[Wikimedia-l] Board vote on narrowing focus

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[Wikimedia-l] Board vote on narrowing focus

Bishakha Datta
Dear all,

At its in-person meeting on 26 October, the board unanimously agreed to
accept the recommendation to narrow focus as presented by the Executive
Director.

This vote has been published at:
http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Vote:Narrowing_Focus

Best
Bishakha
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board vote on narrowing focus

Виктория-6
Great news - I propose a heading for the Signpost "Board unanimously agreed
to the Executive
Director proposal that Wikimedia movement fends for itself".

Victoria

On Fri, Nov 2, 2012 at 7:46 AM, Bishakha Datta <[hidden email]>wrote:

> Dear all,
>
> At its in-person meeting on 26 October, the board unanimously agreed to
> accept the recommendation to narrow focus as presented by the Executive
> Director.
>
> This vote has been published at:
> http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Vote:Narrowing_Focus
>
> Best
> Bishakha
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board vote on narrowing focus

Lodewijk
In reply to this post by Bishakha Datta
Thanks Bishakha,

while I can understand the move of the WMF to do what they are best at, for
me it is always a bit confusing when the Board (or Sue) is talking about
the Foundation, and when about the movement. I hope I'm correct in my
assumption that this narrowed focus is mostly a Foundation thing.

The question I am missing in this analysis (but perhaps it was discussed
orally) is 'which organization/group/individual is best placed to execute
this' and then I definitely agree that many events etc are probably better
executed at a chapter level than by the WMF. I do hope that freeing up
these resources does mean that chapters and other groups will be supported
more in taking over these tasks and where necessary, a transition process
is considered.

I do have one more specific question. In discussions previously on meta,
there were some insinuations (maybe only my interpretation) that the
organizational support (so not just money) for chapters and other
affiliated groups would be reduced as a consequence of this narrowed focus.
I sincerely hope the opposite will be true - and that more effort will be
put in enabling these organizations to take over tasks where possible and
take on new initiatives as much as possible. As long as the Chapters
Association is not active (it seems to me it will be another year before it
will be fully functional) I think it would be a waste to reduce this
enabling capacity (for example the great networking function that is being
provided by Asaf - but he could use some help!) while there is no other
organization yet to take over those functions. Could you elaborate a bit on
this?

Best,
Lodewijk

2012/11/2 Bishakha Datta <[hidden email]>

> Dear all,
>
> At its in-person meeting on 26 October, the board unanimously agreed to
> accept the recommendation to narrow focus as presented by the Executive
> Director.
>
> This vote has been published at:
> http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Vote:Narrowing_Focus
>
> Best
> Bishakha
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board vote on narrowing focus

Anders Wennersten-2
As a newly appointed secretary of FDC and just back from San Francisco
after a four days deliberation session, where these thing has been in
focus I can give you some facts from what I have understood.

The Board has earlier decided to give WMF an budget for 2012-2013 for
30,3 MUSD for core activities, up from 26,2 the earlier year, mainly
engineering and thing like fundraising support.

The Board has also set a budget of 11,4 MUSD for activities partly to be
disseminated to chapters and to a part to WMF, where Grants make up big
part. The total of 11,4 is an increase.

The narrowed focus in practice means that The WMF part funded through
FDC is changed in composition, so less in direct activities by WMF
personnel and more money in Grants to be allocated to chapters and
individuals.

The narrowed focus is only a issue for WMFs internal budget. The planned
funds dissemination to chapters is not effected and the actual result of
the the implementation of the Narrowed focus is that more money will be
used by community/chapters via grant then was earlier planned

Anders Wennersten








Lodewijk skrev 2012-11-02 12:05:

> Thanks Bishakha,
>
> while I can understand the move of the WMF to do what they are best at, for
> me it is always a bit confusing when the Board (or Sue) is talking about
> the Foundation, and when about the movement. I hope I'm correct in my
> assumption that this narrowed focus is mostly a Foundation thing.
>
> The question I am missing in this analysis (but perhaps it was discussed
> orally) is 'which organization/group/individual is best placed to execute
> this' and then I definitely agree that many events etc are probably better
> executed at a chapter level than by the WMF. I do hope that freeing up
> these resources does mean that chapters and other groups will be supported
> more in taking over these tasks and where necessary, a transition process
> is considered.
>
> I do have one more specific question. In discussions previously on meta,
> there were some insinuations (maybe only my interpretation) that the
> organizational support (so not just money) for chapters and other
> affiliated groups would be reduced as a consequence of this narrowed focus.
> I sincerely hope the opposite will be true - and that more effort will be
> put in enabling these organizations to take over tasks where possible and
> take on new initiatives as much as possible. As long as the Chapters
> Association is not active (it seems to me it will be another year before it
> will be fully functional) I think it would be a waste to reduce this
> enabling capacity (for example the great networking function that is being
> provided by Asaf - but he could use some help!) while there is no other
> organization yet to take over those functions. Could you elaborate a bit on
> this?
>
> Best,
> Lodewijk
>
> 2012/11/2 Bishakha Datta <[hidden email]>
>
>> Dear all,
>>
>> At its in-person meeting on 26 October, the board unanimously agreed to
>> accept the recommendation to narrow focus as presented by the Executive
>> Director.
>>
>> This vote has been published at:
>> http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Vote:Narrowing_Focus
>>
>> Best
>> Bishakha
>> _______________________________________________
>> Wikimedia-l mailing list
>> [hidden email]
>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
>>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board vote on narrowing focus

Dariusz Jemielniak-3
Hi,

as the newly appointed Chair of the FDC, but expressing my personal
understanding, I support Anders' view. The narrowed focus means more
activities done through the chapters, and the community at large. Of course
the specifics will have to be established, but now WMF applies for their
non-core activities like everybody else.

