On Sat, Jan 9, 2016 at 9:48 AM, geni <geni...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On 9 January 2016 at 02:07, Milos Rancic <mill...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> On top of that, unlike Sue, Lila is a geek. And geeks have troubles in
>> understanding the social impact of their actions, especially inside of
>> the extraordinary complex environment of Wikimedia movement.
> You aren't seriously trying that argument are you? in any case it doesn't
> really help since people skills are a job requirement for WMF ED.

I tried to shorten the explanation, but, obviously it didn't work :)

The position of WMF ED is likely the most complex position inside of
the Wikimedia movement. Board is a collective body and they are rarely
involved in lower than policy level decision making. ED has to care
about the effects of her decisions not only on practical level, but
about their political implications inside of the movement: What would
say editors of English Wikipedia? What would say Wikimedia Germany?
What's going on on wikimedia-l? Signpost? Any independent Wikimedian
who's position could affect many others? Ideally, WMF ED should have
skills of one prime minister.

Besides that and unlike in the most of the organizations, WMF
employees are not just regular employees, but their voice is also very
important inside of our movement, as their contribution to the
movement itself is extraordinary significant. WMF ED doesn't lead
ordinary employees, with whom she can act in the traditional
capitalist way.

WMF Board never searched for a person with "skills of one prime
minister". Their decision is to have either a Bay Area "we are saving
the world" NPO or Bay Area "Elon Musk is God" NPO. Bad side of the
approach is that it will never cover all necessary things; good side
of the approach is that Wikimedia movement is fairly decentralized and
the rest of us could cover what's missing. And I think that it's
easier to cover social than technological part, as technological part
assumes highly structured workflow which volunteers can't implement.

On Sat, Jan 9, 2016 at 1:54 PM, MZMcBride <z...@mzmcbride.com> wrote:
> I think we should have you use only UseModWiki for a few months and then
> you can come back and tell us whether we've actually made any improvements
> to our technology stack since 2001. :-)
> In parts, our sites certainly look staid, dated, or even boring, but we
> have a number of cool new features, with more to come, of course. Briefly
> putting all of this recent drama and in-fighting aside, the most vital
> part of the Wikimedia Foundation's responsibilities, keeping the sites
> running fast, reliably, and securely, is being appropriately handled.
> The world continues to be able to read and contribute to our shared free
> content and for that I'm grateful. The rest is commentary, as they say.

I never said that WMF engineering team did bad job during the last 15
years. Besides that, I am completely aware that there were and are a
lot of good ideas, some of them invisible for the end user, some of
them never implemented because of lack of capacity of higher
management and stubbornness of Wikipedia editors.

Thanks to Sue, we are far away from struggling with money for servers
and operations. And your position -- we are fine as Wikimedia servers
are up and running -- is serious and widespread issue among the
Wikimedia veterans, which affects the whole movement. I remember the
time when I was personally highly anxious because it wasn't that clear
that WMF would have had money for the servers next year, too. I am
relieved by the fact that that's a non-issue for at least five years,

But that reasoning -- we were struggling for food, we have the food
now and that's the top achievement of our lives -- is something which
have put us as a movement into the prolonged state of melancholy. Not
that we are not attractive to new generations, we are not attractive
even to ourselves.

You have to be hungry, remember vividly hungry times, be very
imaginative or high on drugs to be excited when you open a
refrigerator full of food. As I don't think any of us remember vividly
the time before approximately 2010, as well as being very imaginative
is not that common trait, we have to be high on drugs to be excited by
the fact that WMF has enough money to pay bills for a lot of servers
and people maintaining them.

We need to go further because we can. And that's not just an empty
phrase. We already feel the effects of not going further. People tend
to be demotivated and we depend on the motivation of volunteers.

The time of financial stabilization passed. Wikimedia movement is now
financially stable. We should use that stability to move forward. And
making visible and important technological advancements is something
we need for a long time.


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