>From: David Gerard [mailto:email@example.com]
>Sent: Wednesday, January 31, 2007 03:46 AM
>To: 'English Wikipedia', 'Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List'
>Subject: [WikiEN-l] We really need to avoid the next Microsoft-Wikipedia bad publicity storm
>I got a call yesterday from a press officer for a major UK bank. My
>number was one of the few contact numbers they could find.
>They spent lots of time yesterday morning adding stuff to the bank's
>article from their websites and having it reverted as a copyright
>violation. They couldn't work out what she was doing wrong, so they
>called me. They hadn't heard about the Microsoft mess at all. Oh dear.
>I explained that editing the article about yourself is a conflict of
>interest, and pointed them at the talk page and said this was the
>right place to put stuff - that they should introduce themselves, etc.
>And that people might argue, but that happens on the Internet. I also
>said I'd have a look myself.
>Well, that's one more innocent disaster averted ...
>But we really need something to handle this sort of thing and make it
>widely known. Something as n00b-friendly as possible - just type on a
>page (or in a form) or send an email.
>Which will mean another firehose of crap to find volunteers to deal
>with. This is the tricky bit. Compare to OTRS, which has the twin
>problems of (1) a firehose of crap with a few important things in it
>and (2) too few volunteers, who then get (understandably) tetchy and
>close to burnout, and not great success at recruiting more.
>0. I submit that we really do need this.
>1. Most n00b-friendly interface possible. This is not a big problem.
>2. How to get volunteers interested in wanting to look at this? This
>is the tricky one.
>(I'm tempted to submit this to Ask Slashdot for ideas ... any objections?)
>Another bad publicity storm such as happened last week to Microsoft is
>absolutely not in Wikipedia or Wikimedia's interests. We don't want to
>make organisations fearful of coming near us.
We need to add a notice to the software either above (preferable) or below the edit box about conflict of interest. The Arbitration Committee is also devoting too much retail attention to this wholesale problem.
> That may not be true in 10 or 20 years, but for now, we should embrace
> Fair Use and use it. Fairly, legally, and stomping on those who would
> attempt to abuse Fair Use in our project, but we should embrace it
> -george william herbert
I beg you all, please consider that a considerable part of the contributors to Wikimedia projects (and possibly a considerable part of people willing to reuse commercially its contents) cannot embrace fair use, simply because fair use does not exist in their legislation.
And once again, if the point is to stick to the GFDL, fair use contents is not compliant.
If the ponit is "articles look better with... whatever", some go for fair use, some others go for NC images. And even if I don't want neither, I have to say that fair use is something decided by the user (possibly wrongly), NC is something decided by the author (thus safer from the point of view of a legal action).
Passa a Infostrada. ADSL e Telefono senza limiti e senza canone Telecom
> Teun Spaans wrote:
> Does this imply that an Italian chapter could be sued for fair use images on
> the english wiki?
No, because the italian chapter has nothing to do with the contents of any project of wikimedia.
> Does this mean that the english wiki could potentially be blocked in Italy
> if "fair use" images are of italian origin?
Not sure, but I doubt it. I don't think SIAE (the Italian Society of Authors and Editors) can ask money to someone outside the national boundaries.
Passa a Infostrada. ADSL e Telefono senza limiti e senza canone Telecom
Enwiki users are now trying to change policy so users with non-Latin
usernames that don't provide transliterations in their signatures when
they're told to can be blocked. Currently, the policy requests that users
consider providing a transliteration, but does not require it. This came as
a result of massive amounts of discussion that ended up in this change from
blocking all non-Latin usernames. Now enwiki contributors are trying to move
back towards blocking good faith contributors with non-Latin usernames,
which will very likely create problems once Single User Login comes into
effect. Will we block people who are honestly trying to improve the
encyclopedia just because they haven't changed their signature to a Latin
I just got an email telling me that access to uz.wikipedia.org (the
Uzbek WP) is blocked from within Uzbekistan. It's *only* uz.wp which
is blocked (en.wp; fr.wp; etc are fine), and it's been like this for
about two months.
