[Wikimedia-l] Question for Board

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[Wikimedia-l] Question for Board

James Salsman-2
The Funds Dissemination Committee was originally proposed by Sue to
the board with explicit support for both groups and individuals,[1]
but at some point after, all mention of individual editors was
removed.[2]

Could someone please say whether this was the decision of the board,
someone else's decision, or a mistake? I ask because I have reason to
believe that about 18% of English Wikipedia administrators are living
below the poverty line, and it seems that support for such individual
editors is reasonable. Local fire departments and the International
Red Cross both have paid personnel and volunteer staff working
alongside each other without any motivational crowding.

[1] http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Funds_Dissemination_Committee/Draft_FDC_Proposal_for_the_Board#Application_process_and_timeline
[2] http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/FDC_portal/Eligibility_criteria

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Question for Board

James Alexander-3
On Wed, Oct 24, 2012 at 3:38 PM, James Salsman <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I ask because I have reason to believe that about 18% of English Wikipedia
> administrators are living
> below the poverty line, ...
>


First off I got the impression that specific type of support was never the
intention of the FDC but I don't pretend to know exactly what the board was
thinking.

More importantly however citation desperately needed for this stat. You
can't make a statement like that without actual evidence 'I have reason to
believe' doesn't tell us anything at all especially for something that
broad.

James



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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Question for Board

Michael Snow-5
In reply to this post by James Salsman-2
On 10/24/2012 3:38 PM, James Salsman wrote:

> The Funds Dissemination Committee was originally proposed by Sue to
> the board with explicit support for both groups and individuals,[1]
> but at some point after, all mention of individual editors was
> removed.[2]
>
> Could someone please say whether this was the decision of the board,
> someone else's decision, or a mistake? I ask because I have reason to
> believe that about 18% of English Wikipedia administrators are living
> below the poverty line, and it seems that support for such individual
> editors is reasonable. Local fire departments and the International
> Red Cross both have paid personnel and volunteer staff working
> alongside each other without any motivational crowding.
>
> [1] http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Funds_Dissemination_Committee/Draft_FDC_Proposal_for_the_Board#Application_process_and_timeline
> [2] http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/FDC_portal/Eligibility_criteria
I suspect you may have formed for yourself a rather different conception
of the proposed system than what was actually contemplated. To your
first footnote, I find it strange that you would focus on the section
headed "Application process and timeline" for an eligibility question
when there's a section immediately above it regarding eligibility, and
that section is exclusively about groups (entities), not individuals.
The page in your second footnote is pretty clearly an expansion of that
eligibility section, so it's not surprising if they're consistent with
each other.

If I understand things correctly, anything in the FDC materials that
refers to individuals receiving funds should probably be interpreted as
referring to the Wikimedia grants program, which does invite individual
applicants and will continue on as far as I'm aware. The grants program
as a whole would naturally be under the purview of the FDC, but that's
at another level of the process, so individuals wouldn't be directly
participating in the FDC process in that sense.

--Michael Snow

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Question for Board

Nathan Awrich
In reply to this post by James Alexander-3
While this is a tangent, it's an interesting one! I don't think anyone
has done great empirical testing on the income demographics of
Wikipedia administrators. It looks like income was not included in the
2011 survey; it does say that 42% of all respondents were unemployed,
but this is likely driven by the number of students and minors.

In any case, "poverty line" is a subjective definition that varies
dramatically by jurisdiction. In the U.S., approximately 15% of the
population lives below the U.S. definition of the poverty line. Given
that, it seems extremely unlikely that 18% (or even 15% or 10%) of
American Wikipedians live below that line; for other jurisdictions or
definitions of the line, it seems hard to speculate.

On the larger question, I'm with Jamesofur that I don't think
supporting Wikipedians financially (other than via fellowships as part
of the program budget) was ever on the table. Or at least if it was, I
certainly didn't hear about it.

~Nathan

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Question for Board

James Salsman-2
In reply to this post by James Salsman-2
>>... I have reason to believe that about 18% of English Wikipedia
>> administrators are living below the poverty line, ...
>
>... citation desperately needed for this stat.

In February I performed a survey of over 300 inactive English
Wikipedia administrators based on a survey which had been approved on
the Strategy Wiki more than two years prior. I added financial
demographic questions to the survey. Steven Walling, who I thought had
agreed to act as the Foundation point of contact for the survey during
a public IRC office hour (he disagrees) has access to all of the
original data I collected as a Google Forms document available to his
Google Drive account.

Shortly afterward, I was told that the survey was a violation of
policy (two months later I was told it was not), and that I was
violating the privacy policy because I asked for contact information
to follow up. I was banned from Meta and told to contact the Legal
Department if I had further questions. I did, and I am still waiting
for their response. After several weeks without reply from the Legal
Department, I followed up with some of the respondents, and performed
an additional survey which I do not wish to describe in detail until I
have an answer to my questions from the Legal Department.

If the statistic is in doubt, I suggest that the Foundation perform
their own survey of long term contributor financial status. As of May,
by the way, more than 30 of the original survey respondent
administrators had returned to active status, having made more than 50
edits each after having gone at least six months without editing.

