[Foundation-l] Foundation-community support and communication

Samuel Klein meta.sj at gmail.com
Sun May 3 09:17:41 UTC 2009

In a different thread, Sue Gardner wrote:
> * Thanks Milos for advocating on behalf of a permanent Research Analyst!  I want this too.

An aside : many researchers in the community (of readers, if not
editors) are interested in research of almost any type associated with
WP/WMF data, and would love to do research of interest to the
projects.  If we organize some sort of regular recognition for
excellent research done on/about WM projects, and improve access to
the sorts of data that research groups lust after, this will help tap
into the latent university interest [which comes with its own
sustained staff and funding, new pools of people to give talks at
different sorts of conferences and events, &c].   This does require
work - despite the theoretical transparency and accessibility of
project data, publish few good papers to date.  [Rut, how many fellow
students of yours are getting wiki PhD's?]

> * I don't particularly want to routinely include "working with volunteer committees" in job descriptions though.
> Obviously working with volunteers is a huge part of nearly everybody's job (the CFOO and accountant
> probably do this the least, which is role-appropriate), but I don't want to proscribe committee work specifically
> as the best or only way to do that. I think each staff person needs to figure out for their area of responsibility
> how their work

It seems to me there's a deeper sense, having nothing to do with
conscious job descriptions, in which staff roles may be expected to
facilitate the work of the community/volunteers...  but this is a
different discussion.

For comparison, it would be nice to see the community identify more
people who can help 'work with Foundation projects', bridging the gap
between the Foundation & Board, third party projects supporting
Wikipedia, and the community.  The Foundation exists largely to enable
and support ongoing community work, yet many active community
members/groups who could benefit from this never learn how to.  Every
discussion about how to find and engage already-active editors (active
/somewhere/) in a new topic that will impact them is a reminder of
this gap.


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