[Wikimedia-l] Number of new User Groups

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[Wikimedia-l] Number of new User Groups

Pine W
It's nice to see the recent momentum in the formation of user groups. Can
Affcom shed some light on what may be causing the burst of announced
formations?

Relatedly, I'm wondering if the number of UGs is now so high that the
budget and/or programmatic capacity of WMCON will be a bit stretched to
accomodate all of the UGs in addition to the larger affiliates. I was
thinking that it would be good to have a track at WMCON devoted to small
affiliates, but now I'm starting to wonder if there are so many of us, with
interests and concerns hopefully now more visible on WMF's radar due to our
increased numbers, that it would make sense to have separate conferences
for the large and small affiliates so that undivided attention from WMF can
be given more evenly to both size classes of affiliates for the duration of
a conference. Any thoughts about those options, from Affcom, WMF, WMDE, or
others?

Pine
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Number of new User Groups

Leigh Thelmadatter
Im not sure now is the right time to divide affiliates. Thematic organizations and user groups are still new and there is still a heavy preference towards chapters. User groups are not necessarily small, and chapters are not necessarily large.
I hear what you are saying about resources being stretched thin. Wiki Learning was one of the first to get approved as a user group after years of trying, but we have not received any mentoring as of yet. Fortunately, we are already pretty well-organized and receive support from the Tec de Monterrey.  
Im worried that separating affiliates would marginalize groups that just now got some kind of recognition and voice.


> Date: Sun, 18 Oct 2015 03:00:31 -0700
> From: [hidden email]
> To: [hidden email]; [hidden email]
> CC: [hidden email]
> Subject: [Wikimedia-l] Number of new User Groups
>
> It's nice to see the recent momentum in the formation of user groups. Can
> Affcom shed some light on what may be causing the burst of announced
> formations?
>
> Relatedly, I'm wondering if the number of UGs is now so high that the
> budget and/or programmatic capacity of WMCON will be a bit stretched to
> accomodate all of the UGs in addition to the larger affiliates. I was
> thinking that it would be good to have a track at WMCON devoted to small
> affiliates, but now I'm starting to wonder if there are so many of us, with
> interests and concerns hopefully now more visible on WMF's radar due to our
> increased numbers, that it would make sense to have separate conferences
> for the large and small affiliates so that undivided attention from WMF can
> be given more evenly to both size classes of affiliates for the duration of
> a conference. Any thoughts about those options, from Affcom, WMF, WMDE, or
> others?
>
> Pine
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
     
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Number of new User Groups

Gnangarra
Any process that divides the community isnt good for the community, we
already seeing the effects of poor decisions being taken by groups and
individuals acting in isolation

On 18 October 2015 at 20:02, Leigh Thelmadatter <[hidden email]>
wrote:

> Im not sure now is the right time to divide affiliates. Thematic
> organizations and user groups are still new and there is still a heavy
> preference towards chapters. User groups are not necessarily small, and
> chapters are not necessarily large.
> I hear what you are saying about resources being stretched thin. Wiki
> Learning was one of the first to get approved as a user group after years
> of trying, but we have not received any mentoring as of yet. Fortunately,
> we are already pretty well-organized and receive support from the Tec de
> Monterrey.
> Im worried that separating affiliates would marginalize groups that just
> now got some kind of recognition and voice.
>
>
> > Date: Sun, 18 Oct 2015 03:00:31 -0700
> > From: [hidden email]
> > To: [hidden email]; [hidden email]
> > CC: [hidden email]
> > Subject: [Wikimedia-l] Number of new User Groups
> >
> > It's nice to see the recent momentum in the formation of user groups. Can
> > Affcom shed some light on what may be causing the burst of announced
> > formations?
> >
> > Relatedly, I'm wondering if the number of UGs is now so high that the
> > budget and/or programmatic capacity of WMCON will be a bit stretched to
> > accomodate all of the UGs in addition to the larger affiliates. I was
> > thinking that it would be good to have a track at WMCON devoted to small
> > affiliates, but now I'm starting to wonder if there are so many of us,
> with
> > interests and concerns hopefully now more visible on WMF's radar due to
> our
> > increased numbers, that it would make sense to have separate conferences
> > for the large and small affiliates so that undivided attention from WMF
> can
> > be given more evenly to both size classes of affiliates for the duration
> of
> > a conference. Any thoughts about those options, from Affcom, WMF, WMDE,
> or
> > others?
> >
> > Pine
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>



--
GN.
President Wikimedia Australia
WMAU: http://www.wikimedia.org.au/wiki/User:Gnangarra
Photo Gallery: http://gnangarra.redbubble.com
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Number of new User Groups

Gregory Varnum-2
The Affiliations Committee (AffCom) has been preparing for the increased momentum since the user group model was implemented, and it follows a pattern that we’ve been seeing over the past couple of years. In 2013, we approved 10 user groups, last year we approved 19, and so far this year we have approved around 20. That number will likely increase next year. This growing momentum is why we have continued to tweak the approval process to be faster and able to handle the growing momentum. So, from our perspective, this is something we have been preparing for from the start, and not a surprise.

Personally, I think further complicating affiliate classifications is a bad idea. “Small” and “larger” are very culturally relative, varies across the models (there are user groups “larger” than chapters), changes over time, and implies that “large” affiliates do work “small” affiliates cannot, when we continue to see that is in fact not the case at all. The current criteria for WMCON is active and inactive, which seems far more appropriate. Additionally, dividing them will not save much money, if any, as there would still presumably be a gathering for the “small” affiliates.

I agree with Leigh and others that affiliates should receive more support, but I do not think those efforts will be served well by further dividing them.

-greg (User:Varnent)
Vice Chair, Wikimedia Affiliations Committee

> On Oct 18, 2015, at 10:08 AM, Gnangarra <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Any process that divides the community isnt good for the community, we
> already seeing the effects of poor decisions being taken by groups and
> individuals acting in isolation
>
> On 18 October 2015 at 20:02, Leigh Thelmadatter <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>
>> Im not sure now is the right time to divide affiliates. Thematic
>> organizations and user groups are still new and there is still a heavy
>> preference towards chapters. User groups are not necessarily small, and
>> chapters are not necessarily large.
>> I hear what you are saying about resources being stretched thin. Wiki
>> Learning was one of the first to get approved as a user group after years
>> of trying, but we have not received any mentoring as of yet. Fortunately,
>> we are already pretty well-organized and receive support from the Tec de
>> Monterrey.
>> Im worried that separating affiliates would marginalize groups that just
>> now got some kind of recognition and voice.
>>
>>
>>> Date: Sun, 18 Oct 2015 03:00:31 -0700
>>> From: [hidden email]
>>> To: [hidden email]; [hidden email]
>>> CC: [hidden email]
>>> Subject: [Wikimedia-l] Number of new User Groups
>>>
>>> It's nice to see the recent momentum in the formation of user groups. Can
>>> Affcom shed some light on what may be causing the burst of announced
>>> formations?
>>>
>>> Relatedly, I'm wondering if the number of UGs is now so high that the
>>> budget and/or programmatic capacity of WMCON will be a bit stretched to
>>> accomodate all of the UGs in addition to the larger affiliates. I was
>>> thinking that it would be good to have a track at WMCON devoted to small
>>> affiliates, but now I'm starting to wonder if there are so many of us,
>> with
>>> interests and concerns hopefully now more visible on WMF's radar due to
>> our
>>> increased numbers, that it would make sense to have separate conferences
>>> for the large and small affiliates so that undivided attention from WMF
>> can
>>> be given more evenly to both size classes of affiliates for the duration
>> of
>>> a conference. Any thoughts about those options, from Affcom, WMF, WMDE,
>> or
>>> others?
>>>
>>> Pine
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
>> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
>>> [hidden email]
>>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
>> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
>> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
>> [hidden email]
>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
>> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>>
>
>
>
> --
> GN.
> President Wikimedia Australia
> WMAU: http://www.wikimedia.org.au/wiki/User:Gnangarra
> Photo Gallery: http://gnangarra.redbubble.com
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Number of new User Groups

Rodrigo Padula-3
In reply to this post by Gnangarra
IMHO, the idea of the user groups is not to divide the community, the main goal is to create the opportunity for small communities to work in the same direction, learn with each other and have a framework to work together, learning from and sharing experiences.



