I have to agree here. The WMF and its employees have forgotten that the mission is to
support the work done on the various wikis, not make work for fireworks for themselves.
Nothing we are dealing with here is new. It is just the eruption of some very
long-standing problems with the WMF and the tone it sets for the rest of the movement.
While some might be celebrating now, Lila was not the problem. IMHO, the problem is a lot
of hidden hierarchies (denied of course). Add to that, that the lack of transparency
allows the growth of hidden agendas.
Remember this blew when a community selected board member was tossed off the board
unceremoniously. We find out through this that the community (or chapters) have no real
voice on the board under the current set up.
Date: Sun, 28 Feb 2016 17:52:30 +0100
Subject: [Wikimedia-l] What it means to be a *volunteer* organization
I am starting a new thread because I disagree with the idea that the WMF
should be a high-tech organization as the other thread by Brion seemed to
suggest. Yes, technology is a tool that we use in our mission to gather and
process all forms of human knowledge, but in the end the driving force is
Without volunteers there wouldn't be any movement and there wouldn't be any
need for tools, or any donations whatsoever. It is the concept of working
for free for the common good that allows us to exist and fulfill our
mission. The WMF is instrumental in providing the tools for it to happen,
but those tools are not only technological, they are also legal,
educational, and social, however when talking through computer screens we
seem to forget that.
A hi-tech tool can work for a given task or not, but there are more
important topics like trust, commitment, empowerment, motivation, and joy
that cannot be assessed so easily, and that are at least as crucial as any
software. What is the point of having a perfect tool Z if I don't enjoy
working with my fellows on a common mission?
The role of nurturing volunteers is not exclusive of affiliate
organizations, the WMF offer grants to volunteers and organizes several
gatherings. Is that enough to strengthen the volunteer community? Then I
look at organizations like WOOF or workaway that thrive with full-time
volunteers and I wonder if more opportunities could be opened for our
Is there anything holding us back to try new things besides old patterns of
It is a challenge to do more for the volunteer community without resorting
to grants or payment, but that is the key to succeed as a volunteer
organization, to provide an ecosystem where personal growth is possible.
I am interested in hearing what others have to say about it. Maybe it is
possible to gather ideas or even a team of people who wants to research
more information about the topic.
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