Re: [Wikimedia-l] Sponsorship/donations to other organizations

2014-09-23 Thread Federico Leva (Nemo)

Erik Moeller, 17/04/2014 19:21:

Yes, this is part of the reason why I'm considering a donation to them
- they're definitely in start-up mode, and we want them to survive.

We can continue to handle these kinds of gifts as a very rare,
discretionary thing for now (and I may want to move forward with
MariaDB because a) they asked, b) they need support, c) we need them
to survive),


What happened in the end?

Nemo


and focusing (per other comments in this thread) more on
how we can build systems around grants for tools that directly support
content contributors.

Erik



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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Sponsorship/donations to other organizations

2014-09-23 Thread Pine W
I can't recall the details of the discussion, but I think the suggestion
was made for these grants to go through GAC in the future. I still think
that makes sense, if GAC has the technical knoweledge to make informed
decisions about these kinds of grants.

Thanks,
Pine
On Sep 23, 2014 12:09 AM, Erik Moeller e...@wikimedia.org wrote:

 On Mon, Sep 22, 2014 at 11:42 PM, Federico Leva (Nemo)
 nemow...@gmail.com wrote:

  What happened in the end?

 We made a $10K donation to the MariaDB Foundation in May, and they
 generously elevated us to Member status for a year (normally at
 $50K).
 https://mariadb.org/en/supporters/
 https://mariadb.org/en/foundation/

 Cheers,
 Erik
 --
 Erik Möller
 VP of Engineering and Product Development, Wikimedia Foundation

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Sponsorship/donations to other organizations

2014-09-23 Thread Ilario Valdelli
Yes I agree, but this means that MariaDB must be financed because it's
strategical.

Financing MariaDB would be possible also to keep it open/free and to
assure that Mediawiki runs in an open software.

But I am answering to the generic question sponsorship/donations to other
organizations saying that the magic word open doesn't suppose the
eligibility because there are some concepts which are functional to the
open content (for instance the open data helps to improve the open content)
and something which is important but less functional.

What happens for the affiliated groups should happen also for the external
organizations indicating some parameters of eligibility.

Regards


On Tue, Sep 23, 2014 at 12:27 PM, Gerard Meijssen gerard.meijs...@gmail.com
 wrote:

 Hoi,
 How do our users have the freedom to choose their own tools ? When they use
 MediaWiki, they are supported. MediaWiki is dependent on a stack of
 software that is open / free. This stack is essential and, MariaDB is part
 of it. Then there is free / open software used in extensions and stuff.
 There is software used for the management of our software, the WMF
 administration. It can be argued that software used on Labs may qualify but
 that is it.

 All other software is not supported by the WMF and why should it. Users
 may choose whatever to produce their own open content but that is far
 removed from what we do and might support.

 Yes we can produce another list. But what is the point; it does only list
 what we could support not what we will support nor does it provide any
 entitlement.
 Thanks,
 GerardM

 On 23 September 2014 12:01, Ilario Valdelli valde...@gmail.com wrote:

  I agree, but the message is that to do open content is not mandatory to
  have open software. Everyone can release open content
 generated/elaborated
  with his own software.
 
  And viceversa, who uses open software can use it also for close
 content.
  It's the same distinction that legally exists between software and
  content/data.
 
  What I have understood is that there is a larger vision of open knowledge
  and a closer one. The same Wikipedia's articles are not clear.
 
  Personally I consider the open knowledge derivative of the open software
  and a subset of the open software, but I respect the vision of the other
  party.
 
  For this reason I am saying that should be defined who can receive
  financial support.
 
  The importance of free software is not excluded (and I said that it's
  strategical), but the users have the freedom to choose their own tools
 and
  what can match their knowledge/expertise.
 
  Regards
 
  On Tue, Sep 23, 2014 at 11:42 AM, Quim Gil q...@wikimedia.org wrote:
 
   On Tue, Sep 23, 2014 at 10:02 AM, Ilario Valdelli valde...@gmail.com
   wrote:
  
   
The question is that open software and open knowledge are not so
 close
  as
open knowledge and open data and open content, for instance.
   
  
   Maybe I'm misreading the not so close part, but just in case:
  
   Free software is a subset of free knowledge, and a very important one
 for
   Wikimedia since all our content is digital. Free knowledge run by
  non-free
   software is captive, as many open initiatives dismissing this point
 have
   learned the hard way. We can't take for granted that free software will
  be
   always available and maintained either. This is why we need to take the
   collaboration with free software initiatives vital to us as seriously
 as
   the collaboration with other open knowledge initiatives.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Sponsorship/donations to other organizations

2014-09-23 Thread rupert THURNER
just to make the broad support one voice broader, i agree that supporting
the ecosystem as sj called is vital. i also like the term give back as
wikipedia would not be the same without this ecosystem.

rupert

rupert
Am 23.09.2014 11:42 schrieb Quim Gil q...@wikimedia.org:

 On Tue, Sep 23, 2014 at 10:02 AM, Ilario Valdelli valde...@gmail.com
 wrote:

 
  The question is that open software and open knowledge are not so close as
  open knowledge and open data and open content, for instance.
 

 Maybe I'm misreading the not so close part, but just in case:

 Free software is a subset of free knowledge, and a very important one for
 Wikimedia since all our content is digital. Free knowledge run by non-free
 software is captive, as many open initiatives dismissing this point have
 learned the hard way. We can't take for granted that free software will be
 always available and maintained either. This is why we need to take the
 collaboration with free software initiatives vital to us as seriously as
 the collaboration with other open knowledge initiatives.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Sponsorship/donations to other organizations

2014-05-08 Thread Samuel Klein
Hello,

I began to write a new thread about spam control, then remembered this
recent one on a similar topic.

Integrating spam control more deeply into all of our tools and
services - including particularly MediaWiki - is important for many
audiences.

Is there an overview of current anti-spam tech (for MW in particular,
but related: for our preferred Ticket-handling and Mailing-list
toolchains), and projected roadmaps?  Comparisons with the best known
proprietary tools, to see what remains to be built?   This strikes me
as something that we and the FSF and other groups could collaborate
on.

Sam

On Fri, Apr 18, 2014 at 3:26 PM, Tilman Bayer tba...@wikimedia.org wrote:
 Hi Cristian,

 On Fri, Apr 18, 2014 at 11:25 AM, Cristian Consonni
 kikkocrist...@gmail.com wrote:
 2014-04-18 0:46 GMT+02:00 Lodewijk lodew...@effeietsanders.org:
 * There is a specific need, a conference we could support, a developer
 event or something we could help out with. There is a clear goal, and it is
 one-time. We have a clear benefit. For example: helping OTRS to become less
 messy.

 [OT]
 As a Wikimedia list moderator (just a couple, the Wiki Loves Monuments
 ones) I am ready to pay gold for anything that would reduce the amount
 of spam in the queues be it a better spam filter, a system to delete
 spam from multiple lists at once, magic or whatever!

 Cristian
 p.s.: pay gold is a figure of speech, but I would definitely
 personally support such a project!

 yeah, as moderator on some other lists, I share your feelings about
 spam. Note though that SpamAssassin is already running in our Mailman
 installation [...]

 The current blocker is that it is generating some false positives,
 i.e. someone would need to spend time to tweak and test the settings:
 https://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/show_bug.cgi?id=56525

 So it looks we have to some of our own homework first here. But if it
 turns out that there are limitations in SpamAssassin which we could
 help them overcome to make it more effective for our purposes, that
 might be a very good use of donor money.

 (As an example concerning your suggestion for a system to delete spam
 from multiple lists at once: I'm not sure if SpamAssassin is
 currently integrated with Mailman in a way that enables it to learn
 from list moderator actions immediately. See e.g.:
 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SpamAssassin#Bayesian_filtering
 http://www.jamesh.id.au/articles/mailman-spamassassin/ -- The Future )

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Sponsorship/donations to other organizations

2014-04-18 Thread Cristian Consonni
2014-04-18 0:46 GMT+02:00 Lodewijk lodew...@effeietsanders.org:
 * There is a specific need, a conference we could support, a developer
 event or something we could help out with. There is a clear goal, and it is
 one-time. We have a clear benefit. For example: helping OTRS to become less
 messy.

[OT]
As a Wikimedia list moderator (just a couple, the Wiki Loves Monuments
ones) I am ready to pay gold for anything that would reduce the amount
of spam in the queues be it a better spam filter, a system to delete
spam from multiple lists at once, magic or whatever!

Cristian
p.s.: pay gold is a figure of speech, but I would definitely
personally support such a project!
[OT]

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Sponsorship/donations to other organizations

2014-04-18 Thread Tilman Bayer
Hi Cristian,

On Fri, Apr 18, 2014 at 11:25 AM, Cristian Consonni
kikkocrist...@gmail.com wrote:
 2014-04-18 0:46 GMT+02:00 Lodewijk lodew...@effeietsanders.org:
 * There is a specific need, a conference we could support, a developer
 event or something we could help out with. There is a clear goal, and it is
 one-time. We have a clear benefit. For example: helping OTRS to become less
 messy.

