>Jimbo,>I accept the appointment as Chief Research Officer, and thank you for >your trust, and for this recognition. Given Anthere's posting here on >positions that were appointed by you before the Board was created:>http://mail.wikimedia.org/pipermail/foundation-l/2005-April/002998.html>.. I would briefly like to ask the rest of the Board to comment on >whether they consider these new official positions to be fully valid, >i.e. "official" official positions that will be listed on the Foundation >website etc. It is my understanding that this appointment reflects an >internal agreement of the Board, but it would be nice to have a >confirmation of that belief.
Yes, the appointments reflect an internal agreement of the board.
However, since it was highly official decision, we considered it appropriate that Jimbo announced it,
which is his role as the president of Wikimedia Foundation.
As previously indicated, the board does not take decisions by vote, but by consensus.
This means all positions given received opinions between strong support to neutral opinion.
They will be officially listed on the Foundation website. Titles may be used for any communication, such as in email signature or business cards.
A year ago, as a candidate to the board, I made this proposal of official positions to be set up.
I am glad that these aquire more reality today.
As you mention it, titles are nice. But this in itself is not enough to warantee the creation of them :-)
Titles help making contact outside, as they allow a person to be recognised as one trusted.
However, titles can only be given to a limited number of people, while dozen are interested by working with the "outside".
One thing I hope is that the officers we name try to gather around them more people to create a team,
and that all members of a team will be recognised as such.
For example, I hope that the press department is able on time to gather a team of local press contact in every part of the world.
I also hope that the legal department is able to gather members from many countries, so that we can benefit of a coverage of legal issues by the most informed people.
I could foresee that the grant department is proposing some large divisions, such as the Asian team, the European team and so on.
What I expect from officers is not to keep proudly their title, but to try to organise and foster cooperation, between projects, between languages, thanks to the participation of a whole team.
This won't happen in 3 months. It will build over time. Let's avoid hurrying, but plant the seeds so that it happens.
One point I want to make clear is that we do not want to introduce an element of authority here.
Officers are free to resign any time for whatever reason they consider important (or to refuse nomination...)
They are free to try to do their best. They have no special authority on any of the volunteers work.
I think they should have no special authority on Wikimedia employees either, aside from making recommandations to the board or to Jimbo
(this point is my opinion, and need input from Jimbo and Angela).
Similarly, I think employees should feel free to object an order given by an officer (this point is my opinion, and need input from Jimbo and Angela).
And volunteers most definitly stay free to participate to any of these issues concerned by an official title, whether within the official team or not.
Officers should be good stewards of their title and position.
It would be best that they are careful not to overstep. For example sending a press release which is not approved by the community is not okay.
Agreeing to a partnership without any previous discussion is not okay. But I believe officers are reasonable people and will avoid such traps which might result in an uproar :-)
Another point to clarify. For most parts, the positions given reflect the reality of what is currently happening.
For example, Danny has been leading most of the past year efforts toward grants.
So, an official position is not going to change much, except for helping him to contact external people with more authority,
and being an incentive to him to feel free to take the leadership on this topic.
As an example, in hope it would foster ideas and directions of development, I organised a meetup on grants a few months ago.
I believe Danny could be the organiser of such meetups.
Another example is the legal department. A lot of it was fostered by Aurevilly. In hope to get it move forward, I suggested the creation
of the juriwiki-l, which is meant to gather legal people to hack arising legal issues.
Soufron, also a member of Wikimedia France, is currently its moderator and very involved in many matters.
We believe he might be interested in trying to develop the legal department.
I think officers will help organise all Foundation issues.
This said, we are aware there are some potential drawbacks, such as editors not feeling empowered any more to do things themselves,
if there is an official person doing it. I really hope this does NOT happen in the future.
With probably the exception of finances (which is a bit different since it requires access to banking information in particular),
anyone not only should, but must feel free to do things like writing a press release, sending it, giving interview, looking for a grant,
trying to set up a partnership, send a copyright violation letter and so on.
