On Sat, May 24, 2014 at 8:51 AM, ENWP Pine <deyntestiss(a)hotmail.com> wrote:
I will say, in Lila's defense, that I've been
impressed with what I've
seen of her in public. (:
However, Wil, I agree with points others have made. I'm concerned that
you're going to create drama with what you're doing here, and make Lila's
and WMF's jobs more complicated. I am assuming good faith that you are
well-intentioned, but I am worried, not so much for your sake but for the
community's, Lila's, and WMF's.
I will just add a little to Pine's comments here.
The way the Wikimedia movement has developed, we've ended up with some
prominent fora that tend to be high-drama and low-effectiveness. Even this
list has a fairly low signal-to-noise ratio most of the time, as in many
threads the people with real insights into a situation tend not to post for
one reason or another, while people with axes to grind do so far more.
If you want to explore the Wikimedia movement then absolutely great, but
there are better ways to do it! Pine's suggestions are a good start - also,
there are various conferences and events, I think there's one in the USA
coming up, then Wikimania in London in a few months.
Also, just a word about free speech. If you or someone close to you is in a
leadership position, then you have responsibilities - either to them, or to
the organisation, or to both. I'm a bit concerned that if conversations
like this one keep going, then when Lila comes out of "watch and listen"
mode, the first thing she's going to hear from this list is a bunch of
questions about you.
I think one of the main learning points for the Foundation over the last
few years is that there is only a certain amount of "oxygen" in the
community for thought and discussion. If I were you I'd do Lila the favour
of making sure that she can use as much of that oxygen as she wants, and
limit the amount you're taking for yourself.
Kind regards, and look forward to meeting you sometime,
I would like to show you some options for places where the style of
conversation you are using would be a better fit, where you can ask
questions and have discussions, and which are less politically sensitive
than this list is. Of course you are welcome on this list if you have
cross-wiki suggestions or can't get questions answered elsewhere, and I
respect your right to free speech, but I would ask you to consider these
On English Wikipedia, you will find friendly and helpful people at our
Teahouse.  For questions and realtime help you can also visit
#wikipedia-en-help on Freenode IRC.
If you want to get to know Wikipedians, I suggest that you join local
volunteer meetups such Wiknic if there is one in your area. In those
circumstances most people are happy to socialize.  If you are able to
attend WikiConference USA in New York, I think you would enjoy it. 
If you want to have electronic conversations that are more chatty and less
formal than the discussions on this list, I suggest IRC. #wikipedia-en is a
high profile channel and many of the questions that you asked here could be
discussed in there. And as I said above, for realtime help you can visit
#wikipedia-en-help. However, I ask as a personal favor that you don't have
conversations in #wikimedia-office which is the main WMF channel. I can't
stop you from talking there any more than I can take away your free speech
rights, but I think any communications in there from you would create more
I feel it's ok for you or any Wikipedian in good standing to talk on WO if
they want, but engaging in semi-official diplomacy is a very different
matter, if that's what you're doing (I haven't checked your edits and I
don't want to). There may come a time when you have the community's trust
and can act in
high-profile ways with the support of the community, but at the moment
the discussion on this email list tells me that your actions are creating
complications to the start of Lila's tenure in ways that have me worried.
To use an analogy, imagine Michelle Obama saying in public that her
personal opinion is that Barack Obama should have diplomatic talks with
<insert hostile country here> or revoke <insert executive order here>, or
that she personally has been conducting outreach to <insert hostile country
here> without going through the State Department. That would create
complications for Barack Obama and lots of other people, even though
Michelle has a right to communicate her views.
I am available to answer questions if you have any for me. You can ask on
my Meta talk page, on my English Wikipedia talk page, through email, or set
up a time to meet me on IRC or Skype. I'm sure other participants in this
discussion would also be willing to talk with you in places other than this
If I have misunderstood your position please correct me. I appreciate your
interest in Wikipedia and I hope you will be a net positive to the
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