Yes, I guess Commons is kind of useful - as an adjunct to Wikipedia.
Leaving aside its usefulness to Wikipedia, though, would anyone else notice
if it disappeared tomorrow? If they did, Flickr and Google would fill any
gap overnight.



Anthony Cole


On Thu, Feb 25, 2016 at 2:25 PM, Gerard Meijssen <gerard.meijs...@gmail.com>
wrote:

> Hoi,
> You are wrong. The English Wikipedia is only brutally big. Wikidata is
> slowly but surely becoming one of the most important resources for data on
> the Internet. Commons is the biggest dysfunctional repository of freely
> licensed material. Wikisource is where for many languages much of the books
> end up (for want of new books and for the cost of publishing).
>
> Really. If projects like Wikidata and Commons received proper attention to
> give them the credit they are due, they would improve exponentially while
> more attention to Wikipedia only improves things marginally.
>
> People who are one track ponies about Wikipedia are in fact clueless. They
> forget about what we stand for; sharing the sum of all knowledge. That sum
> of all knowledge is better represented in both Commons and Wikidata.
> Thanks,
>       GerardM
>
> On 25 February 2016 at 07:17, Anthony Cole <ahcole...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > True, Gerard. I'm pretty sure the encyclopaedia is the only successful
> > Wikimedia project though, isn't it? I suppose Wikidata will be a success
> > one day but, for the moment, it's the encyclopaedia that the world loves,
> > it's the encyclopaedia that raises the income, it's the encyclopaedia
> that
> > is spreading the knowledge. On those measures - public awareness and
> > affection, income-generation, and knowledge-dissemination, all the other
> > entities are less than a drop in the ocean compared to Wikipedia.
> >
> > The people in these cottage industries that have grown up around this
> host
> > - chapters, WMF, sister-projects - too often lose sight of the fact that
> > all of them have yet to prove they have had any significant measurable
> > impact on the distribution of knowledge.
> >
> > So, forgive me if I sometimes forget to include them in my thinking.
> >
> > Anthony Cole
> >
> >
> > On Thu, Feb 25, 2016 at 1:31 PM, Gerard Meijssen <
> > gerard.meijs...@gmail.com>
> > wrote:
> >
> > > Hoi,
> > > We are not an encyclopaedia. It is only one of our products. It is only
> > one
> > > way whereby we provide content. By insisting on being focused on that
> > part
> > > of what we do, we do an injustice to everything else.
> > > Thanks,
> > >         GerardM
> > >
> > > On 25 February 2016 at 04:01, Anthony Cole <ahcole...@gmail.com>
> wrote:
> > >
> > > > WMF is a technology company. We are an encyclopaedia, an educational
> > > > institution. We need them like I need a mechanic to keep my car on
> the
> > > > road. That they have control of the encyclopaedia's budget is an
> > > absurdity.
> > > > The donors want to donate to (and think they are donating to) the
> > > builders
> > > > of an encyclopaedia, not the tech guy that maintains our laptops.
> > > >
> > > > Your model - essentially taking over the WMF by turning it into a
> > > > membership organisation, and then into something that represents the
> > aims
> > > > of encyclopaedia-makers - would have the same result as starting a
> > > > membership organisation de novo, except for two things.
> > > >
> > > > 1. I really like the idea of outsourcing our tech needs, so we can
> swap
> > > to
> > > > new servers and a new tech team when we get fed up with the service
> > being
> > > > provided by the WMF.
> > > >
> > > > 2. Millions of dollars already sitting in the WMF's bank accounts.
> > > > Following the model proposed by Denny would leave a fairly ordinary
> > tech
> > > > contractor with bulging coffers. It would be nice to be able to take
> > most
> > > > of that with us, should we choose to change tech contractors.
> Hopefully
> > > we
> > > > could publicly shame them into handing it over.
