shortage of trustees on the Board, and we have
had a quorum for every decision we have made this year. We have published
some outstanding Board records, many of which were just approved at our
recent meeting in September[6][7].

I have just sent an email to this list, as well as posted an update to
Meta-Wiki, with a request for feedback on matters related to the
Foundation’s Bylaws and trustee selection[8]. That announcement contains
more information about the postponed community selection of trustees.

Best regards,

antanana / Nataliia Tymkiv

Vice Chair, Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees

[1]

https://foundation.wikimedia.org/wiki/Resolution:Postponement_of_Community_Selection_of_Trustees_and_Extension_of_Community_Selected_Trustee_Terms_until_next_selection_process


[2]

https://foundation.wikimedia.org/wiki/Resolution:Board_Officers_and_Committee_Membership,_2019


[3]

https://foundation.wikimedia.org/wiki/Resolution:Renewing_Raju_Narisetti%27s_Appointment_to_the_Board_of_Trustees,_2020


[4]

https://foundation.wikimedia.org/wiki/Resolution:Renewing_Esra%27a_Al_Shafei%27s_Appointment_to_the_Board_of_Trustees,_2020


[5] https://wikimediafoundation.org/role/board/


[6] https://foundation.wikimedia.org/wiki/Meetings


[7] https://foundation.wikimedia.org/wiki/Resolutions

[8]

https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_Board_noticeboard/October_2020_-_Call_for_feedback_about_Bylaws_changes_and_Board_candidate_rubric
<
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_Board_noticeboard/July_2020_-_Call_for_feedback_about_Bylaws_changes_and_Board_candidate_rubric

*NOTICE: You may have received this message outside of your normal working
hours/days, as I usually can work more as a volunteer during weekend. You
should not feel obligated to answer it during your days off. Thank you in
advance!*



On Thu, Oct 1, 2020 at 9:52 PM Bill Takatoshi 
wrote:


After I asked my questions on September 4, I was sent the message
below by some role account I've never heard of, asking about claims
that have used the names of five other people. I don't edit under my
real name, but I have never used the names in the linked forum
postings.

The linked posts also claim that the Foundation's nonprofit status is
at risk. I am not a lawyer, but I am skeptical of that claim even
though five Trustees whose three-year terms expired in August
apparently voted on a Resolution in a Board meeting on September 24.
According to Section 4 of the Bylaws, "A quorum shall consist of a
majority of Trustees then in office." Section 6 says, "the Board may
continue doing business as a Board during the vacancy of any Trustee
position." Therefore, since four of the five remaining Trustees all
voted in favor, the Resolution was properly carried, in my layperson's
view. I am less certain about the propriety of allowing a Trustee
whose three year term expired to continue to serve as Chair.

The lack of any update or even ETA for an update on



https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:Wikimedia_Foundation_elections/2020#Postpone%3F

is baffling. Elections have never been held in person, only online,
and so the excuse that they were postponed 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] A Universal Code of Conduct draft for review

2020-09-11 Thread Adam Wight

Is there somewhere we can refer to the list of offensive and unacceptable
expressions, and how they are determined?


There were been several explanations already.  It's possible to use mild 
words in a cruel way, for example a father telling their child "You've 
always had beans for brains."  Editors are aware of this simple truth 
and any feigned outrage must be disingenuous.


It's interesting that I've voiced some extremely harsh criticism of the 
WMF, even suggesting that the editors form a union and sue for control 
of the Board, yet I've never once been moderated.  Had my job threatened 
perhaps, but never blocked.


The point here is that petty hostility only achieves the goal of 
creating an unpleasant and unwelcoming environment.  If you (speaking to 
the people here who are critical of the UCoC) want to make real change, 
please organize yourselves somewhere else, come up with a coherent 
argument, and present it here.  The constant attrition of "why can't I 
say 'fart'?" is tiresome and dilutes any conversation of substance.


Kind regards,
U:Adamw


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[Wikimedia-l] Writing Wikimedia's history [Re: Institutional memory @ WMF]

2020-08-28 Thread Adam Wight
The Wikimedia-pedia [1] is a treasure, thank you Philippe for linking!  
I'd love to see this content migrated to a public wiki, where maybe it 
can come to life again.


Nearly every time I'm involved in onboarding, I find a chance to mention 
the Visual Editor rollout, Wikimedia's origins and the Foundation's 
transformation away from being a membership organization, and other 
formative episodes from our rich history. It's great to see this 
historical enculturation process explicitly called out, I support any 
efforts to write about our history.


However, it would be a mistake to hire an official WMF staff historian, 
there's a clear conflict of interest.  Even the most conscientious staff 
historian would have strong motivations to accomplish organizational 
goals ("spin"), and would be less likely to cover embarrassing bits such 
as the wiki first emerging from under a porn company.  But maybe we can 
still get professional help, for example through an external grant 
funding an editor-in-residence?


- [[mw:User:Adamw]]

(Views here are my own and do not represent my employer, WMDE.)

[1] https://strategy.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia-pedia


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Institutional memory @ WMF

2020-08-28 Thread Adam Wight

On 8/25/20 10:51 PM, Strainu wrote:


It seems the WMF is going through another crisis of institutional
memory


I think I see where you're coming from, and I appreciate the generous 
turn away from individuals and towards potential structural problems.  
Whatever the latest incident was, we can assume good faith and find 
constructive ways to prevent it from happening again.


Still, it's strange to see this thread veer into "onboarding" and 
building up an archive of knowledge and experiences.  These are 
important topics, perennial even, but I feel it totally misses the point 
of the incident itself.


As a service organization potentially liable for content stored on their 
infrastructure, it makes sense that the WMF would have a large team 
dedicated to threats of physical harm like terrorism, suicide.  It also 
makes sense that they wouldn't invest explicitly in the emotional 
well-being of editors and mediating interpersonal problems.


Perhaps we shouldn't expect this of an organization not ultimately 
accountable to the editors?  No amount of onboarding can change the 
Foundation's corporate Bylaws or the fact that it owns the trademarks 
whose value is based on editor labor.  Perhaps if we had a membership 
organization instead, which would have to report to the editors and 
justify its progress on initiatives directly voted on by its members...


Just my usual 2 cents!
-[[mw:User:Adamw]]

(Views here are my own and do not represent my employer, WMDE.)


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[Wikimedia-l] Minor update: AWight upgrading to "volunteer" Wikimedian

2019-02-18 Thread Adam Wight
Greetings,

This is just a courtesy notice that I'm no longer employed by the Wikimedia
Foundation as of the end of the month, but will continue to stay engaged as
a volunteer.  I see this as an opportunity, since I'll be free of the
conflict of interest caused by my financial and legal relationship as an
employee.

I'm looking forward to rejoining the volunteer community, if you will have
me :-)

Please contact me through my wiki page [[mw:User:Adamw]], and do drop a
line on my talk page if any of the projects listed there catch your fancy!

Kind regards,
Adam
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Security Notification: Malware creating fake Wikipedia donation banner

2019-01-24 Thread Adam Wight
Horrifying!

Is there anything we can do from our side, e.g. include some Javascript
which can detect and disable the malware banner?

[[mw:Adamw]]

On Thu, Jan 24, 2019 at 10:11 AM Paulo Santos Perneta <
paulospern...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi,
>
> I seem to recall some OTRS tickets recently sent warning about it. Should
> they be forward to any address in particular, in case they keep coming in?
>
> Paulo
>
> John Bennett  escreveu no dia quinta, 24/01/2019
> à(s) 14:02:
>
> > Hello,
> >
> > In order to keep the community informed of threats against Wikimedia
> > projects and users, the Wikimedia Security team has some information to
> > share.
> >
> > Malware installed via pirated contented downloaded from sites such as the
> > Pirate Bay can cause web browsers compromised by the malware to create a
> > fake donation banner for Wikipedia users. While the actual malware is not
> > installed or distributed via Wikipedia, unaware visitors may be confused
> or
> > tricked by it's activities.
> >
> > The malware seeks to trick visitors to Wikipedia by looking like a
> > legitimate Wikipedia banner asking for donations. Once the user clicks on
> > the banner, they are then taken to a portal that leads them to transfer
> > money to a fraudulent bitcoin account that is not controlled by the
> > Foundation.
> >
> > The current version of this malware is only infecting Microsoft Windows
> > users at the time of this notification. To date, the number of people
> > affected is small. The fraudulent accounts have taken approximately $700
> > from infected users. However, we strongly encourage all users to use and
> > update their antivirus software.
> >
> >
> > Additional details and a screenshot of the fake donation banner on can be
> > found at Bleepingcomputer.com. [0]
> >
> > [0]
> >
> >
> https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/fake-movie-file-infects-pc-to-steal-cryptocurrency-poison-google-results/
> >
> > Thanks,
> >
> > John Bennett
> > ___
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Wikipedia's sourcing

2018-08-29 Thread Adam Wight
Hi, you might be interested in "Getting to the Source":

https://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=2491064
https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Heather_Ford/publication/262291510_Getting_to_the_source_where_does_Wikipedia_get_its_information_from/links/56cfed9508aeb52500c9b44a/Getting-to-the-source-where-does-Wikipedia-get-its-information-from.pdf

That work was done 5 years ago, so it's worth checking for followup
research.  Citations might be a good place to start:
https://scholar.google.com/scholar?cites=809641647115845540_sdt=2005=0,5=en