The user group is an important step to move forward to a thematic organization or chapter based on the learnings and experiences acquired after some projects and activities. It can be a good opportunity to professionalize the community and avoid frustrated attempts to create a chapter or thematic organization with no previous experience.



For sure we will need more guidance and dedicated activities during the next conference in Berlin. Having a dedicated event, IMHO will not generate the same opportunity that we have to learn from chapters like WM UK, WM MX, WM DE and etc in an event like WMCON.



For me, the opportunity to see what active chapters are doing was crucial to organize here in Brazil 2 editions of WLE and our first edition of WLM.



I guess we are in the right direction and the types of grants available, including the new simple annual plan project, will generate excellent impacts to the movement during the next years.



Rodrigo Padula

Coordenador de Projetos

Grupo Wikimedia Brasileiro de Educação e Pesquisa

http://www.wikimedia.org.br

21 99326-0558






 ---- On Dom, 18 Out 2015 12:08:54 -0200 Gnangarra &lt;[hidden email]&gt; wrote ----




Any process that divides the community isnt good for the community, we

already seeing the effects of poor decisions being taken by groups and

individuals acting in isolation



On 18 October 2015 at 20:02, Leigh Thelmadatter &lt;[hidden email]&gt;

wrote:



&gt; Im not sure now is the right time to divide affiliates. Thematic

&gt; organizations and user groups are still new and there is still a heavy

&gt; preference towards chapters. User groups are not necessarily small, and

&gt; chapters are not necessarily large.

&gt; I hear what you are saying about resources being stretched thin. Wiki

&gt; Learning was one of the first to get approved as a user group after years

&gt; of trying, but we have not received any mentoring as of yet. Fortunately,

&gt; we are already pretty well-organized and receive support from the Tec de

&gt; Monterrey.

&gt; Im worried that separating affiliates would marginalize groups that just

&gt; now got some kind of recognition and voice.

&gt;

&gt;

&gt; &gt; Date: Sun, 18 Oct 2015 03:00:31 -0700

&gt; &gt; From: [hidden email]

&gt; &gt; To: [hidden email]; [hidden email]

&gt; &gt; CC: [hidden email]

&gt; &gt; Subject: [Wikimedia-l] Number of new User Groups

&gt; &gt;

&gt; &gt; It's nice to see the recent momentum in the formation of user groups. Can

&gt; &gt; Affcom shed some light on what may be causing the burst of announced

&gt; &gt; formations?

&gt; &gt;

&gt; &gt; Relatedly, I'm wondering if the number of UGs is now so high that the

&gt; &gt; budget and/or programmatic capacity of WMCON will be a bit stretched to

&gt; &gt; accomodate all of the UGs in addition to the larger affiliates. I was

&gt; &gt; thinking that it would be good to have a track at WMCON devoted to small

&gt; &gt; affiliates, but now I'm starting to wonder if there are so many of us,

&gt; with

&gt; &gt; interests and concerns hopefully now more visible on WMF's radar due to

&gt; our

&gt; &gt; increased numbers, that it would make sense to have separate conferences

&gt; &gt; for the large and small affiliates so that undivided attention from WMF

&gt; can

&gt; &gt; be given more evenly to both size classes of affiliates for the duration

&gt; of

&gt; &gt; a conference. Any thoughts about those options, from Affcom, WMF, WMDE,

&gt; or

&gt; &gt; others?

&gt; &gt;

&gt; &gt; Pine

&gt; &gt; _______________________________________________

&gt; &gt; Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:

&gt; https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines

&gt; &gt; [hidden email]

&gt; &gt; Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,

&gt; &lt;mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe&gt;

&gt;

&gt; _______________________________________________

&gt; Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:

&gt; https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines

&gt; [hidden email]

&gt; Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,

&gt; &lt;mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe&gt;

&gt;







--

GN.

President Wikimedia Australia

WMAU: http://www.wikimedia.org.au/wiki/User:Gnangarra

Photo Gallery: http://gnangarra.redbubble.com

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Number of new User Groups

Pine W
In reply to this post by Gregory Varnum-2
Ok, maybe more attention to user groups and small affiliates at WMCON is
the way to go.

I heard at WMCON 2015 that WMF was considering assigning more resources to
supporting user groups, in addition to the community capacity development
research. I would still like to see that happen, such as with proactive
outreach and mentorship for user groups. The organizations in the FDC
process collectively have thousands of WMF staff hours focused on them each
year, when they are generally the most mature groups. I think that WMF
might get better total ROI by increasing the proportion of time and
resources that are devoted to supporting and developing small affiliates.
The community capacity development framework is a step in that direction,
and I hope that we'll see a ramp up in WMF investment in small affiliates
starting this quarter.

Pine
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Number of new User Groups

Ilario Valdelli
In reply to this post by Gregory Varnum-2
I personally think that the main concern, in this proliferation of
groups, is an lack of the implementation of a "good governance".

A user group is like a body, it can born, can develop and can die.

At the moment there is an unclear guideline about the monitoring and the
development of these groups: they can only born.

https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_user_groups

Basically the affiliation committee creates these entities, but don't
monitor them and don't evaluate to retire (or the best would be to
freeze) some old entities when they become essentially inactive or silent.

In this case the balance would be compensated and the proliferation of
these groups would have a sense.

Kind regards

On 18.10.2015 16:48, Gregory Varnum wrote:

> The Affiliations Committee (AffCom) has been preparing for the increased momentum since the user group model was implemented, and it follows a pattern that we’ve been seeing over the past couple of years. In 2013, we approved 10 user groups, last year we approved 19, and so far this year we have approved around 20. That number will likely increase next year. This growing momentum is why we have continued to tweak the approval process to be faster and able to handle the growing momentum. So, from our perspective, this is something we have been preparing for from the start, and not a surprise.
>
> Personally, I think further complicating affiliate classifications is a bad idea. “Small” and “larger” are very culturally relative, varies across the models (there are user groups “larger” than chapters), changes over time, and implies that “large” affiliates do work “small” affiliates cannot, when we continue to see that is in fact not the case at all. The current criteria for WMCON is active and inactive, which seems far more appropriate. Additionally, dividing them will not save much money, if any, as there would still presumably be a gathering for the “small” affiliates.
>
> I agree with Leigh and others that affiliates should receive more support, but I do not think those efforts will be served well by further dividing them.
>
> -greg (User:Varnent)
> Vice Chair, Wikimedia Affiliations Committee
>
>

--
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] Number of new User Groups

Manuel Schneider-3
In reply to this post by Pine W
Hi Ilario,

it is the will of the board to make it easy to start a recognised body to do work and it is totally acceptable if these bodies also die after having fulfilled their purpose - or grow and develop into other affiliation models. So the criterium for us is easy entry.

