[Wikimedia-l] Are chapters part of the community and board seats for affiliates?

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[Wikimedia-l] Are chapters part of the community and board seats for affiliates?

Bence Damokos
Hi,

I'll separate this out as I think it is a really interesting conversation,
and as I have heard the two arguments below repeated numerous times, it
might be useful to think about it and the future shape of things a bit more.

I think the fundamental question is how legitimate can an interest group
(chapters in this case) be if it's membership is significantly smaller than
its potential membership (at least 30% of editors come from countries with
well established chapters in afaik good standing with their local
community)?
The difference in the answer to this question could be behind the two
"memes" on chapters being seen as insignificant or significant parts of the
community based either on their membership or potential membership size.

I like to believe that people who go beyond online editing (or in the case
of readers and donors, beyond online donations and reading) into the
offline world are among the most dedicated of our volunteers, and knowing
their background, they usually are well embedded in their
local/national/linguistic communities, to the point that they are able to
recognize and represent their interests.
(Especially, as chapters tend to have open structures, often giving the
right to be heard to any non-member and generally not making it difficult
to become a member even for those advocating different directions.)

However, as our communities are very diverse (someone active on Wikipedia
and the chapter might not be aware of recent developments in Wiktionary and
vice versa), we need to constantly think about ways of informing and better
engaging those whose interests we wish to represent (be this at the WMF or
the individual chapter level).

Even if we don't subscribe to the wider interpretation of representation of
the potential members, the actual members are still showing a level of
dedication that I think makes it worthwhile hearing their voice in e.g.
board selections.

All that said, the chapter selected board seat is related to the
communities the chapters are embedded in at a further step of remove
because of the way the process is conducted. (The list of candidates and
questions to them, etc. are in theory non-public – although the candidate
may choose to make it public on Meta – so the boards of chapters might not
be in a position to directly survey their members' preferences and have to
bring the decision on their own.)
Therefore, I think there are definite possibilities to improve on the
selection process, even with just chapters.


Best regards,
Bence



On Tue, Feb 19, 2013 at 9:26 AM, Jan-Bart de Vreede <[hidden email]
> wrote:

> Hey
>
> I think that chapters represent a different part of the movement, and that
> their input in board composition results in different candidates than we
> would possibly elect :) At the same time the increased scope of affcom also
> gives us the option of increasing the scope of these two selected seats to
> include thematic organisations and user groups (giving them more "community
> coverage" than is the case now). That would be a good discussion to have
> over de coming months as the selected seats term expires in july next year…
>
> thoughts anyone?
>
> Jan-Bart
>
>
> On Feb 19, 2013, at 8:42 AM, James Alexander <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > Snipping a bunch for simplicities sake
> >
> > On Mon, Feb 18, 2013 at 11:14 PM, Jan-Bart de Vreede <
> > [hidden email]> wrote:
> >>
> >> I simply don't agree.
> >> a) Chapters are part of the community
> >> b) Whenever a vote comes up for an appointed seat that seat obviously
> does
> >> not vote, therefore the (s)elected seats have a majority vote on any
> >> appointed seat (5 our of 9 votes) Apart from that I would say that
> Jimmy's
> >> seat is a community seat, but recognise that not all share that
> viewpoint.
> >>
> >> Jan-Bart
> >>
> >
> > :-/ To be honest I don't particularly like this meme that the chapter are
> > part of the community either. The chapters may be part of the community
> > (and so the statement not false) but we use the phrasing in such a way as
> > to say that they are more then they are.  There may be a part of the
> > community but they are really a very small part of it overall.
> >
> > Their power in board selection and movement voice (both formally and
> > informally) is disproportionately huge and we set them up to represent
> the
> > community when that is a serious misstatement. They represent their
> members
> > who are a very small subset of the community and often have a very
> > different goal and interest set then the, much larger, remainder of the
> > community and depending on the chapter may include more donors or readers
> > then editors.
> >
> > That is not to say they don't do good things at times (or that it is a
> > problem to include donors or readers, personally I think they are part of
> > our larger community) but we should not confuse what they actually are.
> >
> > Jimmy is a whole different question ;) I would certainly say he deserves
> a
> > seat at the table, I prefer to just categorize him as "Jimmy" because
> he's
> > just a class of his own in all ways :).
> >
> > James
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list
> > [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
>
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Are chapters part of the community and board seats for affiliates?

Bence Damokos
On Tue, Feb 19, 2013 at 2:42 PM, Bence Damokos <[hidden email]> wrote:

> All that said, the chapter selected board seat is related to the
> communities the chapters are embedded in at a further step of remove
> because of the way the process is conducted. (The list of candidates and
> questions to them, etc. are in theory non-public – although the candidate
> may choose to make it public on Meta – so the boards of chapters might not
> be in a position to directly survey their members' preferences and have to
> bring the decision on their own.)
>

To be perfectly fair, all the nominations for the 2012 selection were
public, so this was less of a problem than in 2010 when they were not
published.

