Re: Report to the Board of Trustees June 2009-

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Re: Report to the Board of Trustees June 2009-

Jennifer Riggs
The discussion about a budget line item being appropriate in one context
and not in the next has been very interesting to me. And especially in
this case as it involves the provision of food, which is one of the most
  deeply held cultural norms in many communities.

Frugality is certainly a consideration for the WMF. I can say with my
staff hat on that while we do get generous grants from foundations to
help support your amazing work, everyone here also thinks about the $5
that was donated by a student and feels a responsibility to that student.

However the word and concept of "frugality" differs significantly across
cultures. In my experience with many non-Western cultures, asking people
to bring lunch from home or spend their own money for it would not only
exclude participation, it would insult people. If the purpose is to
encourage participation and commitment to a newly forming organization,
it seems it would be very important not to insult people.

In many cultures I've worked in, if you didn't bring cigarettes, you
couldn't get a goat to listen to you. These may seem to be extreme
cases, but I'm thinking about WMF and the Wikimedia movement as truly
global. So I don't think we should dismiss this concept just because
currently we aren't working with any people who require cigarettes
before thinking about editing a Wikipedia.

I have no idea what the cultural norms for providing food at initial
meetings are in Portugal or many other places. I just add my crumb to
the discussion as a reminder that if we are wearing limited cultural
lenses when we create policy, it will forever limit us to working within
communities who are interested and able to live within those restrictions.

