Hi Wikimedians,

The "chapter system" in the US and North America is a work in progress.

In addition to the two full regional chapters (New York City - where I am,
and Washington, DC), there are also usergroups for the New England,
Cascadia/Northwest, and North Carolina Triangle regions, with other groups
still in the process of formation.

There is a historical difference from the large-budget Western European
chapters and the US situation, which has been more grassroots and never
participated in things like fundraiser payment-sharing, and the funding for
WMF HQ in San Francisco indeed shouldn't be conflated with funding of US
volunteer-based activities.

If anyone else is interested in organizing regionally in any part of the US
/ North America, feel free to get in touch; Wikimedia NYC and others would
be very glad to help you :)

Thanks,
Pharos

On Wed, Feb 10, 2016 at 11:15 AM, Robert Fernandez <wikigamal...@gmail.com>
wrote:

> The US may be too geographically spread out to develop a robust chapter
> system.  We have vibrant chapters in a few dense population areas.
> Wikimedia District of Columbia is particularly awesome.  But for most US
> editors there isn't a critical mass of editors in some areas.  Often we
> work with with chapters that are geographically distant.  There's at least
> two of us on the Board of Directors of WMDC who don't live particularly
> close to DC.
>
> On Wed, Feb 10, 2016 at 11:00 AM, Jane Darnell <jane...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > "We also do not have a strong chapter system"
> >
> > This has always puzzled me, because I am a firm believer in the chapter
> > system, despite its faults and limitations. Isn't it time to address this
> > for the more active areas of the USA?
> >
> > On Wed, Feb 10, 2016 at 10:43 AM, Andrew Lih <andrew....@gmail.com>
> wrote:
> >
> > > GerardM,
> > >
> > > As much as I agree with you on many things related to Wikimania, your
> > > statement about en.wp and USA being “over subsidized” is off base.
> > >
> > > For the last few years I’ve held my tongue as American applicants get a
> > > fraction of 10% of all the funding for Wikimania scholarships. That’s
> > > because 10% is allocated to all of North America, so US based folks
> > compete
> > > with Canadians for that small slice of the pie. Indeed, key community
> > > members from the US could not afford to go to Wikimania, and did not,
> > > because of the limited funding. We also do not have a strong chapter
> > system
> > > to make up for that shortcoming, where European chapters can, and do,
> > > underwrite their local members with other funds.
> > >
> > > I am not against the bulk of the scholarship money going to
> > > underrepresented developing markets and giving new voices a chance to
> > > attend. But I wanted to dispel the myth that Americans are always
> gorging
> > > at the trough.
> > >
> > >
> > >
> >
> https://wikimania2013.wikimedia.org/wiki/Scholarships#Scholarship_selection_process
> > >
> https://wikimania2014.wikimedia.org/wiki/Scholarships#Selection_process
> > >
> > >
> > > -Andrew
> > >
> > > On Wed, Feb 10, 2016 at 6:49 AM, Gerard Meijssen <
> > > gerard.meijs...@gmail.com>
> > > wrote:
> > >
> > > > Hoi,
> > > > Pine with all due respect, the USA is not the problem and English
> > > Wikipedia
> > > > has been overly subsidised, given way too much attention. Indeed
> having
> > > > more people from the USA attend Wikimania is not a good value
> > > proposition.
> > > > The USA and Britain is overrepresented as it is.
> > > > Thanks,
> > > >      GerardM
> > > >
> > > > On 10 February 2016 at 10:13, Pine W <wiki.p...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > > >
> > > > > From a US perspective, even here in the global north we have plenty
> > of
> > > > > students and middle-class participants for whom $1500 in travel,
> food
> > > and
> > > > > lodging plus 5 days away from work, family, or school amounts to a
> > > > > significant or impossible sacrifice.
> > > > >
> > > > > Perhaps someone could tell us the statistics for how many people
> have
> > > > > attended Wikimania each year who were not WMF employees, FDC or WMF
> > > Board
> > > > > members, scholarship recipients, or financially sponsored by WMF
> > > > affiliates
> > > > > or WEF. Of those people who pay 100% of their own costs plus the
> cost
> > > of
> > > > > admission tickets, my guess is that many live within a day's travel
> > > time
> > > > by
> > > > > train, car, or bus.
> > > > >
> > > > > I would hypothesize that thematic conferences also have a low
> > > percentage
> > > > of
> > > > > people who pay 100% of their own costs, but that regional
> conferences
> > > > which
> > > > > have lower travel costs for the average attendee receive modestly
> > > higher
> > > > > percentages of unsubsidized attendance.
> > > > >
> > > > > It seems to me that WMF finacial support for conferences, including
> > > > > regional and thematic conferences, will continue to be the norm.
> > > > >
> > > > > Whether $1 million is appropriate for Wikimania and whether a more
> > > modest
> > > > > budget would be appropriate and feasable are different questions
> that
> > > > merit
> > > > > careful reflection.
> > > > >
> > > > > Pine
> > > > > _______________________________________________
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