Re: [Wikimedia-l] online meetings

2020-11-16 Thread Risker
Perhaps a way to think about it would be to pause meetings at which
decisions are being made or "official" opinions are being collected,
without expecting any pauses in more socially oriented meetings.  So,
perhaps an embargo on most WMF-sponsored meetings, as well as formal
meetings of our constituent organizations and groups including committees
and perhaps even chapter/user group committees; co-editing sessions, online
meetups, chatting cafes, etc that are more social in orientation and are
optional participation could quite easily continue, and may even be
particularly beneficial for those who are socially isolated because of the
ongoing efforts to reduce the impact of the current health crisis.

In reality, I expect that there's already a plan to put many if not all
WMF-sponsored meetings/sessions on hold for a several-week break starting
mid-December; this is a practice that has been in place for a couple of
years, and I believe the WMF maintains only a skeleton crew for at least a
week during that period.

Risker/Anne

On Mon, 16 Nov 2020 at 18:46, Gnangarra  wrote:

> Kaya Jan
>
> Yes I agree,  I'm not asking for an absolute ban on all meetings,  just
> that we give pause as and where possible.
>
> Boodarwun
>
> On Tue, 17 Nov 2020 at 00:39, Jan Ainali  wrote:
>
>> Hello Gnangarra,
>>
>> I really like your sentiment and appreciate your effort to keep the
>> community healthy. However, we should acknowledge that with the ongoing
>> pandemic, not everyone is able to visit their families. Over the years a
>> lot of friendships have been formed in our community as well. Being able
>> to collaborate with them might be a very nice feeling for many.
>>
>> So as a compromise, I suggest not to enforce a complete stop for online
>> meetings, but rather just pause the kind of meetings where important
>> decisions are being taken. Friendly meetups, chatting cafés or co-editing
>> sessions might be just what is needed for many to stay in a positive state
>> of mind. As long as they don't *require* people to join because their voice
>> would not be heard on some matter I believe online meetings are just fine.
>>
>> Warm regards
>> Jan Ainali
>>
>> Den mån 16 nov. 2020 kl 04:11 skrev Gnangarra :
>>
>>> Kaya
>>>
>>> Over the last 9 months the movement has really taken to the use of
>>> "zoom" style technology to hold and host events, I dont doubt they have
>>> been really productive in addressing the many needs of the community.
>>>
>>> One thing I have noticed is just how many of these notices are coming
>>> through now with some meetings taking place not once but multiple times to
>>> ensure everyone has access to them in their best time period.
>>>
>>> I know as volunteers we are able to pick and choose what we do, I also
>>> know we are placing a lot of pressure on affiliates to be upto date on all
>>> these events.  I raise a concern that perhaps we as a community are
>>> starting to over do these meetings and stretch volunteer resources to point
>>> of breaking or being overwhelmed.  I know that as WP20 approaches these
>>> meetings are going to accelerate and put greater demands on our limited
>>> resources.
>>>
>>> I propose that the community has a quiet period from the 14 December to
>>> 5th January where we dont hold general meetings, webinars, cafes, and
>>> strategy discussions to give people time to refresh and focus on family.
>>> Obviously some small group focused community meetings will be necessary as
>>> part of WP20 and other preparations so I'm not suggesting ruling out all
>>> meetings just asking that we remember that there is life outside of the
>>> movement we should be allowing people time to focus on as well.
>>>
>>> --
>>> Gnangarra
>>>
>>> *Power of Diverse Collaboration*
>>> *Sharing knowledge brings people together*
>>> Wikimania Bangkok 2021
>>> August
>>> hosted by ESEAP
>>>
>>> Wikimania: https://wikimania.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Gnangarra
>>> Noongarpedia: https://incubator.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wp/nys/Main_Page
>>> My print shop: https://www.redbubble.com/people/Gnangarra/shop?asc=u
>>>
>>>
>>> ___
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board of Trustees elections, membership, quorum, and

2020-10-08 Thread Risker
Functionaries (checkusers, oversighters, stewards, OTRS members, and people
with similar advanced permissions) have not been required to provide their
personal information - name, DOB, address - for years.  They simply sign
off a type of confidentiality agreement with their username.

Risker/Anne

On Thu, 8 Oct 2020 at 13:52, Todd Allen  wrote:

> Well, you could always do a nominal membership contribution, like a penny,
> or sponsorships for those who wish to join but don't have the money. Since
> WMF makes its money primarily from donations, there's really no need for it
> to actually sustain itself from membership fees.
>
> So far as requiring non-pseudonymous membership, I don't think there's any
> requirement that such member lists be made public. So it would work a lot
> like functionaries giving their information for the private access policy;
> they are required to verify their identity, but that will be held privately
> and not available to the public. So for all intents and purposes,
> pseudonymous membership would still be possible.
>
> Todd
>
> On Thu, Oct 8, 2020 at 11:46 AM Risker  wrote:
>
> > Without needing to go into further detail, it is because to be a
> membership
> > organization, pseudonyms aren't acceptable; all members must provide
> their
> > full legal names and addresses.  I also cannot think of a membership
> > organization that does not charge a membership fee, although I suppose it
> > is possible; but anything requiring a financial contribution would limit
> > the membership to those who have the money to pay to join, which is
> > antithetical to the movement's philosophy.
> >
> > Risker/Anne
> >
> > On Thu, 8 Oct 2020 at 13:41, Todd Allen  wrote:
> >
> > > Why would we "not want it to be a membership organization"? In fact,
> many
> > > of us want exactly that, since the WMF seems to think it can lord it
> over
> > > the communities instead of fulfilling its role of serving them.
> > >
> > > The new Board rules basically say that the Board itself gets to say how
> > the
> > > community-based members are selected, instead of having actual bylaws
> as
> > to
> > > how it happens. I'd like to see it done very simply: Those eight seats
> > > (forming a majority) on the Board should be elected (not nominated,
> > > elected) by the community, with the Board having no veto power over the
> > > results of the election.
> > >
> > > Todd
> > >
> > > On Wed, Oct 7, 2020 at 12:45 PM Brad Patrick 
> > wrote:
> > >
> > > > 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:
&

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

2020-10-08 Thread Risker
Without needing to go into further detail, it is because to be a membership
organization, pseudonyms aren't acceptable; all members must provide their
full legal names and addresses.  I also cannot think of a membership
organization that does not charge a membership fee, although I suppose it
is possible; but anything requiring a financial contribution would limit
the membership to those who have the money to pay to join, which is
antithetical to the movement's philosophy.

Risker/Anne

On Thu, 8 Oct 2020 at 13:41, Todd Allen  wrote:

> Why would we "not want it to be a membership organization"? In fact, many
> of us want exactly that, since the WMF seems to think it can lord it over
> the communities instead of fulfilling its role of serving them.
>
> The new Board rules basically say that the Board itself gets to say how the
> community-based members are selected, instead of having actual bylaws as to
> how it happens. I'd like to see it done very simply: Those eight seats
> (forming a majority) on the Board should be elected (not nominated,
> elected) by the community, with the Board having no veto power over the
> results of the election.
>
> Todd
>
> On Wed, Oct 7, 2020 at 12:45 PM Brad Patrick  wrote:
>
> > 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 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,
&g

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Wikimedia Summit 2021 in Berlin cancelled

2020-09-24 Thread Risker
I'm not entirely certain that people outside of Europe necessarily were
aware that the in-person meeting was going to be cancelled, or at least
that a decision/announcement to cancel it would be made this far in
advance. I agree that cancellation, even seven  months before the scheduled
meeting, is an appropriate decision.

I too am a bit disappointed that there doesn't appear to be any planning
for some sort of virtual meeting, though. It will definitely affect
strategy implementation.

Risker/Anne

On Thu, 24 Sep 2020 at 12:59, effe iets anders 
wrote:

> Maybe I'm reading it wrong, but I think the point of this message is to say
> that nothing virtual will be organized either (we already knew no physical
> meeting was going to happen). Which brings lots of questions as to how that
> affects the strategy implementation.
>
> Lodewijk
>
> On Thu, Sep 24, 2020 at 12:19 AM Rajeeb  wrote:
>
> > Very sad to hear that, hopefully a virtual one will make us happy.
> >
> > Regards,
> > Rajeeb.
> > (U:Marajozkee).
> >
> > On Thu, 24 Sep 2020 at 12:31, Abraham Taherivand <
> > abraham.taheriv...@wikimedia.de> wrote:
> >
> > > Dear all,
> > >
> > > It’s with regret that we have to inform you that due to the continued
> > > global health situation (COVID-19), the meeting of the Wikimedia Summit
> > > 2021
> > > and related side events in Berlin have been cancelled.
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > We optimistically look forward to safely reconvening in Berlin in 2022.
> > >
> > > Best regards,
> > >
> > > Abraham Taherivand, Executive Director Wikimedia Deutschland
> > >
> > > Katherine Maher, Executive Director Wikimedia Foundation
> > >
> > > --
> > >
> > > Geschäftsführender Vorstand / Executive Director
> > >
> > > Wikimedia Deutschland e.V. | Tempelhofer Ufer 23-24 | 10963 Berlin
> > > Tel. (030) 219 158 26-0
> > > http://wikimedia.de
> > > ___
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Updates from Wikimedia Foundation Board

2020-05-03 Thread Risker
Nataliia, thank you very much for this update.

I'd suggest it is essential for the community and its members to recognize
that the situation in which the WMF, tens of thousands of other similar
organizations, entire nations, and each of us as individuals is
unprecedented in modern life; the closest parallel occurred more than a
century ago. Flexibility in action and thought is essential in order to
obtain the best long-range outcome.  Everyone, almost without exception,
has had to make changes in their lives, their interactions, and their
processes in order to survive, let alone thrive.

Speaking as someone who has been heavily invested in the strategic planning
process, I view the expansion of the board in a very positive light.  The
Covid-19 pandemic has thrown a lot of the ambitious (and in some cases,
potentially very costly) recommendations in the draft strategy into sharp
relief due to the sudden and unplanned instability of the global financial
situation, which will impact us as a movement just as it affects
individuals, countries, industries, and other charitable organizations
around the world.We should be honest about this, and also recall that
the strategy is intended to be a set of long-term goals, so taking a first
step toward expanded and broader representation is entirely in keeping with
movement toward those goals without drawing excessively on our uncertain
financial resources.

I think it's reasonable, due to the exceptional global circumstances as
well as the planned changes in Board composition, to extend the terms of
currently community-selected representatives.  It's likely that there will
be more certainty in the situation in 4-8 months, and the WMF and the
Wikimedia community will be better placed to identify and attract excellent
candidates for community-selected, affiliate-selected, and appointed
seats.  Right now, many who might ordinarily be willing candidates are not
in a position to make such a multi-year commitment; thousands of members of
our communities have had their lives suddenly disrupted in a multitude of
ways, without certainty of employment, financial stability, health, or
family circumstances. The delay will also permit a richer discussion on how
to implement the changes to board structure.

This same degree of uncertainty also makes it not just reasonable, but
probably quite wise, to extend the timeline for the Annual Plan.  Many
activities that have become routine over the years must be reconsidered in
light of changing circumstances.  For example, many of the international
in-person meetings may need to be rethought, and there may need to be
research and development to find alternate ways to carry out these
educational, decision-making, and communal activities.  I will be very
interested to see how the next Annual Plan will address financial
uncertainty:  our organization's reputation has been enhanced by the
community's actions in relation to the Covid-19 crisis (which could have a
positive effect on donations and grants), but many potential
donors/grant-makers may find themselves unable to maintain even their
current level of donations, let alone enhance them.

It is entirely within the scope of the Board to change bylaws and implement
all of the changes that have been discussed in Nataliia's message on behalf
of the Board.

Risker/Anne



On Sat, 2 May 2020 at 19:21, Pine W  wrote:

> Andy, I was going off of this statement: "In order to ensure sustained
> community representation on the Board, we are extending the terms of
> the three community-selected trustees currently occupying those seats
> (María, Dariusz, and James) for up to a year until we are all ready to
> run the postponed process"
>
> That is different from saying that the Board will ask the community if
> the community wants to postpone elections. I would understand and
> support the latter, but not the former. I don't want the WMF Board to
> start down the path of deciding if and when the community will hold
> elections for community-nominated seats. This should be a decision for
> the community, and the community alone, to decide.
>
> By the way, has the Elections Committee been consulted regarding any of
> this?
>
> Pine
> ( https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Pine )
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Practical implications of Coronavirus

2020-03-11 Thread Risker
Regardless of what platforms people might want to use for virtual meetings,
it is my personal opinion that all movement organizations, groups (formal
and informal) and the WMF itself immediately stop meeting in person. For
the movement entities that have offices, work-from-home should be the
standard (as it has been for the WMF for almost a week).  Edit-a-thons and
similar meet-ups should be cancelled for the foreseeable future.  The broad
movement has spent a lot of time talking about the safety and security of
its communities, and this level of social distancing at this time is
probably the best way to demonstrate that we really mean what we say.
#CancelEverything is not just a cute hashtag - it's really serious, and our
movement can be leaders in showing how it is done.

I'm speaking from my own experience (having worked in a hospital with SARS
patients and having participated in the development of pandemic plans for
hospitals), so perhaps my perspective is different from other people's. But
given there's very little downside to this proposal, there's no reason not
to take these steps, at least for a few months while the world has a better
sense of how this will all play out.

Risker/Anne
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Wikimedia Summit 2020 in Berlin cancelled

2020-02-28 Thread Risker
Thank you for informing the global community of this.  More importantly,
thank you for recognizing that the safety and well-being of the global
community should take precedence over a meeting.  This is the way to "walk
the talk" about community safety.

Risker/Anne

On Fri, 28 Feb 2020 at 14:06, Abraham Taherivand <
abraham.taheriv...@wikimedia.de> wrote:

> Dear all,
>
> It’s with regret that we have to inform you that due to the global health
> situation (COVID-19), the physical meeting of the Wikimedia Summit 2020 and
> related side events in Berlin have been cancelled.
>
> Since we currently look into hosting the Summit in a series of virtual
> meetings, starting at the dates of the Summit, please keep the dates
> blocked in your calendar.
>
> We are aware that this announcement will cause many questions (not only in
> relation to the Summit). Please be patient, more information will follow
> from our teams in the next few days.
>
> Best regards,
>
> Abraham Taherivand, Executive Director Wikimedia Deutschland
>
> Katherine Maher, Executive Director Wikimedia Foundation
>
>
> --
>
> Geschäftsführender Vorstand / Executive Director
>
> Wikimedia Deutschland e.V. | Tempelhofer Ufer 23-24 | 10963 Berlin
> Tel. (030) 219 158 26-0
> http://wikimedia.de
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Next steps on Wikimedia Space

2020-02-19 Thread Risker
I do think that there are benefits in continuing to explore
WMF/movement-managed communication tools outside of the onwiki/IRC/mailing
list paradigm; we have long known that a lot of voices are excluded from
using these channels, and that is not helpful in growing a large,
international, multilingual movement.  We've also used YouTube for quite a
long time, and it has not been particularly problematic, but it's not
really a discussion platform, more an information-sharing one.  I noticed
that Wikimedia Space does have a higher than average concentration of posts
from outside the "English speaking" world that simply doesn't happen on
Meta.

On the other hand, I also agree that moving "official" communications to
platforms outside of the control of the WMF/movement,  like Facebook and
Twitter, are (for many of us in the movement) very problematic from a
privacy perspective, as well as unsatisfactory from an accessibility
perspective.

"Onwiki" is a nice concept.  The challenge here is that there are 700+
"onwiki" platforms, and only one hypothetically dedicated to inter-project
discussions, that being Meta.  I would venture to guess that probably
85-90% of Wikimedians either don't know Meta exists as a discussion
platform, or have tried to participate in a discussion there only to find
that it will often move very fast, is dominated by the English language
almost to the point of exclusion, and that their voice is drowned out
quickly or they are challenged in a way that makes them feel uncomfortable.
It's not helpful to take the "stay out of the kitchen if you can't stand
the heat" attitude, as it's neither welcoming nor accepting of other
ideas.  Meta is also very, very difficult to navigate; even I have
considerable difficulty finding material that I know for a fact exists on
that platform.  And we all know that Meta is not at all good at sharing
information and news about what's happening in other projects, or for
multiple projects (e.g., several projects in the same language, several
Wikisources, etc) to work together.

Wikimedia Space didn't feel like the right fit for us, either.  In
particular, I found it hard to figure out how to do things (like making
hyperlinks) that I've been doing comfortably on other existing platforms
for years.  But I think it is a worthwhile idea to keep looking for a
platform that isn't commercially/externally controlled (thus "selling" the
private information of our users) that works for more people. I think we
also need to figure out how to support multi-project discussions better
without pushing them all out to what is intended to be a global,
movement-wide platform (i.e., Meta).  Experiments are always worthwhile, as
they're opportunities to learn.  I will trust that Quim and the rest of the
Wikimedia Space team will be summarizing the positives and negatives about
this particular experiment.

Risker/Anne

On Wed, 19 Feb 2020 at 17:49, Rebecca O'Neill 
wrote:

> I've been involved in the movement for ~7 years, took one look at IRC and
> walked very quickly the other way, having used it 15+ years ago. I'm all
> for retro, but that was taking it too far.
> Relying on a tool that has been been haemorrhaging users for years, and
> golden years are seen as around 20 years ago, seems less than ideal.
>
> On Wed, 19 Feb 2020 at 22:37, Todd Allen  wrote:
>
> > Then, they're welcome to pop on in any time. If they choose not to, well,
> > no one can make them. Anyone is able to use those tools.
> >
> > Todd
> >
> > On Wed, Feb 19, 2020 at 3:32 PM Guillaume Paumier <
> gpaum...@wikimedia.org>
> > wrote:
> >
> > > Hi,
> > >
> > > Le mer. 19 févr. 2020 à 10:31, Todd Allen  a
> > écrit :
> > >
> > > > I don't think anyone had bad intentions. It was just redundant.
> > > >
> > > > Real time communication is on IRC. Asynchronous communication is
> either
> > > on
> > > > the wiki, preferably, or on the mailing list.
> > > >
> > > > Quit trying to make us TwitFaceTube. The tools we already have work
> > just
> > > > fine.
> > >
> > >
> > > That perspective suffers from a lack of empathy. "The tools we already
> > > have" may work for the limited sample of the population who are
> currently
> > > using them. Assuming that that sample is representative is flawed and
> is
> > a
> > > classic example of survivorship bias. If we have learned anything from
> > the
> > > Space experiment and from years of strategy discussions, it is that the
> > > tools we currently have do not, in fact, work just fine for a large
> > number
> > > of people, whose voices are missing from our discussions and content.
&g

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Wikimedia Foundation elections committee: Call for volunteers

2020-01-12 Thread Risker
The Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees election is logically run by the
Wikimedia Foundation, just as elections for other movement entities are
logically run by those specific entities.

The Board of Trustees is responsible for monitoring the election and for
the tasking of and appointment of the Election Committee.  (Similarly,
other movement entities do exactly the same thing.) There are some
constricts built into the bylaws of the organization that identify certain
qualifications for candidates for elected seats.  The WMF staff member(s)
involved in the election are there primarily as facilitators to ensure that
the decisions made by the committee are enacted in a timely way.  They're
there to make sure stuff gets done, in other words.  They're not there to
make the decisions; that responsibility is squarely in the purview of the
Committee.

I confess I am disappointed that the existing Election Committee did not
complete its assigned tasks of reviewing different types of voting, leading
community discussions, and identifying a specific preference.  Given that
the final result of the election will need to be released later than
mid-May 2020, and there is a minimum 10-week period before the polls close
to identify, qualify, and allow questioning of candidates, there is not
sufficient time to carry out much more than preliminary research on
alternate voting methods.  The recent experience with the movement-entity
board member selection process - in which some organizations clearly did
not understand the rules of engagement and had to ask for a "new" ballot -
illustrate the problem with not having sufficient time to really understand
and implement a different voting system.  Bluntly put, the Election
Commission should have completed its work in this regard by now if there
was any chance of changing  voting systems. It's been on the table as
something that needed to be done for at least 4 years, and is in fact the
reason that the Board created a "permanent" Election Commission instead of
one that gets appointed just to run a particular election.

The reality is that people who are good at actually running elections are
usually not the same people who are good at analysing and recommending
election processes.  Thus, it's really hard to find the right mix of
membership for a permanent Election Committee.  Comparatively speaking,
there are a lot more people who are proficient at the mechanics of
organizing and running elections; the only significant difference between
running a board election and running an Enwiki Arbitration Committee
election is scale (and perhaps better familiarity with Meta).

It's also essential that everyone on the committee pulls their weight.  In
the past, Election Committees have suffered from having people on board who
simply disappear after their appointment and don't do anything (or show up
so sporadically that they're more a hindrance than a help), leaving it to
an even smaller subgroup of the committee to make decisions and do the
work.  This is really a problem, and it's almost impossible to fix once the
work of the election has started.  The work for the 2020 election should be
startingwell, it probably already should have started.

Risker/Anne







On Sun, 12 Jan 2020 at 19:44, Pine W  wrote:

> Hello,
>
> As far as I know, there has been no functioning Elections Committee in
> awhile. I think that there should be one, and I am glad to see the interest
> in reviving it. So, thanks for the message, Joe.
>
> In the long term, similar to my opinion about separating the Ombudsman
> Commission from WMF, I would like to have the Elections Committee be
> independent from WMF. However, as far as I know, there is no other
> organization that is able and willing to host community authorities which
> would not be under WMF's control or substantial influence. (WMF can
> exercise significant influence over Wikimedia affiliates by restricting
> their use of Wikimedia trademarks and/or their grant funding.) I hope that
> the possibility of having one or more such legally and financially
> independent organizations is being considered as a part of the 2030
> strategy process.
>
> Pine
> ( https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Pine )
> ___
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Ombuds Commission now accepting nominations for 2020

2019-10-09 Thread Risker
Just noting in passing that, technically, the Ombudsman Commission formally
reports to the WMF Board of Trustees, which has in turn delegated the
ongoing management and responsibility for the commission to the WMF Trust &
Safety Department.  In other words, the OC has always been a "WMF"
committee, charged with enforcing WMF board-approved policies, most
particularly the privacy policy.

Risker/Anne

On Wed, 9 Oct 2019 at 16:44, Pine W  wrote:

> Hello,
>
> Sorry that I'm late replying to this thread. I have been very busy in the
> past few weeks.
>
> I have a proposal that likely will not affect the current round of
> appointments because implementation would require some time and careful
> deliberation. This proposal isn't intended as a personal critique.
>
> I would like to see the selection process for OC be done by the community
> with WMF consent, similar to how stewards are appointed. I think it's
> important that community members not be viewed as agents of WMF, and the
> current system for OC appointments seems to imply that WMF has authority to
> oversee or to control the use of advanced permissions and the OC as an
> organization. I think that this should be flipped, with WMF supporting
> community institutions and not the other way around. I'm okay with WMF
> being involved in the selection process for OC candidates by conducting
> background checks on candidates and having some limited veto authority, but
> WMF's role should primarily be one of providing support to community
> members and institutions such as the OC.
>
> Thank you for listening.
>
> Pine
> ( https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Pine )
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [LGBT] Best practices for awarding scholarships

2019-10-09 Thread Risker
I've never created a Wikidata profile about anyone, not even someone who is
widely known.  I've never created or edited a biographical article about
someone who isn't really obviously notable, and who has a broad and widely
known profile as verified in multiple non-Wikimedia (or
Wikipedia/Wikimedia-related) sources.

No, I would never create an article about a Wikimedian - or a Wikidata
profile either - unless they are clearly and obviously notable outside of
our little microcosm.  Frankly, with very few exceptions, almost nobody
whose "notability" is primarily related to this movement is actually
notable in the strictest reading of the policies of most of our Wikipedia
projects.  As far as I'm concerned, most of the Wikipedia/Wikimedia/other
project-related articles on most of our projects are a prime example of
navel-gazing rather than actual notability.

Further, I think it's terrible use of Wikidata to use it to store what are
essentially the personnel records of Wikimedia volunteers.

Risker/Anne



On Wed, 9 Oct 2019 at 09:52, Henry Wood  wrote:

> Risker
>
> > I'm pretty shocked at this idea; in fact, if someone created a Wikidata
> > profile about me, I'd have it taken down under applicable legislation.
>
> ... and yet you are an energetic volunteer for projects that assert
> the right to do that to other people?
>
> Henry
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [LGBT] Best practices for awarding scholarships

2019-10-07 Thread Risker
I'm pretty shocked at this idea; in fact, if someone created a Wikidata
profile about me, I'd have it taken down under applicable legislation.
Making financial support contingent on adding one's name to a publicly
editable database does not seem to be particularly wise, nor for that
matter particularly equitable; dozens if not hundreds of Wikimedians who
have received sponsorships/scholarships to date live in places where
publicly linking oneself to Wikipedia or its sister projects could be
actively harmful to them.  There are very, very few reasons for requiring a
Wikimedian to publicly provide information about themselves in this way.

Getting back to the original question:  a lot of what would constitute best
practices depends on the purpose of the scholarship. Is it a local or
regional event? Is there a particular focus on the event (e.g., development
of technical skills such as a hackathon, leadership education, new editor
recruitment, a particular wikiproject such as Wikisource or Wikiquote,
etc.)?  Are there particular underrepresented groups that you want to
encourage?  All of these are worth considering, so that scholarships can be
targeted in a way that is most likely to achieve the goals of the event.

Also...consider whether you want to extend scholarships to people with a
"proven track record" primarily, or to those who are new or even not yet
part of the community.  If you're going for the "proven track record"
objective, consider what you'd count in favour of evidence of engagement:
local/regional/chapter/user group activities, on-wiki activities, holding
roles of responsibility either onwiki or offwiki, publishing research about
Wikimedia projects, years involved, etc.

Finally, decide what you want to ask the scholarship recipients to give you
in return.  Do you want them to commit to writing a report? commit to
sharing information with other groups/local editors/etc?

I'd encourage those offering scholarships to be forthright in identifying
the criteria that will be used to assess the applicants in advance, as much
as possible.  If this is a large event and you'll be making an open
invitation for scholarship applicants, it's important that you tell them
what kind of applicant you are looking for, what the scholarship includes
and excludes (e.g., travel, registration, accommodation, meals or per
diem), and what you expect in return for the scholarship.

Risker/Anne



On Mon, 7 Oct 2019 at 16:39, Lane Rasberry  wrote:

> Hello,
>
> I have wished that eventually when people apply for scholarships or even
> when they attend wiki events they create profiles for themselves in
> Wikidata so that we could generate visualizations of the demographics of
> participants.
>
> I do not think the wiki movement is quite ready for this, but if we
> actually want to track and report demographics, doing so in Wikidata is
> probably the way most natural for the wiki community.
>
> On Mon, Oct 7, 2019 at 9:27 AM Fæ  wrote:
>
> > Plans for a Wikimedia LGBT+ conference and workshops in 2020 are
> > moving forward. We would very much like to learn and borrow successful
> > experiences from other conferences. This conference is expected to be
> > relatively modest in size, around 50 attendees, and is to be hosted in
> > Linz, Austria.
> >
> > We are planning on opening up applications for scholarships very soon,
> > to allow several months for early booking of travel tickets and visa
> > applications where needed. Naturally this means we have to create a
> > process for assessing applications to a hopefully short and
> > non-subjective checklist (we are all volunteers after all!).
> >
> > Can anyone recommend documented good practices for assessing
> > applications for travel grants and expenses for similar sized events?
> > Some issues we have discussed that need to be addressed before
> > finalizing our policies are:
> > * Creating a fair assessment process that balances the diversity of
> > attendees against other metrics like on-project experience, for
> > example ensuring that we have a healthy gender balance and a wide
> > geographic representation
> > * Whether it may be better to prefer the simplicity of assessing for
> > full scholarships, or whether partial payments are a good way of
> > ensuring wider access
> > * How to draw up rules for travel and partial scholarships for folks
> > planning on making this part of a holiday, as often happens for those
> > travelling long distances
> > * When to recommend that specific Wikimedia Affiliates should provide
> > grants and expenses, which may have additional requirements for
> > applications and reporting
> > * How to build in incentives for greener travel options, even where
> > this may not be th

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Movement Strategy: Draft recommendations are here!

2019-08-12 Thread Risker
Ziko and others - please, please provide your feedback to all of the
working groups on all of the ideas.  Please tell us when you see a draft
recommendation that seems to be right.  Please tell us when you see a draft
recommendation that you think is unreasonable - and tell us what causes
your concern.  Some of the draft recommendations are likely to sound like
good ideas (or even "this is what we do now!") while others will seem to be
pretty radical.  If you see a draft recommendation that you think is really
going "too far", it would be really helpful to hear from you as community
members what you'd consider to be a reasonable alternative, or a middle
ground that you think would be acceptable.

I'm on the Roles & Responsibilities working group, and I am seeing several
recommendations from other groups that I plan to comment upon, too; some of
them seem like really good ideas to me, but there are ones that I don't
really think are a great idea, too.

Risker/Anne


On Mon, 12 Aug 2019 at 12:25, Ziko van Dijk  wrote:

> Am Mo., 12. Aug. 2019 um 17:51 Uhr schrieb Nicole Ebber <
> nicole.eb...@wikimedia.de>:
>
> > Dear all,.
>
>
>
> > As such, constructive
> > feedback and solution-oriented suggestions are welcomed.
>
>
> Hello Nicole,
> For example, if I say that I am against NC and ND content on Commons, would
> such a feedback be welcome? Or would it be dismissed as not "constructive"
> and not "solution-oriented"?
> Maybe you can explain to me what the actual problem is that is supposed to
> be solved by ND and NC content?
> Kind regards
> Ziko
>
>
>
>
>
> > > specific expressions of those ideas certainly can be, but the
> underlying
> > > facts and ideas cannot. If the expression of those ideas is to be on
> > > Wikimedia, they must be under an open content license, allowing reuse
> > > without regard to purpose. If someone would prefer to put their work
> > under
> > > an NC license, then a free-content project is not the appropriate place
> > for
> > > it. Many other places are happy to accept NC-licensed material. But
> even
> > > then, reuse of the concepts and facts cannot be prohibited no matter
> what
> > > one does.
> > >
> > > Todd
> > >
> > > On Mon, Aug 12, 2019 at 5:47 AM Philip Kopetzky <
> > philip.kopet...@gmail.com
> > > >
> > > wrote:
> > >
> > > > Please don't generalise frustration with your conduct on this list.
> > > You're
> > > > the only one telling people to shut up here.
> > > >
> > > > And just to keep this on track, what is your view on how we can
> > > incorporate
> > > > indigenous knowledge without it becoming commercialised by the
> current
> > > > licensing scheme?
> > > > ___
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> >
> >
> >
> > --
> > Nicole Ebber
> > Adviser International Relations
> > Program Manager Wikimedia 2030 Movement Strategy
> > Wikimedia Deutschland e. V. | Tempelhofer Ufer 23-24 | 10963 Berlin
> > Tel. (030) 219 158 26-0
> > https://wikimedia.de
> >
> > Unsere Vision ist eine Welt, in der alle Menschen am Wissen der
> Menschheit
> > teilhaben, es nutzen und mehren können. Helfen Sie uns dabei!
> > https://spenden.wikimedia.de
> >
> > Wikimedia Deutschland — Gesellschaft zur Förderung Freien Wissens e. V.
> > Eingetragen im Vereinsregister des Amtsgerichts Berlin-Charlottenburg
> unter
> > der Nummer 23855 B. Als gemeinnützig anerkannt durch das Finanzamt für
> > Körperschaften I Berlin, Steuernummer 27/029/42207.
> > ___
> > Wikimedia-l mail

Re: [Wikimedia-l] WMF commitment for a Wikimedia projects archive

2019-05-14 Thread Risker
Well, I think perhaps Fae's question may be considered more generally.  Fae
is knowledgeable about the structure of the Wikimedia movement as well as
the WMF, and I think it might be best to work from the assumption that
their core question is probably more along the lines of whether (and how)
the current long-term strategy development process will, in fact, make
recommendations that are in line with ensuring that there will be (at
minimum) a publicly accessible archive of the Wikimedia projects.