 [OT]
 As a Wikimedia list moderator (just a couple, the Wiki Loves Monuments
 ones) I am ready to pay gold for anything that would reduce the amount
 of spam in the queues be it a better spam filter, a system to delete
 spam from multiple lists at once, magic or whatever!

 Cristian
 p.s.: pay gold is a figure of speech, but I would definitely
 personally support such a project!

yeah, as moderator on some other lists, I share your feelings about
spam. Note though that SpamAssassin is already running in our Mailman
installation and generating spam scores for mailing list messages,
just not actively discarding them based on these scores. A few weeks
ago, Daniel from Ops wrote up some documentation on how you can
activate that for your list as a list admin:

https://wikitech.wikimedia.org/wiki/Lists.wikimedia.org#Fighting_spam_in_mailman

The current blocker is that it is generating some false positives,
i.e. someone would need to spend time to tweak and test the settings:
https://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/show_bug.cgi?id=56525

So it looks we have to some of our own homework first here. But if it
turns out that there are limitations in SpamAssassin which we could
help them overcome to make it more effective for our purposes, that
might be a very good use of donor money.

(As an example concerning your suggestion for a system to delete spam
from multiple lists at once: I'm not sure if SpamAssassin is
currently integrated with Mailman in a way that enables it to learn
from list moderator actions immediately. See e.g.:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SpamAssassin#Bayesian_filtering
http://www.jamesh.id.au/articles/mailman-spamassassin/ -- The Future )

 [OT]


-- 
Tilman Bayer
Senior Operations Analyst (Movement Communications)
Wikimedia Foundation
IRC (Freenode): HaeB

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Sponsorship/donations to other organizations

2014-04-17 Thread Yann Forget
+1

Yann

2014-04-16 2:02 GMT+05:30 David Gerard dger...@gmail.com:
 On 15 April 2014 21:08, Martijn Hoekstra martijnhoeks...@gmail.com wrote:

 It's a difficult question. I'm in favour in general, and I think it's a
 good idea to support projects that we use and need the money. The problem I
 have with it (and that is absent in your points above) is in how far we
 have the moral right to spend the money donors gave us on other projects.


 In the case of CC, OSM or Freenode, we prevail upon these
 organisations' resources considerably; it's akin to outsourcing
 infrastructure. We use their stuff to a degree that I think it's an
 obviously right thing, and defensible as such, to support them
 financially.


 - d.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Sponsorship/donations to other organizations

2014-04-17 Thread Yann Forget
2014-04-16 2:10 GMT+05:30 Samuel Klein meta...@gmail.com:
(...)

 2) We need a free toolchain that we can build upon and digitize /
 gather / curate / format / publish knowledge with.  There are
 currently major gaps in this toolchain -- core projects and
 collaborations rely on non-free tools or non-free hosted service.
 Every time we use or work to interoperate with such tools and
 services, we should also support replacing them with free ones.  (That
 support can include everything from publicity and matchmaking to
 in-kind support to funds)

Free efficient OCR software is a great need for Wikisource and its contributors.
That's an important gap in the free toolchain to build a free online library.

(...)

 SJ

Regards,

Yann

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Sponsorship/donations to other organizations

2014-04-17 Thread Andrew Gray
I think Steven's interpretation here is pretty sound - yes, it's
legitimate for us to do this, but we should be a bit cautious :-)
Infrastructure tools yes, GIMP probably not.

Andrew.




On 17 April 2014 04:10, Steven Walling steven.wall...@gmail.com wrote:
 On Tue, Apr 15, 2014 at 12:50 PM, Erik Moeller e...@wikimedia.org wrote:

 On the software side, we have Ubuntu Linux (itself highly indebted to
 Debian) / Apache / MariaDB / PHP / Varnish / ElasticSearch / memcached
 / Puppet / OpenStack / various libraries and many other dependencies [2],
 infrastructure tools like ganglia, observium, icinga, etc. Some of
 these projects have nonprofits that accept and seek sponsorship and
 support, some don't.

 One could easily expand well beyond the software we depend on
 server-side to client-side open source applications used by our
 community to create content: stuff like Inkscape, GIMP and LibreOffice
 (used for diagrams). And there are other communities we depend on,
 like OpenStreetMap.


 Speaking personally, I think we should consider doing this kind of thing on
 rare occasions and where there is a critical dependency. There are two
 questions that I think are relevant:

 1). Do they *really *need our help?

 Organizations like Ubuntu and Puppet are in fact supported by for-profit
 companies as well as through a FOSS community. There are other examples
 here, like Redis and Vagrant. They surely do not need our money to survive.
 However, something like MariaDB might, since they're in fact asking us.

 2). Would Wikimedia projects be fine, if these other organizations/products
 perished?

 Seems like we really depend on MariaDB having strong support in the future,
 as an open source infrastructure requirement. We moved to Maria in part
 because Oracle is a terrible terrible steward of open source, including
 MySQL. There are other great FOSS databases out there, but switching to
 something like PostgreSQL or a non-relational database (I troll) would be
 infinitely more painful. It's in our self-interest as an organization and
 for the survival of Wikimedia projects that our database engine is a
 healthy open source product.

 Products you mentioned which don't pass this test include things like GIMP,
 Inkscape, and LibreOffice. It feels like it would be wasteful of donor
 money to support something most of our users don't really depend on/we
 don't depend on internally at the WMF. We'd essentially be making an
 investment in these open source products, not ensuring a critical piece of
 our toolkit survives.

 Steven
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Sponsorship/donations to other organizations

2014-04-17 Thread David Gerard
On 17 April 2014 17:36, Andrew Gray andrew.g...@dunelm.org.uk wrote:

 I think Steven's interpretation here is pretty sound - yes, it's
 legitimate for us to do this, but we should be a bit cautious :-)
 Infrastructure tools yes, GIMP probably not.


Inkscape, however ... we have such a huge proportion of Commons SVGs
made in Inkscape that it's been seriously considered at times to use
Inkscape on the server as WMF's SVG renderer.

Or Yann's suggestion of better OCR.

Software gets into grey areas like this.


- d.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Sponsorship/donations to other organizations

2014-04-17 Thread Erik Moeller
On Wed, Apr 16, 2014 at 8:10 PM, Steven Walling
steven.wall...@gmail.com wrote:

 Seems like we really depend on MariaDB having strong support in the future,
 as an open source infrastructure requirement. We moved to Maria in part
 because Oracle is a terrible terrible steward of open source, including
 MySQL.

Yes, this is part of the reason why I'm considering a donation to them
- they're definitely in start-up mode, and we want them to survive.

We can continue to handle these kinds of gifts as a very rare,
discretionary thing for now (and I may want to move forward with
MariaDB because a) they asked, b) they need support, c) we need them
to survive), and focusing (per other comments in this thread) more on
how we can build systems around grants for tools that directly support
content contributors.

Erik
-- 
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VP of Engineering and Product Development, Wikimedia Foundation

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Sponsorship/donations to other organizations

2014-04-17 Thread Chris Keating
This would be an interesting discussion to have in the next movement
strategy process.

I can see the attraction of doing this, but much better to think about it
alongside questions like what are our collective goals, how much money
do we want to have and the like.

Regards,

Chris
On 15 Apr 2014 20:51, Erik Moeller e...@wikimedia.org wrote:

 Hi folks,

 I'd be interested in hearing broader community opinions about the
 extent to which WMF should sponsor non-profits purely to support work
 that Wikimedia benefits from, even if it's not directed towards a
 specific goal established in a grant agreement.

 This comes up from time to time. One of the few historic precedents
 I'm aware of is the $5,000 donation that WMF made to FreeNode in 2006
 [1]. But there are of course many other organizations/communities that
 the Wikimedia movement is indebted to.

 On the software side, we have Ubuntu Linux (itself highly indebted to
 Debian) / Apache / MariaDB / PHP / Varnish / ElasticSearch / memcached
 / Puppet / OpenStack / various libraries and many other dependencies [2],
 infrastructure tools like ganglia, observium, icinga, etc. Some of
 these projects have nonprofits that accept and seek sponsorship and
 support, some don't.

 One could easily expand well beyond the software we depend on
 server-side to client-side open source applications used by our
 community to create content: stuff like Inkscape, GIMP and LibreOffice
 (used for diagrams). And there are other communities we depend on,
 like OpenStreetMap.

 So, should we steer clear of this type of sponsorship altogether
 because it's a slippery slope, or should we try to come up with
 evaluation criteria to consider it on a case-by-case basis (e.g. is
 there a trustworthy non-profit that has a track record of
 accomplishment and is in actual need of financial support)?

 I could imagine a process with a fixed giving back annual budget
 and a community nominations/review workflow. It'd be work to create
 and I don't want to commit to that yet, but I would be interested to
 hear opinions.

 MariaDB specifically invited WMF to become a sponsor, and we're
 clearly highly dependent on them. But I don't think it makes sense for
 us to just write checks if there's someone who asks for support and
 there's a justifiable need. However, if there's broad agreement that
 this is something Wikimedia should do more of, then I think it's worth
 developing more consistent sponsorship criteria.

