The GibraltapeidA issue has raised a number of concerns which have led to
a number of members spending time on the matter, and indeed staff time
will have to spent on clarifying the issues involved as well. While
GibraltapeidA has been the occasion of this discussion, and could well
benefit materially from any clarity which results from this mental labour,
they would not be the sole beneficiary. Indeed, the situation arises from
a situation in which WMUK finds itself involved, before having an
opportunity for proper consideration.
Several months ago I raised with Jon Davies the idea of setting up a
trading arm on a co-operative model, primarily with a view to allowing
Wikimedians to provide training on a paid basis. This could include
Mediawiki coding in general above and beyond immediate Wikimedia sites.
This issues - and I suspect there will be more - reinforces my view that
some sort of trading arm would be useful.
Certainly amongst the first wave Wikimedians, Wikipedia had not become a
household name and the prospects of applying skills gained through editing
was unlikely to be a significant concern. That situation has changed. Paid
editing on Wikipedia is one thing, but the situation on sister projects
can be quite different: e.g. making material available on Wikisource. I
feel we are at a turning point, and we need to find away of looking at the
overall situation above and beyond the circumstances of GibraltapeidA.
Perhaps the Board could consider:
1) Organising an effective discussion of what role Board members should
play amongst the whole membership.
2) Linked to this could be the establishment of a social enterprise
through which Wikimedians could gain paid work in an open and moderated
way - including revenue generation for WMUK.
3) Development of a framework to take matters forward, which, in my view,
should include balloting the membership about any limitations above and
beyond the legal minimum which they might consider appropriate for board
I realise this is quite a daunting amount of work, but I see it as an
inevitable consequence of the success of Wikipedia. This I see as one of
the key social challenges which the Wikimedia movement faces as we move
into the second decade.
all the best