Jennifer Riggs

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> Today's Topics:
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>    1. Re: Report to the Board of Trustees June 2009 (Thomas Dalton)
>    2. Re: Use of moderation (Austin Hair)
>    3. Re: Do we have a complete set of WMF projects? (Mike.lifeguard)
>    4. Re: Report to the Board of Trustees June 2009 (Pharos)
>    5. Re: Report to the Board of Trustees June 2009 (Thomas Dalton)
>    6. Re: Report to the Board of Trustees June 2009 (Thomas Dalton)
>    7. Re: Do we have a complete set of WMF projects? (David Gerard)
>    8. Re: Report to the Board of Trustees June 2009 (Chad)
>    9. Re: Report to the Board of Trustees June 2009 (Thomas Dalton)
>   10. Re: Report to the Board of Trustees June 2009 (Gerard Meijssen)
>   11. Re: Report to the Board of Trustees June 2009 (Thomas Dalton)
>
>
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> Message: 1
> Date: Thu, 10 Sep 2009 18:41:07 +0100
> From: Thomas Dalton <[hidden email]>
> Subject: Re: [Foundation-l] Report to the Board of Trustees June 2009
> To: Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List
> <[hidden email]>
> Message-ID:
> <[hidden email]>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
>
> 2009/9/10 Sue Gardner <[hidden email]>:
>> Hi Thomas!
>>
>> Sorry to top-post, and to be late replying. I believe that all 26
>> proposals are up now on the meta page. Let me know if you can't find
>> it, and I can post the link tonight when I'm back on my laptop.
>
> The proposals are up, but not the details of which were accepted and
> which weren't. It would be useful to have that information when
> considering what to request funding for in future.
>
>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 2
> Date: Thu, 10 Sep 2009 13:06:20 -0500
> From: Austin Hair <[hidden email]>
> Subject: Re: [Foundation-l] Use of moderation
> To: Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List
> <[hidden email]>
> Message-ID:
> <[hidden email]>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
>
> On Thu, Sep 10, 2009 at 12:15 AM, Henning Schlottmann
> <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> Austin Hair wrote:
>>> My ideal, personally, is something more like nntp--and while I'm
>>> perfectly happy to turn over the list to some other technology, I
>>> don't know that this is the magic solution, and I agree with Tim that
>>> it risks killing what good we do have with the existing methods.
>> I'm reading and posting to the list using nntp. foundation-l is
>> distributed by gmane.org as the (pseudo) newsgroup
>> news:gemane.org.wikimedia.foundation on the server news.gmane.org along
>> with all the other Wikimedia mailing lists and it is by far the most
>> comfortable way to read the list.
>
> Yes, but as gmane is simply a mail -> news gateway, the fundamental
> operation of the list remains the same.  The content management issues
> aren't affected.
>
> Austin
>
>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 3
> Date: Thu, 10 Sep 2009 16:18:50 -0300
> From: "Mike.lifeguard" <[hidden email]>
> Subject: Re: [Foundation-l] Do we have a complete set of WMF projects?
> To: Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List
> <[hidden email]>
> Message-ID: <[hidden email]>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
>
> -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
> Hash: SHA1
>
> Brion Vibber wrote:
>> IMO we need to do that for the projects we already have before we take
>> on new obligations!
>>
>> We still have very poor software support for:...
>
> Thanks Brion, it is good to know that the tech team is aware of these
> issues and will be expending energy to improve how the software supports
> the non-Wikipedia projects. I'm looking forward in particular to seeing
> how the grant money will be spent for improving Commons' software, and
> what ideas may come about for giving Wikibooks some in-software structure.
>
> - -Mike
> -----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE-----
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>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 4
> Date: Thu, 10 Sep 2009 15:27:07 -0400
> From: Pharos <[hidden email]>
> Subject: Re: [Foundation-l] Report to the Board of Trustees June 2009
> To: Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List
> <[hidden email]>
> Message-ID:
> <[hidden email]>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
>
> On Thu, Sep 10, 2009 at 1:41 PM, Thomas Dalton <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> 2009/9/10 Sue Gardner <[hidden email]>:
>>> Hi Thomas!
>>>
>>> Sorry to top-post, and to be late replying. I believe that all 26
>>> proposals are up now on the meta page. Let me know if you can't find
>>> it, and I can post the link tonight when I'm back on my laptop.
>> The proposals are up, but not the details of which were accepted and
>> which weren't. It would be useful to have that information when
>> considering what to request funding for in future.
>
> There are 21 accepted proposals listed on this page:
>
> http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_chapters/WMF_grants/Reporting_Guidance
>
> Since 26 were accepted in total, I guess this list in not quite
> complete yet; but still it makes for very useful reading.
>
> Thanks,
> Richard
> (User:Pharos)
> Wikimedia NYC-personal view
>
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>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 5
> Date: Thu, 10 Sep 2009 20:40:32 +0100
> From: Thomas Dalton <[hidden email]>
> Subject: Re: [Foundation-l] Report to the Board of Trustees June 2009
> To: Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List
> <[hidden email]>
> Message-ID:
> <[hidden email]>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
>
> 2009/9/10 Pharos <[hidden email]>:
>> There are 21 accepted proposals listed on this page:
>>
>> http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_chapters/WMF_grants/Reporting_Guidance
>
> Ah, well found! I didn't think to check that page - the title doesn't
> suggest it would contain such info.
>
>> Since 26 were accepted in total, I guess this list in not quite
>> complete yet; but still it makes for very useful reading.
>
> They may still be waiting to hear back from the other chapters.
>
>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 6
> Date: Thu, 10 Sep 2009 20:53:49 +0100
> From: Thomas Dalton <[hidden email]>
> Subject: Re: [Foundation-l] Report to the Board of Trustees June 2009
> To: Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List
> <[hidden email]>
> Message-ID:
> <[hidden email]>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
>
> 2009/9/10 Thomas Dalton <[hidden email]>:
>> 2009/9/10 Pharos <[hidden email]>:
>>> There are 21 accepted proposals listed on this page:
>>>
>>> http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_chapters/WMF_grants/Reporting_Guidance
>> Ah, well found! I didn't think to check that page - the title doesn't
>> suggest it would contain such info.
