Re: [Wikimedia-l] What happened on the Board of Trustees?

2016-01-10 Thread MZMcBride
Tobias wrote:
>James, a longstanding community member, is accustomed to how we do
>things on Wikipedia -- with transparency, an open discourse, but also
>endless discussions on talk pages. Other members of the board have less
>of a "Wikipedian" background, and are more accustomed to how things work
>in companies: board meetings in secret, focus on being effective at the
>cost of transparency, with a frank tone on the inside, and a diplomatic
>and collective voice to the outside.
>These very different conceptions clash, for instance when it comes to
>the plans of a "Wikipedia knowledge engine": some prefer early community
>involvement and plead openness, others, perhaps scared of the harsh
>criticism of early announced and unfinished products by the community,
>wish to wait with giving out more information. James is frustrated and
>tries to push other board members towards more transparency, which in
>turn makes them wary of him and they mutually develop distrust.
>The pivotal part of the story then is the question of WMF leadership,
>and the fact that there is a lot of discontent among WMF staff with
>senior leadership, as indicated by an employee engagement survey. James,
>being used to transparent discussions, pushes for a thorough and open
>review, and talks to staff members to gain more information. The other
>board members, perhaps somewhat in panic, think he will initiate a
>public discussion about replacing senior leadership and (perhaps
>inadvertently) will cause a major disruption to the entire foundation,
>so they decide to call a halt before it's too late and remove him from
>the board.
>
>This is what, given the information publicly available, is in my opinion
>at least one likely explanation of what happened. Please take it with a
>grain of salt, it /is/ speculation. I intend this to undergo the process
>of falsification and encourage anyone involved to call me out on what
>they perceive is incorrect.

Thank you for taking the time to post this summary. It's very well-written
and I think it appropriately captures what most likely happened, given the
available evidence. As for action items, I see:

* evaluate whether the Wikimedia Foundation bylaws should be changed to
make it more difficult (or easier) to remove a Board of Trustees member;

* strongly urge the Board of Trustees to be more transparent and
communicative, embracing the values that keep our projects running; and

* evaluate the process for filling community-selected Board of Trustees
seats, perhaps changing the seats to be community-elected.

Obligatory reference: !

MZMcBride



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Re: [Wikimedia-l] What happened on the Board of Trustees?

2016-01-10 Thread Austin Hair
On Sun, Jan 10, 2016 at 12:17 PM, Anthony Cole  wrote:
> I hope this person is blocked from posting again here. Utterly
> inappropriate.

He's on moderation, which means each of his posts to the list will be
held and must be approved individually. As a rule, we don't like to
outright ban people, or use moderation punitively.

Austin

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] What happened on the Board of Trustees?

2016-01-10 Thread Anthony Cole
I hope this person is blocked from posting again here. Utterly
inappropriate.

On Sunday, January 10, 2016, Austin Hair  wrote:

> On Sun, Jan 10, 2016 at 4:41 AM, Comet styles  > wrote:
> > honestly, WMF
> > has taken a  nosedive since Sue left and left the organisation in the
> > hands of Lila who has failed as a leader..not to mention her
> > 'baby-daddy' has been banned from most wikimedia wikis as well as IRC
> > for talking nonsense and is constantly using his blogs to attack the
> > same organisation his 'ex' is trying to run..
>
> This past week has obviously been intense, and I understand getting
> riled up, but until now the discussion on this list has remained
> remarkably civil in spite of it.
>
> I don't consider Wil to be in any way relevant to the current
> discussion, but more to the point, this is a plain slur which adds
> nothing to the debate. I'll continue letting your posts through as
> long as they're civil and productive, but you're on moderation for
> now.
>
> Austin
>
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-- 
Anthony Cole
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] What happened on the Board of Trustees?

2016-01-10 Thread Austin Hair
On Sun, Jan 10, 2016 at 4:41 AM, Comet styles  wrote:
> honestly, WMF
> has taken a  nosedive since Sue left and left the organisation in the
> hands of Lila who has failed as a leader..not to mention her
> 'baby-daddy' has been banned from most wikimedia wikis as well as IRC
> for talking nonsense and is constantly using his blogs to attack the
> same organisation his 'ex' is trying to run..

This past week has obviously been intense, and I understand getting
riled up, but until now the discussion on this list has remained
remarkably civil in spite of it.

I don't consider Wil to be in any way relevant to the current
discussion, but more to the point, this is a plain slur which adds
nothing to the debate. I'll continue letting your posts through as
long as they're civil and productive, but you're on moderation for
now.

