Report from Frankfurt – October 2006

classic Classic list List threaded Threaded
32 messages Options
12
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Report from Frankfurt – October 2006

oscar-11
==Report from Frankfurt – October 2006==

<center>''Imagine a giant with a golden head, a brass chest, iron legs and
feet of clay; to develop this into a sustainably developing living
organization while preserving the essence of its life, such is our
mission.''

(paraphrase and wink by the author of these lines are both released under
GNU/FDL)


 How to get all the people invited to the retreat in Frankfurt from October
20-22 2006 together, 21 wikimedians, comsisting of the full current
Wikimedia Foundation board, the Foundation officers, representatives from
the Chapters, plus one external invitee, how to get them to debate
constructively all the major challenges currently faced by Wikimedia in the
daytime, conversations which inevitably continue in the evening at and after
dinner and as usual deep into the night, and yet also how to have them all
awake and sharp again at 9am more or less punctually every next day – and
all that for three consecutive days? It was done. It happened. And I was
personally very happy with the shared enthusiasm and devotion I encountered
as well as with our excellent facilitator, without whom things would have
certainly run far less smoothly and efficiently as they in fact did ("we
should seriously consider appointing facilitators on-wiki for fundamental
debates" i thought).

well, we were supposed to do some real hard work, and we managed to do it
together.

At the closing day, when it was discussed that some kind of report
("comprehensive, yet not too long") should be made to inform the community
about what the ''cabal had been doing this time'', my partner elise was of
course not around to prevent me from volunteering (she did of course
complain just now when i started to write these lines), so it's me who
happens to be the one to have written these lines ;-)

==Expectations and Vision==

On the very first day a list of expectations and desired outcomes was
sketched together, which comprised:

*Build trust

*Stronger organization (giant with clay feet)

*Directions for organizations and chapters

*Practical outcomes

*Clear understanding governance as supports mission and fundraising support

*Help the group moving towards sustainability

*Role of Wikimedia Foundation, support projects

*Know each other better

*Shared understanding and agreement

*Honesty that leads to peace

*Have some fun

I daresay, all of these were effected in some way or another; if there were
some difficult moments as well, we also had a lot of fun working together.

Nevertheless, even when working hard, much time was consumed by getting
attuned to the topics and sometimes to each other as well, so let me here
express the often heard plea for a next follow-up meeting: a next step,
building on this first one. In my humble opinion a crucial next step as
well, because apart from bringing more detail in a practical sense, it will
also allow for much more in-depth discussions on many topics and concepts we
work with, yet often seem to lack the time for real investigation together
all too often.

==Strategies and Objectives==

In search of defining clearer strategies and objectives, among the important
themes we immediately agreed to focus upon were:

*Sustainable organizational structure for Wikimedia, Foundation and Chapters
(make a disctinction between Wikimedia as a movement and the Wikimedia
Foundation)

*Leadership in spreading free culture

*Global perspective, international involvement

*New standard-setting

*Legal clarity

*Multi-projects

Other themes were decided to be discussed at a later stage, "first things
first" was mandatory, we couldn't do-it-all in one weekend.. Among these
topics was a "Knowledge" versus "Content" discussion, which though very
important is just not as urgent as many other topics.

Pretty soon it became clear there was an essential agreement about a great
many things, some of which soon led to the new wordings of our vision and
mission statements, that the board is currently working out in detail.

Many organizational models were drawn and discussed, finally their number
was brought back to a handful, containing all essential bodies present and
desired. In all models there appeared an "advisory board" as well as at
least one ''blob'' named "council", one model even had three such ''blobs'',
in other words: ''to be continued''...

==Priorities==

With the help of a ''SWOT'' analysis model (analysis through assesment of
Strengths versus Weaknesses, and Opportunities versus Threats, and combining
the four pairs of these), strategic objectives were defined in all areas
concerning "our business", we came up with 7 categories: ''organizational,
operations, finances and fundraising, program development, public relations
and messaging, technology, and legal''.

::::<small>Did you ever try a complex voting system with wikimedians IRL? I
can tell you this is fun, not just the voting, but also, just like on-wiki,
observing people voting. IRL there is more to see however, because each
person bodily participates. In our case, there were the seven categories
mentioned above, each with two or more topics attached below: there were 33
of such topics in total. Each person was given 3x3=9 votes to prioritize
these topics as tasks-to-do, either within 3, 12 or 24 months. "Having a
longer coffee-break" because you voted soon was not appreciated to be an
incentive ;-)</small>

I will spare you all the details and instead give a summarized list of the
urgent to-do topics agreed upon (mind you, since they imply ''action'', all
these begin with a ''verb''), in alphabetical order:

*Clarify and redefine each committees' scope, role, authority and
obligations

*Clarify requirements for chapters

*Clarify role and function of each of the private mailing lists

*Create events committee

*Create relationships with educational partners

*Design a road-map for Wikimedia technology

*Develop regional conferences and programs

*Expand the board

*Improve analyses of projects and users

*Lobby governmental educational groups

*Manage customer/donor communication and relations

*Start (re-)organization and where necessary staffing

*Structure and organize PR

*Update Bylaws

==Implementation==

Since the meeting clearly agreed upon the strategic objectives and their
priorities, but had as such no authority to implement them officially, all
of these were at the end of the meeting "given into the hands of the board",
and I can tell you the people present are as anxious as you to see stuff
starting to be implemented one by one.