>
> I must say, I am amazed that this was approved:
>
> http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_chapters/WMF_grants/WM_PT/Start-up
>
> WMUK managed to get set up without paying for any meals and all
> meetings have taken place in pubs or rooms we've got hold of for free.
> Paying nearly $3,500 for that out of charitable donations is patently
> ridiculous.
>
>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 7
> Date: Thu, 10 Sep 2009 21:00:16 +0100
> From: David Gerard <[hidden email]>
> Subject: Re: [Foundation-l] Do we have a complete set of WMF projects?
> To: Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List
> <[hidden email]>
> Message-ID:
> <[hidden email]>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
>
> 2009/9/10 Brion Vibber <[hidden email]>:
>
>> IMO we need to do that for the projects we already have before we take
>> on new obligations!
>
>
> Oh yesss.
>
>
>> We still have very poor software support for:
>> * Commons -- We need a sane upload and post-upload workflow (eg review
>> and deletion), and a clean system for handling structured metadata
>> (descriptions, authorship, licence info).
>> Some of this is being worked on now with Michael Dale's video & media
>> work, and the Ford Foundation grant will let us put more resources into
>> the workflow & metadata side, so this is the one I worry the least about. :)
>
>
> Categories as tags with arbitrary Boolean queries? Huh? Huh? Huh?
>
>
> - d.
>
>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 8
> Date: Thu, 10 Sep 2009 16:02:22 -0400
> From: Chad <[hidden email]>
> Subject: Re: [Foundation-l] Report to the Board of Trustees June 2009
> To: Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List
> <[hidden email]>
> Message-ID:
> <[hidden email]>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
>
> On Thu, Sep 10, 2009 at 3:53 PM, Thomas Dalton <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> 2009/9/10 Thomas Dalton <[hidden email]>:
>>> 2009/9/10 Pharos <[hidden email]>:
>>>> There are 21 accepted proposals listed on this page:
>>>>
>>>> http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_chapters/WMF_grants/Reporting_Guidance
>>> Ah, well found! I didn't think to check that page - the title doesn't
>>> suggest it would contain such info.
>> I must say, I am amazed that this was approved:
>>
>> http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_chapters/WMF_grants/WM_PT/Start-up
>>
>> WMUK managed to get set up without paying for any meals and all
>> meetings have taken place in pubs or rooms we've got hold of for free.
>> Paying nearly $3,500 for that out of charitable donations is patently
>> ridiculous.
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> foundation-l mailing list
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>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>>
>
> I hadn't read that either. Ridiculous, I agree. I doubt people are donating
> to the WMF for them to send the money to the Portuguese chapter for
> their lunches.
>
> The only part of that budget that makes sense to me is the legal fees, and
> they're certainly not a back-breaking amount either.
>
> -Chad
>
>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 9
> Date: Thu, 10 Sep 2009 21:04:40 +0100
> From: Thomas Dalton <[hidden email]>
> Subject: Re: [Foundation-l] Report to the Board of Trustees June 2009
> To: Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List
> <[hidden email]>
> Message-ID:
> <[hidden email]>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
>
> 2009/9/10 Chad <[hidden email]>:
>> I hadn't read that either. Ridiculous, I agree. I doubt people are donating
>> to the WMF for them to send the money to the Portuguese chapter for
>> their lunches.
>>
>> The only part of that budget that makes sense to me is the legal fees, and
>> they're certainly not a back-breaking amount either.
>
> I have no objection, in principle, to travel and admin costs - WMUK
> paid for them out of our first membership fees. We didn't travel that
> much, though - I think there was one face-to-face meeting to actually
> sign things, everything else was done online.
>
>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 10
> Date: Thu, 10 Sep 2009 22:12:22 +0200
> From: Gerard Meijssen <[hidden email]>
> Subject: Re: [Foundation-l] Report to the Board of Trustees June 2009
> To: Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List
> <[hidden email]>
> Message-ID:
> <[hidden email]>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
>
> Hoi,
> I think it is not reasonable to judge others by how you do things. Please
> remember that there are different cultures where things are done in
> different ways. I am sure there are things in the history of the WMUK that
> you do not wish onto others.. Everyone has to deal with the local
> environment. This is one reason why we have different chapters ...
> Thanks,
>       GerardM
>
> 2009/9/10 Thomas Dalton <[hidden email]>
>
>> 2009/9/10 Thomas Dalton <[hidden email]>:
>>> 2009/9/10 Pharos <[hidden email]>:
>>>> There are 21 accepted proposals listed on this page:
>>>>
>>>>
>> http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_chapters/WMF_grants/Reporting_Guidance
>>> Ah, well found! I didn't think to check that page - the title doesn't
>>> suggest it would contain such info.
>> I must say, I am amazed that this was approved:
>>
>> http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_chapters/WMF_grants/WM_PT/Start-up
>>
>> WMUK managed to get set up without paying for any meals and all
>> meetings have taken place in pubs or rooms we've got hold of for free.
>> Paying nearly $3,500 for that out of charitable donations is patently
>> ridiculous.
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> foundation-l mailing list
>> [hidden email]
>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>>
>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 11
> Date: Thu, 10 Sep 2009 21:21:07 +0100
> From: Thomas Dalton <[hidden email]>
> Subject: Re: [Foundation-l] Report to the Board of Trustees June 2009
> To: Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List
> <[hidden email]>
> Message-ID:
> <[hidden email]>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
>
> 2009/9/10 Gerard Meijssen <[hidden email]>:
>> Hoi,
>> I think it is not reasonable to judge others by how you do things. Please
>> remember that there are different cultures where things are done in
>> different ways. I am sure there are things in the history of the WMUK that
>> you do not wish onto others.. Everyone has to deal with the local
>> environment. This is one reason why we have different chapters ...
>
> Nonsense. If British Wikimedians can afford their own food, so can
> Portuguese Wikimedians. They can bring a packed lunch from home if
> they want - they would be eating anyway.
>
>
>
> ------------------------------
>
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>
> End of foundation-l Digest, Vol 66, Issue 38
> ********************************************

