board candidacies

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Re: board candidacies

Michael Davis-4
Anthere wrote:

> Alison Wheeler wrote:
>  
>> On Fri, August 11, 2006 21:43, Ray Saintonge wrote:
>>
>>    
>>> There is a clear distinction between paying a salary to a board member,
>>> and reimbursing him for out-of-pocket expenses.  The specific quote from
>>> Jimbo is "I have no interest in being paid."  I would not extrapolate
>>>      
>> >from that comment an inference that no-one should be paid.  On the other
>>    
>>> hand paying the airfare for key people to travel halfway around the
>>> world is perfectly acceptable.
>>>      
>> There is a test in the UK that the Inland Revenue (Taxation) use, which
>> basically tests an expenses payment as (I paraphrase) "was this cost
>> incurred wholly and directly as a result of an activity required by virtue
>> of the employment". This principle can be easily and clearly applied to
>> consideration of personal expenses in our situation; any costs in excess
>> of what the individual would have spent if they had not been carrying out
>> an activity on behalf od the Foundation is clearly covered.
>>
>> Conversely, I would *totally* disagree with
>>
>>    
>>> If someone wants to generously pay a board member to give a keynote
>>> speech that board member is entitled to keep it.  This is not a matter
>>> for our by-laws.
>>>      
>> If someone is given a speech *because* they are from the WMF and
>> *representing* the WMF at that presentation, then any fees received are
>> the 'income' of the WMF. Obviously, the costs involved with attending the
>> location to give that speech (which might include travel, hotel, etc)
>> would be payable by the WMF. One can't have it both ways (ie get a fee
>> *and* claim expenses)
>>
>> Alison Wheeler
>>    
>
> Yes
>
> BUT.
>
> The drawline is "being from the WMF" and "representing the WMF"
>
> It is somehow difficult to define when someone is giving speech because
> he is from the WMF and representing the WMF, when this person may also
> be giving the speech as the representant of another organisation (such
> as Wikia for example), or when this person may also be invited to give a
> speech just due to him being famous and having a good vision interesting
> people.
>
>
> If WMF, then WMF should pay the costs and receive the fee.
> If Wikia, then Wikia should pay the costs and receive the fee possibly.
> If "self", then speaker should pay the costs and speaker gets the fee.
>
> Sometimes, it is really hard to know.
>
> ant
>
> _______________________________________________
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>
>  
This determination should be the responsibility of the communications
committee.  Outside requests for a speaker to represent the foundation
should be directed to them.  It's their job to review speaker requests
and then identify the best candidate from the organization and community
to represent the foundation.  We have a number of great people in the
community who should be encourage to handle these speaking requests.  
All reasonable expenses incurred by any speaker on behalf of the
foundation will be reimbursed by the foundation through the
communications committee's PR budget.  The communications committee has
already started moving in this direction.  They're not 100% there yet
but they are getting closer.

Anthere is correct - if a speaker is representing WMF then WMF receives
the fee.  The board should enact an ethics policy stating this principle.

Michael

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Re: board candidacies

jmerkey-3
Michael Davis wrote:

>
> This determination should be the responsibility of the communications
> committee.  Outside requests for a speaker to represent the foundation
> should be directed to them.  It's their job to review speaker requests
> and then identify the best candidate from the organization and
> community to represent the foundation.  We have a number of great
> people in the community who should be encourage to handle these
> speaking requests.  All reasonable expenses incurred by any speaker on
> behalf of the foundation will be reimbursed by the foundation through
> the communications committee's PR budget.  The communications
> committee has already started moving in this direction.  They're not
> 100% there yet but they are getting closer.
>
> Anthere is correct - if a speaker is representing WMF then WMF
> receives the fee.  The board should enact an ethics policy stating
> this principle.
>
> Michael

It would sure clarify all this banter to publish a policy for expense
report submission, mileage, hotel, cell phones, etc so the lines get
drawn.    This seems like business 101 stuff.   I guess the word
"reasonable" sums it up.

