Yes, the chapter needs to do a membership drive. It also needs to have a
membership policy to make sure that only people who genuinely work towards
the mission are enrolled. Mass enrolment without any criterion can be a
governance disaster later. However, these things are best addressed when we
actively take part in the chapter activities and push for these changes.
Criticizing from outside is not going to help. Let me know if any one here
has tried to do a membership drive and the chapter has discouraged it.
I understand your concern for the chapter representing the community. But,
we need to put things in context before criticizing the chapter.
Wikimedia Foundation is not a membership driven organization and only 3 out
of it's 10 members are directly elected by the community. Other two are
elected by the chapters.
CIS is a membership organization and it chooses to have only 8 members who
elect 3 board members.
I have never seen anyone criticizing these agencies for lack of democracy
even though they have demonstrated shortcomings in working with the
The latest example is the dissent voiced from German Wikipedia with
signatories from all over the world
Last year, English Wikipedians revolted against Visual editor
Assuming concerns on the lines of democracy are over looked for these
agencies based on their performance, then we should also view chapter on
the same lines.
Setting aside leadership, governance and financial constraints, is the
chapter capable of attracting more volunteers?
Please note that editing in Wiki and volunteering for offline efforts like
outreach and chapter work are two different things.
Indian Wikipedias face acute shortage of next generation active editors.
Based on my experience, it will be great even if 1 among 10 very active
active editors (who make 100 edits a month) volunteer for these offline
Most of the Indian language Wikipedians have their commitment towards the
language and bandwidth for organizational activities can only take a second
Not everyone can become a Wikipedian and not every Wikipedian can become an
effective chapter volunteer. These require different set of skills,
attitude and commitment.
Many potential volunteers have already contributed for the chapter and got
So, what the chapter is facing is a chicken and egg problem.
If WMF and CIS cannot make ground breaking changes with all their
expertise, resources and programs since 2011, I am amused why would anyone
hold chapter responsible for all problems.
Wikimedia India chapter is a budding organization and it will take time to
stabilize. What we are witnessing is expected behaviour only. But, most of
the recent mail threads sound very keen to do a postmortem for chapter
without any contribution towards it or any viable alternative outside of
//I have been labelled an anarchist and as an often-quitter.//
I respect your personal commitments which stand in between Wikipedia
contributions but you can't be selectively anarchic :)
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