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Re: Report to the Board of Trustees June 2009-

Thomas Dalton
2009/9/11 Jennifer Riggs <[hidden email]>:
> However the word and concept of "frugality" differs significantly across
> cultures. In my experience with many non-Western cultures, asking people
> to bring lunch from home or spend their own money for it would not only
> exclude participation, it would insult people. If the purpose is to
> encourage participation and commitment to a newly forming organization,
> it seems it would be very important not to insult people.

If we were talking about meetings with people from outside the
Wikimedia movement, I would agree with you, but I really can't see how
it can be insulting not to provide food at a meeting of Wikimedians
when the people attending the meeting and the people organising the
meeting are exactly the same people. If people are only willing to set
up a chapter if the WMF buys them lunch once a month, I don't want
those people setting up a chapter.

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Re: Report to the Board of Trustees June 2009-

Nathan Awrich
In reply to this post by Jennifer Riggs
On Thu, Sep 10, 2009 at 9:20 PM, Jennifer Riggs<[hidden email]> wrote:

> The discussion about a budget line item being appropriate in one context
> and not in the next has been very interesting to me. And especially in
> this case as it involves the provision of food, which is one of the most
>  deeply held cultural norms in many communities.
>
> Frugality is certainly a consideration for the WMF. I can say with my
> staff hat on that while we do get generous grants from foundations to
> help support your amazing work, everyone here also thinks about the $5
> that was donated by a student and feels a responsibility to that student.
>
> However the word and concept of "frugality" differs significantly across
> cultures. In my experience with many non-Western cultures, asking people
> to bring lunch from home or spend their own money for it would not only
> exclude participation, it would insult people. If the purpose is to
> encourage participation and commitment to a newly forming organization,
> it seems it would be very important not to insult people.
>
> In many cultures I've worked in, if you didn't bring cigarettes, you
> couldn't get a goat to listen to you. These may seem to be extreme
> cases, but I'm thinking about WMF and the Wikimedia movement as truly
> global. So I don't think we should dismiss this concept just because
> currently we aren't working with any people who require cigarettes
> before thinking about editing a Wikipedia.
>
> I have no idea what the cultural norms for providing food at initial
> meetings are in Portugal or many other places. I just add my crumb to
> the discussion as a reminder that if we are wearing limited cultural
> lenses when we create policy, it will forever limit us to working within
> communities who are interested and able to live within those restrictions.
>
> Jennifer Riggs


Thanks Jennifer for your comment. I hope that people go a little easy
in their responses to this e-mail, so that we don't accidentally
discourage Foundation staffers from replying to this list. I have some
questions, Jennifer, if you don't mind:

* The idea of tailoring funding to cultural norms is valid, in theory,
but I personally have a hard time understanding what major cultural
distinctions separate Portugal from other European chapters in this
regard. Does allowing for cultural norms in funding grants require
that the grant-makers familiarize themselves with the relevant norms?
(I was originally going to ask if you were aware of characteristics
unique to Portugal on this, but you've written that you are not).

