[Foundation-l] chapter board seats (was: Greg Kohs and Peter Damian)

Risker risker.wp at gmail.com
Thu Oct 21 05:29:31 UTC 2010


> changing the subject line because I think we've ranged pretty far away
> from the original subject of moderation....
> As the person who was selected via this process I feel the need to jump in
> :)
> I agree that the chapter selection process is not very transparent, or
> very clear (to the people inside as well as the people outside!) and
> could have been improved. However, this time around was also only the
> second time chapters have selected seats (by contrast, last year was
> our 6th community election) ... so I hope that we will continue to
> improve on that front and the next selection process, year after next,
> will be better. That's something we all want to see.

I've looked around both the WMF wiki and Meta, and can't actually find any
documentation of the process by which the chapters elected their two
representatives.  Does anyone have a link to where I might be able to read

> Others can speak to this better than I can, but part of the rationale
> behind chapter-selected seats was to help even out representation --
> to make sure that the elected seats on the board were not entirely
> dominated by candidates from those communities that have lots of
> voting editors, like the English Wikipedia. If you are from a smaller
> language project, or a smaller chapter, the chances of getting name
> recognition and a seat in the community elections is much harder.
<snip rest of message>

Well, that would sound logical....except that the majority of chapters
correspond pretty well with the largest projects, and they are
geographically based, not project-based or language-based.  That argument
would make more sense for a Wikiquote chapter (or, heaven forbid, a
Wikiversity one) if one is concerned about "smaller" projects.  I'd
disagree, as well, about the difficulty of getting "name recognition",
because there have always been non-English members on the Board, and some
consider relatively small projects their home wiki.

It also doesn't deal well with the intersection of geographic areas, such as
the current discussion on Kosovo/Serbia. What happens if a bunch of Scottish
editors decide they want their own chapter - does Wikimedia-UK prevent that
from happening?  What if the Scottish editors want to focus on
Gaelic-language projects?

Right now, the US only has one chapter, WM-NYC. What about if the Boston,
Washington, Chicago, and Nashville groups all decide to proceed? Will they
all have the same voting power as, say, WM-DE, our oldest and (I believe)
largest chapter?

What about situations where a dozen or so people get together and decide to
do the "chapter" thing for a geographic region/country, without actively
seeking input from the majority of Wikimedians from their region? Once the
name is incorporated, it's something of a done deal, whether or not the
Board grants them chapter-hood.

Please don't misunderstand me, I agree that chapters should exist, and those
who can demonstrate active focus on the work of various WMF projects and the
goals of the WMF itself are worthy of support in both time and, yes,
money.   Support, though....not giving them the ability to decide 40% of the
make-up of "community" representation to the board.

Phoebe, on a personal note, your election to a chapter seat on the board has
reassured me to some extent; having seen your contributions over several
years, I know your focus is on the community as a whole, and I cannot
imagine you changing your focus. (I don't know Arne's work well enough to
comment, but I extend the same good faith to him.)

Now...would someone please explain internal-L to us?  Thanks.


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