"If you contribute to the Wikimedia projects, you are publishing every
word you post publicly."
"Wenn Sie zu den Wikimedia-Projekten beitragen, veröffentlichen Sie
jedes Wort, das sie abschicken, öffentlich."
and inspires me to loose a few words on how policy writing should be
handled in a multilingual project:
* Decide on the core principles of the policy - the essential rules
* Create a nice, elaborate page in english which you place on the
Foundation wiki as the official policy
* Ask the community to create inofficial translations based on the
essential rules - they may want to phrase a few things differently, some
things may need longer or shorter explanations depending on culture,
country or project. They may translate the english version word by word
but are free to formulate the essential rules in their own words if they
* Each translation should have a note on top that in doubt the english
version is the valid one.
http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Datenschutz tries to say the same
as the english one but in own words. Some paragraphs and sentences which
are not part of the core rules were shortened for the sake of clarity
If you disagree with this you may want to find community members who
will create a literal translation. My feel for language and style
doesn't allow me to do so.
Dear Wikipedians in fundation,
We now in Chinese Wikipedia have some trademark issues that needs your help.
We have found an Chinese had registered "Wiki" and "維基" (in literly it
also means "Wiki" in Chinese) as his trademarks at 2005/11/23 in mainland
China. Since we now have WP and WN, there might be some trademark issues in
mainland China. Do you have any advice or suggestions that we can do?
___________________________________________________ 最新版 Yahoo!奇摩即時通訊 7.0，免費網路電話任你打！ http://messenger.yahoo.com.tw/
the 1st sunrise period for .eu domain registration is going
to begin soon - 7 December 2005
only domain names which are registred EU community/national
trademarks will be registered.
I'm not sure about the status of Wikimedia trademarks, but
guess at least Wikipedia a Wikimedia are suitable. IMO
"we" should apply at least for wikipedia.eu and wikimedia.eu.
Because of trademark issues and eu regulations concernig
who can apply for .eu, I'm affraid it will be a bit
complicated. I hope someone from the foundation can take care
(If the process is allready going, sorry :-)
Jan Kulveit ([[USEr:Wikimol]])
The Native Cherokee Language Translation Project has posted its first
series of XML dumps against enwiki 05-18-2006 at
Please feel free to download and review. The translation is readable,
but requires conjugation and verb stem analysis reconstruction
to remove the remaining English words. Translation runs are performed
every few days and the translations are posted in Sequoyah Syllabary
and text phonetics. MediaWiki Messages.php files have been reviewed
line by line by our linguists. The Machine translation is a work in
How? Previous public Wikimedia meetings have led nowhere and done nothing
other than highlight how few people in the communities are interested in
_doing_ anything - as opposed to debating on mailing lists.
Nice idea... how about you suggest how that might happen? There are
currently two community representatives on the Board, though it's
increasingly obvious that the community are not using either Anthere or
myself to get anything to happen. Anything that does happen comes through
private mailing lists and an increasing number of internal processes that
even Board members don't always have access to.
One of the hardest things is to identify the needs of "system Foundation",
talk about these needs, and read criticism from people belonging to "system
Wikipedia", who have no beginning of an idea of
where the need comes from, why it is critical... but who considers they have
a say nevertheless.
I am still amazed at how quickly Wikimedia transforms, politically speaking.
Less than two years ago Angela and Anthere were voted into the first
Wikimedia board. They had to invent their own role, as people had forgotten
to discuss the mission of the board and decision making procedures in any
detail. I repeat this remark that I made earlier, because I think it is
important to not make this same mistake again when a CEO is hired or voted
for (not that I favour a CEO per se).
In the beginning both Angela and Anthere opposed vocal members of the
community who urged the board to take a stand in matters that were hardly or
not at all discussed on the mailing lists. Kudoos for that.
Later we got closed wikis and private board chats as a side affair. Recent
statements like the ones quoted above give the impression that both board
members find the Wikimedia community has become a pain in the neck at times,
better to be ignored, or kept in the dark. Fortunately they make these
remarks still in the open, so there is hope :)
I still believe in both Angela's and Anthere's good intentions, they did and
do generally a tremendous job, to be sure, and therefore I really think it
is the burden on their shoulders that has become too large. May I suggest a
wikibreak? After all Jimbo has returned to this mailing list after relative
absence for several months. He can step in for a while I would hope.
I agree the board is understaffed. Or rather they have too many self chosen
obligations. An attempt to introduce checks and balances in the form of a
wikicouncil (initiative by the board!) died a quick death, maybe partly
because it was hardly advertised, or maybe because it was launched too soon.