* I'm curious about the process of distributing funding like this in
general, and what criteria for a pre-existing structure or evidence of
community support you look for ahead of making grants - and in the
same vein, what sort of follow up is planned to ensure funding is
spent and appropriately. If I'm wrong please let me know, but is it
accurate that the chapter is in its earliest stages, with no chapter
agreement, no review or involvement from ChapCom, limited organizing
activity on wiki and no legal structure for bearing responsibility for
money?

* Was there a series of off-wiki exchanges with the Portuguese chapter
folks about the best way to utilize funding, and whether face to face
meetings were appropriate for an extended series of planning meetings?

* Will the reaction to this grant will influence future grants,
whether similar requests and grants will be publicized in the future
(and to what extent)? What type of engagement the Foundation would
like with the community on the issue of community funding?

Hopefully this doesn't come across as entirely critical; I haven't
seen other finalized grants, don't know anything about the
behind-the-scenes communication, or even whether extenuating
circumstances (such as all founding members in fact living in
different cities) make the funding level more appropriate than it
seems on face value.

Thanks,

Nathan

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Re: Report to the Board of Trustees June 2009-

Effe iets anders
In reply to this post by Thomas Dalton
Why should all Wikimedians have the same culture and ideas and way of
thinking as you? Why should Wikimedians who have a culture be excluded from
setting up a chapter?

Besides that I think you're paraphrasing way too much. The grant request
only suggested that this kind of costs are just costs that have to be made
to work efficiently. The chapter asked the Foundation to pay for it the
first year, so that they could focus on useful stuff. I hope they will be
able to generate these and other funds themselves from next year onwards.

Lodewijk

2009/9/11 Thomas Dalton <[hidden email]>

> 2009/9/11 Jennifer Riggs <[hidden email]>:
> > However the word and concept of "frugality" differs significantly across
> > cultures. In my experience with many non-Western cultures, asking people
> > to bring lunch from home or spend their own money for it would not only
> > exclude participation, it would insult people. If the purpose is to
> > encourage participation and commitment to a newly forming organization,
> > it seems it would be very important not to insult people.
>
> If we were talking about meetings with people from outside the
> Wikimedia movement, I would agree with you, but I really can't see how
> it can be insulting not to provide food at a meeting of Wikimedians
> when the people attending the meeting and the people organising the
> meeting are exactly the same people. If people are only willing to set
> up a chapter if the WMF buys them lunch once a month, I don't want
> those people setting up a chapter.
>
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>
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Re: Report to the Board of Trustees June 2009-

Thomas Dalton
2009/9/11 effe iets anders <[hidden email]>:
> Why should all Wikimedians have the same culture and ideas and way of
> thinking as you? Why should Wikimedians who have a culture be excluded from
> setting up a chapter?

We're not talking about culture, we are talking about lunch. They are
human beings, the same as we are, they have the same needs when it
comes to food.

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Re: Report to the Board of Trustees June 2009-

Philippe Beaudette-2

On Sep 11, 2009, at 9:13 AM, Thomas Dalton wrote:

> We're not talking about culture, we are talking about lunch. They are
> human beings, the same as we are, they have the same needs when it
> comes to food.


This, in fact, is one of the great fallacies of international  
organizations.  Failure to notice and work within the context of  
cultural norms condemns an organization very quickly.  In Italy, I was  
far more likely to take business partners to long elaborate meals than  
I would be in California.  Please, can we at least acknowledge that  
it's not as simplistic as you present it here?

Philippe

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Re: Report to the Board of Trustees June 2009-

Thomas Dalton
2009/9/11 Philippe Beaudette <[hidden email]>:

>
> On Sep 11, 2009, at 9:13 AM, Thomas Dalton wrote:
>
>> We're not talking about culture, we are talking about lunch. They are
>> human beings, the same as we are, they have the same needs when it
>> comes to food.
>
>
> This, in fact, is one of the great fallacies of international
> organizations.  Failure to notice and work within the context of
> cultural norms condemns an organization very quickly.  In Italy, I was
> far more likely to take business partners to long elaborate meals than
> I would be in California.  Please, can we at least acknowledge that
> it's not as simplistic as you present it here?