J
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Re: board candidacies

Ray Saintonge
In reply to this post by Florence Devouard-3
Anthere wrote:

>[hidden email] wrote:
>  
>
>>I am confused by this thread. It is starting with false assumptions (Board  
>>members are required to spend their own money for things)
>>    
>>
>Sorry Danny, but it is not a false assumption.
>
In that case there appears to be a difference between theory and
practice.  Some of us who believe strongly in the principles of
volunteerism will judge ourselves too harshly when there is an issue of
fair compensation for what we do.  We can set standards that are
impossibly high, and feel stressed when others do not hold themselves to
the same standards.

>I am currently required to spend my own money to go and give speeches.
>This has been the case for over 2 years now. Until last december, I had
>a job and it was not an issue to use my own savings. It has become an
>issue. And yes, Jimbo took it lightly during the board panel when I
>stupidely commented the issue. And yes, Andrew made fun of it saying
>that Thomas was taking care of by yourself during Wikimania in any
>cases. And yes, I felt humiliated. And yes, it is getting up to my
>throat right now. Badly. Everyday a little bit more. Each time I have to
>find a different way to organise myself to limit costs as much as I can,
>and each time it takes hours to find the best solution. Usually illegal,
>as legal is too expensive. And each time my husband talks to me angrily
>because my poorly built-up solutions impair his own working time. And
>each time I cut on something I could have offered to my own kids. And
>each time I am more angry.
>
I hope somebody got a photo of Thomas and the gorilla. :-)

You are a key person in the running of a billion-dollar global
enterprise!  Accept what you are worth.  Under these circumstances the
virtue of frugality can become counterproductive.  Accept the proper
reimbursements, because putting yourself or your family at a
disadvantage does no good to anyone.  If those little bits of stress
build up to where we you give up we would all lose.

>So rrrrright, so much for the false assumptions. The expenses of Board
>members relating to Foundation work are not entirely covered by the
>Foundation. That's not a false assumption. That's a fact.
>
Are you submitting all of your expenses?

>This said, Michael wrote yesterday that I should ask for my child care
>costs to be covered. Does that need a resolution ?
>
By itself the $285 that you mentioned at the panel would not normally
need a resolution, but this really depends on what general policy
resolution the Board has passed on the matter of reimbursements.

Ec


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Re: board candidacies

Ray Saintonge
In reply to this post by Alison M. Wheeler
Alison Wheeler wrote:

>On Fri, August 11, 2006 21:43, Ray Saintonge wrote:
>
>Conversely, I would *totally* disagree with
>  
>
>>If someone wants to generously pay a board member to give a keynote
>>speech that board member is entitled to keep it.  This is not a matter
>>for our by-laws.
>>    
>>
>If someone is given a speech *because* they are from the WMF and
>*representing* the WMF at that presentation, then any fees received are
>the 'income' of the WMF. Obviously, the costs involved with attending the
>location to give that speech (which might include travel, hotel, etc)
>would be payable by the WMF. One can't have it both ways (ie get a fee
>*and* claim expenses)
>
This is as much a matter of who is paying for the expenses.  My comment
was rooted in the presumption that in such circumstances the host
organization was also paying the expenses in addition to the speaker's fee.

Ec

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Re: board candidacies

jmerkey-3
Ray Saintonge wrote:

>Alison Wheeler wrote:
>
>  
>
>>On Fri, August 11, 2006 21:43, Ray Saintonge wrote:
>>
>>Conversely, I would *totally* disagree with
>>
>>
>>    
>>
>>>If someone wants to generously pay a board member to give a keynote
>>>speech that board member is entitled to keep it.  This is not a matter
>>>for our by-laws.
>>>  
>>>
>>>      
>>>
>>If someone is given a speech *because* they are from the WMF and
>>*representing* the WMF at that presentation, then any fees received are
>>the 'income' of the WMF. Obviously, the costs involved with attending the
>>location to give that speech (which might include travel, hotel, etc)
>>would be payable by the WMF. One can't have it both ways (ie get a fee
>>*and* claim expenses)
>>
>>    
>>
>This is as much a matter of who is paying for the expenses.  My comment
>was rooted in the presumption that in such circumstances the host
>organization was also paying the expenses in addition to the speaker's fee.
>
>Ec
>
>
>  
>
Man, there is a total disconnect on this whole thing with you folks.

