that is correct (about the FDC involvement; we have not participated in
consulting or idea exchange in any systematic way).

dj "pundit"


On Tue, Feb 11, 2014 at 7:37 PM, Gregory Varnum <gregory.var...@gmail.com>wrote:

> While AffCom will likely be making an official statement later, I am having
> a hard time not chiming in and I do think it is worth pointing out that
> AffCom was not consulted in a manner I think most of us would have imagined
> occurring. I have noticed it mentioned a few times that our feedback was
> taken into consideration, but that may give the wrong idea of what
> happened.
>
> While it is true we provided feedback before the decision was made, I would
> not consider it consulting with us or even communicating with AffCom in a
> way that allowed us to provide the level of feedback I think the community
> has come to expect. Frankly we got a lot of our information second-hand,
> and am still not sure personally we know the full story. My personal
> expectation would have involved a lot more communication before the
> decision was made, and most importantly, some two-way dialogue. At the very
> least I think the chairs of FDC and AffCom should have been looped into
> parts of the conversation during the meeting.
>
> I think it is fair to say that AffCom got notice before the broader
> community, and we had opportunities to express our concerns and objections
> - however I would not characterize it as a conversation or true feedback
> gathering. I am not personally convinced it was taken into much
> consideration as the people proposing this bad idea were physically there
> to speak to their idea, but no one opposed to it was invited. My
> understanding is the same was true for FDC - but I obviously cannot speak
> to that.
>
> Aside from my disappointment in the decision, I am perhaps even more
> disappointed with the process. Without going into lengthy details, I was
> not impressed with how AffCom was consulted on this (or not consulted
> depending on your take) and frankly the board's attitude I think calls into
> question their true interest in utilizing FDC and AffCom as actual advisors
> to the board. In a world and movement so woven into technology, the notion
> that we could not bring some "advisors" in for parts of these meetings just
> doesn't make sense to me. I recognize that has not generally been done, but
> that seems like something to change and not a pattern to stay within.
>
> I also want to be clear that I have a lot of empathy for the board, these
> are difficult roles, and I think the people in them are genuinely trying
> their best. I like them all on a personal level, and am confident these
> disagrees won't harm that. I also know that while the board stands united,
> these decisions are not privately made without debate. However, they are
> our board and I think sharing concerns like this is a healthy part of the
> process. Some of the tone people have taken on this thread is less helpful,
> and I hope we can get it back on a more civil track.
>
> -greg
>
> PS. I send this a volunteer and not wearing any official AffCom or WM
> anything hat (although that hat obviously formed my opinion).
>
>
> On Tue, Feb 11, 2014 at 12:59 PM, Cynthia Ashley-Nelson <
> cindam...@gmail.com
> > wrote:
>
> > Consensus indicates that the implementation of this decision will greatly
> > hinder the work of affiliates.It may help to disclose the initial problem
> > statement presented to the Board, which resulted in the establishment of
> > these new guidelines.What resolution is the Board seeking to achieve? In
> > the Board discussion that took place, were there other options presented?
> > If so, can the Board disclose what these were and why they were
> > disregarded? How will the implementation of this decision bring about
> > progress and benefit the movement on a global basis?
> >
> > Best regards,
> >
> > Cynthia Ashley-Nelson
> >
> >
> > On Tue, Feb 11, 2014 at 5:36 AM, Jan-Bart de Vreede <
> > jdevre...@wikimedia.org
> > > wrote:
> >
> > > Dear Frederic,
> > >
> > >
> > > On 11 Feb 2014, at 10:44, Frédéric Schütz <sch...@mathgen.ch> wrote:
> > >
> > > > On 11/02/14 09:03, phoebe ayers wrote:
> > > >
> > > > Hi Phoebe,
> > > >
> > > > thanks for your answer !
> > > >
> > > >>> It is indeed up to the WMF to decide the conditions a group must
> have
> > > >>> achieved before being recognized as a chapter or thematic
> > organization.
> > > >>> However, this is an assessment at a given point in time. How the
> > group
> > > >>> actually got there should have no influence on the result.
> > > >>>
> > > >>
> > > >> Should it not? I think we disagree on that point. We want the group
> to
> > > do
> > > >> stuff, to have a great track record, to show some evidence that they
> > > will
> > > >> stay active if we call them a Wikimedia chapter -- not just to prove
> > > that
> > > >> they have a good lawyer in the group who can draw up bylaws. (That's
> > the
> > > >> crux of the matter, not the "user group" label, as far as I'm
> > > concerned).
> > > >
> > > > What you say makes a lot of sense, but it is disconnected from the
> > > > actual decision. Your decision is not "you should have a good track
> > > > record", it is "you should have a good track record AND NOT have
> > bylaws".
> > > >
> > > > What I understand the board is saying is: "if you have a fantastic
> > track
> > > > record over the past two years, and you have successfully
> incorporated
> > > > two years ago, and have maybe even managed somehow to attract
> external
> > > > funding to conduct your projects, then sorry, this is exactly the
> kind
> > > > of organization we do *not* want as a Wikimedia chapter or thematic
> > > > organization".
> > > >
> > > > How can this possibly be something positive for the movement ?
> > >
> > > I think you misunderstand us, can you tell me where you got this
> > > impression, because it is the wrong one. We are saying that a track
> > record
> > > is important, and much more important that the previous focus on having
> > > bylaws. This because we know that a proven track record is a very good
> > > indicator of the chances of succes of a chapter or thematic
> organisation.
> > >
> > > >
> > > >>> I see that the WMF ED suggested the change, and that it was not
> > > endorsed