-Adam
[[mw:User:Adamw]]

On Wed, Aug 29, 2018 at 12:43 PM Pine W  wrote:

> Hi Sashi,
>
> I think that there is a research project regarding Wikipedia sources in the
> WMF Annual Plan for this fiscal year. I believe that the Head of the
> Wikipedia Library, Jake Orlowitz, is involved. I suggest that you reach out
> to him at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Ocaasi_(WMF).
>
> Also, I recommend that you subscribe to the Research-l mailing list at
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wiki-research-l. You could
> try
> asking your question there, especially if you don't hear back from Jake.
>
> Good luck with your research,
>
> Pine
> ( https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Pine )
>
>
> On Mon, Aug 27, 2018 at 3:44 PM sashi  wrote:
>
> > Hello,
> >
> > I thought I would ask if any of the junior or senior researchers here on
> > this mailing list have conducted previous inquiries into Wikipedia's
> > sourcing.
> >
> > I am currently working on a project of determining what proportion of
> > Wikipedia is sourced to newspapers, the military, the Church, social
> > media, etc.
> >
> > The data I've compiled this month, along with a brief write-up, have
> > been posted to Wikipediocracy:
> >
> > http://wikipediocracy.com/2018/08/26/wikipedia-sources-methods/
> >
> > I imagine I'm reinventing the wheel... such studies have been done
> > before, by the WMF, with power tools (bots), right?
> >
> > Thanks for any corrections / suggestions,
> >
> >sashi
> >
> >
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] New Wikimedia Foundation has soft launched!

2018-08-02 Thread Adam Wight
Nice work!

I checked on my own face on the staff page and would like to request two
changes:

Please change my name to "Adam Wight", the longer name was silly.
Also, please change the image to
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Adam_Roses_Wight.jpg , I donno why
it was reset to the missing image.

Thanks,
Adam

On Wed, Aug 1, 2018 at 6:51 PM Gregory Varnum  wrote:

> Hello,
>
> After many months of work by over 100 individuals around the organization
> and movement, the Wikimedia Foundation's new website soft launched this
> week!
>
> You can check it out for yourself here (you may need to clear your
> browser's cache):  https://wikimediafoundation.org/
>
>
> So what comes next?
>
> Throughout this week, the Communications department and core website team
> will be doing final tweaks and quality assurance testing in preparations
> for translations.
>
> Over the coming weeks we will be working with affiliates and contributors
> around the world to make the site in available in Arabic, Chinese, French,
> German, Russian, and Spanish - in addition to the English version soft
> launched today. Once the translations are completed, we will be doing a
> more public announcement regarding the new website and begin more formally
> implementing usage of it.
>
> Additionally, we will be holding office hours in the coming weeks.
>
>
> What about the old website?
>
> The old website (aka Foundation Wiki) will be given new life in the coming
> weeks as the Wikimedia Foundation Governance Wiki - where it will continue
> to house important documentation for the Wikimedia Foundation like
> policies, board resolutions and minutes, legal documents, etc. Additional
> information on the changes coming to that wiki and the plans for migrating
> archived content to Meta-Wiki will be available in the coming weeks.
>
>
> What else should I know?
>
> There is a lot of great things about this new website we are excited to
> share with all of you! More information about office hours will available
> in the coming weeks. Until then, we encourage you to take a look and
> contact me directly if you find any bugs, typos, or have any comments.
>
>
> Thank you!
>
> The Communications department greatly appreciates all of the discussions,
> work, and patience everyone has put into this gigantic undertaking. We are
> very close to the finish line, and today marks a significant step which was
> only possible with the help of the 100+ people involved.
>
> On behalf of the Communications department and core website team (Heather,
> Zack, Katherine, Mel, and Greg),
>
> -greg
>
> ---
> Gregory Varnum
> Communications Strategist
> Wikimedia Foundation
> gvar...@wikimedia.org
> Pronouns: He/Him/His
>
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Are we losing out against bad editing?

2018-05-25 Thread Adam Wight
Thank you for this provocation, I share your concern.  As a reader, it's
disappointing to find material that looks like a press release, and
intimidating to flag or edit without doing research into the editing
history and editors involved.  A quick, "back of the envelope" calculation
I did recently shows an alarming level of paid editing, with 1,017 "Paid"
status disclosures among en.wikipedia editors' user pages [1], which would
amount to 1.4% of active editors if these numbers were directly
comparable.  This doesn't begin to account for any of the undisclosed paid
editing that must be happening.

As a technical contributor, I can offer two concrete initiatives which
might be helpful.  Neither is a quick fix, but they offer spaces of
resistance that we can build upon.

* The JADE project [2] will create a structured namespace for patrolling,
and a talk namespace for coordinating work.  You can think of it as an
enhancement to the patrolled edit flag, where patrollers can provide their
judgment in a format roughly equivalent to ORES predictions.  We'll
eventually use these judgments to improve our training for the ORES AIs,
and our hope is that JADE will be integrated into tools like Huggle, to
make communication between patrollers more explicit.  JADE is available for
experimentation on the Beta cluster [3], and we can move to the production
wikis after we get some feedback from experienced editors, maybe after the
upcoming Wikimania.

* We've also started work on an AI model to detect paid promotional
editing, based on the overly optimistic puffery that's commonly
deployed.[4]  I'm excited about this approach, and once it's active we'll
be able to make good estimates of the scale of the problem, the number of
editors and sockpuppets failing to disclose their conflicts of interest,
and the financial resources pouring in.  I imagine this would give us a
better idea of what next steps to take.

Cheers,
Adam
Wikimedia Scoring Platform Team
[[mw:User:Adamw]]

[1]
https://tools.wmflabs.org/templatecount/index.php?lang=en=10=Paid
[2] https://mediawiki.org/wiki/JADE
[3] For example, https://en.wikipedia.beta.wmflabs.org/wiki/JADE:Diff/376901
[4] https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T120170


On Fri, May 25, 2018 at 12:00 PM Anders Wennersten 
wrote:

> My main worry, during my daily patrolling, is if we manage to neutralize
> the bad editing (vandalism, POV pushing) or if the destructive editing
> is slowly successfully degenerating the great content we have created in
> our projects.
>
> In todays Sign-post it indicates an accelerating rate of decrease of
> admins on enwp, and some likewise tendency on dewp. Is this a sign that
> the "good" powers are losing out to the "bad" ones?
>
> I also seen a very passive response to two massPOV editing . One, on 35
> versions, is related to Hans Asperger, to state he was a nazi doctor
> (false, even if he was somewhat passive in some cases). Here dewp
> reacted quickly and after a while enwp, so these articles are OK, but in
> most of the other 35 this false info lies unchanged. Also I react to the
> effort from GazProm promoting their  propaganda article /Football for
> Friendship / in up to 80 version, and where almost noone has neutralized
> it.
>
> Are  we  slowly losing the battle against the "evil" forces? And if so,
> is then our new strategy (being good in itself) and the plan to
> implement  it all too naive? For example I like very much the ambition
> to help out on areas in the world where Wikipedia etc is not
> established, but would it be more correct to put effort in regaining
> control of the very many Wikipedia versions, that is definitely
> degenerating and we are loosing what has been done on these. (as a test
> look at "latest changes" on some of the versions with low editing, it is
> depressing to see that there often are more vandal editing, not being
> undone, then proper new material)
>
> Would it be most appropriate if we all in a 2-3 years effort
> concentrated on getting (back) control on our material in our projects,
> before we start efforts in implementing the strategy we have agreed
> upon. Perhaps a number of paid admins, vandal/pov fighters, about as
> many as there are stewards today, would be necessary not to lose out.
>
> Anders
>
>
>
> //
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Strategy Report Released: Wikimedia 2030: Wikimedia’s role in shaping the future of the information commons

2018-02-15 Thread Adam Wight
Punk rock!  These consultants seem to actually understand what we’re about, and 
the report is a great collaboration all around.  The heavy use of actual 
Wikimedians’ quotes lets us tell our own story.  The recommendations on page 31 
look right to me personally, and are “actionable”.

