On 12/19/12 3:52 PM, James Alexander wrote:
To be honest, at some level, yes If I lived in Vancouver and most of WM-Canada's work and board meetings wtc were centered in Toronto I would have zero interest in joining and would generally object to them claiming to represent me as an editor within their borders. I would also object to them having exclusive rights to use the name in those borders. The same is not necessarily true for say me living in Edinburgh and going to occasionally going to WMUK meetings in London given that it's 1/4 the distance. I'd probably still object to them representing me as an editor especially if I wasn't a member but that's a completely different issue since I don't think chapters should ever be about 'representation' .

I also agree with James (especially on a cultural standpoint - I'm curious if the Francophones or the Scots have different feelings re: Chapter just simply based on cultural differences from English speakers (or the Welsh...etc).

Different cities and states have different needs. I remember when WM DC said they were going to be representing Wikimedians in West Virginia, Maryland, and other regional states, and I heard some pretty negative things from Wikipedians from those states. What's of different value for a Wikimedian from WV might be of different value of a Wikimedian from DC, perhaps.

I'm a strong advocate for the benefit of subnational chapters especially in larger countries, I think places like WMNYC and WMDC are better overall for the movement and those around them. I think that's especially true in the US where we've already started having sub national chapters. I'd be fine with a CA chapter (or an OR one and possibly if enough from both OR and WA wanted to merge or something like that but I don't think it's that necessary ). I'd be even more fine with a norcal/SF based or socal/LA based chapter if there was a need. That's another important point, we create incorporated orgs like crazy for some reason when they are frequently going to be just fine as a user group especially now that we have user groups being created as examples in the Mediawiki user groups. We now have a process to use the marks and the names etc without incorporating, incorporating costs not insignificant money time and resources every year before it does any good and should not be done until it's necessary.

I'm still open to forming a California or Northern California chapter. It's just going to take someone else to spearhead the process. Then, as you suggested, having a larger unofficial organization that perhaps supports a larger national gathering, cross-state events, etc.

I can't make it to the meeting either, due to previous obligations. (I also really am deterred by on-IRC meetings at this point in my life..)


Sarah Stierch
Wikimedia Foundation Community Fellow
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