I am not sure if anyone anywhere actually does anything about this
sort of thing, but if so they can now consider themselves informed!
(Maybe we ought to have a map, of places where we've been blocked and
to what level... be interesting to see)
- Andrew Gray
Gil, Angela and I are excited to announce that KJ will be spending 50%
of her work time at Wikia over the next 6 months as a dedicated
volunteer for Wikimania 2007. KJ will be one of the main organizers of
Wikimania 2007 and is responsible for Wikimania sponsorship. KJ is
responsible for preparing sponsor proposals and will be spending time
visiting the sponsors to discuss their proposals.
Part of my goal with Wikia is to build a commercial enterprise that
could contribute back to the foundation and I'm excited to see that
starting to happen.
During my work in ChapCom, I've noticed we have developed a number of
terms with well-established meanings that are very similar to one
another. I believe this can be quite confusing, so I've started:
Hope you find it useful and add new items to the list.
Please note that it is currently somewhat loaded with chapter-related
terms. This is just because, well... That's what I do. :) It should
become less chapter-centric with time.
Comments welcome, of course.
If you know your way around meta (I don't :P) and like the glossary
idea, please add links to it so that others can find it.
Łukasz 'TOR' Garczewski
>From: Florence Devouard [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
>Sent: Sunday, January 28, 2007 07:41 AM
>Subject: [Foundation-l] [Announcement] Welcome to the advisory group
>As decided last august, we set up an advisory group according to
>You'll find the entire list here:
> Angela Beesley (eh !)
> Ward Cunningham
> Heather Ford
> Melissa Hagemann
> Danny Hillis
> Mitch Kapor
> Joris Komen
> Rebecca MacKinnon
> Wayne Mackintosh
> Benjamin Mako Hill
> Erin McKean
> Trevor Nielson
> Achal Prabhala
> Jay Rosen
> Clay Shirky
> Peter Suber
> Raoul Weiler
> Ethan Zuckerman
>who have agreed to give a bit of their time and expertise, to help us
>navigate in the difficult waters of collaborative software, free
>licensing, free speech, education for all, governance, sustainability
>We really appreciate.
>How did we chose these people ? Either because they were already
>frequently in touch with us, or because we thought their experience
>could help. "We" is both the board and the community, as the board also
>contacted some of the people whose names showed up when I asked help on
>Is that list closed ? Of course not. Please feel free to discuss further
>additions that could be necessary in the future.
I had suggested Stephen Gaskin in correspondence with Jimbo, but while I did receive a favorable reply from Stephen, no response from Jimbo.
The two main differences between COO and CEO are that
* the COO is essentially only in charge of the administrative tasks,
whilst the CEO is in charge of the entire organisation (also Technical,
Legal, Communication etc...)
* the COO is acting at the operational level whilst the CEO is more at
the strategic level
The COO, the CTO (Chief Technical Officer), the General Counsel etc...
are all directly reporting to the CEO, who is their boss.
Let me take a couple of examples to be very practical and make the
This is what should happen ideally (this is not what is the current
situation at all).
The board has essentially 3 roles
* first, it decides what the mission of the Foundation is. Should the
Foundation help the production of free content, or support raped women,
or kids with aids, is the board decision.
* second, it maintains what the mission of the Foundation is. Once a
mission is chosen, that's the role of the board to ensure the activity
of the Foundation is indeed going in that direction and not in another.
To help this, the Board can in particular choose an ED (or CEO), to whom
it will give the general guidelines to respect, as well as the general
strategy to follow to achieve the mission.
* last, it is also the Board duty to see that the resources (financial,
personnel etc...) are used only for the mission stated in the bylaws,
and not to other means. For example, it should check if funds are
sufficient, if the funds are used for the goals, if the funds are not
misused or wasted...