But... what we want to make clear is this : we are now within the 50 top websites in the world (possibly english website top, but anyway, we are big).
This implies a lot of work for the board. An amount of work that board members can not assume alone. The board needs your help.
And amongst the things which could greatly help is trying to canalize information, so that board members are not constantly flooded by information.
This is first extremely tiring, as we spend a lot of time trying to understand issues, then trying to fix it ourselves or find someone to try to fix it.
If this is becoming difficult today, I expect it will be even more difficult in the future.
We believe official positions will first help us delegate some of the issues to a team.
Second, we hope that the teams themselves may over time become the recipiendaries of most of the issues,
themselves make requests to the board when (and only when) it requires the board advice, and generally try to give good overviews/reports to the board so it can make informed decisions.
Concerning the current official positions, we focused on the ones which appeared to us the most urgent ones and the most likely to benefit from contacts with the outside world.
ie, issues which most needed organisation and issues where official titles would best help.
If the nominees are not interested... well, others can candidate, or we can wait a couple of months to get more feedback before giving an official position.
>As for what exactly Chief Research Officer means, I am working on a more >comprehensive proposal for an open (!) Wikimedia Research Team that I >will put on Meta later today, and which includes a definition of this >role. (The Board is familiar with this proposal.) I will state here in >advance that I consider it to be a role that exists *alongside* >development and is in no way intended to interfere with the existing >software development processes.>As Tim correctly notes, it's important that we're not introducing a new >element of authority here, but primarily first points of contact for >certain issues. Beyond that, I think the holders of these official >positions should take a basic *organizational* role in the fields they >are working in, e.g., propose meetings and agendas, though that is >certainly also an open process. I also see it as my role to write >regular reports, and to build bridges between the Board, other >researchers, and the community.>Regarding Sj's earlier
arguments, I believe it *is* important that we >have titles like these. Giving people a title is free, and it's a nice >way to show appreciation, especially when we only have 2 elected members >of the community on the Board. It would not be fair to have these two >titles, "Vice President of Wikimedia" (Anthere) and "Executive Secretary >of Wikimedia" (Angela), while delegating all other users to be mere >members of vague "Special Interest Groups" -- this only creates jealousy >and friction, not to mention that it overloads these two members of the >community. More on this in my Research Team proposal.
But Sj is also right that giving an official title to one person only,
while in reality dozen of people are participating, may foster jealousy as well.
>All that being said, with the exception of Brion and Chad, Wikimedia is >still just a hobby for all of us, including even the trustees. I >therefore hope it goes without saying that any time commitments I can >give to this may change based on real life requirements. However, I >consider this role more important than anything else I've done within >Wikimedia, and will shift most of my activities towards it.
I agree with this.
I also considered my role as board member as more important than my professional activity :-)
Hmmm... I actually considered most of what I ever did for wikipedia
(and to a lesser extent to the other projects in which I have participated less) as more important than my professional activity :-)
And given the level of participation of many of the editors I daily work with, I guess this is true for many others.
However, since we are volunteers, it is an unfortunate fact of life that we have to do things like having a job to be able to pay for the rent, buy clothes for the kids, food...
And it is an unfortunate fact of life that having a job takes time and energy. And implies overloading board.
Officers are also an answer for this.
Officers may not be the perfect solution in a collaborative, volunteer based, hierarchy-light (if not hierarchy-free) project,
but I believe it is a step in the direction of a sustainable organisation.
I hope that all nominees accept their nominations. But if they refuse, that is okay.
If they decide more time should be given, for whatever reason, this is okay to wait and take a decision later.
And of course, I hope I will be able to go on working with them ;-)
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Since several people asked me since this morning on irc, let me shortly
say that :
yes, we had a board meeting a week ago and another one yesterday evening
(and many mails...) to discuss various issues surrounding the elections,
the official positions and a proposal.
A report is under way and should enlighten you very very soon.
Dear Mr Saraswat,
The foundation-l mailing list requires initial subscription to limit spamming. Please register for your mail to go through.