Best,

Dariusz

2 lis 2012 12:28, "Anders Wennersten" <[hidden email]> napisał(a):

> As a newly appointed secretary of FDC and just back from San Francisco
after a four days deliberation session, where these thing has been in focus
I can give you some facts from what I have understood.
>
> The Board has earlier decided to give WMF an budget for 2012-2013 for
30,3 MUSD for core activities, up from 26,2 the earlier year, mainly
engineering and thing like fundraising support.
>
> The Board has also set a budget of 11,4 MUSD for activities partly to be
disseminated to chapters and to a part to WMF, where Grants make up big
part. The total of 11,4 is an increase.
>
> The narrowed focus in practice means that The WMF part funded through FDC
is changed in composition, so less in direct activities by WMF personnel
and more money in Grants to be allocated to chapters and individuals.
>
> The narrowed focus is only a issue for WMFs internal budget. The planned
funds dissemination to chapters is not effected and the actual result of
the the implementation of the Narrowed focus is that more money will be
used by community/chapters via grant then was earlier planned

>
> Anders Wennersten
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> Lodewijk skrev 2012-11-02 12:05:
>>
>> Thanks Bishakha,
>>
>> while I can understand the move of the WMF to do what they are best at,
for
>> me it is always a bit confusing when the Board (or Sue) is talking about
>> the Foundation, and when about the movement. I hope I'm correct in my
>> assumption that this narrowed focus is mostly a Foundation thing.
>>
>> The question I am missing in this analysis (but perhaps it was discussed
>> orally) is 'which organization/group/individual is best placed to execute
>> this' and then I definitely agree that many events etc are probably
better
>> executed at a chapter level than by the WMF. I do hope that freeing up
>> these resources does mean that chapters and other groups will be
supported
>> more in taking over these tasks and where necessary, a transition process
>> is considered.
>>
>> I do have one more specific question. In discussions previously on meta,
>> there were some insinuations (maybe only my interpretation) that the
>> organizational support (so not just money) for chapters and other
>> affiliated groups would be reduced as a consequence of this narrowed
focus.
>> I sincerely hope the opposite will be true - and that more effort will be
>> put in enabling these organizations to take over tasks where possible and
>> take on new initiatives as much as possible. As long as the Chapters
>> Association is not active (it seems to me it will be another year before
it
>> will be fully functional) I think it would be a waste to reduce this
>> enabling capacity (for example the great networking function that is
being
>> provided by Asaf - but he could use some help!) while there is no other
>> organization yet to take over those functions. Could you elaborate a bit
on

>> this?
>>
>> Best,
>> Lodewijk
>>
>> 2012/11/2 Bishakha Datta <[hidden email]>
>>
>>> Dear all,
>>>
>>> At its in-person meeting on 26 October, the board unanimously agreed to
>>> accept the recommendation to narrow focus as presented by the Executive
>>> Director.
>>>
>>> This vote has been published at:
>>> http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Vote:Narrowing_Focus
>>>
>>> Best
>>> Bishakha
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> Wikimedia-l mailing list
>>> [hidden email]
>>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
>>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> Wikimedia-l mailing list
>> [hidden email]
>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
>
>
>
> _______________________________________________
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> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
>
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board vote on narrowing focus

Lodewijk
Hi Dariusz and Anders,

Thank you for your replies. It does however not answer my questions -
although I may have worded them poorly. What I'm trying to figure out is
what will happen to the organizational support to the other movement
organizations and individuals. This support is already much lower than I'd
like, but the suggestion on meta was that it might decrease further. Some
examples:

* PR support by WMF PR staff when writing press releases for an
international audience
* Networking support by Asaf (who to approach), specifically for "global
south" countries and chapters to be.
* Tech support for initiatives
* Institutional support for the GLAM related activities in the US (until
the US Federation is fully functional, if ever)
* Layout/design support for education related activities

While I agree on principle that several of these tasks belong at the WCA,
US Federation or individual chapters, I do recognize it needs time to be
transferred. Which tasks will the Foundation (continue to) execute, and
which not? Which will it explicitely transfer? Or will it just drop it -
and then it is up to others to catch them or not?

