IRC office hours/Office hours 2011-02-17
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hi. sorry about that.
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We were late too.
hisham: India Standard Time - i guess? :)
hey hisham_, welcome to the party
no, it is more like a broadband connection that is deeply moody
So there is a very brief agenda today and that is to introduce Hisham to you all...then it would be great to have an informal chat about India.
As I shared earlier this week in my announcement, we are excited to move things forward in WMF's effort to support India...
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the appointment of Hisham is an important step in building our capacity and enabling us to implement the plans we all share for India.
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So, Hisham why don't you share a few thoughts about the role.
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I've noticed there are a lot of contributions from new Indian editors lately
sure, barry. first of all, i wanted to share my personal excitement about the position. as i said in my email, there's enormous potential in India.
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Quick note: if you have questions - StevenW will capture them, so we can get through as much as possible - post here or send them directly to him.
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i think the first task is for me to understand and learn from the community about what the story has been so far. ...it's self-evident that there is enormous progress that has already been made. ...and it's critical to understand the sucess factors
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...with the objective of trying to evolve a cohesive plan that seeks to promote the movement's objectives in india.
'the movement' ?
interesting way of referring to it
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For everyone who is just joining us, hisham is still introducing himself and his work. Then we'll just chat about India.
or he just finished, I guess
or his connection ditched him? :)
no, am on.
pretty much so.
If anyone has any questions/thoughts, the floor is open then.
Hi Hisham. happy to have you as a part of the India community. I am with the Wikimedia India chapter, and looking forward to working with you.
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We met in New Delhi at WP10, IIT Delhi.
We sure did.
as i was saying, i see the role as collaborative with the community's efforts and over the next few weeks, i hope to engage with as many of you as i can to understand how best to support the community.
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hisham_, you may ping any of us here in IRC or on email any time if you have any questions or if you think that we can be of any help
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I know there was a lengthy FAQ that Barry sent out and that was put on Meta afterwards
I dont see Hisham mentioned on wmf wiki; is that correct?
If anyone has any follow up questions to that, please let us know.
has he created an account ?
jayvdb, he's http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_contractors
meh, pwnd by theo :)
jayvdb he's been added there.
I know it's confusing, but there are separate pages for Staff and Contractors.
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Not sure if he has a user page yet jayvdb, but hopefully he'll have one on Meta and the Wikimedia.in wikis first. ;)
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he seems to have got disconnected.
Hisham is sort of having technical issues, but in terms of general questions, I think Barry can still field some.
will Hisham be focused on Wikipedia, or could we see him pushing Wikisource, Wikibooks, etc ...
so i guess our first action needs to enhancing his broadband connection
Jyothis: thanks for the video of wikixdc!
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no problem. wish we had a better devices :)
Good question jayvdb.
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for wikimania and major events, we sure will
yes and find a better videographer too - I suck at it ;)
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jayvdb: his focus is on general growth of the projects - primarily the overall editor base...
really sorry about this folks. am back on.
To the extent there is project bias, it will be based more around how the community develops in that project.
have any plan in local language like Bengali by Hisham?
Just so folks know, we'll go till 9:30 or so to make up for being late.
hi hishammundol !
sorry, steven, where there any specific questions that needed my answers while i was gone?
just the one by jayanta_ above
do you want to talk about how local languages fit into your India work?
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bnewstead, there are problems forming a community around projects which dont exist. e.g. http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Requests_for_new_languages/Wikisource_Hindi
sure. while it is early days yet for me, i think we do need to look at local languages closely, and understand the specific opportunities and challenges for them.
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...i suspect that these might not always be the same as english. ...but these might also represent opportunities.
jayvdb: to clarify roles the WMF role is to support existing projects to grow. We really don't have the skills or resources to focus on projects that either don't yet exist or are failing to build a community around them.
StevenW is'nt 9:30 the planned end time as it is. the session started at 8:30.
[09:02am] • hpnadig
is unwell. Had to join in a bit late.
hi hishammundol welcome. what languages are you proficient in?
hey hishammundol, Theo10011
Hi HP - hope you are on the road to feeling better
i speka hindi, malayalam and english, WikiziA51
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how many can you write? type?
we need to promote local language wiki in India like Bengali, Oriya, assamees all east Indian lanuage, so what is your future plan to grow community?
