The Affiliations Committee (AffCom) has been preparing for the increased 
momentum since the user group model was implemented, and it follows a pattern 
that we’ve been seeing over the past couple of years. In 2013, we approved 10 
user groups, last year we approved 19, and so far this year we have approved 
around 20. That number will likely increase next year. This growing momentum is 
why we have continued to tweak the approval process to be faster and able to 
handle the growing momentum. So, from our perspective, this is something we 
have been preparing for from the start, and not a surprise.

Personally, I think further complicating affiliate classifications is a bad 
idea. “Small” and “larger” are very culturally relative, varies across the 
models (there are user groups “larger” than chapters), changes over time, and 
implies that “large” affiliates do work “small” affiliates cannot, when we 
continue to see that is in fact not the case at all. The current criteria for 
WMCON is active and inactive, which seems far more appropriate. Additionally, 
dividing them will not save much money, if any, as there would still presumably 
be a gathering for the “small” affiliates.

I agree with Leigh and others that affiliates should receive more support, but 
I do not think those efforts will be served well by further dividing them.

-greg (User:Varnent)
Vice Chair, Wikimedia Affiliations Committee

> On Oct 18, 2015, at 10:08 AM, Gnangarra <> wrote:
> Any process that divides the community isnt good for the community, we
> already seeing the effects of poor decisions being taken by groups and
> individuals acting in isolation
> On 18 October 2015 at 20:02, Leigh Thelmadatter <>
> wrote:
>> Im not sure now is the right time to divide affiliates. Thematic
>> organizations and user groups are still new and there is still a heavy
>> preference towards chapters. User groups are not necessarily small, and
>> chapters are not necessarily large.
>> I hear what you are saying about resources being stretched thin. Wiki
>> Learning was one of the first to get approved as a user group after years
>> of trying, but we have not received any mentoring as of yet. Fortunately,
>> we are already pretty well-organized and receive support from the Tec de
>> Monterrey.
>> Im worried that separating affiliates would marginalize groups that just
>> now got some kind of recognition and voice.
>>> Date: Sun, 18 Oct 2015 03:00:31 -0700
>>> From:
>>> To:;
>>> CC:
>>> Subject: [Wikimedia-l] Number of new User Groups
>>> It's nice to see the recent momentum in the formation of user groups. Can
>>> Affcom shed some light on what may be causing the burst of announced
>>> formations?
>>> Relatedly, I'm wondering if the number of UGs is now so high that the
>>> budget and/or programmatic capacity of WMCON will be a bit stretched to
>>> accomodate all of the UGs in addition to the larger affiliates. I was
>>> thinking that it would be good to have a track at WMCON devoted to small
>>> affiliates, but now I'm starting to wonder if there are so many of us,
>> with
>>> interests and concerns hopefully now more visible on WMF's radar due to
>> our
>>> increased numbers, that it would make sense to have separate conferences
>>> for the large and small affiliates so that undivided attention from WMF
>> can
>>> be given more evenly to both size classes of affiliates for the duration
>> of
>>> a conference. Any thoughts about those options, from Affcom, WMF, WMDE,
>> or
>>> others?
>>> Pine
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> -- 
> GN.
> President Wikimedia Australia
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