Denny, thanks for supporting this issue moving on. Before few remarks
I would respond inline, I want to say that the *draft* of the idea to
make community assembly have been published by Pharos:
I want to give a small background of our work on the proposal:
Richard approached me immediately after I sent the first email from
this thread, so we started to work on it. It turned out that we had
very different perspectives of what should be done. However, we worked
on creating a synthetic proposal, which would cover both sets of
I wanted to make a joke-spoiler, but I want to restrain of it because
I want to see if the differences between our approaches are actually
the differences between different cultural/continental background.
Besides two of us, Lodewijk and Lane contributed, mostly with
comments. It turned out that Lodewijk was on the line I started my
idea in discussion with Richard, while Lane was on the line started by
Richard. Both of them found unacceptable the opposite part.
If so, I'd like to ask everybody to try to understand that our future
assembly should be generally acceptable to everybody, no matter of
cultural differences; which means that we should have to reach
consensus in such issues, not limited on Richard's and my approaches
Besides that, it's just a draft of the proposal and everything could
be changed as long as we reach consensus about one final proposal. I
am fine with it as long as Wikimedians get a framework to communicate
and make decisions which matter to themselves.
On Wed, Jan 13, 2016 at 1:26 AM, Denny Vrandecic
You write that Board members tend to think of
themselves as the governing
body. At least for myself, I can say that this is not the case. My
understanding restricts the Board only to the role of being the Board of
the Wikimedia Foundation. The Foundation is not the community. The Board is
not the voice of the community for the Foundation. The community is neither
lead by the Foundation, nor by the Board. I don't even think there is a
community - there are numerous overlapping communities.
This is misunderstandings, unless you want to say you don't see Board
as the governing body of Wikimedia Foundation :P
It seems to me that in open collaborative projects
like ours, the amount of
scrutiny and criticism a governance body receives is negatively correlated
to the amount of competences it has. Creating or deleting content, banning
disruptive users from a project, deciding how the energy of the community
should be spent on creating content? None of these is the business of the
Board. None of these is the competence of the Board. And that’s good.
This part is very important! There are no "open collaborative projects
like ours". You are not a Board of Reddit with admins controlling
content. Our social structure and civilization implications are far
beyond any of those projects. That's why WMF members -- as long as
there is no community-wide body -- have to have vision, wisdom and
balls. The basis of the most of my criticism of the Board lays in the
fact that it collectively have never shown all three virtues at once.