==Conclusion==

Anxious for the further implementation of the hard work we did together, as
well as for the follow-up so many hope will take place, I am confident that
the first step of solidifying the "giant's feet of clay" into some more
sustainable substance was in fact taken properly. Yet it is a first step and
many more must follow on the same path, which will step by step involve many
more people than the 21 at Frankfurt last weekend. Our main goals remain
unchallenged, although the exact wording may vary slightly, so we need your
help as well throughout the next stages of reorganization and expansion.

May I challenge you to envision boldly what we can accomplish together, just
as we were asked to do at the offset of the retreat? Can you imagine, within
12 months: "30 Chapters founded" - "500 Servers operational" - "An office
per continent" - "100,000 Articles reached in 10 European-language projects"
- "Wikimedia becoming the new standard for knowledge" - etcetera etcetera
etcetera... Can you imagine...[[edit]]...?

Let's make it happen.

oscar
_______________________________________________
foundation-l mailing list
[hidden email]
http://mail.wikipedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Report from Frankfurt – October 2006

oscar-11
i forgot to put the links in, but here is the article:
http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Report_from_Frankfurt_-_October_2006 (it has
a discussion page ;-)

grtz,
oscar

On 10/26/06, oscar <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> ==Report from Frankfurt – October 2006==
>
> <center>''Imagine a giant with a golden head, a brass chest, iron legs and
> feet of clay; to develop this into a sustainably developing living
> organization while preserving the essence of its life, such is our
> mission.''
>
> (paraphrase and wink by the author of these lines are both released under
> GNU/FDL)
>
>
>  How to get all the people invited to the retreat in Frankfurt from
> October 20-22 2006 together, 21 wikimedians, comsisting of the full current
> Wikimedia Foundation board, the Foundation officers, representatives from
> the Chapters, plus one external invitee, how to get them to debate
> constructively all the major challenges currently faced by Wikimedia in the
> daytime, conversations which inevitably continue in the evening at and after
> dinner and as usual deep into the night, and yet also how to have them all
> awake and sharp again at 9am more or less punctually every next day – and
> all that for three consecutive days? It was done. It happened. And I was
> personally very happy with the shared enthusiasm and devotion I encountered
> as well as with our excellent facilitator, without whom things would have
> certainly run far less smoothly and efficiently as they in fact did ("we
> should seriously consider appointing facilitators on-wiki for fundamental
> debates" i thought).
>
> well, we were supposed to do some real hard work, and we managed to do it
> together.
>
> At the closing day, when it was discussed that some kind of report
> ("comprehensive, yet not too long") should be made to inform the community
> about what the ''cabal had been doing this time'', my partner elise was of
> course not around to prevent me from volunteering (she did of course
> complain just now when i started to write these lines), so it's me who
> happens to be the one to have written these lines ;-)
>
> ==Expectations and Vision==
>
> On the very first day a list of expectations and desired outcomes was
> sketched together, which comprised:
>
> *Build trust
>
> *Stronger organization (giant with clay feet)
>
> *Directions for organizations and chapters
>
> *Practical outcomes
>
> *Clear understanding governance as supports mission and fundraising
> support
>
> *Help the group moving towards sustainability
>
> *Role of Wikimedia Foundation, support projects
>
> *Know each other better
>
> *Shared understanding and agreement
>
> *Honesty that leads to peace
>
> *Have some fun
>
> I daresay, all of these were effected in some way or another; if there
> were some difficult moments as well, we also had a lot of fun working
> together.
>
> Nevertheless, even when working hard, much time was consumed by getting
> attuned to the topics and sometimes to each other as well, so let me here
> express the often heard plea for a next follow-up meeting: a next step,
> building on this first one. In my humble opinion a crucial next step as
> well, because apart from bringing more detail in a practical sense, it will
> also allow for much more in-depth discussions on many topics and concepts we
> work with, yet often seem to lack the time for real investigation together
> all too often.
>
> ==Strategies and Objectives==
>
> In search of defining clearer strategies and objectives, among the
> important themes we immediately agreed to focus upon were:
>
> *Sustainable organizational structure for Wikimedia, Foundation and
> Chapters (make a disctinction between Wikimedia as a movement and the
> Wikimedia Foundation)
>
> *Leadership in spreading free culture
>
> *Global perspective, international involvement
>
> *New standard-setting
>
> *Legal clarity
>
> *Multi-projects
>
> Other themes were decided to be discussed at a later stage, "first things
> first" was mandatory, we couldn't do-it-all in one weekend.. Among these
> topics was a "Knowledge" versus "Content" discussion, which though very
> important is just not as urgent as many other topics.
>
> Pretty soon it became clear there was an essential agreement about a great
> many things, some of which soon led to the new wordings of our vision and
> mission statements, that the board is currently working out in detail.