Austin

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] What happened on the Board of Trustees?

2016-01-09 Thread Comet styles
The major problem is and has been for a while  is that we have people
in the hierarchy who do not understand how the wiki works, most have
never made an edit out of their 'hidden' wikis or userpages on wmfwiki
or meta..

How can one trust a product in the hands of someone who does not use
it? ..We will never get a truthful answer for his removal and the
reason is probably quite petty as well but it shows discord amongst
our so called 'leaders' and its sad and ironic that this had to happen
around the time wikipedia is doing its donation drive..honestly, WMF
has taken a  nosedive since Sue left and left the organisation in the
hands of Lila who has failed as a leader..not to mention her
'baby-daddy' has been banned from most wikimedia wikis as well as IRC
for talking nonsense and is constantly using his blogs to attack the
same organisation his 'ex' is trying to run..

---
Cometstyles/Warpath

On 1/9/16, Tobias  wrote:
> Dear all,
>
> right now, we know very little about the removal of James. It is hard
> for anyone not involved (which is the vast majority of this community)
> to come up with any safe conclusions, because there is a lack of
> evidence. This opens up the possibility of speculation. I would prefer
> the stating of facts instead of speculation, but since that's not
> happening, I think speculation might be a way to incentivize more
> insiders to come forward with facts, if only to refute the content of
> speculation.
>
> I am going to attempt to do this in a neutral fashion, and I will also
> follow another important tradition in the movement, assume good faith. I
> do not subscribe to conspiracy theories that allege a secret plan by
> Google or intentions of harming Wikipedia on anyone's part.
>
> Here's what I think might have happened:
>
> James, a longstanding community member, is accustomed to how we do
> things on Wikipedia -- with transparency, an open discourse, but also
> endless discussions on talk pages. Other members of the board have less
> of a "Wikipedian" background, and are more accustomed to how things work
> in companies: board meetings in secret, focus on being effective at the
> cost of transparency, with a frank tone on the inside, and a diplomatic
> and collective voice to the outside.
> These very different conceptions clash, for instance when it comes to
> the plans of a "Wikipedia knowledge engine": some prefer early community
> involvement and plead openness, others, perhaps scared of the harsh
> criticism of early announced and unfinished products by the community,
> wish to wait with giving out more information. James is frustrated and
> tries to push other board members towards more transparency, which in
> turn makes them wary of him and they mutually develop distrust.
> The pivotal part of the story then is the question of WMF leadership,
> and the fact that there is a lot of discontent among WMF staff with
> senior leadership, as indicated by an employee engagement survey. James,
> being used to transparent discussions, pushes for a thorough and open
> review, and talks to staff members to gain more information. The other
> board members, perhaps somewhat in panic, think he will initiate a
> public discussion about replacing senior leadership and (perhaps
> inadvertently) will cause a major disruption to the entire foundation,
> so they decide to call a halt before it's too late and remove him from
> the board.
>
>
> This is what, given the information publicly available, is in my opinion
> at least one likely explanation of what happened. Please take it with a
> grain of salt, it /is/ speculation. I intend this to undergo the process
> of falsification and encourage anyone involved to call me out on what
> they perceive is incorrect.
>
> Tobias
>
> ___
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> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
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-- 
Cometstyles

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] What happened on the Board of Trustees?

2016-01-09 Thread Toby Negrin
Hi Cometstyles -

A lot of people have put much more of themselves into the project than me
but I would like to request that we maintain a civil tone and subject.
Regardless of how we feel about professional aptitude I think we should
leave personal lives and families out of these discussions.

-Toby



On Saturday, January 9, 2016, Comet styles  wrote:

