Re: [Wikimedia-l] Wikimedia CH staff changes in 2013

2013-04-10 Thread Thomas Dalton
On 10 April 2013 08:10, Charles Andrès charles.andres.w...@gmail.com wrote:
 Hello Thomas,

 Thanks for asking!

 In fact, it was as easy as said :-)  Ilario has just never been involved in 
 the recruitment process. In WMCH we believe that the conflict of interest is 
 not solved with the resignation, but giving the whole process in the hands of 
 a committee.

Thank you for clarifying, but it really isn't that easy... Did you
seek professional advice from either a charity lawyer or a charity
governance expert?

I don't know how these things work in Switzerland, but the relevant
guidance from the UK Charity Commission can be found here:

http://www.charitycommission.gov.uk/Charity_requirements_guidance/Charity_governance/Good_governance/conflicts.aspx#8a

In the case of a trustee also being employed in a separate post
within the charity, or a trustee being paid for a service provided to
the charity, the conflict of interest may result in a liability to
repay salary or other related benefits. It should not be assumed that
such conflict can be overcome merely by the person concerned resigning
as a trustee, either before or after taking up the post. The only
instance where authority may not be needed is where, practically, the
trustees can show that there is no conflict of interest. In our view,
this is confined to the fairly narrow circumstance where the trustee
concerned:

* has had no significant involvement with the trustees’ decision to
create or retain the post, or with any material aspect of the
recruitment process
* where that person resigns as a trustee in order to apply for the
employed post in advance of a fair and open competition for it

All other circumstances require an express authority. 

Authority in this context means either an express authority in the
governing documents of the charity, a court order or permission from
the Charity Commission.

Under UK guidance, the approach you took would not be at all acceptable.

This is a very serious matter. A charity paying a trustee (other than
to reimburse actual expenses incurred) is probably the biggest
conflict of interest you can get. It needs to be handled extremely
carefully.

Can you elaborate on how the decision to create the post was carried
out (presumably it was part of your annual planning process)? Was
Ilario involved in that?

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Wikimedia CH staff changes in 2013

2013-04-10 Thread Thomas Dalton
Read what I quoted more carefully, please. It specifically says that
leaving the board before taking up the position isn't enough.

On 10 April 2013 14:23, Ilario Valdelli valde...@gmail.com wrote:
 Personal answer...

 You are giving examples and references not compatible with this case.

 For instance you give a link of paragraph entitled payment of a trustee,
 but I have not received any payment and I am still a volunteer.

 You refer to this specific case: In the case of a trustee *also being
 employed* in a separate post within the charity, or *a trustee being paid
 for a service provided* to the charity, the conflict of interest may result
 in a liability to repay salary or other related benefits, but *I am not
 employed yet and I received no payments for my service.

 *It has been unclear that Wikimedia CH will have the General Assembly the
 27th April and in that date the board will change. I will start to work
 from 1st May.

 As per Swiss bylaws I have been a board member and I did it as volunteer.

 I suppose that you have misunderstood

 Please be careful of speaking about COI and please do it using the right
 examples.

 Regards


 On Wed, Apr 10, 2013 at 1:13 PM, Thomas Dalton thomas.dal...@gmail.comwrote:

 On 10 April 2013 08:10, Charles Andrès charles.andres.w...@gmail.com
 wrote:
  Hello Thomas,
 
  Thanks for asking!
 
  In fact, it was as easy as said :-)  Ilario has just never been involved
 in the recruitment process. In WMCH we believe that the conflict of
 interest is not solved with the resignation, but giving the whole process
 in the hands of a committee.

 Thank you for clarifying, but it really isn't that easy... Did you
 seek professional advice from either a charity lawyer or a charity
 governance expert?

 I don't know how these things work in Switzerland, but the relevant
 guidance from the UK Charity Commission can be found here:


 http://www.charitycommission.gov.uk/Charity_requirements_guidance/Charity_governance/Good_governance/conflicts.aspx#8a

 In the case of a trustee also being employed in a separate post
 within the charity, or a trustee being paid for a service provided to
 the charity, the conflict of interest may result in a liability to
 repay salary or other related benefits. It should not be assumed that
 such conflict can be overcome merely by the person concerned resigning
 as a trustee, either before or after taking up the post. The only
 instance where authority may not be needed is where, practically, the
 trustees can show that there is no conflict of interest. In our view,
 this is confined to the fairly narrow circumstance where the trustee
 concerned:

 * has had no significant involvement with the trustees’ decision to
 create or retain the post, or with any material aspect of the
 recruitment process
 * where that person resigns as a trustee in order to apply for the
 employed post in advance of a fair and open competition for it

 All other circumstances require an express authority. 

 Authority in this context means either an express authority in the
 governing documents of the charity, a court order or permission from
 the Charity Commission.

 Under UK guidance, the approach you took would not be at all acceptable.

 This is a very serious matter. A charity paying a trustee (other than
 to reimburse actual expenses incurred) is probably the biggest
 conflict of interest you can get. It needs to be handled extremely
 carefully.

 Can you elaborate on how the decision to create the post was carried
 out (presumably it was part of your annual planning process)? Was
 Ilario involved in that?

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 --
 Ilario Valdelli
 Wikimedia CH
 Verein zur Förderung Freien Wissens
 Association pour l’avancement des connaissances libre
 Associazione per il sostegno alla conoscenza libera
 Switzerland - 8008 Zürich
 Tel: +41764821371
 http://www.wikimedia.ch
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Wikimedia CH staff changes in 2013

2013-04-10 Thread Thomas Dalton
On 10 April 2013 16:13, Charles Andrès charles.andres.w...@gmail.com wrote:
 We haven't use donors money to have professional advice from either a 
 charity lawyer or a charity governance expert, because it wasn't necessary.

When dealing with a situation that can give rise to a serious conflict
of interest (which hiring a trustee always will be) it is always a
good use of money to get professional advice.

 According to the UK Charity Commission we are in the case where Ilario  has 
 had no significant involvement with the trustees’ decision to create or 
 retain the post, or with any material aspect of the recruitment process

It isn't written very clearly, but from context I am confident that
those bullet points are intended to be an and not an or.
Nevertheless, voting on the plan which included creating these posts
is significant involvement.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Chapters Dialogue

2013-04-10 Thread Thomas Dalton
Hi Nicole,

How does this project relate to the project Seb was running a couple
of years ago that sounded very similar?

How does this project relate to the work of the WCA?

I also notice that the wiki page says the contractors are supposed to
attend the Milan meeting - it's presumably too late for that now...

On 10 April 2013 19:35, Nicole Ebber nicole.eb...@wikimedia.de wrote:
 Dear fellow Wikimedians,

 Wikimedia Deutschland would like to initiate – together with
 interested parties – a project called Chapters Dialogue. This project
 aims at a structured assessment of chapters needs combined with a
 stakeholder survey of other parties involved. The Chapters Dialogue is
 designed to help facilitate and support the chapters in thinking about
 what they want to do.

 In addition to this, we do not only want to talk to the chapters, but
 also consult with their key stakeholders and partners (Wikimedia
 Foundation, the Affiliations committee and the project communities) to
 ask for their opinion, their expectations and hopes. Those parties
 should be involved into the process from the start.

 I have recently created a Meta page and look forward to your comments,
 ideas, questions and feedback:

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

 Please note that his is still a draft! I am collecting feedback and
 ideas at the moment. I also look forward to discussing the project in
 Milan next week and would like to kick things off after the
 conference.

 Thanks in advance for your input, besr regards from Berlin
 Nicole




 --
 Nicole Ebber
 International Affairs

 Wikimedia Deutschland e.V. | Obentrautstr. 72 | 10963 Berlin
 Tel. +49 30 219158 26-0

 http://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 27/681/51985.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Lack of community involvement in WMF budget planning

2013-04-09 Thread Thomas Dalton
On 9 April 2013 12:45, Andrew Gray andrew.g...@dunelm.org.uk wrote:
 Doesn't the community consultation *follow* this?

 The WMF works out a budget internally, and the Board vote to approve
 it by the end of June. It is released on 1 July, but isn't yet final;
 it promptly goes into...

 https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/FDC_portal/Timeline

Only a very small portion of the WMF's budget goes through the FDC.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Wikimedia CH staff changes in 2013

2013-04-09 Thread Thomas Dalton
Charles,

Thank you for sharing this information. Can you elaborate on how the
conflict of interest of hiring a current board member was managed?

You say Ilario wasn't involved in the hiring process, but appropriately
managing such a conflict is more difficult than that. Did Ilario recuse
from all discussions and decisions about the job from the early planning
stages (ie. well before the job was advertised)? Did you seek professional
advise on how to manage the conflict?

In the UK, I think it is normal for a trustee to resign at least before
they apply for the job, ideally sooner.
On 9 Apr 2013 18:08, Charles Andrès charles.andres.w...@gmail.com wrote:

 Dear all,
 We have the pleasure to announce the hiring of 2 new employees and one
 long-term contractor in 2013. On the other hand, Chantal Ebongué, our Chief
 Administrative Officer, will leave her job at the end of July.
 The three hiring are:
  - Manuel Schneider, as Chief Information Officer and Event Manager, who
 has started on 1st January 2013 (so this announcement is long overdue !)
  - Muriel Staub, as German-speaking Community manager, who will start on
 1st May 2013
  - Ilario Valdelli, Italian-speaking Community and GLAM manager, who will
 start on 1st may 2013.
 Muriel Staub will be our new German-speaking Community manager a 50%
 position. Muriel is preparing a Master in Management, Organization Studies
 and Cultural Theory at the University of Sankt Gallen. The subject of her
 Master Thesis is How does the use of Wikipedia affect the production and
 sourcing of knowledge at Swiss Universities. She has a strong experience
 as community manager for Apple, as well as having managed academic events
 as a personal assistant of the Chancellor and Vice President of the
 Leuphana University in Lüneburg, Germany.
 Ilario Valdelli is hired as our Italian-speaking Community and GLAM
 manager, also a 50% position. Ilario has a Master in Arts and worked for
 many years in the IT field. He is a well-known member of the Wikimedia
 community; he is founding member of Wikimedia CH as well as a current Board
 member (he was of course not involved in the hiring process, and will not
 remain on the board when his new job starts). He knows very well the
 Ticinese community and has already developed strong partnerships with GLAMs
 in this area.
 The Community managers will work actively with the German or
 Italian-speaking community to support them in accomplishing projects and
 get in touch with Wikimedia entities and officials. They help the community
 by gathering requests and ideas, communicating them to all relevant parties
 and translating information wherever needed. This includes support to bring
 formal requests and motions to WMCH by helping to prepare them, translate
 them and present them to the Board. It's their responsibility to make sure
 the community voices are heard inside the association and that activities
 and communications of Wikimedia movement entities are also replicated into
 the communities. As a GLAM Manager, Ilario will continue to contact GLAMs
 in Ticino and create various partnerships aiming to develop GLAM
 collaborations in Switzerland.
 Manuel Schneider, another well-known member of the community, has been
 hired in January 2013 as a long-term part-time contractor to support
 Wikimedia CH with its technical infrastructure, help with technical
 questions in our projects and manage events. Manuel has been a Wikipedian
 since 2004. A co-founder of Wikimedia CH, he has technically supported both
 our chapter and the wider community for many years, helping in particular
 to organize several Wikimanias. Currently, Manuel has a lot to do working
 on our internal infrastructure (servers, backups, donation process, etc),
 but he should soon be able to spend more time supporting our actual
 projects, something that will benefit the wider community.
 Chantal Ebongué is WMCH’s CAO since July 2012. She was hired as our first
 employee to make the step for professionalization and gave a more solid
 administrative basis to our association. Thanks to her, after almost one
 year, the results are positive : WMCH has 4 staff members, an office in
 Lausanne, the 2012-2013 fundraiser was a success, new projects have started
 or are in the, and reporting and communication have been improved even if
 it’s not perfect yet.
 Chantal decided to resign from her position on July 31 2013, after having
 completed the transition phase. The success of Chantal's work can be seen
 by the increasing number of appeals we receive from cultural or education
 institution; the dark side of the success is that she has no time left for
 her for doing actual work on cultural or educational content, which was her
 initial motivation when joining WM CH. She will move to a new job where she
 will be able to create original work.
 Chantal will support us in the hiring strategy for the next step and we
 wish her the best for the future.
 As an important lesson, we are more 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Wikimedia Gadgets

2013-04-08 Thread Thomas Dalton
On 8 April 2013 06:58, Peter Gervai g...@grin.hu wrote:
 On Sun, Apr 7, 2013 at 5:08 PM, Martin Rulsch
 martin.rul...@wikimedia.de wrote:
 Free give-aways are okay. But a shop where Wiki* stuff can be sold, might
 be a problem.

 Possibly out of the tread but let me comment that anyone anytime could
 sell anything from Wikipedia until s/he follows the license terms, eg.
 includes the source (and avoid to use non-free materials like logos,
 obviously).

I think most people want to have the Wikipedia logo on there
somewhere, which requires WMF permission.

 Funky question could be that where should the terms go since I believe
 I could put a license leaflet next to a TShirt instead of printing it
 onto it. Maybe.

I think you could just print the URL on the T-shirt.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] The value of Wikipedia for the economy

2013-04-08 Thread Thomas Dalton
On 8 April 2013 13:36, Andrew Gray andrew.g...@dunelm.org.uk wrote:
 The Economist had an estimate recently:

 http://www.economist.com/news/finance-and-economics/21573091-how-quantify-gains-internet-has-brought-consumers-net-benefits
 http://www.economist.com/blogs/freeexchange/2013/03/technology-2

 - of approximately $50m value to readers. It's a pretty vague
 estimate, but it's an interesting start.

That's the value specifically the readers, rather than to the economy
in general - it excludes the value to ISPs (who actually get paid for
people accessing Wikipedia). As the article explains, it is an
estimate of the consumer surplus (although it seems to assume there
was no consumer surplus in 1999, which won't be true, and understates
in various other ways as well, some of which are mentioned in the
article).

If we want the value as a whole, we should add on the ISPs profits
that can be attributed to Wikipedia. And the profits of their
suppliers right the way down the supply chain.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Proposal to use the internal wiki more

2013-04-08 Thread Thomas Dalton
On 4 April 2013 13:16, Florence Devouard anthe...@yahoo.com wrote:
 Incidently... given that most people would not be willing to publicly post
 their phone number and possibly other personal information... and that a
 wiki is actually not necessarily the best place to do such a thing, has it
 ever been considered to set up something dedicated to actually host contact
 information ?