WMF is a non-profit corporation. If you serve on the Board, you have a
Fudiciary Duty of Loyalty to the Foundation in exchange for being allowed
to use its goodwill and other consideration (go look that up on
Wikipedia). ALL of the money goes to them. You can submit expense reports
BASED ON APPROVED POLICIES by the mangement and Board. It's a
corporation, not a pirate ship where everyone gets to split up the booty.

Whatever consideration they offer (this is normally salary but can be
any good consideration, like using their good name, privileges, etc.)
creates
obligations under the LAW and you are required to honor their LEGAL
RIGHTS and protect them.

You guys need to get this part. You should ask for two things and only
those two things are something you are ENTITLED TO under the LAW
and they are OBLIGATED to provide.

1. Defining the consideration for your participation (at present this is
a board seat and offer to pay expenses and allow you to trade on their
goodwill as
a representative for promoting yourself as a member of their Board and
expenses).

2. Policy on expenses reimbursement.

That's it. Whatever else they are offering or providing is based on
their generosity and kindness (and all of the folks in WMF, from my
observation are kind and generous folks).

You guys need to stop viewing it like you get to stick your hands in the
foundations pockets and divert donations to yourselves. I am certain
there will
be a lot of fallout for representing them and opportunities to come to
whomever does this job, but you have to stand with your hat in your hand
and let them decide your value. All of this other talk about poaching
speakers fees would be breach of fiduciary duty -- not a great way to start
a business relationship that will build trust.

Anyway,

Love all of you,

Jeff





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Re: board candidacies

KIZU Naoko
In reply to this post by Ray Saintonge
On 8/12/06, Ray Saintonge <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I hope somebody got a photo of Thomas and the gorilla. :-)

I failed to see with my two eyes, but it would be already online ...

> You are a key person in the running of a billion-dollar global
> enterprise!  Accept what you are worth.

Not directly, but related, I think. Recently I talked with other
editors at #wikimedia, if it is acceptable that someone require to
reimburse a babysitter fee for two hours to concentrate an online
meeting? I thought I forgot to stress such a meeting would be official
one, but folks around there supported this idea.

I know Jimbo continued to stress travel expense should be reimbursed
per request, and no one opposed, but I have no idea if the possiblity
I mentioned on the above was discussed either publicly or privately.

I think such possibility very seriously, not only for you Anthere, but
for all future possible Board members, either female or male whose
hands care for their kids mainly. Diversity is one of core sources of
our strength, and if only people, who let others (including his or her
partner) care for their kids, were welcome as Board member, it is a
loss. The Board membership should be open to anyone who understand its
mission and good to make strategies, and mothers caring for kids are
implicitly rejected, I need to repeat, I think it might be a great
loss.

So for now we need to make a clear consensus what is acceptable and
not? It would be also helpful for people who are now considering to
run for the coming Election ...

--
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  * vivemus, mea Lesbia, amemus *
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Re: board candidacies

Alphax (Wikipedia email)
In reply to this post by Florence Devouard-3
Anthere wrote:

> Ray Saintonge wrote:
> Anyone there who
>> actually saw the tiny baby in the gentle hands of a gorilla would have
>> laughed.
>
> errrr.
>
> by the way, here is a picture of one of our current candidate :
> http://wikimania2006.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:IMG_5544.JPG
>
> I like this one as well :http://www.flickr.com/photos/zuirdj/206009045/
>
Heh :)

>
> As for
> Q: Why is Angela leaving the board? She says it's become less
> collaborative. How? A: (Angela) E.g., we vote on a wiki rather than
> having discussions.
>
> She has it right on spot. Before, we talked. And after, we were unable
> to remember exactly what was decided and when.
> Now we vote. And we are nearly unable to settle on a proposition which
> makes sense to all of us precisely because it is in written format.
>
I hope I'm not oversimplifying this, but...

IRC is closer to talking than using a Wiki, and you can log it...

You can always record a conversation...

