Re: [Wikimedia-l] Welcome messages at arwiki

2017-12-30 Thread Ting Chen

Hello Amir,


I think what you are questioning is right. And it is necessary to ask 
such questions. In my day job it is my duty to ask and discuss such 
questions with my customers.



But, with the time I sort of see that these pure utilitarian questions 
are not the only questions that we need to consider. I start to ask 
questions that are beyond or below (according to the perspective) these 
pure utilitarian questions. I find the answer Meno25 gave on Meta a very 
interesting one in this respect. In his answer he was not arguing about 
if the welcome-bot is useful or meaningful. He said it is their custom 
to do so. What he is pointing to is culture. See, why do we hug, shake 
hands, nod, or rub noses, or kiss? From a pure utilitarian point of view 
these behaviors are not only meaningless, they are even potentially 
dangerous for our health. If we just want to meet other people and talk 
to them why do we not just directly talk about what we want to talk 
about and make it behind us?



And this is why in my opinion it is good that every project has its own 
way to handle welcome message: Because the welcome message is not only a 
utilitarian thing, there is culture beyond or below it. There is culture 
encompassed from the societies where the project community is embedded 
in and there is culture that was created and developed by the project 
community.



This is why in my opinion as long as the message is not malicious how 
every community handles this is their own thing.



Greetings

Ting



Am 30.12.2017 um 09:29 schrieb Amir E. Aharoni:

It's a good opportunity to step back and discuss a little something.

The existence of pretty much every bot is a reason to think of a missing
feature in the site's software. The same goes for templates and gadgets.

Why do many wikis have custom welcome templates and bots that send them?
The intuitive answer is "to send a personal message to a new user", but if
it's done by a bot, it's already not personal. What does the bot actually
automate? The placement of a template? But what is the actual purpose of
the template?

Is it to say "hello and welcome"? The notifications feature already does it
nicely.

To send people a list of useful links? I heard many times that new users
actually do find them useful, and it's a good thing. But it's nevertheless
an anecdotal claim, and smarter questions should be asked:
* How many people actually read these messages?
* Are all the links useful? Do people actually click them?
* Could some be removed? Could some be added?
* Why is it different in every project? Could at least some parts be reused
across languages in a robust and properly localizable manner?
* Is the talk page really a good place to do this?
* How useful is it for people for people who come from another language and
have an account auto-created?

And so on.

Welcome templates have been a part of our sites for well over a decade, but
it's never too late to ask fundamental question about what purpose do they
serve, and how could this purpose be served better.

Happy New Year :)

בתאריך 29 בדצמ׳ 2017 11:21,‏ "John Erling Blad"  כתב:


Users on other projects are complaining about the welcome messages at
arwiki. A bot at that project are welcoming people that has no activity at
that project at all. The bot operator claims the activity is valid, but I
can't see that this is a well-behaving bot at all.[1]

I suspect the bot is welcoming every user it can find, but using user
accounts from central login and not users that has local contributions at
arwiki.

Can someone shut down the bot until the user fix the spam problem.

[1] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Meno25#Welcome_messages
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Welcome messages at arwiki

2017-12-30 Thread Ting Chen
I cannot see malicious intention behind the use of the bot. If you don't 
feel spoken to, just ignore it. Why is this a so huge problem?



Greetings

Ting


Am 29.12.2017 um 10:20 schrieb John Erling Blad:

Users on other projects are complaining about the welcome messages at
arwiki. A bot at that project are welcoming people that has no activity at
that project at all. The bot operator claims the activity is valid, but I
can't see that this is a well-behaving bot at all.[1]

I suspect the bot is welcoming every user it can find, but using user
accounts from central login and not users that has local contributions at
arwiki.

Can someone shut down the bot until the user fix the spam problem.

[1] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Meno25#Welcome_messages
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Austin Hair is gone

2017-12-18 Thread Ting Chen
I am very shocked and deeply saddened. He is still very young. I believe 
he is 10 years or more younger than me. This is indeed a very sad loss.


:'(


Ting



Am 18.12.2017 um 14:51 schrieb Asaf Bartov:

Dear Wikimedians,

I regret to have to inform this list that veteran Wikimedian and longtime
volunteer administrator of this mailing list, Austin Hair (User:Austin
Hair), has died, after prolonged health complications.

If you knew him, a good place to leave condolences is his talk page:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Austin_Hair#Condolences

Life is short. Be kind to one another.

 Asaf
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Update on Wikimédia France

2017-08-03 Thread Ting Chen

Hello dear all,

at first I would object that the Foundation do such a thing, even as a 
denkexperiment. This may be seen as an easy way to react on a crisis but 
this opens doors for misuse of power. In a different situation, a 
different time, with a different WMF board and ED, this can open a door 
to do a lot of harm to the movement.


Second, @Florence and other WMFR members: If the chapter is really 
beyond repair, I think a better way is to create a new organization, 
join as a user group. This can lead in a few possible outcomes:


- The old chapter could struggle and lose further ground, lose funding, 
missing reports, etc. which at some time will also lead to lose of 
chapter status. The new user group, if it performs well, can then apply 
for the chapter status


- The old chapter can reform itself, regain its foot step, and come back 
in course.


The point is, you can be member of both the old and the new organization 
/ group, they don't exclude each other. With the new group you can also 
create pressure from outside to get the old chapter back in course.


I believe this is the more ordered way to get a better solution. It 
certainly is the longer and more difficult way. But the dark side of the 
force is always easier and quicker.


Greetings

Ting


Am 03.08.2017 um 13:10 schrieb James Salsman:

Can Katherine Maher as Foundation Executive Director decide and
announce a new policy that the continuation of the WMFR Charter is
contingent on the September General Assembly agenda including
particular items which they may not otherwise be inclined to agendas,
please?



On Thu, Aug 3, 2017 at 6:33 PM, Devouard (gmail)  wrote:

The current situation at Wikimedia France is ABSOLUTE NON SENSE


After MONTHS spent trying to figure out what was going on, collecting data,
finding witnesses, fighting fears of being sued...
we succeeded to mobilize 25% of Wikimedia France members to vote to request
a General Assembly. That was a challenge. It took us several weeks to
achieve that.


Now... the General Assembly is scheduled 9th of September. But per bylawys,
the current board decides of the agenda of the meeting. Topics not on the
agenda can not lead to any votes... Being generous (sarcasm on), the current
board will open the floor for discussion AFTER the General Assembly. Which
somehow defeats the whole process as the discussion should occur BEFORE the
vote. Also, some of us would like some resolutions to be voted upon, such as
request of a financial audit...


According to our bylaws, discussion points and decisions propositions may be
made by the members and will be added to the agenda IF at least 25% of the
membership ask for them. And this should be approved one month before the
actual assembly. Which is just in a few days...


But to make things easier for us...
* some members memberships requests and renewals were rejected, thus
decreasing the number of potential voters. Of course, the memberships
rejected were from opponents to the current board... who would have voted
for the new agenda...
* in the same time (2 weeks...), the membership increased from 275 to 300
members. No idea who those 25 new members are. But increased number of
members is making it even tougher to reach the 75 votes to request additions
to the agenda.
* the main mailing list of the association is still closed... which means we
can NOT reach out to ALL members. We have no means to contact them. I
managed to get a public list opened just a few days before the closure of
the internal mailing list and to send a call for registration. So the most
active members actually joined that public list and are within reach. But
all the other members... the ones who did not reach to that new public
list... we have NO MEANS to contact them.
How are we supposed to get members to be given the chance to vote on an
agenda when they do not KNOW about this agenda ? We can't tell them about
it.

How serious and honest from our current board is that ? This is beyond
shameful behavior.

So, friends, I would like to ask you help.


If by any chance, you joined the association in the past 2 weeks... please
vote.
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimédia_France/Assemblée_générale/septembre_2017/Points_à_ajouter_à_l%27ordre_du_jour


Please, do realy our call in your network.

If you know anyone who might by chance be a member of Wikimedia France,
please tell them about the vote. It is here :
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimédia_France/Assemblée_générale/septembre_2017/Points_à_ajouter_à_l%27ordre_du_jour

Or RELAY in social networks. For example that tweet
https://twitter.com/photos_floues/status/892731233784008704

Or DROP A WORD to current board members and tell them about how wrong they
behave by not giving a chance to democracy
Something like "please inform all Wikimedia France members about the vote
opened for the new agenda : "

The current board members
* Secretary : https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:EdouardHue
* 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Advisory Board of the Wikimedia Foundation

2017-06-27 Thread Ting Chen

Hi,


the Advisory Board, as it was, and so far I can see, as it probably will 
be, does not have something like a structure or a channel. It is more 
like a bunch of individuals that mostly the board, and in some cases the 
WMF staff may (or mostly) may not approach on specific topics. The board 
and the staff don't need to follow the advises from these people and in 
most cases I don't see that the AB members organize or interact very 
much. For AB members that are very easy to access, like Florence, just 
to name an obvious example, you have multiple channels to ask them about 
their opinions. I see myself in this category too. Others may not want 
to be able contacted by everyone, and I see alot benefit to respect this 
and see only very small benefit to refuse them this.



So in my opinion the current model of the accessability of AB member is 
just fine.



Greetings

Ting


Am 27.06.2017 um 16:39 schrieb Rogol Domedonfors:

Are those channels proposed as part of the paper you brought to the BGC on
the 13th April, then?  Or are you ready to discuss them now?  Or will the
possibility of establishing them be postponed until some time after the
Advisory Board is reconstituted?

"Rogol"

On Tue, Jun 27, 2017 at 11:14 AM, Dariusz Jemielniak 
wrote:


I think we should have those channels, once the body is constituted.

Best

Dj

On Jun 26, 2017 19:59, "Rogol Domedonfors"  wrote:


Dariusz

Thanks for that update.  You don't mention any channels for communication
between the reconstituted Board and the Community at large, nor
opportunities for the Community at large to be involved in suggesting
names.  I assume then that engagement with the Community is not considered
important here?

"Rogol"

On Mon, Jun 26, 2017 at 9:31 AM, Dariusz Jemielniak 
wrote:


Hello! The Advisory Board (AB) and its role was indeed among the BGC
priorities for this year [1]. And I have been working with the former AB
members on a concept for how the AB’s work should be organized. The
concept
they came up though needs to be clarified and improved, especially on how
the AB internal coordination will be organized [2]. The group will work
on
this with minimal overhead from the Board of Trustees and without
staff/budget support at first. The BGC believes that the AB can be used
as
a practical path for prospective members of the Board Board of Trustees,
and to formalize relationships between high-profile experts, and staff
and
the Board members. We shall answer with more details soon.

We have not made any announcements, as we're in the process, which I ope
is
understandable - there is no formal constitution of the body yet.

Dariusz & Nat

[1]
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_Board_G
overnance_Committee/Minutes_2016-07-08#Advisory_Board
[2]
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_Board_G
overnance_Committee/Minutes_13-04-2017


On Sun, Jun 25, 2017 at 6:49 PM, Rogol Domedonfors <
domedonf...@gmail.com>
wrote:


Craig

Thanks for your thoughtful response.  There are two gneral issues

around

the Advisory Board that members of the Community might be interested

in.

Firstly, it seems that after having lapsed in 2015, the Advisory Board

has

been reconstituted, but there has been no announcement to the

Community,

and indeed the Community was given no opportunity to engage with the
process of reconstitution (for example, by way of suggesting new

members or

new processes).  In particular, we in the Community do not know who

the new

Advisory Board members are, or what the new remit of the Advisory

Board is,

or whether and how to engage with those members.

Secondly, as a consequence there are no established channels for

engagement

between the Advisory Board and the Community.  As a member of the new
Avdvisory Board, you may wish to encourage your colleagues to establish
appropriate opportunities and rules of engagement for yourself and your
fellow members to engage with the Community.

You mentioned "tradtions".  I am sorry to say that my personal view is

that

the relationship between the Board of Trustees and the wider

Foundation on

the one hand and the Community of contributors and consumers on the

other

has "traditionally" been less than satisfctory.  I hope that this is

one

tradition that your advice will be helpful in overturning.

"Rogol"

On Sun, Jun 25, 2017 at 4:43 PM, Craig Newmark <

craig.newm...@gmail.com>

wrote:


Rogol, I'm on the advisory board, and actively involved in related

issues,

but have hesitated posting in respect for Community traditions (as I

learn

them) and also, as a large effort emerges in journalism regarding

reliable

sources.

Specifically, the latter involves the News Integrity Initiative

centered

at

the City University of NY, graduate journalism department.

That's to say, I hesitate until I learn the respectful way to talk

about

this, and until the NII has a lot more to say.


Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fwd: [PRESS] Turkish authorities block Wikipedia

2017-04-29 Thread Ting Chen
I think the Foundation and the chapters *must* make a statement that 
decisively contradicts the reason of the block: That Wikipedia supports 
terrorism. There could be further texts in the statement which stresses 
our principle of neutrality and our goal to spread knowledge, but the 
first and most important statement is to contradict the accusation.


Ah some times I miss Jay, he would immediately recognize how important 
it is to make such a statement. When national newspapers and broadcasts 
are referring (I just heard the one in Deutschland Funk 
http://www.deutschlandfunk.de/dlf24-startseite.1441.de.html ) this 
event, there should be not only the accusation but always also a reaction.


Greetings

Ting


Am 29.04.2017 um 10:43 schrieb Itzik - Wikimedia Israel:

Hey,

FYI -  sad news from Turkish.



*Regards,Itzik Edri*
Chairperson, Wikimedia Israel
+972-54-5878078 | http://www.wikimedia.org.il
Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in the
sum of all knowledge. That's our commitment!


-- Forwarded message --
From: Itzik - Wikimedia Israel 
Date: Sat, Apr 29, 2017 at 11:42 AM
Subject: [PRESS] Turkish authorities block Wikipedia
To: Communications Committee 


http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-39754909

Reuters just published that a 15 minutes ago, so it will be soon all over
the news.


---

*Turkey has blocked all access inside the country to the online
encyclopaedia Wikipedia, one of the world's most popular websites.*

It was not initially clear why the ban had been imposed.
The Turkey Blocks group said the site was inaccessible from 08:00 (05:00
GMT) by order of the Turkish authorities.
People in the capital Istanbul were unable to access any Wikipedia pages
without using a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
"After technical analysis and legal consideration based on the Law Nr.
5651, an administrative measure has been taken for this website," Turkey's
Information and Communication Technologies Authority was quoted as saying.
No reason was given.
Turkey Blocks and Turkish media, including the Hurriyet Daily News, said
the provisional order would need to be backed by a full court ruling in the
next few days.

Social media was in uproar as news of the ban emerged, with some users
speculating that it might be a bid to suppress criticism on President Recep
Tayyip Erdogan's Wikipedia page.
Mr Erdogan narrowly won a controversial 16 April referendum on increasing
his powers, but the issue has deeply divided the country.
Turkey has temporarily blocked popular social media sites including
Facebook and Twitter in the past, especially in the wake of mass protests
or terror attacks.
The government has previously denied censoring the internet, blaming
outages on spikes in usage after major events.



*Regards,Itzik Edri*
Chairperson, Wikimedia Israel
+972-54-5878078 <+972%2054-587-8078> | http://www.wikimedia.org.il
Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in the
sum of all knowledge. That's our commitment!
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Affiliates] Chapter De-Recognition: Wikimedia Philippines

2017-04-25 Thread Ting Chen

Hello Gnangarra,

I joined AffCom in 2015, at that time the issue with Wikimedia 
Philippines was already on the table. The AffCom and the WMF had tried 
two years to get a settlement without a de-recognition with them. 
Meanwhile it is 2017, I don't believe Josh could resolve the problem in 
the last five hours which the entire Wikimedia Philippines was not able 
to resolve in the past two years. As I said in my other post, I 
personally don't think it wise to withhold information, especially 
obviously the people who would be "protected" don't appreciate being 
protected. But actually on the decision itself if there is something the 
AffCom is to be blamed, it is that it took them two years of time to 
make that hard decision. It was overdue, actually.