So now we have a self appointed government without a parliament to guide and
control them. http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikicouncil Self appointed
because the original purpose of the board was to serve for external
representation, as a compromise towards an outer world that stil used the
outdated paradigm of official representatives, see
Let us assume a larger board would be the way to go. Anthere expressed her
wish to have one board member from each committee. As far as I know most or
all members on these committees were appointed by the board, without public
vote or even much prior public discussion. I'd rather be called critical
than cynical, so I'll resist the temptation to extrapolate where this
'representational model' might lead us in a year from now.
On 27/05/06, Angela <beesley(a)gmail.com> wrote:
> How? Previous public Wikimedia meetings have led nowhere and done
> nothing other than highlight how few people in the communities are
> interested in _doing_ anything - as opposed to debating on mailing
I apologise if i came across preachy or whiney or anything and i
appreciate being on the board can't be easy what with constant howls
of cabals and whatnot by the tinfoil hat brigade. What i am perhaps
getting at here is asking if anyone knows/cares if the majority of
wikimedians agree (or even know about) the current direction being
taken by the foundation. That is making the foundation more than a
body who provides servers, bandwidth, developer support, and deals
with legal issues arising from writing the world's biggest and best
encyclopedia, dictionary, source of free books, news, and open content
repository (did i miss any?).
Tim Starling has said before (and i apologise if i am misquoting him)
that we basicly got lucky with the idea of a wiki encylopedia and that
we should really just stick to what we are good at. I have always
disagreed with this point of view but lately have been coming around
to it, because you know what what, the results of what the average
wikimedian does have been hugely successful but other things we've
tried or talked about trying just don't seem to live up to its
success. I just don't think it is our role to deal with the problems
of Africa and any of the other projects envisioned.
That is not to say that all the amazing idealism and good intentions
constantly shown are a bad thing TM. I am just throwing this out there
as an idea but perhaps we should have to separate but linked
organisations. One non-profit organisation whose only charge is to own
and buy servers/bandwidth, support devs and to provide the legal
backing for wikimedia this would be as small and lean as possible
(though would presumably hire at least one lawyer and accountant). The
other would be a more traditional charity and would be charged with
overseeing and sponsoring wikimania, getting grants for special
projects and trying to get wikipedia on to mobile phones and all the
other cool stuff people want to do. People would be able to choose to
which of the organisations they would like to donate. Perhaps two
organisations is too radical but perhaps some kind of internal
breakdown of the foundation into core functions and non-core
functions. I dunno. I'm just throwing this out there as an idea to
start a conversation because I appreciate that although the foundation
has worked hard to try to be inclusive, there are a large number of
people (or at least i get the feeling that there are anyway) who feel
like the foundation is going in a direction contrary to where they
would like it to go.
Then again maybe i'm misinterpreting the wikimedian community (i only
subsist in a very small bit of it) and everyone is quite happy with
what the foundation is doing and where it is heading. I dunno.
paz y amor,
> Nice idea... how about you suggest how that might happen? There are
> currently two community representatives on the Board, though it's
> increasingly obvious that the community are not using either Anthere
> or myself to get anything to happen. Anything that does happen comes
> through private mailing lists and an increasing number of internal
> processes that even Board members don't always have access to.
DO NOT SEND ME WORD ATTACHMENTS - I *WILL* BITE!
Hit me: <http://robin.shannon.id.au> [broken]
Jab me: <robin.shannon(a)jabber.org.au>
Upgrade to kubuntu linux: <http://releases.ubuntu.com/kubuntu/breezy/>
Faith is under the left nipple. -- Martin Luther
I'd like to create a separate wiki for these "test Wikipedia" pages so we can
keep Meta clean more easily. If there's no objection I'll set this up later
today and start moving things over.
-- brion vibber (brion @ pobox.com)
"...But, IMO, we should seriously consider a better place for the Wikimedia
main office before hiring lots of people. St Pete is fine as a tourist
destination and maybe even as a satellite office of the foundation given
that two board members and Danny live there, but the host city of the main
office of an international organization? Sorry, but no.
Washington D.C. or NYC are places where almost every nation of world sends
their ambassadors and where a multitude of other international
organizations, which we really should be working closely with, are based.
Talent pool is another consideration; many more people with the relevant
experience we need already live in those cities."
As on several earlier occasions I disagree with Mav on how Wikimedia money
would be best spent. Washington D.C. or NYC are very expensive cities.
Besides, those are cities with heavily political connotations. Of course
there is no such thing as a political neutral location. Maybe St Petersburg
USA comes close, not sure ;)
We might show the world that we still do things differently, not per se, but
when there is a good reason for it. We might do something substantial for
the underdeveloped world by placing our head office in e.g. Africa or India.
Wikimedia involvement in many underdeveloped countries is still largely
lagging behind. We might reach out and make a powerful gesture of good faith
in the potential of those parts of the world.
