Following on from the various emails that have gone around with regards
to the creation of a Wikimania Committee I have created a placeholder
page on meta and have gotten the discussion going on its talk page
which can be found here:
of what I have said is condensed from the emails on this list. This is
simply progressing the disccusion to a more advanced stage so that we
can move forward with it.
During the past few years, the new softwares of the Wikimedia
Foundations have been developped in a too much anarchic way.
* They are sometimes implemented as a whim of a few WMF big wheels,
without consulting the user communities.
* We are never shown specifications defining the goals of the planned
softwares, which makes me doubt such specifications are ever written.
With specifications being written and published, problems could be
talked in a proactive way.
A few problems :
* The developpers have enabled for every Admin of the French
Wikipedia, the possibility to mask (and exert acts of censorship)
without needing to be an oversighter (1) Which means that the policy
page at [[:fr:Wikipédia:Masqueur d'adresses IP]] (more or less the
same as [[:en:Wikipedia:Oversight]]) is a joke. Every single admin has
virtually the same power as an oversighter.
* The pdf tool is not fulfilling the licenses of images imported from
Flickr. This is typically a tool enabled on all projects without
consulting with the communities. That tool should be disabled at once
from all project, until it is repaired (which might mean redevelopped
from scratch). (2)
Conclusion : Because more software means more harm, I call for a
moratorium (1 year? 6 months ?) on all new software developpements.
During that time the developpers should be allowed to repair only
obvious and urgent bugs.
(1) A statement by a French admin saying that such acts are currently
performed by simple admins :
(2) Example provided here :
FYI. This position was originally advertised as Chief Human Resources
The change in title reflects internal conversations which led us to
refocus both the kinds of candidates we were looking at, and the
nature of the role itself: with a strong focus on helping Wikimedia
grow and sustain an organizational culture consistent with its values,
and developing processes to engage and recruit brilliant, passionate
people, as we begin to implement the strategic plan. :-)
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Sue Gardner <sgardner(a)wikimedia.org>
Subject: [Wikimedia Announcements] Cyn Skyberg joins Wikimedia as CTCO!
To: Wikimedia Announce Mailing List <WikimediaAnnounce-l(a)lists.wikimedia.org>
I'm delighted to tell you that the Wikimedia Foundation has just hired
its first-ever Chief Talent and Culture Officer. Cyn Skyberg will
begin work with us this coming Monday, September 13. She'll report to
As CTCO, Cyn will have two major first priorities: to help the
Wikimedia Foundation's hiring managers recruit amazing staff
(including key new positions such as the director of operations 
and the national program director for India ), and to continue the
work of creating and entrenching a staff culture that fits inside the
bigger Wikimedia culture and shares its values of independence,
openness, community, transparency and diversity. In this work, she'll
be supported by Daniel Phelps, the Wikimedia Foundation's Human
This is a really important job, and as I worked through the hiring
process it became clear that I needed to find someone unusually
creative and flexible, with a real passion for understanding and
supporting people in voluntary online communities. Cyn stands out as
For the past five years, Cyn has worked at Linden Labs, the
organization behind Second Life. There, she held a series of
increasingly-responsible positions culminating in Vice President of
Partnerships -- all of which included responsibility for the Second
Life user community. Both the Second Life and Wikimedia communities
are known for being iconoclastic and independent of spirit – nobody is
exactly like us, LOL, but I think that Cyn's experience at Second Life
will nonetheless help equip her to do well in our world :-)
And, Linden is pretty much identical in age to the Wikimedia
Foundation, and went through a massive growth spurt during Cyn's time
there, which has I think enabled her to understand and navigate the
challenges and opportunities that come with growth and change. She has
done lots of recruiting, including outside the United States: during
her time at Linden she hired in the UK, Germany, Australia, the
Netherlands, France, Canada, New Zealand, Japan, Korea and Singapore.
She also incorporated an outsourced group in Newcastle, and was the
executive sponsor of Linden's Brighton office. And, she worked with
other Linden executives to develop Linden's internal culture,
including its employee and mentorship programs.
Prior to Linden, Cyn worked in museums: first at the Santa Barbara
Museum of Natural History where she worked with the Anthropology
department and managed the retail operations, followed by running the
retail organizations (including managing both paid staff and
volunteers) at the Portland Art Museum and the San Jose Museum of Art.
Cyn has a bachelor's degree in cultural anthropology from the
University of California (Santa Barbara). While at Linden she
developed an interest in helping organizations focus on individual
empowerment and collaboration, and she's now about to receive a
master's degree in organizational psychology from The Chicago School
of Professional Psychology.
