--- Andrew Lih <andrew.lih(a)gmail.com> wrote:
Although there has already been a massive exchange
in the last 12
hours, I'm going to respond to the initial question.
One problem is
first mover (or first discusser) bias, and the
entire conversation has
gone down one way, when I think it's best to start
with a fresh look.
What Damian mentioned about Wikicouncil as
is closest to what many Wikiretreaters in Frankfurt
expressed - that a
body of experienced, learned, informed, engaged and
Wikimedians from different projects could form a
body with real powers
to decide on community matters and even for the
purpose of being a
body of electors for determinng the election of
Wikicouncil folks would be responsible for things
that that either we
(inappropriately) appeal to the "board of trustees"
to do now, or ask
developers to do on the fly. It's not fair to ask
Brion or Tim to be
decisionmaker for community decisions from random
parts of the
Wikimedia universe, and it's traditionally beyond
the scope of a
"Board of Trustees" to be managing down to the
approve/deny level of
individual projects on a week to week basis. That's
Wikicouncil would come in.
As for the argument that Wikicouncil would not be a
democracy," I mentioned this to Erik in Frankfurt,
but I believe there
is a less compelling argument for every Wikimedian
having equal vote
as any other Wikimedian for some value of "n" edits
and "m" months of
membership. The idea of every community member
getting equal say as in
a "true democracy" is not compelling since there is
no concept of
"natural citizenship" in Wikipedia - people join by
self-identify for tasks, and they elevate. It is
different than a
citizen of a country or territory. As Damian noted,
many folks don't
know, nor do they care, for issues related to higher
or WMF board matters. They're there to write an
encyclopedia, create a
Wikiversity course, contribute to Commons, etc. A
have the expertise of folks who have put in the
time, passion, energy
and thought into working with the WMF community
matters, while the
board would oversee the big picture matters. I
believe that the
Wikicouncil would clarify and solve many of the
problems we have now
with the scope of board and executive level matters.
In this sense, I think the idea of a Wikicouncil is
quite familiar -
I'd imagine a Wikicouncil would be made up most of
folks you will find
right now in Wikiproject leadership, chapter
involvement, and the like. It would be a
formalization of what takes
place already, but where there is currently no
procedure or authority
to act on group consensus.
That is a brief summary of what hopes I saw people
had in the idea for
a Wikicouncil. I cannot speak for all the folks, so
I invite other
folks to chime in on this.
I have not said anything because I am open to this
idea being developed in previously undiscussed ways.
But the above statments I do not understand. How is
this in any way similar to the ways things take place
already? It strikes me as anything but familiar.
I am willing to withold critiscism as people
brainstorm, but I find the above remarks quite
disturbing. It is a few of the worst parts of old
ideas about the wikicouncil packaged as simply a
formalization of current process. I am sorry these
ideas are in no way a representation of the way
current process works.
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