[Wikimedia-l] WMF core and non core expenses

John Vandenberg jayvdb at gmail.com
Wed Oct 10 01:12:00 UTC 2012

On Oct 10, 2012 6:38 AM, "Samuel Klein" <sj at wikimedia.org> wrote:
> On Mon, Oct 8, 2012 at 10:07 PM, John Vandenberg <jayvdb at gmail.com> wrote:
> > Does the merchandise store, which will cost USD 311000, have an ROI
> > published somewhere?
> >
> > I think some 'Research' is needed in WMF core, however any funds under
> > 'Research' should be granted to, and administrated by, an academic
> > institution. Preferably via a competitive program.
> Thanks John.  I'm not sure I agree, since without an internal research
> team it's hard for the WMF to interface with outside researchers.  But
> I find this sort of specific feedback on WMF expenses most welcome.

The interfacing is not a research activity. Communications team should have
some who can interface. Analytics/Corporate intel unit should have someone
who can interface. Research is research. WMF staff may be doing real
research, but they should be formally engaged on the research project as a
researcher. In Australia we call these people industry partner
investigators. Using research output is not research.

> Hopefully this can be refactored on the wiki as comments on the annual
> plan.

I feel it is too late to comment on the wiki about the annual plan. My
understanding of events is that the board approved the annual plan before
it was even available for public comment. Questions were asked on the wiki,
but answers were not provided promptly. E.g. Over one month for an answer
re the merchandise shop.

> Along the lines of Charles's comment, it is also helpful to get
> feedback on what seems 'high priority, extended core' and what seems
> 'non core' (though we don't have crisp definitions for that
> distinction yet, we should develop one).

Improving definitions for next time is all well and good. . . however,
there is a definition of core v non-core in the FAQ. Do you believe that
definition is appropriate for 2012-13? The minutes of the 7 May & 6 June
board meetings say FDC implications for the WMF annual plan were discussed,
but wmf board minutes tend to be scant on useful information that might
give the reader any idea about the opinion of the board. The only info in
these minutes is that it was discussed and there are no minutes from the 11
July board meeting yet. If I am reading the resolution approving the annual
plan correctly, it approves the annual plan and yet it also calls on the ED
to revise the annual plan and present it to the 26-27 board meeting. I am
confused by resolutions like that, esp when there are no minutes, detailed
or otherwise. :)

John V

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