Dear Harsh,

I understand that it can be sometimes frustrating to be answering a bunch of questions from other Wikipedians (including, perhaps me) however it serves a purpose.

You have suggested the formation, on this list, of a new entity. There are two things worth congragulating you here. One, that you are willing to take a lead on the formation of an entity. Second, that you have announced it on this list. 

However, this act of creating a new entity comes along with it the responsoibility of answering questions and concerns other members of the community may have. This helps people who want to join in decide and understand what they are getting into.

It also makes things simpler for the teams and groups following your lead. Being a pioneer requires effort because change is resisted. Alternatives will be suggested and the group must stand the test of why another entity may not do the work that this group does.

Do engage with the community here. It may be frustrating and take your time in the beginning but I believe it would be worthwhile in the long run. This has been my experience.
Pradeep Mohandas
How Pradeep uses email? -

From: Arun Ramarathnam <>
To: Wikimedia India Community list <>
Sent: Sunday, 6 January 2013 6:06 PM
Subject: Re: [Wikimediaindia-l] Proposal for India's First MediaWiki Group Ahmedabad

Dear Harsh,

First of all thanks to you and the volunteers in Ahmendabad who are keen to contribute to Mediawiki. it is evident from your contributions to Gujarati (around Mediawiki) that you and others are very interested to do your bit. Please continue to do this with the passion and the enthusiasm some of you have show already.

On Sun, Jan 6, 2013 at 12:34 AM, Harsh Kothari <> wrote:
Next is I don't want to get involved in this type of discussion. I just want to contribute and code. This is probably the best we can do, since the rest of Ahmedabad group members are also more interested in coding than in formal discussions like this one. We silently help growing the MediaWiki community across India. That is what matters.

As a far these "formal discussions" go they are essential to sort out and bring clarity to the emerging models proposed by the foundation. There are matters of scope of multiple entities at play, overlapping turfs, trademark licensing, membership, continuity of activities and funding that are involved.

Building volunteer groups is best done without the need for a registered entity as they come with the burden of maintaining and ensuring compliance to the regulatory authorities. The focus while bootstrapping these ought to be (as you right said) on building the volunteer pool.

Let the chapter and the WMF sort out the larger model while you folks keep the focus on the technical work that you are passionate about. I am sure the chapter or the WMF would be happen to support if you were to need any help.

Dear All,

For now, it is unclear to me what treating the Ahmedabad Mediawiki user  group as a formal wikimedia user group actually means? Does that mean it would be non-incorporated entity and have trademark reuse rights (from the chapter?). It suppose it would need to depend on funding as needed from the chapter or WMF. 

Can someone clarify?
Is there any other aspect that I may be missing?

To chime in on the observations made earlier on the thread...I for for one also believes...

India has been a test bed to test out models without  thinking through the ramifications enough. The creation of India programs (first intended as a temporary office, then a formal entity, subsequently wound up (which came as a huge shock to many) and handed over to CIS (now A2K). I do think some of these moves ought to have happened with more chapter involvement. 

If for one don't understand how first a focused Boots-on-the-ground initiative is launched and subsequently there is a move to a narrowed focused model (a complete change in approach). This move has surely impacted the dynamics at the ground in India immensely. We have lost some truly good wikipedians who have moved on in disillusionment.
I care for the movement and do believe that strengthening chapters to be the custodians of the movement in respective countries is the way to go forward. In my view, all movement entities should focus on assisting chapters to be successful who in term focus on supporting the community and local outreach. If there isn't belief in chapters, better to scrap them than run parallel entities (I am not referring to the Ahmedabad initiative here).  

What is sad is in the midst of this complexity of organisational entities, we perhaps risk losing truly enthusiastic volunteers whose only  interest is in contributing to the movement. Catalysing and supporting volunteer enthusiasm and interest ought to be  our collective sole purpose and focus.

I request Harsh and the other volunteers to keep the focus on the "coding" and the cool stuff than get caught up in the debate of the organizational complexity which is best left to the chapter EC and the WMF to sort out quickly.


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