Talk:Movement roles/Summary/Models

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

No hierarchy among groups[edit]

Ideally, there would be no hierarchy among these four kinds of groups, even though some may be more formal than others. Neither should one type of group play a gatekeeping function within a geography or in other ways. Thoughts? What does this mean in practice? Bishdatta 22:50, 7 October 2011 (UTC)

Although I'm all for not having hierarchies, I think there does need to be some sort of procedure in place to ensure that organisations that are overlapping in their activities (whether they are geographical or topical) are supporting (and approving of) each other rather than working in opposition, or duplicating activities. E.g. if there was the hypothetical "GLAM Wikimedians" partner organisation, then they should be working with chapters in the various geographies where they exist so that both can avoid re-approaching GLAM organisations that are already working with the other; are sharing appropriate contacts; etc. Mike Peel 21:06, 9 October 2011 (UTC)
This is not new. The same happens with territorial chapters. For example: A telecom company providing services in several European countries or a French organization having in Spain his headquarter for South America. I think this issue must be addressed improving the way it is done now among chapters. In movement roles there are provisions to improve transparency. That will facilitate each chapter to know what the others are doing and approach them if they see there are opportunities for cooperation. And we already have internal wiky, internal mailing lists, and chapter meetings… to channel the conversations and information flow.
I would be very happy of having this problem my experience says that most often we will have opportunities waiting out there with nobody ready to do something. I thing creating bureaucratic mechanisms to solve a problems we actually don’t have would be a bad idea. I thing it is better to base the cooperation in transparency and if the chapters grow up to a point that this is not enough to trigger cooperation then we can implement other mechanisms. --Gomà 09:36, 10 October 2011 (UTC)


Partner organisation - examples?[edit]

I find two of the examples given for partner organisations to be rather curious. Amical makes sense given the history and cultural context there. But 'GLAM Wikimedians' and 'MediaWiki Foundation' make rather less sense to me. I can't see GLAM activities turning into an incorporated entity; it's closer to being an 'Association' as defined here, supported by chapters and the Foundation. Similar, isn't MediaWiki part of the Wikimedia Foundation's key activities, supported by many different organisations? Why would it have its own Foundation set up rather than continuing as it currently is? If these have been discussed elsewhere, then please point me towards those discussions. ;-) Thanks. Mike Peel 19:18, 1 February 2012 (UTC)

For clarity: those were possibilities selected at random. There is no group of either GLAM-interested Wikimedians nor MediaWiki developers that has indicated interest in forming its own organization, much less building a record of solid project-work and applying to become a partner organization or similarly recognized entity. So better examples are needed. SJ talk | translate   22:26, 5 February 2012 (UTC)


As to what it might mean for groups of Wikimedians to form partner organizations focused on those two topics: There are many countries and larger regions that have major non-profit corporations which exist precisely to coordinate GLÁM activities with governments. I could easily see Wikimedia[ns] doing the same thing. Chapters and the WMF sometimes suport GLAM work, but when the WMF was asked by some GLAMorous folks to hire some fulltime staff to help expand the global GLAM movement and partnerships, the Foundation declined, for a couple of reasons:
- this particular effort was outside of its core initiatives (which focus on tech/legal/financial/coordinating infrastructure over the much larter diversity of creative, curatorial, and content-related projects which are currently carried out mainly by other parts of the movement). There have been a few WMF experiments with more content-related projects, but they are necessarily limited in number.
- the WMF has committed to moving away from restricted grants and funcding, over the current fiv year plan. chapters and other community organizations are envisioned as a better fit for such funds and funders, in part because of the point above. And there are GLAM-funding organizatinos that would love to give significant sums of money to a wiki entity that was tackling such global GLAM projects.

So either the WMF or some individual chapter would have to take on that challenge to guide and support the global GLAM movement, or we as a movement do not apply for those targeted programs, or we encourage development of this work through affiliates such as museums that take on temporary Wikimedia Fellows. Or some new active GLAM group could pursue this coordinating role.

Chapters by and large have done tremendous work with GLAM efforts, both in their home regions and more globally, so that seems like a natural fit. However if a community group focused on GLAM support in all jurisdictions did arise and after some years of effort wanted support, it might be recognzed as an Association and later as a Partner Organization, if it so desired.
Similarly, MediaWiki development, for the millions of MW users who do not run Wikipedia, is not a core priority for the WMF. It is an important secondary priority, but when push comes to shove we have traditionally focused on developing MediaWiki for the benefit of our major Projects.