Thanks for sharing <3

-Adam
[[mw:User:Adamw]]

> On Feb 12, 2018, at 8:20 PM, Caitlin Virtue  wrote:
> 
> (Apologies for the formatting issues in the previous email.)
> 
> Hi Everyone,
> 
> On Thursday, we released an extensive research report [1] about Wikimedia’s
> role in shaping the future of the information commons. The report was
> created as part of the Wikimedia 2030 strategy process, as the Foundation
> engaged research teams to examine awareness and usage of Wikimedia projects
> and evolving information consumption habits. The consulting teams conducted
> desk research and spoke both with people familiar with and involved in the
> Wikimedia movement and expert observers who could inform the strategy
> process but who are not directly involved today. In one-on-one interviews,
> experts in geographic areas where the projects are most heavily used were
> asked to think about future trends in their fields and how the trends might
> apply to the Wikimedia movement’s strategy. This particular research
> focused on six broad topics that seemed most likely to further or frustrate
> the vision for growth that the Foundation embraces.
> 
> In this report, the Foundation’s staff and its consulting teams present
> top-level insights from this global process. Perspectives from interviewees
> around the world are also provided with context about their region and area
> of expertise. The report draws from six comprehensive research briefs,[2]
> published on Wikimedia’s strategy website, which address these topics:
> 
> - Demographics: Who is in the world in 2030? The report outlines global
> population trends, which project the highest population growth in places
> where Wikimedia has significant room to expand.
> 
> - Emerging platforms: How will people around the world be using
> communications technologies to find, create, and share information? The
> report considers future technologies, from the imminent to the speculative,
> and examines what range of new hardware, software, and content production
> capabilities might mean for content creation and user access.
> 
> - Misinformation: How will people find trustworthy sources of knowledge
> and information? The report explores how content creators and technologists
> can ensure that knowledge is trustworthy and also identifies threats to
> these efforts.
> 
> - Literacy: How will the world learn in the future? The report forecasts
> that technology will transform learning and educational settings as well as
> expand the requirements for literacy beyond text and images.
> 
> - Open knowledge: How will we share culture, ideas, and information? The
> report documents the global trend toward opening collections and archives
> to the public and making them freely available online, and explores ways
> the Wikimedia movement might partner with people and organizations to
> accelerate this sharing.
> 
> - Expect the unexpected: How can we know what the world will look like in
> 2030 — and what the Wikimedia movement’s role will be in it?
> 
> The report proposes that a study of trends can never be truly predictive
> and introduces alternative visionary tools such as scenario planning and
> speculative social science fiction.
> 
> The consulting team published an additional research brief on the future of
> the digital commons,[3] examining the political and commercial forces that
> could lead to the contraction or expansion of the open web. Looking at the
> constellation of issues most important to the Wikimedia community, this
> brief identifies access, censorship, privacy, copyright, and intermediary
> liability as active battlefronts.
> 
> The fate of the digital commons is the single subject that rises above and
> intersects with each of the other areas of research. The commons of the
> future will shape the environment that ultimately fosters or blocks all of
> the Wikimedia projects’ work. Thus, this report weaves research findings
> about the future of the commons throughout.
> 
> Specifically, the report highlights growing concerns across civil society
> about the quality of and access to open knowledge online, as well as
> compounding threats to the Wikimedia movement and its open knowledge
> allies. Between now and 2030, open knowledge advocates face headwinds that
> include censorship by governments and corporations, internet shutdowns,
> surveillance of users, information monopolies, and troubling developments
> such as the arrests of scholars and journalists operating in closed
> societies.
> 
> The Wikimedia movement is positioned to work toward potential solutions to
> these threats. Despite the trend toward a “darkening globe,” some leaders
> 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Politics

2017-02-06 Thread Adam Wight
Dear friends,

As wonderful as it is to see this discussion unfold, showing how many of us
care deeply about humanism and the movement's impact in the material world,
I'd like to observe that it also demonstrates how underdeveloped our
movement-wide political processes are.  To my understanding, our tools
consist of: a small group interested in participating in this mailing list,
a small group who attends to metawiki, and an infrequent meeting of
chapters.

It seems that all of these venues are frustrated by a lack of real power,
and Wikimedia-l in particular has the character of a pirate radio station
or underground newspaper rather than a place where we can build consensus.
There's certainly some value in the oppositional and antiestablishment
perspective that comes out of this arrangement, but perhaps we're missing
out on the benefits that would come from a fully-developed democracy?

One alternative approach would be that Wikimedians resurrect something like
a "membership organization" in which you collectively own the WMF and
directly elect the entire Board.  Then you may find your questions
answered, and have a path to building lasting consensus around
movement-wide issues.

Adam
[[mw:User:Adamw]]

On Mon, Feb 6, 2017 at 12:33 AM, Christophe Henner 
wrote:

> Hey,
>
> I love that thread. Touchy topîc and yet an awesome discussion, Thank you
> so much :D
>
> A few month ago, little time after my election, I asked that question on
> Facebook and provided my own answer. And yes, I do believe that saying
> neutral knowledge should be freely accessible by everyone on the planet is
> kind of a really really really really strong political statement.
>
> I also think that "politic" discussion is hard to have as the word politics
> can bare many different meaning. One of them is derived on how we use it
> regarding national politics. We use politics as a word to include all
> politics (economic, social, education, etc.). And political party, or a
> political organization, will tend to adress all of them (or some).
>
> That is not what we are talking about actually. To me, I mean politic as,
> Asaf will love that, in latin (pertaining to public life). We are a
> political organization, we stand for strong values, but we are not
> political in the sense we're aligned with a specific party or candidate.
> And I don't know about the US, but one thing I love with french wikimedian
> is knowing some of them are so fare away from me on the political scale and
> yet share values (if I had time I would love to explain how I believe this
> is an exemple of why our political systems are broken ^^).
>
> So in the end, to me, the question is where do we draw the line when it
> comes to standing up for our values and, related questions, what are those
> values we should stand up for?
>
> But again, as a movement, we have the potential to have a huge impact on
> the world. That is not neutral, that is a force of change and change always
> is poltical.
>
>
>
> Christophe HENNER
> Chair of the board of trustees
> chen...@wikimedia.org
> +33650664739
>
> twitter *@schiste*skype *christophe_henner*
>
>
>
> On Mon, Feb 6, 2017 at 12:23 AM, Asaf Bartov 
> wrote:
>
> > On Sun, Feb 5, 2017 at 2:55 PM James Salsman  wrote:
> >
> > >
> > > The question I have been trying to ask, going back years now in fact,
> is
> > > whether "empower" refers to the political power to secure and retain
> > > the freedoms necessary and sufficent to contribute to the mission, or
> > > some other kind of power.
> > >
> >
> > Well, it's your lucky day: you're finally getting an answer!
> >
> > WMF's de-facto interpretation of "empower" in the [[m:Mission]] does
> *not*
> > include "political power to secure and retain the freedoms necessary and
> > sufficient to contribute to the mission".
> >
> > We do not directly solve people's lacking infrastructure (except
> indirectly
> > via partnerships like Wikipedia Zero), we do not provide computers to
> > billions of people who don't have them, we do not teach literacy to the
> > illiterate, we do not feed the poor so that they may contribute, and we
> do
> > not declare war on North Korea to free its poor people from the awful
> > tyranny they suffer under, to enable them to contribute.  The list goes
> on.
> >
> >
> > The concrete ways WMF worked to "empower" have been providing and
> > maintaining the main contribution platforms (the wikis), auxiliary
> > platforms (Tool Labs, Quarry, PAWS, Wikidata Query, etc.), funding for
> > *Wikimedia-related* activities via grants, programmatic resources and
> > mentorship, funding and support for international gatherings of the
> active
> > community, and a few other things.
> >
> > Your aspirational expansive interpretation (which includes paying editors
> > to enable them to contribute, if memory serves) of "empower" has never
> been
> > close to what WMF, under its various leaderships, 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Our problem with India

2016-06-30 Thread Adam Wight
People concerned with the lack of content in Indic languages might enjoy,
"Digital Divisions of Labor and Informational Magnetism: Mapping
Participation in Wikipedia", recent research co-authored by Mark Graham of
the Oxford Internet Institute.  The problem is not specific to India.

Quoting from the paper's abstract,
> Complicating this issue [of imbalanced participation] is the fact that
participation
> from the world's economic peripheries tends to focus on editing about the
world's
> cores rather than their own local regions. These results ultimately point
to an
> informational magnetism that is cast by the world's economic cores,
virtuous and
> vicious cycles that make it difficult to reconfigure networks and
hierarchies of
> knowledge production.

Overview:
http://cii.oii.ox.ac.uk/2015/09/07/new-publication-digital-divisions-of-labor-and-informational-magnetism-mapping-participation-in-wikipedia/

Pre-publication PDF:
http://poseidon01.ssrn.com/delivery.php?ID=5450880891110200790261221201260931200390120070680650030940831091170280961261021160930350431070250200121091140280121171533055024073042105002087010117093091089003009036118085117127004088071087118109029006099084095012119097112088100023103019016094=pdf
-Adam
[[mw:User:Adamw]]
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Account of the events leading to James Heilman's removal

2016-05-02 Thread Adam Wight
What Michel said...  This is a very interesting story, but I'm left to
imagine some crucial, looming details.

I have no first-hand knowledge of what really happened, but your
description of staff contacting a small number of Board members, and asking
for confidentiality, strongly indicates that the staff were fearful of some
sort of retribution, and each chose Board members who they personally
believed would protect them.  This is an educated guess, based on our siege
mentality at the Foundation last November.

When the four of you were asked to hand over all information about the
case, that would naturally include any personal email communications.  If I
were in your position, I would have respected the agreement of confidence
with anyone who had contacted me, up to and maybe even beyond a subpoena,
unless I had the authors' permission to release.  If there is some legal
reason the Board members are not allowed behave according to this standard,
we need to make it very clear going forward.  I doubt the staff would have
had these conversations if this is the case, and they had been informed so.

I'm also concerned that there seems to be a conflation between several
incidents--the original "Gang of Four" investigation was clearly a huge
mess and I would hope that apologies were made all around for what happened
there.  However, protecting some sort of possibly compromising or personal
information is another thing entirely.

