Date: Sun, 13 Nov 2011 11:32:08 +0100
From: Joan Goma <jrgoma(a)gmail.com>
Subject: Re: [Foundation-l] Fwd: Wikimedia India Program Trust
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> Date: Sat, 12 Nov 2011 03:30:06 -0800
> From: Ray Saintonge <saintonge(a)telus.net>
> Subject: Re: [Foundation-l] Fwd: Wikimedia India Program Trust
> To: Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List
> Message-ID: <4EBE58BE.504(a)telus.net>
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> Thank you Liam for using the term,
"organisational roles," instead of
> the more pretentious, "movement roles." I find the whole thread
> disturbing. I am and have always been a strong supporter of the autonomy
> of both projects and chapters, and from that vantage point it is
> difficult to see this initiative as leading to anything other than the
> undermining of a chapter.
I am also in favor of the autonomy of the projects and the chapters
does not mean autism. Whether we like it or not, there is a relationship
between the chapters and projects. We can create channels to vehiculate it
we can ignore it and go to have conflicts one after another.
> It is all proceeding in a predictable
pattern. It pits young amateurs
> who have embraced an ideal as a labour of love and who have a na?vet?
> about the ways of the world against goal-oriented professionals well
> schooled in the sophisms that produce success. This does not establish
> intent or malice; it's just the way things develop unless someone is
> willing to step away and recognize the process for what it is.
And the way things develop lead to a series of values ??that are good to
grow and prosper trading companies: selfishness, envy, private property,
exclusivity, greed ... The values ??of our edditing community are
opposed to those. I think we need to establish channels for the values
motivations of the edditing communities be moved to chapters.
> I am an amateur. I am not motivated
by dreams of a sinecure or reveries
> of prestige. I don't care if anything that I do becomes a polished
> feature articles. I don't care if the site has a professional appearance
> with consistent format throughout. I am not obsessed by growth, or by
> leading the global south by the hand into salvation. It's nice if that
> can happen, and nicer if they can figure it out for themselves. My
> bottom line remains a commitment to share the sum of the world's
> knowledge. Not more, not less.
> When I hear of things like these Indian developments, I start to get the
> impression that we have lost our way. As much as the organizers may
> deny, it's as plain as day that these two organizations are being set up
> to compete. That alienates people.
If members of these organizations were like you it would be impossible to
compete in the worst sense of the word. I also think that we have begun to
lose out way but not by establishing two organizations in the same
territory and that this will necessarily lead to a savage competition among
them but because of the risk that these organizations and the individuals
compose them were not imbued enought with the values ??and the mechanisms
would make this result impossible.
I think there is no reason to believe that we will have more problems by
having 2 organizations in India thant those we have by having 20
organizations in Europe. In fact to go for a similar proportion we should
have 50 organizations in India.
Europe is a big culturally diverse subcontinent of Eurasia with many
different Wikimedia organisations. So is India. India could organise itself
similarly to Europe with chapters following Political boundaries, or you
could do it by language instead, or perhaps by function - I've been
involved in charities where the fundraising organisation was quite distinct
from the volunteering fundspending organisation. Or maybe there would be
some other way that would work for Indian Wikimedians.
My advice as a complete outsider is that there are many ways that India
could choose to structure itself; but if you come up with a structure that
leaves Wikimedians from outside India suspecting there would be an overlap,
then don't be surprised if Indians who are not Wikimedians are similarly
confused. If Wikimedia in India emerges with a structure that only people
who are both Indians and also Wikimedians understand then you risk
confusing the press complicating things for yourselves. If remits are clear
and minimally overlapping then 1, 5 or 50 organisations might be sensible.
If remits substantially overlap and you can't clearly explain the different
roles then its probably best to just have the one organisation.