 Thanks,
 Erik


 [1] https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Resolution:Freenode_Donation
 [2] Cf. https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Upstream_projects
 --
 Erik Möller
 VP of Engineering and Product Development, Wikimedia Foundation

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Sponsorship/donations to other organizations

2014-04-17 Thread Lodewijk
There are two kind of situations I can imagine where donating money without
a grant request would make sense to me (aside from facilitating a
fundraising):

* There is a specific need, a conference we could support, a developer
event or something we could help out with. There is a clear goal, and it is
one-time. We have a clear benefit. For example: helping OTRS to become less
messy.

* Setting the right example and therefore have an even wider impact when it
comes to using free software. I think it is defensible if we agree on a
'software fee' for the software Wikimedia movement organizations are using,
and then donate based on the number of employees/servers/computers/whatever
running that software. Something you could calculate, and an example that
could (and might) be followed as 'the right thing to do' by other
organizations.

I would not be in favor of 'just donating money' - i think we should be
able to explain at all time why we are donating, and why that specific
amount. We owe that to our donors, and we owe that to the volunteers whose
grants are being rejected/reduced.

Best,
Lodewijk


2014-04-17 23:39 GMT+02:00 Chris Keating chriskeatingw...@gmail.com:

 This would be an interesting discussion to have in the next movement
 strategy process.

 I can see the attraction of doing this, but much better to think about it
 alongside questions like what are our collective goals, how much money
 do we want to have and the like.

 Regards,

 Chris
 On 15 Apr 2014 20:51, Erik Moeller e...@wikimedia.org wrote:

  Hi folks,
 
  I'd be interested in hearing broader community opinions about the
  extent to which WMF should sponsor non-profits purely to support work
  that Wikimedia benefits from, even if it's not directed towards a
  specific goal established in a grant agreement.
 
  This comes up from time to time. One of the few historic precedents
  I'm aware of is the $5,000 donation that WMF made to FreeNode in 2006
  [1]. But there are of course many other organizations/communities that
  the Wikimedia movement is indebted to.
 
  On the software side, we have Ubuntu Linux (itself highly indebted to
  Debian) / Apache / MariaDB / PHP / Varnish / ElasticSearch / memcached
  / Puppet / OpenStack / various libraries and many other dependencies [2],
  infrastructure tools like ganglia, observium, icinga, etc. Some of
  these projects have nonprofits that accept and seek sponsorship and
  support, some don't.
 
  One could easily expand well beyond the software we depend on
  server-side to client-side open source applications used by our
  community to create content: stuff like Inkscape, GIMP and LibreOffice
  (used for diagrams). And there are other communities we depend on,
  like OpenStreetMap.
 
  So, should we steer clear of this type of sponsorship altogether
  because it's a slippery slope, or should we try to come up with
  evaluation criteria to consider it on a case-by-case basis (e.g. is
  there a trustworthy non-profit that has a track record of
  accomplishment and is in actual need of financial support)?
 
  I could imagine a process with a fixed giving back annual budget
  and a community nominations/review workflow. It'd be work to create
  and I don't want to commit to that yet, but I would be interested to
  hear opinions.
 
  MariaDB specifically invited WMF to become a sponsor, and we're
  clearly highly dependent on them. But I don't think it makes sense for
  us to just write checks if there's someone who asks for support and
  there's a justifiable need. However, if there's broad agreement that
  this is something Wikimedia should do more of, then I think it's worth
  developing more consistent sponsorship criteria.
 
  Thanks,
  Erik
 
 
  [1] https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Resolution:Freenode_Donation
  [2] Cf. https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Upstream_projects
  --
  Erik Möller
  VP of Engineering and Product Development, Wikimedia Foundation
 
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Sponsorship/donations to other organizations

2014-04-16 Thread Erik Moeller
On Tue, Apr 15, 2014 at 3:25 PM, Frédéric Schütz sch...@mathgen.ch wrote:

 Within Wikimedia CH, this is an idea that we have discussed a few years
 ago: how can we support software and other communities that our
 community depends on, while avoiding to just give away money. In the
 end, we supported financially one edition of the Libre Graphics Meeting.

That's a great choice! LGM is a fantastic meeting and directly relates
to tools that support content contributors in our projects.

 As an aside, coming back to software, I have noted that the WMF gets
 gets a special thank you note on the git-annex web page
 (https://git-annex.branchable.com/thanks/); is it a tool that has been
 supported financially ? (and, I assume, a tool that the WMF uses
 regularly) ?

As I recall we contracted with Joey (the maintainer) to do some
development work that relates to the git-based deployment tooling we
use for some services.

Cheers,
Erik

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VP of Engineering and Product Development, Wikimedia Foundation

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Sponsorship/donations to other organizations

2014-04-16 Thread Erik Moeller
On Tue, Apr 15, 2014 at 1:40 PM, Samuel Klein meta...@gmail.com wrote:
 Hello Erik, there are cases in which this is clearly the right thing
 for us to do.

 1) An annual 'supporting the ecosystem' program, that channels grants
 and visibility to important partners, seems interesting.  Could this
 be implemented as a targeted grants program?  Or just targeted
 outreach encouraging groups to apply for existing programs?

 I wouldn't call it 'giving back' -- that seems to minimize the way in
 which this is integral to our work. (I see almost no difference, from
 the perspective of our mission, between supporting OSM or Wikieducator
 and supporting Wikiversity).

 However we should be clear that this is where some of our resources
 go, and update related messaging; or raise funds specifically for
 those goals with their own campaigns.

Yeah - it seems pretty complex to get right, and I don't want to
shovel work onto our fundraising team's very full plate, or distract
from our main fundraising efforts.

There are some interesting models to study at least. I like what the
Freedom of the Press Foundation is doing with its flexible, permanent
fundraiser for projects related to anonymity/privacy, which seems to
be inspired by the Humble Bundle UI:

https://pressfreedomfoundation.org/

 2) We need a free toolchain that we can build upon and digitize /
 gather / curate / format / publish knowledge with.  There are
 currently major gaps in this toolchain -- core projects and
 collaborations rely on non-free tools or non-free hosted service.
 Every time we use or work to interoperate with such tools and
 services, we should also support replacing them with free ones.  (That
 support can include everything from publicity and matchmaking to
 in-kind support to funds)

 So we should be supporting, in some fashion:  free formats; free
 fonts; free tools for annotation, real-time text collaboration,
 spreadsheet editing, media editing; the ecosystem needed to support
 free media codecs.  We should be framing and broadcasting to the FK
 ans FOSS world where the biggest gaps lie and what needs to be done.

I agree, and this seems more straightforward to integrate with
existing grantmaking practices. In fact we've seen a few toolchain
related grant applicants lately, such as the ShareMap proposal (which
was turned down, in significant part because it's very Flash-based):

https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:IEG/ShareMap

But the scope of the project is not such that, if I was (say) a
contributor to Blender, I would apply for funding through it.

Focusing on grantmaking that directly supports content contributors
might be a good area to hone in on, while deferring the larger
sponsorship question for now.

 3) Many projects that we rely on run on a very small budget, but may
 need specific skills.  I would separate how we think about supporting
 this sort of work, from how we think about supporting larger projects
 such as CC and OSM.

Sure - we do in fact do a lot of the non-financial stuff (upstream
code contributions, legal or other advice, providing space for
meetups, etc.).

Erik
-- 
Erik Möller
VP of Engineering and Product Development, Wikimedia Foundation

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Sponsorship/donations to other organizations

2014-04-16 Thread James Salsman
I would love to see the Foundation support archive.org and
webcitation.org. I have seen dozens of community members express hopes
for Foundation monetary support of both continued survival and faster
response time for both. But I am not aware of any acknowledgement from
the Foundation other than Jimmy saying that he hoped someone would
help them apply for grants. Did anyone in the Foundation ever do that?

And in line with my hopes that the Foundation will some day start
acting in direct support of the volunteer community, I would love to
see some direct financial support for e.g. paywatch.org and
healthcare-now.org.

Systematic polling of the community is the correct way to decide the
allocation of scarce resources. We need more than the goals that were
set back when the community was growing apparently exponentially. We
need something that proves to editors, would-be editors, and former
editors that the Foundation is trying to improve their lives.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Sponsorship/donations to other organizations

2014-04-16 Thread Craig Franklin
I find myself in furious agreement with Charles here.  For years the
Foundation has been insisting (and quite rightly so) that allied
organisations consider only the stark benefit-per-dollar that they can
extract for each piece of movement funding, as measured by KPIs and
metrics.  Handing out money to fellow travellers, no matter how well
intentioned, and expecting only warm fuzzies in return seems to be to fly
in the face of that.

Grants directed to the development specific functionality that Wikimedia
can use and which can later be included in other project's core offerings?
 Sure, I don't think anyone has a problem with that.  But I think that
handing out unrestricted grants and giving back just because we're nice
people and they're nice people strays too far from the Foundation's mission
and contradicts the message about budgetary discipline that has been
hammered into chapters over the years.

Cheers,
Craig


On 16 April 2014 07:34, Charles Andrès charles.andres.w...@gmail.comwrote:

 In a period where all the fund dissemination of the movement is driven by
 the question what's the impact on wikimedia project and a
 community-driven process, I would suggest that any redistribution of the
 funds done by the WMF would follow the same rules.


