last sunday, the general assembly of Wikimedia Germany was held. The
most important results are that we will keep our office (which was
before limited to a period of one year) and that we have a new board
with several new and welcome faces and also with old faces in old an
Chairman: Kurt Jansson
Vice Chairman: Frank Schulenburg
Treasurer: Andre Darmochwal
Secretary: Philipp Birken
Assessors: Elke Wetzig, Tim Bartel, Mathias Schindler, Michail
Jungierek, Sebastian Moleski and Markus Mueller.
On Saturday, we had a day with a lot of workshops, for example the
german OTRS team talked for four hours with our lawyers, Thorsten
Feldmann and Julian Höppner or the workshop "Wikimedia as an
international movement", where we talked with guests from Wikimedia
France, Poland, Switzerland and the Netherlands.
Pictures are for example on
Oh yes, I'm the one in the middle:
it came to my attention that (some? many? i do not know?) english language
wikipedia users have received an "personal" email with content like this:
"There are many reasons why it is very important that YOU vote in this
election. The board is responsible for oversight and direction of the
Wikimedia projects, including fundraising, defining the mission, and
determining foundation-wide policies, so though it does not have direct
input into English Wikipedia day-to-day policy, you still are affected by
what they choose to do."
"Regardless of the election outcome, low turnout from English Wikipedia also
sends the wrong message to the board. English Wikipedia is by far the
largest Wikimedia community, and English Wikipedia has, by far, the largest
readership. While it is very important that other Wikimedia projects be well
supported and understood by the board, the importance of English Wikipedia
should not be understated."
and the text goes on like this for a while.
it came to my attention because i was asked if this was sent by the
wmf-board!? well: NO of course not!
i wonder what IS going on behind this *spamming*: who? why? does anyone have
*edito ergo sum*
DISCLAIMER: This message does not represent an official position of the
Wikimedia Foundation nor of its Board of Trustees.
Today some people came forward to ask how to do mailings for some
other projects. As I said, I'd be glad to do so.
While I would like to generate mailing for all of the projects, the
time available will probably make that impossible, so the projects
with the highest absolute participation in the current and previous
elections will get my first priority.
if anyone would like to do their own mailing for the smaller projects
that I can not reach I would be glad to help some.. but the process is
very manual and tedious.
I have generated lists for itwiki and for nlwiki. Fiwiki, Plwiki,
Nowiki, trwiki, ptwiki should all be no problem.
I understand someone is already working on a mailing for dewiki. If
this information is incorrect I can still do a dewiki mailing,
although I hope someone else is doing it...
I am having trouble generating a list for frwiki, jawiki, and eswiki.
What I am lacking are:
1) Good encouragement letters to send to voters on projects that would
like to participate.
A good letter will be encouraging but neutral towards the candates. I
will not direct people to private recommendation lists, as useful as
they may be... Perhaps in the future the official election pages will
offer space for people to link to private reviews of the people who
It would be useful and honest to include something like "After sending
emails across the English wikipedia, the rate of voting increased
dramatically. I hope this message encourages you to consider voting,
2) Someone from each project who can be the 'apparent' sender of the
emails. On enwiki I have received *many* from people who are confused
by the voting software. Someone will need to answer messages like
The Election Committee regretfully announces that we will have to
remove approximately 220 votes submitted. These votes were cast by
people not entitled to vote. The election rules state that users must
have at least 400 edits by March 1 to be eligible to vote.
The voter lists we sent to Software in the Public Interest (our third
party election partner) initially were wrong. There was a bug in the
edit counting program and the sent list contained every account with
201 or more edits, instead of 400 or more edits. So large numbers of
people were qualified according to the software who shouldn't be. The
bug has been fixed and the list of voters has been amended by the SPI.
Our first (and incorrect) list contains 80,458 accounts as qualified.
The proper number of qualified accounts in the SPI list is now 52,750.
As of the morning of July 4 (UTC), there are 2,773 unique voters and
220 people have voted who are not qualified based upon this identified
In accordance with voting regulations the Election Committee will
strike the approximate 220 votes due to lack of voting eligibility.
The list of struck votes are available at
Election Committee is trying to contact those voters separately by
It is possible that some of those people may have accounts on other
projects where they have more than 400 edits, and they may still be
eligible to vote. We strongly encourage them to vote again with their
other account. For those people who don't have any other accounts
eligible to vote, we hope they reach the criteria in the next
Election, and will be happy to see them participate in the future
Your comments, questions or messages to the Committee would be
appreciated, and can be made at [[m:Talk:Board elections/2007/en]].
Again, we would like to deeply apologize for any inconvenience.