Best regards,
Bence
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Are chapters part of the community and board seats for affiliates?

Christophe Henner
In reply to this post by Bence Damokos
Hey Bence,

Thanks for creating this thread and allow us to "tackle" that "issue"
(though I don't believe it really is an issue)

On 19 February 2013 14:42, Bence Damokos <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hi,
>
> I'll separate this out as I think it is a really interesting conversation,
> and as I have heard the two arguments below repeated numerous times, it
> might be useful to think about it and the future shape of things a bit
> more.
>
> I think the fundamental question is how legitimate can an interest group
> (chapters in this case) be if it's membership is significantly smaller than
> its potential membership (at least 30% of editors come from countries with
> well established chapters in afaik good standing with their local
> community)?
>

Short answer, yes they are part of the community.

Disclaimer, I'm board member of Wikimedia France for 6 years I guess now,
so I'm not really neutral on that point :)

So let me develop that thought now.

I would even add that chapters should, and perhaps are, be key part of our
community. Online communities tend to "die" slowly over the time. The main
reason is that "virtual" bonds are much easier to forget than "physical"
ones. I mean it's easier stop sending email to someone than stopping to see
someone.

Chapters, in my opinion, have 2 main duties :
1/ Push forward are goals
2/ Bring offline the online community

The second one is key and instrumental to the good health of the community.
I have no hard data on that, but I feel that people that do meet regularly
and do projects together (organizing WLM, Wikipedia takes a city, meetup
with beers, etc.) tned to stick longer in the project. And even if at some
point they stop editing (because of work, studies, etc) they eventually
come back because they don't severe bonds with people they've seen
regularly irl.

Part of this can happen without a chapter, but a chapter can increase that,
ease that. And in doing so, increasing the retention of old editor and help
new editors to join in.

Yes, chapter as such do not edit the projects directly. But does this mean
they're not part of the community? I don't think so. They're a different
part of the community, but still are a part of the community.

So should the Chapters seats be considered asa "Community seats" ? I'd say
that the term is wrong.

We have the "editing community seats", the "meta" community seats and the
appointed seats. Perhaps we should differentiate the two sides of the
community.

(I have virtually not edited massively for years, and people says to me (as
a joke) that I'm not really part of the community... well I believe that
even if I do not edit I'm part of the Wikimedia community)

So please, let me be part of the Wikimedia community ^_^

PS: I do not speak of membership because it is not really relevant in the
end, as the important thing in the inpact the chapter have, not how many
members it has
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Are chapters part of the community and board seats for affiliates?

Thehelpfulone
In reply to this post by Bence Damokos
On 19 February 2013 13:48, Bence Damokos <[hidden email]> wrote:

> To be perfectly fair, all the nominations for the 2012 selection were
> public, so this was less of a problem than in 2010 when they were not
> published.
>


Whilst this is true, is there a good reason as to why much of the
discussion for chapter-elected board seats happens in private? Looking at
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Chapter-selected_Board_seats/2012/Process it
appears chapter discussion happens on a private chapters wiki and
chapters-l, a mailing list restricted to only current board members
of chapters, during which time candidates lose their access to that
wiki/mailing list but presumably gain access to it afterwards. Unless all
the discussions are deleted, what is the benefit of having these
discussions in private, especially if the candidates will see what was said
about them after the election?

I understand why we use private voting through SecurePoll for the
"community" elections but please could someone explain what I'm missing
with regards to Chapter selected seats?

--
Thehelpfulone
http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Thehelpfulone
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Are chapters part of the community and board seats for affiliates?

Christophe Henner
On 19 February 2013 15:32, Thehelpfulone <[hidden email]>wrote:

> On 19 February 2013 13:48, Bence Damokos <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > To be perfectly fair, all the nominations for the 2012 selection were
> > public, so this was less of a problem than in 2010 when they were not
> > published.
> >
>
>
> Whilst this is true, is there a good reason as to why much of the
> discussion for chapter-elected board seats happens in private? Looking at
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Chapter-selected_Board_seats/2012/Processit
> appears chapter discussion happens on a private chapters wiki and
> chapters-l, a mailing list restricted to only current board members
> of chapters, during which time candidates lose their access to that
> wiki/mailing list but presumably gain access to it afterwards. Unless all
> the discussions are deleted, what is the benefit of having these
> discussions in private, especially if the candidates will see what was said
> about them after the election?
>
> I understand why we use private voting through SecurePoll for the
> "community" elections but please could someone explain what I'm missing
> with regards to Chapter selected seats?
>
> --
> Thehelpfulone
> http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Thehelpfulone
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
>

Hmmm I might be mistaken but WMF board members, selected or not by
chapters, haven't access to chapter-l. But I might be mistaken on that.