 Charles



 Le 15 avr. 2014 à 21:57, Michael Peel em...@mikepeel.net a écrit :

  Hi Erik,
 
  I'd say 'maybe'. I think this sort of work is worth supporting in
 general, but the question should be whether providing the support would
 improve the content and/or provision of the Wikimedia projects. I'd like to
 see a good community-driven process that would determine whether such
 sponsorship would be helpful or whether it would be a waste of money.
 
  Thanks,
  Mike
 
  On 15 Apr 2014, at 20:50, Erik Moeller e...@wikimedia.org wrote:
 
  Hi folks,
 
  I'd be interested in hearing broader community opinions about the
  extent to which WMF should sponsor non-profits purely to support work
  that Wikimedia benefits from, even if it's not directed towards a
  specific goal established in a grant agreement.
 
  This comes up from time to time. One of the few historic precedents
  I'm aware of is the $5,000 donation that WMF made to FreeNode in 2006
  [1]. But there are of course many other organizations/communities that
  the Wikimedia movement is indebted to.
 
  On the software side, we have Ubuntu Linux (itself highly indebted to
  Debian) / Apache / MariaDB / PHP / Varnish / ElasticSearch / memcached
  / Puppet / OpenStack / various libraries and many other dependencies
 [2],
  infrastructure tools like ganglia, observium, icinga, etc. Some of
  these projects have nonprofits that accept and seek sponsorship and
  support, some don't.
 
  One could easily expand well beyond the software we depend on
  server-side to client-side open source applications used by our
  community to create content: stuff like Inkscape, GIMP and LibreOffice
  (used for diagrams). And there are other communities we depend on,
  like OpenStreetMap.
 
  So, should we steer clear of this type of sponsorship altogether
  because it's a slippery slope, or should we try to come up with
  evaluation criteria to consider it on a case-by-case basis (e.g. is
  there a trustworthy non-profit that has a track record of
  accomplishment and is in actual need of financial support)?
 
  I could imagine a process with a fixed giving back annual budget
  and a community nominations/review workflow. It'd be work to create
  and I don't want to commit to that yet, but I would be interested to
  hear opinions.
 
  MariaDB specifically invited WMF to become a sponsor, and we're
  clearly highly dependent on them. But I don't think it makes sense for
  us to just write checks if there's someone who asks for support and
  there's a justifiable need. However, if there's broad agreement that
  this is something Wikimedia should do more of, then I think it's worth
  developing more consistent sponsorship criteria.
 
  Thanks,
  Erik
 
 
  [1] https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Resolution:Freenode_Donation
  [2] Cf. https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Upstream_projects
  --
  Erik Möller
  VP of Engineering and Product Development, Wikimedia Foundation
 
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Sponsorship/donations to other organizations

2014-04-16 Thread David Gerard
On 16 April 2014 13:03, Craig Franklin cfrank...@halonetwork.net wrote:

 Grants directed to the development specific functionality that Wikimedia
 can use and which can later be included in other project's core offerings?
  Sure, I don't think anyone has a problem with that.  But I think that
 handing out unrestricted grants and giving back just because we're nice
 people and they're nice people strays too far from the Foundation's mission
 and contradicts the message about budgetary discipline that has been
 hammered into chapters over the years.


The solution would then appear to be to treat the chapters better,
rather than others worse.


- d.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Sponsorship/donations to other organizations

2014-04-16 Thread Craig Franklin
I don't think the message of having a bit of discipline in your budget and
making value-for-money a prime consideration is at all a bad thing for
chapters to be doing.  The way that the message was hammered in was at
times arrogant, aggressive, or plain out insulting, but the message itself
was a good one.  Large cash gifts made to third parties, in my view, rarely
represent good value-for-money.  All I ask for is a little consistency.

I would also posit that if WMF donors wanted to donate to a worthy project
like MariaDB, they'd donate to that rather than to the Foundation.  I don't
think targeted grants to reach some particular goal that can be shown to
directly benefit the Foundation are at all a problem, and if we're going to
walk down this road that's probably the better road to take, rather than
acting as a charitable middleman, redistributing donor funds to other
nonprofits that don't share our particular mission.

Cheers,
Craig


On 16 April 2014 22:05, David Gerard dger...@gmail.com wrote:

 On 16 April 2014 13:03, Craig Franklin cfrank...@halonetwork.net wrote:

  Grants directed to the development specific functionality that Wikimedia
  can use and which can later be included in other project's core
 offerings?
   Sure, I don't think anyone has a problem with that.  But I think that
  handing out unrestricted grants and giving back just because we're nice
  people and they're nice people strays too far from the Foundation's
 mission
  and contradicts the message about budgetary discipline that has been
  hammered into chapters over the years.


 The solution would then appear to be to treat the chapters better,
 rather than others worse.


 - d.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Sponsorship/donations to other organizations

2014-04-16 Thread Cristian Consonni
Hi,

I would like to point out a couple of points:
* WMF or other affiliates can (and should, IMHO) look out for
sponsorships towards other organisations worth supporting when there
is the occasion, this is IMHO a legitimate activity (and investment)
as any other, i.e. the sponsor gains the visibility ensuing the
sponsorship. The evaluation of the worthiness and impact of these
activities is then left to the single entities, as for any other
activity.
* we could start thinking if these entities could become WMF
affiliates and go after the processes the other affiliates go through
for funding their own projects (i.e. GAC) or more generally all of
their activity (e.g. FDC). I have been thinking about whether the
processes we currently use are usable also for the rest of the
free/open knowledge in the world.  Alternatively, we could set-up a
different process, if needed. In general, my point would be that it is
up for other organisations to come and seek funding instead of
Wikimedia Foundation proposing to support them. Does this make sense?

On a completely different level on this discussion, I would like to
point out that Wikimedia Italia has started the process to become
local chapter of the OpenStreetMap Foundation in Italy.

Cristian

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Sponsorship/donations to other organizations

2014-04-16 Thread Nathan
Many of the chapters are still in startup mode - a challenge that the WMF
should avoid when targeting organizations for sponsorship or donation.
Perhaps more saliently, OSM, MariaDB, Internet Archive etc. are not
representing the Wikimedia movement,  aren't using Wikimedia trademarks,
and presumably would receive a much, much smaller portion of their total
operating revenue from the WMF than chapters typically expect. All good
reasons why the WMF should not treat them in the same manner as Wikimedia
chapters, user groups or thematic orgs.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Sponsorship/donations to other organizations

2014-04-16 Thread Mathias Damour

Le 16/04/2014 14:13, Craig Franklin a écrit :

I don't think the message of having a bit of discipline in your budget and
making value-for-money a prime consideration is at all a bad thing for
chapters to be doing.  The way that the message was hammered in was at
times arrogant, aggressive, or plain out insulting, but the message itself
was a good one.


It actually appears that the message, let aside its form, had other 
goals than the discipline in budget. This even peculiarly come across 
the Ting Chen message, when he says: The reason why I was worried was 
the funding of WMF, not that of the chapters. These messages were 
obviously an effort to curtail chapter growth (quoting 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/WMF_Board_meetings/2013-11-24/FAQ which 
however deny it). It certainly brought some value-for-money 
consideration at the cost of huge volunteer time and efforts to fulfil 
the requirement as well as impeded projects and activities development.



Large cash gifts made to third parties, in my view, rarely
represent good value-for-money.  All I ask for is a little consistency.

I would also posit that if WMF donors wanted to donate to a worthy project
like MariaDB, they'd donate to that rather than to the Foundation.


This point was addressed above: other organizations [infrastructural 
software] have much less visibility. I actually didn't know anything 
about MariaDB before today...



Le 16/04/2014 14:05, David Gerard a écrit :

The solution would then appear to be to treat the chapters better,
rather than others worse.


+++ !!

--
Mathias Damour
49 rue Carnot
F-74000 Annecy
00 33 (0)4 57 09 10 56
00 33 (0)6 27 13 65 51
mathias.dam...@laposte.net
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Astirmays

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Sponsorship/donations to other organizations

2014-04-16 Thread Marc A. Pelletier
On 04/15/2014 05:12 PM, David Gerard wrote:
 Yeah, one of the first things to do is to talk to these partner
 organisations (because they are partner organisations) and ask what
 would actually be helpful, rather than helpy

One thing that Erik has not mentionned (probably because it simply
slipped his mind) is that this is exactly what we have done for Freenode
in the past six or seven months.  They were aching for a couple extra
nodes, and we are currently hosting one for them.

This was a one-off, and is not very onerous for us to provide (we
already have the hardware and infrastructure; the only ongoing cost is
bandwidth and a little bit of ops time).  I suppose it can be seen as a
contribution of the ops team itself -- we were pretty much unanimous
that if a way could be found to help them in a way that would not impact
production (it has), then contributing to a project we rely upon daily
was a no brainer.

FWIW, I agree with the general principle as well, and I don't even see
it as a objective creep: the maintenance of the ecosystem of tools and
infrastructure which makes Wikipedia possible is a necessary part of our
mission.  It does little help to have all the data if there doesn't
exist an infrastructure of open source software to make running the
projects possible.

-- Marc


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Sponsorship/donations to other organizations

2014-04-16 Thread Quim Gil
At least about non-profit software organizations that we rely on (aka
upstream projects), I agree with the idea of having a strategy of support
and the sensible resources to support it.

