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