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

2016-02-21 Thread Pete Forsyth
Though my intent was neither ironic nor cynical, Jane is right -- my email
last night was probably not as clear as it could have been.

As I see it, senior leadership (the board and the executive director) have
a special responsibility to help us all keep track of the bigger picture.
But senior leadership has been pretty silent lately, even as many staff and
community members talk about the bigger picture. Lila did write a blog post
last week,[1] but it was utterly unrelated to most of the concerns
expressed by community members. It seems likely to me that she did not
avail herself of the talents of her Communications team, which I imagine
could have told her that particular blog post would not help anything, and
could have steered her in a more productive direction. Instead, it fell to
two engineers (in the comment thread [2]) to offer the kind of commentary
that is actually helpful.

Andreas sent a message which is either (a) curious but not especially
useful, or (b) offers insight into where the organization has been trying
to go since 2008. If there should be any comment from senior leadership at
all, I would expect it to address (b); no comment at all might be
appropriate if (a).

But the *immediate* reply comes from somebody who has only been involved
since 2014 (rather than, say, Jimmy or Alice, who could speak more readily
to what has been going on since 2008). More significantly, it includes the
words "on my watch," which suggests to me that something unhealthy is going
on. We should not be in a state where leaders are more concerned about
their individual reputations, than about broad consideration of Wikimedia's
relationship with Google.

I find it fascinating because it is so very different from what I would
expect in professional communication, and depressing because it suggests
that the WMF has simply lost touch with what is important.

-Pete
[[User:Peteforsyth]]

[1] http://blog.wikimedia.org/2016/02/16/wikimedia-search-future/
[2]
http://blog.wikimedia.org/2016/02/16/wikimedia-search-future/#comment-25102
and
http://blog.wikimedia.org/2016/02/16/wikimedia-search-future/#comment-25092

On Sat, Feb 20, 2016 at 10:56 PM, Pete Forsyth 
wrote:

> An unusually immediate comment from Wikimedia leadership following
> Andreas' admittedly speculative comments.
>
> It's not about the relevance to the movement. It's not about the relevance
> to the organization. It's about an individual's role.
>
> This just got fascinating (and a little more depressing).
>
> -Pete
>
> [[User:Peteforsyth]]
>
>>
>> I am happy to talk to Signpost on-record about anything that has been
>> happening under my watch to minimize misinterpretations of second-hand
>> reports or further conjectures.
>>
>> Lila
>>
>> On Sat, Feb 20, 2016 at 9:57 PM, Andreas Kolbe 
>> wrote:
>>
>> > On Sat, Feb 20, 2016 at 10:56 PM, Anthony Cole 
>> > wrote:
>> >
>> > > Lila should have taken the community along with her as the Knowledge
>> > Engine
>> > > project was evolving. I don't know what was behind her reticence. I
>> > presume
>> > > an element was unwillingness to announce a thing while the thing was
>> > > shifting and changing from one day to the next.
>> > >
>> >
>> >
>> > It was pointed out to me today that there is a court exhibit, no. 666,
>> made
>> > public in 2014 as part of the [[High-Tech Employee Antitrust
>> Litigation]]
>> > (the same case Arnnon Geshuri was involved in), which reproduces some
>> > correspondence between Sue Gardner, Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg, and
>> various
>> > Google managers.[1]
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> > In short, Sheryl Sandberg (who'd formerly worked for Google) helped Sue
>> > Gardner by introducing her to senior management at Google. To do so,
>> > according to the court exhibit, Sandberg forwarded an email from Sue
>> > Gardner to Jonathan Rosenberg (then Senior Vice President of Products)
>> and
>> > others at Google:
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> > ---o0o---
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> > From: Sheryl Sandberg
>> >
>> > Sent: Saturday, August 09, 2008 7:40 PM
>> >
>> > To: Jonathan Rosenberg; Omid Kordestani; David Drummond; Megan Smith
>> >
>> > Subject: Fw: Thanks + a request re Google
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> > Jonathan, Omid, David, Megan - I was introduced to Sue by Roger. As you
>> can
>> > see below, they would love a better and more senior relationship with
>> > Google. Can I email introduce her to one of you?
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> > Please excuse blackberry-caused typos.
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> > -Original Message-
>> >
>> > From: Sue Gardner
>> >
>> > To: Sheryl Sandberg
>> >
>> > Sent: Mon Aug 04 10:02:01 2008
>> >
>> > Subject: Thanks + a request re Google
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> > Hi Sheryl,
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> > It was terrific to finally meet you last week :-)
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> > Here's a recap of the Google issue that I raised:
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> > I started as Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation last summer.
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> > A few months after 

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

2016-02-21 Thread Andreas Kolbe
Hi Lila,

Tony is the one who does interviews for the Signpost (I'm neither good at
interviewing, nor have the right equipment), and he requested an interview
with you last Wednesday, via Katherine Maher. We had a confirmation from
Juliet on Friday that the request had been received, but nothing further
since then.

Best,
Andreas

On Sun, Feb 21, 2016 at 7:32 AM, Lila Tretikov  wrote:

> Hi Pete, I proposed an interview to Andreas this morning in a private
> email, actually.
>
> Also, I want to explain myself as a human being, not only as an ED.
> Without filters.
>
> L
>
>
>
> On Sat, Feb 20, 2016 at 10:56 PM, Pete Forsyth 
> wrote:
>
> > An unusually immediate comment from Wikimedia leadership following
> Andreas'
> > admittedly speculative comments.
> >
> > It's not about the relevance to the movement. It's not about the
> relevance
> > to the organization. It's about an individual's role.
> >
> > This just got fascinating (and a little more depressing).
> >
> > -Pete
> >
> > [[User:Peteforsyth]]
> >
> > >
> > > I am happy to talk to Signpost on-record about anything that has been
> > > happening under my watch to minimize misinterpretations of second-hand
> > > reports or further conjectures.
> > >
> > > Lila
> > >
> > > On Sat, Feb 20, 2016 at 9:57 PM, Andreas Kolbe 
> > wrote:
> > >
> > > > On Sat, Feb 20, 2016 at 10:56 PM, Anthony Cole 
> > > > wrote:
> > > >
> > > > > Lila should have taken the community along with her as the
> Knowledge
> > > > Engine
> > > > > project was evolving. I don't know what was behind her reticence. I
> > > > presume
> > > > > an element was unwillingness to announce a thing while the thing
> was
> > > > > shifting and changing from one day to the next.
> > > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > It was pointed out to me today that there is a court exhibit, no.
> 666,
> > > made
> > > > public in 2014 as part of the [[High-Tech Employee Antitrust
> > Litigation]]
> > > > (the same case Arnnon Geshuri was involved in), which reproduces some
> > > > correspondence between Sue Gardner, Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg, and
> > > various
> > > > Google managers.[1]
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > In short, Sheryl Sandberg (who'd formerly worked for Google) helped
> Sue
> > > > Gardner by introducing her to senior management at Google. To do so,
> > > > according to the court exhibit, Sandberg forwarded an email from Sue
> > > > Gardner to Jonathan Rosenberg (then Senior Vice President of
> Products)
> > > and
> > > > others at Google:
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > ---o0o---
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > From: Sheryl Sandberg
> > > >
> > > > Sent: Saturday, August 09, 2008 7:40 PM
> > > >
> > > > To: Jonathan Rosenberg; Omid Kordestani; David Drummond; Megan Smith
> > > >
> > > > Subject: Fw: Thanks + a request re Google
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > Jonathan, Omid, David, Megan - I was introduced to Sue by Roger. As
> you
> > > can
> > > > see below, they would love a better and more senior relationship with
> > > > Google. Can I email introduce her to one of you?
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > Please excuse blackberry-caused typos.
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > -Original Message-
> > > >
> > > > From: Sue Gardner
> > > >
> > > > To: Sheryl Sandberg
> > > >
> > > > Sent: Mon Aug 04 10:02:01 2008
> > > >
> > > > Subject: Thanks + a request re Google
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > Hi Sheryl,
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > It was terrific to finally meet you last week :-)
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > Here's a recap of the Google issue that I raised:
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > I started as Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation last
> > summer.
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > A few months after that, Roger McNamee began introducing me to
> > potential
> > > > Wikipedia donors in the valley. Most of that was great and
> successful,
> > > but
> > > > in a few cases -including once with a Google board member- I was
> > > surprised
> > > > to be have people cite 'loyalty to Google' as a reason to not give
> > money
> > > to
> > > > Wikipedia.
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > Their objections, which have been echoed to me several times since
> > then,
> > > > seem to fall into three categories:
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > * A belief that Wikia Search is an attempt by Wikipedia to compete
> with
> > > > Google. (Many people don't realize the only thing shared between
> > > Wikipedia
> > > > and Wikia is our founder, Jimmy Wales. Nor do they realize that Jimmy
> > has
> > > > no day-to-day responsibilities at the Wikimedia Foundation.)
> > > >
> > > > * The view that because Wikipedia is non-commercial, it is
> > > anti-advertising
> > > > and anti-Google.
> > > >
> > > > * A belief that Knol is an attempt by Google to compete with
> Wikipedia.
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > I personally don't believe any of this: I think Google and Wikipedia
> > can
> > > > and should have a 

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

2016-02-21 Thread Yaroslav M. Blanter

On 2016-02-21 14:03, Dan Andreescu wrote:






Allow me to give one specific limited example that touches on some of 
the
themes you raised here, Yaroslav.  My main point is that from the 
outside,
correlation of what happened during Sue's and Lila's leadership might 
seem

to imply causation, but I think the reality is much more complicated.



Hi Dan,

I am not implying causation. It might (or might not) have been 
reasonable to imply causation if problems started during Sue's tenure 
and ended right after Lila started. This was certainly not the case. The 
situation is clearly more complex than that, and I am not accusing 
anyone, just give my impression (which seem in this part to coincide 
with the others').


I just feel that this part of the story is less visible to those who did 
not participate in it directly and needs to be spelled out.


Cheers
Yaroslav

___
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, 


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

2016-02-21 Thread Dan Andreescu
>
> Again, I do not know who is right and who is wrong here, we have excellent
> examples of WMF staff work all the time through (let me name Maggie Dennis
> as an example of someone who is doing excellent work as both WMF staffer
> and a project volunteer, and there are more examples), but things
> definitely went suboptimal in that period. Volunteers can any moment, you
> know, walk away, and without them, WMF projects would die.
>

Allow me to give one specific limited example that touches on some of the
themes you raised here, Yaroslav.  My main point is that from the outside,
correlation of what happened during Sue's and Lila's leadership might seem
to imply causation, but I think the reality is much more complicated.

The pageview API, which is now being integrated into the Graph extension,
stats tools, iOS app, and generally making a lot of people happy, has a
long history.  Various members of the community have been requesting this
feature with increasing fervor for over a decade.  I started at WMF in 2012
and within 1 year I learned enough to be completely convinced that this was
one of the most worthwhile projects we could embark on.  However, at this
point, we *could not* expose any kind of remotely useful data via a
pageview API, for technical reasons.  We overcame those reasons in October
2014, at which point it took us about 6 months to prioritize the project to
actually do it.

My point is, Sue's support for this project wouldn't have mattered, it
wasn't technically possible during her tenure.  Sue did give us support for
the infrastructure groundwork, and that was key.  And Lila's support for
it, once we could do it, was not directly gained, we prioritized it
internally on my team with no interaction with Lila.  She saw it was our
goal and didn't reject it, but we spent literally a few minutes talking
about it that whole year.

In 2013, I was told by members of the community that us saying "it's not
possible to build a Pageview API" was considered "laughing at the
community" as you put it, Yaroslav.  But I hope, if nothing else, we've
proven that we never laughed, we tried our hardest and fought with some big
challenges to make it happen.  And none of it really had anything to do
with our ED.  So in this case, establishing causation all the way to the ED
would probably be impossible.  Logic tells me that this is probably true in
a lot of cases where now, in this dark time, we would want to look past
that complexity and establish causation that might not be there.

I am not defending or attacking Lila.  I am simply saying that, just
because we are in this position of questioning our leadership, it does not
mean we have to try and neatly package everything that happened under Sue
and everything that happened under Lila and try to compare.

The current questioning of leadership is a conversation about very specific
issues, of which the board is aware, and which WMF staff, despite all the
craziness, has had the restraint and humanity to not mention publicly.  I
certainly wish the level of discourse here would be less violent, because
we have to look at ourselves in the mirror when this is resolved and build
our future together.
___
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, 


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

2016-02-21 Thread Yaroslav M. Blanter

On 2016-02-21 09:52, Jane Darnell wrote:
Risker thanks for this. I would add that the biggest problem for 
outsiders

is trying to sift through the emails in this thread, looking for valid
concerns and first-hand accounts among the cynical and/or ironic 
comments
only understandable to a few players. As more and more of our 
international

community tries to read and follow along on these developments, let's
please stick to some ground rules: no irony, no cynicism, no rehashing 
old

mistakes if they are irrelevant. Challenging, but necessary if you want
more foreign chapter members to hear or take part in this conversation.



Let me give my perspective, since I believe an important part of the 
puzzle is missing or at least underappreciated on this list. I am not 
going to offer any solutions, I do not pretend I known more than other 
people know, but I do feel that this piece is needed to understand the 
big picture.


To give some background, I am just a volunteer. I am, you know, writing 
articles. I have administrator permissions on four projects (en.wp, 
ru.voy, Commons, and Wikidata), and I have globally about 200K non-bot 
edits from my two accounts, which is probably more than for most posters 
of this thread. I never worked for WMF, I have never been a member of 
any chapter, but I did participate in some committees and juries and 
whatever. I interacted with WMF staff in different roles - as WMF staff 
and also in their roles as volunteers on the projects. I am generally 
interested in Meta-issues and I am on this list since I believe 2007.


Now, I (and from what I know, other people as well) at some point 
started to have problems with WMF staff whose tasks were to facilitate 
our job. Not to say that everything was stellar before and that 
everything was stellar after, but the most difficult period started 
around 2013, definitely when Sue was the ED, and ended (or at least 
things went considerably better) in 2015, long after Lila became the ED. 
For people who were just writing articles there was nothing to change, 
but whenever someone wanted to do smth with requied interaction with WMF 
there was a large amount of red tape. WMF staff members were polite, but 
I did not get an impression that they listened to what we said - there 
were just assigned to do some work and they did not care what volunteers 
thought about it. The first major bell ring for me was when Gayle Karin 
Young removed the admin rights of all non-staff from the WMF wiki, 
without even notifying them - and then for several weeks nobody wanted 
to take responsibility and I believe in the end nobody apologized, and 
the wiki went into a pitiful state where I believe it still remains, so 
that this action was not only rude but also counterproductive. I could 
not easily find when it happened, but definitely before January 2014, 
when Gayle Karin left WMF. (Note that Lila started in May 2014). This is 
not such a big deal - in the end of the day, I never edited this wiki, 
and I am not sure it was needed - but it was a clear sign that you can 
invest quite some time in doing a good maintenance job which nobody 
wanted to do, and one day you just get a message "Hey, we have a change 
of the policy and decided you are no longer welcome here". Other things 
include superprotect, FLOW, VE early rollout on en.wp, toolserver, and a 
lot of lower-profile issues. Things started to improve considerably 
middle of the last year - first we were not just laughed at, and then 
most of the things (not all of them though - and also for example the 
Wikimania screwup happened in the end of the year) were reverted or 
shelved. Now I would define the relations as quasi-normal, with a number 
of really good things happening.


Again, I do not know who is right and who is wrong here, we have 
excellent examples of WMF staff work all the time through (let me name 
Maggie Dennis as an example of someone who is doing excellent work as 
both WMF staffer and a project volunteer, and there are more examples), 
but things definitely went suboptimal in that period. Volunteers can any 
moment, you know, walk away, and without them, WMF projects would die.


Cheers
Yaroslav

___
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, 


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

2016-02-21 Thread Theo10011
As I see it, there are 2 large issues here.

The staff morale and distrust being the first. The exodus of a good chunk
of staff was expected at the beginning - Erik and a few others were too
much a part of Sue's leadership and it seemed natural. New leadership would
entail, a new leadership style, new staff and getting rid of some of the
old. This wasn't a surprise - in the beginning. What became evident was the
revolving door of new hires as well, departure of quite prominent ones and
oldhands who had been vetted by the community, in community-facing
positions. All the while very important high level management positions
have remain vacant. If there was a staff reorganisation planned, it should
have been the priority before anything else to make it quick and painless
as possible. This was a big failing for Lila in terms of her priorities -
this should have been the first task before anything else.

I also don't understand why people think Sue's tenure was especially rosy.
Her start was quite rocky and we had a lot of bumps along the way. No
doubt, Lila's start has been far worse but the difference there might not
be as large. I see a lot of shortcomings in communication - there were a
lot of issues Sue kept contained (as a few would know), and certainly
increasing the staff to twice or thrice the size, isn't going to be easy to
monitor - bringing back the idea of making WMF smaller.

The simplest solution right now would be hiring a* new deputy*. I think
Lila needs a buffer. Someone much more closer to the staff that can fill
the community and staff facing requirements. Given the HR history, I also
think this task should be carried out by the board directly, and that too,
at the earliest. The task of replacing an ED is a long and public one.
Depending on how you look at it, we already need a deputy, it would be
filling a vacancy. The future direction can be decided once we stop the
hemorrhaging of talent and trust.

Second issue, is the KE. I don't know if Lila still thinks there are any
perceived benefit left with pursuing this ill-advised venture. Finding out
that Damon conceived it to take on Google along with his colorful paranioa
as brion put it, and the cryptic email last month - I have no faith in this
project along with most others on the list. If you separate the buzzwords
and corporate speak from the description on the FAQ page, KE seems like a
new search engine that will integrate OSM and other data, to reside at the
main domain. A smaller and better search that focused on improvements,
would have gone under the radar until you had a prototype or more of an
idea what exactly you wanted. But instead you filed a grant request from
another organisation - their lack of interest should have been an early
indicator here. The $250 K grant everyone thinks is a smoking gun would be
the tip of the iceberg, and ultimately irrelevant, if the figures I saw on
the FAQ page were true. This grant wouldn't cover development for 2 months
of a multi-year project - Ask yourself, was it worth it?

There are a lot of really smart people trying to tell you this is not a
good idea. Not to mention, the implication of designing in an open culture
- you can spend 32 million or 50 or 60, owing to our ethos we would have to
make it accessible and open - for anyone to copy and improve as they see
fit. And If Google remotely wanted something like this, those numbers are a
drop in the bucket - they have paid more for parking and transportation of
their employees than the entire budget of this project. This is only going
to be a sad mistake that can ruin an important relationship and hurt our
credibility. This is similar to the whole Arnon's debacle if the board is
listening, you can drag your feet, resist, ignore, hope it goes away but
you know the end. So, whether you do it now, or the next ED, or it happens
in an year by either one, the outcome is probably going to be the same -
junk it and move on. This already costed you and everyone else much more
than just money.

Regards
Theo

P.S. Andreas, you are one of the smartest commentators I read on this list.
You have great points and new information but really, there is an obsession
here with Google. There are real problems right now that are quite
unrelated to what Sue said in 2008. The donor agreement and relationship as
imagined by Sue 8 years ago has only tangential relationship to the
management issues right now and the lack of clarity related to KE. I can't
see the relationship you are trying to allude to here. I say this with
great respect, and appreciation for your opinions.


On Sun, Feb 21, 2016, Andreas Kolbe  wrote:

> On Sat, Feb 20, 2016, Anthony Cole  wrote:
>
> > Lila should have taken the community along with her as the Knowledge
> Engine
> > project was evolving. I don't know what was behind her reticence. I
> presume
> > an element was unwillingness to announce a thing while the thing was
> > shifting and changing 

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

2016-02-21 Thread Jane Darnell
Risker thanks for this. I would add that the biggest problem for outsiders
is trying to sift through the emails in this thread, looking for valid
concerns and first-hand accounts among the cynical and/or ironic comments
only understandable to a few players. As more and more of our international
community tries to read and follow along on these developments, let's
please stick to some ground rules: no irony, no cynicism, no rehashing old
mistakes if they are irrelevant. Challenging, but necessary if you want
more foreign chapter members to hear or take part in this conversation.

For anyone who has seen the movie Spotlight, I would say this story is
currently "buried in Metro" but really needs to hit the front page.

On Sat, Feb 20, 2016 at 9:54 PM, Risker  wrote:

> This is a difficult time for everyone.  Staff, particularly staff who work
> out of the San Francisco office, have seen and been through things that are
> not well known or understood outside of that small group; even "highly
> involved" volunteers aren't entirely in the loop.  Former staff continue to
> have a knowledge advantage over the vast majority of community members
> simply because of their continued ties to friends and former colleagues who
> remain on staff.
>
> I encourage everyone to treat each other with respect, even when
> disagreeing with the interpretations that other people have made based on
> the (often comparatively limited) information that they have available.  I
> can honestly say that I know some things that perhaps SarahSV and
> Anthonyhcole don't know, but I certainly don't know everything - and I have
> been in the SF offices twice in the last six months as a volunteer and
> regularly converse with staff in certain areas in my role as a volunteer
> working on various things.
>
> One of the major barriers is the legitimate concern that many staff have in
> trying to communicate concerns in a manner that is not destructive, either
> to the WMF as an organization, or to their own professional reputations.
> The whistleblower provisions at the WMF are very narrow (essentially only
> permitting reporting directly to the Board chair/chair of the Audit
> Committee if there is reason to believe that a law has been broken, not
> just internal policies no matter how severe), as one example.  I've been
> aware of concerns for about a year now, myself, but I've still found out
> quite a bit more over the last few weeks. For staff, a lot of those early
> concerns are practically ancient history, and that knowledge hasn't been
> disseminated to a much broader community. Not to put too fine a point on
> it, but the majority of the audience here doesn't know.
>
> Anthony, speaking for myself only, I don't think that your association with
> Wikipediocracy is particularly relevant; other active members of that site
> have expressed significantly different opinions, whether within or outside
> of "WMF-related" locations like this mailing list or Meta or The Signpost.
> I'd like to discourage anyone from assuming that there are monolithic and
> unified positions on the current situation amongst any particular group.
> That includes former and current staff, editors of particular projects,
> commenters on external blogs or through other non-WMF media or criticism
> sites, user groups, chapters, etc.  There are a lot of different points of
> view, and a lot of different levels of knowledge and information.
>
> I'm not going to say "let's assume good faith", don't worry.  I'm going to
> say "don't beat up on people who have different levels of information".
>
> Risker/Anne
>
>
>
> On 20 February 2016 at 20:31, Brandon Harris  wrote:
>
> >
> > Danny, don't kid yourself!  The folks at Wikipediocracy know
> > everything about everything that's happened at the Foundation and about
> > everything that will EVER happen.  They've never been wrong, ever!
> >
> > I don't understand why we're still talking about this!
> >
> >
> > > On Feb 20, 2016, at 5:29 PM, Danny Horn  wrote:
> > >
> > > You know, it's possible that the people who work for the Foundation
> might
> > > understand the situation in a more nuanced way than you do. I know it
> > > doesn't seem likely, but dare to dream.
> >
> > ---
> > Brandon Harris :: bhar...@gaijin.com :: made of steel wool and whiskey
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > ___
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > 
> >
> ___
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> Unsubscribe: 

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

2016-02-20 Thread Lila Tretikov
Hi Pete, I proposed an interview to Andreas this morning in a private
email, actually.

Also, I want to explain myself as a human being, not only as an ED.
Without filters.

