[Foundation-l] Board response on Volunteer Council

Gerard Meijssen gerard.meijssen at gmail.com
Sat Apr 26 06:22:41 UTC 2008

The way I read the announcement of the board and the commentary by Michael
Snow gives me a feeling of hope. It gives me hope because there is plenty
room for a self governing body that will be there for the projects. I argued
in the past to have a "Project Council" and the way I read this it is
exactly where the board gives us room to organise a functional council.

I agree with effeietsanders that there is a need to organise a council. I do
prefer a council that is particularly involved in addressing issues that are
the result of the over 700 projects we have. The influence a council will
have is something that will increasingly increase as it makes a difference
on the ground. So I appreciate effeietsanders's disappointment but I urge
him and the other members of the provisional council to work in the space
that is clearly available. It is not without precedent; Betawiki is another
self organised, self governing project that works for the benefit of us all.
In the end what makes a difference is that you make a difference.

In my opinion the glass is not half empty but half full... and filling :)

On Sat, Apr 26, 2008 at 7:35 AM, Michael Snow <wikipedia at verizon.net> wrote:

> Michael Snow wrote:
> > At this stage, the board has decided not to take action on the proposal
> > to develop a Volunteer Council. We thank everyone who put the time and
> > effort into formulating and discussing this proposal. Although the board
> > did not find a clear fit for this proposal in the formal structure of
> > the Wikimedia Foundation, we didn't rule out the possibility that the
> > Wikimedia project communities might organize this or another type of
> > council for their own benefit.
> >
> Not speaking on behalf of the board generally, I'll share some of my
> personal opinion here. I can see some potential benefit to a volunteer
> council or similar body, but more clearly in a function of
> self-government for the community, where this may be lacking. That is to
> say, not so much to be involved in foundation-level operations, but to
> allow the foundation to avoid interfering where it is not wanted and
> does not want to be.
> For example, I don't think we as the board should really be approving
> stewards, or new arbitration committees on projects. Those are affairs
> for the community to handle on its own, other than that the foundation
> may want to have those people be personally identifiable. I could
> imagine that starting projects in new languages (as opposed to launching
> entirely new projects) might fit under this heading as well. So I
> encourage people to keep looking at the idea, and I would support
> developments that allow the community to govern itself instead of
> lapsing into anarchy.
> --Michael Snow
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