To name just one example: Nairobi would be a capable host city. Even the UN
has a head office there. Running an office in Africa or India would be much
cheaper. In a web-connected world travel times and costs are no longer very
strong arguments against this.
Accountability is created by the tension that exists between groups that
watch each other. Having a set of committees reporting to a single board is
simply a pyramid.
A director (CEO, whatever you wish to call the position) and their team is
one locus of control. A board is another. The board's task is to offer
guidance, select individuals to perform specific tasks, remove
non-performers from office and so on. But the actual running of the
organisation is left to the director and team.
Reconstituting Anthere's list of committees into a set of line functions
overseen by a director would look as follows:
* Finance and internal audit - task is to ensure bookkeeping, and audit, as
well as assist auditors appointed by board; insurance can be pasted in here
* Chapters - I'm assuming this has some oversight of the projects?
* Communications and Public Relations - press releases, events, promotions,
as well as watching media for outside coverage, etc.
* Information technology and technical development - server maintenance and
* Special projects - should this simply be part of an enlarged Chapters
* Legal - specialist required in international law, trademarks, etc.
* Fundraising - works closely with communications and PR
* HR and admin - if you are going to have an office, you need to ensure it
gets cleaned, stocked with coffee / tea, salaries paid on time, contracts
drawn up ... that sort of thing
* Director / CEO - the boss, and reports directly to the board
These are all simply technical roles - there is no assumption that they
would be a single person, or a group, simply tasks that may need to be
performed. The board gets standardised feedback and has the right to
intervene to fire the director or any of the other role-players. The board
does not run the operation, it simply has oversight and ultimate control.
The director knows that they report to the board.
Board's normally do not require a massive time commitment and so they can be
stocked with celebrities who are able to open doors (and consequently make
the fundraising task a lot easier).
Typically, any organisation has the following core requirements:
* financial control
* strategic planning
* operational support (includes: IT, legal, HR and so on)
You could, depending on the work-load, bundle many of these tasks together:
* finance, internal audit, admin, hr
* IT, technical development
* chapters, special projects
* communications, PR, fundraising
So then you need six people in your head office. Your board could be as
large as you like (remembering that the bigger your board, the harder it is
to get everyone to get together at the same time, or agree on anything).
The overall strategy - it goes without saying - can be the responsibility of
the board. Implementation belongs to the director.
"Generally, I believe the projects will not accept *anyone* as head of a
project, with absolute power. The projects organise themselves
independently of the Foundation, only respecting the general goal of
the project and a couple of core rules (licence, wikilove and neutrality
I don't suggest anything like absolute power (editorial control, that sort
of thing) but it is useful to have a person in charge who keeps track of
what is going on. They act as champion for the project. If you really want
to create a Chinese wall between the Foundation and its projects then you
have to have someone at any particular project that the Foundation can talk
to. Someone has to guarantee the core rules will be applied.
It's no good simply cutting a perfectly good project loose when it crosses
the line. Someone, tasked with championing the project, should have the job
of keeping the project inside those lines ... as gently as possible. Only
when they completely loose the ability to control those guidelines should a
project be cut.
> "Who actually would go to this main office, and what would they do there?"
Good question. I suppose there are administrative tasks that will grow as
the organisation gets bigger (like sending more and more donators a Xmas
card, oops bad example ;)
> "Cost of rent is nothing compared to the synergies that would develop my
> where all the action is."
Well one major task that might benefit from close contact would be
organising a printed Wikipedia for every school in Africa, if it will ever
happen. (I can't believe the $100 notebook project is a panacea). I hope and
suppose printing would be done somewhere on that continent as well, so this
puts a different light on Mavs 'where all the action is'.
Mav what kind of (financial?) action are you referring too anyway? Stock
exchange, investment banks? Guess not, forgive my irony. What kind of major
deals would you (?) strike then in NY and not anywhere else?
Wikimedia made a difference because it dared to do things in a novel way,
not copying the ways of the old establishment.
Jimmy is travelling all over the world all the time. I guess his work is not
very dependant on where a main office resides, of course he can answer that
Presence of Mav or his successor (not sure which time frame we are talking)
in New York or D.C. might be beneficial, although I don't see yet how. I
would think a main office is less for policy makers and deal strikers, but
rather for dealing with administrative chores.
In the old ways a main office was also very much needed for representational
needs. Big hallway, etc. I'm sure everyone agrees we don't need that. People
know how to find us, they're willing to come to Frankfurt to meet us, so why
not to Bangalore, San Jose or any place else?
> "We also need to take into account laws that might be relevant to our
> This is esp. true, unfortunately, in developing countries.
> There may also be critical variations across US states."
This would indeed be a complicating factor, if the web server would fall
under the jurisdiction of the country that hosts the main office. Not sure
if that would necessarily be the case. Maybe depends on which country we