--
Christophe
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Are chapters part of the community and board seats for affiliates?

Bence Damokos
In reply to this post by Thehelpfulone
On Tue, Feb 19, 2013 at 3:32 PM, Thehelpfulone
<[hidden email]>wrote:

> On 19 February 2013 13:48, Bence Damokos <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > To be perfectly fair, all the nominations for the 2012 selection were
> > public, so this was less of a problem than in 2010 when they were not
> > published.
> >
>
>
> Whilst this is true, is there a good reason as to why much of the
> discussion for chapter-elected board seats happens in private? Looking at
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Chapter-selected_Board_seats/2012/Processit
> appears chapter discussion happens on a private chapters wiki and
> chapters-l, a mailing list restricted to only current board members
> of chapters, during which time candidates lose their access to that
> wiki/mailing list but presumably gain access to it afterwards. Unless all
> the discussions are deleted, what is the benefit of having these
> discussions in private, especially if the candidates will see what was said
> about them after the election?
>
> I understand why we use private voting through SecurePoll for the
> "community" elections but please could someone explain what I'm missing
> with regards to Chapter selected seats?
>
I believe the losing access to the mailing list is meant to ensure that the
candidate has no undue advantage in the process by either influencing the
discussion or knowing the other candidates' answers in advance (I believe
those who "win" would not get re-added as they would become part of the WMF
and have to give up their chapter board positions, while those who lose
re-gain access once the process is over and there is no more a possibility
to have this influence).

As for the private vs. public aspect, there is a difficult balance to make
between being transparent and being able to attract candidates who might
not be comfortable in being publicly identified as unsuccessful. (The
current search for an expert seat also has this guarantee of privacy, as I
understand.) The result of this balancing was I believe (I might be
mistaken) that in the end the chapters selected candidates could opt for
publicity or the default privacy and all of them opted for the public
option. This has actually resulted in the somewhat awkward need to
duplicate everything between the private wiki and Meta.
Furthermore, the process is meant to be consensual between the different
boards involved, so there is a useful place for private discussions either
on the closed mailing list or between individual board members.

Adjusting this balance and making sure that people beyond the boards are
informed (even if the final decision is still made by the boards) will be
an important challenge for the next selection.

Best regards,
Bence
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Are chapters part of the community and board seats for affiliates?

Béria Lima
In reply to this post by Thehelpfulone
>
> *Whilst this is true, is there a good reason as to why much of the
> discussion for chapter-elected board seats happens in private? **it
> appears chapter discussion happens on a private chapters wiki and
> chapters-l, a mailing list restricted to only current board members of
> chapters*


Actually it doesn't. If you see the process, pretty much most of it
happened in meta. The part that doesn't happens in the board of each
Chapter (and that is actually private with them) and then they come and say
who they could support and who they couldn't. After that, if there is
consensus the two people are appointed, but since in this year it didn't,
there was a vote (on chapters wiki) and the two with more votes in STV
method got appointed (In this case Patricio and Alice). No drama happens,
we don't kill anyone or anything in the process, there is no cabala, etc
etc etc.

*During which time candidates lose their access to that wiki/mailing list
> but presumably gain access to it afterwards. Unless all the discussions are
> deleted, what is the benefit of having these discussions in private,
> especially if the candidates will see what was said about them after the
> election?*
>

They do lose access during the election and regain it after. The idea is
not to hide the process from then, is to have a fair discussion. Not all
candidates have access to the list[1], which right there gives then an
advantage the others doesn't. If they have access they would know who
supports then and who doesn't, and what people want the candidate to do and
he could make his "campaign" over this. The second part is to have the
chapters to say what they really think of the candidates (I can't really
say why I would never vote for candidate A or B if I know that candidate is
seeing the message during the election time).

*I understand why we use private voting through SecurePoll for the
> "community" elections but please could someone explain what I'm missing
> with regards to Chapter selected seats?*
>

We use a "SecureWikiPoll" vote method. That is also private like the
community one is. :)

*Béria Lima*

[1] If I'm not mistaken only 2 candidates last year had access - and none
of then got appointed so they both regain it.