L



On Sat, Feb 20, 2016 at 10:56 PM, Pete Forsyth 
wrote:

> An unusually immediate comment from Wikimedia leadership following Andreas'
> admittedly speculative comments.
>
> It's not about the relevance to the movement. It's not about the relevance
> to the organization. It's about an individual's role.
>
> This just got fascinating (and a little more depressing).
>
> -Pete
>
> [[User:Peteforsyth]]
>
> >
> > I am happy to talk to Signpost on-record about anything that has been
> > happening under my watch to minimize misinterpretations of second-hand
> > reports or further conjectures.
> >
> > Lila
> >
> > On Sat, Feb 20, 2016 at 9:57 PM, Andreas Kolbe 
> wrote:
> >
> > > On Sat, Feb 20, 2016 at 10:56 PM, Anthony Cole 
> > > wrote:
> > >
> > > > Lila should have taken the community along with her as the Knowledge
> > > Engine
> > > > project was evolving. I don't know what was behind her reticence. I
> > > presume
> > > > an element was unwillingness to announce a thing while the thing was
> > > > shifting and changing from one day to the next.
> > > >
> > >
> > >
> > > It was pointed out to me today that there is a court exhibit, no. 666,
> > made
> > > public in 2014 as part of the [[High-Tech Employee Antitrust
> Litigation]]
> > > (the same case Arnnon Geshuri was involved in), which reproduces some
> > > correspondence between Sue Gardner, Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg, and
> > various
> > > Google managers.[1]
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > In short, Sheryl Sandberg (who'd formerly worked for Google) helped Sue
> > > Gardner by introducing her to senior management at Google. To do so,
> > > according to the court exhibit, Sandberg forwarded an email from Sue
> > > Gardner to Jonathan Rosenberg (then Senior Vice President of Products)
> > and
> > > others at Google:
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > ---o0o---
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > From: Sheryl Sandberg
> > >
> > > Sent: Saturday, August 09, 2008 7:40 PM
> > >
> > > To: Jonathan Rosenberg; Omid Kordestani; David Drummond; Megan Smith
> > >
> > > Subject: Fw: Thanks + a request re Google
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > Jonathan, Omid, David, Megan - I was introduced to Sue by Roger. As you
> > can
> > > see below, they would love a better and more senior relationship with
> > > Google. Can I email introduce her to one of you?
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > Please excuse blackberry-caused typos.
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > -Original Message-
> > >
> > > From: Sue Gardner
> > >
> > > To: Sheryl Sandberg
> > >
> > > Sent: Mon Aug 04 10:02:01 2008
> > >
> > > Subject: Thanks + a request re Google
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > Hi Sheryl,
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > It was terrific to finally meet you last week :-)
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > Here's a recap of the Google issue that I raised:
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > I started as Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation last
> summer.
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > A few months after that, Roger McNamee began introducing me to
> potential
> > > Wikipedia donors in the valley. Most of that was great and successful,
> > but
> > > in a few cases -including once with a Google board member- I was
> > surprised
> > > to be have people cite 'loyalty to Google' as a reason to not give
> money
> > to
> > > Wikipedia.
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > Their objections, which have been echoed to me several times since
> then,
> > > seem to fall into three categories:
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > * A belief that Wikia Search is an attempt by Wikipedia to compete with
> > > Google. (Many people don't realize the only thing shared between
> > Wikipedia
> > > and Wikia is our founder, Jimmy Wales. Nor do they realize that Jimmy
> has
> > > no day-to-day responsibilities at the Wikimedia Foundation.)
> > >
> > > * The view that because Wikipedia is non-commercial, it is
> > anti-advertising
> > > and anti-Google.
> > >
> > > * A belief that Knol is an attempt by Google to compete with Wikipedia.
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > I personally don't believe any of this: I think Google and Wikipedia
> can
> > > and should have a complementary and positive relationship. And I gather
> > > Larry and Sergey feel the same: I believe they've told Jimmy that
> Google
> > > has no ill will towards Wikipedia, and that they'd be willing to make a
> > >
> > > donation to us in order to signal that publicly.
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > I also believe that any real or perceived tensions in the
> > Google/Wikipedia
> > > relationship may be being exacerbated at some levels inside Google by
> > their
> > > unfulfilled desires to do business with us. Since relocating to the Bay
> > > Area in January, we've had plenty of Google folks reach out to us. But
> --
> > > we have a total staff of 21 people, with just one person responsible
> for
> > > business development, so I am not 

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

2016-02-20 Thread Pete Forsyth
An unusually immediate comment from Wikimedia leadership following Andreas'
admittedly speculative comments.

It's not about the relevance to the movement. It's not about the relevance
to the organization. It's about an individual's role.

This just got fascinating (and a little more depressing).

-Pete

[[User:Peteforsyth]]

>
> I am happy to talk to Signpost on-record about anything that has been
> happening under my watch to minimize misinterpretations of second-hand
> reports or further conjectures.
>
> Lila
>
> On Sat, Feb 20, 2016 at 9:57 PM, Andreas Kolbe  wrote:
>
> > On Sat, Feb 20, 2016 at 10:56 PM, Anthony Cole 
> > wrote:
> >
> > > Lila should have taken the community along with her as the Knowledge
> > Engine
> > > project was evolving. I don't know what was behind her reticence. I
> > presume
> > > an element was unwillingness to announce a thing while the thing was
> > > shifting and changing from one day to the next.
> > >
> >
> >
> > It was pointed out to me today that there is a court exhibit, no. 666,
> made
> > public in 2014 as part of the [[High-Tech Employee Antitrust Litigation]]
> > (the same case Arnnon Geshuri was involved in), which reproduces some
> > correspondence between Sue Gardner, Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg, and
> various
> > Google managers.[1]
> >
> >
> >
> > In short, Sheryl Sandberg (who'd formerly worked for Google) helped Sue
> > Gardner by introducing her to senior management at Google. To do so,
> > according to the court exhibit, Sandberg forwarded an email from Sue
> > Gardner to Jonathan Rosenberg (then Senior Vice President of Products)
> and
> > others at Google:
> >
> >
> >
> > ---o0o---
> >
> >
> >
> > From: Sheryl Sandberg
> >
> > Sent: Saturday, August 09, 2008 7:40 PM
> >
> > To: Jonathan Rosenberg; Omid Kordestani; David Drummond; Megan Smith
> >
> > Subject: Fw: Thanks + a request re Google
> >
> >
> >
> > Jonathan, Omid, David, Megan - I was introduced to Sue by Roger. As you
> can
> > see below, they would love a better and more senior relationship with
> > Google. Can I email introduce her to one of you?
> >
> >
> >
> > Please excuse blackberry-caused typos.
> >
> >
> >
> > -Original Message-
> >
> > From: Sue Gardner
> >
> > To: Sheryl Sandberg
> >
> > Sent: Mon Aug 04 10:02:01 2008
> >
> > Subject: Thanks + a request re Google
> >
> >
> >
> > Hi Sheryl,
> >
> >
> >
> > It was terrific to finally meet you last week :-)
> >
> >
> >
> > Here's a recap of the Google issue that I raised:
> >
> >
> >
> > I started as Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation last summer.
> >
> >
> >
> > A few months after that, Roger McNamee began introducing me to potential
> > Wikipedia donors in the valley. Most of that was great and successful,
> but
> > in a few cases -including once with a Google board member- I was
> surprised
> > to be have people cite 'loyalty to Google' as a reason to not give money
> to
> > Wikipedia.
> >
> >
> >
> > Their objections, which have been echoed to me several times since then,
> > seem to fall into three categories:
> >
> >
> >
> > * A belief that Wikia Search is an attempt by Wikipedia to compete with
> > Google. (Many people don't realize the only thing shared between
> Wikipedia
> > and Wikia is our founder, Jimmy Wales. Nor do they realize that Jimmy has
> > no day-to-day responsibilities at the Wikimedia Foundation.)
> >
> > * The view that because Wikipedia is non-commercial, it is
> anti-advertising
> > and anti-Google.
> >
> > * A belief that Knol is an attempt by Google to compete with Wikipedia.
> >
> >
> >
> > I personally don't believe any of this: I think Google and Wikipedia can
> > and should have a complementary and positive relationship. And I gather
> > Larry and Sergey feel the same: I believe they've told Jimmy that Google
> > has no ill will towards Wikipedia, and that they'd be willing to make a
> >
> > donation to us in order to signal that publicly.
> >
> >
> >
> > I also believe that any real or perceived tensions in the
> Google/Wikipedia
> > relationship may be being exacerbated at some levels inside Google by
> their
> > unfulfilled desires to do business with us. Since relocating to the Bay
> > Area in January, we've had plenty of Google folks reach out to us. But --
> > we have a total staff of 21 people, with just one person responsible for
> > business development, so I am not sure we are even able to politely keep
> up
> > with their pitches. IMO, rather than spending our time on multiple
> > product-specific pitches, it would probably be more productive for
> > Wikipedia and Google to develop a single umbrella relationship/agreement
> > (obviously within the limits of Wikipedia's non-commercial context).
> >
> >
> >
> > So. I think a good next step would be some kind of high-level meeting
> > between Wikipedia and Google, to talk through these issues and see if a
> > donation and/or business deal makes sense.
> >
> >
> >
> > I appreciate your 

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

2016-02-20 Thread Lila Tretikov
Andreas,

I am happy to talk to Signpost on-record about anything that has been
happening under my watch to minimize misinterpretations of second-hand
reports or further conjectures.

Lila

On Sat, Feb 20, 2016 at 9:57 PM, Andreas Kolbe  wrote:

> On Sat, Feb 20, 2016 at 10:56 PM, Anthony Cole 
> wrote:
>
> > Lila should have taken the community along with her as the Knowledge
> Engine
> > project was evolving. I don't know what was behind her reticence. I
> presume
> > an element was unwillingness to announce a thing while the thing was
> > shifting and changing from one day to the next.
> >
>
>
> It was pointed out to me today that there is a court exhibit, no. 666, made
> public in 2014 as part of the [[High-Tech Employee Antitrust Litigation]]
> (the same case Arnnon Geshuri was involved in), which reproduces some
> correspondence between Sue Gardner, Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg, and various
> Google managers.[1]
>
>
>
> In short, Sheryl Sandberg (who'd formerly worked for Google) helped Sue
> Gardner by introducing her to senior management at Google. To do so,
> according to the court exhibit, Sandberg forwarded an email from Sue
> Gardner to Jonathan Rosenberg (then Senior Vice President of Products) and
> others at Google:
>
>
>
> ---o0o---
>
>
>
> From: Sheryl Sandberg
>
> Sent: Saturday, August 09, 2008 7:40 PM
>
> To: Jonathan Rosenberg; Omid Kordestani; David Drummond; Megan Smith
>
> Subject: Fw: Thanks + a request re Google
>
>
>
> Jonathan, Omid, David, Megan - I was introduced to Sue by Roger. As you can
> see below, they would love a better and more senior relationship with
> Google. Can I email introduce her to one of you?
>
>
>
> Please excuse blackberry-caused typos.
>
>
>
> -Original Message-
>
> From: Sue Gardner
>
> To: Sheryl Sandberg
>
> Sent: Mon Aug 04 10:02:01 2008
>
> Subject: Thanks + a request re Google
>
>
>
> Hi Sheryl,
>
>
>
> It was terrific to finally meet you last week :-)
>
>
>
> Here's a recap of the Google issue that I raised:
>
>
>
> I started as Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation last summer.
>
>
>
> A few months after that, Roger McNamee began introducing me to potential
> Wikipedia donors in the valley. Most of that was great and successful, but
> in a few cases -including once with a Google board member- I was surprised
> to be have people cite 'loyalty to Google' as a reason to not give money to
> Wikipedia.
>
>
>
> Their objections, which have been echoed to me several times since then,
> seem to fall into three categories:
>
>
>
> * A belief that Wikia Search is an attempt by Wikipedia to compete with
> Google. (Many people don't realize the only thing shared between Wikipedia
> and Wikia is our founder, Jimmy Wales. Nor do they realize that Jimmy has
> no day-to-day responsibilities at the Wikimedia Foundation.)
>
> * The view that because Wikipedia is non-commercial, it is anti-advertising
> and anti-Google.
>
> * A belief that Knol is an attempt by Google to compete with Wikipedia.
>
>
>
> I personally don't believe any of this: I think Google and Wikipedia can
> and should have a complementary and positive relationship. And I gather
> Larry and Sergey feel the same: I believe they've told Jimmy that Google
> has no ill will towards Wikipedia, and that they'd be willing to make a
>
> donation to us in order to signal that publicly.
>
>
>
> I also believe that any real or perceived tensions in the Google/Wikipedia
> relationship may be being exacerbated at some levels inside Google by their
> unfulfilled desires to do business with us. Since relocating to the Bay
> Area in January, we've had plenty of Google folks reach out to us. But --
> we have a total staff of 21 people, with just one person responsible for
> business development, so I am not sure we are even able to politely keep up
> with their pitches. IMO, rather than spending our time on multiple
> product-specific pitches, it would probably be more productive for
> Wikipedia and Google to develop a single umbrella relationship/agreement
> (obviously within the limits of Wikipedia's non-commercial context).
>
>
>
> So. I think a good next step would be some kind of high-level meeting
> between Wikipedia and Google, to talk through these issues and see if a
> donation and/or business deal makes sense.
>
>
>
> I appreciate your advice on this issue :-)
>
>
>
> Thanks,
>
> Sue
>
>
>
>  ---o0o---
>
>
>
> Now, some of this isn't earth-shattering news -- it's long been known that
> relations between Google and Wikipedia have been friendly. The lobbying
> partnership between Google and Wikipedia may well date back to the meetings
> that followed that email exchange.
>
>
>
> What wasn't known to me was that Sue found people in Silicon Valley
> unwilling to donate because of their "loyalty to Google". (This reasoning
> raises questions of its own about Google's influence, but we'll leave that
> aside.)
>
>
>
> Now it has become clear over the past 

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

2016-02-20 Thread Andreas Kolbe
On Sat, Feb 20, 2016 at 10:56 PM, Anthony Cole  wrote:

> Lila should have taken the community along with her as the Knowledge Engine
> project was evolving. I don't know what was behind her reticence. I presume
> an element was unwillingness to announce a thing while the thing was
> shifting and changing from one day to the next.
>


It was pointed out to me today that there is a court exhibit, no. 666, made
public in 2014 as part of the [[High-Tech Employee Antitrust Litigation]]
(the same case Arnnon Geshuri was involved in), which reproduces some
correspondence between Sue Gardner, Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg, and various
Google managers.[1]



In short, Sheryl Sandberg (who'd formerly worked for Google) helped Sue
Gardner by introducing her to senior management at Google. To do so,
according to the court exhibit, Sandberg forwarded an email from Sue
Gardner to Jonathan Rosenberg (then Senior Vice President of Products) and
others at Google:



---o0o---



From: Sheryl Sandberg

Sent: Saturday, August 09, 2008 7:40 PM

To: Jonathan Rosenberg; Omid Kordestani; David Drummond; Megan Smith

Subject: Fw: Thanks + a request re Google



Jonathan, Omid, David, Megan - I was introduced to Sue by Roger. As you can
see below, they would love a better and more senior relationship with
Google. Can I email introduce her to one of you?



Please excuse blackberry-caused typos.



-Original Message-

From: Sue Gardner

To: Sheryl Sandberg

Sent: Mon Aug 04 10:02:01 2008

Subject: Thanks + a request re Google



Hi Sheryl,



It was terrific to finally meet you last week :-)



Here's a recap of the Google issue that I raised:



I started as Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation last summer.



A few months after that, Roger McNamee began introducing me to potential
Wikipedia donors in the valley. Most of that was great and successful, but
in a few cases -including once with a Google board member- I was surprised
to be have people cite 'loyalty to Google' as a reason to not give money to
Wikipedia.



Their objections, which have been echoed to me several times since then,
seem to fall into three categories:



* A belief that Wikia Search is an attempt by Wikipedia to compete with
Google. (Many people don't realize the only thing shared between Wikipedia
and Wikia is our founder, Jimmy Wales. Nor do they realize that Jimmy has
no day-to-day responsibilities at the Wikimedia Foundation.)

* The view that because Wikipedia is non-commercial, it is anti-advertising
and anti-Google.

* A belief that Knol is an attempt by Google to compete with Wikipedia.



I personally don't believe any of this: I think Google and Wikipedia can
and should have a complementary and positive relationship. And I gather
Larry and Sergey feel the same: I believe they've told Jimmy that Google
has no ill will towards Wikipedia, and that they'd be willing to make a

donation to us in order to signal that publicly.



I also believe that any real or perceived tensions in the Google/Wikipedia
relationship may be being exacerbated at some levels inside Google by their
unfulfilled desires to do business with us. Since relocating to the Bay
Area in January, we've had plenty of Google folks reach out to us. But --
we have a total staff of 21 people, with just one person responsible for
business development, so I am not sure we are even able to politely keep up
with their pitches. IMO, rather than spending our time on multiple
product-specific pitches, it would probably be more productive for
Wikipedia and Google to develop a single umbrella relationship/agreement
(obviously within the limits of Wikipedia's non-commercial context).



So. I think a good next step would be some kind of high-level meeting
between Wikipedia and Google, to talk through these issues and see if a
donation and/or business deal makes sense.



I appreciate your advice on this issue :-)



Thanks,

Sue



 ---o0o---



Now, some of this isn't earth-shattering news -- it's long been known that
relations between Google and Wikipedia have been friendly. The lobbying
partnership between Google and Wikipedia may well date back to the meetings
that followed that email exchange.



What wasn't known to me was that Sue found people in Silicon Valley
unwilling to donate because of their "loyalty to Google". (This reasoning
raises questions of its own about Google's influence, but we'll leave that
aside.)



Now it has become clear over the past few days that Damon Sicore, to use
Jimmy Wales' words at Lila's Knowledge Engine FAQ,[2] "really was
advocating for taking a run at Google", and gave "strict orders to keep it
top secret".



Sue referred to her wish to have "a single umbrella relationship/agreement"
with Google, in part to help with the donation problems she was
encountering. If such an agreement ever came into being, then being seen to
be planning a campaign against Google behind Google's back, as it were,
might well jeopardise that 

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

2016-02-20 Thread Risker
On 21 February 2016 at 00:43, SarahSV  wrote:

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

It is my understanding this was done some months ago.

Risker/Anne
___
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, 


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

2016-02-20 Thread SarahSV
On Sat, Feb 20, 2016 at 10:23 PM, Milos Rancic  wrote:

> On Sun, Feb 21, 2016 at 5:43 AM, SarahSV  wrote:
> > This isn't about how much people know. It's obvious that the KE was just
> a
> > flashpoint. It's about how to move forward without further casualties. I
> > don't believe that that isn't possible.
>
> From the point of person who knows just a tinny bit more than the
> non-staff non-Board participant of this list (but definitely far less
> than staff and Board), I tend to be a misanthrope. You know, the same
> answer to the question "Why do wars exist?": Because people are
> morons.
>
> But despite of this, I still share your hope as I tend to believe that
> Wikimedians are not just ordinary morons.
>

​Right. So can't we fix this? Lila is part of the movement too, and
everyone is clearly in a lot of pain here.

What can be done to help? Can an outside broker be brought in to hold a
meeting with staff and Lila and find solutions?​

​Perhaps the Board could organize something like this.

Sarah​
___
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, 


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

2016-02-20 Thread Milos Rancic
On Sun, Feb 21, 2016 at 5:43 AM, SarahSV  wrote:
> This isn't about how much people know. It's obvious that the KE was just a
> flashpoint. It's about how to move forward without further casualties. I
> don't believe that that isn't possible.

From the point of person who knows just a tinny bit more than the
non-staff non-Board participant of this list (but definitely far less
than staff and Board), I tend to be a misanthrope. You know, the same
answer to the question "Why do wars exist?": Because people are
morons.

But despite of this, I still share your hope as I tend to believe that
Wikimedians are not just ordinary morons.

-- 
Milos

___
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, 


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

2016-02-20 Thread Gergő Tisza
Okay, this is stepping over several lines. Can we stick to basic human
decency if nothing else? :(
No one is helped by making vicious personal attacks over assumed
interpretations. Let's try to represent the movement's values (including
civility, and, if not the assumption of good faith, then at least not
assuming the worst) even in difficult times.

On Sat, Feb 20, 2016 at 7:54 PM, Marc A. Pelletier  wrote:

> That is... downright brilliant.  Pretend to be caring and responsible,
> while at the same time make an underhanded implication that the people who
> left are villains and that you are a poor victim for being unable to speak
> the Truth.  I hope you choke on shame for having the gall to even so much
> suggest that pillars of the staff and community like Siko, Luis, and Anna
> left for any reason other than your "exemplary" leadership.
>
> "Information asymmetry" is right, mind you.  Staffers have shown
> extraordinary restraint in keeping thing quiet and civilized so that what
> has been going on does not reflect too badly on the foundation and - by
> extension - the movement.  After all, as Ori so eloquently pointed out
> earlier, the Foundation is full of passionate and dedicated people who
> managed to do a great deal of good things despite all the "fun" of being
> rudderless, leaderless and without anything resembling a vision.
>
> If you have a single iota of integrity, please leave now before more of
> the foundation crumbles around you.  Even if you were perfectly correct in
> all you did and everyone else was perfectly wrong, any supposed leader that
> has no trust from at least 93% of their staff should realize that - if
> nothing else - they are a bad fit and cannot possibly salvage the situation.
>
___
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, 


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

2016-02-20 Thread SarahSV
On Sat, Feb 20, 2016 at 9:35 PM, Asaf Bartov  wrote:

> Despite everything, Anders, it is inappropriate for staff to publicly
> prosecute Lila.  The board is aware of the many issues, quite a few not yet
> public on any forum.  And it is for the board to solve.
>
>
Asaf, I agree, but it's happening, here and elsewhere. I hope there won't
be any more public attacks.

This isn't about how much people know. It's obvious that the KE was just a
flashpoint. It's about how to move forward without further casualties. I
don't believe that that isn't possible.

Sarah
___
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, 


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

2016-02-20 Thread Asaf Bartov
Despite everything, Anders, it is inappropriate for staff to publicly
prosecute Lila.  The board is aware of the many issues, quite a few not yet
public on any forum.  And it is for the board to solve.

   A.
On Feb 20, 2016 8:20 PM, "Anders Wennersten" 
wrote:

> Reading an following this thread makes me feel profoundly sad. And the
> symptoms indicates for me that there is indeed  something "rotten" going on.
>
> I feel deep sympathy for staff whose pain is seems to go very deep, and I
> would really want to help out to to ease the problems if it was in my
> capability.
>
> But there is as Risker puts it a deep information asymmetry in this thread.
>
> I am sitting far away from the SF office and have no direct contact with
> staff and even if I read of the pain, I do not catch any concrete facts
> what it is all about. The handling of Knowledge engine has not been good,
> but it can be remedied. The Board is not optimal and perfect, but the
> members are clever and loyal to our mission and I have no reason to doubt
> that they will take care of things on their "table", even if somewhat
> slower pace then people would want.
>
> And even if I feel and sympathize with the frustration of staff I would
> like to ask the inputs to this thread to be more factual and also show the
> respect of each others as we are used to in our daily Wikipedia dialogues.
>
> Anders
> With sympathy and love to all involved in this crisis
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> Den 2016-02-21 kl. 04:58, skrev Oliver Keyes:
>
>> Just staff and former staff? Huh. You must be reading
>>
>> wikimedia-that-doesn't-include-liam-fae-former-board-members-or-almost-anyone-else-l.
>> What's it like there?
>>
>> To Risker's point; "don't beat up on people who have less information
>> than you" is a good principle. But so is "don't call people
>> incompetent when the alternative is that you're missing something".
>> Speaking as both a volunteer and staff, Anthony, I have found your
>> attitude in this conversation and others on the subject to be deeply
>> unproductive. It would be good if you spent more time asking questions
>> and less time dismissing people's concerns.
>>
>> On Sat, Feb 20, 2016 at 9:39 PM, Anthony Cole 
>> wrote:
>>
>>> Ah, Brandon. Thanks for writing me off as "the folks at Wikipediocracy."
>>> I'm also the folks at en.Wikipedia and the folks on the board of
>>> WikiProject Med Foundation. And I give a shit about Wikipedia.
>>>
>>> This push for the removal of the ED is coming from staff. And failed
>>> staff.
>>> If you want support from the wider editor community, you'll need to bring
>>> us with you. I'm making it clear to you that presently you haven't done
>>> that yet. Maybe you don't need to.
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> On Sunday, 21 February 2016, Brandon Harris  wrote:
>>>
>>>  Danny, don't kid yourself!  The folks at Wikipediocracy know
 everything about everything that's happened at the Foundation and about
 everything that will EVER happen.  They've never been wrong, ever!

  I don't understand why we're still talking about this!


 On Feb 20, 2016, at 5:29 PM, Danny Horn 
 > wrote:

> You know, it's possible that the people who work for the Foundation
> might
> understand the situation in a more nuanced way than you do. I know it
> doesn't seem likely, but dare to dream.
>
 ---
 Brandon Harris :: bhar...@gaijin.com  :: made of steel
 wool
 and whiskey




 ___
 Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
 https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
 New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org 
 Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
 
 ?subject=unsubscribe>

>>>
>>>
>>> --
>>> Anthony Cole
>>> ___
>>> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
>>> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
>>> New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
>>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
>>> 
>>>
>> ___
>> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
>> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
>> New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
>> 
>>
>
>
> ___
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> Unsubscribe: 

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

2016-02-20 Thread Anders Wennersten
Reading an following this thread makes me feel profoundly sad. And the 
symptoms indicates for me that there is indeed  something "rotten" going on.


I feel deep sympathy for staff whose pain is seems to go very deep, and 
I would really want to help out to to ease the problems if it was in my 
capability.


But there is as Risker puts it a deep information asymmetry in this thread.

I am sitting far away from the SF office and have no direct contact with 
staff and even if I read of the pain, I do not catch any concrete facts 
what it is all about. The handling of Knowledge engine has not been 
good, but it can be remedied. The Board is not optimal and perfect, but 
the members are clever and loyal to our mission and I have no reason to 
doubt that they will take care of things on their "table", even if 
somewhat slower pace then people would want.


And even if I feel and sympathize with the frustration of staff I would 
like to ask the inputs to this thread to be more factual and also show 
the respect of each others as we are used to in our daily Wikipedia 
dialogues.


Anders
With sympathy and love to all involved in this crisis







Den 2016-02-21 kl. 04:58, skrev Oliver Keyes:

Just staff and former staff? Huh. You must be reading
wikimedia-that-doesn't-include-liam-fae-former-board-members-or-almost-anyone-else-l.
What's it like there?

To Risker's point; "don't beat up on people who have less information
than you" is a good principle. But so is "don't call people
incompetent when the alternative is that you're missing something".
Speaking as both a volunteer and staff, Anthony, I have found your
attitude in this conversation and others on the subject to be deeply
unproductive. It would be good if you spent more time asking questions
and less time dismissing people's concerns.

On Sat, Feb 20, 2016 at 9:39 PM, Anthony Cole  wrote:

Ah, Brandon. Thanks for writing me off as "the folks at Wikipediocracy."
I'm also the folks at en.Wikipedia and the folks on the board of
WikiProject Med Foundation. And I give a shit about Wikipedia.

This push for the removal of the ED is coming from staff. And failed staff.
If you want support from the wider editor community, you'll need to bring
us with you. I'm making it clear to you that presently you haven't done
that yet. Maybe you don't need to.



On Sunday, 21 February 2016, Brandon Harris  wrote:


 Danny, don't kid yourself!  The folks at Wikipediocracy know
everything about everything that's happened at the Foundation and about
everything that will EVER happen.  They've never been wrong, ever!

 I don't understand why we're still talking about this!