Why do we need to share individual phone numbers? I'm no longer on a
chapter board, but when I was I don't think I would have appreciated
random people I don't know from other chapters phoning me
unexpectedly. I'd much rather they either called the main chapter
phone number (which is available publicly) and left me a message or
emailed me (using the Email this user function on the chapter wiki)
and asked when would be a good time to call and what number they
should call me on. As with most volunteers, I have to fit my voluntary
work around the rest of my life, so phone calls aren't a good way to
initiate a conversation.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Proposal to use the internal wiki more

2013-04-03 Thread Thomas Dalton
On Apr 3, 2013 11:34 AM, Michael Peel michael.p...@wikimedia.org.uk
wrote:

 # Agreements, particularly those with global impact, and/or where they
affect more than one Wikimedia organisation. Part of the recent
Monmouthpedia/Gibraltarpedia situation was caused by a lack of transparency
about who had signed what agreements, and when they had been signed - if
these had all been shared on an internal wiki then some of this could have
been avoided. There's also a lot of experience now with existing agreements
that could be reused when new agreements are being written, e.g. for
Wikimedians in Residences. Sadly, not all of these can be made publicly
available (or at least, they haven't been to date).

I'd like to see that kind of thing made public. There are rarely good
reasons not to other than vague expectations that they be private based on
what other people do.

 # Press releases. When there's an upcoming significant press release from
a Wikimedia organisation, then it should be good practice to share it with
the other movement partners prior to its release, so that they are aware of
it, can provide feedback, and can plan around it. Some of this already
happens on wmfcc-l, but not consistently - much more could be done here.

wmfcc-l sounds like the right venue to me. Pre-publication press release
are transient things, so a mailing list works well. Wikis are better for
long term storage of information.

 # Domain names. There is a list of these on internal already, which is
actually being maintained by some people. Tackling squatted domain names
and keeping track of who owns what is a global problem that should be done
collaboratively, but in confidence, rather than just by individual
organisations.

A proper domain name policy making clear who should own what is what is
needed there. Having domain names owned by random people is the problem,
not the lack of a list of those random people.

 # Contact information for the various organisations. Some of this can be
done publicly, but not all, and it would be good to have a central place
for this information anyway.

All organisations should have public contact details... We're not a secret
society...

 # Notices of sensitive activities. E.g. if there's an upcoming risk of
law suits, infrastructure difficulties within organisations, etc. then it
would be good to be able to share these and ask for help without publishing
them to the world at the same time. That doesn't need a mailing list - it
can be done on a wiki.

Again, this is transient so is better suited to a mailing list.

I think internal-l has a purpose, but the internal wiki was abandoned long
long ago because it wasn't actually useful. I once had a go at cleaning up
the wiki (never did finish) and pretty much everything on there was several
years out of date (and that was about 3 years ago - it's hardly been edited
since).
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Proposal to use the internal wiki more

2013-04-03 Thread Thomas Dalton
On Apr 3, 2013 12:07 PM, Federico Leva (Nemo) nemow...@gmail.com wrote:
 Second technical note: a merge from a private wiki to another is very
simple, because you don't have to check for confidentiality

That's not true. Just because it is private doesn't mean it is restricted
to the same people.

Things on a private wiki shouldn't be shared more widely without
consultation than the people that posted them could have reasonably
expected when they posted them.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Save the date: Wikimedia Australia committee get-together in Sydney, 7 April

2013-04-03 Thread Thomas Dalton
Why are these emails going to Wikimedia-l? They aren't really of interest
to anyone outside Australia...
On Apr 3, 2013 1:09 PM, Craig Franklin cfrank...@halonetwork.net wrote:

 Hi All,

 I am delighted to advise that we've now locked in the meeting room at the
 Customs House Library in the centre of Sydney for Sunday's session.  If
 you're free on the day, please feel free to drop by between 11 and 4 for a
 chat.

 The library is located just opposite Circular Quay rail station, see the
 following link for a map:


 https://maps.google.com.au/maps?q=Customs+House+Library,+Sydney,+New+South+Waleshl=enll=-33.862006,151.211776spn=0.003114,0.006539sll=-33.862006,151.211293sspn=0.003114,0.006539oq=Customs+Househq=Customs+House+Library,hnear=Sydney+New+South+Walest=mz=18

 Hope to see many of you there!

 Regards,
 Craig Franklin
 Wikimedia Australia


 On 2 April 2013 21:33, Craig Franklin cfrank...@halonetwork.net wrote:

  Hi Sydneysiders,
 
 
 
  As the WMAU committee will be in Sydney this weekend for the Wikimedia in
  Higher Education symposium
 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Meetup/Sydney/5_April_2013,
  we thought that we should take the opportunity to have a get together
 with
  the Sydney Wikimedia community at large.  As such, we’ve put *Sunday 7
  April* aside for a face-to-face meeting with the community.  This is your
  opportunity to meet with the committee, pepper us with QA, and talk with
  us about the future of the chapter and the Wikimedia movement in general.
 
 
 
  The location is still TBA, once we’ve got this secured we’ll let you know
  straight away.  At the moment it is planned to be an all day event, but
 if
  you can’t spare the entire day feel free to drop in whenever.
 
 
 
  Cheers,
 
  Craig Franklin
 
  Wikimedia Australia
 
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Proposal to use the internal wiki more

2013-04-03 Thread Thomas Dalton
On Apr 3, 2013 3:43 PM, Federico Leva (Nemo) nemow...@gmail.com wrote:

 But you knew the basis on which internal access is determined and that
 hasn't changed.


 Not true. It changed.

Membership is still determined according to the WMF board's resolution from
2006. How long ago were you on there?
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Adopt a page

2013-03-30 Thread Thomas Dalton
On Mar 30, 2013 9:46 AM, Jane Darnell jane...@gmail.com wrote:

 As a fundraising tactic, I think this is a good idea,

It is worth remembering that we don't actually have a problem with
fundraising. We can raise enormous amounts of money incredibly easily by
putting banners on the fifth most visited website on the world. (I don't
want to diminish the work of the foundation and chapter fundraising teams,
but they only have to work really hard because we have so few people
working on fundraising compared to other charities with similar budgets.)

The kind of people that would sponsor a page probably donate anyway because
of the banners. You might manage to increase their donation size, but
that's not really important. If you want to come up with new fundraising
strategies, try and think of ones that attract donors we wouldn't otherwise
get. For example, legacies (donations left in people's wills) would be a
great way to diversify our revenue.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Adopt a page

2013-03-30 Thread Thomas Dalton
On Mar 30, 2013 10:28 PM, Mark delir...@hackish.org wrote:

 There's a little of that which goes on currently (I mean above-board, not
counting anything that may happen unofficially). The most common case is
that a cultural organization, such as a museum, provides funds for a
Wikipedian in residence who is brought in to do a mixture of training
other people, and paying special attention to articles in a particular area
of interest.

I believe Wikipedians in Residence generally avoid actually editing
articles where they have a conflict of interest. They just provide support
to others, that aren't conflicted, to edit them.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Adopt a page

2013-03-29 Thread Thomas Dalton
Where would their name go? If it's anywhere more prominent than the names
of the volunteers that wrote the article (which anything on the article
page itself would be) then it doesn't really seem fair...
On Mar 29, 2013 10:37 PM, Strainu strain...@gmail.com wrote:

 Hi,

 I've just seen an OTRS ticket asking why isn't Wikipedia giving its
 pages for adoption (like when you adopt a page and your name ends up
 on its cage or something like that). I've moved the ticket to the
 donations queue, but I was wondering if this has ever been
 discussed/considered before.

 Thanks,
Strainu

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Adopt a page

2013-03-29 Thread Thomas Dalton
On Mar 30, 2013 12:55 AM, Mono monom...@gmail.com wrote:

 Yes, but it might be nice if we could let people pay trusted editors to
 improve articles (without a COI and with a NPOV) that normally wouldn't
get
 attention.

Would that be nice? I think that would be very harmful...
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Adopt a page

2013-03-29 Thread Thomas Dalton
On Mar 30, 2013 1:04 AM, Mono monom...@gmail.com wrote:

 How so?

It would be completely against our culture. Wikipedia is a volunteer
written encyclopedia.

You would end up with a two-tier system of paid editors and unpaid editors.
There would inevitably be a lot of conflict between those groups. The whole
concept would be extremely divisive.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Mid-Year Financial Statements

2013-03-20 Thread Thomas Dalton
Yes, I've seen the mentions in the FAQs. That doesn't constitute a reserve
policy and is very vague.

In the absence of a reserve policy, we must assume your policy is to have
the planned level of reserves. If you underspend and put the extra in
reserves, that means you have too much in reserves.

If you have some long-term target and you simply reach that target earlier
by underspending, that could be reasonable, but you don't seem to have
long-term plans for your reserves.
On Mar 21, 2013 12:31 AM, Garfield Byrd gb...@wikimedia.org wrote:

 Thomas:

 Our plans for the reserve are included in the WMF Frequently Asked
 Questions (FAQs) for the 2010-11 Audited Financial Statements:

 *The cash balance has increased from $12 million to over $21 million. What
 is the *
 *Wikimedia Foundation's view on its increasing cash reserve?*
 *
 *
 *The Wikimedia Foundation wants to have an appropriate amount of cash in
 reserve.  *
 *This is important for stability and the overall financial health of the
 organization. *
 *A nonprofit wants to ensure it has a sufficient amount of cash available
 to it, so that it doesn't *
 *face a crisis in the event that unforeseen costs arise, or that an
 external or internal event hurts its ability to fund-raise.*
 *Different non-profits have different levels of reserves: it is common for
 young or very *
 *small non-profits to have as little as a few months' spending available in
 their reserve *
 *fund and while others may have as much as three years' spending in theirs.
 There is no *
 *generally accepted consensus on what size of reserve is appropriate but
 the Wikimedia *
 *Foundation has been able to grow its reserve over time. The current
 reserve represents *
 *less than one year of funding, at our current spending level. We believe
 that's *
 *appropriate for a growing non-profit of our size and age, with our goal to
 have one year *
 *of operating funding available over time.*

 Each of our annual plans, including the Wikimedia Foundation Annual Plan
 for 2012 - 2013
 http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/foundation/4/4f/2012-13_Wikimedia_Foundation_Plan_FINAL_FOR_WEBSITE.pdf
 
 on
 page 54, show that the reserves of the Wikimedia Foundation are built up
 intentionally consistent with the above statement. Any surplus from
 operations are in addition to the planned growth in the reserves of the
 Wikimedia Foundation.

 Regards,

 Garfield


 On Mon, Mar 18, 2013 at 2:55 PM, Thomas Dalton thomas.dal...@gmail.com
 wrote:

  On 18 March 2013 20:00, Garfield Byrd gb...@wikimedia.org wrote:
   Thomas:
  
   The Wikimedia Foundation is looking at its capacity to hire and is
   reviewing how many positions we can hire next fiscal year.  We are
  working
   overall to have a good annual plan that matches our outcomes, but with
 a
   dynamic movement like this one, variance from plan is a part of the
  process
   as we want to make sure we are spending money prudently and not just to
   meet plan.
 
  In statistics we don't call it variance if it is always in the same
  direction - we call it bias. A high variance is often unavoidable,
  but bias is generally a bad thing. You'll note, my question wasn't
  about changing the spending, it was about changing the planning
  process. You shouldn't spend money just to meet your plan, certainly,
  but you should plan as accurately as possible. Prudence should be
  explicitly allowed for in reserves or a contingencies budget, it
  shouldn't appear accidentally due to biased planning.
 
   In addition, since unspent money goes into the Wikimedia Foundation
   reserves, which we are still in process of building, we have some time
 to
   calibrate the the annual planning process to the needs of the Wikimedia
   Movement and the Wikimedia Foundation.
 
  Can you elaborate on your plans for the reserves? When I search for
  reserves policy on the foundation wiki, it doesn't find anything.
  That is extremely worrying...
 
  Reserves should be built up intentionally, not as a result of
  accidental underspends. Either you need the reserves, in which case
  you should plan to save the money, or you don't, in which case you
  should either spend the money or not raise it in the first place.
 
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 Wikimedia Foundation
 415.839.6885 ext 6787
 415.882.0495 (fax)
 www.wikimediafoundation.org

 Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in
 the sum of all knowledge. Help us make it a reality!

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Announcing the Wikimedia Iconathon 2013

2013-03-19 Thread Thomas Dalton
On Mar 19, 2013 10:13 PM, Gerard Meijssen gerard.meijs...@gmail.com
wrote:

 Hoi,
 Getting some experience first makes sense.. Going global is something that
 can be done the next year ??

Surely this is a one off project. How many icons do we need?
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Mid-Year Financial Statements

2013-03-18 Thread Thomas Dalton
On 18 March 2013 20:00, Garfield Byrd gb...@wikimedia.org wrote:
 Thomas:

 The Wikimedia Foundation is looking at its capacity to hire and is
 reviewing how many positions we can hire next fiscal year.  We are working
 overall to have a good annual plan that matches our outcomes, but with a
 dynamic movement like this one, variance from plan is a part of the process
 as we want to make sure we are spending money prudently and not just to
 meet plan.

In statistics we don't call it variance if it is always in the same
direction - we call it bias. A high variance is often unavoidable,
but bias is generally a bad thing. You'll note, my question wasn't
about changing the spending, it was about changing the planning
process. You shouldn't spend money just to meet your plan, certainly,
but you should plan as accurately as possible. Prudence should be
explicitly allowed for in reserves or a contingencies budget, it
shouldn't appear accidentally due to biased planning.

 In addition, since unspent money goes into the Wikimedia Foundation
 reserves, which we are still in process of building, we have some time to
 calibrate the the annual planning process to the needs of the Wikimedia
 Movement and the Wikimedia Foundation.

Can you elaborate on your plans for the reserves? When I search for
reserves policy on the foundation wiki, it doesn't find anything.
That is extremely worrying...

Reserves should be built up intentionally, not as a result of
accidental underspends. Either you need the reserves, in which case
you should plan to save the money, or you don't, in which case you
should either spend the money or not raise it in the first place.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Mid-Year Financial Statements

2013-03-18 Thread Thomas Dalton
On 13 March 2013 07:58, Erik Moeller e...@wikimedia.org wrote:
 For 13-14, I've asked for finance and HR to work with us in applying
 performance metrics based on our hiring velocity and attrition rate in
 12-13 against the hiring plan for the purpose of estimating the actual
 dollar spend. I've applied those same metrics to our total req # ask,
 as well. Instead of attaching unrealistically precise timing to each
 position, we'll develop a hiring plan that's focused on an a rough
 overall prioritization of requisitions.