Best,
Lodewijk

2012/11/2 Dariusz Jemielniak <[hidden email]>

> Hi,
>
> as the newly appointed Chair of the FDC, but expressing my personal
> understanding, I support Anders' view. The narrowed focus means more
> activities done through the chapters, and the community at large. Of course
> the specifics will have to be established, but now WMF applies for their
> non-core activities like everybody else.
>
> Best,
>
> Dariusz
>
> 2 lis 2012 12:28, "Anders Wennersten" <[hidden email]>
> napisał(a):
>
> > As a newly appointed secretary of FDC and just back from San Francisco
> after a four days deliberation session, where these thing has been in focus
> I can give you some facts from what I have understood.
> >
> > The Board has earlier decided to give WMF an budget for 2012-2013 for
> 30,3 MUSD for core activities, up from 26,2 the earlier year, mainly
> engineering and thing like fundraising support.
> >
> > The Board has also set a budget of 11,4 MUSD for activities partly to be
> disseminated to chapters and to a part to WMF, where Grants make up big
> part. The total of 11,4 is an increase.
> >
> > The narrowed focus in practice means that The WMF part funded through FDC
> is changed in composition, so less in direct activities by WMF personnel
> and more money in Grants to be allocated to chapters and individuals.
> >
> > The narrowed focus is only a issue for WMFs internal budget. The planned
> funds dissemination to chapters is not effected and the actual result of
> the the implementation of the Narrowed focus is that more money will be
> used by community/chapters via grant then was earlier planned
> >
> > Anders Wennersten
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Lodewijk skrev 2012-11-02 12:05:
> >>
> >> Thanks Bishakha,
> >>
> >> while I can understand the move of the WMF to do what they are best at,
> for
> >> me it is always a bit confusing when the Board (or Sue) is talking about
> >> the Foundation, and when about the movement. I hope I'm correct in my
> >> assumption that this narrowed focus is mostly a Foundation thing.
> >>
> >> The question I am missing in this analysis (but perhaps it was discussed
> >> orally) is 'which organization/group/individual is best placed to
> execute
> >> this' and then I definitely agree that many events etc are probably
> better
> >> executed at a chapter level than by the WMF. I do hope that freeing up
> >> these resources does mean that chapters and other groups will be
> supported
> >> more in taking over these tasks and where necessary, a transition
> process
> >> is considered.
> >>
> >> I do have one more specific question. In discussions previously on meta,
> >> there were some insinuations (maybe only my interpretation) that the
> >> organizational support (so not just money) for chapters and other
> >> affiliated groups would be reduced as a consequence of this narrowed
> focus.
> >> I sincerely hope the opposite will be true - and that more effort will
> be
> >> put in enabling these organizations to take over tasks where possible
> and
> >> take on new initiatives as much as possible. As long as the Chapters
> >> Association is not active (it seems to me it will be another year before
> it
> >> will be fully functional) I think it would be a waste to reduce this
> >> enabling capacity (for example the great networking function that is
> being
> >> provided by Asaf - but he could use some help!) while there is no other
> >> organization yet to take over those functions. Could you elaborate a bit
> on
> >> this?
> >>
> >> Best,
> >> Lodewijk
> >>
> >> 2012/11/2 Bishakha Datta <[hidden email]>
> >>
> >>> Dear all,
> >>>
> >>> At its in-person meeting on 26 October, the board unanimously agreed to
> >>> accept the recommendation to narrow focus as presented by the Executive
> >>> Director.
> >>>
> >>> This vote has been published at:
> >>> http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Vote:Narrowing_Focus
> >>>
> >>> Best
> >>> Bishakha
> >>> _______________________________________________
> >>> Wikimedia-l mailing list
> >>> [hidden email]
> >>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
> >>>
> >> _______________________________________________
> >> Wikimedia-l mailing list
> >> [hidden email]
> >> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
> >
> >
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list
> > [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
> >
> >
> _______________________________________________
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> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board vote on narrowing focus

MZMcBride-2
In reply to this post by Bishakha Datta
Bishakha Datta wrote:
> At its in-person meeting on 26 October, the board unanimously agreed to
> accept the recommendation to narrow focus as presented by the Executive
> Director.
>
> This vote has been published at:
> https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Vote:Narrowing_Focus

It would be nice if someone could export the linked presentation from Google
Docs and upload it to wikimediafoundation.org (or Wikimedia Commons) as a
PDF or ODP (or both). I don't think we should rely on external resources in
the context of historical Board archives unless absolutely necessary.

MZMcBride



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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board vote on narrowing focus

metasj
In reply to this post by Lodewijk
Hello Lodewijk,

These are good questions.  I expect effort will be required in the short
term to delegate effectively and help move to a narrower focus.   A few
clarifying questions for you in return:

On Fri, Nov 2, 2012 at 7:47 AM, Lodewijk <[hidden email]>wrote:

>
> * PR support by WMF PR staff when writing press releases for an
> international audience
>

Do you have an example in mind of a recent press release that took
advantage of this support?
How useful to you find ComCom, as a list and network, compared to direct
personal facilitation by WMF staff?


> * Networking support by Asaf (who to approach), specifically for "global
> south" countries and chapters to be.
>

Do you think the WMF should be the arbiter of who to approach to connect
with chapters-to-be?  It seems to me that this level of support and
connection could be provided well and in a variety of languages by a
support network (or a community body such as AffCom or the WCA), even
today.


> * Tech support for initiatives
>
* Layout/design support for education related activities
>

How do you feel the above worked for WLM this year, as an example?
What tech and design support was needed, and where did it come from?


> * Institutional support for the GLAM related activities in the US (until
> the US Federation is fully functional, if ever)
>

I agree there is room for a global GLAM support for regions that don't have
local [chapter] organization.  Why do you feel this is a special problem
for the US, compared to other archive-rich parts of the world - given the
two regional chapters and numerous present and past Wikipedians in
residence?

