First of all, it's obvious that the part of our movement already
suffers from the "old grey man" illusion, although the most of us are
not old nor grey.

That's typical modernist paradigm, which brought many achievements to
our civilization, but also removed decision-making power from the
majority of population: women + minorities consist definitely more
than 50% of population.

We have to move from that point. Yes, it's hard as our main product is
of modernist nature, but I think we are clever enough to overcome it.

Participation in Wikimedia movement requires a lot of time. That's the
reason why we have to have fun while working on it. Otherwise, anyone
not willing not to have fun during significant portion of their
everyday life wouldn't be excited to be with us. And there are many
reasons why we need them.

And not just that. I am sure I am not the only Wikimedian
significantly demotivated to work on important things for our movement
just because we are boring. It's exhausting to work on various issues
if the only set of benefits is consisted of "Thanks! This is
important!" and similar more or less elaborate variants. I want to be
eager to do those things, to expect fun after spending time on doing
"important things". Although my beard is partially grey, I definitely
don't strive to be an "old grey man", emotionally fulfilled
exclusively by the fact that I did something important.

Think about what we are offering to any of us, as well as to newcomers:
* You are working on an epochal project.
* You have to have all "serious" qualities to do that.
* If you are suffering from OCD, you'll find that it's extremely fun
to correct typos and categorize pages.
* You could become a member of your own local organization and spend a
lot of time arguing with other people suffering from OCD. You know,
it's a kind of fulfilling.
* We are more and more important and you'll find it's fun to
participate in official ceremonies and cocktails with important
* <put your own idea here>

Basically, we tell us and newcomers that we have to work an unpaid and
boring part time job because we'll be more successful in doing other
boring things. It is important, but it works for just a small part of
population. And, of course, it's not fun.

* * *

But let's go to the brighter side... From your responses, including a
couple of them sent to me privately, I'd conclude the next and call
for action.

* There is one thing I missed while writing this. Obviously, some
Wikimedians do have fun anyway. It could be because of different
cultural expectations, but also because some of you know and
practicing something the rest of us don't. So, please, share with us
how you have fun during Wikimedia meetings and conferences! Let's
start here, then we could create a Meta page for sharing ideas.

* There are a number of fixable things and they are related to what
Chris said: event management and meeting skills. I think we are mature
enough to find a way how to get and share the knowledge on those

If WMF requires from chapters and other affiliate groups to develop
strong formal procedures, it could also at least offer help in making
our events and meetings more interesting.

If contemporary progressive companies all over the world are able to
make things a bit more shiny with all of those "team buildings" and
similar bullshits, I am sure it would be much easier to achieve that
inside of our, mostly volunteering environment. Mostly, we are not
here to do boring things; we are here to have a kind of fun, no matter
how weird it could look like. So, it shouldn't be hard to get positive
outcome if we implement some of the contemporary straight-forward HR
and organizational methods.

* Software. How hard is to implement XMPP-based web chat? I see a
number of contemporary free software web platforms offering it. Yes,
we are a decade late, but it's better sooner than later anyway. Other
social features? Any *really* *interesting* and educational game
around? And, of course, opt-in only because we have "old grey men"
which would be offended by the idea that serious work could be also
fun and social.

* The level of our culture is the most complex one. Bad news is the
fact that there are no howtos for making a culture more fun. Good news
is that it's not hard to have fun and to spread it around yourselves.
And that should help. And, yes, everything above counts in changing
the culture from being boring to being fun.

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