Hoping for more clarity,
Adam

On Mon, May 2, 2016 at 10:39 AM, Michel Vuijlsteke 
wrote:

> Just to be sure I understand the issue: staff members reached out
> specifically to the four of you and asked for confidentiality, and then the
> Board demanded 'all documents', presumably including some confidential
> staff information, and James only very reluctantly shared it?
>
> Michel
> On 2 May 2016 19:10, "Denny Vrandečić"  wrote:
>
> > In the following I want to present a personal account of events leading
> to
> > James’ removal as a Board member, as I remember them. It was written
> while
> > I was still on the Board, and the Board agreed on having it sent. The
> text
> > was heavily discussed and edited amongst members of the Board, but in the
> > end it remains my personal account. I realize that it potentially
> includes
> > post-factum sensemaking, affecting my recollection of events.
> >
> > October 1 and 2 2015, Dariusz, James, Patricio and I received phone calls
> > from a small number of Wikimedia Foundation staff expressing concerns
> about
> > the Foundation. They asked explicitly for confidentiality. I wanted to
> > approach the whole Board immediately, but due to considerations for
> > confidentiality, the sensitive nature of the topic, and the lack of an HR
> > head at the time, the others decided against at this moment. Effectively,
> > this created a conspiracy within the Board from then on for the following
> > weeks.
> >
> > With Patricio’s approval, Dariusz and James started to personally collect
> > and ask for reports from staff. Unfortunately, this investigation was not
> > formally approved by the whole Board. It was also conducted in a manner
> > that would not secure a professional and impartial process. After a few
> > weeks, we finally reached out to the rest of Board members. They
> > immediately recognized the necessity for a separate formal task force
> which
> > was set up very quickly.
> >
> > The formal task force was created end of October. This task force
> involved
> > outside legal counsel and conducted professional fact finding. The first
> > request of the task force to the Board members was to ask for all
> documents
> > and notes pertaining to the case. Unfortunately, although there has been
> > more than a week of time, this has not happened in full.
> >
> > The task force presented its result at the November Board meeting, where
> it
> > was discovered during the second day of the Board meeting that the
> previous
> > investigation has not provided all available information. Thus, the fact
> > finding had to be extended into the Board meeting. At the Board meeting
> > itself, James in particular was repeatedly asked to share his documents,
> > which only happened on the very last day of the retreat and after
> several,
> > increasingly vigorous requests. Some members of the Board were left with
> an
> > impression that James was reluctant to cooperate, even though it was
> > expected that since he participated in an investigation done in an
> improper
> > manner, that he would be more collaborative to make up for these
> mistakes.
> >
> > Due to that lack of transparency and information sharing, the Board
> retreat
> > in November turned out to be extremely ineffective. If we had all
> > information that was gathered available to the Board in due time, and if
> > that information was gathered more openly in the first place, the Board
> > could have acted more effectively.
> >
> > I was worried that the 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] What New Thing is WMF Doing w. Cookies, & Why is Legal Involved?

2016-05-02 Thread Adam Wight
Hi Trillium,

These are great questions to ask, thank you for keeping the privacy
conversation on track!

As a technical employee of the Wikimedia Foundation who would have been
involved if we were planning significant changes to expand or limit
tracking, I can confirm that nothing rotten is in the wings.  In fact, the
situation is better now than ever before (in my 4 years here).  There are
internal accountability reforms under way to help us make strong guarantees
about our users' privacy.  A brief investigation into assigning readers
long-term unique identifiers--in lay person terms the gateway to dystopian
tracking--opened and was immediately shut again.[1]  Data retention (what
user data we collect and for how long) policy work is being tightened up,
and done in public.[2] In Fundraising, we've found a way to measure
aggregate data about our banner delivery without collecting information
which lets us correlate anything else about readers.[3]

While I feel good about what's happening now, it would be nice to have
longer-term assurances that we won't go collectively nuts in the
unforeseeable future.  I'm not sure what that assurance might look like,
though...  Democratic stewardship of our shared resources?  Anyway, please
do keep a critical eye on cookies and their brethren, and if you find
anything out of joint I'm sure there will be plenty of allies left within
the Foundation to help set it right.

Regards,
Adam Wight
[[mw:User:Adamw]


[1] Sorry, there was an all-staff internal discussion but I don't think
this was published.  The idea at the time was to get our house in order and
decide whether to start a public conversation about unique IDs.  There
turned out to be many strong critics of the plan and no real supporters as
far I could tell, and the initiative was abandoned, to my knowledge.  The
motivation for the project was to get a better estimate of our unique
visitor counts (a count of their devices, to be precise).  We've settled on
the less accurate "last visited" measurement instead, which is described
here: http://blog.wikimedia.org/2016/03/30/unique-devices-dataset/
[2] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Data_retention_guidelines
[3] https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lightening_banner_history.pdf

On Sun, May 1, 2016 at 9:21 PM, Oliver Keyes <ironho...@gmail.com> wrote:

> It seems like you can either deny James's knowledge of the technical/legal
> overlap or ask him questions, but probably not both :p.
>
> One element I can answer: no, it does not contain flash objects, flash is
> not a technology included in the Wikimedia stack on account of it barely
> being classifiable as a technology.
>
> On Sunday, 1 May 2016, Toby Dollmann <toby.dollm...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > > It's certainly possible that this is only 'obvious' to me because of my
> > > knowledge of outside organizations or law but it doesn't surprise me.
> >
> > Your reply is not obvious to me. I understand that your employment is
> > exclusively with WMF and you do not appear to be particularly
> > qualified (or experienced) in law.
> >
> > Treating the cookie statement as an explanation / extension of WMF's
> > privacy policy and noting the poster's concern that the WMF legal team
> > have amended certain descriptors for locally stored objects (not
> > cookies) of indeterminate (theoretically infinite) persistence, would
> > you clarify the following technical /legal aspects relating to cookies
> > and their usage on Wikimedia.
> >
> > 1. Whether, or not, editors of Wikimedia websites", say
> > "en.wikipedia.org" or "commons.wikimedia.org", can edit if cookies
> > (broadly construed) are disabled and not stored on client devices.
> >
> > 2. Whether, or not, the locally stored objects referenced in the
> > cookie policy include
> > (i)  Javascript code, or
> > (ii)  Flash objects
> >
> > 3. Whether, or not, the locally stored objects inserted by the WMF, on
> > client computers and stored there, have the capability of collecting
> > extensive personal information of editors, the degree of which not
> > being explicitly disclosed in advance to users.
> >
> > 4. Whether, or not, the WMF is aware that a certain "toxic and
> > juvenile .. problem" [reff#1] WMF sysop (now banned) with extensive
> > knowledge of WMF's checkuser process, the cookie policy and its
> > internals has achieved remarkable technical capability to closely
> > impersonate other editors and get them blocked by a network (aka "porn
> > crew") of surviving cooperative "community appointed" sysops favorably
> > still disposed to him/her. That this problem person (who has also
> > threatened legal action against WMF) extensively uses mob

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Wikiwand

2016-03-31 Thread Adam Wight
GerardM,

I liked the way you said it the first time,
> Readers in turn do not need all the tools of editors but we do want to
convert them to editors. It does not follow that they will be enticed to
become one by all the clutter.
> The objective is therefore to invite them in a less cluttered way and
give them the option to enable the "clutter" an editor needs.

That's a much stronger statement without the hyperbole and invective.

Anyway, I appreciated your original statement, and also Keegan's point that
part of our mission should be to highlight the fact that our content is
written by individuals and not sponsored hacks like so much of the rest of
the world's media.

Keegan, what do you think about a feature flag which would control which
use cases the interface is optimized for?  We could, for example, make the
editor interface much richer if it wasn't also supporting pure reading.\

-Adam

On Thu, Mar 31, 2016 at 1:16 PM, Gerard Meijssen <gerard.meijs...@gmail.com>
wrote:

> Hoi,
> I think you have missed the point badly.
>
> Wikiwand is not about the communities and their pride. It is about what the
> Wikimedia Foundation stands for. It is sharing the sum of all knowledge.
> When we do a piss poor job and let Wikiwand steal the cake we have our
> priorities fatally wrong.
>
> The notion that "people just want the content no matter how great of awful
> the skin is" is awful. Really,
>
> The notion that the only thing we are there for is to disseminate it is
> plain awful because it reads as if we should give up and hand it all over
> to Wikiwand. If that is your opinion why have people concentrate on our
> User Interface? You must be kidding.
> Thanks,
>   GerardM
>
> On 31 March 2016 at 20:39, Keegan Peterzell <keegan.w...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > On Thu, Mar 31, 2016 at 12:56 PM, Adam Wight <awi...@wikimedia.org>
> wrote:
> >
> > > To second what others have said, I personally love the idea that a
> > reading
> > > interface should include less editor clutter, until it is requested.
> > > There's a task for this, if anyone would like to help push that
> > > investigation forward:
> > > https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T106439
> >
> >
> > ​Perhaps that would be better flipped: if you want a cleaner interface,
> one
> > is available, but we intentionally want/need/must keep "editor clutter"
> out
> > front. Communities are quite proud of that so-called clutter and actively
> > want to put it in front of people. The clutter got people in and built
> our
> > projects, removing it undoubtedly means less editors. Generally speaking,
> > everyone is a reader and an editor is a reader that clicks edit. They're
> > not, and should not be, distinct classes of users.
> >
> > The fact of the matter is that people just want the content, no matter
> how
> > great or awful the skin is, and they will go where ever makes it easiest
> to
> > get it. This doesn't mean that we have to be the destination to read the
> > content, that's not in our mission statement. We're to disseminate it.
> >
> > --
> > ~Keegan
> >
> > https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Keegan
> >
> > This is my personal email address. Everything sent from this email
> address
> > is in a personal capacity.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Wikiwand

2016-03-31 Thread Adam Wight
To second what others have said, I personally love the idea that a reading
interface should include less editor clutter, until it is requested.
There's a task for this, if anyone would like to help push that
investigation forward:
https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T106439

There's also some history behind the idea of making the Edit button more
prominent... According to legend, there was one an experiment in which the
edit tab was rendered with a green background, and it succeeded in drawing
more new editors in, BUT... The editing interface was hostile enough at
that point that we decided to not go with the more prominent button,
because we were driving people towards a broken experience. I'm far removed
from this work, so I don't know if this is still the consensus at the
Wikimedia Foundation, I'd like to hear more either way from people who are
more involved.