The movement strategy process is very broad, and  contains a lot of diverse
ideas about how the movement/WMF/chapters/other entities/projects can be
improved, maintained, developed and supported.  I'm pretty deep in the
strategy stuff, and as far as I know, at this point there's no clear path
to maintaining (or dissolving) any of the existing structures; more to the
point, there's no guarantee that the final summary recommendations of the
combined strategy groups will continue to support the current WMF mission
statement - that is, the part that says " [t]he [Wikimedia] Foundation will
make and keep useful information from its projects available on the
internet free of charge, in perpetuity."

I don't think that's really a bad question to ask - in fact, it may be one
of the more important ones.  I hope I am not presuming too much, but I
think Fae is saying that this is something that is really important and
valuable, and that continuity/perpetuation of that particular aspect of the
mission statement should be a recommendation that gets included in the
final reports - regardless of which entity assumes responsibility for it or
who pays for it.

Risker/Anne

On Tue, 14 May 2019 at 18:03, Nathan  wrote:

> The Internet Archive, incidentally, already seems to maintain copies of
> Wikimedia projects. I don't know to what degree of fidelity. Additionally,
> the WMF's core deliverable is already to provide and sustain access to its
> projects. It has an endowment for that purpose already. Other websites and
> media that might have ephemeral access due to their nature as short-term
> tools need the IA to be preserved, but the WMF's projects seem to occupy a
> different space. It's sort of like asking if the Library of Congress needs
> to invest in some external project to preserve and organize its
> collections. No, that is its actual raison d'etre.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Reviewing our brand system for our 2030 goals

2019-04-15 Thread Risker
I concur with Phoebe and Philippe as well.  I find this branding proposal
feels very dated; something that might have had currency several years ago,
but not really an advantage in the coming 10-15 years.  There aren't a lot
of organizations that change their names to reflect their most prominent
brand; if one looks at the most recent "big tech" renaming, we saw Google
move to Alphabet, actually divorcing themselves from their keystone brand.
I suspect that, had the foundation originally been named the "Wikipedia
Foundation", we might very well be looking to change the name to something
more generic (like "Wikimedia Foundation") today.  Given the longterm
strategic goal of being a broad and deep knowledge ecostructure, I think a
more generic name serves the movement better.

Much as I very much appreciate the time, energy and other resources that
have led to this proposal, there's not a lot of evidence of "value for
money" in proceeding, especially as a lot of the costs would devolve down
to affiliates that have much more pressing needs to meet with their limited
financial resources.  I won't enter into any discussion about whether
certain of our projects should be left by the wayside, but I will note that
there are significant variations in the "popularity" of various projects
between language groups as well as cultural groups.

Risker/Anne

On Sun, 14 Apr 2019 at 09:28, Philippe Beaudette 
wrote:

> As usual, Phoebe states very eloquently what I've been struggling to put
> into words myself.  And like she, I would have been excited about this
> brand change several years ago.  But we weren't ready / missed / didn't see
> the need for that opportunity then.  I think that moment has passed.  I'm
> not sure that the cost outlay and the time that it will take to clear up
> the confusion that a rebrand will cause is demonstrably worth the value
> received from it, for the reasons that Phoebe lays out below.
>
> Best,
> Philippe
> (former staff, still a volunteer, though of greatly reduced volume)
>
>
>
> On Sat, Apr 13, 2019 at 9:42 AM phoebe ayers 
> wrote:
>
> >
> > Dear all,
> > I haven't weighed in before. But it seems to me there's a simple question
> > underlying all of this: do we actually want, or need, to increase public
> > awareness of the Wikimedia Foundation and Wikimedia chapters/affiliates
> (as
> > opposed to the projects themselves)?
> >
> > Having Wikimedia be a more recognizable entity or brand does not seem to
> me
> > like it would help us in our core goals, of recruiting editors and
> content
> > to the *projects*. We do not typically use the Wikimedia name to do
> > outreach, or to talk about the projects; the handful of us that are
> > insiders and give presentations about the WMF is small, relative to the
> > number of educators and librarians and editors talking about Wikipedia.
> (I
> > give many trainings on editing Wikipedia every year; talking about
> > Wikimedia is irrelevant for this purpose). Perhaps a rebrand would make
> > fundraising easier -- but we already use the project brand for that, as
> > most fundraising is directly off the projects, and the fundraising that
> > isn't (grants and large donations) has a lot of communication around it.
> So
> > I'm not sure how a rebrand would help here either.
> >
> > The premise of this whole exercise is that people knowing about Wikimedia
> > as an entity will somehow help us. But we are not trying to recruit
> > contributors to the Foundation, or to the chapters; we are trying to
> > recruit them to the projects, and if the infrastructure of our network is
> > invisible, I am fine with that. I think to increase the centrality of the
> > *organization* is a distraction that misses the point of both our mission
> > and the role of the organization, which is to provide infrastructure.
> We're
> > not selling shoes here; more brand awareness of the Foundation does not
> > translate into a direct furthering of our mission, and more focus on the
> > organization is at best a distraction for overworked volunteers.
> >
> > Like Andrew, I might have been excited about naming it the Wikipedia
> > Foundation ten or fifteen years ago. But now, I think there is a wide
> world
> > of free knowledge that we want to imagine -- including a future of our
> > projects remixed into something new, beyond Wikipedia. So for that reason
> > too, I am skeptical.
> >
> > regards,
> > Phoebe
> > (former WMF trustee)
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Iberoconf 2019 - Declaration of Santiago regarding affiliates' rights and responsabilities

2019-02-22 Thread Risker
Thank you very much for bringing this to the attention of the broader
community, Osmar.  I will note that the gist of this statement was recently
discussed by the Roles & Responsibilities Strategy Working Group[1] and we
noted that it reflects and expands upon several points we had found during
our research.  We will take these points into consideration as we develop
our recommendations.

Risker/Anne
(As a member of the R Strategy Working Group)

[1]
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Strategy/Wikimedia_movement/2018-20/Working_Groups/Roles_%26_Responsibilities

On Thu, 21 Feb 2019 at 20:43, Osmar Valdebenito 
wrote:

> Hello friends,
>
> I would like to share with you the declaration made by most of the
> participants in the last Iberoconf meeting in Santiago, hosted by Wikimedia
> Chile between February 8-10th. The meeting had representatives of 13
> affiliates from Ibero America and Italy, plus Wikimedia Foundation staff
> members, two members of the BoT of the WMF and other guests.
>
> The "Declaration of Santiago" (in Spanish: Carta de Santiago) is a
> statement made by Iberocoop members regarding to rights and
> responsabilities between different affiliates (chapters and user groups)
> and the current rules regarding their formation. The statement is the
> result of the discussion after long formal and informal discussions between
> us.
>
> English:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Iberocoop:Iberoconf_2019/Carta_de_Santiago
> Spanish:
>
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Iberocoop:Iberoconf_2019/Carta_de_Santiago/es
>
> Kind regards,
>
> Osmar Valdebenito G.
> Wikimedia Chile trustee
> Iberoconf 2019 organizer
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Farewell, Erik!

2019-02-07 Thread Risker
I wish you a lot of joy in your retirement, Erik.  We will miss you and all
of your work to help us become a more transparent organization.

Risker/Anne

On Thu, 7 Feb 2019 at 05:42, Magnus Manske via Wikimedia-l <
wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org> wrote:

> Erik,
>
> thanks for your great work on stats, and welcome back to the volunteer
> force.
> Where the real work is done :-)
>
> Magnus
>
> On Thu, Feb 7, 2019 at 10:31 AM Sandra Rientjes - Wikimedia Nederland <
> rient...@wikimedia.nl> wrote:
>
> > Dear Erik,
> >
> > Many thanks for all the help and support you gave Wikimedia Nederland and
> > myself over the past years. Whenever we had tricky stats-related
> questions,
> > we knew we could turn to you.
> >
> > I hope to see you at many WMNL-events in the future.
> >
> > Enjoy the freedom!
> >
> > Best,
> >
> > Sandra
> >
> >
> > Sandra Rientjes
> > Directeur/Executive Director Wikimedia Nederland
> >
> > tel.(+31) (0)30 3200238 <+31%2030%20320%200238> (ma, di, do)
> > mob. (+31) (0)6  31786379 <+31%206%2031786379> (wo, vrij)
> >
> > www.wikimedia.nl
> >
> >
> > Mariaplaats 3
> > 3511 LH  Utrecht
> >
> >
> > Op do 7 feb. 2019 om 11:22 schreef rupert THURNER <
> > rupert.thur...@gmail.com
> > >:
> >
> > > Many thanks erik and all the best!! One sentence in eriks blog post
> > cited i
> > > found surprising. What type of modesty you guys were talking about?
> > >
> > > "At Wikimania London (2014) I talked about how we should err on the
> side
> > of
> > > modesty. That message never came across. I started to have a discussion
> > on
> > > this within WMF but failed to bring this to fruition. My bad."
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > On Wed, Feb 6, 2019, 22:18 Dario Taraborelli <
> dtarabore...@wikimedia.org
> > > wrote:
> > >
> > > > “[R]ecent revisions of an article can be peeled off to reveal older
> > > layers,
> > > > which are still meaningful for historians. Even graffiti applied by
> > > vandals
> > > > can by its sheer informality convey meaningful information, just like
> > > > historians learned a lot from graffiti on walls of classic Pompei.
> > > Likewise
> > > > view patterns can tell future historians a lot about what was hot and
> > > what
> > > > wasn’t in our times. Reason why these raw view data are meant to be
> > > > preserved for a long time.”
> > > >
> > > > Erik Zachte wrote these lines in a blog post
> > > > <
> > > >
> > >
> >
> https://web.archive.org/web/20171018194720/http://infodisiac.com/blog/2009/07/michael-jackson/
> > > > >
> > > > almost
> > > > ten years ago, and I cannot find better words to describe the gift he
> > > gave
> > > > us. Erik retired <http://infodisiac.com/back_to_volunteer_mode.htm>
> > this
> > > > past Friday, leaving behind an immense legacy. I had the honor to
> work
> > > with
> > > > him for several years, and I hosted this morning an intimate, tearful
> > > > celebration of what Erik has represented for the Wikimedia movement.
> > > >
> > > > His Wikistats project <https://stats.wikimedia.org/>—with his
> > signature
> > > > pale yellow background we've known and loved since the mid 2000s
> > > > <
> > https://web.archive.org/web/20060412043240/https://stats.wikimedia.org/
> > > > >—has
> > > > been much more than an "analytics platform". It's been an individual
> > > > attempt he initiated, and grew over time, to try and comprehend and
> > make
> > > > sense of the largest open collaboration project in human history,
> > driven
> > > by
> > > > curiosity and by an insatiable desire to serve data to the
> communities
> > > that
> > > > most needed it.
> > > >
> > > > Through this project, Erik has created a live record of data
> describing
> > > the
> > > > growth and reach of all Wikimedia communities, across languages and
> > > > projects, putting multi-lingualism and smaller communities at the
> very
> > > > center of his attention. He coined metrics such as "active editors"
> > that
> > > > defined the benchmark for volunteers, the Wikimedia Foundat

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Survey about the Foundation's Mission

2019-01-16 Thread Risker
I regret to say that I feel James has abused this forum once again for his
own personal agenda, much of which is unrelated even indirectly to the WMF
or the Wikimedia movement. Further, I feel that he has done so in a way
that is deceptive to members of this mailing list, and that his actions are
an abuse of the trust of the members of this mailing list.

Generally speaking, I'm pretty tolerant of people bringing different
perspectives and ideas to this mailing list; however, I believe this is a
step too far for someone who has been asked in the past on multiple
occasions to stay on topic.  I am not sure that James needs to remain a
contributor to this list.

Risker/Anne

On Wed, 16 Jan 2019 at 11:56, James Salsman  wrote:

> On Wed, Jan 16, 2019 at 1:23 AM Kevin Payravi 
> wrote:
> >
> > I've heard confusion from a couple folks and want to make sure it's clear
> > here that this survey is coming from you as an individual, Jim, and has
> no
> > origination or coordination with the Foundation - correct?
>
> Yes, the survey is just from me, not the Foundation. I'm trying to
> encourage the Executive Director to bring back the "Letter to Donors"
> which was discontinued for reasons unknown, but not the explanation
> given to me at the time, that it was forbidden by law:
>
> https://twitter.com/jsalsman/status/998272655995240449
> https://twitter.com/SuePGardner/status/998302792946102273
>
> On Wed, Jan 16, 2019 at 3:44 AM Dan Garry (Deskana) 
> wrote:
> >
> >... (free healthcare, universal basic income, etc.) have very little to
> > do with the Foundation's mission.
>
> That is precisely the matter of opinion which the survey measures. The
> idea that the abundance of contributors would not increase under the
> proposals is clearly not shared by most, and whether that means
> contributors would therefore be "empowered" by them is subjective.
>
> > On Tue, Jan 15, 2019, 8:21 PM James Salsman  >
> > > Happy 18th birthday to Wikipedia!
> > >
> > > What does it mean for the Wikimedia Foundation to empower
> > > contributors? Please share your opinion of what the Wikimedia
> > > Foundation's mission statement means when it describes empowering
> > > people to collect and develop educational content:
> > >
> > > http://bit.ly/wikimission
> > >
> > > The survey results are summarized after form submission.
> > >
> > > Best regards,
> > > Jim Salsman
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Hiding versions because of copyright violation

2019-01-14 Thread Risker
Hi Lodewijk -

I don't think you're mis-translating; I think that there's just a different
understanding of the terms between projects.  Most other projects didn't
get saddled with the extensions that used the actual term "hiding" that
English Wikipedia had, so wouldn't have had a reason to use the more
precise terminology that is used there.

It appears that when you are speaking of "hiding", you are referring to
revision-deletion.  From that perspective, revision-deletion or page
deletion is used on English Wikipedia for almost all copyright violations.
The enwiki policy is here:  <
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Revision_deletion#Criteria_for_redaction>


Risker/Anne

On Mon, 14 Jan 2019 at 13:20, effe iets anders 
wrote:

> Thanks for those questions.
>
> Just as clarification, I'm talking about hiding revisions with the effect
> that the revisions are greyed out in the history, but that admins can still
> see their content. But I realize that oversight policies (the effect of
> oversight is stronger) may be more prominent, and that perhaps the
> ecosystem of different options should be considered in such a question :) .
>
> Thanks Anne for clarifying terminology - I am mostly aware with the
> terminology we use in Dutch, so may mistranslate some things.
>
> Lodewijk
>
> On Mon, Jan 14, 2019 at 10:13 AM Risker  wrote:
>
>> I think one of the issues here is that we are not all using the same
>> terminology.
>>
>> "Hiding", on English Wikipedia, is generally reserved for some weird
>> extensions that had to have special features built in because
>> revision-deletion, deletion, and suppression did not work with them.  I
>> think all of those extensions are now disabled on English Wikipedia.
>>
>> "Revision-deletion" (which has the effect of removing a revision from the
>> view of the reading public and users who are not administrators or
>> equivalent) or complete page deletion is used for most copyright violations
>> on English Wikipedia.  Copyright violations should not be publicly
>> available, since it does not meet even the most basic requirements of edits
>> to the project; I have a hard time seeing why any project would leave them
>> in the page history, since that is the equivalent of leaving them in the
>> project.
>>
>> "Suppression" is an even higher-level form of revision-deletion that
>> removes the revision from the view of everyone except oversighters.  It
>> replaced the old "oversight" extension in 2009, and it is my understanding
>> that all of the revisions that were historically removed using the
>> oversight tool have now been returned to page history and suppressed.
>> (There are some exceptions.) Suppression is used on English Wikipedia for
>> most personal information, which can include anything listed in the WMF
>> privacy policy.
>>
>> There are variations in the use of the deletion/suppression tools: for
>> example, since 2009 we have been able to either "delete" or "suppress"
>> usernames and edit summaries that are highly inappropriate. The ability to
>> "suppress" usernames is sometimes used when someone edits while logged out,
>> not realizing their IP address will appear in the history.
>>
>> I suspect that English Wikipedia has lower thresholds for both
>> revision-deletion and suppression because it has historically been the
>> project that is most abused, sometimes in ways that I'd be hesitant to
>> publicly describe.
>>
>>
>> Risker/Anne
>> (English Wikipedia oversighter)
>>
>> On Mon, 14 Jan 2019 at 12:29, effe iets anders 
>> wrote:
>>
>>> Hi all,
>>>
>>> This is one of these things that seems particularly hard to find, so I'd
>>> like to pick your collective brains on this:
>>>
>>> What are the various policies across our little universe on using the
>>> 'hide
>>> version' functionality to hide historical versions of articles? I would
>>> especially appreciate it if you could elaborate a bit on how it's used in
>>> practice with regards to privacy violations (what is the threshold of
>>> private information that would justify hiding versions) and copyright
>>> violations (when do you actually hide the versions, rather than just
>>> remove
>>> it from the current version and leave it in the history).
>>>
>>> Are there any global policies on this? I think not, but always better to
>>> double check :).
>>>
>>> Best,
>>> Lodewijk
>>> ___

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Hiding versions because of copyright violation

2019-01-14 Thread Risker
I think one of the issues here is that we are not all using the same
terminology.

"Hiding", on English Wikipedia, is generally reserved for some weird
extensions that had to have special features built in because
revision-deletion, deletion, and suppression did not work with them.  I
think all of those extensions are now disabled on English Wikipedia.

"Revision-deletion" (which has the effect of removing a revision from the
view of the reading public and users who are not administrators or
equivalent) or complete page deletion is used for most copyright violations
on English Wikipedia.  Copyright violations should not be publicly
available, since it does not meet even the most basic requirements of edits
to the project; I have a hard time seeing why any project would leave them
in the page history, since that is the equivalent of leaving them in the
project.

"Suppression" is an even higher-level form of revision-deletion that
removes the revision from the view of everyone except oversighters.  It
replaced the old "oversight" extension in 2009, and it is my understanding
that all of the revisions that were historically removed using the
oversight tool have now been returned to page history and suppressed.
(There are some exceptions.) Suppression is used on English Wikipedia for
most personal information, which can include anything listed in the WMF
privacy policy.

There are variations in the use of the deletion/suppression tools: for
example, since 2009 we have been able to either "delete" or "suppress"
usernames and edit summaries that are highly inappropriate. The ability to
"suppress" usernames is sometimes used when someone edits while logged out,
not realizing their IP address will appear in the history.

I suspect that English Wikipedia has lower thresholds for both
revision-deletion and suppression because it has historically been the
project that is most abused, sometimes in ways that I'd be hesitant to
publicly describe.


Risker/Anne
(English Wikipedia oversighter)

On Mon, 14 Jan 2019 at 12:29, effe iets anders 
wrote:

> Hi all,
>
> This is one of these things that seems particularly hard to find, so I'd
> like to pick your collective brains on this:
>
> What are the various policies across our little universe on using the 'hide
> version' functionality to hide historical versions of articles? I would
> especially appreciate it if you could elaborate a bit on how it's used in
> practice with regards to privacy violations (what is the threshold of
> private information that would justify hiding versions) and copyright
> violations (when do you actually hide the versions, rather than just remove
> it from the current version and leave it in the history).
>
> Are there any global policies on this? I think not, but always better to
> double check :).
>
> Best,
> Lodewijk
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] America may go bizarro, but Wikipedia has a choice to make

2019-01-09 Thread Risker
Without in any way suggesting that David's and Fae's question is
inappropriateI suspect that the people most likely to have used/tested
the backups are not people who follow this list; they're much more likely
to participate on technical lists.

It's actually a pretty good question, and Ariel Glenn of the WMF may be the
best person to ask since they seem to be managing the process of making the
files available.

Risker/Anne

On Wed, 9 Jan 2019 at 06:44, Fæ  wrote:

> Location: This is a tangent, one that has been raised before as a
> /non-answer/ to the issue of actually getting on with contingency
> planning. Realistically I would start by looking at the potential
> matches of Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands (where servers already
> are used for WMF operations), or lastly and for very different
> reasons, Peru.
>
> What I find weird, or bizarro, is that the responses so far are vague
> dismissals for non-good fantastic reasons, at the level of "let magic
> blockchain technology solve it for free", rather than taking on board
> that preparing a hot switch for Wikimedia operations in a welcoming
> host country, is a highly cost effective disaster contingency plan,
> whether due to natural disasters in San Fran / Florida / Amsterdam, or
> due to national government using its legal authority to freeze, switch
> off or tamper with content due to politically inflated "security" or
> "emergency" issues. The risks are real and predictable, and as a
> globally recognized charity with plenty of money in the bank, the WMF
> should have contingency plans to ensure its continued existence, as
> any professional business actuary would advise.
>
> As a past IT auditor, what also made the hairs prick up on the back of
> my neck, was David Gerard's sensible question "So ... when did someone
> last test putting up a copy of the sites from
> the backups" - Could someone give a real answer to that please? If
> it's never, then wow, we all have to ask some hard questions of the
> WMF Board of exactly how they hold senior management to account.
>
> Thanks,
> Fae
> --
> fae...@gmail.com https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Fae
>
> On Tue, 8 Jan 2019 at 23:05, Nathan  wrote:
> >
> > Hi Fae,
> >
> > I'm curious what nation you have in mind for your stable Plan B. Is it
> > Brexit Britain? France of the Yellow Vests and Front National? Perhaps
> > Orban's Hungary, Putin's Russia, or Germany with its recent right-wing
> > resurgence?
> >
> > Maybe you'd prefer Jair Bolsonaro's Brazil? I suppose in Italy we'd worry
> > about Beppe and criminal libel statutes, while BJP would hardly seem
> > welcoming in India and I can't imagine you'd suggest a home on the other
> > side of the Great Firewall.
> >
> > Maybe you're hinting at Canada, but otherwise, I'd love to understand
> what
> > island of liberal stability and legal safeguards you think is safe from
> the
> > vagaries of electoral politics or rigid authoritarianism.
> >
> > The countries I list above have their own flaws (although in each case, I
> > believe, many desirable traits as well) as does any other alternative.
> > Anyone could reasonably argue it's unfair to stigmatize any of them by
> > glaringly public flaws.
> >
> > To my mind Steve Walling has it right - the very nature of Wikipedia is
> > maybe the best protection there could be, even against the absurdly
> > unlikely circumstance of a United States government takeover of
> Wikipedia.
> >
> > Nathan
> >
> > On Tue, Jan 8, 2019 at 12:17 PM Fæ  wrote:
> >
> > > Dear fellow Wikimedians, please sit back for a moment and ponder the
> > > following,
> > >
> > > For those of us not resident in the US, it has been genuinely alarming
> > > to see highly respected US government archives vanish overnight,
> > > reference websites go down, and US legislation appear to drift to
> > > whatever commercial interests have the loudest current political
> > > voices. Sadly "populism" is happening now, and dominates American
> > > politics, driving changes of all sorts in response to politically
> > > inflated and vague rhetoric about "security" and "fakenews". It is not
> > > inconceivable that a popularist current or future US Government could
> > > decide to introduce emergency controls over websites like Wikipedia,
> > > virtually overnight.[1][2][3][4]
> > >
> > > The question of whether the Wikimedia Foundation should have a hot
> > > switch option, so that if a "disaster" strikes in America, we could
> &

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Blocks which appear to demonstrate prejudice against minorities

2019-01-02 Thread Risker
 I note that we are talking about the block of one single user on one
single project; this particular account has thousands of edits over about a
dozen projects, but is "attached" to hundreds of Wikimedia projects.  The
majority of these "attached" accounts are likely because the editor
"visited" the various projects while logged in, activating the automatic
account creation algorithm.  The account was created 8 years ago, and has
actively edited a wide variety of  projects, including several wikipedias,
Commons, Wikidata, and Meta. While English Wikipedia is the account's
"home" wiki, about 55% of the account's global edits have been made on
Marathi Wikipedia. The Amharic Wikipedia account does not appear to have
edited, which suggests that it was automatically created when the editor
was "looking at" the project on 9  February 2018.  The block for account
name was made on 22 October 2018.  I note that accounts were created on
over a hundred projects over the course of a few days in February 2018.

The point being raised in this thread is that it appears this editor was
blocked on one of the 381 wikis on which they have an account, explicitly
because of the perception that their username calls attention to the sexual
behaviour of the editor. What we do not know is (a) whether that is in fact
a legitimate username block reason on Amharic Wikipedia, or (b) if it is a
legitimate username block reason, *why* it would be a username block
reason. We don't know why this block was applied so long after the account
was created. We don't know the username policy on Amharic Wikipedia, nor do
we know how it is applied; for example, we don't know if a username like
"StraightGuy101" would be blocked.  We do know that there are only 4
administrators on Amharic Wikipedia, and that there are fewer than 50
active users working on the project, which may be part of the reason for
the delay between automatic account creation and the account block.

We also know that one of the challenges of single user login for all
Wikimedia projects has highlighted the fact that certain usernames that are
acceptable on some projects are blocked on other projects; we've known that
for years. We know that each project establishes its own policies when it
comes to usernames. There are legitimate reasons why a username that is
acceptable in one language is not acceptable in another language, even in
cases where the editor had no knowledge that the chosen username would be a
problem in another language. We do know that there have been lots of cases
where usernames have been blocked for "username policy violation" on all
kinds of projects, despite the account operating productively on other
projects.

I also note that there is nothing in this thread that confirms the editor
themself has raised any concerns about this block, and I am always wary of
turning an editor into a "martyr for a cause" without their direct
agreement, as that can be as abusive as the original action. So the first
step in this situation would be to confirm with the individual editor
whether or not they want their "case" to be examined.

Should the editor be agreeable, I suggest that the next step is for someone
who has the ability to converse in Amharic to contact the Amharic Wikipedia
and find out why the block has been issued, how it is consistent with the
username policy on Amharic Wikipedia, whether that policy is driven in part
by external considerations (e.g., does the project risk heavy governmental
scrutiny if it appears to "promote" locally unacceptable activities). I am
personally curious as to why it took over six months to identify that this
account did not meet the local username policy, and whether there was
internal or external discussion about the username.

It is not clear to me what the desired outcome is in this case - at least
in part because we have no idea of the opinion of the editor involved.  I
am hard-pressed to say that a project should be required to allow usernames
that it has a long history of considering unacceptable, especially if it is
applied evenly to all accounts; in this case, if it disallows usernames
that imply sexual preference regardless of what that preference is.

It seems to me that the WMF Trust & Safety group would probably be the
right group to examine this.

Risker/Anne

On Wed, 2 Jan 2019 at 09:42, Ariel Glenn WMF  wrote:

> Additional notes:
> The user's regular page can be viewed on en wikipedia:
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:QueerEcofeminist
> Queer may have to do with gender identity as opposed to being an indicator
> of 'sexual behavior', so the blockers didn't even get that right. Example:
> I am gender-nonconforming as to my gender identity and expression; this is
> the primary reason I use the label 'queer'.
>
> I believe this should be reported... somewhere. But I don't know wher

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Page views of male/female biographies?

2018-12-05 Thread Risker
Hmm.  I think the subject of what you call "audience bias" is far more
general than the tiny targeted area you're talking about.  I'm pretty sure
that readers from Poland are thousands of times more likely to access the
Wikipedia article about [name any town in Poland] than readers in Indonesia
are.  I'm pretty sure that readers from all over the world are far more
likely to access articles about people who are named in other publications,
particularly the news media, than they are about notable but comparatively
obscure article subjects who haven't recently been the subject of public
interest.  I do not think you have made a good case for considering the
viewing of articles of male subjects vs. female subjects to be directly
linked to "audience bias".  We only need to look at the top100 articles
viewed on any project to see that what drives page views is usually some
event external to the Wikipedia projects.

Page view data is pretty readily available - it is available for every
single page on every single Wikipedia (and probably for a lot of other
projects too, I've just never checked).  It would require some technical
knowledge to write a script targeting page view information for articles in
selected categories - such as page views of articles about women scientists
- provided there is correct and appropriate categorization of the article.
I'm the first to admit I'm incapable of writing such a script, but there
are lots of Wikimedians who have such skills.

It certainly looks like you are asking for ongoing research to be carried
out on a topic that interests you (and, I am certain, a lot of other
Wikimedians). I am unclear what this kind of metric would tell us about
"audience bias" (or any other kind of bias, for that matter), but there may
be value in better understanding the frequency of viewing of articles in
certain categories and comparing them to related categories; for example,
comparing the frequency of viewing of the average article about a female
architect as compared to a male architect.  It should be noted that there
is also an inherent bias in that there are far fewer biographical articles
about women in most categories, as compared to men.

Risker/Anne

On Wed, 5 Dec 2018 at 18:20, David Cuenca Tudela  wrote:

> Hi Tilman,
>
> I disagree with your appraisal that there are better venues for my
> question. The gendergap mailing list is technically dead, before your
> message the last one was from April. The other mailing list is related to
> research, not to stats that should be readily available.
>
> From your answer (and the lack of more information) I understand that there
> is a poor (inexistent?) tracking of audience bias. In my opinion these data
> would be very useful to monitor how visitors evolve with more availability
> of women's biographies. I have requested it to be added to the Metrics Kit.
> If anyone else wants to endorse or comment:
>
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:Community_health_initiative/Metrics_kit#Gender_bias_of_audience
>
> Regards,
> Micru
>
>
> On Tue, Dec 4, 2018 at 2:22 AM Tilman Bayer  wrote:
>
> > Hi Micru,
> >
> > in general, there may be better venues to ask this kind of question, e.g.
> > the Wiki-research-l and Gendergap mailing lists (both CCed). But for a
> > partial answer, the paper by Marit Hinnosaar reviewed here looks at these
> > stats (if not their long-term trend):
> >
> >
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Research:Newsletter/2015/December#Does_advertising_the_gender_gap_help_or_hurt_Wikipedia
> > ?
> >
> > E.g. "On a typical (median) day in September 2014, no one read 26 percent
> > of the biographies of men versus only 16 percent of the biographies of
> > women."
> >
> > On Wed, Nov 28, 2018 at 3:35 AM David Cuenca Tudela 
> > wrote:
> >
> > > Hi,
> > >
> > > Are there any statistics that track the evolution of page views of
> > > male/female biographies in the different Wikipedias?
> > >
> > > Regards,
> > > Micru
> > > ___
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> >
> >
> >
> > --
> > Tilman Bayer
> > Senior Analyst
> > Wikimedia Foundation
> > IRC (Freenode): HaeB
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] How can we fix the two-stage page loading problem?