Sam.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board vote on narrowing focus

Federico Leva (Nemo)
Samuel Klein, 02/11/2012 16:01:
>> * Institutional support for the GLAM related activities in the US (until
>> the US Federation is fully functional, if ever)
>>
>
> I agree there is room for a global GLAM support for regions that don't have
> local [chapter] organization.  Why do you feel this is a special problem
> for the US, compared to other archive-rich parts of the world - given the
> two regional chapters and numerous present and past Wikipedians in
> residence?

The problem is always the same, i.e. that the WMF acts as WM-USA while a
chapter is missing, rather than being truly global.
Random (unfair?) recent example: WLM-USA uses the allegedly global
"Wikimedia blog"
<https://blog.wikimedia.org/2012/10/31/wiki-loves-monuments-us-top-ten-photos-announced/>
unlike all the other national editions.
But perhaps Lodewijk meant something else.

Nemo

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board vote on narrowing focus

Bishakha Datta
In reply to this post by Lodewijk
On Fri, Nov 2, 2012 at 4:35 PM, Lodewijk <[hidden email]>wrote:

> Thanks Bishakha,
>
> while I can understand the move of the WMF to do what they are best at, for
> me it is always a bit confusing when the Board (or Sue) is talking about
> the Foundation, and when about the movement. I hope I'm correct in my
> assumption that this narrowed focus is mostly a Foundation thing.
>
> Yes, this narrowed focus relates to Foundation programs.


> I do hope that freeing up
> these resources does mean that chapters and other groups will be supported
> more in taking over these tasks and where necessary, a transition process
> is considered.
>
> As I see it, the intention of re-allocating or re-prioritizing resources
(rather than freeing it up) is to make it easier for the Foundation to
focus on two key priorities: engineering and grantmaking, and to move
towards more impactful execution of each.

I don't think the re-prioritization can be seen either as supporting or not
supporting other groups to take over these tasks; many of these decisions
are upto other groups themselves. For instance, there is scope for chapters
to fund fellowships, but that is a decision that each chapter needs to make
for itself.

A narrower focus by the Foundation does leave room for other community
entities to step up, but whether they do so or not is also dependent on
each entity's annual plans, its vision, and how it sees its own role in the
movement now and going forward in the future. As slides 13 and 16 say,
there is scope to support the growth and build the eco-system of entities
via the grants process.

Best
Bishakha
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board vote on narrowing focus

Tilman Bayer
In reply to this post by Federico Leva (Nemo)
On Fri, Nov 2, 2012 at 8:15 AM, Federico Leva (Nemo) <[hidden email]>wrote:

> Samuel Klein, 02/11/2012 16:01:
>
>  * Institutional support for the GLAM related activities in the US (until
>>> the US Federation is fully functional, if ever)
>>>
>>>
>> I agree there is room for a global GLAM support for regions that don't
>> have
>> local [chapter] organization.  Why do you feel this is a special problem
>> for the US, compared to other archive-rich parts of the world - given the
>> two regional chapters and numerous present and past Wikipedians in
>> residence?
>>
>
> The problem is always the same, i.e. that the WMF acts as WM-USA while a
> chapter is missing, rather than being truly global.
> Random (unfair?) recent example: WLM-USA uses the allegedly global
> "Wikimedia blog" <https://blog.wikimedia.org/**2012/10/31/wiki-loves-**
> monuments-us-top-ten-photos-**announced/<https://blog.wikimedia.org/2012/10/31/wiki-loves-monuments-us-top-ten-photos-announced/>>
> unlike all the other national editions.
> But perhaps Lodewijk meant something else.


I'm a bit confused about precisely what damage that blog post has done in
your opinion. As noted on http://wikilovesmonuments.us/ , the US WLM
finalists were also announced on Commons, and on the other hand the blog
features a lot of posts from volunteers and chapters (see e.g the
subsequent post
https://blog.wikimedia.org/2012/10/31/the-expansion-of-wikimedia-sverige/ ,
draft blog posts can be submitted on Meta:
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Blog ).

BTW, a lot of the organizing work for Wiki Loves Monuments in the US was
done by three volunteer Wikimedians who also happen to be WMF employees
(Kaldari, Sarah and Matthew), but did this in their spare time.

--
Tilman Bayer
Senior Operations Analyst (Movement Communications)
Wikimedia Foundation
IRC (Freenode): HaeB
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board vote on narrowing focus

Yaroslav M. Blanter
> BTW, a lot of the organizing work for Wiki Loves Monuments in the US
> was
> done by three volunteer Wikimedians who also happen to be WMF
> employees
> (Kaldari, Sarah and Matthew), but did this in their spare time.

Not trying to underestimate their contribution, I am afraid this is
better worded as "some fair share of the organizing work..." . For
example, User:Thundersnow spent, as I can see, all of their free time in
September (essentially, all of their time except for sleep) working
here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_National_Register_of_Historic_Places/Unused_images

He was complimented on the NRHP project, but, as I could see, nowhere
else.

There were more users like Thundersnow.

Cheers
Yaroslav



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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board vote on narrowing focus

Ilario Valdelli
In reply to this post by Anders Wennersten-2
In general I agree with the narrowing focus, but what seems really strange
to me is that the strategies and in generale the evaluation (coming also
from FDC) are focused to promote bigger organizations which are able to
spend a lot.