Greetings

Ting


Am 25.04.2017 um 11:43 schrieb Gnangarra:

In the original email from Josh he raises some points about still working
to address the issues in the five hours between his email and your response
which have occurred between 9pm and 2am in San Francisco it appears that it
could not be possible for the WMF to have considered and refuted what was
raised, especially to say
*"The WMF and the AffCom have decided not to disclose further details​."   *​I
am concerned about how you can speak so categorically after just 5 hours
for the WMF when they arent even awake​, especially given it normally takes
a few days for any official statement from the WMF.

I have no problem with affiliates being deregistered but the process should
be transparent and it should also be fair, no discussion or response to
what Josh raised publically is neither fair nor transparent

Josh response was that WMPH was accountable you could have least given him
the chance to clarify the availability of the reporting requirements by
providing them


On 25 April 2017 at 17:33, Maor Malul  wrote:


Hello,

The wikimedians from the Phillippines that attended the WMCON are /not
/members of WMPH but of PhilWiki Community [1], which is a completely
different Wikimedia affiliate.

If you read the original e-mail sent, the governance issues started to
appear in 2014, and the chapter was notified back then. More issues
accumulated over the time, and a solution was indeed searched for. Please
elaborate on what "substantive discussion, consultation or investigation"
means.


1: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/PhilWiki_Community


El 25/04/2017 a las 12:16 p.m., Gnangarra escribió:


It appears to me as this discussion has caused some confusion and it
should be clarified as I know that the Philippines had two members at the
recent Wikimedia Conference in Berlin arent there reporting requirements
attached to eligibility requirements. They are also part of the group
organising the ESEA conference in February 2018 along with a number of
other affiliates in the region. Those of us who have committed people, time
and other resources need some clarity as well

While there appears to be some confusion here, Affcom and WMF should at
least take some time to clarify the issues especially given its currently
2am in San Francisco and it was only 9pm when Joshes email was sent. To me
it appears as if no substantive discussion, consultation or investigation
of Joshes claims could have taken place to warrant such a harsh response so
quickly.

On 25 April 2017 at 16:05, Maor Malul  wrote:

 Hello Josh,

 The WMF and the AffCom have decided not to disclose further
 details of the very serious governance issues in order not to hurt
 the movement and the reputation of the people involved. Please,
 avoid misleading and adding drama to this situation -which is
 already difficult, and damages the movement as a whole. WMPH was
 given very specific recommendations of what do and what not to do,
 but decided to go its own way.

 M.


 El 25/04/2017 a las 06:17 a.m., Josh Lim escribió:

 If you folks seriously think that we weren’t being
 “accountable”, then I have serious doubts about how this
 process will remain sustainable.

 I’m sorry, but this process has been exceedingly demotivating
 for everyone involved.  I’ve been trying to keep myself
 composed throughout the entire process, but at this point I
 simply cannot.

 I will gladly admit that we’ve made mistakes, us more than
 others.  Every organization does.  But I will not allow the
 work that I’ve dedicated over a decade of my life to be thrown
 out the window because we weren’t “accountable”.  To the best
 of our ability, we WERE accountable to our community and to
 the movement.  And I, frankly, feet that we were as
 accountable as we could’ve been.

 You may all want to know why I’ve been silent through this
 entire process.  It’s because I cannot, and I still cannot,
 process the grief this entire process has brought upon
 Wikimedia 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Affiliates] Chapter De-Recognition: Wikimedia Philippines

2017-04-25 Thread Ting Chen

Hello dear all,

we try, and some times try very very hard to be nice and to protect 
other people. But the world is some times not nice and some times really 
really bad things happen. Just for the next time (and there will be next 
times coming), my suggestion for the WMF and also for other committees 
that will have to make hard decisions to consider: It may be more 
helpful to decide to disclose details than be protective to individuals. 
It may also be helpful for other organizations to avoid make similar 
errors. Not decide to disclose is probably less helpful.


Just as a suggestion for thinking.

Greetings

Ting



Am 25.04.2017 um 09:05 schrieb Maor Malul:

Hello Josh,

The WMF and the AffCom have decided not to disclose further details of 
the very serious governance issues in order not to hurt the movement 
and the reputation of the people involved. Please, avoid misleading 
and adding drama to this situation -which is already difficult, and 
damages the movement as a whole. WMPH was given very specific 
recommendations of what do and what not to do, but decided to go its 
own way.


M.


El 25/04/2017 a las 06:17 a.m., Josh Lim escribió:
If you folks seriously think that we weren’t being “accountable”, 
then I have serious doubts about how this process will remain 
sustainable.


I’m sorry, but this process has been exceedingly demotivating for 
everyone involved.  I’ve been trying to keep myself composed 
throughout the entire process, but at this point I simply cannot.


I will gladly admit that we’ve made mistakes, us more than others. 
 Every organization does.  But I will not allow the work that I’ve 
dedicated over a decade of my life to be thrown out the window 
because we weren’t “accountable”.  To the best of our ability, we 
WERE accountable to our community and to the movement.  And I, 
frankly, feet that we were as accountable as we could’ve been.


You may all want to know why I’ve been silent through this entire 
process.  It’s because I cannot, and I still cannot, process the 
grief this entire process has brought upon Wikimedia Philippines, and 
especially myself.  I will try to be optimistic about the future, as 
people have been telling me to do, but at this point in time, at 
least have some respect for the work that we’ve done over the last 
six years.  That’s really all I’m asking for at this point.


Thanks,

Josh

On Apr 23, 2017, at 9:41 PM, James Heilman > wrote:


I second Itzik's comments. We need some degree of accountability. 
Hopefully this will encourage groups in the Philippines to become 
more active again.


James

On Sun, Apr 23, 2017 at 2:14 AM, Itzik - Wikimedia 
Israel>wrote:


Thank you Maor for the update.

We usually love to see our movement expend and welcome
recognition of new
organizations, but I strongly believe that we continuously need
to check
and evaluate our current organizations.

Our brand, name and reputation are part of our core assets - and
while it's
not an easy step, I appreciate Affcom efforts not only to
recognize new
ones but also to de-recognize organizations that are not longer
active or
non-compliance with our movement requirements.

Few weeks ago in Berlin we had a first meeting to start discuses
what is a
"movement accountability" and how we evaluate organizations who
operate
outside of the FDC process and I believe Affcom have a
significant part in
it.






*Regards,Itzik Edri*
Chairperson, Wikimedia Israel
+972-54-5878078
 |http://www.wikimedia.org.il

Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely
share in the
sum of all knowledge. That's our commitment!


On Sat, Apr 22, 2017 at 9:49 PM, Maor Malul > wrote:

> *
>
> Dear all,
>
> *
>
> **
>
> *Recognition as a Wikimedia affiliate - a chapter, thematic
organization,
> or user group - allows an independent group to officially use
the Wikimedia
> name to further the Wikimedia mission, with certain duties and
> responsibilities.  While most Wikimedia affiliates adhere to
the basic
> compliance standards set forth in their agreements with the
Wikimedia
> Foundation, a protocol has been developed to address the
exceptional cases
> when a Wikimedia affiliate does not meet minimum compliance
standards and
> their continued recognition as a Wikimedia affiliate presents a
risk to the
> Wikimedia movement.*
>
> *
>
> On September 9, 2016, Wikimedia Philippines was notified of their
> suspension as a Wikimedia affiliate due to long standing and
serious
> governance issues, as well as non-compliance with reporting
requirements
> which 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] De-Recognition of Affiliates with Long-standing Non-Compliance

2017-02-05 Thread Ting Chen

Hello Gerard,

I didn't say that a chapter represent a project or the Foundation. I 
said it is perceived as a representative of the movement.


For example, if the EU asks for opinion of the revision of the copy 
right law. The answers by the european chapters are perceived as the 
answer of this movement, it is not perceived as any casual organization. 
The media will at first contact the chapters of their region or country 
if there is anything to be commented about the movement.


As you said yourself. Chapters support the community, and from a very 
unique position that differs them from user groups, because there is 
only one chapter for the Netherlands, or Germany, etc. And this is the 
reason why there is a higher requirement of reports and activity for the 
chapters.


Greetings

Ting


Am 05.02.2017 um 18:48 schrieb Gerard Meijssen:

Hoi,
The Dutch chapter is well respected and it is why I can use it as an
example. The Dutch chapter does not represent Wikipedia or any of the other
projects. It cannot do this because the Wikimedia Foundation has this
exclusive right.

So when a chapter is said to represent the Wikimedia movement and its
projects in a country, it is important that this is in line with reality.
The reality is that the Dutch chapter is in principle a society with
members; it has as a mission to share the sum of all knowledge and in its
activities it supports the Dutch Wikimedia community as much as it can/is
allowed to as well.

When a chapter exclusively represents the WMF. Let there be trust and given
the way things are it does not show when you analyse things.
Thanks,
GerardM

On 5 February 2017 at 11:05, Ting Chen <wing.phil...@gmx.de> wrote:


Hello Gerard,

the chapters and thematic organizations are entrusted with certain
functions and authorities. For example a chapter enjoys regional (or
country wide) exclusivity in their operating region. They are perceived in
the public as if they are official representatives of our movement in that
region. The same function fulfills the Thematic Organizations for their
thematic area. This is why we lay a much higher standard of requirements
for these affiliates. Some chapters do not request funds by the FDC. We
also have user groups who request funds, and they need to provide the same
reports as needed by the funds. For the AffCom money is not the topic here.

Take the example of chapters if a chapter is not working, there is no
activity at all, it still blocks other affiliate grow up and take their
place as long as they are there and occupies the regional exclusity. This
is just one of the problematics here.

And the AffCom do also require the User Groups to report their activity,
although in a very easy to do manner.

I hope this clarifies your concern.

Greetings

Ting



Am 05.02.2017 um 10:22 schrieb Gerard Meijssen:


Hoi,
I fail to see who you are targeting and on what basis. My impression is
that it only has to do with money.. I understand this. For other parts
like
the language committee there are no reports except for the activity on its
mailing list. I fail to see why it has to report to anyone. It is not the
task the committee seeks and it does its activity on behalf of the
Wikimedia board.
Thanks,
GerardM

On 5 February 2017 at 00:06, Maor Malul <mao...@zoho.com> wrote:

Dear all,

Recognition as a Wikimedia affiliate - a chapter, thematic organization,
or user group - is a privilege that allows an independent group to
officially use the Wikimedia name to further the Wikimedia mission. While
most Wikimedia affiliates adhere to the basic compliance standards set
forth in their agreements with the Wikimedia Foundation, a protocol has
been developed to address the exceptional cases when a Wikimedia
affiliate
does not meet basic compliance standards and their continued recognition
as
a Wikimedia affiliate presents a risk to the Wikimedia movement. This
protocol is outlined at https://meta.wikimedia.org/wik
i/Wikimedia_movement_affiliates/Protocol_for_noncompliant_
Wikimedia_movement_affiliates

In the past year, the Affiliations Committee - with support from
Wikimedia
Foundation staff - has made a concerted effort to address a handful of
chapters with long-standing issues of non-compliance. As a result, in the
coming days and months, a small number of chapters that have been unable
to
return to compliance through their efforts in the past year will not have
their chapter agreements renewed. As a consequence, these organizations
will no longer have the additional rights to use the Wikimedia
trademarks,
including the Wikimedia name, that had been granted under those
agreements.

For a list of affiliates and their compliance status, please consult the
reports page on Meta; there is also a page that lists formerly active
affiliates. If you have questions about what this means for community
members in the affected affiliates’ geographic area or language scope, we
have put together a very basic FAQ, which 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] De-Recognition of Affiliates with Long-standing Non-Compliance

2017-02-05 Thread Ting Chen

Hello Gerard,

the chapters and thematic organizations are entrusted with certain 
functions and authorities. For example a chapter enjoys regional (or 
country wide) exclusivity in their operating region. They are perceived 
in the public as if they are official representatives of our movement in 
that region. The same function fulfills the Thematic Organizations for 
their thematic area. This is why we lay a much higher standard of 
requirements for these affiliates. Some chapters do not request funds by 
the FDC. We also have user groups who request funds, and they need to 
provide the same reports as needed by the funds. For the AffCom money is 
not the topic here.


Take the example of chapters if a chapter is not working, there is no 
activity at all, it still blocks other affiliate grow up and take their 
place as long as they are there and occupies the regional exclusity. 
This is just one of the problematics here.


And the AffCom do also require the User Groups to report their activity, 
although in a very easy to do manner.


I hope this clarifies your concern.

Greetings

Ting


Am 05.02.2017 um 10:22 schrieb Gerard Meijssen:

Hoi,
I fail to see who you are targeting and on what basis. My impression is
that it only has to do with money.. I understand this. For other parts like
the language committee there are no reports except for the activity on its
mailing list. I fail to see why it has to report to anyone. It is not the
task the committee seeks and it does its activity on behalf of the
Wikimedia board.
Thanks,
   GerardM

On 5 February 2017 at 00:06, Maor Malul  wrote:


Dear all,

Recognition as a Wikimedia affiliate - a chapter, thematic organization,
or user group - is a privilege that allows an independent group to
officially use the Wikimedia name to further the Wikimedia mission. While
most Wikimedia affiliates adhere to the basic compliance standards set
forth in their agreements with the Wikimedia Foundation, a protocol has
been developed to address the exceptional cases when a Wikimedia affiliate
does not meet basic compliance standards and their continued recognition as
a Wikimedia affiliate presents a risk to the Wikimedia movement. This
protocol is outlined at https://meta.wikimedia.org/wik
i/Wikimedia_movement_affiliates/Protocol_for_noncompliant_
Wikimedia_movement_affiliates

In the past year, the Affiliations Committee - with support from Wikimedia
Foundation staff - has made a concerted effort to address a handful of
chapters with long-standing issues of non-compliance. As a result, in the
coming days and months, a small number of chapters that have been unable to
return to compliance through their efforts in the past year will not have
their chapter agreements renewed. As a consequence, these organizations
will no longer have the additional rights to use the Wikimedia trademarks,
including the Wikimedia name, that had been granted under those agreements.

For a list of affiliates and their compliance status, please consult the
reports page on Meta; there is also a page that lists formerly active
affiliates. If you have questions about what this means for community
members in the affected affiliates’ geographic area or language scope, we
have put together a very basic FAQ, which may be found at
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_movement_affiliate
s/Affiliate_derecognition_FAQ

Regards,
M.

--
"*Jülüjain wane mmakat* ein kapülain tü alijunakalirua jee wayuukanairua
junain ekerolaa alümüin supüshuwayale etijaanaka. Ayatashi waya junain."
Maor Malul
Socio, A.C. Wikimedia Venezuela | RIF J-40129321-2 | www.wikimedia.org.ve

Member, Wikimedia Israel | www.wikimedia.org.il 
Chair, Wikimedia Foundation Affiliations Committee
Phone: +972-52-4869915
Twitter: @maor_x
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Politics

2017-02-04 Thread Ting Chen

Well spoken Mike.

Greetings

Ting


Am 04.02.2017 um 15:58 schrieb Mike Godwin:

I don't respond to Wikimedia-l discussion very often, but I think this
debate comes up often enough that it's worth it for me to explain and
elaborate on my own positions.

(1) I understand WP:NPOV to be a rule/guideline about content,
particularly Wikipedia content. I do not believe it is a rule about
Wikimedia processes, or about the Wikimedia movement's mission.