>
> Many organizational models were drawn and discussed, finally their number
> was brought back to a handful, containing all essential bodies present and
> desired. In all models there appeared an "advisory board" as well as at
> least one ''blob'' named "council", one model even had three such ''blobs'',
> in other words: ''to be continued''...
>
> ==Priorities==
>
> With the help of a ''SWOT'' analysis model (analysis through assesment of
> Strengths versus Weaknesses, and Opportunities versus Threats, and combining
> the four pairs of these), strategic objectives were defined in all areas
> concerning "our business", we came up with 7 categories: ''organizational,
> operations, finances and fundraising, program development, public relations
> and messaging, technology, and legal''.
>
> ::::<small>Did you ever try a complex voting system with wikimedians IRL?
> I can tell you this is fun, not just the voting, but also, just like
> on-wiki, observing people voting. IRL there is more to see however, because
> each person bodily participates. In our case, there were the seven
> categories mentioned above, each with two or more topics attached below:
> there were 33 of such topics in total. Each person was given 3x3=9 votes to
> prioritize these topics as tasks-to-do, either within 3, 12 or 24 months.
> "Having a longer coffee-break" because you voted soon was not appreciated to
> be an incentive ;-)</small>
>
> I will spare you all the details and instead give a summarized list of the
> urgent to-do topics agreed upon (mind you, since they imply ''action'', all
> these begin with a ''verb''), in alphabetical order:
>
> *Clarify and redefine each committees' scope, role, authority and
> obligations
>
> *Clarify requirements for chapters
>
> *Clarify role and function of each of the private mailing lists
>
> *Create events committee
>
> *Create relationships with educational partners
>
> *Design a road-map for Wikimedia technology
>
> *Develop regional conferences and programs
>
> *Expand the board
>
> *Improve analyses of projects and users
>
> *Lobby governmental educational groups
>
> *Manage customer/donor communication and relations
>
> *Start (re-)organization and where necessary staffing
>
> *Structure and organize PR
>
> *Update Bylaws
>
> ==Implementation==
>
> Since the meeting clearly agreed upon the strategic objectives and their
> priorities, but had as such no authority to implement them officially, all
> of these were at the end of the meeting "given into the hands of the board",
> and I can tell you the people present are as anxious as you to see stuff
> starting to be implemented one by one.
>
> ==Conclusion==
>
> Anxious for the further implementation of the hard work we did together,
> as well as for the follow-up so many hope will take place, I am confident
> that the first step of solidifying the "giant's feet of clay" into some more
> sustainable substance was in fact taken properly. Yet it is a first step and
> many more must follow on the same path, which will step by step involve many
> more people than the 21 at Frankfurt last weekend. Our main goals remain
> unchallenged, although the exact wording may vary slightly, so we need your
> help as well throughout the next stages of reorganization and expansion.
>
> May I challenge you to envision boldly what we can accomplish together,
> just as we were asked to do at the offset of the retreat? Can you imagine,
> within 12 months: "30 Chapters founded" - "500 Servers operational" - "An
> office per continent" - "100,000 Articles reached in 10 European-language
> projects" - "Wikimedia becoming the new standard for knowledge" - etcetera
> etcetera etcetera... Can you imagine...[[edit]]...?
>
> Let's make it happen.
>
> oscar
>
_______________________________________________
foundation-l mailing list
[hidden email]
http://mail.wikipedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Report from Frankfurt – October 2006

geni
In reply to this post by oscar-11
On 10/26/06, oscar <[hidden email]> wrote:
> ==Report from Frankfurt – October 2006==
>
> <center>''Imagine a giant with a golden head, a brass chest, iron legs and
> feet of clay; to develop this into a sustainably developing living
> organization while preserving the essence of its life, such is our
> mission.''
>
> (paraphrase and wink by the author of these lines are both released under
> GNU/FDL)

Careful you will have the conspiracy theorists onto you ( see
[[Bohemian_Grove#Cremation_of_Care]])

>  ("we
> should seriously consider appointing facilitators on-wiki for fundamental
> debates" i thought).
>

I think you may have found a job worse than arbcom member


> At the closing day, when it was discussed that some kind of report
> ("comprehensive, yet not too long") should be made to inform the community
> about what the ''cabal had been doing this time'',

A good idea although less exciting than then the normal manner.


> ==Strategies and Objectives==
>
> In search of defining clearer strategies and objectives, among the important
> themes we immediately agreed to focus upon were:
>
> *Sustainable organizational structure for Wikimedia, Foundation and Chapters
> (make a disctinction between Wikimedia as a movement and the Wikimedia
> Foundation)

I find the idea of Wikimedia as a movement to be deeply disturbing. As
a facilitator of for various movements yes. As a movement in of itself
ah I normally see that kind of thinking being promoted by pyramid
sceams

> May I challenge you to envision boldly what we can accomplish together, just
> as we were asked to do at the offset of the retreat? Can you imagine, within
> 12 months: "30 Chapters founded" - "500 Servers operational" -

Yes.