Anyway the user groups have limited liability and responsibilities, access to ressources is controlled on a case by case basis eg. through the Grant Avisory Committee and every year user groups must be renewed, for this we want so see a simple report. So every ug with the minimum of activity - a report written, having responded to our follow-up e-mail - is renewed.

/Manuel

--
sent from mobile phoneAm 18.10.2015 4:46 nachm. schrieb Ilario Valdelli <[hidden email]>:

>
> I personally think that the main concern, in this proliferation of
> groups, is an lack of the implementation of a "good governance".
>
> A user group is like a body, it can born, can develop and can die.
>
> At the moment there is an unclear guideline about the monitoring and the
> development of these groups: they can only born.
>
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_user_groups
>
> Basically the affiliation committee creates these entities, but don't
> monitor them and don't evaluate to retire (or the best would be to
> freeze) some old entities when they become essentially inactive or silent.
>
> In this case the balance would be compensated and the proliferation of
> these groups would have a sense.
>
> Kind regards
>
> On 18.10.2015 16:48, Gregory Varnum wrote:
> > The Affiliations Committee (AffCom) has been preparing for the increased momentum since the user group model was implemented, and it follows a pattern that we’ve been seeing over the past couple of years. In 2013, we approved 10 user groups, last year we approved 19, and so far this year we have approved around 20. That number will likely increase next year. This growing momentum is why we have continued to tweak the approval process to be faster and able to handle the growing momentum. So, from our perspective, this is something we have been preparing for from the start, and not a surprise.
> >
> > Personally, I think further complicating affiliate classifications is a bad idea. “Small” and “larger” are very culturally relative, varies across the models (there are user groups “larger” than chapters), changes over time, and implies that “large” affiliates do work “small” affiliates cannot, when we continue to see that is in fact not the case at all. The current criteria for WMCON is active and inactive, which seems far more appropriate. Additionally, dividing them will not save much money, if any, as there would still presumably be a gathering for the “small” affiliates.
> >
> > I agree with Leigh and others that affiliates should receive more support, but I do not think those efforts will be served well by further dividing them.
> >
> > -greg (User:Varnent)
> > Vice Chair, Wikimedia Affiliations Committee
> >
> >
>
> --
> 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
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Number of new User Groups

Pine W
Hi Manuel,

Can you clarify what you mean by "limited liability" for user groups? I
think you mean limited responsibilities as far as WMF is concerned. As far
as the United States authorities are concerned, we have plenty of paperwork
that we're expected to deal with, particularly if we're handling funds
and/or hosting public events. Most of the paperwork is the same whether
there are 5 people or 500 people involved, so it's a pretty complex
operation, particularly if volunteers are dealing with all of this with no
paid help. I had some experience with business law prior to my involvement
in Cascadia Wikimedians, and even with that background I'm finding that
there is a lot to learn and a lot of paperwork to deal with in order to
keep our user group on solid legal ground.

Pine

On Sun, Oct 18, 2015 at 10:05 AM, Schneider, Manuel <
[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hi Ilario,
>
> it is the will of the board to make it easy to start a recognised body to
> do work and it is totally acceptable if these bodies also die after having
> fulfilled their purpose - or grow and develop into other affiliation
> models. So the criterium for us is easy entry.
>
> Anyway the user groups have limited liability and responsibilities, access
> to ressources is controlled on a case by case basis eg. through the Grant
> Avisory Committee and every year user groups must be renewed, for this we
> want so see a simple report. So every ug with the minimum of activity - a
> report written, having responded to our follow-up e-mail - is renewed.
>
> /Manuel
>
> --
> sent from mobile phoneAm 18.10.2015 4:46 nachm. schrieb Ilario Valdelli <
> [hidden email]>:
> >
> > I personally think that the main concern, in this proliferation of
> > groups, is an lack of the implementation of a "good governance".
> >
> > A user group is like a body, it can born, can develop and can die.
> >
> > At the moment there is an unclear guideline about the monitoring and the
> > development of these groups: they can only born.
> >
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_user_groups
> >
> > Basically the affiliation committee creates these entities, but don't
> > monitor them and don't evaluate to retire (or the best would be to
> > freeze) some old entities when they become essentially inactive or
> silent.
> >
> > In this case the balance would be compensated and the proliferation of
> > these groups would have a sense.
> >
> > Kind regards
> >
> > On 18.10.2015 16:48, Gregory Varnum wrote:
> > > The Affiliations Committee (AffCom) has been preparing for the
> increased momentum since the user group model was implemented, and it
> follows a pattern that we’ve been seeing over the past couple of years. In
> 2013, we approved 10 user groups, last year we approved 19, and so far this
> year we have approved around 20. That number will likely increase next
> year. This growing momentum is why we have continued to tweak the approval
> process to be faster and able to handle the growing momentum. So, from our
> perspective, this is something we have been preparing for from the start,
> and not a surprise.
> > >
> > > Personally, I think further complicating affiliate classifications is
> a bad idea. “Small” and “larger” are very culturally relative, varies
> across the models (there are user groups “larger” than chapters), changes
> over time, and implies that “large” affiliates do work “small” affiliates
> cannot, when we continue to see that is in fact not the case at all. The
> current criteria for WMCON is active and inactive, which seems far more
> appropriate. Additionally, dividing them will not save much money, if any,
> as there would still presumably be a gathering for the “small” affiliates.
> > >
> > > I agree with Leigh and others that affiliates should receive more
> support, but I do not think those efforts will be served well by further
> dividing them.
> > >
> > > -greg (User:Varnent)
> > > Vice Chair, Wikimedia Affiliations Committee
> > >
> > >
> >
> > --
> > 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
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Number of new User Groups

Pine W
In reply to this post by Ilario Valdelli
Ilario,
I agree that I would like to see more proactive mentoring and support. Some
user groups may get born and die in ways that are fine. But others that are
very promising for growth may wilt away due to lack of nurturing and
support. I get the impression that Affcom itself is short on volunteer time
to do mentoring, so I would like to see more proactive support from WMF.

Pine

On Sun, Oct 18, 2015 at 8:46 AM, Ilario Valdelli <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I personally think that the main concern, in this proliferation of groups,
> is an lack of the implementation of a "good governance".
>
> A user group is like a body, it can born, can develop and can die.
>
> At the moment there is an unclear guideline about the monitoring and the
> development of these groups: they can only born.
>
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_user_groups
>
> Basically the affiliation committee creates these entities, but don't
> monitor them and don't evaluate to retire (or the best would be to freeze)
> some old entities when they become essentially inactive or silent.
>
> In this case the balance would be compensated and the proliferation of
> these groups would have a sense.
>
> Kind regards
>
> On 18.10.2015 16:48, Gregory Varnum wrote:
>
>> The Affiliations Committee (AffCom) has been preparing for the increased
>> momentum since the user group model was implemented, and it follows a
>> pattern that we’ve been seeing over the past couple of years. In 2013, we
>> approved 10 user groups, last year we approved 19, and so far this year we
>> have approved around 20. That number will likely increase next year. This
>> growing momentum is why we have continued to tweak the approval process to
>> be faster and able to handle the growing momentum. So, from our
>> perspective, this is something we have been preparing for from the start,
>> and not a surprise.
>>
>> Personally, I think further complicating affiliate classifications is a
>> bad idea. “Small” and “larger” are very culturally relative, varies across
>> the models (there are user groups “larger” than chapters), changes over
>> time, and implies that “large” affiliates do work “small” affiliates
>> cannot, when we continue to see that is in fact not the case at all. The
>> current criteria for WMCON is active and inactive, which seems far more
>> appropriate. Additionally, dividing them will not save much money, if any,
>> as there would still presumably be a gathering for the “small” affiliates.
>>
>> I agree with Leigh and others that affiliates should receive more
>> support, but I do not think those efforts will be served well by further
>> dividing them.
>>
>> -greg (User:Varnent)
>> Vice Chair, Wikimedia Affiliations Committee
>>
>>
>>
> --
> 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
>
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Number of new User Groups

Gregory Varnum-2
In reply to this post by Pine W
It is limited liability on both parts, meaning that user groups are not required to become legal entities, or maintain the higher reporting and capacity requirements that chapters and thematic organizations are required to maintain.