(2) As I put it many times many years ago in the years before and
after the SOPA/PIPA blackout, there are few POVs *less* neutral than
the commitment to give all the information in the world to everyone
for free. We are not a neutral enterprise, and we never have been.

(3) There is a vision that some members of the community have that WMF
employees (or contractors, or Trustees, or representatives) ought
never speak out and offer an opinion about political issues.
Ironically, some people in our movement would not want a WMF to have a
public opinion about, say, what "extreme vetting" means unless that
opinion itself were "extremely vetted."

(4) I think those who hold the view I summarize as (3) above are
making a mistake. It seems to me that the reason the community and the
Trustees have slowly crafted an evolving process that, when it works
well, results in strong, capable individuals who can speak effectively
both as representatives of our movement and as leaders of it, is that
we all know we can't hold a plebiscite for everything.

(5) We now know more than eve, thanks to events this year and last
year, that the larger, global, shared world of democratic values is
fragile, and that it's better to respond rapidly to rapidly emerging
issues (such as the treatment of Wikimedians of all backgrounds who
want or need to cross borders to participate in our shared, great
work) than it is to wait until our response is untimely, irrelevant,
or even impossible. The mode that seems to work most effectively for
us is to have strong, effective leaders and employees and
representatives who have earned our trust, and who for that reason can
be trusted to respond on our behalf as rapidly and effectively as
necessary to rapidly emerging issues. Without, shall we say, "extreme
vetting."

(6) Sometimes those whom the Trustees and/or the community have chosen
are not up to the job we ask of them, and it is our strength that we
reserve the right to make our unhappiness known, through channels
ranging from this mailing list to Trustee elections to "voting with
our feet." Because our mission, the Wikimedia mission, is
fundamentally a human process it will be imperfect, and its
imperfections will make us unhappy sometimes. But we are adults, and
we live with those imperfections and take some joy at times in
recognizing them and trying to do better.

(7) Given all these considerations, I am proud to be part of the
Wikimedia movement, proud to be a part of the same community as all of
you, even when the community is sometimes contentious.  I hope that in
the long run we agree now -- right now -- is a time when we should
stand behind anyone in our community, from the Trustees and Katherine
on down to every last one of us, who stands up and speaks out for
humane values and humane judgments, because, it seems to me, the
Wikimedia movement is meant to be a humane, outward-looking,
courageous movement that acknowledges self-doubt but also remains
committed to enabling us all to raise our individual and collective
voices in defense of values grounded in generosity, love, and
tolerance.

Thanks for listening.

--Mike Godwin
WMF General Counsel 2007-2010

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Ray Saintonge has died

2016-09-14 Thread Ting Chen
I feel very sad reading this news. He was always friendly and fair. Had 
always made me smile seeing him.


Expecting to meet him on a Mania is just natural. Knowing will never see 
him there again is ... very strange.


I will miss him, very very much

Ting


Am 13.09.2016 um 18:00 schrieb Milos Rancic:

He died yesterday. As he was an important member of our community, I
think we should make something appropriate so he would be remembered.




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Re: [Wikimedia-l] With my thanks to everyone ...

2016-07-14 Thread Ting Chen

Hello Geoff,

among many other things said already I think the most profound impact 
you made on the whole movement was the reformation of the trademark 
licensing policy and the introduction of legal assistance program. Both 
immensely important for the community Also your contribution and legal 
backup by introducing the current associate model, so that it can be 
opened more broadly to the community, cannot be under estimated. Hope we 
can stay in touch.


Greetings

Ting


Am 13.07.2016 um 23:25 schrieb Geoff Brigham:

Hi all,

Over the past five years, I’ve been honored to serve as the General Counsel
and Secretary of the Wikimedia Foundation. This job has been amazing, and
I’m grateful to everyone who has made it so rewarding. It's now time for my
next step, so, in the coming days, I will be leaving the Foundation to
pursue a new career opportunity.

I depart with such love for the mission, the Foundation, the Wikimedia
communities, and my colleagues at work. I thank my past and present bosses
as well as the Board for their support and guidance. I stand in awe of the
volunteer writers, editors, and photographers who contribute every day to
the Wikimedia projects. And I will hold special to my heart my past and
current teams, including legal and community advocacy. :) You have taught,
given, and enriched me so much.

After my departure, Michelle Paulson will serve as interim head of Legal,
and, subject to Board approval, Stephen LaPorte will serve as interim
Secretary to the Board. I can happily report that they have the experience
and expertise to ensure a smooth and professional transition.

The future of the Foundation under Katherine's leadership is exciting.
Having had the pleasure of working for her, I know Katherine will take the
Foundation to its next level in promoting and defending the outstanding
mission and values of the Wikimedia movement. Although I'm delighted about
my next opportunity, I will miss this new chapter in the Foundation's
story.

My last day at the Foundation will be July 18th. After that, I will take a
month off to recharge my batteries, and then I start my new gig at YouTube
in the Bay Area. There, I will serve as Director of YouTube Trust & Safety,
managing global teams for policy, legal, and anti-abuse operations. As with
Wikimedia, I look forward to learning from those teams and tackling
together a new set of exciting, novel challenges.

For those who want to stay in touch, please do! My personal email is:
geoffrey.r.brig...@gmail.com.

With respect, admiration, and gratitude,

Geoff
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Welcome Delphine Ménard as WMF's Annual Plan Grants Program Officer

2016-06-21 Thread Ting Chen

Congratulations to both WMF and Delphine, this is a very good move.

Just curious: Will Delphine and family now be moving to SF or will you 
be working from remote mostly?


Greetings

Ting


Am 06/21/2016 um 12:55 AM schrieb Katy Love:

Hi Wikimedians,

Today WMF's Community Resources team is joined by Delphine Ménard as our
newly appointed Annual Plan Grants
 (APG) Program Officer. In that
role, Delphine will support both funding streams included in the Annual
Plan Grants program, including Simple Annual Plan Grants and the Funds
Dissemination Committee's

(FDC) full process APG, with her focus on the FDC.  We are excited to have
her join our team.

Some of you may know Delphine as [[user:notafish]]. She's a longtime
Wikimedian who has played many roles in our movement. She was WMF's
Chapter's Coordinator many years ago, then a member of the Board of
Wikimedia Deutschland, and most recently, a member of the Funds
Dissemination Committee herself. Her wide array of experiences and roles
will serve her well as the new APG Program Officer.

In the weeks ahead, Delphine will be reaching out to the FDC-funded
organizations and will also be leading the Board's recruitment to fill four
open seats on the FDC. I know she is looking forward to working with all of
you. :)

Cheers,
Katy Love
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fresh data on the gender gap in content

2016-06-17 Thread Ting Chen

Hello Asaf, hello Florence,

the inbalance is surely partly due to the cultural bias (both 
contemprary as well as historical) of our world. Across the cultures in 
before 18th century women found less notice in the historical 
documentation. As far as I know about Japanese history, this bias was 
less prominant in the Japanese history, this only change since the rise 
of the Shoguns (about 12th century). Could this be part of the reason of 
the ja-wp result?


If it is the case than Wikipedia and Wikidata could be a very valuable 
resource for cultural history researches since never before there was 
such a systematic gathering of so much correlated data.


Take the 20th century, would the data reflect the change (or reluctance 
to change) of the bias in art, politics and economy?


If yes, I think we should spread word inside of the research community 
because in my opinion the research community had until now still didn't 
pay attention to this pile of data that all the volunteers had put 
together and are just waiting for them to mine.


Greetings
Ting


Am 16.06.2016 um 23:14 schrieb Florence Devouard:

Hello Asaf,
Just making sure that you knew about WHGI : 
http://whgi.wmflabs.org/gender-by-language.html


Do you know if there are differences in analysis between the two 
analysis ?


I checked a few figures and it fits pretty well.

Flo


Le 16/06/16 à 21:14, Asaf Bartov a écrit :

Hullo everyone.

I was asked by a volunteer for help getting stats on the gender gap in
content on a certain Wikipedia, and came up with simple Wikidata Query
Service[1] queries that pulled the total number of articles on a given
Wikipedia about men and about women, to calculate *the proportion of
articles about women out of all articles about humans*.

Then I was curious about how that wiki compared to other wikis, so I ran
the queries on a bunch of languages, and gathered the results into a 
table,

here:
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Ijon/Content_gap

(please see the *caveat* there.)

I don't have time to fully write-up everything I find interesting in 
those

results, but I will quickly point out the following:

1. The Nepali statistic is simply astonishing! There must be a story
there.  I'm keen on learning more about this, if anyone can shed light.

2. Evidently, ~13%-17% seems like a robust average of the proportion of
articles about women among all biographies.

3. among the top 10 largest wikis, Japanese is the least imbalanced.  
Good

job, Japanese Wikipedians!  I wonder if you have a good sense of what
drives this relatively better balance. (my instinctive guess is pop 
culture

coverage.)

4. among the top 10 largest wikis, Russian is the most imbalanced.

5. I intend to re-generate these stats every two months or so, to
eventually have some sense of trends and changes.

6. Your efforts, particularly on small-to-medium wikis, can really 
make a

dent in these numbers!  For example, it seems I am personally
responsible[2] for almost 1% of the coverage of women on Hebrew 
Wikipedia!

:)

7. I encourage you to share these numbers with your communities.  
Perhaps

you'd like to overtake the wiki just above yours? :)

8. I'm happy to add additional languages to the table, by request.  
Or you

can do it yourself, too. :)

   A.

[1] https://query.wikidata.org/
[2] Yay #100wikidays :) https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/100wikidays





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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [recent changes]

2016-04-12 Thread Ting Chen

Hello Anthony,

in my opinion, the board should not discuss individual projects, at 
least when I was on the board we decided not to. The board looks at 
policies that are more general and global. The resolutions that the 
board issued, which do impact the projects, are (or at least were) 
always formulated in a way that it applies to all projects. And they 
always only state the principle, and let the individual projects room to 
implement the principles into their own policies.


That said. Naturally every single board member bring their own 
experience, and in discussions we did use our individual experiences to 
explain our position. But when we formulated a resolution or made a 
decision we always tried to avoid to set up a principle or a decision on 
one project.


There is no clear boundary for COI, as someone else had already said. 
Everyone of us has our own personal red lines. I am not someone who 
would comment other people's red line. Actually generally I tend to 
accept the fact that other people have a different red line.


I would like to give you an example to show you my red line: Back in 
2009 when we were working on the strategic planning I decided to not be 
member of the workshop that deal with China, instead of that I took part 
in the movement roles workshop. And I didn't take part on the discussion 
when it came to the decision if China should be a hot spot or now. The 
reason for that is exactly because as a board member I may be put a 
special emphasis on the topic China, and there is potentially a bias of 
my opinion which may lead the Foundation do a wrong decision (in that 
case it may mean waste a few tens of thousands of dollars). Naturally 
there were community members who were not happy with this. And there 
were some critics when the board decided in favor of India, Africa and 
Middle East. I was quite confident that there were many people who can 
better examing China than me, and looking back, it was a right decision.


Generally speaking, my principle is if there is a possible COI then 
avoid it. Defending a COI suspect (even if it is wrong) costs more 
energy than avoid get into that situation.


Beside of that, you also need to think that the best involved and 
engaged trustee may also have a single point of view, which may differ 
with the rest of that community. I know that in many things other zh-wk 
community member have a different opinion than me.



Greetings
Ting



Am 04/12/2016 um 01:30 PM schrieb Anthony Cole:

Hi Ting.

You say, "...a board member should not foster his or her own pet projects."

It's just one vote out of ten (normally). If they can't persuade their
colleagues, the motion won't pass.

In the case of community-selected trustees, they were put there by people
who know their enthusiasms and expect them to do what they can to allow
those initiatives to flourish, and who trust them not to do that at the
expense of the overall shared mission.

Shouldn't a discussion affecting an initiative include the very trustee who
is (likely) the best informed and best placed to explain things to the
other trustees?

Anthony Cole


On Tue, Apr 12, 2016 at 7:09 PM, Ting Chen <wing.phil...@gmx.de> wrote:


Hello Anthony,

in my opinion a board member should not foster his or her own pet
projects. The WMF board members are leading a global movement. When
everyone of them are fosting their own pet projects other projects may
suffer. The board members should be beyond the single projects and give
directions, like do more for the small projects, instead of single out the
Swahili Wikipedia (just as an example).

This does not mean that the board members should not continue their
involvement in the projects, but then as community members, not having more
power or say than other community members.

Greetings
Ting




Am 04/12/2016 um 01:03 PM schrieb Anthony Cole:


Ugh. Sorry. I mean: should involvement in and advocacy for a particular
movement initiative disqualify one from voting on motions related to that
initiative?

Anthony Cole


On Tue, Apr 12, 2016 at 6:55 PM, Anthony Cole <ahcole...@gmail.com>
wrote:

jytdog, regarding:

"Going forward, there should be a) a clear disclosure of relevant
outside interests
and b) a pre-agreed COI management plan where those interests conflict
with a Trustee's obligations, before Trustees formally step into the
role."

When you say "relevant outside interests" what do you mean?

I'd love to hear Denny's thoughts on this. Also, Denny, I'm interested to
hear you were concerned about a conflict of interest with Wikidata. I'm
just now rethinking the question of internal conflicts of interest. Are
they necessarily a bad thing? You were elected by a community who, I
think,
expected you to create an environment where Wikidata could flourish. Is
it
a bad thing to have advocates for movement initiatives on the board?

Anthony Cole


On Tue, Apr 12, 2016 at 5:07 PM, Anthony Cole <ahcole...@g

Re: [Wikimedia-l] [recent changes]

2016-04-12 Thread Ting Chen

Hello Anthony,

in my opinion a board member should not foster his or her own pet 
projects. The WMF board members are leading a global movement. When 
everyone of them are fosting their own pet projects other projects may 
suffer. The board members should be beyond the single projects and give 
directions, like do more for the small projects, instead of single out 
the Swahili Wikipedia (just as an example).


This does not mean that the board members should not continue their 
involvement in the projects, but then as community members, not having 
more power or say than other community members.


Greetings
Ting



Am 04/12/2016 um 01:03 PM schrieb Anthony Cole:

Ugh. Sorry. I mean: should involvement in and advocacy for a particular
movement initiative disqualify one from voting on motions related to that
initiative?

Anthony Cole


On Tue, Apr 12, 2016 at 6:55 PM, Anthony Cole  wrote:


jytdog, regarding:

"Going forward, there should be a) a clear disclosure of relevant outside 
interests
and b) a pre-agreed COI management plan where those interests conflict
with a Trustee's obligations, before Trustees formally step into the
role."

When you say "relevant outside interests" what do you mean?

I'd love to hear Denny's thoughts on this. Also, Denny, I'm interested to
hear you were concerned about a conflict of interest with Wikidata. I'm
just now rethinking the question of internal conflicts of interest. Are
they necessarily a bad thing? You were elected by a community who, I think,
expected you to create an environment where Wikidata could flourish. Is it
a bad thing to have advocates for movement initiatives on the board?

Anthony Cole


On Tue, Apr 12, 2016 at 5:07 PM, Anthony Cole  wrote:


Good points worth repeating, though, jytdog.

We're learning as we go here. COI is notoriously difficult to anticipate
and manage. None of us, that I'm aware of, thought about - or at least
discussed - the implications of his Google role when he ran for the board,
and when it became too onerous to manage, Denny had the wisdom to step
away.

He's an enormous asset to this movement; as I said, we're lucky to have
him, and I'm very grateful for all he's contributed.