Thanks,
Adam
[[mw:User:Adamw]]



Den 2016-03-31 kl. 19:19, skrev Dan Garry:

>

> On 30 March 2016 at 23:39, Anders Wennersten 
> wrote:
>

>> What is WMFs position on Wikiwand [1]?

>>
> There is no "official WMF position" on Wikiwand. The Wikimedia Foundation
> is quite a diverse collection of individuals with a range of different
> opinions. :-)
>
> Personally, I like Wikiwand. I think there's some things they do really
> well, like their table of contents on desktop, and some things that they
> could improve, like the clutter of the interface on mobile devices. The
> performance of their website used to be incredibly poor, so much so that
it
> took over a minute to load on my iPhone 4. They seem to have made quite
> some strides in that area though, because I don't have this problem at all
> on my Nexus 5.
>
> I've tried contacting them a few times to share knowledge and see how we
> could collaborate, but I never received any response from them.
>
> I hope they keep improving their interface. I think it's a worthwhile
> project.
>
> Thanks,
> Dan
>

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] The Case for Federation: Should Parts of WMF Be Spun Off?

2016-03-19 Thread Adam Wight
Erik, thank you for framing this discussion, I think your "Resilience,
Focus, Accountability" formula hits on some of the most important ways in
which the Wikimedia Foundation has failed.  I share the concerns of Sydney
and Gerard however, and would like to ask some questions about how a real
Federation might emerge.

On Thu, Mar 17, 2016 at 7:22 PM, Erik Moeller <eloque...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Finally, as was discussed here a lot in recent weeks, WMF itself has
> no clear accountability to the movement.

I think this is the first thing.  For the same reason, we should not expect
or even allow the Wikimedia Foundation to take the lead in any federating
that takes place.

To briefly argue about the source of authority for making financial
decisions about the Wikimedia movement: a generous majority of donor money
comes from people like us on this list, who donate less than $100, and
roughly the same proportion of these donors (75%) imagine that they are
donating directly to Wikipedia.[1, 2]  The historical events which led to
the Foundation taking the money and deciding how it should be spent is
quite arbitrary, and the insular structure of its Board of Trustees is also
an accident waiting to be corrected.[3]

It seems clear that the Wikimedian contributors have both an ethical and a
legal claim over these funds, and over the supporting organizations, the
endowment, and so on.

Let's give Wikimedia resources back to the contributors, and follow their
lead on how to allocate.  Surprises are fun!

Demographic bias among the contributors, towards anglophone regions or
other power and population centers, is certainly a problem, but it would be
paternalistic for the WMF to assume that it can do a better job creating a
space for global social justice than the Wikimedians themselves might do.
In fact, given the WMF's own position in North America, and the Silicon
Valley bias of its Board, that would a case of the fox guarding the
henhouse.


On Thu, Mar 17, 2016 at 7:22 PM, Erik Moeller <eloque...@gmail.com> wrote:
>== The Wiki Education Foundation precedent ==

This is actually a deeply disturbing precedent that has affected me
personally.  Others on this thread have mentioned it already, but the WIki
Education Foundation is *specifically* not chartered to serve a global
audience, they only deal with the United States and Canada.[4]  Having just
finished a month of working as a developer with the Community Engagement
team--one of the few months of developer time ever conceded to this
department--I feel confident repeating the common knowledge that the
remnants of the Education Program which remain at the Wikimedia Foundation
are shamefully underfunded, and now in freefall with the loss of Anna Koval
and Floor Koudijs.  I have to think this is all a direct consequence of
outsourcing the North American, English wing of the program, and that the
resources have followed.  As wonderful and caring as the Wiki Education
staff are as individuals and as an organization, and even with Sage Ross
making the most generous contributions of his personal time to help with
internationalization, I ask how the Wiki Education Foundation will ever
fill the gap left by the WMF's Education Program, if its charter does not
allow it to do so?

Likewise, if we carve off MediaWiki software development into its own
clubhouse, they will inevitably look for funding from the biggest funded
users of the software, which are governments and corporations.  Bite the
hands that feed you?  They'll have no choice but to modify their mission to
accommodate the wishes of their donors.

Again, I would oppose the current WMF leadership making any of these
difficult decisions.  My faith would be much more in the capacity for a
broad alliance of Wikimedia project contributors to constructively engage
with your recommendations.  Of course WMF staff and Board members past and
present would probably be invited to this table, but as equals and
individuals, not as the holders of the purse strings.

-Adam Wight
[[mw:User:Adamw]]
This letter represents my personal views and not necessarily those of my
employer, the Wikimedia Foundation.

[1]
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/34/FY1415AmountDistributionPieChart.png/1100px-FY1415AmountDistributionPieChart.png
[2]
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/72/Wikimedia_2014_English_Fundraiser_Survey.pdf
[3]
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_membership_controversy
[4] https://wikiedu.org/about-us/

On Sat, Mar 19, 2016 at 7:41 AM, rupert THURNER <rupert.thur...@gmail.com>
wrote:

> On Fri, Mar 18, 2016 at 3:22 AM, Erik Moeller <eloque...@gmail.com> wrote:
> 
> > the notion that WMF might be a more effective
> > organization if it limited its own size in favor of focused spin-off
> > organizations and affiliates.
> 
> > I can see three potential benefits from a more federated model

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Was the Wikimedia Foundation's removal of membership in 2006 legal?

2016-03-09 Thread Adam Wight
I need some help researching the history of the Wikimedia Foundation's
membership status.  It's very slow going, and we could use the help of
people who understand nonprofit law, with experience practicing in Florida
a definite plus.

In the meantime, here's one more interesting lead: [1]  This is a list of
filings made with the Florida Division of Corporations.  Bylaws are not
filed with the State [2], so I'm still unclear about how the Wikimedia
Foundation would have reported the change from a membership to a
non-membership organization.  The last paragraph of this pamphlet addresses
our question, unfortunately the pamphlet is written for Maine and not
Florida: [3]  I'll quote it here for convenience, because it's relevant,
and sort of reassuring to know that other people have had the same problems.

> It is not uncommon for an organization to have been established with
legal members years ago, without much thought given to the matter. Often,
in the hustle and bustle of things, the membership aspect has withered away
and the organization is no longer following its burdensome, albeit
well-intentioned, articles and bylaws provisions on membership. A Board in
this position can do one of three things: It can amend the articles and
bylaws so as to become a non-membership organization (although usually this
step requires the vote of the members, so can be easier said than done).
It can change its practices so as to start complying with the membership
provisions. A third and perilous option is to ignore the issue, and hope no
one notices or cares.

Thanks,
Adam
[[mw:User:Adamw]]
Disclaimer: I am employed full-time by the Wikimedia Foundation, but this
is a personal letter. Statements made from this email account are my own,
and may not reflect the views of the Foundation.

[1]
http://search.sunbiz.org/Inquiry/CorporationSearch/SearchResultDetail?inquirytype=EntityName=Initial=WIKIMEDIAFOUNDATION%20N03053230=domnp-n0305323-6dc7ff3a-b7ba-4c97-9b9e-4545cef1ca0a=wikimedia%20foundation=WIKIMEDIAFOUNDATION%20N03053230
[2] https://efile.sunbiz.org/Profit_Filing_Help.html
[3]
http://www.nonprofitmaine.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/PrimerMembershipNonprofitOrganizations.pdf