It is that simple. If we were talking about having lunch with people
outside the Wikimedia movement, it would be different because we have
to comply with what they expect. We can expect people within the
Wikimedia movement to change their expectations to fit what is best
for the movement. It is not best for the movement to be spending money
of their lunch when they are perfectly capable of getting their own
lunch (as evidenced by the fact that they would be eating if they
didn't go to the meeting). Either buying Wikimedian's lunch is a good
use of money, or it isn't, culture doesn't factor into it.

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Re: Report to the Board of Trustees June 2009-

Gerard Meijssen-3
Hoi,
You are doing it again. You insist that for them being Wikimedians they must
share the same values the same culture as you do... It must be true because
you insist on it. Somehow I do not buy it.
thanks,
    GerardM

2009/9/11 Thomas Dalton <[hidden email]>

> 2009/9/11 Philippe Beaudette <[hidden email]>:
> >
> > On Sep 11, 2009, at 9:13 AM, Thomas Dalton wrote:
> >
> >> We're not talking about culture, we are talking about lunch. They are
> >> human beings, the same as we are, they have the same needs when it
> >> comes to food.
> >
> >
> > This, in fact, is one of the great fallacies of international
> > organizations.  Failure to notice and work within the context of
> > cultural norms condemns an organization very quickly.  In Italy, I was
> > far more likely to take business partners to long elaborate meals than
> > I would be in California.  Please, can we at least acknowledge that
> > it's not as simplistic as you present it here?
>
> It is that simple. If we were talking about having lunch with people
> outside the Wikimedia movement, it would be different because we have
> to comply with what they expect. We can expect people within the
> Wikimedia movement to change their expectations to fit what is best
> for the movement. It is not best for the movement to be spending money
> of their lunch when they are perfectly capable of getting their own
> lunch (as evidenced by the fact that they would be eating if they
> didn't go to the meeting). Either buying Wikimedian's lunch is a good
> use of money, or it isn't, culture doesn't factor into it.
>
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Re: Report to the Board of Trustees June 2009-

Thomas Dalton
2009/9/11 Gerard Meijssen <[hidden email]>:
> Hoi,
> You are doing it again. You insist that for them being Wikimedians they must
> share the same values the same culture as you do... It must be true because
> you insist on it. Somehow I do not buy it.

If they value themselves over our goals, they are entitled to those
values, but I want nothing to do with them.

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Re: Report to the Board of Trustees June 2009-

Thomas Dalton
2009/9/11 Thomas Dalton <[hidden email]>:
> 2009/9/11 Gerard Meijssen <[hidden email]>:
>> Hoi,
>> You are doing it again. You insist that for them being Wikimedians they must
>> share the same values the same culture as you do... It must be true because
>> you insist on it. Somehow I do not buy it.
>
> If they value themselves over our goals, they are entitled to those
> values, but I want nothing to do with them.

PS Even if you are right, surely the relevant values are those of the
donors, not the people spending the money? If they were spending money
they had fundraised it would be a different matter, since the donors
would be from the same culture, but that isn't the case.

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Re: Report to the Board of Trustees June 2009-

Gerard Meijssen-3
Hoi,
Relevant is what our aim is. Our aim is to bring the total sum of knowledge
to everyone. Now, that means that we have to be Portuguese in Portugal,
Dutch in the Netherlands and I leave you to be British in Britain. In the
end that is what we ask people to contribute to.
Thanks,
      GerardM

2009/9/11 Thomas Dalton <[hidden email]>

> 2009/9/11 Thomas Dalton <[hidden email]>:
> > 2009/9/11 Gerard Meijssen <[hidden email]>:
> >> Hoi,
> >> You are doing it again. You insist that for them being Wikimedians they
> must
> >> share the same values the same culture as you do... It must be true
> because
> >> you insist on it. Somehow I do not buy it.
> >
> > If they value themselves over our goals, they are entitled to those
> > values, but I want nothing to do with them.
>
> PS Even if you are right, surely the relevant values are those of the
> donors, not the people spending the money? If they were spending money
> they had fundraised it would be a different matter, since the donors
> would be from the same culture, but that isn't the case.
>
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Re: Report to the Board of Trustees June 2009-

Thomas Dalton
2009/9/11 Gerard Meijssen <[hidden email]>:
> Hoi,
> Relevant is what our aim is. Our aim is to bring the total sum of knowledge
> to everyone. Now, that means that we have to be Portuguese in Portugal,
> Dutch in the Netherlands and I leave you to be British in Britain. In the
> end that is what we ask people to contribute to.

