SMARTER, eh?

On Sun, Oct 20, 2013 at 10:55 PM, Gautam John <gau...@akshara.org.in> wrote:

> My take is that they should measure what impact each intervention has on
> it's own. Not necessarily against the goal of increasing editorship because
> that is a complex problem that will not be solved in a single step or year.
> Trying different things is not a bad idea so long as it is done with
> rigorous measurement.
>
>
> Thank you.
>
> Best,
>
> Gautam
> ________
> http://www.akshara.org.in/
>
>
> On 20 October 2013 22:46, Ashwin Baindur <ashwin.bain...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> Gautam, all the more reason to move forth steadily - one step on the
>> ground.
>>
>>
>> On Sun, Oct 20, 2013 at 10:44 PM, Gautam John <gau...@akshara.org.in>wrote:
>>
>>> The functional assumption being that what the WMF/WMIN are solving are
>>> technical challenges for which outcomes are immediately apparent. I believe
>>> that what they are both doing is engaging with an eco-system and that is an
>>> adaptive challenge for which outcomes are not always know immediately.
>>> There is much complexity in the model and solutions emerge - not
>>> necessarily are known at the outset.
>>>
>>>
>>> Thank you.
>>>
>>> Best,
>>>
>>> Gautam
>>> ________
>>> http://www.akshara.org.in/
>>>
>>>
>>> On 20 October 2013 22:40, Pradeep Mohandas <prad2...@yahoo.com> wrote:
>>>
>>>> Hi,
>>>>
>>>> IIRC a call was put out on the list for discussion on the budget by the
>>>> Chapter EC.
>>>>
>>>> I however agree that something like an exit budget to see how
>>>> programmes funded have worked out and the impact they had on Wikipedia
>>>> would be a helpful exercise to help the Chapter in future fundraising and
>>>> budget exercises.
>>>>
>>>> Pradeep
>>>>
>>>> Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPhone<http://overview.mail.yahoo.com?.src=iOS>
>>>>
>>>>  ------------------------------
>>>> * From: * Ashwin Baindur <ashwin.bain...@gmail.com>;
>>>> * To: * Wikimedia India Community list <
>>>> wikimediaindia-l@lists.wikimedia.org>;
>>>> * Subject: * Re: [Wikimediaindia-l] Mashable: Where Do Wikipedia
>>>> Donations Go? Outgoing Chief Warns of Corruption
>>>> * Sent: * Sun, Oct 20, 2013 12:36:16 PM
>>>>
>>>>   Keeping this post in mind, the idea of Rs 110 Lakh budget for the
>>>> Chapter really raises a lot of disquiet in my mind.
>>>>
>>>> Frankly, imho budget growth should be organic, not catastrophic. The
>>>> items proposed for expenditure should be discussed amongst the
>>>> community and explicit support got for this. Plus last year's budget
>>>> details & what they were planned for & how  many objectives were met
>>>> needs to be clear to the public.
>>>>
>>>> Ashwin
>>>>
>>>> On Sun, Oct 20, 2013 at 4:20 PM, Anirudh Bhati <anirudh...@gmail.com>
>>>> wrote:
>>>> > Mashable:  Where Do Wikipedia Donations Go? Outgoing Chief Warns of
>>>> > Corruption
>>>> >
>>>> > http://mashable.com/2013/10/17/wikipedia-donation-corruption/
>>>> >
>>>> > When Wikipedia decided to roll out an aggressive fundraising effort a
>>>> few
>>>> > years ago, the free encyclopedia came with a remarkably effective
>>>> battle
>>>> > plan. For the entirety of the campaign, co-founder Jimmy Wales stared
>>>> > visitors down from the top of every page, making you feel guilty
>>>> every time
>>>> > you viewed an article without paying a dime.
>>>> >
>>>> > It worked. From 2011 to 2012, Wikipedia's fundraising arm, the
>>>> Wikimedia
>>>> > Foundation, pulled in $38.4 million. It was a major increase from the
>>>> $5
>>>> > million raised from 2007 to 2008, one that occurred even as editorial
>>>> > involvement with Wikipedia was on the decline.
>>>> >
>>>> > But where does all this money go?
>>>> >
>>>> > In an unusually candid statement last month, outgoing Wikimedia
>>>> Foundation
>>>> > Chair Sue Gardner criticized the way her organization has doled out
>>>> funds.
>>>> > Too much is being spent on groups that do too little to enhance the
>>>> value of
>>>> > the encyclopedia itself, she argued. What's worse, many of those being
>>>> > awarded grants are the same people responsible for giving them out,
>>>> which
>>>> > Gardner warned could lead to "log-rolling, self-dealing and other
>>>> corrupt
>>>> > practices."
>>>> >
>>>> > Though not in charge of Wikipedia's content, the Wikimedia
>>>> Foundation, or
>>>> > WMF, is the most powerful promoter of the open-source encyclopedia. It
>>>> > manages the technical infrastructure and day-to-day business
>>>> operations of
>>>> > Wikipedia — one of the most-visited sites in the world.
>>>> >
>>>> > WMF is based in San Francisco, but more than 40 independent-chapter
>>>> > Wikimedia organizations exist around the world, ostensibly advancing
>>>> the
>>>> > foundation's agenda in their native regions. These chapters are the
>>>> biggest
>>>> > recipients of Wikimedia grant funding. But according to Gardner, it's
>>>> not
>>>> > clear how filling the coffers of the chapter organizations benefits
>>>> the site
>>>> > as a whole.
>>>> >
>>>> > Last year, the Funds Dissemination Committee gave out $5.65 million in