On Thu, Jan 28, 2016 at 11:58 AM Adam Wight <adam.m.wi...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi Florence,
>
> Thanks for jumping into this conversation and sharing your illuminating
> perspective as an "old timer" :-)  I wanted to take a moment to also thank
> you for your initiatives at the time, it's thrilling to imagine what might
> have happened if more people had taken an interest in your "less easy
> way"[1] of developing membership into a concrete governance model like the
> Apache Software Foundation[2].  Without the open, constructive letters you
> were writing at the time to communicate between the Board and Wikimedians,
> we couldn't be having this conversation now.
>
> I'd love to hear any more thoughts about how we might have, or still
> could, work around the Florida recordkeeping requirements,[3] Alex Roshuk
> for example suggested that our database may have been an adequate
> membership roster, because "names and addresses" could possibly be
> interpreted to allow for pseudonyms and email addresses or a WMF P.O. box,
> as long as there was no intent to defraud.[4]  Brad Patrick's input on this
> would be invaluable as well, thank you for pinging him.  It seems like he
> might have recognized that this was uncharted legal territory, and pushed
> for a conservative revision of the bylaws to reduce risks and eliminate the
> open questions?
>
> Adam
> [[mw:User:Adamw]]
>
> [1]
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2006-June/067648.html
> [2] http://www.apache.org/foundation/how-it-works.html
> [3]
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:Wikimedia_Foundation_membership_controversy#Recordkeeping_requirements
> [4]
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:The_Thadman/Give_Back_Our_Membership#A_few_clarifications
> "You seem to think that there is something irreconcilable with pseudonymous
> contributions and membership"
>
> On Thu, Jan 28, 2016 at 2:46 AM, Florence Devouard <fdevou...@gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
>> Le 27/01/16 19:30, SarahSV a écrit :
>>
>> On Wed, Jan 27, 2016 at 8:28 AM, Florence Devouard <fdevou...@gmail.com>
>>> wrote:
>>>
>>> I read you Sarah. Good point. Hmmm.
>>>
>>>> But ianal...
>>>>
>>>> I am sure it was discussed back then, but I forgot the details.
>>>>
>>>> I contacted Brad on Facebook to suggest him to read the list. Perhaps he
>>>> might be willing to comment on this ?
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> Flo
>>>>
>>>> ​Hi Flo, tha

Re: [Wikimedia-l] The conversation is happening elsewhere :(

2016-02-16 Thread Adam Wight
Thanks for the note!  Fwiw, I can't read that without a login.  Feel free
to urge the owners to make the thread public, if base crook even supports
such a thing.
On Feb 16, 2016 4:47 PM, "Asaf Bartov"  wrote:

> Dear colleagues,
>
> These are difficult and confusing times.  Many of you are puzzled or
> receiving partial and possibly contradictory bits and pieces of news.
>
> As a service to the community, I feel I must point out that significantly
> more conversation is taking place -- for whatever reason -- on the (public)
> Wikipedia Weekly facebook group[1].
>
> Without endorsing that choice of venue (the issues with Facebook are fairly
> well-known), it does appear that if you want significantly more
> information, you should head on over there and read through the last couple
> of weeks' posts. (much information is in the comments)
>
> (if you are inspired to collect and preserve useful information from there
> on Meta, that would be best.)
>
> In solidarity,
>
>Asaf
>
> [1] https://www.facebook.com/groups/wikipediaweekly/
>
> --
> Asaf Bartov
> Wikimedia Foundation 
>
> Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in the
> sum of all knowledge. Help us make it a reality!
> https://donate.wikimedia.org
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Outcomes from the Consultation on Wikimedia movement conferences/Wikimania

2016-02-09 Thread Adam Wight
Thank you for beginning this important discussion!  I have the same
concerns as
others, especially around how this consultation fits into the decision
making
process.  This sentence from the introduction makes it sound very serious
indeed--
maybe this was a misunderstanding? [1]

> The outcomes of this consultation will begin to be implemented starting
in 2018.

The participation was too low, the margin between "votes" too narrow, and
it seems
like a huge mistake to call this a "survey" but then synthesize the results
by tallying
the votes directly.  I can safely assume that the responses would have been
much
different if we had said from the outset that this was a binding,
democratic ballot.

The concerns raised with Option 3 (alternate years) touch on an issue so
central to
our work that I would personally interpret this as a blocker, a signal that
the plan
needs to be amended and put to another discussion before taking any steps
to implement:[2]

> ... some expressed that working relationships with individuals they are
> accustomed to seeing at Wikimania would be difficult to maintain if they
> could only meet every two years. Likewise, it may also be more difficult
> to initiate and maintain projects and initiatives where meetups at
> Wikimania are useful.

I have raved over the two Wikimanias I've had the chance to attend, they
stand out as
by far the most inspiring and engaging moments of my 3.5 years as a WMF
staffer.  In fact, I'd like to see many more such opportunities for staff,
editors and
other contributors to interact.  I would like to see the Wikimedia
Foundation spend
much more of its budget on directly supporting editors and promoting
community
growth (e.g. Teahouse, Wikipedia Library, Revscoring, Education Program),
and to
invest more in training for its staff, to help acculturate us to the
contributor community
and prevent an adversarial dynamic.

Problem 1 states that "it is difficult to know if Wikimania is meeting the
movement's
needs", but this survey isn't set up to answer that question.  Perhaps we
should try
to measure our success at meeting the movement's needs, and make projections
for how well these needs will be met under alternative scenarios, before
accidentally defunding something that might be working?  Anyway, cutting
back on
Wikimanias without a plan to provide a better substitute would be a huge
loss.

Love,
Adam

[1]
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:IdeaLab/Towards_a_New_Wikimania#What_is_your_solution.3F
[2]
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:IdeaLab/Towards_a_New_Wikimania/Outcomes#Option_3_.28Alternate.29

On Tue, Feb 9, 2016 at 10:09 AM, Chris Keating 
wrote:

> Just to add my thoughts on this. I think the whole discussion is quite a
> novel situation in WMF-Community relations, as we have never dealt with an
> issue quite like this before.
>
> Firstly the good (and even though this section is shorter, it's just as
> significant):
> 1) The WMF is consulting and discussing, not simply doing. This is a good
> thing (and hopefully it's possible to agree that it is a good thing, even
> if you disagree with the handling of the consultation, or indeed the
> conclusion reached). If you don't think it's a good thing, please compare
> it with say (for instance) the Haifa letter.
> 2) We do now have a clear statement of what benefits Wikimania brings the
> movement, which we didn't have before. Again, this is good. :-)
>
> However there are a few areas where I still have some concerns about the
> direction this is going:
> 3) I am still really unsure who is owning this process, either within the
> WMF or in general. Generally, I think clear responsibility and
> accountability *eases* difficult conversations and so far as I can tell
> they are  lacking in the conversation about "what should happen with
> Wikimania". Is it the WMF's view that Wikimania in its current form is
> broken and change is needed - if so who represents that view to the
> community? (Or if not, what *is* the WMF's view?) Equally, I am not really
> clear what the Wikimania Committee sees its sees its role as these days. In
> general I am all for ad-hoc groups going and doing things but I think we
> are some way past the limit of that model with Wikimania.
> 4) I don't see a 55-47 vote on a menu of 3 options as being a particularly
> strong indication of community consensus. Indeed, it's pretty clear there
> isn't a consensus, and it would be a shame if people proceeded on the basis
> that "There was a consultation and the answer was X - so we're doing X".
> That said, I would be really happy to hear voices from the WMF or the
> Wikimania Committee saying "The important factors we see are X, Y and Z.
> From the consultation showed lots of other people were thinking X and Y
> (though less Z) and P and Q were also important which we hadn't thought
> about. As a result, we are intending to do: This.
>
> Thanks,
>
> Chris
>
> On Tue, Feb 9, 2016 at 4:57 PM, Nathan 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Appointment of María Sefidari to Wikimedia Foundation Board

2016-01-29 Thread Adam Wight
On Fri, Jan 29, 2016 at 6:09 PM Tomasz W. Kozlowski 
wrote:

> Considering the results of the 2015 May Board elections, I think it fair
> to say that María’s appointment to the Board lacks any community legitimacy
> whatsoever.


I have to disagree with this statement.  Please see my analysis of the
election, where I show that Sefidari would have been the top-ranked
candidate if we had counted votes equally.[1]  The "oppose" votes you refer
to are not serving the purpose you imagine they are, of weeding out
controversial candidates.

Yet another hugely surprising decision from the Board, I’m sorry to say.
>

That's another story... It would be nice to read the minutes of this Board
discussion, to see what alternatives were raised and how they were
evaluated.  It would be even nicer if the broader community had been
directly involved in deciding how to backfill their hatcheted
representative's seat.

-Adam
[[mw:User:Adamw]]

[1] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Adamw/Draft/Board_Election_analysis
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Voting formula was Appointment of María Sefidari to Wikimedia Foundation Board

2016-01-29 Thread Adam Wight
I found that the "support percentage" formula S/(S+O) fails some important
criteria for voting systems, for example it gives more weight to a vote for
minor candidates, which violates the one person, one vote principle among
others.  "Net support" (S-O) is equally obscure and problematic.  My
personal suggestion is to stick with straight "approval" voting, ranking
winners by the total number of support votes, rather than attempting to
invent or explain more exotic systems.

If we still want to factor in oppose votes as a measure of
"controversiality", we can set a minimum support percentage, rather than
using it to rank directly.  Looking at the support percentages for the top
5 candidates in the last election, they were within 5% of one another and
the score was quite inappropriate to use for ranking.  Sigh, lessons
learned!

Here's my analysis, I'd be happy to move to the main namespace if others
want to expand on it:
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Adamw/Draft/Board_Election_analysis

-Adam
[[mw:User:Adamw]]

On Fri, Jan 29, 2016 at 9:28 AM Anders Wennersten 
wrote:

> Actually the formula used (S/S+O) is from a ranking point identical to
> (S-O/S+O) (=(S-O)/(Total-Neutral). And the result would have been
> different if the formula (S-O)/Total had been used (Maria would have
> been in). So in some ways it was the Neutral votes who decided, or
> rather that the formula used disregard the Neutral ones, saw them as
> identical to abstain.
>
> A discussion exist on the election pages already and for future election
> it is worthwhile to look into how the neutral votes should be taken into
> account  (and if there a distinction between abstain and neutral).
>
> Anders
>
>
>
> Den 2016-01-29 kl. 18:02, skrev Yaroslav M. Blanter:
> >
> > Whereas this is a correct statement, it is irrelevant. The voters
> > voted knowing that only support votes count. If the system were
> > different, they could have voted differently.
> >
> > Cheers
> > Yaroslav
> >
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Was the Wikimedia Foundation's removal of membership in 2006 legal?