2017-09-03 Thread Risker
Just noting in passing that ascribing this to the gadgets that make up a
personal profile...isn't always what is the problem.  I don't think
standard non-logged-in profile has any of these finicky bits, yet the same
thing happens to users who are not logged in.  All the time - half the time
I find out about an overarching banner, it's from someone who knows I "do"
Wikipedia, and they're complaining to me. I have to disabuse them of the
idea that any editor is likely to be able to change this...

Risker/Anne

On 3 September 2017 at 13:44, James Heilman <jmh...@gmail.com> wrote:

> These issues can be fixed. Have the banners load below the buttons we
> typically click on. Move the gadgets to the left of "read" rather than to
> the right of "view history". I have proposed this for TW as I mentioned
> here
>
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia_talk:Twinkle#Button_load_issues
>
> J
>
> On Sun, Sep 3, 2017 at 11:01 AM, David Gerard <dger...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > On 2 September 2017 at 02:09, Michael Peel <em...@mikepeel.net> wrote:
> >
> > > This is possibly the most annoying feature of the Wikimedia projects at
> > the moment. You access a page. Then you start reading or editing it. And
> > then suddenly the page jumps when a fundraising banner / central notice /
> > gadget / beta feature loads. So you have to start reading the page again,
> > or you have to find where you were editing again, or you have to undo the
> > change you just made since you made it in the wrong part of the page.
> >
> >
> > Or you click "edit" and it hits the banner that suddenly popped up
> > under your click. 
> >
> >
> > - d.
> >
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> >
>
>
>
> --
> James Heilman
> MD, CCFP-EM, Wikipedian
>
> The Wikipedia Open Textbook of Medicine
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] New style banner - A heads up

2017-08-23 Thread Risker
I think they continue to display the absolutely most irritating behaviour
of the old banners, which is the several second delay between the screen
that shows the content, and the overlaid banner that in the "old" baner
covers the content someone has already started reading and in the "new"
banner pushes down the content almost a full screen length and makes the
reader lose his or her place.  Frankly, I don't think whether or not the
"banner" looks like content is as much an issue as getting the banner to
show up at the same time as the page content.  I've been told, without
attribution, that this is intentional in order to really draw attention to
the banners, and I periodically see it on other websites as well. My
personal response is always the same: close the overlaying window and avoid
returning to the website if I can.

Of the two, though, I prefer the banner that pushes down the content over
the one that covers it because I could still navigate through the article.
(For the record, I am on a fast computer and using the highest speed
internet available for residential use in Canada - and the second banner
managed to still freeze my computer.)

Risker/Anne

On 23 August 2017 at 22:53, Robert Fernandez <wikigamal...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Is anyone actually confusing the banner with article content, or are they
> just assuming others will do so?
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Let's set up a Tor onion service for Wikipedia

2017-06-13 Thread Risker
I see your point, Gergo, but in reality Phabricator is an even worse
channel to discuss projects that are, essentially, social issues.  Whether
or not to have an onion may appear to be essentially a technical issue, but
I have yet to see any indication in numerous discussions about Tor that I
have read and/or participated in that our technical geniuses (and I say
that with warmth and honesty) really give a lot of thought to the legal and
social implications of providing active support to the dark web.  It is a
social and ethical issue (from just about all sides) and should be
discussed with that in mind.

I have little doubt that it is entirely technically possible to set up a
Tor onion on an isolated WMF server somewhere or other.  It's probably
child's play for many who work within the area, and I have little doubt
that there are many individuals within the broad Wikimedia community who
have chosen to use or actively support Tor.  Setting this up is not a
technical "problem" to be solved (which is essentially what Phabricator is
for). I will again reinforce: it's a social and ethical issue, and only
once that is resolved would it be time to consider it a "technical
problem".

With respect to "known editors" using Tor, I'll take the opportunity to
also respond to Lane. I think I could paraphrase his concerns by saying
that, from where he sits, it seems that all Tor users are painted with the
same brush, and that there are some legitimate users of Tor, and some
legitimate reasons that certain individuals would potentially benefit from
using Tor.  I happen to agree with him on this point.  I am well aware of
at least half a dozen Tor users known to the enwiki community who
explicitly requested IPBE on their existing accounts so that they could
edit; the accounts tended not to have many edits, but the editors'
rationales were usually that they were Tor users and thus were unable to
edit. I'm aware that several of those individuals have been granted IPBE
over time; yes, they have to ask for it, but then so do the users who want
to edit through hard-blocked VPNs.  I can't speak for other projects, but I
can say that on enwiki there are both administrators and functionaries who
are liberal in their granting of IPBE. I sometimes find it odd that nobody
asks me directly to help them out; I think I've granted it every time I was
asked.


Risker/Anne



On 13 June 2017 at 06:28, Gergő Tisza <gti...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Now that we have ascertained (again) that wikimedia-l is a ​poor channel
> for focused discussions about tech proposals, can we move this to
> Phabricator?
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Let's set up a Tor onion service for Wikipedia

2017-06-05 Thread Risker
As far as I can tell (and from comments made in the past by actual Tor
users), there is no problem whatsoever for Tor users to read Wikipedia
while using Tor.  Editing is a completely different situation - and well it
should be, given the pure unadulterated trash that tends to come in
whenever a Tor exit node is missed in the routine lockdowns.

I recognize the concerns about ISP tracking and what I assume most
Wikimedians would consider inappropriate use of their browsing
information.  I understand why more and more Wikimedians are electing to
use VPNs and other more secure methods of accessing the internet.  But VPNs
are also heavily abused - not just by socks, but by individuals who
consciously and intentionally disrupt projects - and thus more and more of
them are getting locked in "only accounts can edit" or even "only IPBE can
edit" mode - often on a global basis, not just one individual wiki.  It
occurs to me that we can probably be more liberal in handing out IPBE -
which covers both Tor users and VPN users.  It's not an idea situation,
since people have to establish their account history before anyone's going
to hand them IPBE, but it is probably better than nothing.  And yes, the
place to ask is at Global IPBE, because getting IPBE on only one project is
unhelpful if one also pitches in elsewhere (Wikidata, Commons, etc.).

Risker/Anne

On 5 June 2017 at 19:34, MZMcBride <z...@mzmcbride.com> wrote:

> Cristian Consonni wrote:
> >I have read several discussions on the topic (going back to 2006) and
> >what I have understood from those is that the biggest issue with editing
> >via Tor is sockpuppeting.
>
> This Phabricator comment you found seems pretty useful:
> <https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T71333#728636>.
>
> And Faidon posted in November 2014 about the establishment of a Tor relay:
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikitech-l/2014-November/079392.html
>
> How does your proposal interact (if at all) with the existing Tor relay
> set up in late 2014?
>
> It's unclear to me whether "Tor onion service" in this context is
> equivalent to a Tor exit node. I'm fairly sure setting up the latter has
> been discussed previously on wikimedia-l and/or wikitech-l.
>
> MZMcBride
>
>
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Chief Communications Officer search & job description

2017-05-27 Thread Risker
Pine -

I am hardly the best informed person, but even I know that Communications
handles the Blog, the twitter feed, the Facebook feed, provides support to
the Board, executive and C-levels for communication, and handles thousands
of media requests a year. In other words, you're missing about 90% of your
workload in your description.  They also assist other departments with
communication, both internal and external.

Your point #1, with respect to improving internal communication, is
primarily handled by other departments within the WMF (Learning, Human
Resources), with Communications as a resource rather than the primary
messager.  Your point #2 is pretty much irrelevant; some of the best
communications leaders work for political campaigns, and they're usually
"hired guns" rather than true believers.  There are a few exceptions, but
again, it's irrelevant, and not ethical to screen directly for political
affiliation - and possibly illegal to do so.

Risker/Anne

On 27 May 2017 at 23:53, Pine W <wiki.p...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi Joady,
>
> Thank you for publishing this. Overall I like this draft. I would like to
> offer two comments.
>
> 1. My impression is that WMF Communications is largely used to support
> fundraising, readership, and sometimes legal or advocacy topics. The
> department seems to be externally focused. I would like to see work by WMF
> Communications and/or WMF Community Engagement on developing a systematic
> "internal" communications system among content contributors and WMF
> departments. There are currently many internal communications flows, and
> while I think that there have been some noticeable improvements over the
> past few years (I particularly want to acknowledge the WMF Community
> Liaisons), there is a long way to go in systematizing and optimizing these
> communications flows. So instead of looking for a chief communications
> officer whose main strength is in marketing, sales, PR, or other forms of
> external communication, I would encourage WMF to seek a chief
> communications officer who has a track record of facilitating long-term
> improvement of internal communications in complex and diverse environments.
>
> 2. For the line in the JD draft which currently reads "A clear, effective
> communications style, including experience guiding messaging for major
> organizations, political candidates, or movements", I would encourage
> considerable caution about hiring someone into this role who has had a
> background in political campaigns. I would prefer that the individual have
> no affiliation with any political party. I can think of some organizations
> which are not aligned with a specific political party and which support
> civil rights issues which are likely to be largely compatible with WMF's
> mission, but I would still be very cautious about hiring someone who has
> any background in politics. Keeping in mind WMF's recent and controversial
> annual report, I think it is particularly important to hire a chief
> communications officer who can guide communications and the WMF
> organization away from involvement in political matters to the maximum
> extent possible while still supporting freedom of expression in the limited
> circumstances in which constraints on freedom of expression would impede
> Wikimedians' ability to communicate freely about matters of important
> public interest.
>
> Thank you,
>
> Pine
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Funds Dissemination Committee Recommendations - Round 2 of 2016-17

2017-05-16 Thread Risker
On 16 May 2017 at 11:52, rupert THURNER <rupert.thur...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Why the amount is missing for the WMF?
>
> Rupert
>
>
>
Hello Rupert -

The Funds Dissemination Committee is not tasked with recommending funding
for the Wikimedia Foundation; the committee only reviews and provides
feedback on the draft annual plan.

Risker/Anne
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[Wikimedia-l] Funds Dissemination Committee Recommendations - Round 2 of 2016-17

2017-05-15 Thread Risker
Dear Wikimedians,


The Funds Dissemination Committee (FDC) meets twice a year to make
recommendations about how to effectively allocate movement funds to achieve
the Wikimedia movement's mission, vision, and strategy.  This is now the
9th round of allocations made by the FDC, and we met in person from May
12-14, 2017 in Warsaw to deliberate on 4 proposals submitted this round, as
well as to provide feedback on the Wikimedia Foundation draft Annual Plan.
We would like to thank all of the participating organizations for the hard
work they put into this round’s proposals.


Our recommendations for Round 2 2016-2017 on the annual plan grants to the
Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees have now been posted on Meta.[1] The
Board will review our deliberations and make a decision by July 1, 2017.


We received grant requests for approximately USD 1,430,000 this round.
Before we met, committee members reviewed all of the proposals and
documents submitted.  We were assisted in this review with input from the
FDC staff assessments which included analysis on impact, finances, and
programs, as well as community comments on the proposals.


As you may know, there is a formal process to submit complaints or appeals
about these recommendations. Here are the steps for both:


Any organization that would like to submit an appeal on the FDC’s Round 1
recommendation should submit it to the Board representatives to the FDC by
23:59 UTC on 8 June 2017 in accord with the appeal process outlined in the
FDC Framework [2]. A formal appeal to challenge the FDC’s recommendation
should be in the form of a 500-or-fewer word summary directed to the two
non-voting WMF Board representatives to the FDC, Dariusz Jemielniak and
Christophe Henner. The appeal should be submitted on-wiki, and must be
submitted by the Board Chair of a funding-seeking applicant. The Wikimedia
Foundation Board will publish its decision on this and all recommendations
by July 1, 2017.


Anyone can file a complaint about the FDC process [3] with the Ombudsperson
at any time. The complaint should be submitted on wiki, as well. The
Ombudsperson will publicly document the complaint, and investigate as
needed.



On behalf of the FDC,


Anne Clin / Risker

FDC Chair



[1]
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:APG/FDC_recommendations/2016-2017_round_2

[2] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:APG/Appeals_to_the_Board_on_the_
recommendations_of_the_FDC

[3] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:APG/Complaints_
about_the_FDC_process
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [arbcom-l] Where is WMF with pursuing companies that offer paid editing services

2017-04-14 Thread Risker
I'm just a bit agog at the idea that this article became "advertising" when
Burger King made the connection using Google Home.  Since its very first
edit, it has been an advertisement for this product.  It may not have been
intended that way, but that is the reality.  Now it's almost 4200 words
long - probably the longest writing on this single product anywhere outside
of the Burger King home offices - and we're pretending that it isn't an ad.

I know it is terribly disillusioning, but an awful lot of our articles are
advertisements. There have always been LOTS of paid editors on English
Wikipedia. It has never meant that the editor was editing primarily in a
promotional manner - in many cases they were facilitating the ability for
others to include promotional materials, and I've spotted what in
retrospect were obvious paid edits going back to 2001. There are people who
I've identified as likely paid editors who were instrumental in our early
discussions about notability.  There were people who "worked with" external
organizations to get access to their commercial repositories of images and
information - with huge financial benefits to the owners of those
repositories; sometimes this was innocent, with the editors trying to gain
access to hard-to-find material, but the end result was the same.

The article is an advertisement. It was one from its first edit (which
included product prices) and it is one today.  It's good copy, but it's
still an ad.  I'll guarantee this isn't the first or last time that a paid
editor made significant changes to the article.  And it's just like
thousands and thousands of other articles that turn consumer products into
"encyclopedic content".  A 300-word discussion of Burger King's most
notable product would be appropriate in the main article, or even in a
daughter article about Burger King's products.  But as it stands, we have
literally hundreds of thousands of words about various Burger King
products: lists, articles about individual products, summaries, advertising
campaigns, etc.  These are all advertisements. Don't blame Burger King for
leveraging exactly what we're doing ourselves.

Risker/Anne

On 14 April 2017 at 12:39, Gabriel Thullen <gabr...@thullen.com> wrote:

> This advertising campaign is particularly interesting, it appears that this
> is the first time we can talk about an exploit (as is said in computer
> security). It has been done once so it can be done again.
>
> What worries me here is that an advertising campaign like this one, mixing
> TV advertising and content editing on Wikipedia is not a last minute thing,
> done on the spur of the moment. IMHA, the agency responsible for these ads
> must have experienced wikipedians working for them. These guys know how the
> community usually reacts. There is a lot of money involved and they know
> that they will have to get it right the first time the ads are aired.
>
> This looks like a bait and trick, and we were all fooled by it (by we, I
> mean the wikipedia community of editors). The bait was the minor
> grammatical errors in the new introductory sentence. An experienced editor
> got tricked into correcting these missing spaces and such, and the text
> itself gets a "stamp of approval", and the edit done by a new account will
> no longer show up as the last modification done to the article.
>
> These paid edits were made on April 4, the article started to be vandalized
> one week later, on April 11. But it looks like the campaign did not create
> the expected buzz because Google reacted quickly (just under 3 hours) and
> Google Home stopped reading out the Whopper article at the end of the
> advert.
>
> The damage has been done. Theverge.com claims to have done such a
> modification on Wikipedia, to quote them "as did we, in a test yesterday".
> We will probably see more of this.
>
> Gabe
>
>
> On Fri, Apr 14, 2017 at 5:39 PM, Dariusz Jemielniak <dar...@alk.edu.pl>
> wrote:
>
> > On Fri, Apr 14, 2017 at 5:23 AM, Gnangarra <gnanga...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > >
> > > > but they didnt spam, nor did they introduce any false hoods, or
> remove
> > > > controversial content, they just put a description of the Whopper for
> > the
> > > > opening sentence.
> >
> >
> > I agree with James on this one. They "described" their product in a very
> > flattering way, unnecessarily introducing marketing jargon ("known as
> > America's favorite", "00% beef with no preservatives", "no fillers",
> "daily
> > sliced" etc.). It is spam and in the future, near rather than far, we
> need
> > to start seriously thinking how we can combat such content
> > attacks/hijacking. There are some similarities

Re: [Wikimedia-l] [arbcom-l] Where is WMF with pursuing companies that offer paid editing services

2017-04-12 Thread Risker
Without getting into the details of the situation, Pine, I'll simply point
out that the budget for the legal team of an international corporation like
Burger King is going to be significantly larger than the entire budget of
the Wikimedia Foundation, and punishing organizations that have figured out
a way to trigger a voice-activated software program to obtain information
that is likely to come from Wikipedia articles doesn't really seem to be
within scope. I do not see why you would advocate spending the WMF's tiny
Legal Department budget like this, instead of on copyright reform, or
assisting in prosecuting those harassing members of our community, or
preventing others from claiming they are directly related to the Wikimedia
Foundation or its projects; all of these are entirely on-mission.

There's nothing there to sue them for, anyway - it's open-licensed content
that anyone can use in any way they see fit, including for commercial
purposes.  Indeed, that's exactly what Google does on its own search
results, every day, all day - and it's exactly why the Burger King "trick"
works, too. They're taking advantage of the Google interface, knowing that
it is most likely to search Wikipedia for the information requested.  But
there's not as much vitriol directed at Google, because after all it was
Google bumping Wikipedia up in its search result algorithms that has (in
large part) driven the popularity of  the Wikipedia projects.  There's not
even a genuine attribution issue; as I recall, Alexa says "From Wikipedia"
at either the beginning or the end of its report.

In other words, I'm hard-pressed to see why you would want the WMF to take
legal action against a company that is using Wikipedia as intended.  Okay,
it's not my favourite way of using itbut this is exactly how it's
intended to be used. I regularly see links to Wikipedia articles in
mainstream media, not to mention twitter and facebook news reports. Just
think if someone says "OK Google, what is Neurocysticercosis?" or "OK
Google, who's Charlie Murphy?" to reflect two news stories I learned about
today. I got to the Wikipedia articles on both of those subjects by
following links in online reports by commercial news outlets.

Risker/Anne

On 13 April 2017 at 00:01, Pine W <wiki.p...@gmail.com> wrote:

> I'm bumping this thread because there has been a somewhat high-profile
> incident of misuse of Wikipedia by a corporate entity.
>
> This is not entirely the same as undisclosed paid editing, but it was
> certainly a misuse of Wikipedia.
>
> https://www.theverge.com/2017/4/12/15259400/burger-king-
> google-home-ad-wikipedia
>
> https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Whopper=
> 773807497=773585358
>
> It seems to me that this kind of behavior, and accompanying waste of
> Wikimedia volunteers' time, is likely to continue until WMF Legal cracks
> down and starts making it financially painful for organizations to misuse
> Wikipedia in all their various creative and inappropriate ways.
>
> A quote from
> http://www.marketwatch.com/story/clever-burger-king-ad-
> attempts-to-hijack-google-home-devices-2017-04-12:
> “Burger King saw an opportunity to do something exciting with the emerging
> technology of intelligent personal assistant devices,” a Burger King
> spokesperson said. I would like for WMF to make Burger King feel that their
> misuse of WIkipedia was inappropriate and for WMF to hit them where it
> counts -- in their checkbook -- and with enough force that corporations
> will decide that messing with Wikipedia is both ethically wrong and
> financially not worth the risk. WMF needs to change marketers' thinking
> from the idea that messing with Wikipedia is "an opportunity" to "a big
> risk." I would like to see WMF Legal get energized about cracking down on
> these kinds of situations, and I'd be happy to have WMF make an expensive
> example of Burger King to deter misconduct by others.
>
> Pine
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Let's go gender neutral

2017-04-06 Thread Risker
Thanks, Fae, for opening this thread - and thank you everyone for
responding so eloquently and knowledgeably.  This was a topic where I knew
I didn't have sufficient knowledge to comment, and I have learned a lot
from this discussion.  It's a solid example of the best traits of the
Wikimedia family - proposal for a new idea, well-informed discussion, good
faith assumed on everyone's part.

Risker/Anne
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Announcing the Hardware donation program

2017-03-17 Thread Risker
Just noting as an aside that I'd be hesitant for the WMF to accept donated
laptops for redistribution.  I expect that the WMF's own depreciated
laptops can be warranted to be virus- and malware-free; I'd be a bit
concerned from the risk mitigation perspective if they were to start
providing equipment from third parties that the WMF itself hasn't made sure
is safe, and I'm not sure it's the best use of WMF staff time to go through
that verification process.  (Incidentally, I'd have the same concerns about
chapters and other groups.)

I do really like the idea of the WMF and other groups with depreciated,
verified-safe hardware sharing this hardware with other Wikimedians, though
- it's a great idea.  Laptops are the right things to start with; there may
come a time where other electronic equipment  can be shared in a similar
way.

Risker/Anne

On 17 March 2017 at 17:11, Asaf Bartov <abar...@wikimedia.org> wrote:

> I do know the Equipment exchange page, yes.  I do not consider it an
> effective vehicle for this program.  Reviewing it now, I stand by it that a
> dedicated space on Meta with an explicit form gathering the information we
> need is a better fit.
>
> Also, the program is about laptops at the moment, and is based on
> depreciated office laptops.  We don't have much photography gear in the
> office, and aren't likely to have such gear to donate.
>
> Cheers,
>
>A.
>
> On Fri, Mar 17, 2017 at 10:14 AM Michael Maggs <mich...@maggs.name> wrote:
>
> > Thank you Asaf.  Did you know that there is already a Commons page for
> > Community donations?
> >
> > https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons_talk:Equipment_exchange
> >
> > It would be worth linking your new Meta page to the existing one.
> >
> > Michael
> >
> > > Asaf Bartov <mailto:abar...@wikimedia.org>
> > > 17 March 2017 at 6:06 am
> > > Dear Wikimedians,
> > >
> > > The Wikimedia Foundation is pleased to announce a small new program
> > called
> > > the Hardware Donation Program. In a word, it is a program designed to
> > > donate depreciated (but fully working) hardware from the WMF office to
> > > community members who would put it to good use.
> > >
> > > The program, including instructions on how to apply, is described on
> > Meta,
> > > here:
> > >
> > > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Hardware_donation_program
> > >
> > > Please read the information carefully. I especially encourage you to
> pay
> > > attention to the program's design considerations, which determine most
> of
> > > the decisions we'll be making.
> > >
> > > We currently have approximately 20 laptops ready to be donated.
> > > Applications are welcome.
> > >
> > > The upcoming Wikimedia Conference in Berlin (in about two weeks) would
> be
> > > an excellent opportunity to deliver some of those laptops in person to
> > > approved applications, so if you think you might be interested, I'd
> > > encourage you to apply as soon as possible.
> > >
> > > Please also help spread the word about this program, by forwarding this
> > > e-mail to other Wikimedia lists you're on, and posting the link to the
> > > program page on village pumps and *community* (not public) social media
> > > channels or other communication forms you use.
> > >
> > > Special thanks to User:Anntinomy from Wikimedia Ukraine, who had the
> idea
> > > of asking about possible donation of older machines from WMF, and
> > inspired
> > > this program.
> > >
> > > Mini-FAQ:
> > >
> > > Q: Why are you doing this?
> > > A: WMF's Office IT determines a lifetime for work machines, and
> regularly
> > > replaces older machines. This creates a stock of older, working
> machines,
> > > that are available for donation. We can donate them locally to San
> > > Francisco charities, but figure that if we can find low-cost ways to
> > > deliver them to our own community members, that's so much better.
> > >
> > > Q: Am I eligible?
> > > A: Read the fine program documentation.
> > >
> > > Q: If I'm eligible, am I guaranteed a donated laptop?
> > > A: no.
> > >
> > > Q: Once these 20 laptops are donated, will there be others?
> > > A: yes, eventually.
> > >
> > > Q: How can you ensure people would use the machines for Wikimedia
> > > purposes?
> > > A: We can't. We'll be making a good-effort assessment of the likelihood
> > of
> > > Wikimedia use, and make 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Draft Code of Conduct for Technical Spaces

2017-03-07 Thread Risker
I am very curious. Why is it that there seems to be so much resistance to
this draft code of conduct?  This document closely parallels both the WMF
friendly space policy and similar policies in the broader tech/developer
community. It is also not that far from policies that exist on many
Wikimedia projects, with the possible exception of having a better
delineated path of reporting of problem behaviour, and a stronger
expectation of having problem behaviour addressed. Do people have a problem
with the document itself, or just the process of its development?

If, for example, the communities of Polish Wikipedia and Polish Wikisource
got together with Wikimedia Poland and they jointly developed a similar
policy to apply in those projects and in events relating to those projects
and organizations, would people from other projects be upset because (in
the rare event that they might edit Polish Wikipedia or attend a Wikimedia
Poland event) those expectations would be applied to them?  Would we, as a
broader community, think that it would be okay to (attempt to) block those
closely related projects/organizations from developing such a policy?

This is a genuine question; I'm having a hard time sorting out some of the
comments that have been made in this thread.

Risker/Anne
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] More politics: "WMF Annual Report"

2017-03-02 Thread Risker
this
opportunity.


SoI disagree with what Anna said (that "3/11 fact stories are about
issues that have become politicized"). I count 6/11 facts that are
politicized (refugees, climate change, the selection of media outlets on
the "rate of edits" fact, biographies of women, travel, and the "OK" fact
with the misleading fake-news style title that was actually about
harassment), only one of which logically links the politicization
effectively with both the topic of the fact (biographies of women) and the
WMF mission.  And starting off with two of the three most politicized facts
skews the entire presentation.  The strain to include this political
advocacy cluttered the useful and informative discussion and links to WMF
activities.  It took the focus away from the Wikimedia Foundation and its
projects, omitting obvious connections.   If the WMF wanted to be more
political in its annual report, there were opportunities that were actually
mission-focused. To be honest, given the level of politicization of other
peripheral topics, the absence of an effort to really increase focus on the
lack of online accessibility - something that dovetails strongly with our
mission - is a glaring omission. On this point, I agree with John
Vandenberg. And I'm sorry, Zack, but given the fact that so many of these
issues are directly linked to real-world activities that have happened in
just the last few weeks, I'm not buying that this was more or less laid out
back in late 2016.

Risker/Anne



[1] https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:A_look_inside_an_
iceberg_(2),_Liefdefjord,_Svalbard.jpg.



On 2 March 2017 at 19:12, Erik Moeller <eloque...@gmail.com> wrote:

> On Thu, Mar 2, 2017 at 12:26 PM, Stuart Prior
> <stuart.pr...@wikimedia.org.uk> wrote:
>
> > As an example, anthropogenic climate change is a politically sensitive
> > issue, but how can a consensus-driven movement not take into account that
> > 97% of climate scientists acknowledge its existence
> > ?
> > [1] <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_opinion_on_climate_change>
> > Accepting a scientific consensus just isn’t a political position.
>
> It isn't, but I think it's still worth thinking about context and
> presentation. There are organizations whose job it is to directly
> communicate facts, both journalistic orgs like ProPublica and
> fact-checkers like Snopes/Politifact. In contrast, WMF's job is to
> enable many communities to collect and develop educational content.
>
> If the scientific consensus on climate change suddenly starts to
> shift, we expect our projects to reflect that, and we expect that the
> organization doesn't get involved in those community processes to
> promote a specific outcome. The more WMF directly communicates facts
> about the world (especially politicized ones), rather than
> communicating _about_ facts, the more people (editors and readers
> alike) may question whether the organization is appropriately
> conservative about its own role.
>
> I haven't done an extensive survey, but I suspect all the major
> Wikipedia languages largely agree in their presentation on climate
> change. If so, that is itself a notable fact, given the amount of
> politicization of the topic. Many readers/donors may be curious how
> such agreement comes about in the absence of top-down editorial
> control. Speaking about the remarkable process by which Wikipedia
> tackles contentious topics may be a less potentially divisive way for
> WMF to speak about what's happening in the real world.
>
> I do think stories like the refugee phrasebook and Andreas' arctic
> photography are amazing and worth telling. I'm curious whether folks
> like Risker, George, Pine, Chris, and others who've expressed concern
> about the report agree with that. If so, how would you tell those
> stories in the context of, e.g., an Annual Report?
>
> Erik
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] More politics: "WMF Annual Report"

2017-03-02 Thread Risker
Please Peter. If the WMF was based in either of those places, it would be a
very different organization. And in neither case would it be focusing its
annual report on some other country's political system.

Risker/Anne

On 3 March 2017 at 01:20, Peter Southwood <peter.southw...@telkomsa.net>
wrote:

> Let me put it another way,
> If the WMF was based in Reykjavik, or Abidjan, would the response be the
> same?
> Cheers,
> Peter
>
> -Original Message-
> From: Wikimedia-l [mailto:wikimedia-l-boun...@lists.wikimedia.org] On
> Behalf Of John Mark Vandenberg
> Sent: Friday, March 3, 2017 7:47 AM
> To: Wikimedia Mailing List
> Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] More politics: "WMF Annual Report"
>
> On Fri, Mar 3, 2017 at 11:49 AM, Peter Southwood <
> peter.southw...@telkomsa.net> wrote:
> > If the format was compiled before Trump was elected, then this argument
> is either irrelevant or becomes that the foundation must avoid offending
> politicians in power by changing public statements to be uncontroversial at
> the time of publishing.
>
> The arguments being made here are not that WMF should avoid offending
> politicians or be uncontroversial.
>
> Understanding how a message will be received is the core of
> communications, and should be reviewed and rechecked by the communications
> team throughout a project, and even re-evaluated as the final 'publish'
> button is clicked.
>
> In this case I feel the message of the Annual Report is that WMF is quite
> U.S. focused, and is overly anti-Trump.  The selection and order of the
> first few facts mostly aligns with the key issues in U.S.
> politics.  Those stories/examples/photos used to justify including these
> first few facts in the WMF Annual Report seems occasionally strained.  e.g.
> How did WMF support Wikimedian Andreas Weith taking photos of polar bears?
>
> If the WMF wants to project that image, those fact pages need beefing up
> to support the WMF staking out a claim to get involved in those fights.
> Like others here, I dont think this is the right direction for the WMF to
> take, but I agree with all the positions and appreciate the significance of
> those issues.  The cynic in me feels that the WMF projecting that image
> will resonate well with a large percentage of the typical "Wikipedia"
> donors.
>
> Given the facts (in the Annual Report) that most of the worlds population
> is still not online, and those coming online or yet to come online usually
> do not have access to education resources online in their own language, an
> International focus would highlight those facts as critical for the WMF's
> mission.  Those facts can also very uncomfortable for politicians across
> the world, of all political leanings, who spend more on guns than on
> books.  Those facts are also very uncomfortable for a lot of liberals who
> have had a good education and very comfortable lives, with a high quality
> Wikipedia in their own language.  Those facts also underscore how far we
> are away from reaching our mission, and encourage us to re-focus on the
> mission and make us pause before getting too involved in problems that are
> not clearly on mission.
>
> --
> John Vandenberg
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] More politics: "WMF Annual Report"

2017-03-01 Thread Risker
Okay, so I'll say what Sam said, except in stronger language, and with some
additional emphasis.

