Special projects committee

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The special projects committee (SPCom) was created 15 January 2006 by a Special projects resolution of the Board along with other Wikimedia committees (1), and held its last meeting in late 2007. It was dissolved January 2009 per board resolution along with other inactive committees.

Committee Scope[edit]

The primary responsibilities of the Special Projects Committee are:

  1. Evaluation, incubation, and development of current and proposed Wikimedia projects, events, and ideas
  2. Coordination with researchers to promote analysis of the projects and their communities.
  3. Pursuing grants and other funding to support Wikimedia projects and efforts
  4. Coordination of efforts between the Wikimedia Foundation and other organizations regarding technical, content-related, and business-related ventures.
  5. Distribution of Wikimedia project content
  6. Assisting the Foundation in fulfilling its philanthropic mission of providing free knowledge to people everywhere.

Generally, the scope of the committee is to advise the board about the long term direction of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Contacting the SPC[edit]

General comments, inquiries, and suggested resolutions can be suggested on the talk page, or sent to spcommittee-l((AT))wikimedia.org.


Organisation[edit]

Double-threaded Celtic knot

The committee was created on the 15th of January 2006 to make strategic plans and take care of issues listed in the scope. It will be primarily composed of a main committee, with subcommittees added and removed as the need arises. Subcommittees are approved or dissolved by a resolution adopted by the committee.

Main committee membership[edit]

The committee last consisted of : Anthere, Oscar, Cormac, Sj, Danny, Özgür, Marjon, Frieda, Ascánder, Phoebe, Frank, Muriel (advisor), Arne (advisor), and Krzysztof (advisor).

The proposal that defined the (expanded) committee:

Proposed: The committee will comprise at least 9 voting members and non-voting advisers.

New members (voting) or new advisors (non voting) may be proposed by current committee members or can ask to join on meta or on the SP public mailing list. New members and new advisers will be accepted in the committee if they receive support from at least 75% of all voting members.

A member or adviser may be removed by the committee if at least the majority of the voting members (minus the member concerned) approve the removal. Any member or adviser may be removed per board of Wikimedia Foundation request.

The Special Projects Committee nominates "Florence Devouard" to be Chair. The role of Chair will be to preside over meetings and to coordinate the committee.

The Special Projects Committee nominates "Samuel Klein" to be Secretary. The role of Secretary will be to keep an accurate record of all resolutions.

The Special Projects Committee nominates "Danny Wool" to be Coordinator. The role of Coordinator will be to coordinate activities with other committees and the board.

Stained glass detail

Subcommittees[edit]

A proposed subcommittee must be supported by an initiating committee member who wishes to be part of the subcommittee. The initial subcommittee proposal should include a goal and a title for the subcommittee, specify a date by which the initial subcommittee will be formed, and report back to the SPC after its formation with an account of its procedures and guidelines for operation. These procedures and guidelines must be approved by the SPC before the subcommittee is operational. Subcommittees of the special project committee must be approved by a resolution adopted by the committee. Subcommittees may only be dissolved through a resolution as well.

Current subcommittees

Three subcommittees exist as of August 2006

Depending on the subcommittee, membership may be entirely open or should meet the approval of the committee or should meet the approval of the committee+board.

Resolutions[edit]

Actions effected by the committee are to take the form of a resolution. Resolutions may be proposed by a member or adviser, or by a an individual from outside the committee with the support of a member or adviser, and must be seconded by a member before being put to a vote.

A resolution will be passed if a quorum of at least 2/3 vote, and if at least 2/3 of the quorum approve it (except for approval or removal of new members, which are the object of other rules).

Votes may be conducted during a SP com meeting or on the SP com wiki. If voted during a meeting (which may be on irc or in real life), the resolution should have been made public to the SP members at least 4 days prior to the meeting.
If voted on the SP com wiki, the resolution should be opened to vote for at least 1 week, and until all members have voted or until the next meeting.

Adopted resolutions will be posted to Meta on approval soon after their adoption. Some resolutions will not be posted, if their content is considered confidential.

Communication tools[edit]

The committee uses

If you wish to contact one of the committee members on an individual basis, use their talk page in their project of origin (see links above) or use the email feature on the wiki.

The Committee does regular biweekly meetings on a dedicated irc channel.

How does the whole thing work ?[edit]

currently under work...
The committee exists to set up the long-term goals of the Foundation. It is not meant to replace the community. It will help proposals to be made in a timely, accurate and complete fashion, if necessary with the help of a subcommittee. Its outcome may be of two types

  • Recommendations made to the board of WMF (such as the Committee recommends the creation of a new Wikimedia project)
  • Executive decisions made thanks to a delegation of authority given by the board of trustees (such as the Committe resolves that a set of WikiJuniors will be printed and send to school xx of country yy, thanks to the support of organisation zz)

Imagine you have a cool idea... you suggested it on a mailing list or here on meta, and got some support. What will you do next?

  • The old way: go ask Jimbo what he thinks about it.
  • The new way: transform the CoolIdea in a CoolProject <------Go read this...

Agenda[edit]

The next public meeting will be September 20, 2006. Please see the Meetings page for details.

Work on the goals and action are at /strategic goals


On the September 20th open meeting agenda[edit]

Please add agenda items to the Meetings page.

Future agenda items for SPC meetings[edit]

  • Follow up of MobilEd
  • appointing a person to each pending project
  • Set up language project start-up subcommittee. Who should be on it and how should it operate?

(feel free to add new items to this list)

  • Creation of a WiktionaryZ subcommittee ?
  • Create a business development sub-committee (Anthere)
  • Status of Wikijunior funds from Beck Foundation. Is there money available for physical printing of Wikijunior content? What are the requirements? Who sets those requirements? Is all the Beck Foundation money spent already?
  • One encyclopedia per child [[1]]

References[edit]