Anthony Cole


On Tue, Apr 12, 2016 at 4:44 PM, jytdog  wrote:


This is kind of frustrating.  Lila (speaking for the board) in her "Why
we
changed
<
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Lila_Tretikov%27s_statement_on_Why_we%27ve_changed

"

message, identified falling page views (creating a threat of falling
donation revenue) caused by folks like Google repurposing our content as
an
"existential challenge".I am not sure I agree with that, but the WMF
Board and the former ED said that.  (Jimmy confirmed that on his Talk
page,
too)

The key thing about Denny's COI issues as they unfolded, is that he was
surprised and frustrated about the problems managing his COI ended up
causing - so much so that he quit.  That stuff actually happened.
Debating
what his COI was or whether it mattered is really beside the point... and
all murky because whatever management plan was worked out - whatever
areas
actually were identified as problematic - we do not know, as that plan
wasn't made public.

Going forward, there should be a) a clear disclosure of relevant outside
interests and b) a pre-agreed COI management plan where those interests
conflict with a Trustee's obligations, before Trustees formally step into
the role.  What happened with Denny doesn't have to happen again.  That
seems to be the key issue looking forward.

I'm repeating myself, and will stop now.

On Tue, Apr 12, 2016 at 2:28 AM, Anthony Cole 
wrote:


I agree with all of that, MZ. As to your questions:

"Shouldn't we be applauding Google and others for helping us share our
knowledge with the world?"

Yes.

"What size do you think the Wikimedia Foundation should be in terms of
yearly
budget and number of full-time employees? How much bigger or smaller

should

the Wikimedia Foundation be than other Wikimedia chapters?"

It depends on what we want them to do.

"...are you sure that we're all agreed that this [Google impacting
Wikipedia's
page views and the ability to raise funds and recruit new volunteers]

is

problematic?"

I'm less concerned than many, and I'm sure others are unconcerned.

"If Google causes page views to go down and our sites are directly hit
less frequently,
that actually saves us money, doesn't it?"

If our page views drop by 50% and this halves our fundraising

capacity, I

doubt that would be offset by the saved hosting costs. But I'm no

expert on

these things.


Anthony Cole


On Tue, Apr 12, 2016 at 11:46 AM, MZMcBride  wrote:


Anthony Cole wrote:

Google's "info boxes" and their answers at the top of their results,

we're

all agreed now, I think, are impacting Wikipedia's page views and,
consequently, our ability to raise funds and recruit new volunteers.

Google and 

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

2016-03-19 Thread Ting Chen

Hello Erik, hello Gerard, hello all,

while Erik raised a very important topic and I will go into some of the 
aspects I agree with him later in this mail I want at first say that 
Gerard also mentioned some very important points that I strongly agree.


Splitting WMF has merits but also has disadvantages. Disadvantages could 
be, aside of what Gerard mentioned in his mail, duplicate or even 
tripplize organizational structures and overheads, more effort to 
coordinate, synchronize and more need for alignment. In most cases if 
commercial corperates split into many subsidiaries the reason for that 
is to create predetermined breaking points in anticipation of the 
possibility to sell part of the business areas in the future. This is 
not applicable for us.


That said, I agree with Erik that the current movement wide 
organizational structure is highly centralized. If we take the example 
of expenses as an indicator I scarcely see any organization (commercial 
or non-profit) who call themselves a world-wide operating organization 
with such a centralization grade. The developments after the Haifa board 
meeting need reevaluation and eventually correction.


While in the past whenever in a chapter a crisis emerged the WMF may 
talk about organizational inmaturity, I find it a show of maturity and I 
see awefull reaction from the chapters stretching out helping hands. Yes 
I think we should reconsider if our movement organizational structure 
really reflect one of our values: decentralization. But maybe not an 
"easy" split the WMF.


best wishes
Ting


Am 03/18/2016 um 12:43 PM schrieb Gerard Meijssen:

Hoi,
Organising our movement in the format of a federation will not necessarily
do what you describe. As you assume that money flows to the places where
money is spend, you will not have a federation.  A federation is based on
equal terms and when money is what keeps everone in line it is not a
federation of equals.

When you carve our movement up in parts, it becomes impossible to impose
much of what needs to be imposed. New functionality in software is badly
needed in places, a discussion on quality does not happen because it
clashes with vested interests. The negative impact of the community on
innovation is real and when one community gains even more power because of
the proposed fragmentation, I doubt if we will ever have this conversation
and many others that do not happen.

In a federation, it becomes easier to know who is local. I know the Dutch
chapter, they know me and there is not the same fuss for getting a project
under way. No committees, just a good common understanding what it is that
is proposed and why is sufficient. It is what makes a federation agile. It
is for the professionals in the chapter (or the people who volunteer to do
this) to be involved in the gruelling aspects of this kind of headache.
 translatewiki.net does not fit in any model and why should it?


When you federate, you will have to do something about fund-raising and
fund dissemination. They are two sides to a coin. The problem is very much
that we are an internet community and many of the activities have a global
scope. I mention Wikimedia Germany and Wikidata, Wikimedia (Scandinavia
they work together) and mapping.. the list goes on. When such projects can
have a place in a federated model than good but the problems are rife. How
for instance do people in India pick up on Maps for instance and outgrow
what happens in Scandinavia?? Arguably this is a non-issue when we
collaborate but the organisation, funding is often not agile enough to cope.

This idea of federation very much needs a lot of "tire kicking". Even when
nothing comes of it, it helps us understand what it is we do and are. We
are a movement, not a foundation. The layers of the movement are easily
forgotten and they operate best when people have good working relations. I
do think that the notion of "150" has its point but given the scope of what
we do (it is not convenient to note more than 150 Wikipedias, more than 150
countries..) We have to be clever about this. It is what makes Wikimania so
powerful, it brings us all together and work on our mutual relations. After
all, you never know what relations you need when.
Thanks,
  GerardM




On 18 March 2016 at 03:22, Erik Moeller  wrote:


Hi folks,

Now that the dust has settled a bit, I would like to expand on an idea
that’s been touched on a few times (most recently, in an editorial by
William Beutler [1]): the notion that WMF might be a more effective
organization if it limited its own size in favor of focused spin-off
organizations and affiliates.

I was very much part of building the current WMF in terms of both size
and structure, but I also think recent events underscore the fragility
of the current model. WMF is still tiny compared with other tech
companies that operate popular websites, but it’s a vast organization
by Wikimedia movement standards. With nearly 300 staff [2] 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Is there some Wikimedia project to host contents based on original research?

2015-01-05 Thread Ting Chen

Hello Sucheta,

for me this looks like a good restart for Wikiversity. For me beside of 
providing university courses one of the target of Wikiversity is also 
always to be actually do crowd sourced research works.


Best regards
Ting


Am 01/05/2015 um 02:30 PM schrieb Sucheta Ghoshal:

Hi all,

A few of my friends and I have been planning to document the history of
counterculture in Bengali art and literature. These friends are also
working in that domain professionally, and have access to a huge repository
of texts, images, and other relevant details that they are willing to make
available digitally in the form of free contents. We wish to have the
contents as wikis, and, pictures and video snippets that might be involved
- as properly licensed free materials. Now, the concern is if there is some
Wikimedia Project that would host contents that are based on such an
enormous amount of original research. Wikipedia is certainly not the
appropriate place. And, as there exist no earlier works on this particular
domain on the internet, references would be negligible. I was thinking
about Wikibooks, instead. I am not entirely sure if that fits either, but I
assume it fits better than Wikipedia, at least. The last option is to host
it ourselves with the MediaWiki setup, and I am considering it very much.
But, the idea essentially is to make people edit and enrich it with as much
inputs as possible. It would be really helpful, in that case, if it could
be placed in one of the Wikimedia projects. Suggestions, of every kind,
would be deeply appreciated.

Best,
Sucheta
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] FDC funds allocation recommendation is up

2014-11-26 Thread Ting Chen

Hello dear all,

this is not a response to any specific mails on this thread, just a few 
thoughts from my side.


I am not very heavily involved in the FDC process, what I did was, well, 
as one of the board member decided to create this process and one of the 
advisory group member observed the feedbacks, and I read a few of the 
mails in this thread. By all means, I would not call myself expert in 
this matter. I have a very high respect for those people who apply for 
funds throw the FDC process and I have a very high respect for the FDC 
members. I know most of these people (both the applicants and the FDC 
members) and I believe in their good will, their honest, their belief 
that what they are doing is helping the movement and the effort they 
invested.


Now back to the matter.

One of the issue that the advisory group reviewed in May this year was 
that the FDC is a very hard and, because of this, a very expensive 
process. Every partner organization that apply for FDC has an annual 
planning, this alone is an organizational effort that eat up fund that 
do not go into program. I know from the WMF that the annual planning is 
very expensive. The whole organization is involved and the entire 
process lasted (anyway when I was in board) half a year. One can do a 
rough estimation of manhours invested into this process and then put a 
price on it. My rough estimation would go into 4 digits, maybe five. 
Partner organizations have less (alone because they have less C-level 
management), but I believe the proportion would be the same. Atop of 
this partner organizations who apply for FDC have to do an extra effort. 
I cannot say how much this extra effort is, but from my remote 
observation and my impression from the frustration and accounts in the 
list I would say it is not a small one. I have a guess, but it is 
totally subjective. Maybe one of the chapters can provide an example of 
insight? All these costs go into organization and off from program. The 
anual planning part is unavoidable, the FDC part is atop. This makes a 
malignant feedback: More organizational cost makes the efficiency worse, 
and that makes it more necessary to make more effort in the presentation 
and reasoning, which means more FDC effort.


We need to break up this circle. The advisory group made two 
recommendations this spring: The first one is to make repeating 
applications easier, and the other is to allow applications for more 
than one year. My impression from this thread is that either these 
recommendations didn't catch, or they were not implemented in this 
round. If the last case is true (not implemented) I would like to ask 
FDC to take these recommendations seriously and implement them. If the 
first case is true (implemented but doesn't catch), then I would think 
that we need to think about this again. Can someone clarify which case 
is more the reality?


One of the critics about the fund dissimination as a total that catchs 
my eyes again is how unbalanced the distribution is. As I said I know 
most of the people who expressed their frustration here. I know that 
they are all reasonable people. So, if let's say the total funding is 
declining, I believe that the outcry would not be so loud as that we 
currently have the situation that the total sum of the funding is 
increasing and the partner organizations feel that they are being cut 
off from that increase. The total amount that the FDC can distribute is 
not determined by FDC. So, since as I said most of the people are 
reasonbale and rational, I would like to call the Foundation to take 
this point really really seriously. It remains one of the biggest 
problem between the Foundation and the partner organizations.


Greetings.
Ting

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Re-licensing Wikimedia logos on Commons to CC BY-SA 3.0

2014-10-28 Thread Ting Chen

Really cool, great work. Thank you very much.

Greetings
Ting

Am 10/27/2014 um 06:51 PM schrieb Yana Welinder:

Hi folks,

I'm happy to announce that we are re-licensing the Wikimedia logos on
Commons to CC BY-SA 3.0:
https://blog.wikimedia.org/2014/10/24/wikimedia-logos-have-been-freed/

I would really appreciate your help with replacing the {{Copyright by
Wikimedia}}
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Template:Copyright_by_Wikimedia[1]
templates on the logos with the {{Wikimedia trademark}}
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Template:Wikimedia_trademark[2] and
{{cc-by-sa-3.0}} https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Template:Cc-by-sa-3.0[3]
templates. But we don't want to replace templates on the MediaWiki
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:MediaWiki.svg[4] and the Community
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Wikimedia_Community_Logo.svg[5]
logos, which were originally released under free licenses.

There are also some pages on Commons, like this one
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Licensing[6], that may need to
be updated based on the re-licensed logos.

Thanks,

Yana

[1] https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Template:Copyright_by_Wikimedia

[2] https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Template:Wikimedia_trademark

[3] https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Template:Cc-by-sa-3.0

[4] https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:MediaWiki.svg

[5] https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Wikimedia_Community_Logo.svg

[6] https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Licensing





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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Access by Wikimedia volunteers to WMF records about them

2014-08-23 Thread Ting Chen

Hello Fae,

as far as I know there is no systematic data collection about volunteers 
by the WMF, anyway, there is non that is known by the board at my time, 
or ever mentioned on the board. In the first year when I joined the 
board I mentioned in a mail that it would be desirable for the 
Foundation to have a collection simply because we are often asked about 
various topics we don't know about, or I travelled a lot when I was on 
the board and often felt the need to contact people to get more first 
hand information or view so that I can prepare myself. But that 
suggestion was never picked up by the Foundation. So again, there is no 
such collection in the end.


There were unsystematic information exchanges at least on the board 
level from time to time about individual person, mostly in relation to a 
certain situation or an event. For example when you invited me to the UK 
board meeting in Derby I wrote a report to the board about that meeting, 
and also about the people I met there. Or, when Sue visited your board 
she wrote afterward a mail to the board about the meeting, in which she 
also mentioned the people who attended the meeting. (And those where the 
only two cases where I can remember today that you were mentioned in 
mails.) But again, non of these reports are collected and filed in a 
systematic way. And I doubt that anyone would still remember what I 
wrote in my report for example.


Actually on the board level we scarcely ever talked about individual 
person, in most cases it was about cases, situations, events.


Hope this helps a bit on your uneasiness.

Best wishes
Ting



Am 22.08.2014 17:06, schrieb Fæ:

I wrote the email below to Lila and the WMF Legal department asking
for access to records (and reports) they hold on me, but I'm sad to
say that after 3 weeks waiting, I have yet to receive an
acknowledgement. As a Wikimania London volunteer I had a moment to
speak with Jan-Bart, and some of my Wikimedia Commons uploads were
even featured as part of a presentation by WMF Legal on their
successes in the past year, so there was plenty of opportunity for us
to have the friendly chat I suggested.

Can someone recommend if there is a WMF policy on transparency that
volunteers can rely on for questions like mine, or does the law in the
USA give me any specific rights of access to records or reports the
WMF may keep on me that would mean that WMF Legal would do more than
stay silent in response to reasonable requests from its established
volunteers?

Thanks,
Fae

-- Forwarded message --
From: Fæ fae...@gmail.com
Date: Sun, 3 Aug 2014 13:49:45 +0100
Subject: Request for disclosure of all WMF records relating to Fae
To: Lila Tretikov l...@wikimedia.org
Cc: legal le...@wikimedia.org, Jan-Bart de Vreede jdevre...@wikimedia.org

Dear Lila,

The Wikimedia Foundation keeps information such as management
summaries about me, which have never been shared with me.
[Redacted example material]

Could you please ensure that all records that the WMF has retained
about me are copied to me? It would seem fair that I have the
opportunity to both understand what the WMF management and board have
available to refer to when discussing my activities for Wikimedia, and
that I have a chance to both correct any mistakes in this personal
data, or to ask that inappropriate material gets permanently removed
from WMF databases.

I will be active in both the Wikimania hackerthon and conference in
the coming week, should you or an employee wish to informally review
this request with me in person, along with my reasons for making the
request at this time.
...



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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board Meeting Update

2014-08-08 Thread Ting Chen

Hello,

sad to learn that Bishakha will leave the board. Bishakha joined our 
movement as an outsider and had gained the heart of our community in a 
very short time. She is one of the most admirable person I know and 
everytime I think of her I feel honored to have the chance to work with her.


I am very happy to see the board decide to appoint Alice on an expert 
seat. I was very sad to hear that she was not renominated by the partner 
organizations. And in some sense. I am a bit disappointed to see how the 
original idea of chapters NOMINATE people with wished skills to the 
board retarded into a simple election process. And I am also a bit sad 
about that on this election process the board skill need no more have 
importance as it was originally wished to be but more promises to 
interests, which actually contradict the role of a trustee. As a board 
member of WMDE, as a board member I worked together with on the WMF 
board, I learned to value the integrity and the organizational skill of 
Alice.