> > > >>> by the Affcom (which is interesting in itself). But why doesn't the
> > > >>> community have a chance to comment on how it should organize
> itself ?
> > > >
> > > > I'd love to hear your comment about this point. Agreeing with Itzik,
> I
> > > > don't really understand why we are having this discussion after the
> > > > discussion has already been made (and, indeed, will not change
> whatever
> > > > amount of discussion we have) and not before.
> > >
> > > Its not like the community does not have a chance to comment on how it
> > > should organise itself. There are several ways to organise yourself
> > > (including the user group entity which can benefit greatly from the
> > > recently improved trademark policy). The board has indicated that there
> > is
> > > now an additional requirement for becoming a chapter/thematic
> > organisation,
> > > which is just ONE way of organising yourself. The chapter/thematic
> choice
> > > brings with it a lot of responsibility and we feel that our measure
> will
> > > help us fulfil our responsibility of being able to approve both
> chapters
> > > and thematic organisations while adhering to our governance
> > responsibility.
> > >
> > > For the record: The board took the feedback from both the AffCom and
> FDC
> > > into account and then made its decision, based on factors that were
> > really
> > > the responsibility of the board. I respect the volunteers within both
> > > committees tremendously, but it in the end it really was a decision
> which
> > > was taken while taking into account the entire picture (pieces of which
> > > were provided by the Affcom and FDC).
> > >
> > > <SNIP>
> > >
> > > >>
> > > >> thinks the user group framework absolutely won't work -- well, let
> us
> > > know.
> > > >> We are not unreasonable heartless people! But we are trying to get
> us
> > > all
> > > >> on a different footing in how we view incorporation of groups.
> > > >
> > > > The burden of the proof should be on the WMF board to explain why
> this
> > > > proposal makes sense, and what positive outcome it brings to the
> > > > community -- not on motivated community members who have to beg to
> get
> > > > exceptions.
> > >
> > > Hmmm.... I would say that
> > > 1) We made a decision in which we took several factors into account
> > > 2) We recognise that there might be situations which we might not have
> > > taken into account and we invite you to let us know it you think this
> is
> > > the case.
> > >
> > > would be better than the alternative of not being open to feedback
> about
> > > the decision's impact in specific cases.
> > >
> > >
> > > >
> > > > I don't think I have seen much concrete rationale for this decision
> > > > beyond vague comments and concerns which I can only call patronizing
> > > > ("hey, users, we know how you should spend your time and organize
> > > > yourself; no, no, don't think about creating a formal structure, it
> is
> > > > bad for your health. And bad for the movement; will anyone think of
> the
> > > > movement ?")
> > >
> > > I really think that the FAQ gives a pretty good indication. What
> concerns
> > > me (and other board members) is the fact that there is a natural
> tendency
> > > to incorporate a group of volunteers into a chapter or thematic
> > > organisation even if there is no real track record or a good reason to
> > want
> > > to do so (especially since the revised trademark policy gives user
> groups
> > > much more freedom to make use of the trademarks). Chapters and Thematic
> > > organisations are an essential part of the movement and we would like
> > each
> > > and every one to succeed in furthering the goals of the movement as a
> > > whole. Asking these groups to be a user group for the first two years
> > while
> > > doing programmatic work really gives a good indication of the ability
> of
> > > the "future chapter/thematic organisation" to succeed.
> > >
> > > We also reference the strategic planning which is due to start this
> > > summer. One of the things we really have to solve is the
> > > roles/responsibilities/privileges of each player in the movement. The
> > basic
> > > answer to the questions:
> > >
> > > 1) What are our long term goals
> > > 2) Who is best positioned to achieve these goals
> > >
> > > should lead to a "who does what" picture of the movement (and maybe
> just
> > > as important "who will stop doing what"), and it is on the basis of
> this
> > > picture and the underlying goals that we should create and fund
> different
> > > players in the movement. I would argue that at this time the picture is
> > not
> > > as clear as it should be before committing the resources we currently
> > > commit to it.
> > >
> > > (just as a small note: when I talk about movement I mean the range from
> > > the individual volunteer to the Wikimedia Foundation itself)
> > >
> > > >
> > > > As a side note, this is the only point that I will keep from Rupert's
> > > > email: this decision completely ignores international cultural
> > > > differences in terms of funding, fundraising and organization in
> > > > general. Indeed, in a quote above, you talk about "good lawyer in the
> > > > group who can draw up bylaws"; this reinforces the incorrect premise
> > > > your decision is based on: that incorporation is a complicated and
> > > > bureaucratic process that should be avoided. And this is something
> that
> > > > can not be decided globally.
> > >
> > > This is true. But to be clear, its not the possible "bureaucratic"
> aspect
> > > which concerns us greatly (as I mentioned above).
> > >
> > >
> > > >
> > > > Frédéric
> > >
> > > Regards
> > >
> > > Jan-Bart de Vreede
> > > Chair Board of Trustees
> > > Wikimedia Foundation
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > >
> > > > _______________________________________________
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> >
> >
> > --
> >
> > Best regards,
> >
> > Cynthia Ashley-Nelson
> > "Yes. *Her again.*"
> > _______________________________________________
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-- 

__________________________
dr hab. Dariusz Jemielniak
profesor zarządzania
kierownik katedry Zarządzania Międzynarodowego
i centrum badawczego CROW
Akademia Leona Koźmińskiego
http://www.crow.alk.edu.pl
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