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jayanta_,, one of my initial tasks is to create a plan to grow the community and see how best local languages like you listed are best served. ...so to be honest, can't say i have the plan ready as of yet.
hishammundol: what's your role vs. the role of the chapter in India?
bnewstead, I think the community has to figure it out by itself on how to get started with projects that are still in the initial stages. For instance, Konkani community has been quite interested in getting Konkani Wikipedia off the incubator.
hi Seddon ;)
hpnadig: yes - indeed the community is where the skills lie - absolutely
bnewstead, and thanks, need to recover quick. have some meetings setup tomorrow for Liam to attend. Got to wake up early as well ;)
oh sure ... and Konkani Wikipedia should start
I think hisham is answering aude's question now
Hey hishammundol You can refer India Community newsletter for getting a basic idea about Indian language wiki projects http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Wikimedia_India_Community_Newsletter_2010_September.pdf
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hey bnewstead :) you know i should get an iphone and you guysshould create an alerts app for these meetings
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aude, my role and the chapter's will need to evolve and i look forward to meeting up with the chapter and community to make this as cohesive as possible. as this hasn't been done before, there are probably no ready answers
thanks, anoop. shall certianly do so.
hishammundol: there's a regular schedule of meetups in india (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Meetup), hope you will be attending many of these to meet chapters folks and volunteers
A rather broad, open ended question and prehaps directed to barry as well: What can the other chapters do to help WMIN?
he already started attending aude.
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Theo10011: good to hear
yes, aude. i look forward to it
Cool, got it Seddon
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Hi one question on faq page, that does not yet have answer. Does Hisham have specific start and end dates?
Seddon: great Q. Would be great to get thoughts from various folks on the IRC
Hisham also got to meet a pretty decent mix of people when he was in SF last, because his visit overlapped with when the Wikipedia ambassadors from the Public Policy Initiative. There were at least a dozen Wikipedians he got to chat with I think.
As far as meetups go.
For me, chapters should be helping each other establish strong practices...
and share program successes (and failures). Actually WMIN has already...
started to do this by inviting people to join meetups via Skype and share experiences.
I also think that other chapters can learn about governance processes and community relations from each other.
StevenW: there are a few people trying that out in India, I think after Erik spoke about it. There is one person in Mumbai doing the same for history of technology.
E.g., I like how WMUK keep their board meetings open to the community.
Very cool pradx
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Seddon, good question. I think WMIN needs all the support it can get. India is a really challenging place for chapter functions. As much as it presents opportunities, there are also roadblocks.
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Yeah, on that chapters topic... Personally (as someone not involved much in chapters works) I think that chapters have a lot more to learn from each other than from the WMF, necessarily.
So it's cool that people are interested in sharing more.
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to seddon's question: it'd be interesting to meet people who work on some of the projects either on chats or in real if they happen to be travelling to India. Like how the Bangalore met up with the guys who did the Netherlands-photographing-the-monuments thing. :)
It's called Wiki loves monuments.
thanks theo10011, that name just slipped by me :)
So I saw one thing added to the FAQ after Barry sent it..
Just a quick clarification: where are you based Hisham?
StevenW: that point is absolutely bang on
StevenW, i'm in Delhi.
My question to Hisham and Barry is about the strategy we have for dealing with legal issues in India. Although we do not have control over the content decisions, there are times when either the Chapter or Hisham or the community members may be sued for content on Wikipedia. Especially with all the focus on media.
I think Barry can answer that.
hpnadig: I probably should take that one.
Or wants to anyway.
It is likely that we will face these challenges...yes. It is critical that we are really clear about a couple of things...
1. WMIN and Hisham, who is an independent contractor have NO control over Wikimedia content as organizations.
2. Wikimedia content is housed in the US and subject only to US laws.
Same relationship as WMF to English Wikipedia or another project on both points, it seems?
this has been a core principle for a long time...and one that other US-based Internet have maintained.
even less that that StevenW
legally it falls under the aegis of User-generated content.
Internet companies or organizations
WMF has responsibilities as a host provider such as complying with DMCA requests
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chapters have no accountability for whats happens on the projects outside thier own actions
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More practically, I think it is important that we do a good job (all of us) educating people about how our projects work...
there have been instances in Germany and Italy of chapters being sued but nothing has ever come of it
bnewstead: however, that does not immune either the community or NPD or the chapter from being dragged into court.
My sense is that a lot of problems can be resolved by improving understanding of what our projects are..and how content evolves in the projects.
Barry are you giving consideration to the legal implications, I know its been brought up on the india mailing list a couple of times last week.
logic tends to go out the window in India when there is a political issue
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i think the chapter can try and do something in terms of providing legal guidance in advance that can help a Wikipedian till he gets a lawyer - basic rights, laws etc. ?
hpnadig: yes we all face a certain risk - the goal is to minimize it and have responses ready.