*
Imagine um mundo onde é dada a qualquer pessoa a possibilidade de ter livre
acesso ao somatório de todo o conhecimento humano. Ajude-nos a construir
esse sonho. <http://wikimedia.pt/Donativos>*


On 19 February 2013 11:32, Thehelpfulone <[hidden email]>wrote:

> On 19 February 2013 13:48, Bence Damokos <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > To be perfectly fair, all the nominations for the 2012 selection were
> > public, so this was less of a problem than in 2010 when they were not
> > published.
> >
>
>
> Whilst this is true, is there a good reason as to why much of the
> discussion for chapter-elected board seats happens in private? Looking at
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Chapter-selected_Board_seats/2012/Processit
> appears chapter discussion happens on a private chapters wiki and
> chapters-l, a mailing list restricted to only current board members
> of chapters, during which time candidates lose their access to that
> wiki/mailing list but presumably gain access to it afterwards. Unless all
> the discussions are deleted, what is the benefit of having these
> discussions in private, especially if the candidates will see what was said
> about them after the election?
>
> I understand why we use private voting through SecurePoll for the
> "community" elections but please could someone explain what I'm missing
> with regards to Chapter selected seats?
>
> --
> Thehelpfulone
> http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Thehelpfulone
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Are chapters part of the community and board seats for affiliates?

cyrano
In reply to this post by Christophe Henner
Le 19/02/2013 11:23, Christophe Henner a écrit :
>
>
> I would even add that chapters should, and perhaps are, be key part of our
> community. Online communities tend to "die" slowly over the time. The main
> reason is that "virtual" bonds are much easier to forget than "physical"
> ones. I mean it's easier stop sending email to someone than stopping to see
> someone.

I think Wikipedia gathered such a community because of an ideal, not of
social bonds. Though parts of the community may form social,
professional or political bonds, and thus perdure through these
mechanisms, the cause "sharing the knowledge" should be the main raison
d'être of the community. Thus, I disagree that Chapters should be
considered the key part of the community: the cause should be the key
part. In fact, if the cause ceases to be the highest priority, then the
community will tend to die and only the institutions will tend to remain
because of their own inertia and interests. I don't consider that a good
thing per se since this tends to lead to sclerosis and a hollow
structure with no other point than perpetuating itself, instead of
pushing for the next needed accomplishments to collect and disseminate
knowledge.

> Yes, chapter as such do not edit the projects directly. But does this mean
> they're not part of the community? I don't think so. They're a different
> part of the community, but still are a part of the community.
Being part of the community doesn't allow to act on the name of the
entire community. The gap between the community and the Chapters is
significant enough to distinguish both, in particular for political and
communicational matters.


>
> So should the Chapters seats be considered asa "Community seats" ? I'd say
> that the term is wrong.
>
> We have the "editing community seats", the "meta" community seats and the
> appointed seats. Perhaps we should differentiate the two sides of the
> community.
Why not distinguish the community seats from the Chapters seats with the
terms "community seats" and " Chapters seats"?
Using the word community in both cases may induce to believe that's it's
the same community with two branches. But nothing guarantees that unity.

By the way, what would you say Chapters actually are? Is it correct to
say that they're an administrative organization financed by the WMF
through Fund Dissemination Commitees?


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Are chapters part of the community and board seats for affiliates?

Christophe Henner
On 22 February 2013 18:42, cyrano <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Le 19/02/2013 11:23, Christophe Henner a écrit :
>
>>
>>
>> I would even add that chapters should, and perhaps are, be key part of our
>> community. Online communities tend to "die" slowly over the time. The main
>> reason is that "virtual" bonds are much easier to forget than "physical"
>> ones. I mean it's easier stop sending email to someone than stopping to
>> see
>> someone.
>
>
> I think Wikipedia gathered such a community because of an ideal, not of
> social bonds. Though parts of the community may form social, professional or
> political bonds, and thus perdure through these mechanisms, the cause
> "sharing the knowledge" should be the main raison d'être of the community.
> Thus, I disagree that Chapters should be considered the key part of the
> community: the cause should be the key part. In fact, if the cause ceases to
> be the highest priority, then the community will tend to die and only the
> institutions will tend to remain because of their own inertia and interests.
> I don't consider that a good thing per se since this tends to lead to
> sclerosis and a hollow structure with no other point than perpetuating
> itself, instead of pushing for the next needed accomplishments to collect
> and disseminate knowledge.
>

The starting point is the ideal. But if I've lasted so long in here
it's because of a bunch of awesome people I met, not the ideal only.

It's because of the people that Wikimedia is making me grow, not the ideal.

The iseal is a shared value, the bond is, well, a bond. One isn't the
opposite of the other. They benefit from each other.
Why should we have only one priority? I mean, yes free knowledge is
our goal, but isn't ensuring we have a healthy community another
important goal? And well, I'd say community health isn't our best
achievement now on most of the projects. Ignoring that is dangerous on
the long run.