Basically there is a weak evaluation costs/benefits. An organization
spending 30 millions of USD should produce benefits for 30 millions of USD
and should be evaluated as an organization spending 30 millions of USD. Big
budget -> stronger evaluation and stronger measures.

An organization (for instance a small chapter) spending 500K USD should be
evaluated as an organization spending 500K USD and this organization should
produce benefits for 500K USD. Small budget -> weak evaluation and flexible
measures.

Basically if a small chapter, spending 500K USD, is evaluated using the
same parameters of WMF, it should spent an additional amount of 500K USD to
create an organization and a paid staff in order to be able to be evaluated
at the same level of WMF and to receive the 500K USD for their projects
(total = 1 million of USD).

The criteria to evaluate chapters/organizations using the same parameters
of WMF basically imposes to all applicants a model and this would be a good
model, but it means that they should hire more people and should spent more
money.

Basically the idea to use the grantmaking or the idea to setup a FDC are
not bad ideas, but these ideas are not supported by a "flexible" system of
evaluation. The request would impose the same standards of WMF to all
Wikimedia's organizations, but WMF is spending 30 MUSD plus a percentage of
the 11,4 MUSD, at the back there is WM DE spending 1,8 MUSD (5% compared
with the budget of WMF) and WM UK and WM FR (2% compared with the budget of
WMF), but they are evaluated using the same parameters of WMF.

My concern is linked to this point. The grantmaking (I include also the
FDC) may bar the access to the funds for smaller entities.

This may be a benefit because the control is perfect, but it may be also a
big damage for the movement because the control may be stifling. There is
not a "proportionate" control.

I remember that we discussed a lot during the meetings with WMF about how
people should manage the changes. The better solution to manage the changes
is to have a differentiation because the changes may block a lot some kinds
of organizations and may promote a lot some others. The changes make a
selection and if all of them are clones, the changes may kill all clones.

To impose a single model or to impose stronger rules would reduce a lot the
possibility to have a differentiation and would produce a group of
organizations which seems to be stronger and better, but essentially it
will lose the capacity to react to the changes.

I am not speaking about anarchy, in general I defend a lot the systems of
control, but a system of control and a system of evaluation should be
"flexible".

On Fri, Nov 2, 2012 at 12:28 PM, Anders Wennersten <[hidden email]
> wrote:

>
> The Board has earlier decided to give WMF an budget for 2012-2013 for 30,3
> MUSD for core activities, up from 26,2 the earlier year, mainly engineering
> and thing like fundraising support.
>
> The Board has also set a budget of 11,4 MUSD for activities partly to be
> disseminated to chapters and to a part to WMF, where Grants make up big
> part. The total of 11,4 is an increase.
>
>

--
Ilario Valdelli
Wikimedia CH
Verein zur Förderung Freien Wissens
Association pour l’avancement des connaissances libre
Associazione per il sostegno alla conoscenza libera
Switzerland - 8008 Zürich
Tel: +41764821371
http://www.wikimedia.ch
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board vote on narrowing focus

Tilman Bayer
In reply to this post by Yaroslav M. Blanter
On Fri, Nov 2, 2012 at 9:09 AM, Yaroslav M. Blanter <[hidden email]> wrote:

>> BTW, a lot of the organizing work for Wiki Loves Monuments in the US was
>> done by three volunteer Wikimedians who also happen to be WMF employees
>> (Kaldari, Sarah and Matthew), but did this in their spare time.
>
>
> Not trying to underestimate their contribution, I am afraid this is better
> worded as "some fair share of the organizing work..." . For example,
> User:Thundersnow spent, as I can see, all of their free time in September
> (essentially, all of their time except for sleep) working here:
>
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_National_Register_of_Historic_Places/Unused_images
>
> He was complimented on the NRHP project, but, as I could see, nowhere else.
>
> There were more users like Thundersnow.
Or User:Smallbones, for example. I said "a lot of the", not "all of the" ;)

>
> Cheers
> Yaroslav
>
>
>
>
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Senior Operations Analyst (Movement Communications)
Wikimedia Foundation
IRC (Freenode): HaeB

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board vote on narrowing focus

Anders Wennersten-2
In reply to this post by Ilario Valdelli
the evaluation (coming also
from FDC) are focused to promote bigger organizations which are able to
spend a lot.

This must be a misunderstanding. There is now just two weeks until the
FDC recommendation for the 12 proposals for round 1 2012 will be
official where you can judge yourself

Anders W




Ilario Valdelli skrev 2012-11-02 17:14:

> In general I agree with the narrowing focus, but what seems really strange
> to me is that the strategies and in generale the evaluation (coming also
> from FDC) are focused to promote bigger organizations which are able to
> spend a lot.
>
> Basically there is a weak evaluation costs/benefits. An organization
> spending 30 millions of USD should produce benefits for 30 millions of USD
> and should be evaluated as an organization spending 30 millions of USD. Big
> budget -> stronger evaluation and stronger measures.
>
> An organization (for instance a small chapter) spending 500K USD should be
> evaluated as an organization spending 500K USD and this organization should
> produce benefits for 500K USD. Small budget -> weak evaluation and flexible
> measures.
>
> Basically if a small chapter, spending 500K USD, is evaluated using the
> same parameters of WMF, it should spent an additional amount of 500K USD to
> create an organization and a paid staff in order to be able to be evaluated
> at the same level of WMF and to receive the 500K USD for their projects
> (total = 1 million of USD).
>
> The criteria to evaluate chapters/organizations using the same parameters
> of WMF basically imposes to all applicants a model and this would be a good
> model, but it means that they should hire more people and should spent more
> money.
>
> Basically the idea to use the grantmaking or the idea to setup a FDC are
> not bad ideas, but these ideas are not supported by a "flexible" system of
> evaluation. The request would impose the same standards of WMF to all
> Wikimedia's organizations, but WMF is spending 30 MUSD plus a percentage of
> the 11,4 MUSD, at the back there is WM DE spending 1,8 MUSD (5% compared
> with the budget of WMF) and WM UK and WM FR (2% compared with the budget of
> WMF), but they are evaluated using the same parameters of WMF.
>
> My concern is linked to this point. The grantmaking (I include also the
> FDC) may bar the access to the funds for smaller entities.
>
> This may be a benefit because the control is perfect, but it may be also a
> big damage for the movement because the control may be stifling. There is
> not a "proportionate" control.
>
> I remember that we discussed a lot during the meetings with WMF about how
> people should manage the changes. The better solution to manage the changes
> is to have a differentiation because the changes may block a lot some kinds
> of organizations and may promote a lot some others. The changes make a
> selection and if all of them are clones, the changes may kill all clones.
>
> To impose a single model or to impose stronger rules would reduce a lot the
> possibility to have a differentiation and would produce a group of
> organizations which seems to be stronger and better, but essentially it
> will lose the capacity to react to the changes.
>
> I am not speaking about anarchy, in general I defend a lot the systems of
> control, but a system of control and a system of evaluation should be
> "flexible".
>
> On Fri, Nov 2, 2012 at 12:28 PM, Anders Wennersten <[hidden email]
>> wrote:
>> The Board has earlier decided to give WMF an budget for 2012-2013 for 30,3
>> MUSD for core activities, up from 26,2 the earlier year, mainly engineering
>> and thing like fundraising support.
>>
>> The Board has also set a budget of 11,4 MUSD for activities partly to be
>> disseminated to chapters and to a part to WMF, where Grants make up big
>> part. The total of 11,4 is an increase.
>>
>>


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board vote on narrowing focus

Bence Damokos
In reply to this post by metasj
Hi SJ,


On Fri, Nov 2, 2012 at 4:01 PM, Samuel Klein <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hello Lodewijk,
>
> These are good questions.  I expect effort will be required in the short
> term to delegate effectively and help move to a narrower focus.   A few
> clarifying questions for you in return:
>
> On Fri, Nov 2, 2012 at 7:47 AM, Lodewijk <[hidden email]
> >wrote:
>
> >
> > * PR support by WMF PR staff when writing press releases for an
> > international audience
> >
>
> Do you have an example in mind of a recent press release that took
> advantage of this support?
> How useful to you find ComCom, as a list and network, compared to direct
> personal facilitation by WMF staff?
>
While not recent or international; I have taken advantage of both personal
WMF staff support and ComCom in the past, in slightly different
circumstances. For planning a communications strategy, the direct input,
coaching and concentrated involvement of a Comms manager of WMF was
instrumental; while ComCom in my experience has been useful in providing
advice on how to react to a situation, which required  less time of any
given participant. In the former case the help might have been an
"unmandated task", and the person providing the help did not need to be WMF
staffer (after all, Wikimedia Deutschland also had similar levels of
communications expertise at the time, though still no mandate to be
available to the global community).
One important result of this interaction (and also other similar
interactions in other fields of expertise, as well as that of the
WMF-funded organizational development pilot) was the transfer of skills,
ways of thinking that has been useful beyond the one project in question,
and has perhaps resulted in not requiring to contact WMF again.


Sue's recommendations include "crisis support" as something to maintain,
but I hope this will not be seen as exclusively crisis support, i.e.
interactions between the WMF and the community will not be intentionally
narrowed to the times of crisis.
Grants are a good tool for problems that can be solved by money, but it is
an imprecise and slow tool, e.g. to solve the above problem that one could
rely on the help of WMF, would require writing a grant to engage a
communications consultant (the grant would need a month to be reviewed and
a week or so more for the bank transfer; the consultant would need to be
found, the consultant needs to be educated about our values, an evaluation
report needs to be written etc.). In the long run, when a certain region or
entity is big enough it will make sense to hire a local comm person through
grants, but until then the grants-only approach, without attendant focus on
capacity development has the potential, I fear, to lead to lost
opportunities and waste.
Over time, other entities in the movement will adapt to serve the needs of
the international community, but if WMF is not careful, it stands to lose a
big chunk of interactions with the wider community, the resulting good
relationships and more sadly the transfer of skills and experience in
non-technical areas between the WMF and the volunteers might cease, leading
to a less empowered and skillful volunteer base.
I sincerely hope that this is not the intention or the result.

