> What is highly questionable is if it a remotely worthwhile use of
> money. If Google's lobbyists can't impact SOPA and the like what makes
> the foundation think our can?
geni, as you may know, I spent more than a decade in Washington
working on public-policy issues for non-profits (including EFF, the
Center for Democracy and Technology, and Public Knowledge). One of the
principal lessons of that experience was that public-interest
participation in policymaking debates added a lot of value precisely
because opponents couldn't write off a charity as simply being
interested in expanding its market or profits.
And the synergies between corporate lobbying and public-interest
policy initiatives -- on the occasions when their interests do line up
-- have a greater political impact than either faction can have
working alone. If you've spent time on Capitol Hill, or meeting with
bureaucrats at federal agencies, you already know that a standard
tactic of your opponents is to marginalize you. So if you're Google,
the rap on you is that you're a quasi-monopoly spending Washington
dollars to maintain your position as a market leader. And if you're
ACLU or EFF, you're dismissed as arguing fringe issues that don't
represent the mainstream of American political thought.
But when Google (or Microsoft or Intel) come to policymakers and say
the same things that the nonprofit groups (EFF or ACLU or -- someday,
perhaps -- WMF) are telling them, it gets much, much harder for the
opposition to dismiss the message.
(The content companies already know this -- that's why they took such
pains to sign up a bunch of nonprofits as supporters of SOPA and PIPA,
even though many of the latter bailed when they realized MPAA was
perhaps not the best guide on these issues.)
None of this requires that any nonprofit spend the kind of lobbying
dollars that Google spends -- even if that were possible (and of
course it isn't remotely possible). The money WMF spends on something
like this is microscopic compared to that of for-profit corporation,
and pretty small even compared to other nonprofits. Nevertheless, a
nonprofit showing up and making its voice heard -- especially when its
arguments dovetail with those of much larger players like Google --
counts for a lot. It can't be easily dismissed. It makes most
policymakers think twice.
At this point, I'll understand if you hit me with a 
here, and I confess that what I'm telling probably is best classified
as "original research." But don't take my word for it -- talk to other
NGOs that work in the Washington policy community, and you'll find
plenty of confirmation of what I'm telling you here.
Theo10011 <de10011(a)gmail.com> writes:
On Sun, Jan 22, 2012 at 3:32 PM, Theo10011 <de10011(a)gmail.com> wrote:
> Am I wrong to assume, that lobbying involves approaching a registered,
> professional consulting/lobbying firm in Washington who in turn, refer the
> client to politicians and then facilitate meetings and discussions in
> private, client are expected to pay expenses and other fees incurred in the
> process, usually a pretty hefty sum.
Yes, you're wrong.
> Are those discussions and arrangements
> made in private, facilitated by lobbying firms, what is needed to get our
> voice heard?
No. It can be helpful to have an experienced Washington
government-relations specialist to facilitate meetings, and to advise
you on how to be effective, but the word "private" is inappropriate
here. (The very fact that Politico was able to publicize WMF's
engagement with such a specialist ought to be an indicator of this --
in the USA, especially for the last 40 years, there have been vastly
increased requirements for public reporting and accountability, both
for nonprofits and for traditional corporate lobbyists.) When I
represented the Center for Democracy and Technology or Public
Knowledge at the FCC or on Capitol Hill, for example, the first thing
I had to do when getting back from a meeting was write up a report of
whom I met and what was discussed. The reports became part of the
public record, and part of these nonprofits' public disclosures as
> You mentioned the protest, and how proud you were to have been associated
> with it, so were most of us. That was the right thing to do - open, direct
> and public. All of which this doesn't seem to be.
You'd be wrong about meetings with policymakers not being public.
They're required be law to be reported and accounted for. As I have
noted, many people have stereotypical notions about what it means
to "lobby" in Washington. Too many movies and TV, I imagine.
> Again, these might be stereotypes, but the general realities aren't that far
> off either.
Hugely far off, actually.
To compare: it's a little bit as if you took your understanding of
police work from watching American police action films. It's not wrong
to say that sometimes police rough people up, for example, but it
would be wrong to say that is the norm. Most police work is dull and
routine, and the sheer amount of paperwork an average policeman has to
do is so astounding that nobody ever even tries to depict it in film
or TV drama. You'd switch channels or walk out of the theater in boredom.