The easy part is to explain the principle and the strategy to our editors
and donors. We got here because these projects were also here to support
us. If they fail, we will suffer.

What is more complex is to have a software strategy mapping our current and
future needs to our own development resources and to the upstream projects
expected to provide the rest. Some upstream projects will do well with or
without us, while others will rely more heavily on us. Different projects
will have different needs at different points of time.

Being a supporter in the free software community is not very different to
being an editor in Wikipedia. Good contributors don't focus in just giving
money, just like good editors don't focus in just adding text. Our help is
more useful when we contribute with our various interests and tools,
filling different types of gaps that others have left.

On Tuesday, April 15, 2014, Erik Moeller e...@wikimedia.org wrote:

 I could imagine a process with a fixed giving back annual budget
 and a community nominations/review workflow. It'd be work to create
 and I don't want to commit to that yet, but I would be interested to
 hear opinions.


Planned budget and community process are important elements in this
equation, but a broader strategy would need to be in place first. In my
opinion, such strategy would focus mainly on long term relationships based
on actual exchanges and collaboration before money gets into the picture.
Leaving a % of the budget for opportunistic support to non-planned actions
is very good, but only when the basic collaborations are in place.
Otherwise we risk to run into the known problem of supporting many
activities and many organizations at a remarkable cost, without seeing
clear benefits after a couple of exercises.

I would also start using and contributing improvements to the tools and
processes we currently have, like the family of Grants tools, rather than
creating new ones for this purpose.

Just like featured articles start with a single sentence, we could also
start with a very simple iteration, already in the 2014-15 plan, keeping
what we have done (e.g. the Freenode collaboration) and adding a bit more.
The same goes for the software strategy, we don't need to have a 5-year
plan to start nailing down some obvious conclusions that will help us
nominate a first list of partners to support formally.

In fact this is one of the reasons why the Engineering Community team has
the short term goal of documenting an accurate list of upstream projects:

[2] Cf. https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Upstream_projects



-- 
Quim Gil
Engineering Community Manager @ Wikimedia Foundation
http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/User:Qgil
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Sponsorship/donations to other organizations

2014-04-16 Thread Asaf Bartov
On Wed, Apr 16, 2014 at 12:48 AM, James Salsman jsals...@gmail.com wrote:

 I would love to see the Foundation support archive.org and
 webcitation.org. I have seen dozens of community members express hopes
 for Foundation monetary support of both continued survival and faster
 response time for both. But I am not aware of any acknowledgement from
 the Foundation other than Jimmy saying that he hoped someone would
 help them apply for grants. Did anyone in the Foundation ever do that?


Yes:  re Webcite, at the specific request of community members, I responded
on the [[m:Webcite]] discussion and commented on the prospects of a grant
(making clear that the Webcite operator may apply for one).  A grant
application was never submitted, and it appears the immediate need has been
addressed in some other manner.

And re the Internet Archive, shortly after the recent fire at the Archive
in San Francisco, concerned community members urged us to look into whether
the Archive needed help.  We did.  There was no such need.  It seems the
Archive is doing okay with its own revenue model and institutional
supporters.

   Asaf
-- 
Asaf Bartov
Wikimedia Foundation http://www.wikimediafoundation.org

Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in the
sum of all knowledge. Help us make it a reality!
https://donate.wikimedia.org
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Sponsorship/donations to other organizations

2014-04-16 Thread Steven Walling
On Tue, Apr 15, 2014 at 12:50 PM, Erik Moeller e...@wikimedia.org wrote:

 On the software side, we have Ubuntu Linux (itself highly indebted to
 Debian) / Apache / MariaDB / PHP / Varnish / ElasticSearch / memcached
 / Puppet / OpenStack / various libraries and many other dependencies [2],
 infrastructure tools like ganglia, observium, icinga, etc. Some of
 these projects have nonprofits that accept and seek sponsorship and
 support, some don't.

 One could easily expand well beyond the software we depend on
 server-side to client-side open source applications used by our
 community to create content: stuff like Inkscape, GIMP and LibreOffice
 (used for diagrams). And there are other communities we depend on,
 like OpenStreetMap.


Speaking personally, I think we should consider doing this kind of thing on
rare occasions and where there is a critical dependency. There are two
questions that I think are relevant:

1). Do they *really *need our help?

Organizations like Ubuntu and Puppet are in fact supported by for-profit
companies as well as through a FOSS community. There are other examples
here, like Redis and Vagrant. They surely do not need our money to survive.
However, something like MariaDB might, since they're in fact asking us.

2). Would Wikimedia projects be fine, if these other organizations/products
perished?

Seems like we really depend on MariaDB having strong support in the future,
as an open source infrastructure requirement. We moved to Maria in part
because Oracle is a terrible terrible steward of open source, including
MySQL. There are other great FOSS databases out there, but switching to
something like PostgreSQL or a non-relational database (I troll) would be
infinitely more painful. It's in our self-interest as an organization and
for the survival of Wikimedia projects that our database engine is a
healthy open source product.

Products you mentioned which don't pass this test include things like GIMP,
Inkscape, and LibreOffice. It feels like it would be wasteful of donor
money to support something most of our users don't really depend on/we
don't depend on internally at the WMF. We'd essentially be making an
investment in these open source products, not ensuring a critical piece of
our toolkit survives.

Steven
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[Wikimedia-l] Sponsorship/donations to other organizations

2014-04-15 Thread Erik Moeller
Hi folks,

I'd be interested in hearing broader community opinions about the
extent to which WMF should sponsor non-profits purely to support work
that Wikimedia benefits from, even if it's not directed towards a
specific goal established in a grant agreement.

This comes up from time to time. One of the few historic precedents
I'm aware of is the $5,000 donation that WMF made to FreeNode in 2006
[1]. But there are of course many other organizations/communities that
the Wikimedia movement is indebted to.

On the software side, we have Ubuntu Linux (itself highly indebted to
Debian) / Apache / MariaDB / PHP / Varnish / ElasticSearch / memcached
/ Puppet / OpenStack / various libraries and many other dependencies [2],
infrastructure tools like ganglia, observium, icinga, etc. Some of
these projects have nonprofits that accept and seek sponsorship and
support, some don't.

One could easily expand well beyond the software we depend on
server-side to client-side open source applications used by our
community to create content: stuff like Inkscape, GIMP and LibreOffice
(used for diagrams). And there are other communities we depend on,
like OpenStreetMap.

So, should we steer clear of this type of sponsorship altogether
because it's a slippery slope, or should we try to come up with
evaluation criteria to consider it on a case-by-case basis (e.g. is
there a trustworthy non-profit that has a track record of
accomplishment and is in actual need of financial support)?

I could imagine a process with a fixed giving back annual budget
and a community nominations/review workflow. It'd be work to create
and I don't want to commit to that yet, but I would be interested to
hear opinions.

MariaDB specifically invited WMF to become a sponsor, and we're
clearly highly dependent on them. But I don't think it makes sense for
us to just write checks if there's someone who asks for support and
there's a justifiable need. However, if there's broad agreement that
this is something Wikimedia should do more of, then I think it's worth
developing more consistent sponsorship criteria.

Thanks,
Erik


[1] https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Resolution:Freenode_Donation
[2] Cf. https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Upstream_projects
-- 
Erik Möller
VP of Engineering and Product Development, Wikimedia Foundation

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Sponsorship/donations to other organizations

2014-04-15 Thread Michael Peel
Hi Erik,

I'd say 'maybe'. I think this sort of work is worth supporting in general, but 
the question should be whether providing the support would improve the content 
and/or provision of the Wikimedia projects. I'd like to see a good 
community-driven process that would determine whether such sponsorship would be 
helpful or whether it would be a waste of money.

Thanks,
Mike

On 15 Apr 2014, at 20:50, Erik Moeller e...@wikimedia.org wrote:

 Hi folks,
 
 I'd be interested in hearing broader community opinions about the
 extent to which WMF should sponsor non-profits purely to support work
 that Wikimedia benefits from, even if it's not directed towards a
 specific goal established in a grant agreement.
 
 This comes up from time to time. One of the few historic precedents
 I'm aware of is the $5,000 donation that WMF made to FreeNode in 2006
 [1]. But there are of course many other organizations/communities that
 the Wikimedia movement is indebted to.
 
 On the software side, we have Ubuntu Linux (itself highly indebted to
 Debian) / Apache / MariaDB / PHP / Varnish / ElasticSearch / memcached
 / Puppet / OpenStack / various libraries and many other dependencies [2],
 infrastructure tools like ganglia, observium, icinga, etc. Some of
 these projects have nonprofits that accept and seek sponsorship and
 support, some don't.
 
 One could easily expand well beyond the software we depend on
 server-side to client-side open source applications used by our
 community to create content: stuff like Inkscape, GIMP and LibreOffice
 (used for diagrams). And there are other communities we depend on,
 like OpenStreetMap.
 
 So, should we steer clear of this type of sponsorship altogether
 because it's a slippery slope, or should we try to come up with
 evaluation criteria to consider it on a case-by-case basis (e.g. is
 there a trustworthy non-profit that has a track record of
 accomplishment and is in actual need of financial support)?
 
