[Foundation-l] (Flashback) A short (and revised) FAQ about Wikimania in Alexandria

Florence Devouard Anthere9 at yahoo.com
Tue Apr 22 09:20:02 UTC 2008

Oldak Quill wrote:
> 2008/4/21 Florence Devouard <Anthere9 at yahoo.com>:
>> Mike Godwin wrote:
>>  > Greg Maxwell writes:
>>  >
>>  >>  In the message I responded to you stated that the collection of
>>  >> emergency contact information would present considerable privacy
>>  >> concerns.   Here you seem to be suggesting that the foundation would
>>  >> instead prefer to pass off the collection to a volunteer driven
>>  >> project.  This seems like a completely inconsistent position, but
>>  >> perhaps I just do not understand.
>>  >
>>  > I guess I'm both callous and inconsistent. Next thing you know I'll be
>>  > downright evil. (That's where you going, isn't it? Just admit it.)
>>  >
>>  > It should be noted that the concerns that have been raised to me, both
>>  > publicly and privately, are themselves inconsistent. Some people are
>>  > concerned about their privacy. Some are concerned about security. Some
>>  > are concerned about both privacy and security. Some are concerned
>>  > about neither. Some are concerned about wholly separate matters. Some
>>  > feel that they can't post publicly to this list without themselves
>>  > being criticized.
>>  >
>>  > So don't be surprised if you hear from me representations of
>>  > inconsistent concerns. This is not exactly a consistent crowd.  (News
>>  > flash!)
>>  >
>>  >> I'm at a bit of a loss as to what means could possibly be more
>>  >> efficient and effective than simply adding a single additional field
>>  >> to the official Wikimania registration form.  Could you please
>>  >> elaborate?
>>  >
>>  > I can elaborate by saying that I think you have spent more time
>>  > responding to me than it might have taken you to come up with a
>>  > solution that addresses the concerns you state here. This strikes me
>>  > as callous.
>>  >
>>  > Is there a registration form somewhere that the Foundation has access
>>  > to, Greg, that you don't? I don't know of one. Have you considered
>>  > making your concerns known to those who are actually organizing the
>>  > conference, such as Delphine and the local team? (The Foundation is
>>  > only paying for it.)
>>  I... no... I totally disagree here. The Foundation is not ONLY paying
>>  for it.
>>  Actually, it is really hardly *paying*, because the past three
>>  Wikimanias have been a zero sum cost, or even made a tiny benefit (used
>>  for following Wikimanias).
>>  The costs of Wikimania are supported by sponsors, participants,
>>  sometimes chapters, and lots' of good will (free work by wikipedians or
>>  by local organizations).
>>  The major real costs for the Foundation are to pay for the participation
>>  of board members/staff members.
>>  The Foundation is simply NOT paying for the conference. It is helping
>>  money to come in, and helping the money to come out.
>>  However, paying is not really the issue.
>>  It is probably boosting to say that Wikimedia Foundation is organizing
>>  Wikimania. This is not really true, most events have been organized by
>>  the Wikimania teams.
>>  What Wikimedia Foundation is really doing is facilitation.
>>  It facilitates in providing the right to use the brand.
>>  It facilitates in providing access to a bank account and means to pay.
>>  It facilitates in "lending" staff or contractors (be it Delphine to help
>>  coordinate, or Jay to help with Press and communication, or Mike for the
>>  security assessment etc....)
>>  It facilitates in providing reassurance to sponsors
>>  etc...
>>  Facilitation is an important role. Probably essential. The Conference of
>>  the America was cancelled precisely because the Foundation could not
>>  (would not) play this role of facilitator.
>>  I would also largely say that facilitating should be the ONLY role of
>>  the Foundation.
>>  Ant
> The Foundation's role is a little less passive than this. It is
> ultimately responsible for choosing the winning bid/city...
>  At least, the jury is composed of WF board members and people
> involved with past Wikimanias. Am I wrong in thinking the jury falls
> under the WF?
> WF doesn't merely facilitate these events, it has an active role in
> saying "go" or "no".

Board members+staff are in a serious minority with regards to voting to 
choose the city (2 or 3 votes ?). It is certainly not a blocking 
majority. So, I would not say that choosing the city is the 
responsibility of the WMF, given that board members can vote for city A 
and city B be chosen ultimately by the entire jury.

However, I think that if these board members or the ED (or Mike) had a 
MAJOR argument against choosing a specific city, the jury members would 
be sensitive to it and vote accordingly.

That's not a written rule, but simply healthy way to work collectively 
for the best outcome.


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