On Fri, Jan 4, 2013 at 11:50 PM, Bence Damokos <bdamokos(a)gmail.com> wrote:
I think the historical context you put the Ahmedabad group in is
fascinating, but imputing the creation of the proposed group to yet another
WMF-led half-baked initiative is unfair.
It's not about the baking of it, as much as the baker. They start about the
same but these efforts are staff or consultant led most times that run out
of steam when the relevant person leaves. It's just creating this facade of
volunteer momentum doesn't actually create momentum that isn't there
Wikimedia User Groups are finally getting off the ground; while the page
might contain edits from me, it is considered official. There have
been hiccups with getting trademarks sorted out but the first serious user
group proposed is actually the meetup group of Munich, fully supported by
Wikimedia DE in their attempt to get recognized. (See the WM DE
Now, back in my day :P ...... I just remember smiling with Austin when he
would mention ChapCom approval and official status. The irony of an
unincorporated, unregistered, online body approving a registered,
incorporated one. Anyway, I just thought back then, 'official' didn't mean
as much as it does now. Anyone can go edit that page, remove or change the
majority of it still, something about the essence of that will get lost
Yes, I am aware of the Munich Group, that's why I said "one of the first".
I'm well aware of most pages and developments on Meta. ;) That was actually
an organic attempt by a meetup group that got support of the national
chapter, they are still active and meeting from what I saw last without
much incentive or push.
User groups are meant to be created and recognized quickly (speed of the
process will improve as we go on), perhaps even the 1-month timeframe might
be considered too long if there are no complications; the model is an easy
and not too risky way to empower a group who wants to conduct _offline_
activities (the reasons you don't see the hundreds of on-wiki Wikiprojects
applying for this status is that they are not eligible).
I'd differ here a bit. It might be they are not aware surely, or interested
but I'm sure that whatever eligibility that might be put up, can be
questioned, edited, debated or at last just ignored - again, that would be
the organic way.
MediaWiki Groups are indeed a very new concept, but as they fit relatively
well into the Wikimedia User Group model, which is overseen by a volunteer
committee incidentally, it was agreed that it is better to have it
integrated and approved by the volunteer Affiliations Committee.
As for the Indian SIG model, it is understandably specific to the Indian
chapter. The reason it is being considered is because Wikimedia
organizations should be good neighbours, and the creation of new ones
should be a carefully considered step. However, it might be that the final
recommended best course of action is to 1) make the proposed group merely a
SIG in this local context 2) make it only a MediaWiki Group 3) make it into
both 4) continue this discussion in a way that the people behind the group
simply give up and the problem vanishes.
In considering the best way forward, one needs to consider the
requirements of setting up a SIG (which requires Wikimedia India
membership, and certain other unknown steps that are currently described on
the closed members wiki of Wikimedia India – with a promise to make them
public), an MG (which are described on the linked pages, but boil down to
having at least three interested people with a common goal to do something
offline and support from the relevant community(ies)) – my guess is that
not counting prolonged discussions like this, the MG process is quicker so
a reasonable final action plan would include first getting this status and
then being recognized as an SIG, if option 3 above was the method chosen by
As I said I don't much see the point to all of this. There are employees
here employed by WMF indirectly, a partner organization, a chapter. There
are interested volunteers in chapter that can help with those
organizations, there are contractors that answer directly to......someone?
at WMF, and there is a partner organization. I just didn't see the
impediment being faced to any work so far.
Anyway, I just wanted to reply to you. I had some free time to follow up on
this, I don't care much about the final decision beyond the big picture
stuff I've already said. I wish Harsh and this group well, and I hope that
there is something productive out of this.