How? Previous public Wikimedia meetings have led nowhere and done nothing
other than highlight how few people in the communities are interested in
_doing_ anything - as opposed to debating on mailing lists.
Nice idea... how about you suggest how that might happen? There are
currently two community representatives on the Board, though it's
increasingly obvious that the community are not using either Anthere or
myself to get anything to happen. Anything that does happen comes through
private mailing lists and an increasing number of internal processes that
even Board members don't always have access to.
One of the hardest things is to identify the needs of "system Foundation",
talk about these needs, and read criticism from people belonging to "system
Wikipedia", who have no beginning of an idea of
where the need comes from, why it is critical... but who considers they have
a say nevertheless.
I am still amazed at how quickly Wikimedia transforms, politically speaking.
Less than two years ago Angela and Anthere were voted into the first
Wikimedia board. They had to invent their own role, as people had forgotten
to discuss the mission of the board and decision making procedures in any
detail. I repeat this remark that I made earlier, because I think it is
important to not make this same mistake again when a CEO is hired or voted
for (not that I favour a CEO per se).
In the beginning both Angela and Anthere opposed vocal members of the
community who urged the board to take a stand in matters that were hardly or
not at all discussed on the mailing lists. Kudoos for that.
Later we got closed wikis and private board chats as a side affair. Recent
statements like the ones quoted above give the impression that both board
members find the Wikimedia community has become a pain in the neck at times,
better to be ignored, or kept in the dark. Fortunately they make these
remarks still in the open, so there is hope :)
I still believe in both Angela's and Anthere's good intentions, they did and
do generally a tremendous job, to be sure, and therefore I really think it
is the burden on their shoulders that has become too large. May I suggest a
wikibreak? After all Jimbo has returned to this mailing list after relative
absence for several months. He can step in for a while I would hope.
I agree the board is understaffed. Or rather they have too many self chosen
obligations. An attempt to introduce checks and balances in the form of a
wikicouncil (initiative by the board!) died a quick death, maybe partly
because it was hardly advertised, or maybe because it was launched too soon.
So now we have a self appointed government without a parliament to guide and
control them. http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikicouncil
because the original purpose of the board was to serve for external
representation, as a compromise towards an outer world that stil used the
outdated paradigm of official representatives, see
Let us assume a larger board would be the way to go. Anthere expressed her
wish to have one board member from each committee. As far as I know most or
all members on these committees were appointed by the board, without public
vote or even much prior public discussion. I'd rather be called critical
than cynical, so I'll resist the temptation to extrapolate where this
'representational model' might lead us in a year from now.