Erik, I noticed I never responded to your email. Thank you for your
answer. I'm glad to see someone is taking this problem seriously.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Wikimedia (Foundation) endowment

2013-03-15 Thread Thomas Dalton
On Mar 15, 2013 9:26 PM, Theo10011 de10...@gmail.com wrote:

 A good way would be to start small and move the reserve WMF carries
already
 and invest them

Absolutely not. The reserves are there to protect the foundation against
sudden increases in costs or decreases in revenues. They are needed for
that purpose. If we're going to have an endowment, we need to fundraise
specifically for it.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Wikimedia (Foundation) endowment

2013-03-14 Thread Thomas Dalton
On 14 March 2013 13:00, Manuel Schneider manuel.schnei...@wikimedia.ch wrote:
 Thanks Andrew and Philippe for your explanation and links.

 So that is a plan to build a reserve of funds that is so big that the
 operation can be funded by the capital's gain - interest, dividends...

Yes, although reserve generally refers to money kept in case
something goes wrong. An endowment would be a separate fund
specifically raised for that purpose.

 Sounds interesting, even though the endowment must be huge to cover our
 yearly budgets. Another problem is that it is currently very hard to
 find an interesting investment with low risks. Interest rates have been
 reduced by the major central banks in order to overcome the global
 recession, many formerly safe and interesting investments became risky
 and those who are still safe partly have even negative interest rates
 (eg. german state bonds).

An endowment is a long-term thing. Current low interest rates probably
won't last more than a few years. Even so, it would need to be a very
large fund, yes. If you can get a return of, say, 2% over inflation
(you can get more than that if you're willing to take some risks) you
need 50 times your annual budget to fund it all from the endowment.
That would be something like $2 billion for the WMF. It doesn't need
to fund the entire budget to be useful, though, and can be built up
over time (eg. from legacies in people's wills).

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Mid-Year Financial Statements

2013-03-12 Thread Thomas Dalton
Garfield,

Thanks for sharing the report. Once again, there is a significant
underspend. Does that concern you? It seems the WMF is consistently
not fully utilising its capital (so, either, you're fundraising too
much or doing too little). It often seems to be the case that the
underspend is due to not hiring new staff as quickly as expected. The
FAQ mentions that the plan was overly ambitious. Do you have a plan in
place to ensure your future annual plans include more realistic
projections of hiring and other spending?

On 11 March 2013 20:17, Garfield Byrd gb...@wikimedia.org wrote:
 Hello:

 The mid-year financial statements of the Wikimedia Foundation are available
 at the Wikimedia Foundation - Financial Reports
 page.http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Financial_reports
 This report is for the period from July 1, 2012 to December 31, 2012.

 Please contact me with any questions.

 Regards,

 Garfield Byrd

 --
 Garfield Byrd
 Chief of Finance and Administration
 Wikimedia Foundation
 415.839.6885 ext 6787
 415.882.0495 (fax)
 www.wikimediafoundation.org

 Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in
 the sum of all knowledge. Help us make it a reality!

 *https://donate.wikimedia.org*
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Wikimedia Foundation's non-disclosure agreement

2013-03-07 Thread Thomas Dalton
On 7 March 2013 08:11, Keegan Peterzell keegan.w...@gmail.com wrote:
 My NDA, signed 7 November 2011, is for three years.  I found the copy.

 James Salsman:

 There are no terms about disparaging information or anything like that.
  Save it for another thread, please.

The NDA I signed while helping out with WMF fundraising stuff while I
was visiting the office (which I think was around April 2010) did have
non-disparagement stuff in it. I remember because I had a discussion
with Mike Godwin (who was General Counsel at the time) about it and
got him to narrow the scope of the clause before I would sign it (the
version I signed said I couldn't use anything I learned while doing
the fundraising work to disparage the WMF, rather than that I couldn't
disparage them at all).

If that bit had been removed from the standard NDA by 7 November 2011,
then that's a very good thing IMHO.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Info: Election for WCA Chairperson

2013-02-25 Thread Thomas Dalton
On Feb 25, 2013 9:41 AM, James Alexander jameso...@gmail.com wrote:
 Err  ok, I'm sorry but this actually moves to the realms of scary. You
 require the new Council member to send in a statement ... pledging loyalty
 essentially? I don't see anything in the charter that would require
 something like that, is it in your remit as chair? Sadly that just sounds
 like a way to force out reformers, if you don't support the charter you
 can't join the council? How do you expect to get things to change when
 necessary?

I'm hoping that was just a poor choice of words and Fae doesn't mean they
have to support the charter, just that they have to agree to follow the
charter. If they do have to support the charter, then that is excessive and
undesirable.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Term limits for WMF board members?

2013-02-25 Thread Thomas Dalton
On 25 February 2013 11:30, Fae fae...@gmail.com wrote:
 The UK Chapter appreciated this recommendation from Compass which
 re-enforced the board's past discussions in this area

What discussions did it reinforce? The last discussion about term
limits I'm aware of (February 2012, if memory serves) was very short
because the board was unanimously against it. It sounds like there has
been a big swing since then...

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Info: Election for WCA Chairperson

2013-02-24 Thread Thomas Dalton
If chapters won't to be involved, why don't they join? I don't think there
is even a plan to charge membership fees yet, so what have they got to lose?
On Feb 25, 2013 12:35 AM, Jan-Bart de Vreede jdevre...@wikimedia.org
wrote:

 Hi All,

 Not to be incredibly mean about this, but how about giving a vote to all
 chapters approved by the AffCom, rather than just the members? I know you
 are looking at the membership model and trying to see if it will work for
 you, but this sort of limits your options and perpetuates the feeling that
 you are not representing cooperation between ALL the chapters...

 Jan-Bart


 On Feb 24, 2013, at 2:29 PM, Fae fae...@gmail.com wrote:

  Hi,
 
  The schedule of election for the Chapters Association Council Chair
  has been announced at
  
 http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Chapters_Association/Elections/2013_Chair
 
 
  The schedule is:
 Nominations open midnight (UTC) on Monday 25 February 2013.
 Nominations close midnight on Monday 4 March 2013 and voting is
 opened.
 Voting closes midnight Monday 11 March 2013.
 
  Note that all 21 Council members will be eligible to vote, including
  those that stand for election. In a heavily contested election,
  expecting nominated candidates to refrain from voting would not be
  workable.
 
  Thanks,
  Fae
  --
  Ashley Van Haeften (Fae) fae...@gmail.com
  Chapters Association Council Chair http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/WCA
  Guide to email tags: http://j.mp/mfae
 
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Your support is wanted: The WMF Board of Trustees is looking for a new Board member

2013-02-22 Thread Thomas Dalton
On 22 February 2013 17:42, cyrano cyrano.faw...@gmail.com wrote:
 Le 18/02/2013 20:35, Nathan a écrit :

 Cyrano - I think you have a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature
 of the Board. It is self-perpetuating in every respect; the elections
 are advisory only, and the actual appointment of Board members is
 executed by the existing Board. The organization has no members, and
 no one who is not on the Board has any power or authority to exercise
 over the Board or the WMF. This merely describes the legal reality of
 the WMF and the Board.

 Nathan, you misunderstood me. We agree on the legal reality that you
 describe. I'm discussing two points: 1) community's majority is not
 guaranteed in the Board of Trustees, and 2) relying on paid third parties
 for the process of appointing one of the five expert seats is not neutral.
 Handling and filtering the candidates, and thus the list to choose from is a
 form of influence. Allowing such influence when you don't have the majority
 is a risk for the community.

I really don't follow that argument... you're talking about a
professional recruitment firm. They're only interest is in getting
more business from us, which they achieve primarily by doing a good
job. They have no bias we need to be worried about.

 They won't give up their two seats to the
 community because they're one with the community.

They won't give up the seats because it isn't their decision - the WMF
board decided on their own structure. I don't recall the chapters even
being consulted on it at the time. The board decided the foundation
would be best served by having the chapters select two board members,
and the chapters have complied with that request. I suppose they could
just refuse to select anyone, but there is no guarantee the WMF would
put those seats up for election rather than just filling them
themselves.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Your support is wanted: The WMF Board of Trustees is looking for a new Board member

2013-02-18 Thread Thomas Dalton
I quite like questions 2, 6, 9 and 10 - the answers to those should
help to show how well applicants understand our culture and what new
insights they can bring to the table. The others are either too
obscure for most applicants to be able to give an informed answer or
aren't really things the board should be worrying about.

On 18 February 2013 08:19, James Salsman jsals...@gmail.com wrote:
 Jan-Bart de Vreede wrote:
...
 if you have questions that you think we should ask: feel free to suggest 
 them here :)

 I have these ten questions:

 1. What do you think a reasonable goal for the growth of the Wikimedia
 Education Program over the next five years is?

 2. Do you believe that the Foundation should establish an endowment?
 If so, how large do you think such an endowment should be; in
 particular, should the Foundation establish an endowment large enough
 to subsist at present staffing levels and growth rates from current
 investment grade bond interest rates without accepting additional
 donations? If so, over how many years do you think it would be most
 appropriate to establish such an endowment?

 3. How often do you think the Foundation should propose advocacy
 actions to the community? Do you believe the Foundation should survey
 the opinion of the community and donors on this question?

 4. Should the Foundation meet or exceed Silicon Valley competitive pay
 to attract and retain the best talent while competing with firms able
 to offer equity participation? Do you believe the Foundation should
 survey the opinion of the community and donors on this question? Why
 or why not?

 5. Should the Foundation establish a system of awarding employee
 bonuses in amounts determined by anonymous peer evaluations? Why or
 why not?

 6. Some proportion of long term project editors are impoverished,
 probably within a few percentage points of the impoverished proportion
 of the population as a whole. How do you think the Foundation could
 best assist impoverished long term volunteers? Do you think it should?
 Why or why not?

 7. To what extent do you believe the Foundation should reimburse
 travel and content development expenses for Wikinews contributors? In
 particular, if you were to propose a pilot grant program to grant
 travel and expense funds directly to individual Wikinews reporters,
 how many such awards would you begin with and how would you measure
 their effectiveness?

 8. PeerWise is a popular closed-source assessment question and answer
 database (http://peerwise.cs.auckland.ac.nz/) used in hundreds of
 higher education institutions. Unlike textbooks, traditional courses,
 MOOCs, and Moodle-style courses, PeerWise question databases can and
 often are populated entirely by learners, with answers reviewed in a
 style very similar to wiki content. Do you believe it would be
 appropriate for the Foundation to develop an open source version of
 PeerWise? Why or why not?

 9. Do you believe the Foundation should employ professional fact
 checkers who would not edit reader-facing content on the projects, but
 who would be available to research questions pertaining to content
 disputes at the request of projects' dispute resolution volunteers
 (e.g. Wikipedia mediators) to prepare reports to help volunteers
 resolve content disputes? Why or why not? Do you believe the
 Foundation should survey the opinion of the community and donors on
 this question?

 10. What is your experience with editing or otherwise supporting
 Foundation projects?

 Sincerely,
 James Salsman

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] New proposal for a wiki Project!

2013-02-18 Thread Thomas Dalton
On Feb 18, 2013 10:27 PM, Kevin Behrens kevin_behr...@hotmail.de wrote:

 Language is identity! Would you like to tell those People that it is not
bad when they lose their language. As I mentioned, I am a member of a
linguistic minority, too, and I would feel like my human rights where taken
if someone tells me I should learn another language because mine is not so
much worth. Language is culture and is human right, everybody has the right
for his language.

What people are you talking about? While there have been cases of languages
being forcefully suppressed, generally speaking they die because no-one
wants to speak them any more (because they aren't useful for communicating
any more, which is the primary purpose of a language). Whether or not you
speak a language is entirely up to you. Whose rights are being violated
when it's just a matter of individual choice?
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Your support is wanted: The WMF Board of Trustees is looking for a new Board member

2013-02-17 Thread Thomas Dalton
On Feb 17, 2013 8:29 PM, Itzik Edri it...@infra.co.il wrote:

 I don't understand. The board hired and pays to a company to find a board
 member? Have we tried before via our networks, chapters, and via our
 advisory board to find such a person (as been done until now?).

The chapters are used to find new foundation board members. That's what the
chapter selected board seats are for. The expert board seats are for
providing expertise that we are missing after the community and chapters
have selected people.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Strange, surprising, bold and unnecessary - reply to the WMF board statement

2013-02-06 Thread Thomas Dalton
On 6 February 2013 13:52, Tom Morris t...@tommorris.org wrote:
 I think the failure of the WCA process thus far has shown an enormous
 lack of connection between chapter bureaucracy and what editors
 actually care about.

Pretty much everything the WMF and chapters do is stuff editors don't
care about. If editors cared about it, they would do it themselves and
they would be WMF and chapter people not editors (some people manage
to be both, although it is too great a challenge for most of us!).
Different people in the movement are involved in different things, all
of which are required for the projects to be as big a success as they
can be.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Strange, surprising, bold and unnecessary - reply to the WMF board statement

2013-02-06 Thread Thomas Dalton
On 6 February 2013 14:44, Rodrigo Tetsuo Argenton
rodrigo.argen...@gmail.com wrote:
 I said this in Berlin, and I will repeat here: Why the chapters do not
 apply the Wiki model in the offline world?

Because different problems require different solutions.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Strange, surprising, bold and unnecessary - reply to the WMF board statement

2013-02-06 Thread Thomas Dalton
On 6 February 2013 14:55, Rodrigo Tetsuo Argenton
rodrigo.argen...@gmail.com wrote:
 So ... you not believes in the model Wiki, and also not believes that he can 
 be
 used in other locations, unless in building a encyclopedia?

It may be useful in other situations, but there is no reason to assume
that just because it's a good way to write an encyclopaedia that it is
going to be a good way to run a chapter.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Strange, surprising, bold and unnecessary - reply to the WMF board statement

2013-02-06 Thread Thomas Dalton
On 6 February 2013 15:31, Rodrigo Tetsuo Argenton
rodrigo.argen...@gmail.com wrote:
 HEHHEHEHE, okay, okay

 So... do you not believe?