>>>> > grants, the lion's share of which — 89% — went to affiliate chapters.
>>>> And 12
>>>> > chapters in particular received 83% of the total grants.
>>>> >
>>>> > "I believe that currently, too large a proportion of the movement's
>>>> money is
>>>> > being spent by the chapters," Gardner, who has largely been
>>>> responsible for
>>>> > the foundation's transition into a fundraising behemoth, wrote in
>>>> response
>>>> > to the FDC's latest report.
>>>> >
>>>> > "The value in the Wikimedia projects is primarily created by
>>>> individual
>>>> > editors: individuals create the value for readers, which results in
>>>> those
>>>> > readers donating money to the movement."
>>>> >
>>>> > In an email to the Daily Dot, Gardner noted that these opinions were
>>>> "not
>>>> > new, nor are they unique to" her.
>>>> >
>>>> > Indeed, Gardner's statement echoed the criticism of a number of
>>>> prominent
>>>> > Wikipedia editors and critics in recent years. The concern is that
>>>> all this
>>>> > funding has done less to help the site than it has to create a
>>>> "professional
>>>> > bureaucratic class” surrounding the Wikipedia project,” as the
>>>> Register’s
>>>> > Andrew Orlowski put it. Orlowski points out that the foundation’s
>>>> staff grew
>>>> > from three full-timers in 2006 to 174 in 2012-13.
>>>> >
>>>> > Gardner herself notes that there are very few members on the FDC who
>>>> aren't
>>>> > also chapter members. In fact, the majority of the committee's
>>>> members are
>>>> > either former or current chapter board members.
>>>> >
>>>> > The coziness that exists between the FDC and chapter board members
>>>> calls up
>>>> > memories of past chapter improprieties. In 2012, a former chapter
>>>> board
>>>> > member was accused of using his position within the organization to
>>>> promote
>>>> > Gibraltar on the site. At the same time, he served on the Gibraltar
>>>> > government payroll as a PR consultant.
>>>> >
>>>> > Though Gardner believes the FDC is uniquely transparent and that its
>>>> members
>>>> > are capable of acting without self-interest, others aren't quite so
>>>> > convinced.
>>>> >
>>>> > One critic, Gregory Kohs, co-founder of the muckraking site
>>>> Wikipediocracy,
>>>> > describes the foundation’s appetite for expansion as “empire
>>>> building.” He
>>>> > argues that the work of a nearly 200-member Wikimedia staff could
>>>> easily be
>>>> > done by a workforce a fraction of the size.
>>>> >
>>>> > But it's not just the longtime critics. Many everyday Wikipedians are
>>>> > concerned about whether WMF still exists to serve Wikipedia, or vice
>>>> versa.
>>>> >
>>>> > Conflicts of interest are a major area of concern throughout Wikipedia
>>>> > culture, and editors like Tango say they are unavoidable with so much
>>>> money
>>>> > involved.
>>>> >
>>>> > "'Assume Good Faith' is a great policy when writing an collaborative
>>>> > encyclopaedia," Tango writes, referring to a fundamental principle on
>>>> > Wikipedia whereby editors are encouraged to assume all contributions
>>>> to the
>>>> > encyclopedia are done with good intent. "It's not so simple when you
>>>> are
>>>> > dealing with [$11 million]."
>>>> >
>>>> > But others are less concerned about corruption and more worried about
>>>> how
>>>> > chapters actually spend all that money. Andreas Kolbe, an active
>>>> Wikipedian
>>>> > and Wikipediocracy moderator, says many of the chapters have a
>>>> propensity
>>>> > for spending on projects intended to bring publicity rather than
>>>> genuinely
>>>> > enhancing the site.
>>>> >
>>>> > "I see little evidence of a customer (i.e. reader) focus in chapters'
>>>> > spending decisions," Kolbe wrote.
>>>> >
>>>> > Despite those frank statements on Wikimedia and the FDC, Gardner
>>>> heaps lots
>>>> > of praise on the organization she's leaving. She insists the WMF is
>>>> > adaptable and that, with the right changes, it can shift funding
>>>> priorities.
>>>> > One way to do that is to make the FDC more diverse. And Grant seekers,
>>>> > Gardner said, "should need to be able to say clearly how their plan
>>>> will
>>>> > make an important contribution to helping Wikimedia movement achieve
>>>> its
>>>> > mission."
>>>> >
>>>> > At any rate, Gardner plans to step down soon. Will her successor heed
>>>> her
>>>> > advice?
>>>> >
>>>> > _______________________________________________
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>>>> > https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimediaindia-l
>>>> >
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> --
>>>> Warm regards,
>>>>
>>>> Ashwin Baindur
>>>>
>>>> ------------------------------------------------------
>>>>
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>>>>
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>>>>
>>>
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>>>
>>
>>
>> --
>> Warm regards,
>>
>> Ashwin Baindur
>> ------------------------------------------------------
>>
>
>


-- 
Warm regards,

Ashwin Baindur
------------------------------------------------------
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