Greetings
Ting



Am 08.08.2014 15:24, schrieb Jan-Bart de Vreede:

Hello Everyone

While the minutes of the Board of Trustees meeting will arrive in due time I 
wanted to update you on some internal matters at this point because there have 
been some changes in the board composition.

Ana Toni joined our board last year but unfortunately the time demands placed 
upon a Wikimedia Board member were not compatible with her other commitments. 
This has given the board something to think about. We aim to be a board that is 
able to incorporate outside expertise to increase our effectiveness and 
possible candidates are often not able to commit the time which we currently 
require.. In the coming period we want to have a look at the time which is 
demanded of a board member (especially our in person meetings which require a 
lot of travel) and look at which activities we need to perform as a board. We 
want to thank Ana for her contributions. The insights gained from her position 
as Chair of Greenpeace International were especially useful to us as a board. 
We are sad to see her go, but we hope to keep her in “our space”.

Bishakha Datta joined our board in March 2010 and has indicated to us that she 
is not available for re-appointment after her term runs out in December of this 
year. We will take the time to properly thank her for her great contributions 
when her term formally ends in December.

While these things are part of of the normal turnover of the composition of the 
board (and are also an opportunity to attract new fields of expertise as 
needed) there is a matter of board stability during the first year of the 
tenure of our new Executive Director. In response to Lila's request for 
stability the board has decided the following:

1) Alice Wiegand was appointed to finish out Ana's term ending December 2014.  
We also appointed Alice to carry out the subsequent term ending December 2016.

2) Last year at Wikimania I was appointed to the board for a two year period, 
but I tendered my resignation effective the end of this year.  At the Board's 
request I reconsidered that resignation, and will serve out the rest of my 
original two year term ending December 2015.

This does mean we will start the search process for a new board member for the 
appointed seat that Bishakha will vacate at the end of this year. And hopefully 
we will be able to also identify potential candidates to fill the seats of both 
Stuart West and me, which will become vacant at the end of 2015.

Secondly we have appointed the two officer positions as follows for the coming 
fiscal year

Chair - Jan-Bart de Vreede
Vice-Chair - Patricio Lorente

The foundation has a great opportunity to grow under the guidance of our new 
Executive Director and realize our ambitions. The board is looking forward to a 
year of supporting Lila and providing direction for our strategic goals.

Jan-Bart de Vreede
Chair
Board of Trustees
Wikimedia Foundation

PS: All the relevant resolutions will be published on meta in the coming days
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikimedia Announcements] Thank you Sue Gardner

2014-06-02 Thread Ting Chen

Hello dear all,

one of the most memorable moment in my work together with Sue was one 
evening in October 2011. As some of you may remember that the years 2010 
to 2012 were especially difficult years in relationship between the 
Foundation and the chapters. The Foundation experimented a few 
approaches and changed again and again its direction. And the discussion 
about how to distribute the funds raised on our projects had repeatedly 
kindled, sometimes very violent confrontations. On one of the board 
meetings earlier of 2011 Sue said to the board that she never considered 
this confrontation as a question of who wins. She wanted a good and 
sound solution for the problems that are out there. After the Haifa 
Wikimania the discussion became even hotter and sometimes it really felt 
insulting. I always considered myself as a person who is very ballanced 
and who can keep his tempel, but at that point I must say that I was 
very unnerved by the dispute. We had our board meeting in San Francisco 
and after that Sue asked me to stay for a few days to give a speech on 
the All Hands Meeting of the staff. So one evening we went out for a 
dinner together and naturally, the discussion came back to the fund 
raising and fund dissemination topic. And I asked Sue with a sigh:Do 
you still think that it is not about who wins? And she said:Yes, of 
cause not. At that moment I felt a trimendous respect for this woman, 
and I must confess that I felt also a bit ashamed for myself because I 
was on the edge to lost my ballance.


For me Sue is one of the most respectable person I know, not only 
because of her achievements and her work, but especially because of her 
attitude.


Greetings
Ting


Am 01.06.2014 21:26, schrieb Jan-Bart de Vreede:

Hello Everyone,

As Lila officially takes over from Sue as the Executive Director of the 
Wikimedia Foundation after this weekend  it really is a moment to not only wish 
Lila a lot of succes in the coming years, but also to give a tremendous thanks 
to Sue for her work in the past years. Of course I did so last year in March 
when she announced her departure but it bears repeating that Sue took us from a 
small organisation in St. Petersburg Florida, which was struggling to create 
impact, to a mature and stable organisation which makes a huge difference. 
Building up a professional staff who are dedicated to our mission, incredible 
fundraising growth and working through complex situations to create concepts 
such as the FDC stand out amongst many other achievements.

It was Sue herself who indicated that it was time to find a new Executive 
Director, someone who was more suitable for our focus on Engineering and 
Grantmaking. As I mentioned more than a year ago, its hard to imagine the 
Wikimedia Foundation without Sue at the helm. However, due in large part to her 
efforts we have managed to find a new Executive Director who gives me 
confidence in the future of the Foundation. I am happy that we managed to find 
the “unicorn” that we were looking for, but that didn’t happen by accident. 
Most of you know that we concluded the first round of our search in early 
december with candidates that we did not feel were ideal for the job. We 
decided to change our tactics and this involved both Erik and Sue spending a 
lot of their (spare) time with potential candidates and making sure that we 
were getting the right candidates. As a result our second round had a great set 
of candidates, which ultimately led to the selection of Lila. On the transition 
team Sue has been very crucial in holding up a mirror and reminding us what we 
were looking for.

After a well deserved vacation Sue will be available as a Special Advisor to 
both the Lila and the Board of Trustees and we are grateful to her for making 
herself available to do this. However, what intrigues me more is what she will 
end up doing in the coming years. I am hoping it is in the space of Open 
Content or the Open Internet, as she will undoubtedly have a tremendous impact 
in there, and we need her! I am also happy to inform you that Sue will attend a 
part of Wikimania where she will for once not have an packed schedule, so feel 
free to take the opportunity to thank her in person if you are so inclined :)

On behalf of the entire Board and all the staff of the Wikimedia Foundation: 
thank you so much all that you have given the Foundation, and especially your 
efforts in the past year to ensure that there was both stability within our 
organisation and a great succesor.

Jan-Bart de Vreede
Chair
Wikimedia Board of Trustees
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] How Wikimedia could help languages to survive

2014-04-22 Thread Ting Chen

Hello Milos,

welcome back.

Basically I agree with your attitude, with one difference:

I don't think that anyone can help languages survive. What we can do, is 
to help conserve them.


Greetings
Ting

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[Wikimedia-l] Funding of decentralized organizational structure

2014-04-10 Thread Ting Chen

Hello dear all,

now the second mail

Funding of international operating organizations is a very complicated 
issue. The Wikimedia movement is not the first and not the last one to 
face this topic. There are as many models on how this can be handled as 
there are international organizations.



Currently the Wikimedia movement adapted a strong centralized model with 
the Foundation as the only organization that does the fund distribution. 
In the official text it is said that the Foundation only does payment 
processing and the FDC does the fund distribution, I think this is 
misguiding. The part of money that the FDC distribute is at the end 
defined by the annual financial plan of the Foundation, and not by FDC 
itself, in this way FDC doesn't really have financial sovereignty and is 
only distributing a very small part of the whole movement funding.



There is a long way for us to come to this model, and yes, every 
critics is correct who says that I am personally responsible for this 
model. The model was introduced and adapted during my chair's personship 
on the Foundation board and I defended this model during this time. I 
remember lively the Wikimania in Haifa and in Washington. But it doesn't 
mean that I cannot rethink this decision. Indeed, today I think that it 
is mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.



As I said earlier there is a history how we got into this result. At the 
beginning, when WMDE was the only partner organization that did fund 
raising beside of WMF there was an agreement between WMDE and WMF that 
the amount of money raised inside of Germany (independent on who raised 
it) will be split 50:50 between the two organizations. In year 2009 this 
model was used to all organizations who wanted to do fund raising.



I won't speak for anyone else, I just want to speak for myself. I was 
worried by the end of 2009. The reason why I was worried was the funding 
of WMF, not that of the chapters, especially in the light of at that 
time very vividly discussed WMUSA. The model we used for 2009 cut off 
the Foundation from half of the funds from Europe outside of Germany, 
especially from UK. In the light of higher funding result this was not 
very much a problem for the WMF, because the biggest part of the funding 
came from US. But in case that there would be a WMUSA and it would 
participate in fund raising in the same way it would mean that the WMF 
will lose almost half of its funding (given the case, that the fund 
raising target will not be raised), and I want to remind the readers 
that at that time the WMF budget in total was still quite low. That was 
my worry. Let me emphasize that it was my private thought. As I said I 
won't speak for anyone else. And I didn't talk with anyone in this 
respect. I didn't hear anyone speak out a similar concern so I take I 
was alone with this worry. There were no talk that I am aware of, 
official or unofficial, that was related to this concern. Even though at 
that time WMDE signaled to the Foundation that they were willing to 
change the 50:50 splitting in benefit to the WMF, it seemed to me still 
very worrisome.



In the end, some other issues came up. I think all concerns that were 
publicly made in this context are valid. And as I said in the other mail 
I think that at the end it is good that we have set up those standards 
and all organizations inside of the movement are profitable from these 
standards.



But I think that the end result of the whole process is a very radical 
centralized one. And as this it is not compatible to the value that we 
declared for ourselves: That our movement should be decentralized.



Concrete I find a few points especially problematic with the approach we 
currently have:


 *

   The WMF is currently the only body that is empowered and is able to
   distribute the funds

 *

   The grants are limited in one year's term and doesn't really help
   long term development and strategy

 *

   Almost all grants are conditioned and doesn't give the partner
   organization the necessary freedom and financial sovereignty that a
   healthy independent organization needs

 *

   The lack of a from all partner organizations agreed strategy


I won't say that we won't get into these issues if we have a different 
funding model, but I think that the current radically centralized 
funding model makes these problems worse and almost impossible to resolve.



Even though the FDC and the GAC are run by volunteers, this does not 
make them the ones that really distribute the funds of the movement. The 
part of the funds that the FDC and the GAC can distribute, is only a 
very small part of the entire fund raising result. And the amount of 
this part is at first defined by the WMF annual planning. Even though by 
the annual planning the feedback of the FDC and the GAC is taken into 
account the final decision about the portion and amount of this part 
lies entirely in the measure of the WMF. So, in the end only the WMF has 

[Wikimedia-l] United Nation of Wikimedia

2014-04-07 Thread Ting Chen

Hello dear all,

From 2008 on until recently the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF) had seen a 
staggering growth to fulfill its mission, and it had pulled a great deal 
of the resources, in money, but as well as in talent, manpower and 
volunteer's effort of the movement.



From the beginning hosting of the Wikimedia projects was the core 
competency of the WMF. A big part of the WMF budget and staff is 
dedicated to the operation of the servers. Meanwhile the main server 
farm is moved from Tampa, Florida to Ashburn, Virginia.



In the last years the WMF had evolved to the main development party of 
the MediaWiki software. The software and product development had drawn 
many resources and talents from around the world to San Francisco. Many 
developers were relocated to join the WMF team.



With the increased prominence of especially Wikipedia the WMF and its 
projects were facing more and more legal challenges in the past years. 
Law suits from around the world were reported since 2005. Because of 
this the WMF had expanded its legal team.



To improve its role as the leader of the movement and to settle the 
disputes between the WMF and chapters about the processing and 
distribution of the funding the WMF had evolved since 2010 into a grant 
making organization.



All in all the WMF is without doubt the center peace of the movement and 
claims four fifth of the expanses of the entire movement.



The recent dispute about the URAA motivated massive content deletions on 
Wikimedia Commons highlights the problem of this strong centralized 
approach.



In basic, the storage solution of the Wikimedia projects is still a very 
classical approach with two central database centers, both of them 
located in the US. This approach had repeatedly induced conflicts about 
what content can be stored and what cannot. It does not reflect the 
international character of the projects and had repeatedly induced 
critics on the Wikimedia projects to be US biased and it is, measured on 
today's storage technology, outdated. Even though currently the US law 
is one of the most liberal in relation to freedom of speech it does has 
its bias. The US copy right law for example is meanwhile one of the most 
restrictive and backward looking copy right laws in the entire world. 
Another example of the potential hazardous result of this approach are 
the image files that are currently stored in the individual projects. 
For example on Chinese Wikipedia images that are free according to the 
Chinese and Taiwanese copy right laws are stored directly there, and not 
on Commons. These images are nevertheless not free according to the US 
law and are stored in servers that are located in the US and distributed 
from there. This poses potential problems for all parties that are 
involved here: for the Foundation, for the project, for the community 
that is curating these images and for the users that are using these images.



In a larger sense the problem is not constrained to the file 
repositories, but also to the content. Even though the Foundation had 
increased its legal department and had tentatively tried to work out an 
approach to support its community in legal conflict basically it is 
still working with the old strategy: In case there is a legal case in a 
foreign country the Foundation will avoid the call of the court while 
the Chapter will deny any responsibility for the content. This leaves in 
the end all potential hazards to the volunteer who contributed the 
content. In case of a court suit he is probably the one that have the 
worse legal support and had to take the charge privately, even if he 
handled legally and in good will.



In my opinion, since the technology is ripe, it is time for the movement 
as a whole and WMF especially to seriously consider the approach of a 
distributed hosting. Files and contents that let's say are legal in the 
EU but not in the US should be able to be stored on a server located in 
the EU and distributed and operated from there. Files and contents that 
are legal in PRC and Taiwan and may violate copy right law in the US 
should be able to be stored in a server say in Taiwan or Hongkong and be 
distributed from there into the world. This approach is meanwhile 
technical viable and is used by almost all major international internet 
providers today.



This also means that the chapters, as far as there is one, should be 
able to take the responsibility for the content and the hosting of those 
servers in their country. They should be obliged to provide legal 
consultation and defense to the community, which means a distribution of 
the legal defense from a central point into the world, to the chapters 
and directly to the communities. Indeed the legal consultation and 
protection of the community is in my opinion one of the most missed duty 
of the chapters and the Foundation to the movement.



Every country, that meets a certain standard of freedom of speech, 
freedom and media 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Community consultation + Wikimedia Foundation Executive Director selection process

2014-01-29 Thread Ting Chen

Hello dear all, hello Transition Team, hello dear board,

I am still willing to take the challenge.

Looking into the description of the search criteria:

citeKey to the success of the Executive Director will be a commitment 
to understand and advance Wikimedia's core values./cite
- In many occasions in the past years I have demonstrated that the core 
values of our movement are part of my life. They are the values that I 
use to guide my behavior and my decisions, not only inside of the 
movement, but also in my professional work and in my personal life.


citeThe Executive Director will need to have the technology management 
and product development skills to effectively lead a high traffic 
website, and experience designing and implementing planning processes 
with a high built-in assumption of fast and iterative change./cite
- In the past 16 years I worked in a company which like no other IT 
companies had decisively contributed into the establishment of standards 
and processes of the industry. I started in that company as a programmer 
on the OS (Assembler and C++) level and moved with the time into the 
position of technical lead of projects that are set into highly 
complicated political contexts. Being a subject matter expert, I am the 
anchor with facts and expertise between the different political 
interests and streams, build trust with my open and direct communication 
style to all groups and parties and move things forward by understand 
the background of the different interests and so build bridges and 
provide solutions that address those backgrounds directly. These are the 
skills and personal marks that brought me there where I am now: Into the 
core of those troubled projects.


citeHe or she will need to have exceptional communication skills, and 
to possess both a drive to achieve transformative results and a deep 
respect for collaborative processes. The ED's ability to effect change 
in partnership with Wikimedia's community will be decisive not just to 
their success, but to Wikimedia's lasting impact in the 21st century./cite
- As I have stated in my resign letter from the board, I believe this is 
indeed the most intriguing, most urgent and most difficult part of the 
work that lay directly before us in the next decade. And for this we 
need, more than anyone else inside of the movement, an ED who is really 
trusted by the community (to which I count the readers, the editors, the 
affiliated organizations, their board and staff, the staff of the 
Foundation, and the board). Gain trust is hard work, build trust needs 
time. It took me long time, two or three years, to build that mutual 
trust with many of the people within our movement. And trust is the 
thing that thwart the belief that the process has the luxury of time. 
Because with the lasting of indecisive time the trust sinks and the 
anxiouty raises.