The board should regularly meet to review the various documents provided
by the staff/volunteers (be it a summary of communication activity,
audited financial statements, report of last fundraising consequences
(amount raised, PR crisis etc...), improvement brought to the software,
budget, clarified need from the community for a new project etc...
The board should, according to these documents, take decisions such as
* approving the budget (and consequently agreeing to hire a CTO,
agreeing to spend 50% of revenue to buy hardware, or deciding to cut
funds to Wikimania etc...)
* hiring an ED search firm to find a new ED
* ask the ED to diversify the sources of revenu and aim at having 20% of
next year revenue from brand marketing, and 5% from DVD sales
* give general guidelines for employement to the ED, such as 1) no
discrimination, 2) hiring personnel in the entire world rather than USA
only, 3) always seek to propose a job to the community before outsider,
4) make sure that all employees have decent health coverage, 5) ethical
employement (no slave children)
To take these decisions, the board needs all relevant information to
make sure it takes informed decisions. It is the role of the chair to
make sure the board meets when is needed and gets the relevant
information from all parties. It is also the role of the chair to make
sure the instructions of the board are understood by the CEO.
Once the CEO has these decisions/guidelines in hand, it is up to him to
make all that miracouslously happen, with the (sometimes limited)
resources he had. He has a general strategy in hand, that's up to him to
insure this happens. That's a hell of a job. That's why he is paid by
Let's pick up the decisions taken above.
He needs to hire a CTO. He can consult with the tech team. He can
contact a search firm, or look around. Ask advice. Meet candidates,
evaluate them. Discuss the hiring conditions.
When there is an agreeement, he hands out the candidate to the COO.
The COO will make it so that everything is done so that the CTO is hired
(sign the confidential agreement if needed, set him on the payroll,
register him to health benefit system, pay the bill so that the CTO has
a computer on his desk etc...).
Another example. The CEO was asked to diversify revenu resources, as in
20% from brand marketing. The first thing he needs to take care of is
that the brands are actually brands ! He goes ask the GC if the brands
are in all clean order; if not, the GC has to finish registration, fight
for stolen marks etc... asap, and report to the CEO ("all clear boss
!"). In the process of registrering the mark, the GC will have some
bills sent to the Foundation. That's the role of the COO to make sure
the bills are actually paid properly. To track all expenses. To have the
record-keeping in full order, to the satisfaction of the auditors.
Meanwhile, the job of the CEO will be to figure out how it can get a
revenue from the marks. Which marks. Which countries. On which products.
He may contact a firm monetizing the marks. Will negociate with them
putting a nice Wikipedia logo on a microwave (could get fired later on
for that), or can ask to put them on OLPC laptops. May toy with the idea
of getting money from Britannica in exchange of putting the logo on DVD
of Wikipedia they would sell. Goes back and forth with the GC and the
company lawyers to get juicy contracts for brand marketing. Launch the
Will start seeeing money flow in.
COO will make him a report of how much money got in and how much got out
to secure that deal. After one quarter, CEO will provide a report to the
board indicating things are nicely proceeding.
Boss (board) said for general guidelines for employement to the ED, 1)
no discrimination, 2) hiring personnel in the entire world rather than
USA only, 3) always seek to propose a job to the community before
outsider, 4) make sure that all employees have decent health coverage,
5) ethical employement (no slave children)
CEO will realise that he can not hire easily people out from the USA. He
will consequently go talk to GC about how feasible it is to do that.
Then to other known lawyers. He will conclude he needs counsel from an
international lawyer to understand better. With the help of the
international lawyer and a local lawyer, he will laid down the rules to
follow to hire the latest hit developer in Saudia Arabia. But will
conclude that hiring the PR specialist in China is really really too
much of a hassle. He plans reporting to the board about that.
Meanwhile, he will have asked the COO to contact the various health
benefit providers in the USA, ask them what the coverage is. The CEO
will later decide which health provider to retain based on the
information given by the COO.