The considerations that you are mentioning are tied to your activities and not your status as a user group. It is a misleading and discouraging to others to imply that running a user group in the United States requires all of that liability and workload. User groups are not required to become legal entities (which Cascadia has opted to do), and can be as simple as a student club at a university. In other words, not all user groups are alike. The level of liability is tied to the activities the group engages in, not the affiliations model.

-greg (User:Varnent)
Vice Chair, Affiliations Committee

> On Oct 19, 2015, at 12:56 AM, Pine W <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Hi Manuel,
>
> Can you clarify what you mean by "limited liability" for user groups? I
> think you mean limited responsibilities as far as WMF is concerned. As far
> as the United States authorities are concerned, we have plenty of paperwork
> that we're expected to deal with, particularly if we're handling funds
> and/or hosting public events. Most of the paperwork is the same whether
> there are 5 people or 500 people involved, so it's a pretty complex
> operation, particularly if volunteers are dealing with all of this with no
> paid help. I had some experience with business law prior to my involvement
> in Cascadia Wikimedians, and even with that background I'm finding that
> there is a lot to learn and a lot of paperwork to deal with in order to
> keep our user group on solid legal ground.
>
> Pine
>
> On Sun, Oct 18, 2015 at 10:05 AM, Schneider, Manuel <
> [hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> Hi Ilario,
>>
>> it is the will of the board to make it easy to start a recognised body to
>> do work and it is totally acceptable if these bodies also die after having
>> fulfilled their purpose - or grow and develop into other affiliation
>> models. So the criterium for us is easy entry.
>>
>> Anyway the user groups have limited liability and responsibilities, access
>> to ressources is controlled on a case by case basis eg. through the Grant
>> Avisory Committee and every year user groups must be renewed, for this we
>> want so see a simple report. So every ug with the minimum of activity - a
>> report written, having responded to our follow-up e-mail - is renewed.
>>
>> /Manuel
>>
>> --
>> sent from mobile phoneAm 18.10.2015 4:46 nachm. schrieb Ilario Valdelli <
>> [hidden email]>:
>>>
>>> I personally think that the main concern, in this proliferation of
>>> groups, is an lack of the implementation of a "good governance".
>>>
>>> A user group is like a body, it can born, can develop and can die.
>>>
>>> At the moment there is an unclear guideline about the monitoring and the
>>> development of these groups: they can only born.
>>>
>>> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_user_groups
>>>
>>> Basically the affiliation committee creates these entities, but don't
>>> monitor them and don't evaluate to retire (or the best would be to
>>> freeze) some old entities when they become essentially inactive or
>> silent.
>>>
>>> In this case the balance would be compensated and the proliferation of
>>> these groups would have a sense.
>>>
>>> Kind regards
>>>
>>> On 18.10.2015 16:48, Gregory Varnum wrote:
>>>> The Affiliations Committee (AffCom) has been preparing for the
>> increased momentum since the user group model was implemented, and it
>> follows a pattern that we’ve been seeing over the past couple of years. In
>> 2013, we approved 10 user groups, last year we approved 19, and so far this
>> year we have approved around 20. That number will likely increase next
>> year. This growing momentum is why we have continued to tweak the approval
>> process to be faster and able to handle the growing momentum. So, from our
>> perspective, this is something we have been preparing for from the start,
>> and not a surprise.
>>>>
>>>> Personally, I think further complicating affiliate classifications is
>> a bad idea. “Small” and “larger” are very culturally relative, varies
>> across the models (there are user groups “larger” than chapters), changes
>> over time, and implies that “large” affiliates do work “small” affiliates
>> cannot, when we continue to see that is in fact not the case at all. The
>> current criteria for WMCON is active and inactive, which seems far more
>> appropriate. Additionally, dividing them will not save much money, if any,
>> as there would still presumably be a gathering for the “small” affiliates.
>>>>
>>>> I agree with Leigh and others that affiliates should receive more
>> support, but I do not think those efforts will be served well by further
>> dividing them.
>>>>
>>>> -greg (User:Varnent)
>>>> Vice Chair, Wikimedia Affiliations Committee
>>>>
>>>>
>>>
>>> --
>>> 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
>>>
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
>> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
>>> [hidden email]
>>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
>> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>> _______________________________________________
>> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
>> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
>> [hidden email]
>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
>> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Number of new User Groups

Pine W
I think the issue is with the word "liability". That has a legal meaning to
me that perhaps it wouldn't to others.

It's a bit of a misunderstanding that user groups "are not required to
become legal entities". We would be a legal entity whether or not we
registered; we'd simply be an unincorporated association if we didn't
register. That is indeed much simpler, but it comes with its own set of
risks. I don't want to get into a lengthy discussion of the legal issues
here, but let's just say that it's not a zero-cost and zero-risk approach.

That's a good point that there's a disjuncture between the kind of
activities that a group does and the affiliations model. For example, a
chapter could be quite small and a user group can be quite large, and there
is some flex in the issues that each will experience.

I'm happy to talk off-list about the legal issues if you wish. My head is
pretty packed with it, since I've been dealing with a lot of it over the
past few months as we're trying to scale up our activities and we're
looking at hosting the Wikimedia Conference next year. As you say, other
groups with different kinds of activities and ambitions might choose to
take a different and less careful approach. For example, a college
Wikipedia club with limited growth ambitions may have a lot less to think
about than we do.

I feel like I'm getting muddled in my explanation so I'll stop here and
just say that I'm happy to continue this conversation off list. Hopefully
we can get back to the discussion about affiliate user groups and mentoring
in general.

On Sun, Oct 18, 2015 at 10:27 PM, Gregory Varnum <[hidden email]>
wrote:

