Wil Sinclair wrote:
>> I'm not against anyone participating in any site that criticizes or
>>mocks Wikipedia or the WMF. But I do get the sense that Wil is jumping
>>into his wife's new territory with both feet, and not necessarily taking
>>the ginger approach to the most controversial issues that have
>>confronted the projects.
>Hi Nathan, like I said, I am not Lila, and I am in no way associated
>with the WMF. Also, Lila is not technically my wife. :) I honestly
>don't see what my personal relationships have to do with these issues.


From the interactions I've observed, you (Wil) are too smart to be doing
what you're doing, which makes some of your behavior all the more worrying.

You're willfully ignoring the consequences (real and potential) of your
actions. I'm worried about what it says when you have 18 posts to
wikimedia-l this month and your partner has one. I'm not even sure she's
subscribed to this mailing list, a big official forum, much less
registered and actively posting in forums such as Wikipediocracy.
But you are.

Even if you had no connection to Lila, what would you or anyone else
around here think about a contributor who suddenly starts wanting to get
involved and is immediately posting to Wikipediocracy and poking around
child protection issues (one of the most sensitive issues in the
community)? People are obviously going to be wary of someone like this.

Wikimedia is about creating free educational content. I look at
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/Wllm> and I see you
have fewer than 50 edits to articles, and the last two are (minor) edits
to your partner's article. I'm pretty worried about what that says.

I'm not sure you're someone who wants to be involved in Wikimedia. Not
yet, anyway. There's a concern that you're simply someone whose partner
just got a job as the head of the Wikimedia Foundation and you want to dig
into the drama and other juicy parts. There's a concern that you're not
here to contribute Wiktionary entries or Wikisource transcriptions or
Wikipedia articles or other free educational content. Or perhaps put
another way, you have 110 posts to Wikipediocracy and you've been
registered there since May 2014. Meanwhile you have 79 total edits to the
English Wikipedia and you've been registered there since July 2006. This
is absolutely not a means of wiki-dick measuring or editcountitis, I'm
just looking at what you've been saying versus what you've been doing and
how it might affect both perceptions and the future reality.

These issues are swirling around in my head. Wikimedia is unusual, I
realize, but nowadays every time I hear about someone's partner getting
(overly) involved in that someone's work, I can't help but think of both
GitHub and its recent issues (real-life) and the relationship on "House of
Cards" (fiction). Real life and popular culture have their influence on
us, of course. :-)

Both of these (GitHub + "House of Cards") are obviously very extreme
examples, but given your (Wil) recent hyper-involvement, the juxtaposition
of it with your partner's lack of involvement, your on-wiki track record
(few substantive edits or involvement... and you've been editing your
partner's article?), and your off-wiki track record (Wikipediocracy and
here), I can't help but wonder what your role is here. I'm not sure the
Wikimedia Foundation has ever had or ever should have a consort.

Are you acting as a surrogate for your partner in forums that she doesn't
have time or inclination to participate in herself? Is this a good cop/bad
cop type of situation? I'm still not sure what to think. I imagine there
members of the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees that also still
aren't sure what to think. I hope the Board is paying close attention.

You seem to be fairly self-aware and proactive about combating the notion
that you have any influence over the Wikimedia Foundation, while
simultaneously wishing ("I'm a father and I want my kid...") to someday
make big changes to Wikimedia and its policies. It's a mixed bag around
here. It's very difficult to tell if you'll be a blessing or a curse.

I've read your replies and I understand what you're saying (succinctly
summarized by you as ",Wil!=Lila&&Wil!=WMF"), but what you're saying and
what your actions are saying seem to be in contrast. If you want to get
involved with Wikimedia, by all means, that would be great. But getting
involved means contributing to free educational content and the
surrounding movement. All you have to do is be bold and just click edit,
as they say. Until then, there will be a sizable contingency watching and
waiting for what will come of the decision to appoint your partner as
Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation and what her role and yours
mean to the future of Wikimedia.


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