>"An office per continent"

No (a. antartica and b sounds a like a particlarly gastly form of outsourceing).

> - "100,000 Articles reached in 10 European-language projects"

Swedish, English, German, Polish, French, Dutch, Italian, Portuguese,
Italian, spanish, russian.

So yes


--
geni
_______________________________________________
foundation-l mailing list
[hidden email]
http://mail.wikipedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Report from Frankfurt – October 2006

Effe iets anders
<snip>
> > - "100,000 Articles reached in 10 European-language projects"
>
> Swedish, English, German, Polish, French, Dutch, Italian, Portuguese,
> Italian, spanish, russian.
>
> So yes
>
</snip>

wow, twice Italian. You're not Italian, right? ;-)
_______________________________________________
foundation-l mailing list
[hidden email]
http://mail.wikipedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Report from Frankfurt – October 2006

Tomasz Ganicz
In reply to this post by oscar-11
oscar wrote:

 > I will spare you all the details and instead give a summarized list
of the
 > urgent to-do topics agreed upon (mind you, since they imply
''action'', all
 > these begin with a ''verb''), in alphabetical order:

But the problem is that indeed these details are the things which you
seem to really discussed. For example if there was a discussion about
organizational structure of the Foundation, what kind a structure do you
recommend? If you were discussing about expanding the Board, what was
your recommendation about it?

 >Did you ever try a complex voting system with wikimedians IRL? I
 > can tell you this is fun, not just the voting, but also, just like
on-wiki... {etc.)

If you were voting on something what was the results of these votings?
What do you exactly voted?

> Anxious for the further implementation of the hard work we did together, as
> well as for the follow-up so many hope will take place, I am confident that
> the first step of solidifying the "giant's feet of clay" into some more
> sustainable substance was in fact taken properly. Yet it is a first step and
> many more must follow on the same path, which will step by step involve many
> more people than the 21 at Frankfurt last weekend. Our main goals remain
> unchallenged, although the exact wording may vary slightly, so we need your
> help as well throughout the next stages of reorganization and expansion.
>

Well.. good to hear you still need other people help, but how we can
help if we don't know what have you exactly decided during this meeting...

 >...all of these were at the end of the meeting "given into the hands
of >the board",

Does it mean you have produced some sort of document with your
recommendations to the Board? If yes, I think, this document, even if
very long, would be much more interesting to read, than all the above
general, abstract statements wich in fact says nothing...


--
Tomasz "Polimerek" Ganicz
http://pl.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Polimerek
http://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedysta:Polimerek
http://www.poli.toya.net.pl/
http://www.ptchem.lodz.pl/pl/TomaszGanicz.html
_______________________________________________
foundation-l mailing list
[hidden email]
http://mail.wikipedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Report from Frankfurt - October 2006

erikzachte
Tomasz "Polimerek" Ganicz
> Does it mean you have produced some sort of document with your
> recommendations to the Board? If yes, I think, this document, even if
> very long, would be much more interesting to read, than all the above
> general, abstract statements wich in fact says nothing...

Oscar thank you for what you did, but in my view you did not earn your right
to complain yet. I also would have expected a more in depth coverage of such
a crucial meeting. To name one thing specifically: what was the outcome of
the SWOT analysis? I'm sure you all did not do that hard work without taking
notes? You might include the SWOT outcome unedited, that saves time.

> I will spare you all the details

Who are you sparing here? Might that not be yourself in the first place ;)
I'm sure many readers of this list would not mind an extra page or two. If
you can't spare the time maybe split up the work after all. It is not our
fault that the organiser of this event forgot to rent the Big Brother house
for 3*24 hrs multichannel coverage ;)

Also I find it rather odd to present a list of priorities, where again as
you say you all put so much effort in, in alphabetical order. It does not
help to give us a sense of what was going on.

In August the board decided they needed a retreat among other things to
build better relations. Expensive but hey we need a board to be on good
terms which each other. Now this retreat grew into Wikimania 2006 part II,
it seems.

>  so let me here express the often heard plea for a next follow-up meeting:
a next step,
building on this first one.

Several times in past years the topic of a wikicouncil was raised
(originally by Jimbo). Ironically it seems to me that we now almost got an
impromptu wikicouncil, without difficult discussions about size, roles and
representativity. Like with the board itself I fear this 'retreat' might
transform into something noone had foretold. Of course wikis are all about
being bold, yet I learned how this principle can backfire and I reserve the
right to express my doubts.

