No, no.. Let me say that again and again, I passionately welcome the idea that it is the genuinely interested people ( aka community) who should be driving force of the chapter !  ( sincerely believe so and should be so). I am more a community member at heart but I believe the chapter has to and will play a bigger role in the Wikimedia  movement of India.

But for that, we need more and more community members joining the chapter.
The question is HOW ? 

I was recently reminded of this interesting story of Rajat Gupta and Vajpayee >>
Mckinsey were doing some fancy report on india and Rajat was presenting that india didn't need to worry about investment flowing to china because the real opporutnity in india was productivity improvement. 
Mckinsey said that actually india needed a lot less money and more efficiency. 
so Vajpayee listens patiently and then says, 'Guptaji, yeh sab to theek hai, lekin kaisa karna hai???' 

It is not that we are all not aware of the problem, what we need to find is the solution. 

I mentioned earlier,  There is a  "chicken & egg problem" on this.  "The chapter desperately needs the community for the former's growth.. The community will only join the chapter only if it is strong !"


On Tue, Dec 6, 2011 at 10:00 AM, Srikanth Ramakrishnan <> wrote:

I understand that we need more members to take the movement forward, but we need to ensure that only genuinely interested people become a part of the chapter. 
Imagine this: Some comapny is unable to promote their product on Wikipedia. Keeps getting deleted. [Read the mail I sent about Marketing, last week]. One of them joins the chapter, becomes part of the EC after the AGM. What if he/she now uses that position to promote their comapny?

Think about it.

On Tue, Dec 6, 2011 at 8:08 AM, CherianTinu Abraham <> wrote:
Thanks Srikanths for initiating this useful discussion. 
Yes, we are all aware of the problem. But then again there are no straight forward answers & solutions too. 

Ironically it is a similar to the "chicken & egg problem". The chapter needs the community to grow strong... The community will join the chapter only if it is strong".

One of things, we are trying is to expand the chapter leadership & larger community participation is by forming special interest groups for languages & cities. The SIG chair will form the SIG teams that will help & steer, catalyst the development of the particular communities Many other teams like Finance, Fundraising , Web, PR/Media Relations, Outreach are in making and will be rolled out soon. 

Bala, Welcome to the chapter !  :) Only if enthusiastic community members like you come forward , we can make the chapter a better place.

I also want to use this opportunity to open up discussion ( to all) on what should the chapter do.
1)  in terms of getting more & more community members 
2)  having a better relation & participation with the community at large. 
3) and what the community expects the chapter to do. 

I would request to keep this discussion healthy and constructive. ( and obviously no personal attacks )

Over to you, dear community...



On Mon, Dec 5, 2011 at 11:56 PM, Bala Jeyaraman <> wrote:
+1 for recruiting more Wikipedian members.

I am one of those Wikipedians who hasn't become a member of the chapter because i am hesitant to get involved in chapter politics and fear of being forced to follow the agenda set by people who know nothing about Wikipedia (except perhaps talking about it). I am sure there are more wikipedians like me who are just observing what goes on from the sidelines. It is people like us who need to be prodded and dragged to become chapter members.(I will send in my membership application soon).

Getting non-wikipedians to sign up and increasing the numbers will eventually lead to an organisation completely out of tune with the Wikimedia movement. Numbers for numbers sake is not the road we should take.  As Srikanth R pointed out, there are a lot of  people who would love to take control. I believe such a thing did happen once before and the chapter was forced to send legal notices to dissuade it.  Recruiting numbers for numbers sake might well lead to such a situation again. And when that happens chapter will become yet another talk only organisation completely irrelevant to what Wikipedia actually is.

So lets not put up any barriers for membership but at the same time, lets not advertise chapter membership to completely new people by going on membership drives in outreach events.


On Mon, Dec 5, 2011 at 7:19 PM, Srikanth Lakshmanan <> wrote:

On Mon, Dec 5, 2011 at 19:01, CherianTinu Abraham <> wrote:
I am very much in favour of ( sincerely wishes so) the active community members being part of the chapter and its leadership and taking the chapter is next level. The chapter will have lose its relevance unless the community takes control of it and shape its future.  

I keep iterating this often,  May I ask to kindly remove the notion that Chapter = EC. Each one of us has an equal responsibility ( and opportunity) to take it forward and drive the chapter. 

With the very same intent, I opened up the thread, which EC has not opened / made much progress, so that we can do something to have more members who are informed and involved. I would like to point reply of R Srikanth. There are many such folks on the list, beyond it on various wikis in the "silent contributors" category who do not like to be a chapter member and this could be one of the reason. Instead of reaching to events and getting membership and at some stage tell the world chapter is X members strong, Chapter must put in more efforts in getting more members of community as its members and this thread can very well be a start.

Having said that, when our founding members drafted the MoA, the chapter membership was made open to any Indian who is above the 18 years of age. We didn't want to say No to anyone who is coming forward to join the chapter. We wanted it to be open and inclusive, we wanted to set no barriers for anyone to join, anyone who is genuinely interested and enthusiastic , just like in Wikipedia

It is one thing to say "No to anyone who is interested" / but barriers to join, another thing to give out forms, ask them to fill up and canvass its just 100 Rs saying you can be chapter member without letting them know what it is.


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Srikanth Ramakrishnan.
Wikipedia Coimbatore Meetup on December 10th.

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