[Foundation-l] Communications issues

Michael Snow wikipedia at earthlink.net
Wed Jan 3 16:08:58 UTC 2007

Gatto Nero wrote:

> 2007/1/3, Michael Snow <wikipedia at earthlink.net>:
>> Part of the problem is a lack of resources, both human and technical, in
>> the communications area as much as in any other. That sort of thing is,
>> of course, exactly what this fundraiser is trying to address.
> I'm sorry, 'cause of language differences maybe I've not understood:
> are you saying that "lack of resources" is one of the reasons why are
> we collecting money?


> This means, "people needs to be payed"? (I'm asking, 'cause I'm not
> sure, that's not an accusation)

See "human and technical" above. There's a need for servers, and there's 
a need to hire staff to do the things that volunteers can't, won't, or 
aren't trained to do.

> In the recent past, I remember a user answering to me and other
> italians "Communities doesn't matter. Funding does. Capisce?".
> How does this phrase should be interpreted?
> Let's think about a new user who's starting to communicate with the
> Foundation, and he's been answered in this way.
> Obviously, I don't think this is an isolated case.

I don't know who said it or how it was intended to be interpreted. At 
face value, it's certainly not an appropriate expression of the 
Foundation's position. However, I'm surprised that you would take a 
random comment like this, that sounds like it was made on IRC, as an 
authoritative statement. A "new user" who wants to "communicate with the 
Foundation" is looking in entirely the wrong place there, and I'm not 
sure how a truly new user would receive such an answer (as opposed to 
someone used to getting information passed by word of mouth in a chat 
room). As I mentioned with regard to OTRS, good customer service skills 
are expected, and we do work with new volunteers so they understand not 
to give such inappropriate responses.

> As far as I remember, I have no memories at all of reading a
> communication "signed" by the CommComm. Better: I have no memories at
> all of reading a communicaton about Foundation's issues or problem.

The former may not be surprising, although there have been some (like 
In part, the Communications Committee has been involved in coordinating 
messages that do not necessarily come with its "signature", like the 
material surrounding the closure of the French Wikiquote. Meanwhile, if 
you've been subscribed to this list, and truly have no memory of reading 
communications about the Foundation's issues, I really can't help you 
with that.

> Why has there not been a periodical mail/message/zine/whatever
> summarizing what's going the Foundation?

Lack of time, attention, and resources. Anyone who wants to try to 
resurrect the Wikimedia Quarto or do something similar is welcome to. 
There have been lots of suggestions about things Wikimedia could be 
doing, many of them useful, both as to communications and other issues. 
These are nice, but simply adding more tasks to an already overloaded 
to-do list doesn't produce a lot of progress. That's why we're asking 
for help. We need more people like Improv or BirgitteSB, who are willing 
to take a good idea and implement it. Ideas are cheap compared to action.

--Michael Snow

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