You can't waste other people's money and then say "That's our culture"
(and I note, nobody from Portugal seems to be making that argument).
If you accept that, you have to accept anything.

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Re: Report to the Board of Trustees June 2009-

Effe iets anders
the main question should be whether it is worth it in that case. I.e., will
it improve the chances of the chapter becoming successful? And I believe you
are just as I am not able to make that estimate without at least some
understanding of Portuguese culture.

Lodewijk

2009/9/11 Thomas Dalton <[hidden email]>

> 2009/9/11 Gerard Meijssen <[hidden email]>:
> > Hoi,
> > Relevant is what our aim is. Our aim is to bring the total sum of
> knowledge
> > to everyone. Now, that means that we have to be Portuguese in Portugal,
> > Dutch in the Netherlands and I leave you to be British in Britain. In the
> > end that is what we ask people to contribute to.
>
> You can't waste other people's money and then say "That's our culture"
> (and I note, nobody from Portugal seems to be making that argument).
> If you accept that, you have to accept anything.
>
> _______________________________________________
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Re: Report to the Board of Trustees June 2009-

Thomas Dalton
2009/9/11 effe iets anders <[hidden email]>:
> the main question should be whether it is worth it in that case. I.e., will
> it improve the chances of the chapter becoming successful? And I believe you
> are just as I am not able to make that estimate without at least some
> understanding of Portuguese culture.

I would change "improve" to "significantly improve" (relative to the
cost), but otherwise I agree, that is the question. In the absence of
evidence to the contrary (which nobody has even attempted to provide),
I think the default should be to assume there is no significant
difference between Portugal and other western European countries.

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Re: Report to the Board of Trustees June 2009-

Brion Vibber-3
May I respectfully suggest that further discussion on this thread be
taken offlist until new arguments come to light which have not already
been posted?

-- brion

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Re: Report to the Board of Trustees June 2009-

Sue Gardner-2
Fair enough, Brion :-) -- I'm just going to amplify and elaborate a
little on Jennifer's original mail. I think some of this is on the
meta page, but I'll say it here anyway.

The purpose of the chapters grant process is to make money available
to people to get good work done. The basic assumption underpinning it
is that those people know best what they need to make progress towards
our shared goals. They know their culture best, they know their
situation best, and they know best what will help them get stuff done.

Because of that, the intent of the Wikimedia Foundation is to provide
a simple lightweight process for grants approval. Many chapters have
never applied for a grant in any context: they are learning how to do
it, and we want to support that learning. We have an obligation to
apply some scrutiny to their requests (and we do), but we also
acknowledge that we at the Foundation may or may not have any
particular expertise in Portugese culture, or German culture, or
Indian. We don't pretend to be the experts in their specific context.

To that end, we're comfortable applying some scrutiny and finetuning,
which Jennifer has done --- but we do also want to trust them, and to
assume good faith. I am confident that the Portugese grant recipients,
like the other recipients, will put the money to good use. They're
required to report on what they did with it, and we expect that if the
money turns out to be too much, or the need turns out to be somewhat
different than planned, they will tell us so, and we will work out
something sensible that is not wasteful.

Probably some mistakes will be made, and we will learn from that. That
will be unavoidable, and is also a desirable part of the process. Part
of the purpose is to learn -- all of us, together. And that is also
why the process is public: so people other than the Foundation and the
grant recipients, can comment and influence and share and learn.

On the whole, I am confident the money will be well-used, and will
achieve its goal: supporting people in advancing our shared mission,
in ways that make sense in their context.

Thanks,
Sue


On 11/09/2009, Brion Vibber <[hidden email]> wrote:

> May I respectfully suggest that further discussion on this thread be
> taken offlist until new arguments come to light which have not already
> been posted?
>
> -- brion
>
> _______________________________________________
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--
Sue Gardner
Executive Director
Wikimedia Foundation

415 839 6885 office
415 816 9967 cell

Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in
the sum of all knowledge.  Help us make it a reality!

http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Donate

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Re: Report to the Board of Trustees June 2009-

Thomas Dalton
2009/9/12 Sue Gardner <[hidden email]>:
> Fair enough, Brion :-) -- I'm just going to amplify and elaborate a
> little on Jennifer's original mail. I think some of this is on the
> meta page, but I'll say it here anyway.
>
> The purpose of the chapters grant process is to make money available
> to people to get good work done. The basic assumption underpinning it
> is that those people know best what they need to make progress towards
> our shared goals. They know their culture best, they know their
> situation best, and they know best what will help them get stuff done.