On Feb 20, 2016, at 5:29 PM, Danny Horn > wrote:

You know, it's possible that the people who work for the Foundation might
understand the situation in a more nuanced way than you do. I know it
doesn't seem likely, but dare to dream.

---
Brandon Harris :: bhar...@gaijin.com  :: made of steel wool
and whiskey




___
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org 
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,

?subject=unsubscribe>



--
Anthony Cole
___
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, 


___
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, 




___
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, 


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

2016-02-20 Thread Oliver Keyes
Just staff and former staff? Huh. You must be reading
wikimedia-that-doesn't-include-liam-fae-former-board-members-or-almost-anyone-else-l.
What's it like there?

To Risker's point; "don't beat up on people who have less information
than you" is a good principle. But so is "don't call people
incompetent when the alternative is that you're missing something".
Speaking as both a volunteer and staff, Anthony, I have found your
attitude in this conversation and others on the subject to be deeply
unproductive. It would be good if you spent more time asking questions
and less time dismissing people's concerns.

On Sat, Feb 20, 2016 at 9:39 PM, Anthony Cole  wrote:
> Ah, Brandon. Thanks for writing me off as "the folks at Wikipediocracy."
> I'm also the folks at en.Wikipedia and the folks on the board of
> WikiProject Med Foundation. And I give a shit about Wikipedia.
>
> This push for the removal of the ED is coming from staff. And failed staff.
> If you want support from the wider editor community, you'll need to bring
> us with you. I'm making it clear to you that presently you haven't done
> that yet. Maybe you don't need to.
>
>
>
> On Sunday, 21 February 2016, Brandon Harris  wrote:
>
>>
>> Danny, don't kid yourself!  The folks at Wikipediocracy know
>> everything about everything that's happened at the Foundation and about
>> everything that will EVER happen.  They've never been wrong, ever!
>>
>> I don't understand why we're still talking about this!
>>
>>
>> > On Feb 20, 2016, at 5:29 PM, Danny Horn > > wrote:
>> >
>> > You know, it's possible that the people who work for the Foundation might
>> > understand the situation in a more nuanced way than you do. I know it
>> > doesn't seem likely, but dare to dream.
>>
>> ---
>> Brandon Harris :: bhar...@gaijin.com  :: made of steel wool
>> and whiskey
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> ___
>> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
>> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
>> New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org 
>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
>> 
>> ?subject=unsubscribe>
>
>
>
> --
> Anthony Cole
> ___
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: 
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, 
> 

___
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, 


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

2016-02-20 Thread Marc A. Pelletier

On 2016-02-20 10:36 PM, Lila Tretikov wrote:

Information asymmetry is a big issue. For example, in my role there is a
lot I cannot say, I have responsibilities to protect people in the
organization both current and former. So, for example, if someone is fired,
even for cause, I would not say anything about this person that may hurt
their chances in the future.


That is... downright brilliant.  Pretend to be caring and responsible, 
while at the same time make an underhanded implication that the people 
who left are villains and that you are a poor victim for being unable to 
speak the Truth.  I hope you choke on shame for having the gall to even 
so much suggest that pillars of the staff and community like Siko, Luis, 
and Anna left for any reason other than your "exemplary" leadership.


"Information asymmetry" is right, mind you.  Staffers have shown 
extraordinary restraint in keeping thing quiet and civilized so that 
what has been going on does not reflect too badly on the foundation and 
- by extension - the movement.  After all, as Ori so eloquently pointed 
out earlier, the Foundation is full of passionate and dedicated people 
who managed to do a great deal of good things despite all the "fun" of 
being rudderless, leaderless and without anything resembling a vision.


If you have a single iota of integrity, please leave now before more of 
the foundation crumbles around you.  Even if you were perfectly correct 
in all you did and everyone else was perfectly wrong, any supposed 
leader that has no trust from at least 93% of their staff should realize 
that - if nothing else - they are a bad fit and cannot possibly salvage 
the situation.


-- Marc / Coren


___
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, 


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

2016-02-20 Thread Lila Tretikov
Hi Risker,

Information asymmetry is a big issue. For example, in my role there is a
lot I cannot say, I have responsibilities to protect people in the
organization both current and former. So, for example, if someone is fired,
even for cause, I would not say anything about this person that may hurt
their chances in the future. We allow people to message their own exits.

When a situation arises that maybe completely unfair to the senior officer
or a board member, as long as we are employed (and often if we are not) we
will not disclose the details to protect the organization as a whole.

As I am sure you practice all too often in your own professional life this
is required in a professional role: to take the heat and the arrows when
something goes wrong, and to give away credit for what goes right. I would
not have it any other way, but it is something people all too often ignore
or forget.

I'd love to have a broader FAQ than the current one for Knowledge Engine to
review and help provide transparency into any of the issues I can.

Lila

On Sat, Feb 20, 2016 at 6:54 PM, Risker  wrote:

> This is a difficult time for everyone.  Staff, particularly staff who work
> out of the San Francisco office, have seen and been through things that are
> not well known or understood outside of that small group; even "highly
> involved" volunteers aren't entirely in the loop.  Former staff continue to
> have a knowledge advantage over the vast majority of community members
> simply because of their continued ties to friends and former colleagues who
> remain on staff.
>
> I encourage everyone to treat each other with respect, even when
> disagreeing with the interpretations that other people have made based on
> the (often comparatively limited) information that they have available.  I
> can honestly say that I know some things that perhaps SarahSV and
> Anthonyhcole don't know, but I certainly don't know everything - and I have
> been in the SF offices twice in the last six months as a volunteer and
> regularly converse with staff in certain areas in my role as a volunteer
> working on various things.
>
> One of the major barriers is the legitimate concern that many staff have in
> trying to communicate concerns in a manner that is not destructive, either
> to the WMF as an organization, or to their own professional reputations.
> The whistleblower provisions at the WMF are very narrow (essentially only
> permitting reporting directly to the Board chair/chair of the Audit
> Committee if there is reason to believe that a law has been broken, not
> just internal policies no matter how severe), as one example.  I've been
> aware of concerns for about a year now, myself, but I've still found out
> quite a bit more over the last few weeks. For staff, a lot of those early
> concerns are practically ancient history, and that knowledge hasn't been
> disseminated to a much broader community. Not to put too fine a point on
> it, but the majority of the audience here doesn't know.
>
> Anthony, speaking for myself only, I don't think that your association with
> Wikipediocracy is particularly relevant; other active members of that site
> have expressed significantly different opinions, whether within or outside
> of "WMF-related" locations like this mailing list or Meta or The Signpost.
> I'd like to discourage anyone from assuming that there are monolithic and
> unified positions on the current situation amongst any particular group.
> That includes former and current staff, editors of particular projects,
> commenters on external blogs or through other non-WMF media or criticism
> sites, user groups, chapters, etc.  There are a lot of different points of
> view, and a lot of different levels of knowledge and information.
>
> I'm not going to say "let's assume good faith", don't worry.  I'm going to
> say "don't beat up on people who have different levels of information".
>
> Risker/Anne
>
>
>
> On 20 February 2016 at 20:31, Brandon Harris  wrote:
>
> >
> > Danny, don't kid yourself!  The folks at Wikipediocracy know
> > everything about everything that's happened at the Foundation and about
> > everything that will EVER happen.  They've never been wrong, ever!
> >
> > I don't understand why we're still talking about this!
> >
> >
> > > On Feb 20, 2016, at 5:29 PM, Danny Horn  wrote:
> > >
> > > You know, it's possible that the people who work for the Foundation
> might
> > > understand the situation in a more nuanced way than you do. I know it
> > > doesn't seem likely, but dare to dream.
> >
> > ---
> > Brandon Harris :: bhar...@gaijin.com :: made of steel wool and whiskey
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > ___
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> > Unsubscribe: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Risker/Anne



On 20 February 2016 at 20:31, Brandon Harris  wrote:

>
> Danny, don't kid yourself!  The folks at Wikipediocracy know
> everything about everything that's happened at the Foundation and about
> everything that will EVER happen.  They've never been wrong, ever!
>
> I don't understand why we're still talking about this!
>
>
> > On Feb 20, 2016, at 5:29 PM, Danny Horn  wrote:
> >
> > You know, it's possible that the people who work for the Foundation might
> > understand the situation in a more nuanced way than you do. I know it
> > doesn't seem likely, but dare to dream.
>
> ---
> Brandon Harris :: bhar...@gaijin.com :: made of steel wool and whiskey
>
>
>
>
> ___
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> 
>
___
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, 


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

2016-02-20 Thread Anthony Cole
Ah, Brandon. Thanks for writing me off as "the folks at Wikipediocracy."
I'm also the folks at en.Wikipedia and the folks on the board of
WikiProject Med Foundation. And I give a shit about Wikipedia.

This push for the removal of the ED is coming from staff. And failed staff.
If you want support from the wider editor community, you'll need to bring
us with you. I'm making it clear to you that presently you haven't done
that yet. Maybe you don't need to.



On Sunday, 21 February 2016, Brandon Harris  wrote:

>
> Danny, don't kid yourself!  The folks at Wikipediocracy know
> everything about everything that's happened at the Foundation and about
> everything that will EVER happen.  They've never been wrong, ever!
>
> I don't understand why we're still talking about this!
>
>
> > On Feb 20, 2016, at 5:29 PM, Danny Horn  > wrote:
> >
> > You know, it's possible that the people who work for the Foundation might
> > understand the situation in a more nuanced way than you do. I know it
> > doesn't seem likely, but dare to dream.
>
> ---
> Brandon Harris :: bhar...@gaijin.com  :: made of steel wool
> and whiskey
>
>
>
>
> ___
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org 
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> 
> ?subject=unsubscribe>



-- 
Anthony Cole
___
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, 


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

2016-02-20 Thread Brandon Harris

Danny, don't kid yourself!  The folks at Wikipediocracy know everything 
about everything that's happened at the Foundation and about everything that 
will EVER happen.  They've never been wrong, ever!

I don't understand why we're still talking about this!


> On Feb 20, 2016, at 5:29 PM, Danny Horn  wrote:
> 
> You know, it's possible that the people who work for the Foundation might
> understand the situation in a more nuanced way than you do. I know it
> doesn't seem likely, but dare to dream.

---
Brandon Harris :: bhar...@gaijin.com :: made of steel wool and whiskey




___
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, 


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

2016-02-20 Thread Danny Horn
You know, it's possible that the people who work for the Foundation might
understand the situation in a more nuanced way than you do. I know it
doesn't seem likely, but dare to dream.

On Sat, Feb 20, 2016 at 5:01 PM, Anthony Cole  wrote:

> Thanks James.
>
> I'm not on staff, nor am I part of the inner circle of volunteers in
> constant touch with staff or the board. From the perspective of the wider
> community, though, this all looks very dodgy. Lila's arrival marked for us
> a revolution in the relationship. There is probably nothing either of us
> can do to change our conflicting views.
>
> Most disturbing to me is the reappearance of some former C-level staff, who
> I (among many others) was delighted to see the back of, on this list and
> Wikipedia Weekly, positioning themselves for the new dawn. It's very
> unseemly seeing the people responsible for the shambles Lila inherited now
> lighting up the torches.
>
> On Sunday, 21 February 2016, James Alexander  wrote:
>
> > It is probably best for me not to get into a long count/counterpoint here
> > but I couldn't avoid not responding at all.
> >
> > As Ori hinted at I hope that everyone can reflect on the idea of
> causation
> > vs correlation
> > .
> The
> > fact that good things have happened is not necessarily because of, but
> > despite of, current leadership. There is no doubt that there have been a
> > lot of good things to occur in the past while but those are, very
> > frequently, because people have been freed up some to do what they want.
> A
> > lack of direction or clear strategy can, in fact, have good side effects
> if
> > you have amazing people on board because they're able to make decisions
> > they've wanted to make for a while. However at the same time it can drive
> > them insane as they strive to keep it on that track and to avoid the
> taking
> > crazy routes or stop leadership from making decisions they feel would
> > disrupt the projects and the movement too much or go against our morals.
> >
> > We have a lot of great new hires but much of that was driven by the good
> > people who already existed since it's the older ones who got into more
> > management type roles either officially or unofficially). Even at the
> > executive level it's telling that the 3 most long standing and solid
> > C-levels we have are all pre-lila appointees: Katherine (just before Lila
> > but still before), Lisa and Geoff. Our cycle of c-level replacements
> since
> > then have been both hires and departures (with, unfortunately, less hires
> > then departures still) including multiple short term hires (in roles that
> > are traditionally very long term).
> >
> > I am not going to pretend I agreed with Sue at all times, or that every
> > decision she made was right however I at least felt like I knew what they
> > were (In fact I strongly disliked her strategy believing it bad for the
> org
> > and the movement, but again, I felt I knew what it was/understood it).
> > However I am also not going to accept the idea that Lila has made this
> > place so much better. As someone who saw them happen internally I don't
> > think her finger prints are really on any of the things you mention, they
> > were all 'despite' not 'because' of her and so much more could have been
> > done and wanted to be done. Slight exception possibly for the FDC bit but
> > that happened after all of this started exploding internally in the past
> > couple months and so she knew that she had  no trust left internally and
> > all of the staff close to it basically said "we can not defend you on
> this
> > if you don't go the FDC" so I still don't really see it as a proactive
> > choice on her front.
> >
> > James
> > [[User:Jamesofur]]/[[User:Jalexander-WMF]]
> >
> > Personal capacity, as signaled by my email address, but since some
> complain
> > I don't make it clear my role in WMF when I send this type of email: I am
> > also the Manager of Trust & Safety
> >
> > On Sat, Feb 20, 2016 at 3:18 PM, Anthony Cole  > > wrote:
> >
> > > I know.
> > >
> > > Anthony Cole
> > >
> > >
> > > On Sun, Feb 21, 2016 at 7:17 AM, Brion Vibber  > >
> > > wrote:
> > >
> > > > On Sat, Feb 20, 2016 at 2:56 PM, Anthony Cole  > >
> > > wrote:
> > > >
> > > > > * The Community Resources Team is in place - it surveyed the
> > community
> > > > and
> > > > > discussed with them their technical priorities, and tailored their
> > Idea
> > > > Lab
> > > > > Campaign accordingly.
> > > > >
> > > >
> > > > FYI, the head of that team is one of those who resigned last week:
> > > >
> > >
> >
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2016-February/081809.html
> > > >
> > > > -- brion
> > > > ___
> > > > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines 

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

2016-02-20 Thread Anthony Cole
Thanks James.

I'm not on staff, nor am I part of the inner circle of volunteers in
constant touch with staff or the board. From the perspective of the wider
community, though, this all looks very dodgy. Lila's arrival marked for us
a revolution in the relationship. There is probably nothing either of us
can do to change our conflicting views.

Most disturbing to me is the reappearance of some former C-level staff, who
I (among many others) was delighted to see the back of, on this list and
Wikipedia Weekly, positioning themselves for the new dawn. It's very
unseemly seeing the people responsible for the shambles Lila inherited now
lighting up the torches.

On Sunday, 21 February 2016, James Alexander  wrote:

> It is probably best for me not to get into a long count/counterpoint here
> but I couldn't avoid not responding at all.
>
> As Ori hinted at I hope that everyone can reflect on the idea of causation
> vs correlation
> . The
> fact that good things have happened is not necessarily because of, but
> despite of, current leadership. There is no doubt that there have been a
> lot of good things to occur in the past while but those are, very
> frequently, because people have been freed up some to do what they want. A
> lack of direction or clear strategy can, in fact, have good side effects if
> you have amazing people on board because they're able to make decisions
> they've wanted to make for a while. However at the same time it can drive
> them insane as they strive to keep it on that track and to avoid the taking
> crazy routes or stop leadership from making decisions they feel would
> disrupt the projects and the movement too much or go against our morals.
>
> We have a lot of great new hires but much of that was driven by the good
> people who already existed since it's the older ones who got into more
> management type roles either officially or unofficially). Even at the
> executive level it's telling that the 3 most long standing and solid
> C-levels we have are all pre-lila appointees: Katherine (just before Lila
> but still before), Lisa and Geoff. Our cycle of c-level replacements since
> then have been both hires and departures (with, unfortunately, less hires
> then departures still) including multiple short term hires (in roles that
> are traditionally very long term).
>
> I am not going to pretend I agreed with Sue at all times, or that every
> decision she made was right however I at least felt like I knew what they
> were (In fact I strongly disliked her strategy believing it bad for the org
> and the movement, but again, I felt I knew what it was/understood it).
> However I am also not going to accept the idea that Lila has made this
> place so much better. As someone who saw them happen internally I don't
> think her finger prints are really on any of the things you mention, they
> were all 'despite' not 'because' of her and so much more could have been
> done and wanted to be done. Slight exception possibly for the FDC bit but
> that happened after all of this started exploding internally in the past
> couple months and so she knew that she had  no trust left internally and
> all of the staff close to it basically said "we can not defend you on this
> if you don't go the FDC" so I still don't really see it as a proactive
> choice on her front.
>
> James
> [[User:Jamesofur]]/[[User:Jalexander-WMF]]
>
> Personal capacity, as signaled by my email address, but since some complain
> I don't make it clear my role in WMF when I send this type of email: I am
> also the Manager of Trust & Safety
>
> On Sat, Feb 20, 2016 at 3:18 PM, Anthony Cole  > wrote:
>
> > I know.
> >
> > Anthony Cole
> >
> >
> > On Sun, Feb 21, 2016 at 7:17 AM, Brion Vibber  >
> > wrote:
> >
> > > On Sat, Feb 20, 2016 at 2:56 PM, Anthony Cole  >
> > wrote:
> > >
> > > > * The Community Resources Team is in place - it surveyed the
> community
> > > and
> > > > discussed with them their technical priorities, and tailored their
> Idea
> > > Lab
> > > > Campaign accordingly.
> > > >
> > >
> > > FYI, the head of that team is one of those who resigned last week:
> > >
> >
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2016-February/081809.html
> > >
> > > -- brion
> > > ___
> > > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > > New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org 
> > > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > > 
> ?subject=unsubscribe>
> > >
> > ___
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > 

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

2016-02-20 Thread Brion Vibber
On Feb 20, 2016 3:18 PM, "Anthony Cole"  wrote:
>
> I know.

I suppose I should be clearer: it is my contention that it is largely the
people advocating for and implementing the improvements you cite that we
are losing due to the management crisis.

-- brion

>
> Anthony Cole
>
>
> On Sun, Feb 21, 2016 at 7:17 AM, Brion Vibber 
wrote:
>
> > On Sat, Feb 20, 2016 at 2:56 PM, Anthony Cole 
wrote:
> >
> > > * The Community Resources Team is in place - it surveyed the community
> > and
> > > discussed with them their technical priorities, and tailored their
Idea
> > Lab
> > > Campaign accordingly.
> > >
> >
> > FYI, the head of that team is one of those who resigned last week:
> >
https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2016-February/081809.html
> >
> > -- brion
> > ___
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > 
> >
> ___
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,

___
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, 


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

2016-02-20 Thread Joseph Seddon
In fact the rabbit whole goes far far deeper down the rabbit hole :P

Seddon

On Sun, Feb 21, 2016 at 12:42 AM, Joseph Seddon 
wrote:

> SarahSV, the rabbit whole goes far far beyond "mistaken ideas about the
> Knowledge Engine".
>
> Seddon
>
> On Sun, Feb 21, 2016 at 12:36 AM, SarahSV  wrote:
>
>> On Sat, Feb 20, 2016 at 5:16 PM, James Alexander 
>> wrote:
>> It is probably best for me not to get into a long count/counterpoint here
>> but I couldn't avoid not responding at all.
>>
>> James, several staffers have talked about feeling unappreciated and
>> demoralized.​
>> ​But that's how quite a few WMF staff made us feel before Lila arrived.
>> WMF-community relations couldn't have been worse. It certainly looks from
>> the outside as though Lila fixed a lot of that.
>>
>> The question now is how we move forward, with no more casualties.
>>
>> The best thing is surely for WMF staff to help Lila weather this storm,
>> which seems to have blown up around mistaken ideas about the Knowledge
>> Engine proposal.
>>
>> In the longer term we need to brainstorm about how to manage
>> Foundation-community relations. Lila wanted to speak to the community
>> earlier about the Knowledge Engine grant, but was afraid to. Why was that?
>> A lot of the community's suspicion of change stems from us feeling we
>> could
>> be separated from our work at any minute. That conservatism causes a lot
>> of
>> frustration within the WMF. How can it be fixed?
>>
>> Does the Board give enough support to the ED and leadership to the rest of
>> us? Can something be put in place within the WMF to help staffers so that
>> things like this don't blow up in public? We also ought to discuss asking
>> the WMF to become a membership organization with different bylaws so that
>> we really do elect the Board.
>>
>> These are the discussions that will move us forward, because the real
>> problem here is not about individuals. It is about structure.
>>
>> Sarah​
>> ___
>> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
>> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
>> New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
>> 
>>
>
>
>
> --
> Seddon
>
> *Advancement Associate (Community Engagement)*
> *Wikimedia Foundation*
>



-- 
Seddon

*Advancement Associate (Community Engagement)*
*Wikimedia Foundation*
___
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, 


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

2016-02-20 Thread Joseph Seddon
SarahSV, the rabbit whole goes far far beyond "mistaken ideas about the
Knowledge Engine".

Seddon

On Sun, Feb 21, 2016 at 12:36 AM, SarahSV  wrote:

> On Sat, Feb 20, 2016 at 5:16 PM, James Alexander 
> wrote:
> It is probably best for me not to get into a long count/counterpoint here
> but I couldn't avoid not responding at all.
>
> James, several staffers have talked about feeling unappreciated and
> demoralized.​
> ​But that's how quite a few WMF staff made us feel before Lila arrived.
> WMF-community relations couldn't have been worse. It certainly looks from
> the outside as though Lila fixed a lot of that.
>
> The question now is how we move forward, with no more casualties.
>
> The best thing is surely for WMF staff to help Lila weather this storm,
> which seems to have blown up around mistaken ideas about the Knowledge
> Engine proposal.
>
> In the longer term we need to brainstorm about how to manage
> Foundation-community relations. Lila wanted to speak to the community
> earlier about the Knowledge Engine grant, but was afraid to. Why was that?
> A lot of the community's suspicion of change stems from us feeling we could
> be separated from our work at any minute. That conservatism causes a lot of
> frustration within the WMF. How can it be fixed?
>
> Does the Board give enough support to the ED and leadership to the rest of
> us? Can something be put in place within the WMF to help staffers so that
> things like this don't blow up in public? We also ought to discuss asking
> the WMF to become a membership organization with different bylaws so that
> we really do elect the Board.
>
> These are the discussions that will move us forward, because the real
> problem here is not about individuals. It is about structure.
>
> Sarah​
> ___
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> 
>



-- 
Seddon

*Advancement Associate (Community Engagement)*
*Wikimedia Foundation*
___
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, 


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

2016-02-20 Thread SarahSV
On Sat, Feb 20, 2016 at 5:16 PM, James Alexander 
wrote:
It is probably best for me not to get into a long count/counterpoint here
but I couldn't avoid not responding at all.

James, several staffers have talked about feeling unappreciated and
demoralized.​
​But that's how quite a few WMF staff made us feel before Lila arrived.
WMF-community relations couldn't have been worse. It certainly looks from
the outside as though Lila fixed a lot of that.

The question now is how we move forward, with no more casualties.

The best thing is surely for WMF staff to help Lila weather this storm,
which seems to have blown up around mistaken ideas about the Knowledge
Engine proposal.

In the longer term we need to brainstorm about how to manage
Foundation-community relations. Lila wanted to speak to the community
earlier about the Knowledge Engine grant, but was afraid to. Why was that?
A lot of the community's suspicion of change stems from us feeling we could
be separated from our work at any minute. That conservatism causes a lot of
frustration within the WMF. How can it be fixed?

Does the Board give enough support to the ED and leadership to the rest of
us? Can something be put in place within the WMF to help staffers so that
things like this don't blow up in public? We also ought to discuss asking
the WMF to become a membership organization with different bylaws so that
we really do elect the Board.

These are the discussions that will move us forward, because the real
problem here is not about individuals. It is about structure.

Sarah​
___
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, 


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

2016-02-20 Thread Sam Klein
Thanks Denny for contributing here; very much appreciated.

Milos:
> After you reset the culture of denial, you should now start thinking
> how to boot the system again. Forget everything previous, forget the
> common excuses for avoiding responsibility.

This is fair advice.
The Board is looked to for leadership, direction, setting expectations.
Of course there are other sources of leadership in the movement! but yours
is critical.  And it is especially critical for the staff if the
Foundation's internal leadership has its own fires to put out.

Have at least one person help guide this discussion, and another for
similar discussion with the staff.
Please explain how you are handling this cluster of situations.

Dariusz:
> It is not up to me to offer deadlines

It is, truly.

When something is urgent, any single Trustee can offer a deadline; any two
can call a working meeting on 48 hours notice.