--
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Contributor to Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia
"We make the internet not suck" - Jimbo Wales
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Re: board candidacies

Anthony DiPierro
In reply to this post by Florence Devouard-3
On 8/11/06, Anthere <[hidden email]> wrote:
> ... we have meta, as the central place to meet together. Once a
> candidate publish his discussion page on a specific project, it somehow
> reduce the number of questions given by participants from other
> projects. It also reduces readability greatly, when the page mentionned
> in the talk page of the user, where a multiplicity of questions,
> relevant or not relevant to the elections also stand. It also prevents
> translation. And finally, it raises the question of whether the
> candidate even know what meta is.
>
The biggest problem with using meta is that none of the standard tools
work across wikis.  You don't get notifications of talk page changes
on meta when you're hacking on Wikipedia, or Wikibooks.  The watchlist
feature covers one project at a time, etc.

This should have been fixed years ago.  It hasn't been.  Hopefully one
of the achievements of the new board will be to integrate the projects
better.

But in the mean time, I don't think it's at all unusual for a
candidate to publish his or her discussion page on a particular
project.  Checking meta all the time is just ridiculous.

Anthony
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Re: board candidacies

Jack-47
> But in the mean time, I don't think it's at all unusual for a
> candidate to publish his or her discussion page on a particular
> project.  Checking meta all the time is just ridiculous.
> -- Anthony

Don't board members work mostly on meta? (with side orders of
wikimediafoundation.org and projects?)
--
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Re: board candidacies

Walter Vermeir-2
In reply to this post by Anthony DiPierro
Anthony schreef:
[cut]
> The biggest problem with using meta is that none of the standard tools
> work across wikis.  You don't get notifications of talk page changes
> on meta when you're hacking on Wikipedia, or Wikibooks.  The watchlist
> feature covers one project at a time, etc.

That problem can be fixt directly more or less. MediaWiki supports the
function that you get an email when;

[ ] E-mail me when a page I'm watching is changed
[ ] E-mail me when my user talk page is changed
[ ] E-mail me also for minor edits of pages

That is only a matter of switching that function for meta. The you can
select that in you user option.

--
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Re: board candidacies

Anthony DiPierro
In reply to this post by Jack-47
On 8/12/06, Jack <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > But in the mean time, I don't think it's at all unusual for a
> > candidate to publish his or her discussion page on a particular
> > project.  Checking meta all the time is just ridiculous.
> > -- Anthony
>
> Don't board members work mostly on meta? (with side orders of
> wikimediafoundation.org and projects?)

Comparing http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/Jimbo_Wales
with http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/Jimbo_Wales,
I'd say no, definitely not, at least not in the case of all board
members.  Do all the board members even *have* an account on meta?
I'd check, but I don't even remember one of their names.

Anthony
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Re: board candidacies

Anthony DiPierro
In reply to this post by Walter Vermeir-2
On 8/12/06, Walter Vermeir <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Anthony schreef:
> [cut]
> > The biggest problem with using meta is that none of the standard tools
> > work across wikis.  You don't get notifications of talk page changes
> > on meta when you're hacking on Wikipedia, or Wikibooks.  The watchlist
> > feature covers one project at a time, etc.
>
> That problem can be fixt directly more or less. MediaWiki supports the
> function that you get an email when;
>
> [ ] E-mail me when a page I'm watching is changed
> [ ] E-mail me when my user talk page is changed
> [ ] E-mail me also for minor edits of pages
>
> That is only a matter of switching that function for meta. The you can
> select that in you user option.
>
Good point.  Maybe we should force all the candidates to use meta for
their discussion page, and let them know about that feature to head
off any complaints.  Anyone second the motion?

I still don't think it's significant that most/all candidates have
chosen to use the discussion page on the project they use the most,
when no one told them any advantages of doing otherwise.

Anthony
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Re: board candidacies

Walter Vermeir-2
In reply to this post by Walter Vermeir-2
Walter Vermeir schreef:

>
> That problem can be fixt directly more or less. MediaWiki supports the
> function that you get an email when;
>
> [ ] E-mail me when a page I'm watching is changed
> [ ] E-mail me when my user talk page is changed
> [ ] E-mail me also for minor edits of pages
>
> That is only a matter of switching that function for meta. The you can
> select that in you user option.

Because it seems not to totally clear to some a clarification;

The option to receive those email notifications is not active on Meta.
But it is on some wikis like the Wikimania2006 wiki.

Actually I think it would be useful if it is active on all wikis or at
least the smaller wikis. A possible result would be a (drastic) increase
of the outgoing emails from wikimedia to its users. That can be a reason
for not activating it globally.