> It is limited liability on both parts, meaning that user groups are not
> required to become legal entities, or maintain the higher reporting and
> capacity requirements that chapters and thematic organizations are required
> to maintain.
>
> The considerations that you are mentioning are tied to your activities and
> not your status as a user group. It is a misleading and discouraging to
> others to imply that running a user group in the United States requires all
> of that liability and workload. User groups are not required to become
> legal entities (which Cascadia has opted to do), and can be as simple as a
> student club at a university. In other words, not all user groups are
> alike. The level of liability is tied to the activities the group engages
> in, not the affiliations model.
>
> -greg (User:Varnent)
> Vice Chair, Affiliations Committee
>
> > On Oct 19, 2015, at 12:56 AM, Pine W <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >
> > Hi Manuel,
> >
> > Can you clarify what you mean by "limited liability" for user groups? I
> > think you mean limited responsibilities as far as WMF is concerned. As
> far
> > as the United States authorities are concerned, we have plenty of
> paperwork
> > that we're expected to deal with, particularly if we're handling funds
> > and/or hosting public events. Most of the paperwork is the same whether
> > there are 5 people or 500 people involved, so it's a pretty complex
> > operation, particularly if volunteers are dealing with all of this with
> no
> > paid help. I had some experience with business law prior to my
> involvement
> > in Cascadia Wikimedians, and even with that background I'm finding that
> > there is a lot to learn and a lot of paperwork to deal with in order to
> > keep our user group on solid legal ground.
> >
> > Pine
> >
> > On Sun, Oct 18, 2015 at 10:05 AM, Schneider, Manuel <
> > [hidden email]> wrote:
> >
> >> Hi Ilario,
> >>
> >> it is the will of the board to make it easy to start a recognised body
> to
> >> do work and it is totally acceptable if these bodies also die after
> having
> >> fulfilled their purpose - or grow and develop into other affiliation
> >> models. So the criterium for us is easy entry.
> >>
> >> Anyway the user groups have limited liability and responsibilities,
> access
> >> to ressources is controlled on a case by case basis eg. through the
> Grant
> >> Avisory Committee and every year user groups must be renewed, for this
> we
> >> want so see a simple report. So every ug with the minimum of activity -
> a
> >> report written, having responded to our follow-up e-mail - is renewed.
> >>
> >> /Manuel
> >>
> >> --
> >> sent from mobile phoneAm 18.10.2015 4:46 nachm. schrieb Ilario Valdelli
> <
> >> [hidden email]>:
> >>>
> >>> I personally think that the main concern, in this proliferation of
> >>> groups, is an lack of the implementation of a "good governance".
> >>>
> >>> A user group is like a body, it can born, can develop and can die.
> >>>
> >>> At the moment there is an unclear guideline about the monitoring and
> the
> >>> development of these groups: they can only born.
> >>>
> >>> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_user_groups
> >>>
> >>> Basically the affiliation committee creates these entities, but don't
> >>> monitor them and don't evaluate to retire (or the best would be to
> >>> freeze) some old entities when they become essentially inactive or
> >> silent.
> >>>
> >>> In this case the balance would be compensated and the proliferation of
> >>> these groups would have a sense.
> >>>
> >>> Kind regards
> >>>
> >>> On 18.10.2015 16:48, Gregory Varnum wrote:
> >>>> The Affiliations Committee (AffCom) has been preparing for the
> >> increased momentum since the user group model was implemented, and it
> >> follows a pattern that we’ve been seeing over the past couple of years.
> In
> >> 2013, we approved 10 user groups, last year we approved 19, and so far
> this
> >> year we have approved around 20. That number will likely increase next
> >> year. This growing momentum is why we have continued to tweak the
> approval
> >> process to be faster and able to handle the growing momentum. So, from
> our
> >> perspective, this is something we have been preparing for from the
> start,
> >> and not a surprise.
> >>>>
> >>>> Personally, I think further complicating affiliate classifications is
> >> a bad idea. “Small” and “larger” are very culturally relative, varies
> >> across the models (there are user groups “larger” than chapters),
> changes
> >> over time, and implies that “large” affiliates do work “small”
> affiliates
> >> cannot, when we continue to see that is in fact not the case at all. The
> >> current criteria for WMCON is active and inactive, which seems far more
> >> appropriate. Additionally, dividing them will not save much money, if
> any,
> >> as there would still presumably be a gathering for the “small”
> affiliates.
> >>>>
> >>>> I agree with Leigh and others that affiliates should receive more
> >> support, but I do not think those efforts will be served well by further
> >> dividing them.
> >>>>
> >>>> -greg (User:Varnent)
> >>>> Vice Chair, Wikimedia Affiliations Committee
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>
> >>> --
> >>> 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
> >>>
> >>> _______________________________________________
> >>> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> >> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> >>> [hidden email]
> >>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> >> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> >> _______________________________________________
> >> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> >> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> >> [hidden email]
> >> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> >> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> >>
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Number of new User Groups

Pine W
*headdesk* Wikiconference USA, not Wikimedia Conference. Apologies to our
friends in WMDE.

On Sun, Oct 18, 2015 at 10:38 PM, Pine W <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I think the issue is with the word "liability". That has a legal meaning
> to me that perhaps it wouldn't to others.
>
> It's a bit of a misunderstanding that user groups "are not required to
> become legal entities". We would be a legal entity whether or not we
> registered; we'd simply be an unincorporated association if we didn't
> register. That is indeed much simpler, but it comes with its own set of
> risks. I don't want to get into a lengthy discussion of the legal issues
> here, but let's just say that it's not a zero-cost and zero-risk approach.
>
> That's a good point that there's a disjuncture between the kind of
> activities that a group does and the affiliations model. For example, a
> chapter could be quite small and a user group can be quite large, and there
> is some flex in the issues that each will experience.
>
> I'm happy to talk off-list about the legal issues if you wish. My head is
> pretty packed with it, since I've been dealing with a lot of it over the
> past few months as we're trying to scale up our activities and we're
> looking at hosting the Wikimedia Conference next year. As you say, other
> groups with different kinds of activities and ambitions might choose to
> take a different and less careful approach. For example, a college
> Wikipedia club with limited growth ambitions may have a lot less to think
> about than we do.
>
> I feel like I'm getting muddled in my explanation so I'll stop here and
> just say that I'm happy to continue this conversation off list. Hopefully
> we can get back to the discussion about affiliate user groups and mentoring
> in general.
>
> On Sun, Oct 18, 2015 at 10:27 PM, Gregory Varnum <[hidden email]
> > wrote:
>
>> It is limited liability on both parts, meaning that user groups are not
>> required to become legal entities, or maintain the higher reporting and
>> capacity requirements that chapters and thematic organizations are required
>> to maintain.
>>
>> The considerations that you are mentioning are tied to your activities
>> and not your status as a user group. It is a misleading and discouraging to
>> others to imply that running a user group in the United States requires all
>> of that liability and workload. User groups are not required to become
>> legal entities (which Cascadia has opted to do), and can be as simple as a
>> student club at a university. In other words, not all user groups are
>> alike. The level of liability is tied to the activities the group engages
>> in, not the affiliations model.
>>
>> -greg (User:Varnent)
>> Vice Chair, Affiliations Committee
>>
>> > On Oct 19, 2015, at 12:56 AM, Pine W <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> >
>> > Hi Manuel,
>> >
>> > Can you clarify what you mean by "limited liability" for user groups? I
>> > think you mean limited responsibilities as far as WMF is concerned. As
>> far
>> > as the United States authorities are concerned, we have plenty of
>> paperwork
>> > that we're expected to deal with, particularly if we're handling funds
>> > and/or hosting public events. Most of the paperwork is the same whether
>> > there are 5 people or 500 people involved, so it's a pretty complex
>> > operation, particularly if volunteers are dealing with all of this with
>> no
>> > paid help. I had some experience with business law prior to my
>> involvement
>> > in Cascadia Wikimedians, and even with that background I'm finding that
>> > there is a lot to learn and a lot of paperwork to deal with in order to
>> > keep our user group on solid legal ground.
>> >
>> > Pine
>> >
>> > On Sun, Oct 18, 2015 at 10:05 AM, Schneider, Manuel <
>> > [hidden email]> wrote:
>> >
>> >> Hi Ilario,
>> >>
>> >> it is the will of the board to make it easy to start a recognised body
>> to
>> >> do work and it is totally acceptable if these bodies also die after
>> having
>> >> fulfilled their purpose - or grow and develop into other affiliation
>> >> models. So the criterium for us is easy entry.
>> >>
>> >> Anyway the user groups have limited liability and responsibilities,
>> access
>> >> to ressources is controlled on a case by case basis eg. through the
>> Grant
>> >> Avisory Committee and every year user groups must be renewed, for this
>> we
>> >> want so see a simple report. So every ug with the minimum of activity
>> - a
>> >> report written, having responded to our follow-up e-mail - is renewed.
>> >>
>> >> /Manuel
>> >>
>> >> --
>> >> sent from mobile phoneAm 18.10.2015 4:46 nachm. schrieb Ilario
>> Valdelli <
>> >> [hidden email]>:
>> >>>
>> >>> I personally think that the main concern, in this proliferation of
>> >>> groups, is an lack of the implementation of a "good governance".
>> >>>
>> >>> A user group is like a body, it can born, can develop and can die.
>> >>>
>> >>> At the moment there is an unclear guideline about the monitoring and
>> the
>> >>> development of these groups: they can only born.
>> >>>
>> >>> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_user_groups
>> >>>
>> >>> Basically the affiliation committee creates these entities, but don't
>> >>> monitor them and don't evaluate to retire (or the best would be to
>> >>> freeze) some old entities when they become essentially inactive or
>> >> silent.
>> >>>
>> >>> In this case the balance would be compensated and the proliferation of
>> >>> these groups would have a sense.
>> >>>
>> >>> Kind regards
>> >>>
>> >>> On 18.10.2015 16:48, Gregory Varnum wrote:
>> >>>> The Affiliations Committee (AffCom) has been preparing for the
>> >> increased momentum since the user group model was implemented, and it
>> >> follows a pattern that we’ve been seeing over the past couple of
>> years. In
>> >> 2013, we approved 10 user groups, last year we approved 19, and so far
>> this
>> >> year we have approved around 20. That number will likely increase next
>> >> year. This growing momentum is why we have continued to tweak the
>> approval
>> >> process to be faster and able to handle the growing momentum. So, from
>> our
>> >> perspective, this is something we have been preparing for from the
>> start,
>> >> and not a surprise.
>> >>>>
>> >>>> Personally, I think further complicating affiliate classifications is
>> >> a bad idea. “Small” and “larger” are very culturally relative, varies
>> >> across the models (there are user groups “larger” than chapters),
>> changes
>> >> over time, and implies that “large” affiliates do work “small”
>> affiliates
>> >> cannot, when we continue to see that is in fact not the case at all.
>> The
>> >> current criteria for WMCON is active and inactive, which seems far more
>> >> appropriate. Additionally, dividing them will not save much money, if
>> any,
>> >> as there would still presumably be a gathering for the “small”
>> affiliates.
>> >>>>
>> >>>> I agree with Leigh and others that affiliates should receive more
>> >> support, but I do not think those efforts will be served well by
>> further
>> >> dividing them.
>> >>>>
>> >>>> -greg (User:Varnent)
>> >>>> Vice Chair, Wikimedia Affiliations Committee
>> >>>>
>> >>>>
>> >>>
>> >>> --
>> >>> 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
>> >>>
>> >>> _______________________________________________
>> >>> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
>> >> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
>> >>> [hidden email]
>> >>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
>> ,
>> >> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>> >> _______________________________________________
>> >> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
>> >> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
>> >> [hidden email]
>> >> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
>> >> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>> >>
>> > _______________________________________________
>> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
>> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
>> > [hidden email]
>> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
>> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>>
>>
>> _______________________________________________
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Number of new User Groups