Warmly,
SJ

On Sat, Feb 20, 2016 at 1:49 PM, Delphine Ménard 
wrote:

> Hello Denny,
>
> I am not sure I can find any explanation "why" the board acts as it
> does in your email, to be honest. Which reinforces my long-time
> observation that the board is dysfunctional, as it has been for years
> now. One thing I do read between the lines though, is some kind of
> "fear" of doing the wrong thing. You bring up "legal" three times in
> your email, and this comforts me in thinking that Wikimedia has let
> the fear of "doing wrong" take over the "hope of doing right". These
> are sad times indeed.
>
> As for the whole bit about "The Board is not the governing body of the
> movement" and all the nice rhetoric you packed around it, nothing new
> under the sun. And that is probably the crux of my worries. The
> Foundation and its board have never managed to establish themselves as
> "legitimate". The only thing I see at work here is a fear machine,
> working both inside and out, instilling fear in all other
> "stakeholders", under the cover of some overarching legality at play
> that takes precedence over everything else. Most sadly, also over the
> mission, it seems.
>
> I thank you for intervening here, really, it's good to have other
> voices and to know that there are people who listen. I am however
> extremely sad that your email, again, says nothing.
>
> And I'd be delighted to spend that "other time" discussing around a
> beer the next time you're here.
>
> Cheers,
>
> Delphine
>
>
> On Sat, Feb 20, 2016 at 12:49 AM, Denny Vrandecic
>  wrote:
> > Delphine,
> >
> > thank you.
> >
> > Whereas I do not agree with everything you say (but I think those are
> > discussions for another time), I wholeheartedly agree with your insight
> > that the Board as a whole is dumber than its member on average. Thank you
> > for putting this down to words. I would even say, dumber than any of its
> > members (including myself, who probably ranks at the bottom).
> >
> > The Board is not the governing body of the movement, and the Foundation
> is
> > not the movement. The ED is not the president, and the Chair of the Board
> > is not the Queen or King. The FDC is neither Santa Claus nor the IRS.
> Some
> > of the issues come from the demands and expectations to these positions
> > that would come from such roles - e.g. the expectations towards the Board
> > are sometimes mistaken for the expectations one would have towards a
> > representative governing body of the movement. But the actual, and
> > sometimes legal roles and responsibilities these bodies have (your much
> > aligned fiduciary responsibility comes to mind) weight stronger than
> these
> > mere expectations, which leads to much suffering.
> >
> > I do not know of many topics as important as clearing up the roles and
> > bodies of the movement as a whole. But I know that unless we do, we will
> > continue to crash face-forward into brick walls again and again. I have
> no
> > idea how to get to that promised land, but I hope it will not take us
> forty
> > years of wandering in the desert to do so.
> >
> > I want to say it very clearly, that I honestly believe that, no matter
> how
> > stupid the Board seems to have acted, that I believe that each and every
> > member of the Board during their time on the Board while I have been
> there
> > - and I want to explicitly include James - has acted to their best
> > intentions and to the best of their knowledge. I expect that to continue.
> > It is utterly frustrating to see how things are turning out.
> >
> > To all others: many of the Board members receive and read these comments
> on
> > many different channels. But we have basically two options to engage, and
> > both are suboptimal.
> > # One option is to make sure that the Board's communication with the
> > community always represents the opinion of the Board as a whole, which
> > means to discuss it internally at first, to check with legal and PR, and
> to
> > go through these cycles again and again. Almost any message, no 

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

2016-02-20 Thread James Alexander
It is probably best for me not to get into a long count/counterpoint here
but I couldn't avoid not responding at all.

As Ori hinted at I hope that everyone can reflect on the idea of causation
vs correlation
. The
fact that good things have happened is not necessarily because of, but
despite of, current leadership. There is no doubt that there have been a
lot of good things to occur in the past while but those are, very
frequently, because people have been freed up some to do what they want. A
lack of direction or clear strategy can, in fact, have good side effects if
you have amazing people on board because they're able to make decisions
they've wanted to make for a while. However at the same time it can drive
them insane as they strive to keep it on that track and to avoid the taking
crazy routes or stop leadership from making decisions they feel would
disrupt the projects and the movement too much or go against our morals.

We have a lot of great new hires but much of that was driven by the good
people who already existed since it's the older ones who got into more
management type roles either officially or unofficially). Even at the
executive level it's telling that the 3 most long standing and solid
C-levels we have are all pre-lila appointees: Katherine (just before Lila
but still before), Lisa and Geoff. Our cycle of c-level replacements since
then have been both hires and departures (with, unfortunately, less hires
then departures still) including multiple short term hires (in roles that
are traditionally very long term).

I am not going to pretend I agreed with Sue at all times, or that every
decision she made was right however I at least felt like I knew what they
were (In fact I strongly disliked her strategy believing it bad for the org
and the movement, but again, I felt I knew what it was/understood it).
However I am also not going to accept the idea that Lila has made this
place so much better. As someone who saw them happen internally I don't
think her finger prints are really on any of the things you mention, they
were all 'despite' not 'because' of her and so much more could have been
done and wanted to be done. Slight exception possibly for the FDC bit but
that happened after all of this started exploding internally in the past
couple months and so she knew that she had  no trust left internally and
all of the staff close to it basically said "we can not defend you on this
if you don't go the FDC" so I still don't really see it as a proactive
choice on her front.

James
[[User:Jamesofur]]/[[User:Jalexander-WMF]]

Personal capacity, as signaled by my email address, but since some complain
I don't make it clear my role in WMF when I send this type of email: I am
also the Manager of Trust & Safety

On Sat, Feb 20, 2016 at 3:18 PM, Anthony Cole  wrote:

> I know.
>
> Anthony Cole
>
>
> On Sun, Feb 21, 2016 at 7:17 AM, Brion Vibber 
> wrote:
>
> > On Sat, Feb 20, 2016 at 2:56 PM, Anthony Cole 
> wrote:
> >
> > > * The Community Resources Team is in place - it surveyed the community
> > and
> > > discussed with them their technical priorities, and tailored their Idea
> > Lab
> > > Campaign accordingly.
> > >
> >
> > FYI, the head of that team is one of those who resigned last week:
> >
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2016-February/081809.html
> >
> > -- brion
> > ___
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > 
> >
> ___
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> 
>
___
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, 


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

2016-02-20 Thread James Alexander
On Sat, Feb 20, 2016 at 2:51 PM, Dariusz Jemielniak 
 wrote:

> It is important to do things in good timing, but it is even more important
> to do things right (not just in decision-making - remember the VIsual
> Editor?), not get easily swayed or lead by a crowd, think straight. When
> I'm asking for patience, I'm basically trying to say that the Board is not
>  ignoring you - but I think that as a body it tries its best to focus and
> use good, independent judgment, in the plenty of topics that emerge as
> important. It is not up to me to offer deadlines, but we are not really
> passive, as you seem to believe, either.
>
> dj


I will not pretend to have full insight into the issues the board is
dealing with and so can not pass final judgement on whether the Board did
the best they could given the circumstances (and may never be able to).
However, admitting that, you must appreciate that even those of us who
understand that speed is not always a luxury that is possible eventually
get to a point where it's hard to assume the best anymore or to "just
wait". Waiting a month, or two, or 3... to rethink decisions that were very
clearly going to explode like this... eventually we start to think that
you're not making a decision or that you're trying desperately to avoid it
and hope everything just goes away despite the reality of the situation.

Perhaps you're not being passive, perhaps you are talking a lot and trying
to do what's best (I actually believe that you *do* want to do what's best,
every member of the board) but eventually it's almost impossible to believe
you actually *will* if left alone. Given that, it's not hard to understand
why some are getting angrier and angrier, trying to force an actual
decision. It isn't like this has only been the past week or two, as you
know, this has been much longer then that.

James
[[User:Jamesofur]]/[[User:Jalexander-WMF]]
___
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, 


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

2016-02-20 Thread Anthony Cole
I know.

Anthony Cole


On Sun, Feb 21, 2016 at 7:17 AM, Brion Vibber  wrote:

> On Sat, Feb 20, 2016 at 2:56 PM, Anthony Cole  wrote:
>
> > * The Community Resources Team is in place - it surveyed the community
> and
> > discussed with them their technical priorities, and tailored their Idea
> Lab
> > Campaign accordingly.
> >
>
> FYI, the head of that team is one of those who resigned last week:
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2016-February/081809.html
>
> -- brion
> ___
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> 
>
___
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, 


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

2016-02-20 Thread Brion Vibber
On Sat, Feb 20, 2016 at 2:56 PM, Anthony Cole  wrote:

> * The Community Resources Team is in place - it surveyed the community and
> discussed with them their technical priorities, and tailored their Idea Lab
> Campaign accordingly.
>

FYI, the head of that team is one of those who resigned last week:
https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2016-February/081809.html

-- brion
___
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, 


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

2016-02-20 Thread Anthony Cole
James, regarding "Long term strategy should not be determined by the ED and
a couple of board members", why do you say, "a couple of board members"?
There are ten board members. Are you saying a couple of them have
inordinate influence?

Yes, the board and ED should heed input from the volunteers and the
readership, but the final decision needs to be in the board's and ED's
hands. Which is fine if you have a board and ED who do listen to those
stakeholders.

A few other thoughts:

Until Lila arrived we had a board that was stratospherically out of touch
with, at least, the Wikipedia community, and an ED almost exclusively
focussed on fundraising and being liked by everybody - especially her
employees.

We still have a board, with the exception of Jimmy and Dariusz, who might
as well be on the other side of the moon. Jimmy makes himself available on
his Wikipedia talk page but, sadly, his incompetence for this job is clear.

Lila should have taken the community along with her as the Knowledge Engine
project was evolving. I don't know what was behind her reticence. I presume
an element was unwillingness to announce a thing while the thing was
shifting and changing from one day to the next. She hasn't engaged any more
with the wider volunteer community than Sue did, and that should change -
though it's hard to know how.

But since her arrival, the WMF has undergone significant change in its
orientation toward the readership and the wider volunteer community:

* The Community Strategy Consultation effectively highlighted the needs and
wants of our readers, as well as those of the wider volunteer community,
and this has informed the ongoing strategy design process - a process that
has deep community input. That strategy, in turn, informs funding decisions.

* The Community Resources Team is in place - it surveyed the community and
discussed with them their technical priorities, and tailored their Idea Lab
Campaign accordingly.

* The WMF have accepted the FDC's proposal that the WMF submit to the same
reporting standard they expect of their chapters.

* There has been a 180 degree shift in the level of respect shown by the
WMF staff to the wider volunteer community. Volunteers who actually write
content and run Wikipedia all remember the contempt they were shown
regularly by all levels of the WMF just two years ago.

The latter is superficial but very important to us volunteers.

The former three points evince profound structural and philosophical change
and speak of genuine respect for the stakeholders that matter most. As a
Wikipedia volunteer, I'm deeply grateful for all these changes that have
happened during Lila's tenure.

I realise the staff must be missing the good old days when Sue was at the
helm and the idea of key performance indicators was a distant rumour, and
they effectively had a job for life. It must be hard to see popular but
incompetent colleagues getting sacked or encouraged to leave, to have
accountability forced on you, to have to be respectful to the volunteers,
to have a comfortable, plodding 5-year plan taken away from you.

If Sue had done her job, Lila wouldn't have to be doing most of these
unpleasant things.

The board needs to stand by its ED, and the ED needs to engage better with
her crew. Those who have been demonstrating gross disrespect for the ED
over the last few days need to leave.










Anthony Cole


On Sun, Feb 21, 2016 at 1:02 AM, James Heilman  wrote:

> I agree having all board members engage with the community in their own
> voice is likely the best way forwards. All of us will take your statements
> as representing whatever fraction of the board you are unless you state
> otherwise. There is nothing wrong with a board that disagrees with each
> other, all I request is that you do not pretend their is "consensus" were
> their isn't one. We as a community disagree all the time. We however are
> still able to work together transparently and get a lot done.
>
> One of the roles of the board is to determine "WMF's long term strategy"
>
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_Board_Handbook#Effective_Board_oversight
> I tried to get a discussion going on our internal board wiki. I also hoped
> to bring the wider community and staff into that discussion so that we
> could have some shared decision making around where we want to go. This is
> how one gets buy in and is key in a volunteer movement. We have some
> amazingly smart people both as staff and as community members. Long term
> strategy should not be determined by the ED and a couple of board members.
>
> Would be good to see the board leading a collaborative discussion of
> strategy.
> --
> James Heilman
> MD, CCFP-EM, Wikipedian
>
> The Wikipedia Open Textbook of Medicine
> www.opentextbookofmedicine.com
> ___
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: 

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

2016-02-20 Thread Dariusz Jemielniak
On Sat, Feb 20, 2016 at 4:54 PM, Amir E. Aharoni <
amir.ahar...@mail.huji.ac.il> wrote:

> Delphine, this was possibly the strongest email of the last four months or
> so of this mind-numbing nonsense.
>
> The Board. I never really understood it. I did feel that it's supposed to
> lead the editors and the staff in _some_ way, but, being both a staff
> member and a volunteer editor, I never felt that it _actually_ does. Even
> though quite a lot of the Board members are totally wonderful people,
> wonderful Wikimedians and _my personal friends_, they never felt as
> Wikimedia's leaders. And I'd think that they should be.
>
> Leader worship of the kind that is common in USSR, DPRK, or the Linux
> kernel, was NEVER my cup of tea, but _some_ (SOME!!!) kind of leadership
> would be nice. It feels like a pregnant void at the moment.
>
> Please, somebody, make it stop. Let's go back to improving the
> encyclopedia, or something.


I hear you. I understand that the BoT may seem undecisive, slow, overly
inwards, etc. A lot of it is valid criticism. Some of it can be improved,
some is unlikely to change (as you can imagine, even coordinating frequent
meetings of people on different continents and having regular jobs,
spanning occasionally 12h of time difference, is a challenge).

I cannot tell you that I believe we're not making mistakes on the way, and
I cannot even admit that the pace of our work is satisfactory to me. I also
share a lot of frustration with our disconnect, no good transparency and
dialog practices, etc. But I can assure you that some of us are meeting to
address different urging issues several times a week, or sometimes even
daily (for instance, to catch up on the backlog of critical things from the
past, such as seeking an expert member for the Board, or to seek better
governance practices, as well as to discuss the contemporary emerging
issues).

It is important to do things in good timing, but it is even more important
to do things right (not just in decision-making - remember the VIsual
Editor?), not get easily swayed or lead by a crowd, think straight. When
I'm asking for patience, I'm basically trying to say that the Board is not
 ignoring you - but I think that as a body it tries its best to focus and
use good, independent judgment, in the plenty of topics that emerge as
important. It is not up to me to offer deadlines, but we are not really
passive, as you seem to believe, either.

dj
___
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, 


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

2016-02-20 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
Delphine, this was possibly the strongest email of the last four months or
so of this mind-numbing nonsense.

The Board. I never really understood it. I did feel that it's supposed to
lead the editors and the staff in _some_ way, but, being both a staff
member and a volunteer editor, I never felt that it _actually_ does. Even
though quite a lot of the Board members are totally wonderful people,
wonderful Wikimedians and _my personal friends_, they never felt as
Wikimedia's leaders. And I'd think that they should be.

Leader worship of the kind that is common in USSR, DPRK, or the Linux
kernel, was NEVER my cup of tea, but _some_ (SOME!!!) kind of leadership
would be nice. It feels like a pregnant void at the moment.

Please, somebody, make it stop. Let's go back to improving the
encyclopedia, or something.
___
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, 


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

2016-02-20 Thread Delphine Ménard
Hello Denny,

I am not sure I can find any explanation "why" the board acts as it
does in your email, to be honest. Which reinforces my long-time
observation that the board is dysfunctional, as it has been for years
now. One thing I do read between the lines though, is some kind of
"fear" of doing the wrong thing. You bring up "legal" three times in
your email, and this comforts me in thinking that Wikimedia has let
the fear of "doing wrong" take over the "hope of doing right". These
are sad times indeed.

As for the whole bit about "The Board is not the governing body of the
movement" and all the nice rhetoric you packed around it, nothing new
under the sun. And that is probably the crux of my worries. The
Foundation and its board have never managed to establish themselves as
"legitimate". The only thing I see at work here is a fear machine,
working both inside and out, instilling fear in all other
"stakeholders", under the cover of some overarching legality at play
that takes precedence over everything else. Most sadly, also over the
mission, it seems.

I thank you for intervening here, really, it's good to have other
voices and to know that there are people who listen. I am however
extremely sad that your email, again, says nothing.

And I'd be delighted to spend that "other time" discussing around a
beer the next time you're here.

Cheers,

Delphine


On Sat, Feb 20, 2016 at 12:49 AM, Denny Vrandecic
 wrote:
> Delphine,
>
> thank you.
>
> Whereas I do not agree with everything you say (but I think those are
> discussions for another time), I wholeheartedly agree with your insight
> that the Board as a whole is dumber than its member on average. Thank you
> for putting this down to words. I would even say, dumber than any of its
> members (including myself, who probably ranks at the bottom).
>
> The Board is not the governing body of the movement, and the Foundation is
> not the movement. The ED is not the president, and the Chair of the Board
> is not the Queen or King. The FDC is neither Santa Claus nor the IRS. Some
> of the issues come from the demands and expectations to these positions
> that would come from such roles - e.g. the expectations towards the Board
> are sometimes mistaken for the expectations one would have towards a
> representative governing body of the movement. But the actual, and
> sometimes legal roles and responsibilities these bodies have (your much
> aligned fiduciary responsibility comes to mind) weight stronger than these
> mere expectations, which leads to much suffering.
>
> I do not know of many topics as important as clearing up the roles and
> bodies of the movement as a whole. But I know that unless we do, we will
> continue to crash face-forward into brick walls again and again. I have no
> idea how to get to that promised land, but I hope it will not take us forty
> years of wandering in the desert to do so.
>
> I want to say it very clearly, that I honestly believe that, no matter how
> stupid the Board seems to have acted, that I believe that each and every
> member of the Board during their time on the Board while I have been there
> - and I want to explicitly include James - has acted to their best
> intentions and to the best of their knowledge. I expect that to continue.
> It is utterly frustrating to see how things are turning out.
>
> To all others: many of the Board members receive and read these comments on
> many different channels. But we have basically two options to engage, and
> both are suboptimal.
> # One option is to make sure that the Board's communication with the
> community always represents the opinion of the Board as a whole, which
> means to discuss it internally at first, to check with legal and PR, and to
> go through these cycles again and again. Almost any message, no matter how
> vivid and bubbly it might have been, will turn out as a bloodless,
> corporate-like speech after that. Never mind that such a process will never
> be fast enough to allow for anything that resembles a conversation.
> # The alternative is to allow every member of the Board to engage
> individually as they like. This will mean that there are much more
> individual conversations going on, things can be better explained. But this
> also means that the individual Trustee's statement must not be taken as
> golden representations of the Board's thinking. If ten Board members engage
> with the community (which won't happen anyway, but even if it's five), do
> expect five different voices and opinions, and don't expect that everything
> said will actually become a resolution (which, in the end, is the only way
> the Board as a Board can communicate anyway). This obviously can lead to
> plenty of "that Trustee said that" or "no, I talked with Trustee X, and she
> said that this change is a bad idea", etc. - never mind possible legal
> implications.
>
> Since I have been on the Board there was never even really a discussion
> which of these 

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

2016-02-20 Thread
+1

Get on with positive action!

Less chest beating, poetry, misdirection and encrypted messaging please.

Fae
On 20 Feb 2016 11:37, "Milos Rancic"  wrote:

> On Sat, Feb 20, 2016 at 12:49 AM, Denny Vrandecic
>  wrote:
> > Whereas I do not agree with everything you say (but I think those are
> > discussions for another time), I wholeheartedly agree with your insight
> > that the Board as a whole is dumber than its member on average. Thank you
> > for putting this down to words. I would even say, dumber than any of its
> > members (including myself, who probably ranks at the bottom).
> > ...
>
> Denny, are you ready? Take a deep breath! Relax. It won't hurt :P
>
> Do something!
>
> You know you didn't say anything in your email. It looks like your own
> mantra, the product of your need to say something, while struggling
> with anxiety caused by thoughts about possible reactions on your
> email. But I'll stop criticizing here.
>
> What I see as maybe not that visible change to others, but definitely
> a strong sign that something positively has changed inside of the
> Board is your willingness to actually think outside of the usual
> tropes. That's especially thank to Dariusz and you. Dariusz is doing
> something we expected from Sj in the previous life and, yes, your
> mantras are honest and I am sure I am not the only one who noted it.
> They are expressing your and other Board members' fears, confusion,
> lack of understanding the historical significance of your positions,
> but also your good will. That's brave, and that's the *change*,
> paradigm change.
>
> After you reset the culture of denial, you should now start thinking
> how to boot the system again. Forget everything previous, forget the
> common excuses for avoiding responsibility.
>
> Stop crying that you are not the movement leaders. You are. You can
> like or not that fact, but there is no other person or body in
> such position. If your vision is to be just the Board of the Bay Area
> NPO, feel free to do that, but just after you make the environment
> which would relieve you from the position of the movement leaders.
>
> Now, please get out of your cocoons! And do something! We need you here.
>
> --
> Milos
>
> ___
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> 
___
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, 


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

2016-02-20 Thread Ilario Valdelli
I like this email of Chris and what seems to me strange is that there is an
evident lack of control of the board.

I have read the emails of resignation without being shocked. They were
expected. It's sufficient to use Mr.google and to reach Glassdoor to read
the anonymous comments of former employees to discover there is a general
unsatisfaction.

The motivation and the general "wealth" of employees and of the community
is important. These are the numbers that the board must ask to see and not
other stupid KPIs.

Kind regards
Il 20/Feb/2016 10:25, "Chris Keating"  ha
scritto:

> On 19 Feb 2016 23:49, "Denny Vrandecic" wrote
> > # The alternative is to allow every member of the Board to engage
> > individually as they like. This will mean that there are much more
> > individual conversations going on, things can be better explained. But
> this
> > also means that the individual Trustee's statement must not be taken as
> > golden representations of the Board's thinking. If ten Board members
> engage
> > with the community (which won't happen anyway, but even if it's five), do
> > expect five different voices and opinions, and don't expect that
> everything
> > said will actually become a resolution (which, in the end, is the only
> way
> > the Board as a Board can communicate anyway). This obviously can lead to
> > plenty of "that Trustee said that" or "no, I talked with Trustee X, and
> she
> > said that this change is a bad idea", etc. - never mind possible legal
> > implications.
>
> Hi Denny (and the rest of the Board),
>
> From my experience of Wikimedia movement conversations  (and other
> conversations from similar organisations) it is usually better to have
> Board members contributing to debates with their own voices. It's really
> reassuring to know that someone is saying something. Silence, by contrast,
> results in a lot of doubts. Thinking back to the Haifa letter and the
> discussion around fundraising and so on in 2011-2 - it was really helpful
> in that discussion when WMF board members started sharing their
> (conflicting) views rather than communicating through agreed statements  (
> which took hours to write and then ended up being really unclear anyway ).
> It meant that the Board started to look like a bunch of people trying to do
> the best job given conflicting perspectives, and stopped looking like an
> uncontrollable monolith.
>
> Of course it doesn't help that there are some people on this list who will
> leap at every statement to find fault with it - but usually those people
> are fed more by silence than by engagement.
>
> And of course it is not always possible to talk publically about
> differences of approach or upcoming issues - particularly where staff are
> concerned - but it is best to talk as far as you can, in my view.
>
> Chris
>
> >
> > Since I have been on the Board there was never even really a discussion
> > which of these options we should take. And I am not surprised by it -
> > considering how creative and dissective some community members can be
> with
> > the statements from Board members. Seriously, I am not feeling
> comfortable
> > with sharing any of my thoughts here, and even this mail I hope I will
> > press send before I just delete it.
> >
> > This mail, please, do not read it as an excuse for the Board. I am not
> > trying to downplay the current situation nor to take responsibility away
> > from the Board. I am not trying to blame anyone at all, but merely trying
> > to explain why the heck we act so fucking dumb sometimes.
> >
> > Again, thanks,
> > Denny
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > On Fri, Feb 19, 2016 at 8:17 AM, Delphine Ménard 
> > wrote:
> >
> > > I believe that Dariusz' comment was somewhat blown out of proportions
> > > (due in part to difficulties in communication inherent to our
> > > multicultural movement). I also think that some of the statements he
> > > made were too "blanket" to let go, so I understand the frustration.
> > >
> > > This said, Ori, I want to thank you for what I believe is the most
> > > daring, heartfelt and bold emails ever written to this list.
> > >
> > > And I use the word bold very specifically because I believe that this
> > > is what is missing today. Boldness. Boldness does not only translate
> > > in taking (un)calculated risks, it also comes in the capacity of
> > > admitting failure.
> > >
> > > I'll tell you where I think we, as an organisation, have failed. It
> > > was already a long time ago, when we started to talk about efficiency.
> > > When the Foundation started working and acting like an American Global
> > > Corporation, and stopped cherishing our diversity and leverage it to
> > > do that thing we once all dreamed of "taking over the world". I will
> > > give you a few examples which I think illustrate the failure to be
> > > bold in organisational ways. They might shed a light on today's
> > > governance chaos.
> > >
> > > Fundraising & Trademark: For 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] An Open Letter to Wikimedia Foundation BoT (Olatunde Isaa)

2016-02-20 Thread reachout2isaac
The BoT have made some mistakes in the past few days, in the ways they've 
handled information, silent on critical situation that requires urgent 
clarification, and how they kept the community in the dark about certain 
decision. This is painful and that was a poor decision on their part. We have 
every right to be disappointed in them but that doesn't mean we should give up 
on them. The WMF's mission is not about us, it's not about them but about 
millions of people across the world that find the Wikimedia projects useful and 
helpful. It is easy to believe in people when they are succeeding and it's easy 
to be disappointed in them when they are failing. The BoT should understand 
that the Wikimedia projects we have today was built by the community with the 
efforts of thousands of volunteers across the world and it took many years to 
build this amazing resources. Patricio Lorente and his team should focus on 
what is productive and try as much as they can to avoid anything that is 
counterproductive. They should learn to consult the community and staffs in 
taking some decision that is likely to generate controversies.


Best,

Olatunde Isaac


Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless handheld from Glo Mobile.