--
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Re: board candidacies

Lars Aronsson
In reply to this post by Florence Devouard-3
Anthere wrote:

> This has been the case for over 2 years now. Until last
> december, I had a job and it was not an issue to use my own
> savings. It has become an issue.

I have no easy solution for your individual case, but the
situation is likely to be the same for every board member. One
strategy to make the burden easier is to make it a routine to
serve one or two years on the board and then leave.  This can
sound like a recipe for chaos, always having beginners on the
board.  But on the other hand, the board members would have an
increasing number of former board members to consult.  Being a
senior and acting as a mentor for new board members doesn't
require time and money for travel or babysitting.  You can still
travel and give speeches, if you wish, but there would be more
candidates for each such task.  Board membership would not be a
destination, but a place you pass through.

(Let me point out that I, LA2, have no position and no wish to
have one within any Wikimedia project.  I never participate in
wiki votes. This is not because I dislike Wikimedia, on the
contrary, but because I want to remove any suspicion that I might
have mixed interests with other projects where I'm involved.)


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Re: board candidacies

Brion Vibber
In reply to this post by Anthony DiPierro
Anthony wrote:
> The biggest problem with using meta is that none of the standard tools
> work across wikis.  You don't get notifications of talk page changes
> on meta when you're hacking on Wikipedia, or Wikibooks.  The watchlist
> feature covers one project at a time, etc.
>
> This should have been fixed years ago.  It hasn't been.  Hopefully one
> of the achievements of the new board will be to integrate the projects
> better.

What you need to understand is that the Board of Directors doesn't run a web
site. The Board of Directors oversees a *company*, whose assets are a bunch of
web servers, the name and logo, and a traditional connection to the community.

The technical operations of the site are managed by several paid (me, Tim) and
volunteer (Jens, Mark, Domas, various others) programmers and system
administrators. But of course, who sets our priorities?

As the company gets more organized, we've got from a very amorphous situation to
a slightly more manageable one where there's actually an executive (currently
that's Brad). Brad's job is to be the boss and run the operations of the
company, within the parameters set by the board of directors. Sometimes this
involves setting priorities for me.

Integrated talk notification will come shortly after single login, which is
already my current top technical priority for implementation.

Don't waste your time bothering the board about it, but feel free to bother me
about it. :)

-- brion vibber (brion @ pobox.com / brion @ wikimedia.org)


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Re: board candidacies

Angela-5
In reply to this post by Jack-47
On 8/12/06, Jack <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > But in the mean time, I don't think it's at all unusual for a
> > candidate to publish his or her discussion page on a particular
> > project.  Checking meta all the time is just ridiculous.
> > -- Anthony
>
> Don't board members work mostly on meta? (with side orders of
> wikimediafoundation.org and projects?)

No, some Board members don't work on those wikis at all, but only on a
number of private wikis (one Board wiki and various committee wikis
which not all Board members even have access to).

Angela.
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Re: board candidacies

Angela-5
In reply to this post by Jimmy Wales
On 8/12/06, Jimmy Wales <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Anthere wrote:
> > I am currently required to spend my own money to go and give speeches.
> > This has been the case for over 2 years now.
> The board passed a budget for your expenses and to my knowledge, you
> have never used it all up, nor have you asked
> for an increase, nor have you ever submitted any claim for expenses
> which has been denied.  Standard policy has always
> been that board members should be reimbursed upon request for reasonable
> travel expenses.

I've almost never used any of this, and the candidates for the
election shouldn't be misled into thinking they won't incur
significant personal costs.

The main problem is knowing what is an official Wikimedia related
expense, so I've assumed that little of what I do is. For example, I'm
currently attending conference at which I'm giving a short talk about
Wikipedia tomorrow, and will be spending $90 of my own money on taxis
(I could spend less if I got public transport instead, but that I
don't have time to spend 4 hours on trams). I'm not paid for the
event. (I've never been paid for any event, though one I did was
supposed to have paid me). Is this a valid Wikimedia-related expense?
I have similar things about once a month, often costing far more than
$90 since they're not usually so nearby. I don't see a way of
distinguishing between valid Wikimedia expenses and expenses that are
only indirectly related to me being on the Board.

