[Foundation-l] [Announcement] update in board of trustees membership

Gregory Maxwell gmaxwell at gmail.com
Mon Dec 17 03:24:58 UTC 2007


On Dec 16, 2007 10:01 PM, Florence Devouard <Anthere9 at yahoo.com> wrote:
> I feel there are two paths for the future. Either we keep a board mostly
> made of community members (elected or appointed), who may not be
> top-notch professionals, who can do mistakes, such as forgetting to do a
> background check, such as not being able to do an audit in 1 week, such
> as not signing the killer-deal with Google, but who can breath and pee
> wikimedia projects, dedicate their full energy to a project they love,
> without trying to put their own interest in front. A decentralized
> organization where chapters will have more room, authority and leadership.

I think it's important to note that *everyone* makes mistakes.  So
there is far less of a trade-off then you might fear.

Florence at times you are too humble, but I believe that this is a
quality in an organization which is at times afflicted with excessive
hubris.   When I think about the current controversies, I find myself
coming back to things you wanted to do in the past which would have
avoided them.   I think we all would do well to listen more to you.

I have a lot of thoughts about the advisory board, and how little they
seem to have done for us. The whole concept of appointing big names
seems more like payoff and less like wisdom as time goes on.  Finding
good people with the right interests, skills, and without huge
conflicts of interest is just hard no matter how you cut it.. At least
when you pull from the community you are sure to get people who love
and understand the internals of the projects.  Your vision of simply
keeping a majority is simply a good one, and it's the only thing that
gives me hope. There *are* many good outsiders we can choose from to
fill the balance, but it will take time and introspection to make the
right decisions.

Your message was good, in general, I think.. but it may have left
people thinking that Erik was leaving Wikimedia, and not really moving
on to a position of even more power.  So that might create some
confusion, but I understand that not everything can be announced at
once and that stuff isn't final.

I'm sorry that it's been so long since I've written to you. Honestly,
I'd lost some faith in the organization. I'm glad to see that you are
still shaking things up and doing you best to keep moving in the
interest of the public and the community.  Please, keep in touch even
if I forget.

Thank you for all your hard work!
-- Greg

More information about the foundation-l mailing list