Dear members of the WMF Board of Trustees,
I’ve been following the recent events silently - from the voting out of
James Heilman, to the unfortunate timing of recruiting Arnnon Geshuri and
the lack of clear, timely communication around WMF strategy in in general
and specifically around the
your email is interesting and reveals an important issue: the governance of
a no for profit organization is a little bit different from that of a
In my opinion there is an unclear definition of the stakeholders and the
definition of the importance of these
For what is worth, and in my personal capacity (I'm not affiliated with
Wikimedia Italia any more) I completely second your concern,
Discussions are ongoing from months now and BoT seems frozen in silence.
People really don't understand why.
I would also like to thank you for
2016-02-18 11:44 GMT+01:00 Andrea Zanni :
> Thanks Ido.
> For what is worth, and in my personal capacity (I'm not affiliated with
> Wikimedia Italia any more) I completely second your concern,
> Discussions are ongoing from months now and BoT seems frozen in
On 18 February 2016 at 09:04, ido ivri wrote:
> If any APG-receiving affiliate conducted itself in such a non transparent,
> dishonest manner and with lack of clear, timely communication with its
> community and stakeholders, it would get seriously reprimanded by the
I share your concern about these problems and thanks for exercising your right
to voice your concerns. I'm a bit worried about the potentially devastating
effects of these problems on the Wikimedia Projects. Personally, I don't want
to have any reason to lose confidence in the BoT
18.02.2016 7:25 AM "Liam Wyatt" napisał(a):
> The principle of the WMF being a good role model for its affiliates -
> and living up to minimum standards that it sets for those affiliates -
> is one of the primary reasons that the FDC recommended the WMF submit
> its next
so sad to hear you leave the foundation, i can't assimilate all what is
happening around me as mutation dans le mouvement
but I'm glad to see you so close to us seeeko
Leader Wikimedia Algérie UG
Since the end of the last year some contributors from pt.wikipedia are
discussing regarding the idea of including the promotion of our Facebook Page
on site Notice 
That proposal was started by Teles, a Brazilian steward. He received a lot of
The general idea
Very cool! Will it be updated automatically on a daily basis? :)
Product Manager, Discovery
On Wed, Feb 17, 2016 at 9:48 PM, Yuri Astrakhan
It will be updated whenever the page containing the template is
re-generated (e.g. the page is changed, or someone does a null-save). I
heard that every page is forcefully regenerated if its older than 30 days,
but I might be mistaken. We should at some point figure out a way to
On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 4:47 AM, Dariusz Jemielniak
> There is way too much blaming/bashing/sour expectations
> working both ways - we almost forget how unique we are, irrespective of
> many slips and avoidable failures we make (and WMF is definitely leading
just a quick note... quite a few questions are being answered on the page.
On Wed, Feb 17, 2016 at 6:33 PM, MZMcBride wrote:
> Lila Tretikov wrote:
> >There are a lot of questions still floating around around the Knowledge
> >Engine, in a lot of different places. I want to
Wow, thank you Ori. +1 to everything you said.
That line from Dariusz disappointed me to, but I just chalked it up to just
another case of a board member downplaying community/staff concerns and
plea for help.
On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 10:33 AM, Ori Livneh wrote:
> On Thu,
Indeed - thank you Ori on behalf of the entire technical organization.
Dariusz - I'd ask that you consider the assumptions that you listed in your
email more closely. Ori, myself and others would be very happy to work with
On Thursday, February 18, 2016, Moiz Syed
> This is happening in spite of -- not thanks to -- dysfunction at the top.
> If you don't believe me, all you have to do is wait: an exodus of people
> from Engineering won't be long now.
I hope you're wrong, Ori. I hope people have the presence of mind, like
you say - despite the
On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 1:56 PM, Casey Dentinger
> > and in technology we're years behind the curve
> I think this is a reductive view of the technology at WMF. It is true
> that many systems have been around in name for a long time, but that
> doesn't mean
On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 7:47 AM, Dariusz Jemielniak wrote:
> We need to get a grip, have more transparency, but also more bidirectional
> support, and start thinking about the future (I'm not saying this to sound
> as "nothing to watch, move on", but to restore some
Thank you, Ori. +1 to everything you said.
Dariusz, I disagree with you: this *is* a time for "negativity". We have
been laboring under significant dysfunction for more than a year now, and
are now in crisis. We are losing precious colleagues, time, money, *even
more* community trust than we
I would like to second what Ori said and add:
> and in technology we're years behind the curve
I think this is a reductive view of the technology at WMF. It is true that
many systems have been around in name for a long time, but that doesn't
mean they haven't been evolving under the hood (as
I must echo Ori.
