[Wikimedia-l] AffComs $40,000 Hong Kong junket

Balázs Viczián balazs.viczian at wikimedia.hu
Tue May 14 10:50:28 UTC 2013

40k for a single meetup can be justified if the results worth that much
money. (I've already argued about this regarding Milan chapters meetup
btw). Providing a "more than basic" travel and accomodation can be a way of
appreciation as well for their work, what they do as volunteers, that
should be calculated into the costs.

Ain't these intrenational events' (not just this meetup's, but all events')
"success ratio" being measured by some way already?

The cost/benefit ratio [1] is a pretty basic (and extreme important) thing
we like to calculate with here in Hungary about all of our activities. For
example the number of articles created divided with the total costs of the
article writing contest they've been created within gives a number we can
work a lot with to improve cost-effectiveness. Seemingly very few chapters
doing anything similar (or not in a visible way)

AffCom already measures itself in some ways in their reports, but regarding
other meetups, I've barely seen at least a basic followup or aftercare and
especially not a detailed overall (measurement) report what is usually /at
least in those commercial events I was involved with/ being published after
about six month of the last day of the event, and gives a detailed summary
of its pros and cons, dos and don'ts, successes and fails, overall impact
(upon proactively collected feedbacks), etc.

There were plenty of international events already this year (Brussels
meeting about EU policies, Milan, London glam, Amsterdam hackathon that are
coming in my mind right now from 2013, and this is just the first 4 month
(only 1/3rd of the year) and not the full list!) most of them with no or
very low visible results yet (ok they need some time to evolve, but
regarding events in 2012, I barely read anything to remember nor any
followups or summares, reports). Compared to the "GLAM camp" in the US
recently, it seems definitely true. The latter looks like a very good
example of a beneficial meetup, having a lot of potential and it seems
there is a chance that it will be followed up by WMDC and other
participating parties well after the event. Why to have a long term
followup? To give a definite answer wheter those potentials actually
resulted in anything at all (was there any "real benefit") or it was just a
very good mooded, fun and positive, but totally fruitless event (wasted
money from the movement's POV)

I see compared to 2012 costs going up without any visible rise in
effectiveness or more worse, a decline in it. This is solely based upon
what I can (or can not) read about them on meta and other places, like the
comments here. Wikimania 2014 was the first event ever where this thing was
taken seriously, but rather on the cost cutting side, than on the
effectiveness improving side

It would be great to see detailed measurements of these events, like how
many new projects or international cooperations (or whatever it aims) were
boosted/inspired by the given thematic meetup up until the next similar
meetup. If that number is X, while the costs were Y, and X/Y does not look
good,  than you can start thinking how can you improve X without expanding
Y (or even lowering it) to get a much friendly ratio, thus creating an even
more fruitful (better quality) event next time. The best would be a
detailed breakdown, like main goals, side goals, unexpected or "extra"
things that that meeting had inspired/boosted/hosted/etc.

Note, there ain't no such thing as free lunch [2]


PS: WMHU has 68k budget for 2013.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benefit%E2%80%93cost_ratio
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/There_ain%27t_no_such_thing_as_a_free_lunch

2013/5/14 Lodewijk <lodewijk at effeietsanders.org>

> I don't think it is trivial either, and having a discussion is fine.
> However, the bigger discussion is perhaps more relevant - because AffCom is
> simply following WMF policy here, which is in place for many employees,
> board members (and others? not sure).
> So I think there are two relevant discussions to be had: First of all,
> whether there should be an AffCom meeting at all. Fair question of course.
> (analogous you could wonder if certain chapters should really send a
> representative to Wikimania from their budget, whether certain employees
> really should be there and whether all chapters should be present at the
> Chapters meeting - all fair discussions to be had in their time, too). The
> second relevant question is, in my opinion, whether the WMF travel policy
> is good, proportional etc. This policy has mostly received criticism from
> two sides - some think it is too elaborate, and WMF should get 'less
> luxury' (again fair discussion, but we should then focus on the whole
> question) - another criticism is that it should be equalized for all
> Wikimedia-sponsored trips, including individual engagement grants, trips to
> the chapters meeting etc. When this question was brought up last time, I
> believe it was Sue who mentioned that this would simply result in much less
> travel and participation. Again, a fair question.
> Personally, I feel that WMF Committee (and board) members should not be
> treated to a lower standard than staff members, simply because they are not
> being paid for their work. But maybe I'm the only one in thát opinion
> though...
> Lodewijk
> 2013/5/14 Andrea Zanni <zanni.andrea84 at gmail.com>
> > On Tue, May 14, 2013 at 12:30 AM, David Gerard <dgerard at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> >
> > > https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parkinson%27s_law_of_triviality
> >
> >
> > I don't really think this is a triviality.
> > Cents and single dollars of chapters are weighted and analyzed,
> > FDC and GACs nitpicks and their goal is to assure that donor moneys is
> not
> > wasted.
> > We all know that there are issues on that and a lot of chapters had to
> work
> > hard to be able to draw their budget, and receive their money.
> >
> > 40'000 $ for Wikimania travels are a lot, especially compared to the
> travel
> > budget of chapters. Period.
> > I would assume that WMF and the Board budgets should be reasonably
> > proportional to chapters ones.
> > Maybe I'm the only one, though.
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