Seriously? I don't mean to be rude here but I'd really don't think that is the way it was meant to be interpreted. I mean, if I say Ashwin is kind-hearted, doesn't mean I'm calling every other community member heartless. My two paise.
On Sun, Apr 29, 2012 at 10:59 PM, Arjun Mangol Kanoth < arjun.man...@gmail.com> wrote: > Can't we just consider the comment as applying to every Wikipedian in > India, after all, for outsiders who don't know our diversity, we're just > Indians. I'm quite sure he didn't mean what was interpreted :) > > > On Sun, Apr 29, 2012 at 9:57 PM, Ashwin Baindur > <ashwin.bain...@gmail.com>wrote: > >> (In response to a certain remark in ‘Malayalam Wikipedia could be >> emulated’) >> (url - >> http://expressbuzz.com/topnews/%E2%80%98malayalam-wikipedia-could-be-emulated%E2%80%99/386803.html >> ) >> >> The Malayalam Wikimedian community definitely deserves kudos. A >> diverse bunch of people volunteered their effort and skills gratis for >> many years to build up what is already a major educational aid in >> Malayalam. This will play an actual positive role in community >> development and that is what the greatest reward to the participants. >> We are confident that they will go on with their exemplary work and >> prove to be sources of inspiration to us all in the years to come. >> That kind of satisfaction, at being part of something bigger than >> oneself and being able to make a difference in the world, motivates >> Wikimedians all over the world, as it does in India also. >> >> Human nature causes wikimedians to look to the statements of WMF >> officials for encouragement, advice and guidance (though imho they >> should not). In this context, Newstead's comment at the >> Wikisangamotsav in Kollam last weekend - "they don’t focus on >> politics or personal gains" - can be construed as mischievous in the >> worst case and mistaken in the best. >> >> Though the WMF does dole out some grants to individuals and >> communities, all Wikimedians are essentially unpaid volunteers, the >> vast majority of which do not have access to resources provided by the >> Foundation. >> >> Such a remark casts aspersions wrongly on the rest of the Indian >> wikipedian community, giving the casual reader the idea that the >> Malayalam Wikimedians are paragons of virtue while the remainder of >> the Indian Wikimedian community “focus on politics and personal gain”. >> >> The remark indicates a deep distrust of the WMF for the general >> community for reasons best known to them. Such a remark is hardly >> constructive in motivating the entire bunch of Indian Wikimedians who, >> as a collective whole, are making extremely valuable contributions to >> society despite being unpaid volunteers and at the cost of a large >> amount of personal time and often at their own expense. >> >> The question arises at what could be the reason for politics and what >> personal gains are to be found in doing Wikipedia editing or outreach? >> >> Satisfaction, learning, peer approval, interaction with intelligent >> fellow-believers, social service and fun are the personal gains for >> editors - all legitimate rewards which one can partake off with >> integrity and pride. >> >> Politics arises when scarce resources are pursued by many. It cannot >> be money, since all funds in Wikipedia are in the hands of the >> Foundation which directly receives donations. Nor is it power, as the >> community insists on it being a society of equals. The India Chapter >> with its few executive members and completely budgetted by the WMF and >> with its limited role & mandate cannot be considered worthy target of >> Newstead’s remark either. So what politics are we talking about and >> who is it that Newstead is referring to? >> >> Perhaps the WMF feels offended by the criticism from Wikimedians >> worldwide at the failure of a flagship educational program in India >> last year or perhaps at local criticism in their mode of operation in >> India and the cost-benefit analysis of their country program where >> hundreds of thousands of dollars have been poured in with mediocre >> results. Newstead may feel unhappy about these issues but public >> statements like these do not add to the confidence of the community in >> the WMF either. >> >> In today's world, participants in citizen science or collaborative >> projects such as Wikipedia expect the highest levels of transparency, >> democracy and debate - in part, Wikipedia’s open ethos itself is >> responsible for the extremely democratic aspirations of participants. >> Wikipedians routinely engage in large debates on major and minute >> issues. They absorb from their experience in the Project the idea that >> all action is open for debate and that such criticism/dissent is not >> only constructive but vital. It would be a strange quirk of fate, >> should an office-bearer of WMF feel threatened by the values >> encouraged by their own projects. >> >> This distrust may also be seen as a clash of cultures - on one side, a >> corporate culture where actions are expected to be accepted at face >> value and not to be justified to those not in power, and on the other, >> an open culture where nothing is sancrosanct and responsible action >> and respectful response from all, including and especially Jimbo >> Wales, is expected as a matter of moral right by volunteers. >> >> The meaningful solution lies through engaging the community as equals >> and stakeholders, not with public remarks like these. Wikimedian >> volunteers understand and express their gratitude to the foundation >> for creating and operating a vehicle which enables their useful >> contribution to society. Reciprocally, it is time that WMF >> representatives realise that it is the Wikimedian community that is >> the living flesh and blood of Wikipedia, without whom the WMF cannot >> exist, and who need to be engaged with mutual respect and >> consideration, if the encyclopedia is to prosper in the long run. >> >> >> Warm regards, >> >> Ashwin Baindur >> ------------------------------------------------------ >> >> _______________________________________________ >> Wikimediaindia-l mailing list >> Wikimediaindiaemail@example.com >> To unsubscribe from the list / change mailing preferences visit >> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimediaindia-l >> > > > > -- > - Arjun > > _______________________________________________ > Wikimediaindia-l mailing list > Wikimediaindiafirstname.lastname@example.org > To unsubscribe from the list / change mailing preferences visit > https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimediaindia-l > > -- Regards, Debanjan* - Lets make this world a better and more informative place*
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