For Wikimedia Board Election Steering Committee
On 7/6/07, Casey Brown <cbrown1023(a)comcast.net> wrote:
> Nice suggestion. Did you by any chance know that these are editable by all
> administrator of Meta-Wiki? You can make your changes to a /test of the main
> site page. There is a listing of these templates for the site front pages
> at: http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Project_portals.
Yes, I'd spotted those, but the suggestion is just to copy the
existing Wikipedia portal, which we already know works well, plus it's
a suggestion to change all of them and I figured this mailing list
(with a discussion ongoing already in a related area) would get more
attention than a Meta backwater :)
On 7/5/07, elisabeth bauer <eflebeth(a)googlemail.com> wrote:
> Just seen in the report:
> "Next, we discussed what do to with the wikipedia.com portal, and
> agreed to the concept of setting up a specific portal, where we could
> explain more about the projects, about the Foundation, welcome
> services etc... all things to be discussed in length as wikipedians
> know perfectly to do."
On a related topic, what would people think of improving the main
portals for the projects other than Wikipedia? The Wikipedia portal
 works very nicely, and I think it would be a simple matter to give
the other projects a similarly elegant and professional look simply by
copying the design and substituting the central logo. The stacks of
books could be substituted to add a little flavour; Wikinews for
example could have little stacks of newspapers instead.
 the one at http://www.wikipedia.org
June has been a difficult month for me. Lot's to do :-) Too much actually.
Amongst the several travels I did, I participated to a working session
organised by Unesco, in Germany. This session was attended by about 25
people, many from open universities, but also with a Microsoft and an
Intel representant, or someone from the Human Genome Project (in public
A first draft of the Declaration was sent to me a few days ago, on which
I just send my comments.
You may find below the Declaration I received. Note that it is a draft
and will probably undergo many many more changes before being somehow
included in a final official statement. Still, I believe it stands as a
relevant document, and even though it does not contain all what we wish
to see, it certainly recognises a great deal of the things which are so
important to us, as wikimedians.
I was very proud to participate to the session, where I met an amazing
set of highly culturally diverse and interesting people. This said, I
still wonder over this "high level group etc...". Seems boasting to me.
But maybe is that a cultural requirement...
Anyway. Being on the board is sometimes about doing pretty boring
things. But I'd say this is one of the events making the boring things
worth it ;-)
Incidently, it also gave me the opportunity to have a beer with Arne, at
the top of a big german castle (I was hosted in the highest room of the
UNESCO High Level Group
on Knowledge Acquisition and Sharing
Kronberg Declaration on the Future of Knowledge Acquisition and Sharing
We, the members of a high level group of experts met on the 22nd and
23rd of June 2007 in Kronberg, Germany under the auspices of UNESCO and
the German Commission for UNESCO, with the generous sponsorship of BASF
to discuss the future of Knowledge Acquisition and Sharing within a
perspective of 25 years:
Knowledge is the key to social and economic development;
Acquisition and sharing of knowledge have been going through dramatic
changes because of rapidly emerging new information and communication
technologies (ICT) and the societal transformations that they generate
and that new approaches are needed to narrow international knowledge
gaps while ensuring cultural and linguistic diversity;
The Internet provides numerous opportunities for young people;
There is a need to continuously harness new technologies and processes
to develop knowledge societies that are people-centred, inclusive and
The continued value of many findings included in the report of the
International Commission on Education for the Twenty-first Century
“Learning: The Treasure Within” (1996);
Referring in particular to the observation contained in the Report that
“the progress of the new information and communication technologies
should give rise to a general deliberation on access to knowledge in the
world of tomorrow”, which has continued to nourish international debate
not the least by the recent meetings of the World Summit on the
Information Society (WSIS);
Having identified the major strategic areas, which should be addressed
to shape the political and structural changes that are needed to improve
knowledge acquisition and sharing including:
* The impact of technology on the evolution of knowledge societies;
* The concept of universal "knowledge norms”;
* The impact of emerging technology on models of learning;
* The future role of classical educational structures including those of
* The role of private sector in knowledge acquisition and sharing;
Anticipating that in the next twenty-five years:
* Knowledge acquisition and sharing, which will increasingly take place
online, will trigger a profound revolution of traditional educational
* Leaders in public and private sectors must embrace change in
organizations and people by providing incentives to create motivation
and to overcome systemic barriers in knowledge acquisition and sharing;
* Learning institutions will have to focus much more on the learner’s
social and emotional skills and to come to a wider, value-based concept
* The importance of acquisition of factual knowledge will decrease
whereas the ability to find one’s way in complex systems and to find,
judge and creatively use relevant information will become crucially
* The importance of the role of teachers as instructors will decrease
while their role as facilitators for learners, role models and
validators/interpreters of knowledge will increase;
* Learners will play an ever more active role in learning, including the
creation of content;
* A mix of social spaces including (a) traditional schools for providing
core values and social competencies and (b) learning communities of
practices to address more specific challenges will remain important.