-Original Message-
From: wikimedia-l-requ...@lists.wikimedia.org
Sender: "Wikimedia-l" <wikimedia-l-boun...@lists.wikimedia.org>Date: Sat, 20 
Feb 2016 09:25:07 
To: <wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org>
Reply-To: wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
Subject: Wikimedia-l Digest, Vol 143, Issue 111

Send Wikimedia-l mailing list submissions to
wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org

To subscribe or unsubscribe via the World Wide Web, visit
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
or, via email, send a message with subject or body 'help' to
wikimedia-l-requ...@lists.wikimedia.org

You can reach the person managing the list at
wikimedia-l-ow...@lists.wikimedia.org

When replying, please edit your Subject line so it is more specific
than "Re: Contents of Wikimedia-l digest..."


Today's Topics:

   1. Re: An Open Letter to Wikimedia Foundation BoT (Ziko van Dijk)
   2. Technical issues of Wikimedia [was: Particularinterests and
  common ground] (Amir Ladsgroup)
   3. Re: Technical issues of Wikimedia [was: Particular interests
  and common ground] (Szymon Grabarczuk)
   4. Re: Technical issues of Wikimedia [was: Particular interests
  and common ground] (Milos Rancic)
   5. Re: An Open Letter to Wikimedia Foundation BoT (Chris Keating)


--

Message: 1
Date: Sat, 20 Feb 2016 01:50:49 +0100
From: Ziko van Dijk <zvand...@gmail.com>
To: Wikimedia Mailing List <wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org>
Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] An Open Letter to Wikimedia Foundation BoT
Message-ID:
<CADut_2+aCvreKL=xdcuse6tjopu8edmhvasx-berxwg-t4l...@mail.gmail.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8

Dear Ido,

Thank you for your e-mail. I am also grateful to many other people who have
contributed to give us a better understanding of the past and the present
(it is a lot of work).

I would like to read your opinion about two things that I find astonishing
and urging for a remedy:

* How it could come so far that staff members so openly applaud critical
voices about their boss, Lila Tretikov. This is a really terrible signal
about the state of the Foundation. Ido, do you agree with William Beutler
in the Signpost that it is not possible to imagine how the staff and Lila
Tretikov can go on together?

* We have heard from some of the board members. I actually miss the voice
of the chair. It is the task of a chair, certainly in a crisis like this,
to contribute to more clearness, what the Board is thinking, what it
intends to do next. Ido, imagine that the board makes a new start possible,
which would include a new community election. Would you regard that to be
helpful?

Kind regards
Ziko






>
>
>
>
>
>


--

Message: 2
Date: Sat, 20 Feb 2016 02:02:57 +
From: Amir Ladsgroup <ladsgr...@gmail.com>
To: Wikimedia Mailing List <wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org>
Subject: [Wikimedia-l] Technical issues of Wikimedia [was: Particular
interests and common ground]
Message-ID:
<CA+ttme1o1v+6cC3rxHtr1OrHY=iA-a6k8Qhcb=aW7jrOG4=j...@mail.gmail.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8

Hey Milos,
You talked about things that I'm in no place to comment but I want to
emphasize on this part of your email:
"For the last 8 years, just two things have been working without
problems in WMF: Money and tech infrastructure (servers, "plain"
MediaWiki, optimizations etc.)."
We hear about technical issues of Wikipedia a lot. We hear Wikipedia is
behind in technology, that it's underperforming. etc. etc. It's not just
you. It's a lot of people in the community of editors 

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

2016-02-20 Thread Milos Rancic
On Sat, Feb 20, 2016 at 12:49 AM, Denny Vrandecic
 wrote:
> Whereas I do not agree with everything you say (but I think those are
> discussions for another time), I wholeheartedly agree with your insight
> that the Board as a whole is dumber than its member on average. Thank you
> for putting this down to words. I would even say, dumber than any of its
> members (including myself, who probably ranks at the bottom).
> ...

Denny, are you ready? Take a deep breath! Relax. It won't hurt :P

Do something!

You know you didn't say anything in your email. It looks like your own
mantra, the product of your need to say something, while struggling
with anxiety caused by thoughts about possible reactions on your
email. But I'll stop criticizing here.

What I see as maybe not that visible change to others, but definitely
a strong sign that something positively has changed inside of the
Board is your willingness to actually think outside of the usual
tropes. That's especially thank to Dariusz and you. Dariusz is doing
something we expected from Sj in the previous life and, yes, your
mantras are honest and I am sure I am not the only one who noted it.
They are expressing your and other Board members' fears, confusion,
lack of understanding the historical significance of your positions,
but also your good will. That's brave, and that's the *change*,
paradigm change.

After you reset the culture of denial, you should now start thinking
how to boot the system again. Forget everything previous, forget the
common excuses for avoiding responsibility.

Stop crying that you are not the movement leaders. You are. You can
like or not that fact, but there is no other person or body in
such position. If your vision is to be just the Board of the Bay Area
NPO, feel free to do that, but just after you make the environment
which would relieve you from the position of the movement leaders.

Now, please get out of your cocoons! And do something! We need you here.

-- 
Milos

___
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, 


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

2016-02-20 Thread Chris Keating
On 19 Feb 2016 23:49, "Denny Vrandecic" wrote
> # The alternative is to allow every member of the Board to engage
> individually as they like. This will mean that there are much more
> individual conversations going on, things can be better explained. But
this
> also means that the individual Trustee's statement must not be taken as
> golden representations of the Board's thinking. If ten Board members
engage
> with the community (which won't happen anyway, but even if it's five), do
> expect five different voices and opinions, and don't expect that
everything
> said will actually become a resolution (which, in the end, is the only way
> the Board as a Board can communicate anyway). This obviously can lead to
> plenty of "that Trustee said that" or "no, I talked with Trustee X, and
she
> said that this change is a bad idea", etc. - never mind possible legal
> implications.

Hi Denny (and the rest of the Board),

From my experience of Wikimedia movement conversations  (and other
conversations from similar organisations) it is usually better to have
Board members contributing to debates with their own voices. It's really
reassuring to know that someone is saying something. Silence, by contrast,
results in a lot of doubts. Thinking back to the Haifa letter and the
discussion around fundraising and so on in 2011-2 - it was really helpful
in that discussion when WMF board members started sharing their
(conflicting) views rather than communicating through agreed statements  (
which took hours to write and then ended up being really unclear anyway ).
It meant that the Board started to look like a bunch of people trying to do
the best job given conflicting perspectives, and stopped looking like an
uncontrollable monolith.

Of course it doesn't help that there are some people on this list who will
leap at every statement to find fault with it - but usually those people
are fed more by silence than by engagement.

And of course it is not always possible to talk publically about
differences of approach or upcoming issues - particularly where staff are
concerned - but it is best to talk as far as you can, in my view.

Chris

>
> Since I have been on the Board there was never even really a discussion
> which of these options we should take. And I am not surprised by it -
> considering how creative and dissective some community members can be with
> the statements from Board members. Seriously, I am not feeling comfortable
> with sharing any of my thoughts here, and even this mail I hope I will
> press send before I just delete it.
>
> This mail, please, do not read it as an excuse for the Board. I am not
> trying to downplay the current situation nor to take responsibility away
> from the Board. I am not trying to blame anyone at all, but merely trying
> to explain why the heck we act so fucking dumb sometimes.
>
> Again, thanks,
> Denny
>
>
>
>
> On Fri, Feb 19, 2016 at 8:17 AM, Delphine Ménard 
> wrote:
>
> > I believe that Dariusz' comment was somewhat blown out of proportions
> > (due in part to difficulties in communication inherent to our
> > multicultural movement). I also think that some of the statements he
> > made were too "blanket" to let go, so I understand the frustration.
> >
> > This said, Ori, I want to thank you for what I believe is the most
> > daring, heartfelt and bold emails ever written to this list.
> >
> > And I use the word bold very specifically because I believe that this
> > is what is missing today. Boldness. Boldness does not only translate
> > in taking (un)calculated risks, it also comes in the capacity of
> > admitting failure.
> >
> > I'll tell you where I think we, as an organisation, have failed. It
> > was already a long time ago, when we started to talk about efficiency.
> > When the Foundation started working and acting like an American Global
> > Corporation, and stopped cherishing our diversity and leverage it to
> > do that thing we once all dreamed of "taking over the world". I will
> > give you a few examples which I think illustrate the failure to be
> > bold in organisational ways. They might shed a light on today's
> > governance chaos.
> >
> > Fundraising & Trademark: For the longest time, we've been analyzing
> > what risks there were if Chapter/Entity XYZ fundraised, or used the
> > trademark. What are the terrible things that would happen if someone
> > got in trouble at the other end of the world and they had anything to
> > do with Wikimedia or Wikimedia money. No-one ever said: "let us find a
> > solution to leverage our diversity and fundraise all over the world,
> > and make sure that we get all there is to get, together". Or: "Let us
> > recognize how every single person using the trademark is an asset to
> > that trademark". No one said, let us work together to make sure that
> > our organisational network represents our diversity, our collective
> > core. We're only afraid of what may happen if. We are afraid, or cosy.
> > After 10 

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

2016-02-19 Thread Ziko van Dijk
Dear Ido,

Thank you for your e-mail. I am also grateful to many other people who have
contributed to give us a better understanding of the past and the present
(it is a lot of work).

I would like to read your opinion about two things that I find astonishing
and urging for a remedy:

* How it could come so far that staff members so openly applaud critical
voices about their boss, Lila Tretikov. This is a really terrible signal
about the state of the Foundation. Ido, do you agree with William Beutler
in the Signpost that it is not possible to imagine how the staff and Lila
Tretikov can go on together?

* We have heard from some of the board members. I actually miss the voice
of the chair. It is the task of a chair, certainly in a crisis like this,
to contribute to more clearness, what the Board is thinking, what it
intends to do next. Ido, imagine that the board makes a new start possible,
which would include a new community election. Would you regard that to be
helpful?

Kind regards
Ziko






>
>
>
>
>
>
___
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, 


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

2016-02-19 Thread Thyge
Thanks, Denny Vrandecic (and to Dariusz Jemielniak as well) for expressing
some individual views as members of the BoT.

Denny:
A firm choice between the two communication strategies needs not be made.
Both could be proper solutions depending on the situation. But don't you
honestly think,
that the BoT in this case ought to convene and work out a common and
comprehensive response
to the issues raised? I don't necessarily see the need for it to be handled
through legal or why that
would mean its ending up as "a bloodless, corporate-like speech".

The BoT should set the direction for the WMF after discussing topics with
the community.  I am absolutely
sure that the intelligence of the members of the BoT is sufficient both to
realize the situation and to know
that lack of response for so long in itself adds to the Fear, Uncertainty,
and Doubt in the community and the WMF staff.

And for one actual thing, I wonder how anybody could enter the BoT as
affiliate (s)elected members without knowing
the thoughts of the present BoT members on these important issues.

Regards,
Thyge

2016-02-20 0:49 GMT+01:00 Denny Vrandecic :

> Delphine,
>
> thank you.
>
> Whereas I do not agree with everything you say (but I think those are
> discussions for another time), I wholeheartedly agree with your insight
> that the Board as a whole is dumber than its member on average. Thank you
> for putting this down to words. I would even say, dumber than any of its
> members (including myself, who probably ranks at the bottom).
>
> The Board is not the governing body of the movement, and the Foundation is
> not the movement. The ED is not the president, and the Chair of the Board
> is not the Queen or King. The FDC is neither Santa Claus nor the IRS. Some
> of the issues come from the demands and expectations to these positions
> that would come from such roles - e.g. the expectations towards the Board
> are sometimes mistaken for the expectations one would have towards a
> representative governing body of the movement. But the actual, and
> sometimes legal roles and responsibilities these bodies have (your much
> aligned fiduciary responsibility comes to mind) weight stronger than these
> mere expectations, which leads to much suffering.
>
> I do not know of many topics as important as clearing up the roles and
> bodies of the movement as a whole. But I know that unless we do, we will
> continue to crash face-forward into brick walls again and again. I have no
> idea how to get to that promised land, but I hope it will not take us forty
> years of wandering in the desert to do so.
>
> I want to say it very clearly, that I honestly believe that, no matter how
> stupid the Board seems to have acted, that I believe that each and every
> member of the Board during their time on the Board while I have been there
> - and I want to explicitly include James - has acted to their best
> intentions and to the best of their knowledge. I expect that to continue.
> It is utterly frustrating to see how things are turning out.
>
> To all others: many of the Board members receive and read these comments on
> many different channels. But we have basically two options to engage, and
> both are suboptimal.
> # One option is to make sure that the Board's communication with the
> community always represents the opinion of the Board as a whole, which
> means to discuss it internally at first, to check with legal and PR, and to
> go through these cycles again and again. Almost any message, no matter how
> vivid and bubbly it might have been, will turn out as a bloodless,
> corporate-like speech after that. Never mind that such a process will never
> be fast enough to allow for anything that resembles a conversation.
> # The alternative is to allow every member of the Board to engage
> individually as they like. This will mean that there are much more
> individual conversations going on, things can be better explained. But this
> also means that the individual Trustee's statement must not be taken as
> golden representations of the Board's thinking. If ten Board members engage
> with the community (which won't happen anyway, but even if it's five), do
> expect five different voices and opinions, and don't expect that everything
> said will actually become a resolution (which, in the end, is the only way
> the Board as a Board can communicate anyway). This obviously can lead to
> plenty of "that Trustee said that" or "no, I talked with Trustee X, and she
> said that this change is a bad idea", etc. - never mind possible legal
> implications.
>
> Since I have been on the Board there was never even really a discussion
> which of these options we should take. And I am not surprised by it -
> considering how creative and dissective some community members can be with
> the statements from Board members. Seriously, I am not feeling comfortable
> with sharing any of my thoughts here, and even this mail I hope I will
> press send before I 

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

2016-02-19 Thread Denny Vrandecic
Delphine,

thank you.

Whereas I do not agree with everything you say (but I think those are
discussions for another time), I wholeheartedly agree with your insight
that the Board as a whole is dumber than its member on average. Thank you
for putting this down to words. I would even say, dumber than any of its
members (including myself, who probably ranks at the bottom).

The Board is not the governing body of the movement, and the Foundation is
not the movement. The ED is not the president, and the Chair of the Board
is not the Queen or King. The FDC is neither Santa Claus nor the IRS. Some
of the issues come from the demands and expectations to these positions
that would come from such roles - e.g. the expectations towards the Board
are sometimes mistaken for the expectations one would have towards a
representative governing body of the movement. But the actual, and
sometimes legal roles and responsibilities these bodies have (your much
aligned fiduciary responsibility comes to mind) weight stronger than these
mere expectations, which leads to much suffering.

I do not know of many topics as important as clearing up the roles and
bodies of the movement as a whole. But I know that unless we do, we will
continue to crash face-forward into brick walls again and again. I have no
idea how to get to that promised land, but I hope it will not take us forty
years of wandering in the desert to do so.

I want to say it very clearly, that I honestly believe that, no matter how
stupid the Board seems to have acted, that I believe that each and every
member of the Board during their time on the Board while I have been there
- and I want to explicitly include James - has acted to their best
intentions and to the best of their knowledge. I expect that to continue.
It is utterly frustrating to see how things are turning out.

To all others: many of the Board members receive and read these comments on
many different channels. But we have basically two options to engage, and
both are suboptimal.
# One option is to make sure that the Board's communication with the
community always represents the opinion of the Board as a whole, which
means to discuss it internally at first, to check with legal and PR, and to
go through these cycles again and again. Almost any message, no matter how
vivid and bubbly it might have been, will turn out as a bloodless,
corporate-like speech after that. Never mind that such a process will never
be fast enough to allow for anything that resembles a conversation.
# The alternative is to allow every member of the Board to engage
individually as they like. This will mean that there are much more
individual conversations going on, things can be better explained. But this
also means that the individual Trustee's statement must not be taken as
golden representations of the Board's thinking. If ten Board members engage
with the community (which won't happen anyway, but even if it's five), do
expect five different voices and opinions, and don't expect that everything
said will actually become a resolution (which, in the end, is the only way
the Board as a Board can communicate anyway). This obviously can lead to
plenty of "that Trustee said that" or "no, I talked with Trustee X, and she
said that this change is a bad idea", etc. - never mind possible legal
implications.

Since I have been on the Board there was never even really a discussion
which of these options we should take. And I am not surprised by it -
considering how creative and dissective some community members can be with
the statements from Board members. Seriously, I am not feeling comfortable
with sharing any of my thoughts here, and even this mail I hope I will
press send before I just delete it.

This mail, please, do not read it as an excuse for the Board. I am not
trying to downplay the current situation nor to take responsibility away
from the Board. I am not trying to blame anyone at all, but merely trying
to explain why the heck we act so fucking dumb sometimes.

Again, thanks,
Denny




On Fri, Feb 19, 2016 at 8:17 AM, Delphine Ménard 
wrote:

> I believe that Dariusz' comment was somewhat blown out of proportions
> (due in part to difficulties in communication inherent to our
> multicultural movement). I also think that some of the statements he
> made were too "blanket" to let go, so I understand the frustration.
>
> This said, Ori, I want to thank you for what I believe is the most
> daring, heartfelt and bold emails ever written to this list.
>
> And I use the word bold very specifically because I believe that this
> is what is missing today. Boldness. Boldness does not only translate
> in taking (un)calculated risks, it also comes in the capacity of
> admitting failure.
>
> I'll tell you where I think we, as an organisation, have failed. It
> was already a long time ago, when we started to talk about efficiency.
> When the Foundation started working and acting like an American Global
> Corporation, and 

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

2016-02-19 Thread Thyge
This marvellous thread goes a long way to prove that we are in possession
of a very able, considerate, and polite WMF-oriented community in addition
to the "silent" community that goes on editing our sites.
But it also makes me wonder whether the BoT as a  body maintains its
silence about the issues? If they have answered somewhere else, please
someone point to it.

Regards,
Thyge

2016-02-19 23:24 GMT+01:00 Delphine Ménard :

> Here you go SJ,
>
>
> On Fri, Feb 19, 2016 at 10:09 PM, Sam Klein 
> wrote:
>
> > Delphine writes:
> >>   
> >> We freaking built an encyclopedia, of course we can take care of it
> > without
> >> having to fear everyone and their brother! And while an organisation is
> > not
> >> a wiki, and revert not always an option, I'm pretty sure that
>
>
> ... reverting sometimes *is* a good idea. And maybe the only idea.
>
>
> Delphine
> --
> @notafish
>
> NB. This gmail address is used for mailing lists. Personal emails will get
> lost.
> Intercultural musings: Ceci n'est pas une endive -
> http://blog.notanendive.org
> Photos with simple eyes: notaphoto - http://photo.notafish.org
>
> ___
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> 
>
___
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, 


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

2016-02-19 Thread Yaroslav M. Blanter

On 2016-02-19 23:24, Delphine Ménard wrote:

Here you go SJ,


On Fri, Feb 19, 2016 at 10:09 PM, Sam Klein  
wrote:



Delphine writes:

  
We freaking built an encyclopedia, of course we can take care of it

without
having to fear everyone and their brother! And while an organisation 
is

not

a wiki, and revert not always an option, I'm pretty sure that



... reverting sometimes *is* a good idea. And maybe the only idea.


Delphine


No way. We do not want to be reverted back to 2008. We are in 2016 now.

Cheers
Yaroslav

___
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, 


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

2016-02-19 Thread Delphine Ménard
Here you go SJ,


On Fri, Feb 19, 2016 at 10:09 PM, Sam Klein  wrote:

> Delphine writes:
>>   
>> We freaking built an encyclopedia, of course we can take care of it
> without
>> having to fear everyone and their brother! And while an organisation is
> not
>> a wiki, and revert not always an option, I'm pretty sure that


... reverting sometimes *is* a good idea. And maybe the only idea.


Delphine
-- 
@notafish

NB. This gmail address is used for mailing lists. Personal emails will get lost.
Intercultural musings: Ceci n'est pas une endive - http://blog.notanendive.org
Photos with simple eyes: notaphoto - http://photo.notafish.org

___
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, 


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

2016-02-19 Thread Ad Huikeshoven
Dear friends,

Dear friends of open and free knowledge,

Let us raise the bar,
To the level of positive and constructive,
Don't bite the newcomers,
Assume good faith.

Keep a good balance,
Between work and life,
Don't do overtime without prior authorization,
Enjoy your weekend.

Meet friends and family,
Engage in meaningful discourse,
Go on a hike,  walking or biking,
Enjoy fresh air.

Find a mentor and a coach,
If you don't have one,
Start journaling for a daily
Reflection on accomplishment,
And to record your gratitude.

Be nice to your boss,
The next one maybe worse.

Acknowledge that we live,
In a complex and confusing world,
Rapidly changing both within,
And outside the Wikimedia movement.

From my perspective I do not,
Question the ability of the BoT,
To rubberstamp decisions based  on,
Recommendations by the FDC.

Join the pilot or experiment at,
Https://discourse.wmflabs.org ,
And set your preferences for
Categories to watch or unwatch,
And mute whatever you like.

There are so many positions unfillled,
That I don't recommend to open more,
Before I have asked suggestions,
From each of you for who would be:

A great CTO at the Wikipedia Foundation A great leader of Community
Or someone to fill the BoT seat,
Vacated by Arnnon Geshuri.

Have a nice weekend,

Ad Huikeshoven
Op 19 feb. 2016 22:11 schreef "Sam Klein" :

> Dear Siko,
>
> I was trying to phrase something like this, but you beat me to it.  This
> discussion gives me hope.
>
> Siko writes:
>
> > Ido, Ori, Sydney, Shani, Ben, Delphine, Gayle, thank you for your
> boldness
> > and wisdom in this thread. I know how rarely some of us speak on this
> list,
> > and I appreciate you raising your voices here, now. I need to believe
> that
> > the power of the collective leadership that so many volunteers and staff
> > are showing here will ultimately be strong enough to ensure that the
> > Wikimedia Foundation has the leadership that its mission deserves.
>
>
> Thank you to Ori, Dan, Brion, and other staff for sharing your thoughts
> over the past days, and dispelling some of the mystery and uncertainty.
>
> To the board, please engage.  We are in this together, and depend on one
> another.  Have an honest conversation with the staff and community about
> the immediate problems, let us find a way forward.  Dariusz, don't fall
> silent – we need your perspective.
>
>
> Delphine writes:
> >   
> > We freaking built an encyclopedia, of course we can take care of it
> without
> > having to fear everyone and their brother! And while an organisation is
> not
> > a wiki, and revert not always an option, I'm pretty sure that
>
> More to be said here, but first: I hope you will finish this thought.
>
>
> Sam
> ___
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> 
___
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, 


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

2016-02-19 Thread Sam Klein
Dear Siko,

I was trying to phrase something like this, but you beat me to it.  This
discussion gives me hope.

Siko writes:

> Ido, Ori, Sydney, Shani, Ben, Delphine, Gayle, thank you for your boldness
> and wisdom in this thread. I know how rarely some of us speak on this list,
> and I appreciate you raising your voices here, now. I need to believe that
> the power of the collective leadership that so many volunteers and staff
> are showing here will ultimately be strong enough to ensure that the
> Wikimedia Foundation has the leadership that its mission deserves.


Thank you to Ori, Dan, Brion, and other staff for sharing your thoughts
over the past days, and dispelling some of the mystery and uncertainty.

To the board, please engage.  We are in this together, and depend on one
another.  Have an honest conversation with the staff and community about
the immediate problems, let us find a way forward.  Dariusz, don't fall
silent – we need your perspective.


Delphine writes:
>   
> We freaking built an encyclopedia, of course we can take care of it
without
> having to fear everyone and their brother! And while an organisation is
not
> a wiki, and revert not always an option, I'm pretty sure that

More to be said here, but first: I hope you will finish this thought.


Sam
___
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, 


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

2016-02-19 Thread Siko Bouterse
 Ido, Ori, Sydney, Shani, Ben, Delphine, Gayle, thank you for your boldness
and wisdom in this thread. I know how rarely some of us speak on this list,
and I appreciate you raising your voices here, now. I need to believe that
the power of the collective leadership that so many volunteers and staff
are showing here will ultimately be strong enough to ensure that the
Wikimedia Foundation has the leadership that its mission deserves.
___
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, 


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

2016-02-19 Thread Michal Lester
Thank you Delphine for a fascinating analysis of of the recent history
and current
state of the situation.

*Michal Lester,*



*Executive DirectorWikimedia Israel*
*http://www.wikimedia.org.il   *
*972-50-8996046 ; 972-77-751-6032  *
___
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, 


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

2016-02-19 Thread Gayle Karen Young
I know, Dan, and your commitment and willingness to look at what is amazing
and holding WMF together, your personal decision to seek ways out of a
victim mentality and looking forward, is also absolutely critical right
now.
___
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, 


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

2016-02-19 Thread Dan Andreescu
>
> 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 watching,
> even in pain and at a distance, the enormous toll it takes for people to go
> in day after day and keep doing their work when they have felt unsupported
> and unheard by the leadership, the board, and the movement, and uncertain
> of the strategy of the organization - and even worse, characterized as
> being the wrong people on the bus, so to speak - that this turnover is
> "normal" and part of leadership transition. This is not normal.
>

I sincerely apologize for minimizing that pain, it was not my intention but
I can see how what I wrote can be seen this way.  This is not normal, and
even if it was normal, it would still be awful.

Dysfunction at the top does matter. It sets the tone for what is
> permissible in the organization. It is part of the leadership obligation to
> create an organizational and systemic environment in which people thrive,
> and feel aligned to the mission and the values of the organization. When
> that is absent, the resulting toxicity is downright unfair to ask people to
> continually endure.
>

I again apologize, this time for not expanding on what I meant by *really*
matter.  The dysfunction of course *matters*.  It hurts a lot of people,
people I love, and that's why I can't just sit by idly.

