On Thu, Jan 3, 2013 at 8:08 PM, Quim Gil <qgil@wikimedia.org> wrote:
Can you describe this Chapter SIG route / model, or point to a URL explaining it? The only thing I could find is http://wiki.wikimedia.in/City_and_Language_SIG_subcommittee_chair but nothing about process or even group activities can be found there.

In the meantime, let me add a bit more to Noopur's argument and my previous reply.

The main motivation of MediaWiki groups is unsurprisingly http://mediawiki.org - the open source software and its community around. They can be created in Ahmedabad, San Francisco, Mexico City, Berlin or wherever, but they share common needs, common activities, common materials and so on.

It seems it's creation is being facilitated by staff members rather than anyone doing the actual work. I don't know if that's a way of circumventing other entities and creating a direct relationship model or just because we need more things carrying Wikimedia or Mediawiki names and risk further exposure.

MediaWiki Groups were born at mediawiki.org because they were needed to bring this open source community to the physical space. In a formal sense they are just wiki pages with registered users signing up for them. No non-profit creation, no formal membership... The whole identity is based purely on activities organized.

Could you provide some URL to point to how this idea of groups came upon for India. I only saw the staff leading the way for this instead of this coming about organically.  

It was a coincidence that the Wikimedia movement was about to approve the User Groups while MediaWiki Groups were defined. We discussed with the AffCom and we fine tuned the MediaWiki Groups requirements and process in order to make them Wikimedia User Groups as well.

Wikimedia Movement approved User groups? hmm I must have missed that. From my cursory search, I couldn't find the idea of of Mediawiki Groups predating User Groups, which still aren't very fleshed out. 

Then Harsh, Yuvi and also Sucheta showed up proposing a MediaWiki Group India. At the end we decided that MediaWiki Groups need to be strictly local, and that MediaWiki activities at a national level should be better organized with the chapters, since they have already the infrastructure for that. Then Harsh evolved the proposal to MediaWiki Group Ahmedabad, Sucheta is already trying to gather critical mass for a MediaWiki Group Kolkata, etc.

That's it. You can still argue that such organizations could be handled a part of Wikimedia India SIGs, and that their promoters wouldn't be required to be chapter members. I don't even disagree with the idea, but in the right sequence of events: the motivation of these groups is mediawiki.org and therefore good alignment and coordination within the MediaWiki community is what matters most. I have no doubt that strong MediaWiki Groups will contribute to the strength of the Wikimedia community and their related chapters.

I don't understand the pressing need to formalize their affiliation? The development can go on without groups, committees. I recall the staff organizing several hackathons and meetings in India in relation to this. Was there some aspect of that collaboration being held back by an informal relation model?