Having not followed this thread over the weekend, I was rather
surprised that such a seemingly trivial topic has become so heated.
But in thinking about it, I should not be surprised because it is a
topic that cuts across several fundamental identity questions which I
think are not clearly resolved in the collective opinion.

The central issue in my mind is that we are a membership organisation,
and the consequences of that. For me personally, the importance of
having officialwiki and the members mailing list, is that they are
spaces specifically for members to be seen and heard. Officialwiki is
not really used for planning and that's fine with me. We are
functioning regardless. But I find symbolic value in respecting that
differentiation between members and non-members. I want the agenda to
be driven by members. While I serve Wikimedia Australia, I will serve
its members.

Then we come to the question of "What should the barrier to membership
be?" which leads to "What does it mean to be a member?" vs "What does
it mean to be a volunteer/supporter?".  Who should "want" to be a
member of WMAU? All Wikimedia editors residing in Australia? Not in my
eyes. In my view the essence of a chapter is local + outreach. If
there are people who just want to edit and don't care to take their
wiki-habit into the F2F world, that's fine by me.
And, we don't have a well defined volunteer/supporter role yet.

This member/non-member differentiation that doesn't sit very neatly
with the philosophy of Wikipedia. In fact I guess that it even makes
some people feel uncomfortable. Perhaps they feel the padlock icon is
a betrayal of our roots.

Now the philosophy of "anyone can edit" is one of the things that drew
me to WP in the first place. I love it and find it hugely inspiring.
But I don't seek to apply it everywhere without regard for context.
And when "membership" is part of that context I find they sit together
like oil and water. The two ideas rub up against one another

So these are interesting questions - old questions, too - which I am
sure we will continue to explore together.

And I can't really think of a way to end this that won't be regarded
as flip, so I'll just leave it at that and try and think of something


PS Has your town got anything planned for Wikipedia Day yet? A meetup?
A museum visit? An editing sprint? What are you thinking about cooking

They've just been waiting in a mountain for the right moment:

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