I think I was trying to say that we can get past this.  That we're bigger
than this.  That our united voice is stronger than the dysfunction, by far.
___
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, 


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

2016-02-19 Thread Anna Stillwell
Delphine, you're a bad ass.
/a


On Fri, Feb 19, 2016 at 8:24 AM, Dariusz Jemielniak <
djemieln...@wikimedia.org> wrote:

> Hi Delphine,
>
> many thanks for your insight, and I definitely understand why you're
> pointing out the problematic areas, as well as I share some of your
> specific concerns.
>
> I'm going to fall silent on the list for a while, as I really don't want to
> sound as the "nothing to watch, move on" guy, and I don't have anything
> concrete to add.
>
> take care! :)
>
> dj
>
> On Fri, Feb 19, 2016 at 11:17 AM, Delphine Ménard 
> wrote:
>
> > I believe that Dariusz' comment was somewhat blown out of proportions
> > (due in part to difficulties in communication inherent to our
> > multicultural movement). I also think that some of the statements he
> > made were too "blanket" to let go, so I understand the frustration.
> >
> > This said, Ori, I want to thank you for what I believe is the most
> > daring, heartfelt and bold emails ever written to this list.
> >
> > And I use the word bold very specifically because I believe that this
> > is what is missing today. Boldness. Boldness does not only translate
> > in taking (un)calculated risks, it also comes in the capacity of
> > admitting failure.
> >
> > I'll tell you where I think we, as an organisation, have failed. It
> > was already a long time ago, when we started to talk about efficiency.
> > When the Foundation started working and acting like an American Global
> > Corporation, and stopped cherishing our diversity and leverage it to
> > do that thing we once all dreamed of "taking over the world". I will
> > give you a few examples which I think illustrate the failure to be
> > bold in organisational ways. They might shed a light on today's
> > governance chaos.
> >
> > Fundraising & Trademark: For the longest time, we've been analyzing
> > what risks there were if Chapter/Entity XYZ fundraised, or used the
> > trademark. What are the terrible things that would happen if someone
> > got in trouble at the other end of the world and they had anything to
> > do with Wikimedia or Wikimedia money. No-one ever said: "let us find a
> > solution to leverage our diversity and fundraise all over the world,
> > and make sure that we get all there is to get, together". Or: "Let us
> > recognize how every single person using the trademark is an asset to
> > that trademark". No one said, let us work together to make sure that
> > our organisational network represents our diversity, our collective
> > core. We're only afraid of what may happen if. We are afraid, or cosy.
> > After 10 years, Wikimedia Germany and Wikimedia Switzerland are the
> > only parts of the world where fundraising is happening locally. And
> > it's not because anyone ever thought that they did it better (well, I
> > do ;)), but because of technicalities. We have never thanked the
> > thousands of volunteers handing out flyers for their part in making
> > our trademark an amazing thing. instead, we're calculating all the
> > risks, the "what happens if". The "product" by definition is owned by
> > all of us, and more. While protecting it is a good thing, keeping it
> > behind bars isn't. We are diverse, we will make mistakes and learn
> > from them. We freaking built an encyclopedia, of course we can take
> > care of it without having to fear everyone and their brother! And
> > while an organisation is not a wiki, and revert not always an option,
> > I'm pretty sure that
> >
> > Governance: No members at the Foundation. OK, I am not for or against
> > it, but the whole speech "we answer to 8 volunteers" which has
> > been served to me over the years (as opposed to a mere 300 members in
> > that chapter or that other) is a load of BS. Because what I have
> > observed in the past few years, the Board only serves itself or the ED
> > (your pick), or "the Foundation" (the word "fiduciary responsibility"
> > still makes me cringe today).  I am questioning who feels "served"
> > today. Doesn't seem like a lot of people. But you know, nobody
> > represents anyone, they're only "selected"...
> >
> > Governance again: 10 board members. No clear cut majority, ever.
> > Impossible. No-one can take charge and make things change drastically.
> > Not the community and "chapter" seats, not the appointed people. An
> > inertia of the likes I have *never* seen. I have been very close to
> > the board in extremely different contexts, extremely different
> > constellations and I have come to the conclusion that however smart
> > the people on it were, the sum of their intelligence as a collective
> > body amounted to less than their average intelligence when taken as
> > individuals. Insane. You cannot "govern" when the gap in opinions is
> > so huge that you can only always go for the "middle", which makes
> > nobody happy. I have seen people on the board get lashed at because
> > their vote on the outside looked like they were betraying the people
> > they were close 

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

2016-02-19 Thread Anna Stillwell
For our multicultural context... that's a compliment of high order.

On Fri, Feb 19, 2016 at 8:41 AM, Anna Stillwell 
wrote:

> Delphine, you're a bad ass.
> /a
>
>
> On Fri, Feb 19, 2016 at 8:24 AM, Dariusz Jemielniak <
> djemieln...@wikimedia.org> wrote:
>
>> Hi Delphine,
>>
>> many thanks for your insight, and I definitely understand why you're
>> pointing out the problematic areas, as well as I share some of your
>> specific concerns.
>>
>> I'm going to fall silent on the list for a while, as I really don't want
>> to
>> sound as the "nothing to watch, move on" guy, and I don't have anything
>> concrete to add.
>>
>> take care! :)
>>
>> dj
>>
>> On Fri, Feb 19, 2016 at 11:17 AM, Delphine Ménard 
>> wrote:
>>
>> > I believe that Dariusz' comment was somewhat blown out of proportions
>> > (due in part to difficulties in communication inherent to our
>> > multicultural movement). I also think that some of the statements he
>> > made were too "blanket" to let go, so I understand the frustration.
>> >
>> > This said, Ori, I want to thank you for what I believe is the most
>> > daring, heartfelt and bold emails ever written to this list.
>> >
>> > And I use the word bold very specifically because I believe that this
>> > is what is missing today. Boldness. Boldness does not only translate
>> > in taking (un)calculated risks, it also comes in the capacity of
>> > admitting failure.
>> >
>> > I'll tell you where I think we, as an organisation, have failed. It
>> > was already a long time ago, when we started to talk about efficiency.
>> > When the Foundation started working and acting like an American Global
>> > Corporation, and stopped cherishing our diversity and leverage it to
>> > do that thing we once all dreamed of "taking over the world". I will
>> > give you a few examples which I think illustrate the failure to be
>> > bold in organisational ways. They might shed a light on today's
>> > governance chaos.
>> >
>> > Fundraising & Trademark: For the longest time, we've been analyzing
>> > what risks there were if Chapter/Entity XYZ fundraised, or used the
>> > trademark. What are the terrible things that would happen if someone
>> > got in trouble at the other end of the world and they had anything to
>> > do with Wikimedia or Wikimedia money. No-one ever said: "let us find a
>> > solution to leverage our diversity and fundraise all over the world,
>> > and make sure that we get all there is to get, together". Or: "Let us
>> > recognize how every single person using the trademark is an asset to
>> > that trademark". No one said, let us work together to make sure that
>> > our organisational network represents our diversity, our collective
>> > core. We're only afraid of what may happen if. We are afraid, or cosy.
>> > After 10 years, Wikimedia Germany and Wikimedia Switzerland are the
>> > only parts of the world where fundraising is happening locally. And
>> > it's not because anyone ever thought that they did it better (well, I
>> > do ;)), but because of technicalities. We have never thanked the
>> > thousands of volunteers handing out flyers for their part in making
>> > our trademark an amazing thing. instead, we're calculating all the
>> > risks, the "what happens if". The "product" by definition is owned by
>> > all of us, and more. While protecting it is a good thing, keeping it
>> > behind bars isn't. We are diverse, we will make mistakes and learn
>> > from them. We freaking built an encyclopedia, of course we can take
>> > care of it without having to fear everyone and their brother! And
>> > while an organisation is not a wiki, and revert not always an option,
>> > I'm pretty sure that
>> >
>> > Governance: No members at the Foundation. OK, I am not for or against
>> > it, but the whole speech "we answer to 8 volunteers" which has
>> > been served to me over the years (as opposed to a mere 300 members in
>> > that chapter or that other) is a load of BS. Because what I have
>> > observed in the past few years, the Board only serves itself or the ED
>> > (your pick), or "the Foundation" (the word "fiduciary responsibility"
>> > still makes me cringe today).  I am questioning who feels "served"
>> > today. Doesn't seem like a lot of people. But you know, nobody
>> > represents anyone, they're only "selected"...
>> >
>> > Governance again: 10 board members. No clear cut majority, ever.
>> > Impossible. No-one can take charge and make things change drastically.
>> > Not the community and "chapter" seats, not the appointed people. An
>> > inertia of the likes I have *never* seen. I have been very close to
>> > the board in extremely different contexts, extremely different
>> > constellations and I have come to the conclusion that however smart
>> > the people on it were, the sum of their intelligence as a collective
>> > body amounted to less than their average intelligence when taken as
>> > individuals. Insane. You cannot "govern" when the gap 

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

2016-02-19 Thread Dariusz Jemielniak
Hi Delphine,

many thanks for your insight, and I definitely understand why you're
pointing out the problematic areas, as well as I share some of your
specific concerns.

I'm going to fall silent on the list for a while, as I really don't want to
sound as the "nothing to watch, move on" guy, and I don't have anything
concrete to add.

take care! :)

dj

On Fri, Feb 19, 2016 at 11:17 AM, Delphine Ménard 
wrote:

> I believe that Dariusz' comment was somewhat blown out of proportions
> (due in part to difficulties in communication inherent to our
> multicultural movement). I also think that some of the statements he
> made were too "blanket" to let go, so I understand the frustration.
>
> This said, Ori, I want to thank you for what I believe is the most
> daring, heartfelt and bold emails ever written to this list.
>
> And I use the word bold very specifically because I believe that this
> is what is missing today. Boldness. Boldness does not only translate
> in taking (un)calculated risks, it also comes in the capacity of
> admitting failure.
>
> I'll tell you where I think we, as an organisation, have failed. It
> was already a long time ago, when we started to talk about efficiency.
> When the Foundation started working and acting like an American Global
> Corporation, and stopped cherishing our diversity and leverage it to
> do that thing we once all dreamed of "taking over the world". I will
> give you a few examples which I think illustrate the failure to be
> bold in organisational ways. They might shed a light on today's
> governance chaos.
>
> Fundraising & Trademark: For the longest time, we've been analyzing
> what risks there were if Chapter/Entity XYZ fundraised, or used the
> trademark. What are the terrible things that would happen if someone
> got in trouble at the other end of the world and they had anything to
> do with Wikimedia or Wikimedia money. No-one ever said: "let us find a
> solution to leverage our diversity and fundraise all over the world,
> and make sure that we get all there is to get, together". Or: "Let us
> recognize how every single person using the trademark is an asset to
> that trademark". No one said, let us work together to make sure that
> our organisational network represents our diversity, our collective
> core. We're only afraid of what may happen if. We are afraid, or cosy.
> After 10 years, Wikimedia Germany and Wikimedia Switzerland are the
> only parts of the world where fundraising is happening locally. And
> it's not because anyone ever thought that they did it better (well, I
> do ;)), but because of technicalities. We have never thanked the
> thousands of volunteers handing out flyers for their part in making
> our trademark an amazing thing. instead, we're calculating all the
> risks, the "what happens if". The "product" by definition is owned by
> all of us, and more. While protecting it is a good thing, keeping it
> behind bars isn't. We are diverse, we will make mistakes and learn
> from them. We freaking built an encyclopedia, of course we can take
> care of it without having to fear everyone and their brother! And
> while an organisation is not a wiki, and revert not always an option,
> I'm pretty sure that
>
> Governance: No members at the Foundation. OK, I am not for or against
> it, but the whole speech "we answer to 8 volunteers" which has
> been served to me over the years (as opposed to a mere 300 members in
> that chapter or that other) is a load of BS. Because what I have
> observed in the past few years, the Board only serves itself or the ED
> (your pick), or "the Foundation" (the word "fiduciary responsibility"
> still makes me cringe today).  I am questioning who feels "served"
> today. Doesn't seem like a lot of people. But you know, nobody
> represents anyone, they're only "selected"...
>
> Governance again: 10 board members. No clear cut majority, ever.
> Impossible. No-one can take charge and make things change drastically.
> Not the community and "chapter" seats, not the appointed people. An
> inertia of the likes I have *never* seen. I have been very close to
> the board in extremely different contexts, extremely different
> constellations and I have come to the conclusion that however smart
> the people on it were, the sum of their intelligence as a collective
> body amounted to less than their average intelligence when taken as
> individuals. Insane. You cannot "govern" when the gap in opinions is
> so huge that you can only always go for the "middle", which makes
> nobody happy. I have seen people on the board get lashed at because
> their vote on the outside looked like they were betraying the people
> they were close to. But we don't know what the options on the table
> were, and who knows, how they might have been so much worse. So middle
> it is. Bold is but a faint memory (and the bold ones still get lashed
> at, look at Dariusz being the only one talking here, and the one who
> takes the blows).
>

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

2016-02-19 Thread Delphine Ménard
I believe that Dariusz' comment was somewhat blown out of proportions
(due in part to difficulties in communication inherent to our
multicultural movement). I also think that some of the statements he
made were too "blanket" to let go, so I understand the frustration.

This said, Ori, I want to thank you for what I believe is the most
daring, heartfelt and bold emails ever written to this list.

And I use the word bold very specifically because I believe that this
is what is missing today. Boldness. Boldness does not only translate
in taking (un)calculated risks, it also comes in the capacity of
admitting failure.

I'll tell you where I think we, as an organisation, have failed. It
was already a long time ago, when we started to talk about efficiency.
When the Foundation started working and acting like an American Global
Corporation, and stopped cherishing our diversity and leverage it to
do that thing we once all dreamed of "taking over the world". I will
give you a few examples which I think illustrate the failure to be
bold in organisational ways. They might shed a light on today's
governance chaos.

Fundraising & Trademark: For the longest time, we've been analyzing
what risks there were if Chapter/Entity XYZ fundraised, or used the
trademark. What are the terrible things that would happen if someone
got in trouble at the other end of the world and they had anything to
do with Wikimedia or Wikimedia money. No-one ever said: "let us find a
solution to leverage our diversity and fundraise all over the world,
and make sure that we get all there is to get, together". Or: "Let us
recognize how every single person using the trademark is an asset to
that trademark". No one said, let us work together to make sure that
our organisational network represents our diversity, our collective
core. We're only afraid of what may happen if. We are afraid, or cosy.
After 10 years, Wikimedia Germany and Wikimedia Switzerland are the
only parts of the world where fundraising is happening locally. And
it's not because anyone ever thought that they did it better (well, I
do ;)), but because of technicalities. We have never thanked the
thousands of volunteers handing out flyers for their part in making
our trademark an amazing thing. instead, we're calculating all the
risks, the "what happens if". The "product" by definition is owned by
all of us, and more. While protecting it is a good thing, keeping it
behind bars isn't. We are diverse, we will make mistakes and learn
from them. We freaking built an encyclopedia, of course we can take
care of it without having to fear everyone and their brother! And
while an organisation is not a wiki, and revert not always an option,
I'm pretty sure that

Governance: No members at the Foundation. OK, I am not for or against
it, but the whole speech "we answer to 8 volunteers" which has
been served to me over the years (as opposed to a mere 300 members in
that chapter or that other) is a load of BS. Because what I have
observed in the past few years, the Board only serves itself or the ED
(your pick), or "the Foundation" (the word "fiduciary responsibility"
still makes me cringe today).  I am questioning who feels "served"
today. Doesn't seem like a lot of people. But you know, nobody
represents anyone, they're only "selected"...

Governance again: 10 board members. No clear cut majority, ever.
Impossible. No-one can take charge and make things change drastically.
Not the community and "chapter" seats, not the appointed people. An
inertia of the likes I have *never* seen. I have been very close to
the board in extremely different contexts, extremely different
constellations and I have come to the conclusion that however smart
the people on it were, the sum of their intelligence as a collective
body amounted to less than their average intelligence when taken as
individuals. Insane. You cannot "govern" when the gap in opinions is
so huge that you can only always go for the "middle", which makes
nobody happy. I have seen people on the board get lashed at because
their vote on the outside looked like they were betraying the people
they were close to. But we don't know what the options on the table
were, and who knows, how they might have been so much worse. So middle
it is. Bold is but a faint memory (and the bold ones still get lashed
at, look at Dariusz being the only one talking here, and the one who
takes the blows).

Loyalty: We never really prodded for loyalty. Chapters were left to
develop in their own chaotic ways, pushed away because they were a
risk, and when they strayed they were put back under the iron hand of
the Foundation and handled like kids. We never said: "gals and guys,
we're all in this together, let us work together to be better,
together". I know I am not doing justice to all the amazing work that
has been done in the grants department, among others, but hear me out.
I want chapters and affiliates and communities and staff to feel they
owe and own the Foundation at 

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

2016-02-19 Thread Anna Stillwell
Ori,

Your email was spot on. And it is so refreshing to hear someone speak the
truth about who we are as staff.

In my time running Org Dev, I saw incredible talent here at the Foundation,
across departments, including members of the C-team. And as the situation
has become progressively more chaotic, I've seen *everybody* level up. I've
seen individual contributors and managers take on new challenges, new
departments, grow their skills, learn how to trust one another and have
each other's back, and find ways to grapple with our most important
problems. In the absence of an org strategy and to side step the chaos and
omnipresent conflicting information and confusion on the ground,
departments have been getting together and charting their own way. I am
inspired by the work I've seen my colleagues do *in spite of the
dysfunction at the top*.

And as far as our "toxic culture"... don't believe the hype. I've actually
seen our collective dialogue *improve* in the last two years and in the
last year I've seen my colleagues show tremendous restraint in incredibly
chaotic times of intense stress. Don't get my wrong, we have work to do,
but we're heading in the right direction.

I don't at all believe it when I hear that there is not enough leadership
at the Foundation. *I see leaders across this organization.* *I see
untapped talent everywhere I look* that is finding ways to contribute
despite land mines, roadblocks, and seriously hard-core motivational
zappers everywhere.

My colleagues inspire me. And thank you so much for sharing that wise
perspective, Ori. It made my week.

Rock on,

/a



On Fri, Feb 19, 2016 at 2:48 AM, Amir E. Aharoni <
amir.ahar...@mail.huji.ac.il> wrote:

> Thank you so much for chiming in, Gayle. This means a lot.
> בתאריך 19 בפבר׳ 2016 10:17,‏ "Gayle Karen Young" 
> כתב:
>
> > 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
> watching,
> > even in pain and at a distance, the enormous toll it takes for people to
> go
> > in day after day and keep doing their work when they have felt
> unsupported
> > and unheard by the leadership, the board, and the movement, and uncertain
> > of the strategy of the organization - and even worse, characterized as
> > being the wrong people on the bus, so to speak - that this turnover is
> > "normal" and part of leadership transition. This is not normal.
> >
> > Dysfunction at the top does matter. It sets the tone for what is
> > permissible in the organization. It is part of the leadership obligation
> to
> > create an organizational and systemic environment in which people thrive,
> > and feel aligned to the mission and the values of the organization. When
> > that is absent, the resulting toxicity is downright unfair to ask people
> to
> > continually endure.
> >
> >
> >
> > On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 10:55 AM, Dan Andreescu <
> dandree...@wikimedia.org>
> > wrote:
> >
> > > >
> > > > 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 dysfunction at the top, to stay and talk things
> out
> > > among each other.  And to realize that the dysfunction at the top does
> > not
> > > *really* matter.  People screw up, but this is a movement.  And this
> > > movement, as you point out, has not screwed up.
> > >
> > > I hope we talk, fix the problems, and grow stronger in our connection
> and
> > > commitment to the amazing community we serve.
> > >
> > > If anyone is feeling despair, please talk to me first, we have all the
> > > reason in the world to channel our effort in a positive direction.
> Just
> > to
> > > be clear, I admire Ori for his intelligence and for writing this
> email, I
> > > just hope he's wrong that people will leave this place that I love so
> > much.
> > > ___
> > > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > > New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> > > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > > 
> > >
> > ___
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > 
> 

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

2016-02-19 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
בתאריך 19 בפבר׳ 2016 09:31,‏ "Ben Creasy"  כתב:

>
> OK, in terms of problems, staff are saying that it's Lila. Do you want
them to
> be more specific in a public mailing list about how and where she has
> disappointed them? That seems like an awkward situation for Lila.

... And for the staff, no matter how many times people repeat that voicing
the criticism is safe.

> I noticed in a later post you pointed towards the Human Resources
Committee as
> tackling the problem. This committee is composed of Jimbo, Patricio, and
Guy
> Kawasaki. So: the guy who called James, the one who was trying to help
staff, a
> "fucking liar" (if I recall correctly), the Chair of the board who
removed the
> staff's friend, and who can be held most directly responsible for the
board's
> lack of transparency and actions as the elected leader of the board, and
Guy,
> who I understand is quite influential in the board room, but whose last
> communication to us was to express support for Arnnon without knowing how
to
> sign his wiki username.

Please do correct me if I'm wrong, but as far as I can recall, this was not
just Guy Kawasaki's last communication, but his _only_ communication to...
pretty much whatever any Wikimedian can call "us".
___
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, 


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

2016-02-19 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
Thank you so much for chiming in, Gayle. This means a lot.
בתאריך 19 בפבר׳ 2016 10:17,‏ "Gayle Karen Young"  כתב:

> 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 watching,
> even in pain and at a distance, the enormous toll it takes for people to go
> in day after day and keep doing their work when they have felt unsupported
> and unheard by the leadership, the board, and the movement, and uncertain
> of the strategy of the organization - and even worse, characterized as
> being the wrong people on the bus, so to speak - that this turnover is
> "normal" and part of leadership transition. This is not normal.
>
> Dysfunction at the top does matter. It sets the tone for what is
> permissible in the organization. It is part of the leadership obligation to
> create an organizational and systemic environment in which people thrive,
> and feel aligned to the mission and the values of the organization. When
> that is absent, the resulting toxicity is downright unfair to ask people to
> continually endure.
>
>
>
> On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 10:55 AM, Dan Andreescu 
> wrote:
>
> > >
> > > 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 dysfunction at the top, to stay and talk things out
> > among each other.  And to realize that the dysfunction at the top does
> not
> > *really* matter.  People screw up, but this is a movement.  And this
> > movement, as you point out, has not screwed up.
> >
> > I hope we talk, fix the problems, and grow stronger in our connection and
> > commitment to the amazing community we serve.
> >
> > If anyone is feeling despair, please talk to me first, we have all the
> > reason in the world to channel our effort in a positive direction.  Just
> to
> > be clear, I admire Ori for his intelligence and for writing this email, I
> > just hope he's wrong that people will leave this place that I love so
> much.
> > ___
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > 
> >
> ___
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> 
___
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, 


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

2016-02-19 Thread Yury Bulka

Shani  writes:

> 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.
I agree. This was just a random example of a "side-effect" of the
crisis.

Best,
Yury

>
> On 19 Feb 2016 01:46, "Yury Bulka"  wrote:
>
>> There are certain things that affect many volunteers
>> directly. A slightly off-topic example:
>> https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T59608#1637250
>>
>> The fact that:
>> > "the WMF education team has no engineering resources"
>>
>> ...affects volunteers.
>>
>> Sincerely,
>> Yury Bulka
>> (Wikimedia Ukraine)
>>
>> Craig Franklin  writes:
>>
>> > Yaroslav,
>> >
>> > 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 of
>> the
>> > latter, it may create a perception amongst the general public than even
>> if
>> > Wikipedia is a useful resource, that it is incompetent with handling
>> > money.  As a result, donations dry up, and difficult and unpleasant
>> choices
>> > have to be made around budget.
>> >
>> > So yes, this sort of thing can influence rank and file editors most
>> > seriously, albeit indirectly.
>> >
>> > Cheers,
>> > Craig
>> >
>> >
>> > On 19 February 2016 at 07:52, Yaroslav M. Blanter 
>> wrote:
>> >
>> >>
>> >> To be honest, most volunteers do not care. We understand of course that
>> if
>> >> things would go really wrong, for example, servers stop running, or
>> money
>> >> runs out and ads are introduced, or English Wikipedia admins continue
>> >> resigning/being desysopped without proper replacement, so that we have
>> ten
>> >> active admins, then we are in serious trouble. But as far as things are
>> >> running quasi-normal, we just continue. I was making 50 to 100 edits per
>> >> day five years ago, I am making 50 to 100 edits per day now, I will
>> >> probably still be making 50 to 100 edits per day in five years, unless I
>> >> die or leave because of a serious demotivation - and this demotivation
>> is
>> >> unlikely to be related to WMF. I think staff are way more vulnerable to
>> all
>> >> kinds of events.
>> >>
>> > ___
>> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
>> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
>> > New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org Unsubscribe:
>> > https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
>> > 
>>
>>
>>
>> ___
>> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
>> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
>> New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
>> 
> ___
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: 
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org Unsubscribe:
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> 

___
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, 


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

2016-02-19 Thread Yaroslav M. Blanter

Hi Craig, Amir, and Nat,

On 2016-02-19 00:13, Craig Franklin wrote:

Yaroslav,

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 of 
the
latter, it may create a perception amongst the general public than even 
if

Wikipedia is a useful resource, that it is incompetent with handling
money.  As a result, donations dry up, and difficult and unpleasant 
choices

have to be made around budget.

So yes, this sort of thing can influence rank and file editors most
seriously, albeit indirectly.