Angela.
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Re: board candidacies

Anthony DiPierro
On 8/12/06, Angela <[hidden email]> wrote:

> The main problem is knowing what is an official Wikimedia related
> expense, so I've assumed that little of what I do is. For example, I'm
> currently attending conference at which I'm giving a short talk about
> Wikipedia tomorrow, and will be spending $90 of my own money on taxis
> (I could spend less if I got public transport instead, but that I
> don't have time to spend 4 hours on trams). I'm not paid for the
> event. (I've never been paid for any event, though one I did was
> supposed to have paid me). Is this a valid Wikimedia-related expense?
> I have similar things about once a month, often costing far more than
> $90 since they're not usually so nearby. I don't see a way of
> distinguishing between valid Wikimedia expenses and expenses that are
> only indirectly related to me being on the Board.
>
> Angela.

I'd say a speaking engagement is a valid expense if the board
authorized it beforehand (in a vote which recused yourself from), or
if the board authorized someone other than you to make the decision
and that person authorized it beforehand.  There are probably more
liberal standards which could be legally adopted, but those standards
are a good idea to play it safe.

As far as officially sanctioned unpaid speaking engagements go, I'd
think they should probably be rather rare, especially for a board
member that is resigning in a short while.  In my opinion the
conference attendees should generally be the ones paying for your
expenses, not Wikimedia.  But I'm neither on the board nor authorized
by the board to make these decisions, so my opinion really doesn't
matter.

Anthony
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Re: board candidacies

Effe iets anders
In reply to this post by Angela-5
This sounds weird. Don't have access to it. :-S. A Board should be
able to oversee the activities of the "company". And of course I
understand that there may be tasks within the board, where is stated
who oversees what, and is responsible for that. But as the committees
give advice to the Board at this moment only, and do formally (as far
as i know) not *make* the decision (the Board still has to accept the
resolution, right?) I would expect that at least some Boardmembers
(those who are responsible for that area) have access to those wiki's.
Is there maybe some list of responsibilities of the boardmembers, on
what basis it may appear more logical that some boardmembers (hearing
the sound of her writing, angela appears not to have access to some?)
do or don't have access to certain sources of information, relevant to
their functioning as boardmember? Is there further a list of private
channels and wiki's available with globally the access? (for example
certain Board members and committeemembers) I can understand of course
that certain conversations and/or information should be out-of-public,
but I wonder if the information that there is certain non-public
information should be classified as well.

Greetings, Lodewijk Gelauff

2006/8/12, Angela <[hidden email]>:

> On 8/12/06, Jack <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > > But in the mean time, I don't think it's at all unusual for a
> > > candidate to publish his or her discussion page on a particular
> > > project.  Checking meta all the time is just ridiculous.
> > > -- Anthony
> >
> > Don't board members work mostly on meta? (with side orders of
> > wikimediafoundation.org and projects?)
>
> No, some Board members don't work on those wikis at all, but only on a
> number of private wikis (one Board wiki and various committee wikis
> which not all Board members even have access to).
>
> Angela.
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Re: board candidacies

Amgine
In reply to this post by Walter Vermeir-2

On 12-Aug-06, at 6:24 AM, Walter Vermeir wrote:

> Walter Vermeir schreef:
>>
>> That problem can be fixt directly more or less. MediaWiki supports  
>> the
>> function that you get an email when;
>>
>> [ ] E-mail me when a page I'm watching is changed
>> [ ] E-mail me when my user talk page is changed
>> [ ] E-mail me also for minor edits of pages
>>
>> That is only a matter of switching that function for meta. The you  
>> can
>> select that in you user option.
>
> Because it seems not to totally clear to some a clarification;
>
> The option to receive those email notifications is not active on Meta.
> But it is on some wikis like the Wikimania2006 wiki.
>
> Actually I think it would be useful if it is active on all wikis or at
> least the smaller wikis. A possible result would be a (drastic)  
> increase
> of the outgoing emails from wikimedia to its users. That can be a  
> reason
> for not activating it globally.

Thanks for the suggestion Walter! I've asked Brion if it would be  
okay to turn that on for Meta, and I believe it's happening right now.

Amgine
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