 I find it odd organizations that promote free collaborative construction,
 do not to believe in their own model, do not use the model itself and talk
 that should be the model to be used ... blacksmith's house, wooden
 skewer(casa de ferreiro, espeto de pau) [1]

 I will not prolong, I just think that you are wasting your capacity.

I believe it's a very good way to write an encyclopaedia...

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Strange, surprising, bold and unnecessary - reply to the WMF board statement

2013-02-06 Thread Thomas Dalton
On 6 February 2013 21:33, Rodrigo Tetsuo Argenton
rodrigo.argen...@gmail.com wrote:
 *They represent the chapters.
 *
 That terrifies me...

You are terrified by people appointed by the chapters as their
representatives representing the chapters? I'm afraid you really
aren't making any sense...

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Strange, surprising, bold and unnecessary - reply to the WMF board statement

2013-02-06 Thread Thomas Dalton
On 6 February 2013 22:17, James Heilman jmh...@gmail.com wrote:
 I think the concern regarding the WCA primarily arises from the
 proposed paying of people who will be leading it. If these people are
 equivalent to the editors of content on Wikipedia (ie volunteers) and
 work from a virtual office than most concerns will disappear. So are
 the leaders of the WCA paid or not? While the office be virtual or
 not?

The WCA is lead by the council, who are all volunteers. They will be
supported by staff, but the council are in charge.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Strange, surprising, bold and unnecessary - reply to the WMF board statement

2013-02-06 Thread Thomas Dalton
On 6 February 2013 23:31, James Heilman jmh...@gmail.com wrote:
 The WCA is lead by the council, who are all volunteers. They will be
 supported by staff, but the council are in charge.

 I would love to have my Wikipedia work supported by staff too.

It is... who do you think keeps the servers you use running?

 Who is
 paying for said staff? How much are they projected to cost? In fact I
 would simply like some of the travel costs and accommodations for
 those involved in my Wikipedia projects covered. I am happy to cover
 my own costs.

There are plenty of grants programmes operated by the WMF and chapters
that will fund travel and accommodation for Wikimedians. Go ahead and
apply...

As for who will pay for the WCA staff, that is very much up in the air
at the moment... it was thought they might be funded through the FDC,
but that seems unlikely now. So I guess the funds will come from the
chapters in some way or another.

 We have a second draft budget here
 http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Chapters_Association/Draft_budget_2012-2013
 at more than $300,000

That is also not an approved budget and, from what I can tell, is just
the idea of one person and is not intended to be representative of the
views of the council. It's been sitting there for 6 months without
having been approved, so I think you can interpret that as implicitly
rejected.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Legalised Piracy

2013-01-30 Thread Thomas Dalton
On 30 January 2013 12:12, Richard Symonds
richard.symo...@wikimedia.org.uk wrote:
 Very interesting things happening in Antigua and the US:

 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-21247683

 Essentially, the World Trade Organization (WTO) have ruled that the islands
 have the right to suspend US intellectual property rights. It all stems
 from a trade dispute in 2003, where the US effectively banned electronic
 interstate gambling, which in turn damaged Antigua's economy.

 This has led to one thing and another, and ...on Monday the WTO's dispute
 settlement body gave final authorisation for Antigua to sell movies, music,
 games and software via a store that would be able to ignore US copyright
 and trademark claims.

 I'm not sure what this means for the movement - I'm sure there will be a
 long and lively discussion - but it's a very interesting turn of events in
 IP law.

I believe that option has always been on the WTO's list of remedies.
It has no way to force sovereign countries to pay anything, so this
kind of thing is the only way it can enforce the rules. I'm not sure
how many times it has used that particular power.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Office hours

2013-01-26 Thread Thomas Dalton
On Jan 26, 2013 1:55 PM, Rui Correia correia@gmail.com wrote:

 That makes more sense - but to turn that into a noun (we are having
office
 hours on Tuesday, is stretching the borders of everything language.

It makes perfect sense to me. It's a particular period of time that is
spent in an office. We're then extending it to refer to a kind of virtual
office used for the same purpose.

(It's not just an Americanism, we use the term in the UK too.)
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Licencing question

2013-01-23 Thread Thomas Dalton
On 23 January 2013 10:10, Stevie Benton stevie.ben...@wikimedia.org.uk wrote:
 Hello all,

 An issue this raises for me is this: If we're to include copyright
 information on blog posts regarding the use of CC licensed images, is this
 going to have to be applied to all Wikipedia articles illustrated with
 images too? Apologies if I've missed something here.

Yes, I think Richard's initial question was about Wikipedia, etc.. The
subject of blogs was just raised as an example of somewhere we
sometimes take a different approach.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Licencing question

2013-01-22 Thread Thomas Dalton
On 22 January 2013 16:51, Richard Symonds
richard.symo...@wikimedia.org.uk wrote:
 It appears that opinion is divided on whether a hyperlink is acceptable as
 attribution, therefore I'm asking the experts:

- Does anyone have any input on this?
- Has this discussion been had before, if so, where?
- Should Wikipedia, Commons and the various Wikimedia sites use the full
byline, or are we OK just using a hyperlink?

If we need to have bylines for images, surely we need them for text as well?

It's been discussed hundreds of times before, as you can imagine. I'm
not aware of any particular conclusions being reached, other than
no-one caring enough to get the status quo changed.

The issue of us taking freely licenced content from other sources is
potentially more of an issue. When you submit something, you agree to
be attributed through a link to the Wikipedia article, but when you
import something the author has made no such agreement.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikimedia Announcements] Wikimedia ED Sue Gardner named to Global Voices Board of Directors (MZMcBride)

2013-01-17 Thread Thomas Dalton
On Jan 17, 2013 7:11 PM, James Salsman jsals...@gmail.com wrote:

 So I trust this bodes well for the (originally 2008) proposal to fund
 Wikinews reporters which has surfaced from the community in various
 forms through the years -- e.g.
 http://strategy.wikimedia.org/wiki/Proposal:Reporter_Reimbursement_Program
 -- but has never received the merest hint of support from the
 Foundation.

 Now that will certainly change. Right?

I don't see why you would assume that... So Sue supports Global Voices, why
would that mean the foundation will now fund travel for Wikinewsies?

That said, there are lots of chapter microgrants programs and now a
foundation individual grants program that could be used for this sort of
thing. I thought they point of citizen journalism was to make use of people
that are already there, though...
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Portuguese Wikipedia at the mercy of a few rogue editors

2013-01-12 Thread Thomas Dalton
On Jan 12, 2013 3:38 PM, Rui Correia correia@gmail.com wrote:

 Dear Colleagues

 Let me start off by pointing out the fact that I am never sure about
 exactly what issues are handled on this list and secondly when are the
 issues of a specific language Wikipedia handled among that community and
 when are they (these issues) - if ever - handled at a higher level
 (Wikipedia top level).

I'm afraid it is extremely unusual for the wider community to intervene in
the internal affairs of a project.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikimedia Announcements] Chapter reports WMNL

2013-01-06 Thread Thomas Dalton
On Jan 6, 2013 11:06 PM, Ziko van Dijk vand...@wmnederland.nl wrote:

 I don't see a reason for this tone, and I think that everyone who is
 interested in the reports will easily find them.

The problem is, it's hard to know if you are interested in the report
without having any idea what it contains. A short summary, or at least a
list of contents, helps you decide whether to click on the link or not. (If
the report is already a fairly short summary, just include the whole thing.)
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Rationale for fundraising record?

2013-01-06 Thread Thomas Dalton
On Jan 7, 2013 2:08 AM, James Salsman jsals...@gmail.com wrote:

  We do know that this year the decay of fundraising from day to day was
  steeper than in past years, confirming that we were eating into out
  existing donor pool faster than before.

 On the contrary, December 3rd was a stronger day than December 2nd,
 with a much smaller maximum donation.

One outlier does not disprove anything. There are far too many factors
involved to be able to expect everything to follow some perfect pattern.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] compromise?

2013-01-04 Thread Thomas Dalton
On 4 January 2013 18:17, Quim Gil q...@wikimedia.org wrote:
 And then again we would be comparing the salary I had in such company
 after 5 years of (hopefully good) work, not the one I had at the beginning.

It would be very unusual for an employer to disregard previous
experience when setting a salary just because that experience wasn't
with them...

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] compromise?

2013-01-03 Thread Thomas Dalton
On 3 January 2013 08:08, James Salsman jsals...@gmail.com wrote:
 Does that sound like the
 kind of people who would want to risk losing talent because their
 donations were limited to a fundraising goal set based on the
 blatantly false assertion that we aren't able to raise enough money to
 pay market rate?

You seem to have a misunderstanding of how employers set salaries.
Affordability isn't really a factor (you adjust who you hire and how
many people you hire based on affordability, but you can't do much
about how much you pay them). As with any procurement, you pay the
minimum that is necessary to get what you want. A good employer will
include a reasonable level of staff morale as part of what they want,
of course.

It appears that the Foundation is able to attract and retain the staff
they need and keep them happy at current salary levels, so paying any
more would be a waste of donor's money. They pay less than other
employers, but that's because people value working for a good cause so
are happy to work for less. If the Foundation failed to take advantage
of that, it wouldn't be making the most efficient use of its funds.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Annual Audit of the Wikimedia Foundation

2013-01-03 Thread Thomas Dalton
On Jan 3, 2013 6:47 PM, Federico Leva (Nemo) nemow...@gmail.com wrote:

 Also, I found it interesting that donations increased by 52 % and
operating expenses for fundraising by 41 %.

What did you find interesting about that?
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] If I could talk to the wiki folks...

2012-12-28 Thread Thomas Dalton
Very nice! I'll expect a performance in Hong Kong!

On a serious note, have you seen Geoff's comments on naming of affiliate
organisations?
On Dec 28, 2012 4:18 PM, Ziko van Dijk vand...@wmnederland.nl wrote:

 Hello,
 A week ago, as I found out now, a new association has been found in
 New York: Wiki Med Foundation, Inc. (!). We have the Wikimedia
 Foundation, Inc., we have some other Wikimedias, we have MediaWiki...
 how is the ordinary man on the street supposed to have the slightest
 chance to understand the Wikimedia movement? He even confuses
 Wikimedia with Wikileaks...
 I know that that is not the case, but sometimes it even seems that
 Wikimedians do want to make the movement a terminogical labyrinth. The
 WMF came with a simple scheme for national chapters, with the formula
 Wikimedia X (with X being the name of the country). I wish something
 similar for thematic organizations and Wikimedia user groups, and not
 the advice to even avoid the term Wikimedia. Confusing terms are a
 serious barrier for participation, on Wikipedia and in the larger
 movement.
 Kind regards,
 Ziko


 If I could talk to the wiki folks, just imagine it
 Chatting with a chick on IRC
 Imagine talking on a talk page, buzzing from a banner
 What a neat achievement that would be.

 If I could talk to the wiki folks, learn their languages
 Maybe take a data dump degree.
 I'd study mastodon and diesel, camel case and weasel,
 Interwiki, vandal and IP.

 I would converse in C++ and Python,
 And I would curse in fluent wikify.
 If people asked me, can you speak sock puppetry,
 I'd say, 'Of coursery, but why?'

 If I conferred with our fuzzy friends, man to editor,
 Think of the amazing repartee
 If I could talk to the wiki folks, fork to the wiki folks,
 Diff and rev and link with the wiki folks,
 And they could diff and rev and link with me.

 If I could speak CC-BY-SA
 The advantages any sandbox noob could plainly see!
 Discussing worldwide GLAM and drama
 With oh so witty llama
 That’s a big step forward you’ll agree!

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] If I could talk to the wiki folks...

2012-12-28 Thread Thomas Dalton
On Dec 28, 2012 7:12 PM, Lodewijk lodew...@effeietsanders.org wrote:

 Hi,

 it should probably be emphasized that this organization was founded
against
 the advice of the Wikimedia Foundations' Affiliate Committee. It is not
 recognized at this point.

Does it have a license to use the Wikimedia trademark in its name?
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] compromise?

2012-12-28 Thread Thomas Dalton
I'm not quite sure what you mean by multivariate analysis... You only seem
to be talking about one variable - the message.
On Dec 28, 2012 9:46 PM, James Salsman jsals...@gmail.com wrote:

 How about for the April fundraiser, instead of setting a dollar value
 goal, we agree to use multivariate analysis instead of A/B testing to
 optimize the messaging from volunteer submissions in advance, then run
 the whole thing for a fixed time frame, say three weeks, and then use
 the actual amount raised to decide whether salaries should be
 competitive with area tech firms, whether Fellowships should be
 jettisoned, how much personell to put into the Education Program and
 engineering, and how much of a reserve to invest, preferably with low
 risk instruments which pay above the rate of inflation?

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] compromise?

2012-12-28 Thread Thomas Dalton
On Dec 28, 2012 10:12 PM, James Salsman jsals...@gmail.com wrote:

  I'm not quite sure what you mean by multivariate analysis

 I mean as in the tests done May 16, September 20, and October 9
 reported at
http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Fundraising_2012/We_Need_A_Breakthrough
 without adjusting the best performing pull-down delivery combined
 banner/landing page from the beginning of this month (although I don't
 think we will need the one that follows vertical scrolling. It may
 produce 30% but that will be nothing if the remaining ~300 appeal
 messages are tested, unless they don't fit the lognormal distribution
 that they appear to.)

But what variables do you want to test? You've only talked about messages.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] If I could talk to the wiki folks...

2012-12-28 Thread Thomas Dalton
On Dec 28, 2012 9:53 PM, Bence Damokos bdamo...@gmail.com wrote:

 On Fri, Dec 28, 2012 at 10:48 PM, Thomas Dalton thomas.dal...@gmail.com
wrote:

  On Dec 28, 2012 7:12 PM, Lodewijk lodew...@effeietsanders.org wrote:
  
   Hi,
  
   it should probably be emphasized that this organization was founded
  against
   the advice of the Wikimedia Foundations' Affiliate Committee. It is
not
   recognized at this point.
 
  Does it have a license to use the Wikimedia trademark in its name?
 
 If you mean Wiki Med, it doesn't currently have the trademark in the name.