I am delighted Cyn will be joining us: please help me welcome her. But
-- she doesn't yet have a Wikimedia e-mail address, and she's not yet
subscribed to our mailing lists. So maybe wait for Monday :-)
I'd also like to take a second to thank the people who helped with the
hiring process --- including Erik, Veronique, Barry, Danese, Zack,
Daniel, Jay, Bill, Tomasz, Sal Giambanco of the Omidyar Network and HR
consultant Jane Creech. And of course my thanks to our recruitment
firm m|Oppenheim, who –as always-- did a terrific job.
I also want to particularly thank Veronique, who's been handling the
HR portfolio, with Daniel, to date. When Veronique first joined us, a
lot of HR basics were missing -- such as health insurance and a
retirement savings plan, vacation allotments, and procedures for
hiring staff and evaluating performance. Veronique has done a great
job looking after the Wikimedia Foundation's HR needs, and I'm
grateful to her for it.
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This is a quick update on recent and pending Board work. I intend to
send these out on a regular basis, including the work of Board
== Summer meetings ==
In July, the Board held its summer meeting in Gdańsk before Wikimania.
We discussed internal Board committees, movement roles, and the last
stage of the strategic plan. We agreed to try out a revised meeting
schedule this year, with additional IRC meetings and just three
in-person meetings, as well as a possible retreat (this would be the
first one in four years -- we would
finally need to disambiguate [[m:Board retreat]] ).
We said goodbye and a hearty thank you to Michael Snow, and welcomed
our new chapters-selected trustee, Phoebe Ayers. New officers were
elected. And the Trustees spent more time enjoying Wikimania than
has happened in recent memory - less overbooking, more time
participating in sessions.... a welcome change.
On August 31, we held the first IRC meeting of the fiscal year, to
review and discuss broad targets for the strategic plan. Minutes of
that meeting will be posted shortly.
At the same time, we also approved the formation of Wikimedia Eesti.
Welcome to the Estonian chapter! This chapter has the distinction of
having received approval without translating any of their core
documents into English. (While I like this, I hope that ee. editors
will find time to update the Estonian pages on Meta to reflect the
current state of the projects, in the language of their choice...)
You can read the latest minutes and resolutions here:
== Upcoming meetings ==
The next meeting of the Board will be in San Francisco, October 8-9.
The agenda will include a review of the final version of the five-year
strategic plan, and the controversial content study facilitated by
Robert Harris. Comments and suggestions on this and future meetings
Finally, there will be an informal open Wikimedia meeting Saturday,
September 11 on IRC, with our two newest Trustees.
On behalf of the Board,
Samuel Klein identi.ca:sj w:user:sj
I agree with Peter's comment that Wikipedia could use some added mechanisms
to improve content ( especially controversial content ). We have a lot of
great policies however they are often unevenly applied. One mechanism would
be to apply more thoroughly the policies we have.
A current problem is the difficult there is in bringing in third party input
after all other mechanisms have failed on a content issue. We have ArbCom
however they only deal with behavior not content. This is something that
needs to be addressed so otherwise final arbitration goes to whomever is
willing to but in the most effort.
MD, CCFP-EM, B.Sc.
(sending from personal email since @wikimedia isn't subscribed at the
As many of you are aware, we are now two months away from the Fundraiser for
the Wikimedia Foundation, 2010. We have lofty goals, and we can meet them
and exceed them!
The meta translators are already actively engaged in the annual drive to
distribute our messages, but we would like to point everyone to the
developments we've made in banner messages- from creation to commentary to
the ones that will go live for test and for the drive itself in November.
It's one of our goals to make sure that all volunteers know that there is a
place for them in the Fundraising drive. We've started the setup on meta
for both banner submission, statistical analysis, and grouping
volunteers together that would like to find specific focus and work in that
This year the Wikimedia Foundation is taking a proactive stance in reaching
out to each and every Wikimedia project and volunteer to find innovation,
collaboration, and collation of ideas from the community driven process.
The staff working on this is comprised of long-time Wikimedians with as much
care and concern for the success of this drive as the volunteers, and we
want you to actively participate and have a voice.
Use the talk pages on meta, talk to your local communities, talk to others,
talk to us. Engagement is what we strive for, without each other we would
never had made Wikimedia succeed. Everyone is welcome to contact any of us
on staff at any time with a timely response to follow. We actively
encourage focusing discussion on meta so we can all work together.
See you on the wiki!
Associate Community Officer, Fundraising 2010
Imagine a world in which every human being can freely share in
the sum of all knowledge. Help us make it a reality!