There have been sporadic lighthearted discussions about the pros and cons of a separate MediaWiki Foundation -- on rare occasion considered at any length -- to address this opportunity. (because having an installed base of users as large as ours could be a great advantage for the movement, even if we have yet to focus on precisely what that would mean.)

SJ talk | translate   20:29, 1 February 2012 (UTC)
Hi SJ. Many thanks for replying. However, I have to admit that I'm rather sad to hear about the WMF's approach here. :-( As someone that has been following and contributing to the progress of the GLAM Wikimedia activities in great detail, both on a chapter basis and a personal basis (I've lost track of how many hundreds of hours I've spent doing this), I have to admit that I've not seen any proposals for global GLAM activities (aside from the fellowship positions that have been funded via a closed process). This is a WMF failure, not a global failure. :-( In terms of chapters, I can only speak for my involvement in my local chapter (WMUK), where I don't believe we've declined any significant opportunities in this sector - and have been actively investing in opportunities that we've been aware of. My understanding is that this also equally applies to Wikimedia organisations in other countries.
I am not sure I follow you here. What failure are you referring to? The sorts of opportunities that exist are for working with some of the international museum and libraries and archives bodies that aim to digitize, organize, and share the world's culture more effectively. They often end up forging their own new digital initiatiaves online, and have not yet started tomatch their desires to make culture universally available to the sorts of work we do : including the wiki way of licensing, cataloging, publishing, integrating into other educational works. The opportunities dont apply to wikimedia explicitly without significant work and conceptual development, but often reference Wikipedia's success as a mental model they use when thinking about universal accessibility and utility. SJ talk | translate  
Ditto MediaWiki development. There are two situations here - activities that further MediaWiki development, and activities that further Wikimedia-related MediaWiki development. I can fully understand WMF preferring the latter over the former, but my understanding is that there hasn't been opposition to the former taking place. WMF might not have allocated developer resources towards the former, but it's not opposed non-trunk development and open extension development that would benefit parties other than the WMF (as evidenced by all of the information available on mediawiki.org about non-WMF extensions), and indeed it plays a vital role in encouraging that development (for both its own sake and for mediawiki as a whole). I would view this as being a hugely important role of the WMF - it should be encouraging both core development including via WMF-funded development positions, as well as volunteer and partner development of less-Wikimedia-critical extensions. If the WMF is failing to support that volunteer and partner development, then that's a clear failure of the WMF's approach rather than being the responsibility and obligation of a 'partner organisation' (whether that's a hypothetical or real organisation). Mike Peel 01:51, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
The WMF is certainly encouraging new and innovative development of all sorts and most supportive of pure MediaWiki development. Nevertheless, the Foundation-s goal is to support a movement of effective independent entities with different focuses, not to centralize all interesting work in the Foundation. This is not about obligation, simply about appropriately recognizing great work where it is taking place. If a community group becomes known for excellent work in such areas, we want it to be easy to recognize them (say, as an Association). If their work is sufficiently extensive that they become the go-to entity for a certain area of work, and are representing our movement in their field, they might end up needing a formal non-profit to handle any grants they have received, and with sufficient mission alignment might become a partner organization. That is the intent of this concept. These two may still not be the best examples. SJ talk | translate   22:23, 5 February 2012 (UTC)

Feedback from the October Board Meeting[edit]

Here is feedback from Bishakha (copied with her permission from a private mail) in addition to Foundation:Minutes/2011-10-07:

The proposed new models and the proposed affiliations committee were discussed together. There was general support for the idea of having new models. On the proposed models themselves, there were questions about the specific 'names': partner orgs, informal associations, affiliates - it was suggested that the names be reviewed again for precision and to ensure there is no confusion about the type of group. For example, 'cultural groups' or 'cultural chapters'?

I personally don't believe that anything combined with "cultural" will help to avoid misunderstanding, but indeed it is necessary to find terms which work for everyone, even for non-native speakers. --lyzzy 20:11, 1 February 2012 (UTC)

And Mike's thoughts above demonstrate that either the names or the examples don't work. --lyzzy 20:13, 1 February 2012 (UTC)
We can accept the classes of new models without blessing the names used. The latter can be a shed-painting exercise and should not hold up the former. SJ talk | translate   20:29, 1 February 2012 (UTC)