Apologies, wasn't reading carefully enough!
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] bond funds? (was Re: Annual Audit of the Wikimedia Foundation)

2012-12-27 Thread Thomas Dalton
This mailing list is not a suitable venue for a detailed discussion about
investment strategy. There are a lot of different things you have to take
into account when choosing investments. If the foundation wants to
investigate other investment options they need to get a professional
investment consultant (if they don't have one already) who will go through
their specific needs and appetites and advise on what investments are
suitable for them. We can't do that in a useful way on a mailing list.
On Dec 27, 2012 10:08 PM, James Salsman jsals...@gmail.com wrote:

 Another thing I want to point out, because I just noticed it. The
 recent years' yields on bond funds has been slightly higher than
 equity (stock) mutual funds, but with only a very small fraction of
 the volatility:

 http://news.morningstar.com/fundReturns/FundReturns.html?category=$FOCA$HY

 I'm not sure what the current thinking among fiduciaries is on
 diversified high grade bond funds is, but the statistical distribution
 of those long-term returns looks as if a variety of them for a portion
 of the reserves would have a far better risk-to-return ratio than
 sticking with certificates of deposit and treasury securities (which
 currently pay negative real interest rates, i.e., less than inflation)
 as we have been.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] fundraising status?

2012-12-27 Thread Thomas Dalton
On Dec 27, 2012 10:50 PM, James Salsman jsals...@gmail.com wrote:
  this is the most current iteration of a type of thread
  that I find contributes a great deal of stress to my work here. There
are a
  number of assumptions that strike me as bad faith and many of them are
  targeted at people I work with (some of them I consider friends), so it
is
  very difficult for me to read this

 I find it extremely difficult to believe that anyone could think my
 proposal that the salaries of Foundation employees be increased so
 that none of them are less than 50% of the top executive salary is
 made in bad faith or targeted towards anyone.

I suspect the assumption of bad faith is because he doesn't believe anyone
could genuinely propose such a ridiculously bad idea. When limits on such
ratios are discussed the usual figure I hear is a limit of 10%. 50% is
completely unrealistic. Either you would have to massively overpay your
junior staff (wasting donor's money) or you wouldn't be any to attract any
experienced senior staff.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] fundraising status?

2012-12-27 Thread Thomas Dalton
On Dec 28, 2012 12:52 AM, Matthew Roth mr...@wikimedia.org wrote:

 On Thu, Dec 27, 2012 at 4:34 PM, Thomas Dalton thomas.dal...@gmail.com
wrote:
 
 
  I suspect the assumption of bad faith is because he doesn't believe
anyone
  could genuinely propose such a ridiculously bad idea. When limits on
such
  ratios are discussed the usual figure I hear is a limit of 10%. 50% is
  completely unrealistic. Either you would have to massively overpay your
  junior staff (wasting donor's money) or you wouldn't be any to attract
any
  experienced senior staff.
 

 As a comparison, Doctors Without Borders/MSF USA had a policy of paying
the
 E.D. no more than 3 times the rate of the entry level positions. When I
 left at the end of 2004, the entry level salary was $35,000 and the E.D.
 was $105,000. Not sure what it is now.

How are they structured? Was there another layer of management at the
international level? $105k sounds very low for the top person in an
organisation of any significant size.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] fundraising status?

2012-12-27 Thread Thomas Dalton
On Dec 28, 2012 1:02 AM, cyrano cyrano.faw...@gmail.com wrote:

 Le 27/12/2012 21:34, Thomas Dalton a écrit :

 On Dec 27, 2012 10:50 PM, James Salsman jsals...@gmail.com wrote:

 this is the most current iteration of a type of thread
 that I find contributes a great deal of stress to my work here. There

 are a

 number of assumptions that strike me as bad faith and many of them are
 targeted at people I work with (some of them I consider friends), so it

 is

 very difficult for me to read this

 I find it extremely difficult to believe that anyone could think my
 proposal that the salaries of Foundation employees be increased so
 that none of them are less than 50% of the top executive salary is
 made in bad faith or targeted towards anyone.

 I suspect the assumption of bad faith is because he doesn't believe
anyone
 could genuinely propose such a ridiculously bad idea. When limits on such
 ratios are discussed the usual figure I hear is a limit of 10%. 50% is
 completely unrealistic. Either you would have to massively overpay your
 junior staff (wasting donor's money) or you wouldn't be any to attract
any
 experienced senior staff.


 Hello Thomas,

 are you saying that NOBODY can and will do a good job for five times less
money? There are extremely talented people in the third world, and
extremely passionated people in the first world, that may accept such a
pay. I'm dubious about your statement.

Well, I suppose any is a bit of an exaggeration. It would be extremely
difficult though. Why would someone from the third world come to San
Francisco and accept a salary 5 times lower than they could get at a
similar organisation ?
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] brief WMDE fundraising update

2012-12-17 Thread Thomas Dalton
On Dec 17, 2012 2:21 PM, Michael Jahn michael.j...@wikimedia.de wrote:

 Dear all,

 just a brief update from Wikimedia Deutschland on our current fundraising
 campaign. It's been running since November 13, involving variations of
facts
 banners in combination with personal appeals. We're on track to reaching
our
 campaign goal of around € 5 m. by the end of this year. The personal
 appeals appear as drop-down messages along our donation form, once readers
 click on the sticking facts banners.The appeals include messages from
 Wikipedians,
 donors, readers and WMDE staff.

Thank you for this update. You seem to be taking a significantly more
aggressive (for want of a better word) approach than the foundation. You
are running for much longer and it sounds like you are making much more use
of the sticky banners that people have found so annoying. Can you explain
your reasons for that?
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fundraising updates?

2012-12-17 Thread Thomas Dalton
Have you considered doing some longer tests? Lasting a week, say. It would
enable you to do proper multivariate testing, including dependencies
between variables (which I don't think you have done any real tests of
yet). It would also let you test time dependence. Eg., does a particular
message work better in the morning than in the afternoon? (Different types
of people browse at different times, so it wouldn't surprise me) You could
also model banner fatigue properly, which could be very useful.
On Dec 17, 2012 4:28 PM, Zack Exley zex...@wikimedia.org wrote:

 On Sat, Dec 15, 2012 at 11:01 AM, James Salsman jsals...@gmail.com
 wrote:

  Hi Zack,
 
  Thanks very much for your updates:
 
   What saved us was taking text from the personal appeals and putting it
  into
   the banner itself. These banners did very well. These new
 message-driven
   banners are what made us split the campaign in two -- because we knew
 we
   were going to develop a lot of new messages and not have time to
  translate
   them well
 
  As you know I've been saying for years that the variance among the
  volunteer-supplied messages, originally submitted in 2009 and hundreds
  of which have not yet been tested (as far as I know), was large enough
  to suggest that some messages would certainly outperform the
  traditional banners and appeals. While it's refreshing to be
  validated, as you might imagine I feel like Cassandra much of the time
  for reasons that have nothing to do with the underlying mathematical
  reasoning involved.
 
  The last time I heard from you, you said that you intended to test the
  untried messaging from 2009 with multivariate analysis. However,
  http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Fundraising_2012/We_Need_A_Breakthrough
  shows only three very small-N multivariate tests, the last of which
  was in October, and no recent testing.
 
  Do you still intend to test the untried volunteer-submitted messages
  with multivariate analysis? If so, when? Thank you.
 
 
 James -

 We can only do big multivariate tests for banner click rates. But banner
 click rates have very little to do with donations in our present context.

 For example, the new banners have about 30% the click rate of the old ones,
 but they make about 3 or 4 times as much money.

 To determine how well a banner message does for donations, we usually need
 a sample size between 500 and 5,000 donations per banner, depending on the
 difference in performance between the banners. That takes from 30 minutes
 to several hours to collect -- if we're only testing two banners at a time.

 Regarding the banners suggested in past years: I've explained this before,
 and will repeat: We tested tons of those banners. I think that we tested
 virtually every different (serious) theme that was suggested. They all had
 BOTH far lower click rates and even lower donation rates -- usually by
 orders of magnitude. This was also true for the new short slogans that we
 came up with ourselves on the fundraising team.

 Now we're pretty clear on why: A short slogan isn't enough to get people
 over all their questions about why they should support Wikipedia. More text
 was needed. In our marketing-slogan-obsessed culture, the idea that we'd
 have to present people with a long paragraph was very counterintuitive. We
 didn't think of it on the fundraising team and none of the volunteers who
 submitted suggestions thought of it either. Several marketing professionals
 who contacted us with advice even told us to get rid of the appeal on then
 landing page altogether because people don't read!

 As it turns out, Wikipedia users DO like to read -- and want all the facts
 before they donate.

 Where we're at today, just to emphasize my previous point, is that with the
 new banners, changes in messages effect donations totally independently of
 click rate. And we typically need an hour or two -- or five -- to detect
 even a 10%-%15 percent difference in message performance. That's why we're
 not running big multivariate tests with tons of difference banners.

 You'll be happy to know, though, that we are running multivariate tests
 when we're able. For example, if we have a tweak to the landing pages that
 we think is fairly independent of the banner effect, then we sometimes run
 a multivariate test. Or if we have a design tweak (like color) that we're
 confident will always effect click rate in the same direction as donations,
 then we can combine that with message testing.


  Sincerely,
  James Salsman
 



 --
 Zack Exley
 Chief Revenue Officer
 Wikimedia Foundation
 415 506 9225
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fundraising updates?

2012-12-17 Thread Thomas Dalton
On 17 December 2012 17:28, Samuel Klein meta...@gmail.com wrote:
 Thomas writes:
 You could also model banner fatigue properly, which could be very useful.

 Yes, a detailed model of banner fatigue would be fascinating.

 It's certainly something studied by many groups in different contexts;
 ideally we'd learn from published analysis, and then see deviations from
 the norm in our own context.  It's quite likely that the context changes
 between donation appeals and other messages; understanding this better
 would also help us rotate global sitenotices more effectively.

Published analyses would certainly be interesting, but it wouldn't
surprise me if they were completely non-applicable for us. There is
really nothing else like our fundraiser - nobody else uses their own
top 5 website for their fundraising, since no other non-profits have a
top 5 website!

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikimedia Announcements] Fwd: Announcement: Wikimedia Foundation restructure (Global Dev Engineering)

2012-12-07 Thread Thomas Dalton
On 7 December 2012 00:04, Sue Gardner sgard...@wikimedia.org wrote:
 First, we’re going to revamp Global Development. Starting now, that
 department will be called Grantmaking and Programs. It will be co-led
 by Anasuya (grantmaking) and Frank (programs). Anasuya and Frank will
 have separate direct reports and budgets, but we’re going to keep it
 as a single department because neither sub-department is very large
 and because the two are deeply interlinked: we wouldn’t have one
 without the other. Anasuya, currently Director of Global Learning and
 Grantmaking, will become Senior Director of Grantmaking, and Frank,
 currently Global Education Program Director, will become Senior
 Director of Programs.

What is the long-term plan for Frank and his sub-department? It seems
to encompass all the bits you are planning to stop doing as part of
the narrowing of focus, so is the intention that it will gradually
shrink to nothing?

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Banners are too bright, too long

2012-12-04 Thread Thomas Dalton
Zack, you may want to look up sample bias... Of course you don't get many
complaints from the people that responded positively to the banners...
On Dec 4, 2012 5:56 PM, Zack Exley zex...@wikimedia.org wrote:

 On Tue, Dec 4, 2012 at 9:02 AM, Zack Exley zex...@wikimedia.org wrote:

  Unacceptable!


 Sorry Max, your tone and language gave me a flashback to my demonic 3rd
 grade teacher and it took a little while to recover. (I'm not joking.)

 On the topic of the sticky banners, I'd like to know what others think.
 Starting next year, or even now, we can remove the stickiness. That will
 just mean more days of banners. It's just a choice.

 To me, it's not clear which is better. Tens of thousands of donors have
 filled out a survey this year after donating. We've gotten hardly a handful
 of complaints. I would have expected a lot. Instead, we have lots of people
 thanking us for making them see the banners, because they were happy to
 learn this surprising news that we're a non-profit that runs on donations.

 Is it really so bad? Stickiness boosts donations by about 20-30%. That
 means many fewer days of banners. Next year it may mean that we just show
 people only one banner view all year instead of two. Or maybe 2 instead of
 4 (we don't know how it will play out yet).



 
 
  On Tue, Dec 4, 2012 at 12:52 AM, MZMcBride z...@mzmcbride.com wrote:
 
  Zack Exley wrote:
   We just were playing around with the hover banners to see what kind of
   effect they might have. They're not up now. And probably won't come
  back.
 
  Your comment reminds me of discussions from earlier this year with the
  Editor engagement experiments (E3) team about treating Wikimedia users
 as
  colleagues, not as customers.[1]
 
  The auto-expand banners were unacceptable. As I'm currently viewing
  en.wikipedia.org, the banners _continue_ to block portions of the page
  content as I scroll down the page. This is also unacceptable.
 
  Enough playing around. You're annoying readers and editors alike with
  these banners.
 
  MZMcBride
 
  [1] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Experiments
 
 
 
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  --
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  Chief Revenue Officer
  Wikimedia Foundation
  415 506 9225
 
 


 --
 Zack Exley
 Chief Revenue Officer
 Wikimedia Foundation
 415 506 9225
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Banners are too bright, too long

2012-12-04 Thread Thomas Dalton
On Dec 4, 2012 7:56 PM, Zack Exley zex...@wikimedia.org wrote:
 Next year, we'll discuss options and do some surveys of logged in and
 not-logged-in users and try to make a good decision about what the least
 painful way for all will be to raise the money.

Collating some good quality data would be great. Make sure you get a
statistician involved from the beginning, though - the foundation had a
history of very poorly designed surveys...

 I think that we're now in a position to raise the annual budget with very
 little user pain starting in 2013 -- perhaps the least pain is that
 everyone gets 5 banners per year that are very small and non-stick. Or
 maybe it's that everyone gets one slightly larger, sticky banner. It's
 subjective, and we need to listen to a real cross section of users about
 it.

If we can really reach our target with only one banner impression per
person per year, then a) wow! Great work! and b) you probably don't need to
worry about annoyance too much - there is a limit to how much a one-off
occurrence can annoy someone.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Banners are too bright, too long

2012-12-03 Thread Thomas Dalton
On 3 December 2012 20:11, Pavel Richter pavel.rich...@wikimedia.de wrote:
 the thing we are selling to people As I see it, we are not *selling
 *anything.
 Wikimedia provides a free encyclopedia to the public, and it promotes Free
 Knowledge worldwide. For this, we ask for donations, during a limited time
 each year, and with very humble messaging and banners. We do not have to be
 ashamed to do so.