I mean your point is moot in itself as so far the ideal has been our
top priority and the community is slowly shrinking :)

>
>> Yes, chapter as such do not edit the projects directly. But does this mean
>> they're not part of the community? I don't think so. They're a different
>> part of the community, but still are a part of the community.
>
> Being part of the community doesn't allow to act on the name of the entire
> community. The gap between the community and the Chapters is significant
> enough to distinguish both, in particular for political and communicational
> matters.
>

When  do chapters act as such? I mean I read that a lot, but I still
have to wait clear cases.

And please Beria, read what I wrote "They're a different part of the
community, but still are a part of the community.". :)

>
>
>>
>> So should the Chapters seats be considered asa "Community seats" ? I'd say
>> that the term is wrong.
>>
>> We have the "editing community seats", the "meta" community seats and the
>> appointed seats. Perhaps we should differentiate the two sides of the
>> community.
>
> Why not distinguish the community seats from the Chapters seats with the
> terms "community seats" and " Chapters seats"?
> Using the word community in both cases may induce to believe that's it's the
> same community with two branches. But nothing guarantees that unity.
>

Because chapters are part of the community. The editing community
elect board members, and chapters propose board members. But all those
seats are chosen by the Community at large :)

> By the way, what would you say Chapters actually are? Is it correct to say
> that they're an administrative organization financed by the WMF through Fund
> Dissemination Commitees?
>

Nope. That is sad if you see your chapter like that :)

I mean "administrative organization", with all the programs we do,
admin is actually the thing we're behind... So no.

"financed by the WMF through Fund Dissemination Commitees" that is
each chapters' choice, nobody is forcing anyone to get grants or money
from the FDC. Actually, we, WMFr, are working on alternate funding
(for the programs) to top FDC/grants. Because we believe a chapter has
the ability to get money the movement wouldn't have other wise (local
public funding, local sponsorships, local major donors, etc.).

So if you would describe your chapter as "dministrative organization
financed by the WMF through Fund Dissemination Commitees", and that
you don't like it. Too bad, but nobody forces your chapter to be that,
you (or your board) did :)

Best exemple I can remember, if it has not change, is WMPL that is
mostly self sufficient for years and doing really cool stuff (though
we don't hear about it enough ^^).

Christophe

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Are chapters part of the community and board seats for affiliates?

Jan-Bart de Vreede-3
In reply to this post by cyrano
Hey

So my 2 cents

I do consider the chapters to be an integral part of the community. Some of our community members prefer to work individually and some prefer to work together. Some things can be done by individuals and some things require organisations like chapters or thematic organisations. Wiki Loves Monuments is a great example of supporting the cause and it could only be done by collaboration between several chapters. Discussion about the role of chapters, thematic organisations or indeed the foundation itself are very healthy, but lets not forget that we are all part of the movement and share the common goals. If any one of the players of the movement does not support the goals, we should address that, but lets not disqualify those people that choose to help that are simply not editing individuals (as someone once said: "it takes all kinds to make the world go round"

So I regard both the elected and the selected seats to be community seats.

Jan-Bart


On Feb 22, 2013, at 6:42 PM, cyrano <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Le 19/02/2013 11:23, Christophe Henner a écrit :
>>
>>
>> I would even add that chapters should, and perhaps are, be key part of our
>> community. Online communities tend to "die" slowly over the time. The main
>> reason is that "virtual" bonds are much easier to forget than "physical"
>> ones. I mean it's easier stop sending email to someone than stopping to see
>> someone.
>
> I think Wikipedia gathered such a community because of an ideal, not of social bonds. Though parts of the community may form social, professional or political bonds, and thus perdure through these mechanisms, the cause "sharing the knowledge" should be the main raison d'être of the community. Thus, I disagree that Chapters should be considered the key part of the community: the cause should be the key part. In fact, if the cause ceases to be the highest priority, then the community will tend to die and only the institutions will tend to remain because of their own inertia and interests. I don't consider that a good thing per se since this tends to lead to sclerosis and a hollow structure with no other point than perpetuating itself, instead of pushing for the next needed accomplishments to collect and disseminate knowledge.
>
>> Yes, chapter as such do not edit the projects directly. But does this mean
>> they're not part of the community? I don't think so. They're a different
>> part of the community, but still are a part of the community.
> Being part of the community doesn't allow to act on the name of the entire community. The gap between the community and the Chapters is significant enough to distinguish both, in particular for political and communicational matters.
>
>
>>
>> So should the Chapters seats be considered asa "Community seats" ? I'd say
>> that the term is wrong.
>>
>> We have the "editing community seats", the "meta" community seats and the
>> appointed seats. Perhaps we should differentiate the two sides of the
>> community.
> Why not distinguish the community seats from the Chapters seats with the terms "community seats" and " Chapters seats"?
> Using the word community in both cases may induce to believe that's it's the same community with two branches. But nothing guarantees that unity.
>
> By the way, what would you say Chapters actually are? Is it correct to say that they're an administrative organization financed by the WMF through Fund Dissemination Commitees?
>
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Are chapters part of the community and board seats for affiliates?