We have some brilliant, brilliant people who really are doing some
fantastic work. The trouble is that as Brandon Harris has already confirmed
on the Wikipedia Weekly facebook group. People are looking to leave.
On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 6:33 PM, Ori Livneh
Second Asaf and Sydney. Please take these concerns seriously. If you truly
*respect* us and this movement, please act.
On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 10:53 AM, Joseph Seddon
> I must echo Ori.
> We have some brilliant, brilliant people who really are doing some
As a followup:
We would love to be more aligned with Open Access publishers, but at this
point, we have yet to find a demonstrably *repeatable* and *scalable* model
of programming which we could promote to the entire movement and the Open
Access community. When OA publishers already set
On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 9:02 AM, Yuri Astrakhan
> It will be updated whenever the page containing the template is
> re-generated (e.g. the page is changed, or someone does a null-save). I
> heard that every page is forcefully regenerated if its older than 30
For a few 2015 accomplishments by the product/technical teams you can see
them listed here:
On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 10:56 AM, Casey Dentinger
> I would like to
On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 2:54 PM, Asaf Bartov wrote:
> All this makes it a time for looking "the negative" in the eye and taking
> decisive action, so that the healing can begin. It is not a time for
> concentrating on the still-wonderful aspects of this movement's work.
On Feb 18, 2016 12:08 PM, "Dariusz Jemielniak" wrote:
> When I refer to being constructive, I speak of exactly seeking decisive
> actions and moving forward, instead of gathering around a lying body and
> kicking :)
What is the board doing, going forward, to stem the tide of
Gergo, good to know, thanks. Graph extension itself does not know how long
the data is valid - it simply gets a URL from which to get the pageviews
(or any other) data. At this point, only the person who writes the graph
template knows how long its valid for.
We could add an extra attribute to
I want to share with you the following relatively scattered thoughts and
leave it to you to decide how to continue engaging with us. :-) I hope you
find them helpful:
* BoT has been too silent, given the state of matters. I'm much more
worried about our volunteers when I say this,
On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 12:26 PM, Dariusz Jemielniak
> On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 3:16 PM, Brion Vibber
>> What is the board doing, going forward, to stem the tide of staff
> We have started with an engagement
On 2016-02-18 21:20, Leila Zia wrote:
I want to share with you the following relatively scattered thoughts
leave it to you to decide how to continue engaging with us. :-) I hope
find them helpful:
* BoT has been too silent, given the state of matters. I'm much more
I disagree Yaroslav,
1- This affects Wikipedia indirectly.
When downtime goes up alongside with editing time, we will lose users.
New users won't stay, etc. it damages new user retention and therefore,
the viability of the project in the long term.
2- Wikipedia is up because of its editors but
On 18 Feb 2016 00:24, "Chris Schilling" wrote:
> > 3) I am still really unsure who is owning this process, either within
> > WMF or in general. Generally, I think clear responsibility and
> > accountability *eases* difficult conversations and so far as I can
Hello Chris (or Jethro)! Thanks for taking time to reply.
> Is it the WMF's view that Wikimania in its current form is
> broken and change is needed - if so who represents that view to the
> > community? (Or if not, what *is* the WMF's view?)
> It is fair to say that our team does view
That's most helpful, thank you both.
On Wed, Feb 17, 2016 at 5:14 PM, Pharos
> Thanks, Ellie and Chris, this historical experience should be very helpful
> for future discussions!
> On Wed, Feb 17, 2016 at 5:06 PM, Chris Schilling
You're correct in that most volunteers don't care directly. The problem is
that a lot of the BoT's recent difficulties have crossed the line from
"angry encyclopedia people venting on a mailing list" to "serious and
negative attention from the mainstream press". If there is too much
Thanks, it is a step in the right direction indeed. Although a bit more
breakdown would be helpful, I'm guessing this also highly fluctuates year
by year. Some observations:
A huge amount of money goes into flying WMF around the world (321k resp.
383k), which doesn't even take into account (I'm
There are certain things that affect many volunteers
directly. A slightly off-topic example:
The fact that:
> "the WMF education team has no engineering resources"
The first thing that happens when you split up something like Wikimania in
multiple events is you multiple the cost of WMF attendance because they
need to deliver the same messages multiple times, an alternative decision
to restrict who goes where you run into the issue of regions being treated
I mostly agree with a lot of the thoughts here about whether or not it
would be more cost effective to do one event or multiple events, at least
There are two things that cross my mind when we talk about this:
First, maybe one of the bigger drivers of cost is the time of year
This is going to be a fun one to watch over the next many months.