The difference between fundraising and sales is pretty small - both
are about convincing people to part with their cash. We have to
convince people that donating money to us is a good idea in exactly
the same way a company needs to convince people that buying their
product is a good idea - you do that by emphasising your key selling
points. In our case, being ad-free is one of our key selling points,
which is the point Mono was making.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fundraiser causing confusion

2012-11-28 Thread Thomas Dalton
On 28 November 2012 14:41, Charles Andrès charles.and...@wikimedia.ch wrote:
 In fact we haven't seen the link before but we had the same in Switzerland, 
 it seems that in a way people complain about the traditional banners that are 
 to intrusive, but in the other hand they are more suspicious and have doubt 
 about banners that are not the same than previous year!

This happens every year - there are always people concerned that we've
been hacked, or that they have a virus, or that there is some kind of
phishing attack going on. I expect the only way to avoid that would be
to have the banners up continuously 365 days a year, so people are
used to them just being part of the site - as long as people are used
to there being no banner ads on Wikipedia, the sudden appearance of
them will confuse some people.

As Philippe says, I would expect there to be an OTRS template from
previous years to explain what is going on.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fundraiser launch update

2012-11-27 Thread Thomas Dalton
On 27 November 2012 15:06, Lodewijk lodew...@effeietsanders.org wrote:
 Thanks for the announcement. I'm curious how it will work out.

 Would it be possible to give a ballpark figure on what percentage of what
 amount you're expecting/aiming to collect in these five countries in this
 month, and how much in the rest of the world? I mean, do you expect to
 raise 10%, 40%, 70% or 90% of the whole movement budget? (I know I could
 probably look up last years numbers and guess some myself, but you probably
 already did this :) ).

You can find last year's numbers here:

https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Fundraising_2011/report#Top_10_Countries_Donating_to_Wikimedia_Movement_.28to_WMF_or_Local_Chapter.29

The US, Canada, UK and Australia (New Zealand didn't make the top 10,
although the numbers will be in the Google spreadsheet linked from
that page if you want them) raised 58% of the total (including money
raised by chapters). Germany, France and Switzerland, who will also be
fundraising over the winter as far as I know, raised 23%. That leaves
19% from countries that will have the later fundraiser (minus a little
for NZ). Hopefully it will be more this year, since the fundraising
team will be able to focus on them.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fundraiser launch update

2012-11-26 Thread Thomas Dalton
This is an interesting idea, and makes a lot of sense. Non-English
fundraising hasn't really had the attention it needs in previous years (for
obvious reasons - it's more efficient to focus your attention where you can
achieve the most) and this should make a big difference.

I'm curious, as you do more and more testing each year and a shorter and
shorter fundraiser, how much of the total are you expecting to come from
testing? I was looking at the stats yesterday and, if I was reading it
correctly, the recent tests have been raising about as much per day as the
main 2010 fundraiser did.
On Nov 26, 2012 7:11 AM, Zack Exley zex...@wikimedia.org wrote:

 Hi all,

 We have some information on the fundraiser launch to share.  We are still
 planning on launching Monday, November 26, but we're going to make a change
 this year in the timing of campaigns around the world.

 Every year, as we get closer to the launch date, we test more frequently
 and discover new messages and designs that make the fundraiser much more
 efficient (i.e. more money per day, shorter fundraiser, fewer and/or
 smaller banners).

 In the past couple weeks, we've discovered some new designs and messages
 that we believe will let us shorten the fundraiser by a lot -- *and* make
 the banners much smaller than they've typically been.

 But we don't have time to adapt these to all the countries and languages in
 the world right away. This has pushed us to do something we've known is the
 right thing to do for some time.

 We're going to run this end of year campaign only in 5 countries (US, CA,
 GB, AU  NZ) and then spend three months meticulously localizing and
 translating (and testing for new purely local messages) before running the
 global campaign in all other counties, in which our best messages and
 designs developed in December will be used across the world.

 We will use the time over the next month to run short tests of various
 messages and payment options in other languages and countries in
 preparation for the global campaign that we'll run in April.  So people in
 the five-country campaign will still only see a campaign once a year (in
 December).  And people in all other countries will still only see a
 campaign once a year (in April).

 *Everyone, everywhere will only see one campaign per year* -- unless they
 happen to travel from, say, the US in December to India in April.

 We're excited about breaking the campaign up for several reasons.  Over the
 next month, we will be able to focus on testing and finding the best
 messages.  The new Facts banners have opened up more testing possibilites
 for us, and we'll learn a lot about our messages in the next month, while
 we can test 24 hours per day.  We'll use the lessons learned from the
 December five-country campaign and spend the next three months applying
 them correctly and testing multiple versions in other languages and
 countries.

 What we've learned over the past few years is that the same messages tend
 to win all over the world. But that translating short, colloquial
 fundraising messages takes a long time and many translators to get right.
 And we're finding a new best message basically every day. We don't think
 it's good if only English readers are getting our best messages.

 So overall, we think we'll be able to run both the English banners and the
 multilingual banners better by breaking up the campaign.

 Our volunteer translators have already done a ton of work translating our
 current best messages -- and we are very thankful! We're using all of those
 translations now, in our testing and they will be the basis of the April
 campaign. We will be engaging the community of volunteers, donors and
 readers even more in the coming months to optimize the translations of the
 new messages and ramp up testing in various languages.  Moreover, there are
 technical updates to the translation system that we'll be able to use
 during the April campaign that are not released yet.

 We are looking forward to more of our readers receiving better messages and
 donation experiences in countries around the world.

 More info to come! Instead of replying to this thread, please comment
 on the Fundraiser
 2012 meta discussion page:
 http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:Fundraising_2012

 Zack  Megan,
 WMF fundraising
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fundraiser launch update

2012-11-26 Thread Thomas Dalton
On Nov 26, 2012 5:15 PM, Nathan nawr...@gmail.com wrote:

 On Mon, Nov 26, 2012 at 12:11 PM, Zack Exley zex...@wikimedia.org wrote:

 
  This year we did something different and went up all over the world for
24
  hours on Nov 15 as sort of a dress rehearsal. That really helped us to
  identify a lot of little things to fix. It also brought in two million
  dollars -- our biggest day ever, by far. That gave us the confidence to
  launch much later this year.
 
 

 If one-off days perform much better than individual days during a long
 campaign, have you considered exchanging a 1-2 month drive for a
 series of one or two day drives, spaced throughout the year? I don't
 really know if that would be easier on you, raise more money or be
 better for readers, but it's something to consider.

I was thinking the same thing. My understanding is that the main reason for
a concentrated fundraising drive is that repetition is an important part of
convincing people to donate. If it is true that tests bring in the same as
the main drive, then apparently repetition isn't important for us, so
perhaps there isn't much point in have a drive.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] FDC recommendations on funds allocation, Round 1, 2012-13

2012-11-17 Thread Thomas Dalton
On Nov 17, 2012 7:28 PM, Federico Leva (Nemo) nemow...@gmail.com wrote:

 Thomas Dalton, 16/11/2012 13:25:

 I was also expecting a much more detailed report. I remember having a
 discussion with Anasuya about the timetable and I pointed out that she
 hadn't scheduled enough time for writing up the report. If she was
 thinking of a report like this one, then I can see why we disagreed. I
 thought a lot more time was needed because I was expecting a much more
 detailed report (about one side of A4 per application, perhaps).


 You may be right here, but let me point out a major unstated assumption
in your reasoning: that the FDC has or had something more to say as a body,
i.e. reached an agreement on more than what they already wrote down.

I don't they just plucked the numbers out of thin air.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] FDC recommendations on funds allocation, Round 1, 2012-13

2012-11-16 Thread Thomas Dalton
I was also expecting a much more detailed report. I remember having a
discussion with Anasuya about the timetable and I pointed out that she
hadn't scheduled enough time for writing up the report. If she was
thinking of a report like this one, then I can see why we disagreed. I
thought a lot more time was needed because I was expecting a much more
detailed report (about one side of A4 per application, perhaps).

Report writing is something we are, as a movement, very bad at. A well
written report can be read in isolation (with references to other
documents for more detail if it is desired, but essential details
should be in the report itself). It takes longer to write, certainly,
but it takes a lot less time to read and digest, so overall a lot of
time is saved by writing good reports.

It's something that comes up annually with regards to Wikimania - we
never get a decent report from the organisers. I also see it on a
regular basis with Wikimedia UK - someone brings a subject to a board
meeting for discussion without having produced a proper report on it,
so the discussion is uninformed, unstructured and nobody knows what it
is actually meant to achieve.

Perhaps we could organise some reporting writing training for people,
although I think the real problem is convincing people that it is
worth doing properly.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] FDC recommendations on funds allocation, Round 1, 2012-13

2012-11-16 Thread Thomas Dalton
On 16 November 2012 13:06, Osmar Valdebenito os...@wikimediachile.cl wrote:
 Yes, it would be great to have a lot of details and I haven't seen any
 problems by the FDC to provide them as long as you ask them but you can't
 expect them to do all that extra work 'for free'.

Yes, you can. When you volunteer for a position like that, you are
making a commitment to put in the necessary work. The we're just
volunteers excuse gets rolled out far too often around here.
Volunteers that have made commitments to do a job have an obligation
to do it.

I want to be clear, I'm not saying the FDC haven't done their job -
they seem to have considered the issues very well and the report is,
at least, satisfactory. I'm just saying that being a volunteer isn't
an excuse. We should make certain allowances for volunteers that we
wouldn't make for staff (particularly, we have to be flexible - staff
can be expected to be at their desks between 9am and 5pm, volunteers
do their work whenever then get a spare moment), but we should still
require that jobs are done well. If it turns out to be impossible to
find volunteers willing and able to do a particular job well, then we
need to re-think it.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fwd: FDC recommendations on funds allocation, Round 1, 2012-13

2012-11-15 Thread Thomas Dalton
On Nov 15, 2012 7:26 PM, Dariusz Jemielniak dar...@alk.edu.pl wrote:

 and also that WCA membership fees have been deducted
 for everyone (but not other WCA-related costs), as WCA may apply for FDC
 funding directly (or choose a different model, once it is decided, and the
 organization incorporated).

Can you elaborate on that? By my understanding of the eligibility
requirements, the WCA is not eligible for FDC funding and won't be for at
least two years.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fwd: FDC recommendations on funds allocation, Round 1, 2012-13

2012-11-15 Thread Thomas Dalton
If nobody gave funding to things that aren't operational yet, not a lot
would happen...

On Nov 15, 2012 8:03 PM, Nathan nawr...@gmail.com wrote:

 It seems like it would've made more sense to exclude WCA costs
 entirely, since it doesn't actually exist nor does it have any
 meaningful operations or presence. That's even aside from the quixotic
 circumstance of an organization like WCA receiving funding from the
 WMF.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fwd: FDC recommendations on funds allocation, Round 1, 2012-13

2012-11-15 Thread Thomas Dalton
I agree that the explanations could be more details. In particular, I would
be interested to know where some of the numbers came from. For example,
take WMUK. I agree that WMUK's plan was over ambitious, but how did the FDC
come to that particular recommendation? Presumably they had some kind of
revised budget in mind that came to that new total - it would be
interesting to see that revised budget.

That said, I think WMFR was one of the better explained - they felt there
were serious problems with the application so want WMFR to re-apply in
Round 2. Some explanation of where the $90k figure came from would be nice,
but it looks like the amount they felt was needed (in addition to WMFR's
reserves) in order to tide them over until the next round.


On 15 November 2012 20:29, Lodewijk lodew...@effeietsanders.org wrote:

 Hi Dariusz,

 it would probably be helpful if it were indicated when the 120% cap was
 used as the sole reason to reduce the amount. Could you still add that to
 the arguments? That would make it much more insightful. I was personally
 under the impression the maximum was 150% by the way, but that information
 might have been outdated. Then it is at least clear that a technicality is
 the sole cause for your rejection of part of their budget (and could
 potentially form ground for the chapter to ask the board to make an
 exception - it would be quite different if the reasons were because you
 didn't trust them with the money etc).

 But for example in the case of Wikimedia France I guess the 120% cap was
 not the reason you only allocated 10% of the amount they requested. I find
 the reasoning in their case quite poor for such a major decision which
 could potentially mean that people get fired and the organization has to
 scale down significantly. I'm confident that you had very good and in depth
 discussions about this, but this is not reflected in the recommendation in
 their specific case. I guess this might be the case for a few more
 applications.

 I don't want to go to a specific case here, but just want to illustrate why
 I feel the arguments are poorly presented. Since you did go into such great
 discussion, I feel it would be a waste of your efforts if the arguments are
 so shallow.

 I am still hopeful you will change your mind, and add more reasoning to the
 cases.

 Kind regards,

 Lodewijk

 2012/11/15 Dariusz Jemielniak dar...@alk.edu.pl

  hi Lodewijk,
 
  first, this is basically a recommendation for the Board, not the final
  allocation. However, regarding your specific question: We are not
 planning
  on providing further detailed responses - we have already offered a great
  many details in our overall recommendations in terms of process and
  methodology.
 
  Per the fact that some organizations got so much less than they
  requested: please, keep in mind that there was a suggested 120% maximum
  budget growth capping, and also that WCA membership fees have been
 deducted
  for everyone (but not other WCA-related costs), as WCA may apply for FDC
  funding directly (or choose a different model, once it is decided, and
 the
  organization incorporated).
 
  Also, our recommendations make it very clear that smaller entities, which
  were making significant leaps in maturity tended to get most of what they
  asked for, while entities which are medium to large, staffed and already
 on
  a clear growth path, were looked at with even greater rigor in terms of
  sustainable and appropriate plans (also because of the budget sizes).
 Small
  entities are often going from no/part-time staff to a full-staff
 position,
  which can increase the budget (as compared to the previous year)
  significantly, but cannot be avoided. Larger entities can grow more
  harmoniously.
 
  best,
 
  dariusz
 
 
 
 
  On Thu, Nov 15, 2012 at 8:05 PM, Lodewijk lodew...@effeietsanders.org
 wrote:
 
  Hi,
 
  From the arguments, I had a hard time to understand why some
  organizations got so much less than they requested, and some got every
  single dollar. I assume more detailed arguments will follow?
 
  Kind regards,
  Lodewijk
 
 
  2012/11/15 Jan-Bart de Vreede jdevre...@wikimedia.org
 
  Hi Everyone
 
  Rather than repeat everything I would like to point you to a blog post
  created earlier today.
 