phoebe ayers-3
In reply to this post by Christophe Henner
On Tue, Feb 19, 2013 at 6:41 AM, Christophe Henner <
[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> Hmmm I might be mistaken but WMF board members, selected or not by
> chapters, haven't access to chapter-l. But I might be mistaken on that.
>
> --
> Christophe
>


Correct; I didn't have access to chapters-l before, during or after being
selected (or after leaving the board). I have no idea what people said
about me, which is totally fine. What *wasn't* fine, in my opinion, is that
lots of other non-chapter people were surprised when the chapter-selected
seat results were announced in 2010, because it wasn't very clear that a
process was even going on. As Bence said, this improved a lot in 2012, so
that's great.

-- Phoebe, who is also a little biased about being "part of the community"
:P


--
* I use this address for lists; send personal messages to phoebe.ayers <at>
gmail.com *
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Are chapters part of the community and board seats for affiliates?

Balázs Viczián
I believe chapters are tools for the local communities to achieve certain
goals that otherwise would be very difficult or (almost) impossible, and a
great aid in local community building.

Balazs
2013.02.22. 19:41, "phoebe ayers" <[hidden email]> ezt írta:

> On Tue, Feb 19, 2013 at 6:41 AM, Christophe Henner <
> [hidden email]> wrote:
>
> >
> > Hmmm I might be mistaken but WMF board members, selected or not by
> > chapters, haven't access to chapter-l. But I might be mistaken on that.
> >
> > --
> > Christophe
> >
>
>
> Correct; I didn't have access to chapters-l before, during or after being
> selected (or after leaving the board). I have no idea what people said
> about me, which is totally fine. What *wasn't* fine, in my opinion, is that
> lots of other non-chapter people were surprised when the chapter-selected
> seat results were announced in 2010, because it wasn't very clear that a
> process was even going on. As Bence said, this improved a lot in 2012, so
> that's great.
>
> -- Phoebe, who is also a little biased about being "part of the community"
> :P
>
>
> --
> * I use this address for lists; send personal messages to phoebe.ayers <at>
> gmail.com *
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Are chapters part of the community and board seats for affiliates?

Fæ
On 22 February 2013 20:15, Balázs Viczián <[hidden email]> wrote:
> I believe chapters are tools for the local communities to achieve certain
> goals that otherwise would be very difficult or (almost) impossible, and a
> great aid in local community building.

+1

The vast majority of volunteers like the idea that there is a Chapter
they can turn to to ask for help, or to get their idea for a project
reviewed, funded and looking "official". If a volunteer came to a
wikimeet with a brilliant idea for a project, but said they could not
stand the stupid bureaucracy of chapters, I'd say "excellent mate, you
go for it and I'll see what I can do to help with funding if you need
it."

Most of us started this stuff before our chapters were anything more
that a society for a handful of embarrassed lonely encyclopedia
fanatics meeting in a pub, confessing how much they loved the idea of
the open knowledge movement. It's just unavoidable that chapters have
to get formal once you have projects spending six figure sums rather
than three figure sums.

Getting formal without sucking all the joy out of it, well that's the
real challenge for all of us.

Fae
--
Ashley Van Haeften (Fae) [hidden email]
Chapters Association Council Chair http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/WCA
Guide to email tags: http://j.mp/mfae

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Are chapters part of the community and board seats for affiliates?

Josh Lim
On Feb 23, 2013, at 4:27 AM, Fae <[hidden email]> wrote:

> The vast majority of volunteers like the idea that there is a Chapter
> they can turn to to ask for help, or to get their idea for a project
> reviewed, funded and looking "official". If a volunteer came to a
> wikimeet with a brilliant idea for a project, but said they could not
> stand the stupid bureaucracy of chapters, I'd say "excellent mate, you
> go for it and I'll see what I can do to help with funding if you need
> it."

I'm inclined to believe that the "bureaucracy" exists despite, not because of, the existence of chapters, and many volunteers, particularly those from the Global South, are one of two types:

1. They don't know about the avenues that are available to them when it comes to pursuing projects that they'd like to do.
2. They're too busy being involved in the community to be involved in the "backstage" (in my university, we call this "joing down the hill").

Chapters aside, how many know about the Foundation's grants system? Or the research program?  Or, heck, even about forming Wikimedia User Groups or scholarships to Wikimania?  The message is there, but it doesn't seem to translate into greater individual participation if bureaucracy was a concern.  It's good that there now exist mechanisms to help individuals with the projects they want to pursue, and we should strive to make it as accessible as possible (with as little bureaucracy as possible) but it's all for nought if people are left unawares of it, especially in countries where there are no chapters, or if the bureaucracy is stifling. (Some people, for example, may be turned off by the bureaucratic rigor of the grants program.)

