It is extraordinarily difficult to found a US chapter, because we are in essence a
federation of 50 little nations. Every state has their own unique characteristics and
their own unique laws. Also, we do not have interest for a national chapter. By empowering
these state/city chapters, we provide the willing with an outreach organization while
leaving it open for other regions.
From: Ziko van Dijk <zvandijk(a)googlemail.com>
To: Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List <foundation-l(a)lists.wikimedia.org>
Sent: Wednesday, January 21, 2009 7:44:55 AM
Subject: Re: [Foundation-l] Board resolutions (chapters)
Thanks again for your explanations (I don't want to open a new mail for
* Of the organizations Lars mentioned, only ISOC has "chapters". I still
find it not clear about whether the national organizations are independent
or merely national agencies of the center (as it is the case with
* In this discussion, it is irrelevant how many people live in a sub
national area, or how large the country is (there are chapters in small and
in large countries already).
* It is also irrelevant whether individuals choose to be member in a chapter
that does not belong to the nation state they live in, like nationals of
France living abroad (as Florence has explained well), or Belgians who go to
the Dutch chapter as long as they don't have own of their own.
* It is irrelevant whether the New Yorkers do a good job (I never doubted
that). The Wikimedians of Cologne do a good job aswell, but they are no
* If the Wikimedians in the USA did not manage to create a national chapter,
it is not my fault. Why can't there be a Wikimedia US? I don't know the
reason: Large and ethnically diverse countries have WM chapters, other
movements have US chapters...
* Hongkong and Taiwan are special cases; not "nations" or "countries"
different to PR China, but different "states" or "systems".
* "Sub national chapters" in the US states make WMF the default Wikimedia
US, dealing with American institutions and personalities in a way usually a
chapter would. American Wikimedians have no reason to take effort for a WMUS
if they see this and that they can have US states chapters.
* The world is divided into countries, like it or not, and this has
consequences for us.
Ziko van Dijk
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