 
 
 http://blog.wikimedia.org/2012/11/15/fdc-process-milestone-sharing-wikimedia-movement-funds/
 
  I do want to take the opportunity to once again thank all those
 involved
  in this first round, including all the participating chapters. As
 expressed
  earlier: this is the future of our funds dissemination and we will
 refine
  the process, but this first round has exceeded my expectations on all
  levels. Thanks everyone!
 
  Jan-Bart
  (who now goes digging in the attic for some barn stars)
 
 
  On 15 Nov 2012, at 19:38, Dariusz Jemielniak dar...@alk.edu.pl
 wrote:
 
   -- Forwarded message --
   From: Dariusz Jemielniak dar...@alk.edu.pl
   Date: Thu, Nov 15, 2012 at 7:25 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board resolutions on bylaw amendments and appointment of Foundation staff officers

2012-11-05 Thread Thomas Dalton
I would be very surprised if the trustee Secretary actually took minutes...
That would usually be delegated...
On Nov 6, 2012 12:02 AM, Risker risker...@gmail.com wrote:

 It would strike me that one of the urgencies that might be involved is
 the fact that this resolution was passed so that the Board member who had
 previously been the secretary could participate as an individual board
 member, and the appointed secretary could take the minutes. It's extremely
 rare for a staffed charity/non-profit to have sitting trustees acting as
 secretary or treasurer, and none of the discussion here has indicated any
 concern about this decision; this was essentially housekeeping.  Therefore,
 the only thing I can take from this is that it is a process issue, and that
 some members of the community wish to know in advance and in detail what
 the board will be discussing.  I can understand that; at the same time, I
 think that attempting to micro-manage the board over housekeeping items is
 not terribly helpful. Now, if the Board had been deciding on its
 composition (which as best I can tell was never publicly discussed the last
 time it was changed), I think that would certainly benefit from community
 input.

 Risker


 On 5 November 2012 18:25, Lodewijk lodew...@effeietsanders.org wrote:

  (just for the record: in case someone does have a valid reason, I'm still
  very open to hearing good reasons why the board chose the procedure they
  chose (behind closed doors), and whether there was any urgency to the
  changes proposed. I somehow missed that in the replies but may have
 missed
  it. Knowing about such reasons might be helpful in the light of proposing
  changes to procedures.
 
  Lodewijk)
 
  2012/11/2 Lodewijk lodew...@effeietsanders.org
 
   Hi Bishakha,
  
   2012/11/2 Bishakha Datta bishakhada...@gmail.com
  
   On Fri, Nov 2, 2012 at 4:53 PM, Lodewijk lodew...@effeietsanders.org
   wrote:
  
Dear Bishakha,
   
could you please elaborate why the board has chosen for a secretive
amendment procedure here, rather than sharing the proposed
 amendments
   with
the community and asking their input on it? Especially where it
  concerns
such non-trivial changes.
   
   Ok, now that the document showing old and new has finally been
  uploaded, I
   will try to answer your question.
  
   The legal team proposed that we amend the bylaws, primarily to ensure
   compliance with Florida non-profit laws.
  
   Since most of the changes are legal in nature, they were not referred
 to
   the community for prior input.
  
   I understand how this action can be seen as secretive or opaque, even
   though it may not have been intended as such.
  
   Is it also possible to see this action as reasonable, given the nature
  of
   most of the changes?
  
  
   I don't see how this validates the fact that you did not consult the
   community on these changes. If the changes are fairly trivial and
   legalistic, then the community will likely have little objection. But
 as
   you noted, there was at least one significant change (I haven't been
 able
   to check myself) and I'm having a hard time understanding why you (the
   board) would /not/ want the input of the community on such decisions.
  
   If people talk rubbish, it is easy to ignore. But maybe they have a
 very
   good point that you want to take into account. If they come up with an
   argument that changes your mind - wouldn't that mean that the goal has
  been
   accomplished?
  
   Especially with the second most important governing document of the
   Wikimedia Foundation (after the Articles of Incorporation) I don't
   understand why changing it is not considered to be relevant to the
   community. Maybe this specific change was a good one (I'm not sure yet
 I
   agree, until I heard the explanation of the why) but maybe next time
 the
   changes are more drastic and infringing. I find it silly that we do
  require
   chapters to let their bylaws approved by the Affiliations Committee
   (although enforcement of that could be improved), and make them public
   before doing so - but that the Wikimedia Foundation wouldn't have to
  follow
   the same standards.
  
   But let me make this constructive: I will set up a page on meta (I'll
  send
   a separate email about that) where the community can discuss measures
 to
   make the Wikimedia Foundation more democratic.
  
   Kind regards,
  
   Lodewijk
  
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board resolutions on bylaw amendments and appointment of Foundation staff officers

2012-11-05 Thread Thomas Dalton
Being responsible for something doesn't you're the one that actually does
it.
On Nov 6, 2012 12:30 AM, Risker risker...@gmail.com wrote:

 Well, that's the point. Phoebe *was* responsible for this, just as Bishakha
 has been so far this year.  Who's been sending out the minutes and posting
 resolutions?

 Further, it's to improve compliance with legislation. Thus, it's
 housekeeping.

 Risker

 On 5 November 2012 19:04, Thomas Dalton thomas.dal...@gmail.com wrote:

  I would be very surprised if the trustee Secretary actually took
 minutes...
  That would usually be delegated...
  On Nov 6, 2012 12:02 AM, Risker risker...@gmail.com wrote:
 
   It would strike me that one of the urgencies that might be involved
 is
   the fact that this resolution was passed so that the Board member who
 had
   previously been the secretary could participate as an individual board
   member, and the appointed secretary could take the minutes. It's
  extremely
   rare for a staffed charity/non-profit to have sitting trustees acting
 as
   secretary or treasurer, and none of the discussion here has indicated
 any
   concern about this decision; this was essentially housekeeping.
   Therefore,
   the only thing I can take from this is that it is a process issue, and
  that
   some members of the community wish to know in advance and in detail
 what
   the board will be discussing.  I can understand that; at the same
 time, I
   think that attempting to micro-manage the board over housekeeping items
  is
   not terribly helpful. Now, if the Board had been deciding on its
   composition (which as best I can tell was never publicly discussed the
  last
   time it was changed), I think that would certainly benefit from
 community
   input.
  
   Risker
  
  
   On 5 November 2012 18:25, Lodewijk lodew...@effeietsanders.org
 wrote:
  
(just for the record: in case someone does have a valid reason, I'm
  still
very open to hearing good reasons why the board chose the procedure
  they
chose (behind closed doors), and whether there was any urgency to the
changes proposed. I somehow missed that in the replies but may have
   missed
it. Knowing about such reasons might be helpful in the light of
  proposing
changes to procedures.
   
Lodewijk)
   
2012/11/2 Lodewijk lodew...@effeietsanders.org
   
 Hi Bishakha,

 2012/11/2 Bishakha Datta bishakhada...@gmail.com

 On Fri, Nov 2, 2012 at 4:53 PM, Lodewijk 
  lodew...@effeietsanders.org
 wrote:

  Dear Bishakha,
 
  could you please elaborate why the board has chosen for a
  secretive
  amendment procedure here, rather than sharing the proposed
   amendments
 with
  the community and asking their input on it? Especially where it
concerns
  such non-trivial changes.
 
 Ok, now that the document showing old and new has finally been
uploaded, I
 will try to answer your question.

 The legal team proposed that we amend the bylaws, primarily to
  ensure
 compliance with Florida non-profit laws.

 Since most of the changes are legal in nature, they were not
  referred
   to
 the community for prior input.

 I understand how this action can be seen as secretive or opaque,
  even
 though it may not have been intended as such.

 Is it also possible to see this action as reasonable, given the
  nature
of
 most of the changes?


 I don't see how this validates the fact that you did not consult
 the
 community on these changes. If the changes are fairly trivial and
 legalistic, then the community will likely have little objection.
 But
   as
 you noted, there was at least one significant change (I haven't
 been
   able
 to check myself) and I'm having a hard time understanding why you
  (the
 board) would /not/ want the input of the community on such
 decisions.

 If people talk rubbish, it is easy to ignore. But maybe they have a
   very
 good point that you want to take into account. If they come up with
  an
 argument that changes your mind - wouldn't that mean that the goal
  has
been
 accomplished?

 Especially with the second most important governing document of the
 Wikimedia Foundation (after the Articles of Incorporation) I don't
 understand why changing it is not considered to be relevant to the
 community. Maybe this specific change was a good one (I'm not sure
  yet
   I
 agree, until I heard the explanation of the why) but maybe next
 time
   the
 changes are more drastic and infringing. I find it silly that we do
require
 chapters to let their bylaws approved by the Affiliations Committee
 (although enforcement of that could be improved), and make them
  public
 before doing so - but that the Wikimedia Foundation wouldn't have
 to
follow
 the same standards.

 But let me make this constructive: I will set up a page

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Under block threat on fr.wp because of request on meta

2012-11-03 Thread Thomas Dalton
You're taking about a whistleblower policy[1], essentially. Normally, they
are restricted to reporting violations off the law, rather than internal
policies (see the Foundation's policy[2] for example) but there is no
reason we couldn't have a broader one.

It would need to be quite limited in scope to avoid it being too open to
abuse, though.

1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whistleblower
2. http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Whistleblower_policy
On Nov 3, 2012 11:01 AM, Teofilo teofilow...@gmail.com wrote:

 A group of French admins is threatening me of what they call a block
 with consequences in the case I would perform any similar move, a
 move similar with what I did which they interpret as disrupting
 Wikipedia to illustrate a point (1).

 As the wording is totally vague (similar move) this deprives me of
 the right to express myself on community matters. My freedom of speech
 on community matters is being denied.

 What I did, was a request to stewards on meta to remove access for all
 current French Checkusers as a consequence of the French Wikipedia
 switching from the wiki with arbcom to the wiki without arbcom
 status (2).

 So I am under threat, because I tried to enforce the checkuser policy,
 which provides different access procedures according to whether the
 wiki is with or without arbcom (3).

 Would it be possible to provide some kind of protection to users
 making requests on meta in reference to WMF policies ?

 Would it be possible to have some kind of meta-arbcom that would be
 a supreme court responsible for guaranteeing a set of fundamental
 principles, such as freedom of speech ?

 References:

 (1)
 http://fr.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Discussion_utilisateur%3ATeofilodiff=84877524oldid=84615519
 (2)
 http://meta.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Steward_requests/Permissionsoldid=4347135#per_CheckUser_policy.23Checkuser_access.2C_all_current_checkusers_on_fr.Wikipedia.org_.28wiki_without_an_Arbitration_Committee.29
 (3) http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/CheckUser_policy#Access_to_CheckUser

 See also:


 http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikip%C3%A9dia:Prise_de_d%C3%A9cision/Checkuser
  [The community vote in 2005 where checkusers where agreed by only a
 very short majority (52.4%)]

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Democratizing the Wikimedia Foundation

2012-11-03 Thread Thomas Dalton
Transparency is necessary for democracy, but it is only one part of it. I
think Lodewijk wants to discuss ways of involving the community in the
Foundation's governance, not just ways to keep it informed.
On Nov 3, 2012 12:48 PM, Patricio Lorente patricio.lore...@gmail.com
wrote:

 2012/11/3 Ilario Valdelli valde...@gmail.com:
  On Fri, Nov 2, 2012 at 7:01 PM, Patricio Lorente 
 patricio.lore...@gmail.com
  wrote:
 
   think along and bring the proposals to the board when the time is
 there
   (Alice, Kat, Patricio, SJ, and Ting: I'm looking at you) but of course
  I'm
   counting on it that also other board members will support the thought
   behind this. Any input on how to make this process more constructive
  would
   be appreciated. I also hope that the legal team will be watching the
 page
   and advise when something is legally impossible and how it could be
 made
   possible.
 
   I hope that our community selected board members will take this up as
  well,
  Hi Lodewijk! I really appreciate this initiative -although I think the
  subject does not make too much sense: it would be better Improving
  governance, perhaps-. Anyway, it will be an important input for us.
 
  Patricio
 
 
  Or may be... improving transparency?
 
  Governance is not transparency, governance is controlling.

 Hi Ilario!

 Improving transparency is far better that Democratizing WMF,
 though governance is not about controlling: is about decision making
 procceses, guidance, communications... in fact, is also about
 transparency :)

 Anyway, despite the title we choose, I really think that this
 discussion is necessary, and that we need to improve (or even to set
 up) some basic rules and procedures of interaction and decision
 making.

 Patricio

 --
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 Blog: http://www.patriciolorente.com.ar
 Identi.ca // Twitter: @patriciolorente

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board resolutions on bylaw amendments and appointment of Foundation staff officers

2012-11-02 Thread Thomas Dalton
Bishaka,

Seeing as there was no public discussion of these amendments, to my
knowledge, can you at least explain them now?

The responsibilities of the Secretary and Treasurer are board
responsibilities. While the day-to-day work of the role may be delegated to
staff, it is still the job of the board to ensure that everything is done
correctly. How does the board intend to do that in future? Have individual
trustees been appointed as liaisons to these new officers? Or are there
committees to oversee their work?
On Nov 2, 2012 9:29 AM, Bishakha Datta bishakhada...@gmail.com wrote:

 Dear all,

 At its in-person meeting of 26 October, the Board of Trustees also approved
 the two following resolutions:

 http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Resolution:Amended_Bylaws
 This resolution approved the revised and amended Foundation bylaws. The
 updated Bylaws are being adopted to ensure the Foundation's continued
 compliance with applicable laws and to further clarify certain procedural
 matters.

 Please note the substantive change in Article V: Officers and Duties. As
 per the amendments, the Secretary and Treasurer are now non-trustee officer
 positions.

 In line with this amendment, non-trustees have been appointed to both these
 positions.
 The resolution approving these appointments is published at:

 http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Resolution:Appointment_of_Foundation_Staff_Officers

 All resolutions from the in-person meeting of 26 October have now been
 published.

 Questions and comments, as always, are welcome.

 Best
 Bishakha
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board resolutions on bylaw amendments and appointment of Foundation staff officers

2012-11-02 Thread Thomas Dalton
On Nov 2, 2012 3:07 PM, Bishakha Datta bishakhada...@gmail.com wrote:

 On Fri, Nov 2, 2012 at 5:26 PM, Thomas Dalton thomas.dal...@gmail.com
wrote:

 
  The responsibilities of the Secretary and Treasurer are board
  responsibilities. While the day-to-day work of the role may be
delegated to
  staff, it is still the job of the board to ensure that everything is
done
  correctly. How does the board intend to do that in future? Have
individual
  trustees been appointed as liaisons to these new officers? Or are there
  committees to oversee their work?
 