However, I forward this one to the list directly for now.
DrShyam Bihari Saraswat <sbs1(a)rediffmail.com> wrote:
May I kindly bring to younotice that the mail was eent according to advice only . kindly accepy for help at your end
DR SARASWAT SB
On Tue, 24 May 2005 foundation-l-owner(a)wikimedia.org wrote :
>You are not allowed to post to this mailing list, and your message has
>been automatically rejected. If you think that your messages are
>being rejected in error, contact the mailing list owner at
>Subject: HIGHLIGHTING THE ACHIEVEMENT OF E-COMMERCE OF YOUR ORGANIZATION AS A VERY SPECIAL SUCCESS STORY IN MY BOOK
>REFERENCE: Your organization is among the first one to implement e- commerce as per internet reports
> Please find attached my request letter for reply at your end as per advice by wikimedia mail.
>May i assure you that your contribution to e-commerce will bring your achievements to the knowledge of more e-commerce community particularly in devlloping contries like India . This shall be advantageous for further growth of business
> We may remain in touch for further co-operation on issue. I like to refer your articles in my writing for which your cosent may be accorded.
>Looking for your response
>with kind regards
>DR SARASWAT SB
>Note: Forwarded message attached
>-- Orignal Message --
> From: Wikipedia information team <info-en(a)wikimedia.org>
>To: "DrShyam Bihari Saraswat" <sbs1(a)rediffmail.com>
>Subject: [Ticket#: 125437] Request forHIGHLIGHTING THE ACHIEVEMENT OF E- [...]
> > I will be grateful if you kindly could send me success story of
> > implementing e-commerce in your organization in details for including in
> > my proposed publication of the book. There is no fixed format for
> > presenting this success story ,therefore, you may present the document
> > in best possible meaningful and highlighting manner. However, some
> > general points are given for your consideration for inclusion in the
> > success story
>Dear Dr Saraswat,
>Thank you for your mail. It may be best for such a report on our projects to
>be written collaboratively. Would you be happy for your mail to published on
>our community mailing list, and for editors to write the success story of
>Wikipedia on a public wiki before submitting it? If so, you may wish to make
>this post to the Foundation's mailing list at
>Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org
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In a message dated 5/23/2005 8:50:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
It's nice that you indirectly contributed to the press release and
coordinated the honorary mentions, thank you. Thanks also to everyone
else who helped, particularly Raul654 (8.3%), Angela (11.2%), and the
translators. Now, as for the above, I will interpret it as a general
rant and not directed at me. Please do correct me if I'm wrong.
It's a sad day for any collaborative, volunteer project when we begin to
measure other people's work.
First of all, I hope that you can forward it off to wikitech, but it
seems that a malicious user at Wikibooks used their user JS to do
some page move vandalism (see [[b:en:User:Vandel Damon/monobook.js]]
for the JS in question). It's not much of a security loophole as it
is undesirable for the wiki community, seeing that a lot of people
would have to undo a lot of page moves.
If there was some way in the back end to prevent this, it would be
Besides the 100K milestone, the project also received an honorary
mention at this year's Prix Ars Electronica. Please help with the
distribution and translation of the press release at:
The online copy also includes various media examples.
NB: The Commons now has more than half as many files as the English
Wikipedia and more than any other project. Soon it will be the single
largest repository of files in the Wikimedia world.
See http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:First_steps for
information on getting started to use the Commons.
