Barry, I think the moot point is being missed here. There is a general feeling 
(atleast from what I understand) that IP should focus on what the community 
cannot do - and the community should be more involved in deciding what IP 
should do. Other chapters that have hired staff have hired people on the same 
basis (for doing what the community cannot do). We do need to debate this 
because what is the point of paying people for things that volunteers can do 
for free? I have mentioned this on this mailing list a few weeks back as well.

We must also remember, IP has something major which the chapter or the 
community does not: An assured large money flow. This is why they are asked for 
help - because the chapter is not in a position to provide the same. This helps 
them to conduct outreach with ease without having to worry about filing tedious 
grant requests for travel or stay, they can just book a flight ticket and go 
off, while community members have to go through red tape - which kills their 
zeal. If community members are assured of flight and hotel costs the way IP 
staff is, Im pretty sure there will never be a shortage of volunteers for 
outreach :)

Despite my request for a detailed report on what IP is upto on a monthly basis 
[1], there is no report for March whatsoever so far. On the same talk page, 
Pradeep spoke of IP detailing what it intends to do in the month at the 
beginning of the month so it can be compared to the final report for auditing 
what IP has done. Hisham agreed and provided the same for March [2], but where 
is April? Do we have to send monthly reminders for this?


Date: Wed, 11 Apr 2012 15:52:42 -0700
Subject: Re: [Wikimediaindia-l] Wikipedia to be free on mobiles in Africa, 
Middle East (

Hi all, 

On mobile: We are working on this. Deals take time to consummate and are 
confidential until they are finalized with partners, but there is work going on 
in India and we hope to have some good stuff soon.

@Ashwin: At one level I agree, but another way to think about this is as 
follows...It is useful to differentiate between things an editor "can" do and 
what an editor "actually chooses to do".  There may be thing that an editor can 
do, but chooses not to do that is still worth doing and India Programs can fill 
that gap.  On Outreach, India Programs is a) helping to cross-pollinate 
learning across the community and take more of an analytical approach to 
assessing Outreach than had been done before Nitika started to really focus on 
this; and b) bring added capacity to help us all reach more groups (look at the 
volume of outreach that has happened since Nitika started pushing on this theme 
- not pure coincidence).[1]

@Srikanth: I don't think we should be ready to say there is no need for group X 
to focus on activity area Y, since group Z exists. Existence does not equate 
with "satisfying all of the needs in India". India Programs will stop 
supporting outreach the moment the chapter or local communities feel they are 
fully able to met all of the demand for learning about the Wikimedia projects 
from groups across India.  Even today, the India Program team seeks ways to 
support community members or the chapter to do the outreach and does outreach 
sessions when a) they are asked to provide support; or b) where there aren't 
community members ready to take the lead.

General point: IMO the debates which crop up regularly on this list over "who 
should do what" is tangential to the goals we all share of strengthening our 
community and realizing our mission in India. The capacity represented by 
Existing Community + Chapter + India Programs is nowhere near the need required 
to reach the full potential of the movement in India, so what is there to fight 
over?  The more appropriate question IMO to ask is: "How best to work together 
in a way that we utilize the differing capabilities to maximum effective, given 
we're a long way from reaching a point where we are "finished with our 
mission"? It would also be cool if we celebrate what people actual "do" and 
debate the efficacy based on the results (since all of our work is experimental 
in nature and unproven at this time) rather than debate "who" should do the 

My 2 paise. ;)


Kind regards,

On Tue, Apr 10, 2012 at 11:09 PM, Srikanth Ramakrishnan 
<> wrote:

I agree wholeheartedly with Ashwin. India Programs need not focus on

Outreach as long as the Chapter is there. In India, we see mobile

operators giving free Facebook and Twitter access but not to Wiki.



Srikanth Ramakrishnan.


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Barry NewsteadChief Global Development OfficerWikimedia Foundation

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