> The major problem is and has been for a while  is that we have people
> in the hierarchy who do not understand how the wiki works, most have
> never made an edit out of their 'hidden' wikis or userpages on wmfwiki
> or meta..
>
> How can one trust a product in the hands of someone who does not use
> it? ..We will never get a truthful answer for his removal and the
> reason is probably quite petty as well but it shows discord amongst
> our so called 'leaders' and its sad and ironic that this had to happen
> around the time wikipedia is doing its donation drive..honestly, WMF
> has taken a  nosedive since Sue left and left the organisation in the
> hands of Lila who has failed as a leader..not to mention her
> 'baby-daddy' has been banned from most wikimedia wikis as well as IRC
> for talking nonsense and is constantly using his blogs to attack the
> same organisation his 'ex' is trying to run..
>
> ---
> Cometstyles/Warpath
>
> On 1/9/16, Tobias >
> wrote:
> > Dear all,
> >
> > right now, we know very little about the removal of James. It is hard
> > for anyone not involved (which is the vast majority of this community)
> > to come up with any safe conclusions, because there is a lack of
> > evidence. This opens up the possibility of speculation. I would prefer
> > the stating of facts instead of speculation, but since that's not
> > happening, I think speculation might be a way to incentivize more
> > insiders to come forward with facts, if only to refute the content of
> > speculation.
> >
> > I am going to attempt to do this in a neutral fashion, and I will also
> > follow another important tradition in the movement, assume good faith. I
> > do not subscribe to conspiracy theories that allege a secret plan by
> > Google or intentions of harming Wikipedia on anyone's part.
> >
> > Here's what I think might have happened:
> >
> > James, a longstanding community member, is accustomed to how we do
> > things on Wikipedia -- with transparency, an open discourse, but also
> > endless discussions on talk pages. Other members of the board have less
> > of a "Wikipedian" background, and are more accustomed to how things work
> > in companies: board meetings in secret, focus on being effective at the
> > cost of transparency, with a frank tone on the inside, and a diplomatic
> > and collective voice to the outside.
> > These very different conceptions clash, for instance when it comes to
> > the plans of a "Wikipedia knowledge engine": some prefer early community
> > involvement and plead openness, others, perhaps scared of the harsh
> > criticism of early announced and unfinished products by the community,
> > wish to wait with giving out more information. James is frustrated and
> > tries to push other board members towards more transparency, which in
> > turn makes them wary of him and they mutually develop distrust.
> > The pivotal part of the story then is the question of WMF leadership,
> > and the fact that there is a lot of discontent among WMF staff with
> > senior leadership, as indicated by an employee engagement survey. James,
> > being used to transparent discussions, pushes for a thorough and open
> > review, and talks to staff members to gain more information. The other
> > board members, perhaps somewhat in panic, think he will initiate a
> > public discussion about replacing senior leadership and (perhaps
> > inadvertently) will cause a major disruption to the entire foundation,
> > so they decide to call a halt before it's too late and remove him from
> > the board.
> >
> >
> > This is what, given the information publicly available, is in my opinion
> > at least one likely explanation of what happened. Please take it with a
> > grain of salt, it /is/ speculation. I intend this to undergo the process
> > of falsification and encourage anyone involved to call me out on what
> > they perceive is incorrect.
> >
> > Tobias
> >
> > ___
> > 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>
>
>
> --
> Cometstyles
>
> ___
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] What happened on the Board of Trustees?

2016-01-09 Thread Arjuna Rao Chavala
Hi Tobias

On Sat, Jan 9, 2016 at 12:06 AM, Tobias 
wrote:

> Dear all,
>
> right now, we know very little about the removal of James. It is hard
> for anyone not involved (which is the vast majority of this community)
> to come up with any safe conclusions, because there is a lack of
> evidence. This opens up the possibility of speculation. I would prefer
> the stating of facts instead of speculation, but since that's not
> happening, I think speculation might be a way to incentivize more
> insiders to come forward with facts, if only to refute the content of
> speculation.
>
> I am going to attempt to do this in a neutral fashion, and I will also
> follow another important tradition in the movement, assume good faith. I
> do not subscribe to conspiracy theories that allege a secret plan by
> Google or intentions of harming Wikipedia on anyone's part.
>
> Here's what I think might have happened:
>
> James, a longstanding community member, is accustomed to how we do
> things on Wikipedia -- with transparency, an open discourse, but also
> endless discussions on talk pages. Other members of the board have less
> of a "Wikipedian" background, and are more accustomed to how things work
> in companies: board meetings in secret, focus on being effective at the
> cost of transparency, with a frank tone on the inside, and a diplomatic
> and collective voice to the outside.
> These very different conceptions clash, for instance when it comes to
> the plans of a "Wikipedia knowledge engine": some prefer early community
> involvement and plead openness, others, perhaps scared of the harsh
> criticism of early announced and unfinished products by the community,
> wish to wait with giving out more information.

.
>


I second your thoughts on the most probable root cause for the current
dysfunction, having experienced similar events with various chapters as
well, where at least some members particularly with chapters  lack the
professional/corporate  experience and just get elected because of their
wikipedian experience.  This does call for a better definition of board
member election eligibility rules  at the chapters and WMF.

It is surprising that there does not seem to be well thought out induction
program for new members with one of the experienced board member as a
mentor. If there was such a process and implemented well, the  present
problem could have been nipped in the bud or managed better.

Best wishes
Arjuna Rao Chavala
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