100,000th file uploaded to Wikimedia Commons, a free media repository
Free images, sounds, and videos can be used by anyone for any purpose
St. Petersburg, Florida, United States
May 24, 2005
The Wikimedia Foundation announced today that the 100,000th file had
been uploaded to its online repository of free images, sounds, and
videos, the Wikimedia Commons (http://commons.wikimedia.org/). These
files have been chosen or created by 5,259 registered users from more
than 12 different languages gathered in a single lively community. The
young project received additional encouragement and recognition on
Monday in the form of an honorary mention at the 2005 Prix Ars
The Wikimedia Commons, launched on September 7 2004, is a unique free
and open media archive (including images, sounds, and video), using the
same "wiki" technology that has made Wikipedia, a community-written
encyclopedia, the second most popular reference website on the web
(Hitwise.com report, April 2005). Wikis are websites that anyone can
edit, allowing for rapid growth and constant peer review of all
contributions. All files uploaded to the Wikimedia Commons are available
royalty-free for any purpose. Most files require attribution of the
creator, and some are under copyleft licenses, meaning that derivative
works also have to be made available for free re-use. Both Wikipedia and
the Wikimedia Commons are operated by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation.
The 100,000th file was an illustration drawn by a French Wikipedia user
named Stephane Tsacas. He manages the computer network of the Curie
Institute, a research center on biology and physics in Paris. "I
recently did some searches in the French Wikipedia and discovered some
incomplete information in a few articles in the field I know, computer
science. I then decided to register and do the modifications myself."
The file Stephane Tsacas uploaded is a diagram of the experimental
dataflow computer architecture. It is used in the detailed French
article http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Architecture_Dataflow. As soon as a
file is uploaded to the Wikimedia Commons, it is instantly available for
use on all Wikimedia projects without needing to be uploaded to the
local project. This feature is encouraging the Wikimedia projects to
move towards a multimedia approach rather than the simple text-based
approach they relied on in the past.
"Wikimedia Commons is of critical importance for all the Wikimedia
projects, and beyond that, it is critically important for the entire
free culture movement," said Jimmy Wales, president of the Wikimedia
Foundation. Since the inception of the project in September 2004,
thousands of Wikimedia contributors have joined to make their multimedia
available to the larger community. As such, the Commons is one of the
most diverse collections of files imaginable. It includes many
independent collections of free content:
* 7,733 pronunciation files in various languages, notably Dutch
(5,926), German (499), Farsi (464), and Italian (249). These voice
recordings made by editors of the project are mostly used in Wiktionary,
a wiki-based dictionary and thesaurus.
* Reproductions of 10,000 public domain paintings from ancient to
modern times, donated by Directmedia Publishing, a German publishing
company. This includes the works of artists like Leonardo da Vinci,
Vincent van Gogh, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Hieronymus Bosch, and many
others. See http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:The_Yorck_Project.
* Hundreds of public domain recordings of classical music by
composers like Bach, Brahms, Beethoven, Mozart, and Tchaikovsky. See
* A growing collection of videos of historical speeches, excerpts
from public domain films such as Charlie Chaplin's "The Bond", and
scientific videos such as bacterial broths being deposited into a Petri
dish or the Space Shuttle Columbia going through the sound barrier. See
Besides these collections, it is the work of individuals which defines
the Wikimedia Commons -- like Wikinews user "Belizian", who took photos
during civil unrest in the small Central American nation of Belize in
January 2005 for the Wikinews article on the subject
(http://en.wikinews.org/wiki/Unrest_in_Belize), or Wikibooks author
Robert Engelhardt, who has added photos of various beekeeping tools to
his growing reference work on the topic
(http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Beekeeping). From lovingly drawn subway
maps to print quality photos of insects, from physics diagrams to photos
of exotic locations, the members of the Wikimedia Commons cover
virtually all areas of human interest with great attention to detail.
Like Wikimedia's other projects, the Wikimedia Commons is open for
everyone to edit, to enrich it with new content, to help in the
categorization of existing media, and to remove problematic materials.
Given the proven successes of the wiki model, it may soon become the
largest repository of free media on the web.
For questions and interviews, please contact:
In English only:
Jimmy Wales, Chair, Board of Trustees, Wikimedia Foundation
Email: jwales(a)wikimedia.org (mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org)
Angela Beesley, Executive Secretary, Board of Trustees, Wikimedia Foundation
Email: angela(a)wikimedia.org (mailto:email@example.com)
In English or French:
Florence Devouard, Vice President, Board of Trustees, Wikimedia Foundation:
Email: anthere(a)wikimedia.org (mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org)
Prix Ars Electronica
The Prix Ars Electronica is a yearly prize in the field of electronic
and interactive art, computer animation, digital culture and music. It
has been awarded since 1987 by Ars Electronica (Linz, Austria), one of
the world's major centers for art and technology.
