[Wikimedia-l] Moving forward: a proposal (Re: Community/WMF)

FT2 ft2.wiki at gmail.com
Mon May 13 00:23:01 UTC 2013

Afterthought x 3:

   - WMF and its staff should probably have an explicit understanding that
   they often need to bend for community approaches and collaboration, and
   expectations (rather than the other way round).

   *Rationale: -* WMF needs to ensure that staff know "good ways" to work
   with the community.  It's not symmetrical:  a legal body can have
   meetings and executive decisions, and everyone understands how they work
   and their meaning. But the community doesn't have that kind of process and
   resists being shoehorned if its own (inchoate) ways are not respected.
   Community expectations probably include transparency, deliberation, and
   "expectation management", ie no (unpleasant+sudden) surprises. Most people
   know this but somehow it failed here.  That was avoidable. Community
   expectations are nowhere summarized, nor how to meet them, nor what we *
   collectively* feel should happen when faced with a "WMF decision that
   someone feels must be done". If it can be perceived as lapsed or breached
   this easily *despite* staff awareness, then we need to set it out, not
   assume it, for all our good.

   - The community needs to appreciate that WMF sometimes has to make these
   decisions. A mature appreciation of WMF role and position would include
   agreement if possible that the need can arise, which kinds of issues might
   appropriately need a unilateral decision, and how it should take place. We
   should agree some kind of reliable guidance however short to say what WMF
   staff can do or might be expected to have tried doing, and what's needed in
   communication or action to minimize any discord.

   - Last, even if there had been transparency and consultation in the
   recent matter, there is still a sense by some volunteers that the "done
   deal" element was in its own right, inappropriate or inept. So transparency
   and consultation alone may not be all that's needed. What else is needed
   probably ought to be worked out on Meta so it isn't just limited to list


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