 I could imagine a process with a fixed giving back annual budget
 and a community nominations/review workflow. It'd be work to create
 and I don't want to commit to that yet, but I would be interested to
 hear opinions.
 
 MariaDB specifically invited WMF to become a sponsor, and we're
 clearly highly dependent on them. But I don't think it makes sense for
 us to just write checks if there's someone who asks for support and
 there's a justifiable need. However, if there's broad agreement that
 this is something Wikimedia should do more of, then I think it's worth
 developing more consistent sponsorship criteria.
 
 Thanks,
 Erik
 
 
 [1] https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Resolution:Freenode_Donation
 [2] Cf. https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Upstream_projects
 -- 
 Erik Möller
 VP of Engineering and Product Development, Wikimedia Foundation
 
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Sponsorship/donations to other organizations

2014-04-15 Thread Martijn Hoekstra
On Tue, Apr 15, 2014 at 9:50 PM, Erik Moeller e...@wikimedia.org wrote:

 Hi folks,

 I'd be interested in hearing broader community opinions about the
 extent to which WMF should sponsor non-profits purely to support work
 that Wikimedia benefits from, even if it's not directed towards a
 specific goal established in a grant agreement.

 This comes up from time to time. One of the few historic precedents
 I'm aware of is the $5,000 donation that WMF made to FreeNode in 2006
 [1]. But there are of course many other organizations/communities that
 the Wikimedia movement is indebted to.

 On the software side, we have Ubuntu Linux (itself highly indebted to
 Debian) / Apache / MariaDB / PHP / Varnish / ElasticSearch / memcached
 / Puppet / OpenStack / various libraries and many other dependencies [2],
 infrastructure tools like ganglia, observium, icinga, etc. Some of
 these projects have nonprofits that accept and seek sponsorship and
 support, some don't.

 One could easily expand well beyond the software we depend on
 server-side to client-side open source applications used by our
 community to create content: stuff like Inkscape, GIMP and LibreOffice
 (used for diagrams). And there are other communities we depend on,
 like OpenStreetMap.

 So, should we steer clear of this type of sponsorship altogether
 because it's a slippery slope, or should we try to come up with
 evaluation criteria to consider it on a case-by-case basis (e.g. is
 there a trustworthy non-profit that has a track record of
 accomplishment and is in actual need of financial support)?

 I could imagine a process with a fixed giving back annual budget
 and a community nominations/review workflow. It'd be work to create
 and I don't want to commit to that yet, but I would be interested to
 hear opinions.

 MariaDB specifically invited WMF to become a sponsor, and we're
 clearly highly dependent on them. But I don't think it makes sense for
 us to just write checks if there's someone who asks for support and
 there's a justifiable need. However, if there's broad agreement that
 this is something Wikimedia should do more of, then I think it's worth
 developing more consistent sponsorship criteria.

 Thanks,
 Erik


 [1] https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Resolution:Freenode_Donation
 [2] Cf. https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Upstream_projects
 --
 Erik Möller
 VP of Engineering and Product Development, Wikimedia Foundation



Hi Erik,

It's a difficult question. I'm in favour in general, and I think it's a
good idea to support projects that we use and need the money. The problem I
have with it (and that is absent in your points above) is in how far we
have the moral right to spend the money donors gave us on other projects.
Transparency to sponsors - especially since we get a lot of small donations
- is something I feel strongly about. If this were set up in a way
integrated in our fundraising policy (Donate X, allow for Y to be spent on
projects we are dependent on for example) I'd be in favour, but I'm
uncomfortable with re-gifting some random donors money to Varnish.

--Martijn


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Sponsorship/donations to other organizations

2014-04-15 Thread David Gerard
On 15 April 2014 20:50, Erik Moeller e...@wikimedia.org wrote:

 I'd be interested in hearing broader community opinions about the
 extent to which WMF should sponsor non-profits purely to support work
 that Wikimedia benefits from, even if it's not directed towards a
 specific goal established in a grant agreement.


Creative Commons, OpenStreetMap spring to mind. What are their budgets
like? I expect ours dwarfs theirs. We should throw money at Freenode
on a regular basis.

CC is a charity, I think OSM is a nonprofit but not actually a UK
charity as yet (though WMUK achieving charity status makes that more
achievable if they want to go for that).

Internet Archive and Archiveteam is not something we use as heavily as
any of those, but they need it too.

Is there anyone else whose stuff we prevail upon that we really should
be helping?


- d.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Sponsorship/donations to other organizations

2014-04-15 Thread David Gerard
On 15 April 2014 21:08, Martijn Hoekstra martijnhoeks...@gmail.com wrote:

 It's a difficult question. I'm in favour in general, and I think it's a
 good idea to support projects that we use and need the money. The problem I
 have with it (and that is absent in your points above) is in how far we
 have the moral right to spend the money donors gave us on other projects.


In the case of CC, OSM or Freenode, we prevail upon these
organisations' resources considerably; it's akin to outsourcing
infrastructure. We use their stuff to a degree that I think it's an
obviously right thing, and defensible as such, to support them
financially.


- d.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Sponsorship/donations to other organizations

2014-04-15 Thread Federico Leva (Nemo)
There is a reason if the last precedent is in 2006. Search your mail 
archives for later discussions on FreeNode.


Erik Moeller, 15/04/2014 21:50:

MariaDB specifically invited WMF to become a sponsor,


Do they only accept unrestricted donations? If not, they could consider 
that the WMF grants are very flexible. 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:Start
Most IEG proposals, for instance, seem to propose software development 
projects (and other contractor work) with wages in the tens thousands 
dollars.


Nemo

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Sponsorship/donations to other organizations

2014-04-15 Thread Kat Walsh
In general, I do think Wikimedia should do this.

Briefly:

Wikimedia is in an extremely fortunate position: it can raise all the
money it needs from many small donors, and can expect to be able to do
so continually into the future. This is partially because it is a
great thing that many people value, of course, but it's partially by
accident because of the type of thing it is--a public resource that
most potential donors visit directly on its website, probably even
every day.

Part of that fortunate position is because of the work of other
organizations which have much less visibility--infrastructural
software, which silently and invisibly makes Wikimedia's work possible
and means we don't have to spend the resources we do take in
reinventing the wheel because they have already done it. The tools
that make it possible for us to create, edit, and display multimedia
content freely--whose users often download once and then have no other
contact with the organization's site or materials. The organizations
who are working with us to advance our common goals, but who do so
less visibly.

Almost none of these have the same ability to raise money as Wikimedia
does, even if they were doing so as effectively as possible, and this
is especially true if they also wish to minimize their dependence on
corporations and foundations with differing goals. But Wikimedia's
mission depends on their survival also--we are able to do what we do
more effectively because of them, and it seems only right that some of
the value we get from them should go back to supporting them.

-Kat

(Disclaimer: I work for CC now, which has received a donation from
Wikimedia since my leaving the board; however, this is an opinion I've
held for a long time.)

On Tue, Apr 15, 2014 at 12:50 PM, Erik Moeller e...@wikimedia.org wrote:
 Hi folks,

 I'd be interested in hearing broader community opinions about the
 extent to which WMF should sponsor non-profits purely to support work
 that Wikimedia benefits from, even if it's not directed towards a
 specific goal established in a grant agreement.

 This comes up from time to time. One of the few historic precedents
 I'm aware of is the $5,000 donation that WMF made to FreeNode in 2006
 [1]. But there are of course many other organizations/communities that
 the Wikimedia movement is indebted to.

 On the software side, we have Ubuntu Linux (itself highly indebted to
 Debian) / Apache / MariaDB / PHP / Varnish / ElasticSearch / memcached
 / Puppet / OpenStack / various libraries and many other dependencies [2],
 infrastructure tools like ganglia, observium, icinga, etc. Some of
 these projects have nonprofits that accept and seek sponsorship and
 support, some don't.

 One could easily expand well beyond the software we depend on
 server-side to client-side open source applications used by our
 community to create content: stuff like Inkscape, GIMP and LibreOffice
 (used for diagrams). And there are other communities we depend on,
 like OpenStreetMap.

 So, should we steer clear of this type of sponsorship altogether
 because it's a slippery slope, or should we try to come up with
 evaluation criteria to consider it on a case-by-case basis (e.g. is
 there a trustworthy non-profit that has a track record of
 accomplishment and is in actual need of financial support)?

 I could imagine a process with a fixed giving back annual budget
 and a community nominations/review workflow. It'd be work to create
 and I don't want to commit to that yet, but I would be interested to
 hear opinions.

 MariaDB specifically invited WMF to become a sponsor, and we're
 clearly highly dependent on them. But I don't think it makes sense for
 us to just write checks if there's someone who asks for support and
 there's a justifiable need. However, if there's broad agreement that
 this is something Wikimedia should do more of, then I think it's worth
 developing more consistent sponsorship criteria.

 Thanks,
 Erik


 [1] https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Resolution:Freenode_Donation
 [2] Cf. https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Upstream_projects
 --
 Erik Möller
 VP of Engineering and Product Development, Wikimedia Foundation

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-- 
Your donations keep Wikipedia free: https://donate.wikimedia.org

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Sponsorship/donations to other organizations

2014-04-15 Thread Samuel Klein
Hello Erik, there are cases in which this is clearly the right thing
for us to do.

