Dear Nathan,
I did not suggest what you say I suggested. My proposal was not to "send
funds" away to weak chapters.
The WMHK case illustrates exactly the point I wanted to make. The WMF has
made reaching out to the world's largest language community (China), in the
hands of the reporting and planning skills of volunteers in Hong Kong. That
is disastreous.

To clarify, my message is that the WMF should rather open an OFFICE in Hong
Kong, to serve the 1.3 billion chinese-speaking, and other south-east
Asians aswell from there.

Your point that the WMF is best suited to support the volunteers, can
hardly be correct if the Foundation staff clusters in San Fransisco without
really supporting people on the ground anywhere else. It is indeed worth
celebrating that WMHK volunteers take great efforts to organize the
Wikimania, but it is probably not what their resources should be best
utilised for. In may eyes, organized that massive event is an obvious task
for the WMF.

Kind regards,

Erlend Bjørtvedt

2013/4/30 Nathan <>

> Florence - my comments followed Erlend's in the thread, where he
> suggested sending resources around the world without regard to which
> chapters were the most developed. Outside of the paragraph where I
> referred to WMKH specifically, my comments were not directed at it.
> In any case, it's fictional from a legal perspective that the funds
> belong to the movement and not the WMF. Whoever they feel obligated to
> serve, the trustees of the WMF retain all of the duties and
> obligations to disburse the money in the way most congruent with the
> articles of the WMF and the laws of Florida, California and the United
> States. I'm sure you know this as well or better than most.
> Finally, you're of course right that the WMF in its early days was lax
> in many respects - mostly predictable ways for a new organization
> without a good model. On the other hand, it was lax with money it
> raised itself. As a result, its duties were to the law and to itself,
> not to another large organization with its own duties.
> To repeat my earlier point, any chapter has the full capacity to raise
> its own funds. A self-funded chapter is a good analog to the WMF; it
> can grow at its own pace, and only has to assure the movement that it
> is not misusing the trademarks or acting in a way to bring the
> movement into disrepute. The obsessive focus with greater and greater
> funding of chapters is misplaced; between a smaller overall budget for
> the entire movement, and a global effort to hire wildly decentralized
> administrative staff, I would choose the former.
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*Erlend Bjørtvedt*
Nestleder, Wikimedia Norge
Vice chairman, Wikimedia Norway
Mob: +47 - 9225 9227 <>
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