> > > >
> > > > George, the WMF, particularly under the Sue/Erik regime - but as best
> > as
> > > I
> > > > can tell from its very beginning - has had a propensity to privilege
> > its
> > > > view of what's best over the community's view. Superprotect. Visual
> > > editor.
> > > > When the community has pushed back at WMF behaviour that suits the
> WMF,
> > > > that the WMF thinks helps them in their mission, the WMF has
> > historically
> > > > just gone ahead and ignored what the community sees as being in the
> > > > encyclopaedia's best interest. This bunch of tech geeks and silicon
> > > valley
> > > > entrepreneurs holds the whip hand in this relationship. It really
> > should
> > > be
> > > > the other way round. Denny's model; Sarah's model. I don't really
> care.
> > > But
> > > > this tail-wagging-dog thing is just not right.
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > Anthony Cole
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > On Thu, Feb 25, 2016 at 10:17 AM, Anthony Cole <ahcole...@gmail.com>
> > > > wrote:
> > > >
> > > > > Sarah, I'd prefer to see the "keeping the servers running" role
> > > > completely
> > > > > separate from the community. As an organised community, if we
> become
> > > > > dissatisfied with the service being provided by the WMF, we could
> > just
> > > > sack
> > > > > them (or not renew their contract) and take on a new infrastructure
> > > > > contractor to "keep the servers running." Organised, we - the
> people
> > > who
> > > > > actually created this thing and actively maintain it - could set
> the
> > > > course
> > > > > for its development.
> > > > >
> > > > > Anthony Cole
> > > > >
> > > > >
> > > > > On Thu, Feb 25, 2016 at 10:09 AM, Anthony Cole <
> ahcole...@gmail.com>
> > > > > wrote:
> > > > >
> > > > >> Sarah, if the volunteer community was organised and had its own,
> > > > >> functional representative body that had the community's trust and
> > > > respect,
> > > > >> that would, to some degree, correct the present asymmetry between
> us
> > > and
> > > > >> the WMF.
> > > > >>
> > > > >> Our only rights in relation to them are to fork or leave. While we
> > are
> > > > >> atomised, the latter is our only option. Organised, forking
> becomes
> > a
> > > > >> serious possibility. Of course, I hope it never comes to that. But
> > > > without
> > > > >> that possibility, we are in the position of just having to take
> > > whatever
> > > > >> from the WMF - good and bad.
> > > > >>
> > > > >> Anthony Cole
> > > > >>
> > > > >>
> > > > >> On Thu, Feb 25, 2016 at 9:47 AM, SarahSV <sarahsv.w...@gmail.com>
> > > > wrote:
> > > > >>
> > > > >>> On Wed, Feb 24, 2016 at 6:23 PM, Denny Vrandecic <
> > > > >>> dvrande...@wikimedia.org>
> > > > >>> wrote:
> > > > >>>
> > > > >>> > To make a few things about the Board of Trustees clear - things
> > > that
> > > > >>> will
> > > > >>> > be true now matter how much you reorganize it:
> > > > >>> >
> > > > >>> > - the Board members have duties of care and loyalty to the
> > > Foundation
> > > > >>> - not
> > > > >>> > to the movement.
> > > > >>> >
> > > > >>> > ​Hi Denny,
> > > > >>>
> > > > >>> Blue Avocado, the non-profit magazine, offers a somewhat
> different
> > > > view.
> > > > >>> They have published a board-member "contract" to give non-profit
> > > > >>> directors
> > > > >>> an idea of what's expected of them. It includes:
> > > > >>>
> > > > >>> ​
> > > > >>>
> > > > >>> ​"... ​
> > > > >>> I will interpret our constituencies' needs and values to the
> > > > >>> organization,
> > > > >>> speak out for their interests, and on their behalf, hold the
> > > > organization
> > > > >>> accountable.
> > > > >>> ​" [1]
> > > > >>>
> > > > >>> Sarah
> > > > >>>
> > > > >>> [1] http://www.blueavocado.org/content/board-member-contract
> > > > >>> ​
> > > > >>> _______________________________________________
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> > > > >>
> > > > >
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