[Foundation-l] Relocation announcement

Jussi-Ville Heiskanen cimonavaro at gmail.com
Sat Sep 22 19:21:18 UTC 2007

On 9/22/07, Florence Devouard <Anthere9 at yahoo.com> wrote:
> Anthony wrote:
> > On 9/22/07, Florence Devouard <Anthere9 at yahoo.com> wrote:
> >> Anthony wrote:

>>> Wikia is in the San Francisco area.  Any chance they'd be willing to
> >>> donate some office space to Wikipedia?
> >> Even if they had, we should not accept it (and I doubt they would
> >> propose).
> >
> > Why wouldn't they propose?  Wikia wouldn't even exist if it wasn't for
> > the success of Wikipedia [sic].  A donation of some office space is
> > the least they could do.
> They could do it, and never fail to support us during Wikimania. Angela
> also very nicely proposed to support the fundraising effort with banners
> and announcement on Wikia sites. That is not the issue. They have the
> good will. There are friendly terms between us. But Wikia is Wikia. And
> WMF is WMF. Period.

<add extra space here to enhance  the following paragraphs visibility>

The issue is that we both benefit from staying separate from an
> organization point of view, both from fiscal perspective and from a
> communication perspective

This is very very excellently put.

Fiscal: *this* belongs to this organization, *that* belongs to that
> organization. From an auditing perspective, having to identify who
> bought the staples is a nightmare (and more seriously, on whether some
> inappropriate arrangements are occuring between two organizations).
> Communication: we spent the entire past year trying to make it clear
> that the two organizations were unrelated. It is not to our benefit to
> be confused with Wikia.
> It is not easy to raise funds when Wikia just got 1000 millions of
> dollars from Amabon.com.
> It is not easy to explain to the press that the search engine has
> nothing to do with us.
> Jimbo went to great lengths to explain the difference between the two.
> People dealing with the press spent HOURS on these topics to get
> articles to be corrected.
> The message is now beginning to be understood. There is no way we should
> do anything that would bring confusion again.

Very deeply agreed on this point as well.

>> We have gone through great efforts to fully separate from them
> >> and we now have no more financial/legal/technical relationships. Only
> >> love relationships, which is just fine.
> >>
> > Well, there still a lot of person-overlap, between the board, the
> > advisory board, employees, arb com, etc.  And there's still the whole
> > interwiki linking mess.  And now, they're gonna be in the same
> > metropolitan area (which surely will help with the whole
> > people-overlap part).
> Whilst there are two overlaps on the board (with all due COI
> documentation, and lack of vote in cases of conflicts), I do not know of
> any overlap within the staff (can you cite a name ?). I see not why
> Angela being on the advboard implies that there is a relationship.
> Last, whether there are people both working at Wikia and at the arbcom
> is completely irrelevant to the Foundation itself.
> As I said earlier, the days of Michael on the board are counted. He does
> not have time for this role any more, so this will no more be an issue.
> Jimbo... though at Wikia... is hardly in SF himself. Besides, I see no
> reason why he would go to the office on a regular basis. That's not his
> role any more. In short, there is no reason for an overlap.
> And I would not be in favor of ANY overlap for the reasons above
> mentionned.

On the matter of overlaps, I think it is useful to note that there are many
more overlaps/cross-fertilizations going on than meet the eye here.

Just look at the *whole* list of names on the advisory board.

But there has to be blue water between the foundation and any
organization, corporate, charitable, government or otherwise.
I doubt anyone could seriously (or more to the point, successfully)
challenge this precept.

> At least this "relationship" would be to the benefit of the WMF.
> I disagree with that statement.
I whole-heartedly agree with the chair on her disagreement. Being
perceived as tied at the hip to Wikia could potentially be disastrous.

Jussi-Ville Heiskanen, ~ [[User:Cimon Avaro]]

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