[Foundation-l] Top 10 Wikipedias
Anthere9 at yahoo.com
Tue Jul 8 07:04:21 UTC 2008
Lars Aronsson wrote:
> Filip Maljkovic wrote (on behalf of Waldir):
>> I would like to request your attention to a vote that will start this
>> midnight, regarding a rearrangement of the top ten Wikipedias that are
>> displayed on the main wikipedia portal
>> Please head to the poll
>> to vote. I hope to see you there! --Waldir
> You failed to mention what sort of authority or mandate this poll
> has been given, compared to all previous opinions, votes and polls
> on the same topic in recent years.
Apparently the same as previous years...
I don't even know whether the
> design of the www.wikipedia.org front page is the responsibility
> of the WMF board, its chairman or the CEO.
No, no, and no. At least, unless the community decides to put something
illegal in the USA, I hope that the CEO, the Chair or the board will
always have the sense not to decide they have the responsibility of the
design of this page. What would be next if they do ?
Oh, presumably, I guess the community would be served by a "we need to
improve the communication and we'll serve the readers with a video of
Jimmy asking funds to the crowds". And if so, what will be next ? WMF
being in charge of deciding the design of all main pages ? WMF deciding
to be in charge of deciding of the editing policy ? WMF deciding who is
allowed to be sysop ?
Will they agree to be
> micromanaged by spontaneous polls among the audience?
Are will they agree to micromanage the projects ???
> vote has ended on July 31, who will implement the changes? Who
> decided the time limits for this poll, and the criteria for who
> can vote (account 3 months ago, 500 edits total)? To an outside
> reader it might seem like anybody can make the rules and decide
> anything. Does this mean I can start a new poll on the same
> subject in September?
> I don't mind an opinion poll. I don't mind the front page being
> redesigned. What I do question is the right to initiate new polls
> or institutions (last time it was the community council) that take
> the shape of government over the WMF. The WMF should be ruled
> according to its bylaws, not by spontaneous mobs.
Well, the projects largely run on precedent and consensus. Hopefully, if
you start a new poll in september, you will get 10 people telling you
"are you nuts, we just voted on this !" and no one will come vote on
your poll. When you really think of it, the ENTIRE project has been run
by spontaneous "mobs" since 2001, and up to date, it has been pretty
Fact is, our projects are not, should not, be run by WMF. If we take the
line that WMF is a host provider, then the host provider does not decide
what is in the projects. If the WMF decide of the way the projects are
run, then WMF is not a host, it is THE editor of the project.
WMF did not come before, or even at the same time than the projects. It
came *after* because it was meant to support them, to help them do what
the projects could not do themselves (in particular funding). Not to run
them. It was never meant to run the projects.
Now, you ask one good question though. "Who will implement the changes
?". Well the developers. That is... the ones paid by the Foundation.
What if they refuse to do so, on the principle that, say, the ED has
opposed them doing so ? That's a fair question. There are various
alternatives. What do citizens do when they do not agree with the way
their government goes beyond running the state, but start trying to run
their personal lives. Voting differently at next elections,
demonstrating in the streets, sending petitions, requesting resignation
of the prime minister, throwing a revolution, moving to another country
where the grass is greener...
I am actually a bit abashed by your questions and hope that they have
not been planted in your minds. But to second your questionning about
"institutions", I fail to understand the relative opposition to a wiki
council sort of thing. In the past, on the projects, certain decisions
were taken by the entire communities. Then, as the communities grew,
some people realised that some degree of delegation was necessary. And
that's why for example, the arbitration committees were created. I know
some complain arbcom are not working so well, but can you really figure
an active community of 400 people making the decision to ban a bugger ?
What a huge loss of time for 400 people ! Huge opportunity for internal
warring as well. I, for a start, think much more efficient to delegate
certain decision making to a subgroup.
That said, I also think that decisions such as new wikipedia.org main
page SHOULD BE KEPT global, with no delegation of power, because there
are one of these last few opportunities for different linguistic
communities to work together to come to ONE decision. That's a typical
barnraising event (just as deciding logos) that makes wonder to make
people feel their opinion matter and that they belong to a global
project. The huge benefits of having poeple feel this warmth of
belonging largely outweight the inconveniences of this little anarchy.
More information about the foundation-l