Josh

JAMES JOSHUA G. LIM
Block I1, AB Political Science
Major in Global Politics, Minor in Chinese Studies
Class of 2013, Ateneo de Manila University
Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines

Trustee (2010-2013), Wikimedia Philippines
Member, Ateneo Debate Society
Member, The Assembly

[hidden email] | +63 (917) 841-5235
Facebook/Twitter: akiestar | Wikimedia: Sky Harbor
http://akira123323.livejournal.com

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Are chapters part of the community and board seats for affiliates?

Josh Lim
In reply to this post by Fæ
On Feb 23, 2013, at 4:27 AM, Fae <[hidden email]> wrote:

> The vast majority of volunteers like the idea that there is a Chapter
> they can turn to to ask for help, or to get their idea for a project
> reviewed, funded and looking "official". If a volunteer came to a
> wikimeet with a brilliant idea for a project, but said they could not
> stand the stupid bureaucracy of chapters, I'd say "excellent mate, you
> go for it and I'll see what I can do to help with funding if you need
> it."

I'm inclined to believe that bureaucracy exists despite, not because of, chapters.  As it is, volunteers, especially those from the Global South, can be classified into two types:

1. They're "detached": they're part of the community, but they don't know about the support options open to them
2. They're so involved in the community, they could care less about the "bureaucracy" (in my university, this is called "going down the hill", as my university is on a hill)

Chapters aside, I'm in fact curious to know how many volunteers do know about the Foundation's grants system, or the research program, or heck, Wikimedia User Groups or Wikimania scholarships.  Granted, it's a good thing that volunteers have options open for them whether or not they want to deal with the bureaucracy, but it's all for nought if they're left unaware of those options.

Josh

JAMES JOSHUA G. LIM
Block I1, AB Political Science
Major in Global Politics, Minor in Chinese Studies
Class of 2013, Ateneo de Manila University
Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines

Trustee (2010-2013), Wikimedia Philippines
Member, Ateneo Debate Society
Member, The Assembly

[hidden email] | +63 (917) 841-5235
Facebook/Twitter: akiestar | Wikimedia: Sky Harbor
http://akira123323.livejournal.com

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Are chapters part of the community and board seats for affiliates?

Federico Leva (Nemo)
In reply to this post by Bence Damokos
I see some fundamental misunderstandings here, which make this
discussion so far not so productive and for which I am/was planning a
reply... however, in the end I doubt I'd manage to say it better than
Anthere: http://article.gmane.org/gmane.org.wikimedia.foundation/6652

Nemo

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Are chapters part of the community and board seats for affiliates?

Rodrigo Tetsuo Argenton
Two things, one is, I do not know why these discussions are not held in a Wiki
( ie meta), which is easier to document and much easier to follow.

The second point:

I think the chapters are a significant part of the community, however, as only
one part, the chapters can not, should not speak for the whole. Thus,
it is interesting
to have people with most varied visions, perhaps because chapter people is
not interesting some kind of group, but for others from the Movement, that
affiliation is What they need. More than that, if you only choose people of
the chapters, you will never have different visions, so you always forced, in
a way, that group fits in your reality, or be like a "European" chapter.


observations


   - If there is doubt as what's the chapter role in the Movement, how can
   we know what is a chapter? Why is there so much energy lost in
   bureaucracies, rather than focusing on activities? Chapters are
made to perform
   activities? If yes, so why not prioritize the best local structures for
   this to occur? If not, why choose people from chapter to decide about
   other types of groups that only will do activities?
   - Why AffCom discussions are closed, since you are not the whole
   community? Why need to be so few people, and so obscure? Why not follow the
   other current processes and make openings for communities?
   - If a chapter is something that is done to serve the needs of online
   communities, and people of the chapters make decisions without
consulting these
   communities, without discussing the annual planning, or strategic
   planning with these communities, how can they accomplish what online
   communities want? And thinking in that, how they will those who is the
   best group for affiliation for the communities?



On 23 February 2013 15:48, Federico Leva (Nemo) <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I see some fundamental misunderstandings here, which make this discussion
> so far not so productive and for which I am/was planning a reply...
> however, in the end I doubt I'd manage to say it better than Anthere:
> http://article.gmane.org/**gmane.org.wikimedia.**foundation/6652<http://article.gmane.org/gmane.org.wikimedia.foundation/6652>
>
> Nemo
>
>
> ______________________________**_________________
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> [hidden email].**org <[hidden email]>
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/**mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l<https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l>
>



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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Are chapters part of the community and board seats for affiliates?

