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

John Vandenberg jayvdb at gmail.com
Thu Oct 21 10:30:00 UTC 2010

On Thu, Oct 21, 2010 at 8:52 AM, phoebe ayers <phoebe.wiki at gmail.com> wrote:
> 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.

Similar to Risker's comment about this, it seems to me that we have
not obtained better representation through this process.  The make up
of the board has been representative of our main Wikipedia projects.
Wikipedia has always been the primary project of our board members,
with only a few board members having done more than dip their toe into
sister projects and Commons.

English and French Wiktionary are our second and third largest
projects respectively after English Wikipedia, based on number of
'good' pages.

In Sept 2009, Wikisource (all subdomains) consisted of 869 million
words, which was second only to English Wikipedia. (keep in mind that
the wikisource subdomains overlap rarely, whereas wikipedias contain
much of the same content in different languages)
Wikisource is now at 1,001 million words; no recent stats available
for the other projects.

On Thu, Oct 21, 2010 at 6:26 PM, phoebe ayers <phoebe.wiki at gmail.com> wrote:
> ...
> Well, I was trying to make the point that in the end what you're
> trying to end up with is electing five great board members, and then
> appointing five more great board members. Yes, the community board
> members come from the community but, much like elected representatives
> in the U.S., what you're trying to elect in the end is good judgment,
> shared values and the skillset needed (e.g. a tolerance for
> meetings!).
> (or perhaps not; I am sure there are single-issue voters out there.
> But from the limited exposure I've had to the board so far it doesn't
> really work that way, and I think a truly single-issue candidate would
> be quite ineffective.)

While I am a man with many issues, I'm sure it won't surprise anyone
to learn that I am a single issue voter. ;-)

"How much has the candidate done, on the ground, for the projects
other than Wikipedia?"

Over the years there have been many candidates vying for last place
wrt to my single-issue. ;-)

If history is anything to go by, a single issue candidate is the best
chance that WMF will adjust its strategy to devote more energy towards
supporting the sister projects.

I'd hoped that the strategy project would result in board adoption of
proposals that focus on the sister projects.  Despite the five year
plan not speaking directly about growing the sister projects and small
language projects, I'm hoping the board recognises that their
ambitious targets will only be realised if they embrace the untapped
opportunity for growth in the sister projects.  If this doesn't
eventuate, I think we'll need to consider giving sister projects some
form of direct representation on the board.  Maybe I was dreaming, but
I vaguely recall someone suggesting this on foundation-l.

John Vandenberg

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