As it is remarked at one point, there is no obvious career path that 
leads to this position. After seeing the result of last year's search I 
am strengthend in my belief, that I am the best fit for this position.


Greetings
Ting





Am 1/21/2014 12:09 PM, schrieb Jan-Bart de Vreede:

Hey Frederico

I will write an update for the meta page in the coming week or so but just to 
give you a general sense of where we are at: we are trying to reach potential 
candidates in a different way, and so far that looks like a good strategy. This 
means more direct contact between the Foundation and candidates and more 
pro-actively reaching out to people who initially showed no interest.

There is no scientific way to make the trade-off between characteristics/skills 
of candidates. We might very well choose to ignore an important characteristic 
if all the others fall into place. And it is of course easier to make a 
trade-off on less significant characteristics and skills. The decision to look 
for more candidates rather than make a choice in December was not an easy one, 
but we were not willing to go for a candidate who was missing too many of our 
desired characteristics/skills. This is something that the transition team 
does, and its not something that translates well to a table on meta.

I am not sure what you are referring to as “avoid another fiasco”, but as far 
as I am concerned we are simply in a stage of finding new candidates and trying 
to surface the candidate that is up to the challenge and opportunity that we as 
a unique movement have to offer. This was always an option, and we would have 
liked to have found someone in the first round, but it wasn’t to be.

Jan-Bart de Vreede



On 18 Jan 2014, at 11:08, Federico Leva (Nemo) nemow...@gmail.com wrote:


I don't know what to think about a final community consultation on a specific name. 
Personally I suspect that I wouldn't be able to say anything about it, as with 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Executive_Director_Transition_Team/Update_9_December.
Speaking of which, I wonder how the problems there were 

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

2014-01-10 Thread Ting Chen

Hello dear all,

I would like to be more cautious about the difference between the good 
paid editing and the bad paid advocacy.


There are two reasons why I don't want to separate in this way.

First of there is no clear boundary between the good and bad like 
black and white. There is a gradient of grey between the two. And that 
gradient is not a narrow one but a very broad one. And it depends from 
the perspective of the people who look upon the matter. For one maybe a 
behavior is the dark white but for the other one it may be a bright black.


Second I want to especially respond to the idea that Erik brought up: an 
organization that hire people to write qualified articles. I wrote in 
the other mail that I believe paid editing changes the collaboratory 
nature of our projects but did not really elaborate on why I think so. I 
want to do this now. Let me construct an example to emphasize why I 
think so. I will now take an example which leaves almost no room for 
interpretation about black and white: the theoretical physics. Let's say 
there is a charitable non-profit organization that hires reknowned 
theoretical physicists to write Wikipedia articles. So they pay 10.000 
Dollar to Bryce DeWitt (I know, he is dead, I just don't want to name 
any living people) to write about field theory, or John Wheeler to write 
about general relativity, and so on and so on. I wonder if this happens, 
would there still be anyone who dares to change or write articles on 
topics about theoretical physics? If this becomes a model that many 
follow, I feel it will largely change the composition of our volunteers 
community and how the project will look like. This is basically an 
approach that the Nupedia tried at the beginning. It didn't work that 
time. Meanwhile Wikipedia gains such a reputation that the model may 
work. But I personally don't find the idea sexy.


Greetings
Ting

Am 09.01.2014 03:22, schrieb MZMcBride:

Frank Schulenburg wrote:

[...] it is widely known that paid editing is frowned upon by many in the
editing community and by the Wikimedia Foundation.

No.

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

Suggested reading:

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

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

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

MZMcBride



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

2014-01-10 Thread Ting Chen

Hello Peter,

I see the following two possibilities:

Either the paid editing brings a higher quality and thus by that quality 
imposes itself as an authority and thus discourage further unqualified 
editing


Or the paid editing does not bring a higher quality, then an unpaid 
volunteer editor will with right feel fooled and ask: Why does that 
person get paid and I not, it is obvious that my work is less valued and 
thus I will quit.


In both cases I come back to my conclusion, and that is paid editing 
changes the collaboratory nature of our projects.


Greetings
Ting


Am 10.01.2014 16:23, schrieb Peter Gervai:

On Fri, Jan 10, 2014 at 1:40 PM, Ting Chen wing.phil...@gmx.de wrote:

Wikipedia articles. So they pay 10.000 Dollar to Bryce DeWitt (I know, he is
dead, I just don't want to name any living people) to write about field
theory, or John Wheeler to write about general relativity, and so on and so
on. I wonder if this happens, would there still be anyone who dares to
change or write articles on topics about theoretical physics? If this

I understand your intentions but the example was faulty, as you mix up
paid editing with authority or celebrity status.

If Albert Einstein wrote an article about relativity (not paid by
anyone but because he really likes to share his knowledge) nobody
really would dare to chime in.

However John Doe, Jr., however he's paid isn't special and people will
trim his advocacy way more than a normal one.

In fact authority is not equal to article protection and humble
silence: we had pleny of cases where notable academics went away in
flaming anger because a nobody questioned their authority and
requested, for example, external sources or proofs.

I believe paid advocacy vs. paid article writing destinction is
valid and important; as well as the general article writing vs.
advocacy distinction, which may not be black and white but it's
definitely a separate hue or brightness. :-)

Peter

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

2014-01-10 Thread Ting Chen

Hello Peter,

I see the following two possibilities:

Either the paid editing brings a higher quality and thus by that quality 
imposes itself as an authority and thus discourage further unqualified 
editing


Or the paid editing does not bring a higher quality, then an unpaid 
volunteer editor will with right feel fooled and ask: Why does that 
person get paid and I not, it is obvious that my work is less valued and 
thus I will quit.


In both cases I come back to my conclusion, and that is paid editing 
changes the collaboratory nature of our projects.


Greetings
Ting

Am 10.01.2014 16:23, schrieb Peter Gervai:

On Fri, Jan 10, 2014 at 1:40 PM, Ting Chen wing.phil...@gmx.de wrote:

Wikipedia articles. So they pay 10.000 Dollar to Bryce DeWitt (I know, he is
dead, I just don't want to name any living people) to write about field
theory, or John Wheeler to write about general relativity, and so on and so
on. I wonder if this happens, would there still be anyone who dares to
change or write articles on topics about theoretical physics? If this

I understand your intentions but the example was faulty, as you mix up
paid editing with authority or celebrity status.

If Albert Einstein wrote an article about relativity (not paid by
anyone but because he really likes to share his knowledge) nobody
really would dare to chime in.

However John Doe, Jr., however he's paid isn't special and people will
trim his advocacy way more than a normal one.

In fact authority is not equal to article protection and humble
silence: we had pleny of cases where notable academics went away in
flaming anger because a nobody questioned their authority and
requested, for example, external sources or proofs.

I believe paid advocacy vs. paid article writing destinction is
valid and important; as well as the general article writing vs.
advocacy distinction, which may not be black and white but it's
definitely a separate hue or brightness. :-)

Peter

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Relationship between Wikimedia and oDesk

2014-01-08 Thread Ting Chen

Hello dear all,

I won't impose my standard to other people, I just want to tell you what 
is the standard I setup for myself, and I will also tell you why.


I won't accept payment or gift exceeding a certain amount (means  20 
Euro) or search for payment for my volunteer's work that is however 
related to Wikimedia. Especially when I was on my travel reject gift may 
be considered as unfriendly or even insulting, this is the ONLY reason 
why I do accept small gifts. And by larger gift, like a quite expansive 
looking image band I received in Kazakhstan I brought it to the office 
and left it there.


There are a few reasons for this:

At first a very personal one: I made the experience in my life again and 
again that I lost my fun and my interest on something as soon as I got 
paid for it. Get paid = in debt of = duty = no fun.


Second is a philosophical one: I believe that getting paid do have a 
desruptive effect on the free and collaboratory character of our 
projects. The philosophical background is that I believe knowledge and 
education is something like air, it is the basics of human live and 
humanity and should not be charged. But well, I know, not all people, 
(maybe most people) don't share this view point.


Third is a practical one: And this especially for people who occupy a 
position in the movement, be it an employee of one of the organizations, 
or be it a volunteer board member or a committee member: If you need to 
fend off an accusation (most probably conflict of interest, or misuse of 
power), you are in a bad position. It is in this case unimportant if the 
accusation is true or not, battling against rumors and emotions is a 
hard battle. And the limbo of being stained will always be with you. 
Sadly, I have seen this too often by people inside of the movement and 
outside of the movement (mainly in the politics) that I actually wonder 
why people still fall into these pitfalls again and again. So try to 
stay in a position in which you will not be confronted with such a 
battle. It is simply like in the medicine: prophylax is better than 
antibiotics.



A few words to my view on paid edition: I think this is something that 
we cannot avoid happening. Prohibition just drives them into secrecy. As 
such, I prefer it to be done openly instead of in secrecy. My personal 
aversion against paid edition should be quite obvious from the above 
account, just I don't feel I can (or should) enforce it upon other people.


Greetings
Ting


Am 1/8/2014 9:04 AM, schrieb Fæ:

I have not used it but would like to know more. If WMF
employees/contractors are free to sell their services as paid
Wikipedia editors on oDesk, I think that a how-to-sell-your-services
guide would be helpful so that active unpaid volunteers who are not
employees know how to go get some money from their hobby.

To date, I have never be paid for my volunteer work, neither have I
been an employee of the WMF or a Chapter, but my activities as an
active batch uploader and bot-writer for Commons might be fungible and
if so, I would like to sell my services ethically and openly.

Fae

On 8 January 2014 07:30, MZMcBride z...@mzmcbride.com wrote:

Hi.

Can anyone explain the relationship between Wikimedia and oDesk?

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

As I understand it, the Wikimedia Foundation uses oDesk with contractors
to track their hours. (Right?)

But it also appears to be a job board of some kind. It seems like a hybrid
of LinkedIn and Craigslist, though I haven't looked carefully and I'm
still lightly poking around. It seems like the kind of place where you can
post Wikipedia paid editing services. If this is part of oDesk, does
anyone know roughly how many people offer or buy these services?

Regarding paid editing, Jimmy reiterated his stance on his talk page
saying I very very strongly condemn such editing, and this is no
exception and expressing his usual principled objections to such
things in the strongest possible terms.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Permalink/589723131

I think the underlying issue deserves a discussion, apart from particular
examples.

MZMcBride



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Re: [Wikimedia-l] images deletedfrom WikiCommons

2013-12-29 Thread Ting Chen

Great move WMIL.

This is I think an excellent example of great chapter work.

Greetings
Ting

Am 29.12.2013 06:19, schrieb Michal Lester:

Hi,


As some of you know, images are been deleted in the past month from
WikiCommons due to a change in the ruling of the United States Supreme
Court. (The case of Golan v. Holder, confirming the legality of the URAA,
has restored copyright status to foreign works that were placed in the
public domain after January 1, 1996).  Court ruling brought WikiCommons
volunteers to delete images that do not meet the new guideline.
Consequently, Israeli images were deleted even though the Israeli law
releases them into the public domain.

We wrote to the legal department of the Foundation to alert about the
situation. The department has posted a legal
opinionhttps://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikilegal/Use_of_Foreign_Works_Restored_under_the_URAA_on_Commons
on
the subject following our inquiry.

WMIL is going to turn to the Minister of Justice and seek for written
statement that confirm that images released by the State of Israel to the
public domain may be used freely around the world. We hope that WikiCommons
operators rely on the letter and will not delete more images.

It will be great if other chapters will update if they encountered the
problem and what you intend to do.


All the best

Michal



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[Wikimedia-l] My vision for WMF and the movement

2013-10-09 Thread Ting Chen

Hello dear all,

the following was one of the documents I created for my ED application. 
It took me quite some time to create it and thus it was clear for me at 
the beginning that I would publish it at some time point. I struggled a 
long time with myself though about when to publish it. I didn't want to 
publish it as long as I was an aspirant for the position since this 
seems to me to be unfair to the other candidates. And now that I am out 
of the run I think it is a good time to do this. Many of you may find 
your own ideas reflected in it. I think it is not surprising that ideas 
doesn't come from nowhere but from the interaction of people with each 
other. I want to thank you all for the thoughts you published here or 
elsewhere (like on Wikimania or on meta). I didn't change the wording of 
the text and I know it is quite inappropriate for this forum. And as I 
said before, since I am out of competition it is quite outdated, what 
makes it bit of embarrassing. I appologize for that.


Greetings
Ting

In 2012 the Wikimedia Foundation conducted a cultural study about 
itself. As a result it identified its current corporate culture as that 
of the archetype of an Innocent. And the Foundation decided to transform 
itself into the archetype of a Sage in the coming years.



For me to be a sage means to speak with wisdom, means people will pay 
attention to what you say, means own leadership. For me it is a 
leadership that is different from what is taught in schools. For me 
leadership does not mean to own a title, an impressive shoulder mark, a 
reward, or to be claimed an authority. For me leadership means to be 
able to convince people by wisdom, to let people follow you because they 
see the benefit by following you.



I would like to lead the Foundation into such an organization. Into a 
small, in comparison to other world wide operating organizations with 
similar impact, but highly efficient organization that operates as the 
core of a movement with strong partners. I would like to describe in 
more detail about what I mean by this on three most important fields on 
which the Foundation is working: On software development, on community 
engineering and on movement leadership.



Software development is a critical component of what the Foundation is 
doing. The Foundation need to keep improve the usability of its project 
sites, both for readers and for editors, and it needs to make the 
knowledge millions of volunteers contributed accessible by as many 
people as possible. As a board member of the WMF I have repeatedly urged 
the Foundation to increase the efficiency and organizational maturity of 
our tech department. For me the most important tasks on the technology 
side of the Foundation are the following two: Keep step with the 
contemporary technological and design progress, provide a good and 
modern foundation for other third party developers so that they can tap 
on the vast data set collected by the Wikimedia projects, and keep the 
development as near as possible to the users.



In the past few years we see a dazzling development in communication and 
IT technology. Almost every year there was a new generation of mobile 
devices coming onto market and substitutes the older devices in just one 
or two years. And the currently dominating phones, tablets or even 
glasses will not necessarily be the dominating models in five or ten 
years. We saw major companies like Nokia or RIM lost hold on 
technological trend and thus fall out of the favor of the market in the 
past five years. Keeping pace with this tremendous development speed is 
almost impossible for an organization like the WMF.



The Foundation had improved its software development efficiency in the 
past two years tremendously. Since one year we are using SCRUM as our 
software development method. Nevertheless I see further potential for 
improvement, especially with the use of SCRUM. For example the SCRUM 
method requires the involvement of the customer as part of the project. 
In theory the customer should be the project owner. For the WMF, the 
customers are its users (both editors and readers). Use the SCRUM 
philosophy on the WMF means that users should be given a possibility to 
be involved in the software development as early and as frequently as 
possible. For that reason the WMF should build up a test server where it 
can deploy part of its prototype development and invite users to test 
and comment the features in a very early phase.