Sincerely,
James Salsman

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Question for Board

James Alexander-3
On Wed, Oct 24, 2012 at 7:06 PM, James Salsman <[hidden email]> wrote:

> >>... I have reason to believe that about 18% of English Wikipedia
> >> administrators are living below the poverty line, ...
> >
> >... citation desperately needed for this stat.
>
> In February I performed a survey of over 300 inactive English
> Wikipedia administrators based on a survey which had been approved on
> the Strategy Wiki more than two years prior. I added financial
> demographic questions to the survey. Steven Walling, who I thought had
> agreed to act as the Foundation point of contact for the survey during
> a public IRC office hour (he disagrees) has access to all of the
> original data I collected as a Google Forms document available to his
> Google Drive account.
>
> Shortly afterward, I was told that the survey was a violation of
> policy (two months later I was told it was not), and that I was
> violating the privacy policy because I asked for contact information
> to follow up. I was banned from Meta and told to contact the Legal
> Department if I had further questions. I did, and I am still waiting
> for their response. After several weeks without reply from the Legal
> Department, I followed up with some of the respondents, and performed
> an additional survey which I do not wish to describe in detail until I
> have an answer to my questions from the Legal Department.
>
> If the statistic is in doubt, I suggest that the Foundation perform
> their own survey of long term contributor financial status. As of May,
> by the way, more than 30 of the original survey respondent
> administrators had returned to active status, having made more than 50
> edits each after having gone at least six months without editing.
>
> Sincerely,
> James Salsman
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
>

Do you mean this survey?
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dHZWdFQ0STlNbnl5TjJpNzd6RE9lYUE6MA

I'm sorry but if that's the case I would highly doubt that statistic and
basically ignore it. The only question about wealth is one that says:

| How financially secure are you?
| (Note: all questions are optional and individual responses will be kept
strictly confidential.)

and then gives a 1-5 scale from"'Impovrished[sic] to Wealthy"

You can't get anything like that stat from there and it doesn't even begin
to get into the idea of inactive admins not equalling admins or countless
other statistical anomalies.

James


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Question for Board

Keegan Peterzell
When you subsidize volunteers they a) are no longer volunteers and b) the
same problem with paid editors: losing the power to walk away.

Give me money to administrate Wikipedia and I give up my bit.  The freedom
to pick and choose what we do on the website is one of our greatest
strengths.

--
~Keegan

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Keegan
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Question for Board

metasj
On Oct 24, 2012 9:46 PM, "Keegan Peterzell" <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> When you subsidize volunteers they a) are no longer volunteers and b) the
> same problem with paid editors: losing the power to walk away.
>
> Give me money to administrate Wikipedia and I give up my bit.  The freedom
> to pick and choose what we do on the website is one of our greatest
> strengths.

Well said.

Sj
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Question for Board

Dan Rosenthal
Agree with Keegan.Not to mention a) the legal ramifications, and b) the PR
ramifications -- how on earth do we maintain a straight face having a
policy on paid editing if we begin paying administrators directly?

Dan Rosenthal


On Thu, Oct 25, 2012 at 7:53 AM, Samuel Klein <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Oct 24, 2012 9:46 PM, "Keegan Peterzell" <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >
> > When you subsidize volunteers they a) are no longer volunteers and b) the
> > same problem with paid editors: losing the power to walk away.
> >
> > Give me money to administrate Wikipedia and I give up my bit.  The
> freedom
> > to pick and choose what we do on the website is one of our greatest
> > strengths.
>
> Well said.
>
> Sj
> _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list
> _______________________________________________
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Question for Board

James Salsman-2
In reply to this post by James Salsman-2
Again, I'm not going to go into detail about how I arrived at the 18%
figure for enwiki admins under the poverty line until the accusation
that I violated the Privacy Policy is withdrawn or my questions about
it are addressed. I am confident that it's accurate within a few
percent. Instead of criticizing my spelling, I think it would be
better if Foundation officials determined the figure for themselves.

It is sad that those who are very well off are so quick to exclude the
possibility of helping impoverished long term contributors.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Question for Board

Rodrigo Tetsuo Argenton
To end poverty, you can not just employ all who are poor, think that its 18%
are managers, how many of the readers are in a precarious situation? This is
one of the reasons I think this is bad focus, increasingly away from a
social vision and increasingly commercial with its unique product, the
Wikipedia...

"Imagine a world in which *every single human being* can freely share in
the sum of all knowledge. That's our commitment."

Bullshit, every human with money to buy a pc and have access to internet,
and capable to donate. That's WMF commitment.


