[Foundation-l] More on Wikimedia strategic planning

phoebe ayers phoebe.wiki at gmail.com
Mon May 4 04:29:32 UTC 2009

On Sun, May 3, 2009 at 1:19 AM, Sue Gardner <susanpgardner at gmail.com> wrote:
> Just a few quick notes.
> A couple of quick comments on posts earlier in this thread:
> * Thanks Milos for advocating on behalf of a permanent Research Analyst!  I want this too.  I'm looking forward to seeing what we can do with the role, and then we'll see where we are financially and in terms of other competing needs, once the strategy project concludes.

We've had 'research coordinator' (or 'chief research officer') as a
volunteer position a few times in the past, but it's a big job for one
person, and is not very well defined. But there's lots of coordination
work that could potentially happen with researchers, as well as
in-house work (see the discussion about a possible research toolserver
partnership with universities on wikitech-l a while back).

> * 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 and the community can most usefully intersect. For example, Frank works mainly with individual chapters: I think a committee of chapter reps would not be the best path for his work. (If it was, he'd be doing it.)

I didn't phrase my message very well, I'm afraid. What I meant was
something closer to how SJ phrased it in the "foundation-community"
thread he started: "staff roles may be expected to facilitate the work
of the community/volunteers" in a much deeper sense than just "you
should work with this committee or these groups." My point is that
there's a big pool of people that could be drawn on to help out with
any task; and that engagement (both the possibility and the reality)
helps connect the community to the Foundation, making both stronger,
and is worth supporting in its own right. The degree to which this is
true in Wikimedia seems unusual, and is worth making a strong point
out of, particularly for people who may come in unfamiliar with the

-- phoebe

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