Hello All.

Ballsy and sincere mail Pavel, thank you for that and I understand your
points, however as a longstanding wikiperson actually volunteering and a
believer in the open participatory model which built Wikiprojects, I need
to respond and disagree with you in some parts.

> I don't see that anything needs fixing here. So, what happened? 
> The Wikimania committee came to the conclusion that the current ​
> ​process to select the next 
> Wikimania host is broken (and I think the committee was right ​ ​
> about that). So something needed to happen - and the committee did 
> something that we see ​ ​ not often enough in Wikimedia-land: 
> 
> they made a decision. ​A decision they were tasked to ​ ​ take:
> Think and decide on the next Wikimania host, and on the process to find one.


1. Except clearly at least one com member is unhappy with the process, the
com was somewhat unaware of actual candidates, the decision is suspended,
the change of the game terms was not communicated to anyone in public (not
to mention major stakeholders like Chapters sponsoring Wikimania attendees)
and the whole process is completely not transparent. We are not even sure
if WMF in general (Staff? Board?) supports it.

Fun fact: we have this website thing to document processes and inform
others, they call it Meta. 8-)
And taking a look into https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimania_2017_bids
you don't even see any Montreal. Or info about the major change in the
process.

OTOH, you could see there encouragements to submit bids.

Fun fact #2: this page has been marked as historical by JForester only
minutes ago which looks like a panic management.

> 3\. "There are two things in the world you never want to let people see
> how you make 'em: laws and sausages" 
> (Leo McGarry, The West Wing, "Five Votes Down"). 

Actually, it was Bismarck.

> And there is one thing Wikimedians in this world could not 
> care less​ about​: How the next host for Wikimania is found. Let's
> applaud the great people of the Wikimania 
> 
> Committee that they took on that task, came up with a great decision for
> 2017 AND implemented a new
> (even so not perfect) process ​while they were at it.

Well, some seem to care, at least on these lists or fb (see Josh or Perth
people).

And others care for general transparency and community involvement which
seem to be noticably deteriorating, see the issues with strategic plan. Not
that I require a multilevel RFCs, general venue elections and whatnots but
at least simple message would be more than great to not waste time of the
potential bidders.

I might be wrong but I think that volunteer-driven organizations should be
careful to respect their volunteers. Here I think the ball was somewhere
dropped. I imagine someone actually wanted to off-load the volunteers and
make their lives much better, improve the spending etc. etc., but the
communication failed at some point.

Regarding the community consultation, I feel there are some more people
than "old-timers" of en.wp and de.wp, and what is more these talks are read
by much more people. In many cases I think they were found crucial by WMF
staff as well although I do agree we could improve here, people are often
overburdened and we are running circles.
But it would be very sad to turn into a yet another bureaucracy.

Tl;dr I agree with you that making decisions is important and WMF is the
major stakeholder, but I would put more value into making things fair and
transparent, otherwise people get angry and the decisions are more prone to
fault.

Warm Regards,
michał "aegis maelstrom" buczyński

P.S. Sorry for the editting, some mail client issue.



Dnia 4 października 2015 20:03 Pavel Richter <m...@pavelrichter.de>
napisał(a):

> 2015-10-04 17:42 GMT+02:00 Florence Devouard :
> 
> 
>     Le 04/10/15 16:15, Theo10011 a écrit :
> 
> 
>     Now, beside head rolling... (uh, ouch :)) what do you suggest to fix
>     that
> 
>     ?
> 
> 
>     ​
> 
> 
> I don't see that anything needs fixing here. So, what happened? The
> Wikimania committee came to the conclusion that the current ​ ​
> process to select the next Wikimania host is broken (and I think the
> committee was right ​ ​ about that). So something needed to happen -
> and the committee did something that we see ​ ​ not often enough in
> Wikimedia-land: they made a decision. ​A decision they were tasked to
> ​ ​ take: Think and decide on the next Wikimania host, and on the
> process to find one. Nobody ​ ​ ever said that their job was only to
> execute a set of old guidlines and processes (which, I ​ ​ guess,
> were never "community approved" but rather were around just for a long,
> long time). ​So, they abandoned the process, came up with a new one,
> and decided who would host ​ ​ Wikimania in 2017 (Montreal seems a
> great choice, btw - I mean, a bilingual city has some ​ ​ great
> opportunities for us, right?).​ ​Whats wrong with that? Nothing!
> Let's face some truths here: 1\. ​Wikimania has become well too big to
> be run by volunteers. EVERY Wikimania since Danzig (at least) happened
> only because the WMF jumped in at one point of time to rescue the whole
> event. That is not to say that volunteers did not do a great job for
> Wikimania - but the job proved to be too big for volunteers, for at least
> five times in a row. So it was right to abandon the current process and
> replace it with something new. 2\. The new process has a lot of problems
> build in - I think, for example, that the decision to exclude major parts
> of the world from Wikimanias (except for every third year, when regions
> are "up to grabs)​, is​ ​wrong. BUT: We now have at least 18 MONTHS
> to fix this (and possible other problems) - thanks to the bold decision
> of the Wikimania committee. 3\. "There are two things in the world you
> never want to let people see how you make 'em: laws and sausages" (Leo
> McGarry, The West Wing, "Five Votes Down"). And there is one thing
> Wikimedians in this world could not care less​ about​: How the next
> host for Wikimania is found. Let's applaud the great people of the
> Wikimania Committee that they took on that task, came up with a great
> decision for 2017 AND implemented a new (even so not perfect) process
> ​while they were at it.​ 4\. I think with a lot of things in
> Wikimedia-land, we need MORE bold decisions (by whomever)​, and LESS
> "community consultation"​ that only leads to some old-timers in en.WP
> and de.WP voice their anger and concerns, but rarely solves the problem
> that needs solving.​ 5\. ​ Dear Wikimania Committee: Your
> communication of thi​s whole thing ​ sucked​, big time.​ Consider
> yourself scolded. Move on. Cheers, Pavel​

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