Another possibility to involve users as part of the project is to let 
users decide part of development priority. Take from the Bugzilla some 
of most asked feature requests and let users vote on Meta about which 
one should be resolved at first. Dedicate part of the engineering team 
on that request and build a project. After the feature is deployed, ask 
users vote for the next feature to be prioritized. This approach will 
also improve our goodwill inside of the community.




[Wikimedia-l] WikiData and WikiSpecies

2013-06-03 Thread Ting Chen

Hello dear all,

I happened to worked with a few biology interwikis on WikiData today and 
saw the taxnomical data on it. Given that WikiData is growing and more 
potential would not it be a good idea to merge WikiSpecies data into 
WikiData and close WikiSpecies (hope now there will no stones or rotten 
tomatos flying for this naive question ;-) )?


Greetings
Ting

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Why not everyone have the right to vote in the Board FDC elections?

2013-04-30 Thread Ting Chen

Hello dear all,

I would also like to ask everyone who has made their thoughts on the 
election to take part on the election committee themselves the next time.


Unfortunately when I made the call for volunteer earlier this year not 
very many people responded.


Greetings
Ting

Am 4/30/2013 12:57 AM, schrieb Risker:

On 29 April 2013 18:48, Asaf Bartov abar...@wikimedia.org wrote:


On Sun, Apr 28, 2013 at 2:37 AM, Itzik Edri it...@infra.co.il wrote:


I agree. We should limit it to only community members, or to give equal
right to everyone.

Asaf, you right, but we are talking also about the FDC elections. a
processes where we are not granting chapters and others organizations the
right to vote but granting to the WMF. Giving only WMF staff, and not
chapters staff the right to vote in community process, it's like saying

the

first are part of the community, but the second are not. I don't even

want

to refer to the sensitive issue of the staff voting for their bosses..


That's a very good point, and I think the chapter board members and staff
definitely _should_ be given a voice _at least_ in the FDC elections.  I
leave it to the Elections Committee to propose solutions.




The Elections Committee posted its plan weeks before the election started,
with hardly any commentary at all; it is only now, after candidates may
start entering the race, that people are complaining that we've failed to
give the right people a vote (or alternately, that we've given too many
people a vote).  There is almost no variation between the voter eligibility
this year and in the previous election; the only relevant changes are dates
for eligibility and the developer commit process (which was changed because
the Engineering Department changed the way that commits were done).

I suggest that those who would like to see changes at the next election
post on the election post mortem page[1] now, so that these ideas aren't
lost to time.

Risker (Election Committee Member)



[1]
http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_elections_2013/Post_mortem
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Why not everyone have the right to vote in the Board FDC elections?

2013-04-30 Thread Ting Chen

Hello Itzik

yes, you are right.

But, and this is a very big but. You organized Wikimania yourself, you 
know how much unseen and unthankable and unbelievable complicated and 
unnecessary work behind all the shiny things. The election committee is 
also a volunteer driven committee. It is a tremendous effort. They have 
weekly meeting since February, and they did a lot of things. It is 
unfair to stand out now and say you are doing a bad job.


Greetings
Ting


Am 4/30/2013 11:24 AM, schrieb Itzik Edri:

Ting, Risker,

1. To share thoughts and feedback about the elections, you don't must to be
volunteer  in the committee.

2. I indeed thought about it only when I saw the centralnotice and read the
voting requirement, I may needed to raise it before. But it's still doesn't
mean we need to ignore from this issue

Itzik


On Tue, Apr 30, 2013 at 11:22 AM, Ting Chen wing.phil...@gmx.de wrote:


Hello dear all,

I would also like to ask everyone who has made their thoughts on the
election to take part on the election committee themselves the next time.

Unfortunately when I made the call for volunteer earlier this year not
very many people responded.

Greetings
Ting

Am 4/30/2013 12:57 AM, schrieb Risker:

  On 29 April 2013 18:48, Asaf Bartov abar...@wikimedia.org wrote:

  On Sun, Apr 28, 2013 at 2:37 AM, Itzik Edri it...@infra.co.il wrote:

  I agree. We should limit it to only community members, or to give equal

right to everyone.

Asaf, you right, but we are talking also about the FDC elections. a
processes where we are not granting chapters and others organizations
the
right to vote but granting to the WMF. Giving only WMF staff, and not
chapters staff the right to vote in community process, it's like saying


the


first are part of the community, but the second are not. I don't even


want


to refer to the sensitive issue of the staff voting for their bosses..

  That's a very good point, and I think the chapter board members and

staff
definitely _should_ be given a voice _at least_ in the FDC elections.  I
leave it to the Elections Committee to propose solutions.



  The Elections Committee posted its plan weeks before the election

started,
with hardly any commentary at all; it is only now, after candidates may
start entering the race, that people are complaining that we've failed to
give the right people a vote (or alternately, that we've given too many
people a vote).  There is almost no variation between the voter
eligibility
this year and in the previous election; the only relevant changes are
dates
for eligibility and the developer commit process (which was changed
because
the Engineering Department changed the way that commits were done).

I suggest that those who would like to see changes at the next election
post on the election post mortem page[1] now, so that these ideas aren't
lost to time.

Risker (Election Committee Member)



[1]
http://meta.wikimedia.org/**wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_**
elections_2013/Post_mortemhttp://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_elections_2013/Post_mortem
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Why not everyone have the right to vote in the Board FDC elections?

2013-04-30 Thread Ting Chen

And to come back to the topic.

At least in the theory, if someone is blocked in a project, than he has 
a serious problem with that community. And the reason that his block is 
not lifted should be a serious one. And if someone has a serious problem 
with more than one community, than it is questionable if he should be 
eligible to take part in the decision of such an office. So from the 
theory I think the rule is ok.


If in the praxis someone is blocked by a project arbitrarily and he is 
not able to appeal by that community, than that community and that 
project has a real problem. And we should look into detail what is going 
wrong in that project and in that community. But this is not an issue of 
the election committee.


Greetings
Ting

Am 4/30/2013 11:24 AM, schrieb Itzik Edri:

Ting, Risker,

1. To share thoughts and feedback about the elections, you don't must to be
volunteer  in the committee.

2. I indeed thought about it only when I saw the centralnotice and read the
voting requirement, I may needed to raise it before. But it's still doesn't
mean we need to ignore from this issue

Itzik


On Tue, Apr 30, 2013 at 11:22 AM, Ting Chen wing.phil...@gmx.de wrote:


Hello dear all,

I would also like to ask everyone who has made their thoughts on the
election to take part on the election committee themselves the next time.

Unfortunately when I made the call for volunteer earlier this year not
very many people responded.

Greetings
Ting

Am 4/30/2013 12:57 AM, schrieb Risker:

  On 29 April 2013 18:48, Asaf Bartov abar...@wikimedia.org wrote:

  On Sun, Apr 28, 2013 at 2:37 AM, Itzik Edri it...@infra.co.il wrote:

  I agree. We should limit it to only community members, or to give equal

right to everyone.

Asaf, you right, but we are talking also about the FDC elections. a
processes where we are not granting chapters and others organizations
the
right to vote but granting to the WMF. Giving only WMF staff, and not
chapters staff the right to vote in community process, it's like saying


the


first are part of the community, but the second are not. I don't even


want


to refer to the sensitive issue of the staff voting for their bosses..

  That's a very good point, and I think the chapter board members and

staff
definitely _should_ be given a voice _at least_ in the FDC elections.  I
leave it to the Elections Committee to propose solutions.



  The Elections Committee posted its plan weeks before the election

started,
with hardly any commentary at all; it is only now, after candidates may
start entering the race, that people are complaining that we've failed to
give the right people a vote (or alternately, that we've given too many
people a vote).  There is almost no variation between the voter
eligibility
this year and in the previous election; the only relevant changes are
dates
for eligibility and the developer commit process (which was changed
because
the Engineering Department changed the way that commits were done).

I suggest that those who would like to see changes at the next election
post on the election post mortem page[1] now, so that these ideas aren't
lost to time.

Risker (Election Committee Member)



[1]
http://meta.wikimedia.org/**wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_**
elections_2013/Post_mortemhttp://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_elections_2013/Post_mortem
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] The case for supporting open source machine translation

2013-04-24 Thread Ting Chen
Oh yes, this would really be great. Just think about the money the 
Foundation gives out meanwhile for translation, plus the many many 
volunteers' work invested into translation. A free and open translation 
software is long overdue indeed. Great idea Erik.


Greetings
Ting

Am 4/24/2013 8:29 AM, schrieb Erik Moeller:

Wikimedia's mission is to make the sum of all knowledge available to
every person on the planet. We do this by enabling communities in all
languages to organize and collect knowledge in our projects, removing
any barriers that we're able to remove.

In spite of this, there are and will always be large disparities in
the amount of locally created and curated knowledge available per
language, as is evident by simple statistical comparison (and most
beautifully visualized in Erik Zachte's bubble chart [1]).

Google, Microsoft and others have made great strides in developing
free-as-in-beer translation tools that can be used to translate from
and to many different languages. Increasingly, it is possible to at
least make basic sense of content in many different languages using
these tools. Machine translation can also serve as a starting point
for human translations.

Although free-as-in-beer for basic usage, integration can be
expensive. Google Translate charges $20 per 1M characters of text for
API usage. [2] These tools get better from users using them, but I've
seen little evidence of sharing of open datasets that would help the
field get better over time.

Undoubtedly, building the technology and the infrastructure for these
translation services is a very expensive undertaking, and it's
understandable that there are multiple commercial reasons that drive
the major players' ambitions in this space. But if we look at it from
the perspective of How will billions of people learn in the coming
decades, it seems clear that better translation tools should at least
play some part in reducing knowledge disparities in different
languages, and that ideally, such tools should be free-as-in-speech
(since they're fundamentally related to speech itself).

If we imagine a world where top notch open source MT is available,
that would be a world where increasingly, language barriers to
accessing human knowledge could be reduced. True, translation is no
substitute for original content creation in a language -- but it could
at least powerfully support and enable such content creation, and
thereby help hundreds of millions of people. Beyond Wikimedia, high
quality open source MT would likely be integrated in many contexts
where it would do good for humanity and allow people to cross into
cultural and linguistic spaces they would otherwise not have access
to.

While Wikimedia is still only a medium-sized organization, it is not
poor. With more than 1M donors supporting our mission and a cash
position of $40M, we do now have a greater ability to make strategic
investments that further our mission, as communicated to our donors.
That's a serious level of trust and not to be taken lightly, either by
irresponsibly spending, or by ignoring our ability to do good.

Could open source MT be such a strategic investment? I don't know, but
I'd like to at least raise the question. I think the alternative will
be, for the foreseeable future, to accept that this piece of
technology will be proprietary, and to rely on goodwill for any
integration that concerns Wikimedia. Not the worst outcome, but also
not the best one.

Are there open source MT efforts that are close enough to merit
scrutiny? In order to be able to provide high quality result, you
would need not only a motivated, well-intentioned group of people, but
some of the smartest people in the field working on it.  I doubt we
could more than kickstart an effort, but perhaps financial backing at
significant scale could at least help a non-profit, open source effort
to develop enough critical mass to go somewhere.

All best,
Erik

[1] 
http://stats.wikimedia.org/wikimedia/animations/growth/AnimationProjectsGrowthWp.html
[2] https://developers.google.com/translate/v2/pricing
--
Erik Möller
VP of Engineering and Product Development, Wikimedia Foundation

Wikipedia and our other projects reach more than 500 million people every
month. The world population is estimated to be 7 billion. Still a long
way to go. Support us. Join us. Share: https://wikimediafoundation.org/

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[Wikimedia-l] Fwd: Resign due to COI and Application to the ED position

2013-04-22 Thread Ting Chen




 Original-Nachricht 
Betreff:Resign due to COI and Application to the ED position
Datum:  Mon, 22 Apr 2013 15:45:31 +0200
Von:Ting Chen tc...@wikimedia.org
An: Board list boar...@lists.wikimedia.org



Dear board,

after intensive consideration and some sleepless nights I have decided 
to apply for the ED job of the Wikimedia Foundation. Due to obvious 
conflict of interest I will resign from the Board of Trustees of the 
Wikimedia Foundation, in effect at May 5th.


In the past five years I have worked with you on our first strategic 
planning, together and especially with the help of the current ED Sue we 
saw the organization leave its infancy. We saw it grow into the innocent 
childhood. And yet we are still facing a lot of challenges. And for me 
the following three are the biggest and most critical for the coming years:


We know that our active editor community is in overall decline. In many 
ways our community is biased, there is the famous gender gap, but there 
are also other gaps. Last year on Wikimania in Washington I wondered if 
I was the only one who noticed that there were almost no African 
Americans attending the conference, when according to the official 
census more than half of the citizen of the city is black. When 
attending community events in Germany I notice every time that I never 
met a single Turkish migrant there, while about 5% of the German have a 
Turkish background. We generally failed to attract minority groups to 
join and actively take part of our community. While the Foundation took 
a lot of effort to provide technical support for new users we also need, 
and need to strengthen our effort on the social aspect of this 
challenge. Technology alone cannot solve social problems. We will be 
able to resolve some of the problems by carefully and consistently 
adjusting our policies and rules, other problems need a mind change and 
a cultural change in the broad society outside of the digital world. To 
gather and share the total knowledge of the mankind we not only need 
academic knowledge but also the daily live wisdom. To keep our 
neutrality we only need to motivate the minority inside of the society 
to join our community. I believe the ability of our community to adjust 
itself, I believe the ability of our movement in changing the society, 
and I believe the Foundation need to play a key role in this process. 
And I want the Foundation to take this challenge.


While our communities often show a bias in their own geographical 
regions, we also see a large global bias of our movement and in our 
projects. For me the revamp of the catalyst program does not mean that 
the Foundation should give up its global south effort. For me it means 
that we need to take this challenge with a new approach. Instead of 
trying to plant seed in the region we should strengthen our effort by 
providing as much support as we can to the seedlings that are already 
there. Unlike mature communities like in western Europe or in northern 
America, small communities in places such as Kenya or Cambodia, but also 
in regions like China or Uzbekistan see active recruitment of editors as 
an essential necessity to make themselves sustainable. My believe is 
that the right approach is to provide support to these communities, 
instead of trying to build a parallel structure beside of them. In 
regions of the world, where hunger and poverty is still an acute and 
real threat to the people, the challenge to establish a culture of 
sharing is a very big challenge. But nevertheless, where ever I 
traveled, I also encounter people who are attached and admired by this 
approach of a society. Knowledge sharing and prosperity, freedom and 
peace can be a self strengthening positive feedback loop, but as every 
positive feedback loop, especially at the beginning it is important to 
have impulses to get the loop started and get stronger, until it can 
sustain itself. I think the Foundation should play an important role in 
this mechanism. Because without the part of the world with the largest 
majority of the human being we are far away from gathering and sharing 
the entirety of the human knowledge.


The third challenge that I see for the Foundation is to provide a 
consistent, long lasting relationship concept with the partner groups 
and organizations as defined in the movement roles document. In the past 
years the relation between the Foundation and the partner organizations 
are more defined by things that failed or that may fail. There were 
quite a few emergency measurements taken to react on crises or to 
mitigate emerging crises. I believe this cannot be a longtime approach. 
We need the local communities and the partner organizations to take the 
first two challenges I mentioned above. And we need to establish a long 
term, more trustful relation with them so that we can really rely on 
each other. We need to minimize frictions and turbulence. We need

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fwd: Resign due to COI and Application to the ED position

2013-04-22 Thread Ting Chen

Hello dear all,

I would like to add a few comments to my resign letter here to clarify a 
few things that is related to possible conflict of interest.