Erik Zachte



_______________________________________________
foundation-l mailing list
[hidden email]
http://mail.wikipedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Report from Frankfurt - October 2006

oscar-11
you may not be aware of this, but my report is designed to be the first in a
series of updates, designed for quick delivery and some comprehensive
information about the retreat, details will of course follow, but not just
by me. this takes time, people!!

whatever may have happened to the "assume good faith": a critical look is
always appreciated, but i feel like maybe next time i shouldn't sacrifice
yet another night's sleep again, there seem to be implicit expectations in
view of the reactions? there are however no solutions "out of a box"; it is
a step by step process, please bear with it.

best,
oscar

On 10/26/06, Erik Zachte <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> Tomasz "Polimerek" Ganicz
> > Does it mean you have produced some sort of document with your
> > recommendations to the Board? If yes, I think, this document, even if
> > very long, would be much more interesting to read, than all the above
> > general, abstract statements wich in fact says nothing...
>
> Oscar thank you for what you did, but in my view you did not earn your
> right
> to complain yet. I also would have expected a more in depth coverage of
> such
> a crucial meeting. To name one thing specifically: what was the outcome of
> the SWOT analysis? I'm sure you all did not do that hard work without
> taking
> notes? You might include the SWOT outcome unedited, that saves time.
>
> > I will spare you all the details
>
> Who are you sparing here? Might that not be yourself in the first place ;)
> I'm sure many readers of this list would not mind an extra page or two. If
> you can't spare the time maybe split up the work after all. It is not our
> fault that the organiser of this event forgot to rent the Big Brother
> house
> for 3*24 hrs multichannel coverage ;)
>
> Also I find it rather odd to present a list of priorities, where again as
> you say you all put so much effort in, in alphabetical order. It does not
> help to give us a sense of what was going on.
>
> In August the board decided they needed a retreat among other things to
> build better relations. Expensive but hey we need a board to be on good
> terms which each other. Now this retreat grew into Wikimania 2006 part II,
>
> it seems.
>
> >  so let me here express the often heard plea for a next follow-up
> meeting:
> a next step,
> building on this first one.
>
> Several times in past years the topic of a wikicouncil was raised
> (originally by Jimbo). Ironically it seems to me that we now almost got an
> impromptu wikicouncil, without difficult discussions about size, roles and
> representativity. Like with the board itself I fear this 'retreat' might
> transform into something noone had foretold. Of course wikis are all about
> being bold, yet I learned how this principle can backfire and I reserve
> the
> right to express my doubts.
>
> Erik Zachte
>
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> http://mail.wikipedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>
_______________________________________________
foundation-l mailing list
[hidden email]
http://mail.wikipedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Report from Frankfurt - October 2006

Florence Devouard-3
Yeah.
I second oscar words. Next time, take the time to sleep more Oscar.

As for me, I was till yesterday evening out of my home. 8 days away. No
internet access but some "spots" in hotels. My return means saying hi to
family, cleaning up home, filling up fridge and other delicacies of the
sort :-)

There is something else Oscar does not mention. Yes, we could have
provided you with the SWOT outcome (it will be done), as well as with
the brainstorming results of the actions outlined (it will be done as
well, but for some confidential considerations).

However, several of these actions proposed during the retreat should
actually be approved by the board. Most of them are pretty clearly
agreed upon by all board members. But for some propositions, questions
were raised, not so much for the action itself, but rather on who is the
lead of it, or what the timeline proposed is.
The final decision on what the board should do is not under the
authority of the participants, it is under the authority of the board
itself. It would make no sense to announce you an action the board will
take care of, if the board actually does not agree in doing it.

Right ?

So, we are listing (we is brad and I) the various actions points
proposed, according to categories, and I will ask the board to clarify
if it is a "yup" or a "nope". Except for confidential issues (in
particular legal considerations), I think most will be transparent.

It would be cool to be given a little bit of trust and time. Please.

Ant


oscar wrote:

> you may not be aware of this, but my report is designed to be the first in a
> series of updates, designed for quick delivery and some comprehensive
> information about the retreat, details will of course follow, but not just
> by me. this takes time, people!!
>
> whatever may have happened to the "assume good faith": a critical look is
> always appreciated, but i feel like maybe next time i shouldn't sacrifice
> yet another night's sleep again, there seem to be implicit expectations in
> view of the reactions? there are however no solutions "out of a box"; it is
> a step by step process, please bear with it.
>
> best,
> oscar
>
> On 10/26/06, Erik Zachte <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>>Tomasz "Polimerek" Ganicz
>>
>>>Does it mean you have produced some sort of document with your
>>>recommendations to the Board? If yes, I think, this document, even if
>>>very long, would be much more interesting to read, than all the above
>>>general, abstract statements wich in fact says nothing...
>>
>>Oscar thank you for what you did, but in my view you did not earn your
>>right
>>to complain yet. I also would have expected a more in depth coverage of
>>such
>>a crucial meeting. To name one thing specifically: what was the outcome of
>>the SWOT analysis? I'm sure you all did not do that hard work without
>>taking
>>notes? You might include the SWOT outcome unedited, that saves time.
>>
>>
>>>I will spare you all the details
>>
>>Who are you sparing here? Might that not be yourself in the first place ;)
>>I'm sure many readers of this list would not mind an extra page or two. If
>>you can't spare the time maybe split up the work after all. It is not our
>>fault that the organiser of this event forgot to rent the Big Brother
>>house
>>for 3*24 hrs multichannel coverage ;)
>>
>>Also I find it rather odd to present a list of priorities, where again as
>>you say you all put so much effort in, in alphabetical order. It does not
>>help to give us a sense of what was going on.
>>
>>In August the board decided they needed a retreat among other things to
>>build better relations. Expensive but hey we need a board to be on good
>>terms which each other. Now this retreat grew into Wikimania 2006 part II,
>>
>>it seems.
>>
>>
>>> so let me here express the often heard plea for a next follow-up
>>
>>meeting:
>>a next step,
>>building on this first one.
>>
>>Several times in past years the topic of a wikicouncil was raised
>>(originally by Jimbo). Ironically it seems to me that we now almost got an
>>impromptu wikicouncil, without difficult discussions about size, roles and
>>representativity. Like with the board itself I fear this 'retreat' might
>>transform into something noone had foretold. Of course wikis are all about
>>being bold, yet I learned how this principle can backfire and I reserve
>>the
>>right to express my doubts.
>>
>>Erik Zachte
>>
>>
>>
>>_______________________________________________
>>foundation-l mailing list
>>[hidden email]
>>http://mail.wikipedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>>