Thank for the link Yuri
On Wed, Feb 17, 2016 at 8:48 PM, Yuri Astrakhan
> Thanks Dario Taraborelli for the idea.
On 2016-02-18 7:18 PM, Risker wrote:
June-July-August is the most expensive period
for just about everywhere in the world; March, April, September and October
tend to be much less expensive in lodging, travel and direct conference
costs. Maybe we need to rethink*when* we are holding Wikimania
Chris & Ellie: I don't think I would include 'WMF Travel/Accomodation' or
general Wikimedia PR in the Wikimania overhead.
* Staff have a budget for travel to events of all kinds; the Board has a
budget for its meetings wherever they are held; and similarly the few
committees that meet in person
Yury, this is a very important example, but indeed off-topic. It deserves a
separate thread, but not before addressing the current main crisis, which
all others stem from.
At this point, it is inconceivable that there is still such a "disconnect"
between what WMF employees & volunteers accross
Dear Chris and all,
What sorts of candidates are you looking for? How are you directing your
search / how can we best help get the word to people who might be good
candidates? What do you see as the skills or other qualities the a Trustee
needs, or that would be effective on the Board?
Can you please contact any Wikimedia chapter and ask them to request
There are two criteria for nominations - one is that their name has to be
posted on the nomination page, and the other is that a Wikimedia chapter
has to support their nomination.
Hmm, Lane, I think you may be missing SJ's point. He's asking what the
group that is going to select candidates has put on its wishlist for
candidates. What skills are they seeking? Are they looking for a certain
geographic representation? The "traditional duties of a board member" that
I have to disagree. money for WMF employee attendance is still WMF money...
still coming from donations.
I find it very interesting that so much more is spent on employee attendance
then volunteer attendance.
> From: meta...@gmail.com
> Date: Thu, 18 Feb 2016 20:06:28 -0500
Thanks for your post to the mailing list. I appreciate your comments
directed at the BoT.
Hopefully the collective voices will make an impact.
Wikipedian in Residence
at Cochrane Collaboration
On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 8:37 PM, Shani
> > 4) I don't see a 55-47 vote on a menu of 3 options as being a
> > > strong indication of community consensus. Indeed, it's pretty clear
> > > isn't a consensus, and it would be a shame if people proceeded on the
> > > that "There was a consultation and the
Risker, I think Lane understood SJ's question, and stated that it's outside
his group's mandate. I sympathize with Lane's position. I agree with SJ's
concern about what kind of candidates should be considered, but I do not
think it would be appropriate for a group of three to set the tone of what
Well, I was interpreting SJ's question to be directed to everyone who is
involved in this election, not just the three election coordinators.
Having said that, during the last community (s)election, the Election
Committee deliberately was far more descriptive in identifying what was
Brion Vibber wrote:
>As a longtime part of Wikimedia's community and staff, I would really
>appreciate some clear answers on what's going on and why we're losing more
>and more longtime community and staff members while an ED who needs
>management coaching is still in place.
Please know that many
Good points, thanks for clarifying. Agreed.
On Feb 18, 2016 9:29 PM, "Risker" wrote:
> Well, I was interpreting SJ's question to be directed to everyone who is
> involved in this election, not just the three election coordinators.
> Having said that, during the last
> Can you please contact any Wikimedia chapter and ask them to request
Ok. I take it they have already been emailed directly? And each chapter
can handle this however they like?
> Get any chapter to make any request for whatever kind of person they
> would nominate,
I don't know of any example where Site Notice has been used in the past to
point people to facebook.
Although the intentions behind what is being proposed are good ones, I
think there are probably issues that surround neutrality and with the very
> Dariusz Jemielniak writes:
> I know of people who are overwhelmed with negativity on the list. I myself
> feel it, too, although I am determined not to reduce my participation or
> liaising with the communities.
The negativity is not going to magically go away, especially not when
People will leave despite how much they love a place, its mission, and its
volunteers at the point it becomes too painful for them to stay. And no one
can make that decision for them. While the support of one's colleagues goes
a very long way, it is necessary but not sufficient. I have been
Thank you Ido and +1 to your message.
I would also +1 to Yaroslav's message, but I want to note, that though most
volunteers would not care about smth (seemingly) far away like WMF and its
troubles, they WOULD care about backlogs of bugs that are piling up, lack
of strategic approach to
Also, +1 to Ori.
On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 11:16 PM, Gayle Karen Young
> People will leave despite how much they love a place, its mission, and its
> volunteers at the point it becomes too painful for them to stay. And no one
> can make that decision for them. While
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