Once the provider is decided, the COO is in charge of making sure that
all USA employees have health benefits. Setting up the contract with the
provider, having the documents ready for the employees, asking employees
to fill them in, setting up the care coverage etc... is the job of the
COO. He can of course ask other employees (assistants) to help him.
That's simply his business to make that happen.
After a while, the COO will provide a report to the CEO, saying "all
The CEO will then report to the board at next board meeting that 1) it
is now possible to hire in countries A, B and C and 2) all US employees
have health benefits.
I hope you guess the general idea.
Generally, the board give the general strategy.
The CEO must act creatively to develop a strategy to respect the global
strategy given by the board. In doing so, he will create many policies,
The COO will make all that happen at the operational level.
All steps are necessary. All roles are mandatory. If the board is
unsufficient, the global strategy is not done, the CEO can either take
over the role or spend his day at the pool. If the CEO is unsufficient,
the Saoudia Arabia guy is never hired. If the COO is unsufficient, the
employees are not paid.
If any of these steps get too much work to do, things are not working
Last point. The difference between CEO and ED is subtle. The ED is more
introvert. The CEO is more turned toward outside. You may understand it
better if I say the CEO is the one making the introductory speech at
Wikimania... not the ED.
Does that answer your question ?
I put this on foundation-l as I think it might be helpful to others.
PS: in early 2006, the board was playing the role of Chair, of ED, and
even of COO. The board has finally succeeded not to take care of COO
issues any more. One more step to take not to do CEO job either.
*, Michael Bimmler wrote:
>first, welcome to Carolyn Doran.
>One question though:
>The new position of COO now having been created, what will its effect
>on the job profile of the ED be? I.e. what will be the ED's tasks,
>there being now separate roles for General Counsel and COO?
>---------- Forwarded message ----------
>From: Anthere <Anthere9(a)yahoo.com>
>Date: Jan 27, 2007 2:08 PM
>Subject: [Foundation-l] [Announcement] Welcome to Carolyn Doran
>The Foundation is pleased to announce the full hiring of Carolyn Doran
>to the current team in St Petersbourg office.
>Carolyn is not new ! She has been our part time accountant in the past
>few months, but was working through an interim agency.
>Carolyn is now a full time employee, and has seen her role evolve toward
>new responsabilities. She now holds the role of the COO - please see job
>description below. In short, the chief operations officer (COO) is
>responsible for the overall administration and business operations.
>Areas of responsibility include administration, personnel and fiscal
>management. For now, she will be the person in charge of Barbara and
>Danny (for his administrative role), and in the future, any new employee
>working in the administrative area. The WMF board looks forward working
>with her in this new capacity :-)
>This position will be re-evaluated upon hiring our future permanent
>Executive Director. I take the opportunity to mention we are moving
>nicely in the direction of finding our new ED, with the recent decision
>to hire a search firm to help us find the best candidate.
>Carolyn may be found on irc under the pseudonym Carolyn. Please say
>hello if you run into her online :-)
>Chair of Wikimedia Foundation
>The board agreed upon the following job description.
>I. Position summary
>The chief operations officer (COO) is responsible for the overall
>administration and business operations.
>Areas of responsibility include administration, personnel and fiscal
>This is a full-time position, hired by and directly accountable to the
>or to the board of directors through its elected board chair in absence
>of an Executive Director.
>1. Management and administration
>a. Develop and administer operational administrative policies.
>b. Provide information for evaluation of the organization's activities.
>a. Ensure effective audit trails.
>b. Approve expenditures.
>c. Provide for proper fiscal record-keeping and reporting.
>d. Submit monthly financial statements to the board of directors.
>a. Administer board-approved personnel polices.
>b. Provide for adequate supervision and evaluation of staff with
>V. Board relations
>a. Assist the board chair in planning the agenda and materials for board
>b. Initiate and assist in developing policy recommendations and in
>VI. Public relations
>a. Ensure appropriate representation of WMF by all employees.
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