_______________________________________________
foundation-l mailing list
[hidden email]
http://mail.wikipedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Report from Frankfurt - October 2006

erikzachte
In reply to this post by oscar-11
Oscar:
> you may not be aware of this, but my report is designed to be the
> first in a
> series of updates, designed for quick delivery and some comprehensive
> information about the retreat, details will of course follow, but not just
> by me. this takes time, people!!
>

Oscar, I can understand you feel offended. Yet I hope you understand that I
can't sense the above without you giving any hint in your original post that
this was an initial and incomplete report only.

You were asked to act as official messenger. You delivered the message, or
so it seemed. I asked for more. Would you have added something like 'More to
come..' I would have reacted differently or quite possibly not at all yet.

Cheers, Erik Zachte


_______________________________________________
foundation-l mailing list
[hidden email]
http://mail.wikipedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Report from Frankfurt - October 2006

Erik Moeller-4
On 10/28/06, Erik Zachte <[hidden email]> wrote:
> You were asked to act as official messenger. You delivered the message, or
> so it seemed. I asked for more. Would you have added something like 'More to
> come..' I would have reacted differently or quite possibly not at all yet.

Oscar is not to blame. We (Board) should have responded earlier to
clarify this. My personal apologies as Board member for not doing so.
At least one follow-up report will indeed come, clarifying the
specific work that is to be done (what, by whom, by what date).
--
Peace & Love,
Erik

Member, Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees

DISCLAIMER: Unless otherwise stated, all views or opinions expressed
in this message are solely my own and do not represent an official
position of the Wikimedia Foundation or its Board of Trustees.
_______________________________________________
foundation-l mailing list
[hidden email]
http://mail.wikipedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Report from Frankfurt - October 2006

Michael Snow
In reply to this post by erikzachte
Anthere wrote:

> There is something else Oscar does not mention. Yes, we could have
> provided you with the SWOT outcome (it will be done), as well as with
> the brainstorming results of the actions outlined (it will be done as
> well, but for some confidential considerations).
>
> However, several of these actions proposed during the retreat should
> actually be approved by the board. Most of them are pretty clearly
> agreed upon by all board members. But for some propositions, questions
> were raised, not so much for the action itself, but rather on who is
> the lead of it, or what the timeline proposed is.
> The final decision on what the board should do is not under the
> authority of the participants, it is under the authority of the board
> itself. It would make no sense to announce you an action the board
> will take care of, if the board actually does not agree in doing it.
>
> Right ?
>
> So, we are listing (we is brad and I) the various actions points
> proposed, according to categories, and I will ask the board to clarify
> if it is a "yup" or a "nope". Except for confidential issues (in
> particular legal considerations), I think most will be transparent.
>
> It would be cool to be given a little bit of trust and time. Please.

I'd like to add something. Some people seem to be laboring under the
false impression that the outcomes of the retreat all exist in a single
lengthy electronic document, and that it would have been "easier" to
just dump that onto the list, or answer questions by copy-and-pasting
from it. We did not work that way. When you are together with people, it
undermines the benefits of meeting in person and defeats the purpose if
you continue to do everything on a computer. Not to mention that not
everyone has laptops, and their use was specifically discouraged for
most of the retreat.

As Anthere has alluded to, some of the results still need to be
organized, discussed further, and agreements reached. The board retreat
did not decide every course of action for the Wikimedia Foundation for
all time. Much more will be shared and discussed with various people in
various forums as we go forward. But we cannot recreate the entire
retreat for everyone who wasn't present, or produce a three-day-long
video for you to watch it all unfold.

--Michael Snow
_______________________________________________
foundation-l mailing list
[hidden email]
http://mail.wikipedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Report from Frankfurt - October 2006

erikzachte
Michael Snow
> As Anthere has alluded to, some of the results still need to be
> organized, discussed further, and agreements reached. The board retreat
> did not decide every course of action for the Wikimedia Foundation for
> all time. Much more will be shared and discussed with various people in
> various forums as we go forward. But we cannot recreate the entire
> retreat for everyone who wasn't present, or produce a three-day-long
> video for you to watch it all unfold.