The 2005 honorary mentions can be viewed at:
Is there any way to request to check a user (or... some users) ?
I'm a admin on WP:PT, and would like to know if to check 6 users, I need to
call a vote in the project, or if I can just fill my request here, at the
mailing list. Thanks.
Edit this page @ http://pt.wikipedia.org
Dear Wikimedia Editors,
Please note: this is not a joke.
The 2005 elections for the Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia
Foundation will start soon. Right now, we are still discussing the
technical details of the vote. It is You, Wikimedians, who will choose
two representatives of Wikimedia contributors from around the world.
Members of the Board of Trustees are entrusted with the ultimate
decision making for the Wikimedia Foundation. The board's role is not
On behalf of Wikimedia project community, today we Wikimedia Election
Officials authoritatively and unilaterally announce that we are going
to fire Mr. Jimmy Donal Wales from his presidency at the Board of the
Trustees of Wikimedia Foundation.
According to the discussion of the Election Officials and Board
member, we are therefore voting for three positions, including the
President. Presidency is lifetime, and other two positions are two
years term. In order to vote you must have been with one of the
Wikimedia projects for at least three months, and have at least 400
edits in total on the Wikimedia projects. The candidacy of permanently
banned users and sockpuppet is decided by declension.the Election
The election is run using Approval voting. Each voter will be allowed
to vote for as many of the candidates as they see fit for each
position. The two candidates with the most votes for will be declared
the winners. In the event of a tie, a run off election will be
As of yet, we aren't accepting candidates. Interested candidate may
fill an entry for him - or herself - on Election candidates 2005 or
its subpage(s) starting on Saturday, 0:00 May 28, 2005 (UTC). Next,
they will have three weeks in maximum to present themselves to the
rest of the Wikimedia community. The translation coordinators will
translate the entries to every possible language, and after that, the
voting will start.
Here's the proposed timeline on this year's election:
Candidates accepted and presentation
from Saturday, 0:00 May 28, 2005 (UTC)
to Friday, 24:00 June 17, 2005 (UTC)
from Saturday, 0:00 June 18, 2005 (UTC)
to Friday, 24:00 July 1, 2005 (UTC)
If you speak another language, please do not translate this announcement.
If you would like to oversee the translation of further coming notes,
please list yourself on
Finally, we would like to wish all of the candidates the best of luck
in the election,
hoping P*A* be with you,
Election Officials, Wikimedia Election Committee
Aphaea on Wlly on Wheels!!
email: Aphaia @ gmail (not) com
With the required support, and after the basic pages were prepared on
Meta, I have set up a Serbian edition of Wikinews at:
For this edition I've asked one of the most active proponents of Serbian
Wikinews, User:Dcabrilo, to make the announcement in the Serbian
community instead of doing it myself.
The next editions are likely to be Catalan and Russian.
It would be best to wait a few days before sending
this press release.
More precisely it would be best to wait on the 25th...
because there will be an announcement about
wikicommons on that date. This announcement is not yet
public but will be made public on the 25th.
Aurevilly has already written an announcement for it,
It might be useful to see if both releases could not
be merged in one... I suggest the parties involved in
the commons press release discuss this before any
publishing of this one.
--- Erik Moeller <erik_moeller(a)gmx.de> wrote:
> The press release is almost done at:
> If someone wants to write a background section on
> what wikis are etc.,
> that might be a useful addition. Beyond that, please
> make minor fixes,
> and help to translate it into as many languages as
> possible. We can
> start sending this out on Monday. It doesn't need to
> be done in all
> languages simultaneously; if some need a few more
> days, that's fine.
> As noted in the release, the 100,000th file, by my
> count, is:
> All best,
> Commons-l mailing list
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