On 25 October 2012 03:46, James Salsman <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Again, I'm not going to go into detail about how I arrived at the 18%
> figure for enwiki admins under the poverty line until the accusation
> that I violated the Privacy Policy is withdrawn or my questions about
> it are addressed. I am confident that it's accurate within a few
> percent. Instead of criticizing my spelling, I think it would be
> better if Foundation officials determined the figure for themselves.
>
> It is sad that those who are very well off are so quick to exclude the
> possibility of helping impoverished long term contributors.
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
>



--
Rodrigo Tetsuo Argenton
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+55 11 97 97 18 884
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Question for Board

Keegan Peterzell
On Thu, Oct 25, 2012 at 1:50 AM, Rodrigo Tetsuo Argenton <
[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Bullshit, every human with money to buy a pc and have access to internet,
> and capable to donate. That's WMF commitment.
>
>
All comments about the choice of partners aside, that is not true.  The
Zero partnerships provide Wikipedia for free on mobile devices across
countries that completely missed the PC generation.  Without asking for
donations aside from the mobile carriers' bandwidth.


--
~Keegan

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Keegan
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Question for Board

Dariusz Jemielniak-3
In reply to this post by Keegan Peterzell
good point, Keegan! Also, my experience with NGOs in the Soros Foundation
wide network (about 12 Invisible Colleges) was that when gifted students
were given minor stipends, they developed a really demanding attitude. They
kept complaining that their stipends are too low, and that they deserve
more. Only after all stipends were withdrawn, they started to engage in
voluntary work for the NGOs.

This anecdotal evidence is symptomatic of some more general phenomenon - a
lot of people treat whatever they do for the money as a chore, labor,
something that is the antithesis of a hobby and fun. Much more than the
possible loss of quitting power I would worry about the fact that paid
editors would start treating editing as any other job, and on a competitive
market they would immediately see, that we cannot really pay competitive
wages. One way to make editing a chore is paying for it.

Regarding James' thesis of 18% below the poverty line - besides obvious
issues with the definition of poverty line (in some countries poverty means
starvation, in some it means not being able to eat out as often), as well
as clearly non-representative sample of the poll, poorly devised questions,
and serious ethical considerations of a possible misuse of private data and
expanding the research beyond of its original and approved scope, there are
just minor practical problems with singling out the poorest editors for
support, obvious for anybody familiar with the state social benefits
programs (borderline cases, reporting, etc.), major even when needed to be
addressed within ONE country, and not as a worldwide policy.

Finally,  my understanding is that formally the big general governance
picture is that FDC is meant for the largest proposals from Wikimedia
entities, while grants are meant for the smaller ones and individuals, so
the whole discussion clearly does not apply to FDC concern.

best,

dariusz



On Thu, Oct 25, 2012 at 6:46 AM, Keegan Peterzell <[hidden email]>wrote:

> When you subsidize volunteers they a) are no longer volunteers and b) the
> same problem with paid editors: losing the power to walk away.
>
> Give me money to administrate Wikipedia and I give up my bit.  The freedom
> to pick and choose what we do on the website is one of our greatest
> strengths.
>
> --
> ~Keegan
>
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Keegan
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
>
>
>


--

__________________________
dr hab. Dariusz Jemielniak
profesor zarządzania
kierownik katedry Zarządzania Międzynarodowego
i centrum badawczego CROW
Akademia Leona Koźmińskiego
http://www.crow.alk.edu.pl
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Question for Board

John Mark Vandenberg
In reply to this post by James Salsman-2
On Thu, Oct 25, 2012 at 12:46 PM, James Salsman <[hidden email]> wrote:
> ...
>
> It is sad that those who are very well off are so quick to exclude the
> possibility of helping impoverished long term contributors.

WMF is not a welfare system.  Donors would rightly complain if the
money was used for purposes other than those described in the donation
solicitation messaging.

Impoverished long term contributors should get a job.

--
John Vandenberg

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Question for Board

Keegan Peterzell
On Thu, Oct 25, 2012 at 2:26 AM, John Vandenberg <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Impoverished long term contributors should get a job.
>

That's not really helpful, John.  The flaw is what one considers
impoverished.  It is very possible to be worth a lot on paper and owe more
than that sum on paper.  The entire premise is erroneous.
--
~Keegan

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Keegan
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Question for Board

Michael Peel-4
In reply to this post by Dariusz Jemielniak-3

On 25 Oct 2012, at 08:10, Dariusz Jemielniak <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Finally,  my understanding is that formally the big general governance
> picture is that FDC is meant for the largest proposals from Wikimedia
> entities, while grants are meant for the smaller ones and individuals, so
> the whole discussion clearly does not apply to FDC concern.

That's also my understanding. The recommendations that the FDC make do connect to grant-making to individuals, but at a step or two removed - e.g. the WMF's GAC budget is part of the WMF's FDC application [1], and various chapters also have grant-making processes (e.g. [2] [3]) described in their FDC applications.

[1] See row 4 of http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/FDC_portal/Proposals/2012-2013_round1/Wikimedia_Foundation/Proposal_form#Key_initiatives_and_objectives_of_the_upcoming_year_annual_plan
[2] search for 'grant' in http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/FDC_portal/Proposals/2012-2013_round1/Wikimedia_Deutschland/Proposal_form
[3] see row 3 of http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/FDC_portal/Proposals/2012-2013_round1/Wikim%C3%A9dia_Magyarorsz%C3%A1g/Proposal_form#Key_initiatives_and_objectives_of_the_upcoming_year_annual_plan

Thanks,
Mike
(FDC member)


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