Sue informed the board about her intention to leave the Foundation 
before she informed the staff and the general public with her letter. I 
decided to apply for the job before Sue published her letter. And as 
soon as I made the decision I informed the board so that they are aware 
of the situation and from that point on I recused myself from all topics 
that may potentially have to do with the transition. Among other from 
all discussions about the transition itself and from all discussions 
about the ongoing board member search.


I drafted the first version of this letter about at the time when Sue 
published her letter. My original intention was to have a clear cut and 
resign from that time. The board asked me to stay mainly because there 
is an ambiguity in the bylaw which can be interpreted in the way as that 
the board is not able to operate with less than nine members. On our 
meeting in Milan the board decided to fix this with an amendment of the 
bylaw (which should be published today for community consultation). The 
community consultation lasts ten days and after that the board would 
vote on a voice meeting to have the amendment in effect. That is why my 
resign would be in effect at May 5^th . The other reason is that we want 
Sue's announcement be handled properly, with as less as possible 
interferences.



There is one point I want to point out that do might imply a small 
conflict of interest: I voted on the resolution on Appointing and 
authorizing a transition committee in the search of a new Executive 
Director. Since this resolution need to be published at the same time 
Sue makes her decision public there is no way for me to recuse in this 
case without spoil Sue's message or distract the public attention from 
the importance of the message. I pointed the possible POI to the board 
and the board accepted it. We all believe that the possible POI is 
minimal since I didnot take part on the creation or discussion of this 
resolution


Greetings

Ting

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Recognition of Wikimedia Armenia

2013-03-28 Thread Ting Chen

Hello dear Armenian friends,

it is a great joy for me to see this happen. Next time when I come to 
Yerevan we need to record the traditional dances :-)


Greetings
Ting

Am 3/27/2013 9:26 PM, schrieb Bence Damokos:

Dear all,

I am happy to announce that the the WMF Board of Trustees have resolved to
recognize Wikimedia Armenia as the newest Wikimedia chapter:
http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Resolution:Recognition_of_Wikimedia_Armenia

This group has  already put a lot of effort into promoting Wikipedia and
the other projects in Armenia on their road to recognition and I am really
looking forward to hearing of their future endeavours.

Please give a warm welcome to Wikimedia Armenia!

Best regards,
Bence
(Affiliations Committee)
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Wikimedia (Foundation) endowment

2013-03-18 Thread Ting Chen

Hello dear all,

at first thank you very much MZ for put this together. This is a quite 
hot topic both for the board election, which is coming soon again, and 
also on the board.


The following is my personal opinion why WMF should not build an 
endowment. The rationale from me are the following three:

1. WMF doesn't need an endowment
2. An endowment poses extra risks and problems for the WMF
3. From some aspect an endowment is contraproductive for the WMF even if 
we ignore the risks.


Let me explain in more detail:

1. WMF does not need an endowment.

For most NGO and non-profit organizations, an endowment is a method to 
mitigate the risk of unconstant income and unsecure funding. With the 
endowment the organization is indepenmdant on the ever changing 
fundraising result or on its dependance on grants. The WMF is not facing 
these problems. The WMF is not dependant on one or few grants, and it is 
not dependant on some big donations. The fundraising model of the WMF is 
based on microgrants from hundreds of thousands of participants, and 
practically from every region of the world. This makes it less 
vulnerable for example on changing economic situations. This is 
especially the case since we are not exhausting our fundraising 
potential (and as I understand the current strategy, we are not planning 
to exhaust this potential), and we have a fairly good strategic reserve. 
For the year 2009 for example we were all a bit nervous on our 
fundraising result since at that time the financial crises began to 
seriously impack the world economy. But at that year we doubled our fund 
raising result, achieved our goal before the targetted fund raising 
deadline. This trend kept for the last few years, independant of the 
world economy. It proves the robustness of this fundraising model. In 
comparison to most other non-profit organizations we are in a lucky 
situation that this model works for us. It certainly does not work for 
all organizations. And because the model is robust and it works well for 
us, we should not simply do what everyone else does: try to build up an 
endowment. If we don't need it, we don't need it.


2. An endowment poses extra risks and problems for the WMF

An endowment is a very big bunch of money. And if you have that money 
somewhere in your safe, it won't be any benefit. You need to invest it 
so that it get's return. An endowment is actually pretty similar like a 
bank. And as a bank, you need experts to take care of investment, of 
risk management, and all other things. Either you need your own experts 
(actually you always need your own expert at least for overseeing), or 
you need to buy experts. You need to trust him. Either way it means that 
you must pay the bill. And, the following is really my very personal and 
unprofessional opinion: There is no 100% security if you are a bank. 
Lheman Brothers were rated by all agencies as AAA until it went 
bancrupt. Even the United States Treasury Security is not as secure as 
it seemed to be. I trust the hundred thousand people who give us 10 to 
100 dollars more than the few experts, when it comes to security. And 
the work ethic investment was already mentioned here in the list. I 
believe we can debate forever if investment in United States Treasury 
Security is ethic or not.


3. From some aspect an endowment is contraproductive for the WMF even if 
we ignore the risks


I believe the Wikimedia projects represent a culture: the sharing 
culture. Even if it is not explicitely stated in our vision and mission, 
the Wikimedia projects are avant gards of this culture, and they get 
their strength from this culture. The annual fundraising campaign is one 
of our most effectful method to propagate this culture, even it is not 
designed so. I know many people, my colleagues, friends, people who use 
Wikipedia daily, but never think about how its service is maintained, 
until the annual fundraising campaign. Often it is at that time when 
people tell me: Oh, I just see you are fundraising again, I am happy to 
make this contribution to show my support. Normally people never say 
this, until at the end of the year when our fund raising banner is on 
our project pages. I know for a lot of you the banners are annoying. But 
I also know that for a lot of people, who are not so involved in our 
projects, the banner is the reminder of our sharing culture. It is the 
time when they feel that they need to contribute something, and it 
definitively make them happy to do so. It makes them to feel also to be 
part of it. Our annual fund raising campaign is not thought to be a 
propaganda for the sharing culture, but in effect it is a very effective 
propaganda for it. And I believe it would be a los for all of us, if we 
don't have it any more.


So far, my thoughts. As I said all my private opinions, and some of them 
certainly very primitive and unprofessional. I am happy to get feedbacks 
and critics and learn from them.


Greetings
Ting

[Wikimedia-l] Reminder: Call for volunteers: Election Committee

2013-01-22 Thread Ting Chen

Hi Everyone,

2013 is an election year for the Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia 
Foundation.


As you may recall the board has three directly elected representatives 
on it which serve for two years. Currently those are Mindspillage, SJ 
and Wing. As in the past years we rely on an effective election 
committee to coordinate the elections for us. They not only guarantee 
that the election is overseen by an independent body, but they also make 
sure that the tremendous amount of work that needs to be done is taken 
care of. My job is to coordinate the formation of this committee.


This is a call for volunteers to serve on the election committee. If you 
feel that you can contribute to this committee, please contact me and 
give a small summary of why you think you would be able to help out with 
this process. Just to make sure we all understand: you cannot be part of 
the election committee if you are planning to be a candidate or are 
planning to support any candidate publicly. Deadline for any extra 
volunteers is January 31st 12:00 UTC.


The timeline for the next steps in the process will be published 
somewhere in February by the election committee. So if you are 
interested in becoming a candidate, time to start preparing!


Regards

--
Ting Chen
Member of the Board of Trustees
Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.
E-Mail: tc...@wikimedia.org


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[Wikimedia-l] Call for volunteers: Election Committee

2013-01-16 Thread Ting Chen

Hi Everyone,

2013 is an election year for the Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation.

As you may recall the board has three directly elected representatives on it 
which serve for two years. Currently those are Mindspillage, SJ and Wing. As in 
the past years we rely on an effective election committee to coordinate the 
elections for us. They not only guarantee that the election is overseen by an 
independent body, but they also make sure that the tremendous amount of work 
that needs to be done is taken care of. My job is to coordinate the formation 
of this committee.

This is a call for volunteers to serve on the election committee. If you feel 
that you can contribute to this committee, please contact me and give a small 
summary of why you think you would be able to help out with this process. Just 
to make sure we all understand: you cannot be part of the election committee if 
you are planning to be a candidate or are planning to support any candidate 
publicly. Deadline for any extra volunteers is January 31st 12:00 UTC.

The timeline for the next steps in the process will be published somewhere in 
February by the election committee. So if you are interested in becoming a 
candidate, time to start preparing!

Regards

--
Ting Chen
Member of the Board of Trustees
Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.
E-Mail: tc...@wikimedia.org


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[Wikimedia-l] Fwd: Report to the board: WikiCon in Dornbirn, Austria

2012-09-09 Thread Ting Chen




 Original-Nachricht 
Betreff:Report to the board: WikiCon in Dornbirn, Austria
Datum:  Thu, 06 Sep 2012 08:13:06 +0200
Von:Ting Chen tc...@wikimedia.org
An: Board list boar...@lists.wikimedia.org



Hello all,

from August 31st to September 2nd the german speaking chapters organized
the third WikiCon, a regional german speaking conference. This is the
third conference of this kind, after Lüneburg (organized by SkillShare)
and Nürnberg (by the chapters). This is my report about this conference.
I will also cross post part of it on wikimedia-l later.

Like on every WikiCon the struggle on the very tight and high relevance
criteria as well as the deletionism and the rude behavior in village
pumps and talk pages was one of the major topic. But in this year my
feeling is that a critical mass is forming and things may move in the
other direction on de-wp.

One of the major topics that is new on this WikiCon are wiki projects
outside of the Wikimedia projects. There are a few very interesting
speeches on this topic. One was about the RegionWiki, where people
compile and gather local information, many of them deemed by Wikipedia
as not relevant or not encyclopedia content. The other is just started
and got financial support from WMDE, with the name ZeitzeugeWiki (a wiki
that collects contemperary witnesses). The ZeitzeugeWiki remembers me
also on the study of Achal on visual reference. Done right it can really
be a valuable project that can have impact. Markus Bärlocher, a very
active voluntier on Wikipedia, OpenStreetMap and OpenSeeMap is planning
a wiki for water sport and asks if Wikimedia Foundation can host it.

This project is also related to a third big topic that surfaced on this
WikiCon. More and more projects, especially external projects like
OpenStreetMap, is getting interlinked with Wikimedia projects. The
WikiData project which is currently still in preparation had inflicted a
lot of interest. OpenStreetMap and OpenSeeMap are hoping to tap those
data for example. The wiki for water sport is concepted as a wiki that
will automatically tap both data from Wikipedia and WikiData as well as
from OpenSeeMap. The demand on a possibility to single sign on cross
projects is getting louder.

It is very delightful for me to see that on these conferences there are
still new people who show up to see if they can still join the
community. I spoke with at least four of them in Dornbirn. One of them a
very old man, I would guess on his 80s. He is himself an encyclopedist
and wrote many thousand articles for a specialist encyclopedia on
international laws. And when he said that he want to contribute and
asked me on my advice I feel both overwhelmed as well as fearful to lead
him to face the anonymous hostility that a newbie often face when he
starts in our projects.

Personally I was happy to have the oppotunity to camp again, although
the first day and night almost rained continuously. I didn't do it for
years and really enjoyed the fresh morning air and even the patting of
rain drops on the tent.

As always I provide carpool sharing and this time I took User:Alam_ffm
with me. He is native polish and lives almost as long as me in Germany.
He is active on both polish and german Wikipedia and is also active in
the polish chapter. So during the drive he told me a lot of things about
polish german Wikipedia interactions, about cross boarder meet ups and
about the polish Wikipedia, which I know very little about, and which,
as every Wikipedia language version, has a rich and interesting history.


Greetings
Ting




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[Wikimedia-l] Fwd: Report to Board: Chinese Internet Research Conference

2012-05-29 Thread Ting Chen



 Original-Nachricht 
Betreff:Report to Board: Chinese Internet Research Conference
Datum:  Sun, 27 May 2012 18:07:54 +0200
Von:Ting Chen tc...@wikimedia.org
An: Board list boar...@lists.wikimedia.org



Hello dear all,

at Mai 21st and 22nd I attended the 10. Chinese Internet Research
Conference at the University of Southern California and this is my
report on this conference.

At the begin of the year Andrew Lih, who as you know is maybe one of the
first researchers who took Wikipedia as a research topic and certainly a
longtime Wikimedian, asked me if I can give a keynote on the 10. Chinese
Internet Research Conference that he was organizing. And I said yes. He
wanted me to talk about the Chinese Wikipedia, which is a relatively
easy topic for me.

The first CIRC took place in USC and this is their anniversary and it
again went to USC. It was organized by the Annenberg School for
Communication and Journalism. Andrew is currently an assistant professor
there. There were about 150 attendees of the conference from all arround
the world. According to Andrew the number of attendees vary in the
years. Last year for example there were only 50 attendees and this year
there were more than 100. The attendees are mostly researchers, so
university professors, doctoral and graduate students, and a few
journalists.

The topics of the conference can mainly be grouped in two: The influence
of internet on chinese politics and the situation of less previleged
peoples and their use of internet in China. On the first topic there are
a lot of papers about the microblogging [1]: The community, the
influence of the microblogging on the politics (especially on the
current events), how the government and the party regulate the
microblogging, how they use microblogging as an instrument for
themselves, etc. On the second topic there were a handful papers on
field studies about the use of internet by the migrant workers, and how
internet influenced their work and life, and studies about the use of
internet in the rural areas of China in different provinces.

To my surprise the papers are all very bold and direct in internet
censoring and GFW (Great Firewall). Before I planned my speech I asked
Andrew if I should mention the blocking and he said yes, and its
influence on the project. I was a little skeptical because meanwhile all
Wikipedians I know in China were visited by the National Security there.
So in my presentation I didn't mention blocking directly by said that we
had connectivity problems. But actually almost all papers on the first
topic mentioned censoring and blocking and deleting of blog entries as
such. Some of the papers have these topics as their main research area.

There were no paper about Wikipedia (my speech doesn't count), but all
attendees I spoke with use Wikipedia, independant of where they live and
work (US, the Netherlands, France, Singapur, mainland China, Hongkong
and Taiwan). To my surprise most of them don't know that we are a
nonprofit organization. There were a few questions about if we pay
Google to get a high ranking.

My speech was the closing speech of the conference. I organized it in
three sections: A brief history of the chinese Wikipedia, the current
state of the project and what we can offer researchers and how
researchers can help us.

There were two high-lights for me personally on this conference. One is
that I met our Advisory Board member Jing Wang [2] there. When we met
each other two years ago in Gdansk Jing just started her work on her
project NGC 2.0 in China and she told me that she is very successful in
the last two years. Her work there is concentrating on bringing the
local NGOs (mostly not registered as organizations, but more grassroot
groups) and enterprices together so that entrepreneurs who want to fund
charitable works and NGOs who do social works can find each other. In
her opinion the central government is more open and progressive then the
provincial and local governments. She experiences more troubles with the
provincial governments than the central gorvernment (which she stated is
very supportive to her work). She believes that between the two there
are a lot of room and freedom which one can use and thinks that the art
to work in China is to explore that room and freedom. She repeated that
we should try to get our chance there. She expressed her sorry about not
be able to attend Wikimania this year because at that time she will be
in China again, and not be abled to do any work for the Foundation
because she is so busy.

The other high-light for me I had already mailed you. It was the keynote
speech by Jenova Chen [3]. Jenova is a game designer and some of the
most remarkable games he designed were Flow [4], Flower [5] and Journey
[6]. Especially the design principle of Journey impressed me most. So
Jenova said in online games in most cases gamers try to kill each other
or try to group with each other to kill something. And he