[Foundation-l] Re: Outsiders on the Board? (was Re: Poll for Wikistandards)

Robert Scott Horning robert_horning at netzero.net
Thu Feb 2 18:21:36 UTC 2006

Delphine Ménard wrote:

>On 2/2/06, Robert Scott Horning <robert_horning at netzero.net> wrote:
>>Now this is an interesting situation.  Bureaucrats and admins are asked
>>to "speak on behalf of the Foundation" in regards to enforcing policies
>>on each of the seperate projects.
>When? How? Where?
I just got through dealing with one group, the Hesperian Foundation, 
which was in the process of using Wikibooks to help with the 
collaborative effort of translating an English language medical textbook 
from English to Hatian Creole.  See this page for more details:


As an administrator at Wikibooks, I informed the project manager, John 
Rigdon, that he should try to do this on Wikisource instead.  As it 
turns out, he is actually going to be creating the Hatian Creole 
language Wikisource project in order to get this translation project 
moving, and there is some additional Creole content that is likly to be 
contributed as well.  As a relative newcomer to Wikimedia projects, he 
is still a little bewildered by all of the politics that are involved 
with all of the sister projects and just wants to have some space to try 
a wiki, and make some meaningful contributions as well.

I'm basically just holding his hand and get him through some of the 
rough spots, while politely informing him of the various project 
policies.  This is a win-win situation for both his group and the 
Wikimedia Foundation, as we now are going to have a significant 
contribution to a language that has not been covered before, and his 
group is going to have a collaborative editing environment that would 
otherwise cost money that his non-profit group could not realistically 
afford for any substantial length of time.

I also use this as an example of a petty detail that board members 
should not be intimately involved with on a day to day basis but instead 
be dealt with by project-specific administrators.  We are not creating 
new policy by any means, but merely enforcing existing policies and 
helping to explain the subtle differences between each project.  Is this 
something that board members really want to micro-manage?

Robert Scott Horning

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