[Wikimedia-l] Invitation: Virtual Meeting of the Commons Photographers User Group (March 20)

2021-03-17 Thread Frank Schulenburg
Dear all,

This Saturday, March 20, the Commons Photographers will host their first
virtual meeting of 2021. External guest Ben Horne will talk about large
format wilderness photography, followed by a question-and-answer session.
Ben shoots 8×10 film and he's YouTube's first, and longest active landscape
photography vlogger.

If you're interested in learning more about large format photography (
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Large_format), please sign up here:

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Commons_Photographers_User_Group/Virtual_Meeting_on_March_20,_2020

Also, if you haven't seen it yet, here's what our members shared as their
"most memorable shot" of 2020:

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Commons_Photographers_User_Group/Your_most_memorable_shot_2020

You can learn more about our group's activities in our most recent annual
report:

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Commons_Photographers_User_Group/Annual_Report_for_2020

And, just in case, if you're interested in joining, please add your name to
our membership list:

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Commons_Photographers_User_Group/Membership_list

All the best,

Frank
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] WMF political activism

2020-04-24 Thread Frank Schulenburg
Given that this page

https://www.earthdaylive2020.org/vote/

clearly aims at influencing the election of political candidates to
public office and "build political pressure", can we expect the Wikimedia
Foundation to file Form 1120-POL as mandated by the IRS?

https://www.irs.gov/charities-non-profits/political-activities-of-exempt-organizations

Thanks,

Frank

Am Fr., 24. Apr. 2020 um 14:14 Uhr schrieb Samuel Klein :

> Everyone supports Earth Day.
> Earth Day Live was confusingly different... in a strange time.
>
> On Thu, Apr 23, 2020 at 10:42 PM Chris Gates via Wikimedia-l <
> wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org> wrote:
>
> > Adding onto this, it appears the WMF is proudly and publicly displayed on
> > the participants, which may as well be endorsements, page for Earth Day
> > Live: https://www.earthdaylive2020.org/get-involved/
> >
> > I'm simply astounded by this. Never would I have expected the WMF to take
> > such a strong political position on the American left.
>
>
> Ah yes, alongside such noted pillars of the American left as...  
> KDE, Vivaldi, Tumblr, Imgur, and Mapbox*.*
>
> Benjamin Lees writes:
> > I think we should avoid keeping "campaign" banners (even those which
> aren't expected to be controversial)
> > hidden away until the last minute.
>
> Good point.
>
> SJ
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] The Case for Federation: Should Parts of WMF Be Spun Off?

2016-03-18 Thread Frank Schulenburg
Hi all,

I'd like to add some thoughts to the discussion about the potential pros
and cons of spinning parts of the Wikimedia Foundation off. I’m writing
this in my personal capacity and this email might not represent the views
of the Wiki Education Foundation.

This is a comparably long note; the upshot is that in my opinion there are
more pros than cons.

== PRO ==

* Distributed risk: If one part of the new ecosystem fails, the rest should
still be healthy enough to survive. Today, if the WMF implodes, everybody
else will be affected in a big way. If we manage to successfully create a
number of separate organizations of what is today WMF, the risk will be
spread. Some parts will still be vital for the survival of others, though.
So, that has to be taken into account during the process of spinning off.

* Specialization of EDs: People who are experts in their field tend to
produce better results. During the last ED search, WMF struggled with
finding a “unicorn”. In order to run the WMF, you’ll have to be able to
deal with a high level of complexity, understand the community, be willing
to deal with public criticism, understand how to build an effective
engineering organization, etc. Splitting WMF into different organizations
would make subsequent ED searches easier as their expertise won’t have to
be as broad as under the current conditions.

* Better focus: Organizations with a narrower focus are likely to do
better. Wiki Ed is only one example. I’ll leave it with that because LiAnna
has explained this point already nicely.

* Shorter and more efficient decision making processes: The larger an
organization, the more it tends having more levels of hierarchy. This
affects decision making – smaller organizations can react more quickly and
more efficiently to changing conditions.

* Feeling of ownership leads to higher job satisfaction: This one is
closely related to my last point: people in a smaller organization tend to
feel a much higher level of ownership over the outcomes of their work. As a
result, they’re more motivated (which, in most cases, will lead to better
results).

* Stopping things that don’t work: Larger organizations tend to continue
projects although the outcomes of those projects are questionable. They can
simply afford it. Spinning off parts of the WMF would require the spin-offs
to justify their existence every single day. That seems to put a lot of
pressure on these spin-offs. However, the result would actually be good: if
an organization doesn’t continually deliver value to the ecosystem as a
whole, it will disappear. That’s better than a continued investment of
resources into projects that everybody knows don’t have the impact that
people expected them to have.