1) An annual 'supporting the ecosystem' program, that channels grants
and visibility to important partners, seems interesting.  Could this
be implemented as a targeted grants program?  Or just targeted
outreach encouraging groups to apply for existing programs?

I wouldn't call it 'giving back' -- that seems to minimize the way in
which this is integral to our work. (I see almost no difference, from
the perspective of our mission, between supporting OSM or Wikieducator
and supporting Wikiversity).

However we should be clear that this is where some of our resources
go, and update related messaging; or raise funds specifically for
those goals with their own campaigns.

2) We need a free toolchain that we can build upon and digitize /
gather / curate / format / publish knowledge with.  There are
currently major gaps in this toolchain -- core projects and
collaborations rely on non-free tools or non-free hosted service.
Every time we use or work to interoperate with such tools and
services, we should also support replacing them with free ones.  (That
support can include everything from publicity and matchmaking to
in-kind support to funds)

So we should be supporting, in some fashion:  free formats; free
fonts; free tools for annotation, real-time text collaboration,
spreadsheet editing, media editing; the ecosystem needed to support
free media codecs.  We should be framing and broadcasting to the FK
ans FOSS world where the biggest gaps lie and what needs to be done.

And we should be able to point to how and where we are investing in
this -- for instance when we get into debates about whether or not to
include non-free fonts in our default fontstack; or about how to
support people trying to convert and publish media in encumbered
formats.

3) Many projects that we rely on run on a very small budget, but may
need specific skills.  I would separate how we think about supporting
this sort of work, from how we think about supporting larger projects
such as CC and OSM.

SJ

On Tue, Apr 15, 2014 at 3:50 PM, Erik Moeller e...@wikimedia.org wrote:
 Hi folks,

 I'd be interested in hearing broader community opinions about the
 extent to which WMF should sponsor non-profits purely to support work
 that Wikimedia benefits from, even if it's not directed towards a
 specific goal established in a grant agreement.

 This comes up from time to time. One of the few historic precedents
 I'm aware of is the $5,000 donation that WMF made to FreeNode in 2006
 [1]. But there are of course many other organizations/communities that
 the Wikimedia movement is indebted to.

 On the software side, we have Ubuntu Linux (itself highly indebted to
 Debian) / Apache / MariaDB / PHP / Varnish / ElasticSearch / memcached
 / Puppet / OpenStack / various libraries and many other dependencies [2],
 infrastructure tools like ganglia, observium, icinga, etc. Some of
 these projects have nonprofits that accept and seek sponsorship and
 support, some don't.

 One could easily expand well beyond the software we depend on
 server-side to client-side open source applications used by our
 community to create content: stuff like Inkscape, GIMP and LibreOffice
 (used for diagrams). And there are other communities we depend on,
 like OpenStreetMap.

 So, should we steer clear of this type of sponsorship altogether
 because it's a slippery slope, or should we try to come up with
 evaluation criteria to consider it on a case-by-case basis (e.g. is
 there a trustworthy non-profit that has a track record of
 accomplishment and is in actual need of financial support)?

 I could imagine a process with a fixed giving back annual budget
 and a community nominations/review workflow. It'd be work to create
 and I don't want to commit to that yet, but I would be interested to
 hear opinions.

 MariaDB specifically invited WMF to become a sponsor, and we're
 clearly highly dependent on them. But I don't think it makes sense for
 us to just write checks if there's someone who asks for support and
 there's a justifiable need. However, if there's broad agreement that
 this is something Wikimedia should do more of, then I think it's worth
 developing more consistent sponsorship criteria.

 Thanks,
 Erik


 [1] https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Resolution:Freenode_Donation
 [2] Cf. https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Upstream_projects
 --
 Erik Möller
 VP of Engineering and Product Development, Wikimedia Foundation

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Samuel Klein  @metasj   w:user:sj  +1 617 529 4266

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Sponsorship/donations to other organizations

2014-04-15 Thread Sage Ross
TL;DR: Yes, I think we should be pro-actively putting significant
financial resources into the open source ecosystems we rely on.

Thanks Erik! This is a great discussion to have.

As I see it, we have a whole lot of potential fundraising revenue that
we leave unraised, simply because WMF doesn't have effective ways of
spending it or allocating it within the movement. The fundraising
system has become extremely efficient, so we've increasingly shifted
toward minimizing reader annoyance instead of increasing raising
money. But the annoyance factor of fundraising is so low right now
that (to me) it seems wasteful *not* to be raising and distributing
more, if it can be done in ways that support our mission (broadly
construed).

Wikipedia is the most prominent project of the top, public-facing
layer of a deep free culture / free software ecosystem. It wouldn't be
able to exist without that ecosystem, but because it's in that top
layer that directly serves the public, it generates most of the
goodwill and donation potential. But much of what donors love and
value and want to support about Wikipedia has deeper roots than they
realize. I used to be a regular donor to Wikimedia Foundation, but as
I've learned more about that deeper ecosystem, I've felt it my
responsibility -- because I know how things work beneath that surface
layer -- to focus my giving elsewhere in the free software and free
culture ecosystem. I would happily donate to WMF if I knew that the
fundraising system was aggressively working to gather money to improve
that whole ecosystem. (Instead, donating right now would feel like
making a donation to slightly decrease the number of fundraising
banners seen by readers; if I don't donate, I know there are more than
enough readers who will.)

One strategy for supporting other free software/free culture
organizations would be to make few-strings-attached grants for
specific work that will benefit us. (For example, we give a grant that
lets them pay  a developer's salary for a year to work on this or that
project that will result in better MediaWiki performance, or easier
management of our stack.) That would be consistent with what our
donors intend when they give.

-Sage (ragesoss)

On Tue, Apr 15, 2014 at 3:50 PM, Erik Moeller e...@wikimedia.org wrote:
 Hi folks,

 I'd be interested in hearing broader community opinions about the
 extent to which WMF should sponsor non-profits purely to support work
 that Wikimedia benefits from, even if it's not directed towards a
 specific goal established in a grant agreement.

 This comes up from time to time. One of the few historic precedents
 I'm aware of is the $5,000 donation that WMF made to FreeNode in 2006
 [1]. But there are of course many other organizations/communities that
 the Wikimedia movement is indebted to.

 On the software side, we have Ubuntu Linux (itself highly indebted to
 Debian) / Apache / MariaDB / PHP / Varnish / ElasticSearch / memcached
 / Puppet / OpenStack / various libraries and many other dependencies [2],
 infrastructure tools like ganglia, observium, icinga, etc. Some of
 these projects have nonprofits that accept and seek sponsorship and
 support, some don't.

 One could easily expand well beyond the software we depend on
 server-side to client-side open source applications used by our
 community to create content: stuff like Inkscape, GIMP and LibreOffice
 (used for diagrams). And there are other communities we depend on,
 like OpenStreetMap.

 So, should we steer clear of this type of sponsorship altogether
 because it's a slippery slope, or should we try to come up with
 evaluation criteria to consider it on a case-by-case basis (e.g. is
 there a trustworthy non-profit that has a track record of
 accomplishment and is in actual need of financial support)?

 I could imagine a process with a fixed giving back annual budget
 and a community nominations/review workflow. It'd be work to create
 and I don't want to commit to that yet, but I would be interested to
 hear opinions.

 MariaDB specifically invited WMF to become a sponsor, and we're
 clearly highly dependent on them. But I don't think it makes sense for
 us to just write checks if there's someone who asks for support and
 there's a justifiable need. However, if there's broad agreement that
 this is something Wikimedia should do more of, then I think it's worth
 developing more consistent sponsorship criteria.

 Thanks,
 Erik


 [1] https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Resolution:Freenode_Donation
 [2] Cf. https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Upstream_projects
 --
 Erik Möller
 VP of Engineering and Product Development, Wikimedia Foundation

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Sponsorship/donations to other organizations

2014-04-15 Thread Kevin Gorman
Just mentioning it because David mentioned the Internet Archive.  The IA is
actively interested in collaborating with Wikimedia, and I think they have
a lot to offer us - the reason nothing has come to fruition yet has been a
combination of funding constraints and time constraints for everyone
involved in the discussions.  They have the technical infrastructure to
eliminate deadlinks pretty much universally across our sites, and Andrew
Lih and I have also been speaking with them about a very interesting video
project that would get around a lot of the video limitations we currently
have.  So even if we don't currently use them heavily, I think there are a
lot of opportunities there :)

Best,
Kevin Gorman


On Tue, Apr 15, 2014 at 1:27 PM, David Gerard dger...@gmail.com wrote:

 On 15 April 2014 20:50, Erik Moeller e...@wikimedia.org wrote:

  I'd be interested in hearing broader community opinions about the
  extent to which WMF should sponsor non-profits purely to support work
  that Wikimedia benefits from, even if it's not directed towards a
  specific goal established in a grant agreement.


 Creative Commons, OpenStreetMap spring to mind. What are their budgets
 like? I expect ours dwarfs theirs. We should throw money at Freenode
 on a regular basis.

 CC is a charity, I think OSM is a nonprofit but not actually a UK
 charity as yet (though WMUK achieving charity status makes that more
 achievable if they want to go for that).