If you really think that (for example) the American Library
Association's Office for Information Technology Policy
(http://www.ala.org/offices/oitp) is having secret meetings with
senators and writing big checks, then the American entertainment
industry has done a huge disservice in educating people about all the
ways public policy can be shaped. Not that this should come as any
(I'd love it, of course, if the American Library Association were
capable of writing big checks, but that's another story.)
Due to a large amount of spam, emails from non-members of this list
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this post has not concreat reason to integrate service . so I reinforce
it.then acheve more powerful integration in another way.
I have an idea to improve usability.
[00:36] <koyakei__> I want to add friendlist to wikipedia.
[00:39] <koyakei__> There are someone ,who want to overwhelm regulation
of "what is not wikipedia"
[00:39] <koyakei__> I analyse them , they wants to place to expose opinion.
[00:40] <koyakei__> Wikipedia is very attractive place.
[00:41] <koyakei__> So attractive place gather many people who wants to
[00:42] <koyakei__> block them from wikipedia, they would do same activity
in another project.
[00:43] <koyakei__> Blocking is not good solution. So I propose. block
[00:44] <koyakei__> I have more idea about this broblem. Where should I
talking about that.
[00:45] <koyakei__> Aer there someone propose about that. in somewhere
[00:45] <koyakei__> ?
Chat room member answerd , I should talk it here .So I post.
I do not know english situation.
But Japanese situation is like that.
To prevent this I propose. add friend list to wiki.
then tagging article per comment. And serach tagged comment ,then create 1
In this case , almost we do not need blocking from project. and there is
noone run away to new project then do same thing.
Searching needs power of server.
I feel Japanese are difficlut to classfy our char actor.Because of this ,
we write IP address on wikipedea.
If we wrote with real name in wikipedia ,that is strictry linked author's
back ground . and argue in note use his background. That is too much for
In wikia I saw an article .http://campaigns.wikia.com/wiki/Personal_history
In Japanese proverb , this question is yes to all people .
I think linking diffrent elements is Japanese habit. But recentry that is
changed..Evidence is this article.
I feel linking power is increasing, ability of classify will down. in this
situation. "what is not wiki~~~~" will be weak to separate project.
befor that, think about integrate all project is better. With semantc and
timeline and socialy.
I beleve integrate all web service (for example wiki, twitter, SNS
,anonymous BBS)is trend.
Are there anybody think about this problem?
This post is 1%of my idea. Long post is bother to read,today I stop here.
My english is poor so, someone who can here about this please call me on
小柳圭輔 Koyanagi Keisuke
> Mike, I don't know how's the political landscape is in the USA, but you
> would say that there is few significative corruption and collusion?
No, I wouldn't say that. Whenever you have enough human beings
assembled to create a political environment, you create the potential
for corruption and collusion, and no nation, including the USA, is
immune from that. But you also create the potential for idealism,
principled activism, collective progressive action, humanitarianism,
and the growth and sharing of knowledge. And it was the better side of
human nature that we witnessed among our colleagues and allies in
working against these bad legal proposals.
To be effective politically you have to have a deep understanding of
the political environment you're working in. That's why the Foundation
drew upon knowledgeable people for advice as we all went forward in
expressing our concerns about SOPA and PIPA. In no instance has the
Foundation indulged in or supported anything that counts as corruption
or collusion. I think the Wikimedia Movement should be proud that the
Foundation has lived up to the Movement's highest ideals. The efforts
these last weeks have been both admirably transparrent and admirably
effective, and I think we all learned a lot from them.
On Sun, Jan 22, 2012 at 2:36 PM, Thomas Dalton <thomas.dalton(a)gmail.com> wrote:
> There's a massive selection bias there! Of course the NGOs that do
> lots of lobbying think lobbying is a great idea, otherwise they
> wouldn't be doing it.
Not only that, but of course people who eat food and drink water to
sustain themselves are unlikely to give proper weight to Breatharian
points of view!
That pesky POV problem keeps rearing its noisy head wherever you look. ;)
I welcome your independent research project when you get it started.
Or anybody's, really. I suppose the null hypothesis is that one can
simply stay silent and wins the issue anyway. Obviously, I tend to
fall on the Gandhi/Martin Luther King side of that issue -- at least
I'm transparent about my biases.
Wikimedia Nederland is reporting monthly on its activities. We just
completed December, and for convenience I send you here the link to
the whole list of reports.