>
> > * Networking support by Asaf (who to approach), specifically for "global
> > south" countries and chapters to be.
> >
>
> Do you think the WMF should be the arbiter of who to approach to connect
> with chapters-to-be?  It seems to me that this level of support and
> connection could be provided well and in a variety of languages by a
> support network (or a community body such as AffCom or the WCA), even
> today.
>
Perhaps what was meant here is that Asaf told people which WMF staffer to
approach with certain requests or simply questions (e.g. for trademarks,
comms help, merchandise, the WMF blog, accounting etc.).
WCA and AffCom, etc. will certainly be able to provide similar assistance,
but the big question is whether people at the WMF will be allowed to
receive such contact (or which functions will not be), and then figuring
out who can act as a substitute. (As a number of functions are available at
multiple places in the movement, it is not a movement-wide tragedy if
certain functions become unavailable at the WMF, but the WMF is seen as the
cornerstone of the movement, if it closes off, it will lead to a
readjustment of that picture. It is not necessarily all bad, it might lead
to non-WMF orgs seen as more equal and responsible parts of the movement,
but it might lead to certain volunteers being unserved without a default
fallback to the WMF.)

--
I really hope the way the WMF understands grantmaking will include a strong
emphasis on proactively building the capacities of the potential grantees
and not only in a pull matter, but also in a push matter where
opportunities (even if technically called grants) are actively offered to
the other entities.

Best regards,
Bence
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board vote on narrowing focus

Ilario Valdelli
In reply to this post by Anders Wennersten-2
Yes, there is a misunderstandings.

I am not speaking about how the FDC committee is judging, but about the
overall process which is the same for an organization asking 30 MUSD and an
organization asking 100K USD.

On Fri, Nov 2, 2012 at 5:25 PM, Anders Wennersten
<[hidden email]>wrote:

> the evaluation (coming also
> from FDC) are focused to promote bigger organizations which are able to
> spend a lot.
>
> This must be a misunderstanding. There is now just two weeks until the FDC
> recommendation for the 12 proposals for round 1 2012 will be official where
> you can judge yourself
>
> Anders W
>
>
>
>
> Ilario Valdelli skrev 2012-11-02 17:14:
>
>  In general I agree with the narrowing focus, but what seems really strange
>> to me is that the strategies and in generale the evaluation (coming also
>> from FDC) are focused to promote bigger organizations which are able to
>> spend a lot.
>>
>> Basically there is a weak evaluation costs/benefits. An organization
>> spending 30 millions of USD should produce benefits for 30 millions of USD
>> and should be evaluated as an organization spending 30 millions of USD.
>> Big
>> budget -> stronger evaluation and stronger measures.
>>
>> An organization (for instance a small chapter) spending 500K USD should be
>> evaluated as an organization spending 500K USD and this organization
>> should
>> produce benefits for 500K USD. Small budget -> weak evaluation and
>> flexible
>> measures.
>>
>> Basically if a small chapter, spending 500K USD, is evaluated using the
>> same parameters of WMF, it should spent an additional amount of 500K USD
>> to
>> create an organization and a paid staff in order to be able to be
>> evaluated
>> at the same level of WMF and to receive the 500K USD for their projects
>> (total = 1 million of USD).
>>
>> The criteria to evaluate chapters/organizations using the same parameters
>> of WMF basically imposes to all applicants a model and this would be a
>> good
>> model, but it means that they should hire more people and should spent
>> more
>> money.
>>
>> Basically the idea to use the grantmaking or the idea to setup a FDC are
>> not bad ideas, but these ideas are not supported by a "flexible" system of
>> evaluation. The request would impose the same standards of WMF to all
>> Wikimedia's organizations, but WMF is spending 30 MUSD plus a percentage
>> of
>> the 11,4 MUSD, at the back there is WM DE spending 1,8 MUSD (5% compared
>> with the budget of WMF) and WM UK and WM FR (2% compared with the budget
>> of
>> WMF), but they are evaluated using the same parameters of WMF.
>>
>> My concern is linked to this point. The grantmaking (I include also the
>> FDC) may bar the access to the funds for smaller entities.
>>
>> This may be a benefit because the control is perfect, but it may be also a
>> big damage for the movement because the control may be stifling. There is
>> not a "proportionate" control.
>>
>> I remember that we discussed a lot during the meetings with WMF about how
>> people should manage the changes. The better solution to manage the
>> changes
>> is to have a differentiation because the changes may block a lot some
>> kinds
>> of organizations and may promote a lot some others. The changes make a
>> selection and if all of them are clones, the changes may kill all clones.
>>
>> To impose a single model or to impose stronger rules would reduce a lot
>> the
>> possibility to have a differentiation and would produce a group of
>> organizations which seems to be stronger and better, but essentially it
>> will lose the capacity to react to the changes.
>>
>> I am not speaking about anarchy, in general I defend a lot the systems of
>> control, but a system of control and a system of evaluation should be
>> "flexible".
>>
>> On Fri, Nov 2, 2012 at 12:28 PM, Anders Wennersten <
>> [hidden email]
>>
>>> wrote:
>>> The Board has earlier decided to give WMF an budget for 2012-2013 for
>>> 30,3
>>> MUSD for core activities, up from 26,2 the earlier year, mainly
>>> engineering
>>> and thing like fundraising support.
>>>
>>> The Board has also set a budget of 11,4 MUSD for activities partly to be
>>> disseminated to chapters and to a part to WMF, where Grants make up big
>>> part. The total of 11,4 is an increase.
>>>
>>>
>>>
>
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Wikimedia CH
Verein zur Förderung Freien Wissens
Association pour l’avancement des connaissances libre
Associazione per il sostegno alla conoscenza libera
Switzerland - 8008 Zürich
Tel: +41764821371
http://www.wikimedia.ch
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board vote on narrowing focus