This is a very obviously liberally biased document --  and I say that as
someone who lives in a country so liberal that it makes Californians look
like they're still back in the early 1960s. Maybe it takes an outsider to
see this.

If you're going to try to play the "facts" game, you have to have your
facts bang on - and you have to admit that there is more than one side to
the story. This "report" reads as though the authors chose their favourite
advocacy positions and then twisted and turned and did some more
contortions to make it look as though it had something to do with the
Wikimedia family of projects. (Seriously. Refugees and global warming don't
have anything to do with the WMF.) It is so biased that most of those
"fact" pages would have to be massively rewritten in order to meet the
neutrality expectations of just about every Wikipedia regardless of the
language.

And that is my biggest concern. It is not neutral by any stretch of the
imagination. And if the WMF can't write neutrally about these topics in its
annual report, there is no reason for the average reader to think that
Wikipedia and other projects will be written neutrally, fairly, based on
references, and including the significant other opinions.  This document is
a weapon that can be used against Wikimedia projects by any tinpot dictator
or other suppressive government because it "proves" that WMF projects are
biased.  It gives ammunition to the very movements that create "alternative
facts" - it sure doesn't help when the WMF is coming up with a few of its
own.

That does a huge disservice to the hundreds of thousands of editors who
have worked for years to create accurate, neutral, well-referenced
educational material and information.  It doesn't do any good to those
editors contributing from countries where participation in an international
web-based information project is already viewed with a jaundiced eye. And
for those editors who don't adhere to the political advocacy positions
being put forward in this "annual report", or simply believe that the WMF
should not be producing political advocacy documents, it may well cause
them to reflect whether or not they want to keep contributing.

I really hope that Craig is wrong, that this can be pulled back and edited
properly, preferably by a bunch of actual Wikipedia editors who know how to
write neutrally on controversial topics. I've volunteered in the Wikimedia
movement for more than a decade at least in part because it was not a
political advocacy organization, so I find this annual report to be very
disturbing.

Risker/Anne

On 1 March 2017 at 23:23, Samuel Klein <meta...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Dear reporters,
>
> I really like the streamlined layout, the background video and the
> non-linear presentation online.  Lovely work; you are wonderful.
>
>
> > If the photo remains, I recommend changing this caption to use either
> > "travel ban" or "entry ban"; both phrases are used in the Wikipedia
> > article.
> >
>
> Yes.
>
> The one starkly political message in the Report is the choice of a protest
> photo from the US for the story about travel.  On the nose, but reasonably
> on topic (with a corrected caption).
>
> In general, I like the spirit and content of this report.  A lead-in to the
> facts putting them in context would be nice; the implied context is "Facts
> Matter!"  However I feel this claim and the report could be even more
> powerful if it were presented with another half-step of remove.  The most
> unparalleled success of Wikipedia is not that it summarizes topics like
> "scientific consensus on global warming" — that, one can find elsewhere.
> It is that you can find thorough coverage of *all* aspects of such
> important and difficult topics: fledgling + disputed theories, major
> controversies and factions, and both begrudgingly + enthusiastically
> accepted conclusions.
>
> My one concern: The highlighted fact about travel is wrong.  As far as I
> can tell it's closer to 1 in 20 people. "International tourism arrivals"
> passed 1.2B this year, but the average tourist "arrives in another country"
> 3+ times per year.[1][2]  If the publishers find a way to retract this mote
> of misinfo, I will be duly awed :)
>
> Wikilove,
> SJ
>
> [1]
> http://www2.unwto.org/press-release/2017-01-17/sustained-
> growth-international-tourism-despite-challenges
> http://stats.areppim.com/glossaire/ita_def.htm
> https://usa.visa.com/dam/VCOM/global/visa-everywhere/
> documents/visa-global-travel-and-tourism-study-infographic.pdf
>
>
> [2] A quick round of community review (say, of any reputed facts!) and even
> cita

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Niels Christian Nielsen appointed to Wikimedia Endowment Advisory Board

2017-02-13 Thread Risker
What Vito said.  The Wikimedia Foundation Endowment is *not* notable, and
in fact if a similar article had been written about a similar non-Wikimedia
related endowment, I'd be busy trying to figure out who the paid editor was
who was creating such an article.  Because, yes, that draft is precisely
what I'd expect to see from a paid editor.   That it's being written by an
experienced and well-respected Wikimedian doesn't mean it's a notable
endowment.  Once it gets to USD 100 million, then we can start talking
about whether or not it deserves an article.

This entire thread is a serious symptom of the self-referencing and
parochialism that many outsiders see within our community.  The circular
argument that, since someone has something to do with a "board" of
Wikimedia, they must by definition be notable is pretty seriously
problematic. *We* think Wikimedia is important, but really there are very,
very few past or present Wikimedia board members who are notable outside of
a very small circle. We're really not that big or important of a charity.
And there isn't a person participating in this thread who is unaware of the
real harms that have come as a result of the publishing of biographical
information of notable-only-on-Wikipedia people. Please stop doing this.

Risker/Anne



On 13 February 2017 at 19:43, Vi to <vituzzu.w...@gmail.com> wrote:

> I find all of these to be deeply non relevant. Though they might be
> relevant according to standard en.wiki practice, I wonder whatever someone
> would had written a line about a to-be-created relatively small endowment
> of a website(s) or people managing it, unless it was "our" website(s).
>
> Also I disagree with Wikipedia doing something similar to investigative
> journalism (above all for "internal" usage) rather than being a "simple"
> encyclopedia.
>
> Vito
>
> 2017-02-14 1:31 GMT+01:00 Michael Peel <em...@mikepeel.net>:
>
> > Not quite what you were after, Fæ, but I've started a draft of an enwp
> > article on the endowment at:
> > https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Mike_Peel/Wikimedia_Endowment <
> > https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Mike_Peel/Wikimedia_Endowment>
> > If anyone else wants to help write this, then please edit away!
> >
> > I'm concerned that Nielsen is being referred to as a 'permanent member'
> of
> > the board - doesn't the advisory board have terms? Also, will we be
> seeing
> > community members being appointed (or elected) to this board at some
> point?
> >
> > BTW, the Wikimedia blog doesn't provide much information to the autofill
> > references function on enwp! Also, we only seem to have freely-licensed
> > images of Jimmy, and none of the rest of the advisory board - can
> something
> > be done about that?
> >
> > Thanks,
> > Mike
> >
> > > On 13 Feb 2017, at 18:57, Anna Stillwell <astillw...@wikimedia.org>
> > wrote:
> > >
> > > The second link you offered, Fae, is the wrong Niels Christian Nielsen.
> > > /a
> > >
> > > On Mon, Feb 13, 2017 at 12:11 PM, Fæ <fae...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > >
> > >> +1 on the request for links to all the past meeting agendas and
> > >> publicly published minutes. I will be very interested to read any
> > >> declarations of conflicts of interest. The board is intended to
> > >> eventually control $100,000,000, so should be seen to be applying
> > >> absolutely the most transparent and well governed processes.
> > >>
> > >> I am surprised to discover that anyone that has served as the chairman
> > >> of 12 companies and "has advised governments in Scandinavia, Spain,
> > >> Portugal, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, the US, Canada, and Turkey"
> > >> does not have a Wikipedia article, at least I have yet to find one.
> > >>
> > >> Could someone work on creating one please? It would be great to read a
> > >> profile that has all the nuts & bolts, rather than written with PR in
> > >> mind. No doubt the blog post [1] and staff profiles at the University
> > >> of California Berkeley and the Copenhagen Business School [2] should
> > >> be reliable enough starting point for Wikipedia.
> > >>
> > >> Links:
> > >> 1. https://blog.wikimedia.org/2017/02/13/niels-christian-
> > >> nielsen-endowment-board
> > >> 2. http://www.cbs.dk/en/research/departments-and-centres/
> > >> department-of-finance/staff/ncnfi
> > >>
> > >> Thanks,
> > >> Fae
> > >>
> > >> On 13 February 2017 at 19

Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Affiliates] New members of the Affiliations Committee

2017-01-17 Thread Risker
Thank you to all of you - those who have served AffCom so admirably, those
who are stepping up to take on these responsibilities, and those who are
continuing their dedicated service.

Risker/Anne

On 17 January 2017 at 23:15, Nabin K. Sapkota <nboycreationne...@gmail.com>
wrote:

> Congratulations!!
>
> On Jan 17, 2017 8:01 PM, "Keilana" <keilanaw...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > Thank you all for your well wishes, it's been a wonderful experience and
> I
> > hope to come back someday. Congratulations to the new members (and
> Kirill!
> > :P) and I can't wait to see where you take things in the next years. :)
> >
> > All the best,
> > Emily
> >
> > On Tue, Jan 17, 2017 at 1:16 AM, NC Hasive <n...@nhasive.com> wrote:
> >
> > > Congratulations All!
> > >
> > > -Hasive
> > > WMBD
> > >
> > > On Tue, Jan 17, 2017 at 8:11 AM, Felix Nartey <flix...@gmail.com>
> wrote:
> > >
> > > > Congratulations to the 2 new elected and the re-elected member!
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > On Mon, Jan 16, 2017 at 7:00 PM, Sydney Poore <
> sydney.po...@gmail.com>
> > > > wrote:
> > > >
> > > > > Congratulations to Camelia Boban (User:Camelia.boban), Kirill
> Lokshin
> > > > > (User:Kirill Lokshin), and Satdeep Gill (User:Satdeep Gill).
> > > > >
> > > > > And thank you to Emily Temple-Wood, Manuel Schneider, Ting Chen,
> > > Anirudh
> > > > > Singh Bhati and Ganesh Paudel for their work on AffCom.
> > > > >
> > > > > Sydney
> > > > >
> > > > > Sydney Poore
> > > > > User:FloNight
> > > > > Co-founder Kentucky Wikimedians,
> > > > > Co-founder WikiWomen User Group,
> > > > > Co-founder WikiConference North America
> > > > > Board member of Wiki Project Med Foundation,
> > > > > Member of Simple Annual Plan Grant Committee
> > > > >
> > > > >
> > > > >
> > > > >
> > > > >
> > > > > On Mon, Jan 16, 2017 at 5:50 AM, Maor Malul <mao...@zoho.com>
> wrote:
> > > > >
> > > > > > Dear all,
> > > > > >
> > > > > > On behalf of the Affiliation Committee, I would like to
> > congratulate
> > > > our
> > > > > > following colleagues on being elected as members of the committee
> > for
> > > > the
> > > > > > term 2017-2019. We have found their expertise and passion for the
> > > > > movement,
> > > > > > as well as their skills and participation in the wider community
> as
> > > > very
> > > > > > valuable assets the committee needs.
> > > > > >
> > > > > > The following candidates have been elected for the 2017-2019
> term:
> > > > > >
> > > > > > *Camelia Boban (User:Camelia.boban)
> > > > > > *Kirill Lokshin (User:Kirill Lokshin) (re-elected)
> > > > > > *Satdeep Gill (User:Satdeep Gill)
> > > > > >
> > > > > > Many thanks also to all the wikimedians that submitted an
> > > application.
> > > > > >
> > > > > > In addition to that, I would like to thank Emily Temple-Wood,
> > Manuel
> > > > > > Schneider, Ting Chen, Anirudh Singh Bhati and Ganesh Paudel,
> > outgoing
> > > > > > members of the committee, for their service, expertise and
> tireless
> > > > > > dedication. You guys rock and will be missed dearly!
> > > > > >
> > > > > > Please, welcome our new members :-)
> > > > > >
> > > > > > Regards,
> > > > > > M.
> > > > > >
> > > > > >
> > > > > > Sent using Zoho Mail <https://www.zoho.com/mail/>
> > > > > >
> > > > > >
> > > > > > ___
> > > > > > Affiliates mailing list
> > > > > > affilia...@lists.wikimedia.org
> > > > > > https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/affiliates
> > > > > >
> > > > > >
> > > > > ___
> > > > > Wikimed

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Where is WMF with pursuing companies that offer paid editing services

2017-01-05 Thread Risker
It's a difficult challenge.  I agree with David; on English Wikipedia, we
have masses and masses of articles of borderline notability that are so
obviously blatant spamand they have a terrible tendency to be kept at
Articles for Deletion.  It's a reflection of our still-optimistic outlook
that there are still people who believe that someone will come along and
magically turn the spam into something encyclopedic; the reality is that
those articles tend to stay pretty much as they are unless someone who has
dug up the sources that supposedly make a subject notable actually edit the
article to transform it from advertorial to encyclopedic.

I do not know enough about how other Wikipedias handle such spam, although
I have heard from some people editing on some projects that similar
articles there would be speedy-deleted without a second thought. I do not
think that it is likely that English Wikipedia will get to that point
unless more people who feel strongly about spam actively participate at
AfD.

As to the WMF investing in trying to track down and take down "paid editing
companies", there are a few things to keep in mind.  First, it's very
expensive to develop the evidence that makes the direct link from the spam
article to the real identity of the writer of the article.  Many of those
"companies" are individual people, and there are also plenty of people who
call themselves "advisors" who may not edit directly but facilitate
companies getting their spam on Wikipedia. And just finding those
people/organizations isn't enough - then the course of action usually
involves the courts (of varying jurisdictions) which means more lawyers and
more external legal fees. We're talking a lot of money here, and that's the
area where I have significant concern - a concerted effort covering the 10
largest projects could easily cost as much as the WMF's annual budget. One
more thing to keep in mind:  many courts would expect some evidence that
the problematic organization is causing harm to the brand and financial
position of Wikipedia.  That part is tough - it's almost impossible to
demonstrate a financial cost to Wikipedia for having a spammy article,
especially as such a large percentage of the articles on many projectst are
barely of "start" quality.  The fact that there is a conscious decision not
to take advantage of mitigating remedies that are already available to us
(such as confirmed identity or not permitting article creation until after
a certain number of edits) would also be a potential barrier to legal
remedies against paid editing. (I'm not advocating those changes at all,
just looking at it from an external perspective.)

Is undisclosed paid editing a violation of the terms of use?  Of course it
is.  But outside of security and safety issues, the WMF has historically
left it to the volunteers to interpret the TOU and apply it on individual
projects.  Frankly, it's how the WMF manages with only a $75 million
budget, which is less than many similarly large and popular sites spend on
client services, let alone legal fees.  Given the longterm frustration of
many community members about fundraising, it may be a very tough sell
within our own broad community to have to raise more money for the purpose
of hiring the staff and paying the bills to address undisclosed paid
editing to the point that there is a genuine effect.

Risker/Anne

On 5 January 2017 at 13:53, David Gerard <dger...@gmail.com> wrote:

> I should add: I spent a few months following the various AFD queues on
> WP lately, and MY GOODNESS THERE ARE SO MANY BLATANT SPAMMERS. What
> Jytdog raises is an actual problem. The short reason for a lot of the
> Problems with Wikipedia is actually "spammers mean we can't have nice
> things".
>
>
> - d.
>
>
> On 2 January 2017 at 22:08, Jytdog <jytdogte...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > Christophe
> >
> > Thanks for replying!
> >
> > This is something the board should be paying  attention to, as
> undisclosed
> > paid editing that causes scandal that reaches mainstream media on a
> regular
> > basis, damages the reputation of Wikipedia, and is something that both
> Jimmy
> > Wales and Sue Gardner (when she was ED) made strong public statements
> about.
> >
> > See:
> > * https://www.ft.com/content/3f726eba-bb6f-11e4-b95c-00144feab7de
> > *
> > http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/01/wikimedia-
> foundation-employee-ousted-over-paid-editing/
> > *
> > https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/
> 2012-10-01/Paid_editing
> > *
> > http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2012/09/19/new-wikipedia-
> scandal-uk-head-was-paid-to-promote-topics.html
> >
> > And there are many more references to this issue in mainstream media.
> >
> > Doing nothing, especially when WMF repres

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Congratulation, Hebrew Wikipedia

2017-01-01 Thread Risker
Well done!

Risker/Anne

On 1 January 2017 at 10:46, Orsolya Virág Gyenes <orsolyavi...@gmail.com>
wrote:

> Congratulations on the milestone! Mazel Tov!
>
> Orsolya
>
> 2016. dec. 29. 16:11 ezt írta ("Itzik - Wikimedia Israel" <
> it...@wikimedia.org.il>):
>
> Hi,
>
> I'm happy to share with you that this morning the 200,000th article has
> been written on the Hebrew Wikipedia - The Southern Pudu (there is not
> article about him in English!):
> https://he.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D7%A4%D7%95%D7%93%D7%95_%D7%
> 93%D7%A8%D7%95%D7%9E%D7%99
>
> Yesterday we released to the press a list of the top 20 most viewed
> articles on HEWP during the last year. Most of the news outlets in Israel
> published the list, but alongside the list, we added also some statistics:
> An average of 45 articles are written on by 760 active editors and 150 very
> active editors. The number of very active editors increased by 20% compare
> to last year [1] - while number globally increased only by 0.11% [2] and 0%
> on ENWP [3] .
>
> We are really proud of the Hebrew community and Wikimedia Israel volunteers
> who run and support great projects and initiatives, alongside the community
> members, to consistently increase the number of editors and their activity.
> This achievement is thanks to their efforts!.
>
>
> Happy near year from Israel!
>
>
> Some of the coverage about the most viewed articles on HEWP:
>
>- http://net.nana10.co.il/Article/?ArticleID=1225240
>-
>http://www.mako.co.il/news-money/tech-q4_2016/Article-
> c3f561fba944951004.htm
>-
>http://reshet.tv/item/news/economics/computers-science-
> technology/wikipedia-most-read-2016-79561/
>- http://hakolkalul.nana10.co.il/Article/?ArticleID=1225272 (minute
>21:15)
>-
>http://www.mako.co.il/news-channel2/first-edition-q4_2016/Article-
> c7cea84f8464951004.htm?sCh=e3be6603e7478110=25483675
>(minute 38:39)
>- http://www.calcalist.co.il/articles/0,7340,L-3704729,00.html
>- http://www.ch10.co.il/news/335964/#.WGUkkht97mE
>- http://www.israelhayom.co.il/article/439575
>- http://mizbala.com/news/117472
>- http://www.maariv.co.il/news/israel/Article-568404
>- http://www.kipa.co.il/tarbut/70410.html
>- http://www.kipa.co.il/tarbut/70410.html
>- http://www.pc.co.il/it-news/231238/
>- http://www.ice.co.il/media/news/article/460324
>- http://tech.walla.co.il/item/3026625
>- http://www.hidabroot.org/article/215941
>
> [1] https://stats.wikimedia.org/EN/SummaryHE.htm
> [2] http://reportcard.wmflabs.org/#secondary-graphs-tab
> [3] https://stats.wikimedia.org/EN/SummaryEN.htm
>
>
>
> *Regards,Itzik Edri*
> Chairperson, Wikimedia Israel
> +972-54-5878078 | http://www.wikimedia.org.il
> Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in the
> sum of all knowledge. That's our commitment!
> ___
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Maithili Wikipedia surpasses 10k articles

2017-01-01 Thread Risker
Congratulations!

Risker/Anne

On 1 January 2017 at 20:28, Biplab Anand <biplaban...@gmail.com> wrote:

> No not at all.
> On 1 Jan 2017 22:49, "MF-Warburg" <mfwarb...@googlemail.com> wrote:
>
> > Congratulations.
> > Was this supported by bots?
> >
> > 2017-01-01 8:16 GMT+01:00 Biplab Anand <biplaban...@gmail.com>:
> >
> > > Hi,
> > >
> > > I am delighted to share with you that Maithili Wikipedia has reached
> > 10,000
> > > articles <https://mai.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Statistics>.
> > >
> > > To reach the milestone Maithili Wikimedians has taken a challenge
> > > named Maithili
> > > Wikipedia Mission 10
> > > <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Maithili_Wikimedians_
> > > User_Group/Events/Mission_10>.
> > > In the month of December, Maithili Wikipedia shows high level of
> activity
> > > <https://quarry.wmflabs.org/query/15148>.
> > >
> > > We are really proud of the Maithili Wikipedia Community and Maithili
> > > Wikimedians volunteers who run and support the Mission 10. We would
> also
> > > like to thanks each and one contributor who contributed to the Mission
> > 10.
> > >
> > > Happy New Year 2017!!!
> > >
> > > Best
> > > Biplab
> > > ___
> > > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> > > wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > > New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> > > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > > <mailto:wikimedia-l-requ...@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe>
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[Wikimedia-l] Funds Dissemination Committee Recommendations for Round 1 2016-2017

2016-11-17 Thread Risker
Dear Wikimedians,


The Funds Dissemination Committee (FDC) meets twice a year to make
recommendations about how to effectively allocate movement funds to achieve
the Wikimedia movement's mission, vision, and strategy.  This is now the
9th round of allocations made by the FDC, and we met in person from
November 13-17 in San Francisco to deliberate on 11 proposals submitted
this round. We would like to thank all of the participating organizations
for the hard work they put into this round’s proposals.


Our recommendations for Round 1 2016-2017 on the annual plan grants to the
Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees have now been posted on Meta.[1] The
Board will review our deliberations and make a decision by January 1, 2017.


We received grant requests for approximately USD 3,467,000 this round
(including two requests for two-year funding). Before we met, committee
members reviewed all of the proposals and documents submitted.  We were
assisted in this review with input from the FDC staff assessments which
included analysis on impact, finances, and programs, as well as community
comments on the proposals.


As you may know, there is a formal process to submit complaints or appeals
about these recommendations. Here are the steps for both:


Any organization that would like to submit an appeal on the FDC’s Round 1
recommendation should submit it to the Board representatives to the FDC by
23:59 UTC on 8 December 2016 in accord with the appeal process outlined in
the FDC Framework [2]. A formal appeal to challenge the FDC’s
recommendation should be in the form of a 500-or-fewer word summary
directed to the two non-voting WMF Board representatives to the FDC,
Dariusz Jemielniak and Guy Kawasaki. The appeal should be submitted
on-wiki, and must be submitted by the Board Chair of a funding-seeking
applicant. The Wikimedia Foundation Board will publish its decision on this
and all recommendations by January 1, 2017.


Anyone can file a complaint about the FDC process [3] with the Ombudsperson
at any time. The complaint should be submitted on wiki, as well. The
Ombudsperson will publicly document the complaint, and investigate as
needed.



On behalf of the FDC,


Anne Clin / Risker

FDC Chair


[1]
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:APG/FDC_recommendations/2016-2017_round_1

[2]
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:APG/Appeals_to_the_Board_on_the_recommendations_of_the_FDC

[3]
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:APG/Complaints_about_the_FDC_process
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] General Counsel Search | Job Description

2016-09-20 Thread Risker
Hello Amy -

This mailing list doesn't permit attachments for security reasons.  Could
you please link to the job description on a publicly accessible page?
Thanks.

Risker/Anne

On 20 September 2016 at 19:48, Amy Elder <ael...@wikimedia.org> wrote:

> Hi all,
>
> Over the past few weeks, we have been working with the Legal and executive
> teams to develop a job description (attached) for the General Counsel
> role. I would like to share it with you early as well, before the job
> description is posted and the process starts. I am very grateful to our
> legal staff and leaders here at the WMF for collaborating on both the
> description and the process.
>
> If you have any nominations or recommendations, please email me directly
> over the next few days.
>
> Thank you all for engaging.
>
> With appreciation,
> Amy
>
> Amy Elder
> Director of Recruiting
> Wikimedia Foundation
> Join Us: WorkWithUs <https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Work_with_us>
> Follow us on Twitter @wikimediaatwork
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] New Elections Committee

2016-08-25 Thread Risker
Thank you to those of you who have volunteered in this role.  I have a lot
of faith in all of you to improve on the groundwork that was done in the
recent past, and am particularly glad that you should have sufficient time
to consider and test different voting systems - something that the last two
"temporary" election committees did not really have an opportunity to do.
I am certain you have all been reviewing the "post mortems" of the last few
elections to see what was considered in need of improvement.

It's been six weeks since the appointment of the committee, and I am
curious to know who has been selected as the chair, and whether or not the
committee has introduced any other members or selected any advisors.

I am also curious whether the committee members (and by extension the WMF
staff and Board liaisons) have undertaken to not run in the next election.
Given that the Committee is tasked with reviewing and potentially modifying
the rules under which future elections will be held, such a public
confirmation would prevent the perception of conflict of interest.

While I appreciate that many Wikimedians reduce their activity during the
July-August period (myself included, for family reasons this year), I'd
like to encourage the Election Committee to seriously consider starting an
examination of the voting system in the near future, including some public
discussions, and arrangements with the appropriate developers to write out
the programs and test voting systems that the committee considers to have
potential.  I think this is the task that will take the most time because
it will need to be incorporated into the workload of already-busy
staff/developers, and will also require discussion both with the broader
community and within the committee itself.

I wish you all the very best - you have an opportunity to have a
significant impact in the governance of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Risker/Anne

On 20 July 2016 at 21:00, Dariusz Jemielniak <dar...@alk.edu.pl> wrote:

> Dear members of the Wikimedia community,
>
> As you know the board passed a resolution allowing for the creation of a
> standing Elections Committee in November of last year [1]. Per the
> implementing resolution, the Board Governance Committee (BGC) has appointed
> the initial members from the recommendation of the Executive Director and
> her staff. We will be starting with 6 committee members:
>
>
>-
>
>User:Ajraddatz
><https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Special:CentralAuth/Ajraddatz>
>-
>
>User:Mardetanha
><https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Special:CentralAuth/Mardetanha>
>-
>
>User:Ruslik0
><https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Special:CentralAuth/Ruslik0>
>-
>
>User:Philippe
><https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Special:CentralAuth/Philippe>slate
>-
>
>User:KTC <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Special:CentralAuth/KTC>
>-
>
>User:Atropine
><https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Special:CentralAuth/Atropine>
>
>
> They will be joined by two official advisors from the Wikimedia Foundation:
>
>
>-
>
>James Alexander (Manager, Trust & Safety) from Community Engagement
>-
>
>Stephen LaPorte (Senior Legal Counsel) from the WMF Legal team
>
>
> They will also be working closely with the BGC as a whole and especially
> Nataliia and me. Because I may consider applying as a candidate in the
> upcoming community-selection process I will be recusing for any discussions
> involving that election[2].
>
> The new committee, along with the BGC, will, of course, be able to choose
> how many members and advisors they truly need and how to recruit the best
> candidates. One of the first orders of business for the committee will be
> to decide on a process for expanding its membership through some form of
> open call. While there is an enormous amount of work for the committee to
> do, it can be expected that they will begin looking at:
>
>
>-
>
>The selection of a committee Chair
>-
>
>The dates and process for the upcoming community selection process (and
>consider shortening the terms and having community elections in early
> 2017,
>so that the elected members would join the Board at April meeting[3]).
>-
>
>The method of voting for that process both for the upcoming selection
>and the future and
>-
>
>The composition of the board and how to ensure a steady supply of good
>candidates (in particular, making sure that the candidates have the
>skills and expertise matching the Board skill matrix while making sure
> that
>the process is still owned by the community[4]).
>
>
> Just as the BGC is committed to greater transpar

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Google returning outdated text snippet

2016-08-07 Thread Risker
Actually, the best way to get this addressed is to email Google. Best to
use the search result that you have concerns about, then go to the bottom
of the page, click "Send Feedback" and complete the form.

This is not, at its root, a Wikipedia problem.  Google has bots scanning
our articles on a near-constant basis, as well, but they don't scan
everything in real time.  I have seen very good results using this process,
often within the hour.

Risker

On 7 August 2016 at 20:24, Pine W <wiki.p...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi Pax,
>
> I believe that WMF Discovery is the team that is best suited to address
> matters like this, so I am forwarding your email to the Discovery mailing
> list.
>
> Pine
>
> On Aug 7, 2016 16:46, "Pax Ahimsa Gethen" <list-wikime...@funcrunch.org>
> wrote:
>
> > In a recent thread about improving search, I posted a comment about a
> > possible hazard of relying on Google to search Wikipedia.[1] I explained
> > that Google had been displaying a text snippet from an outdated,
> disruptive
> > revision of the Gender page.[2] Well, that error has now resurfaced, and
> at
> > an editor's suggestion I posted to the Village Pump about it.[3] The
> > initial response at VP was essentially "not our problem; go away" which
> was
> > not exactly encouraging.
> >
> > I'm sorry but if a major search engine is erroneously telling people that
> > Wikipedia is stating " There are only 2 genders. Male and Female", that
> is
> > a cause of concern for me, and I want to know if or how this problem can
> be
> > fixed. As I explained on the talk page and in the Village Pump, Google's
> > cache of the actual page is up to date; it's just the snippet that is
> wrong.
> >
> > - Pax
> >
> > [1] https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2016-July/
> > 084890.html
> >
> > [2] https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Gender=722247975
> >
> > [3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Village_pump_(techni
> > cal)#Google_returning_outdated_text_snippet_for_Gender_page
> >
> > --
> > Pax Ahimsa Gethen | http://funcrunch.org
> >
> >
> > ___
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Our problem with India

2016-06-28 Thread Risker
On 28 June 2016 at 12:24, Milos Rancic <mill...@gmail.com> wrote:

> On Tue, Jun 28, 2016 at 6:01 PM, Risker <risker...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > Milos, I read the points you are making in your initial post, and I
> cannot
> > tell what actions you are seeking.  I am not even really clear on what
> the
> > problem is that you are "reporting".  The best I can make of it is that
> you
> > don't think there are enough articles in the Wikipedias of the languages
> of
> > the Indian subcontinent, and that somehow it is the WMF's fault.
>
> Yes, it's WMF's fault and the fault of us as a movement. We are not
> promoting social diversity in Indian part of our movement and if we
> are not doing that, we are cementing the problems they have.
>
> I've written inside of my first email that there were no
> representatives of the lower classes of India on Wikimania. That's
> something both WMF and the movement can solve by taking care about
> diversity. However, Wikimania participation is just a tip of the
> iceberg.
>
>
Ermthere were few representatives of the "lower classes" of any
language at Wikimania.  This should not surprise you. The "lower classes"
(i.e., the economically disadvantages) of all nationalities and linguistic
heritages are disadvantaged on Wikimedia projects, simply because it is
nearly impossible to edit without financial/economic resources:  ability to
purchase electronics, to pay for an internet/mobile phone connection, to
have reliable internet access, or to have time when one is not carrying out
activities to ensure basic survival, etc.  It is a reality that in most
European, Australasian and North American contexts, a significant majority
of the population is able to overcome the financial and economic barriers
to participation, and that there are sizeable portions (although perhaps
not a majority) who are able to overcome these barriers in some areas of
Asia and South/Central America.  We know that there are huge swaths of Asia
and Africa in particular where the majority of the population are not able
to cross those four barriers I identified.

