[Foundation-l] VC - alternative resolution

Milos Rancic millosh at gmail.com
Fri Apr 4 11:07:53 UTC 2008

There are a lot of important issues which may be decided only by a
legitimate entity of the global community. During the last years the
Board was not willing to make any community-related issue until things
became too critical. We needed months (or more than a year?) to close
Siberian Wikipedia, (at least) a month or two was needed to regulate
things on Russian Wikibooks, years were passed and I don't see
resolution of the problems around Moldovan Wikipedia... How much time
was passed from technical availability of SUL until the start of its
implementation? Who is responsible for the fact that we don't have a
possibility to resolve anything outside of a particular community? Who
is responsible for the fact that I am not able to compile one wikibook
on Serbian Wikibooks from translations from German and English
Wikibooks? Who is responsible for NPOV development? Who is responsible
for taking care about encyclopedic and NPOV principles on Wikipedias?

The answer is simple: no one is responsible. There is no any person or
body which took responsibility over such issues. Board is taking care
only if something threats to go out of control at the wider scale. All
other things are up to the strength of the local communities.

But, out of those well known problems, there are *a lot* of very small
and simple problems which roots are in a lack of communication between
the communities. A couple of days ago I sent to two lists (+ one more
resent by David Gerard) about cooperation between professors, experts
and students around Wikimedia. And I realized that I found one more
already partially realized idea which would require a lot of work and
coordination to become functional. And, again, I don't see the right
place to talk about the organization of such thing. ... How many times
Wikimedians would make a similar template or the same not so easy to
make bot for some purpose? ... Who is responsible to ask people from
one small project what do they need? ...

If all of those issues are not enough big for making a communication
and decision-making channel for all projects, I am really not sure do
Wikimedian projects have anything else common except hosting their
content at WMF servers.

On Fri, Apr 4, 2008 at 12:36 PM, Gerard Meijssen
<gerard.meijssen at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hoi,
>  When the will of the people is delegated, does that mean that the people has
>  also delegated its responsibility of the consequences of this will? When the
>  council has working groups are they to talk themselves to death or will they
>  be responsible for what they do and be responsible for the realisation of
>  their pearls of wisdom?
>  The big problem is not in talking, or airing views. The big problem is in
>  not taking the consequences of those views.
>  Betawiki and the language committee work because of people DOING things. All
>  the talk about going to do things is just a waste of time when there are no
>  resulting observable practical results. I like the proposal from Lodewijk
>  because it moves us away from only talk. When I hear only jabber jabber
>  community, will, power, committees I wonder what the deliverables will be.
>  What the use will be. Why we should trust you.
>  There is no problem abdicating power when the result is that the work gets
>  done more efficiently, more effectively. In a well run organisation the boss
>  is constrained in what he can effectively do while he has the power to do
>  anything. To me there is no paradox in wanting to give power away, it makes
>  sense because people who have power like Anthere, Sue, Brion, Jimmy do not
>  scale.
>  Thanks,
>      GerardM
>  On Fri, Apr 4, 2008 at 11:41 AM, Milos Rancic <millosh at gmail.com> wrote:
>  > On Fri, Apr 4, 2008 at 11:11 AM, Gerard Meijssen
>  > <gerard.meijssen at gmail.com> wrote:
>  > >  In the existing proposal there is a need to describe what such a
>  > council be
>  > >  like, what kind of mandate it has. From my perspective, I will only be
>  > >  interested in such a council if it not only seeks power (not a good
>  > thing)
>  > >  but also takes responsibilities (the reason why it might work). When
>  > the
>  > >  council is only to jabber about what OTHERS have to do, I prefer the
>  > status
>  > >  quo where everyone is allowed to jabber equally and do whatever without
>  > >  having commitments.
>  >
>  > According to my ideas, VC members (so, not PVC members, which are a
>  > group formed to make a proposal) should have two functions: (1) to
>  > delegate will from their own projects (so, generally, not to decide
>  > about any global policy alone) and (2) to work inside of VC's working
>  > groups (as bigger that body is, as much working groups it will be able
>  > to have; probably two or three working groups at the beginning).
>  >
>  > >  The only and the first moment when the board HAS to state something is
>  > when
>  > >  it deputises its power to this proposed council. I consider it
>  > irresponsible
>  > >  to give a blank check to this group of well meaning people.
>  >
>  > Actually, things are a little bit paradoxically: Board members (Jimmy
>  > and Florence) proposed the creation of VC (so, limiting their own
>  > power), while some community members (which raises their power to
>  > influence things which is their matter) are against it.
>  >
>  > No one is giving to PVC members any kind of power. Until VC starts to
>  > exists, everything is still in Board's hands. One of the things for
>  > which I am is that VC should be confirmed at Wikimedia wide
>  > referendum. (If the community doesn't want to have an influence to its
>  > own matters, then such body is not needed.)
>  >
>  > (If I understood well your point that someone is giving some power to
>  > PVC members.)
>  >
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