Forgive me for interjecting at this point, as I am not actively engaged
with any aspect of this process.
Wikimedia is a growing phenomenon, absolutely unique in its demonstration
that value can be created without what is often assumed to be an equivalent
injection of capital. It has happened through a model of cooperative
working that previously we have hardly had work anywhere in the world,
aside from the movement that created Amul ('value beyond money', in a crude
How will this movement be sustained and nourished into the future? As we
know, traditional organisations, those ones whose models and frameworks
have developed in the past 100 years or so, are quite unable to sustain
their typical outputs, which are brands of goods and services. In some
cases, it is because the products or services themselves become irrelevant,
but in a large number of instances, despite their continuance.
Yet we don't criticise those models adequately, and in fact may refer to
their comings and goings as akin to natural evolution. Rather, the
individual corporations and their organisational styles could be viewed as
examples of unsustainable mutation.
With this one, we have to tread boldly where no man, woman or any other
intelligent creature on earth, as far as we know, has gone before. It seems
reasonable to outsource some functions, as is presently being tried, but
there are misgivings that this process itself introduces viscosity in the
flow of information. Also, and this is a more critical observation, that
money is being spent to do things that were being done by volunteers
imho, no matter what activity is being undertaken, be it very manual, or
highly cerebral, the mind that focuses on it narrowly is unable to
adequately deal with matters on another scale. So the volunteers that do
superbly at keeping the information resource humming don't have enough
quality time to focus on how to make sure the resource is sustainable
tomorrow as well as it is today. Tomorrow is another scale of thinking,
when the emergency (or even routine task) is now.
Perhaps handing over some tasks has freed up a few minds to focus on
tomorrow and tomorrow. Maybe those minds aren't thinking about the
short-term issues that have caused some people to already start speaking
up, because they have set something in place and don't yet have good enough
monitoring tools in place to know whether it is working out well, or
creating hitherto unknown problems.
I would like to see some loud thinking focused on less criticism of the
present approach and more on alternate models that will address the
misgivings being voiced, and invite further criticisms as an ongoing
process rather than a staccato and uncomfortable round of finger-pointing
(names haven't been named yet, but ...been there, done that).
On Tue, Apr 15, 2014 at 7:31 PM, Ravishankar <ravidreams(a)gmail.com> wrote:
Thanks for validating my concern.
I have posted an updated and expanded comment at
== Questions from an Indian Community member to WMF and CIS-A2K ==
'''Questions for WMF'''
1. What happens to the natural growth rate of the communities once a
program like this shuts down?
The former Wikimedia India programs claimed Assamese Wikipedia as a
success story. Now, you can look at
for their performance
after that program was shut down.
So, how do you justify the spending for this program which is like spoon
The way [
Wikipedia seeks help for content management] (fixing Google articles)
confirms my concern of spoon feeding.
2. What is WMF's approach and strategy for growing Wikimedia movement in
India? Will there be any end date for the CIS-A2K program or will there be
never ending annual renewals?
3. Is WMF adapting double standards for assessing grant requests?
For example, there is liberal funding for staff salary here but WMIN
chapter was refused even one full time manager and ultimately the chapter
is facing a slow death now. Forget the cost and value of all the volunteer
work done by all the EC members and general members since the beginning of
'''Questions for CIS-A2K'''
4. How do you attribute or separate the performance of CIS-A2K from the
organic efforts and the growth of the community?
5. What is the (subtle) pressure, if any, on the community to achieve the
expected results? The plan is quite ambitious but looks completely top down
in approach. Do you expect the community to be burnt out?
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