In many cases and many regions, the first challenge is more likely to be
making the information accessible to people.  If they can't even read
Wikipedia, they're certainly not going to edit it.

Risker
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Our problem with India

2016-06-28 Thread Risker
Milos, I read the points you are making in your initial post, and I cannot
tell what actions you are seeking.  I am not even really clear on what the
problem is that you are "reporting".  The best I can make of it is that you
don't think there are enough articles in the Wikipedias of the languages of
the Indian subcontinent, and that somehow it is the WMF's fault.

Risker/Anne

On 28 June 2016 at 11:51, Milos Rancic <mill...@gmail.com> wrote:

> On Tue, Jun 28, 2016 at 4:47 PM, Anders Wennersten
> <m...@anderswennersten.se> wrote:
> > I have been active in FDC and followed closely all applicants. It works
> very
> > well when it comes to promote small affiliates to grow in a controlled
> way
> > and ensuring that money is spent wisely. The FDC, though, demand an
> > elaborate plan, and application, which can be (too) hard as a first step
> if
> > you still is an volunteer driven organisation.  So  since a year the
> Simple
> > annual plan grant now exist, and I have been part in this and its seven
> > applicants that has been through that process. And it works wonderfully
> even
> > if there has been quite complicated issues in the application. The
> > application formality is much easier and the applicant gets hands-on
> help by
> > both WMF staff and also by a peer from an existing affiliate. And the
> > feedback we have received has been very very positive, specially the
> support
> > from peers. And for you Milos who was in ChapCom at the same time as me
> in
> > 2008, you should rejoice as much as me that now also Brazil is on track,
> so
> > the "complicated" affiliates in 2008, Catala, Brazil an US, are now all
> on
> > track.
> >
> > So we now have process in place that really help and support small
> groups of
> > enthusiastic Wikimedians to grow in a controlled way becoming well
> > functioning chapters. We have also since 2008 learnt, from experiences
> from
> > Brazil and India, that to try by "outsiders" to get  a local
> organisation in
> > place that will grow in a good way, just has not worked. These
> experiments
> > just hindered (and delayed) natural good establishment.
> >
> > So my learning is that it is counter productive to try as an outsider to
> get
> > something happen. We have to await until groups of clever Wikimedians in
> > India with the right ambition etc are ready to enter applications to
> either
> > of the grant programs, and then there are mechanisms in place to help
> them
> > evolve
>
> Anders, we've been asked for help at least twice that I know, as I can
> witness for those two times. The first time I thought it will be
> solved, but it hasn't been solved after two years. Plus, a couple of
> previous years of getting informal complaints in relation to the WMF's
> behavior in India.
>
> The *problem* is that WMF is actually participating in keeping the
> mess in perpetual state. And it's not about bad intentions, but about
> incompetence. So, let's start solving *our* problem with India, not
> *Indian* problem with us.
>
> --
> Milos
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] WMF Board of Trustees appointments and officer positions

2016-06-24 Thread Risker
Thank you to Christophe and Nataliia for taking on these new and important
responsibilities.  And thanks to Christophe and Maria for taking on the
Chair and Vice Chair roles.

I also extend my thanks to Patricio and Frieda for your service on the
board including the time that Patricio has served as Chair. Thank you as
well to Alice for her service as Vice Chair.

Risker/Anne

On 24 June 2016 at 09:49, Jan-Bart de Vreede <jdevre...@wikimedia.org>
wrote:

> Congratulations go to Christophe, and also thank you for making yourself a
> candidate. Your years of experience in the movement and personality are are
> great asset and we are lucky to have you. The good news is that you have a
> great organisation to support you in helping you do a good job!
>
> Like many others have said: thank you Patricio! I know from experience that
> this is 'at best' a tough job, and the past year has demanded a lot from
> you (and many others) Time to take a well deserved rest, and of course we
> will hopefully see you back contributing somewhere/somehow :)
>
> Many thanks to you both!
>
> Jan-Bart de Vreede
>
> On 23 June 2016 at 23:43:41, Johan Jönsson (jjons...@wikimedia.org) wrote:
>
> > Thank you both, Patricio and Alice.
> >
> > //Johan Jönsson
> > --
> > Den 23 juni 2016 6:02 em skrev "Patricio Lorente" <
> > patricio.lore...@gmail.com>:
> >
> > Hello everyone,
> >
> > I am happy to share that as of today, Christophe Henner and Nataliia
> Tymkiv
> > have formally joined the Board of Trustees as affiliate Board-selected
> > members. They both bring deep expertise in the Wikimedia community, and
> in
> > their respective fields. I’m confident they will serve as excellent
> > contributors, rooted in the values of our movement. You can learn more
> > about them in an announcement we made in May:
> >
> >
> https://blog.wikimedia.org/2016/05/24/affiliate-selected-board-trustees-election/
> >
> >
> > Today the Board also voted to appoint Christophe Henner as Chair, and
> María
> > Sefidari as Vice Chair. Both Christophe and María have a long history of
> > involvement in the Wikimedia community, and have held leadership roles at
> > Wikimedia France and Wikimedia Spain, respectively.
> >
> > More about Christophe, María, and Natallia is below. I hope you will join
> > me in congratulating them on their new positions and wish them success in
> > their terms ahead.
> >
> >
> > I would like to thank my friend Alice for working with me in her role as
> > Vice Chair, and many thanks to you all for your support during my time as
> > Chair.
> >
> > Patricio Lorente
> >
> >
> > About Christophe Henner
> >
> > Christophe Henner is the former Chair of Wikimedia France and current
> > deputy CEO of Webedia <http://www.webedia.com>'s gaming division, the
> > international digital media group headquartered in France.
> >
> > He has deep and varied experience across the marketing sector, including
> > leadership roles at at Webedia and L'Odyssée Interactive.
> >
> > Christophe has been an active member of the Wikimedia community for more
> > than 12 years. In 2007, he joined the Board of Wikimedia France
> > <http://www.wikimedia.fr/> and has remained an active Board member in
> > various positions for the past ten years. He has served as both Chair and
> > Vice Chair of the Board of Wikimedia France. During his time on the
> Board,
> > Christophe helped lead Wikimedia France through a significant period of
> > growth. This included leading the development of the chapter’s brand, and
> > supporting the development of a clear organizational strategy and vision
> > for the chapter.
> >
> >
> >
> > About Maria Sefidari
> >
> > Maria is a professor in the Digital Communications, Culture and
> Citizenship
> > Master's degree program <http://cccd.es/wp/> of Rey Juan Carlos
> University
> > <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_Juan_Carlos_University> at the
> > MediaLab-Prado <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/es:MediaLab-Prado>. María
> > graduated with a Psychology degree from Universidad Complutense de Madrid
> > <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Complutense_University_of_Madrid>, and
> > later
> > a Master's degree in Management and Tourism at the Business faculty of
> the
> > same university.
> >
> >
> > María started contributing to the Wikimedia projects in 2006, and has
> since
> > served in many different roles across the Wikimedia movement. She was a
> > founding member of Wikimedi

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Wikimedia-l Digest, Vol 147, Issue 43

2016-06-20 Thread risker . wp
Given the activities of the past year, I think it is fairly obvious that 
succession planning had not made it to the top of the priority list - there are 
interim leaders in several roles now, many of whom are stepping up in ways that 
were not planned.

Risker/Anne
Sent from my BlackBerry device on the Rogers Wireless Network

-Original Message-
From: Pine W <wiki.p...@gmail.com>
Sender: "Wikimedia-l" <wikimedia-l-boun...@lists.wikimedia.org>Date: Mon, 20 
Jun 2016 13:06:12 
To: Wikimedia Mailing List<wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org>; Joady 
Lohr<jl...@wikimedia.org>
Reply-To: Wikimedia Mailing List <wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org>
Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] Wikimedia-l Digest, Vol 147, Issue 43

Hi Joady,

Can you comment on WMF's approach to succession planning? I am aware of a
few situations in which it would have been very helpful if succession plans
had been in place for managers in WMF, and if employees had been trained
accordingly so that when a position opened there was an easy and quick
transition.

Thanks,

Pine
On Jun 20, 2016 09:37, "Kevin Smith" <ksm...@wikimedia.org> wrote:

> My takeaway from the executive summary of the article is that organizations
> should pay more attention to developing leaders within its ranks, so that
> when a vacancy does happen at the top, the best candidate to step up into
> it would come from inside. If an organization hasn't done that development
> work, and doesn't have a strong succession plan, then hiring from inside
> might not make sense.
>
> That is all in generic abstract terms. I am not in a position to say
> whether any of it should apply to the WMF right now. Hopefully whoever
> steps in as the permanent ED will put some effort into succession planning
> and leadership development as part of their work.
>
>
>
> Kevin Smith
> Agile Coach, Wikimedia Foundation
>
>
> On Mon, Jun 20, 2016 at 8:38 AM, Peter Southwood <
> peter.southw...@telkomsa.net> wrote:
>
> > And hiring from outside may be a cause of bad management
> > Cheers,
> > Peter
> >
> > -Original Message-
> > From: Wikimedia-l [mailto:wikimedia-l-boun...@lists.wikimedia.org] On
> > Behalf Of Gerard Meijssen
> > Sent: Monday, 20 June 2016 3:25 PM
> > To: Wikimedia Mailing List
> > Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] Wikimedia-l Digest, Vol 147, Issue 43
> >
> > Hoi,
> > Who says the WMF is in trouble.. A not so fine patch sure, but in
> trouble..
> > that is too much.
> > Thanks,
> >   GerardM
> >
> > On 20 June 2016 at 14:58, Stephen Philbrick <
> stephen.w.philbr...@gmail.com
> > >
> > wrote:
> >
> > > I would urge caution at reading too much into the A.T.Kearney study.
> > > It is quite plausible that companies in trouble may decide they need a
> > > turn-around specialist, almost certainly an outsider. While some will
> > > succeed, companies in trouble are almost certainly going to
> > > underperform those that were not in trouble. Thus, hiring a homegrown
> > > CEO may be a result of good management, not a cause.
> > > Sphilbrick
> > >
> > > On Mon, Jun 20, 2016 at 8:00 AM,
> > > <wikimedia-l-requ...@lists.wikimedia.org>
> > > wrote:
> > >
> > > > Send Wikimedia-l mailing list submissions to
> > > > wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> > > >
> > > > To subscribe or unsubscribe via the World Wide Web, visit
> > > > https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
> > > > or, via email, send a message with subject or body 'help' to
> > > > wikimedia-l-requ...@lists.wikimedia.org
> > > >
> > > > You can reach the person managing the list at
> > > > wikimedia-l-ow...@lists.wikimedia.org
> > > >
> > > > When replying, please edit your Subject line so it is more specific
> > > > than "Re: Contents of Wikimedia-l digest..."
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > Today's Topics:
> > > >
> > > >1. Re: Community survey to support the WMF ED search starts
> > > >   right now (Peter Southwood)
> > > >2. somja (Gerard Meijssen)
> > > >3. Re: Invitation to “Engaging local Wikipedians” and
> > > >   “German Wikipedia” Workshop at Wikimania (Tanweer Morshed)
> > > >4. Recognition of Kentucky Wikimedians (Carlos M. Colina)
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > 
> > > > --
> > > >

Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikimedia Announcements] Wikimedia Foundation Form 990 for FY 2014-2015 now on-wiki

2016-06-07 Thread Risker
I think Patricio would be surprised that you have interpreted his email
that way, Pine. There's nothing in his email that says anything about
proactive disclosure of the salaries of individual employees or
contractors. It would probably be appropriate to extend your thanks to Sue,
who has agreed to the posting of her own direct salary for the 2015-16
fiscal year, despite the fact that it would not come close to the Form 990
reporting threshold.

Risker

On 7 June 2016 at 20:42, Pine W <wiki.p...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Thank you for pointing that out, Risker. The emails indeed cross paths and
> I did not see it.
>
> The point remains: the standard is proactive disclosure, not minimum and
> delayed disclosure. The latter happened, and it is not ok. It is a relief
> that Sue was not getting $300k per year as an advisor, which helps the
> situation considerably. Regardless, there should have been proactive
> disclosure. I am glad that Patricio agrees. I think that we should consider
> more robust accounting procedures in the future. I do not appreciate being
> blindsided.
>
> Pine
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Harassment and blaming the victim

2016-06-07 Thread Risker
Hmmm. I find this recommendation concerning.  There *might* be some
validity on large projects with hundreds of administrators, but there are a
lot of projects with only a few admins, and they were "selected" because
they were willing to do the grunt work of deletions, protections, and
blocks. Nobody was selecting them to handle large-scale harassment.
Indeed, I cannot think of a single administrator even on a large project
who was selected because of their ability or their interest in handling
harassment incidents.  There's pretty good evidence that it is not only not
a criterion seriously considered by communities, but that absent the
interest or willingness to carry out other tasks or demonstration of
aptitude for other areas of administrator work, an admin candidate would
not be selected by most communities, even large ones where harassment is a
much more visible concern.

There is also no basis for putting forward that mandatory training for any
administrator function would be useful on a global scale. How does one set
up a mandatory training program for carrying out page protection, given
that every large project has a different policy?  What happens if an
administrator doesn't "pass" a mandatory program? Are they desysopped, over
the objections of their community?

I'll point out in passing that there is not even consideration of a formal
global checkuser training program - again, the local policies vary widely,
and the types of issues addressed by checkusers on different projects is
very different.

Risker/Anne

On 7 June 2016 at 15:01, Sydney Poore <sydney.po...@gmail.com> wrote:

> My suggestion is to come up with a general type training that can work for
> all administrators and functionaries since all have the freedom and
> permission to do all types of work on WMF projects. And that training
> should be mandatory.
>
> Then people who are focusing on a particular type of administrative or
> functionaries work can take more advanced courses that could be mandatory
> for doing some types of work.
>
> Sydney
>
>
>
>
>
> Sydney Poore
> User:FloNight
> Wiki Project Med Foundation
> WikiWomen's User Group
> Facebook https://www.facebook.com/sydney.e.poore
>
>
> On Tue, Jun 7, 2016 at 2:10 PM, Pine W <wiki.p...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > Hi Sydney,
> >
> > Thanks for that link. I think that for now I would suggest avoiding
> making
> > the training mandatory because we won't know how successful it is until
> > after we've used it for awhile. After the training has been tested and
> > refined based on feedback, and if the consensus is that the training is
> > helpful, then at that point we could consider making this a required
> annual
> > training.
> >
> > I could foresee is that, on wikis that have arbitration committees or
> > other systematic ways of dealing with administrators who mess up, the
> > ArbComs and/or the community could say that those administrators who have
> > demonstrated weakness in areas that are addressed by the training will be
> > required to take or re-take the training as a condition of keeping their
> > admin permissions.
> >
> > My hope is that the training will be of such good quality, and so
> > interesting and useful to administrators, that many administrators will
> > *want* to take the training or at least be curious enough to try it. Big
> > carrot, small stick. We can escalate from there if the training develops
> a
> > track record of success.
> >
> > I would think of success as being measured in two ways: administrators'
> > feedback about the training shows a consensus that they found it helpful,
> > and communities report higher levels of satisfaction with their
> > administrators as shown in the difference between surveys that are done
> > before on multiple wikis (1) before the training starts and (2) after 6
> or
> > 12 months of the training being rolled out.
> >
> > Comments welcome, including suggestions about how to measure the success
> > of the training.
> >
> > Pine
> >
> > On Mon, Jun 6, 2016 at 7:58 PM, Sydney Poore <sydney.po...@gmail.com>
> > wrote:
> >
> >> Rosie Stephenson-Goodknight suggested Annual Training during the
> >> Harassment Consultation, 2015.
> >>
> >>
> >>
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Harassment_consultation_2015/Ideas/Annual_training
> >>
> >> If you've not seen it, it is worth your time to read the talk page
> >> discussion.
> >>
> >> Sydney
> >>
> >> Sydney Poore
> >> User:FloNight
> >> Wiki Proj

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Community survey to support the WMF ED search starts right now

2016-06-01 Thread Risker
Thanks for the survey.  I trust that it will also be "advertised" in other
venues.

I notice that it gives ranges of 0 to 5 which is actually six data points
rather than the more typical 1 to 5, so there is no "middle ground" on this
survey - any answer either has to be at least somewhat supportive or
somewhat unsupportive of the statement being evaluated.  I'm not sure why
that decision was made, but it has led to challenges in past surveys.

I hope that there is good response to the survey and that it is helpful in
guiding decision-making.  Some of the points may be useful in other
contexts as well.

Risker/Anne

On 1 June 2016 at 09:18, Dariusz Jemielniak <dar...@alk.edu.pl> wrote:

> hi James,
>
> thanks for your input. One of the reasons for the survey is asking the
> community what they think about the key qualities. I think it is quite
> likely a more effective way of getting a wider input than discussing it on
> the list. One of the questions in the questionnaire is, for instance, the
> value one sees in the candidate having a WMF experience.
>
> best,
>
> dj
>
> On Wed, Jun 1, 2016 at 5:32 AM, James Heilman <jmh...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > Thanks Alice
> >
> > IMO we need someone who understands our movements values, that
> understands
> > that we are a movement, and sees themselves not as a decider and
> visionary
> > but as a facilitator. Our movement has no lack of excellent ideas but
> does
> > not always communicate effectively within itself.
> >
> > As such we need someone who has excellent communication and people
> skills.
> > Technical skills can be hired for at other levels of the organization
> while
> > people skill cannot typically be taught.
> >
> > Katherine, our current interim ED, appears to have these qualities. If
> she
> > is interesting in taking on the position long term I would hope her
> > candidacy is given serious consideration by the board.
> >
> > James
> >
> > On Wed, Jun 1, 2016 at 12:29 AM, Alice Wiegand <awieg...@wikimedia.org>
> > wrote:
> >
> > > Hello all,
> > >
> > > The ED search steering group has been soliciting input for a few weeks,
> > and
> > > while a few people were fairly vocal about what they were looking for
> in
> > a
> > > new ED, we decided that we needed more input from a broader range of
> > people
> > > and we want to hear more from our emerging communities. To that end, we
> > > have written and published a survey [1] intended to help us both
> validate
> > > and prioritize the good feedback we have already received.
> > >
> > > Our survey is currently open in the top 10 wiki languages. A sample of
> > > editors from various languages have been invited to participate and we
> > are
> > > also sending an invitations to anyone here and through our networks.
> > Please
> > > participate in the survey and help us to shape the new ED’s profile.
> > >
> > > On behalf of the ED search steering group
> > >
> > > Alice.
> > >
> > >
> > > [1] - ED Search Survey:
> > > https://wikimedia.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_5hVS2mJTcJNCxBX
> > >
> > >
> > > --
> > > Alice Wiegand
> > > Board of Trustees
> > > Wikimedia Foundation
> > >
> > > Support Free Knowledge: https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Donate
> > > ___
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> >
> >
> >
> >
> > --
> > James Heilman
> > MD, CCFP-EM, Wikipedian
> >
> > The Wikipedia Open Textbook of Medicine
> > www.opentextbookofmedicine.com
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> kierownik katedry Zarządzania Międzynarodowego
> i grupy badawczej NeRDS
> Aka

Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikitech-l] Fwd: Invitation to upcoming office hours with interim ED

2016-05-04 Thread Risker
Just noting that 1700-1800 PDT on Wednesday May 11 is -0100 UTC on
Thursday May 12. Based on the link given, this seems to be when the meeting
will be held. Please verify.

Risker/Anne

On 4 May 2016 at 21:28, Pine W <wiki.p...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Forwarding.
>
> Pine
> -- Forwarded message --
> From: "Katherine Maher" <kma...@wikimedia.org>
> Date: May 4, 2016 17:47
> Subject: [Wikimedia-l] Invitation to upcoming office hours with interim ED
> To: <wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org>, <wmf...@lists.wikimedia.org>, <
> wikimediaannounc...@lists.wikimedia.org>
> Cc:
>
> Hi everyone,
>
> **Summary: I am delighted to invite you to join me for two upcoming office
> hours, where I’ll answer community questions and share updates on the
> Foundation’s work.**
>
> It’s been a busy few weeks around the Wikimedia Foundation offices. We
> shared our 2016-2017 annual plan, finished our quarterly reviews, and
> attended Wikimedia Conference 2016 in Berlin with the Wikimedia affiliates.
> [1]
>
> In Berlin, I had the chance to do one of my favorite things: sit with
> Wikimedians, listen, debate, and plan for the future. Of course, Berlin is
> just one gathering, and there are thousands of other perspectives out
> there. I want to hear more of these perspectives, and so I’m looking
> forward to hosting two office hours over the coming weeks.
>
> We plan to hold a traditional office hours on IRC, and will also experiment
> with a video Q We hope these different formats will make it easier for
> more people to participate using their preferred communications channels.
> We’ve chosen two different time zones, with the goal of reaching as many
> people as possible. They are as follows:
>
> *Video session*
> *This session will be recorded, and the video will be posted on
> Commons/Meta. Due to video conferencing limitations, we encourage advance
> questions.*
> Wednesday, 11 May 2016
> 00:00-1:00 UTC | 17:00-18:00 PDT [2]
>
> *IRC session*
> *This session follows the May monthly metrics meeting.[4] Like other office
> hours, it will be held in #Wikimedia-office on Freenode.*
> Thursday, 26 May 2016
> 19:00-20:00 UTC | 12:00-13:00 PDT [3]
>
> We’re also collecting questions in advance for those who can’t make either
> of those sessions. We’ve created a page on Meta where you can leave
> questions or comments, check the details on the location of each session:
>
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_Executive_Director/May_2016_office_hours
>
> Please share this invitation with others you think may be interested!
>
> I look forward to speaking soon,
> Katherine
>
> Translation notice - This message is available for translation on
> Meta-Wiki:
>
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_Executive_Director/May_2016_office_hours/Announcement
>
> [1] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Conference_2016
> [2] Time converter link:
>
> http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/fixedtime.html?hour=0=00=0=12=05=2016
> [3] Time converter link:
>
> http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/fixedtime.html?hour=19=00=0=26=05=2016
> [4] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/WMF_Metrics_and_activities_meetings
>
>
> --
> Katherine Maher
>
> Wikimedia Foundation
> 149 New Montgomery Street
> San Francisco, CA 94105
>
> +1 (415) 839-6885 ext. 6635
> +1 (415) 712 4873
> kma...@wikimedia.org
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Open and recorded WMF Board meetings

2016-04-15 Thread Risker
On 15 April 2016 at 17:42, Trillium Corsage <trillium2...@yandex.com> wrote:

> Not responding to the particulars of the discussion below, but still on
> the topic expressed in the header above, I would like to know if the
> minutes of the board meeting in which the trustees voted to dismiss the
> executive director Lila Tretikov will be published.
>
> I did look for them (https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Minutes) but
> these minutes (if they exist) are not currently there.
>
> Jimbo responded to arbitrator GorillaWarfare on this list, basically,
> "yes, I supported with sadness the decision to dismiss Lila." I am
> interested a little further. I would like to know if Jimbo not only
> supported but *introduced* the motion to dismiss Lila. If not him, okay,
> but then whom?
>
> Thank you. I'd like to review some minutes but would also be pleased to
> hear the comment of any trustee that was there. Jimbo has already revealed
> his vote, so it doesn't seem like another trustee should be criticized for
> violating any confidence, after all Wikimedia prides itself on transparency.
>
> Trillium Corsage
>
>
I think they already have been - by Patricio's email and public posting
stating that Lila tendered her resignation and the Board accepted it.  It
doesn't matter who makes the motion to accept the resignation, since the
Board would have to debate it regardless; for motions like this, the
identity of the mover is more process than substance.

The rest of the discussion would be a human resources matter which I
certainly hope was not recorded, or if it was, that it would ever be
published.  I cannot imagine that anyone on this list would seriously
believe that personal performance appraisals should be published. It would
probably violate quite a few labour and human rights laws, not to mention
the separation agreement that no doubt exists. That's not transparency,
it's prurience.

Risker/Anne
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] 2016 call for Audit Committee observers

2016-04-04 Thread Risker
Hmm. Ironically, it is standard for even non-member charities and
non-profits in much of the world to have fully-voting members of the Audit
Committee who are not members of the Board of Trustees/Directors.  It is
unfortunate that the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees has not yet
come around to this idea.  The Audit Committee would be the ideal place to
start, as there are never that many Trustees who are fully conversant with
the responsibilities of auditing.  It is an opportunity lost.

Nonetheless, I hope that well-qualified individuals will agree to put
themselves forward for this oversight role.

Risker/Anne

On 4 April 2016 at 16:54, Greg Varnum <gvar...@wikimedia.org> wrote:

> Forward on behalf of Kelly Battles.
>
>
>
> Hello All -
>
> My name is Kelly Bodnar Battles and I am honored to have joined the
> Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees in January of this year.
>
> Professionally, I am a Chief Financial Officer (CFO), and a material part
> of my near term Wikimedia Foundation (WMF) Board responsibilities will be
> to chair the Audit Committee.  Currently, the voting members of the Audit
> Committee are myself, Alice Wiegand, María Sefidari and Denny Vrandečić.
> WMF’s CFO and Treasurer Jaime Villagomez is also an important stakeholder
> on this committee as well.
>
> As you may know, we have the precedent of having non-voting members
> (please see role definition below) from outside the board participate in
> the Audit Committee as well.  Toward that end, I would like to:
>
> -  First and foremost, thank Matt Bisanz, Michael Snow, Abhijith
> Jayanthi, Ben Creasy and Florian Gerl for participating in this committee
> as non-voting members in the recent past.
>
> -  Request that if you are interested (or know of other volunteers in
> the community who may be interested) in serving in this capacity for this
> next cycle (from selection through June 2017), please send to me at this
> email address (kbatt...@wikimedia.org <mailto:kbatt...@wikimedia.org>)
> your resume, the top 3 reasons why you want to do this and the top 3 things
> you will add to the Audit Committee.
>
> -  Propose the following steps and timeline for the selection process:
> -  Candidates submit their interest and the above information to
> me no later than April 15
> -  The Audit Committee will interview top 4 candidates by May 10
> -  The Audit Committee will select the top 2 candidate by May 15
> -  Selected candidates join the Audit committee by June 1 and
> attend July Audit Committee meeting
>
> -  Outline the following important preferences for candidates
> interested in this role:
> -  5+ years of operational finance and or accounting experience
> -  Solid understanding of the mission and operations of WMF
> -  Prior executive or board experience
> -  CPA (Certified Public Accountant) or MBA (Masters in Business
> Administration), or equivalent earned
> -  Capacity to commit an estimated 20-30 hours annually to attend
> both quarterly and other ad-hoc meetings, prepare or review required
> materials, and interact with committee, staff and/or board as required.
>
> Once again, I am thrilled to be part of this amazing organization.  Thank
> you for the warm welcome I have received so far.
>
> Best,
> Kelly
>
> See link for Audit Committee charter
> https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Audit_Committee_charter <
> https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Audit_Committee_charter>
> This message is available for translation on Meta-Wiki:
>
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_Audit_Committee/2016_call_for_Audit_Committee_observers
> <
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_Audit_Committee/2016_call_for_Audit_Committee_observers
> >
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] WMF non-disclosure agreements and non-disparagement clauses

2016-03-14 Thread Risker
Well, Pete, I certainly interpreted Nathan's question as being specific
enough to require that a number be given.



On 14 March 2016 at 14:28, Pete Forsyth <petefors...@gmail.com> wrote:

> On Mon, Mar 14, 2016 at 11:00 AM, Risker <risker...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > There's a difference between "does the WMF generally include
> > non-disparagement and non-disclosure clauses in separation agreements"
> and
> > "how many separation agreements include non-disparagement and
> > non-disclosure clauses".
>
>
> Risker, can you say who you're attributing those quotes to? I only see the
> words "how many" in your message -- not in any of the others in this
> thread.
>
> -Pete
> [[User:Peteforsyth]]
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] WMF non-disclosure agreements and non-disparagement clauses

2016-03-14 Thread Risker
There's a difference between "does the WMF generally include
non-disparagement and non-disclosure clauses in separation agreements" and
"how many separation agreements include non-disparagement and
non-disclosure clauses".  One is general, and the other is specific; the
first can likely be answered, but the second is getting into "personal
information" territory.  While I know there has been a definite and
reasonable concern about the frequency and nature of departures over the
last several months, we are still talking about a small number of very
publicly identified individuals.

Just as importantly, those clauses tend to go both ways - in that the WMF
may also be bound not to disclose them too, as part of the individual
separation agreements.  They tend to be built right into some employment
contracts with 'golden parachute' clauses, for example.  As well,
separation agreements are much less common when people resign as opposed to
- shall we say - being monetarily urged to look for other opportunities
elsewhere; identifying the actual number may reveal the circumstances under
which some people left the organization, which can have a serious impact on
their future earnings and ability to secure future employment.