Bishakha Datta
In reply to this post by MZMcBride-2
On Fri, Nov 2, 2012 at 8:30 PM, MZMcBride <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> It would be nice if someone could export the linked presentation from
> Google
> Docs and upload it to wikimediafoundation.org (or Wikimedia Commons) as a
> PDF or ODP (or both). I don't think we should rely on external resources in
> the context of historical Board archives unless absolutely necessary.
>
> Taken your feedback and done the needful,
Bishakha
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board vote on narrowing focus

Matthew Roth
In reply to this post by Bence Damokos
On Fri, Nov 2, 2012 at 9:26 AM, Bence Damokos <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> > Do you have an example in mind of a recent press release that took
> > advantage of this support?
> > How useful to you find ComCom, as a list and network, compared to direct
> > personal facilitation by WMF staff?
>

I spent a fair amount of time supporting Lodewijk and the international
team with press work around Wiki Loves Monuments, drafting press releases,
communications strategy, etc. When I couldn't continue to spend time in a
staff capacity given the many other demands for time, I did other work as a
volunteer, much as I did for other elements of organizing the U.S. version
of the contest. It was a great deal of fun and I look forward to helping
again next year, in both capacities.


> >
> While not recent or international; I have taken advantage of both personal
> WMF staff support and ComCom in the past, in slightly different
> circumstances. For planning a communications strategy, the direct input,
> coaching and concentrated involvement of a Comms manager of WMF was
> instrumental; while ComCom in my experience has been useful in providing
> advice on how to react to a situation, which required  less time of any
> given participant. In the former case the help might have been an
> "unmandated task", and the person providing the help did not need to be WMF
> staffer (after all, Wikimedia Deutschland also had similar levels of
> communications expertise at the time, though still no mandate to be
> available to the global community).
> One important result of this interaction (and also other similar
> interactions in other fields of expertise, as well as that of the
> WMF-funded organizational development pilot) was the transfer of skills,
> ways of thinking that has been useful beyond the one project in question,
> and has perhaps resulted in not requiring to contact WMF again.
>
>
In addition to working with folks on ComCom around reactive situations, or
PR training/planning, we continue to seek out material for the
communications channels that we manage, including the Wikimedia Foundation
blog <http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Blog> and several large social media
channels <http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Social_Media>. Several chapters
and many individual Wikipedians have taken advantage to contribute material
to blog.wikimedia.org. We're working on a process to re-design that blog so
that we can better incorporate more voices beyond the Foundation and in
many more languages (think more of a news magazine format and not just a
chronological blogroll). We've been expanding the number of multi-lingual
posts <http://blog.wikimedia.org/tag/multilingual-post/> and utilizing the
great translate extension as much as possible. We'd welcome many more posts
about movement activities from chapters or other event and activity
organizers. The best way to do that is to contact me or anyone else listed
under the guidelines section of the Meta page for the blog here:
http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Blog

We can get you help with editing the posts and put them on the calendar.
We're also happy to help share/re-tweet/further spread the word on social
media channels where applicable.

So hopefully the changes you see coming from the WMF communications team
include more support for the work you do, a more robust infrastructure to
make it easier to publicize your work, and much better multi-lingual
communications across the many channels available to us. Please feel free
to reach out to me directly or anyone at communications at wikimedia dot
org for any reason.

Matthew

--

Matthew Roth
Global Communications Manager
Wikimedia Foundation
+1.415.839.6885 ext 6635
www.wikimediafoundation.org
*https://donate.wikimedia.org*
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board vote on narrowing focus

Erik Moeller-4
In reply to this post by Lodewijk
On Fri, Nov 2, 2012 at 4:05 AM, Lodewijk <[hidden email]> wrote:

> The question I am missing in this analysis (but perhaps it was discussed
> orally) is 'which organization/group/individual is best placed to execute
> this' and then I definitely agree that many events etc are probably better
> executed at a chapter level than by the WMF.

\o/

I really like this part of the strategy. I'd love to see more small
hackathons around the world organized by chapters and attended by
smaller groups of WMF staff along with volunteers and chapters staff.

> I do have one more specific question. In discussions previously on meta,
> there were some insinuations (maybe only my interpretation) that the
> organizational support (so not just money) for chapters and other
> affiliated groups would be reduced as a consequence of this narrowed focus.

I can speak mostly for the tech side, where our general approach is to
try to ensure that we've got scalable review/integration processes
that advance as much trust and autonomy to other individuals and
organizations as reasonably possible. For example I think WMF needs to
make sure that Labs runs smoothly, and can be used to build tools from
start to the finish line. We may then still have to help pushing it
over the last few inches, but most of the work should not require our
help.

Similarly we're continually expanding the "circle of trust" for folks
who can review and merge code. We're a bit more conservative with the
final "deployment" button push, but we're pretty close to letting
anyone with the right talents and inclinations push code into
production.

Where WMF really is the only older of certain expertise, we try to
provided it when needed, but we should also make a continuing effort
to reduce expertise bottlenecks. The changes in this regard over the
last 2 years have been huge -- more of our infrastructure than ever is
now versioned as code and testable in Labs.

Erik

--
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VP of Engineering and Product Development, Wikimedia Foundation

Support Free Knowledge: https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Donate

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