2016-01-28 Thread Adam Wight
Hi Florence,

Thanks for jumping into this conversation and sharing your illuminating
perspective as an "old timer" :-)  I wanted to take a moment to also thank
you for your initiatives at the time, it's thrilling to imagine what might
have happened if more people had taken an interest in your "less easy
way"[1] of developing membership into a concrete governance model like the
Apache Software Foundation[2].  Without the open, constructive letters you
were writing at the time to communicate between the Board and Wikimedians,
we couldn't be having this conversation now.

I'd love to hear any more thoughts about how we might have, or still could,
work around the Florida recordkeeping requirements,[3] Alex Roshuk for
example suggested that our database may have been an adequate membership
roster, because "names and addresses" could possibly be interpreted to
allow for pseudonyms and email addresses or a WMF P.O. box, as long as
there was no intent to defraud.[4]  Brad Patrick's input on this would be
invaluable as well, thank you for pinging him.  It seems like he might have
recognized that this was uncharted legal territory, and pushed for a
conservative revision of the bylaws to reduce risks and eliminate the open
questions?

Adam
[[mw:User:Adamw]]

[1] https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2006-June/067648.html
[2] http://www.apache.org/foundation/how-it-works.html
[3]
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:Wikimedia_Foundation_membership_controversy#Recordkeeping_requirements
[4]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:The_Thadman/Give_Back_Our_Membership#A_few_clarifications
"You seem to think that there is something irreconcilable with pseudonymous
contributions and membership"

On Thu, Jan 28, 2016 at 2:46 AM, Florence Devouard 
wrote:

> Le 27/01/16 19:30, SarahSV a écrit :
>
> On Wed, Jan 27, 2016 at 8:28 AM, Florence Devouard 
>> wrote:
>>
>> I read you Sarah. Good point. Hmmm.
>>
>>> But ianal...
>>>
>>> I am sure it was discussed back then, but I forgot the details.
>>>
>>> I contacted Brad on Facebook to suggest him to read the list. Perhaps he
>>> might be willing to comment on this ?
>>>
>>>
>>> Flo
>>>
>>> ​Hi Flo, thanks for doing that.
>>>
>>
>> There's another reference to this in the 22 October 2004 board meeting,
>> where you agreed certain changes to the bylaws, including "​A volunteer
>> member is not required to complete or sign and send any form to the
>> Foundation." [1]
>>
>> Sarah
>>
>> 1. https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Meetings/October_22,_2004
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>> 
>>
>>
> Not unsurprisingly. I wanted to make sure that all community members would
> have a say... not only those who happened to sign a document, disclosed
> their identities and perhaps paid a fee. This was my wish.
>
> Further investigating on that matter later on showed that things were not
> so simple.
>
> Of course, in a perfect world, we would have had full legal advice before
> agreeing on bylaws changes, PR advice on how to announce changes, assistant
> support to polish board meeting notes, and so on. We had none of that. I am
> amazed each time I see how much we changed :)
>
> Thinking of "signing a document", the nearest thing we have at the moment
> is the signature system for OTRS agent on Phabricator.
>
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Confidentiality_agreement_for_nonpublic_information/How_to_sign
>
>
>
> Thanks Sarah
>
> Florence
>
> PS: I am
>
>
>
>
>
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>


On Thu, Jan 28, 2016 at 2:49 AM Florence Devouard 
wrote:

> Le 27/01/16 19:30, SarahSV a écrit :
> > On Wed, Jan 27, 2016 at 8:28 AM, Florence Devouard 
> > wrote:
> >
> > I read you Sarah. Good point. Hmmm.
> >> But ianal...
> >>
> >> I am sure it was discussed back then, but I forgot the details.
> >>
> >> I contacted Brad on Facebook to suggest him to read the list. Perhaps he
> >> might be willing to comment on this ?
> >>
> >>
> >> Flo
> >>
> >> ​Hi Flo, thanks for doing that.
> >
> > There's another reference to this in the 22 October 2004 board meeting,
> > where you agreed certain changes to the bylaws, including "​A volunteer
> > member is not required to complete or sign and send any form to the
> > Foundation." [1]
> >
> > Sarah
> >
> > 1. 

[Wikimedia-l] Was the Wikimedia Foundation's removal of membership in 2006 legal?

2016-01-26 Thread Adam Wight
Dear friends,

Recent events have made me curious to learn more about the Wikimedia
Foundation's origins and history as a membership organization.  The
revelations about the Wikimedia Foundation Board elections being a
recommendation for appointment rather than a direct vote seem to have been
a surprise to many of us, and almost ten years after membership was
eliminated, we see strongly suggestive "directly elected" language still
being fixed on the Foundation's own Board elections page.[1]

It turns out that this history is colorful, the Foundation was a membership
organization from 2003-2006 and Board seats were indeed, originally,
intended to be directly elected by member-Wikimedians.  It seems that the
membership issue was never quite resolved.  I've put some of my notes on
metawiki, please forward to any wiki historians who might be interested in
throwing their weight on a shovel.

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

As a current WMF staff member, and having received a formal scolding two
weeks ago for expressing my professional and personal opinions on this
list--that a hierarchical corporate structure is completely inappropriate
and ineffectual for running the Foundation--I don't feel safe
editorializing about what membership could mean for the future of the
Wikimedia movement.  But I would be thrilled to see this discussion take
place, and to contribute however I am able.

A note to fellow staff: Anything you can say about this history is most
likely protected speech under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, since we're asking
whether state and federal laws were violated.

In solidarity,
Adam Wight
[[mw:User:Adamw]]

[1]
https://wikimediafoundation.org/w/index.php?title=Board_of_Trustees=104732=104425
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Monetizing Wikimedia APIs

2016-01-17 Thread Adam Wight
Charging Google for computing power is a Quixotic business model.

For comparison, Google's own approach to this same problem, when the N$A
wants to run so many ongoing searches that it would vaporize a little
section of the Columbia River, is to lease a search appliance cluster to
the agencies in question.[1]

We could easily take the same approach, providing a near-realtime feed of
dumps and a basic appliance which can render pages and provide API
endpoints.  If the reduced bandwidth needs and better control over the
process isn't enough to incentivize our biggest customers, we could give
them extra encouragement by throttling direct access to our services.

Breaking even would be a nice target either way, it seems like any
"monetization" of access is at best just a charitable subsidy in disguise,
and not a long-term win.


[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Search_Appliance

https://support.google.com/earthenterprise/?hl=en#topic=2802998

Speculation on why GEE was recently deprecated, lessons we might learn:
http://geospatialworld.net/Professional/ViewBlog.aspx?id=415


Adam Wight

mw:user:adamw


On Jan 16, 2016 6:12 PM, "Denny Vrandecic" <dvrande...@wikimedia.org> wrote:

> I find it rather surprising, but I very much find myself in agreement with
> most what Andreas Kolbe said on this thread.
>
> To give a bit more thoughts: I am not terribly worried about current
> crawlers. But currently, and more in the future, I expect us to provide
> more complex and this expensive APIs: a SPARQL endpoint, parsing APIs, etc.
> These will be simply expensive to operate. Not for infrequent users - say,
> to the benefit of us 70,000 editors - but for use cases that involve tens
> or millions of requests per day. These have the potential of burning a lot
> of funds to basically support the operations of commercial companies whose
> mission might or might not be aligned with our.
>
> Is monetizing such use cases really entirely unthinkable? Even under
> restrictions like the ones suggested by Andreas, or other such restrictions
> we should discuss?
> On Jan 16, 2016 3:49 PM, "Risker" <risker...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > Hmm.  The majority of those crawlers are from search engines - the very
> > search engines that keep us in the top 10 of their results (and often in
> > the top 3), thus leading to the usage and donations that we need to
> > survive. If they have to pay, then they might prefer to change their
> > algorithm, or reduce the frequency of scraping (thus also failing to
> catch
> > updates to articles including removal of vandalism in the lead
> paragraphs,
> > which is historically one of the key reasons for frequently crawling the
> > same articles).  Those crawlers are what attracts people to our sites, to
> > read, to make donations, to possibly edit.  Of course there are lesser
> > crawlers, but they're not really big players.
> >
> > I'm at a loss to understand why the Wikimedia Foundation should take on
> the
> > costs and indemnities associated with hiring staff to create a for-pay
> API
> > that would have to meet the expectations of a customer (or more than one
> > customer) that hasn't even agreed to pay for access.  If they want a
> > specialized API (and we've been given no evidence that they do), let THEM
> > hire the staff, pay them, write the code in an appropriately open-source
> > way, and donate it to the WMF with the understanding that it could be
> > modified as required, and that it will be accessible to everyone.
> >
> > It is good that the WMF has studied the usage patterns.  Could a link be
> > given to the report, please?  It's public, correct?  This is exactly the
> > point of transparency.  If only the WMF has the information, then it
> gives
> > an excuse for the community's comments to be ignored "because they don't
> > know the facts".  So let's lay out all the facts on the table, please.
> >
> > Risker/Anne
> >
> >
> >
> > On 16 January 2016 at 15:06, Vituzzu <vituzzu.w...@gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > > Thank you for sharing this but, above all, to focus on digging real
> data.
> > >
> > > IMHO we shouldn't forget our mission, so licenses must be as free as
> > > possible. Turning into something "more closed" would definitely deplete
> > one
> > > of the most valuable source (the open source world) of volunteering we
> > have.
> > >
> > > Crawlers' owner should definitely share our increasing expenses but any
> > > kind of agreement with them should include ways to improve our
> userbase.
> > > I'm wondering about an agreement with Google (or any other p

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Announcing new Wikimedia Foundation Trustees

2016-01-06 Thread Adam Wight
Dear Board,

I'm deeply grateful that the past, current and new members of the Board
have dedicated the 10 hours/week and more to our cause, and both as people
and Board functionaries I wish them the best and much success in their
lives.