 Internet Archive and Archiveteam is not something we use as heavily as
 any of those, but they need it too.

 Is there anyone else whose stuff we prevail upon that we really should
 be helping?


 - d.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Sponsorship/donations to other organizations

2014-04-15 Thread Nathan
I agree with Mike Peel on 'maybe' - I think donations from the WMF to
non-profit organizations could be great and very useful, but that the WMF
should

1) ensure that the donations have a substantial impact (i.e. not $500 to
ICRC, where WMF funds would get lost in a sea of other contributors),
2) that donors have a strong track record of management such that the WMF
does not find it necessary to oversee how the funds are used (i.e. a
donation and not a grant),
3) and that the mission of the organization is linked to the overall
mission of the WMF (avoid general good thing advocacy such as is
sometimes suggested on this list).

I'd also personally support in-kind donations (i.e. dedicate an FTE or
portion of an FTE to integration work that benefits a non-profit, or
implements a feature that is requested for a specific platform, etc.).
Training or consultation provided by a paid employee to a non-profit at no
charge would also fall into this category. I don't know that it would be
beneficial to have the vetting process be community driven, and I'd like to
see the implications for affiliates considered (i.e. does the WMF/FDC have
a position on whether affiliates should be redirecting WMF funding to third
party non-profits?).
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Sponsorship/donations to other organizations

2014-04-15 Thread David Gerard
On 15 April 2014 21:57, Nathan nawr...@gmail.com wrote:

 I'd also personally support in-kind donations (i.e. dedicate an FTE or
 portion of an FTE to integration work that benefits a non-profit, or
 implements a feature that is requested for a specific platform, etc.).
 Training or consultation provided by a paid employee to a non-profit at no
 charge would also fall into this category. I don't know that it would be
 beneficial to have the vetting process be community driven, and I'd like to
 see the implications for affiliates considered (i.e. does the WMF/FDC have
 a position on whether affiliates should be redirecting WMF funding to third
 party non-profits?).


Yeah, one of the first things to do is to talk to these partner
organisations (because they are partner organisations) and ask what
would actually be helpful, rather than helpy. Perhaps an engineer,
perhaps some server space, perhaps just an unrestricted grant (on the
principle that if you trust a charity enough to donate, you trust them
enough to do good stuff with it).


- d.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Sponsorship/donations to other organizations

2014-04-15 Thread Charles Andrès
In a period where all the fund dissemination of the movement is driven by the 
question what's the impact on wikimedia project and a community-driven 
process, I would suggest that any redistribution of the funds done by the WMF 
would follow the same rules.


Charles



Le 15 avr. 2014 à 21:57, Michael Peel em...@mikepeel.net a écrit :

 Hi Erik,
 
 I'd say 'maybe'. I think this sort of work is worth supporting in general, 
 but the question should be whether providing the support would improve the 
 content and/or provision of the Wikimedia projects. I'd like to see a good 
 community-driven process that would determine whether such sponsorship would 
 be helpful or whether it would be a waste of money.
 
 Thanks,
 Mike
 
 On 15 Apr 2014, at 20:50, Erik Moeller e...@wikimedia.org wrote:
 
 Hi folks,
 
 I'd be interested in hearing broader community opinions about the
 extent to which WMF should sponsor non-profits purely to support work
 that Wikimedia benefits from, even if it's not directed towards a
 specific goal established in a grant agreement.
 
 This comes up from time to time. One of the few historic precedents
 I'm aware of is the $5,000 donation that WMF made to FreeNode in 2006
 [1]. But there are of course many other organizations/communities that
 the Wikimedia movement is indebted to.
 
 On the software side, we have Ubuntu Linux (itself highly indebted to
 Debian) / Apache / MariaDB / PHP / Varnish / ElasticSearch / memcached
 / Puppet / OpenStack / various libraries and many other dependencies [2],
 infrastructure tools like ganglia, observium, icinga, etc. Some of
 these projects have nonprofits that accept and seek sponsorship and
 support, some don't.
 
 One could easily expand well beyond the software we depend on
 server-side to client-side open source applications used by our
 community to create content: stuff like Inkscape, GIMP and LibreOffice
 (used for diagrams). And there are other communities we depend on,
 like OpenStreetMap.
 
 So, should we steer clear of this type of sponsorship altogether
 because it's a slippery slope, or should we try to come up with
 evaluation criteria to consider it on a case-by-case basis (e.g. is
 there a trustworthy non-profit that has a track record of
 accomplishment and is in actual need of financial support)?
 
 I could imagine a process with a fixed giving back annual budget
 and a community nominations/review workflow. It'd be work to create
 and I don't want to commit to that yet, but I would be interested to
 hear opinions.
 
 MariaDB specifically invited WMF to become a sponsor, and we're
 clearly highly dependent on them. But I don't think it makes sense for
 us to just write checks if there's someone who asks for support and
 there's a justifiable need. However, if there's broad agreement that
 this is something Wikimedia should do more of, then I think it's worth
 developing more consistent sponsorship criteria.
 
 Thanks,
 Erik
 
 
 [1] https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Resolution:Freenode_Donation
 [2] Cf. https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Upstream_projects
 -- 
 Erik Möller
 VP of Engineering and Product Development, Wikimedia Foundation
 
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Sponsorship/donations to other organizations

2014-04-15 Thread Frédéric Schütz
Hi Erik,

I personally like all these ideas a lot (and I also agree with most of
the comments that have been made so far); in particular, the fact that
you mention both the server and the client side (as well as other
communities) is very appealing to me.

Within Wikimedia CH, this is an idea that we have discussed a few years
ago: how can we support software and other communities that our
community depends on, while avoiding to just give away money. In the
end, we supported financially one edition of the Libre Graphics Meeting.
This looked like a good investment, as most of the tools discussed
during this meeting are used by the Wikimedia community. The money was
mostly used by Swiss participants -- not necessarily members of the
Wikimedia community, but people we were eager to connect to, as their
competences could be useful to us (kill two birds with one stone...). We
had ideas about how to collaborate further, but they haven't
materialised yet.  We did not further discuss this kind of funding at
the level of our chapter, however, mostly because it was difficult to
assess its impact (and even more its impact on the Wikimedia projects).
But I can easily imagine that a global effort could have a clear impact.

Talking about other communities, we also had projects planned with the
local CC people, such as helping to adapt/translate the licenses to the
Swiss legal system and in French. In the end they managed to fund this
effort without our help (Wikimedia CH's lawyer mostly funded it, so we
still helped indirectly :-). We still have some ideas there, and this is
a local collaboration that could be very useful.

However, I can see clearly the slippery slope you mention: in the recent
past, several new friends of Wikimedia CH appeared from neighboring
communities, and they had no shortage of projects they wanted us to help
funding... (and we mostly had to say no).

As an aside, coming back to software, I have noted that the WMF gets
gets a special thank you note on the git-annex web page
(https://git-annex.branchable.com/thanks/); is it a tool that has been
supported financially ? (and, I assume, a tool that the WMF uses
regularly) ?  If it is the case, I applaud this support.

Best wishes,

Frédéric



On 15/04/14 21:50, Erik Moeller wrote:
 Hi folks,
 
 I'd be interested in hearing broader community opinions about the
 extent to which WMF should sponsor non-profits purely to support work
 that Wikimedia benefits from, even if it's not directed towards a
 specific goal established in a grant agreement.
 
 This comes up from time to time. One of the few historic precedents
 I'm aware of is the $5,000 donation that WMF made to FreeNode in 2006
 [1]. But there are of course many other organizations/communities that
 the Wikimedia movement is indebted to.
 
 On the software side, we have Ubuntu Linux (itself highly indebted to
 Debian) / Apache / MariaDB / PHP / Varnish / ElasticSearch / memcached
 / Puppet / OpenStack / various libraries and many other dependencies [2],
 infrastructure tools like ganglia, observium, icinga, etc. Some of
 these projects have nonprofits that accept and seek sponsorship and
 support, some don't.
 
 One could easily expand well beyond the software we depend on
 server-side to client-side open source applications used by our
 community to create content: stuff like Inkscape, GIMP and LibreOffice
 (used for diagrams). And there are other communities we depend on,
 like OpenStreetMap.
 
 So, should we steer clear of this type of sponsorship altogether
 because it's a slippery slope, or should we try to come up with
 evaluation criteria to consider it on a case-by-case basis (e.g. is
 there a trustworthy non-profit that has a track record of
 accomplishment and is in actual need of financial support)?
 
 I could imagine a process with a fixed giving back annual budget
 and a community nominations/review workflow. It'd be work to create
 and I don't want to commit to that yet, but I would be interested to
 hear opinions.
 
 MariaDB specifically invited WMF to become a sponsor, and we're
 clearly highly dependent on them. But I don't think it makes sense for
 us to just write checks if there's someone who asks for support and
 there's a justifiable need. However, if there's broad agreement that
 this is something Wikimedia should do more of, then I think it's worth
 developing more consistent sponsorship criteria.
 
 Thanks,
 Erik
 
 
 [1] https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Resolution:Freenode_Donation
 [2] Cf. https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Upstream_projects
 


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