 Yes, both will be overseen by Board members. The Treasurer will be
overseen
 by the Audit Committee head, while the Secretary will be overseen by the
 Board Governance Committee head.

Thank you!
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] The new narrowed focus by WMF

2012-10-21 Thread Thomas Dalton
On 21 October 2012 22:29, Dan Rosenthal swatjes...@gmail.com wrote:
 The connection is that it is an example of the significantly more
 negative/hostile environment and failure of en.wp's governance structure
 that harms editor retention; this is something that could have been studied
 and reported on by the Fellowship program. Basically, it's a specific
 example of a broader problem that would be perfect for Fellows to look at,
 were the program to continue. I was not advocating that the WMF be involved
 in Malleus's specific debate.

As I understand it, the biggest problem with editor retention at the
moment is the second edit. By that point, they haven't had any
interaction with our governance structure, so that can't really be the
cause.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikimedia Announcements] Wikimedia Foundation and Saudi Telecom (STC) partner to provide access to Wikipedia free of mobile data charges in the Middle East

2012-10-15 Thread Thomas Dalton
On Oct 15, 2012 6:06 PM, Yann Forget yan...@gmail.com wrote:

 Hello,

 This announcement is worrying, to say the least.
 In other words, the Wikimedia Foundation is doing a partnership with
 one of the most retrograde government, which is also a regular censor
 on Internet content.
 How could you justify that?

I don't think this partnership will help the regime in any significant way
and even restricted access to Wikipedia is better than no access.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] AFT5: what practical benefits has it had?

2012-10-14 Thread Thomas Dalton
On 14 October 2012 20:19, phoebe ayers phoebe.w...@gmail.com wrote:
 Indeed; I remember some (internal) announcements around this, which
 caused me and no doubt others to while away an evening just after
 deployment clicking helpful/unhelpful :)

I didn't spend an entire evening on it, but I can certainly say those
announcements prompted me to go and moderate feedback which I then
didn't sustain. If lots of people did the same as us, that would
certainly give a spike in the graphs.

 Also, not to state the obvious, but 'helpful' feedback in and of
 itself doesn't mean the article changed for the better; I've marked
 plenty of feedback 'helpful' without doing anything further about it.
 Is there any data about rate of change of the articles since AFT was
 enabled? (probably pretty hard to measure since articles are
 individually fluid at much different rates, depending on topic, and
 you'd have to control for the baseline likeliness of random bursts of
 editing somehow).

That is a very important point. The goal of the AFT is not to collect
feedback, but to improve articles (either by people acting on the
feedback or, perhaps more interestingly, but people giving feedback
and then being prompted to edit themselves).

Collecting statistics on the feedback itself is a good first stage in
the experimentation process, but it does need to be followed up be
statistics on whether the ultimate goal is being achieved or not
(based on anecdotal evidence, I suspect it isn't at this point, but it
is early days).

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Info: Recruitment process for Secretary General of the Wikimedia Chapters Association

2012-10-11 Thread Thomas Dalton
The consultant has apparently been chosen already based on a recommendation
from Pavel. What other consultants were considered? What was the process?
Did you get competing quotes?
On Oct 10, 2012 10:39 PM, Fae f...@wikimedia.org.uk wrote:

 Hi,

 I have created 

 https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Chapters_Association/Resolutions/2012_SG_recruitment
 
 for a resolution of the WCA Council Members to support a resourced plan to
 recruit the WCA Secretary General.

 Should you have questions, please raise them on 

 https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:Wikimedia_Chapters_Association/Resolutions/2012_SG_recruitment
 .

 Thanks,
 Fae
 --
 Ashley Van Haeften (Fae) f...@wikimedia.org.uk
 Wikimedia Chapters Association Chair http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/WCA
 Guide to email tags: http://j.mp/mfae
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] WMF core and non core expenses

2012-10-09 Thread Thomas Dalton
On 10 October 2012 00:31, Samuel Klein meta...@gmail.com wrote:
 Agreed.  If we split movement-wide costs into essential, high
 priority, and non-core, I think the FDC should grow to review most
 of the non-essential funds.  Which would include more than 10% of the
 WMF budget.

If you view it from a functional perspective, what core actually
means is so much more important than anything any other eligible
entity does that there is no way the FDC could reasonably decide not
to fund it. Things like keeping wikipedia.org up and running clearly
fall into that category, as do a few other things, but there are
plenty of things the WMF is calling core that I don't think can
actually be described that way.

My preference would be to just send the whole lot through the FDC. If
it's so important, then why not trust the FDC to realise that? The
WMF's core budget should definitely be funded, but why should it be
the WMF that gets to decide what is core and what isn't? (The WMF has
a fair bit of revenue that doesn't come from the fundraiser, in the
same way most chapters do, so it would still be able to fund its basic
functions autonomously).

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] What is the status of the WCA?

2012-10-06 Thread Thomas Dalton
Thanks for the update. Has there been any progress with incorporating (or
even deciding where to incorporate)? If not, what is your intention for the
hiring process? Will the SG be hired by one of the chapters, or something?
On Oct 6, 2012 4:20 PM, Fae fae...@gmail.com wrote:

 On 6 October 2012 16:12, Thomas Dalton thomas.dal...@gmail.com wrote:
  What is the current status of the WCA? The last update I can find is an
  email from Ziko to this list on 24 August (a month and a half ago) saying
  there would be a full report soon. Have I missed that report or are we
  still waiting for it?

 Yes the report did not happen. Here is my update sent to the Chapters
 list 2 days ago to avoid any confusion about what is planned:
 
 Subject: Re: [Chapters] Calling for WCA meeting
 ...
 A more detailed email is being prepared explaining the supported
 recruitment process that we expect to establish the Secretary General
 by the end of this year. I am recommending that:
 * this is not dependent on finalizing a budget, as we can now confirm
 sufficient budget commitment to the WCA to, at a minimum, have
 sufficient to cover wind-up costs for the SG after employment
 * the process will piggy-back on the WCA committees already formed,
 however I would expect the recruitment process itself to be open to
 all Council Members at every stage
 * I have asked for a telecon schedule to be published on :meta next
 week, so that Council Members can ask questions of the recruitment
 manager and be updated on progress through out the recruitment
 process.

 I want first to raise this as a proposal with the Council Members, to
 check if we need a resolution and a vote or they are content to
 proceed. This will be the key purpose of the above email being
 prepared. So I am being naughty in telling you first on this list
 before we do that. :-)
 

 Cheers,
 Fae

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikimedia-blog] [Wikimedia Announcements] Joint statement from Wikimedia Foundation and Wikimedia UK

2012-09-28 Thread Thomas Dalton
How about you shake your addiction to secrecy and tell us what the problem
is?
On Sep 28, 2012 11:20 PM, Michael Peel michael.p...@wikimedia.org.uk
wrote:


 On 28 Sep 2012, at 23:17, Andy Mabbett a...@pigsonthewing.org.uk wrote:

  On 28 September 2012 23:00, Michael Peel michael.p...@wikimedia.org.uk
 wrote:
 
  Please note that I have been requesting an urgent correction to this
 statement since 21:17 today (it is now 23:00), without receiving any
 response from the WMF.
 
  Correcting what, exactly?

 The first sentence of the statement. Sadly, I have yet to receive a
 response regarding my request for the last 2 hours. :-(

 Mike


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] CNET News: Corruption in Wikiland? Paid PR scandal erupts at Wikipedia

2012-09-19 Thread Thomas Dalton
On 19 September 2012 12:51, David Gerard dger...@gmail.com wrote:
 On 19 September 2012 12:08, Thomas Dalton thomas.dal...@gmail.com wrote:
 On 19 September 2012 10:46, David Gerard dger...@gmail.com wrote:
 On 19 September 2012 10:24, Andreas Kolbe jayen...@gmail.com wrote:

 He gets to decide which town goes forward,
 and whichever town goes forward pays him a consultancy fee.

 This, OTOH, is spurious made-up bullshit.

 No, it's pretty accurate. Roger made the decision to work with
 Gibraltar and Gibraltar are paying him. Do you really think there is
 no connection between those two facts? Of course he's working with
 them because they are paying him - that's the point of paid work.


 He gets to decide which town goes forward is completely made-up, as
 has been noted.

 (How did you manage to quote that and then ignore it?)

Of course Roger decided who he was going to sign a contract with. Do
you think he was forced into it?

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikimedia Announcements] Wikimedia Foundation Seeks Declaratory Relief in response to Legal Threats from Internet Brands

2012-09-12 Thread Thomas Dalton
On 12 September 2012 08:45, Ray Saintonge sainto...@telus.net wrote:
 Also from Para 1, how can a person violate a contract without being a party
 to it?

That's what tortuous interference is all about. See:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tortious_interference

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Call for volunteers: 2012-2013 Audit Committee

2012-09-08 Thread Thomas Dalton
On 8 September 2012 14:12, Andrew Gray andrew.g...@dunelm.org.uk wrote:
 One quick question - will the Audit Committee work with/oversee the
 finances of the FDC as well? The FDC has its own Ombudspeople (person?
 not sure if it's one or two)  but it's not clear whether the scope of
 the AC has expanded to take account of the FDC's creation.

 I have no idea, but I do know things have jumped around a bit since
 this time last year :-)

The FDC is technically a committee of the WMF, so I can't see why it
wouldn't fall within the scope fo the AC. The Ombudsperson's role is
more to deal with complaints rather than audit the FDC's work[1].


1. 
http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/FDC_portal/Ombudsperson_role,_expectations,_and_selection_process

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Wikimedia Travel Guide: Board statement

2012-09-07 Thread Thomas Dalton
On 7 September 2012 20:40, Daniel Zahn dz...@wikimedia.org wrote:
 On Thu, Sep 6, 2012 at 7:40 AM, Rodrigo Tetsuo Argenton
 rodrigo.argen...@gmail.com wrote:

 and I'm wondering how they will sue for importing content that is on free
 license...

 Well, it's Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike, so will have to
 attribute Wikitravel and the original author(s) on every single page.

 http://wikitravel.org/shared/Copyleft

Why attribute Wikitravel? The license only requires the author to be
attributed, not the first publisher. Ideally, content will be copied
across with the page history intact, which will constitute the
appropriate attribution (in the same way it does on Wikipedia). I
haven't been following too closely - are there any dumps available? It
seems unlikely it will be possible to get any now (I doubt IB can be
compelled to provide one).

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Wikimedia Travel Guide: Board statement

2012-09-07 Thread Thomas Dalton
On 7 September 2012 20:59, Daniel Zahn dz...@wikimedia.org wrote:
 On Fri, Sep 7, 2012 at 12:47 PM, Thomas Dalton thomas.dal...@gmail.com 
 wrote:

 Why attribute Wikitravel? The license only requires the author to be
 attributed, not the first publisher. Ideally, content will be copied
 across with the page history intact

 Really? it says.. (2) credit the author, licensor and/or other
 parties (such as a wiki or journal) in the manner they specify; 

The page you linked to doesn't specify any particular form of
attribution that I can see, so just crediting the author satisfies
that requirement.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Wikimedia Travel Guide: Board statement

2012-09-07 Thread Thomas Dalton
On 7 September 2012 21:25, Michael Peel michael.p...@wikimedia.org.uk wrote:
 We encourage attribution of Wikipedia articles as:

 This article uses material from the Wikipedia article [[Metasyntactic 
 variable]], which is released under the 
 [http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/ Creative Commons 
 Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0].

 i.e. to the project not the authors…

 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:REUSE#Example_notice

Which is fine because the notice when you edit a page says:

You agree that a hyperlink or URL is sufficient attribution under the
Creative Commons license.

So linking to the article is providing attribution in the manner they specify.

I can't see any similar notice on Wikitravel. I definitely can't see
anything saying you are licensing it with a requirement to attribute
to Wikitravel.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikimedia Announcements] Wikimedia Foundation Seeks Declaratory Relief in response to Legal Threats from Internet Brands

2012-09-06 Thread Thomas Dalton
On Sep 6, 2012 7:27 PM, Nathan nawr...@gmail.com wrote:
 Other than in the process of enforcing telecommunications law, is
 there any way to challenge the presumed immunity of a particular
 entity under Section 230? It seems to me, as a layperson, that
 Internet Brand's role in Wikitravel has penetrated whatever imaginary
 barrier must exist since they are now firmly in control of all content
 rules, site policies and every other aspect of project management.

Even if they have lost safe harbor protections, is there anything illegal
about the content? What do they need Section 230 protection from?
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Copyright on Xrays

2012-08-22 Thread Thomas Dalton
On 21 August 2012 19:44,  birgitte...@yahoo.com wrote:
 In most cases ( Covering the significant majority of all x-rays existing, but 
 not ruling out the possibility of rare uses of X-ray photography as an 
 artistic medium) .  . .

 7 None of the above

 Utilitarian work = uncopyrightable

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Upperarm.jpg

That photo, according to the licenses on that page, has copyright. Do
you disagree?

If you agree that that has copyright, why would essentially the same
photo taken using a different frequency of electromagnetic radiation
not have copyright? What is the difference?

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Copyright on Xrays

2012-08-22 Thread Thomas Dalton
On 22 August 2012 20:50, Anthony wikim...@inbox.org wrote:
 It possibly has a very thin copyright.

Copyright doesn't have thickness. Either it is copyrightable or it isn't.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Copyright on Xrays

2012-08-20 Thread Thomas Dalton
On 20 August 2012 12:08, James Heilman jmh...@gmail.com wrote:
 A question about copyright, who owns the copyright on Xrays and are they
 even copyrightable? I have uploaded a few of them and no one seems to know
 the answer. I guess the options would be:

Why is it any different to any other work created during employment?
The employer owns the copyright in almost all those cases. The client
(patient, HMO, whatever) only owns it is there is a specific
contractual agreement to that effect, and I can't see why there would
be. It's the same as when pay a professional photographer to take nice
photos of you - they own the copyright unless you explicitly buy it
off them.

In countries with public healthcase, the employer may be a public body
and there may be different rules (are x-rays taken by NHS
radiographers under Crown Copyright?). There may also be special rules
in some countries regarding medical records, although I wouldn't
expect them to remove the copyright (just give a statutory license for
certain uses).

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