Michael, you seem to say that I and maybe others are overasking. So let me
explain further what prompted me to ask for clarification.

I made an ironic remark myself about the Big Brother house setting,
implicating by stating the opposite that really, I am not asking to watch a
real life soap. Part of the dynamics of this meeting were obviously on an
interpersonal level. That requires intimacy. I fully respect that.

Even for the pure exchange of opinions I am not asking for a verbatim
account.

What I did plead for was to share analysis, conclusions, priority lists, in
short structured and condensated results, like SWOT and priority lists are
meant to be, so that others can be informed and provide feedback before
these are turned into decisions. After that who cares. That is the crucial
point.

I've already assured that this is still going to happen, but since you seem
to think I have extreme demands, I'd better explain in this mail.

Erik Zachte



_______________________________________________
foundation-l mailing list
[hidden email]
http://mail.wikipedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Report from Frankfurt - October 2006

erikzachte
In reply to this post by erikzachte
I've already assured -> I've already been assured

Erik Zachte


_______________________________________________
foundation-l mailing list
[hidden email]
http://mail.wikipedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

THE SWOT

Florence Devouard-3
In reply to this post by erikzachte
Strenghts
23 people
15 mission/vision (Jimmy in particular-3)
15 outside perception, recognised brand, market leader
13 organisation
11 multiculturalism/lingualism
9 content
6 technology
5 financial - donations easy and reliable
less reflection as an organisation
less communication

Weaknesses
24 lack of structure (management not adapted)
15 poor processes/delegation/decision making
13 communication
8 lack of trust
6 unfocused direction, lack of planning or strategic vision
6 finances, donor relationships
divided opinions on board members
lack of responsability
volunteers
reflection of organisation

Opportunities
18 money
9 internet penetration (more users coming)
7 good will
7 free culture mouvement success
6 educational penetration
6 global village
5 support of free culture mouvement
4 media and political interest
4 content liberation
3 technology
2 hiring pool

Threats
16 legal
12 unmanaged growth
9 fragmentation of the general organisation
6 financial stability
6 competition
internal communication

---------

Numbers represent number of people who listed this (or something
approaching)
Reminder: this is the SWOT of the WMF (not of a project)

_______________________________________________
foundation-l mailing list
[hidden email]
http://mail.wikipedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: THE SWOT (the return)

Florence Devouard-3
Hmmm, this was unsufficiently explained. With the help of other
participants, here is a more complete explanation of what we did.
One of the methods we used at the board retreat to try and define
strategic actions was a SWOT (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SWOT)
analysis, as Oscar mentionned in his report.

The idea was to answer a set of questions to help identify the
Strengths, the Weaknesses of the organisation (internal level) and  the
Opportunities and the Threats that the organisation faces (external
level). and then combine all of these to define strategic objectives.

All participants were asked to list what they identified as SWOT for the
organisation and we then compiled all answers to try and identify those
which came under different forms but actually tackled the same subject.

These are the topics that came out of this analysis.

Numbers represent number of people who listed this (or something
approaching), no numbers means that these came out of the general
discussion afterwards. They were for some points listed by one person
and were accepted by the group as worth mentionning.

Reminder: this is the SWOT of the Wikimedia Foundation (not of a project)

==Strengths==
*people (23)
*mission/vision (Jimmy in particular-3) (15)
*outside perception, recognised brand, market leader (15 )
*organisation (13 )
*multiculturalism/lingualism (11 )
*content (9)
*technology (6 )
*financial - donations easy and reliable (5 )
*less reflection as an organisation
*less communication

==Weaknesses==
*lack of structure (management not adapted) (24 )
*poor processes/delegation/decision making (15)
*communication (13)
*lack of trust (8)
*unfocused direction, lack of planning or strategic vision (6)
*finances, donor relationships (6)
*divided opinions on board members
*lack of responsability
*volunteers
*reflection of organisation

==Opportunities==
*money (18)
*internet penetration (more users coming) (9)
*good will (7)
*free culture mouvement success (7)
*educational penetration (6)
*global village (6)
*support of free culture mouvement (5)
*media and political interest (4)
*content liberation (4)
*technology (3)
*hiring pool (2)

==Threats==
*legal (16)
*unmanaged growth (12)
*fragmentation of the general organisation (9)
*financial stability (6)
*competition (6)
*internal communication

It is difficult to convey here the exact meaning that is put behind
these words that may look random at first, as they were the result of
discussions and brainstorming but it was a starting point for us to go
on with strategic objectives. These are part of a process that is long
and implies lots of discussion and should not be taken at face value. In
order to be able to list the strategic objectives, the participants are
then asked to cross the different categories (Threats with Weaknesses,
Opportunities and weaknesses for example and come up with a set of
strategic objectives.