Gnangarra
In reply to this post by Gregory Varnum-2
Every country is different, in Australia you cant have a bank account for a
User group without being registered, you cant work with GLAM without having
public liability insurance for which the UG needs to be registered to
obtain. If you operate unregistered all members are personally legally
liable for the activities of any person who operates under the name. Even
grants from the WMF could be taxable as income if your not part of a
registered organisation

 I think care should be used when chosing terms to describe affiliates and
their requirements especially terms like liability which have legal
implications,

Does the WMF/Affliiates committee check if due diligence is done on the
local legal aspects for UGs before recognising them?

On 19 October 2015 at 13:27, Gregory Varnum <[hidden email]>
wrote:

> It is limited liability on both parts, meaning that user groups are not
> required to become legal entities, or maintain the higher reporting and
> capacity requirements that chapters and thematic organizations are required
> to maintain.
>
> The considerations that you are mentioning are tied to your activities and
> not your status as a user group. It is a misleading and discouraging to
> others to imply that running a user group in the United States requires all
> of that liability and workload. User groups are not required to become
> legal entities (which Cascadia has opted to do), and can be as simple as a
> student club at a university. In other words, not all user groups are
> alike. The level of liability is tied to the activities the group engages
> in, not the affiliations model.
>
> -greg (User:Varnent)
> Vice Chair, Affiliations Committee
>
> > On Oct 19, 2015, at 12:56 AM, Pine W <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >
> > Hi Manuel,
> >
> > Can you clarify what you mean by "limited liability" for user groups? I
> > think you mean limited responsibilities as far as WMF is concerned. As
> far
> > as the United States authorities are concerned, we have plenty of
> paperwork
> > that we're expected to deal with, particularly if we're handling funds
> > and/or hosting public events. Most of the paperwork is the same whether
> > there are 5 people or 500 people involved, so it's a pretty complex
> > operation, particularly if volunteers are dealing with all of this with
> no
> > paid help. I had some experience with business law prior to my
> involvement
> > in Cascadia Wikimedians, and even with that background I'm finding that
> > there is a lot to learn and a lot of paperwork to deal with in order to
> > keep our user group on solid legal ground.
> >
> > Pine
> >
> > On Sun, Oct 18, 2015 at 10:05 AM, Schneider, Manuel <
> > [hidden email]> wrote:
> >
> >> Hi Ilario,
> >>
> >> it is the will of the board to make it easy to start a recognised body
> to
> >> do work and it is totally acceptable if these bodies also die after
> having
> >> fulfilled their purpose - or grow and develop into other affiliation
> >> models. So the criterium for us is easy entry.
> >>
> >> Anyway the user groups have limited liability and responsibilities,
> access
> >> to ressources is controlled on a case by case basis eg. through the
> Grant
> >> Avisory Committee and every year user groups must be renewed, for this
> we
> >> want so see a simple report. So every ug with the minimum of activity -
> a
> >> report written, having responded to our follow-up e-mail - is renewed.
> >>
> >> /Manuel
> >>
> >> --
> >> sent from mobile phoneAm 18.10.2015 4:46 nachm. schrieb Ilario Valdelli
> <
> >> [hidden email]>:
> >>>
> >>> I personally think that the main concern, in this proliferation of
> >>> groups, is an lack of the implementation of a "good governance".
> >>>
> >>> A user group is like a body, it can born, can develop and can die.
> >>>
> >>> At the moment there is an unclear guideline about the monitoring and
> the
> >>> development of these groups: they can only born.
> >>>
> >>> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_user_groups
> >>>
> >>> Basically the affiliation committee creates these entities, but don't
> >>> monitor them and don't evaluate to retire (or the best would be to
> >>> freeze) some old entities when they become essentially inactive or
> >> silent.
> >>>
> >>> In this case the balance would be compensated and the proliferation of
> >>> these groups would have a sense.
> >>>
> >>> Kind regards
> >>>
> >>> On 18.10.2015 16:48, Gregory Varnum wrote:
> >>>> The Affiliations Committee (AffCom) has been preparing for the
> >> increased momentum since the user group model was implemented, and it
> >> follows a pattern that we’ve been seeing over the past couple of years.
> In
> >> 2013, we approved 10 user groups, last year we approved 19, and so far
> this
> >> year we have approved around 20. That number will likely increase next
> >> year. This growing momentum is why we have continued to tweak the
> approval
> >> process to be faster and able to handle the growing momentum. So, from
> our
> >> perspective, this is something we have been preparing for from the
> start,
> >> and not a surprise.
> >>>>
> >>>> Personally, I think further complicating affiliate classifications is
> >> a bad idea. “Small” and “larger” are very culturally relative, varies
> >> across the models (there are user groups “larger” than chapters),
> changes
> >> over time, and implies that “large” affiliates do work “small”
> affiliates
> >> cannot, when we continue to see that is in fact not the case at all. The
> >> current criteria for WMCON is active and inactive, which seems far more
> >> appropriate. Additionally, dividing them will not save much money, if
> any,
> >> as there would still presumably be a gathering for the “small”
> affiliates.
> >>>>
> >>>> I agree with Leigh and others that affiliates should receive more
> >> support, but I do not think those efforts will be served well by further
> >> dividing them.
> >>>>
> >>>> -greg (User:Varnent)
> >>>> Vice Chair, Wikimedia Affiliations Committee
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>
> >>> --
> >>> 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
> >>>
> >>> _______________________________________________
> >>> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> >> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> >>> [hidden email]
> >>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> >> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> >> _______________________________________________
> >> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> >> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> >> [hidden email]
> >> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> >> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> >>
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>
>
> _______________________________________________
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> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
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>