Ziko van Dijk
Vereniging Wikimedia Nederland
dr. Ziko van Dijk, voorzitter
A new policy should always be announced on foundation-l; forwarding.
------ Forwarded Message
From: Sumana Harihareswara <sumanah(a)wikimedia.org>
Organization: Wikimedia Foundation
Reply-To: Wikimedia developers <wikitech-l(a)lists.wikimedia.org>
Date: Fri, 20 Jan 2012 16:30:07 -0800
To: Wikimedia developers <wikitech-l(a)lists.wikimedia.org>
Subject: Re: [Wikitech-l] proposed tech conference anti-harassment policy
Thanks to all of you for your feedback on this. We've now finalized the
policy and it now lives at
Volunteer Development Coordinator
Wikitech-l mailing list
------ End of Forwarded Message
Has anyone made an analysis on what the license change would mean to
Wikipedia? Looking at the ODbL FAQ on the OSM website, it seems that
using maps would not be affected. But what about using data from OSM
in our articles? Also, my unterstanding is that reverse import of data
(that is from Wikipedia to OSM) will be impossible after the change,
Hello dear community,
the Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation passed the following
resolution with seven approves and three abstains:
Following consultation with the Wikimedia community on meta, the
Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees is now releasing the guiding
principles below, which are intended to govern Wikimedia fundraising and
funds dissemination practices.
We now ask the Executive Director to develop for the Board a
recommendation for fundraising and funds dissemination practices that
will align as well as possible with the guiding principles while
consulting appropriately with stakeholders and interested parties. The
Board asks that the recommendation be ready to be shared with the Board
for discussion at the February 2012 Board meeting.
==== Guidelines for Fundraising Scenarios ====
* Consistency with mission, vision and values. All Wikimedia fundraising
activities must be conducted in a manner that's consistent with our
overall mission, vision and values. They must not create unnecessary
legal exposure for the projects, or otherwise unduly interfere with our
ability to achieve our mission.
* Minimal cost and minimal disruption. All Wikimedia fundraising
activities must aim to raise the maximum possible amount of money from
donors while minimizing administrative costs as much as possible (in
order to reserve the largest amount of money possible for programmatic
activity), while causing minimal disruption and annoyance for users of
* Transparency: All Wikimedia fundraising activities must be truthful
with prospective donors. We need to tell people what we intend to use
their money for, before they donate. And we need to report in a timely
fashion on how it was actually spent.
* Responsibility: All Wikimedia fundraising activities must ensure funds
received are safe from fraud or misuse as determined by existing
third-party standards for appropriate financial controls, and must
adhere to relevant laws and regulations.
* Internationalism: Our movement is international in scope, and our
fundraising practices must support the easiest possible transfer of
money internationally in support of the movement's priorities.
* Independence: We prefer a fundraising model in which we are supported
primarily via the many-small-donors model, because this is the model
that best supports our independence.
* Flexibility: We do not need to adhere to a single monolithic model for
fundraising: multiple donation streams are fine.
* Sustainable donor relations: We must safeguard donor privacy and avoid
slowing the "donate now" flow.
* Good faith: The Wikimedia movement assumes that all movement
participants are acting in good faith, with regards to each other's
actions and intentions.
==== Guidelines for Funds Distribution Scenarios ====
* Protect the core: Core activities that ensure the continuity of the
projects need to be funded first.
* Impact: Funds should be distributed in ways that support mission work,
agnostic with regard to where the money was raised.
* Transparency and stability: Decisions about funds distribution must be
made transparently, in accordance with published guidelines and
processes. The model must enable each entity to carry out financial
planning to support efforts to be sustainable.
* Decentralization: Funds must be distributed in ways that support
decentralized programmatic activities for furthering our mission.
* Responsibility and accountability: Funds must be distributed in ways
that enable the Wikimedia movement to confidently assure donors that
their donations will be safeguarded appropriately, and that spending
will be in line with our mission and with the messages used to attract
* Collaboration and openness: Funds must be distributed in ways that are
collaborative and open, and which respect the diverse and international
nature of the Wikimedia movement.
== Reference Links ==
* [[m:Draft Guiding principles with regards to funds distribution|Draft
Guiding principles with regards to funds distribution]]
* [[m:Draft Guiding principles with regards to fundraising|Draft Guiding
principles with regards to fundraising]]
Member of the Board of Trustees
Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.