As Oscar mentionned, we then compiled the strategic objectives into  7
categories: ''organizational, operations, finances and fundraising,
program development, public relations and messaging, technology, and
legal''.

The strategic objectives were then detailled and presented as
recommandations to the board from the group, which the board needs to
review and reassess, confronting them with the reality of things, the
ressources and manageable timelines, so as to present their final
strategic objectives and their course of action.
The final strategic objectives will be the last part of the report, and
they will take a little time to put together. We also need to agree on
which information to publish and which not to publish. Do not expect
final outcome tomorrow, nor in the following days.

Again, please be patient.

_______________________________________________
foundation-l mailing list
[hidden email]
http://mail.wikipedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Report from Frankfurt - October 2006

Michael Snow
In reply to this post by erikzachte
Erik Zachte wrote:

>Michael Snow
>  
>
>>As Anthere has alluded to, some of the results still need to be
>>organized, discussed further, and agreements reached. The board retreat
>>did not decide every course of action for the Wikimedia Foundation for
>>all time. Much more will be shared and discussed with various people in
>>various forums as we go forward. But we cannot recreate the entire
>>retreat for everyone who wasn't present, or produce a three-day-long
>>video for you to watch it all unfold.
>>    
>>
>Michael, you seem to say that I and maybe others are overasking.
>
Others more than just you, Erik, and I chose not to respond to your
message directly because I didn't want to single you out. But I was a
little disappointed to see people responding to Oscar's effort in
creating his report by commenting that it "says nothing" and in other
ways calling it inadequate.

>What I did plead for was to share analysis, conclusions, priority lists, in
>short structured and condensated results, like SWOT and priority lists are
>meant to be, so that others can be informed and provide feedback before
>these are turned into decisions.
>
This is understandable, like Anthere I'm mostly asking for a little more
patience, as much in people's tone as in whether they have additional
requests or not. Most of the important conclusions were already in
Oscar's report. The analysis that went into it, Anthere has now posted
the SWOT list, and some of the rest we may be able to put together and
share as well. A few specific things, especially dealing with legal
concerns, need to be kept confidential.

Also, not everything we discussed was necessarily finalized, even with
respect to the small group that was present. Three days was good, but
hardly enough to tie up every loose end in such a very loosely
structured organization. For example, we worked on drafting a formal
vision and mission statement, but still had some wording issues to deal
with. I suggested that those be put forward for adoption by the
community in a referendum, and I'm looking forward to Board releasing
them in their final form.

--Michael Snow
_______________________________________________
foundation-l mailing list
[hidden email]
http://mail.wikipedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Report from Frankfurt - October 2006

geni
On 10/29/06, Michael Snow <[hidden email]> wrote:
> For example, we worked on drafting a formal
> vision and mission statement

Why?

--
geni
_______________________________________________
foundation-l mailing list
[hidden email]
http://mail.wikipedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: THE SWOT (the return)

Gregory Maxwell
In reply to this post by Florence Devouard-3
On 10/28/06, Anthere <[hidden email]> wrote:
> *legal (16)

I find this very very interesting.

I've always been an advocate of being extra-diligent on legal
matters... but not because I believed our situation was precarious.
Rather, I believe it is important to be diligent in our patrolling of
libel because libel has the risk of hurting people, and I believe it
is important to strictly conform on copyright because our mission is
strongly oriented around Free Content.

Unless there is a law change in the US we have a pretty strong
position legally in both those areas.

Of course, law changes are always possible but with over 2 billion USD
recently invested by companies into 'user submitted content' sites
(youtube and myspace) which would both be far more hurt than us by a
substantial change in the law... I just don't see it happening.

Although, I also didn't foresee the outcome of the Napster case... so
perhaps my crystal ball isn't very good.  But as I said, I see plenty
of non-legal reasons to be careful with our actions.. I'm just a
little surprised to see 'legal' named as the highest threat.
_______________________________________________
foundation-l mailing list
[hidden email]
http://mail.wikipedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Report from Frankfurt - October 2006

Alphax (Wikipedia email)
In reply to this post by geni
geni wrote:
> On 10/29/06, Michael Snow <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> For example, we worked on drafting a formal
>> vision and mission statement
>
> Why?
>

Because.

--
Alphax - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Alphax
Contributor to Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia
"We make the internet not suck" - Jimbo Wales
Public key: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Alphax/OpenPGP


_______________________________________________
foundation-l mailing list
[hidden email]
http://mail.wikipedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l

signature.asc (581 bytes) Download Attachment
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Report from Frankfurt - October 2006

geni
On 10/29/06, Alphax (Wikipedia email) <[hidden email]> wrote:

> geni wrote:
> > On 10/29/06, Michael Snow <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >> For example, we worked on drafting a formal
> >> vision and mission statement
> >
> > Why?
> >
>
> Because.
>

The problem is that that is what I'm rather worried the answer would
be. We appear to have got on okay without one and I tend to feel that
haveing one would risk giving rule lawyers more aminition.


--
geni
_______________________________________________
foundation-l mailing list
[hidden email]
http://mail.wikipedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
12