Balázs Viczián
Maybe I wasn't clear enough, imo chapters are NOT part of the communities
(nor the global community), just a tool for them to achieve certain goals
that otherwise would be much more difficult or (almost) impossible to reach.

Balázs
2013.02.24. 10:34, "Rodrigo Tetsuo Argenton" <[hidden email]>
ezt írta:

> Two things, one is, I do not know why these discussions are not held in a
> Wiki
> ( ie meta), which is easier to document and much easier to follow.
>
> The second point:
>
> I think the chapters are a significant part of the community, however, as
> only
> one part, the chapters can not, should not speak for the whole. Thus,
> it is interesting
> to have people with most varied visions, perhaps because chapter people is
> not interesting some kind of group, but for others from the Movement, that
> affiliation is What they need. More than that, if you only choose people of
> the chapters, you will never have different visions, so you always forced,
> in
> a way, that group fits in your reality, or be like a "European" chapter.
>
>
> observations
>
>
>    - If there is doubt as what's the chapter role in the Movement, how can
>    we know what is a chapter? Why is there so much energy lost in
>    bureaucracies, rather than focusing on activities? Chapters are
> made to perform
>    activities? If yes, so why not prioritize the best local structures for
>    this to occur? If not, why choose people from chapter to decide about
>    other types of groups that only will do activities?
>    - Why AffCom discussions are closed, since you are not the whole
>    community? Why need to be so few people, and so obscure? Why not follow
> the
>    other current processes and make openings for communities?
>    - If a chapter is something that is done to serve the needs of online
>    communities, and people of the chapters make decisions without
> consulting these
>    communities, without discussing the annual planning, or strategic
>    planning with these communities, how can they accomplish what online
>    communities want? And thinking in that, how they will those who is the
>    best group for affiliation for the communities?
>
>
>
> On 23 February 2013 15:48, Federico Leva (Nemo) <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>
> > I see some fundamental misunderstandings here, which make this discussion
> > so far not so productive and for which I am/was planning a reply...
> > however, in the end I doubt I'd manage to say it better than Anthere:
> > http://article.gmane.org/**gmane.org.wikimedia.**foundation/6652<
> http://article.gmane.org/gmane.org.wikimedia.foundation/6652>
> >
> > Nemo
> >
> >
> > ______________________________**_________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list
> > [hidden email].**org <[hidden email]>
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/**mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l<
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l>
> >
>
>
>
> --
> Rodrigo Tetsuo Argenton
> [hidden email]
> +55 11 979 718 884
> _______________________________________________
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Are chapters part of the community and board seats for affiliates?

Fæ
On 24 February 2013 10:27, Balázs Viczián <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Maybe I wasn't clear enough, imo chapters are NOT part of the communities
> (nor the global community), just a tool for them to achieve certain goals
> that otherwise would be much more difficult or (almost) impossible to reach.

+1

With the logical extension that so are AffCom, the FDC, the WCA, the
WMF ... If these tools become ineffective, then we should look again
at what we (the movement) need in our tool box. Indeed I believe we
have been doing precisely that by creating the FDC and the WCA in the
last two years and the WMF has strategically been 'narrowing focus'.

As an unpaid volunteer and thus with no vested interest, I would be
perfectly happy with a completely new and improved tool box for
Christmas. It is only human nature that it is much, much harder to see
the world this way and accept change, when your employment may depend
on the existing tools.

Thanks,
Fae
--
Ashley Van Haeften (Fae) [hidden email]
Chapters Association Council Chair http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/WCA
Guide to email tags: http://j.mp/mfae

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Are chapters part of the community and board seats for affiliates?

Federico Leva (Nemo)
In reply to this post by Balázs Viczián
Balázs Viczián, 24/02/2013 11:27:
> Maybe I wasn't clear enough, imo chapters are NOT part of the communities
> (nor the global community), just a tool for them to achieve certain goals
> that otherwise would be much more difficult or (almost) impossible to reach.

Here we are, this is one of the things I wanted to point out (maybe one
by one it's easier): a "chapter" is not a person, of course it's not a
"community member"... but (IMHO) *of course* chapter members are
Wikimedia community members.
Logical consequence: the "chapter" meant as "set of the chapter members"
is a subset of the community and hence a "part of the community".

The /structure/ of the chapter (assembly, board, president, ...) may
work well or not, "represent" some obscure interests of the chapter
members or not, further the (mysterious) "interests" of "the"* community
at large or not, etc. etc. etc. But that's an entirely different matter.

Nemo

(*) If you don't understand the quotes here, please read Anthere's
http://article.gmane.org/gmane.org.wikimedia.foundation/6652 again.

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