Hey Florence

On Apr 30, 2013, at 1:12 AM, Florence Devouard <anthe...@yahoo.com> wrote:

> Le 4/30/13 12:04 AM, Nathan a écrit :
>> It's not logical to assume that because the WMF has funds it should in
>> some way equitably distribute those funds around the world.
> What happens to the idea according to which the funds belong to the Wikimedia 
> mouvement rather than to Wikimedia Foundation ?

Please note that you are disagreeing with Nathan, not with others (like me and 
as far as I know the entire board) who have supported the idea of the FDC 
because it is a great way to ensure that the funds are distributed amongst the 
movement in the interest of the movement. The funds are those of the movement, 
and although we might disagree on how the funds are divided we agree on that. I 
am happy to see that the FDC as a body (and the community review process as a 
important addition) ensures much more transparent processes.

> Supporting
>> chapter operations, and funding offices and staff in dozens of
>> countries, is not the chief object of the money raised from donors. We
>> need to get away from the belief that chapters are unquestionably the
>> best use of movement resources. There is a place for outreach,
>> publicity, and targeted educational programs. But the WMF is best
>> situated to supplement the efforts begun by volunteers, in the same
>> way the WMF itself was created and has grown.
> I would object to the idea that WMF is best situated to supplement efforts 
> started by volunteers and that statement parts from the decision made some 
> months ago to deflate WMF role.
> But we may agree to disagree on this.

I would agree with you here. I think that the WMF is in a good position to help 
certain initiatives and that in several cases there are better alternatives. 
This is why I am so excited about chapters helping chapters and all 
affiliations being able to join the wikimedia conference in Milan this year. It 
is that kind of exchange of experience which is perfect for all involved, and 
lets remember that what works for some might not work for others.

> Additionnaly... I must add that when WMF was precisely at the current stage 
> of most chapters (with no staff and no office), it was run in a rather 
> creative fashion that would make everyone cough today in comparison to the 
> requirements and obligations made mandatory to chapters. Uh. You may have a 
> slightly more ideal view of the past :)

True, but just because things used to be "bad" is no reason that they should be 
"bad" now if we can prevent it (I was there with you, and we are both happy 
that we outgrew that phase with a minimal of damage and a LOT of luck in 
finding the right ED)  the scale of the organisation now makes it impossible to 
tolerate that kind of "creativity" when not absolutely necessary.
> It would be a poor use
>> of movement funds indeed if the WMF decided to pour money into infant
>> chapters with minimal development and fuzzy strategic goals. That's a
>> recipe for, at an absolute minimum, good-faith mismanagement and waste
>> of scarce donor resources. Avoiding this path was a very wise decision
>> by the trustees, and I only hope they remain resolute despite
>> criticism and Sue's impending departure.
> I mostly hope that they stay consistant with their own past decisions (=we 
> were sold the fact that the money collected belong to the mouvement, not to 
> the entity collecting it. If so, decisions of allocations should not become 
> WMF ones).

Agreed, which is why I think the FDC's advice is so important and I hope to 
never have to question it (although the board does have to have a final say in 
these matters as a matter of governance)

> In any cases... I know not if WM HK should have been funded or not. What I 
> know is that the mouvement need happy and rested and humanly treated 
> volunteers to stay healthy.

True, but volunteers also have to ensure not to force themselves into positions 
of "make or break" and thereby put themselves at risk.

> We keep talking about editors decrease. Maybe in the future, we'll talk about 
> irl volunteers (as in "chapter members") decrease as well.

I think we should, and I think that some of that discussion took place in 
Milan. As we know there are different kind of volunteers who organise 
affiliates (because the problem is not limited to chapters) and it takes 
different ways to keep motivated. These are important topics to discuss and 
keep track of. But lets not fall into the trap of blaming the "big bureaucratic 
body of the WMF" for all the problems we have. Volunteers burn out because of 
lots of reasons and we should all take care to fix those problems that are 
within our reach to control, and try to reduce the risk of burnout for all 
those involved (and again: meeting each other physically and exchanging 
experiences is a really good way of recharging)...

> In the past years, we have seen several times organizers of Wikimania plain 
> disappear after the event. Burn-out. I do not think it is a good outcome. For 
> no-one.
> And I do not think it is a good idea to slap a chapter organizing Wikimania 
> this year with words such as "infant, minimal development, fuzzy strategic 
> goals" whose funding would be "at an absolute minimum, mis-management and 
> waste of donor resources".

I would never characterise it that way, but I would also not 
> Organizing Wikimania is an effort which deserve a little bit more respect 
> than this. Either we trust the chapter to host Wikimania or we do not. I do.

I do trust them for organising Wikimania (its looking to be great!) , but I 
think that their FDC proposal was too optimistic in growth and share the other 
criticism of the FDC and the community on the talk page. The two are not 
isolated, but they are not the same either. 

And to be clear: I think that WMHK should reapply to the GAC (because I do 
think we need to fund them as a movement) with a modest proposal (and reading 
Asaf's long mail it seems to me that this is a much better place for their 
proposal… I just wonder how we can ensure that affiliates apply to the right 
funding the first time around. Of course a condition to any funding is being in 


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