Risker/Anne



On 14 March 2016 at 13:37, Nathan <nawr...@gmail.com> wrote:

> We need to distinguish between the personal and private details of
> individuals and the policies of the WMF around management of employees. It
> should be clear to everyone that employee satisfaction, retention, dispute
> management and other issues of personnel management are central to the
> controversies of the last few months. It's disingenuous to argue that these
> matters must all be off-limits for public discussion simply because they
> fall under the umbrella of "HR." Having said that...
>
> The names of the people who have left may be public; whether they accepted
> a severance package or not obviously is not and should not be publicized
> except willingly by them. It is relevant and useful information for the
> rest of us to understand if severance agreements have been packaged with
> non-disparagement clauses that could prevent negative but highly topical
> and timely information from being released. We can probably infer that this
> is the case from the profound silence emanating from most departed
> employees, but it would be nice to know for sure if money and benefits were
> used to insulate Lila or others from the effects of serious mismanagement.
>
>
>
> On Mon, Mar 14, 2016 at 1:01 PM, Risker <risker...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > Actually, no, you probably can't ask that question either - because the
> > names of the individuals who have departed are pretty much all publicly
> > known. (There's even a timeline in which all their names are mentioned,
> > linked from news articles and other "external" locations.)  In many
> > jurisdictions, it is potentially illegal for employers to disclose such
> > information; many would feel it unethical for an employer to disclose the
> > departure conditions absent a mutual agreement between the employer and
> the
> > departed.  California human resources law would allow for a civil suit
> that
> > could result in a large settlement, either individually or as a group
> > (think high-tech employees lawsuit).  This is an area where
> "transparency"
> > very definitely intersects with the privacy rights of those individuals
> who
> > are directly affected.  Privacy should win.
> >
> > Risker/Anne
> >
> > On 14 March 2016 at 12:50, Nathan <nawr...@gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > > It's an easy question to ask in a non-specific way:
> > >
> > > In the last six months, has the WMF approved severance agreements with
> > > departing employees with language that, in effect, prevented them from
> > > publicly criticizing the WMF, its management or the Board on matters of
> > > public interest?
> > > ___
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] WMF non-disclosure agreements and non-disparagement clauses

2016-03-14 Thread Risker
Actually, no, you probably can't ask that question either - because the
names of the individuals who have departed are pretty much all publicly
known. (There's even a timeline in which all their names are mentioned,
linked from news articles and other "external" locations.)  In many
jurisdictions, it is potentially illegal for employers to disclose such
information; many would feel it unethical for an employer to disclose the
departure conditions absent a mutual agreement between the employer and the
departed.  California human resources law would allow for a civil suit that
could result in a large settlement, either individually or as a group
(think high-tech employees lawsuit).  This is an area where "transparency"
very definitely intersects with the privacy rights of those individuals who
are directly affected.  Privacy should win.

Risker/Anne

On 14 March 2016 at 12:50, Nathan <nawr...@gmail.com> wrote:

> It's an easy question to ask in a non-specific way:
>
> In the last six months, has the WMF approved severance agreements with
> departing employees with language that, in effect, prevented them from
> publicly criticizing the WMF, its management or the Board on matters of
> public interest?
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] WMF non-disclosure agreements and non-disparagement clauses

2016-03-14 Thread Risker
I think it is probably best that human resources issues (including the
reasons for people leaving the organization) are not included in this list,
unless expressly disclosed by the individuals.

Risker

On 14 March 2016 at 12:14, Pine W <wiki.p...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Um. Luis, if you were offered a severance agreement that included a
> financial payment from WMF, that would be... very interesting. And
> potentially very problematic.
>
> Pine
>
> On Mon, Mar 14, 2016 at 7:25 AM, Luis Villa <l...@lu.is> wrote:
>
> > On Sun, Mar 13, 2016 at 5:44 PM Oliver Keyes <ironho...@gmail.com>
> wrote:
> >
> > > On Sun, Mar 13, 2016 at 4:14 PM, Luis Villa <l...@lu.is> wrote:
> > > > On Sun, Mar 13, 2016 at 1:08 PM Antoine Musso <hashar+...@free.fr>
> > > wrote:
> > > >
> > > >>
> > > >> To the best of my knowledge such agreements are not public, but
> > honestly
> > > >> there is no conspiracy behind that.  There are public clues though:
> > > >>
> > > >>
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Access_to_nonpublic_information_policy
> > > >>  https://wikitech.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikitech:Labs_Terms_of_use
> > > >>  Others at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Legal#Policies
> > > >>
> > > >
> > > > In mid-2013, the legal team put the standard employee NDA clauses,
> and
> > a
> > > > couple others, on-wiki at:
> > > >
> > > >
> > >
> >
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Non-disclosure_agreements#Wikimedia_Foundation.27s_non-disclosure_agreements
> > > >
> > > > Luis
> > >
> > > Thanks Luis!
> > >
> > > It looks like the non-disparagement clause has now been removed, which
> > > is nice.
> > >
> >
> > There was not one when I joined three years ago. There is still one in
> the
> > severance agreement I was offered, which is why I didn't sign it - under
> > the circumstances, I didn't feel like I could continue to participate in
> > community processes (strategy, budget, etc.) while signing that clause.
> >
> > Luis
> > ___
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] WMF non-disclosure agreements and non-disparagement clauses

2016-03-12 Thread Risker
"Requests for transparency" is highly inaccurate; what you are requesting
is information.  The two are not synonymous.  I have moved the page to the
more correct name.

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



On 12 March 2016 at 22:18, SarahSV  wrote:

> On Sat, Mar 12, 2016 at 8:11 PM, Andreas Kolbe  wrote:
>
> > As Sarah says, a dedicated transparency officer within the community
> > engagement department would be a great idea, because this is a
> > community-facing issue. I'd be interested in hearing Maggie's views on
> > that.
> >
> ​
> I've started a page where we can post requests and keep track of replies.
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Requests_for_transparency
>
> Sarah
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] WMF non-disclosure agreements and non-disparagement clauses

2016-03-12 Thread Risker
Ummwhat the NDA says is very much a part of employment standards.  The
NDA is an employer-employee agreement.  It is not subject to the wishes of
the Wikimedia community, except in a very indirect way.  NDAs are used to
control people's behaviours - if they're employees, they get disciplined up
to and including termination should they violate them.  In the case of
volunteers (and yes, there are many volunteers who sign NDAs for various
types of access, myself included), their privileged access can be removed
and potentially they could face legal ramifications for disclosure
depending on the nature of the disclosure.

There have been transparency problems, no question about it.  But they had
nothing to do with NDAs.  Let's leave NDAs out of it at this point.
They're absolutely not within Community Engagement's purview.

Risker/Anne

On 12 March 2016 at 22:11, Andreas Kolbe <jayen...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Anne,
>
> This is not a question of employment standards – it's not about what these
> NDAs etc. should or shouldn't say. We are talking about publication of
> existing boilerplate agreements that are in routine use.
>
> It's a question of transparency. When volunteers talk to staff, it's useful
> for them to have an accurate understanding of what staff can and can't talk
> about, in particular as some staff members have raised this as an issue.
>
> If preparing this for publication takes a month or two, because there are
> more pressing things to do right now, I have no problem with that. What
> isn't good is if the community is told in response to queries, "Yes,
> publishing the NDAs etc. is a reasonable idea", and those words just fade
> into the mist because the task has never been actioned and delegated.
> Perhaps we can agree on that.
>
> As Sarah says, a dedicated transparency officer within the community
> engagement department would be a great idea, because this is a
> community-facing issue. I'd be interested in hearing Maggie's views on
> that.
>
> Andreas
>
> On Sun, Mar 13, 2016 at 2:25 AM, Risker <risker...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > Really, Andreas?  You're complaining that the resigning ED didn't do this
> > and the one appointed less than 36 hours ago hasn't got around to it?
> >
> > This is not Maggie's responsibility - she is not responsible for
> employment
> > standards or expectations.  That would be the VP Human Resources...who
> has
> > just resigned, too, and has yet to be replaced.
> >
> > Risker/Anne
> >
> > On 12 March 2016 at 21:09, Andreas Kolbe <jayen...@gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > > On March 1, Jimmy Wales wrote:[1]
> > >
> > > things like standard boilerplate language to be signed by
> > > > all employees doesn't strike me as something in and of itself to be
> > kept
> > > > private - there is a valid interest in showing that our policies are
> > > > fair and humane for employees, responsible in terms of the privacy of
> > > > personal information, etc.
> > > >
> > >
> > > Nothing appears to have happened since then – we seem to be no nearer
> to
> > > transparency about the non-disclosure agreements and non-disparagement
> > > clauses WMF staff have to sign than we were two weeks ago, when
> > discussion
> > > around this topic kicked off in another thread.[2]
> > >
> > > This seems to be a recurring (and daunting) pattern. People call for
> > > transparency about a particular issue. Eventually, someone in a
> > leadership
> > > position responds that yes, demands for transparency about this issue
> are
> > > quite reasonable, and in fact more transparency would be absolutely
> > > desirable.
> > >
> > > At this point, people relax, feeling they have been heard. The
> clamouring
> > > crowd disperses. But in fact, nothing happens, and the same questions
> > arise
> > > again some weeks, months, years down the line.
> > >
> > > Maggie, is this something your department could take on? It would be
> good
> > > to have one identified person at the Foundation who is responsible for
> > > tracking such queries and reporting back to the community, one way or
> the
> > > other.
> > >
> > > Andreas
> > >
> > > [1]
> > >
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2016-March/082852.html
> > > [2]
> http://www.gossamer-threads.com/lists/wiki/foundation/685183#685183
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] WMF non-disclosure agreements and non-disparagement clauses

2016-03-12 Thread Risker
On 12 March 2016 at 22:02, SarahSV <sarahsv.w...@gmail.com> wrote:

> On Sat, Mar 12, 2016 at 7:09 PM, Andreas Kolbe <jayen...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> >
> > This seems to be a recurring (and daunting) pattern. People call for
> > transparency about a particular issue. Eventually, someone in a
> leadership
> > position responds that yes, demands for transparency about this issue are
> > quite reasonable, and in fact more transparency would be absolutely
> > desirable.
> >
> > At this point, people relax, feeling they have been heard. The clamouring
> > crowd disperses. But in fact, nothing happens, and the same questions
> arise
> > again some weeks, months, years down the line.
> >
> > ​It would be wonderful if we had a dedicated transparency officer within
> the community engagement department. Perhaps we could open a page on meta
> listing transparency requests.
>
>

Why would this be within the community engagement department?  I'm not
saying you're wrong, but I'm not actually seeing any logical explanation
for it being a CE issue.  It seems more a legal issue (in respect of
board/executive transparency) or human resources issue (in respect of
NDAs).  It's pretty obvious from what has bubbled to the surface over the
last few months that transparency was NOT just an issue from the community
perspective.  Perhaps a transparency officer in Legal might make sense.

Risker/Anne
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] WMF non-disclosure agreements and non-disparagement clauses

2016-03-12 Thread Risker
Really, Andreas?  You're complaining that the resigning ED didn't do this
and the one appointed less than 36 hours ago hasn't got around to it?

This is not Maggie's responsibility - she is not responsible for employment
standards or expectations.  That would be the VP Human Resources...who has
just resigned, too, and has yet to be replaced.

Risker/Anne

On 12 March 2016 at 21:09, Andreas Kolbe <jayen...@gmail.com> wrote:

> On March 1, Jimmy Wales wrote:[1]
>
> things like standard boilerplate language to be signed by
> > all employees doesn't strike me as something in and of itself to be kept
> > private - there is a valid interest in showing that our policies are
> > fair and humane for employees, responsible in terms of the privacy of
> > personal information, etc.
> >
>
> Nothing appears to have happened since then – we seem to be no nearer to
> transparency about the non-disclosure agreements and non-disparagement
> clauses WMF staff have to sign than we were two weeks ago, when discussion
> around this topic kicked off in another thread.[2]
>
> This seems to be a recurring (and daunting) pattern. People call for
> transparency about a particular issue. Eventually, someone in a leadership
> position responds that yes, demands for transparency about this issue are
> quite reasonable, and in fact more transparency would be absolutely
> desirable.
>
> At this point, people relax, feeling they have been heard. The clamouring
> crowd disperses. But in fact, nothing happens, and the same questions arise
> again some weeks, months, years down the line.
>
> Maggie, is this something your department could take on? It would be good
> to have one identified person at the Foundation who is responsible for
> tracking such queries and reporting back to the community, one way or the
> other.
>
> Andreas
>
> [1]
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2016-March/082852.html
> [2] http://www.gossamer-threads.com/lists/wiki/foundation/685183#685183
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wmfall] Wikimedia Foundation executive transition update

2016-03-10 Thread Risker
Thank  you, Patricio and the rest of the board, for this first step in
rebuilding.

I have had the pleasure of working with Katherine in my capacity as a
"regular" volunteer and as a member of the FDC, and have found her to be
highly professional and very focused on the mission of the WMF.  She has
demonstrated her ability to attract and lead an excellent team in her role
as Chief Communications Officer, and has the support of staff and her
(former) C-level organizational leaders as the WMF takes its next steps to
recovery.  In my opinion, this is what is needed at this time.

Katherine, thank you for agreeing to take on this responsibility.  I look
forward to working with you and the rest of the team in the months to come.

Risker/Anne

On 10 March 2016 at 22:52, Todd Allen <toddmal...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Katherine,
>
> Welcome, and best of luck in your new role. I'm very pleased indeed to hear
> that it will be you to fill it.
>
> Todd
>
> On Thu, Mar 10, 2016 at 7:59 PM, Katherine Maher <kma...@wikimedia.org>
> wrote:
>
> > Thank you, Patricio.
> >
> > I want to thank the Board for this opportunity, and for their confidence
> in
> > the Foundation. I also want to thank community members and staff for
> > continuing to be such committed advocates for our future -- your passion
> > and belief in our movement and purpose have been tremendous things to
> > behold.
> >
> > As a movement, we’ve had some challenges lately. We’ve started on a
> process
> > of change, but as Lydia Pintscher (User:Lydia Pintscher (WMDE)) recently
> > reminded us,[1] “Change happens at the speed of trust.” We will need to
> > work together over these coming months to build that trust, and open
> > critical lines of communication and accountability. I get the sense from
> > many people that that’s exactly what they’d like to do: absorb the
> lessons
> > we’ve learned, re-engage with each other, and get back to advancing our
> > global movement.
> >
> > At the Foundation, we have an opportunity to center around our values,
> and
> > practice open and collaborative communication. During the interim
> period, I
> > want to get things working well and improve transparency and
> communication,
> > both internally and with the communities. We will work to create a
> > supportive, fair environment where people can get things done, engage
> with
> > their colleagues and community members, and understand how their work has
> > an impact on our mission. This includes delivering on important deadlines
> > for the Annual Plan and strategy,[2] filling key roles, and making
> progress
> > on issues raised in our recent engagement survey.
> >
> > We are committed to delivering the first version of the 2016-2017 Annual
> > Plan no later than April 1st for community and FDC review, and are on
> track
> > to meet this deadline. The WMF 2016-2018 strategy development is also
> > underway, with a draft version open for comments until March 18.[3] Over
> > the coming weeks, we’ll be moving forward with our Chief Technology
> Officer
> > (CTO) search, and working with the Talent and Culture team to reinvest in
> > our culture. As new other emerge, we’ll work together to prioritize them.
> >
> > To accomplish all of this, we are going to need your help. I want to hear
> > from you about what you would like to achieve in this interim period.
> This
> > includes how we can collaborate together to prepare the organization and
> > movement to welcome our next Executive Director. The Foundation is
> prepared
> > to actively support the Board in the search, and we will work closely
> with
> > them to share important information and create opportunities to give
> > feedback throughout the process.
> >
> > Just a few weeks ago, we marked the 15th birthday of the movement.[4]
> > Millions of people around the world shared their love for Wikimedia. It
> was
> > a celebration of why we do what we do, and how much joy the movement
> brings
> > people everywhere. That’s something I try to keep in mind every day.
> >
> > Yours sincerely,
> > Katherine
> >
> > [1] https://twitter.com/nightrose/status/660043284841107457
> > [2]
> >
> >
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/2016_Strategy/Combined_strategy_and_annual_plan_timeline
> > [3] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/2016_Strategy/Draft_WMF_Strategy
> > [4] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia_15
> >
> > On Thu, Mar 10, 2016 at 6:55 PM, Patricio Lorente <
> > patricio.lore...@gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > > Hello all,
> > >
> &

Re: [Wikimedia-l] about staff

2016-03-09 Thread Risker
Some historical context may be useful here, Gerard.  The reality is that,
while many workplaces aren't unionized in North America, there are also
many workplaces where there is serious competition between two or more
unions to represent the same employees.  In many parts of Canada and the
U.S., the issue of recognition mainly relates to the employer not being
obliged to recognize a specific union that has not received support from
50% or more of the staff; in fact, in some locations employers may only
recognize unions that receive greater than 50% staff support.

It may not be something that is commonly seen in Europe, but I personally
have observed truly shocking behaviour (threats, harassment, shunning in
the workplace, etc.) on the part of trade unions that are competing to
unionize the same employees.  This is more commonplace when two companies
are merging to form a single new company if the employees had different
unions at the predecessor companies.  And in many parts of North America,
we have seen companies shut down unionized branches and expand
non-unionized branches.  Less than 12% of the United States workforce is
unionized; it is not as enculturated in the US as it is in Europe.

None of this has any bearing whatsoever on the Wikimedia Foundation; I have
no doubt it would follow the applicable legislation should the employees
wish to unionize.

Risker/Anne

On 9 March 2016 at 08:12, Gerard Meijssen <gerard.meijs...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Hoi,
> It is a travesty when it is up to an employer to recognise a trade union.
> The question is very much what is implied by such a recognition. It may be
> cultural but I would consider the WMF seriously flawed when it is not
> willing to recognise the right of employees to be organised.
>
> A trade union often provides legal aid when necessary and no way in hell
> should a company be allowed to interfere in this.
> Thanks,
>   GerardN
>
> On 9 March 2016 at 13:06, Andy Mabbett <a...@pigsonthewing.org.uk> wrote:
>
> > On 9 March 2016 at 09:50, Derek V.Giroulle <derekvgirou...@wikimedia.be>
> > wrote:
> >
> > > Wikimedia UK  does have anything to say about unions  its employees are
> > free
> > > to join a union
> >
> > The issue is not whether anyone "is allowed to join" a trade union;
> > but whether that trade union is recognised by the employer.
> >
> > --
> > Andy Mabbett
> > @pigsonthewing
> > http://pigsonthewing.org.uk
> >
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Open and recorded WMF Board meetings

2016-03-07 Thread Risker
Hold on, Jytdog, I think you're reading more into Pierre's statement than
is really there.

Pierre has not said the decision to retain the ED "was itself
trust-destroying for [him]".  He said it was a mistake, and he said it was
a mistake because the board was wrong to think that the ED could recover
from a 90% staff disapproval level.

He also pointed out that "[i]f the board decide to keep the CEO/ED, the
board cannot go and undermine the authority of the CEO by communicating
doubts".  Thus he is not particularly concerned about the board saying the
support was unanimous. Pierre's concern is that the board thought it was a
good idea to keep an ED with a 90% staff disapproval rating.

Risker/Anne

On 7 March 2016 at 18:24, jytdog <jyt...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Pierre that is exactly what I struggle with.  You are saying that throwing
> integrity out the window in the name of politics is OK.  I am saying it is
> absolutely not OK.  The individuals representing the board should have been
> honest and simply said "The board supports the ED" and left it at that, and
> if asked, yes, been honest that support was not unanimous.  Misrepresenting
> things a) accomplished nothing, as we can see now, and b) opened huge rifts
> that remain gaping today.
>
> I do hear you, that the decision to retain the ED in November was itself
> trust-destroying for you, because you view that as such bad judgement. I
> hear that.
>
> To me, making public misrepresentations is another thing altogether.  It
> calls into question whether folks are even telling the truth, and that just
> destroys the very basis for authentic conversation.  It is a deeper wound.
> This to me, bars the way to move forward.
>
> How do we trust what the board says going forward?  How can the board be
> effective, when people cannot trust what its members say about its
> decisions?
>
> On Mon, Mar 7, 2016 at 5:57 PM, Pierre-Selim <pierre-se...@huard.info>
> wrote:
>
> > Seriously ?
> >
> > If the board decide to keep the CEO/ED, the board cannot go and undermine
> > the authority of the CEO by communicating doubts.
> >
> > The mistake was not to say unanimous support but the "keep the ED" straw
> > poll result. It really surprised me because the more you wait the more it
> > costs (talents leave, delayed arrival of a new CEO, ...), and honnestly
> > there is no recovery possible at 90% of disapproval from your staff
> > (C-levels included).
> > Le 7 mars 2016 7:16 PM, "jytdog" <jyt...@gmail.com> a écrit :
> >
> > > Craig, thanks for your reply on this. This is actually not about HR
> > > matters.  It is about what board members chose to do and say.
> > >
> > > It would have made little difference in the RW if they had said "the
> > board
> > > supports Lila" (and if there was a majority vote for that, the board
> did
> > > support Lila) vs "the board unanimously supports Lila".  They chose to
> > > state the latter.  That has nothing to do with Lila per se, and
> > everything
> > > to do with the choices individuals made in representing what the board
> > > actually did.
> > >
> > > This is what I meant.  Poor processes poorly executed definitely
> allowed
> > > this to happen;  if board votes were accurately recorded in minutes and
> > > swiftly published, what happened would not be even possible or would be
> > so
> > > foolish that no one would do it.  But these were still choices that
> > > individuals made in the context that existed.
> > >
> > > These choices and those of other board members  - as individuals  -
> have
> > > created an unbearable set of contradictions that need to resolved.
> This
> > is
> > > what we should focus on.  I hope you can see that the HR angle is a a
> > > distraction from that, as this has nothing to do with WMF staff per se.
> > >
> > > Yes we should also urge the board to develop more rigorous procedures
> and
> > > to follow them more closely to make it harder for individuals to make
> bad
> > > choices, but there is still resolving what did happen, so that we can
> go
> > > forward.
> > >
> > > On Mon, Mar 7, 2016 at 1:50 AM, Craig Franklin <
> > cfrank...@halonetwork.net>
> > > wrote:
> > >
> > > > To be honest, I consider it unlikely that Patricio or anyone else is
> > > going
> > > > to discuss HR matters at length in public, even when they concern
> Lila,
> > > and
> > > > especially when they could potentially be 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Open and recorded WMF Board meetings

2016-03-06 Thread Risker
I agree with Craig on the most reasonable interpretation of the limited
commentary from the Board in recent weeks.  Indeed, it would be quite
normal, even expected, to include a mutual non-disparagement clause in any
separation agreement, which by its very nature is confidential.

Risker/Anne



On 7 March 2016 at 01:50, Craig Franklin <cfrank...@halonetwork.net> wrote:

> To be honest, I consider it unlikely that Patricio or anyone else is going
> to discuss HR matters at length in public, even when they concern Lila, and
> especially when they could potentially be interpreted as negative towards a
> particular identifiable individual.  For legal reasons, it might be the
> case that the BoT will let Lila have as dignified an exit as possible from
> the organisation, without putting a whole bunch of information into the
> public domain about how they regarded her performance.
>
> Cheers,
> Craig
>
> On 7 March 2016 at 16:39, Oliver Keyes <ironho...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > +1. I would also very much appreciate Patricio explaining whether the
> > "full confidence of the board" actually meant the full confidence:
> > IOW, that a vote was taken and everyone unanimously agreed that Lila's
> > continuation was the best thing.
> >
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Qualities for the next long-term WMF executive director

2016-03-06 Thread Risker
Well, the traits mentioned in the BI article are so commonplace in
management literature (I can remember studying basically that same list
almost 30 years ago) that they're kind of like mom and apple pie.  There's
a bit less emphasis on command and control, and a bit more human interest
emphasis, but these supposedly effective traits have been set down on paper
for over a generation now.  There's nothing new in what Facebook finds
makes an effective manager. And more particularly, what's talked about in
that article is so generic it could apply equally to a factory, a
commercial enterprise, or a non-profit.

It strikes me that the key question the Board needs to think about is
whether they want a manager, a leader or a visionary.

Risker/Anne

On 7 March 2016 at 01:48, Pine W <wiki.p...@gmail.com> wrote:

> On the topic of researching what makes someone a successful CEO (as opposed
> to a manager who may or may not be a CEO), it's interesting that the
> resources that I've found on the Internet tend to describe current trends
> in management fads (which aren't particularly helpful in our situation,
> IMO) and/or traits of people who have been promoted to CEO (which are not
> necessarily synonymous with traits that make someone *successful *as a
> CEO).
>
> My hunch is that traits of successful CEOs may vary a bit depending on the
> nature of the organization. Some skills are likely to be similar (such as
> communication, accounting, business law, and market research) while others
> may be quite different (for example, the CEO of General Motors probably
> needs to have a different reservoir of industry-specific knowledge than the
> CEO of the Humane Society.) Also, the mentalities of organizations can be
> quite different, for example the CEO of Microsoft is probably very
> interested in growing market share for a wide array of existing product
> lines, while the chief executive of a specialty pharmaceutical research
> company may be far more focused on R for a small batch of high-risk,
> high-potential products that have yet to come to market.
>
> Narrowing the focus to the more specific case of the WMF CEO, it seems to
> me that the skills listed in the BI article are a good place to start. We
> might also be interested in mission alignment, cultural fit, knowledge of
> the legal and fundraising landscapes, and familiarity with open source
> technologies that WMF uses. As others have mentioned, the CEO and the CTO
> are distinct roles; it seems to me that if we get a solid CTO then we can
> de-emphasize the the technical skills in the CEO search and focus on the
> wide array of other skills that would be valuable for the CEO.
>
> Pine
>
>
>
>
>
> mama
>
> On Sun, Mar 6, 2016 at 7:49 PM, Greg Grossmeier <g...@wikimedia.org>
> wrote:
>
> > 
> > > Food for thought:
> > >
> > >
> >
> http://www.businessinsider.com/facebook-best-managers-exhibit-these-7-behaviors-2016-1
> >
> > I think that is great food for thought for managers of teams,
> > definitely.
> >
> > I'm not sure it applies to managers of managers or executives; only
> > because those positions weren't a part of this investigation.
> >
> > Greg
> >
> > --
> > | Greg GrossmeierGPG: B2FA 27B1 F7EB D327 6B8E |
> > | identi.ca: @gregA18D 1138 8E47 FAC8 1C7D |
> >
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Open and recorded WMF Board meetings

2016-03-03 Thread Risker
On 3 March 2016 at 10:36, Brion Vibber <bvib...@wikimedia.org> wrote:

> On Mar 3, 2016 7:00 AM, "Risker" <risker...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Those who think it's an easy task that should be
> > able to be done practically after the meeting is over tend to have no
> real
> > experience with writing and managing minutes at the international
> > non-profit board level and may not fully understand why it it is
> important
> > that they are correct before they're published.  Publicly presenting an
> > early, uncorrected draft will lead to nothing but tears, but there are 9
> > board members (plus individual presenters) who have to read, correct and
> > approve [sections of] the minutes.  The WMF Board is not and should not
> be
> > the most important person in the lives of any of our board members.
>
> What sort of problems are envisioned from public drafting of minutes lead
> by a dedicated secretary/minute-wrangler (ideally a professional staff
> member with experience doing this and enough time to dedicate to it rather
> than double-booking a trustee or a C-level)?
>
> -- brion
>
>
Well, there's the fact that board minutes are actually legal documents;
they are required by law, they need to contain certain information, and
they are binding on the organization.  I do not believe you will find
any major international non-profit organization (whether or not they've got
strong community links, support open and free knowledge, or are just
ordinary charities) that would publish drafts of their legal documents.
Getting approved versions out more promptly, and in particular including
more information and context for the decisions and discussion, is probably
a  better first objective; this should be achievable because we can find
good examples from other organizations.

And, not to put too fine a point on it, but there are plenty of people who
will point to the public draft and insist that's the "real" information and
that any subsequent modifications were made for political reasons rather
than to reflect correct information.  I think it's fair to say that, as of
this precise moment, there's not a huge assumption of good faith directed
at the board by at least some sectors of the broad community.  Whether or
not it is deserved, I think it reasonable to say that the Board has some
work in regaining the trust of the community. I'd encourage them to start
with small steps that are easily repeated and documented and don't need a
lot of exceptions, so that they will be building a more solid foundation.
Making major changes that, after a few months, turn out to be
unsustainable, will be more harmful than helpful.

Risker/Anne
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Open and recorded WMF Board meetings

2016-03-03 Thread Risker
On 3 March 2016 at 09:22, Dariusz Jemielniak <dar...@alk.edu.pl> wrote:

> On Thu, Mar 3, 2016 at 9:15 AM, Risker <risker...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> >
> >
> > For the WMF board, we throw in the additional complexity of having a
> large
> > part of the board working in a non-primary language. This should not be
> > discounted as an issue; it is actually one of the bigger factors that
> board
> > communications needs to deal with.
> >
> > I would love for the board to be able to complete and approve their
> meeting
> > minutes within a few weeks. I understand why they have a hard time.
> >
>
> Thanks. I think one idea would be to e.g. invite a community representative
> to each meeting as an observer, responsible for reviewing the minutes. This
> would always be a different person, and by design it could be e.g. always a
> former board/FDC member, or chapter representative, or former arbiter from
> wikis that have arbiters, or a steward - anyhow, someone who is legitimized
> without the need to organize yet another elections.
>
> To reduce costs, this person could be connecting via Hangout, but physical
> presence would also be an option. We could ask this person their views, but
> they would mostly be an observer.
>
>

"Responsible for reviewing the minutes".  This is a lovely ideal. Can we
now be realistic?  What do we really expect that "observer" to do?  Will
they have input in to what the minutes finally say? Do they have approval
authority (i.e., do they get to vote on the acceptance of the minutes)?
I'm not opposed to community members observing board meetings - I suspect
many people will find them to be unexpectedly boring, with less substantive
discussion than many would expect - but the objective should be a lot more
clear.  What about if they genuinely believe that the minutes (which most
of us would recognize as having been written using a template) don't
reflect or emphasize what the observer thinks were the key issues?  Do they
get to put forward publicly their own version of what happened or what they
observed?  Are they going to be permitted to observe the "executive
session", where even the WMF staff are out of the room?  I am fine with the
general concept, but I don't think either the board or the community has
really thought through the entire process.  We should get it pretty much
nailed down before it is implemented.

Minute-taking is a skill - just as is writing a featured article or
creating a featured image. Those who think it's an easy task that should be
able to be done practically after the meeting is over tend to have no real
experience with writing and managing minutes at the international
non-profit board level and may not fully understand why it it is important
that they are correct before they're published.  Publicly presenting an
early, uncorrected draft will lead to nothing but tears, but there are 9
board members (plus individual presenters) who have to read, correct and
approve [sections of] the minutes.  The WMF Board is not and should not be
the most important person in the lives of any of our board members.

Risker/Anne
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Open and recorded WMF Board meetings

2016-03-03 Thread Risker
On 3 March 2016 at 07:53, Brion Vibber <bvib...@wikimedia.org> wrote:

> On Thursday, March 3, 2016, Chris Keating <chriskeatingw...@gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
> > >
> > > Why would minutes be written after the fact instead of during the
> meeting
> > > by the designated note taker(s)?
> >
> >
> > Because the notes you take as you go along aren't in a fit state to serve
> > as minutes?
>
>
> I'd appreciate a closer perspective on what that means; what sort of
> changes actually happen between notes taken at the time and the eventual
> publishing? Practically speaking, what could change in how they're taken or
> reviewed to make sure that happens faster?
>
>
I often participate and present at meetings where I am not formally part of
the group or committee, and will be asked to review sections of the minutes
that relate to my presentation/participation/comments.   I've discovered
that in about 60% of the draft minutes I review, major points are missed or
are misinterpreted or key facts  may be misreported or misrepresented. Even
the ones that are almost entirely correct usually need some editing. There
have been times when I've rewritten the entire section for the
minute-taker.  It may reflect on my ability to present the material, or the
level of knowledge to understand the presentation, or something else
entirely - but the bottom line is that the first draft of minutes is almost
never completely right.  (That's why we call them drafts...)

