Several emails on this topic have been essay length, including some from
list moderators. If post limits are halved, this may become more common.

Many readers, especially those like me viewing on a phone when scanning
through emails, will skip essays which are several screens long. Please
consider the good practice of opening with a one paragraph precis, or TLDR
section, for any long post. This way, those who have tiny screens, or short
attention spans, can get the point and will be much more likely to return
to the essay later.

Thanks, Fae (writing without a keyboard)

On 27 Aug 2017 09:50, "Peter Southwood" <>

Hey, it is nearly the end of the month, I will expend another rationed
posting to agree with  Gerard on this point because I think it is vitally
important. He expresses my sentiments very closely on this point, and
although I may disapprove of his tone occasionally, I think he is a fine
example of someone who may not always echo the mainstream opinion, but I
have never doubted his good faith intentions to improve the Wikimedia

-----Original Message-----
From: Wikimedia-l [] On
Behalf Of Gerard Meijssen
Sent: Sunday, 27 August 2017 8:25 AM
To: Wikimedia Mailing List
Subject: [Wikimedia-l] What is the purpose of the Wikimedia mailinglist

I was invited to positively give my opinion about the Wikimedia mailinglist
and its use by one of the list managers.

So the first thing to consider is what is the list for. This is largely a
given because of its name; it is to discuss things that are primarily
concerned with "Wikimedia" both as a movement and as an organisation. It is
not about Wikipedia in general, it has its own list; wikipedia-l, and there
are even lists for language specific Wikipedias.

The topic of Wikimedia makes it very much a macro or high level. It follows
that many of the subjects that are not topical elsewhere have there proper
home on this list. When a post transcends a local list because there is a
high level consideration, Wikimedia-l is also the right venue.

Some topics that are of interest to me and are high level are: the multi
linguality of our projects and its support. As a consequence the lack of
funding and interest in other languages. As a movement we agree on the need
to consider the gender gap. However there are other diversity issues that
do not get attention. When quality improvements are possible in multiple
projects, the discussion about this starts here.

What I have found is that this whole notion of the purpose of this list is
lost. When a topic raised on the list is answered with high level
arguments, it is easily seen as "highjacking". That is normal because from
a sociological point of view, high level considerations and low level
considerations often work in different directions (think Coleman).

Then there is another consideration; intent. The objective of this list is
to discuss ways whereby we can understand and improve what is happening in
our movement. For me it follows that when it is known for a list member to
actively undermine our foundation, he has no place here. That *is *the kind
of noise we can do without. When someone is punished for having a point of
view that aims to improve what we do but has a position that is not the
flavour of the month, it is a different story. The list itself has a
problem when these to considerations are not part of the management of the

The current proposals will not improve the Wikimedia-l because it is
restrictive in its approach. It is what some people may want, a lower
volume. But others like myself have weaned themselves of Meta because it is
such a time sink. There are at this time other platforms as well where
people obstruct (imho) probably with good intentions but without
understanding of the arguments that it has become virtually impossible to
come to a consensus anyway. Floating arguments on Wikimedia-l is one way to
get a traction, actively working towards the hoped for outcome and blogging
makes it complete for me.

With the current restrictions proposed, I do not feel safe. There is no
longer room to reflect on arguments. There is no longer room to reply
because of this arbitrary limitation to post.

Remember, this list is to make a positive difference for our movement. Few
posts only allow for making statements and not for discussions. Many of the
arguments put forward are arguably wrong even detrimental to what we do.
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and
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