Classroom-like structures will remain vital as socializing environments
in early childhood and in primary and secondary education; and ICT
enabled learning will become more relevant in post-secondary and higher
* The private sector will play an increasingly important role as an
accelerator of technology development in the area of knowledge
acquisition and sharing and as a partner in standard setting for content
creation, packaging, dissemination and utilization tools;
* Knowledge acquisition and sharing will be increasingly tailor-made,
including the liberalization of certification processes taking
individual needs into consideration by applying ICTs;
Open access to and free flow of content will be of crucial importance
for equitable knowledge acquisition and sharing.
Stress the need to:
c)Develop long-term strategies to efficiently harness the enormous
potential of new communication and information processes and
technologies for developing new approaches to knowledge acquisition and
d)Integrate these strategies into forward looking and sustainable
e)Involve the private sector and user communities from various age
groups and cultural backgrounds in the development of these strategies;
f)Establish efficient public-private partnerships to provide sustained,
long-term real solutions for ICT application in knowledge acquisition
g)Provide opportunity to all people to participate in networked social
learning, which is locally relevant and which values tacit knowledge and
enhances informal learning;
h)Increasingly use ICT to make knowledge acquisition and sharing
available to anybody, not just for the privileged;
k)Develop culturally sensitive content;
l)Develop flexible knowledge norms (e.g. dynamic knowledge/skills profile);
m)Preserve mother-tongue languages while encouraging competencies in one
or more global languages;
o)Develop creative business models to support the sustained creation and
dissemination of high quality content;
p)Adapt educational assessment to the requirements of a globalized
world, taking into account migration and brain-drain issues;
r)Redefine mechanisms and goals of assessment, including the four
pillars of learning “learning to know, learning to do, learning to live
together and learning to be“;
s)Support open access to and free flow of content by the development of
open standards, open data structures, and standardized info-structures;
t)Ensure Long-term and sustained availability of digital content and
interoperability of e-education systems on the global level as crucial
elements of knowledge acquisition and sharing;
Personally, I don't find it an offensive post. I also agree with Gmaxwell
that it was quoted selectively. I certainly won't be voting for Oscar.
I do think that a mass email might not have been the wisest move, however. I
do agree with the sentiments of the email. I also appreciate getting the
email, as the only list I follow is this one. The English Wikipedia does
have a low voter turnout.
Chris - Ta bu shi dayu
The message is no mystery, I posted it in advance on wikien-l.
> Unfortunately many people don't see posts on the lists.
> Oscar, I find it amusing that you've quoted it so selectively and
> imply that the rest of the body reflects your selection. It doesn't of
> course, but that would weaken your argument. It also amuses me that
> there would be any question about who sent it: All, save a few, went
> out with my name on them. And all would have told you who sent them by
> simply looking for the username that sent the message.
> For those who care to see the actual message rather than a
> misrepresentation, you can see it at
> The message I sent in email just had a slightly personalized into
> sentence, the rest was pretty much the same.
> It's been an interesting cultural experiment, if nothing else.
> I've received over a hundred positive responses, messages spanning
> from casual "thanks" to some which absolutely glowed with praise.
> I've hand held easily a dozen people through the voting process...
> Some who would have been otherwise unable to vote because of mistakes
> we made. The email uncovered numerous process errors, for example: A
> great many, potentially a majority of, currently active En Wikipedians
> couldn't see the site notice and were totally unaware of the election.
> I have received a grand total of clearly four negative responses, all
> from people I would have considered usual suspects... people I've had
> past disagreements with, and would have excluded from the mailing if I
> hadn't considered it important to avoid allowing my personal choices
> to bias the selection.
> The facts are that:
> 1) That under 5% of the recently active eligible English Wikipedians
> had participated in the election thus far. (My email said 'under 16%'
> but I was trying to be conservative as there is room to argue over
> what constitutes recently, and the real numbers are just far too
> 2) The board appointed election com. has made several serious and
> impacting errors in the handling of the election which has resulted in
> low turnout. Some of these errors have discriminated against the
> English Wikipedia community although no doubt unintentionally so. I
> have personally, found the election com. to be unable to address most
> issues because they are over worked.
> 3) As mentioned above, the responses have been overwhelming and
> intensely positive.
> As such, I am convinced that my actions were correct. They were my
> actions alone, made with no one's permission, assistance, or advice
> but my own, so if you'd like to yell at me and tell me that I can't do
> it... that is your decision. But I will not care what you think. My
> reply will be that you are misinformed, because a small angry group on
> a malling list does not carry more truth than hundreds of personal