For the WMF board, we throw in the additional complexity of having a large
part of the board working in a non-primary language. This should not be
discounted as an issue; it is actually one of the bigger factors that board
communications needs to deal with.

I would love for the board to be able to complete and approve their meeting
minutes within a few weeks. I understand why they have a hard time.

Risker/Anne
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Wikimedia Armenia candidate for the board

2016-03-02 Thread Risker
Wow, Andreas. That's taking several major leaps of logic.  Sometimes a
cigar is just a cigar. Any reason why you brought these rather
extraordinary assumptions to this mailing list before Susanna had even had
a chance to respond to your question at her nomination page?

Risker/Anne

On 2 March 2016 at 18:15, Andreas Kolbe <jayen...@gmail.com> wrote:

> On Wed, Mar 2, 2016 at 8:11 PM, Yaroslav M. Blanter <pute...@mccme.ru>
>  wrote:
>
> > Susanna is (or was) a researcher, and every researcher in Armenia is a
> > state employee. There are just no non-governmental organizations who
> employ
> > researchers.
> >
> > I do think there is a problem with a potential Armenian board member
> (that
> > is, Turkish and Azeri Wikimedians would basically consider board as not
> > legitimate), but I do not think the fact that she is or was employed by
> the
> > Academy of Sciences is in any way problematic.
> >
> > Cheers
> > Yaroslav
>
>
> Yaroslav,
>
> In and of itself, the fact that Susanna is a government employee doesn't
> worry me either. Present WMF board member Alice Wiegand is a government
> employee too, if you will (she works as an aide to the mayor of a small
> town in Germany, according to her write-up on the WMF website).
>
> The difference between Alice's situation and Susanna's is that the Armenian
> president turned up for the opening of the Wikimedia Armenia office in
> Yerevan.[1] The German president, in contrast, has probably never even
> heard of Alice. He certainly didn't attend when Wikimedia Germany was
> launched, nor did he have members of his cabinet tell the German public on
> national TV that it was their duty to edit the German Wikipedia.
>
> The Armenian Wikipedia initiative is a matter of direct and personal
> interest to the President and government ministers of Armenia, a country
> that suppresses political dissent. It is impossible to escape the
> conclusion that the initiative is directed by them. This will be crystal
> clear to anyone in Armenia who has watched the YouTube video:[2] the
> Armenian Wikipedia will be perceived as a project of the Armenian
> government.
>
> The chilling effect on opposition sympathisers and dissidents who might
> otherwise like to participate in an open encyclopedia project is monstrous.
> The likelihood that the Armenian Wikipedia will flourish under such
> circumstances and develop into a politically neutral reference work is nil.
>
> I don't know Susanna, and in fact until yesterday had never heard of her.
> She may well be a delightful and charming person with a genuine enthusiasm
> for open knowledge. There are after all many encyclopedic topics that have
> no political sensitivity or relevance at all. But she is clearly part of a
> government-sponsored effort to control the Armenian Wikipedia.
>
> Does it make sense to you that we cheer when Wikipedians stand up to the
> government in France, which is a fairly democratic and open country, and
> cheer equally when far more repressive regimes than that of France take
> such an intense interest in their national-language Wikipedia?
>
> What would you say if Putin started to endorse Wikimedia Russia and
> attended its events, and members of his cabinet told the public to edit
> Wikipedia as part of their civic duty?
>
> Andreas
>
> [1]
>
> http://www.armradio.am/en/2015/06/19/president-sargsyan-attends-opening-of-wikimedia-armenia-office-in-yerevan/
> [2] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zazVM3ldIuw
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] I am going to San Francisco

2016-02-29 Thread Risker
On 29 February 2016 at 20:43, Andreas Kolbe <jayen...@gmail.com> wrote:

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


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

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

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

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

2016-02-29 Thread Risker
On 29 February 2016 at 19:10, Andreas Kolbe <jayen...@gmail.com> wrote:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2016-02-28 Thread Risker
Somewhat off-topic comment:

Andreas, the way you are formatting your messages  (especially with that
---o0o--- symbol), it's pretty much impossible to differentiate what you're
saying and what you're quoting from someone else.  Could you please be much
more clear on this?

Risker/Anne

On 28 February 2016 at 16:07, Andreas Kolbe <jayen...@gmail.com> wrote:

> On Sun, Feb 28, 2016 at 7:04 PM, Brion Vibber <bvib...@wikimedia.org>
> wrote:
>
> >
> > What non-hypothetical work are you referring to?
> >
> > {{cn}}
> >
> > -- brion
> >
>
>
> Brion,
>
> You tell me. :) For what it's worth, Jimmy Wales has said in this thread
> today,
>
>
> ---o0o---
>
> On the very specific topic of donor funding going to help commercial
> re-users, we've had some interesting but inconclusive board discussions
> about this topic.
>
> ---o0o---
>
>
> So this clearly has come up.
>
> What originally triggered my curiosity was this: I noticed a couple of
> weeks ago that the Kindle offered a Wikipedia look-up function. I couldn't
> recall -- and cannot find -- any corresponding WMF announcement. So, how
> did this happen?
>
> The only thing I did find, as I was looking for a WMF announcement, was a
> mention in an Engineering Report, which mentioned, in passing, a WMF team
> doing work on this:
>
>
> ---o0o---
>
> "In side project work, the team spent time on API continuation queries,
> Android IP editing notices, Amazon Kindle and other non-Google Play
> distribution, and Google Play reviews (now that the Android launch dust has
> settled, mobile apps product management will be triaging the reviews)."
>
> https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Engineering/Report/2014/July
>
> ---o0o---
>
>
> Google Play certainly contains a lot of Wikipedia content, and it's a
> commercial service. I also recently was pointed to this 2008 email from Sue
> Gardner, released as a court exhibit in the same antitrust case Arnnon
> Geshuri was involved in. Sue said, in part:
>
>
> ---o0o---
>
> I think Google and Wikipedia can and should have a complementary and
> positive relationship. And I gather Larry and Sergey feel the same: I
> believe they've told Jimmy that Google has no ill will towards Wikipedia,
> and that they'd be willing to make a donation to us in order to signal that
> publicly.
>
> I also believe that any real or perceived tensions in the Google/Wikipedia
> relationship may be being exacerbated at some levels inside Google by their
> unfulfilled desires to do business with us. Since relocating to the Bay
> Area in January, we've had plenty of Google folks reach out to us. But - we
> have a total staff of 21 people, with just one person responsible for
> business development, so I am not sure we are even able to politely keep up
> with their pitches. IMO, rather than spending our time on multiple
> product-specific pitches, it would probably be more productive for
> Wikipedia and Google to develop a single umbrella relationship/agreement
> (obviously within the limits of Wikipedia's non-commercial context).
>
> So. I think a good next step would be some kind of high-level meeting
> between Wikipedia and Google, to talk through these issues and see if a
> donation and/or business deal makes sense.
>
> http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/sandberg.pdf
>
> ---o0o---
>
>
> I don't recall any such business deal or umbrella agreement ever having
> been announced publicly. So, what happened, and has it impacted in any way
> what people at WMF have been working on since?
>
> I believe that if the WMF does enter into business agreements with
> companies like Google or Amazon, or does work designed to enhance their
> product, then the community and the donating public should be told.
>
> I'm sure you appreciate that it's very hard for me as a non-staff member to
> gauge what's going on, but there were enough breadcrumbs here for me to
> feel it was worth asking the question.
>
> Does that help?
>
> Andreas
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] What it means to be a high-tech organization

2016-02-27 Thread Risker
On 27 February 2016 at 16:41, SarahSV <sarahsv.w...@gmail.com> wrote:

> On Fri, Feb 26, 2016 at 6:49 PM, Florence Devouard <fdevou...@gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
>
> I would love to see the WMF agree never again to discuss trapping editors
> in feedback loops intended to keep them editing,
>


I've never, ever seen the WMF (or any other Wikimedia community or
organization) suggest trapping editors in feedback loops.  Wanting
community members to stay (or finding out why they're leaving) is not
"trapping" anyone.

Risker/Anne
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] What should happen next? My 5 ideas

2016-02-26 Thread Risker
No, I think we've actually done a very superficial identification of the
problems.  Some of them are so obvious that they are overwhelming the less
obvious but equally serious issues.

Honestly, "we need a new board" is probably not an issue. 40% of the board
has been seated for less than a year, and another seat is empty and
awaiting someone who probably won't have been a WMF board member before.
Two more seats are currently being contested.  It is entirely conceivable
that by the time we get to Wikimania we will only have two people with more
than 14 months' experience on the board.  No, "new board" isn't an issue,
despite how many people keep saying it is; transfer of information at the
hand-off last Wikimania probably was an issue, and new board member
orientation definitely was (and is).  The issues with the appointment of
one of the "board selected" members recently was at least partly because,
as I understand it, there has never been a written process for how to vet
potential board members for most of the things we all assumed board members
were screened for. WHile I'll be the first to admit I rolled my eyes too,
I'm hard-pressed to openly condemn a bunch of people who'd never done a
task before for not getting it perfectly right.  (Note that even the WMF
staffer assigned to assist in the vetting, Boryana Dineva, had been an
employee for only a few days when handed the assignment, knowing almost
nothing about the community, the organization, the board, or even what to
look for when vetting a potential board member.)

So, "let's restructure the board" is a wish-list item. The structure of the
board wasn't a root cause.  The processes of the board, including the
orientation process, and the lack of documentation or clarity of the
process, were much closer to root causes here.

That's just one example.

Risker/Anne



On 26 February 2016 at 21:04, Pete Forsyth <petefors...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Risker and Brion:
>
> I very much agree with the principles you're stating, and am coming to
> realize I should have framed my message differently. There has actually
> been quite a lot of discussion of what the problems are, and I am basing my
> suggestions on the ones that I've personally seen a lot of attention to.
> Namely (as I stated, in part, above):
> * It might take a very long time to get a new ED, which would be bad
> * We might get an ED who does not effectively absorb information and values
> from staff and community
> * Appointing an interim ED in a hurry (one month) might not bring us
> somebody who's best for the long term
> * Funders (both institutions and individuals) might be skeptical about
> giving, due to recent issues
> * On Point #6, a great deal of work has already been done on identifying
> problems here, and I look forward to seeing more synthesis etc. on wiki:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_transparency_gap
>
> There is, I agree, much more work to be done in identifying and clarifying
> further problems we should be looking to address. But from what I've read
> and heard, there seems to be some pretty strong consensus around the
> problems I've identified above; and ideally, I would have stated that out
> in an intro to my message. If there is *disagreement* on those issues, I
> think it would be good to hear it.
>
> Along with you, I welcome further deliberation of what the problems are
> that should be solved, and if I suggested otherwise I regret giving that
> impression.
>
> I strongly hope and believe, though, that the Board is already working to
> address the subset of rather obvious problems that is at least similar to
> what I listed above. Those problems need to be addressed quickly, and I
> believe it's best if various stakeholders in the Wikimedia vision -- not
> just the 9 members of the Board -- weigh in on the best way to address
> them. If there is a consensus that we shouldn't do that here in public, I
> can take it off this list; but speaking for myself, I'd like to see some
> public deliberation and consensus-building about more immediate steps,
> rather than a bunch of individual efforts to lobby the Board.
>
> I don't intend any of this to be a total solution. Regarding Keegan's
> response, of course there is always a seat at the table! But I appreciate
> your speaking up about it. Still, my list is very much influenced by what I
> have heard from staff, board, etc. over many months -- so it's not like
> your seat is getting cold without you. :)
>
> -Pete
> [[User:Peteforsyth]]
>
> On Fri, Feb 26, 2016 at 5:27 PM, Brion Vibber <bvib...@wikimedia.org>
> wrote:
>
> > Strong +1 to Risker.
> >
> > Collecting ideas to work more on as we move forward: YES. Keeping the
> > constructive attitude and opened comm channels I

Re: [Wikimedia-l] What should happen next? My 5 ideas

2016-02-26 Thread Risker
I think in fairness that it is not just staff who are feeling this is all
moving too fast.  The overwhelming majority of community members, and in
particular community members who don't read and speak English fluently, are
likely to be pretty overwhelmed right now too.


I am concerned that what we are seeing right now are a whole pile of
solutions when we haven't yet worked out what the actual problems are.
This is actually quite a bad thing, because it creates a climate where
people come to a conclusion about what to do before they have worked out
whether or not it is solving a problem, creating a different problem,
"fixing" a non-existent problem, or immaterial to the actual problems.

Let's work out what went wrong before we really start pushing what we think
will make things right.  The foundation is not a wiki where quick and easy
corrections are considered the norm; in fact, based on the concerns of some
that strategy changed practically on a quarterly basis, some slow
considered thinking is probably called for.  The Wikimedia movement has not
had time to catch up with current events and certainly doesn't need
solutions before it's barely worked out why there's a trainwreck on the
mailing list.  And...perhaps most importantly we are talking about real
people here. The board and executives, the staff, the community
memberswe're all people. Moving too fast without figuring out what the
actual issues are is harmful to the human beings here.

The collective "we" have not had time to understand the problems. Quite a
few of the "solutions" I've seen on this list in the last 24-48 hours are
nothing much more than personal wishlists; almost all of them are proposing
to solve problems that may or may not even exist.

Let's work more on problem identification first.


Risker/Anne

On 26 February 2016 at 19:44, Pete Forsyth <petefors...@gmail.com> wrote:

> To Oliver and Keegan -- I hear you guys loud and clear, and I am very aware
> that the trauma of the last few months has taken this kind of toll.
> Although there is of course much I don't know, I have been talking with a
> number of staff, board, etc. for many months now about this. So to whatever
> degree it's possible to empathize without "being there," I do.
>
> However, I'm not trying to push things forward at a pace that's comfortable
> *for me*, I'm trying to focus on things that will impact *what it's
> possible to do*.
>
> The prospect of a drawn-out, even multi-year search for the next long-term
> Executive Director is not a good one. The way the organization rebuilds
> itself and sets expectations will have a huge impact on that. The impact on
> fund-raising will be felt, as well; high-profile contention around a grant
> is being discussed throughout the philanthropy world, and will impact the
> way individual donors respond to banners, as well.
>
> I am confident that the Board is already turning its attention to issues
> like these. Many things need to be done whenever an executive director
> leaves an organization, and there are many reasons to attend to them in a
> timely fashion -- without rushing through and making bad decisions.
>
> Individual Trustees have expressed interest and gratitude for the ideas
> under discussion, and I appreciate knowing that they are considering input.
> This list may not be the best way to reach the board, but it's a good place
> to see whether there is consensus around certain ideas.
>
> That's what I'm trying to do. I know that forging ahead while exhausted
> sucks, and I am not trying to push anybody faster than they want to go. But
> I also think that this moment for careful deliberation shouldn't be missed;
> some of the opportunities will pass by very quickly if nothing is done.
>
> -Pete
> [[User:Peteforsyth]]
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] I am going to San Francisco

2016-02-26 Thread Risker
Andreas, I think you are being unfair here.  Whatever anyone's personal
opinion of Jimmy, the bottom line is that WMF staff have expressed that the
Board has not been listening to them.  Jimmy is a board member.  He's
directly saying "I'm coming to listen to you".  And he's being transparent
about it,  by sharing his plan publicly on this list and perhaps
elsewhere.  That pretty much sounds as though he's being responsive.  Now,
none of us knows what the outcome will be, and I don't think it would be
appropriate for any of us to speculate on how various staff members will
choose to interact given this direct opportunity.  Other board members live
in the immediate area and maybe they too will attend (and maybe not, we
don't know).  This is a very short notice attendance, and since many board
members have responsibilities to their employers, families, and other
activities, they may not be able to drop everything and jump on a plane,
even if they want to.

Myself, I'd suggest that staff take advantage of this opportunity, with the
hope of having a more responsive interaction than the November meeting.  It
is in *everyone's* interest that all of the groups within the Wikimedia
community start moving toward better integration, communication,
transparency, and  carving out a shared vision.  This is a step. It's only
a step.

As to this hypothetical Wikia connection, it's a speculation by Fae (and
only  Fae, as far as I can see), who has not provided any evidence that his
statement is based on some known information.  It may come as a surprise to
a lot of people, but Wikia's software has been increasingly diverging from
the MediaWiki we all use on Wikimedia projects, and they already have
better inter-wiki search than WMF projects have.

Risker/Anne

On 26 February 2016 at 10:02, Andreas Kolbe <jayen...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Brion,
>
> I understand you and Jimmy Wales go way, way back. But what is the point of
> "coming together" with someone who, just hours before the Knowledge Engine
> grant agreement was released, insisted,
>
> ---o0o---
>
> 'To make this very clear: no one in top positions has proposed or is
> proposing that WMF should get into the general "searching" or to try to "be
> google". It's an interesting hypothetical which has not been part of any
> serious strategy proposal, nor even discussed at the board level, nor
> proposed to the board by staff, nor a part of any grant, etc. It's a total
> lie.'
>
> ---o0o---
>
> When the grant agreement was released -- flatly contradicting his very
> words, in the view of everyone who read it, including every single
> journalist who wrote about it -- Jimmy Wales disappeared for four days from
> the wiki. He eventually resurface and later made an appearance at the
> Knowledge Engine FAQ on Meta explaining that he had only just learnt that
> there really was a search engine project.[1]
>
> How plausible is that? By all accounts, James and Dariusz fought to be
> shown the documents that were later leaked, against the resistance of other
> board members, which presumably included Jimmy Wales (I don't think it
> takes too much intelligence to figure out that Guy Kawasaki and Jimmy Wales
> were among Lila's main supporters and defenders on the board).
>
> So are we to believe that Jimmy Wales had never seen the grant agreements,
> had never seen those documents that all these arguments in the board were
> about, had never even bothered to look at them?
>
> In November 2015, board discussions referred to the Knowledge Engine
> project as a "moon shot", according to James. So all this time Jimmy Wales
> was ignorant of what this "moon shot" was, until some staff member informed
> him on February 19 that there really were plans for a search engine?
>
> "Nor even discussed at board level" my foot!
>
> Even if you bend over backwards to assume Jimmy Wales is telling the truth,
> and he really didn't know anything about this (he might have been struck by
> temporary deafness during these "moon shot" discussions, after all, or
> suffered a bout of amnesia), what does it say about him that he blithely
> went round denouncing people who were telling the truth as liars spreading
> "bullshit", rather than asking questions and informing himself before
> shooting his mouth off?
>
> What's the point of talking when you can't believe a word a person is
> saying?
>
> Andreas
>
> P.S. Now, what is this about Wikia? This is news to me. How would Wikia
> have profited from the Knowledge Engine? Did anyone plan to include Wikia
> among the wikis the search engine would prominently surface?
>
> [1]
>
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Knowledge_Engine/FAQ=15365968=15365951
>
> Andreas
>
&g

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Katy Love to direct WMF Resources team

2016-02-25 Thread Risker
Congratulations, Katy!  It's been a pleasure working with you on the FDC
for the last two years, and I will look forward to continuing to work with
you in your new role.

Risker/Anne

On 25 February 2016 at 18:04, Philippe Beaudette <phili...@beaudette.me>
wrote:

> Congrats to Katy. She will be an excellent person for this role.
>
> On Thursday, February 25, 2016, Maggie Dennis <mden...@wikimedia.org>
> wrote:
>
> > Hello, all.
> >
> > I am delighted to announce that Katy Love has agreed to step into the
> role
> > of Director of Resources in the Community Engagement department, picking
> up
> > the baton so ably carried by Siko Bouterse before her. Katy has been with
> > the Wikimedia Foundation since January 2013, beginning as the first
> program
> > officer to work with the Funds Dissemination Committee (FDC). I’m
> grateful
> > to her for moving into this role and am looking forward to collaborating
> > with her closely in WMF’s Community Engagement department.
> >
> > We will be hiring her replacement to oversee the FDC/full annual plan
> > grants program in the weeks ahead.
> >
> > Best regards,
> >
> > Maggie
> >
> > P.S. Their page! https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Community_Resources
> >
> > --
> > Maggie Dennis
> > Interim Sr. Director of Community Engagement
> > Director, Support and Safety
> > Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.
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> --
>
>
> Philippe Beaudette
>
> phili...@beaudette.me
> 415-275-1424
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Transition plans for WMF leadership - Board Reform

2016-02-24 Thread Risker
Out of curiosity, why are all of these proposals so focused on people who
click the edit button.  The overwhelming percentage of our users (half a
billion a month, if I recall correctly) never click that button.  The vast
majority of our donors never click that button. The massive majority of
active and very active editors don't participate in Board selection
activities. I won't say that the editing community is unimportant - in fact
I believe it is extremely important - but every proposal that is coming
forward seems exclusively focused on "empowering" a small percentage of the
editing group over all other stakeholders.  I'd like to see some
suggestions that are more balanced.


Risker

On 24 February 2016 at 22:27, George Herbert <george.herb...@gmail.com>
wrote:

>
>
> > On Feb 24, 2016, at 7:01 PM, Anthony Cole <ahcole...@gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > George, the WMF, particularly under the Sue/Erik regime - but as best as
> I
> > can tell from its very beginning - has had a propensity to privilege its
> > view of what's best over the community's view. Superprotect. Visual
> editor.
> > When the community has pushed back at WMF behaviour that suits the WMF,
> > that the WMF thinks helps them in their mission, the WMF has historically
> > just gone ahead and ignored what the community sees as being in the
> > encyclopaedia's best interest. This bunch of tech geeks and silicon
> valley
> > entrepreneurs holds the whip hand in this relationship. It really should
> be
> > the other way round. Denny's model; Sarah's model. I don't really care.
> But
> > this tail-wagging-dog thing is just not right.
>
> There are several ways to look at this.  One includes the view that the
> Foundation and Board exist to protect and encourage the Movement, not just
> the loudest editor communities.  And that there are wider issues for the
> Movement, including things for users, things keeping users from editing,
> and things pushing people out of active editing that the Board and
> Foundation rightly should be paying a lot of attention to.
>
> There are both valid issues the editor community has objected to, and
> things the editor community (enwiki at least) is grossly dysfunctional
> about that the Board and Foundation must still focus on.  Both separation
> for perspective and feedback and relationship care are needed.
>
>
> George William Herbert
> Sent from my iPhone
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] What it means to be a high-tech organization

2016-02-24 Thread Risker
On 24 February 2016 at 21:16, Risker <risker...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Well, Sarah, after all of these years I didn't think you'd come up with
> anything that would surprise me. I was wrong,  And I'll say that if I was
> going to favour paying anyone, it would be paying qualified translators to
> support smaller projects, and Wikisourcers, and people who may have the
> interest and ability to edit but instead have to work 60 and 70 hour weeks
> on susbsistence wages simply to feed their children.  I would have an
> extremely difficult time justifying paying people in large, well-to-do
> countries to edit Wikipedia. I also strongly suspect it would kill the
> donation stream almost entirely once it became known that Wikipedia was no
> longer written by volunteers, but instead was written by paid editors.
>


(Sorry for the inadvertent early send)

Risker




> 24 February 2016 at 21:09, SarahSV <sarahsv.w...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> On Wed, Feb 24, 2016 at 4:20 PM, phoebe ayers <phoebe.w...@gmail.com>
>> wrote:
>>
>> >
>> > And here I thought you were going to suggest giving each editor a pool
>> > of $$ to assign to their favorite skunkworks projects.
>> >
>> > If we divide the current WMF budget ($58M) by the current number of
>> > monthly active editors (71K), then take 60% off the top for keeping
>> > the lights on, infrastructure, etc. -- this is a fairly typical
>> > overhead percentage for grants at universities -- we're still left
>> > with $325/editor.
>> >
>> > ​As of January 2016, the English WP had 3,492 editors that the
>> Foundation
>> calls "very active," but that's only 100 edits a month. [1] The core
>> workforce is considerably smaller, and they're the ones who keep the place
>> running by tidying and writing/rewriting articles, creating and
>> maintaining
>> various processes and policies, creating templates, and so on.
>>
>> The Foundation could pay that number of workers, especially if it found
>> imaginative ways to do it.
>>
>> For example, it could set up a department that accepts contracts from
>> individuals and groups who want certain articles to be written or
>> rewritten. Instead of paying a PR company, those people would pay the
>> Foundation. The Foundation would maintain a list of excellent editors and
>> would offer the contract to the most appropriate, taking a percentage of
>> the fee for itself.
>>
>> The brief would specify that any article produced must adhere to the core
>> content policies, so there would be no whitewashing, but there would be an
>> effort to be fair. As things stand, unpaid editors have to clean up PR
>> efforts anyway, so they might as well get paid to produce something decent
>> from the start. It might only take a few ethical companies to sign up for
>> the thing to take off.
>>
>> Sarah
>>
>>
>>
>> [1] https://stats.wikimedia.org/EN/SummaryEN.htm
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] What it means to be a high-tech organization

2016-02-24 Thread Risker
Well, Sarah, after all of these years I didn't think you'd come up with
anything that would surprise me. I was wrong,  And I'll say that if I was
going to favour paying anyone, it would be paying qualified translators to
support smaller projects, and Wikisourcers, and people who may have the
interest and ability to edit but instead have to work 60 and 70 hour weeks
on susbsistence wages simply to feed their children.  I

On 24 February 2016 at 21:09, SarahSV  wrote:

> On Wed, Feb 24, 2016 at 4:20 PM, phoebe ayers 
> wrote:
>
> >
> > And here I thought you were going to suggest giving each editor a pool
> > of $$ to assign to their favorite skunkworks projects.
> >
> > If we divide the current WMF budget ($58M) by the current number of
> > monthly active editors (71K), then take 60% off the top for keeping
> > the lights on, infrastructure, etc. -- this is a fairly typical
> > overhead percentage for grants at universities -- we're still left
> > with $325/editor.
> >
> > ​As of January 2016, the English WP had 3,492 editors that the Foundation
> calls "very active," but that's only 100 edits a month. [1] The core
> workforce is considerably smaller, and they're the ones who keep the place
> running by tidying and writing/rewriting articles, creating and maintaining
> various processes and policies, creating templates, and so on.
>
> The Foundation could pay that number of workers, especially if it found
> imaginative ways to do it.
>
> For example, it could set up a department that accepts contracts from
> individuals and groups who want certain articles to be written or
> rewritten. Instead of paying a PR company, those people would pay the
> Foundation. The Foundation would maintain a list of excellent editors and
> would offer the contract to the most appropriate, taking a percentage of
> the fee for itself.
>
> The brief would specify that any article produced must adhere to the core
> content policies, so there would be no whitewashing, but there would be an
> effort to be fair. As things stand, unpaid editors have to clean up PR
> efforts anyway, so they might as well get paid to produce something decent
> from the start. It might only take a few ethical companies to sign up for
> the thing to take off.
>
> Sarah
>
>
>
> [1] https://stats.wikimedia.org/EN/SummaryEN.htm
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Transition plans for WMF leadership

2016-02-22 Thread Risker
On 22 February 2016 at 22:00, Sydney Poore <sydney.po...@gmail.com> wrote:

> On Mon, Feb 22, 2016 at 2:08 PM, Pine W <wiki.p...@gmail.com> wrote:
> >>
> > I also hope that the current Board members will thoughtfully consider
> > whether it's in the best interests of the Wikimedia Foundation and the
> > larger Wikimedia movement for them to continue as Board members.
>
> The instability that would result from large scale resignations of
> Board members would be devastating to WMF.
>
> That aside, under the best of circumstances, the volunteer BoT of WMF
> are faced with an extremely demanding and challenging work load. And,
> no volunteer board has the skill set to manage the problems that have
> come up over the last few months and have escalated out of control.
>
> I strongly encourage giving the BoT time to react to the most recent
> comments, and develop a responsible plan of action.
>
>

I also agree with Sydney, and will point out that in the past year, we have
had brand new board members in 3 board-selected seats (one of whom only
participated for a few weeks), and 3 community seats (two of whom remain in
place, the third being replaced by a former board member.  That is at least
five new members in a single year, no matter how one cuts it - and it
doesn't even take into consideration the ongoing process for
chapter-selected seats.

This past year has already seen the largest turnover in board membership
that the Foundation has ever experienced; it was unusual to have more than
two seats change incumbents in all the past years. We have already seen
very significant change in the make-up of the Board, and half the board is
still learning the ropes and responsibilities. This level of change is
likely to be at least partly responsible for some of the unfortunate
situations we have seen in the last several months. But those who are
seeking a new board...well, you already have one.

Risker/Anne
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Powerful on-wiki art visualization

2016-02-22 Thread Risker
This is really cool, Yuri!  Thank you for sharing this.

Risker

On 22 February 2016 at 22:15, Yuri Astrakhan <yastrak...@wikimedia.org>
wrote:

> First complex interactive graph in Wikipedia explores the most expensive
> paintings in history. Move the mouse around to view images, click the
> period or artist to highlight their work.
>
>
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_most_expensive_paintings#Interactive_graph
>
> Thank you Jane [[user:Jhoffswell]], the VegaJS team, and [[user:Primaler]]
> who designed the original graph!
>
> P.S. See graph demo page for examples and tutorial links
> https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Extension:Graph/Demo
>
> P.P.S. The "click to open a page" feature is still missing in Graphs
> extension, but is on my todo list.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Post mortems (second attempt)

2016-02-21 Thread Risker
On 21 February 2016 at 22:42, SarahSV <sarahsv.w...@gmail.com> wrote:

> On Sun, Feb 21, 2016 at 8:19 PM, Pete Forsyth <petefors...@gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
> >
> > Is it possible to imagine an effort that would not be shot down, but
> > embraced?
> >
> > What would need to be different?
> >
> > These are the kinds of questions I wish the Wikimedia Foundation would
> get
> > better at asking and exploring.
> >
> > ​Lila is good at asking the right questions of the community, which is
> why
> (so far as I can tell) editors like her. If you look at her meta talk page,
> you can see her asking good questions about Flow and trying to find out
> what editors need.
>
> That was literally the first time we felt we were being listened to. There
> was one point when Flow was introduced – and I have been trying to find
> this diff but can't – where there was something on the talk page that
> amounted to "if you agree with us that x and y, then you're welcome to join
> the discussion."
>
> So from the start, it felt as though staffers had ruled out the community
> as people who might know something about what tools are needed to
> collaborate on an article (which is not the same as chatting). People who
> had been doing something for years were not regarded as experts in that
> thing by the Foundation.
>
> We would say "we need pages," and they would explain why we didn't. We
> would say "we need archives," and they would explain why good search was a
> better idea. We would say "there's too much white space," and they would
> explain that people like white space. And so on.
>
> Sarah
>
> ​
>


I can think of Echo/Notifications which, despite some rather minor
grumblings and need for a few tweaks at the beginning, has been fully
embraced by the community.  It's not entirely perfect for all use cases,
but it is so much better than anything we had before.  It's become so
natural to ping someone with {{u|username here}} that I can barely remember
a time when it wasn't the norm.