* More potential for innovation: Independent organizations have more
freedom to look at things from a fresh and different angle. While I was
still with WMF, everything needed to be done in MediaWiki. From the
perspective of the WMF that made sense. However, for what Wiki Ed needs to
accomplish, we believed that building our own software outside of MediaWiki
(but communicating with Wikipedia’s platform through OAuth) would be
better. Today, WMF is working on adapting Wiki Ed’s software to the needs
of a global community (see Edward’s email).

* Positive effects of competition: In a world, where organizations are more
independent, they won’t always choose a service provider within the
Wikimedia ecosystem. Instead they might decide to work with outside
contractors who are able to deliver better results in less time. As an
example, Wiki Ed worked with an outside contractor based in Seattle to
develop its dashboard. We could have partnered with WMF, but the project
might not have received the same level of attention. We’re happy with the
results, and now there’s one more company in the world that has a growing
understanding of Wikimedia’s requirements.

* Geographic diversity: if we decided to spin-off parts of WMF, we'd have
the opportunity to think about where these parts should be located. Given
the extremely high cost of living in the Bay Area and meager opportunities
for WMF to recruit people locally (for the many obvious reasons; e.g.
competing with Facebook and Google for talent is hard), some of the spun
off parts might be located in other regions of the world. This would make
the Wikimedia ecosystem more diverse than it is now and will most likely
reduce costs.

== CON ==

* Coordination gets more difficult: With parts of the WMF getting spun off,
coordination between these parts will be more vital than ever. The risk is
that one organization doesn’t know what another organization is planning to
do / started executing / learned along the way. A solid process of
communicating things can solve this. However, this requires the willingness
of everybody to communicate early and often. And, in fairness, this is
already an existing problem in need of better solutions, given the large
number of chapters and affiliates WMF 

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

2014-02-13 Thread Frank Schulenburg
Hi all,

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

(1) WMF grant money

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

(2) Office space

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

(3) Recognition

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

Thanks,

Frank
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Paid editing v. paid advocacy (editing)

2014-01-09 Thread Frank Schulenburg
Thank you for highlighting something I should have clarified better in my post, 
MZMcBride. That sentence should have read paid advocacy editing in line with 
Sue's blog post that you referenced. 

We continue to support the important work Sarah and others have done in the 
GLAM sector through projects like Wikipedians in Residence. 

Frank 


On Wed, Jan 8, 2014 at 6:22 PM, MZMcBride z...@mzmcbride.com wrote:
Frank Schulenburg wrote:
[...] it is widely known that paid editing is frowned upon by many in the
editing community and by the Wikimedia Foundation.

No.

Paid editing is not the same as paid advocacy (editing). This is a very
important point.

Suggested reading:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Dominic/FAQ
https://blog.wikimedia.org/?p=25830

N.B. an example of paid editing that few would likely have an issue with
in the first link and Sue's careful and correct wording in the second link.

If we're going to have such a fine distinction, we should probably better
document it to avoid misunderstandings.

MZMcBride


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[Wikimedia-l] Tomorrow: Office hour inside out (program evaluation)

2013-03-20 Thread Frank Schulenburg
Hi folks,

Tomorrow at 17:00 UTC, I will be holding an office hour about program
evaluation on #wikimedia-office. The target audience for this office
hour will be chapter representatives and volunteers who are currently
running (or planning to run) programs and programmatic activities.
You'll find some background information about why program evaluation
might be worth talking about in my most recent blog post on the
Foundation's blog:

https://blog.wikimedia.org/2013/03/01/lets-start-talking-about-program-evaluation/

As we all know, most office hours follow a certain rule: there's one
poor staffer who is getting grilled by the people on the IRC channel –
people ask a variety of questions and the staff person tries to answer
every question in a limited amount of time. It's a lot of fun (I
guess, at least for the people who're asking the questions) and it has
been a good way of direct communication between WMF employees and the
community.

Now, this office hour will be different. Not that I don't enjoy being
grilled for one hour :-) I've done IRC office hours several times
before and I always enjoyed answering questions. The reason for this
office hour to be different is that I want to _listen to you in the
first place_. I would like to learn more about

* _your_ thoughts about why evaluation might be important
* _your_ experiences with making evaluation a part of program design
* _your_ hopes and fears when it comes to increasingly evaluating
programs and programmatic activities in the future
* _your_ ideas and feedback on evaluation practices

Ideally, we would have some people in the room tomorrow who have done
some kind evaluation in the past or who are planning to embark on
evaluation work in the near future. With that said – if you have no
idea about what program evaluation is and you'd like to learn more
about it, you're invited as well! Or maybe you're just curious to see
if this office hour inside out is going to play out well ;-)

I'm looking forward to meeting you tomorrow at 17:00 UTC,

Frank

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