Cheers,
Craig




Whereas you are absolutely right, I actually have two very simple 
points.


One is that in the big picture, servers were running ten years ago on a 
budget which is thousand times less than the current WMF budget. And 
unless someone screws up badly they would still be running in ten years 
from now. Most people use the servers to see content, and most of them 
want to look up the English Wikipedia. People who add this content - 
volunteers - are largely independent of the funding, and the vast 
majority of them do not even know that WMF exists. Sure, it would be 
very unfortunate to lose the development momentum, to lose GLAMS and 
similar things, but this is kind of luxury. Volunteers large live not 
because WMF screws up or because funding dries out; they leave because 
they burn out, move to a different period in their life, or, well, die. 
My point is that even if funding is severely reduced, it would be very 
unfortunate, but this is not yet the end of the world.


The second one refers to Leila's statement that she is more afraid for 
volunteers than for the staff. My point is that actually staff 
(including Leila herself) which suffer most from the ongoing disruption, 
and if one needs to protect someone (I am not sure it is needed) it 
should be staff, not volunteers.


For the record, I do not have any opinion on who is right and who is 
wrong here. I do not have enough information, and I do not have a habit 
making uninformed statements. Again, in the big picture this is 
irrelevant; what is relevant is that some disruption is going on, which 
definitely has an impact on the movement.


Cheers
Yaroslav

___
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, 


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

2016-02-18 Thread Gayle Karen Young
Also, +1 to Ori.

On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 11:16 PM, Gayle Karen Young 
wrote:

> 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 watching,
> even in pain and at a distance, the enormous toll it takes for people to go
> in day after day and keep doing their work when they have felt unsupported
> and unheard by the leadership, the board, and the movement, and uncertain
> of the strategy of the organization - and even worse, characterized as
> being the wrong people on the bus, so to speak - that this turnover is
> "normal" and part of leadership transition. This is not normal.
>
> Dysfunction at the top does matter. It sets the tone for what is
> permissible in the organization. It is part of the leadership obligation to
> create an organizational and systemic environment in which people thrive,
> and feel aligned to the mission and the values of the organization. When
> that is absent, the resulting toxicity is downright unfair to ask people to
> continually endure.
>
>
>
> On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 10:55 AM, Dan Andreescu 
> wrote:
>
>> >
>> > 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 dysfunction at the top, to stay and talk things out
>> among each other.  And to realize that the dysfunction at the top does not
>> *really* matter.  People screw up, but this is a movement.  And this
>> movement, as you point out, has not screwed up.
>>
>> I hope we talk, fix the problems, and grow stronger in our connection and
>> commitment to the amazing community we serve.
>>
>> If anyone is feeling despair, please talk to me first, we have all the
>> reason in the world to channel our effort in a positive direction.  Just
>> to
>> be clear, I admire Ori for his intelligence and for writing this email, I
>> just hope he's wrong that people will leave this place that I love so
>> much.
>> ___
>> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
>> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
>> New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
>> 
>>
>
>
___
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, 


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

2016-02-18 Thread 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 the support of one's colleagues goes
a very long way, it is necessary but not sufficient.  I have been watching,
even in pain and at a distance, the enormous toll it takes for people to go
in day after day and keep doing their work when they have felt unsupported
and unheard by the leadership, the board, and the movement, and uncertain
of the strategy of the organization - and even worse, characterized as
being the wrong people on the bus, so to speak - that this turnover is
"normal" and part of leadership transition. This is not normal.

Dysfunction at the top does matter. It sets the tone for what is
permissible in the organization. It is part of the leadership obligation to
create an organizational and systemic environment in which people thrive,
and feel aligned to the mission and the values of the organization. When
that is absent, the resulting toxicity is downright unfair to ask people to
continually endure.



On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 10:55 AM, Dan Andreescu 
wrote:

> >
> > 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 dysfunction at the top, to stay and talk things out
> among each other.  And to realize that the dysfunction at the top does not
> *really* matter.  People screw up, but this is a movement.  And this
> movement, as you point out, has not screwed up.
>
> I hope we talk, fix the problems, and grow stronger in our connection and
> commitment to the amazing community we serve.
>
> If anyone is feeling despair, please talk to me first, we have all the
> reason in the world to channel our effort in a positive direction.  Just to
> be clear, I admire Ori for his intelligence and for writing this email, I
> just hope he's wrong that people will leave this place that I love so much.
> ___
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> 
>
___
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, 


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

2016-02-18 Thread Ben Creasy

> 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 we start 
seeing more people leave as we're being warned about right here. There is a 
reason that resignations are a popular response to scandal: without them, the 
negativity can continue for a long, long time.

Also, this is not a good time for smiley faces. I can't imagine that it feels 
empathetic to staff members who are feeling let down right now.

> Dariusz Jemielniak  writes:
> I think that what is useful in such times is being precise: for instance,
> there was a voiced demand (which I support and consider reasonable) to have
> the Knowledge Engine explained. I really like the fact that there is an FAQ
> prepared and that there are answers posted. This is a constructive method
> of addressing a particular problem (I'm referring to the approach, not to
> the content, obviously, since it is a new page). I think we need precision
> in defining problems, and also precision in proposing constructive
> solutions, that's all.

OK, in terms of problems, staff are saying that it's Lila. Do you want them to 
be more specific in a public mailing list about how and where she has 
disappointed them? That seems like an awkward situation for Lila. I think the 
community has made it clear that we are disappointed about the transparency with
regard to the Knight Foundation, continuing up to a disappointing blog post. 
Note that the WMF declined to disclose the grant until Andreas Kolbe emailed 
the grant officer John Brackens who said that revealing grant documents is 
entirely up to the grantee (ie, WMF). Donor privacy was never an issue. People 
are entitled to have a limit at which point they say "enough is enough". That 
limit may be different than yours, but it's clear that it has been reached 
for many people.

Now, in terms of constructive solutions: it takes 2 board members to call a 
special meeting, with a minimum 2 days notice. Have you tried? I suspect that 
Maria might second you. If you cannot find a second, please let us know.

At that special meeting, you can make a motion to address the issues. I know 
how I would word the motion, and I don't think I need to spell it out for you. 
But maybe you have innovative ideas. The community should see the breakdown of 
the votes.

I noticed in a later post you pointed towards the Human Resources Committee as 
tackling the problem. This committee is composed of Jimbo, Patricio, and Guy 
Kawasaki. So: the guy who called James, the one who was trying to help staff, a 
"fucking liar" (if I recall correctly), the Chair of the board who removed the 
staff's friend, and who can be held most directly responsible for the board's 
lack of transparency and actions as the elected leader of the board, and Guy, 
who I understand is quite influential in the board room, but whose last 
communication to us was to express support for Arnnon without knowing how to 
sign his wiki username. That does not sound like a constructive way forward. I 
really wish I didn't have to point out these negative facts, as I have no 
interest in hurting anyone's feelings. I keep holding off from posting, hoping 
that better news will come.

When I first heard about the removal of James, the quote that ran through my 
mind, which I expressed to Sam Klein in a phone call, was from Warren Buffett: 
"It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you t
hink about that, you'll do things differently".




___
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, 


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

2016-02-18 Thread Sydney Poore
Hi Shani,

Thanks for your post to the mailing list. I appreciate your comments
directed at the BoT.

Hopefully the collective voices will make an impact.
Warm regards,
Sydney Poore
User:FloNight
Wikipedian in Residence
at Cochrane Collaboration


On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 8:37 PM, Shani  wrote:
> 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 the movement are saying,
> and what the BoT is thinking, saying & doing.
>
> There have been repeated requests for engagement & action from the BoT,
> both on and off this list. The first step in that direction has to be to
> openly admit something is wrong, as Asaf rightly noted on this list no so
> long ago. It takes courage to look the truth in the face and admit
> mistakes. And itcll be hard for a while. But it has to be done and it's
> worth the effort if we want to move forward positively.
>
> Like others, I believe this is the biggest crisis, crossroad, challenge
> (call it what you will), we have ever faced as a movement. But as wise
> people said, crisis also offers new opportunities and gifts, if confronted.
>
> We have to fix this disconnect before we go on "fixing the internet".
>
> And I wonder -- what else has to happen for the BoT to realize what both
> community and employees are saying for months now, embrace it and act on it.
>
> Respectfully,
> Shani.
> On 19 Feb 2016 01:46, "Yury Bulka"  wrote:
>
>> There are certain things that affect many volunteers
>> directly. A slightly off-topic example:
>> https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T59608#1637250
>>
>> The fact that:
>> > "the WMF education team has no engineering resources"
>>
>> ...affects volunteers.
>>
>> Sincerely,
>> Yury Bulka
>> (Wikimedia Ukraine)
>>
>> Craig Franklin  writes:
>>
>> > Yaroslav,
>> >
>> > 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 of
>> the
>> > latter, it may create a perception amongst the general public than even
>> if
>> > Wikipedia is a useful resource, that it is incompetent with handling
>> > money.  As a result, donations dry up, and difficult and unpleasant
>> choices
>> > have to be made around budget.
>> >
>> > So yes, this sort of thing can influence rank and file editors most
>> > seriously, albeit indirectly.
>> >
>> > Cheers,
>> > Craig
>> >
>> >
>> > On 19 February 2016 at 07:52, Yaroslav M. Blanter 
>> wrote:
>> >
>> >>
>> >> To be honest, most volunteers do not care. We understand of course that
>> if
>> >> things would go really wrong, for example, servers stop running, or
>> money
>> >> runs out and ads are introduced, or English Wikipedia admins continue
>> >> resigning/being desysopped without proper replacement, so that we have
>> ten
>> >> active admins, then we are in serious trouble. But as far as things are
>> >> running quasi-normal, we just continue. I was making 50 to 100 edits per
>> >> day five years ago, I am making 50 to 100 edits per day now, I will
>> >> probably still be making 50 to 100 edits per day in five years, unless I
>> >> die or leave because of a serious demotivation - and this demotivation
>> is
>> >> unlikely to be related to WMF. I think staff are way more vulnerable to
>> all
>> >> kinds of events.
>> >>
>> > ___
>> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
>> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
>> > New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org Unsubscribe:
>> > https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
>> > 
>>
>>
>>
>> ___
>> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
>> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
>> New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
>> 
> ___
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: 
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, 
> 

___
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: 

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

2016-02-18 Thread Shani
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 the movement are saying,
and what the BoT is thinking, saying & doing.

There have been repeated requests for engagement & action from the BoT,
both on and off this list. The first step in that direction has to be to
openly admit something is wrong, as Asaf rightly noted on this list no so
long ago. It takes courage to look the truth in the face and admit
mistakes. And itcll be hard for a while. But it has to be done and it's
worth the effort if we want to move forward positively.

Like others, I believe this is the biggest crisis, crossroad, challenge
(call it what you will), we have ever faced as a movement. But as wise
people said, crisis also offers new opportunities and gifts, if confronted.

We have to fix this disconnect before we go on "fixing the internet".

And I wonder -- what else has to happen for the BoT to realize what both
community and employees are saying for months now, embrace it and act on it.

Respectfully,
Shani.
On 19 Feb 2016 01:46, "Yury Bulka"  wrote:

> There are certain things that affect many volunteers
> directly. A slightly off-topic example:
> https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T59608#1637250
>
> The fact that:
> > "the WMF education team has no engineering resources"
>
> ...affects volunteers.
>
> Sincerely,
> Yury Bulka
> (Wikimedia Ukraine)
>
> Craig Franklin  writes:
>
> > Yaroslav,
> >
> > 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 of
> the
> > latter, it may create a perception amongst the general public than even
> if
> > Wikipedia is a useful resource, that it is incompetent with handling
> > money.  As a result, donations dry up, and difficult and unpleasant
> choices
> > have to be made around budget.
> >
> > So yes, this sort of thing can influence rank and file editors most
> > seriously, albeit indirectly.
> >
> > Cheers,
> > Craig
> >
> >
> > On 19 February 2016 at 07:52, Yaroslav M. Blanter 
> wrote:
> >
> >>
> >> To be honest, most volunteers do not care. We understand of course that
> if
> >> things would go really wrong, for example, servers stop running, or
> money
> >> runs out and ads are introduced, or English Wikipedia admins continue
> >> resigning/being desysopped without proper replacement, so that we have
> ten
> >> active admins, then we are in serious trouble. But as far as things are
> >> running quasi-normal, we just continue. I was making 50 to 100 edits per
> >> day five years ago, I am making 50 to 100 edits per day now, I will
> >> probably still be making 50 to 100 edits per day in five years, unless I
> >> die or leave because of a serious demotivation - and this demotivation
> is
> >> unlikely to be related to WMF. I think staff are way more vulnerable to
> all
> >> kinds of events.
> >>
> > ___
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org Unsubscribe:
> > https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > 
>
>
>
> ___
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> 
___
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, 


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

2016-02-18 Thread Yury Bulka
There are certain things that affect many volunteers
directly. A slightly off-topic example:
https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T59608#1637250

The fact that:
> "the WMF education team has no engineering resources"

...affects volunteers.

Sincerely,
Yury Bulka
(Wikimedia Ukraine)

Craig Franklin  writes:

> Yaroslav,
>
> 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 of the
> latter, it may create a perception amongst the general public than even if
> Wikipedia is a useful resource, that it is incompetent with handling
> money.  As a result, donations dry up, and difficult and unpleasant choices
> have to be made around budget.
>
> So yes, this sort of thing can influence rank and file editors most
> seriously, albeit indirectly.
>
> Cheers,
> Craig
>
>
> On 19 February 2016 at 07:52, Yaroslav M. Blanter  wrote:
>
>>
>> To be honest, most volunteers do not care. We understand of course that if
>> things would go really wrong, for example, servers stop running, or money
>> runs out and ads are introduced, or English Wikipedia admins continue
>> resigning/being desysopped without proper replacement, so that we have ten
>> active admins, then we are in serious trouble. But as far as things are
>> running quasi-normal, we just continue. I was making 50 to 100 edits per
>> day five years ago, I am making 50 to 100 edits per day now, I will
>> probably still be making 50 to 100 edits per day in five years, unless I
>> die or leave because of a serious demotivation - and this demotivation is
>> unlikely to be related to WMF. I think staff are way more vulnerable to all
>> kinds of events.
>>
> ___
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: 
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org Unsubscribe:
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> 



___
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, 


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

2016-02-18 Thread Craig Franklin
Yaroslav,

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 of the
latter, it may create a perception amongst the general public than even if
Wikipedia is a useful resource, that it is incompetent with handling
money.  As a result, donations dry up, and difficult and unpleasant choices
have to be made around budget.

So yes, this sort of thing can influence rank and file editors most
seriously, albeit indirectly.

Cheers,
Craig


On 19 February 2016 at 07:52, Yaroslav M. Blanter  wrote:

>
> To be honest, most volunteers do not care. We understand of course that if
> things would go really wrong, for example, servers stop running, or money
> runs out and ads are introduced, or English Wikipedia admins continue
> resigning/being desysopped without proper replacement, so that we have ten
> active admins, then we are in serious trouble. But as far as things are
> running quasi-normal, we just continue. I was making 50 to 100 edits per
> day five years ago, I am making 50 to 100 edits per day now, I will
> probably still be making 50 to 100 edits per day in five years, unless I
> die or leave because of a serious demotivation - and this demotivation is
> unlikely to be related to WMF. I think staff are way more vulnerable to all
> kinds of events.
>
___
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, 


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

2016-02-18 Thread Amir Ladsgroup
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 also because we have a huge
infrastructure around it. A simple example: A hypothetical buggy release of
mediawiki due to lapses of inexperienced staff (because we lost
experienced ones let's say for a similar incident in the future) can lead
to a huge security breach and losing a huge amount of trust. This damage
can't and won't be fixed.
3- Staff and editors are not totally separated, living in a different
world. It's a chain filled by volunteer organizers and volunteer
developers. People who are active in chapters, technical projects etc. If
staff lose their trust in WMF, all other members of the chain will fall
afterwards. A simple example: pywikibot is being maintained entirely by the
volunteers but some of them are staff in their volunteer capacity. We lose
them, then we lose other maintainers of pywikibot and then eventually bots
will fail to run what do you think if we don't have any bots in wikis,
especially small wikis? Think of GLAM. Reach out programs, etc.

A note: These are extreme cases. I hope they will never happen.

Best

On Fri, Feb 19, 2016 at 1:22 AM Yaroslav M. Blanter 
wrote:

> On 2016-02-18 21:20, Leila Zia wrote:
> > Hi Dariusz,
> >
> > 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, than the WMF's staff
> > (which
> > I'm one of).
>
> To be honest, most volunteers do not care. We understand of course that
> if things would go really wrong, for example, servers stop running, or
> money runs out and ads are introduced, or English Wikipedia admins
> continue resigning/being desysopped without proper replacement, so that
> we have ten active admins, then we are in serious trouble. But as far as
> things are running quasi-normal, we just continue. I was making 50 to
> 100 edits per day five years ago, I am making 50 to 100 edits per day
> now, I will probably still be making 50 to 100 edits per day in five
> years, unless I die or leave because of a serious demotivation - and
> this demotivation is unlikely to be related to WMF. I think staff are
> way more vulnerable to all kinds of events.
>
>
> > * Because of the lack of clear communications by the BoT, I'm uncertain
> > whether there is an acknowledgement by the BoT about the issues we are
> > facing. What can assure me at the moment is to see a list of items the
> > BoT
> > sees as problematic, and a plan for addressing them, and a schedule for
> > when we should expect seeing them addressed. (Half-jokingly: maybe we
> > need
> > a phabrictor board for the BoT to track specific tasks that can be
> > shared
> > publicly and their prioritization).
> >
>
> This is a cool idea. It is a pity it has zero chances to be realized.
>
> Cheers
> Yaroslav
>
> ___
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> 
___
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, 


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

2016-02-18 Thread Yaroslav M. Blanter

On 2016-02-18 21:20, Leila Zia wrote:

Hi Dariusz,

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, than the WMF's staff 
(which

I'm one of).


To be honest, most volunteers do not care. We understand of course that 
if things would go really wrong, for example, servers stop running, or 
money runs out and ads are introduced, or English Wikipedia admins 
continue resigning/being desysopped without proper replacement, so that 
we have ten active admins, then we are in serious trouble. But as far as 
things are running quasi-normal, we just continue. I was making 50 to 
100 edits per day five years ago, I am making 50 to 100 edits per day 
now, I will probably still be making 50 to 100 edits per day in five 
years, unless I die or leave because of a serious demotivation - and 
this demotivation is unlikely to be related to WMF. I think staff are 
way more vulnerable to all kinds of events.




* Because of the lack of clear communications by the BoT, I'm uncertain
whether there is an acknowledgement by the BoT about the issues we are
facing. What can assure me at the moment is to see a list of items the 
BoT

sees as problematic, and a plan for addressing them, and a schedule for
when we should expect seeing them addressed. (Half-jokingly: maybe we 
need
a phabrictor board for the BoT to track specific tasks that can be 
shared

publicly and their prioritization).



This is a cool idea. It is a pity it has zero chances to be realized.

Cheers
Yaroslav

___
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, 


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

2016-02-18 Thread Leila Zia
Hi Dariusz,

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, than the WMF's staff (which
I'm one of).

* You engaging in this list has been a breeze for me. I know at least
someone from the BoT is reading these emails and is engaging. Thank you for
that. :-)

* Because of the lack of clear communications by the BoT, I'm uncertain
whether there is an acknowledgement by the BoT about the issues we are
facing. What can assure me at the moment is to see a list of items the BoT
sees as problematic, and a plan for addressing them, and a schedule for
when we should expect seeing them addressed. (Half-jokingly: maybe we need
a phabrictor board for the BoT to track specific tasks that can be shared
publicly and their prioritization).

* Although I really appreciate you engaging in this list, I see that in the
absence of more frequent official communications from the BoT, what you say
in this list is interpreted as a strong signal from the BoT, and it is held
to the standards we expect to see when we communicate with a Board member.
This means that if you are not specific and even more careful with your
choice of words, you will hear strong criticism, just because
words/statements can be interpreted differently depending on the context we
are operating in.

* I'm asking you to continue communicating with us in your capacity as a
Board member, and I'm also asking you to be very very careful with your
choice of words and statements. Trust me: I know what I'm asking you is
extremely hard. So, here is what I offer you: I assume good faith in what
you say and please reach out if I can be of help.

Ido, Ori, thank you for your emails. They help us be stronger, and move in
the right direction.

Leila


Leila Zia
Research Scientist
Wikimedia Foundation

On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 11:03 AM, Dariusz Jemielniak 
wrote:

> On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 1:56 PM, Casey Dentinger  >
> wrote:
>
> > > 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 Ori describes)
> > to scale with demand at the same (or better) pace as our trendier peers
> > (who are often married to fly-by-night technologies).  In an era of 10s
> > pageloads hauling megabytes of trackware, WP's stats are actually pretty
> > stellar.
> >
>
> True, by all means. But my point (clumsily phrased) was that we will not
> likely be considered more technologically advanced than Google or Apple,
> while we really ARE more proficient in terms of the social systems and
> community collaboration. My only regret is that we way too rarely reiterate
> how amazing we are. The fact that we do a lot of great tech stuff, too is a
> reason to celebrate (and my apologies to anyone who read my comment as
> disparaging our work there).
>
> Let me put it this way: it is great we have the tech as robust and advanced
> as it is. This is awesome. Let's also recognize the fact that our
> communities, working together with the WMF, is something unique, to avoid
> the narrow vision of "evil foundation" vs. "unreasonable and random crowd".
>
> dj
> ___
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> 
>
___
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, 


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

2016-02-18 Thread Brion Vibber
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 staff
resignations?

-- brion
___
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, 


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

2016-02-18 Thread Dariusz Jemielniak
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.  If I
> did not know you and know for a fact that cannot be your intent, it would
> sure feel like attempted misdirection. (Please read the beginning of the
> previous sentence again if you need to.)
>
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.

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 :)

I understand I may receive much more of (also often valid) criticism just
because I participate in the dialogue here. I guess that's fine as long as
we all still move forward (read: suggest satisfactory protocols and decide
on actions that will lower the tensions).

I think that what is useful in such times is being precise: for instance,
there was a voiced demand (which I support and consider reasonable) to have
the Knowledge Engine explained. I really like the fact that there is an FAQ
prepared and that there are answers posted. This is a constructive method
of addressing a particular problem (I'm referring to the approach, not to
the content, obviously, since it is a new page). I think we need precision
in defining problems, and also precision in proposing constructive
solutions, that's all.

dj
___
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, 


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

2016-02-18 Thread Lila Tretikov
For a few 2015 accomplishments by the product/technical teams you can see
them listed here:

https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/2015_Wikimedia_Foundation_Product_and_Technology_Highlights







On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 10:56 AM, Casey Dentinger 
wrote:

> 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 Ori describes) to scale
> with demand at the same (or better) pace as our trendier peers (who are
> often married to fly-by-night technologies).  In an era of 10s pageloads
> hauling megabytes of trackware, WP's stats are actually pretty stellar.
>
> On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 11:33 AM, Ori Livneh  wrote:
>
> > On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 4:47 AM, Dariusz Jemielniak 
> > wrote:
> >
> > > 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
> > > here, too! ;)
> > >
> >
> > No, we're not. My peers in the Technology department work incredibly hard
> > to provide value for readers and editors, and we have very good results
> to
> > show for it. Less than two years ago it took an average of six seconds to
> > save an edit to an article; it is about one second now. (MediaWiki
> > deployments are currently halted over a 200-300ms regression!). Page load
> > times improved by 30-40% in the past year, which earned us plaudits in
> the
> > press and in professional circles. The analytics team figured out how to
> > count unique devices without compromising user anonimity and privacy and
> > rolled out a robust public API for page view data. The research team is
> in
> > the process of collecting feedback from readers and compiling the first
> > comprehensive picture of what brings readers to the projects. The TechOps
> > team made Wikipedia one of the first major internet properties to go
> > HTTPS-only, slashed latency for users in many parts of the world by
> > provisioning a cache pop on the Pacific Coast of the United States, and
> is
> > currently gearing up for a comprehensive test of our failover
> capabilities,
> > which is to happen this Spring.
> >
> > That's just the activity happening immediately around me in the org, and
> > says nothing of engineering accomplishments like the Android app being
> > featured on the Play store in 93 countries and having a higher user
> rating
> > than Facebook Messenger, Twitter, Netflix, Snapchat, Google Photos, etc.
> Or
> > the 56,669 articles that have been created using the Content Translation
> > tool.
> >
> > 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. Our initial astonishment at the
> Board's
> > unwillingness to acknowledge and address this dysfunction is wearing off.
> > The slips and failures are not generalized and diffuse. They are local
> and
> > specific, and their location has been indicated to you repeatedly.
> > ___
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > 
> >
> ___
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> 
>



-- 
Lila Tretikov
Wikimedia Foundation

*“Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid.”*
___
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, 


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

2016-02-18 Thread Edward Galvez
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 
wrote:

> 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.
> Actively.
>
> On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 6:33 PM, Ori Livneh  wrote:
>
> > On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 4:47 AM, Dariusz Jemielniak 
> > wrote:
> >
> > > 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
> > > here, too! ;)
> > >
> >
> > No, we're not. My peers in the Technology department work incredibly hard
> > to provide value for readers and editors, and we have very good results
> to
> > show for it. Less than two years ago it took an average of six seconds to
> > save an edit to an article; it is about one second now. (MediaWiki
> > deployments are currently halted over a 200-300ms regression!). Page load
> > times improved by 30-40% in the past year, which earned us plaudits in
> the
> > press and in professional circles. The analytics team figured out how to
> > count unique devices without compromising user anonimity and privacy and
> > rolled out a robust public API for page view data. The research team is
> in
> > the process of collecting feedback from readers and compiling the first
> > comprehensive picture of what brings readers to the projects. The TechOps
> > team made Wikipedia one of the first major internet properties to go
> > HTTPS-only, slashed latency for users in many parts of the world by
> > provisioning a cache pop on the Pacific Coast of the United States, and
> is
> > currently gearing up for a comprehensive test of our failover
> capabilities,
> > which is to happen this Spring.
> >
> > That's just the activity happening immediately around me in the org, and
> > says nothing of engineering accomplishments like the Android app being
> > featured on the Play store in 93 countries and having a higher user
> rating
> > than Facebook Messenger, Twitter, Netflix, Snapchat, Google Photos, etc.
> Or
> > the 56,669 articles that have been created using the Content Translation
> > tool.
> >
> > 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. Our initial astonishment at the
> Board's
> > unwillingness to acknowledge and address this dysfunction is wearing off.
> > The slips and failures are not generalized and diffuse. They are local
> and
> > specific, and their location has been indicated to you repeatedly.
> > ___
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > 
> >
>
>
>
> --
> Seddon
>
> *Advancement Associate (Community Engagement)*
> *Wikimedia Foundation*
> ___
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> 
>



-- 
Edward Galvez
Survey Specialist
Learning & Evaluation
Wikimedia Foundation
___
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, 


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

2016-02-18 Thread Joseph Seddon
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.
Actively.

