Hi Bence

On Fri, Jan 4, 2013 at 11:50 PM, Bence Damokos <bdamokos@gmail.com> wrote:
Hi Theo,

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 organically.

Wikimedia User Groups are finally getting off the ground; while the page might contain edits from me, it is considered official. There have beenhiccups 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 chapter-created newsletter:https://blog.wikimedia.de/2012/11/15/wikimediawoche-462012/).

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 soon.

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 the group.

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.