However, the Board as an entity which has energetically lost the trust of
both its own staff and that of the broader community who cares about such
issues does, in my opinion, owe us all a better backstory for these latest
appointees.  I would love to hear more about the humanist and visionary
bubbles left in their wake, for example a loving and vibrant workplace
environment crafted by Arnnon, a scheme to charge no tuition at the
Montessori school devised by Kelly...  I do believe that these stories must
lay deeper beneath the surface of these two, who appear from their CVs to
be rich, likeable personalities with impeccable, traditional business
management skills.  The Board owes it to Kelly and Arnnon, if no one else,
to set them up for success by sharing the mission-aligned personal history
which makes them desirable appointments to our unique organization.

Perhaps you could request new Board members to write a personal statment,
of their vision and the goals they intend to pursue during their time on
the Board.

Warmly,
Adam Wight
Fundraising Tech "the sheepdog" Lead
Wikimedia Foundation
User:Adamw

On Tue, Jan 5, 2016 at 5:01 PM, Dariusz Jemielniak <dar...@alk.edu.pl>
wrote:

> Dear all,
>
> As Chair of the Wikimedia Foundation Board Governance Committee, I am happy
> to introduce the two newest members of our Board of Trustees: Kelly Battles
> and Arnnon Geshuri.
>
> Kelly and Arnnon bring deep expertise in strategy and financial oversight,
> and diversity and organizational development, and a passionate commitment
> to advancing Wikimedia’s vision for the world. You can learn more about
> them in the blog post here:
> http://blog.wikimedia.org/2016/01/05/new-wikimedia-foundation-trustees/,
> and their biographies have been added to the Board of Trustees page, here
> https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Board_of_Trustees.
>
> Over the past several weeks, the Board considered many qualified candidates
> from around the globe. We were looking for people with experience in
> strategic and organizational development to help guide the Wikimedia
> Foundation’s future. We were also looking for people with a sense of
> empathy and cultural awareness, who would value and strengthen the unique
> culture of our diverse, global movement.
>
> We are excited to announce that with Kelly and Arnnon, we have found
> exceptional new Trustees who have these qualities, as well as many more.
> They were approved unanimously by the Wikimedia Foundation Board of
> Trustees. Both terms are effective Jan 1, 2016 and will last for two years.
> We look forward to working with them on the Board and toward our mission.
>
> Please join me in welcoming them.
>
> Dariusz
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Obsessed with secrecy?

2015-12-29 Thread Adam Wight
Pete, thanks for asking, and for your ever toughtful voice.

About my wiki edits:  In my volunteer time, I'm a lurker, hack translator,
fringe developer, and sometimes say obnoxious things on mailing lists or in
this case on metawiki.

About my staff position: I've sent this email from my staff account as part
of my duties to care for the organization that pays for my living, the
WMF.  I'm a 75%-time employee in the Fundraising Tech team, currently in
the sheepdog or ill-named "tech lead" role.  Great job, aside from the
hierarchical corporate structure that I oppose.

I'm looking forward to the sunshine...

Love,
Adam Roses Wight
https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/User:Adamw

On Tue, Dec 29, 2015 at 2:46 PM, Pete Forsyth <petefors...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Dear Adam,
>
> Here is a sort of meta-request: could you please identify your position at
> Wikimedia?
>
> I will make this suggestion on the page, as one of the very low-hanging
> fruit items that will make a big difference: if Wikimedia staff could make
> a regular practice of listing info like their title, and stuff like user
> page and contact info as appropriate, that would make it much easier to
> understand and make sense of the huge amount of information coming from
> various channels.
>
> Pete
> [[User:Peteforsyth]]
>
> On Tue, Dec 29, 2015 at 2:42 PM, Adam Wight <awi...@wikimedia.org> wrote:
>
> > There is a lot of room for improving the WMF's transparency and
> > accountability to the broader community.  Please help identify our
> > shortcomings by contributing to this page:
> >
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/WMF_Transparency_Gap
> >
> > -Adam
> > ___
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[Wikimedia-l] Obsessed with secrecy?

2015-12-29 Thread Adam Wight
There is a lot of room for improving the WMF's transparency and
accountability to the broader community.  Please help identify our
shortcomings by contributing to this page:

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

-Adam
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Mid-December Fundraiser Update

2015-12-22 Thread Adam Wight
Hi Andreas,

I doubt we'll hit $30M during this campaign--the frdata.wmo numbers include
all donations in our system, from banners, bulk email, and major gifts.
[1]  The way we calculate totals for the online campaign MHernandez runs is
exclusive of major gifts.  If you're curious about this distinction, please
take a look at the per-campaign totals on frdata and you'll be able to see
each of our donation streams.

Another factor is that we've started throttling banners today, to a maximum
of 3 impressions per individual [2], so the overall trajectory will take a
sharp downward turn.

Please feel free to write us with any questions or suggestions about how we
get our numbers, I'd love to make our processes more transparent and
accessible.  One of the projects I'd personally like to push forward next
year is to make CentralNotice impressions numbers public so we can have
informed conversations about the relative impact of campaigns. [3]

Thank you,
Adam Wight
Wikimedia Fundraising Tech

[1]
https://github.com/wikimedia/wikimedia-fundraising-tools/tree/master/FundraiserStatisticsGen
[2]
https://meta.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Special:CentralNotice=noticeDetail=C1516_en6C_dsk_FR
under Impression diet -> Maximum impressions any individual will see.
[3] https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T115042

On Sun, Dec 20, 2015 at 5:50 AM, Andreas Kolbe <jayen...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Thanks, Megan. It's been good to see some of these suggestions implemented.
>
> Judging by the daily figures on https://frdata.wikimedia.org/ it looks
> like
> you will end up with a fairly similar result to last year, nudging $30m.
>
> Andreas
>
> On Wed, Dec 16, 2015 at 10:42 AM, Megan Hernandez <
> mhernan...@wikimedia.org>
> wrote:
>
> > Hi everyone,
> >
> >
> > The fundraising team is wrapping up the second week of the December
> > campaign and we’d like to share an update with you--where we are, what
> > we’ve changed, and what you can do to get involved.
> >
> >
> > WHERE WE ARE:
> >
> > We’ve passed the halfway mark to the $25 million campaign goal.  So far,
> > we’ve raised roughly $18 million (a preliminary total that is quickly
> > changing and has not been reconciled with official totals from the
> finance
> > department).   Banners are running on desktop and mobile devices. We are
> > also sending emails to past donors asking if they would give again this
> > year.  We’re monitoring the trends daily and look forward to sharing a
> > post-campaign analysis with you.   We will post an update on when we will
> > be able to end the campaign when we have a clearer picture.
> >
> >
> > WHAT WE’VE CHANGED:
> >
> > Over the past several months, staff members and volunteers have provided
> > both critical and generative feedback and new fundraising banner ideas.
> > Their help has been very valuable. Many of these new messages have been
> > tried in pre-campaign tests and in the last two weeks. Thank you to
> > everyone who has shared their time and ideas!  A few message highlights:
> >
> >
> >
> >-
> >
> >We are no longer using the line "keep Wikipedia online and ad-free."
> It
> >has been changed to “keep our work going another year.”
> >-
> >
> >New text in the current banner: “We believe that knowledge is a
> >foundation. It is a foundation for human potential, for freedom, for
> >opportunity. We believe everyone should have access to knowledge—for
> > free,
> >without restriction, without limitation.”
> >-
> >
> >"We survive on donations" has been changed to "We're sustained by
> >donations"
> >-
> >
> >"Please help us end the fundraiser and get back to improving
> Wikipedia"
> >has been changed to "Please help us end the fundraiser and improve
> >Wikipedia."
> >-
> >
> >We have removed the persistent reminder from large banners. The
> reminder
> >is still included in the small banners, which is consistent with the
> > same
> >style banners from the 2013 and 2014 campaigns.
> >-
> >
> >The coffee cup image has been removed from banners
> >
> >
> >
> > We have also run some initial tests with new messaging that show
> > encouraging results. We're still working on more messages and sorting out
> > how we'll incorporate new ideas into the overall banner, but here are
> some
> > sentences we’re testing:
> >
> >
> >
> >-
> >
> >“Wikipedia has become nothing short of a global public library.”
> >