[Foundation-l] bylaws (second call)

Birgitte SB birgitte_sb at yahoo.com
Mon Aug 14 13:33:46 UTC 2006

--- Anthony <wikilegal at inbox.org> wrote:

> My idea is to form a group of members who care
> specifically about
> Wikimedia, not as just "that organization that
> provides
> Wiki[whatever]", but for its full potential.  Ant
> recently brought up
> a thread that she wanted to see more candidates for
> the board with
> interests other than just on the English Wikipedia. 
> My response to
> that thread was more practical than idealistic - I
> feel that this is a
> symptom of the way the organization is currently
> being run (in essence
> ignoring the bylaws), and that simply encouraging
> more people to run
> for the board is not going to solve anything.  The
> membership of a
> membership-based organization is the base, and right
> now we don't even
> know who that membership is.
> I've been thinking a lot about what I'd like to see
> in the updated
> bylaws.  My current thinking is to have members of
> Wikimedia which are
> not tied in any way to the current projects (i.e.
> you don't have to
> have a log in anywhere, and you don't even have to
> have a computer).
> I think the part about not even needig a computer is
> important -
> Wikimedia is more than just the sum of its projects,
> and it exists in
> the real world, not on the Internet.
> The annual dues would be around $250 US, but a
> committee would be
> formed to introduce rules by which members could
> have the dues waived
> (or possibly reduced, but I'm not sure if that
> complication is worth
> it).  The idea is that volunteers on any of the
> various projects would
> be able to become members for free, but it wouldn't
> be automatic, and
> the rules could be different for the different
> projects.  The
> committee would have flexibility so that a peace
> core worker who
> distributes printed Wikimedia materials in some
> remote location, and
> can only get on the Internet once a week, can still
> be a member, and
> they can be a member for free.  I chose $250 because
> I think this is a
> big enough amount that it'll keep membership to
> people who truly care
> about Wikimedia, but I initially was thinking more
> like $100/year, and
> I'm still very flexible on this number.  I also
> think the number of
> members whose dues get waived will probably outweigh
> those who don't,
> as that seems to be within the spirit of the
> projects Wikimedia runs.
> Well, as I said this is just my current thinking on
> the matter.  If
> anyone has any comments I'd love to hear them.  If
> any lawyer-minded
> people want to propose some language which
> accomplishes this I'd love
> to hear that too.
> Anthony
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> foundation-l at wikimedia.org

I question whether this would actually accomplish what
you would like it to.  How does a $250 price tag on
membership seperate people who care about  "that
organization that provides Wiki[whatever]" from people
"who care specifically about Wikimedia . . . for its
full potential"?  I just don't see why people in one
group would be any more willing to spend $250 than the
other group.  Are you suggesting this fee should be
waived for people who write a good essay about the
potential of WMF, or people who work in developing
nations, or based on some other factor?  I just don't
get how this proposal is supposed to solve the problem
you outline above.


P.S. I am not even sure this really is a definate
problem.  It could just be a sypmtom of WMF's not
properly educating the people from the communities
about the foundation's full potential.  Especially
since poor communication between the Foundation and
the communities is the underlying issue with many past
and current difficulties.  In any event I am assuming
it *is* an intrinsic problem for the above

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