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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Number of new User Groups

Gregory Varnum-2
All affiliates are required to follow local laws, and that is checked when we are asked or it is needed.

Our affiliates are increasingly diverse, so much of this really applies more to chapters and thematic organizations than all user groups. A majority of user groups are not legal entities.

Manuel was speaking to the user group requirements set out in the affiliation models, which as he said, are meant to be easier and less time consuming than the requirements for chapters and thematic organizations. That is separate from the requirements involved with doing some types of activities. The programmatic need for one user group may far easier to manage than the programmatic needs of another user group, and the model is designed to allow for that diversity.

-greg


> On Oct 19, 2015, at 1:45 AM, Gnangarra <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Every country is different, in Australia you cant have a bank account for a
> User group without being registered, you cant work with GLAM without having
> public liability insurance for which the UG needs to be registered to
> obtain. If you operate unregistered all members are personally legally
> liable for the activities of any person who operates under the name. Even
> grants from the WMF could be taxable as income if your not part of a
> registered organisation
>
> I think care should be used when chosing terms to describe affiliates and
> their requirements especially terms like liability which have legal
> implications,
>
> Does the WMF/Affliiates committee check if due diligence is done on the
> local legal aspects for UGs before recognising them?
>
> On 19 October 2015 at 13:27, Gregory Varnum <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>
>> It is limited liability on both parts, meaning that user groups are not
>> required to become legal entities, or maintain the higher reporting and
>> capacity requirements that chapters and thematic organizations are required
>> to maintain.
>>
>> The considerations that you are mentioning are tied to your activities and
>> not your status as a user group. It is a misleading and discouraging to
>> others to imply that running a user group in the United States requires all
>> of that liability and workload. User groups are not required to become
>> legal entities (which Cascadia has opted to do), and can be as simple as a
>> student club at a university. In other words, not all user groups are
>> alike. The level of liability is tied to the activities the group engages
>> in, not the affiliations model.
>>
>> -greg (User:Varnent)
>> Vice Chair, Affiliations Committee
>>
>>> On Oct 19, 2015, at 12:56 AM, Pine W <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>>
>>> Hi Manuel,
>>>
>>> Can you clarify what you mean by "limited liability" for user groups? I
>>> think you mean limited responsibilities as far as WMF is concerned. As
>> far
>>> as the United States authorities are concerned, we have plenty of
>> paperwork
>>> that we're expected to deal with, particularly if we're handling funds
>>> and/or hosting public events. Most of the paperwork is the same whether
>>> there are 5 people or 500 people involved, so it's a pretty complex
>>> operation, particularly if volunteers are dealing with all of this with
>> no
>>> paid help. I had some experience with business law prior to my
>> involvement
>>> in Cascadia Wikimedians, and even with that background I'm finding that
>>> there is a lot to learn and a lot of paperwork to deal with in order to
>>> keep our user group on solid legal ground.
>>>
>>> Pine
>>>
>>> On Sun, Oct 18, 2015 at 10:05 AM, Schneider, Manuel <
>>> [hidden email]> wrote:
>>>
>>>> Hi Ilario,
>>>>
>>>> it is the will of the board to make it easy to start a recognised body
>> to
>>>> do work and it is totally acceptable if these bodies also die after
>> having
>>>> fulfilled their purpose - or grow and develop into other affiliation
>>>> models. So the criterium for us is easy entry.
>>>>
>>>> Anyway the user groups have limited liability and responsibilities,
>> access
>>>> to ressources is controlled on a case by case basis eg. through the
>> Grant
>>>> Avisory Committee and every year user groups must be renewed, for this
>> we
>>>> want so see a simple report. So every ug with the minimum of activity -
>> a
>>>> report written, having responded to our follow-up e-mail - is renewed.
>>>>
>>>> /Manuel
>>>>
>>>> --
>>>> sent from mobile phoneAm 18.10.2015 4:46 nachm. schrieb Ilario Valdelli
>> <
>>>> [hidden email]>:
>>>>>
>>>>> I personally think that the main concern, in this proliferation of
>>>>> groups, is an lack of the implementation of a "good governance".
>>>>>
>>>>> A user group is like a body, it can born, can develop and can die.
>>>>>
>>>>> At the moment there is an unclear guideline about the monitoring and
>> the
>>>>> development of these groups: they can only born.
>>>>>
>>>>> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_user_groups
>>>>>
>>>>> Basically the affiliation committee creates these entities, but don't
>>>>> monitor them and don't evaluate to retire (or the best would be to
>>>>> freeze) some old entities when they become essentially inactive or
>>>> silent.
>>>>>
>>>>> In this case the balance would be compensated and the proliferation of
>>>>> these groups would have a sense.
>>>>>
>>>>> Kind regards
>>>>>
>>>>> On 18.10.2015 16:48, Gregory Varnum wrote:
>>>>>> The Affiliations Committee (AffCom) has been preparing for the
>>>> increased momentum since the user group model was implemented, and it
>>>> follows a pattern that we’ve been seeing over the past couple of years.
>> In
>>>> 2013, we approved 10 user groups, last year we approved 19, and so far
>> this
>>>> year we have approved around 20. That number will likely increase next
>>>> year. This growing momentum is why we have continued to tweak the
>> approval
>>>> process to be faster and able to handle the growing momentum. So, from
>> our
>>>> perspective, this is something we have been preparing for from the
>> start,
>>>> and not a surprise.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Personally, I think further complicating affiliate classifications is
>>>> a bad idea. “Small” and “larger” are very culturally relative, varies
>>>> across the models (there are user groups “larger” than chapters),
>> changes
>>>> over time, and implies that “large” affiliates do work “small”
>> affiliates
>>>> cannot, when we continue to see that is in fact not the case at all. The
>>>> current criteria for WMCON is active and inactive, which seems far more
>>>> appropriate. Additionally, dividing them will not save much money, if
>> any,
>>>> as there would still presumably be a gathering for the “small”
>> affiliates.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> I agree with Leigh and others that affiliates should receive more
>>>> support, but I do not think those efforts will be served well by further
>>>> dividing them.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> -greg (User:Varnent)
>>>>>> Vice Chair, Wikimedia Affiliations Committee
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> --
>>>>> 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
>>>>>
>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
>>>> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
>>>>> [hidden email]
>>>>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
>>>> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
>>>> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
>>>> [hidden email]
>>>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
>>>> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>>>>
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
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>>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
>> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
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>>
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>> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>>
>
>
>
> --
> GN.
> President Wikimedia Australia
> WMAU: http://www.wikimedia.org.au/wiki/User:Gnangarra
> Photo Gallery: http://gnangarra.redbubble.com
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Number of new User Groups

Pine W
If it's OK, I'd like to return to the subject of mentoring. I'm wondering
if Affcom might be able to facilitate a kind of matchmaking process where
some of the more established affiliates mentor some of the newer
affiliates. We have some very informal ways that this happens now, and I'm
wondering if a more proactive approach by Affcom in encouraging this kind
of mentoring would be helpful. Thoughts?