On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 6:33 PM, Ori Livneh  wrote:

> On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 4:47 AM, Dariusz Jemielniak 
> wrote:
>
> > 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
> > here, too! ;)
> >
>
> No, we're not. My peers in the Technology department work incredibly hard
> to provide value for readers and editors, and we have very good results to
> show for it. Less than two years ago it took an average of six seconds to
> save an edit to an article; it is about one second now. (MediaWiki
> deployments are currently halted over a 200-300ms regression!). Page load
> times improved by 30-40% in the past year, which earned us plaudits in the
> press and in professional circles. The analytics team figured out how to
> count unique devices without compromising user anonimity and privacy and
> rolled out a robust public API for page view data. The research team is in
> the process of collecting feedback from readers and compiling the first
> comprehensive picture of what brings readers to the projects. The TechOps
> team made Wikipedia one of the first major internet properties to go
> HTTPS-only, slashed latency for users in many parts of the world by
> provisioning a cache pop on the Pacific Coast of the United States, and is
> currently gearing up for a comprehensive test of our failover capabilities,
> which is to happen this Spring.
>
> That's just the activity happening immediately around me in the org, and
> says nothing of engineering accomplishments like the Android app being
> featured on the Play store in 93 countries and having a higher user rating
> than Facebook Messenger, Twitter, Netflix, Snapchat, Google Photos, etc. Or
> the 56,669 articles that have been created using the Content Translation
> tool.
>
> 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. Our initial astonishment at the Board's
> unwillingness to acknowledge and address this dysfunction is wearing off.
> The slips and failures are not generalized and diffuse. They are local and
> specific, and their location has been indicated to you repeatedly.
> ___
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> 
>



-- 
Seddon

*Advancement Associate (Community Engagement)*
*Wikimedia Foundation*
___
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, 


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

2016-02-18 Thread Casey Dentinger
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 Ori describes) to scale
with demand at the same (or better) pace as our trendier peers (who are
often married to fly-by-night technologies).  In an era of 10s pageloads
hauling megabytes of trackware, WP's stats are actually pretty stellar.

On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 11:33 AM, Ori Livneh  wrote:

> On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 4:47 AM, Dariusz Jemielniak 
> wrote:
>
> > 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
> > here, too! ;)
> >
>
> No, we're not. My peers in the Technology department work incredibly hard
> to provide value for readers and editors, and we have very good results to
> show for it. Less than two years ago it took an average of six seconds to
> save an edit to an article; it is about one second now. (MediaWiki
> deployments are currently halted over a 200-300ms regression!). Page load
> times improved by 30-40% in the past year, which earned us plaudits in the
> press and in professional circles. The analytics team figured out how to
> count unique devices without compromising user anonimity and privacy and
> rolled out a robust public API for page view data. The research team is in
> the process of collecting feedback from readers and compiling the first
> comprehensive picture of what brings readers to the projects. The TechOps
> team made Wikipedia one of the first major internet properties to go
> HTTPS-only, slashed latency for users in many parts of the world by
> provisioning a cache pop on the Pacific Coast of the United States, and is
> currently gearing up for a comprehensive test of our failover capabilities,
> which is to happen this Spring.
>
> That's just the activity happening immediately around me in the org, and
> says nothing of engineering accomplishments like the Android app being
> featured on the Play store in 93 countries and having a higher user rating
> than Facebook Messenger, Twitter, Netflix, Snapchat, Google Photos, etc. Or
> the 56,669 articles that have been created using the Content Translation
> tool.
>
> 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. Our initial astonishment at the Board's
> unwillingness to acknowledge and address this dysfunction is wearing off.
> The slips and failures are not generalized and diffuse. They are local and
> specific, and their location has been indicated to you repeatedly.
> ___
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> 
>
___
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, 


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

2016-02-18 Thread Asaf Bartov
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 had previously squandered, and health
(literally; the board HR committee has been sent some details).

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.  If I
did not know you and know for a fact that cannot be your intent, it would
sure feel like attempted misdirection. (Please read the beginning of the
previous sentence again if you need to.)

Please act.  If for some reason the board cannot act, please state that
reason.  Signal to us, community and staff, by concrete words if not by
deeds, that you understand the magnitude of the problem.

With great sympathy for how unpleasant it must be to be a (volunteer) board
member right now,

   A.
On Feb 18, 2016 11:29 AM, "Sydney Poore"  wrote:

> 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 perspective and
> > proportions). 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
> > here, too! ;)
>
> Dariusz,
>
> While it is important to point out the ways that people can give
> useful feedback to WMF today and over the next few months (as Liam
> did), we also need to clearly recognize the deep feelings of concern,
> frustration, and anger expressed by staff and members of the
> community.
>
> It is widespread now to the point that unless constructive measures
> are taken to address these legitimate feeling, we risk having people
> withdraw from productive venues for engagement.
>
> Most people are likely to think that at least some the staff that
> resigned didn't go without attempting to improve the situation before
> they left. And that other staff still at WMF are also frustrated and
> concerned. We need more validation of concerns that smart and
> knowledgeable people's advice and counsel is/was overlooked and that
> is going to change.
>
> The staff and community need to believe that their engagement will
> influence the outcome.
>
> We need to build confidence that engagement will have an impact on
> future actions of the WMF BoT and ED's plans.
>
> Dariusz, I know that you have good intentions, but your comments in
> this thread and other place are still not reassuring that you
> understand that serious damage has occurred and needs to be repaired
> before people are going to want to work collaboratively with WMF.
>
> Warm regards,
> Sydney
>
> ___
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> 
___
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, 


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

2016-02-18 Thread Sydney Poore
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 perspective and
> proportions). 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
> here, too! ;)

Dariusz,

While it is important to point out the ways that people can give
useful feedback to WMF today and over the next few months (as Liam
did), we also need to clearly recognize the deep feelings of concern,
frustration, and anger expressed by staff and members of the
community.

It is widespread now to the point that unless constructive measures
are taken to address these legitimate feeling, we risk having people
withdraw from productive venues for engagement.

Most people are likely to think that at least some the staff that
resigned didn't go without attempting to improve the situation before
they left. And that other staff still at WMF are also frustrated and
concerned. We need more validation of concerns that smart and
knowledgeable people's advice and counsel is/was overlooked and that
is going to change.

The staff and community need to believe that their engagement will
influence the outcome.

We need to build confidence that engagement will have an impact on
future actions of the WMF BoT and ED's plans.

Dariusz, I know that you have good intentions, but your comments in
this thread and other place are still not reassuring that you
understand that serious damage has occurred and needs to be repaired
before people are going to want to work collaboratively with WMF.

Warm regards,
Sydney

___
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, 


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

2016-02-18 Thread Dariusz Jemielniak
On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 1:56 PM, Casey Dentinger 
wrote:

> > 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 Ori describes)
> to scale with demand at the same (or better) pace as our trendier peers
> (who are often married to fly-by-night technologies).  In an era of 10s
> pageloads hauling megabytes of trackware, WP's stats are actually pretty
> stellar.
>

True, by all means. But my point (clumsily phrased) was that we will not
likely be considered more technologically advanced than Google or Apple,
while we really ARE more proficient in terms of the social systems and
community collaboration. My only regret is that we way too rarely reiterate
how amazing we are. The fact that we do a lot of great tech stuff, too is a
reason to celebrate (and my apologies to anyone who read my comment as
disparaging our work there).

Let me put it this way: it is great we have the tech as robust and advanced
as it is. This is awesome. Let's also recognize the fact that our
communities, working together with the WMF, is something unique, to avoid
the narrow vision of "evil foundation" vs. "unreasonable and random crowd".

dj
___
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, 


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

2016-02-18 Thread Dan Andreescu
>
> 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 dysfunction at the top, to stay and talk things out
among each other.  And to realize that the dysfunction at the top does not
*really* matter.  People screw up, but this is a movement.  And this
movement, as you point out, has not screwed up.

I hope we talk, fix the problems, and grow stronger in our connection and
commitment to the amazing community we serve.

If anyone is feeling despair, please talk to me first, we have all the
reason in the world to channel our effort in a positive direction.  Just to
be clear, I admire Ori for his intelligence and for writing this email, I
just hope he's wrong that people will leave this place that I love so much.
___
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, 


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

2016-02-18 Thread Toby Negrin
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
you this.

-Toby

On Thursday, February 18, 2016, Moiz Syed  wrote:

> 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, Feb 18, 2016 at 4:47 AM, Dariusz Jemielniak  >
> > wrote:
> >
> > > 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
> > > here, too! ;)
> > >
> >
> > No, we're not. My peers in the Technology department work incredibly hard
> > to provide value for readers and editors, and we have very good results
> to
> > show for it. Less than two years ago it took an average of six seconds to
> > save an edit to an article; it is about one second now. (MediaWiki
> > deployments are currently halted over a 200-300ms regression!). Page load
> > times improved by 30-40% in the past year, which earned us plaudits in
> the
> > press and in professional circles. The analytics team figured out how to
> > count unique devices without compromising user anonimity and privacy and
> > rolled out a robust public API for page view data. The research team is
> in
> > the process of collecting feedback from readers and compiling the first
> > comprehensive picture of what brings readers to the projects. The TechOps
> > team made Wikipedia one of the first major internet properties to go
> > HTTPS-only, slashed latency for users in many parts of the world by
> > provisioning a cache pop on the Pacific Coast of the United States, and
> is
> > currently gearing up for a comprehensive test of our failover
> capabilities,
> > which is to happen this Spring.
> >
> > That's just the activity happening immediately around me in the org, and
> > says nothing of engineering accomplishments like the Android app being
> > featured on the Play store in 93 countries and having a higher user
> rating
> > than Facebook Messenger, Twitter, Netflix, Snapchat, Google Photos, etc.
> Or
> > the 56,669 articles that have been created using the Content Translation
> > tool.
> >
> > 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. Our initial astonishment at the
> Board's
> > unwillingness to acknowledge and address this dysfunction is wearing off.
> > The slips and failures are not generalized and diffuse. They are local
> and
> > specific, and their location has been indicated to you repeatedly.
> > ___
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org 
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > 
> ?subject=unsubscribe>
> >
> ___
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org 
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> 
> ?subject=unsubscribe>
___
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, 


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

2016-02-18 Thread Moiz Syed
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, Feb 18, 2016 at 4:47 AM, Dariusz Jemielniak 
> wrote:
>
> > 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
> > here, too! ;)
> >
>
> No, we're not. My peers in the Technology department work incredibly hard
> to provide value for readers and editors, and we have very good results to
> show for it. Less than two years ago it took an average of six seconds to
> save an edit to an article; it is about one second now. (MediaWiki
> deployments are currently halted over a 200-300ms regression!). Page load
> times improved by 30-40% in the past year, which earned us plaudits in the
> press and in professional circles. The analytics team figured out how to
> count unique devices without compromising user anonimity and privacy and
> rolled out a robust public API for page view data. The research team is in
> the process of collecting feedback from readers and compiling the first
> comprehensive picture of what brings readers to the projects. The TechOps
> team made Wikipedia one of the first major internet properties to go
> HTTPS-only, slashed latency for users in many parts of the world by
> provisioning a cache pop on the Pacific Coast of the United States, and is
> currently gearing up for a comprehensive test of our failover capabilities,
> which is to happen this Spring.
>
> That's just the activity happening immediately around me in the org, and
> says nothing of engineering accomplishments like the Android app being
> featured on the Play store in 93 countries and having a higher user rating
> than Facebook Messenger, Twitter, Netflix, Snapchat, Google Photos, etc. Or
> the 56,669 articles that have been created using the Content Translation
> tool.
>
> 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. Our initial astonishment at the Board's
> unwillingness to acknowledge and address this dysfunction is wearing off.
> The slips and failures are not generalized and diffuse. They are local and
> specific, and their location has been indicated to you repeatedly.
> ___
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> 
>
___
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, 


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

2016-02-18 Thread Ori Livneh
On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 4:47 AM, Dariusz Jemielniak 
wrote:

> 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
> here, too! ;)
>

No, we're not. My peers in the Technology department work incredibly hard
to provide value for readers and editors, and we have very good results to
show for it. Less than two years ago it took an average of six seconds to
save an edit to an article; it is about one second now. (MediaWiki
deployments are currently halted over a 200-300ms regression!). Page load
times improved by 30-40% in the past year, which earned us plaudits in the
press and in professional circles. The analytics team figured out how to
count unique devices without compromising user anonimity and privacy and
rolled out a robust public API for page view data. The research team is in
the process of collecting feedback from readers and compiling the first
comprehensive picture of what brings readers to the projects. The TechOps
team made Wikipedia one of the first major internet properties to go
HTTPS-only, slashed latency for users in many parts of the world by
provisioning a cache pop on the Pacific Coast of the United States, and is
currently gearing up for a comprehensive test of our failover capabilities,
which is to happen this Spring.

That's just the activity happening immediately around me in the org, and
says nothing of engineering accomplishments like the Android app being
featured on the Play store in 93 countries and having a higher user rating
than Facebook Messenger, Twitter, Netflix, Snapchat, Google Photos, etc. Or
the 56,669 articles that have been created using the Content Translation
tool.

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. Our initial astonishment at the Board's
unwillingness to acknowledge and address this dysfunction is wearing off.
The slips and failures are not generalized and diffuse. They are local and
specific, and their location has been indicated to you repeatedly.
___
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, 


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

2016-02-18 Thread Dariusz Jemielniak
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 Annual Plan to the same APG system.

Yes, I'm glad that after several years of championing the idea within the
FDC and to the Board, we have succeeded in making it finally happen.

> During the 1 April to 30 April community review period,[5] everyone
> will be encouraged to thoroughly investigate those documents.

And the community can do much more here than in the previous years, where
feedback was quite minimal.

As far as I'm concerned, I've often times repeated that I believe that WMFs
main source of competitive advantage is the relations with the communities
and our unique symbiosis. Content is not our competitive advantage, as it
is free to copy by anyone, and in technology we're years behind the curve
(the same goes for design, structures, etc.). But collaboration with our
communities is something that makes us at least as good as the giants of
the Internet industry (remember Google's failed community-driven
encyclopedia? Case in point).

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 perspective and
proportions). 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
here, too! ;)
___
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, 


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

2016-02-18 Thread reachout2isaac
Dear Ido.

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 but I think the community 
deserves clarity on certain issues. Volunteers and affiliates are major 
backbones of the Wikimedia Foundation and they need to understand why certain 
decision is taken by the WMF. I probably do not understand why the BoT decided 
to remain silent on pertinent issues raised here over a month now. This is 
worrisome and heartbreaking.

Best,

Olatunde Isaac
Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless handheld from Glo Mobile.

-Original Message-
From: wikimedia-l-requ...@lists.wikimedia.org
Sender: "Wikimedia-l" <wikimedia-l-boun...@lists.wikimedia.org>Date: Thu, 18 
Feb 2016 12:00:25 
To: <wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org>
Reply-To: wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
Subject: Wikimedia-l Digest, Vol 143, Issue 85

Send Wikimedia-l mailing list submissions to
wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org

To subscribe or unsubscribe via the World Wide Web, visit
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
or, via email, send a message with subject or body 'help' to
wikimedia-l-requ...@lists.wikimedia.org

You can reach the person managing the list at
wikimedia-l-ow...@lists.wikimedia.org

When replying, please edit your Subject line so it is more specific
than "Re: Contents of Wikimedia-l digest..."


Today's Topics:

   1. Re: An Open Letter to Wikimedia Foundation BoT (Ilario Valdelli)
   2. Re: An Open Letter to Wikimedia Foundation BoT (Andrea Zanni)
   3. Re: An Open Letter to Wikimedia Foundation BoT (Cristian Consonni)


--

Message: 1
Date: Thu, 18 Feb 2016 11:15:24 +0100
From: Ilario Valdelli <valde...@gmail.com>
To: Wikimedia Mailing List <wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org>
Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] An Open Letter to Wikimedia Foundation BoT
Message-ID:

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

2016-02-18 Thread Liam Wyatt
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
> Foundation: its board audited, its budget cut, etc. Expecting the
> Foundation to be held to a lower standard than any of its worldwide
> affiliates is just hypocritical.

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 Annual Plan to the same APG system.[1]

This FDC recommendation was built into a full proposal WMF Community
Resources team,[2] and this proposal was accepted by the WMF
leadership - as described by Luis during the January Metrics
Meeting.[3]

This, means that there will at *least* the same level of detail
required from the WMF in annual planning documents, and the same
timeline of public consultation upon those documents. Alongside
Wikimedias Armenia, France, Norway and also CIS, the WMF will be
providing an Annual Plan by April 1 on the central application page on
Meta.[4]

During the 1 April to 30 April community review period,[5] everyone
will be encouraged to thoroughly investigate those documents.
Obviously, the scale of the WMF plan will be larger and (hopefully)
more detailed than would be required from an affiliate. As a member of
the FDC myself, I will be heavily relying on the analysis of the
community to help identify areas that are of concern or are unclear.

So, during the month of April, I strongly encourage everyone to help
with the analysis of the next WMF annual plan!

-Liam

[1] 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:APG/FDC_recommendations/2015-2016_round_1#Wikimedia_Foundation
[2] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/WMF_2016-17_Annual_Planning_Recommendation
[3] Starting at 19:40. https://youtu.be/GpZOx1Mzmuk?t=19m40s  One
crucial difference will be that the FDC will be making recommendation
based on its analysis, but *not* be providing a recommendation in
terms of actual dollars.
[4] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:APG/Proposals/2015-2016_round_2
[5] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:APG/Information#Calendar

wittylama.com
Peace, love & metadata

___
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, 


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

2016-02-18 Thread Cristian Consonni
Hi,

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 silence.
> People really don't understand why.
>
> I would also like to thank you for expressing it in such a delicate, polite
> but clear tone.

strong +1

Thanks Ido for your thoughtful email, which I wholeheartedly support.
I like very much your email because it voices what I think many
Wikimedians are feeling but may not be keen on expressing themselves
publicly.

2016-02-18 9:04 GMT+01:00 ido ivri :
> I’m concerned because it’s evident that the Foundation is undergoing a
> deep, strategic change. But this change is not accompanied by the required
> transparency, honesty and accountability required by the Foundation in
> order to truly transform in a way that's beneficial for the organization
> and its community.

I share this concern completely.

The only thing I would add to what Ido said is: is there a way that we
- as a community - could help?

Remember that the community is not only a shareholder but also the
greatest asset we have.

Cristian

___
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, 


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

2016-02-18 Thread 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 silence.
People really don't understand why.

I would also like to thank you for expressing it in such a delicate, polite
but clear tone.

Aubrey

On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 11:15 AM, Ilario Valdelli 
wrote:

> Hi Ido,
> 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
> "commercial" company.
>
> In my opinion there is an unclear definition of the stakeholders and the
> definition of the importance of these stakeholders and the relations they
> have.
>
> Missing a clear definition of these entities and how they are related and
> what kind of potential conflicts can be generated by them, it can only
> drive to the current picture.
>
> Kind regards
>
> On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 9:04 AM, ido ivri  wrote:
>
> > 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 so-called “Knowledge Engine” grant, received
> by
> > the Knight Foundation.
> >
> > Even more alarming to me, is the slew of exceptional community-facing
> > employees who left (or are leaving) the Foundation, accompanied by
> muffled
> > sounds of discontent from staying Foundation employees.
> >
> > I’m breaking my silence because I’m very concerned. My concerns stem from
> > my past experiences with facilitating strategic changes and my experience
> > in grantmaking - both in and outside of the Movement.
> >
> > I’m concerned because it’s evident that the Foundation is undergoing a
> > deep, strategic change. But this change is not accompanied by the
> required
> > transparency, honesty and accountability required by the Foundation in
> > order to truly transform in a way that's beneficial for the organization
> > and its community.
> >
> > I’m concerned, because while the “Knowledge Engine” grant provides only a
> > specific example, it underlines a larger picture that is disturbing:
> > concealment (rather than openness) as a default, lack of consultation
> with
> > the community and weak, general communication around important matters
> only
> > after bad press. I also suspect that the vocal members of the community
> are
> > right, and that a $250K grant is not the issue, but it part of a bigger
> > move that will require significantly more resources for the Foundation to
> > implement.
> >
> > Lastly, I’m concerned because all this stirs no clear communication from
> > the Board of Trustees. A Board of Trustees implies there should be trust
> > between the Board and its constituents. I suspect this isn’t the case
> > anymore.
> >
> > 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
> > Foundation: its board audited, its budget cut, etc. Expecting the
> > Foundation to be held to a lower standard than any of its worldwide
> > affiliates is just hypocritical.
> >
> > I urge the Board of Trustees - Don’t forget that the community of
> > volunteers and affiliates is a major stakeholder of the Wikimedia
> > Foundation - and many of us are concerned. I think the community deserves
> > to better understand where the Wikimedia Foundation is going, and get
> > honest answers about the changes in the organization, for us to be
> trusting
> > again. Please start communicating clearly about those topics.
> >
> > With utmost respect,
> >
> > Ido (AKA AlleyCat80)
> >
> >
> > Board Member, WMIL
> >
> > Member, Simple APG & GAC.
> > ___
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > 
>
>
>
>
> --
> Ilario Valdelli
> Wikimedia CH
> Verein zur Förderung Freien Wissens
> Association pour l’avancement des connaissances libre
> Associazione per il sostegno alla conoscenza libera
> Switzerland - 8008 Zürich
> Wikipedia: Ilario 
> Skype: valdelli
> Tel: +41764821371
> http://www.wikimedia.ch
> ___
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> Unsubscribe: 

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

2016-02-18 Thread Ilario Valdelli
Hi Ido,
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
"commercial" company.

In my opinion there is an unclear definition of the stakeholders and the
definition of the importance of these stakeholders and the relations they
have.

Missing a clear definition of these entities and how they are related and
what kind of potential conflicts can be generated by them, it can only
drive to the current picture.

Kind regards

On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 9:04 AM, ido ivri  wrote:

> 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 so-called “Knowledge Engine” grant, received by
> the Knight Foundation.
>
> Even more alarming to me, is the slew of exceptional community-facing
> employees who left (or are leaving) the Foundation, accompanied by muffled
> sounds of discontent from staying Foundation employees.
>
> I’m breaking my silence because I’m very concerned. My concerns stem from
> my past experiences with facilitating strategic changes and my experience
> in grantmaking - both in and outside of the Movement.
>
> I’m concerned because it’s evident that the Foundation is undergoing a
> deep, strategic change. But this change is not accompanied by the required
> transparency, honesty and accountability required by the Foundation in
> order to truly transform in a way that's beneficial for the organization
> and its community.
>
> I’m concerned, because while the “Knowledge Engine” grant provides only a
> specific example, it underlines a larger picture that is disturbing:
> concealment (rather than openness) as a default, lack of consultation with
> the community and weak, general communication around important matters only
> after bad press. I also suspect that the vocal members of the community are
> right, and that a $250K grant is not the issue, but it part of a bigger
> move that will require significantly more resources for the Foundation to
> implement.
>
> Lastly, I’m concerned because all this stirs no clear communication from
> the Board of Trustees. A Board of Trustees implies there should be trust
> between the Board and its constituents. I suspect this isn’t the case
> anymore.
>
> 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
> Foundation: its board audited, its budget cut, etc. Expecting the
> Foundation to be held to a lower standard than any of its worldwide
> affiliates is just hypocritical.
>
> I urge the Board of Trustees - Don’t forget that the community of
> volunteers and affiliates is a major stakeholder of the Wikimedia
> Foundation - and many of us are concerned. I think the community deserves
> to better understand where the Wikimedia Foundation is going, and get
> honest answers about the changes in the organization, for us to be trusting
> again. Please start communicating clearly about those topics.
>
> With utmost respect,
>
> Ido (AKA AlleyCat80)
>
>
> Board Member, WMIL
>
> Member, Simple APG & GAC.
> ___
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> 




-- 
Ilario Valdelli
Wikimedia CH
Verein zur Förderung Freien Wissens
Association pour l’avancement des connaissances libre
Associazione per il sostegno alla conoscenza libera
Switzerland - 8008 Zürich
Wikipedia: Ilario 
Skype: valdelli
Tel: +41764821371
http://www.wikimedia.ch
___
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,