While that is true, it is also important to remember that most people
setting up a chapter have next to no experience of running a
non-profit. They don't know what is and isn't appropriate to spend
donations on, they don't necessarily know what needs to done and just
because they know their culture in general doesn't mean they know how
the charity sector works in their country. The Foundation could
provide a lot of advice on those issues. While I don't doubt that the
Portuguese Wikimedians are acting in good faith, trust requires two
things - good faith and competence. They are almost certainly not
competent since they haven't had an opportunity to develop that
competence yet, so they should not be trusted to be making the right
decisions.

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Re: Report to the Board of Trustees June 2009-

Yann Forget-2
Thomas Dalton wrote:

> While that is true, it is also important to remember that most people
> setting up a chapter have next to no experience of running a
> non-profit. They don't know what is and isn't appropriate to spend
> donations on, they don't necessarily know what needs to done and just
> because they know their culture in general doesn't mean they know how
> the charity sector works in their country. The Foundation could
> provide a lot of advice on those issues. While I don't doubt that the
> Portuguese Wikimedians are acting in good faith, trust requires two
> things - good faith and competence. They are almost certainly not
> competent since they haven't had an opportunity to develop that
> competence yet, so they should not be trusted to be making the right
> decisions.

I think this is very rude. Why do you assume that people wanting to
create a Wikimedia chapter are incompetent? You need to have a bit more
trust for people you have never met and you don't know.

Regards,

Yann
--
http://www.non-violence.org/ | Site collaboratif sur la non-violence
http://www.forget-me.net/ | Alternatives sur le Net
http://fr.wikisource.org/ | Bibliothèque libre
http://wikilivres.info | Documents libres

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Re: Report to the Board of Trustees June 2009-

Andrew Gray-3
In reply to this post by Thomas Dalton
2009/9/12 Thomas Dalton <[hidden email]>:

> While I don't doubt that the
> Portuguese Wikimedians are acting in good faith, trust requires two
> things - good faith and competence. They are almost certainly not
> competent since they haven't had an opportunity to develop that
> competence yet, so they should not be trusted to be making the right
> decisions.

I'm a bit worried about this sort of approach. Taken to extremes, we
wouldn't let the local chapter organise itself at all, because clearly
none of them would know how to do it until after they've had
experience running it, etc etc etc.

People will make bad decisions, estimates, projections, guesses,
conclusions sometimes; it happens. We spot them the second time
around, once we've realised they're wrong, fix them, and move on.

--
- Andrew Gray
  [hidden email]

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Re: Report to the Board of Trustees June 2009-

Thomas Dalton
In reply to this post by Yann Forget-2
2009/9/12 Yann Forget <[hidden email]>:

> Thomas Dalton wrote:
>> While that is true, it is also important to remember that most people
>> setting up a chapter have next to no experience of running a
>> non-profit. They don't know what is and isn't appropriate to spend
>> donations on, they don't necessarily know what needs to done and just
>> because they know their culture in general doesn't mean they know how
>> the charity sector works in their country. The Foundation could
>> provide a lot of advice on those issues. While I don't doubt that the
>> Portuguese Wikimedians are acting in good faith, trust requires two
>> things - good faith and competence. They are almost certainly not
>> competent since they haven't had an opportunity to develop that
>> competence yet, so they should not be trusted to be making the right
>> decisions.
>
> I think this is very rude. Why do you assume that people wanting to
> create a Wikimedia chapter are incompetent? You need to have a bit more
> trust for people you have never met and you don't know.

Why would I assume that someone knows how to do something they have
never done before? Someone from the Portuguese chapter has already
admitted they have very little experience. Note, I don't use the word
"incompetent" as an insult, I just use it to mean what it means - not
having a particular relevant competence.

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