Theo10011, true! which is what probably is the concern about. There might be a need for powerful, good counsel who could help us in times like this.
It sounds like we should have an office hours with the new General Counsel soonish
bnewstead, this risk could get a bit ugly in India. Ebay.in CEO was arrested for an objectionable content uploaded on the website.
hpnadig: yes, my personal advice is that WMIN should be exploring options for good counsel..and build relationships with groups who will support you - like CIS and others.
Its unlikely that WMIN will have any issues whilst you guys are small, but as you grow and become bigger the risks will increase
hishammundol: so, after you strategise, what next? who will implement the strategy - chapter, community, foundation?
so its important as barry said to look foward and befriend lots of legal types :)
bit of all?
bnewstead, groups like CIS and others may not want to fight the legal battles or help in representing with their counsels unless there is a certain overlap or public interest at stake.
pradx: the way i'm looking at it, i woudln't want to be strategising in isolation. i'd like to come up with a cohesive plan that's collaboratively made
...and the implementation, and who is to do what, should be collaboratively agreed.
hpnadig: i think you'll need a good lawyer in Karnataka atleast, where the chapter is registered since most court cases against the chapter would be in the jurisdiction of Karnataka
hpnadig: My guess is that CIS and others will. Our US experience has been that most orgs see Wikimedia as an important org and the issues we face as opportunities to advance the public interest.
Seddon, there have been a number of instances where "Wikipedia" has been named as one of the parties to the suit by complainants in different parts of the country. But no summons were issued by the court at the point since the Foundation is based in the USA
pradx, it is not just about the chapter, it is also about the legal protection to the community members and of course to Hisham in his new role.
anirudh: it could change if the Foundation opens an office in India as well?
Dragonfly6-7, Centre for Internet & Society, Bangalore.
Dragonfly6-7 it is an organisation that helped in bootstrapping the community and chapter in bangalore
hpnadig: yes, I understand. but, at least the chapter should be ready - the resources and legal knowledge can then be distributed amongst the community through wikimedia.in ?
pradx: to carry on, over the next few weeks, i plan to engage with as many as i can to help devise this plan. would love to get your and everyone else's inputs on this.
Barry: do you have any plans to head over to India any time soon?
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hishammundol will be happy to meet you and bnewstead in Mumbai :)
pradx, yes indeed. And unlike companies like Google (who get named in suits for being intermediaries) we do not have access to a large amount of funds. This will require a focused campaign on awareness amongst the Indian public.
pradx: that's great. i look forward to that.
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Theo10011: I'll be in India next Wednesday morning. Will be in Mumbai Wed, Pune Thurs and Bangalore Fri. No Delhi this time, I'm afraid.
anirudh: yes, legal awareness is something we could do with a little more of :)
hi all :)
shirish: hi :)
think the focus is shifting a bit from hishammundol :)
We should probably wrap up shortly
pradx: ha ha. was feeling all lonely and unloved for a minute or two!
pradx, awareness about the projects in public could help as well. And focused strategy on communication whilst involving the media might help.
[09:37am] • shirish
goes fishing to find out who pradx actually is
that's fine the goal was to have an India chat. Might suggest we do these periodically as a way to communicate more.
shirish, that's pradeep, as I only found out now.
anirudh: hey anirudh
[09:38am] • shirish
makes mentally a note
sorry guys for missing all the fun.
oh then I guess I should say hi, pradx ;)
bnewstead, yes, there is #wikimedia-in, but it is empty most of the time
and #wikipedia-in too
bnewstead: is this IRC chat going to be archived, if yes, then link please.
yeah, I didn't even know those existed!
shirish, see office hour page on meta. See topic for the link.
both are haunted usually
Tanvir: saw the topic, saw the mailing list then came here.
tinucherian, yes, but even less people there :/
yannf: didn't know those existed.
shirish: Theo had the link above
StevenW: Theo10011: thank you guys, saw the topic, didn't catch the logs my bad.
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Does anyone have any final questions for hisham, before we finish?
I think a general note to the list the first few times might help - not everyone maybe comfortable with IRC or where things are...
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before we wrap up, just wanted to thank everyone who have sent wonderfully warm welcome messages to me. . i have replied to everyone individually (i hope), but thank you all once again.
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hishammundol ... and start editing :D
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hishammundol, my best wishes to you in your new role. looking forward to working with you.
anirudh: many thanks! ditto.
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hishammundol: thanks for joining us
hishammundol, best wishes.
thanks for coming everyone. I'll post the log asap
hpnadig: thanks. see you next week.
hishammundol: see you next week.