RIsker/Anne
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Post mortems

2016-02-21 Thread Risker
Meh, I'm fine with people talking in any venue they wish.  Speaking only
for myself, I don't need to read everything everyone has written; if it's
something that needs to be brought to broader attention, chances are
someone will facilitate it.  But I think even those who are entirely happy
to be on Facebook would agree there's a bit of an irony on talking about
the respect for Wikimedia community values on a site that explicitly
doesn't share them.

That, and it's a bit unfair to tease people.

Risker/Anne

On 21 February 2016 at 22:01, Gergő Tisza <gti...@gmail.com> wrote:

> One example of the shortcomings of emails as a medium for complex
> discussions is how this thread about postmortems continues to be diverted
> into discussions about Facebook, despite Pete's best efforts.
>
> At the end of the day, people will prefer tools that work well over tools
> that align philosophically. One can sabotage the development of tools that
> would both work well and uphold Wikimedia's values, but cannot prevent
> important discussions from moving to other venues (which will necessarily
> be a worse match for those values). There is a lesson there, although I'm
> afraid it will take some more time before we learn it.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Post mortems

2016-02-21 Thread Risker
I can agree with what you're saying, Craig.  I can also understand what
Brandon is saying - that some people prefer that interface.

Unlike many Facebook pages, though, this one is not public and cannot be
viewed by anyone who does not have a FB account.  It's the one venue that
many interested parties cannot even read, let alone participate in, unless
they're willing to give up some fairly significant privacy.  I am
disappointed, but I do not hold it against anyone for preferring to discuss
issues in a venue not associated with Wikimedia.

Risker/Anne

On 21 February 2016 at 19:01, Craig Franklin <cfrank...@halonetwork.net>
wrote:

> People will have discussions at a location that is personally convenient
> for them.  Unless you're going to reprogram human nature, I don't see that
> there's anything to be done about the resulting balkanisation of the
> discussion.
>
> Cheers,
> Craig
>
> On 22 February 2016 at 09:54, Thyge <ltl.pri...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > I really wonder why wikimedia discussions have migrated to FB. Are we
> > applying for a grant?
> >
> > Thyge
> >
> > 2016-02-22 0:51 GMT+01:00 Newyorkbrad <newyorkb...@gmail.com>:
> >
> > > I too am one of those people who is not to be found on Facebook.  I
> > > only have room in my life for one online timesink ... and I already
> > > have Wikipedia :)
> > >
> > > Newyorkbrad
> > >
> > > On 2/21/16, Risker <risker...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > > > As has already been explained on this list, many people do not have
> > > access
> > > > to Facebook.  If this is something germane and useful to a lot of
> > people
> > > on
> > > > this list, perhaps it would be appropriate to ask Jonathan to post it
> > > here.
> > > >
> > > > Risker/Anne
> > > >
> > > > On 21 February 2016 at 18:34, Anthony Cole <ahcole...@gmail.com>
> > wrote:
> > > >
> > > >> For those not following, I recommend the discussion in response to
> > > >> Jonathan
> > > >> Cardy's comment here:
> > > >>
> > > >>
> > >
> >
> https://www.facebook.com/groups/wikipediaweekly/permalink/960989863948845/
> > > >>
> > > >> Anthony Cole
> > > >> ___
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Post mortems

2016-02-21 Thread Risker
As has already been explained on this list, many people do not have access
to Facebook.  If this is something germane and useful to a lot of people on
this list, perhaps it would be appropriate to ask Jonathan to post it here.

Risker/Anne

On 21 February 2016 at 18:34, Anthony Cole <ahcole...@gmail.com> wrote:

> For those not following, I recommend the discussion in response to Jonathan
> Cardy's comment here:
>
> https://www.facebook.com/groups/wikipediaweekly/permalink/960989863948845/
>
> Anthony Cole
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] An Open Letter to Wikimedia Foundation BoT

2016-02-20 Thread Risker
On 21 February 2016 at 00:43, SarahSV <sarahsv.w...@gmail.com> wrote:

> On Sat, Feb 20, 2016 at 10:23 PM, Milos Rancic <mill...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > On Sun, Feb 21, 2016 at 5:43 AM, SarahSV <sarahsv.w...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > > This isn't about how much people know. It's obvious that the KE was
> just
> > a
> > > flashpoint. It's about how to move forward without further casualties.
> I
> > > don't believe that that isn't possible.
> >
> > From the point of person who knows just a tinny bit more than the
> > non-staff non-Board participant of this list (but definitely far less
> > than staff and Board), I tend to be a misanthrope. You know, the same
> > answer to the question "Why do wars exist?": Because people are
> > morons.
> >
> > But despite of this, I still share your hope as I tend to believe that
> > Wikimedians are not just ordinary morons.
> >
>
> ​Right. So can't we fix this? Lila is part of the movement too, and
> everyone is clearly in a lot of pain here.
>
> What can be done to help? Can an outside broker be brought in to hold a
> meeting with staff and Lila and find solutions?​
>
> ​Perhaps the Board could organize something like this.
>
>

It is my understanding this was done some months ago.

Risker/Anne
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] An Open Letter to Wikimedia Foundation BoT

2016-02-20 Thread Risker
This is a difficult time for everyone.  Staff, particularly staff who work
out of the San Francisco office, have seen and been through things that are
not well known or understood outside of that small group; even "highly
involved" volunteers aren't entirely in the loop.  Former staff continue to
have a knowledge advantage over the vast majority of community members
simply because of their continued ties to friends and former colleagues who
remain on staff.

I encourage everyone to treat each other with respect, even when
disagreeing with the interpretations that other people have made based on
the (often comparatively limited) information that they have available.  I
can honestly say that I know some things that perhaps SarahSV and
Anthonyhcole don't know, but I certainly don't know everything - and I have
been in the SF offices twice in the last six months as a volunteer and
regularly converse with staff in certain areas in my role as a volunteer
working on various things.

One of the major barriers is the legitimate concern that many staff have in
trying to communicate concerns in a manner that is not destructive, either
to the WMF as an organization, or to their own professional reputations.
The whistleblower provisions at the WMF are very narrow (essentially only
permitting reporting directly to the Board chair/chair of the Audit
Committee if there is reason to believe that a law has been broken, not
just internal policies no matter how severe), as one example.  I've been
aware of concerns for about a year now, myself, but I've still found out
quite a bit more over the last few weeks. For staff, a lot of those early
concerns are practically ancient history, and that knowledge hasn't been
disseminated to a much broader community. Not to put too fine a point on
it, but the majority of the audience here doesn't know.

Anthony, speaking for myself only, I don't think that your association with
Wikipediocracy is particularly relevant; other active members of that site
have expressed significantly different opinions, whether within or outside
of "WMF-related" locations like this mailing list or Meta or The Signpost.
I'd like to discourage anyone from assuming that there are monolithic and
unified positions on the current situation amongst any particular group.
That includes former and current staff, editors of particular projects,
commenters on external blogs or through other non-WMF media or criticism
sites, user groups, chapters, etc.  There are a lot of different points of
view, and a lot of different levels of knowledge and information.

I'm not going to say "let's assume good faith", don't worry.  I'm going to
say "don't beat up on people who have different levels of information".

Risker/Anne



On 20 February 2016 at 20:31, Brandon Harris <bhar...@gaijin.com> wrote:

>
> Danny, don't kid yourself!  The folks at Wikipediocracy know
> everything about everything that's happened at the Foundation and about
> everything that will EVER happen.  They've never been wrong, ever!
>
> I don't understand why we're still talking about this!
>
>
> > On Feb 20, 2016, at 5:29 PM, Danny Horn <dh...@wikimedia.org> wrote:
> >
> > You know, it's possible that the people who work for the Foundation might
> > understand the situation in a more nuanced way than you do. I know it
> > doesn't seem likely, but dare to dream.
>
> ---
> Brandon Harris :: bhar...@gaijin.com :: made of steel wool and whiskey
>
>
>
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Call for Candidates - Affiliate Selected members of the WMF Board

2016-02-18 Thread Risker
Well, I was interpreting SJ's question to be directed to everyone who is
involved in this election, not just the three election coordinators.

Having said that, during the last community (s)election, the Election
Committee deliberately was far more descriptive in identifying what was
being sought in candidates; in particular, there was a wide call for
diversity in the candidates.  (That despite the diverse geographies of the
candidates, the electorate selected three western white males was something
well outside the control of the Election Committee.)

It would not be inappropriate for the chapter group, either through the
coordination group or through some other means, to be more specific in what
kinds of talents and characteristics they'd like to see in candidates.

Risker/Anne



On 18 February 2016 at 22:18, Pete Forsyth <petefors...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Risker, I think Lane understood SJ's question, and stated that it's outside
> his group's mandate. I sympathize with Lane's position. I agree with SJ's
> concern about what kind of candidates should be considered, but I do not
> think it would be appropriate for a group of three to set the tone of what
> kind of candidates the *chapters* should choose.
>
> I hope that some way or another, there can be some open and thoughtful
> communication about what qualities would be most helpful, that might help
> individuals decide whether they want to apply, and that the chapters might
> find helpful in evaluating whatever candidates emerge.
> -Pete
> [[User:Peteforsyth]]
> On Feb 18, 2016 8:16 PM, "Risker" <risker...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > Hmm, Lane, I think you may be missing SJ's point.  He's asking what the
> > group that is going to select candidates has put on its wishlist for
> > candidates.  What skills are they seeking?  Are they looking for a
> certain
> > geographic representation?  The "traditional duties of a board member"
> that
> > you have described aren't even in line with the duties of a WMF board
> > member (WMF has greater duties and responsibilities); but that isn't what
> > SJ is asking either.  He's asking about what kind of candidates chapters
> > are looking for.
> >
> > Are they looking for someone with a track record within the movement?
> Are
> > they looking for someone with experience in an executive position in a
> > large movement organization?  Are they looking for people with proven
> > leadership skills inside or outside the movement?  Are there significant
> > variations in what each chapter values, or is there some element of
> > consensus already?
> >
> > That's what SJ is asking.
> >
> > Really...the chapters won't benefit from having a bunch of candidates who
> > have little experience or few skills. The requirement that a chapter
> > support a candidate isn't all that high a bar, there are a lot of
> chapters
> > after all, and some of them see things from a very different perspective
> > than others.
> >
> > Risker/Anne
> >
> >
> >
> > On 18 February 2016 at 21:04, Lane Rasberry <l...@bluerasberry.com>
> wrote:
> >
> > > SJ,
> > >
> > > Can you please contact any Wikimedia chapter and ask them to request
> > > nominations?
> > >
> > > There are two criteria for nominations - one is that their name has to
> be
> > > posted on the nomination page, and the other is that a Wikimedia
> chapter
> > > has to support their nomination.
> > > <
> > >
> > >
> >
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Affiliate-selected_Board_seats/2016/Nominations
> > > >
> > >
> > > Get any chapter to make any request for whatever kind of person they
> > would
> > > nominate, then maybe they can call for whatever they want.
> > >
> > > Going into more detail - the traditional duties of a board member are
> > that
> > > they approve the annual budget and oversee an organization's executive
> > > director. That could mean anything, but such as it is, this is the role
> > > description.
> > >
> > > The election belongs to the chapters. My request would be that anyone
> get
> > > chapters engaged in any way possible, from discussing nominations, to
> > > talking now about what kind of person they would elect, to planning
> > > questions to ask before and during the election, and to plan how to
> > choose
> > > how each organizations vote will be cast in such a way that it reflects
> > the
> > > desire of chapter members.
> > >
> > > All Wikimedia chapters are encouraged to reques

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Call for Candidates - Affiliate Selected members of the WMF Board

2016-02-18 Thread Risker
Hmm, Lane, I think you may be missing SJ's point.  He's asking what the
group that is going to select candidates has put on its wishlist for
candidates.  What skills are they seeking?  Are they looking for a certain
geographic representation?  The "traditional duties of a board member" that
you have described aren't even in line with the duties of a WMF board
member (WMF has greater duties and responsibilities); but that isn't what
SJ is asking either.  He's asking about what kind of candidates chapters
are looking for.

Are they looking for someone with a track record within the movement?  Are
they looking for someone with experience in an executive position in a
large movement organization?  Are they looking for people with proven
leadership skills inside or outside the movement?  Are there significant
variations in what each chapter values, or is there some element of
consensus already?

That's what SJ is asking.

Really...the chapters won't benefit from having a bunch of candidates who
have little experience or few skills. The requirement that a chapter
support a candidate isn't all that high a bar, there are a lot of chapters
after all, and some of them see things from a very different perspective
than others.

Risker/Anne



On 18 February 2016 at 21:04, Lane Rasberry <l...@bluerasberry.com> wrote:

> SJ,
>
> Can you please contact any Wikimedia chapter and ask them to request
> nominations?
>
> There are two criteria for nominations - one is that their name has to be
> posted on the nomination page, and the other is that a Wikimedia chapter
> has to support their nomination.
> <
>
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Affiliate-selected_Board_seats/2016/Nominations
> >
>
> Get any chapter to make any request for whatever kind of person they would
> nominate, then maybe they can call for whatever they want.
>
> Going into more detail - the traditional duties of a board member are that
> they approve the annual budget and oversee an organization's executive
> director. That could mean anything, but such as it is, this is the role
> description.
>
> The election belongs to the chapters. My request would be that anyone get
> chapters engaged in any way possible, from discussing nominations, to
> talking now about what kind of person they would elect, to planning
> questions to ask before and during the election, and to plan how to choose
> how each organizations vote will be cast in such a way that it reflects the
> desire of chapter members.
>
> All Wikimedia chapters are encouraged to request the involvement of all
> other Wikimedia chapters in this election. 2 of 10 seats of the board of
> trustees will be chosen.
>
> Ask questions everywhere. This is a wiki election and should proceed in
> wiki style.
>
> yours,
>
>
>
> On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 8:48 PM, Samuel Klein <meta...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > Dear Chris and all,
> >
> > What sorts of candidates are you looking for?  How are you directing your
> > search / how can we best help get the word to people who might be good
> > candidates?  What do you see as the skills or other qualities the a
> Trustee
> > needs, or that would be effective on the Board?
> >
> > The FAQ says little about nominations, and the nomination form is also
> > extremely generic.  Given the current difficulties around strategy &
> > governance, more detail seems called for.
> >
> > Warmly,
> > Sam
> >
> > On Mon, Feb 8, 2016 at 4:29 AM, Chris Keating <
> chriskeatingw...@gmail.com>
> > wrote:
> >
> > > Dear Wikimedia friends,
> > >
> > > **Call for Nominations - Affiliate Selected Board Seats**
> > >
> > > This year the Wikimedia chapters and Thematic Organisations will select
> > two
> > > members of the Wikimedia Foundation Board.
> > >
> > > We would like to invite nominations for candidates to be elected to the
> > WMF
> > > board in this process.  Please help us by distributing this call for
> > > candidates as widely as possible through such forums as mailing lists,
> > > village pumps, and blogs.
> > >
> > > *Role of WMF Board members*
> > >
> > > The Wikimedia Foundation board provide governance and strategic
> oversight
> > > of the WMF. The role of Wikimedia Foundation board members is set out
> in
> > > detail here: https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Board_member
> > >
> > > Successful candidates will bring expertise and understanding to help
> the
> > > Board further its goals and ability to work effectively at a strategic
> > and
> > > governance level. The work of the Board is conducted

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Reducing the net cost of Wikimania

2016-02-18 Thread Risker
I mostly agree with a lot of the thoughts here about whether or not it
would be more cost effective to do one event or multiple events, at least
organizationally.

There are two things that cross my mind when we talk about this:

First, maybe one of the bigger drivers of cost is the time of year when we
are holding these events.  June-July-August is the most expensive period
for just about everywhere in the world; March, April, September and October
tend to be much less expensive in lodging, travel and direct conference
costs.  Maybe we need to rethink *when* we are holding Wikimania as much as
anything else.

Secondly, while there are some pretty well articulated disadvantages to
holding separate conferences, it is far more likely that Wikimedians who
have to pay their own way (the majority of attendees, incidentally - and
almost all from "Western" countries) will be able to attend a regional
conference than an international one. The same scholarship dollars go much
further, and so on. In a lot of cases, governmental travel restrictions are
significantly lessened as well.  This is something that those of us in
Europe and North America easily forget - we rarely have to obtain visas and
we generally have far more disposable income to attend these events.

Risker/Anne





On 18 February 2016 at 19:04, Gnangarra <gnanga...@gmail.com> wrote:

> The first thing that happens when you split up something like Wikimania in
> multiple events is you multiple the cost of WMF attendance because they
> need to deliver the same messages multiple times, an alternative decision
> to restrict who goes where you run into the issue of regions being treated
> differently or even getting a different message. Add to that the BoT would
> need to also attend multiple events in some form and other committees will
> still need to meet somewhere as well as have a presence at each event.
>
> So what happens do we then say well since it'll be divisive to attend only
> some of the meetings WMF and BoT dont attend any that makes them more
> isolated from the wider community than they already are.  Wkikmania may be
> expensive exercise and draw on a lot of resources but going smaller wont
> logically create combined cheaper outcomes.
>
> On 19 February 2016 at 07:19, Lodewijk <lodew...@effeietsanders.org>
> wrote:
>
> > Thanks, it is a step in the right direction indeed. Although a bit more
> > breakdown would be helpful, I'm guessing this also highly fluctuates year
> > by year. Some observations:
> >
> > A huge amount of money goes into flying WMF around the world (321k resp.
> > 383k), which doesn't even take into account (I'm assuming) all the hours
> > invested into it.
> >
> > I'm assuming 'donations' includes sponsorships. That amount is less than
> I
> > would have expected/hoped. Registration income is low, as expected (the
> > burden would just be moved to a different part of our movement: the
> > community)
> >
> > 'wikimania direct' is quite expensive, to be honest, and much more than I
> > would have expected. However, it does include catering, which is always
> an
> > expensive chunk (5days * 1000 people will even at a quite low 30 dollar
> per
> > day easily give 150k, not even counting the parties etc).
> >
> > Many of these costs would still exist if you split the event up in
> multiple
> > events spread out. WMF would still want to fly everywhere (board has to
> > meet anyway, WMF staff wants to engage anyway, committees have to meet
> > somewhere), catering won't be much cheaper if spread over multiple
> events,
> > and don't underestimate the manpower it would take to organise all those
> > events - relatively it may be even more.
> >
> > So looking at these figures, I can agree that it should be possible to do
> > it for less, I'm less certain though whether the proposed splitting up
> > would significantly reduce the total costs for everything that is
> included
> > here.
> >
> > Lodewijk
> >
> >
> >
> > On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 11:52 PM, Sam Klein <sjkl...@hcs.harvard.edu>
> > wrote:
> >
> > > That's most helpful, thank you both.
> > >
> > > On Wed, Feb 17, 2016 at 5:14 PM, Pharos <pharosofalexand...@gmail.com>
> > > wrote:
> > >
> > > > Thanks, Ellie and Chris, this historical experience should be very
> > > helpful
> > > > for future discussions!
> > > >
> > > > Best,
> > > > Pharos
> > > >
> > > > On Wed, Feb 17, 2016 at 5:06 PM, Chris Schilling <
> > > cschill...@wikimedia.org
> > > > >
> > > > wrote:
> > > 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Can we see the Knight grant application and grant offer?

2016-02-12 Thread Risker
I'm sorry to hear that you feel this way, Gerard. I personally would like
to feel more assured that the WMF is looking into the longer future and
actively plannning for the day that donations no longer support a large
staff doing lots of things.

I am concerned today that the team specifically tasked to work closely with
so many elements of the community has lost 7% of its staff, and 30% of its
leaders, in a single week. This should be a concern in any organization.

With respect to the Knight grant - I know that many times grant
applications are made for considerably more than is given, and I am
interested to know how much the WMF requested in the first place.  I would
also like to know whether or not the Board was formally advised of the
request before it was submitted.  Since the Board must approve acceptance
of any donations over $100,000 USD, it seems to be obvious that they should
be consulted and possibly should actively approve any grant applications
where the dollar value sought is higher than that amount.  I don't believe
the current policies require advance approval or even advance notification,
though.

Risker/Anne

On 12 February 2016 at 03:54, Gerard Meijssen <gerard.meijs...@gmail.com>
wrote:

> Hoi,
> I am not complaining. I point out that all this huha does not get us
> anywhere. I am not afraid to give an opinion and I am not afraid to be a
> contrarian when I think it makes sense. Yes, things happened that were not
> beautiful. They are not what upset me. What upsets me is that people like
> Siko and Anna are leaving. Because they are part of "my" Wikimedia
> Foundation. What upsets me is that I routinely use Magnus's tool and
> process hundreds of thousands of records and am to understand that official
> query is stunted and does not allow for this "because it was not in the
> design" and it is then pointed out that it takes money to solve this...
>
> My point is that baying for blood is not what helps us forward. What I do
> know is that when sheer negativity is not coupled with an ability to stop
> and move forward, we will get in a downward spiral. I fault Pine for not
> being able to stop. What I wish for is for people like Anna and Siko and
> money for our environment and not for an endowment.
> Thanks,
>   GerardM
>
> On 12 February 2016 at 09:35, Michel Vuijlsteke <wikipe...@zog.org> wrote:
>
> > Gerard,
> >
> > I was waiting for this mail. For me personally, your complaining is
> > achieving exactly the opposite of what you think.
> >
> > It sounds as if you'd much rather prefer to stick your head in the sand
> and
> > hope things will blow over. "Move along, nothing to see here -- oh look!
> > something positive over there!" is not going to solve anything.
> >
> > Michel
> >
> > On 12 February 2016 at 09:24, Gerard Meijssen <gerard.meijs...@gmail.com
> >
> > wrote:
> >
> > > Hoi,
> > > Pine as you are talking about "self inflicting wounds" I take it you
> are
> > > not talking in your personal capacity. When is it enough for you? When
> > are
> > > you going to talk about positive things, things that will move us
> > forward.
> > > Why ask for blood and more blood? What is it that you hope to achieve?
> > >
> > > Who do you represent in this unending litany of negativity and what
> have
> > > you achieved in this way? When Lila was engaged in her role, she was to
> > > direct in a different direction and she is doing that. You may not like
> > it
> > > and that is ok.
> > > Thanks,
> > >GerardM
> > >
> > > On 12 February 2016 at 08:43, Pine W <wiki.p...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > >
> > > > Dariusz, thanks for continuing to engage here. Besides the good
> > questions
> > > > that others have asked, I'll add a few:
> > > >
> > > > 1. If the Knowledge Engine is such an important project, why is it
> not
> > > > mentioned in
> > > >
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_Annual_Plan/2015-16
> > > ?
> > > >
> > > > 2. I realize that as a percentage of the WMF budget, $250k is a
> > > relatively
> > > > small number. As others have said, this is not a reason for opacity
> > about
> > > > it, nor a reason for not having a conversation with the community
> about
> > > > something so strategically important as a decision to explore the
> > > question
> > > > of "Would users go to Wikipedia if it were an open channel beyond an
> > > > encyclopedia?" It's one thing to have a bl

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Can we see the Knight grant application and grant offer?

2016-02-12 Thread Risker
Well, I'm not sure about that, Anthony.  By "consulted", I would mean
something to the effect of "We're looking at applying to XX for a grant of
$YYY to do ZZZ" and asking the Board if they would be likely to agree to
accept such a grant if the application is successful.  The grant
application, evaluation and approval process is costly in both time and
resources, and for both the applicant and the grantmaker.  Being informed
that a grant has been approved sounds more like a fait accompli situation
for the Board - they look petty and ungrateful if they say no, even if they
don't think it was a reasonable grant application.  In this case, we're
only dealing with $250,000.  What if this was $1 million?  $10 million?

I think it is healthier for everyone if the Board is properly consulted
before the application is submitted.  (And again, I note that we don't know
how much was actually requested in this case, only what was granted.)

Risker/Anne

On 12 February 2016 at 21:23, Anthony Cole <ahcole...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Anne, regarding:
>
> "Since the Board must approve acceptance of any donations over $100,000
> USD, it seems to be obvious that they should be consulted and possibly
> should actively approve any grant applications where the dollar value
> sought is higher than that amount."
>
> I'm not sure that the board should be *consulted* ahead of such
> applications' or should prior-approve all such applications. That seems a
> bit like micromanagement. But it makes sense to me for the board to be
> *advised
> *of such applications and when they're being actively contemplated or
> prepared.
>
> Anthony Cole
>
>
> On Fri, Feb 12, 2016 at 9:11 PM, Risker <risker...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > I'm sorry to hear that you feel this way, Gerard. I personally would like
> > to feel more assured that the WMF is looking into the longer future and
> > actively plannning for the day that donations no longer support a large
> > staff doing lots of things.
> >
> > I am concerned today that the team specifically tasked to work closely
> with
> > so many elements of the community has lost 7% of its staff, and 30% of
> its
> > leaders, in a single week. This should be a concern in any organization.
> >
> > With respect to the Knight grant - I know that many times grant
> > applications are made for considerably more than is given, and I am
> > interested to know how much the WMF requested in the first place.  I
> would
> > also like to know whether or not the Board was formally advised of the
> > request before it was submitted.  Since the Board must approve acceptance
> > of any donations over $100,000 USD, it seems to be obvious that they
> should
> > be consulted and possibly should actively approve any grant applications
> > where the dollar value sought is higher than that amount.  I don't
> believe
> > the current policies require advance approval or even advance
> notification,
> > though.
> >
> > Risker/Anne
> >
> > On 12 February 2016 at 03:54, Gerard Meijssen <gerard.meijs...@gmail.com
> >
> > wrote:
> >
> > > Hoi,
> > > I am not complaining. I point out that all this huha does not get us
> > > anywhere. I am not afraid to give an opinion and I am not afraid to be
> a
> > > contrarian when I think it makes sense. Yes, things happened that were
> > not
> > > beautiful. They are not what upset me. What upsets me is that people
> like
> > > Siko and Anna are leaving. Because they are part of "my" Wikimedia
> > > Foundation. What upsets me is that I routinely use Magnus's tool and
> > > process hundreds of thousands of records and am to understand that
> > official
> > > query is stunted and does not allow for this "because it was not in the
> > > design" and it is then pointed out that it takes money to solve this...
> > >
> > > My point is that baying for blood is not what helps us forward. What I
> do
> > > know is that when sheer negativity is not coupled with an ability to
> stop
> > > and move forward, we will get in a downward spiral. I fault Pine for
> not
> > > being able to stop. What I wish for is for people like Anna and Siko
> and
> > > money for our environment and not for an endowment.
> > > Thanks,
> > >   GerardM
> > >
> > > On 12 February 2016 at 09:35, Michel Vuijlsteke <wikipe...@zog.org>
> > wrote:
> > >
> > > > Gerard,
> > > >
> > > > I was waiting for this mail. For me personally, your complaining is
> > > > achieving exact

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Another goodbye

2016-02-11 Thread Risker
We are really going to miss you, Siko.  You've done amazing things in
leading all of these various programs and developing both the programs and
a talented cadre of staff members.  You're leaving behind a great legacy,
and I for one thank you very much for that.

I know you'll be brilliant wherever you wind up - and I'm glad to hear you
plan to stick around as a volunteer. All the best!

Risker/Anne

On 11 February 2016 at 20:24, Siko Bouterse <sboute...@wikimedia.org> wrote:

> Dear friends and colleagues,
>
> I’ve had the amazing privilege of serving this movement in a staff capacity
> for the past 4 ½ years, but I’ve now decided to move on from my role at the
> Wikimedia Foundation.
>
> Transparency, integrity, community and free knowledge remain deeply
> important to me, and I believe I will be better placed to represent those
> values in a volunteer capacity at this time. I am and will always remain a
> Wikimedian, so you'll still see me around the projects (User:Seeeko),
> hopefully with renewed energy and joy in volunteering.
>
> This movement has become my home in so many unexpected ways, and I’m truly
> honored to have learned from so many of you. It was an amazing experience
> to have partnered with smart, bold, and dedicated community folks to
> experiment with projects like Teahouse, IdeaLab, Inspire, Individual
> Engagement Grants, and Reimagining Grants. I’ve seen you create some really
> incredible content, ideas, tools, programs, processes, committees and
> organizations, all in the service of free knowledge.
>
> I expect my last day to be Thursday, February 25th. I have full confidence
> in Maggie Dennis's abilities to lead the Community Engagement Department,
> and I trust that my team will remain available to support the community’s
> needs for grants and other resources throughout this time of transition.
>
> Much love,
> Siko
>
> --
> Siko Bouterse
> Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.
>
> *Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in the
> sum of all knowledge. *
> *Donate <https://donate.wikimedia.org> or click the "edit" button today,
> and help us make it a reality!*
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Outcomes from the Consultation on Wikimedia movement conferences/Wikimania

2016-02-09 Thread Risker
Hello Gerard, I believe the topic of capping costs is a reasonable one
because, simply put, there are not unlimited resources within the movement.
Some of us have the financial wherewithal to attend "on our own dime", but
many of our colleagues from around the world are not in that position.

Your point about sharing lessons is important. It would be good to put
significant focus on how to share lessons in ways that are significantly
less expensive and have the opportunity to reach a broader audience.
Wikimania, for all its good points, isn't necessarily the best way to share
a lot of these lessons.  It's very expensive for everyone, there's very
limited evidence that many of those lessons have been effectively utilized
by other similar groups, and the presentations and lessons may not hit the
most logical target audiences.

I've not expressed a particular opinion about any of the proposed
"Wikimania solutions" but I do believe that there is a real place for more
focused, specialized conferences such as Hackathons, Wikisource conference
and the CEE conference.  I also believe we have to work harder at capturing
lessons and sharing them in a more permanent way, such as the "learnings"
that many groups have created and shared with the assistance of Community
Engagement.  I'm sure we can think of more ways to share information that
doesn't involve people having to fly half-way around the world and spend
thousands of dollars.

Risker/Anne

On 9 February 2016 at 10:40, Gerard Meijssen <gerard.meijs...@gmail.com>
wrote:

> Hoi,
> When you cap Wikimania, who is not to come? Who is not relevant enough. We
> are a big movement and there is a reason for that. You care about health,
> what about mental health? How do you learn the lessons from the Malayalam
> source movement. There is more than we can do and you talk about capping
> funding.. WHY
> Thanks,
>   GerardM
>
> On 9 February 2016 at 16:25, James Heilman <jmh...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > Yes I am also not a big fan of moving Wikimania to every two years.
> Meeting
> > once a year on a global scale is important. I could see possibly keeping
> it
> > smaller / capping  funding.
> >
> > --
> > James Heilman
> > MD, CCFP-EM, Wikipedian
> >
> > The Wikipedia Open Textbook of Medicine
> > www.opentextbookofmedicine.com
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