Pine
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Number of new User Groups

Gerard Meijssen-3
Hoi,
Ask yourself, you want more mentoring and in front of you are 50 user
groups; you do not understand their language, you do not know their
culture. They do the necessary self administration, the  minimal
requirements to inform about whatever it is they do so well.

They do describe that they are happy with their progress and tell you so in
your language. What more is it that you can provide without taking away
from the work that they do so well?
Thanks,
     GerardM

On 19 October 2015 at 08:56, Pine W <[hidden email]> wrote:

> If it's OK, I'd like to return to the subject of mentoring. I'm wondering
> if Affcom might be able to facilitate a kind of matchmaking process where
> some of the more established affiliates mentor some of the newer
> affiliates. We have some very informal ways that this happens now, and I'm
> wondering if a more proactive approach by Affcom in encouraging this kind
> of mentoring would be helpful. Thoughts?
>
> Pine
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Number of new User Groups

Gnangarra
being able to seek assistance and advice from Affcom for specific needs is
good concept because no matter how large the organisation mentoring in an
invaluable service we can all use.  The issue will be in ensuring the
mentors have the skills, the knowledge and importantly the time(at the
right time) to be able to make positive impact.

One of the most common issues are that new groups tend spend a lot of
effort recreating the wheel because there is no central place find all of
the available materials, and share lessons learnt we could really do with a
WikiShed, or WikiLibrary where we can find the necessary tools whether its
for joining a WLE, WikiTakes, a WikiTown or just organising a group meetup
for the first time having the knowledge, the tools and how events relate to
each of the projects would be an invaluable service add to that a list of
mentors who have been successful with that event, including the languages
they speak, the time zone they are in would bring success to all groups

On 19 October 2015 at 19:05, Gerard Meijssen <[hidden email]>
wrote:

> Hoi,
> Ask yourself, you want more mentoring and in front of you are 50 user
> groups; you do not understand their language, you do not know their
> culture. They do the necessary self administration, the  minimal
> requirements to inform about whatever it is they do so well.
>
> They do describe that they are happy with their progress and tell you so in
> your language. What more is it that you can provide without taking away
> from the work that they do so well?
> Thanks,
>      GerardM
>
> On 19 October 2015 at 08:56, Pine W <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > If it's OK, I'd like to return to the subject of mentoring. I'm wondering
> > if Affcom might be able to facilitate a kind of matchmaking process where
> > some of the more established affiliates mentor some of the newer
> > affiliates. We have some very informal ways that this happens now, and
> I'm
> > wondering if a more proactive approach by Affcom in encouraging this kind
> > of mentoring would be helpful. Thoughts?
> >
> > Pine
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> >
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>



--
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President Wikimedia Australia
WMAU: http://www.wikimedia.org.au/wiki/User:Gnangarra
Photo Gallery: http://gnangarra.redbubble.com
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Number of new User Groups

Gerard Meijssen-3
Hoi,
The difference is in being able to get support when you need it and a model
where support is pushed on you.

Yes, support may be helpful but when it is given for all the wrong reasons,
it is counter productive.
Thanks,
      GerardM

On 19 October 2015 at 13:41, Gnangarra <[hidden email]> wrote:

> being able to seek assistance and advice from Affcom for specific needs is
> good concept because no matter how large the organisation mentoring in an
> invaluable service we can all use.  The issue will be in ensuring the
> mentors have the skills, the knowledge and importantly the time(at the
> right time) to be able to make positive impact.
>
> One of the most common issues are that new groups tend spend a lot of
> effort recreating the wheel because there is no central place find all of
> the available materials, and share lessons learnt we could really do with a
> WikiShed, or WikiLibrary where we can find the necessary tools whether its
> for joining a WLE, WikiTakes, a WikiTown or just organising a group meetup
> for the first time having the knowledge, the tools and how events relate to
> each of the projects would be an invaluable service add to that a list of
> mentors who have been successful with that event, including the languages
> they speak, the time zone they are in would bring success to all groups
>
> On 19 October 2015 at 19:05, Gerard Meijssen <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>
> > Hoi,
> > Ask yourself, you want more mentoring and in front of you are 50 user
> > groups; you do not understand their language, you do not know their
> > culture. They do the necessary self administration, the  minimal
> > requirements to inform about whatever it is they do so well.
> >
> > They do describe that they are happy with their progress and tell you so
> in
> > your language. What more is it that you can provide without taking away
> > from the work that they do so well?
> > Thanks,
> >      GerardM
> >
> > On 19 October 2015 at 08:56, Pine W <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >
> > > If it's OK, I'd like to return to the subject of mentoring. I'm
> wondering
> > > if Affcom might be able to facilitate a kind of matchmaking process
> where
> > > some of the more established affiliates mentor some of the newer
> > > affiliates. We have some very informal ways that this happens now, and
> > I'm
> > > wondering if a more proactive approach by Affcom in encouraging this
> kind
> > > of mentoring would be helpful. Thoughts?
> > >
> > > Pine
> > > _______________________________________________
> > > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > > [hidden email]
> > > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> > >
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> >
>
>
>
> --
> GN.
> President Wikimedia Australia
> WMAU: http://www.wikimedia.org.au/wiki/User:Gnangarra
> Photo Gallery: http://gnangarra.redbubble.com
> _______________________________________________
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Number of new User Groups

Kacie Harold
In reply to this post by Pine W
Hi Pine,

I recall that several representatives at the User Group meetup at the WMCON
last spring noted that they would like to see more sessions that focused on
the needs of smaller affiliates, and I am glad that you brought it up.  It
would be great to start a list of the kinds of session topics or training
that smaller affiliates would like to see, as well as ways in which the WMF
can provide the attention or support you felt was lacking in previous
years.

Cheers,

Kacie

On Sun, Oct 18, 2015 at 3:00 AM, Pine W <[hidden email]> wrote:

> It's nice to see the recent momentum in the formation of user groups. Can
> Affcom shed some light on what may be causing the burst of announced
> formations?
>
> Relatedly, I'm wondering if the number of UGs is now so high that the
> budget and/or programmatic capacity of WMCON will be a bit stretched to
> accomodate all of the UGs in addition to the larger affiliates. I was
> thinking that it would be good to have a track at WMCON devoted to small
> affiliates, but now I'm starting to wonder if there are so many of us, with
> interests and concerns hopefully now more visible on WMF's radar due to our
> increased numbers, that it would make sense to have separate conferences
> for the large and small affiliates so that undivided attention from WMF can
> be given more evenly to both size classes of affiliates for the duration of
> a conference. Any thoughts about those options, from Affcom, WMF, WMDE, or
> others?
>
> Pine
>



--
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Kacie Harold
Interim Program Officer - Project and Event Grants
Wikimedia Foundation
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