Wikimedia IRC community,

I invite you to read the following announcement and then, if you wish
to discuss it, join us on meta at
<http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:IRC/Group_Contacts/Noticeboard>.

I am pleased to announce that the IRC Group Contacts team has been
changed over to a new group with a strong manifesto. James Forrester,
previously chair of the group, has stepped down due to real life
commitments inhibiting him from being as active as he once was. On
behalf of everyone who uses IRC I'd like to thank him for all the work
he has put into the role, and personally I thank him for his guidance
while I was deputy IRC Group Contact in fulfilling the role as best as
possible; it was invaluable advice.

With James leaving the post of chair, I have taken on this role and I
now have three new deputies: Casey Brown [[m:User:Cbrown1023]] kibble
on IRC, Filip Maljkovic [[m:User:Dungodung]] dungodung on IRC, and
Ryan [[m:User:Rjd0060]] Rjd0060 on IRC. James and I, with the
involvement of these three and a small team of other IRC
representatives and functionaries, chose these three as people we know
and trust enough to be able to work with, and as users who we feel
suit the Group Contact role well, and of course who have the time and
motivation to carry out the job.

What is the role of the Group Contact, then, that I have just
mentioned? We have set this down for ourselves far more rigorously
than before. Over late 2008 to early 2009 the levels of service from
James and I have been very poor compared to what is rightly expected
by the community - we appreciate that things have been poor. So the
new group has come up with ways of trying to engage with everyone
involved in IRC more. We intend to try to touch base with our Channel
Contacts significantly more often, first by encouraging them to join
us in #wikimedia-ops (#wikimedia-irc has been closed and redirected to
-ops to try and centralise discussion). They already do a great job
but we feel they could benefit from greater support from the Group
Contacts. We intend to be around more to be involved in discussions,
but we are going to try and remain laid back in terms of using
authority directly: the fact that power is delegated to channel
contacts and their operator teams, we feel, is an important part of
IRC running smoothly.

On a technical note, I am in fact the only Group Contact recognised by
freenode at the moment to perform technical actions like the setting
of cloaks and taking over of inactive channels. We hope that freenode
will get the other contacts approved soon but we have no ETA on this
and the queue is roughly four years long. We have in the past received
special treatment for being a large project on the network, but we
haven't been told there's any reason why we'd get this this time. So
for the moment please be patient while technical GC work is funnelled
by the whole team to me. Our requests for the other GCs to be
recognised have, however, been submitted into the queue.

On another technical note, you may see the nick wmfgc around freenode
- this is an account used to hold GC priviledges, since there are now
many of us who may need access to it.

We intend to hold a Group Contact Surgery, per [[m:IRC Group
Contacts/Surgeries]], soon in order that issues from the community can
be discussed with other IRC users and contacts around.

All of the major IRC channel contacts and the IRC Group Contacts can
now be reached on <irc-conta...@lists.wikimedia.org>.

If you just need to contact a GC there is also
<irc-contacts-ow...@lists.wikimedia.org>.

Sean Whitton [[m:User:Sean Whitton]] seanw on IRC
for the Wikimedia IRC Group Contacts

-- 
Sean Whitton / <s...@silentflame.com>
OpenPGP KeyID: 0x25F4EAB7

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