[Foundation-l] Where we are headed

Jimmy Wales jwales at wikia.com
Sun Jun 4 23:05:16 UTC 2006

Erik Moeller wrote:
> On 6/4/06, Troy Hunter <troyhunter0 at lycos.com> wrote:
>> http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Resolution_committee_conduct
> With regard to this resolution in particular, which tried to guarantee
> a minimal level of openness in the committees:
> - Why was it rejected -- what were the arguments against it? Who voted
> against it?
> - Is any similar resolution planned for the future?

There were concerns about the vagueness of the resolution, and some
questions as to whether a board resolution was the proper venue for it.
 To my knowledge, there was complete and total board support for the
general concept that committees should have a certain level of openness.

For example, consider the phrase "only when confidentiality is required"
-- well, confidentiality is very seldom *required* in the sense of a
legal requirement.  But confidentiality is often the only sane course of

Consider for example, the communications committee.  Part of our work is
in figuring out the best strategy to deal with breaking news stories.
We need to be able to talk openly about such things, without the concern
that whatever we say may end up in the headlines.  Confidentiality is
not strictly speaking *required*, but having an environment where the
committee members can not float some trial balloons ideas quietly with
trusted friends would be absurd.

Or consider for example the special projects committee.  We get all
kinds of proposals all the time from various kinds of organizations.
Many of these are silly, and committee members should feel free to say
so.  But not in public, where it could be embarassing to someone who has
made a good faith proposal.

So, it seems to me that the best way to approach this is not with a
formalistic board resolution (this is not our traditional way), but
through ongoing dialog and discussion, rather than rules-based demands
from the board.


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